Thursday, 19 July 2018

#CoverCrush The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Historical Fiction Reader 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!
The remarkable new account of an essential piece of American mythology—the trial of Lizzie Borden—based on twenty years of research and recently unearthed evidence.

The Trial of Lizzie Borden tells the true story of one of the most sensational murder trials in American history. When Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally hacked to death in Fall River, Massachusetts, in August 1892, the arrest of the couple’s younger daughter Lizzie turned the case into international news and her trial into a spectacle unparalleled in American history. Reporters flocked to the scene. Well-known columnists took up conspicuous seats in the courtroom. The defendant was relentlessly scrutinized for signs of guilt or innocence. Everyone—rich and poor, suffragists and social conservatives, legal scholars and laypeople—had an opinion about Lizzie Borden’s guilt or innocence. Was she a cold-blooded murderess or an unjustly persecuted lady? Did she or didn’t she?

The popular fascination with the Borden murders and its central enigmatic character has endured for more than one hundred years. Immortalized in rhyme, told and retold in every conceivable genre, the murders have secured a place in the American pantheon of mythic horror, but one typically wrenched from its historical moment. In contrast, Cara Robertson explores the stories Lizzie Borden’s culture wanted and expected to hear and how those stories influenced the debate inside and outside of the courtroom. Based on transcripts of the Borden legal proceedings, contemporary newspaper accounts, unpublished local accounts, and recently unearthed letters from Lizzie herself, The Trial of Lizzie Borden offers a window onto America in the Gilded Age, showcasing its most deeply held convictions and its most troubling social anxieties.

Thoughts:

I think the cover speaks for itself. The woman in profile is obvious Lizzie Borden. Yet you can't really see her face because of the hat. You can see her, but not the whole of her. Like the story about Lizzie Borden, so well known, but what is really true? What is her true face? A coldblooded killer or a victim? 

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

Stephanie @ Layered Pages





Wednesday, 18 July 2018

#BookReview Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik @delreybooks @FreshFiction

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father’s too kind-hearted to collect his debts. They face poverty, until Miryem hardens her own heart and takes up his work in their village.

Her success creates rumours she can turn silver into gold, which attract the fairy king of winter himself. He sets her an impossible challenge – and if she fails, she’ll die. Yet if she triumphs, it may mean a fate worse than death. And in her desperate efforts to succeed, Miryem unwittingly spins a web which draws in the unhappy daughter of a lord.

Irina’s father schemes to wed her to the tsar – he will pay any price to achieve this goal. However, the dashing tsar is not what he seems. And the secret he hides threatens to consume the lands of mortals and winter alike.

Torn between deadly choices, Miryem and Irina embark on a quest that will take them to the limits of sacrifice, power and love.

In this fairy tale-inspired novel, Naomi Novik weaves a rich, multi-layered tapestry that is a joy to read.

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Once upon a time, I read a book called UPROOTED and I found it to be a fabulous novel. So, I was thrilled to get the chance to read SPINNING SILVER, a new novel by Naomi Novik. Now this novel is a stand-alone fantasy novel that in some ways feels like a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview Double Blind by Iris Johansen @StMartinsPress

Double Blind by Iris Johansen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kendra Michaels, formerly blind and now a hired gun for law enforcement agencies who relies on her razor-sharp powers of observation, is reluctant to help the FBI with the most recent case they’ve brought to her. But then she hears the details: the body was found just blocks away from Kendra’s condo. The young woman was carrying an envelope with Kendra’s name on it, and inside was an SD card with what appears to be an innocuous video of a wedding reception. The woman died trying to get the video to Kendra, but for what purpose? Before Kendra and the FBI can answer that question, the bride is abducted from her suburban home.

And so the hunt is on for a killer whose nightmarish plan is slowly becoming clear. A plan that involves a powerful law firm and a multi-billion dollar corporation. As the body count rises, Kendra joins forces with private investigator Jessie Mercado and agent-for-hire Adam Lynch to stop the plot as it grows ever closer to its terrifying conclusion.


In Double Blind, Iris and Roy Johansen deliver an emotional, gripping new entry in the bestselling Kendra Michaels series.


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It's just a couple of years ago that I read my first Iris Johansen book. It was an Eve Duncan book and I just loved it since then have I read several from that series and some from this the Kendra Michael series. 

Kendra Michaels was born blind, but she got her sight back as an adult and she has a keen sense for details that other miss which help a lot when FBI needs her help. Like this time when a woman is killed just a couple of blocks from Kendra's Condo. A woman carrying an envelope with Kendra's name on it.

The beginning of the book was intriguing. Kendra was given a video of a wedding and she has no clues as to why since she doesn't know who the woman who was killed. Nor does she recognize anyone at the wedding. So, first, must they figure out who the people at the wedding are.

Beside the case is Kendra dealing with her "relationship" with Adam Lynch. The attraction is there, but she has trouble giving in to him. Perhaps this case will bring them together. I love that private investigator Jessie Mercado has a part in this story. I would love to see her get her own book (or series) someday.

The case was the best when everything was still unknown. The reason for the death of the woman (and the later ones killed) was a bit of a disappointment. I was hoping for a more conspiratorial angle rather than the one that the book presented. Still, I liked the book and I'm looking forward to the next one!

I want to thank St. Martin's Press for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

#BookReview Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King @LaurieRKing @mary_russell @randomhouse @FreshFiction

Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A June summer's evening, on the Sussex Downs, in 1925. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are strolling across their orchard when the telephone rings: an old friend's beloved aunt has failed to return following a supervised outing from Bedlam. After the previous few weeks--with a bloody murder, a terrible loss, and startling revelations about Holmes--Russell is feeling a bit unbalanced herself. The last thing she wants is to deal with the mad, and yet, she can't say no.

The Lady Vivian Beaconsfield has spent most of her adult life in one asylum after another, yet he seemed to be improving--or at least, finding a point of balance in her madness. So why did she disappear? Did she take the family's jewels with her, or did someone else? The Bedlam nurse, perhaps?

The trail leads Russell and Holmes through Bedlam's stony halls to the warm Venice lagoon, where ethereal beauty is jarred by Mussolini's Blackshirts, where the gilded Lido set may be tempting a madwoman, and where Cole Porter sits at a piano, playing with ideas...


