The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor #20booksosummer #crimethriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor. I have had this book since it was released and this is why it made it onto my #20booksofsummer reading challenge. This is the 2nd book I’ve read in this years challenge.

Here is what the book is all about…

NB – there are various covers for this book, this is the one I have.

What if the people we trust are the ones we should fear? The breakout thriller of 2019 that will make you second-guess everyone you meet.

We all know them. Those who exist just on the fringes of society. Who send prickles up the back of our neck. The charmers. The liars. The manipulators. Those who have the potential to go that one step too far. And then take another step.

Jessamine Gooch makes a living from these people. Each week she broadcasts a radio show looking into the past lives of convicted killers; asking if there was more that could have been done to prevent their terrible crimes.

Then one day she is approached by a woman desperate to find her missing friend, Cassie, fearing her abusive husband may have taken that final deadly step. But as Jessamine delves into the months prior to Cassie’s disappearance she fails to realise there is a dark figure closer to home, one that threatens the safety of her own family . . .

Set over a long, dark winter in London and perfect for fans of HE SAID/SHE SAID, THE DANGEROUS KIND is at once a gripping thriller and a stunning portrayal of the monsters that live among us.

Purchase Link for Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link for Amazon, it earns me a small commission but with no cost to you)

Well this was such a dark book to read. I found it quite addictive and given the nature of some of the subjects I thought the author tackled it very well without going into too much detail.

The story flits back and forth between characters and time, gradually building up intrigue and suspicion along the way. as the synopsis for this book suggests, there is a darkness to some people, they are dangerous and appear to the outside world to be safe, respectable and “normal”. But what if these people are given an avenue to vent this dangerous side to their personalities. What if they are the ultimate manipulators and know how to control, coerce and compel vulnerable others into doing horrible and dangerous things. What if these manipulators go one step too far!

The book deals with domestic abuse and I saw one side of manipulation, abuse and bullying. This was not glamorised at all, the basic of details indicating the abuse was given. Then another type of abuse was brought into the story, that of children being used in horrific ways, again into details were gone into. What I read was the effect of how these people were treated, the fear, guilt and shame were apparent as well as the need to please their tormentors.

The story went down some dark paths and the work of one woman who is trying to find the whereabouts of a missing person. Jessamine is a radio presenter who focuses on this mystery and it takes her well outside her comfort zone. What she doesn’t realise is that while she is focused on the missing person, there is a shadow looming on her horizon.

This is a good read and even though it feels so wrong to say it I did enjoy it. I enjoyed the suspicion, the lies, the manipulation is used, the suspense and intrigue. It was well-paced and I found it very difficult to put down as I needed the answers and I wanted to know who was responsible. I did feel the ending felt a little rushed, I would have liked to have a bit more suspense. Maybe though I just wasn’t quite ready for it to finish.

This is a book that would appeal to readers who like their crime thrillers a bit more on the darker side and I would recommend it.

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

Her Husbands Secret by Louise Mangos @LouiseMangos #20booksofsummer #psychologicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Her Husbands Secrets by Louise Mangos. This is the first book I have read by this author and it is also the first book I read in the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Art college dropout Lucie arrives in a Swiss ski resort looking for work – but instead finds love in the form of the handsome and charismatic Mathieu.

Matt seems like perfect husband material – especially when Lucie discovers he’s from a wealthy family. But Matt’s dark side soon emerges. Manipulative, controlling and abusive, he is anything but perfect and will tear the life she has built for herself and their six-year-old son JP apart.

Then, one fateful night, things come to a head in the most shocking way . . .

Wrongly accused of her husband’s murder and left fighting for her freedom in a foreign prison, Lucie is starting to lose her grip on reality. Now, she must summon all her strength to uncover the truth about Matt’s death and be reunited with her son – before it’s too late.

The clock is ticking . . . but who can she trust?

Previously published as The Art of Deception.

Buy a copy HERE

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After dropping out of Uni to take time out to travel, Lucie finds herself at a bar in Switzerland. She also catches the eye of Matt and gradually they become friends and her travel plans are on hold as they gradually form a relationship. There had been the odd mysterious comment about them being together and Lucie didn’t feel exactly welcomed into the family. So where did it all go wrong?

