Turning Left Around The World by David C Moore – Blog Tour Review.

Turning Left Around the World Cover

About The Book

For some people, retirement dreams consist of comfy slippers and gardening. Not so David and Helene whose dream was of adventure.

They presented Audley Travel, specialists in creating tailor-made journeys to all corners of the globe, with the challenge of exploring the history, landscape, wildlife, people and food in fifteen countries over ten months.

Fortunately, they were up to the task so David and Helene traded their slippers and gardening gloves for 53 flights, 30 trains, 8 boats, 3 cruise ships, 1 light aircraft, 1 hot air balloon, a motorbike and sidecar, countless speedboats, taxis, tuk-tuks, cyclos, bicycles. And a disobedient horse.

Turning Left Around The World is an entertaining account of their adventure, often intriguing, frequently funny and occasionally tragic. Share their adventure, enjoy the surprises and meet some fascinating people with some unusual customs.

My Review

With thanks to the author for the copy received. I’ve always enjoyed a travelogue, they are the only type of non-fiction that I read but I have never read one that has so much detail or which has visited so many countries. I was familiar with only one of them and coincidentally we were in Melbourne at the same time as David and Helene. Like them, I recommend that you pay a visit to The Lanes if you go.
It was evident that they both had a wonderful time and that the destinations they chose were the right ones for them. It must be difficult to narrow down the most memorable moments when you spend a whopping ten months travelling. Some appealed to me more than others, the one that appealed most was Thailand, and the chapters that covered this part of the world were my favourite. They were followed by some visits that upset me a lot and they concerned Cambodia. I had heard of The Killing Fields but knew nothing about what happened. David describes meeting a survivor, and you could see how emotional this made him both in his writing and the photo at the end of the book.
The photos that are scattered throughout are brilliant. Some are of views and the people that they meet. Some are where the person in the shot were unaware. All of them are amazing.
I enjoyed the way they interacted with each other. David was more of a daredevil, Helene less willing to participate in some of the more risky activities and some of the dining opportunities. I would be more like Helene.
I read this book over a few days but it is one that you could read over a period of time. There will definitely be parts that I read again.

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Hunter’s Revenge by Val Penny – Blog Tour Review.

Hunter's Revenge Cover

About The Book

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until his friend’s death is avenged.

DI Hunter Wilson is called to the scene of a murder. He is shocked to find the victim is his friend and colleague, George Reinbold.

Who would want to harm the quiet, old man? Why was a book worth £23,000 delivered to him that morning? Why is the security in George’s home so intense?

Hunter must investigate his friend’s past as well as the present to identify George’s killer.

When a new supply of cocaine from Peru floods HMP Edinburgh and the city, the courier leads Hunter to a criminal gang, but Hunter requires the help of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable, Sir Peter Myerscough, and local gangster, Ian Thomson, to make his case.

Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taut crime thriller.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Hunter’s Revenge is the second book in the series. I would advise that you read Hunter’s Chase first. Some of the characters and storyline are linked.
Hunter and his team are determined to find out who killed one of their own. The reader knows from the beginning what happened to the victim before he arrived in Scotland but his friends had no idea.
I have read both books and this was the one that I preferred. I found it a little darker and less easy to work out who the murderer was. You read about the investigation but I feel this is a series where there is also a lot of focus on the characters, both professionally and personally.
Much is made of the forthcoming changes in the Scottish Police Force and tentative plans for the future are being discussed by members of the team. This left me wondering what would happen in the next book.
I was happy to see the return of both Frankie and Jamie. They bring an unintentional comical side to the novel. Frankie determined to do the best for his twins and Jamie still convinced that he is a hit with the ladies.
Whether this is a believable police procedural remains to be seen but it was an entertaining read.

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Overkill by Vanda Symon – Blog Tour Review.

Overkill Cover

About the Book

When the body of a young mother is found washed up on the banks of the Mataura River, a small rural community is rocked by her tragic suicide. But all is not what it seems.
Sam Shephard, sole-charge police constable in Mataura, soon discovers the death was no suicide and has to face the realisation that there is a killer in town. To complicate the situation, the murdered woman was the wife of her former lover. When Sam finds herself on the list of suspects and suspended from duty, she must cast aside her personal feelings and take matters into her own hands.
To find the murderer … and clear her name.

