Monday 31 December 2018

The Party - Lisa Hall

It was just a party. But it turned into a nightmare.

When Rachel wakes up in a strange room, the morning after a neighbour’s party, she has no memory of what happened the night before. Why did her husband leave her alone at the party? Did they row? Why are Rachel’s arms so bruised? And why are her neighbours and friends so vague about what really happened?

Little by little, Rachel pieces together the devastating events that took place in a friend’s house, at a party where she should have been safe. Everyone remembers what happened that night differently, and everyone has something to hide. But someone knows the truth about what happened to Rachel. And she’s determined to find them.

What did I think?

In my experience, I have found you can always guarantee shocks and surprises galore in a Lisa Hall book and The Party is no different.  The opening chapter guarantees that you will race through this book with your heart in your mouth as Rachel tries to piece together the events from the night before.

Rachel and her husband are invited to a New Year's Eve party at a neighbours house but Rachel wakes up on New Year's Day in a strange bed without her husband and a very bad feeling that something terrible has happened, only she has very little memory of the party.  As the days pass, Rachel asks questions of everyone who was there but none of her friends and neighbours have anything to say that will help her and some of them don't even believe her, but Rachel won't stop until she finds out the truth of what happened to her at the party.

I loved the character of Rachel; she is so determined and despite all of the knock-backs she won't give up on her quest for the truth.  I think I suspected virtually every single character at one time or another as Lisa Hall has cleverly laid out so many red herrings in the reader's path.  

The Party is a Like a game of Cluedo; all of the suspects are laid out in front of you with clues scattered around for you to gather but yet again, I was foiled by Lisa Hall (I bet she is unbeatable at Cluedo).

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

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

Sunday 30 December 2018

Cross Her Heart - Sarah Pinborough

Lisa is living a lie and everyone is about to find out.
Lisa lives for her daughter Ava, her job and her best friend Marilyn.
But when a handsome client shows an interest in her, Lisa starts daydreaming about sharing her life with him, too. Maybe she's ready now. Maybe she can trust again. Maybe it's time to let her terrifying secret past go.
But when her daughter rescues a boy from drowning and their pictures are all over the news for everyone to see, Lisa's world explodes.
As she finds everything she has built threatened, and not knowing who she can trust, it's up to Lisa to face her past in order to save what she holds dear.
But someone has been pulling all their strings. And that someone is determined that both Lisa and Ava must suffer.
Because long ago Lisa broke a promise. And some promises aren't meant to be broken.

What did I think?

I do love Sarah Pinborough books; she is such a talented author and, because absolutely anything can happen in her books, I find that I just go with the flow and enjoy the story rather than try to work out the unimaginable twist.  It quickly became apparent that Cross Her Heart is so full of secrets and I was virtually rubbing my hands together in glee as I immersed myself in the story to see how it would all play out.

Lisa doesn't have an easy life; she has few friends and is a single parent to her stroppy teenage daughter, Ava.  I initially found Lisa to be very weak and forgettable and thought that this is most unlike Sarah Pinborough, but I should have known better as there is a very good reason for this...Lisa is not who she seems.  Lisa has kept her head well below the parapet in order to protect her new identity and to forget a past that she has managed to keep hidden from Ava....until now!

I thought the first part of the book was fast paced but once Lisa's past is revealed the pace is ramped up to supersonic!  I simply couldn't read fast enough as I eagerly devoured every scintillating word written on the scorched pages.  Lisa's past is revealed teasingly bit by bit and my heart went out to her as the full picture is painted.  

Supersonically fast-paced, Cross Her Heart is an addictive and riveting read that had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.  Another absolute cracker from the brilliant Sarah Pinborough!

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

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

Saturday 29 December 2018

Land of Plenty - Charlie Pye-Smith

Golden fields, ripening apples, lowing cattle: our idea of the landscape has been shaped by agriculture, as has the land itself. But in a fast-changing world, how does the great British countryside continue to provide the food we eat?

Most people living in Britain today must go back several generations before they find an ancestor who worked on the land. How much do we really know about those who are supplying us with the most essential things in life: our daily bread and butter, meat and fish, fruit and vegetables?

