#psychological · #Simon & Schuster · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book of the month · Book Review · Crime/thriller

#10YearsOfBloodyScotland Bloody Scotland turns 10, and to celebrate I’m reviewing a book by one of this years authors, Jack Jordan! (@JackJordanBooks @BloodyScotland @simonschusterUK) #DoNoHarm #blogtour

Hugest of thanks to Fiona for inviting me to take part in the blog tour to help celebrate the anniversary of Bloody Scotland! Many congratulations to all of the team behind the annual event, for everything you have achieved over the last 10 years. Today I am shining the spotlight on Jack Jordan and his latest release, Do No Harm, which was published in May by Simon & Schuster. My thanks to the publisher for sending me an early proof pre release.

MY CHILD HAS BEEN TAKEN.
AND I’VE BEEN GIVEN A CHOICE . . .
KILL A PATIENT ON THE OPERATING TABLE
OR LOSE MY SON FOREVER.

The man lies on the table in front of me.
As a surgeon, it’s my job to save him.
As a mother, I know I must kill him.
You might think that I’m a monster.
But there really is only one choice.
I must get away with murder.
Or I will never see my son again.

I’VE SAVED MANY LIVES.
WOULD YOU TRUST ME WITH YOURS?

TWG’s Thoughts.

Okay, question for you: when you go to the hospital for an operation, or help prepare a family member for an operation, would you ever think that the surgeon and their team might go out of their way to, oh I don’t know, kill you? I mean, it’s a worry having an op, that everything ends up OK. It’s human nature. However, I hope I never have to put my faith into a surgeon after reading this book!!!!

Anna’s son gets abducted. She’s told that there is only one thing she can do to ensure her son is returned to her, alive. Yet that involves committing a murder. Killing someone else to get your child back. Stripping a family of a loved one just so you can get your loved one back. Doesn’t bear thinking about really, does it?

Ss macabre as this sounds, I fluffing loved ‘Do No Harm’. I’m not sure whether that was because of the high end suspense, or the fact that I was sitting smug because I wasn’t the one having to make such a life changing decision. Thinking about it now, it’s probably both! Jack Jordan, if you haven’t seen his author photos, has such an innocent looking baby face. This novel just goes to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover because geeeeeez, he may look innocent but boy does he have a wicked mind!

Clever….but wicked! And I mean wicked in an insanely brilliant manner. ‘Do No Harm’ ticked all of my boxes and left me staring into space trying to make sense of what I had just read. I’m honestly surprised that I wasn’t tied in knots due to the multi layer plot and never-ending lines of coarse grit. It was absolutely, absolutely brilliant and is definitely one of the best books I have ever read.

If you haven’t read it yet, I urge you to change that pronto!!

You can purchase ‘Do No Harm’ now from Amazon and other retailers.

Also, to find out more about Bloody Scotland, you can check out their website here.

#suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · historical fiction

#TheLastRestaurantInParis by Lily Graham (@lilygrahambooks @bookouture) #WW2 #blogtour #review #historicalfiction

Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in Lily Graham’s blog tour for ‘The Last Restaurant in Paris’, and for supplying me with an ARC. All thoughts written in this review are done so in an unbiased manner.

Paris 1944. To save her people, she served the enemy.

In enemy-occupied Paris, as the locals go to bed starving and defeated by the war, music and laughter spills through the door of a little restaurant, crowded with German soldiers. The owner Marianne moves on weary feet between its packed tables, carrying plates of steaming, wholesome food for the enemy officers. Her smile is bright and sparkling, her welcome cordial. Nobody would guess the hatred she hides in her heart.

That night, the restaurant closes its doors for the final time. In the morning, the windows are scratched with the words ‘traitor and murderer’. And Marianne has disappeared without a trace…

Years later, Marianne’s granddaughter Sabine stands under the faded green awning, a heavy brass key in her hand, staring at the restaurant left to her by the grandmother she never met. Sabine has so many questions about herself. Perhaps here she can find answers, but she knows she isn’t welcome. Marianne was hated by the locals and when Sabine discovers they blamed her for the terrible tragedy that haunts the pretty restaurant, she is ready to abandon her dark legacy.

