#BlogTour! #Review – #TheLastPlaceYouLook by Kristen Lepionka @KMLwrites @faberbooks

The Last Place You Look - BLOG TOUR POSTER

The Last Place You Look
Sarah Cook, a beautiful blonde teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her parents were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend Brad Stockton – black and from the wrong side of the tracks – was convicted of the murders and sits on death row, though he always maintained his innocence. With his execution only weeks away, his devoted sister, insisting she has spotted Sarah at a local gas station, hires PI Roxane Weary to look again at the case.

Reeling from the recent death of her cop father, Roxane finds herself drawn to the story of Sarah’s vanishing act, especially when she thinks she’s linked Sarah’s disappearance to one of her father’s unsolved murder cases involving another teen girl. Despite her self-destructive tendencies, Roxane starts to hope that maybe she can save Brad’s life and her own.

With echoes of Sue Grafton, Dennis Lehane and the hit podcast Serial, The Last Place You Look is the gripping debut of both a bold new voice and character.

What does TWG think?

Despite being content knocking back countless shots of whiskey, Roxane Weary knows that her bank balance won’t exactly be jumping for joy. Luckily for Roxane an out of the blue phone call from a lady with a cheque book, seems to be enough to knock her backside into gear. For now.

A missing teenager. Her dead parents. A man on death row. His sister adamant that he’s innocent. Outlandish? Maybe so. Impossible to solve in two months? Who knows…

The story started with a character hangover and a missing person, but it didn’t take long for the storyline to turn incredibly twisted. Whilst PI Roxane Weary is ballsy and determined, I am genuinely surprised that she didn’t land herself in more trouble. She got herself into some scrapes, that’s for sure. But, I could see why she did. She was going with her gut instinct and in my eyes, that made up for the fact she chose not to use her noggin.

Having read multiple storylines which start off with a missing person just like this one, I really hoped that the story was going to be unique and not just be a case of hide and seek. Thankfully, the plot grew darker and darker with every chapter. Just when I thought that the case was nearly solved, something else came out of the woodwork and turned the investigation on its head.

I found it exceptionally easy to get lost in the storyline, mirroring the main characters frustrations in the investigation which resulted in a complete, and utter head funk. I didn’t know whether I was coming or going! There were so many police offers popping up sporadically, I couldn’t keep track! By the way, everything I’ve mentioned so far is all good as I was so invested in the book.

Most of the time I liked Roxane’s uniqueness, and her ‘I don’t give a f…’ attitude to regulations. However, I did find myself disliking the way she refused to take certain things seriously. There’s being laid back and then there’s being uninterested, and I found that Roxane was the latter. Don’t get me wrong, she was determined to get results and I praise her for that, but I felt that something was missing and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what.

Overall, ‘The Last Place You Look’ was a dark, and twisted story which managed to keep me on my toes. I thoroughly enjoyed the intensity of the plot as well as the rollercoaster ride of events. Such a promising debut from author, Kristen Lepionka, I am looking forward to seeing what she produces next.

Thanks Faber and Faber.

Buy now from Amazon UK

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#TWGGetsTalking – How to tell the difference between being nasty & being constructive #reviews

Twg gets talking
You should all know by now that I like to talk, ESPECIALLY when I am passionate about something and believe that it needs to be spoken about.

Once again, opinions have been thrust into the limelight and definitions have been questioned. Before I explain further, I’m just going to paste the Oxford dictionary definitions of two words; nasty, and constructive.

Nasty: very bad, or unpleasant.
(definition of unpleasant is: Causing discomfort, unhappiness, or revulsion; disagreeable.)

Constructive: Having or intended to have a useful or beneficial purpose.

constructive

Two completely different word with extremely clear definitions, yet people are still getting confused by the two words.

Why?

As a reviewer, I have always been made aware that authors (or anyone who gets critiqued) tend to appreciate CONSTRUCTIVE reviews as opposed to NASTY reviews. With both types of reviews your opinion is given – that is NOT the issue. After all, every person on this Earth is entitled to their opinion. We are allowed to dislike something. We are allowed to express our dislike of something. We are allowed to jump for joy about something. What the issue is, however, is the WAY those points are put across.

Believe me, I open my trap before my brain connects sometimes, ending up with goodness knows what flying out of my mouth. But when it comes to reviews, I am extremely careful about how I voice my opinion.

For example; ‘Omg I hated that book, it was absolutely shit, the author bored me to tears.’

What’s wrong with that sentence?

Okay, so, the example above is someones opinion. They’re entitled to that. Answer me this; was it constructive, or nasty?

If you said that the example was a constructive comment: seriously? How does saying that a book was ‘shit’, come across as beneficial to the author?
It doesn’t.

It’s rude and it’s nasty. Imagine if you cooked a meal for a group of people and someone came up to you afterwards and said that they thought your cooking was absolutely vile, would you benefit from that?

To turn the above example into a constructive opinion, here’s an example:
‘Personally, this book wasn’t really my cup of tea as I couldn’t quite gel with the storyline. I felt that it came across as quite over the top and unrealistic, which in turn made me switch off.’

The different between the two examples is substantial. The example above still highlights your dislike, yet it also explains WHY you felt that way. It’s also not personally attacking the person who wrote the book, whilst still keeping your opinion entitlement intact.

