The Lost Child by Patricia Gibney – Blog Blitz Review.

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About the Book

An elderly woman is found murdered in her own home, and Detective Lottie Parker and her partner Detective Boyd are called in to investigate. When they discover that the victim’s daughter is missing as well, they start to fear for the safety of the whole family…
Two days later as a nearby house is set on fire and with the body count rising, Lottie and her team begin to unpick a web of secrets and lies, as the murders seem to link back to a case investigated by Lottie’s father before he took his own life.
With little knowledge of what really happened to her father, Lottie knows this is a case that could give her some answers. But how much does she want to know? And how far is Lottie prepared to dig to uncover the truth?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

Wow. It is hard to put into words how I feel about this novel. It is book three in the series and I went into it without knowing anything about any of the characters, any back story or what this new book was about. Whilst this did cause a bit of confusion initially I just decided not to think about what I had missed out on and concentrated on what I was reading. If anybody is worried, you don’t need to be. There are no spoilers, just a bit of personal information and I can easily go back and read the earlier novels without knowing too much detail. I plan on doing this at the earliest possibility.
It’s fast paced Irish fiction. Unusually, for me, I liked every member of the team. Even Lynch, who seemed to bear a grudge for some event in the past. Lottie, is an older detective than the ones that I have ‘met’ before. She is a mother of three, grandmother of one, and a daughter to a woman who she clashes with. There is no mother/ daughter bond at all. Lottie feels anxious a lot of the time, and takes more alcohol and prescribed drugs than she should do. Boyd, aware of all her faults is devoted, even though I did feel at times that she would push him to far.
The case is a devastating one for all, I could feel the pain and despair when they were not quick enough and people suffered. Some of the events are gruesome and I was quite relieved that there wasn’t too much detail. I never had a clue about who was responsible for the crimes. It worked, I was just duped into thinking about who it could be. It’s clever, at times amusing, and full of compassion. I loved it and downloaded book one immediately after finishing it.

The Lost Child - Blog Tour

The Silk Weaver’s Wife by Debbie Rix – Review.

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About the Book

The unforgettable stories of two women cross centuries as past and present weave together in this beautifully moving summer read.
2017: Millie wants more from her relationship and more from her life. So when her boss Max abruptly ends their affair, she takes the opportunity to write a feature in Italy.
Staying in a gorgeous villa, Millie unexpectedly falls in love with the owner, Lorenzo. Together they begin to unravel an incredible story, threaded through generations of silk weavers.
And Millie finds herself compelled to discover the identity of a mysterious woman in a portrait…
1704: Anastasia is desperate to escape her controlling and volatile father and plans to marry in secret. But instead of the life she has dreamed of, she finds herself trapped in Venice, the unwilling wife of a silk weaver.
Despite her circumstances, Anastasia is determined to change her fate…

My Review

I like historical fiction and usually read it when I need a break from the usual crime fiction. Whilst this is definitely a historical novel I would also categorise it as romantic fiction and this is a genre that I don’t usually read.

The two narrators are Anastasia in the 1700s and Millie in modern-day. It was Anastasia whose tale I enjoyed the most. She didn’t have the happiest childhood, her father ruled by tyranny, regularly beating his wife and children. When he loses everything gambling he offers Anastasia as an alternative to his business. It doesn’t take her long to realise that her new life is just as bad as her old. But she is clever and has people who are willing to help.

Millie is a journalist who is in Italy to research a storyline regarding silk. She has recently broken up with her partner and soon gets close to Lorenzo and his daughter Bella. Whilst most of the novel concerns Anastasia, Millie is also important to the storyline, it is her who first becomes aware of Anastasia was.

I thought Anastasia was an amazing character. Very independent, and after what she goes through she is determined to put herself first. But she is also loyal to friends and family and those who helped her when she needed them. I liked Anastasia’s desire to succeed as an artist and use her skill to help her family prosper. Considering the time it is set she must have been strong-willed. A lesser character, Veronica, was also one that I liked. She was somebody who was prepared to lose everything to do the right thing.
I struggled to like Millie as much. I felt I needed to know more about her than her relationship with her ex Max, and her feelings for Lorenzo. I would have liked to see her connect Anastasia to Lorenzo but that is probably due to my interest in genealogy.
The section at the back of the book that listed the characters who were real and who were fictionalised was helpful. I had no idea that some of them were real people. Italy sounds an amazing place, especially Venice. I could picture the grandeur in all areas of the novel.
I always enjoy reading about the past, and even though this book wasn’t entirely how I expected it to be I did enjoy it. It’s rare that I read romance novels but maybe I do need to broaden my choice of reading.

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

The Girl Who Came Back by Kerry Wilkinson – Blog Blitz.

