#BlogTour for #TheCityofAngels by #KennethBromberg – published by @flametreepress with thanks to Anne @RandomTTours

Last year, I read Kenneth Bromberg’s debut novel American Dreams, so was really pleased to join the blog tour to celebrate his latest release The City of Angels. Please do keep scrolling to find out more about this murder mystery thriller, set in 1920s America.

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing.
Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

The Blurb

The year is 1924.

Sam Lacy, tough as nails robbery/homicide detective follows his own unique code of conduct within the racist and corrupt Los Angeles Police Department. Edward Bixby, a brilliant man fascinated by anything scientific, assists with the forensic aspects of Sam’s investigations but his work must stay on the down low since the LAPD would never hire a black man for anything as important as detective work.

Sam’s sister, Susan, widowed mother and sharpshooter, is the most important person in his life. And Lonny, Sam’s handsome, cynical partner, sports a caviler attitude that hides a troubled past. Together they must solve the murder of Sam’s old flame and deal with a ruthless and powerful predator who victimizes vulnerable young Chinese immigrants. Their story takes place in the movie capital of the world, a city that attracts hustlers, wide-eyed innocents and cold-hearted killers; a City of Angels.

My thoughts…

Bromberg’s City of Angels opens like a movie, I was cast back into films such as LA Confidential, The Big Sleep and The Untouchables as our protagonist is introduced to the reader via a hotbed of corruption and bribery. Sam Lacey is a homicide detective and he’s a tough one; he’s certainly not afraid to come down heavy, we see this from the onset, but he’s soon caught up with a formidable adversary and a crime scene that’s personal.

This is a multi-perspective read; the events of the prologue soon lead to murder and Lacey is hurtled into a homicide that is more connected to him than he would like. He’s a determined character and uses his strength of opinion to want a controversial person investigating the case: Edward Bixby, an intelligent and thorough forensic expert, who cannot live to his potential due to the controlling racism of the time. Bromberg layers the narrative voices, and Bixby story draws in the horrific racism of the Southern states and adds depth to both the character and time-period.

The female is represented by Susan, Sam’s sister; she is very important to Sam and this relationship also shows exploitation and abuse of the system. Of Velma, a black America whose skin colour is perceived as a ‘free-ride’ for the unscrupulous. It is also introduced via woman who are trying to cut a break in Hollywood but find the reality is actually brutal and degrading.

This is a deep, layered novel with themes of abuse, racism, drugs, corruption and the fight for justice, no matter if you need to severely blur the lines: our Angels are not afraid to put away their wings for a while to get the job done.

With thanks to Flame Tree Press and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to read City of Angels.

The Blog Tour

Please do check out these other bloggers and their thoughts on City of Angels

The Author

Kenneth Bromberg

Kenneth Bromberg grew up in the beach cities of Southern California with a passion for tennis, American history, and literature. His first novel, American Dreams, is based upon stories told by his grandmother, who
emigrated from a small Jewish village near Kiev in the first years of the 20th century.

#BoneHarvest #JamesBrogden published by @TitanBooks is released tomorrow! #newbook #readers – here’s some book chat! Thanks to @Sarah_Mather_15 for bringing the book to my attention :-)

The blurb

PREPARE FOR THE SACRIFICE OF THE FIRST FLESH…


Struggling with the effects of early-onset dementia, Dennie Keeling now
leads a quiet life. Her husband is dead, her children are grown, and her
best friend, Sarah, was convicted of murdering her abusive husband. After
Sarah’s tragic death in prison, Dennie has found solace in her allotment,
and all she wants is to be left to tend it in peace.

Life remains quiet for twelve years, until three strangers take on a nearby
plot and Dennie starts to notice unnatural things. Shadowy figures prowl
at night; plants flower well before their time. And then Sarah appears,
bringing dire warnings and vanishing after daubing symbols on the
walls in Dennie’s own blood. Dennie soon realises that she is face to face
with an ancient evil – but with her dementia steadily growing worse, who
is going to believe her?