Whilst authors are painfully aware that their books could end up with negative reviews and their book babies critiqued, it doesn’t mean that just because they have put something in the public eye, that they should expect nasty comments or personal attacks.

YES, they have written something which will get critiqued.
YES, everyones opinion does differ.
YES, readers are entitled to dislike their book.

Just DON’T be nasty about it!

In book clubs, you’re going to have the perfect opportunity to talk about various books whether it’s an online or offline. But, do you think that it’s respectful to openly blast and author and their book, in an online book club which they could be a member of?
Yes or no?

No it’s not!!! Go ahead and state your opinion about a book, but if you’re going to sit there and say that a book is so bad and how you wanted to ‘light a match under it’; that’s not stating your opinion, it’s called being nasty.

As we hear all the time, not everyone will like the same book. Well duh! I fully admit that I have read a book and disliked it. But instead of reviewing it nastily, I gave it a constructive review as there will always be something in a book that you’ll like. I explained what I didn’t like about the book, I also explained WHY I didn’t like those parts, how it made me feel, and so on. I also explained what I DID like about the book. I still managed to express my opinion on the book, without insulting a human being with feelings in the process.

So, if you’re ever in an online book group where the admin have asked you to talk about books in a constructive manner; respectfully do it. They aren’t taking away your freedom of speech. They aren’t banishing you from stating your opinion. They are just asking you to express your opinion respectfully and constructively. Authors have feelings too.

It really isn’t that difficult to do..

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheQuietMan by James Carol (@JamesCarolBooks) @faberbooks

thequietman
Eeek!!! I am beyond excited to be the second tour stop on James Carol’s blog tour for his new book, The Quiet Man, which is out on the 4th May (paperback, e-book 2nd May). Big, big thank you to FaberBooks (Lauren) for inviting me to be part of this blog tour, here’s to many more! I really do hope you enjoy reading my review!

thequietman1

In Vancouver, the wife of a millionaire is dead following an explosion in her own home.

Everyone thinks her husband is responsible, but former FBI profiler Jefferson Winter isn’t so sure. The method is too perfect; the lack of mistakes, uncanny. He’s seen a series of carefully orchestrated murders – once a year, on exactly the same day, a woman dies in a situation just like this one.

That date is fast approaching and Winter knows another victim has been selected. Can he identify the quiet man before he strikes again?

What does TWG think?

Oh.My.Goodness!!!! Where on Earth do I begin?! I started James’ novel at the weekend, and I also finished it at the weekend! If you follow me on social media you would have noticed how animated another blogger and I were about this book (HI CLAIRE! P.S her tour stop is Friday!). Before now, I had only heard of James Carol’s books and unfortunately never read one; what a fool. What a major, major fool I am. WHY HAVE I NOT READ ANY OF HIS BOOKS BEFORE!?!?! If you know the answer to that please….don’t tell me as I feel utterly ashamed of myself -rocks backwards and forwards-.

Let me just clear one thing up – ‘The Quiet Man’ IS from the ‘Jefferson Winter Thriller’ series, however, you can read this novel as a standalone as it doesn’t require any knowledge of the previous books to enjoy the plot. That said, if you’re anything like me, you’ll read ‘The Quiet Man’ and head straight onto Amazon to binge buy his other novels. Yes, yes, I did do that. Lets just say I have found a new favourite author (& series) thanks to this book. OH, EM, GEE!

Jefferson Winter is AMAZING! Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t like to get on the wrong side of him or bump into him down a dark alley, but oh, he really is a phenomenal lead character. Not only does he have a charismatic personality, he also has an authoritative air about him which he adds humour to, A LOT. I don’t mean ‘knock knock, who’s there?’ type funny, I mean dry, sarcastic humour that makes you laugh out loud and think ‘burn!’. Ooops, pardon the pun…

As much as I would love to scream and shout about how amazing and complex the plot is with snippets, I really do not want to land myself in hot water by giving away spoilers. The storyline IS incredibly complex and every piece of information is linked to something else, which increases the suspense level with every turn of the page. Absolutely brilliant. What amazed me the most was the high level of detail throughout the entire storyline as every part of the investigation had been meticulously thought through by the author. I could tell that this storyline was a labour of love instead of a rush against time.

‘The Quiet Man’ is such a gripping, intense, and fast paced read which took me prisoner from the very beginning. Carol’s bold and addictive writing style had me hanging onto every word he wrote and every mood he described, whilst also pulling me into the storyline as though I was seeing things with my very own eyes.

Honestly, I could gush about this book all day, it really was THAT fantastic. I loved the entire book; there was absolutely nothing that I felt could have been done differently. Usually I find books like this to be out of my comfort zone, but with ‘The Quiet Man’, I honestly don’t think that I could have felt MORE in my comfort zone.

If you’re looking for a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, forget how to breathe, and feel as though time is on fast forward; then this book is for you. Without Faber Books alerting me to this phenomenal read, I probably would have missed out on finding my brand new favourite book and series, just like ‘The Quiet Man’ and Jefferson Winter have become.

A truly unputdownable novel, I honestly cannot recommend this book enough.

Thank you so much Faber Books.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US