The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen @greerkh @sarahpekkanen @panmacmillan @RandomTTours #psychologicalthriller #domesticthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. This is a fabulous psychological thriller that is twisted and full of secrets. This writing duo definitely do make a Golden Couple!

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for the e-copy of this book from Pan MacMillan.

If Avery Chambers can’t fix you in ten sessions, she won’t take you on as a client. She helps people overcome everything, from domineering parents to assault. Her successes almost help her absorb the emptiness she feels since her husband’s death.


Marissa and Mathew Bishop seem like the golden couple until Marissa cheats. She wants to repair things, both because she loves her husband and for the sake of their 8-year-old son. After a friend forwards an article about Avery, Marissa takes a chance on this maverick therapist, who lost her license due to controversial methods. When the Bishops glide through Avery’s door and Marissa reveals her infidelity, all three are set on a collision course. Because the biggest secrets in the room are still hidden, and it’s no longer simply a marriage that’s in danger.

MY REVIEW

I have just read the synopsis for this book and it reminded me what a concise and interesting one it is. It is definitely what attracted me to this book. It implies secrets, not just from the couple but also from the maverick therapist that they go to see. Why would a couple who appear to be a perfect match, or “Golden Couple” need to see a therapist and why choose one that has lost her license?

I really don’t know who to start with for this review, the Bishops or the Therapist. The therapist is Avery Chambers, and yes she does have secrets, she lives alone and she checks around her very carefully. All the why’s will soon become apparent as the story progresses.

The Bishops, Marissa and Matthew have a son. Both parents work, have an affluent lifestyle, they need to have money to pay the fee to see Avery. Their lifestyle is almost choreographed into things that are “Instgramable”, you know the perfectly decorated house with the right decor. Always dressed smartly and holiday in the best locations. So, what is their secret, who has the secret, and are they willing to let their secret be known?

This was a fabulous read and a first for me from this writing duo. This is a domestic thriller that had me hooked. The authors started the story calmly, made the introductions and then came the first meeting for the Bishops and Avery.

From this point on the pacing gradually picks up, details are given and hints of the past are teasingly dropped onto the pages. I soon started to see the dynamics between this golden couple, Matthew so busy with work, meetings and trips with Marissa being the home organiser and also running her own shop, although she does have help from Polly in the shop. A non-stop world of family, business and travel doesn’t always leave much time for husband and wife time.

I really like the character of Avery, she comes across as being a no-nonsense woman, she doesn’t beat around the bush and wants to get to the bottom of the secrets. She is strong enough in herself to decide which people she will take on, it is almost like people have to pass her interview for her to then see them. She has her own treatment plan, 10 steps that are guaranteed to work!

There are some other players who have smaller roles, and rather than spoil it I will leave them to introduce themselves. Let’s see if you work out the liars from the truth-tellers, the cheaters from the good’uns. I thought I had people sussed! That’s all I am saying about me and my pathetic theories.

This is a tense and tight thriller, it is brilliantly paced and it added an exciting addictiveness to it. I needed to know all the details, the juicy bits, the why’s and wherefores. The author’s collaboration is fabulous and the story flows s well. There is some back and forth between characters and also timelines, this fills in details and makes for some incredible jaw-dropping moments. I didn’t see the final few chapters coming, that caught me on the hop.

If you are a fan of a domestic thriller that is tense and teasingly addictive then you really do need to pick up The Golden Couple. It is a cracking read and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUHTORS

Greer Hendricks spent two decades as an editor. Prior to her tenure in book
publishing, she earned her Master’s in journalism from Columbia University. Her
writing has appeared in the New York Times, Allure and Publishers Weekly. Greer
lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.


Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of eight
solo novels. A former investigative journalist and feature writer, she has published
her work in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many other publications. She is
the mother of three sons and lives just outside Washington, D.C.


Together, they have written the New York Times bestselling novels The Wife
Between Us, An Anonymous Girl, and You Are Not Alone. The Golden Couple is their
fourth novel.

