Friday 19 April 2024

BLOG TOUR: Edge of the Land (The Merseyside Crime Series Book 3) - Malcolm Hollingdrake

Edge of the Land is the thrilling third novel in the Merseyside crime series from Malcolm Hollingdrake, author of the best-selling Harrogate crime series.

The waterways of the Liverpool docks contain many ghosts and shadows. It’s a place to disappear… a place to die.

Detective Inspector April Decent and Detective Sergeant Skeeter Warlock are fearful for the welfare of a vulnerable young man injured in an attack ordered by drug dealers. Originally questioned at the scene, the young man denies the attack and refuses to co-operate with the police. He soon disappears. Clues to his whereabouts are sown, a cry for help maybe, but he remains elusive.

At the same time, the team are dealing with a spate of deaths in the city. The one thing the deaths have in common: the victims are all homeless and seemingly ravaged by addiction. Initially, the deaths are not considered to be suspicious as there is no obvious connection. Soon the hallmarks of murder are discovered and a hunt for a potential serial killer is on.

Is there a link between the missing man and the deaths? Could he be the vital piece of the puzzle which will solve the mystery behind the brutal murders?

What did I think?

Edge of the Land is the third book in The Merseyside Crime Series and it can most definitely be read as a standalone as I haven't read the first two books in the series and I absolutely loved it.

As soon as I turned the first page of Edge of the Land I knew I was in for a literary treat.  Malcolm Hollingdrake's exquisite writing sets such a vivid scene that I felt as if I'd dived head first into the book and found myself in Liverpool.  I've been a fan of Malcolm Hollingdrake's writing for many years now and just when I think he's at the top of his game, he goes and raises the bar again.

The city of Liverpool and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal are almost characters in their own right as they seem to live and breathe throughout the book.  The main characters are so well drawn that I had to keep reminding myself that they aren't real people.  I was sad to leave them when I turned the final page but it has definitely encouraged me to revisit DI Decent and DS Warlock by reading the previous books in the series.

Perfectly plotted and exquisitely crafted, Edge of the Land is a magnificent piece of crime fiction and you'll be hard pressed to find a better one...until Malcolm writes his next book.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Thursday 18 April 2024

BLOG TOUR: A Sicilian Affair - Susan Lewis

A fresh start where no-one knows her name is exactly what Catie is looking for from her Sicilian escape.

When Catie meets handsome Giancarlo, she has stumbled across a love that could last forever... If only she can admit the truth about her past.

But the scars of betrayal from her broken marriage and fragile family are only part of the story.

Some secrets are too devastating to share...

What did I think?

You're always guaranteed a good read with a Susan Lewis book and The Sicilian Affair is no exception.  I was completely swept away to the picturesque island of Sicily and I really enjoyed my virtual trip.

It's a dual timeline novel as Catie writes about her past in order to come to terms with the tragic events that have happened to her over the years.  Catie had more than her 10 minutes of fame in the past so she escapes to Sicily where nobody knows her.  Catie wasn't looking for love but when she meets the enigmatic Giancarlo the attraction is instant.  Both Giancarlo and Catie have secrets though and sharing them might mean the end of their fledgling relationship.

I really enjoyed the flashbacks to Catie's past and found it incredibly emotional as events unfolded.  It's also lovely to see a burgeoning relationship between two older people who deserve a bit of happiness as life is far too short and you should never stop looking for your other half.

Incredibly atmospheric, heartwarming and emotional, A Sicilian Affair is another fabulous novel from Susan Lewis.  It's the perfect holiday read but remember to pack your tissues.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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About the author:

Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of fifty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense and crime, including I Have Something To Tell You, One Minute Later, My Lies, Your Lies and Forgive Me. Susan’s novels have sold over three million copies in the UK alone. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s. 

Susan has previously worked as a secretary in news and current affairs before training as a production assistant working on light entertainment and drama. She’s lived in Hollywood and the South of France, but now resides in Gloucestershire with husband James, two stepsons and dog, Mimi. 

