Blog Tour – A Kingdom Falls by John Owen Theobald

Synopsis

London, 1944. Britain’s capital is back in the firing line. It has been several years since the Blitz ended, but now death is dropping from the skies once more. Has the tide of war turned again?

Anna Cooper survived the Blitz but she lost her mother and the people closest to her. Amid the flames and rubble, she discovered that everything she thought she knew about her family was a lie. She learned that nobody was prepared to take an orphaned girl seriously and she decided to fight back.

Now, Anna flies warplanes for the Air Transport Auxiliary but she knows it is not enough. Hitler is ready to unleash one final terrifying secret weapon, against which there is no defence. But Anna won’t let that happen. If there is no defence, there is only one option: attack.

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My thoughts

In the final installment of this fantastic trilogy, Theobald, takes his characters and pushes them to their limits, brilliantly written A Kingdom Falls continues Anna’s story as she fights to save England from Germany’s fiercest weapon – the V2 rocket.

Anna is fantastically written  character, a great role model, as she refuses to give out not matter what. Timothy Squire is a sympathetic young man who witnesses the horrors of war, fights hard while wanting to run away and just go home.

This is a powerful story of the unsung heroes of the war – the ATA – a group of women who flew planes to where they were needed without using any navigational instruments, these women are only now starting to be recognised for the work they did in supporting the war effort and Theobald highlights the dangers they faced brilliantly and even takes it a step further.

It is hard to imagine any of the women of the ATA returning to normal civilian life and going back to their kitchens and being wives and mother’s, Theobald also explores this aspect of the end of the war brilliantly.

This is a fantastic trilogy and the characters are believable and well written, even the villains have depth and are well fleshed out.

The story and characters will stay witt you long after you have read the last page and closed the book.

5 out of 5 stars

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A Kingdom Falls – John Owen Theobald – Blog Tour

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Blog Tour – District VIII by Adam Lebor

Synopsis

Life’s tough for a Gypsy cop in Budapest. The cops don’t trust you because you’re a Gypsy. Your fellow Gypsies, even your own family, shun you because you’re a cop.

The dead, however, don’t care. So when Balthazar Kovacs, a detective in the city’s murder squad, gets a mysterious message on his phone from a blocked number, he gulps down the rest of his morning coffee, grabs his police ID and goes to work. The message has two parts: a photograph and an address. The photograph shows a man lying on his back with his eyes open, half-covered by a blue plastic sheet. The address is 26, Republic Square, the former Communist Party headquarters and once the most feared building in the country. But when Kovacs arrives at Republic Square, the body has gone…

Kovacs’ investigation will take him deep into Budapest’s shadows, an underworld visitors never get to see: the gritty back alleys of District VIII; the people smuggling networks around Keleti Station; the endemic corruption of a country still haunted by the ghosts of history. And when the leads point to the involvement of his brother Gaspar, the city’s most powerful pimp, Kovacs will be forced to choose between the law and family loyalty.

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This book was provided free of charge by Head of Zeus

My thoughts

This book is a cleverly written crime thriller set during the Budapest migrant crisis of 2015, when Keleti Station was closed down to transport for migrants due to the vast numbers arriving there to try and make there way to West Europe.

The characters are brilliantly written and fleshed out with our main character the police detective Balthazar both believable and sympathetic.

The plot is cleverly woven around the true events of people smuggling and political corruption and intrigue. Lebor wastes no time in getting his characters into the thick of things, with secret police, crime bosses and reporters all after the same thing.

Fast paced and with man twists and turns as Balthazar investigates the death of a migrant that the authorities are trying to cover, threats to his life and that of his family ensure that this is a real page turner that you will not want to put down until you reach the end.

This appears to be book one in a series and if  Lebor, like most writers gets better with each book, the crime reading public is in for a treat as District VII satisfies every need on a crime story, heroism, villains, corruption and justice, even if that justice is not exactly the justice that would ideally take place.

You won’t regret picking this book up!!!

 

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In the Dark by Andreas Pfluger – BLOG TOUR

Synopsis

Jenny Aaron was once part of an elite police unit tracking Germany’s most dangerous criminals. She was the best. Until it all went wrong. A disastrous mission saw her abandon a wounded colleague and then lose her sight forever.

Now, five years later, she has learnt to navigate a darkened world. But she’s still haunted by her betrayal. Why did she run?

Then she receives a call from the unit. They need her back. A prison psychologist has been brutally murdered. And the killer will only speak to one person…

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This book was sent to be by Head of Zeus in exchange for a fair and honest teview.

My thoughts

 

The beginning of the book starts slowly, with fragmented pieces of Jenny’s past interwoven with the present day. It took a while to get used to this storytelling method, as it wasn’t clear for a while as to what was happening, as just as I thought I understood what was going on the narrative changed, however that is actually one of the strong points of the book. Jenny is remembering and memories are fragmented and unclear, as the story progress and the plot unfolds Jenny’s memories become clear and her reaction to them believable as she slowly remembers and comes to terms with the events that led to her blindness.

The plot twists and turns at an extreme pace, then will slow enough for you to get your breath back before hurtling off again.

Well written characters with realistic backstories and problems, a fantastic description of how Jenny learnt to navigate the world again as a blind person and a brilliantly constructed plot, this is a great book for a cold winter night and would make an excellent present for the person who loves an exciting thriller.

 

4 out of 5 Stars

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Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Synopsis

Meet Sunday Night, a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct …
Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing.
But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help.
Is the girl dead?
Did someone take her?
If she is out there, why doesn’t she want to be found?
It’s time for Sunnie to face her own demons – because they might just lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago.

About the Author

From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains, to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, as one of only seventy-seven forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, Dr Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her mesmerising forensic thrillers. For years she consulted to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina, and continues to do so for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec.
Kathy Reichs has traveled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide, and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. As part of her work at JPAC she aided in the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Kathy Reichs has served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and is currently a member of the National Police Services Advisory Board in Canada. She is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
A native of Chicago, she now divides her time between Charlotte and Montreal. Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller, a Sunday Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. All eleven of her novels have been international bestsellers. She is also a producer of the chilling hit TV series Bones. 206 Bones is her twelth novel featuring Dr Temperance Brennan.
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This book was provided free by Netgalley in exchange for a honest and fair review:

My thoughts

Kathy Reichs takes a break from her normal leading character of Temprance Brennan and introduces us to Sunni Night, former army and police officer injured out of the service due to her reckless behaviour. Reichs masterfully introduces us to her new character, slowly revealing the history that has made Sunni the way she is. A complex story of a missing teenager and a home grown terrorist plot, Sunnie and her brother Gus (Hence the title Two Nights) travel from cost to coast chasing down the bombers who killed 3 innocent people and snatched a fourth to convert to their ideals.

 The way that Reich writes this novel is extremely clever, the flashback scenes will leave you wondering if it is the missing girls memories or Sunnies, this is not revealed until close to the end of the novel. The twists and turns are ingenious and written with Reich’s flair for the dramatic keeps you on the edge of your seat. The character of Sunnie is brilliantly written and you can empathise with her wish for solitude. Hopefully there will be further books that will feature Sunnie and Gus, as although they are tough cop types they are easier to relate to than the extremely educated Brennan (not that the Brennan books aren’t brilliant because they are). If you are a Reichs fan this is a must read.

 

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Blog tour – The Dark Isle by Clare Carson

Published by Head of Zeus

1st June 2017

Synopsis

Sam grew up in the shadow of the secret state. Her father was an undercover agent, full of tall stories about tradecraft and traitors. Then he died, killed in the line of duty.

Now Sam has travelled to Hoy, in Orkney, to piece together the puzzle of her father’s past. Haunted by echoes of childhood holidays, Sam is sure the truth lies buried here, somewhere.

