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Archive for the ‘Transworld Books’ Category

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Published: 13 July 2017

 

Description:

There are some surprises that no-one should ever have to experience. Standing over the body of your beloved – and murdered – niece is one of them. For Detective Inspector Harry Virdee, a man perilously close to the edge, it feels like the beginning of the end.

His boss may be telling him he’s too close to work the case, but this isn’t something that Harry can just let lie. He needs to dive into the murky depths of the Bradford underworld and find the monster that lurks there who killed his flesh and blood.

But before he can, he must tell his brother, Ron, the terrible news. And there is no predicting how he will react. Impulsive, dangerous and alarmingly well connected, Ron will act first and think later. Harry may have a murderer to find but if he isn’t careful, he may also have a murder to prevent.

My Thoughts & Review:

To say I was excited to hear the follow up to “Streets of Darkness” was available would be a little bit of an understatement.  I devoured the first book of this series in one day, and quite honestly if it hadn’t been for housework and life getting in the way I would have managed this book in one day too.  A.A. Dhand has a style of writing that grabs the reader and doesn’t let go easily.

For fans of the first book, you will be pleased to know that we catch up with Harry Virdee and see that he is still the pained and tortured soul that he was before, but now he has a one year old son, Aaron with his adoring wife Saima.
The discovery of a murder victim starts off a nightmare for Harry that he will never forget, the victim is his beloved niece Tara who also happens to be the daughter of his brother Ronnie.  Being excluded from the investigation won’t stop him searching for answers and finding out who murdered his niece.

Perfectly baited chapters with realistic and gritty writing make this an addictive read.  The seedy underbelly of Bradford is so vividly depicted through Dhand’s writing, it screams danger and the uncertainty that lurks in the shadows is enough to make this a thrilling read.  I’ve so far managed to type and delete everything I’ve written about the plot because I would end up giving something away, there are some very topical issues dealt with in this book and some of the revelations are sordid to say the least.
The cultural details that are included in this are fascinating, and once again I find that I’ve learned something from Dhand’s books.  I had no idea about taweez and the power they hold for those they are created for and found the discussion between Harry and Saima really interesting.  The importance of family and the traditions followed were details that piqued my interest as well as adding an authenticity to the characters.

The exploration of Harry’s character made for wonderful reading, the turmoil in doing the right thing and how far he would go when his family are concerned are a constant struggle for him.  His blurring the lines of the law show his desperation for answers and justice, but what will be the ultimate price?  It’s fair to say that danger stalks Harry and those close to him, he tries to keep them safe but cannot be there all the time.
The expanded history of the rift in his family is well written, I absolutely loved seeing the reactions of his family when they had to deal with Detective Inspector Virdee as opposed to shunned Harry Virdee.  His father’s anger felt so raw and being able to “hear” in his words his hatred towards Harry’s marriage and life decisions make for riveting reading.  But juxtaposed perfectly is the touching moment shared between Saima and Harry’s mother, for a few brief moments there is genuine love and happiness.

A.A. Dhand is a master of his craft, he writes some of the most gripping plots with some of the most tantalisingly dangerous situations and keeps readers begging for more!

My thanks to Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin for the recommendation and to A.A. Dhand for sending me a copy of this book, I am forever in your debts.

You can buy a copy of “Girl Zero” via:

Amazon
Book Depository
Wordery

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Description:

‘Composed of over sixty per cent water itself, a human body isn’t naturally buoyant. It will float only for as long as there is air in its lungs, before gradually sinking to the bottom as the air seeps out. If the water is very cold or deep, it will remain there, undergoing a slow, dark dissolution that can take years. But if the water is warm enough for bacteria to feed and multiply, then it will continue to decompose. Gases will build up in the intestines, increasing the body’s buoyancy until it floats again.
And the dead will literally rise . . . ‘

Once one of the country’s most respected forensics experts, Dr David Hunter is facing an uncertain professional – and personal – future. So when he gets a call from Essex police, he’s eager for the chance to assist them.

A badly decomposed body has been found in a desolate area of tidal mudflats and saltmarsh called the Backwaters. Under pressure to close the case, the police want Hunter to help with the recovery and identification.

It’s thought the remains are those of Leo Villiers, the son of a prominent businessman who vanished weeks ago. To complicate matters, it was rumoured that Villiers was having an affair with a local woman. And she too is missing.

But Hunter has his doubts about the identity. He knows the condition of the unrecognizable body could hide a multitude of sins. Then more remains are discovered – and these remote wetlands begin to give up their secrets . . .

With its eerie, claustrophobic sense of place, viscerally authentic detail and explosive heart-in-mouth moments, The Restless Dead offers a masterclass in crime fiction and marks the stunning return of one of the genre’s best.

My Thoughts & Review:

I have to admit that this was the first book by Simon Beckett that I’d had the chance to read, but soon went back and bought the previous books so that I could devour them all.  Fear not though, this book reads perfectly well on it’s own as there is ample detail given as to David Hunter’s background etc so that you don’t feel you’ve missed anything salient.

The plotting of this novel is absolutely brilliant and keeps the reader hooked.  David Hunter is a forensic anthropologist, his consulting work with the Police has all but dried up and he is questioning whether his contract with his university will be renewed, so when he receives a phone call from DI Bob Lundy from Essex Police to help with the recovery of a body from an estuary he is only too keen to help.

The Police are already presuming the identity of the corpse, or more hoping that it’s the body of a man suspected of murdering his lover and subsequently committed suicide, but need Hunter’s expertise to aid with the recovery and identification due to nature having taken its toll on the body.
Hunter voices his doubts about the identity, and almost immediately finds himself at odds with the local police and the father of the (presumed) deceased.  Sir Stephen Villiers is very influential in the local area and has friends in the highest of places, including within the Police force.
Far from being a quick job, the investigation becomes incredibly convoluted, especially when more remains are discovered.  A conflict of interest makes Hunter’s job much harder, but that’s nothing compared to the family tensions, lies, secrets and local feuds that surround him.  Hunter and the Police have to tread a careful tightrope in order to solve the case.