Follow Susan Lewis on:
Instagram: @susanlewisbooks

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Monday 15 April 2024

Swanna in Love - Jennifer Belle

It's the summer of 1982 and fourteen-year-old Swanna Swain is the only one left at camp.

The place is a ghost town by the time her mother Val finally shows up six hours late- stoned and radiant- in a Ford pickup driven by Borislav, her new young Russian lover.

Assuming she is headed home to her air-conditioned Upper West Side apartment, Swanna and her lovable younger brother Madding are instead dragged to Vermont: to an artist colony where kids are not welcome and they are forced to sleep in the back of the truck, while Val is cosy inside the house with the Russian.

Then Swanna meets Dennis, a handsome married father of two, at a bowling alley, and, knowing a thing or two about seduction from Judy Blume, her best friend at camp, and her own parents' many affairs - she sets out to convince Dennis to help her. But love seldom obeys rules, and even a tough, smart, city girl like Swanna might not be able to handle falling in love.

Best-selling novelist Jennifer Belle returns with her first novel in fifteen years with a kind of inverse Lolita that explores adolescent desire from the girl's point of view. In turns hilarious and wildly shocking, Swanna In Love is the most unmissable book of the summer.

What did I think?

Wow!  I am positively breathless after racing through Swanna in Love, the breathtaking new novel from Jennifer Belle.  I read it in one sitting and it may as well have been superglued to my hands as I simply couldn't put it down.  I have never read Lolita and I thought the book might have been a little outside my comfort zone but it's just fantastic.

With a mother so flightly she could virtually take off and a father who doesn't seem that bothered about his children, it's no wonder that Swanna looks for affection elsewhere.  Swanna not only looks older than her 14 years, she acts like it too so it's no wonder that she draws attention from men, who may or may not be horrified to find out how young she actually is.  

When Swanna begins a relationship with a married man (and oh he's so weak-willed), I got the feeling that Swanna knew exactly what she was doing.  Is Swanna a seductress or is Dennis a paedophile?  That's the question that was on my lips throughout the book; I thought I would have been enraged at Dennis but I didn't feel as angry as I expected.

Jennifer Belle has created such a funny, likeable and smart character in Swanna and her voice shouts out loud and clear throughout.  I laughed out loud so many times at things that Swanna said, thought or did; in fact, I don't think I've laughed out loud so much when reading a book that's doesn't claim to be in the comedy genre.

Addictive, enthralling, shocking and hilarious, Swanna in Love is easily one of the best books I've read this year.  I'm so pleased I requested a review copy, as I very nearly didn't.  I really can't recommend it highly enough; pick one up and let Swanna surprise you.

I received an ARC to read and review; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Friday 12 April 2024

Game On - Matt Cain

Toddington FC defender Tom Horrocks is never happier than when he's on the football pitch, but when it comes to love, he's hiding a big secret. Worried about his young daughter and sick father - and with his team finally in the Premier League - he avoids all media.

Journalist Cosmo Roberts wants to change the world, so is angry when he's sent to a quiet northern town to cover a sport he sees as anti-gay. Then something about Tom catches his eye.

Cosmo hates football. Tom hates journalists.

Perhaps this time they've both met their match.

What did I think?

I picked up Game On by Matt Cain one afternoon and couldn’t put it down until I’d finished. 

What a cracking Quick Reads book it is and I absolutely loved the main characters of Tom and Cosmo. There’s a huge message in the book to be true to yourself and put your own happiness first once in a while. 

It’s also a great book for football fans, especially long suffering fans who can only dream of their team playing in the Premier League. I may support such a team but Toddington FC have certainly scored a place in my heart; not only do they play in my favourite colour of purple but they do something else that put a smile on my face.

You can pick up a copy of this fabulous book for just £1 or read it for free at your local library.