In Land of Plenty Charlie Pye-Smith travels the length and breadth of these isles to explore the little-understood world of British agriculture. From ultramodern indoor dairy units producing millions of litres of milk a year to small, old-fashioned farms making cheese with twenty or thirty cows, and from landowners whose families have farmed the same fields for centuries to tenants who have just joined the industry, Pye-Smith investigates the timeless connection between land and people in the twenty-first century.

Revealing the dairy industry in Somerset and Gloucestershire; beef in the Scottish Borders; sheep in North Yorkshire; pigs and poultry in East Anglia and Hampshire; vegetables in Norfolk; and fruit in Essex and the West Country, Land of Plenty is a colourful and rewarding travelogue that gets to the very heart of modern British life.

What did I think?

I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did; it is so informative and interesting with clearly defined chapters focused on particular aspects of farming.  When I picked up Land of Plenty, I didn't know a lot about farming but I certainly know a bit more now!

I was reading Land of Plenty when I went on a trip to the Ouseburn Valley and the guide made a comment about animals from the far east being brought to graze on the banks of the Ouseburn before being sent to slaughter, like it was a little health farm for them.  Thanks to Charlie Pye-Smith I knew why the farmers did this...I'm not going to tell you as it will spoil the amazement you will experience when reading it for yourself.

As a long time vegetarian, I did shudder at the passages on slaughter for the Halal and Kosher markets but found that farmers also found this barbaric and shocking.  Farmers may slaughter animals too but they care about their stock and aim to be as humane as possible.  I actually enjoyed reading about the cows and there's even a photo of four cows awaiting slaughter, which made me smile with its similarity to any four girlfriends gathering together for a group photo.

Land of Plenty is very current with references to Brexit and what it means for UK farmers; perhaps not the doom and gloom that we are told in the news but rather that farmers must become better at what they do with improved quality being passed to the consumers along with closer links to the public as farmers open up their arms to embrace exciting entrepreneurial activities.

A book about UK farming is not complete without mentioning the foot and mouth horror of 2001, which I remember quite clearly.  It was so refreshing to see how some farmers coped with this by looking for alternative means of survival of their farm rather than closing up shop after the death of their herd.

Although I'm a beer drinker, I also really enjoyed the chapter about cider.  From beef to cider, you can see that this book really encompasses every single aspect of farming that you can imagine.  Each chapter is filled with interesting facts and personal stories that add to the human interest and give a wonderful insight into the life of a UK farm.

Concise and informative, Land of Plenty is a surprisingly riveting read and one of the best non-fiction books I have read for a long time.

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

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

Friday 28 December 2018

Home - Amanda Berriman

Meet Jesika, aged four and a half. The most extraordinary narrator of 2018.
She lives in a flat with her mother and baby brother and she knows a lot. She knows their flat is high up and the stairs are smelly. She knows she shouldn't draw on the peeling wallpaper or touch the broken window. And she knows she loves her mummy and baby brother Toby.
She does not know that their landlord is threatening to evict them and that Toby’s cough is going to get much worse. Or that Paige, her new best friend, has a secret that will explode their world.

What did I think?

As the narrator of Home is a young child, it took me a little while to get used to Amanda Berriman's writing style.  As well as words being spelled as you say them, Jesika's feelings are described with such heartbreaking simplicity that she instantly found a place in my heart.

Amanda Berriman has done a remarkable thing; to be able to view the world through the eyes of a young child and to share that view with the reader so that we feel as if we are actually looking through Jesika's eyes.  My heart clenched with both joy and sorrow as I felt every single emotion with Jesika.  I cared for the characters so much that I worried for Jesika's mum, Tina, and feared for the health of Jesika's baby brother, Toby.

When Jesika goes to nursery and makes friends with Paige, I dreaded reading what I feared was coming next.  Paige is a troubled little girl, often silent and moody, who has been told to keep a secret but she eventually lets Jesika into her world.  I held my breath as the scenes played out to expose the secret that Paige, or any child, should never have to keep.

