Just weeks after giving birth, new mum Stephanie Henderson and her baby girl disappear.
With husband Adam in despair, and the police investigation stalled, it’s up to her sister Jess to find them. But when Adam starts to behave suspiciously, Jess starts to question what really happened.
Following news of a tragic accident, she suspects the worst and, in turmoil, goes in search of answers. But Jess isn t prepared for what she uncovers . . . or for what happens next.
This is a twisted psychological thriller that will make you question what is real, and whether you really can trust those you love.
My Sister Is Missing is available in ebook and paperback on the 14th March 2019. You can pre-order your copy using the link below.
My Sister Is Missing is a thought provoking and gripping book that will stay with me for a long time.
From the start the reader is aware that someone has gone missing but how and why is only revealed slowly as the story goes on which made for a very interesting read. The story follows the two main characters Adam and Jess as they try to work through the mystery and find out what happens.
The background of the characters and all they’ve experienced is cleverly mixed into the story, allowing the reader to form a better picture of what might have happened. This does involve some scenes that are hard to read about at times and therefore night not be to everyone’s taste. I found that I kept changing my mind about the characters throughout the book and couldn’t decide whether I liked them or not!
This book does take a while to get going as the author takes some time setting the scene and letting the reader learn more about her complex characters. However it soon picks up and there were lots of twists that kept me guessing. Just when I thought I had figured everything out something would happen that took the story in another direction which kept me on my toes. The ending was very interesting and a nice way to end this book, although i did feel it was a little too perfect in some ways with everything wrapped up neatly but that’s just my opinion!
Huge thanks to Anna from Red Door publishing for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book which I received in exchange for an honest review.
About The Author:
Julia Barrett wanted to be a writer from a very young age, but it wasn’t until her late thirties that she plucked up the courage to take time out from her teaching career and focus on her writing. She is based in Essex and lives there with her husband and two children. She is currently working on her next novel and completing an MA in Creative Writing.
Surviving the plane crash is only the beginning for Allison.
The life that she’s built for herself – her perfect fiancé, their world of luxury – has disappeared in the blink of an eye. Now she must run, not only to escape the dark secrets in her past, but to outwit the man who is stalking her every move.
On the other side of the country, Allison’s mother is desperate for news of her daughter, who is missing, presumed dead. Maggie refuses to accept that she could have lost her only child and sets out to discover the truth.
Mother and daughter must fight – for survival and to find their way through a dark web of lies and back to one another, before it’s too late…
Heart-stopping and addictive, FREEFALL is a stunning thriller that explores the deep and complex bond between mothers and daughters.
Freefall is a tense, clever thriller that I really enjoyed reading. It gripped me from the start with its dramatic opening which had me immediately intrigued. Especially as it soon becomes very apparent that everything s not as it first appears.
The story is told in alternate chapters from the point of view of Allison and her mother Maggie which I thought was very effective. Allison’s story follows her trek for survival as she is hunted by an unknown man. Whereas Maggie’s story follows her hunt for her daughter and trying to discover what exactly has been going on in her daughter’s life for the last few years. Both women are very compelling, strong women and I found I enjoyed getting to know them more throughout the book.
There are some fascinating topics woven into the storyline which I think would lead to some interesting discussions in book groups. The complicated Mother and daughter relationship is explored in detail but in quite a subtle way so its not immediately obvious to the reader. The relationship a mother has with her daughter is a fairly fragile and compliated one and I found it interesting to learn more about the two main characters with through their relationship with each other. The other theme is a person’s need to have a place to call home and to belong. When Allison crashes her immediate thought is to return home, thought where that is isn’t revealed though it is hinted that it is with her mother. I quite liked the idea of this and thought it was a lovely idea that everyone had a place in this world.
This is a fast paced thriller with the tension gradually increasing throughout the book until it become almost nerve shredding! It does have a few slightly slower moments whilst the history of the characters are explored but I quite liked this as it meant I was able to catch my breath. The information gleaned here is also vital to the story so I personally found it very interesting. There is always lots of action or things being revealed which keeps the reader firmly on their toes, including lots of intriguing secrets and betrayals which I often didn’t see coming. The stories gradually come together in a very satisfying way and I found that I was very pleased with how this book ended!
Huge thanks to Anna from Vintage Books from Vintage Books for my copy of this book which I received in exchange for an honest review. if you like fast paced, clever thrillers then you’ll love this book.
