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I am thrilled to welcome you to another Celebrating Indie Publishing spot on The Quiet Knitter blog and share a review of a book that intrigued me and entertained me in equal measure! Today’s book in the spotlight is The Red Light Zone by Jeff Zycinski, an affectionate, humorous account of inside life at the BBC.

  • Title: The Red Light Zone: An Insider’s ‘Laugh ‘n’ Tell’ of BBC Radio
  • Author: Jeff Zycinski
  • Publisher: The Lunicorn Press
  • Publication Date: 24th January 2019

Early copy received from publisher for review purposes.

Description:

Stop! Danger! Sex for sale! A red light can signify any one of those, but in a radio station it means a microphone has gone live: the walls may be soundproof, but in studio space, everyone can hear you scream … or sneeze.

For twenty-five years, Jeff Zycinski worked for BBC Radio and became the longest-serving boss of Radio Scotland. He made the big decisions buying a new vacuum cleaner for the Selkirk office and chaired a meeting that almost erupted in violence when someone suggested cats were better than dogs. He has a lot to say about Brexit, Scottish Independence, football, BBC bias, Islam and strippers … but not in this book. Okay, he talks about them a bit … mainly the strippers. An affectionate, humorous account of inside life at the Beeb.

You will never buy chips in the same way again!

My Thoughts:

The radio has always been there in my life, whenever I went into the kitchen my mum had the radio on, in the car, even taking a wee battery operated radio outside into the garden when we played outside, and so when I saw the description of this book I was curious. What interesting nuggets of information would this book give? Would this give me a sneaky look behind the mysterious world of radio that I’d always wondered about?

With a very relaxed style of narration, The Red Light Zone is a very enjoyable read. Jeff strikes me as a very easy to speak to and listen to sort of guy, it feels as though you’ve sat down for a coffee (or a pint) with him whilst he regales you with tales of his career at the BBC. And I’m sure there were so many options of tales he had the choice to share, but the ones he chose make for fascinating reading. It’s interesting to watch the development of radio over the years, seeing how production of radio differs from TV and how the dynamics shifted.

Jeff’s frankness is refreshing, he is open about successes and failures over the span of his career, the impacts his career had on his family and indeed shares various anecdotes of family life, all of which endear him to the reader.

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  • Title: Where No Shadows Fall
  • Author: Peter Ritchie
  • Publisher: Black and White Publishing
  • Publication Date: 7th February 2019

Early copy received from publisher for review purposes.

Description

Expose the truth or let the dead lie still?

Grace Macallan’s life is on an even keel – at last. But a 9-to-5 career away from the frontline isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

So when she’s sent to investigate a suicide at Glasgow’s notorious Barlinnie prison, Grace gladly escapes her desk. The dead inmate is Tommy McMartin, heir to a ferocious criminal family. His murder conviction saw Tommy’s fall from power; cast out not for violence but because the victim was his gay lover.

The investigation drags Grace into contact with her McMartin adversaries of old. But the gangland dynasty is under threat and, as it topples, secrets once dead and buried are unearthed.

As she unravels Tommy McMartin’s fate, Grace senses someone watching her from the shadows, someone who aches for revenge. An awful dilemma faces her: to expose the truth or let the dead lie still.

My Thoughts:

The fourth book in the Grace Macallan series was a book that I eagerly anticipated, this is a series I’ve followed from the beginning and have become somewhat attached to the characters. The writing never fails to emphasize the danger or the hard conditions that Peter Ritchie has his characters working under, something that I suspect comes from experience as opposed to imagination.
An immersive and thrilling read, this series has taken readers on a journey into the darkness of the criminal underworld and the hierarchies of the powerful, and brought them face to face with some of the most terrifying and impossible situations.