This was an intriguing read and one that I really enjoyed. It is set out in a past and present format. I like this style for this type of book because it means I get to understand the backstory that fills in the details that bring things up to date. I found this back and forth style very easy to keep up with and was eager to see what happened next in each of the tenses.

What started out as a potential holiday romance that then became a relationship sounds like a good basis for a story, but then as it progressed the little doubts and niggles started to creep in. Understanding the lead up to Lucie’s incarceration makes for good reading. Also making good reading was the mystery around what happens after her arrest.

Lucie was a naive character and it was easy to see how she fell for Matt. There are several other characters and if I am being honest I didn’t really like that many of them, Lucie and her friend Anne were nice and likeable, but the some others felt devious and cold suiting the part they played perfectly.

The story had a good deal of tension and this was increased as the pressure of time began to play its part. This meant the pacing gathered momentum the latter half of the story. Mystery, intrigue, suspense and tension were all evident, then the manipulation, lies and secrets are added to the plot making for a tense thriller. I enjoyed this a lot and would recommend it to readers who like a domestic thriller and psychological thriller reads.

Image taken from Amazon Author Page

Louise Mangos grew up in the UK but has spent more than half her life in Switzerland. Her debut psychological thriller “Strangers on a Bridge” was a finalist in the Exeter Novel Prize and long listed for the Bath Novel Award. Her second novel “Her Husband’s Secrets” (previously titled The Art of Deception) was published in June 2019. She lives on an Alp with her Kiwi husband and two sons, and when she’s not writing you can find her on the cross-country ski trails or wild swimming in the lake, depending on the season. She also writes short stories and flash fiction which have won prizes and been published in various anthologies. She has recently completed her MA in crime writing at UEA.

Visit Louise on TwitterAmazon Author Page

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

Murder on a Mississippi Steamboat by Leighann Dobbs @leighanndobbs @bookouture #BooksOnTour @BOTBSPublicity #cosymystery #Bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers to open the Blog Tour today and share my review today for Murder on a Mississippi Steamboat by Leighann Dobbs. This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be reading more. My huge thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

FROM A NINE-TIMES USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR COMES A LIVELY AND FUN 1920s COZY MYSTERY WITH A BRAND-NEW DETECTIVE DUO. 

Nora elbowed her way up to the railing and looked down. The paddle wheel was making its last turn, dredging up a mass of turquoise chiffon made almost transparent by the water. A hand, its red lacquered fingernails a contrast to the pale white skin, stuck up from a bejeweled cuff… 

A relaxing cruise down the Mississippi on the Miss Delta Belle steamboat turns to tragedy when celebrity Delilah Dove falls from the deck and is swallowed by the river faster than you can say ‘man overboard!’

It’s touted as a tragic accident, but guests Miss Nora Marsh and her wily great-aunt Julia know a murder when they see one. Can they get justice for Delilah and crack the case without alerting the murderer to their suspicions?

As Nora and Julia hunt for clues it emerges that nearly everyone had a reason to want Delilah dead. And that’s bad news for the two sleuths—who want to solve the case pronto, before Mississippi police chief and Aunt Julia’s nemesis Artemis Leonard comes on board at the next port to launch the official investigation. She’s not letting him get the credit if she can help it.

With multiple suspects and a series of mysterious thefts onboard—not to mention the distractingly handsome Max Lawton turning Nora’s head—this is shaping up to be one tough case to crack. What started as a gentle river voyage is far from plain sailing.

A gripping and witty 1920s murder mystery from bestselling author Leighann Dobbs, perfect for fans of T E Kinsey and Lee Strauss. 

This is the first book I have read by this author and I am delighted to see that there are plenty more for me to read that have already been published.

This is a cosy murder mystery that is set in the 1920’s on a Steamboat, it is the maiden voyage of the boat and the lead singer Delihla Dove is found murdered. It is a good job Aunt Julia and her Niece Nora are aboard they like murders and it gives them a chance to solve one.

This was in some ways very similar to Murder on the Orient Express as it seemed that the main character or should I say suspects all seemed to have something to hide. It takes a while for all the secrets to come out, but not all of them are necessarily bad or evil.

