Wednesday, 5 December 2018

#BlogTour: I Know Your Every Move & As Sick As Our Secrets by Diane Ezzard @diane_ezzard @rararesources


Delighted to be featuring the first two books in the Sophie Brown Series today. My thanks to the author and the publisher for the review copies and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me on to the blog tour. 


A sinister phone call, an unknown visitor. Sophie's life is about to be turned upside down


Sophie has worked hard to free herself from the clutches of addiction and turn her life around. Practising as a counsellor, in a women's centre in Manchester, she now helps other girls in trouble.
She forms a close relationship with Cassie, one of her clients and tries to help her escape the clutches of a violent boyfriend.



But is Sophie being followed?



How can she uncover the truth, when she can't trust what is real?



The more she delves, the closer she gets to danger.



Can she revisit her own dark past before it is too late?

Purchase Links


My Thoughts:

I Know Your Every move was the perfect introduction to Sophie Brown and a perfect introduction to this author for me. I was instantly pulled in by the blurb and I wasn't proved wrong. This is suspense of the highest order and I loved it. 

Sophie Brown has had her troubles but is now turning her life around. Things in life don't always run smoothly and somebody seems to be following Sophie. 

How I love an imperfect character, flawed and chipped and Sophie Brown is definitely that, having said that I found her wholly likeable. The plot is excellent and there is always something happening and I did wonder the direction events were going to take. 

There was a palpable sense of unease and a claustophobic feel pervaded this story and left me feeling unsettled. Not unsettled enough not to read on to Book 2 though. 

Really excellent start.


We all keep secrets, don't we? 


Sophie used to be fearful, with a troubled past. Now, she's a confident young woman helping others turn their lives around -
or is she?



A nasty surprise awaits her after the funeral of a friend and she soon finds out that nothing is as it seems.



Caught up in the dark world of gangsters and villains in the heart of Manchester she attempts to find Cassie's killer. Following a trail of lies, she gets so wrapped up delving into the lives of others she doesn’t notice her own life falling apart, back into the grips of addiction.



Can romance blossom for Sophie after all the mistakes she has made in the past, or will her only comfort be drink? Things never end up the way she intends.

Purchase Links

My Thoughts:

Having finished I Know Your Every Move I went straight on to Book 2 As Sick As Our Secrets, I just had to read the next instalment straight away. 

I enjoyed this one equally and although different in a lot of ways I enjoyed this one even more. This one shines a spotlight deeper into the problems that Sophie has, the addiction issues primarily. 

Sophie turns detective in a bid to find out what happened to Cassie but at what emotional cost to her when things are generally teetering on the edge. 

I really enjoyed the emotional depth in this one of Sophie in particular and the well thought out way that her issues were handled. This book is not for the faint hearted as it tackles some serious stuff head on and I adored it for that. 

This had much the same pace as the first and I raced though always wanting to find out more but always being one step behind. 

I am not going to tell you too much more in case you haven't read the first but suffice to say this is shaping up to be a brilliant series and Diane Ezzard to be a memorable author. 

About the Author:
Manchester born Diane Ezzard writes emotionally charged psychological thrillers and mysteries about everyday people in seemingly ordinary circumstances until something goes badly wrong in their lives.

Before taking early retirement to concentrate on her writing, she worked as a HR manager, a counsellor, owned a cafe and managed a charity. 

She now lives and writes in South East London close to her daughter and grandchildren.
Social Media Links –

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#BlogBlitz: Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat by Angela Britnell @AngelaBritnell @rararesources @ChocLituk


Thrilled today to be taking part in the Blog Blitz for Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat. My thanks to the author and the publisher for the review copy and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me to take part. You can get your copy:
Purchase Links
US - https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Black-Cherry-Retreat-Choc-ebook/dp/B07JL3CNDX


What if you had nowhere to call home for Christmas? 
When Fee Winter books a winter break at the remote Black Cherry Retreat in the small town of Pine Ridge, Tennessee, it’s with the idea that the peace and quiet will help her recuperate from her hectic life as a photographer.


But what she didn’t bank on was meeting Tom Chambers and his huge, interfering yet lovable family. With them, could Fee finally experience the warmth and support that’s been missing from her own life – and maybe even find a place to call home in time for Christmas?

My Thoughts:

I must be frank and say that this book was a little outside my comfort zone. I very rarely read seasonal reads but I must say that this was a perfect read for this time of year and it was actually really lovely to change lanes a little. 

Set in Pine Ridge Tennessee. Fee is in need of recuperation from the hectic life she has. When she arrives, rest is what she needs. So when Tom Chambers arrives on the scene I am not sure that is what she had in mind. Fee and Tom are like chalk and cheese but they do say that opposites attract and there seems to be a loneliness that pulls them together. 

I rattled through this read pretty quickly. I found it enjoyable and entertaining. I adored the Tennessee setting that was plausible and made the whole story come to life. 

I enjoyed the directions towards the crime genre this book was taking, it gave it an edge and therefore didn't make it the twee Christmas read it could have been. It wasn't all tinsels and baubles as I expected which was actually a lovely revelation. 

A wonderful contemporary festive read that was absorbing and not too taxing on my brain. 

About the Author:

Angela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville, Tennessee. A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she's visited or lived on her extensive travels. After more than three decades of marriage to her American husband she's a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after. Over the last twelve years she’s been multi-published and sold over 25 novels. She also writes short stories for women’s magazines. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, the Romance Writers of America and the Music City Romance Writers.

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#BlogTour: The Luckiest Thirteen by Brian. W Lavery @brianlavery59 @BarbicanPress1 #TheLuckiestThirteen

The Luckiest Thirteen is published by Barbican Press. My thanks to the author and the publisher for the review copy and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me on to the blog tour. 

A true-life drama of an intense battle for survival on the high seas. The Luckiest Thirteen is the story of an incredible two-day battle to save the super trawler St Finbarr, and of those who tried to rescue her heroic crew in surging, frozen seas. It was also a backdrop for the powerful stories of families ashore, dumbstruck by fear and grief, as well as a love story of a teenage deckhand and his girl that ended with a heart-rending twist. From her hi-tech hold to her modern wheelhouse she was every inch the super ship the great hope for the future built to save the fleet at a record-breaking price but a heart-breaking cost. On the thirteenth trip after her maiden voyage, the St Finbarr met with catastrophe off the Newfoundland coast. On Christmas Day 1966, twenty-five families in the northern English fishing port of Hull were thrown into a dreadful suspense not knowing if their loved ones were dead or alive after the disaster that befell The Perfect Trawler. Complete with 16 pages of dramatic and poignant photographs from the period.

My Thoughts:

The Luckiest Thirteen is an important and poignant account of an event that I had no knowledge of. I found it to be deeply moving and an accessible read that brought events to life in a readable way. 

This is the story of St Finbarr, deep sea trawling and those families that were at home worrying about their loved ones. This happened in 1966 and the St Finbarr sailed out of Hull to the Newfoundland cost. The sea is a dangerous place and disaster strikes. The stakes are the costs are high. What is to befall the ship and the people in it and the people left at home wondering what is going to happen. 

The author has managed to write a moving tribute with real heart but with all the facts and information you could need, there are also photographs to back up events. 

I really felt that the writing was excellent never too weighty and with enough information about the families and lives back in Hull to give this a harsh sense of reality. These were real people with real lives. 

For various reasons this is one of the most memorable and important books I have read in a long time. I would recommend anyone to read it so that this story is never forgotten.  


About the Author:
Brian W. Lavery is a former national newsman, whose tales deliver true journalistic flair. Born in Glasgow, long resident in Hull, he writes with a deep knowledge of the community and the dangers faced by those working in extremes. He has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Hull.

You can find him of Twitter: @brianlavery59 

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Sunday, 2 December 2018

#BlogTour: Black Moss by David Nolan @Nolanwriter @fahrenheitpress #LoveBooksGroupTours #BlackMoss

Delighted today to be featuring Black Moss by David Nolan which is published by Fahrenheit Press. You can get your copy here. I have a really excellent extract to share with you below. Let's find out all about the book first.


In April 1990, as rioters took over Strangeways prison in Manchester, someone killed a little boy at Black Moss.

And no one cared. 

No one except Danny Johnston, an inexperienced radio reporter trying to make a name for himself.

More than a quarter of a century later, Danny returns to his home city to revisit the murder that's always haunted him. 

If Danny can find out what really happened to the boy, maybe he can cure the emptiness he's felt inside since he too was a child.

But finding out the truth might just be the worst idea Danny Johnston has ever had.

Excerpt

As a factual writer, I’ve never had to write ‘action’ before. I was rather intimidated by it. Here, Danny spends a few hours drinking
By seven o’clock he was very drunk indeed. If I don’t go home sharpish, I’ll be too pissed to walk. Better go now.
He managed to navigate his way out of the pub and down the road to a nearby row of takeaways. He ordered a burger and chips then took an age to find and count out the money from his pockets. He left and started on the five-minute walk back to his flat. Despite going to the toilet before he left the pub, he soon realised he needed to go again and lurched into an alleyway between two sets of Victorian terraces. It was edging towards darkness now: no one will see me here.
Leaning against the wall at one side of the alley, he put down his food and fumbled for his fly. The plastic bag came over his head with shocking speed and aggression; it gave him no time to protect himself. He inhaled with shock, in the process pulling the bag even tighter across his mouth. The artificial taste of the plastic made him retch. He tried to reach behind but felt nothing. He tried to twist away but that pulled the bag even tighter around his neck. He clawed at his face, but the plastic was like a second skin. There was no air in his lungs to form a shout. He kicked out but only found his foot on the floor, scattering it across the ground. Slipping, he felt himself being swung to the left and his head connected violently with the wall. Once, then twice. His ears buzzed, his eyes fizzed with speckles of black and white light. I can’t fight this. Too drunk. No air. Please. Why are you doing this? Please.
As Danny was thinking this, he was dragged to the other side of the alley and his head was banged fiercely against the right-hand wall too. This was enough to make his knees buckle and Danny dropped to the ground. This at least loosened the plastic bag. Instinctively, he curled into a ball just as the kicks began. None were aimed at his body. Every one of them was aimed at his head. Every one of them found its target.
A shout came from across the street and Danny heard heavy footsteps coming towards him – accompanied by another set running away. The feedback whine in his own head – as a result of the kicks and the lack of air – added to the din. More shouts. More running. The bag was pulled from his face and the air rushed into Danny’s lungs as he looked around, panicking, as if expecting more blows to come his way. None came. There was, however, a man shouting at him, asking if he was alright. The man was telling Danny he was going to be okay and he should breathe slowly and steadily. Although Danny now felt surprisingly sober, he also felt very sick and turned over to threw up violently onto the ground.
‘Christ, Danny,’ said DI John Smithdown. ‘Even by your standards, you’ve really upset some fucker this time.’
Then Danny was sick again. And everything went black

About the Author
David is a multi award-winning author, television producer and crime reporter. He has written a dozen books including Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil, the true story of the largest historic abuse case ever mounted by Greater Manchester Police. He presented a BBC Radio 4 documentary based on the book called The Abuse Trial. It won both the Rose D’Or and the New York International radio awards in 2016. Officers involved in the case helped David with the police procedures featured in Black Moss, particularly the way the system deals with missing children. 

You can find him on Twitter: @Nolanwriter 

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Saturday, 1 December 2018

#BlogBlitz: Him With The Beard by Pernille Meldgaard Pedersen @Pernille56 @rararesources #HimWithTheBeard

Delighted to be taking part in the Blog Blitz today for Him With The Beard which was published on 10th October 2018. My thanks to Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for the inviting and the review copy. There is also a great giveaway at the bottom of this post. If you want to get your copy you can do so:
Purchase  Links
Itunes US - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9788797086216



Do you remember that moment you stopped believing in Santa Claus?
When nine-year-old Mille suddenly no longer believes in Santa Claus, it turns the house upside down.
Her mother, Stella, is in a pickle as the hunt to find Santa Claus unearths some family secrets.
Christmas is at risk!
And there’s only one person who can save it. 

My Thoughts:


Him With The Beard is the perfect book to tell you about today. A brief but poignant read about Millie and her mother Stella. Millie has just stopped believing in Santa Claus. 

Stella is bewildered by this fact and on the search for the truth lots of other things get uncovered. 

A story of hopes and dreams and a welcome reminder that Christmas is a time for memories and families.

A time for joy and love, whilst being a time of festivities. We can all look back and have memories of this time of year. 

A little bit of magic most fitting for this time of year. 

About the Author:
Pernille was born in 1988 and loves that she was born in the decade with the tallest hair, the most colourful clothes, and the best music.
Her imagination never stands still, and it’s often expressed in words and pictures.
She wrote her first story when she was six years old. It was about the cat she unfortunately never got but wished for more than anything.
She loves autumn and Christmas and believes in elves.
From day to day she is a knight in training, an animator, and a secret agent – she has saved the world a few times by now.
She’s also a professional daydreamer.
She thinks the recipe for a good book is the same as the one for having a good life – a sense of kinship, humour, love, and that one thing that gives you a daily smile.
Vestercity is a fictional city based on her upbringing near the city of Herning in Denmark.

Social Media Links –

Giveaway

Win A Cosy Christmas Pack - with One Jim Shore Santa Claus Ornament, Santa Claus Marshmallows, A Chocolate Advent Calendar, A Pretty Christmas Storage Box and finally, A Signed Copy of my book Him With The Beard.
Open internationally.

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#BlogTour: Facing A Twisted Judgment by K.J. McGillick @KJMcGillickAuth @rararesources



Published on 16th November 2018. My thanks to the author and the publisher for the review copy and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me on the blog tour. You can get your copy of the book:
Purchase Links

Good reads  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42852253-facing-a-twisted-judgment?ac=1&from_search=true




What happens when tunnel vision clouds a police investigation? Is it true that once you are labeled a person of interest you really are the prime suspect? Can you trust the legal system?  Probably not.

After a bitterly contested legal battle over inherited property, the hard-won art collection and its owner Samantha Bennington disappear. Both have vanished without a trace.

When blood spatter is discovered under the freshly painted wall of the room in which two of the paintings were hung, the theft becomes the opening act in a twisted tale of jealousy, revenge, and murder leading to a final judgment for all involved.

As the list of suspects narrows, the focus lands squarely on the husband. Some labeled Samantha’s husband a corrupt attorney, others an opportunist. Either way, he’s in the crosshairs of law enforcement and they are calling him a murderer. But is he the only viable suspect? What about the missing woman’s drug-addicted sister and her convicted felon brother? Both were furious over their loss at court and have more than enough reason to hate Samantha.  

Guilty until proven innocent leaves Alexander Clarke facing a twisted judgment.

My Thoughts:

Facing A Twisted Judgement is the first book I have read by this author and has all the elements that I love in a good thriller. There is plenty of pace and drama to keep the reader guessing and the pages just turned and turned and before I knew it I had reached the conclusion which is not what I expected but this just made it better. 

A story of a husband, accused of murder. Guilty until proven innocent. A wholly unlikeable man but is he capable of murder? 

An exciting and intriguing cast of characters make for an absorbing and gripping read and I would love to read about some more of these characters in the future, particularly the investigators. 

When there are so many books in a genre it is hard to stand out but Facing A Twisted Judgment certainly does that for all of the right reasons. 

Thrilling and memorable, I thoroughly recommend it. 


About the Author:
K. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that's what New Yorker's do. Right?

As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing.


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Tuesday, 20 November 2018

#BlogBlitz: Divided We Stand by Rachel McLean @rachelmcwrites @rararesources #DividedWeStand


Published on 27th October 2018. My thanks to the author and the publisher for the review copy and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me on to the blog tour. You can get your copy:
Purchase Link:
US - https://www.amazon.com/Divided-We-Stand-chilling-surveillance-ebook/dp/B07GNP3Y53


Britain is a country under surveillance. Neighbours spy on neighbours. Schools enforce loyalty to the state. And children are encouraged to inform on their parents.

Disgraced MP Jennifer Sinclair has earned her freedom but returns home to find everything changed.

Rita Gurumurthy has been sent to a high security prison. When a sympathetic guard helps her escape she becomes a fugitive, forced to go into hiding.

To reunite her family and win freedom for her son and her friend, Jennifer must challenge her old colleague and rival, the new Prime Minister Catherine Moore.

Will Catherine listen to reason and remove the country from its yoke of fear and suspicion? Or will Jennifer have to reveal the secret only she knows about Catherine, and risk plunging the country into turmoil?


My Thoughts:

Divided We Stand is the third and final book in The Division Bell Trilogy. You can find my thoughts on the first two books here. I had been excited and apprehensive about reading Divided We Stand, scared about what final direction that it will take. 

The pace is on par with the other two and it is just as taut and thrilling. Of course I am not going to tell you the outcome. That would be to spoil for you the best series I have read in a long time. 

Rachel McLean writes with amazing skill, research and insight and her creation of the political landscape and the somewhat dystopian nature to these books is spectacular. 

The reader gets to meet Jennifer Sinclair and Rita Gurumurthy again and both of these characters are excellently drawn. Both these ladies are different but they are drawn together by circumstance. This is a battle for values, family and their lives as they wish to live them. They are fighting against an establishment and a government that has turned into Big Brother. I really admired both of their grit and determination to stick their heads above the parapet and be counted. 

This is hard hitting stuff and really made me think and continues to do so. Wonderful writing. 

About the Author:
I'm Rachel McLean and I write thrillers and speculative fiction.

I'm told that the world wants upbeat, cheerful stories - well, I'm sorry but I can't help. My stories have an uncanny habit of predicting future events (and not the good ones). They're inspired by my work at the Environment Agency and the Labour Party and explore issues like climate change, Islamophobia, the refugee crisis and sexism in high places. All with a focus on how these impact individual people and families.

You can find out more about my writing, get access to deals and exclusive stories or become part of my advance reader team by joining my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub.
Social Media Links –

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Saturday, 17 November 2018

#BlogTour: Where the Truth Lies by M J Lee @WriterMJLee @canelo_co #WhereTheTruthLies


Published by Canelo on 22nd October 2018. My thanks to the author and the publisher for the review copy and inviting me on to the blog tour. You can get your copy of the book:

The case was closed. Until people started dying… The unputdownable first DI Ridpath crime thriller from bestseller MJ Lee
A killer in total control. A detective on the edge. A mystery that HAS to be solved.
DI Thomas Ridpath was on the up in the Manchester CID: a promising young detective whose first case involved capturing a notorious serial killer. But ten years later he’s recovering from a serious illness and on the brink of being forced out of the police. Then people start dying: tortured, murdered, in an uncanny echo of Ridpath’s first case.
As the investigation intensifies, old bodies go missing, records can’t be found and the murder count grows. Caught in a turf war between the police and the coroner’s office, digging up skeletons some would rather forget, Ridpath is caught in a race against time: a race to save his career, his marriage… And lives.
When a detective goes missing everything is on the line. Can Ridpath close the case and save his colleague?
My Thoughts:
Where the Truth Lies is the first in the exciting new DI Ridpath crime thriller series and the first book that I have read by this author. 
Set in Manchester, DI Ridpath is returning to work after illness, cancer in fact. His superiors deem that a stint in a desk job would help ease him back in. Swiftly seconded to the Coroner's Office, DI Ridpath is wondering what he has done to have this placement. Things take a turn though when a serious investigation draws him back in. Will this case takes its toll on DI Ridpath or will this be DI Ridpath back on the force proper. 
I thoroughly enjoy this genre of police procedural/crime thriller and whilst it could be a little formulaic, in this case the placement of DI Ridpath in the Coroner's Office adds a different element to this genre. 
As is customary with this type of book there are twists and turns aplenty but MJ Lee masterfully keeps the reader guessing and the pace and tension picks up as the book moves on. The plot was plausible and the characters believable and whilst Ridpath is desperately flawed I found him warm and likeable. 
Where the Truth Lies is incredibly well written and although there are some gruesome scenes they were fitting with the overall landscape of the plot. 
It is unclear whether this is the authors first foray in to crime fiction or not but I can confidently say Where the Truth Lies is a success and I look forward to reading more in this exciting new series. 

About the Author:
M J Lee has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a university researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, TV commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.
He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the north of England, in London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning advertising awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and the United Nations.
While working in Shanghai, he loved walking through the old quarters of that amazing city, developing the idea behind a series of crime novels featuring Inspector Pyotr Danilov, set in the 1920s.
When he’s not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, practising downhill ironing, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake, and wishing he were George Clooney.

Twitter: @WriterMJLee
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Friday, 16 November 2018

#BlogTour: The Long Shadow by Celia Fremlin @FaberBooks #TheLongShadow #CeliaFremlin

Published on 1st November 2018. The Long Shadow is Faber's Classic Crime for 2018 and is the second book they have published in their rediscovery of Celia Fremlin. My thanks to the publisher for the review copy and inviting me on to the blog tour. 

From the Edgar Award-winning author of The Hours Before Dawn
Jolted from sleep by the ringing of the telephone, Imogen stumbles through the dark, empty house to answer it. At first, she can't quite understand the man on the other end of the line. Surely he can't honestly be accusing her of killing her husband, Ivor, who died in a car crash barely two months ago.

As the nights draw in, Imogen finds her home filling up with unexpected Christmas guests, who may be looking for more than simple festive cheer. Has someone been rifling through Ivor's papers? Who left the half-drunk whiskey bottle beside his favourite chair? And why won't that man stop phoning, insisting he can prove Imogen's guilt?
My Thoughts:
The Long Shadow is somewhat of an Antidote to the Christmas stories that are around at this time of year, it is the first book I have read by Celia Fremlin. I am ashamed to say that I hadn't heard of this magnificent writer before. 
The Long Shadow was set around 1960 and as it was written some time ago the writing style and language used was fitting for that time but the exploration of family dynamics and the shadows that can be cast upon a home and a family were ever present throughout this taut and tensely plotted read. 
Imogen is grieving, her husband Ivor has been killed in a car accident. He wasn't perfect by all accounts but Imogen is still at an utter loss by his death. One night she receives a phone call from a man she met at a drinks party. He claims to know and have proof that she killed her husband. 
As christmas approaches all manner of family descend upon Imogen's house. There is Ivor's previous wife, her two stepchildren, one of their friends and one of their partners. 
Imogen did not ask for any of them to arrive and is rather put out by this onslaught particularly when she would rather be alone. Since all of their arrivals strange things are happening around the house. In Ivor's study things are being moved about. 
This is not a dramatic read as such but it is thrilling with a sense of dread and foreboding spreading across the pages. It is an exploration of people and families and what that means to each of the characters. It is really a story of grief and the after shocks. 
Absolutely full of unreliable narrators I found this book an utter delight and would recommend to any one who likes the suspense/domestic noir genre. What really did happen to Ivor? I couldn't possibly say but I hope that you read this one to find out. 
Also if anyone reading this can recommend any of the authors other books I would love to hear from you.
About the Author:
Celia Fremlin (1914–2009) was born in Kent. Her first published novel of suspense was The Hours Before Dawn (1958), which went on to win the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award for Best Novel in 1960. Over the next thirty-five years Fremlin published a further eighteen titles. 
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