No Place of Refuge by Ausma Zehanat Khan blog tour @AusmaZehanat @noexitpress @annecater

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for No Place of Refuge by Ausma Zehanat Khan. As part of the blog tour, I’m re-sharing my review of book two in the series, The Language of Secrets. With thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

No Place of Refuge by [Khan, Ausma Zehanat]

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Amid a global crisis, one woman searches for justice…

The Syrian refugee crisis just became personal for Inspector Esa Khattak and Sergeant Rachel Getty.

NGO worker Audrey Clare, sister of Khattak’s childhood friend, is missing.

In her wake, a French Interpol Agent and a young Syrian man are found dead at the Greek refugee camp where she worked.

Khattak and Getty travel to Greece to trace Audrey’s last movements in a desperate attempt to find her. In doing so, they learn that her work in Greece had strayed well beyond the remit of her NGO…

Had Audrey been on the edge of exposing a dangerous secret at the heart of the refugee crisis – one that ultimately put a target on her own back?

No Place of Refuge is a highly topical, moving mystery in which Khan sensitively exposes the very worst and best of humanity. Fans of the series will love this latest instalment.

MY THOUGHTS ON THE LANGUAGE OF SECRETS (BOOK TWO) 

The Language of Secrets Cover

This is a novel I can easily give five stars to. The Language of Secrets is the first novel by Ausma Zehanat Khan, which I have read. Although her second book is part of a series featuring the same characters, it can easily be read as a stand-alone.

In The Language of Secrets, Ausma tells a powerful and absorbing tale which is very relevant to what is going on around the world today. The plot centres on the murder of a young Muslim man who has been working for the Canadian police as part of an undercover operation to expose a terrorist cell at a nearby mosque. Inspector Esa Khattak investigates the case. His partner, Rachel Getty goes undercover to try and expose a killer who may be among the congregation who worship at the mosque.

As I was reading, I thought it would be interesting to see how Esa’s relationship with the Muslim community would be affected. Many of them appear abhorred by what has happened, and they can’t speak highly enough of the victim. I imagined that some relationships he has would turn sour because of this.

There are some thought-provoking scenes in this book; I thought this particularly when Rachel was becoming acquainted with the members at the mosque. There is one scene in particular, which struck with me when they are discussing terrorism in all of its different forms. I think it is true that we associate acts of terrorism more with certain groups of people when it has happened throughout history. I thought Rachel’s undercover operation was one of the most gripping aspects of the story. You can see the worry that Khattak has for her as she becomes more absorbed in what has been happening at the mosque. There is tension here as you begin to fear that Rachel’s true identity will be discovered and you are fearful about what will happen to her.

There are some dramatic final scenes in this book which I thought gave the novel a satisfying ending. I was constantly wondering if the police were going to manage to stop the attack the terrorists were planning.

Although it is a heavy read at times, and it does tackle a difficult subject matter, I found The Language of Secrets to be utterly absorbing. It is a dark and engaging story that I’m sure will stay with you long after you finish reading.

Publisher: No Exit Press

Publication date: 24th January 2019 (No Place of Refuge)

Print length: 352 pages

If you would like to purchase No Place of Refuge, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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Too Far by Jason Starr blog tour @jasonstarrbooks @noexitpress #TooFarBook

9780857302489

Source: Review Copy

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One night. One date. What have you got to lose?

Jack Harper isn’t a bad man, but he’s stuck in a loveless marriage with a mediocre job just trying to keep sober. The only good thing in his life is his son. When an old college friend introduces him to a new extramarital dating website, he tentatively reaches out to find a distraction from his misery. But when he goes to meet up with his steamy online date, he quickly realises it was a dire choice.

Soon, Jack finds himself desperately trying to prove his innocence for crimes he did not commit, and the life he once had – unhappy as it was – is nothing but a dream. Now, he’s living his worst nightmare. . .

MY THOUGHTS

Now, this is what you call a gripping book; I read more than half of Too Far in one afternoon. I don’t think I have ever raced through a book so fast. I’ve never read a book by Jason Starr before, but I will definitely be reading more books by him in the future.

When forty-four-year-old, real estate agent, Jack Harper meets up with his eccentric old friend, Rob McEvoy, hoping to close down a deal on an apartment, he has no idea how much of an impact this meeting will have on the rest of his life. Reluctantly, he agrees to have lunch with Rob, and as they get talking, they begin to discuss his marriage troubles and Rob’s rather exuberant lifestyle. Rob begins to try and persuade Jack that it doesn’t have to be this way and that there are other options open to him if he doesn’t want to get divorced. And this is where things begin to get difficult for Jack.

