#BlogTour | #BookReview | PARALLEL by L J Bacon @streekyuk (November 26th 2019) @fayerogerspr @authoright #Parallelbook

Thank you very much to Faye @ Authoright and Lee Bacon for providing a copy of the book to [K]

The review below is 100% honest and all of her own views.

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Summary:

Have you ever had an incredibly vivid dream?

A dream so real that you can feel, taste and smell the world around you?

Déjà vu is a feeling which all too clearly tells you that you’re going somewhere you’ve been before, or experiencing something you know has happened to you already. Jacob knew that his weird dreams were much more significant than that.

When Jacob suddenly realises that the life he’s living isn’t his only life, he will have to uncover ancient truths and the schism that changed mankind’s history forever. He must determine the point at which the parallel world was created; the world the other version of Jacob inhabits.

He must discover who is controlling these split universes and why, before it’s too late.

Review:

We begin meeting Jacob who lives above a dojo with his guardian Sato. When Jacob shares his realistic dreams he has been having with Sato he discovers that these aren’t dreams at all and his life is in danger. But to help him understand why, he is shown the origins of this threat.

Cue the origin story.

The possibility of having a double in a parallel world, that your lives are intertwined is a clever idea and I would love to have telepathic ability so I could converse with the animals. The storytelling is detailed and I felt part of the group travelling with King Stephen across the parallel country to discover what happened to the people in Polaria.

Whilst it did take me a little while to become accustomed to Lee’s way of writing, I found this to be a promising debut novel and the first in a interesting series and I feel it would translate into a good fantasy movie.

I hope to be able to find out what happens to everyone in book 2 soon.

[K]


Information about the Book

Title: Parallel

Author: L J Bacon

Release Date: 26th November 2019

Genre: Thriller

Page Count: 334

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing


 Author Bio:

Hi I’m lee, I was born May 1969 and raised along with my younger sister Dawn by our young mum in Barrington Road Brixton.

I went to Loughborough junior school where I didn’t do too well due to my being Dyslexic, back then Dyslexia wasn’t as recognised as it is now, and so I was seen as a disinterested or naughty child and so left to stare out the window with my mind full of magical creatures and locations. I would sit in my own little world having little imaginary adventures, but even so I still wished I could read all the books the other children were reading, but for me at that time it wasn’t possible, I loved the look of the books and the way they smelled and felt as I turned the pages but I couldn’t read them, and when asked to read in class as the other children did I would try but didn’t have a clue what I was looking at, I didn’t even know the letter sounds, my dyslexia didn’t allow me to remember them. And so, the children would laugh as I tried to sound the words out, and then I would just shut-down with embarrassment and clam up, I felt so ashamed.

When I went to secondary school it was much the same, I went to Henry Thornton boys school Clapham. The system couldn’t seem to help me, but I was clever with my hands and after school and weekends I would work in the garages at Loughborough junction railway arches where I learned a trade, the automotive repair trade, I was 12 years old when I started. I was striping and rebuilding crashed cars and loving it.

Back at school bulling was becoming a real problem so bad in-fact that I reacted when a bully had me cornered in the toilets stamping on my toes with football boots on, I had plimsolls on so you can imagine the pain was excruciating, I exploded and battered the bully, big mistake, the bully was very well connected and knew every other bully in the school and I was their target now. I was actually warned by a good friend that the bullies were after me and intended to do me real damage.

We were sitting in registration when about ten of the bullies stormed the class grabbed me and tried to drag me out the class kicking and punching me, the teacher just screamed for help, next thing I knew I was surrounded by teachers, in the brake time I was taken to the teachers tea room for my safety, and yet the bullies would still try and get me, they would open the door and shout we want Lee Bacon. In the end I was driven home by a teacher and another school official, they told my mum it was unsafe for me to return to school, and so at 15 I was taken out of school and left to it.

