The Bandit Queen by Natalia and Lauren O’Hara #PublicationDay #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on The Bandit Queen by Natalia and Lauren O’Hara. Natalia is the author and Lauren is the illustrator for The Bandit Queen. My thanks to Puffin Books for inviting me to read a copy of this book via NetGalley, my thoughts are my own.

It is published by Puffin Books in Hardback today, its available from Amazon UK.

Last year I read Hortense and The Shadow by Natalia and Lauren you can read my review HERE and buy a copy HERE

Synopsis:

“O Bandit Queen!” the bandits cried. 
“Little horror! Poison weed!
We’ll give you everything a queen could ever need…”

The bandits give their queen treasure, tigers, mischief and mayhem. But sometimes a little girl needs something more…

A book about finding family in unexpected places, from the creators of Hortense and the Shadow.

My Thoughts:

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The Bandits are a mad bunch getting up to all sorts of things such as pinching forks, shouting and crashing about until three in the morning. On one trip the Bandits steal things from an Orphan School, in one box is a baby. They care for her, spoil her, give her their version of an education and make her their Bandit Queen. She grows tired of their childish behaviour and goes to get a proper education, she then realises she misses her bunch of Bandits and they also miss her.

This is a fun read with rhyming sentences that would be great to be read out loud. At the beginning of the story there are a few onomatopoeia words, ideal for engaging a child when being read to, or for that child to sound out.

The story is engaging and while the Bandits are quite naughty they are also fun. At the end of the book there is almost a cliffhanger of sorts, it could be the end or there is the clue that there could be more to come. I like this as it is a way to encourage a child to think about what could happen next, giving them a chance to develop their own imaginative story.

The pictures in this book are fabulous, they are detailed and are relevant to each part of the story and are bright and vivid in their colour, while still holding a slightly whimsical style.

Last year I read Hortense and The Shadow by the O’Hara sisters and while that is a different style of book it does have some similarities, rhyming verse, good illustrations and a storyline that would appeal to young readers.

This is a book that I as and adult enjoyed and think would definitely appeal to readers from around 5 and up, perfect to be read aloud and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author and Illustrator:

Natalia O’Hara (Author) 
Natalia and Lauren are two sisters from the North of England. In the daytime they edit scripts and design sets, and at night they draw and write together. As children they loved fairytales, animal fables and the stories their Polish grandmother told on snowy nights. Hortense and the Shadow is their first picture book.

Lauren O’Hara (Illustrator) 
Natalia and Lauren are two sisters from the North of England. In the daytime they edit scripts and design sets, and at night they draw and write together. As children they loved fairytales, animal fables and the stories their Polish grandmother told on snowy nights. Hortense and the Shadow is their first picture book.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Shiang by C.F.Iggulden @MichealJBooks #BookReview #Netgalley

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Today I have my thoughts on Shiang by C.F.Iggulden that is published today, the second in The Empire of Salt Series. I would like to thank Michael Joseph Books for my ecopy recieved via NetGalley, my thoughts are my own. You can purchase a copy of this book from good book shops and here is the link to purchase from AMAZON UK.

You can read my review of the first book Darien: Empire of Salt by C. F. Iggulden

Synopsis:

IF THESE STONES COULD SPEAK . . . THEY WOULD CALL FOR WAR.

In Shiang, the young king rules without dissent. Mazer swordsmen stand watch on every corner, looking for the first sign of rebellion. This city is a place of quiet and slow dignity, like a man eating rice with a razor pressed against his throat.

Yet with one sharp movement, order is overturned. The balance of centuries is undone in the sudden spill of blood – and in the darkness, something terrible returns to Shiang.

Far to the west, four Shiang masters approach the city walls of Darien. The sword saint and his companions have crossed a continent to bring an old man home for punishment. They will not be denied, even if the whole city stands in their way.

TWO ANCIENT CITIES. ONE FINAL WAR.

My Thoughts:

So this is the second in this series of books by Conn Iggulden. Shiang and Darien are ancient cities separated by many miles of rough, mountainous landscapes. So why anyone would want to make the journey across the mountains, especially in winter, must be for something important.

There are two groups making this journey, Hondo and his group are journeying to bring back a traitor, a man who disgraced the royal family in Darien, he now resides in Shiang. The other group is led by Gabriel and they are a more fearsome band, they are drawn to Shiang seeking power.

