Too Close To Breathe by Olivia Kiernan – Blog Tour Review.

 

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About the Book

TOO SOON TO SEE

Polished. Professional. Perfect. Dead. Respected scientist Dr Eleanor Costello is found hanged in her immaculate home: the scene the very picture of a suicide.

TOO LATE TO HIDE

DCS Frankie Sheehan is handed the case, and almost immediately spots foul play. Sheehan, a trained profiler, is seeking a murderer with a talent for death.

TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE

As Frankie strives to paint a picture of the killer, and their victim, she starts to sense  they are part of a larger, darker canvas, on which the lines between the two blur.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
When I read Irish fiction, I always tell myself I should make more of an effort to read more. Even though this was crime fiction with a subject matter that was quite dark it was also a refreshing read with just the right amount of humour. The type of humour that is wry, and just a general observation on everyday life. The type of humour that can describe a person truthfully but (probably) without causing offence.
Frankie Sheehan, recently back on duty after receiving a horrific injury while apprehending a suspect is adamant that she wants to work on the latest case. At first glance it looks like suicide but it is soon revealed that it was murder.
When the body count rises, and Frankie knows one of the victims she is more determined than ever to solve the case. With pressure from above, the team are trying everything they can to get the case solved. The author demonstrates that a case isn’t solved overnight. I was quite surprised by how quickly time was passing whilst the team tried to solve the case.
There is no doubt, the link to the dark web is convincing and unsettling. It’s not something I fully understand, I wouldn’t have any idea how to find the web pages that are mentioned, thankfully. But some do, and you do hear about it on the news occasionally.
I loved the relationship between Frankie, Baz and Clancy. An understanding and friendship that could only come from deep trust, loyalty and openness. Especially between Frankie and Baz, they have the type of friendship where they can say what needs to be said without causing offence.There are others in the team, but they are not as close.Frankie is insistent that they maintain a distance in respect to her rank. I also liked her nurturing of a bonsai tree, something small but important in showing how she needs to accept what happened to her.
A brilliant debut novel with characters I would love to meet again.

FINAL Too Close To Breath Poster

The Stranger by Kate Riordan – Blog Tour Review.

the Stranger HB jacket

About the Book

Cornwall, 1940.

In the hushed hours of deepest night a young woman is found washed up on the rocks.

Was it a tragic accident? Or should the residents of Penhallow have been more careful about whom they invited in?

In the midst of war three women arrive seeking safety at Penhallow Hall.

Each is looking to escape her past.

But one of them is not there by choice.

As the threat of invasion mounts and the nightly blackouts feel longer and longer, tensions between the close-knit residents rise until dark secrets start to surface.

And no one can predict what their neighbour is capable of . . .

In a house full of strangers, who do you trust?

My Review

The Stranger is the tale of three women, all of whom leave their home to work in the land army. Another, Eleanor lives in the house in which they work and live. All of them have something they are trying to escape from.
The novel starts when the body of a young woman is swept out to sea. At the same time a diary is being read, in which secrets are revealed. It then goes back in time by a few weeks to the moment they all met and you learn what happens.
There are three narrators – Eleanor,emotionally abused by her mother, Diana, beautiful, wilful, damaged and quite often cruel and Rose, struggling with her feelings about her marriage and the past. All three are lonely for different reasons and all find their own way of dealing with it.
I liked Rose immediately, she somehow managed to cope with being on the receiving end of Diana’s antics quite well. Which at the same time managed to annoy Diana even more. But even though Diana isn’t the easiest to like I was too quick to judge, she wasn’t as devious as I originally thought. Eleanor has a terrible relationship with her harridan of a mother, who had a carer who was nearly as bad. But with her husband’s help she knew she could make her life better.
The differing views of all the women towards the war was convincing, Rose concerned for her husband, but not as much as she should have been, Diana was indifferent, just wanting to party and Jane, the third land army member wanting to know all the details.
There is also a storyline connected to minor characters that broke my heart a little bit. It was a part of the novel that was very small but had plenty of impact.
It is a beautiful novel. The remoteness and beauty of Cornwall, the history of smuggling and the families who had lived in the area for years. I could practically hear the sea, and visualise everything about the local area. I had thought that Cornwall was one of the more untouched areas during the war but reading the events in the novel I was proven wrong.
The Stranger is another fantastic novel from Kate Riordan which I read very quickly. Poignant, determined, and hopeful for the future.

