Today it is my pleasure to be able to reveal the cover for The Blameless Dead by Gary Haynes.
But first I will tell you what the book is about:
In the dying days of World War Two, Pavel Romasko and his Red Army colleagues pick their way through the carnage and detritus of a dying Berlin. Stumbling upon the smoking remains of a Nazi bunker, they find something inside that eclipses the horror of even the worst excesses in the city above them.
As the war ends, retribution begins. But some revenge cannot be taken at once. Some revenge takes years.
And so it is, as post-war Europe tries desperately to drag itself back onto its feet, and soldiers attempt a return to normality, that retribution continues to ferment in the Gulags of the Soviet Union and beneath the surface of apparently ordinary lives.
Which is how, seventy years later, FBI agent Carla Romero and New York lawyer Gabriel Hall are enlisted to investigate a series of blood-chilling crimes that seem to have their roots in the distant past — even though the suffering they cause is all too present. And for one of them, the disappearance of young women is a particularly personal matter.
The Blameless Dead is an epic, compelling, edge-of-the-seat drama that sweeps the reader from twentieth century Europe to modern-day New York, taking in some of the most important events of modern history and exposing them in honest and unflinching terms. Part murder-mystery, part historical novel and shot through with adrenalin-pumping action, this novel superbly demonstrates that, while the hostilities may cease and the peace be signed, the horror that is war is never really over.
And now for the cover
About The Book
An addictively suspenseful new novel set in the glamorous world of the New York Hamptons, about secrets that refuse to remain buried and consequences that cannot be escaped.
After a whirlwind romance, a young woman returns to the opulent, secluded mansion of her new fiancé Max Winter – a wealthy senator and recent widower – and a life of luxury she’s never known. But all is not as it appears at the Asherley estate. The house is steeped in the memory of Max’s beautiful first wife Rebekah, who haunts the young woman’s imagination and feeds her uncertainties, while his very alive teenage daughter Dani makes her life a living hell.
As the soon-to-be second Mrs. Winter grows more in love with Max, and more afraid of Dani, she is drawn deeper into the family’s dark secrets – the kind of secrets that could kill her, too.
The Winters is loosely based on Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier a book which I thought I had read but hadn’t. It takes place initially in the Caymans where the unnamed young woman who falls in love with Max Winter lives. Her life has been tough, orphaned and having a slightly abrasive employer she falls head over heels in love with Max and agrees to move to his home in New York with him. But she is unprepared for what she faces.
It doesn’t take her long to feel apprehensive. Memories of Rebekah are all over the house, photos are everywhere and all her possessions. I had a lot of sympathy for her, not knowing where she could go and, at first,having little to do. Max’s teenage daughter is very unfriendly, often rude and mostly out of control. But you do see a different side to her when she starts to show warmth towards her future step mother. The problem is you don’t know if she can be trusted. Or if anybody else can.
Even though I haven’t read Rebecca I do know what it about so had a good idea what to expect. But with the modern slant, mobile phones, social media and female independence it feels different. I liked the different setting, the way the future Mrs Winter is described without being given an identity. It’s very hard writing a review about a character who has no name.
The novel is clever, it must take a lot of courage to recreate a classic novel and make it modern-day thriller.
About The Book
Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.
When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…
At once an unnerving locked-room mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Lingering is a book that falls into two of my favourite genres, crime and ghost fiction.
When Ali and Jack arrive at Rosalind House they are understandably apprehensive. They have left everything behind so they could move into the commune. But things aren’t as they seem. Ali and Jack have a secret and there are others who live in the house, not just the ones who are part of the commune.
There are three different narrators, Ali, Angela, who is a ghost hunter and Smeaton the owner and leader of the commune. There are also excerpts from a diary that reveal what happened when the home used be an asylum.