This is very much an action and well paced story, there are descriptions and histories that are filled in as the story unfolds. The journeys made by the two groups are interesting and the reasons for the trek was one that intrigued me.

This book gave me a chance to learn more about the ruling families and also how they rule. Also the way they use the power they posses.

Even though I did enjoy this story I found I was at a bit of a loss to find the links I would have expected between the first and second book. It did confuse me as I didn’t seem to have any memory of any of the key characters, once I kind of shrugged that off and decided to read it in the mindset of being more of a stand alone novel then I could enjoy the story. It was quite a long way in before I came across a character I could remember from the first book, he only makes a fleeting appearance.

So this book leaves me in a bit of a quandary, as part of a series I kind of expect characters to come back to me in the few chapters at least, but this wasn’t the case, this essentially left it as a book that had more of a stand alone feel.

I did enjoy the story and found it descriptive, it is full of action, a fair bit of blood, death and destruction, it also has magic, swordsmanship, warriors and honour. It is a book that I would recommend and I am still looking forward to the next in the series.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or a share would be great 🙂 xx

The Confession by Jo Spain @SpainJoanne @QuercusBooks @ellakroftpatel #PublicationDay

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The Confession by Jo Spain and published by Quercus Books and will be available in paperback from 9th September, you can get your copy from AMAZON UK. I was lucky to be able to read an advance copy of the eBook version earlier this year. If you have not had the chance to read it yet then you should 🙂

Synopsis:

Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear.

Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn’t know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry’s many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal?

This gripping psychological thriller will have you questioning, who – of Harry, Julie and JP – is really the guilty one? And is Carney’s surrender driven by a guilty conscience or is his confession a calculated move in a deadly game?

‘I can’t praise The Confession enough. Brilliant writing, great story… a really cracking read’ BA Paris, author of Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown

An absolute cracker of a book, compulsive, deviously plotted and intense – I will be recommending this to everyone Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into the Darkest Corner

‘Has you addicted from the very first page. I found it impossible to put down’ Michelle Frances, author of The Girlfriend

‘Here is my confession: I’ve never read Jo Spain before but now I’ll be buying all of her books. The Confession is brutal and brilliant’ Fiona Cummins, author of Rattle

My Thoughts

When a stranger walks into a house, beats up the husband as the wife watches frozen, unable to do anything to help or stop the attack, you know there will or should be a pretty good reason for it.

Oh! This is a good read, a well paced psychological thriller. It is set over several years, filling in the background of the main characters. The chapters are told by different characters and from their own perspectives. They flit between times and places with quick succession. It did take me a few chapters to get to grips with this, occasionally loosing what time I was in, but its one of those books that, as you read you get to learn the style and format.

The characters themselves, I have mixed opinions on some and changes my opinion on others. This is a good thing by the way, for me it means the author has manipulated my feelings as I have read and therefore my opinion matches the character as they change, or you learn more about them. Now as for the plot, it is one of those deliciously deep and twisty ones that kept me guessing, even when things were being drawn together for the conclusion a few more sneaky twists were included in this slippery tale.

This is a book that I would definitely recommend to readers who like a good psychological thriller with twists that are revealed at the end with extra twisty bits. It also has elements that show the contrasts of two different social backgrounds, one poor and one rich, the haves and the have nots. A well written and executed read that kept me turning the pages avidly.

About the Author:

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Jo Spain’s first novel, With Our Blessing, was one of seven books shortlisted in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and went on to be a top-ten bestseller in Ireland. She has written two further in the series, featuring DI Tom Reynolds.
Jo has worked as a party advisor on the economy in the Irish parliament and is now writing full-time. She is currently writing a screen play for a brand new RTÉ crime drama series. Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children.

Follow Jo on Twitter
• Jo will be speaking at Bloody Scotland alongside Elly Griffiths and Sarah Pinborough on Sunday 23rd 2018.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Brand New Friend by Kate Vane @k8vane : #PublicationDay #Extract

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I am delighted to be sharing an extract today for “Brand New Friend” by Kate Vane on it’s Publication Day. This book is one I have on my TBR and I am looking forward to reading it at a later date. Kate very kindly got in touch and was aware that I was closed for reviews but wondered if I could host an extract. Call it chance or fate, but the date she suggested was available. If you would like to purchase a copy then please follow the universal link and choose your preference HERE. It is being launched at 99p/99c. After 10 June it will go up to £2.99/$3.99

Synopsis:

BBC foreign correspondent Paolo Bennett is exiled to a London desk – and the Breakfast sofa – when he gets a call from Mark, a friend from university in eighties Leeds. Paolo knew Mark as a dedicated animal rights activist but now a news blog has exposed him as an undercover police officer. Then Mark’s former police handler is murdered.

