The Confession by Jo Spain @SpainJoanne @QuercusBooks @ellakroftpatel #PublicationDay

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The Confession by Jo Spain and published by Quercus Books and will be available in paperback from 9th September, you can get your copy from AMAZON UK. I was lucky to be able to read an advance copy of the eBook version earlier this year. If you have not had the chance to read it yet then you should 🙂

Synopsis:

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

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

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

‘I can’t praise The Confession enough. Brilliant writing, great story… a really cracking read’ BA Paris, author of Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown

An absolute cracker of a book, compulsive, deviously plotted and intense – I will be recommending this to everyone Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into the Darkest Corner

‘Has you addicted from the very first page. I found it impossible to put down’ Michelle Frances, author of The Girlfriend

‘Here is my confession: I’ve never read Jo Spain before but now I’ll be buying all of her books. The Confession is brutal and brilliant’ Fiona Cummins, author of Rattle

My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

About the Author:

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Jo Spain’s first novel, With Our Blessing, was one of seven books shortlisted in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and went on to be a top-ten bestseller in Ireland. She has written two further in the series, featuring DI Tom Reynolds.
Jo has worked as a party advisor on the economy in the Irish parliament and is now writing full-time. She is currently writing a screen play for a brand new RTÉ crime drama series. Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children.

Follow Jo on Twitter
• Jo will be speaking at Bloody Scotland alongside Elly Griffiths and Sarah Pinborough on Sunday 23rd 2018.

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

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#BlogTour : The Last Friend by Harvey Church @HarveyChurch1 : @CarolineBookBit : #BookReview

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“The Last Friend” by Harvey Church is available in eBook format from AMAZON UK or AMAZON.COM date of publication is 15th April.  My thanks to Harvey for my copy of the book and also to Caroline at Bits about Books  for my spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

The Knock on his Door…That Changed his Life

Fifteen years after Donovan’s daughter is abducted, Monica Russell knocks on his door. She claims she knew his daughter while in captivity and says she made a promise to tell him about their friendship.

The Last Friend to hold His Daughter’s Hand

When Monica claims to know where his daughter’s remains are buried, Donovan is immediately committed to doing whatever this last friend needs from him, regardless of the warnings from his family and friends.

The Friend Who Can Help Him Seek Vengeance

And when Monica claims to know where he can find the man who abducted, assaulted, and murdered his princess, Donovan knows he will stop at nothing to get his vengeance.

What Cost Will He Ultimately Pay?

Monica claims she can show Donovan a lot of things about his daughter, but what price will Donovan ultimately pay the young lady who claims to be the last friend to know his daughter?

My Thoughts:

Donovan’s daughter Elizabeth was abducted 15 years ago and his wife has recently committed suicide. One night Monica Russell lands on his doorstep and tells him that she was held captive with Elizabeth.  Monica had promised Elizabeth that she would tell her Dad the truth of her life and death.

This book is the story of how far a father will go to discover the truth behind the kidnapping of his daughter.  It tells a dark tale that had me guessing Monica’s motives.  Was she stringing him along if so what were her reasons for doing so. Was she genuine and if she was why was she taking time to give Donovan all the facts. The characters of Donovan and Monica I really liked as I got to know them a little better.  They both have a lot of problems as well as emotional scars that they have to live with.

This is quite a quick read and I found myself eagerly turning the pages to discover the truth and discovered a twisted and dark world. The plot takes you into a world of kidnapping girls and also what is done to them, but I will emphasise that the author does not go into graphic details here.  He has chosen his words to convey enough to give an understanding of the situation.

This is a book that I would recommend to readers who read psychological, crime, mystery story from the perspective of the father of a victim and also a survivor.

About the Author:

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Harvey Church has a background in finance, which is how he found himself writing about the people and ridiculousness (sometimes the same thing) of that field in his Edwin Burrows light mystery series. Although he considers himself retired from that field (aka not working), he’s planning another three Edwin Burrows novels for 2018.

