Saturday, 29 June 2019

BLOG TOUR: The Mummy Bloggers - Holly Wainwright


Meet three Mummy Bloggers - each of them followed, idolised, imitated, taunted and trolled online. 

Elle Campbell is a glossy, lycra-clad mum with washboard abs, a ten-year plan and a secret past. Abi Black has quit sugar, moved to the country and is homeschooling her kids. Leisel Adams slogs away at her office job each day before rushing home, steeped in guilt, to spend precious moments with her kids before bedtime. All three share a label that they simultaneously relish and loathe mummy blogger. And the connections don't stop there... 

When all three women are nominated for a prestigious blogging award with a hefty cash prize, the scene is set for a brutal and often hilarious battle for hearts, minds, and clicks. As the awards night gets closer, their lies get bigger, their stunts get crazier - and some mistakes from the past become harder and harder to hide. 


What did I think?

Although I'm childless, I am a blogger so I was intrigued by a book about blogging.  I have to say that it does feel a bit weird to be blogging about a book about blogging!  I really must express my thanks to Holly Wainwright for writing this book as finally readers can see how much work goes into blogging, which is ultimately a hobby.  Thankfully, I'm not obsessed with blogging like the three characters in The Mummy Bloggers though!

I love the differences in the characters that Holly Wainwright has created and the surprising links between them.  Elle is 'The Stylish Mumma' and I took an instant dislike to her; this is a woman who sees something, wants it and gets it, whether it's someone else's husband or an advertising contract for her blog.  It annoyed me that it's clearly all smoke and mirrors with Elle but people follow her and try to emulate her, thinking that her life is perfect because that is the illusion she portrays.  Abi is 'The Green Diva' and her strong opinions make her a bit of a target online.  Abi tries to be true to her online image but she doesn't always practise what she preaches.  Liesel is 'The Working Mum' and the only honest one among them, probably because she works full time and doesn't have time to create a fake persona.

When all three blogs are nominated for the Blog-ahhs, the gloves come off and it's blogger against blogger as they fight for the prize.  Some of the tactics used had me in absolute fits of laughter but I also found the falsity rather thought-provoking.  It really highlighted the fact that anyone can be anything online - what is actually hiding behind those glossy pouts or the mouthwatering non-wheat, non-dairy cupcakes?  Remember that life is 3D; don't believe everything you see on a 2D photograph!

I also thought the trolling aspect was very well done.  Abi naturally attracts a lot of trolls with her strong beliefs but it was Liesel that I really felt for.  Liesel is just trying to share her thoughts and feelings with others as some kind of validation that she is a good mother, despite the demands of her job.  There's always someone out there who will take exception to something that is posted online, but to make that conscious decision to incite negativity and shoot someone down in flames always shocks me.  We can't all have the same opinions and healthy debate is fine but it saddens me that it does seem to spiral into hatred quite quickly on social media these days.

It surprised me how much I enjoyed The Mummy Bloggers; it's good lighthearted fun with some thought provoking points.  You often see in reviews that this book is perfect for fans of so and so, but I'm going one step further in saying that this book is perfect for anyone who has a social media account; that should cover pretty much everyone, right? 

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:


Buy it from Amazon



About the author:

Originally from Manchester Holly lives in Sydney, Australia. She is a journalist and editor, originally working in travel and celebrity magazines and now online as Head of Entertainment at Mamamia. Holly hosts a parenting podcast and has two small children. 

Follow her on Twitter @hollycwain and on Instagram @wainwrightholly







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Friday, 28 June 2019

BLOG TOUR: Needlemouse - Jane O'Connor


Time to come out of hibernation...

Sylvia Penton has been hibernating for years, it's no wonder she's a little prickly...

Sylvia lives alone, dedicating herself to her job at the local university. On weekends, she helps out at a local hedgehog sanctuary because it gives her something to talk about on Mondays - and it makes people think she's nicer than she is.

