The April Dead by Alan Parks @AlanJParks @blackthornbks @RandomTTours #HarryMcCoy #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts today on The April Dead by Alan Parks. I read and reviewed his previous book earlier this month and this 4th book in the series is just as brilliant. My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of the book from the publisher Black Thorn Books.

The fourth dark and gripping Harry McCoy thriller from the most exciting new voice in Scottish noir

NO ONE WILL FORGET . . .


In a grimy flat in Glasgow, a homemade bomb explodes, leaving few remains to identify its maker. Detective Harry McCoy knows in his gut that there’ll be more to follow. The hunt for a missing sailor from the local US naval base leads him to the secretive group behind the bomb, and their disturbing, dominating leader.


On top of that, McCoy thinks he’s doing an old friend a favour when he passes on a warning, but instead he’s pulled into a vicious gang feud. And in the meantime, there’s word another bigger explosion is coming Glasgow’s way – so if the city is to survive, it’ll take everything McCoy’s got . . .

My Review…

What a fabulously gritty crime thriller book The April Dead is. I haven’t read the first two books in the series but I did read the third and loved it.

Set in 1974 Glasgow, the author transports the reader back to a time where not all police are on the right side of the law. Some are corrupt and some walk a very fine line. One fine line walker is Harry McCoy, he isn’t exactly a dirty copper taking backhanders, but he does stray into grey areas.

A missing American man and bombs exploding is just the tip of the iceberg for McCoy. His colleague Wattie is trying to juggle fatherhood and the pressure of leading a case. While McCoy doesn’t exactly have the time to help out Wattie, he does manage to pep-talk him.

The author really does keep the reader in the era of the story, with mentions of music and also the fact that smoking is done in every and all buildings. Add to this the murky underworld and a new threat with the bombs, McCoy really does have his work cut out.

This story is one that has a really dark side to it. Historic crimes and atrocities are explained with enough detail to make your skin crawl. I do think the author got the balance right with his descriptions and explanations.

This is a tough gritty inner-city crime thriller read, it dips its toes into gangland and touches on the historic. One for readers who like their crime to be more thriller than mystery, although the mysteries of the subplots are eventually solved. Another brilliant read and it confirms that this is an author who I will definitely be reading in the future. I would definitely recommend this one.

About the Author…

Alan Parks has worked in the music industry for over twenty years. His debut novel Bloody January was shortlisted for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives and works in Glasgow.

Bloody January (Book 1)
February’s Son (Book 2)
Bobby March Will Live Forever (Book 3)
The April Dead (Book 4 )

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Bobby March Will Live Forever by Alan Parks @AlanJParks @blackthornbks @RandomTTours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Bobby March Will Live Forever by Alan Parks. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this fabulous book from Black Thorn Books.

Harry McCoy investigates the suspicious overdose of a rock legend and the disappearance of a young girl in this gripping thriller

WHO IS TO BLAME WHEN NO ONE IS INNOCENT?

There’s a heatwave in Glasgow and the drugs trade is booming. The whole force is searching for missing thirteen-year-old Alice Kelly. All except Harry McCoy, who has been taken off the case after a run-in with the boss, and is instead sent alone to investigate the death of rock-star Bobby March, who has just overdosed in the Royal Stuart hotel.

The papers want blood. The force wants results. McCoy has a hunch. But does he have enough time?

  • Themes include inner-city poverty, gang warfare, the rise and fall of rock & roll stardom, illegal narcotics distribution and the growth of the IRA, seen through the eyes of his good-cop-in-a-gray-world, Detective Harry McCoy.
  • Will appeal to fans of Ian Rankin, Denise Mina, Peter May, William McIlvanney and
    Val McDermid, as well as TV series such as Idris Elba’s Luther

My Review…

This is the 3rd book in the Harry McCoy series and the first time I have read a book by this author. This book does work really well as a stand-alone, but I do wish I had read the previous 2 books. I have got them on order, so it kind of shows how much I enjoyed Bobby March Will Live Forever!

So, let’s start with the basics. This is a police procedural set in Glasgow during the early 70s. McCoy is a DI who in theory should be heading the investigation for a missing girl but instead has been pushed out to investigate other crimes being committed. The reason for him being pushed out, well let’s call it a rather nasty power-hungry DI. The reasons for the animosity are made clear.