I liked the setting of the steamboat as this gives the story that isolated backdrop, so that it had to be someone on the boat that committed the crime. Aunt Julia is wily in her working out and doesn’t let much slip, while Nora does have a good inquisitive nature she is just a couple of steps behind. It is not until the grand unveiling that all the questions are finally answered. I do like a grand unveiling by the way.

This is a good cosy mystery that had a compelling story-line, I was constantly curious and was quite an eager reader with this book. Ideal for fans who like a lighter whodunnit style murder mystery read and one I would recommend.

USA Today bestselling author, Leighann Dobbs, discovered her passion for writing after a twenty year career as a software engineer. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband Bruce, their trusty Chihuahua mix Mojo and beautiful rescue cat, Kitty.

Her book “Dead Wrong” won the “Best Mystery Romance” award at the 2014 Indie Romance Convention.

Her book “Ghostly Paws” was the 2015 Chanticleer Mystery & Mayhem First Place category winner in the Animal Mystery category.

Follow Leighann on Twitter Website Facebook

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As Greek As It Gets by Sue Roberts #SueRobertsautho @bookouture #BOTBSPublicity #romcom #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for As Greek As It Gets by Sue Roberts. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I thoroughly enjoyed it. My huge thanks to Sarah at Book on the Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog TOur and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

Let’s see what it’s all about…

Let the hot Greek sun melt all your troubles away… A laugh-out-loud read full of warmth, joy and summer feeling!

Alice Clark is delighted when her boyfriend Max proposes. From her dead-end job to her straight-up-dead houseplants, her life hasn’t exactly turned out how she imagined, so she can’t wait to start some wedding planning.

But the intimate affair she imagined soon grows wildly out of control, along with Alice’s doubts. Just as things reach breaking point between the couple, Alice’s best friend whisks her away for an escape to a sun-kissed Greek island.

Sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and a cocktail – or three – and Alice soon finds herself letting loose and relaxing into the Greek way of life. When she visits a gorgeous village nestled in the hilltops overlooking the sea, and meets a friendly local woman with a very special business – and a very handsome son – Alice is surprised by how drawn she feels to these people and this life.

As the sun sets on her Greek holiday, Alice knows she has some big decisions to make. Will finding herself mean losing the life she had planned? Or could it be the start of something else entirely?

A feel-good read perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Jenny Colgan and Sophie Kinsella.

Purchase Links – AmazonAppleKoboGoogle

Alice and Max seem to be the perfect couple. He has a very successful business but Alice thinks he is a bit too quick to spend his money. Her reasons for her save not spend become known as the story develops.

Alice and her friends are off for a break in Greece, the gorgeous setting provides a lovely backdrop for the story. While away, Alice finds that she is looking at her life back at home, is it wedding jitters or something more.

Now right from the off, I liked Alice, Max I wasn’t so sure about. I felt he was a bit too flashy and it did give me an uneasy feeling about him. He seems to have taken the wedding planning to some rather grand levels, with more cash and lavishness being spent.

Wedding nerves aside, Alice seems to gradually come into her own, gaining a little confidence along the way. It isn’t a huge transformation, but it felt right.

This is a nice light, easy read that is ideal for a lazy afternoon. A lovely story that I happily disappeared into, a light rom-com with some a lovely Greek backdrop and ending that I didn’t expect, but that I really liked. Ideal for readers of romance and rom-coms who like a relaxing, escapism read. It is one I would recommend.

I live in Lancashire with my long term partner Derek and have had a lifelong love of writing, encouraged by winning a school writing competition at the age of 11.

I always assumed that ‘one day’ I would write a book, always having a busy household and a job, the idea remained firmly on the back burner but never forgotten.

The inspiration for my first novel came to me on a holiday to a Greek village. My daughters had left home and suddenly the time had come to write that book! 

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The Kompromat Kill by Michael Jenkins #TheKompromatKill @FailsafeQuery @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Kompromat Kill by Michael Jenkins. My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

‘They were preparing for decades – now it’s time to take them down……’

A DIPLOMAT VANISHES
A BOMB DISPOSAL EXPERT GOES ROGUE

Hiding overseas with a price on his head, Sean Richardson is tasked to lead a deniable operation to hunt down and recruit an international model and spy. Moving across Asia Minor and Europe, Sean embarks on a dangerous journey tracking an Iranian spy ring who hold the keys to a set of consequences the British Intelligence Services would rather not entertain.

