#BlogTour! #Review – #EllieandtheHarpMaker by Hazel Prior (@HaveAHarp) @TransworldBooks @AnneCater

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It gives me great pleasure to kick off the blog tour for ‘Ellie and the Harp Maker’ by Hazel Prior. Hugest of thanks, as always, to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and of course thank you to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review:

Ellie and the Harp Maker Cover
Meet Ellie. She’s perfectly happy with her home and her husband and her quiet life. Happy enough, anyway. Which is why she’s so surprised to find herself drawn to an extraordinary stranger who gives her a gift – and a fresh perspective.

Meet Dan. He thinks all he needs to be happy is the time and space to carry on making harps. Sometimes people buy them, too. But the last thing he expects is for Ellie to walk into his life, a whirlwind with cherry-coloured socks, bringing a string of surprises into his ordered existence.

As Ellie and Dan get to know one another, they begin to see the world – and themselves – in an entirely new way…

What does TWG think?

If I was required to sum up this book in one word, the word that springs to mind would be ‘majestic’. ‘Ellie and the Harp Maker’ isn’t the type of storyline that can be rushed. It needs to have, in my opinion, quality time spent reading it, as well as quality time spent reading between the lines to appreciate the beauty of this particular storyline.

At times I felt as though this book was too far down the literary novel route for my liking, only because I thought that it all seemed a bit heavy and intricate for my little mind to understand. My issue, I’m common after all. However, the beauty of Ellie’s and Dan’s friendship blew me away, and blew those thoughts out of my mind before they got too comfortable.

I have seen a harp, but never in a million years did I know the intricacy which went into making the delicate instrument. I do now though, and wow, I was certainly impressed. I’ve always thought of the harp to be an understated instrument. I can’t play it, in fact, I can’t play many instruments except the triangle, but I really did enjoy being able to lose myself in Ellie’s character as she made the choice to put her fingers to the strings in order to learn how to play. Envious? A little. I won’t lie!

Dan is a man who likes things a certain way. He has a heart of gold and a life which requires organisation and concentration so, when Ellie appears in his life, her colourful burst of personality was a bit of a shock to the system for him. One that would both be a blessing as well as a curse.

Both of the main characters, I thought, had such addictive personalities and were written in a very delicate and well crafted manner. Even though they both wore their hearts on their sleeves throughout the book, I really don’t think that readers get to see all of who they truly are. A clever move from the author as readers get to use their imagination to forge where, in their minds, the characters end up after the book has finished.

Overall, ‘Ellie and the Harp Maker’ was a very in-depth, majestic, poignant novel which was written soulfully, and tenderly. I enjoyed it, I really did.

Buy now!

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#BlogTour! #Review – The Evidence Against You by Gillian McAllister (@GillianMAuthor) @MichaelJBooks

Hugest of thanks to the team at Michael Joseph for the blog tour invite and ARC of Gillian McAllister’s new novel, The Evidence Against You. For my stop on the tour today, I am delighted to be sharing a review:

It’s the day Izzy’s father will be released from jail.

She has every reason to feel conflicted – he’s the man who gave her a childhood filled with happy memories.

But he has also just served seventeen years for the murder of her mother.

Now, Izzy’s father sends her a letter. He wants to talk, to defend himself against each piece of evidence from his trial.

But should she give him the benefit of the doubt?

Or is her father guilty as charged, and luring her into a trap?

What does TWG think?

This is one, psychologically twisted read!

I have to hold my hands up and say that I wasn’t a fan of ‘The Evidence Against You’ at first. I found Izzy’s character to be quite immature and, due to the fact that this particular storyline builds its rapport the more of it you read, I struggled to find the all important hook and keep hold of it.

However, from about the half way mark, my opinion of the book completely changed! The suspense had cranked up several notches, and the constant thought of ‘did he do it, or didn’t he do it?’ just didn’t leave my thoughts.

