#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.

 

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#BookReview :#AnatomyofaScandal by Sarah Vaughan : @SVaughanAuthor : @simonschusterUK : @NetGalley

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“Anatomy Of A Scandal” by Sarah Vaughan and has a planned release date of 11th January 2018 you can pre-order now.  Published by Simon & Schuster UK and available as Hardback, eBook and Audio.

Book Detail:

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (11 Jan. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471164993
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471164996
  • Purchase from 

Synopsis:

You want to believe your husband. She wants to destroy him.

“A strong choice for book clubs. Former political correspondent Vaughan makes an impressive debut with this savvy, propulsive courtroom drama.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Vaughan offers gripping insight into a political scandal’s hidden machinations and the tension between justice and privilege…Absorbing, polished.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Skillfully interweaving the story of the unfolding scandal, Vaughan gradually reveals just how shockingly high the stakes are…Sinewy…engrossing, twist-filled.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

My Thoughts:

This is a story that is told from the perspective of several characters and across different timelines.  The trial of a Junior minister James, for the rape of a colleague, but it is a tricky case as they had an affair that had recently ended.  We are introduced to Kate the Prosecuting Barrister, Sophie who is James’s wife, and a few others, but these are the main ones.

This is at times a hard read as there are sexual references made.  Also at times I thought a little slow and repetitive at times as the story progresses.  But that being said,  I really enjoyed the different story  lines, they have been well developed and intertwined around the various characters.  They give an insightful read showing how they have changed over the years, why their opinions, demeanour and outlook on life is what it is.  But like most people they have skeletons in their closets, and these are now about to see the light of day, and they are going to have repercussions.

I really liked the character of Kate, by far my favourite one.  She has a strong persona but underneath is vulnerable and emotional.  Sophie felt like a real sap, over the years she seems to have lost her identity, then there is James, what a slime-ball of a man.  Kate has a different background to the other two so I think this is why I liked her, a black sheep of sorts in the social ranks of Oxford University.

I would recommend this book to readers of Courtroom Drama, Women’s Fiction with elements of suspense.  I will add that there are sexual references that may offend some readers.

I wish to express my thanks to Simon & Schuster, Atria Books and NetGalley for my eARC of this book.  My thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

811hOItAuOL._SY200_Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to be a journalist. After training at the Press Assocation, she spent eleven years at the Guardian as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent. It wasn’t until her second child was born, that she finally did what she’d always wanted to do and started writing fiction. The Art of Baking Blind is the result, and will also be published in the US (St Martin’s Press) and in nine translations. She lives near Cambridge and is working on her second novel.

Follow Sarah on : Facebook  Twitter  Website

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

 

 

#BookTour : You’re Next by Michael Fowler : published by @caffeinenights : tour organised by @CarolineBookBit

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It is my pleasure to be part of the blog tour of “You’re Next ” by Michael Fowler, by

Caffeine Nights Publishing  on 9th November 2017 and is available in paperback.

 

Synopsis:

It is the opening day of Detective Sergeant Scarlett Macey’s biggest case of her life – ‘The Lycra Rapist’ is standing trial for a series of brutal rapes.

But things don’t go according to plan – the trial collapses – and James Green is freed.

Scarlett is determined his freedom will not last long and immediately begins planning his downfall.

Meanwhile James Green has his own plans for revenge, and driven by feelings of hatred begins to pick out those who brought about his downfall – priming them for the kill.

Scarlett has faced many villains in the past, but never one quite as terrifying as James Green…

My Thoughts:

D.S Scarlett Macey has been working on the case of “The Lycra Rapist” and it is now trial time, everything is all lined up ready for James Green to be locked up for his crimes.  Well that was the thought, but an unforeseen event leads to James being released.  Scarlett wants justice, and James wants revenge.

This story starts off running and does not let up, just as you start getting your head round one thing, it twists and something else is thrown in.  The plot has been very cleverly manipulated, twisted and convincingly developed.  It does not give an inch as far as guessing the plot goes. As I was reading I guessed at one thing and was so far off the mark. The good guys are really good, the bad guys are monsters!