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I have to admit that having Mary Russell's old friend Veronica Beaconsfield making an appearance in this book brought back a lot of fond memories from the earlier books. Yeah, I got nostalgic and all remembering Mary and Veronica's school days not to mention the religious sect "The New Temple of God" that Veronica was involved with that turned out to be quite an adventure for Mary.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BlogTour The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg @MrsLondonsLover @NEBookPromotion

San Francisco, 1915. As America teeters on the brink of world war, Charmian and her husband, famed novelist Jack London, wrestle with genius and desire, politics and marital competitiveness. Charmian longs to be viewed as an equal partner who put her own career on hold to support her husband, but Jack doesn’t see it that way…until Charmian is pulled from the audience during a magic show by escape artist Harry Houdini, a man enmeshed in his own complicated marriage. Suddenly, charmed by the attention Houdini pays her and entranced by his sexual magnetism, Charmian’s eyes open to a world of possibilities that could be her escape.

As Charmian grapples with her urge to explore the forbidden, Jack’s increasingly reckless behavior threatens her dedication. Now torn between two of history’s most mysterious and charismatic figures, she must find the courage to forge her own path, even as she fears the loss of everything she holds dear.


Guest Post: 


The Devil is in the Details 
By Rebecca Rosenberg

Devilish good details…Most writing workshops focus on writing interesting characters, or a riveting plot rife with conflict, or the structure… all very important in crafting a story. But perhaps for historical novel readers, it is the spicy details that change our experience from commonplace to a story that transports us to a time long ago.

How does the author come up with these bits of intrigue that bond us to the character? Traveling to the locale, antique stores, searching old maps, scanning odd books or the internet? Yes.

In THE SECRET OF MRS. LONDON, I used the Remington typewriter, the mimeograph, and the ediphone to illustrate the tools of the writing trade in the 1915-1917 period covered in the book. My characters, Charmian and Jack London actually used these apparatuses in their writing and they portray these characters and even what is happening in the story.

Charmian London typed on the Remington, as Jack London dictated his stories! She typed 100 words a minute. How is that even possible pushing those mechanical keys? The “prop” of the Remington, illustrates Charmian London’s education as a typist and working at Overland Journal. It characterizes her as an industrious, serious worker that pushes herself, not the norm of the day in 1915. But it occurs to me writing this blog, that the Remington typewriter also indicates a subservience to her husband Jack, because she it typing his words.

I was amazed to find out that Charmian actually copied Jack London’s manuscripts on an early mimeograph, invented by Edison in 1876. Each page had to be fed through and the ink dried. Within the manuscript, using the mimeograph showed the tedious, labor intensive process of creating a manuscript, which Charmian often did, since Jack London produced more than twenty novels in the fifteen years they worked together. Not to mention the articles and letters they wrote! Mountains of typing and mimeographing!

When the London’s bought an ediphone it marked a stark break in their togetherness. Jack could speak into the ediphone by himself, and later Charmian would type it up. Jack was no longer telling his stories to Charmian and watching her make them come alive on the page. And Charmian now had the freedom to spend time on her own writing. In fact, in later years, they hired a typist to transpose Jack’s ediphone recordings.

Other examples of how props are used to depict character traits and state of being, from my favorite authors:

From Kay Bratt, author of THE PALEST INK. The title comes from an old Chinese proverb that says 'The Palest Ink is better than the best memory'. She chose it because during the Cultural Revolution, people were not allowed to keep any sort of records or photos about what was really going on. Media was twisted to make those in power look good, and tragedies and truths were concealed. The most important object was Mao's Little Red Book. It is rumored to have landed in the hands of billions of people. During the Cultural Revolution in China, it was an unofficial requirement for every Chinese citizen to own, to read, and to carry it at all times. For their own safety, people memorized segments of it, to prove their loyalty and avoid persecution or death. Later, after the Cultural Revolution was shut down, Mao was exposed as a madman and the cause of millions of tragic deaths throughout China.

From Camille Di Maio, author of BEFORE THE RAIN FALLS. One of her characters, Della Lee Trujillo, is in a Texas women's prison in the 1940s, convicted for the murder of her sister. As she is being driven to the prison from the courthouse, she clings to a rosary that had been her mother's. Her mother deserted the family when she ran off with her lover, so Della begins to fear that it is tainted by her mother's sin. As she prays, the words "Forgive us our trespasses..." plays in her mind and she recalls all the events that led up to that moment.

So what objects can best describe your character, and what she is going through? The use of unique props is a great example of a writer’s mantra: Show. Don’t Tell.

Rebecca Rosenberg writes biographical historical fiction. The Secret Life of Mrs. London, published by Lake Union, is her debut novel, following her non-fiction, LAVENDER FIELDS OF AMERICA She can be contacted on Facebook and Goodreads or on her website, www.rebecca-rosenberg.com https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Life-Mrs-London/dp/1542048737

About the Author:


California native Rebecca Rosenberg lives on a lavender farm with her family in Sonoma, the Valley of the Moon, where she and her husband founded the largest lavender product company in America, Sonoma Lavender. A long-time student of Jack London’s work and an avid fan of his daring wife, Charmian, Rosenberg is a graduate of the Stanford Writing Certificate Program. THE SECRET LIFE OF MRS. LONDON is her first novel, following her non-fiction, LAVENDER FIELDS OF AMERICA.

Rebecca Rosenberg’s next historical novel is GOLD DIGGER the story of BABY DOE TABOR.


Buy the Book:



Blog Tour Schedule:


July 9th- Book Review - Kate Braithwaite

July 10th – Book Excerpt – Just One More Chapter 

July 11th -Book Spotlight and Highlighted Reviews – before the second sleep

July 12th- Book Review -Book Babble

July 13th – Book Review - Strange & Random Happenstance

July 14th – Book Spotlight – Fictionophile

July 15th - Book Spotlight- Layered Pages

July 16th – Book Spotlight & Book Review – Svetabooks

July 17th- Book Spotlight – A Bookish Affair

July 18th – Guest Post – A Bookaholic Swede


Tuesday, 17 July 2018

#BookReview In the Vines by Shannon Kirk @amazonpub

In the Vines by Shannon Kirk
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Family ties so strong you can’t escape…

Mary Olivia Pentecost, known as Mop, was born into one of the wealthiest families in the country—and one of the most guarded. Now, two years after her mother’s mysterious death, Mop is seeking closure on the disquieting tragedy by returning to the New England seaside estate of her cloistered Aunty Liv—once her closest relative and confidante.

