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Archive for December, 2017

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** My thanks to Anne Cater and the folks at Transworld Books for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her.

For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

The Child’s story will be told.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

The Child is the second novel by Fiona Barton, and features her character Kate Waters.  Barton takes her readers on a chilling journey through complex themes of mental health issues and abuse with dignity and sensitivity whilst ensuring that her wonderful writing wows readers.

Told through four perspectives, this is a story of four women and how they are affected by  the discovery of a newborn baby’s body .  The secrets that are unearthed and the impact they have on family dynamics make for some intense reading that will have readers struggling to put this book down.
As I mentioned above, there are some themes woven into the plot that could make for difficult reading, but I do believe that the author has done a good job in ensuring that they add to the story without becoming sensationalised.
The cleverness of the writing means that readers are kept guessing with the twists and red herrings dotted around.

Perhaps it’s because she was my namesake, but I really loved journalist Kate.  Her drive to investigate and find out the truth was impressive and certainly could show a few fictional detectives a thing or two!  Her integrity makes her such a wonderful character, despite wanting to chase down a story she is always careful to never reveal her informants information.  All of the characters in this book felt realistic and well thought out, their backstories were intriguing and I found that the more I read the more invested in them I became.

The build up in the pace of this book is perfect, slowly building up and drawing you in.  Hinting at mystery and suspense before the conclusion that will leave readers surprised and full of emotion!  I loved the short chapters that were perfectly baited, it kept me hooked and needing to read “just one more chapter” before bedtime.

A cleverly complex thriller that will test the strength of your heart!

You can buy a copy of The Child via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository

 

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Hello and welcome to the first stop on my blog today (yes, I have two treats to share with you today, well it’s almost Christmas and I decided that it was only fair to share some fun with you guys!  I’m not sharing the advent chocolates, so instead you can have two bookish treats today instead!).

Today I have the honour of sharing an extract from GJ Minett’s latest novel.  For those not aware, I am a huge fan of Graham’s writing, his first novel The Hidden Legacy was published in 2015, and was one of my favourite reads that year!  This was followed by Lie in Wait in 2016 (another brilliant book!), so I was delighted to hear that he had been hard at work plotting away for Anything For Her and was honoured to be asked to be part of the blog tour to help promote this book!

Anything For Her

Extract:

She’s just about filled her hand basket and needs to get back to him so that she can empty it into the trolley and check to see what else they need. It must be getting on for ten minutes since she left them together. That’s going to have to be enough. So she walks back towards where she last saw them and as she does so she sees Aimi in one of the checkout queues. She’s taking items from her trolley and placing them on the conveyor belt. At first Mia thinks maybe she can slip past unnoticed but as Aimi reaches in for the final item she looks up and smiles. Mouths the word hello. Waves.

Mia can’t quite bring herself to blank her entirely, so she offers a grudging nod and walks off to find her brother.

Not while I’m around, she thinks to herself.

*

They were back in the kitchen, unloading all the shopping, before Mia got around to it.

‘Was that Aimi I saw you with earlier?’ she asked, reaching up to put the biscuits in the overhead cupboard, her voice light and airy, her back turned to him so that he couldn’t see the disingenuous expression on her face.

‘Yes.’

He smiled to himself. Most people would have said something right away but not Mia. He knew she’d seen Aimi – she couldn’t have been more than thirty feet away when she turned around abruptly and walked off. But she didn’t say anything when she came back to find him or while they finished their shopping. She swapped banalities with the woman at the checkout and joked with the taxi driver who helped to load all the bags into the boot, and during the journey home she talked about anything but Aimi.

But he wasn’t fooled for one minute. Assaults from Mia, he’d learnt over the years, were never full-frontal. She preferred to ease her way into difficult conversations. She’d pick her moment and sidle into it the way someone with no sense of rhythm takes to the dance floor. He could read her like a book but that of course worked both ways, which meant there was no point in trying to lie to her. Far better just to keep the answers as short and vague as possible and hope the uncomfortable bits slipped through the cracks.

‘I don’t see much of her nowadays,’ Mia said. ‘How is she?’

