#BLOGTOUR #REVIEW – The Split by Sharon Bolton #thesplit @authorsjbolton @orionbooks @trapezebooks

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Split by Sharon Bolton, thank you to Trapeze Books and Orion publishing for organising it, inviting me to take part and providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Pages: 400

Synopsis: SHE’S GOT NOWHERE LEFT TO HIDE.

A year ago, in desperation, Felicity Lloyd signed up for a lengthy research trip to the remote island of South Georgia.

It was her only way to escape.

AND NOW HE’S COMING FOR HER.

Freddie Lloyd has served time for murder. Out at last, he’s on her trail.

And this time, he won’t stop until he finds her.

BECAUSE NO MATTER HOW FAR YOU RUN, SOME SECRETS WILL ALWAYS CATCH UP WITH YOU…

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧

My Thoughts: this book was a slow burner at first, which helped build the atmosphere really well.

Felicity is running away from her ex husband who she thinks she has seen after her. She’s a glaciologist and has taken a job in Antarctica on the last boat of the summer with the think that he won’t find her and she’ll be safe, little does she know that no matter how far you run, some things will always catch up with you.

The story is told within 2 timelines, eventually meeting up so it’s just the one, the first is the ‘before leaving where we follow felicity through her therapy and slowly start to see how she’s got to the point where she feels she has to run, the second is the present day, where we see her getting ready for her trip.

The book is told from different perspectives, all people who seem to have felicity’s best interests at heart, but are they all as they seem?

Once the story got going I couldn’t stop reading, and devoured it pretty quickly because I needed to know where it would end, would she get away? Would Freddie find her? would we ever find out why she felt the need to run in the first place?

This story was full of so many twists and turns that I didn’t know wether I was coming or going, but I’m the best way possible.

🐧❤️

#BLOGTOUR #REVIEW – In Plain Sight by Marion Todd – #inplainsight #compulsivereaders @MarionETodd @canelo_co @Tr4cyF3nt0n #prdgreads

Today is my stop on the blog tour for In Plain Sight by Marion Todd, thank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for organising it and inviting me to take part & thank you to Canelo for my copy.

Pages: 311

Synopsis: When a baby girl is snatched from the crowd of spectators at a fun run, the local police have a major investigation on their hands. DI Clare Mackay and her team are in a race against the clock when they learn that the child has a potentially fatal medical condition.

As Clare investigates she realises this victim wasn’t selected at random. Someone knows who took the baby girl, and why. But will they reveal their secrets before it’s too late?

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧

My Thoughts: Wow, I absolutely loved this, and in fact upon discovering this was book 2 in a series and having plenty of time before my stop, I actually purchased the first book, because more often than not I feel like I’m missing something if I have agreed to review a book that is part of an already established series, so I went into this already knowing the team of detectives and such.

The action gets going straight away in this book, within the first few pages the baby has been snatched, how can a baby be snatched and a big local event with lots of people around and no-one see anything?

It comes to light rather quickly that the baby has a heart defect and needs medication regularly to stop her deteriorating, the GP confirms that they have about 48 hours to find her before she dies, can it be done?

For the most part this book was just a straight forward police procedural story with the main characters following all these different leads to work out where the baby is, but they soon learn that it’s obviously not as straight forward as they first thought.

The mum has a secret phone that she hides in the bathroom and then suddenly just disappears without a word, does she know more than she’s letting on?

This story really kept me on the edge of my seat, just as I thought I’d figured it out, something else happened to prove me wrong! – a thoroughly enjoyable read and one that was so easy to get lost in.

🐧❤️

#BLOGTOUR #REVIEW – Switchboard by Andrew Post #switchboard @megadeluxo #randomthingstours @annecater #prdgreads

Today is my stop on the blogtour for Switchboard by Andrew Post. Thank you to Anne from Random Things Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part.

