#BlogTour! #Review – The Sleepwalker by Joseph Knox (@josephknox_) @TransworldBooks @AnneCater

Day two of ‘The Sleepwalker’ blog tour is here, and I am UBER excited to share my review today. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Transworld Books for the ARC.

‘He said he didn’t remember killing them…’

As a series of rolling blackouts plunge the city into darkness, Detective Aidan Waits sits on an abandoned hospital ward, watching a mass murderer slowly die. Transferred from his usual night shift duties and onto protective custody, he has just one job…

To extract the location of Martin Wick’s final victim before the notorious mass murderer passes away.

Wick has spent over a decade in prison, in near-total silence, having confessed to an unspeakable crime that shocked the nation and earned him the nickname of TheSleepwalker.

But when a daring premeditated attack leaves one police officer dead and another one fighting for his life, Wick’s whispered last words will send Waits on a journey into the heart of darkness…

Manipulated by a reticent psychopath from his past, and under investigation from his new partner, Detective Constable Naomi Black, Waits realises too late that a remorseless contract killer is at work.

Can Aidan Waits solve his last case before fleeing justice? Or will his name be next on the hit list?

What does TWG think?

Ahhhhhhh why did I not know about these books until now! Yes, that’s right, I’m holding my hands up and saying that I popped my Joseph Knox cherry with ‘The Sleepwalker’. However, I didn’t quite realise how important it would be to read the previous books beforehand. I mean, some people might be okay reading this as a standalone, but I struggled not knowing much about Aidan Waits and his journey up until now.

The fact that I didn’t know to read the previous books isn’t anyones fault, I just wanted to mention it in case anyone else was popping their Joseph Knox cherry.

Ignoring the above, holy cheeseballs Joseph Knox knows how to write!!!!! What a sublimely intense, chilling and fast paced read that left me breathless more often than not.

I loved the fact that the storyline was jam packed with adventure that meant my head was spinning with the knowledge of Wicks, a murderer dubbed as ‘The Sleepwalker’, and trying to work out whether anyone wanted Aidan dead, and why? Was he a threat? Did he know to much? Was someone jealous?

‘The Sleepwalker’ is a fantastically written, thrill inducing novel. I finished the book watching my own back, never mind Aidan’s! The concept of the story was very, very clever – I had no idea something like that was possible! I am looking forward to binge reading the other books in the series now!

‘The Sleepwalker’ will be published by Transworld on the 11th July but can be pre-ordered now from Amazon

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#BlogTour! #Review – The Closer I Get by Paul Burston (@PaulBurston) @OrendaBooks @AnneCater

Many thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda for the blog tour invite and ARC, here is my review of ‘The Closer I Get’ by Paul Burston, for my stop on the tour today:

Tom is a successful author, but he’s struggling to finish his novel. His main distraction is an online admirer, Evie, who simply won’t leave him alone.

Evie is smart, well read and unstable; she lives with her father and her social-media friendships are not only her escape, but everything she has.

When she’s hit with a restraining order, her world is turned upside down, and Tom is free to live his life again, to concentrate on writing.

But things aren’t really adding up. For Tom is distracted but also addicted to his online relationships, and when they take a darker, more menacing turn, he feels powerless to change things. Because maybe he needs Evie more than he’s letting on.

What does TWG think?

Several days ago, The Guardian newspaper published an article written by Paul Burston’s inspiration for his new novel, ‘The Closer I Get’. The article explained just how many similarities the author himself has with the characters of the book. Now, I had already read the book when the article was published, and I have to say that my heart went out to Paul Burston for what he went through. Having already appreciated the storyline for the eye opening work that it was, the story grew in depth with the newfound knowledge under my belt.

For me personally, even though Evie was the antagonist of the storyline, I found her character to be one that was highly addictive and extremely compelling. I’ll even go as far to say that she got under my skin. I know that she was in the wrong and that she was psychotic with a capital P, but her character managed to to twist me round to her way of thinking without me even noticing the change. I didn’t want to side with such a manic and obsessive personality, however Paul Burston had me hanging on her every word.

Poor Tom is the victim in the book. That said, he wasn’t exactly likeable! I’m not saying he deserved being stalked and what not, not at all. I just couldn’t help but think that he was a bit of a cactus at times.

The premise of ‘The Closer I Get’ is very apt with today’s society, and the fact that nearly everyone uses social media for one thing or another. It’s not until you’re faced with storylines such as these, that the dark side of social media is revealed and honestly, it’s a bit scary in the wrong hands!