Only Sylvia has a secret: she's been in love with her boss, Professor Lomax, for over a decade now, and she's sure he's just waiting for the right time to leave his wife. Meanwhile she stores every crumb of his affection and covertly makes trouble for anyone she feels gets in his way.

But when a bright new PhD candidate catches the Professor’s eye, Sylvia’s dreams of the fairy tale ending she has craved for so long, are soon in tatters, driving her to increasingly desperate measures and an uncertain future. 

Sylvia might have been sleep walking through her life but things are about to change now she’s woken up…


What did I think?

To say Sylvia Penton, the protagonist of Needlemouse, is prickly would be an absolutely massive understatement.  What amazes me is how Jane O'Connor manages to get the reader to open their hearts to Sylvia when in reality if we came within 10 yards of her precious 'Prof' we would get the cold shoulder and the death stare from her.

I really wanted to give Sylvia a stern talking to; wasting her life mooning over her boss and thinking that they were meant to be together.  It's almost like she is a love struck teenager and I suppose she is quite innocent and inexperienced in matters of the heart.  As her story unfolds, it is quite heartbreaking at times as it appears that life has passed her by and people have taken advantage of her.  At one stage she talks about 'normal people' with 'proper lives' as if there is something wrong with her because she is a single 52 year old woman.  There's nothing wrong with being single but, having met the love of my life in my mid-forties, I know that it's never too late for love.

Jane O'Connor completely hit the nail on the head with Sylvia's character being shocked at children who were now grown up; there's something about being single that seems to make time stand still.  It's almost like you are still a youngster yourself and you can't believe that the 2 year old little girl that you use to babysit is now a grown woman with a family of her own.  It's amazing how many times this has happened to me and I still continue to be gobsmacked when I find out people's ages...how can they be 40 when I'm just a young whippersnapper...oh wait a minute!

Although Sylvia would rather stay indoors with a good book (I mean, who wouldn't?) she volunteers at a hedgehog sanctuary.  She initially volunteered to make people think she is nicer than she is but she is thought of as part of the family by Jonas and his daughters.  I think amongst her prickly friends at the sanctuary, Sylvia can be who she really is and we soon see her soft underside.  Many years ago, we had a hedgehog nest in the garden and I've been a fan of these strange creatures of the night ever since, so I really liked the seasonal updates from Jonas' book 'The Hedgehog Year', reminding us to be careful when raking piles of leaves or digging under sheds.  Needlemouse is actually the Japanese term for a hedgehog and I loved how the use of this word came about in the book.

Needlemouse is an absolutely stunning and completely flawless debut; it's both a heartbreaking and heartwarming story of life, love, family and friendship and a reminder that it's never too late to start living.  I am in no doubt at all that this book is going to be a HUGE success.  Fans of Eleanor Oliphant definitely need Sylvia Penton in their lives!

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:


Click below to buy it from Amazon:
Needlemouse: The uplifting bestseller featuring the most unlikely heroine of 2019



About the author:

Jane O'Connor is a former primary school teacher turned academic and writer. She was born and brought up in Surrey and lived in London until she moved to the West Midlands in her mid-thirties. Jane's PhD was about child stars and she is now a Reader at Birmingham City University where she researches children's experiences of celebrity, media and everyday life. Jane lives in Sutton Coldfield with her husband and two young sons in a house full of pirates, dinosaurs, superheroes and lots of books. She really likes all animals, especially hedgehogs. Needlemouse is her debut novel.









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Wednesday, 26 June 2019

BLOG TOUR: His Guilty Secret - Hélene Fermont


Secrets & Lies Are Dangerous 

When Jacques's body is discovered in a hotel room his wife, Patricia, suspects he has been hiding something from her. 

Why was he found naked and who is the woman that visited his grave on the day of the funeral? Significantly, who is the unnamed beneficiary Jacques left a large sum of money to in his will and what is the reason her best friend, also Jacques's sister, Coco, refuses to tell her what he confided to her? 

