Saturday, 20 July 2019

#BookReview Assassin of Shadows by Lawrence Goldstone @FreshFiction @Pegasus_Books

Assassin of Shadows: A Novel by Lawrence Goldstone
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Just after 4 p.m. on September 6, 1901, twenty-eight year old anarchist Leon Czolgosz pumped two shots into the chest and abdomen of President William McKinley. Czolgosz had been on a receiving line waiting to shake the president’s hand, his revolver concealed in an oversized bandage covering his right hand and wrist. McKinley had two Secret Service agents by his side, but neither made a move to stop the assailant. After he was apprehended, Czolgosz said simply, “I done my duty.”

Both law enforcement and the press insisted that Czolgosz was merely the tip of a vast and murderous conspiracy, likely instigated by the “high priestess of anarchy,” Emma Goldman. To untangle its threads and bring the remaining conspirators to justice, the president’s most senior advisors choose two other Secret Service agents, Walter George and Harry Swayne. What they uncover will not only absolve the anarchists, but also expose a plot that will threaten the foundations of American democracy, and likely cost them their lives.

As in his other brilliant novels combining history and fiction, Lawrence Goldstone creates a remarkable and chilling tableau, filled with suspense and unexpected turns of fate, detailing events that actually might have happened. As Publishers Weekly observed in its starred review of the “exceptional thriller,” Deadly Cure, “Goldstone again blends fact and fiction seamlessly.


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Two secret service men, Walter George and Harry Swayne are tasked with trying to find out the truth about the assassin attempt of President William McKinley. The shooter, anarchist Leon Czolgosz words after the deed is "I done my duty". But could it all be a conspiracy? That anarchism is just a pretext for something else? The more they dig the more they uncover clues that point to that Czolgosz was just the fall guy...

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Friday, 19 July 2019

#BookReview Almost Midnight by Paul Doiron @FreshFiction @pauldoiron @MinotaurBooks

Almost Midnight by Paul Doiron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this thrilling entry in Edgar Award finalist Paul Doiron's bestselling series, the death of Maine's last wild wolf leads Game Warden Mike Bowditch to an even bigger criminal conspiracy.

Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch already has a troubling mystery on his hands: finding the archer who mortally wounded Maine’s only wild wolf. Then he learns his best friend, Billy Cronk, has been released from prison after heroically defending a female guard from a stabbing. Mike comes to believe the assault was orchestrated by a wider criminal conspiracy. When the conspirators pursue Billy's wife and children to a “safe" cabin in the woods, Mike rushes to their defense only to find himself outnumbered, outgunned—and maybe out of options.


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Mike Bowditch cuts his vacation short when the wife of Billy Cronk calls and tells him Billy needs to see him. Billy has a favor to ask Mike, a favor that Mike just can't do for him. However, shortly after this a female guard attacked and Billy saves her life and now the governor wants to pardon Billy. Mike is thrilled to learn this since he feels responsible for sending Billy to prison in the first place because he had to testify against him. However, he is also worried since he can't stop thinking about how anxious Billy had been in prison and the favor he had asked Mike. Could it be that someone is out to get Billy?

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview Into the Jungle by Erica Ferencik @FreshFiction @gallerybooks

Into the Jungle by Erica Ferencik
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In this pulse-pounding thriller from the author of the “haunting, twisting thrill ride” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author) The River at Night, a young woman leaves behind everything she knows to take on the Bolivian jungle, but her excursion abroad quickly turns into a fight for her life.

Lily Bushwold thought she’d found the antidote to endless foster care and group homes: a teaching job in Cochabamba, Bolivia. As soon as she could steal enough cash for the plane, she was on it.

When the gig falls through and Lily stays in Bolivia, she finds bonding with other broke, rudderless girls at the local hostel isn’t the life she wants either. Tired of hustling and already world-weary, crazy love finds her in the form she least expected: Omar, a savvy, handsome local man who’d abandoned his life as a hunter in Ayachero—a remote jungle village—to try his hand at city life.

When Omar learns that a jaguar has killed his four-year-old nephew in Ayachero, he gives Lily a choice: Stay alone in the unforgiving city, or travel to the last in a string of ever-more-isolated river towns in the jungles of Bolivia. Thirty-foot anaconda? Puppy-sized spiders? Vengeful shamans with unspeakable powers? Love-struck Lily is oblivious. She follows Omar to this ruthless new world of lawless poachers, bullheaded missionaries, and desperate indigenous tribes driven to the brink of extinction. To survive, Lily must navigate the jungle--its wonders as well as its terrors—using only her wits and resilience.

Primal, gripping, and terrifying, Into the Jungle features Erica Ferencik’s signature “visceral, white-knuckle” (Entertainment Weekly) prose that will sink its fangs into you and not let go.


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Lily Bushwold never thought that one day she would follow a man she hardly knew into the jungle, to the village he was born. But love can change a lot in a person's life. Lily grew up in group homes and when she got a teaching job in Cochabamba, Bolivia, she took the chance for a change. The problem is that there was no teaching job and now she's stuck in Cochabamba showing off her thieving skills to some new girlfriends. But, when Omar enters her life is it like being hit by a train; she has met the man of her dreams. So, of course, Lily goes with him when he must return to his home village in the middle of the jungle after his brother's child has been killed by a jaguar. However, she soon learns that much in the jungle can kill...

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#BookReview Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin @FreshFiction @WmMorrowBooks @alisongaylin

Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reminiscent of the bestsellers of Laura Lippman and Harlan Coben—with a Serial-esque podcast twist—an absorbing, addictive tale of psychological suspense from the author of the highly acclaimed and Edgar Award-nominated What Remains of Me and the USA Today bestselling and Shamus Award-winning Brenna Spector series.

When website columnist Robin Diamond is contacted by true crime podcast producer Quentin Garrison, she assumes it's a business matter. It's not. Quentin's podcast, Closure, focuses on a series of murders in the 1970s, committed by teen couple April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy. It seems that Quentin has reason to believe Robin's own mother may be intimately connected with the killings.

Robin thinks Quentin’s claim is absolutely absurd. But is it? The more she researches the Cooper/LeRoy murders herself, the more disturbed she becomes by what she finds. Living just a few blocks from her, Robin’s beloved parents are the one absolute she’s always been able to rely upon, especially now amid rising doubts about her husband and frequent threats from internet trolls. She knows her mother better than anyone—or so she believes. But all that changes when, in an apparent home invasion, Robin's father is killed and her mother's life hangs in the balance.

Told through the eyes of Robin, podcaster Quentin, and a series of letters written by fifteen-year-old April Cooper at the time of the killings, Never Look Back asks the question:

How well do we really know our parents, our partners—and ourselves?