I thought that Paul Burston’s writing was magnetic and deeply moving. His storytelling enriched me deep within and I couldn’t help but be hooked on the obsessive, intense and extremely chilling read which showcases how even the most simple things can be misconstrued.

An absolutely brilliant book with flawed personalities and a socially apt storyline. Probably one of the best books I’ve read this year.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Last Stage by Louise Voss (@louisevoss1) @OrendaBooks @AnneCater

My gosh its busy on TWG today! Blog tour three of the day is for ‘The Last Stage’ by Louise Voss. Many thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda for the blog tour invite. Here is my review:

At the peak of her career as lead singer of a legendary 1980s indie band, Meredith Vincent was driven off the international stage by a horrific incident. Now living a quiet existence in a cottage on the grounds of an old stately home, she has put her past behind her and come to terms with her new life.

When a body is found in the manicured gardens of her home, and a series of inexplicable and unsettling events begins to occur, it becomes clear that someone is watching, someone who knows who she is … Someone who wants vengeance.

And this is only the beginning…

What does TWG think?

Gosh – where to begin!!

This book is uniqueness at its finest; a compelling, seductively suspenseful read which had me bending over backwards to finish.

Louise Voss has incorporated a lot of things into one storyline, and instead of the entire book coming across as overwhelming or too much too soon, the author made it work by allowing her characters to put a spell on me.

The idea of stepping back in time with Meredith and what happened THAT night, was very cleverly done and moved the story seamlessly into the present day where we find out what the aftermath of that horrific night ended up being.

I had absolutely no idea who or what was behind everything, but the thrill of finding out kept me on the edge of my seat. ‘The Last Stage’ may be a dark and psychologically twisted read, however it certainly deserves a place on it’s very own stage to have it’s time in the spotlight. Brilliant storytelling of a outstnading and compulsive read – whats not to like!!

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – The To-Do List by Amy Jones (@jimsyjampots) @EburyPublishing @AnneCater

Many thanks to Anne Cater and Ebury for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘The To-Do List’ by Amy Jones. Also, thank you to the publisher for my ARC – I am delighted to share my review today.

How not to be good? Let me list the ways…

Are you a woman? Do you make to-do lists to stop you losing your mind? Have you ever cried in the toilets at work, had a meltdown in the supermarket, or gone off the rails at a hen party?

And have you ever been saved from any of the above by your truly brilliant friends?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then this is the book for you. A moving, funny and brutally honest memoir of one woman’s millennial misadventures, The To-Do List and Other Disastersfollows Amy Jones on her journeys through friendship, marriage and mental health disasters in a story that’s as relatable as it is riotous.

What does TWG think?

Have you ever walked through the street, comparing yourself to every person you went past? Have you ever assumed that someone else’s life is perfect simply because they’re not you?

‘The To-Do List’ is Amy Jones’ own personal journey with mental health. Not only does the author share her honesty regarding how she feels about her body, she also admits her sensitivities when other people look at her. Are they mad because of something she has done? Are they annoyed with her? How can she fix it? Even if Amy didn’t have a clue as to whether the person had an actual issue with her, her insecurities niggled at her to make her feel like the world and its wife was against her.

You may read this book and struggle to understand why the author is ‘creating’ problems that aren’t even there, but the thing is, that’s what mental health is all about. People with depression, anxiety, stress disorders etc, struggle to rationalise things like someone without mental health issues. We battle day in, day out, with every little thing. It doesn’t matter if we don’t want the battle because the sneaky little bastard that is mental health, takes over everything.

I do think that Amy Jones was incredibly brave to put her struggles out there, especially seeing as we are in a world where ignorance is bliss and people are too quick to assume. I found her humour enlightening and I loved how she wasn’t afraid to make light of situations even when she didn’t have the energy to do much else.

A book like ‘The To-Do List’ is a difficult book to review because the hook of the book, so to speak, is actually the authors life and it’s not like anyone can sit there and say ‘nah your life was boring’ because that’s not fair. Yeah, this book had a prominent theme, but it didn’t have the bog standard ‘grit’. Not that it should have to be honest, after all, the topic of mental health has it’s own amount of intensity to it.

I was able to relate to a lot of what Amy discussed, and I truly believe that anyone with mental health struggles, body image issues, or anything in between, would totally benefit from the authors optimism and poignant honesty.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheSpaceBetweenTime by Charlie Laidlaw (@claidlawauthor) @AccentPress @AnneCater

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Many thanks to Anne Cater and Accent Press for inviting me to take part in the blog tour (and for the ARC) for ‘The Space Between Time’ by Charlie Laidlaw, I am delighted to be able to share my review with you all today!

The Space FRONT COVER

There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth…

Emma Maria Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. She’s the daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, and her father is one of the most famous film actors of his generation. She’s also the granddaughter of a rather eccentric and obscure Italian astrophysicist.

But as her seemingly charmed life begins to unravel, and Emma experiences love and tragedy, she ultimately finds solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe.

The Space Between Time is humorous and poignant and offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.

What does TWG think?

This will no doubt be a tough review for me to write, for several reasons. Firstly, my opinion on the storyline changed multiple times throughout, with me unsure at first as to whether it was ‘for me’. Secondly, the concept of this book is incredibly intricate, and I’m not too sure if I can do the book justice with my thoughts. And lastly, ‘The Space Between Time’ ended up moving me in a way I don’t think even I, Little Miss Chatterbox, could explain.

So yes, I’ve admitted that I didn’t exactly ‘get on’ with the book at first, and I think that was because I felt that the story was a bit mismatched and kept jumping to different times and different events like a little grasshopper. I found it a little difficult to put all of the puzzle pieces in order, however once I stopped reading the novel like I read every other novel, things began to make sense. Charlie Laidlaw’s book needs to be read like the unique book that it is. It cannot be compared to any other. It cannot be read knowing the path the storyline might take. It cannot be rushed, nor can it be read with a one track mind. Honestly, I had to clear my thoughts as best as I could, take a deep breath and read this book as though I was looking at the bigger picture in life. Once I did that, well, my heart was taken on its own little journey.

What I loved about ‘The Space Between Time’ was how it was set in a place not far from me, one where I have actually lived; North Berwick! When the author was describing the seaside town, or taking one of his characters past The Scottish Seabird Centre, I could envision the route very clearly and it meant that I was able to feel more in tune with the setting as I had actually stepped foot there. I also got excited when the author mentioned Aberlady and Drem train station! Daft I know, but still. It’s the little things, eh?

Emma has a life most other children could only dream of, however what may look like a picture perfect life to the outside world, is actually completely different for someone actually living it. Yes, she may be the daughter of a famous actor. Yes, she may have a huge house, staff, and the ability to have everything she could ever want, yet what she wants the most, money simply cannot buy.

There is so much to this storyline than I had originally thought, and the fact that it centred around space, the universe, and everything else in between, was such an interesting (and often confusing) concept. Heck, even the thought of time itself made me stop and think. The topic of mental health is evident throughout, and I thought the author dealt with that topic, as well as the other hard-hitting subjects in the book, beautifully and sensitively. I could feel the emotion radiating from Emma’s character. I felt the panic oozing from her mother’s personality. I felt the hurt of a young woman in immense turmoil, deep within my soul in the latter portion of the book. Emma may have had the option to fill her life with beautiful things, multiple holidays abroad and so forth, yet when someone has lost their way, no amount of money or materialistic things would put them back on the correct path.

The thought of ‘time’ really got under my skin and it got me thinking. Whenever I go out somewhere, I am always aware of time. The time we need to get our train or bus home. Lunch time. Ensuring the dog is fed at his correct time. Every step is governed by it and, thanks to ‘The Space Between Time’, I realised that I never go out anywhere and simply…..be. I don’t saunter down the street being in the moment. I don’t think ‘oh we will eat when we eat, no rush’. And you know what? I don’t like it! Yes, routine and plans are important, but I had no idea just how much I was taking ‘time’ for granted until now.

‘The Space Between Time’ is such an eye-opening, highly charged read which takes the reader on a ‘one step at time’ type journey through life and loss, turmoil and joy, happiness and sadness. Even though the book covers a few heartbreaking topics, it still is such an uplifting and moving read. I surprised myself by how much I ended up loving ‘The Space Between Time’ – I really will not be forgetting this book anytime soon.

Buy now from Amazon.

#BlogTour! #Review – #YouToo by Candy Denman (@crimecandy) @crimescenebooks @AnneCater

It’s an honour to be kicking off Candy Denman’s blog tour today – thank you to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part and for the ARC. Here is my review of #YouToo:

A partner in a successful law firm in the seaside town of Hastings dies when his penchant for erotic auto-asphyxiation apparently goes too far. The head of the Crown Prosecution Service in E Sussex is photographed drunk and undressed at a well-known dogging location. A corporate lawyer in a city finance company is found drugged and drowned in his employer s swimming pool. What is the connection between these bizarre incidents and have they been deliberately set up?

