I would like to say a huge thank you to Laura O’Donnell for inviting me on this wonderful, heartwarming book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you to Century for allowing me to read and review a paperback copy of this fantastic and lovely tale I am always grateful to be able to do this. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Abbie Greaves for creating such a lovable, flawed and yet believable character in which we can all see a bit of ourselves and ooff just I cried… big fat ugly tears that for me was for the character so thank you for allowing me to be so involved in the story. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Mary O’Connor has been keeping a vigil for her first lovefor the past seven years.
Every evening without fail, Mary arrives at Ealing Broadway station and sets herself up among the commuters. In her hands, Mary holds a sign which bears the words “Come Home Jim”.
Call her mad, call her a nuisance, call her a drain on society – Mary isn’t going anywhere. That is, until an unexpected call turns her world on it’s head. In spite ofall her efforts, Mary can no longer find the strength to hold herself together. She must finally face what happened all those years ago, and answer the question – where on earth is Jim?
This is one powerful, emotive and heartwarming book, and as soon as I read the first page I was hooked. We follow a woman in her thirties called Mary who seems to be floating through life and obsessed with waiting at a particular station for a guy called Jim. All straightforward so far, we also see that she works at a supermarket and also does night shifts for a charity phone in that helps people who just need a chat (a bit like Samaritans) and we see how she ekes out a living without actually being emotionally connected. Then she gets a call which shakes up her world and makes her see things differently and quite brutally sharp and clear. As this is happening in the present we also get to see glimpses of her when younger and how she met this guy called Jim and what may have happened. Did he die? or become ill? or did he just disappear….
What I loved about this story and how it evolves throughout the novel is, Mary the main character who you literally fall in love with and just want her to open up and see that she has more to offer and that other people are more deserving of her loyalty than the person that she is trying to show her devotion to. This is not just about broken relationships or finding yourself, its about how through every small incident and little failures how the story we tell ourselves can be quite different to what actually has happened. This focuses on the deep, mental scaring that can affect a person who would have been quite happy doing something else if they or the event hadn’t happened. It’s also about overcoming our mental block, as it were, and seeing the people that actually support us and have been there for us even when we didn’t see it, and for me Mary is such a heroine for us today especially when we are in the midst of this pandemic.
This also shows how mental health is an ongoing struggle, and that there is no magic wand to suddenly dispel the whole weighty cloud that can descend, but that over time and with help it can become easier to bare. For me Mary and Jim’s story is one which will touch many hearts and minds, and which will also make people aware that they are not alone in feeling this way.
If you cannot tell this book/story has touched me and I hope will make you want to pick it up and read it. This made me cry and laugh and made me feel known. This is a book that has to be read.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰… maybe a 🍪 or two.. this is such a book to sit and unwind. (Also get the tissues too you will need them)
Abbie Greaves studied at Cambridge University before working in a literary agency for a number of years. She was inspired to write her first novel, The Silent Treatment, after reading a newspaper article about a boy in Japan who had never seen his parents speak to one another before. She lives in Brighton with her boyfriend.
I hope you have enjoyed this wonderful, moving and heartwarming novel about unswerving loyalty and that sometimes understanding that you need to move on to heal from the past by reaching out to people who are there for you and only looking at what is happening in the present moment rather than the past and not seeing the cracks in the image you have conjured up to blur it. I fell in love with this book and all the characters you meet within its pages, this is a must read. If you want to know where to grab a copy for yourself, you can find this in Waterstone’s, any independent and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate on this intriguing, chilling and thrilling book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you to Garrison publishing for allowing me access to a digital copy to read and review. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Karen Taylor for creating such a fascinating and unique look into a serial killer with a fixation on beauty and art as well as literature taste. Intrigued? let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
A serial killer’s obsession with the preservation of beauty sees him return to stalk the streets of Penzance in the summer of 2019. It’s 23 years since his first victims went missing, setting DI Brandon Hammett on the hunt for the Sleeping Beauty Killer.
A beautiful woman is being held captive in an unknown location.
Although not physically injured, she is manacled to a chair in a darkened, sinister dining room. Her captor is polite but menacing. Her female companions silent spectators.
When a glass box is found in Prussia Cove, containing a conch and the ear of a missing beauty, a murder investigation is launched.
Is the Sleeping Beauty Killer back? Or is this a copycat killing?
What’s clear is an evasive, clever killer is at large, presenting DI Brandon Hammett with a deadly race against time…..
Wow, what a book. Seriously as soon as I picked up (my kindle) and turned the first page (digitally) I was hooked. There is something creepy, insidious and threatening within this excellent and page turning novel. The characters just burst from the page with vivacity and life. This story grips you and doesn’t let you go, I found myself wanting to get to the next chapter and the next just to find out what happens. This is not just any serial killer style thriller, this looks at how behaviours and incidents from the past can have huge impacts in the future.
I have always been fascinated by the dark inside of us all, that for some people it’s hard to ignore their compulsion to inflict hurt, pain and death on other people (such as women, children and sometimes other men). This book is brilliantly written with a cat and mouse game between the victim and her abductor, abuser (mentally not physically) and alongside these scenes are how the investigators (the policemen and women) try to figure out what is going on and who is behind these depravities. I loved how it uses fairytale elements such as, gruesome objects in glass boxes with hints and clues scattered with them. One such is found near to a place called Gingerbread house lane, such clever plot devices always makes for an intriguing and compelling novel. I also loved that it was set in Cornwall, though due to the feel of the serial killer it felt very American in feel and yet I still believed in both the mystery and crime.
This story evokes Hannibal Lecter with a particular scene that just chills you to the bone and makes you shudder in anticipation and horror. If you are looking for a crime/thriller book that will haunt you and grip you, this is one book that will do it for you.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰…. maybe a few 🍪 a or two.
Karen Taylor is a University of East Anglia alumni crime writer, whose latest novel Fairest Creatures was long-listed for the 2020 Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger.
Before turning to crime, Karen wrote a series of children’s books and short stories. Her middle grade Sci-Fi novel Turbulence was shortlisted at the Winchester Writers Festival, alongside a novella and a short story. Her YA thriller Off The Rails won her a place in the Dragon’s Den at the London Book Fair in 2016.
Born and raised in London, Kate is also a journalist and editor with wide ranging experience, covering anything from business to lifestyle. She’s worked on trade, corporate and association publications, run international news teams, and contributed to newspapers and magazines including The Financial Times, The London Evening Standard, The London Magazine, The Independent, and The Far Eastern Economic Review. Her first thriller The Trade, published by Endeavour Press, was inspired by her globe-trotting years as a commodity markets reporter.
I hope you have enjoyed this dark, twisted and thrilling journey into the darker side of humanity where beauty is only skin deep, but for others the ideal is just out of reach if only they could acquire more to ease their ache… If you want to know where you could grab this for yourself you can find this on Waterstones and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!!