Without saying much about the plot, I will say that the scenes set in Barlinnie prison are some of the most powerful pieces of writing from Peter Ritchie. He manages to set the scene perfectly, convey the harshness of the atmosphere and the bleakness of the situations facing his characters incarcerated there without being overly dramatic or taking away from the seriousness of it all. But for me, what really steals the show is the characterisation.
Being able to see another side to an already complex character such as Tommy McMartin when he’s in prison really fascinated me. Ritchie’s writing has this wonderful way of making a reader not only feel the emotions of the personas at play, but to feel as though they are there in the moment. Seeing this powerful and dangerous gangland figure unravel and became fair game in prison, the abuse meted out to him had a serious impact, both physically and psychologically, left him feeling there was only one course of action open to him. Being able to make me feel sympathy towards Tommy shows the skill of the author perfectly, his writing evokes great emotion for a character who has possibly carried out some of the most violent and deadly actions in the gangland setting, I applaud Ritchie for this impressive feat.

Macallan’s life has moved on somewhat from the end of book three, and the continuity of her timeline has been wonderful to watch develop. The way that she has been cast makes for engaging reading, not the stereotypical female in a male heavy workplace. She has earned her place and the respect of those around her through hard work and years of working in some of the most dangerous environments. Watching her life take shape outside of the job allows readers to get to know this character deeply, understand some of her motivations and why she will always remember those who’ve helped her get where she is.
She walks a dangerous tightrope, balancing what is right for her family and what is right for her, whilst fighting the good fight and finding justice.

A brilliantly gritty crime thriller that adds to the series perfectly, it examines the bonds between family, loyalty and friends, leaving readers questioning what will happen next.

  • Title: Thunder Bay
  • Author: Douglas Skelton
  • Publisher: Polygon (An Imprint of Birlinn Books)
  • Publication Date: 7th March 2019

Early copy received from publisher for review purposes.

Description:

When reporter Rebecca Connolly is told of Roddie Drummond’s return to the island of Stoirm she senses a story. Fifteen years before he was charged with the murder of his lover, Mhairi. When he was found Not Proven, Roddie left the island and no one, apart from his sister, knew where he was or what he was doing.

Now he has returned for his mother’s funeral – and it will spark an explosion of hatred, bitterness and violence.

Defying her editor’s wishes, Rebecca joins forces with local photographer Chaz Wymark to dig into the secrets surrounding Mhairi’s death, and her mysterious last words of Thunder Bay, the secluded spot on the west coast of the island where, according to local lore, the souls of the dead set off into the after life. When another murder takes place, and the severe weather that gives the island its name hits, she is ideally placed to uncover the truth about what happened that night fifteen years before.

My Thoughts:

A remote island setting, a murderer unpunished and a tight knit community holding secrets in their pasts. Doesn’t that just grab your attention and make you want to get reading?! It did for me and I was thrilled when I got the opportunity to read an early copy.

Douglas Skelton is a skilled wordsmith, he can craft characters with great depth that tug on the hearts of readers, but equally he can conjure characters that make you feel a boiling rage towards their attitudes and actions. The emotion that he draws from the reader towards these characters helps to make this such an addictive read and indeed I found myself utterly hooked reading this, desperately needing to know if person x was going to continue as a “wrong’un” or if person z would finally get the answers they sought.

This wonderful characterisation is complimented perfectly with the island of Stoirm. The island comes alive through the vivid descriptions, especially those of Thunder Bay and the coastline surrounding it. When Rebecca goes for a trek around the island and to the Bay to get a better idea of the area mentioned in the dying breath of Mhairi some years previously, readers get a fantastic atmospheric image in their minds of the rugged landscape.

Plot wise, this has to be one of the most fascinating books I’ve read so far this year. There are so many little details to the plot, so many things that click together to make the bigger picture and it just blew me away. And craftily, just as you become immersed in one arc of the plot, Skelton deftly throws you off course, intrigues you with another line of narrative and has the reader gasping in shock at the revelations uncovered. I’m not saying anything more about the plot, this deserves to be discovered at your own pace.

A gripping and thrilling read from one of the great Scottish crime writers, themes of crime, mystery, secrecy and loyalty all woven together to make Thunder Bay one of those books that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

It’s a great honour to be able to showcase some of the wonderful books and authors from indie publishing, and today is no exception.