His first “serious” novel, The Last Friend, is a Kindle Scout writing competition winner and was published by Kindle Press on January 9, 2018. The BookLife Prize called it “an entertaining read for mystery and thriller fans alike,” and said it is “an unexpected and exciting series of events that will grab readers.” Harvey plans two sister novels to The Last Friend in 2018, one titled The Last Night (Spring 2018) and the other tentatively titled The Last Survivor.

For fun, Harvey likes to practice street magic and spends hours engineering tricks to wow his audiences. He is also an avid hockey fan (Go Leafs Go). He has a wife and two kids. His favorite color is blue, but he drives a black car because he read somewhere, back in the 90’s, that radar detectors have a tough time seeing them. Interestingly, he never speeds because he’s too busy singing like nobody’s watching, or maybe it’s that everybody is deaf.

He’s a supporter of double-chins, double-dates, and double-dipping (though never on double-dates), and obviously enjoys writing about himself in the third person, in the voice of the narrator from The Royal Tenenbaums.

Connect with Harvey Church by searching Harvey Church Mysteries on Facebook, at @hashtag_harv on Instagram, and @harveychurch1 on Twitter. You can also find him wandering the streets of Chicago, Toronto, Montreal or the Lido deck of a Princess Cruise ship. If you ever meet Harv, ask to see a magic trick! Don’t forget to sign up for his email list at AListHarvey.com

 

Harvey Church Online:  Website ~ Twitter  ~ Instagram

See what other Bloggers think of the book bu following the tour

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

#BookBlitz | Manipulated Lives by H.A.Leuschel | #Giveaway (open Int’lly) @HALeuschel @rararesources | #Bookreview

Manipulated lives“Manipulated Lives” by H.A.Leuschel.  A series of five stories that have a psychological aspect to them.  I am delighted to be on the blog tour for this wonderful book.  My thanks to Helene for my ecopy and also to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour. You can get a copy of this book via  Books 2 Read.

Synopsis:

Five stories – Five Lives

Have you ever felt confused or at a loss for words in front of a spouse, colleague or parent, to the extent that you have felt inadequate or, worse, a failure? Do you ever wonder why someone close to you seems to endure humiliation without resistance?

Manipulators are everywhere. At first these devious and calculating people can be hard to spot, because that is their way. They are often masters of disguise: witty, disarming, even charming in public – tricks to snare their prey – but then they revert to their true self of being controlling and angry in private. Their main aim: to dominate and use others to satisfy their needs, with a complete lack of compassion and empathy for their victim. 

In this collection of short novellas, you meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a manipulative individual. First you meet Tess, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well balanced Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a better life for herself, followed by a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Lastly, there is Lisa, who has to face a parent’s biggest regret. All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our very feeling of self-worth.

My Thoughts:

Manipulated Lives is a collection of five stories.  Tess and Tattoos. The Spell. Runaway Girl. The Narcissist. My Perfect Child. Each story takes a look at the different ways people can manipulate and be manipulated.

The stories read individually like a collection of novellas.  Each one is unique, but at their core is the psychological impact that makes its presence felt.  Each story drew me in quickly and held my attention.  I soon saw a pattern emerging with each one, what I thought was happening and what actually happened were two different things.  Helene has managed to create subtle twists, this leads the reader to challenge their initial thoughts.  They contain strong characters, often I didn’t see the strength until I was further into the story.  There are many characters and some have very unique traits that will leave you with a range of emotions, love, like or despise them.

This isn’t an action packed, race through the story book.  It is more subtle than that and I was led gently into each story and then was able to watch them unfold.  First perceptions are not always the true indication of someones life.  At times it felt like the author was manipulating me  as I read, leading me to one thought then showing me I was wrong.

This is a captivating read, very cleverly crafted and made me think.  I like stories like this and I think it will appeal to many readers, I Highly Recommend Manipulated Lives for those who are looking for a quiet and more subtle psychological look at how people lives can be affected.

About the Author:

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Helene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.

Social Media Links – Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Website

GIVEAWAY OPEN INTERNATIONALLY :0

Win a signed copy of Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel

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Follow the Blog Tour.

