Through the Wall by Caroline Corcoran #bookreview blog tour @cgcorcoran @Sabah_K @AvonBooksUK

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of Through the Wall by Caroline Corcoran as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Sabah Khan at Avon Books for inviting me to take part.

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Lexie’s got the perfect life. And someone else wants it…

Lexie loves her home. She feels safe and secure in it – and loved, thanks to her boyfriend Tom.

But recently, something’s not been quite right. A book out of place. A wardrobe door left open. A set of keys going missing…

Tom thinks Lexie’s going mad – but then, he’s away more often than he’s at home nowadays, so he wouldn’t understand.

Because Lexie isn’t losing it. She knows there’s someone out there watching her. And, deep down, she knows there’s nothing she can do to make them stop…

MY THOUGHTS

Through the Wall is a tense psychological thriller by Caroline Corcoran, focusing on the lives of two women who live next door to each other in a London apartment block. Meet Lexie and Harriet. Both women envy each other. Harriet is jealous of Lexie for her perfect family life. However, Lexie sees Harriet as what you might imagine one of the cool kids at school to be, fun-loving and always up for a party. But what they both don’t realise is how very different their lives are to what they imagine them to be.

Right from the beginning, there is an underlying level of tension between the two women, and as the reader, we can sense that things will soon come crashing down for either Harriet or Lexie. Both women are facing their own problems in their personal life at the moment. Lexie and her husband, Tom, are struggling with fertility problems, and Harriet still hasn’t moved on, after her fiancé, Luke decided to break up with her after their engagement. But now Harriet has set her eyes on Lexie’s boyfriend, Tom, and it seems that she will stop at nothing to break them up. To Harriet, Tom seems to be the perfect replacement for Luke.

Caroline Corcoran kept me gripped. I was intrigued by the feud that seemed to exist between both Lexie and Harriet. They don’t actually meet each until much later in the story. Right from the beginning, Harriet seemed to be a very perplexing character, and I had a feeling that there was going to be more to her story. You know what she is beginning to plan from very early in the book, and this is how Caroline cleverly maintains the tension.

As the plot developed, Caroline continues to deepen her character’s stories, and it takes on a much darker tone. Harriet is the person who intrigued me the most. I wanted to know what had happened in her past and how her past. How had her past morphed her into the person she is today? Why was she so obsessed with her neighbours? Why was she so desperate to get together with Lexie’s boyfriend? I also found it fascinating how both women thought of each other as the novel is told from their perspectives.

Although the pace is a bit slow at times, Caroline Corcoran maintains a high level of intrigue that will keep you invested in the lives of Lexie and Harriet. The sense that darkness is creeping in will keep you very engaged.

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: 3rd October 2019

Print length: 352 pages

If you would like to purchase Through the Wall, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

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Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver #bookreview blog tour @will_carver @OrendaBooks @annecater

It’s my great pleasure to be joining the blog tour today for Will Carver’s, Nothing Important Happened Today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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Nine suicides
One Cult
No leader

Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But at the same time, they run, and leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.

That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of the People Of Choice: A mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.

Thirty-two people on that train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People Of Choice are appearing around the globe; it becomes a movement. A social media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers. The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader that does not seem to exist.

How do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?

MY THOUGHTS

Will Carver is a writer, unlike any writer I have read before. Last year I read Good Samaritans, and it was my top read of 2018. I couldn’t stop talking about it and recommending it. And Will Carver has pulled it off again with Nothing Important Happened Today. Although I found it a little slower paced than his previous book, it was still very intriguing, and the voice of the narrative made it really gripping. It is a very unique book that you won’t be forgetting about any time soon after you read it.

This book also sees the return of Detective Sergeant Pace who featured in Good Samaritans. The police are investigating nine suicides. Nine people have thrown themselves off Chelsea Bridge. They are called ‘The Chosen Ones.’ The morning of their suicide, they each received a letter with four words written on it, nothing important happened today. But what compelled them all, nine strangers, to meet at the same place, at the same time and throw themselves off a bridge? Are they members of a cult? Who is behind sending the letters out to the individuals? It soon becomes clear that this won’t be the last time such an event happens.

