blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: False Prophet – James Hazel*

False Prophet by [Hazel, James]

A secret buried for two thousand years. 
The rise of an ancient evil.
An invisible killer who will stop at nothing. 

When a brutal serial killer defies all known methods, the police call in prolific lawyer and former homicide detective, Charlie Priest, to assist the hunt.

Working together they soon discover a link to a lost scripture that contains a secret so devastating that its custodians are prepared to die to keep it.

Tangled in a dark world of fanaticism, chaos and deadly secrets, Priest comes up against a nemesis more formidable and deranged than any he has previously encountered.

There is no Judgement Day. There is something far worse.

 

My thoughts:

I remember reading the first Charlie Priest book when it came out, but I don’t remember it being as gripping as this one. Possibly because the author is more confident in his writing, I was completely hooked. It’s not often I find myself so involved with a book I tell my husband to go away!

Priest and his team are tracking a mysterious serial killer, there’s a missing Dead Sea Scroll that paints the story of Noah’s Ark as something much darker and fanatics that will do anything to fulfil a mission they believe is from God.

It might be my background as a Sunday School teacher and a theology student, that means I’m maybe a little more intrigued than most by the idea of Apocryphal scriptures, stories the editors didn’t include in the Bible as we know it, and religious fanaticism; the fact the Bible is so open to interpretation makes it quite dangerous, but I found the use of symbology and mythology dating back thousands of years really interesting.

I think this is one for reading when you have a good solid chunk of time, and not possibly, on your commute to work, as you might just miss your stop!

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

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: In The Absence of Miracles – Michael J. Malone*

In this powerful new thriller, Michael J Malone returns to A Suitable Lie territory, movingly and perceptively addressing a shocking social issue.

Chilling, perceptive and heartbreakingly emotive, In the Absence of Miracles is domestic noir at its most powerful, and a sensitively wrought portrait of a family whose shameful lies hide the very darkest of secrets.

John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home. Following a massive stroke, she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again. With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood.

In a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about.

A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover. For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash.

And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence…

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country.

He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers.

Other published work includes Carnegie’s Call; A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage; The Bad Samaritan and Dog Fight.

His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines and After He Died soon followed suit.

A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr.

My thoughts: this book goes to some dark places, twisted and cruel people emerge as John Docherty tries to uncover the truth about his unknown brother and his own past.

It’s a gripping, rollercoaster of a thriller, something that at first seems fairly formulaic that then opens up in a much larger, shocking series of terrible crimes and cruelties. What John and his younger brother Chris uncover goes far beyond a missing child.

I think there must be something in Scottish air that creates crime writers; some of the very best in British crime fiction are Scots. And Michael Malone’s writing is up there with Ian Rankin and Val McDermid.

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

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Devil Upstairs – Anthony O’Neill*

In a quiet corner of Edinburgh, Cat Thomas is going through hell.
She’s tried everything. He respects nothing.

If your neighbour was making your life hell …
Would you call upon the devil?

Cat Thomas, a brilliant fraud investigator, has just relocated from Florida to a dreamy flat in historic Edinburgh. Everything seems perfect. Everything seems serene. Except for the unbelievably noisy wannabe rockstar upstairs.

Soon Cat’s blissful new life is in ruins. Desperate, she’s willing to try anything. When all else fails, she makes an appeal … to Satan.

And suddenly everything is eerily quiet. But her nightmare has only just begun ..

My thoughts:

My flat has thin walls and I can hear things I really don’t want to happening in neighbouring flats. So I empathised with Cat in this book, no one wants their sleep disturbed by a noisy, inconsiderate neighbour, doubly so when they’re rude when confronted.
I don’t know if I’d go so far as to ask Satan to make it stop, but I can imagine how someone could be driven to it!

This is a funny, shocking book with an excellent twist at the end. I enjoyed it and read it in one sitting. I recommend getting hold of a copy and having a read.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Lost Solace – Karl Drinkwater*

Sometimes spaceships disappear with everyone on board – the Lost Ships. But sometimes they come back, strangely altered, derelict, and rumoured to be full of horrors.