My thoughts

Bone Harvest is an original and creative take on the horror novel structure. It’s a layered and reveal style narrative that opens up to the reader early on (keep reading as the book changes direction and pace; this is a book of two interconnecting halves). I really enjoyed the style of writing and began to read this book differently to others of the same genre. It’s really interesting knowing many of the answers and watching our protagonist come closer to the web.

I really enjoyed the setting; I love rural England and used to have an allotment (which I miss), so the backdrop worked really well for me, it’s great how it’s rooted in the ordinary rather than building grandeur or being overly gothic: this also builds great tension in the second, more driven part of the narrative.

Also, worthy of note is the disabilities of the principle character – she’s not a typical player in a horror novel, her limitations and onset of dementia draw in some wider themes of vulnerability, loss and the challenges of difference. I thought this layer was really interesting, and made the supernatural element deeper. This works really well after the opening stages of the novel coming from the antagonist’s perspectives, and increases her vulnerability.

An excellent modern horror book layered with themes of vulnerability, loss, mythology, evil and murder.

Oh, there’s also a dog – love Viggo!!

#BlogTour for A PRINCESS BY CHRISTMAS by Julia London @MillsandBoon

This is my first Mills & Boon book and blog tour, really pleased to be trying something new. Keep scrolling for some bookish chat…

Book Blurb

A Secret. A Lie. A Revolution.


Hollis Honeycutt has written her London gazette since the death of her husband—featuring fashion plates, marriage advice, and the latest gossip in and around Mayfair. But now she feels her gazette should have more meaning, cover topics of more consequence than the latest curl cream.
The opportunity presents itself when Hollis overhears rumours of a potential coup in the Kingdom of Wesloria, a coup linked to the highest level of government in London. During her investigation Hollis spies a man with no business lurking around peace talks, and determines to expose him for the traitor he most certainly must be.

When Weslorian Marek Brendan was fifteen he was shocked to discover his heritage was not what he believed—he was whisked away from the Weslorian palace when he was born because there was fear that corrupt forces would try and kidnap him. Now he is determined to stop these corrupt forces staging a coup in his home country. Except for the beautiful woman whose questions are putting his own investigation at risk. Yet soon Marek realises that pretty Hollis can help him. But when he confides his suspicions, Hollis’s loyalties are tested and she must choose between her loyalties to her family, or her heart . . .

A secret. A Lie. A Revolution…

My thoughts

I don’t think this was the best choice for my first Mills & Boon, that’s not to criticise the book – it’s mainly because it is actually a part of the series and there are lots of back stories to catch up on. The author is very dedicated in filling in the reader with the relationships that have formed in the previous books, ‘The Princess Plan’ and ‘A Royal Kiss and Tell’, but I found this detracted from the new plot and ‘couple in the making’: Hollis Honeycutt and Marek Brendan. So, I’d highly recommend reading the series in order.

That said, this book offers the romance reader a politically charged book where two fictitious warring nations are under threat – again if you’ve read the first two books, you’ll be much better placed to work out what’s happening. With threats of a coup and corruption lurking, we meet Hollis and Marek who are our to-be-matched couple.

Hollis is energetic, intelligent and passionate about what she does and gets involved in; she also writes a ‘Gazette of Fashion and Domesticity for Ladies’ and extracts from this head each chapter. Marek on the other hand, is reserved, quiet and contemplative. So, the two form an ‘opposites’ attract relationship. There’re several ups and downs, which are expected of this genre, and lots of antics, but they are all grounded by the political revolution storyline.

Overall, this is a fun ups and downs romance with the guaranteed HAPPY EVER AFTER!

Many thanks to the publisher for inviting me on the blog tour!

Blog tour – do check out these other fabulous bloggers chatting about ‘A Princess by Christmas’

Please buy from independents if you can XX

It’s lovely to be a part of the #BlogTour for #TheCoralBride by Roxanne Bouchard @RBouchard72 and translated by David Warriner. With thanks to @OrendaBooks

THE CORAL BRIDE is the sequel to the critically acclaimed WE WERE THE SALT OF THE SEA featuring Detective Morales; in this book it seems that a seemingly straightforward search for a missing fisherwoman is anything but. I’m really happy to be a part of this Blog Tour, with thanks to Orenda Books and Anne for the tour invite. Please keep scrolling for some bookish chat about THE CORAL BRIDE.

