#BookReview : The Old Bridge by Andrew Turpin @AndrewTurpin #theoldbridge

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“The Old Bridge” by Andrew Turpin is the second in the Joe Johnson Series.  I had the pleasure to read The Last Nazi the 1st in the series last year and have been eagerly awaiting this one.  Purchase links are at the bottom of my post xx

Synopsis:

The explosive fallout from a top CIA man’s corruption and a US political leader’s racism. The ruins of an iconic 450-year-old bridge. And a family destroyed by civil war. 
War crimes investigator Joe Johnson is drawn into a search for a dossier of secret documents that disappeared twenty years ago from the president’s office in Sarajevo—but which have damaging links to the White House.
Johnson finds himself hunting a Bosnian army officer who vanished, along with the dossier, after a series of horrific killings. The search takes him from Dubrovnik to New York City and London.
Soon, ex-CIA man Johnson and his ex-MI6 colleague Jayne Robinson find themselves literally walking a minefield as they fend off powerful intelligence leaders with vested interests.
The Old Bridge—the second book in the Joe Johnson series—is a taut thriller, set in some of Europe’s most beautiful locations, and which explores the dark consequences of sectarian hatred and arms dealing on both sides of the Atlantic.

My Thoughts:

Last year I was introduced to Joe Johnson, a war crimes investigator.  In this second instalment Joe is taken to Europe, to investigate claims of war crimes during the Bosnia-Croatia conflict in the 1990’s. He teams up with MI6 colleague Jayne as they hunt for men implicated in the horrific crimes they have been accused of.  Add into this a request to find sensitive documents that could prove catastrophic to the political balance.

Starting at pace and with the descriptions of people being shelled on Stari Most Bridge (Old Bridge) in the midst of the conflict between Bosnians and Croatians.  Once they lived amicably, lived side by side and married until they are torn apart by this conflict.  It is at this point of the story that you realise that Andrew has done his research, there are a lot of details that have been included.  This is a conflict that was watched on television by millions around the world, using information gathered from a large variety of sources, Andrew has created a fictional plot to wrap around factual events.

The story is gripping, full of action, danger, conspiracy and believable. The extra details in this story are important adding a more authentic feeling to situations.  I was glad to see the return of some old characters to join Joe, but there is still a thorn in his side that makes his presence known as the story unfolds.  The plot was a glorious read with subplots, it has twists that follows the investigations as they unfold, following leads asking questions and also the frustrations that are encountered. I thought it was a clever and well laid out plot, it followed a logical path and made sense through to a satisfying ending.

This is a book that I didn’t want to rush due to all the details and information that have been included.  At the end of the story Andrew has included a brilliant piece that discusses his research, sources of information and where he found it all.  It also makes for great reading and gives the reader the opportunity to follow up further.  I would also suggest making an internet search of the images of  Stari Most Bridge, this I found added an extra dimension to the book as I could see the actual setting as well as the destruction of this 450 year old Ottoman built bridge. Pay attention to the cover of this book, it gives you the structure of the bridge.

This is a book that would appeal to readers who like historical fiction that is action packed, well paced with crime, mystery, intrigue, a thriller that is heavy in excitement and historical research.

I am already lining the next book in the series up for reading soon.  I would like to express my thanks to Andrew for providing me a copy of this eARC for my honest and unbiased thoughts.

About the Author:

0258_600Andrew is a former journalist who has always had a love of writing and a passion for reading good thrillers. Now he has finally put the two interests together.

His first book, The Last Nazi, is being published in August 2017, and he has a second, The Old Bridge, in the advanced stages of editing.

The themes behind these thrillers also pull together some of Andrew’s other interests, particularly history, world news, and travel. They explore the ways in which events and human behaviors deep into the past continue to impact on modern society, politics and business.

The Last Nazi draws strongly on these themes. It is the first in a planned series of thrillers featuring the protagonist, Joe Johnson, an ex-CIA officer and former U.S. Nazi hunter with the Office of Special Investigations, part of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
Johnson has a passion for justice and a drive to investigate unsolved war crimes in different parts of the world.

Andrew studied history at Loughborough University and worked for many years as a business and financial journalist before becoming a corporate and financial communications adviser with several large energy companies.

He originally came from Grantham, Lincolnshire, and lives with his family in St. Albans in Hertfordshire, U.K.

Follow Andrew on Twitter ~ Website

Joe Johnson Thriller Series:

The Last Nazi #1 My Review Purchase from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

The Old Bridge #2 Purchase from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

Bandit Country #3 Due for Publication in Feb.