Nowadays. Pick out the sub-text . . . ‘now that she’s married.’

‘She’s OK.’

‘She looks well.’

‘Yes.’

‘Pass me the dishwasher tablets, will you? I think they’re . . .’

‘Got them.’

There was a long pause. He waited, knowing there was no point in trying to anticipate where the conversation would go next, which angle she would choose – but no way was it over just yet. They’d all but finished packing the shopping away before she picked it up again.

Now, doesn’t’ that make you want to read on!?  I know I can’t wait to find out where this book goes and will be reading my copy asap!

You can buy a copy of Anything For Her via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository

 

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Breaking Bones

 

** My thanks to Hannah at Endeavour Press for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

The streets of Preston are alive with music and banter. But nothing can drown out the sound of breaking bones
Inseparable since childhood and feared by their community, Tony, Eddie and Frankie are beyond the reach of justice. The brutal gang, The Three Dogs, are a law unto themselves.
Detective Jim Hacker has watched The Dogs grow from thuggish youths to psychotic criminals. He seems to be the only one who wants to see their empire fall.
Meanwhile Jamie Strange, a young Royal Marine, finds himself embroiled in the lives of The Three Dogs when his girlfriend, Laurie Holland, cuts off their engagement… to be with the most dangerous of The Dogs: Frankie Verdi.
Jamie vows to save Laurie, before Frankie damns them both.
Every dog will have its day…
This gritty, addictive crime story fizzes with the energy of the eighties. 
Breaking Bones will appeal to fans of Martina Cole, Roberta Kray and Stephen Leather.

My Thoughts & Review:

The 1980s setting of this book intrigued me enough to pick this one up, having been a child of the 80s I’m always interested to see how the decade translates onto the pages of a book, and I was pleasantly surprised with Breaking Bones.  The setting felt authentic (as far as my acquired knowledge would permit), the fashions and music of the time definitely felt authentic that’s for sure!

In Breaking Bones, the reader watches the rise of three lads to the dizzy heights of criminal kingship through the eyes of Detective Jim Hacker, the three lads in question, “The Three Dogs”; Frankie, Eddie and Tony were childhood friends.  All three have an unhealthy fascination with violence and are quick to leap to violence in any situation.  Detective Hacker is a fantastic narrator, his obsession with the trio feels so real and dangerous that readers cannot help but become somewhat involved with it too.  Like any detective, his gut instinct tells him that Frankie, Eddie and Tony are responsible for more crimes than the police can prove, but to get the proof that’s needed he will have to sit and wait for them to mess up.

Jamie Strange finds that the tentacles of The Three Dogs have a way of creeping into his life when his fiancée Lauren leaves him for Frankie.  Instead of disliking Lauren for her actions, I ended up feeling sympathy towards her.  She’s a well written character that readers will become invested in.

The plot is dark and gritty, is has elements of brutality which add to the story line, and over all it’s a well paced novel.  The gangland element combined with the crime thriller makes this an enjoyable read and one that I think would appeal to fans of crime novels.

You can buy a copy of Breaking Bones via:

Amazon UK

 

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Hello and welcome to my stop on the 12 Days of Clink Street Christmas!  I am delighted to share a review of Dating Daisy by Daisy_Mae224 with you today.


Description:

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What do you do when you’re a newly divorced 52 year old mother, keen for a second chance of romance? Why internet dating of course!
Daisy Mae_224 embarks on the internet dating process with trepidation. Having not been on the dating scene for nearly 30 years, and with fairly rudimentary computer skills, she finds herself embroiled in a series of haphazard and hilarious situations. Daisy keeps a diary of her internet dating life and reveals detail by detail, the ups and downs of her midlife dating extravaganza. Soon after starting out, Daisy realises her true mission. With no past experience and no-one/nothing to guide her, she needs to produce – Internet Dating lessons.

