Thursday, 13 December 2018

#BookReview The Mansion by Ezekiel Boone @emilybestler @AtriaBooks @FreshFiction

The Mansion by Ezekiel Boone
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After two years of living on cheap beer and little else in a bitterly cold tiny cabin outside an abandoned, crumbling mansion, young programmers Shawn Eagle and Billy Stafford have created something that could make them rich: a revolutionary computer they name Eagle Logic.

But the hard work and escalating tension have not been kind to their once solid friendship—Shawn’s girlfriend Emily has left him for Billy, and a third partner has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. While Billy walks away with Emily, Shawn takes Eagle Logic, which he uses to build a multi-billion-dollar company that eventually outshines Apple, Google, and Microsoft combined.

Years later, Billy is a failure, beset by poverty and addiction, and Shawn is the most famous man in the world. Unable to let the past be forgotten, Shawn decides to resurrect his and Billy’s biggest failure: a next-generation computer program named Nellie that can control a house’s every function. He decides to set it up in the abandoned mansion they worked near all those years ago. But something about Nellie isn’t right—and the reconstruction of the mansion is plagued by accidental deaths. Shawn is forced to bring Billy back, despite their longstanding mutual hatred, to discover and destroy the evil that lurks in the source code.


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THE MANSION is Ezekiel Boone's new book after fabulous The Hatching trilogy. This book is something else completely. It's a story about an old crumbling mansion and a love story that will destroy a friendship and turn two men into bitter enemies.

Shawn Eagle and Billy Stafford were once a great team, but Shawn's girlfriend Emily left him for Billy. Shawn, however, ended up with the innovative computer Eagle Logic that he and Billy had created together. So, while Billy and Emily had each other, Shawn ends up one of the richest men on the planet.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview The Coroner by Jennifer Graeser Dornbush @crookedlanebks

The Coroner by Jennifer Graeser Dornbush
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Summoned from her promising surgical career first to her estranged father's bedside, and then his post as medical examiner when his small town needs urgent help with a suspicious death, Emily Hartford discovers home is where the bodies are in this pitch perfect mystery debut.

Recently engaged and deeply ensconced in her third year of surgical residency in Chicago, Emily Hartford gets a shock when she’s called home to Freeport, MI, the small town she fled a decade ago after the death of her mother. Her estranged father, the local medical examiner, has had a massive heart attack and Emily is needed urgently to help with his recovery.

Not sure what to expect, Emily races home, blowing the only stoplight at the center of town and getting pulled over by her former high school love, now Sheriff, Nick Larson. At the hospital, she finds her father in near total denial of the seriousness of his condition. He insists that the best thing Emily can do to help him is to take on the autopsy of a Senator’s teen daughter whose sudden, unexplained death has just rocked the sleepy town.

Reluctantly agreeing to help her father and Nick, Emily gets down to work, only to discover that the girl was murdered. The autopsy reminds her of her many hours in the morgue with her father when she was a young teen—a time which inspired her love of medicine. Before she knows it, she’s pulled deeper into the case and closer to her father and to Nick—much to the dismay of her big city fiance. When a threat is made to Emily herself, she must race to catch the killer before he strikes again in The Coroner, expertly written and sharply plotted, perfect for fans of Patricia Cornwell and Julia 
Spencer Fleming.

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This book was pleasant. Yup, like watching a Hallmark movie. If that's your thing. I'm a bit on the fence, however, since I love my crime novels to be a bit darker, more surprising and let's face it less romantic. I saw the plot, what would happen in Emily Hartford's life right from the start. Or, rather from the moment, she met her ex-boyfriend when Emily came back to the town. Her perfect life in Chicago suddenly didn't seem to be so great when her fiance kept surprising her with news about the wedding that his mother is now organizing. This romantic side story is so unoriginal. And, yet I kind of liked the book. I liked the little city, the characters and yes the crime mystery was good. So, it was a pleasant book.

Would I read a sequel? Yes, I would. Not least because the book ended with some loose threads that I want answers to. So, like crime novels with a romantic triangle drama? The go for this book!  

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

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

#BookReview A Woman of War by Mandy Robotham @AvonBooksUK

A Woman of War by Mandy Robotham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Kate Furnivall comes a gritty tale of courage, betrayal and love in the most unlikely of places.

Germany, 1944. Taken from the camps to serve the Führer himself, Anke Hoff is assigned as midwife to one of Hitler’s inner circle. If she refuses, her family will die.

Torn between her duty as a caregiver and her hatred for the Nazi regime, Anke is swept into a life unlike anything she’s ever known – and she discovers that many of those at the Berghof are just as trapped as she is. And soon, she’s falling for a man who will make her world more complicated still…

Before long, the couple is faced with an impossible choice – and the consequences could be deadly. Can their forbidden love survive the horrors of war? And, more importantly, will they?


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Don't read this review if you are worried about spoilers. It's hard to write about this book without addressing the main event in this book and I was spoiled myself before I started this book. Although that just intrigued me...

Anka Hoff, a midwife sent to a camp is the "lucky" one to be selected to help a woman through her pregnancy and upcoming delivery. The woman is Eva Braun. Yup, she's expecting Adolf Hitler's love child. But, what you think now. Eva and Adolf did not have any children. Right, this is a "what if" story. Totally fiction. However, it's so very well written that you for the moment you read this book actually starts to think about what would have happened if this would have been the truth. An heir to Hitler. But, also an innocent child. This story is interwoven with flashbacks to Anka's time at Ravensbrück. How she came to be there and what she experiences there. It's a very strong story, with some tough moments. Anka herself falls in love with someone, but can their love last?

A Woman of War is a tough book to read, but well worth it. If you enjoy "what if stories" or like to read WW2 novels than I recommend this book warmly!

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

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

#BookReview Kiss of Death by Paul Finch @paulfinchauthor @AvonBooksUK

Kiss of Death by Paul Finch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Could this be the end for Heck?

The Sunday Times bestseller returns with an unforgettable crime thriller. Fans of MJ Arlidge and Stuart MacBride won’t be able to put this down.

Don’t let them catch you…

A Deadly Hunt

DS ‘Heck’ Heckenburg has been tasked with retrieving one of the UK’s most wanted men. But the trail runs cold when Heck discovers a video tape showing the fugitive in a fight for his life. A fight he has no chance of winning.

A Dangerous Game

Heck realises that there’s another player in this game of cat and mouse, and this time, they’ve not just caught the prize: they’ve made sure no one else ever does.

