Thursday, 31 August 2017

#CoverCrush Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

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!

Can a woman ever really know herself if she doesn’t know her mother? From bestselling author Kristin Hannah comes Winter Garden, a powerful, heartbreaking novel that illuminates the intricate mother-daughter bond and explores the enduring links between the present and the past.

Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard; the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time—and all the way to the end. 

Thus begins an unexpected journey into the truth of Anya’s life in war-torn Leningrad, more than five decades ago. Alternating between the past and present, Meredith and Nina will finally hear the singular, harrowing story of their mother’s life, and what they learn is a secret so terrible and terrifying that it will shake the very foundation of their family and change who they believe they are.

Some thoughts about the cover:

I was browsing Amazon when I stumbled over this book and found myself completely enthralled with its beautiful cover. I love the building and the water with the mist over it. 

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

Stephanie @ Layered Pages


#BlogTour Hide and Seek by Richard Parker (@Bookwalter) @bookouture

Hide and Seek by Richard Parker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The sun is out. Your little boy is smiling. The next time you look… he’s gone.

When Lana and Todd win a trip to Blue Crest Adventure Park, their four-year-old Cooper is ecstatic, but when Lana goes to meet them, Todd is out cold, and Cooper is missing.

No one stopped the man with the sleeping boy. The cameras don’t show where he went. Then Lana finds her family picture on an online map detailing bloody murder sites. This is no random attack.

Whoever took Cooper is playing a twisted game, and if Lana wants to find him, she must participate. Can she uncover her tormentor’s identity before it’s too late?


Do you know what I like when it comes to thrillers? Stories that keep surprising and thrilling! And, Hide and Seek has both a surprising and thrilling storyline. Also, the blurb doesn't give away too much of the story. Frankly, I was a bit surprised at first when I started the book, it was action from page one and I had thought it would start with the trip to Blue Crest Adventure Park, but no, it started off with an event that surprised me. Yeah, I was surprised from page one. Now, since this is a thriller will I not reveal too much of the storyline. You have to read it for yourself to find out what happened before the trip and what takes place after Lana and Todd's young son Cooper is taken.

Not long ago did I read Be My Killer by Richard Parker and that was more horrifying than this one, basically Be My Killer flirted with the horror genre with some really gruesome killings. This one felt more like a thriller. Nothing bad with that, I liked this book, and if you prefer less gruesome deaths will this one probably suit you better than Be My Killer. What they have in common is an interesting plot, great writing, and characters you're interested to read about. I tell you, this book is a pretty awesome thriller and I was curious all the way through. I mean who could you trust? Really trust? And, who is behind the kidnapping of Cooper, and why? I found myself really liking Lana who is going through a mother's worst nightmare, with a missing child and then having to play a twisted game with the kidnapper.

Hide and Seek is an excellent thriller and now I can't wait to find out what Richard Parker will write next. Hopefully, there will be a new book out soon...


Richard Parker was formerly a TV script writer, script editor and producer before turning his hand to penning twisted stand alone thrillers.

HIDE AND SEEK is his fifth book and is published August 2017.

FOLLOW YOU was his fourth psychological thriller. Reviewers are saying it's Bookouture's darkest crime novel to date.

STALK ME was his third and rode high in the UK and US charts.

SCARE ME was his second. Hollywood movie rights have been acquired by major US studio, Relativity Media. Star of PRISON BREAK and screenwriter of dark horror thriller STOKER, Wentworth Miller, has written the big screen adaptation.

STOP ME, Richard's darkly fiendish debut, was shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Boutofbooks, blog tours and other stuff

BOUT OF BOOKS: Last week did I participate in Bout of Books 20 and to be honest did I hope to read more than I did. In the end, did I manage 7 books, 5 eARCs, and two books. And, I had hoped to read at least 10 eARCs.  But, I did have a bit of an unlucky start when I had some trouble getting into books, which led me to DNF 3 historical mystery books. At least my new strategy of not continues reading a book that doesn't appeal to me works.

Here are all the books I read:

BLOG TOURS: As of from now and all through what is left of this year will I not participate in more blog tours, other than the ones I already agree to do. The one exception if it is a book I had planned to read. Other than that will I focus on just reviewing my own books, from NetGalley, Edelweiss, Fresh Fiction and the through publishers. I just don't have time nor energy to do more blog tours and I don't want to have any more deadlines.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE: I'm working pretty hard right now, and as of 1 September will I be permanently employed. When I started to blog 2014 was I working as a temp and was called in when I needed to work, this all changed last summer when I started to work much more than before and as of this year have I not had much time off at all. This is one of the reasons why I won't do more blog tours. I just don't have time. Finding time to review is hard enough as it is.

So, this is what I had to say for now. I'm still love blogging and reading, but I don't want to burnout because of my tendency to say yes to blog tours despite feeling overwhelmed.

Monday, 28 August 2017

#BookReview The Wrong Side of Goodbye (Inte ett farväl) by Michael Connelly @norstedts ‏(SWE/ENG)

The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Harry Bosch arbetar återigen som privatdetektiv. En döende miljardär behöver hans hjälp och vill att Bosch ska ta reda på vad som hände med en kvinna från hans förflutna som försvann. Hon var hans livs kärlek och de väntade barn när hon en dag var borta. Vart tog hon vägen? Födde hon barnet? Dessutom behöver polisen hans hjälp med jakten på en våldtäktsman. Mannen har redan utfört flera hemska brott och han tycks inte sluta. Nu måste de stoppa honom innan fler kvinnor råkar illa ut.


Jag har inte läst så många av Michael Connellys böcker, men Harry Bosch series är definitivt en bokserie som jag är sugen att läsa från början, eller från bok 2, då jag har lyckats läsa bok ett plus de senaste publicerade böckerna. Michael Connelly är skicklig författare och jag är hemskt förtjust i Harry Bosch. I denna bok så arbetar han med två olika fall, dels är han på jakt efter en våldtäktsman samt så arbetar han för en döende miljardär som vill ha hjälp med att hitta kvinnan han övergav när han var ung. Det kan vara så att hon var gravid, och nu vill mannen veta om hans har en arvinge som han kan efterlämna allting till.

