The Crazy Season by Jim Ody @Jim_Ody_Author @zooloo2008 @QuestionPress

I am delighted to share my review today for The Crazy Season by Jim Ody. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and after reading his latest book, it will not be the last time! It was a brilliant read.

Joel Baxter is infamous for solving weird and bizarre cases that others avoid. So, when he receives an email from a teenage boy Tim saying his town is cursed, he cannot turn it down.

“…I will more than likely be dead when you read this. There is nothing I can do about it. It’s the curse, and we’ve hit The Crazy Season.” Every 20 years, there are a handful of unexplained teenage deaths and it’s started again.

With the help of his straight-talking friend Melody, they set out to get to the bottom of the alleged curse. Everybody in Black Rock has secrets and nobody wants to speak.

The closer they get to truth the more Joel and Melody realise that their involvement is far from coincidental.

Purchase Links – AMAZON UK US

My Review…

This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I loved the tense and suspense ridden atmosphere he has created in this first book in the Joel Baxter series. I do own several of this author’s books and it is only now that I have got around to reading one. Yes, I am kicking myself for this lapse!

A journalist, Joel is used to strange and unusual events, it’s what he is known for. So the email he receives really catches his attention. With the help of his best friends sister Melody, they go off in search of the truth behind the curse of The Crazy Season not realising what exactly they are walking into.

Right from the start, this author caught my attention and what a start it was. It sort of sets the feel of the story that follows. It is one with more to it than first meets the eye. As the chapters progressed I discovered more not only about Joel and his wife Cherry but also got more of a glimpse into what exactly Joel does. He is a journalist as such but not the manic story hungry one looking for the latest headlines. He is more about trying to help find the truth and in turn, it helps others. This also helps him. Melody, well Melody is Melody, she is blunt and outrageous in what she says, but underneath her bluster, there is a caring and thoughtful women. I liked her a lot and she made me laugh several times!

The story of the curse is one that was intriguing and the author really knows how to spin a tale. More questions than answers and false leads with the feeling of Joel and Melody going around in circles, hearing similar stories but not quite getting anywhere as far as the truth goes. It’s a mysterious story with plenty of intrigues, to say the least.

The answers, or really that should be the breadcrumbs are not revealed until a lot further into the story. Up until this point, the author gives plenty for the reader to discover and think about. Introducing new characters and adding subtle hints along the way. Once things start to connect you begin to realise how well this story has been thought about. Not only that but there is something else lurking in the background.

This was such a wonderful story to read, mysterious, full of suspense and quite atmospheric. At times it had a noirish tinge to it and I really enjoyed the slower pace of the journey. It is one I would definitely recommend and I will be keeping an eye out for the next one in the series.

About the Author…

Jim writes dark psychological/thrillers, Horror and YA books that have endings you won’t see coming, and favours stories packed with wit. He has written over a dozen novels and many more short-stories spanning many genres.

Jim has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd.  When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife, three beautiful children and two indignant cats in Swindon, Wiltshire UK.

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Geiger by Gustaf Skördeman #Geiger @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #compulsivereaders #NetGalley #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Geiger by Gustaf Skördeman. This is a tense conspiracy thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed and is published tomorrow (29th April 2021).

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book via Net Galley.

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For fans of  I Am Pilgrim, GEIGER is set to become the must-read international thriller of 2021. 

The landline rings as Agneta is waving off her grandchildren. Just one word comes out of the receiver: ‘Geiger’. For decades, Agneta has always known that this moment would come, but she is shaken. She knows what it means.

Retrieving her weapon from its hiding place, she attaches the silencer and creeps up behind her husband before pressing the barrel to his temple.

Then she squeezes the trigger and disappears – leaving behind her wallet and keys.

The extraordinary murder is not Sara Nowak’s case. But she was once close to those affected and, defying regulations, she joins the investigation. What Sara doesn’t know is that the mysterious codeword is just the first piece in the puzzle of an intricate and devastating plot fifty years in the making…

Purchase link – Amazon UK

My Review…

Well, the synopsis for Geiger is definitely intriguing, well I thought so, it also makes for a very good start to this story.