Struggling to find out the truth, Patricia visits Malmö where her twin sister Jasmine lives and is married to her ex boyfriend. But the sisters relationship is toxic and when a family member dies shortly after, an old secret is revealed that shines a light on an event that took place on their tenth birthday. 

As one revelation after another is revealed, Patricia is yet to discover her husband's biggest secret and what ultimately cost him his life. 

His Guilty Secret is an unafraid examination of the tangled bonds between siblings, the lengths we go to in protecting our wrongdoings, and the enduring psychological effects this has on the innocent...and the not so innocent. 


What did I think?

I discovered Hélene Fermont when I read and enjoyed her debut: Because of You, so I didn't hesitate to pick up His Guilty Secret.  Somehow I have missed her second novel, We Never Said Goodbye, but I aim to rectify that in due course.

Jacques has it all: a loving, trusting wife, a good job as a pilot, a sister who can keep his secrets and a mistress who doesn't want to break up his marriage.  No wonder this double life causes him so much stress that he has a heart attack whilst in a hotel with his mistress, Isabelle.  His wife, Patricia, knows that Jacques likes to 'unwind after his flight' by staying overnight in a hotel but Patricia has no idea that he's not alone.  Oooh I could have shaken her - what normal man doesn't want to rush home to his family?  A man who's a cheating, liar that's who!

So in the aftermath of Jacques death, it becomes clear to Patricia that Jacques wasn't as faithful as she thought.  He loved her, of that there is no doubt, but he also loved Isabelle and, although he claimed to love both women and couldn't leave either one of them, he annoyed me as he was selfishly having his cake and eating it.  Patricia starts to dig into Jacques' secret life and I felt so sorry for her when she realised that her sister-in-law and close friend, Coco, knew all along about Jacques' relationship with Isabelle.  This is where Patricia really showed what she is made of, as she could have easily folded under the weight of grief and deception.  She picks herself up and gets on with her life, determined to unearth every last secret that Jacques had buried.  His deception hurt her so much that nothing else can hurt her now.

There's something so crisp, clean and refreshing about Hélene Fermont's writing that it is very aptly referred to as having a scandi-feel.  We hear a lot about the Danish concepts of 'hygge' and 'lykke' and I feel that His Guilty Secret completely embraces the ethos of the Scandinavians.  There is no woman scorned, crying for days and feeling sorry for herself in this book, it's more a 'keep calm and carry on' and make the most of what you have left.  So very thought-provoking and eloquent, I think Hélene Fermont could almost have a genre all to herself.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:





Buy it from Amazon




About the author:

Hélene Fermont writes character-driven psychological crime fiction with a Scandi Noir flavour. Known for her explosive, pacy narrative and storylines, she has published three novels – Because of You, We Never Said Goodbye and His Guilty Secret – and two short story collections – The Love of Her Life and Who’s Sorry Now? Her fourth novel is due for release in the summer of 2019. After 20 years in London, Hélene recently returned to her native Sweden where she finds the unspoiled scenery and tranquillity a therapeutic boost for creativity. Enjoying a successful career as a Psychologist, when she’s not working her ‘day job’, Hélene spends her time writing, with friends and family, or playing with her beloved cat, Teddy. All three novels can be purchased via her website helenefermont.com/books/

Social media links:
Pinterest




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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

BLOG TOUR: The Final Reckoning (The Shadow of the Raven Book 3) - Chris Bishop


Despite Alfred's great victory at Edington, Wessex is far from secure.

With the threat of an imminent Viking attack, Matthew, now a warrior, is sent to fortify and defend the ford at Leatherhead. There, hopelessly outnumbered, he faces his sternest test as he and a small band of barely trained Saxon warriors strive to hold out long enough for help to arrive or resolve to die trying.

In a time ravaged by political uncertainty, Matthew is placed in intense personal danger as he is also ordered to investigate the tyranny of the Ealdorman's stepson and dispense justice as he sees fit.

With his life still threatened by the wound to his chest, what is asked of him seems more than any man should endure as he faces . . . The Final Reckoning  


What did I think?

