Twisted by Steve Cavanagh – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

BEFORE YOU READ THIS BOOK
I WANT YOU TO KNOW THREE THINGS:

1. The police are looking to charge me with murder.
2. No one knows who I am. Or how I did it.
3. If you think you’ve found me. I’m coming for you next.

After you’ve read this book, you’ll know: the truth is far more twisted…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I had read some of the Eddie Flynn series by this author and was looking forward to reading this stand-alone novel. I was amused to see Eddie mentioned, if only briefly.

There has been a lot of chat recently about publishers who constantly use the phrase ‘you won’t see the twist coming’ and more often than not the reader does. Or spends that much time anticipating it they stop enjoying the novel. Steve Cavanagh has used this and more to write a cracking novel that has so many twists I lost count. I’m not going to say if I spotted them or if they worked, it didn’t matter. This book is great entertainment.

It is difficult to review without discussing the characters or the plot because of the twists. But I can say that the female characters in particular are very strong, especially Deputy Bloch who was probably my favourite. She was an officer who could see things that many others would miss and knew immediately that what they had been told by Maria wasn’t strictly accurate. 

It is very different to the series, this is more black comedy, at times it was similar to Fargo. There is violence but most of what you read about concerns what each of the characters are planning. Some want revenge and the money. The police just want answers.



If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Audrey’s family has fallen apart. Her two grown-up daughters, Jess and Lily, are estranged, and her two teenage granddaughters have never been allowed to meet. A secret that echoes back thirty years has splintered the family in two, but is also the one thing keeping them connected. As tensions reach breaking point, the irrevocable choice that one of them made all those years ago is about to surface. After years of secrets and silence, how can one broken family find their way back to each other?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy I received. If Only I Could Tell You is a book that I jumped at the chance to read solely on everything I had heard about the author. I didn’t even spend much time reading the synopsis. However little is revealed there, apart from mentioning a family rift and Audrey’s determination to mend it.

I am going to attempt to review this book without saying too much about it. It is one that is appreciated more the less you know. But I will say that Audrey is a character who I adored. I loved her spirit, determination to sort out her two daughters, stubbornness and bravery. The daughters Lily and Jess infuriated me at times, Jess in particular who came across as being willing to let bitterness destroy her life. The two grand daughters, Phoebe and Mia were just like Audrey and could have taught their mothers a thing or two.

I had planned to read some of this novel on a break at work. But on reflection I am glad that I didn’t get the chance. The blubbering red eyed look isn’t the best! if you read this novel I suggest settling down with a hot chocolate, Nina Simone playing in the background, plenty of tissues and hope for no interruptions. Just wonderful.

Flowers Over The Inferno by Ilaria Tuti – Blog Tour Review

About The Book

In a quiet village surrounded by the imposing Italian Alps, a series of brutal assaults take place. 

Police inspector Teresa Battaglia is called in when the first body is found. Soon more victims are discovered – all horrifically mutilated – and when a new-born baby is kidnapped, Teresa’s investigation becomes a race against the clock. 

But Teresa is also fighting a battle against her own body, weighed down by age and diabetes, and her mind, once invincible and now slowly gnawing away at her memory… 

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I loved everything about Flowers Over The Inferno. First the setting, I read quite a bit of European fiction but this is the first that I have read that is set in this part of the world, the Italian/ Austrian border. It sounded magical, the tiny village that needed tourism to survive but was aware of the damage that it could also cause to the land. But the reason I loved the book so much was because of the characters, especially  Superintendent Teresa Battaglia and her new recruit Massimo Marini. I was cringing at their first encounter when he wrongly assumed that his new boss was male. 

I read a lot of crime fiction and a lead character that is a loner, drinker, has emotional baggage etc etc is the norm. But Teresa is a little different. Yes she is a loner, but she is also a lot older, has health issues, and she makes Ann Cleeve’s Vera look like a pussycat. All of her team love, respect and fear her in equal measures. 

Marini is determined to break down her barriers despite her rudeness and he does but she isn’t prepared to make it easy for him. Or let him now that she is impressed by his efforts. 

Stand out moments were the way she was with the children, she made them relaxed and broke down the barriers that could exist between child and adult, especially if that adult was a stranger and a police officer. But also the way she made me feel sympathy for the culprit and this was mainly down to Teresa insisting that there was more happening than random violence. She made me look at the reasons why and understand what they were going through. 

I want to read more about these two, I see a fantastic relationship in the future.

The Woman Inside by E. G. Scott – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Rebecca didn’t know love was possible until she met Paul, a man with a past as dark as her own. Their demons drew them together, but twenty years later, the damage and secrets that ignited their love begin to consume their marriage.

When Paul catches the attention of the police after two women go missing, Rebecca discovers his elaborate plot to build a new life without her. And though Rebecca is quickly spiralling out of control, it doesn’t stop her from coming up with her own devastating plan for revenge… they made a promise to each other, after all. 

Til death do us part.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Woman Inside is a complex novel about relationships. It focuses on the relationship of a married couple, Rebecca and Paul. They both have their problems, Rebecca with her addiction to pharmaceutical drugs that has affected her career, and Paul whose career has been affected by a downturn in business due to a stock market crash. Neither have confided in the other about what they are going through. They also have both had to deal with tragedy when they were children.

Both characters are narrators and they are joined in the second half of the novel by others. All of the characters are unpleasant, the only one I really cared about was Duff. Duff was a dog that belonged to Rebecca and Paul. Whilst Paul did have his problems they paled compared to what Rebecca was going through. I struggled to work out if she was hallucinating due to her drug cocktails or what she was experiencing was real. It is only at the introduction of another narrator that things started to become clearer. And then you started to see how out of their depth they both were.

I found it quite unsettling at times. The spying, following and reading what they both had planned for the other one. The lengths that Rebecca would go to so she could get her drugs and the knowledge that Paul had others covering for him. Even though I did guess what he was doing.

I hadn’t realised when I started this book that E. G. Scott is two authors. I often wonder when I read a book like this if each author concentrates on one character. Each keeping secrets from the other. I like to think that this novel was written in that way.

For The Missing by Lina Bengtsdotter – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

She must find Annabelle. Before it’s too late.

THE MISSING
Nora’s daughter Annabelle has disappeared, last seen on her way home from a party.

THE LOST
Gullspång’s inexperienced police are wilting under the national media spotlight – and its residents desperate for answers.

THE CLOCK IS TICKING . . .
Stockholm DI Charlie Lager must return home to find Annabelle, and then get out of town as soon as she can. Before everyone discovers the truth about her . . .

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. When I first started reading this book I had a feeling that it would be like many others. A police officer who has alcohol problems, is a loner and has a troubled past. But I didn’t have this feeling for long. The novel is much more than that.

Charlie is everything mentioned, but unlike many she does admit to having a problem and she does try to make the best of her life. Having to return to her home town isn’t what she wants but she is relieved that nobody recognises her. It had me wondering what she was hiding from and whether what happened to her still affected her now.

The narrative concerns the disappearance of Annabelle. She has a very strict mother, a more sympathetic father and for somebody so young indulges in a lot of substances. But you can see why, in a way. She is clever, beautiful and misunderstood. Most of all she wants to escape, just like Charlie did.

It is a town that has many inhabitants who are heavy drinkers. It has no prospects, limited employment with bullying employers and appears unfriendly. You read about many places and think it would be nice to visit. This isn’t one of them.

Alongside the main narrative there are flashbacks to what happened to Annabelle on the day she disappeared. This part is all about her. You see what she is thinking, how she sees her future and how she copes with her family life. This was one of the more unusual and fascinating parts to the novel, getting to see how she interacted with people who were suspects.

There are also sections that tell the story of Nora and Alice. These were chilling and I spent much of the novel working out how it connected to modern day.

For The Missing is book one in the series and I’m looking forward to the follow up later in the year.