Inte ett farväl är en bok som har två intressanta handlingar. Det hände ibland när böcker har olika handlingar att någon av dem är intressantare än den andra, men jag var lika intresserad av att följa Harrys jakt på en våldtäktsman samt hans efterfrågningar efter en arvinge till den rike mannen. Jag tyckte det var intressant att läsa om Harrys jakt på ledtrådar gällande arvingen, speciallt med tanke på hur lite han har att gå på. Boken är mycket välskriven och rakt igenom intressant. Speciellt imponerad blev jag över det överraskande slutet gällande arvinge handlingen.

Inte ett farväl är bok 21 men kan utan tvekan läsas fristående. Det är inte alls svårt att hänga med i handlingen, man får förklaring till varför Harry Bosch inte längre jobbar som polis, eller jo på sätt och vis gör han det, men på en frivillig basis.

Tack till Norstedts för recensionexemplaret!


Harry Bosch is California's newest private investigator. He doesn't advertise, he doesn't have an office, and he's picky about who he works for, but it doesn't matter. His chops from thirty years with the LAPD speak for themselves.

Soon one of Southern California's biggest moguls comes calling. The reclusive billionaire is nearing the end of his life and is haunted by one regret. When he was young, he had a relationship with a Mexican girl, his great love. But soon after becoming pregnant, she disappeared. Did she have the baby? And if so, what happened to it?

Desperate to know whether he has an heir, the dying magnate hires Bosch, the only person he can trust. With such a vast fortune at stake, Harry realizes that his mission could be risky not only for himself but for the one he's seeking. But as he begins to uncover the haunting story--and finds uncanny links to his own past--he knows he cannot rest until he finds the truth.

At the same time, unable to leave cop work behind completely, he volunteers as an investigator for a tiny cash-strapped police department and finds himself tracking a serial rapist who is one of the most baffling and dangerous foes he has ever faced.


I haven't read many of Michael Connelly's books, but the Harry Bosch series is definitely a book series that I'm looking forward to reading from the beginning, or from book two since I've actually been able to read the first book and the most recently published ones. Michael Connelly is a very skilled writer and I'm very fond of Harry Bosch, he's such a fabulous character. Harry works with two different cases in this book, he is looking for a rapist, and he is also working for a dying billionaire who wants his help finding the woman he left when he was young. It may be that she was pregnant, and now the man wants to know if he has an heir to which he can leave everything.

The Wrong Side of Goodbye is a book that has two interesting stories. Occasionally, when books have different stories, is one of them is more interesting than the other, but I was just as interested in following Harry's pursuance of the rapist as his search for an heir. I thought it was interesting reading about Harry's pursuit of clues regarding the heir, especially considering how little he has to go. The book is very well written and was straight through interesting to read without a dull moment. Especially impressed was I at the conclusion of the heir hunt. It really came as a surprise!

The Wrong Side of Goodbye is book 21 in the series, but one can read this one without having read any of the previous books. It's not hard at all to get the hang of the story, you get an explanation for why Harry Bosch no longer works as a police officer, or, in a way, he does it, but on a voluntary basis.

Thanks to Norstedts for the review copy!

Sunday, 27 August 2017

#BookReview Annabelle by Lina Bengtsdotter (SWE/ENG)

Annabelle by Lina Bengtsdotter
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars


En varm sommarnatt försvinner sjuttonåriga Annabelle från det lilla samhället Gullspång, på gränsen mellan Västergötland och Värmland. Hennes föräldrar är utom sig av oro, lokalpolisen står handfallen och Missing people letar förgäves.

Kriminalinspektör Charlie Lager skickas dit tillsammans med sin kollega. Hon är utredare vid Nationella operativa avdelningen, en skicklig polis som i arbetet funnit de rutiner som hennes kaotiska inre behöver. Hon värjer sig, vill inte åka, men gör till slut som alltid: följer order. Det blir en resa bakåt i tiden. Hon tvingas återvända till platsen hon lämnade när hon var fjorton, ett förflutet och en barndom som hon gjort sitt bästa för att fly från. Väl där väcks minnena till liv. Av att växa upp där valmöjligheterna är få och drömmen om att ge sig av stark. Av mamman, som var allt det som Charlie är rädd för att bli, alkoholiserad och sjuk.

Medan hon försöker få fram sanningen om vem Annabelle var och vad som hänt henne, gör Charlie skrämmande upptäckter om sin bakgrund. Och hon tvingas möta sitt värsta minne: den gången hon lät en annan människa dö.


Annabelle är en bok som från början fängslade mig och om jag hade inte arbetat dagen efter jag började läsa boken hade jag nog läst klart den i ett svep. Men så blev klockan lite väl mycket och jag fick gott vänta tills dagen efter, samt jobba, innan jag kunde plöja de ca 100 sidor jag hade kvar. Det var jobbigt att behöva vänta!

Boken är väldigt välskriven, spännande och medryckande. Ett kapitel till blev lätt till 50 sidor mer och jag fann mig själv verkligen gilla båda karaktärerna i boken samt berättelsen. Charlie är just den typen av karaktär jag gillar att följa, en skärp polis men med demoner som kommer att orsaka vissa problem för hennes under utredningens gång. Parallellt får vi även följa Annabelles dag, den ödesdigra dagen hon försvann. Men det är även ett till sidospår i boken, om två flickor och det dröjer till slutet innan man får reda på vad just den sidohandlingen har med huvudhandlingen att göra.

Slutet kändes lite oavslutat. Som om det kom lite hastigt på, och jag hade velat ha ett mer avslut på utredningen. Men det är nog det enda som jag kände lite besvikelse över att slutet inte riktigt levde upp till resten av bokens fantastiska nivå.

Jag vill avrunda med att säga att Annabelle en alldeles fantastiska bra kriminalare, en av de bästa jag läst i år och jag hoppas verkligen att få läsa fler böcker med Charlie, detta känns verkligen som en bra introduktion till en fantastisk series!

Tack Bokförlaget Forum for recensionsexemplaret!


Seventeen-year-old Annabelle disappears on a warm summer night from the small community of Gullspång, on the border between Västergötland and Värmland. Her parents are deeply worried, the local police are perplexed and Missing people are looking for her in vain.

Criminal Investigator Charlie Lager is sent there with a colleague. She is an investigator at the National Operational Department, a skilled police officer who, at work, has found the routines that her chaotic interior needs. She doesn't want to go, but ends up as always: following orders. It will be a journey back in time. She is forced to return to the place she left when she was fourteen, her past and a childhood she made her utmost to escape from. Once there the memories come alive. Of growing up where the choices are few and the dream of giving up is strong. She remembers her mother and the fear of becoming just like her...

