My Week In Books w/e 17th March

So last week I managed to read 6 books. A good week for reading and a good week for reducing my NetGalley shelf to 14 now. Talking of NetGalley, I had a good peruse through and discovered that they send a weekly update for whats on my shelf. How had I missed this!!, it’s very handy because it lets you know if you have any books to download, how many are on your shelf to be read and also if a book on your shelf has been published.

I am also on Annual leave this coming week, and very pleased about that as well.

Wohoo GIF

I have not got anything planned on the blog, and I may not be as active on social media either. So taking time out and a chance to do a bit of long over-due Blogmin 😦

So let’s have a look at what I read shall we…

The Darkness by Ragnar Jonasson – I bought this one and read it straight away, normally I buy a book and it sits on my tbr for a while. The reason I read this as soon as it arrived through my letterbox was because I had a very nice email from Michael Joseph books inviting me to read the 2nd book via NetGalley.

I loved The Darkness, loved its main protagonist Hulda and you can read my full review HERE


34735409

The Island by Ragnar Jonasson – Is the second in the Hidden Iceland Trilogy, and it is different in some ways to the first but still has the same wonderful descriptive, atmospheric details that I am coming to expect from this author. Again this is another one that I absolutely loved and now I have to wait till 2020 until the final book is released… I have it on pre-order


40126422

The Rumour by Lesley Kara – I have had this on my TBR since it was first published and I bought the hardback while doing my weekly shopping. I quickly got caught up in the story, a simple rumour that turns this story head over heels. I completely got caught up in this very clever story that had turns I didn’t expect and when I got to the end well… Holy Shit Bags!!!!


40619089

A View To A Kilt by Wendy Holden – I received this one via NG, I really liked the idea of the story and it looked like a fun read. While I did enjoy this story and the humour, it didn’t quite hit my expectations, but I still read it and enjoyed it.


42192833

The Little Vintage Carousel by the Sea by Jaimie Admans – Oh just look at that cover, if that doesn’t cheer you up on a miserable march day then I dont know what will. The story inside is just as stunning as the cover, it had me smiling and smirking on many occasions, some fabulous facts that compliment a not so straight forward romance story.


43583301

The Afghan by Andrew Turpin – I have been a fan of this author and his main protagonist Joe Johnson for a while now. I have read the previous books in the series and now there is a prequel, so if you have not come across this author then this is the ideal place to start. It is a prequel to the first 3 books and is a link to the 4th book ‘Stalin’s Final Sting’ Reviews for both books will be on their way soon.


Well that’s it for another week.

Happy Reading Folks ! 😉 xx

The Darkness by Ragnar Jonasson #HiddenIceland #TheDarkness #review

Today I m delighted to be sharing my review for The Darkness by Ragnar Jonasson. This is a book from my own TBR and it is the first in the Hidden Iceland trilogy. Keep an eye out as I have also read the 2nd book, The Island and my review for that will be ready soon.

Anyway, how about we have a look at this very unusual set out trilogy, starting with The Darkness…

At sixty-four, Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdottir of the Reykjavik Police is about to take on her last case before she retires: A young woman, an asylum seeker from Russia, found murdered on the seaweed covered rocks of the Vatnsleysuströnd in Iceland.

When Hulda starts to ask questions it isn’t long before she realizes that no one can be trusted, and that no one is telling the whole truth. Spanning Reykjavik, the Icelandic highlands and the cold, isolated fjords, The Darkness is a thrilling new crime thriller from one of the biggest new names in Scandi noir.

This was such a great book and I was easily drawn into it. The story revolves around Hulda Hermannsdottir, she has a year to go before she retires from her job as a Detective Inspector with the Reykjavik Police.

Oh my god… what a slap in the face for Hulda, the treatment she received was so unfair and unjust and even now it makes my blood boil. Her decision to take on a cold case gave her so much more than she bargained for. I think I should explain this is going to be a bit of a random and vague-ish review beacause I don’t want to give anything away and spoil it for other readers…

This was such a fabulous read and one that appealed to me so much as I got to know Hulda. She is a bit of a loner, workaholic and I really warmed to her character. Her treatment by the police department is one of those that play on the “boys clique” within the workplace. Even though it made me angry it also worked to Hulda’s advantage… to a point… as it gave her a great case to look into. It is not however straight forward and she makes several waves.