At 18 I passed my driving test first time and managed to land myself a job as a mobile windscreen technician which I still do to this day. I wanted to learn to read, so when I wasn’t working, I enrolled on an adult education course for English. And a big surprise to me I passed. Filled with confidence I wanted more than to be a windscreen tech, and so I started my own windscreen company (1st Choice Windscreen) which was doing very well until the insurance companies decided to use the major companies only, which put hundreds of us smaller companies out of business almost overnight.

It was when I lost my business that I started to have this story coming to the fore of my mind, the story was about a parallel existence, it was like a film in my head, I would try and write what I was seeing but due to losing my business I had to return to one of the major companies as a mobile tech, I was working 12 hours or more a day and sometimes 6 days a week which left me exhausted.

As for my dyslexia, I can now read any word put in front of me, but my dyslexia doesn’t allow me to remember them, so I struggle with spelling, but I find ways around this by using dictionaries and now thank god spell check, thank God for iPad, it checks my spelling as I write, and this is how I have managed to get the pictures from my head to a now published book, oh and this was also helped by an injury I suffered at work which put me out of work but enabled me to write PARALLEL, I see this as an act of God, meant to be, I was meant to wright this story and the next which I am working on now.

I find it incredible this boy that couldn’t even sound out the letters of the alphabet whilst at school and many years after, has suddenly been given the gift to write a book, and this is just the first.

I have now recovered from my injury and have now returned to working as a mobile windscreen technician, but continue to write the second book of Parallel.

I hope you enjoy my book.

You can buy Parallel from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

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#IncidentReport |#BookReview | YOU (You #1) by Caroline Kepnes @CarolineKepnes (18th June 2015, Simon & Schuster @SimonBooks)

YOU (You #1) by Caroline Kepnes
18th June 2015, Simon & Schuster

When a beautiful aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

Okie doke. Where do I even start?! This book has been winking at me on my bookshelf for more years than I care to admit to. It was always one of those books that languished on my seemingly never-ending TBR.

Then on Netflix, this little ball of handsome pops up on my screen!

A Netflix adaptation of said book that’s now shouting at me from my bookshelf; “Yeah! That’s right! You gonna read me now huh?!”. I ignored said shouting until I caved. As much as I want to sit and binge my way through the show – there was no way that was going to happen until I’d read the book.

Wow. This book is….NOT what I expected. I say this in the BEST possible way. I’ve read so many psychological thrillers now that claim to have the biggest twist, and one you can’t put down, etc but YOU is something else.

The first thing to throw me off was the narrative. It’s written in the first person, but as if telling a story to the third party. This style of writing hooked me straight away and then the race was on to gorge on this story as soon as I humanly could!

Second thing about this book….Joe.

I get it now. Reading reviews of both the book and the series and the number of people who were really rooting for Joe was a little worrying. Joe is (this is not a spoiler!) a stalker. There’s no doubting that. He has an unhealthy obsession with a woman and really tries to infiltrate her life in every which way. So why root for him? Well that brings me onto the third thing I loved..

Beck. Ugh. Peach. Ugh. “Dr” Nicky. Ugh. Benji. Ugggggh. These four characters are actually the worst. The kind of people that you probably would do your best to avoid. Self absorbed, selfish, entitled. As the story progresses, I found myself questioning why I cared so much about Joe. Caroline Kepnes, I salute you. I’m still trying to compute my feelings! I cannot get my hands on the follow up novel, HIDDEN BODIES quick enough!

When I put this book down and started writing this review, I stumbled on this gif which pretty much sums up my experience with this book. I agree with you John Stamos, you handsome son of a gun!

You can buy YOU (You #1) from the following booksellers (however, there are MANY more!!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

-S.

#BlogBlitz | #PromoPost| NO LOOKING BACK by Alex Kane @AlexKaneWriter (March 20th 2019, Hera Books @HeraBooks)

Welcome to my stop on this Blog Tour for the release of NO LOOKING BACK by the wonderful Alex Kane!

I would like to say that it is truly my pleasure to be invited onto this blog tour! Particular thanks of course to Sarah Hardy @ Book on the Bright Side, Hera Books and of course Alex Kane for having me along 🙂

He’ll find you… unless you find him first.

