Blog Tour · Books · Crime / Mystery · Mystery Thriller · Review

#BlogTour : No Bodies by @robertcrouchuk : tour org by @CarolineBookBit

No Bodies - Robert Crouch - Book Cover

It is my pleasure to be on the blog tour for “No Bodies” by Robert Crouch.  I would like to thank Caroline at Bits About Books  and Robert for allowing me a spot.  This is the 2nd in the “Kent Fisher Mystery Series” of books.  It is available as a paperback and as an eBook.  It is Independently Published.

Synopsis:

No motive. No connection.

Why would environmental health officer, Kent Fisher, show any interest in finding Daphne Witherington, the missing wife of a longstanding family friend?

The police believe she ran off with Colin Miller, a rather dubious caterer, and Kent has problems of his own when a young girl who visits his animal sanctuary is rushed to hospital.

When enquiries into Colin Miller reveal a second missing wife, Kent picks up a trail that went cold over a year ago. But he’s struggling to find a connection between the women, even when he discovers a third missing wife.

Is there a killer on the loose in Downland?

With no motive, no connection and no bodies, Kent may never uncover the truth.

My Thoughts:

When I first agreed to be part of the blog tour for this book  I was aware it was the second in a series.  Now I am kicking myself for not reading the first.  I will now never have the full experience of reading the first book, as some of the plots and outcomes follow through to the second one. Though this book did read as a stand alone very well , I urge anyone reading this post to download No Accident on their kindle, I honestly believe it will be time well spent.

It did take me a few chapters to get going with this, and to understand the characters as they have already been established in the 1st book, No Accidents (hint, hint), but once I got going I found an extremely addictive and intriguing story, a story that I could have dived straight into if, yes you guessed it, I had read the first book (I am still annoyed with myself about this).  So, Kent Fisher is an EHO (Environmental Health Officer) and is asked by a local counsellor, Colonel Witherington to look into the disappearance of his wife Daphne.  If you are wondering why the Colonel would ask this, it becomes evident if you read the first book (can you see a theme forming here?).  Kent and his co-worker and friend Gemma Dean, do as requested.  They combine their secret investigation into Daphne as well as doing their routine jobs.  What they discover as they are checking out fast food outlets, food providers and the like, are more puzzles and questions than there are answers, and much more than they originally bargained for.  Tempers are frayed and a past incident has never fully been resolved.

This book has so many plots and sub stories running along side each other, with the author putting many interesting and varied angles into this story, they kept me gripped from start to finish, and did not want to put it down at all.  The characters of Kent and Gemma have been very well developed, you realise that they have been friends for quite a while as the dynamics between them work very well.  There are some other really great characters that cover a range of personalities that gives a real enjoyment to the reader.

Robert has used a lot of his own knowledge from his days as working as an EHO, and has included procedures and protocols, all twisted around the plots to provide his own slant on this crime / mystery story.  It almost had a classic mystery feel to it at times, and it wasn’t until I read the author bio that I saw why.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers who like crime / mystery .  Also please read the first book as I am sure it will add to the reading of this story, it will give you a better understanding into the dynamics, characters and and previous story lines.  Though as a stand alone this one did read very well, but took me a few chapters to get a going, but once I did there was no stopping.

 

Author Bio:

Robert Crouch Author Image  Inspired by Miss Marple, Inspector Morse and Columbo, Robert Crouch wanted to write entertaining crime fiction the whole family could enjoy.

At their heart is Kent Fisher, an environmental health officer with more baggage than an airport carousel. Passionate about the environment, justice and fair play, he’s soon embroiled in murder.

Drawing on his experiences as an environmental health officer, Robert has created a new kind of detective who brings a unique and fresh twist to the traditional murder mystery. With complex plots, topical issues and a liberal dash of irreverent humour, the Kent Fisher mysteries offer an alternative to the standard police procedural.

Robert now writes full time and lives on the South Coast of England with his wife and their West Highland White Terrier, Harvey, who appears in the novels as Kent’s sidekick, Columbo.

Links:

Author Website | Facebook Page | Twitter

Book Details and Links:

  • Paperback: 375 pages
  • Publisher: Independently published (17 Oct. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1549844121
  • ISBN-13: 978-1549844126

To buy “No Bodies” from Amazon UK

To buy “No Accident” the first on the series from Amazon UK

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, give it a share.  Better still go and buy the books.

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Blog Tour · Books · Crime / Mystery · Historical Fiction

#BlogTour : #TheWatcher by Monika Jephcott Thomas #ClinkStreet

The Watcher Cover

The Watcher” by Monika Jephcott Thomas.  Published by Clink Street Publishing on 10th October 2017, available in paperback an eBook.

Synopsis:

It’s 1949 when Netta’s father Max is released from a Siberian POW camp and returns to his home in occupied Germany. But he is not the man the little girl is expecting – the brave, handsome doctor her mother Erika told her stories of.

