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.

Please buy from independents if you can XX

Delighted to be on the #BlogTour today for #TheYearOfTheWitching by @alexhwrites @penguinrandom @RandomTTours

I love a good yarn about witchcraft, so jumped at the chance to be a part of the blog tour for THE YEAR OF THE WITCHING, huge thanks to Anne for the invite. It’s a debut novel from Alexis Henderson whose lifelong love of ghost stories and all things witchcraft has resulted in a surprisingly detailed story, with complex themes and a defiant, political feminist drive.

Please keep scrolling for bookish chat about THE YEAR OF THE WITCHING

Four witches. Four warnings. Four plagues, and the first had come upon them…

The blurb:

Born on the fringes of Bethel, Immanuelle does her best to obey the Church and follow Holy Protocol. For it was in Bethel that the first Prophet pursued and killed four powerful witches, and so cleansed the land.
And then a chance encounter lures her into the Darkwood that surrounds Bethel.
It is a forbidden place, haunted by the spirits of the witches who bestow an extraordinary gift on Immanuelle. The diary of her dead mother . . .
Fascinated by and fearful of the secrets the diary reveals, Immanuelle begins to understand why her mother once consorted with witches. And as the truth about the Prophets, the Church and their history is revealed, so Immanuelle understands what must be done. For the real threat to Bethel is its own darkness.
Bethel must change. And that change will begin with her . . .

My thoughts…

Firstly, this is not simply a story of witchcraft, it’s a layered and detailed novel with Atwood vibes connecting the wider themes into the dominant patriarchal village of Bethal. I must admit I wasn’t expecting a YA book vibe, so once that was established, I was able to adjust to the overall plot, character types and their relationships.

Bethal is controlled strongly by religion, and the patriarchy that represents it. The rules over the villagers are stark, particularly so for the women. The darkness and the evil are not, as expected, ultimately caused by the witches, but it’s deeply rooted in the societal structures in place throughout Bethal. At the centre of this is the Prophet, who leads the villagers and is the top of the village’s hierarchy – he is also able to claim several wives, and both dominate and control them to his advantage. The reader cannot help but immediately question the morality and systemic patriarchy controlling this sheltered and alienated village.

So, where’s the witchcraft? It lies in the deep forest surrounding the town, and in its history. Our eyes are opened to this, through our central protagonist, Immanuelle, whose life changes after finding her dead mother’s diary; suddenly her perspective of the world shifts, and she begins to question how evil, and how much a threat the spirits of the witches in the wood are.

This is also a book about a quest, and the coming of age story of Immanuelle. She is drawn into the battle to stop four plagues descending on the village, a plague she unwittingly began. Her quest is to defeat the four plagues of Blood, Blight, Darkness and Slaughter, and along the way discover who is she, and where she truly belongs. Her bravery, passion, and morality to do what is right makes her a powerful female character; this is most definitely, and rightly, her story.

Certainly, a strong debut novel, with surprising thematic depth. A book that explores religion, patriarchy, feminism, fundamentalism, and politics as a young girl fights for the truth of her past and attempts to build a better future. With an abundance of darkness, witchery, and horror; this is a steadily paced and detailed book of a town plagued by witchcraft with a powerful thematic undercurrent.

The Author

Alexis Henderson is a speculative fiction writer with a penchant for dark fantasy, witchcraft, and cosmic horror. She grew up in one of America’s most haunted cities, Savannah, Georgia, which instilled in her a life-long love of ghost stories. When she doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, you can find her painting or watching horror movies with her feline familiar. Currently, Alexis resides in the sun-soaked marshland of Charleston, South Carolina.

Alexis Henderson

The Blog Tour

Please do check out more bookish chat about THE YEAR OF THE WITCHING from these brilliant bloggers.

Please do buy from independents if you can XX

Pleased to be a part of the #BlogTour for #Innocent by @KinsleyErin @headlinepg @RandomTTours

I’m very excited and grateful to be a part of the Blog Tour for Erin Kinsley’s Innocent – many thanks to Anne for the invite and Headline for sending the book. I love a good thriller with a large dose of drama, and this was billed as great for people who enjoyed LIAR and BROADCHURCH. As soon as I started reading, I could see this as a TV drama, and please do keep reading to find out why…

A MURDER TEARS A SMALL TOWN APART. BUT WHO DID IT?

