The Bone Code by Kathy Reichs – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

NO CRIME CAN STAY HIDDEN FOREVER

When a hurricane hits the Carolinas it uncovers two bodies, sharing uncanny similarities with a cold case in Quebec that has haunted Temperance Brennan for fifteen years.

At the same time, a rare bacterium that can eat human flesh is discovered in Charleston. Panic erupts and people test themselves for a genetic mutation that leaves them vulnerable.

With support from her long time partner Andrew Ryan, in a search that soon proves dangerous, Temperance discovers the startling connection between the victims of both murder cases – and that both the murders and the disease outbreak have a common cause

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I have read a few of Kathy Reich’s books and watched the TV series Bones which was based on them but it was a bit of a a surprise to see that The Bone Code was the 20th book in the series. I don’t want to think about how many I need to catch up on!

The two main threads in this novel are totally different. One concerned bodies that were found in containers with similar circumstances, in different countries and years apart and the other was one which concerned capnocytophaga. It takes place after the Covid 19 pandemic and  it felt a little strange reading about a post covid world when we are still living in one. Reading about a new threat made me a little uncomfortable, it was a reminder that this could be the way life could be for many years to come. It was the storyline concerning the bodies in the containers that I enjoyed the most. 

There is a lot of medical terminology in this book, most of which I didn’t understand. I was relieved that the author simplified some of it for other characters in the book. And for this reader! 

It is evident that Tempe hasn’t changed throughout this series. The determination to bring closure to a case, her sense of humour and loyalty towards friends and colleagues. There were parts that made me laugh, especially her accounts of air travel with Birdie, her telephone conversations with Ryan and her thoughts regarding most of the police.

Whilst I haven’t read every book it didn’t take me long to remember who the recurring characters were and get immersed into Tempe’s life. I adore her relationship with Ryan and Birdie Cat and loved every scene they were together in.

The Heretic’s Mark by S. W. Perry – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

The Elizabethan world is in flux. Radical new ideas are challenging the old. But the quest for knowledge can lead down dangerous paths…

London, 1594. The Queen’s physician has been executed for treason, and conspiracy theories flood the streets. When Nicholas Shelby, unorthodox physician and unwilling associate of spymaster Robert Cecil, is accused of being part of the plot, he and his new wife Bianca must flee for their lives. 

With agents of the Crown on their tail, they make for Padua, following the ancient pilgrimage route, the Via Francigena. But the pursuing English aren’t the only threat Nicholas and Bianca face. Hella, a strange and fervently religious young woman, has joined them on their journey. When the trio finally reach relative safety, they become embroiled in a radical and dangerous scheme to shatter the old world’s limits of knowledge. But Hella’s dire predictions of an impending apocalypse, and the brutal murder of a friend of Bianca’s forces them to wonder: who is this troublingly pious woman? And what does she want?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I enjoy historical fiction and the Jackdaw series is one of my favourites and is probably the only one that I am up to date on. It takes place in Tudor times but instead of concerning the power struggles around the queen it is more about ‘normal’ people. Many who live in fear of disease, poverty or being tried and tortured for practising the wrong religion.

Nicolas is one of the many who is being investigated, he has been wrongfully accused of a serious crime and alongside his new wife Bianca he  leaves the country and finds himself on the Via Francigena heading towards Italy. To add to their troubles they have the misfortune of meeting up with a young woman, Hella Maas, who must be one of the most terrifying people I have come across in fiction. One of those who don’t even have to do to say that much to unsettle you. I fully agreed with Bianca, they should have stayed as far away from her as they could. 

The unrest caused by religious beliefs is a main theme throughout the novel but another strong part of it was science and discovery. Galileo is one of the main characters, and one whose appearances I really enjoyed, even though  I didn’t really understand this part of the storyline his personality made up for it. Anybody who has an interest in the history of science from this period would find it fascinating to read.

One of my favourite parts of the novel concerned Rose and Ned. Tasked with rebuilding The Jackdaw they run into trouble trying to prove Nicolas’s innocence. I love their relationship and both of their personalities.

I hope there is a book five, I would definitely be interested in what happens next to all of them. 

The Lynmouth Stories by Lucy V. Hay – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Devon’s very own crime writer L.V Hay (The Other Twin, Do No Harm) brings forth three new short stories from her dark mind and poison pen:

– For kidnapped Meg and her young son Danny, In Plain Sight, the remote headland above Lynmouth is not a haven, but hell.

– A summer of fun for Catherine in Killing Me Softly becomes a winter of discontent … and death.

– In Hell And High Water, a last minute holiday for Naomi and baby Tommy  becomes a survival situation … But that’s before the village floods.

All taking place out of season when the majority of tourists have gone home, L.V Hay uses her local knowledge to bring forth dark and claustrophic noir she has come to be known for.

Did You Know …?

Known as England’s ‘Little Switzerland’, the Devon village of Lynmouth is famous for its Victorian cliff railway, fish n’ chips and of course, RD Blackmore’s Lorna Doone.