Erika too struggles to reconcile this withdrawn, volatile figure with the husband she knew and loved before, and, as she strives to break through the wall Max has built around himself, Netta is both frightened and jealous of this interloper in the previously cosy household she shared with her mother and doting grandparents.

Now, if family life isn’t tough enough, it is about to get even tougher, when a murder sparks a police investigation, which begins to unearth dark secrets they all hoped had been forgotten.

My Thoughts:

This book has several stories running together.  There is that of Max, a prisoner of war in a the Siberian concentration camp of Gegesha, his experiences whilst there an also how he deals with being back home.  Then there is the story of Netta and her childhood and also of Erika as she deals with the day-to-day living with a man who has been through an extreme and traumatic event.  Then how these three very different people have to deal with change and how they have changed in themselves.

So Max is married to Erika, together they have daughter Netta.  The story is told from perspectives of all, Max has returned home after 4 years in the camp, he has severe flashbacks during dreams as well as while awake.  The relationship between himself and his wife and daughter is hard, and all have to adapt to the change in him.  As well as this there has also been a murder, a woman known to the family and local people.

This is a time-slip story, and flits between Max and his memories in the camp, and also how life in Germany after the second world war has changed, food is scarce and money is tight.  Max, Erika and Netta live in the attic of his parents house, even though both husband and wife are doctors they cannot afford their own house, money is spent on the clinic they run.  The story as I have said is told from different perspectives, but is mainly focused on Netta, a time when children are seen and not heard, but children have a habit of hearing things they shouldn’t, this is very much the case for Net.

It took me a little while to get into this book, it took a few chapters before I understood the style and characters, but once I had got a feel for it I enjoyed it.  The characters and plot I found to be well described, I thought the descriptions of Max and his treatment and experiences as a prisoner of war had been done well, not too overbearing or graphic, though still uncomfortable reading at times.  It had a what you would expect and nothing that describes concentration camps should be easy reading, but it had been done sympathetically to the subject.  Towards the end the various threads of the plot started to come together and as this happened this pacing definitely quickened.

This is a book that readers of historical fiction and mystery genres would read, I would recommend it. It is a very interesting look at life in Germany post war, as well as relationships within family and also socially.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Clink Street Publishing (10 Oct. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1912262029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1912262021

 

About The Author:

Monkika Jephcott Thomas.jpgMonika Jephcott Thomas grew up in Dortmund Mengede, north-west Germany. In 1966 she moved to the UK and, after a thirty-year career in education, delved into the therapeutic world where she has over twenty years experience as a counsellor and psychotherapist, gained with a wide variety of clients and presenting conditions.

By 1998, she and her partner Jeff established the Academy of Play & Child Psychotherapy (APAC). This has grown to become the largest provider world-wide of post-graduate training for Play Therapists and Practitioners in Therapeutic Play Skills, in partnership with several universities and colleges.

Monika and Jeff became founder members of Play Therapy UK. Monika was elected President of Play Therapy International in 2002. Their work culminated in the official recognition of the play therapy profession in 2013, an endorsement of their devotion to help the twenty per cent of children in the world who have emotional, behavioural, social and mental health problems by using play and the creative Arts.

Her professional background has given her insight into the effect of traumatic events not only on those directly experiencing them but also on their families and the generational impact.

Links:

Author website Click Here

Buy from Clink Street Click Here

Clink Street Publishing Homepage Click Here

Home page for Authoright Click Here

Buy from Amazon UK Click Here

 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you like it, please give it a share.

 

 

 

Blog Tour · Books · Fiction · Review

#BlogTour : The Second Son by Andy Blackman

The Second Son CoverThe Second Son published by Clink Street Publishing on 5th October 2017.

I would like to thank  Rachel Gilbey for allowing me a spot on the tour for this amazing book.

Synopsis:

As the second son of the Duke of Hampshire, Grenville St John Hampton isn’t likely to inherit his family’s title or estate, leaving him pondering an empty, aimless future. During the summer break from university, he impulsively decides to go backpacking with one of his oldest friends, Johnathan; their destination is Belize.

One sultry night on the Central American coastline, Grenville and Johnathan meet Tom. A game of darts takes a vicious turn. Realising he has nothing to look forward to back at home, Grenville decides to stay on in Belize with Tom, in pursuit of adventure. Together, the new friends establish an import business, and for the rst time in his life, Grenville has a sense of purpose.

But back in England all is not well. The sudden death of his brother leaves Grenville with an unexpected – and now unwanted – inheritance, with new consequences and responsibilities. He will return to claim the family’s seat with a dark secret in tow.

Andy Blackman is the author of For the Love of Grace (published by Clink Street, 2016).

My Thoughts:

Occasionally you come across a book that exceeds all expectations, The Second Son is one of them.  The synopsis is alluring and at the same time vague and almost understated, it gives the basic details but what is told within the covers is quite an amazing story.