Paolo was never a committed campaigner. He was more interested in women, bands and dreaming of a life abroad. Now he wonders if Mark’s exposure and his handler’s murder might be linked to an unexplained death on campus back when they were friends. What did he miss?

Paolo wants the truth – and the story. He chases up new leads and old friends. From benefit gigs and peace protests, to Whatsapp groups and mocktail bars, the world has changed, but Mark still seems the same.

Is Mark the spy who never went back – who liked his undercover life better than his own? Or is he lying now? Is Paolo’s friend a murderer?

Extract:

Kate has allowed me to share the opening chapter of “Brand New Friend”

EXTRACT:

Paolo’s mind was still in Yemen when his phone rang.

‘It’s me. Mark.’

He’d been recording a report on the cholera outbreak for The World Tonight, trying, in cool BBC tones, to conjure the faces of the people, the stunning mud-brick buildings, the terror of the bombing. The stink of sewage, the pain of loss.

‘I need your help.’

He couldn’t get the story on TV because it failed the vital test – do we have pictures? Radio. How he loved radio! For a moment he had forgotten that he was in London, on a chill, grey day, in a dark wool suit.

Mark.

It was an unknown caller but he always picked up. The habit of years of reporting on the ground in the Middle East. You never knew who it might be, whether they would call again.

He wondered how many hundreds of Marks he had met in his life and why this particular Mark thought he should know who he was. He wasn’t going to identify him from his silence, so he said, a little tersely, ‘Mark who?’

‘That’s why I’m calling.’

The voice thought he should know what this was about and he didn’t. ‘Where are you?’

‘Leeds, of course.’ It was the tone of beatific patience as much as the location that made him realise. A tone that threw him straight back to the eighties. ‘You haven’t seen the news?’

‘I’ve been in the studio. Give me a moment.’ He was already searching for Mark’s name, tapping on a link.

‘Can you come? Now?’

Like he was still a student. We’re going the pub, or Nazams, or a party on Brudenell Road, or maybe Street, or Mount. That was then. Of course he couldn’t come now.

Yet as he read on, he felt the old tingle that told him this was a story, and he found himself saying, ‘Yes, I’ll come.’

About the Author:

kate vane author image.jpg Kate Vane writes (mostly) crime fiction. Brand New Friend is her fourth novel.

She has written for BBC drama Doctors and has had short stories and articles published in various publications and anthologies, including Mslexia and Scotland on Sunday.

She lived in Leeds for a number of years where she worked as a probation officer. She now lives on the Devon coast.

Follow Kate on:-  Website – Twitter – Facebook

Follow the tour and see what other Book Blogger think

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or a share would be wonderful 🙂 xx

#BlogTour : Abel’s Revenge by Ross Greenwood @greenwoodross @CarolineBookBit #PublicationDay #BookReview

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I am delighted to be one of the opening hosts today for the Blog Tour for  Abel’s Revenge by Ross Greenwood to share with you.  I am delighted to be on the Blog Tour for this book organised by Caroline at Bits About Books. My thanks to Ross and Caroline for my copy of this book and my spot on the tour.  Abel’s Revenge is available in paperback and also eBook today. You can purchase a copy HERE.

Synopsis:

This is a story about a city. As with all others, it’s a place of violence. There are murderers, and they live among us.

This is also a tale about a couple — sometimes friends, occasionally lovers, but always partners. Dan and Olivia are fighting modern battles; the ones parents have over a lack of money, time or peace.

An escalating serial killer terrifies the streets and homes. The body count rises as their relationship crumbles. Society reveals its dark side, and no one is safe. Dan and Olivia experience this first-hand as danger closes in.

Will Abel’s reign of terror ever end?

Who will live and who will die?