As Sean investigates deeper, he uncovers dark secrets from his past and a complex web of espionage spun from the hand of a global master spy. As he inches closer to the truth, the rules of the game change – and the nerve-wracking fate of many lives sits in his hands…….……..

Purchase links – Amazon UK OR US

This is the second book in the Sean Richardson series, and it works well as a stand-alone because I have not read the first. There is enough detail given for me to get to know the character and start to understand what makes him tick. There are also references to what I am assuming is mentioned in the previous book.

So what is The Kompromat Kill? Well, it is a spy thriller that I found very enjoyable to read. Now this book is quite heavy on the detail and I will say that at times I did find it a bit too detailed, but to be fair that was the only niggle I did have. As for the story, well if you are into secret agents, double agents, secret departments of governments, rogue agents, and also corruption, power, secrets, espionage and deception then this will be right up your street.

Sean is brought into the fold to follow the trail of a possible terrorist attack. His target is an old acquaintance who screwed with his head in a big way when he was vulnerable. He is tasked with discov3ering what he can so that the Uk and US can counter whatever is planned.

While he is in the midst of his mission he is delivered a bombshell and could compromise his end objective. As he gradually deals with that yet another shock is delivered. Now, Sean is reeling and trying to keep his head in the game and not be swayed. Luckily he has those around him who can offer the support he needs without asking too many questions. With very few people who can be trusted, he needs this support.

I like Sean as a character, he is tough as nails but there is also a vulnerability to him that is alluded to, and this is where I think having the read the first book would have been good. It may have possibly given me more details on his mates and those who he could trust.

Now I did mention this book having a lot of detail, at times it was really helpful and it helped to explain past events, but there were also times when I was just too impatient and wanted to get on with the story, basically I wanted to know what happened next.

I did enjoy this story a lot, it had an old school espionage thriller feel to it with a modern setting, up to date cyber and tech stuff was mentioned and as you probably gather from this sentence, some of it went over my head! But as a reader I found that worked well in the context of the story.

I am looking forward to the next book in the series and to discover what predicaments Sean is placed in again. The Kompromat Kill is ideal for readers who like espionage and spy thriller and it is one I would recommend.

I started climbing at 13, survived being lost in Snowdonia at 14, nearly drowned at 15, and then joined the Army at 16. Risk and adventure was built into my DNA and I feel very fortunate to have served the majority of my working career as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers. 

I was privileged to serve for twenty-eight years in the British Army as a soldier and officer, rising through the ranks to complete my service as a major. I served across the globe on numerous military operations as well as extensive travel and adventure on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that I led or was involved in.

I was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration in 2003 and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity for many years. It was humbling after so many years of service when I was awarded the MBE for services to counter-terrorism in 2007.

The Failsafe Query is my debut novel, with The Kompromat Kill, my second.  

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Swallowtail Summer by Erica James #contemporaryfiction #holidayfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Swallowtail Summer by Erica James. This is an author who I have not read before and after reading Swallowtail Summer I will be keeping my eye for more by her.

Let me show you what this is all about…

It was the summer it all ended . . . It was the summer a new story began.

Linston End has been the summer home to three families for several decades. The memories of their time there are ingrained in their hearts: picnics on the river, gin and tonics in the pavilion at dusk, hours spent seeking out the local swallowtail butterflies. Everyone together. But recently widowed Alastair is about to shock his circle of friends with the decisions he has made – and the changes it will mean for them all… Can these friends learn to live life to its fullest?

Fans of Fern Britton and Katie Fforde will love escaping into summertime with this warm-hearted, uplifting story set in the beauty of the Norfolk Broads.

Do not be taken in by this beautiful cover, there is something dark lurking behind it.

Linston End was left to Alistair, it is a house on the Norfolk Broads and is a place where he and his friends have met up every year. Alistair, Simon and Danny have always been friends, well more brothers than friends. They have all married and some have children. Summer holidays are taken at the house with the families coming together.

This summer is different, this summer Alistair is bringing someone new and his friends are nervous and worried. The newcomer is Valentina, she is the new lady in his life and has a chance at a new start. With changes ahead, tension is ever-present during the summer holiday.