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

#BookReview : Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris @BAParisAuthor #BringMeBack @HQstories @NetGalley

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I have a wonderful suspense today on my blog “Bring Me Back” by B A Paris.  This is due for publication on 8th March 2018 by HQ Stories and available in various formats. Pre-order link HERE for Amazon UK

Synopsis:

The million-copy bestselling author returns with a breathtaking thriller – available to pre-order now

‘We’re in a new Golden Age of suspense writing now, because of amazing books like Bring Me Back, and I for one am loving it’ Lee Child

The Disappearance
Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.

The Suspicion
He told the police the truth about that night.
Just not quite the whole truth.

The Fear
Now Finn has moved on.
But his past won’t stay buried…

My Thoughts:

On their way back from a holiday in France to their home in UK a couple stop at a picnic stop, she remains in the car while he grabs supplies.  When he return to the car she is missing, no sign of her anywhere.  Now 12 years later we catch up with him, he has sort of moved on and is due to get married.  She knows some of the details of the events in his past but begins to get concerned when items start to turn up at their home.  What is the significance and why are they arriving now?

This is going to be such a vague “My Thoughts” post.  No names, no details, no chance of spoiling the plot.  To reveal anything would be to revealing one of the many threads that have been woven into this story.  Set as a time slip as the reader is taken through events that occurred 12 years ago and also present day. It has three parts to the story and each part is deals with different sections in a definitive way.  As you move through these sections you are drawn deeper into the story, the suspense continually builds and the red herrings have been superbly placed to lead you down the wrong thought path.

This is a suspense filled psychological thriller and mystery that moves quickly and definitely accelerates, I found myself almost racing through this story to find out the end and also having to slow my reading in the eagerness to get the truth.  This story will almost certainly have you wondering who is telling the truth and who can be trusted. As you progress you will wonder who played what part if any in the mystery element of this book.

I loved this book and found myself quickly caught up and engrossed.  This is a book I would highly recommend to readers who like their thrillers full of suspense and mystery that are quick in their pace and addictive reading.

About the Author:

A1G5P+CAU6L._SY200_  B A Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown. Having sold over one million copies in the UK alone, she is a New York Times bestseller as well as a number one bestseller on Amazon and iBooks. Her books have sold in 37 territories around the world. Having lived in France for many years, she recently moved back to the UK. She has five daughters.
Her third novel, Bring Me Back is out in March 2018.
Follow B A on Twitter

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked please give a share.  Or grab a copy of this book HERE and let me know what you think 🙂 xx

#AudioBook : Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski @ConcreteKraken #Review

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I have a first for me today on my blog, an audio book! “Six Stories” by Matt Wesolowski published by Audible Studios, this is also available in paperback and eBook format by Orenda Books. Take your pick of format and BUY HERE

Synopsis:

It’s 1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who took that fateful trip and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby.

It’s 2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult Internet figure.

Featuring a full cast narration using 17 different voices!

My Thoughts:

I have never really properly sat down to listen to an audio book before, they have been background noise like a radio would be, so when I spotted Amazon running a free trial I decided it was about time I gave them a go.  Where to start and what to pick was a problem, you have 1 free purchase of any book and there are millions, literally millions to chose from.  So my choice was based on just browsing until something cropped up.  This is when I saw “Six Stories” I have this one on my wish list, it is there because of the  book reviews I had seen from fellow Bloggers and also on the Blog Tour for Orenda Books organised by Anne Cater.  It seemed like a good choice as I had not read it, wanted read it but finding the time to fit it in was a problem.  I agree not the most scientific choice, but it worked for me.  What I had not realised, or more like had forgotten about was that this book was set out as a podcast and it soon became apparent, either by pure luck or fate this book was already a good choice given its written style.  I listened to this as I was digging my garden, you may think this odd, but NO DISTRACTIONS! so it worked for me 🙂

So enough waffling, onto my thoughts.  This is story is set out as a series of podcasts by  6 different people as they recount their version of events from 1995/6 when a Tom Jeffries body is found. The podcast is produced 10 years later and is the work of Scott King and he has interviewed those who knew Tom.

