Latest Reads: Resurrection Bay Emma Viskic

Publication Date: 24th August from Pushkin Vertigo

Source: Review Copy

CALEB ZELIC IS ON THE HUNT FOR HIS FRIEND’S KILLER
Caleb Zelic’s childhood friend has been brutally murdered – fingers broken, throat slit – at his home in Melbourne. Tortured by guilt, Caleb vows to track down the killer. But he’s profoundly deaf; missed words and misread lips can lead to confusion, and trouble.

HE NEVER FORGETS A FACE
Fortunately, Caleb knows how to read people; a sideways glance, an unconvincing smile, speak volumes. When his friend Frankie, a former cop, offers to help, they soon discover the killer is on their tail. 

IT MIGHT JUST SAVE HIS LIFE
Sensing that his ex-wife may also be in danger, Caleb insists they return to their hometown of Resurrection Bay. But here he learns that everyone – including his murdered friend – is hiding something. And the deeper he digs, the darker the secrets. 

Resurrection Bay was a banging read from the first chapter to the last chapter – featuring a main protagonist in Caleb that I fell immediately in love with, full of plenty of edge of the seat moments and a realistically edged mystery plot that was thoroughly engaging.

Caleb has a hearing problem that makes him view the world differently, as an anchor to the occasionally heart stopping plot he was brilliant – as were his relationships with those around him, especially his long suffering ex wife Kat, his alcoholic business partner Frankie and his addicted, often in trouble brother Anton. When a close friend of his is killed and it appears to be linked to a case they had both been involved in, things soon kick off big time and a hugely riveting, often brutal, always fascinating adventure begins.

Resurrection Bay is one of those novels that just drags you along in it’s wake – every time you think you could put it down something happens so you don’t – that way lies the madness of reading into the early hours in your utter need to know what happens. Emma Viskic has a truly rock and roll writing style with a keenly descriptive eye that just keeps you on your toes and drives the narrative in a truly addictive fashion. Beautifully placed unexpected diversions, memorably drawn characters who are multi layered (and we still have lots to learn about so bring on the next novel quick smart I say) together with what was for me a genuinely unexpected resolution and you have a perfect storm of a read.

Caleb may not be able to hear you but he knows you are coming – and I hope he is too, in a lot more future novels from this author.

Banging brilliant. As I said. Highly Recommended.

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Latest Reads: If I Die Tonight by A L Gaylin

Publication Date: 24th August from Century

Source: Netgalley

There was a time when Jackie Reed knew her sons better than anyone. She used to be able to tell what they were thinking, feeling, if they were lying…

But it’s as though every day, every minute even, she knows them a little less. Her boys aren’t boys anymore, they’re becoming men – men she’s not sure she recognises, men she’s not sure she can trust.

So when one of her son’s classmates is killed in suspicious circumstances, people start asking questions.

Was it really a hit and run? A car-jacking gone wrong? Or something much more sinister?

Now Jackie must separate the truth from the lies.

How did that boy end up on the road?

And where was her son that night?

Having loved What Remains of Me I was really looking forward to this and it was one of those books I devoured – although it has a mystery at the heart of it and it’ll get tagged as a psychological thriller, this was much more family drama with a small town vibe, digging deep into themes of parental responsibility, sibling relationships, school and community hierarchy and the dark depths of humanity.

A boy dies – run over during a carjacking, a town mourns and focuses in on Wade – a loner of sorts, who is struggling with things he can’t describe. His mother no longer knows who he is, his brother doubts him and the beauty of this one came in the depth of the characters, the layered relationships and the obfuscated and twisted motivations of a community seeking answers and closure.

My heart ached for them all in a way – A L Gaylin brings a strong emotive edge to her descriptive tone and dialogue – shining a spotlight on those we meet, peeling away their realities in a tense and atmospheric read that promises no salvation but might give you some anyway. The opening salvo drops you straight into the emotion of it and doesn’t let up from there on in.

The ultimate resolution when it comes is beautifully embedded into the previous narrative, it is both heart wrenching, traumatic and in some ways unexpected – there are scenes throughout that will have you gritting your teeth and others that will make you catch your breath.

Really beautifully done. In all the white noise of this genre at the moment, its a true thing to say that clever, talented and beautiful writing tells – If I Die Tonight has all three, making you feel every moment and live it right along with this fractured town.

Definitely recommended.