A Man Who Plays With Fire
How far will Heck and his team go to protect some of the UK’s most brutal killers? And what price is he willing to pay.

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I have a tendency to let the books I need to review pile up a bit. So, when I sat down to write reviews today and it was this book turn did the remembrance of the books godawful ending hit me again. And, I had managed to move on. And, now it all comes back to me...

First, I want to say that this is the first book I have read in the DS Heckenburg series, and I didn't know until I had started to read it that it was book seven. That didn't bother me much, just meant I have six books more to read. I had previously read the novella Death’s Door so I was a bit familiar with Heck.

As for this story, it was interesting especially when it all started to make sense, you know why all those dangerous men could have disappeared from the face of the earth. And I loved the fact that a short conversation at the beginning of the book where Heck learns some interesting, but at the time relevant, facts would, later on, be important to the case. Now, the story is good, I felt that this is a perfectly alright crime novel. And, then BAM Paul Finch decided to end the book with a twist so big that I mentally felt my jaw drop. Now, these are all pretty new characters for me, but that ending hit me so hard. I never ever expected that ending. I did feel before that godawful ending that the story had its ups and downs, you know a good crime novel. Some slow parts and some really good parts. However, Paul Finch saved the best (or the worts?) until the last minute...

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

Monday, 10 December 2018

#BookReview The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash @TomBarbash @simonschusterUK @ScribnerUK

The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A charming and wildly absorbing novel about the Winters, a family living in New York City’s famed Dakota apartment building in the year leading up to John Lennon’s assassination.

It’s the fall of 1979 in New York City when 23-year-old Anton Winter, back from the Peace Corps and on the mend from a nasty bout of malaria, returns to his childhood home in the Dakota. Anton’s father, the famous late-night host Buddy Winter is there to greet him, himself recovering from a breakdown. Before long Anton is swept up in an effort to reignite Buddy’s stalled career, a mission that takes him from the gritty streets of New York, to the slopes of the Lake Placid Olympics, to the Hollywood Hills, to the blue waters of the Bermuda Triangle, and brings him into close quarters with the likes of Johnny Carson, Ted and Joan Kennedy, and a seagoing John Lennon.

But the more Anton finds himself enmeshed in his father’s professional and spiritual reinvention, the more he questions his own path, and fissures in the Winter family begin to threaten their close bond. By turns hilarious and poignant, The Dakota Winters is a family saga, a page-turning social novel, and a tale of a critical moment in the history of New York City and the country at large.

The epic and intimate story of a family living in the famed Upper West Side apartment building, The Dakota, in the year leading up to the John Lennon assassination, a moment that shaped a generation.


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I was just little over a year old when John Lennon was killed, and writing this review is it just days after the 38 anniversary of his death. And, this story was extra poignant when you think about how much John Lennon had left to give when his life was cut short. This is a fictional story, but Tom Barbash writes in a way that makes it all feel real. Like Anton, his father Buddy and the rest of the family really existed. Cudos to Barbash to make fictional characters come to life.

I loved reading a story set in New York 79/80. I'm too young to remember those years, but nevertheless, it made me nostalgic. And, letting Dakota, one of the most iconic buildings in the city be the central point was a great move. I loved getting to know Anton and Buddy. To follow them as Anton tries to help his father return to the limelight as well as trying to find his own place outside his father's shadow. There is so much going on the world, the Olympics, Ted Kennedy's campaign. I really, really loved Joan Kennedy part in this story. As the saying goes, "behind every successful man there's a woman". And, Joan really showed in this story how to rise above Ted's infidelities. Not to mention standing by Ted, despite the Chappaquiddick incident that in the end ruined his political ambitions.

There is so much going in this book. I first gave the book four stars. However, when I started to write this review did I start to think about how much I enjoyed this story. And, how sad I was to have to say goodbye to Anton and the rest of the characters at the end of the book. So, I raised the rating to five stars. I warmly recommend this book!

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

#BookReview Broken Ground by Val McDermid @valmcdermid @groveatlantic

Broken Ground by Val McDermid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Internationally bestselling author Val McDermid is one of our finest crime writers, and her gripping, masterfully plotted novels have garnered millions of readers from around the globe. In Broken Ground, cold case detective Karen Pirie faces her hardest challenge yet.

Six feet under in a Highland peat bog lies Alice Somerville's inheritance, buried by her grandfather at the end of World War II. But when Alice finally uncovers it, she finds an unwanted surprise--a body with a bullet hole between the eyes. Meanwhile, DCI Pirie is called in to unravel a case where nothing is quite as it seems. And as she gets closer to the truth, it becomes clear that not everyone shares her desire for justice. Or even the idea of what justice is.

An engrossing, twisty thriller, Broken Ground reaffirms Val McDermid's place as one of the best crime writers of her generation.


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I had the great joy of reading OUT OF BOUNDS and BROKEN GROUNDS back-to-back. Both books are really good. I quite like that in this book Karen Pirie seems to be on the brink of happiness after the loss of Phil a year before. Also, the case is really interesting. A body is found in with a treasure from WW2, however, the body is more recent than so. So, the question is, who is this man and who killed him?

If there is one thing I love is it cold cases and that's why I enjoy this series so much. I especially liked that the case in question dates back all the way to the WW2 Now it's up to Karen and her team to try to figure out who the dead man is and who was it that killed him. But, it's not an easy case to solve, a great deal of digging must be done. Meanwhile, while Karen is working this case does she also overhear a heated discussion in a café and she can't resist butting in. This will have some consequences...

BROKEN GROUND is an excellent crime novel. I'm looking forward to 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!

Sunday, 9 December 2018

#BookReview Judaskyssen (Judas Kiss) by Kristina Tilvemo & Michael Wainwright @HoiForlag

Judaskyssen by Kristina Tilvemo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Oavsett om en människa avrättas med en kula i huvudet i ett mörkt gathörn, hittas livlös efter elva timmar i en städskrubb utan övervakning på akuten, eller dör ensam med liggsår på ett underbemannat äldrevårdshem, finns det någon som ligger bakom. Någon som gett en order. Någon som bär ett ansvar.

New York, sommaren 2013. Med ett djärvt ingrepp räddar den unga svenska läkaren Peter Larsson livet på en svårt skadad bilförare.

Ett halvår senare ser Peter – som nu tjänstgör på Malmö sjukhus – en gymnasieelev brutalt skjutas ned på gatan. Än en gång försökerhan rädda ett människoliv.

De två händelserna bildar upptakten till ett rafflande kriminaldrama där Peter och flickvännen Erika dras in i en våldsam värld präglad av oväntade vändningar, stark psykisk påfrestning och tvära kast mellan Malmös hårda gatuliv och Lunds akademiska elegans.

Hoten mot Peter och Erika kommer snart från flera håll. När en ny mordvåg sveper in över Malmös mörka gator handlar det bara om att överleva. Frågan är hur mycket – och vem – man är beredd att offra.

Judaskyssen bygger vidare på den starka traditionen av politiskt engagerad skandinavisk kriminallitteratur som bär en tydlig social och politisk agenda. Alla patientfall bygger på verkliga händelser.


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JUDASKYSSEN är en intressant bok. Jag tyckte speciellt mycket om att boken hade med riktiga patientfall i handlingen. Det stärkte verkligen handlingen och man fick en inblick i den obehagliga verkligheten när det gäller svenska sjukhus. Att tjäna pengar och att inte bry sig om patienterna bästa verkar vara normen nuförtiden.

Sedan har vi kriminalfallet. Peter Larsson är en vanlig man som blir inblandad i två händelser som kommer förändra hans liv. Att läsa denna bok kändes som att se en tåg krasch i slowmotion. Många dumma beslut fattas av speciellt Peter och Erika och flertalet gånger ville jag bara säg åt dem att växa upp upp och inse att de gör bara saken värre. Sedan kommer en totalt chockerande vändning...

JUDASKYSSEN är en kriminalnovell som även tar upp social orättvisa. Jag tyckte om den kombinationen och vill gärna läsa fler böcker som denna.

Tack till Hoi förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Whether a man is executed with a bullet in his head in a dark street corner or found lifeless after eleven hours in a broom cupboard without supervision in the ER or dying alone in an underprivileged retirement home, there is someone behind it. Anyone who gave an order. Someone who has a responsibility.

New York, Summer 2013. With a bold intervention, the young Swedish physician, Peter Larsson, saves the life of a seriously injured driver.

Half a year later, Peter - now serving at Malmö Hospital - sees a high school pupil brutally shot down the street. Once again, he's trying to save a human life.

The two events form the origin of a thrilling crime drama where Peter and his girlfriend Erika are drawn into a violent world characterized by unexpected twists and turns, strong psychological stress and a sharp throw between Malmö's hard street life and Lund's academic elegance.

The threats to Peter and Erika are coming soon from several directions. When a new murder wave sweeps across Malmo's dark streets, it's just about survival. The question is how much - and who - you are prepared to sacrifice.

JUDAS KISS continues to build on the strong tradition of politically committed Scandinavian crime literature that has a clear social and political agenda. All patient cases are based on real events.

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I found this book to be very interesting, especially all the patient cases one reads about. Why? Because they are all true, and they show just how bad the situations are in the hospitals here in Sweden. Saving money and not caring about the patients seems to be the norm nowadays. 

Then there is the crime story part. Peter Larsson, an ordinary man that happens to be involved in two events that will change his world. Reading this book felt very much like watching a train crash in slow motion. Lots of stupid decisions and you just want to tell the characters in this book, especially Peter and Erika to wise up. Then comes a shocking twist to the story that I never expected...

JUDAS KISS is a book that deals with social injustice as well as being a crime novel. I liked this setup and I want to read more books like this.

Thanks to Hoi förlag for the review copy!

Friday, 7 December 2018

#BookReview Out of Bounds by Val McDermid @valmcdermid @groveatlantic

Out of Bounds by Val McDermid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Internationally bestselling author Val McDermid is one of our finest crime writers, whose gripping, impeccably plotted novels have garnered millions of readers worldwide. In her latest, Out of Bounds, she delivers a riveting cold case novel featuring detective Karen Pirie.

When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to an unsolved murder from twenty-two years before. Finding the answer to the cold case should be straightforward. But it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself.

Meanwhile, Karen finds herself irresistibly drawn to another mystery that she has no business investigating, a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago. And again, she finds that nothing is as it seems.


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OUT OF BOUNDS is the fourth book in the Inspector Karen Pirie series and I have previously read book two and three in this series. This is a series that is growing on me. I still prefer the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series by the author, but this one and the one that comes after (that I picked up straight after I finished this one) are really good and I now want to read the first book that I haven't yet read.

Karen Pirie lost the love of her life recently and she spends her nights walking around in the city trying to come to grips with her loss. That doesn't mean that she isn't doing her damn best to solve cold cases. A joyride crash has given new life to an old rape and murder case. However, finding the answers will not be that easy. Karen is also drawn to a recent murder case that is linked to a terrorist bombing that happened twenty years ago. Could there be a link between the two deeds?

OUT OF BOUNDS is a really good book and it's not necessarily to read the books in the right order since each book has new cases.

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

#BookReview Caged by Ellison Cooper @MinotaurBooks @FreshFiction

Caged by Ellison Cooper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair hunts for evil in the deepest recesses of the human mind. Still reeling from the death of her fiance, she wants nothing more than to focus on her research into the brains of serial killers. But when the Washington D.C. police stumble upon a gruesome murder scene involving a girl who'd been slowly starved to death while held captive in a cage, Sayer is called in to lead the investigation. When the victim is identified as the daughter of a high profile senator, Sayer is thrust into the spotlight.

As public pressure mounts, she discovers that another girl has been taken and is teetering on the brink of death. With evidence unraveling around her, Sayer races to save the second victim but soon realizes that they are hunting a killer with a dangerous obsession...a killer who is closer than she thought.


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When a young girl is found dead in a cage, FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair must take a break from her research into the brains of serial killers. This killer seems to be very sadistic, letting the young victim slowly starve to death, but strangely, had given the girl a puppy. The case is complicated further by the fact that the girl is the daughter of a senator. Sayer tries to figure out the killers motive, but the situation becomes dire when they realize another girl is locked up somewhere...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Monday, 3 December 2018

#BookReview The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman @GenevieveCogman @BerkleyPub @FreshFiction

The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the latest novel in Genevieve Cogman's historical fantasy series, the fate of worlds lies in the balance. When a dragon is murdered at a peace conference, time-travelling Librarian spy Irene must solve the case to keep the balance between order, chaos...and the Library.

When Irene returns to London after a relatively straightforward book theft in Germany, Bradamant informs her that there is a top secret dragon-Fae peace conference in progress that the Library is mediating, and that the second-in-command dragon has been stabbed to death. Tasked with solving the case, Vale and Irene immediately go to 1890s Paris to start their investigation.