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Website columnist Robin Diamond is shocked when crime podcast producer Quentin Garrison contacts her and implies that Robin's mother was involved in a couple of murders back in the 70s. Robin is quite sure that this is impossible, but she can't help wondering why she knows so little about her mother's past. There is no way her mother could have participated in a murder spree. And, beside both killers are dead, so there is no way her mother could be a killer. Then, tragedy strikes when someone breaks in and shots both her parents. Could this have something to do with the old murder case?

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

#BookReview Shamed by Linda Castillo @FreshFiction @LindaCastillo11 @MinotaurBooks

Shamed by Linda Castillo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this riveting new thriller in Linda Castillo's New York Times bestselling series, Kate Burkholder races against the clock to find a missing Amish girl.
An Amish grandmother is murdered on an abandoned farm, her seven year old granddaughter abducted. Chief of Police Kate Burkholder plunges headlong into a case that quickly becomes a race against the clock. She knows the longer the girl is missing, the more likely a tragic outcome. The family of the missing girl is well thought of—a pillar of the Amish community. Their pain is palpable and they cooperate in every way, but Kate soon learns they’re keeping secrets...

The investigation takes Kate to an isolated Old Order Amish settlement along the river in southern Ohio. At first, the community seems upstanding and helpful. But when Kate starts asking questions, they stonewall her—and the situation soon becomes dangerous. What are they hiding and why?

After an attempt on her life, Kate unearths a haunting and tragic secret that changes everything she thought she knew about the family for whom she is fighting, the Amish community as a whole—and everything she thought she knew about herself. Will she reach the girl in time to save her life?


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An old woman is out picking walnuts with her two grandchildren when she hears a sound from inside the abandoned farmhouse where they are. No one lived on the farm for a long time so no one should be inside the house. A little time later is the woman dead and one of the granddaughters has been kidnapped. Kate Burkholder has to figure out who would want to hurt the old woman and why did the person in question take one of the children? Kate has a feeling that the people related to the old woman and some around her in the Amish community have a secret. That they are hiding something that made someone kill...

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Sunday, 14 July 2019

#BookReview Arvet (The Legacy) by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir (SWE/ENG) @YrsaSig

The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

En kvinna hittas mördad i sitt hem i Reykjavik, och enda vittnet är en liten flicka som polisen hittar gömd i rummet där mordet skedde. Hon är så chockad av händelsen att hon har slutat tala. Kriminalpolisen Huldar står handfallen inför flickans tystnad. Han vänder sig till psykologen Freyja som har stor erfarenhet av att arbeta med traumatiserade barn. Freyja är skeptisk till polisen i allmänhet, och Huldar i synnerhet. Men hon är fast besluten att skydda flickan. Det kan bli svårare än någon av dem först anar. Mördaren lämnar kryptiska ledtrådar till dem, men klarar de av att tyda dem innan nästa offer skördas?

Arvet är första delen i isländska deckardrottningen Yrsa Sigurdardóttirs serie om barnpsykologen Freyja och polisen Huldar. Författaren väver skickligt samman mörka familjehemligheter och en mordintrig som får blodet att isa sig. Arvet står ut i mängden bland alla nordic noir-thrillers som givits ut de senaste åren. Historien innehåller så många lager och är så skickligt konstruerad att ingen på jakt efter nästa stora nordiska deckarupplevelse kommer bli besviken.


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Arvet är den första boken i "Children's House" serien och det är den första boken jag har läst av Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. Jag har hunnit läst några fler böcker av Sigurðardóttir sedan jag avslutat den här boken och tycker att hon skrivit riktigt bra böcker. En sak jag älskade med den här boken (och resten jag har läst av författaren) är att böckerna utspelas på Island. En annan sak som jag gillade är bokens huvudkaraktärer psykologen Freyja och polisen Huldar som måste arbeta tillsammans för att lösa ett mordfall där ett barn är det enda vittnet. Mordet var ganska brutalt och lilla Margret kan också vara i fara. För att göra saken värre har Freyja och Huldar ett "slags" förflutet och de är inte glada över att de måste arbeta tillsammans, särskilt inte Freyja. Men för barnets skull och för att lösa fallet måste de försöka arbeta tillsammans för att få reda på varför någon skulle vilja döda kvinnan.

Jag tyckte att Arvet var en intressant book, speciellt att svaren låg i det förflutna. Jag tyckte det var kul att för en gång skull läsa om en barnpsykolog och Freyjas kyliga relation med Huldar var roande vilket behövdes i en annars väldigt mörk bok. För mig var bokens bästa del framåt slutet när jag började inse sanningen och när allt började bli lite farligt för Huldar. Arvet är en mycket bra bok och jag ser fram emot att läsa nästa bok i serien.

Tack HarperCollins Nordic för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

The first in a stunning new series from the author of The Silence of the Sea, winner of the 2015 Petrona Award for best Scandinavian Crime Novel.

The Legacy is the first installment in a fantastic new series featuring the psychologist Freyja and the police officer Huldar.

The only person who might have the answers to a baffling murder case is the victim’s seven-year-old daughter, found hiding in the room where her mother died. And she’s not talking.

Newly-promoted, out of his depth, detective Huldar turns to Freyja for her expertise with traumatized young people. Freyja, who distrusts the police in general and Huldar in particular, isn’t best pleased. But she’s determined to keep little Margret safe.

It may prove tricky. The killer is leaving them strange clues, but can they crack the code? And if they do, will they be next?


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The Legacy is the first book in the Children's House series and it's the first book I've read by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. I've actually read a couple of more books by Sigurðardóttir since I finished this book and I find her books really good. One thing I loved about this book (and the rest I've read by the author) is that its setting is on Iceland. Another thing I liked is the main characters psychologist Freyja and police officer Huldar who have to work together solving a murder case where a child is the only witness. The murder was quite brutal and little Margret could also be in danger. To make matter worse, Freyja and Huldar have a “kind of” past and they are not pleased that they have to work together, especially not Freyja. But, for the sake of the child and to solve the case must they try to work together to find out why someone would want to kill the woman.

I found the Legacy to be a very interesting book, especially that the answers were in the past. I thought it was a great change that for once read about a child psychologist and Freyja's frosty relationship with Huldar was amusing, which was needed in an otherwise very dark book. I especially liked the last part of the book when I started to realize the truth and when everything started to get a bit more dangerous for Huldar. The Legacy is a great crime novel and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Thanks HarperCollins Nordic for the review copy!

Friday, 12 July 2019

#BookReview Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger @FreshFiction @PutnamBooks

Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

From the celebrated and bestselling author of The Banker's Wife, worlds collide when an FBI agent investigates a string of grisly murders on Long Island that raises the impossible question: What happens when the primary suspect is your father?

FBI Agent Nell Flynn hasn't been home in ten years. Nell and her father, Homicide Detective Martin Flynn, have never had much of a relationship. And Suffolk County will always be awash in memories of her mother, Marisol, who was brutally murdered when Nell was just seven.

