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Archive for the ‘Legend Press’ Category

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Published: 1 February 2017

3.5 out of 5 stars

Copy provided by Legend Press as part of blog tour

 

Description:

Reeling from a brutal attack that leaves her best friend dead and her badly injured, Lisa Fulbrook flees to the countryside to recuperate. With only vague memories of the event, she isolates herself from her friends and family, content to spend her days wandering the hills with her dog, Riley.

However, Lisa is soon plagued, not only by vivid flashbacks, but questions, too: how did their assailant know them? Why were they attacked? And what really happened that night?

As she desperately tries to piece together the memories, Lisa realises that there’s another truth still hidden to her, a truth she can’t escape from. A truth that may have been right in front of her all along.

My Thoughts & Review:

Having seen “Dare to Remember” being described as thrilling, a page turner and shocking I was keen to read this book, and being a fan of psychological thrillers I was interested to see just how shocking and thrilling this would be.

Following a brutal attack that kills her best friend and leaves Lisa mentally and physically scarred she escapes to the countryside to recover and try to move on with her life.  Her memories of the night in question are vague and make little sense to Lisa, but with the help of a therapist she tries to remember what actually happened and find closure.  Not realising that delving into her memories will unleash questions and answers she cannot escape.

Lisa is an interesting character and one that I felt great sympathy towards, she struggles with survivor guilt and incredible grief following the horrendous events one night.  The way in which her PTSD is detailed is thoughtful and sensitively done.
Whilst the pace of the book is more sedate, this is still a page turner (sounds like an oxymoron….), the reader feels driven to find out how Lisa will heal, how she will rebuild herself but also to find out just what led up to ‘that night’ and what happened.

The writing is an insightful and this is well written debut novel from a promising author, the only slight downside for me was it felt less like a psychological thriller and more like drama – perhaps I’ve just read too many thrillers of late and expected the twists to be a little more sinister.  But overall a good and enjoyable read.

You can buy a copy of “Dare to Remember” here.


Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour!

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cover97672-medium

Published: 15 October 2016
Reviewed: 1 January 2017

4 out of 5 stars

Copy provided by Legend Press in return for an honest review

Description:

When Jen goes to her grandmother’s house for the last time, she’s determined not to dwell on the past. As a child, Jen adored Lily and suspected she might be a witch; but the spell was broken long ago, and now her death means there won’t be any reconciliation.

Lily’s gone, but the enchantments she wove and the secrets she kept still remain. In Lily’s house, Jen and her daughter Marianne reluctantly confront the secrets of the past and present – and discover how dangerous we become when we’re trying to protect the ones we love.

My Thoughts & Review:

I’m not quite sure what it was about this book that first caught my attention, perhaps it was the beautiful artwork of the cover image or maybe the description which sounded so intriguing but either way I am definitely glad I took a gamble on this book.  A break from my usual crime thrillers, this book hints towards an existence of “magic” or “special abilities”, something I avoid but here it works so well within the plot.

The reader meets Jen who has sadly lost her grandmother Lily.  Jen and her daughter head off to Lily’s house to deal with affairs and get the house in order and the reader is quickly drawn into the stories of the house, how it played an important part in Jen’s younger years, the memories attached to the house come flooding back to Jen.  What she doesn’t count on are the secrets that she uncovers amongst the memories.

Cassandra Parkin possesses a rare gift, her writing flows so beautifully, it is full of emotion and is utterly enchanting.  I found that I was mesmerised when reading this book, my attention never wavering from the pages and delighted with all the subtle nuances cleverly woven into to the text.  The characters were so well constructed, each multilayered and engaging.  The plot is clever but there is mention to a topic that some readers may feel uncomfortable reading about, domestic abuse.  Parkin however does write with care and sensitivity on this subject ensuring that it remains integral to the plot without becoming gratuitous.

I cannot quite believe that this is the first book that I have read by Cassandra Parkin, but based on this novel I will definitely be keeping an eye out for future works!

You can buy a copy of Lily’s House here.

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cover97673-medium

Published: 1 November 2016
Reviewed: 14 December 2016

4 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by Legend Press in exchange for an honest review

 

Description:

The floor felt hard beneath her face. Nancy opened her eyes. Blinked several times. A pain seared through her head. She could feel fluid. No. She was lying in fluid.

When a body is discovered in a burnt-out barn in the Warwickshire countryside, DI Will Jackman is called to investigate.