About The Author:
Jessica Barry is a pseudonym for an American author who grew up in a small town in Massachusetts and was raised on a steady diet of library books and PBS.
She attended Boston University, where she majored in English and Art History, before moving to London in 2004 to pursue an MA from University College London.
She lives with her husband, Simon, and their two cats, Roger Livesey and BoJack Horseman.
It is raining non-stop over Paris. The Malegarde family – split between France, London, and the US – is reunited for the first time in years. When Paul, a famous yet withdrawn arborist, suffers a stroke in the middle of his 70th birthday celebrations, his son Linden is stuck in a city that is undergoing a stunning natural disaster. As the Seine bursts its banks and floods the streets, the family will have to fight to keep their unity as hidden fears and secrets also begin to rise.
In this profound and intense novel of love and redemption, De Rosnay demonstrates her wealth of skills both as an incredible storyteller and also as a connoisseur of the human soul.
The Rain Watcher is available in hardback and paperback now. You can purchase a copy of both using the link below.
I was a huge fan of this author’s historical novel Sarah’s Key so I was intrigued to read her latest book. Although this book is very different in style from Sarah’s Key I did enjoy it.
The author’s descriptions of Paris in the rain were beautiful with some of her observations so vivid that I had to stop a minute to fully enjoy them. I’ve always loved books set in Paris and the city has always fascinated me so I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the book.
The family reunion was an interesting one as it was obvious from the start that relationships between the family members weren’t very good at the moment. As the story continues and we find out more about their history and the secrets they have been hiding it becomes a lot clearer why there are tensions between them. The reader goes on a real journey with the family and it was great to be able to witness it first hand. The family goes through a lot of changes throughout the book and I enjoyed seeing how it shifted and changed as events happened.
My only small complaint about this book is the slow pace of it. Whilst the family drama was interesting I felt it took too long at times for something to happen and a slightly faster pace would have made it more gripping. I also wasn’t sure about all the descriptions of a flooded Paris. They were very beautiful and vivid but I wasn’t sure as to their relevance with the family drama. I kept wondering if the author was trying to make a comparison between the weather and the family drama but I think if she was it unfortunately went over my head!
Huge thanks to Juliet from World Editions for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book which I received in exchange for an honest review.
About The Author:
TATIANA DE ROSNAY is the author of more than ten novels, including the New York Times bestselling Sarah’s Key, an international sensation and major motion picture. Tatiana lives with her husband and two children in Paris.
The international bestselling godfather of Nordic Noir takes on one of the most horrific periods of modern history, in a stunning standalone thriller
‘A masterclass in plotting, atmosphere and character that finely balances shocking twists’ The Times
‘Utterly convincing’ Publishers Weekly
In 1942, Jewish courier Ester is betrayed, narrowly avoiding arrest by the Gestapo. In a great haste, she escapes to Sweden, saving herself. Her family in Oslo, however, is deported to Auschwitz. In Stockholm, Ester meets the resistance hero, Gerhard Falkum, who has left his little daughter and fled both the Germans and allegations that he murdered his wife, Åse, who helped Ester get to Sweden. Their burgeoning relationship ends abruptly when Falkum dies in a fire.
And yet, twenty-five years later, Falkum shows up in Oslo. He wants to reconnect with his daughter. But where has he been, and what is the real reason for his return? Ester stumbles across information that forces her to look closely at her past, and to revisit her war-time training to stay alive…
Written with Dahl’s trademark characterization and elegant plotting, The Courier sees the hugely respected godfather of Nordic Noir at his best, as he takes on one of the most horrific periods of modern history, in an exceptional, shocking thriller.
The Courier is available now in ebook and in paperback on the 21st March 2019. You can purchase or pre-order your copy using the link below.
I’m a huge fan of this author’s previous books but have to admit I was a bit nervous about reading an historical thriller from him. I needn’t have worried as once again Dahl has produced an atmospheric, gripping read!
The reader is thrown almost immediately into the story with a rather dramatic scene that helps to bring the setting of Norway in WW2 vividly to life. The fear and uncertainty is almost palpable as the situation that Esther’s family finds themselves in becomes clear. I hadn’t read much about Norway in the second world war or about their role in exporting Jews so I found this part of the book very interesting.
Esther is a fantastic main characters who I immediately liked. She seemed very brave particularly when she finds herself on her own in a dangerous situation. She is very loyal to her friends, refusing to put anyone in danger when they offer to help her which was very selfless of her.