But when she finds a passport in a hidden compartment in the water-stained walls, with a picture of a woman who looks like her grandmother but has a different name, she knows there must be more to Marianne’s story. As she digs into the past, she starts to wonder: was her grandmother a heroine, not a traitor? What happened to her after the tragic night when she fled from her restaurant? And will the answer change her own life forever?

TWG’s Thoughts.

If you aren’t aware by now, I ADORE historical fiction novels, especially those set during the war, and ‘The Last Restaurant in Paris’ ticked all the boxes for me.

Once again, Lily Graham’s emotive writing style took centre stage as she delivered a tale about survival, trust, hope and fear. Many families have hidden secrets in their past and Sabine’s family were no different, however the secrets hidden were life or death. Or, putting it bluntly, revenge.

Sabine’s grandmother loved hard, yet she loved even harder and heaven forbid people got in her way. Granted what she did during the war wasn’t the most wholesome of things, to a certain degree I could see why she did what she did. Like I say, I don’t condone her actions, but there was a lot more to what happened that night than first thought.

Lily Graham has an incredible way with words, and I was captivated by this story from the very beginning until the very end. There was so much grit to sink my teeth into, and I loved how I was able to find out the truth at the same time as the characters. It was as though we were connected if that makes sense.

I can’t fault ‘The Last Restaurant in Paris’ at all. It had suspense, emotion, power, strength, but most of all it had a heart. A captivating, wholesome and poignant novel – highlighting the importance of finding out the truth of a situation before a judgement is made.

Buy now from Amazon

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book of the month · Book Review · contemporary fiction · Hodder · lifestyle

#TheMuseumOfOrdinaryPeople by Mike Gayle (@mikegayle @hodderbooks @jennyplatt90) #review #blogtour #MikeGayle #booktwt

Thanks so much to Jenny Platt and Hodder Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘The Museum Of Ordinary People’ by Mike Gayle, and for supplying me with an ARC of the book. All views written in this review are done so in an unbiased manner.

Still reeling from the sudden death of her mother, Jess is about to do the hardest thing she’s ever done: empty her childhood home so that it can be sold.

But when in the process Jess stumbles across the mysterious Alex, together they become custodians of a strange archive of letters, photographs, curios and collections known as The Museum of Ordinary People.

As they begin to delve into the history of the objects in their care, Alex and Jess not only unravel heartbreaking stories that span generations and continents, but also unearth long buried secrets that lie much closer to home.

Inspired by a box of mementos found abandoned in a skip following a house clearance, The Museum of Ordinary People is a thought-provoking and poignant story of memory, grief, loss and the things we leave behind.

TWG’S Thoughts.

I’m just going to dive straight in and say that this is probably one of my most favourite books that I have read so far this year – I absolutely adored it.

From the get go readers are introduced to a character that is complexly brilliant. We meet Jess at the first stages of grief, where everything is so raw and the house is being cleared of personal belongings. But, instead of ensuring she holds back items for herself of her late mothers, she worries about the space to put them in her boyfriends apartment. Sorry, I know space can be an issue at the best of times (or in this case, the worst), however space should be the least of her worries and instead of her boyfriend, Guy, ensuring his apartment is pristine, he should try and accommodate his girlfriends needs as well. Or is that just me? Perhaps I was thinking all of that because I took an instant dislike to Guy and his self obsessed personality. Who knows.

As the storyline progressed, we got to see more of Jess’ personality shine, and a collection of new characters with their own troubles, were brought in. Take Alex for example – the polar opposite of Guy and despite the turmoil that he had went through, he still managed to stand on his own two feet and help others. I liked Alex, and I felt like there was more to him than what we saw and I enjoyed that uncertainty of his personality and his actions.

Despite the book being centred around a museum, an unspoken secret gave a good fight to become the centre of attention. I was flabbergasted to be totally honest. I didn’t know who I felt sorry for the most in the situation, yet I could also see it from the side of a mother, what with being one myself. I know this sounds like I’m speaking nonsense, however those who have read the book will understand where I am coming from. However, if you haven’t read the book yet, I highly suggest you nab one as soon as you can.