I have loved the previous two books of the Shadow of the Raven series so I was really looking forward to this final chapter, albeit that would mean closing the book on Matthew's life.  What an eventful life he has had thanks to Chris Bishop's descriptive writing painting this Anglo Saxon history in such vivid colour.

It's troubled times in Wessex with Vikings camped on the banks of the Thames in Mercia, it's only a matter of time before they head south into Wessex.  King Alfred (the Great) of Wessex tasks Matthew, a former novice monk who was once known as Edward, to defend the ford at Leatherhead.  Accompanied only by his trusty companion, Aelred, he must turn the villagers into warriors if they are to survive the inevitable Viking attack.

You could of course read The Final Reckoning as a standalone book but to fully appreciate Matthew's story, it's best to read the series in order.  If you have read the earlier books, you will definitely remember the unforgettable opening passage of the first book, Blood and Destiny, so it was with a heavy heart (and one or two goosebumps) that I read the final chapter that brought us full circle to the start of the first book.

What an outstanding historical trilogy!  Chris Bishop has written such a riveting edge of your seat account of such a turbulent time in England's history.  I absolutely love the character of Edward/Matthew; he has such an eye for the ladies that he was never going to be able to live his life as a monk!  I am definitely going to read these books again to bring Matthew to live once more.  As the warrior with the pierced heart, he is reputedly immortal and he has indeed been given immortality in literature.

As an historical fiction lover, I think it is unusual to find such a colourful account of the Anglo-Saxon period.  In my opinion, Chris Bishop rivals Bernard Cornwell as my favoured author of the period; if you like Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories, you will LOVE Chris Bishop's The Shadow of the Raven series.  Don't just read The Final Reckoning, read all three books in this very highly recommended series.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:


Buy it from Amazon




About the author:


Chris Bishop is a retired chartered surveyor who has pursued his love of writing for as long as he can remember. He is an intrepid traveller and a retired Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He is married with two children and four granddaughters and lives in London.



Twitter: @CBishop_author





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Sunday, 23 June 2019

BLOG TOUR: A Cornish Summer - Catherine Alliott


Flora's been in love with her husband for twenty years. The trouble is, he's been married to someone else for the past fifteen . . .
Now she's been invited to spend the summer in the shady lanes and sandy coves of Cornwall. It should be blissful.
There's just one small snag: she'll be staying with her former mother-in-law, Belinda.
And Flora discovers she's not the only one invited when her ex-husband shows up out of the blue, complete with his new wife. So now there are two small snags.
Can Flora spend the summer playing happy families with the woman who stole her husband's heart, and the mother-in-law who might have had a hand in it?
Or will stumbling on the family secret change her mind about them all?

What did I think?

Catherine Alliott is an author who has been on my radar for a while and I have a number of her books in my collection but, rather shockingly, A Cornish Summer is the first one that I have read.  Such is the curse of so many books so little time.

A Cornish Summer is different from books that I would usually read in that it is more of a family saga.  Flora heads to Cornwall to paint a portrait of her ex-father-in-law, taking along her friend, Celia, for moral support.  It's just as well she took Celia with her as she didn't expect her ex-husband and his wife to be there also.  I really felt for Flora having to cope with seeing her ex-husband when she makes no secret about the fact that she is still in love with him.  That's not all she has to cope with though...enter the overbearing ex-mother-in-law FROM HELL.  Belinda is a total bitch and even her own grandson agrees with me!

What starts out as a lighthearted slow-burning tale, actually turns slightly darker and more sinister with a very strong and well told environmental message.  It's very current in this day and age as we are being made aware of the devastating effects of pollution, plastic or otherwise.  With private companies striving to make a profit to keep their shareholders happy, it's very possible that they would cut corners at the expense of the environment.  I found this so scarily realistic and, as heartbreaking as it was to read, it never hurts to remind people to help save our environment.