The story follows Esther through many different times which sounds like it should be confusing but it’s not and actually works really well. It was interesting to see how the world changed through the years and to follow Esther after the end of the war.
This was an incredibly gripping and tense novel which helped make it a quick read as I found it hard to put down. I kept promising myself that I’d read only one more chapter but ended up reading until midnight, only putting the book down when my baby woke up for his bottle and I realised the time. The tension is almost unbearable at times and I found myself frequently imploring Esther not to do something and put herself in danger, sometimes out loud which amused my husband! The author manages to keep the intrigue and action going throughout the book so there is never a dull moment which made for an incredibly exciting read.
This is the third book I’ve read by this author and I’m very excited to read more from him as all his books end up on my keep forever shelf and are frequently recommended to friends. If you like gripped, tense and thrilling historical crime books then you’ll love this book.
Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Karen from Orenda books for giving me a copy of this book which I received in exchange for an honest review.
About The Author:
One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in fourteen countries, and he lives in Oslo. Follow Kjell Ola on Twitter @ko_dahl
For fans of Bryony Gordon and Dolly Alderton, The Sisterhood is an honest and hilarious book which celebrates the ways in which women connect with each other.
‘My five sisters are the only women I would ever kill for. And they are the only women I have ever wanted to kill.’
Imagine living between the pages of Pride And Prejudice, in the Bennett household. Now, imagine how the Bennett girls as they’d be in the 21st century – looking like the Kardashian sisters, but behaving like the Simpsons. This is the house Daisy Buchanan grew up in,
Daisy’s memoir The Sisterhood explores what it’s like to live as a modern woman by examining some examples close to home – her adored and infuriating sisters. There’s Beth, the rebellious contrarian; Grace, the overachiever with a dark sense of humour; Livvy, the tough girl who secretly cries during adverts; Maddy, essentially Descartes with a beehive; and Dotty, the joker obsessed with RuPaul’s Drag Race and bears.
In this tender, funny and unflinchingly honest account Daisy examines her relationship with her sisters and what it’s made up of – friendship, insecurity jokes, jealousy and above all, love – while celebrating the ways in which women connect with each other and finding the ways in which we’re all sisters under the skin.
The Sisterhood is available in ebook and paperback from today, the 7th March 2019. You can purchase a copy of both using the link below.
The Sisterhood is a very funny, intimate account of the author’s life and experiences with her sisters.
I have a sister and whilst I love her very much I can’t imagine having five sisters and all the complications it must have caused. In this book the author gives the reader an intimate, fly on the wall glimpse into her relationship with her sisters and some of the key moments that have shaped them. It sometimes felt that I was intruding on a personal moment as the author doesn’t hold back on revealing exactly what happened. Some of the stories made me smile as I remember similar scenarios, arguments and conversations with my own sister, so the story had a nostalgic quality for me.
The chapters are quite short and each have been given an intriguing title which makes the reader wonder what it will be about. I moved between wishing I could have been one of the sisters and able to join in with them, to being quite glad I only had one sister as I’m not sure I could have coped in such a large family. Throughout the stories the author describes how her relationship with her sisters had to change throughout the years to accommodate their shifting views and roles which I found fascinating. I haven’t ever given this much thought so it’s definitely given my food for thought.
It would have been easy for the author to just focus on herself throughout this book but she doesn’t do this. Instead as promised this really felt like a tribute to her sisters. In between the stories about them there is a little bit about each of the sisters individually which gives the reader a chance to get to know them all quite personally which I really enjoyed. This definitely helped to give me a better idea of family dynamics and the relationship they enjoyed with each other.
This is the second book by this author that I’ve read and it won’t be my last as I always enjoy her funny, frank stories.
Huge thanks to Jennifer Harlow from Headline for my copy of this book which I received in exchange for an honest review.
About The Author:
Daisy Buchanan is an award winning journalist and the author of the critically acclaimed book How To Be A Grown Up. She’s a regular contributor to TV and radio, frequently appearing on Woman’s Hour, Good Morning Britain, This Morning, Sky News and the Today programme. Daisy writes for a wide range of publications including The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, The Sun, Grazia, Marie Claire and The Pool, covering everything from pop culture to mental health with a feminist perspective. She’s a TEDx speaker, giving advice on how to get through the trickiest parts of your twenties in her talk How To Survive A Quarter Life Crisis. Daisy has been Grazia’s in house agony aunt, writing the popular Dear Daisy column, and she’s currently the title’s Reality TV correspondent, covering Made In Chelsea with her tongue firmly in her cheek.