Will Carver does have a very dark mind. I thought this when I read his last book, but the darkness is turned up a notch in his latest. As the story gets going, I wanted to know what was going on in the background and why the nine strangers all decided, on the same day, to commit suicide. It almost seemed as though they had been programmed to do it. I wanted to know who was behind the letters. Will Carver cleverly brings this together at the end in a nail-biting finale. I could never quite pinpoint who I thought was responsible for what was happening, and when it finally dawned on me who it was, it was a mind-blowing moment.

Although there was very little dialogue in this book, I found the narrative so strong. We don’t get to spend an awful lot of time with the victims, but when Will Carver does allow us a peek into their lives, I felt as though I really connected to them. I couldn’t understand why they were planning to kill themselves, and this was what made me even keener to find out who was behind this. I wanted to know how they had come to be in this position in the first place.

Will Carver writes very unique books. He tackles some uncomfortable and sometimes distressing subjects, but his writing is utterly addictive and he makes his books so fascinating.

Nothing Important Happened Today is a book about how a person’s mind can easily be manipulated, and it makes it quite scary to see how this can happen.

Very dark, unsettling but very intriguing.  You won’t find another writer out there who writes like Will Carver.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 14th November 2019

Print length: 276 pages

If you would like to purchase Nothing Important Happened Today, you can do by clicking on one of the following links below.

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Nothing to Hide by James Oswald #bookreview blog tour @SirBenfro @Wildfirebks @annecater

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of Nothing to Hide by James Oswald, the second book in his Constance Fairchild series. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

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Suspended from duty after her last case ended in the high-profile arrest of one of Britain’s wealthiest men, DC Constance Fairchild is trying to stay away from the limelight. Fate has other ideas . . .

Coming home to her London flat, Constance stumbles across a young man, bloodied, mutilated and barely alive. She calls it in and is quickly thrown into the middle of a nationwide investigation . . . It seems that the victim is just the latest in a string of similar ritualistic attacks.

No matter that she is off-duty, no matter that there are those in the Met who would gladly see the back of her, Con can’t shake her innate determination to bring the monsters responsible for this brutality to justice.

Trouble always seems to find her, and even if she has nothing to hide, perhaps she has everything to lose . . .

MY THOUGHTS

Nothing to Hide is the second book in James Oswald’s Constance Fairchild series, and it is a real corker. I thought the first book in this series was good, but I think the second is even better and I read it fast. It does deal with some very dark themes, and it pushes Constance or ‘Con’ as she prefers to be known; only her mother calls her Constance, to the brink.

When we last saw Constance, she had just uncovered a serious case of corruption within the police force after the death of her colleague and friend a short while beforehand. Since her discovery, several of her colleagues have turned against her. There is a sense that she is very much on her own in this book. She has also had to face the brunt of the media who are constantly pursuing her. It doesn’t help as well that she comes from a very different background to most of her colleagues. Her family are descended from nobility, and she came from a background of wealth and privilege; however, her father cut off her inheritance when she went against her parents’ wishes by joining the police force.

I think it’s Constance’s background story that makes her character feel fresh, to me. There aren’t many fictional detectives that I’m aware of, who are descended from nobility. This is what makes her so fascinating. I also like how James Oswald has blended this book in with his other series, which features DI Inspector McLean. Although McLean doesn’t make an appearance, several other characters do, including Madame Rose, and there’s even a reference to Grumpy Bob. But if you haven’t read the Inspector McLean series, you don’t need to have done so to read this book. Perhaps in the future, McLean and Connie may team up which would definitely be interesting to see.

The case which Constance is investigating is a very dark one. She has recently returned to her flat in London, only to discover a man, barely alive, not far from her home, who has been severely mutilated. Although she is meant to be on suspension, she becomes quickly sucked into the case and investigates quietly in the background against the orders of her superiors. During her investigations, she comes across a Church movement who claim to be doing their best for drug addicts and the homeless in the area. And her mother has become very fond of a man connected to the Church, although Con believes he has more of an eye for her mother’s money.

I was utterly gripped to this book, and I managed to finish it in just a couple of sittings. There is high drama right from the first page. Constance Fairchild is fast becoming a favourite fictional detective of mine. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Publisher: Wildfire

Publication date: 25 July 2019 (hardcover) 14th November 2019 (paperback)

Print length: 352 pages

If you would like to purchase Nothing to Hide, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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Violet by SJI Holliday #bookreview blog tour @SJIHolliday @OrendaBooks @annecater

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Violet by SJI Holliday. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Violet by [Holliday, SJI]

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Carrie’s best friend has an accident and can no longer make the round-the-world trip they’d planned together, so Carrie decides to go it alone.

Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend in Thailand. She is also desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available.

When the two women meet in a Beijing Hotel, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet to take her best friend’s place.

Thrown together in a strange country, and the cramped cabin of the train, the women soon form a bond. But as the journey continues, through Mongolia and into Russia, things start to unravel – because one of these women is not who she claims to be…

A tense and twisted psychological thriller about obsession, manipulation and toxic friendships, Violet also reminds us that there’s a reason why mother told us not to talk to strangers…

MY THOUGHTS

SJI Holliday takes us across continents in her latest novel, beginning our journey in Bangkok, which is where we first meet our protagonist, the enigmatic Violet. Violet is still reminiscing over her break-up with her boyfriend, Sam, and when she misses the last train due to take her to her next destination, she strikes up a conversation with the buoyant, Carrie, who quickly takes Violet under her wing. The two girls become close and take the next stages of their journey across Asia together. But their friendship soon begins to turn sour, and Carrie begins to realise that Violet may not be the person who she thinks she is.

SJI Holliday’s latest book, Violet, is deliciously dark. There was something about Violet and Carrie’s friendship in the very early chapters that just drew me into the story. I wanted to know how things were going to pan out for them. Everything at the beginning seems so perfect, but there is that underlying sense of darkness which makes you think that something terrible is going to happen between the two girls. I wanted to know what, if any, secrets they were hiding.

Carrie is a very wild character who stands out next to Violet. At first, Violet appears shy and just happy to tag along. But as Violet’s character develops, we begin to see a different person begin to emerge, someone who is more confident and intriguing. This is why I found her so fascinating. I could never quite pin her down, and this is what makes her very mysterious.

I loved the settings. Through SJI Holliday’s writing, I felt as though I had travelled to parts of the world which I have never visited before, including Thailand, Mongolia and Russia. This, for me, is what made this book stand out and made it feel very unique. Reading this book will probably make me think twice about starting up a conversation with a stranger in the future if such a situation ever arises.

This is a book which can very easily be read in one sitting, and I devoured it in just a couple. The short chapters keep the pace flying forward. It’s quite different to SJI Holliday’s previous book, The Lingering, which I also enjoyed but I think, Violet is even better.

Violet is highly engrossing and really well written. If you haven’t read a book by SJI Holliday before, then you don’t want to be missing out. Fantastic stuff.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 14th September 2019 (kindle) 14th November 2019 (paperback)

Print length: 276 pages

If you would like to purchase Violet, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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Closer Than Blood by Paul Grzegorzek #bookreview blog tour @PaulGlaznost @0neMoreChapter_ @BOTBSPublicity

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Closer Than Blood by Paul Grzegorzek, the second book in the PC Gareth Bell series. With thanks to Sarah Hardy from Books on the Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to take part.

Closer Than Blood: An addictive and gripping crime thriller (Gareth Bell Thriller, Book 2) by [Grzegorzek, Paul]

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The real nightmare begins when the missing person returns…

PC Gareth Bell is about to arrest a cocaine dealer on Brighton Marina, when he makes a shocking discovery that turns his world upside down: the dealer is his long-lost brother, Jake, someone he thought had died years ago.

But their reunion is short lived. For Jake is on the run from a cold-blooded killer, whose network reaches all the way into the police force itself. Now that his brother’s life is on the line, Bell has only two choices. Family, or duty?

MY THOUGHTS

Paul Grzegorzek is a writer who writes with real authenticity. Having spent several years in the police force himself, you know that you are safely in the hands of a writer who knows his stuff.

Closer Than Blood is a real page-turner and a thrill a minute. In the second book in his PC Gareth Bell series, Paul takes us deep into Brighton’s murky underworld and the latest case that Gareth finds himself wrapped up in may pose a critical threat to national security. He knows that this particular case certainly isn’t going to be an easy ride, and there is a real sense of imminent danger.

I recently read the first book in this series, The Follow and there was something about PC Gareth Bell that made both of these books feel so fresh. He is a police officer who doesn’t always abide by the law, sometimes he will disobey orders from his superiors, but he will only do this with good reason to and with getting justice as the ultimate aim. And this is something that I really liked about him. He is never predictable.

The case Gareth is investigating hits far too close to home for his liking. For many years his family suspected that his brother, Jake was dead, but to Gareth’s utter bewilderment he discovers he is alive and in a hell of a lot of trouble. And his brother’s problems are about to land on his doorstep when some seriously nasty people start threatening Gareth and the people he loves. What exactly has his brother got himself involved in? How are any of them going to make it out of this alive?

After reading the opening chapters, I was desperate to know who it was that Gareth’s brother had upset so badly and what he had done to deserve this. I was hooked straight away. When it is revealed that Jake had stolen something from the people who are trying to kill him, I flew through the book to find out what it was.

If you are looking for a crime novel that is pacy and filled with thrills from the get-go, then I would definitely recommend Closer Than Blood. The storyline is gritty and will have you totally invested in the plot and the characters. I can’t recommend this book and this series highly enough.

I can’t wait to read more from Paul Grzegorzek!

Publisher: One More Chapter

Publication date: 16th August 2019 (kindle) 31st October 2019 (paperback)

Print length: 352 pages

If you would like to purchase Closer than Blood, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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The Roommates by Rachel Sargeant #bookreview blog tour @RachelSargeant3

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for The Roommates by Rachel Sargeant. With thanks to Rachel for inviting me to take part.

The Roommates: A gripping, addictive, psychological thriller full of shocking twists from the Kindle top ten bestseller by [Sargeant, Rachel]

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THEY LIVE IN YOUR HOUSE
University is supposed to be the best time of your life. But Imo’s first week is quickly going from bad to worse.

YOU SHARE EVERYTHING
A stalker is watching her flat, following her every move, and Imo suspects that her new roommates are hiding dark secrets…

BUT DO YOU TRUST THEM?
When one of them suddenly disappears, the trauma of Imo’s recent past comes hurtling back to haunt her. And she begins to realise just how little she knows about the people she lives with…

MY THOUGHTS

Several months ago, Imo’s sister, Sarah, disappeared without a trace leaving the police with very few clues to follow. Now, as Imo attempts to move forward, she is starting a new chapter in her life by starting university. But when her new roommate, Amber goes missing after their first day, Imo is determined to find out what happened to her. It may be too late for her sister, but Imo is resolved not to let Amber suffer the same fate.

I quickly became invested in Imo’s search for Amber. There were certain times when it did feel as though she was the only person interested in pursuing the case. Had something dreadful happened to her, or had she decided to leave university by her own free will?

I could see that the lack of a resolution in Imo’s sister’s disappearance was what was driving her willpower to find Amber.

The story opens in a very dramatic way which captured my attention. Rachel then peels back the layers to reveal what has happened in the run up to this moment. This is what makes this a real page-turner. I wanted to find out what was going to lead the characters to that moment we see at the beginning. I wanted to see what the final outcome was going to be.

I loved the university setting, which Rachel Sargeant brought to life well, particularly fresher’s week. Rachel captures the buzz, and the excitement in her writing as new students begin to get to know each other as they settle into their new routine.