Basically, Izzy’s dad has been released from prison for murdering her mother, Alex. Gabe says he didn’t do it, yet the evidence and the police say that he clearly did do it. But what does Izzy believe? Shes been left in the dark about the case because she was young when it happened, so the not knowing the ins and outs became her new norm.

With Gabe back in Izzy’s life after nearly 20 years, does she go with the evidence behind his conviction? Or does she give her dad the benefit of the doubt?

What would you do? Tough one really, isn’t it? The evidence was there. The police convicted him. How could he be innocent?

I was really impressed by how the author delivered both sides of the ‘arguement’ so to speak. One minute I was all for the guilty verdict, and then the next I didn’t know what to think. I mean, it was pretty clear that Gabe was digging himself a huge hole.

I thought that the psychological element to the book was outstanding and certainly kept me guessing. Like I said before, the latter half of the book, for me, is where the magic truly happens, and the place where I refused to put the book down until I had finished.

An intriguing, intense read which will have the words, ‘what if?’ balancing on the tip of your tongue until the very end.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheLibrarianOfAuschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (tr: Lilit Zekulin Thwaites) @Tonilturbe @EburyPublishing @PenguinUKBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

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Third tour of the day is for a book which I am humbled to be hosting on TWG today; ‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ by Antonio Iturbe, translated by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites. Thank you to Tracy Fenton for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Ebury, Penguin Books for the ARC. Here is my review:

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‘It wasn’t an extensive library. In fact, it consisted of eight books and some of them were in poor condition. But they were books. In this incredibly dark place, they were a reminder of less sombre times, when words rang out more loudly than machine guns…’

Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious books the prisoners have managed to smuggle past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the secret librarian of Auschwitz, responsible for the safekeeping of the small collection of titles, as well as the ‘living books’ – prisoners of Auschwitz who know certain books so well, they too can be ‘borrowed’ to educate the children in the camp.

But books are extremely dangerous. They make people think. And nowhere are they more dangerous than in Block 31 of Auschwitz, the children’s block, where the slightest transgression can result in execution, no matter how young the transgressor…

What does TWG think?

I really have no idea how to review this book to be honest. It’s not that I didn’t like it because, as weird as this sounds given the topic of the book, I did really enjoy it. I mean, this book is about the prisoners of Auschwitz and the Nazis. I don’t feel qualified enough to comment on the devastations of that time, does that make sense? Obviously I am going to, but I apologise in advance if I just ramble!

‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ is based on the true story of one of the prisoners in the camp, Dita Kraus, written in the book as ‘Dita Adler’. There are some parts of the storyline which have been fictionalised – good luck to those trying to work out which bits are which! Of course, if you googled every single thing in the book, I’m sure the fictional pieces will jump out at you! I did end up googling some things whilst I was reading the book, not because I wanted to double-check that it was factually correct, but more so because I wanted to see the faces of the imbeciles who led people towards their deaths. Not just a small handful of people, not that that would make it any easier to swallow, but an estimated 1 million people. ONE MILLION!

At times I struggled to believe what I was reading. The fact that the SS soldiers and the Kapo were so blasé about what they were doing, sent chills up my spine. What possessed them to get caught up in Hitlers dirty work? How could they live with themselves knowing that they had sent innocent people, including young children, to their deaths? At one point in the book, the story described just how one young child was sticking their tongue out at a solider as they were being put into the chamber. Heartbreaking.

I was in awe at Dita’s strength as, for such a young girl, she clearly had to grow up very quickly to be able to get through the things that she did. She saw people die right before her very eyes. She protected her mother from a situation which could have turned out a lot worse if she hadn’t. She made friends with children one day, only to hear that they have been removed from the camp and sent to a chamber. No way of saying goodbye. No way of protecting people who came to be like an extended family. Dita’s hands were tied, and at times that was quite literal.

Just like the title suggests, there was a library in Block 31. Hang on, let me correct that. There was a SECRET library because, if prisoners were found with books on them, it warranted a death sentence. Death. Because they read a book. I’m literally shaking my head here. And, seeing as Dita ended up being the librarian for Block 31, and responsible for the collection of the five books in the block, she had literally put herself in the firing line knowing full well what the outcome would be should she be caught. Yet her love for books, according to her, was worth playing with death for.

Alongside Dita’s journey, we also follow the lives of several other figures such as Fredy Hirsch, leader of Block 31, and Dr Mengele, a man who liked conducting inhumane experiments on the prisoners….just because he could. There are a lot of other historical names noted throughout this book, a lot of which don’t deserve their names in print, but unfortunately it’s an important part of our history.

Before reading ‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’, I had obviously heard about the gas chambers and such, but I had never read a book with Auschwitz at the forefront of its storyline. I am glad that I finally decided to read about the devastation of those years, and finding out little details which helped the prisoners during that time, such as coming together and singing songs on the way to the chamber. Unity at such a dark time.

I don’t think I will ever understand the why’s and wherefores about this particular subject, but, thanks to Antonia Iturbe’s outstanding writing, I am determined to broaden my knowledge. It’s a shame that me doing that won’t change the situation for the thousands and thousands of people who lost their life, but it’s a small way of honouring the memory of the survivors.

‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ moved me, devastated me, and left me utterly broken. Nothing at all compared to what people endured at the hands of the Nazis I know. It goes without saying that Antonio Iturbe has written a heart wrenching novel, simple because you would need to be made of stone to not be moved by even a little detail in this book. I am blown away by the amount of research it must have taken in order to complete this book. I, like I said at the start, am blown away by Dita Kraus, especially as she retraced her steps many years later.

One of my top books of all time, ‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ is an emotional, harrowing novel which details some of the heartbreaking events from Auschwitz. A book which I will never, ever forget.

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – #OneMoreLie by Amy Lloyd (@AmyLloydwrites) @arrowpublishing

We have reached the end of the ‘One More Lie’ blog tour, and no, that is not a lie! Many thanks to Rachel for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review of Amy Lloyd’s new book:

When you can’t remember your crime…

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE GUILTY?

Charlotte wants a fresh start. She wants to forget her past, forget her childhood crime – and, most of all, forget that one terrible moment.

It’s the reason she’s been given a new name, a new life. The reason she spent years in prison.

But even on the outside, with an ankle monitor and court-mandated therapy, she can’t escape the devastating memory of the night that turned her and her only friend into national hate figures.

But now her friend has found her.

And despite the lies she tells to survive, she soon finds herself being dragged deeper and deeper into a past she cannot confront.

Even if it’s going to cost Charlotte her life…

What does TWG think?

I have no idea where to begin with this one! What a complex, atmospheric novel!

Charlotte has got a past and a half yet she cant quite remember the finer details of it, like how she ended up in prison. How could someone forget something like that? Is she faking it or is it a psychological ‘delight’? ‘One More Lie’ has a split narrative and alternates between the past and present, revealing snippets of Charlotte’s life very slowly.

It worked. I mean, the pace of the book worked well with the slow reveals and it kept me engaged. However, it also made me a little bit confused as I felt that the multiple narratives and different timeframes with limited information, was hard to follow at times. Patience is definitely important with this storyline, that’s for sure.

I enjoyed Amy Lloyd’s twisted storytelling and her intense portrayal of just how damaging secrets can be. Charlotte was definitely in a web, a naive one to put it mildly. She was a character who seemed younger than her years and at times it made me want to mother her and point her in the right direction, yet on the other hand I couldn’t help feel a sense of disappointment due to her actions.

‘One More Lie’ is a sinister, slow burning read which showcases Amy Lloyd’s passion for her craft.

One More Lie by Amy Lloyd is published by Century, Penguin Random House and available now in ebook, and hardback.

