Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2018

First Monday Crime is on 5th March 2018 at City University London.  Tickets are free & can be purchased via the website.

If you’re thinking about it, let me remind you of the lineup…..

Dark Angel, by Elly Griffiths

Dr Ruth Galloway is flattered when she receives a letter from Italian archaeologist Dr Angelo Morelli, asking for her help. He’s discovered a group of bones in a tiny hilltop village but doesn’t know what to make of them. It’s years since Ruth has had a holiday, and even a working holiday to Italy is very welcome!

So Ruth travels to Fontana Liri, accompanied by her daughter Kate and friend Shona. In the town she finds a medieval shrine and a dark secret involving the war years and the Resistance. To her amazement she also finds Harry Nelson, who is enduring a terrible holiday at a resort nearby. But there is no time to overcome their mutual shock – the ancient bones spark a modern murder, and Ruth must discover what secrets there are in Fontana Liri that someone would kill to protect

Anatomy of a Scandal, by Sarah Vaughan

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

Lucky Ghost, by Matthew Blakstad

Early one Monday morning, much like today, journalist Alex Kubelick walks up to a total stranger and slaps him across the face. Hard.
He thanks her.
They’ve both just earned Emoticoins in a new, all-consuming game that trades real-life emotions for digital currency. Emoticoins are changing the face of the global economy – but someone or something seems to be controlling the game for their own, nefarious purposes.
As Alex begins to pick apart the tangled threads that are holding the virtual game together she finds herself on the run from very real enemies. With the world economy teetering on the brink of collapse, it seems there’s only one person who might have the answers she seeks.Someone who hides behind the mysterious name ‘Lucky Ghost.’
But who is Lucky Ghost… and can they really be trusted?
And what do they want?

The Intrusions, by Stav Sherez

When a distressed young woman arrives at their station claiming her friend has been abducted, and that the man threatened to come back and ‘claim her next’, Detectives Carrigan and Miller are thrust into a terrifying new world of stalking and obsession.
Taking them from a Bayswater hostel, where backpackers and foreign students share dorms and failing dreams, to the emerging threat of online intimidation, hacking, and control, The Intrusions explores disturbing contemporary themes with all the skill and dark psychology that Stav Sherez’s work has been so acclaimed for.
Under scrutiny themselves, and with old foes and enmities re-surfacing, how long will Carrigan and Miller have to find out the truth behind what these two women have been subjected to?

 

And the moderator for the evening is Jake Kerridge, hopefully he can keep the evening on the straight and narrow……

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

evidence_of_death

** My thanks to the lovely Lina at Black and White Publishing for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

Billy Nelson is back home in battle-scarred Belfast. But the Troubles have cut this ex-Army Loyalist hard man deep – and now that his city’s allegiances have shifted, nothing is quite the same.

An outbreak of gang violence forces Billy to move on. This time to Edinburgh, where he muscles in on the capital’s drug trade and the family who run it. As the balance of power tips, underworld rivalries between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast spill out onto the streets.

With a spate of horrific incidents and a trail of victims, the pressure is mounting for Grace Macallan, new superintendent of the Crime & Counter Terrorism Directorate. Troubled by her own demons and with everyone baying for the blood of Billy Nelson and his old paramilitary contacts, can Grace hold her nerve?

 

My Thoughts & Review:

I think it’s fairly obvious to anyone reading my reviews that I have a soft spot for Scottish crime fiction, and so when I saw this series I knew that I just had to read it and see what it was all about.

In the spirit of discovering a series properly I got hold of the first book, Cause Of Death and devoured it within days before moving on to Evidence of Death.
In this series readers are faced with a protagonist who has such a troubled past, one that has seen her face the dangers known and unknown before transferring to Scotland to head up a new task force.

Macallan’s days in Belfast are a distant memory so when a known Loyalist from the Northern Irish capital descends upon Edinburgh bringing a reign of terror with him, Macallan and her team have no idea what madness is about to ensue.  Billy Nelson returned from fighting with the Army to find a changed Ulster.  The peace process talks underway meant that opposing sides are no longer at war with each other, caches of arms were surrendered and those once embroiled in fighting turning to new ways.  However for Nelson, one enemy is replaced with another, his unprovoked attacks on innocent victims causing alarm enough to have the once leaders of the UVF to question his presence.  With that he is shipped off to Edinburgh to start up the Scottish arm of their drugs empire.