During her investigations I got to learn about Hulda, her life, her family and what made her who she is. I got to know her story and discovered a lot more than meets the eye. She is tenacious and doesn’t like to leave loose ends.

The plot and the story for this book is absolutely brilliant. Told over three days and therefore in three sections, with quick and snappy sub chapters that keep the story moving along at a wonderful pace. The descriptions are atmospheric and add an eerie presence to the stark landscape. It has in someways a resemblance to Hulda’s character, cold, lonely and unforgiving. By the time I got to the end of the story I was stunned… well… wow…never saw that one…OMFG…

This is a brilliant book that I just absolutely adored. Atmospheric, chilling, tense and very addictive reading and a must for those who love Icelandic Noir, murder, mystery, crime, suspense… yeah just buy the book, the  2nd book, ‘The Island’ is just as awesome. As for the 3rd one ‘The Mist’ gotto wait until March 2020… I already have that on pre-order 🙂

And just in case you wanted to know if I would recommend it…. I Abos-flamin-lute-ly and most definitely would I recommend this book 🙂

Purchase link – Amazon UK

Image taken from Goodreads

Ragnar Jonasson is author of the award winning and international bestselling Dark Iceland series.

His debut Snowblind, first in the Dark Iceland series, went to number one in the Amazon Kindle charts shortly after publication. The book was also a no. 1 Amazon Kindle bestseller in Australia. Snowblind has been a paperback bestseller in France. 

Nightblind won the Dead Good Reader Award 2016 for Most Captivating Crime in Translation.

Snowblind was called a “classically crafted whodunit” by THE NEW YORK TIMES, and it was selected by The Independent as one of the best crime novels of 2015 in the UK.

Rights to the Dark Iceland series have been sold to UK, USA, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Australia, Poland, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Morocco, Portugal, Croatia, Armenia and Iceland.

Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he works as a writer and a lawyer. He also teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University and has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV-news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.

He is also the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir.

From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic.

Ragnar has also had short stories published internationally, including in the distinguished Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in the US, the first stories by an Icelandic author in that magazine.

He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik.

Visit Ragnar on – Twitter Website

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

The Tattoo Thief by Alison Belsham #review

I had the fortune to win a signed copy of The Tattoo Thief by Alison Belsham on the TBC Christmas giveaway. I had already bought a digital copy of the book after reading so many good reviews during the Blog Tour for the book.

So then, let us see what this book is all about then…

A policeman on his first murder case
A tattoo artist with a deadly secret
And a twisted serial killer sharpening his blades to kill again…

When Brighton tattoo artist Marni Mullins discovers a flayed body, newly-promoted DI Francis Sullivan needs her help. There’s a serial killer at large, slicing tattoos from his victims’ bodies while they’re still alive. Marni knows the tattooing world like the back of her hand, but has her own reasons to distrust the police. So when she identifies the killer’s next target, will she tell Sullivan or go after the Tattoo Thief alone?

This book is one that caught my eye when it was first released. This book is right up my street I have 3 small tattoo’s with a 4th in mind. And before anyone asks one at the top of each arm and one between my shoulder blades 🙂 so with this book being about a killer who removes tattoos how could I not resist.

This is so deliciously dark as unique tattoos are the target of the killer. It gradually emerges about specific tattoos and why they are being removed. This is told in quick chapters that alternate between Marnie, a tattoo artist, Francis the detective with Roy his next in command and the killer.

The story isn’t a straight forward murder inquiry, it is the main focus of the story but incorporated into this is quite a bit of stuff about tattoos. Some history and designs adds an extra point of interest and it has been done in a way as to become part of the story.