As this series focuses on McCoy, it is his cases that take a more prominent relevance in the story. While Bobby Fisher is mentioned in the title, and McCoy does investigate, the story is secondary in some respects to all the other things that are going on. The author does such a great job of weaving various threads of various subplots into a really addictive story.

The other great thing the author achieved int his story was really encompassing the era of the story and of the region of its setting. Giving an atmospheric, smoky, crime-ridden world where the line between bent and straight is fine. I do like the fact that he used the local vernacular during conversations, again it helps to cement the area well in the reader.

This is a book that has a noirish feel to it, atmospheric with great characters that I soon either liked or loathed. Although it is a police procedural it didn’t always feel like it as there were a few “off the books” things going on as well. I know, another vague-ish review but I really don’t want to give anything away.

This is a cracking read and I cannot wait for my first two books in the series to arrive. I already have the 4th book sat waiting to be read as well!

Brilliant characters, cracking storyline and one that I would definitely recommend if you like crime and thriller reads that have a police presence with some dodgy dealers then this is a series you want to take a serious look at.

About the Author…

Alan Parks has worked in the music industry for over twenty years. His debut novel Bloody January was shortlisted for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives and works in Glasgow.

Bobby March Will Live Forever is the third Harry McCoy thriller.

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Can You See Me Now by Trisha Sakhlecha @TrishaSakhlecha @RandomTTours @panmacmillan #mystery #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Can You See Me Now by Trisha Sakhlecha. This was a fabulous book and I would like to say a huge thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Blog Tours for my spot on the tour and for arranging for my copy from the publisher Pan MacMillan. It wasn’t until I read Trisha’s bio below that I realised that this book is based on an actual event!

From Trisha Sakhlecha,Can You See Me Now? is a gripping psychological suspense thriller about a young Indian woman, now a government minister, whose past secrets are about to reverberate into the present and shatter her life. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Erin Kelly.

Fifteen years ago, three sixteen-year-old girls meet at Wescott, an exclusive private school in India.
Two, Sabah and Noor, are the most popular girls in their year. One, Alia, is a new arrival from England, who feels her happiness depends on their acceptance.

Before she knows it, Sabah and Noor’s intoxicating world of privilege and intimacy opens up to Alia and, for the first time, after years of neglect from her parents, she feels she is exactly where, and with whom, she belongs.

But with intimacy comes jealousy, and with privilege, resentment, and Alia finds that it only takes one night for her bright new world to shatter around her.

Now Alia, a cabinet minister in the Indian government, is about to find her secrets have no intention of staying
buried . . . 

My Review…


I absolutely adored this book and the author has done such a brilliant job of creating a story that is full of intrigue and mystery.

The story is told in two different timelines. One is the present the other is 15 years ago while three girls were at a prestigious school in Delhi. The girls are Sabah, Noori and Alia. Alia is the newest member of the group and for the first time in her life, she feels that this is a group to which she should belong.

The past is one that builds a picture of school life for the girls and shows the dynamics between the three of them. Building on their characters and personality traits, the author gradually weaves in an air of mistrust and jealousy. Close friendships are only close when secrets and trust are kept intact, but when a comment is let loose then cracks start to form.

In the present, Alia is a politician, a position she has worked hard to for over the years, Sabah is a documentary filmmaker wanting her next story. There are things in the past that have never been fully revealed. Yet there are some things that are starting to surface.

This is such a brilliantly addictive read. I really enjoyed the dual timeline format of this story. The author used it to great effect, providing links and also reasons for mistrust in the present. The mystery behind an event in the past was one that was gradually teased out. There were several little subplots that gave more suspicions and doubt and it wasn’t until much later int he story where things were finally brought to a conclusion.