My Review

One of the reasons I enjoy fiction from this part of the world is because the characters are so brutally honest and refreshing, Shep does not disappoint and she is one of my new favourite heroines.
She is loyal, hardworking, determined,rash, pedantic but she is also quick to react, not always in the best way and at times her own worst enemy. The only person who understands her and manages to calm her down is her flat mate Maggie. I was longing to ask her just to step back a little, to calm down and see the predicament she was placing herself in. But she also made me laugh, especially with the way she talked to people who alienated her.
The prologue was one of the most chilling parts of the novel, it is one that I can still feel the desperation of the victim weeks later. The character has only a small part in the novel obviously but the shock of the murder is evident throughout the whole novel.
I could imagine this small town very easily, a town full of hardworking people who were desperately clinging to its last big employer. How many towns are like this across the world now? It is also a town that appears to thrive on gossip and when things go wrong for Shep everybody knows.
I read a lot of crime fiction and sometimes work out easily who the killer is and I had no idea why somebody wanted Gaby dead. I think that this is because the reasoning for the crime was completely different to every other crime fiction book that I have read. And it is utterly believable.
This is the first book in the series and I hope that the others will be published soon.

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After He Died by Michael J Malone – Blog Tour Review.

thumbnail_AFTER HE DIED cover

About the Book

You need to know who your husband really was…

When Paula Gadd’s husband of almost thirty years dies, just days away from the seventh anniversary of their son, Christopher’s death, her world falls apart. Grieving and bereft, she is stunned when a young woman approaches her at the funeral service, and slips something into her pocket. A note suggesting that Paula’s husband was not all that he seemed…
When the two women eventually meet, a series of revelations challenges everything Paula thought they knew, and it becomes immediately clear that both women’s lives are in very real danger.
Both a dark, twisty slice of domestic noir and taut, explosive psychological thriller, After He Died is also a chilling reminder that the people we trust the most can harbour the deadliest secrets…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. You have to admire an author who never writes the same type of novel. The three that I have that have been published by Orenda are all completely different and all highly recommended.
This particular book is difficult to review because I can’t really mention the plot. The less you know the better. So I will concentrate on the back story and the way that certain parts made me feel.
Most of the novel focuses on Paula struggling after the sudden death of her husband which followed the murder of their only son a few years earlier. Everything about her grieving process was believable. Insomnia, heavier than usual drinking and trying to understand why it appears that her husband wasn’t who she thought he was. There was a part of her grieving that affected me quite deeply. For those who have read it, it took place on a beach on Bute, for those who haven’t get some tissues.
Cara is not present as much but she still has an impact. Not just with the way that she has added to Paula’s torment but also with her career. The difficulties that the people who do her type of work face on a daily basis. The differences between the two worlds is vast. Not only due to financial reasons but also friendship and loyalty. Paula might have had no money worries but unlike Cara and the people she knew she had no friends to support her.
But as well as the grieving and betrayal there is some good humour. a few phrases I had to use the kindle dictionary for but the message came through regardless.
Another fantastic novel from Orenda that I’m sure will be popular.

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The Angel’s Mark by S. W Perry – Blog Tour Review.

 

The Angel's Mark Cover

About the Book

LONDON, 1590. Queen Elizabeth I’s control over her kingdom is wavering. Amidst a tumultuous backdrop of Spanish plotters, Catholic heretics and foreign wars threatening the country’s fragile stability, the body of a small boy is found in the City of London, with strange marks that no one can explain.

When idealistic physician Nicholas Shelby finds another body displaying the same marks only days later, he becomes convinced that a killer is at work, preying on the weak and destitute of London.

Determined to find out who is behind these terrible murders, Nicholas is joined in his investigations by Bianca, a mysterious tavern keeper. As more bodies are discovered, the pair find themselves caught in the middle of a sinister plot. With the killer still at large, and Bianca in terrible danger, Nicholas’s choice seems impossible – to save Bianca, or save himself…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. My two favourite genres are crime and historical fiction, particularly from the Tudor period so this novel ticked all of the boxes. When I have read novels from this period  they have mostly been set in and around the courts and palaces. This novel is unique with it being set in the less affluent areas of London, in this case Bankside which is in Southwark. This is an area whose inhabitants live in poverty, some are diseased and their entertainment is the bear pits and the hostelries in the area. They live in fear of being charged with heresy or being branded for a crime. When people from their community are  found in the river, all with similar wounds they are regarded as unimportant and the ones who have the power are just happy that the victims are not from their own class.
It is fascinating to read. I felt like I was read a true reflection of what it was like to live at this time. The differences between Bankside and Nonsuch Palace were extreme. The attitudes to women and what their choices in life would be. There was no chance at all of women working in medicine, and the chances were that any woman who could help people who were suffering with illness would be regarded with scepticism. I found it very interesting reading the thoughts about how the human body worked. And how some wouldn’t accept any other explanation.
The small part of the novel that involved the torture chamber was just enough.I think if there had been more it would have less of an impact. The poignant touch made it more real, combined with the violence that preceded it. I liked Nicholas, Bianca and Ned a lot. If this is the first book in a new series I will be keen to get to know them all more. And understand more about what it was to live in these times.
It was one of those novels where I spent a lot of time looking on the internet for more information. Or in the kindle dictionary at the various foods, drink and herbal remedies. I also spent time looking at Bankside, an area I never knew existed.
A brilliant debut novel, I’m looking forward to more by this author.

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