The great thing about this series is the characters, they are strong and so wonderfully detailed that you cannot help but feel that you get to know them through reading these books.  I would heartily recommend reading the series in order so that you can get a good understanding of Grace Macallan and those connected with her.  The relationships surrounding her are complex, and there are few who she takes into her complete trust.  The way that her mind works is fascinating, the mental leaps that she makes leave a reader almost breathless at times trying to keep up which makes for a thrilling read.
Billy Nelson on the other hand is a dangerous and dark character that will have readers racing through the pages to find out just what he might do next.  I always find it exciting when an author can create a character that both excites and horrifies me and it’s fair to say that Peter Ritchie has done just that with the Ulsterman.

Explosive action and thrilling plotting make this a gripping read and one that I cannot recommend highly enough.  Now the impatient wait for the third installment…..

You can buy a copy of Evidence of Death via:

Amazon UK
Wordery

 

Evidence of Death BLOG TOUR copy(1)

Read Full Post »

Today to Celebrate Indie Publishing I am delighted to share a book from the amazing Orenda Books, a publisher who brings exceptional books to the hands of readers around the world and I’m pleased to say that today’s offering is one such book!

Blue Night cover final

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

 

Description:

After convicting a superior for corruption and shooting off a gangster’s crown jewels, the career of Hamburg’s most hard-bitten state prosecutor, Chastity Riley, has taken a nose dive: she has been transferred to the tedium of witness protection to prevent her making any more trouble. However, when she is assigned to the case of an anonymous man lying under police guard in hospital – almost every bone in his body broken, a finger cut off, and refusing to speak in anything other than riddles – Chastity’s instinct for the big, exciting case kicks in. Using all her powers of persuasion, she soon gains her charge’s confidence, and finds herself on the trail to Leipzig, a new ally, and a whole heap of lethal synthetic drugs. When she discovers that a friend and former colleague is trying to bring down Hamburg’s Albanian mafia kingpin single-handedly, it looks like Chas Riley’s dull life on witness protection really has been short-lived… Fresh, fiendishly fast-paced and full of devious twists and all the hard-boiled poetry and acerbic wit of the best noir, Blue Night marks the stunning start of a brilliant new crime series, from one of Germany’s bestselling authors.

My Thoughts & Review:

Billed as the first book in the Chastity Riley series, Blue Night gives readers a glimpse into German crime writing.
Chastity Riley is state prosecutor in Hamburg who’s careers has stalled somewhat after her previous case, turns out prosecuting one of her superiors  for corruption wasn’t the best move, neither was shooting a gangster in the genitals.  Her new posting is in witness protection, the theory being she cannot get into too much trouble here.  The discovery of a badly beaten man on the streets of Hamburg means a new case for our protagonist, and she has to use every ace up her sleeve to try and get him to open up and share his secrets with her, the most important being his identity.

There are so many aspects to the plot of this book and some wonderfully interesting characters that really make this book come alive.  The unique layout of this book is what sets it apart in the storytelling.  Between chapters are short monologues from the main characters, giving an intriguing look into their minds and their histories which builds a powerful and colourful  image of the characters.  These short snippets are used to great effect, adding so much to the plot through a few short paragraphs of even lines.

The style of writing is something that I think some readers may take a little getting used to but I did feel that it enhanced my enjoyment of the book.  The wonderful way that Buchholz brings her plot alive through gritty, punchy and thrilling writing makes this a gripping read that readers can race through and devour every last tantalising detail.

The characters in this are intriguing and I felt that the more I learned about Chastity Riley, the more keen I was to read on.  I’m glad that this is just the first book in the series, there seems to be so much to  Chastity, more than could ever be put into one book.  She’s fiercely loyal to those she holds dear and always tries to be there for them, this coupled with her cynical attitude makes her such a brilliant creation.

I’d definitely recommend checking this one out!

You can buy a copy of Blue Night via:

Orenda Books eBookstore
Amazon UK
Wordery

BLUE NIGHT Blog Tour Poster

Read Full Post »

51vakiwugfl-_sx325_bo1204203200_

 

Description:

December in Glendara, Inishowen, and solicitor Benedicta ‘Ben’ O’Keeffe is working flat-out before the holidays; the one bright spot on her horizon is spending her first Christmas with Sergeant Tom Molloy.