OH WOW!!!! What a story, twists, darkness, atmospheric details, suspense, drama it has the lot and a hell of a lot more.  As I listened to this story there were times when I forgot I was listening to a book or a work of fiction.  You get a real sense of the characters and also the environment of Scarclaw Fell. The characters conveyed many emotions as they told their tale, some with hesitation and nerves, a sign of embarrassment or guilt maybe.  The interviewees have a reluctance about them that adds to the air of mystery, also adds to the feeling of them having more involvement than they want to admit.  I really liked the way Matt used Scott’s character by adding little asides about the little nuances he picks up from the characters as they tell their tales.  He relates a reluctance a hesitation or little visual quirks he notices in the characters, whether they are coincidental to the story they tell or just something he notices.  Again another great way to build up suspicion and suspense.

The description of the Fell were very well described, an area containing geological, historical and industrial descriptions.  A place of danger from abandoned mine shafts and marshes, with the inevitable folklore tales of a mysterious, legendary character that will trap the unwary.  There is a presence of bullying in this story, it is not nice listening to someone tell of how it had affected them it is an essential element that has been very well portrayed and Matt has not held back on this issue but has also not over dramatised it.

So as a bit of a summary, this is a real gritty, atmospheric and superb listen.  I think this is one I will definitely read as a book even though I have listened to the audio.  I did get a real sense of suspense, drama and there is a little bit of a horror element to it.  It has a feel of something very different, new and exciting about it.  On the audio side of it, the voices of the characters were good, I did find a couple of voices that I was not that keen on but it didn’t take away any of the enjoyment.  It helped that with remembering the characters, but not as much as I would remember them in a book.  I think this is a skill that can be developed over time.

This is a story I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND who want a something that is full of mystery, tales, folklore, that is atmospheric, gritty and dark.  It will keep you on the edge of your seat as the tale is told, and what a tale it was.  I absolutely loved this one.

 

About the Author:

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Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North.

Wesolowski started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous magazines and US anthologies.

Wesolowski was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at ‘Bloody Scotland’; Crime Writing Festival 2015, his subsequent debut crime novel ‘Six Stories’ was published by Orenda Books in the spring of 2017

Follow Matt on Twitter 

About the Audio Book:

  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 11 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 15 Mar. 2017
  • Language: English

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

#BlogTour : The Promise by Sally Jenkins @sallyjenkinsuk @rararesources

The Promise

I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on “The Promise” by Sally Jenkins. It is available in paperback or eBook format and can be purchased from Amazon Uk.  My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

A man has been stabbed. A woman is bloodstained. The nightmares from her teenage years have begun again for Olivia Field – just as she is preparing to marry.

Ex-convict, Tina is terminally ill. Before she dies, the care of her younger, psychologically unwell brother, Wayne must be ensured. So Tina calls in a promise made to her thirty years ago in a prison cell. A promise that was written down and placed with crucial evidence illustrating a miscarriage of justice in a murder case.

Tina believes Olivia is perfectly placed to provide the care Wayne needs, but to do so, Olivia must be forced to cancel her own wedding and wreck the lives of those close to her. Tina’s terrible blackmail demands put Olivia’s entire future and, ultimately, her freedom under threat.

The Promise is a fast-paced psychological thriller told from several third person viewpoints. The novel explores the lengths to which people are prepared go in order to protect those they love and the impossibility of ever fully escaping our past actions.

My Thoughts:

Olivia has been having nightmare about a murder she witnessed 30 years ago.  Tina, an ex-con is battling cancer and worries about how her brother Wayne will cope when she is no longer around.  When Tina discovers an old letter that contains a promise of help, should she or Wayne need it, she contacts Olivia.