An abandoned lobster trawler is found adrift…

The Blurb

When an abandoned lobster trawler is found adrift off the coast of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, DS Joaquin Moralès begins a straightforward search for the boat ’s missing captain, Angel Roberts – a woman in a male-dominated
world. But Moralès finds himself blocked at every turn – by his police colleagues, by fisheries bureaucrats, and by his grown-up son, who has turned up at his door with a host of his own personal problems.

When Angel’s body is finally discovered, it’s clear something very sinister is afoot, and Moralès and son are pulled into murky, dangerous waters, where old resentments run deep…

My thoughts…

‘The Coral Bride’ is the sequel to ‘We Were the Salt of the Sea’, (which I hadn’t realised) and like with many series books it certainly works well as a standalone. I’m definitely buying the first book to see what I missed and to find out more about the backstory of our central character: DS Joaquin Moralès. This book has all the elements of a good crime novel, and a carefully planned plot with a skillful drip feed of clues. However, it soon became clear that this was not only a crime read, but a glimpse into communities that live by and on the sea; it’s also a book about a woman who faces huge challenges working and living in a male dominated community of people who lives are wrapped up in the sea trade.

The constant presence of the sea as an integral part of, not only the investigation, but the lives of the key players and their communities and is beautifully written. It’s also a central and unforgettable character for the reader, and there’s some touching moments linking the ocean to our own lives and feelings. It also impacts the damaged and rebuilding relationship between a father and son. This is what I mean about the surprising layers in this book, and I absolutely loved the depth of the relationship we track with Joaquin and his son, Sebastien. The book takes its time to track their barriers, frustrations and longing, whilst the main mystery unfolds of a missing female boat owner and captain, Angel Roberts.

As the pace, mystery, and darkness develops the reader begins to understand the mind-set and communities that make their living on the sea. There’s a great cast of intriguing characters who are potential villains of the piece, and it’s great ‘watching’ DS Moralès work his way through the lies, grudges and suspicions as the darkness lurking under this community is slowly exposed.

A novel of the sea, of seafarers, grudges, feuds and manipulation told via a superb cast of characters, portrayed with grim detail, psychological damage, wit, humour, family loyalty and love: the shades in this novel are brilliant and it comes HIGHLY recommended from me!

The Author

Roxanne Bouchard

Over ten years ago, Roxanne Bouchard decided it was time she found her sea legs. So she learned to sail, first on the St Lawrence River, before taking to the open waters off the Gaspé Peninsula. The local fishermen soon invited her aboard to reel in their lobster nets, and Roxanne saw for herself that the sunrise over Bonaventure never lies. Her fifth novel (first translated into English) We Were the Salt of the Sea was published in 2018 to resounding critical acclaim, sure to be followed by its sequel, The Coral Bride. She lives in Quebec.

The Blog Tour

Please do check out more bookish chat about THE CORAL BRIDE from these super book bloggers…

Please buy from independents if you can XX

http://orendabooks.co.uk/


#Blogtour for THE ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES by @AlixEHarrow with thanks to @orbitbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

A perfect book for October; it’s half-term and I’ve been lucky to have read ‘The Once and Future Witches’ by a warm fire with my ‘familiar’ on my lap (AKA Mr. Willoughby, my cat, he’s nearly all black apart from his white ‘socks’ and face markings). This is certainly a perfect autumnal/Halloween read, do keep scrolling for more bookish chat…

There’s no such thing as witches, but there used to be…

The Blurb:

In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the three Eastwood sisters join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote – and perhaps not even to live – the sisters must delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.

My thoughts

Firstly, this book is creative; the lyrical and creative writing lifts from the pages and you can take time and savour the words. Harrow is also just as creative with her punctuation, and you get a real sense of crafting throughout. The structure and plot are meticulously planned and literary history, actual history and the female is reworked and re-represented in a mix of childhood rhymes, fairy tales and lore.