Today’s book in the spotlight is The Courier by Kjell Ola Dhal, known affectionately as “one of the fathers of Nordic Noir”, he has written several books over the course of his writing career including a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers (Oslo Detectives series) featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich.

Ebook publication was January 2019, and paperback publication is set for March 2019.

  • Title: The Courier
  • Author: Kjell Ola Dahl
  • Publisher: Orenda Books
  • Paperback Publication Date: 21st March 2019

Early copy received from publisher for review purposes.

Description:
In 1942, Jewish courier Ester is betrayed, narrowly avoiding arrest by the Gestapo. In a great haste, she escapes to Sweden, saving herself. Her family in Oslo, however, is deported to Auschwitz. In Stockholm, Ester meets the resistance hero, Gerhard Falkum, who has left his little daughter and fled both the Germans and allegations that he murdered his wife, Åse, who helped Ester get to Sweden. Their burgeoning relationship ends abruptly when Falkum dies in a fire.
And yet, twenty-five years later, Falkum shows up in Oslo. He wants to reconnect with his daughter. But where has he been, and what is the real reason for his return? Ester stumbles across information that forces her to look closely at her past, and to revisit her war-time training to stay alive…

Written with Dahl’s trademark characterization and elegant plotting, The Courier sees the hugely respected godfather of Nordic Noir at his best, as he takes on one of the most horrific periods of modern history, in an exceptional, shocking thriller.

My Thoughts:

Kjell Ola Dahl has the wonderful gift of writing something so full of tension, atmosphere and intricate detail that truly moves the reader. And so, when you start this book you know that what lies ahead will be a literary treat, but you cannot begin to imagine where the plot will take you and how it will affect you.

I have always found WWII and Occupation settings fascinating, something about the strength and courage exhibited by the characters is truly remarkable, their determination to survive leaves a lasting impact on me. And the characters here were no different, I found that the more I read about Ester, the more invested I became in her fate. As she makes her way through the dark world of resistance movements and the threats posed by shadows and enemies unknown, readers witness her strength to survive despite her heartache over what has happened in Oslo. Seeing her father being taken by Gestapo shakes Esther, her turmoil and anguish feel so real, and it’s hard not to be affected by this, the eternal ‘what ifs’ that run through Ester’s mind were ones that I found myself pondering too.

Ester is not the only character that draws the reader in, each of the characters is rich in detail, their backstories and motivations are depicted so vividly that it’s hard not to imagine these as real people. It’s hard not to be moved by the circumstances and situations they face, Kjell Ola Dahl writes so beautifully that this becomes more than just a book, it becomes an experience.
Quite possibly the best things about this book is the portrayal of the female characters. Each of female is depicted as strong, strong enough to take on any man and indeed they do. In a time when males were the driving force of power, government and espionage, we see a force to be reckoned with in the females of this book.

I raise my hat to Don Bartlett once again for his translation skills, allowing more readers to enjoy this masterpiece, he ensures that the English version of The Courier is not only readable, but exceptionally enjoyable.

A tension filled thriller that packs a remarkable amount of story into just the right amount of words to carry a reader off on a wave of emotion and render their heart both broken and mended within the space of a few hundred pages.

Celebrating Indie Publishing today sees The Quiet Knitter link up with Random Things Tours and Orenda Books, joining the blog tour for the latest publication by the indie publisher. Beton Rouge is the second book in the Chastity Riley series by Simone Buchholz and was published in ebook in December 2018, paperback publication is set for February 2019.

** My thanks to Orenda Books for my review copy of this book, and Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour **

Description:

On a warm September morning, an unconscious man is found in a cage at the entrance to the offices of one of Germany’s biggest magazines. He’s soon identified as a manager of the company, and he’s been tortured. Three days later, another manager appears in a similar way.