Nancy Faraday wakes up on the kitchen floor. The house has been broken into and her boyfriend is missing. As the case unravels, DI Jackman realises that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has a secret.

Can he discover the truth behind the body in the fire, and track down the killer before Nancy becomes the next victim?

My Thoughts & Review:

Beneath the Ashes is actually the second book by Jane Isaac to feature DI Will Jackman, but thankfully this can be read without having first read Before It’s Too Late, there is more than enough detail given in this to be able to make connections between characters and events so there is little to detract from the enjoyment of reading this book in that respect.

Jane Isaac has great skill when it comes to being a story teller, her writing is intelligent and gives the reader the feeling that they are as much a part of the investigation as DI Jackman and his team.  I initially began reading this thinking that I would read a few chapters to get a feel for the story, but soon I realised this is not a book to pick up and put down at your leisure.  I found I needed to know who the body was in the barn, I needed to know what the connections were but more importantly, I felt that I needed to know more about DI Jackman.
In any police procedural the lead detective is usually the focal point of interest for obvious reason.  But here we are rewarded with a detective who has a very caring side, a strong work ethic and overall seems a genuinely nice guy – far from the ubiquitous grumpy, chain smoking, heavy drinking miser that we have come to know from this genre.  This in contract with the female lead character makes for interesting reading, while most readers will warm to Jackman, many will feel that Nancy Faraday is harder to connect with.  Her views are somewhat naive at times and she seems to act without real thought – but then as a victim of trauma you can hardly blame her.

The real mastery in this novel comes with the weaving of apparently unrelated threads of plot into one massive and unbelievably brilliant conclusion.  Try as I might, there was no way I would have even guessed half of where the plot went, which was refreshing as many police procedurals seem to follow the same well trodden path.

I look forward to the next book in the series to see where DI Jackman goes from here.

You can buy a copy of Beneath the Ashes here.

 

About the Author:

Jane Isaac lives with her husband, daughter and dog, Bollo, in rural Northamptonshire, UK. Her debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, introduces DCI Helen Lavery and was nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.’

The Truth Will Out, the second in the DCI Helen Lavery series, was nominated as ‘Thriller of the Month – April 2014’ by E-thriller.com and winner of ‘Noveltunity book club selection – May 2014’.

In 2015 Jane embarked on a new series, featuring DI Will Jackman and set in Stratford upon Avon, with Before It’s Too Late. The second in the series, Beneath The Ashes, will be published by Legend Press on 1st November 2016 with the 3rd, The Lies Within, to follow on 2nd May 2017.

Both DI Jackman and DCI Lavery will return again in the near future. Sign up to Jane’s newsletter on her website at www.janeisaac.co.uk for details of new releases, events and giveaways.

 

 

 

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The Artificial Anatomy of Parks

Author : Kat Gordon
Published: 01 July 2015
Reviewed: 13 October 2015
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Legend Press in return for an honest review via NetGalley.

 

5 out of 5 stars

At twenty-one, Tallulah Park lives alone in a grimy bedsit. There’s a sink in her bedroom and a strange damp smell that means she wakes up wheezing. Then she gets the call that her father has had a heart attack. Years before, she was being tossed around her difficult family; a world of sniping aunts, precocious cousins, emigrant pianists and lots of gin, all presided over by an unconventional grandmother. But no one was answering Tallie’s questions: why did Aunt Vivienne loathe Tallie’s mother? Why is everyone making excuses for her absent father? Who was Uncle Jack and why would no one talk about him? As Tallie grows up, she learns the hard way about damage and betrayal, that in the end, the worst betrayals are those we inflict on ourselves.
 
This is her story about the journey from love to loss and back again. 
 
Tallie Park gets a call that fills her with dread, her father has had a heart attack and is in hospital, her cousin urges her to go to the hospital to see him, but Tallie’s not sure she can manage that, not after what happened five years ago before she disappeared from her family.  Can she face them all again?  Can she face their questions?  What will happen if her father comes round?  Can she face him?  
Every family has secrets, and when Tallie finds out hers so many things suddenly fall into place, things make sense to her in a way they never had.  She can understand why no one talked about Uncle Jack, and why her father was so detached and absent.  It also explains a lot about certain characters, some of whom are incredibly eccentric because of past events.
The writing style of this novel is fantastic, the insightful switching between past and present provides snippets of information as to why Tallie is so damaged as a young woman, the heartbreak and heartache she has suffered to get her to where she is in life and it more than explains why she had to walk away from everyone and everything she knew five years ago.  Whilst she’s a very vulnerable character, the author has created a strength in her that you cannot fail to be moved by. 
Tallie’s narrative monologues add a depth to this novel that take it to another level, her stubborn streak shines through and despite making some incredibly bad decisions, her reasoning for making them is clear in her thoughts, something the author has done really well in my opinion.  The tension written into family scenes is intense, you really get a sense of how difficult the Park family are together as they snipe at each other, or they rile each other and don’t always agree on things.  
The story interspersed with medical information was incredibly enjoyable to read, it made this novel stand out more for me, I like a book that can teach me something and this one certainly did. 