So yes, as I said at the very beginning, ‘The Museum Of Ordinary People’ is one of my favourite books of 2022 already. I loved the unique storytelling and plot, and I thought the characters were so well developed, each standing tall with their own personalities and individual stories. Mike Gayle has such an addictive way with words, lacing emotion through the simplest of sentences to create something that ends up being one of a kind, memorable, and very well written. I couldn’t have asked for more from a book – this one ticked every single box on a list in my head that I didn’t realise I had even created!

If you’re looking for a book that speaks to you on a multitude of levels, resonates with your subconscious and has you holding onto the book as though its a precious gem, then ‘The Museum Of Ordinary People’ is for you. Absolutely brilliant.

Buy now from Amazon.

arc · blog tour · Book Review · historical fiction · Legend Press

#TheTinNoseShop by Don J Snyder (@legend_Times_) #blogtour #review #wartimefiction #blogger

Many thanks to Legend Press for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘The Tin Nose Shop’ by Don J Snyder, and for supplying me with an ARC of the book to review in a non-biased and honest manner.

INSPIRED BY ONE OF THE LAST GREAT UNTOLD STORIES OF WW1

1916. Young artist Sam Burke is spared death by firing squad on the battlefields of France and brought to a remote castle by the Irish Sea. At the ‘Tin Nose Shop’ he is tasked with creating intricate masks to hide the mutilated faces of his fellow soldiers from the Front. While he tries to come to terms with the death of his best friend and the promise he failed to keep, Sam and the disfigured soldiers struggle to return to their former lives and their loved ones.

A stirring and emotional tale based on the real-life story of the Tin Nose Shop.

TWG’s thoughts.

‘The Tin Nose Shop’ intrigued me at the very beginning. Despite having read multiple historical fiction set during the war, I hadn’t ever heard of masks being made for disfigured soldiers – it was nice to learn something new and to find out a bit more information about such a momentous time.

For me personally, the concept of the storyline was what grabbed my attention. I enjoyed the uniqueness of the idea. It was refreshing I must say.

That said, I do wish that that had a little more focus in the book. I felt like there was a lot of coverage surrounding Katie, Sam and Ned’s relationship, as well as Sam’s meeting with Lily, yet I wanted more about the main concept.

I thought the chapter headings were brilliantly thought out and cleverly done, and the authors attention to detail when it came to describing certain situations, feelings, and scenery, was spot on – everything seemed to come to life which I loved.

I also thought that the way the story was told, switching between narratives and locations was a little difficult to follow at times, and I couldn’t help but feel as though I had unintentionally missed out vital pieces of information as the characters seemed to transport themselves! I am glad that Sam got to tell his story though!

Overall, ‘The Tin Nose Shop’ was a unique read which highlighted something very important, allowing me to gain some new knowledge about a topic I really do enjoy. A very insightful, interesting concept with a poignant undertone.

Buy now from Amazon.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · contemporary fiction · Hodder · womens fiction

#TheSummerTrip by Isabelle Broom (@Isabelle_Broom @Hodderbooks @JennyPlatt90) #Review #Corfu #blogtour

Many thanks to Jenny and the Hodder team for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Isabelle Broom and ‘The Summer Trip’, as well as providing me with an ARC. All views written are done so in an unbiased manner.

What if your life worked out perfectly . . . for someone else?

It’s been 18 years since Ava spent the summer on the Greek island of Corfu, but she has never forgotten what happened during those months – or who she left behind. 

Now single, estranged from her family, and preparing to wave her daughter off to university, Ava’s life seems a million miles away from the one she dreamed about as a teenager – a life now being lived by her sister instead. 

When Ava decides to return to Corfu for the summer, she knows she must finally face the place and the people that broke her heart. But with old resentments festering, long-buried secrets lurking, and familiar feelings resurfacing, it looks set to be a holiday that will change all their lives forever. . .

TWG’s thoughts.

3.5 hours it took me to read this book. Three point five hours to read a 416 page novel. For exceedingly fast readers (aka the book version of Mr Kipling), that is nothing, however in general, that is considered to be uber fast. In all honesty, I just couldn’t put the book down, I didn’t want to stop reading, and I was so invested in the newly fangled Corfu version of Eastenders, I just HAD to let my eyes roam the pages.

Oh, and yes, I bloomin’ loved ‘The Summer Trip’ – sorry, I maybe should have started the review off with that instead!