Wow what a year we have had!! At the start of the year it still felt like 2020 hadn’t let go of us all just yet, then gradually we slowly started to get back to a (sort of) normal way of life (with masks and social distancing). Summer came round and yes there were still cases and yes a lot of people were working from home, there was a sense of optimism. And now its the end of 2021 and Christmas has come and gone and we all feel a bit full and even if the news is churning out doom and gloom, we have books to help us feel, loved warm and safe (or scared and terrified whichever you like that gives you pleasure). So what delights are coming to lift the blues of yesterday behind and into a New Year? Here are just a few of the books coming out in January (I wish I could show you all the books published, but I can’t due to me working and well not living in a book fortress, though *whispers* that is a dream lol). I would like to say here thank you to all the publishers and publicists for gifting me their treasures for me to read and review, I only started this blog 2 years ago and to feel that I have kept something like this up and still loving what I do is a privilege and I am honoured that you, lovely readers like to read my thoughts on stories that take us to another world, time and space. Thank you to the authors, that slave away on computers to give us our escapism and comfort in a harsh world so thank you.
Hare House by Sally Hinchcliffe, Hardback £14.99, published by Mantle.
So yes, you will have noticed something odd…. This book is not in the main photo.. I can explain. Basically I forgot about this one, which is entirely my fault lol. So here it is in pride of place (I will hide my blush of shame). I have not yet got round to reading this book as yet (It will be read as soon as this blog is published you have my word lol). What I can say is this book is going to haunt you and will take over your heart and mind, just like Laura Purcell and Elizabeth Macneal. Don’t believe me? let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.
A young woman arrives in Scotland, looking to escape the shadows of her past. Moving into one of the cottages on the remote estate of Hare House, she begins to explore her new home and it’s beautiful, wild surroundings…. But Hare House is hiding something sinister and as winter draws in, with snow falling soft and heavy, its dark history of grief and madness begins to emerge….
This is one book not miss out next year, Look out for a small review of this book coming soon. If you would like to know where you can grab your hands on a copy you can find this on Waterstones, any independent shop or even on Amazon. I would recommend you checking out your local independent book shop first as they will need as much custom as they can, if you are not sure if you live near one I can recommend Bert’s Books and Fox Lane Books to name a few. Now lets head to the next jewell that will also be out on this date.
Wahalia by Nikki May, Hardback £14.99, published by DoubleDay
This is going to be huge!!! and honestly you will not want to miss this fantastic and hot book. I have read this and just found joy, lots of delicious food, malicious every day, heart stopping racism that only woman of colour will really understand and a whole host of characters that you will love, cherish and just want to be around. This story is needed right now and these characters will take your heart and give you back sunshine and of course drama!!! you want a bit more detail? ok, let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Ronke, Simi, Boo are three mixed-race friends living in London.
They have the gift of two cultures, Nigerian and English.
Not all of them choose to see it that way.
Everyday racismhas never held them back, but now in their thirties, they question their future. Ronke wants a husband (he must be Nigerian), Boo enjoys (correction: endures) stay-at-home motherhood; while Simi, full of fashion career dreams, rolls her eyes as her boss refers to her urban vibe yet again.
When Isobel, a lethally glamorous friend from their past arrives in town, she is determined to fix their futures for them.
Cracks in their friendship begin to appear, and it is soon obvious Isobel is not sorting but wrecking. When she is driven to a terrible act, the women are forced to reckon with a crime in their past that may just have repeated itself.
If you are not hooked on this book and are now currently trying to pre order this book then what are you waiting for!!! go and get it now!!! lol. This is one book that is going to fly off the shelves, it sizzles and fizzes with drama and some good friendship dynamics and that no matter what happens, food and friendships will last the test of time. If you are wanting to get your hands on this (obviously pre order) you can order it from Waterstones, any independent and of course on Amazon. As I have mentioned above please go to your local bookstore and support them or if you don’t live to a local one but would still like to support an independent then please check out Bert’s Books and Fox Lane Books they are absolutely lovely. Onto the next gem coming out in January.
1794: The City Between The Bridges by Niklas Natt Och Dag, Hardback £14.99, published by Baskerville
If you haven’t read the first in this intriguing, thrilling series then don’t worry neither have I (that will be rectified this year) and though it does mention characters from the previous book there’s no hint or spoiling of what happened, all you know is the aftermath and of who is left around and a new case to puzzle over for two wretched characters. I have read this book and I found it utterly compelling, strange and beguiling. Its at once depressing, gloomy and heartrending and yet still filled with sharp wit and humour. This will also be another big hit in the Crime/Thriller genre and if you are a fan go and pre order this now!!! if you want a little tease about this book, let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.
The year is 1794. A young nobleman, Eric Three Roses, languishes in hospital. Some think he would be just at home in the madhouse across the road. Ridden with guilt, he spends his nights writing down memories of his lost love who died on their wedding night. Her mother also mourns her and when no-one listens to her suspicions, she begs the aid of the only person who will listen: Jean Mickel Cardell, the one armed watchman.
Cecil Winge is six months in the ground but when his younger brother Emil seeks out the watchman to retrieve his brother’s missing pocket watch, Cardell enlists his help to discover what really happened at Three Roses’s estate that night. But, unlike his dead brother, the younger Winge is an enigma, and Cardell soon realises that he may be more hindrance than help. And when they discover that a mysterious slave trader has been running Three Roses’s affairs, it is a race against time to discover the truth before it is too late.
I have no words to describe how utterly enthralling and compelling this book is and if that little tease doesn’t make you want to buy (pre order) this I don’t know what will. I will warn you it is quite shocking and brutal but only due to the harshness of the times. If this makes you want to grab this book now you can order this on Waterstones, any independent stores and of course on Amazon. Please see above for where you can go if you do not have access to a local independent book shop. Don’t hurry away just yet there are more goodies in store.
The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett, Hardback £14.99, published by Viper
If you haven’t read The Appeal yet I would urge you to do so, though there is not a link to this book none of the characters are the same or even the story, I urge you to read it because it is such a unique and brilliant Crime novel. And this one is set to be the same, I loved The Appeal, due to how it’s set out and just how captivating the story was, and if this next one is to go by it is even better. What is similar between this book and her previous one is I guess the unique style of setting out the story, in the appeal it is text messages and emails and letters, with The Twyford Code there are transcripts of an audio and a code to decipher all set within solving a mystery. I love this author’s wit and sense of fun, you just have to trust me and just pre order this book now!!!. Don’t worry I will do a blurb so you have something more than just my waffle lol.
It’s time to solve the murder of the century…….
Forty years ago, Steven Smith found a copy of a famous children’s book by disgraced author Edith Twyford, it’s margins full of strange markings and annotations. Wanting to know more, he took it to his English teacher Miss Iles, not realising the chain of events that he was setting in motion. Miss Iles became convinced that the book was the key to solving a puzzle, and that a message in secret code ran through all Twyford’s novels. Then Miss Iles disappeared on a class field trip, and Steven has no memory of what happened to her.