I was surprised at how much I liked Jack from the beginning, even though he makes some quite bad decisions which don’t reflect too well on his character, although to some extent, I could understand why he was making these particular choices. All I kept thinking of as I was reading, was how unlucky could this poor guy get. I rooted for him right from the start, and I really wanted him to get his life in order again. There were some characters who I didn’t like in this book, including Detective Barasco who got under my skin. What follows on from the opening pages was intense, and I really don’t want to say anything more about the plot to avoid sharing spoilers.

I think this is a book where you do have to suspend the belief system a little, but it does make for a really enjoyable read that does get the adrenaline pumping, at times it didn’t feel as though I was reading a book, it did feel as though I was there amongst the action, as I sometimes feel when I’m watching a high speed chase in a film or a TV drama. It is a tension filled read that will keep you gripped right the way through. This is definitely recommended by me for thriller seekers. Thank you to Katherine Sunderland at No Exit Press for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: No Exit Press

Publication date: 22nd November 2018

Print length: 320 pages

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The Lonely Witness by William Boyle blog tour @wmboyle4 @noexitpress #LonelyWitness

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Lonely Witness by William Boyle, which is published in the UK today by No Exit Press.

The Lonely Witness Cover THIS ONE

Source: Review Copy

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Amy was once a party girl, but now she lives a lonely life. Helping the house-bound to receive communion on Gravesend neighbourhood of Brooklyn, she knows the community well.

When a local woman goes missing, Amy senses something isn’t right. Tailing the woman’s suspicious son, she winds her way through Brooklyn’s streets. But before she can act, he is dead.

Captivated by the crime she’s witnessed and the murderer himself, Amy doesn’t call the cops. Instead, she collects the weapon from the sidewalk and soon finds herself on the trail of a killer.

MY THOUGHTS

The Lonely Witness by William Boyle quickly turns into an immersive page-turner. It is quite different to many crime novels I have read this year, and I think this will make it memorable in the minds of many readers. This was a novel which did take me by surprise. I loved William’s writing which has a strong sense of place, and I could visualise the city of Brooklyn, where the novel is set, really well, it did make me feel as though I was there, in the bars, and in the rougher areas of the city . The atmosphere in William’s writing grows more sinister as the plot moves forward. This, for me, shows all the hallmarks of a very gifted storyteller. William Boyle’s protagonist, Amy, is a complex character, and she is a brilliant lead to follow. I could never be sure of her true personality and this was what made her fascinating and perplexing.

Amy is a model citizen, she is a member of her local Church, and helps the community by taking communion to people who are less able to get to Church on a Sunday. One lady who she frequently visits is Mrs Epifanio, who has recently been receiving visits from the son of a woman who often comes round to sit with her. However the woman is not keen on the woman’s son and Amy sets about trying to find out what his game is. But Amy soon witnesses a terrifying crime and she becomes involved in a dangerous sequence of events that she will find very difficult to get out of. What is even more shocking is that she takes away evidence from the crime scene which could help the police to put the killer behind bars, and in doing so, she is unwittingly implicating herself.

It was really interesting to see how Amy’s character changes as the plot moves forward, particularly when people from her past start to come back into her life, after she has spent a long time away from them. As she becomes more involved in the dark happenings of her neighbourhood, we see snippets of the person she once was, before she became a Eucharistic Minister. We learn she was once a party girl, and spent most of her time hanging out in bars, drinking heavily. So what drove her to religion? We also meet her former partner, Alessandra, who is working as an actress, very different from the world that Amy now inhibits.

If you enjoy novels with a strong sense of place, which have utterly engaging characters with complex lives, and who will pull you in from the first page, then I highly recommend it. I’ll certainly be looking out to see what William Boyle writes next. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to No Exit Press for the advance review copy.

Publisher: No Exit Press

Publication date: 25th October 2018

Print length: 256 pages

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Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill blog tour #IsThatYou @stet_that @noexitpress @annecater

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Source: Review Copy

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Winner of the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize

Jean Mason has a doppelganger.

She’s never seen her, but others* swear they have.