Macey and her partner D.C Tarn Scarr are the two main detectives in this story, but add to that various other characters and you have a cast that is not massive, but just the right amount to add the variety and extra depth.  It is set in London and the descriptions the author gives are spot on.  One thing that really jumped out at me were the procedural details.  It was the little things and the comments that were added, it appeared to be written by someone who had a knowledge of policing.  After reading the book I checked out Michael’s bio, sure enough he was an ex-police officer, the added extras that he brought to the story from his own experiences really did show.

This is my first experience with this author, I can honestly say it will not be my last.  This is perfect for a reader who likes action packed, fast paced and a well written book with some good characters and deep well developed plots.  I found it to be an addictive page turner from start to finish, I read it in a day as I really could not put it down.  Perfect for Crime /Thriller / Mystery readers. I would highly recommend this book.

I would like to thank Caroline at Bits About Books for allowing me a spot on this tour.  Also many thanks to Michael Fowler and Caffeine Nights Publishing for my copy of this book.  My thoughts expressed are my own and are unbiased.

Author Bio:

Michael Fowler Author Image

Following retirement, after thirty-two years as a police officer, working mainly as a detective, Michael returned to the deadly business of murder, as a writer. His past work brought him very close to some nasty characters, including psychopaths, and gruesome cases, and he draws on that experience to craft his novels: There is nothing gentle about Michael’s stories.

His landmark novel Heart of the Demon, published in 2012, introduced Detective Sergeant Hunter Kerr. Michael has since written five novels and a novella featuring Kerr. He also released the first DS Scarlett Macey book in 2016. Michael is also the author of a stand-alone crime novella and a true crime thriller.

Michael has another side to his life – a passion for art, and has found considerable success as an artist, receiving numerous artistic accolades. Currently, his oil paintings can be found in the galleries of Spencer Coleman Fine Arts.

He is a member of the Crime Writers Association and International Thriller Writers.

Follow Michael on his Website.  To see all of Micheal’s books check out Caffeine Nights Publishing.

Book details:

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Caffeine Nights Publishing (9 Nov. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1910720895
  • ISBN-13: 978-1910720899

Order from :  Amazon UK  |  Amazon US

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

#BlogTour : The Prisoner’s Wife by Gerard MacDonald : @AuthorightUKPR @gilbster1000 @Authoright #BookReview

Today I am pleased to be sharing my thoughts on the blog tour for “The Prisoner’s Wife” by Gerard MacDonald.  Available in hardback or as an eBook. 

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312591802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312591809
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

From the CIA headquarters to the danger zones of Morocco and Pakistan, undercover agent Shawn Maguire is embroiled in a sinister conspiracy and an unlikely romance in this exhilarating debut spy thriller.

Shawn Maguire, unemployed American spy, has been paid to find a young Iranian now being interrogated in one of the CIA’s black prisons. The prisoner’s location remains unknown – he may be in Fes, Cairo or even Peshawar – but Shawn has every confidence that he’ll find his man eventually. Based on his time as an agent, it’s an assignment he knows he can handle. But there’s one person he’s not sure even he can handle: the prisoner’s wife.

The Prisoner’s Wife is a political thriller ripped from today’s headlines; a tense trip through the murky worlds of state–sponsored terrorism, nuclear politics, secret American jails and lawless rendition. Conspiracies abound in this sophisticated and suspenseful novel, with its crackling dialogue and evocative, lawless landscapes. Maguire is a first-rate protagonist, complicated and heroic, and writer Gerard Macdonald does an expert job of capturing the casual ambivalence of the American intelligence officers in their rendition campaigns and keenly observes the cynical manner in which operatives prop up or depose criminal leaders depending on Americas own needs.

My Thoughts:

Shawn Maguire is an ex American spy who has problems with whiskey, women and a whole lot of other things.  As he is unemployed he takes on a job that will call on his previous experience to find a missing man, Darius Osmani.  During this he will meet Danielle, to see what she knows of her husbands disappearance.  The journey will take them to Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan, with a lot of twists and danger.

