To Conclude a Trilogy…The Domino Killer by Neil White.

25643638neil

Publication Date: 30th July from Sphere.

Source: Netgalley

When a man is found beaten to death in a local Manchester park, Detective Constable Sam Parker is one of the investigating officers. Sam swiftly identifies the victim, but what at first looks like an open and shut case quickly starts to unravel when he realises that the victim’s fingerprints were found on a knife at another crime scene, a month earlier.

Meanwhile, Sam’s brother, Joe – a criminal defence lawyer in the city – comes face to face with a man whose very presence sends shockwaves through his life. Joe must confront the demons of his past as he struggles to come to terms with the darkness that this man represents.

 

So “The Domino Killer” then is the third book in the Parker brothers trilogy and also one hell of a finale – I read it in just over 2 hours straight (no way I was putting it down once picked up, way too addictive for that) – it often had me on the edge of my seat. I did actually pull hair out. Ouch.

 

Anyway, this is the one any fan of this series (which definitely includes me) has been waiting for, dealing as it does finally with the cold case murder of Ellie – Joe and Sam’s Sister – details of which have been drip fed over the last two novels, to prevent spoilers I won’t say more. Suffice to say it has been a fantastic backdrop to everything else that went on, giving a wonderful depth to the characters and an authentic edge to the people they are. By the time “The Domino Killer” arrived I was in it with them all the way.

 

I am more than a little in love with Neil White’s writing style, every time it just gets better and better – there is a truly brilliant subtlety to the words on the page even in the more violent moments – and it packs a heck of an emotional punch, at times you really feel it.

 

Crime fiction is an inclusive genre, there really is something for everyone, it is also a rather crowded one where sometimes the gems can get lost in the crowd. There are some fantastic British crime writers out there of which this author is one – for me he is right up there with Billingham and MacBride, especially when it comes to gritty realism and a refusal to pull punches. With this book that feeling has just intensified, so if you haven’t given Mr White a go yet then I’d highly recommend that you do. With this trilogy or indeed with any of the books that came before.

 

Pitch perfect pacing and delicate construction make these must reads for any Crime Fiction – fan, on my top ten “must read” list for a few years now, if this standard continues I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Highly Recommended.

Find out more here: http://neilwhite.net/

Follow Neil on Twitter here :  https://twitter.com/neilwhite1965

Pre-Order information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Domino-Killer-0-Neil-White/dp/0751549517/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2_har?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436820837&sr=1-1&keywords=the+domino+killer+neil+white

Catch me later on the tour over at Janet’s place https://fromfirstpagetolast.wordpress.com/ with a guest post.

Happy Reading Folks!

The Artificial Anatomy of Parks – Blog Tour.

25246314

Publication Date: Available Now from Legend Press

Source: Netgalley

At 21, Tallulah Park lives alone in a grimy bedsit. There’s a sink in her bedroom and a strange damp smell that means she wakes up wheezing. Then she gets the call that her father has had a heart attack. Years before, she was being tossed around her difficult family; a world of sniping aunts, precocious cousins, emigrant pianists, and lots of gin, all presided over by an unconventional grandmother. But no one was answering Tallie’s questions: why did Aunt Vivienne loathe Tallie’s mother? Why is everyone making excuses for her absent father? Who was Uncle Jack and why would no one talk about him?

The Artificial Anatomy of Parks is a beautifully written and moving debut from Kat Gordon – a deeply intense family drama with some brilliantly drawn authentic characters and actually a really emotional read.

A coming of age tale where family secrets are rife we see Tally growing up amongst an eclectic and fascinating group of family characters, where she is today very much informed by where she has come from.

The author has a really great way of telling the story in a gorgeously readable style and engages the reader from the very first page – this is a novel full of depth of character, emotional resonance and very insightful observations, as such it made for an intriguing read.

Kat Gordon is a writer to watch  – building the layers of her tale in a truly alluring way, keeping you immersed into the story of Tallie and her life this is a remarkably accomplished debut and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.