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About the Book

Thirteen years ago Olivia Adams went missing. Now she’s back… or is she?

When six-year-old Olivia Adams disappeared from her back garden, the small community of Stoneridge was thrown into turmoil. How could a child vanish in the middle of a cosy English village?

Thirteen years on and Olivia is back. Her mother is convinced it’s her but not everyone is sure. If this is the missing girl, then where has she been – and what happened to her on that sunny afternoon?

If she’s an imposter, then who would be bold enough to try to fool a child’s own mother – and why?

Then there are those who would rather Olivia stayed missing. The past is the past and some secrets must remain buried.

My Review

Whilst I have read the Jessica Daniels series and enjoyed them this is the first standalone novel that I have read by Kerry Wilkinson. And it is good, I will go as far as saying it is excellent. It is one that had me biting my nails with anticipation over what would be revealed.
When Olivia returns home to the village she was abducted from thirteen years earlier she gets a mixed response. Obviously, her parents are delighted along with family friends but there are also those who question her intent and her story. Some of the tales she tells about the life she had are a little extravagant and I was unsure at times whether to believe her, or if she wasn’t Olivia why was she insisting she was?
This was a book I raced through. Its mainly set in the modern day but there are sporadic chapters from Olivia’s childhood. These reveal what happened to her, how she was let down and how she fought back. They show a growing independence as well as a growing need to be loved. At times, they are sinister and upsetting. Some of the characters are intimidating, and  not just with Olivia. There are many people in the village who were controlled and threatened by a couple of people.
One of the things that Olivia did left me a little sickened and made me question her character but when all was revealed, I understood more why she did it. Even though it was something I struggle to accept.
A great read and a reminder that I need to read the books that I haven’t read by this author. With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

TGWCB - Blog Tour

Hide and Seek by Richard Parker – Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

The sun is out. Your little boy is smiling. The next time you look… he’s gone.

When Lana and Todd win a trip to Blue Crest Adventure Park, their four-year-old Cooper is ecstatic, but when Lana goes to meet them, Todd is out cold, and Cooper is missing.

No one stopped the man carrying the sleeping boy. The cameras don’t show where he went. Then Lana receives an anonymous message, telling her to visit a local school with a horrifying history…

This is no random attack. Whoever took Cooper is playing a twisted game, and if Lana wants to find him, she must participate.

What is the link between the school and her missing son? Can Lana uncover the kidnapper’s identity and save Cooper before it’s too late?

My Review

Lana’s peaceful family existence is ruined when she has to stop her son being abducted at the family home. She becomes obsessed with similar cases, hoping she can get answers about who the abductor might have been. And then it happens again and Cooper is taken.
This is the first book that I have read by Richard Parker and I enjoyed it a lot. I have read some books where the lead character was female and the author male and sometimes they don’t feel true but it wasn’t the case here. Lana was real and she dealt with the situation completely differently to Todd. Lana could only think of Cooper but Todd had to think of both of them and unintentionally made their situation worse.
The police investigation is in the background, most of the focus is on Lana and Todd both trying to get Cooper back in their own way. The narrative switched between the two, sometimes a chapter at a time and each time I was impatient to find out how the other was managing. Although I enjoyed both, it was Lana I wanted to read about. Her fight was full of tension and was at times upsetting but I needed to be with her.
Some of the methods that Lana chose were quite spooky, the app that she uses is one that I would definitely steer clear of. I really hope that there isn’t one like this in the depths of an app store.
I’m looking forward to reading more by the author, I am reliably informed that his other novel Follow You is just as good.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received and for the chance to take part in the blog tour.

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

imageLost Girls is the third book in the series that features detective Kim Stone. I have read them all and this is the one that has made me feel more anxious than any of the others.
Two young girls are kidnapped. It has happened before and was handled by another team. Tragically in that case only one girl came home. Kim is determined that this wouldn’t happen again. She feels under more pressure because one of the mothers has asked for her to lead the investigation, they knew each other when they were in foster care.
You are aware who the kidnappers are and they are very unpleasant. But you are not made aware of everything, an unidentified third person is hinted at but nothing more. The journalist is a thorn in Kim’s side. The team have been ordered to keep the current kidnapping case away from the press but she is determined to get a story regardless of the consequences. But she did show that she was capable of humanity regarding another situation.
I loved the relationship between Kim and Matt, the negotiator who has been been brought in to try and get the girls home. I really hope that he is a character who appears in future novels. One of the strongest points of this series is the relationship between the team. Even though she isn’t the easiest person to work for they are devoted to her.
I have always enjoyed a detective series, seeing the characters and relationships develop. Sometimes I’ve not been keen on the odd book and sometimes I have a break from a series and return to it after a few years. This is a series that I am now hooked on and I’m really looking forward to the next book.