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...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

#BookReview Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse @SagaSFF @FreshFiction

Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s been four weeks since the bloody showdown at Black Mesa, and Maggie Hoskie, Diné monster hunter, is trying to make the best of things. Only her latest bounty hunt has gone sideways, she’s lost her only friend, Kai Arviso, and she’s somehow found herself responsible for a girl with a strange clan power.

Then the Goodacre twins show up at Maggie’s door with the news that Kai and the youngest Goodacre, Caleb, have fallen in with a mysterious cult, led by a figure out of Navajo legend called the White Locust. The Goodacres are convinced that Kai’s a true believer, but Maggie suspects there’s more to Kai’s new faith than meets the eye. She vows to track down the White Locust, then rescue Kai and make things right between them.

Her search leads her beyond the Walls of Dinétah and straight into the horrors of the Big Water world outside. With the aid of a motley collection of allies, Maggie must battle body harvesters, newborn casino gods and, ultimately, the White Locust himself. But the cult leader is nothing like she suspected, and Kai might not need rescuing after all. When the full scope of the White Locust’s plans are revealed, Maggie’s burgeoning trust in her friends, and herself, will be pushed to the breaking point, and not everyone will survive.


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In STORM OF THE LOCUSTS, the sequel to TRAIL OF LIGHTNING, Maggie Hoskie must not only save her friend Kai, but she must also stop a mysterious cult from flooding the world. Maggie sets out together with allies to find out the truth about the White Locusts and find Kai. The question is, does Kai really want to be saved?

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

#BookReview Gold Digger, The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor by Rebecca Rosenberg

Gold Digger, The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor by Rebecca Rosenberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One look at Baby Doe and you know she was meant to be a legend! She was just twenty years old when she came to Colorado to work a gold mine with her new husband. Little did she expect that she’d be abandoned and pregnant and left to manage the gold mine alone. But that didn’t stop her!

She moved to Leadville and fell in love with a married prospector, twice her age. Horace Tabor struck the biggest silver vein in history, divorced his wife and married Baby Doe. Though his new wife was known for her beauty, her fashion, and even her philanthropy, she was never welcomed in polite society.

Discover how the Tabors navigated the worlds of wealth, power, politics, and scandal in the wild days of western mining.

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At the end of 2017 did I read the fantastic The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg. I recommend the book warmly btw. So, I was really looking forward to reading Gold Digger, The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor. Now, I had never heard of Baby Doe Tabor before I read the book and that made this book extra interesting to read. I always like to learn more about real people.

Rebecca Rosenberg is a fabulous writer and I enjoyed getting a view into the often dangerous life of miners. Baby Doe or Elizabeth McCourt Tabor that was her real name married Harvey Doe. This was not a love match, she needed a husband with money to help her family. Together they traveled to Colorado to work in a gold mine that belonged to Doe's family. To say that they lived a happily married life is an exaggeration. Love would come later, with a totally different man. A man who would leave his wife for Baby Doe. Horace Tabor a mining millionaire.

Now, I don't want to give away too much of the story. I purposely didn't check up Baby Doe in Wikipedia while reading the book because I don't want to read anything that would spoiler the book. It's much more fun that way. Now, I found this book just didn't click with me the same way The Secret Life of Mrs. London. And, I guess it all boils down to the fact that I found Baby Doe's life just not as interesting as Mrs. Londons. I found in the end that what I did like the most was the small cameos by Doc Holliday and Oscar Wilde. As for Horace Tabor, he was just not a man that intrigued me, a self-made millionaire who had a tendency to risk a bit too much. For some reason, he just didn't fascinate me.

Now, the book is absolutely read worthy. My problem was more the subject then the writing. And, when you fail to connect with characters or/and the story, then it's hard to enjoy a book, despite the writing. However, if this book seems to be just your thing, then I say, go for it!

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

Monday, 27 May 2019

#BookReview The Au Pair by Emma Rous @EJRous @BerkleyPub

The Au Pair by Emma Rous
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A grand estate, terrible secrets, and a young woman who bears witness to it all. If V. C. Andrews and Kate Morton had a literary love child, Emma Rous’ The Au Pair would be it.

Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother Danny were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.

Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is beautifully dressed, smiling serenely, and holding just one baby.

Who is the child and what really happened that day?

One person knows the truth, if only Seraphine can find her.


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The Au Pair is the kind of thriller that started off good and as the story progressed just kept my interest all the way through to the very end. Emma Rous has written a truly engrossing thriller, perfect for readers that love family secrets. What really happened to Seraphine and Danny's mother on the day they were born? Why did their mother kill herself? Could the nanny know something? And what happened to the nanny?

This dual storyline book both explore the past, with the young nanny in the focus as she starts working for Seraphine parents. In the present time is Seraphine trying to come to terms with her father's death as well as the mystery of her mother's death many years before. But, sometimes, the truth can be deadly...

I found The Au Pair to be an excellent thriller and I can't wait to read the next book by Emma Rous.

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

Sunday, 26 May 2019

#BookReview The Daughter's Tale by Armando Lucas Correa @AtriaBooks

The Daughter's Tale by Armando Lucas Correa
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

BERLIN, 1939. The dreams that Amanda Sternberg and her husband, Julius, had for their daughters are shattered when the Nazis descend on Berlin, burning down their beloved family bookshop and sending Julius to a concentration camp. Desperate to save her children, Amanda flees toward the south of France, where the widow of an old friend of her husband’s has agreed to take her in. Along the way, a refugee ship headed for Cuba offers another chance at escape and there, at the dock, Amanda is forced to make an impossible choice that will haunt her for the rest of her life. Once in Haute-Vienne, her brief respite is inter­rupted by the arrival of Nazi forces, and Amanda finds herself in a labor camp where she must once again make a heroic sacrifice.