Read on to find out about PLONKERS, muppets and MAWDs, and a whole host of amusing anecdotes, tips and ideas. Working by day as a Sexual Health doctor, the story as it unfolds contains accounts of Daisy’s clinical experiences with patients in the Sexual Health clinic.
She also reflects on her past life with Voldemort (the dreadful ex-husband). With advice and encouragement from Imogen, her 17 year old daughter, her surrogate parents known as the Amigos, with a big house and swanky swimming pool, her friend Pinkie and from Jeannie, her nonagenarian friend from the Nursing Home, Daisy resiliently persists in her quest to find a long term partner.

This is a heartfelt story that will ring bells with anyone who has ended a long term relationship and now wants to find somebody new. It is humorously written, full of emails, poems, limericks, and even a recipe! Daisy can’t resist her pages of advice on topics like “Kissing” and “Anti-Snoring.” It is a unique and highly amusing book, which will make you laugh out loud! So read on and se;e. Will Dating Daisy find her “prairie vole?” Or will the whole process end in disaster?

My Thoughts & Review:

Dating Daisy was just the funny sort of read I needed to shake up my reading list recently.  The book is told in somewhat of a diary fashion and follows Daisy who is a sexual health doctor.  In this she shares some of the stories about her patients, as well as giving a look into her forays into the world of internet dating.

The book itself is broken into short and snappy chapters with Daisy regaling readers with tales from her work which are embarrassing, daft and strange at times.   I did initially wonder how these would fit in with the story but somehow they do work well along side the story and once I was used to the style of writing I found it easy to go with the flow.

I think that this may appeal to readers who are looking for a quick read and something a little different.  It’s the sort of book you might recommend to a friend to give them a wee giggle or perhaps if they’re considering internet dating.
Whilst I found it an easy and entertaining read, I can’t say that it stuck in my head too much after I finished it, perhaps I was looking for a more weighty read, but that doens’t take away from the fact that I laughed out loud several times whilst reading this and did appreciate the dry humour of the author.

You can buy copy of Dating Daisy via:

Amazon UK

 

 

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Hello and welcome along to another post to celebrate indie publishing, which today sees The Quiet Knitter joining in the blog tour for Andrew Barrett’s The End of Lies published by Bloodhound Books.


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**  My thanks to Sarah at Bloodhound Books for my copy of this and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

My name is Becky. I arrived home to find my husband, Chris, stabbed to death and a gang of men ransacking our house.
Turns out that Chris has something that belongs to them. And if I want to stay alive, I have to find it and return it. They have given me seven days. And a beating.
There is nowhere to hide and no time left to look. So I will stand my ground as the deadline approaches. All I have is a head full of lies and a very bad plan.
This is my story.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

Wow!  From the moment I started reading this book I didn’t want to put it down!  It’s dark and gripping and full of so much intrigue that readers cannot help but become hooked from the first chapter.

Told from the perspective of Becky, who has just discovered the body of her husband Chris,  stabbed to death on the living room floor.  She takes on a persona that I have to admit had be swaying between wondering if she had a death wish, or was merely panic taking over.  She has to “it” over to the gang that have murdered her husband, she agrees, not knowing what “it” is or where to find “it”.
From the narrative it is clear that these are not people to mess with, so goodness knows why Becky decides to take them on and try to get the better of them.  See what I mean about wondering what was going through her head?
She’s quite a strong character, and finding your partner’s murdered body would be enough to make the strongest people crumple into a heap but not Becky, the situation demands she gets her act together to save her neck.

By giving Becky a week to hand over whatever it is the gang are looking for, the author ensures that the pace of this book remains brisk and the plot thrilling.  This is an “edge of your seat” sort of read, the sort that I was glad to be reading on my kindle so I didn’t have to waste time fumbling with pages to find out what was coming.

The writing is clever, its punchy and it makes for a thrilling read.  The plot is gritty and exciting, the characters are so well crafted that they feel real, the fear and intimidation, the panic, the guilt, it’s all so wonderfully written that you find yourself drawn into the book .
Andrew Barrett is an author you will want to add to your list of favoured authors based on this book alone.

You can buy a copy of End of Lies via Amazon UK

 

About the Author:

Andrew Barrett has enjoyed variety in his professional life, from engine-builder to farmer, from Oilfield Service Technician in Kuwait, to his current role of Senior CSI in Yorkshire.