Chastity Riley and her new colleague Ivo Stepanovic are tasked with uncovering the truth behind the attacks, an investigation that goes far beyond the revenge they first suspect … to the dubious past shared by both victims. Travelling to the south of Germany, they step into the hothouse world of boarding schools, where secrets are currency, and monsters are bred … monsters who will stop at nothing to protect themselves.

A smart, dark, probing thriller, full of all the hard-boiled poetry and acerbic wit of the very best noir, Beton Rouge is both a classic whodunit and a scintillating expose of society, by one of the most exciting names in crime fiction.

My Thoughts:

Following the success of book one of the series, Dark Night, Simone Buchholz is back with the second offering in the German Noir series. Translation by Rachel Ward is once again on top form, none of the nuances of the German language feel that they have been lost in translation, making this feel like a wonderful cultural exploration as well as gritty crime thriller.

So Chastity Riley is back, and I am thrilled to see that she hasn’t changed between the books. There’s something so rich and entertaining about this character, her acerbic wit and and sharp tongue making for some wonderful exchanges between characters and internal monologues.

Not only is characterisation strong in this book, the plotting is superb. Buchholz leads her on a journey through the pages that twists and weaves expertly into the darkness of an individual who is hellbent on making a point with the torture and caging of two men. What is the motive behind these disturbing actions? Who is the unknown assailant carrying out these acts? What connects the victims? And how does it all tie in with the hit and run that Chastity Riley discovers in the opening chapter of the book?
The way that the strands of the plot pull together, coupled with short chapters and punchy writing, makes this a quick read. I found that I read this in one evening, racing through the pages to make connections and find out the links between the cases and the identity of the of the menacing figure obscured by the shadows.

Dark Night, the first book of the series was published in 2018. For those who are new to the series, you could read this straightaway, but I do think to get a better grasp of the protagonist and her motivations, her relationships with some of the characters, this is a series that merits being read in order. The writing is vividly detailed, readers can “see” the scenes that Chastity and partner Ivo witness, they get a great sense of the emotions that Chastity experiences, and feel immersed fully in the story.
The cover image of the book is simple but effective, giving readers a fantastic visual prompt, just such a powerful image and one that works perfectly with the writing.

As it’s #Fahrenbruary in the land of social media, I wanted to take a wee moment to share some reviews of Fahrenheit Press books that I’ve read.

So which review to share first? How do I pick which of the books I’ve read and enjoyed from this publisher to share … there’s the fantastic Danny Bird series from Derek Farrell, there’s the Sam Batford series from Ian Patrick, there’s the Charlie and Rose investigations from Jo Perry to name but a few. All of the books from Fahrenheit Press are available to purchase direct from their website or your choice of retailer.

So, the reviews.
I’ve decided to group the links for the reviews in one easy place for reading, make it easier if any one wants to revisit any of reviews or indeed author features that I’ve hosted. Some of the Fahrenheit authors have been great sports and taken part in Celebrating Indie Publishing before so I’ve added links to these posts too.

Death of a Devil by Derek Farrell  – Review

Rubicon by Ian Patrick – Review

The TV Detective by Simon Hall – Review

The River Runs Red by Ally Rose – Review

Stoned Love by Ian Patrick – Celebrating Indie Publishing feature

The Tainted Vintage by Clare Blanchard – Review

Celebrating Indie Publishing with Sara Viola

Celebrating Indie Publishing with Derek Farrell

Celebrating Indie Publishing with Ian Patrick

So there you have it, my contribution to to #Fahrenbruary, not a huge post but still a wee celebration of some great books and their brilliant authors.


If you want to find out more about this publisher, their books or indeed the #Fahrenbruary thing, pop over to Twitter and search for #Fahrenbruary. I would also recommend checking out Mart on Twitter, he’s one of the guys behind this and his blog is Beardy Book Blogger, the other brain behind this is Matt Keyes, his blog is It’s An Indie Book Blog.


** My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book and to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to take part in the blog tour **

Description:

ALICIA
Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.

Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.

THEO
Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.

And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?