NEW YORK, 2015. Eighty-year-old Elise Duval receives a call from a woman bearing messages from a time and country that she forced herself to forget. A French Catholic who arrived in New York after World War II, Elise is shocked to discover that the letters were from her mother, written in German during the war. Despite Elise’s best efforts to stave off her past, seven decades of secrets begin to unravel.

Based on true events, The Daughter’s Tale chronicles one of the most harrowing atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis during the war. Heart­breaking and immersive, it is a beautifully crafted family saga of love, survival, and redemption.


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I read The German Girl around 2 years ago and it was such a fabulous book that I was thrilled to learn that the author would release a new book with links to the first book. The Daughter's Tale is a good novel, just not as engrossing as the first novel. For some reason didn't I feel that this book had the same interesting story as with the German Girl. It is a good book and yes I would recommend it. However, the historical aspect of the story in the German Girl was much more interesting. And I think it's because it felt like nothing I had read before. Also, the choice Amanda has to make in this book (can't write about it since I would spoil the book) would have been more interesting if one had gotten the full story. I was disappointed that there was not a POV from Cuba. I think that would have made the book so much more interesting to read.

The Daughter's Tale is for me a so-so book, perhaps my expectations were just too high after The German Girl. However, I still recommend reading it!

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

#BookReview Floden (The River) by Markus Lutteman (SWE/ENG)

Floden by Markus Lutteman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

NÅGOT DÖLJER SIG I TYSTNADEN!

Fyra personer färdas tillsammans längs en mörk flod. De känner inte varandra, vet inte var de befinner sig eller vart de är på väg.

När hemligheterna börjar röjas och de äntligen förstår var de hamnat inser de att det kan vara för sent att ta sig därifrån.

Floden är en skrämmande och suggestiv berättelse om rädslan att inte kunna undgå sitt öde. Det är en roman om oläkta sår och om sökandet efter svar både i och utanför oss själva. Med starka spänningselement och kopplingar till litteraturens klassiker ställer Markus Lutteman frågor som får oss att fundera på allt från hur vi lever våra moderna liv till vad som händer efter döden.


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Floden är en bok som jag hade något svårt för måste jag erkänna. Handlingsbeskrivningen får boken att låta väldigt spännande, men i grund och botten är den mer filosofisk, en roman om existentiella frågor som vad händer efter döden. Samt kan man göra något, ändra på sitt öde, innan det är för sent? Boken är väldigt kort, väldigt lättläst, och det är både en fördel och en nackdel. Nackdelen är att det känns som man aldrig kommer nära människorna i boken eftersom allting sker så snabbt, men på samma sätt var det en snabbläst roman vilket gjorde att man hinner läsa den på några få timmar vilket kan vara skönt. Den har vissa poänger, jag gillar speciellt stycket angående de tomma människorna, de som hela tiden måste fylla livet med saker etc. men som aldrig blir lyckliga trots allt. 

Floden är en bok som jag inte helt fann passande min smak (mer en thriller fan än filosofiska böcker) men för de som gillar böcker som tar upp frågor rörande livet efter döden och vad som gör människan lycklig är nog boken en fullträff.  

Tack till Bookmark Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

SOMETHING HIDES IN THE SILENCE!

Four people travel along a dark river. They do not know each other, neither do they know where they are or where they are going.

When the secrets begin to unravel and they finally understand where they are, they realize that it can be too late to get away from it.

The River is a frightening and suggestive story of the fear of not being able to escape your destiny. It's a novel about unhealed wounds and about the search for answers both inside and outside ourselves. With strong elements of tension and links to the classics of literature, Markus Lutteman asks questions that make us think about everything from how we live our modern lives to what happens after death.


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I must admit that The River is a book I had some difficulty reading. The book's description makes the book sound very thrilling, but basically, it is more a philosophical novel than a thrilling one. A novel about existential issues such as what happens after death. And can one do something, change their destiny before it is too late? The book is very short, very easy to read, and it is both an advantage and a disadvantage. The downside is that it feels like you never get close to the people in the book because everything happens so fast, but in the same way, it was fast read novel which made it possible to read it in a few hours, which can be nice (and in this case it was). It did have some points, I especially like the piece about the empty people, those who must constantly fill the life with things, etc. but who's never happy, despite buying and buying.

The river is a book that I didn't quite find fit for my taste (more a thriller fan than philosophical books) but for those who like books that address issues of life after death and what makes man happy, the book is probably a hit.

Thanks to Bookmark Förlag for the review copy!

Saturday, 25 May 2019

#ToBeRead Upcoming books to read

So, I was downloading the covers for the books I plan to read that will be released 4th June. And, it becomes quite a lot of titles lol. So, I guess a book marathon is now planned (well nothing unusual there). Of course, the books I'm reviewing for Fresh Fiction are the ones I'm going to priority first. And, so here are the 4 most important books. I do want to find some time to squeeze in some audiobooks as well...


The New York Times bestselling historical novelist delivers her biggest, boldest, and most ambitious novel yet—a sweeping, dramatic Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados. 