What she finds is a tiny island of dramatic skies, swooping birds, rugged sea stacks and just four hundred people. An island remote enough to shelter someone who doesn’t want to be found. An island small enough to keep a secret…

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My thoughts

Clare Carson’s beautifully written thriller will keep you guessing right to the end. The story is split into two time frames, 1976 and 1989 and flits back and forward between the two for the majority of the book, giving the reader the character of Sam’s perspective both as a child and as an adult studying for her Archaeology PHD. This dual narrative works well at building the mystery and suspense that gives the story an edginess that would otherwise be missing, as Sam learns the secrets of her Father’s past in the Police security services, she discovers that not everyone is who they seem and sometimes the good are bad and vice versa.

Great characters who are well defined and believable, all are human and Carson shows how everyone has both good and bad sides to them, a great insight to human nature and how people react when pushed to extremes, a great read for sitting on the beach or by the pool.

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Final Girls by Riley Sager

Published by Ebury Digital on 13th July 2017

Synopsis

FIRST THERE WERE THREE

The media calls them the Final Girls – Quincy, Sam, Lisa – the infamous group that no one wants to be part of. The sole survivors of three separate killing sprees, they are linked by their shared trauma.

THEN THERE WERE TWO

But when Lisa dies in mysterious circumstances and Sam shows up unannounced on her doorstep, Quincy must admit that she doesn’t really know anything about the other Final Girls. Can she trust them? Or…

CAN THERE ONLY EVER BE ONE?

All Quincy knows is one thing: she is next.

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I received a copy of the his book from Netgalley in exchange for a fair on honest review

My thoughts

Quincy is a final girl, the sole survivor of a massacres that killed her friends, so is Samantha Boyd and Lisa Milner, only Quincy cannot remember exactly what happened that night as she has blocked it from her memory. She can only remember immediately before and after the event when she was found by a cop, running through the woods covered in blood.

When Lisa Milner turns up dead, apparently a suicide, Samantha Boyd, who disappeared years before due to the press coverage of her attack turns up on Quincy’s doorstep, determined to make Quincy remember what happened to her.

 

An exciting well written thriller, which uses great characters and dramatic twists and turns throughout, this book keeps you guessing until the final reveal, could Quincy herself have killed her friends?

Quincy is a believable character, who seems to have put the massacre behind her. A successful blogger, with her own apartment and devoted boyfriend, but this is a façade and things are not as they seem and this Façade cracks when Samantha Boyd turns up.

Sam is a complex character, a times tough and desperate, sometimes nasty in her outlook, but at other times she is so vulnerable and lost.

Lisa is a more peripheral character, the first of those to be called a Final Girl (this is the last girls standing in a horror film), she has dedicated her life to helping young girls and women with troubled histories, which is why Quincy finds it hard to believe that she killed herself.

Coop is the cop who found Quincy in the woods that night and has been a part of her life ever since, being there when she needs to talk to someone about that night and things in general, but he is more than he seems even though he tries to keep a distance, but close at the same time.

The story really rushes from point to point, scarcely giving you time to breathe as Quincy ends up on the brink of ending up in jail herself,

Well written, exciting and with a beautiful ending that brought tears to my eyes.

 

I gave this 5 out of 5 stars

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A grave calling by Wendy Roberts

This book was free from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review

Synopsis

There had been no attempt to bury the dead girl, naked except for the white ribbon tied to her wrist 

Twenty-five-year-old Julie Hall has a unique ability: when she takes up a dowsing rod, she finds not water but bodies. To Julie, it’s a curse, not a gift, and one she rarely uses—she prefers her quiet life in a trailer, with her grandfather and her dog for company. But when FBI agent Garrett Pierce shows up at her door seeking help with a case, she has no choice but to assist with their search.

Three girls are still missing. The killer is still out there. As bodies are discovered and more girls disappear, the case becomes almost more than Julie can bear. And when the killer turns his sights toward her, even her growing relationship with the protective Agent Garrett may not be enough to save her.

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My  thoughts

Julie Hall has a gift for dowsing.

Dowsing for dead bodies

This was a gripping thriller with a touch of the supernatural – Julie’s character is excellently written, disturbed by years of abuse dished out my her grandmother, she lives in a trailer on her grandparents land (her grandmother has died) and looks after her grandfather. She keeps herself to herself and only socialises with her boyfriend Denny and best friend Kate. Her only real company is her dog. Then Agent Garrett of the FBI asks for her help in locating the bodies of some missing girls.

