This Week in Books (October 17)

twib-logo

Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

Last book I finished reading

41056068

Ireland, 1901: For as long as six-year-old Cissy Ryan can remember, she has been a workhouse girl. Living amongst the other orphan boys and girls, dreaming of a family that might come and choose her for their own.

But the day her real mammy finally comes to claim her is not how Cissy imagined. An unfamiliar woman takes her to a tumbledown cottage in the rural Irish countryside to meet her gruff granddaddy. Settling into the isolated and poverty-stricken village is tough. But Cissy’s blossoming friendship with Colm Doyle and his horse Blue show Cissy the kindness and laughter is possible, even in the hardest of times.

As Cissy grows up, she finds that the world around her is ever changing. When she goes to work at prestigious Bretton Hall, she begins to realise that not everyone has an honest heart…

The book I’m currently reading

40668007

Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient spiritual commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.

When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…

What I’m (probably) reading next

38095083

It is 1868, and a 22-year-old Bram Stoker has locked himself inside an abbey’s tower to face off against a vile and ungodly beast. He is armed with mirrors and crucifixes and holy water and a gun – and is kept company by a bottle of plum brandy. His fervent prayer is that he will survive this one night – a night that will prove to be the longest of his life.

Desperate to leave a record of what he has witnessed, the young man scribbles out the events that brought him to this point – and tells an extraordinary tale of childhood illness, a mysterious nanny, and stories once thought to be fables now proven true.

page-divide_12_orig

I may be a tad excited about my week. What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul @GillPaulAUTHOR @headlinepg @annecater #blogtour #TheLostDaughter #mustread #recommended

I am beyond delighted and extremely honoured to kick off the blog tour for The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul today! Huge thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

37654429

Author : Gill Paul
Title : The Lost Daughter
Pages : 440
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : October 18, 2018 (UK paperback)

aboutthebook

1918. With the country they once ruled turned against them, the future of the Romanov family hangs in the balance. When middle daughter Maria captures the attention of two of the guards, it will lead to the ultimate choice between right and wrong….

Fifty-five years later…

‘I didn’t want to kill her’. With these cryptic words Val’s father dies, leaving her to unravel a mystery which unites two families who have faced unspeakable tragedy and perhaps to finally offer an explanation which has been long overdue.

mythoughts

Gosh, I don’t think I can put into words how much I loved The Lost Daughter. As soon as I finished the final page, I wanted to talk to someone about it, say “Oh my god, this novel, you have to read this now!”. Then I sat down to write my review, and poof, all my words were gone. I couldn’t seem to get past “amazing”, “awesome”, “brilliant” … which are all true but I’m guessing a review should have a few more words, right?

There are a few authors for whom I’d happily drop whatever it is I’m doing or reading and Gill Paul is, without a doubt, one of them. I knew that from the second I discovered her work. Picking up one of her novels always fills me with joy and excitement because I know she will take me on the most delightful journey. High anticipations, you ask? Check! But all of them were met and then some.

In The Secret Wife, Gill Paul already introduced us to the Romanov family and their dramatic circumstances. That story was centred around Tatiana Romanova and if you haven’t yet read it, you most definitely should as it is a brilliant novel. This time around, in The Lost Daughter, the focus is on the middle child of the family, Maria. And it’s an even more brilliant novel! Yes, that’s right, I said it. And used the “brilliant” word again. I must add that I loved how Gill Paul tied these two novels together with little references to Tatiana’s story.

We meet Maria in 1918, a most turbulent time in Russia. There’s been a revolution and people have turned on the royal family. Tsar Nicholas, his wife and children are prisoners of the new regime. Their circumstances are very different from what they’re used to. Maria is nineteen years old and a lovely, bubbly chatterbox who seems to be able to make friends with just about anyone. I warmed to her from the start as she’s a truly likeable character. But what will become of her?

The other thread of The Lost Daughter has us traveling all the way to Australia, where we meet Val. When she gets a phone call from the nursing home where her father is a resident, she decides to visit him although it’s been years since they last talked. But his words “I didn’t want to kill her” leave Val with a mystery to solve and set in motion a lot of changes in her life. Who was her father really? What secrets was he hiding?