The main protagonist is Grenville St. Louis Hampton, second son of the Duke and Duchess of Hampshire.  He has a more carefree nature with no expectations piled on him, unlike his brother Stephen who will carry the mantle of family tradition.  This burden of a future title is Stephen’s, and he does not carry it well, he does not see the point of Greville and mostly ignores him.  Grenville follows the family tradition of schools that have always been attended by the family, but takes a gap year with best friend Jonathan and they visit Belize.  There they meet Tom, he becomes their saviour and when Jonathan returns homewithout his friend, Tom becomes Grenville’s mentor.  Tom teaches him about his import business as well as more practical survival skills, and his business is not completely above-board.  After spending a few years in Belize, Grenville is to go home, his brother killed in a car accident and so the title of successor falls to Grenville.

Grenville still wants to help Tom with his business, so the two form a sort of business plan that they will set up in the UK, this gives Grenville something useful, practical to do as well also helping his friend. When he returns to the UK he has his work cut out for him, not only dealing with the estate but also setting up a business.  This he does not do alone , he calls on two old school friends, Jonathan and also Hugo, they begin a journey, and what a journey it is.

When I began this book I was not really that taken with Grenville, I cannot put my finger on what exactly it was, but as his character grew and changed I started to warm to him and actually ended up really liking him.  The characters in this book are really well-developed, the bad guys are real sleazy, lowlife slime balls that I instantly loathed, the good guys, yes you guessed it, I really liked them, even when they have their shady moments.  The characters, their surroundings and the dialogue are very appropriate and are well worked.

The plot, well… I am keeping sch-tum on this one, it is impressive and is absolutely nothing like I expected.  Even now as I write this review (24 hours after reading) I still feel a little lost and really want to read more, yes I am suffering from “book hangover”, so my order for to Amazon for a copy of “For the Love of Grace” is now on its way.   For The Love Of Grace deals with Tom and his mother, and how Tom ends up in Belize.  I have read The Second Son without reading For The Love Of Grace, and I found that it works well as a stand alone, but curiosity of Tom and Grace’s story has intrigued me.  So because of this I would suggest reading both.

This is a book that I would recommend to readers of contemporary fiction who like mystery, intrigue and is very well written.

Book Details: 

About the Author:

After serving in the British Army for over twenty-five years in the Parachute Regiment, Andy Blackman today lives in Bedworth, Warwickshire and works within in the IT sector. In his spare time he can be found visiting his three daughters and grandchildren. His previous novel, For the Love of Grace, was published in 2016.

Many thanks for reading my post.

 

 

 

Blog Tour · Books · Crime / Mystery · Historical Fiction · Review

#BlogTour : Fatal Masquerade by @vivwrites #BookReview

 

 

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Fatal Masquerade published 4th October 2017

Synopsis:

Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois are back in a gripping new adventure facing dangerous opponents at a masked ball in the countryside.

Masked danger…

Lady Alkmene Callender has always loved grand parties, but when she receives an invitation to a masked ball thrown by Franklin Hargrove – oil magnate, aviation enthusiast and father of her best friend, Denise – she’s never seen such luxury. The estate is lit up with Chinese lanterns in the gardens, boats operated by footmen float across the pond and the guest list features the distinguished, rich and powerful!

But below the glamour, evil is lurking. When a dead body is discovered, it forces Lady Alkmene to throw off her mask and attempt to find the true killer before Denise’s family are accused. If only her partner, Jake Dubois, weren’t hiding something from her…

This case might just be more dangerous than either of them could have imagined.

My Thoughts:

This is the fourth in the “Lady Alkmene Mystery” series of books.  I have read the first one “A Proposal to Die For”, so was interested to see what, if anything had changed or been carried through from the first one, as well as the more important on going character developments.

Alkmene is on her first visit to Hargrove Eastate with her relatively new friend, Denise Hargrove.  She is the daughter of the landowner but does not get on with his second wife, her step mother, Cecily.  Not getting on is an understatement, at times their relationship boarders on vicious. There is to be a masked ball at the estate, a large elaborate and lavish event that Alkmene is looking forward to.  The chance to get away from London and the investigations she is spending more time on.  She is surprised to see that Jake is also there, this is not the sort of event he would be socially invited to, so why was he there ? Then the inevitable happens, a murder!

As events come to pass Alkemene and her social status comes into play as she can talk more freely to guests, or should I say potential suspects.  Jake Dubois sudden appearance is ideal for Alkmene to bounce ideas and thoughts off as the duo are once again in the thick of it.  In this book, Lady Alkmene takes more a front seat, leading lady role as far as the investigative side of the plot is concerned.

I do think that Alkmene has grown a little stronger and more confident, she has lost some of her naivety but still manages to rush headlong into situations without thinking things through.  This is a book I really enjoyed reading, the thing that makes it work for me is the 1920’s  old style mystery feel it has.  There are quite a lot of different events that have been cleverly twisted together to make for some really good mystery.  Once again Vivian has created some very interesting characters who you will love, like and loathe.  Again touching on the social class differences of the time, she has managed to find the right balance that was still a prominent aspect of the time.