The character of Marnie is one I really liked, she becomes part of the story as she is the one who finds the first body. She is like a reluctant participant, but she also wants to help the investigator. She helps the new DI, Francis, and together they form a slightly unconventional partnership in his investigation. As this is his first time he has run and organised a case he is trying his hardest to get to the bottom of. Pressure from the powers that be hinder him in various ways and I felt so frustrated for him.

With the various threads there is a sense of tension from various sources and these come in various guises. The pressure to wrap the case up, the personal tension from Marnie and the fear and apprehension from the tattooing community and then the killer who has his own schedule add to the atmosphere. With skin crawling and goose-bumpy moments that kept me avidly turning the pages and kept me captivated.

I was so sure I had got the killer sussed out, then a bit later in the story another potential character could also have done it, yeah… I was wrong on both counts.

This is an atmospheric, dark crime thriller and is a suspense filled read that completely caught me in its spell. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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

One Law For The Rest Of Us by Peter Murphy #netgalley #review

Today I am delighted to be sharin my review for One Law For The Rest Of Us by peter Murphy. My thnaks to Oldcastle Books for my e-copy via NetGalley.

I have previously read a couple of books by this author, They were from the Walden series and I really enjoyed them, One Law For The Rest Of Us is very different from Walden and it is also the 6th in the Ben Schroeder series. I have not read any other books in this series and this one worked very well as a stand-alone.

When Audrey Marshall sends her daughter Emily to the religious boarding school where she herself was educated a generation before, memories return—memories of a culture of child sexual abuse presided over by a highly-regarded priest. Audrey turns to barrister Ben Schroeder in search of justice for Emily and herself. But there are powerful men involved, men determined to protect themselves at all costs. Will they succeed? Is there indeed one law for the rich and powerful, and one law for . . . ?

When I first read the synopsis for this book I was a little unsure given the subject matter of child abuse, reading further on in the synopsis gave indications of things I do like to read about. So it gave a balance that appealed to me and I decided to give it a go and I am so glad I did.

Initially there are two cases with this story, one from the 1940’s and one from the 1970’s. Audrey was sent to a boarding school during the blitz in the 40’s. While there she was abused but she cannot remember anything about it, her mind has blocked it out. When Emily tells her mum that she has been abused, Audrey’s memories suddenly come rushing back.

The story gradually tells the memories of Audrey and also her daughter as a trial starts. Witnesses, evidence, investigations and information gathering add to the courtroom process. This is not however a straightforward case as implications are far reaching. Manipulation and attempts to cover up and protect the guilty are rife.

This is not a single plot book, though it’s focus is on the mother and daughter case. There are many other things in the background and other characters make their presence felt. This book made my blood boil at times as I followed the interviews and trials.

This author has a lot of experience given his legal background, in this book it really shows. I did however feel that at times some of the protocols and processes were a little too much. I understand the importance of showing all the steps involved in a trial, with all the legal wranglings and decision making, but at times I did feel t slowed the story down occasionally. On the plus side it really did give an insightful glimpse into the traditions, wordings and requirements required in law.

At times this was a hard read, the scenes describing the abuse were uncomfortable, but they were not numerous ans were not glorified or dwelt upon too much. The main focus was on the fight for justice.

This story is a serious legal court room read, there are various legal aspects that are intense, it follows the fight for justice. This is a book I would recommend to people who prefer a more legally technical fiction read rather than a fast paced thriller. It is one I would definitely recommend.

Peter Murphy
Photo taken from the Author’s Amazon Uk page

Peter Murphy was born in 1946. After graduating from Cambridge University he spent a career in the law, as an advocate and teacher, both in England and the United States. His legal work included a number of years in The Hague as defence counsel at the Yugoslavian War Crimes Tribunal. He lives with his wife, Chris, in Cambridgeshire.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would me great 🙂 xx

Now You See Her by Heidi Perks @HeidiPerksBooks @arrowpublishing #NowYouSeeHer

Today I am delighted to be part of the Paperback Publication Day Celebrations for Now You See Her by Heidi Perks. My huge thanks to Rachel at Arrow Publishing for accepting my request to review this book and for sending me a paperback copy.

SHE WAS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. AND NOW SHE’S MISSING.

