Friday, 22 June 2018

#BookReview Night Fall by Simon R. Green @TheSimonRGreen @BerkleyPub @FreshFiction

Night Fall by Simon R. Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Moonbreaker comes the epic final Secret Histories adventure, where the Droods will take on the most unexpected of enemies: the inhabitants of the Nightside.

The Droods are all about control, making people do what they’re told for the greater good. The Nightside is all about choice: good and bad and everything in between. The Droods want to make the world behave. The Nightside wants to party. They were never going to get along.

For centuries, ancient Pacts have kept the Droods out of the Nightside, but now the Droods see the Nightside as a threat to the whole world. They march into the long night, in their armour, to put it under their control. All too soon, the two sides are at war. It’s Eddie Drood and Molly Metcalf against John Taylor and Shotgun Suzie. The Drood Sarjeant-at-Arms and their Armourer against Dead Boy and Razor Eddie. More groups join in: the London Knights, the Ghost Finders, the Spawn of Frankenstein, Shadows Fall, and the Soulhunters. Science and magic are running wild, there’s blood running in the gutters, and the bodies are piling up.

Is anyone going to get out of this alive?

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I might have faced reading this book with a bit of trepidation. I have only read one book before in the Secret Histories series (MOONBREAKER) and no books from the Nightside series and Ghost Finders series. However, I did not need to worry. This book was just as much fun reading as MOONBREAKER. NIGHT FALLS is the conclusion of both the Secret Histories and the Nightside series. It's a massive book, with lots of characters popping in and out of the story and it's a bloody marvelous book. Ever since I started to read the Ishmael Jones series has I been a big fan of Simon R. Green, and I just love the fact that I now have several new series that I want to read.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Thursday, 21 June 2018

#CoverCrush The Other Side of Everything by Lauren Doyle Owens

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!

After her elderly neighbor is murdered, Amy Unger, a fledgling artist and cancer survivor, takes to the canvas in an effort to make sense of her neighbor’s death. Painting helps Amy recover from the devastating illness that ended her marriage and left her life in ruin. But when her paintings prove to be too realistic, her neighbors grow suspicious, and the murderer, still lurking, finds his way to her door.

Bernard White, a widower who has isolated himself for years after a family scandal, can’t stop thinking about the murder of an old friend—and what it means for his fellow octogenarians as the death toll rises. He convinces the neighborhood’s geriatric residents to band together to protect one another. But the Originals, as they are known, can’t live together forever. As it is, Bernard is pressing his luck with the woman he’s moved in with.

Maddie Lowe is a teenager trying to balance her waitressing job and keeping her family intact after the disappearance of her mother, even as their neighborhood becomes more dangerous by the second. She has information crucial to solving the crime. But she doesn’t realize it–until it’s almost too late.

Their paths converge around the killer terrorizing their neighborhood and they are all faced with a life—or death—decision…

A gripping page-turner that explores the strange connections between strangers, the past and the present, and the power of tragedy to spark renewal, The Other Side of Everything marks the exciting debut of a vibrant and riveting new voice.

Thoughts:

I just love the upside-down cover with the sky at the bottom and the houses on the top. I think it really suits the title well "The Other Side of Everything"...

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages





Tuesday, 19 June 2018

#BookReview What My Sister Knew by Nina Laurin @girlinthetitle @GrandCentralPub

What My Sister Knew by Nina Laurin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We're not just siblings; we're twins. We're supposed to be able to read each other's thoughts. Although Eli is a few minutes younger, he always seemed older, always one step ahead.

It turns out that Eli kept many secrets. And he told many lies. So although he was once seen as the golden child-while I stood by as the silent sister-his web of deception led to a guilty verdict for the arson that killed our parents.

Now his thirteen-year sentence has been served, and Eli is free. But we are still bound by a secret. Which is dangerous because he has nothing left to lose, and I have everything.