I received a gifted copy to read and review and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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About Quick Reads:

Quick Reads plays a vital role in addressing the UK's adult literacy crisis, engaging the one in three adults who do not regularly read for pleasure and the one in six adults who find reading difficult. Since the programme launched in 2006, over 5.3 million Quick Reads have been distributed with over 6.14 million registered library loans.

The titles are available for just £1 at bookshops and are free to borrow from libraries. They are used across the country in colleges, prisons, trade unions, hospitals, and adult learning organisations.

The six titles announced on 11 April 2024 will also be gifted as part of World Book Night 2024, The Reading Agency's annual drive to create a nation of readers. With the support of this year's publishers, copies of the books will be given away to organisations including care homes, youth centres, homelessness centre, prisons, hospitals and other organisations through public library partners.

Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency, said: 'We are incredibly excited as we unveil the remarkable line-up of authors collaborating with Quick Reads to publish a bitesize book for 2024 - and we thank them and all the publishers for their support to this life-changing programme. We would also like to extend heartfelt gratitude to Jojo Moyes for the generous donation in 2020-2022 which helped to shape the future of the initiative. This year we are proudly supported by Penguin Random House and Hachette who have contributed funding to the programme We will be celebrating Quick Reads as part of World Book Night 2024 in our continued mission to bring high quality, fun and accessible books to a wider audience to discover the transformative power of reading.'

Saturday 6 April 2024

Husbands: Love and Lies in La-La Land - Mo Fanning

In Hollywood, every pavement star tells a story. Not all of them shine.

Wannabe actor Kyle Macdonald is down on his luck. Working as a supply teacher in an inner-city Birmingham school, he's single again at 28, and sleeping in his childhood bedroom beneath a 'Hard Candy' Madonna poster.

He gets a call claiming he drunkenly married top Hollywood director Aaron Biedermeier in Vegas six years ago. Rather than panic, he sees a golden ticket to fame and the life he's always fantasised about.

But the glamorous veneer of Los Angeles - non-stop sunshine, celebrity actors and exclusive hotel suites - starts to crack, revealing a darker, corrupt underbelly to La-La Land. Kyle digs deeper into his so-called husband's past, unearthing disturbing allegations of abuse and underage sex parties.

With the help of Biedermeier's fiancé, actor Noah Winters, he embarks on a cross-country race to unravel the mystery and expose the truth - finding love along the way.

What did I think?

I am so pleased that I picked up Husbands by Mo Fanning as I absolutely loved it.  Once I picked it up I couldn't put it down and wished I'd started it earlier in the day as I was furious that I had to put it down to go to sleep.  

Husbands touches on some serious subjects that completely broke my heart as these things really happened to lots of young actors but Mo Fanning writes respectfully and sensitively whilst still highlighting these issues.  The story itself is very entertaining and it's filled with dark humour that made me laugh out loud.

Most of my laughs came from the main character Kyle, or 'Kyle, man!' as I referred to him in my head every time he did something stupid (so pretty much all the time).  Only Kyle could drunk marry a Hollywood director in Las Vegas, go home to Birmingham (England) and completely forget about it.  Kyle, man!  Your acting dreams could have come true!   

So telling his parents he's off to Manchester (Kyle, man!), Kyle jumps on a plane and dives into the shark infested waters of LA LA Land.  Thank goodness he told his friend Milly where he was going - she deserves a medal for trying to keep him out of trouble.  What follows is an adventure-filled road trip with Kyle's husband's new fiancé to discover the truth about what actually happened in Vegas.

Hugely entertaining, dark and addictive, Husbands is as bingeworthy as a Netflix series and is surely destined to make it on to our screens in the future.  I loved the beginning, the middle and the end - very highly recommended.

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

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Wednesday 3 April 2024

BLOG TOUR: Maya's Laws of Love - Alina Khawaja

Maya Mirza is so convinced she’s unlucky in love and life that she’s come up with a list of laws to explain it. Most importantly…

* Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

But that’s about to change. Maya’s headed to Pakistan for an arranged marriage with a handsome, successful doctor who ticks all the right boxes. First comes marriage, then comes love  – she’s sure of it. Except…

* Trips are never smooth sailing.