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Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter by Lizzie Pook @LizziePook @RandomTTours @MantleBooks #historicalfiction #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter by Lizzie Pook. This is a wonderful historical fiction set in 1886 in Western Australia.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my copy of this book from Mantle Books.

Fortune favours the brave . . .
It is 1886 and the Brightwell family has sailed from England to make their new home in
Western Australia. Ten-year-old Eliza knows little of what awaits them in Bannin Bay beyond
stories of shimmering pearls and shells the size of soup plates – the very things her father has
promised will make their fortune.


Ten years later, as the pearling ships return after months at sea, Eliza waits impatiently for
her father to return with them. When his lugger finally arrives, however, Charles Brightwell,
master pearler, is declared missing. Whispers from the townsfolk point to mutiny or murder,
but Eliza knows her father and, convinced there is more to the story, sets out to uncover
the truth. She soon learns that in a town teeming with corruption, prejudice and blackmail,
answers can cost more than pearls, and must decide just how much she is willing to pay, and
how far she is willing to go, to find them.


A gloriously rich and wonderfully assured debut, Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter is set
in a mesmerising yet unforgiving land, where both profit and peril lie deep beneath the
ocean surface rendered with astonishing clarity, it is a novel that marks Lizzie Pook
as a name to watch.

MY REVIEW

Eliza Brightwell starts a new life with her parents and siblings in Bannin Bay, N.W region of Australia. Her father is hoping to make his fortune from pearl diving. The voyage from the UK to Australia has been long and arduous. It is 1866.

This is a historical fiction that tells of Eliza and her arrival in Bannin Bay at the age of 10 and back and forth to her life in her 20s. The earlier years tell of sadness, filling in the details of how her father has successfully made a living as a Pearler. It also tells of the hardships of those in the Bay. A mix of cultures, classes and backgrounds. The author builds a wonderful image of this desolate, dusty and dry region, and it is easy to see how quickly one could fall into poverty.

Eliza is a little bit of an enigma, she isn’t interested in the frivolity and frippery as some women are. She is more interested in the natural world, in plants, animals and about what she sees around her. Life is very different from where she first began.

When the boats return from their latest trips her father’s boat is the last one in. It is without her father, her brother is dismissive as are the rest of the crew. She is bewildered, confused and concerned. Not one for being fobbed off she decides to discover what happened herself.

Well now, there is no doubt that this is a headstrong and determined character who knows her own mind. She will take advice but she is also willing to follow what she believes is right. When she senses that there is more to her father’s disappearance she just has to go with her gut.

In this era of history, slavery is common, a time of British Colonialism and of discovery. The pearling industry is something I don’t think I have read about before so this was a really interesting read. There was enough of the basics to make me more curious for further reading.

Eliza was a character I wasn’t sure about at the beginning, but the more I read the more I started to understand her. She would be seen as a feminist and therefore not really accepted into certain circles. In fact, she is her own circle and the author has done a brilliant job with her.

This is a story that ebbs and flows at its own pace. Sometimes it is faster like the storm in the ocean, other times it is slower more languorous and this slower pace gives a chance for the literary side to tease itself out. This at times has a really lovely literary fiction flow, as well as being a mystery and historical fiction in genres. It didn’t take me long to get into this story and I did find the book nagging for me to be picked back up when I had put it down. A fabulous debut from this author and one I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lizzie Pook is an award-winning journalist and travel writer contributing to The Sunday
Times, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Condé Nast Traveller and more. Her assignments have
taken her to some of the most remote parts of the planet, from the uninhabited east coast of
Greenland in search of roaming polar bears, to the foothills of the Himalayas to track
endangered snow leopards.


She was inspired to write Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter, her debut novel, after
spending time in north-western Australia researching the dangerous and
fascinating pearl-diving industry. She lives in London.
You can find Lizzie on Twitter and Instagram.

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Unhinged by Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger Translated by Megan Turney @LierHorst @EngerThomas #NordicNoir @RandomTTours @OrendaBooks #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Unhinged by Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger Translated by Megan Turney. This is a fabulously tense Nordic Noir, crime thriller and I adored it.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this brilliant book from the publisher Orenda Books.