*********

After reading the excellent Girl Last Seen last year was I curious to see if Nina Laurin next book What My Sister Knew would be just as good. I'm glad to say that it worked very well for me.

One thing I want to say about this book and that I didn't find the story that surprising, actually I had a pretty good idea about what would happen, and what secrets Andrea had. Not that the whole story was predictable, some nice surprises occurred. However, despite the fact that I suspected the truth is the writing so compelling. And the characters, especially Andrea and her brother Eli, are so interesting that the book hooked me and wouldn't let me go. The flashbacks to their childhood and to the fire that killed their mother and stepfather made the book extra interesting. And, since the present story was interwoven with the flashbacks do we get a little bit of the past at the time which makes the story even more compelling.

I will end this review by stating that Nina Laurin has once again made it. What My Sister Knew is great thanks to excellent writing and character that got under your skin. Now I can't wait to read Laurin's next book!

I want to thank Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

What My Sister Knew by Nina Laurin

Monday, 18 June 2018

#BookReview Slaktaren (The Butcher) by Gabriella Ullberg Westin (SWE/ENG)

Slaktaren by Gabriella Ullberg Westin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Det är i början av oktober och älgjakten i Hudiksvallstrakten är i full gång. En tidig morgon gör slaktaren Hans Larsson en makaber upptäckt när han hittar en människokropp upphängd i krokar i slakteriets tak. Johan Rokka och hans kollegor på Hudiksvallspolisen får ärendet på sitt bord. Det råder inga tvivel om att offret blivit utsatt för tortyr, och snart visar det sig att detta bara är ett i raden av bestialiska mord. Polisen söker efter sanningen bakom brotten och den visar sig grymmare än de någonsin kunnat föreställa sig. Slaktaren är en historia om girighet och hämnd, med snabbt tempo och flera parallella handlingar som flätas ihop.

**********

Slaktaren är bok 4 i Morden i Hudiksvall men kan utan svårigheter läsas fristående. Själv har jag bara hunnit läsa bok 2, Springpojken inna jag läste denna, men jag ser det bara som positivt att jag har två böcker kvar att läsa för Slaktaren är riktigt bra. För det första börjar boken starkt med en man blir attackerad i skogen efter en älgjakt, man vet inte varför, men den handlingen är startskottet för bestialiska mord. Mord som John Rokka och hans kollegor måste lösa. Någon är ute efter hämnd, men varfö? Vad har dessa mördade män gemensamt?

Slaktaren är en bok som verkligen imponerade på mig, först verkar det bara som en massa lösa trådar. Mord begås, men vad är den gemensamma nämnaren? Det finns också sidospår, bland annat en grävande journalist, men det är först mot slutet som man börjar inse sanningen av vad som pågår, och jag måste erkänna att jag blev överraskad när jag insåg hur allting hängde ihop.

Springpojken är bra, men Slaktaren är rysligt bra!

Tack HarperCollins Nordic för recensionsexemplaret!


ENGLISH REVIEW

It is in early October and the moose hunt has started in Hudiksvall. Slaughterer Hans Larsson makes a macabre discover early one morning when he finds a human body suspended in hooks in the slaughterhouse's ceiling. Johan Rokka and his colleagues at Hudiksvall Police gets the case on their table. There is no doubt that the victim has been subjected to torture, and soon it turns out that this is only one the first in a line of bestial murder. The police are looking for the truth behind the crimes and it turns out to be crueler than they ever imagined. The butcher is a story about greed and vengeance, with a fast pace and several parallel stories that merge together.

**********

The Butcher is book four in the Murders in Hudiksvall series, but the books can be read without difficulty as stand alone. I have only read book two, the Errand Boy, before I read this one. However, I'm glad that I have two books left to read because the Butcher is really good. I really like the strong beginning of this book, with a man being attacked in the woods after a moose hunt. You do not know why, but that event is the starting point for all the brutal murders. Murders that John Rokka and his colleagues must solve. Someone is after revenge, but why? What do these murdered men have in common?