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Latest Reads: Strange Practice Vivian Shaw

Publication Date: Available Now from Orbit

Source: Review Copy

Meet Greta Helsing, fast-talking doctor to the undead. Keeping the supernatural community not-alive and well in London has been her family’s specialty for generations.

Greta Helsing inherited the family’s highly specialized, and highly peculiar, medical practice. In her consulting rooms, Dr. Helsing treats the undead for a host of ills – vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights, and entropy in mummies. Although barely making ends meet, this is just the quiet, supernatural-adjacent life Greta’s been groomed for since childhood.

Until a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human and undead Londoners alike. As terror takes hold of the city, Greta must use her unusual skills to stop the cult if she hopes to save her practice, and her life. 

I’ve been hoping for some decent urban fantasy to come along, there are a few series out there that I love and follow but not nearly enough – so here we have Greta Helsing and her unconventional medical practice and yay, its all the good stuff.

Strange Practice is a fun and often very dark read, peppered with ghouls and vampires and anything else you could hope for all hanging out in our world, living under the radar, when they are unwell it is Greta they turn to. So that’s the basis, then of course in the spirit of Buffy a big bad comes along and messes with the status quo. Cue an adventurous and highly engaging romp of a tale, layering strange and wonderful characters into a tightly woven supernatural plot setting good against evil when neither side is either one thing or the other. Really great.

Taking some inspiration from Dracula in it’s world building, throwing in a diverse and ever absorbing community of beings, Vivian Shaw delves into the vagaries of human nature using more than mere mortals to do so. It is a beautifully woven page turner, a character driven mish mash of weirdness and wonder and overall I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Definitely recommended – if only so you can meet Fass, perhaps one of my favourite characters of the year so far.

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Kill Me Twice Simon Booker – Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: Available Now from Bonnier

Source: Review Copy

Karl Savage is dead.

He must be. His ex, Anjelica, is in prison for murdering him in an arson attack. Multiple forensic experts testified to finding his charred remains.

So when Anjelica begs investigative journalist Morgan Vine to prove her innocence, it seems an impossible task. It doesn’t matter that Karl was abusive. That Anjelica has a baby to care for. That she’s petrified of fire. The whole world knows Karl is dead.

Then he walks past Morgan’s window . . .

We are back with Morgan Vine again having met her once in “Without a Trace” – this time she is looking into the case of possibly wrongly convicted arsonist Anjelica in a story so twisted you may have to sit down for a while after finishing it.

I love when a crime thriller is fast paced and yet utterly character driven – Simon Booker writes with a kind of frenetic pacy style that keeps you turning the pages whilst still managing to convey a real sense of the characters he has created and revealing their many human layers. In “Kill Me Twice” he throws in a real corker of a mystery too, with dead men walking and several external distractions for Morgan to sort through, at the same time trying to save her daughter from herself and find her way forward in her personal life.

There is a genuinely clever and somewhat unexpected resolution, the plot is intelligently woven, you have to pay attention – whilst if I had one small bugbear it was that I wanted to kill Lissa with my bare hands and I’m not a violent person – Kill Me Twice is a riveting and brilliantly plotted bit of storytelling that may keep you up at night.

Recommended.

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Need to Know by Karen Cleveland. Sssh I’ll tell you a secret….

Publication Date: January 2018 from Bantam Press.

What do you do when everything you trust might be a lie?

Things you Need to Know about Need to Know

  • It is inadvisable to start reading this case report late at night. You won’t get any sleep. Then you may inadvertently give away classified information to the wrong party. This would be bad for your health.
  • It IS advisable to channel Fox Mulder as you read – Trust No-One
  • You may be in the hands of a master manipulator.
  • The truth is within the pages if you grasp the subtle nuances
  • Challenge everything
  • Believe nothing
  • Keep a soft pillow handy. You may need to rest your head when you realise you can’t HANDLE the truth
  • Chances of becoming addicted HIGH  – take steps to protect yourself
  • Domestic Noir just went to the next level
  • When the ending comes and all is revealed – remember to take that next breath. Lack of breathing kills.

Things I can tell you about Need to Know

Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counterintelligence analyst assigned to uncover the leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the United States.

She discovers (——————————————————————Redacted———————————-) and nothing will be the same again.

Is he your Husband?

There are twists in every chapter, sometimes nuanced, sometimes right out loud, but my heart genuinely stopped when (———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————Redacted—————————————————————————————————————————————————–)I thought I might not recover enough to continue to the end.