Now I have to admit that I really struggled to get going with this book.  The information was intense, a mass of names, places, agencies, and back stories.  But I persevered, there was hints of things I liked, conspiracy, underhanded and illegal government agency involvement and with that obvious corruption.  As the story progressed  I found I was becoming quite addicted with it, the pace quickened, or maybe it was reading that quickened as my understanding improved, and with this the story began to unfold. When I had finished I had thoughts of an almost Jack Reacher style character with strains of John Le Carre, and it makes an interesting mix.

There are many characters with Shawn being the main protagonist, who initially I wasn’t that taken with, but did have a change of heart by the time I got to the end of the book.  They do become recognisable the more you read.  Back stories are discussed as the current story unfolds, it does add another angle and gives some good depth to the main characters.

This is a book I think that readers that like political thriller, action, government conspiracy and manipulation would enjoy.

About the Author:

Author Gerard Macdonald lives in West London and is currently working on a short series of political fiction books.   Author Website

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

#GuestPost by @PeterFBartram author of “Crampton of the Chronicle” mystery series.

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It is my great pleasure to welcome Peter Bartram to Me and My Books today. Author of the “Crampton of the Chronicle” series.  I read “The Morning, Noon and Night Trilogy” earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed.  Peter now has another book called “Front Page Murder” out in paperback and also eBook.

So read on for Peter’s guest post on Ruth Ellis……

THE WOMAN WHO CAUSED THE DEATH OF HANGING

By Peter Bartram

Ruth Ellis could have become a film starlet. Instead, she ended up dangling from the end of rope in Holloway Prison, London – the last woman to be hanged in England.

Ellis had been working as a nightclub hostess when she landed the part of a beauty queen contestant in the 1951 film Lady Godiva Rides Again. (It was released in the United States as Bikini Baby.) It starred some well-known British actors of the time, including Diana Dors, Stanley Holloway, Kay Kendall and Dora Bryan.

In later years, Dora lived in Brighton, where my Crampton of the Chronicle crime mysteries are set. When I travelled back and forth to London in my work as a journalist I would occasionally see her in the train’s buffet car. She invariably had a fag hanging out of the corner of her mouth and was ordering another whisky. A great character.

But we were talking about Ruth Ellis. She used a .38 calibre Smith & Wesson revolver to pump five shots into her sometime lover racing driver David Blakely. It was what the French would call a crime passionnel. Blakely made her pregnant twice. She aborted the first child – illegal in Britain at the time – and lost the second after he’d punched her in the stomach during one of their regular rows.

At her trial, Ruth was found guilty and sentenced to hang. There had been a growing campaign in Britain to abolish the death penalty for several years, but after Ruth was hung on 13 July 1955 the clamour increased in volume. Bill Connor who wrote his Daily Mirror column under the pen-name Cassandra thundered: “The one thing that brings stature and dignity to mankind and raises us above the beasts of the field will have been denied her – pity and the hope of ultimate redemption.”

And Raymond Chandler, whose Philip Marlowe detective novels had already conquered the world, wrote from his then British home to the London Evening Standard to complain about “the mediaeval savagery of the law”. But it was another 10 years before hanging was finally ended in England.

So Ruth Ellis never became a starlet. But she lit one of the flames which led to the abolition of the death penalty in England. When I was researching Front Page Murder, I spent many hours looking at how hanging was carried out. It was a gruesome business – especially for women who were forced to wear thickly padded calico knickers.

But for the crime writer, hanging had the potential to add an extra frisson of tension to a murder story. After all, the penalty is irreversible. So if the accused is really innocent of the crime, there is not much time to assemble the evidence to prove it.

That is the premise behind the story in Front Page Murder. And to add some extra seasonal colour, it all takes place in the 10 days leading up to Christmas 1963.

A year later, hanging had been ended in Britain for ever. But several years too late to save Ruth Ellis.


ABOUT THE BOOK…

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FRONT PAGE MURDER

A Crampton of the Chronicle mystery

It’s December 1963 and Archie Flowerdew is sitting in a cell at Wandsworth Prison waiting to be hanged. On Christmas Eve. It’s not exactly how he planned to spend the festive season. But, then, Archie was found guilty of murdering fellow comic postcard artist Percy Despart.