Now, out of prison after a long stretch, Steven decides to investigate the mystery that has haunted him for decades. Was Miss Iles murdered? Was she deluded? Or was she right about the code? And is it still in use today?
Desperate to recover his memories and find out what really happened to Miss Iles, Steven revisits the people and places of his childhood. But it soon becomes clear that Edith Twyford wasn’t just a writer of forgotten children’s stories. The Twyford Code has great power, and he isn’t the only one to solve it…..
This is one I have not managed to read (yet) but do not fear it is on my TBR pile (well maybe fear it actually as my pile is getting alarmingly towering lol). But I can guarantee you that you will not be disappointed when you read this book. So please pre order this unique and compelling crime/mystery novel… can you solve the code? if you want to know where to acquire this you can purchase this from Waterstones, any independent stores and of course from Amazon too. Don’t worry there are still more delights in store in January.
The Christie Affair by Nina De Gramont, Hardback £16.99, published by Mantle
We all love and are fascinated by the most beloved of all Golden Age Crime Authors, Agatha Christie, and not just because of her devious and murderous mind which created Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, but also her life was one of fascination and intrigue especially the days when she vanished….. sounds like a novel she would write? well it did actually happen and though this book is fiction and should not be treated as gospel there are still mysteries that surround this case and just for a moment reading this you can visualise the characters and setting and feel a soupçon of what if this was true. The author has created a character that shines a new light on Agatha Christie at this time and what could have caused her to vanish and not tell anyone. If you are a fan of mysteries, especially those written by the Queen of Crime, then please pre order this book now, you will not regret it. All it leaves me now is to give you the blurb, to see whether you are tempted to acquire this, and I am very sure you will be.
In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days. Only I know the truth of her disappearance.
I’m no Hercule Poirot.
I’m her husband’s mistress.
Agatha Christie’s world is one of glamorous society parties, country house weekends, and growing literary fame.
Nan O’Dea’s world is something very different. Her attempts to escape a tough London upbringing during the Great War led to a life in Ireland marred by a hidden tragedy.
After fighting her way back to England, she’s set her sights on Agatha. Because Agatha Christie has something Nan wants. And it’s not just her husband.
Despite their differences, the two women will become the most unlikely of allies. And during the mysterious eleven days that Agatha goes missing, they will unravel a dark secret that only Nan holds the key to……
If you are an Agatha Christie fan, I know that a lot of you will have this either on your wish list or have already pre ordered this, but if you are not but love the crime/thriller/mystery genre this will definitely be up your street too. If you want to know where you can pre order this beauty you can find this on Waterstones, any independent stores (I would recommend this as there is a gorgeous edition if you do) and of course on Amazon. Don’t worry there is still more!!! honestly I am spoiling you right now lol.
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers, Hardback £20.00, published by 4th Estate.
This gorgeous, beautiful, haunting and heartbreaking book is a wonder to read (I am currently reading this and its a joy to behold and beautifully written) this is an epic told through generations of a family through slavery, freedoms, to racism and feeling of otherness during americas fraught years of the 1950’s and onwards even to present day we follow the lives, joys, sorrows, pain and heartache that these characters suffer and through this we realise that this could also be the voice or voices of the people today and yesterday. And that what we all need to do is to look and acknowledge what we have done to each other and how to move on and be stronger together and whether there is hope for us all to love one another. Seriously this book is a tearjerker and I will say this now, that i can see this being a huge hit, don’t take my word for it, Oprah’s gone and put in her book club (you had better pre order this one too). So to the blurb to find out a bit more information.
The great scholar, W.E.B. Du Bois, once wrote about the Problem of race in America, and what he called ‘Double Consciousness’, a sensitivity that every African American possesses in order to survive. Since childhood, Ailey Pearl Garfield has understood Du Bois’s words all too well.
Ailey grows up in the north of the City but spends summers in the small Georgian town of Chicasetta. From an early age, she fights a battle for belonging made all the more difficult by a hovering trauma, as well as the whispers of women – her mother, her sister and a maternal line reaching back centuries -that urge her to succeed in their stead.
Ailey embarks on a journey through her family’s past, uncovering the shocking tales of generations of ancestors – indigenous, Black, and White, – in the deep South. In doing so she must learn to embrace her full heritage, a legacy of oppression and resistance, bondage and independence, cruelty and resilience that is the story – and the song – of America itself.
Honestly this book is going to be huge and devastating in its brilliance and its sudden heart-wrenching poetical way with words. I urge you all to go out and pre order this just so you too can shed loads of tears and waste loads of tissues lol. If you want to know where you can get hold of this atmospheric book you can find this on Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. Don’t hurry away just yet… there are still more delights in store.
A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindler, Hardback £14.99, published by Century.
I was so excited to receive this beauty from the lovely Century team, and I cannot thank them enough, this book has everything I love, detectives (check), locked room style mystery (check), mystery on board a boat (check) loads of delicious suspects (check). If this doesn’t make you want to pick it up and read it from the first page to last (nor the sumptuous cover) then let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.
November 1924, The Endeavour sets sail to New York with 2,000 passengers – and a killer – on board…….
When an elderly gentleman is found dead at the foot of a staircase, ship’s officer Timothy Birch, is ready to declare it a tragic accident. But James Temple, a strong minded Scotland Yard Inspector, is certain there is more to this misfortune than meets the eye.
Birch agrees to investigate, and the trail quickly leads to the theft of a priceless painting. It’s very existence is known only to its owner…… and the dead man.
With just days remaining until they reach New York, and even Temple’s purpose on board the Endeavour proving increasingly suspicious, Birch’s search for the culprit is fraught with danger.
And all the while, the passengers continue to roam the ship with a killer in their midst…..
Can you see why I am excited about this fantastic sounding book, it feels like its sprung straight from the pen of Agatha Christie or any of the greats of the Golden Age of Crime. I would urge you once again (yes I will make sure you have created a book fort at home lol) to pre order this book, you will not regret this purchase. As you can tell I have not got round to reading this yet, but fear not it will be as soon as possible and I really cannot wait. if you are wanting to know where to purchase said book from you can find this on Waterstones, any independent store, and of course on Amazon. And there is still more…. I hope I warned you that this was a big one… if not lol now you know.
Violeta by Isabel Allende, Hardback £16.99, published by Bloomsbury.
This is another gifted proof copy from Bloomsbury (with whom I always appreciate their tireless marketing and publishing team and my gratitude as ever for being able to read and review said copy). This is a beautiful story, and one that is also on my to read list, I have always loved Isabel Allende’s writing style mainly from reading Zorro and The Ripper, which of course she has grown over time. I would urge you once again to have a look and to also pre order this wonderful book, if the last few haven’t picked your fancy then I hope this one will. Let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.
One extraordinary Woman.
One hundred yearshistory.
One unforgettable story.