1854. From Bristol to Barbados. . . . Emily Dawson has always been the poor cousin in a prosperous merchant clan—merely a vicar’s daughter, and a reform-minded vicar’s daughter, at that. Everyone knows that the family’s lucrative shipping business will go to her cousin, Adam, one day. But when her grandfather dies, Emily receives an unexpected inheiritance: Peverills, a sugar plantation in Barbados—a plantation her grandfather never told anyone he owned. 

When Emily accompanies her cousin and his new wife to Barbados, she finds Peverills a burnt-out shell, reduced to ruins in 1816, when a rising of enslaved people sent the island up in flames. Rumors swirl around the derelict plantation; people whisper of ghosts. 

Why would her practical-minded grandfather leave her a property in ruins? Why are the neighboring plantation owners, the Davenants, so eager to acquire Peverills—so eager that they invite Emily and her cousins to stay with them indefinitely? Emily finds herself bewitched by the slightly sinister tropical beauty of the island even as she’s drawn into the personalities and politics of forty years before: a tangled history of clandestine love, heartbreaking betrayal, and a bold bid for freedom. 

When family secrets begin to unravel and the harsh truth of history becomes more and more plain, Emily must challenge everything she thought she knew about her family, their legacy . . . and herself.


From the New York Times–bestselling author Dominic Smith, a radiant novel tracing the intertwined fates of a silent-film director and his muse

Dominic Smith’s The Electric Hotel winds through the nascent days of cinema in Paris and Fort Lee, New Jersey—America’s first movie town—and on the battlefields of Belgium during World War I. A sweeping work of historical fiction, it shimmers between past and present as it tells the story of the rise and fall of a prodigious film studio and one man’s doomed obsession with all that passes in front of the viewfinder.

For nearly half a century, Claude Ballard has been living at the Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel. A French pioneer of silent films who started out as a concession agent for the Lumière brothers, the inventors of cinema, Claude now spends his days foraging mushrooms in the hills of Los Angeles and taking photographs of runaways and the striplings along Sunset Boulevard. But when a film-history student comes to interview Claude about The Electric Hotel—the lost masterpiece that bankrupted him and ended the career of his muse, Sabine Montrose—the past comes surging back. In his run-down hotel suite, the ravages of the past are waiting to be excavated: celluloid fragments and reels in desperate need of restoration, and Claude’s memories of the woman who inspired and beguiled him.


Retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn returns in Becky Masterman's fourth stunning thriller

In 1959, a family of four were brutally murdered in Holcomb, Kansas. Perry Smith and Dick Hickok were convicted and executed for the crime, and the murders and their investigation and solution became the subject of Truman Capote's masterpiece, IN COLD BLOOD. But what if there was a third killer, who remained unknown? What if there was another family, also murdered, who crossed paths with this band of killers, though their murder remains unsolved? And what if Dick Hickok left a written confession, explaining everything?

Retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn and her husband Carlo, a former priest and university professor, are trying to enjoy each other in this new stage in their lives. But a memento from Carlo's days as a prison chaplain--a handwritten document hidden away undetected in a box of Carlo's old things--has become a target for a man on the run from his past. Jerry Beaufort has just been released from prison after decades behind bars, and though he'd like to get on with living the rest of his life, he knows that somewhere there is a written record of the time he spent with two killers in 1959. Following the path of this letter will bring Jerry into contact with the last person he'll see as a threat: Brigid Quinn.

Becky Masterman's unputdownable thrillers featuring unique heroine Brigid Quinn continue with this fascinating alternative look at one of America's most famous crimes.

The latest historical thriller by New York Times Notable mystery author Lawrence Goldstone plunges readers into the dramatic events surrounding the assassination of President William McKinley. 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.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

#BookReview Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin @MelanieBen @DelacortePress @FreshFiction

Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A captivating novel based on the story of the extraordinary real-life American woman who secretly worked for the French Resistance during World War II--while playing hostess to the invading Germans at the iconic Hotel Ritz in Paris--from the New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator's Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue.

Nothing bad can happen at the Ritz; inside its gilded walls every woman looks beautiful, every man appears witty. Favored guests like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor walk through its famous doors to be welcomed and pampered by Blanche Auzello and her husband, Claude, the hotel's director. The Auzellos are the mistress and master of the Ritz, allowing the glamour and glitz to take their minds off their troubled marriage, and off the secrets that they keep from their guests--and each other.

Until June 1940, when the German army sweeps into Paris, setting up headquarters at the Ritz. Suddenly, with the likes of Hermann Goring moving into suites once occupied by royalty, Blanche and Claude must navigate a terrifying new reality. One that entails even more secrets. One that may destroy the tempestuous marriage between this beautiful, reckless American and her very proper Frenchman. For the falsehoods they tell to survive, and to strike a blow against their Nazi "guests," spin a web of deceit that ensnares everything and everyone they cherish.

But one secret is shared between Blanche and Claude alone--the secret that, in the end, threatens to imperil both of their lives, and to bring down the legendary Ritz itself.

Based on true events, Mistress of the Ritz is a taut tale of suspense wrapped up in a love story for the ages, the inspiring story of a woman and a man who discover the best in each other amid the turbulence of war.

**********

As a big fan of WW2 historical fiction MISTRESS OF THE RITZ was a must read for me. I've previously read THE GIRLS IN THE PICTURE by Melanie Benjamin and it's a fabulous book and I was looking forward to reading a new book by the author.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

#BookReview Like Lions by Brian Panowich @BPanowich @MinotaurBooks @FreshFiction

Like Lions: A Novel by Brian Panowich
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A powerful follow up to multiple award-winning debut Bull Mountain.