It seems there’s nothing that can stop Archie’s neck being wrung like a turkey’s. Except that his niece Tammy is convinced Archie is innocent. She’s determined he will sit down on Christmas Day to tuck into the plum pudding. She persuades Brighton Evening Chronicle crime reporter Colin Crampton to take up the case.

But Colin has problems of his own. First, that good turn he did to help out Chronicle sub-editor Barry Hobhouse has come back to bite him on the bum. Then Beatrice “the Widow” Gribble, Colin’s trouble-prone landlady, needs him to sort out her latest faux pas – she’s accidentally sent a Christmas card to her local butcher suggesting she’s available for hot sex. And that’s before Brighton cops clap Colin and girlfriend Shirley Goldsmith in jail on the charge of harbouring a fugitive from justice.

And, anyway, the more Colin investigates Archie’s case, the more it looks like he is guilty… Pick up the third full-length novel in the Crampton of the Chronicle mystery series to get you in the mood for a murderous Christmas!

Front Page Murder e-book is on special offer until the end of December for 99p/99c

For readers who want to start the series at the beginning, there’s a deal which includes Headline Murder, Stop Press Murder and Front Page Murder in e-book formats for £4.97/$4.97. This offer also closes on 31 December.

Front Page Murder on : Amazon US

Front Page Murder on : Amazon UK

Crampton of the Chronicle 3-book series on Amazon US

Crampton of the Chronicle 3-book series on Amazon UK


81jVrJSTqkL._SY200_ ABOUT THE AUTHOR…Peter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle crime mystery series, which features Colin Crampton, crime correspondent of the 1960s fictional newspaper the Brighton Evening Chronicle. Peter began his career as a reporter on a real-life local newspaper not far from Brighton. Then he worked as a journalist and newspaper editor in London before becoming freelance. He has done most things in journalism from door-stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700 feet down a coal mine and Buckingham Palace. Peter’s “Swinging Sixties” murder mysteries combine clue-solving with comedy – the laughs are never far from the action. Other books in the series, which has already logged more than 100 5-star reviews on Amazon, include Headline Murder and Stop Press Murder.

You can also see my thoughts here for Crampton of The Chronicle a 3-book series.

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share.

Better still go and buy the books!

 

#BookReview The LimeHouse Golem by Peter Ackroyd #AskPenguin @PenguinUKBooks

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Penguin Uk have an #AskPenguin tag.  Give them some ideas about the sort of book you would like to read, they will respond with their book choice.  I had asked for a Victorian mystery and their suggestion was “The Limehouse Golem” by Peter Ackroyd. So I bought it and gave it a go.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (24 Aug. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1784708208
  • ISBN-13: 978-1784708207
  • Amazon Link
  • Other Formats available.

Synopsis:

London, 1880. A series of gruesome murders attributed to the mysterious ‘Limehouse Golem’ strikes fear into the heart of the capital. Inspector John Kildare must track down this brutal serial killer in the damp, dark alleyways of riverside London. But how does Dan Leno, music hall star extraordinaire, find himself implicated in this crime spree, and what does Elizabeth Cree, on trial for the murder of her husband, have to hide?

Peter Ackroyd brings Victorian London to life in all its guts and glory, as we travel from the glamour of the music hall to the slums of the East End, meeting George Gissing and Karl Marx along the way.

My Thoughts:

Set in London, in the 1880’s.  London is gripped by gruesome murders and the bodies are being found dismembered, the police have no idea who the murderer is.  Alongside the murders, is the story of Lizzie, later to become Mrs Elizabeth Cree.  When we first meet her it is as she is having the noose placed around her neck having been found guilty of a crime. From this point on we learn more about Lizzie’s life, her love and involvement in music halls and the characters she meets, as well as famous names of the time.