Violeta comes into the world on a stormy day in 1920, the first daughter in a family of five boisterous sons. From the start, her life is marked by extraordinary events, for the ripples of the Great War are still being felt, even as the Spanish flu arrives on the shores of her South American homeland almost at the moment of her birth.
Through her father’s prescience, the family will come through that crisis unscathed, only to face a new one as the Great Depression transforms the genteel city life she has known. Her family loses all and is forced to retreat to a wild and beautiful but remote part of the country. There, she will come of age, and her first suitor will come calling.
In a letter to someone she loves above all others, Violeta recounts devastating heartbreak and passionate affairs, times of both poverty and wealth, terrible loss and immense joy, and a life shaped by some of the most important events of history; the fight for women’s rights, the rise and fall of tyrants and, ultimately, not one but two pandemics. Through the eyes of a woman whose unforgettable passion, determination and sense of humour will carry her through a lifetime of upheaval.
Wow if this does not tempt you to buy this breathtaking book, then I am sorry if what i have written has not done this book justice. This beautiful and sweeping story of a woman through the ages of history and how her life is shaped, changed or altered by these events has me utterly mesmerised and hooked and I cannot wait to delve into its pages, and I hope you do too. If you want to know where you can pre order this beauty you can find this on Waterstones, any independent stores and of course on Amazon. Don’t go just yet….yes there is still more!!! I did warn you… so grab a cup of something warm, pick up something sweet, savoury and snuggle down to read more delights coming in January.
The Last House on The Street by Diane Chamberlain, Hardback £20.00, published by Headline
Ok I may…may have screamed when this came through the post last year (I say that whilst writing this in 2021 and it will be published in 2022… yeah I feel… odd lol) but seriously anyone who is a fan of Diane Chamberlain will understand my reasons. And oh boy this is another treat lined up for me to read and I just cannot wait. If you love your thrillers, your crime set in suburbia this is one for you. Let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.
1965. A young white female student becomes involved in the fight for civil rights in North Carolina, falling in love with one of her fellow activists, a black man, in a time and place where an interracial relationship must be hidden from family, friends and especially the reemerging of the Klu Klux Klan. As tension rise in the town, she realises not everyone is who they appear to be.
2010. A recently widowed architect moves into the home she and her late husband designed, heartbroken that he will never cross the threshold. But when disturbing things begin to happen, its clear that someone is sending her a warning. Who is trying to frighten her away, and why?
Decades later, past and present are set to collide in the last house on the street……
Yes this is another treasure which I lay before you to peruse at your leisure and hope that this attracts your wandering eye and basically persuades you to spend your cash on this brilliant, thrilling and twisty-turny book. I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves crime/thrillers and one with a past/present divide that will come together in a clash of arms. If you are tempted and not sure where to go, You can find this on Waterstones, any independent store, and of course on Amazon. Hold your horses, there is still more to come, yes I know my fingers are bleeding at this point (not really but I do like to exaggerate lol).
Free Love by Tessa Hadley, Hardback £16.99, published by Jonathan Cape.
This book is absolutely brilliant in looking at relationships in the 1960’s where a woman finds that she needs to escape her boring, suffocating middle age life of stay at home mother, making sure the family are looked after whilst the husband is able to leave and head to work. What happens is so strange and odd, the woman (mother) runs off with a younger man and lives the life she feels has been missing from her life for ever, and so it opens her eyes to free love. I found this story at times so compelling, alluring and shocking, my sympathies did not lie with the main character as I am sure it was intended but with her family who are left behind to try and pick up the pieces of what she has destroyed in her wake. I would highly recommend this book to anyone it is a fantastic read. Let’s head to the blurb so that you can have a bit more information.
1967. While London comes alive with the new youth revolution, the suburban Fischer family seems to belong to an older world of conventional stability: pretty, dutiful, homemaker Phyllis is married to Roger, a devoted father with a career in the Foreign Office. Their children are Colette, a bookish teenager, and Hugo, the golden boy.
But when the twenty-something son of an old friend pays the Fischer’s a visit one hot summer evening, and kisses Phyllis in the dark garden after dinner, something in her catches fire. Newly awake to the world, Phyllis makes a choice that defies all expectations of her as a wife and a mother. Nothing in these ordinary lives is so ordinary after all, it turns out, as the family’s upheaval mirrors the dramatic transformation of the society around them.
I have to admit, this insight into lives being torn apart by someone wanting to experience life and living a sort of free existence, made me feel all prim and proper (lol) and a bit uncomfortable, which is the point of that time period. I couldn’t feel much sympathy for Phyllis and found her a bit wishy washy and selfish and naive to the point she doesn’t look after her daughter all that much and seems to forget that she had a son, who understandably tries to forget her and shuts her out from his life. So my sympathies lie with her husband and the aftershocks that spread out from what she did, there is also a very greek classic tragedy running through this plot as well… but I won’t spoil that and will see whether you notice what that could be. If you are wanting to grab a hold of this book (pre order!!!) you can find this on Waterstones, any independent stores and of course on Amazon. I am sure you are now starting to feel a bit caged and wanting to pre order or put on your wish lists these beauties… but just hold on as the last book (which I have been sent and no of) is coming up.
Little Wing by Freya North, Hardback £12.99, published by Welbeck.
This is another proof copy which I am incredibly grateful for to read and review this marvellous and heartbreaking book, (I warn you, this book needs a tissue warning lol). I would urge anyone to please pre order this wonderful book, and if there is anyone who is a fan of Freya North, you will not be disappointed. It is filled with sympathy and empathy of characters who have had choices taken away from them due to society and family’s decree at a time when any shocking events happen. I have to admit I am currently in the process of reading this, but it’s absolutely brilliant and I can see this being another huge hit this year. Let’s head to the blurb to see what you think.
In the 1960’s, a pregnant 16 year old is banished to one of the remotest parts of the UK. Years later, Nell and Douglas are both at critical moments in their lives when their paths cross. Between Camden, Colchester and the Outer Hebrides, the three story lines collide when secrets are uncovered and answers sought.
This is one book that is soul searching and searing in its writing. What I have read so far has been intriguing and compelling and from the sounds of it there are more secrets to uncover. This is another book out of the many I have already shown you that will leave you feeling emotionally wrought and yet also filled with a sense of peace and joy. And all these books on this little blog of mine is only a tiny handful of what is coming this month!!! I wish I could also highlight the many great authors from independent publishers but that would seriously handicap me as there are so many gems coming out. I would direct you though to Orenda books, Red Dog Press, Dead Ink Books and Red Door Publishing to name but a few. So if any of these beauties head into your trolleys this month then you are all in for a treat no matter if its, Crime, fantasy, general fiction, historical fiction or even a dash of Romance. Whatever takes your fancy it can only do your mind good, and if anything this year we all need a place to chill and sit back and contemplate and of course Read!!!.