The Butcher is a book that really impressed me, at first the story seemed to just have a lot of loose threads. Murders are committed, but what is the common factor? There are also sidetracks, including a digging journalist, but it is only at the end that you begin to realize the truth of what's going on, and I have to admit that I was surprised when I realized how everything was connected.

The Errand Boy is good, but the Butcher is awesome!

Thanks HarperCollins Nordic for the review copy!

#BookReview Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier @JenniferHillier @FreshFiction @MinotaurBooks

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who's been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong's remains are discovered in the woods near Geo's childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he's something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo's first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela's death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?


**********

JAR OF HEARTS is a compelling thrilling that starts off with a bang! Right from the very start, do we know that Georgina "Geo" Shaw is guilty of knowing what happened to her best friend, Angela Wong, who disappeared fourteen years ago? The blame has been placed on Calvin James, Geo's high school boyfriend. His DNA has been found on Angela's body, and ties to the mysterious deaths of three other women. For fourteen years, Geo hides these facts, until she comes clean to the cops, and has to face time in prison because of it. The big question is, did she really tell the whole story? Kaiser, a detective with the Seattle PD and a childhood friend of Geo and Angela, doesn't think so, but Geo keeps quiet...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Sunday, 17 June 2018

#BookReview The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke @phoebe_locke @headlinepg

The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A senseless murder. A terrifying legend. A family haunted.

1990: In the darkest woods, three girls go looking for the Tall Man.

2000: A young mother disappears, leaving behind her husband and baby daughter.

2018: A teenage girl is charged with murder, and her trial will shock the world.

Three chilling events, connected by one shadowy figure.

The Tall Man is coming...

*********

The Tall Man is a fabulous book! As a big fan of paranormal thrillers did I love how the legend of the Tall Man made the basis for this book. How all three storylines in different ways had to deal with the Tall Man. But, the Tall Man is just a legend isn't he? Something to scare the little children with, he can't be real, can he?

Now, I don't say that this is a paranormal thriller, nor do I say that it isn't. It's all how the reader will perceive the story. And, in that lies the greatness of the book. It's all about how you interpret the story. I would say that perhaps there is a thing like the Tall Man, or perhaps not. Some parts really make one believe that while you still rationally try to explain it all.

What I love about the book is that the truth about what happened in the present story in the 2018s took is time to be revealed. Deliciously slowly one could say, just the way I like it and then BAM the truth is out, and its connection to the past. The last couple of chapters are so good. And, yes I'm being very vague, but honestly, this is a book that you should read with so little beforehand knowledge as possible. That's actually my attitude towards all thrillers. Much more fun to know as little as possible. So, I will say this, the writing is terrific, the story is great and I can't wait to read Phoebe Locke's next book! Also, you must definitely the book if you are a (paranormal) thriller fan!

I want to thank Headline for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

#BookReview The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan @jennycolgan @FreshFiction @WmMorrowBooks

The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Bookshop on the Corner and The Cafe by the Sea comes another enchanting, unforgettable novel of a woman who makes a fresh start on the beautiful Scottish Island of Mure—only to discover life has more surprises in store for her.

When Flora MacKenzie traded her glum career in London for the remote Scottish island of Mure, she never dreamed that Joel—her difficult, adorable boss—would follow. Yet now, not only has Flora been reunited with her family and opened a charming café by the sea, but she and Joel are taking their first faltering steps into romance.

With Joel away on business in New York, Flora is preparing for the next stage in her life. And that would be…? Love? She’s feeling it. Security? In Joel’s arms, sure. Marriage? Not open to discussion.

In the meanwhile, Flora is finding pleasure in a magnificent sight: whales breaking waves off the beaches of Mure. But it also signals something less joyful. According to local superstition, it’s an omen—and a warning that Flora’s future could be as fleeting as the sea-spray…

A bracing season on the shore sets the stage for Jenny Colgan’s delightful novel that’s as funny, heartwarming, and unpredictable as love itself.