Unputdownable psychological suspense from an exciting new talent, perfect for fans of The Couple Next Door and I Let You Go.

NOW YOU SEE HER
She’s playing at the school fete with your children. You pull out your phone, scroll through Facebook, and look up again.
NOW YOU DON’T

Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.

Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable, tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.

Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.

Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.

HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO PUT THINGS RIGHT?

Well, now that synopsis got my attention! It did a cracking job of hinting what I would discover on the ensuing pages. It comes across as intriguing, it has an element of suspense and tension and it hints that there is more to this than meets the eye. Well by the time I finished the book I was right, it did have those elements and a whole lot more.

It’s told in a very easy to follow way with a now and before timeline that alternates between Charlotte and Harriet. During the now sections it is mainly the questions being asked during the police investigations. This has been very cleverly done and in such an ambiguous way. It wasn’t until I had finished the story that I realised how the questioning never let on about how the story panned out. The before sections tell the lead up to the disappearance of CCharlottes daughter and how she was supposed to be the responsibility of Harriet. It delves into the relationship and lives of the two mothers.

I had no idea how this story would pan out until the Author was ready to let me in it. I was really interested in the dynamic and backlash that became part of Charlotte and Harriet’s lives. Imagine losing a child, then imagine losing someone else’s child. The build-up of icy stares, cold shoulders and snubbing were on the ball for me. It showed how a parent automatically gathers her children to her to protect them regardless of being in receipt of all the facts.

This is a clever story that I was immediately invested and drawn into. The author did a great job of dealing with various emotions, she kept the story flowing and my interest deeply rooted in the story. It gave me several Oh! moments as realisations where dropped.

A fabulous psychological thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed. A story with quick chapters and a flow that fitted perfectly. It’s one I would definitely recommend.

Purchase a copy of Now You See Her – HERE

Heidi Perks was born in 1973. She lives by the sea in Bournemouth with her husband and two children.
Heidi graduated from Bournemouth University in 1997 with a BA (Hons) in Retail Management, and then enjoyed a career in Marketing before leaving in 2012 to focus on both bringing up her family and writing.
Heidi successfully applied for a place on the inaugural Curtis Brown Creative online Novel Writing Course and after that dedicated her time to completing her first novel, Beneath The Surface.
She has a huge interest in what makes people tick and loves to write about family relationships, especially where some of the characters are slightly dysfunctional. 
Heidi is now writing her second novel

Many thanks for reading my post,

a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Winters by Lisa Gabriele #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Winters by Lisa Gabriele. I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher Vintage Books before Christmas and I have finally got to it.

I have to say the cover for this book really does suit the story inside, condensated windows and roses…

So let’s see what it is all about…

An addictively suspenseful new novel set in the glamorous world of the New York Hamptons, about secrets that refuse to remain buried and consequences that cannot be escaped.

After a whirlwind romance, a young woman returns to the opulent, secluded mansion of her new fiancé Max Winter – a wealthy senator and recent widower – and a life of luxury she’s never known. But all is not as it appears at the Asherley estate. The house is steeped in the memory of Max’s beautiful first wife Rebekah, who haunts the young woman’s imagination and feeds her uncertainties, while his very alive teenage daughter Dani makes her life a living hell.

As the soon-to-be second Mrs. Winter grows more in love with Max, and more afraid of Dani, she is drawn deeper into the family’s dark secrets – the kind of secrets that could kill her, too.

Inspired by the classic novel Rebecca, The Winters is a riveting story about what happens when a family’s ghosts resurface and threaten to upend everything.

This book is inspired by Rebecca, a story I read many years ago, and though I cannot remember huge amounts about it, I do remember reading it and really, really enjoying it.

The setting for Gabriele’s story is the exclusive Hamptons area of New York, as well as the Grand Caymans. A whirlwind romance and being whisked away from scraping a living on the Caymans to the Hamptons should be a dream come true for the unnamed narrator. She tells how Max came into her life and turned it upside down.