I would recommend this book to readers who like a slower, gentler paced mystery, that is well written, with good plots and several twists. A cosy, deductive mystery with a female sleuth.

 

About the Author:

Vivian Conroy discovered Agatha Christie at 13 and quickly devoured all Poirot and Miss Marple stories. Over time Lord Peter Wimsey and Brother Cadfael joined her favorite sleuths. Even more fun than reading was thinking up her own fog-filled alleys, missing heirs and priceless artifacts. So Vivian created feisty Lady Alkmene and enigmatic reporter Jake Dubois sleuthing in 1920s London and the countryside, first appearing in A PROPOSAL TO DIE FOR (published by Carina UK/Harper Collins).

For the latest #LadyAlkmene, with a dash of dogs and chocolate.

Follow Vivian on Twitter 

Book details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1188 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQ Digital (4 Oct. 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English

Amazon Book Links for the series:

A Proposal to Die for  | Diamonds of Death  | Deadly Treasures |Fatal Masquerade

Many thanks for reading my post.

Action and Adventure · Blog Tour · Books · Crime/Thriller · Review

#BlogTour : The Fallen Agent by @olivertidy org: @CarolineBookBit

The Fallen Agent - Oliver Tidy - Blog Tour Poster 2.0 (4).png

The Fallen Agent released on 10th October 2017.  

I am really excited to be part of the blog tour for this book.  My thanks to Caroline  for allowing me a spot.

Synopsis:

Jess Albion has recently started a new life on the other side of the world with a new identity. She used to be MI5. Then a job went bad, someone died and she was made an example of in the British courts. But MI5 look after their own. Or they did until rumours of a planned Al Qaeda biological terror attack on London started circulating. Now someone in the British security services is giving agents up in return for information. No price, it seems, is too high to save London from the ultimate threat.

When Jess’s fresh start is compromised she has a choice to make: run and hide and spend the rest of her life looking over her shoulder or go looking for the threat and snuff it out. On her own, she’d run, but she has Nick on her side.

The Fallen Agent is a story of love and hate, of loyalty and betrayal, of revenge and callous disregard for human life in the pursuit of satisfaction.

My Thoughts:

Well where to start with this book.  First off I absolutely loved it.  It is a book that I am finding very hard to review without giving away any spoilers.

It starts with a murder, but of the wrong person.  From there the reader is transported to New Zealand, this is the new home of the intended victim.  Jess Albion has been given a new identity and a new life.  It is not one she had ever envisioned for herself, but her past still visits her in her dreams and nightmares.  These dreams soon start to become reality, all she had left behind of her own life comes rocking up and smashing her door down.

With the help of Nathan, her colleague in MI5, they intend to try and discover the truth behind not only the way she had been disgustingly mistreated at MI5, but also how a rumour of a possible biological terrorist on London. This begins a dangerous game of cat and mouse, lies and double crossing for the search for verifiable information on this possible threat.

As I said from the outset, I do not want to give anything away.  It is a deep and well constructed thriller that has action and intrigue from the get go. It has that “edge of your seat” feel to it, with a pace that suits and is maintained throughout, a real page turner to see what will happen next. The characters in this book are a definite mixed bunch,some I really, really liked, then there are some real “slime balls” that I despised, others that I just down and out loathed, and then the odd surprise where I changed my mind about them.  Is it wrong to like a baddy just a little bit ? The plot of the story is quite big for the size of the book, there are a good amount of twists, that keep you guessing and at no point did I feel confused while reading.

If you like espionage, crime, thriller, backstabbing action packed, creative and well written book then you will not go wrong with this.  It ticked so many boxes for me, and it is my hope that other readers will feel the same way.

Author Bio:

Oliver Tidy Author Image

                                                                                         Crime writing author Oliver Tidy has had a life-long love affair with books. He dreams of one day writing something that he could find in a beautifully-jacketed hard-cover or paperback copy on a shelf in a book shop. He’d even be happy with something taking up space in the remainder bin, on a pavement, in the rain, outside The Works.

He found the time and opportunity to finally indulge his writing ambition after moving abroad to teach English as a foreign language to young learners eight years ago.

Impatient for success and an income that would enable him to stay at home all day in his pyjamas he discovered self-publishing. He gave it go. By and large readers have been kind to him. Very kind. Kind enough that two years ago he was able to give up the day job and write full-time. Mostly in his pyjamas.

Oliver Tidy has fourteen books in three series, a couple of stand-alone novels and a couple of short story collections. All available through Amazon (clickable link to Am Author Page). Among his books are The Romney and Marsh Files (British police procedurals set in Dover) and the Booker & Cash novels, a series of private detective tales set in the south of England and published by Bloodhound Books.

Oliver is back living on Romney Marsh in the UK. His home. He still wakes in the night from time to time shouting about seeing his books on a shelf in Waterstones.