Home is an emotion filled book with some dark scenes that are written with care and subtlety.  Seeing an adult world through a child's eyes is quite an eye-opener and although I envied the simplicity of trust and honesty in Jesika's world, seeing how this trust can be exploited was completely heartbreaking.

Home is an absolutely heartbreaking, emotional debut that will invite Jesika into the heart of every single reader.

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

My rating:

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Monday 17 December 2018

Nici's Christmas Tale: A Troubadours short story (The Troubadours Quartet Book 5) - Jean Gill

A stand-alone short story in the multi-award-winning Troubadours Quartet series

1157: Aquitaine. The wolves are coming! At midnight on Christmas Eve, while the blizzard blasts snow through every crack in the castle walls, Nici the Shepherd's Dog stands guard in the sheepfold.

Beside him as usual are his pack and the flock they protect but this night is not usual at all. A small boy braves the snowy night, seeking the protection of his great friend while he is banned from his parents' quarters in the castle.

Nici recalls other times and other dangers, his trials and failures, the reasons why he ran away with a young girl, now the little boy's mother. He would still give his life in a heartbeat for Lady Estela. And yet, on this snowy night, he cannot help her. So, while he waits and comforts Estela's son, he tells his own puppies the story of a dog's life.

What did I think?

What better book to get me in the mood for Christmas than a festive short story from Jean Gill's fantastic Troubadours series.  Jean Gill has such an amazing talent for transporting the reader back in time to the the 12th century and what better hero for this story than Nici, a beautiful white dog, who has been at Estela's side throughout the series.  I have read all of the previous books but this reads so well as a stand-alone that you can most definitely jump into the series at this stage. 

The opening paragraphs gave me goosebumps with their resemblance to the biblical story of Christmas and I could feel the magic in the air as our loyal and brave canine friend, Nici, was finally given a voice.  Through Nici's strong and powerful voice we learn how he came to be by Estela's side, with Estela's own story having a fairytale edge that reminded me of Snow White.  Both of these resemblances gave the story such a magical feel that I forgot that I was listening to a dog's story, although being a Troubadours fan I know that Nici is not just any old dog.

I'm not usually a fan of short stories but Jean Gill has won me over with this perfect length story that gives us a glimpse into the history of Estela and Nici in what I think of as a prequel to Song at Dawn.  This is a book for historical fiction fans and animal lovers alike but I do urge you to pick up the previous books in the series for the full 12th century experience.

From its beautiful festive cover to the magical story inside, Nici's Christmas Tale charms and delights, making it the perfect read for the festive season.

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

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

Monday 10 December 2018

The Uninvited - J.A. Baker

A fragile woman. An unwelcome intruder. A house full of secrets

Faye and her husband Hugh have had a traumatic year. Wanting to start again, the couple decides to buy a large rundown property, Cross House in a village in North Yorkshire, hoping to leave the past behind them.

However, the tranquillity is soon ruined when Faye begins to awake, every night, to the sound of somebody creeping around the bedroom. She tries to explain it to Hugh, frightened for the safety of their children Aiden and Poppy, but Hugh dismisses her claims, thinking she is heading for another breakdown.

But when Faye discovers some diaries that contain secrets about the family that lived in the house before them, she starts to wonder if the intruder might be closer to home than she first thought.

Obsessed with finding answers, Faye is determined to learn about the Wentworth family, a fractured family with a tragic past.

And when she discovers that Hilary Wentworth fell to her death down the stairs in Cross House, Faye realises she is in mortal danger…

What did I think?

I consider myself a fan of J.A. Baker so I was really excited to read her new book, The Uninvited, and I was certainly not disappointed.  In fact, I think The Uninvited is on par with her amazing debut, Undercurrent.

Faye and her husband, Hugh, are looking for a fresh start and get quite a bargain when they purchase an old house...although they also get more than they bargained for.  Faye is woken in the night with the feeling that somebody is in the house but Hugh thinks that the stress she has been under is making her imagine things.  When Faye's daughter Poppy also starts talking about a night visitor, Faye's nerves reach absolute breaking point and she is determined to find out who is tormenting her family.  To find out what is happening at Cross House, Faye must look to the past and discover the secrets of the Wentworth family who lived there before her.