He’s been a CSI since 1996, and has worked on all scene types from terrorism to murder, suicide to rape, drugs manufacture to bomb scenes. One way or another, Andrew’s life revolves around crime.

In 1997 he finished his first crime thriller, A Long Time Dead, and it’s still a readers’ favourite today, some 120,000 copies later, topping the Amazon charts several times. Two more books featuring SOCO Roger Conniston completed the trilogy.

Today, Andrew is still producing high-quality, authentic crime thrillers with a forensic flavour that attract attention from readers worldwide. He’s also attracted attention from the Yorkshire media, having been featured in the Yorkshire Post, and twice interviewed on BBC Radio Leeds.

He’s best known for his lead character, CSI Eddie Collins, and the acerbic way in which he roots out criminals and administers justice. Eddie’s series is four books and two short stories in length, and there’s still more to come.

Andrew is a proud Yorkshireman and sets all of his novels there, using his home city of Leeds as another major, and complementary, character in each of the stories.

You can find out more about him and his writing at Andrew-barrett.co.uk

Social Media Links:

Contact: andrew@andrewbarrett.co.uk

Website: http://www.andrewbarrett.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndrewBarrettUK

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AndrewBarrett.author

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andrewbarrettauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andrewbarrettauthor

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Hello and welcome to The Quiet Knitter!  I am delighted to share an extract of Hélene Fermont’s latest book His Guilty Secret with you today as part of the Blog Tour for this publication, as always, there are links to purchase the book at the end so please do feel free to check the book out.


Description:

Front Cover

Secrets & Lies Are Dangerous.

When Jacques’s body is discovered in a hotel room his wife, Patricia, suspects he has been hiding something from her.

Why was he found naked and who is the woman that visited his grave on the day of the funeral? Significantly, who is the unnamed beneficiary Jacques left a large sum of money to in his will and what is the reason her best friend, also Jacques’s sister, Coco, refuses to tell her what he confided to her?

Struggling to find out the truth, Patricia visits Malmö where her twin sister Jasmine lives and is married to her ex boyfriend. But the sisters relationship is toxic and when a family member dies shortly after, an old secret is revealed that shines a light on an event that took place on their tenth birthday.

As one revelation after another is revealed, Patricia is yet to discover her husband’s biggest secret and what ultimately cost him his life.

His Guilty Secret is an unafraid examination of the tangled bonds between siblings, the lengths we go to in protecting our wrongdoings, and the enduring psychological effects this has on the innocent…and the not so innocent.

Hélene Fermont is the author of three books. Because of You and We Never Said Goodbye are also available on Kindle and in print from Amazon.

 

Extract:

Seating herself at the kitchen table, feeling nauseous from the aroma of toast, freshly
squeezed orange juice and coffee, Patricia simply nodded her agreement. She stood up, but
the room span around her so much so she had no option but to sit back down. “I don’t know
what’s happening to me…Did I mention the woman who visited Jacques’s grave after the
funeral? I can’t get her out of my mind! You say Jacques loved me but I’m not so sure. What
if she was the reason he spent the night in a hotel and didn’t come home to me?’
“You can’t think like that. Everyone knows how much the two of you meant to each other.
Don’t draw conclusions about someone who may have a perfectly innocent reason to visit
his grave.”
Patricia shook her head. “No. Jacques was quite a few years older than me. He must have
had a past I knew nothing of. What if that woman was someone he loved and had a
relationship with?” She wondered if they’d continued to see one another during her
marriage. The mere idea of him betraying her trust caused her to burst into tears. Combined
with the splitting headache and dizziness, she felt like crawling back to bed.
“What if you’re imagining things?” Clemency said. “Surely,
Jacques wasn’t the kind of man who would have an affair behind his
wife’s back? Please have something to eat and drink. I won’t let you
do this to yourself, imagining all kinds of things your husband was
up to without your knowledge.”
“Tough! Nothing adds up, can’t you see how upset it makes
me to know he was discovered lying naked next to a bed, and that I
never had an inkling he was ill? Jacques was always so fit and strong,
telling me he wanted to be as healthy as possible for when we started
a family. That’s never going to happen now.”
Clemency felt a sense of déjà vu. She knew exactly how Patricia
felt yet decided she’d already said enough about her late husband.
Watching her nibble on a piece of toast and sip her coffee, Clemency
said, “Give yourself time to grieve. Rudy called last night after
you went to bed. He mentioned Jacques’s bequest to an unnamed
beneficiary. I don’t wish to upset you further, but do you know who
it is?”
Again, Patricia shook her head. “I’ve no idea. Perhaps he
wanted to make sure the woman who visited his grave is looked after?
My husband lied to me, Clemency. Coco must have known about it.
Rudy told me they’ve split up.” She stood up from her chair. “I’ll join
you at work later. Please don’t worry about me.”