But behind the walls of the isolated estate, the shadows of the past are darker than Mop imagined. The puzzles of the family history are not to be shared, but unearthed. With each revelation comes a new, foreboding threat—and for Mop, the grave suspicion that to discover Aunty Liv’s secrets is to become a prisoner of them.

How well do we know the people we love? How well do we want to know them? The answers are as twisted as a tangle of vines in this throat-clutching novel of psychological suspense.

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Sometimes a book just doesn't work for me. I want to like it, but the story just doesn't rock my boat. Unfortunately, In the Vines is one of them. I was really looking forward to reading the book, however, from the start did I feel a bit confused when it came to the story, with the jumping between present and past.

We have the story from two years earlier with Mop's aunt having an affair with a married man. She's waiting for him to reveal this to his wife, but things go a bit wrong there. In the present story, we get Mop's situations as she is hiding from a crazy person with her "companion". These stories are interwoven until the end when Mop's situation is explained.

I think my problem was that the story just didn't live up to my expectations, I wanted a creepy family story, and this one was more puzzling. I wanted to know the truth, why is Mops hiding from someone that wants to kill her? But, her aunt's storyline failed to impress me. On the plus side was Mops storyline better, her arriving at her aunt's place for the first time in two years and finding out that her aunt is a bit ... odd...

In the Vines is a book that, if you are engrossed in the story will thrill you. The mystery is interesting. However, I admit that I speed read now and then towards the end. I liked the flashbacks to Mops growing up and I also found the beginning (the restaurant scene) pretty cool. I just wished I had like the story a bit more...

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

Monday, 16 July 2018

#BlogTour An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena @sharilapena @annecater #RandomThingsTours

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We can’t choose the strangers we meet.

As the guests arrive at beautiful, remote Mitchell’s Inn, they’re all looking forward to a relaxing weekend deep in the forest, miles from anywhere. They watch their fellow guests with interest, from a polite distance.

Usually we can avoid the people who make us nervous, make us afraid.

With a violent storm raging, the group finds itself completely cut off from the outside world. Nobody can get in – or out. And then the first body is found . . . and the horrifying truth comes to light. There’s a killer among them – and nowhere to run.

Until we find ourselves in a situation we can’t escape. Trapped.


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I try to just do blog tours nowadays for books I really want to read. So, when I got the chance to be part of this blog tour did I jump at the chance. I read The Couple Next Door by the author some years ago and I loved the book. Also, this book's blurb about strangers being trapped in an inn without having a chance to get from the place, with a murderer? I was sold!

My only regret with this book is that I wanted to read the book in the middle of the winter, hopefully with a blizzard outside. Instead, I I read it in the middle of one of the hottest summer ever. Not that the outside climate affects the story of the book. It was just that I wanted to get in the mood...;)

My favorite kind of stories crime stories are where there are plenty of suspects and you try to figure out who's the killer. And, in An Unwanted Guest have we plenty of suspects to choose from. All of them seem to have secrets they try to keep hidden. I have not read Agatha Christie's books, but I have set plenty of the movies and TV series and this book felt like one of her stories. We even had our own "Poirot" trying to figure out who the killer is. Although we couldn't be sure that he was not the guilty one.

Shari Lapena has become a favorite author of mine. I have yet to read A Stranger in the House by her, but it's high on my list of books to read. An Unwanted Guest is an excellent whodunnit book that will keep you guessing right until the end!  

Saturday, 14 July 2018

#BookReview The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware @vintagebooks @RuthWareWriter @HarvillSecker

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

-- From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game comes Ruth Ware’s highly anticipated fourth novel.

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

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Who doesn't dream about getting an unexpected inheritance? In this case is the letter Hal gets truly unexpected. Since she's not the right person. Although she desperately needs the money. So, why not try to impersonate the true Harriet, since no one seems to know anything about her? Great plan, until Hal realize that perhaps she has stepped into a nest of vipers. Although the family seems awfully nice at first. It's just that there seem to be something wrong that her arrival has turned the table...

The Death of Mrs. Westaway is a thrilling suspense novel with an excellent nervewracking ending. I found the story to be refreshingly new. I read a lot of thrillers so I'm always glad when I get a book that keeps me on my toes and keeps surprising me. The Death of Mrs. Westaway is a book that gives some clues here and there, and you have to together with Hal try to figure out the mystery at the house with her new "relatives". And, it's bloody hard to write anything without spoiling the book. So, I will just say that the book is compelling from the start and will keep the reader hooked until the end. 

I have previously read In a Dark, Dark Wood by the author, but I have still The Woman in Cabin 10 to read and I'm really looking forward to doing that!

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

Friday, 13 July 2018

#BookReview A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo @LindaCastillo11 @MinotaurBooks @FreshFiction

A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A deadly fire exposes the dark side of Amish life in this harrowing new thriller in the New York Times bestselling series.

When a historic barn burns to the ground in the middle of the night, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called in to investigate. At first, it looks like an accident, but when the body of eighteen-year-old Daniel Gingerich is found inside—burned alive—Kate suspects murder. Who would want a well-liked, hardworking young Amish man dead?

Kate delves into the investigation only to find herself stonewalled by the community to which she once belonged. Is their silence a result of the Amish tenet of separation? Or is this peaceful and deeply religious community conspiring to hide a truth no one wants to talk about? Kate doubles down only to discover a plethora of secrets and a chilling series of crimes that shatters everything she thought she knew about her Amish roots—and herself.

As Kate wades through a sea of suspects, she’s confronted by her own violent past and an unthinkable possibility.