But on a trip to Dublin to visit her parents, she bumps into Luke Kirby – the man who killed her sister – freshly released from jail. He apologises to her; remorseful, conciliatory … but as she walks away, he whispers something that chills her to the bone.

Back in Glendara, there is chaos. The Oak pub has burned down and Carole Kearney, the Oak’s barmaid, has gone missing. And then on Christmas morning, while walking up Sliabh Sneacht, Ben and Molloy make a gruesome discovery: a body lying face-down in the snow … Soon it becomes clear that these events are part of a plan for revenge that will have devastating consequences for Glendara’s residents.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

The Inishown Mysteries series has been one I’ve followed for a wee while now, and have to admit that I’ve taken a shine to Ben O’Keeffe.  She is a warm and compassionate character who seems to attract trouble regardless of her good intentions.  In this instalment of the Inishowen Mysteries, Ben has found some happiness.  A blossoming relationship with Sergeant Tom Molloy has her beaming with happiness and the promise of time off over the Christmas period is another reason so smile.

Ben’s past is something that is interwoven throughout the series, and the aftermath of her sister’s death has shaped the person she has become.  So when she hears that Luke Kirby, her sister’s killer has been released from prison she is understandably shocked.  Even with logic and legal experience, her gut feelings of being close to the victim mean she cannot comprehend his release from prison.  A chance meeting with him in Dublin throws her, he approaches her with an apology, shows remorse and almost pulls of a genuine act until his mask slips and he shows his true menace, but only Ben witnessed it.

As if the threat of Luke Kirby isn’t enough to keep Ben occupied, there is also the daily business of her legal practise to tie up before the Christmas break, various property sales and court appearances taking up her time.  But the local residents of Glendara have plenty to keep Ben from becoming bored, scandal is afoot when the local pub is burned down and the barmaid goes missing.  Is there a connection between these events? What is the connection to the body discovered upon up Sliabh Sneacht?  Ben’s relationship with Sergeant Molloy gives her a chance to puzzle over the cases, but instead of her getting information from him, she is the one feeding him titbits of information from the locals.

As with the previous books, Andrea Carter really spoils readers with some wonderfully vivid descriptions of the picturesque settings and atmospheric writing.
I would say that this book verges more towards cosy crime, slowly building up the pace and tension, hinting that something more sinister may be up ahead but never actually turning nasty.

On the whole an enjoyable read that brings the series a little more up to date and leaves me wanting to know what the future holds for Ben.

You can buy a copy of The Well of Ice via:

Amazon UK

Read Full Post »

cover116971-medium

 

** My thanks to Thomas and Mercer & Netgalley for my copy of this book **

 

Description:

When Catherine wakes up alone one morning, she thinks her husband has gone for a run before work. But Simon never makes it to the office. His running shoes are by the front door. Nothing is missing—except him.

Catherine knows Simon must be in trouble. He wouldn’t just leave her. He wouldn’t leave the children.

But Simon knows the truth—about why he left and what he’s done. He knows things about his marriage that it would kill Catherine to find out. The memories she holds onto are lies.

While Catherine faces a dark new reality at home, Simon’s halfway around the world, alive and thriving. He’s doing whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of the truth.

But he can’t hide forever, and when he reappears twenty-five years later, Catherine will finally learn who he is.

And wish she’d stayed in the dark.

My Thoughts & Review:

The very description of this book intrigued me, what would I do in the position of the main character Catherine?  How does she go on?  What thoughts are running through her mind when she discovers her husband has gone and never returns?  Also, what drives Simon to do this?  So much about this book just screamed “READ ME”.

The book opens on the day that Simon walks out of his life and the reader then sees the impact this has on his friends and family, watching the ground beneath their feet crumble and their lives are inexplicably changed.  But we also experience the life that Simon goes on to lead in the 25 years he spends estranged from his family before returning “home”, and allowing Catherine to find out who he really is and his reasons for leaving like he did.