The storytelling is taut and audacious with a touch of class, but when you get to somewhere near (———————————–Redacted——————————————————–) you’ll realise just how much you’ve been caught in (———————Redacted——————) and may need to reassess everything you’ve read so far.

 

Is he a spy? 

Then that ending. Where all is finally clear. The truth is

Wait, hang on. There’s someone at the door. I’ll tell you in a minute………

 

#NeedToKnowBook 

Latest Reads: The Innocent Wife Amy Lloyd.

Publication Date: 28th December from Century

Source: Netgalley

Twenty years ago Dennis Danson was arrested for the brutal murder of Holly Michaels in Florida’s Red River County. Now he’s the subject of a Making a Murderer-style true crime documentary that’s taking the world by storm – the filmmakers are whipping up a frenzy of coverage to uncover the truth and free the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice.

Samantha may be thousands of miles away in Britain, but she is as invested in Dennis’s case as any of his lawyers. Perhaps even more so, as her letters to the convicted killer grow ever more intimate. Soon she is leaving her life behind to marry Danson and campaign, as his wife, for his release.

But when the campaign is successful, and Dennis is freed, events begin to suggest that he may not be so innocent after all. How many girls went missing in Red River, and what does Dennis really know?

The Innocent Wife was a brilliantly immersive read – if you watched Making A Murderer you’ll probably like this – taking that type of premise as a starting point then taking the reader on a kind of “behind the scenes” journey – focusing on Sam, obsessed with the subject to the point that she drops everything, moves to the States and ultimately marries him. Then, however, the campaign is successful and she’s faced with living with a man she barely knows and who may not be as innocent as he seems.

Through her we meet the television crew, the people from the hometown of the dead girl, various other involved parties and start to slowly uncover the genuine truth of the matter. What I loved about it was the way the author obfuscates her characters, making it hard to see realities but done in a very realistic manner. Dennis is a mass of contradictions, one moment you are full of sympathy for his plight, others you think “ooh this guy is dangerous” but until you reach the final pages you are never quite sure.

Sam as a character I did find a little insipid – she’s easily lead and suffers from extreme jealousy, she is often blinded to the truths around her simply by the sheer force of her obsessive nature – but this makes her very real, it didn’t feel strange that she left her life and married a possible murderer.

Overall a really great, gripping, page turner of a read. You just want to know – I also thought the ending was cleverly thought provoking.

Recommended.

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Unforgivable Mike Thomas – Blog tour Interview and Review.

Today I’m very happy to welcome Mike Thomas, who rather rashly agreed to answer a few questions for me on Unforgivable and other things. A review follows as well (you should get this book it really is pretty darn good and available now!)

So let’s talk about Will MacReady. This is his second outing and you are no nicer to him this time than you were last time. Mean you crime writers are (that is my attempt at a bit of Yoda) So readers coming in have a bit of background – what was the inspiration behind Will and tell us a little bit about his journey before the beginning of Unforgivable.

Impressive Yoda, there. * channels Darth Vader* Most impressive. Where were we? Oh yes. Well first, the name – one of my fave horror films is John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’, with Kurt Russell’s protagonist MacReady. I always wanted to use the name as a nod to the movie. And I’ve had the MacReady character in my head since the 90s, when TFI Friday used to be on the gogglebox and Chris Evans’ producer sidekick was called Will – remember when they all used to point at him and say ‘Wiiiiiiiiiiillllllll’? That’s how Will MacReady was named. How daft is that? Anyway, MacReady is basically me when I joined the job: a tad naïve, wants to make the world better, is slightly gung-ho but his heart is in the right place. Give him a few years he’ll be cynical, overweight, have a completely shaved noggin and an addiction to XL kebabs (with coleslaw) while working night shifts – again, just like me. In the first novel, ‘Ash and Bones’, we see him get caught up in the murder of a colleague, while on the other side of the world some dodgy geezers are transporting orphan kids to the UK for reasons people will discover if they read the book. Oh, and Will – despite the macho job full of swagger and bullshit – is unable to father children, so his wife strikes up a rather awkward deal with MacReady’s violent, ex-convict brother. It all gets a bit messy. Again, like my life at one point, but we won’t go there…

You’ve managed to write a police procedural thriller – clever. Your background obviously gives you a great insight – I didn’t realise how many different departments cover so many different things – tell us a bit about you and then how you manage to make practicalities so interesting.