I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all the publicists I have become acquainted with over these two years of my blog and to all the publishers who have been supportive and just absolutely lovely I am grateful to you all for being so welcoming to another book addict. I would also like to say a massive thank you to all the book tour organisers such as Random Things Tours (Anne Cater) for helping me and being just wonderful in guiding me under your wing and allowing me to take part on your tours, thank you also to Rachel Random Resources to for the same reasons and also huge thank you to Tracy Fenton for allowing me to help out and be a part of your blog tours too and finally thank you ZoeLoo Book Tours for some wonderful and brilliant tours which I wouldn’t have noticed if not for you so thank you. I would also like to say thank you as well to TheWriteReads for your wonderful support and inclusion into your fabulous tours too. And finally but by no means least a huge thank you to my wonderful, lovely amazing superwoman, my friends, my family my SquadPods ( you know who you are) without your support, friendship and love I would not be the blogger/reader or woman I am right now in 2022!!! I love you all so much and I hope this blog does you justice. So I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and Happy New Year and lets hope 2022 is a cracker of a year.
Publication Date: 23rd December (Out in paperback now)
Formats: Paperback & Ebook
Price: Pb £9.99/ Ebook £1.99
Publisher: Spellbound Books
I would like to say a huge thank you to Zoe of ZooosBookTours for organising such a unique and thrilling book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you to Spellbound Books for allowing me access to a digital copy to review, I am always extremely grateful to be able to do this. I would also like to say a massive thank you to the creative talent, Maria Hoey, for creating this chilling, thrilling and gripping crime thriller. Intrigued? Let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Six Women hunted, one by one:
Each receives a copy of an old school photo, in which their own face has been savagely scratched out. Withinthree weeks, two of them are dead.
A detective in a race against time:
Known to her colleagues as The Hound, DS Tina Bassett, believes the women were all murdered by the same person. Someone out there is hunting down the class of ‘98’.
As the death toll continues to rise, DS Bassett, desperately delves deeper into the pasts of the womento help uncover the true catalyst to the unfolding rampage in the present.
Will she succeed in stopping a killer hell bent on having their revenge?
Or will the class of ‘98’ finally pay their price…….
This is a good, unique and original crime/thriller I have read in awhile. The plot lures you in and grips you right from the start, a group of women whose pasts hide a terrible secret, find that their past is catching up with them and that there is a terrible reckoning to face…. Their own deaths.
Which all starts with them all receiving a school photo with each of their faces scratched out. As the plot twists and turns with each page you turn, and as the detective tries to play catch up you also find that you too are caught up in wanting to know who is the mastermind behind all this and what the story is. I will admit now that there were moments some of the characters behaviour odd and the plot at times could lose its way a little bit. But it did hold and grip my interest right up till the last page was turned. If you are looking for a unique and gripping crime/thriller look no further than this beauty.
Ratings: 4 ⭐️s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Maria Hoey is an author and poet from Dublin, Ireland. Her poetry has appeared in Ireland’s foremost poetry publication, Poetry Ireland. Her short stories have featured in various publications and been shortlisted for a number of awards.
In 2017, Maria’s debut novel, The Last Lost Girl was published by Poolbeg Press, and went on to be shortlisted for the Kate O’Brien Debut Award 2018.
Maria’s second novel, On Bone Bridge was published by Poolbeg in 2018. She has also had a book for children published by Poolbeg in 2019, The Little Book of Irish Saints.
Bad Sweet Things was published in 2021 and listed in the Amazon Kindle Bestseller chart (Irish Crime).
Maria has one daughter, Rebecca, and lives in Portmarnock, Co Dublin, with her husband, Garrett, and their moustachioed cat, Midge.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into a dark and sinister look into a past that should have been filled with innocence, light and laughter soon took a dark and sinister turn which tragically leaves dire consequences for all victims in the future. If you are interested in wanting a copy of this brilliant book you can find this on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to ZoeLoosBookTours for organising this review opportunity. I would also like to say thank you to Matador for gifting a lovely physical copy of this extraordinary book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Justin Newland, for creating such a fascinating and atmospheric novel of China’s old historic past. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Constructed of stone and packed earth, the Great Wall of 10,000 li protects China’s northern boarders from the threat of Mongol incursion. The wall is also home to a supernatural beast: The Old Dragon. The Old Dragon’s head is the most easterly point of the wall, where it finally meets the sea.
In every era, a Dragon Master is born. Endowed with the powers of heaven, only he can summon the Old Dragon so long as he possess the Dragon Pearl.
It’s the year 1400, and neither the Old Dragon, the dragon pearl, nor the Dragon Master, has been seen for twenty years. Bolin, a young man working on the Old Dragon’s Head, suffers visions of ghosts. Folk believe he has yin-yang eyes and other paranormal gifts. When Bolin’s fief lord, the Prince of Yan, rebels against his nephew, the Jianwen Emperor, a bitter war of succession ensues in which the Mongols hold the balance of power. Whilethe victor might win the battle on earth, China’s Dragon Thronecan only be earned with a mandate from Heaven, and the support of the Old Dragon.
Bolin embarks on a journey of self discovery, mirroring Old China’s endeavour to come of age. When Bolin accepts his destiny as the Dragon Master, Heaven sends a third coming of age – for humanity itself. But are any of them ready for what is rising in the east?
As soon as I started to read this enchanting book, it took me back into the past where superstition and gods and magic felt more real and lived side by side with the people of a vast continent, China. This story evokes the feel of the mystics of the east and how important omens and signs were to them. I liked the tale of a dragon and dragon master that helped China and it’s people in their time of need to make sure that no enemies were ever able to defeat them, but of course over time and due to the disappearance of said dragon and master the walls are starting to crack and enemies are drawing ever faster and stronger.
So the fate of China rests on a young man, who it appears to have similar abilities to be the dragon master of old. I found the history of this story intriguing and fascinating, but I am sorry to say I couldn’t quite feel for the characters and they came across as being a bit too stiff and awkward. Having said that there were moments of pure brilliance and intrigue.
I enjoyed the magical and fantastical elements which all made it feel familiar like an old chi ease folk tale. If you love fantasy with a historical setting this is one for you and I would highly recommend it.
Ratings: 4 ⭐️s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Justin Newland was born in Essex, England, three days before the end of 1953. He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England. Justin gives author talks in libraries and does books signings in Waterstones, WH Smiths and indie bookshops. He has appeared at literary festivals and regularly gives media interviews. He writes secret histories in which real events and historical personages are guided and motivated by numinous and supernatural forces – that’s history with a supernatural twist.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into a strange, magical and enchanting world of danger, war and intrigue as well as a dragon!!. If you want to grab hold of a copy you can find it on Amazon or get it direct from Matador. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers Book Tours for inviting me onto this thrilling, haunting and gripping book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you to Bloodshot Books for allowing me access to a digital and a physical copy to read and review, I am always grateful to be able to do this. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative talent, Johann Thorsson for creating such a suspenseful and hauntingly chilling novel. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Detective John Darke’s daughter has been missing for two years. In his frantic and unfruitful search for her two years ago, J Darke overreached and was reprimanded and demoted.