From the outset, my heart went out to Catherine.  How awful it must have been for her to try and hold things together for the sake of her children whilst wanting to curl up and stop living.  Her marriage had some issues, and life wasn’t always easy with small children around but she thought that things were stable, that life was ok and that she and Simon were ok.  Not knowing that all the while that Simon had an ulterior motive, that he was planning to walk out on them all and not look back and leave them to try and pick up the pieces and get on with life.  From that moment I didn’t like Simon, I couldn’t help but feel a hatred towards him, yes I admit, I hadn’t read all of his story yet to find out what was driving his decisions but part of me didn’t want to find out.  Part of me wanted to stop reading there and then, I didn’t want Simon’s company, the spectre of him sitting on my shoulder as I read more about him.
I did however read on, more for the sake of finding out if Catherine and the kids managed to turn things around and move on.
It’s always a good sign if an author can evoke such strong emotions from their readers with the characterisation in their books and I have to admit that John Marrs has done that with When You Disappeared, he seems to have found a formula in his writing that makes readers hate characters but at the same time feel that they aren’t 100% sure of their gut instinct, keeping them questioning whether there may be an underlying story that might just save a character…….

Narrated from alternating perspectives, readers experience the lives of both Simon and Catherine, seeing how their lives have progressed in the intervening 25 years, leading up to the moment that they meet again.  I did feel that it pulled at my attention somewhat, the jumping back and forth between the two main characters did feel a little disjointed but it did add to the overall suspense and intrigue so kept me on my toes.  The pace felt that it matched the plot well, not an adrenaline packed, fast paced read, but more a slow build to increase the tension levels and keep readers wondering what might happen.

A very interesting and original plot with some incredibly well created characters that will test your resolve!

This book was previously published as The Wronged Sons.

You can buy a copy of When You Disappeared via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

The London Book Fair launches inaugural UK Book Blog Awards

 

The hunt to find the most influential book bloggers, bookstagrammers and booktubers is on

 

London, 14 February 2017: The London Book Fair (LBF) is delighted to announce the launch of the first ever UK Book Blog Awards @ LBF – a new initiative designed to celebrate social media influencers and their important contribution to the book industry.  

 

A new feature for LBF 2018, this will be the first time this community has been officially recognised and rewarded by the British publishing industry.

 

Bloggers, social media influencers, members of the publishing industry, and the general public are invited to nominate the best book blogs, bookstagrammers and booktubers across three categories:

·         Book Blogger of the Year

·         Bookstagrammer of the Year

·         BookTuber of the Year

 

Once the shortlist has been revealed, a panel of judges will select one winner in each category, who will be honoured at a special awards ceremony at The London Book Fair. In addition, the Fair will introduce new seminars and networking events aimed at bringing the social media influencer community closer to the publishing world.

 

Jacks Thomas, Director at The London Book Fair commented:Book bloggers are an increasingly important part of the book world. Their passion for authors, genres and books is integral in reaching new audiences. We’re really excited to be launching the inaugural UK Book Blog Awards @ LBF and recognising the crucial role social influencers play in the promotion of books.”

 

The awards are open to any blogger, YouTuber or Instagrammer that features books published in the UK and/or UK authors. To put forward a nomination, or to nominate your own blog/Instagram account/YouTube channel visit: www.londonbookfair.co.uk/UKBookBlogAwards

Read Full Post »

Another Friday and another wonderful book to share with you from the mind of the hugely talented John K. Fulton.  Last year I was incredibly fortunate to read a copy of John’s second novel The Beast on The Broch  and absolutely fell in love with the way he writes, bringing the stories alive through the eyes of a younger perspective and giving me a glimpse of a world I’d never experienced.  Today I am honoured to be able to share a review with you of The Wreck of The Argyll which is set in 1915 Dundee and is the tale of plucky young Nancy Caird and Jamie Balfour.

 

9781911279297_1

** My thanks to Anne at Cranachan Books for my copy of this wonderful book **

 

Description:

WHEN YOUR TEACHER’S A SPY, WHO CAN YOU TRUST?

Dundee, 1915.

When twelve-year-old Nancy suspects one of her teachers is a German spy, she ropes in the reluctant Jamie Balfour to help her uncover the scheme.

Midshipman Harry Melville is aboard HMS Argyll in the stormy North Sea, unaware of both hidden rocks and German plots that threaten the ship. Nancy and Jamie discover HMS Argyll is in deadly danger and they are drawn into a web of espionage, secrets, and betrayal, where no-one is as they seem and no-one can be trusted.

