Snowblind Blog Tour with OMG that Book!



Today as part of the blog tour I welcome David to the blog with his review for Snowblind (Come back and see me again on the 30th when I will be giving my thoughts!


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Ragnar Jonasson’s debut Snowblind is a brilliant new thriller with storytelling that is clear and crisp. The setting is northwest Iceland amongst the dazzling white snow and artic chill of winter. Siglufjordur is a remote fishing village lying between the sea and the mountains with the only access by road through a small tunnel in the rocks. But suddenly the village is shaken when there’s a killer on the loose and young rookie policeman Ari Thor is on the case. This is a friendly close-knit community ‘where nothing ever happens’ and so traditionally doors are left unlocked…but not anymore!

This is the first novel in Ragnar Jonasson Dark Iceland series and after reading it I can’t wait for the second book Nightblind due out next year again from Orenda Books.

Our story begins with Ari Thor leaving behind his home and girlfriend in Iceland’s capital Reykjavik. He’s jumped at the chance of his first police role in Siglufjordur much to the dismay of his lover. Soon he’s missing his girlfriend and questioning his decision. The claustrophobic scenic village and the sense of being an outsider begins to leave Ari Thor feeling isolated, lonely and full of doubt.

But a seemingly accidental death of a well-known author and a bloody attack on a local woman changes everything. The quiet village becomes rife with gossip and everyone is on edge. The weather worsens and the village is cut off by snow. The police investigation becomes more compelling as old secrets come to light. Ari Thor and his girlfriend back home seem to be drifting apart and when he becomes attracted to a local girl his love life also becomes confused adding to the intrigue. The plot twists and turns as the tension and intensity builds and we are treated to an excellent ending to the book.

Ragnar Jonasson makes this murder mystery complex and hard to fathom who the guilty party is for both Ari Thor and also the reader. It keeps us all guessing providing an entertaining read and challenging our ‘whodunit’ skills right to the last few pages. Overall this is a damn good thriller and I am more than happy to recommend it to you.

Thank you so much David :)

The Life and Death of Sophie Stark – Blog Tour


I am SO happy to be part of the blog tour for this simply beautiful and poignant novel. I was even more happy to be able to ask the author some questions about it – I found the answers absolutely fascinating. Here is  what she had to tell me about Sophie Stark – and following that are my thoughts on the novel. Enjoy!

Even though we only see her through the eyes of other characters, tell us a little about the inspiration behind the Sophie Stark character.

At first I wanted to write about a female character who was a sort of political documentarian — someone who made movies about a Latin American socialist leader. I knew her name would be Sophie Stark and I wrote a tiny bit about her, but I put it away for years while I worked on my first book. When I came back to Sophie I realized the political angle wasn’t what I was most interested in. I was interested in Sophie — I wanted to explore this brilliant, sometimes cruel character and how she was remembered by those around her, how her art and life went down in history.

Was it interesting to explore the impact that a single life can have on so many others?

Definitely. At first I was most interested in Sophie — how did all the different characters see her, and what did their perceptions reveal about her? But as I wrote from their points of view, I got really invested in their lives too — I got interested in Jacob’s mother, George’s ex-wife, Allison’s husband. By the time I finished the book, it wasn’t just about how the main character influenced the others; it was about a group of people, all of them bound together to some degree by Sophie, but all of them with joys and sorrows of their own that are just as important as hers (even if she doesn’t always recognize that).

Through their interactions with Sophie we also learn a lot about the characters telling the story – Did you feel that any one of them (or more than one) might have been better if she had not crossed their path?

I definitely think the characters vary in how much Sophie helps or harms them. Allison explicitly says she’s better off for having met Sophie (but that Sophie might not be better off for having met her). I think Daniel’s clearly better off too — I think Sophie helps him understand himself in a fundamental way. Sophie helps Ben Martin form his aesthetic as a critic, and she helps George decide he wants to direct. With Jacob, I’m not so sure — she seems like she’s helping him at first, but I don’t know if he’d ultimately say she did. And poor Robbie — it’s possible he’d be better off without the influence of Sophie in his life, but then again, he wouldn’t be who he is.

Do you think “The Life and Death of Sophie Stark” would translate well to screen (I am in no doubt that it would and would love to see it done) considering that it has creativity through film right at the heart of the story?

I’d love to see a film adaptation, but I think it would actually look pretty different from the novel. The different points of view would be difficult to capture on screen; the directors might have to collapse some of them. I also think it would be interesting to see Sophie’s movies on screen, though I think they’d probably look very different than they do in my imagination. A work of fiction about a film is going to be really different from the film itself; it’s almost hard for me to imagine how the films would look if they were really made, even though I saw them in my head dozens of times.

Sophie is really an enigma start to finish. Did you ever really get a handle on her?

I did and I didn’t. On the one hand, I think I learned certain key things about Sophie as I was writing. She does care what other people think, in some ways — at least, she cares how people remember her. And she sort of feeds her own personal myth — in some ways, she encourages people to feel they can’t truly understand her. On the other hand, I don’t think she truly understands herself — I don’t think she knows why she is the way she is, why she can’t (or won’t) be more connected to people. And I think it was important that there was a part of her that remained enigmatic, even to me.


When you are not writing yourself, what type of novels do you love to lose yourself in?

I think I tend to like books about characters’ inner lives, especially female characters and especially characters who are on the brink of big life changes or decisions. Recently, I’ve loved Samantha Harvey’s “Dear Thief,” Rachel Cusk’s “Outline,” Helen Oyeyemi’s “White Is For Witching,” and Elisa Albert’s “After Birth.” All of these are about girls and women at pivotal times in their lives, wrestling with scary questions of love and family and identity.

Thank you SO much Anna – completely fascinating!


“It’s hard for me to talk about love. I think movies are the way I do that,” says Sophie Stark, a visionary and unapologetic filmmaker. She uses stories from the lives of those around her—her obsession, her girlfriend, and her husband—to create movies that bring her critical recognition and acclaim. But as her career explodes, Sophie’s unwavering dedication to her art leads to the shattering betrayal of the people she loves most.

Told in a chorus of voices belonging to those who knew her best, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is an intimate portrait of an elusive woman whose monumental talent and relentless pursuit of truth reveal the cost of producing great art, both for the artist and for the people around her.

Firstly I would like to say about “The Life and Death of Sophie Stark” that not only is it one of my favourite books that I have read this year, but it has also gone immediately onto my favourite books of all time list. So there is that.

I was not sure about it originally – but the thing with this novel is that it sucks you in with some poignant and gorgeous writing and every single character is full of depth, realism and an often ironic edge that is just simply brilliantly done.

Sophie Stark is a film maker. We never hear from her directly in the story but we do hear from an ensemble cast of characters who have been deeply effected by their interactions with her. She is an enigma, we meet her only through the eyes of others, still a profound picture starts to emerge of a troubled creative soul. Even so is this the real Sophie? Well that is the unique twist to this novel, we may guess but can never know…

The author uses her characters to give both a public and private view of Sophie – from her lovers to her family and beyond. Sometimes only peripherally touching a life, Sophie still seems to have formed some part of it and for me she felt like a whirlwind of a human being, touching down briefly then drifting away, tempestuous and suddenly changing lives without warning.

Imaginatively speaking this is alluring, I melted into the descriptions of Sophie’s films, I wanted to watch every single one and indeed felt like I had. Then of course, through the telling we learn so much about the characters who are talking, their hopes dreams and fears, their lives both with and without her. As a character piece this is a truly impressive and magnificently constructed story – Anna North knows how to weave words around the reader and bring them into the world that she has created.

I was quite simply heartbroken at the end of this. Even now it is bittersweet. A book I shall return to again and again I’m sure, I really cannot recommend this highly enough.

This is what storytelling is all about.

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New Release Spotlight: In My House by Alex Hourston


Publication Date: Available Now from Faber and Faber

Source: Publisher Review Copy

Maggie lives a life of careful routines and measured pleasures. But everything changes when, walking through Gatwick a few days shy of her fifty-eighth birthday, a young woman approaches her and whispers a single word: ‘Help.’
Maggie responds, and in that moment saves a stranger, earning Anja her freedom and ensuring the arrest of a brutal trafficker.
But when the story gets picked up by the papers, Margaret is panicked by the publicity, as well as the strange phone calls she begins to receive.

In My House is a wonderful debut – a true character piece that surprises in unexpected ways.

Maggie helps a stranger one day and by doing so sets off a chain of events that she is not sure how to handle, On the surface In My House looks like it will be a mystery story, a tale with a hidden secret to be revealed. And in a way it is that yes, but more than that and at the heart of it is an ensemble cast, headed by Maggie, that allows the author to explore life and love in all its forms.

We have Maggie who is beautifully drawn – she’s an odd duck (I’m channeling my mother there somewhat) who on the surface just does not really like people. Then we have Anja, running from her past and into her future. When these two collide and develop a relationship it expands and contracts, ebbs and flows, starts to involve others and it is all endlessly gorgeously fascinating.

I loved every minute of it. It is a story of friendship. of how these develop sometimes despite ourselves. It is a story about the choices we make and how those choices form our personality. It is a tale of family and background and influences and most of all it is a story about the unexpected life events that can change everything.

Totally compelling, beautifully written and absolutely chock full of heart, this comes highly recommended from me.

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New Release Spotlight: Day Four by Sarah Lotz


Publication Date: 21st May from Hodder and Staughton

Source: Publisher Review Copy

Four days into a five day singles cruise on the Gulf of Mexico, the ageing ship Beautiful Dreamer stops dead in the water. With no electricity and no cellular signals, the passengers and crew have no way to call for help. But everyone is certain that rescue teams will come looking for them soon. All they have to do is wait. 
That is, until the toilets stop working and the food begins to run out. When the body of a woman is discovered in her cabin the passengers start to panic. There’s a murderer on board the Beautiful Dreamer… and maybe something worse.

The Three was in my top 10 of 2014 so I was really looking forward to “Day Four” a standalone horror thriller that also works as a sequel. In fact my honest opinion is that whilst you could quite happily read Day Four first, if you start with The Three you will get added oomph to this novel, a greater depth – so that would be my recommendation.

Onto Day Four then, I guess the truth is it freaked me out a little. Ok, a lot. In the best way possible. It is dark, scary, atmospheric and beautifully done so that you are constantly on edge..also you will never find me setting foot on a cruise ship. Ever. Just in case. The problem (or the genius)  is that whilst Sarah Lotz has  written a fantasy, a world that is ours but in which strange things are occurring, she writes it so realistically and with such fervour that it is amazingly and frighteningly believable.

Very basically then as I truly think the less you know of the plot before diving in the more you will get out of it, the story starts off fairly low key as we meet an eclectic group of passengers and staff on board the Beautiful Dreamer cruise ship. The author sets her characters up beautifully, by the time things start to go wrong you will probably already have decided who to root for and who you would like to see nasty things happen to – then the nasty things start happening and boy will it mess with your head.

Day Four is thoroughly haunting and gorgeously creepy – Sarah Lotz builds the tension with some elegant writing and cleverly obscure foreshadowing, a really most marvellously constructed story that stayed with me long after finishing it – and boy does this author know how to set you up and then throw an ending at you. Simply brilliant.

If you are expecting The Three again that is not what you will get. There is a different style to Day Four that is equally as compelling – Sarah Lotz is carefully and alluringly building her world, a world that is slightly off kilter and very very intriguing. There is a flow to it,  shrouded in mystery, I’m not sure I’ve seen a “series” done quite in this way before and it is just superb. I do wonder (all the time godarnit!) what she has up her sleeve for us next, but whatever it is I’m going to be right there. Whether there is a plan to bring these two and future stories together eventually into some kind of grand finale, I do not know. I hope so because with a creative mind such as this author obviously has (strange as it may be) I can imagine that it would be a wonder to behold. No pressure Sarah!

Highly Recommended

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Four simultaneous plane crashes. Three child survivors. A religious fanatic who insists the three are harbingers of the apocalypse. What if he’s right?

The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn’t appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.

Dubbed ‘The Three’ by the international press, the children all exhibit disturbing behavioural problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention. This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse. The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children’s behaviour becomes increasingy disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival…          


Happy (and scary) Reading Folks!

A Night with some Killer Women…



So last Wednesday night I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of those Killer Women – it was a brilliant night, informative and fun with more than a little wine flowing. I was lucky enough to meet two of my favourite authors who I have been reading for years – Jane Casey and Erin Kelly – to say my fangirl side went into overdrive is putting it mildly. But Jane and Erin are just two of this beautifully eclectic group of Crime Writers who have formed a collective to provide a unique and innovative service. The full list of those involved can be found here:

I met Louise Voss, Helen Smith and Helen Giltrow again which was wonderful, I stalked Tammy Cohen a little and was very happy to meet Colette McBeth for the first time – I did not get around to everyone, it was a busy and very sociable evening plus I was busy nabbing some new signed books for my collection. Sneakily. Or maybe not that sneakily but with a great deal of enthusiasm.

So what is next for these Killer Women?

They will be involved in a wide range of activities it seems including interviews and workshops, attending events and debates and  honestly if I could go to everything they did I absolutely would – as a group they are intelligent, witty and enthusiastic, also extremely dedicated to the reading and writing community. Life is about to get very exciting.

1-Killer-Women-Launch-300x200Those Killer Women



10410652_10205447625922572_3692323674959241789_nwith Jane Casey

11058310_10205447625642565_7144621256148198433_nwith Erin Kelly

I think this is a really most terrific idea – I highly recommend you sign up to the newsletter and see what is going to be going on – you can do that here:

And indeed peruse the website to find out more…

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Happy Reading Folks!


Liz Currently Loves…..Untouchable by Ava Marsh

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Publication Date: Available Now (Kindle) Paperback August from Transworld

Source: Netgalley

They know who she is. She knows too much.
Stella is an escort, immersed in a world of desire, betrayal and secrets. It’s exactly where she wants to be. Stella used to be someone else: respectable, loved, safe.
When a fellow call girl is murdered, Stella has a choice: forget what she’s seen, or risk everything to get justice for her friend. In her line of work, she’s never far from the edge, but pursuing the truth could take Stella past the point of no return

This is a terribly addictive character driven thriller with a hard sexy edge and a really intriguing and clever storyline.

Grace is a prostitute – known in the business as Stella, she caters to the whims and desires of her clients daily. When another girl is found murdered Stella becomes embroiled in the mystery of her death and as she moves ever closer to the truth, things are about to get very dangerous.

What I loved most about this is the beautiful mash up of mystery, thriller and real life drama and the sheer depth of character Ava Marsh brings to the people you will meet within the pages. It is dark for sure, unrelenting in its descriptive prose, with an authentic look at life for a call girl, touching on realistic issues and yet also managing to tell a stonking good story at the same time.

Multi-layered, it is endlessly fascinating as we peel away the surface to what lies beneath especially with relation to the motivations and personality traits of the characters. Grace is such an alluring and provocative character to follow as she tells her story and you begin to understand her more.

If you are not a fan of graphic sexual content this one will definitely NOT be for you. The author has not pulled any punches when it comes to the realism of the world she is showing you, whilst it is never gratuitous and always speaks to the story, it IS gritty and honestly described which some may find disturbing. For me it was extremely necessary to the plot and indeed gave the whole tale a definitive and credible edge which would have been lost should the author have tried to mollycoddle.

Overall a really really terrific debut – almost impossible to put down once you start I sincerely hope that we will meet Grace again. She has, I think, a lot more to say.

Highly Recommended

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Liz Currently Loves….Tenacity by J S Law.


Publication Date: July 30th from Headline

Source: Netgalley

Suicide must be investigated
Especially when a Royal Navy sailor kills himself on a nuclear submarine, only days after his wife’s brutal murder.
Now Lieutenant Danielle Lewis, the Navy’s finest Special Branch investigator, must interrogate the tight-knit, male crew of HMS Tenacityto determine if there’s a link.
Isolated, and standing alone in the face of extreme hostility, Dan soon realises that she may have to choose between the truth and her own survival.
Justice must be served, but with a possible killer on board the pressure is rising and her time is running out.

I started Tenacity last night and apart from a short sleep, a work shift and you know, feeding the kids, I didnt put it down until I finished it just now. Really, don’t start this book until you have a chunk of time free.

Tenacity is a claustrophobic, addictive and brilliantly constructed thriller that just won’t let go, utterly gripping and pretty perfect. Dan, a woman in a man’s world, is superbly drawn, anchoring the tale, allowing a lot of fairly dark themes to be explored all wrapped up in a truly terrific mystery story with a deeply disturbing but completely enthralling edge.

A lot of it is in the setting – a huge part of this novel takes place in the confines of a submarine – nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, Dan must track down a killer and she is entirely isolated in this task. This allows for some really creepy and edge of the seat moments that are written so well you may find it hard to breathe yourself. The author manages to bring the atmosphere to vivid life, descriptively speaking this is magnificent stuff, deceptively simple seeming prose that just gets into your head and puts you right there.

There is a hugely organic flow to the writing that keeps you staying up just “ten more minutes” for “just one more chapter” that then turns into a good few more chapters and a good many more minutes – the sign for me of a really really good book.

In the case of “Tenacity” there is no compromise on character to create thrills, the characters ARE the thrills, not only Dan but every single one, bad guys and good guys alike. If you want a thriller that truly works on every level then “Tenacity” is for you.

The ending made me beautifully madly insane – but was pitch perfect. I loved every minute of this, from the opening shots across the bow so to speak to the adrenalin filled final pages that had me madly downing sherbert dib dabs – yes I eat silly sweets when I’m tense – and I really cannot recommend it highly enough.

Just hurry along the next one for heavens sake. That is all!

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The Happy Ever Afterlife of Rosie Potter – Blog Tour

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Falling in love is never simple. Especially when you’re dead.

When Rosie Potter wakes up one morning with what she assumes is the world’s worst hangover, the last thing she expects is to discover that she’s actually dead. With a frustrating case of amnesia, suspicious circumstances surrounding her untimely demise, and stuck wearing her ugliest flannel PJs, Rosie must figure out not only what happened last night, but why on earth she’s still here.

Slowly the mystery unravels, but there are many other secrets buried in the quiet Irish village of Ballycarragh, and nobody is as innocent as they first appear. Aided by the unlikeliest of allies in her investigation, Rosie discovers that life after death isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, particularly when you might just be falling in love . . .

In this hilarious, life-affirming and romantic journey through Rosie Potter’s afterlife, she shares the ghostly tale of how she lived, she died, and she loved (in that order).

Ok so the very first thing I want to say about “Rosie Potter” is that it is hilarious. So funny – I spent an awful lot of the time either smiling or giggling as Rosie wakes up one morning to discover she is dead, sets off to discover why and finds out all sorts of things about her life and those in it that she never even suspected.

Not usually being a fan of this type of book (the whole “Dead girl” aspect having drawn me in to read it) I was genuinely surprised and delighted at how much I enjoyed it. That is down to the gorgeous flow of the writing and Rosie herself – a beautifully drawn character who just pops off the page and makes you fall in love with her. There is a bittersweet poignancy as well to the knowledge that she is gone, still she is vibrantly beautifully alive while you are reading her story.

Very intriguing as well – it had me considering what it would be like to suddenly be a “Fly on the wall” and see what people were really like – Rosie’s journey of discovery leads her to all kinds of secrets and it is truly addictive as you wait to find out what happened on that night and, indeed, what may happen next. In between the fits of laughter there is an alluring emotional undercurrent running throughout the story which gives it a great depth even through the fluffier lighter moments.

Kudos to Kate Winter for turning a story about a girl struck down in the prime of her life and making it into a witty, insightful and truly life affirming tale – considering the subject matter there is simply nothing at all depressing about this book – you will come out the other side of it feeling great. Ok yes as I said, bittersweet perhaps but still, this novel is definitely one you should read if you need a bit of a lift, want to be genuinely entertained and feel the need to leave the duller aspects of life behind you for a while and spend a few hours with a smile on your face.

Loved it.

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Liz Currently Loves…Starborn by Lucy Hounsom


Publication Date: Available Now from Tor UK

Source: Purchased Copy

Kyndra’s fate holds betrayal and salvation, but the journey starts in her small village. On the day she comes of age, she accidentally disrupts an ancient ceremony, ending centuries of tradition. So when an unnatural storm targets her superstitious community, Kyndra is blamed. She fears for her life until two strangers save her, by wielding powers not seen for an age – powers fuelled by the sun and the moon.

I came across this book by chance – gatecrashing the launch party while I was at another across the road  – I was lured in by that gorgeous cover, so I purchased a copy, met the author, got it signed and could not resist reading it almost straight away.

So glad I did. Starborn is a beautifully imagined fantasy tale with some really engaging characters and a rich and deep mythology running through it that is very compelling and utterly addictive.

The world building is fantastic, done intelligently and with a touch of class, as Kyndra sets off on a journey of discovery you are right there alongside her observing and learning about the expansive places and people beyond her small village as she does. Legend and superstition abound, the story unfolds in glorious vivid ways, the characters are immensely intriguing – Kyndra herself is a perfect anchor for the reader to follow along with and this is a story you can sink right into and leave the real world behind for a while.

This is old school fantasy in a lot of ways but brought into the modern era with a delicate touch, really well written, taking some classic genre staples and giving them a new edgy and gripping focus – a real page turner. Plenty of heart stopping action, some purely emotional moments and a cast of eclectic and alluring characters to give it all focus and life.

Overall then really terrific. The ending was such that I am REALLY looking forward to whatever comes next. This comes highly recommended from me for fans of Fantasy – taking it back to its roots and making me remember why I loved the genre in the first place.

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The Killing of Bobbi Lomax by Cal Moriarty. Blog Tour.


Publication Date: Available Now from Faber

Source: Advanced Reading Copy

CANYON COUNTY, HALLOWEEN 1983 .Bobbi Lomax was the first to die, the bomb killed the prom queen on her own front lawn. Just moments later one of the nails from the city’s second bomb forced its way into the brain of property investor Peter Gudsen, killing him almost instantly. The third bomb didn’t quite kill Clark Houseman. Hovering on the brink, the rare books dealer turns out to be Detectives Sinclair and Alvarez’s best hope of finding out what linked these unlikely victims, and who wanted them dead and why. But can they find the bomber before he kills again?

The Killing of Bobbi Lomax is a superb crime debut – multi layered, with absolutely fascinating characters, terrific descriptive prose and a really really intriguing tale. Set in “God” country in the 80’s Cal Moriarty manages to bring that time and place to vivid stunning life giving this novel a terrific atmosphere and telling a beautifully managed and addictive mystery story.

This is old school storytelling set in an old school world – the detectives having to go about things the old fashioned way, the age of super electronics and internet still years away – this gives such an added depth to the mystery element, an almost Christie-esque feel to it that is both wonderful and nostalgic.

Add to that some remarkably authentic and well drawn characters – I adored Clark Houseman, such an engaging and sometimes hilarious protagonist, I think his parts of the book were my favourite – also, rare book dealer – what else needs to be said? Our detectives are a superb duo – so beautifully normal and casting a wry eye over events as they try to unravel the various elements and track down a bomber before he can strike again.

Overall then a rich, diverse and gorgeously written page turner with some interesting themes set in a captivating time period with a riveting and highly stimulating story.

Highly Recommended

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