We Were The Salt Of The Sea by Roxanne Bouchard – Translated by David Warriner – Blog Tour Review.


About the Book

As Montrealer Catherine Day sets foot in a remote fishing village and starts asking around about her birth mother, the body of a woman dredges up in a fisherman’s nets. Not just any woman, though: Marie Garant, an elusive, nomadic sailor and unbridled beauty who once tied many a man’s heart in knots. Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales, newly drafted to the area from the suburbs of Montreal, barely has time to unpack his suitcase before he’s thrown into the deep end of the investigation. On Quebec’s outlying Gaspé Peninsula, the truth can be slippery, especially down on the fishermen’s wharves.

My Review

We Were The Salt Of The Sea is a crime novel that is slightly different to all the others that I have read before. It is set in the Gaspé peninsula, an area that is heavily dependant on fishing and the crime that Joaquin Morales has to investigate is that of an experienced sailor whose body is found trapped in fishing nets. Unfortunately, Catherine arrives too late to meet the birth mother she has never known. Morales is determined to find out if her death was accidental as some of the community claim or if she was murdered. Both of them also want to know why so many of them hate Marie as much as they do.
The book contains some of the strongest and strangest characters that I have come across. It took me a while to get used to their eccentricity. There aren’t many characters you meet whose most common saying is Christ on a chalice. But as I read more, and realised that all of them had their own way of talking I found it easier to accept and enjoyed the experience.
It is difficult to single out specific characters but Cyrille was the one that touched me most. His frailty, and the friendship he offered to Catherine when all the others were less helpful. The funeral director, ex car salesman, who had me cringing and laughing at the same time. And of course the character of the sea, emptying of fish but still powerful and enticing. Something to fear but also desire.
I loved this novel, it will be one that I will certainly read again in the future.

You can purchase the novel here

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Evidence of Death by Peter Ritchie – Blog Tour Review.


About the Book

Scarred by the Troubles in Belfast, Billy Nelson returns to his loyalist roots following his discharge from army service. But Belfast and the people he knew have changed, and after his gang are responsible for a series of violent attacks on innocent victims, he is forced out of the city and moves in on the drugs business in Edinburgh.Taking on the family who have been the main players in the city for years, a battle for control amongst the criminal underworld of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast ensues, and the balance of power is upset…Grace Macallan, recently promoted to Superintendent in the Specialist Crime and Counter Terrorism Directorate, has her hands full as a series of incidents leaves a trail of victims. As the old demons of the Troubles come back to haunt her again, can Grace keep the streets of Scotland safe, as well as balancing the conflicting interests of the police in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Security Services, who all have an interest in Nelson and his paramilitary contacts in Belfast…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
I hadn’t read the first book in the series but could follow this easily enough, there are no spoilers despite a few characters reappearing and it could easily be read as a standalone novel.
When Billy is forced to leave Belfast to set up in Edinburgh he takes along some equally violent and unbalanced friends. But they are not all as loyal and respectful towards him as he expects them to be. As you can work out from the synopsis the crimes committed are drug and gang related. There are drug dealers, drug users, plenty of murders, corrupt police officers and there is some brilliant Irish and Scottish humour. There is something about this type of humour in novels that delivers a low punch that has you gasping and then laughing with delight.
It has multiple threads, there is a lot more happening than I initially thought. At times I was back tracking, thinking that I had missed something, but I hadn’t. I was just cleverly played.
I hope that this will develop into a long running series, I know there is at least three books. It was refreshing, slightly intimidating and worryingly believable.

You can purchase the book here

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Tess and Tattoos by H. A. Leuschel – Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

A suspenseful and emotional novella exploring whether we can ever be free from our past mistakes.

In this story, the reader is taken on a compelling journey into the human mind where genuine friendship offers the key to inner peace.

Meet Tess, an elderly lady living in a care home apartment in the outskirts of Edinburgh, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision. She meets Nurse Sandra, a warm and bubbly single mother of three, who is instantly intrigued by Tess’s personality and the mystery that surrounds her.