The pretty market town of Sterndale is a close-knit community where everyone thinks they know everyone else. But at a lavish summer wedding a local celebrity is discovered slumped in the gardens, the victim of a violent assault that leads to a murder investigation.

As the police search for answers, suspicion and paranoia build – and the lives of the locals are turned upside down.

Secrets that lurk beneath the pristine façade of Sterndale come to light as detectives close in on the truth…

Please do check out these other brilliant book bloggers for more bookish chat about ‘Innocent’

My thoughts…

This book from the start was so easy to visualise as a TV series, I could picture the mix of close and long shots, and the switches in perspectives, as all the central players come into focus. In all good thrillers, you need a great location and great diverse characters, and Innocent provides all of this in abundance. I really enjoyed it.

The book is set in the small town of Sterndale, and begins with a brutal assault of a celebrity, Tristan Hart, who lives in the town with his wife, Izzy and their young daughter. This novel certainly begins with ‘the calm before the storm’, as the perfect couple leading a perfect life, fractures within the opening pages and is pulled apart over the course of the novel. Secrets, lies and betrayals take centre stage as the reader is tasked with working out what’s behind the surface and who could possibly have acted so violently.

From the start, there are plenty of suspects to choose from, and this only builds as the investigation progresses. I enjoyed the Police investigation perspective as those who knew Tristan Hart are investigated, and secrets are revealed. The investigation and interviews are written in detail, and sometimes repeated back, some may find this a repetitious, but I enjoyed the reflection time to wonder about the suspects.

This is not a fast-paced book, it takes its time to describe this community and the events that shake it up, I enjoyed taking my time reading it as well, and loved the heart behind the story. I enjoyed the tensions, the reveals and the emotional depth within this thriller. With some smart red herrings to put you off the scent, there’s some super plotting in this book that makes you want to keep reading.

A emotionally charged, intelligently designed thriller that demands you keep turning the pages. Highly recommended.

Please buy from Independents if you can XX

Very pleased to be on the #BlogTour for #TheQuickening by @sarahrward1 #Bookreview with thanks to @TrapezeBooks and @alexxlayt

A huge thanks to Alex for sending me a copy of The Quickening , it’s a gorgeous looking book, and seemed a perfect genre match for me, and I was right; I had such an enjoyable ride reading this one.

Keep scrolling for more bookish chat…

A séance recreated. A secret revealed.

Blurb

An infamous séance. A house burdened by grief. A secret that can no longer stay buried.

England, 1925. Louisa Drew lost her husband in the First World War and her six-year-old twin sons in the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918. Newly re-married and seven months pregnant, Louisa is asked by her employer to travel to Clewer Hall in Sussex to photograph the contents of the house for auction. Desperate for money after falling on hard times, she accepts the commission.

On arrival, she learns Clewer Hall was host to an infamous séance in 1896, the consequences of which still haunt the family. Before the Clewer’s leave England for good, the lady of the house has asked those who attended the original séance to recreate the evening. Louisa soon becomes embroiled in the strange happenings of the house, unravelling the longheld secrets of what happened that night thirty years before… and discovers her own fate is entwined with Clewer Hall’s.

My thoughts…

I love gothic fiction, so jumped at the chance to read Rhiannon Ward’s The Quickening, described as a supernatural, chilling historical mystery; centering around a séance at a crumbling, isolated hall in Sussex. With that introduction, there’s no way I’m not in!

We begin with two quotes, a definition of quickening, which is a time in pregnancy where the female can feel dizzy, nervous or experience hysteria. The other from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, from his collection of essays, The History of Spiritualism, that explores the question of life after death, and seeking to know if communication is possible with passed loved ones to seek ‘the touch of a vanished hand, and the sound of a voice that is still.’ This sets up the tone of the narrative, that is split over two time periods.

Our story begins in 1925, where the central protagonist wakes from a dream, filled with memories of the past and those she has lost. This is Louisa Drew, and she is a woman ahead of her time, with a strong determination to achieve and contribute to her life and wider world. She’s a photographer, and despite being heavily pregnant takes on a job at Clewer Hall, to photograph household items for a auction. She knows her second husband will object, so she arranges to leave before he gets home and finds out. I liked Louisa from the start, and soon we begin to realise that Clewer Hall and its inhabitants are hiding many secrets, and that Louisa’s new commission will not be straightforward.

