Into the Tangled Bank by Lev Parikian @LevParikian @alisonmenziespr #publicationday #nature #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Into the Tangled Bank by Lev Parikian. When I received and email from Alison at Elliot & Thompson and it was entitled “A funny nature book” I knew this was for me. I would also like to wish Lev a very Happy Publication Day.

Let me show you what it’s about…

Into the Tangled Bank – In which our author ventures outdoors to consider the British in nature
Lev ParikianPublication: 9 July 2020

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)


This is a thought-provoking , humorous examination of how we experience the natural world -described by Melissa Harrison as “Funny, accessible and full of wonders – a genuine breath of fresh air” .


Lev is a conductor, writer and birdwatcher.  In Into the Tangled Bank, he attempts to get to grips with what it means to be a nature lover.  The book travels from his doorstep to garden plot, local patch, wildlife reserve and as far as the Isle of Skye.  Everywhere, he comes up against nature lovers of all varieties: from ramblers and dog-walkers, to passionate enthusiasts or just people out for a stroll in the sun.


Lev is the instigator of the #twitterbirdsong project and hosts a new youtube channel  Bird Brains devoted to all things avian.  

AND… the cover is gorgeous in real life!

I really enjoyed reading this book as I followed Lev’s observations on how people and nature interact. Lev has such an easy style to his writing and as well as various facts there is also a nice level of humour. The book is littered with various interesting facts from history, nature and life.

Lev looks at various aspects of nature including our own gardens, parks and open green areas. He notices various things about human nature and how people with certain interest can chat about things for quite a while. As a gardener I found myself sniggering about they way gardeners can talk about “their patch” what they grow, the pests and bugs.

Lev’s observations of people in nature draw together different walks of life. From the dog-walkers, to the gardeners, the photographers to the birdwatchers. These observations make a really enjoyable read and many times I found myself nodding my head in agreement or as I read sections thought “this is me!”.

A book that is ideal for dipping in and out of, in fact I read most of this book sat in the garden have a break from the weeding, trimming and filling bird feeders and it was the perfect spot.

A refreshing read that I think various people would really enjoy, and I am sure any nature lover, or those who spend time outdoors and then reads this book will find themselves in it at some point. A good book about the observations of an author and one I would happily recommend, its a fabulous read.

Lev Parikian is a writer, birdwatcher and conductor. His book Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear? was published by Unbound in 2018. He lives in West London with his family, who are getting used to his increasing enthusiasm for nature. As a birdwatcher, his most prized sightings are a golden oriole in the Alpujarras and a black redstart at Dungeness Power Station.

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

Dreaming of Italy by T.A. Williams @TAWilliamsBooks @rararesources #PublicationDay #rararesources #romance #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Dreaming of Italy by T.A. Williams. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my e-copy of this book for a Publication Day Review.

Happy Publication Day Trevor xx

Let me show you what it is all about…

Up for a dream promotion, Emma won’t let anything get in her way – not even love.

Working for a major Hollywood film company isn’t all glitz and glam. But when Emma gets sent to tour around Italy to scout the perfect location for a new blockbuster movie, she’s not going to complain. Especially when it could make or break her career…

Historical adviser for the project Mark is a distraction that Emma does not need. As they explore the beauty of Italy, Emma starts to fall for the mysterious Mark, and soon finds herself torn between her job and her heart.

From the wild, northern mountains of Piedmont, down the vibrant coast of Cinque Terre and through the rolling hills of Tuscany, Emma’s journey becomes one of self-discovery as she questions her priorities in life.

This heartwarming story of romance and redemption is the perfect read for fans of Tilly Tennant, Holly Martin and Daisy James.

This the second book I have read by Trevor and I was immediately struck by his wonderful and vivid descriptions as well as by the story-line.

Emma is a high-flyer in the film industry, she is tasked with finding scenery, properties on locations for a film called Dreaming of Italy. With script in hand she and Richard, her assistant both head off for Italy.

Richard was an unexpected addition, she is to show him the ropes of her job, he also happens to be the son of the film producer. With travelling around a foreign country, a guide is essential as well an an expert in history so they get all the right slightly off track locations.