When Martin Flynn dies in a motorcycle accident, Nell returns to the house she grew up in so that she can spread her father's ashes and close his estate. At the behest of her father's partner, Detective Lee Davis, Nell becomes involved in an investigation into the murders of two young women in Suffolk County. The further Nell digs, the more likely it seems to her that her father should be the prime suspect--and that his friends on the police force are covering his tracks. Plagued by doubts about her mother's murder--and her own role in exonerating her father in that case--Nell can't help but ask questions about who killed Ria Ruiz and Adriana Marques and why. But she may not like the answers she finds--not just about those she loves, but about herself.


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FBI Agent Nell Flynn has returned home for the first time in many years. The reason is a very somber one: her father Homicide Detective Martin Flynn has died in a motorcycle accident. Now she's there to spread his ashes and see what to do with what her father left behind. What she didn't expect was to be roped into a murder investigation that seems to point to her father being the culprit. Now, she must either clear her father's name or accept that he was a cold-blooded serial killer who may even have killed her mother.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver @FreshFiction @JefferyDeaver @PutnamBooks

The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the bestselling and award-winning master of suspense, the first novel in a thrilling new series, introducing Colter Shaw.

"You have been abandoned."

A young woman has gone missing in Silicon Valley and her father has hired Colter Shaw to find her. The son of a survivalist family, Shaw is an expert tracker. Now he makes a living as a "reward seeker," traveling the country to help police solve crimes and private citizens locate missing persons. But what seems a simple investigation quickly thrusts him into the dark heart of America's tech hub and the cutthroat billion-dollar video-gaming industry.

"Escape if you can."

When another victim is kidnapped, the clues point to one video game with a troubled past--The Whispering Man. In that game, the player has to survive after being abandoned in an inhospitable setting with five random objects. Is a madman bringing the game to life?

"Or die with dignity."

Shaw finds himself caught in a cat-and-mouse game, risking his own life to save the victims even as he pursues the kidnapper across both Silicon Valley and the dark 'net. Encountering eccentric game designers, trigger-happy gamers and ruthless tech titans, he soon learns that he isn't the only one on the hunt: someone is on his trail and closing fast.


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As a big fan of the Lincoln Rhyme series by Jefferey Deaver was I curious to see how THE NEVER GAME, the first book in Deaver's new series, would turn out. Would this book appeal to just as much as the Lincoln Rhyme books did? In this book, are we introduced to Colter Shaw, an expert at tracking people down, thanks to his upbringing with a father who uprooted the whole family to live off the grid. Now, he's been contacted by a man in Silicon Valley whose daughter has gone missing. It soon turns out that this is just the first missing case he has to deal with in Silicon Valley.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Thursday, 11 July 2019

#BookReview The Stories You Tell by Kristen Lepionka @FreshFiction @KMLwrites @MinotaurBooks

The Stories You Tell by Kristen Lepionka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third installment in the Shamus Award winning and Anthony and Macavity Award-nominated Roxane Weary series.

A late-night phone call is never good news, especially when you’re Roxane Weary. This one is from her brother Andrew, whose evening was interrupted by a visit from Addison, a hip young DJ he knows. She was hysterical, but she wouldn’t say what was wrong. After using his phone, she left as quickly as she appeared, and Andrew is worried. That’s when Andrew calls Roxane.

But another late-night call occurs as well: Addison's father contacts the police after getting a panicked voicemail from his daughter. The only thing he could understand is the address she gave in the message— Andrew’s. Before long, the police are asking Andrew all about how he got the bloody scratch on his face and what he did to Addison. Meanwhile, another cop is found dead on the opposite side of town, leading to a swirl of questions surrounding a dance club whose staff—which includes Addison—has suddenly gone AWOL.

THE STORIES YOU TELL, Shamus Award-winning and Anthony and Macavity-Award nominated author Kristen Lepionka’s heart-pounding third novel, will keep readers on the edge of their seat with her signature twists and mile-high stakes.


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PI Roxane Weary gets a call in the middle of the night from her brother Andrew. He's worried about a visitor that showed up in the evening at his place clearly upset. All she wanted was to use his phone and then she left. He then calls Roxane to help to find the young woman, whose name is Addison, whom he seems to know vaguely. Problems arise when Addison's father calls the police after getting a distress call from his daughter. The cops seem inclined to believe that the last person that saw Addison - Andrew - is the one behind her disappearing. Now, Roxane must find Addison and clear Andrew's name.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

#BookReview The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams @FreshFiction @authorbeatriz @WmMorrowBooks

The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Wives and A Certain Age creates a dazzling epic of World War II-era Nassau—a hotbed of spies, traitors, and the most infamous couple of the age, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

The Bahamas, 1941. Newly-widowed Leonora “Lulu” Randolph arrives in Nassau to investigate the Governor and his wife for a New York society magazine. After all, American readers have an insatiable appetite for news of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, that glamorous couple whose love affair nearly brought the British monarchy to its knees five years earlier. What more intriguing backdrop for their romance than a wartime Caribbean paradise, a colonial playground for kingpins of ill-gotten empires?

Or so Lulu imagines. But as she infiltrates the Duke and Duchess’s social circle, and the powerful cabal that controls the islands’ political and financial affairs, she uncovers evidence that beneath the glister of Wallis and Edward’s marriage lies an ugly—and even treasonous—reality. In fact, Windsor-era Nassau seethes with spies, financial swindles, and racial tension, and in the middle of it all stands Benedict Thorpe: a scientist of tremendous charm and murky national loyalties. Inevitably, the willful and wounded Lulu falls in love.

Then Nassau’s wealthiest man is murdered in one of the most notorious cases of the century, and the resulting coverup reeks of royal privilege. Benedict Thorpe disappears without a trace, and Lulu embarks on a journey to London and beyond to unpick Thorpe’s complicated family history: a fateful love affair, a wartime tragedy, and a mother from whom all joy is stolen.

The stories of two unforgettable women thread together in this extraordinary epic of espionage, sacrifice, human love, and human courage, set against a shocking true crime . . . and the rise and fall of a legendary royal couple.


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One of my favorite books by Beatriz Williams is ALONG THE INFINITE SEA. Now, I have to admit that I love plenty of her books, but that one just rocked my world as I listened to the audio version. One thing one has to know is that William's books often are connected in some way or another. You can even visit Beatriz Williams' home page to get the Schuyler family tree and the books they each appear in. Anyhow the reason I mention all this is that THE GOLDEN HOUR has connections to ALONG THE INFINITE SEA. I actually had a jaw-dropping moment when I realized towards the end of the book the connection. But, enough about that. What about the story you may wonder?

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Monday, 8 July 2019

#BookReview The Ocean Liner by Marius Gabriel @FreshFiction @Scribbler4Bread

The Ocean Liner by Marius Gabriel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As war engulfs Europe, 1,500 passengers risk everything to find a brighter future.

Cousins Masha and Rachel Morgenstern board the luxury liner the SS Manhattan bound for New York, desperate to escape the concentration camps that claimed the rest of their family. America offers a safe haven, but to reach it they must survive a hazardous Atlantic crossing.