With all family sagas there are plenty of skeletons in the closet, some more firmly in the closet than others.  I loved the fact that Flora's ex-father-law, Roger, has a not so secret mistress who is fun-loving, young at heart and the complete opposite of his wife.  Bubbly Babs is clearly the love of Roger's life but he is forced through social convention to keep up appearances with Belinda the Bitch.  Roger isn't the only one with secrets though...

Escape to Cornwall with A Cornish Summer; it's the perfect book to read as you lounge in the sun with a pitcher of Pimm's.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:


Buy it from Amazon



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Friday, 21 June 2019

BLOG TOUR: What Nobody Knew - Amelia Hendry


My story begins aged 3, when my mother abandoned me and left me with my brutal father to raise me. Nobody knew the secrets that went on inside that house, or the journey that I travelled on after leaving it, until now. This is the story of my survival.

What do you do when no one wants you?

How many people need to destroy a child until that child wants to destroy herself?

What if social services always got told a different story?

What would you do if you were in my position?

Survival is key.


What did I think?

What Nobody Knew is a very difficult book to read, purely because it is the author's shocking true story.  There's no escaping the fact that it is a true story with the inclusion of real reports and letters documenting Amelia's life, which at times left me open mouthed in shock that nothing was ever done to help her.  

It's a very harrowing account of parental abuse and the absolute failure of social services.  Thankfully, Amelia doesn't go into too many details of her abuse, which would have been far too difficult to read so I can't imagine how difficult it would have been to write.  I often had to pause at the end of the chapter to contain my fury at her father, step-mother and social services.  I'm sure social services do some good work but when they get it wrong, they get it SO wrong.  Their mistakes actually ruin people's lives and that's not something I would want on my conscience so it's definitely not a job I could do.  I just think there is often too much red tape and bureaucracy that they forget there is a vulnerable person at the centre of it all who needs their help.

Amelia Hendry's heartbreaking yet inspirational story, What Nobody Knew, is one that will stay with me for a long time.  I can't even imagine the trauma she went through and it takes such great strength to be able to relive her story and show the world that in spite of it all, she survived.  It's survivors like Amelia who deserve to be awarded the O.B.E. for finding the strength to speak out and to help others.  

Amelia has finally found a voice that people listen to and take notice, so if her story helps even one person to spot the signs of abuse or gives someone the courage to speak out against their abuser then it's a job well done.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:


Buy it from:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Apple
Waterstones
Book Depository
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
WHSmith




About the author:

Amelia is a mum and a survivor. She wrote her book What Nobody Knew to help other people who have been through similar experiences and to educate people who are unaware of what goes on behind closed doors. She has no previous writing experience, she’s just one person who wants to change the world for the better. She also loves cats and reading In her spare time.

Twitter: @AmeliaHendrey









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Thursday, 20 June 2019

BLOG TOUR: The Desire Card - Lee Matthew Goldberg


It's time for some serious crime as I hop aboard the damppebbles blog tour for The Desire Card by Lee Matthew Goldberg.  I am releasing my review for the tour so read on to see what I thought.


Any wish fulfilled for the right price.  That's the promise the organization behind The Desire Card gives to its elite clients - but sometimes the price may be more menacing than anyone could ever imagine.

Harrison Stockton has lived an adult life of privilege and excess: a high-powered job on Wall Street fuels his fondness for alcohol and pills at the expense of a family he has no time for.  Quite suddenly all of this comes crashing to a halt when he loses his job and at the same time discovered he almost certainly has only months left to live.

Desperate, and with seemingly nowhere else left to turn, Harrison activates his Desire Card.  What follows is a gritty and gripping quest that takes him from New York City to the slums of Mumbai and forces him to take chances, and make decisions, he never thought he'd ever have to face.  When his moral descent threatens his wife and children, Harrison must decide whether to save himself at any cost, or do what's right and break his bargain with the mysterious group behind The Desire Card.


The Desire Card is a taut fast-paced thriller, from internationally acclaimed author Lee Matthew Goldberg, that explores what a man will do to survive when money isn't always enough to get everything he desires.


What did I think?