This is a reasonably well paced book as we learn about the event of 30 years ago in snippets as the story unfolds.  A promise that was made is now due to be claimed, but the manipulation, cover ups and lies that have been twisted into this story have potentially dire consequences. As with all things in life, honesty is the best policy, but Sally has created a character that has always kept part of her past behind her, not sharing the most important details with those important, but this character thinks it is the right and only thing to do.

The cast of characters are not huge, but are definitely memorable.  They each have a connection to each other in a well thought out way, but for some reason I couldn’t warm to any of them.  I think because some of them are cheats and liars, but even though I wasn’t struck  on the characters I read this book in one sitting.  I found the story engaging and kept me turning the pages to discover the full ins and outs of the plot.

I would recommend this to readers of crime and mystery novels, it is one I enjoyed.

About the Author:

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Sally Jenkins lives in the West Midlands. She is a member of a Speakers’ Club, a volunteer library reading group coordinator and a church bell ringer. Sally’s first psychological thriller, Bedsit Three won the Ian Govan Award.

Follow the author on Website ~ TwitterFacebook

 

 

See what other bloggers on the tour think.

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

#BlogTour #JustOneTime by @Author_KSHunter with @rararesources

 

A book by an author who no one knows the true identity of, KS Hunter is the pseudonym for an international best selling author and has written “Just One Time”.  I am delighted to be part of this mysterious and suspense filled book.  I wish to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on this tour.  It is available as an eBook.

Synopsis:

The first novel by K.S. Hunter, the alter ego of an international bestselling author, whose identity will remain a secret.

Desire can have dire consequences

Two years ago, David Madden made a mistake that almost cost him his marriage. His wife, Alison, gave him another chance, but she has not forgotten, nor has she forgiven.

She is irresistible

Then David meets the alluring Nina at a theatre in London. When he loses his phone in the dark, she helps him find it, and by giving her his number he unwittingly invites her into his life.

What David initially views as an innocent flirt turns into a dangerous game of deception. His increasingly suspicious wife thinks something is up, and each lie he tells pushes them further apart.

She is insatiable

Nina pursues David relentlessly, following him to New York where she gives him an ultimatum: sleep with her, just one time, and then she’ll get out of his life forever; or she’ll ruin everything he holds dear.

She is unstoppable

Of course, once won’t be enough for Nina, and what David hoped would be the end is merely the beginning.

A modern-day Fatal Attraction, Just One Time is a steamy psychological thrillerthat will have you hooked from the first page and holding your breath until its shocking conclusion. 

Praise for K.S. Hunter

An author to watch out for – always interesting and unpredictable’Sophie Hannah

My Thoughts:

Two years ago David had an affair, his wife Alison had given him a second chance, and together they have a daughter.  But Alison has not forgiven him and has not forgotten what he has done to their family.  Alison comes across as a cold and bitter woman, and who would blame her, it is obvious that their marriage is not good. But a chance meeting at the theatre one evening changes things. David meets the beautiful and alluring Nina as she helps him to find his phone.  A little harmless flirting and that’s the end of it, or so you would think!

Well this is steamy, there are some very racy moments in this book, with some quite descriptive sections and also language to go with it. Now I admit to choosing to read this book for the psychological aspect as well as the chance to read a book by a mysterious author, I didn’t pay too much heed to the steamy side of it.  If I had I may not of picked it, but I am so glad I did.  The fictional psychological side of it is brilliant, when you read about this being a modern-day Fatal Attraction, it’s not wrong, but it is far deeper and darker than that.  As Nina pulls David further into her world and into her game, the stakes are raised, to a point that has you sat on a knife-edge as you wonder what Nina is going to do next.  This makes it an extremely addictive thriller and a real page turner from start to finish.

My opinions of the characters changed as the story progressed.  For me it gave me a feeling of being well thought out and well written.  The plot for this is a basic one in some ways, but it has been taken to the extremes, it does have quite a few moments where you start to think about how easy it would be to find and follow a person if you really wanted to.  It is a tense, well paced thriller that I really enjoyed.

If you like you psychological thrillers to be deep, dark, twisted and addictive then give this book a go.  It is not for the easily offended, but if you can deal with the sexual references it is so worth reading.

