The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware | @RuthWareWriter @HarvillSecker | #20BooksofSummer

Author : Ruth Ware
Title : The Turn of the Key
Pages : 340
Publisher : Harvill Secker
Publication date : August 8, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Ruth Ware’s previous book, The Death of Mrs Westaway, was one of my top books last year. So to say I had high expectations for her next offering would be somewhat of an understatement. I couldn’t wait to pick up The Turn of the Key and as soon as I started reading, I just knew this one was going to be another extra special treat.

Rowan Caine answered an ad for a nanny position in the Scottish Highlands. But it’s obvious from the start that things did not go well. A child is dead and Rowan is in prison awaiting trial for murder. What on earth happened and how did Rowan get here?

Oh, what a twisted tale this is. I feel like I didn’t breathe for 340 pages, it’s that tense. The modern gadgetry alone already freaked me out, never mind all the shenanigans that could possibly be caused by ghosts because hey, isolated house in a remote location where a death or two has occurred , it’s bound to be haunted, right? Hugely atmospheric? Check! I mean, there’s even a poison garden! Yikes! And what of Rowan? Reliable narrator or not? I couldn’t quite decide for most of the story and yet, at every turn, I found myself firmly on her side.

Creepy and chilling throughout, I couldn’t at all figure out what had happened and the conclusion left me reeling. Or at least my interpretation of it, which obviously means you should read this novel right now so we can discuss it! Wow. I mean, really, just WOW. I absolutely devoured this novel and as tends to happen with books I loved as much as this one, the words to describe my experience with it just will not come. Also because I’m way too worried I’ll give anything away.

Brilliantly written, immensely engrossing, extremely addictive …. WOW! 😉 This is most definitely Ruth Ware at her best and I honestly can’t believe I’m saying this, because did I mention how utterly brilliant The Death of Mrs Westaway was? The Turn of the Key, you guys, is even better and it shoots right up my list of favourite books of the year! I’ll be recommending this one left, right and centre until I’m blue in the face and I am already eagerly awaiting Ruth Ware’s next book.

The Turn of The Key is available to buy!

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Book 17 from my 20 Books of Summer list.

Come Back For Me by Heidi Perks | #20BooksOfSummer

Author : Heidi Perks
Title : Come Back For Me
Pages : 416
Publisher : Century
Publication date : July 11, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

A tiny island community is stunned by the discovery of a long-buried body.

For Stella Harvey, the news is doubly shocking, as the body is found in the garden of her childhood home. The home her family fled without explanation twenty-five years ago.

Now, questioning her past and desperate to unearth the truth, Stella returns to the Dorset island. But she quickly finds that the community she left isn’t as welcoming as she remembers – and that people in it will go to any length to protect their secrets.

But one thing rings true…
You can’t bury the truth forever. 

| MY THOUGHTS |

Heidi Perk’s previous book, Now You See Her, absolutely rocked my socks off so I couldn’t wait to see if her new offering would live up to that one for me.

The story starts off with a bang when eleven year old Stella is forced to leave her childhood home on Evergreen Island in the middle of a storm. Why are her parents so desperate to leave the island in these circumstances? Twenty-five years later, a body is found near Stella’s childhood home. Stella has always wanted to return to the island and this seems like the perfect opportunity. She knows these people after all. But the small community isn’t exactly welcoming and it soon becomes apparent there are a lot of secrets the island residents are keen to protect.

And just like that I was caught up in a murder mystery and the dynamics of a rather dysfunctional family all in one go. Quite clearly, Heidi Perks took a master class in plotting, knowing exactly what to do to keep a reader hooked. With seemingly every chapter ending on a cliffhanger, I couldn’t stop myself from absolutely devouring this book. Every theory I could possibly come up with was blown to pieces and there was no way I was ever going to predict any of the secrets hidden away on this island.

Come Back For Me is immensely atmospheric, compelling and utterly gripping. It’s the kind of book you just can’t put down, that has you flipping the pages faster and faster, desperate to find out what on earth is going on and how all the pieces of the past and the present fit together.