Once they arrive, they find evidence suggesting that the murder victim might have uncovered proof of treachery by one or more Librarians. But to ensure the peace of the conference, some Librarians are being held as hostages in the dragon and Fae courts. To save the captives, including her parents, Irene must get to the bottom of this murder--but was it a dragon, a Fae, or even a Librarian who committed the crime?


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THE MORTAL WORD is the fifth book in The Invisible Library series. I've read every single book in the series and I could not wait to read this book. Irene's job is to steal rare books from different worlds for the Invisible Library. She loves her job, the adventures, the books. After a job in Germany, Irene learns about a secret Dragon-Foe peace conference that the Library is overseeing. But when a high- ranking Dragon is murdered, the peace talks come to a halt. Irene and her friend, private detective Vale, are ordered to go to 1890s Paris and investigate the murder and find out who killed the dragon, and why?

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Saturday, 1 December 2018

#BookReview The Darling Dahlias and the Poinsettia Puzzle by Susan Wittig Albert @SusanWAlbert @ibpa

The Darling Dahlias and the Poinsettia Puzzle by Susan Wittig Albert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s Christmas, 1934, and the citizens of Darling, Alabama, are unwrapping a big package of Christmas puzzles.

Mildred Kilgore and Earlynne Biddle are planning to open a bakery on the square—if they can come up with the right recipes. Charlie Dickens faces two of the biggest puzzles of his career as an investigative reporter, and one of them involves his wife. Cute little Cupcake’s talent as a singer and dancer makes her a tempting target for an unscrupulous exploiter; Lizzy must enlist the Dahlias to protect her, while she herself is confronted by a romantic puzzle. And Sheriff Norris is forced to reopen a puzzling mystery that the town thought was solved and follow a string of clues that lead to a deadly situation at the nearby prison farm.

Once again, NYT best-selling author Susan Wittig Albert takes us to a place where real people have courage, respect their neighbors, and dream of doing their best, even when they’re not sure what that is. She reminds us that Christmas is a celebration of friendship, community, and what’s right with the world. There’s nothing puzzling about that.


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I've only read one book previously in this series and that was the one that was published before this one. But, I've read a number of Susan Wittig Albert books and I pretty much want to read anything she writes. And as always (nowadays) did I both listen to the audiobook as well as reading parts of the book. What can I say, the perks with my job is that I can listen to audiobooks all day long...

One thing that I find so great with this series is that, despite it having so many characters, is it easy to get into the story. Much thanks both to the character list as well as a few tidbits the author gives during the stories progress about the people in Darling. The Darling Dahlias is such a charming series and I loved to once again return to this little town in Alabama. Also, I love books set in the 30s, it such an interesting time period. As for this book, there are several things going on, a new bakery is open up (with lots of drama involved). Little Cupcake father is out to try to get her back after discovering her sing talents. And an old case has to reopen ... and much more happens in Darling. Oh, I almost forgot the puzzle competition set in Darling...

A lovely book that I recommend warmly!

#BookReview Murder in the Dark by Simon R. Green @severnhouse

Murder in the Dark by Simon R. Green
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The sudden appearance of a sinister black hole in the English countryside leads to a baffling murder investigation for Ishmael Jones.

"The past is England's dreaming, and not all of it sleeps soundly..."

Ishmael Jones and his partner Penny have been despatched to assist a group of scientists who are investigating a mysterious black hole which has appeared on a Somerset hillside. Could it really be a doorway to another dimension, an opening into another world?

When one of the scientists disappears into the hole — with fatal consequences — Ishmael must prove whether it was an accident — or murder. But with no clues, no witnesses and no apparent motive, he has little to go on. Is there an alien predator at large, or is an all-too-human killer responsible? Only one thing is certain: if Ishmael does not uncover the truth in time, more deaths will follow...


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This book actually takes to readers away from the usual creepy haunted house/mansion etc theme. Instead, there is a hole. Yes sir, a killing hole! I always enjoy these books although, the very best of the Ismael Jones book is the brilliant DEAD MAN WALKING. Could be that it was the very first I read in the series or just something with the book's story that truly captivated me. Or both.

MURDER IN THE DARK takes our paranormal crime-fighting duo Ismael and Penny to the lovely Somerset. Well, it would be lovely if it wasn't for the deadly hole that has appeared there. An archaeologist has already disappeared through the hole and it doesn't take long for a scientist to disappear as well.

One thing I liked about this book is that we got to learn more about Ismael Jones, this strange man. If you have read the previous books do you know what I mean. If not, well, what are you waiting for?

MURDER IN THE DARK is an enjoyable paranormal mystery book. I did feel that the very last part was the most interesting about the book, although of course, I enjoyed the whole killing hole story and who would die next...

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

Friday, 30 November 2018

#BookReview The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid @tjenkinsreid @simonschusterUK

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn's luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the '80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn's story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique's own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Written with Reid's signature talent for creating "complex, likable characters" (Real Simple), this is a mesmerizing journey through the splendor of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means -and what it costs- to face the truth.


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Oh WOW! I have a new favorite author. THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO is the very first book I've read by Taylor Jenkins Reid, but I definitely want to read more! To say that this book really hooked me is an understatement. I had an ecopy of this book, but I also listened to the audio version while at work and I do hope I did a good job. It's not easy when you find books like this. Everything around you gets a bit fuzzy. I always think a really good audiobook should you leave you a bit exhausted. You have gotten so into the story that it feels like you know the characters personally. And, this book felt like this!

Also, the title. LOVED it because it tells the life of Evelyn Hugo, every man represents a part of Evelyn's life. However, there is one person that is constant in her life, the great love of Evelyn Hugo. And that person, well I don't want to give the story away so I won't say more than it's all so bloody tragic. In many ways is Evelyn Hugo's life just a fictional as her movies. I loved this book. One of the best I've read this year! Can't wait to read DAISY JONES & THE SIX!

Thursday, 29 November 2018

#BookBlast The Burning House by Neil Spring @QuercusBooks @MillsReid11 @NeilSpring #BurningHouse

The Burning House by Neil Spring
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'Neil Spring is Agatha Christie meets James Herbert' STEPHEN VOLK

It was a victimless crime...

Estate Agent Clara is struggling to make a sale. With her abusive ex-husband on the brink of finding where she's hiding, she needs to make a commission soon or lose her chance to escape.

Boleskine House on the shores of Loch Ness has remained unsold for years, and Clara is sure that an 'innocent' fire will force the price down. But the perfect crime soon turns into the perfect nightmare: there was a witness, a stranger in the village, and he's not going to let Clara get away with it that easily...