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Better still, go and get yourself a copy of this book xx

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#BookReview: The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin : @HodderBooks @NetGalley

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I am sharing “The Wicked Cometh” by Laura Carlin today.  I would like to thank the lovely people at Hodder & Stoughton for allowing me an eARC via NetGalley.  This book is available in various formats with a publication date of 1st February for some formats.

Synopsis:

‘We have no need to protect ourselves from the bad sort 
because we ARE the bad sort . . .’

‘This newspaper has taken note that the past month has been remarkable for the prevalence of cases where men, women and children are declared missing. Scarcely a week passes without the occurrence of an incident of this type’ – The Morning Herald, Tuesday 13 September 1831

Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and the city’s vulnerable poor are disappearing from the streets. Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible.

When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock.

But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations, dragging them into the blackest heart of a city where something more depraved than either of them could ever imagine is lurking. . .

My Thoughts:

Starting in London in 1830, we are introduced to Hester White, told about her life and her reasons for being where she is.  When she is involved in an accident and taken in by the wealthy Brock family she thinks she may be on the  up.  What starts as an amiable situation takes a turn for the worse and we are taken into a deep, dark evilly twisted world set in the murky gloomy depths of London back streets.

This is a historical fiction that from the outset feels right.   The descriptions given build up a vivid picture of the murky, dark slums and back streets of London as well as the lavish and elaborate villas and large country houses of the wealthier London.  The characters have a mix of the flamboyant, the dodgy, rich and poor, honest and just down right nasty.  The plot leads you down deep, dark alleys and along bright well-lit streets as we are gradually taken further into the story and discover the depths some people will go to for the sake of their career and reputation.  I did feel it took me a little while for the book to really grab my attention, but gradually I could feel myself getting caught up in it, some passages were a little long, but the descriptions have been done well.  But this I think is another book where I am greedy to read what happens next, I must be more patient.  I really liked the character descriptions in this story, they were a good mixed bag of traits and memorable little details.

This is a book I would recommend to readers of historical mystery books, set in 1800’s London with two female sleuthing leading ladies uncovering a dark and twisted puzzle. I would like to thank Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for my eARC of this book.  My views are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:Laura Carlin

Laura Carlin left school at 16 to work in retail banking and it was only after leaving her job to write full-time that she discovered her passion for storytelling and exploring pockets of history through fiction. She lives in a book-filled house in beautiful rural Derbyshire with her family (and a very naughty cat). When she’s not writing she enjoys walking in the surrounding Peak District. THE WICKED COMETH is her first novel.

 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share.  Better still, buy a copy of this book xx

#GuestPost : Veronica’s Bird by Veronica Bird & Richard Newman : @AuthorightUKPR @Authoright @gilbster1000

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I am delighted to be sharing a guest post for “Veronica’s Bird”.  Published by Clink Street Publishing and available in paperback and eBook formats.  Available to purchase now at Amazon UK 

When this book was offered to me by Rachel at Authoright I knew immediately that it was one I wanted to read, but also knew that I was already booked up.   There were many questions I would like to pose to the author regarding her time working in a male prison.  So my focus was regarding the changes in prison over the years.  I have a wonderful post that is honest and insightful to share with you.  It has made me more determined than ever to read this book soon.

Guest Post:

Question: How has the prison service changed in the time Veronica was there?

Veronica’s Bird by Veronica Bird and Richard Newman 

It is a commonplace today to criticise the lives of prisoners: ‘too soft’, ‘too cushy’, they say. Choice of menu, carpets in cells, television and radio, ensuite facilities, own door key. What, is going on? So, are these not the good things we all aspired to in a caring society?

Let us make a comparison between a modern prison today with Dartmoor Prison when Veronica entered the Service. Prisoners in those days wore canvas uniforms printed with arrows (even their boots had studs in the shape of an arrow) no television of course, or radio, often deliberately awful food, flogging, no human rights and too far for families to travel and visit, being on the edge of the world, or at least, hidden away in the heavy moor mist. Hard labour was just that: breaking up stone (granite) in a quarry in a chain gang. The men had no rights at all and if a prisoner happened to be mentally ill they were placed under even greater hardship.

No-one, surely wants to see a return to those days, but many of the public still seek an eye for an eye, that the prisoner must feel the lash of the cat ‘o nine -tails albeit if only in a virtual world of his own making. And so, we moved away from chain gangs and, gradually, conditions improved, propped up massively by the European Court of Justice. A balance seemed to have been found. Prison was hard, boring and a huge waste of time – and treasure – but the punishment was fitting the crime in people’s minds. Canvas uniforms with arrows disappeared, there was better food, better on-site hospital care, prison visiting groups could report inconsistencies. We all felt Britain was moving towards being a member of this much espoused, caring society.