My Thoughts:

The synopsis for this book is quite unique and it is not until I now sit and write my review that I really get it’s significance as I re read it, a story about a city.  This is a clever and a brilliant concept of the city being responsible for the actions of people.  Life in a city is what you make it.  If you don’t accept and embrace the diversity and opportunities it lays out before you, it will mess with your head.  A couple with two children, one parent accepts city life and loves her life, the other parent feels suffocated, out-of-place and struggles.  With their own problems to deal with the couple hear of a serial killer crime wave.  It is a crime wave that terrorizes the inhabitants of the sprawling urban streets, it has a name. Its name is Abel.

This is a cleverly thought out book, with dark depths and subtle moments of unexpected sarcasm and humour as it brings the city to life through those who live in it.  It shows us a typical family with the stress and strain of being parents, and trying to balance time between children, work and for themselves. We hear of their story as the city is in the grip of Abel, his actions are on the news and on everyone’s lips, this adds another worry to their lives.

Half way through this book is a newspaper article that gives the most perfect way of summarising events that have been escalating.  It’s a great way of taking the reader out of the cocoon and opening it up to give a wider general opinion, it expands the vision and lets the reader get more of a feel for what is being referred to as “The Abel Effect”.  It adds public opinion, fear and outcry as they feel the police are not doing enough to balance this is the police response and how they are dealing with this phenomenon.

It is at this inclusion in the story I made a note as I was reading, “this is bad, but I have an even badder feeling something sinister is going to happen”, okay I am not very articulate when I make notes, but I know exactly what I felt and what I meant. This is the point when you realise that the story is winding up again, upping the ante and giving this reader a real sense of dread.  The way I had no idea who the serial killer was, well  had several suspects and kept changing my mind but had no idea how this story was going to end.

This is a story that took me on a journey that was unexpected, even after reading I am still thinking about it.  It is deceptive and a brilliant read, a book I really wanted to race through to discover the whys and hows of the plot, but one that I slowed my reading for so I could really understand the story behind the story.

This is a definitely highly recommended read, not often I use definite and highly together, it is a psychological thriller that is powerful, brutal and honest.  A look into the mind of a serial killer as the crimes are committed and seeing the reasoning and justification behind them.  But also in contrast, how a family struggling in their relationship deal with the strains of living within a city. This is a book that I think would be brilliant for a brilliant Book Club pick, it has many aspects that I think could give some great discussions.

About the Author

Ross Greenwood  Author Image.jpg  Ross Greenwood was born in 1973 in Peterborough and lived there until he was 20, attending The King’s School in the city. He then began a rather nomadic existence, living and working all over the country and various parts of the world.

Ross found himself returning to Peterborough many times over the years, usually, so he says “when things had gone wrong.” It was on one of these occasions that he met his partner about 100 metres from his back door whilst walking a dog. Two children swiftly followed. And, according to Ross, he is “still a little stunned by the pace of it now.”

Lazy Blood book was started a long time ago but parenthood and then four years as a prison officer got in the way. Ironically it was the four a.m. feed which gave the author the opportunity to finish the book as unable to get back to sleep he completed it in the early morning hours.

Ross Greenwood’s second book, The Boy Inside, was picked up by Bloodhound Books, and in September 2017, Fifty Years of Fear was published. All his books are thought provoking, and told with a sense of humour.

Ross Greenwood hopes you enjoy reading them.
Please feel free to get in touch on Website ~ Facebook ~  Twitter

Other Books by Ross Greenwood

Lazy Blood (Sept. 2016) Amazon UK
The Boy Inside (Feb 2017) Amazon UK
Fifty Years of Fear (Sept.2017) Amazon UK

See what other Book Bloggers think of this book by following the tour

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Many thanks for reading my post, a share would be amazing.  Get your own copy of this amazing book HERE 🙂 xx

#PublicationDay : Ike & Kay by James MacManus #ikeandkay @jamesmac1x: @Duckbooks #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “Ike & Kay” by James MacManus.  It is publication day today for this book by Duckworth OverLook and is available in various formats.  CLICK HERE for the link to purchase from Amazon UK.  I would like to express my thanks to Thogdin at Duckworth Overlook for my copy of this wonderful book.

Synopsis:

The secret affair at the heart of World War II

Ike and Kay is the absorbing new novel from the highly acclaimed author James MacManus. A compelling historical novel, it is a vivid reimagining of General Eisenhower and Kay Summersby’s infamous love affair in London during World War II.