‘Tess and Tattoos’ is one of five gripping stories in H. A. Leuschel’s story collection Manipulated Lives centred around psychological manipulation.

My Review

Tess and Tattoos is a short but lovely novella about a friendship between an elderly lady and her carer. Tess, an octogenarian is very lonely. Her only son lives in Australia and she feels that she damaged her relationship with him when he was younger. Sandra is her carer. Recently widowed and raising a young family and when she starts to work at the home tha Tess lives in they become friends immediately.
They were good for each other and I liked watching their friendship grow from when Tess tries to keep Sandra in her room longer to them being good friends. But it is only towards the end when you find out what happened to Tess when she was younger. And then Sandra realises that she never really knew her at all.
I loved both characters and could easily read a full length novel about either of them. Tess’s past was unexpected and when it was revealed, explained the reasons behind the divide with her son and his family. I wished she had been able to talk and build bridges with him. There was one scene, before you found out what happened where if you could give a book character a hug I would have done.
A sweet story that I read very quickly.

You can purchase the novel here

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End Game by Matt Johnson – Blog Tour Review.


About the Book

Robert Finlay seems to have finally left his SAS past behind him and is settled into his new career as a detective. But when the girlfriend of his former SAS colleague and close friend Kevin Jones is murdered, it’s clear that Finlay’s troubles are far from over. Jones is arrested for the killing, but soon escapes from jail, and Finlay is held responsible for the breakout. Suspended from duty and sure he’s being framed too, our hero teams up with MI5 agent Toni Fellowes to find out who’s behind the conspiracy. Their quest soon reveals a plot that goes to the very heart of the UK’s security services. End Game, the final part in the critically acclaimed Robert Finlay trilogy, sees our hero in an intricately plotted and terrifyingly fast-paced race to uncover the truth and escape those who’d sooner have him dead than be exposed.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
I have read all of the books in this series and I can honestly say that they have got better and better. I would recommend that they are read in order, there are a couple of storylines that run through all of the books.
Robert Finlay, ex military, now police officer has plenty of demons with what he experienced in various war zones and he is the right person to be brought in to help in a hostage situation. Unfortunately it also brings him into contact with Superintendent Mellor who bears him a grudge for events that happened previously. When tragedy affects his close friend Kevin shortly after, events go from bad to worse for the pair of them.
I will be honest. I rarely read military style fiction. Mainly because I don’t understand much of the politics, religion and geographical borders. But, Matt Johnson has made this series so readable and understandable anybody could read and enjoy them.
There are plenty of characters. As always, some are good, some evil and there are a few who walk a fine line. I had doubts about some of them, but they were unfounded.
I believe this is the last in the series which saddens me, certainly there are a lot of threads that have been resolved. I will be interested in what we will see next from the author.
You can purchase the book here 

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Fighting Monsters by Rebecca Bradley – Blog Tour Review.


About the Book

24 hours after he walked away from court a free man, cop killer and gang leader Simon Talbot is found murdered. In his possession; the name of a protected witness from his trial.

For DI Hannah Robbins, it’s a race against time to find Talbot’s killer, and locate the bystander before it’s too late.

But as Hannah delves deeper into the past, she begins to question the integrity of the whole operation.

Where do you turn when you can’t trust the police?

My Review

I was looking forward to reading the latest Hannah Robbins book, it’s always nice to return to a favourite character. Most of the team have returned, and there are a few additions. Like Hannah, I wasn’t entirely sure how to feel about Sally’s replacement but I think she will grow on me. She is gutsy, and determined to put her past behind her and be an important member of the team.

I think there is a lot of the author in these books. The grieving process that a team of officers goes through feels real and is not something I have read in other crime books and have it mean as much. The determination that they solve it on their own without the help or otherwise from professional standards. And there is the attention to detail, she shows that even the most mundane of jobs is important to an investigation.

There was a few times that I had a lump in my throat, none of which I can say much about because of spoilers but one of them shows that there will definitely be another book to look forward to in the future.