Highly Recommended.

Find out more here: https://katgordonwrites.wordpress.com/

Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/katgordon1984

Purchase Information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1785079867/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738

Follow the tour!

Anatomy Blog Tour Banner July 2015

Happy Reading Folks!

The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton – Blog Tour

23310342Rosamund Lupton. Photographed by Charlie Hopkinson. No use without rights clearance.

Rosamund Lupton.
Photographed by Charlie Hopkinson.
No use without rights clearance.

 

Publication Date: Available Now from Little Brown.

Thanks to the publisher for the Advanced Reading Copy

On 24th November Yasmin and her deaf daughter Ruby arrived in Alaska.

Within hours they were driving alone across a frozen wilderness

Where nothing grows

Where no one lives

Where tears freeze

And night will last for another 54 days.

They are looking for Ruby’s father.

Travelling deeper into a silent land.

They still cannot find him.

And someone is watching them in the dark.

The Quality of Silence is a read that was worth waiting for (I’m a huge fan of Ms Lupton’s previous novels) and with this one she has taken a step up with some beautiful writing, an intense, chilly and emotional read that is utterly utterly gripping.

Ruby’s father is seemingly killed in a horrific accident – Ruby’s Mum however does not believe it and with Ruby in tow sets off across a bleak and unforgiving landscape to track him down. As the story unfolds from both points of view it is truly fascinating and this is one of those tales that you sink into without looking back.

Rosamund Lupton really does have the magic touch when it comes to characters, Ruby’s voice is amazing and really makes the whole novel so much more than it could have been – the yin/yang aspect between her observations and that of her Mother is well imagined and gives huge depth to proceedings, I loved both of them dearly.

As for setting, the author brings Alaska to vivid, realistic life around our two as they travel ever onwards, the beauty of the descriptive prose giving the reader a real feel for the challenges being faced, so realistically written that at times you may physically shiver, even in the current heatwave we are experiencing. Therein lies the power of words – in this novel that power is inherent in every chapter and is honestly addictive.

All in all then a truly marvellous read, one that will tug on the heartstrings, have you holding your breath, keep you turning those pages to find out the outcome, especially for Ruby and ultimately a story that you will never forget. I loved it.

Highly Recommended. HIGHLY.

Find out more here: http://www.rosamundlupton.com/alaskamap/

Follow the author on Twitter here:  https://twitter.com/Rosamundlupton

Purchase Information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0349408122/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738

Join the Conversation #TheQualityOfSilence

And don’t forget to follow the tour….

The Quality of Silence blog tour poster

Happy Reading Folks!

Follow You Home by Mark Edwards. Blog tour. Guest Post.

follow_you_home-blogtour

 

The Wandering Author – How and Where I Write

This is a picture of my office at home. (SEE PHOTO) It’s not actually an office – that was turned into a nursery two years ago when my third child was on the way. No, it’s a corner of my dining room, with the smallest desk we could find because that’s all that would fit. Out of shot are the dining table, two high chairs, several boxes full of felt tip pens and an essential item for every writer’s workspace: a bright yellow puppet theatre.

 

IMG_0859

A lot of readers – including me, before I became a full-time author – imagine authors locking themselves away in grand offices, probably on the top floor of a large house, with an inspiring view. A solid oak desk, piles of paper everywhere, shelf after shelf of books. A place where magic naturally happens. But I’ve discovered this is not at all typical, especially as most of us have to fit writing around normal life. And if you have small children, the challenge of finding time and space to write is magnified – like every other problem that child-free people can barely comprehend – ten-fold.