Pages: 198

Synopsis: After two raids turn up zero evidence, narcotics detective Dwayne Spare infiltrates a crumbling apartment building where a suspected manufacturer of krokodil is hiding—but finds something much worse. The chemist Gerald Metzger isn’t after money; he’s lulling his most ‘dedicated’ customers into catatonia, to make contact with an eldritch being.

When Dwayne’s cover is blown, he becomes Metzger’s new test subject, an involuntary pilgrim into a world where “it’s all just in your head” is far from a reassuring statement.

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧

My Thoughts: this book starts off as a normal police crime/thriller story which is one of my favourites and well within my comfort zone and as such I thought I knew what I was getting, but boy was I wrong 😂

Dwayne sees a rare opportunity to catch Gerald Metzger, the chemist who is making and selling krokodil, every other chance Dwayne has had has been foiled before it’s even started, somehow Metzger always knows what he’s planning. – this time he’ll go undercover and get him from the inside, he’ll never figure that out, right?

Unfortunately for Dwayne, Metzger does figure it out and unbeknownst to him Dwayne becomes the next “dreamer” from here things get really detailed and graphic with regards to the effects of the krokodil and I was hooked, I couldn’t stop reading and I needed to know what happened, every single one of the characters were vital to the story for one reason or another, which I really appreciated

I’ve been left wanting to know more about the authors work so it’s definitely something I’ll be looking into in the future

🐧❤️

#BLOGTOUR #REVIEW – Ground Rules by Richard Whittle – @richard1whittle #groundrules #damppebblesblogtours @damppebblesbts

Today is my stop on the blogtour for Ground Rules by Richard Whittle – thank you to Emma at Damp Pebbles Blog Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part.

Pages: 235

Synopsis: Called out one night in the hope that she can identify the body of a man found in a field, Edinburgh forensic geologist Jessica Spargo – Jez – inadvertently becomes involved in the investigation of a university lecturer’s murder. The investigating officer, Tom Curtis, hands her a small glass vial and asks her to analyse its contents. She agrees to do it. The results confound everyone. Media attention around a seemingly unconnected incident on a construction site near Edinburgh means that all work has stopped. An object discovered beneath the site confounds everyone, including the police. Employed by the firm’s owner to attempt to solve the mystery, Jez falls foul of an uncooperative site manager. Unruffled, she perseveres. Meanwhile, the murder mystery deepens. Despite her reluctance to become further involved, she has her own theories about the origin of the vial’s contents, theories the police do not accept. To Jez’s dismay there are more deaths. As she says to Curtis, ‘I don’t do bodies. I’m a geologist, I look at rocks. If I’d wanted to look at bits of body then I would have become a surgeon or a pathologist.’

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧.5

My Thoughts: I couldn’t help but feel as I was reading this that I had missed a big chunk at the beginning, purely because the main characters had a history and a relationship (friendship) that was already established that we as the reader knew nothing about. I tried to do some research to see if this was a series with previous books but to no avail.

All that being said the story itself worked as a stand alone and it was gripping. I couldn’t put it down.

I loved the sassy sarcastic attitude of spargo when it came to Curtis, they bounced off eachother so well, their parts together gave me a small break from the geology parts of the story which for me was something new and obviously fit in really well with the story I did find them a little overwhelming at times, I didn’t really understand how it worked and it went straight over my head 😂

I loved the investigation part of the story, it felt familiar and helped to stop me losing the plot completely.

Why were these people being murdered? Were they linked to bones that were found on the dig site? There were so many elements to this story that left me second guessing myself and I love it when that happens.

I enjoyed the story and it’s left me intrigued it find Richards previous works to see what else he’s written.

🐧❤️

#BLOGTOUR #REVIEW – On the Road not Taken by Paul Dodgson #ontheroadnottaken #randomthingstours @pauldodgson @unbounders @annecater #prdgreads

Today is my stop on the blog tour for on the road not taken by Paul Dodgson, thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part and thank you to Paul and Unbound for my copy.

