The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

1925. The war is over and a new generation is coming of age, keen to put the trauma of the previous one behind them. 

Selina Lennox is a Bright Young Thing whose life is dedicated to the pursuit of pleasure; to parties and drinking and staying just the right side of scandal. Lawrence Weston is a struggling artist, desperate to escape the poverty of his upbringing and make something of himself.  When their worlds collide one summer night, neither can resist the thrill of the forbidden, the lure of a love affair that they know cannot possibly last.

But there is a dark side to pleasure and a price to be paid for breaking the rules.  By the end of that summer everything has changed.

A decade later, nine year old Alice is staying at Blackwood Hall with her distant grandparents, piecing together clues from her mother’s letters to discover the secrets of the past, the truth about the present, and hope for the future. 

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Glittering Hour is a stunning novel that I struggled to put down. With Selina in 1925 and Alice in 1936 I couldn’t decide which narrative I preferred. Selina is a Bright Young Thing, an embarrassment to her family but loved by the media. There were parties, alcohol and drugs but she wasn’t as wealthy as the others and struggled at times to keep up. And go with her heart. One of the reasons she behaved like she did was because of her older brother’s death in WW1, there were just the right amount of references to those who came back and were reduced to selling matches on street corners. It made me consider what a strange time it must have been to live in. So much heartache but also the desire for a carefree life.

Alice is her daughter, nine years old in 1936 and left with her grandparents whilst her parents were away. Missing her mother, she is encouraged to do treasure hunts so she can discover more about her mother. Whilst I liked the hunt and reading the letters from her mother I enjoyed the friendships she built more, especially with Polly. 

Whilst most of the novel concerns Selina and Alice there are also short chapters that tell the reader what the minor characters are feeling. Some likeable, some not, but they are all important in both of their lives.

It’s an astonishing novel, one that I will definitely like to read again. And next time I will have the tissues ready.


Through The Wall by Caroline Corcoran – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Lexie’s got the perfect life. And someone else wants it…

Lexie loves her home. She feels safe and secure in it – and loved, thanks to her boyfriend Tom.

But recently, something’s not been quite right. A book out of place. A wardrobe door left open. A set of keys going missing…

Tom thinks Lexie’s going mad – but then, he’s away more often than he’s at home nowadays, so he wouldn’t understand.

Because Lexie isn’t losing it. She knows there’s someone out there watching her. And, deep down, she knows there’s nothing she can do to make them stop.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Through The Wall is a novel that makes you examine the relationship between neighbours. And whether you really want one.

Lexie, Tom and Harriet are the neighbours concerned. All have their problems, Lexie and Tom are desperate for a child, Harriet is estranged from her family by choice, struggling with her feelings after breaking up with her fiancé and the actions that led to.

It is a fast-moving novel, the chapters switch between Lexie and Harriet. Harriet’s narrative switches between modern day and her attitude to Lexie and Tom and her past, particularly her relationship with Luke. When reading her story it was easy to feel sympathy, how everybody could see how toxic Luke was apart from her. I wished that she could be different, that she hadn’t suffered a breakdown that affected her judgement because she could probably have been good friends with both Lexie and Tom.

Despite what Lexie was going through, and my liking of her it was Tom I preferred. A minor character compared to the others but still going through the same heartache. I know couples who are desperate for a family and this felt like a true picture of how traumatic it must be. Even the scenes in the waiting rooms were convincing.

A brilliant novel that will make some reluctant to know who they could be living next door to.

Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

A man with dark thoughts on his mind is racing along the remote snowy roads of Hurmevaara in Finland, when there is flash in the sky and something crashes into the car. That something turns about to be a highly valuable meteorite. With euro signs lighting up the eyes of the locals, the unexpected treasure is temporarily placed in a neighbourhood museum, under the watchful eye of a priest named Joel.

But Joel has a lot more on his mind than simply protecting the riches that have apparently rained down from heaven. His wife has just revealed that she is pregnant. Unfortunately Joel has strong reason to think the baby isn’t his. As Joel tries to fend off repeated and bungled attempts to steal the meteorite, he must also come to terms with his own situation, and discover who the father of the baby really is.

