The Bramble And The Rose by Tom Bouman – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

When Henry Farrell took a job policing Wild Thyme, Pennsylvania, he was recently widowed and still trying to find his feet. Wild Thyme was going through its own changes, too, with fracking threatening the land, and the drug trade threatening its people. His first big cases put Officer Farrell face to face with Wild Thyme’s encroaching demons. Now, he’s got the lay of the land and he’s newly married to a local girl.

Then a body – headless and half eaten by a bear – is discovered in the woods. With the help of a local biologist, Henry tracks the bear, hoping to catch him before any more lives are lost, but when his nephew disappears into the same woods they realise they may be facing a far bigger and more sinister threat.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Bramble And The Rose is the third book in this series. Whilst I enjoyed it there were times when I think I would have benefited from knowing the back story.

I haven’t read much rural crime fiction and it was a refreshing change. Having a victim, who has been partially eaten by a bear is a little different to the usual crimes I read about. There was another investigation taking place, which was a little more ‘everyday’ but this was the one that I preferred.

Henry was a character I liked. Quieter than many, aware of his faults and he didn’t have many friends. I liked his names for his wife, Miss Julie, and the bear, Crabapple. I think it was his personal life where I would have benefited knowing more about his past. I wanted to understand his family relationship more and know what happened to his first wife.

It’s a short novel but wasn’t a quick book to read. It is slower paced, quaint, and full of atmosphere with some unique characters. I would definitely read the earlier books in this series.

Keep Him Close by Emily Koch – Review

About The Book

ONE SON LIED. ONE SON DIED.

Alice’s son is dead. Indigo’s son is accused of murder.

Indigo is determined to prove her beloved Kane is innocent. Searching for evidence, she is helped by a kind stranger who takes an interest in her situation. Little does she know that her new friend has her own agenda.

Alice can’t tell Indigo who she really is. She wants to understand why her son was killed – and she needs to make sure that Indigo’s efforts to free Kane don’t put her remaining family at risk. But how long will it take for Indigo to discover her identity? And what other secrets will come out as she digs deeper?

No one knows a son like his mother. But neither Alice nor Indigo know the whole truth about their boys, and what happened between them on that fateful night.

Keep Him Close is a dark domestic drama from an award-winning writer.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The first thing that struck me whilst reading this fascinating novel is that you shouldn’t be too quick to judge people. For example, my first opinion of Alice was that she was cold and unapproachable. My first opinion of Lou was that he was a thug who had no respect. I was wrong about both, but it took a while, especially with Lou to see, what they were really like. My thoughts regarding Alice changed gradually as I saw her way of coping in secret and started to understand why she came across as so unfriendly.

 Most of the narrative switches between Alice and Indigo, you see how they both cope, or otherwise, with the way their lives have been destroyed by Lou’s death. But there are occasional chapters that concern the other characters and you start to see what happened on the night out. 

This is a crime novel but for me it was more a character study. How different people react to an impossible situation and how they try and improve it. It shows the strengths and the flaws in all of the characters and how important family and friends are.