In 1942, Kay Summersby’s life is changed forever when she is conscripted to drive General Eisenhower on his fact-finding visit to wartime London. Despite Eisenhower’s marriage to Mamie, the pair take an immediate liking to each other and he buys Kay a rare wartime luxury: a box of chocolates. So begins a tumultuous relationship that, against all military regulation, sees Kay traveling with Eisenhower on missions to far-flung places before the final assault on Nazi Germany.

The general does dangerously little to conceal his affair with the woman widely known as “Ike’s shadow,” and in letters Mamie bemoans his new obsession with “that Irish woman”. That does not stop him from using his influence to grant Kay citizenship and rank in the US army, drawing her closer still when he returns to America. When officials discover Eisenhower’s plans to divorce his wife they threaten the fragile but passionate affair, and Kay is forced to take desperate measures to hold onto the man she loves…

Based on the scandalous true story of General Eisenhower’s secret World War II love affair, Ike and Kay is a compelling story of love, duty, sacrifice and heartbreak, set against the backdrop of the most tumultuous period of the 20th century.

My Thoughts:

Firstly this is a story that is based on true events.  It is the story of how Kay Summersby became driver to General Eisenhower while he was on a visit to London during WWII.  A time when street signs were removed and London was in a black out, hence the need for drivers with knowledge of the area, the MTC (Motor Transport Corp) was in place and essential for the movement of visitors.

James has created a story that has a great balance for this reader, actual events with a romantic liaison.  It becomes evident that there is something going on between Ike and Kay as she transports him not only around London, but further afield into Europe.  She is a woman who is able to provide a stable environment that Eisenhower gradually starts to rely on.  It is not based just during the war, but also continues in the years after.  You get to see different sides to the man who goes on to become President.  My opinion at the start of the book about these two people changed by the time I got the end.  My heart went out to Kay as her role during the war and after changed, her role changed so much from the driver she originally started out as.  Ike was in a position asking where loyalties lay, were they with Kay or to his country.

There are author notes at the end that are interesting reading, they explain how no one actually knows the extent of the relationship between Ike and Kay.  The story that is told is one that has been researched and the author has used this research to then create a wonderful read of what may have happened.  I had no idea about Kay and her role so I tootled off to do a bit of research of my own after I had finished reading.  I found photographs and various articles that was great to be able to put an actual face to the lady behind the story.

This is a story I would definitely recommend to readers of historical fiction, romantic fiction based during WWII, it is a mix of emotion and heartbreak  as the characters come to terms with their feelings and how they are seen by others with documented facts . As this lady was someone I knew nothing about it was interesting to read on further about her, and I am grateful for being introduced to Kay.

About the Author:

51QTtUz2b2L._SY200_ James MacManus has worked in the newspaper business for 46 years.He is currently the Managing Director of the Times Literary Supplement.He began his career on The Daily Express in Manchester after leaving St Andrews University.He worked in the Express regional offices in Newcastle,Belfast and Dublin before leaving to join the Guardian in London in 1972.He became Paris correspondent of that paper in 1974 then Africa and Middle East correspondent between the years of 1974-1985.He did not begin writing creatively until became MD of the TLS in 1998.His first book,Ocean Devil, told the story of a young Englishman who was caught up in the Sino-Japanese war of 1936-45.George Hogg was an Oxford graduate who worked as a journalist and then schoolmaster during the ferocious conflict.He became a hero in China having led a school of ninety children to safety from the advancing Japanese in the bitter winter of 1944.Ocean devil; was made into a film directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Jonathan Rhys Meyer. MacManus’ debut novel On the Broken Shore was published by Harper Collins in April 2010 and launched in the US with the title the Language of the Sea in 2013.

Follow James MacManus on : Website  ~ Twitter

Many thanks for reading my post, please give a share or a like.  Or go and get yourself a copy of this book CLICK HERE 🙂 xx

#BlogBlitz : The Scent of Guilt by Tony J Forder @TonyJForder @Bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy681 #PublicationDay #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts for the 2nd in the “D.S Bliss” series.  “The Scent of Guilt” by Tony J Forder is published by Bloodhound Books and available to purchase from today in eBook format from Amazon UK.  My thoughts on the 1st in the series “Bad To The Bone” HERE. My thanks to Tony and Sarah Hardy, for my copy of the book and my spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

Looking for an unmissable crime thriller?

Twelve years after he left Peterborough under a cloud, DI Bliss returns to the city and the major crimes team. Having spent years policing organised crime, Bliss is plunged straight into the heart of a serial murder investigation. 