Transporting the reader to the culture, landscape and mores of northern Finland Little Siberia is both a crime novel and a hilarious, blacker-than-black comedy about faith and disbelief, love and death, and what to do when bolts from the blue – both literal and figurative – turn your life upside down.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Whenever I read a novel by Antti Tuomainen I can see it as a Coen Brothers movie. This latest book is a perfect example. The weather, which I just can’t imagine having to cope with and consider it normal. The relationships, where you can see the love and adoration but also the issues and the brilliantly and bizarrely accidents that result in the bad guys being killed. 

Joel, the lead character is just wonderful, struggling to cope with his wife’s pregnancy when he knows he can’t be the father he volunteers to look after the meteorite. Little realising that nearly everyone he knows is prepared to do anything to get their hands on it. The way he tried to work out who wanted it most and who had got his wife pregnant was gripping reading,

The setting was a convincing one, remote, sometimes unfriendly where everybody thinks they know about their neighbours but they don’t. How disappointment and disillusionment affected judgement in nearly every character. And like Joel I completely misunderstood at least one character. 

Brilliant.  


The Art Of Murder by J. S. Strange – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Artist Xander Draper is being threatened by a dangerous group. With PI Jordan Jenner’s help, Xander hopes to remain unscathed. But when Xander is murdered, his body displayed as his final exhibit, Jordan realises the extent of the trouble Xander was in. Now, there are people following Jordan. They know his name, and they want him dead. Meanwhile, Jordan’s brother Ashley has returned, and he has a secret. As time runs out to solve the murder of the famous artist, Jordan begins to fear his brother may be responsible.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Art of Murder is the second book in the Jordon Jenner cosy crime series and this was the novel I preferred. I had struggled to warm to Jordan in the first book, finding him a bit aloof but much of his vulnerability is explained in this book, especially with the bullying he received at school. I could see his loyalty, his dedication to finding answers and how much he liked helping others. I enjoyed seeing his friendships develop and as in book one his adoration of his cat Oscar.

The art world is something I know nothing about. The author convincingly showed the talent, the envy, bitterness and the wealth combined with greed which like many things destory what it touches. These were not characters I cared for, the world they lived in seemed fake and insincere.

Because this is cosy crime there wasn’t much detail about the murders. There was some intimidation but It was more about the effect on Jordan, his family and friends. How the sorrow and fear combined with suspicion of most who were known to the victim.

These books don’t need to be read in order, the previous case is mentioned but not in detail. If you want to see the character development though, I recommend it. I am looking forward to reading book three.

The Shape Of Night by Tess Gerritsen – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

We’ve all done things we’re ashamed of . . .

When Ava arrives at Brodie’s Watch, she thinks she has found the perfect place to hide from her past. Something terrible happened, something she is deeply ashamed of, and all she wants is to forget.

But the old house on the hill both welcomes and repels her and Ava quickly begins to suspect she is not alone. Either that or she is losing her mind.

The house is full of secrets, but is the creeping sense of danger coming from within its walls, or from somewhere else entirely?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I have always enjoyed reading the Rizzoli and Isles series so was interested in reading this standalone novel. It is completely different, instead of a police based novel it is a ghost story combined with a disappearance of a young woman and takes place in a small-town in Maine.

When Ava arrives with her fantastic cat Hannibal at Brodie’s Watch she hopes that she can put the past behind her and finish her book. Almost immediately she senses a strange atmosphere and as she settles in she realises that she isn’t alone. And that her companion is a threat. What happens to her becomes increasingly unsettling, from the paranormal, the past and the present.

I always like a spooky novel and this doesn’t disappoint. There was just the right amount of tension and combined with not knowing whether the presence was a threat or protection, I was eagerly turning the pages to see what would happen next.

I did guess correctly at what was happening in the present day and what Ava was running away from but it didn’t stop me enjoying this novel. I liked her relationship with most of the characters, especially Hannibal and the recipes were an added bonus.