Peter Ackroyd has captures the dark and sinister aspects very well and made them quite believable.  He has built up a picture of what you would expect of Victorian London, dark, atmospheric and suspenseful.  I did at times feel that some of the descriptive passages were a little long at times, but not so much to detract from the story.  It is told in quick chapters that flit from the perspectives of Lizzie , the murder, and also diary entries, keeping the whole story moving along at a good pace.

This is a book I enjoyed and would recommend to readers who like Gothic Fiction, Historical and Literary Fiction.

The book was originally titled “Dan Leno & The Limehouse Golem”.  It has also been made into a film, and has a release date on DVD / Blu-ray of 26th December.  Amazon link HERE.

About the Author:

21ky5BEoSYL._UX250_   Peter Ackroyd is the author of biographies of Dickens, Blake and Thomas More and of the acclaimed non-fiction bestsellers London: The Biography and Thames: Sacred River. Peter Ackroyd is an award-winning novelist, as well as a broadcaster, biographer, poet and historian. He has won the Whitbread Biography Award, the Royal Society of Literature’s William Heinemann Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and the South Bank Prize for Literature. He holds a CBE for services to literature.

 

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

 

#BookReview : Mr Campions Abdication by Mike Ripley : published by @severnhouse from@NetGalley

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“Mr Campions Abdication” by Mike Ripley and published by Severn House Publishing.

It is available as a hardback or an eBook.

Synopsis:

So where exactly did Albert Campion stand on the Abdication?’ ‘Behind the throne, slightly to the left?’ suggested Commander Charles Luke.

Margery Allingham’s Mr Campion finds himself masquerading as technical advisor to a very suspicious but glamorous Italian film producer and her crew hunting for buried treasure that never was in the Suffolk village of Heronhoe near Pontisbright which used to host trysts between Edward VIII and Mrs Wallis Simpson.

‘When it came to the Abdication Crisis in ’36 those dirty week-ends in Heronhoe were quickly forgotten, except not by the Prince. The story goes – that when he married Mrs Simpson, in 1937 that would be, he actually sent a valuable thank you gift to Heronhoe. That was what became known as the Abdication Treasure although there’s no record of anything going to Heronhoe Hall, or of anybody ever receiving anything from the Duke of Windsor and nobody anywhere claims to have actually seen anything resembling treasure.’

‘So how is Albert Campion involved? You said the treasure doesn’t exist.’

‘It doesn’t,’ Lord Breeze said firmly, ‘and I have been instructed to tell you to tell Campion, that unless he wants to risk embarrassing Buckingham Palace, he’d better lay off. There’s no such thing as the Abdication Treasure, so there’s nothing to find and Campion had better make sure he doesn’t find it!’

My Thoughts:

Set in the 1970’s, Albert Campion has turned TV producer with an Italian filming company.  The film is to be about Edward and Mrs Simpson and their time at Heronhoe Hall.  The hall is the site of a historical dig, at the time it was hoped to be par with the famous dig at Sutton Hoo, but unfortunately it did not produce significant finds.  But there was a rumour that Edward had left a treasure at Heronhoe, it was known as the “Abication Treasure”.  A mystery, as no one knows who received it or if it was recieved at all. But Campion, with help of friends, family and archaeologists start sleuthing to discover the truth.

I really loved the way this book started and it had me hooked for a number of chapters, but I found that by the time I got to the middle the story started to become a little repetitive. With the same questions being asked of different people but receiving pretty much the same answers.  It felt to me, a little too padded out in the middle, but then towards the ends few chapters, it picked up again.

There are a lot of things about this book I enjoyed.  There is a lot of historical references, the characters are great, a real mixed bunch from varied backgrounds.  The plot was intriguing and at the start I really enjoyed it, and also the end, but as I have mentioned the middle section just didn’t quite do it for me. I also found that I kept forgetting the decade this was set in, and had to remind myself that it was the 70’s.

This is a book that had potential for me to love, but just didn’t quite live up to my expectations.  I would recommend to readers of historical crime, thriller, mystery.  I do actually look forward to reading more by this author.

I wish to thank Severn House Publishing and NetGalley for my eARC of this book.  My views expressed here are unbiased and my own.

