The Reunion by Guillaume Musso #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Reunion by Guillaume Musso. I read this book a month or so ago and though it was about time I shared my review. I seem to have a few book reviews laying in the drafts section of my blog awaiting release!

Let me show you what The Reunion is all about…

WELCOME TO A SCHOOL REUNION YOU WON’T FORGET

FRENCH RIVIERA, WINTER 1992
On a freezing night, as her high school campus is engulfed by a snowstorm, 19-year-old Vinca Rockwell runs away with Alexis, her philosophy teacher.

No one will ever see them again.

FRENCH RIVIERA, SPRING 2017
Formerly inseparable, Thomas, Maxime and Fanny – Vinca’s best friends – have not spoken in twenty-five years. But when they receive an invitation to their school reunion, they know they must go back one final time.

Because there is a body buried in that school…

…and they’re the ones who put it there.

This is the first time I have read a book by this author. The premise of a school reunion has been turned into a dark and intriguing read. I have never been to a reunion and, while I do get the idea of catching up with old friends, it is not something I would enjoy. Yes, they would be old friends but also they would also be strangers to me.

The main character is Thomas, he is an author who is attending the reunion and while there he meets his own small group that he was friendly with at school. This group all have a secret and it is not the same secret. Gradually as the story unfolds the true depth of the past in unravelled. SOmethings that had been alluded to or guessed are finally unveiled in their true light. There are several things that have happened and, while they are connected they are also separate.

This book moves along at a good pace and flits between different times. I did find it initially confusing as the first couple of chapters where quite quick so I didn’t have time to find my feet with the story. Then the chapters gradually lengthen and I felt more interested in the story. I can’t say I liked any of the characters, they all seem to have a secret and this led to a general feeling of distrust towards them.

The book has a dark and devious feel to it, I would say it is a thriller as such due to the present day things going on. There are lies, secrets and an air of suspense though at times I did find it confusing and found that occasionally my attention was drifting from the story.

As I mentioned this is the first time I have read a book by this author and even though it did not fully have me enthralled and at times I got a bit confused, though I did enjoy it and I would definitely buy another book by this author.

The Reunion is a book that would suit readers who like a dark and twisted thriller story. I would recommend it.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be fabulous ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

A Grave for Two by Anne Holt #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on A Grave for Two by Anne Holt. I received this book as part of a giveaway by Readers First. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I Admit that I will be reading more!

Let me show you what it is all about…

‘Anne Holt is the godmother of modern Norwegian crime fiction.’ Jo Nesbรธ

Selma Falck has hit rock bottom. Having lost everything – her husband, her children and her high-flying job as a lawyer – in quick succession, she is holed up alone in a dingy apartment. That is until Jan Morell – the man who is to blame for her downfall – rings her doorbell, desperate to overturn a doping accusation against his daughter, Hege – Norway’s best female skier. He’ll drop his investigation into Selma, but only if she’ll help… With just weeks until the Olympic qualifying rounds, clearing Hege’s name, and getting Selma’s own life back on track, seems impossible.

But when an elite male skier is found dead in suspicious circumstances, the post-mortem showing a link to Hege’s case, it becomes clear to Selma that there is a sinister web of lies, corruption and scandals lurking in this highly competitive sport. As time starts to runs out, another person is found dead, and Selma realizes that her own life is at risk…

This is the first time I have read anything by this author and she has left me with a curiosity to read more. The main protagonist of this story is Selma Falck, a woman with a past history and intriguing life. I met her as she was in a dingy flat as she has no job prospects and things look grim and uncertain. She is given a second chance when the father of the number one women’s Norwegian skier comes to ask for her help. The skier is Hege Chin Morell, she has been accused of taking an illegal drug and it threatens her Olympic dreams.

Along with Hege, another athlete is also brought into the story. Though its his death that is in question. There are several threads of other story lines that the author has woven into A Grave For Two and she deals with corruption, cronyism, drug and doping accusations as well as a more personal look into Selma’s life.