This is the second book I’ve read by Heidi Perks and it went down a treat. Her previous one still remains my favourite by her but she is now firmly on my radar and I absolutely can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. If you enjoy a well-plotted and unpredictable psychological thriller, then this one is most definitely for you!

Come Back For Me is available to buy!

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Book 15 from my 20 Books of Summer list

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena | @TransworldBooks | #20BooksOfSummer

Author : Shari Lapena
Title : Someone We Know
Pages : 309
Publisher : Bantam Press / Transworld
Publication date : July 25, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Maybe you don’t know your neighbours as well as you thought you did

“This is a very difficult letter to write. I hope you will not hate us too much. My son broke into your home recently while you were out.” 

In a quiet, leafy suburb in upstate New York, a teenager has been sneaking into houses – and into the owners’ computers as well – learning their secrets, and maybe sharing some of them, too.

Who is he, and what might he have uncovered? After two anonymous letters are received, whispers start to circulate, and suspicion mounts. And when a woman down the street is found murdered, the tension reaches the breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they’re telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their own secrets? 

In this neighborhood, it’s not just the husbands and wives who play games. Here, everyone in the family has something to hide . . .

You never really know what people are capable of.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Someone We Know is one of those books you pick up to read just a chapter or two and before you know it, your entire afternoon is gone. It’s something Shari Lapena does incredibly well, creating this level of suspense that makes you flip the pages faster as you go and thus completely lose track of time.

A quiet, leafy suburb in upstate New York will not be quiet for much longer. It’s all happening here. Not only has a teenage boy been breaking into houses to snoop and mess around with computers, one of the neighbours is found murdered. And once again this all proves we never know what goes on behind closed doors. Who killed this woman? What did the teenage boy find? Is he in danger too?

True to form, this neighbourhood and its residents hide a multitude of secrets that are slowly revealed as we follow various characters trying to get on with their lives and keep those secrets hidden, while detectives investigating the murder are doing all they can to uncover every little piece of dirty laundry. You may be thinking to yourself you’ve heard this premise a lot lately and you’d be right. A murder in a nice community, it’s not exactly new. But if you think you’ll know what to expect from this one, odds are you’ll be wrong.

Someone We Know reads like a good old-fashioned murder mystery. There are some twists, of course, but they are not there to dazzle you, which is hugely refreshing. I did figure out quite early on “whodunnit” but that didn’t ruin my reading experience at all. I had to keep reading to see if I was right and there were still a few surprises in store for me.

Another thoroughly enjoyable read from Shari Lapena, although I must admit to having a niggle or two relating to one specific character that has left me with unanswered questions. I’m not one of those readers who always wants everything wrapped up nicely in a bow at the end of a book but here it bothered me somewhat. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you read the book. Which you most definitely should. It’s only the second book I’ve read by this author but I have no doubt there will be more.

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Book 14 from my 20 Books of Summer list.

Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge | #20BooksOfSummer

Author : Chris McGeorge
Title : Now You See Me
Pages : 302
Publisher : Orion
Publication date : June 13, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Six people went in. Only one came out…

Introducing Standedge Tunnel: the longest canal tunnel in England.

Last year six students went in, and two and a half hours later, the boat reappeared on the other side with only one of the students, unconscious, and the dog.

The case of the Standedge Six was largely kept from the national media. The police investigation concluded that the only remaining student, Matthew, killed his friends, hid the bodies on the boat and returned later to move them to an undisclosed location.

Matthew is in prison . . . but maintains he is innocent.

Robert Ferringham is grieving for his missing wife, Sam. So when Matthew contacts him for help with his case, promising information on Sam, Robert has no choice but to help. But can he trust Matthew?

And how will he solve the insolvable case? 

| MY THOUGHTS |

Raise your hand if you love a good mystery! Me! I do! And this one is mind-boggling for sure.