His colleague is dead. His daughter may be next. It’s time to do things his way…
Two of Nordic Noir’s most accomplished writers return with the explosive, staggeringly complex and
unbearably emotive third instalment in the international bestselling Blix & Ramm series
.

When police investigator Sofia Kovic uncovers a startling connection between
several Oslo cases, she attempts to contact her closest superior, Alexander Blix,
before involving anyone else in the department. But before Blix has time to
return her call, Kovic is shot and killed in her own home – execution-style. And
in the apartment below, Blix’s daughter Iselin narrowly escapes becoming the
killer’s next victim.


Four days later, Blix and online crime journalist Emma Ramm are locked inside
an interrogation room, facing the National Criminal Investigation Service. Blix
has shot and killed a man, and Ramm saw it all happen.


As Iselin’s life hangs in the balance, under-fire Blix no longer knows who he can
trust, and he’s not even certain that he’s killed the right man…

MY REVIEW

I have read a few books by Thomas Enger and I have seen some great reviews about the collaboration between him and Jørn Lier Horst so I was definitely intrigued when I saw this book.

This is the 3rd book in the Blix and Raam series and even though it works perfectly well as a stand-alone but I do wish I had read the two previous books as this 3rd one was so good.

The death of Kovic, an Oslo Investigator sends shock waves through the department. It is also personal for her boss, Blix, as his daughter lives in the same apartment as Kovic. As Blix is involved personally in the case he is not given the job of running the investigation. Good job Blix wants answers and calls in blogger Emma Raam for help. As a journalist, she has access to information and is a real asset to Blix.

This really is a fabulous read and one that I read over one evening. Once started I could not leave it until I discovered the answers. The case is twisted and takes some very bizarre turns leading to such an intriguing read. From hearing a colleague has been killed to ending up being questioned for his role, this is addictive.

There is some interesting information that crops up about Blix, I am not sure if this is something that has been part of previous stories or not, but it gave some valuable insights into Blix. AS it is his daughter that is part of the investigation, it makes sense that he will want to be involved and that he may cut a few corners. It all adds to the excitement of the book.

The working relationship he has with Raam is good, they can bounce ideas off each other. This relationship becomes very strained though. I do like the character of Raam, she is willing to take risks, but is also a little more reserved compared to Blix. I think this is a good balance, it felt as she kept the story grounded.

AS I mentioned earlier, I do wish I had read the previous books, not for previous cases, or details, but because this one was so good.

If you are looking for a new crime thriller series then I would recommend giving this one a go based on how good I think this 3rd book is. This is a book by two Nordic Crime writers and it is brilliant. It is gritty, brutal and such an exciting fast-paced read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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The Embroidered Book by Kate Heartfield @kateheartfield @RandomTTours @fictionpubteam @HarperVoyagerUK #histfic #histfantasy #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for The Embroidered Book by Kate Heartfield. This is an amazing read and is definitely one for fans of historical fiction and fantasy.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my gorgeous paperback of this book from the publisher Harper Voyager UK.

‘Power is not something you are given. Power is something you take. When you are a woman,
it is a little more difficult, that’s all

1768 – Charlotte, daughter of the Habsburg Empress, arrives in Naples to marry a man she has
never met. Her sister Antoine is sent to France, and in the mirrored corridors of Versailles, they
rename her Marie Antoinette.


The sisters are alone, but they are not powerless. When they were only children, they discovered
a book of spells – spells that work, with dark and unpredictable consequences.


In a time of vicious court politics, of discovery and dizzying change, they use the book to take
control of their lives.


But every spell requires a sacrifice. And as love between the sisters turns to rivalry, they will send
Europe spiralling into revolution.

MY REVIEW

If you are looking for a historical fiction based on fact but with a fantasy reimagining to it then look no further than The Embroidered Book. This is based in Europe and concentrated on one generation of the Hapsburg family.

How does a little insignificant-looking book that has an unfinished embroidered cover lead to the rise and fall of some of the most famous monarchs of Europe? Well, this book is one that has something rather special in it and it opens up a fantastical world of magic. Where there is magic there is greed, there is the hunt for more power and not everyone has access to it, in fact, most people don’t even know that there is magic in Europe.

This story is set in the late 1700s when a young woman leaves her family and home in Austria to marry the king of France. She will have her name changed to help her fit in, she will have to change her style and her whole way of presenting herself. She will be known as Marie Antoinette. Her sister, Charlotte is her closest sibling and they have always been close. The Hapsburgs have been arranging marriages to bolster their own heritage, remain in power and always look to improve or stabilise countries through marriage. They are the power family of the time.

The author has picked such an interesting time in history, it is turbulent and there are revolutions and uprisings to come. Using this period makes the weaving of the fantasy element work so well. There is already a sense of distrust and of poverty. While the Kings and Queens of Europe are living lavish and opulent lifestyles, the common people are starving. So adding this twist into the story is just a great way of not only showing Europe at the time but of giving the reader an exciting alternative.

As this is a historical-based novel there is a lot of historical and political references to events. This has been done in a great way and is very much part of the story rather than a dry narrative. The author really brought the characters to life, rather than being figures from history she gave them thoughts, personalities and opinions. Even though this is an age of mistrust from regular people, it was also interesting to read the authors take on how the thoughts of the monarchs could have also been.

This is an absolutely fascinating read, the magical aspects are such a good inclusion and for me worked really well. The balance of it felt right within the contest so even if you are not a reader of fantasy I think you will get on well with this.

I adored this book and it ticked many, many boxes. It is riveting, exciting, mysterious, politically charged, has loads of research, a touch of magic, mistrust, infighting, double-crossing, treachery and treason, I could go on! It shows the wranglings and machinations of the powerful leading historical figures and thought it was done brilliantly. This is a book I would absolutely recommend. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Heartfield is the author of The Embroidered Book, a historical fantasy novel out in February 2022.

Her debut novel won Canada’s Aurora Award, and her novellas, stories and games have
been shortlisted for the Nebula, Locus, Crawford, Sunburst and Aurora awards. A former
journalist, Kate lives near Ottawa, Canada.

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Off Target by Eve Smith @Evecsmith @RandomTTours @OrendaBooks #dystopian #thriller #fiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Off Target by Eve Smith. This was a fabulous read and one that I adored. It does have a dystopian edge to it, but also it is something that has a scarily possible amount of believability to it.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book from the publisher Orenda Books.

What if your future was just one modification away?

In an all-too-possible near future, when genetic engineering has become the norm for humans, parents are prepared to take incalculable risks to ensure that their babies are perfect – altering genes that may cause illness, and more…


Susan has been trying for a baby for years, and when an impulsive one-night stand makes her dream come true, she’ll do anything to keep her daughter and ensure her husband doesn’t find out … including the unthinkable.

She believes her secret is safe. For now. But as governments embark on a perilous genetic arms race and children around the globe start experiencing a host of distressing symptoms – even taking their
own lives – something truly horrendous is unleashed. Because those children have only one thing in common, and people are starting to ask questions…


Critically acclaimed bestseller Eve Smith returns with a terrifying, cautionary glimpse of what the future may hold, with a startlingly thought-provoking blockbuster of a thriller
.

MY REVIEW

Off Target is a near-future dystopian thriller that had me hooked. This is a story that is so thought-provoking and in some ways, there are basics of this book that do actually happen. If you could have therapy to remove a gene to prevent your child from developing a serious, fatal or debilitating disease would you go through with it? This is a very basic premise of this book, the route the author took is one that had me hooked as she weaves some serious effects, opinions, outcomes and points of view in this book.

After trying for years to fall pregnant, it turns out a one-night stand was all it would take for Susan to finally conceive. She knows her husband Steve is not going to be supportive of this, well who would be! But changing the DNA so that all the tests come back as the baby is Steve’s is something that is an option in the world that the author has created.

This is a book that absolutely hit me from the first few pages. Changing something is good but changing something that is fundamentally a part of who you are is an entirely different matter. This futuristic world has many advancements, some of these are legal, but with all things legal there are also illegal processes.

