Never Be Broken by Sarah Hilary | @sarah_hilary @headlinepg @annecater | #blogtour #bookreview #recommended #mustread #DIMarnieRome #RandomThingsTours

Beyond thrilled to kick off the blog tour for Never Be Broken by Sarah Hilary alongside Anne Cater today! Huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my fabulous review copy!

Author : Sarah Hilary
Title : Never Be Broken
Series : DI Marnie Rome #6
Pages : 368
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : May 16, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Children are dying on London’s streets. Frankie Reece, stabbed through the heart, outside a corner shop. Others recruited from care homes, picked up and exploited; passed like gifts between gangs. They are London’s lost. 

Then Raphaela Belsham is killed. She’s thirteen years old, her father is a man of influence, from a smart part of town. And she’s white. Suddenly, the establishment is taking notice.

DS Noah Jake is determined to handle Raphaela’s case and Frankie’s too. But he’s facing his own turmoil, and it’s becoming an obsession. DI Marnie Rome is worried, and she needs Noah on side. Because more children are disappearing, more are being killed by the day and the swelling tide of violence needs to be stemmed before it’s too late.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Blessed are the hearts that bend; they shall never be broken.

I am broken though. Just … WOW!

Never Be Broken is sadly extremely realistic, believable and apt in this day and age. Children are dying on London’s streets and the whiteboard at DI Marnie Rome’s precinct is covered in photographs of young victims. Then, another teenager finds herself on the wrong side of a knife. Raphaela comes from a rich background and is white, and suddenly everyone sits up and takes notice. DS Noah Jake is determined to solve every single case on the whiteboard but he is struggling.

Never Be Broken shows the raw and harsh reality of living on the streets of London. Beyond the bright lights and the beautiful tourist spots, this is a city full of drugs, racism and violence. Police seem to be unable to make much of a difference, no matter how hard they want to. Yet throughout it all, the author’s love for the city manages to shine through.

This is at times quite a painful read. There’s no way the fate of the victims and the suffering of those they leave behind can leave you cold. But there’s also Noah, who’s having a hard time coming to terms with the death of his brother Sol. My heart was absolutely breaking for him. I just wanted to wrap him up in a tight hug. Despite his grief being hard to see, I thought Sarah Hilary handled that whole topic quite brilliantly.

There are some super tense chapters that almost brought tears to my eyes, that made my heart pound and my hands all clammy. This is a dark story, immensely gritty, compelling, captivating and gripping but also one of hope for better days and one of the toughest things to achieve : forgiveness. For those who’ve done you wrong but also for yourself.

Please tell me you are reading this series. It’s been absolutely outstanding from the very beginning and I don’t know how she does it, but Sarah Hilary manages to outdo herself time and time again, bringing each book in this series to whole other level. At the risk of repeating myself, because I’m pretty sure I say this every time, this is the best one in the series yet and Sarah Hilary is an author who deserves all the praise. She continues to impress me with her remarkable storylines, utterly brilliant character development and fantastic writing. There are so many lines I could quote but I won’t because I’d be here all day and obviously you just need to read this book (and the rest of the series) for yourself.

I’ve had a ridiculously hard time getting my thoughts in order. This is one of those books that managed to get completely under my skin, making me go through a whole range of emotions and writing this review seemed like an impossible task when all I really wanted to say was “WOW! Read this now!” and leave it at that. Do yourself a massive favour and pick this up, along with the rest of the series if you haven’t done so already. I promise you from the bottom of my heart, you will not regret it!

Never Be Broken will be published on Thursday, May 16th but you can, and should, preorder it now!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

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

Follow Sarah on Twitter

With Our Blessing by Jo Spain | @SpainJoanne @QuercusBooks | #bookreview #recommended

Author : Jo Spain
Title : With Our Blessing
Series : DI Tom Reynolds #1
Pages : 531
Publisher : Quercus
Publication date : July 27, 2015

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

1975. A baby, minutes old, is forcibly taken from its devastated mother.

2010. The body of an elderly woman is found in a Dublin public park in the depths of winter.

Detective Inspector Tom Reynolds is working the case. He’s convinced the murder is linked to historical events that took place in the notorious Magdalene Laundries.