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I read SWORN TO SILENCE , the first book in the Kate Burkholder series some years ago and loved it. After reading it, I did get several of the books in the series and planned to read them. I still plan to read them, even more so after finishing A GATHERING OF SECRETS, book ten in the series.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview April in Paris, 1921 by Tessa Lunney @TessaWynn @Pegasus_Books @FreshFiction #FFreview

April in Paris, 1921 by Tessa Lunney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paris in 1921 is the city of freedom, where hatless and footloose Kiki Button can drink champagne and dance until dawn. She works as a gossip columnist, partying with the rich and famous, the bohemian and strange, using every moment to create a new woman from the ashes of her war-worn self.

While on the modelling dais, Picasso gives her a job: to find his wife’s portrait, which has gone mysteriously missing. That same night, her spymaster from the war contacts her—she has to find a double agent or face jail. Through parties, whisky, and seductive informants, Kiki uses her knowledge of Paris from the Great War to connect the clues.

Set over the course of one springtime week, April in Paris, 1921 is a mystery that combines artistic gossip with interwar political history through witty banter, steamy scenes, and fast action.


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What a deliciously decadent story! As a big fan of historical fiction set in the 1920s, was I instantly intrigued by the story of APRIL IN PARIS, 1921 by Tessa Lunney, and I was thrilled to discover how wonderful the book was right from the very start. Let's start with the fact that very early on in the book there is a ménage à trois between our heroine, Kiki Button, Picasso and another woman. I'm not a fan of reading about very lengthy sex scenes, but Tessa Lunney manages to write this part and other parts with enough sensuality and without being too graphic that even I liked them. Now, this is not a story about just sex, but it's part of the story since Kiki Button is, how shall I put it, not a prude and it's the 20s in Paris.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly @jconnollybooks @AtriaBooks @FreshFiction

The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From internationally bestselling author and “creative genius who has few equals in either horror fiction or the mystery genre” (New York Journal of Books) comes a gripping thriller starring Private Investigator Charlie Parker. When the body of a woman—who apparently died in childbirth—is discovered, Parker is hired to track down both her identity and her missing child.

In the beautiful Maine woods, a partly preserved body is discovered. Investigators realize that the dead young woman gave birth shortly before her death. But there is no sign of a baby.

Private detective Charlie Parker is hired by a lawyer to shadow the police investigation and find the infant but Parker is not the only searcher. Someone else is following the trail left by the woman, someone with an interest in much more than a missing child…someone prepared to leave bodies in his wake.

And in a house by the woods, a toy telephone begins to ring and a young boy is about to receive a call from a dead woman.


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Someday must I take time off from my busy reading schedule to re- read the Charlie Parker series. It's such a fabulous series and I envy those that have yet read a single book and will discover just how great the books are and have 16 (as of now) books to read. Do you need to read the previous books in this series before you read THE WOMAN IN THE WOODS? No, the books can be read as stand- alone, however, there is a theme running through the books that all starts in the first book when Charlie Parker's wife and daughter are murdered. That event starts off everything and reading this book will give you a hint of past events. To get the full story you do need to start from the beginning, but it doesn't take away from reading this book on its own.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Thursday, 12 July 2018

#CoverCrush The Melody of Secrets Jeffrey Stepakoff

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Historical Fiction Reader 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!
An epic love story set against the 1960s U.S. space program, when deeply-buried secrets could threaten not just a marriage, but a country

Jeffrey Stepakoff's The Melody of Secrets is an epic love story set against the 1960s U.S. space program, when deeply-buried secrets could threaten not just a marriage, but a country.

Maria was barely eighteen as WWII was coming to its explosive end. A brilliant violinist, she tried to comfort herself with the Sibelius Concerto as American bombs rained down. James Cooper wasn't much older. A roguish fighter pilot stationed in London, he was shot down during a daring night raid and sought shelter in Maria's cottage.

Fifteen years later, in Huntsville, Alabama, Maria is married to a German rocket scientist who works for the burgeoning U.S. space program. Her life in the South is at peace, purposefully distanced from her past. Everything is as it should be--until James Cooper walks back into it.

Pulled from the desert airfield where he was testing planes no sane Air Force pilot would touch, and drinking a bit too much, Cooper is offered the chance to work for the government, and move himself to the front of the line for the astronaut program. He soon realizes that his job is to report not only on the rocket engines but also on the scientists developing them. Then Cooper learns secrets that could shatter Maria's world...

Thoughts:

What intrigues me with this cover? The notes at the top and bottom of the cover, the woman with the violin standing ready to open a door. All this makes me curious to know more about the book.  

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

Stephanie @ Layered Pages





Wednesday, 11 July 2018

#BlogTour Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate @LisaWingate @QuercusBooks

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two families, generations apart, are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice in this poignant novel, inspired by a true story, for readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale.


Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize that the truth is much darker. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together—in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions—and compels her to take a journey through her family's long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

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I love the Carolina Heirlooms series by Lisa Wingate. So, when I saw this book did I just know that I had to read it. However, I waited a while to read it after getting it because I needed to be ready to tackle this book with such a serious subject.

Before We Were Yours is based on a real scandal. During the 30s and later were children kidnapped and sold to wealthy families all over the country. For their own good. However, it was a very lucrative enterprise. This book tells a story about a family of siblings that are taken to Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage after their parents have left them on the riverboat they are living on. Their mother is having a baby and it's all going wrong so the hospital is the only solution. The whole family would never be together again. Years later will Avery Stafford through a chance encounter start to unravel the truth about her families history. And she learns that not everything is as it seems...

To say that this book is an emotional reading is an understatement. The worst part is that it's based on a true scandalous story. I knew since before that Lisa Wingate is a wonderful author and, as usual, is the writing on top. What really moved me in this book is actually the very end. Without giving away what happens will I just say that it's a wonderful although bittersweet ending. I will leave it at that and just say read the book!

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

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

#BookReview Yrsel (Dizziness) by Annika Widholm (SWE/ENG) @AnnikaWidholm

Yrsel by Annika Widholm
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Clara har nyligen flyttat in hos kärleken Markus när hon börjar drabbas av mystiska svimningsattacker. Hon vaknar upp på oväntade ställen utan att veta hur hon kommit dit. Dessutom har hon en obehaglig känsla av att vara förföljd. Hon försöker alltmer desperat ta reda på vem det är som spionerar på henne och är rädd att det kan ha någonting att göra med den dödsolycka som drabbade familjen för ett år sedan. Vad hände egentligen Markus tidigare fru? Hur ska Clara nå fram till hans tonårsflickor som saknar sin mamma? Och varför är ett av rummen i våningen alltid låst?