I loved the story of the Wentworths and Faye's investigation into the family's past.  I was completely riveted as she unearthed every skeleton in their closet but also worried that the night visitor might do anything to keep some secrets firmly buried.  The tension was ramped up as every page was turned and I even held my breath at times in anticipation of the inevitable collision of past and present.

From the thrilling prologue to the heart-stopping conclusion and all the creepiness in between, The Uninvited had me on the edge of my seat with all the hairs on the back of my neck standing to attention.  What a spooky, creepy book this is!  I didn't expect to be so creeped out but it really made me feel as if I should be sleeping with the light on after reading it and listening out for bumps in the night.  The Uninvited is another excellent book from J.A. Baker and one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

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

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

Monday 3 December 2018

Funicular - T.F. Lince

After his life is threatened, DI Bob Dixon leaves London hoping for the quiet life in the northern village of Saltburn-by-the-Sea.  But when he takes on the case of young Lizzy Scraggs, missing since a huge tide hit Saltburn six years earlier, he embarks on an investigation that will push him to the very edge of reason.

Out on the beat, Bob learns the legend of the funicular car that left the top of Saltburn's famous cliff lift many years ago carrying two passengers, and arrived at the bottom empty save for an abandoned ticket.  And every big tide since has seen another local child disappear.

Feeling increasingly manipulated by a shadowy nemesis, Bob struggles to make sense of the seemingly impossible clues before him.  How can the dead live again?  Who is the tortured man haunting the churchyard in nearby Marske?  And with the next massive tide just hours away, can Bob solve the puzzle and bring an end to the tragedy of Saltburn's missing children?

What did I think?

Funicular has to be one of my most eagerly awaited books of 2018 after reading T.F. Lince's outstanding 2017 debut, Room 119.  I am completely honoured to be one of the first readers of Funicular, and I couldn't wait to see if it lived up to it's predecessor.

I loved the introduction to the North East that DI Bob Dixon encounters on the London to Edinburgh train.  Bob is relocating from London to the quaintly named North Eastern town of Saltburn-by-the-Sea in an effort to wind down towards retirement.  He meets a rowdy, but friendly, bunch of Middlesbrough supporters on the train and Fate waves her magic wand to start Bob off on the path she has in store for him.  A path that sees Bob investigating the missing children of Saltburn, which appears to be linked to record breaking high tides and the mystery of the Victorian cliff lift, the funicular.

There is an amazing sense of place in Funicular, with the funicular and the beach described exquisitely.  Through the perfectly descriptive writing of T.F. Lince, I actually felt as if I was there and I'm definitely putting Saltburn on my list of places to visit, especially as it's only around 50 miles from where I live.  I also felt that our North East spirit had been woven into the pages; everyone is shown to be so warm and friendly, and calling people by hilarious nicknames actually shows affection and respect here in the North East.

As with Room 119, I was reminded of Back to the Future a little and not just by the lightning pace of the book.  You can forget Doc Brown's 88mph when T.F. Lince is around; this pacing is supersonic!  Like a fine wine, T.F. Lince's writing has matured and I found the whole reading experience to be of the highest standard, which is remarkable for such a new author.  I think you can tell from the cover that Funicular is definitely not a run-of-the-mill police procedural but you do need to expect the unexpected in a T.F. Lince book; so put on your sunglasses and prepare to be dazzled by Funicular.  

Unusual and completely unique, Funicular is a thoroughly entertaining read filled with mystery, magic and inimitable North East spirit.  Yet again, T.F. Lince has firmly guaranteed his well-deserved place in my top books of the year.

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

My rating:

Make sure you come back for the Amazon link when the book is released mid-December!

Sunday 2 December 2018

BLOG TOUR: Cuckoo - Sophie Draper

There’s a stranger in your house…

When her stepmother dies unexpectedly, Caro returns to her childhood home in Derbyshire. She hadn’t seen Elizabeth in years, but the remote farmhouse offers refuge from a bad relationship, and a chance to start again.

But going through Elizabeth’s belongings unearths memories Caro would rather stay buried. In particular, the story her stepmother would tell her, about two little girls and the terrible thing they do.