Six friends and a dog travel through a canal tunnel on a boat. But when the boat reaches the other end, only one friend (who’s unconscious) and the dog (who’s absolutely fine) remain. The other five, now known as the Standedge Five, have disappeared. The community is able to keep this mysterious disappearance out of the national media and quickly moves to arrest the remaining friend, Matthew, for murder. Police is convinced he killed his friends and moved their bodies to an undisclosed location.

While awaiting trial in prison, Matthew contacts author Robin Ferringham. Robin’s wife went missing three years ago and Matthew claims to have information about her disappearance but he won’t divulge any of it unless Robin helps him prove his innocence. Can Matthew be trusted? Is he truly innocent? And how will Robin solve a case that looks utterly unsolvable?

Now You See Me isn’t just a whodunnit, it’s also a “how-dunnit” and it genuinely made my head hurt trying to figure it out. I have the frown lines to prove it. How do five people vanish from a canal tunnel?! Were they thrown overboard? Did they pull a Houdini? Did Scotty beam them up? What the hell happened?! I thought I had it all worked out but I was only half right and it was such a thrilling journey to go on.

Chris McGeorge has come up with an extremely clever plot here. Full of untrustworthy and not always likeable characters, the mystery surrounding the Standedge Five had me hooked from start to finish. This is such an addictive page-turner and there was no way I was going to put this book down until I knew what had actually happened. There were a few surprises I didn’t quite see coming, some of them quite shocking and devastating, and it all added up to a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and a truly compelling read.

Now You See Me is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

Book 13 from my 20 Books of Summer list.

Clear My Name by Paula Daly | @PaulaDalyAuthor @TransworldBooks @HJ_Barnes | #damppebblesblogtours

Delighted to join the blog tour for Clear My Name by Paula Daly today! My thanks to Emma Welton for the invitation to join and to Hayley at Transworld for the fab review copy! Make sure you also check out my dear friend Rae’s review!

Author : Paula Daly
Title : Clear My Name
Pages : 293
Publisher : Transworld
Publication date : August 8, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Innocent?

When Carrie was accused of brutally murdering her husband’s lover, she denied it. She denied it when they arrested her, when they put her in front of a jury, and when they sent her to prison.

Now she’s three years into a fifteen-year sentence, away from the daughter she loves and the life she had built. And she is still denying that she is to blame.

Guilty?

Tess Gilroy has devoted her life to righting wrongs. Through her job for Innocence UK, a charity which takes on alleged miscarriages of justice, she works tirelessly to uncover the truth.

But when she is asked to take Carrie’s case, Tess realises that if she is to help this woman, she must risk uncovering the secrets she has struggled a lifetime to hide . . .

We’ve all done things we’re not proud of.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Carrie has been found guilty of murdering her husband’s mistress and is currently three years into a fifteen year sentence. But Carrie has always maintained her innocence. Now her case has come to the attention of Innocence UK, a charity that devotes itself to putting right alleged miscarriages of justice. When Tess is asked to take on Carrie’s case, she realises she may need to face up to things she’s kept hidden for years.

Right from the start, I was hooked on the intriguing premises of Clear My Name. It’s a murder mystery but it’s also a cold case and I absolutely love those. For once it’s not being investigated by a detective or a journalist though, which I found immensely refreshing, even if the intent remains the same. The reader is right there with the team, going back to look at the evidence, talking to potential witnesses and trying to determine if there is even a case here.

This isn’t your fast-paced, action-packed thriller. Clear My Name is relatively slow and extremely character-driven but I found it utterly compelling nonetheless. I couldn’t at all figure out whether Carrie was guilty of this crime or not and could quite easily relate to the frustration Tess and her team went through when it seemed there were nothing but dead ends along the way.

These characters are flawed and in Carrie’s case, especially, I had a hard time figuring out if she was even reliable. But there is more than meets the eye and some of it is quite thought-provoking. There is one question in particular that has stayed with me, which I’m still mulling over in my head. Is it worse to have a guilty person walking the streets or to have an innocent one behind bars? I do so love it when an author makes me think.