Harrison Stockton is such an odious character that I didn't think I was going to enjoy The Desire Card at first, but I am pleased to say that I couldn't have been more wrong!  I absolutely loved it!  It's the first book in a five book series and I can't wait to see where the story goes next.

Harrison is what you would definitely call a workaholic; he is married to his job and it's almost like his wife is the other woman.  When Harrison finds out the cause of his sickly pallor that caused him to lose his job, it was like a real wake-up call to me.   As the author reminds us: nobody ever lay on their deathbed and wished that they had worked more.  I have been guilty of putting work before my health in the past so I could completely understand Harrison putting off his health check in favour of work.  What is unforgivable though, is putting work before his children's school events.  There is no do-over; you can never get that time back and every time he missed a soccer game or a ballet recital he lost a little bit of his own children. What would he give for a second chance? Read The Desire Card to find out! 

I found The Desire Card so very thought-provoking, not only the work/life balance but the thought that money could buy you anything you desired.  How much would I pay to save my own life or the life of my loved ones?  How can you even put a value on that?  The company who run The Desire Card manage to attach a price to absolutely anything your heart desires.  It's not so much a case of rubbing the lamp and a genie pops out, as this magic really does come with a price..more often than not, in a six figure sum!  Yikes!

The Desire Card is a dark, gritty and disturbing It's A Wonderful Life for the 21st Century.  As greed for money, power and possessions fuel the world, money really can buy you anything.  It's such an outstanding fast-paced, dark and compelling modern-day thriller that I think it would translate effortlessly to the screen.  I'm already looking forward to the next book!

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from:
Fahrenheit Press
Amazon UK
Amazon US



About the author:

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels SLOW DOWN, THE MENTOR, and THE DESIRE CARD. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar.

The second book in the Desire Card series, PREY NO MORE, is forthcoming from Fahrenheit Press in 2019. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests.

After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, Cagibi, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series (guerrillalit.wordpress.com). He lives in New York City.


Follow him:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeeMatthewG
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leemgol
Website: http://www.leematthewgoldberg.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leematthewgoldberg/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lee-Matthew-Goldberg/e/B00RPF06TS/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1



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Monday, 17 June 2019

BLOG TOUR: Keep Her Close - Erik Therme


Then:
Three-year-old Ally was found alone in a parking lot.
She was barefoot and dressed only in a yellow sundress. In the middle of winter.
What kind of person would abandon their daughter?

Now:
Fifteen years later and Ally has a new family.
But her real father has sent her a letter.
And now Ally is missing.

A gripping twist-filled thriller that will have you looking over your shoulder. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and Teresa Driscoll.


What did I think?

Erik Therme is fast becoming one of those authors where I choose to read his book simply because he has written it; I don't need to read the blurb as I know it'll be a good one and boy was this the case with Keep Her Close.  I picked it up and could not put it down; it's so easy to read it in one sitting as it's quite short at 247 pages but there is so much going on that I just had to keep reading until the end.

Dan and Holly find a little girl abandoned in a parking lot; not so much a baby in a basket but a 3 year-old standing on a sign that says 'free to a good home'.  Holly takes to the child immediately and after several months of red tape, Holly and Dan are allowed to adopt her and call her Ally.  Her origins have never been hidden from Ally and naturally she is curious about her birth parents.  When she receives a letter out of the blue claiming to be from her birth father, Dan and Holly worry that it may be a hoax and, unbeknown to them, Ally decides to meet 'Frank'.  That's the last time that Ally is seen.

I found the whole story very tense and Dan's volatility reminded me of Liam Neeson's character in Taken; willing to do absolutely anything to get his daughter back with absolutely no regard for the consequences of his actions.  Ally's naivety was quite believable as you can just imagine someone of college age thinking that they are an adult and know better than their parents.  You think you're invincible in your late teens, before the scales drop from your eyes and you see the horror of the real world.

