The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club – Diving In by Katie May – Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

In the gorgeous seaside town of Whitstable, broken-hearted Deb begins to swim each day and gathers a new group of friends around her. But can the magic of sea heal the hurt of the past? Or will family ties drag her underwater again?
A heart-warming, funny and poignant story of romance, friendship and second chances. It’s also a song to the author’s home town of Whitstable, where the sea is smooth, the shingle is painful on bare feet, and the air is full of possibilities.

My Review

The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club – Diving In is the first part of a trilogy that will be released over the next few months. I have only ever seen something like this once before and liked the idea then.
After reading this delightful novella I am eagerly looking forward to part two. I liked Debs very much, and had a lot of sympathy for her and the way she felt she was treated by her estranged husband and adult children. I can see some great friendships form between all the women, even though they don’t initially have much in common. Part one focused mainly on Debs and Marcie, I feel that each of the women will be focused on in the rest of the series. One of them I wasn’t keen on but if we do get to know more about her later my feeling may change.
It’s not an area I know but I could picture it clearly. A quieter area of a seaside town that has the usual beach huts and bars that the little club wanted to protect. They all get pleasure from the club and all use it for different reasons.
There is poignancy and loneliness, humour and loss. And an overwhelming unity to keep the club going. Bring on Part Two.
With thanks for the publisher for the copy received for review.

 

Cocktail Hour

Cocktail inspired by The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club from Katie May.

My Instagram feed is testimony to the fact that I’m a bit of a cocktail fiend. Here is a cocktail to sip while you read.
West Beach Martini
A fragrant dry martini that reminds me of the beach in high summer.
50 ml gin (I love Bombay Sapphire in this)
I tsp white vermouth
1 strip orange zest
1 sprig rosemary
1 pinch sea salt

Half-fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
Add all the ingredients, crushing the rosemary between your fingers as you put it in (this releases the oils).
Shake very well, and strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with another shred of orange zest, or an olive

28775 Whitstable blog tour landscape

Tattletale by Sarah J Naughton – Review.

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About the Book

One day changes Jody’s life forever.
She has shut herself down, haunted by her memories and unable to trust anyone. But then she meets Abe, the perfect stranger next door and suddenly life seems full of possibility and hope.
One day changes Mags’s life forever.
After years of estrangement from her family, Mags receives a shocking phone call. Her brother Abe is in hospital and no-one knows what happened to him. She meets his fiancé Jody, and gradually pieces together the ruins of the life she left behind. But the pieces don’t quite seem to fit…

My Review

It seems common now, to have a novel that features an unreliable narrator. Tattletale is unusual in that it has three of them. After Abe is seriously injured in a fall, his sister Mags tries to get answers. She doesn’t believe what she is being told by his fiancé Jody and his neighbour Mira also seems to be keeping something back. There are flashbacks, and it isn’t clear who they concern. It also isn’t clear who to believe.
It’s a slow burning novel. At first I wasn’t sure which way it was going to go and my attention slipped a few times. But then, suddenly I was gripped and read the remainder of the book in one sitting. All three women had their problems and all had their own interpretation of the accident. Some of the flashbacks were quite upsetting, even more so because it was unclear whose they were and if they could be believed. At times it was intimidating. The threat from the thugs on the estate and some of the residents in the flats and the childhood  memories of both Mags and Jody.

The ending was superb. So often now I read a novel where there is a loose thread or the ending doesn’t make sense. But everything was wrapped up nicely and all to my satisfaction.

To preorder the book click here

With thanks to the publisher for the copy via NetGalley.

Ragdoll by Daniel Cole – Review

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About the Book

A body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together, nicknamed by the press as the ‘Ragdoll’. Assigned to the shocking case are Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes, recently reinstated to the London Met, and his former partner Detective Emily Baxter.
The ‘Ragdoll Killer’ taunts the police by releasing a list of names to the media, and the dates on which he intends to murder them. With six people to save, can Fawkes and Baxter catch a killer when the world is watching their every move?

My Review

I have been reading a lot of publicity mentions, followed by reviews praising Ragdoll over the last few months but I managed to save my copy to read until nearer publication.
After a high-profile court case goes against Wolf and his team his life changes dramatically. His marriage is over and he has been demoted at work after being forced to take a long leave of absence. But he is regarded as a celebrity cult figure by the media and the public, when a later event proved that the verdict of the court was the wrong one. The ‘ragdoll’ is a body that has been assembled from various other body parts. All the team need to identify the victims and try and prevent further people dying. They are not entirely successful in this matter.
Some of the murders in the book are the strangest and most brutal that I have come across and I read a lot of crime fiction. If they had all been bizarre I think it would have been too much but the balance was right. There was a lot of humour. Not just a little smile, this book had me laughing out loud a few times. Mostly at the expense of Wolf.
Wolf had to be one of the most mixed up detectives that I have come across but he wasn’t the only member of the team that had their issues. Baxter’s problems were the most believable but Edmunds was the one I had the most sympathy for. He never stood  a chance. The only one who seemed grounded was Finley. The media team were as usual, horrendous. Its nearly always a side of a novel that I struggle with and the ones that feature in this novel are the worst you can get.
An unexpected ending, that left me wanting a sequel. There has to be a future for Wolf and Baxter.

With thanks to the publisher for the copy via NetGalley.

Daniel Cole will be one of the authors participating in First Monday Crime in March. Details can be found here