I thoroughly enjoyed Clear My Name. It’s suspenseful, gripping and I had a hard time putting this one down, desperate to get to the conclusion. Throw in a rather shocking, and again thought-provoking, ending and you have a well-plotted and twisty story that kept me glued to the pages. I may even go as far as to say this could quite possibly be my favourite Paula Daly book yet.

Clear My Name will be published on August 8th.

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| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Paula Daly is the critically acclaimed author of six novels. She has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year award, and her books have been developed for the new ITV television series, Deep Water, starring Anna Friel.

She was born in Lancashire and lives in the Lake District with her husband, three children, and whippet Skippy.

Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas | @Dougieclaire @MichaelJBooks @sriya__v | #blogtour

Delighted to host a stop on the blog tour for Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas today! My thanks to Sriya at Michael Joseph for the invitation to join and for the fab review copy!

Author : Claire Douglas
Title : Then She Vanishes
Pages : 430
Publisher : Michael Joseph
Publication date : August 8, 2019 (paperback)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Everything changed the night Flora Powell disappeared. 

Heather and Jess were best friends – until the night Heather’s sister vanished.

Jess has never forgiven herself for the lie she told that night. Nor has Heather.

But now Heather is accused of an awful crime.

And Jess is forced to return to the sleepy seaside town where they grew up, to ask the question she’s avoided for so long:

What really happened the night Flora disappeared? 

| MY THOUGHTS |

That feeling you get when one of your favourite authors has a new book out …. priceless!

Claire Douglas has been on my go-to list for quite a while now. I don’t even need to know what her books are about. I’ll see her name and the book will be in my hands, just like that. So obviously I couldn’t wait to get stuck into Then She Vanishes.

This one starts off with a bang. Literally. A small seaside town is rocked by a double murder. As a reporter, Jess follows the news but in this case even more so, because this is her hometown and the person accused of the murders could possibly be her childhood friend, Heather. Jess hasn’t been in contact with Heather for years. Not since the night she told a lie. Not since the night Heather’s sister, Flora, disappeared.

The story is told via Jess and Heather’s mum, Margot. Jess, who as a reporter but also a former friend who spent a lot of time at Heather’s home, needs to somehow find a way to find a balance between her loyalty towards this family and keeping her boss happy with exclusive interviews. And poor Margot, who already lost a daughter, now needs to face up to the fact she may lose her other daughter as well. Did Heather commit the crimes she’s accused of? If so, what could possibly have driven her to do something like that?

From the very first chapter, Then She Vanishes had me utterly hooked. There was no way I was going to put this book down until I knew what had happened. The road to get to the truth is full of twists, turns and “wait, what?!” moments that left my mouth hanging open in the most un-lady like way. And that doesn’t even take into account the chilling ending! I couldn’t at all figure out how things were connected and wasn’t prepared for how dark things would become.

I’ve read all of Claire Douglas’ books and I have no problem whatsoever in saying that this is her best one yet. It’s immensely gripping and compelling, full of intriguing and believable characters, some unlikeable and hugely unreliable, and an absolute page-turner. I mean, what more could you possibly want? Incredibly well plotted, I found Then She Vanishes massively exciting, suspenseful and thoroughly enjoyable and I can’t wait to see what Claire Douglas comes up with next.

Then She Vanishes is available to buy!

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| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Claire Douglas always wanted to write novels and, after many years of trying to get published, her dream came true when she won the Marie Claire Debut Novel Award in 2013 with THE SISTERS.

Her subsequent novels LOCAL GIRL MISSING, LAST SEEN ALIVE and DO NOT DISTURB all reached the Sunday Times top ten bestsellers list and are published in over fifteen countries. LOCAL GIRL MISSING was the bestselling crime debut of 2018 in Germany. Her fifth thriller, THEN SHE VANISHES is due for release in Ebook end of June 2019 and in paperback August 2019.

Found by Erin Kinsley | @KinsleyErin @headlinepg @JenRHarlow | #RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Found by Erin Kinsley! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the opportunity to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Erin Kinsley
Title : Found
Pages : 368
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : July 25, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When 11 year old Evan vanishes without trace, his parents are plunged into their worst nightmare. 
Especially as the police, under massive pressure, have no answers.