This is a really good and well-plotted spy thriller that I really enjoyed. There is a blend of past and present that the author links together really well and is full of little subplots. The present is about the death of Stellan, and of his missing wife as well as the character of Sara a police officer with connections to the family. The past is more in the eighties with the fall of the Berlin Wall, German reunifications, USSR, GDR, spies, espionage, theories, politics and various other items of the time.

The mix of historical into this story was the part that I probably enjoyed the most, the cloak and dagger spy stuff if you like. But then I also liked the present story with a more procedural presence to it as you would find in a crime thriller. The idea of having a historical aspect in the story is great as it does add a great amount of intrigue. There is a good amount of detail that emerges as part of the story, this does however slow the pace down. I do like a slower paced book, and it meant I could take my time and not feel rushed while I was reading. I was able to read with the flow of the story and absorb the many details.

The author has a good mix of characters, enough for the different parts of the story and the different subplots, but not too many that I lost track of who was who. I did mention that there is a whole range of different things going on in this story, one of the themes is quite a distressing one and one I didn’t expect. While it is part of the story, it doesn’t make for pleasant reading.

A story that starts with a murder that then develops into a central European espionage ring, with mentions of family, upbringing and lifestyle there is a lot going on. A really intriguing and interesting read that had me wondering who was who and why they did what they did. I would recommend this for readers who prefer a slower-paced and intense spy-thriller story.

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Prisoner by Ross Greenwood @greenwoodross #boldwoodbloggers @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #NetGalley #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Prisoner by Ross Greenwood. I do like this authors books and have read several, Prisoner is a little different and a fabulously addicted read!

My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book via NetGalley.

Behind bars, the rules are different…

Prison Officer Jim Dalton is used to walking the landings on the male side of HMP Peterborough. It’s a dangerous place, fuelled by testosterone-driven violence, but he’s done the job for a long time. He understands the unwritten rules, and he has the prisoners’ respect. 

When a relative is sent to the jail, Dalton is transferred to the female side of the prison. His next shift is so easy, he can’t believe that the officers over there get paid the same wages. He sleeps well for the first time in years.

But when he is assigned to the young offenders’ wing, dealing with female prisoners no longer seems so simple.  As every day passes, and he gets to know the women better, he is slowly drawn in to new temptations, new traps and a new nightmare. One which could destroy everything.

Taking a break from his bestselling DI Barton series, Ross Greenwood returns with this shocking, page-turning and utterly compelling glimpse behind the bars of a women’s prison. From a man who walked the landings himself…

Purchase Link – Amazon

My Review…

I have read quite a few of this authors crime thriller books, his latest release Prisoner is very different to what I have read in the past. Ross uses his working experience in the Prison Service as inspiration and it shows in the writing.

A blend of fact and fiction as the author writes a very compelling story around Prison Officer Jim Dalton. A man who has respect on the male side of the prison from both fellow officers and also inmates. He comes across as a fair person, but one who is struggling in his home life. The stress of the job is telling and his marriage is rocky.

A move from the male wing to the female wing for a short period gives him a reprieve as such. The stress is less and the work more manageable. There are however a different set of unspoken rules for working in the female wing, unfortunately, Jim is a little slow to heed the warnings and see the signs.

I loved the way the author created an understated thriller like this one. There is a good amount of intrigue and suspense and there is a tense vibe and atmosphere to it. The author has created some great characters and making them so believable. Having the experience of working in a prison has definitely added a wonderful balance to the story as he gives a more balanced outlook. Describing the ways in which the psychology of a male or female wing differs.

How the characters of Jim deals with the changes in his role gives a really good insight and shows how easy it is to get caught up in simple things and to fall prey to a lie. While it is obvious that this is an environment where lies and deceit are going to be part of the norm, the author takes a little bit further.