The storyline darkens as Imo gets closer to finding out what was going on in Amber’s life before her disappearance. There are some highly tense moments as the book races towards its resolution, and I was never quite sure how things were going to end up.

I’d definitely like to see Rachel return to Imo again as I feel as though there is more to find out about her. Rachel certainly leaves the novel open to the possibility of a sequel.

This is a really well written thriller which you can easily sink into. Rachel’s writing is very immersive. I wanted to find out the truth about what had happened to Amber. I guarantee that you will keep turning those pages to work out the answers yourself.

The Roommates definitely comes recommended from me.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 24th October 2019

Print length: 269 pages

If you would like to purchase The Roommates, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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To Keep You Safe by Kate Bradley #bookreview blog tour @kate_bradley @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for To Keep You Safe by Kate Bradley. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

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I HAD TO SAVE YOU, SO I TOOK YOU . . .

When ex-soldier-turned-teacher Jenni Wales sees 15-year-old Destiny’s black eye, she’s concerned. Destiny isn’t your average student: she’s smart, genius IQ smart, and she’s in care. But concern turns to fear when Jenni witnesses an attempt to abduct Destiny from school.

With social services and the police not taking the threat seriously, Jenni does the only thing she can think of to keep Destiny safe: she takes her.

But the men that are after Destiny are close behind them. What can Destiny know that would make them hunt her? And can Jenni keep her safe?

But what if what Jenni thought she saw isn’t the truth at all? What if the truth is much darker than either of them want to face? Their journey will take them both to unexpected places, but both are survivors and each will surprise the other in ways they could never have imagined.

MY THOUGHTS

To Keep You Safe is such an intense psychological thriller by Kate Bradley and I managed to finish it in just a couple of sittings. There’s action right from the get-go when former soldier, turned teacher, Jenni, is compelled to help her pupil, Destiny. Jenni is convinced that Destiny is being tracked by some very dangerous people and is determined to help her escape them. But as Jenni tries to take charge of Destiny’s fate, things soon start to spiral out of control. For Jenni and Destiny, their lives will never be the same again.

What I loved about this book is that I had no idea what was going on. I couldn’t be sure if Destiny was misleading Jenni or if she did desperately need her help. You’ll begin to understand why I thought this if you choose to read the book. You can see just how much Jenni cares for Destiny. She wants to make sure she’s safe, and she will go to any means possible to make sure this happens, even if this means putting her career at risk. I think this was what I liked most about Jenni. Her sheer determination to make sure that nothing bad happens to Destiny is what drives her throughout the book.

Destiny is a character who has come from a troubled upbringing, and she has been moved around from different foster homes. What also made this book fascinating is that we are allowed glimpses into Destiny’s mind. We can see how her upbringing has moulded her into the person she is today. I always had this feeling that Destiny wasn’t being entirely truthful with her teacher. This feeling made keep guessing and turning the pages as I wanted to find out what was really going on, and who’s side, Destiny was on. She is one of the most intriguing characters I’ve recently come across.

There are some uncomfortable themes which Kate Bradley explores in this book, and this made the novel more intense. When Jenni first decides to help Destiny, I didn’t expect the story to come to this point. There are some shocking twists which make you look even more closely at the characters.

This book will keep you completely gripped throughout, and it will have you desperately trying to work out what the final outcome will be. If you enjoy reading a fast and an intense story, then I would definitely recommend this book.

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 10th October 2019 (kindle)

Print length: 400 pages

If you would like to purchase To Keep You Safe, you can do so by clicking on the following link below.

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Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen #bookreview blog tour @antti_tuomainen @OrendaBooks @annecater

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Little Siberia by [Tuomainen, Antti]

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The arrival of a meteorite in a small Finnish town causes chaos and crime in this poignant, chilling and hilarious new thriller from the King of Helsinki Noir

A man with dark thoughts on his mind is racing along the remote snowy roads of Hurmevaara in Finland, when there is flash in the sky and something crashes into the car. That something turns about to be a highly valuable meteorite. With euro signs lighting up the eyes of the locals, the unexpected treasure is temporarily placed in a neighbourhood museum, under the watchful eye of a priest named Joel.