Then the pendulum began to swing. Drugs began to rear their ugly head and the snag of importing it into prisons became easier. Now, under organised crime and despite visitors having a rub down and being obliged to open their mouths at the prison gate, the drug flow continues. Drugs can be mixed with children’s paints in a picture brought in ‘for daddy’. It is hidden in kids’ nappies or it can be thrown over prison walls. With thirty-five percent of prisoners already addicted a further two thousand non-drug-takers each year will be addicted before they end their sentence.

And now, with potent drugs such as spice, while we have a prison population living within their ‘rights,’ we are also converting our youth into addicts who will steal and maim in their effort to get their ‘fix’ once they are released. Something is radically wrong here.

Today, staff are better equipped, better trained and unionised. They have to work to strict rules which protect them as well as their charges. They are though, under pressure as budgets are cut, leading to a frightening increase in assaults often triggered by the drug-taking by prisoners who know their rights and use them as a shield. Working in the Prison Service has never been easy but without radical and courageous change, something which successive governments are fain to consider, things will only get worse.

Veronica’s book continues the debate on the vexed subject of how to deal with the varying categories of prisoner. With the death penalty gone and prisoners handed the keys to their cells, we all need to think carefully what is really implied as an eye for an eye.

Veronica’s Bird   –   Copyright © Richard Newman 2018.  Authors Veronica Bird and Richard Newman. Published by Clink Street Publications 23rd January 2017

Veronicas Bird Cover

 

Synopsis:

Veronica’s Bird: Thirty-five years inside as a female prison officer 

Veronica Bird was one of nine children living in a tiny house in Barnsley with a brutal coal miner for a father. Life was a despairing time in the 1950s, as Veronica sought desperately to keep away from his cruelty. Astonishingly, to her and her mother, she won a scholarship to Ackworth Boarding School where she began to shine above her class-mates. A champion in all sports, Veronica at last found some happiness until her brother-in-law came into her life. It was as if she had stepped from the frying pan into the re: he took over control of her life removing her from the school she adored, two terms before she was due to take her GCEs, so he could put her to work as a cheap option on his market stall. Abused for many years by these two men, Veronica eventually ran away and applied to the Prison Service, knowing it was the only safe place she could trust. This is the astonishing, and true story of Veronica Bird who rose to become a Governor of Armley prison. Given a ‘basket case’ in another prison, contrary to all expectations, she turned it around within a year, to become an example for others to match. During her life inside, her ‘bird’, she met many Home Secretaries, was honoured by the Queen and was asked to help improve conditions in Russian Prisons. A deeply poignant story of eventual triumph against a staggeringly high series of setbacks, her story is led with humour and compassion for those inside.

About the Authors:

After thirty-five years working for the Prison Service, Veronica Bird is now retired and living in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. She is still an active proponent of the justice system and continues to lecture across the country and is a supporter of Butler Trust, which acknowledges excellence within the prison system. A qualified architect and Swiss-trained hotelier, Richard Newman enjoyed a forty-year career designing and managing hotels worldwide before retiring in 2001. Since

then he has gone on to publish a number of novels: The Crown of Martyrdom, The Horse that Screamed, The Potato Eaters, The Green Hill, Brief Encounters and most recently The Sunday Times bestseller, A Nun’s Story. He is currently working on a new novel about retirement and an autobiography of his time in the Middle East. He lives happily with his wife in Wetherby, West Yorkshire where he enjoys being close to his family.

Monika Cover 2Follow other bloggers as they share their thoughts on Veronica’s Bird.

I will be reading this book in the near future and will then will add my thoughts also.

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share.  Better still go and buy a copy of this book xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BookReview : The Feed by Nick Clark Windo @nickhdclark @headlinepg @NetGalley

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I am delighted to be sharing “The Feed” by Nick Clark Windo.  I would like to thank the lovely people at Headline Publishing for my eARC via NetGalley.  The Feed is available in various formats from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Synopsis:

THE FEED by Nick Clark Windo is a startling and timely debut which presents a world as unique and vividly imagined as STATION ELEVEN and THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS.

Tom and Kate’s daughter turns six tomorrow, and they have to tell her about sleep.
If you sleep unwatched, you could be Taken. If you are Taken, then watching won’t save you.
Nothing saves you.

Your knowledge. Your memories. Your dreams.
If all you are is on the Feed, what will you become when the Feed goes down?

For Tom and Kate, in the six years since the world collapsed, every day has been a fight for survival. And when their daughter, Bea, goes missing, they will question whether they can even trust each other anymore.