My Thoughts & Review:

The Wreck of The Argyll is a wonderful tale that explores the idea of WWI and spies through the eyes of 12-year-old Nancy Caird and her unwilling companion Jamie Balfour.  But also gives readers a glimpse into the life of a young Naval crewman on his first mission at sea in what proves to be a drama packed journey.

Nancy is the perfect mix of inquisitive, brave and determined, and so it’s only natural for our young protagonist to feel she’s wasting her time attending school when there’s a war on and her time could be better spent contributing to the war effort.  She fancies herself as a detective and is soon on the case of an enemy agent, following one of her teachers down the darkened streets of Dundee.  She’s sure that he must be a spy, and is out to prove it when she stumbles across a situation that even her quick thinking can’t save her from.  Her rescue by Jamie Balfour marks the beginning of a new friendship, and a new partner in the hunt for an enemy spy.

Meanwhile, aboard the HMS Argyll a young Midshipman is finding his feet on his first ship at sea, a rather stormy sea.  The conditions for sailing are far from perfect and it soon transpires that this ship must get to it’s destination and avoid the enemy at all costs.  Whilst Midshipman Harry Melville may come across as mature and responsible, it’s hard to remember that he is only a young lad, not that much older than Nancy Caird and Jamie Balfour.

The thread of the plot around the ship and crew is fascinating and holds so much intrigue.  The tension is perfectly paced with some superb characters that readers will eagerly race through to find out what will happen next.  But equally, the storyline of Nancy, Jamie and the spy is absolutely wonderful.  The dialogue and characters are spot on and work so fantastically.  The snippets of historical information are cleverly woven into the plot and make this hugely enjoyable, I loved the attitudes and sense of humour of the returning soldiers.

Casting a young person as the driver for the story allows readers a rare glimpse into a mindset that questions things at face value.  The way that Nancy sees something is wrong and feels that she must do something about it is commendable.  Perhaps it’s because of her young age that she’s not world-weary yet, or perhaps it’s her nature, but either way it makes for a wonderfully rich and authentic tale that draws readers in and makes them feel flutters of excitement, momentary dread and carried them off on a whirlwind adventure.

A fascinating and exciting tale that I would highly recommend for all readers with some very important messages sprinkled throughout the text, namely that working together will help you overcome obstacles.

So highly recommended!!

You can buy a copy of The Wreck of The Argyll via:

Cranachan Publishing (publisher)
Wordery
Amazon UK

 

Read Full Post »

cover126145-medium

** My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy of this book **

 

Description:

The deadliest kind of assassin is one who is already dying…

As the radiation poisoning that Nadia Laksheva was exposed to in Chernobyl takes hold of her body, she knows she has mere weeks to live. But Salamander, the terrorist who murdered her father and sister has a deadly new plan to ‘make the sky bleed’. Nadia is determined to stop him again, even if it is the last thing she ever does.

The only clue she has are the coordinates 88˚ North, a ridge in the Arctic right above one of the largest oil fields in the world, three thousand metres below the ice. If Salamander takes hold of the oil field, he could change the climate of the whole planet for generations to come…

But can Nadia stop him before her own time runs out?

The gripping third and final novel in J.F. Kirwan’s brilliant spy thriller series. Perfect for fans of Charles Cumming, Mark Dawson and Adam Brookes.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

I think it’s fair to say that this has been a series that I’ve much enjoyed and when I realised that this was the final part of the series I was saddened.  How could the author end this series with one of my favourite characters?!   How would the plot move on from where it left off in book two and more importantly, how would this end?!

So, picking up from the previous book, we see Nadia Laksheva still on the tail of notorious terrorist Salamander and with nothing to lose she’s letting nothing stop her finding him, not even the radiation sickness.
Nadia is a character that many readers have taken a huge liking to, she’s a kick ass, takes no-nonsense lass that knows her way around guns and can fight her way out of most situations.  She’s the perfect mixture of cool, detached and calculating, but also impulsive, not averse to taking risks.  The way that Kirwan scripts his plot means that the tension winds tighter and tighter to the point you almost want to race through the book to find out what will happen next and what risks will be taken.

The research into this book feels quite extensive, even down to the detailed information presented in small throw away comments in dialogue are impressive.  Other details of things such as traditions of the Triad, the information about nuclear weapons etc are fantastic and make a reader feel like they are being presented with something so well thought out and put together.  It really adds an authenticity and feeling of completeness to the plot.