My Thoughts:

Doesn’t that description grab you and have you wondering? It immediately caught my attention and when I got the chance to read an early copy, I jumped at the opportunity!

With such a promising premise for a plot, I feel that it would be doing it an injustice to say very much about it, that and I would inadvertently give something away if I were to attempt to recount details of the goings on in this book. So instead, I want to focus on the characters that Michaelides has crafted.

Theo is a character that readers will be intrigued by, both in his role as a forensic psychotherapist, and in his idea that he can get through to Alicia Berenson. He feels that he is the one that will break through her silence and help her find her voice again. His narration provides great insight into parts of his history and motivations, but as always in thrillers such as this, nothing is ever as clear as you might suspect. Michaelides slowly reveals more about Theo’s backstory, giving details about his childhood, his parents and his path to his chosen career. A glimpse into his relationship with is wife gives readers a different view of Theo, showing off the multifaceted character well.
Using diary entries, readers get to know more about Alicia. They find out about events leading up to the murder of her husband Gabriel, witness her mental state and watch as she becomes more erratic. Her worries about sharing her thoughts with her husband make for a creeping and intriguing read. Her fears at times seem heightened by events around her, and her own backstory is one that I felt was quite fascinating and as more detail emerged it became enthralling reading.

With such dominant characters taking centre stage, they need to have a spark about them, a something special that makes them stand out. The scenes that feature both Alicia and Theo are filled with tension, there’s a chemistry of sorts between them that needs to be explored and watching Theo trying to draw out Alicia’s voice gives a real feeling of unease. Silence can be creepy sometimes and Alicia’s lack of response really does add a something chilly to their meetings.

An interesting thriller that has many people talking and one that seems to be winning many fans!

Welcome along to another Friday here on The Quiet Knitter, and I am delighted to share an author feature with you! The author in the spotlight today is the lovely Roz White, so grab a cuppa and join us for a wee chat!

Roz has written several books, including a Steampunk Phantasy (book two is currently in progress) and the Sisterhood series which follows the lives of five transwomen. The Sisterhood is the first book of the series and was published in 2015, you can purchase a digital copy via Amazon UK.


Author image & bio from Amazon

Author Feature:

I’ve been writing stories since my earliest memories: my first masterpiece was two pages of foolscap – with illustrations – about a television programme of the time, and contained more uses of the word “then” than any other. I’d like to think I’ve improved just a little since then; after all, I was only about five.
So, where to really begin? I’m already in my fifties, although I’ve no idea when that happened! I’m British, English by birth and currently Scottish by residence: I’ve been here for over fourteen years now. Until the start of 2018 I lived on a remote island that requires me to commute by ferry for the day job – one of the best journeys to and from work in the world, surely! My output over the last twenty years or so has included over a dozen novels and a handful of non-fiction texts, the latter being well-known in their academic field – something of a boasting point, I’m afraid! There have also been magazine articles and short stories scattered here and there. Some are on here under the pen-name of H. A. Douglas.
Now, I live in Invergordon, and work out of Inverness. I have lost my ferry-time along with a great deal else (long story, but it’ll make it into a book one day), so now Sunday tends to be Writing Day, and I can take all day, too.
However… if you look for some of these other books under my name, you won’t find them, and here we come to the part of this biography that, for all my years of dealing with it, I still don’t seem to have any proper sort of handle on.
I am transgendered. There, I said it! I am biologically male, psychologically feeling more and more female (whatever that means, but it feels that way to me) as the years go by. My writing allows me a useful window to explore this side of me, and undoubtedly helps keep me close to some semblance of sanity. My family (I’m married with children) are aware of this side of me, and have accepted it without question since the Great Secret coming out – for which I am incredibly, totally, grateful.
I have been full-time and in transition since March 2017. It’s a long process with a lot of waiting and far too much NHS Gate-keeping, Jumping Through Hoops and so forth.

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?
Telling stories! It’s something I’ve always done, ever since my earliest years – even pre-school. My second favourite thing is the assembling of all the separate chapters and seeing the whole thing finally come together.