The threat is closer than they realise…

My Thoughts:

The Feed is a futuristic look at something that could possibly happen.  An implant that gives wearers 24-7 access to news feeds, people’s lives, their feelings, where physical communication has been taken over by virtual communication. Tom and Kate are the main focus of this story, Tom insists that he and Kate do have time “off Feed” and spend time talking, this is difficult as the feed is so much part of every day life. When the feed collapses Tom and Kate go back to basics, and head into the country.  The story jumps forward six years and they have a daughter Bea.  Things are bleak but they are surviving, but when their daughter in taken they try to find her.  It is this part of the story that explains the details of the feed and what happened.

I will admit to struggling with the beginning of this book, I couldn’t quite see where the story was going and didn’t understand the concept of “The Feed”.  But I could see that there was something about it that intrigued me more than just a little bit.  I am glad I persevered with this book as suddenly it started to come together, things started to make sense.  Once these things started to fall into place I found a really enjoyable read, with some great descriptions of a bleak lawless landscape where people made the most of what they have got.  Tom and Kate I didn’t warm to immediately, but they seem to fit and almost mirror the desolation and loneliness of the land.  When I got the plot I really enjoyed it, it plays well on the fear of an advanced technologically dominated future, one that I am sure many people will see as a definite possibility. I know I do!

Overall this is a good read, a bit of a slow amble along in the beginning, but picks up pace to a satisfactory conclusion, with some good unexpected twists.  It is not excessively heavy on technological terms, Nick has kept it understandable.  A book I would recommend to readers of a futuristic, dystopian, mystery, thriller and science fiction genres.

My thanks to Headline Publishing Group and NetGalley for my eARC of this book.  My views expressed are my own and are unbiased.

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Better still go and buy a copy of this book xx

#BookReview : Murder In Little Shendon by A.H.Richardson with @BookPubServices

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Today I am sharing a good old fashioned style murder mystery.  “Murder In Little Shendon” by A.H.Richardson was brought to my attention by Kelsey at Book Publicity Services.  It is available in paperback and eBook format.  It can be purchased via Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Synopsis:

Picture, if you will, a picturesque village called Little Shendon, suddenly caught up in dealing with a murder of one of its citizens — not a particularly well-liked one at that. Which makes it all the more intriguing because the list of suspects becomes very long. This tantalizing tale unfolds with delightful twists and turns to find out whodunit to Mr. Bartholomew Fynche, the murdered shopkeeper. 
Fear grips the community as the investigation slowly progresses. Everyone is interviewed; everyone is suspect! From the murdered man’s housekeeper to Lady Armstrong, her staff and her nephew. Or could it be the shy librarian new in town? Or the defiant retired army major and his ladyfriend, the post mistress? Or perhaps the weird sisters who live on the edge of town? Then there is the couple who own the local inn and pub, along with the two Americans who are staying there? Even the vicar and his wife fall under the gloom of suspicion.
Uncertainty, wariness, and terror reign as neighbors watch neighbors to discover the evil that permeates their upturned lives. No one feels safe in this charming little village.
A.H. Richardson, noted author, places in your trembling hands a mystery murder that will keep you reading until you learn the details, uncovered by Police Inspector Stanley Burgess and his two amateur detectives, his friend Sir Victor Hazlitt and the famed Shakespearean actor Beresford Brandon. Scratch your head with them over the strange clues that turn up. Follow them as they tread carefully among the landmines that appear innocent as they lie hidden beneath the surface of mystery.
Something evil skulks in this tiny country village. Who is the murderer? And why was this strange uncivil man dispatched in such a seemingly civil community? You are challenged to discover the culprit before the last few pages. And no fair looking ahead — it’s the journey that proves the most enticing.

My Thoughts:

As the village residents of Little Shendon are coming to terms with the death of Bartholomew Fynche, a local antique shop owner and man of mystery. It becomes the task of  local detective Inspector Burgess investigate.  He calls on Sir Victor Hazlitt and Beresford “Berry” Brandon to give assistance.

This is a cosy murder mystery with a classic “whodunit”sleuthing feel to it, similar in style to Agatha Christie novels with several similarities in choice of names for some of the characters.  Set in a quintessential English Village with a large cast of characters, the reader is taken through the interviews, through the thoughts and deductions of the case.  In this classic style the culprit is uncovered and all the why’s and wherefores are explained as we are taken around all those who may have a link to the victim.  All being brought together in the Grand Unveiling at a public meeting.

The plot sticks with the tried and tested way of following the sleuths on their journey around the village as they pick up titbits of information to track down the culprit.  There are some nice twists and a few red herrings along the way.  As for the cast, well there are a lot of them, but I did manage to keep up with them all.  The victim is quite an odious man and not a popular face, so he is one of those that you feel got his fictional comeuppance.