Opal is on a mission. She’s been seeking something her whole life. Something she is willing to die for. And she thinks it might be on a Lost Ship.

Opal has stolen Clarissa, an experimental AI-controlled spaceship, from the military. Together they have tracked down a Lost Ship, in a lonely nebula far from colonised space.

The Lost Ship is falling into the gravity well of a neutron star, and will soon be truly lost … forever. Legends say the ships harbour death, but there’s no time for indecision.

Opal gears up to board it. She’s just one woman, entering an alien and lethal environment. But perhaps with the aid of Clarissa’s intelligence – and an armoured spacesuit – Opal may stand a chance.


Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He’s a full-time author, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you’ll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds. When he isn’t writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.

My thoughts:

So you probably know by now that I love a good AI-human in space romp, and this is one of them. The backstory that led to Opal being on a lost ship with only Clarissa the AI to help is revealed slowly, only answering your questions bit by bit.

There’s something else on that ship, something that might answer Opal’s own questions, but they need answering before her pursuers catch up and this cranks the tension up.

Opal’s smart and resourceful, Clarissa is a good foil to her search for secrets. The menace comes from two sides, and as a reader you’re left wondering “what next?”

There’s something of a locked room mystery about the plot – mostly taking place in a supposedly empty drifting space ship.

Book two Chasing Solace is also available now.


*this book was kindly gifted to me in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Truth Hurts – Rebecca Reid*

Truth Hurts Cover Image .jpg

Poppy has a secret.

It was a whirlwind romance. And when Drew, caught up in the moment, suggests that he and Poppy don’t tell each other anything about their past lives, that they live only for the here and now, for the future they are building together, Poppy jumps at the chance for a fresh start.

Drew says he has nothing to hide.

But it doesn’t take long for Poppy to see that this is a two-way deal. Drew is hiding something from her. And Poppy suddenly has no idea who the man she has married really is, what he is hiding from her or what he might be capable of.

Drew is lying.

Which is more dangerous, a secret or a lie?

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Rebecca is a freelance journalist. She is a columnist for the Telegraph Women’s section, works for Metro Online and has written for Marie Claire, the Guardian, the Saturday Telegraph, the Independent, Stylist, Glamour, the iPaper, the Guardian, Indy100, LOOK and the New Statesmen amongst others.

Rebecca is a regular contributor to Sky News and ITV’s This Morning as well as appearing on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, LBC, BBC News 24 and the BBC World Service to discuss her work.

She graduated from Royal Holloway’s Creative Writing MA in 2015 and Perfect Liars is her debut novel.

Rebecca lives in North London with her husband.

 

My thoughts:

Would you marry someone you’d only known for a month? Would you agree to never discuss your pasts? Well that’s what Poppy does in this book. And of course, the past is never going to go away completely.

What seems to start as a cosy beach read quickly becomes something darker as Poppy’s history is revealed in flashbacks and in the present she starts to dig into Drew’s. Neither of them is quite who they appear to be and all the secrets start to creep out as they host Drew’s friends for a long weekend at their new home, Thursday House.

Well written and compelling this novel quickly drags you into the mysteries sounding Poppy and Drew, neither of whom are as innocent or as bland as they might seem and that could end up spelling disaster. With a few twists, especially right at the end, that you just don’t see coming, this is a clever thriller well worth a place on your commute or even on your holidays.

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

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Depression – Ray Griffiths*

The part of the brain most heavily associated with mental health, memory, emotion and mood is called the hippocampus; the biological name for the seahorse. It is the unusual seahorse-like shape of the hippocampus that has led to its evocative name. Just as the seahorse charms the depths of oceans, our own hippocampus, when supported and nurtured, can help to enchant our own lives. Worryingly, there are an increasing number of scientific papers linking problems with the hippocampus to depression, in particular, the shrinking or failure to regrow this part of the brain after prolonged stress. Depression, anxiety and mood disorders are often seen as entirely psychological in cause. However, more and more research is highlighting that chronic health issues, poor diet and lifestyle choices can, and will, negatively impact our vulnerable hippocampus, and consequently, our mental health.

