Thursday, 28 May 2015

The Slaughter Man - Tony Parsons

"A murdered family. A dying serial killer. A missing child. DC Max Wolfe hunts a pitiless killer through the streets of London. By the Sunday Times number one bestselling author of The Murder Bag.
On New Year’s Day, a wealthy family is found slaughtered inside their exclusive gated community in north London, their youngest child stolen away. 
The murder weapon – a gun for stunning cattle before they are butchered – leads Detective Max Wolfe to a dusty corner of Scotland Yard’s Black Museum devoted to a killer who thirty years ago was known as the Slaughter Man.
But the Slaughter Man has done his time, and is now old and dying. Can he really be back in the game? 
And was the murder of a happy family a mindless killing spree, a grotesque homage by a copycat killer – or a contract hit designed to frame a dying man?
All Max knows is that he needs to find the missing child and stop the killer before he destroys another innocent family – or finds his way to his own front door …
Even the happiest of families have black, twisted secrets that someone is ready to kill for…"

I have read Tony Parsons before, but this was the first Max Wolfe book I had read. I LOVED this book - a brilliant crime thriller that grabs you from the first page, I couldn't put it down. Tony Parsons has created a likeable, believable detective in Max Wolfe - I loved his manner, the fact that he's vulnerable, like any parent, and the way he reacted to certain events throughout the book was brilliant - and his other characters are easily brought to life.

The storyline was fast-paced, with plenty of action and moments that made me gasp out loud. I thought there were going to be a few extra twists along the way, but the final twist was great - something that I never thought of when I first started reading - and all in all it made for a really enjoyable read. A brilliant read that I would definitely recommend.

The Slaughter Man is out on 21st May and you can get it here:

**Thank you to the publisher and the gang at for my ARC**

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Lost Child - Ann Troup

"Mandy Miller disappeared from Hallow’s End when she was just 3 years old. She was never found.
Thirty years on, Elaine Ellis is carrying her mother’s ashes back to Hallow’s End to scatter them in the place that she once called home. Elaine has never been there, but it’s the only place Jean talked about while she was growing up – so it seems as good a place as any.
As Elaine settles into her holiday cottage in the peaceful Devonshire village, she gets to know the locals; family she never knew she had, eccentric and old-fashioned gentry, and new friends where she would least expect them. But she is intrigued by the tale of the missing girl that the village still carries at its heart, and which somehow continues to overshadow them all. Little does she know how much more involved in the mystery she will become…"

I really, really enjoyed this. The story of a missing child and a woman who returns to her mother's home town after her mother dies, I found this a brilliant tale full of secrets and lies and I devoured it in one sitting. Although in some places I felt things could have been a little darker, the story line is very well-written, and the characters come to life. I liked Elaine, but Brodie is a wonderful character, and quickly became my favourite.

The thing I did enjoy most about this novel is that whilst the main twist is revealed fairly early on in the book, there were more secrets and lies, little plot twists dotted here and there throughout, making the whole story just that little bit more exciting - just when you though that you knew everything there was to know, another little secret was revealed. 

The Lost Child is out now and you can get it here:

**Thank you to the wonderful Northern Star Promotions for my ARC**

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

We Are All Made Of Stars - Rowan Coleman

"Do not miss me, because I will always be with you…I am the air, the moon, the stars. For we are all made of stars, my beloved... Wherever you look, I will be there.
Stella Carey exists in a world of night. Married to a soldier who has returned from Afghanistan injured in body and mind, she leaves the house every evening as Vincent locks himself away, along with the secrets he brought home from the war. 
During her nursing shifts, Stella writes letters for her patients to their loved ones - some full of humour, love and practical advice, others steeped in regret or pain – and promises to post these messages after their deaths.
Until one night Stella writes the letter that could give her patient one last chance at redemption, if she delivers it in time…"

Months and months after finishing Rowan's last book, The Memory Book, I thought I was finally emotionally recovered enough to read this. Turns out I was wrong. Yet another beautifully written novel that pulls you in and tugs on your heartstrings until you're bawling like a baby - and I LOVED it. The many strands of this story are all woven together beautifully, and the characters are REAL people - people who you could pass every day on the street. But the thing that stands out for me are the letters. Stella works in a hospice and when patients are nearing the end of their lives they ask Stella to write them a letter to their loved ones - at the end of each chapter, there is a letter. The letters are what turn this novel from a 4 star read to a 5 star. They are what made my original review notes just read "THE LETTERS. OH GOD, THE LETTERS". They are what made me message Rowan to tell her that once again, she had RUINED me. They are, quite simply, beautiful, heartfelt, honest and probably the most heartbreaking thing I've read (since The Memory Book). An absolute, top-notch, 5 star read that really does make you believe that we are, indeed, all made of stars. 

We Are All Made Of  Stars is out now and you can get it here (and I really think you should):
**Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my ARC**

Friday, 22 May 2015

The Day of the Wave - Becky Wicks

"One tsunami. Two lives. Over a decade of questions.

Torn apart by the tragedy. Thrown back together ten years later by destiny... Isla and Ben were just sixteen when the Boxing Day tsunami ripped through their beach resort in Thailand. Just days after forming a life-changing bond, both were missing and presumed dead.
Unbeknown to each other and haunted by one of the biggest natural disasters in world history, Isla and Ben are living very different lives, until over a decade later when a chance encounter throws them back together.
Based on real life events, The Day of the Wave is a story of healing, learning to let go, and figuring out when to hold on with everything you have left."

