blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Unprotected -Sophie Jonas-Hill*

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She’s fighting to save everyone else but will she have anything left to save herself?

Witty, sharp and sarcastic tattoo artist Lydia’s life is imploding. Her long-term relationship has broken down after several miscarriages and she’s hiding from her hurt and loss in rage. After a big night out she wakes beside a much younger man who brings complications she could really do without.

As her grief about her lost babies and failed relationships spirals out of control, she obsesses about rescuing a wayward teenage girl she watches from her window and gets more involved than she should with her charming but unstable young
lover.

Unprotected is a raw and punchy story of love, family and accepting yourself for who you really are.

My thoughts:

This was an interesting read. Lydia is recoiling from the series of miscarriages she has suffered and the end of her long term relationship.

Instead of seeking help for her grief she plunges into a fling with a younger man who is dealing with his own demons.

This is a meditation on grief and loss that explores a woman’s strong reaction and her attempt to bury her pain by taking on that of others.

Well written and emotionally compelling, this is a book that lingers with you.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Pact -Amy Heydenrych*

What if a prank leads to murder?

When Freya arrives at her dream job with the city’s hottest start-up, she can’t wait to begin a new and exciting life, including dating her new colleague Jay.

However, Nicole, Jay’s ex and fellow employee, seems intent on making her life a misery. After a big deadline, where Nicole continually picks on her, Freya snaps and tells Jay about the bullying and together they concoct a revenge prank.

The next morning, Nicole is found dead in her apartment . . .

Is this just a prank gone wrong? Or does Freya know someone who is capable of murder – and could she be next?

 

My thoughts:

This was a clever psychological thriller, did Freya cause Nicole’s death or is she losing her mind?

I loved the use of modern technology to cause disruption in people’s lives, with online dating and sinister text messages.

I raced through this book, it’s an enjoyable and smart plot and the writing is tight and gripping.

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*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour, but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Ctrl+S – Andy Briggs*


LOG IN > LOAD WORLD > SAVE HER.

Life in the near future’s NOT ALL BAD. We’ve reversed global warming, and fixed the collapsing bee population. We even created SPACE, a virtual-sensory universe where average guys like Theo Wilson can do almost anything they desire.

But ALMOST ANYTHING isn’t enough for some. Every day, normal people are being taken, their emotions harvested – and lives traded – to create death-defying thrills for the rich and twisted.

NOW THEO’S MOTHER HAS DISAPPEARED. And as he follows her breadcrumb trail of clues, he’ll come up against the most dangerous SPACE has to offer: vPolice, AI Bots and anarchists – as well as a criminal empire that will KILL TO STOP HIM finding her . . .

My thoughts:

This was really interesting, exploring the juxtaposition of reality and the virtual. SPACE overlaps real world places and Theo and his friends have to work through these layered locations in order to unravel what has happened to his mum and find out who it is that’s out to get him.

As technology weaves itself into our lives this concept comes closer to reality. Criminals are already exploiting this while the police play catch up.

This was a clever, well written thriller, in a similar vein to Ready Player One but British.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Sound of Her Voice – Nathan Blackwell*

Detective Buchanan remembers every victim.
But this one he can’t forget.

The body of a woman has been found on a pristine New Zealand beach – over a decade after she was murdered.

Detective Matt Buchanan of the Auckland Police is certain it carries all the hallmarks of an unsolved crime he investigated 12 years ago: when Samantha Coates walked out one day and never came home.

Re-opening the case, Buchanan begins to piece the terrible crimes together, setting into motion a chain of events that will force him to the darkest corners of society – and back into his deepest obsession…

My thoughts:

Written by a former police officer, set in New Zealand, this is a dark and gripping thrill ride of a novel, taking the standard police procedural to a darker place. Matt Buchanan is haunted by the murder he couldn’t solve, and leaving the force has not helped him forget. Returning to investigate a similar crime years later, will he find his answers?

What was interesting was the attention to detail and the mental processes of an investigator that comes from having been in that role, although I hope the author doesn’t have unsolved crimes haunting him in the same way.

This was a really interesting take on the genre and I look forward to seeing what else Nathan Blackwell writes next.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour, but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Blood’s Campaign – Angus Donald*

TWO KINGS, TWO FAITHS, TWO ARMIES – AND THE BATTLE FOR IRELAND

THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE VICTOR . . .

August 25, 1689

The English Army is besieging Carrickfergus in Ireland. Brilliant but unusual gunner Holcroft Blood of the Royal Train of Artillery (son of Col. Thomas Blood), is ready to unleash his cannons on the rebellious forces of deposed Catholic monarch James II. But this is more than war for Captain Blood, a lust for private vengeance burns within him.

French intelligence agent Henri d’Erloncourt has come across the seas to foment rebellion against William of Orange, the newly installed Dutch ruler of England, Scotland and Ireland. But Henri’s true mission is not to aid the suffering of the Irish but to serve the interests of his master, Louis le Grand.

Michael ‘Galloping’ Hogan, brigand, boozer and despoiler of Protestant farms, strives to defend his native land – and make a little profit on the side. But when he takes the Frenchman’s gold, he suspects deep in his freedom-loving heart, that he has merely swapped one foreign overlord for another.