So it’s actually pretty rare to find me in my little makeshift office. Instead, most days I can be found wandering the streets of Wolverhampton, looking for a place to park my laptop and increase my word count. I have several favourite venues. The gym is one of them. My gym has a large coffee lounge where I can happily sit all day, using their wifi and watching active types jogging in and out of the changing rooms. Initially, I think the staff wondered what I was up to. When I told them I’m a writer they said, ‘Oh. Someone off The Secret Millionaire used to come here and do that too.’ Which is far more impressive because a) he’s a millionaire and b) he’s been on the telly.

I have a favourite café, called Latuskes, where they serve the best scrambled eggs in the West Midlands. The staff are lovely and at least one of them has read one of my books. I also go to Starbucks which is curiously empty on weekday afternoons. I sit there and pretend I’m Carrie from Sex and the City, imagining that I’m gazing out at Manhattan rather than Wolverhampton city centre and one of the country’s busiest Poundlands.

I’ve become so accustomed to working in public that I am usually able to block out the noise around me, though the occasional conversation pierces my concentration. I recently overheard a teen boy trying to impress his girlfriend by telling her about Orwell’s 1984. ‘Yeah, the TV show Big Brother was based on it. It was written in 1950…’

‘Actually,’ I wanted to cry. ‘It was written in 1948. Orwell reversed the final digits to get the year.’ But I resisted. Still, it was distracting.

I’m not complaining about having a tiny office and being forced to work in public, although it’s easy to forget how privileged I am being a full-time writer. It wasn’t always like this. My first books were written in snatched moments. One of them, my first under a publisher’s contract, was written almost entirely on a train. Thirty minutes in the morning, thirty more in the evening. Writing with a sweaty commuter crammed into the seat beside you while people yell, ‘I’m on the train!’ into their mobiles is not fun. So I may look like a lost figure, wandering about with a laptop under my arm, but I like being a wanderer. The Wolverhampton wanderer. It’s actually pretty apt.

Follow you Home is available now.

Purchase Link : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Follow-You-Home-Mark-Edwards-ebook/dp/B00SLWQGUM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1435613638&sr=1-1&keywords=follow+you+home+mark+edwards

follow_you_home-banner-liz

The 3rd Woman by Jonathan Freedland – Blog Tour.

The 3rd Woman Jacket imageJonathan Freedland PHOTO CREDIT Philippa Gedge 2015

 

Author Photograph by Phillipa Gedge

Publication Date: 2nd July from Harper Collins

Today I am absolutely delighted to kick off the blog tour for this novel –  you will see a full review from me any day now but at the moment I am about a third of the way through (appropriately) The 3rd Woman. I can tell you now that this is going to be one of my favourite thrillers of the year. The political landscape that Mr Freedland has imagined here is simply brilliant and totally absorbing. Added to that he has created some truly intriguing and intelligent characters and wrapped it all up in a beautifully strung together parcel of addictive reading material. I have no doubt that when I get to the end I shall be blathering on about it endlessly to anyone that will listen. Yes it is one of THOSE books.

And as if by magic, to back up my words, here is an extract to wet your appetite….

 

Pre-order here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-3rd-Woman-Jonathan-Freedland/dp/0007413688/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1435242557&sr=8-1

Maddy had been up for twenty hours; all she was asking for was a few hours’ rest. Even a few minutes. She closed her eyes.

Something like sleep came, the jumble of semi-conscious images that, for a normal person, usually presages sleep, a partial dream, like an overture to the main performance. She remembered that much from her childhood, back when she could rest effortlessly, surrendering to slumber the instant her head touched the pillow. But the voice in her head refused to fall silent. Here it was now, telling her she was still awake, stubbornly, maddeningly present.

She reached for her phone, letting out a glum sigh: all right, you win. She checked the LA Times site again, her story still the ‘most read’. Then she clicked on the scanner app again, listening long enough to hear the police reporting several bodies found around town. One was not far from here, in Eagle Creek, another in North Hollywood.

Next, a long article on foreign policy: ‘Yang’s Grand Tour’, detailing how the man tipped to be China’s next president had just returned from an extended visit to the Middle East and analysing what this meant for the next phase of the country’s ambition. The piece was suitably dense. Sure enough, it came close to sending her off, her mental field of vision behind her lidded eyes darkening at the edges, like the blurred border on an old silent movie. The dark surround spread, so that the image glimpsed by her mind’s eye became smaller and smaller, until it was very nearly all black . . .

But she was watching it too closely, wanting it too much. She was conscious of her own slide into unconsciousness and so it didn’t happen. She was, goddammit, still awake. She opened her eyes in surrender.

And then, for perhaps the thousandth time, she opened the drawer by her bed and pulled out the photograph.

She gazed at it now, looking first at her mother. She would have been what, thirty-eight or thirty-nine, when this picture was taken. Christ, less than ten years older than Maddy was now. Her mother’s hair was brown, unstyled. She wore glasses too, of the unfashionable variety, as if trying to make herself look unattractive. Which would make a kind of sense.

Quincy was there, seventeen, tall, the seriousness already etched into her face. Beautiful in a stern way. Abigail was adorable of course, gap-toothed and smiling, aged six and sitting on Maddy’s lap. As for Maddy herself, aged fourteen in this photograph, she was smiling too, but her expression was not happy, exactly: it contained too much knowledge of the world and of what life can do.

She reached out to touch her earlier self, but came up against the right-hand edge of the picture, sharp where she had methodically cut it all those years ago, excising the part she didn’t want to see.

Later she would not be able to say when she had fallen asleep or even if she had. But the phone buzzed shortly after two am, making the bedside table shake. A name she recognized but which baffled her at this late hour: Detective Howe. A long-time source of hers from the crime beat, one who had been especially keen to remain on her contacts list. He called her once or twice a month: usually pretending to have a story, occasionally coming right out with it and asking her on a date. They had had lunch a couple of times, but she had never let it go further. And he had certainly never called in the middle of the night. One explanation surfaced. The sweatshop must have reported her for assault and Jeff was giving her a heads-up. Funny, she’d have thought they’d have wanted to avoid anything that would add to the publicity, especially after—

‘Madison, is that you?’

‘Yes. Jeff? Are you all right?’

‘I’m OK. I’m downstairs. You need to let me in. Your buzzer’s broken.’

‘Jeff. It’s two in the morning. I’m—’

‘I know, Madison. Just let me in.’ He was not drunk, she could tell that much. Something in his voice told her this was not what she had briefly feared; he was not about to make a scene, declaring his love for her, pleading to share her bed. She buzzed him in and waited.

When he appeared at her front door, she knew. His face alone told her: usually handsome, lean, his greying hair close-cropped, he now looked gaunt. She offered a greeting but her words sounded strange to her, clogged. Her mouth had dried. She noticed that she was cold. Her body temperature seemed to have dropped several degrees instantly.

‘I’m so sorry, Madison. But I was on duty when I heard and I asked to do this myself. I thought it was better you hear this from me.’

She recognized that tone. She was becoming light-headed, the blood draining from her brain and thumping back into her heart. ‘Who?’ was all she could say.

She saw Jeff’s eyes begin to glisten. ‘It’s your sister. Abigail. She’s been found dead.’

Join the conversation on Twitter #The3rdWoman

Follow the Author:  https://twitter.com/Freedland

Twitter banner

Don’t miss out on more great news and views about The 3rd Woman….

 

FOLLOW THE TOUR…

 

JFBLOGTOURBANNER

 

 

River of Souls by Kate Rhodes – A terrific series

25307541

Publication Date: Available Now from Mulholland

Source: Bookbridgr

Jude Shelley, daughter of a prominent cabinet minister, had her whole life ahead of her until she was attacked and left to drown in the Thames. Miraculously, she survived. A year later, her family ask psychologist Alice Quentin to re-examine the case.

But then an elderly priest is attacked in Battersea, his body washed up at Westminster Pier. An ancient glass bead is tied to his wrist.

The river has always demanded sacrifices, and now it seems a killer believes it’s calling out for more.

Alice is certain that Jude and her family are hiding something, but unless she can persuade them to share what they know, more victims will drown…

I’m a fan of the Alice Quentin books for sure – the first one started with a bang and they have steadily become more and more addictive – Now here we are at No 4 and this one was a doozy.

Jude was brutally attacked and left for dead – now hanging on, her mother asks Alice to take another look at the case. Before she can really get into it though another body turns up in horrifically similar circumstances. Are the cases tied together? Working once more with the police, Alice starts to delve deeper..

There are two things mainly about these novels that really appeal to me – first Alice herself, who has a great depth to her and is beautifully normal. Yes she has her ups and downs but for pure authenticity she is, for me, one of the top fictional female protagonists.

The other thing is the really gorgeous flow that Kate Rhodes manages to weave into the narrative. The very definition of addictive reading – River of Souls grips from the start, all the way through and then clings onto you for a fair while after you’ve finished it.  I mean really, what more do you need from a book?

There is a lot of emotional resonance to these also which is very engaging and cleverly done to tug on the heartstrings on occasion – whilst then sending you off on a bit of an adrenalin rush when things hot up in whatever case Alice is involved in. In the case of this instalment I was on the edge of my seat at the end there – I was not QUITE sure what the outcome was going to be….Whether I heaved a sigh of relief or had a good cry you’ll have to read the book to find out.

Overall I loved this one – and the ones that went before it. They come highly recommended from me and I am very much looking forward to seeing what is next.

Pick up a copy, batten down the hatches and enter Alice’s world. You won’t be disappointed.

Find out more here: http://katerhodes.org/Kate_Rhodes/home.html

Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/K_RhodesWriter

Purchase Information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/River-Souls-Alice-Quentin-Rhodes/dp/1444785567/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1434666076&sr=1-1

Happy Reading Folks!

The Other Child by Lucy Atkins. Blog tour.

25448605

Publication Date: Available Now from Quercus

I am very pleased to join the blog tour for Lucy Atkins and the fantastic new novel “The Other Child” – a review to follow but first here is an extract for you.

Lucy Atkins, photographed by Charlie Hopkinson © 2013.

Lucy Atkins, photographed by Charlie Hopkinson © 2013.

Extract 1 The Other Child by Lucy Atkins

‘It’s perfect,’ he’d said when he called from Boston to tell her that he’d given the realtor a massive deposit without consulting her, without even emailing her a picture. His face blurred in and out of focus on her phone screen. He was in a public place, probably the cafeteria at Children’s Hospital. She could see people in the background carrying trays or coffee cups, many wearing scrubs. ‘You’re going to love it, Tess, I know you will. There’s a great elementary school, a big park, a cute little main street with a couple of cafés, a bar, an artisan bakery, a market, a yoga studio. It’s all very green and pleasant, absolutely no crime and only twenty minutes from downtown on the freeway. It’s the perfect little town.’

‘I thought it was a suburb?’

‘We call suburbs towns.’

She noted the ‘we’. After fifteen years in London, Greg had seemed to feel no affinity with his homeland. His only remaining American traits were his accent, his handwriting and an ongoing despair at British customer service. But now, suddenly, it was ‘we’.

‘You weren’t answering your mobile, but I had to grab it.’

A baby wailed somewhere near him, an abnormal, plaintive sound, disturbingly thin and off-key. ‘There were three other families due after me this morning; it was going to go. But you’ll love it, honey, I promise. It’s not too far from Children’s – maybe a fifteen-, twenty-minute commute max.

There’s three beds, three baths, a big yard for Joe. A ton more space than we have now—’

‘Three baths?’

He grimaced, his eyes half shut, and it took her a moment to realize that the connection had failed, leaving his handsome face frozen in a sinister, pixelated rictus, halfway to a smile.

She had always thought Greg liked her tall house on the outskirts of town, with the cornfield behind it and views of the Downs, improbably green in springtime, lightening to biscuit through summer and, as autumn wore on, darkening and thickening into wintery browns. When he moved in he had been charmed by the sloping floors and the woodburning stove, her own photographs hanging next to her father’s paintings, shelves crammed with books, old Polaroids tucked behind ceramics, Joe’s pictures peeling off the fridge, things balancing on other things and the light pouring in. He had said he did not want to change a thing.

Her chest tightened at the thought of everything she’d be leaving behind.

‘Greg? Are you still there? Greg?’ But he didn’t respond.

Join the conversation on Twitter #OtherChild 

Other child packshot

Review:

Sometimes a lie seems kinder than the truth . . . but what happens when that lie destroys everything you love?

When Tess is sent to photograph Greg, a high profile paediatric heart surgeon, she sees something troubled in his face, and feels instantly drawn to him. Their relationship quickly deepens, but then Tess, single mother to nine-year-old Joe, falls pregnant, and Greg is offered the job of a lifetime back in his hometown of Boston. Before she knows it, Tess is married, and relocating to the States. But life in an affluent American suburb proves anything but straightforward.

Unsettling things keep happening in the large rented house, Joe is distressed, the next-door neighbours are in crisis, and Tess is sure that someone is watching her. Greg’s work is all-consuming and, as the baby’s birth looms, he grows more and more unreachable. Something is very wrong, Tess knows it, and then she makes a jaw-dropping discovery . . .

I was a huge fan of “The Missing One”, one of my favourite books of it’s year so I was extremely happy to find a copy of “The Other Child” popping through my letterbox – and boy it was a corker.

So we are following along with Tess, who after a whirlwind romance finds herself fairly isolated in a strange new environment – her young son is reacting badly to the move, pregnant and struggling to cope, Tess starts to feel like there is something going on with her new husband Greg that is not quite right…

Lucy Atkins really has a beautiful turn of phrase and wonderfully engaging descriptive prose when it comes to setting her characters in place and drawing you into the tale. In this case it is immediate and irrevocable – once you pick this up and start identfiying with Tess, which trust me you will, you won’t want to put it down until you are done.

There are two elements really to this that keep you up into the night – the mystery element which is absolutely intriguing and so gorgeously twisty and turny that it will keep you right on your toes. Who to believe, when to believe it, poor Tess she is pulled this way and that, trying to keep her family together and discover the truth. The journey is terribly addictive and perfectly done.

Then there is the character drama that lives and breathes within that – the relationship between Greg and Tess is fascinating – they don’t know each other that well and here they are. When at least one of them is keeping secrets, it makes for some highly complex interactions and emotions that just pop off the page. I especially liked the dynamic between the three, Joe, Tess, and Greg who Joe is wary of…there is an authentic edge to the whole story as it plays out, even allowing for the mystery portion interwoven therein.

A nod to Greg before I’m done – he was the one who perhaps intrigued me the most, a workaholic quietly quivering character who exudes an ever growing sense of menace – the tension in him building along with the plot, until you are on the edge of your seat…Lucy Atkins manages to keep you totally off balance when it comes to him and whether or not Tess really should be worried..

Basically I loved it. A really terrific mystery thriller with some memorable and heartfelt characters that packs a real punch.

Find out more here: http://www.lucyatkins.com/

Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/lucyatkins

Purchase Information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/search/ref=x_gr_w_bb?keywords=9781782069874&index=books&linkCode=qs&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21

Follow the tour 

blog tour graphic

Happy Reading Folks!

 

Lullaby Girl Blog Tour. Guest Post and Review

Blog-Tour

Who is the Lullaby Girl?

Found washed up on the banks of a remote loch, a mysterious girl is taken into the care of a psychiatric home in the Highlands of Scotland. Mute and covered in bruises, she has no memory of who she is or how she got there. The only clue to her identity is the Danish lullaby she sings…

Borders and belonging. Aly Sidgwick

A recurring issue for me over the last few years has been cultural identity. The little differences in attitude between countries, and the way people adhere to national stereotypes. Even down to small details like food preferences. I once offered to cook a traditional Swedish dish for my family (Flygande Jakob- a delicious comfort food), and everyone wrinkled their noses when I described its contents. Likewise when I presented British mince pies to my Swedish friends at Christmas. People instinctively trust what’s native to their country, and skirt around the unfamiliar. Yet I wonder…If a Brit had grown up in a bubble, with no knowledge of traditional Brit food, would they like black pudding straight away? Would Scots be all that bothered about haggis? Would Norwegians still choose to eat lutefisk?

It’s interesting to me that countries separated by a short plane trip can be so different, socially. You board the plane with one set of rules, and disembark to a new set. I remember flying back to Britain to visit my family (after several years in Scandinavia), and seeing British customs with fresh eyes. Suddenly, certain things seemed funny or odd. Over-politeness or forced politeness was the most noticeable British trait. It’s kind of drummed through every Brit from birth, and I never questioned it until I’d spent several years with the more straightforward Scandi style of conduct. Also, the avalanche of signs telling you you’re not allowed to do things… ’Don’t walk on the railways tracks.’ ’Don’t stand on the grass.’ ’Don’t stick your arm out of the window.’ ’Don’t feed the birds.’ ’Don’t lean on the counter.’ ’Don’t electrocute yourself on the highly electrical thing.’ My ex found those signs hilarious, and after a while I came to share his way of thinking. Yet I didn’t quite fit into Scandinavian culture either. Even after seven years there I felt like an outsider, and I’m sure that was due to the British values I grew up with. When I was homesick for Britain I’d seek out stereotypically British food items or TV shows. Now, when I’m homesick for Norway/Sweden, I seek out stereotypically Scandi things. At Christmas, I still miss Julebrus and pepperkaker. It’s a strange limbo I’ve ended up in, really. Both places are dear to me, yet I feel I don’t belong to either.

My Review of Lullaby Girl…

25184222

Lullaby Girl is a tense and claustrophobic psychological thriller, the kind I love where the story is told in both past and present, setting the scene and building you up to those reveal moments that make you gasp..

The “Lullaby Girl” of the title, Kathy, is a mess – washed up onshore, unsure who she is or what has happened to her, at the start of the novel she has reverted to a child like state that, as she talks, is very disconcerting. Fixated on one particular member of the care home she ends up in, she is constantly on edge and scared of everything. Slowly but surely she begins to gain her feet but it is a hard and scary journey as she starts to remember the past.

The author builds the tension beautifully and there is a haunting aspect to the writing that keeps you on edge and right beside Kathy as she confronts her demons. Kathy as a character is intriguing and often frustrating as she hides herself away, seen through her eyes the whole world and everyone in it is a menacing place where there are no places of safety. The reasons for this become apparent as she moves towards recovery…

Difficult to review the story aspects without giving anything away, suffice to say it is cleverly constructed to keep you involved all the way – Aly Sidgwick  has a gorgeous way with words, descriptively lovely even through this dark story, the environment that Kathy is in comes to life around her and the further you get into it the more fascinating and often scary it becomes.

Overall this is a terrific book for fans of psychological thrillers – taut, intelligent and thought provoking, this comes highly recommended from me.

Find out more here: https://alysidgwick.wordpress.com/

Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Menacegrrl

Purchase Information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lullaby-Girl-Aly-Sidgwick/dp/184502950X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Happy Reading Folks!

We Shall Inherit The Wind – Blog Tour

We Shall Inherit the Wind BF AW.inddGunnar-photo

Publication Date: Available Now from Orenda

Source: Publisher Review copy

1998. Varg Veum sits by the hospital bedside of his long-term girlfriend Karin, whose life-threatening injuries provide a deeply painful reminder of the mistakes he’s made. Investigating the seemingly innocent disappearance of a wind-farm inspector, Varg Veum is thrust into one of the most challenging cases of his career, riddled with conflicts, environmental terrorism, religious fanaticism, unsolved mysteries and dubious business ethics. Then the first body appears – tied to a cross, facing the mouth of the fjord …

We Shall Inherit the Wind is the very definition of Nordic Noir – intense and beautifully written, a slow burner of a novel that hooks you in slowly but surely.

The settings are gorgeously drawn, giving a sense of place and time that is captivating, giving it a whole new dimension. Varg Veum is a magnificent character and his backstory is utterly compelling. A dedicated investigator,it is almost heartbreaking as we see the events leading up to where he is now, aware of the consequences of his current case but awaiting the detail avidly – a real page turner.

There is a strong social message within the narrative which is at times chilling, always gripping and with a few perfectly placed twists and turns that make it more addictive the further you get into it – the author has a great way with words and a real old school talent for storytelling – there is a reason he is known as a Father of Nordic Noir.

Full of suspense with a terrific backdrop and some unforgettable characters, this comes Highly Recommended from me.

Translated by Don Bartlett 

Purchase Information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shall-Inherit-Wind-Varg-Veum-ebook/dp/B00U2K5U2G/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1433744371&sr=1-1&keywords=we+shall+inherit+the+wind

Paperback Available from 15th June http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shall-Inherit-Wind-Varg-Veum/dp/1910633070/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1433744371&sr=1-1

Follow the tour!

we-shall-inherit-the-wind-blog-tour

 

Happy Reading Folks!

The Spider in the Corner of the Room – Spotlight/blog tour

23561190

Publication Date: 4th June 2015 from Mira

Source: Publisher Review Copy

What to believe
Who to betray
When to run…

Plastic surgeon Dr Maria Martinez has Asperger’s. Convicted of killing a priest, she is alone, in prison and has no memory of the murder.

The Spider in the Corner of the Room is an intense and superbly addictive thriller with a highly compelling main protagonist and a sharp edge of tension that does not let go..

Maria is in prison – convicted of murder, she has no recollection of the killing – indeed any memory she has is questionable. Through a series of flashbacks and sessions with her prison psychologists, a strange and intriguing story begins to emerge about exactly who Maria is and what has led her here…and not everyone is exactly who they appear to be.

From start to finish this is a taut, gripping piece of character driven storytelling – unpredictable, highly addictive beautifully written to involve the reader utterly, a page turner of the highest order. Maria is a remarkable character to follow along with – she herself is highly unpredictable and very odd in the most fascinating way – the author having managed to capture, in Maria’s thoughts and actions, an authentic and meaningful snapshot of Aspergers’s, ingrained within the narrative of an intelligent and thought provoking thriller.

As things progress it is often creepy, haunting and sets you a little on edge – the twists and turns in this story are remarkably well placed, pitch perfect to offer revealing insights into the truth of the matter, but still keeping you unsure that you are on solid ground. Even as you head into the final pages you will be questioning every motive, wondering how much of what you are hearing is real and heading back to read little bits again to see if you can get a handle on it. Very intelligent and detailed construction of the story makes it all the more fantastic.

This is set to be a trilogy and I simply cannot wait to find out what happens next – the author has set us up beautifully and whilst this is a completely rounded and satisfying part one, oh boy will you be wishing you had all three in your hands immediately. Quite definitively the most inventive thriller I have read this year, and maybe even for a few years before that, The Spider in the Corner of the Room comes Highly Recommended from me

Find out more here: http://www.nikkiowenauthor.com/

Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/nikkiwriter

Purchase Information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Spider-Corner-Room-Nikki-Owen/dp/1848453736/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1433310346&sr=1-1&keywords=9781848453739

Follow the tour!

Join the conversation on Twitter #TeamSpider 

Spider_BlogTour