#BlogTour! #Review – A Vintage Summer by Cathy Bramley (@CathyBramley) @AnneCater @TransworldBooks

I am SO excited to be hosting today’s stop on the ‘A Vintage Summer’ blog tour. Hugest of thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review of Cathy Bramley’s latest novel:

London has not been kind to Lottie Allbright. Realising it’s time to cut and run, she packs up and moves back home – but finds her family in disarray. In need of a new place to stay, Lottie takes up the offer of a live-in job managing a local vineyard. There’s a lot to learn – she didn’t even know grapes could grow so far north!

Butterworth Wines in the rolling Derbyshire hills has always been run on love and passion but a tragic death has left everyone at a loss. Widowed Betsy is trying to keep the place afloat but is harbouring a debilitating secret. Meanwhile her handsome but interfering grandson, Jensen, is trying to convince her to sell up and move into a home.

Lottie’s determined to save Butterworth Wines, but with all this and an unpredictable English summer to deal with, it’ll be a challenge.

And that’s before she discovers something that will turn her summer – and her world – upside down . . .

What does TWG think?

Nevermind bottling wine, the warmth and brilliance of this novel needs to be bottled!

Oh my gosh, ‘A Vintage Summer’ is everything I could have hoped for and more. Whilst a large part of the storyline does focus on grapes, wine and the Butterworth family vineyard, there are quite a few in depth and emotional situations in amongst all of that.

Lottie has lost her way a life bit and, despite feeling as though she had found ‘the one’, Lottie realised that she needed to make a drastic change before it was too late. Without delving into too much detail, Lottie is well rid did the change she had to make and I was SO glad to see her break free before things got a lot worse. I know that not everyone in similar situations can do what Lottie did, and that doesn’t make you any less strong. As they say, you can’t understand a situation unless you have been through it yourself.

When Lottie’s life perked up a little, it was such a joy to watch her flourish and live the life that she so badly craved. It didn’t take her long to settle into her new job in the vineyard, making a new set of wonderful friends along the way.

Betsy is an absolute LEGEND! She reminded me so much of my great grandmother, Waddy, it was unreal. This characters outlook on life was, whilst emotional at times, hilarious and one of a kind. Again, Betsy’s personality would sell millions if it was bottled!!

There are a lot of colourful and energetic characters throughout ‘A Vintage Summer’, some of which I favoured more than others (well, there was only one I really disliked). Actuslly to hell with it, aside from that one cactus, I loved them all. They were all so different yet all so wonderful.

For me personally, the thing which affected me the most was when the topic of single parentage came up. It’s not often that I read a book where single mothers are mentioned in a positive and empowering manner – I just wanted to hug Cathy Bramley for what she wrote. I am a single mum and I got quite emotional as I was reading this book – thank you Cathy Bramley for showing single mums in a positive light. Thank you for showing the world that we are capable at raising children on our own. Thank you for not being like everyone else and looking down on us because we raise our children with one parent and not two.

I got quite choked up writing that, do excuse me.

Ahem.

‘A Vintage Summer’ made me as happy as Winnie the Pooh with a new jar of honey. I thought the storyline was just so beautiful and so beautifully written. I could feel just how much the author believed in her characters by the words alone. I am hoping Lottie and Jensen come back in another book because I am now left with multiple questions regarding their lives!

An outstanding, touching, emotive read which made fireworks explode in my heart. Definitely Cathy Bramley’s best book yet. I loved it!

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – #AGiftForDying by M.J.Arlidge (@mjarlidge) @Tr4cyF3nt0n @MichaelJBooks

Next up on the blog today is my review of ‘A Gift for Dying’ by M J Arlidge. Huge thanks to Tracy Fenton and Michael J Books for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

With just one look, she knows how and when you will die . . .

Nothing surprises Adam Brandt anymore. As a forensic psychologist, he’s seen and heard everything.

That is, until he meets Kassie.

Because she claims to have a terrible gift – with one look into your eyes, she can see when and how you will die.

Adam doesn’t believe her, obviously.

But then a serial killer starts wreaking havoc across the city, and only Kassie seems to know where he’ll strike next.