*others | noun. A peculiar collection of drug addicts, scam artists, philanthropists, philosophers and vagrants – the regulars of Bellevue Square.

Jean lives in downtown Toronto with her husband and two kids. The proud owner of a thriving bookstore, she doesn’t rattle easily – not like she used to. But after two of her customers insist they’ve seen her double, Jean decides to investigate. Curiosity grows to obsession and soon Jean’s concerns shift from the identity of the woman, to her very own.

Funny, dark and surprising, Bellevue Square takes readers down the existentialist rabbit hole and asks the question: what happens when the sense you’ve made of things stops making sense?

MY THOUGHTS

Bellevue Square is one of the most unusual books I have read recently. Although I did enjoy the story, I did find that it did take me a little while to get into this one. The premise is strong and had me intrigued, but it just took me a little longer to be pulled into the plot. But once I got into the story I flew through it. If you’re after something that is a little different and will keep you thinking, this is a novel I would definitely recommend.

The lead character, Jean is informed that she has a doppelganger. A woman has been spotted who looks exactly like her. It then becomes Jean’s obsession to track the woman down. Jean was a character who grew on me and who I did find fascinating. Her quest to track down Ingrid, her lookalike pushes the plot forward. She begins to spend her time looking out for her in Bellevue Square. This is where the story really becomes interesting. As the story progresses, we meet several characters who pass through this square who Jean becomes acquainted with.

There are some really good scenes in this book where the pace keeps you flicking the pages although it does slow down at some parts in the middle. Some of my favourite scenes were when Jean is spending time with her family and these scenes really make her character feel human.

You do have to suspend the belief system a little bit as you’re reading this book but that was what made this novel particularly exciting. When I’m reading a psychological thriller I do have a tendency to be thinking about what potentially could be coming next and I sometimes manage to guess the twists. But with Bellevue Square I found this to be a completely different reading experience. I didn’t know what to expect next and I found the characters and the central idea to be utterly unique, compared to anything I have read before.

Overall I did find this book to be an enjoyable and an exciting read. I don’t think this is a story that will be quite for everyone but if you enjoy unusual stories and if you’re looking for something that is unique, then I would definitely suggest giving this book a try. You will find that you’ll get lost in Jean’s world as she tries to work out what is happening in her life and as she pursues her quest to hunt down the mysterious Ingrid.

Reading Bellevue Square has made me keen to read more from Michael Redhill; he is a fascinating writer who explores some intriguing ideas. I do keep wondering how he managed to come up with the idea for this story. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to Katherine Sunderland at No Exit Press for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: No Exit Press

Publication date: 15th August 2018

Print length: 256 pages

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The Language of Secrets by Ausma Zehanat Khan blog tour @AusmaZehanat @noexitpress #LanguageOfSecrets

The Language of Secrets Cover

Source: Review Copy

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A terrorist cell is planning an attack on New Year’s Day. For months, Mohsin Dar has been undercover, feeding information back to the national security team. Now he’s dead.

Detective Esa Khattak, compromised by his friendship with the murdered agent, sends his partner Rachel Getty into the unsuspecting cell. As Rachel delves deeper into the unfamiliar world of Islam and the group’s circle of trust, she discovers Mohsin’s murder may not be politically motivated after all. Now she’s the only one who can stop the most devastating attack the country has ever faced.

The Unquiet Dead author Ausma Zehanat Khan once again dazzles with a brilliant mystery woven into a profound and intimate story of humanity.

MY THOUGHTS

This is a novel I can easily give five stars to. The Language of Secrets is the first novel by Ausma Zehanat Khan, which I have read. I still have her first novel The Unquiet Dead sitting on my kindle, and I am bumping it up to the top of my TBR pile. Although her second book is part of a series featuring the same characters, it can easily be read as a stand-alone.

In The Language of Secrets, Ausma tells a powerful and absorbing tale which is very relevant to what is going on around the world today. The plot centres on the murder of a young Muslim man who has been working for the Canadian police as part of an undercover operation to expose a terrorist cell at a nearby mosque. Inspector Esa Khattak investigates the case. His partner, Rachel Getty goes undercover to try and expose a killer who may be among the congregation who worship at the mosque.

As I was reading, I thought it would be interesting to see how Esa’s relationship with the Muslim community would be affected. Many of them appear abhorred by what has happened, and they can’t speak highly enough of the victim. I imagined that some relationships he has would turn sour because of this.