This is a book that I would recommend to readers who like a more classic sleuthing and deductive style cosy mystery read.  A really enjoyable read, some interesting and memorable characters, quite a few of them I would like to have known more about. This is my first time reading anything by this author and I will be looking at reading more by her in the future.  My thanks to Kelsey at Book Publicity Services for sending me a copy of this book.  My thoughts expressed here are my own and unbiased.

About the Author:

13907840 A. H. Richardson was born in London England and is the daughter of famous pianist and composer Clive Richardson. She studied drama and acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She was an actress, a musician, a painter and sculptor, and now an Author.

She published her debut novel Jorie and the Magic Stones in December 2014. At the request of those who loved the first ‘Jorie’ story, Richardson has written a sequel titled Jorie and the Gold Key, and she is currently working on the third book in the series.

In addition to children’s books, she also enjoys writing murder mysteries. She is the author of Murder in Little Shendon, a thriller murder mystery which takes place in a quaint little village in England after World War Two, and introduces two sleuths, Sir Victor Hazlitt and his sidekick,  Beresford Brandon, a noted Shakespearian actor. And she has more ‘who-dun-its’ with this clever and interesting duo… Act One, Scene One – Murder and Murder at Serenity Farm.

A. H. Richardson lives happily in East Tennessee, her adopted state, and has three sons, three grandchildren, and two pugs. She speaks four languages and loves to do voiceovers. She plans on writing many more books and hopes to delight her readers further with her British twist, which all her books have.

 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked please give a share.  Better still, go and buy a copy of this book xx

#BookReview : The Confession by Jo Spain @SpainJoanne @QuercusBooks @NetGalley

The Confession: The most addictive psychological thriller of 2018 by [Spain, Jo]

I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “The Confession” by Jo Spain.  It is published by Quercus Books and available in various formats, however hard and paperback are due to be published on 25th January 2018.  I received my copy of this book via NetGalley, my thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

Synopsis:

Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear.

Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn’t know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry’s many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal?

This gripping psychological thriller will have you questioning, who – of Harry, Julie and JP – is really the guilty one? And is Carney’s surrender driven by a guilty conscience or is his confession a calculated move in a deadly game?

My Thoughts:

When a stranger walks into a house, beats up the husband as the wife watches frozen, unable to do anything to help or stop the attack, you know there will or should be a pretty good reason for it.

Oh! This is a good read, a well paced psychological thriller.  It is set over several years, filling in the background of the main characters.  The chapters are told by different characters and from their own perspectives.  They flit between times and places with quick succession.  It did take me a few chapters to get to grips with this, occasionally loosing what time I was in, but its one of those books that, as you read you get to learn the style and format.

The characters themselves, I have mixed opinions on some and changes my opinion on others.  This is a good thing by the way, for me it means the author has manipulated my feelings as I have read and therefore my opinion matches the character as they change, or you learn more about them. Now as for the plot, it is one of those deliciously deep and twisty ones that kept me guessing, even when things were being drawn together for the conclusion a few more sneaky twists were included in this slippery tale.

This is a book that I would definitely recommend to readers who like a good psychological thriller with twists that are revealed at the end with extra twisty bits.  It also has elements that show the contrasts of two different social backgrounds, one poor and one rich, the haves and the have nots.  A well written and executed read that kept me turning the pages avidly.

About the Author:

Jo Spain Jo Spain is the author of the Inspector Tom Reynolds series. Her first book, top ten bestseller With Our Blessing, was a finalist in the 2015 Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller. The Confession is her first standalone thriller.
Jo is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, a former political advisor in the Irish parliament and former vice-chair of InterTrade Ireland business body.
Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and four young children. In her spare time (she has four children, there is no spare time really) she likes to read. Her favourite authors include Pierre Lemaitre, Jo Nesbo, Liane Moriarty, Fred Vargas and Louise Penny. She also watches TV detective series and was slightly obsessed with The Bridge, Trapped and The Missing.
Jo thinks up her plots on long runs in the woods. Her husband sleeps with one eye open and all her friends have looked at her strangely since she won her publishing deal.

Follow Jo on Twitter 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it then please give a share.  Better still, go and get a copy of this book xx

#BookReview : Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit : #GrippedByFear : @orionbooks : @NetGalley : #PublicationDay

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Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit and translated by Imogen Taylor. It is available for purchase in various formats and is published by The Orion Publishing Group.

Synopsis:

You’d die for your family. But would you kill for them?

Family is everything. So what if yours was being terrorised by a neighbour – a man who doesn’t listen to reason, whose actions become more erratic and sinister with each passing day? And those you thought would help – the police, your lawyer – can’t help you.

You become afraid to leave your family at home alone. But there’s nothing more you can do to protect them.

Is there?