Against all his intuition, Adam starts to believe her.

He just doesn’t realise how dangerous this trust might be . . .

What does TWG think?

Holy baloney, I was not expecting THIS!!! I’m not ashamed to admit that my nerves were fried by the end of this book. I mean, some random person claiming that they know when your time is up just by looking into your eyes is enough to make anyone look behind them!

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that when said person with said gift made it known to people what she could see, that they looked at her as though she had two heads. Can you imagine having that sort of ability? Would you call it a gift? I probably wouldn’t but then I’m not entirely sure that I believe in psychics and jazz. Well, I was certain of my belief BEFORE I read this book. Now? I’m not entirely sure whether I disbelieve or whether I’m still caught up in the moment.

This storyline isn’t one for the faint hearted at all, in fact it is incredibly gruesome. As weird as this sounds, the more graphic the story became, the faster my hands turned the pages because I became more hooked. I sound weird now, don’t I?! M J Arlidge held me hostage, just like the characters in the books. Even if I wanted to (which I didnt), I could not put the book down. I just had to find out whether Kassie was right, what would happen to Adam, would the truth about the victims be brought to light. I wanted to know every little detail regarding the jaw dropping situation. I’m not even being over dramatic, the entire storyline left my jaw unhinged in the most gruseomely fabulous way, ever.

I didn’t even see Adam’s situation being the way that it was and yet he was the one trained to see the signs!!

I’m not sure if I have dropped enough hints or not, but if you couldn’t tell already I thought this book was bloody brilliant!!! What a high speed, descriptive and highly addictive read this was! I am absolutely gutted the book finished (wow to that btw too), but it now means I have more books to purchase from M J Arlidge!! What belter!!!

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North (@Lauren_C_North) @TransworldBooks @AnneCater

It gives me great pleasure to host Lauren North and ‘The Perfect Betrayal’ today as part of the blog tour. Many thanks to Transworld for the ARC, and thank you to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite. Here is my review:

‘I thought she was our friend. I thought she was trying to help us.’

After the sudden death of her husband, Tess is drowning in grief. All she has left is her son, Jamie, and she’ll do anything to protect him – but she’s struggling to cope. When grief counsellor Shelley knocks on their door, everything changes. Shelley is beautiful, confident and takes control when Tess can’t bear to face the outside world. She is the perfect friend to Tess and Jamie, but when Jamie’s behaviour starts to change, and Tess starts to forget things, she begins to suspect that Shelley might not be the answer to their problems afterall. When questions arise over her husband’s death and strange things start to happen, Tess begins to suspect that Shelley may have an ulterior motive. Tess knows she must do everything she can to keep Jamie safe – but who can she trust?

What does TWG think?

  • ‘The Perfect Betrayal’ was NOT what I expected AT ALL, yet it was utterly perfect!!! It sounds weird to say that a complex, emotional novel such as this one was perfect, but it really was. Lauren North delivered on intensity, complexity, and suspense, absolutely nailing the psychologically sinister element in one of the most cleverly crafted and memorable ways I think I have ever read.
  • Now obviously I don’t wish to give anything from the storyline away and, as much as I would love to sit here and talk about the parts of the book which had my jaw dropping quicker than a Kardashian’s underwear, the element of surprise is what makes ‘The Perfect Betrayal’ such an outstanding read.

    Tess is struggling – her life is no longer what it used to be and whilst she’s not just having to deal with the obvious and physical changes in her life, poor Tess is having to succumb to the emotional truth of the matter which can often be a lot harder to come to terms with.

    The conclusion of ‘The Perfect Betrayal’ seemed to come out of nowhere – maybe I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t and I loved that I didn’t. Lauren North is an exceptionally talented author who made Tess’ life stand out from the rest in more ways than one. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t moved by certain situations in the story, because I was – in all honesty, I would have been very surprised at myself if I hadn’t felt some sort of emotional reaction to the truth behind Tess’ life.