Meanwhile, Penny Chandler has been promoted to DS and has been working in

London on the Met’s sexual crimes team. But when two rapes are reported on her old patch in Peterborough, Chandler volunteers to interview the victims. 

Chandler joins the hunt for the attacker and soon notices a possible link between the rapes and Bliss’s murder investigation.  Could the same man be responsible?

Just as both cases seem to stall, a call comes in from an ex-policeman who knows of unsolved cases in the USA with a similar MO. Bliss finds himself travelling to California to hunt for a killer whose reach may have stretched further than anyone could possibly imagine.

But in order to catch the murderer, Bliss must discover the killer’s motive. A motive which should have remained buried in the past… 

Also available in the DI Bliss Series: Bad to the Bone

Tony J. Forder is the acclaimed author of Degrees of Darkness and Scream Blue Murder. The stunning DI Bliss series are fast-paced police thrillers which will appeal to fans of authors like Michael Connely, Joy Ellis, Faith Martin, Robert Bryndza and Angela Marsons. 

My Thoughts:

The 2nd in the D.S Bliss series sees the story 12 years on from the first book Bad To The Bone.  D.S Jimmy Bliss makes a return to his old stomping ground and his old job.  With the investigation of a strange and brutal murder, Bliss and his team investigate.  D.C Penny Chandler makes a return to Peterborough.   The case she is working on, while  on secondment in London may have a link to her old mentors case.

This can be read as a stand alone, but it definitely helps if you have read the first to get a feel for the history and backstories.  I read this book straight off the back of Bad To The Bone so it was still fresh in my head.  There is a time difference of 12 years between the two stories, my reading difference was 12 hours so it did take me a while to get into this one. Once I got my head around this time difference I was off and running.

There are a few old faces, but also some new ones as you would expect.  This has a different feel, it is more darker, sinister and more intricate.  It has several plots running through it that twists together that has the investigators trying to work out the why’s and the who’s.  I do admit to having an inkling as to who the “who” was, but never completely convinced I was right.  The story had some surprising twists and went down routes I didn’t expect therefore keeping my interest right the way through. I liked the dynamic of Bliss and Chandler in the first book, and was pleased to see a return of that in this one. Bliss is investigating a much darker feeling story than the last one, and with Chandler being on secondment to a sex crimes department, you know this is going to be more sinister.  So be warned!

This is a book I would definitely recommend to readers who like police procedural crime, murder, mystery and thriller books.  Dark, brutal and sinister that will have you avidly turning the pages.

About the Author:

22365495_499399223774817_4544080396425244912_nTony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed crime thriller Bad to the Bone, the first in a series featuring DI Jimmy Bliss and DC Penny Chandler. The sequel, The Scent of Guilt, is available from 17 February 2018. A third book in the series is currently in progress.

Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This was intended to be a stand-alone novel, but Tony is now considering the possibility of a follow-up.

One book that will definitely see a sequel is Scream Blue Murder. This was published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross and Matt Hilton.

Follow Tony on ~ Twitter ~ Website

See what other readers think of this book by following the Blog Tour

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Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share.  Or go and get a copy of this book and see what you think 🙂 xx

#BookReview : The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert @mimi_albert @penguinrandom @NetGalley #PublicationDay

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I am so delighted to be bringing you my thoughts on “The Hazel Wood” by Melissa Albert, it is due for publication today and available in various formats.  Published by Penguin it can be purchased from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the strange bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate – the Hazel Wood – Alice learns how bad her luck can really get. Her mother is stolen away – by a figure who claims to come from the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: STAY AWAY FROM THE HAZEL WOOD.

To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began . . .

My Thoughts:

When you think of fairy tales it is often woods, wolves, castles, princes and princesses with a happy ever after.  The Hazel Wood is nothing like that, it contains fairy tales but they are darker with an underlying feeling of dread to them.  The reclusive and mysterious author Althea Prosperine published her only novel Tales of the Hinterland.  Her granddaughter Ella has never met Althea, never read the book, but is aware of it.  In fact not many have met Althea or even have a copy of the book.  Ella and her mum Alice have to move around a lot, they keep their heads down, always try to keep ahead of the bad luck that seems to shadow them.  This story is how Ella and the reader learns about The Hazel Wood, the book and the bad luck.