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Contemporary Fiction, it also makes a great holiday read.
 

I would like to thank Legend Press for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book was published on 1st July 2015.  A copy can be purchased here The Artificial Anatomy of Parks (UK Kindle Version)
 

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Bright Stars

Author : Sophie Duffy
Published: 01 October 2015
Reviewed: 30 September 2015
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Legend Press in return for an honest review via NetGalley.

 

4 out of 5 stars



Four students are involved in a tragedy that rips their friendship apart. What happens when they are reunited 25 years later?

Cameron Spark’s life is falling apart. He is separated from his wife, and awaiting a disciplinary following an incident in the underground vaults of Edinburgh where he works as a Ghost Tour guide. On the day he moves back home to live with his widowed dad, he receives a letter from Canada. It is from Christie. Twenty-five years earlier, Cameron attends Lancaster University and despite his crippling shyness, makes three unlikely friends: Christie, the rich Canadian, Tommo, the wannabe rock star and Bex, the feminist activist who has his heart. In a whirlwind of alcohol, music, and late night protests, Cameron feels as though he’s finally living; until a horrific accident shatters their friendship and alters their futures forever. Christie’s letter offers them a reunion after all these years. But has enough time passed to recover from the lies, the guilt, and the mistakes made on that tragic night? Or is this one ghost too many for Cameron?

In 1986 Cameron Spark went to university in Lancaster, a shy and quiet young Scottish lad that managed to form three of the most unbelievable friendships that change his life forever, shape what becomes of him and his friends.
Cameron first meets Tommo who is the antithesis of Cameron; he is English, he is loud, he dresses in drainpipe jeans, wears fashionable shoes, drinks alcohol and wants to be a rock star.  Then there is Bex, the love of Cameron’s life, an animal rights activist, feminist and can do no wrong as far as Cameron is concerned.  Christie, the final of the four, is a Canadian, who comes to Lancaster to study marketing before she takes the reins of the family wine business back home.
Being the typical students, they go to lectures, get drunk, go to gigs and generally have a good time being young and free from parents watching over them.  Or that is until that fateful night that changes everyone’s lives, the accident changes Cameron’s life in more ways that he can imagine, friendships are abandoned, and the mistakes that are made that night will haunt each of them for the next 25 years.
Switch to current day, Cameron, now in his 40s has split from his wife, moving back into his childhood home with his widower father (and Myrtle the dog), suspended from his job (pending investigation of an incident in the underground vaults of Edinburgh) and writing a journal as part of his therapy from a counsellor as a means to coping better.  Then the letter arrives from Christie, inviting them to a reunion of sorts, what can she possibly want Cameron there for?  Can he face her after what happened all those years ago?  Have Tommo and Bex been invited too? 

There is so much I could say about this story, but I really don’t want to give away too much and spoil the book for others. 

The writing style of this novel is good, the jumping back and forth between 1986 and present time is done really well, it gives so much information about Cameron as a young man at university and the group of friends he has, and explains a lot of why things have turned out as they have. 
For me, none of the characters are particularly likeable, they are all at one point or another needing taken aside, shaken and told to “buck up” – but this is very realistic in many ways, how many times do we do things, say things, act in ways that make us annoying to others, naive or just plain stupid?  For someone to make characters like that it’s very good writing in my opinion, it’s easy to write loveable characters, but to create ones that are difficult to like seems a lot harder (maybe I’m wrong?).  
There is a fine line between doing things for the right reason and doing things for the wrong reason, and this novel explore that well. 

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Fiction, Chick Lit, it would also make a good holiday read.

I would like to thank Legend Press for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book will be published on 1st October 2015 .  A copy can be purchased here  Bright Stars (Kindle UK Version).
 

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