His Guilty Secret by Hélene Fermont is out on 27th November 2017 and will be available from Amazon, priced £9.99 in paperback and £3.99 as an e-book.

You can buy your copy here

For more information see helenefermont.com

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Ok, so it’s not Friday, but I felt the need to share this wonderful book with you before Friday.  Asian Monsters edited by Margrét Helgadóttir is published by the fantastic Fox Spirit and I would recommend checking them out!  The selection of books on their website are intriguing and varied – anthologies, collections, non fiction, poetry, there’s something there for most readers so head over and have a look!


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Here be Monsters! They lurk and crawl and fly in the shadows of our mind. We know them from ancient legends and tales whispered by the campfire. They hide under the dark bridge, in the deep woods or out on the great plains, in the drizzling rain forest or out on the foggy moor, beneath the surface, under your bed. They don’t sparkle or have any interest in us except to tear us apart. They are the monsters! Forgotten, unknown, misunderstood, overused, watered down. We adore them still. We want to give them a renaissance, to reestablish their dark reputation, to give them a comeback, let the world know of their real terror.

Asian Monsters is the third in a coffee table book series from Fox Spirit Books with dark fiction and art about monsters from around the world.

 

‘Another marvellous manticore of monsters: aswang, vetalas, bloodwomen, lelepah, hulijing, robot ghosts and the already-dead. And the scariest thing of all? The normalcy through which they shuffle and swoop: our monstrous world of patriarchy and privilege, of disenchantment, drone warfare and terror.’

Mark Bould, 2016 Pilgrim Award winning author, critic and editor of Studies in Global Science Fiction, Science Fiction Film and Television Journal, Africa SF, and SF Now.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

Before I give you my thoughts on this book, I want to give you an idea of the stories and illustrations included within this book, so have taken the following from the publisher’s website so share with you.

Contents

A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight by Xia Jia, translated by Ken Liu
Good Hunting by Ken Liu
Blood Like Water by Eve Shi
Blood Women by Usman T. Malik
Golden Lilies by Aliette de Bodard
Grass Cradle, Glass Lullaby by Isabel Yap
Unrestful by Benjamin Chee (words and art)
Datsue-Ba by Eliza Chan
Let Her In by Eeleen Lee
The Poacher of Qingqiu by CY Yan
Aswang by Fran Terminiello
The Vetalas’ Query by Sunil Patel
Kokuri’s Palace by Yukimi Ogawa
Vikurthimagga by Vajra Chandrasekera (words) and Dave Johnson (art)

Illustrations

A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight, Good Hunting, Kokuri’s Palace by Cindy Mochizuki
Blood Like Water, Blood Women, The Vetalas’ Query by Vincent Holland-Keen
Golden Lilies, Datsue-Ba, Let Her In by Kieran Walsh
Grass Cradle, Glass Lullaby, The Poacher of Qingqiu, Aswang by Imran Siddiq

This was my first foray into Asian mythology, and I have to say that it certainly won’t be the last.  Each of the stories deserves reading and some will take longer to move on from than others, there are ones that take time to fully comprehend, there are ones presented in comic strip fashion, long ones, short ones but each is uniquely special and feels so different from any mythological tale I’ve read before.

