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

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The Owl Always Hunts At Night by Samuel Bjork – Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

When a young woman is found dead, the police are quick to respond. But what they find at the murder site is unexpected. The body is posed, the scene meticulously set. And there is almost no forensic evidence to be found.

Detective Mia Krüger is a woman on the edge – she has been signed off work pending psychological assessment. But her boss has less regard for the rules than he should. Desperate to get Mia back in the office, Holger Munch offers her an unofficial deal.

But the usually brilliant Mia is struggling and the team are unable to close the case. Until a young hacker uncovers something that forces the team to confront the scope of the murderer’s plans and face the possibility that he may already be on the hunt for a second victim.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
I hadn’t read the previous book in the series, I’m Travelling Alone but I found I could easily read this without knowing any of the back story.
The small team of detectives are baffled by the murder of the young woman found in the countryside. Even though she is identified quickly enough they can’t work out why she was staged so elaborately or the conditions that she must have been kept in. Holger realises early in the investigation that his best option is to bring Mia back in from suspension. Even with all her problems: borderline mental health issues, heavy drinking and substance abuse she is still the best person to solve the case. There is no denying she has a talent, she can see things in an investigation that nobody else would even think of looking at. But she is a risk, and at times I wondered how she still had a career.
She isn’t the only member of the team who had problems. Broken marriages, gambling and financial issues are all highlighted. In fact the only members of the team who seemed to have no problems were the most recent recruits. It is also the newer recruits who are the most likeable. It made me think how true to life this could be. How many police officers, no matter what country they live in, have personal problems caused by their career?
It is a crime story with an almost overwhelming sense of loneliness. The only members of the team who seemed to understand each other were Holger and Mia but they still kept each other at arm’s length.
Whilst the murder scene is practically dreamlike the events that led to it is the stuff of nightmares. It is different to what I have read before, and whilst it is only a small section of the novel it had an impact. I hope that this is something that never happens in real life but I feel that it probably has. A terrifying side to the modern world.

This is a series that I would be interested in following, there is definitely a continuing storyline set around some fascinating characters.

You can purchase the book here

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Hotel On Shadow Lake by Daniela Tully – Blog Tour Review.

 

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About the Book

When Maya was a girl, her grandmother was everything to her: teller of magical fairy tales, surrogate mother, best friend. Then her grandmother disappeared without a trace, leaving Maya with only questions to fill the void.
Twenty-seven years later, her grandmother’s body is found in a place she had no connection to.
Desperate for answers, Maya begins to unravel secrets that go back decades, from 1910s New York to 1930s Germany and beyond. But when she begins to find herself spinning her own lies in order to uncover what happened, she must decide whether her life, and a chance at love, are worth risking for the truth.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
Even though Hotel on Shadow Lake wasn’t quite like I expected it to be, I enjoyed it a lot. Set in Germany in the late 1930s and USA across the decades it demonstrates the devastation caused by the horror of WW2 and also how greed can destroy lives.
In 1930’s Munich, Martha has differing views to her mother and twin brother about the country’s political situation. She is constantly being warned that she needs to keep her thoughts to herself.
In 2017, Maya is desperate to find out why the remains of her Grandmother (Martha) have been discovered in a remote area in New York. Despite warnings to be careful, she is determined to carry on with her investigation.
I liked both narrators and time frames but the strongest part of the novel for me was in the 1930s. I have read a bit of fiction that is based on events leading up to the start of WW2 but never from a female point of view. Much of it is intimidating, and a lot of it is upsetting. The levels of violence shown by the Gestapo and those who followed them because they believed it was the right thing to do. The fear from the Jewish communities, the belief of the students that they could make a difference had me reading with a lump in my throat.
So to go from this scenario to the one in America felt like quite a leap. There was still intimidation but it was completely different. I did work out the connection fairly early, but I wanted to see how it all came together in modern-day. And what had happened to Martha, who was my favourite character by a long way.
I don’t always read author notes at the back of a book but if you are the same, I would advice that you do. They made me want to read certain parts of it again.
Recommended.

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The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda – Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

Having reached a dead-end in Boston, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs a change. When she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who is moving to rural Pennsylvania, Leah decides to join her. But their fresh start is quickly threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later.
Determined to find Emmy, Leah helps Detective Kyle Donovan to investigate her friend’s life for clues. But with no friends, family or digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Forced to question her version of reality and to save herself, Leah must uncover the truth – no matter how dark or terrible it may be…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

I was looking forward to reading The Perfect Stranger having enjoying reading All The Missing Girls.
After Leah is forced to leave the career that she loves she is encouraged by an old university friend, Emmy, to accompany her to Pennsylvania. She becomes a teacher and is adapting to her new life when the attack on the woman who looks like her followed immediately by the disappearance of Emmy puts her on edge.
It is a novel that has you questioning everything. Does Emmy exist? How much do the students know? Can Kyle be trusted?  And most importantly, how reliable a narrator is Leah?
At first I struggled to answer any of these questions. It was only in the second half of the book when I started to have any faith in my judgement. As more is revealed you realise how desperate Leah must have been to live with a woman who she knew nothing about. She was putting her faith in somebody who was a salvation when life reached critical point when they were at university. But was she relying on the wrong person? Why is Emmy so insistent on nobody being able to find her?
It is a novel where no characters stood out as being ones to like or dislike, even though I did like Leah more as I got to know and understand her. There is one, however, who I had anticipated disliking from the moment I met them. That is, until I realised I had been wrong footed. I am sure I won’t be the only one who had this character as a troublemaker only to see their true personality later in the novel.
A good follow-up novel with a fantastic ending. I will definitely read more books by this author.

The Perfect Stranger can be purchased here

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