From the first page, I found myself transported into the lives of Maria and Val, both extremely realistic and believable characters. I couldn’t quite see how the two threads of the story would come together but the road to get there was just marvellous.

This exquisitely written novel had me utterly engrossed and throughout the story, I often found myself with a lump in my throat. The Lost Daughter is a story across the ages and country borders about love, family, war, loss, survival and hope. But also about the strength of women, in sometimes horrifying circumstances. It is immensely absorbing, moving and powerful and I couldn’t tear myself away. When I flipped the final page, there was a happy sigh, a “wow” and then a little bit of sadness that I had come to the end.

I can’t even begin to imagine the painstaking amount of research Gill Paul must have gone through to come up with this incredibly captivating tale. If you are a fan of this genre, I can honestly not recommend her books enough. This is undoubtedly historical fiction from the top shelf and whenever Gill Paul publishes her next novel, I will be first in line!

The Lost Daughter will be available in paperback on October 18th.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in relatively recent history.

She was born in Glasgow and grew up there, apart from an eventful year at school in the US when she was ten. She studied Medicine at Glasgow University, then English Literature and History (she was a student for a long time), before moving to London to work in publishing. She started her own company producing books for publishers, along the way editing such luminaries as Griff Rhys Jones, John Suchet, John Julius Norwich, Ray Mears and Eartha Kitt. She also writes on health, nutrition and relationships.

Gill swims year-round in an open-air pond – “It’s good for you so long as it doesn’t kill you”– and is a devotee of Pilates. She also particularly enjoys travelling on what she calls “research trips” and attempting to match-make for friends.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

page-divide_12_orig

10152018_lostdaughter

Weekly Wrap-Up (October 14)

weekly-wrap-up

What a week. Crap here, shit there and at the end of it, I was left to wonder what we’re doing it for. That may be slightly vague but I really don’t want to get into it. Let’s just say I’ve often been telling myself this week that this whole blogging malarkey is supposed to be fun and sometimes, it just really doesn’t feel like it. Don’t be surprised if you see (even less) of me around social media. Those places really are cesspits.

Moving on. My reading took a massive hit this week. Granted, two of the books I read were close to 500 pages but that’s not much of an excuse, is it? Let’s see what the damage is, shall we?

Books I’ve read this week

Yep. Three. That’s it. Oops.

On the other hand, I had a whale of a time chatting to fellow book bloggers and even virtually (sort of) attended the brilliant Quercus event on Wednesday. I was given some more Instagram master classes, rearranged a book shelf, wasted a few hours trying to buy an exclusive from Goldsboro whose website kept crashing and even managed to squeeze in some ironing. It’s not like I didn’t DO anything 😂

Books I’ve bought this week

Just the one and it was all because of peer pleasure, quite frankly 😉

17846926

ARC’s received via Netgalley

For blog tour purposes. I requested two more but they’re pending.

40853996

On the blog this past week

Monday : I posted my review for Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty and I shared an extract for my stop on the blog tour for Trap by Lilja Sigurdardottir

Tuesday : Joined the blog tour for Palm Beach Finland by Antii Tuomainen

Wednesday : I reviewed Bring Them Home by D.S. Butler and posted my Week in Books

Thursday : Hosted a stop on the blog blitz for Our Little Lies by Sue Watson

Friday : Joined the blog blitz for The Warning by Kathryn Croft

Saturday : Shared an extract on the blog tour for Without Rules by Andrew Field

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Next week on Novel Deelights

You may want to sit down for this one. 😉

Monday : Blog tour | Review | The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul

Tuesday : I don’t know

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Not a clue

Friday : Review | Fatal Promise by Angela Marsons

Saturday : Look at all these gaps in my schedule!