This is such a clever story and one that I adored. There are some very hard to read parts of the story, again adding credibility to an at times harrowing read. It shows the good and the bad as well as the grey areas. If you like prison-based stories then this is one for you. It is a story that sort includes many genres from the obvious crime to the thriller, suspense and also partly psychological. It is a book that I do think will appeal to a great variety of readers. Tense, gritty, absorbing and definitely recommended.

It also includes a very insightful author note as the end. 

About the Author…

Ross Greenwood is the author of six crime thrillers. Before becoming a full-time writer he was most recently a prison officer and so worked everyday with murderers, rapists and thieves for four years. He lives in Peterborough and his first title for Boldwood – the beginning of a series – The Snow Killer was published in November 2019.

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The Island by C.L. Taylor #TheIslandBook #YAThriller @HQStories #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Island by C.L. Taylor. It has been a while since I read one of Cally’s books, so I was really looking forward to this one. Aimed at Young Adult Readers it also works very well for Adults as well.

Here’s more…

Lost meets The Hunger Games in the thrilling new young adult novel from C.L. Taylor, the Sunday Times and million-copy bestselling author.

Welcome to The Island.
Where your worst fears are about to come true…

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime quickly turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re coming true.

Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret.

Who will make it off the island alive?

My Review…

I really enjoyed this YA book and how the author approached fears and phobias through a group of teens alone on an island near Thailand.

The group of 6 have known each other all their lives, they have holidays every year. As they have grown up they have drifted apart somewhat, dynamics between each of them have altered. Tragedy has hit more than one of the group and this leads to a small void starting to encroach on the group.

A holiday on an island, a chance to get away under the supervision of a guide should be good for the group. However, when the guide dies things that had been kept hidden or controlled start to unravel. A sense of seeing beyond the mask if you like as the situation the teens find themselves in changes dramatically.

I really enjoyed the tense suspense of this novel and how the author explored the changing and challenging dynamics of the group. As they find themselves in disarray they also start to suspect that there is a danger stalking them. What or who this is they are not sure, who is to blame, who is playing games and what is to happen are questions that I needed to know the answers to as I read.

The isolation of the island adds to the sense of loneliness and separation. As I got to know each of the 6 better I began to realise that there is more than meets the eye, they are not quite the stable group I initially thought they were.

This is a really good tense, suspense ridden YA thriller and one that I really enjoyed. A good deal of mystery, intrigue and suspicion across the novel gives it that page-turner addiction. One I would recommend.

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The Nesting by C.J. Cooke @CJessCooke @RandomTTours #RandomThingsTours @fictionpubteam #mystery #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Nesting by C.J. Cooke. This book has a gorgeous cover and the story inside is just brilliant. Huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for arranging my copy of the book and also for my spot on the Blog Tour.

Synopsis…

It was like something out of a fairytale…

The grieving widower.

The motherless daughters.

A beautiful house in the woods.

Deep in a remote Norwegian forest, Lexi has found a new home with architect Tom and his two young daughters. With snow underfoot and the sound of the nearby fjord in her ears, it’s as if Lexi has stepped into a fairy tale

But this family has a history – and this place has a past. Something was destroyed to build their beautiful new house. And those ancient, whispering woods have a long memory.

Lexi begins to hear things, see things that don’t make sense. She used to think this place heavenly, but in the dark, dark woods, a menacing presence lurks.

With darkness creeping in from the outside, Lexi knows she needs to protect the children in her care.

But protect them from what?

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review…

I am going to start with the cover for this book and say that I absolutely adore it. The relevance of the cover image is something that is gradually revealed as the mysterious and atmospheric story unfolds.

The story is about Lexi taking someone’s identity and finding herself in Norway in a remote woodland being a Nanny to Gaia and Coco, Lexi is known as Sophie. The house she stays in is creepy, full of weird noises and there is a certain creepiness to it. Why the need for a Nanny, when Aurelia died Tom needed help to look after his daughters while he was finishing the building the eco-friendly house.