An evenly paced story, that allows the reader to indulge in good storytelling against a backdrop of more pertinent and relevant themes. Gender, race, and identity are woven into the threads of this story. On its surface is a story of three sisters, of how they became separated and how their witchcraft begins to define them. There is a great bond, although severely fractured, between these three women. I love their flawed but powerful characters, and how over time we begin to view each one differently. Harrow connects the female, and her repression over centuries into the current lives of the three Eastwood sisters. History is re-worked as a plot device to relay themes of repression, feminism, racism, women’s suffrage, patriarchy, and persecution.

The Eastwood Sisters are great characters; they are not perfect; they have let each other down and are rather downtrodden and lost at the start. They soon change their current situations and begin a battle to promote witchcraft in a town that would have them burned. Their power and determination become a strong reading hook, as they unite to battle inequality and subjection from a shadowy, evil nemesis.

A book of witchy spells, creative fairy tales and the power of words with powerful overriding themes. It is also a great adventure: a book of love and resilience in the face of powerful adversaries.

Full blog tour belong – do check out all the bookish chat about The Once and Future Witches:

Delighted to be a part of the #ThreeHoursNovel #paperback #blogtour with huge thanks to @EllieeHud @VikingBooksUK @PenguinUKBooks and of course, @Rosamundlupton

The blurb

In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege. Children and teachers barricade themselves into classrooms, the library, the theatre. The headmaster lies wounded in the library, unable to help his trapped students and staff. Outside, a police psychiatrist must identify the gunmen, while parents gather desperate for news. In three intense hours, all must find the courage to stand up to evil and save the people they love.

My thoughts…

Yet do I fear thy nature…

Phew! Thrilling, terrifying and the stuff of nightmares… but also deeply rooted in humanity, this is a narrative that hooks you from the opening page into a world of violence, fear and deep shock; when all too real terror strikes at the heart of a rural community.

I teach in a school, and the notion of ever being in such a situation is deeply traumatising; the construction of this novel pulls you in to a seemingly actual timeline and really does not let you go until the last page is turned.

The heart of this story is what humanity draws upon in the darkest of moments, of what lies with our hearts, our compassion, our resilience and is rooted in our communities, whether we know it or not.

I loved this book; it was a nail-biting experience from start to finish, but the beauty of the relationships and selfless behaviour under extreme pressures also kept emotional tears in my eyes, and turned a harrowing story of radicalisation, grief, loss and the willingness to sacrifice into something very special . A book that stays with you long after the closing page is turned.

Highly recommended.

The Author

Rosamund Lupton graduated from Cambridge University in 1986. After reviewing books for the Literary Reviews and being invited to join the Royal Court Theatre, she won a television play competition and subsequently worked as a screen writer. Her debut novel Sister, was a BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime, a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller, has been translated into over thirty languages and has international sales of over 1.5 million copies. It was the fastest-selling debut of 2010 by a British author, and was winner of the Richard and Judy Best Debut Novel of 2011 Award and the Strand Magazine Critics First Novel Award. Film rights of Sister are currently under option.

Lupton’s critically acclaimed second novel Afterwards also went straight into the Sunday Times bestseller lists and was the No. 2 Sunday Times fiction bestseller of 2011. The Quality of Silence her third novel was a Sunday Times best seller and a Richard & Judy book club pick.

Delighted to be a part of the #blogtour for #TheNesting by @CJessCooke @HarperCollinsUK thanks to Anne, @RandomTTours

Wow, what an eye-catching cover! With thanks to the publisher and Anne for the tour invite, please keep scrolling for some bookish chat about THE NESTING…

It was like something out of a fairytale…

The grieving widower. The motherless daughters. A beautiful house in the woods. And a nanny come to save the day….

So what if Lexi isn’t telling the truth about who she is? Escaping to the remote snows of Norway was her lifeline. And all she wanted was to be a part of their lives.
But soon, isolated in that cold, creaking house in the middle of ancient, whispering woods, Lexi’s fairytale starts to turn into a nightmare.
With darkness creeping in from the outside, Lexi’s fears are deepening. Lexi knows she needs to protect the children in her care.


But protect them from what?