As heavy snow traps Caro in the village, where her neighbours stare and whisper, Caro is forced to question why Elizabeth hated her so much, and what she was hiding. But does she really want to uncover the truth?

A haunting and twisty story about the lies we tell those closest to us, perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Cass Green.

What did I think?

You can’t help but be intrigued by the creepy prologue of somebody lying in a hospital bed seemingly all but dead, but alive with thoughts and feelings.  As we launch into a stepmother’s funeral in chapter one, we know we’re not about to encounter an ordinary family but just how twisted can they be?  The answer is VERY!

When their stepmother dies, Steph and Caro inherit the estate their father left in trust for them.  Steph strangely decides that she doesn’t want anything and agrees to give Caro her share, including the house they grew up in.  A struggling artist, Caro moves into the house where she is reminded of her youth…and finds the pear drum that her stepmother scared her with all those years ago.  Even more bizarre is the commission that Caro receives to illustrate a childrens’ book called The Pear Drum and Other Dark Tales from the Nursery.  There’s no such thing as coincidence surely?  As Caro starts drawing, her memories start to come back…gradually revealing a dark secret that has been buried for many years.

The stepmother storyline gives quite a fairytale feeling to the story and Caro’s upbringing was reminiscent of Cinderella tormented by not only her stepmother but her older sister, Steph.  Caro is such a flawed and damaged main character and, as we read snippets of her past, I couldn’t help but feel that she was heading towards another storm as I remembered the hospital bed from the prologue.

With shocks and surprises around every corner, Cuckoo is a riveting and thrilling psychological thriller that has the feel of a spooky adult fairytale.

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

My rating:

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Saturday 1 December 2018

Practising for Christmas - Rachael Richey

A remote coastal cottage; a group of old friends; the Christmas holidays. It's just the break Olivia needs to help her relax and forget her worries. What could be more perfect? But that was before she found a handsome unconscious stranger on the beach. Add in a case of mistaken identity, a lot of kissing practice, and an inquisitive best friend, and things begin to get more than a little complicated. 

The large bump on Adam's head hurts, but he refuses to go to the hospital—or back home—and eventually accepts Olivia's offer of hospitality. When her friends arrive the following morning, a chance remark catapults them both into a bizarre and amusing situation that promises to make it a Christmas to remember.

What did I think?

I don't read a lot of chicklit these days but there are certain authors I make an exception for and Rachael Richey is one of them.  As it's the 1st of December, I find it rather fitting to start the advent period with a review of a Christmas themed book.

Olivia had planned the perfect getaway for the Christmas break: a cottage by the sea with her new boyfriend and best friends.  Only she broke up with her boyfriend and she's dreading being alone at Christmas when her friends might think she made her boyfriend up in the first place.  Olivia arrives at the cottage a few days early to get it ready for her guests and happens upon an unconscious man when walking on the beach one day.  With a cut on his head, Olivia takes Adam back to the cottage to tend to his wounds and I could feel the air positively FIZZING with sexual tension.

Despite her worries that he could be an axe murderer, Olivia offers Adam her couch for the night so she can keep an eye on his head wound.  He's just about to leave when one of Olivia's friends arrive and presume he is Olivia's boyfriend, as she hadn't told them that they had broke up.  Adam sees it as a bit of fun to go along with the ruse but there's nothing fake when he kisses Olivia - oh boy!  Of course, things are never perfect and Adam has some secrets of his own...but if Adam and Olivia are meant to be, fate will find a way.

I absolutely adore Rachael's Richey's books and her amazing ability to sweep me away with her gorgeous storylines; for anyone who believes in fate and believes that one day her prince will come, you will LOVE this book.  It's not all sugar-coated and feel-good as there's a good dollop of real life hurt and disappointment in there, but I always know that I'm going to finish one of Rachael Richey's books with a smile on my face.

Practising for Christmas is a fabulous feel-good festive frolic and the perfect book to curl up with by the fire on a dark wintery night.  So whip up a hot chocolate and allow Rachael Richey to warm the cockles of your heart with this seaside Christmas treat.