Secrets are aplenty in this novel and so many of them caught me unawares. Secrets of the past and new ones promised not ever to tell are a heavy feature. It helps build up a sense of mistrust for pretty much all of the characters and left me unsure who I could actually believe. Were any of them telling the truth, were accusations based on fact, did anything anyone said true?

This story is descriptive and atmospheric and I did feel that it had elements I would expect in a story like this. Passages from the narrator helped build up a picture of her thoughts, feelings, worries, and concerns. I found that I was immediately hooked with a wonderful first line

“Last night Rebekah tried to murder me again.”

That line was brilliant, it had me intrigued to know more. What I discovered was a fantastically addictive read that had me wondering who Rebekah was. Wrapped up in the walls of Asherly are memories, memories of a family, a husband, a wife, a daughter, parties, friends, of heartbreak, loss, lies, deception and always lurking on the edge is the suspicion of danger. The narrator came across as intimidated and out of her depth, just as she was supposed to feel…

While I was reading this story I thought the narrator had a calmness to her, almost distracted and by the end of the book, I could understand this matter of fact-ness and distance that I felt. A story that I could have quite happily read in one sitting and that I would definitely recommend.

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

My Week In Books w/e 3/03/19

Well, February flew by and it saw a few little milestones. My Blog and Twitter account had their 2 year Anniversary’s and I celebrated my Birthday. My Blog hit 500 followers and I am immensely grateful to all my followers who share like and comment.

The weather was kind towards us by the end of the month and allowed me a chance to get into the garden and start making inroads into the veg plot. The weather lulled us into a false sense of security as we now have a Yellow Warning for high winds, it is raining, and the fire is lit again.

So now to the books I read last week. They are a very mixed bag I have to say, I do like genre-hopping.

I received a copy of Now You See Her by Heidi Perks from the publisher and my review will coincide with the paperback publication day. This is a fabulous psychological thriller.

The Cornish Lady by Nicola Pryce is for the upcoming Blog Tour. This is now the second book by this author that I have read. What makes this especially nice is that the setting of Truro and Falmouth are just up the road from where I live. A brilliant read and I look forward to reading the previous ones in The Cornish Saga series.

One Law For The Rest Of Us by Peter Murphy, I had read a couple of this authors Walden series. I wasn’t sure about this one given the subject matter, but my god I am so glad I did. So very different from Walden in so many ways.

Sleeper by J D Fennell is the first book in the series. I won a copy of the second book in a giveaway last year and decided to actually read this in order. What a great action packed read.

Finally The Tattoo Thief by Alison Belsham, again another book that I won in a giveaway and one that I had bought for my kindle. I loved this book a lot, a dark atmospheric crime thriller.

Five books read last week takes my total up to 40 for the year so far. Apparently, I am 7 ahead of schedule in the Goodreads challenge. Quite pleased with that.

I have had a few books drop through the letterbox this past couple of weeks. With the exception of Love, Unscripted by Owen Nicholls, ( the yellow one), that was another giveaway win, the rest I have purchased myself.

Killer Intent by Tony Kent is the first in this series and having read book 2 first I definitely wanted to read this one.

The 12 Dragons of Albion by Mark Hayden is the 2nd in The Kings Watch series, this is more of an urban fantasy series and after the first book, I definitely wanted to read more.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle is a series I have wanted to read for such a long time, so I decided on the trilogy book rather than individual ones.

Finally The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty, I saw this on Janel’s @keeperofpages Twitter feed and it looked good so I thought let’s give that a go as well.

Well that me for another week.

Happy reading 🙂 xx

The Blameless Dead by Gary Haynes @endeavourquill #review

Today I am delighted to be joining the Blog Tour for The Blameless Dead by Gary Haynes. My thanks to Hannah Groves at Endeavour Quill for the invite and for arranging my e-copy of this book. This is due for Publication in e-book and paperback on 18th March and is also available on kindle unlimited. Here’s the link.

In the dying days of World War Two, Pavel Romasko and his Red Army colleagues pick their way through the carnage and detritus of a dying Berlin. Stumbling upon the smoking remains of a Nazi bunker, they find something inside that eclipses the horror of even the worst excesses in the city above them…

As the war ends, retribution begins. But some revenge cannot be taken at once. Some revenge takes years.