I love crumbling expansive mansions in isolated settings, adding a heavy dose of gothic atmosphere and I’m hooked. This is my kind of book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the merging of mystery thriller, gothic deliciousness, supernatural events and murder. However, it’s the additional depth that really resonated with me, from the devastation of World War One, to female empowerment, photography methods of the time, grief and finding the strength to change your life, even in difficult circumstances.

Added to all this, there’s the intrigue of the recreated séance, the mysterious behaviour of the characters, and Louisa’s increasingly dangerous position that racks up the tension. The séance adds an intensely creepy tone that adds malevolence with increasingly odd, and unexplainable events to add turmoil to Louisa’s commission. There’s a darkness lurking in the shadows of the house, and this drives the narrative; the reader begins to piece together the clues, that reveal the truth of the house. Along the way, Louisa makes both enemies and friends, but she remains determined. There’s a little of a romance sub-plot which is nicely handled, and adds to Louisa’s spirit and determination to live her life, and build her future in her own terms.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to people who enjoy historical gothic fiction, and enjoy some supernatural thrills.

I struggled to put it down, a goose-bump inducing supernatural ride! Read it!

I’m delighted to be a part of the #blogtour for #Mime by @ChrisseyWrites with thanks to Anne @RandomTTours #readers #newbook #bookchat

I’m quite an eclectic reader, so when I was asked to join the blog tour for ‘Mime’, I jumped at the opportunity to read a genre that’s not my typical choice. In all honesty, it was not a book I’d probably pick up if I saw it in a bookstore, mainly because the cover doesn’t appeal to me personally (because I’m not a supernatural/horror reader), but I’m really glad I got to read this. Keep scrolling to find out why…

Blurb

There’s a supernatural killer on the loose…

Elliot Cross didn’t believe in monsters. At least, not until his brother died at the hands of something unnatural.

Four years later and a string of impossible deaths leave the police baffled. Consumed by a desire to shine a journalistic light on the supernatural world, Elliot sees a chance to make a difference. Enlisting the help of his (only) employee, Samantha, he quickly identifies the culprit – a demonic mime artist whose invisible creations are fatally real.

Way out of his depth, Elliot’s only hope is renowned demon hunter Gabriel Cushing. But tracking down Gabriel is only the beginning… The search for a way to end the demon forever will take Elliot and Sam across the country, uncovering lost history, buried secrets, and a few new truths about themselves.

My thoughts

Mime is one of those books that’s pure escapism, and fun to read. It’s on the long side, coming in at 520 pages, but don’t let that put you off! It’s an adventure from start to finish, and I relaxed straight away into Harrison’s clear and uncomplicated storytelling. I’ve always loved being told stories since I was little, and this is one of those books you can just sink into. It’s described as a supernatural thriller, and it certainly is that, however you also get a flawed and haunted lead character, Elliot Cross, whose investigation into the strange and weird wraps the reader very quickly into a battle with a supernatural demon nemesis. Along the way, he enlists support from other like-minded people, and suddenly we have a varied demon fighting team, but it’s certainly a battle to stay alive.

Cross’s main sidekick is Sam, and she becomes more than an employee as the story develops, this adds a side romance plot, but it doesn’t overtake at all. The focus remains on the battle to remove Mime from its host and stop it murdering innocents. There’s a hidden past to uncover, as the team race across the country to find a way to exorcise the demon that is after them, and one of the secrets has deeply personal implications. This adds needed depth, and is plotted in extremely well.

If you like supernatural reads, than I’d highly recommend ‘Mime’. A driven mystery, a supernatural thriller, an evil demon in a battle with flawed, but driven, dedicated demon hunters and a fun adventure. I really enjoyed the variety of the cast of characters, and as we discover more about them, they also realise there’s so much more going on under the surface. The story sets itself up really well for the sequel.

A thrilling supernatural adventure with heart! Recommended Read.

The Author

Chrissey Harrison

Author of supernatural thrillers and other spec genre fiction.

Subscribe to my newsletter for free bonus content: https://bit.ly/3d3ar0k

What can you expect from my books? Monsters, magic, action and adventure, and fragile human characters trying to muddle through as best they can. They make mistakes and bad choices sometimes, and they have to learn to recognise their own strengths and weaknesses and turn to their friends and loved ones for help and support.