This is a wonderful read and a slow burner that is intriguing and has well woven story-lines. The investigation that Selma embarks on takes her down some dubious and shady paths. I liked how the author flitted between all the different threads and gradually built up the story towards its climax. For the most of the story I was addicted and found it very interesting reading, but then as the end approached I found myself loosing that addiction. I felt that things were dragged out a little too much. At this point for me a lot of the questions had been answered and there was still the odd revelation to be revealed but it just felt like it slowed in pace a little. It may that my tiredness didn’t help as I was trying to finish the book before going to bed.

Even though I felt a little disappointed by the ending, I still enjoyed the vast majority of the story and it has left me wanting to know more about Selma and what has happened in her life up to this point. This is an author who I will be revisiting in the future.

This is a story that I would recommend to readers who like a slow burn to their mysteries, with suspicion and corruption and a personal side stories.

Many thanks for reading my post ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

The Demons Beneath by W.D. Jackson-Smart @wdejackson @damppebbles #Bookreview

I am delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on The Demons Beneath by W.D. Jackson-Smart today. My huge thanks to Emma at dampebbles Blog Tours for the invite and for organising my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what its about…

The Demons Beneath by W.D. Jackson-Smart

A detective new to London. A possible serial killer. And a demon?

When a bloody corpse is discovered in a North London park, Detective Inspector Daniel Graves is the man tasked with finding the killer. With no clues and no suspects it seems like a dead end. Then another body turns up and this time it looks like it could be his fault. Has his investigation caused the murderer to strike again? Is he dealing with a serial killer?

As the case gets ever more complicated, a report comes in of another suspicious death but this is nothing like any other Graves has dealt with. All involved are convinced that something supernatural is to blame. A demon. Daniel is no believer but could he be wrong?

With two cases on his shoulders and the truth behind each beyond his grasp, Graves must race against time before both killers, human or otherwise, strike again.
โ€‹

What do you get when a horror writer decides to mix it up and write a crime thriller? Answer = You get The Demons Beneath! And what a cracking read it was as well!

Inspector Daniel Graves (love the surname – very horror-esque sounding!) is still getting used to his new life in London. He is recently transferred from Derbyshire and is not only trying to find his feet in the city but, also with the level and type of crimes. He has two cases land on his desk, one is for a body that has just been discovered. The other is for an exorcism that has gone wrong and the demon being exorcised is supposedly the killer!

With two very different cases, Daniel and his team are stumped. they are constantly looking for a lead or lucky break. there is little evidence to go on and the leads are thin. The team are a great mix and they each bring their own style and personality to the investigation. Pressure from their superiors doesn’t make tasks any easier and this creates a sense of “time is of the essence” to the book and cases.

The author does a cracking job with the storyline and the characters. the mix of the two cases are contrasting even though both are being dealt as murder. The demonology aspect that has been woven into the second of the two cases adds a suspense and chilling eeriness to the story and adds a great twist. The first case balances out the creepiness of the second, as it appears to be a more straightforward.

This is my first time reading anything by this author, and my first impressions are very good. being as this the first book in a series I am looking forward to reading more. My only niggle for the book is Daniel Graves repetitiveness when it comes to women that have caught his eye, yes I understand they have but I didn’t need reminding of it to the extent I did. as I said it is only a little niggle and it didn’t put me off reading the book.

The author has successfully created a wonderful twist on a genre I read quite a lot. I really like the infusion of horror and suspense into the crime thriller style of the investigation. It has a real spooky eerie feeling to the read. I thought it was quite well paced and quite happily read this in a couple of days. I am looking forward to getting to know Graves and his team in future book.

A wonderful crime thriller/ police procedural read that has a good twist and is a little bit different and one I would recommend.

WD Jackson-Smart is a crime and horror/thriller writer from the UK obsessed with all things thrilling.

He has written the bestselling supernatural thriller Red Light, the Hollywood-based horror/thriller Slasher, as well as horror short What’s Yours Is Mine.

His new release Demons, the first in a new London-based crime series featuring Detective Inspector Graves, is out now. Search WD Jackson.