    ‘The Perfect Betrayal’ is a novel which just keeps on giving. A novel which puts emotional, gritty, psychological suspense in the spotlight in a jaw dropping manner. I LOVED this book and if this is the calibre of what’s to come from Lauren North, I cannot wait to read more.

    Absolutely brilliant, a gritty gem of a book which blew my mind ten times over. Top book of 2019? It’s a contender, that’s for sure!! I cannot recommend this enough!

    Pre-order now – published 14th March

    Happy paperback publication day to #NowYouSeeHer by Heidi Perks (@HeidiPerksbooks) @arrowpublishing

    I originally posted this review as part of the blog tour last year, but to celebrate the paperback release of ‘Now You See Her’, I have been asked to share it again. So I thought I would do a whole new post! Heidi Perks’ novel made my ‘Top Books of 2018’ list – carry on reading to find out why!!

    Huge thanks to Rachel Kennedy and Arrow Publishing for the advance copy in 2018 – hope you enjoy my review:


    Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.

    Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable: tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.

    Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.
    Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.

    Someone is hiding the truth about what really happened to Alice.

    What does TWG think?

    Helloooooooo biggest book hangover of the year! I finished reading #NowYouSeeHer in the early hours of Sunday morning, and since then I have tried (and failed) to get into several books because I am suffering with not only my biggest book hangover of the year, but my biggest book hangover EVER! I mean, come on, have you read this book yet? You must rectify that pronto as ooooohhhhhh my goodness me, what a phenomenal, hair-raising, spine tingling, and energetic read this is. I probably shouldn’t be saying this given the theme of the book, but I fluffing loved it! Obviously I didn’t love the theme, because that would be weird, BUT, I thought the way that Heidi Perks delivered it in her storyline was mind-blowing.

    ‘Now You See Her’ switches between the past and the present, and between the two main characters, Charlotte and Harriet. For the first time ever, Harriet is leaving her daughter with another person, so she asks her only friend, Charlotte, to babysit Alice alongside her own children. Simple enough, right? Wrong. One minute Alice was there, and then the next moment she was……nowhere to be seen. With guilt eating away at Charlotte from the inside out, she struggles to comprehend what has happened, especially when Alice’s disappearance hits the news and Charlotte finds herself in the firing line.

    Understandable, right? I mean, you asked your best friend to babysit your daughter, hoping that they would look after her and return her safely at the arranged time. Therefore, you would expect that to happen, you wouldn’t expect to be told that your daughter was now missing. Well, I wouldn’t.

    Obviously, the police get involved and Charlotte finds herself growing accustom to the decor in the local police station as they try to get to the bottom of Alice’s disappearance. However, due to Charlotte being unable to give the police the answers they require, will it mean that her cards are now marked?

    With the publicity of ‘Now You See Her’, the publishers have hashtags with #TeamCharlotte and #TeamHarriet on them, but to be perfectly honest, I still can’t say which team I am on! Can’t I say that I am on #TeamCharriet? There is so much to this storyline aside from the missing child. I would love to be able to go into detail, but I can’t due to spoilers. I just want to talk about this book!!!! Someone? Anyone?!

    Just like most psychological thrillers/crime/suspense novels I read, I attempt to work out whodunnit before I reach the end of the book. Let’s just say that I won’t be making Detective anytime soon! Although, giving myself a teeny bit of credit, I was pretty adamant that I had the culprit by halfway through this book, but I quickly found myself questioning my own decision the more the storyline progressed.

    Heidi Perks is an exceptional writer – not only has she written about the lives of multiple characters, she has written them in such a way that makes the reader question every conceivable thing. The weird thing about that though, is the fact that the words are written just like any other book, in black and white. Perks may have just been describing the events of what happened the day Alice went missing, yet there was definitely more to those words that meets the eye.