My Thoughts:

This is quite a different book. It is based around the authors experiences of being stalked. We are told from the outset of the crime that has been committed, who committed it and who the victim was.

It is written from the viewpoint of the main protagonist, Randolph. The author states at the very beginning that Randolph is a version of himself.

So initially we start in present day when Randolph has just phoned the police to report the murder. We are then taken back to Randolph’s childhood, his years growing up in a still divided Germany, how he met his wife Rebecca and his life after. These details, for me, provide the main crux of the story, they are wrapped around the events leading up to and including the murder that takes place.

The murder was the result of Dieter, the neighbour and his unhealthy obsession with Randolph and Rebecca’s family. Dieter has accused them of abusing their children Paul and Fay. He is initially friendly towards the family when they move into the flat above him, but soon things change and he begins a reign of terror.

So essentially there are two stories running in this book, that of Randolph and his life story, then, that of Dieter and his terrorising of the family. There is a huge amount of information in this book and explores a vast array of topics, such as, status, class and culture, as well as lots of observational accounts of living in a divided Germany at a time of great change. It is a good genre spanning book with crime, thriller, psychological aspects and fiction.

This book is written as an account of events, it is set at a good pace with well described and developed characters. I would recommend this book to readers of Crime and Thriller, Psychological Thriller and also Fiction.

My thanks to Orion Publishing and NetGalley for my copy of this eARC.  My views are my own and are unbiased.

Praise for the Book:

What critics are saying about FEAR:

‘I’m intrigued by Dirk Kurbjuweit’s novel FEAR, about a stalker living downstairs’ – LIONEL SHRIVER, THE OBSERVER

Remarkable’ – THE OBSERVER

‘Addictive… There’s a twist at the end that is worth waiting for’ – INDEPENDENT

‘A terrifying study of a family threatened by the tenant living downstairs’ – WOMAN&HOME

‘Brilliantly done to play on every parents’ deepest fears’ – FIONA BARTON, bestselling author of THE WIDOW

What readers are saying about FEAR:

‘Thought-provoking, intelligent and genuinely chilling. It’s quite possible that we are all just a few provocations away from cold-blooded murder’ – ELIZABETH HAYNES, author of INTO THE DARKEST CORNER

A terrific, original thriller – I loved it’ JOANNE HARRIS

‘FEAR makes us sympathetic to violent revenge, accessories to murder’ – HERMAN KOCH, author of THE DINNER

‘I loved it. So rich and claustrophobic’ – RENEE KNIGHT, author of DISCLAIMER

‘The most original thriller of the year’ – NETGALLEY

‘Expertly constructed, highly entertaining and thought-provoking’ – Cloggie, Amazon reviewer

‘If you’re looking for a thriller with psychological insight, I highly recommend this one’ – Marjorie, Amazon reviewer

‘Not your usual thriller’ – Fiona, Amazon reviewer

About the Author:

Dirk Kurbjuweit is deputy editor-in-chief at German current affairs magazine Der Spiegel, where he has worked since 1999, and divides his time between Berlin and Hamburg. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Egon Erwin Kisch Prize for journalism, and is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels, many of which, including FEAR, have been adapted for film, television and radio in Germany. FEAR is the first of his works to be translated into English.

 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Better still go and grab a copy of this book xx

#BlogTour Disposal by David Evans @DavidEWriter with @CarolineBookBit #BookReview

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I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for Disposal by David Evans.  This is available in paperback and eBook formats from Amazon UK.  My thanks to Caroline at Bits About Books for my spot on the tour and the author for a copy of the book.

Synopsis:

August 1976 and it seems as though the long hot summer will never end. Early morning at Clacton on the north Essex coast, a light aircraft takes off from the airstrip but struggles for height and crashes into the sea. First on the scene, Sgt Cyril Claydon pulls the pilot’s body from the wreckage. But something else catches his eye. A bulky package wrapped in black plastic is on the passenger seat. Returning to investigate, he makes a grim discovery – another body. And so begins a series of events that puts him and others in danger as he is drawn into the investigation, having to work alongside DI ‘Dick’ Barton, a man with totally alien attitudes. Can they work together?

My Thoughts:

It’s August 1976 in Clacton, Essex as Sgt Cyril Claydon and PC Sam Woodbridge sit in their panda car waiting for their shift to end.  It is at this moment a light aircraft crashes in front of them.  They find the pilot dead and the passenger is wrapped in black plastic! The case is passed to DI John “Dick” Barton and due to staff shortages, Cyril is asked to help with the investigation.

Oh this is such a good read, so evocative of the 70’s from the clothing, the mannerisms, the setting and the cars, it screams the 70’s. I was born early in that decade and have some memories of the hot summer and what was going on at the time.  This is a good classic good cop- bad cop detective read, with mentions of the TV show “The Sweeney” and music of the era, this helps add to setting up the scene.

