#BlogTour: Bloom Where You’re Planted by Lasairiona E. McMaster @QueenofFireLas @rararesources #BloomWhereYouvePlanted #LifeTheExpatWay

Book Synopsis:

Are you contemplating a move abroad? Don’t panic!

From culture shock to capable, from language barriers to lifelong friends, and from foreign land to the familiar. Being hurled into life in a strange new place can be daunting and overwhelming, but it can also be exciting and enjoyable. Rich with tips on how to expat like a boss, Lasairiona McMaster’s “Bloom where you’re planted”, takes you on a journey from packing up her life in Northern Ireland to jumping in at the deep-end as an expat in two countries.

An experienced expat from a decade of living abroad, her honest and uncensored tales of what to expect when you’re expatriating, are as funny as they are poignant, and as practical as they are heartfelt. If you’ve lived abroad, or you’re considering the move from local to expat.

If you’re looking to rediscover yourself, or simply wondering how on earth to help your children develop into adaptable, resilient, and well-rounded people, this book has something for you.

Get yourself – and your house – ready for the big move.
Travel with kids, like a boss.
Make life-long friends, super-fast.
Dealing with distance.
It takes a village.

Bloom Where You’re Planted is available in ebook and paperback now. It’s currently available on Kindle Unlimited if you have membership. Purchase your copy using the link below.

My Review:

I though this was a funny, informative read that is surely a must read for anyone considering moving abroad or who wants to be assured that their own expat experience isn’t unusual!

This book is written in a fantastic style that just draws the reader in and makes them want to keep reading the book. I felt like I was having a conversation with a friend rather than reading the book at times which helps demonstrate the easy, engaging writing style in the book.

The author has included a lot of information in this book which covers everything you will need to know. I liked how honest she was about her own experiences and how she didn’t try to sugar coat expat life. Instead she includes information and hilarious stories covering the highs and lows of what to expect. I found a lot of these very funny and often read bit aloud for my husband to enjoy too!

Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random resources for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

Lasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did – with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years. Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself ‘home’, with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation. With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.

Social Media Links –

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/QueenofFireLas

Twitter –  https://twitter.com/QueenofFireLas

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/queenoffirelas/?hl=en


#BlogTour: Breakers by Doug Johnstone @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @annecater #Breakers #RandomThingsTours #5Stars

Book Synopsis:

A toxic family … a fight for survival…

Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings, he’s also trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addict mum.

On a job, his brother Barry stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead, but that’s just the beginning of their nightmare, because the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt.

With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in devastating danger, Tyler meets posh girl Flick in another stranger’s house, and he thinks she may just be his salvation … unless he drags her down too.

A pulsatingly tense psychological thriller, Breakers is also a breathtakingly brutal, beautiful and deeply moving story of a good kid in the wrong family, from one of Scotland’s finest crime writers.

Breakers is available now in ebook and paperback. You can purchase your copy of both using the link below.

My Review:

Breakers is an absorbing, thought provoking, gripping book that I really enjoyed.

I’ve always loved Edinburgh and have always though it a beautiful, historical city when I’ve visited it. As with most big cities though it has its dark side full of crime and people in poverty which is the setting of this book. It was quite an eye opener to read what could go on behind the normal everyday view of the city. These are quite vividly described so I felt like I was there watching everything unfold.

The author does a great job of letting the reader see the person behind the crime so that you start understanding the characters a bit more. I had mixed feelings about the main character Tyler. On one hand I hated him for the distress that he causes the people he robs but on the other hand his obvious love for his sister made me warm to him and his interactions with her were some of my favourite in the book. His friendship with Flick also helped me to see his gentle side and I enjoyed watching this develop. It was interesting to see how teenagers can be from very different backgrounds but still have to deal with the same problems.

This was a fast paced, gripping read that I just couldn’t put down as I found I had to know what would happen to the characters. I went through a range of emotions whilst reading feeling angry at the characters, sorry for them and them hopeful that they would make a better life for themselves. There are some passages which whilst quite uncomfortable to read, as they were very realistic, helped create a lot of the tension and atmosphere in the book which made them necessary to what’s happening. I’ve read all of this author’s books and in my opinion he keeps getting better and better. I can’t wait to read what his next one.