Ecology plays a part in this story as does a folk-lore of the land looking after itself. The author has used her own Scandinavian feeling fairy tales to add a folklore vibe to this story. It gives it a wonderful sense of the old world or ancient woodland that fits in so well with this mystery. The atmospheric air is suspense-filled but not over the top spooky. There is the ever-present presence of something lurking in the background and it does give a certain eerie chill.

The story itself is one that had a lot more than I first expected, as much as it is a story of discovering the mystery it is also about one of the characters discovering herself. In fact, the characters all have something that they hold back, giving tension to the book.

I really liked this book and once I started it I found it difficult to put down. It has the feel of a Scandi-Noir and it does have folklore, gothic feel as well as being a mystery and to a certain extent a mystery thriller. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it is one that I would definitely recommend.

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I Am Dust by Louise Beech @OrendaBooks #20booksofsummer #mystery #suspense #mustread #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for I Am Dust by Louise Beech. THis is a book I have chosen to be part of my #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge and what a wonderful book it was.

Let me show you what it is about…

Synopsis

A haunted theatre
A murdered actress
Three cursed teenagers
A secret that devastates them all…

The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…

Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?

Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?

Is the role of Esme Black cursed? Could witchcraft be at the heart of the tragedy? And are dark deeds from Chloe’s past about to catch up with her?

Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.

And Chloe has been watching…

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review

I have just finished reading this book and there are two words that I think sum this book up “hauntingly beautiful” I wish I could leave that as my review, but as a Book Blogger I know I need to add more to it. The synopsis gives a very good idea as to the story, but, Oh there is so much more it than that!

The story is told in a time slip style. The past goes back to when three teens, Chloe, Jess and Ryan use a Ouija board to contact a dead actress. She was murdered while the show Dust was being performed. The now is the DW theatre, not as popular as it used to be, and there is exciting news that the show Dust will be performed once again.

The author did such an amazing job with this story, I loved the haunting atmospherics that added some amazing tension. The story started with some excitement as the teens started to use the spirit board, this was then built on over the course of the story. Mixed into this was the mystery about the dead actress, Morgan Miller, who wanted to kill her and why.

There is another mystery that also comes into play, and that is what exactly happened to the teens when they walked away from the board? Did it change them? Did they follow the warnings? Well these questions are just the tip of the ice-berg as the author took this reader deeper and deeper into this mystery.

I call this a mystery, and in some ways yes it is, but it is also has a wonderful supernatural theme to it, also there is the murder which adds a crime element, then there is the relationships between the teens, oh and there is also a heartbreaking aspect. I think what I am getting at is that this book crosses genres and that makes it a book that will engage so many different readers.

The story gradually wrapped me up, drawing me deeper and deeper into its pages. I found myself addicted and at times when I was not reading it, I almost felt it calling out to me to pick it up again. It is a beautifully written story, that is heartbreaking and haunting. I loved it from start to finish and those last few pages completely broke me and left me a sobbing wreck.

This is a book that I am pretty sure will be on my Top Reads of the Year list. It is an exceptional read and one I would Highly Recommend.

About the Author

Louise’s debut novel, How to be Brave, was a Guardian Readers’ pick in 2015 and a top ten bestseller on Amazon. The Mountain in my Shoe longlisted for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2016. The Sunday Mirror called Maria in the Moon ‘quirky, darkly comic, original and heartfelt’. It was also a Must Read in the Sunday Express and a Book of the Year at LoveReadingUK. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was described as ‘engrossing and captivating’ by the Daily Express. It also shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Novel of the Year and longlisted for the Polari Prize 2019. Call Me Star Girl hit number one on Kobo. It also longlisted for the Not The Booker Prize and won the Best magazine Big Book Award 2019. I Am Dust is out in 2020.

Links – WebsiteTwitterAmazon Author Page

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Deadly Secrets by Ann Girdharry @GirdharryAnn @rararesources #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Deadly Secrets by Ann Girdharry. Huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this suspense and thriller book.

Let me show you what it’s all about…

How long can you get away with murder?