For more on Oliver Tidy and his books, check out his website: https://olivertidy.com/

Or follow him on:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/olivertidy
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Oliver-Tidy-467297426793288/

Book details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1586 KB
  • Print Length: 310 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B075QHKG8P
  • Amazon Link

Many thanks for reading my post.

Blog Tour · Books · Non Fiction · Review

#Blogtour : Cancer Free for 20 years by @CurlyMartin @BookPublicistUK #coffeemorning #cancersurvivors

Blogger tour poster design Cancer Free.png

I am incredibly excited to be part of the blog tour for this very inspirational book and it’s author Curly Martin. I would like to thank Teresa at The Book Publicist for inviting me to be part of this tour. 

Synopsis:

Full of tips, tools, techniques, & the secrets Curly Martin used to overcome cancer. How she now lives a passionate, exciting, healthy, wealthy, happy life. Curly Martin was diagnosed with breast cancer, and an aggressive form of lymphatic cancer in 1992 and she was given nine months to live. At that time she became homeless and was unemployed. This book is all about her fascinating and funny 20 year journey from cancer to coaching. Since the terminal diagnosis, she has become an international bestselling author of, The Coaching Handbook Series of books. She is a highly sought-after international speaker, a pioneer of life coach training and the founder of a very successful training company, Achievement Specialists Limited. She intuitively combines her personal experiences with accepted methodologies and cutting edge innovations, to create exciting, very entertaining and effective approaches to living a healthy, happy and successful life.

My Thoughts:

Curly Martin was given 9 months to live after being diagnosed with cancer, this was in 1992, well they got that bit wrong.  This book tells how Curly has made her journey from when diagnosed to where she is today.  It is a glimpse into her life as she went through treatment and the various therapies, remedies and also the self-help techniques she has used, and still uses today. She has very candidly shared her feelings, experiences and thoughts as she dealt with what life has thrown at her physically, emotionally and mentally.

This is not a sad book at all, instead Curly has managed to inject her positive outlook of life into the pages of this book.  Her personality shines through and so does her sense of humour.  Cancer did not beat her, instead it seems to have momentarily paused her at the age of 39 years old, before she was up and embarking on a new path.  As she recovered from her treatments for cancer, she began to change things in her life, changed her habits and lifestyle also meant a change in her perspective. 

This book is broken down into manageable chapters, with a brief summary of what she has discussed at the end of each, these summaries are handy little pointers.  It is full of various tips that she has learnt along the way, from making notes at hospital appointments to asking questions during treatment.  Some of her pointers and positive advice are things anyone could use in their normal lives. All the way through she is telling of her journey, what did and didn’t work for her.  Also promoting what works for one, doesn’t necessarily work for others, as well as the fact that the treatment she received in the 90’s is different compared to today.

This is a very well laid out book that shows how one woman has taken cancer by the horns and used her experiences of it,she has turned it into a positive.  She was never going to let it beat her.  I do not think for one moment that this was an easy, but as i read this book I could feel her positive energy.  

I wish to send my thanks to Curly for sending me a copy of her book.  I would like to wish Curly all the very best in her health, happiness and future.

 

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Achievement Specialists Ltd (3 July 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0995485801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0995485808

Purchase from  Amazon UK

Author Bio:

DSC_0046 Curly final.jpg

I want every cancer sufferer to have hope and to know that there can be a future out there if you dare to make the changes and believe. My latest book Achievement: Cancer Free For 20 Years tells of my triumphant journey from diagnosis in 1992 through to becoming the pioneer of life coach training today.
I am also the author of the International seminal best-seller ‘The Life Coaching Handbook’ a World’s first life coaching book written specifically for life coaches on how to build a life coaching business. She established Achievement Specialists Ltd. in 1997, a Life Coach Training company, using her 25+ years experience as a business coach, mentor and trainer. Achievement Specialists Website I am the pioneer of life coach training and thousands of people have trained to become life coaches with me. The life coaching course is a full level 7 diploma accredited by the international institute of coaching and Mentoring. I have also written ‘The Business Coaching Handbook’ and ‘The Personal Success Handbook’ which complete the coaching handbook series. Also written or co-written by me some 30 books and articles on coaching. I am a Fellow of The International Institute of Coaching and Mentoring.

 

Many thanks for reading my post.

Blog Tour · Books · Psychological Thriller · Review

#BlogTour : A Justifiable Madness by @AliMorgan2304

Many thanks to Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound Books for allowing me a spot on the blog tour for this unusual and very thought provoking book.

Synopsis:

Can you really tell the difference between madness and sanity?

Mark Randall goes to great lengths to get himself admitted to an acute psychiatric ward and, despite being mute, convinces professionals that he is psychotic. But who is he and why is he so keen to spend time in a psychiatric hospital?

When Mark is admitted, silent and naked, the staff are suspicious about his motives.

Dealing with this, as well as the patients on the ward, Mark’s troubles really begin once he is Sectioned under the Mental Health Act. When decisions about his future are handed to Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Giles Sharman, Mark’s life is about to go from bad to worse.