Follow him on Twitter or his Website

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the Blog tour…

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share is always appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

Our Baby Was Born Premature (the same way he was conceived) by Paul Alexander @RunAmok_books #humour #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts today on this very humorous book about parenting, Our Baby Was Born Premature by Paul Alexander.

My huge thanks to Run Amok Books for sending me a copy of this fab and funny book.

So, let me show you what it is all about…

Our Baby Was Born Prematureย is a uniquely conceived memoir rendered in โ€œsuper-tweets.โ€ Begun by the comedian-cum-author as a way to work out the complex and anxious feelings that an expecting/new parent goes through, Alexander offers up fresh insights into the perils and joys of parenthood, ranging from amusing to hilarious to keenly observant to chaotically reflective. Itโ€™s page after page of belly laughs for new parents, soon-to-be-parents, and never-wanna-be parents alike.

This is such a funny book and I suppose is kind of like a memoir from the perspective of a first time dad. It had me chuckling so much as I read it and made me feel very thankful that my own children are all gown up and that Grandchildren can be handed back to their parents! I think it is this already experienced and learnt knowledge of parenting myself that made it such an enjoyable read.

The book is laid out in one liners, or short paragraphs of differing lengths, they are quirky observation and interactions from the father. The book is only 168 pages long but I think there was pretty much something on every page that made me either nod knowingly, smirk or chuckle.

This is an American author, so I do admit that there was the odd time that I wasn’t sure what the author was referring to, but it didn’t matter as there was loads of other stuff that other parents will recognise.

I am going to share 3 little snippets that really made me laugh!

“Women have superpowers. Giving birth. Producing food. And what is my superpower? I can pee on bushes.”

“Always feed the baby after playing aeroplane.”

And finally…

“let a four year old use an electric pencil sharpener and all the pencils in your house will be one inch long.”

The quick line format of this book means it is ideal for dipping in and out of, or if you are like me and love a good chuckle, you will want to read it in one sitting. The sentences give enough information for your brain to work out what has happened. The author is a comedian and even before I had realised this I thought, this guy is funny

Overall a very funny book that deals with observations from a fathers point of view. Very entertaining reading and one I would recommend.

Paul Alexander is a comedian who has worked in comedy clubs since the comedy gold rush of ’95 and appeared on MTV, A & E and Comedy Central. He has been published in news papers including The Muskokan and had a song featured on CBC’s ‘As It Happens.’ Paul also worked in film production in Los Angeles for many years and now resides in small town Canada where he runs a pumpkin race every Halloween.


Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share is always appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

Guest by SJ Bradley @BradleyBooks @MorecambeVice @BOTBSPublicity #MorcambeVice #BOTBSPublicity #BookReview #QandA

Today I am absolutely delighted to welcome you to my Blog. I do hope you are sitting comfortable because the post today is a bit of a long one! Not only have I got a review for Guest by SJ Bradley, she also kindly answered some of my questions.

I am taking part in this Blog Tour to read and review Guest and also to help with a shout out and to the Morcambe & Vice Crime Writing Festival. Before I get into share my review and also the fab Q&A with the author let me share some things about the festival…

It started in 2016 and is held at the Morecambe Winter Gardens and is described as ” weekend ‘full of warmth, wit and wisdom’, authors, speakers and guests from across the globe flocked to the sunny seaside for a weekend filled with criminal shenanigans.” This year it is being held on Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th of September. All details about the attending Authors, booking tickets and the program of events can be found on WEBSITE TWITTER FACEBOOK


Now let me share the synopsis for Guest by SJ Bradley

Samhain is a young, angry and bewildered squatter living in an abandoned hotel in the North of England. One day he receives a message: his father – a man he never knew – was an undercover policeman infiltrating the Green movement in the 80s. What’s more, he finds out that he too is now a father.

Sam leaves for Europe, pursuing freedom and fleeing his responsibilities: but finds it impossible to escape. Guest is a story of disillusionment, protest, and eventually, redemption.

