Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts – Blog Tour Review.

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About The Book

A gripping psychological thriller with chilling twists, from a unique, new voice. Keller Baye and Rebecca Brown live on different sides of the Atlantic. Until she falls in love with him, Rebecca knows nothing of Keller. But he’s known about her for a very long time, and now he wants to destroy her. This is the story of two families. One living under the threat of execution in North Carolina. The other caught up in a dark mystery in the Scottish Highlands. The families’ paths are destined to cross. But why? And can anything save them when that happens?

My Review

With thanks to the author for the copy received.
Hiding is a dual narrative novel that was slightly different to the ones that I have read previously.
Keller’s story was the one that I got into more quickly. His descent from neglected child into a murderer was chilling and rapid. Very much a loner but he also knew how to charm, until he had no further use for that person and he then turned to cruelty.
Rebecca was also a loner. I liked her alternative name of Youngest or Youngest Brown. She was adamant that she would do her own thing, all the time giving an outward appearance of independence but inside she was suffering, determined to find answers about her past.
There is a lot of cruelty, all from Keller. He was a character who I struggled to like or have any sympathy for. But as well as the cruelty there was also humour. I liked the way that Keller struggled to understand Scottish and English slang. Primmy was a character who made me smile a lot, the way that her dialect was described was something I have never seen before.
The ending was the part of the novel that I found unexpected. Some have described it as abrupt but I felt that it suited the rest of the narrative perfectly. I’m hoping for a sequel though.

You can purchase the novel here

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Blue Night by Simone Buchholz – Translated by Rachel Ward – Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

After convicting a superior for corruption and shooting off a gangster’s crown jewels, the career of Hamburg’s most hard-bitten state prosecutor, Chastity Riley, has taken a nose dive: she has been transferred to the tedium of witness protection to prevent her making any more trouble. However, when she is assigned to the case of an anonymous man lying under police guard in hospital – almost every bone in his body broken, a finger cut off, and refusing to speak in anything other than riddles – Chastity’s instinct for the big, exciting case kicks in.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
Chastity Riley has to rebuild her career after convicting her superior officer of corruption. She is frustrated and bored, working in the equivalent of an office cupboard and feeling invisible. But then she is given the task of trying to get a man to talk about why he was attacked. And he doesn’t want to make it easy for her. It is only when she starts to break down the barriers she realises how bad the situation could be. And just what is available on the streets.
The case that she does end up investigating is grim. It doesn’t glamorise anything. It is hard-hitting and terrifying and I hope I never have to see what she witnesses during parts of this novel. Both Chastity and people she works with see the worst sights of humanity and cope. I don’t know she does it.
The novel also focuses on her friendships. She is loyal to her friends, some she has known for years, and some are colleagues. Despite the difficulties caused by her job she recognises that some of them need help. There are a few of these friends I would love to know more about. With some of the personal aspects of the novel I felt that there was missing back story but I could still follow it easily enough.
I really liked Chastity,she has plenty of compassion, and is loyal, funny and down to earth. And she has some of the best observations on life that I have read in fiction.
A very successful series that is well established in Germany, I have no doubt that it will do just as well in other countries.

You can purchase the novel here

BLUE NIGHT Blog Tour Poster

Turn A Blind Eye by Vicky Newham – Review.

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About the Book

A dead girl.
A wall of silence.
DI Maya Rahman is running out of time.
A headmistress is found strangled in her East London school, her death the result of a brutal and ritualistic act of violence. Found at the scene is a single piece of card, written upon which is an ancient Buddhist precept:
I shall abstain from taking the ungiven.
At first, DI Maya Rahman can’t help but hope this is a tragic but isolated murder. Then, the second body is found.
Faced with a community steeped in secrets and prejudice, Maya must untangle the cryptic messages left at the crime scenes to solve the deadly riddle behind the murders – before the killer takes another victim.
Turn a Blind Eye is the first book in a brand-new series set in East London and starring DI Maya Rahman.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
In Turn A Blind Eye, Vicky Newham has created some strong lead characters with Maya and Dan. Maya is the first Bangladeshi character that I have met and I found it fascinating to read the accounts of her childhood interspersed with the murder investigation. She is a character I am looking forward to knowing more about, her relationship with her parents and definitely her sister. Ben, married into the Aboriginal community brings added empathy and understanding into a multi racial community that is different to what he might otherwise be used to. I warmed to Maya immediately, Dan may take a little longer but I am looking forward to knowing more about his personal life. But there are more than the two lead characters. Their superior officer, who is obnoxious, the victims and their families are all well-developed. The way the grieving families were described was more convincing than some that I have read.
The teachers in the novel also have a voice, they show their concerns, their fears and the frustration they feel at events that they have no control over.
I am not a teacher but the account of life in an inner city school was convincing and the politics interesting. How the teachers and social workers have to deal with a lot more than just whether homework is being done.
I found it to be a brilliant account of how a close-knit community cope when one of their own is killed. It felt realistic how Maya had to deal with a crowd that could get angry, fuelled by the media and fake news.
This novel is much more than a murder investigation. This is a study into how people from different races and religions live alongside each other.