You can buy the book here

The Stranger blog tour

I Remember You by Elisabeth De Mariaffi – Guest Post – Blog Tour.

 

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It is my pleasure today to welcome to my blog Elisabeth De Mariaffi  to talk about writing her novel I Remember You that I hope to read shortly.

About the Book

Heike Lerner has a charmed life. A stay-at-home mother married to a prominent psychiatrist, it s a far cry from the damaged child she used to be. But her world is shaken when her four-year-old son befriends a little girl at a nearby lake, who vanishes under the water. And when Heike dives in after her, there s no sign of a body.
Desperate to discover what happened to the child, Heike seeks out Leo Dolan, a television writer exploring the paranormal , but finds herself caught between her controlling husband and the intense Dolan . Then her son disappears, and Heike’s husband was the last to see him alive …

To purchase the novel see here

Guest Post

When I first began writing I Remember You, I wasn’t sure what I had was a novel at all. The first scene I wrote felt more like myth, like a kind of magical short story: a young mother and her little boy lounge on a raft in the middle of a pond, when suddenly a strange girl surfaces from the water—seemingly, out of nowhere. While her son is enchanted by the girl and immediately begins to play with her, the mother is anxious: Where did this girl come from? Where are her parents? The woods around them are still. When, a moment later, the little girl skips across the surface of the pond and then dives back under, the mother knows something is terribly wrong. She holds her son tight against her, waiting. But the girl never resurfaces.

I’ve written previously about how important traditional fairy tales were to the crafting of the novel, but it wasn’t until after I was well into the writing that I began to understand how important they were to my protagonist, Heike Lerner, as well. As a teenager in the last days of World War II, Heike escaped from Dresden on foot, just days ahead of the fire bombs. By the time we meet her again, her life is completely changed: it’s 1956, and she’s living in a swank summer house in upstate New York with her new husband, Eric, an American psychiatrist, and their young son.

It’s a charmed life, but the hard truth is that the trauma of the war had its effect on Heike. She remembers very little of what came immediately after her escape. All she has to go on is the story that Eric has told her, and that he asks her to repeat back to him: where they met, how they married, the ways they began their life together.

But Heike has a story of her own to tell. At night, when she’s putting little Daniel to bed, she makes up fairy tales as bedtime stories—and one in particular, that she repeats over and over, might just be a clue to her past.

Into all this comes the very charming Leo Dolan, a television writer and producer whose work I based on that of Rod Serling, creator of the ground-breaking series “The Twilight Zone.” Dolan, like the real-life Serling, wants to control his own show in part to get out from under the thumb of network censors. He wants to be able to write stories about real conflicts of the time: racism, fear of the nuclear threat, fear of the unknown. It’s this part of him that is so attractive to Heike: like herself, Dolan is a storyteller. Also, like Heike, he is committed to telling the story the way he sees it, rather than just accepting the version that conservative 1950s society has rubber-stamped. Before I knew it, the book had folded over on itself: stories within stories within stories. For a writer, what could be more enticing?

Once Dolan made his entrance, I got to up the ante. The novel is full of Easter eggs – references to fairy tales are buried throughout, as are hidden nods to some of my own favourite Twilight Zone episodes. In the end, I wanted the entire book to be able to function as a kind of standalone Twilight Zone episode itself – albeit, admittedly, a rather complicated one.

I Remember You blog tour (COMPLETE)