This is the story of Samhain as he reaches a crisis point in his life. Yes he is an adult but he needs to be an adult. He needs to learn that his actions have consequences and that peoples feeling are important. He needs to learn to take on responsibilities instead of ignoring them or running away.

In someways Samhain is immature and he has never really got to grips with taking a more responsible role. He has lived in squats and with his band has done music gigs around Europe. He has a more carefree lifestyle and while this does suit him, things from his past are now coming to light.

The author has done a fabulous job creating Samhain. She has used her own experiences to create a story that I suppose you would call a coming of age style for Samhain. Using her own knowledge gives a much better insight into his lifestyle and the things he experiences as he walks through life.

This book is more in the literary fiction style and the author has a really lovely way of writing. There are lots of beautiful lines that at times border on the poetic side. This gain is another thing I really like and it makes for a lovely read.

The story is in someways simple but beautifully told. It is about a young man who has reached a crossroads in his life. It is slower in pace and this works very well with the style the author writes.

I really enjoyed this and I would recommend it to readers who like literary fiction, coming of age, and dilemma elements to their reads.


Now you have seen the synopsis and read my thoughts on the book. So it is time for the Author Interrogation ahem… Q&A Section of my post today…

When you originally had the idea for this book did the story go as planned or did it take itโ€™s own path?

Luckily, it largely went as planned. Before I started, the characters and their stories were so well-formed in my head, that everything just sort of fell into place as I went along. Samhain, his best mate Frankie, their long-suffering pal Marta, and Samhain’s ex, were all so familiar to me that I found I knew exactly how they’d behave in given situations, and how they’d help each other… or not! Above anything else, it was clear to me that everyone, even his ex-girlfriends, had a lot of affection for Samhain, despite his many failings. 

Did any of your own interests or experiences show up in the story?

At one point in the book, Samhain and Frankie go off on tour with their band around Europe in the back of a splitter van. They play gigs in squats, in crappy bars, and sleep on people’s floors, and sometimes Samhain wakes up wondering where he is. When I was younger, I had some of the same experiences. A friend and I had a band, and we mainly toured in the UK, setting our own gigs up, playing gigs in flats and squats and bars, and sleeping on people’s floors and on one memorable occasion, on a coffee table (don’t ask.) Playing a tour like that is so much fun, especially when you’re young, because you never know what you’re going to get. We did a few gigs where we literally played to six people: the sound guy and the people in the other bands, but there’d be other nights where we’d play to a hundred or more people, and it would be amazing. One night we played this gig in a village hall in the middle of nowhere, and hundreds of school age teenagers showed up. This was in the days when it was still fairly easy for kids to get hold of booze. Imagine a hundred pissed-up teenagers singing and doing a conga around the village hall, then later forming a human pyramid that almost touches the ceiling. Another time, we played a gig in somebody’s flat. The host of that gig worked in a fancy dress shop, so he had access to glitter cannons, which he set off at the end of the gig. I dread to think how long they had to spend hoovering the next day. 

The drawbacks of DIY touring are the tiredness and the long drives. I’ve been on tours where you had to pack the van a certain way to get the doors closed, and only one person really knows how to do it, and I’ve also been in situations where I’ve left my towel or something else important behind, and haven’t been able to go back and get it. When you’re in a strange place and in a rush to get out, because you need to drive hours to the next gig, and you’ve usually got loads of stuff to take – the instruments and leads and everything that you need, and all of your personal stuff as well, your sleeping bag and washbag or whatever else you’ve got – it’s a bit too easy to forget something in the rush out of the door, as Samhain does at one point in the book. 

All of that stuff was from my own experience. The stuff about squatting, and activism – that was from spending a lot of time in DIY social spaces and around the fringes of green activism and anticapitalist activism in my 20s. I wasn’t much of a hardcore activist myself. When I started to write the book, there wasn’t a ton of stuff written about undercover policing, apart from Paul Lewis’ excellent book “Undercover.” More stuff has started to come out now in the public enquiry, and there’s a lot of information on the Police Spies Out of Lives website, too. 

What’s interesting to me, anyway, is that most of the police infiltration was done to nonviolent environmental activists and groups. These were groups who were doing the work of Extinction Rebellion 20 and 30 years ago, long before Extinction Rebellion existed. Now, of course, we’re seeing huge protests and increasing public support in favour of the same sorts of ideas – getting carbon neutral, stopping the rise in global temperatures, stopping fossil fuels, more use of renewable energy sources. Those ideas seem to have become much more mainstream and urgent, probably because we’re seeing the effects of what environmental activists were talking about all those years ago.  

What are you working on at the moment and what are you planning for the future?

I’m writing a novel set in an outsourced prison in the Nottinghamshire border, and I have tentative plans to write a horror novella, too. I’m poking away at a few short stories as well. Short stories are how I started out, and I love writing and reading them. I don’t know when any of them will be published. I also have vague future plans to try and find an agent, too. 

A few fun questions because I am nosy… What do you do when you are not writing?

Writing is a thing that takes up a lot of my free time! However, when I’m not writing, I’m organising the North’s only dedicated short story festival, The Northern Short Story Festival (www.bigbookend.co.uk/nssf) and a DIY writers’ social night called Fictions of Every Kind. Being busy is kind of my ‘thing’, but I do try and take a bit of time off every now and again. I’ll go and watch films, hang out with the cat, or go on rambles with my husband. 

Do you have a favourite reading spot?

The place I read most often is probably on the sofa at home, but I like reading in the library too. I save short stories to my phone and read those whenever I’ve got a minute. For me the key thing is to always have something to read, no matter where I am!

If I could wave a magic wand, what would you wish for? It can be anything, otherwise what would be the point of a magic wand!!

Can I have three?

Well why not, Aladdin had three wished from the genie in the lamp!

My first wish is for less inequality. There’s too much poverty in the UK. At one end of the scale you’ve got billionaires owning houses in London that they don’t even live in, because they have homes elsewhere, and at the other, you’ve got people with disabilities being mistreated by the benefits system, and people using food banks. Nobody should be having to struggle for a basic standard of living. People can’t even afford their rent. They’re choosing which bill to pay every month. Nobody in this country should be having to live like that. So that would be my first wish, end poverty and inequality. 

My second wish, and this probably doesn’t sound very exciting, is for there to be more buses and trains. In my wish these buses and trains always run on time, and they make it easy to get where you’re going. They run all night, so you can always get home safely, and the carriages and seats are always clean. Every journey, no matter where you go, only costs ยฃ1. Let’s throw in a free cup of tea, too. A free cup of tea and a friendly dog to pet. Luxury! 

My third wish is obviously for everybody to either buy my book, or check it out of the library, and to think it’s wonderful, and to tell all their friends about it… 

Thank you so much SJ, I love your answers and I completely agree with your buses wish. Less inequality would have such an impact on so many peoples lives who are at the lower end of the income bracket.

Your answer to what experiences you have brought to the book is amazing, now I have read the book I can see how your DIY Gigging helped with the story. I do hope other people buy or borrow your book as I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wish you all the best with The Northern Short Story Festival and I hope you have a fabulous time at Morcombe & Vice xx

SJ Bradley is a writer from Leeds, UK, whose short fiction has been published in the US and UK, including by Comma Press. She is a K Blundell Trust Award winner, a Saboteur Award winner for her work on Remembering Oluwale, and was shortlisted for the Willesden Herald Prize.

Her first novel, Brick Mother, was published in 2014 by Dead Ink Books, and was shortlisted for the Gladstone Writers in Residence award and her newest novel, Guest, was published in 2017 by Dead Ink Books.

She is fiction editor at Strix Magazine, has held residencies at West Yorkshire Playhouse, First Story and Alton Towers (Liminal Residency) and is director of the Northern Short Story Festival.

You can find SJ on her WEBSITE TWITTER

Check out all the other Book Bloggers, Authors and Organisers that are taking part in the tour...

Wow! Well done for getting through this very long post today ๐Ÿ˜ŠI loved putting this together and also for those wonderful answers to my questions. I would love to attend this festival and I will be stalking keeping my eye on Twitter and Facebook for photo’s of the event.