From the start, Maya's journey is riddled with disaster, and the cynical lawyer seated next to her on the plane isn’t helping. Until a storm leaves them stranded in Switzerland, and she and Sarfaraz become unlikely travel companions. And maybe something more…

* When you think you’re lucky, think again.

Before long, Maya’s wondering whether she’s just experienced the ultimate in misfortune – finally meeting the right man a few days before she has to marry someone else. 

What did I think?

Oh my goodness, Maya's Laws of Love is one of the most romantic books I have ever read.  This is proper swoony romance that makes your heart race and your breath catch and I loved every minute of it.

Maya believes that she is cursed so she sets up her own list of laws that start with Murphy's Law (Anything that can go wrong will go wrong) so she's always prepared for disappointment and bad luck.  Maya's laws are brought to life in an often comical fashion when she travels from Canada to Pakistan to get married and almost every obstacle is put in her way to try to prevent her from getting to her wedding on time.  One such obstacle is the man that Maya sits next to on the plane, a man with beautiful dark eyes that you can lose yourself in, a man who is not her fiancé.

I really enjoyed reading about a different culture and I found the customs and events of the wedding celebration fascinating.  I love how it's all woven into the story and it creates so many memorable moments in Maya's story.  Maya has such a strong voice and it shines through in Alina Khawaja's colourful writing.  I can totally see this wonderful book being made into a Netflix show (please pick this one up, Netflix!). 

Sweet, charming and surprisingly funny, Maya's Laws of Love is a must read for romance readers or anyone looking for something different and entertaining to read.  I absolutely adored it and I wanted to read it again the moment I finished it as I didn't want this gorgeous story to end.  Very highly recommended.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Monday 1 April 2024

Maybe It's About Time - Neil Boss

Two people trapped in their different worlds. One by wealth and one by poverty. Twenty years working for The Firm has given Marcus Barlow everything he wants but has taken his soul in return. Finding a way to leave has become an obsession.

Claire Halford’s life hits rock bottom when she is caught stealing food from Tesco Express. Left alone by her husband with two small children and an STI, her suicide music is starting to play louder in her head.

A chance meeting brings them together. As a mystery virus from China starts to run riot across the country, their world’s collide and they find they have more in common than they knew.

Set in the early months of 2020, Maybe It’s About Time is a story about the difficulty of changing lives for the better. Starting as a funny and satirical view of the egocentric world of professional services, it gives way to a heart-warming story of an unlikely friendship that rejuvenates Marcus and Claire, giving them both hope for a better future.

What did I think?

Maybe It's About Time is a poignant and powerful novel set during the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020.  Although I'm sure none of us will ever forget this horrific time, it is brought back to life in a haunting and sensitive way through Neil Boss' carefully crafted writing.  Each chapter ends with the date and this simple but powerful sentence felt like a death knell; it gives me goose bumps just thinking about it now.

Marcus and Claire live completely different lives.  Marcus and has family want for nothing as Marcus has a well paid job in the city; a job that Marcus hates.  Claire's husband left her with two young children and her benefits don't provide enough money to feed them.  The stark contrast between wealth and poverty is disturbing but very sobering to read.  I feel incredibly fortunate that I've never had to worry about putting food on the table.

Marcus's work life really resonated with me as I was guilty of living to work rather than working to live in my last job.  I think if you've ever worked in an office you will appreciate Marcus's chapters more as I found it very entertaining.  I'm glad I wasn't working during the pandemic as I would have never got any work done for all the Zoom calls.

There are some very funny moments in the book that had me laughing out loud and the humour is very well balanced as it doesn't detract from the seriousness of the pandemic situation.  Even though I had an idea what was going to happen, it still brought a tear to my eye at the end.  There are a few unresolved parts of the story that have left it open for a sequel and I can't wait to read what happens next.