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Clara is on the run, she has started a new life and all she wants is to lie low. And, she needs to sell Boleskine House, but the price is too high. So, she thinks if she only could get the price reduced a bit, then everything will be fine. A small fire will do the trick. However, someone saw her, someone that has a plan for Boleskine House, and now he has a plan for Clara as well...

From blurb may the book seem like an ordinary thriller, but this is a Neil Spring book so when weird shit starts to happen was I not surprised. Delighted, but not surprised. I wouldn't say that the book scared me or anything. However, I was intrigued. I mean Boleskine House, that's one cool place with a lot of history. For instance, Alistar Crowley and Jimmy Page are two notorious owners. And Crowley, well he pretty infamous. I didn't know this before I started to read the book. I actually didn't reflect much on the blurb since all I saw was new Neil Spring book and I wanted to read it. I've read THE GHOST HUNTERS and THE LOST VILLAGE and I loved them both. So, getting a new book was a treat.

THE BURNING HOUSE is perfect if you love to read paranormal thrillers. As with the previous books, I have read is the writing fabulous and it was nice to read a story set in modern time. Neil Spring has become a favorite author of mine and I will read pretty much anything he writes. As long as I get delightfully dark stories of course.

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


Sunday, 25 November 2018

#BookReview Vendetta by Iris Johansen @FreshFiction @StMartinsPress

Vendetta by Iris Johansen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

With his dying breath, Carl Venable, head of the CIA task force on terrorism and Jude Brandon’s final link to terrorist ringleader Max Huber, gives Brandon a mandate: to keep his daughter, Rachel, safe at any cost. But Rachel Venable has a shocking, twisted past of her own, one that comes rushing back after her medical clinic in Guyana is attacked by Huber—the same man who murdered her father and kept her imprisoned for months. Brandon and Catherine Ling, Rachel’s longtime ally and fierce protector, are determined to keep Rachel out of danger, but she knows that it’s impossible to stay hidden when Max Huber wants you dead.

As Rachel and Brandon race against the clock to bring Huber down before he can orchestrate a nuclear explosion that will lay waste to the west coast, they also fight a growing attraction to each other – an attraction that could prove just as dangerous as Huber himself. In this gripping, fast-paced novel full of dark secrets and tangled lies, one thing is clear: everyone has a vendetta, no one will rest until they get their revenge.

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I've read several Iris Johansen books, but VENDETTA is the first I've read in the Catherine Ling series, not that I let that stop me. I love Iris Johansen's Eve Duncan series, so getting a chance to read a book in one of her other series was great.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Saturday, 24 November 2018

#BookReview The Bridal Party by J G Murray @atlanticbooks

The Bridal Party by J G Murray
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sometimes friendship can be murder...

It's the weekend of Clarisse's bridal party, a trip the girls have all been looking forward to. Then, on the day of their flight, Tamsyn, the maid of honour, suddenly backs out. Upset and confused, they try to make the most of the stunning, isolated seaside house they find themselves in.

But, there is a surprise in store - Tamsyn has organised a murder mystery, a sinister game in which they must discover a killer in their midst. As tensions quickly boil over, it becomes clear to them all that there are some secrets that won't stay buried...


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THE BRIDAL PARTY was for me an excellent between books to read. You know, when you need something lighter and fast read? I've been reading pretty heavy stories and this one felt so good to read. I breezed through the story during a couple of hours. 

Now, first I want to say that the flashbacks didn't do much for me. I quickly realized what was going on and those flashbacks were hardly surprising. I did find the beginning of the book best when the gals arrived on Jersey for Clarisse's bridal party and the bride of honor is missing. And they are all confused to a lot of things. Like why have the costumes they have said to bring with them been changed...? As I said before I quickly figure out the plot, so I did skim read a bit to get to the end. It's like a murder mystery episode of any TV-series, the beginning, and the end is the best. As for the ending, I was not surprised, until I was surprised. And I liked it. Yup, excellent twist towards the end of the book. So, would I recommend the book? Yup, this is a perfect I-have-a-coupe-of-hours-to-kill-book and I'm alone in a dark house far, far from civilization ... muahahaha

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

#BookReview Flowers over the Inferno by Ilaria Tuti @Ilaria_Tuti @orionbooks

Flowers over the Inferno by Ilaria Tuti
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a quiet village surrounded by ancient woods and the imposing Italian Alps, a man is found naked with his eyes gouged out. It is the first in a string of gruesome murders.

Superintendent Teresa Battaglia, a detective with a background in criminal profiling, is called to investigate. Battaglia is in her mid-sixties, her rank and expertise hard-won from decades of battling for respect in the male-dominated Italian police force. While she’s not sure she trusts the young city inspector assigned to assist her, she sees right away that this is no ordinary case: buried deep in these mountains are whispers of a dark and dangerous history, possibly tied to a group of eight-year-old children toward whom the killer seems to gravitate.

As Teresa inches closer to the truth, she must also confront the possibility that her body and mind, worn down by age and illness, may fail her before the chase is over.


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I started to read this book last night and finished this morning. Such a fabulous and engrossing tale. I especially like Superintendent Teresa Battaglia, a woman in her mid-sixties. It's such a rarity to read a crime novel with an older female cop. And, I really really like that. She's such an interesting character. Another thing I really liked was her new inspector Massimo. They get off on the wrong foot, but as the story progresses do they start to have a better working relationship.

As for the case, so tragic so incredibly tragic. It's not often I feel sorry for killers. But, reading this story and especially the last part. Well, what can I say, the worst monsters are those in plain sight...

FLOWERS OVER THE INFERNO is a great crime novel. I've lately been looking for more European crime/thrillers to read. Especially set in Germany, France, Italy etc. And, now I can add Ilaria Tuti to the list of authors I want to read more by.

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

Friday, 23 November 2018

#BookReview Dark Sky Island by Lara Dearman @laradearman @crookedlanebks

Dark Sky Island by Lara Dearman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An inspector and journalist join forces to uncover long-buried secrets, simmering resentments, and a chilling murder in a tiny, remote island in the English Channel.

The tiny island of Sark lies isolated in the dark waters of the Channel Islands. No cars are allowed. No streetlamps light its paths. It is the world’s only Dark Sky Island. This breathtaking patch of land seems the picture of tranquility—but at its heart lies a web of murder, deceit, and hidden danger.