Very enjoyable from start to finish. Gripping throughout and one I think readers of crime, mystery thrillers would enjoy. One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Trisha Sakhlecha grew up in New Delhi and now lives in London.  For her new novel, she draws upon a true story – a famous scandal that erupted at her own high school and which changed India.  She works in fashion and is a graduate of the acclaimed Faber Academy writing course. In the past, Trisha has worked as a designer, trend forecaster, and lecturer.  She is the author of Your Truth Or Mine? www. trishasakhlecha.com or on Instagram @trishasakhlecha Critical acclaim for Tisha Sakhlecha

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Last Star Standing by Spaulding Taylor @astmcveigh1 @Unbound_Digital @RandomTTours #scifi #dystopian #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Last Star Standing by Spaulding Taylor. This is a sci/fi – speculative fiction story, I haven’t read any sci-fi for a while so this book made a wonderful change. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of this book.

Dystopian/speculative fiction for readers of sci-fi, fantasy, thrillers and
dystopian fiction. Aimed at readers of novels by Neil Gaiman, J.G. Ballard (or
Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go)


It is the 23rd century. Aiden, imprisoned, stares up into a tiny square of sky. A
prominent member of the rebellion, he expects to be executed. Aiden is
battling the Xirfell rulers, whose King oppresses many planets, the Earth
included.

But the Xirfell have executed their king and installed a new ruler. The populace
riots. Amid the tumult, Aiden is sworn in, the leader he’s always longed to be.
Never one to fit in, he must re-discover himself, as an indigenous Australian, as
a fighter, as a lover – and as a leader.

My Review…

Aiden Tenten is the main narrator for this sci-fi /dystopian story. It did feel more sci-fi than dystopian but I still enjoyed it, I found it highly entertaining as I followed Aiden from predicament to predicament. The synopsis indicates that earth has been taken over by aliens, Aiden feels it is his job to help overthrow this alien regime and be the person he wants to be.

This is a highly entertaining read, I am not sure if the author had meant this or not. I did find some of the predicaments that Aiden found himself left me sniggering to myself. He is quite a fun character although he does have a serious nature, I mean after all saving the world from aliens is a serious task. It did take me a few chapters to get into this book as I got to grips with the various creatures, the unusual names, places and general feel of the story. It is quite a while, I might add that I sat and read a sci-fi book.

If you break this down to the basics this is a story of a man finding his place, he has beliefs and is true to the cause. He knew life before and can see how the earth has been destroyed more since the aliens took over. Battling against the odds he does a magnificent job of reeling from one situation to the next. He is in essence a loner, but gradually he gains a few loyal friends. Working out who can be trusted and how far others can infiltrate systems keeps him on his toes.

Once I got to grips with the story I found this quite a compelling read. In someway it did remind me of a couple of books I read several years ago. As I mentioned this is more sci-fi, but there are mentions of things that do give it a dystopian feel. An entertaining book with a good pace and one I would recommend reading.

About the Author…

Alice McVeigh (writing as Spaulding Taylor) was born in Seoul, South Korea, and
grew up in Southeast Asia. After surviving her teenage years in McLean,
Virginia, and achieving an undergraduate degree in cello performance at the
internationally renowned Jacobs School of Music, she came to London to study
cello with William Pleeth. There she worked for over a decade with orchestras
including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and
Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique. Alice was first
published in the late 1990s when her two contemporary novels (While the Music
Lasts and Ghost Music) were published by Orion to critical acclaim.

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The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse @SarahVPearse @RandomTTours #TheSanatorium #mystery #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse. I had been looking forward to reading this one for ages and it didn’t disappoint.

My huge thanks to Anne for my spot on the Blog Tour. Here is more about this excellent book…

You won’t want to leave…until you can’t.

An imposing, isolated hotel, high up in the Swiss Alps, is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But she’s taken time off from her job as a detective, so when she receives an invitation out of the blue to celebrate her estranged brother’s recent engagement, she has no choice but to accept.

Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge. Though it’s beautiful, something about the hotel, recently converted from an abandoned sanatorium, makes her nervous – as does her brother, Isaac.

And when they wake the following morning to discover his fiancée Laure has vanished without a trace, Elin’s unease grows. With the storm cutting off access to and from the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic.

But no-one has realized yet that another woman has gone missing. And she’s the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they’re all in…

Pre-order Link – Amazon UK Publication Date 4th February

My Review…

This is such a good book. It has the isolation of the mountains and that danger of an avalanche to add to the atmospherics. There is a nervous tension and eeriness to what is inside as well. Elin and her other half Will are at the Swiss sanatorium that has been remodelled into a luxury hotel.