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Orenda books for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

Doug Johnstone is an author, journalist and musician based in Edinburgh. He’s had eight novels published, most recently Crash Land. His previous novel, The Jump, was a finalist for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his other novels have been award winners and bestsellers, and he’s had short stories published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines. His work has been praised by the likes of Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Irvine Welsh. Several of his novels have been optioned for film and television. Doug is also a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow. He’s worked as an RLF Fellow at Queen Margaret University, taught creative writing at Strathclyde University and William Purves Funeral Directors. He mentors and assesses manuscripts for The Literary Consultancy and regularly tutors at Moniack Mhor writing retreat. Doug has released seven albums in various bands, and is the drummer for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He also reviews books for The Big Issuemagazine, is player-manager for Scotland Writers Football Club and has a PhD in nuclear physics.
Follow him on Twitter @doug_johnstone and visit his website: dougjohnstone.com

#BlogTour: Foul Deeds Will Rise by Elizabeth Ireland @EbethIreland @rararesources #FoulDeedsWillRise #ABackstageMystery

Book Synopsis:

By 1875, Lillian Nolan believes she has successfully shut off any connection to the spirit world. That winter she is thrilled when she wins the role of Ophelia in a new production of Hamlet in her home town of Chicago. Everything changes when the body of the managing director is found sprawled across the steps of the dress circle and all the investors’ money is missing. Lillian fears, once again, her career is over before it begins.After her dearest friend is arrested for murder, Lillian commits herself to discovering the truth. 

Her search is complicated by a strange man who is following her, the romantic overtures of her co-star, and a reunion with an old nemesis. But nothing is what it seems. What she does find puts a member of her own family at risk and leads to the unmasking of the killer with lethal consequences for herself. 

Foul DeedsWill Rise is the second standalone book in the Backstage Mystery Series. If you enjoy historical mysteries that blend fact and fiction and include a touch of the paranormal, then you’ll love Elizabeth Ireland’s story of the adventures of one young actress during the golden age of acting and spiritualism in America.

Buy Foul Deeds Will Rise and discover that death may just be the beginning…

Foul Deeds Will Rise is available in ebook and paperback now. The ebook is currently available on Kindle Unlimited. You can purchase your copy using the link below.

My Review:

Foul Deeds Will Rise is an intriguing historical mystery, which is the second book in the Backstage Mystery series.

This books once again follows Lilian as she joins a theatre company and tries to make a career as an actress. I really liked Lilian and admired her determination to try to follow her dreams despite fierce opposition. The details about life in the theatre company was very interesting and I enjoyed learning more about it, especially as it seemed a harder career choice then I had first imagined. Lilian really matures in this book and it was great to see her develop from quite a niave young lady to the confident lady she becomes.

The mystery about who killed Philip was very interesting and it was great to follow Lilian as she tries to find his murderer. I was soon absorbed in the story and I had fun trying to guess who had done it. The final twist was surprising and took me by surprise which always adds to my enjoyment.

Although this book could be read as a standalone it might be best to read them in order so you understand a bit more about the book. There isn’t such a supernatural theme in this book which I was a little disappointed about but the wonderful development of Lilian more than made up for it. I’m very excited to read more about her and am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random resources for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

Elizabeth Ireland discovered her passion for theater early. After receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in Theater, she accepted a teaching position in a performing arts department at a college in northern Illinois. For ten years, she taught, directed and ran front-of-house operations. American Theater History–particularly that of the 19th century–has always been of particular interest to her.

THE BACKSTAGE MYSTERY SERIES was written out of the fascination she has with that period. It is set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, and stars Lillian Nolan, an unconventional member of Chicago’s upper class who dreams of a career of fortune and fame in the theater. Talented and ambitious, she possesses a hidden skill which she is extremely reluctant to use–the ability to communicate with those who have died and now live in the world of “The Beyond.” 