Kat Denton is a woman running away from her past. For the past sixteen years, her life has been a living hell as Jimmy, the man she fell in love with as a teenager, becomes ever more cruel and abusive. Following the fire that killed her parents, leaving her an orphan when she was just a teenager, Kat is utterly alone and can’t see a way out. 

Until the day she finds out that she’s pregnant. Vowing to protect her child from Jimmy’s violence, Kat decides to fight for survival – for her and her unborn baby. 

Fleeing the traveller camp that has been her lifelong home isn’t easy. But along with her sister in law, Kat escapes with just the clothes on her back and the one photograph she has of her parents. 

Kat, along with her baby girl Lucia, starts to build a better life. But when she looks into what really happened in her parents’ death Kat uncovers dark secrets – including a revelation that will lead Kat back to the place she had been so desperate to run away from. Is she strong enough to uncover the truth and save everything that she loves most, or will Jimmy Denton have his revenge?

Previously published as Chasing the Traveller

A fast-paced, totally unputdownable crime thriller that fans of Mel Sherratt, Mandasue Heller and Kimberley Chambers will absolutely love. 

About Alex Kane:

Alex Kane is a psychological thriller writer who lives in Glasgow. She is a huge fan of the genre, with her favourite authors in the genre being Lisa Hall, BA Paris and Sarah Stovell. If she is not writing, she can be found drinking tea or gin, taking cat selfies and obsessing over Tom Hardy.

Links:  

www.facebook.com/alexkanewriter

twitter.com/AlexKaneWriter

Instagram @alexkanewriter

You can buy NO LOOKING BACK from the following booksellers (however, there are MANY more!!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

-S.

Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this Blog Tour. See below for further details and be sure to follow all of the action across Twitter!


#ThrillerReads | #BookReview| THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Phoebe Morgan @Phoebe_A_Morgan (February 21st 2019, HQ Stories @HQstories)

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Phoebe Morgan
Published; February 21st 2019, HQ Stories

One little lie just became deadly…

Perfect mother. Perfect wife. Jane Goodwin has spent years building her picture-perfect life in the quiet town of Ashdon.

So when the girl next door, sixteen-year-old Clare Edwards, is found murdered, Jane knows she must first protect her family.

Every marriage has a few white lies and hers is no exception. Jane’s worked hard to cover up her dark secret from all those years ago – and she’ll do anything to keep it hidden…

The gripping new psychological thriller from the author of The Doll House, the number one digital bestseller.

Well where do I even start with this book?!

It starts off with a young girl, from a well off area, being murdered and found on the meadow by someone the whole town is wary of. Written from several different points of view including the murdered girl, the next door neighbour and the investigating officer, I was completely gripped by this book as I tried to figure out where the story was going to lead and I LOVE books like that. I love trying to guess what the ending will be, although mostly I am completely wrong, it adds an element of fun to the book. 

I figured that it wouldn’t be as obvious as it first seemed and that became more clear as the story progresses. I feel like Jane, the next door neighbour of murdered girl Claire, is the main narrator and you can tell from the offset that things are not quite what they seem in regards to her story but Phoebe had a knack of giving little tit bits that keep you on the edge of the seat. As Jane explains about her names, friends in the PTA and her husband as well as Claire’s family whose windows she can see straight into, you know that the saying “you don’t know what happens behind closed doors” is never more truer. I had the unfortunate experience of reading this on Pigeonhole so only got a stave per day and I struggled not being able to find out what happened next at the end of each section. It gets more and more excited as all the little twists are revealed and we start to get a sense of what happened the night of the murder. 

Phoebe wrote this book very well, giving just enough information at each point that you have to finish to discover what really happened but also tied it up at the end so well that all the unanswered questions are finally answered and you are left feeling satisfied although a little weirded out by the outcome.

A very well written thriller that would be quick to read as you continuously fly through the pages. 

You can buy THE GIRL NEXT DOOR from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

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#BlogTour | #BookReview | #IncidentReport | THE LAST by Hanna Jameson @Hanna_Jameson (31st January 2019, Viking Books @VikingBooksUK @PenguinUKBooks)

Welcome!! This the final stop on this Blog Tour for THE LAST by Hanna Jameson.