In an idyllic Sussex town, Mr Quinn whispers a secret on his death bed. Hours later the person who cared for Quinn is killed.

Mr Quinn’s secret sets off events unlike anything Detective Grant and Psychologist Ruby Silver have ever seen.​

A series of deaths follow as a killer tries to cover their twenty-year trail of murder by drowning.

Grant, Silver and the team must track a killer who has been getting away with murder for years. But when treachery, corruption and secrets from the past are used against Sergeant Tom Delaney, the killer turns their attention to one of Grant’s own…

Purchase links – Amazon UK Amazon US

(UK link is an affiliate link)

Wow what a great synopsis, straight from the outset this book has an underlying sense of suspicion. The synopsis is intriguing and it hints at this story being a lot deeper than first meets the eye.

After a patient dies, the nurse who spent a lot of time with him is then found murdered. This is the start of a far darker secret, while it may be the start of the hnt for a killer, the killer has done this before.

I really enjoyed the pacing of this story, it is quite fast and this ikept me on my toes as I read. Given the fast pace I was given a lot of info but never once did I feel lost. There are some really good characters and some I immediately liked, there is a focus on some of them. One in particular has a very real connection to the case.

The story is set out so well and the author did a fabulous job of creating an addictive and suspense filled thriller. I was often wrong footed when I thought I knew who the killer could be, I say could be because I was wrong on several counts. The author craftily wove a web of mistrust, this resulted in me guessing and second guessing.

I liked this story a whole lot, it had the suspense and drama as well as a secrets from a cold case and a family in turmoil wanting clarification. A very clever and addictive read and one that I would definitely recommend.

Ann Girdharry is a British, crime thriller author.
She’s a trained psychotherapist and worked as a manager in the not-for-profit sector for many years.

Ann is an avid reader and her favourites are crime and suspense. She regularly talks about her favourite reads to her newsletter subscribers. She enjoys travelling and apart from the UK she’s lived in the USA (where her first daughter was born), Norway (where her second daughter was born) and she currently lives in France.

She was an ERIC HOFFER BOOK AWARD Finalist 2017.
Social Media Links –Facebook Twitter Website Goodreads

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The House on Rectory Lane by Stuart James @StuartJames73 @BOTBSPublicity @BloodhoundBoook #BOTBSPublicity #PsychologicalThriller #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The House on Rectory Lane by Stuart James. 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 me show you what this book is all about…

Jake and Kate live in London but after an altercation with a stranger who threatens Jake with a knife, they take their son and move to a house in the woods.
It’s their dream home, or so they think until people in the village warn them they shouldn’t have come.
Their neighbours are strange and when Kate sees a face at the window, the family realise they might be in danger.
When they find a tape hidden in the loft of the house, a video recording of the previous family who once lived there, it chills them to the bone.
They soon realise that the family living there before them have disappeared and they too could now be next.

What is the mystery surrounding the house on Rectory Lane? 

Jake and Kate are about to find out…

Well this book is definitely high on the creepy factor as it oozes drama and tension. Fed up with the smog, noise, traffic and smell of London the Morley family are looking for a new home. Their dreams come true when they find a stunning house in a nice village and in their budget.

Moving into a village is daunting and there are some odd comments from the locals. Their neighbours however seem nice, friendly and welcoming. Not used to living in an old house, they initially dismiss the sounds, but then Jake decides notices something rather odd while he is out on his morning run.

The tension and drama are great throughout this story, it is an edge of the seat read and one that I read in one sitting as I was not able to put it down. As I mentioned the creepy feeling was a constant and it is not until a lot later in the story that things start to connect.

Now when I started this book I hadn’t read the synopsis, I rarely do, so I was completely oblivious as to what it was about. This for me was great as it meant I went into the story completely blind. The author did a great job of drawing me in, adding intrigue and mystery along the way.

Now the ending, well I didn’t see that one coming and it was a cracking one and then there were the final concluding lines… well hell! Blindsided yet again!

