Maria In the Moon Louise Beech. Blog Tour Review

Publication Date: Available Now from Orenda

Source: Review Copy

Long ago my beloved Nanny Eve chose my name. Then one day she stopped calling me it. I try now to remember why, but I just can’t.’ 

Thirty-one-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria. With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges … and changes everything. Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defences we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide…

Maria in the Moon had everything I have come to expect from this author – beautiful, stunningly impacting prose, a dark and engaging story, characters of substance and that emotional edge that only ever comes along every so often within all the books that I read.

Louise Beech always writes from the heart, her own life experiences are layered in there which gives it that strong authentic edge – never easy to describe or fit into genre boxes, Maria in the Moon encompasses many things – family drama, dark underlying social relevance, hints of psychological thriller but mostly just getting into your head, into those quiet between moments where you live and making you consider things differently.

Catherine is an intriguing and gorgeously knowable character, her mystery is our mystery and this is less a puzzle than it is an awakening – for her, for us as we read and come to understand her past and how it impacts her present. Memory and the truths we obfuscate to survive is a strong theme here, striking a chord within the reader as the story unfolds. It is clever, intense and ultimately uplifting in a lot of ways.

The author uses real events to imbue that authenticity, she takes you to the heart of all the themes she is exploring and makes you sit up and take notice. At the same time it is a wonderfully emotive piece of storytelling as always, entertaining and addictive – also deeply deeply moving and extremely thought provoking.

Maria in the Moon is a literary delight,  Louise’s novels are like a bookish box of chocolates, a sweet and bitter mix of different tastes and textures –  I loved every moment of Maria in the Moon and cannot wait to see what flavour I get next. Each novel has seen the quality grow, putting this author firmly on my must read list with the gorgeous sense of anticipation that goes with knowing there is a lot more to come.

Highly Recommended.

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The Spell of the Horse. Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: 18th Sept from Blackbird Digital

The ability of the horse to sense emotion, energy and spirit is way beyond what most of the human world realises. A must-read for those wishing to understand the spiritual connection between horses and humans.

When Pam’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she began to notice the way her horse responded to her emotional turmoil. Thus began an exploration into the spiritual relationship between horses and humans and their infinite capacity to help us heal. Building on her remarkable discoveries, Pam began her pioneering work as a horse-led coach and therapist. By sharing her own path to redemption through personal tragedy, and other stories of healing inspired by the incredible interactions she has observed between horse and human, Pam puts forward her uplifting insights about the true nature of the horse, setting out some simple principles to help the reader transcend life’s challenges. 

So a little bit of a departure for me today – I’ve been trying to read more non fiction, so I was pleased to be part of the blog tour for The Spell of the Horse  – It is a well written memoir which has a lot of elements of  self help, focusing on the emotional relationship between Horses and Humans – how they sense our turmoil and how we can learn a lot about how to handle our emotional state. How the author came to discover this during a horrible time and built on that to help others.

Now I used to be around horses a lot when I was younger but fell out of that as I grew up – so it was an interesting read for me as someone who would not really have any insight. Pam Billinge writes with a wonderful beauty, I found myself entirely fascinated at the way her feelings impacted on the behaviour of her horse – her descriptive sense of her own emotions during a time of grief and loss created a palpable sense of melancholy – with ultimately uplifting resonance.

I think for anyone who is suffering emotional turmoil this would be a useful read, it is said that taking care of an animal is good for sufferers of anxiety, this kind of ties into that but with a lot more depth and of course focusing on horses as the spiritual healers. Overall a very very interesting read.

Recommended if you are a fan of self help memoirs and stories about overcoming life’s curveballs, especially if you are already a lover of horses.

 

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Glass Houses Louise Penny : Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: Available Now from Sphere

Source: Review Copy

One cold November day, a mysterious figure appears on the village green in Three Pines, causing unease, alarm and confusion among everyone who sees it. Chief Superintendent, Armand Gamache knows something is seriously wrong, but all he can do is watch and wait, hoping his worst fears are not realised. But when the figure disappears and a dead body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to investigate.

In the early days of the murder inquiry, and months later, as the trial for the accused begins, Gamache must face the consequences of his decisions, and his actions, from which there is no going back . . .

Gripping, surprising and powerful, Glass Houses is the new ingenious and illuminating novel from number one bestseller, Louise Penny, which will leave you spellbound until the final page. 

This is actually my first read of Louise Penny (won’t be my last, my book halo is slipping) and I enjoyed it thoroughly, mostly for the scene setting and the absolutely gorgeous descriptive prose. I will say I feel I may have been even more engaged with it had I read previous novels in the series – that is not to say you can’t read this in isolation you can – however I am now going to go back and read a selection of the others.

This book opens with high intrigue as Gamache is on the stand answering questions about a previous murder. This really set the scene beautifully and made me immediately want to know what had happened. The setting of “Three Pines” has obviously been embedded in during earlier stories, but I loved the sense that the author brought to the surroundings and the small town quirky vibe. Jumping between there and Montreal the drama unfolds in a very powerful way, this was a book I read fast and got completely immersed in.

I’m actually glad in a way that I have only just come to these – the mystery elements are clever, the writing is intuitively captivating, I can see why there is a huge fanbase for the Gamache series and I think I will shortly be joining it – and we all know that little jump of joy inside when we discover a new series and realise we have a whole lot to look forward to. Sometimes it is good to be late to the party…

Highly Recommended (But maybe start at the start?)

 

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House Of Spines Michael J Malone. Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: Available Now: Kindle 15th September Paperback from Orenda

Source: Review Copy

Ran McGhie’s world has been turned upside down. A young, lonely and frustrated writer, and suffering from mental-health problems, he discovers that his long-dead mother was related to one of Glasgow’s oldest merchant families. Not only that, but Ran has inherited Newton Hall, a vast mansion that belonged to his great-uncle, who it seems has been watching from afar as his estranged great-nephew has grown up. Entering his new-found home, it seems Great-Uncle Fitzpatrick has turned it into a temple to the written word—the perfect place for poet Ran. But everything is not as it seems. As he explores the Hall’s endless corridors, Ran’s grasp on reality appears to be loosening. And then he comes across an ancient lift; and in that lift a mirror. And in the mirror . . . the reflection of a woman.

House Of Spines is a brilliantly creepy and extraordinarily readable (translation: I had another late night) psychological gothic thriller, strongly character driven and with added shiver.

Definitely with added shiver!

The tension in this book is palpable – an inheritance, a seemingly easy task, but something is not quite right and soon our main protagonist is caught up in his very own ghost story. He is not exactly mentally stable, for the reader the house comes alive on the page and as we head further into the tale you’ll be glancing over your shoulder, jumping at shadows and randomly shrieking when you catch sight of your reflection in the window. Just me? Well ok then but still..fair warning. The odd off kilter feelings build and build from first page to last, it is incredibly immersive.

House of Spines is like a gothic “ghost” story of old, beautifully written, beautifully plotted, intensely creepy practically straight from the start – themes of mental health and personality  with a gorgeous hit of modern unreliable narrator, all wrapped up in a bow and delivered to the reader with class and style. Michael J Malone is going through a bit of a literary awakening with both this, and his previous novel A Suitable Lie, I must say I’m loving that very much and can’t wait to see what comes next.

Although you’ll have to give me time to get over this one first. I really engaged with Ran, and with the house and with the whole thing. Utterly absorbing, never less than eerily fascinating, House Of Spines hits the sweet spot in terms of both storytelling and emotional resonance – and with the added bookish theme, it really is a perfect storm.

Highly Recommended.

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If You Knew Her Emily Elgar – Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: Available Now from Sphere

Source: Review Copy

The perfect life?
Or the perfect lie . . .

When Cassie Jensen arrives on the intensive care ward in St Catherine’s hospital, Alice Marlowe the chief nurse, is fascinated by this young, beautiful woman who strikes her as familiar and yet she doesn’t know why. But then Alice is astonished to discover something about Cassie that she has been keeping secret from everyone, including her devoted husband and family; a secret that changes everything.

Frank is a patient on the same ward who has locked-in-syndrome, so can hear and see everything around him but cannot communicate. Soon he comes to understand that Cassie’s life is still in danger and as the police continue to investigate what really happened to Cassie, only Frank holds the truth, which no one can know and he cannot tell . . .

If You Knew Her is a tense and addictive psychological thriller with 3 separate, unique and absorbing voices.

We see Cassie, in a coma, her life in retrospect as we lead to the moment of disaster, Frank, a patient who is more aware than the medical team believe and Alice, chief nurse who has an emotional connection to Cassie and is concerned for her occasionally to the point of obsession.

Emily Elgar cleverly weaves and interlocks the three separate strands of this story often in an emotionally resonant way – especially in regards to Alice – the mystery elements are intriguing and several unexpected things happened during the course of the read which is a big plus for me. What I really liked about it was the lack of police points of view – the police are seen rarely and “off camera” so to speak – this is all about these three lives that have intersected at a difficult time for all of them.

Frank was probably the character I related to the most. I’ve read a couple of books this year that involve “coma” patients and I find that incredibly fascinating – Frank’s voice is, to my mind, the strongest of the three and he in a lot of ways is our external narrator.

I would say this is more character drama than psychological thriller – whilst there is that element, was Cassie’s accident actually a deliberate act, is she still in danger – there are not that many resolutions available to that question therefore the focus is very much on the thoughts and feelings of those caught up in the wake. The ending is beautifully done and leaves a strong sense of melancholy with the reader ensuring that this one will stay with you.

Overall a really compelling read.

Recommended.

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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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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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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!

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Lucky Ghost Matthew Blakstad Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: Available Now from Hodder

Source: Review Copy

Early one Monday morning, much like today, journalist Alex Kubelick walks up to a total stranger and slaps him across the face. Hard.

He thanks her.

They’ve both just earned Emoticoins in a new, all-consuming game that trades real-life emotions for digital currency. Emoticoins are changing the face of the global economy – but someone or something seems to be controlling the game for their own, nefarious purposes.

As Alex begins to pick apart the tangled threads that are holding the virtual game together she finds herself on the run from very real enemies. With the world economy teetering on the brink of collapse, it seems there’s only one person who might have the answers she seeks.Someone who hides behind the mysterious name ‘Lucky Ghost.’

But who is Lucky Ghost… and can they really be trusted?

And what do they want?

Lucky Ghost (the follow up to the amazingly brilliant Sockpuppet ) is a banging speculative novel with yet more geeky gorgeous and some top notch often controversial but always fascinating characters.

Lucky Ghost certainly should not be trusted, nor should you necessarily trust anything in this game, the plotting is brilliantly done, a woven web of tech and trauma, human foibles and group shenanigans all mixed up into a beautiful hotpot of a story where nothing is ever quite as it seems. Alex as a character is both fun to follow along with and very intriguing, we meet some old friends along the way and if you loved Sockpuppet you’ll adore this – which, it must be said, could easily be read as a standalone if necessary however I recommend one after the other.

The writing is sharp and absolutely immersive and the world created here is all too likely – after all we are all practically glued to our phones daily, imagine if the tech was slightly more advanced. Then add in some manipulative forces, nefarious schemes and the often horrible realities of human nature and you are good to go on a rollercoaster ride of a book trip. A literal head trip if you get as involved in it as I did.

Like Sockpuppet, Lucky Ghost has a very thought provoking central theme and a firm eye on social issues all layered into the more action and speculative elements. Always character driven, never dull and with a totally edge of the seat banging finale which made me crazy. Oh ssh ok more crazy. In a good way.

Even geekier shenanigans with an even darker heart – that’s Lucky Ghost. Top top notch.

Highly Recommended.

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