I would firstly like to say a rather big thank you to the amazing Emily @ BrandHive, Viking Books and of course the wonderful Hanna Jameson who gifted me an early copy of THE LAST. I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.

To kick off, we have the “blurb” for the book;

Breaking: Nuclear weapon detonates over Washington

Breaking: London hit, thousands feared dead

Breaking: Munich and Scotland hit. World leaders call for calm

Historian Jon Keller is on a trip to Switzerland when the world ends. As the lights go out on civilization, he wishes he had a way of knowing whether his wife, Nadia and their two daughters are still alive. More than anything, Jon wishes he hadn’t ignored Nadia’s last message.

Twenty people remain in Jon’s hotel. Far from the nearest city and walled in by towering trees, they wait, they survive.

Then one day, the body of a young girl is found. It’s clear she has been murdered. Which means that someone in the hotel is a killer.

As paranoia descends, Jon decides to investigate. But how far is he willing to go in pursuit of justice? And what kind of justice can he hope for, when society as he knows it no longer exists?

So, you want to know what I think?

Now I’m not usually a big fan of dystopian novels. I can’t really pinpoint why I’m not a big fan…maybe it’s something to do with the reality factor. Do I want to feel like the events being written about are not that far from fiction and could eventually happen? I think I do and with that in mind, THE LAST gave me the jeebies! In the BEST possible way.

Imagine going to a works conference, in a hotel, when at breakfast you hear someone screaming that a nuclear attack has been launched against major cities across America and Europe – pretty much wiping out millions of people. Given the current state of the world, this event seems more of a ‘when’ than an ‘if’.

Imagine then that with your skillset for your career, you start to diarise the events taking place immediately after that attack. The people left behind and what happens to them. The scramble to reach loved ones, to learn they are safe. The panic….the fear…. the uncertainty. Then imagine that one of the group of people you are left with is capable of murder!

THE LAST is a unique book in the sense that it is a fiction book, but serves as a pre-history book of what may likely happen in the future. Short, journal style entries keep the book flowing at a steady pace, taking the reader on a journey.

Let’s talk about that ending through! The ending was….. let’s just say that with how well the book was flowing and the build up throughout, I was maybe expecting more with the ending. It left me asking more questions! Maybe this was Hanna’s intention all along – an ending to a book with no sequel (that I know of) that keeps people talking about it much longer after they finish it!

I was talking to my colleagues about this book (they haven’t read it yet) and they became frustrated, confused and wanted answers to the same questions I did! This to me is a sign that this book is going to do great things and be around for a while.

Is that a movie deal I see on the horizon?

Meet Hanna Jameson;

Hanna Jameson’s fourth novel, part murder mystery and part post-apocalyptic thriller – THE LAST – is out early 2019, with Viking UK and Simon & Schuster – Atria Books US. The Last is the story of an American academic searching for the truth about a girl who has been murdered in his Swiss hotel in the aftermath of a nuclear war that has destroyed most of the Western world.

Jameson had written the first draft of her debut, award-nominated novel – SOMETHING YOU ARE – at just seventeen. Something You Are and two further novels in the series – GIRL SEVEN and ROAD KILL – are available now in the UK, Germany, Japan, and the Netherlands.

She lives in London currently, and is working on screenwriting projects. She likes whiskey, history, and emotionally taxing TV shows.

THE LAST is out now and can be purchased at the following outlets (and MANY more! Don’t forget your local bookseller and library!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) Amazon (AU)

-S.

Be sure to check out the other blogs who participated in this Blog Tour. See below for further details and be sure to follow all of the action across Twitter!

#BlogTour | #BlogBlitz | #BookReview | #IncidentReport | BROKEN by Betsy Reavley @BetsyReavley (February 18th 2019, Bloodhound Books @bloodhoundbook)

Welcome to my stop on this Blog Tour for the release of BROKEN, the latest chilling novel by the wonderful Betsy Reavley!