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers Ltd; First World Publication ed. edition (10 July 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727887351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727887351
  • Purchase link to Amazon UK

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share.

#BlogTour Dark Chapter by @winniemli with @Legend_Press #BookReview

 

I have read this book as part of the tour for this heartbreaking, emotional, inspiring book.  This book is available as paperback, hardback, eBook, audio-book and audio CD.

Synopsis:

An astonishing and unique novel inspired by the author’s own story

Vivian is a cosmopolitan Taiwanese-American tourist who often escapes her busy life in London through adventure and travel.
Johnny is a 15-year-old Irish teenager, living a neglected life on the margins of society.

On a bright spring afternoon in West Belfast, their paths collide during a horrifying act of violence.

In the aftermath, each is forced to confront the chain of events that led to the attack.

Inspired by true events, this is a story of the dark chapters and chance encounters that can irrevocably determine the shape of our lives.

Praise for the Book:

Winner of The Guardian Not The Booker
Prize 2017

As covered by YOU Magazine, Daily Mail,
Daily Telegraph, The Times, Metro, The Weekender, The Stylist, Irish Sun, Irish
News, The Scotsman, Irish News, Books Ireland Magazine, BBC World Service, RTE
Radio, BBC Radio Ulster, London Live, The Pool, Crime Writers Association,
English PEN podcast.

STYLIST magazine Top 10 debuts to look out for in 2017

‘An important and moving book’ Cathy Rentzenbrink

‘Complex and rewarding… an important book’-Stylist

‘Dark Chapter is a must-read. It’s gripping, compelling and all the more authentic for inhabiting both voices so completely. Stunning.’ Erin Kelly

‘An authentic, courageous debut, told with unflinching honesty and exceptional insight.’ A.D. Garret

‘A powerful story, compassionately told.’Ros Barber, winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize and The Author’s Club First Novel Award

‘An accomplished debut, an honest and unsparing story.’ Cath Staincliffe

‘I have never found myself rooting for a heroine with more urgency’ Kate Rhodes

‘Deftly written, pacey and unflinching, I could not put it down. Winnie Li is a rare talent with an explosive and timely story. Do not miss it.’ Marti Leimbach, best-selling author of Dying Young and Daniel Isn’t Talking

Highly Commended for the CWA Debut Dagger

My Thoughts:

When I was approached by Imogen Harris at Legend Press to read this book and be part of a blog tour , I did not respond straight away, I thought about it first.  I am not a reader who likes to read about rape, so why would I want to read this? Then I read that it was based on a true story by the victim of this attack, it did make me re think.  I changed my mind because I wanted to support this lady, my way of offering my support is to read her book.  Her experience inspired the story.

So onto my thoughts regarding the story.  At first it was a little confusing, starting at the end, then jumping to the beginning. Then onto the  childhood of Vivian, living in America, her education and her love of travel  with her arrival to the UK.  At the same time as Vivian’s story we are told about Johnny, a teenager of Irish Travellers, his upbringing is very different and hard.  Once I had gone a few chapters into the book and understood the switching between characters, then I was well and truly hooked.

The book tells how two people come to be in one place at the same time.  How that meeting changed both of their lives.  What I found interesting was how the author had also incorporated the thoughts of both the victim and the attacker.  It gave a very deep and in-depth perspective.  Two views that are so opposite to each other.  The characters are different in their mannerisms, outlooks on life, their education, their everything.   The book, once I had got used to the style, was then set out in a very logical way.  It gives details up to the attack, the attack, the trial and also the after effects of the attack  As I read the section regarding the trial especially, I had a lump in my throat, just holding back the tears until the verdict was delivered.  At this point I had to put down the book, I could not see through my tears.  I was amazed at how caught up I had got in this story.

I found once I had started this book, it was very difficult to put down.  There are some uncomfortable reading moments as you would expect.   It has  an honesty that is heartbreaking, emotional and inspiring.  I would recommend this book to readers of contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, crime genres.