Brian Panowich burst onto the crime fiction scene in 2015, winning awards and accolades from readers and critics alike for his smoldering debut, Bull Mountain. Now with Like Lions, he cements his place as one of the outstanding new voices in crime fiction.

Clayton Burroughs is a small-town Georgia sheriff, a new father, and, improbably, the heir apparent of Bull Mountain’s most notorious criminal family.

As he tries to juggle fatherhood, his job and his recovery from being shot in the confrontation that killed his two criminally-inclined brothers last year, he’s doing all he can just to survive. Yet after years of carefully toeing the line between his life in law enforcement and his family, he finally has to make a choice.

When a rival organization makes a first foray into Burroughs territory, leaving a trail of bodies and a whiff of fear in its wake, Clayton is pulled back into the life he so desperately wants to leave behind. Revenge is a powerful force, and the vacuum left by his brothers’ deaths has left them all vulnerable. With his wife and child in danger, and the way of life in Bull Mountain under siege for everyone, Clayton will need to find a way to bury the bloody legacy of his past once and for all.


**********

While back I had the opportunity to listen to the audiobook of BULL MOUNTAIN by Brian Panowich, which I really loved, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to read LIKE LIONS. I'm overjoyed to report that this book is just as awesome as BULL MOUNTAIN.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Monday, 20 May 2019

#PromoPost Lindsay J Pryor’s Blackthorn Series @lindsayjpryor @bookouture


About the books


Combining sizzling passion and sinfully seductive vampire heroes, Blackthorn is the perfect series for anyone who loves urban fantasy, paranormal romance, or dystopian fiction. Packed with suspense and intrigue, thrillingly sensual romance, and characters you can’t help but root for, Blackthorn has seen thousands of fans fall head over heels for this stunningly intricate world.

Each book takes readers on a dark, twisted journey deeper into the world of Blackthorn. Following four couples through intense passion, betrayals, and threats to the very fabric of their world, the series begins when Caitlin Parish, a Vampire Control Unit agent, is on a mission to hunt down Kane Malloy – a master vampire. Her mission is complicated when an unexpected but deep passion builds between them…

Intense, addictive and action-packed, Blackthorn will leave you breathless. Discover the series today!



Books 1,2 and 3 are available in a box set for just £3.99/$6.99




About the author


Lindsay J. Pryor is a speculative fiction author published by Hachette U.K. Her dark, gritty and complex dystopian BLACKTHORN series has achieved numerous Gothic and PNR Amazon number ones both in the UK and the US. Her spin-off LOWTOWN standalone novels are underway as well as her upcoming romantic Gothic horror.

Quickly deciding that fantasy was more interesting than reality, Lindsay has been creating stories since she was nine years old. She holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology and Communication and is a qualified Psychology lecturer and English teacher. She taught for eighteen years before becoming a full-time author.

Lindsay was born and grew up in Wales and now lives in South West England with her husband and a plethora of wild woodland creatures.

To find out more about Lindsay and her books, please visit her website: lindsayjpryor.com

Sunday, 19 May 2019

#BookReview All That’s Dead by Stuart MacBride @StuartMacBride @HarperFiction

All That’s Dead by Stuart MacBride
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Darkness is coming…

Inspector Logan McRae was looking forward to a nice simple case – something to ease him back into work after a year off on the sick. But the powers-that-be have other ideas…

The high-profile anti-independence campaigner, Professor Wilson, has gone missing, leaving nothing but bloodstains behind. There’s a war brewing between the factions for and against Scottish Nationalism. Infighting in the police ranks. And it’s all playing out in the merciless glare of the media. Logan’s superiors want results, and they want them now.

Someone out there is trying to make a point, and they’re making it in blood. If Logan can’t stop them, it won’t just be his career that dies.


**********

The Logan McRae series is a favorite series of mine. No one can mix crime and humor as Stuart Macbride and this book is no exception. And, it all starts with a missing body, and that's not the first body to go missing. However, Logan also has to deal with the fact that the cop that runs this investigation has, let's say a black spot on his record. And, now a journalist is threatening to reveal it all. And, to top it all Logan is the one set to help out the investigation because the powers to be needs a scapegoat. And, who's better than Logan?

There is so much going on in this book that I will just say this: This book is great from the beginning until the end. There are plenty of funny moments, my favorite fictional cat Cthulhu and Logan's children have great cameos. The case is interesting, and of course, Roberta Steel is there to make Logan's life worse. And, that ending...

So, what are you waiting for? Go out and get a copy of this book (and the rest of the books in the series)...

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

Saturday, 18 May 2019

#BookReview White Peak by Ronan Frost @StMartinsPress @FreshFiction

White Peak by Ronan Frost
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Do you think you deserve a second chance?

Greg Rask, a dying tech billionaire, has invested millions chasing miracle cures. None of them are worth a damn, but he refuses to give up. Now, he’s gathering a team willing to go to the ends of the earth chasing life.

Each of Rask's crew has beaten incredible odds to rise from the ashes of their old lives to where they are now. Together, their next task is to retrieve a painting that is believed to have a hidden layer, and within it a map which, if genuine, marks it as a treasure of the Ahnenerbe, the occult wing of the SS, who had devoted dozens of expeditions in search of the three cintamani stones for their combined properties, and the lost city where they were rumored to lay hidden: Shambhala.

