Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Six people went in. Only one came out…

Introducing Standedge Tunnel: the longest canal tunnel in England. 

Last year six students went in, and two and a half hours later, the boat reappeared on the other side with only one of the students, unconscious, and the dog.

The case of the Standedge Six was largely kept from the national media. The police investigation concluded that the only remaining student, Matthew, killed his friends, hid the bodies on the boat and returned later to move them to an undisclosed location. 

Matthew is in prison . . . but maintains he is innocent.

Robert Ferringham is grieving for his missing wife, Sam. So when Matthew contacts him for help with his case, promising information on Sam, Robert has no choice but to help. But can he trust Matthew? 

And how will he solve the insolvable case?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I was intrigued about this novel immediately after reading the synopsis. There is nothing that would make me go through a tunnel like this. But I love to read about them, to imagine that I am brave enough to go in. 

I hadn’t read the authors debut novel so didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t expect to read a book that was both creepy and full of intrigue, hatred towards somebody trying to find out the truth but also hatred towards the five whose bodies had never been found.

The small town personalities were perfect. Outsiders regarded with suspicion, people who lived there thriving on gossip or secrecy and a few who were afraid to say what they really thought. 

I suspected many and had plenty of theories about who was responsible and why. Some outlandish, some sinister. Most incorrect.

A great story with some fascinating characters, including the sheep, and a brilliant set up.

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

It begins with an abduction. The routine of a family shopping trip is shattered when Michelle Spivey is snatched as she leaves the mall with her young daughter. The police search for her, her partner pleads for her release, but in the end…they find nothing. It’s as if she disappeared into thin air.
A month later, on a sleepy Sunday afternoon, medical examiner Sara Linton is at lunch with her boyfriend Will Trent, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. But the serenity of the summer’s day is broken by the wail of sirens.
Sara and Will are trained to help in an emergency. Their jobs – their vocations – mean that they run towards a crisis, not away from it. But on this one terrible day that instinct betrays them both. Within hours the situation has spiralled out of control; Sara is taken prisoner; Will is forced undercover. And the fallout will lead them into the Appalachian mountains, to the terrible truth about what really happened to Michelle, and to a remote compound where a radical group has murder in mind…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Even though I have read books by Karin Slaughter before I have never read one from the Will Trent series. I had no problems following the storyline though. Despite knowing nothing about any of the characters.

The action starts immediately with the abduction of a mother who is out shopping with her daughter. Whilst this is unexpected, you would expect it to be the daughter, it isn’t the main focus of the storyline. What is, starts when Sara and Will are just about to have a family meal and are interrupted by an emergency situation. And it is one of the most convincing, terrifying and sickening that I have ever read. 

There are three points of view. Sara’s, Will’s and Faith, his partner and good friend to both of them. It was Sara’s I preferred, mainly because she was the one who was in the midst, but also because I understood her story a lot more. There is a lot to understand about white supremacy groups and I did find some of the terminology a little confusing at times. But as the story progressed and the danger levels increased I struggled to put the book down.

It is a series I need to catch up on. I want to know more about Will and how he turned his life around and how  he met Sara. And I want to know more about Faith and her brilliant and sometimes witty approach to being a mother. 


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

About The Book

Treason sleeps for no man…

London, 1591. Nicholas Shelby, physician and reluctant spy, returns to his old haunts on London’s lawless Bankside. But, when spymaster Robert Cecil asks him to investigate the dubious practices of a mysterious doctor from Switzerland, Nicholas is soon embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens not just the life of an innocent young patient, but the overthrow of Queen Elizabeth herself.

With fellow healer and mistress of the Jackdaw tavern, Bianca Merton, again at his side, Nicholas is drawn into a sinister world of zealots, charlatans and dangerous fanatics…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Serpent’s Mark is the second book in this Tudor crime series. It can be read as a stand-alone novel quite easily.

It is a novel that combines real life characters as well as fictional. As always, some names I am familiar with, some I spend time on the internet trying to find out more information. Even though there are courtiers and titled people in the novel most of it concerns ‘normal’ people. 

Anybody who is familiar with Tudor history will be aware of the turmoil created by religious beliefs at the time. How, whoever was on the throne dictated whether you were Catholic or Protestant. When this novel takes place Elizabeth I was queen and her Faith  was Protestant. Anybody who practised Catholicism faced execution so did so discreetly. The author creates a terrifying insight into how this must have been, it was here that we get to know more about Bianca, her childhood and the betrayal she felt over the way her father was abandoned by the one she thought was a friend.

As well as the religious storyline, and like the previous book, he shows developing medical beliefs. I found it fascinating, reading about how knowledge and understanding regarding science has changed over the years.

All my favourite characters from the last book featured and I have to add another to my list, Rose. I loved her sense of humour, her loyalty and the way she handled the men in her life. Especially Ned.  Nicolas was also a character I appreciated more, how he was starting to move on and acknowledge his feelings towards Bianca without feeling guilt.

Arcampora, the doctor who Nicolas has been asked to investigate, is one of the most terrifying characters I have ever met in any novel. Everything about him had me unsettled. I cringed when he appeared but was also desperate to learn what he would do next. 

A great follow up from an author who is now a favourite. 


Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Gary Bell – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Elliot Rook QC is one of the greatest barristers of his generation. 

He is also a complete fraud.

Elliot Rook is the epitome of a highly successful, old Etonian QC. Or so everyone believes. In fact, he is an ex-petty criminal with a past that he has spent decades keeping secret. Until now. 

An unidentified young woman of Middle Eastern origin has been found murdered on the outskirts of Rook’s home town. Billy Barber – a violent football hooligan and white-supremacist – is accused of her murder. Barber insists that Rook must defend him. If Rook refuses, Barber will expose him, bringing crashing to the ground the life and career that Rook has spent his life building. 

The truth is there for the finding. But at what cost?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I enjoy reading legal thrillers and obviously find some better than others. Beyond Reasonable Doubt is definitely one of the better ones that I have read.

Rook is silk and he isn’t like any of the others he works with. He isn’t Eton educated and he has a dubious past that he is determined will stay hidden. When he takes on a junior who is from the area he is brought up in and simultaneously is forced into defending a man from his past it appears that everything will be revealed.

One of the reasons this novel works so well is because Rook obviously has problems. There is his past, which only a few are aware of, his marital breakdown, his drinking and his weight. This isn’t a man who is clean and guilt free. He doesn’t have many friends in his profession and it doesn’t bother him. Zara, his junior, is the only one he really gets on with.

The case itself is a grim one. Racism at its worst and it’s something you expect to read about on a daily basis. The language and threat made me cringe and I had to admire Zara for putting up with it.

I liked the Nottingham setting. A mining community that no longer exists and has no prospects. Lives ruined, tragic events leading to loss of life and something I had never even considered and wondered if it was true. Football chants aimed at strike breakers. 

I would definitely read another in this series. 

A Modern Family by Helga Flatland – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

When Liv, Ellen and Håkon, along with their partners and children, arrive in Rome to celebrate their father’s seventieth birthday, a quiet earthquake occurs: their parents have decided to divorce.

Shocked and disbelieving, the siblings try to come to terms with their parents’ decision as it echoes through the homes they have built for themselves, and forces them to reconstruct the shared narrative of their childhood and family history.

A bittersweet novel of regret, relationships and rare psychological insights, A Modern Family encourages us to look at the people closest to us a little more carefully, and ultimately reveals that it’s never too late for change…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. A Modern Family is a book that is different to many that I read. Neither crime or historical it is instead a look at how a family dynamic changes when  parents announce that they are divorcing after being married for forty years. Most of the novel focuses on Liv and Ellen but the last chapter concerns Håkon the youngest.

All of the children are adult and all react in different ways. Liv with so much fury that it threatens to break up her own family, Ellen wrapped up in her own medical problems is practically oblivious and Håkon, the only one out of the three who actually talks to both of their parents about their own feelings.

It wasn’t a novel where I could pick a favourite character or narrative. It was one where I could see every point of view and understand what each of them was going though. Even though both Liv and Ellen did sometimes appear selfish. Especially Liv, and at times I did have a bit of sympathy for her husband Olaf. 

Many could read this book and identify with what each of the characters were feeling. At times it’s political, both American and British politics were discussed with insight given into how each could affect Norway. But it doesn’t overpower this family drama of life after divorce. It’s beautifully written and one that I would definitely choose to watch if it was ever filmed.