But months later Evan is unexpectedly found, frightened and refusing to speak. His loving family realise life will never be the same again.

DI Naylor knows that unless those who took Evan are caught, other children are in danger. And with Evan silent, she must race against time to find those responsible…

| MY THOUGHTS |

Claire and Matt are faced with every parent’s worst nightmare when their son, Evan, fails to return from school. Evan was taken from a bus stop in broad daylight. With no witnesses, zero leads and a reconstruction that doesn’t provide any answers, detectives fail to move forward in their investigation.

Months go by, until Evan is unexpectedly found and returned home to his parents. But the damage has been done. Evan won’t talk, will not venture outside and hides himself away in his bedroom. Detectives are desperate to hunt down Evan’s kidnappers for fear they might strike again and kidnap another child but without Evan’s help, they don’t even know where to start.

I must say, this didn’t at all turn out the way I expected it to. This is one of those books that doesn’t quite fit into just any category. There’s the police procedural angle as the reader follows detectives on their frustrating journey to answers. But there is also more of a family drama side to this story as Evan’s family first go through the horrible period of his disappearance and then later need to deal with his return and the changes he’s undergone.

These were the chapters that are still very much at the forefront of my mind. The relationship between Evan and his granddad, especially, really got to me. It was just so warm and genuine, full of love and patience and I adored every minute they spent together. I never really considered that Found would move me as much as it did.

As harrowing as Found’s topic may be, I feel the author really managed to get events across without bombarding the reader with disturbing scene upon disturbing scene. A lot is left up to the reader’s imagination, be that a good or a bad thing. The story is chilling enough on its own, it didn’t need any added shock value and I appreciate that Erin Kinsley shied away from that and dealt with things in an incredibly sensitive way.

Found is a compelling and often devastating read, beautifully written and extremely sympathetically done. A truly impressive debut by Erin Kinsley.

Found is published in paperback format tomorrow!

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| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Erin Kinsley is a full-time writer. She grew up in Yorkshire and currently lives in East Anglia. Now writing under a pseudonym, her previous books were published by Bloomsbury. Longlisted for the Desmond Elliot prize amongst other awards, her writing has received glowing reviews across the national press.

The Girl at the Window by Rowan Coleman | @rowancoleman @EburyPublishing @ChloeRose1702 @elliecrisp | #RandomThingsTours #recommended

I am absolutely delighted to kick off the blog tour for The Girl at the Window by Rowan Coleman today! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the opportunity to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Rowan Coleman
Title : The Girl at the Window
Pages : 464
Publisher : Ebury Publishing
Publication day : August 8, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Ponden Hall is a centuries-old house on the Yorkshire moors, a magical place full of stories. It’s also where Trudy Heaton grew up. And where she ran away from…

Now, after the devastating loss of her husband, she is returning home with her young son, Will, who refuses to believe his father is dead.

While Trudy tries to do her best for her son, she must also attempt to build bridges with her eccentric mother. And then there is the Hall itself: fallen into disrepair but generations of lives and loves still echo in its shadows, sometimes even reaching out to the present…

| MY THOUGHTS |

Oh, be still my beating heart. What an absolutely glorious novel this is. Something about The Girl at the Window called out to me the minute I saw it mentioned on social media. Something that said I would love this story, without even really knowing what it was about. But I wasn’t prepared for just how much!

When Trudy’s husband fails to come back from a trip to Peru, she returns home with her son. But Trudy’s childhood home isn’t just any random place. Oh no! It’s Ponden Hall, a centuries old house in the Yorkshire moors, a magical place full of stories, and one that was often visited by none other than Emily Brontë. It’s been sixteen years since Trudy last went home. Ponden Hall has fallen into disrepair and yet Trudy feels it is still the best place for her and her son to find a way to heal and maybe even somehow fix her relationship with her mother.