Drugged, abused and in danger, Mark looks for a way out of this nightmare. But he’s about to learn, proving that you are sane might not be easy as it seems…

My Thoughts:

It is 1994, a man resembling Jesus has just stepped off a train, he is naked, apart from a pair of sandals! Hours later he is admitted to a psychiatric ward and will not speak.  He has achieved the first part of his plan and is exactly where he wants to be.  From here on in the story weaves it,s way around the ward, the other patients and the staff.

The story is told from the viewpoint of Staff Nurse Monica and the man referred to as Jesus Trainman (he looks like Jesus, he is a man, he came off a train, it makes perfect sense). It is not until you start to get mid-way through this story that you are told the reason for his incarceration, up until this point the scene is being set, other characters are introduced and the dynamis within the ward is described.  But do not for a moment think that this is a slow burner just ambling along, it isn’t, there are various things afoot in the hospital and the plot has more than warmed up by the time you start to realise what the point of the story from Jesus’s perspective is.  When he is sectioned his time on the ward takes a very severe turn, and to make matters worse those in charge will not or are unable to listen to or help him, they have already made up their minds about him.

There are quite a few characters in this book, and for a little while it took me a moment to remember who was who, but it didn’t take too long for them to sink in.  The characters tell of their experiences in hospital as well as how differrent members of staff are perceived by patients and other staff.  Not all staff are liked.

This book seems to play on some of our worst fears,  While under the care of professionals the vulnerable are supposed to be safe, in this story that is not the case, to make matters worse, some members of staff are completely powerless to have their concerns listened to. As I said at the beginning, this book is thought-provoking, and makes for a great discussion, as I found when talking to a colleague at work about the story.  I had to keep reminding myself that it is set in the 1990’s and the Mental Health Act has changed a lot since then.  But I am also aware that not all institutions follow protocols set as the media inform us, this adds to the a chilling aspect to the story

This is definitely a book that will appeal to readers who like Institutionalised Psychological Thriller/ Crime genres. I think it would be a great book for Reading Groups to discuss as there are various interesting concepts and themes.

 

Author Bio: 

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A B Morgan: (The tartan is Welsh: Morgan)

Married to an overgrown child with a beard and too many motorbikes, Alison Morgan lives in a corner of a field in North Bedfordshire and is making the most of a mid-life crisis. The Morgans are determined not to grow old gracefully or to be seen wearing beige and can be found exploring life through a love of live music, anything with an engine, the sea, mountains, rugby, proper pubs and fascinating people.

Alison has worked for the NHS for nearly thirty years, twenty of those within mental health services, at the front line, where she eventually became the manager of a countywide community service for people experiencing their first episode of psychosis. Much to her frustration, her heart decided to develop an electrical fault, which forced her to sit down for more than five minutes, and her career temporarily juddered to a halt. Not one for thumb twiddling, she took up position in front of a computer with a plan to write a set of clinical guidelines for assessment of psychosis, but instead a story, which had been lurking in her mind for several years, came tumbling out.

With her health steadily improving thanks to the staff at Papworth Hospital, Alison hopes to return to nursing part-time, but is determined to keep writing fiction. Her debut novel A Justifiable Madness is inspired by her life and career as a psychiatric nurse, and her fascination with the extremes of human behaviour. Her second novel, Divine Poison, also published by Bloodhound books is due for release in January 2018.

Author Links: Twitter |Website

Buy on Amazon UK

Many thanks for reading my post.

 

Blog Tour · Books · Crime / Mystery · Crime/Thriller · Psychological Thriller · Review

#BlogBlitz : Degrees of Darkness by @TonyJForder published by@BloodhoundBook


I would like to say a huge thank you to Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound Books for this opportunity to take part in the blog blitz for this amazing book. “Degrees of Darkness” by Tony J Forder.

Synopsis:

Pre-teen girls are being abducted from their homes and their families murdered. When Frank Rogers, once a DI with the Met and now running his own debt collection agency, is told that his own daughter is missing, his son murdered, he naturally wants to become involved with the case.

Soon Frank’s face is all over the news. In an unexpected turn of events, the killer contacts the police and says he is willing to talk, but only to Frank.

When the body of the first abducted girl is discovered, Frank realises it is a race against time to save his daughter.

In order to solve the case, Frank must work out how the killer is picking his victims.

But how do you catch a murderer who is hiding in plain sight? And can Frank solve the mystery, when he has so much to lose?

My thoughts:

I was hooked on this book pretty quickly, literally a few pages and there I was, Hooked! It was as I read about a killer being in the house of the victim. What unfolds after that is a brutal psychological game of cat and mouse between an ex-cop and the killer.

Frank is the ex-cop and it is his own daughter that is the latest missing victim, his son is one of the murdered victims, along Frank’s ex-wife.  This killer is very clever at leaving no evidence for the police to go on,  due to this he is able to taunt Frank and the police, feeding titbits of information on his own terms.  The media have taken up the story and this just adds to fuel the game the killer plays.