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Are you all feeling okay? 😂

page-divide_12_orig

Question of the week : Blog tours. Yes, I know they’ve pretty much been discussed to death but this isn’t about how successful they are or whatnot. What I’m interested in this time around are the actual posts, reviews and content. I’d like to know if there’s something you never read. Personally, I skip promo posts because I find them a waste of time and I never read extracts. I will, once in a blue moon, read a guest post or a Q&A. It depends on the author or the topic they’re talking about. As for reviews, if I still have to read the book myself (and we all know how close I cut it sometimes), I won’t read it because I don’t want to be influenced in any way.

So, what about you? Do you like content posts? Do you feel they add something to a tour? Which ones are your favourite to read? Which ones do you pass on?

And that’s a wrap, once again. I have an insanely busy weekend ahead of me. I’m writing this early on Saturday morning. Later on, I have friends coming over who will be spending the night. There will be wine and limoncello. 🥂 We have elections here tomorrow (Sunday) morning (boo hiss!) and I also have a birthday dinner to attend. Fingers crossed I’ll be awake (and sober) enough to get this post out.

Wishing you all a most wonderful week and lots of happy reading! See you next time! xx

Without Rules by Andrew Field @AFwithoutrules @damppebbles #blogtour #extract #damppebblesblogtours #WithoutRules

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Without Rules by Andrew Field! My thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for the invitation to join. I have an extract to share with you today but first, here is what you need to know about Without Rules.

41722331

Author : Andrew Field
Title : Without Rules
Pages : 288
Publisher : Boomslang
Publication date : October 15, 2018

aboutthebook

When a professional hitman turns up at Candy’s World to hide, China Mackie discovers her plan to flee from her abusive father has tragically backfired. A gruesome bloodbath has left four people dead on the streets of a northern city centre on a cold wet Sunday morning. China knows she’s next to die. Unless she is more ruthless than everyone else. She must improvise fast. Seduce her father’s assassin. Plead her case so he helps her escape in a fight to the death where rules don’t matter but the consequences do.

extract

1: China

China ran and she ran and she ran, a lung-busting pace quelled the anxiety inside her. She pushed herself, punished her body and distracted her mind before her guests arrived at Candy’s World. They were already waiting, two wet and cold men huddled outside her front door. China had been running since Karl and Jenny Grant took Rose to room 203 at the Paradise Hills resort. 

“I am coming,” she shouted. 

She removed the chain, undid the door’s deadlocks, dried herself with a towel. Her two unwanted guests bypassed her as if she was invisible. Normally goat boys barely disguised their urge to download on her software. She noticed the stench of excrement overpowered large pans of chilli and bolognese simmering on her Aga. Switchblade Eddie in badly stained jeans was the culprit. He grabbed a bottle of Lynchburg, Tennessee’s finest sour mash, filled a lead crystal tumbler and swigged from the bottle. 

“You want a slug, catch,” said Eddie. 

He chucked the Jack Daniels towards the stranger, who made no attempt to catch. As it smashed the stranger looked at her. She noticed ice cold clear blue eyes. China was big on eyes, the windows to the soul if you looked deep and hard enough.

“Drink is the first and last refuge of the gutless. I’ll take that as an offer of a friendly drink rather than an unwise act of aggression,” said the stranger. “Think you need to go home.” 

“Wanker,” said Eddie. He hurled the tumbler at the floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the resort golf course. The tumbler shattered, the window stayed intact. 

China stepped back. She didn’t want to get hurt in the crossfire. She had seen Switchblade Eddie kick the unconscious further into unconsciousness out of sheer spite too many times. 

“When you’ve finished your tantrum close the door behind you,” said the stranger as he switched on a twenty-four hour news channel. 

All three watched the scrolling newsflash: city centre shooting incident, unconfirmed police reports say four people dead.  

“Four,” the stranger said to himself. “Four, the fourth?”

“Jak, we need to call Chip,” said Eddie, his voice timid after his outburst. 

“You still here?” asked Jak.

“Got to keep him in the picture.”  

“Can’t he watch TV like the rest of us?” 

China glanced at the huge two-way mirrors that dominated the massive open plan ground floor. Unseen CCTV cameras recorded every movement, every word.  

A mobile rang. 

“China, I believe our friends have finally arrived. Entertain them until darkness falls,” said Chip.  

“Shall I fuck them?” 