“SAM! AVA! Get downstairs, NOW. Have you done your TEETH? HAIR? SHOES? Come on, come on, come on, we’re going to be bastarding late again. No, I haven’t seen Lego Optimus Prime, and nor do I give a shit about his whereabouts. Sam, will you stop winding your sister up and take this model of the Shard that I painstakingly sat up and created for you last night so that I wouldn’t be in trouble with your teacher. I mean, so that you wouldn’t be in trouble with your teacher. No, it doesn’t smell of ‘dirty wine’. Well, maybe it does a little bit. Look, Sam, I haven’t got time to argue. Just hold your nose and get in the car, okay? AVA! TEETH! HAIR! SHOES!”
Gemma is only just holding it together – she’s a single parent, she’s turning 40 and her seven-year-old daughter has drawn a cruelly accurate picture which locates Gemma’s boobs somewhere around her knees. So when her new next-door neighbour, Becky, suggests that Gemma should start dating again, it takes a lot of self-control not to laugh in her face.
But Becky is very persuasive and before long Gemma finds herself juggling a full-time job, the increasingly insane demands of the school mums’ Facebook group and the tricky etiquette of a new dating world. Not only that, but Gemma has to manage her attraction to her daughter’s teacher, Tom, who has swapped his life in the City for teaching thirty six to seven year olds spelling, grammar, basic fractions – and why it’s not ok to call your classmate a stinky poo-bum…
It’s going to be a long year – and one in which Gemma and Becky will learn a really crucial lesson: that in the end, being a good parent is just about being good enough.
Readers love this hilarious, fast paced slice of family life:
Absolutely Smashing It is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase your copy using the link below.
I’m a huge fan of the Why Mummy series so was excited to receive a copy of another similar book, though I was initially a bit nervous as to whether it would be as good. I was quickly reassured and found this book as funny, if not better than anything similar I’ve read.
Firstly I so wish Gemma was my friend as she is so like me and my approach to parenting. It was so refreshing to read that there could possibly be other parents like me who are perpetually disorganised, turn up at school looking harassed and forget school projects. Her descriptions of them getting into the car for school run had me absolutely howling with laughter as it’s so true to what I end up doing daily. My poor neighbours must find the shouting and vision of me coming out of the house holding mounds of stuff hilarious. Her children also seem like mine as they always manage to sing inappropriate lyrics at top volume and find a random toy that it’s essential they bring on the school run. It’s comforting to know that other people experience the same stuff and made me feel a lot better about myself.
This is actually quite a fast paced book as there is always some drama or crisis to overcome. As mentioned above I immediately loved Gemma and wanted to keep reading to find out what she’d get up to next. What does happen is absolutely hilarious and I often found myself laughing out loud. There is sadly some modern lingo that I had to look up to find out what they meant but this just gave the book a very modern feel and Gemma had older children then I do so who knows maybe I’ll get better as they get older.
This is the author’s debut novel and I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next installment! I wasn’t aware of the author’s blog and have recently followed her Facebook page. If you like Frank, honest and utterly hilarious books about what it’s really like to be a parent then you need to read this book! Though maybe not if you are just thinking about being a parent as, like some of the characters, it might put you off!
Huge thanks to Kirsteen Astor from Little Brown for my copy of this book which I received in exchange for an honest review.
About The Author:
Kathryn Wallace is an experienced blogger, whose writing career pinnacle to date was when a little blog post she wrote about her front bottom’s run in with some mint and tea tree Original Source shower gel went viral and ended up being read by more than 30 million people globally. #lifegoals
A full time working parent, Kathryn somehow finds the time in between regularly losing her shit and svreas “TEETH! HAIR! SHOES!” on repeat to update her blog, I Know, I Need To Stop Talking, which has around 140, 000 followers on her Facebook and is growing rapidly.
Two desperate criminals. Something she never saw coming. A searing suspense thriller from bestselling author Nick Louth
In Manchester, two hardened gang members on the run take Catherine Blake and her one-year-old son hostage at gunpoint. She is in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Held in a Transit van, Catherine needs a plan fast. But it means diving into her captors’ risk-drenched world, and playing them at their own game.
Catherine has been through cancer, miscarriages and five draining years of IVF in order to have her son Ethan. He is the most precious thing in the world. She may be terrified out of her wits, but she’d do anything to protect him. Anything, no matter the cost…
A nerve-shredding suspense thriller you won’t believe until you have experienced it yourself, Trapped is perfect for fans of Cara Hunter, JP Delaney and Rachel Abbott.