While trying to find out the truth about who Annabelle was and what happened to her, Charlie makes scary discoveries about her own background. And she had to face her worst memory: the time she let another person die.


Annabelle is a book that captured my interest right from the start and if I had not worked the day after I started reading the book, would I probably have read it in a sweep. However, by then it was a bit late and I had to wait until the day after and also I had to work before I could read the 100 pages I had left. The agony!

The book is very well written, suspenseful and compelling. A chapter more turned easily into 50 pages more and I found myself really like both characters in the book as well as the story. Charlie is just the kind of character I like to read about, a first-class police, but with demons that will cause some problems for her during the investigation. We also get a flashback to the day Annabelle's disappeared in a parallel story. There is also another parallel story in the book, about two girls, and it's not until the end before you find out what that story has to do with the main story.

The end felt a bit unfinished. As if the end came a little too fast, and I would have liked to have a better closure on the investigation. Although that's probably the only thing I felt a little disappointed with that the end did not really live up to the rest of the books amazing level.

I want to end this review by saying that Annabelle is a very good crime novel, one of the best I read this year and I really hope to read more books with Charlie, this really feels like a good introduction to a fantastic series!

Thanks Bokförlaget Forum for the review copy!

Saturday, 26 August 2017

#BookReview Among the Dead by J.R. Backlund @crookedlanebks

Among the Dead by J.R. Backlund
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Former North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation agent Rachel Carver blames herself for the collateral death of an innocent woman in her last case. Unable to accept her superior’s attempts to cover up the incident, she turned in her badge. But when a former partner asks her to consult on a new murder case, she reluctantly agrees, traveling to a small, remote mountain community, where she’s tasked with leading a group of inexperienced detectives on a hunt for the killer. The trek has hardly begun when what seems to be the act of a loner proves to be much more as Rachel's team comes under attack―and a detective is killed in the fallout.

Now that the stakes have risen, Rachel’s old employers at the SBI step in to take over the investigation. But Rachel, convinced they are on the wrong track, continues to work the case alone. And just as she delves into the town’s past, she discovers a secret history that connects the victims―one that makes her the target of a man who would kill to keep it a secret―in Among the Dead, J. R. Backlund’s gripping mystery debut.


Before I review this book I just want to say two things, yes the cover is gorgeous and it was one of the reasons I wanted to read this book and secondly, here we have once again a blurb that gives away too much of the story. I will get to it later on, but first I want to write about the positive things about the book.

Among the Dead by J.R. Backlund is a good start on a new series. I quite liked Rachel Carver, she has been through a traumatic event prior to this book and still waiting to learn if there will be legal repercussions for it. The case in this book is also interesting, especially since there doesn't seem to be a motive for the killings. I have a fondness for crime books set in small towns where everyone knows everyone and people have secrets so this one right from the start felt right up my alley. Now, back to the blurb problem, it gives away too much. I hate it, when I know certain events will happen and I sit and wait for them. And, I did it with this book and that took away some enjoyment of reading the book. Sorry, but I want to know as little as possible and I love it when the book takes surprising turns. This book didn't surprise me especially much and hence I felt it was just an OK book.

Despite my blurb problem with Among the Dead do I think the book was perfectly OK to read. I would probably have enjoyed it more if I wasn't prepared already to certain things, like the death of a police officer. However, despite that was the book OK, the ending, the disclosure was perhaps not the most spectacular nor surprising, but I do want to read the next book in the series!

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

#BookReview Before It's Too Late by Sara Driscoll @KensingtonBooks

Before It's Too Late by Sara Driscoll
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this powerful K-9 crime thriller, FBI Special Agent Meg Jennings and her trusted search-and-rescue Labrador, Hawk, must race against the clock before a diabolical killer strikes again…

Somewhere in the Washington, D.C., area, a woman lies helpless in a box. Beneath the earth. Barely breathing. Buried alive. In Quantico, the FBI receives a coded message from the woman’s abductor. He wants to play a game with them: decipher the clues, find the grave, save the girl. The FBI’s top cryptanalysts crack the code, and Special Agent Meg Jennings and her K-9 partner, Hawk, scramble to follow a trail of false leads to the scene of the crime. By the time they solve the puzzle, it’s too late. But the killer’s game is far from over . . .

Soon another message arrives. Another victim is taken, and the deadly pattern is repeated—again and again. Each kidnapping triggers another desperate race against time, each with the possibility of another senseless death. That’s when Meg decides to try something drastic. Break the Bureau’s protocol. Bring in her brilliant sister, Cara, a genius at word games, to decipher the kidnapper’s twisted clues. Meg knows she’s risking her career to do it, but she’s determined not to let one more person die under her and Hawk’s watch. If the plan fails, it could bite them in the end. And if it leads to the killer, it could bury them forever . . .


Before it's too Late is the sequel to Lone Wolf, which I haven't read, but that's in my Want-To-Read-List. So, when I got the chance to read this book did I grab it to see if the series is any good.

You don't have to have read Lone Wolf to read this book. The events in the previous books are mentioned, but this story is stand-alone. It's a fascinated case, where the kidnapper leaves messages that have to be deciphered in time to save the women taken. If too much time is spent on deciphering the message, well then it's over for the woman. And, the clues are not always that easy. Luckily, Meg knows someone that is great with word games, her sisters Cara.

I quite like this book. I adore reading crime novels with dogs, and in this case is Hawk one of the "main characters" in the book as he is a search-and-rescue dog. And, Hawk and the other search-and-rescue dogs are needed in this case as they often only have the locations to where the woman is and have to search to find her before it's too late. And, yes I liked the humans too (lol). FBI Special Agent Meg Jennings who is Hawk's owner and also the one that is taunted by the kidnapper in this book. It's easy to like Meg and I will definitely try to get hold of Lone Wolf to read what happened in that book. Cara.

It's a fast-paced book that only took a couple of hours for me to read, but that was very nice to read something "lighter". I felt that this is a perfect book when I want something less heavy, but not too light to read.

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

Friday, 25 August 2017

#BookReview Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima @crookedlanebks

Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Deputy Mattie Cobb is working through issues from her past and has withdrawn from Cole Walker and his family to focus on herself, when she and her K-9 partner Robo get called to track a missing junior high student. Until they find the girl on Smoker's Hill behind the high school, dead. But that's only the start of trouble in Timber Creek, because soon another girl goes missing--and this time it's Sophie Walker. Hard as they search, Cole, Mattie, and Robo can't find her anywhere. Mattie's primary suspect, a strange man who lives near the wilderness area, calls to report he hears deer "screaming" in the woods. 