My debut novel, “Mime”, released June 2020. Working on this book has been an epic 10 year journey learning how to be a writer. Although Mime was my first project, it has routinely been on the back burner while I worked on other projects. You can discover the published ones in the books section of my website, and novelette “The Star Coin Prophecy” is available as a free download for subscribers.

FIND ME:
Website: http://chrisseyharrison.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/chrisseywrites
Facebook: http://facebook.com/authorchrisseyharrison

I’m a science geek, gamer, fan of sci-fi and fantasy, and wearer of many hats. Metaphorical hats, that is, not so much real hats. At the moment I mostly wear my writer hat, my designer and my crafter hat. I also used to wear my film maker hat when producing movies with my amazing colleagues over at The Great Escape.

I live in Clevedon in a creaky old Victorian terrace with my partner and my 17 year-old goldfish Ambition. One day I will own a cat… one day.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mime-Supernatural-Thriller-Chrissey-Harrison/dp/1838593608

Check out the other blog tour chat for ‘Mime’

2020 Blog Tour Dates for MIME

Pleased to be joining the #blogtour for #TheOneThatGotAway by @Egan_Hughes #compulsivereaders @Tr4cyF3nt0n #newbook #readers with thanks to @BooksSphere

You love him. You trust him. You can’t escape him.

The blurb

Mia thinks she has escaped her controlling ex-husband, Rob. She’s found herself a new home, a new boyfriend and a new life.

But when the police arrive to tell her that Rob has been found dead on his boat, things quickly fall apart. Mia is terrified she’ll be suspected, however the police are keeping all options open. They know Mia had reason to hate her ex-husband, but she’s not the only one. Plenty of people wanted Rob Creavy dead, not least his new wife, Rachel.

What they don’t know is that Mia has a secret, one she’s desperate to protect.

But someone else knows. Someone with very dark secrets of their own . . .

My thoughts

‘The One That Got Away’ is a tense thriller built on lies, abuse, manipulation, jealousy and deceit that ends with murder. The story is told in different time frames via our frame narrator, so it’s really enjoyable piecing everything together. One of the things I enjoyed about this story is controlled plotting of the narrative, and the insight into gaslighting behaviour.

The story begins with a death, and the reader finds themselves questioning what really happened, as we find out more about Mia, her current life and her past as Jess. In the present day, Mia is dealing with the aftermath of her ex-husband’s murder, and its implications on her current life. This story is split up with the experience of Jess, as she falls in love, gets married and finds her life becomes anything but happy.

This book is a strong debut, for me personally it stalled a little in the middle, and I wanted the narrative to develop at a quicker pace, but that’s just my experience. The narrative drive comes from the question, why now? why does this murder happen at this particular time and who are the suspects? I enjoyed how little clues and red herrings were implanted carefully into the story.

Overall, a solid psychological thriller debut. Huge thanks to the author, and publisher for the review copy.

Please buy from independents if you can XX

July reads and… whoopsie also May and Junes! #readingwrapup #bookchat #readers #bookblogger

I’ve just realised I didn’t post about my May and June reads, I think the ‘RONA’ pandemic has taken my focus away! I’ve been shutting down my costume and fancy dress hire shop (it sadly is a victim of RONA) and putting into stasis the Stage School, Touring Theatre, rehearsals rooms and other theatrical work, in the hope that they’ll come back to life in the future. So, like many others, these are tough times. If you’re having a difficult time too, I really wish you well, and keep the faith!

So back to books, I thought I’d tag the May and June reads into my July reads blog post, so if you are interested then do keep scrolling. 🙂

Book totals: July 13, June 5, and May 18

July 2020

Cape May by Chip Cheek – set in the 1950s and explores the loss of innocence; lots of potential, but soon turned into the unexpected, and not in a good way for me. Disappointed.

The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda – I enjoyed this one, see my blog post for further chat: https://booksteaandme.blog/2020/07/10/blogtour-for-thegirlfromwidowhills-by-meganlmiranda-corvusbooks-randomthingstours-annecater/

Descendent of the Crane by Joan He – I personally found this a little slow going, but a solid fantasy read about an unstable kingdom, power, magic and the fight for justice.

Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver – not your typical murder mystery thriller; creative, disturbing and addictive. For more chat, check out my earlier blog post: https://booksteaandme.blog/2020/07/21/blogtour-for-hintonhollowdeathtrip-by-will_carver-dspace-orendabooks-annecater/

Written in Blood by Chris Carter – the third Robert Hunter book, and another cracking read. For more chat, check out my blog tour post: https://booksteaandme.blog/2020/07/23/blogtour-writteninblood-by-chris-carter-simonschusteruk-harriett_col-randomthingstours/

Good Samaritans by Will Carver – a writer who doesn’t hold back; it’s dark, sexual and disturbing. Controversial and addictive.

Anna Undreaming by Thomas Welsh – a complex fantasy world, and a decent debut. For more chat: https://booksteaandme.blog/2020/07/18/bookchat-annaundreaming-calmdowntom-owlhollowpress/

The Resident by David Jackson – creepy, full of black comedy and a recommended read.

Wounding PB by Heidi James – not for me, just didn’t hold my attention.

Shed No Tears by Caz Frear – the third book featuring DC Cat Kinsella, and the best to date. Blog chat here: https://booksteaandme.blog/2020/07/23/blogtour-shednotears-cazzif-zaffrebooks-compulsivereaders-tr4cyf3nt0n/

The Cry of the Lake by Charlie Tyler – a solid debut novel about murder, passion and secrets. Blog tour chat: https://booksteaandme.blog/2020/07/31/happy-to-be-on-the-blogtour-today-for-thecryofthelake-by-charlietyler17-randomttours-with-thanks-to-anne-for-the-invite/

The Wind Dancer by Iris Johansen – entertaining historical saga , enjoyable but features a dominating relationship.

Don’t Turn Around by Jessica Barry – really enjoyed this high tension thriller with depth, see blog for further chat. https://booksteaandme.blog/2020/08/03/its-blogtour-day-for-dontturnaround-by-jessbarryauthor-harvillsecker-jazminamarsh-vintagebooks-newbook-readers-bookrecommendations/

June 2020

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout – I enjoyed this, a fantasy novel about protected maidens waiting for Ascension, until one decides to make a different choice, and with the help of Hawke, changes her course.

The Official Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Cookbook – delightful cookbook, full of cookery history and delicious recipes.

The First Lie by A.J. Park – entertaining thriller, about a man coming home to find his wife over the body of a dead man.

Daughters of Cornwall by Fern Brittain – an enjoyable family saga from 1914 to 2020.

Very Nearly Normal by Hannah Sunderland – funny rom-com and entertaining escapism, enjoyable.

May 2020

A Murderous Relation (Veronica Speedwell 5) by Deanna Raybourn – the lastest book in the Speedwell and Stoker mysteries, always entertaining!

The Seduction by Joanna Briscoe – creatively written book of desire, obsession and the female. https://booksteaandme.blog/2020/06/20/blogtour-theseduction-joannabriscoe-bloomsburybooks-randomthingstours-annecater-readers-bookchat-newbook/

Poison Study (Study 1) by Maria V. Snyder – the first book in a fantasy series about a food taster, who risks her life daily keeping the king safe, but soon her world falls apart. Fun.

The Split by Sharon Bolton – this is a layered perspective novel, with unreliable narrators, gives the brain a workout. Enjoyable, Bolton never seems to deliver a bad book. https://booksteaandme.blog/2020/05/26/blogtour-the-split-by-sharon-bolton-and-published-by-orion-books/

The Deck of Omens (The Devouring Grey 2) by Christine Lynn Herman – the second in the series set in Four Paths, and the Beast that threatens the town may once again return, enjoyable.

The Devouring Grey by Christine Lynn Herman – the first book in the duology, set in a town threatened by an ancient curse, and as a new girl arrives in town, she soon notices something is very wrong. Fun,

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren – Perfect summer garden read, lots of laughs and your predictable but necessary happy ever after.

The Truants by Kate Weinberg – a coming of age drama, full of lies, desires, manipulation and murder. Recommended. https://booksteaandme.blog/2020/06/16/blogtour-thetruants-by-kateweinberg-bloomsburybooks-with-thanks-to-annecater-randomthingstours/

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski – the first book in a YA fantasy series. A great start, about power, control, slavery, freedom and corruption.