The plot stays within the style that has already been set and has a great pace as the story unfolds.  With chases, leads to follow and bad guys to catch.  Cyril is the mild-mannered, pipe smoking copper working with the loud, brash and rude Barton.  These two are the main characters and work well with their contrasts. With the addition of undercover work and  “dodgy dealers” you get a real feel for the decade.

If you want a great paced, well written read that transports you back to the 70’s this is the one for you, it harks back to the old 70’s cops and robbers TV shows.  It has all the essential ingredients you would expect to find, the good cop – bad cop routine, boozy, heavy smoking, loud coppers mixed in with the nose to the grindstone ones, there are some good baddies and wonderful snippets of things in the news at the time.

I absolutely loved this book from start to finish.  I would like to express my thanks to Caroline and David for my spot on the tour and my copy of the book.  My views expressed are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

David-Evans-150x150David Evans is a Scots-born writer who found his true love as well as his inspiration for his detective series in Wakefield. Having written all his life, in 2012 he decided to go for it – successfully as the next year, in 2013, he was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger Award.

The Wakefield Series became an International Bestseller in June 2017 with success in Canada and Australia as well as the UK. But now, whilst The Wakefield Series awaits the next instalment, David Evans has written Disposal, the first in The Tendring Series, a completely new detective series set in north Essex in the 1970s.

Follow David on Twitter or his Facebook page.

 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Better still, go and buy a copy of this book xx

#BlogTour #Trolls Here Come The Trolls & Day Of The Trolls by @RonButlinMakar Illustrator @SKARPHEDON @BCKidsBooks @BirlinnBooks @scottishbktrust @LoveBooksGroup

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “Here Come the Trolls” and also “Day of The Trolls” by Ron Butlin and illustrated by James Hutcheson.  Available for purchase in paperback.  My thanks to Kelly at Love Books Group for a spot on this tour.


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Synopsis:

Through gaps in the roof we didn’t repair

through cracks in the walls we pretended weren’t there…

…the trolls have come creeping

while we were all sleeping.

Trolls on your chair, trolls in your bed –

is anything worse than a troll on your head?

What happens when your house is invaded by trolls – mischievous creatures who do nothing but cause havoc and mayhem? Find out in this zany and charming book which tells you how to get rid of them for good and make your house a troll-free zone!

My Thoughts:

This is a fun book aimed for children around 3-7 years old.  Ron has created some very roguish characters that take over a house.  Then explains how to get them out.  This is a book to be read aloud, emphasising the whirls, the fizzes, the whizzes to engage a younger listener.  This is a fun story showing the humorous antics of the “snot dribbling, fart ripping and boot clumping” Trolls.

The illustrations are funny and fit wonderfully with the story being told.  Each one seems to be a little different and you can work out who is who when mentioned in the story.

A great little 32 page book, colourful, funny and perfect for being read aloud.  Perfect for young and old readers 🙂 I loved the Trolls with their antics, chaos and mayhem.  I am now off to Troll Proof my house!


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Synopsis:

It’s the Day of the Trolls: Fart-Fart and all the trolls are back! Join them in the shopping mall where they go wild, causing havoc as they overrun the place. But when they follow sign saying All Trolls – This Way, things turn out very differently to what Flycatcher, Bumscratcher, SnotFace, Squeer and the rest of them expected …

My Thoughts:

Day of the Trolls.  What happens when the Trolls have a day out?  Well chaos and mayhem ensue of course.

In this story we get to meet some of the other characters, as well as discovering what they eat and also how rude they actually are.  Again a read aloud book for best results. This one takes the rudeness a little bit further with the roguish antics of the Trolls, and I think children will love listening to what happens when the Trolls are out on the loose.  I am not sure how I feel about Trolls burping in your face, but the fart power I know will get a lot sniggering and giggling from an audience who are both young and old.

Again a book aimed at younger readers from 3 up to grandparents:)


About the Author:

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With a reputation as an international prize-winning novelist, Ron Butlin has also been Edinburgh’s Poet-Laureate.
Before becoming a writer he was a lyricist with a pop band, a footman attending embassy receptions and weekend house parties, a barnacle-scraper on the Thames and a male model.
He has published almost twenty books including novels, short stories, and poetry as well a novel and an illustrated book of verse for children.
His work has been widely translated and twice been awarded a Best Foreign Novel prize. His most recent novel, Ghost Moon, was nominated for the highly prestigious international IMPAC Award 2016. Ron has 3 new books coming out in 2017. See his Goodreads blog for details.
You can follow Ron on Twitter ~ Website 
About the Illustrator:

James Hutcheson is Creative Director at Birlinn. He has been designing books, book jackets and album covers for many years. Based in Edinburgh UK, working as an illustrator, typographer, cartoonist and graphic designer James’ portfolio includes album covers for artists as diverse as Steve Winwood, The Incredible String Band and the mighty Phil Cunningham.

