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Archive for January, 2018

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** My thanks to Thomas at Transworld Books for my copy of The Cornoner’s Daughter **

 

Description:

1816 was the year without a summer. A rare climatic event has brought frost to July, and a lingering fog casts a pall over a Dublin stirred by zealotry and civil unrest, torn between evangelical and rationalist dogma.

Amid the disquiet, a young nursemaid in a pious household conceals a pregnancy and then murders her newborn. Rumours swirl about the identity of the child’s father, but before an inquest can be held, the maid is found dead. When Abigail Lawless, the eighteen-year-old daughter of Dublin’s coroner, by chance discovers a message from the maid’s seducer, she is drawn into a world of hidden meanings and deceit.

An only child, Abigail has been raised amid the books and instruments of her father’s grim profession. Pushing against the restrictions society places on a girl her age, she pursues an increasingly dangerous investigation. As she leads us through dissection rooms and dead houses, Gothic churches and elegant ballrooms, a sinister figure watches from the shadows – an individual she believes has already killed twice, and is waiting to kill again…

Determined, resourceful and intuitive, Abigail Lawless emerges as a memorable young sleuth operating at the dawn of forensic science.

My Thoughts & Review:

When the opening line of a book reads: “For my eighteenth birthday, Father promised me the hand of a handsome young man, which he duly delivered mounted in a glass bell-jar“, you can’t help but fall somewhat in love with the way Andrew Hughes writes.  That one sentence sums up Abigail Lawless perfectly, inquisitive and headstrong, pushing back against the notions of what is deemed appropriate for her in the time.

Abigail Lawless is not what society would expect of an 18 year-old woman, her unique upbringing surrounded by medical texts and the wealth of knowledge from her father has given her an interest that some may describe as unsavoury, almost borderline macabre.  But that does not dampen her thirst for knowledge, and having an inquisitive mind is what leads her to ask questions that she really should leave well alone.

Set in Dublin in 1816, the reader is transported to the gloomy streets where trouble and rumour are rife.  Unease is prevalent with the upsurgence of the Brethren, a religious group who seem to have connections throughout society and are not afraid to share their righteous messages with others.
The discovery of a dead newborn at the home of a Brethren household prompts an investigation by the coroner, which in turn captures the interest of his daughter.  Abigail seems almost disturbed at the notion that the nursemaid murdered her own child and resolves to find out what really happened.  Her quest for answers leads her down some dark alleys and facing unknown dangers, but it would seem that our plucky protagonist will not be deterred.  Despite her plucky attitude, she must conform to some social constructs and asks her father’s assistant Ewan Weir to accompany her when venturing out.

The way that the plot is constructed is nicely done, the details that develop into the bigger picture are cleverly sewn into the narrative, small hints and clues scattered throughout for readers to enjoy.  Alice’s love of science makes for some interesting reading and indeed the lessons taught by her father give readers extra information that proves useful later in the plot – I certainly learned something new about a plant I’d never considered poisonous before.
The mystery element to the plot coupled with the increasing tension makes this a very enjoyable read and one that my mind kept coming back to when I reluctantly had to stop reading.  I loved the way that things linked up, and despite being told not to think any further about things, Abigail’s mind kept working on ideas and notions, questioning anything that didn’t sit right, the same way that my own mind would.

Wonderfully descriptive settings transport the reader whether it’s to the dissection rooms, the gloomy lecture theatre or lavish ball, there’s a great sense of realism there that leaves a reader feeling that they can conjure clear images to enable them to enjoy that story that little more.

An absolutely wonderful historical fiction novel full of mystery, intrigue and forensic science!

You can buy a copy of The Coroner’s Daughter via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository

 

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Gaaaah!  I’m not supposed to be here, but how could I not be part of the cover reveal for this amazing book…..?!  For followers of The Quiet Knitter blog, you will know that I am fan of Robert Bryndza’s books, and have followed his Erika Foster series for some time now.  So it makes me so excited to say that book 6 is here!!!!!  Yes, that’s right, book 6 of this magnificent series is ready to preorder and we can all read it soon!  But guess what?!  The cover for this book is absolutely perfect, and I am do ecstatic to be part of the blogger group sharing it with you today!  Are you ready to see it!?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover Reaveal

Isn’t it gorgeous?!

Preorder via  Amazon

Description:

To commit the perfect murder, you need the perfect cover.
On a cold icy morning, a mother wakes to find her daughter’s blood-soaked body frozen to the road. Who would carry out such a horrific killing on the victim’s doorstep?

Straight off her last harrowing case, Detective Erika Foster is feeling fragile but determined to lead the investigation. As she sets to work, she finds reports of assaults in the same quiet South London suburb where the woman was killed. One chilling detail links them to the murder victim – they were all attacked by a figure in black wearing a gas mask. 

Erika is on the hunt for a killer with a terrifying calling card. The case gets more complicated when she uncovers a tangled web of secrets surrounding the death of the beautiful young woman. 

Yet just as Erika begins to piece the clues together, she is forced to confront painful memories of her past. Erika must dig deep, stay focused and find the killer. Only this time, one of her own is in terrible danger… 

From the global million-copy bestselling author comes a totally heart-racing, hold-your-breath read that will keep you hooked until the very last page.