I don't really want to go into the plot and spoil it for others but I found it very interesting how it developed from one person's almost throw away comment.  It was almost like lighting a touchpaper and seeing the flame spreading, so much so that Dan had difficulty identifying the point of origin.  It reminded me of the phrase that led to the murder of Thomas à Becket with Henry II uttering 'Will no one will rid me of this turbulent priest?' and it being taken as an instruction to kill.  You just never know who might be listening!

Clear your schedule if you're reading Keep Her Close; it's a read-in-a-day kind of book as it's so difficult to put down once you start it.  I love Erik Therme's writing; his visualisation conjures some amazing images in my mind and I do feel as if the book is playing out as a movie in my head.  Not every book translates well to screen, but I think Keep Her Close would be perfect as a film - I'd definitely be in the queue to see it.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:


Buy it from:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Apple
Kobo UK
Kobo US
Google Play



About the author:

Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering on his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his oldest. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa—one of only twenty-eight places in the world that UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature. Join Erik’s mailing list to be notified of new releases and author giveaways: http://eepurl.com/cD1F8L  

Social Media Links:
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads





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Sunday, 16 June 2019

BLOG TOUR: The Last Widow (Will Trent 9) - Karin Slaughter


It begins with an abduction. The routine of a family shopping trip is shattered when Michelle Spivey is snatched as she leaves the mall with her young daughter. The police search for her, her partner pleads for her release, but in the end…they find nothing. It’s as if she disappeared into thin air.

A month later, on a sleepy Sunday afternoon, medical examiner Sara Linton is at lunch with her boyfriend Will Trent, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. But the serenity of the summer’s day is broken by the wail of sirens.

Sara and Will are trained to help in an emergency. Their jobs – their vocations – mean that they run towards a crisis, not away from it. But on this one terrible day that instinct betrays them both. Within hours the situation has spiralled out of control; Sara is taken prisoner; Will is forced undercover. And the fallout will lead them into the Appalachian mountains, to the terrible truth about what really happened to Michelle, and to a remote compound where a radical group has murder in mind…


What did I think?

I actually can't believe that this is my first ever Karin Slaughter book; her novels have been recommended to me many times so when an opportunity to join the blog tour for The Last Widow came up, I jumped at the chance.  

I didn't realise it was the ninth book in the Will Trent series and, with the characters of Will Trent and Sara Linton being already well established, I didn't really get any depth of feeling for them.  I think I definitely would have benefited from reading the earlier books in the series first, so I wouldn't recommend this as a standalone novel.  I'm intrigued enough about them to want to read the earlier books though; I love how Will isn't a people person, except when it's the right person of course and I can totally relate to that.

The story is quite gripping right from the start as a woman is abducted in front of her young daughter.  Michelle Spivey has disappeared without trace and the police have no leads.  When an explosion shatters the peace of a Sunday afternoon, Sara and Will head towards the scene of the incident without thinking twice.  What they discover puts them in terrible danger and Sara ends up right in the middle of something she can't escape from.  Only one man can save her but can Will hide his very strong feelings for Sara and go undercover to rescue her?

To be honest, I struggled with the book at first.  The first four chapters are told alternately from Sara and Will's viewpoint which results in whole paragraphs of speech being repeated.  I almost missed out a whole chapter, thinking I'd already read it and had put my bookmark in the wrong place.  Thankfully, Will and Sara get separated quite early on so there isn't too much repetition to contend with.  One thing that really affected my reading pace was the frequent use of very short sentences.  It's just my personal preference but I prefer a comma, semi-colon or an 'and' to keep the prose flowing rather than several very short sentences.

The talent of Karin Slaughter is very evident in The Last Widow; despite my jumping in mid-series and not knowing the characters, the story kept me intrigued and entertained.  It was quite scary at times, not just the scarily realistic storyline, but the character of the baddie in the story, Dash, being like a pot constantly on the boil that could boil over and scald you at any time.  

The Last Widow is a gripping and intriguing story and it's all too scarily realistic in this day and age where bigotry seems to be rearing its ugly head more often.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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