Emma is a career driven woman who is determined to mark her mark in a male dominated industry, she has no time for relationships, but for some reason there is an interest that is baffling for her. In a country that is full of romantic locations and having a gorgeous historian it makes her wonder what she will do.

This is a lovely story and I have to say I did find some of the locations that the team flitted around slowed the pace of the story a little. I think for me it was more down to impatience as I wanted to know more about the characters. That being said, the descriptions and the places mentioned were brilliant and they definitely made me want to get a passport and visit some of the old castles, winding roads and off the main track restaurants.

Now I also have to mention my favourite character, Carmen, what a riotously fabulous inclusion to the story. She may have only had a small part compared to some of the others, but my goodness what a delight she was. I am saying no more about her!

This is a story that is rich in descriptions and wonderful sounding food, a great story-line and a tantalising romantic theme. Ideal for readers who like to escape to a different country and feel immersed in the culture. The author has done a fabulous job and Dreaming of Italy is a book I would recommend.

Firstly, my name isn’t T A. It’s Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds” one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…
I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.
I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.
I’ve been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she’s right.

The Memories We Bury by Helene Leuschel @HALeuschel #PublicationDay #PsychologicalFiction #BookReview

Happy Publication Day to you Helene Leuschel for The Memories We Bury, and many thanks for my review copy for an unbiased review xx

Let me show you what this book is all about…

An emotionally charged and captivating novel about the complexities of female friendship and motherhood, from the author of Manipulated Lives.

Lizzie Thomson has landed her first job as a music teacher, and after a whirlwind romance with Markus, the newlywed couple move into a beautiful new home in the outskirts of Edinburgh. Lizzie quickly befriends their neighbour Morag, an elderly, resourceful yet lonely widow, who’s own children rarely visit her. Everything seems perfect in Lizzie’s life until she finds out she is pregnant and her relationship with both Morag and Markus change beyond her control. 

Can Lizzie really trust Morag and why is Markus keeping secrets from her? 

In The Memories We Bury the author explores the dangerous bonds we can create with strangers and how past memories can cast long shadows over the present.

As the title indicates, this book is about memories, and particularly memories that have been buried been mis-remembered.

The author has taken this story and woven such a compelling read. Lizzie had not had the best of childhoods and her memories are not the best. his leaves her vulnerable to stronger personalities like that of her husband Markus. The couple move next door to Morag, a woman who is lonely and who is eager to help out Lizzie. Her help is invaluable as Lizzie gives birth to her son Jamie.

Over the next few weeks Lizzie and Jamie find the help that Morag gives them to be wonderful, but gradually this help progresses into more. Lizzie is struggling with being a new mum, feeling insecure and it doesn’t help that her husband works away. While the help Morag provides is good, Lizzie would like more time with her son alone.

This is such a deceptive novel and starts quite innocently enough, a neighbour willing to help out and provide aupport when needed, but then the author does something quite special and adds such a good psychological twist to it.

The story alternates between Lizzie and Morag, it delves into their past and their present lives. It builds a bigger picture over the story and had me completely and utterly hooked.

If you are a fan of family life and relationship reads that have secrets and mistrust, deception and manipulation then you are going to love this one. I did! A fabulous read that I would definitely recommend.

Helene Andrea Leuschel gained a Master in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She later acquired a Master in Philosophy, specializing in the study of the mind. 

Helene has a particular interest in emotional, psychological and social well-being and this led her to write her first novel, Manipulated Lives, a fictional collection of five novellas, each highlighting the dangers of interacting with narcissists. 

She lives with her husband and two children in Portugal.

Follow Helene on Twitter

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

Closer To You by Adam Croft @adamcroft #PublicationDay #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Closer To You by Adam Croft. I would also like to take the opportunity to wish Adam a Happy Publication Day 🙂

Let me show you what Adam’s book is all about…

What if your loved one wanted you dead?

Grace wants to spend the rest of her life with Tom. She needs to. Because otherwise he’ll kill her.

He’s the perfect gentleman. He’s kind, attentive and caring. Her family love him. And he needs Grace dead. But why?

As the feeling grows that Tom is not as perfect as he seems, he begins to slowly and systematically destroy her life. Can she discover the truth and escape with her life?