Jak noticed her when the ‘fuck’ word was aired. He turned from the TV screen, gave her the once over, like she was a second hand motor on its last legs. He wasn’t the first to view her as white trash and would not be the last. She eyed him up too, although she did not want a fuck buddy. China lusted after a white stallion man to ride to her and Rose’s rescue, a hero not intimidated by Chip and his cronies. 

“No need to be so crude, I was thinking of a cup of tea, a slice of cake, maybe brunch,” said Chip. “Ask Eddie and Jak if their Christian DeVeres’ mission was successful?”

“Yes, your man is toast.”

“A total fuck up, Jimmy’s bloody dead. Saw it with my own eyes. Jesus, Chip. A fucking nightmare,” said Switchblade Eddie as he opened a second bottle of Jack D.

“The man lost his head.”  

She heard a snort from Chip. He didn’t give a toss about Jimmy Doyle’s death. Or Christian DeVeres who habitually hung around her kitchen for the last six months as he cooked the books and cleaned dirty money while Rose played, danced and skipped. 

What unpredictable madness had taken place? Chip had lost the plot. He ranted at her. “No more cock ups. Stay put until collection. No calls. No contacts with anyone. Understand China? You’re responsible for them two. Tell them and get their approval.”

She did as she was told on automatic pilot. They nodded imperceptibly.

“I’ve got to go China, fucking them might be a good idea. Stop them killing each other. Better still, let them fight. Save us a lot of bother,” said Chip before he cut the call.  

“You two better behave or I’ll give you both a spanking.” 

They ignored her, the two of them less than a dozen paces apart. Eddie produced a blade, eight inches of Sheffield cold steel, clasped in his right hand. 

Jak looked nonplussed. “You as good at maths as your brother was at riding a motorcycle? What happened to the shooter?” He took off his jacket and black t-shirt, pulled off black boots, unbuttoned 501 black jeans, stood there almost naked in CK boxers. “These will need washing and drying. Did you count? How many bullets left? How fast are you Eddie? Faster than a Black Talon bullet?” 

Eddie backed off towards the door, away from Jak. 

“Chip said stay put.” 

“Open the door,” said Jak. He watched Switchblade Eddie pull on the JD. “Put the knife down, unless your mum wants a two-for-one funeral deal.”

A single loud sob from Eddie broke the tension. 

Bizarrely, China felt sorry for him, if sorrow and hatred were complementary emotions, like anxiety and fear. She didn’t know. She was an emotional cripple herself. Only Rose kept her sane. 

“You’re not having my blade you cunt,” cried Eddie. Jak’s intensity had reduced him to tears. 

She opened the door. He glided out into the cold and the wet. She slammed the door shut. China looked over at Jak to see what happened next. She searched for the words to make the right impression. He took the decision away from her, pointed to his dirty laundry, pulled out a pistol from his jacket. 

“One bullet left. We only had five. He made the right choice. Put my clothes in the wash. Now about this fuck?”

page-divide_12_orig

If this extract has you wanting more, then Without Rules will be available to buy on Monday, October 15th.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Andrew Field’s Online BookstoreGoodreads

abouttheauthor

Andrew lives, works and plays in Manchester, England, Europe, with his partner, Catherine. He has been a trade journalist in Southampton in his youth. He owned a PR agency in the nineties and early noughties and is now an independent PR, marketing and publishing consultant looking forward to the challenge of becoming the story with the publication of Without Rules.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website

page-divide_12_orig

10132018_withoutrules

The Warning by Kathryn Croft @bookouture #NetGalley #TheWarning #bookreview #blogblitz

It’s a real pleasure to be one of the stops on the blog blitz for The Warning by Kathryn Croft today! My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the invitation to join and for the reciew copy, which I received via Netgalley.

40853996

Author : Kathryn Croft
Title : The Warning
Pages : 318
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : October 12, 2018

aboutthebook

Three years ago, nurse Zoe’s son Ethan was found drowned in a muddy river by their home, along with his best friend Josh. With no witnesses, their deaths were ruled a tragic accident.