For me, the author sets up this story so well, introducing you to the characters, their problems and how things are for those desperate to have a child. The author gives differing opinions, perspectives and viewpoints. She also deals with moral dilemmas as well as ethical ones. All this was incorporated into an absolutely riveting read.

Once the author has her hooks into me, she then turned up the pressure taking a darker and more serious line. It felt like a butterfly effect, where if you change one thing it will affect something else along the way somewhere.

This is a story that is a, WOW!, story, it isn’t that far fetched as you think as some things are already occurring and a quick look on the internet will soon give examples. I must admit I didn’t stray too far on the net because there are many conspiracy theories out there. But, it is an eye-opener all the same.

WHat the author has achieved with this book is to give an insight into a moral and ethical dilemma between her characters. Right or wrong is going to be something the reader will decide on as they read. It certainly makes for some interesting thoughts as I finished the book.

Brilliant story, addictive, insightful, balanced and just so damned good to read and I would absolutely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eve Smith writes speculative fiction – mainly about the things that scare her – which she attributes to a childhood watching Tales of the Unexpected and black-and-white Edgar Allen Poe double bills. Previously COO of an environmental charity, she has an ongoing passion for wild creatures, wild science and far-flung places. Twitter @evecsmith; Instagram: evesmithauthor; Facebook: EveSmithAuthor and http://www.evesmithauthor.com.

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Language of Food by Annabel Abbs @annabelabbs @RandomTTours @simonschusterUK #histfic #foodanddrink #bookreview

I am delighted to get the chance to share my review today for Language of Food by Annabel Abbs. This is an absolutely fabulous historical fiction book that I just fell in love with.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for organising my gorgeous paperback copy of this book from the publisher Simon & Schuster.

Eliza Acton is a poet who’s never boiled an egg.
But she’s about to break the mould of traditional cookbooks
And change the course of cookery writing forever.


England 1835. Eliza Acton is a poet who dreams of seeing her words in print. But when she takes a new
manuscript to a publisher, she’s told that ‘poetry is not the business of a lady.’ Instead, she’s asked to
write a cookery book.


Eliza is horrified but her financial situation leaves her no choice. Although she’s never cooked before, she
is determined to learn and to discover, if she can, the poetry in recipe writing. To assist her, she hires
seventeen-year-old Ann Kirby, the daughter of local paupers. Over the next ten years, Eliza and Ann
change the course of cookery writing forever.


Told in alternate voices by the award-winning author of The Joyce Girl, The Language of Food is the most
thought-provoking and compelling historical novel you’ll read this year. Abbs explores the enduring
struggle for female freedom, the complexities of friendship, the creativity and quiet joy of cooking and the poetry of food, while bringing Eliza Acton out of the archives and back into the public eye.


“A portrait of Victorian domestic life that is both encompassing and finely detailed… Recipe-loving readers will appreciate the detailed descriptions of Victorian dishes like apple Hedgehog and Buttered Celery on Toast; fans of women’s history will find plenty to admire in the way Ann and Eliza inspire one another to be true to themselves in a culture that has little use for intelligent single women”
Historical Novel Society.

MY REVIEW

This is an absolutely brilliant book and one that fans of historical fiction are going to adore. This is the story of Eliza Acton, I admit I had not heard of her before and after reading this book I embarked on an internet search of her and her cookery books.

The author has used actual facts about this woman who has never cooked in her life but writes a cookery book! She wanted to be a published poet but is sidelined by the publisher. This is England in 1835 when women are not encouraged to be named authors unless they are married. The social etiquette of the time is very much concerned with what is right and proper.

Eliza however is a headstrong and strong-willed woman who decides to buck the trend and she sets about learning, tweaking and inventing her own recipes. This is not just Eliza’s story but also the story of Ann Kirby, a young woman who is taken into the service of Eliza to assist her.

This is such an addictive story and one that I devoured in one sitting – pun intended! The author has laid alternating chapters out from the perspective of either Eliza or Ann. I loved that each one was titled with the name of a dish. The women are very unique and their own characters are shown well through the book.

While Eliza has found that her family status has been lowered, Ann finds hers has been made better. Watching the two women interact and learn about each other, the roles they play and also how they work together was brilliantly done.