Among their fellow passengers fleeing the war, each with their own conflicts, secrets and surprises, are the composer Igor Stravinsky, making a new start after a decade of tragedy, and Rose Kennedy, determined to keep her four children from harm. Particularly worrying to Rose is her daughter Rosemary, a vivacious but troubled woman whose love for a Californian musician may derail her family’s political ambitions. And then there’s young Thomas, a Nazi with a secret…

But, under the waves, the Manhattan is being stalked by a German U-boat. Will any of those aboard the ocean liner ever achieve their dream of a new life in America?


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It's not long ago that I read THE DESIGNER by Marius Gabriel, a book that I came to enjoy quite a lot. So, when I saw this book for the first time, I was intrigued, especially since there was no attached blurb at the moment. All I knew is that I wanted to read it. And, I'm happy to say that THE OCEAN LINER is just as good as THE DESIGNER.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Sunday, 7 July 2019

#BookReview The Last Collection by Jeanne Mackin @FreshFiction @BerkleyPub

The Last Collection: A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel by Jeanne Mackin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An American woman becomes entangled in the intense rivalry between iconic fashion designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli in this captivating novel from the acclaimed author of The Beautiful American.

Paris, 1938. Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli are fighting for recognition as the most successful and influential fashion designer in France, and their rivalry is already legendary. They oppose each other at every turn, in both their politics and their designs: Chanel’s are classic, elegant, and practical; Schiaparelli’s bold, experimental, and surreal.

When Lily Sutter, a recently widowed young American teacher, visits her brother, Charlie, in Paris, he insists on buying her a couture dress—a Chanel. Lily, however, prefers a Schiaparelli. Charlie’s beautiful and socially prominent girlfriend soon begins wearing Schiaparelli’s designs as well, and much of Paris follows in her footsteps.

Schiaparelli offers budding artist Lily a job at her store, and Lily finds herself increasingly involved with Schiaparelli and Chanel’s personal war. Their fierce competition reaches new and dangerous heights as the Nazis and the looming threat of World War II bear down on Paris.


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Lily Sutter had no idea that an invitation from her brother to come to Paris would introduce her both to Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel. The year is 1939, and the Nazi threat is growing stronger and stronger. However, in Paris is it already war - a fashion war between Chanel and Schiaparelli. For Lily, it all starts with her wanting a Schiaparelli dress instead of a Chanel. Suddenly, Lily a teacher, is offered a job at Schiaparelli store. But it's a time of unrest and being in Paris at the time could be dangerous...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview The Accidentals by Minrose Gwin @FreshFiction @WmMorrowBooks

The Accidentals: A Novel by Minrose Gwin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Following the death of their mother from a botched backwoods abortion, the McAlister daughters have to cope with the ripple effect of this tragedy as they come of age in 1950s Mississippi and then grow up to face their own impossible choices —an unforgettable, beautiful novel that is threaded throughout with the stories of mothers and daughters in pre-Roe versus Wade America.

“Life heads down back alleys, takes sharp left turns. Then, one fine day it jumps the track and crashes.”

In the fall of 1957, Olivia McAlister is living in Opelika, Mississippi, caring for her two girls, June and Grace, and her husband, Holly. She dreams of living a much larger life--seeing the world and returning to her wartime job at a landing boat factory in New Orleans. As she watches over the birds in her yard, Olivia feels like an “accidental”—a migratory bird blown off course.

When Olivia becomes pregnant again, she makes a fateful decision, compelling Grace, June, and Holly to cope in different ways. While their father digs up the backyard to build a bomb shelter, desperate to protect his family, Olivia’s spinster sister tries to take them all under her wing. But the impact of Olivia’s decision reverberates throughout Grace’s and June’s lives. Grace, caught up in an unconventional love affair, becomes one of the “girls who went away” to have a baby in secret. June, guilt-ridden for her part in exposing Grace’s pregnancy, eventually makes an unhappy marriage. Meanwhile Ed Mae Johnson, an African-American care worker in a New Orleans orphanage, is drastically impacted by Grace’s choices.

As the years go by, their lives intersect in ways that reflect the unpredictable nature of bird flight that lands in accidental locations—and the consolations of imperfect return.

Filled with tragedy, humor, joy, and the indomitable strength of women facing the constricted spaces of the 1950s and 60s, The Accidentals is a poignant, timely novel that reminds us of the hope and consolation that can be found in unexpected landings.


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1957, Opelika, Mississippi. June and Grace's mother Olivia McAlister makes the bad decision to have a backwoods abortion. This decision leads to her death and June and Grace's lives forever changed. Their father Holly can't really deal with the loss, and Olivia's unmarried sister tries to help them out. Then, tragedy strikes again when Grace becomes pregnant and has to go away to give birth in secret so nobody would know. Back home June is waiting. She's the one that told their father about the pregnancy and she feels that it is all her fault. Now she waits for her sister to come home again. However, Grace will never really recover from the ordeal of giving up her baby and the sister's life will never be as it was before.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Saturday, 6 July 2019

#BookReview Doublespeak: A Novel by Alisa Smith @FreshFiction @StMartinsPress

Doublespeak: A Novel by Alisa Smith
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

The followup to the literate and action-packed historical thriller Speakeasy, Doublespeak finds plucky protagonist Lena on a journey back to her past.

Lieutenant Lena Stillman has been left, nearly alone, on her code-breaking mission in remote Alaska. World War II has been over for a month, but due to crimes committed a lifetime ago, Lena is still under the control of the powerful Miss Maggie, her spymaster in Washington, DC.

Shaken by her role in the disappearance of Corporal Link Hughes—and by her own misjudgment of his character—Lena yearns for an opportunity to redeem them both. Then she receives a shocking message containing Link’s potential location: Siam. Embarking on a clandestine rescue mission to Bangkok, Lena is reunited with shadows from her past—including loyal friend Byron who is eager to escape his safe, dull life and the attractive yet dangerous “William Yardly.” As personal and political allegiances shift in the postwar maelstrom, it seems impossible to know who is good or bad, innocent or culpable and whether they are motivated by love or revenge.

Overlaying rich historic detail and an intricate plot, Doublespeak is an entrancing sequel to Alisa Smith’s first novel Speakeasy, which received the honor of being a Walter Scott Prize Academy recommended book of 2018.


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Lieutenant Lena Stillman is stunned when she receives a message from a man she thought was dead. She's working in Alaska as a code-breaker and now her old lover Bill wants her to come to Siam. Not only that, he may be able to help her locate Corporal Link Hughes who she felt she betrayed. Now it seems that Bill knows where Link is. But what are his motives? And can she abandon her position in Alaska? What will her boss, spymaster Miss Maggie, say about that?

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Friday, 5 July 2019

#BookReview Milady by Laura L. Sullivan @FreshFiction @BerkleyPub

Milady by Laura L. Sullivan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

She was the greatest nemesis of d'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers--but Milady de Winter was so much more than just a villain in their swashbuckling adventures.