Heartbroken, Zoe and her family, move away from her home. They’re just beginning to get back to some kind of normality, when, out of the blue, Zoe receives an anonymous email:

You need to find out the truth about what happened to your son. Don’t let this rest. Don’t believe the lie.

Shaken, Zoe starts an obsessive hunt for the truth. But why is her husband so reluctant to help? And why is Josh’s mother so determined not to believe her?

mythoughts

Three years ago, Zoe’s fourteen year old son Ethan and his best friend Josh were found drowned in a river. It was ruled an unfortunate accident. Now, Zoe and her family have moved away and are trying to move on from the dramatic loss. But then Zoe receives an email. Was Ethan’s death not an accident after all? What really happened that night? And who is behind these messages?

Well, who indeed. I thought I knew and held on to that belief throughout the story, even when at some point my theory failed to make sense even to me. Kathryn Croft has created an immensely dark and twisted story here and if you manage to figure it out, there’s a whole box of cookies waiting for you right here!

Obviously, the truth about what happened to Ethan is what kept me hooked. But more than that, I felt the author did an incredible job bringing these characters and their struggles to life. Zoe, her husband and her remaining son all have very different ways of dealing with the loss of Ethan and the never-ending grief. The changing family dynamics fascinated me and there are a multitude of lies and secrets to discover.

Kathryn Croft manages to combine a few uncomfortable topics into a twisty psychological thriller. Zoe is stunned to find that Josh’s mother Roberta seems quite reluctant to help her in finding out the truth. After all, she lost her son as well. But there is more than meets the eye and as always, the reader soon finds out that you just never know what goes on behind closed doors.

The Warning is a well-paced tale of love, grief, loss and a mother’s desperate search for the truth with realistic and believable characters. I couldn’t at all predict the outcome. Full of suspense, this psychological thriller will keep you gripped from start to finish.

The Warning is out today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Kathryn Croft is the bestselling author of six psychological thrillers, and to date has sold over one million copies of her books. The Girl With No Past spent over four weeks at number one in the Amazon UK chart and her other novels, Behind Closed Doors, The Stranger Within and The Girl You Lost all reached number one in the psychological thriller charts.

Her seventh psychological thriller is due to be released in October 2018.

After six years teaching secondary school English, Kathryn now writes full time and lives in Guildford, Surrey with her husband and young family.

Having always been an avid reader, Kathryn believes in the power of words to entertain, teach and transform lives. She is also a firm believer in following your dreams and says anything is possible if you work hard enough and never give up!

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website

page-divide_12_orig

10122018_thewarning

Our Little Lies by Sue Watson @suewatsonwriter @bookouture #blogtour #NetGalley #OurLittleLies

Delighted to join the blog blitz for Our Little Lies by Sue Watson today! My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the opportunity to join and for my review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

41040396

Author : Sue Watson
Title : Our Little Lies
Pages : 347
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : October 11, 2018

aboutthebook

Marianne has a life others dream of. A beautiful townhouse on the best street in the neighbourhood. Three bright children who are her pride and joy.

Sometimes her past still hurts: losing her mother early, growing up in foster care. But her husband, Simon, is always there. A successful surgeon, he’s the envy of every woman they’ve ever met. Flowers, gifts, trips to France: nothing is too good for his family.

Then Simon says another woman’s name. The way he lingers on it, Caroline , gives Marianne a shudder of suspicion, but she knows it’s nothing – she can’t entertain this flash of paranoia.

In the old days, she’d have distracted herself by excelling at work, but Marianne left her glamorous career when she married. She’d speak to a friend, but she’s too busy with her children and besides, Simon doesn’t approve of the few she has left.

It’s almost by accident that Marianne starts to learn more about Caroline. But once started, she can’t stop, because what she finds makes her wonder: is the question she should be asking not ‘should she be jealous’, but… ‘should she be scared?’

mythoughts

You may be familiar with Sue Watson from her Ice-Cream Café series but now, Sue has decided to join the dark side. Our Little Lies is is her first psychological thriller and holy guacamole, is it tense or what? Answer, yes, yes it is.

