Tuesday 31 October 2017

#BookReview Kolibri (The Hummingbird) by Kati Hiekkapelto @ModernistaRed

Kolibri by Kati Hiekkapelto
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Anna Fekete har ett förflutet - som barn flydde hon kriget i Jugoslavien - och nu är hon precis i början av sin karriär som brottsutredare i en nordlig finsk kuststad. Hon har blivit inkastad i ett högprofilerat, till synes olösligt fall som fångat hela nationens intresse. Och det hjälper inte att hennes nya medelålders partner, Esko, inte ens bryr sig om att dölja sina rasistiska fördomar.

En ung kvinna har mördats i ett joggingspår och ett smycke föreställande en aztekisk gud har återfunnits i hennes ägo. Inom kort följer ännu ett mord, och allt tyder på en seriemördare, som får smeknamnet Kolibrin. Men kan Anna spåra upp mördaren innan han - eller hon - slår till igen? Och till vilken kostnad för henne själv?


Kolibri är den första boken i serien om Anna Fekete som redan första dagen på sitt nya jobb som brottsutredare ställs inför det svåra arbetet att lösa mordet på en ung tjej som har blivit skjuten i ett joggingspår. Samtidigt oroar sig Anna för en annan ung tjej som hon misstänker kan kommas att utsättas för hedersvåld. Det är mycket för henne redan det och att på köpet tvingas stå ut med en rasistisk kollega gör inte situationen bättre.

Kolibri var en bok som jag var hemskt nyfiken på att läsa mycket för att jag aldrig tidigare har läst en finsk kriminalare. Jag gillar Anna Fekete, hon har sina egna privata demoner, barndomen i Jugoslavien, brodern som aldrig verkar vilja ta ansvar för sitt liv och de människor hon har mist. Jag gillade verkligen att karaktärerna kom till liv i boken, att det inte bara var Anna man fick en inblick i hemmalivet hos utan även de andra poliserna. Dock, kände jag ibland att det privata livet hos poliserna, samt Annas privata övervakning av den unga tjej som hon tror har problem med sin familj tog överhand och att fallet med den mördade tjejen hamnade lite i skymundan. Framåt slutet kändes det lite som om författaren kom på att hon hade ett mordfall som behövde lösas. Så, en stark start, svackor här och där under berättelsens gång för att sedan avslutas med en spurt och i mina ögon inte en helt överraskad avslutning, dock en bra sådan och jag ser fram emot att läsa nästa bok.

Tack till Modernista för recensionsexemplaret!


Anna Fekete, who fled the Yugoslavian wars as a child, has just started working as a criminal investigator in a northern Finnish coastal town, when she is thrust into a rolling murder investigation. It doesn t help that her middle-aged new partner, Esko, doesn't bother hiding his racist prejudices. Anna s work as a criminal investigator barely gets off the ground before she is thrust into a high-profile, seemingly unsolvable case that has riveted the nation. A young woman has been killed on a running trail, and a pendant depicting an Aztec god has been found in her possession. Another murder soon follows. All signs point to a serial killer, but can Anna catch the Hummingbird before he or she strikes again?


The Hummingbird is the first book in the series about Anna Fekete, who on the first day of her new job as criminal investigator faces the difficult work to solve the murder of a young girl who has been shot while out running. At the same time, is Anna under constant worry about another young girl life. She suspects that the young girl could risk being honor killed if she doesn't do what her family wants. It's a lot for her to deal with already and a racist colleague does not make the situation better.

I was curious about The Hummingbird because I have never read a Finnish detective novel before. I like Anna Fekete, she has her own private demons, with her childhood in Yugoslavia, the brother who never seems to want to take responsibility for his life and the people she has lost. I really liked that the characters came to life in the book that it was not only Anna's life the reader got an insight into but also the other policemen's. However, sometimes, I felt that the private life of the police, as well as Anna's private surveillance of the young girl she believes, has problems with her family took over and that the case of the murdered girl ended up overlooked. In the end, it felt a bit like the author realized that she had a murder case that needed to be solved. So, a strong start, sluggish here and there during the story and then ending with a spurt and in my eyes, not a completely surprising conclusion, but a good one and I look forward to reading the next book.

Thanks to Modernista for the review copy!

Sunday 29 October 2017

#Extract Broken Bones by Angela Marsons (@WriteAngie) @bookouture

BROKEN BONES by Angela Marsons

(Book 7 Detective Kim Stone crime thriller series)

Published by Bookouture on 3rd November 2017.


Black Country: Christmas Day

Lauren Goddard sat on the roof of the thirteen-storey block of flats. The winter sun shone a grid onto her bare feet dangling over the edge. The cold breeze nipped at her wiggling toes.

The protective grate had been erected some years ago after a father of seven had thrown himself over. By the time she was eleven she had stolen a pair of wire cutters from the pound shop and fashioned herself an access point to the narrow ledge that was her place of reflection. From this vantage point she could look to the beauty of the Clent Hills in the distance, block out the dank, grubby reality of below.

Hollytree was the place you were sent if Hell was having a spring clean. Problem families from the entire West Midlands were evicted from other estates and housed in Hollytree. It was displacement capital. Communities around the borough breathed sighs of relief as families were evicted. No one cared where they went. It was enough that they were gone and one more ingredient was added to the melting pot.

There was a clear perimeter around the estate over which the police rarely crossed. It was a place where the rapists, child molesters, thieves and ASBO families were put together in one major arena. And then guarded by police from the outside.

But today a peace settled around the estate, giving the illusion that the normal activities of robbing, raping and molesting were on pause because it was Christmas Day. That was bollocks. It was all still going on but to the backdrop of the Queen’s Speech.