Now suddenly back into the homicide department, Dark is put on a chilling case – a man who killed his wife in their locked house and then dressed the body up to resemble a deer, but claims to remember none of it. A few days later an impossiblysimilar case crops up connecting the suspects to a prep school and a thirty year old missing person’s case.
Just as Dark is getting back into his old groove, a new lead into his daughters disappearance pops up and threatens to derail his career again.
Time is running out and John Dark needs to solve the case before more peopleare killed, and while there is still hope to find his daughter.
As soon as I picked this book (digitally) up and started to read it, I was hooked and engrossed. The story is dark, unsettling and thrilling. We follow a driven to the point of insanity, detective who’s passion is finding out where his daughter is, hoping she is alive but also if dead at least he has something to grieve over rather than the nightmare and of not knowing which is keeping him up and losing sleep over. We also see as his struggle of dealing with this and how it affected him at work, means he is one of those in the force to be watched and sidelined due to his behaviour (unfair but if you are on the frontlines in protecting people you need to be at your best).
Then he’s given a bit of a lifeline, he can be in on an intriguing, thrilling and chilling case if he stops destroying himself over his daughters disappearance, so he tries to and gets involved in this weird and strange case that horrifies and terrifies in equal measure. Then he’s tempted to stray from his path by a new clue about his daughter and well that’s where it gets interesting. I did like the mystery and I have to admit it’s a new and unique look into the dark and seedy life of crime. But I had trouble in believing in some of the plot and where it was heading. I also wasn’t sure we needed the daughters case as well as the other but it definitely racked up the tension and horror.
If you are looking for a chilling, terrifying and unique crime/thriller then this book I would hurl at you and shake you and shout READ THIS!!!! (Ahem sorry don’t know what came over me) but seriously this is a really great book and it’s first in a series…. I cannot wait for more.
Rating: 4 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 …. I would warn you, you might be so engrossed you won’t notice the crumbs and mugs piling up… just a little warning.
Johann Thorsson is a native of cold, dark Iceland and he writes cold, dark fiction. His favourite books include The Silence of The Lambs, Annihilation and We Have Always Lived In The Castle. And from this list you can see where his influences come from.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into the dark, twisted and terrifying heart of crime, that has a terrifyingly supernatural element. If you are intrigued by this and want to get your hands on this book, you can find this in Waterstonesand on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to TheWriteReads Tour for inviting me on this thrilling and fantastic book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Penguin for allowing me access to read and review the digital copy, I am always grateful to be able to do this. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative genius, Karen M McManus for creating such brilliant, twisted, dark YA thrillers which I adore and can read time after time. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
Ivy, Mateo and Calused to be close – best friends back in middle school.
Now all they have in commonis a bad day. So for old time’s sake they skip school together – one last time.
But when the trio spot Brian ‘boney’ Mahoney ditching class too, they follow him – right into a murder scene.
They all have a connection to the victim. And they are ALL hiding something. When their day of freedom turns deadly, it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out…..
Oh boy was I excited and thrilled to be a part of this blog tour. I have loved Karen M McManus’s books for awhile now and each book just gets better. This one is an absolute treat, there are so many twists and turns and a full on heated are they? Won’t they? Romance it sizzles off the pages. There’s also more heart and a deeper look into the disturbing world of school crushes (such as pupil – teacher and vice versa) where obsession and a sort of toying of feelings from someone who has a responsibility and a duty of care for their students.
I did find it slow going to get a feel for the characters but once the mystery took hold, and the romance started to heat up I found that I loved each of the characters and sympathised with a lot of their mental anguish and issues , which afflicts them all but of course in different ways. Though thankfully I have never felt or have been under an influence of a teacher who crosses the boarders, I have seen and heard of cases where the line between love and obsession and lust is unclear. There is also mention of the darker side of students and school life such as above and also drugs, another issue that is still prevalent among certain areas of life.
This book effortlessly delves into this shady side and makes you look at how easy it is to use and abuse kids (teenagers) and make them stray from their path to live their life. These characters either have issues such as this or have seen and been witness to such horrors that surround them. This is a brilliant and fantastic crime/thriller book that I would highly recommend to anyone.
My only wish now is that I want more, and I feel that there is more to come from this story.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 with a 🍪 or two…. Seriously you will need this sustenance and possibly more as you are hooked into this book.
Karen M McManus is the #1 New York Times and international bestselling author of young adult thriller/mystery novels, including One of Us Is Lying, One of Us Is Next, Two Can Keep a Secret, and The Cousins. You’ll Be the Death of Me will be her next novel, publishing December 2021. Her work has been translated into more than 40 languages worldwide. Karen lives in Massachusetts and holds a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, which she mostly uses to draft fake news stories for her novels.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into a dark, twisted and thrilling story of old friends and secrets and lies and how one day can bring nearly everything crumbling down. If you love the sound of this book and want to get your hands on a gorgeous copy (seriously purple sprayed-edges…. Honestly lust worthy) you can find it in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Zoë of Zoeloos book tours for inviting me on this thrilling, sinister and utterly captivating book’s tour. A huge thank you to DarkStroke Books for allowing me to read and review a digital copy, I am as ever grateful to be able to do this. I would also like to say a huge thank you to The creative talent VB Furlong for creating such a dark, tense and captivating story of friends betrayed, lies and deceit and whodunnits. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
When a girl disappears, long buried secrets resurface….
Coco is missing. Her room’s a mess, and her phone is left behind in her dorm at Lainsbury Hall School.
Ella, Coco’s childhood best friend, is desperate for her to return, although she knows that if she ever sees Coco again, there’ll be a lot of explaining to do.
Bea knows that her new group of friends attracts drama, and she thinks she has the last shred of common sense between them all. Only, if that were true, she would leave Genevieve, her toxic ex, well alone.
Conrad is confident that Coco will return safe and well. Only, the way his secrets are unraveling, he’s worried he won’t be when this is all over.
Harrison and Coco are the perfect couple. Everyone knows that. But looks can be misleading. Even the smartest boy in school can make a terrible mistake.
In order to to navigate the web of secrets and lies that Coco leaves behind, her circle of friends needs to unravel a few of their own.
But the question remains: what happened to Coco?
Wow as soon as I read the first page (digital) of this book, I was hooked. I could not put it down and even when I did my head was filled with “what’s going to happen?” And “who’s going to gush their secrets?”. This is a brilliant and clever thriller. Set in a posh, boarding school where there are lush lawns, and dorm rooms full of either giggling girls ready for the world to work out who they will be and boys ready to be loved and fall in love. To set a highly charged, tense and creepy thriller in a secluded rich boarding school is genius, as this setting is just asking for it.