Haunting, emotive and compelling, I laughed and I cried whilst reading this beautifully written book.  It's an important and powerful novel that everyone should read and I really can't recommend it highly enough. 

I received a gifted paperback for the Love Books Tours readalong and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Saturday 30 March 2024

BLOG TOUR: Murder on the Dancefloor (The Bad Girls Detective Agency Book 2) - Katie Marsh

They DID promise her a killer hen weekend...

Jeanie’s getting married, and – despite her completely impossible four sisters – her best friends Clio and Amber are determined to give her a bachelorette weekend to remember. They’re in matching pink T-shirts and the drinks are flowing...

But the night turns out to be unforgettable for all the wrong reasons when a girl turns up dead on the dancefloor. And – even though she’s a stranger – she is wearing one of Jeanie’s hen T-shirts.

Who is she? And why are the police convinced that the hens are involved? Can the newly-formed Bad Girls Detective Agency solve the murder? And in time to get Jeanie up the aisle?

Unputdownable mystery set on the English coast – perfect for fans of The Thursday Murder Club, Bad Sisters and How to Kill Your Family.

What did I think?

Although I haven't read the first book in The Bad Girls Detective Agency series, How Not To Murder Your Ex, I really want to after reading Murder on the Dancefloor.  It's not necessary to have read the first book as I really enjoyed meeting this colourful group of girls and I felt that I got to know them over the course of the book.

Jeanie's hen party takes a sinister turn when a body is found in the nightclub where they are partying.  Jeanie is with her mother (who spends the evening reading her kindle), her quirky sisters (who could be an alternative to the Spice Girls) and her friends (who form The Bad Girls Detective Agency).  An investigation soon begins that puts Jeanie's wedding at risk.

This is a really fun crime caper that is very entertaining and would make a great TV series.  I had my suspicions about who the murderer was but there are a lot of threads to untangle before the big reveal.  I loved how everything came together at the end in a very satisfying conclusion.

Entertaining, fun and captivating, Murder on the Dancefloor is a heartwarming cosy mystery with friendship and family at its heart.  I loved it and will definitely be reading the first book in  the series to find out more about this wonderful group of friends.

I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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About the author:
Katie wrote romantic fiction before turning to crime. Her debut novel was a World Book Night pick and her books are published in ten languages.

She lives in the English countryside and loves strong coffee and pretending to be in charge of her children. ‘How Not to Murder your Ex’, the first in her Bad Girls Detective Agency series is out now, published by Boldwood Books. The next instalment, 'Murder on the Dancefloor,' follows in March 2024.

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Tuesday 26 March 2024

Never Forgive You - Hilly Barmby

A glamorous French wedding 

Arriving at the station with her boyfriend Davey MacGregor and his twin sisters, Ailsa and Juliette, Hetty, a thriller book addict, picks up on family tension. But that’s natural before a big wedding, isn’t it? Hetty feels out of her depth. The family are wealthy and well- educated, whereas she is a council house girl. Davey’s cousin Isabelle is to marry Jean- Jacques, a French right-wing politician, in the family chateau. 

A fairy-tale event 

Ailsa is hesitant about coming back to France. Eight years ago, something happened that nearly destroyed the family. But that was dealt with, wasn’t it? Hetty has secrets of her own that she doesn’t want known. Ailsa is drawn back into the past. What, exactly, did happen? The expensive wedding is everything it should be, except when the groom is taken ill. The revellers carry on, but something is seriously wrong. 

Then things start to unravel 

The relationships between the family members fracture and secrets from the past start coming to the surface, with murderous results… Who is telling the truth? Who is out for revenge?

What did I think?

As you can tell from the fabulous cover, Never Forgive You is a dark and disturbing novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I loved the setting of a French wedding in a village where the MacGregors are clearly not welcome.  Something clearly happened in the past and I couldn't read fast enough to find out what it was.

It's evident from the start that this is one heck of a dysfunctional family but the true extent is not revealed until near the end.  I had my virtual running shoes on when I was reading and I read the book in two sittings as I couldn't put it down until I had discovered all of the secrets.