I do love the descriptiveness of the writing throughout this series, the settings are so vivid in my head whilst I read, it’s almost like watching a movie play out in my head.  And I will miss diving with Nadia and Jake, experiencing the underwater world through their dives has been one of the highlights of these books.

If you’ve not read either of the previous books I would recommend heading back to the beginning of the series to fully appreciate the development of the characters and their situations.   Highly recommended series that I am genuinely sad to see end.

You can buy a copy of 88° North via:

Amazon UK

Read Full Post »

The Betrayal Cover LARGE EBOOK (1)

 

** My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

Treachery and theft lead to death – and love

1940. Teresa Bichard and her baby are sent by her beloved husband, Leo, to England as the Germans draw closer to Guernsey. Days later they invade…

1942. Leo, of Jewish descent, is betrayed to the Germans and is sent to a concentration camp, never to return.

1945. Teresa returns to find Leo did not survive and the family’s valuable art collection, including a Renoir, is missing. Heartbroken, she returns to England.

2011. Nigel and his twin Fiona, buy a long-established antique shop in Guernsey and during a refit, find a hidden stash of paintings, including what appears to be a Renoir. Days later, Fiona finds Nigel dead, an apparent suicide. Refusing to accept the verdict, a distraught Fiona employs a detective to help her discover the truth…

Searching for the rightful owner of the painting brings Fiona close to someone who opens a chink in her broken heart. Can she answer some crucial questions before laying her brother’s ghost to rest?

Who betrayed Leo?

Who knew about the stolen Renoir?

And are they prepared to kill – again?

My Thoughts & Review:

The mystery of this book appealed to me, what was the connection between the events in the 1940s and 2011?  Initially when I heard about this book I panicked, it was part of the way through the series The Guernsey Novels but I needn’t have worried as this is a standalone novel.

With a storyline that moves back and forth between the two time settings, readers learn about Leo and his wife Teresa on Guernsey, how they are preparing for invasion by the Nazis and their parting is of necessity.  Once Leo has got his wife and child to safety he awaits his fate along with the remaining islanders.
In 2011 Fiona stumbles upon the body of her twin brother Nigel in their antique shop, an apparent suicide that makes no sense to Fiona or any of their friends.  She sets out to prove to the police that they are wrong, not realising the danger she might be putting herself in.

I enjoyed the way that the stories of Leo and Fiona ran alongside each other, each of their lives filled with moments of heightened emotions, whether trauma and fear, happiness and love.  I perhaps felt a little more connected to the tale of Leo and the Nazi occupation due to having an interest in stories set in this time.  Leo’s life was undoubtedly lonely once he got his wife and child to safety, reading the short narrative where he mentions his love for them both was heart warming and when he recounts the memory of meeting his wife for the first time, it gives readers a wonderful insight into this character.
It did feel that Fiona’s story took up more of the narrative and it needed to, it was the driving force of the plot.  But I felt less connected to it, less invested.  There were aspects of the plot that I found didn’t work for me, but they worked to convey the messages that the author wanted to share.

The descriptions of the settings are so clear and vivid, Guernsey sounds like such a wonderful place and so appealing.  The beaches sound beautiful and the way that the scenery comes to life through the writing makes this a delight to read.  I enjoyed the way that this history of the island was told through the characters and indeed finding out more about the way that the occupation impacted on the lives of the islanders was very interesting.

A well written mystery with touches of romance and danger.

You can buy a copy of The Betrayal via Amazon UK

 

And for one lucky person, there is a giveaway running on this blog tour with the great prize of a signed copy of The Betrayal (which is open internationally!) and all you need to do is click on the rafflecopter link to be in with a chance.

** Giveaway**

 

The Betrayal Full Banner

About the Author:

Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children, and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby.  Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.

By profession, Anne was a psychotherapist, but long had the itch to write. Now a full-time writer, she has written The Guernsey Novels, six having been published and the seventh, The Inheritance, is due out in 2018.

Social Media Links –

Website: www.anneallen.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Anne-Allen-Author-176883759173475/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneAllen21

Read Full Post »

51n1ga35kcl-_sy346_

** My thanks to Emily at Bonnier Zaffre Books for my copy of this book **

 

Description:

For the Stasi, it’s not just the truth that gets buried . . .