Personalised nutritionist Ray Griffiths examines how we can modify our dietary and lifestyle choices to nourish our brain and hippocampus. These choices can help to cushion us from the harm we may encounter as we navigate the challenges of modern everyday life. This nourishment is absolutely vital, as every day our hippocampus can potentially regrow 700 brand new neurons, but it needs a huge amount of assistance to do so. Nourishment for the hippocampus can come from not just diet but also from balanced gut bacteria, social connection, exercise, an outdoors environment, music and dance. Learning how to support your brain health begins with what you eat.

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Ray Griffiths MSc is a Registered Nutritionist and Lecturer and hails from the South of England, living on the borders of Essex and Suffolk. He has been researching and practicing nutrition for 20 years and lecturing for over 10 years. His lectures and webinars have covered diverse subjects such as: cancer and nutrition, chronic fatigue, depression, cardiovascular health, neurodegeneration, MS and ageing. Ray has a background in Engineering and likes to apply a similar style systems philosophy to nutrition and biochemistry – using this approach to challenge and greatly expand existing ideas and concepts. He is a keen water skier, was once a professional Speedway rider. He enjoys Pre-Rapaelite art and his favourite author is the American poet Robert Bly.

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My thoughts: I’ve had depression since my teens and am interested in different theories around treating and managing it in the long term. I currently take medication to manage it but if there was another way I’d be open to potentially trying it.

I liked that Griffiths was looking at depression as a condition that is affected by and effects the body as a whole, I know for me if my chronic pain condition is worse then so will my mental health be.

As a nutritionist Griffiths focuses on how what we eat impacts our physical and mental wellbeing. The importance of healthy gut bacteria is something the general public is increasingly aware of, and he writes about how each thing links together very well.

This was certainly a very interesting read, something I will definitely be discussing with my doctors in terms of how I can tweak my diet to support a happier, healthier brain.

*I was kindly gifted this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The End of the World Survivors Club – Adrian J. Walker*

IN THE END OF THE WORLD RUNNING CLUB EDGAR HILL RAN 550 MILES AFTER AN APOCALYPSE TO TRY AND FIND HIS FAMILY. HE HAD IT EASY. THIS IS HIS WIFE’S STORY.

Beth Hill has survived the apocalypse with a baby and toddler in tow. And what’s more she’s done it alone – without her husband’s help. He’s never been any help. But when disaster strikes and someone steals her kids, she knows what she has to do. The new world might be very different: no government, no law, no infrastructure and a whole lot more ocean than there used to be. But one thing hasn’t changed – the lengths a mother will go to save her family…

Adrian J Walker was born in the bush suburbs of Sydney, Australia in the mid ‘70s. After his father found a camper van in a ditch, he renovated it and moved his family back to the UK, where Adrian was raised. Ever since he can remember, Adrian has been interested in three things: words, music and technology, and when he graduated from the University of Leeds, he found a career in software. His novel The End of the World Running Club, a post-apocalyptic running fable about hope, love and endurance, was a Simon Mayo Radio 2 book club choice. He lives in Aberdeen with his wife and two children.

My thoughts:

I haven’t read the previous book in this series but I didn’t feel hugely like I needed to have done in order to read this book.

Beth is a slightly irritating character, or at least I found her to be so at the beginning, it’s only when it all goes horribly wrong and she has to find some allies and actually do something that I grew to like her a little.

I really loved certain bits of this book, like the floating garbage dump that had become a home for some of the survivors that Beth encounters.

Bits of the book are quite dark and violent, like pretty much any post-apocalyptic narrative. But there are little moments of humour and levity throughout.

From the way the book ends I imagine there’s going to be another in this series, it’ll be interesting to see which character steers the plot from this point.

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