    ‘Now You See Her’ is a very, very cleverly written novel which had me on high alert from the first page, until the very last. I am utterly flabbergasted by the strength behind the authors words, and how my mind was able to convey them due to the snippets of doubt which Heidi Perks laced her words with. At the very beginning, my mind was strong and things made perfect sense. But, by the time I had reached the end of the book, I was unable to trust anything. Hell, I didn’t even believe it when the clock said that it was 1.45am!

    I am envious of every reader who gets to read ‘Now You See Her’ for the very first time – you are in for an absolute treat! Heidi Perks has written a truly phenomenal book and I, hand on heart, cannot find fault with a single thing. My first thought as I finished this book, was ‘one of the best books I have ever read’, but now, I have to say that that has changed now that I have had the time to digest Perks’ outstanding talent. ‘Now You See Her’ is my most favourite book of all time, my most favourite book of 2018, and Heidi Perks has very quickly become one of my all time favourite authors. This is a book to lose yourself in, and Heidi Perks should be incredibly proud of what she has achieved! I know I am, and I didn’t even write it! I cannot WAIT to read more from this author, that’s for sure, even if she has set the bar incredibly high!

    Highly recommended, ‘Now You See Her’ is THE book to read without any disturbance, and Heidi Perks is definitely THE author to watch in the future. Bloomin’ brilliant!

    Buy now from Amazon

    #BlogTour! #Review – #TheScentOfDeath by Simon Beckett (@BeckettSimon) @HJ_Barnes @TransworldBooks

    Fifth and final blog tour of the day is for yet another suspenseful read; ‘The Scent of Death’ by Simon Beckett. Many thanks to Hayley Barnes for the blog tour invite and ARC. Please do excuse my late posting – I was fighting with my daughters pet bunny (don’t worry, no bunnies were harmed!!). Here is my review:

    It’s been a good summer for forensics expert Dr David Hunter. His relationship is going well and he’s in demand again as a police consultant. Life is good.

    Then a call comes from an old associate: a body has been found, and she’d like Hunter to take a look.

    The empty shell of St Jude’s Hospital now stands awaiting demolition, its only visitors society’s outcasts, addicts and dealers. A partially mummified corpse has been discovered in the hospital’s cavernous loft, but not even Hunter can say how long it’s been there. All he knows for sure is that it’s the body of a young woman. And that she was pregnant.

    But the collapse of the loft floor reveals another of the hospital’s secrets. A sealed-off chamber, still with beds inside. Some of them occupied…

    For Hunter, what began as a straightforward case is about to become a twisted nightmare that threatens everyone around him. And as the investigation springs more surprises, one thing is certain.

    St Jude’s hasn’t claimed its last victim . . .

    What does TWG think?

    My poor bank account! I think I’ve found another series I need to stock up on! I cannot believe I have never read a Simon Beckett novel before. I am pleased to say that, despite ‘The Scent of Death’ being the sixth book in the series, it works well as a stand-alone. Obviously if you wanted to know more about the history of the characters, reading previous books would be advantageous I assume….seeing as I haven’t done that. Sniff.

    If it were anything other than fiction, dead bodies wouldn’t really be something I would lean towards, however when Simon Beckett makes his readers aware of a dead body or two at the very beginning, I was gripped right there and then.

    I thought that the storyline was very well thought out and clearly meticulous planned, especially as there was a lot going on and a lot of events seemed to interlink with each other. The main character, David Hunter, is a tough personality to gauge. He is admirable what with his job and what not, but there were several kinks in his personality which left me a little bit unsure about him overall. Not complaining though!

    ‘The Scent of Death’ is definitely a story which takes the readers on a journey. I loved witnessing things from David Hunter’s point of view as and when he found them, as it added to the suspense and kept my attention focused on the storyline for the duration.

    I am gutted that I didn’t find this series sooner, but I cannot wait to binge read from book one. Simon Beckett is such a captivating storyteller who delivers grit and intensity in a way which makes my toes tingle – an author who is now high on my radar!

    Buy now!