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?  
Not making any money from it! In all seriousness, that’s the Big Thing: I’d love to make a living doing this, and it hurts like anything that I don’t seem able to. On a good month, my royalties from my 20+ books might, if I’m lucky, buy me a bottle of cheap plonk…

If you could have written any book what would it be and why? 
Ooh, tricky! The thing is, if I had written them, then they wouldn’t be that book anymore, would they! Films are worse: I often sit watching them and think “it’s not what I’d have put in – what about this, or that, that’s barely even touched on?”

How do you spend your time when you’re not writing? 
Well there’s a mortgage to pay… so I work full-time, which after nearly a year involuntarily unemployed, is a relief – the bills are getting attended to again! Hobby-wise, I have too many: model railways in a number of scales and styles, wargaming and figure-painting… I love cooking, and used to brew beer too. I might get back into that if I ever have the money!

Do you have a set routine for writing?  Rituals you have to observe? I.e. specific pen, silence, day or night etc. 
Not really… I find silence disturbing these days, so the radio is usually on. My current circumstances have dictated that Sundays have become Writing Days, which is a luxury in itself; over Christmas, I had nearly two weeks in the family home (I am forced to live away in order to earn a living) with no real calls on my energies, and I got so much done on the current WIP!

What’s on the horizon? 
Well, my Sisterhood series rumbles on, and I am in the middle of the seventh full novel; I have a novella to revisit in the same series, and that might well grow into another novel. I am concentrating on the second in my Steampunk series right now, since in theory that’s due out first; oh, and my alter-ego H.A. Douglas, who is responsible for the Historical Fiction output, is likely to be busy this year too!

Finally, if you could impart one pearl of wisdom to your readers, what would it be? 
Be open-minded. Try not to judge, or if you find that you have to judge, judge kindly. My Sisterhood  books deal with transgender characters (I am trans myself), and I would hope if anything that they help understand the condition a little better for those on the outside looking in

Can you tell me a little about your latest book?  How would you describe it and why should we go read it? 

Well… The Challenge of Lady Ghast is my second foray into Steampunk Victoriana, and is due out this year – a mad romp through Vaguely Victorian England! The latest Sisterhood novel, Changes, follows my group of five transwomen as they forge friendships and try to help each other through life’s trials. Gritty, realistic, character-driven fiction that has been very well received by all its readers so far!

A huge thank you to Roz for joining me today for a chat, it’s always an honour to welcome indie authors to share something about their writing, their habits or a sneaky glimpse into their upcoming projects! I have to admit that before today I had never heard of Steampunk Phantasy as a genre, but looking up Roz’s books has me keen to find out more and I’ve bought book one of the series for my Kindle to read soon!

As Roz mentioned above, she also writes under the name H. A. Douglas, these books are Viking based fiction, the series is The Wirhalh Trilogy, and a must read for fans of Viking era tales!

To find out more about Roz and her books, check out her author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Roz-White-1567046250194474/

** my thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book **

Description:

How do you find a killer when you’re surrounded by madness?

1935. As Europe prepares itself for a calamitous war, six homicidal lunatics – the so-called ‘Devil’s Six’ – are confined in a remote castle asylum in rural Czechoslovakia. Each patient has their own dark story to tell and Dr Viktor Kosárek, a young psychiatrist using revolutionary techniques, is tasked with unlocking their murderous secrets.

At the same time, a terrifying killer known as ‘Leather Apron’ is butchering victims across Prague. Successfully eluding capture, it would seem his depraved crimes are committed by the Devil himself.
Maybe they are… and what links him with the insane inmates of the Castle of the Eagles?

Only the Devil knows. And it is up to Viktor to find out.


My Thoughts:

One read of that description was enough to hook my intrigue, historical fiction set in one of the periods I find most interesting, crime thriller, and exploration of the dark recesses of the human mind – what more could I want?!