Dr Jo Hughes is convinced that there is a connection, even if the police do not agree. As she searches for the reason behind the deaths and attacks, she begins to realise that there will be more, and that Detective Inspector Steve Miller may well be the next victim.

What does TWG think?

Oh this was BRILLIANT!!!! So much grit and suspense in one place – I was hooked!!!

It was Candy Denman’s novels which cemented my intrigue for forensics, and I must say that she has outdone herself with this latest installment, thus increasing my hunger for everything forensic even more.

There is a large portion of the novel which centres around the #metoo movement, but it’s done in a way which makes you sit up and take notice. Not that anyone should ignore that sort of thing, but you know what I mean….I hope!

Hughes and Miller are a very intriguing double act, one of which both irked me and kept me hooked. They’re both good at their jobs, don’t get me wrong, I just thought their priorities ended up becoming a little bit misguided at times. However, that didn’t stop me from enjoying the book in the slightest.

Like I said, #YouToo is a gripping and incredibly brutal read, yet I truly believe that its Candy Denman’s best book yet. If you’re after a thrilling, jaw dropping read, you will be in your element with #YouToo!

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheSundayGirl by #PipDrysdale @SimonschusterUK @AnneCater

Last up on the blog today is something a bit dark and devious, my review of ‘The Sunday Girl’ by Pip Drysdale. Many thanks to Anne for the blog tour invite, also thank you to Jess and the Simon & Schuster team for the ARC.

Some love affairs change you forever. Someone comes into your orbit and swivels you on your axis, like the wind working on a rooftop weather vane. And when they leave, as the wind always does, you are different; you have a new direction. And it’s not always north.’

Any woman who’s ever been involved with a bad, bad man and been dumped will understand what it feels like to be broken, broken-hearted and bent on revenge.
Taylor Bishop is hurt, angry and wants to destroy Angus Hollingsworth in the way he destroyed her: ‘Insidiously. Irreparably. Like a puzzle he’d slowly dissembled … stolen a couple of pieces from, and then discarded, knowing that nobody would ever be able to put it back together ever again.’
So Taylor consults The Art of War and makes a plan. Then she takes the next irrevocable step – one that will change her life forever.

What does TWG think?

‘The Sunday Girl’ has a very dark premise to it, one which some may find quite unbelievable. However, the topic of revenge via social media in regards to personal videos etc, is actually a lot more ‘popular’ than people realise. I don’t mean ‘popular’ in the sense that it’s going to the new craze, I just mean that it happens a lot more than people realise.

Taylor is broken hearted. She has split up with her boyfriend Angus, and doesn’t quite know what to do with herself. Angus on the other hand, has many ideas of his own, one of which he has turned into a reality rather quickly. Once Taylor realises what her ex-boyfriend has done, revenge seems to be the only comeuppance she can think of. But if a person is capable to stoop so low as to try and ruin another person’s life, is it wise to try and give them a taste of their own medicine yourself?

Taylor is a unique character, one I didn’t really warm to as her personality made me eyeroll more often than not. That said, I did feel for her due to the situation she found herself in. Angus really didn’t do himself any favours!

I thought ‘The Sunday Girl’ was such an addictive, compulsive, and gritty read which had narcissism at its core in a relatable manner. The pace was on par with the vibe of the book, and the level of suspense, alongside the dark notions of revenge, was just bang on. Pip Drysdale’s book may not have been what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed it and cannot wait to see what else Drysdale has to offer!

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – #StillStanding by Natalie Queiroz (@natqleigh) @AnneCater @jblakebooks

stillstanding
It is an honour to host such an incredible, incredible woman on my blog today. Natalie’s story is one which, despite the fact that it shouldn’t have happened in the first place, will leave you bereft. Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour, and for the ARC of Natalie’s memoir, ‘Still Standing’. Here is my review:

Still Standing Cover
Natalie Queiroz was eight months pregnant when she was stabbed by her partner in the most vicious attack imaginable. 

In the space of nine minutes, and in broad daylight, Natalie was stabbed twenty-four times with a carving knife.