If you like a psychological thriller that is full of mystery, suspense, intrigue and tension and you like a book that hit a quite a reasonable punch on the creepy-o-metre, then you should definitely pick this one up. A fabulous read that had me hooked and one I would definitely recommend.

I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.
There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breathe away.
I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns.
My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.
This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.

I started writing two years ago, penning The House On Rectory Lane.
I got the idea from something that has often seemed scary to me. I know that a terrifying story has to be something that you’re frightened of doing, something that makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck, something that fills you with dread, yet also with excitement.
To me, the thought of going to a house in the middle of nowhere, upping and leaving a busy town and moving to the country is something that scares lots of people and me: the seclusion, the quiet, the darkness.
That’s what inspired me to write my first novel.

My second thriller is called Turn The Other Way.
I have multiple stories running, past and present. A family who want answers from the surgeon responsible for their daughter’s death.
A young woman looking for her parents after they go missing from a party.
A couple driving home and hearing screams for help from the back of the van in front of them.
A serial killer on the loose in North London, dragging victims off the street.

I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.
My third thriller, Apartment Six, was published in January of this year. 

I’m 45, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing.
I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true. 

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The Cornish Connection by Amanda James @amandajames61 #mystery #Bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for The Cornish Connection by Amanda James. Regular visitors to my Blog will know that Mandy is an author who regularly features whenever she has a new book out, she is one of the authors who I will automatically read with out reading any synopsis. Yes she is that good!

So, let me show you what The Cornish Connection is all about…

Where extraordinary things happen…you’ll find Nancy Cornish

Nancy and Charlie Cornish are happily married and live in Padstow, Cornwall. Nancy works in the Whistling Kettle Cafe and Charlie is a DS in the Truro police. Charlie’s a down to earth Cornishman, while Nancy, seemingly an ordinary member of her community, has an extraordinary gift. She is able to make psychic connections with those who have passed, and objects belonging to those still living. 

Charlie mostly tries to ignore that aspect of his wife’s personality, he can’t abide all that ‘mumbo jumbo’ as he calls it. Then, out of the blue, Nancy leaves her job and decides her mission in life is to use her gift to help others. This is not what Charlie signed up for, and he lets Nancy know about his feelings in no uncertain terms. That is, until he realises she might be a very useful detective…

Helping Charlie find a missing teenager boost Nancy’s confidence, and makes her determined to continue her work. People come to see her because they want her to find a long-lost friend or relative, an object that is dear to them, or a pet who’s gone missing. Helping people find happiness is Nancy’s main aim. Charlie, however, wants her to help him solve crimes.
Will the couple find some common ground? Or will their connection be broken? 

The Cornish Connection – a beautifully told, thought-provoking and uplifting story. The perfect feel-good summer read!

Buy your copy HERE

What a wonderful read this was. This is a cosy mystery that has a psychic twist, now before you roll you eyes and go “this isn’t really my thing” let me tell you that even though it may not be “your thing”, it is however definitely worth making it “your thing” as this adds such a great twist to this highly addictive mystery read.

What this author has created is a story that is heartwarming as Nancy Cornish uses her psychic abilities to help people. Nancy is such a wonderful character and I loved that her husband is a sceptical copper. These two characters have been so well developed and I like that Nancy does seem to wrap him around her little finger just a little bit.

Nancy takes the plunge and opens her own business as a PI – Psychic Investigator, and she has some interesting success. There are a couple of cases that do have a more serious element and these have been done well. The cases that Nancy deals with are definitely human interest, well no they are more heartwarming as she delves into the mysteries that are laid out before her. They come in a variety of different guises and test her abilities.

The author uses the stunning Cornish scenery to great effect and I have said this before about her writing, and that is that the scenery she describes always transports me, yes I do have the advantage that I live in Cornwall but I haven’t been to all the places that are mentioned. I do however get a great sense of being able to see them and hear the sounds that she uses in her vivid and wonderful choice of words.