I've gone by many names though you know me as Milady de Winter: Villainess, seductress, a secondary player in The Three Musketeers story.

But we all know history was written by men, and they so often get things wrong.

So before you cast judgment, let me tell you of how a girl from the countryside became the most feared woman in all of Europe. A target for antipathy, a name whispered in fear or loathing.

I don't need you to like me. I just need to be free.

It's finally time I tell my own story. The truth isn't tidy or convenient, but it's certainly more interesting.


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She's one of literature's most famous villains - Milady de Winter. But, who was she really? In MILADY we get her own story - from her childhood ordeals in life to the trials that will make her the ruthless woman d'Artagnan will meet. The woman who Athos married and who he thought was dead. Now she tells her story...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland @FreshFiction

Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A woman must confront her sense of right and wrong when the one person she loves most is accused of an unimaginable crime. From the New York Times bestselling author of Need to Know. . . .

A strange sensation runs through me, a feeling that I don't know this person in front of me, even though he matters more to me than anyone ever has.

Stephanie Maddox works her dream job policing power and exposing corruption within the FBI. Getting here has taken her nearly two decades of hard work, laser focus, and personal sacrifices--the most important, she fears, being a close relationship with her teenage son, Zachary. A single parent, Steph's missed a lot of school events, birthdays, and vacations with her boy--but the truth is, she would move heaven and earth for him, including protecting him from an explosive secret in her past. It just never occurred to her that Zachary would keep secrets of his own.

One day while straightening her son's room, Steph is shaken to discover a gun hidden in his closet. A loaded gun. Then comes a knock at her front door--a colleague on the domestic terrorism squad, who utters three devastating words: "It's about Zachary."

So begins a compulsively readable thriller of deception and betrayal, as Stephanie fights to clear her son's name, only to expose a shadowy conspiracy that threatens to destroy them both--and bring a country to its knees. Packed with shocking twists and intense family drama, Keep You Close is an electrifying exploration of the shattering consequences of the love that binds--and sometimes blinds--a mother and her child.


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FBI agent Stephanie Maddox's world turns upside down when she finds a gun hidden in her son Zachary's closet. It gets even worse when a colleague of her tells her that her son is involved with a terrorist group. She can't believe it, but how well does she know her son? For most of his life she has been prioritizing her job most of the time, and now she is worried that she doesn't know the young man he has become. Could he really be a treat to the country? And what should she do if he is?

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview In the Shadow of Spindrift House by Mira Grant @seananmcguire @subpress @FreshFiction

In the Shadow of Spindrift House by Mira Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nature abhors a straight line. The natural world is a place of curves and softened edges, of gentle mists and welcoming spirals. Nature remembers deviation; nature does not forgive.

For Harlowe Upton-Jones, life has never been a straight line. Shipped off to live with her paternal grandparents after a mysterious cult killed her mother and father, she has grown up chasing the question behind the curve, becoming part of a tight-knit teen detective agency. But “teen” is a limited time offer, and when her friends start looking for adult professions, it’s up to Harlowe to find them one last case so that they can go out in a blaze of glory.

Welcome to Spindrift House.

The stories and legends surrounding the decrepit property are countless and contradictory, but one thing is clear: there are people willing to pay a great deal to determine the legal ownership of the house. When Harlowe and her friends agree to investigate the mystery behind the manor, they do so on the assumption that they’ll be going down in history as the ones who determined who built Spindrift House—and why. The house has secrets. They have the skills. They have a plan. They have everything they need to solve the mystery.

Everything they need except for time. Because Spindrift House keeps its secrets for a reason, and it has no intention of letting them go.

Nature abhors a straight line.

Here’s where the story bends.


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IN THE SHADOW OF SPINDRIFT HOUSE by Mira Grant (the pseudonym of Seanan McGuire) is a story that may not be that frightening, but it sure is interesting. The cover itself made me think this must be a Lovecraftian story and I was right - there is something wrong with Spindrift House. Something very, very wrong. And, that's what Harlowe Upton-Jones and her friends about to find out.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview The Scent of Murder by Kylie Logan @FreshFiction @MinotaurBooks

The Scent of Murder by Kylie Logan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First in a new series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan, The Scent of Murder is a riveting mystery following Jazz Ramsey as she trains cadaver dogs.

The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She’s thirty-five years old and owns her own home in one of Cleveland’s most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school, and a volunteer interest she’s passionate about—Jazz is a cadaver dog handler.

Jazz is working with Luther, a cadaver dog in training. Luther is still learning cadaver work, so Jazz is putting him through his paces at an abandoned building that will soon be turned into pricey condos. When Luther signals a find, Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of make-up and jewelry that Jazz used to see on the Goth kids back in high school.

She’s even more shocked when she realizes that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale make up is a familiar face.

The lead detective on the case is an old lover, and the murdered woman is an old student. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.


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I will fully admit, that once again, the dog on the cover made me want to read this novel. Well, it's not that simple, but I do have a fondness for crime stories that feature dogs. Jazz Ramsey works as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school. However, she also trains cadaver dogs to find bodies, and that's what we see her doing in this book. Jazz is out training with Luther at an abandoned building, however, she never expects Luther to find a body, nor did she expect to recognize the dead girl. To make the situation worse, her ex-boyfriend is the lead detective on the case. Since the dead girl is someone Jazz knew, she starts to investigate the case herself...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan @FreshFiction @WednesdayBooks

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy...

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Kalyazin and Tranavia have been at war for a century and now it seems that there may be a chance to end it all. Nadya lives in Kalyazin and she has the gift of speaking to all the gods. She managed to escape when the monastery she lives in is attacked and she teams up with Malachiasz, a boy from Tranavia. Malachiasz may be from Tranavia but, like Nadya - does he want to kill the king of Tranavia and end the war? The real question is, will this fragile alliance manage to hold all the way? Meanwhile, Serefin, a young prince who has spent years fighting is now realizing that the true threat to him is not far away, but at home.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview The Pandora Room by Christopher Golden @ChristophGolden @FreshFiction @StMartinsPress

The Pandora Room by Christopher Golden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When what appears to be the original Pandora's Box is discovered in an ancient city, neighboring countries fight for ownership and unleash a terrible plague.

The Pandora Room is New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden's chilling exploration of what happens when the original Pandora's Box is discovered in an ancient subterranean city, stirring international conflict and exposing the archaeological team to curses, whispers, and the terror of a legendary plague.