Marianne seems to have it all. She’s married to a successful surgeon, has three wonderful children and lives in the most delightful house in a wonderful neighbourhood. Until the day, her husband mentions a colleague called Caroline. There is just something about the way he says her name that makes Marianne incredibly suspicious. Bit by bit, Marianne’s perfect life will start to crumble.

Now, prepare yourself to become increasingly angry as the story goes on. There is a vile and despicable character that made me feel quite murderous. Yet, the way Sue Watson tells the story constantly left me wondering if I had the right end of the stick. Is there one unreliable character? Or are there more? Who to believe? I didn’t have a clue! So many lies, so much paranoia, such extreme manipulation … my head was spinning!

It was clear to me relatively quickly that I was never going to figure out the outcome and I didn’t. Up until the final reveal, I still had an idea in my head that wasn’t even close to what actually occurred. I love it when that happens and I breathed a happy sigh of satisfaction. And also one of exhaustion because yikes, the tension was almost so unbearable my heart was racing at a bajillion miles an hour.

This to me is a combination of a domestic noir and a psychological thriller at its finest. I absolutely raced through this extremely gripping and hugely addictive page-turner, as if my own life depended on it. Obviously, Sue Watson should tackle this genre more often! I’ll be waiting with baited breath!

Our Little Lies is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Sue Watson was a journalist then TV Producer at the BBC until she wrote her first book and was hooked.

She’s now written thirteen novels – many involving cake – and her books have been translated into Italian, German and Portuguese. Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire where much of her day is spent procrastinating while eating cake (for research purposes), and watching ‘My 600lb Life,’ on the sofa.

Sue explored the darker side of life for her latest book ‘Our Little Lies,’ a dark, psychological thriller completely devoid of cake. She’s hoping this change in direction will be reflected on the weighing scales.

Author links : FacebookTwitter | Website

page-divide_12_orig

10112018_littlelies

This Week in Books (October 10)

twib-logo

Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

Last book I finished reading

39783179

The Murder of Harriet Monckton is based on a true story that shocked and fascinated the nation.

On 7th November 1843, Harriet Monckton, 23 years old and a woman of respectable parentage and religious habits, was found murdered in the privy behind the dissenting chapel she had regularly attended in Bromley, Kent. The community was appalled by her death, apparently as a result of swallowing a fatal dose of prussic acid, and even more so when the autopsy revealed that Harriet was six months pregnant.

Drawing on the coroner’s reports and witness testimonies, the novel unfolds from the viewpoints of each of the main characters, each of whom have a reason to want her dead. Harriet Monckton had at least three lovers and several people were suspected of her murder, including her close companion and fellow teacher, Miss Frances Williams. The scandal ripped through the community, the murderer was never found and for years the inhabitants of Bromley slept less soundly.

This rich, robust novel is full of suggestion and suspicion, with the innocent looking guilty and the guilty hiding behind their piety. It is also a novel that exposes the perilous position of unmarried women, the scandal of sex out of wedlock and the hypocrisy of upstanding, church-going folk.

[And it is absolutely FANTASTIC!]

The book I’m currently reading

40853996

Three years ago, nurse Zoe’s son Ethan was found drowned in a muddy river by their home, along with his best friend Josh. With no witnesses, their deaths were ruled a tragic accident.

Heartbroken, Zoe and her family, move away from her home. They’re just beginning to get back to some kind of normality, when, out of the blue, Zoe receives an anonymous email:

You need to find out the truth about what happened to your son. Don’t let this rest. Don’t believe the lie.

Shaken, Zoe starts an obsessive hunt for the truth. But why is her husband so reluctant to help?
And why is Josh’s mother so determined not to believe her?

What I’m (most definitely) reading next

37654429

1918. With the country they once ruled turned against them, the future of the Romanov family hangs in the balance. When middle daughter Maria captures the attention of two of the guards, it will lead to the ultimate choice between right and wrong….

Fifty-five years later…

‘I didn’t want to kill her’. With these cryptic words Val’s father dies, leaving her to unravel a mystery which unites two families who have faced unspeakable tragedy and perhaps to finally offer an explanation which has been long overdue.