Many thanks for reading my post, any likes or shares are always appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜˜

Letters To My Daughters by Emma Hannigan #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on Letters To My Daughters by Emma Hannigan. This book is another read for the Readin Challenge #20 Books Of Summer that I took part in this summer.

Let me show you what this book is all about…

Her three girls were her world. It was time to let them know. 

To sisters Bea, Jeannie and Rose, the death of their beloved childhood nanny is a devastating loss. As the girls grew up, Nanny May had become so much more to them all: confidant, advocate, comforter, friend. In whom will they confide their hopes, fears and failures now she has gone? Especially now each sister needs a mother’s wisdom more than ever…

Martha cannot understand why her daughters are so upset about losing their childhood nanny. Yes, Martha was always in demand as a busy midwife, but that doesn’t mean she loved her own children any less. But why don’t the girls realise that? And has she left it too late to let them know…?

I think this is such a nice title for a book. The daughters are Bea, Jeannie and Rose, their parents are Jim and Martha. As both parents worked it fell to Nanny May to help raise the girls. Nanny May was an invaluable part of the household and they all kept in touch over the years as the girls grew up and left home to begin their own lives. The death of Nanny May hit the girls and Jim hard, but Martha isn’t quite affected in the same way by the death as the others.

Over the course of the story the author built up and developed a story that delves into all their pasts. It is told in the Now, with glimpses back in time. The author has created a story about a family that appears perfect from the outside, I say appears because there are cracks and some of those cracks are widening.

The story weaves its way at a pleasant pace and it was quite suprising how time just simply passed by as I was immersed in the book. I gradually got to know each of the main characters and found myself warming to them as I discovered more about them as a family as well as individuals. I discovered their secrets, their dreams and their wishes, what made them scared and what made them anxious.

It’s a story of a family, and with that came so many emotions as I read, anger, frustration, joy, hope, exasperation and doubt. As it progressed I did wonder how this family could stop the cracks from widening, if they could find compromises and if they could pull things back. By the end of the story I was surprised at the ending, I did not expect that, but at the same time it did feel right and so worked well.

It is one of those stories that I want to say is a delightful and lovely read. It has some tense moments that lead to distrust and dismay but also has a solid glimmer of hope and is heartwarming.

Letters to My Daughters is a book I would happily Recommend!


Book #18 of 20

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

Holy Island by LJ Ross #20Booksof summer #BookReview

I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on Holy Island by LJ Ross. This is the first book in the DCI Ryan Mystery series. Although I do have a few of this authors books, this is the first one I have read. I am reading this as part of the #20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge and it marks the half point for me.

Let me show you what it’s about…

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan retreats to Holy Island seeking sanctuary when he is forced to take sabbatical leave from his duties as a homicide detective. A few days before Christmas, his peace is shattered and he is thrust back into the murky world of murder when a young woman is found dead amongst the ancient ruins of the nearby Priory.

When former local girl Dr Anna Taylor arrives back on the island as a police consultant, old memories swim to the surface making her confront her difficult past. She and Ryan struggle to work together to hunt a killer who hides in plain sight, while pagan ritual and small-town politics muddy the waters of their investigation.

Holy Island of Lindisfarne provides a wonderful setting for this crime and mystery story. It is accessible by a road at low tide, this gives it a secluded and remote feel. It’s where DCI Ryan has retreated and why he is first on scene when a young girls body is reported. She has been found in the midst of the islands ruins. Given the history of the island a consultant is required, this is where Dr Anna Taylor is called in. She knows the island, she used to live there.

This is a book that has atmosphere, it is enhanced by the setting, the ruins and the history of the area. The island has religious roots as well as pagan ones as well and the author has nicely woven in the later.

I found myself quickly warming to the characters as I got to know them and I liked the initial stubbornness shown by Ryan and Anna at the very beginning. Though as they do have to work together, they do warm to each other.

Because Anna used to live on the island, she appears to be the best choice to consult. Coming back brings up old memories and opens the odd wound. Ryan in contrast is more about the crime and personal issues he has not got time for.

