The Country Village Summer Fete by Cathy Lake @LakeAuthor @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders @ZaffreBooks #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Country Village Summer Fete by Cathy Lake. This was a gorgeous summery read and one that I adored.

My huge thanks to Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers and Zaffre for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my copy of this book.

A feel-good, uplifting summer read for fans of Heidi Swain and Cathy Bramley.

Emma Patrick’s life is spiralling out of control. On the cusp of her 50th birthday, she suddenly realises that she doesn’t have many meaningful relationships in her life. She’s single, successful, living alone and thinks she’s loving it, but being so focussed on work and always online means she’s lost any real connection to people.

When Emma gets a call to say her ageing father is becoming increasingly confused, she decides that she should go back home to the countryside to spend some time with him. But returning to Little Bramble, the village she grew up in, after all these years, is filled with complications of its own and people she’d rather avoid.

As Emma starts to settle in to her childhood home, she finds herself loving village life – much to her surprise. When the opportunity to get involved in the running of the summer fete comes her way, before she knows it she’s embracing jam making, cake baking and bunting. And with romance brewing, Emma begins to doubt the glamorous life in London that she worked so hard to build . . . 

My Review…

What a wonderful book this was as I got to know Emma as she returned to her childhood home of Bramble Village.

After finding herself wandering around a Tesco store at a ridiculous time of the morning she realises she needs a break from her life and career in London. She decides to return home when she hears her Dad has not been the best.

This was a wonderful story to disappear into for a few hours. A story that tells of how Emma had run away from the life that already seemed planned, instead of spending 30 years working hard, not fully embracing life and discovering she is running herself to the ground.

Being home opens old memories and brings heartache as she remembers things that have happened. She imagines people in the village will be hostile towards her and fears that the community has moved on. Things have indeed changed, but what makes the community is still there. The author brings a lovely sense of warmth, compassion and understanding to her village setting. A buzzing community with a sense of looking out for anyone who lives there.

This was such a wonderful read, it is a story of friendship and life, of family and friends. Moving on and accepting the past has happened but learning that it is ok. It is a story that had me smirking, feeling a sense of loss and also maybe the odd happy tear.

This is one for readers who enjoy a good bit of escapism reading, it has a lovely story with some friendly characters. It is one for contemporary romance and fiction readers and one that I would recommend. 

About the Author…

Cathy Lake is a women’s fiction writer who lives with her family and three dogs in beautiful South Wales. She writes uplifting stories about strong women, family, friendship, love, community and overcoming obstacles.

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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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Judas Horse by Lynda La Plante @ZaffreBooks @NetGalley @LaPlanteLynda #compulsivereaders @Tr4cyF3nt0n #crime bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Judas Horse by Lynda La Plante. It has been a while since I have read a book by this author and I was delighted to get a spot on the Blog Tour. My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.

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Not all killers can be tamed… The thrilling second book in the Sunday Times bestselling Detective Jack Warr crime series. 

Wild mustangs are difficult to rope, their lead stallion wary and protective of his herd. To capture that special stallion takes time. He is separated, roped, and lead back to the ranch. Once tamed, he is sent back into the wild. And before long, he will lead the entire herd back to the ranch. He is given the name ‘Judas Horse’. When Detective Jack Warr identifies an informer, the terrified man begins to give details of a massive robbery planned by a team of unscrupulous and dangerous men. These men have already orchestrated many audacious robberies, leaving terrified victims in their wake. And they have already killed to get what they want. Detective Jack Warr and his team must use their informant as a ‘Judas Horse’ to draw in the unsuspecting robbers, so that they go ahead with the planned robbery. However, one false move, and more blood will be spilled . . .

My Review…

This is the second book in the DC Jack Warr series and I can say it works very well as a standalone, I have not read the first one.

It has been a while since I have read any of this authors books, and I am delighted to see that she has lost none of her magic when it comes to writing. There is something mesmerising about her writing and the ability to draw the reader into a story so quickly.

Jack Warr is a character I already have a soft spot for. He is one of those intrinsically good guys, but there is something a little more to him. He shows not only great instincts when it comes to his work, but has a way with people, they either respect him or think he is above himself.

The story sees Jack join a team that has run out of ideas for a series of burglaries. Jack has superiors who believe in him and his abilities to get to the bottom of cases, so he becomes the ideal officer to send to the wealthy area of Chipping Norton.

The ability of the author to create such a complex and yet easy to understand the story is something else. There are layers upon layers to the story that seems to get deeper and deeper the further the story goes. It takes a while for all the threads to emerge and for them to get linked. This means the reader gets a wonderful story that is full of intrigue, plots, subplots and as if this isn’t enough there are some wonderful personal stories that have been woven in as well.

This was such a brilliant crime novel to read and has made me realise how much I used to enjoy reading this authors books. I thought that Jack was such a good character and is one that has more to him than meets the eye. I can’t wait to get to know him more. This is one for police procedural fans and lovers of crime thrillers. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it.