Samtidigt behöver hon fokusera på att skriva klart en uppsats i psykologi. Studierna om medvetandets gränser blir ett sätt att hantera det som händer i hennes eget liv, men för henne också allt djupare in i det okända. Annika Widholms vuxendebut är en oavbrutet spännande psykologisk thriller med rysarinslag.



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Jag började läsa den sent på kvällen och fick tvinga mig att inte fortsätta (eftersom jag ville vara något piggare när jag läste boken). Yrseln är en fängslande och mystiskt thriller med en underliggande krypande känsla av obehag. Jag fullständigt slukade boken dagen efter. Varför svimmar Clara? Vad händer under blackouten? Och vad hände egentligen med hennes pojkvän Markus fru? Varför är ett av rummen i lägenheten alltid låst? Så många frågor att grubbla över.

Annika Widholm bok Yrsel är en stämningsfull och välskriven thriller. Jag älskar verkligen hur Widholm på ett målande sätt lyckas beskriva omgivningar så att man verkligen kan se dem framför sig. Korta intensiva kapitel som gjorde att jag hade svårt att lägga ifrån mig boken. Håller Clara på att förlora förståndet? Är hon paronoid? Sjuk? Eller är det något annat som pågår, någon som vill henne illa?

Jag kommer definitivt hålla ögonen öppna för fler böcker av Annika Widholm. Blev verkligen positivt överraskad av denna bok!

Tack till Bonnier Bookery för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Clara has recently moved in with her boyfriend Markus when she begins to suffer from mysterious fainting attacks. She wakes up in unexpected places without knowing how she got there. In addition, she has an unpleasant feeling of being stalked. She tries to find out who is spying on her and is afraid that it may have something to do with the fatal accident that Markus' family a year ago. What really happened to Markus's former wife? How is Clara going to reach his teenage girls who miss their mother? And why is one of the rooms on the floor always locked?

At the same time, she needs to focus on writing an essay in psychology. The studies of the limits of consciousness become a way of dealing with what is happening in her own life but take her also deeper into the unknown.


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I was really taken with this book. I started reading it late in the evening and forced me not to continue (since I wanted to be a bit more awake to take in the story). Dizziness is a captivating and mysterious thriller with an underlying creeping feeling of discomfort. Why does Clara faint all the time? What happens during her blackouts? And what really happened to her boyfriend Markus's wife? Why is one of the rooms in the apartment always locked? So many questions to ponder.

Annika Widholm's book Dizziness is a moody and well-written thriller. I really love how Widholm succeeds in describing surroundings so that I can really see them in front of me. Short intensive chapters that made me unable to put the book down. Is Clara keep losing his mind? Is she paranoid? Ill? Or is there something else going on, someone who wants to hurt her?

I will definitely keep my eyes open for more books by Annika Widholm. Was truly and pleasantly surprised by this book!

Thanks to Bonnier Bookery for the review copy!

Friday, 6 July 2018

#BookReview Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine @rachelcaine @BerkleyPub @FreshFiction

Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To save the Great Library, the unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone, Paper and Fire, and Ash and Quill put themselves in danger in the next thrilling adventure in the New York Timesbestselling series.

The opening moves of a deadly game have begun. Jess Brightwell has put himself in direct peril, with only his wits and skill to aid him in a game of cat and mouse with the Archivist Magister of the Great Library. With the world catching fire, and words printed on paper the spark that lights rebellion, it falls to smugglers, thieves, and scholars to save a library thousands of years in the making...if they can stay alive long enough to outwit their enemies.

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What would be like if the Great Library of Alexandria had never burned down? Would all the amazing knowledge that was stored there and now is gone have enriched the world? Just imagine what a different world we could live in today. That is what Rachel Caine has done with The Great Library series. She created a world where the library never burned down and is now a presence in every major city in the world, controlling knowledge. Through alchemy, the library can deliver any of the content in the library directly to anyone. However, it's forbidden to own books. Anyone threatening the power of the Great Library is put down.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Thursday, 5 July 2018

#CoverCrush The Jaguar's Children by John Vaillant

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Historical Fiction Reader 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!

An unforgettable, page-turning survival story recounted by Hector, a man trapped-perhaps fatally-inside a tanker truck during an illegal border crossing, telling of his hopes for rescue, the joys and trials of his life, and what has brought us all to this moment 

From the best-selling author of The Tiger and The Golden Spruce, this debut novel is a gripping survival story of a young man trapped, perhaps fatally, during a border crossing.


Hector is trapped. The water truck, sealed to hide its human cargo, has broken down. The coyotes have taken all the passengers’ money for a mechanic and have not returned. Those left behind have no choice but to wait.

Hector finds a name in his friend Cesar’s phone. AnniMac. A name with an American number. He must reach her, both for rescue and to pass along the message Cesar has come so far to deliver. But are his messages going through?

Over four days, as water and food run low, Hector tells how he came to this desperate place. His story takes us from Oaxaca — its rich culture, its rapid change — to the dangers of the border. It exposes the tangled ties between Mexico and El Norte — land of promise and opportunity, homewrecker and unreliable friend. And it reminds us of the power of storytelling and the power of hope, as Hector fights to ensure his message makes it out of the truck and into the world.

Both an outstanding suspense novel and an arresting window into the relationship between two great cultures, The Jaguar’s Children shows how deeply interconnected all of us, always, are.

Thoughts:

Oh, what a glorious cover. Just look at the birds crossing the sky just perfect at the book's title. It's details like that I love with covers. Something that catches my eyes and then makes me see the other details, like the blood red sky, and the city. 