But Joel has a lot more on his mind than simply protecting the riches that have apparently rained down from heaven. His wife has just revealed that she is pregnant. Unfortunately Joel has strong reason to think the baby isn’t his. As Joel tries to fend off repeated and bungled attempts to steal the meteorite, he must also come to terms with his own situation, and discover who the father of the baby really is.

Transporting the reader to the culture, landscape and mores of northern Finland Little Siberia is both a crime novel and a hilarious, blacker-than-black comedy about faith and disbelief, love and death, and what to do when bolts from the blue – both literal and figurative – turn your life upside down.

MY THOUGHTS

A simple lump of rock, travelling for billions of years across the universe finally makes its mark on Planet Earth, choosing to make icy cold Finland its destination. But this simple lump of rock is about to cause a storm among the locals. With an estimated worth of one million euros, it catches the eye of more than a few crooks, who are desperate to get their hands on it before it makes its journey to London. Charged with protecting the meteorite is Pastor Joel Huhta, a former soldier who takes up the duty of night watchman. And this simple lump of rock is about to turn his life on its hinges.

What I loved about this book was how fresh the story felt. Antti Tuomainen has a real talent for putting a different spin on a thriller, and he does this here by choosing a hero who you wouldn’t expect, and this is what I like about his writing. It certainly is never predictable.

The language is very poetic, and once again, I was drawn into the icy, Finnish landscape. The last book I read by Antti Tuomainen was The Man Who Died. The writing makes you experience the cold, the chill coming off the frozen lakes and the deep drifts of snow.

Little Siberia does appear to have a darker, more sinister edge to it, in my opinion, and this is what drew me into the story. Antti Tuomainen is a writer known for his humour, and while this is still here, I thought that the darkness came through much stronger. Pastor Joel goes through a lot in this book, I really was wondering how he had the ability to keep going, but this was what I admired about his character. He isn’t a character who will very easily back down.

I thought Pastor Joel was such a brilliant character to explore, and there are so many aspects about him that make him interesting. He is a former soldier and has experience of fighting in the field. This part of his life intrigued me. He came from a deeply religious family, and I wanted to know what prompted him to join the army. Not only does he have to worry about crooks who are attempting to get their hands on the meteorite, but his wife has suddenly announced that she’s pregnant. He has so far neglected to tell her that he can’t have children, so he knows the baby can’t be his.

Little Siberia is a deeply chilling novel with a cast of brilliant, well-formed characters to follow. With atmospheric and gripping writing, what more could you want from a novel? This book definitely comes highly recommended from me. One of my favourite reads of the year.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 17th August 2019

Print length: 300 pages

If you would like to purchase Little Siberia, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

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A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan blog tour #bookreview @WilliamRyan_ @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

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Winter 1917. As the First World War enters its most brutal phase, back home in England, everyone is seeking answers to the darkness that has seeped into their lives.

At Blackwater Abbey, on an island off the Devon coast, Lord Highmount has arranged a spiritualist gathering to contact his two sons who were lost in the conflict. But as his guests begin to arrive, it gradually becomes clear that each has something they would rather keep hidden. Then, when a storm descends on the island, the guests will find themselves trapped. Soon one of their number will die.

For Blackwater Abbey is haunted in more ways than one . . .

An unrelentingly gripping mystery packed with twists and turns, A House of Ghosts is the perfect chilling read this winter.

MY THOUGHTS

A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan is the perfect read for this time of year. If you enjoy reading in the winter nights and as the weather begins to turn, then this book is for you.

W.C.  Ryan takes us to a remote island where one of our lead characters, Kate, is travelling home to after the death of her brother during the First World War. The war has ravaged the county, and everyone has a connection to someone who is affected by the war.

Now there is a supernatural element to W.C. Ryan’s work which gives it a really spooky atmosphere. Kate’s parents, Lord and Lady Highmount, are planning a séance for their guests at their home, Blackwater Abbey, and they have gathered together people who have some ability to connect with the spirit world. They are great believers in mediums and fortune-tellers. Lady Highmount is desperate to hear from her departed son, but as the séance takes place and when a storm renders them trapped, dark secrets about the guests begin to emerge, and this soon leads to violence.