Pages: 288

Synopsis: On the Road Not Taken is a memoir about the transformational power of music . It begins with a boy growing up in a small town on the Kent coast in the 1970s, who learns to play the guitar and dreams of heading out on the open road with a head full of songs. But when the moment comes to make the choice he is not brave enough to try and do it for a living.

Time passes but the desire to explain the world through music never goes away. And as the years go by it gets harder and harder to risk looking like a fool, of doing the very thing he would most like to do, of actually being himself. Eventually, thirty-five years later, when it feels like time is running out, he walks out onto a stage in front of 500 people and begins to sing again.

What follows is an extraordinary period of self-discovery as he plays pubs, clubs, theatres and festivals, overcoming anxiety to experience the joy of performance.

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧

My Thoughts: this story really took me on a journey with it, it was told in 2 different time lines, one when he was a small child and the second around 40 years later, each chapter is a new year and they eventually combine at the end so you really do get the full story.

To begin with the earlier chapters, the ones from his childhood were my favourite because he was just discovering music and although this is Paul story years later you could still feel the awe and amazement that he must have felt at the time

The scene at the dinner table with the family and him being laughed at actually made me tear up, I can’t imagine how awful that must have felt at the time.

But as Paul become older (still a child) I found him rather bossy and demanding, (no offence to you Paul 😂) so at that point although I still enjoyed the earlier chapters and appreciated the fact that they gave all the background, the older chapters where he started actually rediscovering the music became the best ones.

You could feel the nerves coming through the page & I found myself rooting for him even though I knew that the events had already happened.

I loved that each chapter was named after a song, that was a really nice touch and the fact that you also included the year helped me picture it in my head.

I listened to the audiobook for this, I’m not going to lie at first it was hard going, but once I got used to the speed and the tone and everything I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Thank you Paul for being brave enough to write your story and showing others that it’s never too late to go after your dreams!

🐧❤️

#BLOGTOUR The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence #thegirlandthestars @mark_lawrence @harpervoyageruk @fictionpubteam #randomthingstours @annecater

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence, thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part and thank you to Harper Voyager for my copy.

Pages: 480

Synopsis: Only when it’s darkest can you see the stars.

East of the Black Rock, out on the ice, lies a hole down which broken children are thrown

On the vastness of the ice there is no room for individuals. No one survives alone.
To resist the cold, to endure the months of night when even the air itself begins to freeze, requires a special breed. Variation is dangerous, difference is fatal. And Yaz is different.

Torn from her family, from the boy she thought she would spend her life with, Yaz has to carve a new path for herself in a world whose existence she never suspected. A world full of danger.

Beneath the ice, Yaz will learn that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined.
She will learn that her weaknesses are another kind of strength. And she will learn to challenge the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people.

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧

My Thoughts: I always love discovering a new author and this my first dive into one of Mark Lawrence’s books, and afternoon this one I will definitely be picking up more from him in the future.

We follow Yaz a member of the Ictha tribe who thrive in the cold, that’s their domain, it’s what they’re used to, the day has come to find out if the youngest members of the tribe have made it to adulthood, it’s a horrible tradition where they stand in front of the “pit of the missing” if the priest thinks you’re grown up you stay, if not you get pushed in!

The first book in this trilogy is all about Yaz’s journey in the pit (you’ll have to read the book to find out how she ends up down there, it’s not as straight forward as you think 😉) she soon discovers that the pit of the missing is not as it has been described from up top, there’s a whole civilisation down here! – can she integrate herself and find what she is looking for before it’s too late?

The story was absolutely magical and not just because our main character can control how bright the stars shine just by talking to them.

The world building was amazing, I was left feeling claustrophobic at times almost like I was actually down the pit with the characters of the story.

Seeing Yaz develop from a scared unsure ‘child’ into a woman who is not afraid to go after what she wants was so nice to see, who doesn’t love a bad ass female character?

It took me w while to be totally invested, adult fantasy series always start off slow because there is so much world building and character introducing to do, but by about 25% I was hooked and totally lost in the story.

Be prepared for long chapters, this isn’t something I’m used to, so was very strange to me, but it didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the story.