But forces are working against them. Facing some of the most savage terrains known to man, the crew will be pushed to the limits of endurance and beyond. A mystical brotherhood sworn to protect the secrets of the ancients—the same secrets that allow its members to defy death—will stop at nothing to ensure that Hannah and her crew fail, and die in the process. Can they uncover the secret history of the world before Rask’s body finally betrays him?

In White Peak, Ronan Frost draws on his experience working for the British Ministry of Defence to create an adrenalin-pumping quest full of death-defying adventure and fast-paced action.


**********

You can't refuse from Greg Rask, a dying billionaire. Rye gets a second chance, and together, with other people that have also been given a second chance by Rask, he is now on a hunt for a miracle cure. Something that will give Rask his own second chance. There is a painting that is said to have a hidden map that will lead to a lost city, Shambhala. But, there are also those out there that will do anything to stop them from finding the city.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Saturday, 11 May 2019

#BookReview Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen @BerkleyPub @FreshFiction!

Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mad Men meets The Devil Wears Prada as Renée Rosen draws readers into the glamour of 1965 New York City and Cosmopolitan Magazine, where a brazen new Editor-in-Chief--Helen Gurley Brown--shocks America by daring to talk to women about all things off limits...

New York City is filled with opportunities for single girls like Alice Weiss who leaves her small Midwestern town to chase her big city dreams and unexpectedly lands the job of a lifetime working for Helen Gurley Brown, the first female Editor-in-Chief of a then failing Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Nothing could have prepared Alice for the world she enters as editors and writers resign on the spot, refusing to work for the woman who wrote the scandalous bestseller, Sex and the Single Girl. While confidential memos, article ideas, and cover designs keep finding their way into the wrong hands, someone tries to pull Alice into this scheme to sabotage her boss. But Alice remains loyal and becomes all the more determined to help Helen succeed. As pressure mounts at the magazine and Alice struggles to make her way in New York, she quickly learns that in Helen Gurley Brown's world, a woman can demand to have it all.

**********

As far as I know, have I never read a Cosmopolitan Magazine. It has never been my type of magazine to read. So why did I pick PARK AVENUE SUMMER to read? Well, I've wanted to read something by Renee Rosen for a while, I love reading historical fiction, and this book intrigued me. In this book, we get to know Cosmo's new editor-in-chief Helen Gurley Brown through young Alice Weiss who gets a job working as Helen's secretary. Alice dreams of becoming a photographer and this current position is just temporary. However, she quickly becomes very protective of Helen as lots of people work against her and her ideas. The question is, will Alice be able to fulfill her dreams one day?

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

#BookReview A Murderous Malady by Christine Trent @crookedlanebks

A Murderous Malady by Christine Trent
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cholera has broken out in London, but Florence Nightingale has bigger problems when people begin dying of a far more intentional cause—murder.

The London summer of 1854 is drawing to a close when a deadly outbreak of cholera grips the city. Florence Nightingale is back on the scene marshaling her nurses to help treat countless suffering patients at Middlesex Hospital as the disease tears through the Soho slums. But beyond the dangers of the disease, something even more evil is seeping through the ailing streets of London.

It begins with an attack on the carriage of Florence’s friend, Elizabeth Herbert, wife to Secretary at War Sidney Herbert. Florence survives, but her coachman does not. Within hours, Sidney’s valet stumbles into the hospital, mutters a few cryptic words about the attack, and promptly dies from cholera. Frantic that an assassin is stalking his wife, Sidney enlists Florence’s help, who accepts but has little to go on save for the valet’s last words and a curious set of dice in his jacket pocket. Soon, the suspects are piling up faster than cholera victims, as there seems to be no end to the number of people who bear a grudge against the Herbert household.

Now, Florence is in a race against time—not only to save the victims of a lethal disease, but to foil a murderer with a disturbingly sinister goal—in A Murderous Malady.

**********

I really, really loved the first book in this series. And, that makes writing this review a bit tough because I found the mystery in this book was just not on the same level as in No Cure for the Dead. Don't take me wrong, it's an interesting book, but I was more invested in the story in the first book because of Florence Nightingale's own trials and tribulations to solve the case. She just had to solve the case since the murder had happened in her own hospital. This time, her best friend Elizabeth Herbert and her father are attacked while they are traveling in a carriage in London. They survive, but the coachmen die. And, now Elizabeth husband is worried that there is someone out there who wants to kill Elizabeth and he wants Florence to investigate.

Now I'm all for Florence playing amateur detective, but writing this review can't I help be a bit skeptic to why she of all people should take on this role. I mean sure she solved a murder, but she's not a detective. If Elizabeth had wanted Florence to investigate this event would it make more sense, but her husband Sidney? I would have thought someone with a bit more experience would have made a better choice. Anyhow Florence accepts and then the hunt is on for the truth. Personal the side story about King Cholera was way more interesting to read about. All and all, this story was not bad, the case may not have enthralled me the same way as the first books case did. However, I did enjoy reading about Florence and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

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

Monday, 6 May 2019

#BlogTour Strong as Steel by Jon Land @jondland @partnersincr1me @ForgeReads

Strong As Steel by Jon Land
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Strong As Steel

by Jon Land

on Tour April 22 - May 25, 2019

Synopsis:


Tough-as-nails Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong returns in this electrifying ninth installment of the series, by USA Today bestselling author Jon Land

1994: Texas Ranger Jim Strong investigates a mass murder on a dusty freight train linked to a mysterious, missing cargo for which no record exists.