Elin is a character who is struggling with life at the moment. She is a Detective from the UK who has been on leave due to a bad case and bad decisions. This has dragged up, memories from the past that she is struggling to get past and hopes that seeing her brother at the hotel will help. As she is trying her best to remain calm and to control her feelings there is something about the sanatorium that is unsettling. It is confirmed when a body is found, and then another person goes missing.

This really does have all the chilling, sinister vibes and I do think the author does a cracking job of bringing the sinister and intriguing history of the sanatorium into the story. It ups the tension and the isolation gives the feeling of a locked-in story.

As I was reading this I did give the odd feeling of The Shining coming through, a story I do love by the way. Sanatorium had that similar feeling of isolation, the feeling of something more going on than meets the eye, that there is a hidden agenda and something really bad has happened.

Without giving anything away there is definitely more to this than meets the eye. While it is a crime thriller it is also a mystery thriller, Elin’s character as the detective in this story is an interesting angle. She has no jurisdiction as such as she is a detective on leave in a foreign country.

Overall this is a fabulous read and one that definitely captured my attention. I did like the locked-in eeriness and the intriguing storyline. One for readers who like a suspense-filled, intriguing mystery, thriller read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Sarah Pearse lives by the sea in South Devon with her husband and two daughters. She studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Warwick and worked in Brand PR for a variety of household brands. After moving to Switzerland in her twenties, she spent every spare moment exploring the mountains and still has a home in the Swiss Alpine town of Crans Montana, the dramatic setting that inspired her novel. Sarah has always been drawn to the dark and creepy – remote spaces and abandoned places – so when she read an article in a local Swiss magazine about the history of sanatoriums in the area, she knew she’d found the spark of the idea for her debut novel, The Sanatorium. Her short fiction has been published in a wide variety of magazines and has been shortlisted for several prizes. You can find Sarah on Twitter @SarahVPearse and Instagram @sarahpearseauthor

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The Beach Party by Peter Bartram @PeterFBartram @RandomTTours #RandomTTours #crime #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to once again feature a review for Peter Bartram, The Beach Party is the latest in the Crampton of the Chronicle series.

My huge thanks at Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my signed copy of the book. Let me show you what it is all about…

Synopsis…

Murder stalks the beach party…

Brighton is about to host its most exciting beach party ever – with the world’s biggest name in rock music headlining the show. It seems a world away from the work of Evening Chronicle crime reporter Colin Crampton. But that’s before fraudster Claude Winterbottom is beaten to death. As Colin investigates the crime, he finds there are too many suspects. Like Manfred Crouchpenny, the fattest loan shark in the world. Or Jeremiah Clarke, leader of a band of purity campaigners. And who is the mystery woman who hides behind the pseudonym Astraea? The climax explodes on a pirate radio ship moored off the British coast. There are laughs alongside the action as Colin and feisty girlfriend Shirley Goldsmith race against time to save countless lives at the beach party.

· Paperback : 282 pages

· ISBN-13 : 979-8689870687

· Publisher : Independently published (28 Sept. 2020)

· Product dimensions : 13.97 x 1.8 x 21.59 cm

· Language: : English

Purchase from – Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

It is always a pleasure to catch up with Colin Crampton, a crime reporter at the Chronicle newspaper based on Brighton. What starts out as trying to get the latest story out before the deadline ends up with our intrepid crime reporter being repositioned!

Colin is definitely a wily man when comes to getting the scoop and he does use the occasional dirty trick much to the annoyance of a fellow hack. But this time he has gone a step too far and he is moved from reporting the crime to reporting entertainment! While Colin is definitely entertaining he is not that sort of writer.

Never fear though, because no matter where Colin goes or he finds a crime or crime finds him. A man beaten to death, a pirate radio station and various suspects lead Colin over land and sea to discover follow the leads.

The author has definitely got the workings of his main character, his flaws and also his dogged determination is always to be admired. Colin in some ways reminds me of a dog who refuses to let go of a bone, he will not give up on a story. Part of me does wonder if there is a stubborn streak that means he doesn’t like to be beaten or if there is a morality to him as he wants to discover the truth; maybe there’s a little of each!

The story is a good pace, and I love how there are no mobile phones, computers or tech. This is set in the 1960s and there are mentions of bands and music that help keep the sense of time as well as some of the phrases that are used. I also really enjoy the humorous tones, very tongue in cheek and I think to a certain extent a very British style to them.

I am a fan of this series and I have a real soft spot for Colin and his escapades around Brighton. This latest book is another excellent read, it has drama, danger, unexpected surprises and a fair few twists. If you like cosy mystery and crime that has a sense of humour then you really should have a look at these books. The Beach Party can be read as a stand-alone, but you would miss out on some very, very good books in the series. I would definitely recommend this one, well all of them to be honest.

About the Author…

Peter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle crime mystery series. His novels are fast-paced and humorous – the action is matched by the laughs. The books feature a host of colourful characters as befits stories set in Brighton, one of Britain’s most trend-setting towns. You can download Murder in Capital Letters, a free book in the series, for your Kindle from http://www.colincrampton.com. Peter began his career as a reporter on a local weekly newspaper before editing newspapers and magazines in London, England and, finally, becoming freelance. He has done most things in journalism from door-stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700-feet down a coal mine and a courtier’s chambers at Buckingham Palace. Peter is a member of the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association.

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The Second Marriage by Gill Paul @GillPaulAUTHOR @RandomTTours #RandomTTours @AvonBooksUK #histfic #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to finally share my review, and also help close the Blog Tour for The Second Marriage by Gill Paul, this is such a wonderful book and I cannot wait to show you what I thought. In fact, it’s one of those historical fiction that I say “just go and buy it – right now!”

My huge thanks to Anne at random Things Tours for my spot on the blog Tour and also for arranging my e-copy of this book.

This was published in the US under the title Jackie and Maria.

Synopsis…

JACKIE
When her first marriage ends in tragedy, Jackie Kennedy fears she’ll never love again. But all that changes when she encounters…

ARI
Successful and charming, Ari Onassis is a man who promises her the world. Yet soon after they marry, Jackie learns that his heart also belongs to another…

MARIA
A beautiful, famed singer, Maria Callas is in love with Jackie’s new husband – and she isn’t going to give up.

Little by little, Jackie and Maria’s lives begin to tangle in a dangerous web of secrets, scandal and lies. But with both women determined to make Ari theirs alone, the stakes are high. How far will they go for true love?

You can purchase your own copy at Amazon UK

My Review…

I absolutely adored this book, I mean the names Kennedy, Onassis and Callas just ooze rich, lavish, well-documented lifestyle with the possibility of something a little shady in the background. The book is historical fiction and this gives the author a chance to give a voice to the characters and also to add some creative embellishments. The author does discuss at the end of the book various ways she has adapted, changed dates or added extras and why. Also, there is a fabulous few pages that covers the actual facts around the main characters as well as a comprehensive list of resources.

OK! How to write e review about this book! I am aware of the names of the Kennedy’s, of Aristotle Onassis and also of Maria Callas but only basic facts so I approached this book as I would any other historical fiction. The story was one that alternated between Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas, how they met Aristotle, their thoughts about him and also how he managed to become part of their lives.

The author includes the heart-breaking accounts of JFK assassination as well as his brother Bobby’s death. The effect it had on Jackie and what led her to become Jackie O. I don’t know how much is true, but as I mentioned earlier I am reading this purely as historical fiction don’t know all the facts. But how the author tackled the subject of Jackie, JFK and life were truly heart-breaking and it really made me feel for her.

Maria’s story is equally as heart-breaking. I knew she was an amazing opera singer and that she was a bit of a recluse and Diva, but I knew nothing of the other connections. This was a real eye-opener for me and she really did have a very rough ride in life.

This is a fabulous historical fiction by Gill Paul, she has woven a story of love, life, death, convenience, profit, betrayal, scandal and as whole lot more. I found the story of the two women t be fascinating and also very sad. It has been written so well and I was so absorbed in it that I read it over two days. It is a story that I cannot even come close to writing a review for that does this book justice.

If you like historical fiction that has factual or real life people and events in it then you should really pick this book up. I definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in relatively recent history.