I wish to thank Imogen Harris and Legend Press for my copy of this book.  My thoughts expressed are my own and are unbiased.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Legend Press (1 Nov. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1785079069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1785079061
  • Amazon UK  Amazon US

About the Author:

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Winnie M Li is a writer and producer. A Harvard graduate, she has written for travel guide books, produced independent feature filmes, programmed for film festivals and developed ecotourism projects. After graduating with Distinction in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, she now writes across a range of media (including the Huffington Post), runs arts festivals, and is a PhD researcher at LSE. Winnie lives in London, yet is somewhat addicted to travel Follow Winnie on Twitter

 

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you like it, please give a share.  Better still, go and buy this book.

#BlogBlitz Scream Blue Murder by @TonyJForder with @Bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy681 #BookReview

Tony J Forder - Scream Blue Murder_cover_1

“Scream Blue Murder” by Tony J Forder is available in eBook.  Published by Bloodhound Books.

Synopsis:

Mike Lynch is going through hard times. But things get much worse when he witnesses a murder in a lay-by. Snatching the victim’s car in order to get away, Mike soon makes a shocking discovery – the victim’s young daughter and her nanny are hiding in the rear footwell. This is when the real trouble begins.

Mike wants to go to the police, but the nanny, Melissa, wants to delay until the daughter, Charlie, is somewhere safe. Mike agrees to this request before finding out the seriousness of the situation, and just how much danger they are really in.

Who exactly was the man he saw murdered? And who is the man he saw pulling the trigger?

In a situation where nothing is what it seems, Mike will have to fight for his life to protect a woman and a child he doesn’t know. And when the death count rises, he will discover what kind of man he really is.

When you can’t identify the victim, how can you find the killer?

My thoughts:

When I was approached by Sarah to see if this would be a book I would like to read, I all but snapped her hand off.  A couple of months ago I read Degrees of Darkness (Amazon link) and when the offer of reading Scream Blue Murder came along, I have to admit to not reading the synopsis.  I went with the fact that I had read one book by this author and loved it, so would trust that he could deliver again. So as I read this one, I was not expecting to come out with so many what the hell’s, no way’s, bloody hell’s, and what the f.. well you get the idea.  I was also glad I read it on my kindle, if it had been in book format I would have lost my page so many times, as I threw my hands up in the air on several occasions.   I must quickly add at this point, all these exclamation are good ones,  I loved it so much.  I rated his last book as a 5 star on Amazon and Goodread’s, now want to know where the button is to add a 6 star review.

Anyway, to the story.  Mike Lynch has had a really bad day.  When you think of the phrase “wrong time, wrong place” this is Mike, he really was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He only pulled into a lay-by to stretch his legs, when he witnesses a murder, he sees one option, to jump into the waiting car and drive off.  The car is the victims car and he discovers it has two passengers hiding behind the seat, a young woman and a child, they add to the problems.  What follows is something much more than a problem, it becomes a matter of survival.

The author has managed to create an deeply intricate and twisted plot line.  There are so many stories and threads that have been manipulated to create a very fast paced, action packed, well written story.  There are quite a few characters  in this book, but the main focus is really on Mike and Melissa, how they work through to discover the why’s and the who’s of this murder.  As they get to know each other the reader is given a great background into their histories, and  what makes them tick, but more importantly the reasons behind their actions and reactions.

The author has not missed a beat with this book, well in my opinion he hasn’t.  He has covered so many angles, throwing so many curve balls, giving outcomes that I did not see coming at all, and when they were delivered it was without warning, with a punch.

Highly recommend this book to readers who like action packed, hard hitting, hold nothing back murder, mystery, thriller, crime books.  It has memorable characters, is addictive from start to finish, with great plots and twists and is well written.

I would like to thank Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound Books for my spot on the tour.  Also huge thanks to Tony for an amazingly brilliant read. My thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

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Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed crime thriller Bad to the Bone, the first in a series featuring DI Jimmy Bliss and DC Penny Chandler. The second book in the series will be released in 2018, with a third currently in progress.

On 19 September 2017, Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This was intended to be a stand-alone novel, but Tony is now considering the possibility of a follow-up.