This book is simply brilliant from start to finish.  I loved everything about it, from the memorable, unique and identifiable characters to the wonderfully deep, twisted and well thought-out plot. The characters I could almost imagine off the pages, some I loathed some I really liked.  The pacing fits this story perfectly, keeping the pressure on the reader to read and not pause, at times the pace slows at the more descriptive sections, it was almost as if these were breathing stops and I was given a chance to arrange my thoughts.

Yes this is a psychological thriller and it fits perfectly into this genre.  The plot is very well laid out and leads you through the story to a satisfactory ending.  There was no point in the story that I had any idea of identities until the author allowed me to know, there were a couple of red herrings, that made my heart sink when I came across them, I was so glad I was wrong.  Also added into this murder and abduction story, is the story of the killer and his history, experiences, ideologies and outlook on life, it gives the reader a glimpse into a the mind of the killer.

I would highly recommend this book to readers who like their psychological thrillers to be dark and sinister, with layers of plots.  If this is you …..Get this book, you will not be disappointed.

My thoughts here are my own and are unbiased.

Author Bio:

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On 1st February 2017, Tony signed to Bloodhound Books, who published his edgy crime thriller Bad to the Bone in spring. It is the first in a series.

Later this year, Tony’s second novel for Bloodhound Books, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, will be published.

Tony has been writing stories since childhood, but it was only when he won a short story competition judged by an editor from Pan Books, that he realised he might actually be half decent at this writing business.

The story, Gino’s Bar and Grille, went on to be published in Dark Voices 2, part of the celebrated Pan Book of Horror series. Three further short story sales followed: Book End, published in Dark Voices 4, Character Role, in FEAR magazine, and finally A Grim Story, which featured in A Rattler’s Tale.

During a book singing for Dark Voices 2, Tony was seated next to author Brian Lumley. At one point, Tony revealed to Brian that he felt out of place alongside all the proper writers. Brian then told Tony something he has never forgotten: “The moment you sat down and pulled a story out of your imagination and put it to paper, you became a proper writer.”

Subsequently, Tony began to focus on novel writing. He admits that his initial attempts were exploratory and somewhat derivative, although there was some interest from an agent – who oddly enough turned out to be Brian Lumley’s wife, Dorothy.

Tony wrote Degrees of Darkness, which he was happy with. He wasn’t so happy with a follow-up, so that never saw the light of day.

As a part-time writer with a full-time job, plus some ill-health, life got in the way and, although Tony continued writing, it took a back seat to making a living.

This year, however, Tony has been inspired by new ideas, and has been working hard on two new books, both of which should be completed in 2017.

Author Links:   Facebook  | Twitter |

Buy on Amazon UK

 

Many thanks for reading my post.

Blog Tour · Books · Crime / Mystery · Crime/Thriller · Review

#BlogTour : Locked Up by @GailBWilliams @Bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy681 : #BookReview

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I am pleased to share my thoughts for this book as part of the blog tour.
 
 My Thoughts:
Well this is a book that hit hard.  I expected to find anything involving being imprisoned to be so, but I don’t think I was quite prepared for the story that followed.
This is a hard-hitting book and is not for the squeamish, especially towards the end.  It charts various plots and underhand dealings within the prison system. For inmate and ex-cop Charlie,  and also prison officer Teddington, things become dangerous, especially when you cannot trust anyone.
When an inmate is murdered and the official line is given that it was suicide, you know there is something amiss.  This is the main plot of the story, but then there are so many other subplots and twists interwoven into this , adding a greater depth.  There are some very heartbreaking and powerful scenes that have been twisted around a very deviously that keeps you guessing.  Some things I worked out as I read, but on the whole, most of the plots were unexpected.
This book has some great characters, they have been well-developed and are definitely memorable, with varied traits in their characters.  There are a few characters that I really did not like, by the end of the book some I changed my opinion on some.  The pacing really is good for this story, it changes and fits precisely where needed.
I really would recommend this book to readers who like hard, gritty Crime & Thriller genres.  There are sections towards the end of the book that are violent so please be aware.  I did read this book in a day and found it quite addictive.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for inviting me onto the Book Tour and my copy of this book.  My opinions here are my own, they are honest and unbiased.
 

Locked Up blurb
A prison officer and a convicted killer must work together to solve a brutal murder and expose conspiracy inside a prison.
Ariadne Teddington is surrounded by people who lie but that is to be expected when you work in prison where every man claims to be innocent.
Charlie Bell, an ex Detective, now finds himself in that prison serving time formurder after having taken the law into his own hands.
When a fellow inmate is killed Charlie is asked to investigate the case from theinside. Soon Charlie finds himself working with Ariande but she is a guard, he is an inmate and some lines should never be crossed…
Can two people on different sides of the law come together to solve the case?
And do the answers lie closer to home than anyone ever imagined?