This story is one that at times felt like a cosy mystery, almost like a classic “whodunit”but also has a macabre side given the bloody state of the bodies. It has several clever twists and turns that threw a red herring or two along the way. Easy to follow as there are not a huge cast involved, it also kept me guessing until the conclusion.

A good introduction for a new to me series and one that I am looking forward to progressing further with.

It is one I would recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, alike or share is always appreciated xx

Book 10 of 20

Hudson’s Kill by Paddy Hirsch #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Hudson’s Kill by paddy Hirsch. I recieved a hardback copy of this book via Readers First. This is a historical fiction set in New York in 1803, so let me show you what it is all about…

‘A wild horse-and-carriage ride through early 19th century New York… Meticulously researched, the novel brings the city to life in lurid sensory detail.’ Noel O’Reilly, author of Wrecker

New York, 1803. The expanding city is rife with tension, and violence simmers on every street as black and Irish gangs fight for control. When a young girl is found brutally murdered, Marshal Justy Flanagan must find the killer before a mob takes the law into their own hands.

Kerry O’Toole, Justy’s friend and ally, decides to pursue her own inquiries into the girl’s murder. When they each find their way into a shadowy community on the fringes of the city, Justy and Kerry encounter a treacherous web of political conspiracy and criminal enterprise. As events dangerously escalate, they must fight to save not only the city, but also themselves…

This is a murder mystery read that also has a lot of conspiracy and tension mixed in as well. It is New York in 1803 and Kerry O’Toole finds the body of a young girl a back alley. Justy Flanagan is called in to investigate the identity of the girl and also the killer. Together Justy and Kerry kind of work together, I say kind of because they both want to find the same answers!

This is a book that has a lot going on in it. What I thought was going to be a murder mystery read, which it was by the way, also had gangs, conspiracy, rivalry and, tension. All these components added to the mixing pot that made up New York at the time. People from different, countries with various backgrounds, religious beliefs and traditions all arrived in the area. They all bring their own language and ways of speaking, and this is where I began to notice the research aspect of the book. The speech was very evident from the off as I cam across words that I recognised as being Welsh, Scottish and Irish.

The speech adds to the diversity of the setting and the people who inhabit it. The descriptions of bars, brothels, alleyways and the like bring home the fact that this is not an affluent area. The author has used the tensions to their advantage and played on it, escalating feelings between rivals. In someways this overwhelmed the investigation, but it was also part of the investigation, if you know what I mean. I just felt that the murder had been sidelined a little bit, but, at the same time I know that

This is a good read and even though there were a couple of things I struggled with, I did enjoy it. I thought it was quite a complex story and maybe this is what caught me out as I wasn’t expecting that when I started.

Earlier I mentioned about speech and I was incredibly glad to see a glossary at the end of the book, while there are some terms that I could work out, there were some that had me scratching my head. I love the inclusion of the old languages and phrases.

This is the 2nd book in the series, and as is my usual form I have not read the first one yet! So, I can say that this owrks well as a stand alone but, I would suggest reading in order as there are things mentioned that I assume are from the first book. There is also a dynamic between Just and Kerry that I am curious to know more about. So I will be reading the first book at some point to squash my curiosity.

Hudson’s Kill is an addictive if complex read and I really enjoyed it and would recommend it.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa @IAmSuyiDavies @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review with you today for David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa. My thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for accepting my request to join the tour and for arranging a copy of this book.

Let’s have a look and see what it about…

Nigerian God-Punk – a powerful and atmospheric urban fantasy set in Lagos.

Since the Orisha War that rained thousands of deities down on the streets of Lagos, David Mogo, demigod, scours Ekoโ€™s dank underbelly for a living wage as a freelance Godhunter. Despite pulling his biggest feat yet by capturing a high god for a renowned Eko wizard, David knows his jobโ€™s bad luck. Heโ€™s proved right when the wizard conjures a legion of Taboosโ€”feral godling-child hybridsโ€”to seize Lagos for himself. To fix his mistake and keep Lagos standing, David teams up with his foster wizard, the high godโ€™s twin sister and a speech-impaired Muslim teenage girl to defeat the wizard.