Located on the doorstep of the dramatic Valley of The Rocks and the South West Cliff Path, the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth have inspired many writers, including 19th Century romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who honeymooned there in 1812.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I don’t read many short story collections but I have read full length novels by this author so had a feeling that I would enjoy them. I wasn’t disappointed and read them all  in a little over half an hour. Perfect for a lunch break or a short bus/train journey.

There are three of them, all similar in that they take place in Lynmouth out of season. I don’t know the area at all, I had to google the Lynmouth flood but I imagine that it was like any tourist area. Very pretty and welcoming in high season. Less so when the weather is atrocious and many businesses are closed.

Whilst it is difficult to go into any detail about the stories I enjoyed all of them. All featured a threat from both the usual human type but also nature. I think any reader who has experienced conditions such as described would fully appreciate how it must feel to be at the mercy of the weather. It was intimidating enough not to have done. With the third story in particular I was happy to be reading on a lovely Spring morning feeling safe, warm and dry.

The third story, Hell And High Water, was my favourite out of all of them. Slightly longer and more intimidating,  I could have easily read a full length version of it. The differing emotions experienced, the resignation followed by fear, gratitude and finally relief were perfect. 

The House Of Hidden Secrets by C. E. Rose – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

The imposing gates of Ramsay Hall yawned open. As Serena and 4-year-old Lana walked up the long driveway, little did they know the dark secrets that lay within.

When Serena Green accepted the role of housekeeper for wealthy widower Hayden Ramsay, she never imagined her new home would be Ramsay Hall, an ancient, sprawling mansion in Northern England.

Serena quickly becomes an integral part of the household, making friends with Hayden’s younger son Hugh, despite Jack, his older brother’s, coldness towards her and Lana.

But the hall’s beautiful exterior hides many ugly secrets. Though Serena and Jack begin to grow closer, she’s confused by his behaviour around Lana. What is he guilty of? And is there more to their mother’s death than the Ramsay men will admit, even to themselves?

As the harrowing past of Ramsay Hall unravels, Serena fresh start becomes a fresh horror. She fears for her and Lana’s safety, but what are the bleak secrets in Serena’s own past?

This house is built on a lifetime of lies… and the truth might just bring the walls crashing down. 

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I have read books by this author ( under the name Caroline England) before and enjoyed all of them. The House Of Hidden Secrets is my favourite one out all of them. It contains everything I like  about a novel. Intrigue, suspicion and plenty of twists.

Serena has taken the position of housekeeper and carer to Hayden Ramsay at the family home in Cheshire. Living with him are his two sons Jack and Hugh. It became evident immediately that the atmosphere was unsettled. More so with Hugh than any of the others. For some reason he was banished from the family home and was living in less than ideal conditions in a caravan at the farm where he worked. But in some ways, he was happier than any of the others. 

There were three narrators, Serena, Jack and Hugh. As you read you found  out more about all of them and at times it was unsettling to read. It was obvious straight away that Serena was hiding from her past and needed the remoteness of the area to keep herself and her young daughter hidden. What was less obvious was what had happened to Jack and Hugh in their past. And whilst I had a lot of sympathy for Jack it was Hugh whose story affected me the most. 

As the secrets were revealed the amount of manipulation increased. It was done slyly, to more than one person, but wasn’t entirely successful. I really enjoyed reading how the manipulator’s true personality was gradually shown as their desperation increased.

This was a novel I found very difficult to put down. When a novel has each chapter focusing on a different character it has to work and this worked perfectly. I needed to know what happened to each of them constantly. 

Amalie by E. J. Wood – Extract – Blog Tour.

About The Book

THEY MURDERED FAMILIES. THE FUHRER CANNOT PROTECT THEM NOW. 

It’s not wise to murder the family of a budding assassin. Created by Auschwitz, her skill is honed by revenge. 

A very different type of serial killer is loose in 1950s Europe. In Britain, a Brotherhood of powerful men takes notice and enhances the expertise and artistry of a killer. 
DCI John Owen was born to serve. Recruited by MI6, he tracks an accomplished executioner whose love of luxury and the arts is second only to the love of watching an early death come to those who truly deserve it. 

Join the chase. Then ask yourself…
Can there ever be only one winner? 

Extract

New on the scene were brothers Reggie and Ronnie Kray; and as they came to prominence in London, Hill decided to leave crime. Hill would stand there in his suede shoes, his double-breasted suit, his trilby hat and cigarette and Reggie Kray would admire him as his role model. William even witnessed Reggie claiming that during his early 20s, the man he wanted to emulate was now former gang boss Billy Hill, “He had a good, quick thinking brain” Reggie would say.

The Krays sought publicity and in doing so allowed a journalist, John Pearson, into their lives. They loved having their photograph taken whilst rubbing shoulders with celebrities, and Ronnie even claimed whilst in court for his murder trial that he’d “be having tea with Judy Garland” if he hadn’t been at court.