    #BlogTour! #Review – #Home by Amanda Berriman (@MandyBerriman) @PenguinRHUK @AnneCater

    berriman
    It’s a very busy day here at TWG, and I am delighted to be kicking the day off with my review of ‘Home’ by Amanda Berriman. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Penguin Books for the ARC. Here is my review:

    Home PB Cover

    Jesika is four and a half.

    She lives in a flat with her mother and baby brother and she knows a lot. She knows their flat is high up and the stairs are smelly. She knows she shouldn’t draw on the peeling wallpaper or touch the broken window.

    And she knows she loves her mummy and baby brother Toby.

    She does not know that their landlord is threatening to evict them and that Toby’s cough is going to get much worse. Or that Paige, her new best friend, has a secret that will explode their world.

    What does TWG think?

    Does anyone know if double-sided tape will fix a broken heart? Asking for a friend….

    Actually no, I’m not asking for a friend. I’m asking for myself because I still have absolutely no idea how to piece my heart back together after reading ‘Home’. Now I’m not too sure whether my heart broke because the narrative was the voice of a four-year old girl, Jesika, or whether it was because the theme of the book is one that hit home (pardon the pun) rather drastically. Maybe it’s both, I really have no idea. I just know that my heart shattered…

    As I’ve just said, ‘Home’ is told by four-year old girl, Jesika. Yep, that’s right – the entire story is written from a four year olds perspective, including the language that a young girl like Jesika may use. Little Jesika doesn’t understand why a man is shouting at her mummy, or why her little brother and mummy are constantly coughing and crying. She also doesn’t understand why the floor is wet in their bedroom or why the big box in the kitchen stops working and makes the house cold.

    Whilst Jesika’s situation is heartbreaking in itself and her innocence to the entire situation is enough to make the strongest person melt into a puddle, the storyline became even more heartbreaking as it progressed. I don’t want to give too much away, but a new girl has appeared at Jesika’s playgroup, little Paige, and, whilst Jesika wants to try to take her under her wing as much as a four-year can, there is a lot more to Paige that meets the eye. Way, way more.

    I said at the start of this review that the theme of ‘Home’ hit home drastically, and I still stand by that fact because, if you have already read this book, you will understand what I’m about to say and the meaning behind it. However, if you haven’t yet read this book, I urge you to stock up on tissues and all will become clear once you digest the words for yourself…..

    I was Paige.

    No, I don’t mean that I am actually Paige in this book, I mean that at one point in my life, I was ‘a Paige’. I had endured a situation very similar to hers and I just wanted to reach into the book and protect her from it. But I couldn’t and, as weird as this sounds, I actually felt as though I was letting her down because I couldn’t protect her. Daft eh?

    Many readers will be able to relate to ‘Home’ on various different levels. In an ideal world, nobody would be able to relate to the situations covered in the book, but the big wide world isn’t perfect. What I loved most about this book was the way in which Amanda Berriman captured my heart from the very beginning by telling her story via Jesika. I have never read a book which was told from a person as young as Jesika before and I thought it was such a clever way of bringing the heartbreak home. I mean, people need to sit up and take notice of children, don’t they?

    I thought the themes were written realistically yet sensitively, keeping the impact of the devastating circumstances as real as possible as though the events were actually unfolding before your eyes. It was hard to read, but then storylines like this shouldn’t be easy to read, should they?

    Amanda Berriman is a phenomenal, phenomenal storyteller who has created a suspenseful, heartbreaking novel in the most beautiful way possible. It was flawless and highly emotional, and probably one of the most outstanding books I think I have ever read.

    I’m not ashamed to admit that my eyes leaked a bit at the end of the book, nor am I ashamed to admit that my body was exhausted from the emotional rollercoaster I had just read. But, hand on heart, I think that everyone needs to be put under Jesika’s spell as she tells the story of her life in the way that she sees it – innocently.

    A stunning portrayal of heartbreak, innocence, and the power of friendship – ‘Home’ is the book of all books to make you feel like you truly are, at home.

    Buy now!