The Curator by M.W. Craven – Always a fantastic read, this is the third book in the Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw crime series, and there’s an evil mastermind to be defeated, but it’s a challenge. Highly recommended. https://booksteaandme.blog/2020/05/29/blogtour-thecurator-mwcravenuk-littlebrownuk-thecrimevault-bethwright26/

The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman – absolutely loved this book. Read it! https://booksteaandme.blog/2020/05/30/blogtour-thesecretsofstrangers-by-charitynorman1-randomthingstours/

The Sixth Window by Rachel Abbott – book 6 in the DCI Tom Douglas series, a hit and run, dark intentions and a search for the truth.

Kill Me Again by Rachel Abbott – DCI Tom Douglas investigates a missing husband and a murdered wife case, that soon becomes far more complex.

Sleep Tight by Rachel Abbott – after blood is found, and a woman is missing DCI Tom Douglas begins to investigate.

The Glass House by Eve Chase – really enjoyed this story, highly recommended. https://booksteaandme.blog/2020/05/29/blogtour-theglasshouse-evepollychase-michaeljbooks-gabyyoung/

The Back Road by Rachel Abbott – Another DCI Tom Douglas investigation where a tragic hit and run causes strife in a small community.

Only the Innocent by Rachel Abbott – this is the first book in the DCI Tom Douglas series, a crime drama with sordid secrets and murder to the plot, good series start.

Happy #paperback Publication Day to #LostYou by Haylen Beck @stuartneville @JazminaMarsh @vintagebooks

You’re looking for your son. But she found him first.

When a little boy goes missing, his mother desperately wants to find him . . . before someone else does.

Libby would do anything for her three-year-old son Ethan. And after all they’ve been through, a holiday seems the perfect antidote for them both. Their hotel is peaceful, safe and friendly, yet Libby can’t help feeling that someone is watching her. Watching Ethan. Because, for years, Libby has lived with a secret.

Just days into their holiday, when Libby is starting to relax, Ethan steps into an elevator on his own, and the doors close before Libby can stop them. Moments later, Ethan is gone.

Libby thought she had been through the worst, but her nightmare is only just beginning. And in a desperate hunt for her son, it becomes clear she’s not the only one looking for him.

Who will find him first?

Book Chat

This book draws its horror from a mother’s worst nightmare: your child goes missing. It’s an incredibly tense thriller read with a strong emotional journey, and an additional layer to make this a twisty ride for the reader. It was a one sitting read for me, and once you start this reading the pace is intense and driven.

The story is about Libby, who finds herself in a nightmare situation early on in the book; slowly we find out that there’re dark secrets under the surface of the story. Libby is a single mother and whilst on holiday loses her son. It’s also Anna’s story, a young woman who, through desperate times, becomes involved in shady dealings with a surrogate business, and her story is entwined dramatically with Libby’s. I loved how the reader’s perspective is played with, as reveals are made; the final climax is incredibly tense, and heart-breaking.

This is a book about personal needs, relationships, motherhood, secrets and tragedy. I would have no hesitation recommending this thriller book. Out now!

Praise for ‘Lost You’:

‘A tense, heart-wrenching thriller’ T. M. Logan, author of The Holiday

‘A twisty, action-packed adventure that never draws breath and will strike an emotional chord in the heart of every mother’ Daily Mail

‘Far too few thrillers have genuine suspense, twists that give you goosebumps and – most importantly – characters that you really care about. Lost You has it all’ Mark Billingham

Please buy from Independents if you can XX

It’s #blogtour day for #Don’tTurnAround by @jessbarryauthor @HarvillSecker @JazminaMarsh @vintagebooks #newbook #readers #bookrecommendations

Delighted to be chatting about ‘Don’t Turn Around’ by Jessica Barry today, with thanks to Harvill Secker, and Jasmine at Penguin Random House. Please keep scrolling down for the book blurb, some bookish chat, about the author info, and a letter to the reader from Jessica Barry about ‘Don’t Turn Around’.

Two Strangers. Dangerous Secrets. Their only chance is each other.

The Blurb

Two strangers, Cait and Rebecca, are driving across America. Cait’s job is to transport women to safety. Out of respect, she never asks any questions. Like most of the women, Rebecca is trying to escape something.

But what if Rebecca’s secrets put them both in danger? There’s a reason Cait chooses to keep on the road, helping strangers. She has a past of her own, and knows what it’s like to be followed.

And there is someone right behind them, watching their every move…

My Thoughts…

Okay, when someone has said to me ‘don’t turn around’ it often strikes fear in me… in my world mainly because there’s some spider crawling towards me, or there’s someone I’m avoiding 😉 However, in Jessica Barry’s book, ‘Don’t Turn Around’ has more deadly consequences!