What I liked most about this book was the fact that I could just become utterly lost within the pages, usually when you first encounter a character mid series there is the awkwardness of not having their full backstory, not knowing them overly well or in some cases not being familiar with the author’s style of writing, but in this case I immediately felt like I’d put on an old glove.  This book read so well as a stand alone story (I did go back and buy the previous books because I wanted to find out more about David Hunter and his life), the way in which the Backwaters are written makes them so incredibly dangerous and mysterious.  I had the delight of sharing a post from Simon Beckett about the importance of setting on the blog tour and I have to say that the detail he includes for his settings is phenomenal.  The plotting is brilliant, well fleshed out characters and the level of detail in this novel make it one of the best thrillers I’ve read so far this year!

You can buy a copy of “The Restless Dead” via:

Amazon
Wordery
The Book Depository

My thanks to Transworld Books for the opportunity to read and review this novel, as well as take part in the blog tour for publication of “The Restless Dead”.

 

 

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Published: 1 December 2016
Reviewed: 3 November 2016

4 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by Transworld / Penguin Random House as part of the blog tour

 

Description:

Alice has a perfect life – a great job, happy kids, a wonderful husband. Until he goes missing one night; she receives a suspicious phone call; things don’t quite add up.

Alice needs to know what’s going on. But when she uncovers the truth she faces a brutal choice. And how can she be sure it is the truth?

Sometimes it’s better not to know.

My Thoughts & Review:

What Alice Knew first caught my attention on social media, the cleverly timed tweets by the publisher giving away snippets of information were enough to pique my interest and I immediately requested a copy for review.

The first thing that struck me about this book was the fact that it begins so benignly, an artist painting a portrait, nothing sinister there, not hint towards crime, mystery or thrills but yet it draws the reader in, promising that something sinister lies ahead.
Alice and husband Ed seem the quintessential family with their two children.  Both Alice and Ed have jobs they enjoy and excel at, a wonderful home and all the trappings of a successful life, but when Ed goes missing one night their perfect existence is called into question.

The reader is then plunged into a labyrinthine series of events that boggle the mind.  The author cleverly builds tension and confusion throughout the plot with use of unreliable narration from frantic characters who struggle with the complexities of the situations they are in.  Each action, each lie, each accusation swiftly moves this book to a new level of thriller, the skill in the writing means that the attention of the reader is held captive but all the while they are thinking “what happens next?”  “why did they do that?”  “what does this mean?”

I will admit that when I finished this book I was confused by what I had read and reached out to other bloggers to see what they thought, and the general consensus was that this was a cleverly plotted book, deviously ambiguous and allowed the reader to draw their own conclusions as to the ending.  By doing so, the author allows the reader the freedom to decide which category this thriller falls into – a very nice touch.

The use of art throughout the book is a fantastic metaphor for seeing the truth, being able to look at a subject and actually “see” what’s underneath as opposed to what is on the surface.  The details included about art techniques and styles also adds an authenticity to  Alice and her profession, as well as being generally interesting.

You can buy a copy of What Alice Knew here.

 


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

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Streets of Darkness

Author: A.A Dhand
Published: 16 June 2016
Reviewed: 6 June 2016
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 supplied by Transworld Books/ Penguin Random House in return for an honest review

5 out of 5 Stars

 

Description:   

My Thoughts & Review


A chance conversation with Ben Willis at Transworld Books brought about a copy of this beauty arriving on my doorstep, and all I can say is a massive thank you to Ben, he was right, this is an absolute gem of a book!
From the very outset I was gripped, Harry Virdee is a man with a secret, a troubled past and a very troubled present.  Stepping away from the “textbook” police procedural Dhand gives us a protagonist that breaks all the previously set stereotypes.  He’s a Sikh policeman, he’s happily married and not living on an unhealthy diet of takeaways whilst bemoaning his fate.  Instead Harry Virdee is a highly functioning, intelligent and active man, he runs when he can’t sleep and has connections that get results to solve cases.  
But when Harry finds a body when out running he knows he has to call it in, although facing his colleagues and friends on the force whilst suspended isn’t something he’s comfortable with.  When he’s asked to operate under the radar to track down the murder suspect he never envisions the secrets he will unearth along the way. That’s about all I want to say about the plot, there are too many things I could say that might give away little details and this is not a book you want spoilers for!! 
 
This is a gritty novel, with a heart racing pace, indeed I read it in one sitting, desperately reading on to find out what would happen next.  Lies, deception and danger are the key aspects, so when you add in a policeman operating on the edges of what is acceptable this really moves to the next level.  But there are other themes that play an important role in this book, race, religion, family and loyalty are also of equal importance here, reminding us that we are a multicultural society and that actions can affect our future more than we think.  
 
The characters in this are fantastic, very multidimensional and incredibly detailed.  The writing is brilliant, and for a début I am truly impressed.  Dhand has created and woven a complex plot with a clever sub plot running alongside.  He then draws it all together to wrap up the details and shocks the reader with the ending.  
 
I am very grateful to the author for the cultural details Things like the various Sikh and Muslim festivals that take place during the novel are not areas I have much knowledge of, so adding explanations through the narration was definitely a bonus for me.  I felt that I learned something new reading this and really appreciated the authenticity it added to the story.    
I cannot wait to see what Dhand has lined up next for Harry Virdee!  
A.A. Dhand is a name you will want to look out for in the future. 

You can buy a copy of Streets of Darkness here. 
 

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