When bones are discovered on Derrible Bay and an elderly resident is violently murdered, DCI Michael Gilbert from the nearby island of Guernsey is called in to tackle the case. With his department under fire, he needs to find the killer—and fast. Joining him is newspaper reporter Jennifer Dorey, whose father died in a mysterious drowning off the island. As Michael struggles to crack the case and Jennifer launches her own investigation, the island’s residents are left reeling and soon, their dark secrets begin to unravel threatening everything.

On an island steeped in superstition, where tales of hauntings and devil craft abound, Michael and Jenny race to discover the truth in Dark Sky Island, the second tantalizing installment of Lara Dearman’s Jennifer Dorey mysteries.


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For me was this book a bit of an upswing from the first one. Don't take wrong, I liked the first book. Loved that the story took place on Guernsey and I quite liked DCI Michael Gilbert and journalist Jenny Dorey. Storywise is this book superior. I found myself quite hooked and breezed through the book.

There is just something very special about a small island and brutal crimes. Closed communities with secrets and resentment against outsiders. And, on the island of Sark has boon been found and that will be the start of a very dark story. Whose bones is it? DCI Michael Gilbert and Jenny Dorey will both be on the island working. And, there are some really strange things going on there...

I especially liked that this book also brought up the death of Jenny's father. The suspicious death that Jenny has been working on. She has felt that there was just something wrong about it. How could Charlie have drowned? He was such so experiences when it came to boats. Perhaps this book will give Jenny closure...

DARK SKY ISLAND is a really, really good book and I'm looking forward to the next one in the series!

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

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

#BookReview Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas @MichaelJBooks

Do Not Disturb: Be careful who you let inside . . . by Claire Douglas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Could your dream home be your worst nightmare?

After what happened in London, Kirsty needs a fresh start with her family.
And running a guesthouse in the Welsh mountains sounds idyllic.

But then their first guest arrives.
Selena is the last person Kirsty wants to see.
It's seventeen years since she tore everything apart.

Why has she chosen now to walk back into Kirsty's life?
Is Selena running from something too?
Or is there an even darker reason for her visit?

Because Kirsty knows that once you invite trouble into your home, it can be murder getting rid of it...


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I love listening to thrillers at work. A truly great one that hooks me can make the working day much easier. DO NOT DISTURB started off great, I wanted to know more. What happened between Kirsty and Selene? What is happening in the house? Is it haunted or is just someone playing pranks? Or is there something sinister going on?

I will say that the first part of the book is the best when so much is unknown. Gradually did I feel that that the story was easy to predict. Still, I found it enjoyable much thanks to the mysterious things that happened in the house, sleepwalking, things moved around, the dead flowers found in the morning etc. However, everything is pretty much predictable, especially one thing concerning Selene *spoilers, can't discuss it* that took Kirsty and the rest AGES to figure out. The ending. I felt that the author tried to chock the readers and yes I did not expect that, but was I shocked? No. Was it a good ending? Yes. 

Audiobook verdict: Hannah Daniel worked fine with me. I would definitely listen to more books narrated by her. 

Would I recommend this book? Yes, but I recommend if you have the option to read LOCAL GIRL MISSING by the author instead.

Monday, 19 November 2018

#BookReview The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker @PenguinUKBooks

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The ancient city of Troy has withstood a decade under siege of the powerful Greek army, which continues to wage bloody war over a stolen woman: Helen. In the Greek camp, another woman watches and waits for the war's outcome: Briseis. She was queen of one of Troy's neighboring kingdoms until Achilles, Greece's greatest warrior, sacked her city and murdered her husband and brothers. Briseis becomes Achilles's concubine, a prize of battle, and must adjust quickly in order to survive a radically different life, as one of the many conquered women who serve the Greek army.

When Agamemnon, the brutal political leader of the Greek forces, demands Briseis for himself, she finds herself caught between the two most powerful of the Greeks. Achilles refuses to fight in protest, and the Greeks begin to lose ground to their Trojan opponents. Keenly observant and coolly unflinching about the daily horrors of war, Briseis finds herself in an unprecedented position to observe the two men driving the Greek forces in what will become their final confrontation, deciding the fate, not only of Briseis's people, but also of the ancient world at large.

Briseis is just one among thousands of women living behind the scenes in this war--the slaves and prostitutes, the nurses, the women who lay out the dead--all of them erased by history. With breathtaking historical detail and luminous prose, Pat Barker brings the teeming world of the Greek camp to vivid life. She offers nuanced, complex portraits of characters and stories familiar from mythology, which, seen from Briseis's perspective, are rife with newfound revelations. Barker's latest builds on her decades-long study of war and its impact on individual lives--and it is nothing short of magnificent.

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WOW! I was really impressed by THE SILENCE OF THE GIRLS. It's such a powerful story, brutal, haunting and so sad. I listened to the audio version and I have to admit that since this was the first book by Pat Barker that I've read so was I not expecting this experience. However, it didn't take me long to really get hooked and I was so sad for all the girls in this book. For how they are viewed as only spoilers of war. To be offered to the winners, while they watch how all the menfolk are being killed off.

It was especially nice to get Briseis story, and not Helen's who has been written so much about. I had no knowledge about Briseis before I read this book and just like Helen did men end up fighting for her. Achilles won her after a battle, but then after Agamemnon had to give up his prize did he demand Briseis from Achilles. And that ladies and gentlemen seriously pissed off Achilles. And then everything went downhill from that point, at least for Achilles. For Briseis has it been hard for a long time. No saying in whom to marry, and being forced to share the bed of the man that then killed your husband. Well, being a woman back then (or even now) is hard.

I definitely recommend reading (or listening to this) book!

Saturday, 17 November 2018

#BookReview The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis @FionaJDavis @DuttonBooks @campbell_cass

The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In her latest captivating novel, nationally bestselling author Fiona Davis takes readers into the glamorous lost art school within Grand Central Terminal, where two very different women, fifty years apart, strive to make their mark on a world set against them.

For the nearly nine million people who live in New York City, Grand Central Terminal is a crown jewel, a masterpiece of design. But for Clara Darden and Virginia Clay, it represents something quite different.

For Clara, the terminal is the stepping stone to her future, which she is certain will shine as the brightly as the constellations on the main concourse ceiling. It is 1928, and twenty-five-year-old Clara is teaching at the lauded Grand Central School of Art. A talented illustrator, she has dreams of creating cover art for Vogue, but not even the prestige of the school can override the public's disdain for a "woman artist." Brash, fiery, confident, and single-minded--even while juggling the affections of two men, a wealthy would-be poet and a brilliant experimental painter--Clara is determined to achieve every creative success. But she and her bohemian friends have no idea that they'll soon be blindsided by the looming Great Depression, an insatiable monster with the power to destroy the entire art scene. And even poverty and hunger will do little to prepare Clara for the greater tragedy yet to come.