Trapped is available in ebook and paperback now. The ebook is currently only £1.99 and you can purchase a copy of both using the link below.
This is my wife, Catherine, yesterday evening. Tuesday. You can see her, with a screwdriver, in the boot of our Nissan, trying to tighten the screws on the anchor points for the new child seat. I tell her that they are secure, the man at the shop who installed it told us so, and he is fully qualified. I’d already double-checked the seat too. Watched the video, read the instructions. Used all my strength to test the straps, wobbled it, tried to pull it loose. It was fine. But for her that wasn’t enough. When it comes to Ethan, nothing is ever enough. She fears that in a collision our one-year-old son could be catapulted from the back seat through the windscreen. Since Ethan arrived, Catherine has developed a tendency to worry about all sorts of things. Sometimes it is reasonable, sometimes not.
She is understandably anxious about the odd-shaped mole on her right shoulder. She frets about her figure, and the smile lines she has acquired at 41, and seems to be convinced that one day I will no longer find her attractive. She’s wrong. I will adore her to my dying day, I can guarantee that now. I love her corkscrew copper hair and her pale freckled skin, even though she hates it and wishes she were a dark-haired olive-skinned Italian.
Wishing you were something else, someone else, somewhere else. It’s so clear to me now that you have what you have, and you make of it what you can. That’s what matters. When the time comes, when you are tested. You never know when that will be. I didn’t know, and neither here does she, still working on that seat for our son. Look at her. She has no idea of what is going to happen in less than 24 hours. That would make her worry, no mistake.
That mole. Catherine survived skin cancer, you see. She knew about the risks. She never sunbathed, was rarely drawn to the beach, always wore a broad-brimmed hat and gallons of sunscreen when on our brief foreign holidays. She had been aware since childhood that with her milky skin and about as many freckles as a galaxy has stars that there would always be a chance of some malevolent sun-seared alien cell, splitting and growing in a forgotten corner of her epidermis. And she had always looked out for the arrival of that malignity. Believe me, she looked. I saw her after every shower, in front of the mirror. But it was a dab of pigment she noticed for the first time under the nail of her left little toe, just a smear of brown visible through the cuticle, when she was about to apply nail varnish. It didn’t even look like the moles you see on the chart. But better safe than sorry. The nail was removed, the offending clump of melanocytes excised and tested.
The test results were not good.
Acral lentiginous melanoma. Not benign. Malignant. Dangerous. Potentially lethal, that tiny little blot. It’s not related to sun exposure, so there was no blame on her (or us). Still, tests showed that it had spread to a lymph node on the foot. A sentinel node, that’s what they call them. Watching out for trouble. If that’s infected, then the next stage is worse. Stage III, they call it, like some tricky examination. Maths, Further Maths, Much Further Maths. Catherine had her entire lymph node basin removed from her foot and ankle. Basin – it’s a good description for what is an entire river system, carrying white blood cells to where they are needed, and taking toxins away. But hiding away amongst the toxins are cancerous cells, still alive. She was 38, and she was very brave about it. When under local anaesthetic she watched them peel back her creamy skin, remove the nodes, then stitch it almost invisibly back. The next nodes, the next basin, seemed to be uninfected. It was then a question of waiting. Cancer’s Russian roulette. That was when the question of having a child became more urgent. As she always said to me: ‘That’s what I was made for. To bring a new life into the world.’
And to protect it, Catherine. Against all the badness this world can throw at you. That’s why you survived cancer, Catherine. You have a job to do. I can’t help you now. No one can help you. It’s your task alone. I know the date and the time, and the place. But I can’t come back and warn you. God, how I wish that I could.