The family aren't terribly welcoming to Davey MacGregor's girlfriend Hetty and my blood was boiling as I read chapters from their point of view and found out what they really thought about Hetty.  Just who do they think they are?  With skeletons in their closet tapping on the door to get out, they really shouldn't be acting so aloof.

Compelling, dark and disturbing, Never Forgive You is a page-turning thriller that incensed and entertained me.  Revenge is indeed a dish that is best served cold.

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

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Wednesday 20 March 2024

BLOG TOUR: Crow Moon (A Martha Strangeways Investigation Book 1) - Suzy Aspley

When the crow moon rises, the darkness is unleashed...

Martha Strangeways is struggling to find purpose in her life, after giving up her career as an investigative reporter when her young twins died in a house fire.

Overwhelmed by guilt and grief, her life changes when she stumbles across the body of a missing teenager – a tragedy that turns even more sinister when a poem about crows is discovered inked onto his back...

When another teenager goes missing in the remote landscape, Martha is drawn into the investigation, teaming up with DI Derek Summers, as malevolent rumours begin to spread and paranoia grows.

As darkness descends on the village of Strathbran, it soon becomes clear that no one is safe, including Martha...

What did I think?

What a cracking debut!  It's as haunting and creepy inside as it is out.  This is one book where I would say please DO judge this book by its cover: just look at that creepy hourglass of black sand turning into a murder of crows.  This is the first book in a new crime series starring investigative reporter Martha Strangeways and it's an absolute belter.

I loved Martha Strangeways; she has such a tragic backstory and, even though she's not currently working, she's a tenacious reporter.  Martha can't help but be drawn into the investigation after she finds the body of her son's friend and when another one of Dougie's schoolfriends goes missing it becomes very personal as every sign points to Dougie being next.

As well as the gripping present day storyline, the chapters are interspersed with excerpts from a Book of Shadows.  These excerpts are heartbreaking as they are written by a woman trapped in an abusive marriage with her young son.  Both timelines are linked by the 'Feannag Dhubh', a poem written about crows and a woman executed for being a witch.

The writing is sublime as Suzy Aspley's wonderful words paint a dark and dangerous landscape that I could easily visualise in my head.  There's a hint of the supernatural that sent shivers down my spine and I couldn't read fast enough to discover all of the secrets the book had in store for me.

Hauntingly atmospheric, tense and creepy, Crow Moon is an outstanding debut from an exciting new voice in crime fiction.  It's a fantastic start to a new series and I can't wait to read book two.  A very highly recommended read.

I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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About the author:
Originally from the north-east of England, former journalist Suzy Aspley has lived in Scotland for almost thirty years. She writes crime and short stories, often inspired by the strange things she sees in the landscape around her. She won Bloody Scotland’s Pitch Perfect in 2019 with the original idea for her debut novel and was shortlisted for the Capital Crime New Voices Award. In 2020, she was mentored by Jo Dickinson as part of the Hachette future bookshelf initiative. Crow Moon was also longlisted for the Caledonia Novel Award. She’s currently working on the second book in the series, and when she’s not writing, she’s either got her nose buried in a book, or is outside with her dogs dreaming up more dark stories. She lives in Stirlingshire with her family.

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Tuesday 19 March 2024

BLOG TOUR: The Thief of Joy - Stacey Murray

Single-mum Roz compares herself to everyone else, from her sister to friends to people on social media, and feels she's missing out. She wants what they've got - a husband, a father for her daughter, and respect.

When she meets Daniel, Roz thinks her dreams are possible, until he dies suddenly and tragically. Devastated by grief and loneliness, she rushes headlong into a relationship with Mark, a widower she meets in an online support group.

Yet as Mark's behaviour becomes more controlling and manipulative, Roz realises he isn't the man of her dreams. He is hiding a jaw-dropping secret that spells danger for Roz and her daughter...

What did I think?