July 1, 1690

On the banks of the River Boyne, on a fateful, scorching hot day, two armies clash in bloody battle – Protestant against Catholic – in an epic struggle for mastery of Ireland. And, when the slaughter is over and the smoke finally clears, for these three men, nothing will ever be the same again . . .

Holcroft must decide whether to join the conspirators, including his old friend Jack Churchill, now Lord Marlborough, and support Dutch William’s invasion – or remain loyal to his unpopular king.

Kent-based author Angus Donald was born in 1965 and educated at Marlborough College and Edinburgh University. He has worked as a fruit-picker in Greece, a waiter in New York and as an anthropologist studying magic and witchcraft in Indonesia. For 20 years he worked as a journalist in Hong Kong, India, Afghanistan and London. He is now married with children and writes full time from a medieval farmhouse in Tonbridge, Kent.

Angus is a distant relative of Col. Thomas Blood who is best known for his attempt to steal the Crown Jewels of England from the Tower of London in 1671.

Angus is also the author of the bestselling Outlaw Chronicles.

Website

My thoughts:

This isn’t the sort of book I’d normally pick up even though I enjoy historical fiction as I tend to avoid military history. But this is so well written and draws you in so well I actually quite enjoyed it.

The history of England and Ireland is shameful and blood stained and the period this book covers is the same. After James II was deposed from the throne he seized after Charles II’s death he fled to Ireland where he waged war with borrowed soldiers against William and Mary’s troops.

Using real names and places Angus Donald builds a realistic picture of life in the English army during the Irish campaign.

Holcroft Blood is a Captain in the Ordnance (what we call Artillery now) but he also has his own agenda.

The author is distantly related to the read Blood, which adds another interesting layer to the book.

All in all I found it interesting and thoroughly well written with a real sense of the time and place it’s set.

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*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Blind Witness – Vicki Goldie*

In 1922 a blind WW1 veteran and former intelligence officer attends a weekend with his aristocratic wife and her family at a country house in the New Forest, Hampshire, England. Fourteen people sit down to dinner on the Friday night; by the end of the weekend there are two murders, an attempted murder and a suicide.

This is book one in a series of humorous murder mysteries and introduces young sleuths The Hon Melissa Charters and her war veteran husband Major Alastair Charters.

The pair collaborate using Melissa’s powers of observation and Alasdair’s old skills gained in the Secret Intelligence Service to investigate the events unfolding over the weekend. A murder mystery with a spy plot told from many different points of view in the tradition of Simon Brett, M C Beaton and Kerry Greenwood.

Will our investigators discover who is behind the murders?

Vicki worked as a Chartered Librarian for the Royal National Institute of Blind People and then for the past 19 years in public libraries in Bournemouth and Poole. There she enjoyed arranging and attending writing courses and author events, including such luminaries as Fay Weldon and Peter James. With the Reading Agency and other librarians round the country she reviewed and selected books for The Radio Two Book Club. All the time writing away in her spare time.

Born in California but brought up in England she was introduced to the Golden Age of crime authors at an early age by her mother. She is married to a blind physiotherapist, and it is from his mother, born in a large country house in Devon (now a hotel), educated by governess and with a cut glass voice like the Queen, that she absorbed real life stories about the twenties and thirties.

She has always had a fascination with the Art Deco period and the Golden Age of crime writing. She has been filling her house with Art Deco inspired artefacts and clothing for 40 years.

Blind Witness is her debut novel and is the beginning of the Charters Mysteries Series featuring Major Alasdair Charters and The Honourable Melissa Charters.

My thoughts:

This was a really interesting take on the classic detective novel. Alasdair has lost his sight in the war and is struggling with the changes his disability has wrought on him, but an old friend in the intelligence services offers him an opportunity to solve a series of murders during a country house weekend.

Evoking Christie, Allingham and the other queens of crime with its setting and period, this is an excellent addition to the canon. I can’t wait to see what Goldie writes next.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: One Christmas Night – Hayley Webster*

Nine lives. One street. And a secret behind every door.

Christmas is ruined on Newbury Street, Norwich.

Presents have been going missing from resident’s homes. There are rumours going around that it’s one of their own who’s been stealing from the neighbours. Festive spirit is being replaced with suspicion and the inhabitants of Newbury Street don’t know who to trust. The police presence isn’t helping matters, especially when they all have something to hide.

But Christmas is a time for miracles… and if they open themselves up to hope and look out for each other, they might discover the biggest miracle of all.

 

My thoughts:

This is a sweet wintery tale of friendship, neighbours and redemption. Newbury Street’s community all seem to know each other, which in an age of disconnection, where most people couldn’t tell you the names of their immediate neighbours, seems a little old fashioned but makes for a great story.

With presents going missing and plenty of residents hiding their own secrets and pain, suspicion haunts the street. Popping in and out of the houses and businesses along the road, the story weaves around the lives of the families and their Christmas plans.

Definitely a book to read over your Christmas break (even if it’s only 2 days) with a mug of something hot.

 

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