This is a quick, pacy and riveting 229 pages of intrigue, manipulation and deception. Grace thinks she has found Mr. Right when she meets Tom via a dating app. He is charming, a gentleman and very attentive. He comes across as supportive and compassionate. Grace, it seems has been swept off her feet by him so why are her friends not quite so keen on him?

This is a fast paced read that in some ways mirrors the pace of Grace and Tom’s relationship. Things move quickly and it isn’t long before he has moved in. Things should be rosy, and on the relationship side of things, that is the case. However, work, friends and family relationships all seem to have problems. Things are not going well, there are fraught conversations that seem to appear out of nowhere. Grace is so confused and is so glad that she has Tom there.

This is a clever and quick read that just zooms along and is easily read in one sitting. The author does a really good job of giving the reader a story that is very easy to get caught up in. There are doubts about Tom from the synopsis and also from the reactions and responses from Grace’s close friend and her family. Grace is slowly being manipulated and doesn’t realise until Tom’s attitude changes, subtle changes, but changes all the same.

If you like quick paced, domestic thriller reads then Closer To You is a good book to pick up. The characters are good and I was able to see what the other characters could see, I could understand their frustrations and I could also see the doubt creep slowly in over Grace. For a quick read this does pack a lot of drama and tension. thoroughly enjoyable read and one I would recommend.

With more than half a million books sold to date, Adam Croft is one of the most successful independently published authors in the world, and one of the biggest selling authors of the past year.

Following his 2015 worldwide bestseller Her Last Tomorrow, his psychological thrillers were bought by Thomas & Mercer, an imprint of Amazon Publishing. Prior to the Amazon deal, Her Last Tomorrow sold more than 150,000 copies across all platforms and became one of the bestselling books of the year, reaching the top 10 in the overall Amazon Kindle chart and peaking at number 12 in the combined paperback fiction and non-fiction chart.

His Knight & Culverhouse crime thriller series has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide, with his Kempston Hardwick mystery books being adapted as audio plays starring some of the biggest names in British TV.

In 2016, the Knight & Culverhouse Box Set reached number 1 in Canada, knocking J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child off the top spot only weeks after Her Last Tomorrow was also number 1 in Canada.

During the summer of 2016, two of Adam’s books hit the USA Today bestseller list only weeks apart, making them two of the most-purchased books in the United States over the summer.

Before writing full time, Adam had previously worked as an internet marketing consultant, delivery driver and professional actor.

Adam has been featured on BBC Radio, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Bookseller and a number of other news and media outlets.

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

Unlocked by Soulla Christodoulou @schristodoulou2 @Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Unlocked by Soulla Christodoulou, this is a beautiful short story that given it’s short length has so much to it.

I would like to thank Soulla for sending me an Advanced Reader Copy of Unlocked and to also like to add…

Happy Publication Day Soulla 💞

Let me show you what it is all about…

Helen, wallowing in pain and shunning the world and everyone around her, happens across an inspirational quote in her local store after leaving the house for the first time in weeks. Instantly, its message awakens something within her and she books a flight to a country she has always wanted to go.

In India the sounds, sights and colours of this spiritual place, evoke a new awareness within her and the promise of release from the agony of her husband’s infidelity. An impromptu encounter and an invitation to a local wedding open up an unexpected path and a flood of long-forgotten feelings.

Purchase link – Amazon UK

Helen has isolated herself after the breakdown of her marriage. Let herself go and become a recluse. A simple quote awakens something inside of her and she books a ticket to India.

Helen’s journey to India is a chance to be free of her self imposed confines. Her journey is not just a physical one, but one the heart, soul and mind.

The author has created such a captivating short story that is beautifully written. Within this short format there is a sense of hope and of starting to imagine a life being lived.

The author uses a few cultural references and at the end of the story these are explained in a little more detail. There is some wonderful vivid imagery that the author has carefully and superbly incorporated.

After I had finished Unlocked I had a wonderful sense of Helen being at peace. Also a little sad that it had finished, this is a story that I could have happily read in a longer format. The story is a tranquil and heartwarming read and I adored it and would definitely recommend it.

This is a beautiful story that has a perfectly matching and beautiful cover.