The idea of picking a favourite of the stories horrifies me more than the monsters and depicted in these tales, for the very simple reason that each of the stories spoke to me in a different way.  Reading is a very subjective thing, and so the reading and appreciation of each of these magnificent stories depends on the individual reader.  These are spectacularly well written and I thoroughly enjoyed picking a story at random to read every other day.  As much as I wanted to race through this book, devour the stories, I decided to read it at a more leisurely pace and I think that worked better for me.  Giving me time to absorb each story and appreciate them more.  If I have to pick one that stands out the most it would be Golden Lillies.
I will say that the impressive art work throughout was jaw dropping, some unbelievably haunting images that added so much to the story, and I think that those who provided these illustrations should be applauded for their skills.

Now to decide which of the series to read next…..European Monsters, African Monsters or hold out for Pacific Monsters to arrive from Amazon….?!

 

You can buy a copy of Asian Monsters via:

Amazon UK

 

** My thanks to the fabulous foxy ones, especially Aunty Fox at Fox Sprit for being part of Celebrating Indie Publishing **

 

 

 

 

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** My thanks to Margot at One World for my copy of this book **

 

Description:

An isolated Swedish town.

A deaf reporter terrified of nature.

A dense spruce forest overdue for harvest.

A pair of eyeless hunters found murdered in the woods.

It’s week one of the Swedish elk hunt and the sound of gunfire is everywhere. When Tuva Moodyson investigates the story that could make her career she stumbles on a web of secrets that knit Gavrik town together. Are the latest murders connected to the Medusa killings twenty years ago? Is someone following her? Why take the eyes? Tuva must face her demons and venture deep into the woods to stop the killer and write the story. And then get the hell out of Gavrik.

My Thoughts & Review:

Doesn’t that description just scream intrigue?!  I love Nordic Noir, something about the cold and brooding setting just makes these books utterly divine and I was thrilled to get the chance to read an early copy of Dark Pines by Will Dean to experience Sweden in such a suffocatingly frightening way.

From the very outset let me just say that I LOVED this book!  I started reading it whilst the little one went swimming with my husband and was almost shocked when they reappeared to announce it was time to go home.  I had failed to notice the passing of time, not drunk my cuppa or even opened the jaffa cakes – the book was that interesting.

The setting of this novel is intoxicating, dangerous yet beautiful and so perfectly described.  Will Dean brings the woods alive to the point that they’re almost like another character in the book.  The opening pages of the book set the dark tone well, giving readers a real idea of the danger that lurks in the woods and just how easy it is for an accident (or worse) to happen and there be no one there to help you.
The way that the woods are a link between the crimes and the characters is fascinating, and even more so because our protagonist is afraid of them.

Tuva Moodyson is an exceptional character, there was just something about her that I found fascinating.  Whether it was her journalistic skills, her great taste in food or her determination to conquer her fear, but one thing’s for certain, she’s brilliant.  One of the the things about her that stands out is the fact that she’s deaf, and how she views it as nothing more than another part of her character.  By that, I mean that she accepts it, doesn’t like people making a point of it or commending her on being able to speak clearly without any telltale signs of her deafness.  I found the passages about her caring for her hearing aids quite interesting, not something I’ve ever had contact with before so wasn’t aware of how static or electrical pulses could cause irritation for wearers, or the importance of keeping them dry.  Do love the feeling that a book has imparted a little knowledge.

If having Tuva wasn’t interesting enough, there is a cast of colourful characters to delight readers.  From the woodcarving sisters, who I won’t lie, creeped the hell out of me, the very odd taxi driver and his son (there’s a story there that needs to be expanded upon!), and the shut in writer are just some of the extremely intriguing beings in Dark Pines.  And they ways that they are written, my goodness I could see them, smell the aromas around their homes, feel the hostility around them…..exceptional writing!

I mentioned food when speaking about Tuva earlier, and that’s because food plays a big part in the plot.  In moments of panic or fear, Tuva seeks out her friend who owns a food catering truck, and serves up some of the most delicious sounding food that had my mouth watering at the very mention of it.  But so too did the food cooked by Frida.  Not a book to read when you’re hungry!