I would like to say that it is truly my pleasure to be invited onto this blog tour! Particular thanks to Emma Welton, Heather @ Bloodhound Books and of course the awesome Betsy Reavley who gifted me an early copy of BROKEN. I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.

To kick off, we have the “blurb” for the book;

Annabel, a troubled young woman trying to put her life back together, decides to take a trip to the Suffolk coast to clear her head and get away from her mother. But when she arrives in the little seaside town, she discovers a series of grisly murders have taken place and police are searching for a twisted killer.

After a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger, Jude, the course of her life changes and soon she finds peace in a world away from the misery she has known.

But when Jude comes under suspicion from the police, and her idyllic world is threatened, Annabel’s happy existence starts to become a nightmare.

Can Annabel escape her painful past or is her fate sealed? And why is she haunted by horrific visions when she seems on the verge of finding happiness?

This astonishing novel will take you on a shattering journey through Annabel’s fight for survival and will ask if the greatest threat we pose is to ourselves.

Suitable for over 18’s only. It contains graphic scenes some readers may find disturbing.

(previously published under the title Beneath the Watery Moon)

So, want to know what I thought?

“Suitable for over 18’s only.
It contains graphic scenes some readers may find disturbing.”

This is probably the best way to peak my interest in a book! I like being pushed to the boundary of the content I’m reading and I’ve only read a couple of books where it’s actually made me think “shit…that was….”. The first one being AMERICAN PSYCHO by Bret Easton Ellis and then HEART SWARM by Allan Watson. Based on the blurb alone I was ready to dive in.

Now, like most reviewers, I found myself reading the book and thinking I had an idea of where the story was going, but then wondering where and when the graphic content would come in. I keep going and then BAM!! Like a frying pan to the face, it got me…and it got me good!!

My next expressions and emotions can only best be described through a sequence of gifs….

That pretty much sums it up!! With all the gifs aside, I LOVED this book! Not sure what that says about me?! What I loved the most was how Betsy led us up the garden path towards the house, but then blew that house and garden up and left us there wondering “WTF?” what do we do now?! This is most certainly a credit to Betsy and her writing. I was left wondering what I’d just read….but wanting more!

100% agree that if you are turned off by graphic scenes of torture, then you may want to stay clear of this book. However, if you’re looking to push your reading boundaries…. bob this on your shelf 😉

Meet Betsy Reavley;

Author of The Quiet Ones, The Optician’s Wife, Murder at the Book Club, Murder in the Dark, Frailty, Carrion, Broken and the poetry collection The Worm in the Bottle. Betsy was born in Hammersmith, London.

As a child she moved around frequently with her family, spending time in London, Provence, Tuscany, Gloucestershire and Cambridgeshire.

She showed a flair for literature and writing from a young age and had a particular interest in poetry, of which she was a prolific consumer and producer.

In her early twenties she moved to Oxford where she would eventually meet her husband. During her time in Oxford her interests turned from poetry to novels and she began to develop her own unique style of psychological thriller.

Betsy says “I believe people are at their most fascinating when they are faced by the dark side of life. This is what I like to write about.”

Betsy Reavley currently lives in Cambridge with her husband, 2 children, dog and quail.

Betsy’s Social Media Links:

Twitter https://twitter.com/BetsyReavley @BetsyReavley

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BetsyReavleyAuthor/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Betsy-Reavley/e/B00I970NY4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1544003078&sr=8-1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7730760.Betsy_Reavley?from_search=true

You can buy BROKEN from the following booksellers (and many more! Support local booksellers where you can!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

-S.

Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this Blog Tour. See below for further details and be sure to follow all of the action across Twitter!

#ThrillerReads | #BookReview| BEFORE I FIND YOU by Ali Knight @aliknightauthor (November 1st 2018, Hodder @HodderBooks)

BEFORE I FIND YOU by Ali Knight
Published; November 1st 2018, Hodder Books

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Maggie is a husband watcher. A snooper, a marriage doctor, a destroyer of dreams, a killer of happy-ever-afters. She runs her own private detective agency specialising in catching out in those who cheat. And she is bloody good at it.