You have a whole school of teenagers with desires and secrets brewing behind and between them and when a tragedy occurs this rocks the whole school but also the joyous and naive feels of the teenagers who thought their secrets would be safe from being revealed. Out of three of the friends I really loved Bea who had more feelings and though her sexuality would have been an issue, it’s not one of the many dark secrets running through and nearly splitting the friendship group apart. I couldn’t warm to Ella or even Harrison and Conrad, not quite sure why but I loved seeing how their characters fell or tried not fall apart, cruel maybe I am, but I feel justified in how I felt whilst reading this book.
This cleverly written and it truly grips you and makes sure to not let you go till you have finished. I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves high-intense teenager troubles, murder mystery and how the secrets you keep from the people you should trust will always rear up and bite you when you least expect them too.
Ratings: 5 🌟a with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 with a few 🍪s as well just to finish off 😉.
VB Furlong is a trainee lawyer and writer of young adult novels living in Berkshire, UK. She wrote her first “novel” at ten years old and has not stopped writing since then. As a teenager, VB Furlong wrote for her local paper and an online magazine whilst devouring any book she could find, and in writing for an older teen demographic hopes to instil the same love of books as she had, and still has to this day.
Through her writing she aims to explore many of the issues she faced herself growing up, in the hopes that others facing the same issues feel some solidarity. Her friendships are a huge part of her life and consequently is a major theme in her writing, exploring the way in which we interact with each other, especially in difficult times.
Originally from Mumbles, Swansea, VB Furlong enjoys the sun and the sea, and walking her three dogs across the cliffs. These walks have offered her inspiration for many pieces of writing, including What Happened to Coco.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into the dark hearts and minds of teenagers, and how secrets and lies can almost wreck friendships that look strong and solid on the outside but can be just as fragile as any relationship. If you are intrigued and would like to purchase this compelling book you can find this book on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Red Dog Press for inviting me on to this, fun, festive and murderous festive book’s tour. I would also like to say thank you for my digital copy, I really appreciate to be able to do this and support such a wonderful independent. I would like to say a huge thank you to the creative genius, Chris McDonald for creating such a fun, hilarious and thrilling, compelling series in the Stonebridge Mysteries. Intrigued? Let’s head over to the blurb and find out a bit more.
A year since their last case, and Adam and Colin are called out of semi-retirement when Stonebridge legend and regular town Santa, Gerald Agnew, is found dead in the snow.
The Police believe his death to be a drunken accident, but evidence that our amateur detectives uncover points to something more sinister.
When DI Whitelaw dismisses their claims, Adam and Colin must navigate drug dealers, deception and department store Santas to get to the truth….
If you have been following my blog you will have seen a few books in this brilliant series which I have reviewed, though I missed out on the last two, coming back to read this book is like being hugged by old, lovable, warm and brilliant friends, the kind of friends you feel you have always had a connection with even if you don’t keep in touch you suddenly bounce back to it again. This is what this book did for me.
Coming back to Stonebridge and discovering old and new friends is a joy and a delight. I loved Adam and Colin and how their relationship has developed and also how Adam is growing in confidence and in love with his partner Helena (i assume this is no spoiler…. If you haven’t read the last two get them now!!!) but will it be a happy ever after for Adam or something more sinister.
The mystery and chaos that always seems to follow these two, is exquisite and highly entertaining, though the subject matter is sad and tragic yet there are glimmers of light and love that this series has in spades and doesn’t seem to have lost. I love love love this wonderful and utterly enchanting cozy mysteries. I hope this is not the end and that there’s more to come…. But even so this book is brilliant and I can highly recommend that you go out and get it as soon as you can.
Ratings: 5 🌟 with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰…. with maybe a few 🍪s or two… seriously it’s short and sweet, that will leave you wanting more 😉 👍.
Chris McDonald grew up in Northern Ireland before settling in Manchester via Lancaster and London. He is the author of the DI Erika Piper series, A Wash Of Black, Whispers In The Dark and Roses For The Dead. He has also recently dabbled in writing cozy crimes, in the shape of The Stonebridge Mysteries, as a remedy for the darkness. He is a full time teacher, husband and father to two beautiful girls. He is also a regular voice on The Blood Brothers Podcast. He is a fan of 5-A-Side football, heavy metal (🤘) and dogs.
If you haven’t heard of this series yet (gasps where have you been) then here’s a snippet of information to whet your appetite.
Stonebridge is a small town on the north coast of Northern Ireland. Most of it’s inhabitants are friendly, happy people. Most of them….. Because bad things happen even in the happiest of places. It’s a good thing, then, that Adam Whyte and Colin McLaughlin call Stonebridge home.
Armed with an encyclopaedic knowledge of detective shows, a misplaced sense of confidence and a keen desire to see justice done, these two are the closest thing the town has to saviours. Which isn’t that reassuring…
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into a fun, hilarious and wonderful festive mystery. This is one series and book that you should not forget so please go out and buy this book as a gift for someone who you knows love crime/cozy or dark, or for yourself. You can find this, and I would recommend this first at Red Dog Press website or you can buy it on Amazon. I will leave you now only to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!
I just want to say a massive thank you to the wonderful and lovely Karen, from twitter and from my WhatsApp squad…. ( you know who you are 😉 ) for sending me this gorgeous and highly intriguing copy. So lets get on to the blurb.
There’s more than one way to capture a life…….
When Elspeth arrives at her ex-husband’s LA mansion for his 50th birthday party, she’s expecting a crowd for the British film director. Instead, there are just seven other guests and Richard’s pet octopus, Persephone, watching over them from her tank.
Come morning Richard is dead!!!!
In the weeks that follow, each guest is investigated for his murder, and as stories of Richard’s past surface, Elspeth begins to question not just who killed Richard, but why these eight guests were invited, and what sort of man would want to trap this mysterious, intelligent creature.
From the LA hills to the Norfolk marshes, The Octopus is a stylish exploration of power.
Well, intrigued yet? I certainly was and couldn’t wait to get sucked into the story. From the outset we are introduced to all the characters, including Elspeth, Richard and the other cast of characters that make the story twist and turn. I have to say that all the characters were despicable and nasty, I was left afterwards with the thought that of all the characters I sympathised with it was the Octopus herself, Persephone, no one else. The narrator, Elspeth I really disliked, she did not like her husband, for various reasons which I will not divulge here (spoiler free blog guys!!!) and also had a love and slightly bizarre relationship with her daughter almost love/hate but then again thats too simple to describe their bond. There is at times a selfishness that makes her quite cold and calculating and slightly odd, you kind of feel that you need another persons view point to balance her views, ( I was hoping she would get framed for the murder, really thats how much I disliked her character)
There were other characters that were equally as awful ( not written badly I might add) just written I think for you to also thoroughly dislike, here are all these stinking rich people moaning and basically getting high and drunk in LA. I am sure things like that went on and still go on, but because I felt no sympathy or empathy for any of the characters it just made the whole story feel like you were constantly tripping. The only niggle I had about the whole novel was the character of the daughter, I couldn’t quite see her or even feel anything for her, maybe this story is not aimed at me, but I was mainly off put by most of the characters antics and the narrator being well quite horrible.