David Mogo is a godhunter. He is quite well placed to do this job and he has an advantage as he is a demigod. Set in Lagos, Nigeria, this story is one of gods, demigods and wizards. The area is embrioled in a battle after the gods fell to earth and try to carve out their own home, pushing people out or taking them over.

David himself is quite a complex character, well you would be if you were a demigod surely! Trying to work out who he is and finding a place to fit in. He would rather be human than part god. In some ways this story is like a two sided one, yes there are the battles, confrontation, and power struggles but there is also David’s story. Finding where he belongs and who he is and it runs alongside the gods taking over story well.

I did find this book challenging at times for a couple of reasons. There is quite a dark and disturbing section set around a character called Fati. The conversational language took me a little getting used to, though it is not used all the time in conversations. But that being said it sort of adds something to the story.

This is a book that is quite fast-paced and has a reasonable sized cast. I have to admit Papa Udi was by far my favourite, even though it was his speech that caused me to scratch my head working out what he was saying!

The setting has not been glamourised at all, the author paints quite a picture of the more destitute people in his story. Now I don’t have much knowledge of Nigeria, or it’s culture, traditions or religion. What I did find with this story was that these things came through very nicely through the story. This led me on an interesting interent search of the various Nigerian dieties mantioned.

This book is one of those that will divide readers, but for me it was a chance to read a book about a different culture to my own. A chance to broaden my reading horizons and dicover a new to me author.

It is a book I would recommend.

Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian writer of science fiction, contemporary and dark fantasy, and crime fiction. His work has appeared in Lightspeed, Fireside, Podcastle, The Dark, Mothership Zeta,

Omenana, Ozy, Brick Moon Fiction; amongst other magazines and anthologies. He is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona, and has worked in editorial at Podcastle and Sonora Review. He lives online on Facebook, tweets at @IAmSuyiDavies, and blogs at suyidavies.com. His urban fantasy novel about gods in Lagos is forthcoming in 2019.

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be great ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

Battleground by Rachel Churcher @Rachel_Churcher @rararesources #Review

I am delighted to be one of the Blogger kicking off the Blog Tour and to be able to share my review for Battleground by Rachel Churcher. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging an e-copy of this book.

Let’s see what it is all about…

Sixteen-year-old Bex Ellman has been drafted into an army she doesn’t support and a cause she doesn’t believe in. Her plan is to keep her head down, and keep herself and her friends safe โ€“ until she witnesses an atrocity she can’t ignore, and a government conspiracy that threatens lives all over the UK. With her loyalties challenged, Bex must decide who to fight for โ€“ and who to leave behind.

The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence.

This is a dystopian story that is aimed at Young Readers, and I have to say this Older Reader really enjoyed it as well. Living in the UK for Bex and her friends is different, there are tensions about which side should be supported. Misinformation and fake news make it difficult for the friends to know which is the right side to be on, or even if there is a right side.

There is the side of the Government, surely they have the nations best interests at heart. But then the terrorists are fighting for the people as well! Bex, Dan, Margie, Saunders and others have to decide who they will join up with. The weight of their decisions emerges throughout the story.

Some elements could be seen as relevant in today’s society. This for me is a good thing as it is something a YA reader can relate to. Fake new or propaganda as it used to be known is everywhere in society. Manipulation of the truth leaves you wondering who to trust. For Bex and her friends, it gives rise to discussions and arguments as they believe they support the better side. It leads to the friendship fracturing as they are taken from their school to a Training Camp.

This has been an enjoyable read with a well-paced flow to it. There is plenty of action to keep the pages turning. I like a good amount of conspiracy in my reads and this has a level that felt right for the intended audience. I think YA Readers would really enjoy Battleground, I certainly did.

It is one I would recommend.

Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.

She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends โ€“ but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.

Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if sheโ€™s allowed to bring her books.

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be great ๐Ÿ™‚ xx