The series chronicles her adventures in which she continually becomes enmeshed in solving mysteries which often require her accessing the realm of the paranormal. Filled with an incredible cast of characters–factual, fictional, and sometimes non-physical–who either help or hinder her quest for the truth, the stories take place during a period considered to be the golden age of both acting and spiritualism in America. 

Ireland has been a quarter-finalist and a semi-finalist for the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her nonfiction work, WOMEN OF VISION: ORDINARY WOMEN, EXTRAORDINARY LIVES was published in 2008. Her work has also been published in a collection of paranormal short stories, PARAMOURTAL: TALES OF UNDYING LOVE AND LOVING THE UNDEAD. She lives in metro Atlanta with her ever-patient husband, and two quirky dachshunds.

#BlogTour: The Peacock Room by Merryn Corcoran @MerrynCorcoran @RedDoorBooks #ThePeacockRoom

Book Synopsis:

‘A castle, mystery and love set in Tuscany are the perfect ingredients for an entertaining and enjoyable read’ Santa Montefiore

A uplifting, romantic adventure set against the stunning backdrop of a Tuscan Castle

When Allegra O’Brien discovers her husband s infidelity, her world is shattered and she seeks solace in the sanctuary family. Her Italian grandpapas s tales of legendary Mama Cosima and the mysterious Peacock Room reawaken her love of historic, interior architecture, inspiring Allegra to take a trip to Tuscany to learn more about her heritage.

While a dangerous encounter throws her off course, a handsome stranger helps Allegra discover there is more to her family history than she could ever imagine. With her new-found confidence, and in the wake of her grandpapa s illness, Allegra makes an unexpected discovery, and finally commits to fulfilling the promise she made to solve a family mystery.

Richly laced with the colours and contours of Tuscany, and the kaleidoscopic beauty of Sammezzano Castle, this full-bodied romance will captivate you to the very end.

The Peacock Room is available in ebook and paperback now. You can purchase your copy using the link below.

My Review:

The Peacock Room is an intriguing historical mystery set in Italy that manages to be part family drama and romance too.

Firstly the author does a great job of setting the scene of this novel as the descriptions of the beautiful Italian countryside and the Italian lifestyle are vividly described which makes it easy for the reader to imagine. I so wanted to visit Italy and experience everything for myself. I also loved the fact that the castle, and the Peacock Room, is real which meant I wasted a lot of time on the internet looking at the stunning pictures!

The mystery part of the book was very intriguing and I soon became absorbed in the story, wanting to know how it ends. The author does a great job in making Allegra’s investigation into her family history seem real and there are some great, rich details which helps make the mystery come to life.

My only slight issue with this book was with the main character who I just found very frustrating and couldn’t warm to. Her decision making was very poor and I found myself getting more and more annoyed with her for some of the things she does. She is painted as the victim in the story which seems wrong considering her choice of romantic partner (no spoilers) later on.

This book is quite fast paced and there is lots going on to keep the reader entertained. I liked the gradual discovery of her family’s secrets and the ending was a great, satisfactory way to end the book.

Huge thanks to Anna from Red Door Books for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book via Netgalley.

About The Author:

Merryn Corcoran was born in New Zealand and has enjoyed success in the business world. In addition to writing, Merryn is the London ambassador for Beau Joie champagne. She also works for London-based Cork Films as executive producer and publicist, with its most recent movie The Stolen released in UK cinemas in October 2017. Merryn has been a keen supporter of UNICEF for the past 14 years, chaired and organised an annual celebrity Gala Ball in London and raised approximately GBP100,000,000 for the charity. She was made a UNICEF Honorary Fellow (UK) in 2002. Merryn’s first novel The Silent Village (2013) made it to the best-selling list in New Zealand. Her second novel, The Paris Inheritance also went straight to #2 on the best-selling list in 2014. She divides her time between Menton in the south of France, London and New Zealand.

#BlogTour: The Dangerous Kind by Deborah 0’Connor @deboc77 @bonnierbooks_uk @Tr4cyF3nt0n #TheDangerousKind #1in100People

Book Synopsis:

One in 100 of us is a ‘potentially dangerous person’ – someone likely to commit a violent crime. We all know them: these charmers, liars and manipulators. The ones who send prickles up the back of our neck. These people hide in plain sight, they can be teachers, doctors, holding positions of trust, of power. 