I don’t mean to suggest do not buy it, no no no you really need to read this to understand the whole situation, it also highlights what is wrong within the film industry and how toxic life within ( I will say it ) the cult of Hollywood has become. It does have a flavour of the old Agatha Christie style murder where everyone is suspected at a party of the deceased and who will it be?!!! but only slightly and then it just goes off into its own unique murder mystery.
For me I think this is good, bizarre, but good and I hope there is more to come from this author, because although this story was a bit odd, I really liked her writing style, it really flowed and gripped you that you had to carry on reading it even though you had no idea where it would lead you.
Ratings: 4 🌟s with a cup of tea…. no sweet distractions (sorry run out and it’s not one of those that require it…. maybe a glass of 🍷 or 🍹)
So yes please grab yourself a copy of this weird and intriguing tale, and I grant you, you will be taken on a ride. You can get this from Waterstones, Amazon or all independent book stores that are near to you, the majority of independents will do delivery so if you don’t live near one don’t fear you can get hold of it.
Thank you for following me this far, I hope you like this little review, I really don’t want to give too much away and yet sometimes I feel there’s not enough information for you to get your teeth into? please feel free to leave comments on how you think of my blogs (please be polite in your criticisms if you have any lol) or you can just like it and that too is fine. So I hope you day has been good I am now going to head off and read….. how inspiring of me hehe. See you all soon.
Love Orange…. What a title, what does it conjure up for you in your mind? an orange farmer? someone who loves oranges? Not sure? ok I will let you off the hook (considering this is a debut book) What you find here is my honest opinion and that I have not been coerced by anyone to write this review. I was able to and was kindly given by Elizabeth Ana at Quercus Publishing House a copy of this lovely wicked and seductive book by Natasha Randall, so any faults in my review on the story are mine and mine alone. I hope to do justice to this wonderful book and be able to help this brilliant author get the notice she definitely deserves. So lets get started, with the blurb….
While Hank struggles with his lack of professional success, his wife Jenny, feeling stuck and beset by an urge to do good, becomes ensnared in a dangerous correspondence with a prison inmate called John. Letter by letter, John pinches Jenny awake from the “marshmallow numbness” of her life. The children, meanwhile, unwittingly disturb the foundations of their home life with forays into the dark net and strange geological experiments. Jenny’s bid for freedom takes a sour turn when she becomes the go-between for John and his wife, and develops an unnatural obsession for the orange glue that seals his letters….
This is what caught my interest, the whole modern family (though this is set in America I can see this sort of thing happening here in the UK) idea and how toxic and destructive some of the thoughts that swirl around in the heads of the parents. The kids on the other hand are relatively ok, they are normal (whatever that word means) and are happy in their own ways. Though I feel this story is not solely focused on them, they hold the family together and I feel, help to try to bind them together. I am not going to spoil this marvellous and beautiful book. It has lots of themes to get your teeth into, some of it is quite shocking and at others you definitely sympathise with certain characters. All I will say is this is a great exploration into how, if you feel that, living in a predictable lifestyle, like being a housewife and how all the little niggles can make you feel that life outside is greener and freer, that actually it might not be as green or free as it might be.
I find Jenny very sympathetic, the fact that she was a working woman, who then had to give that up to look after her kids, is something that a lot of families go through. It cause a lot of frictions between the two who should be close and supportive to one another, which can be seen through her thought processes, it’s also the same for Hank, he is the man, needs to provide for the family, has to support them financially and for safety, and that is a weighty load to bear for anyone let alone a man. Yes there are moments you do feel he is a bit of a jerk, but there are moments when you feel that its not him that is a jerk its societies pressures that make him who he is, which is quite sad.
I love this book and cannot rate this highly enough, I was gripped from the first page to the last. It feels so well written that I am surprised to discover that the Author is new and this book is her first. I am so happy and excited what Natasha Randall can do next, if this is her first well her next is going to be glorious ( sorry Natasha don’t mean to pile on the pressure but you have written a good one with this) for those people who are looking for as close to now as possible, please don’t not with this, this has dates and times but it doesn’t feel that it should be set definitely in that time, I feel it can be a bit loose its definitely around 2015 but thats really the only date you get. So please no, where is coronavirus? where are the lockdowns? restrictions? that is not what this book is about and it shouldn’t be held up to that either. This book is looking and delving into the Idea of a modern American family and how the threads that connect each family member to each other are relatively thin and can snap at any moment. I also love the nod to the Simpsons, I won’t spoil anything but look out for an even more lil Easter egg for them too.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. I love love love this.
Ratings: 5 stars with a mug of ☕️ and 3 🍪( possibly more)
This book and many more are out on the 3rd of September so please I beg you grab yourself a copy of this gorgeous, beautiful and enthralling book. You will not regret it I promise you. You can I am sure get a copy from Waterstones, Amazon and all independent stores around the UK or wherever you are in the world (sorry if I don’t know worldwide publication dates). I hope you enjoyed this review and when it comes out your more than welcome to leave a comment or like it, I will respond ( don’t worry you won’t be talking to a computer I can promise that) Thank you so much.
Hello my lovely book lovers (addicts lol) and friends wow what a stunner I have for you today. Yes it’s the 6th in this wonderful, charming and brilliant series of The StoneBridge Mysteries. And even better news there is more to come 🤩…. Yes you heard there is more. But anyway this little post is about this wonderful and gorgeous cover of this fantastic book. So let’s get to it.
Adam and Colin are aboard The Elysian, cruising towards Italy to see Adam get hitched, and are determined to stay out of trouble…
On the first night, a priceless piece of art is stolen from an eccentric old lady. Adam and Colin offer to help recover it, and are convince the thief was one of their fellow dinner guests from earlier in the evening.
Can the amateur sleuths reunite the painting with its owner before they dock in Venice? And, with danger lurking around every porthole, will Adam even make it to the altar?
About the series:
Stonebridge is a small town on the north coast of Northern Ireland. Most of its inhabitants are friendly, happy people. Most of them… Because bad things happen even in the happiest of places. It’s a good thing, then, that Adam Whyte and Colin McLaughlin call Stonebridge home.
Armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of detective shows, a misplaced sense of confidence and a keen desire to see justice done, these two are the closest thing the town has to saviours. Which isn’t that reassuring…
Chris McDonald grew up in Northern Ireland before settling in Manchester via Lancaster and London.
He is the author the DI Erika Piper series A Wash of Black, Whispers In The Dark and Roses for the Dead. He has also recently dabbled in writing cosy crimes, in the shape of The Stonebridge Mysteries, as a remedy for the darkness.
He is a full time teacher, husband, father to two beautiful girls and a regular voice on The Blood Brothers Podcast. He is a fan of 5-a-side football, heavy metal and dogs.