She was lying as if asleep on the wooden kitchen floor, beneath the fridge covered with a child’s colourful crayon drawings. But her frozen expression showed she would never wake again…
When Detective Jackie Cooke is called out to the scene, she’s expecting a routine check. The bottle of pills on the kitchen table, next to the note with the single word SORRY written in a shaky hand, make it seem obvious what’s happened. But Jackie is shocked when she recognises her old schoolfriend Claire – and she is convinced Claire would never take her own life.
Determined to dig deeper, Jackie soon discovers evidence that proves her right: a roll of notes has been thrust down the victim’s throat. And when she finds another woman killed in the same way, she realises someone may be targeting lonely single mothers. As Jackie talks to Claire’s distraught children, one of them too young to understand his mummy is never coming home, she vows to find answers.
Both victims were in touch with someone calling himself Nice Guy – could he be the killer? Pursuing every clue, Jackie is sure she’s found a match in dead-eyed Tyler, part of a dark world of men intent on silencing women for daring to reject them. But just as she makes the arrest, another single mother is found dead – a woman who never dated at all.
Forced to re-evaluate every lead she has, with her boss pressuring her to make a case against the obvious suspect, Jackie knows she is running out of time before another innocent woman is murdered. And, as a single mother herself, she cannot help but wonder if she is in the killer’s sights. Can she uncover his true motivation and put an end to his deadly game… or will he find her first?
If I hadn’t already been hooked by the first book in this series, I sure as hell would be by now!
Detective Jackie Cooke is back with a bang, and the only prisoners she’s taking this time are real ones and not metaphorical ones! Jackie has a tough case to solve and time isn’t on her side in the slightest. Not only does she need to find the killer before another innocent woman gets killed, she also needs to ensure the safety of herself.
Marnie Riches just gets better with every new book she produces. She doesn’t take the genre and keep it simple and predictable, instead she takes it, makes it her own, and gives readers the ride of a lifetime. I suggest that, if you struggle with travel sickness, you get some anti sickness medication down you because you’re going to need it with all of the turns! It’s a bumpy ride for sure, but what a brilliant one it is too.
‘The Silent Dead’ may be quiet in terms of snippets in the storyline, however my reaction to the novel was far from silent. This is a series you have to get hold of. Another brilliant, brilliant read by the Queen of crime, Marnie Riches.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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
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…
YES, YES, YES, YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!
Okay, review done!!
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 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.
She will discover the best of herself in the worst of times . . .
Texas, 1934. Elsa Martinelli had finally found the life she’d yearned for. A family, a home and a livelihood on a farm on the Great Plains. But when drought threatens all she and her community hold dear, Elsa’s world is shattered to the winds.
Fearful of the future, when Elsa wakes to find her husband has fled, she is forced to make the most agonizing decision of her life. Fight for the land she loves or take her beloved children, Loreda and Ant, west to California in search of a better life. Will it be the land of milk and honey? Or will their experience challenge every ounce of strength they possess?
From the overriding love of a mother for her child, the value of female friendship and the ability to love again – against all odds, Elsa’s incredible journey is a story of survival, hope and what we do for the ones we love.
I have been delaying writing my review of ‘The Four Winds’ because I knew that, deep down in my heart of hearts, I would never find just the right words to sum up my thoughts of the storyline. I had to give it a go though.
‘The Four Winds’ was the first book I have read by Kristin Hannah, and it certainly hasn’t been the last. Since finishing, my collection of Hannah’s books has increased drastically and I have read ‘The Nightingale’ and ‘Night Road’ (more on those another time).
It didn’t take me long to work out that the plot of ‘The Four Winds’ was very heavy and, in places, somewhat depressing. Goodness me, it was set in the time of the ‘Great Depression’ in America, so obviously it wasn’t going to be all sunshine and roses, laughter and joviality. Whilst most people would associate the words ‘heavy’ and ‘depressing’ with negative connotations, and rightly so, I found that the storyline needed that darkness to showcase the strength of the main character, Elsa, as well as the strength of the real life people who lived through such a tumultuous time. It wasn’t the fact that I was revelling in other peoples misfortune by enjoying a storyline that had heartbreak and devastation at the centre of it, not at all, however it opened my eyes to a time in history that should be spoken about.
Elsa was a majorly flawed character who wanted to do so right by everyone else, that she ended up doing the complete opposite. She was quite a naïve woman and that often got her into trouble. At times I felt like she was forgetting that she had two children, with their lives depending on her strength and courage to point them in the right direction, safely. Something which again, ended up being the complete opposite and Loreda and Ant were put in harms way. It’s crazy to think just how different life was back in the 1930’s, let alone in 1930 America, and I loved how those differences were portrayed in the storyline.
With the best intentions in mind, I absolutely loved ‘The Four Winds’, and I was blown away (pardon the pun) by the powerfully flawed characters, the eyeopening historical moments, and the power behind Kristin Hannah’s words. Every sentence was delivered with determination and hard hitting grit. By the time the book had ended, my brain was awash with emotion, empathy, and belief that no matter what you’re faced with in life, you must attack it head on with courage, whether you feel strong or not.