Nearly fifty years later, in 1974, the terminal has declined almost as sharply as Virginia Clay's life. Full of grime and danger, from the smoke-blackened ceiling to the pickpockets and drug dealers who roam the floor, Grand Central is at the center of a fierce lawsuit: Is the once-grand building a landmark to be preserved, or a cancer to be demolished? For Virginia, it is simply her last resort. Recently divorced, she has just accepted a job in the information booth in order to support herself and her college-age daughter, Ruby. But when Virginia stumbles upon an abandoned art school within the terminal and discovers a striking watercolor hidden under the dust, her eyes are opened to the elegance beneath the decay. She embarks on a quest to find the artist of the unsigned masterpiece--an impassioned chase that draws Virginia not only into the battle to save Grand Central but deep into the mystery of Clara Darden, the famed 1920s illustrator who disappeared from history in 1931.



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Oh wow listening to this book was such a great experience. THIS is just the kind of dual storyline book I love to read with two fascinating stories linked together by a painting. First, I just want to say that I got Beatriz Williams vibes while listening to this book. And I LOVE Beatriz Williams books, so that's a plus. Second, not setting one of the stories in the present time was fabulous. I have a deep love for both the 20s and the 70s and now I got them both.

THE MASTERPIECE is the very first book I have read by Fiona Davis and I'm very much eager to read the other books. I always loved books about artists and I loved getting to know more about Grand Central School of Art. I really liked Clara Darden who struggled to become an acknowledged artist. She had ambitions and really set out to achieve her dreams. Almost 50 years later is Virginia Clay drawn into the mystery of Clara Darden who disappeared in 1931. Virginia is newly divorced and has recently started to work in the information booth Grand Central. I loved reading about how this woman, who recently had some medical problem, a bastard of an ex and a daughter who causes her problem, finds a painting that will unravel lots of secrets.

Writing the review for THE MASTERPIECE makes me definitely eager to read more of Fiona Davis books. Luckily I have some to read. Also, Cassandra Campbell, the narrator did an excellent job! She has that kind of that makes me pick book after what she has narrated. So, I definitely recommend listening to this book! 

#BookReview A Borrowing of Bones by Paula Munier @MinotaurBooks @FreshFiction

A Borrowing of Bones by Paula Munier
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

First in a gripping new mystery series about a retired MP and her bomb-sniffing dog who become embroiled in an investigation in the beautiful Vermont wilderness

It may be the Fourth of July weekend, but for retired soldiers Mercy Carr and Belgian Malinois Elvis, it’s just another walk in the remote Lye Brook Wilderness—until the former bomb-sniffing dog alerts to explosives and they find a squalling baby abandoned near a shallow grave filled with what appear to be human bones. U.S. Game Warden Troy Warner and his search-and rescue Newfoundland Susie Bear respond to Mercy’s 911 call, and the four must work together to track down a missing mother, solve a cold-case murder, and keep the citizens of Vermont safe on potentially the most incendiary Independence Day since the American Revolution.

A Borrowing of Bones is full of complex twists and real details about search-and-rescue dog training that Paula learned through the training of her own dog. With its canine sidekicks and rich, dramatic story, this debut will be a must-have for mystery fans.


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Mercy Carr and her Belgian Malinois, Elvis, are out on their usual hike in the remote Lye Brook Wilderness when Elvis sniffs out a very unusual finding. A baby abandoned near a shallow grave filled with human bones. U.S. Game Warden Troy Warner and his search-and-rescue dog Susie Bear responds to Mercy's 911 call. Who left the baby there, and who's in the shallow grave?

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#MiniReviews The Beast of Nightfall Lodge, Witness, Just Before I Died, The Patriot Threat and The Aftermath

The Beast of Nightfall Lodge: The Institute for Singular Antiquities Book II by Sa Sidor
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


The Beast of Nightfall Lodge: The Institute for Singular Antiquities Book II


A mysterious explorer hires a team of adventurers to join him in a hunt for a monstrous beast, in this rip-roaring sequel to Fury From the Tomb.

When Egyptologist Rom Hardy receives a strange letter from his old friend, the bounty-hunting sniper Rex McTroy, he finds himself drawn into a chilling mystery. In the mountains of New Mexico, a bloodthirsty creature is on the loose, leaving a trail of bodies in its wake. Now, a wealthy big game hunter has offered a staggering reward for its capture, and Rom's patron - the headstrong and brilliant Evangeline Waterston - has signed the team up for the challenge. Awaiting them are blizzards, cold-blooded trappers, remorseless hunters, a mad doctor, wild animals and a monster so fearsome and terrifying, it must be a legend come to life.


REVIEW

I have to admit that the cover and the fabulous blurb made me eager to read this book. Alas, I did not love the book as much as I had hoped I would do. I loved the idea of the book, about a monster terrorizing and killing people in the mountains of New Mexico and the prologue that takes place 30 years late really piqued my interested. However, I kind of struggled with the book. Partly it was interesting and partly very slow to get through. It did end on a high note. Fabulous albeit sad ending I must say.

Thanks for the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley!

Witness by Caroline Mitchell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Witness


To Rebecca it was a brave decision that led to her freedom from domestic abuse. To Solomon it was the ultimate betrayal.

It’s been ten years since Rebecca’s testimony saw Solomon locked away. Enough time for the nightmares to recede, the nerves to relax; enough time to rebuild her life and put the past behind her.

Then one day a phone rings in her bedroom—but it’s not her phone. Solomon has been in her home, and has a very simple message for her: for each of the ten years he has spent in jail, Rebecca must witness a crime. And, to make matters worse, she has to choose the victims.

Fail to respond and you get hurt. Talk to police and you die. Ready to play? You have sixty seconds to decide…

As the crimes grow more severe, the victims closer to home, Rebecca is forced to confront a past she had hoped was gone forever.


REVIEW

I've read a couple of books by Caroline Mitchell and this one worth reading. I do prefer stories where the culprit is unknown, which is not the case with this book. However, I do think that Mitchell has hit the nail when it comes to the terror of living with a dangerous man. I especially think that the part about Rebecca meeting Solomon for the first time felt like a predator out for a weak kill. Finding the prey's weakness and go for it. It was very chilling to read. The big twist at the end was not that surprising. I was expecting it to be honest. But, I enjoyed this story and I'm looking forward to reading more from Caroline Mitchell.