The author has done a wonderful job are creating a stunning setting for Swallowtail Summer, the house sounds like such an idyllic place for old friends and their families to come together. A chance to catch-up and reminisce about old times. But with the arrival of Valentina things are different. There is an air of mistrust at her arrival. The author mentions, partway through the story, that some things from the past have been swept under the carpet, they have been things that others may have been aware of but not voiced. With the added tension of Valentina nerves are a little frayed. Comments are made and past events alluded to, and gradually the ticking time-bomb of the past ignites.

This is a story that is quite captivating as I do like a story with a past, with secrets and with a touch of the dramatic, and this story does have those. It also has the dynamics of family and friends who are close, but apparently not quite as close as they like to think as they have all held something back.

There is quite a lot of intrigue throughout and as to have a fresh start you do have to deal with the past first, it means admitting your part in the events before moving on. I like the way this had all been laid out and then gradually pulled together for quite an ending.

A very enjoyable read that will appeal to readers of a slower-paced story about family, friends, secrets, the past and the future. It is one I would recommend.

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.

Missing by A.D. Hay @writeradhay @BOTBSPublicity #BOTBSPubliscity #Mystery #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Missing by A.D.Hay. This is a novella and the first book in the James Lalonde series. My thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Excalibur is missing, a killer is on the loose, and his career is on the line…

James has a nose for trouble. But that’s nothing new.

This time, things are different…

…his life is on the line.

James is the chief editor of a small newspaper. It’s hardly captivating work. He’s bored. But all of that is about to change.

Late one evening, he returns home to discover his long-time girlfriend and journalist, Valentine has left. Early the next morning, James fails to reallocate her assigned story. To avoid blank space in the culture section, and loosing his job, he decides to write the story on the local museums latest acquisition, Excalibur.

But, there’s one thing he didn’t count on…

….Excalibur is missing, and a dead body is at the crime scene.

As his investigations commence, James unravels a tangled web of betrayal, kidnapping, and murder. But, his fact-finding hasn’t gone unrecognised. The wrong people have started to notice. And there will be consequences…dire consequences.

You’ll love this gripping cloak and dagger mystery because of the twists, turns, and ending you’ll never guess.

Missing is the first book in a reporter crime thriller series. Get it now.

This is a quick one sitting read, well it was for me, it is also quick in the pacing of the story. James Lalonde is the Chief Editor of a small newspaper. He takes over an interview about the discovery of Excalibar, but is caught up in a crime scene.

This has all the hallmarks of a whodunnit style of cosy mystery, and in fact if you removed some of the modern items it could easily be set a few decades ago. The story is one that is quite captivating and my curiosity kept me hooked to the story. It has plenty of intrigue and characters that I quickly got to know, some I liked some I didn’t. Given the quick nature of this novella, the balance of characters was appropriate.

AS I mentioned the pace of the story is quick, in fact there were times it felt just a tad too quick. By this I mean some of the leaps between clues or the way things were thought out by the characters happened a little too conveniently and with only the slightest hint of a link. But you know what, it didn’t bother me that much, it just caught me out a couple of times.

An interesting and intriguing novella that was a quick one-sitting read and one that I think would appeal to cosy mystery readers and one I would recommend.

A.D. Hay is a passionate bibliophile and can usually be found reading a book, and that book will most likely be a thriller. She is the author of Missing, the first book in a thriller series. When not absorbed in a gripping page-turner or writing, she loves to travel, drink tea, rosé, and eat pizza. 

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The Wheelwrights Daughter by Eleanor Porter @elporterauthor @rararesources #histfic #bookreview

I am so delighted to share my review for The Wheelwrights Daughter by Eleanor Porter. My huge thanks to Rachel for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

Let me show you what it’s about…

Can she save herself from a witch’s fate?

Martha is a feisty and articulate young woman, the daughter of a wheelwright, living in a Herefordshire village in Elizabethan England. With no mother Martha’s life is spent running her father’s meagre household and helping out at the local school whilst longing to escape the confines and small-mindedness of a community driven by religious bigotry and poverty.

As she is able to read and is well-versed in herbal remedies she is suspected of being a witch. When a landslip occurs – opening up a huge chasm in the centre of the village – she is blamed for it and pursued remorselessly by the villagers.