*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.
‘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.
It is May, 1706. Ana, a young Spanish woman, lives in a small town on the north-west coast of Tenerife with her mother and twin younger brothers. The town is in the shadow of a mighty volcano, which legend says has the devil living inside it. However, there has been no eruption for thousands of years and no one believes it is a threat.
One day, Ana notices that the air feels strange and heavy, that the birds have stopped singing. Tending the family vineyard, a sudden strange tremor in the earth frightens her. Very soon it will be a race against time for Ana to help persuade the town that they are in danger and should flee before the volcano erupts and destroys their world. Will they listen? And Ana herself faces another danger . . .
What I think is brilliant about Quick Reads, is that you get the chance to read little tasters of an authors work, getting a feel of their storytelling before you delve into a full length novel. That is also handy when it is an author you haven’t read before, just like me and Kate Mosse. Until ‘The Black Mountain’, I had heard of Mosse and seen her work on Amazon and what not, but I had never read one of her books. Don’t ask me why – I am asking myself the same thing!
I didn’t know what to expect at all. Would the storyline be completely historical? Or would it have more of a fantasy/gothic feel to it? Or would it be a mixture of all of that and then some?
Personally, I thought ‘The Black Mountain’ to be the latter. The storyline had such a unique, spellbinding vibe, and I loved the historical element especially. I found the concept of the mountain and the history behind it very enthralling – I was eager to find out more.
Despite being a smidge over 100 pages, ‘The Black Mountain’ certainly packed a punch! I loved how the hook was there from the get go, along with the element of surprise and intensity.
If I had to sum up this novella in one word, I would choose ‘hypnotic’ because ‘The Black Mountain had me under its spell until the last page. A well thought out, nifty little read that had me questioning why I hadn’t read this authors works until now!
A serial killer to chill your bones A psychopath more frightening than Hannibal Lecter.
He has planned well. He leads two lives. In one he’s just like anyone else. But in the other he is the caretaker of his family’s macabre museum.
Now the time has come to add to his collection. He is ready to feed his obsession, and he is on the hunt.
Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle have something in common. They have what he needs.
What begins is a terrifying cat-and-mouse game between the sinister collector, Jakey’s father and Etta Fitzroy, a troubled detective investigating a spate of abductions.
Set in London’s Blackheath, Rattle by Fiona Cummins explores the seam of darkness that runs through us all; the struggle between light and shadow, redemption and revenge. It is a glimpse into the mind of a sinister psychopath. And it’s also a story about not giving up hope when it seems that all hope is already lost.
I spotted ‘Rattle’ through chance one day in a charity shop. Fiona Cummins wasn’t a new author to me (I actually have another one of her books on my shelf waiting to be read), yet the premise of ‘Rattle’ was one I kept coming back to. There was something so….sinister about the cover that made me want to pick it up and read it. It felt so wrong, yet felt so right at the same time. It’s only just now that I have found out that this novel was the authors debut – wow. I literally had no idea! I certainly couldn’t tell that that was the case whilst I was reading it, it was as though the authors works had been there all along. Impressive.
When someone says that they couldn’t put a book down, I find it to be a bit ‘yeah right then’, however I actually could NOT put ‘Rattle’ down. With every page I turned, the more I wanted to find out what happened. I had to know the details. I had to stay until the very end (or what I thought was the very end). I just wanted more. From start to finish I was engrossed and, if I’m being perfectly honest, I was still engrossed once the book had ended and I was so thankful to find out that there was another book released after to continue the story.
The storyline was incredibly macabre, very cut throat (pardon the pun), and very intense – much to my delight. It had the sort of vibe where you didn’t want to look, yet you couldn’t keep your eyes away. It didn’t matter whether I was squirming in my seat due to the fact that my heart had begun to beat faster, or the fact that my mouth had gotten dry due to the suspense and amount of times the word ‘shiiiiii…….’ tried to escape out of it – I had to find out what was going to happen.
It isn’t often that you can pick up a book on the off chance, demolish it in a small amount of time, and then go on to purchase the next novel in the mini serial without missing a beat. Oh, and declare that it is one of the best books that you have ever read. See why I was so impressed with this debut?
Fiona Cummins has suspense down to an art. This author knows how to keep her readers wanting more. Cummins knows how to raise a readers heartbeat, make them feel a little bit edgy, and then completely blindside them with an event that appeared out of nowhere.
So yes, ‘Rattle’ is one of the best books I have ever read because of the brilliant, brilliant plot, the cleverly crafted storyline, well thought out characters, levels of suspense that were through the roof, and just sheer excellence overall. I have high hopes for the continuation of this storyline, ‘The Collector’, which is currently shouting at me to read it (as much as a hardback book can shout at you, but you catch my drift). If you haven’t read ‘Rattle’ already, you are seriously missing out on a fantastic read.
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.
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.