This Is How It Ends by Eva Dolan – Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

This is how it begins.
With a near-empty building, the inhabitants forced out of their homes by property developers.
With two women: idealistic, impassioned blogger Ella and seasoned campaigner, Molly.
With a body hidden in a lift shaft.
But how will it end?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
This Is How It Ends is the first standalone novel by Eva Dolan and it is pretty amazing. It is based around a group of friends who protest against government, property developers and anybody who they feel is doing harm. With the state of the country there is plenty to protest about but their current project is the demolition of a block of flats that will have a huge impact on the lives of it’s inhabitants. Many people protest from the comfort of their sofas, shouting at the TV but there are also those who are prepared to go one step further. A few of these are Molly, Ella and Carol.
Molly and Carol have been protesting for years, Ella is the new kid on the block. The daughter of a high-ranking police officer she has had a privileged life compared to the people she protests with and for. After a party at the condemned flats their lives change dramatically. And that is all I can say about the plot. The less you know the more you will enjoy the novel.
There are two narrators, Molly whose account moves forward into real-time, and Ella whose account starts in the present time but then goes backward. Molly is older than Ella, she feels protective towards her but is increasingly wary . There are other characters who feature quite heavily. Most of them have an outward image that doesn’t reflect their true personality.
It’s a very topical book to read. Nearly every time you watch the news you see what type of things protesters are prepared to fight. All the mistrust of the police, the government and the media is all evident in real life and in this novel. The big events that are mentioned in the novel, one of which meant more to me than the others made it real and showed that are always going to be battles that affect some personally.
The last few pages I couldn’t read quickly enough,with an increasing anxiety and heart rate. On finishing, I just sat gazing into space devastated over what I had read.
Eva Dolan, you have excelled yourself. This novel is one that makes you analyse what is happening around you. I will be very surprised if this book isn’t one of the best sellers of the year.

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The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor – Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

IF YOU ONLY READ ONE BOOK THIS YEAR MAKE IT THIS ONE. SOME GAMES ONLY END IN ONE WAY . . .

We all have fears we hide from. But in the end they will find us . . .
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None of us ever agreed on the exact beginning.
Was it when we started drawing the chalk figures, or when they started to appear on their own?
Was it the terrible accident?
Or when they found the first body?

My Review.

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
The Chalk Man is a crime novel that felt very refreshing. Yes, there are murders. but instead of being primarily focused on a police investigation, it is about how a group of friends who are connected to both murders in the 1980s and modern-day cope.
It is a book that I want to review without giving away any plot details. There is little detail in the synopsis and I feel that this is the best way to approach the novel.
Strong friendships feature especially when Eddie is twelve years old. There are first signs of love and loyal friendships but there is also insecurity and mistrust. I enjoyed reading about Eddie’s childhood, his attempts to avoid doing everything that his parents advised, the antics the group of friends got up to, the bullying from older children and the guilt felt over events that no twelve-year-old should ever have to think about.
Combined with the life that Eddie has in modern-day, fear of being like his father, disappointment with life and loneliness it is much more than just a crime novel. He is, however determined to find out what happened years earlier and why they appear to be happening again.This is a novel where every character had a personality and they all coped with life differently and the best way they could. Even if people got hurt. It’s also about secrets, some of which don’t get revealed until near the end.
An astonishing debut.

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Disturbing Works by Jon Richter – Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

A collection of deliciously twisted short stories by Jon Richter, author of Deadly Burial. Featuring psychological thrillers, grisly horror, science fiction, fantasy and more, these dark tales are perfect for anyone who likes their reads sinister, chilling, and with an occasional dash of black humour.

My Review

With thanks to the author for the copy received.
I never used to read a lot of short stories but that has changed over the last few months. Mostly they are authors that I am familiar with, this book is probably the first one that doesn’t really fall into the crime fiction genre and all come from an author that I have never read before.
They are horror, mainly futuristic and all have a similar theme where technology is much more advanced than it is now. Not being very technology minded I found this quite creepy and at times very intimidating. I’m not sure I want to be around if we get to a situation where all forms of technology are this scary.
I didn’t read them all at once, I find I do appreciate short stories more when I read one at a time but I did find them quick and enjoyable to read. There were none that I disliked but my favourite was The Execs.