Ava and Corfu go hand in hand like cheese and a tomato, salt and pepper, cheese and onion…..you catch my drift. In other words, they’re made for each other. Unfortunately for Ava though, her sister has the life she wanted, and she has the life that, er, she chose to have. Now I’m not being mean here but surely if you wanted that free spirited life in Corfu, then you would have done everything in your power to get it. Right? Wrong – even I know that (despite my previous facetious comment). It wasn’t that easy and life isn’t as straight forward as we sometimes wish it was. Ava had to stay in Blighty because of her daughter. She thought she was doing right by her, putting her on a good path for her daughters own future. That being said, as good as Ava’s intentions were, they seemed to come back and bite her on the behind. Parenting eh.

‘The Summer Trip’ was a light-hearted read at times, yet it also covered multiple deep topics along the way, mainly disruptive family dynamics, black sheep of the family, forgotten love, death, and even theft. Looking at the cover of the book you probably wouldn’t think that what lie underneath would cause controversy for its characters now, would you? I certainly didn’t expect it at all, but I received it well….very well in fact.

I really enjoyed the varied storyline, multiple personalities, as well as the beautiful descriptions of the scenery. Because of the latter, I was able to envision Corfu in my minds eye, hear the waves, smell the sea. I probably wouldn’t have been able to do that if the author wasn’t so good at describing each and everything around her characters.

‘The Summer Trip’ reminded me of getting a picture developed. It started off with an idea, a glimmer of what could potentially come. Then, in time, the story began to develop, focusing on the minor details, the major details, as well as the little nuggets of things in the background which may have been forgotten. By the end of the story, the ‘picture’ made sense, loose ends were tied up, and you were left with a memory that would last a lifetime, exactly like ‘The Summer Trip’. I would read it again in a heartbeat!

Make this your own summer trip of the year, you won’t regret it.

Buy now from Amazon.

#suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · historical fiction · netgalley

#TheLieutenantsGirl – Shari J.Ryan (@sharijryan) @Bookouture #review #blogtour #historicalfiction #PearlHarbor #booktwitter

Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘The Lieutenant’s Girl’, and for supplying me with an ARC of the book. All thoughts written in this review are done so in an unbiased manner.

Pearl Harbor, 1941. War planes hurtle across the horizon, skimming the clouds. Gunpowder fills the air as the earth shatters. Everett’s hands cup my cheeks. “If I lose you, Elizabeth, please know that the time I’ve spent with you has been worth every second I’ve been alive.”

On the fateful day that sirens rend the air and warplanes fly over the harbor, Elizabeth and Everett had sneaked away to whisper sweet nothings to each other. As bombs rain down, they cling to each other, the ground shaking and smoke suffocating them. Miraculously, they survive—but their world is ripped apart. The beautiful island, where the turquoise ocean once lapped the golden sand, is destroyed.

Over a sweltering summer, the couple had fallen madly in love. Elizabeth was in awe of Everett’s sacrifices for the Air Force, and Everett adored strong-willed Elizabeth, a Jewish girl who defied her father’s wishes for a sheltered life by training to be a nurse.

But tragedy changes everything. Although they are hopelessly devoted to one another, they vow to serve their country. Elizabeth joins the Army Nurse Corps in Europe and Everett flies across the world chasing down the enemy. With a tearful goodbye, they promise to write.

When Everett’s letters stop arriving, heartbroken Elizabeth fears the worst. Will she ever see the love of her life again? And what chance does she have of surviving Europe, where Hitler’s tyrannical rule places her in grave danger?

TWG’s thoughts.

It’s going to be really difficult to do this book justice at all (even though I am someone who talks quite a bit). I’ll give it my best shot though.

‘The Lieutenant’s Girl’ wasn’t just a story about a war – it was a tale of two hearts combining, two people trying to find their calling in life yet finding each other in the process, a story which made time stand still.