This is a stunning read and I think I have just read my favourite Mandy James book, I love the character of Nancy Cornish and just the whole feel of the book. There is a cosy mystery feel to the story but also a wonderfully heartwarming aspect, a touch of humour, basically all the right ingredients that make for a scrumptious read, oh and while I seem to have strayed into food, make sure you have plenty of cake close by as Nancy is also a fabulous baker and cakes are mentioned often!

The Cornish Connection is a book I would definitely recommend. And it gets better as this is the first book in a planned series 😍

Amanda James has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true.

Amanda has written many short stories and has ten novels currently published. Her time travelling debut – A Stitch in Time was published in April of 2013 and has met with great success.

Amanda lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the beautiful coastline near her home. Five suspense/mystery novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel and the Behind the Lie – April 2017 pub – HQUK ( HarperCollins) 2018 Another Mother, and Rip Current – Bloodhound Books. The Calico Cat – family drama/coming-of-age out now with Bombshell/Bloodhound.

Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

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Goldilocks by Laura Lam @LR_Lam @annecater #randomthingstours #Goldilocks #thriller #dystopian #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Goldilocks by Laura Lam. This is not the Goldilocks that you will know from childhood stories, this Goldilocks refers to a Zone deep in space…

Let me show you more about the book…

A bold, thought provoking and high-concept feminist dystopian thriller.


Ravaged by environmental disaster, greed and oppression, our planet is in crisis. The future of humanity hangs in the balance – and one woman can tip it over.


Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation.


It’s humanity’s last hope for survival, and Naomi, Valerie’s surrogate daughter and the ship’s botanist, has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity like this – to step out of Valerie’s shadow and really make
a difference.


But when things start going wrong on the ship, Naomi starts to suspect that someone on board is concealing a terrible secret – and realises time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared…

This book was more than just a story about space travel and sci-fi. For me it was about the relationships between 5 women who basically steal a space ship, as you do, to start a new base on a far distant planet, it is their relationships with each other that made the story work so well for me.

It is set in the future, Earth is dying, climate control has left harsh conditions, diseases are rife and ever-evolving strains are becoming harder to treat… this sounds terrifyingly real at this point in our lives.

The story is set out in a before and now style and is set out in shortish chapters as it flits between the times. They are very easy to follow as they have been marked with dates and days.

Women are gradually being side-lined as men take the first steps into space travel to potentially find a new world where the human race can begin again, and hopefully not make the mistakes of the past. The five women are scientists and experts in their field, they are the ones that know the ins and outs of Atlanta, a space hub that will take them to a new planet called Cavendish.

The story starts well and I gradually got to know the two main characters of Valerie and Naomi. Valerie is the expert and leader of the group, Naomi is the biologist who is tasked with growing the food in her lab and then on their new home.

With any group, no matter how small in size, there is going to be some questions asked. There will be one who wants to take the lead and make decisions, there will one who blindly follows, one that sits on the fence and one that asks questions and these roles are soon realised as the story unfolds. This brings mistrust and threatens plans and adds a thriller style to the story. The dynamics between the women is really interesting and I liked how the author wove it well into the story.

With the current climate in the world, this is going to be a book that many may shy away from. There are mentions of disease and climate change and these are so relevant at the moment as we look at unprecedented changes. But I have to say I really enjoyed this book, it does have a little politics, there is some science but as I mentioned earlier this for me was a story about how the roles of five women change over a period of time. There were also some shocks along the way that added tension to the story.

It was a story that I could have easily read in one sitting. I found it to be quite addictive as I became more aware of little things creeping in to cause uncertainty. I really enjoyed this and it is a story that is quite easy to read and therefore would suit a wider audience that may not necessarily look at this type of book or genre as being part of there usual reading. I enjoyed it a lot and I would definitely recommend it.

Laura Lam is the author of several science fiction books, including Radio 2 Book Club selection False Hearts. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in anthologies such as Nasty Women, Solaris Rising 3, Cranky Ladies of History, Scotland in Space, and more.
Originally from California, she now lives in Scotland with her husband, and
teaches Creative Writing at Edinburgh Napier University.

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