You can follow James on Twitter @SKARPHEDON.

 

⇓ See thoughts of other book bloggers on the tour 

lue Wood

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share.  Better still go an buy a copy of these books xx

#BookReview : Watch Me by Jody Gehrman @jodygehrman @StMartinsPress @NetGalley : #PublicationDayReview

I am delighted to be sharing “Watch Me” by Jody Gehrman.  The lovely people at St Martin’s Press allowed me an eARC of this book via NetGalley.  It is available from today in hardback and eBook and 1st Feb for the paperback on Amazon UK there is a slight difference on the formats released on Amazon US.

Synopsis:

For fans of dark and twisty psychological thrillers, Watch Me is a riveting novel of suspense about how far obsession can go.

Kate Youngblood is disappearing. Muddling through her late 30s as a creative writing professor at Blackwood college, she’s dangerously close to never being noticed again. The follow-up novel to her successful debut tanked. Her husband left her for a woman ten years younger. She’s always been bright, beautiful, independent and a little wild, but now her glow is starting to vanish. She’s heading into an age where her eyes are less blue, her charm worn out, and soon no one will ever truly look at her, want to know her, again.

Except one.

Sam Grist is Kate’s most promising student. An unflinching writer with razor-sharp clarity who gravitates towards dark themes and twisted plots, his raw talent is something Kate wants to nurture into literary success. But he’s not there solely to be the best writer. He’s been watching her. Wanting her. Working his way to her for years.

As Sam slowly makes his way into Kate’s life, they enter a deadly web of dangerous lies and forbidden desire. But how far will his fixation go? And how far will she allow it?

A gripping novel exploring intense obsession and illicit attraction, Jody Gehrman introduces a world where what you desire most may be the most dangerous thing of all.

My Thoughts:

Kate, divorced, teaches creative writing.  She had success with her debut novel but following that one up with another is a bit more challenging.  She is a thirty something who is stuck in a rut and is feeling invisible.  When Sam, a student shows a little more respect, is civil and more attentive than others, Kate pays attention.  She is aware of the teacher-student boundary and does not want to cross the line as her job, career and reputation.  She likes Sam, but doesn’t realise his actions have all been meticulously planned by Sam, her star pupil.

This is an intriguing as well as an enjoyable creepy psychological thriller.  Creepy and enjoyable are not words I would normally associate, but they work for this book.  Told in quick alternating chapters from the viewpoint of the two main protagonists Kate and Sam.  To be in the head of Sam is quite an interesting perspective and also insightful as he sees no problem with what he is doing. It is quite bizarre thing to admit, but I did actually like his character and felt quite sorry for him.  Jody has done a great job creating quite a complex character with obsessive traits, but also explaining the reasoning behind his actions from his perspective.  Kate however I didn’t warm to as much as I thought I would, she felt a little whiny.  It wasn’t that I didn’t like her, but I think as Sam is such a strong character, that Kate felt a little weak in comparison.

The plot itself is basic in some respects, but has been wonderfully developed with some good twists and unexpected turns.  Its pacing gradually speeds as the story unfolds, but on occasions I did feel that some descriptions were a little long, but that could be me being impatient and greedy in wanting to know what was happening with the characters.

This is a book that I found enjoyable, creepy and had a good feeling of believability to it.  Ideal for those who like a good suspense psychological thriller and one that I would recommend.  I would like to thank St Martin’s Press and NetGalley for my copy of this book.  My thoughts are my own and unbiased.

About the Author:

Jody Gehrman Jody Gehrman is a pagan at heart. She is a native of Northern California, where real witches thrive, and she has had the pleasure of knowing a few. She is also the author of seven novels and numerous award-winning plays. Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft is her most recent Young Adult novel. Her other Young Adult novels include Babe in Boyland, Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, and Triple Shot Bettys in Love, (Penguin’s Dial Books). Babe in Boyland has recently been optioned by the Disney Channel and won the International Reading Association’s Teen Choice Award. Her adult novels are Notes from the Backseat, Tart, and Summer in the Land of Skin (Red Dress Ink). Her plays have been produced in Ashland, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and L.A. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for their one-act, Jake Savage, Jungle P.I. She is a professor of English at Mendocino College, where she can be found grading papers when she’s not experimenting with spells.

You can follow Jody on Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share.  Better still, go and buy a copy of this book xx