Gill’s novels include Another Woman’s HusbandThe Secret Wife, about the romance between cavalry officer Dmitri Malama and Grand Duchess Tatiana, the second daughter of Russia’s last tsar, who first met in 1914,  Women and Children First about a young steward who works on the Titanic and The Affair set in Rome in 1961–62 as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fell in love while making Cleopatra. No Place for a Lady is about two Victorian sisters who travel out to the Crimean War of 1854–56 and face challenges beyond anything they could have imagined.

Follow the Author – TwitterFacebookWebsite or Check out her Amazon Author Page HERE

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#Nefertiti (Rai Rahotep #1) AND #Tutankamun (Rai Rahotep #2) by Nick Drake @nickfdrake @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours #RandomTTours #histfic #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share not just one but two reviews today! Yes, you read that right I have two book reviews. Both books are by Nick Drake and are the first two books in the Rai Rahotep series, Nefertiti and Tutankhamun.

Both books were read as part of the Blog Tour organised by Anne at Random Things Tours, my huge thanks to Anne for my spot and for arranging the copies of both books. I enjoyed these so much I immediately went and bought the 3rd book – Egypt!

These books are being re-published by Transworld and I am so glad of this because I had actually not come across them before.

I am including a link HERE to Nick’s Amazon Page so you can order all three books.

So, let me show you what the books are about…

Synopsis…

A MISSING QUEEN. A DARK GAME OF POWER.

With her husband, AkhenatenNefertiti – the most powerful, charismatic and beautiful Queen of the ancient world – rules over an Empire at the peak of its glory and domination.

Together, they have built a magnificent new city in the desert on the banks of the Nile and are about to host kings, dignitaries and leaders from around the Empire for a vast festival to celebrate their triumph.

But suddenly, Nefertiti vanishes.

Rahotep – the youngest chief detective of the Thebes division- can see patterns where others cannot. His unusual talents earn him a summons to the royal court.

With ten days to find the Queen and return her in time for the festival, Rahotep knows that success will bring glory – but if he fails, he and his young family will die…

Rahotep’s adventure continue in Tutankhamun and Egypt: The Book of Chaos

NEFERTITI – MY REVIEW…

From a slow start this book really picked up its pace and intrigue. When I say a slow start what I mean is that there is quite a bit of description and observation that sets the scene and also introduces the main protagonist Rahotep. He has been summoned by Akhenaten to the palace to look into the disappearance of his wife, Nefertiti. Sounds OK, but this has a time limit of 10 days. 10 days until Nefertiti is supposed to attend a public festival. If Rahotep fails it will cost him his life and also that of his family!

The first few chapters were very good at really giving the reader a chance to get to grips with some of the ways of life for this era in history. I say ways of life because there is so much distrust and a wrong word can have tragic and dire consequences. Rahotep has to work his way through a society that is all about being seen the right way and doing the right thing. People are devious, seem to be after their own gain and at times at any cost.

With the uncertainty of the people and the time limits on solving this mystery Rahotep definitely faces an up hill battle. Trying to work out who is telling the truth as he uses an investigative style of question and observational skills to work out the final truth.

This book was really intriguing and also I found it very addictive. I found myself quickly drawn in and I also found that the descriptions and observations were quite fascinating in giving the reader more insight into life, traditions, new ways, old ways and the current climate and feel of the population. I did feel that even though this slowed the story somewhat it was also a great addition for giving an all round reader experience.

A really intriguing and interesting mystery read that I quite enjoyed and I left me eager to continue with this series. It is one for mystery and also historical fiction readers and one I would recommend.

Synopsis…

A KING IN DANGER. A BATTLE TO STAY ALIVE.

On the shadowy city streets the cryptically mutilated bodies of several young people are discovered. These brutal acts are destabilizing a ruthless regime already unstable thanks to corruption and the appalling divide between rich and poor.

Meanwhile, Tutankhamun, at 18, has inherited an empire that should be at the height of power and glory. But he faces only a Court full of conspiracies and plotting, and a bitter struggle for power.

And when his own security is threatened by an intruder in the palace, he needs an outsider he can trust to track down the traitor. Rahotep receives a mysterious invitation to the labyrinthine halls of the Royal Palace.

But what he discovers at the dark heart of power will put his life, and his family, in grave danger. . .

Rahotep’s adventures continue in Egypt: The Book of Chaos. Have you read Nefertiti, his first adventure?