Thank you. I like being called clever. Much better than ‘big nose’. Anyroad, simple really, I was a police officer for over two decades and I worked in a lot of the departments that we read about in the novel. I used to spend a lot of time just observing, really. Soaking it all up. Paying attention to even the tiniest detail, even if it wasn’t my job to do so: the chemicals used to dust for latent prints, the layout of a drug lab and so on. I knew I wanted to write about the police, so it was a case of absorbing it all for later. There are so many departments in the job. Shifts, teams and squads everywhere. Some squads even have squads within the squad, plus a squad on the side, just in case, like. It used to make my head hurt. That’s one thing I notice about some UK-set crime novels – it’s often just the CID, or even a lone CID officer, dealing with an investigation, kind of mooching about, taking his or her time and even taking a couple of days off for Christmas. Agh, that never, ever happens. Anything like a serious assault or worse will have all manner of departments dealing, from CID to major crime to CSI and beyond. It’s a huge team effort. And time is everything. There’s always, always a sense that things are getting away from you, that it’s all going too fast. That’s one thing I try to convey in the books. That crazy breathlessness of the real job.

In “Unforgivable” you are taking on a very socially relevant theme, that of terrorism and how it affects us and how the police respond to such things – what made you want to write about that and how difficult do you think it is for the Police to do their job given the utter unpredictability of these things.

I’d love to say I predicted how mad the world would be at the moment, that the novel is wonderfully prescient and all that, but it was just a huge coincidence. I started writing it in 2015, before horrors like Paris and the Bataclan, and even gave up on it twice as I thought it was too far-fetched. How wrong I was. See, not so clever now, am I? But the subject matter: with all the novels I want to steer clear of the ‘weird dude stalks attractive woman then locks her in a basement and tortures her’ trope, it’s been done to death and bores me, frankly. The first featured child trafficking and worse, ‘Unforgivable’ focuses on disenfranchisement, and how some people do terrible things to those they feel have wronged or marginalised them. As for the police dealing with terrorism – it’s incredibly difficult, as you can imagine. In terms of numbers, the police and security services simply don’t have the staff to cover all the bases. There’s a saying: ‘the police have to be right all of the time. The terrorist only has to be right once.’ And there’s the issue of privacy too – it’s a balance between protecting the public and letting people have the freedom to do as they please. Tricky stuff.

The last question was relatively deep so to offset that apparently I’m supposed to ask you something really technical about a police thingamabob – thanks Christine – so answer me this. If I come home and find thieves have been in and stolen all my books, but there is no sign of a break in who should I call?

Another thingamabob! Phew. Okay, first: what bastards steal someone’s books? Second: touch nothing, don’t go anywhere near the bookcase, call the police – local number, not the emergency line, unless my books were in your collection so then you’d obviously have to dial 999 – and try to stay out of the room you think they’ve been in. And wait. Think about forensics – Google ‘Locard’s exchange principle’ – and try not to disturb the scene at all. The police can get so much from the locus nowadays – DNA, prints, all that jazz. The fuzz will do the rest when they turn up. Probably two days later, thanks to the government cuts. Ooo, politics moment!

Penultimately –and this may be the most important question of all – what is your favourite smutty film and what is your favourite foodstuff. (I told you to be careful what you wish for)

This definitely is the most important question, possibly that I’ve ever been asked. I love all the food. I will, literally, eat anything. I have a terrible weakness for lardy snacks such as pork scratchings, as well as the odd kilo of Stilton. Fortunately for my waistline and heart I live in Portugal, so can’t get hold of either anymore. I’ll do Thai, Mexican, Portuguese, anything – but to be rather boring I will say curry is the favourite. They don’t ‘do’ curry over here, and there is one – just one! – Indian restaurant I have managed to find, and it involves a three hour round trip just for a madras. Suffice to say, I eat my own bodyweight in naan bread whenever we get the chance to go there. And smutty movies? Well as a connoisseur of, cough, art films during my teenage years I have quite a few favourites. Not titles, specifically, but certain specialised genres. Anything involving dwarves or female feet is fine by me. For something mildly smutty but also genuinely artistic – you can watch it with your mum, even – you can’t really go wrong with ‘Betty Blue’.

Finally my standard question – is there one book you’ve read this year so far that you would like to recommend to everyone?