My thoughts…

Firstly, C.J. Cooke is a clever storyteller who’s not afraid to mix things up! What I loved most about THE NESTING is the many layers structured through the narrative and the landscape that’s as important as the characters and story. This book has been written with passion, and pulls together the author’s love of nature, Norway, folktales, and the gothic, in a story of love, loss, fragility and rebirth.

Seemingly a story of a young woman, displaced in the world, who finds a position as a nanny under dubious circumstances, but layered with so much more. I loved the character of Lexi/Sophie, her strength and resilience underscored a young, fragile, frightened girl trying to find her place, and her people. It’s her relationship with her new ‘charges’ that you quickly warm to as a reader, and find you are very much on her side. The children, Gaia and Coco are delightful characters, and the heart wrenching journey of deep loss through the little Gaia is beautifully written. But this book is also more than a story of the loss of a parent and its aftermath. It’s also a story of the otherworld and a deeply entrenched menace. The supernatural element works so well, with terrifying images of creatures from local folklore and the slow drip feed of horror elements is balanced well. The narrative switches from the ‘now’ to the ‘then’ as we slowly come to understand the events of the past and how they are beginning to shape the future. This is also a book with a sharp warning about meddling with nature, and you can really see the passion the author has for the beauty and importance of Norway’s natural world.

I found this book a compelling read, perfect for the autumn/winter season. Deeply emotional and intensely creepy. I am happy to recommend this book to readers seeking an emotive, nerve-wracking story pulled straight out of a fairy tale.

Drama, mystery, grief, and the supernatural combine in an intense story from C.J. Cooke that will demand you keep turning the pages.

The Blog Tour

Please check out more bookish chat from these super bloggers!

The Author

C.J. Cooke

C.J. Cooke is an acclaimed, award-winning poet, novelist and academic with numerous other publications under the name of Carolyn Jess-Cooke. Born in Belfast, she has a PhD in Literature from Queen’s University, Belfast, and is currently Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, where she researches creative writing interventions for mental health.
She also founded the Stay-At-Home Festival.

Please buy from independents if you can XX

My turn on the #blogtour for #Betrayal by @lilja1972 @OrendaBooks #Icelandnoir #thriller #newbook #bookchat

It’s my turn to chat about BETRAYAL by Lilja Sigurdardottir and published by Orenda Books, with thanks to Anne for the invite. This is an impressive Nordic Noir thriller set in the heart of Icelandic politics…

The Blurb

Burned out and traumatised by her horrifying experiences around the world, aid worker Úrsula has returned to Iceland. Unable to settle, she accepts a high-profile government role in which she hopes to make a difference again.
But on her first day in the post, Úrsula promises to help a mother seeking justice for her daughter, who had been raped by a policeman, and life in high office soon becomes much more harrowing than Úrsula could ever have imagined. A homeless man is stalking her – but is he hounding her, or warning her of some danger? And the death of her father in police custody so many years rears its head once again.
As Úrsula is drawn into dirty politics, facing increasingly deadly threats, the lives of her stalker, her bodyguard and even a witchlike cleaning lady intertwine. Small betrayals become large ones, and the stakes are raised ever higher…

My thoughts…

This is an impressive thriller set within the world of Icelandic politics, and its multi-layered narrative hooks you in via the split perspectives of our central characters, headed by Ursula, as she begins a new ministerial post. The story is built through rather short, sometimes choppy chapters; I really enjoyed the structure of the story-telling, and it dispersed what could have been a heavy read. This is no doubt a busy book, with layers from the past and present pulling together as you pick up the threads of all the characters lives and how they interconnect, as the theme of betrayal roots itself.

I always enjoy the sense of place many Nordic crime novels share, and this book is no exception. From the stilted and austere rooms of parliament, to homes and cityscapes netted with snow, this is a carefully crafted read.

I enjoyed the principal characters of Ursula, Stella and Gunnar. Gunnar in particular is endearing and well-drawn. It’s the complexities of Stella that are also engaging, and her position of a cleaner, is a clever play of this flawed and important character. I enjoyed her interaction and overall plotting with Ursula.

Ursula herself, is complex and has to deal with extremely challenging situations. Her past haunts her, and this builds fascinating layers, particularly as she deals with the issues of her new role. She remains constant as she battles the politics and misogynism around her.