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

Stephanie @ Layered Pages





Tuesday, 3 July 2018

#BookReview Syndabocken (The Scapegoat ) by Sofie Sarenbrant (SWE/ENG) @SofieSarenbrant

Syndabocken by Sofie Sarenbrant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

En inbrottsvåg drar genom den välbärgade Stockholmsförorten Bromma, och tjuvarnas metoder blir allt värre. När ett mord på en tonårspojke skakar idyllen kopplas Emma Sköld in på fallet. Är det ett villainbrott som har gått snett?

Misstankarna riktas mot städerskan som hittade den mördade pojken. Eller är det den baltiske gästarbetaren som grips på bar gärning under ett inbrott? Fast besluten om att lösa fallet tar Emma saken i egna händer och försätter därigenom både sig själv och andra i livsfara.

Syndabocken är den fristående sjätte delen i den omtyckta serien om kriminalinspektör Emma Sköld. Det är en fängslande samtidsdeckare om lögner, hemligheter och hämnd. Hur förödande kan det bli om du förvränger sanningen?

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Jag har bara läst en bok tidigare i serien om Emma Sköld, och det är Tiggaren boken innan denna. Jag tyckte mycket om Tiggaren så jag var intresserad av att läsa Syndabocken. Det tog lite tid för mig att komma ihåg karaktärerna då det var ett tag sedan jag läste Tiggaren. Men 50-öringen lossnade inom kort och själva berättelsen var lätt att fastna för.

Inbrottsvågen som sker i Bromma var intressant att följa. Speciellt näthatet i samband med inbrotten. Brommaborna har sitt eget forum på nätet där hatet får råda. Emmas syster som vanligtviv bor i Bromma men som nu bor i Malta medan Emma har hennes hus följer med stigande oro det som sker genom forumet och samtal med Emma. Emma själv har personliga problem då hennes kollega tillika pojkvän vill gifta sig med henne. Men hon är osäker och det påverkar både ders privatliv samt arbete.

Syndabocken är en bok som belyser rasism och fördomar. När brott sker är det invandrare som ligger bakom det och hatet är speciellt stort på nätet. Detta är något som jag tycker verkligen speglar verkligenheten vi lever i idag. Boken är en riktig bladvändare och jag verkligen älskade slutet och ser fram emot att få läsa nästa bok i serien.

Tack till Bookmarks förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

A lot of burglaries are happening in the wealthy Stockholm suburb of Bromma, and the methods the thieves are using are getting worse. The idyll is truly shaken when a teenage boy is murdered. Emma Shield is the one that is leading the investigation. Could there be a cause of a burglary going wrong?

The suspicions are directed at the cleaning lady who found the murdered boy. Or is it the Baltic guest worker arrested during a burglary not long after the murder? Deciding to resolve the case, Emma takes the matter into her own hands, thereby putting herself and others in danger.

The Scapegoat is the independent sixth part of the popular series of detective Emma Sköld. It's a captivating contemporary crime novel about lies, secrets, and revenge. How devastating can the effects be it be if you distort the truth?

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I have just read a book earlier in the series about Emma Sköld, and it is The Beggar, book before this one. I loved reading that that book so I was interested in reading the Scapegoat. It took some time for me to remember the characters since it was a while since I read The Beggar. But I soon placed them all and their past stories and the story itself was easy to get caught up with.

The burglary wave that takes place in Bromma was interesting to follow. Especially the online hate in connection with the crimes. Bromma has its own forum on the internet where the citizens of Bromma can write anything they want and much of it is hatred towards immigrants. Emma's sister, who usually lives in Bromma but now lives in Malta while Emma has her house is watching with increasing concern about what is happening through the forum and conversation with Emma. Emma herself has personal problems when her colleague who is also her boyfriend wants them to marry. However, she is uncertain and it affects both her private life and work.

The Scapegoat is a book that highlights racism and bigotry. When crimes occur, is the view that it is immigrants behind it and the hate is especially big online. This I felt truly reflects the world today. The book is a pageturner and I really loved the ending of the book and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Thanks to Bookmarks förlag for the review copy!

Monday, 2 July 2018

#BookReview It All Falls Down by Sheena Kamal @WmMorrowBooks

It All Falls Down by Sheena Kamal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The brilliant, fearless, deeply flawed Nora Watts—introduced in the "utterly compelling" (Jeffery Deaver) atmospheric thriller The Lost Ones—finds deadly trouble as she searches for the truth about her late father in this immersive thriller that moves from the hazy Canadian Pacific Northwest to the gritty, hollowed streets of Detroit.

Growing up, Nora Watts only knew one parent—her father. When he killed himself, she denied her grief and carried on with her life. Then a chance encounter with a veteran who knew him raises disturbing questions Nora can’t ignore—and dark emotions she can’t control. To make her peace with the past, she has to confront it.

Finding the truth about her father’s life and his violent death takes her from Vancouver to Detroit where Sam Watts grew up, far away from his people and the place of his birth. Thanks to a disastrous government policy starting in the 1950s, thousands of Canadian native children like Sam were adopted by American families. In the Motor City, Nora discovers that the circumstances surrounding Sam’s suicide are more unsettling than she’d imagined.

Yet no matter how far away Nora gets from Vancouver, she can’t shake trouble. Back in the Pacific Northwest, former police detective turned private investigator Jon Brazuca is looking into the overdose death of a billionaire’s mistress. His search uncovers a ruthless opiate ring and a startling connection to Nora, the infuriatingly distant woman he’d once tried to befriend. He has no way to warn or protect her, because she’s become a ghost, vanishing completely off the grid.

Focused on the mysterious events of her father’s past and the clues they provide to her own fractured identity and that of her estranged daughter, Nora may not be able to see the danger heading her way until it’s too late. But it’s not her father’s old ties that could get her killed—it’s her own.

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It All Falls down is the sequel to the fabulous The Lost Ones. In this book is Nora Watts approached by a man that claims to have known her late father. Nora doesn't know much about her father, and the man's inquest about her and her sister makes her search for facts about her father. This eventually takes her from Vancouver to Detroit where Sam Watts grew up. The more she learns about her father and ultimately her mother makes her realize that the circumstances around her father suicide are more complicated than she thought.

At first, the story in this book seems to be just about Nora's father. Then, Nora starts to discover more about the mother she hardly remembers. And, ultimately Nora will realize that her own ghosts are still out to get her. If you have read the first book do you know about Nora's hunt to find her daughter Bonnie (that she gave up for adoption) that disappeared. She may have brought Bonnie home, but there are still people out there that will Nora ill.