Helene is a husband catcher. A beautiful wife, a doting step-mother, a perfect home maker and a dazzling presence at parties. She has landed herself with one of the most eligible bachelors in town – handsome property developer Gabe Moreau.

Alice is just a teenager. A perfect daughter to Gabe, a kind stepchild to Helene, a tragic girl to a dead mother. She lives a sheltered but happy life, until she finds that handwritten note ‘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 these lies could end in cold-blooded murder . . .

This book has a very intriguing start. Starting off from Maggie’s point of view we know she has been injured badly in some way but with a woman hanging over her we don’t know the reasons or the detail as to what has happened so you have to keep reading. A good way to get a reader hooked from the start.

Written from the point of view of three women, Maggie who is a private detective, Helene who hires her and Alice the step daughter of Helene and Daughter of the man Maggie is hired to investigate. The first thing I noticed is that some chapters written from the point of view of 2 different people will tell the same situation but they never quite matched so you know some or both people were lying. This was very clever of Ali because you knew you were never quite getting the whole truth. Also it added to the story knowing what each woman was thinking.

Each character comes across as a little bit crazy and nothing is quite what it seems. Alice especially seems very troubled and if she was my daughter I would be a little bit worried about how she reacts to people and situations. I definitely would not class her as normal.

There are lots of twists and turns in this book and you cannot predict what happens. Nothing or nobody are as they seems, even the person I thought was supposed to be out heroine turns out to be harbouring a whole heap of secrets. I did not have a clue how Ali was going to cross the i’s and dot the t’s but boy does she bring it all together for one fantastic ending.

If you like thrillers and books that are so unpredictable they make your head hurt, then this book is for you!!
You can buy BEFORE I FIND YOU from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

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#ThrillerReads | #BookReview| AND SO IT BEGINS by Rachel Abbott @RachelAbbott (November 15th 2018, Wildfire @headlinepg)

AND SO IT BEGINS by Rachel Abbott
Published; November 15th 2018, Wildfire (Headline)

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So this is how it ends. It is clear to me now: one of us has to die.

Mark and Evie had a whirlwind romance. Evie brought Mark back to life after the sudden death of his first wife. Cleo, Mark’s sister, knows she should be happy for him. But Cleo doesn’t trust Evie…

When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets.

Where does murder begin? When the knife is raised to strike, or before, at the first thought of violence? As Evie stands trial, the jury is forced to consider – is there ever a proper defence for murder?

I signed up to read this on a platform that only releases a bit each day. This was done over 10 days. This was the worse way to read it as at the end of each day I was so frustrated not being able to keep reading as there were always so many puzzles!

It was a fantastic well written book and I loved the anticipation of what was to come. Rachel wrote it so well that constantly left you eager for more, answering some questions but then asking a thousand more. 

Evie seems from the start to be a very naïve young girl and in some ways I found myself getting frustrated with her. Cleo comes across as very protective, maybe just a little too much that as a reader I found myself wanting to give her a good shake and tell her to move on and find herself a life but as the book develops I found my first impressions completely shift and I discover not everything is as it seems and there is a lot more to all of our characters and a big back story that we discover more about the story progresses.

The blurb on this book is what first appealed to me and I wasn’t disappointed. This book was a thriller that keeps you turning the pages and constantly guessing right to the end.

Only thing that was a slight spoiler for me was the ending. I think the build up was so amazing and well written that the ending fell a little bit flat. I think it was maybe one of those books that the ending wouldn’t have been enough whatever it was and although it disappointed it didn’t take any of the enjoyment out of the book.

I would definitely recommend this book and I will be trying to dig out more of Rachel’s work. She is an author I think would soon become a favourite.

 

You can buy AND SO IT BEGINS from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

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#PublicationDay | #BookReview | #Giveaway | THE INNOCENT WIFE by Amy Lloyd @amylloydwrites (Paperback Edition; October 4th 2018, Cornerstone @penguinrhuk)

A very happy publication day to Amy Lloyd for the paperback edition of THE INNOCENT WIFE. Following the initial release back in December 2017, THE INNOCENT WIFE soon became a Top 10 Bestseller! Below, you can read my reasons why I loved this debut so much 🙂

Thank you so much again to the team at Penguin UK, Amy Lloyd and Anne Cater who gifted me my original copy back in December as part of the Hardback release blog tour. I remain forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.

