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  • Title: Death of an Angel
  • Author: Derek Farrell
  • Publisher: Fahrenheit Press
  • Publication Date: 27th February 2019

Copy received from publisher and tour organiser for review purposes.

Description:

A woman is found dead in a London street – the evidence suggests she plummeted to her death from a nearby tower block – but did she fall or was she pushed? And why does she have Danny Bird’s name written on the back of her hand?

So begins this 4th magnificent outing for Danny and the gang from The Marq.

In the frame for a murder he didn’t commit, London’s self-proclaimed Sherlock Homo has no choice but to don his metaphorical deerstalker one more time to prove his innocence and uncover the truth about the tragic death of Cathy Byrne. 

With the indomitably louche Lady Caz by his side, Danny plunges headlong into a complex investigation while at the same time trying to be a dutiful son to his increasingly secretive parents, and still find the time to juggle his frustratingly moribund love-life.

My Thoughts:

I was only too happy to catch up with my favourite bar manager/amateur sleuth, Danny Bird in Death of an Angel. Having followed this series since the beginning, Death of a Diva, the Danny Bird books have gone from strength to strength. The characters have developed in ways that I would not have imagined and I’m thrilled to see how their stories have unfolded.

Death of an Angel is different from the previous books, there’s something about the plot that sets it apart from the others in the series, and it’s a fascinating and enjoyable read.
With a strong focus on families and relationships, Derek Farrell gives readers more than a story about crime. The link between family members is a driving force behind many events throughout the plot, the dynamic between characters shows the varied connections that exist and the lengths that people will go to to try and protect those they care about.

So, Danny and Caz are back, doing what they do best … getting caught up in situations that would have most “normal” people panicking, but somehow they always manage to keep things together and get out of awkward moments. Caz, a somewhat delightful yet dipsomaniacal member of the aristocracy, always has a bottle of something in that capacious bag of hers to help her in those situations. I say somewhat delightful because this character is one who causes much hilarity with her sarcasm and cynicism, and smock. But I have a feeling that behind her bluster is a genuinely soft heart, especially when it comes to certain people.
The case that the pair become involved with has some incredibly murky connections, and ones they have to be wary of. But nonetheless, they tackle each obstacle as it appears, uncovering dangerous corruption and ruthless killers. Clever plotting makes this quite a thrilling read, often I found myself trying to guess ahead at how things would all link together, or who was the killer and what their motive was but I was led astray by red herrings.

Characterisation is one of the key things in the books of this series, each of the main characters feels so real and easy to connect with. Readers cannot help but feel some pull towards the lives of these fictitious creations, such is the ability of Farrell to create a realistic cast. Danny’s family have become so real that I think of them with fondness.

A thrilling and clever read that gives the reader much to think about, whilst supplying many laughter inducing moments and plenty to keep them guessing!

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  • Title: In Alexa’s Shoes
  • Authors: Rochelle Alexandra
  • Publisher: Author Academy Elite
  • Publication Date: 25th June 2019

Copy received from blog tour organiser and publisher for review purposes.

Description:

In Alexa’s Shoes – a dramatic, uplifting true story of a teenage girl overcoming great odds to survive. A historical novel that beckons the reader to follow in the footsteps of a real-life individual one step at a time. Based on the true story of the author’s grandmother.

In the autumn of 1940, thirteen-year-old Alexa’s happy life is ripped from her as she, her mother, and many of the locals are rounded up by the Nazis in Poland. Loaded into trucks, they are transported to an unknown destination. Terror and uncertainty become the new normal. Life is a continuous nightmare as she is selected by the Gestapo officer’s wife, destined to become little more than their slave.

Separated from everyone she loves Alexa relies on her Christian faith, inner strength and courage, to endure through her long nightmare. Her story takes her on a treacherous journey across war-ravaged Europe in search of her family and the life she once knew. Despite living through unimaginable hardships and life-threatening danger, Alexa feels that someone or something seems to be looking out for her. Years later, she finds out that not all was as it seemed, as hidden secrets from this dark period in history are revealed to her.

My Thoughts:

I read this book over the course of a weekend, once I picked it up I was unable to put it down for long. The story of Alexa’s life is a heartbreaking one that begins as the young teenage girl is taken from her beloved Poland at the hands of the Nazis and is separated from her mother.
Her childhood innocence and naivety are soon comforts of the past when she has to adjust to a massively different life as a slave for a Gestapo officer and his family. The events that take place around Alexa and the things she sees in those early days after her forceful removal from Poland are heartbreaking, but we all know that worse events would occur after 1940.

Life living under the roof of a Gestapo officer is far from easy for Alexa, long hours and backbreaking work are hard for an adult, but for a teenager this must have been so much to contend with. But her Christian faith helps her through the tough times, reciting Psalm 91 to herself whenever she feels it will help. Her family and homeland are never far from her thoughts, something she clings to throughout her days in Occupied lands, hoping that she may once again see Poland and be reunited with her mother and sister.

Alexa shows courage and strength throughout her time in captivity, she continues to put one foot in front of the other, moving closer to a life that she hopes will lead her to freedom. But she never turns to hatred towards those who force these limitations and conditions on her. As her story moves on, Alexa’s freedom comes and life takes on a safety that she has longed for.
Life after WWII is hard but Alexa makes it work, she makes many journeys both physical and emotional that lead to the uncovering of secrets that change her views forever.

The style of writing makes this quite an addictive read, readers feel drawn to Alexa and her story. As you read through the pages, you become more and more invested in the story, holding your breath in places as the tension increases and worrying about the fate of Alexa. A truly thrilling and captivating read. My thanks to the author for sharing her grandmother’s tale with us.

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