The Thief of Joy is a very good slow burn thriller that smoulders from start to finish and I really enjoyed it.  Stacey Murray's suspenseful writing creates a web of intrigue that completely captured my attention.

I felt really sorry for Roz at the start when all the hopes and dreams of a new relationship are snatched away from her so cruelly.  Roz only knew Daniel for a short time so she doesn't get much sympathy from her family and turns to an online grief support group to validate her right to grieve.  

As with all online groups though, there are some nice people and some trolls so when Roz gets a message from an administrator the reader can't help but wonder which category Mark falls into.  As Mark gradually wheedles his way into Roz's life the chapters are interspersed with sinister snippets that let the reader know that all is not as it seems.

My sympathy for Roz ebbed and flowed like the tide as she is always comparing herself to other people and wanting what they have.  I'm not saying she's not unlucky but her desperation to find a partner causes her to overlook their flaws and this puts her and her daughter in danger.

Captivating and tense, The Thief of Joy is a riveting psychological thriller that is filled with suspense, envy and danger.  It's well worth a read and I think it's important to remind readers that some people online are not who they seem.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Monday 11 March 2024

BLOG TOUR: The Collapsing Wave (The Enceladons Trilogy, Book 2) - Doug Johnstone

Six months since the earth-shattering events of The Space Between Us, the revelatory hope of the aliens’ visit has turned to dust and the creatures have disappeared into the water off Scotland’s west coast.
Teenager Lennox and grieving mother Heather are being held in New Broom, a makeshift US military base, the subject of experiments, alongside the Enceladons who have been captured by the authorities.
Ava, who has given birth, is awaiting the jury verdict at her trial for the murder of her husband. And MI7 agent Oscar Fellowes, who has been sidelined by the US military, is beginning to think he might be on the wrong side of history.
When alien Sandy makes contact, Lennox and Heather make a plan to escape with Ava. All three of them are heading for a profound confrontation between the worst of humanity and a possible brighter future, as the stakes get higher for the alien Enceladons and the entire human race…
Sequel to the bestselling The Space Between Us, The Collapsing Wave is an exquisite, epic first-contact novel, laced with peril and populated by unforgettable characters, and the awe-inspiring book we all need right now…

What did I think?

Sandy is back!!!!  The Collapsing Wave is one of my most eagerly anticipated sequels and not only does it not disappoint, it totally blew me away.  I thought book one, The Space Between Us, was exceptional but The Collapsing Wave is exquisite.  It's made me even more excited to see how Doug Johnstone follows this one with the final book in the trilogy.

It's so good to be back with Lennox, Heather and Ava again although they are all in a right pickle: Lennox and Heather are being held on an American military base in Scotland and Ava is on trial for the murder of her husband.  The Americans are capturing and experimenting on the aliens and it's both cruel and shocking.  If only Sandy, my favourite alien, could be contacted...

Oh my goodness, this book is simply breathtaking.  It's filled with so much action and suspense that I was on the edge of my seat and racing through the pages as fast as I possibly could.  The writing is vivid and expressive, creating multicoloured scenes in my mind as the story played out on the page.

For anyone who says they don't read science fiction, you haven't read Doug Johnstone's form of sci-fi.  It's written like a thriller with characters (both human and alien) that you completely root for and you almost forget that the Enceladons are from outer space.  I am really looking forward to reading the final book but, at the same time, I simply don't want this wonderful series to finish.

The Collapsing Wave is an absolute must read and I really can't recommend it highly enough.

I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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About the author:

Doug Johnstone is the author of 16 previous novels, most recently The Opposite of Lonely (2023) and The Space Between Us (2023). The Big Chill (2020) was longlisted for Theakston Crime Novel of the Year, and Black Hearts was shortlisted for the same award. Three of his books, A Dark Matter (2020), Breakers (2019) and The Jump (2015), have been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions over the last decade, and has been an arts journalist for over twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with six albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers. He’s also co-founder of the Scotland Writers Football Club, and has a PhD in nuclear physics.

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