She suffered horrific wounds to her lungs, liver, stomach and uterus, whilst the knife missed her baby by a margin of two millimetres  before the arteries in her wrists were methodically severed by the hooded attacker she finally realised was her partner and the father of her unborn child. 

After heroic intervention by passers-by and police, the attack was brought to an end, but her ordeal was not over. An air ambulance rescue was launched, and against all medical odds, Natalie and her baby survived – but not without life-changing physical and emotional damage. 

Still Standing is the story of one life-shattering event – what came before that fateful day, what happened on it, and how one woman and her baby survived to rebuild and heal together after it. At once a shocking story of evil, manipulation and violence, and a truly moving reminder that a life can be pieced back together, no matter how bad the damage, this book will empower and inspire anyone who has ever faced true adversity to rise up and stand tall.

What does TWG think?

I have been thinking about how best to write my review, all day. How on EARTH can you form coherent words about an incident which left 2 people for dead. Wait, hang on, how on EARTH does someone carry out the attack that leaves 2 people for dead, one being their own flesh and blood!!!! If I was asked, in person, as part of a random chat, about my thoughts of ‘Still Standing’, the amount of swear words I would use would turn the air blue. However, seeing as this is my own blog and I will be putting the review on Amazon, no swear words will be in this at all. Shame.

Natalie was stabbed 24 times. 24 TIMES! Not only that, she was 8 months pregnant and the attacker stabbed her in the stomach as well. Not only THAT, the attacker was someone incredibly close to Natalie. Someone which helped to create the baby that they nearly killed. Sick isn’t it?

I have no idea how this woman is, pardon the pun, still standing. I would love to say that she is strong, and whilst I wholeheartedly believe that, I am angry for her because she shouldn’t have HAD to be strong – she shouldn’t have been attacked anyway! It is, just like Natalie says in the book, very easy to sit here and commend her on the way she got through the attack, because she did get through it and it is amazing. However, like I just said, she had no other bloomin’ option BUT to get through it! She didn’t get through it for herself. She got through it for her babies, the two that had already been born and the one that was fighting for its life inside her. Natalie HAD to put on a brave face because she had children to look after despite being severely injured by an absolute cactus. Again, I have absolutely no idea how she managed to do it, but holy moly she did and what an unbeliever woman she is.

‘Still Standing’ goes back to the day which Natalie would no doubt love to forget – the day she saw her life flash before her very eyes. The day her baby was born early. The day her life changed drastically both in terms of her physical looks, and her emotions. Natalie describes the attack in incredible detail, as though you’re watching it happen in front of you. She describes her feelings at that time, what went through her mind when the paramedics were with her, what went through her head when she woke up in hospital hoping that everything was a dream. It’s heartbreaking to read, and yet I wasn’t even the one going through what she did!

The attack didn’t just affect Natalie, it also affected her two eldest children because of course, she is their mummy and they were old enough to be aware of certain things. I am so, so pleased that the bystanders were recognised for assisting Natalie that day, as were the emergency services involved. What an incredible bunch they are. A lot of people snipe about our NHS but without it, there’s a slim chance that Natalie and her bubba would have survived.

This memoir is incredibly emotional. It’s gritty. It’s eye-opening. It highlights the lengths which people can go to to manipulate a situation. ‘Still Standing’ doesn’t just focus on the day of the attack, it also focuses on the aftermath and how Natalie begun to get her life back little by little, as well as the emotional turmoil she had to face at the hands of a downright selfish person.

As I’ve already said many times, Natalie didn’t have a choice BUT to survive that day. She could have easily given up. It’s a massive shame that her strength is coming to light due to what she went through, because I am sure she was an incredibly strong person beforehand. That said, in my eyes, Natalie Queiroz is a superhero. What a moving, emotional, raw and poignant piece of writing this is. When I grow up, can I please be like Natalie? I’ll make my own cape…!

Still Standing will be published on the 13th June. Pre-order now!

About the author.

Natalie Queiroz is the survivor of one of the most appallingly brutal attacks imaginable. After being stabbed two dozen times by her partner when she was eight months pregnant, she has rebuilt her life and inspired people the length and breadth of the country with her courage and refusal to be bowed by her trauma.
Alongside a successful full-time career, she has since become a motivational speaker and, through various feats of endurance and daring, raised thousands of pounds for the Midlands Air Ambulance charity she owes her life to.