Reynolds and his team follow the trail to an isolated convent in the Irish countryside. But once inside, it becomes disturbingly clear that the killer is amongst them . . . and is determined to exact further vengeance for the sins of the past. 

| MY THOUGHTS |

You’re probably familiar with Jo Spain’s psychological thrillers but did you know she also writes a crime fiction series, set in Ireland? The DI Tom Reynolds series has been on my shelf for ages and since I heard there is a new book on the horizon, I decided to try and squeeze this series into my reading schedule in an attempt to catch up.

Best decision ever!

With Our Blessing is the first book and hoo boy, what a first instalment it is! Despite its 531 pages, I absolutely flew through this one because once I started reading, I just couldn’t stop. The body of an elderly woman is found in a park in Dublin. It’s quite a gruesome scene and the investigation leads DI Tom Reynolds and his team to a convent in the Irish countryside and a part of history Ireland would probably quite happily forget all about.

The notorious Magdalane Laundries have been in the news often these last few years. The events that happened there remain horrible and With Our Blessing starts with one such horrific scene when in 1975, a newborn baby is forcibly taken from its mother. If that doesn’t break your heart, I don’t know what will.

But how does that prologue connect to the murder of the elderly woman? That’s for DI Tom Reynolds to figure out and it’s a race against the clock because this killer is quite obviously on a mission to get revenge and if they aren’t stopped, more people will die. I quickly ruled out a number of potential suspects which left me with a tiny problem, in that I had nobody left. I was convinced I knew who wasn’t the killer but couldn’t at all figure out who was!

As brilliantly gripping as the murder investigation was, I also really enjoyed the perfect balance Jo Spain achieved by including information about the various team members’ private lives. I got a really good feel for them and loved getting to know them along the way.

With Our Blessing is a fantastic start to this series. With intriguing characters, a compelling investigation, a beautiful setting and even some humour, this had me hooked from start to finish. I’m kicking myself for not reading this series sooner and I can’t wait to read the other books. If Jo Spain wasn’t already on my go-to list, she would most definitely be now! And if you are looking for another crime series to sink your teeth into, you should definitely check this one out!

With Our Blessing is available to buy!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

Sleep by C.L. Taylor | @callytaylor @AvonBooksUK @Sabah_K | #blogtour #bookreview #DaretoSleep

Thrilled to host a stop on the blog tour for Sleep by C.L. Taylor today! My thanks to Sabah at Avon for the invitation to join and for the fab review copy!

Author : C.L. Taylor
Title : Sleep
Pages : 368
Publisher : Avon UK
Publication date : April 4, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…

To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.

Each of the guests have a secret but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they’re on the island. There’s a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they’ve set their sights on Anna.

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.

Someone’s going to sleep and never wake up…

| MY THOUGHTS |

C.L. Taylor is one of those authors you can always depend upon to deliver a solid and twisty psychological thriller and Sleep is no different. Right from the opening line, C.L. Taylor pulls the reader in and doesn’t let go.

After a traumatic experience, Anna isn’t sleeping. To try and escape her past, she moves to the remote Scottish Island of Rum. But when seven guests arrive at the hotel, Anna’s idyllic idea of a peaceful and quiet life quickly turns into a nightmare. One of these guests is not who they say they are and their reasons for being on the island have nothing to do with a love of nature and long hikes.

Remote locations, this feeling of isolation and sheer claustrophobia, is one of my most favourite things in books. It always manages to bring this extra level of intensity and suspense, knowing there’s a murderer walking around but not knowing who they are. And there is no escape. Chilling! Cut off from the world, what is supposed to be a wonderful trip suddenly turns into a battle for survival. Would you dare to sleep? I don’t think I would.