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Beginnings – Same Face Different Place by Helen J Christmas – Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

Her life is spiralling out of control yet on the night she plans to escape, she stumbles across a mysterious prisoner. His name is Jake, a rock musician from Holland and he has a contract on his life.

Their daring escape across London eventually draws them into a place of hiding before Jake’s chilling story begins to unfold. He was the one vital witness to a sinister scene leading up to the death of a British MP and now those responsible want him silenced. As two young people, thrown together by fate they develop intense feelings for each other. It does not take long for Eleanor to realise that she will do anything possible to keep Jake alive.

Their tender love bond keeps you turning the pages as they live on a knife-edge, desperate to escape London. Will they outrun the deadly enemies who stalk them? Or are the people at the top more powerful than they think?

Beginnings: Book 1 of the series “Same Face Different Place” a romantic British thriller through the decades.

Inspired by the violent criminal underworld of Martina Cole and the strong characters who would expect in a Leslie Pearse novel, this book has been described as an emotional roller coaster and with elements of high tension that make it difficult to put down.

My Review

With thanks to the author for the copy received.
Same Face Different Place is the first of a series of books that takes place across the decades. The lead character Eleanor is only sixteen when the series starts. At times she appears older but she has a different life to the usual teenage girl so this is probably why. Plus what happens to her throughout the book is a lot to deal with.
I enjoyed reading about the seventies period, I was only about five years old when the book takes place but I do have a few vague memories. Mainly of the music and a sense of the fashions from looking at family photos.
At times I found it more of a romantic novel than a criminal one but when I got further into the novel and got to know Eleanor more I enjoyed it. Especially, unusually, after she suffers a life changing event.
From reading the synopsis for the following books it appears that they will cover the years leading up to modern-day featuring many of the same characters. I’ve always enjoyed reading series that do this so hope to read them soon.

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On The Bright Side – The New Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen – Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

The Old-But-Not-Dead Club return, in the sequel to the INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old, bringing with them some life-affirming lawlessness.
Chaos will ensue as 85-year-old Hendrik Groen is determined to grow old with dignity: to rise up against the care home director. NO more bingo. NO more over- boiled vegetables. NO more health and safety.
85-year-old Hendrik Groen is fed up to his false teeth with coffee mornings and bingo. He dreams of escaping the confines of his care home and practising hairpin turns on his mobility scooter. Inspired by his fellow members of the recently formed Old-But-Not-Dead Club, he vows to put down his custard cream and commit to a spot of octogenarian anarchy.
But the care home’s Director will not stand for drunken bar crawls, illicit fireworks and geriatric romance on her watch. The Old-But-Not-Dead Club must stick together if they’re not to go gently into that good night. Things turn more serious, however, when rumours surface that the home is set for demolition. It’s up to Hendrik and the gang to stop it – or drop dead trying . . .
He may be the wrong side of 85, but Hendrik Groen has no intention of slowing up – or going down without a fight.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book featuring octogenarian Hendrik Groen and his group of friends so I was looking forward to reading about what they got up to in this new novel. I wasn’t disappointed.
With this book I decided to read a month at a time and found it more engaging. All of the characters reappear along with some new ones and they continue with their antics. Mainly to enjoy some good times together and annoy other residents and staff whilst doing so.
Hendrik talks about the devastation he feels over the loss of his daughter, his wife’s health and the news that he mentions throughout the book. Much of the reports concern the atrocities that occurred in France but Dutch politics is also mentioned. We also see his reaction to the failing health of a very dear friend and how the close-knit group helped him cope.
It’s a lovely book to read, different because it most of the characters are elderly but still shows spirit, devotion and humour.

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