About the Author !

Author Bio – K.S. Hunter is the pseudonym of an international bestselling author. The identity of the author, who lives in the United Kingdom, will remain a mystery.

Social Media Links – Facebook  and Twitter

Book Details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2240.0 KB
  • Print Length: 182 pages
  • Publisher: VAD Publishing; 1 edition (7 Dec. 2017)
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

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

#BookReview : #TheMarriagePact by Michelle Richmond ( @michellerichmon ) @MichaelJBooks @NetGalley

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I am delighted to be able to share my thoughts on “The Marriage Pact” by Michelle Richmond.  It is available in Hardback and eBook format now, Paperback is due for release on 14th December 2017, published by  Penguin Books.  I was originally sent an invite to read this from Michael Joseph Books via NetGalley, my views expressed are my own and are unbiased.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (14 Dec. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718186133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718186135
  • Purchase from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

Synopsis:

Would you stake your life on your marriage?

Newlyweds Jake and Alice are offered a mysterious wedding gift – membership of a club which promises its couples will never divorce.

Signing The Pact seems the start to a perfect marriage.

Until one of them breaks the rules.

The marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

Because The Pact is for life.

And its members will do anything to make sure no one leaves . . .

 

‘A brilliant premise . . . tautly plotted and deftly written’ J P Delaney

‘Beware. This will keep you up all night’ Lisa Gardner

‘You won’t be able to turn the pages fast enough’ Paula Daly

My Thoughts:

When I received the invite to read this book, It was a very quick response that yes I really wanted to read this.  I was not disappointed, from the outset I was hooked.  The story is told from the perspective of Jake as he relates his experiences of his relationship and then through his marriage to Alice.  But one of their wedding gifts is an unusual one, entry into a group that promotes marriage.  The Pact is a group that helps to guide and support their members to achieve and maintain a successful marriage.  At first it seems okay, little things such as giving your partner a gift each month, making time for your partner, answering calls straight away, attending meetings, having regular holidays together.  It all sounded great and doable, until that is, you miss one of the rules.  Yes all these guidelines of things to do are rules, and if you break a rule there are consequences.

Oh my goodness, this is a book that makes you think.   It is quite scary how, as you read, you find yourself agreeing with some of the ideology behind The Pact, spending time with your partner in this fast paced world we live in is a definite must.  At this point you can see how Jake and Alice saw no problem being part of the group.  Then as the story deepens you see another side to the group.  I am not going to say any more on this, I just ask that you go and buy yourself a copy of this wonderful book to find out more.

What I expected from this book and what I experienced are two completely different things.  There is a sense of foreboding with the synopsis, but I did not expect what I read.  It is psychologically deeply twisted and sinister and also very believable.  It is that believe-ability of the plot that is the real hook for this book, in my opinion. As you meet other characters your opinions will change about them, as you realise you don’t know who you can trust to tell the truth. They refer to each other as “Friend” rather than by name, keeping things slightly impersonal, a great touch to raise the suspicion level.  It has a fast pace that adds to the thrill, i did find a drop on a couple of occasions, but not enough to take anything away from it

So, if you like to read very suspense filled, sinister, psychological, deeply twisted and believable read then get a copy of this book.  It is one I really recommend reading.  My thanks to Michael Joseph and NetGalley for my copy of this book, my thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

811hOItAuOL._SY200_Michelle Richmond is the author of the novels THE MARRIAGE PACT, THE YEAR OF FOG, NO ONE YOU KNOW, GOLDEN STATE, DREAM OF THE BLUE ROOM, and the story collections HUM and THE GIRL IN THE FALL-AWAY DRESS.

“Michelle Richmond has established herself as mistress of the kind of literary mystery which packs the punch of a fine thriller but with added insight and wisdom….” Sarah Broadhurst for The Daily Mail (The Year of Fog)

Michelle’s novels are primarily set in San Francisco, California. She grew up in Alabama and lives in Northern California with her husband and son.