Tuesday. Almost eight in the morning, and she has to leave for work in half an hour. I’ve just finished getting Ethan up. Catherine is doing pilates, lying in the centre of the lounge listening to the CD, whose soft rainforest music is full of bird calls and pattering raindrops. Because of the time, she hasn’t bothered to put her leggings and leotard on. She’s just wearing shorts and an old T-shirt with a faint orange stain on one side that, I am now experienced enough to be sure, is baby vomit. The voice on the CD, all mid-Atlantic vowels and breathy enthusiasm, is enjoining her to be aware of her own body, its balance and alignment. ‘Make sure you are square-aware, and breathe, breathe in until you have expanded your ribcage to its maximum. Now hold it gently, and make a few slow pelvic tilts.’ Mindfulness seems out of reach though. She eyes me staring at her, and starts giggling. ‘Don’t. You know I can’t concentrate if you watch.’ More giggling. But I stay leaning in the doorway, my arms folded, a slight grin on my face as I listen to Ethan’s happy burbling from the bedroom. Her hips tilt, her tummy flattens, the puke patch creases. I see the tell-tale vibration in her diaphragm. Silent laughter. ‘Right, that’s it!’ She jumps up and chases me around the lounge. I let her catch me by the kitchen door, and she tickles me quite hard in the ribs. As I mock up a wounded expression, she stands on tiptoes to give me a slow languorous kiss. ‘Tonight. I promise. He’ll sleep better, even if I have to have a G&T before I feed him,’ she whispers. ‘You are going to drug our precious child?’ I say in faux horror. She smiles and licks my neck. It’s a delicious feeling. ‘Maybe.’ I did get that promised act of lovemaking on Tuesday night. It was wonderful. It was my last.
About The Author:
Nick Louth is a bestselling thriller writer, award-winning financial journalist and an investment commentator. A 1979 graduate of the London School of Economics, he went on to become a Reuters foreign correspondent in 1987. It was an experience at a medical conference in Amsterdam in 1992, while working for Reuters, that gave him the inspiration for Bite, which was self-published in 2007 and went on to become the UK no. 1 Kindle bestseller for several weeks in 2014 before being snapped up by Sphere. It has sold a third of a million copies, and been translated into six languages. The terrorism thriller Heartbreaker was published in June 2014 and received critical acclaim from Amazon readers, with a 4.6 out of 5 stars on over 100 reviews. Mirror Mirror, subtitled ‘When evil and beauty collide’, was published in June 2016. The Body in the Marsh, a crime thriller, was published by Canelo in September 2017, with The Body on the Shore following in 2018. Freelance since 1998, he has been a regular contributor to the Financial Times, Investors Chronicle and Money Observer, and has published nine other books. Nick Louth is married and lives in Lincolnshire.
Audrey’s family has fallen apart. Her two grown-up daughters, Jess and Lily, are estranged, and her two teenage granddaughters have never been allowed to meet. A secret that echoes back thirty years has splintered the family in two, but is also the one thing keeping them connected.
As tensions reach breaking point, the irrevocable choice that one of them made all those years ago is about to surface. After years of secrets and silence, how can one broken family find their way back to each other?
If Only I Could Tell You is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase a copy of both using the link below.
If Only I Could Tell You is a beautiful, emotional book that will stay with me for a long time.
The reader is immediately absorbed into the story with some of the situations feeling very realistic that it’s impossible not to feel involved in the story. As someone whose has had their fair share of sister dramas over the years the dialogue really resonated with me and I found some of the scenarios achingly familiar, as I had been through similar.
Audrey is a wonderful main character who it’s impossible not to like and feel some sympathy with. Her obvious distress over her daughter’s falling out is almost palpable at times and I found myself getting very emotional on her behalf. In contrast I found I didn’t warm much to the daughters and found myself feeling quite angry at them for all that they’d put their mother through. Some of the decisions they’ve made with their own daughters were highly dubious and I felt quite appalled whilst reading about them.
This isn’t particularly a fast paced book but it is so compelling and absorbing that it makes it impossible to put down as you have to know what is going to happen. I found myself thinking about it constantly whilst I wasn’t reading it and continuing to feel very emotional about what was happening. It made me wonder if I would have acted any differently and hoping that I would have.
This is the author’s debut novel and I’m so excited to read more from her in the future. I think this would make a great book club book as I think there would be lots to discuss.
Huge thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me onto the blog tour and Orion for my copy of this book via Netgalley which I received in exchange for an honest review. If you like emotional, absorbing and thought provoking books then you’ll love this book!
About The Author:
Hannah Beckerman is an author, journalist and broadcaster. She is a regular contributor to The Observer, The FT Weekend Magazine, and The Sunday Express, and was the book critic on Sara Cox’s Radio 2 Show. She chairs literary events around the UK and has been a judge on numerous book prizes including the Costa Book Awards.
Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Hannah was a TV Executive who spent fifteen years producing and commissioning documentaries about the Arts, History and Science for the BBC, Channel 4 and Discovery USA before turning her hand to writing.
Hannah lives in London with her husband and their daughter.