‘All the Wicked Girls’ by Chris Whitaker. It’s published end of August. Everyone in the world should read it, it’s a fantastic, beautiful, heartache-inducing book that made me weep openly in front of my children, which turned out quite well really as they made ‘Sad Daddy’ cups of tea for the rest of the day.

Thank you!

No, thank you, Elizabeth. I’ve droned on quite a bit here, so you’ve been ruddy marvellous. I’m off to watch an art film.

Art. Ok then….

About the Book:

Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation. 
An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside. 
But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . . 

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker. If they knew the ‘why’, then surely they can find the ‘who’? But that isn’t so easy, and time is fast running out . . . 

MacReady is still trying to prove himself after the horrific events of the previous year, which left his sergeant injured and his job in jeopardy, so he feels sidelined when he’s asked to investigate a vicious knife attack on a young woman. 

But all is not as it seems with his new case, and soon MacReady must put everything on the line in order to do what is right.

Unforgivable was awarded an easy 5* from me I read it cover to cover in record time. Brilliant mix of procedural and proper thriller with a truly authentic edge. Which I guess is what you get when writers do that “write what you know” stuff.

Starting with a truly horrifying and hypnotically described event, Unforgivable begins with a literal bang and basically doesn’t really let up from there – Mike Thomas pulls the reader into the real and difficult world of policing on the ground in all its many forms – whilst our hero, Will, is set onto another case and the local community is exploding due to a controversial trial ongoing – we are taken on a dark and twisted journey to the final resolution.

The storytelling is gritty and realistic, the themes are socially relevant and entirely possible – what the author does so very well is mix up the procedural aspects with the thriller aspects and throws in a driven, haunting and large as life main protagonist in Will Macready for good measure. Will is endlessly fascinating both in action and circumstance.

Tis a proper edgy page turner this one. With some genuinely talented writing skill, and brilliantly insightful storytelling Mike Thomas has taken what he started in Ash and Bone and shot it up the ratings by quite a few points. More of that I say.

Highly Recommended.

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The Unquiet Dead Ausma Zehanat Khan – Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: Available Now from No Exit Press

Source: Review Copy

Detective Esa Khattak is in the midst of his evening prayers when he receives a phone call asking that he and his partner, Detective Rachel Getty, look into the death of a local man who has fallen off a cliff. At first Christopher Drayton’s death—which looks like an accident—doesn’t seem to warrant a police investigation, especially not from Khattak and Rachel’s team, which handles minority-sensitive cases. But it soon comes to light that Drayton might have been living under an assumed name, and he may not have been the upstanding Canadian citizen he appeared to be. In fact, he may have been a Bosnian war criminal with ties to the Srebrenica massacre of 1995. And if that’s true, any number of people could have had reason to help him to his death.

As Rachel and Khattak dig deeper into the life and death of Christopher Drayton, every question seems to lead only to more questions, and there are no easy answers. Did the specters of Srebrenica return to haunt Drayton at last, or had he been keeping secrets of an entirely different nature? Or, after all, did a man just fall to his death in a tragic accident?

An incredibly powerful novel, setting a mystery within the context of the war in the former Yugoslavia – really hitting home about what happened there and creating a group of unforgettable characters. This had me in tears an awful lot of the time.

I, of course, am old enough to remember that time but being removed from it, watching images on the television that  never really got to the heart of the matter, you don’t really get how godawful that war was, how many lives were lost, what went on there. Reading “The Unquiet Dead” was an education in that respect, a masterclass in how fiction can hit home in ways that reality often cannot.

At the same time The Unquiet Dead is an entertaining and well plotted mystery although I never really felt like I was reading a “whodunnit, more a “who are they” which applied to all the characters including our main protagonists Getty and Khattak.  Khattak is really the most intriguing creation, in this first of the series we have only just scratched the surface which bodes well for the rest. Getty is equally intriguing but on different levels – as a duo they were endlessly fascinating.

Using a clever multi layered style of storytelling, wherein we find out some hard truths about life on the ground in the former Yugoslavia whilst the war was raging and present time as Khattak and Getty dig into the life and death of the man known as Drayton, you are drawn deeper and deeper into some dark, dangerous and horrifying realities. Every character is finely drawn, the author teasing out the detail, slowly revealing the heart of them and through that the answers finally emerge. Often the narrative takes your breath away, the ultimate resolution leaving you melancholy and contemplative – to call this novel thought provoking isn’t really good enough but its all I’ve got.

Incredibly emotional, ever riveting, completely immersive, The Unquiet Dead is one of those books I want to make everyone read, absorb and appreciate.

Highly Recommended.

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Latest Reads: The Late Show: Michael Connelly

Publication Date: Available Now from Orion

Source: Review Copy

Renée Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing none as each morning she turns her cases over to day shift detectives. A once up-and-coming detective, she’s been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.

But one night she catches two cases she doesn’t want to part with: the brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. Ballard is determined not to give up at dawn. Against orders and her own partner’s wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night. As the cases entwine they pull her closer to her own demons and the reason she won’t give up her job no matter what the department throws at her.

I can’t  speak for everyone but I love it when an author I’ve been following for years and years suddenly turns around and gives us something new – and what a something new it is, with The Late Show featuring Detective Renee Ballard. Working the night shift (referred to as The Late Show) in a kind of punishment come harassment type way having annoyed a colleague by daring to bring a complaint, Renee is tough as they come and takes no prisoners – I loved her bull at a wall attitude and her determination to get things done despite being constantly sidelined.

Michael Connelly has created a very different atmosphere with The Late Show – there’s a dark and disturbing ambience to it, with a lot of the action taking place in the pre dawn hours, this is a different type of policing altogether – coming into a case but never seeing it through to fruition. Until the night we meet Renee however who finds a strange kinship with a victim of a beating and determines there and then not to let her down..

Renee herself is the heart and soul of this novel – you learn a lot about her just through her attitude, her actions and her relationships with those around her. She is tough, yes but also flawed, not all her decision making is sensible and her life away from the unit is somewhat quirky. Mr Connelly builds a whole other world around her, paced to perfection with a hugely authentic edge and a practical addictive prose that keeps you up through the night – I didn’t want to leave this book shift until Renee did – although this takes place over several days and nights the feeling is of one long, intense and beautifully intriguing set piece. I could almost imagine it being filmed, West Wing style with one camera following Renee through the murky twists and turns of her cases, never panning away.

The mystery elements are clearly Connelly – twists and turns and tiny little nuances that turn into hugely important clues and reasons – he has an incredibly realistic eye towards character building and there is not one thing that rings false or unlikely – which makes it all the more hard hitting when the big moments come.

Overall I thought this was pure pure excellence on the page. I honestly and sincerely hope that we see Renee many times over, doing what she does best, I want to know more about her and all the others I met within the pages (I loved the lawyer incidentally watch out for him) and I definitely want to see her bring her unique way of working to more night time incidents – it is, after all, always darkest just before dawn.

Highly Recommended.

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Behind Her Back Jane Lythell Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: Available Now from Head of Zeus

Source: Review Copy

The second StoryWorld novel set in the glamorous, pressurized world of a live London TV station.

StoryWorld is the nation’s favourite morning show, and producer Liz Lyon wants to keep it that way. Her job is to turn real-life stories into thrilling TV – and keep a lid on the cauldron of conflicts and resentments that constantly simmers off-stage.

In this gripping novel of power, rivalry and betrayal, Jane Lythell draws on her experiences of working in the heated world of live TV. Liz Lyon must balance the monster egos at work with the demands of her teenage daughter – and the man she’s just started dating – at home. It’s all in a day’s work

The first novel in this series, Woman of the Hour was absolutely gripping, taking us behind the scenes of live television and introducing us to Liz Lyon, a character whose day to day issues resonate with us all.

In Behind Her Back Liz is back from holiday to face yet more shenanigans in the workplace all the while juggling real life and family – and once again it is gripping and has a really authentic edge to it that keeps you involved throughout.

I love the way the characters are developed here, making you love and hate them, rooting for Liz all the way as she chooses her battles and faces down new people in it for the money. Lori is a great addition to the cast, adding to the balance Liz has to try and find – keep the ratings up, keep the staff happy (and I was pleased to see my fave Fizzy back feisty as ever) all the while keeping that balance in her own life. Behind Her Back is like the best tv drama but unfolding on the page.The writing and plotting is superb a hugely satisfying reading experience.

I loved it – and the last one – definitely recommended by me, something a little different and endlessly fascinating.

I have one copy to give away – if you tweet me @Lizzy11268 and tell me why you fancy it I’ll put your name into the actual hat I use to draw these things!

Happy Reading!

 

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