When Stars Will Shine – Compiled by Emma Mitchell – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist.

With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart-warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time.

From authors such as Louise Jensen, Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Lucy Cameron, Val Portelli, and Alex Kane, you are in for one heck of a ride!

When Stars Will Shine is the perfect Christmas gift for the bookworms in your life!

My Review

I don’t read many anthologies but when I read about this collection that is raising money for Help The Heroes I decided that it was one I would like to support. When I do read them, I read one a day. I find I appreciate them more that way, I imagine that they are difficult to write.

I started to read on Armistice Day, At the beginning was a wonderful poem by eleven year old Megan Steer and this was followed by a story that broke my heart and I reread it twice before I read the rest of the anthology. That story was Frederick Snellgrove, Private 23208 by Rob Ashman. A true reflection of what it must be like for many families, including my own, that have war stories to tell. It’s not the only war story, each one gave me something to consider, but it was the only one I reread.

All of the authors were new to me, even though I was aware of some of them. Many I would read again. All were different types of fiction, war, murder, romance, light hearted. Another stand out one for me was Pivotal Moments by Anna Osbourne. Totally different to Rob Ashman but just as touching.

This is an anthology I would read again. I’m sure there will be others that I will appreciate more at a different time. An excellent collection put together by Emma Mitchell.

My Top Ten Books of 2019

The time has come again to face an impossible task of narrowing the 117 books I have read into a top ten list. As always it was difficult to do but I have managed and I will list them in no particular order. Apart from my favourite book of the year which I will reveal at the end. You can see my review for each book by clicking on the title.

Expectation by Anna Hope.

If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman.

The Photographer Of The Lost by Caroline Scott

Changeling by Matt Wesolowski

Red Snow by Will Dean

From The City, From The Plough by Alexander Baron

On My Life by Angela Clarke

The Taking Of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor

The Girl At The Window by Rowan Coleman

My Book of 2019

Turbulent Wake by Paul. E Hardisty

Perfect Murder by Rebecca Bradley – Review.

About The Book

Could you commit the perfect murder?

Alice Friend thinks you can, and she’s going to prove it. But perfection is elusive, and the body count rises as she pursues her aim, changing MO with each kill.

It should be easy. After all, Alice is perfectly suited for the task. As a crime writer she leads a solitary life and has little to get in her way.

Until it does.

Can she really kill and walk away, or will her actions have consequences closer to home than she could have imagined? Suddenly it looks like time may be running out for Alice…

Dark and quirky, download Perfect Murder to see if the perfect murder really can be committed. 

My Review

With thanks to the author for the copy received. Perfect Murder is the new stand alone novel by Rebecca Bradley, whose series featuring Hannah Robbins is one I always enjoy.

It introduces us to Alice, a crime writer, cat lover and very much a loner. She is devoted to Beth, ex mother in law and best friend. But Beth is seriously ill and has asked Alice for help. Alice understandably struggles with this request but after being involved in a collision that results in a death of a stranger she starts to think of ways to commit the perfect murder.

Whilst I found Alice’s crimes increasingly fascinating it was her relationship with Beth and later Hashim that was my favourite part of this novel. Both sides of Alice’s character were revealed, cold blooded, emotionless killer and devoted friend. I felt this was very important to the author, being able to show the turmoil Alice felt and the way she coped with it. The bond between Alice and Beth felt real and I could see how Beth’s request affected both of them.

The murders were all unusual and I can’t think of seeing any of them in other crime fiction books. They did make me wonder about what the author could have seen in her previous career. Not just with the method but also what the murder scene looked like and the clean up after.

A clever and emotional read from an author who deserves to be more well known.

The Abduction by A. A. Chaudhuri – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Madeline Kramer has finally got her life back on track at top City law firm Sullivan, Blake, Monroe. But when two armed, masked men burst into a conference room one lunchtime, kidnapping a trainee and a partner, Maddy’s life is plunged into disarray once more—particularly when charismatic DCI Jake Carver, who caught a heartless killer when they last met and with whom Maddy shared a mutual chemistry, is called to the scene.

Things become more complicated when a disturbing video reveals two more trainees have been taken. What initially appears as a random kidnapping for mercenary gain soon evolves into something far more complex, the horrifying events of thirty years ago motivating the abductors and having colossal implications for those in the present…

Against a backdrop of sleaze, sex, lies and murder in The Abduction, Maddy and Carver must work together to unravel the truth, and ensure that no crimes—past or present—are left unpunished.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Abduction is the second book in the Kramer and Carver series and I recommend you read them in order. There are a few references to the previous investigation throughout this book.

When colleagues are abducted from the firm Maddy now works for, everybody is shocked and they are relieved that the most of the ransom demand is swiftly agreed to. But there is a reason for the abduction, a secret from university that some are determined will stay that way. They are unprepared though, for how determined the group of kidnappers are to have all of their demands met. 

However, not everything is as it initially appears and the author does a good job of bringing all the threads together into a gripping storyline with a tale of revenge, guilt, trauma and some throughly obnoxious characters. 

Kramer and Carver didn’t feature heavily, instead most of story is revealed by the other characters. Whilst there were a handful I had sympathy for, one in particular who shall remember nameless, the overwhelming feeling was how easy it was to manipulate others into doing what was wanted. 

A clever novel that I hope isn’t a true reflection of those who work in law.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Alicia Berenson lived a seemingly perfect life until one day six years ago. 

When she shot her husband in the head five times. 

Since then she hasn’t spoken a single word. 

It’s time to find out why.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I had been trying to read this book for months and finally got the chance a few weeks ago. I can honestly say it was well worth the wait, and I now want to read it again. Just to see how well I was duped! The outcome of the original and well written book was one that I definitely didn’t see coming.

The novel consists of a diary written by Alicia, accounts of the consultations between her and her therapist Theo, insight into Theo’s private life and the politics in the increasingly dubious Grove establishment where Alicia spends her life. It was one of those novels where I struggled to work out how I felt about the characters. Everybody who came into contact with Alicia seemed to dislike her, but from her diary I struggled to see why. The more I read, the more inclined I was to disregard their opinions.

Theo was an enigma. Obviously deeply affected by his childhood and facing problems in his marriage I felt I only saw the real character when he opened up to Ruth. In his interactions with his work colleagues and the other patients he seemed cold, aloof and demanding. None of the staff at The Grove seemed like they really cared about their patients. All of them seemed more interested in their own standing or making sure that procedures were being adhered to by the centre manager. It was slightly unsettling at times how uncaring it seemed.

The ending was a complete shock and was very clever. Out of everything I expected to read it wasn’t this. Even better that it all worked and made sense. It will make an excellent movie.