I love how this book gave Nora and the reader more knowledge about Nora's parents. As the first book was about Nora and Bonnie does this feel great to get to know more about Nora and her family. Of course, Bonnie is still there in the story. Love the pics they send to each other, in a way to tentatively have a contact. Then, there is Jon Brazuca doing his own research into the death of a friend's mistress. That part was OK even though I much preferred when he decided to help Nora instead. The ending of the book makes me long for the next book in the series!

I want to thank William Morrow for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!

Sunday, 1 July 2018

#BookReview Stormsystern (The Storm Sister) by Lucinda Riley (SWE/ENG) @BazarforlagSE @lucindariley

Stormsystern by Lucinda Riley
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Den begåvade seglaren Ally D'Aplièse är mitt i förberedelserna inför ett av världens mest utmanande tävlingsrace när nyheten om hennes fars död når henne. Hon tar farväl av sitt livs kärlek, en man hennes familj inte vet existerar, och skyndar tillbaka till sitt barndomshem, ett förtrollande château där hon och hennes fem systrar - alla adopterade som nyfödda - växte upp. När systrarna samlats tilldelas de alla varsin ledtråd som ska leda dem i sökandet efter sina ursprung.

Efter en fruktansvärd olycka lämnar Ally haven. Den ledtråd hon fått av sin döde far leder henne till Norge, och omgiven av den majestätiska skönheten i ett okänt fädernesland upptäcker Ally en etthundra år gammal historia om Anna Landvik, en begåvad sångerska med en överraskande koppling till kompositören Edvard Grieg. Men ju mer Ally lär sig om Anna, ju mer börjar hon ifrågasätta vem hennes adoptivfar, Pa Salt, egentligen var - och varför hennes sjunde syster saknas.

Lucinda Rileys spännande berättelse för samman två starka kvinnor, åtskilda av ett decennium, och väver ihop deras liv i en oförglömlig roman om familj, kärlek och identitet.

Stormsystern är den andra boken i en unik serie om sju böcker baserad på legenden om Plejaderna, de sju systrarnas stjärnkonstellation, och har gjort stor internationell succé.


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Stormsystern är den andra boken i De sju systrarna serien av Lucinda Riley och boken är alldeles fantastisk! Böckerna är skriva på ett sätt att det gör inget om man läser dem i en annan ordning. Dock kan det vara en bra idé att läsa dem från början. För att på så sätt följa de sju adopterade systrarna medan de i bok för bok finner sin historia. Det händer lite saker i deras liv i böckerna som kan vara intressant att följa kronologiskt. 

I stormsystern är det Ally D'Aplièse tur att finna sina rötter. Förlusten av faderns bortgång tär på henne och inom kort drabbas hon på nytt av dödsbud som förkrossar henne. Någon nära henne har drunknat. Ally som alltid älskat att segla klarar inte längre det och det är nu ledtråden som hennes far gav henne kommer in i bilden. Ledtråden tar henne till Norge och till historien om Anna Landvik, en begåvad sångerska som levde för hundra år sedan.

Lucinda Riley visar än en gång vilken mästarinna hon är på att skriva berättelser med två olika tidslinjer. Att bokens berättelse i detta fall utspelas mycket i Norge tycker jag är mycket spännande. Det är ju nästan som hemma samt att jag älskar att kompositören Edvard Grieg spelar en stor roll i boken handling. Stormsystern är en roman som är svår att lägga ifrån sig och jag verkligen älskade att följa både Ally och Annas äventyr. Jag grämde mig kopiöst mycket när Annas berättelse tog slut. Jag vill ju veta vad hände härnäst. I och för sig fick man ju veta när man läste Allys berättelse vad som hände, men jag hade allt bra gärna läst Annas egna berättelse än att få höra hennes "egna ord".

Fantastiskt bok! Rekommenderas varm!

Tack till Bazar Förlag för recensionexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW


Ally D'Aplièse is about to compete in one of the world's most perilous yacht races, when she hears the news of her adoptive father's sudden, mysterious death. Rushing back to meet her five sisters at their family home, she discovers that her father - an elusive billionaire affectionately known to his daughters as Pa Salt - has left each of them a tantalising clue to their true heritage.

Ally has also recently embarked on a deeply passionate love affair that will change her destiny forever. But with her life now turned upside down, Ally decides to leave the open seas and follow the trail that her father left her, which leads her to the icy beauty of Norway...

There, Ally begins to discover her roots - and how her story is inextricably bound to that of a young unknown singer, Anna Landvik, who lived there over 100 years before, and sang in the first performance of Grieg's iconic music set to Ibsen's play 'Peer Gynt'. As Ally learns more about Anna, she also begins to question who her father, Pa Salt, really was. And why is the seventh sister missing?

Following the bestselling The Seven Sisters, The Storm Sister is the second book in Lucinda Riley's spellbinding series based loosely on the mythology surrounding the famous star constellation.


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The Storm Sister is the second book in the Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley and the book is amazing! All the books in the series are written in a way that does not matter if you read them in whatever order you want. However, I would say that it's a good idea to read them from the beginning, in order to follow the seven adopted sisters while each of them finds their roots. There are some things happening in their lives in the books that may be interesting to follow chronologically.

In The Storm Sister is it Ally D'Aplièse turn to find her roots. Her father's death hits her hard, and soon she faces another devastating blow when someone close to her drowns. Ally, who always loved to sail, feel that she can't return to the sea and it is now the clue that her father gave her to come into the picture. The clue takes her to Norway and to the story of Anna Landvik, a talented singer who lived one hundred years ago.

Lucinda Riley shows once again that she's a master when it comes to writing stories with two different timelines. It's very exciting that the book story is taking place a lot in Norway. It's almost like home, and I love that composer Edvard Grieg plays a big part in the book story. The Storm Sister is a novel that is hard to put away and I really loved to follow Ally and Anna's adventures. I was vexed when Anna's story ended. I want to know what happened next. Of course, we do get to know what happened next in Anna's life while reading Ally's story. However, I would have loved reading the story as it unfolds not just as snippets in Ally's story.