Set during the Second World War in 1941, the storyline switches between life back then, and life in the ‘present’ day of 2018, with Elizabeth (Lizzie) being the dominant character of the present day. A lot has changed in Elizabeth’s life over the years, not just because of what she saw as an army nurse, but because of personal gains and losses. We find out early on that Elizabeth lost her mum a few years prior, and her dad is so set on doing what was right by her, that he ended up stopping her being a ‘typical’ twenty year old. He was scared that he would lose his daughter due to the war, yet by not listening to her and guarding her life choices, he was beginning to lose Lizzie anyway by pushing her away. Part of me could see why he was so protective of his daughter – he had already lost someone he loved dearly and he wasn’t going to take the chance with the last female loved one in his life. I understood that completely. That said, I could also see why Lizzie was so irritated by it because she felt suffocated and felt as though she wasn’t good enough to be like her two brothers who were in the army as well as their father.

As we all know, life during the war was male dominated and women weren’t really put into the ‘firing line’, so to speak, purely because of their gender. It was noted that a woman’s role was to serve her husband, care for her family, and/or nurse. The latter two being exactly what Lizzie did and was trying to do. She was aware of the dangers that could potentially lie ahead, but one thing she wasn’t fully aware of were the dangers of being in the throws of a war AND being a jew. One word – Hitler.

Historical fiction fascinates me greatly, especially when it comes to war time, Auschwitz etc, so this book was right up my street and I took to the book like a bee takes to pollen! I was also fascinated by Lizzie and Everett’s story, wow. From the get go those two had a special something. I didn’t think it was going to last because of the uncertainty of the war, being Missing In Action, and so forth, and I could feel the emotion behind Lizzie’s words every time she spoke about not receiving a letter she so badly longed for. Their relationship was such a powerful one to read, and I loved how the author made me feel as though I was being taken on the journey alongside them, witnessing first hand their raw emotions, feeling frightened for them both, thinking that every single day news was going to break that one of them had died. I can’t even begin to imagine the heartbreak that people suffered during the war and just how much of a selfless act it was to put themselves on the line for their countries. If you’re reading this and are someone who has lived through wars, been in the army or what not, I just want to say thank you to you and yours for your service.

Apologies, I’m rambling slightly! I was blown away by every word, every letter, every snippet of information that was given to me throughout ‘The Lieutenant’s Girl’. Everything had its place, everything spoke to me in such a way that broke my heart yet gave me strength at the same time. This book showed me even more so that life is such a gift and your memories are your treasures.

You know what else is also a treasure? Shari J.Ryan and this book. ‘The Lieutenant’s Girl’ will forever have a piece of my heart and I thank Shari J.Ryan for giving me the gift of Lizzie and Everett.

Beautiful. Just….beautiful.

Buy now!

About the author.

Shari J. Ryan is a USA Today Bestselling Author of Women’s Fiction, WWII Fiction, and 20th Century Historical Fiction with a focus on the Holocaust and Pearl Harbor.

Shortly after graduation from Johnson & Wales with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, Shari began her career as a graphic artist and freelance writer. She then found her passion for writing books in 2012 after her second son was born. Shari has been slaying words ever since.

With two Rone Awards and over 125k books sold, Shari has hit the USA Today Bestseller List, the Amazon’s Top 100, Barnes & Noble’s Top Ten, and iBooks at number one. Some of Shari’s bestselling books include Last Words, The Other Blue Sky, Unspoken Words and A Heart of Time.

Shari, a lifelong Boston girl, is happily married to her personal hero and US Marine and have two wonderful little boys. For more details about her books, visit: www.sharijryan.com

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#psychological · #suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture · Crime/thriller · netgalley

#BlogTour – #TheLostOnes – Marnie Riches (@Marnie_Riches) @Bookouture #review #DetectiveJackieCooke #booktwitter

Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘The Lost Ones’ by Marnie Riches, and for supplying me with an ARC. All thoughts written in this review are done so in an unbiased manner.

The girl is sitting upright, her dark brown hair arranged over her shoulders and her blue, blue eyes staring into the distance. She looks almost peaceful. But her gaze is vacant, and her skin is cold…

When Detective Jackie Cooke is called to the murder scene, she is shocked by what she sees. Missing teenager Chloe Smedley has finally been found – her body left in a cold back yard, carefully posed with her bright blue eyes still open. Jackie lays a protective hand on the baby in her belly, and vows to find the brutal monster who stole Chloe’s future.

When Jackie breaks the news to Chloe’s heartbroken mother, she understands the woman’s cries only too well. Her own brother went missing as a child, the case never solved. Determined to get justice for Chloe and her family, Jackie sets to work, finding footage of the girl waving at someone the day she disappeared. Did Chloe know her killer?