Her mother was still slurring her way around the cheerless flat with a glass of gin in her hand. Her one concession to the event was the line of tinsel wrapped haphazardly around her neck as she stumbled from the living room to the kitchen for a refill.

Lauren didn’t expect a present or a card any more. She had once mentioned the excitement of her friends. How they had enjoyed presents, laughter, a roast dinner, a chocolate-filled stocking.

Her mother had laughed and asked if that was the kind of Christmas she wanted.

Lauren had innocently nodded yes.

The woman had clicked the television to the Hallmark Channel and told her to ‘fill her boots’.

Christmas meant nothing to Lauren. But at least she had this. Her one piece of Heaven. Always her safe place. Her escape.

She had disappeared unnoticed up here when she was seven years old and her mother had been falling all over the flat pissed as a fart.

How lucky was she to have been the only one of the four kids her mother had been allowed to keep?

She had escaped up here when her mother’s drinking partner, Roddy, had started pawing at her groin and slobbering into her hair. Her mother had pulled him off, angrily, shouting something about ruining her retirement plan.

She hadn’t understood it when she was nine years old but she had come to understand it now.

She had cried up here on her sixteenth birthday when her mother had introduced her to the family business and to their pimp, Kai Lord.

She’d been up here two months earlier when he had finally found her.

And she’d been up here when she’d told him to fuck right off.

She didn’t want to be saved. It was too late.

Sixteen years of age and already it was too damn late.

Many times she had fantasised about how it would feel to lurch forward onto the wind. She had envisioned herself floating to and fro, gently making the journey like a stray pigeon feather all the way to the ground. Had imagined the feeling of weightlessness of both her body and her mind.

Lauren took a deep breath and exhaled. In just a few minutes it would be time to go to work. Heavy rain, sleet, snow, Christmas – nothing kept the punters away. Trade might be slow but it would still be there. It always was.
She didn’t hear the roof door open or the footsteps that slowly strode towards her.

She didn’t see the hand that pushed her forward.

She only saw the ground as it hurtled towards her.

#BookReview The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo (@DoloresRedondoM)

The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A killer at large in a remote Basque Country valley, a detective to rival Clarice Starling, myth versus reality, masterful storytelling - the Spanish bestseller that has taken Europe by storm.

The naked body of a teenage girl is found on the banks of the River Baztán. Less than 24 hours after this discovery, a link is made to the murder of another girl the month before. Is this the work of a ritualistic killer or of the Invisible Guardian, the Basajaun, a creature of Basque mythology?

30-year-old Inspector Amaia Salazar heads an investigation which will take her back to Elizondo, the village in the heart of Basque country where she was born, and to which she had hoped never to return. A place of mists, rain and forests. A place of unresolved conflicts, of a dark secret that scarred her childhood and which will come back to torment her.

Torn between the rational, procedural part of her job and local myths and superstitions, Amaia Salazar has to fight off the demons of her past in order to confront the reality of a serial killer at loose in a region steeped in the history of the Spanish Inquisition.


I just want to say before I review this book that it's very handy to have all three books to read. Or perhaps as audiobooks as I did. Well, the first book did I have both as a paperback and audiobook, but I preferred listening to them. The narrator is fabulous! Anyway, they are so good all three, and it's like one book split into three parts. So, get all three!

In The Invisible Guardian do we get introduced to Amaia Salazar who will lead the investigation of the death of the teenage girl found on the banks of the River Baztán. She herself has grown up in the village of Elizondo close to where the girl was found and returning there with her husband, who is an American artist, will bring back dark memories. Her childhood was very traumatic and this still affects her life. Then, the killer strikes again. Is there a serial killer loose or is it the Basajaun who is killing the girls?

The Invisible Guardian is just my kind of book with an interesting main character who has to return home to a town that has a lot of superstitions. I love small town settings when it comes to crime novels, especially towns with secrets. The setting of the town of Elizondo in a Basque valley added to my interest since I knew nothing about the history of the Basque people and this was like taking a step back in time to a more superstitious time. I quite liked getting to know more about the invisible guardian, the Basajaun, a creature of Basque mythology that is said to protect the forests. The Invisible Guardian is a great book that I recommend warmly!

Saturday 28 October 2017

#BookReview Den blomstertid nu kommer (The Flowering Time Now Comes) by Maria Richardsson

Den blomstertid nu kommer by Maria Richardsson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Den blomstertid nu kommer är en omtumlande bok om känslor, fasader och mänskliga hierarkier. Om att försöka hitta sig själv och undvika att gå under. I centrum står de fyra tonårstjejerna Linda, Anna, Sofi och Sussi som var och en kämpar med att få ordning på sina liv.

Boken utspelar sig på 80-talet, men är inte en sedvanlig nostalgisk tillbakablick. Allt var inte bättre förr. Det är bitvis en svidande kritik mot en oförstående vuxenvärld som valde att blunda och sopa under mattan. Samtidigt är boken en kärleks­för­klaring till det som en gång var och ett försök att försonas med detta.


Först vill jag klargöra att jag känner författarinnan, har gjort det i många år. Men, trots detta så försöker jag vara totalt ärlig i denna recension. Jag måste även erkänna att detta gjorde mig lite nervös innan jag började läsa boken. Jag menar det är helt klart enklare att läsa en total främlings bok än någon man känner. Men jag hade tur för ämnet i denna bok kändes inte bara välbekant, utan även också tidlöst.

Handlingen i Den blomstertid nu kommer tar vid under det sista året i nian och handlar om fyra olika flickor som alla på olika sätt kämpar med vardagslivet, plugget och oron inför framtiden. Att handlingen är förlagd till 80-talet ökar bara charmen tycker jag och även om jag gick på högstadiet på 90-talet så kunde jag lätt känna igen mig i många situationer. Det var flera ställen där handlingen verkligen berörde mig, t.ex. när en av flickorna konstant mobbades men alla blundade för det.

Den blomstertid nu kommer är en ungdomsbok men den kan utan tvekan läsas av vuxna och jag är säker på de skulle känna igen sig i situationer i boken. Boken känns som en bra bok att läsa för unga tjejer som kan behöva känna att de inte är ensamma. Stilen och språket i boken var behaglig vilket gör att de som kanske inte alls tycker om att läsa så mycket lätt kan ta till sig av handlingen. Allt som allt är denna bok en alldeles utmärkt debutbok.

Jag vill tacka författaren för recensionsexemplaret som jag fick och detta är min ärliga recension av boken!


Den blomstertid nu kommer (The Flowering Time Now Comes, this is the title of a very popular Swedish summer song that often sings at school graduations) is a remarkable book about feelings, facades and human hierarchies. About trying to find yourself and avoid going under. At the center are the four teenage girls Linda, Anna, Sofi and Sussi who each struggle to come to grips with their lives.

The book takes place in the 80s, but is not a usual nostalgic flashback. Everything was not better in the past. It is a bit of a mocking criticism of an ignorant adult world who chose to close their eyes and sweep things under the rug. At the same time, the book is a declaration of love to what once was and an attempt to reconcile with it.


First, I want to clarify that I know the author, have done so for many years. But, despite this, will I try to be totally honest in this review. I must also admit that this made me nervous before I started reading the book. I mean it is definitely easier to read a total strangers book than a book from someone that you know. But I was lucky for the subject in this book not only felt familiar but also timeless.

The story in The Flowering Time Now Comes takes place during the last year of high school and it's about four different girls who all struggle with everyday life, school, and worries about the future. That the story is set in the 80s only increases the charm and, even though I went to high school in the 90's, I could easily recognize myself in many situations. There were several events in the book that really touched me, for instance when everyone around ignored bullying that happened regularly to one of the girls.

The Flowering Time Now Comes is a YA book but it can definitely be read by adults and I'm sure many would recognize themselves in situations in the book. The book feels like a good book to read for young girls who may need to feel they are not alone. The style and language of the book are very pleasant, which means that those who may not like to read so much easily can easily read it. All in all, this book is an excellent debut book.

I want to thank the author for granting me a copy of this book for an honest review!

#BlogTour The Forgotten Room by Ann Troup (@TroupAnn) @NeverlandBT

The forgotten room by Ann Troup
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Can the past ever be forgotten?

As soon as nurse Maura Lyle sets foot inside the foreboding Essen Grange, she feels shivers ripple down her spine. And the sense of unease only increases when she meets her new patient, Gordon Henderson.

Drawn into the Henderson family’s tangled web of secrets and betrayals, Maura can ignore the danger lurking behind every door no longer. Even the door she has been forbidden from opening…

Essen Grange is a house with dark and cruel intentions. But now that darkness has turned on her, can Maura escape before it’s too late?

The chilling new novel from the bestselling author of The Lost Child and The Silent Girls. Perfect for fans of Erin Kelly, Claire Mackintosh and Tracy Buchanan.


I knew right away that I wanted to read The Forgotten Room by Ann Troup. The blurb was interesting enough for me to know that this book would be something that would most likely suit me. Also, I've read the previous two books that Troup has written and they both were good. So, the question this time was would this one be just as good?

First I want to say that creepy old houses are a favorite thing for me and I was not disappointed. Right from the start does one get a feeling that something is wrong here. That Maura Lyle has stepped into a situation that she will regret. But, after recent events that have shaken her life is she ready for a change, and that she will get. The question is, just want is the house hiding?

Now, I don't want to give away too much of the story. But, I will point out that I was surprised by the twist and turns the book took. At first, the story seemed pretty straightforward with Maura getting to know the Henderson family. But, seriously, the story got pretty twisted the last half of the book. And, the great thing about this book is that it managed to balance the storyline so well that it never got too much. Things happened that could have tipped the story to be too ridiculous, but it kept on avoiding that that trap all the way through.

The Forgotten Room is a great book. It's twisted and interesting and I can't wait to find out what Ann Troup will publish next!

Buy the book:

About the author:

The Forgotten Room is Ann’s third book, following on from The Lost Child and The Silent Girls. She lives in Devon near the sea and spends her time either writing or dabbling with art. To see what she’s getting up to next follow on Twitter - @TroupAnn, or Facebook at Ann Troup Author.

Friday 27 October 2017

#BookReview A Strange Scottish Shore by Juliana Gray (@JulianaGray) @BerkleyPub

A Strange Scottish Shore by Juliana Gray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Scotland, 1906. A mysterious object discovered inside an ancient castle calls Maximilian Haywood, the new Duke of Olympia, and his fellow researcher Emmeline Truelove, north to the remote Orkney Islands. No stranger to the study of anachronisms in archeological digs, Haywood is nevertheless puzzled by the artifact: a suit of clothing, which, according to family legend, once belonged to a selkie who rose from the sea in ancient times and married the castle’s first laird.

But Haywood and Truelove soon discover they’re not the only ones interested in the selkie’s strange hide, and when their mutual friend Lord Silverton vanishes in the night from an Edinburgh street, the mystery takes a dangerous turn through time, which only Haywood’s skills and Truelove’s bravery can solve…


I have not read the first book in this series so I was not sure what to expect when I started to read this one. I didn't even know that Juliana Gray is a pseudonym for Beatriz Williams (who I haven't read anything by, but have a couple of books to read). However, I quite liked the beginning of this book which starts off with Emmeline Truelove traveling to the Orkney Islands. That she tends to see her dead father and the late Queen add more intrigue to the story. Then, I discovered that this is not an ordinary historical mystery book. It got time travel! I mean I love time travel and books (and movies) and this surprise delighted me.