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

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

Sunday 25 November 2018

BLOG TOUR: The Importance of Being Aisling - Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen

Meet Aisling.

She's a country girl learning to love the city sophistication of unlimited Pinot Greej and brunch, though smashed avocado still mystifies her. She can plan anything, from Secret Santa for her ungrateful colleagues to a hen party for not one but two brides.

But even Aisling is thrown off course when her job and relationship suddenly go up in smoke.

Life in the city was supposed to be glamorous and grown-up, but all at once she's heading home to live with her mother. (Not without a detour to Vegas first - she's unemployed and single, not dead.)

But between making new friends and rivals, and finding her eye caught by a very handsome but very unavailable new man, going home is full of surprises. Could small town life actually hold the answers Aisling is missing?

What did I think?

I am delighted to see that Aisling (pronounced ASH-ling) is back in this fabulous sequel to Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling.  Some things could only happen to Aisling so prepare to gasp and giggle as this latest instalment of her life plays out.

I really felt that Aisling grew up in this book.  She has to cope with life after Daddy, in addition to being made redundant and breaking up with her long time boyfriend, John.  Only Aisling could do it in such style as she goes on an absolutely hilarious girly trip to Las Vegas before figuring out what she wants to do with her life.  Moving back in with Mammy and endless cups of tea gives her the chance to take stock of her life.  As she emerges from her chrysalis like a beautiful butterfly, she spreads her wings and takes on the world...with a little help from her friends.

This book is written with such spirit by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen that it virtually speaks to you.  I could hear Aisling's voice as clear as a bell and feel like I know her as well as I know my friends.  In fact, I care so much about her that I feel as if she is one of my friends.  This colourful character of Aisling is destined to appear on our TV screens and it would be an absolute travesty if it is not picked up by a producer.  Think Sex and the City goes to Ireland and it's comedy gold.

Both hilarious and heart-warming, your life will feel so much brighter after another instalment of Aisling in The Importance of Being Aisling.

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

My rating:

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Saturday 24 November 2018

BLOG TOUR: Her Last Move - John Marrs

I was thrilled to be invited to take part in the blog tour for John Marrs' latest book, Her Last Move.  This is one of those books that is sure to be so popular that we bloggers were rapidly hitting reply and typing 'count me in' the minute the invitation hit our inboxes, then punching the air when a date came through in the reply.  Even if I hadn't made the blog tour list, I would have been queuing up to read Her Last Move and when you read my review below, I'm sure you will agree that it is well worth reading.

She’s chasing a killer. He’s watching her every move.

He hides in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment. Each kill is calculated, planned and executed like clockwork.

Struggling to balance her personal and professional life, young DS Becca Vincent has landed the biggest case of her career—and she knows that it will make or break her. But she can’t catch the culprit alone. Together with facial recognition expert Joe Russell, she strives to get a lead on the elusive murderer, who is always one step ahead of them.

Time is not on their side. The body count is rising, and the attacks are striking closer and closer to home. Can Becca and Joe uncover the connection between the murders before the killer strikes the last name from his list?

What did I think?

I was drawn straight into this book by the wonderfully inventive murder that plays out over the first few pages.  I couldn't read fast enough to find out what the victim had done to warrant the attention of this ruthless killer.  It quickly becomes clear that there is nothing random about the choice of victims and the police are in a race against time to catch the murderer before all the names are crossed off the hit list.

I loved the dynamic of the two main characters: Becca and Joe.  I was just feeling the sexual tension sizzling when John Marrs very cleverly pulled the rug out from under my feet, leaving my mouth agape.  Both of them have very sad and intriguing personal stories to contend with which interfere with their jobs to varying degrees and at opposite end of the work/life spectrum: Joe can't stop looking for his missing sister even when it gets in the way of his job but Becca always seems to allow her job to take priority over her daughter.  

Becca's life reminded me of the saying that nobody ever lies on their deathbed and says that they wish they'd spent more time at work.  Getting the work/life balance right is a difficult one and it was really interesting to see the effect that Becca's actions had on her daughter and her mum.  I felt as if Joe is the opposite in that he would give up his job in a heartbeat if it meant that he could find his missing sister, Linzi.  Of course, there are always two sides to every story and Joe is going to have to give his job up at some point in the near future so it perhaps makes his obsession easier to understand.