But then a second body is found on the side of a busy motorway, lit up by passing cars. The only link with Chloe is the disturbing way the victim has been posed, and Jackie is convinced she is searching for a dangerous predator. Someone has been hunting missing and vulnerable people for decades, and only Jackie seems to see that they were never lost. They were taken.

Jackie’s boss refuses to believe a serial killer is on the loose and threatens to take her off the case. But then Jackie returns home to find a brightly coloured bracelet on her kitchen counter and her blood turns cold. It’s the same one her brother was wearing when he vanished. Could his disappearance be connected to the murders? Jackie will stop at nothing to catch her killer… unless he finds her first…

TWG’s Thoughts.

YES, YES, YES, YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

Okay, review done!!

Just kidding.

Absolutely flipping brilliant. Sorry, being straight to the point on this one, no beating around the bush or anything! You simply MUST read ‘The Lost Ones’, you must!

Detective Jackie Cooke is one hard-nosed individual who, if she were to tell you to jump, you would simply reply with ‘how high?’. She demanded respect and she gave it back. Look I’m not saying she was perfect, but she was the police procedural version of Mary Poppins – PRACTICALLY perfect in every way. She had her flaws, she admitted those too. Granted that doesn’t make them any easier to swallow, but what the heck.

I want to know just how Cooke managed to keep up with her fast paced, risky job while she was heavily pregnant! Are we sure that there is a baby in her belly and not a huge amount of fire?!

‘The Lost Ones’ is a chilling and momentarily graphic read, both of which added to the storyline and gave it that dark factor, that hook. I loved the fast paced nature of the novel and the way that the story flowed, with each individual situation paving way for the next or setting the scene for any potential misgivings. It worked. It all bloomin’ well worked. I also thought the randomly placed humour was such a brilliant idea, with Cooke and her colleagues not afraid to have a laugh once in a while. They were such a mixed bunch, yet if you asked me to choose her a different partner or different colleagues to work closely with, I honestly don’t think that I could.

‘The Lost Ones’ is atmospheric, chilling, fast paced, gripping, and downright incredible novel. I cannot WAIT to get my hands on the next book in the series. Simply one of the easiest 5 stars I have given to a book, ever.

Marnie Riches, you STAR!

Buy now on Amazon.

About the author.

Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in north Manchester. Exchanging the spires of nearby Strangeways prison for those of Cambridge University, she gained a Masters in German & Dutch. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist and professional fundraiser.

Her best-selling, award-winning George McKenzie crime thrillers were inspired by her own time spent in The Netherlands. Dubbed the Martina Cole of the North, she has also authored a series about Manchester’s notorious gangland as well as two books in a mini-series featuring quirky northern PI Bev Saunders.

Detective Jackson Cooke is Marnie’s latest heroine to root for, as she hunts down one of the most brutal killers the north west has ever seen at devastating personal cost.

When she isn’t writing gritty, twisty crime thrillers, Marnie also regularly appears on BBC Radio Manchester, commenting on social media trends and discussing the world of crime fiction. She is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Salford University’s Doctoral School and a tutor for the Faber Novel Writing Course.

Visit Marnie Riches’ Website

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#suspense · arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review

#BlogTour – #SunDamage by Sabine Durrant (@sabinedurrant) @HodderBooks #review #booktwitter #blogger

*Many thanks to Hodder for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for supplying me with an ARC of ‘Sun Damage’. All thoughts written in this post are done so unbiasedly.


The heat is intense. 
The secrets are stifling. 
She just needs to escape . . .

Nine guests arrive at a remote villa in the south of France.
They know each other well. Or think they do.
But at least one of them has plenty to hide – and nowhere to run.
Under the relentless sun, loyalties will be tested, secrets revealed, and tensions pushed to the point of no return
.

TWG’s Thoughts.

‘Sun Damage’ is a very secretive novel that is based on lies, con artists, and characters not knowing the real person behind the facade. Despite being in close company in a villa, a group of people (some who are even related), don’t really know who they’re staying with. Of course they know the basics such as name, age and other things family members should know, however they don’t seem to know anything other than surface level. Heck, Rebecca (the mother) at times didn’t seem to even know her own family! She seemed to be an outsider, and the actual outsider, Lulu, acted like more of a family member than the real ones.