A Strange Scottish Shore is a book that surprised me in so many ways. I mean I had never ever read anything before by the author so I hoped this would be a pleasant book to read, I did not expect the story to totally charm me. But, I loved reading the book. Sometimes books can feel predictable, but this one felt delightfully surprising to read. Not that I didn't suspect things, rather that the story took turns that I never thought it would and I felt that the story all the way through kept up that way. Delivering a story that felt refreshingly new all the way through.

This book is one of those that sneaked up on me and I definitely need to get myself a copy of the first book in the series. Emmeline Truelove is fa fabulous characters and I enjoyed her working relationship with Maximilian Haywood and I even loved her "relationship" with Lord Silverton. When I started to read this book did I not read the blurb before. I often do that when I have the book as an ebook so knew very little about what would happen. And, that was just a perk in my opinion. You should try that. Much more interesting to read books that way.

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

Thursday 26 October 2017

#CoverCrush Why Kill the Innocent by C. S. Harris

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

In the newest mystery from the national bestselling author of Where the Dead Lie, a brutal murder draws Sebastian St. Cyr into the web of the royal court, where intrigue abounds and betrayal awaits.

London, 1814. As a cruel winter holds the city in its icy grip, the bloody body of a beautiful young musician is found half-buried in a snowdrift. Jane Ambrose’s ties to Princess Charlotte, the only child of the Prince Regent and heir presumptive to the throne, panic the palace, which moves quickly to shut down any investigation into the death of the talented pianist. But Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, and his wife Hero refuse to allow Jane’s murderer to escape justice.

Untangling the secrets of Jane’s world leads Sebastian into a maze of dangerous treachery where each player has his or her own unsavory agenda and no one can be trusted. As the Thames freezes over and the people of London pour onto the ice for a Frost Fair, Sebastian and Hero find their investigation circling back to the palace and building to a chilling crescendo of deceit and death…

Some thoughts about the cover:

Realized that I never put down my thoughts on this cover. Been a crazy working week and to be honest sometimes it feels like I would need a week off to write reviews etc.

Anyway, this cover is totally different from the other in the series. but I'm loving the black and white style they have gone for with this book.

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

Stephanie @ Layered Pages

Erin @ Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday 25 October 2017

#Wishlist October The Woman behind the Man

For October have I decided to list 5 books about the woman behind the man, four wives, and one sister. I love reading books that are narrated by women that finally are stepping away from the shadows. Here are 5 historical biographical books that all seems very interesting.


Gustav Klimt gave Alma her first kiss. Gustav Mahler fell in love with her at first sight and proposed only a few weeks later. Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius abandoned all reason to pursue her. Artist Oskar Kokoschka was driven mad by her and had a life-sized fetish doll made of her after she ended their affair. Poet and novelist Franz Werfel described her as “one of the very few magical women that exist.” But who was Alma Schindler Mahler-Werfel, the woman who brought the most eminent men of an era to their knees?

In the glittering artistic hotbed of turn-of-the-twentieth century Vienna, young Alma Schindler yearns to make her mark as a composer. Alexander Zemlinsky becomes her mentor, lover, and creative champion, utterly convinced of her talent and promise.

But Alma loses her heart to the great Gustav Mahler, who demands that she give up composing as a condition for their marriage. Blinded by her love and her awe of his genius, Alma agrees. Though deeply devoted to her husband’s career, Alma’s spirit is broken to be reduced to a helpmeet and domestic drudge. When tragedy strikes her young family, she descends into the depths of despair. Out of her innocent sacrifice to her husband, her innocence is lost and a startling new Alma emerges, a woman who refuses to choose between freedom and love. Shocking even herself, she unleashes her ecstatic, hypnotic power over men.

Through marriage, widowhood, and loss, Alma triumphs over the men who would dominate her. She becomes their indispensable muse, the goddess they yearn for but can never ultimately possess. One of the most notorious and controversial women of her time, Alma was the archetypal free spirit, her own woman to the last.


In this novel about Ralph Waldo Emerson's wife, Lidian, Amy Belding Brown examines the emotional landscape of love and marriage. 

Living in the shadow of one of the most famous men of her time, Lidian becomes deeply disappointed by marriage, but consigned to public silence by social conventions and concern for her children and her husband's reputation. Drawn to the erotic energy and intellect of close family friend Henry David Thoreau, she struggles to negotiate the confusing territory between love and friendship while maintaining her moral authority and inner strength. In the course of the book, she deals with overwhelming social demands, faces devastating personal loss, and discovers the deepest meaning of love. Lidian eventually discovers the truth of her own character and learns that even our faults can lead us to independence.


San Francisco, 1915. As America teeters on the brink of world war, Charmian and her husband, famed novelist Jack London, wrestle with genius and desire, politics and marital competitiveness. 

Charmian longs to be viewed as an equal partner who put her own career on hold to support her husband, but Jack doesn’t see it that way…until Charmian is pulled from the audience during a magic show by escape artist Harry Houdini, a man enmeshed in his own complicated marriage. Suddenly, charmed by the attention Houdini pays her and entranced by his sexual magnetism, Charmian’s eyes open to a world of possibilities that could be her escape.

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


The passionate, sweeping story of Bronia, an extraordinary ballerina forever in the shadow of the legendary Nijinsky--Russia's greatest dancer and her older brother.

Born on the road to dancer parents, the Nijinsky children seem destined for the stage. Vaslav is an early prodigy, and through single-minded pursuit will grow into arguably the greatest--and most infamous--Russian ballet dancer of the 20th century. His talented younger sister Bronia, however, also longs to dance. Overshadowed by Vaslav, plagued by a body deemed less than ideal and struggling against the constraints of her gender, Bronia will have to work triply hard to prove herself worthy.