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Trust Me by T.M. Logan @TMLoganAuthor #TrustMe @ZaffreBooks #CompulsiveReaders @Tr4cyF3nt0n #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Trust Me by T.M. Logan. After reading a couple of this author’s previous books I knew this was one I wanted to read. My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous thriller.

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Two strangers, a child, and a split second choice that will change everything . . .

Ellen was just trying to help a stranger. That was how it started: giving a few minutes respite to a flustered young mother sitting opposite her on the train. A few minutes holding her baby while the mother makes an urgent call. The weight of the child in her arms making Ellen’s heartache for what she can never have.

Five minutes pass.
Ten.

The train pulls into a station and Ellen is stunned to see the mother hurrying away down the platform, without looking back. Leaving her baby behind. Ellen is about to raise the alarm when she discovers a note in the baby’s bag, three desperate lines scrawled hastily on a piece of paper:

Please protect Mia
Don’t trust the police
Don’t trust anyone

Why would a mother abandon her child to a stranger? Ellen is about to discover that the baby in her arms might hold the key to an unspeakable crime. And doing the right thing might just cost her everything . . . 

My Review…

Well, what a brilliant title this book has. “Trust Me” is just two little words, but when people tell you to trust them, can you really!

Ellen was only holding a baby for a fellow passenger on the train, just helping while an important phone call was being taken. An innocent act, and yet one that leaves Ellen in more danger than she had realised would be possible.

The thing the author has done with this story, apart from making it highly addictive, is to leave the reader wondering who to trust. Like Ellen, I was introduced to characters who all seem to have a reason for their actions. This act of asking for trust is one that is used to high effect throughout the story. The problem is is that when the main character, along with the reader, doesn’t know the full story. Hearing only one side of a person argument is one thing, but when it seems that every person’s version is slightly different it does make you wonder.

While I read the story I found myself changing my mind about who the main culprit was, as the author divulged more and more information like breadcrumbs. I do admit that I did get to the who, but I think this was down to a couple of clever sentences that the author gave. It wasn’t one of those “eureka” moments, more of an “I wonder if it was…” moment.

The pacing is really good and it does fit this style of story. It is not overly fast and this is ideal as all the pieces of the puzzle are tweaked until they finally fall into place. There are several things that are seemingly unconnected, but gradually they do link.

This is quite a tense thriller as Ellen tries desperately to discover the truth. It does have a police investigation that runs in the background, but the story focuses on Ellen involvement more. This is an intriguing read and its one that falls into the crime, thriller and mystery genre. It’s one I would recommend.

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The Captive by Deborah O’Connor @ZaffreBooks #NetGalley #psychologicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Captive by Deborah O’Connor. This is such a brilliant book and, well I’m going to stop there and show you what the book is about first…

Hannah knows the cage intimately. Small, the size of a shopping mall parking space. A bed, a basin, a table and chair. A hatch and metal drawer through which to exchange food and other items.

Then there’s him. Always there on the edges of her vision, no matter how hard she tries to block him out.

Every day, the same thoughts run through Hannah’s mind:

What if he speaks to me?

What if he hurts me?

What if he gets out?

My Review…

Oh, this is so good! I love the concept of this book and I have to say the author has done a brilliant job with weaving a story around a country with no prisons. Yeah, you read that right, No Prisons! What you have instead is a money-saving scheme by the Government, obviously, and the prisoners now live in a cell in the victims home!

I cannot think of anything worse than having to face the person who killed your partner or loved one on a daily basis. Or being their keeper, making sure they are fed, clean, have access to phone calls and basically being part of your everyday life. This is known as restorative justice. While I do understand victims wanting to voice their feelings to those who committed the crime, having them live their sentence out in your own home is taking things to the next level. I mean spending 20 years living together. This is what Hannah, the main character has to do with Jem, the man who murdered her husband.

I do think they are several routes the author could have gone with this plot, it is only now after I have read the book that I can see this though. I have to say that the author decided on a brilliant route and got me completely hooked in the story of Hannah, her life as it was and is now. Having Jem in the house when she works at home definitely would test anyone.

This is a book that has a basic synopsis, it gives you a simple idea and then the author works her magic. It has a chilling edge to it with loads of intrigue and it also kept me on my toes with changing attitudes as the story went further. I am not divulging anything more about the plot, even though I seriously want to!

I thoroughly enjoyed this one and it is one for those who like a domestic noir edge, who likes a book with a good sense of intrigue, mystery and that gets you thinking about possible scenarios after you have finished the book. I mean can you imagine being in lockdown under this system! Sorry I digress yet again!

Excellent concept, brilliant story and very definitely recommended.

P.S. I don’t think I have ever used so many !!!!!!’s in a review before!

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