On 8 November, Bloodhound Books will publish Tony’s new fast-paced action thriller, Scream Blue Murder. This is the first novel in an intended series, and has received praise from both Mason Cross and Matt Hilton.

Some years ago, Tony won a short story competition judged by an editor from Pan Books. 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. It was the start of Tony’s publishing journey.

Tony is signed to Bloodhound Books for a minimum of four books, but believes there is much more to come.

Follow the author on Facebook  |  Twitter

Book Details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2387 KB
  • Publisher: Bloodhound Books (8 Nov. 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Purchase from  Amazon UK

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

#BlogBlitz The Dead Whisper by @EmmaLClapperton with @Bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy681 #BookReview

Print

“The Dead Whisper” by Emma Clapperton is available to purchase in eBook.  It is published by Bloodhound Books.  I would like to thank Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound for allowing me a spot on this tour.

Synopsis:

D.S Preston and D.C Lang are sent to investigate the death of a young girl in an old manor house in Glasgow. But who would want to kill an innocent girl in her own home and why? When they believe their questions have been answered the case is closed.
Meanwhile, Sam Leonard could not be happier – he has a great acting career and a fantastic girlfriend. After being in a previously turbulent relationship, what could go wrong?
For Patrick McLaughlin life is going well. His marriage is stable and with a baby on the way, things can only get better.
But the house that Patrick moves into is not what it seems. With a family burial plot in the gardens, visions and messages from the deceased, and a recent death in the house, will Patrick and Jodie regret their purchase?

In order to lay the ghosts to rest questions will be asked but can the house ever let go of its past?

My Thoughts:

This is the perfect book for this time of year, it has an autumnal feel to it.  It is a great story set in Glasgow with haunting, ghosts, murder and mystery.  A young woman is killed. Sam is an actor, and is getting promising reviews, he also begins a new relationship.  Patrick and Jodie buy a house, an old one with with lots history for their much needed fresh start.  Two detectives and friends for many years, think about their futures as retirement is only a few years away.  These and other mini stories have been imaginatively entwined to create a really good read.

The characters are introduced gradually and gave me a chance to get to know them, I really liked this as they were interesting and all had a good background story.  As the second half of the book is approached, they are beginning to interact more with each other.  As the threads of the story were gradually being pulled together, things started to drop into place, and the story started to pick up more pace.

I really liked the characters, they were interesting individually and worked well in their various small groups.  I did start to see a couple of plot lines, but then was proved wrong.  I love it when this happens. When the plot was revealed it was not one of those “bang” there you go ones, it was more of a realisation of what was happening along with the characters themselves.

The pacing fluctuated nicely as the story was told.  There are several elements that I really enjoyed. One in particular was the supernatural element, had different viewpoints from the characters, from the believers to the sceptics, and for me seemed quite realistic and was well told.  I did not find these parts overly scary, but very interesting and I did not think that they were too stereotyped, as can sometimes happen.

I would recommend this book to readers who like a good haunting, murder, mystery.  It was well written, with characters from different backgrounds and generations.  I thought it a very enjoyable read and look forward to reading more my this author.

I was pleased to accept a spot on the tour for this book. My views expressed are my own.

 

Book Details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2223 KB
  • Print Length: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodhound Books (6 Nov. 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Purchase from: Amazon UK

About the Author:

The Dead Whisper profile picture - Copy

Emma Clapperton, born December 1985, has always had a passion for reading and writing. She particularly enjoys reading supernatural or horror books. James Herbert is a firm favourite, with The Ghosts of Sleath being one of the books which pushed her to go on to create her own supernatural crime series, featuring Patrick McLaughlin. The books are based in Glasgow and there are plenty of references to the city in her work.

Emma studied childcare and gained qualifications to work with the early years in 2002, later going on to work in the Montessori sector of early years. In 2017 she gained a qualification to work as a Forest School early years leader and can often be found teaching three and four year olds how to cook on an open fire. Alongside this she is also studying for a diploma in Montessori Early Childhood Practice.
She currently resides in a little town outside of the city of Glasgow with her husband and ginger cat and is working on future projects.

You can contact Emma via:

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