Bronia's stunning discipline and mesmerizing talent will eventually elevate her to the highest stage in Russia: the prestigious, old-world Mariinsky Ballet. But as the First World War rages, revolution sparks in Russia. In her politics, love life and career, Bronia will be forced to confront the choice between old and new; traditional and groundbreaking; safe and passionate.

Through gorgeous and graceful prose, readers will be swept from St. Petersburg and Kiev to London and Paris and plunged into the tumultuous world of modern art. Against the fascinating and tragic backdrop of early 20th century Europe, and surrounded by legends like Anna Pavlova, Coco Chanel, Serge Diaghilev and Pablo Picasso, Bronia must come into her own--as a dancer, mother and revolutionary--in a world that only wishes to see her fall.


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

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

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

What follows is a courtship and later marriage full of equal parts passion and domestic bliss but also destructive jealousies. When vicious court gossip leads to Alexander dying from injuries earned defending his honor as well as Natalya’s in a duel, Natalya finds herself reviled for her alleged role in his death.

With beautiful writing and understanding, Jennifer Laam, and her compelling new novel, The Lost Season of Love and Snow, help Natalya tell her side of the story—the story of her greatest love and her inner struggle to create a fulfilling life despite the dangerous intrigues of a glamorous imperial Court.

Check out my friend's Wishlists for October:

Sunday 22 October 2017

#BookReview Strandsittaren by Anna Ihrén (SWE/ENG)

Strandsittaren by Anna Ihrén
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Dennis Wilhelmson tar tjänstledigt från polisen i Göteborg och åker upp till barndomsön Smögen för att bearbeta den livskris han gått igenom under våren. Men sommaren blir inte så lugn och harmonisk som han planerat. En ung man hittas död i Smögens hamnbassäng och en gammal vän till honom försvinner spårlöst.

Ofrivilligt dras Dennis in i Sotenäsets mest uppmärksammade mordutredning någonsin. Han lär känna polisaspiranten Sandra Haraldsson som är ung, ambitiös och rättfram, och på något sätt når hon fram till honom. Sakta men säkert börjar hans inre att läkas. Vad Dennis inte vet är att släktforskaren och svenskamerikanen Anthony har hittat berättelser och människor i Smögens historia som kommer att påverka hans framtid för alltid...

Strandsittaren är den första fristående kriminalromanen i Morden på Smögen-serien.


Tankarna går lätt till både Camilla Läckberg och Ann Rosman när man läser denna bok då precis som i Läckbergs och Rosmans böcker så utspelas Anna Ihrén serie Morden på Smögen på västkusten. detta är inget som bekymrar mig. Jag älskar att läsa kriminalare som utspelas på västkusten, speciellt då jag har släkt där och känner igen så många landmärken etc.

Dennis Wilhelmson och Sandra Haraldsson är ett bra radarpar och jag njöt verkligen av att läsa denna bok som inte bara har ett intressant mordfall, utan även tillbakablickar till 1800-talet och och en familj av strandsittare. Strandsittare är fattiga människor utan egendom som fick jordägarens godkännande att slå sig ner på en bit jord, ofta ett stycke mark som det är svårt att så något på.

Mordfallet tvingar Dennis tillbaka i tjänsten, men trots hans motstånd i början så börjar han intressera sig mer och mer för fallet. Vem hade motiv att mörda mannen och kommer mördaren slå till igen?

Det är flertalet människor att hålla reda på i denna bok, men det fanns jag bara intressant att läsa om, alla dessa människoöden som strålas samman denna sommar i Smögen. Jag fann miljöbeskrivningarna härliga och sidospåret som har med släktforskning at göra var spännande. Jag ser fram emot att läsa nästa bok i serien.

Tack till Mima förlag för recensionsexemplaret!


Dennis Wilhelmson takes leave of absence from the police in Gothenburg and goes up to the island Smögen, where he spent his childhood, to process the life crisis he has experienced during the spring. But, the summer does not get as calm and harmonious as he planned. A young man is found dead in the harbor and an old friend of him disappears without a trace.

Involuntarily Dennis is drawn into Sotenäs's most high profile murder investigation ever. He gets to know the police aspirant Sandra Haraldsson who is young, ambitious and straightforward, and in some way she reaches him. Slowly but surely, his heart begins to heal. What Dennis does not know is that the genealogist and Swedish American Anthony have found stories and people in the history of Smögen that will affect Dennis future forever ...

Strandsittaren is the first independent crime novel in the Morden on Smögen series.


My thoughts went straight to Camilla Läckberg and Ann Rosman books while I read this book. Just like in Läckberg and Rosman's books, is Anna Ihrén series The Murders on Smögen set on the west coast of Sweden. This didn't bother me. I love to read crime novels set on the west coast, especially since I have relatives there and recognize many landmarks, etc.

Dennis Wilhelmson and Sandra Haraldsson is a good team and I really enjoyed reading this book, which not only has an interesting murder case, but also flashbacks to the 19th century, and a family of "beach sitters". Beach sitters (Strandsittare) were poor people without property that got the landlord's approval to settle on a piece of land, often a piece of land that is hard to sow anything on.

The murder case forces Dennis back in the duty. But, despite his resistance to working again at the beginning, does he begin to be more interested in the case. Who had motives to kill the man and will the murderer do it again?

There are a lot of people to keep in mind in this book, but I never found it hard to keep track of who is who and I enjoyed reading about them as the summer progressed in Smögen. I found the environmental descriptions lovely and the sidestory that has with genealogy to do was fascinating. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Thanks to Mima förlag for the review copy!