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Reading a Jenny Colgan book always fills me with contentment. I know the story will draw me in and the dialogue will be both funny and serious and I will love the characters. I just know it. And, I was not wrong this time either.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Friday, 15 June 2018

#BlogTour Perfect Dead by Jackie Baldwin @KillerReads @JackieMBaldwin1 #LoveBooksGroupTours #PerfectDead


Each murder brings him one step closer to the perfect death.

Ex-priest, DI Farrell is called on to investigate a gruesome death in rural Scotland. All evidence points to suicide, except for one loose end: every light in the cottage was switched off. Why would he kill himself in the dark?

The question sparks a murder investigation that leads to the mysterious Ivy House, home of ‘The Collective,’ a sinister commune of artists who will do anything to keep their twisted secrets hidden.

And when the remains of a young girl are uncovered on a barren stretch of coastline, Farrell realises that there is something rotten in this tight-knit community. Now he must track down a ruthless killer before another person dies, this time much closer to home…


Extract  

(From Prologue of Perfect Dead) 


June 2009

Ailish opened her eyes then closed them again as her head started to throb. She stumbled to her feet, fighting the urge to throw up. Unwelcome flashbacks of the night before painted her face in disgust. Looking at her slight form in the mirror with yesterday’s make-up blurring the lines of her face, she felt older than her nineteen years. She glanced at her phone and tears prickled. It was her mother’s birthday. She could picture her sister and father laughing and chatting as she opened her presents in Ireland. It was as if she had ceased to exist, such was the disgrace she had rained down on them when she ran off with Patrick, three years ago. He had completely turned her head with all his big talk. She had fancied they would live in London, not the tiny harbour town of Kirkcudbright tucked away in a corner of south-west Scotland. Instead of the romantic existence she had pictured for them, they had wound up living in this glorified hippie commune or, ‘The Collective’, as they liked to be known. At first it had been fun, exciting even. A world away from the parochial narrow-minded community she had left behind. She had been proud to be Paddy’s muse and loved nothing more than to bask in the warmth of his regard as he painted her from various angles.

Lately, she had felt Patrick’s love receding like an outgoing tide. He was preoccupied and distant and hadn’t asked her to pose for him in ages. The atmosphere in the house was different as well. She had a feeling they were all keeping secrets from her and each other. They had always used drugs but lately the drugs had become harder and the parties more forced and a little weirder. There was a powerful undertow dragging them all down to God knows where.

Suddenly, as she looked out of the window, she knew with unusual clarity that she didn’t want to be part of this toxic environment anymore. She would lay it on the line with Patrick and ask him to leave with her. He had been holed up in his studio for days now. She’d been warned off disturbing him as he was working on something new. Well, tough! This couldn’t wait. He would see sense. He had to.

After a quick shower she threw on her favourite dress and swept up her long curly hair, just as he liked it. A slick of lipstick and a touch of mascara and she was ready to do battle.

She flung open the door to the studio and stood, open mouthed, tears spilling from her eyes as she took in the scene before her. A beautiful young girl stared back at her insolently, maintaining her pose. She was reclining naked on a velvet chaise longue, one arm positioned behind her head. Only the blush of colour staining her chest betrayed her.

Patrick turned round, and their eyes met. He dropped his gaze. There was nothing left to say. Wordlessly, Ailish spun on her heel and left the studio. She was done. It was time to go home and beg for forgiveness.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jackie Baldwin is a Scottish crime writer. Her debut crime novel, Dead Man’s Prayer, was published by Killer Reads, Harper Collins on 2nd September 2016. The second in the series, Perfect Dead was published on 15th June 2018. For most of her working life, she has been a solicitor specialising in Family and Criminal Law. However, she now practices in Dumfries as a hypnotherapist which is where her novels are set. Married, with two grown up children, she has filled her empty nest with Golden Retrievers. She can often be found in a forest walking the dogs, covered in mud and with twigs in her hair.