The Present: His daughter, fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, finds herself on the trail of that same cargo when skeletal remains are found near an excavation site in the Texas desert. She’s also dealing with the aftermath of a massacre that claimed the lives of all the workers at a private intelligence company on her watch.

These two cases are connected by a long buried secret, one that men have killed and died to protect. Caitlin and her outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters must prove themselves to be as strong as steel to overcome a bloody tide that has been rising for centuries.

BOOK REVIEW

I was introduced to Caitlin Strong in Strong Cold Dead and I just love that book. Since then have I read the book after Strong to the Bone and now the latest one Strong as Steel. On a side note, I don't do many blog tours nowadays, but when I got the mail about it couldn't I resist joining it because I knew that I would like the book. And, I did!

Caitlin Strong followed in her father and grandfather's (and great grandfather's etc.) footsteps and become a Texas Ranger. One can say she was born to be one and she's a tough woman that grew up learning how to shot rather than playing girly games. In this book, she and her lover Cort Wesley Master faced with a mystery that goes a long way back in time. In 1994 her father Jim Strong stumbled over a mystery of missing cargo, mass murder and three bodies who just seemed to have died at the same time, but there are no visible wounds. What is the link between this case and a massacre in the present time and some skeletal remains are found in the Texas desert?

What I love about these books is not only does one get a lot of action and a great mystery, you also get flashbacks to past Strongs. Like in this book, when we also get to follow Jim Strong as he tries to solve the train massacre and what happened to the cargo. This story, of course, is linked to the present case and I particularly like how it had a personal effect on Caitlin. I eagerly read on to see if my theory was right about Cort Wesley Master son Dylan's new "girlfriend" and I was right. That is one hell of development. Now I can go on and on about details like this one, and others like how much I love Caitlin's not so subtle ways of trying to get her boss to stop smoking. Or the fascinating case of the dead men without any wounds. However, let's not spoil too much. So, I will just say this, yes the books are great and you can read them as stand-alone. If you like reading about Texas Rangers, or just compelling crime novels with strong female characters. Then, this is a series for you. On a side note, they should really make a TV-series about Caitlin Strong and the rest of the Strong Texas Rangers. That would be perfect.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller 
Published by: Forge Books 
Publication Date: April 23rd 2019 
Number of Pages: 336 
ISBN: 0765384671 (ISBN13: 9780765384676) 
Series: Caitlin Strong #10 

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER 1
Dallas, Texas
“You want to tell me what I’m doing here again?” Caitlin Strong said to Captain Bub McNelly of the Texas Criminal Investigations Division.
McNelly, who favored string ties and shiny cowboy boots, turned to the quartet of figures in equally shiny windbreakers milling behind him in the makeshift staging area, who looked more like businessmen. Caitlin had heard he was a descendant of the famed Texas Ranger captain Leander McNeely, a man who’d once told the whole of the U.S. government to go to hell, but wasn’t too keen on the freedom with which Rangers still operated today.
“Special Response Teams hang their hat on being multi-jurisdictional,” McNelly told her. “Consider yourself the representative Ranger.”
“Since when does an SRT look more comfortable holding briefcases than firearms?”
“I need to tell you that computers are the real weapons these days?” McNelly asked her. “And those boys accompanying us are forensic experts who know how to fire back.”
“Just two guns, yours and mine, backing them up,” Caitlin noted.
“I don’t need a computer to do the math, Ranger,” McNelly said, while the four techs wearing windbreakers hovered behind them in front of the elevator. “You and I serve the warrant on the geek squad upstairs and let the experts do their thing with brains instead of bullets. How hard can it be?”
They were about to serve a search warrant on an information technology firm on the 42nd floor of the Chase Tower, the city’s tallest building. Caitlin had served plenty of more “traditional” search warrants in her time on the likes of biker gangs, drug dealers, and various other suspects. The kind of service that found her backed up by guns and plenty of them, instead of briefcases and backpacks.
A chime sounded ahead of the elevator door sliding open.
“In my experience,” Caitlin said, stepping in first to position herself so the door didn’t close again before the SRT computer forensics techs were inside, “it pays to have brains and bullets.”
McNelly smiled thinly. “That’s why you’re here, Ranger. You were specifically requested for the job.”
“By who?”
“I don’t know. Orders came from the top down.
The cab began its ascent. If this were a Ranger operation, as opposed to CID, Caitlin would have insisted on securing the space in question prior to bringing up the civilians. Because that was clearly what these personnel in ill-fitting windbreakers pulled from a rack were. Civilians.
“Get your warrant ready, Captain,” she told McNelly, as the cab whisked past the floors between “L” and “42.”
He flapped the tri-folded document I the air between them. “Got it right here.”
“What’s CTP stand for again?” Caitlin asked, referring to the acronym of the company on which they were about to serve the warrant.
“Communications Technology Providers. I thought I told you that.”
“Maybe you did, but you never told me what the company did to get on the Criminal Investigation Division’s radar. I’m guessing that’s because somebody ordered you to take me along for the ride. All well and good in this political world we live in, until something goes bad.”
McNelly flashed Caitlin a smirk, as a chime sounded to indicate the elevator had reached its desired floor. “I can tell you this much, Ranger. The suspects we’re after here don’t know a gun from their own assholes. Worst thing they can do is infect us with a computer virus.”
He led the way through the open cab door, without waiting for Caitlin to respond. She exited next, followed in a tight bunch by those four computer techs in their windbreakers which made it look like they’d stuck their arms through Hefty bags.
The doors along the hall were uniformly glass, sleek and modern, some frosted. According to the building layout Caitlin had studied, Communications Technology Providers occupied a pair of adjoining office suites adding up to nearly five thousand square feet in total. One was a corner office, meaning at least a portion of those suites would enjoy wraparound windows and plenty of natural light.
Caitlin had just reflexively shoved her jacket back behind the holster housing her SIG Sauer P-226 nine-millimeter pistol, when the glass double-door entrance to Communications Technology Providers ruptured behind a fusillade of gunfire.
***
Excerpt from Strong As Steel by Jon Land. Copyright © 2019 by Jon Land. Reproduced with permission from Jon Land. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Jon Land
Jon Land is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of 50 books, including ten titles in the critically acclaimed Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong series, the last of which, STRONG TO THE BONE, won both the 2017 American Book Fest and 2018 International Book Award for Best Mystery. The next title in the series, STRONG AS STEEL, will be published in April. MANUSCRIPT FOR marked his second effort writing as Jessica Fletcher for the MURDER, SHE WROTE series, and he has also teamed with Heather Graham for a new sci-fi series starting with THE RISING. He is a 1979 graduate of Brown University, lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Catch Up With Our Jon Land at:

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Saturday, 4 May 2019

#BookReview Inspection by Josh Malerman @delreybooks @FreshFiction

Inspection by Josh Malerman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Boys are being trained at one school for geniuses, girls at another. And neither knows the other exists—until now. The innovative author of Bird Box invites you into a tantalizing world of secrets and lies.

J is a student at a school deep in a forest far away from the rest of the world.

J is one of only twenty-six students, who think of their enigmatic school\'s founder as their father. His fellow peers are the only family J has ever had. The students are being trained to be prodigies of art, science, and athletics, and their life at the school is all they know—and all they are allowed to know.

But J is beginning to suspect that there is something out there, beyond the pines, that the founder does not want him to see, and he\'s beginning to ask questions. What is the real purpose of this place? Why can the students never leave? And what secrets is their father hiding from them?

Meanwhile, on the other side of the forest, in a school very much like J\'s, a girl named K is asking the same questions. J has never seen a girl, and K has never seen a boy. As K and J work to investigate the secrets of their two strange schools, they come to discover something even more mysterious: each other.

In Inspection, the masterful author of Bird Box crafts a sinister and evocative gender equality anthem that will have readers guessing until the final page.


**********

There is a tower in the forest, far away from civilization. There are boys there called the alphabet boys. Once upon a time, there were twenty- six boys, but two of them were deemed spoiled rotten and they disappeared...

J is one of the boys, and he looks at the founder as his father, just as the rest of the boys. But, now he's starting to ask questions... What happened the boys that disappeared? Why can't they leave the area? What is really the corner? What he doesn't know is that on the other side of the forest is a girl called K starting to wonder about similar things...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Thursday, 2 May 2019

#BookReview Fire Season by Stephen Blackmoore @dawbooks @FreshFiction

Fire Season by Stephen Blackmoore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The fourth book of this dark urban fantasy series follows necromancer Eric Carter through a world of vengeful gods and goddesses, mysterious murders, and restless ghosts.

Los Angeles is burning.

During one of the hottest summers the city has ever seen, someone is murdering mages with fires that burn when they shouldn’t, that don’t stop when they should. Necromancer Eric Carter is being framed for the killings and hunted by his own people.

To Carter, everything points to the god Quetzalcoatl coming after him, after he defied the mad wind god in the Aztec land of the dead. But too many things aren’t adding up, and Carter knows there’s more going on.

If he doesn’t figure out what it is and put a stop to it fast, Quetzalcoatl won’t just kill him, he’ll burn the whole damn city down with him.


**********

FIRE SEASON is the fourth book in the Eric Carter series and my introduction to the series. Starting with book four may be a bit unwise since that means I've missed a lot of events in Eric Carter's life. On the plus side, I found the book to be easy to get into, and I loved that it was action from page one to the very end. In this book, Eric Carter is framed for murdering mags with fire, and he's quite sure that the god Quetzalcoatl is behind it all. Soon it goes from killing mags to setting buildings in Los Angeles on fire and Eric must find a way to stop Quetzalcoatl for good!

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

#BookReview En högre rättvisa (A Higher Justice) by Michael Hjorth & Hans Rosenfeldt (SWE/ENG) @norstedts

En högre rättvisa by Michael Hjorth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Kriminalpsykologen Sebastian Bergman har förlikat sig med tanken på att hans dagar på Riksmord är förbi och har återgått till att hålla föreläsningar och skriva böcker. Den enda från teamet han har sporadisk kontakt med är Ursula. Sin dotter Vanja har han inte hört av på fyra månader.

Vanja är inte heller kvar på Riksmord, hon har ett tillfälligt jobb som kriminalare i Uppsala. Sedan en månad tillbaka arbetar hon med att utreda en serie våldtäkter, där gärningsmannen smyger sig upp på sina offer bakifrån, söver dem med en spruta och placerar en säck över huvudet innan han fullbordar övergreppet.