In one ancient variation on the myth of Pandora's Box, there were two jars, one for Pandora and one for her sister, Anesidora. One contained all the blessings of the gods, the other all the world's curses. Now, in a subterranean city in Northern Iraq, archaeologist Sophie Durand has discovered a secret chamber covered in writing that confirms that version of the tale--a chamber which contains a single jar. "Weird shit" expert Ben Walker joins Sophie's team just as the mystery deepens and grows ugly. Those who believe the myth want to know which jar has been found in the Pandora Room, the one containing blessings, or the one full of curses. Governments rush to lay claim, but jihadi forces aren't waiting for the dust to settle. Whatever the jar contains, they want it, no matter who they have to kill...or what will emerge when they open it. For Sophie, Walker, and the others, the Pandora Room may soon become their tomb.


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We were first introduced to Ben Walker in ARARAT. He was lucky to survive that experience, only to once again have to face evil when he is sent to Northern Iraq where a jar has been found. A jar with a connection to the myth of Pandora's Box. But, that is what it is, right, just a myth? There can't be anything to the legend that the jar is cursed. Ben hardly has time to settle into his new assignment when they are attacked by enemies that are after the jar. And, now trapped in the subterranean city must they fight against enemies above as well as and something below with them...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Sunday, 30 June 2019

#BookReview The Fairies of Sadieville by Alex Bledsoe @AlexBledsoe @torbooks @MacmillanUSA @FreshFiction

The Fairies of Sadieville: The Final Tufa Novel by Alex Bledsoe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Charming and lyrical, The Fairies of Sadieville continues Alex Bledsoe's widely-praised contemporary fantasy series, about the song-wielding fairy descendants living in modern-day Appalachia.

"This is real." Three small words on a film canister found by graduate students Justin and Veronica, who discover a long-lost silent movie from more than a century ago. The startlingly realistic footage shows a young girl transforming into a winged being. Looking for proof behind this claim, they travel to the rural foothills of Tennessee to find Sadieville, where it had been filmed.

Soon, their journey takes them to Needsville, whose residents are hesitant about their investigation, but Justin and Veronica are helped by Tucker Carding, who seems to have his own ulterior motives. When the two students unearth a secret long hidden, everyone in the Tufa community must answer the most important question of their entire lives -- what would they be willing to sacrifice in order to return to their fabled homeland of Tir na nOg?

"Imagine a book somewhere between American Gods and Faulkner. Absolutely worth your time." - Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author


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Note of warning THE FAIRIES OF SADIEVILLE is the very last novel in the Tufa series, so reading this book without having read the previous five novels will make it a bit hard to really understand since many events and people from the previous books will be addressed. You can read this book as a stand-alone. However, having at least read one or two books before will make this book a bit easier to understand.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

#BookReview Vit krysantemum (White Chrysanthemum) by Mary Lynn Bracht (SWE/ENG) @marylynnbracht

White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
SWEDISH REVIEW

En oförglömlig historia om en uppoffrande syster under andra världskriget

Korea, 1943. Hana arbetar som djuphavsdykare och åtnjuter ovanligt stor frihet och självbestämmanderätt för att vara kvinna. Tills den dag då hon ertappas på stranden. För att skydda sin lillasyster ger hon inte ett ljud ifrån sig utan låter sig tillfångatas av japanska soldater som för henne till en militärbordell.

Sydkorea, 2011. Emi har ägnat mer än sextio år åt att försöka glömma den uppoffring som hennes syster gjort för henne. Nu måste hon konfrontera det förflutna.

Systrarnas parallella historier leder fram till en gastkramande upplösning. Kommer Hana att finna sin väg ut ur fångenskapen? Och kommer Emi att kunna sluta fred med sitt land och dess historia?

Vit krysantemum är en fängslande skildring om två egensinniga och starka systrar, vars kärlek är tillräckligt stor för att segra över krigets grymma ondska.

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Vit krysantemum är i grund och botten en otrolig sorglig och jobbig bok att läsa. Men den är även oförglömlig och svår att lägga ifrån sig när man väl börjat. Nu är det ett tag sedan jag läste klart boken, men jag minns så väl hur gripande boken var samt hur mycket jag lärde mig livet i Korea under och efter andra världskrigets slut.

Systrarnas olika öden, Hana som blir tillfångatagen av japanska soldater och Emi som får leva med skuldkänslorna av att se sin systers uppoffring berörde mig på djupet. Deras olika livsöden får vi läsa om. Hana som kämpar för att bli fri, men som alltmer förlorar hoppet. Sedan har vi Emi som ser tillbaka på sitt liv, också det fyllt av tragedi. Slutet på boken är väldigt berörande!

Vit krysantemum är en otroligt bra bok, hemskt jobbig att läsa men jag lovar dig att man känner sig mer berikad efter att man har läst klart den.

Tack till Bookmark Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

In the spirit of Lilac Girls, the heartbreaking history of Korea is brought to life in this deeply moving and redemptive debut that follows two sisters separated by World War II.

Korea, 1943. Hana has lived her entire life under Japanese occupation. As a haenyeo, a female diver of the sea, she enjoys an independence that few other Koreans can still claim. Until the day Hana saves her younger sister from a Japanese soldier and is herself captured and transported to Manchuria. There she is forced to become a “comfort woman” in a Japanese military brothel. But haenyeo are women of power and strength. She will find her way home.

South Korea, 2011. Emi has spent more than sixty years trying to forget the sacrifice her sister made, but she must confront the past to discover peace. Seeing the healing of her children and her country, can Emi move beyond the legacy of war to find forgiveness?

Suspenseful, hopeful, and ultimately redemptive, White Chrysanthemum tells a story of two sisters whose love for each other is strong enough to triumph over the grim evils of war.


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White Chrysanthemum is such an incredibly sad and difficult book to read. It is also unforgettable and hard to put down when one has begun to read. Now it's been a while since I finished the book, but I remember how gripping the book was and how much I learned about Korea during and after World War II.

I found that the book's story, the sisters' fates touched my soul. Hana being captured by Japanese soldiers and Emi who had to live with the feeling of guilt seeing her sister sacrifice herself for her. We then get to follow them through their different lives. Hana who struggles to be free, but as she's increasingly losing hope as she is put through ordeal after ordeal. Then, we have Emi who looks back on his life, also that filled with tragedy. The ending, well let's say it's a very strong ending.

White Chrysanthemum is an incredibly good book, terribly hard to read, but I promise you will feel enriched after you have read it.

Thanks to Bookmark Förlag for the review copy!

Sunday, 23 June 2019

#BookReview The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson @writernwaiting @sbkslandmark

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In 1936, tucked deep into the woods of Troublesome Creek, KY, lives blue-skinned 19-year-old Cussy Carter, the last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry. The lonely young Appalachian woman joins the historical Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a librarian, riding across slippery creek beds and up treacherous mountains on her faithful mule to deliver books and other reading material to the impoverished hill people of Eastern Kentucky.