Grace Macallan’s life is on an even keel – at last. But a 9-to-5 career away from the frontline isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
So when she’s sent to investigate a suicide at Glasgow’s notorious Barlinnie prison, Grace gladly escapes her desk. The dead inmate is Tommy McMartin, heir to a ferocious criminal family. His murder conviction saw Tommy’s fall from power; cast out not for violence but because the victim was his gay lover.
The investigation drags Grace into contact with her McMartin adversaries of old. But the gangland dynasty is under threat and, as it topples, secrets once dead and buried are unearthed.
As she unravels Tommy McMartin’s fate, Grace senses someone watching her from the shadows, someone who aches for revenge. An awful dilemma faces her: to expose the truth or let the dead lie still.
Where No Shadows Fall is available in ebook and paperback now. You can purchase your copy of both using the link below.
I’m a huge fan of this series so I was so excited to be invited to be on the blog tour for Where No Shadows Fall, the latest book in a series that keeps getting better and better.
The story line is dark, gritty and thoroughly gripping with the reader immediately drawn into Grace’s world. It’s hard to believe that such characters exist but my understanding is the books are based on the author’s time in the police service so they must do! I think it’s this knowledge that helps add to the tension in the book as it makes the reader more invested in the story, the characters and what will happen.
The story is well plotted and the multiple points of views brings a lot of depth to the story and helps the reader to gain a more rounded view of what happens. As usual the story is intensely gripping and there is always something happening that may the book hard to put down. Some of the scenes in the book are a little I comfortable to read but they are easy to skip over and are in keeping with the general tone of the book.
This is the fourth book in the series but I think it could easily be read as a standalone as everything you need to know is explained. I can’t wait to read more from this talented author!
Huge thanks to Black and White Publishers for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book. If you like dark, gritty and realistic crime novels then I can definitely recommend this series.
About The Author:
Peter followed his forefathers and started his working life at 15 as a deep sea fisherman.
He eventually joined the police service moving through the ranks of CID/Murder Squad/Regional Crime Squad in Scotland. He then went on to manage the Organised Crime Unit in the National Criminal Intelligence Service in London where he ran a multi agency team drawn from various branches of the law enforcement and the security services. This was a unique concept at the time and Peter travelled to many parts of the world in this role. He was subsequently appointed as the UK Liaison Officer to Europol in The Hague where he spent five years.
He returned to Lothian and Borders heading the Major Crime Team before taking on an advisory role for a project in Croatia. Following his retiral he worked on a number of private investigations before spending the next few years as part of the public inquiry team looking into the murder of the LVF leader Billy Wright in the Maze Prison.
Good morning everyone I’m pleased to finally be able to share my fantastic guest post from Simon Beckett today. Huge apologies to Hayley and Simon for forgetting to include it in my original post! If you’d like to read my review please click on the link below.
It’s been a good summer for forensics expert Dr David Hunter. His relationship is going well and he’s in demand again as a police consultant. Life is good.
Then a call comes from an old associate: a body has been found, and she’d like Hunter to take a look.
The empty shell of St Jude’s Hospital now stands awaiting demolition, its only visitors society’s outcasts, addicts and dealers. A partially mummified corpse has been discovered in the hospital’s cavernous loft, but not even Hunter can say how long it’s been there. All he knows for sure is that it’s the body of a young woman. And that she was pregnant.
But the collapse of the loft floor reveals another of the hospital’s secrets. A sealed-off chamber, still with beds inside. Some of them occupied…
For Hunter, what began as a straightforward case is about to become a twisted nightmare that threatens everyone around him. And as the investigation springs more surprises, one thing is certain.
St Jude’s hasn’t claimed its last victim . . .
With its viscerally authentic forensics, menacing atmosphere and nerve-shredding tension, Simon Beckett’s new crime thriller will leave you gasping.
The Scent Of Death is available now in ebook and in hardback on the 18th of April 2019. You can purchase or pre-order a copy using the link below.
Books That Sank Their Hook
Picking your favourite books is hard. We all change over time, and so do our tastes. I used to be a huge fan of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, but outgrew those along with shorts and sandals. So, instead I’ve settled for compiling a list of books and authors – not all of them crime – that made a lasting and possibly formative impression. Most were read in my teens and early twenties, and while some remain favourites, others are more like former friends I’ve lost touch with over the years.
All have one thing in common, though: they’re great stories.
The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler.