Friday 20 October 2017

#CoverReveal Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan (@Lisalregan) @bookouture

Vanishing Girls: A totally heart-stopping crime thriller (Detective Josie Quinn gripping crime fiction series – Book 1

She was close enough to see that the girl had written a word on the wall in bright, warm red blood. Not a word, actually. A name…

Everyone in the small American town of Denton is searching for Isabelle Coleman, a missing seventeen-year-old girl. All they’ve found so far is her phone and another girl they didn’t even know was missing.

Mute and completely unresponsive to the world around her, it’s clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Detective Josie Quinn can get from her is a name: Ramona.

Currently suspended from the force for misconduct, Josie takes matters into her own hands as the name leads her to evidence linking the two girls. She knows the race is on to find Isabelle alive, and she fears there may be others…  

The trail leads Josie to another victim, a girl who escaped but whose case was labelled a hoax by authorities. To catch this monster, Josie must confront her own nightmares and follow her instinct to the darkest of places. But can she make it out alive?

Fans of Angela Marsons, Helen Fields and Robert Dugoni will be utterly gripped and sleeping with the lights on once they discover the first in this unputdownable new crime thriller series.
Pre-order the book (released 17th Jan 2018 )

UK 🇬🇧http://amzn.to/2gQn1on
US 🇺🇸http://amzn.to/2hQp23w

Lisa Regan is an Amazon bestselling crime novelist.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University.  She is a member of Sisters In Crime, Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Find out more at her website: www.lisaregan.com

Connect with Lisa Regan here:

Thursday 19 October 2017

#CoverCrush No Cure for the Dead by Christine Trent

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

When a young nurse dies on her watch, Florence Nightingale must uncover the deep-hidden secrets someone will kill to keep buried. 

When a young nurse dies on her watch, Florence Nightingale must uncover the deep-hidden secrets someone will kill to keep buried.

It is 1853. Lady of the Lamp Florence Nightingale has just accepted the position of Superintendent of the Establishment for Gentlewomen During Temporary Illness in London. She has hardly had time to learn the names of the nurses in her charge when she suddenly finds one of them hanging in the Establishment’s library. Her name was Nurse Bellamy.

Florence’s mettle is tested by the dual goals of preserving what little reputation her hospital has and bringing Nurse Bellamy’s killer to justice. Her efforts are met with upturned noses and wayward glances except for her close friend and advocate inside the House of Commons, Sidney Herbert. As Florence digs deeper, however, her attention turns to one of the hospital investors and suddenly, Sidney becomes reluctant to help.

With no one but herself to count on, Florence must now puzzle out what the death of an unknown, nondescript young nurse has to do with conspiracies lurking about at the highest levels of government before she’s silenced too.

Some thoughts about the cover:

I've been wanting to pick this cover as a Cover Crush for some time now, but I fully expected that a fellow Cover Crush friend (down below) would post it. But, no-one has so I dared it! As a historical mystery fan is both the blurb and the beautiful cover intriguing. 

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

Stephanie @ Layered Pages

#BookReview The Lost Village by Neil Spring (@NeilSpring) @QuercusBooks

The Lost Village by Neil Spring
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some stories are never finished. Some voices insist on being heard, even after death . . .

Many years ago, soldiers entered a remote English village called Imber and forced every inhabitant out. It remains abandoned . . .
Each winter, on one night only, Imber's former residents return to visit loved ones buried in the overgrown churchyard. But this year, something has gone wrong. Secrets are surfacing, putting all who come near Imber in danger. And only one man can help.

Notorious ghost hunter Harry Price has reluctantly reunited with his former assistant Sarah Grey. Once, she worshipped Harry, but their relationship has recently soured. Harry knows that Sarah could be the key to unlocking the mystery of Imber, but will her involvement in the case be the undoing of them both?

Inspired by real historical events, this is the second novel by Neil Spring featuring the notorious real-life ghost hunter, Harry Price. The critically acclaimed ITV drama Harry Price: Ghost Hunter, starring Rafe Spall, was adapted from Spring's first novel, The Ghost Hunters.


I found The Ghost Hunters to be pretty awesome, but this book was fabulous! I was thrilled to learn that the Ghost Hunters would get a sequel and I was even more thrilled when I got the book to read. And, what a book. From the first page was a hooked and the story kept its hold on my wall the way until the end. You don't have to read the first book, to read this one, but I would recommend you do that to get to know Sarah Grey and Harry Price from the start, how they met, how Sarah started to work for him and what went wrong.

The Lost Village is a captivating tale. I was curious to learn what the connection between Sarah and the village. And, is Imber really haunted? And, what has the movie theater that is said to be haunted to do with everything? Is there some connection between the movie theater and the village? Sarah and Harry reunite to solve the mystery of Imber. But, their past is between them and the village is not a very peaceful place. This case could be the end of them...

Neil Spring is a very talented writer and I sure hope that he will write at least one more book about Sarah and Harry. Although, to get this one was more than I hoped for and it was very bittersweet to turn the last page. It's an extraordinary tale and I recommend it warmly!

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

Tuesday 17 October 2017

#BlogTour The Fallen Agent by Oliver Tidy (@olivertidy) @CarolineBookBit

The Fallen Agent by Oliver Tidy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jess Albion has recently started a new life on the other side of the world with a new identity. She used to be MI5. Then a job went bad, someone died and she was made an example of in the British courts. But MI5 look after their own. Or they did until rumours of a planned Al Qaeda biological terror attack on London started circulating. Now someone in the British security services is giving agents up in return for information. No price, it seems, is too high to save London from the ultimate threat.

When Jess’s fresh start is compromised she has a choice to make: run and hide and spend the rest of her life looking over her shoulder or go looking for the threat and snuff it out. On her own, she’d run, but she has Nick on her side.