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheGiftOfFriends by #EmmaHannigan @headlinepg @AnneCater

The final blog tour of the day is one that is incredibly bittersweet. The author of this book, Emma Hannigan, sadly lost her life in February 2018, after fighting cancer for over ten years. It is an honour to be involved in the blog tour for her final novel, ‘The Gift Of Friends’, and I would like to extend my thanks to both Anne, and Headline, for inviting me to take part and for the ARC.

Emma Hannigan is sorely missed, but her inspiration, love and light, and beautiful words will continue to live on.

Kingfisher Road – a leafy, peaceful street in the town of Vayhill. But there are whispers behind closed doors. Who is moving into Number 10?

Engaged to handsome, wealthy Justin Johnston, Danielle appears to her new neighbours to have the perfect, glossy life. But not everything is as it seems…

In fact, each of the other four women who live close by has a secret, and each is nursing their own private heartache.

But could a gift be waiting on their doorsteps? And, by opening their front doors, and their hearts, to each other, could the women of Kingfisher Road discover all the help they need?

What does TWG think?

I really didn’t want this book to end. I wanted to savour the warmth of the characters, and I wanted to stay wrapped up in Emma Hannigan’s magical storyline.

‘The Gift of Friends’ was an incredibly bittersweet novel to read, as I couldn’t ignore the fact that it was the authors final novel due to her passing last year.

I really enjoyed the premise of this book as it highlighted something important which a lot of people seem to forget – not everything is as it seems. It really isn’t, and sometimes you just need just one person to understand that, so that you can deal with whatever you need to deal with.

Just like the residents of Kingfisher Road. They all came together when they needed to and I adored the loyalty between each of the women.

‘The Gift of Friends’ truly is a gift in itself, hence my very vague review as I feel that the storyline needs to be unwrapped by the individual reader.

This is such a heartwarming and beautifully written novel which highlights the importance of having someone in your corner, regardless of whether they’re near or far. Emma Hannigan hugged me from the inside out in a way that only she knew how to do with her unique style, and unique courage. A cosy, uplifting story which was an absolute pleasure to devour.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – #ThoseWhoAreLoved by Victoria Hislop (@VicHislop) @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

VH
Next up on TWG today is a review of ‘Those Who Are Loved’ by Victoria Hislop. Many thanks to Anne Cater and Headline for the blog tour invite and ARC – it’s a pleasure to be involved in the tour today!

Those Who Are Loved Cover

Athens 1941. After decades of political uncertainty, Greece is polarised between Right- and Left-wing views when the Germans invade.
Fifteen-year-old Themis comes from a family divided by these political differences. The Nazi occupation deepens the fault-lines between those she loves just as it reduces Greece to destitution. She watches friends die in the ensuing famine and is moved to commit acts of resistance.

In the civil war that follows the end of the occupation, Themis joins the Communist army, where she experiences the extremes of love and hatred and the paradoxes presented by a war in which Greek fights Greek.

Eventually imprisoned on the infamous islands of exile, Makronisos and then Trikeri, Themis encounters another prisoner whose life will entwine with her own in ways neither can foresee. And finds she must weigh her principles against her desire to escape and live.

As she looks back on her life, Themis realises how tightly the personal and political can become entangled. While some wounds heal, others deepen.

What does TWG think?

‘Wow’, is all I can say to this one! How do you even begin to write a review for a novel like this one? If you are into your history, ‘Those Who Are Loved’ will be right up your street. What an intricately detailed, powerful novel this is.

Set in Greece, main character, Themis, tells the story of her life during the Second World War, and the devastation she, and many others, had to live through. I’m not clued up on my history regarding Greece, so it was a very bittersweet pleasure to learn more about what happened in the 1940’s over there, even though it was quite heartbreaking to read at times. It’s not that I was ignorant to the fact that the Nazi’s took over Greece, I had no idea as it’s a topic which isn’t given as much ‘airtime’ so to speak, as other historic events from that time.

Themis is a character and a half. She is one of a kind and a true gem whose life I had the honour of delving into. I cannot even begin to imagine just how many hours research, Victoria Hislop embarked on to get the details of the storyline up to scratch, but it is very clear that the author took to the task to ensure that the storyline was as factually correct as possible.

‘Those Who Are Loved’ is a very deep, atmospheric read, that is full of emotion and incredibly complex due to the political and historical premise behind the storyline. This book blew my mind, and I can honestly say that Victoria Hislop has set the bar incredibly high with this novel. A beautiful, compelling, highly atmospheric read which I was able to sink my teeth into and forget my surroundings – perfect.

Pre-order now! Published 30th May.