The mystery element to the plot is exquisite!  There are so many suspects and valid suspicions for each of their possible motives, but Will Dean knows how to lull readers into the calm and quiet without giving anything away.  His plotting is utterly brilliant, I applaud him for keeping me absolutely hooked, second guessing myself and being completely and utterly wrong about the killer and the motive.

This has to be the book you start 2018 waiting for, it’s everything you want from Nordic Noir, a creeping chill that spreads through you as you get pulled in to the story and cannot put it down!  Get Will Dean on your list of authors to watch out for, this is a name you don’t want to forget!!

 

 

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Hello and welcome to my stop on the 12 Days of Clink Street Christmas!  I am delighted to share an extract with you from The Keeping of Secrets, a coming of age story full of secrets set in the time of WWII.

 

The Keeping of Secrets Cover

The Keeping of Secrets

The keeper of family secrets, Patricia Roberts grows up isolated and lonely. Trust no one and you won’t be disappointed is her motto. Three men fall in love with her and she learns to trust, only to find that their agendas are not her own. With secrets concealed from her by the ultimate love of her life, and with her own secret to keep, duplicity and deceit threaten their relationship.

In a coming of age story set against the sweeping backdrop of the Second World War – evacuation, the Battle of Britain, the Blitz, buzz bombs and secret war work – Patricia ultimately has to decide whether to reveal her deepest held secret for the sake of her future happiness.

You can buy a copy via Amazon


Extract:

The Keeping of Secrets tells the story of Patricia Adela Roberts growing to womanhood during the Second World War. Evacuated from Brixton at the war’s outbreak as a fifteen year old schoolgirl, when the Blitz hits London the following year she and her friend Becky should be safe in their billet in the leafy lanes of Surrey, but then the warning sounds and they sit the night out with their hostess in the garden air raid shelter.…..

At first it seemed a false alarm as we sat dozing the hours away, then we heard the distant droning drawing nearer and explosions occurring only a few miles away. The newspaper a couple of days later told us that on the Sunday night attacks had been made on railway lines running south out of London.

“Fat lot of good us being here,” said Becky as we wheeled our bikes away from the newsagent in the town centre. “Don’t know why anyone thought Leatherhead might be safe.”

I mounted my bike and, as I set off, said to Becky over my shoulder, “Well at least they’re mostly coming over at night now and giving us a chance to get back safely from school.”

I was a bit of an expert at famous last words. As we passed the field entrance, at the southern end of Warenne Road, the roar of a high revving engine and the descending flight of a falling bomb assailed our ears. Instinctively we threw ourselves off our bikes onto the side of the road, covering our heads with our hands. Just beyond the gate the bomb detonated. My head seemed to implode with the pressure of the shockwave, my body bucking at the earth tremor and a shower of earth, stones and splinters of wood descended, pummelling my back and protective hands. My face felt fiery where it scraped the ground as I landed. I heard only a high-pitched ringing tone and the pain in my ears was beyond any I had ever experienced before. I lay stunned and unmoving, feeling my heart thudding in my rib cage and an unbearable tightness in my throat. I realised I was not breathing and felt a rising panic. Is this how I die?…..

Two of the neighbours retrieved our bicycles and our little procession made its way slowly along the road to be greeted by Mrs Grice hurrying down the road from the opposite direction wringing her hands and looking anxiously up and around, saying, “Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, where did he come from? Are there any more to come? Why no warning?” To our rescuers, “Thank you for bringing them back safe. I heard the bang at the shop and thought, our road’s been hit. You’d all better come in for a cup of tea, I suppose,” but fortunately for Mrs Grice’s larder the householders all had more important things to do like sort out their shattered windows. Mrs Grice’s bungalow was just far enough away to have survived unscathed.

The news continued to mount of the night time raids mostly, but not exclusively, to the east side of London. We also read that Kingston, Malden and Surbiton, all London suburbs less than ten miles away, were badly hit.

The daytime battles in the air were still continuing with daily reports of downed planes, mostly German fighters. I worried about James and was anxious to get back to London the following Friday and see if he had written, but again, when I did, still no letter.