Julie is a great character, although tough and independent because of the abuse she has suffered she still has a soft and compassionate side.

Although she has a boyfriend (Denny) this appears to be more for company and to serve their needs rather than a relationship built on love and he does not approve of her gift, her best friend is selfish and flighty a good time girl who beds Denny at the first opportunity.

Agent Garrett is a nicely written and finely nuanced character, who lives alone after the death of his wife and child, driven by the number of missing girls in the area he is determined and resolute to catch the killer.

Naturally a romance develops between Julie and Garratt and normally this and the ensuing sex scene would have me grimacing and skipping pages – not so in A grave calling. Roberts describes the budding romance and subsequent sex act with compassion and delicacy that I actually felt that it was brilliantly done and if only other writers could write like that all romances would be portrayed in a way that actually progresses the story instead of stopping it.

There are lots of twists and turns in this book, the plot and characters are not what they seem and the end resolution seems both obvious (it’s not) and shocking at the same time. I really hope that this is going to become a series of books as I would defiantly buy the next one and I hope that they will be published in physical form as I would love to add them to my library.

 

I gave this 5 out of 5 stars

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Marilyn Forever by Boze Hadleigh

Synopsis

This book of quotes explores the many sides of the one-and-only Marilyn Monroe. In her time, she was perceived as a victim, a vixen, a valentine, and a Venus. At once a sex symbol and enormously talented entertainer, she was praised, criticized, and adored during her lifetime. After her tragic and untimely death she became the most famous female face of the twentieth century, and her legacy continues to thrive through today.

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My thoughts

This book is filled with quotes from famous people both from Marilyn’s time and today. There are four chapters in this book – Venus, Vixen, Valentine and Victim, and there is a epilogue that contains some of Marilyn’s own quotes as well. The book is peppered with the photographs, sadly they are mostly very famous ones, but they illustrate the text beautifully.

The quotes come from people like – Elizabeth Hurley, Meryl Streep, Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Bill Blass, Marlon Brando, Rock Hudson,William Travilla, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and more.

 All the quotes are interesting, not all are flattering but this is a great little book and well worth adding to your collection.

I gave this 4 out of 5 *

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Fire Damage by Kate Medina

This book was provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review

Synopsis

To find a killer, she must unlock a child’s terror…

The first in an exciting new crime series featuring psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn – a brilliantly complex character who struggles with a dark past of her own. Perfect for fans of Nicci French and Val McDermid.

A traumatized little boy

Four years old, terrified, disturbed – Sami is a child in need of help. Now it’s up to psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn to find the cause of his suffering and unlock his darkest memories, before it’s too late.

A psychologist with a secret

 

Meanwhile Jessie is haunted by an awful truth of her own. She works alongside former patient, Captain Ben Callan, to investigate a violent death – but the ghosts of her past refuse to leave her.

A body washed up on the beach

When a burnt corpse is found on the Sussex coast, Jessie begins to uncover a link between her two cases – and a desperate killer will do anything to keep it buried…

 

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My thoughts

I love a good psychological thriller and this is as good as I hoped it would be, a slow start soon kicks into high gear, with Army psychologist Jessie Flynn treats the disturbed child of an injured soldier who has been badly disfigured in Afghanistan, and his wife ( a woman with a secret past). Bodies turn up that seem to be unrelated and at one point I felt that I was reading 2 different books!

However, as I made my way through the book, the different strands of the plot became neatly woven together, with the characters and stories intriguing  and captivating, the characters were so well written that the author manages to have the reader empathise with a character when they are suffering, both good characters and the bad. There is  touch of romance between our main character Jessie and the Military Police Officer Captain Ben Callan, which is nicely written and helps progress the plot rather than stop it completely.

Slowly Medina reveals the secrets that the characters are hiding, what has caused the child to become so disturbed as well as explaining the dead body that appears to have no relevance to the case but in fact is the key to everything.

 

Nicely paced and well written

I gave this 4 out of 5*

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