 

About the Author: 

Rob Bryndza

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice, which is the first in his Detective Erika Foster series.

The Night Stalker, Dark Water and Last Breath are the second, third, and fourth books in the series, and the fifth book, Cold Blood has just been published.

Robert’s books have sold over 2 million copies and have been translated into 27 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

You can find out more about the author at www.robertbryndza.com and on Twitter and Instagram @RobertBryndza

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Ok, so I said I was taking a break in January and I am……but when the opportunity to share my review of the brilliant Dark Pines came up I just had to join the blog tour!  So here we are, my reivew of Will Dean’s stunning Dark Pines and I am delighted to say that Will Dean will also be appearing at Granite Noir in Aberdeen in February and I may just have to author stalk him for an autograph…..

 

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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!!

 

 

Blog Tour BLACK

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I’m sneaking in to share a review of a book that I read last year and utterly loved, it’s had a makeover and is being rebranded, relaunched and I am honoured to be part of the buzz of this book!  And now, back into hibernation ……

Cover

 

Description:

When will you discover The Otherside?

There is more to the shadows than just darkness

The Otherside is located at the fringes of our world, hiding in plain sight and existing within our shadows. Shielded from humanity, the Otherside is watched over by the BTCO, a highly secret government agency, whose members all possess ‘The Knack’, a genetic anomaly that allows them to see this other world.

Franklyn ‘Bermuda’ Jones is the BTCO’s finest agent, the only human to have passed to the Otherside and returned. Gifted with the ability to physically interact with both worlds, Bermuda reluctantly stands between both worlds, pining for the life he had to leave behind and the daughter he can no longer see. Teamed with Argyle, an enigmatic Otherside warrior, Bermuda is assigned the case of a missing woman who has vanished under mysterious circumstances.

As Bermuda delves further into the disappearance, he uncovers a threat that could destroy the truce between two worlds…and finds himself in a race against time to safeguard humanity’s very existence.

Discover a new world in this fast-paced urban fantasy packed with thrills, action and the odd one liner.

My Thoughts & Review:

Science Fiction is not a genre I tend to read very often, the speculative nature of the genre jars with my analytically driven mind and I find that I don’t enjoy these books as much.  That being said, when I heard about Robert Enright’s Doorways I was intrigued enough to give it a try, the idea that there was a thriller/mystery woven into the Sci-Fi plot was enough to tempt me into giving it a go.

The protagonist Franklyn “Bermuda” Jones is an interesting character, one that possesses a gift (more a curse in his opinion) that means he can interact with “Others”, lifeforms from another existence.  Unfortunately for Bermuda, he is one of the few who can so more often than not he looks mad, talking to himself.  In actual fact he is usually speaking to Argyle, his partner, his sidekick, his “Other”.  The concept of the detective speaking to an “unseen” entity reminded me somewhat of a tv series I enjoyed as a youngster Randall & Hopkirk (deceased), the detective working in tandem with his unseen partner who was instrumental in his solving cases with a wonderful comedic element.
The dynamic of Bermuda and Argyle is well written, for all intents and purposes you could be reading their dialogue and seeing two human detectives in an office or other setting, the sarcastic edge to their exchanges is both humorous and entertaining.  But there also seems to be a genuine bond between these two characters, coupled with a strong element of care.

Essentially a story about good versus evil, the fight between the two is surely a messy one.  Vividly described fight scenes play out across the pages, damage done to buildings, Bermuda and Others with some serious weaponry and incredible brute force.  The violence in these scenes is not so graphic that it will put readers off and if anything the fluidity of the descriptions means that the reader can watch the scenes play out in their mind clearly.

The concept of “The Otherside” was interesting, and the characters were fascinating but there were a few wee bits that I found harder to get onboard with, however it’s probably more a personal thing given that I have a penchant for reading thrillers and real crime genres – my mind wants to make sense of things and likes details to be as real to life as possible.  This does not detract from a great book however, and I do think that should Robert Enright want to expand his Bermuda Jones story to a series of books he would do so with great ease.  His writing is great, there is intelligence and skill in the writing, a great groundwork in place to lead into another novel and best of all a character (well two if you count Argyle) that readers are invested in.  I do hope there are more books to come, I may not be fully converted to being a fan of Sci-Fi, but I am definitely a fan of Enright’s writing!

You can buy a copy of Doorways via Amazon UK. 

About the Author:

Author Photo

Born and raised in North West London and now residing in Hertfordshire, Robert Enright has been writing for over 10 years. His debut novel – ONE BY ONE – was self published on Amazon in March 2015, receiving critical acclaim and was nominated for Books Go Social Book of the Year 2015. The violent, revenge thriller gave Rob a path into crime fiction, but the constantly embraced geek within him went a different way. 2016 will see the release of DOORWAYS – published by Urbane Publications – the first in the Bermuda Jones series, a dark sci-fi about an agency dealing with the threat of a parallel world. He can’t wait to write the whole series – if he can put down his Xbox controller or his Nerf Guns!

For more information about Rob and his upcoming books, feel free to check him out on social media:

Twitter – @REnright_Author
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/robenrightauthor

 

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