This is a fabulous story that brings in so many aspects of life in the 1800s, from living conditions to social status all is included. This is a story that has been well researched and has an excellent bibliography and reference section a the back.

A fascinating read about women encroaching into the world of publishing, of making a stand against expectation and challenging societies perceptions. It is one for those who love historical fiction, food and how it has changed. A gorgeously written story and one that I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Annabel Abbs is the rising star of biographical historical novels. She grew up in Bristol, Sussex and Wales before studying English Literature at The University of East Anglia. Her debut novel The Joyce Girl won the Impress Prize and was a Guardian Reader’s Pick and her second novel Frieda: The Original Lady Chatterley was a Times 2018 Book of the Year. She regularly appears on national and regional media, with recent appearances on Radio 4 Woman’s Hour and Sky News, and is popular on the literary festival
circuit. She was longlisted for the Bath Novel Award, the Caledonia Novel Award and the Waverton GoodRead Award. Annabel lives in London with her husband and four children.


Abbs’s third novel, The Language of Food, the story of Eliza Acton, Britain’s first domestic goddess publishes in the UK in February 2022 and is currently being translated into 14
languages.


“When I inherited a collection of antiquarian cookery books I suspected a story might be lurking in
one of them. Researching and writing the story of Britain’s first domestic goddess has been a
wonderful culinary adventure.”

Annabel Abbs

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Resistance (Book #1 Liberty) by Eilidh McGinness @eilidhmcginness @RandomTTours #historicalfiction #Resistance #bookreview

I have been waiting for what feels like such a long time to share my review. Today is the day when I finally can, it’s also the last post for the Blog Tour for this fabulous story. My review today is for Resistance by Eilidh McGinness, this is the first book in the trilogy – Liberty, with Equality and Fraternity to follow. A historical fiction set in the Dordogne area of France during World War II.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this wonderfully poignant book.

Bravery, courage, fear, treachery and love in a time of war.


A chance meeting draws Sabine Faure into the shadowy world of the French Resistance. Whilst acting as courier she meets four youths of her own age who wish to also join the Resistance. She is drawn to one in particular, Hérisson, who becomes her lover. Family loyalties are stretched to the limits as Sabine’s family try to navigate safely through the occupation.


Set in Dordogne in South-west France during World War II, the friends’ relationships and strengths are tested to the limits as life changes in horrific ways, The friends find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.


Vivid and powerful in its illumination of a time and place filled with atrocities but also humanity and extraordinary bravery, Eilidh McGinness’s novel may leave readers asking themselves – “what would I have done?”
The novel is the first part of a trilogy set in southwest France during WW2 and is a family saga.

MY REVIEW

I do like my historical fiction and I am always on the lookout for authors that can bring something different. This author has done just that with this first book in the Resistance series.

Set during WWII, the story concerns a young woman, Sabine and a resistance fighter known as Hérisson. The two meet as Hérisson is looking to join the resistance in the fight against Hitler. Sabine finds herself doing her part to help and is uniquely placed to do so.

This is a fabulous read and one where I found myself thinking about consequences, it is something that the characters battle with as there are reprisals from the German forces when attacks are made from the resistance. Trying to keep their activities secret means keeping an eye out at all times. No one is safe especially when Germany occupies the French town of Saint Antoine de Double, while the town is fictional, many of the events are not.

The author has woven fiction around the factual and has created a book that flits between Sabine and Hérisson. They make two very distinct sides of the same story, one trying to carry on as normal and trying not to court any attention while the other is putting himself in harm’s way.

The author has created a story that shows the fear and also the proud determination a this most horrendous point in history. Persecution, torture, execution, deportation and death is something that all are in fear of and this is something that comes across very well in the story as well as the disbelief of some of the events that happen.