Suspecting the man might have lost touch with reality and be referring to something he's done to Sophie, Mattie takes Robo into the dense pine forest, hoping to pick up a trace of her scent. But when Robo does catch Sophie's trail, it leads them to another clue that challenges everything they thought they knew about the case. 

Now Mattie and Robo must rush to hunt down Sophie's kidnapper before they're too late in Hunting Hour, the third installment in critically acclaimed author Margaret Mizushima's exhilarating mystery series.


I've been wanting to read the books in the Timber Creek K-9 Mystery series for a while now and when I got the chance to read this book did I go for it. I love reading books about cops or ex-military that has a K-9 as a partner and I was looking forward to seeing how this book would turn out.

I have to admit that the book was harder to get into than I thought it would be. For some reason, neither the story nor the characters clicked for me and I struggled with the book. Not that it was a bad book, more like I couldn't find myself completely liking it. Mattie Cobb never came alive for me, and I wasn't interested in her childhood traumas. To have a psychological damaged main female character has become very common, and unless the character in any way comes more than a stereotype then it's pretty hard to muster any energy to like here. And, her "relationship" with Cole Walker also was an aspect that just didn't work for me. And, finding myself quite uninterested in the characters made it harder to enjoy reading the book.

Now, the book becomes better towards the end of the book, the story picked up and made my interest grew as I was curious to learn who was behind the killing and later the kidnapping of another young girl. I just want to say one crucial thing about the story, or rather the blurb. It gives away TOO MUCH of the story. I've seen this too often, especially when it comes to thrillers and crime novels. This damages often the enjoyment of reading a book too much. Takes away surprises and to be honest, I will try to avoid books in the future that gives away too much of the story. I don't want to know!

Hunting Hour was not a strong book. However, I do want to read the previous two books to see if they will work better for me.

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

#Wishlist August: Rejected on NetGalley

We have all been there, well if you are a member on NetGalley, if not well, just imagine being a member of a site where you can request books to review. And, then you get an email and instead of an approve email do you get one like this: Sorry, you're not worthy, this book is too good for you. You may request another title, but we will in all likelihood reject you again muhahaha! No, I'm just kidding, the email doesn't say that, but trust me it feels often like a knife in your heart...

So, this month's wishlist is 5 title that I recently been declined for over at NetGalley!

The unforgettable story of Alexander Pushkin’s beautiful wife, Natalya, a woman much admired at Court, and how she became reviled as the villain of St. Petersburg.

At the age of sixteen, Natalya Goncharova is stunningly beautiful and intellectually curious. But while she finds joy in French translations and a history of Russian poetry, her family is more concerned with her marriage prospects. It is only fitting that during the Christmas of 1828 at her first public ball in her hometown of Moscow she attracts the romantic attention of Russia’s most lauded rebel poet: Alexander Pushkin.

Enchanted at first sight, Natalya is already a devoted reader of Alexander’s serialized novel in verse, Evgeny Onegin. The most recently published chapter ends in a duel, and she is dying to learn what happens next. Finding herself deeply attracted to Alexander’s intensity and joie de vivre, Natalya hopes to see him again as soon as possible.

What follows is a courtship and later marriage full of equal parts passion and domestic bliss but also destructive jealousies. When vicious court gossip leads to Alexander dying from injuries earned defending his honor as well as Natalya’s in a duel, Natalya finds herself reviled for her alleged role in his death. With beautiful writing and understanding, Jennifer Laam, and her compelling new novel, The Lost Season of Love and Snow, help Natalya tell her side of the story—the story of her greatest love and her inner struggle to create a fulfilling life despite the dangerous intrigues of a glamorous imperial Court.

From New York Times bestselling author, Lauren Willig, comes this scandalous novel set in the Gilded Age, full of family secrets, affairs, and murder.

Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil live a charmed life in New York: he’s the scion of an old Knickerbocker family, she grew up in a Tudor house in England, they had a fairytale romance in London, they have three-year-old twins on whom they dote, and he’s recreated her family home on the banks of the Hudson and named it Illyria. Yes, there are rumors that she’s having an affair with the architect, but rumors are rumors and people will gossip. But then Bayard is found dead with a knife in his chest on the night of their Twelfth Night Ball, Annabelle goes missing, presumed drowned, and the papers go mad. Bay’s sister, Janie, forms an unlikely alliance with a reporter to try to uncover the truth, convinced that Bay would never have killed his wife, that it must be a third party, but the more she learns about her brother and his wife, the more everything she thought she knew about them starts to unravel. Who were her brother and his wife, really? And why did her brother die with the name George on his lips?

A fascinating novel of the friendship and creative partnership between two of Hollywood’s earliest female legends—screenwriter Frances Marion and superstar Mary Pickford—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator’s Wife

It is 1914, and twenty-five-year-old Frances Marion has left her (second) husband and her Northern California home for the lure of Los Angeles, where she is determined to live independently as an artist. But the word on everyone’s lips these days is “flickers”—the silent moving pictures enthralling theatergoers. Turn any corner in this burgeoning town and you’ll find made-up actors running around, as a movie camera captures it all.

In this fledgling industry, Frances finds her true calling: writing stories for this wondrous new medium. She also makes the acquaintance of actress Mary Pickford, whose signature golden curls and lively spirit have given her the title of America’s Sweetheart. The two ambitious young women hit it off instantly, their kinship fomented by their mutual fever to create, to move audiences to a frenzy, to start a revolution.

But their ambitions are challenged both by the men around them and the limitations imposed on their gender—and their astronomical success could come at a price. As Mary, the world’s highest paid and most beloved actress, struggles to live her life under the spotlight, she also wonders if it is possible to find love, even with the dashing actor Douglas Fairbanks. Frances, too, longs to share her life with someone. As in any good Hollywood story, dramas will play out, personalities will clash, and even the deepest friendships might be shattered.

With cameos from such notables as Charlie Chaplin, Louis B. Mayer, Rudolph Valentino, and Lillian Gish, The Girls in the Picture is, at its heart, a story of friendship and forgiveness. Melanie Benjamin perfectly captures the dawn of a glittering new era—its myths and icons, its possibilities and potential, and its seduction and heartbreak.