TUTANKHAMUN – MY REVIEW…

As soon as I had finished the first book, Nefertiti, I went immediately onto this one, the second in the series. As I still had the characters so fresh in my head it was very easy indeed to slip straight back into Ancient Egypt.

The previous book left off with a young Tutankhamun making an appearance. This book jumps forward a few years and I liked how the author made me aware of Rahoteps ageing, not old but slower and a bit achy than he used to be. Something we are all aware of! His mind is still sharp and once again his skills as a detective have been requested once again, and again he doesn’t have a choice int he matter!

This book was similar to the previous in some ways, as Rahotep is called to solve the mystery of objects being left in the palace to upset Tutankhamun. Even though he is the King it is Ay, the regent who runs the show. Ay is a character who is very unlikeable, he is cold, ruthless and conniving in every aspect possible. So, while the story had similarities as far as the mystery-solving went it was also different due to the power wrangling and the politics. It seems that everyone is out for their own benefit and this builds a wonderful feeling of distrust.

Another brilliant story in the series, this felt like a much quicker read compared to the first, but I think this is because I was already aware of the characters and also how the writer includes a good amount of detail about the way of life. Not just the way of life, but also politics, foods, social class and hierarchy.

I have enjoyed the first two books and so I have also bought the next one and I am looking forward to reading that as well. This is a really good series and one that would appeal to readers of historical fiction set in Ancient Egypt, as well as readers of mysteries. Ideal for me as it mixes two of my favourite genres and it is one I am more than happy to recommend.

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The Bird in the Bamboo Cage by Hazel Gaynor #TheBirdintheBambooCage @HazelGaynor @HarperFiction @RandomTTours #RandomTTours #histfic #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the Blog Tour and to share my review for The Bird in the Bamboo Cage by Hazel Gaynor. It is due to be published on 20th August in the UK and there are links further down so you can pre-order a copy. If you are lucky enough to live in Ireland it was published on 6th 🙂

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my stunning copy of this amazing book. Let me show you what it is all about…

War imprisoned them,
friendship set them free.

China, 1941. With Japan’s declaration of war on the Allies, Elspeth Kent’s future changes forever. When soldiers take control of the missionary school where she teaches, comfortable security is replaced by rationing, uncertainty and fear.


Ten-year-old Nancy Plummer has always felt safe at Chefoo School. Now the enemy, separated indefinitely from anxious parents, the children must turn to their teachers – to Miss Kent and her new Girl Guide patrol especially – for help. But worse is to come when the pupils and teachers are sent to a distant internment camp. Unimaginable hardship, impossible choices and danger lie ahead.


Inspired by true events, this is the unforgettable story of the life-changing bonds formed between a young girl and her teacher, in a remote corner of a terrible war.

**The following purchase links are Amazon affiliate links**

Pre-order you copy today –KINDLEHARDBACKAudiobook

This is an amazing book to read and one that opened my eyes to another aspect of WWII. The story of a group of Missionary School children living in China who were caught up in the war when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour. 

The story is told predominantly in two voices, a schoolgirl calledNancy Plummer (Plum) and her teacher Elspeth Kent. Between them, they tell their story of their time in Chefoo Missionary School, a boarding school where children live while their parents are off doing missionary work, are diplomats or doing work in areas where it is not suitable for children to live. 

Through Plum and Elspeth, I quickly learnt the routine of the school, children, teachers and local people who worked as servants. It sounded like a very idyllic life and in some ways quite privileged but with a sad side to it. Children had to come to terms with their parents work being more important. 

Things soon change as Japan enters the war. Disruption soon follows for the school as soldiers take over. The resolve of the teaching staff to carry on as best as possible really stands out. Elspeth uses the motto of the Girl Guides/ Brownies to help the girls through this transition. The emphasis of taking daily tasks and challenges and turning them towards earning badges gives the girls something to work towards especially when the school is moved.

The school is then moved again, this time to an internment camp. Illness, appalling conditions, lack of food and medical supplies make this is very glum and dissolute place. Again the resolve of the teachers is admirable and again making the best of a bad situation comes in to play. 

The story is one I read over a couple of days. It is a story that has a huge sadness around it but actually what comes through more than anything else is the feeling of hope, of friendship and of one day hopefully returning home to family. 