Follow the author on her Website ~ Twitter

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

#BookReview Three Days a Life by Pierre Lemaitre (author) Frank Wynne (translator) @maclehosepress @QuercusBooks

“Three Days a Life” by Pierre Lemaitre is available in various formats, though release dates for these are different.  Published by  Maclehose Press and Quercus Books

Synopsis:

In 1999, in the small provincial town of Beauval, France, twelve-year-old Antoine Courtin accidentally kills a young neighbor boy in the woods near his home. Panicked, he conceals the body and to his relief–and ongoing shame–he is never suspected of any connection to the child’s disappearance.
But the boy’s death continues to haunt him, shaping his life in unseen ways. More than a decade later, Antoine is living in Paris, now a young doctor with a fiancée and a promising future. On a rare trip home to the town he hates and fears, Antoine thoughtlessly sleeps with a beautiful young woman from his past. She shows up pregnant at his doorstep in Paris a few months later, insisting that they marry, but Antoine refuses.

Meanwhile, the newly discovered body of Antoine’s childhood victim means that the case has been reopened, and all of his old fears rush back. Then the young woman’s father threatens Antoine with a paternity test–which would almost certainly match the DNA found on the dead child’s body. Will Antoine finally be forced to confront his crime? And what is he prepared to do to keep his secrets buried in the past?

My Thoughts:

When I normally write-up a review, I like to start with my version of a synopsis, but only for the beginning of the story.  But after reading this book and then re-reading the summery prior to writing the review, I realised how much detail it already included, but it doesn’t take away from the story.  It is a story about the mental journey from 1999 to 2015.

This book is a noir fiction. it focuses on Antoine Coutin from the small French town of Beauval, and the way he deals with the accidental killing of a younger boy.  It is a very well laid out story from the outset.  The reader is introduced to the setting and the characters.  It discusses their relationships and dynamics within their various groups.  The first half of the book deals with 1999, the lead up to the death, the death itself and the thoughts of Antoine as he deals with what he has done.  His state of mind, what his first responses are, the way he thinks through the consequences and how thinks people look at him now. From then a leap forward to the year 2011, now older, Antoine’s state of mind as he has moved on, but how he still deals with occasional troubled thoughts and dreams.  Then another jump to 2015 to tell of where Antoine is and how he is still dealing with the event.  The setting has been very well described, the author has managed to build a very convincing visual image of the town, it’s surroundings and also the time of year. As each of these time jumps occur, the author has included a brief explanation of events as the story then continues.

I found this very different to a previous book by Lemaitre and was very surprised by the contrast in styles.  This is well laid out as it explains the way the main protagonist thinks.  It comes across as quite a subtle story, it is one that just gradually consumed me, the way that Lemaitre has very cleverly explored the way a 12-year-old may see the world, his thoughts, actions and consequences was very addictive reading.  I read this in one sitting, almost a novella sized book.  The story leads the reader and by the end was absorbed, but when the end arrives there is a sudden twist, that completely blindsided me.  Finishing this on a high.

I would recommend this to readers of noir fiction, of psychological fiction, as well as readers of general fiction, murder and mystery genres.

About the Author:

Pierre Lemaitre Pierre Lemaitre was born in Paris in 1951. He worked for many years as a teacher of literature before becoming a novelist.

He has won the Crime Writers’ Association International Dagger three times, once alongside Fred Vargas, for “Alex”, and twice as sole winner for “Camille” and “The Great Swindle”. In 2013 “The Great Swindle” (published in French as “Au revoir là-haut”) won the Prix Goncourt, France’s leading literary award, and it will be released as a film in 2017.

In addition to his “Brigade Criminelle” novels starring Commandant Camille Verhoeven, Lemaitre writes standalone thrillers including “Blood Wedding” and the forthcoming “Three Days in a Life” and “Inhuman Resources”. “The Great Swindle” will be developed into a trilogy in the coming years.

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: MacLehose Press (13 July 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085705662X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857056627
  • Amazon UK     Amazon US

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

Better still go and buy the book.

 

#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.