Along her dangerous route, Cussy, known to the mountain folk as Bluet, confronts those suspicious of her damselfly-blue skin and the government's new book program. She befriends hardscrabble and complex fellow Kentuckians, and is fiercely determined to bring comfort and joy, instill literacy, and give to those who have nothing, a bookly respite, a fleeting retreat to faraway lands.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a powerful message about how the written word affects people--a story of hope and heartbreak, raw courage and strength splintered with poverty and oppression, and one woman's chances beyond the darkly hollows. Inspired by the true and historical blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek showcases a bold and unique tale of the Pack horse Librarians in literary novels — a story of fierce strength and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere — even back home.


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I read The Sisters of Glass Ferry by Kim Michele Richardson some years ago and I loved that book. So, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek was a title that I was really looking forward to reading. I was intrigued by the fact that the main character, Cussy Carter, is the last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry. Also, she worked on the Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky which of course intrigued me since anything concerning books and libraries are something I love to read about. An aspect I found interesting in this book is the racism towards the blue people, although nothing surprising when you think about it. She's counted as a colored just like anyone else that isn't white. It's saddening to read about, especially when she is given a cure, not a permanent cure. But, still, for a little while can she feel "normal". Alas, it leaves her terribly ill.

As for her job as a librarian. That part intrigued me how she with her trusty mule traveled long distances to lend books to people. How they loved getting new books, all the colorful folks that live in the mountains. And her comes Cussy, an outcast and they are looking forward to the books she brings. It's a book that sometimes is very sad to read not to mention that it sometimes made me angry, but it sure is a book that I recommend reading!

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

Friday, 21 June 2019

#BookReview The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason @AlgonquinBooks @FreshFiction

The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Get ready for one of the most inventive and entertaining novels of 2019—an edge-of-your-seat Victorian-era thriller, where the controversial publication On the Origin of Species sets off a string of unspeakable crimes.

London, June 1860: When an assassination attempt is made on Queen Victoria, and a petty thief is gruesomely murdered moments later—and only a block away—Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field quickly surmises that these crimes are connected to an even more sinister plot. Was Victoria really the assassin’s target? Are those closest to the Crown hiding something? And who is the shadowy figure witnesses describe as having lifeless, coal-black eyes?

Soon, Field’s investigation exposes a shocking conspiracy in which the publication of Charles Darwin’s controversial On the Origin of Species sets off a string of murders, arson, kidnapping, and the pursuit of a madman named the Chorister. As the investigation takes Field from the dangerous alleyways of London to the hallowed halls of Oxford, the list of possible conspirators grows, and the body count escalates. And as he edges closer to the Chorister, he uncovers dark secrets that were meant to remain forever hidden. 


Tim Mason ha
s created a rousing page-turner that both Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would relish and envy.

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London, 1860. Inspector Charles Field is convinced that the attempted assassination of Queen Victoria is part of a plot. He's not convinced that she was the intended target and that a killer is still out there hiding and planning something. He also suspects that there could be high ranking people behind it all. His investigation leads straight to the publication of Charles Darwin's very controversial On the Origin of Species. Could this book be behind it all, and why? Why would someone kill because of a book?

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

#BookReview The Starter Wife by Nina Laurin @GrandCentralPub

The Starter Wife by Nina Laurin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

TRADE PAPERBACK - 1538715716 / 9781538715710
ELECTRONIC BOOK - 1538715732 / 9781538715734

Available wherever books are sold June 11, 2019

From the bestselling author of Girl Last Seencomes "a spine-tingler" (Booklist) of a psychological suspense, perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Jessica Knoll.

Local police have announced that they're closing the investigation of the suspected drowning of 37-year-old painter Colleen Westcott. She disappeared on April 11, 2010, and her car was found parked near the waterfront in Cleveland two days later, but her body has never been found. The chief of police has stated that no concrete evidence of foul play has been discovered in the probe.

I close the online search window, annoyed. These articles never have enough detail. They think my husband's first wife disappeared or they think she is dead. There's a big difference.

My phone rings, jarring me away from my thoughts, and when I pick it up, it's an unknown number. The only answer to my slightly breathless hello is empty static.

When the voice does finally come, it's female, low, muffled somehow. "Where is it, Claire? What did you do with it? Tell me where it is."

A woman. A real flesh-and-blood woman on the other end of the phone. She's not just in my head.

A wave of panic spreads under my skin like ice water. It's Colleen.

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Out of all the books I've read by Nina Laurin is this the one I had the hardest time reading. Both What My Sister Knew and Girl Last Seen are great thrillers, while this took forever for me to get into. Now, I think it's because I right from the start felt very, very annoyed with Claire, the main character. And, the more I read the less I liked her. What kept me going was the fact that I wanted to know what the heck is going one and if Colleen really committed suicide. The best part was the last 1/3 of the book when you got Claire's husband Byron's POV as well. Now the story starts to make more sense, and I started to understand more about those weird chapters when someone is stalking Byron's wife that were interwoven with Claire's chapters.

The Starter Wife is not my favorite Nina Laurin book, the last part of the book did make the reading worthwhile, although I found the ending very abrupt. I found it particularly hard to read the book because of my dislike for Claire (for God's sake she doesn't even like cats), but if the Laurin had that in mind when she created the character. To make her as unlikable as possible, well then she succeeded. I would, however, recommend starting with the author's first two books before going for this one. They are way better!

I want to thank the publisher for providing a free copy for an honest review!

The Starter Wife by Nina Laurin

#BlogTour Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge @Tr4cyF3nt0n @crmcgeorge @orionbooks

Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Six people went in. Only one came out...

Introducing Standedge Tunnel: the longest canal tunnel in England.

Last year six students went in, and two and a half hours later, the boat reappeared on the other side with only one of the students, unconscious, and the dog.

The case of the Standedge Six was largely kept from the national media. The police investigation concluded that the only remaining student, Matthew, killed his friends, hid the bodies on the boat and returned later to move them to an undisclosed location.

Matthew is in prison . . . but maintains he is innocent.

Robert Ferringham is grieving for his missing wife, Sam. So when Matthew contacts him for help with his case, promising information on Sam, Robert has no choice but to help. But can he trust Matthew?

And how will he solve the insolvable case?

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Now You See Me is the first book I've read by Chris McGeorge. I do own Guess Who and plan to read it (hopefully soon). What appealed to me about this book was the fabulous blurb. What happened to the five people that went into the tunnel and then disappeared? Matthew was the only one that got out of the tunnel (and the dog Amy), but he says that he doesn't know what happened to them and he was unconscious. Not that the police believe him. Now he needs a miracle and what he does is reaching out to Robert Ferringham. Robert has also lost someone mysteriously. His wife disappeared some years ago. And, now Robert gets the first clue to what happened to her. Because Matthew knows something about Robert wife Sam. Could Robert find out the truth about what happened to Sam, and will he help free Matthew?