The sixth novel in the acclaimed Sean Stranahan mystery series—featuring Montana’s favorite private detective. Buffalo Jump Blues, fifth in the series, is now available.
A story of lost treasure, Cold Hearted River begins with the death of a woman, stranded in a spring snowstorm, who in desperation climbs into a bear’s den. When Sheriff Martha Ettinger, reunited with once-again lover Sean Stranahan, investigates, she finds a fly wallet in a pannier of the dead woman's horse, the leather engraved with the initials EH. Only a few days before, Patrick Willoughby, the president of the Madison River Liars and Fly Tiers Club, had been approached by a man selling fishing gear that he claims once belonged to Ernest Hemingway. A coincidence? Sean doesn't think so, and he soon finds himself on the trail of a missing steamer trunk rumored to contain not only the famous writer's valuable fly fishing gear, but priceless samples of his unpublished work.

The investigation will take Sean through extraordinary chapters in Hemingway's life. Inspired by a true story, Cold Hearted River is a thrilling adventure, moving from Montana to Michigan, where a woman grapples with the secrets in her heart, to a cabin in Wyoming under the Froze To Death Plateau, and finally to the ruins in Havana, where an old man struggles to complete his life's mission one true sentence at a time.

American-born spy and code-breaker extraordinaire Maggie Hope secretly navigates Nazi-occupied France to find two brave women during the darkest days of World War II in the latest novel in this New York Times bestselling series—“a treat for WWII buffs and mystery lovers alike.” (Booklist, on The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent)
Maggie Hope has come a long way since serving as a typist for Winston Churchill. Now she’s working undercover for the Special Operations Executive in the elegant but eerily silent city of Paris, where SS officers prowl the streets in their Mercedes and the Ritz is draped with swastika banners. Walking among the enemy is tense and terrifying, and even though she’s disguised in chic Chanel, Maggie can’t help longing for home.

But her missions come first. Maggie’s half sister, Elise, has disappeared after being saved from a concentration camp, and Maggie is desperate to find her—that is, if Elise even wants to be found. Equally urgent, Churchill is planning the Allied invasion of France, and SOE agent Erica Calvert has been captured, the whereabouts of her vital research regarding Normandy unknown. Maggie must risk her life to penetrate powerful circles and employ all her talents for deception and spycraft to root out a traitor, find her sister, and locate the reports crucial to planning D-Day in a deadly game of wits with the Nazi intelligence elite.

Stephanie at Layered Pages

Thursday, 24 August 2017

#CoverCrush Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

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!

A story of the undead like you’ve never read before, Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation is a fresh, stunning, and powerful meditation on race in America wrapped in an alternate-history adventure where Confederate and Union soldiers rise from the dead at the end of the Civil War.

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Civil War–era America—derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children to attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

At once provocative, terrifying, and darkly subversive, Dread Nation is Justina Ireland’s stunning vision of an America both foreign and familiar—a country on the brink, at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet.

Some thoughts about the cover:

Love this cover with the young girl standing so proud before the flag. Honestly, I don't know what more to say other than it's so beautiful!

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

Stephanie @ Layered Pages


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

#CoverReveal The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland (@ShaliniBoland) @bookouture

The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland - out on 9th November.

‘Are you my mummy?’ the little boy asks.

Tessa Markham comes home to find a child in her kitchen. He thinks she’s his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children. 

Not anymore.

She doesn’t know who the little boy is or how he got there.

After contacting the police, Tessa comes under suspicion for snatching the child. She must fight to prove her innocence. But how can she convince everyone she’s not guilty when even those closest to her are questioning the truth? And when Tessa doesn’t even trust herself…

A chilling, unputdownable thriller with a dark twist that will take your breath away and make you wonder if you can ever trust anyone again. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Girl on the Train and The Sister.

About the author

Shalini lives in Dorset, England with her husband, two sons and Jess their cheeky terrier cross. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer songwriter, but now she spends her days writing suspense thrillers (in between school runs and hanging out endless baskets of laundry).

#BookReview Graveyard Shift by Michael F. Haspil @torbooks

Graveyard Shift by Michael F. Haspil
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Alex Menkaure, former pharaoh and mummy, and his vampire partner, Marcus, who was born in ancient Rome, once hunted evil vampires for UMBRA, a super-secret unit of the NSA. That was before the discovery of a blood substitute and a Supreme Court ruling allowed thousands of vampires to integrate into society.

Now, Alex and Marcus are vice cops in a special police unit. They fight to keep the streets safe from criminal vampires, shape-shifters, blood-dealers, and anti-vampire vigilantes.

When someone starts poisoning the artificial blood, race relations between vampires and humans deteriorate to the brink of anarchy. While the city threatens to tear itself apart, Alex and Marcus must form an unnatural alliance with a vigilante gang and a shape-shifter woman in a desperate battle against an ancient vampire conspiracy.

If they succeed, they'll be pariahs, hunted by everyone. If they fail, the result will be a race-war bloodierthan any the world has ever seen.


First I want to say that I tend to stay away from vampire books nowadays, it's just a book motif that has been done so many times now that I feel it's been overdone and I prefer other paranormal creatures. As long as it's not zombies, I feel the same way about zombies. However, the main characters in this book, Alex Menkaure, is a former pharaoh and mummy. That sold me, and I thought "what the heck, let's hope the vampire storyline works!"

And, yes and no, it was not that bad, I liked the book, but I felt that the whole vampire conspiracy plot didn't totally rock my boat. But, at the same time, I really liked both Alex and his vampire partner Marcus who was born in ancient Rome. This is the kind of book that, despite the storyline not completely enthralled me still was enjoyable thanks to awesome characters actually made me enjoy the book and want more. This book really has the feeling of being the first in a series since we only gotten to know some tidbits about Alex, that some woman has made him the way he is today, but not why or who she really was. And, I want to know more about both Alex and Marcus pasts. How they met, the years the work together for UMBRA, etc.

Now, I know I was a bit negative when it came to the plot of the book. I did find part of the book quite good, it was more that I didn't truly love the story. It's definitely an OK book and I guess I just wanted it to get to me more than it did. I did like the vampire aspects of the book, them being known to the humans. And, it was refreshing to find a vampire book that actually worked for me. I just hope that the next book will have a stronger story, one that will captivate me. Because I truly loved the idea of reading a book about a main male character who is a mummy.