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To kick off, we have the “blurb” for the book;

A young schoolteacher falls for a man on Death Row whom she believes is falsely accused, only to begin wondering after their marriage – and his release.

Twenty years ago Dennis Danson was arrested for the brutal murder of Holly Michaels in Florida’s Red River County. Now he’s the subject of a Making a Murderer-style true crime documentary that’s taking the world by storm – the filmmakers are whipping up a frenzy of coverage to uncover the truth and free the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice.

Samantha may be thousands of miles away in Britain, but she is as invested in Dennis’s case as any of his lawyers. Perhaps even more so, as her letters to the convicted killer grow ever more intimate. Soon she is leaving her life behind to marry Danson and campaign, as his wife, for his release.

But when the campaign is successful, and Dennis is freed, events begin to suggest that he may not be so innocent after all. How many girls went missing in Red River, and what does Dennis really know?

So, want to know what I thought?

Every now and then, a book comes along that completely consumes your every thought. You cannot put it down until you have devoured every single page. Then once you have finished, you have to sit and stare and think about what you have just read. THE INNOCENT WIFE is one of those books!

From the very start, I was hooked. It took me back to the same feels I had listening to Serial and watching Making of a Murderer. Those feelings of doubt and suspicion against every character – I don’t think I trusted a single one. There was something slightly off about everyone. Don’t think I’m saying this as a negative though – quite the opposite! I LOVED it.

I could feel the awkwardness between Sam and Dennis in their visits and the underlying tension between the pair once Dennis is freed from prison. I find myself trying to think why Sam would sacrifice her life in the UK to move to another country to be with a man she has never met. Who, although she believes his innocence – is still in prison charged with committing horrific crimes.

The dynamic between Sam and Dennis, once released, shifts considerably and reading it made me uncomfortable. Dennis’ mood swings and his relationship with Lauren has the reader jumping to conclusions before we even reach the end of the book. Which is more than a credit to Amy’s writing (I still can’t get over that this is a DEBUT novel!)

The end of the story couldn’t be more perfect as it left me asking more questions as to what happened next? Why did it happen that way? Open endings like this can be both a frustration and a pleasure. A frustration stemming from not getting the closure some readers crave from a story, but then a pleasure that we are almsot left to create the story ourselves in our head and create new situations and choices.

Safe to say that THE INNOCENT WIFE is one of those books that will stay with me for a long time!

About AMY LLOYD;

Amy Lloyd studied English and Creative Writing at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Her writing combines her fascination with true crime and her passion for fiction. In 2016 she won the Daily Mail Bestseller Competition for her novel The Innocent Wife. Amy lives in Cardiff with her partner, who is also a published novelist.

You can buy THE INNOCENT WIFE from the following booksellers (however, there are MANY more!! Support your local independent booksellers where you can!!)

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

Thanks to our friends at Penguin UK, we also have one paperback copy of THE INNOCENT WIFE to give away! To be in with a chance of winning, tell us in the comments below; If you could write a letter to a famous criminal, who would it be and why?

Giveaway ends on Friday 5th October at 12pm GMT.
Winner will be notified shortly after 🙂 

BEST OF LUCK!

-S.

#BlogTour| #BookReview | #IncidentReport | OVERKILL (Sam Shephard #1) by Vanda Symon @vandasymon (September 6th 2018, Orenda Books @OrendaBooks)

Welcome to my stop on this Blog Tour for the release of OVERKILL (Sam Shephard #1) by Vanda Symon.

I would like to say that it is truly my pleasure to be invited onto this blog tour! Particular thanks to Anne Cater, Orenda Books and of course Vanda Symon who gifted me an early copy ofOVERKILL (Sam Shephard #1). I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.