A disconcerting and determined thriller set within the dangerous world of corruption and politics. Highly recommended.

The Blog Tour

The Author

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, including Snare, Trap and Cage, making up the Reykjavik Noir trilogy, which have hit bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

Orenda Books

Orenda Books is a small independent publishing company specialising in literary fiction with a heavy emphasis on crime/thrillers, and approximately half the list in translation. They’ve been twice shortlisted for the Nick Robinson Best Newcomer Award at the IPG awards, and publisher
and owner Karen Sullivan was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2016. In 2018, they were awarded a prestigious Creative Europe grant for their translated books programme.

Three authors, including Agnes Ravatn, Matt Wesolowski and Amanda Jennings have been WHSmith Fresh Talent picks, and Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, won an English PEN Translation Award, and adapted for BBC Radio Four ’s Book at Bedtime. Six titles have been shortor long-listed for the CWA Daggers. Launched in 2014 with a mission to bring more international literature to the UK market, Orenda Books publishes a host of debuts, many of which have gone on to sell millions worldwide, and looks for fresh, exciting new voices that push the genre in new directions.

Bestselling authors include Ragnar Jonasson, Antti Tuomainen, Gunnar Staalesen, Michael J. Malone, Kjell Ola Dahl, Louise Beech, Johana Gustawsson, Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Sarah Stovell.


http://www.orendabooks.co.uk
@OrendaBooks

Delighted to be on the #BlogTour for #LittleBookofHope by @LouHallWriter @RandomTTours

It’s lovely to be a part of this blog tour chatting about the LITTLE BOOK OF HOPE by Louise Hall, with thanks to Anne for the invite. Please keep scrolling to find out more about my experience with this little pocket book with a big heart.

The Blurb

The past few months have made us realise that change is inevitable sometimes good but sometimes it can be cruel and makes your world go out of control. We might experience anxiety, low moods, night sweats, exhaustion or worse. We lose all hope and feel that there is nothing to look forward to.

Little Book of Hope helps you find your way back again through Reflections to guide you through the difficult times, together with: Family. Friends. Rest. Time – for yourself. Walk. Talk. Cry. Grieve. Meditate. Pray. Accept things. Patience.

Dedicated to all those around the world who have lost hard but loved much – that you may re-discover Hope and welcome the beautiful pleasure of joy back into your lives.

My thoughts…

It was a day when everything seemed to be coming at me from all directions. It was a day that tested my ability to cope, to keep going, to keep smiling. My divorce had just been finalised, my future needed building again, job insecurities burdened, and I began thinking of the need to find a new home for myself, my daughter, and my beloved pets. It was a day I was struggling with my health, inflammations, aches, pains, ulcers flaring from my Crohn’s. A day of struggle watching my parents dealing with my nan with dementia, and being unable to find an answer, of feeling helpless…and then the sudden loss of a friend of many years, taken so quickly. It all came at me at once whilst I was sitting in my car, a gasping sense of panic, extreme sadness and fear. After a few deep breaths, I got out and made my way home. On unlocking my door, I noticed a little parcel lay on my mat…

Being honest, I don’t believe in much, life has disillusioned me in so many ways, so whether just by coincidence, or cosmic intervention, or some would say divine intervention, I unwrapped and read a few pages of the LITTLE BOOK OF HOPE.

Everyone needs hope, in so many stages of our lives, and little books like these, I guess can be a comfort. I am a little cynical, but I think there’s always a time and place where something else is needed, and comfort can be sought. Louise Hall’s little pocket size book arrived at a time when I needed to sit down and think, and I suppose hope that things will get better. I know, they will. I know that with time, with support from family and friends, life will build again, and we can embrace a new start. This book is designed to dip in and out of, there are more religious sections, but not overwhelmingly so, therefore it worked for me. I didn’t read a few of the lines, I actually read it from start to finish. Not just because of this blog tour, but because I needed a lot of hope at that time. It made me cry, and I think that’s what I needed, to wash away the sadness, and to pick myself up again.