The Fallen Agent is a story of love and hate, of loyalty and betrayal, of revenge and callous disregard for human life in the pursuit of satisfaction.



The Fallen Agent is inspired by an episode of the British TV series Spooks. I haven't seen the TV series, but you really don't need to have done that to appreciate this story. Since it's inspired by the TV series isn't it like you need to know a lot of stuff before you read the book. I liked that, it made it so much easier to read the book. The past events that happened before the story in this book are explained and the characters are easy to get to know.

I actually read this book during one day, or rather half a day thanks to a short memory and the realization that it was my turn to host the blog tour the day after. But, if there is something I like is it to be challenged so I decided to do what I do best, and that's to read!

The story starts off strong with a wtf moment. I swear to you I was like "huh?" and then I realized that the surprising start made sense. I love starts like that, the ones that right from the first page has you on the edge of the chair and then keeps going strong. This was not the only surprise moment, which btw is another thing that I loved about this book. One can't take this story for granted, this is not a story that playing it safe, instead, things happened that will really surprise you. One thing for sure, Oliver Tidy isn't afraid to twist the story in a way to will take you by surprise.

I love the whole spy business, with Jess Albion being dragged back into her old life when an old enemy decided to have here killed and also treated to cause a terror attack if she isn't killed. However, Jess may be an ex-spy, but that doesn't mean that she will have a hard time getting back into the game nor is she friendless. The question is, will she be able to both stay alive, capture the man that wants her dead and stop terrorists from attacking London?

The Fallen Agent is the first book in the Jess Albion series. It's a fast-paced story with the short chapters. Just the way I want my thrillers to be. I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading the sequel when it's published!


Crime writing author Oliver Tidy has had a life-long love affair with books. He dreams of one day writing something that he could find in a beautifully-jacketed hard-cover or paperback copy on a shelf in a book shop. He’d even be happy with something taking up space in the remainder bin, on a pavement, in the rain, outside The Works.

He found the time and opportunity to finally indulge his writing ambition after moving abroad to teach English as a foreign language to young learners eight years ago.

Impatient for success and an income that would enable him to stay at home all day in his pyjamas he discovered self-publishing. He gave it go. By and large readers have been kind to him. Very kind. Kind enough that two years ago he was able to give up the day job and write full-time. Mostly in his pyjamas.

Oliver Tidy has fourteen books in three series, a couple of stand-alone novels and a couple of short story collections. All available through Amazon (clickable link to Am Author Page). Among his books are The Romney and Marsh Files (British police procedurals set in Dover) and the Booker & Cash novels, a series of private detective tales set in the south of England and published by Bloodhound Books.

Oliver is back living on Romney Marsh in the UK. His home. He still wakes in the night from time to time shouting about seeing his books on a shelf in Waterstones.

For more on Oliver Tidy and his books, check out his website: https://olivertidy.com/

Or follow him on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/olivertidy

FB Author Page: 

Sunday 15 October 2017

#BookReview De förjagade (The Banished) by Mikael Strömberg

De förjagade by Mikael Strömberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I december 1917 skickas en grupp svenska soldater till en utpost i Norrbotten, där en hemlig transaktion med Ryssland ska äga rum nära gränsen till Finland. Vid ankomsten upptäcker de dessvärre att uppdraget inte tycks vara av fredlig karaktär. Någonting allvarligt har hänt i lägret. De finner spår som visar tecken på strid. Isolerade och ansatta av meterdjup snö, sträng kyla och evigt nattmörker, står de nu inför ett okänt hot.


De förjagade är den första boken av Mikael Strömberg jag har läst men jag måste helt klart läsa hans tidigare publicerade böcker för om det är något jag älskar så är det rysare. Speciellt rysare där handlingen tar vid i ödsliga ogästvänliga platser. Vad kan då vara bättre än att läsa en bok vars handling utspelas under första världskriget, lång upp i Sverige i en tid på året när snön ligger djupt och det råder mörker och kyla? 

Vad är det egentligen som har hänt i lägret, var är alla människor som borde ha varit där? Redan innan soldaterna har anlänt på plats är det oro i gruppen och den isolerad miljön och den obehagliga upptäckten att något inte står rätt till ökar den paranoida känslan i gruppen. De förjagade är en bok som jag läste klart på en dag, den är välskriven och spännande och jag njöt verkligen av att få läsa en svensk rysare. Jag är inte lättskrämd av mig och tyckte inte boken var otäck, men spänningsnivån och ovissheten gör boken verkligen läsvärd. 

Tack till Lind & Co för recensionexemplaret!


December 1917 and a group of Swedish soldiers are sent to an outpost in Norrbotten, where a secret transaction with Russia should take place near the border with Finland. On arrival, they, unfortunately, discover that the assignment does not appear to be of a peaceful nature. Something serious has happened in the camp. They find traces that show signs of battle. Isolated and beset by snow, severe cold, and everlasting nightmares, are they now facing an unknown threat.


De förjagade (roughly translated into The Banished) is the first book by Mikael Strömberg I have read, but I must definitely read his previously published books because if that's something I love, it's horror books. Especially books where the story takes place in desolate and unwelcome places. What could then be better than reading a book where the story is set during World War One, far up in Sweden and at the time of year when the snow is deep and it's cold and dark.

What is really happening in the camp, where are all the people who should have been there? Even before the soldiers have arrived in place, is the group troubled and the isolated environment and the unpleasant discovery that something is not right increases the paranoid feeling in the group. The Banished is a book that I read straight through during one day, it is well-written and compelling and I really enjoyed reading a Swedish horror. I'm not easily scared and did not think the book was scary, but the tension and the uncertainty make the book really readable.

Thanks to Lind & Co for the review copy!

