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Wednesday, 28 November 2018

#Scrublands #ChrisHammer @Wildfirebks

About Scrublands 

A dead river. A dying town. A killer's secrets...

In an isolated country town ravaged by drought, a charismatic young priest opens fire on his congregation, killing five men before being shot dead himself.

A year later, journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals don't fit with the accepted version of events.

Just as Martin believes he is making headway, a shocking discovery rocks the town. The bodies of two backpackers - missing since the time of the massacre - are found in the scrublands. The media descends on Riversend and Martin is the one in the spotlight.

Wrestling with his own demons, Martin finds himself risking everything to uncover a truth that becomes more complex with every twist. But there are powerful forces determined to stop him, and he has no idea how far they will go to make sure the town's secrets stay buried.

My review of Scrublands

Scrublands is a compelling crime novel set in the blistering heat of the Australian scrublands and it captivated me from beginning to end. 

The novel opens with the shocking and disturbing actions of the young local priest, who on a quiet Sunday morning before church shoots dead five men. I was left shocked and bewildered as to why he would commit such an evil  act. So too are the inhabitants of Riversend, who exist on a day to day basis in their dying town. 

Martin Scarsden is the outdider, the journalist who visits the town one year  after the shootings to write an article about how the town is coping one year on. But Martin starts to as is questions about the young priest and therefore who knew nim, digging deeper to  try and unearth the truth. Then, when two bodies are dis covered in thescrublands, he begins to investigate what has happened in this sleepy town, that most people strive to leave. 

This is an incredibly clever crime novel with a huge emphasis on setting and characterisation. I began to care deeply about Martin, and was hugely invested in him and his own struggle with his past. This inner struggle and need for acceptance is played out in the colourful characters that he meets in the town. You are never quite sure who you can trust and who is telling the truth. Just like Martin, I felt very much like the outsider and  desperately needed to know the truth. 

The oppressive, cloying heat and almost claustrophobic setting of Riversend creates a novel in which you can smell the heat and taste the dry air. It creates a sense of unease and highlights the realities of living in this type of town where everyone knows your name and personal business.

This debut novel is a dazzling and all consuming read about love, past atrocities and mental health. It's about a sense of community that is both suffocating and protective at the same time. It's a story that will stay with me for a very long time. 

With thanks to @Bookywookydooda for sending me a review copy for review purposes. 

Scrublands is published by Wildfire in hardback on  8 Jan. The kindle version is available to read now. 

Friday, 23 November 2018

#BloodWhiteAndBlue @JamesSilvester1 @urbanebooks

About Blood, White and Blue

Love, deception and murder dominate as thriller writer James Silvester delivers the first in the Lucie Musilova series.

Britain is a hotbed of racial tension and economic uncertainty. Only Sir Geoffrey Hartnell, an ageing but hugely respected MP, can bring about a successful resolution to the talks. But a ghost from the past threatens to bring the UK to its knees.

Lucie Musilova meanwhile, is a young woman running out of places to hide. Half-British, half-Czech and rejected by both countries in the aftermath of Brexit, she meets 'Mr. Lake', the eccentric Head of a branch of the intelligence services known as The Overlappers, and is press-ganged into service on the Hartnell case.

As events spiral out of control it soon becomes clear it is not just the future of the nation that is at stake, but Lucie's very life....

The new thriller from the bestselling author of Escape to Perdition and The Prague Ultimatum, is a gripping tale of corruption and perfect for fans of Luke Jennings, Daniel Silva and Stella Rimington. If you're a fan of Killing Eve you'll love this!

My review of Blood, White and Blue

Wow. Where do I start with this book, other than to say it is utterly brilliant. I raced through the pages. It has everything. A plot that twists and turns, lots of fast paced action, Brexit and a kick-ass heroine who you just can't help but admire and root for. I loved this book!

Lucie Musilova is the star of this book and  she is completely mesmerising. She has a colourful past, having worked as a chaplain in the RAF, something which surprised me, given how she responded to a group of men who  attacked her while she was working aboard a ship on its way to England. I won't say what happens, but this truly captured my attention. I needed to know more about this woman and what had happened to her. I needed to understand her.

This book tackles some serious issues head on, such as political unrest surrounding Brexit, political scandal, immigration and the growing sense of unease  created  by the far right. It's a thought provoking read that is hugely  relevant to today's political climate, and although a bloody good thriller, the social commentary running throughout the plot, creates an in depth and moving read about a woman who is hugely misunderstood.

Blood, White and Blue is the first book in the Lucie Musilova series and I honestly can't wait to read the next instalment.

I purchased my own kindle copy of the book.

Blood, White and Blue was purblished on November 8th by Urbane.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

#Hellcorp @JDWhitelaw13 @urbanebooks

About Hellcorp 

"Hellcorp sparkles like a blood-black diamond. Satan's got his work cut out in this darkly comic crime tale. A cracking read!" - Mark Leggatt

'HELLCORP combines suspense, humour, and philosophy in a startlingly unique novel. Whitelaw delights and entertains while leaving readers contemplating life's important issues. Don't miss this razor-sharp book.' --International bestseller K.J. Howe, author of THE FREEDOM BROKER and SKYJACK

Life is hard for The Devil and he desperately wants to take a holiday. Growing weary from playing the cosmic bad guy, he resolves to set up a company that will do his job for him so the sins of the world will tick over while he takes a vacation. God tells him he can have his vacation just as soon as he solves an ancient crime.

But nothing is ever easy and before long he is up to his pitchfork in solving murders, desperate to crack the case so he can finally take the holiday he so badly needs...

This is a perfectly-pitched darkly comic crime novel that is ideal for fans of Christopher Fowler and Ben Aaranovitch.

My review of Hellcorp

Hellcorp has been on my radar for quite a while now. As Halloween fast approached I knew it was the perfect time to pick this up and immerse myself in the world of the Devil and the afterlife. I loved every word.

This is a novel with rich darkly comic undertones that suited my reading style perfectly. It was the perfect pick me up read, with engaging characters, action packed scenes and a murder mystery to boot. This book really does have it all.

The main attraction for me was the Devil, and to be honest he was completely different to the impression that I had in my mind before I started reading this book. He's a much better version. He is charming and offensive all rolled into one. He made me laugh, he made me cringe, but ultimately he was honest and this was why I found myself drawn to him. i even fell a little bit in love with him, which took me completely by surprise. It's not just the Devil who gets to have fun though, as so does Jill Gideon, a doctor who he meets on earth, who has her own private battle to face.

As the book blurb states, even the Devil needs a holiday, and that is why he has been asked to solve a 40 year old murder. Doing so will grant him this wish, and what results is a breathtaking sequence of events as he tries to unravel the mysteries of the past. 

Hellcorp is a truly unique read. The Devil is a striking protagonist  that allows Jill Gideon to share his limelight. It's hugely entertaining, has lashings of razer sharp wit and a plot that will keep you guessing. I absolutely loved it. 

Hellcorp is available to buy now and is published by Urbane Publications. 

Saturday, 3 November 2018

#OurLifeInADay @jamiefewery @orionbooks

About Our Life in a Day

Our Life in a Day is a breathtaking ten-year love story told in twenty-four individual hours - for fans of The Note by Zoe Folbigg, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and One Day by David Nicholls.

The rules are simple. Choose the most significant moments from your relationship - one for each hour in the day.
You'd probably pick when you first met, right?
And the instant you knew for sure it was love?
Maybe even the time you watched the sunrise after your first night together?

But what about the car journey on the holiday where everything started to go wrong?
Or your first proper fight?

Or that time you lied about where you'd been?

It's a once in a lifetime chance to learn the truth. But if you had to be completely honest with the one you love, would you still play?

For Esme and Tom, the game is about to begin. And once they start, there's no going back . . .

My review of Our Life in a Day

Oh my heart. I absolutely loved this book. It's a story about love, about our mental health and of how we need to be true to each other, but more importantly, true to who we are.  It's a thought provoking read that l just simply adored it's a beautiful story.

Esme and Tom are about to celebrate their ten year anniversary together. Tom arrives home from work to find Esme wanting to play a game of remembrance. She has a stack of post it notes, and on each is written one hour of the day. They both have to take it in turns to write down a significant memory in time, all  within that time frame. 24 hours in a day, and Tom decides to play. I absolutely loved this idea of reminiscing about the past, of all those highly significant moments in time, but of course, not everything is good. 

This is an intense read, in that we get to know both Esme and Tom, warts and all. I love this kind of book, in which you delve into the character's soul to find out what makes them tick. By the end of the novel I felt like they were my friends. I loved them both dearly.

Our Life in a Day also doesn't shy away from the realities of a long term relationship and mental health issues, particularly the mental health of men and the fact that they feel the need to hide their feelings and problems that they face. This aspect was written beaufifuly,  with great empathy, and insight. It's a book that I feel will help us all to talk more openly about our mental health.

This is a modern day love story that tackles the realities of the modern relationship with wit, tenderness and truth. I loved every page. Highly recommended.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

Our Life in a Day is published by Orion in Kindle on 27th December .

Paperback available April 2019.