När ett av offren dör kopplas Riksmord in, och snart också Sebastian Bergman.

Åter samlade tvingas teamet att lägga sina personliga problem och strider åt sidan för att fånga den brutale våldtäktsmannen som fortsätter sätta skräck i Uppsala. Så småningom finner de ledtrådar som tyder på att offren inte är slumpvis utvalda.

Men vad är kopplingen mellan dem? Och varför verkar så många personer inte vilja att gärningsmannen avslöjas?


**********

En högre rättvisa är den första boken jag har läst i serien av Sebastian Bergman. Dock har jag sett alla filmatiserade avsnitt och jag älskar serien. Efter att ha läst denna bok kan jag även konstatera att läsa om Sebastian Bergman och resten av karaktärerna är lika intressant som att se på tv-serien. Samt att Sebastian Bergman är precis lika självisk och stundtals otrevlig som han är i tv-serien. Dock kan jag ändå inte låta bli att gilla honom. Det kan bero på att jag ser Rolf Lassgård framför mig under bokens gång och han är inte bara en fantastisk skådespelare han passar perfekt som Sebastian. Fallet är fängslande och jag gillar verkligen hur man sakta men säkert inser mer och mer vad som binder de olika offren ihop. Slutet är chockerande och hemskt och nu längtar jag efter att läsa fortsättningen!

En högre rättvisa är precis min typ av kriminalare. Suveräna karaktärer och en fängslande handlingen med ett slut som verkligen överraskade mig.

Ett stort tack till Norstedts för recensionsexemparet!

ENGLISH REVIEW


The crime psychologist Sebastian Bergman has reconciled with the idea that his days at the Homicide Squad are over and has returned to holding lectures and writing books. The only one from the team he has occasional contact with is Ursula. it's been four months since his daughter Vanja spoke to him.


Vanja is also not staying at the Homicide Squad
, she has a temporary job as a detective in Uppsala. For a month now has she been working on investigating a series of rapes, where the perpetrator sneaks up on her victims from behind, sweeping them with a syringe and placing a sack over her head before completing the assault.

When one of the victims dies is the Homicide Squad 
is contacted, and soon also Sebastian Bergman.

Once again, the team is forced to put their personal problems and fight aside to capture the brutal rapist who continues to fear in Uppsala. Eventually, they find clues that indicate that the victims are not randomly selected.

But what is the connection between them? And why do so many people not want the offender to be revealed?

**********

A Higher Justice is the first book I have read in the Sebastian Bergman series. However, I have seen all the filmed episodes and I really love the series. After reading this book can I also say that I like to read about Sebastian Bergman and the rest of the characters just as much as I enjoy watching the tv-series. I can also say that Sebastian Bergman is just as selfish and sometimes unpleasant as he is in the TV series. However, I cannot help but like him. It may be because I see Rolf Lassgård in front of me during the progress of the book and he is not only a fantastic actor he fits perfectly as Sebastian. The case is captivating and I really like how you slowly but surely realize more and more what binds the different victims together. The end is shocking and horrible and now I long to read the next book!

A Higher Justice is just my kind of crime novel. Superb characters and a captivating plot with an end that really surprised me.


A big thank you to Norstedts for the review copy!

Sunday, 28 April 2019

#BookReview Woman of the Hour by Jane Lythell @janelythell @HoZ_Books

Woman of the Hour by Jane Lythell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Meet Liz Lyon: respected TV producer, stressed-out executive, guilty single mother... woman of the hour.

StoryWorld is the nation's favourite morning show, and producer Liz Lyon wants to keep it that way. Her job is to turn real-life stories into thrilling TV – and keep a lid on the scandals and backbiting that happen off-stage.

But then simmering tensions erupt at the station, trapping Liz in a game of one-upmanship where she doesn't know the rules. As the power struggle intensifies, can Liz keep her cool and keep her job? Does she even want to?

In this gripping novel of power, rivalry and betrayal, Jane Lythell draws on her experiences of working in the glamorous, pressurised world of live TV.


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Women of the Hour is something completely different from what I usually read. Not a crime novel, nor a thriller or a historical novel. This is a contemporary novel set in the world of television. A story about a Liz Lyon TV producer and single mother and her struggle to combine both worlds. I quickly found myself caught up in her world. As a TV producer, Liz basically spent a lot of time trying to smooth things over, from cranky bosses to the divas on air. At the same time, she tries to make her relationship with her new boyfriend work and raise her daughter. And, she also has to try to not be stabbed in the back, not literary, but figuratively (this is as I said before not a murder mystery book LOL). The TV business is a vicious place and new arrives doesn't always play nice, but appearances can be deceiving and threats can come from other directions.

Women of the Hour brings up so many issues, how to combine motherhood with a career. Trying to keep peace in the workplace. Also, dealing with new employees and not to mention how to handle sexual harassment at work. Liz herself has some bad experience when it comes to that. She ponders during the books progress over the fact, where do you draw the line? Is she just overreacting? I can honestly say I thought she overreacted a bit while I read the book. But, on the other hand, I also know how terrible it is to feel doubt and angst over situations. Even years later. Anyhow, this is an interesting part of the book that fits very well into today's #metoo era. 

I found this book to be a great respite from all the usual thriller & crime novels to read and I recommend this book warmly.

Women of the Hour is the first book in the StoryWorld series and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel Behind Her Back. 

I want to thank the author for sending both this book and Behind the Back to me for an honest review!