Saturday 14 October 2017

#BookReview Sargad (Under the Harrow) by Flynn Berry (SWE/ENG)

Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Nora tar tåget från London till sin syster på den engelska landsbygden. Men den mysiga helgen som hon förväntat sig förvandlas till en mardröm när hon hittar Rachel brutalt knivmördad i sitt hus. Polisens frågor väcker minnen av den okände man som attackerade Rachel för femton år sedan. Är han tillbaka?

Nora tror att hon vet allt om sin syster, men när hon börjar göra egna efterforskningar visar det sig att Rachel har många hemligheter.


Jag kände mig väldigt kluven under tiden jag läste boken. En del av mig ville verkligen få reda på sanningen om Rachels död, men samtidigt så hade jag svårt för själva berättarstilen. Första persons perspektiv kan vara lurigt. Ibland funkar det, ibland funkar det inte lika bra. Med Sargad måste jag erkänna att jag kämpade med det.

Själva story funkar tack vare att man inte vet om det förflutna har något med Rachels död att göra samt att Nora faktiskt beter sig konstigt, som om hon har något att dölja. Men i och med att det är Nora som är berättaren, så känns det som om man sitter fast i hennes huvud, och hennes tankegångar är inte alltid så klara. Däremot så fann jag inte tillbakablickarna på det förflutna när Nora och rachel var unga så svåra att hänga med i.

Men vad jag verkligen saknade var beskrivningar. Språket kändes så torftigt och det var svårt att få grepp om de andra karaktärerna i boken eftersom Nora i stort sett bara nämnde dem vid namn med aldrig riktigt gav en målande bild av dem. Vilket gjorde att de var lätt att glömda. Detsamma kan sägas om omgivningar etc.

Det är själva fallet, mordet på Rachel som gav liv till denna bok. Jag ville verkligen får reda på vem som hade mördat henne och varför. Och jag är glad att jag fortsatte läsa boken för trots mina problem med berättarstilen så var boken helt OK med ett slut som inte var tillrättalagt.

Tack till Louise Bäckelin Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!


When Nora takes the train from London to visit her sister in the countryside, she expects to find her waiting at the station, or at home cooking dinner. But when she walks into Rachel’s familiar house, what she finds is entirely different: her sister has been the victim of a brutal murder.

Stunned and adrift, Nora finds she can’t return to her former life. An unsolved assault in the past has shaken her faith in the police, and she can’t trust them to find her sister’s killer. Haunted by the murder and the secrets that surround it, Nora is under the harrow: distressed and in danger. As Nora’s fear turns to obsession, she becomes as unrecognizable as the sister her investigation uncovers.


I felt that I was on the fence about this book during the time I read it. Part of me really wanted to find out the truth about Rachel's death, but at the same time, was I having trouble with the narrative. First person's perspective can be tricky. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not work as well. In Under the Harrow, do I have to admit that I was struggling with it.

The story itself works because you do not know if the past has anything to do with Rachel's death and that Nora actually behaves strangely as if she has something to hide makes the story more thrilling. But, because Nora is the narrator, it feels like being stuck in her head, and her thoughts are not always so clear. On the other hand, I did not find the flashbacks to the past when Nora and Rachel were young that hard to keep up with.

What I really missed was descriptions. The language felt so meager and it was difficult to grasp the other characters in the book because Nora basically just mentioned them by name with never really giving a good description of them. Which made them easy to forget. The same goes for the landscape, etc. 

It's the case, the murder of Rachel who gave life to this book. I really wanted to find out who had murdered her and why. And I'm glad I continued reading the book, despite the narrative problems, as the book was okay with an ending that I felt worked well thanks to not being too obvious.

Thanks to Louise Bäckelin Förlag for the review copy!

Friday 13 October 2017

#BookReview The Final Seven by Erica Spindler

The Final Seven by Erica Spindler
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The first Saturday in July. . . A missing coed . . .The number seven carved into her door . . .

The countdown has begun.

New Orleans Detective Micki Dee Dare is a seasoned, no-nonsense cop. She doesn't need a partner, especially not Zach "Hollywood" Harris, an irreverent charmer, fresh out of an experimental FBI program. And her assignment -- keep him alive while he fights crime using the special skills he brings to the table -- is not what she signed up for. But the die has been cast and there's nothing she can do about it.

Micki soon realizes there's more to her partner than meets the eye--and more at stake than catching bad guys and closing cases. There's a new kind of evil at work the Crescent City, more cunning, more powerful than any she's ever encountered. And she and Zach may be the only ones who can stop it.

As another coed goes missing and the darkness closes in, Micki must face a terrifying truth: this time she might not make it. This time the evil they're facing might destroy them all . . .

Full of surprise twists and unexpected turns, The Final Seven is a heart-pounding thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.


Sometimes, I just don't understand why a book doesn't work for me. I mean I loved the next book in this series and I like the characters. But, The Final Seven is just one of those books that fail to grab my interest. For one thing, did it take me several days to finish the book and it's not a thick book with small font. I just felt that my heart was not in it. One theory I have is that I knew what would happen since I read the next book in the series. But, I usually don't have any problems with reading books in different order. It could be because it was the first book in the series and it was an introduction to the characters and sometimes the first book is not as good as the next book in the series when you get right to the action. 

As you can see do I not have any good explanations, hell it could be that it was the wrong month to read the book. But, I will say this. It's not a badly written book. I like Erica Spindler's writing style, and I've read other books by her that I love. This is just one of those books that didn't enthrall me. But, I still look forward to reading book three in this series because I really liked book two. 

It was, however, nice to read about how Micki and Zack got to work together and how they met Angel. And, also getting to know Eli from the start was nice since I like him. But, the story in the next book is definitely better!