You can purchase the novel here

Beneath The Skin by Caroline England – Review.

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About the Book

Three women. Three secrets.
Antonia is beautiful and happily married. Her life is perfect. So why does she hurt herself when nobody’s watching?
Sophie is witty, smart and married to the best-looking man in town. She likes a drink, but who doesn’t?
Olivia is pretending to be a happy wife and mother. But her secret could tear her family apart.
Their lies start small, they always do. But if they don’t watch out, the consequences will be deadly.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
I had Beneath The Skin on my kindle for a while and when I saw that there was a new book out I decided it would be the right time to read it.
There couldn’t be a more apt title for this book because nearly every character in it didn’t show the true side to their personalities. There are four couples, all different in most cases, apart from that they all have secrets. Most of the people in the novel are unpleasant a lot of the time, although you did see a better side to them occasionally. That is with the exception of Sami and Sophie, two characters who I just hated with a passion. There is a saying, that them being together wouldn’t ruin another couple and it is accurate for these two people. Sophie is a nightmare, spoilt, arrogant, lazy and bullying pretty much sums her up. Antonia is her victim much of the time, and apart from Rupert, she was the only one who I had any sympathy and liking for.
I didn’t really regard it is a psychological thriller, the secret isn’t revealed until the end of the novel. And by that time, for me, it was of no consequence. What was happening in present time was more fascinating. I had a feeling that the ending was left slightly open. There is definitely potential for another book featuring many of the same characters. Or it could have been left for the reader to make up their own mind. each way works perfectly.

You can purchase the book here

Fred’s Funeral by Sandy Day – Review.

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About the Book

Fred Sadler has just died of old age. It’s 1986, seventy years after he marched off to WWI, and the ghost of Fred Sadler hovers near the ceiling of the nursing home. To Fred’s dismay, the arrangement of his funeral falls to his prudish sister-in-law, Viola. As she dominates the remembrance of Fred, he agonizes over his inability to set the record straight. Was old Uncle Fred really suffering from shell shock? Why was he locked up most of his life in the Whitby Hospital for the Insane? Could his family not have done more for him? Fred’s memories of his life as a child, his family’s hotel, the War, and the mental hospital, clash with Viola’s version of events as the family gathers on a rainy October night to pay their respects.

My Review

With thanks to the author for the copy received for review.
Fred’s Funeral is a sweet novella that describes a family get together after Fred’s funeral. It is probably a familiar situation, that of different generations of the same family realising too late that they didn’t know enough about an elderly relative in their family.
Fred had served in WW1, and returned home struggling with shell-shock and having to cope with everything that he saw. Like many he found it difficult to talk about it and after a series of incidents, that were mainly alcohol related, was placed in Whitby Hospital for the Insane. Whether it was the best place for him or not isn’t the main topic, what is more important to Fred’s ghost is that he wants to tell his story. And not listen to the version that his sister-in-law Viola insists on telling.
What he does experience in the war is only touched on briefly, much of the story focuses on him struggling to rebuild his life in the following years. He feels lost, lonely and is in a constant battle with his family to prove that he is worthy and does not need to be in the hospital. He can’t talk about his feelings and fears and sadly the people he knows don’t have the time or interest in him to listen.
It is quick and easy to read, I read it over a weekend. I think there will be a few who do read it who feel a sense of guilt for not taking the time to listen to older family members who have a tale to tell.

This is also probably the only book cover that made me feel emotional. Thinking about how the young man in the photograph had no idea what he would be about to see.

Fred’s funeral is based on true events in the author’s family.