So, that’s my little story. As many of you know, books are for me a form of escapism. They allow me to escape, to live other lives, to visit other places, other worlds, to see life from so many different perspectives. This little book is all about YOU, and giving you that little pick up, when you need it. You can apply its words to so many situations, and it can give you the hope to hold on in there, or have patience, or to sit and reflect.

A pocketsize little book, that despite its small size holds inside the enormous capacity for hope, love, support, and care that you just might need, and a large dose of faith. For those times when life is tough, and perhaps a perfect little gift for others who may need it one day.

With thanks to Louise and Anne for the book and tour invite – and the rather cathartic blog post. Happy, more positive days and a better future are ahead. Little books like this can make a difference.

A thoughtful little book that offers you a time to pause, to take what’s needed and the hope to push forward.

The Blog Tour

The Author

Louise Hall is from Malahide, Co. Dublin. She has previously published two works of non-fiction, Medjugorje: What it Means to Me and Medjugorje and Me: A Collection of Stories from Across the World. Her fiction has been published in The Irish Times and been shortlisted for numerous competitions, such as the RTÉ Guide/Penguin Short Story Award, the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Competition and the Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards. Pilgrim is her debut novel.

Website: www.louisehall.ie

Twitter: @LouHallWriter

Instagram: @louisehallwriter

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Book-Hope-Louise-Hall/dp/1780364032/

Delighted to be on the #BlogTour today for #TheSevenDoors by Agnes Ravatn @OrendaBooks #NordicNoir #readers #bookreview #newbook

‘Unfolds in an austere style that perfectly captures the bleakly beautiful landscape of Norway’s far
north’
Irish Times

University professor Nina is at a turning point. Her work seems increasingly irrelevant, her doctor husband is never home, relations with her adult daughter Ingeborg are strained, and their beautiful house is scheduled for demolition.
When Ingeborg decides to move into another house they own, things take a very dark turn. The young woman who rents it disappears, leaving behind her son, the day after Nina and Ingeborg pay her a visit.
With few clues, the police enquiry soon grinds to a halt, but Nina has an inexplicable sense of guilt. Unable to rest, she begins her own investigation, but as she pulls on the threads of the case, it seems her discoveries may have very grave consequences for her and her family.

My thoughts…

This was one of those books that once you start reading, you keep going until the end, despite the late hour. It’s not action packed or fast paced, it’s a very steady read, but completely absorbing. I have to admit there were some inferences that starting raising my curiosity fairly early on, and the ending proved that my ‘spidery’ senses were correct, so the outcome was not a surprise for me, but I loved watching the interactions of all the characters throughout: the network of lies, suspicions, greed, power-play, and manipulation provides great reading.

This is a layered psychological thriller with plenty of underlying drama. At the core is Nina, who is being displaced from her roots, and having to relocate as her house is going to be demolished. I really enjoyed her character, in particular her tenacity and drive to not give in. With themes of connection, roots and uprooting wrapped around the central mystery, there’s certainly a decent amount of background and depth to the narrative.

I loved the references to art, literature, and fairy-tales. The Bluebeard underscore was woven darkly and beautifully; the threaded allusion addition was very welcome, and I really enjoyed the insights it offers for readers, with the seven doors parallel.

Overall, a dark, layered allusion themed Nordic Noir that hooks you in until the closing lines.

The Author – Agnes Ravatn

Agnes Ravatn

Agnes Ravatn (b. 1983) is a Norwegian author and columnist. She made her
literary début with the novel Week 53 (Veke 53) in 2007. Since then she
has written three critically acclaimed and award-winning essay collections:
Standing still (Stillstand), 2011, Popular Reading (Folkelesnad), 2011, and
Operation self-discipline (Operasjon sjøldisiplin), 2014. In these works,
Ravatn revealed a unique, witty voice and sharp eye for human fallibility.
Her second novel, The Bird Tribunal (Fugletribuanlet), was an international
bestseller translated into fifteen languages, winning an English PEN Award,
shortlisting for the Dublin Literary Award, a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick and a BBC Book at Bedtime. It was also made into a successful play, which premiered in Oslo in 2015. Agnes lives with her family in the Norwegian countryside.

Thanks to Anne for the tour invite and to Orenda Books for the review copy – wishing this book every success it deserves.

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