I LOVE reading mystery books and Now You See Me felt like just my kind of book. Missing people and a village that has pretty much condemned Matthew, despite no bodies ever found and lacking evidence of him being the murderer. Why is everyone so hellbent on it just being Matthew, especially the police chief? And, who is the young woman that is stalking Robert? Personally, I liked the first of the book the best, when everything was still a mystery. And everyone in the village was introduced as Robert tried to figure out whom to trust. As for the ending, well I found that part less interesting and sadly not that thrilling. And, I think it's because I just felt that I had hoped to be truly surprised. I was not shocked about the truth's that were revealed. Rather, it felt pretty much logical how it all was connected. You know "aha" kind of moments followed by "that makes sense". Yes, it's a satisfying ending, no loose threads. I just can't help wish that had been some really surprising twist. However, I read a lot of thrillers and mystery books and I feel nowadays that it's hard to be surprised. I do recommend reading the book and I look forward to reading Guess Who and see if that book will rock my socks!



Sunday, 9 June 2019

#BookReview I'm Traveling Alone & The Owl Always Hunts at Night by Samuel Bjørk

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A six-year-old girl is found in the countryside, hanging lifeless from a tree and dressed in strange doll’s clothes. Around her neck is a sign that says “I’m traveling alone.”

A special homicide unit re-opens with veteran police investigator Holger Munch at the helm. Holger’s first step is to persuade the brilliant but haunted investigator Mia Kruger, who has been living on an isolated island, overcome by memories of her past. When Mia views a photograph of the crime scene and spots the number “1” carved into the dead girl’s fingernail, she knows this is only the beginning. Could this killer have something to do with a missing child, abducted six years ago and never found, or with the reclusive religious community hidden in the nearby woods?

Mia returns to duty to track down a revenge-driven and ruthlessly intelligent killer. But when Munch’s own six-year-old granddaughter goes missing, Mia realizes that the killer’s sinister game is personal, and I’m Traveling Alone races to an explosive—and shocking—conclusion.


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I honestly think that Norwegian crime novels are the best. I just love reading/listening to crime books set in Norway and now I have one more favorite series. I'm Traveling Alone is the first book in the Holger Much & Mia Kruger series. I listened to the Swedish version of the book and I was hooked. The case with the dead children is both eerie and sad. And both the main characters made a great impression on me, Holger who has not recovered from his divorce 10 years previously and Mia who dreams of reuniting with her dead sister. She actually planned on doing it at the beginning of the book, but Holger came to her in the very last minute. So, this case is a respite for her before she ends it all...

I recommend this book warmly!


The Owl Always Hunts At Night by Samuel Bjørk

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When a troubled teenager disappears from an orphanage and is found murdered, her body arranged on a bed of feathers and surrounded by candles, veteran detective Holger Munch and his team are called in to the scene. Star investigator Mia Kruger, on temporary leave while she continues to struggle with her own demons, jumps back on the team and dives headfirst into this case: just in time to decode the clues in a disturbing video of the victim before she was killed, being held prisoner like an animal in a cage.

Meanwhile, Munch’s daughter, Miriam, meets an enticing stranger at a party—a passionate animal rights activist who begins to draw her into his world and away from her family.

Munch, Kruger, and the team must hunt down the killer before he can strike again in this sophisticated, intricately plotted psychological thriller by the newest phenomenon in international crime fiction.

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The Owl Always Hunts at Night is the sequel to I'm traveling Alone is just like the first book a great crime novel. Miriam Holger's daughter gets caught up with an animal rights activist group that will draw her away from her family and may put her in danger. Meanwhile, Holger and Mina try to find out who could have starved and killed a young girl and put her on a bed of feathers in the woods.

As with the first book did I listen to this one and I really love the Swedish audiobook version. The next book will I listen to in English and it will be an interesting change. I think if you like Scandinavian crime novels is the Holger Much & Mia Kruger series a must read. I quite like Holger, Mia and the rest of the crime-solving gang and I'm looking forward to listening to The Boy in the Headlights.

I recommend reading this book after you have read I'm Traveling Alone!

Friday, 7 June 2019

#BookReview The Invited by Jennifer McMahon @FreshFiction @doubledaybooks

The Invited by Jennifer McMahon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A chilling ghost story with a twist: the New York Times bestselling author of The Winter People returns to the woods of Vermont to tell the story of a husband and wife who don't simply move into a haunted house, they start building one from scratch, without knowing it, until it's too late . . .

In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate abandon the comforts of suburbia and their teaching jobs to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams. When they discover that this charming property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago. As Helen starts carefully sourcing decorative building materials for her home--wooden beams, mantles, historic bricks--she starts to unearth, and literally conjure, the tragic lives of Hattie's descendants, three generations of "Breckenridge women," each of whom died amidst suspicion, and who seem to still be seeking something precious and elusive in the present day.


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Helen and Nate think they have found the perfect spot for building their dream house. What they don't know is that the area is said to have been cursed since a witch was hanged in 1924. At first, life there seems harmonious. They are working together, but slowly things start to happen, for instance, tool and other things go missing and one day there is a strange bag outside there temporary home. Could it really be that the place is haunted...?

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview A Bend in the Stars by Rachel Barenbaum @GrandCentralPub @FreshFiction

A Bend in the Stars by Rachel Barenbaum
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For fans of All the Light We Cannot See and The Women in the Castlecomes a riveting literary novel that is at once an epic love story and a heart-pounding journey across WWI-era Russia, about an ambitious young doctor and her scientist brother in a race against Einstein to solve one of the greatest mysteries of the universe.

In Russia, in the summer of 1914, as war with Germany looms and the Czar's army tightens its grip on the local Jewish community, Miri Abramov and her brilliant physicist brother, Vanya, are facing an impossible decision. Since their parents drowned fleeing to America, Miri and Vanya have been raised by their babushka, a famous matchmaker who has taught them to protect themselves at all costs: to fight, to kill if necessary, and always to have an escape plan. But now, with fierce, headstrong Miri on the verge of becoming one of Russia's only female surgeons, and Vanya hoping to solve the final puzzles of Einstein's elusive theory of relativity, can they bear to leave the homeland that has given them so much?

Before they have time to make their choice, war is declared and Vanya goes missing, along with Miri's fiancé. Miri braves the firing squad to go looking for them both. As the eclipse that will change history darkens skies across Russia, not only the safety of Miri's own family but the future of science itself hangs in the balance.

Grounded in real history -- and inspired by the solar eclipse of 1914 -- A Bend in the Stars offers a heartstopping account of modern science's greatest race amidst the chaos of World War I, and a love story as epic as the railways crossing Russia.


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Russia, 1914. Miri Abramov and her brother Vanya have been raised by their grandmother after their parents' death years before. There is unrest in the country and the Jewish communities are especially at risk. Miri Abramov is now one of few female surgeons, while Vanya is a physicist who dreams of solving the final puzzle concerning Einstein's theory of relativity. Now an eclipse is coming and this could be the answer to solving the puzzle. However, with Russia at war, it is unsure if Vanya will be able to take the photographs he needs to confirm his theory. But, he will not give up and together with Miri's fiance he sneaks away from the army in hopes of taking photographs of the eclipse...

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