Author bio:

Gail Wiliams

After being made redundant in 2012, GB started taking her life-long passion for writing more seriously and looking to sell her work. Specialising in complex, fast-paced crime novels, she started writing the Locked Series in 2014, and has been working to polish and perfect since – not to mention – sell.
GB was shortlisted for the 2014 CWA Margery Allingham Short Story Competition with the story Last Shakes, now available in Last Cut Casebook. She is also a feature writer and comic book reviewer on www.warpedfactor.com. Crime novels are her stock in trade, but she has had success with short stories in various genres including steampunk, horror, erotica and general fiction. 
With bills to pay, she’s back working as a systems architect by day, a freelance fiction editor and keen writer of an evening and weekend. GB really needs to learn to sleep.
Originally from Kent, GB moved to South Wales as a supposed first step on a year around the world.  Then she met a guy.  Kept the guy, kissed the travel goodbye. Knowing that the best way to travel is by book anyway, she has always read, always written. GB now has two grown-up children, the world’s most imperious cat, a house full of books and a hard drive full of manuscripts (though some will never be allowed out of a locked basement).

Twitter:   @GailBWilliams
Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gail-Williams/261748000603425
Blog:          https://thewriteroute.wordpress.com/
Website:     https://www.gailbwilliams.co.uk
Email:  info@gailbwilliams.co.uk

Many thanks for reading my post.

Blog Tour · Books · Historical Fiction · Review

#BlogTour |The Shogun’s Queen by @LesleyDowner #BookReview

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It is my pleasure to be on the blog tour for this book.  “The Shogun’s Queen” by Lesley Downer. Part of a series called “The Shogun’s Quartet”,

My Thoughts:

This story is based in Japan during 1851-1858, a period in history when Japan is under threat from America and Britain.  Although they trade with Holland successfully, the other countries want to set up ports and bases on the island, making more demands and wanting treaties signed.  As this is going on the main story takes place, that of a young girl from the Satsuma Province at the south of the island,  her name is Okatsu and she has been chosen for an important role.  Her family has ideas that a country girl from a notable family can be elevated to the Imperial Palace in the north. She has absolutely no say in her future at all.

Lesley has created a historical fiction novel with a huge amount of detail, culture, customs, traditions, history, social class and values from Japanese life. As you read through this story, it is easy to notice the time effort and research that has been put into this, what also comes across for me is , is that the author has an obvious  love for this country and it’s people.  For me what I found great about this book is the amount of things I learnt from it, I have a basic knowledge of Japan and its history, but this book goes a lot further.  The formalities and workings at the palace for a young girl entering this isolated and secluded world amazed me.  I loved the fact that a lot of the main characters actually existed.  The descriptions Lesley has given of each character and the way she has described the country is wonderful.

There are some really handy inclusions in this book to aid the reader, maps, a list of characters and their roles and a very insightful afterward. In the afterward she explains how a lot of the characters actually existed, they can be researched.  Also how she did take liberties with some things.  But the vast majority of the book is nearly true to fact.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this book, I found it a very addictive and easy read given the amount of detail that is included.

This is my first encounter with this amazing and talented author, it will not be my last.  I highly recommend this book for readers of historical fiction

 

Book Synopsis:

The year is 1853, and a young Japanese girl’s world is about to be turned upside down.

When black ships carrying barbarians arrive on the shores of Japan, the Satsuma clan’s way of life is threatened. But it’s not just the samurai who must come together to fight: the beautiful, headstrong Okatsu is also given a new destiny by her feudal lord – to save the realm.

Armed only with a new name, Princess Atsu, as she is now known, journeys to the women’s palace of Edo Castle, a place so secret it cannot be marked on any map. Behind the palace’s immaculate façade, amid rumours of murder and whispers of ghosts, Atsu must uncover the secret of the man whose fate, it seems, is irrevocably linked to hers – the shogun himself – if she is to rescue her people . . .

 

Lesley Downer Bio

I write historical fiction set in Japan – women’s untold stories, largely true and based on meticulous and detailed research, though primarily, of course, good yarns. I’ve just finished The Shogun’s Queen, the fourth of The Shogun Quartet, four novels set in the nineteenth century during the tumultuous fifteen years when Japan was convulsed by civil war and transformed from rule by the shoguns into a society that looked to the west.

The second, The Last Concubine, was shortlisted for Romantic Novel of the Year 2009 and translated into 30 languages. The other two novels are The Courtesan and the Samurai and The Samurai’s Daughter. My non-fiction on Japan includes Geisha: The Remarkable Truth Behind the Fiction and Madame Sadayakko: The Geisha who Seduced the West. I’m also a journalist and travel writer, give lectures and teach Creative Writing at City University in London.

Website:  Lesley Downer
Twitter:  @LesleyDowner
Facebook:  AuthorLesleyDowner

 

Book Details:

 

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; 01 edition (27 July 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055216349X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552163491

 

Thank you taking the time to read my blog.

 

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