Overkill Cover

To kick off, we have the “blurb” for the book;

Book One in the Sam Shephard Series … a tense and atmospheric thriller by one of New Zealand’s finest crime writers

When the body of a young mother is found washed up on the banks of the Mataura River, a small rural community is rocked by her tragic suicide. But all is not what it seems.

Sam Shephard, sole-charge police constable in Mataura, soon discovers the death was no suicide and has to face the realisation that there is a killer in town. To complicate the situation, the murdered woman was the wife of her former lover. When Sam finds herself on the list of suspects and suspended from duty, she must cast said her personal feelings and take matters into her own hands. To find the murderer … and clear her name.

A taut, atmospheric and page-turning thriller, Overkill marks the start of an unputdownable and unforgettable series from one of New Zealand’s finest crime writers.

So, want to know what I thought?;

Orenda have done it again! If there’s one thing Orenda can pride themselves on (there’s bloody loads of things they can be proud of..but I am choosing just one for now!), it’s being able to gift the world with some of the finest writing from across the globe. Once again,

What first caught my attention is that this a crime novel set in rural New Zealand. This isn’t a fast paced inner city serial killer where everything from the investigation to car chases runs at 400mph. Everything that takes place in Mataura seems to happen at a more relaxed pace. I felt that I was able to fully digest the case in the same way Sam does.

Vanda’s writing style transported me directly to the dark and gritty surroundings of this rural town in the base of New Zealand’s South Island. There is a trick to writing about such vast open spaces, but being able to make it seem uncomfortable and claustrophobic. Add in the diverse character of Sam and this books makes for an incredible read. Sam is strong, confident, wounded and most importantly relatable! She gets drunk, eats crap food and at times, has a hell of a attitude with her colleagues. It’s refreshing to read female police offers written in this way!

OVERKILL is a clever little book, in the sense that as I was reading, I was certain I knew what had happened to the young mother and who was responsible. I couldn’t be more wrong and further away from the story I had already played in my head! THIS is what makes OVERKILL an absolutely joy to read. You are kept guessing and wondering to the very end.

Knowing there are another three books in the Sam Shephard series – I am keen to read what happens to Sam next. OVERKILL left me with some unanswered questions which I hope are answered as the series progresses.

 

About Vanda Symon;

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Vanda’s first novel Overkill, was written while juggling the demands of a 6 month old baby and a two year old. She suspects the prologue to Overkill was written in a state of sleep deprivation induced paranoia brought about by middle of the night feeds and imagining every awful thing that could possibly happen to her family. None of them ever did. Reading that prologue still makes her cry.

A little time has elapsed and the six-month old and two-year old are now teenagers. As well as trying to raise two wonderful human beings, she has added three more Detective Sam Shephard novels to the series and written the stand alone psychological thriller The Faceless.

As well as being a crime writer, she hosts a monthly radio show on Dunedin’s Otago Access Radio called Write On, where she interviews local writers, and catches the odd international super-star if they’re in town. 

And just to prove that she is a tiger for punishment, she has recently completed a PhD at the University of Otago looking at the communication of science through crime fiction – the perfect subject for a science loving crime writer. She has an undergraduate degree in Pharmacy and enjoyed a career as a community pharmacist and palliative care pharmacist before concentrating on her writing career.

Vanda has been involved with the New Zealand Society of Authors for many years, having been chair of the Otago Southland Branch. She is currently the Otago Southland regional delegate on the NZSA Board. Vanda was also the Chair of Copyright Licensing New Zealand. 

When she isn’t writing, Vanda can be found digging around in her garden in Dunedin, or on the business end of a fencing foil. She has fenced since high school and still competes in national and international competitions. As well as competing she coaches, and because she likes to get involved, boots and all, is the president of Fencing South and on the board of Fencing New Zealand.

Vanda is a founding member of the Dunedin Crime Writers Association, whose raison d’etre is for its members to drink beer or wine and talk crime writing at their favourite pub.

 

You can buy OVERKILL (Sam Shephard #1) from the following booksellers;

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

-S.

Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this Blog Tour. See below for further details and be sure to follow all of the action across Twitter!

Overkill Blog Tour Poster