Events that happened in the past, the witch trials, the treatments at the asylum and the lives of some of the inhabitants are revealed steadily. There is nothing that suddenly hits you. There are some very sinister occurrences, particularly involving water but the most shocking moments involved what was happening in modern-day. It was these that left me feeling more on edge and a little chilled.
I love Susi’s writing, her imagination and her willingness to prove that she can write amazing fiction in more than one genre. I first read a ghost story from her a few years before she was published so I was thrilled to read a full length ghostly novel. The setting in an old asylum is perfect, every time I have seen one, either in real life or in local newspaper reports about one near where I live, makes me think of the tales associated with them and what might be lingering. A brilliant novel which I read in one day. It also has a cover that sent me dizzy every time I looked at it.
About The Book
THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY.
Liz Kendall wouldn’t hurt a fly. Even when times get tough, she’s devoted to bringing up her kids in a loving home.
But there’s another side to Liz, one that’s dark and malicious. She will do anything to get her way – no matter how extreme.
And when her alter-ego takes control, the consequences are devastating.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Well this was an unusual novel. I had seen various reviews which suggest that it is difficult to assign it to a specific genre and I would definitely agree. My personal feelings are that it is crime, fantasy and love story.
It did take me a while to get into and I found it much easier to read in large chunks. It starts with violence when Liz is being attacked by her ex husband and she defends herself. This is also the start of something a little more mysterious.
The other story in the novel concerns Fran who survived an abduction when she was a young child. She still suffers because of those events despite her father’s best efforts and her only salvation comes from the wonderful Jinx. As much as I want to say plenty about Jinx I will leave it all as a surprise. But it is a brilliant part of the novel. Their lives are combined after a meeting in a psychiatrist’s waiting room.
There was plenty about the novel I got wrong. I felt I should reread now I know what was happening, just to see if I feel different. All of the characters are brilliantly portrayed, Liz, Fran, Jinx. Gil, Marc, Zac and Molly especially. The author has done a fantastic job of making them all feel real. Adult, child, male, female and especially animal.
It is the first book I have read by this author, I think I need to read more.
About The Book
A killer is on the loose, attacking people in places they feel most safe: their workplaces, their homes. It’s up to DS Grace Allendale to stop the murders, and prove herself to her new team.
All clues lead to local crime family the Steeles, but that’s where things get complicated. Because the Steeles aren’t just any family, they’re Grace’s family. Two brothers and two sisters, connected by the violent father only Grace and her mother escaped.
To catch the killer, Grace will have to choose between her team and her blood. But who do you trust, when both sides are out to get you?
With thanks to the publishers for the copy received. The book starts with a murder. The more you find out about this man in the flashbacks throughout the novel made me feel little sympathy for his death. He was a horrible man whose actions had severe repercussions for the rest of his family. His murder is only the first and occurs before Grace returns to Stoke. It is the subsequent murders that she has to try to solve but she does have a connection to him. And it is that connection to him that could stop her becoming part of the team in her home town.
His actions are described in the book from a child’s point of view. You see the fear and upset over the violence shown to a mother but much of it is from listening to what is happening. It’s different to what I’ve read before and at times chilling.
Grace was a character who I warmed to instantly. Still struggling after the loss of her husband and mother she has moved back down to Stoke. Whilst the move could be good for her it also brings back unwelcome memories and brings her into contact with family she wants to have no contact with. But she has a stubborn streak, is determined to be honest with her new colleagues and solve the murders that are happening. I was willing her to succeed and not feel threatened by events that were happening in modern-day and the memories of her childhood.
I loved the descriptions of Stoke, it’s somewhere I’ve never been. It must be easy to over describe a place you know well and I found it worked perfectly here. I had a feeling of the area, with its history. places to see and places to go. And the oatcakes.
I really enjoyed Mel’s Allie Shenton series so was looking forward to what her new series would be like. I was delighted that there were some characters that had reappeared.
It is good news that book two will be released in Spring 2019.I am looking forward to seeing Grace and her team become good friends.