books, reviews

Book Review: Falling Creatures & The Magpie Tree – Katherine Stanfield*

Cornwall is a county of myths and magic, the wildness seeps into every stone.

Inspired by a real murder case Falling Creatures introduces us to Shilly, a farm maid who senses the strangeness around her, and the mysterious Mr Williams who seeks the truth of Charlotte Dymond’s death on the remote moor land around the farm she and Shilly worked on.

Shilly is convinced the wrong man is behind bars and Mr Williams is the only one who believes her, but he is not all he appears to be…

The second book in the series continues with that Gothic feel, as Shilly and ‘Mr Williams’ find themselves investigating a missing child and the rumour that witches, two sisters living in the woods, are in fact to blame. There is a reward to claim which would allow the establishing of a detectives’ agency. However it is Shilly’s feel for the uncanny that once again comes to their aid, and the secrets of the women of Trethevy hold the key.

Shilly is an innocent and perhaps that is why she can see things others, including her closest allies, cannot. The myths and legends of Cornwall, like St Nectan, seep through the books, and add to the atmosphere of supernatural mystery.

I love Gothic romance novels and these do not disappoint, there’s a sense of Daphne DuMaurier’s Cornish set Gothic romances, like Rebecca and Jamaica Inn, that claustrophobia under open sky, to these. Not least because they are set in the same places, amidst the wildness of Bodmin and the close knit villages of the Cornish interior.

The third book in the series, The Mermaid’s Call is out in paperback next Spring and in hardback now.

*I was kindly gifted these books by the publisher but all opinions remain my own.

books, reviews

Book Review: Good Me Bad Me – Ali Land 


Written by a former Mental Health nurse, this psychological thriller is vivid and arresting. Milly is almost 16 and has lived a terrible life with her mother, a serial killer. Milly was also the one who turned her in. 
Documenting the lead up to her mother’s trial for 9 child murders, we see the world through Milly’s eyes as she tries to adjust to ‘normal’ life with her foster family. 

Her foster father is also her psychotherapist, preparing her for trial, going through the harrowing childhood she endured and the nightmares that haunt her, but is Milly telling him everything, and does the daughter take after the mother? 

Tightly written and with a nice little twist at the end, I really enjoyed this. I think I prefer more knotty thrillers like this, than the straightforward procedural ones. I want unreliable narrators and secrets, I want to never quite know for sure. 

I found this very satisfying a read. 

books, reviews

Book Preview: Red Sister – Mark Lawrence

This ARC was in Illumicrate 6 and I didn’t so much read it as devour it in one sitting. 

I liked Lawrence’s previous trilogy The Broken Empire so I knew his style but this book was just so good I couldn’t put it down. 

It’s fantasy but it’s also a thriller. Nona Grey is given to the child-seller and sent off to the capital where her life is saved by a rather unusual (by our standards) convent. 

Nona comes to see that what makes her different makes her special. 

I desperately don’t want to spoil this for anyone but it’s really good. Lots of mystery and intrigue, great plotting and characterisation. Well written and gripping. 

It’s properly published in April but I already can’t wait for the sequel which probably won’t appear till next year.