Just Before I Died by S.K. Tremayne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just Before I Died


Why did you do that to me Mummy, don’t you love me?

Kath lives with her husband Adam and daughter Lyla in a desolate stone longhouse deep in Dartmoor National Park. She likes her life the moors are beautiful, if bleak and she counts herself as happy, even if they struggle with money, and work, and her daughter's shyness.

But one day Kath wakes up from a coma, with a vague memory of a near-fatal car accident. She hugs her daughter close, likewise her husband Adam. But there’s something wrong. Adam seems furious with her and Lyla is acting evermore strangely. They should be delighted to see her alive, snatched from certain death. But they won't meet her gaze

Then Kath learns that the car crash wasn't an accident, and her whole life collapses into a world of panic, and danger.


REVIEW

THE ICE TWINS is one of the best books I have ever read and the second book Tremayne wrote, THE FIRE CHILD was also good. So. of course, I had to buy this book when it was released. I love S.K. Tremayne stories and this was not an exception. The setting, Dartmoor is perfect for a story likes this about a woman that learns that the car accident she was in may have been a suicide attempt. She's just can't remember it since she has amnesia. And why is her husband acting strange? What really happened that day? Great book, can't wait to read more the next book by Tremayne.


The Patriot Threat
by Steve Berry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Patriot Threat


The 16th Amendment to the Constitution is why Americans pay income taxes. But what if there were problems associated with that amendment? Secrets that call into question decades of tax collecting? In fact, there is a surprising truth to this hidden possibility.

Cotton Malone, once a member of an elite intelligence division within the Justice Department known as the Magellan Billet, is now retired and owns an old bookshop in Denmark. But when his former-boss, Stephanie Nelle, asks him to track a rogue North Korean who may have acquired some top secret Treasury Department files—the kind that could bring the United States to its knees—Malone is vaulted into a harrowing twenty-four hour chase that begins on the canals in Venice and ends in the remote highlands of Croatia.

With appearances by Franklin Roosevelt, Andrew Mellon, a curious painting that still hangs in the National Gallery of Art, and some eye-opening revelations from the $1 bill, this riveting, non-stop adventure is trademark Steve Berry—90% historical fact, 10% exciting speculation—a provocative thriller posing a dangerous question: What if the Federal income tax is illegal?


REVIEW

This book offers an interesting dilemma. What if there were some problems with the 16th Amendment? However, I felt that the story was pretty slow compared to previous books I've read in this series. I even liked the side story with Stephanie Nelle better than the story with Cotton Malone. I just found the Big Bad Guy, the North Korean dude to be a pretty boring nemesis. And Cotton's hunt for him and his daughter didn't rock my boat. I do love adventures thrillers with clues to be solved and that part of the book did I enjoy. I just hope that the next book will be better...

The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Aftermath


Set in post-war Germany, the international bestseller The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook is a stunning emotional thriller about our fiercest loyalties and our deepest desires. In the bitter winter of 1946, Rachael Morgan arrives with her only remaining son Edmund in the ruins of Hamburg. Here she is reunited with her husband Lewis, a British colonel charged with rebuilding the shattered city. But as they set off for their new home, Rachael is stunned to discover that Lewis has made an extraordinary decision: they will be sharing the grand house with its previous owners, a German widower and his troubled daughter. In this charged atmosphere, enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.

REVIEW

I want to watch The Aftermath the movie, so of course, I started by reading the book. And, I must say that I quite enjoyed this story about a British family moving into a house with a German widower and his daughter after WW2. Both families have lost much during the war and now they have to live under the same roof. The ending felt a bit abrupt, but I quite enjoyed the writing and the story. Now I'm ready for the movie!

Monday, 12 November 2018

#BlogTour A Light of Her Own by Carrie Callaghan @hfvbt @CarrieCallaghan

A Light of Her Own by Carrie Callaghan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A Light of Her Own by Carrie Callaghan

Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Amberjack Publishing
Hardcover; 320 Pages
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Biographical

In Holland 1633, a woman’s ambition has no place.

Judith is a painter, dodging the law and whispers of murder to become the first woman admitted to the prestigious Haarlem artist’s guild. Maria is a Catholic in a country where the faith is banned, hoping to absolve her sins by recovering a lost saint’s relic.

Both women’s destinies will be shaped by their ambitions, running counter to the city’s most powerful men, whose own plans spell disaster. A vivid portrait of a remarkable artist, A Light of Her Own is a richly-woven story of grit against the backdrop of Rembrandt and an uncompromising religion.


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A LIGHT OF HER OWN is the story about two women. Judith is a painter, and the very first woman to be admitted to the prestigious Haarlem artist's guild. Her best friend Maria is the daughter of Frans de Grebber, who Judith learned painting from. Maria is also Catholic, living in a land where the faith is banned.

A favorite book (and movie) of mine is GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING. So, guess I was intrigued when I learned about this book. About women painting in a time I thought there were just male painters. I just had to read the book. And, what an interesting story. Yes, this is a fictional story, but Judith Leyster really was admitted to the prestigious Haarlem artist's guild and it's not that far-fetched that she knew Maria. I greatly enjoyed reading about Maria and Judith in this a world with great religious antagonisms, not to mention a world where women painters was an anomaly. Another thing that I quite enjoyed was that the scheme initiated by Haarlem's powerful men that will affect both Maria and Judith's lives.

I quite enjoyed this book and this is definitely a book to read if you are interested in art or just want a well-written historical fiction.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Carrie Callaghan is a writer living in Maryland with her spouse, two young children, and two ridiculous cats. Her short fiction has appeared in Weave Magazine, The MacGuffin, Silk Road, Floodwall, and elsewhere. Carrie is also an editor and contributor with the Washington Independent Review of Books. She has a Master’s of Arts in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

For more information, please visit Carrie Callaghan's website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook,  Twitter and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, November 12 

Tuesday, November 13 
Review at A Bookish Affair

Wednesday, November 14 
Interview at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, November 15 
Review at Broken Teepee

Friday, November 16 

Sunday, November 18 

Monday, November 19 

Tuesday, November 20 

Wednesday, November 21 

Friday, November 23 

Monday, November 26 

Tuesday, November 27 

Wednesday, November 28 

Thursday, November 29 
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, November 30 

Monday, December 3 
Review & Interview at Reading the Past

Tuesday, December 4 
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Wednesday, December 5 
Review at I'm Shelf-ish

Thursday, December 6 
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Friday, December 7 
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 2 signed hardcovers of A Light of Her Own! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.
Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 7th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

A Light of Her Own