The first crime novel I read was Chandler’s The Big Sleep. I went on to devour the rest of the Philip Marlowe series, but it was The Long Goodbye that really imprinted itself. The brash, wise-cracking private detective of the earlier books had become older and careworn, and while there aren’t any obvious similarities between Marlowe and my own narrator, David Hunter, the idea of a loner sticking doggedly to his own moral code struck a lasting chord.
The Silence of the Lambs, Thomas Harris
This pips Harris’ Red Dragon to the list by virtue of the central character. Hannibal Lecter generally receives top billing, but it’s the dogged and insecure FBI rookie Clarice Starling who gives the novel its heart (which Lecter would probably eat, given half a chance). When I wrote The Chemistry of Death, the first in the David Hunter series, it was in the hope of writing something halfway as compelling and scary as this. Sets the bar for crime thrillers, in my opinion.
The Travis McGee novels, John D. Macdonald.
I know, this is cheating. But although I loved the series about the laid-back beach-bum who makes an intermittent living as a ‘salvage’ operator of last resort, I’d be hard pressed to single-out one title. Set in 1960s and ’70s Florida, the McGee stories feature another complex first-person narrator who’s a natural loner. Something of a theme emerging here…
The Lord of the Rings, J R Tolkien
I tried re-reading this recently but found the Peter Jackson films got in the way. Still, this had a huge impact when I read it as a teenager. Some people may cavil about the clunky language, the male-centric characters and the sheer weight of the 1000-plus pages, but as a story it’s completely immersive. It demonstrated to me how effective the unexpected death of a main character can be, and has one of the best rug-pull moments you could ask for.
The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson
It’s a toss-up which I like the most, the novel or the 1962 Robert Wise film adaptation. A group of strangers gather in a house you really, really don’t want to find yourself in after dark (when there’s no one to hear) to prove the existence of ghosts. The novel is… well, haunting is the only way to describe it. Psychologically complex and beautifully written, it’s a masterclass in tension and atmosphere. It also has what remains one of the best openings I’ve ever read. Truly scary.
The Kraken Wakes, John Wyndham
I love a good end-of-the-world tale, and while Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids come a close second, Kraken just edges it for me. An account of war with unseen aliens who’ve occupied the deepest parts of the world’s oceans, its description of the devastating effects of global warming is eerily prescient. The haunting image of a deserted and flooded London is unforgettable.
The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemmingway
I find some of Hemingway’s work unreadable, but when he’s not being too pretentious the results can be dazzling. A clique of Americans aimlessly fish, drift and drink their way through post-WW1 France and Spain… and that’s pretty much it. Some of the attitudes can best be described as ‘of their time’, but Hemingway’s controlled style and subtle conveyance of emotion made a big impression when I read it in my youth.
A Taste for Death, Peter O’Donnell
My Dad introduced me to the Modesty Blaise novels when I was in my teens, and they’ve been perennial favourites ever since. Often billed as a female James Bond, the comparison doesn’t do the books justice. They’re all good (despite the lurid covers), but A Taste for Death, with its jovially deadly villain, is a stand-out. Genuinely thrilling, warm and funny, these were the first books I’d read where I felt the author might actually kill-off the main characters.
The Magus, John Fowles
Looking back at my selection, it strikes me how many books on this list feature alienated loners. Well, this is another. A selfish young Englishman takes a teaching post on a remote Greek island, where his enigmatic employer subjects him to a series of mind-games. Although the main character isn’t exactly sympathetic, as a callow student I was swept up by the otherworldly atmosphere and sense of place. And the notion of a stranger in a strange land is a theme I’ve returned to in my own books.
The Devil Rides Out, Denis Wheatley
Wheatley’s style and attitudes may jar today, but when I read this as an impressionable nine-year-old I was utterly enthralled. A group of upper-class adventurers try to rescue their friend from the clutches of a satanic cult. Cue black masses, pentagrams and goings on I was far too young to read about. Obviously, I loved it. The horror elements that some people have commented on in my own (non-horror) novels can probably be traced back to this.
Simon Beckett, February 2019
About The Author:
Simon Beckett has worked as a freelance journalist for national newspapers and colour supplements. He is the author of five international bestselling crime thrillers featuring his forensic anthropologist hero, Dr David Hunter: The Chemistry of Death, Written in Bone, Whispers of the Dead, The Calling of the Grave and The Restless Dead. His stand-alone novels include Stone Bruises andWhere There’s Smoke. He lives in Sheffield.
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