Jessamine Gooch makes a living tracking the 1 in 100. Each week she broadcasts a radio show that examines brutal offences, asking if more could have been done to identify and prevent their perpetrators.

But when she agrees to investigate a missing person case involving a young mother, she is drawn into a web of danger that will ultimately lead to the upper echelons of power, and threaten the safety of her own family.

What if the people we trust are the ones we should fear?

The Dangerous Kind is available in all formats now. The ebook is currently only £0.98p. You can purchase your copy using the link below.

My Review:

This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I have to say I was very impressed. The Dangerous Kind is a heart breaking, thought provoking and gripping read that I just tore through as I couldn’t put it down.

The author manages to use the difficult subject of child abuse with great sensitivity. The abuse isn’t graphically described just to shock the reader and make for uncomfortable reading. Instead it is just used to give the reader an idea of the situation the youngsters find themselves in. The dangers of the internet and how to keep children safe is a very current issue that strikes the fear of dread in most parents. This book deeply affected me as I’m dreading my kids growing up and having to deal with all the dangers online. I found myself sneaking upstairs to give my kids a hug often whilst reading.

The story is told from multiple points of view which helps create lots of tension and intrigue especially as the chapters often ended on a dramatic moment. This meant I found myself turning the pages faster and faster so I could get back to find out what’s happening. The different story lines were never confusing though and they all tied together in the end in a surprising way which I never guessed.

As mentioned in this is the first book I’ve read by this author and I’ll definitely be going back to read her previous books. I hope this isn’t the last we’ll be seeing of Jessamine as I thought she was a fantastic character and I’d love her to have another investigation to solve.

Huge thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me onto the blog tour and to the publishers for my copy of this book via Netgalley.

About The Author:

Deborah O’Connor is a writer and TV producer. Born and bred in the North-East of England, in 2010 she completed the Faber Academy novel writing course. She lives in London with her husband and daughter.

You can follow her on twitter here @deboc77

Or on instagram here @deborahleighoconnor


#BlogTour: The Den by Abi Maxwell @TinderPress @annecater #TheDen #AbiMaxwell #RandomThingsTours

Book Synopsis:

Henrietta and Jane are growing up in a farmhouse on the outskirts of town, their mother a remote artist, their father in thrall to the folklore and legend of their corner of New England. When Henrietta falls under the spell of Kaus, an outsider and petty criminal, Jane takes to trailing the couple, spying on their trysts, until one night, Henrietta vanishes into the woods.

Elspeth and Claire are sisters separated by an ocean. Elspeth’s pregnancy at seventeen meant she was quickly married and sent away from her Scottish village to make a new life in America. When she comes to the attention of the local mill owner, a series of wrenching and violent events unfolds, culminating in her disappearance.

As Jane and Claire search in their own times for their missing sisters, each uncovers the strange legend of Cold Thursday, and of a family apparently transformed into coyotes. But what does his myth really mean? Are their sisters dead, destroyed by the men who desired them? Or have they made new lives, elsewhere, beyond the watchful eyes of the community they longed to escape?

The Den is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase a copy of both using the link below.

My Review:

I’m a big fan of historical mysteries especially when they are done over two timelines so the blurb for The Den appealed to me instantly. I was not disappointed as The Den is a very thought provoking, atmospheric book that made for a very intriguing read.

The present day story follows Jane as she tries to investigate her sisters strange disappearance in the wood, while 150 years ago Elsbeth is trying to investigate her own sister Clara’s disappearance in similar circumstances. The chapters are told from the point of view of each of the four women which makes for fascinating reading. Through these chapters we learn more about the four woman, their lives and their reasons for staying or going.

The author does a great job in creating a really creepy and atmospheric read which slowly helps build up the mystery in the book, making the book incredibly absorbing. The connection between the two timelines is gradually revealed after many strange theories have been explored. I didn’t know which way the story was going and I loved going on the twisty journey with Jane trying to discover what was going on.