With only seven suspects, you’d think it would be easy to figure out who the culprit is. I, on the other hand, once again showed that there is absolutely no way I’d ever make it as a detective by disregarding a few of the guests right from the start and then realising I probably made a mistake along the way. But even in that moment where I had my “aha!” burst, I still wasn’t able to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. And just when you think it’s all over, ….. let’s just say, my jaw may have hit the floor.

Sleep is full of of intriguing and mysterious characters who all seem to be hiding something. As the tension and suspense built up, I found it impossible to put this book down. Brilliantly paced with plenty of red herrings along the way, you should definitely make sure you have the time to read it one sitting as Sleep is extremely addictive. Another absolute belter from C.L. Taylor and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

Sleep is available to buy!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son.

She is a four times Sunday Times bestseller and her books have hit the number one spots on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play. Cally has a degree in Psychology, with particular interest in abnormal and criminal Psychology.

She also loves knitting, Dr Who, Sherlock, Great British Bake Off and Margaret Atwood and blames Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected for her love of a dark tale.

Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre | @cbrookmyre @LittleBrownUK @GraceEVincent | #blogtour #bookreview #FallenAngel

Such a pleasure to host a stop on the blog tour for Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre today. My thanks to Caolinn at Little Brown for the invitation to join and for the review copy!

Author : Chris Brookmyre
Title : Fallen Angel
Pages : 400
Publisher : Little Brown UK
Publication date : April 25, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

To new nanny Amanda, the Temple family seem to have it all: the former actress; the famous professor; their three successful grown-up children. But like any family, beneath the smiles and hugs there lurks far darker emotions.

Sixteen years earlier, little Niamh Temple died while they were on holiday in Portugal. Now, as Amanda joins the family for a reunion at their seaside villa, she begins to suspect one of them might be hiding something terrible…

And suspicion is a dangerous thing. 

| MY THOUGHTS |

Raise your hand if you love stories about dysfunctional families!

The Temple family seem to have it all. Max is a famous professor, his wife Celia a former actress and their three children have all grown up to be successful. But then Max dies and Celia invites her children to a holiday at the family villa in Portugal. The same villa where sixteen years earlier, little Niamh Temple died.

In the neighbouring villa, Amanda is working as a nanny for Vince and his wife, Kirsten. Being so close to the Temple family, she soon realises things are not what they seem and she begins to suspect one of them might be hiding something terrible.

And thus begins a thrilling ride as we delve into this family’s dynamics, while all the while trying to figure out what really happened to Niamh. There are some truly dark secrets lurking in the past and to be fair, none of these characters are particularly likeable but boy, is this story a gripping one! The prologue alone is a fantastic attention grabber. We know someone is murdered but we don’t know who, why or who did it. With a dual time frame and multiple points-of-view, the truth about the Temple family is slowly revealed and it’s pretty ugly and shocking.

Fallen Angel is such a compelling story with plenty of twists and I had no idea where it was going to end up. Brilliantly written, it digs deep into the psychology of these intriguing, complex and multi-layered characters while all the while teasing the reader with an impending sense of doom. Part psychological thriller, part family drama, it had me hooked from start to finish, trying to pick up little clues along the way, becoming completely immersed.

This is my first introduction to Chris Brookmyre but I have a feeling it won’t be my last. This is an author quite obviously capable of fantastic storytelling and I must have been living in a cave to have never heard of him before. I have no doubt Fallen Angel will appeal to both longstanding fans and people like me who are new to this author. Thoroughly enjoyed this and look forward to more!

Fallen Angel will be available to buy on April 25th.

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Chris Brookmyre was a journalist before becoming a full-time novelist with the publication of his award-winning debut Quite Ugly One Morning, which established him as one of Britain’s leading crime authors. His Jack Parlabane novels have sold more than one million copies in the UK alone, and Black Widow won both the McIlvanney Prize and the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award.