The body of a teenage boy is found weighted down in a lake. Karin Müller, newly appointed Major of the People’s Police, is called to investigate. But her power will only stretch so far, when every move she makes is under the watchful eye of the Stasi.

Then, when the son of Müller’s team member goes missing, it quickly becomes clear that there is a terrifying conspiracy at the heart of this case, one that could fast lead Müller and her young family into real danger.

Can she navigate this complex political web and find the missing boy, before it’s too late?

 

My Thoughts & Review:

It’s fair to say that I’ve been a fan of cold war thrillers and espionage reads for a long time, cutting my teeth on the likes of Len Deighton and John Le Carré, so when I first heard about this series back in 2015/2016 I jumped straight into reading it and quickly felt like I was in the company of a truly great writer.  Fast forward to 2018 and I am once again catching up with one of my favourite People’s Police comrades, Karin Müller in the third installment of the series.

For fans of the series, this book picks up some months along from the ending of Stasi Wolf, and although time has moved on Karin has adjusted to what life threw at her, it almost feels like we never parted.  Events feel fresh and interesting and the seedy clandestine world of conspiracy seems to leech into her everyday life regardless.
Now promoted to the lofty rank of Major in the People’s Police, Müller is tasked with heading up a new Serious Crimes Department to liaise at the highest levels with other agencies in the Republic, but at what cost?

One of the things I love about Young’s writing is that it feels so authentic, yes there is authorial license applied and this is a work of fiction but the essence of the plot feels real.  Having read many books set in the cold war, you become attuned to certain scenes, a certain level of tension and almost ready to be shocked when someone is identified as an agent (or double agent), but each book of this series gives the reader a feeling of being right there in the moment with Müller and deputy Tilsner.
The vivid descriptions of the settings and locations used in this book are superb, I could almost feel the chill of the air as Müller tried pull her raincoat lapels up to keep the sleet away from her face, I could almost smell the forest that Müller visited, and could see such clear images in my mind whilst I read of the scenes throughout.

The characters in the series continue to intrigue me, whilst we learn more about Müller with each book, we also learn a little more about her deputy.  Werner Tilsner has been a character that has drawn my attention for a while now, something about him keeps me on my toes and indeed it seems to give Müller a moment of pause too, is he a Stasi agent?  Where did he get his fancy watch?  Just what connections does he have?  I’ve not managed to work it out yet but that won’t stop my mind going into overdrive trying to puzzle it out!
Either way, they make a great team and work really well together.  There is a sense of loyalty there between them that Müller really needs when she’s dealing with the murky waters of the Stasi.

The glossary at the back of the book adds useful translations of the authentic German words used (I had great fun testing my knowledge of German with these and pleased to admit that I can still remember German curse words, all that time at school wasn’t wasted after all), and the author’s note adds an extra layer to the plot, explaining where artistic licence may have been employed or explaining details from the plot.

Absolutely masterful plotting, packed with tension and so wonderfully gripping, this is a magnificent book and I cannot wait to see what David Young has planned for book 4!

Highly recommended!!

You can buy a copy of A Darker State via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Put it in Writing

The Blog & Website of Anne Stormont Author: Writing, Reading, Reflecting

bibliobeth

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” - Cicero

Not Another Book Blogger

Reading, Writing, Drinking Tea

BookBum

A friendly space for all mystery, crime & thriller lovers

Broadbean's Books

Welcome to my blog where I share my thoughts on books.

Audio Killed the Bookmark

Two Girls Who Love To Read Spreading the Love For All Things Bookish! 💕📚🎧

Me and My Books

Books, book reviews and bookish news.

The Beardy Book Blogger

Reading and Reviewing Books - May Contain Beard: "From Tiny Book Blog Buds Shall Mighty Book Blogs Grow" - TBBB

Book lovers' booklist

Book news and reviews

Rosepoint Publishing

Book Blogger, Book Reviews, Book Promotion

Crime Thriller Fella

Crime reviews, news, mayhem, all the usual

juliapalooza.com

Books, bakes and bunnies

A Knight's Reads

All things bookish

On The Shelf Books

A bookblog for readers

Gem's Quiet Corner

Welcome to my little corner. Grab a cup of tea, find your happy place and join me to talk all things books...

Creating Perfection ~ Freelance Fiction Editor

Delicately balancing the voice of the author with the needs of the reader