Just like Ponden Hall seems to have put some kind of spell on Trudy, The Girl at the Window put a spell on me. From the very fist page, I found myself utterly engrossed, almost enchanted and unable to put this novel down for even a second. It is just so immensely beautifully written, somewhat spooky, immensely moving and sometimes positively heartbreaking. I don’t often get emotional when reading a novel but I did with this one and often found it quite hard not to choke on the lump in my throat.

Part love story, part ghost story and part historical fiction, this haunting tale wormed its way into my heart and straight onto my list of “top books of the year”. These characters jumped off the pages. Highly realistic and believable, it was impossible not to go through every range of emotion with them. I’m purposefully not giving anything away about the historical part of this novel, as it’s something you need to discover for yourself but I will say, it is brilliantly done and the mysteries surrounding Ponden Hall had me truly hooked.

The Girl at the Window is magical, haunting, moving and just …. wow! I was incredibly sad to see this story coming to an end, to be honest. I felt a little bereft and would have been quite happy to spend lots more time at Ponden Hall with Trudy and her family, searching through all the nooks and crannies. For surely this great house hides many more secrets and ghosts.

I don’t think my review is doing this novel justice at all. It’s one of those special ones. One of those stories where I just can’t find the words to describe how much I loved it. A novel to treasure. Highly recommend it. I’m not sure what more I can say. Loved it! Did I mention that? ❤️

The Girl at The Window is available to buy in ebook format. The paperback will be published in August.

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| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Rowan Coleman lives with her husband and their five children in a very full house in Hertfordshire. She juggles writing novels with raising her family.

Rowan’s last novel,The Summer of Impossible Things, was selected for Zoe Ball’s ITV Book Club.

Rowan has an everlasting love for the Brontes, and is a regular visitor of Ponden Hall.

The Reunion by Guillaume Musso | @wnbooks @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n | #blogtour #TheReunion

It’s a real pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for The Reunion by Guillaume Musso. My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Guillaume Musso
Title : The Reunion
Pages : 275
Publisher : Weidenfeld & Nicolson 
Publication date : July 11, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

French Riviera, winter 1992.
On a freezing night, as her high school campus is engulfed by a snowstorm, 19-year-old Vinca Rockwell runs away with Alexis, her philosophy teacher.
No one will ever see them again.

French Riviera, spring 2017.
Formerly inseparable, Thomas, Maxime and Fanny – Vinca’s best friends – have not spoken in twenty-five years. But when they receive a notice from their old school detailing the plans for a new gymnasium and inviting them to a class reunion, they know they must go back one more time.

Because there is a body buried in the gymnasium’s walls… 
…and they’re the ones who put it there.

| MY THOUGHTS |

School reunions. Personally, I’ve never attended one because I’ve never quite understood the appeal of them. But Thomas has little choice in the matter. During the reunion, the school is set to announce plans for a new gymnasium and Thomas, Maxime and Fanny, who haven’t seen each other in 25 years, know they must go back to school one more time. Because there is a body in the walls, and they put it there.

How is that for a premise? I couldn’t have been more intrigued if I tried. It’s also an interesting way to start a story because it seems as if you’re getting all the information in one go so what could possibly be left to discover? Ha! Quite a bloody lot, let me tell you!

Everything harks back to the winter of 1992 when nineteen year old Vinca Rockwell disappeared. Rumour had it she ran off with her philosophy teacher but neither one of them was ever heard from again. Despite moving all the way to New York from the Côte d’Azur, Thomas has never been able to forget Vinca. She was his first true love after all and thoughts of her still haunt him. But did he ever really know her?

Does anyone even know anyone in this story?! There are not just secrets buried behind the gymnasium’s walls. In fact, they are everywhere and they come at you thick and fast. I think this is one of the most unpredictable plots I’ve read in a long time. There are some delicious twists and turns, none of which I saw coming and there’s a lovely kind of Noir vibe throughout.

The Côte d’Azur provides the perfect backdrop too. Beautiful surroundings that ooze atmosphere and really off-set the dark events that play out throughout the story. The Reunion is an engaging and well-paced story about unrequited love, obsession, jealousy and family. I must admit I’d never heard of Guillaume Musso but it’s easy to see why he is so popular in France. Hopefully more of his books will be translated to English so a bigger audience can acquaint themselves with his work but for now, if you’re looking for a page-turner, The Reunion will not let you down.

The Reunion is available to buy!

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| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Guillaume Musso was the number one bestselling author in France in 2011 and 2012. Born in 1974 on the Cote d’Azur, he knew from an early age that he wanted to write novels and to touch the largest possible number of people. 

In 2004, ‘AFTERWARDS’ was published in France by XO Editions and was an immediate bestseller and established a loyal following for his unique brand of storytelling which blends romance, adventure, suspense and the supernatural. It was later made into a film starring John Malkovich, Evangeline Lily and Romain Duris.

Since then, with every one of the six novels which have followed, his loyal readership has grown significantly, making him the most widely-read author writing in French today. His stories have universal central themes: missed opportunities, second chances,the passage of time, lost love and redemption.

Source : Amazon

The Serpent’s Mark by S.W. Perry | @swperry_history @CorvusBooks @annecater | #blogtour #bookreview #RandomThingsTours

Such a pleasure to host a stop on the blog tour for The Serpent’s Mark by S.W. Perry today! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my fabulous review copy!

Author : S.W. Perry
Title : The Serpent’s Mark
Series : Nicolas Shelby #2
Pages : 424
Publisher : Corvus
Publication date : June 6, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Treason sleeps for no man…

London, 1591. Nicholas Shelby, physician and reluctant spy, returns to his old haunts on London’s lawless Bankside. But, when the queen’s spymaster Robert Cecil asks him to investigate the dubious practices of a mysterious doctor from Switzerland, Nicholas is soon embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens not just the life of an innocent young patient, but the overthrow of Queen Elizabeth herself.

With fellow healer and mistress of the Jackdaw tavern, Bianca Merton, again at his side, Nicholas is drawn into a dangerous world of zealots, charlatans and fanatics. As their own lives become increasingly at risk, they find themselves confronting the greatest treason of all: the spectre of a bloody war between the faiths…

| MY THOUGHTS |

The Serpent’s Mark is the second instalment in the Nicolas Shelby series, featuring Nicolas, a physician and reluctant spy, and Bianca Merton, owner of the Jackdaw tavern and licensed apothecary.

Nicolas finds himself once again engaged by Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster, Robert Cecil. A mysterious doctor has arrived from Switzerland to cure a young boy from the falling sickness. Robert Cecil wants Nicolas to investigate the dubious practices of this doctor. Which is fortuitous, as Nicolas has already been asked by the boy’s father to keep an eye out. Meanwhile, Bianca gets a lovely surprise when her cousin arrives on a ship from Padua. Nothing is at it seems though and soon Nicolas and Bianca find themselves caught up in a thrilling conspiracy from both ends.

Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy? I know I do and this particular one here had me enthralled. I don’t want to give anything away so I won’t mention too much about it but the idea is incredibly cleverly plotted and it’s something that would not just turn the house of Tudor upside down but could quite easily ignite a war between the faiths.

S.W. Perry really brings to life the streets of London during the Elizabethan era. From the smells and the sounds to the danger lurking around every corner, I immediately felt myself transported. As a physician, the character of Nicolas Shelby also shines a light on the way the science of medicine worked in those days. Physicians consulted astrology, for instance, to determine a diagnosis or treatment. A way of doing things that doesn’t always sit right with Nicolas, which often gets him into trouble.

A clever plot, intriguing characters, a conspiracy, the threat of war, a web of deceit … I mean, really, what more could you possibly ask for?! I couldn’t at all figure out how things would end and feared for the fate of these characters. The Serpent’s Mark had me absolutely engrossed from start to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed its predecessor and felt this one was even better. This is one captivating and twisty historical fiction novel full of mystery and suspense and I absolutely can’t wait to read more in this series!

The Serpent’s Mark is available to buy!

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| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

S. W. Perry was a journalist and broadcaster before retraining as an airline pilot. He lives in Worcestershire, England with his wife.