As with most first books, this one was left on one hell of a cliffhanger which has left me wanting book 2 now.

I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS!

🐧❤️

#REVIEW Strangers by C.L. Taylor @callytaylor @avonbooksuk @netgalley_uk #bookreview #prdgreads #strangers

Thank you to Avon Books UK and Netgalley for my copy of Strangers in exchange for an honest review.

Pages: 400

Synopsis: Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before.

Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life.
Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards.
And Alice is being stalked.

None of them are used to relying on others – but when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die.

Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧

My Thoughts: I’ve read a couple of C.L. Taylor’s books before and absolutely loved them, and this one was no exception, the story was told from 3 different perspectives which left me a little worried at first, would I be able to keep up? would the differences confuse me? – I should’ve had more faith in the authors skill, it was so easy to follow and the end of every chapter left me excited to get to their next chapter.

Ursula has a problem with taking things that aren’t hers and sticking her nose into places where it’s not wanted, but through doing that she could change the life of more than one person for the better so is it always a bad thing?

Gareth is a security guard who lives with his mum, she has dementia and needs caters in to help her during the day. Gareth’s life changes when his mum starts receiving postcards from her husband who has been presumed dead for many years, but then Gareth thinks he sees him on one of the cameras at work, has he been lied to his whole life? is he dad still alive?

Alice has been pushed by her daughter to start online dating, through which she meets Simon at first she’s smitten, but then things start happening which make her doubt his intentions and his honesty, what is he really after? Is he hiding something?

I honestly could not put this book down, I just had to know how their lives were going to pan out and what was going to happen to bring them all together!

If you love a thriller that keeps you guessing and makes you doubt yourself several times along the way, then I highly recommend this one, I promise you won’t be disappointed

🐧❤️

#BLOGTOUR – A Place of Reckoning by J.F Burgess #review @burgess1012 @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #prdgreads

Today is my stop on the blog tour for A Place of Reckonjng by J.F Burgess, thank you to Kelly at Love Books Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part.

Pages: 394

Synopsis: Three women. Two bodies. One deadly secret.
Pottery tycoon Charles Lancaster knows who kidnapped his wife.

He’s sure it was the brutally dangerous ex bare-knuckle fighter, Patrick Dunne. Patrick promised to avenge his son who died in a tragic accident in one of Charles’ factories. It’s an open and shut case…

…until a headless body turns up in a remote Peak District pool, its back tattooed with a cryptic Tarot card. As Detective Inspector Tom Blake and FBI profiler Lucy Stryker dig into the mystery, they unearth long-buried secrets about an historic conspiracy and a clandestine cult. But with a sadistic killer on the loose, and everyone hiding things, it’s not just the victim’s life that hangs in the balance. Will anyone get out alive?

Because when the powerful are pointing the finger, you’d better watch your back…

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧.5

My thoughts: love a good police procedural story they’re amongst my favourite genre! – I was unaware that this was book 2 of a series when I agreed to the blog tour and was slightly worried that I’d feel like I’d missed something, but like most series of this type the story itself actually read like a standalone, all I was missing was a bit of background on the main characters. But I felt by the time the story got going I knew them and their personalities well enough!

The synopsis has actually done a pretty good job of setting the story, which is what I would normally do in my review, but this time I feel like I’d be repeating what you already know.

I really enjoyed this, it had lovable characters that I found myself rooting for, it had characters that you were supposed to hate, that at times I actually felt sorry for and it had characters that left me second guessing their intentions.

There were multiple layers to this story, there was the main crime, but there were also things that Charles was dealing with behind closed doors and keeping to himself & then his older daughter was also up to something, is it all connected?

This had me doubting myself and second guessing my judgement throughout the whole thing whilst also leaving me intrigued enough to keep going to find out what the conclusion would be.

A well written story that has made me want to continue on with the series ☺️

🐧❤️

#BLOGTOUR – Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald – #ashmountain #review @fitzhelen @orendabooks @annecater

Today is my stop on the blogtour for Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald, thank you to Anne at Random Things tours for organising it and inviting me to take part & thank you to Orenda Books for my copy.