This is the author’s debut novel and I’m excited to see what she comes up with next. I think this would make a great book club read as there is lots to discuss.

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Phoebe from Tinder Press for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

Abi Maxwell is the author of an acclaimed story collection, LAKE PEOPLE, and her fiction has also appeared in McSweeney’s. She studied writing at the University of Montana and now lives in New Hampshire, where she grew up, with her husband and son.

#BlogTour: Ellie And The Harp Maker by Hazel Prior @haveAharp @TransworldBooks @hannahlbright29 @annecater #EllieAndTheHarpMaker #RandomThingsTours #5Stars

Book Synopsis:

Meet Ellie. She’s perfectly happy with her home and her husband and her quiet life. Happy enough, anyway. Which is why she’s so surprised to find herself drawn to an extraordinary stranger who gives her a gift – and a fresh perspective.

Meet Dan. He thinks that all he needs to be content is the time and space to carry on making harps. But the last thing he expects is for Ellie – and her cherry-coloured socks – to whirl into his life, bringing a string of surprises to his ordered existence.

Sometimes it takes a chance encounter to discover what your life can be . . .

This heart-warming, funny and quirky love story features…

86 plums,
69 sandwiches,
27 birch trees,
a 17-step staircase,
and a pheasant named Phineas

… and will stay with you long after you finish the last page.

Ellie And The Harp Maker is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase your copy using the link below.

My Review:

Oh I so adored this beautiful, unique book! It was such an enjoyable, heartwarming read that I didn’t want it to end.

The story focuses on Dan and Ellie, two quite quirky individuals who form a wonderful friendship together. I instantly warmed to both of them and the unique way they look at the world, particularly Dan who seems to enjoy the simple joys in life. They are very both well developed throughout the book and I loved learning more about them, especially the things that make them who they are like their sweet hobbies of collecting pennies or writing poetry.

The chapters alternate between Dan and Ellie giving the reader access to their personal thoughts and feeling which made me feel like I really knew them. We learn more about Ellie’s tough home life with her horrible husband, who I wished I could have a strong word or two with, and about the fascinating process of making a beautiful harp from a piece of wood that allows Dan’s personality to just shine through.

Overall I thought this was a fantastic book and one that will stay with me for ages. I was very sad to have finished the book and kept flipping back to re-read my favourite parts. I can’t wait to read more from this author and to see what she comes up with next.

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Transworld for my copy of this book via Netgalley.

About The Author:

Hazel Prior lives on Exmoor with her husband and a huge ginger cat. As well as writing, she works as a freelance harpist.

#BlogTour: A Long Shadow by Caroline Kington @CarolineKington @EyeAndLightning @rararesources #ALongShadow

Book Synopsis:

When farmer Dan Maddicott is found shot dead in one of his fields, he leaves behind a young family and a farm deep in debt. Although the coroner records accidental death, village rumours suggest he has taken his own life so that the insurance payout can save his family from ruin. Dan’s wife, Kate, refuses to believe the gossip and is determined to prove to herself, and her children, that his death was an accident. But could it have been murder? Kate discovers a set of old diaries containing secrets that may reveal how Dan really died. Set against the backdrop of the farming crisis of the turn of the 21st century, Caroline Kington’s absorbing family drama also tells the secret history of another resident of the farm, decades before, whose tragic tale will come to have major repercussions in the present day.

A Long Shadow is available in ebook and paperback now. You can purchase your copy of both using the link below.

My Review:

A Long Shadow is a compelling and emotional family drama that I really enjoyed. The story follows Kate as she tries to uncover the mystery of her husband, Dan’s death. Was it suicide as the police think in order to cash in on a recent insurance policy that would help clear his debt or was it murder?

The setting of this book is beautiful and is so vividly described that the reader feels like they are there watching everything that’s going on. The mystery of what happened is very intriguing and I enjoyed watching everything unfold. The story is told from three different timelines all describing events leading up to Dan’s death. Through these the reader gradually starts to piece together an idea of what happened with the author dropping little hints that helps keep the reader firmly on their toes and ensuring that the book is hard to put down.

