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 –

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
Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour:

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. 
Please do have at look at the other stops on the blog tour. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

#BlogTour: Before I Find You by Ali Knight @aliknightauthor @HodderBooks @HodderPublicity #BeforeIFindYou

Published by Hodder Books on 1st November 2018. My thanks to the author and the publisher and also for the blog tour invitation.

Maggie is a husband watcher. A snooper, a marriage doctor, a killer of happy-ever-afters. She runs her own private detective agency specialising in catching out those who cheat. And she's very good at it. Until Helene walks through her door.
Helene is a husband catcher. A beautiful wife, a doting stepmother, a dazzling presence at parties. She counts herself lucky to have married one of the most eligible men in town - Gabe Moreau. Until she sees something that threatens her little family of three.
Alice is a perfect daughter. Apple of her father's eye, a kind stepchild to Helene, a tragic daughter of a dead mother. She lives a sheltered but happy life. Until she finds a handwritten note on her father's desk: 'You owe me. I'm not going away.'
All three women suspect Gabe Moreau of keeping secrets and telling lies. But not one of them suspects that the truth could result in murder . . .
My Thoughts:
Before I Find You is the first book that I have read by Ali Knight and I can't believe I haven't come across her before. This book is intelligent and thrilling and had all the ingredients that I enjoy in my reading. 
Maggie is a private detective who Helene approaches because she believes her husband is cheating and Alice is the Daughter of Helene. The story is told from the perspectives of the three women, who were flawed and a little unlikeable. These are my favourite types of characters. Learning about events from three perspectives is a format I have come across before but it works perfectly here. It sufficed to add to the confusion and the chaos. There is a sense of foreboding and intrigue throughout that I found completely captivating. 
There is plenty of misdirection and I enjoyed the fact as I reader that I always felt one step behind. Never quite seeing beyond each page turning chapter. 
A story of secrets and lies, smoke and mirrors and just when I thought I had it all worked out I discovered that I really hadn't at all. In a crowded genre Ali Knight stands firmly with this book and I thought that it was superb. 
About the Author:
Ali Knight has worked as a journalist and sub-editor at the BBC,Guardian and Observer and helped to launch some of the Daily Mail and Evening Standard's most successful websites. She lives with her family in London.
Visit Ali's website to find out more about her and her psychological thrillers at www.aliknight.co.uk and follow her on Twitter www.twitter.com/aliknightauthor.
Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

#BlogTour: House of Glass by Susan Fletcher @sfletcherauthor @ViragoBooks #HouseOfGlass

Published on 1st November 2018 by Virago. My thanks to the author and the publisher for the review copy and inviting me on to the blog tour.

I had a curious sense of being watched.
June 1914 and a young woman - Clara Waterfield - is summoned to a large stone house in Gloucestershire. Her task: to fill a greenhouse with exotic plants from Kew Gardens, to create a private paradise for the owner of Shadowbrook. Yet, on arrival, Clara hears rumours: something is wrong with this quiet, wisteria-covered house. Its gardens are filled with foxgloves, hydrangea and roses; it has lily-ponds, a croquet lawn - and the marvellous new glasshouse awaits her. But the house itself feels unloved. Its rooms are shuttered, or empty. The owner is mostly absent; the housekeeper and maids seem afraid. And soon, Clara understands their fear: for something - or someone - is walking through the house at night. In the height of summer, she finds herself drawn deeper into Shadowbrook's dark interior - and into the secrets that violently haunt this house. Nothing - not even the men who claim they wish to help her - is quite what it seems.
Reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier, this is a wonderful, atmospheric Gothic page-turner.
A deeply absorbing, unputdownable ghost story that's also a love story; for readers who love Sarah Waters's The Little Stranger; Frances Hodges Burnett's The Secret Garden; Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace; Jane Harris's The Observations.

My Thoughts:

House of Glass is the perfect book to read at this time of year, when the nights are drawing in and fires start to crackle in the grate. There was very much a gothic feel to this story that drew me in and wrapped me up in the atmosphere.

Beautifully written, House of Glass was an utter joy to read. The descriptions were just jumping off of the page and bringing the whole thing to life. Clara is the narrator and a young woman with Brittle Bone disease who makes the move to Gloucestershire to work in the greenhouse of Shadowbrook. 

Clara discovers that all may not be as it seems at Shadowbrook, there are strange goings on and noises at night. The ghostly elements to the story were excellent. Clara seemed a little naive but I found her intriguing nonetheless. She was a superb character.

The sense of mystery surrounding this whole story was palpable and the writing and descriptions were totally sublime. I was hooked into this story of a different time and place and that didn't let up until the final page turned.

A great many topics were covered here with skill and excellent writing. 

I really recommend this one for the dark, drawn in nights. 

About the Author:

Susan Fletcher was born in 1979 in Birmingham. She is the author of the bestselling 'Eve Green' winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award, 'Oystercatchers' and 'Witch Light'.

Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour.