Bad by Chloé Esposito – Blog Tour Review.

 

 

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About the Book

She stole the life she wanted. Now someone wants to steal it back . . .

Alvie Knightly may be waking up in the Ritz, but her life is no bed of roses.

Firstly, she has the mother of all hangovers.

Secondly, her beautiful, spoiled twin sister Beth has just been found dead in Sicily – and the police want Alvie for questioning.

And thirdly, Alvie’s hot new boyfriend has vanished with every penny of the millions they stole from Beth.

But he picked the wrong girl to mess with.

Alvie will pursue her ex to Rome in a game of cat and mouse that only one of them can survive.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned . . .

But can Alvie get revenge before her crimes catch up with her?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I’m not entirely sure what I have just read. I don’t know whether it is all just a dream that Alvie was having or if it was a warped reality. Whatever it is, it’s the most bonkers book I have read for a long time.
I hadn’t read Mad, book one in the series, but anything I missed was covered in the first few pages. It would probably have helped if I had, then at least I would have been aware of what Alvie was like. Her thought and actions at time were bizarre.
There were times I couldn’t read for laughing, there are images in my head that involve two prominent UK politicians that I really need to ‘unsee’. And some of the scenes that involved Mavis also made me smile.
Alongside our accidental murderess and the chaos that is Alvie’s life is a travelogue. Chloé Espisito shows the beauty of Italy,even if it only its more affluent areas.

No Further Question by Gillian McAllister – Blog Tour Review.

 

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About the Book

The police say she’s guilty.

She insists she’s innocent.

She’s your sister.

You loved her.

You trusted her.

But they say she killed your child.

Who do you believe?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. No Further Questions was a novel that was different to many others that I read. Not because of its subject matter or type of crime fiction but because I was convinced I knew who was responsible for Layla’s death. The problem was that this character, alongside many others had a perfect alibi. I won’t say who I thought it was, or if I was correct but I would love to know what other readers thought.
It is told by various points of view as you go through the court case. Many of the witnesses have their own voice, they are not just standing in the dock answering questions. You see their inner thoughts and their turmoil at not doing more on the night of Layla’s death and in the events that led to it. You also get to see what the judge was thinking. I liked this a lot, I’ve only ever read about a judge’s thought in lighter novels and I found it fascinating.
Obviously the death of a baby is traumatic and the court case caused more upset. Martha and Scott had differing opinions about whether Becky is responsible but still managed to be supportive to each other. I could see their attempts to rebuild their lives, each blaming themselves and I was willing them on to be successful.
The court case didn’t overpower the storyline, there was plenty of room for the personal storylines too. There was also not too much medical detail, I have found in the past that it can be confusing if you are not familiar with the terminology.
A brilliant novel that many will enjoy.

blog tour

 

How Far We Fall by Jane Shemilt – Blog Tour Review.

How Far We Fall HB jacket

About the Book

The perfect couple

Meeting Albie gave Beth a fresh start – a chance to leave her past behind. Now she has her new husband; an ambitious, talented young neurosurgeon.

The perfect marriage

Their marriage gives Beth the safe haven she’s always wanted – with just one catch. Albie has no idea of the secrets she’s keeping. He doesn’t know that years ago, Beth had an affair with Ted, the boss helping Albie’s star ascend. Nor that the affair’s devastating ending will have consequences for their own future.

The perfect storm

So when Ted’s generous patronage begins to sour, Beth senses everything she’s built could crumble. And she sees an opportunity. To satisfy Albie’s ambitions, and her own obsessive desire for revenge . . .

She’ll keep her marriage and her secret safe.

But how far will the fall take them?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. How Far We Fall is a novel that I am glad I persevered with. Part one, lays down the foundations with a lot of detail about the clinical trials that Albie is involved with and his career as a neurosurgeon. You can see how ambitious he is, and how he thrives on pieces of gossip that he hears regarding his career prospects. Much of the clinical and medical detail went way over my head but it is important to the novel to see this aspect of the novel. You also get to see his relationship with Ted and his blossoming romance with Beth. You do see glimpses of what happened in the past with Beth and Ted but Albie is oblivious to any of this.
When the novel changed direction slightly from part two onwards I was hooked.
I have seen references to Macbeth mentioned with regards to the storyline. There are parts that are theatrical but the only part of Macbeth I know concern witches. This is a part does feature slightly. As the novel progressed I could see how the need to get revenge had fatal consequences for all concerned.
It was difficult to like either Albie or Beth, even though I did have more sympathy for Albie initially but his more sinister attitude became more evident the further I read. It was the minor characters I liked more. Gita, Jake and Ed especially and I understood their way of thinking. And I was very impressed with the sisters!
It is very different to a lot of crime I read. This was more of a character study and explained the reasoning why the events happened. How revenge, obsession, loss and envy overtook the desire to change lives for the better.
I found it a chilling and unique read.

How Far We Fall Blog Tour

Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen – Blog Tour Review.

 

Oh My God What a Complete Aisling

About the Book

Twenty-something Aisling – that’s pronounced Ashling – is the sensible sort.

She wears kitten heels for the sake of her arches.

And a great night out is knowing the immersion heater at home is securely switched off.

In other words, country girl Aisling likes to play it safe in the big city.

But that hasn’t helped get her man John to hurry up and pop the question.

Throwing caution to the wind an impatient Aisling tries to encourage him, only for her whole life to come crashing down.

Now no umbrella, electric blanket, nor sensibly sized heel can save her.

What’s a complete Aisling to do?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Sometimes a humorous, life warming novel is just what I need and Aisling delivered everything. She is a country girl, the daughter of a farmer who is successful in her job in the city. Some good friends, both in the city and at home and she is in a long-term relationship with her boyfriend. But she wants to be married and he doesn’t. When they go their separate ways, Aisling sees a side to life that she didn’t expect to. She discovers that you can go on holiday without military planning, you can go out for a drink during the week and occasionally have to park without a permit.
She is a lovely character and I can’t think of a think to dislike about her. Devoted to her family, a stickler for routine and cleanliness. Leaving the lights on in an unoccupied room is terrible and she is devoted to the points that different food has in her slimming club. Her observations on different people combined with a sweet naiveté was just lovely. There is humour, her observation on her father’s obsession with buying things on special offer that he doesn’t need from a well-known supermarket and also sadness when she has to deal with loss.
I would love to meet Aisling again, she seems like a nice person to know.

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The Stranger by Kate Riordan – Blog Tour Review.

the Stranger HB jacket

About the Book

Cornwall, 1940.

In the hushed hours of deepest night a young woman is found washed up on the rocks.

Was it a tragic accident? Or should the residents of Penhallow have been more careful about whom they invited in?

In the midst of war three women arrive seeking safety at Penhallow Hall.

Each is looking to escape her past.

But one of them is not there by choice.

As the threat of invasion mounts and the nightly blackouts feel longer and longer, tensions between the close-knit residents rise until dark secrets start to surface.

And no one can predict what their neighbour is capable of . . .

In a house full of strangers, who do you trust?

My Review

The Stranger is the tale of three women, all of whom leave their home to work in the land army. Another, Eleanor lives in the house in which they work and live. All of them have something they are trying to escape from.
The novel starts when the body of a young woman is swept out to sea. At the same time a diary is being read, in which secrets are revealed. It then goes back in time by a few weeks to the moment they all met and you learn what happens.
There are three narrators – Eleanor,emotionally abused by her mother, Diana, beautiful, wilful, damaged and quite often cruel and Rose, struggling with her feelings about her marriage and the past. All three are lonely for different reasons and all find their own way of dealing with it.
I liked Rose immediately, she somehow managed to cope with being on the receiving end of Diana’s antics quite well. Which at the same time managed to annoy Diana even more. But even though Diana isn’t the easiest to like I was too quick to judge, she wasn’t as devious as I originally thought. Eleanor has a terrible relationship with her harridan of a mother, who had a carer who was nearly as bad. But with her husband’s help she knew she could make her life better.
The differing views of all the women towards the war was convincing, Rose concerned for her husband, but not as much as she should have been, Diana was indifferent, just wanting to party and Jane, the third land army member wanting to know all the details.
There is also a storyline connected to minor characters that broke my heart a little bit. It was a part of the novel that was very small but had plenty of impact.
It is a beautiful novel. The remoteness and beauty of Cornwall, the history of smuggling and the families who had lived in the area for years. I could practically hear the sea, and visualise everything about the local area. I had thought that Cornwall was one of the more untouched areas during the war but reading the events in the novel I was proven wrong.
The Stranger is another fantastic novel from Kate Riordan which I read very quickly. Poignant, determined, and hopeful for the future.

You can buy the book here

The Stranger blog tour