This is a new thriller read that jumps between the stories of two women: Cait and Rebecca. The narrative is choppy, and moves from a journey in ‘real time’ to Albuquerque to the months preceding the road trip. I really enjoyed the narrative splits; the reader is filling in the pieces during the higher paced momentum of the road trip. We begin to discover the missing pieces of these women’s lives and how they find themselves in the situation they are currently in. On the surface, Cait has collected Rebecca in secret to drive her to safety, although we soon realise there’s much more to both of their stories. So, what a hook! I was fully engaged right from the start in this tense, scary and layered thriller read. I really enjoyed the drama behind the road trip as the women become hunted by an unknown assailant, who is determine to scare, chase and hunt.

I really enjoyed the strength behind the female protagonists, both women have difficult back-stories but both use this to become braver, and stronger. There’s a lot of tension and drama in this book, and it’s genuinely hard to put it down.

I love books that make you question everything you are reading, and I’m sure, like me, you’ll have a whole page of questions when reading this book. The pacing works really well, holding enough back until the right moments: it’s great fun!

For me, what made this thriller different, was the depth of the backstories, the controversial storyline elements, the emotional and psychological complexities, and the strength of the women that were weaved into an action led chase thriller.

A heart-pounding, hurtling, drama packed ride with heart and empowerment holding it all together. Highly recommended for thriller readers who are looking for additional qualities in their stories.

The Author

Jessica Barry is a pseudonym for an American author who has lived and worked in London for the past fifteen years. Look for Me (previously published as Freefall), her debut thriller, has sold in more than twenty-two territories around the world and has also secured a major Hollywood film deal.

‘Don’t Turn Around’ is available now and please buy from Independents if you can XX

Happy to be on the #BlogTour today for #TheCryoftheLake by @CharlieTyler17 @RandomTTours with thanks to Anne for the invite.

What is hiding in the lake?

Blurb

A gruesome discovery unravels a dark trail of murder and madness.

A six-year-old girl sneaks out of bed to capture a mermaid but instead discovers a dead body. Terrified and unable to make sense of what she sees, she locks the vision deep inside her mind.

Ten years later, Lily is introduced to the charismatic Flo and they become best friends. But Lily is guilt-ridden – she is hiding a terrible secret which has the power to destroy both their lives.

When Flo’s father is accused of killing a schoolgirl, the horrors of Lily’s past come bubbling to the surface. Lily knows that, whatever the consequences, she has to make things right. She must go back to the events of her childhood and face what happened at the boat house all those years ago.

Can Lily and Flo discover what is hiding in the murky waters of the lake before the killer strikes again?

My Thoughts…

‘The Cry of the Dark’ is a debut novel from Charlie Tyler that explores deep manipulation, darkness, abuse and family bonds. And, it all begins with a murder…

The story is told via a mix of multiple first-person narratives, via Lily, Grace and Flo, providing the reader with starkly alternative perspectives. It’s very soon clear that there’s something dark at play as the eerily casual response to a murder victim at a table is dealt with. The story develops into an interplay between two sisters and their lives, and as their memories surface we find out more about the past and why they are behaving as they are. Outside of this is the narrative of Lily’s friend Flo, which is needed to balance the storytelling, and her narrative becomes tragically and disturbingly joined up with the sisters, Lily and Grace, and leads to a heart-pounding climax.

There’s also the gradual uncovering of the past, of the childhood between two girls and fractured home-life around them. There’s an underscore of abuse and forbidden love.

I love the puzzle read structure, slow reveals are made and the pieces start coming together; this keeps you turning the pages. It’s a story wrapped in a psychological plot of manipulation and murder. There’s a study of grief and loss, identity, young love, passion and trauma. A strong character led debut novel.

The Author

Charlie has been writing for years but it was taking a creative writing course in 2018 which gave her the gentle kick she needed to finish her debut novel. Charlie is very much a morning person and likes nothing more than committing a fictional murder before her first coffee of the day. She studied Theology at Worcester College, Oxford and now lives in a Leicestershire village with her husband, three teenagers and golden retriever.

http://www.charlietyler.com/

Twitter @CharlieTyler17

Blog Tour – for further insights and reviews, so do check out the rest of the blog tour:

Please buy from independents if you can XX