Before the storyline focused on the villa in France, it began by shedding light on Ali and Sean; two con artists who not only liked to con random strangers, they also liked to con each other. Just because they could….I think. It was interesting getting ‘inside knowledge’, yet I was very surprised that they got away with what they did. I might think differently if I was in their position, who knows.

‘Sun Damage’, for me, was an up and down read. There were moments where I was very invested in the shenanigans, and there were moments where I wasn’t quite feeling it because the oomph and intensity wasn’t hitting the mark as much as I had hoped.

I certainly did like the overall vibe of the story, and I liked how eclectic the characters were in terms of personalities – they were such a mixed bunch! Their misdirected loyalties were also weirdly enduring, with characters coming together that perhaps shouldn’t have, if you understand my meaning.

Overall I thought that ‘Sun Damage’ had promise and an interesting premise.

Buy now from Amazon.

#suspense · arc · book blogger · Book Review · Crime/thriller · lifestyle · netgalley · Non Fiction

#SinsOfFathers – Michael Emmett (@MichaelEmmettUK) @HarperInspire #truecrime #review #netgalley

Growing up, Michael wanted nothing more than to follow in his dad’s footsteps and join the family business. Aged 18, he did just that and entered into the glamourous, dangerous world of organised crime. Michael s father, a career criminal and contemporary of the infamous Krays, was a wayward role model. Soon Michael s criminal activities were funding a reckless lifestyle of drugs, sex, and violence. But the high couldn t last.

In 1993 both men were arrested for their involvement in a £13-million smuggling operation. Michael was sentenced to twelve years, serving time in the same prison as his dad. Inside HMP Exeter, Michael found something he had never expected: answers. A chance encounter in the prison chapel led to an experience that would shake the foundations of his life. This is a true story of trauma and transformation, one man s search for redemption, and the struggle to become the father he never had.

*Many thanks to HarperInspire and Netgalley for supplying me with an ARC. All thoughts are written unbiasedly.

TWG’s Thoughts.

As I’ve gotten older, the more the genre ‘true crime’ appeals to me. There’s something quite intriguing about serial killers, prison inmates, and other people who have committed serious crimes. One of the first ‘true crime’ books I read was about the infamous Ted Bundy. I had heard of many others, for example, The Krays and Charles Manson, but Michael Emmett wasn’t a name I had come across before. I wanted to find out who this man was, what drove him to commit a crime that landed him in prison for a substantial amount of time. Thankfully, ‘Sins Of Fathers’ answered those very questions and then some.

Michael Emmett was born into a criminal family. Not that I am defending his actions by any means, but crime was what he grew up to know. Most children when they’re younger learn their alphabet, how to cross a road, manners. However Emmett was taught something completely different. He was taught how to break the law and how to keep it all hush hush without getting caught. Naturally the skills regarding the latter wasn’t exactly perfected as he got caught, but you catch my drift. The differences in upbringings between Joe Bloggs and those in organised crime, are incredible, yet that was all he ever knew. It was a case of survival.

Michael Emmett documents his early life, speaking (from what I could gather), in an honest manner. Or, to put it rather bluntly, he owned his schnitzle. His crimes allowed him to live the life of Riley in terms of materialistic things. They also gave him a sense of superiority when it came to women. I don’t know what it is, but some women seem to find ‘bad boys’ rather exciting, and of course Emmett went along with that and it went in his favour.

Until he got caught, obviously. The book describes Emmett’s life in prison, name dropping a certain Kray prisoner who he befriended. Having read a lot about The Krays, it was so interesting to read a book where they just popped up in it as though it was the norm. A bit of background noise if you were.

I want to clarify again that I do not condone Michael Emmett’s actions, however it wouldn’t be my place to, even if that were to be the case. I’m not sitting here judging what he did as I review his book, 1) because I wasn’t there and didn’t see things with my own eyes, 2) it was his life and his life only, 3) nobody should judge another human without knowing all of the facts. Yes, Emmett is honest in his book, he explains what he did, he owns up to the fact that he shouldn’t have done it and what he lost in the process. But that doesn’t give anyone the right to question his motives. The only person that is entitled to question/judge/whatever you feel suits; is Michael Emmett himself.