Fantastic book! Highly recommended!

Thanks to Bazar Förlag for the review copy!

#BookReview Splinter in the Blood by Ashley Dyer @WmMorrowBooks

Splinter in the Blood by Ashley Dyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A propulsive debut suspense novel, filled with secrets, nerve-jangling tension, perplexing mystery, and cold-blooded murder, in which a police officer on the hunt for a macabre serial killer is brutally attacked, and only his partner knows the truth about what happened—and who did it

After months of hunting a cold-blooded murderer that the press has dubbed the Thorn Killer, Detective Greg Carver is shot in his own home. His trusted partner, Ruth Lake, is alone with him. Yet instead of calling for help, she’s rearranged the crime scene and wiped the room clean of prints.

But Carver isn’t dead.

Awakening in the hospital, Carver has no memory of being shot, but is certain that his assailant is the Thorn Killer. Though there’s no evidence to support his claim, Carver insists the attack is retaliation, an attempt to scare the detective off the psychopath’s scent, because he’s getting too close. Trapped in a hospital bed and still very weak, Carver’s obsession grows. He’s desperate to get back to work and finally nail the bastard, before more innocent blood is spilled.

One person knows the truth and she’s not telling. She’s also now leading the Thorn Killer investigation while Carver recuperates. It doesn’t matter that Carver and the rest of the force are counting on her, and that more victims’ lives at stake. Ruth is keeping a deadly secret, and she’ll cross every line—sacrificing her colleagues, her career, and maybe even her own life—to keep it from surfacing.

Utterly engrossing and filled with masterfully crafted surprises, Splinter in the Blood is a propulsive roller-coaster ride, filled with deception, nerve-jangling tension, perplexing mystery, and cold-blooded murder.


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Splinter in the Blood starts off strong with a woman covering up a crime scene. Why is Ruth Lake covering up a crime scene at home of her partner, Detective Greg Carver? And what will happen next?

Reading this book feels a bit like starting to watch a movie in the middle or on a random page start a book. Not that the book has that confusing feeling. Instead, it feels like you are in the middle of an investigation and you get to know more about what happened before as the story progresses.

Now I want to say that one thing is a bit of a downer with this book. It was pretty easy to figure out who the serial killer is. True, the author throws out some red herrings, but I had my eyes set on a person quite early one, and then I just had to wait to find out if I was right. And I was btw. This actually was both a blessing and a curse. I mean, I like to be surprised and I was never surprised by reading this book, on the other hand, do I like feeling like I'm one or two step ahead in the story. Another thing is that I can't say that this book is in any way successful. It was interesting, a perfectly alright crime novel, and I would definitely read more in this series. I especially liked Carver's new talent after he wakes up after being shot. Hopefully, the next book will take me by surprise and get my pulse raising.

I want to thank William Morrow for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!

Saturday, 30 June 2018

#Bookreview Need to Know by Karen Cleveland @karecleve @randomhouse

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In pursuit of a Russian sleeper cell on American soil, a CIA analyst uncovers a dangerous secret that will test her loyalty to the agency—and to her family.

What do you do when everything you trust might be a lie?

Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counterintelligence analyst assigned to uncover the leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the United States. On track for a much-needed promotion, she’s developed a system for identifying Russian agents, seemingly normal people living in plain sight.

After accessing the computer of a potential Russian operative, Vivian stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents within America’s borders. A few clicks later, everything that matters to her—her job, her husband, even her four children—are threatened.

Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she’s facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust?

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Need to Know is one hell of a book! I'm especially happy to say that it did fulfill all my expectations!

What do you do when you, through your job discover that you are living a lie? That this discovery will threaten your life, your husband life, and your children's lives. That is what Vivian Miller discovers one day at her job as a CIA counterintelligence analyst. She is running a program trying to discover Russian sleeper cells in the US. And, she succeeds. And this starts off a living hell for her.

One could really feel with Vivian in this book. Her whole life is in ruin and she is now having to make serious decisions, protect her family and betray her country? Or turn in all the information she has and by that destroy her family.

The story is tense and captivating and I loved reading the book. I thought the ending at first was a bit too "Hollywood". A bit too cheesy and happy, well I thought so until I realized that the author had one more surprise in store. Wow! What an ending!

#BookReview The Forbidden Place by Susanne Jansson

Offermossen by Susanne Jansson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Richly atmospheric and haunting to the last page, Susanne Jansson's stunning debut will captivate fans of the celebrated suspense fiction of Jane Harper or Tana French.

In the North Swedish wetlands lies Mossmarken: the village on the edge of the mire where, once upon a time, people came to leave offerings to the gods.

Biologist Nathalie came in order to study the peat bogs. But she has a secret: Mossmarken was once her home, a place where terrible things happened. She has returned at last, determined to confront her childhood trauma and find out the truth.

Soon after her arrival, she finds an unconscious man out on the marsh, his pockets filled with gold - just like the ancient human sacrifices. A grave is dug in the mire, which vanishes a day after. And as the police investigate, the bodies start to surface...

Is the mire calling out for sacrifices, as the superstitious locals claim? Or is it an all-too-human evil?

An international sensation, THE FORBIDDEN PLACE is a gripping tale of the power of nature to shape our reality; the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of the world and the terrible consequences they may have.


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The marshland is a desolate place with misty meadows, sloping pines, and sinking soils. Once upon a time, sacrifices to the gods were buried here, and rumors say that people still disappear without a trace...

Offermossen "The Forbidden Place" is a thrilling novel about Nathalie who are doing field experiments for her doctoral thesis on wetlands. The thesis is not the only reason Nathalie has rented a cottage to the experiments. She has returned to the place she once grew up. Where she was happy. Before her life shattered. Now she is back and perhaps she will get the answers to what happened when she was a child.

I found the book to be captivating and intriguing. I love the setting of the story. There is something chilly and creepy with the marshland and this book really makes you feel that there is something out there, perhaps not something evil. Just something ... inhumane...

Offermossen is a thrilling book, not that thick so you will quickly read it through. It's a book that will leave an impact and I'm looking forward to reading more from Susanne Jansson.