This is a wonderful start to this series and I am definitely looking forward to continuing it. It is one for readers who like their historical fiction to be based around or to include actual events. It is hard reading in some places and it had me on edge as I read about the two main characters and the people they know. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author

Eilidh was born and brought up in the Highlands of Scotland. She studied law at Aberdeen University. She practiced as a lawyer for twelve years, latterly specializing in criminal defense. Eilidh then moved to South-West France with her then-husband and four children. She established an independent estate agency business which she ran for twelve years before concentrating on writing- a long-held dream. Eilidh has always been fascinated by history and ordinary people who achieve extraordinary things.

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Remember My Name by Sam Blake @samblakebooks @RandomTTours @CorvusBooks #psychologicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Remember My Name by Sam Blake. This is my first time reading this author and I adored this devious psychological thriller.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

If she’d turned off her phone, instead of listening in, perhaps no one would have died…


When Cressida Howard catches her entrepreneur husband playing away from home, she hires security expert Brioni O’Brien to get the evidence she needs for a speedy and financially rewarding divorce.


But what Brioni uncovers goes beyond simple infidelity. Because Laurence Howard is also in bed with some very dangerous people. Bribery and blackmail are the least of his worries as someone comes after the women in his life – someone who is out to destroy Laurence and his empire, whatever the cost.
And Cressida and her teenage daughter could soon be collateral damage if she and Brioni don’t act fast.

PURCHASE LINK – AMAZON UK

MY REVIEW

This is the first time I have read anything by this author so I am pleased to see that there are more books for me to catch up on.

Who would have thought that overhearing part of your husbands’ phone conversation could have such disastrous consequences? Cressida Howard certainly never thought this when she decides it was time to hire someone to see exactly what her husband is up to.

This is a book that I really needed to keep my concentration on as firstly I got to know quite a few characters and the part they have in the story. Then with the ever twisting and evolving plot that seemed to throw up more doubts and questions the further it went. The plot seems quite basic, the wife overhears another woman on her husband’s phone and takes action, but the author has far more levels to her story than the first impression implies.

This is a psychological thriller that is set in Ireland, in a world of high earners and entrepreneurs. What sounds like a fabulous work arrangement is starting to sour. Pressure to join in with another company adds to the risks and there are some topical real-life new links that appear.

This is a good read and one that I found quite addictive, it had many twists and on the whole, I never saw most of them. This felt like a slower-paced book but then as things became established it gradually picked up speed. I found myself avidly turning the pages over the last half of the story to get the connections and the answers.

It is one for those who like devious psychological thrillers and it is one I would recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sam Blake has been writing fiction since her husband set sail across the Atlantic for eight weeks and she had an idea for a book. Her debut novel, Little Bones, was No 1 in Ireland for four weeks and was nominated for Irish Crime Novel of the Year. Her standalone psychological thriller, Keep Your Eyes On Me, went straight to No 1 and its follow-up, The Dark Room was an Eason Ireland No 1 for three weeks. Sam is originally from St. Albans in Hertfordshire but has lived at the foot of the Wicklow mountains for more years than she lived in the UK.


Follow her on TWITTER. Visit her WEBSITE for news and events and get a bonus free short story in audio & text when you subscribe to her newsletter.

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Newport Writers : Anthology of Poetry and Prose @NewportWriters @randomttours #poetry #prose #anthology #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Newport Writers – An Anthology of Poetry and Prose by Karenne Griffin. This is a wonderful collection with contributions from 18 authors.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invite and for my copy of this e-book.

Welcome to our first anthology.

Since the group started, it has always been Tony’s vision to put together a collection of stories and poems penned by our members.

Please proceed with caution – these short stories and poems will introduce you to the alternative side of Newport: ghostly grandparents, a displaced porpoise, a little bit of Welshness, two philosophical security guards, a child whose food plays music, the awesome side of autism, a woman who made teddy bears in a concentration camp, and much more.

Take a whirlwind tour through bereavement, love, regret and parenthood. Laugh and defy fate as you run the gamut of life’s experiences – seen through the eyes of a bunch of writers who celebrate their individuality.

You will meet a diverse group of people who enjoy what they do and want to share it with you.

We invite you to sit back with a cuppa or maybe something stronger, relax and enjoy what promises to be a whirlwind ride…

MY REVIEW

This is a collection of short stories, flash fiction and poetry. The book is not that long but I can guarantee there is something in here for everyone.