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

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

#BookReview The Dire King by William Ritter (@Willothewords) @AlgonquinYR

The Dire King by William Ritter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook. An evil king is turning ancient tensions into modern strife, using a blend of magic and technology to push Earth and the Otherworld into a mortal competition. Jackaby and Abigail are caught in the middle as they continue to solve the daily mysteries of New Fiddleham, New England — like who’s created the rend between the worlds, how to close it, and why zombies are appearing around. At the same time, the romance between Abigail and the shape-shifting police detective Charlie Cane deepens, and Jackaby’s resistance to his feelings for 926 Augur Lane’s ghostly lady, Jenny, begins to give way. Before the four can think about their own futures, they will have to defeat an evil that wants to destroy the future altogether.

The epic conclusion to the New York Times best-selling Jackaby series features sly humor and a quirky cast of unforgettable characters as they face off against their most dangerous, bone-chilling foe ever.


So, here we are with the last book in the Jackaby series. It was both thrilling and bittersweet to read this book. It's always sad when a series end. I would recommend reading this series from the beginning and not read this one without having read the previous three books. In many ways is it one story that has taken place over four books.

What I loved about this book and the whole series are the quirky characters, the humor, and the mysteries. The Dire King has several funny moments, often thanks to Jackaby, who in many ways reminds me of a younger Sherlock Holmes. Which makes Abigail Rook his Watson. And, yeah she does play her sidekick role very well, adding balance to Jakaby more eccentric ways. Storywise is this book just as good as the previous books and I quite liked the twist at the end of the book. It felt very suiting like everything has been leading to this and I do hope, despite this being the last in this series, perhaps to see the characters in a new series one day? *puppy eyes*

The Dire King is an easy-going and well-written book and I recommend it warmly!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Netgalley for an honest review!

#BookReview The Other Girl by Erica Spindler (@EricaSpindler) @StMartinsPress

The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Officer Miranda Rader of the Hammond PD in Louisiana is known for her honesty, integrity, and steady hand in a crisis—but that wasn’t always so. Miranda comes from Jasper, just south of Hammond, a place about the size of a good spit on a hot day, and her side of the tracks was the wrong one. She’s worked hard to leave the girl she used to be behind and earn respect in her position as an officer.

However, when Miranda and her partner are called to investigate the murder of one of the town’s most beloved college professors, they’re unprepared for the gruesomeness of the scene. This murder is unlike any they’ve ever investigated, and just when Miranda thinks she’s seen the worst of it, she finds a piece of evidence that chills her to the core: a faded newspaper clipping about a terrible night from her long-buried past. Then another man turns up dead, this one a retired cop, and not just any cop—Clint Wheeler, the cop who took her statement that night. Two murders, two very different men, two killings that on the surface had nothing in common—except Miranda. 15 years ago.

And when her fingerprints turn up at the scene of the first murder, Miranda once again finds herself under the microscope, her honesty and integrity doubted, her motivations questioned. Alone again, the trust of her colleagues shattered, Miranda must try to trust the instincts she’s pushed down for so long, and decide what’s right—before it’s too late.


This is a book that surprised me, a lot! The Other Girl's cover and blurb intrigued me, but I had never read anything by Erica Spindler before so I wasn't sure the book would suit me. I read a lot of thrillers, and it takes a lot nowadays to really charm me.

However, this book had everything I wanted in a thriller, a compelling story, well-developed characters and an ending that made me question my conviction on whom the killer is. Seriously, I was quite sure for a long time who the killer was, but at the end, did Spindler twist the story so much, and throw in a couple of red herrings that made me question my belief. I won't tell you if I was right or not, but I ended up quite pleased with the resolution.

I can say that this is the kind of book that, despite perhaps not being that surprising still engrossed me from the beginning until the end. I was captivated. I'm so delighted in this book that I need to find me some more Erica Spindler books to read.

So, in the end, I just want to say that The Other Girl is a superb thriller, a page turner that kept me entertained all the way until the end!

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

Monday, 21 August 2017

#BookReview Cop Town (De fördärvade) by Karin Slaughter (@SlaughterKarin) (SWE/ENG)

De fördärvade by Karin Slaughter
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars


Två kvinnliga poliser. En tid i förändring. En stad på randen till uppror.

Det är 1974 och Atlanta skakas av ett brutalt polismord. Samtidigt undrar den unga polisen Kate Murphy om hennes första dag på jobbet också kommer bli den sista – att vara kvinna inom den mansdominerade polisen är allt annat än enkelt. Det vet redan Maggie Lawson, som gått i sina bröders fotspår och ständigt måste hävda sig inför deras cyniska blickar. När Kate och Maggie stängs ute från jakten på polismördaren når deras ilska och frustration slutligen kokpunkten. De startar en egen utredning. Snart blir de varse att de måste riskera allt för att bevisa att de har vad som krävs.


De fördärvade är en fantastisk bok! Att läsa den här boken fick mig att inse att jag inte läser många kriminalromaner vars handling utspelas på 70-talet och det är synd eftersom det är en fascinerande tidsperiod. Särskilt, som i den här boken, för kvinnor som försöker hitta en plats i en mans värld

Jag verkligen älskade att läsa om Kate Murphy och Maggie Lawson, två mycket olika kvinnor från olika klasser. Kate kommer från en familj av poliser, både hennes farbror och bror arbetar på samma polisstation som hon gör. Men det är inte så att de gillar att hon är polis, särskilt inte hennes farbror. Maggie å andra sidan är änka, hennes man dog i Vietnam-kriget. Hon är också den nyaste polisen på polisstation, och hon lär sig snabbt att ingen, inte ens kvinnorna, kommer att hjälpa henne. Om hon vill jobba som polis, måste hon tuffa till sig och acceptera att bli mobbad. Och som kvinnor hålls de också borta från de verkliga fallen som jakten på polisens mördare. Inte för att det kommer att stoppa Maggie och Kate från att försöka ta reda på vem som dödar poliser.

De fördärvade är en träffsäker roman om en tid i förändring där kvinnor försöker bli mer självständiga. En sak som verkligen berörde mig var den skrämmande attityden gentemot kvinnor i den här boken. Även bland andra kvinnor, ja, även i en familj. Och sedan har vi den omaskerade rasismen och homofobin, särskilt bland manliga poliser. Men det är allt detta som gör den här boken så fascinerande att läsa. Karin Slaughter har verkligen fångat tidsandan och jag mentalt hejade jag på Kate och Maggie för att de våga stå upp mot männen och våga försöka hitta mördaren trots motstånd.

Detta är en av de bästa böcker jag har läst av Slaughter och hon har snabbt blivit en favoritförfattare!

Tack HarperCollins Nordic för recensionsexemplaret!


Atlanta, 1974. As a brutal killing and a furious manhunt rock the city, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the police force will also be her last. For life is anything but easy in the male-dominated world of the Atlanta Police Department, where even the other female cops have little mercy for the new girl.

Kate isn’t the only woman on the force who is finding things tough. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When Maggie and Kate become partners, and are sidelined in the search for the city’s cop killer, their fury, pain, and pride finally reach boiling point.

With the killer poised to strike again, will Kate and Maggie have the courage to pursue their own line of investigation? And are they prepared to risk everything as they venture into the city’s darkest heart?


Cop Town is a fabulous book! Reading this book made me realize that I don't read many crime novels set in the 70s and that's a shame since it's a fascinating period of time. Especially for women that are trying to find a place in a man's world, as in this book.

I loved reading about Kate Murphy and Maggie Lawson, two very different women from different classes. Kate comes from a family of cops, with both her uncle and brother working on the same force as she does. Not that they like that she is a cop, especially her uncle. Maggie, on the other hand, is a widow, her husband died in the Vietnam war. She is also the newest cop on the force, and she quickly learns that no one, not even the women will help her out. If she wants to work as a cop, then she has to toughen up and accept being bullied. And, as women are they also being kept away from the real cases like the hunt for the cop killer. Not that that will stop Maggie and Kate from trying to find out who is offing cops.

Cop Town is a gritty crime novel about a time in changing, with women more and more trying to be independent. One thing that really struck me was the appalling attitude towards women in this book. Even among other women, hell, even in a family. And, then we have the undisguised racism and homophobia, especially among the male cops. But, it's just all of this that makes this book so fascinating to read. Karin Slaughter has really captured the spirit of the time and I found myself mentally cheering Kate and Maggie for daring to stand up to the men in this book and daring to try to find a killer. 

This is one of the best books I have read by Slaughter and she is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine.

Thanks HarperCollins Nordic for the review copy!

#BookReview Pappas pojke (Daddy's Boy) by Emelie Schepp (SWE/ENG)

Pappas pojke by Emelie Schepp
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


En varm sommarkväll ringer sexårige Jonathan till sin pappa Sam som är på väg hem. Skräckslagen berättar han att någon har tagit sig in i familjens hus i Norrköping. Det är det sista Sam hör från pojken innan han försvinner spårlöst.

Åklagare Jana Berzelius leder förundersökningen av det komplicerade fallet. Tillsammans med kriminalkommissarie Henrik Levin och kriminalinspektör Mia Bolander försöker hon ta reda på vad som har hänt Jonathan. Spåren leder bakåt i tiden, och ju längre Jonathan är borta desto mer personlig blir utredningen för Jana. Hon inser att det är bråttom, mycket bråttom att hitta pojken.

Samtidigt begär den skoningslöse Danilo Peña att Jana ska besöka honom i häktet. När hon till slut går med på att träffa honom kastas hon in i en fruktansvärd kamp på liv och död, där allt sätts på spel och ingen går säker.


Den första boken jag läste i denna serie var Prio ett och jag såg fram emot att läsa uppföljaren till den boken. Jana Berzelius gamla "vän" Danilo Peña försökte rymma från Sverige i förra boken, genom att hota att avslöja Janas hemlighet, men i denna bok sitter han i fängelse och väntar på rättegång. Samtidigt så kidnappas en liten pojke och Jana måste dela sin uppmärksamhet mellan kidnappninsgfallet och Danilo som kräver att hon ska besöka honom och om hon inte gör som han säger så tänker att se till att någon hon tycker om skadas.

Pappas pojke är en lättläst kriminalare. Det tog lite längre tid att läsa denna bok för mig, dels för att jag ofta började läsa sent på kvällen, dels för att jag hade vissa svårigheter med handlingen och dess karaktärer. Jag fann att berättelsen i denna bok saknade samma intensivitet som berättelsen i Prio ett, samt att sidohandlingarna, Mia Bolanders romantiska äventyr samt Danilo Peña förförande kraft i fängelset störde mig. Dock var själva kidnappningsfallet intressant även om slutet var rätt så uppenbart.

Pappas pojke tilltalar säkerligen de som älskar denna serie och har läst alla böcker. Jag måste erkänna att jag inte såg tjusningen i denna bok, och i jämförelse med Prio ett så kändes den väldigt blek. Dock är jag intresserad att läsa de tidigare böckerna i serien och få reda på mer om Janas bakgrund.

Tack HarperCollins Nordic för recensionsexemplaret!


It's a hot summer night and six-year-old Jonathan calls his father Sam, who is on his way home. Jonathan is scared and tells his father that someone has entered the family house in Norrköping. That's the last Sam hear from the boy before he disappears without a trace.

Prosecutor Jana Berzelius leads the preliminary investigation of this complicated case. She has to try, together with detective inspector Henrik Levin and Mia Bolander to find out what has happened to Jonathan. The tracks lead back in time, and the longer Jonathan is gone, the more personal is the investigation for Jana. She realizes that it's getting more urgent to find the boy as the time goes by.

At the same time, Danilo Peña demands that Jana will visit him in the detention center. Once she agrees to meet him is she thrown into a terrible battle of life and death, where everything is at stake and no one is safe.


The first book I read in this series was Prio One and I have looked forward to reading, Daddy's Boy, the sequel to that book. Jana Berzelius's old "friend" Danilo Peña tried to escape from Sweden in the previous book by threatening to reveal Jana's secrets, but in this book, is he in jail and awaiting trial. At the same time, is a little boy kidnapped, and Jana has to split her attention between the kidnapping case and Danilo, who demands that she visits him and if she does not do as he says will he use his resources to get someone that Jan cares for.

Daddy's Boy is an easy-to-read crime novel. It took a little longer to read this book for me, partly because I often started reading late in the evening, partly because I had some difficulties with the story and its characters. I found that the story in this book lacked the same intensity as the Prio one had and that the subplots; Mia Bolander's romantic adventure, and Danilo Peña's seductive power in prison annoyed me. However, the actual kidnapping case was interesting even though the end was pretty obvious.

Daddy's Boy will absolutely appeal to those who love this series and have read all the books. I have to admit that for me is this book just an average crime novel that pales in comparison to Prio One. However, I'm interested in reading the previous books in the series and finding out more about Jana's background.

Thanks HarperCollins Nordic for the review copy!