This is a brilliantly woven story using the basic premise of a fairy tales.  Twisting them into a dark and brooding journey for the reader.  As we follow Ella and Alice there are things that are seen out of the corner of an eye that gives feeling of the supernatural that have mysterious darker undertones, shadows that linger, people that don’t quite fit in, this all adds to a feeling of tense suspense.  As the story unfolds there are several twists that I didn’t expect, they are clever and make this an extremely addictive read. There are several characters in this story and they are easily remembered and play their parts well, they have good backstories, and while I didn’t like all the characters I found them intriguing.

Once I started this story I could not put it down, the descriptions give a vivid and imaginative picture.  I loved the style of the writing, at times it had the fairy tale feel you would expect, but also a darker much more intense feel that was far removed from fairy tales.  I would like to see follow on from this book as there were several characters that I would like to know more about, and some that left me with questions. But overall it has been beautifully put together and is one I would absolutely recommend.

So if you like a dark and twisty fantasy read that has some roots in magical fairy tales then this is a book for you.  It is a young adult read, that an older adult loved.

I would like to thank NetGalley and the publishers for my eARC of this wonderful book, my thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

You can visit the author in Twitter and also find all the links to purchase the books HERE

 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Or go and grab yourself a copy of this brilliant book 🙂 xx

#BookReview : Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts @jmortonpotts #PublicationDay

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Wow what a cover!  I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “Hiding” by Jenny Morton Potts.  It is due to be published today, so

“Happy Publication Day Jenny xxxx”

Synopsis:

A gripping psychological thriller with chilling twists, from a unique new voice.

Keller Baye and Rebecca Brown live on different sides of the Atlantic. Until she falls in love with him, Rebecca knows nothing of Keller. But he’s known about her for a very long time, and now he wants to destroy her.

This is the story of two families. One living under the threat of execution in North Carolina. The other caught up in a dark mystery in the Scottish Highlands. The families’ paths are destined to cross. But why? And can anything save them when that happens?

My Thoughts:

Set as a sort of time slip and as a transatlantic thriller we meet Keller Baye from America and Rebecca Brown from Scotland.  There is a connection that links these two people, well, more their parents actually, but not everyone knows what this link is.  As the story unfolds we are taken deeper into the two family’s histories and are given details on Keller and Rebecca, their upbringing within their families, education and friends.

The story starts off at an unhurried stroll and gradually picks up pace as this reader got more engrossed in it.  There are several threads have been woven and are gradually twisted and brought together. Jenny has done a brilliant job of giving little snippets and morsels of information and elusive details about the characters at just the right moments, giving hints at what is to come.  A little about the plot, and it will be a little as I really do not want to give anything away.  An incident occurs, it is very much a wrong place wrong time moment, but the resulting consequences have far-reaching implications, and that is all I am prepared to say, I just don’t want to hint at anything and spoil it for another reader.  Just grab yourself a copy and read it, you won’t be disappointed.

As for the characters, they are a wonderful varied mixed bunch that have a whole host of traits that seem to fit really well, you will meet  good, bad, ugly, funny, sly, strict and lovable rogue types.  Some you will like, others you will not and I also like the ones that make me change my mind on how I feel about them. A great look at the differences within the family dynamics as well, how they interact with each other, or don’t in some cases.  The descriptions of the sandstone house that is Taransay I loved, a bleak, grim, cold draughty mansion and the isolation of it gave me a real image as I read.

So in case you had not realised, I really loved this book, I liked the way it grabbed my attention from the very beginning and did not let me go until the very last words.  I wasn’t sure of where this book was going to take me, but as it had piqued my interest early on I was quite willing to be led and greedily kept turning the pages.

This is a book that is ideal for those who like a slow burner that then starts to increase in pace as the story evolves and then has you racing to the end. A brilliant read, with well-developed characters, a great pace, very good setting descriptions and plot lines.  A definite must read recommendation from this reader to others who like a good thriller.

Now I have to mention the cover, it is intriguing and after you have read the book, take another look at it ! I went from liking it originally, to now loving it, it makes a lot of sense.

I would like to send my thanks to Jenny for sending me a eARC of this book.  My views expressed here are my unbiased and are my own.

About the Author:

hiding  Jenny Morton Potts was born in a smart, dull suburb of Glasgow where the only regular excitement was burglary. Attended a smart, dull school where the only regular excitement was the strap. Worked in smart, dull sales and marketing jobs until realising she was living someone else’s life.

Escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon who wanted to talk about The Da Vinci Code, wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England – and unlikely ever to leave again – Jenny, with assistance from loyal hound, walked and swam her way back to manageable health.

Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, partnered for 28 years, she ought to mention, and living with inspirational child in Derbyshire.

Follow Jenny on her Website ~ Twitter

Many thanks for reading my post, if you  liked it give it a share.  Better still, go and buy this incredible book xx

#BookReview : Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit : #GrippedByFear : @orionbooks : @NetGalley : #PublicationDay

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Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit and translated by Imogen Taylor. It is available for purchase in various formats and is published by The Orion Publishing Group.

Synopsis:

You’d die for your family. But would you kill for them?

Family is everything. So what if yours was being terrorised by a neighbour – a man who doesn’t listen to reason, whose actions become more erratic and sinister with each passing day? And those you thought would help – the police, your lawyer – can’t help you.

You become afraid to leave your family at home alone. But there’s nothing more you can do to protect them.

Is there?

My Thoughts:

This is quite a different book. It is based around the authors experiences of being stalked. We are told from the outset of the crime that has been committed, who committed it and who the victim was.

It is written from the viewpoint of the main protagonist, Randolph. The author states at the very beginning that Randolph is a version of himself.

So initially we start in present day when Randolph has just phoned the police to report the murder. We are then taken back to Randolph’s childhood, his years growing up in a still divided Germany, how he met his wife Rebecca and his life after. These details, for me, provide the main crux of the story, they are wrapped around the events leading up to and including the murder that takes place.

The murder was the result of Dieter, the neighbour and his unhealthy obsession with Randolph and Rebecca’s family. Dieter has accused them of abusing their children Paul and Fay. He is initially friendly towards the family when they move into the flat above him, but soon things change and he begins a reign of terror.

So essentially there are two stories running in this book, that of Randolph and his life story, then, that of Dieter and his terrorising of the family. There is a huge amount of information in this book and explores a vast array of topics, such as, status, class and culture, as well as lots of observational accounts of living in a divided Germany at a time of great change. It is a good genre spanning book with crime, thriller, psychological aspects and fiction.

This book is written as an account of events, it is set at a good pace with well described and developed characters. I would recommend this book to readers of Crime and Thriller, Psychological Thriller and also Fiction.

My thanks to Orion Publishing and NetGalley for my copy of this eARC.  My views are my own and are unbiased.

Praise for the Book:

What critics are saying about FEAR:

‘I’m intrigued by Dirk Kurbjuweit’s novel FEAR, about a stalker living downstairs’ – LIONEL SHRIVER, THE OBSERVER

Remarkable’ – THE OBSERVER

‘Addictive… There’s a twist at the end that is worth waiting for’ – INDEPENDENT

‘A terrifying study of a family threatened by the tenant living downstairs’ – WOMAN&HOME

‘Brilliantly done to play on every parents’ deepest fears’ – FIONA BARTON, bestselling author of THE WIDOW

What readers are saying about FEAR:

‘Thought-provoking, intelligent and genuinely chilling. It’s quite possible that we are all just a few provocations away from cold-blooded murder’ – ELIZABETH HAYNES, author of INTO THE DARKEST CORNER

A terrific, original thriller – I loved it’ JOANNE HARRIS

‘FEAR makes us sympathetic to violent revenge, accessories to murder’ – HERMAN KOCH, author of THE DINNER

‘I loved it. So rich and claustrophobic’ – RENEE KNIGHT, author of DISCLAIMER

‘The most original thriller of the year’ – NETGALLEY

‘Expertly constructed, highly entertaining and thought-provoking’ – Cloggie, Amazon reviewer

‘If you’re looking for a thriller with psychological insight, I highly recommend this one’ – Marjorie, Amazon reviewer

‘Not your usual thriller’ – Fiona, Amazon reviewer

About the Author:

Dirk Kurbjuweit is deputy editor-in-chief at German current affairs magazine Der Spiegel, where he has worked since 1999, and divides his time between Berlin and Hamburg. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Egon Erwin Kisch Prize for journalism, and is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels, many of which, including FEAR, have been adapted for film, television and radio in Germany. FEAR is the first of his works to be translated into English.

 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Better still go and grab a copy of this book xx