And so it is, as post-war Europe tries desperately to drag itself back onto its feet, and soldiers attempt a return to normality, that retribution continues to ferment in the Gulags of the Soviet Union and beneath the surface of apparently ordinary lives.

Which is how, seventy years later, FBI agent Carla Romero and New York lawyer Gabriel Hall are enlisted to investigate a series of blood-chilling crimes that seem to have their roots in the distant past — even though the suffering they cause is all too present. And for one of them, the disappearance of young women is a particularly personal matter.

The Blameless Dead is an epic, compelling, edge-of-the-seat drama that sweeps the reader from twentieth-century Europe to modern-day New York, taking in some of the most important events of modern history and exposing them in honest and unflinching terms. Part murder-mystery, part historical novel and shot through with adrenaline-pumping action, this novel superbly demonstrates that, while the hostilities may cease and the peace be signed, the horror that is war is never really over.

The synopsis does a really great job of describing this book. It’s a story that starts at the end of WWII and finished 70 years later.

I found this to be a complex story and one that took me a little longer to read than usual for a book this length. It has two main timelines, with the appearance of a couple of others as well, these additional ones are very relevant to the story. The main timelines have been expanded on so it is not just a basic then and now. At the start of each chapter. It is obvious where you are as they start with the date and then through the rest of the chapter I was taken to different characters, subchapters if you like, and these began with the same day or the next day. This may sound a little confusing, but it really wasn’t, I always knew where and when I was.

The plot is one that I am struggling to define as such as I found there were many plots, but they also had a link. There are those from the past that have revenge to them and the more recent one is more about the discovery of the truth. The hints and what links everything gradually becomes more clear as the story goes on. The story is of human tragedy with the origins being in the past. It tells of wanting justice and the sense of what justice is depends on the relevant person. Revenge is also mixed in as well as a hunt for a missing girl. This leads to a very dark discovery.

There is a lot of historical detail in this book, it delves into the murky world of Secret Police, Russian and German involvement with political prisoners. While I am aware of secret police and their roles I am not that knowledgable about the numerous departments, but I did get the feeling that the author does know a lot or he has done a good deal of research.

This story is intense and shows the lengths people can and are willing to go. Revenge and guilt, as well as the road to truth, are definitely in play with this story.

This for me was a complex and intense story, it did require concentration and I did enjoy it. It took me a while to get the basics settled in my head and once that was sorted and I was then able to settle into the book a lot more and found it was quite a compelling read. If you like intense, dark crime thriller reads then I think this is one that you would enjoy, it has WWII atrocities, Russian and German Secret Police, that is a mix of murder/ mystery and historical fiction. It is one I would recommend.

Bestselling Thriller/Crime novelist published by HarperCollins/Endeavour Quill. Gary Haynes studied law at university before becoming a commercial litigator. He is interested in history, philosophy and international relations. When he’s not writing or reading, he enjoys watching European films, travelling, hillwalking and spending time with his family. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers Organization. 

Visist Gary on – TwitterGoodreadsWebsite

See what other Book Blogger think by following the tour

GIVEAWAY ON GOODREADS

Before I finish off this post…

There is a Giveaway being run on Goodreads to win 1 of 10 copies of this book. If you want a chance of winning a copy then follow the link HERE

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

The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon @orionbooks #NetGalley #review

I have followed this series from the very first book The Shadow of the Wind that was first published in 2001. The series is best read in order, but the author has stated that they can be read in any order, this final book does, however, wrap all the previous ones together.

I would like to thank Orion Publishing Group for accepting my request to review this book via NetGalley. As always my opinions are very much my own.

The Shadow of the Wind

The Angel’s Game

The Prisoner of Heaven

The Labyrinth of Spirits.

So let’s see what The Labyrinth of the Spirits is all about…

The long-awaited new novel from the author of the global bestseller and modern classic, The Shadow of the Wind.