Towards the end of the book, Emmett talks about how he found redemption and kudos to him for finding something positive, in his eyes, to hold onto. If it worked for him, who am I to disagree?

I do find it hard, believe it or not, to review autobiographies because it isn’t my place to comment on someones life or the choices they made. I know, as humans, we are quick to comment on such things, but usually that is done in private, in a personal conversation, and not on a public platform for the world and his wife to see.

So yeah, rounding up my wonderful babbles, ‘Sins Of Fathers’ was 100% my cup of tea. It had the drama, the shock factor, the name dropping of other prison inmates, but, most importantly for me, it gave me insight to who Michael Emmett is, and who he was from a psychological point of view. If you’re a fan of true crime, then I wholeheartedly recommend this book to you.

Buy now from Amazon.

#psychological · #suspense · arc · book blogger · Book Review · Crime/thriller · netgalley · Orion

#TheIsland – Adrian McKinty (@AdrianMcKinty) @OrionBooks @Orion_Crime #review #suspense #TheChain

The brand new unmissable thriller from the award-winning author of the instant New York Times bestseller The Chain.

IT WAS JUST SUPPOSED TO BE A FAMILY VACATION.

A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT CHANGED EVERYTHING.

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE CAPABLE OF UNTIL THEY COME FOR YOUR FAMILY.


After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they’re deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom.

When they discover a remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram.

But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare. 

When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers.

Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don’t trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead.

Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.

*Many thanks to Orion for providing me with an advanced copy of the book. All of my thoughts are written unbiasedly.

TWG’s Thoughts.

Having read and devoured ‘The Chain’ in what felt like seconds, I had extremely high hopes for ‘The Island’ (not that I was putting pressure on the book, or the author, to deliver….much). In my head I was wishing and praying to the book fairies that this book would be just as good, if not better, than its predecessor. Thankfully the fairies must have thought I was a good little bookworm, (either that or Adrian McKinty wasn’t just a one hit wonder), because ‘The Island’ DID deliver in all its glory – I bloomin’ loved it! I feel so bad saying that I enjoyed reading a book that has death at the forefront of its storyline, as though I was revelling in the fact that these characters were no longer breathing; please say that I am not the only one?

Anyway, my morals aside, Adrian McKinty certainly is NOT a one hit wonder! He most definitely knows how to hook his readers, leave them gasping for air, and putting such fear up them that, when they’re so invested in a nitty gritty part of the storyline and their dog suddenly decides to bark, that they ever so nearly (but not quite) defecate ones underwear and jump as though they’re on a trampoline. Speaking from experience with this one! I was HOOKED on what was happening with Heather and the children, hoping their truths would set them free, that I was ignoring the fact that a leaf blew across the other side of the carpark and my dog spotted it from their slumber on the sofa, so much so that they barked and nearly made me cack myself. Hell, I would go as far as saying that that is a compliment to the author. (Just for clarification, I mean their ability to hook their readers, not the fact that I was a wimp and jumped at a ‘little’ noise).

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Heather at first. She seemed quite up herself in all honesty, and it came across as though she was afraid to be true to herself in case it didn’t match up to what Tom and his children wanted. I suppose walking into a ‘ready made’ family, so to speak, must be hard, especially dealing with three different levels of grief. Perhaps that may have been why Heather could have come across a bit guarded.

I took an instant dislike to Tom, I’m not going to lie. He was such a jumped up, arrogant, -insert bad word here-. It was as though he thought that he was better than everyone else, that his word was law. Erm, no, how about looking further than your nose and seeing that, oh I don’t know, other peoples opinions matter too? What a novel idea…..no pun intended.

What started off as such an uncertain tale, ended up becoming such an eye-opening, well rounded, cleverly written novel. It’s not often that I read a book where I feel as though all the loose ends were tidied up, but in this instance that was exactly the case. I would be lying if I said that the storyline wasn’t dark, because it really is, but I thought it added even more character to an already shady novel. I cannot wait to see what Adrian McKinty has up his sleeve for his next novel – one to watch indeed!!

Buy now from Amazon.