[So ridiculously excited to finally see this one near the top of my TBR. I love Gill Paul!]

page-divide_12_orig

What are you reading this week? Do let me know! Happy reading! xx

Bring Them Home by D.S. Butler

39344117

Author : D.S. Butler
Title : Bring Them Home
Series : Detective Karen Hart #1
Pages : 304
Publisher : Thomas & Mercer / Amazon Publishing
Publication date : October 11, 2018

aboutthebook

When two young girls disappear from their primary school, the village of Heighington is put on high alert—and not for the first time. Called in to investigate, Detective Karen Hart is sure that parallels with a previous disappearance are anything but coincidental.

DS Hart is still reeling from a case she tried and failed to solve eighteen months ago, when a young woman vanished without a trace. She’s no nearer to the truth of what happened to Amy Fisher, but with two children missing now too, the stakes have never been higher. As she looks to the past for clues, she must confront her own haunting loss, a nightmare she is determined to spare other families.

Hart soon realises that nothing in this close-knit Lincolnshire community is what it seems. Pursuing the investigation with personal vengeance, she finds herself in conflict with her scrupulous new boss, but playing by the rules will have to wait. Because while there’s no shortage of suspects, the missing girls are running out of time…

mythoughts

I do so love storylines involving kidnappings. There’s always this delightful race against the clock to find the victims alive. Tick, tock.

The story starts out exciting enough. Two ten year old girls go missing from school. From the beginning, it’s clear this will be one frustrating investigation. There are no witnesses, no clues and detectives don’t know where to start looking for Emily and her friend Sian. But DS Hart has a suspect in sight early on. Is she distracted by a previously unsolved case though?

Bring Me Home is the first instalment in a brand-new series, featuring Detective Karen Hart. I liked the fact that she isn’t a DI but a DS because, let’s face it, there’s a lot of those around. While a DI might sometimes get away with breaking the rules, DS Hart doesn’t get that opportunity very often, although she gives it a good go, as her boss is always nearby and he’s a stickler for the rules.

Now, as you know, I read a lot of crime fiction and I’m fully aware of the fact that it’s becoming increasingly harder for an author to come up with something new that will either shock or surprise me. So although I thought Bring Them Home wasn’t badly written, it felt a little too much like things that have been done before.

Throughout the story, these characters never really convinced me. On top of that, I found the author tried too hard to dazzle the reader with red herrings and dead ends but deep down, I always felt there was only ever going to be one way the story would end and thus, the conclusion wasn’t unexpected at all.

All in all, a straightforward mystery but to be honest, there are far more better ones out there to sink your teeth into. For me, this ended up being a quick but, sadly, forgettable read.

Bring Me Home will be published tomorrow!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Palm Beach Finland by Antii Tuomainen (trs David Hackston) @antti_tuomainen @countertenorist @OrendaBooks #blogtour #PalmBeachFinland #bookreview

It’s a real pleasure to host a stop on the blog tour for Palm Beach Finland by Antii Tuomainen today! My thanks to Orenda Books and Anne Cater for the invitation to join and the review copy! Make sure you also check out my tour buddy Mairead’s post over on Swirl and Thread.

42086762

Author : Antii Tuomainen (translated by David Hackston)
Title : Palm Beach Finland
Pages : 304
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : October 18, 2018 (UK paperback)

aboutthebook

Jan Nyman, the ace detective of the covert operations unit of the National Central Police, is sent to a sleepy seaside town to investigate a mysterious death. Nyman arrives in the town dominated by a bizarre holiday village—the “hottest beach in Finland.”

The suspect: Olivia Koski, who has only recently returned to her old hometown.

The mission: find out what happened, by any means necessary.

With a nod to Fargo, and dark noir, Palm Beach, Finland is both a page-turning thriller and a black comedy about lust for money, fleeing dreams, and people struggling at turning points in their lives—chasing their fantasies regardless of reason.

mythoughts

Sunshine, sandy beaches, palm trees. What more could you want?

Welcome to Palm Beach … Finland!

Wait, what? *screeches to a halt*

Yes, Palm Beach Finland. The hottest beach in Finland. Where everything is bright neon lights, it’s cold, the beaches are mostly empty and the palm trees are made of plastic. Not exactly the paradise you find offered in the glossy brochures.

But something is afoot in this not-quite paradise. There has been a mysterious death and Jan Nyman is sent undercover to find out what happened. And thus begins one of the oddest books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. With references to tv shows like Baywatch and Miami Vice and a nod to Fargo, Palm Beach Finland is full of quirky and eccentric characters that will either have you laughing or rolling your eyes.

Because some of it is a tad over the top, a bit outlandish, almost bordering towards the slapstick genre but there is also dash of subtly dark and black humour throughout that you just don’t find anywhere else but will have you chuckling throughout. Palm Beach Finland is original, unique and highly unusual. This is crime fiction with a difference and I dare say nobody does it better than Antii Tuomainen does.

So a mystery to solve, although not quite for the reader since we know pretty much what happened from the start. But the characters in this story are all so incredibly unpredictable, there is no way of knowing what they’ll get up to next or even if their actions will be successful. That’s half the fun right there. Yet, there is also a more serious undertone to the story. That of residents in this sleepy community with ambitions and dreams of a better life, desperately grabbing at opportunities to make a change.

Once again, David Hackston’s translation is faultless, enabling an English speaking audience to enjoy Antii Tuomainen’s unique way with words and his delightful sense of humour. Wonderfully weird, fabulously funny and extremely entertaining.

Palm Beach Finland is available in ebook format now! The UK paperback will be published on October 18th and can be pre-ordered.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Finnish Antti Tuomainen was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. The critically acclaimed My Brother’s Keeper was published two years later.

In 2011, Tuomainen’s third novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for ‘Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011’ and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award. Two years later, in 2013, the Finnish press crowned Tuomainen the ‘King of Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published.

With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen was one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and his poignant, dark and hilarious The Man Who Died became an international bestseller, shortlisting for the Petrona and Last Laugh Awards.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

page-divide_12_orig

First Palm Beach BT Poster

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty @MichaelJBooks #NinePerfectStrangers #NetGalley

40374903

Author : Liane Moriarty
Title : Nine Perfect Strangers
Pages : 432
Publisher : Michael Joseph / Penguin UK
Publication date : October 4, 2018

aboutthebook

Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

mythoughts

This may come as a bit of a surprise considering the genres I usually read but boy, do I love me some Liane Moriarty. I was very excited to hear she had a new book coming out and couldn’t wait to get stuck into it.

Nine Perfect Strangers is rather hard to put a label on. It’s contemporary fiction in the way Liane Moriarty does best, but there’s also a touch of the psychological thriller vibe to it and it had me hooked from the start.

That was mainly due to the fabulous character of Frances, whom I adored from the minute I met her. Frances used to be a bestselling romance author but now she’s lost her way a little bit. Suffering from a bad back, a broken heart, menopausal symptoms and an awful paper cut, she checks herself into Tranquillum House for some pampering and a ten day cleansing. But not even the imaginative Frances could possibly predict the challenges that lay ahead.

There are quite a few characters in this delightful story. On top of the nine guests, we also meet the owner and her staff. Each one of these characters is so brilliantly introduced that it never gets confusing at all, even with chapters switching back and forth between them. Some are likeable from the start, some take a little getting used to but each one comes across as highly realistic and believable.

The guests are there for very different reasons and some parts made me feel quite emotional. It’s not all doom and gloom though. There are some fantastically witty moments and retorts, which made this a highly entertaining and enjoyable read. Even though some of the events involving the owner may have gone slightly over the top, I was so engrossed that it didn’t bother me at all.

I loved Nine Perfect Strangers from the outset. It may not quite have turned out the way I expected it to but I had a fabulous time meeting these characters, sympathising with them, rooting for them and it all leads to a wonderful conclusion. I have no doubt this one will do well and I look forward immensely to whatever Liane Moriarty comes up with next.

My thanks to the publisher for my review copy, which I received via Netgalley!

Nine Perfect Strangers is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads