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Thursday, 22 August 2019

#Rewind @cathryanhoward @CorvusBooks

About Rewind 

From the bestselling, multiple prize-shortlisted novelist Catherine Ryan Howard comes an explosive story about a twisted voyeur and a terrible crime... 


Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room. One night the unthinkable happens: a shadowy figure emerges onscreen, kills her and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer? How did they know about the camera? And how will Andrew live with himself? 


Natalie wishes she'd stayed at home as soon as she arrives in the wintry isolation of Shanamore. There's something creepy about the manager. She wants to leave, but she can't - not until she's found what she's looking for...


This is an explosive story about a murder caught on camera. You've already missed the start. To get the full picture you must rewind the tape and play it through to the end, no matter how shocking...

My review of Rewind

I'll just start by saying that this book was an absolute treat to read from start to end. It's one of those books that simply hooks you in from the very beginning and won't let you go until the final page  it's a hugely entertaining, shocking and disturbing thriller.

This is a highly original novel that is told from multiple points of view, and through different timelines, there is no chronological time order to the writing, as the book is segmented into Fast Forward,  Play,  Pause and Rewind chapters which  help to propel the story along, while adding a sense of unease and urgency to the writing. It's such a clever concept, in that we are fed pieces of information that we have to put together to work out exactly what happened to Natalie in that holiday cottage 

We begin the story at the end . As we see through the eyes of Andrew, the manager of the holiday cottages, the video tape of a young woman who is murdered as she lies in bed. This conjures up many questions.  Who is this woman? Why has she been killed? And why has Andrew placed a camera in the bedroom? This begins the tale of unearthing the truth and introduces us to some colourful and intriguing characters. The wanna be reporter, Audrey (who I loved), Natalie the Instagram star, and Andrew, the creepy manager. 

This novel is so cleverly plotted and we are drawn into a secluded and claustrophobic world that is Shanamore. I could taste the salt of the sea, envisage the desolate beach of winter, and the remoteness of the holiday cottages. It helped to set the scene for what was a deeply unsettling story that had me on the edge of my seat.

Rewind is an original, addictive and immersing read. Highly recommended. 

Rewind is available to buy now. It is published by Corvus.

With thanks to Readers First who provided the hardback copy. 

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

#TheMemoryTree #LindaGillard @AmazonPub

About The Memory Tree 

Can the power of love overcome life’s darkest memories and deepest losses?

When her favourite beech tree is felled in a storm, Ann feels as if someone has died. But when long-hidden seed packets are found inside the trunk, Ann realises there are more memories than her own lurking within the ancient tree . . .

A century earlier, head gardener William Hatherwick and Hester Mordaunt, mistress of Beechgrave, share a love for the mighty estate – and an undeclared love for each other. But when war breaks out, William is sent to the battlefields of France, and as the conflict rages on, Hester grieves beneath the tree. Can she and William ever find happiness once he’s witnessed the horror of the trenches?

In the present day, historian Connor Grenville wants to understand why his late grandmother tried to destroy Hester’s archive before she died. Who was she trying to protect – and why? His findings bring long-suppressed memories back to Ann’s mind . . .

Beneath the shadow of the tree, love is won and lost, and secrets are hidden and revealed. Will the truth heal the wounds that lie buried in the past?

Revised edition: Previously published as The Trysting Tree, this edition of The Memory Tree includes editorial revisions.

My review of The Memory Tree 

I read The Trysting Tree back in September 2017. 

How do I find the words to describe this beautiful book? I honestly don't think that I can do this book the justice it deserves, but I'll do my very best. The Memory Tree is a nostalgic, romantic, and emotional read rooted firmly in reality. It is quite simply breathtaking.

The story is told both in the present day, 2015, and during the First World War in the year 1915. The storytelling is lyrical, almost poetic at times, especially in the letters that are revealed and from the beech trees in the wood where all of the characters lived. There is such an honest and raw quality to the writing, which is a constant theme throughout Linda Gillard's novels. I first fell in love with her writing having read Star Gazing, that was then shortly followed by the devouring of Emotional Geology. In each and every book we have female characters that are utterly believable and who I can relate to, and this book is no exception.

The novel really helps to shed light on the emotional impact of war, and how it altered the women who were left behind. We hear Hester's views via her journal entries, and although from over one hundred years ago, the fact that we are reading her views in this format, made them appear very relevant and modern.

Relationships are at the heart of this novel. We have the relationship between mother and daughter, both past and present. The relationship between Ann, and her mother Phoebe, is incredibly poignant. Phoebe is a woman who has struggled with motherhood, who says she is not maternal, but there is a warmth to her, and a likeability, that I couldn't shrug off. Deeply flawed, yes, but realistic, I couldn't help but like her. We also have the romantic relationships, both past and present, and although a hundred years apart, share similarities. Both encounters were a joy to read.  

The house and wood are pivotal to this story, as is the garden, for both stories. The imagery that is conveyed on the page is just magical and whimsical and echoes the romantic and nostalgic mood that has been created. The beech trees even have their own voice, and their message at the end  of the book nearly made me weep. 

The Memory Tee is such a beautiful and moving book about love, family and the devestaing events of war. It really is a must read. 

The Memory Tree was published by Amazon's Lake Union on 15th August.  

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

#DateNight @samhayes @bookouture

About Date Night 

Returning early from a disastrous date night with my husband, I know something is wrong the moment the wheels crunch the gravel drive of our home. Inside, the TV is on and a half-eaten meal waits on the table. My heart stops when I find our little girl is alone in the house and our babysitter, Sasha, is missing…

Days later, when I’m arrested for Sasha’s murder and torn away from my perfect little family, I’ll wish I had told someone about the threatening note I received that morning.

I’ll hate myself for not finding out who the gift hidden inside my husband’s wardrobe was for.

I’ll scream from the rooftops that I’m innocent – but no one will listen.

I will realise I was completely wrong about everything that happened that night…

But will you believe me?

My review of Date Night 

Date Night is one cracking read. It's full of twists and turns, characters that you can't stop thinking about and a situation that is unthinkable. yet utterly possible. It takes the ordinary and gives it an elaborate spin to create a shocking domestic thriller. I loved it. 

So, we have married couple Sean and Libby, parents to young daughter, Alice. There are obviously problems within the marriage and the planned date night is a way for them to try and reconnect with each other. But what happens is the start of a living nightmare for Libby. On their return home they find Alice alone in the house, while their babysitter, Sasha is missing, and then Libby gets arrested for her murder.

This is a deeply disturbing story that truly unerved me. What happened during that fateful night? Who left the note on Libby's car? Ultimately, who is lying and who is telling the truth? Throughout the story we are given bits of information about the night in question and what has happened in the past, and it is the slow piecing together of this information that tells you the complete story, and it is brilliant and shocking.

Date Night is a real page turner. I was hooked from the very beginning and was fully invested in Libby's story. Part of me wondered if she was an unreliable narrator, while another part of me believed every word she said. A roller coaster of a read that thoroughly entertained and lived up to its cover description. Highly recommend.

With thanks to the publisher for the Advanced Reader Copy.

Date Night is published on 20th August by Bookouture