As a child, Daniel Sempere discovered among the passageways of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books an extraordinary novel that would change the course of his life. Now a young man in the Barcelona of the late 1950s, Daniel runs the Sempere & Sons bookshop and enjoys a seemingly fulfilling life with his loving wife and son. Yet the mystery surrounding the death of his mother continues to plague his soul despite the moving efforts of his wife Bea and his faithful friend Fermín to save him.

Just when Daniel believes he is close to solving this enigma, a conspiracy more sinister than he could have imagined spreads its tentacles from the hellish regime. That is when Alicia Gris appears, a soul born out of the nightmare of the war. She is the one who will lead Daniel to the edge of the abyss and reveal the secret history of his family, although at a terrifying price.

The Labyrinth of the Spirits is an electrifying tale of passion, intrigue and adventure. Within its haunting pages Carlos Ruiz Zafón masterfully weaves together plots and subplots in an intricate and intensely imagined homage to books, the art of storytelling and that magical bridge between literature and our lives.

So this is the 4th book in The Cemetary of Forgotten Books series. It is an 800+ page book that I very easily found myself disappearing into. It pieces together the remaining pieces of past puzzles and wrapping them up.

This book has a darker feel to it than previous books, but it is a few years since I last read them. It didn’t take me long to remember certain characters and of course, remember how this author can wrap me up in his words.

Its roots are in Spain and I found myself once again drawn into the maze-like streets and atmosphere of Barcelona. An era of unrest and uncertainty as this is the time of Franco, Spanish Civil War, and nationalist airstrikes. The main characters are Daniel, the rather dramatic Fermin and our heroine Alicia Gris, there are many more other characters that have important roles to play but I will leave you to discover them yourself.

Alicia is trying to complete an assignment, at the end she hopes to be free of her role and start a new life. She is trying to discover the whereabouts of Mauricio Valls, not easy and definitely dangerous. In her investigations, she meets various other characters and the depth of the plot really does start to stand out.

The whereabouts of a mysterious author, Victor Mataix, the secrets of the Sempere family, the Cemetary of Forgotten Books, murder, kidnapping and a whole host of deception, tricks, and foul play are just the tip of the iceberg within the pages

The story itself is laid out in four interlocking stories that lead the reader through the labyrinth that is the story. Each section is intricately woven and leads from plot to plot. I found it easy to follow and though it has a great depth I found myself able to enjoy it a huge amount.

The thing about this book is the fact that it is essentially a multi-genre one. It has murder, mystery, history, suspense and thriller qualities. With everything going on in this book it may come across as being complex, but I found it flowed beautifully. With so many different plots and themes, I am really struggling to find the words to describe how amazing this book, in fact, the whole series has been. So I am going to break it down into basic words that immediately spring to mind when I think about this book…atmospheric, bewitching, heartbreaking, cryptic, dark, mysterious, complex, twisted, beautiful, historical, literary, fabulous, compelling, intriguing, and bloody brilliant…I think that sort of sums it up.

This is a book and a series I would absolutely highly recommend.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Image taken from the Author’s goodreads page.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a Spanish novelist. Born in Barcelona in 1964, he has lived in Los Ángeles, United States, since 1994, and works as a scriptwriter aside from writing novels.

His first novel, El príncipe de la niebla (The Prince of Mist, 1993), earned the Edebé literary prize for young adult fiction. He is also the author of three more young-adult novels, El palacio de la medianoche (1994), Las luces de septiembre (1995) and Marina (1999).

In 2001 he published the novel La sombra del viento (The Shadow of the Wind), his first ‘adult’ novel, which has sold millions of copies worldwide. Since its publication, La sombra del viento has garnered critical acclaim around the world and has won numerous international awards. Ruiz Zafón’s works have been published in more than 40 countries and have been translated into more than 30 languages. 

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

The Reach Of Shadows by Tony J Forder @TonyJForder #review

I am absolutely delighted to be bringing you my review of the 4th DI Bliss book, The Reach Of Shadows by Tony J Forder. I am a big fan of this author, I eagerly await the next book and one that I would automatically buy without reading the synopsis.

I was delighted to be chosen as a winner for a signed copy of this latest book in the series. I had already got this one on pre-order but waited until I had the actual paperback in my hand before reading it.

So let’s see what this latest book is all about…

Discover a bestselling crime series that will have you gripped from the explosive start to the heart-pounding conclusion.

Recovering from injuries sustained in a road collision, DI Bliss is taken directly from hospital to a fresh crime scene and ordered to investigate the vicious stabbing and murder of Jade Coleman.

When Bliss realises the victim had reported being stalked, and that two of his own team had been drafted in to take her statement, he is given the unenviable task of interviewing both of his detectives.

Increasingly it appears that the stalker may be their killer. However, several other people soon become part of the team’s suspect list.

Bliss also finds himself being questioned about his own past and has to battle to defend himself whilst continuing to investigate the murder.

Soon more questions arise.

Why would anybody target Jade Coleman?

Why are the team unable to identify the victim’s close female friend?

And why did Jade recently leave her job without any explanation?

With his work cut out, and his team under pressure, can Bliss solve the case before more victims show up?

Or will the shadows of his own past reach out and drag him under before he can succeed?

As this is the 4th in the DI Bliss and DC Chandler series I would say you really should read the previous books, though it could be read as a stand-alone. This series has gradually developed in terms of the characters and their own individual storylines. This book not only deals with a current investigation for the Peterborough based team it also delves into Bliss’s past, in fact delves, doesn’t even come close to it…

Bliss and Chandler are a great pair of characters and the author really does like to put the middle-aged DI through the wringer. Bliss is battered and bruised after a collision with a car, I have to say the banter that he received from his colleagues made me chuckle… sorry Bliss, but it did. Chandler is younger and really does look to Bliss for advice and I love that she is not averse to dishing out her own where he is concerned, especially when his personal life and past is called into question.

There are several other officers in this cast, they are making their mark in their own way, and while they are not in the forefront they do have their parts to play. Little snippets are gradually coming out about them, and also the build-up of respect and more importantly trust is ever increasing. I really do like Bliss and his “old timer” ways.

The investigation into the murder victim previously being in touch with the police is something that adds to the case. The “what if we could have prevented it” and also the “who can we blame” is present. It also has the whole team stumped as they have very little to go on with this somewhat of a lone woman, with very few friends to give valuable information to help the investigation move forward.

While this is going on there is another investigation, one that has its roots in the past of Bliss. It is an area of his past that he really does not want to get into again and to be honest I don’t blame him for wanting it left alone. But it does beggar the question…Does someone have it in for him? The answer…well Read the book and discover for yourself!

As this series goes on I get to know more and more about its 2 main characters. They have their own story to tell, they have been mentioned in the past and I now know more. By the end of the story, I felt as if the characters had actually got a chance to move forward, this is such a vague thing to say but I don’t want to give anything away. There have both had part of themselves hidden in the shadows and now they are starting to see some light, I do wonder how long this will last though…

This is a police procedural, murder mystery book. It has a pace that really suits the story, it is not fast paced, blood and guts flying type, it is slower as the head-scratching and information gathering sort as pieces of the puzzle are put together. I like how it is woven around the personal side of the main characters and I feel that both sides complement each other and I liked both of the stories equally.

So would I recommend? Oh yes absolutely!

Would I advise anyone who has not read the series to get it now? Damn, right I would!

In fact, here there are links below to all of Tony’s books. Happy reading folks!

Also available in the bestselling DI Bliss Series:

Bad to the Bone

The Scent of Guilt

If Fear Wins

The Reach Of Shadows

Or buy the 1st three-book set – (correct at time of writing ) 99p

Other books

Degrees of Darkness

Scream Blue Murder

Cold Winter Sun

Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling crime thriller series featuring detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first three books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, If Fear Wins and The Reach of Shadows.

Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This is a stand-alone novel, and delves into the mind of a serial-killer.

Scream Blue Murder was published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross, Matt Hilton and Anita Waller. The sequel, Cold Winter Sun, will be published on 1 November 2018.

Tony is now a full-time writer and lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK.

Visit Tony on – Twitter Website Facebook

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