If you want a read brimming with superb characterisation, gothic darkness and excellent writing, then this is the book for you. Craig Russell has crafted a fantastic character in Viktor Kosárek, and with narration from this perspective, readers get a glimpse into the mind of a young doctor trying to push the boundaries of treatment within the field of psychiatry.

Craig Russell sets the scene of 1930s Czechoslovakia and Prague perfectly, he captures the unrest prevalent in that time and uses this well to add to the tension rife in the plot. The chilling atmospheric details are superb, they enable the reader to see the settings, to feel the hypnotic unease that leeches from the mists that swirl through the streets and villages.
The streets of Prague are unsafe, a crazed killer roams, picking off unsuspecting victims and leaving the police clueless about his identity. Dubbed ‘Leather Apron’, he savagely murders his female victims, leaving little evidence behind and it’s the job of Kapitan Lukas Smolak to piece together the little information they have in an effort to catch him.
This arc of the plot runs alongside that of psychiatrist Viktor Kosárek as he takes up a post at Hrad Orlu Asylum. The asylum houses six of the most notorious serial killers in Europe, aptly named the ‘Devil’s Six’. The nearby villagers are less than happy about the asylum, folklore tells of dark and dangerous happenings in the castle that houses the asylum, and despite assurances that the security measures in place render the castle impenetrable, they are not convinced.

Russell weaves a tale so vivid and complex, pulling together strands of folklore, mythology, psychology and sociology to create a fascinating and enthralling read. The whole time I was reading this, I could almost feel the unease, the dread that characters were experiencing. I desperately wanted to piece together the scant clues that Kapitan Lukas Smolak had, but no matter how hard I tried, I was entirely in the dark. Intelligent writing, that renders the reader equal parts terrified and fascinated.


** my thanks to Orenda Books for my copy of this and to Random Things Tours for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

Description:

What turns a boy into a killer?

When the high school in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim becomes a murder scene, the finger is soon pointed at seventeen-year-old Even. As the investigation closes in, social media is ablaze with accusations, rumours and even threats, and Even finds himself the subject of an online trial as well as being in the dock … for murder?

Even pores over his memories of the months leading up to the crime, and it becomes clear that more than one villager was acting suspiciously … and secrets are simmering beneath the calm surface of this close-knit community.  As events from the past play tag with the present, he’s forced to question everything he thought he knew. Was the death of his father in a car crash a decade earlier really accidental? Has a relationship stirred up something that someone is prepared to kill to protect?

It seems that there may be no one that Even can trust.

But can we trust him?

A taut, moving and chilling thriller, Inborn examines the very nature of evil, and asks the questions: How well do we really know our families? How well do we know ourselves?

My Thoughts:

When I heard that Thomas Enger had another book coming out I was eager to see if he could craft another character that would grab my attention as fully as Henning Juul and he has. In his latest thriller, Enger has brought a whole cast of characters that will haunt readers, that will get under the skin of readers and leave them questioning their motives and actions.

With a timeline that jumps between “then” and “now”, readers witness events in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim, and uncover secrets and suspicion rife in the community. A complex plot coupled with intelligent writing makes this an enthralling read and one that will pull readers in, tempting them to read another chapter, seducing them with the idea that knowledge about the dark secrets lies just ahead.
An atmospheric and often dark setting, Inborn is the sort of book that really has that something extra, that something you can’t quite put your finger on but it works so well.

The characters in this are multidimensional and whilst not always likeable, there is no denying there is a certain magnetism that emanates from them. It is impossible to read this without feeling some form of pull, needing to know more about their pasts, to know what drives them. The style of narration, hearing the voice of Even as he tries to make sense of events past and present, keeps readers on the edge of their seats.
It’s also quite interesting seeing things from the perspective of the investigating police officer, exploring the details of his private life as well as in a professional light. Without a doubt, he’s a character I would love to encounter in another book.
This all culminates in a truly thought provoking read that poses many questions to the reader, asking them what they believe, who they believe and how inexplicably connected the lives of the villagers are.

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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 Reviewer, 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

Letter Twenty

it's all about the tea

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