There are some great characters which are well drawn and developed throughout the book. I really felt for Kate and her family as it must be awful to lose a family member in that way particularly if they are the main bread winner too. The author does a great job of portraying the emotions of the characters which seemed very realistic and therefore makes for quite a heart breaking read at times.

Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random resources for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

My professional life started when I went to drama school. I became a drama teacher to pay the rent, and in what spare time I had, I worked in Fringe theatre, writing, acting and directing bizarre, off-the-wall plays. I did a post-grad course at Bristol University in Radio, Film and Television and went to work in television where I became a documentary film-maker for BBC regional TV. Ten years later I went freelance and combined TV work with other fringe theatre work, writing and directing.
A Long Shadow was my first-born book and arose out of a documentary feature I made for C4 news about the increasing number of women in farming. It was a period in our recent history when the farming community were reeling under successive blows to their industry from BSE, foot-and-mouth, and unsympathetic government policy. 
This became the background for the story, which centres around the violent death of a young farmer. As his widow struggles to come to terms with his death, she decides to take on the farm. At the same time, she promises their young son that she will prove to him that his dad did not commit suicide. Two seemingly impossible tasks. Then a series of near fatal accidents occur and it would appear that her life, too, is threatened. 
The origins of the story stretch back to a seemingly totally unconnected event in the Second World War. It is told from viewpoints of the two principal characters and the reader is privy to other stories that go towards the final solution. 
The novel is quite complicated, I admit, with many different strands and I could never quite make it work satisfactorily, despite the loyal friends who read it and cheered it on. I was tempted to remove the sub-plot about domestic violence and destitution – again I had made a documentary on a refuge, but I really liked the point it was making – that nothing is what it seems – which added richness, I thought, to the one of the main themes of the whole book. 
So I put it on one side and started on the Summerstoke trilogy. Written as a complete antidote to A Long Shadow, they are light-hearted rural comedies, set in a village not unlike one I live near. 
During the writing of these, my beloved husband, Miles Kington, died. He was a humorous writer and broadcaster and had been writing a book about his cancer diagnosis when he died. It was incomplete, so I finished it for him and had “How Shall I Tell The Dog”, as it was called, published. I then edited a collection of his Franglais columns, “Le Bumper Book of Franglais” and then a selection of his other writing “The Best of Miles”. 
I finished the third book of the Summerstoke Trilogy “Spring Mischief” and fiddled a bit more with A Long Shadow. I still wasn’t happy with it and put it to one side again as I had promised Miles I would get a collection of his letters published. Not an easy task as he was a prolific writer, and there were over 20,000 to choose from. “My Mother, the Bearded Lady” finally comes out this autumn.
I went back to A Long Shadow, re-read it for the ‘nth time and eureka – worked out what I needed to do. So here it is. It’s an unusual book, I think, but life-affirming despite the sense of gloom around it and I really hope people read it and rate it.
And if you have not encountered the Summerstoke books before, I hope you will enjoy them.

Blog Tour:

The blog tour has now finished but do go and check out these fabulous bloggers reviews!

#BlogTour: Never Be Broken by Sarah Hilary @sarah_hilary @headlinepg @jenniferleech1 @annecater #NeverBeBroken #RandomThingsTours #5Stars

Book Synopsis:

Children are dying on London’s streets. Frankie Reece, stabbed through the heart, outside a corner shop. Others recruited from care homes, picked up and exploited; passed like gifts between gangs. They are London’s lost. 
Then Raphaela Belsham is killed. She’s thirteen years old, her father is a man of influence, from a smart part of town. And she’s white. Suddenly, the establishment is taking notice.
DS Noah Jake is determined to handle Raphaela’s case and Frankie’s too. But he’s facing his own turmoil, and it’s becoming an obsession. DI Marnie Rome is worried, and she needs Noah on side. Because more children are disappearing, more are being killed by the day and the swelling tide of violence needs to be stemmed before it’s too late.

NEVER BE BROKEN is a stunning, intelligent and gripping novel which explores how the act of witness alters us, and reveals what lies beneath the veneer of a glittering city.