The way the whole story plays out is just superb; I found it really difficult to put down and couldn't wait until I had time to pick back up where I left off.  I loved the idea of the super-recognisers in the police force and had no idea of their existence.  It sounds like something out of X-Men but it is very real indeed and they sound like an amazing secret weapon for the police to have.  Well, perhaps not so secret now thanks to John Marrs!

Filled with shocks and surprises, Her Last Move is a multi-dimensional story that thrills from start to finish and all the way in between.  A highly recommended read and an easy 5 stars.

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

My rating:

Purchase Links:

About the author:

John Marrs is the author of #1 bestsellers The One (soon to be made into a film with Urban Myth Films), The Good Samaritan (shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards 2018), When You Disappeared, and Welcome to Wherever You Are. After working as a journalist for 25-years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines, he is now a full-time writer.

Her Last Move is dedicated to John’s late father, Charlie, who was a police officer for 25 years.

Follow him on Twitter @johnmarrs1 Facebook: @johnmarrsauthor Instagram:  website:

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Thursday 22 November 2018

BLOG BLITZ: From the Dark - K.A. Richardson

Antonia Baillie is a true Romani gypsy – she has the gift of foresight and uses this to help people.

When the ghosts of the past come calling, can she put her own fears aside and work with the police to help find who is torturing and killing young men?

Detective Sergeant Mark McKay has never had a need to solve a case using a psychic. He doesn’t believe in it – pure and simple.

But when Antonia tells him the name of a young man and gives him details specific to the case, he can’t help but change his view when a body matching what she says, is found in the vaults deep under the city.

Mark and Antonia race against a spree of monstrous crimes, long-standing grudges and the perils of the darkness in the vaults under Edinburgh to try and find a sadistic killer before time runs out.

Can they stop him before he strikes again?

Will they discover who is responsible?

And can they do it without becoming victims themselves?

What did I think?

K.A. Richardson has taken a mini-break from her native North East and has set her latest novel in Edinburgh.  Although I have been, I don't know Edinburgh well whereas I know the North East as it is my home.  What I found amazing is that I felt as if I knew Edinburgh as well as the North East, as K.A. Richardson has painted the dark grisly streets of Edinburgh in an equally vivid light.

I loved the psychic element in From the Dark; Antonia is such a colourful character having been shunned by the Romani community and rekindling her schoolgirl crush on Mark McKay.  There's a killer in the vaults beneath Edinburgh's ancient streets and Antonia seems to be able to tap into the psychic energy, giving her details that she couldn't possibly know.  When she goes to the police, she is worried that they won't believe her but she sees a familiar face there in old schoolfriend, Mark McKay.  Mark is surprised that he believes Antonia's visions so quickly, but they are so accurate that he has little choice.  Working together, they race against the clock to catch the killer before he turns his sights on one of them.

Wow!  What a thriller!  I felt as if I had partaken in a tour of the Edinburgh vaults myself due to the seriously impressive scene setting that K.A. Richardson does with her wonderfully expressive words.  It is pretty dark and grisly in parts; there were some scenes of torture that made me recoil in horror and my stomach is lurching just thinking about it.  I'm not squeamish at all but it really is written so vividly that I could almost see, hear and feel everything that was happening.

Dark by name and dark by nature, From the Dark is a spooky, spine-tingling thriller with a supernatural edge that had me riveted from start to finish.  If you haven't discovered K.A. Richardson yet, pick up From the Dark today and you'll be more ways than one!

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

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

KA Richardson is a crime writer based in North East England. She has worked for the police for around 8 years, both as a CSI (crime scene investigator) and also in alternate roles involving dealing with people in heightened states of emotion. She spends a lot of time in coffee shops, both writing and people watching. She began focussing on writing as a career in 2011 when she competed her MA Creative Writing, and focuses primarily on the crime/police procedural genre. 

K.A. Richardson’s Social Media Links:
Twitter: @kerryann77

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