The author has created amazing characters, I immediately adored the main characters of Plum, Mouse, Sprout, Elspeth, and Mrs T. There are several other characters that have very important roles in the story as they provide support to their friends. There are obviously going to be characters that I am not going to like and I have to say I liked how the author dealt with a truly horrid and awful one. 

The author does characters and descriptions of setting so well. Research is obvious throughout the book and the whole story felt right. She does an amazing job of describing the awful conditions but in a way that mirrors the resolve of the staff to see the best in the conditions.

I adored this book and the way the author has woven a story around real-life events and true accounts. There is a wonderful list of books at the back of the book for further reading and also about how she was introduced to this story. It is interesting and well worth reading. 

This is a fabulous read, it took me through a range of emotions and also left me with a feeling that was heartwarming. It is a story of how a group of people are thrust into unthought-of conditions and situations. How that group then supported each other where possible. A story based on true events that readers are historical fiction needs to add to the reading list. It is an amazing book and one I would absolutely recommend.

Hazel Gaynor is an award-winning, New York Times, USA Today,
and Irish Times, bestselling author of historical fiction, including
her debut THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME, for which she received
the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. THE
LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER was shortlisted for the 2019
HWA Gold Crown award. She is published in thirteen languages
and nineteen countries. Hazel is co-founder of creative writing
events, The Inspiration Project, and currently lives in Ireland with
her family, though originally from Yorkshire.

Follow Hazel on – TwitterWebsiteFacebook

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

Island of Secrets by Rachel Rhys @MsTamarCohen @annecater #randomthingstours #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for Island of Secrets by Rachel Rhys. My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

‘Say, wouldn’t it be a gas if all of us here are pretending to be something we’re not?’


1957: Iris Bailey is bored to death of working in the typing pool and living
with her parents in Hemel Hampstead. A gifted portraitist with a talent for
sketching guests at parties, she dreams of becoming an artist. So she can’t
believe her luck when wealthy socialite Nell Hardman invites her to
Havana to draw at the glittering wedding of her Hollywood director father.


Iris is thrilled to escape to a faraway city by the sea. But she soon realizes
that the cocktails, tropical scents and azure skies mask a darker reality. As
Cuba teeters on the edge of revolution and Iris’s heart melts for troubled
photographer Joe, she discovers that someone in the charismatic Hardman
family is hiding a terrible secret. Can she uncover the ugly truth behind the
glamour and the dazzle before all their lives are torn apart?


‘Rachel Rhys should be on everyone’s summer reading lists’
CLARE MACKINTOSH

Puchase link – Amazon UK

Oh my goodness I absolutely adored this book. The title suggests that there are secrets, but trying to work out what they are and who they are about is something else. The setting of Cuba in the mid 1950’s is wonderful for this story and it has a glamorous feel to it as I followed Iris, an artist from England, as she is hired to draw people who will be attending the wedding of Hugo and Lana.

I liked Iris a lot and I think she is the only character who I felt was honest, the others all seemed to have something to hide. For me, Iris was a naive woman but also one who was curious. She is a character who yes appears honest but she has something that she is holding back on, by this I mean that she is not being completely honest with herself. This trip will either make or break her as she works out what she wants with her life.

As the setting is Cuba and it is the 50’s, there are the obvious mentions of Castro and Guevara, there are political tensions and it is not exactly the idyllic island paradise. While the house that all the guests are staying at is perfectly safe, there are mentions of politics, and of rebels in the mountains. I liked how these were mentioned but not dwelt on too much.

Now as for the secrets, well there are so many and as I said trying to work out who was completely honest was something else. But not once did I feel confused, the author has set the story out perfectly and it made for effortless reading. The reveals as and when they came were good and they caught me out several times.

The story is about a family and an extended family, they are privileged, have property and status. But beneath the beautiful and shiny exterior there is something not so pretty.

I loved this story and I was completely captivated by it. I think it is a wonderful historical fiction and I would definitely recommend it.

Rachel Rhys is the pen-name of a much-loved psychological suspense author. She is the author of the Richard and Judy bookclub pick, Dangerous Crossing and the bestselling A Fatal Inheritance. Rachel Rhys lives in North London with her family.

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