Never Be Broken is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase your copy of both using the link below.

My Review:

Never Be Broken is another fantastic book from one of my favourite authors. The thing that I always like about this author is her ability to combine a gripping crime story with an emotional subject to great effect. This book is no different with the author choosing the modern problem of gang violence, a lot of which is plaguing London at the moment, as part of the storyline.

DI Rome is as usual fantastic though she seemed to take more of a back seat in this book with the spotlight more on Noah as he returns to work still grieving for his brother. Noah has always been one of my favourite characters so I liked that the focus was more on him though it was hard to see him struggling so much.

The author paints a very dark, gritty picture of London’s criminal underbelly which made for difficult reading at times particularly with regard to their treatment of the children. I often found myself tearing up whilst reading these parts, hoping that this didn’t really happen though knowing it does. The author also includes some of the theory behind gang culture which made for very interesting reading. All of this combined makes this a very powerful book which definitely gives the reader food for though. For this reason I think it would be a great book club read as there is lots to discuss.

I’m a huge fan of this series which in my opinion keeps getting better and better. Just when I think the author can’t possibly outdo her last gripping, original thriller she manages to come up with another fantastic story. I can’t wait for the next book!

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Jenni Leech from Headline for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

Sarah Hilary’s debut novel, SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN, won Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year and was a World Book Night selection. The Observer’s Book of the Month (“superbly disturbing”) and a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller, it has been published worldwide. NO OTHER DARKNESS, the second in the series was shortlisted for a Barry Award in the US. Her DI Marnie Rome series continues with TASTES LIKE FEAR (2016) QUIETER THAN KILLING (2017) COME AND FIND ME (2018) and NEVER BE BROKEN (2019).

Follow Sarah on Twitter at @Sarah_Hilary

#BlogTour: Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly @orionbooks @orion_crime @Tr4cyF3nt0n #DarkSacredNight

Book Synopsis:

Daisy Clayton’s killer was never caught. In over ten years, there has been no breakthrough in her murder case.

Detective Renée Ballard has faced everything the LAPD’s notorious dusk-till-dawn graveyard shift has thrown at her. But, until tonight, she’d never met Harry Bosch – an ex-homicide detective consumed by this case.

Soon, she too will become obsessed by the murder of Daisy Clayton.

Because Ballard and Bosch both know: every murder tells a story. And Daisy’s case file reads like the first chapter in an untold tragedy that is still being written – one that could end with Ballard herself, if she cannot bring the truth to light…

Dark Sacred Night is available in all formats now! You can purchase your copy by clicking on the link below.

My Review:

I haven’t read anything from Michael Connelly for a while so it was great to read something by him again and to see that he’s still going strong!

This is the first book that features the fantastic new detective team of Ballard and Bosch who seem very well suited for each other. Each brings different things to the story with Ballard being very a strong and capable detective while Bosch is too tired to play by the rules which makes for interesting reading. I found I liked them instantly and enjoyed following them as they tried to solve the investigation.

I always like a crime thriller involving a cold case as I think it means the author, and detectives, have to be more clever in trying to solve the case. This book was no exception and it was fascinating to see how the police managed to work everything out. The author’s background in the police gives the reader more of an understanding about what police work involves. It was good to read a book that shows the grunt work involved in detective work and the many cases they have to juggle at once. Although this means there are slightly slower bits of the book it does help the reader to understand the characters a bit more.

I thought this book was well plotted and I enjoyed the secondary stories the author has managed to weave together to go alongside the main one. It slowly picks up pace and I thought it was a very entertaining read. The ending was surprising but I felt tied things together in a satisfactory way.

Huge thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Orion for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

A former police reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Michael Connelly is the internationally bestselling author of the Harry Bosch series, and several other bestsellers including the highly acclaimed legal thriller, The Lincoln Lawyer. The TV series – Bosch – is one of the most watched original series on Amazon Prime and is now in its third season. He has been President of the Mystery Writers of America, and his books have been translated into thirty-nine languages and have won awards all over the world, including the Edgar and Anthony Awards. He spends his time in California and Florida.

To find out more, visit Michael’s website or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.