But can her own wits and the love of local stablehand Jacob save her from a witch’s persecution and death…

A brilliant and accomplished novel that perfectly captures the febrile atmosphere of Elizabethan village life in an age when suspicion and superstition were rife. Perfect for fans of Tracy Chevalier.

This is a wonderful historical fiction story that is set in latter half of the 1500’s during Queen Elizabeth’s reign. This is an era of history that is rife with witchcraft accusations and the deaths of people who are seen to be practising the devil’s work.

The author has created a tale around Martha, the daughter of a village wheelwright in Herefordshire. Her mother is dead and there are rumours around surrounding her and also of her death. Martha is a young woman who is a Christian and she also makes up poultices and uses plants for their natural healing properties. While things are good then she is of use, but when things start happening suddenly the tables turn and fingers point leaving Martha to become the villagers scapegoat.

The finger of blame is supported by a hellfire and brimstone vicar, he is supposedly a man of faith but he really is an odious character. While he preaches the word of God he is also using faith as a game of politics to curry favour with those higher up the ladder than himself.

This is a wonderfully written story and I loved the way the author worked it. The contrasts of opinions and how they are formed without being based on facts are good, essentially if a person takes offence at a comment or a look then accusations can be made.

This has some good research behind it and it has all the right feels to it. The only problem… there is a bit of a cliffhanger…arrgghhhh I want need to know what happens next, so I will be keeping my beady eye out for the next book.

This is a good read and it has a slower pace that fits the time, there is a good amount of drama and I love the dynamics between the characters and the over-riding fear that comes out in their blaming and suspicions. A book I would recommend to readers who like historical fiction novels.

Ellie grew up in Herefordshire and now lives near the Malvern Hills. She’s taught in Hong Kong, London and Birmingham and published poetry and short fiction. Her forthcoming novel THE WHEELWRIGHT’S DAUGHTER grew out of walks on Marcle Ridge where a 1571 landslip is still visible and marked on the map as The Wonder. The book tells the story of a world torn by division, where new beliefs jostle with tradition, where to be different can cost you your life. It introduces Martha Dynely, who refuses to be crushed, even when the horizon crumbles and buries her.

Follow Eleanor on Twitter or visit her Amazon Author Page

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Betrayal by Adam Croft and Steven Moore @adamcroft #politicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Betrayal by Adam Croft with Steven Moore. This is the second book in the Sam Barker series, and as is my usual, I have not yet read the first so I can say it works well as a stand-alone.

Let me show you what this one is all about…

In Edinburgh, the British Prime Minister prepares to launch a worldwide project to tackle climate change. But there’s a far more sinister motivation behind her plans.

After successfully thwarting a terrorist attack in London a few months earlier, Sam Barker is tasked with investigating a scheme which will turn his life — and the world — upside down.

As he delves deeper into the network of players, Sam uncovers a conspiracy which leads to the one person he loves the most — his son.

But in revealing the facts, Sam risks flushing out a far more sinister, unknown enemy — a rogue agent inside The Firm who will stop at nothing to stop Sam from exposing the truth.

This is the second book in the Sam Barker series, and yes as is the norm for me I have not read the first. The advantage is that I can say that Betrayal works well as a stand alone, in fact when I started the book I had managed to convince myself this was the first book!!!!

Sam Barker works for The Firm, he has been tasked with looking into the main supporter of Ecohope, and umbrella for several countries to unite and help with the climate change problem. From the outset the course is set as it emerges that there are some that will benefit from this union and there will be those that sadly loose.

Sam, it seems is ideally placed as his son Benji is a student of the man he is supposed to be looking into. As Sam delves further the waters muddy and not everything is as it seems. Power, corruption and political gain are the front runners in this not so eco friendly venture.

I liked the style of this story and its quick pace. The first chapter is fast and to the point before handing over to the second chapter and the story that follows. Yes this is about climate change but there is not too much. The main focus is on Sam and his search for the people at the controlling end.

This is the first time I have met Sam and I do like him, there are other characters that I don’t trust. My mind always mistrusts people that are a little slim with the facts, especially when it against a character I like, I will let yo find who that is!

AS I said this is the second book and it worked very well, I didn’t feel I was missing any vital details. It is a crime thriller with a political and environmental slant that was very enjoyable reading. It is 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 outlet.

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