Kate is the character who I engaged with most throughout this book. Kate is a natural but unwilling medium and uses a mirror to see spirits. She senses the presence of many ghosts throughout the house. This is what gave the book a very creepy atmosphere. But unlike many who would be absolutely terrified at the prospect of seeing a ghost, Kate takes it all in her stride, and it certainly doesn’t seem to bother her.

There’s a very Agatha Christie feel to this book. It did put me in mind of And Then There Were None which is also set on a remote island, but I thought this was a good thing. There is a real sense of isolation which always adds to the tension as well. As does the fact that all the characters are suspecting each other. This is what W.C. Ryan achieves very well.

Donovan is another character who we hear from. Although I didn’t find him as engaging as I did with Kate, I did, however, find him to be a very mysterious character. I wanted to find out more about him and who he was. I also liked how he teamed up with Kate, and I liked the relationship that developed between them.

If you enjoy a good ghost story steeped in mystery, then this is the novel for you. And how can you not be drawn to it by the brilliant cover? A House of Ghosts is a chilling read that will pull you in from the very first page. Hugely enjoyable.

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 4th October 2018

Print length: 432 pages

If you would like to purchase A House of Ghosts, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

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The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen #bookreview blog tour @tessgerritsen @annecater

Happy Publication day to Tess Gerritsen, her latest novel, The Shape of Night is released today. I’m sharing my thoughts as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

BLURB

We’ve all done things we’re ashamed of . . .

When Ava arrives at Brodie’s Watch, she thinks she has found the perfect place to hide from her past. Something terrible happened, something she is deeply ashamed of, and all she wants is to forget.

But the old house on the hill both welcomes and repels her and Ava quickly begins to suspect she is not alone. Either that or she is losing her mind.

The house is full of secrets, but is the creeping sense of danger coming from within its walls, or from somewhere else entirely?

MY THOUGHTS

The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen is one of the most unusual ghost stories I’ve read. Tess Gerritsen’s story is very gripping, but it did turn into something I totally wasn’t expecting. This actually makes the book quite difficult to talk about without giving away any spoilers. If you do pick this book up and if you are a fan of Tess Gerritsen’s work, be prepared for some quite unusual and shocking scenes.

Tess Gerritsen takes us to an old house on the edge of a cliff with fantastic views of the sea, known as Brodie’s Watch, where her lead character, Ava is staying as she researches for a book she is writing. The book she is working on is based on cookery in New England. But the house has a reputation among the local villagers for being haunted. There have been a few mysterious deaths which have taken place there over the years. All the victims have been young women. And soon Ava realises that there is a creeping sense of danger and her own existence might be threatened.

There is something very mysterious about Ava, and I felt drawn in by her character as she settles into her new life at Brodie’s Watch. From the blurb, we know that she is hiding something about her past. Tess Gerritsen doesn’t let on to what this is until a lot further into the book. The mystery of Ava’s history is what creates tension as the story progresses.

As I mentioned earlier on in my review, be prepared for some shocking scenes in this book which I think will definitely surprise you. Some of them are quite disturbing, and I think they may put some readers off. There were certain times when I had to put the book down. If you have read previous reviews of this book, you may understand where I’m coming from. They are what make this book very unusual, and I think they will definitely be a talking point among readers. But I’m not going to reveal anything about what happens here.

Although I was slightly put off by some of the scenes in this book, I did enjoy the story. Tess Gerritsen creates mystery, and there is a lot of tension. I raced through it because I was fascinated by Ava’s character and because I was utterly perplexed at the same time.

I would recommend this book if you are looking for a very spooky read for this time of year, particularly with Halloween just around the corner.

Publisher: Bantam Press

Publication date: 3rd October 2019

Print length: 288 pages

If you would like to purchase The Shape of Night, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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The Shape of Night BT Poster