Born in London to Greek Cypriot parents Soulla Christodoulou spent much of her childhood living carefree days full of family, school and friends. She was the first in her family to go to university and studied BA Hotel & Catering Management at Portsmouth University. Years later, after having a family of her own she studied again at Middlesex University and has a PGCE in Business Studies and an MA in Education.

Soulla is a Women’s Fiction author and wrote her first novel Broken Pieces of Tomorrow over a few months while working full time in secondary education and is a mother of three boys.

She is a compassionate and empathetic supporter of young people. Her passion for teaching continues through private tuition of English Language and Children’s Creative Writing Classes.

Her writing has also connected her with a charity in California which she is very much involved in as a contributor of handwritten letters every month to support and give hope to women diagnosed with breast cancer. One of her letters will be featured in a book ‘Dear Friend’ out in September 2017.

When asked, she will tell you she has always, somewhere on a subconscious level, wanted to write and her life’s experiences both personal and professional have played a huge part in bringing her to where she was always meant to be; writing books and drinking lots of cinnamon and clove tea!

She also has a poetry collection, Sunshine after Rain, published on Amazon and is releasing her second novel, The Summer Will Come in Autumn/Winter 2017.

Follow Soulla on Twitter Website

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

Christmas at Ladywell by Nicola Slade @nicolasladeuk @rararesources #Bookreview #Giveaway (open Int)

Happy Publication Day Nicola 🙂

I am delighted to share my thoughts with you today for Christmas at Ladywell by Nicola Slade. I read this for the Blog Tour and wish to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my space on this Publication Day Push!

Let me show you what it is about…

A time for spilling secrets…

Having refurbished her inherited house and upcycled her whole life in the process, Freya – now happily married to Patrick, and with a small child – has to transform her tiny stone barn into a romantic hideaway for a mystery guest who is also looking for change. With Christmas only a week away, things don’t go according to plan…

In the past old uncertainties are resolved when an elderly woman seeks the truth of a legend on Christmas Eve and confesses to a deception; a Tudor wife listens to a story that must never be repeated and is given a precious relic that must never be displayed; and in the early nineteenth century an old woman tells a younger one the story of the hares at Ladywell.

Past and present are only a whisper apart when Freya learns of an astonishing discovery that will make Ladywell famous, but meanwhile her house is full of unexpected visitors, she has a turkey to cook – and a very special secret of her own that must be told.

Purchase links – Amazon – UKUS

This is a lovely novella and so a quick read. A story of a family that spans the generations and has a mysterious, magical and Christmas feel to it.

This is told in two timelines, there is the present setting as I get to know the family currently residing at Ladywell. Then there is the italicised sections that deal with the history of the area and the family through the years.

So a mix of two different styles as such, historical fiction and mystery as they are combined to create an enchanting and almost magical story. The present setting in Ladywell sounds lovely and a wonderful place to be at Christmas. While the past shows similarities and I gradually saw mysteries and secrets starting to emerge.

This is a charming read that has a folk lore-ish feel to the historical and a warm and generous family feel in the modern time. If you want a quick read then this is ideal, it had a nice flow and had some surprises within its pages and it is a short story that I would recommend.

Nicola Slade is an award-winning, bestselling author of historical and contemporary mysteries and romantic fiction, all set in and around Winchester and Romsey in Hampshire – which is where she lives. The House at Ladywell – a contemporary romantic novel with historical echoes – won the Chatelaine Grand Prize for Romantic Fiction at the CIBA awards in April 2019.

She is the author of the mid-Victorian Charlotte Richmond mysteries and the contemporary Harriet Quigley mysteries and The Convalescent Corpse, published November 2018, is the first in a new series, The Fyttleton Mysteries, set in 1918.

Media Links – WebsiteBlogTwitterFacebookPintrest


Now then! Are you ready for a chnace to win a copy of The Convalescent Corpse by Nicola? You are! Well, ideal 🙂

I read The Convalescent Corpse a while ago and you can see what I thought of it HERE 🙂

Giveaway to Win a .mobi or PDF of The Convalescent Corpse by Nicola Slade (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

ENTER HERE – Good Luck

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

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

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