The author’s contributions cover a vast array of subjects, some more abstract than others and some that hit home. Emotional and thought-provoking as well as some to make you chuckle or nod in agreement.

The book uses works from 18 authors and each one brings its own style. I found this as I read these pieces, some have more entries than others. There are lots of items in this anthology and while I could pick several out that really worked for me I am going to leave it up to other readers to find their own favourites.

I really enjoyed this anthology, I was planning on reading a few at a time but found myself enjoying it far too much and read it over a couple of sittings. This is a fab book and one I would happily recommend.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

ABOUT THE WRITERS

We are a diverse group from south Wales with over 20 members, covering a broad age range and a variety of styles within the sphere of writing. We include poets, novelists, writers of flash fiction and short stories, plays and film scripts.

We published an anthology in February 2020 entitled Newport Writers – An anthology of poetry and prose. Available from Amazon in paperback and for Kindle.

We met on Zoom during the pandemic, but have now found a venue in central Newport where we can get together with plenty of space for social distancing.

We hold an Open Mic night once a month at popular Newport coffee shop Horton’s, and in the summer of 2021 we participated in several spoken word events.

Some members of our group are available to read and offer critique, and we have a proofreader among our membership.

Email us at: newportwritersgroup@ gmail.com.

Facebook: Newportwritersgroup 

Twitter: @NewportWriters

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The World Cup Mystery by Peter Bartram @PeterFBartram @RandomTTours #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The World Cup Mystery by Peter Bartram. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed several of this author’s books and I always look forward to catching up with Crampton and Shirley in this mystery series.

My thanks to the author for sending me a copy of his latest book and to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour.

A KILLING BEFORE KICK-OFF…

It’s July 1966 – and England is football crazy as fans cheer their team on to win the World Cup.


There are millions who’d kill for a ticket to the final in London’s Wembley Stadium. Then café owner Sergio Parisi is found murdered in his own kitchen – and his World Cup Final ticket missing.


As Evening Chronicle crime reporter Colin Crampton chases down the story, he discovers the ticket theft could be part of an even deadlier crime.


There are laughs alongside the thrills as England closes in on victory – and Colin, with his feisty girlfriend Shirley Goldsmith, close in on the killer.

PURCHASE LINKS – AMAZON UK

MY REVIEW

Trouble follows Colin Crampton of the Chronicle newspaper no matter where he goes. Even when he and his girlfriend Shirley are on holiday trouble finds him. This leads to a shortened holiday and a rush back home to the UK.

Colin is an investigative journalist for a Brighton newspaper, Shirley is a model and together they are a great pair of characters. As much as I adore Colin, Shirleys ability to keep, well almost keep Colin in check, makes her another brilliant character.

This is a cosy mystery series and this story is set in 1966, the year of the World Cup. The author really does make it obvious of the football-mad time. As we have recently had a world cup, you are always aware of it in the news, in conversations and so it makes sense to have a good amount of references to it in the story, I will add that it is not overly done.

The story is a mix of murder, theft, cons and a certain rather famous Sicilian family. How the author has twisted all these threads together is great. Mentions of the theft of the World Cup trophy, the discovery of it have all been brilliantly woven together with the fictional to create an addictive murder mystery.

How Colin has not got into more scrapes than he has is beyond me, he definitely lives life by the edge of his pants, sometimes a little too close for comfort. Again Shirley has a part to play, after all, she is a model, and Australian so the author has given her the gift of the gab and she isn’t afraid to use her feminine wiles.

While this is firmly a murder mystery, it is also historical fiction but one that is almost light-hearted. Several times I find myself chuckling and this makes for such an enjoyable read. There are several twists, various threads and a nice array of characters that are not necessarily what they appear.

These books can be read as stand-alone books, but as with all series, they are better if read in order as you do get to build a relationship with the main or recurring characters. I do always enjoy catching up with Colin and Shirl, and this latest mystery is a fabulous one. It mixes fact and fiction giving an exciting and manic read, it is one I would definitely recommend.

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.

Follow Peter on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/peterbartramauthor.

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