There are some thought-provoking scenes in this book; I thought this particularly when Rachel was becoming acquainted with the members at the mosque. There is one scene in particular, which struck with me when they are discussing terrorism in all of its different forms. I think it is true that we associate acts of terrorism more with certain groups of people when it has happened throughout history. I thought Rachel’s undercover operation was one of the most gripping aspects of the story. You can see the worry that Khattak has for her as she becomes more absorbed in what has been happening at the mosque. There is tension here as you begin to fear that Rachel’s true identity will be discovered and you are fearful about what will happen to her.

There are some dramatic final scenes in this book which I thought gave the novel a satisfying ending. I was constantly wondering if the police were going to manage to stop the attack the terrorists were planning.

Although it is a heavy read at times, and it does tackle a difficult subject matter, I found The Language of Secrets to be utterly absorbing. It is a dark and engaging story that I’m sure will stay with you long after you finish reading.

Publisher: No Exit Press

Publication date: 26th October 2017

Print length: 336 pages

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

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language of secrets

Too Far by Jason Starr Cover Reveal @noexitpress @JasonStarrBooks

I’m delighted to be able to share the cover for a rather exciting sounding new thriller by Jason Starr on my blog with you this evening. Too Far is being published by No Exit Press on the 22nd November 2018 but before I reveal the cover, here’s what the book is about.

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One night. One date. What have you got to lose?

Jack Harper isn’t a bad man, but he’s stuck in a loveless marriage with a mediocre job just trying to keep sober. The only good thing in his life is his son. When an old college friend introduces him to a new extramarital dating website, he tentatively reaches out to find a distraction from his misery. But when he goes to meet up with his steamy online date, he quickly realises it was a dire choice.

Soon, Jack finds himself desperately trying to prove his innocence for crimes he did not commit, and the life he once had – unhappy as it was – is nothing but a dream. Now, he’s living his worst nightmare. . .

 

Doesn’t it sound intriguing? So without any further ado, here is the cover for Too Far.

 

Too Far_final

If you would like to pre-order the book you can do so by clicking the link below.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

 

Death Rope by Leigh Russell blog tour @LeighRussell @noexitpress #GS11

Death Rope (A DI Geraldine Steel Thriller) by [Russell, Leigh]

Source: Review Copy

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Mark Abbott is dead. His sister refuses to believe it was suicide, but only Detective Sergeant Geraldine Steel will listen.

When other members of Mark’s family disappear, Geraldine’s suspicions are confirmed.

Taking a risk, Geraldine finds herself confronted by an adversary deadlier than any she has faced before… Her boss Ian is close, but will he arrive in time to save her, or is this the end for Geraldine Steel?

MY THOUGHTS

Leigh Russell is back with a new, complex case for Geraldine Steel to solve in her latest novel Death Rope. We’re taken into the heart of a family crisis and Geraldine must unpick the damaged relationships and expose a killer.

Charlotte Abbott returns home to find that her husband has committed suicide and his body suspended in the air in their hallway, hanging from the banister. The police have no reason to suspect that foul play has been committed until his sister, Amanda asks Geraldine for her help as she believes that there is no way her brother committed suicide. As Geraldine begins to quietly investigate the case, more suspicious deaths begin to occur, and the victims all appear to know each other. Are Amanda’s instincts right and is there more to this case than meets the eye?

This case was tricky for Geraldine right from the start. She faces opposition from the police for wasting police resources on a cut and dry case and from the victim’s own family. The family at the heart of this mystery are an unusual group of people and there is more than one suspect who could have a strong motive. Leigh leaves plenty of room for guesswork and I was always questioning the reasons why the victims had ended up dead.

There is some excellent characterization in Death Rope and I thought this was the case particularly with Eddy. Leigh explores some very tense moments with him which I thought were executed to perfection. Although he wasn’t a very pleasant character I did feel for him and I wanted things to start going right for him for a change.

Reading the final chapters of this book was a very chilling experience, you won’t want to look away until you have turned the final page.

The Geraldine Steel books have now become one of my must-read crime series. This is the second book in the series I have read and both times the plot has left me feeling very satisfied and eager to catch up with the previous books which I am hoping to get round to reading very soon. This comes recommended from me. Thank you to Katherine Sunderland at No Exit Press for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to read.

Publisher: No Exit Press

Publication date: 26th July 2018

Print length: 320 pages

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