Pages: 210

Synopsis: Fran hates her hometown, and she thought she’d escaped. But her father is ill, and needs care. Her relationship is over, and she hates her dead-end job in the city, anyway.

She returns home to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends. There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem, she falls in love for the first time, and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer. As past friendships and rivalries are renewed, and new ones forged, Fran’s tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants…

Simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small-town life – and a woman and a land in crisis – and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever, Ash Mountain is a heart-breaking slice of domestic noir, and a disturbing disaster thriller that you will never forget…

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧

My Thoughts: you’re going to roll your eyes because I’m going to say it again, I knew nothing about this book going into it and I’ve never read anything by Helen Fitzgerald before, but a friend of mine adores her writing and told me I had to give this one a go, and my god was she right.

The story starts off with Fran being woken up by the town siren, with nothing online to tell her why she goes in search of her daughter Vonny and realises that the emergency is a gigantic bush fire!

Fran has just begrudgingly returned to the small town she grew up in, her dad is ill and needs full time care, it’s not that she doesn’t want to care for her dad, she just doesn’t want to go back to Ash Mountain, straight away you get the feeling that she’s hiding something & I personally couldn’t wait to figure out what it was.

The book is told from too different timelines – the now, which obviously goes without saying is present day, and the then, which follows Fran at various stages of her life growing up. The background parts are integral to the story and they’re the chapters that hold the most mystery and really pack a punch!

The present day chapters and events lead up to the bush fire that puts everyone she loves in danger, will they make it out alive?

Will Fran figure out exactly why being in Ash Mountain makes her feel uneasy?

The joy of a thriller is all the twists and turns, trying to work out if you can figure out where the story is going and then being proved wrong over and over again, this story does that multiple times and I just couldn’t put it down.

🐧❤️

#BLOGTOUR – The Carer by Deborah Moggach – #review #thecarer #randomthingstours @tinderpress @annecater

Today is my stop on the blogtour for The Carer by Deborah Moggach, thank you to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part, and thank you to Tinder Press for my copy!

Pages: 272

Synopsis: From the bestselling author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Tulip Fever, a deliciously funny, poignant and wry novel, full of surprising twists and turns:

James is getting on a bit and needs full-time help. So Phoebe and Robert, his middle-aged offspring, employ Mandy, who seems willing to take him off their hands. But as James regales his family with tales of Mandy’s virtues, their shopping trips and the shared pleasure of their journeys to garden centres, Phoebe and Robert sense something is amiss.

Then something extraordinary happens which throws everything into new relief, changing all the stories of their childhood – and the father – that they thought they knew so well.

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧

My Thoughts: I can’t help but feel like I missed something with this story, not because it was bad, it really wasn’t, it was bloody brilliantly BUT the synopsis says it’s ‘deliciously funny’ I didn’t find the story funny at all, I found it utterly heartbreaking but in the best way possible, this is why I love reviewing books and reading the reviews of other people because it truly fascinated me that people can get such different things from the same story.

It’s told from two different perspectives, Phoebes and Roberts, who employ Mandy to become the full time live in carer for their dad James, at first Mandy seems like the perfect addition to the ‘family’ she’s taken the pressure off them both and left them feeling that their dad will be well looked after, but once they start visiting they notice James deteriorating rather quickly & they learn that Mandy has for her feet well and truly under the table so to speak, could she be up to something?

They make it their mission to dig up the dirt on Mandy and just as they feel they are getting somewhere something tragic happens that puts them back at square one!

It’s a book full of secrets and twists that I personally didn’t see coming, and deals with some sensitive subjects in such a beautiful way. The last part of the book had me crying on more than one occasion. I know this review is short and for that I’m sorry, but I don’t want to ruin any of the parts that make this story something that I feel you need to pick up.

Just trust my judgement and give it a go ☺️

🐧❤️