My father and I decided to resume our Sunday morning walks which had become somewhat disjointed recently, promising my mother that I would be back in time to head off to Leatherhead sooner than usual. We left early that morning, 15th September, around nine o’clock, thinking to beat the air raids, and walked to Dulwich Park. As we arrived waves of Spitfires and Hurricanes in formation flew overhead and shortly after, not only to the distant southeast, but all around and above us we heard the fighting and the bombing and the sounds of planes falling out of the sky, criss-cross patterns of vapour trails in their wake. Later that afternoon, having sped back to Leatherhead in what proved to be a lunchtime lull, there was a second wave of fighting and the skies of London and all over the south east were again filled with swooping, swerving, spiralling winged creatures that belched bullets, smoke and death.

 

About the Author:

Born and raised in the Home Counties, Alice Graysharp has enjoyed a varied working life from hospitality to office work and retail. She currently lives in Surrey. This is her first novel, and the first title in a two book series, she is also already working on a seventeenth century trilogy. Published in the anniversary month of the outbreak of the Second World War and the Battle of Britain

Website: https://www.alicegraysharp.com/

 

Keep up with the posts of the 12 Days of Clink Street Christmas:

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** My thanks to the wonderful Katherine Sunderland, the folks at No Exit Press and the lovely Anne Cater for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

With so many potential victims to choose from, there would be many deaths. He was spoiled for choice, really, but he was determined to take his time and select his targets carefully. Only by controlling his feelings could he maintain his success. He smiled to himself. If he was clever, he would never have to stop. And he was clever. He was very clever. Far too clever to be caught.

Geraldine Steel is reunited with her former sergeant, Ian Peterson.

When two people are murdered, their only connection lies buried in the past. As police search for the elusive killer, another body is discovered. Pursuing her first investigation in York, Geraldine Steel struggles to solve the baffling case. How can she expose the killer, and rescue her shattered reputation, when all the witnesses are being murdered?

My Thoughts & Review:

Having absolutely loved the previous Geraldine Steel novel Deadly Alibi, I was delighted to find out that book 10 was coming out soon and even more excited that I had been granted the honour of reading an early copy.

Class Murder opens with our protagonist having been demoted from her position in London and now she’s in York working alongside her former sergeant and friend Ian Paterson.  Geraldine’s actions in Deadly Alibi were the catalyst for this change and unfortunately for her they caused her career progression to halt inexplicably.  She now has to learn how to work with a new team and how to take orders from superiors who don’t need to trust her instincts or hunches because she’s not earned that position of trust yet.

The case that Geraldine and the team are working on is one that is fascinating.  Who is the killer?  What is the motive?  One thing’s certain, Leigh Russell is the master of spinning a yarn so complex and deliciously tangled that readers cannot help but get caught up.  Whilst reading I was conscious of not falling into the trap of trying to guess who the killer was, whilst we have narrative from the killer’s perspective there are no outward clues as to the identity which makes it all the more intense and exciting as the case hots up and the detectives try to work it out.

The thing I love about Leigh Russell’s books is the fact that there are so many aspects to the plot but they all slot together like a perfectly formed jigsaw puzzle.  The characters are so well crafted,. the settings are so vividly described and the killer, well wow!  I felt so on edge reading about this killer, at one point I did actually go and check that all doors were locked and all windows were secure…that’s how much this killer got under my skin!

There are so many things I want to say about this book, it’s clever, it’s brilliant and I cannot recommend it highly enough!

You can buy a copy of Class Murder via :

No Exit Press (publisher’s website)
Amazon UK

 

About the Author:

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After many years teaching English in secondary school, internationally bestselling author Leigh Russell now writes crime fiction full time. Published in English and in translation in Europe, her Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson titles have appeared on many bestseller lists, including #1 on kindle. Leigh’s work has been nominated for several major awards, including the CWA New Blood Dagger and CWA Dagger in the Library, and her Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson series are in development for television with Avalon Television Ltd.
Journey to Death is the first title in her Lucy Hall series published by Thomas and Mercer.

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