Sunday, 20 August 2017

#BookReview A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong (@KelleyArmstrong) @FreshFiction

A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The follow-up to #1 NYT bestseller Kelley Armstrong’s acclaimed City of the Lost, Rockton town detective Casey Duncan makes a terrible—and dangerous—discovery in the woods outside of town.

When experienced homicide detective Casey Duncan first moved to the secret town of Rockton, she expected a safe haven for people like her, people running from their past misdeeds and past lives. She knew living in Rockton meant living off-the-grid completely: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. What she didn’t expect is that Rockton comes with its own set of secrets and dangers.

Now, in A Darkness Absolute, Casey and her fellow Rockton sheriff’s deputy Will chase a cabin-fevered resident into the woods, where they are stranded in a blizzard. Taking shelter in a cave, they discover a former resident who’s been held captive for over a year. When the bodies of two other women turn up, Casey and her colleagues must find out if it’s an outsider behind the killings or if the answer is more complicated than that...before another victim goes missing.

Casey Duncan returns in another heart-racing thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.


Kelley Armstrong's CITY OF THE LOST was a book did not really live up to my expectations. I hoped for a more thrilling story. However, that didn't mean that I didn't like the book, but after waiting a year to read it and really looking forward to it, the book was a bit of a letdown. A decent thriller, just not so engrossing as I had expected it to be. Still, I wanted to read the follow-up, A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE since the idea of the book, of a town where you can hide away from your past, is such a marvellous thing.


#BlogTour 37 Hours by J.F. Kirwan (@kirwanjf) @NeverlandBT

After two long years spent in a secret British prison, Nadia Laksheva is suddenly granted her freedom. Yet there is a dangerous price to pay for her release: she must retrieve the Russian nuclear warhead stolen by her deadliest enemy, a powerful and ruthless terrorist known only as The Client.

But her mysterious nemesis is always one step ahead and the clock is ticking. In 37 hours, the warhead will explode, reducing the city of London to a pile of ash. Only this time, Nadia is prepared to pull the trigger at any cost…

The deadly trail will take her from crowded Moscow to the silent streets of Chernobyl, but will Nadia find what she is looking for before the clock hits zero?


Falling out of a plane at night, above a raging sea, lived up to its reputation. Sergei had said the chute would open after ten seconds, long enough to get below the wake from the propellers but not drift too far from the drop zone. But Nadia couldn’t count. She was too busy trying to catch her breath as the wind tore at her mouth.

Goggles protected her eyes, though she could barely see anything as she plummeted through gun-metal-grey clouds. She bit down on an urge to scream, panic rising from her heart up into her throat. Freefalling. It was so damned dark. The sea was racing towards her, but all she saw below was blackness. A cloudy night, no stars, no moon. Must have been eight seconds by now. Nine. Ten. She braced herself for the chute opening.


Where was Sergei? He’d been right beside her on the plane. He was heavier. He’d be below her, wouldn’t he? Or did everyone fall at the same rate? She couldn’t remember. He could be above her if his chute had opened. She looked up. Nothing, just the wind howling in her ears through her neoprene dive hood. How high had they been? How long before she’d hit the water?

At this speed her harness with its air tank would snap her back in two on impact. She had no emergency cord to operate the chute. He’d said it wouldn’t fail. The chute would open. Fifteen seconds now, for sure. Another five and she’d be splattered on the wave-tops. Sergei, where the fuck…

He slammed into her from behind, then spun her around as effortlessly as if they were trapeze artists in that sweet spot where gravity blinks. But they were plunging at terminal velocity, close to two hundred kilometres an hour. His face loomed close, but he was looking down at her chest. He hit her. No, he thumped the buckle to release the failed chute. She slipped away from him. Shit! She lunged for one of his shoulder straps, grabbed it, tugged herself towards him, flailing in the wind like a rag doll. They twisted in mid-air, no longer falling feet first. He looped an arm around her, pulled her close to him, yanked something, and then Nadia realised how the end of a bullwhip felt when it was cracked.

It winded her, but Sergei’s arm pressed her against him, locking them together. Her left hand clung to his harness strap; the other gripped the back of his tank. Finally he looked at her. And smiled. He fucking smiled. Cool bastard. He mouthed something. Then something else. Two. One. She took an urgent breath.
Book links:

Author bio: 

J.F. Kirwan is a writer for Harper Collins, under their HQ digital imprint. By day he works in aviation and nuclear safety, but at night, during bouts of insomnia, he writes thrillers with significant body counts. He’s an ex-diving instructor, so there is an underwater element in each of his two novels, 66 Metres and 37 Hours. Most readers find his writing has a cinematic feel, as if you are there with the characters. The original inspiration for the protagonist, Nadia, came from Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the dragon tattoo, though David Baldacci and Lee Child have had significant impact on the writing style, plotting and pace. He is currently writing the third book in the series.

Author links:

37 Hours Giveaway
£20 Amazon giftcard

Friday, 18 August 2017

#BookReview The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza (@RobertBryndza) @bookouture

The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If the Night Stalker is watching, you’re already dead…

In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head.

A few days later, another victim is found dead, in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer – stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike.

The victims are all single men, with very private lives. Why are their pasts shrouded in secrecy? And what links them to the killer?

As a heat wave descends upon London, Erika will do everything to stop the Night Stalker before the body count rises, even if it means risking her job. But the victims might not be the only ones being watched… Erika’s own life could be on the line.


I liked the first book, The Girl In The Ice, but I wonder if not this one, the sequel has a storyline that is a bit more thrilling than the previous book. I do love thrillers that have a ticking clock feeling over the story. When more killings occur and the pressure grows, and the press and public demand answers and the police are doing their best to catch the killer. Well, most of them, the problem is that some policemen in this book seem to be stuck in their thinking and prefer an easy solution, even if it is the wrong one. But, thankfully Detective Erika Foster isn't that kind of police, and she definitely won't quit on a friend when the person in question becomes a suspect.

The Night Stalker thrilled me, it's a faced-paced book that from the first page until the last kept me entertained. What's the motive for the killing, who is the killer and how many will have to die before the killer is stopped?

I do like this series very much, and I'm pleased to know that I have book three to read as soon as I have time for it. Detective Erika Foster has become a favorite character of mine, her personal loss, with her husband being killed before the events in the first book, has affected her much, and I would love to see her truly happy once more one day. It will be interesting to see how her decision at the end of this book will affect the next book in the series.

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