This was not my usual kind of read, but I'm glad I picked it up - it's marketed on Amazon as a "historical romance novel", and I wouldn't agree with that. Although somewhat historical (seeing as it was 10 years ago), the tag line might have put me off picking it up, as I would have been expecting a reeeealllly historic novel! That said, I did read it and I actually LOVED IT. 
I'm not sure whether Becky actually has first experience of events in Thailand that day, or if she just did heaps of excellent research, but her descriptions of what happened on the day of the wave are exquisite - you can almost feel the terror pouring off the page. 
Her characters are well-written and very likeable - the tension between Isla and Ben is brilliant, and I almost felt like actively cheering them on! There are a few unpleasant characters, and they are also well-written in such a way, that although I didn't particularly like them, I still wanted to know what they had to say. Although upsetting in places, I really enjoyed The Day Of The Wave and definitely recommend it, although I do think the Amazon tag-line needs to be changed! 

The Day Of The Wave is out now and you can get it here:

**Many thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for my ARC**

Thursday, 21 May 2015

A Night in with Audrey Hepburn - Lucy Holliday

"Unlucky in love, failed actress Libby Lomax has retreated into the world of classic movies, where the immortal lives of the screen goddesses offer so much more in the way of romance than her own life.
After a terrible day on the set of a cult TV sci-fi series where she has proved herself to be the antithesis of feminine poise and embarrassed herself in front of heartthrob actor Dillon O’Hara, she plonks herself down in front of her trillionth viewing of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Relaxing on her battered old couch, salvaged from the props department by her best friend Olly, Libby is gob smacked to find actual Screen Icon, Audrey Hepburn, sitting beside her. Dressed in her little black dress, wearing her trademark sunglasses, Audrey proffers advice to the hapless Libby between ladylike puffs on her vintage cigarette holder.
And so, Audrey becomes Libby’s confidante and friend – but has Libby got what it takes to turn her life from a Turkey to a Blockbuster? With a little bit of Audrey Hepburn magic, she might just pull it off…"

You know that little emoji with the love-heart eyes? That was TOTALLY my face, when I finished reading Audrey Hepburn. I loved it. Like, SERIOUSLY loved it. After reading a deluge of psych thrillers, books about little children being taken, and traumatic novels about the Thailand tsunami Lucy Holliday's gorgeous debut was like a breath of fresh air. 
Feel-good chick lit, with a tiny hint of magic, Lucy's writing reminds me a bit of Cecelia Aherne, but without the mega-amounts of schmaltz. I loved Libby Lomax - a likeable, highly relatable character (I, too, am the girl with a bazillion grey hoodies and zilch-o party clothes) and Lucy has Audrey to a T - any fan of Audrey Hepburn (are there actually ANY non-fans? Do these non-fan type people actually exist?) will agree that her character has been pulled off brilliantly. Combine that with a hilariously funny plot, which actually didn't take the path I was expecting it to, and you've got a winner. (Insert love-heart eyed emoji here).

A Night in with Audrey Hepburn is out on 21st May and you can get it here:

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Snowblind - Ragnar Jonasson

"Siglufjorour: an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors - accessible only via a small mountain tunnel. Ari Thor Arason: a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavik - with a past that he's unable to leave behind. When a young woman is found lying half-naked in the snow, bleeding and unconscious, and a highly esteemed, elderly writer falls to his death in the local theatre, Ari is dragged straight into the heart of a community where he can trust no one, and secrets and lies are a way of life. An avalanche and unremitting snowstorms close the mountain pass, and the 24-hour darkness threatens to push Ari over the edge, as curtains begin to twitch, and his investigation becomes increasingly complex, chilling and personal. Past plays tag with the present and the claustrophobic tension mounts, while Ari is thrust ever deeper into his own darkness - blinded by snow, and with a killer on the loose. Taut and terrifying, Snowblind is a startling debut from an extraordinary new talent, taking Nordic Noir to soaring new heights."

I think I have a new favourite to add to my ever-growing collection of authors of whom I simply MUST read everything they've ever written. Snowblind is a subtle, quiet mystery set in the most exquisite landscape - justice cannot to be done to how gorgeously Ragnar Jonasson describes the Icelandic village in which the story is set. A funny little set of characters emerge - each one seemingly keeping some kind of secret to themselves, and all quite determined not to let in Ari Thor, a new policeman from Reykjavik. 

I gulped this down in the space of one weekend, (a birthday weekend too, which also involved two consecutive nights out - this was the perfect way to recover!), and fell ever so slightly in love with Iceland. While the pace is fairly slow, and it is not a heart-racing, arm-grabbing, screechy kind of a crime novel, the story is a slow burner that will suck you in and not let you go until you finish the final page. 

Please hurry up with some more Ragnar Jonasson. I'm not ready to let Ari Thor go just quite yet.

Snowblind is out in June and you can get it here:

**Thanks to the publisher and Liz @ for my ARC**

Monday, 18 May 2015

Follow You Home - Mark Edwards

"It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, a final adventure before settling down.
After a perfect start, Daniel and Laura’s travels end abruptly when they are thrown off a night train in the middle of nowhere. To find their way back to civilisation, they must hike along the tracks through a forest…a haunting journey that ends in unimaginable terror. 
Back in London, Daniel and Laura vow never to talk about what they saw that night. But as they try to fit back into their old lives, it becomes clear that their nightmare is just beginning…
Follow You Home is a chilling tale of secrets, lies and deadly consequences from the author of #1 bestsellers The Magpies and Because She Loves Me."

I'm a big Mark Edwards fan, so I was excited to be given the opportunity to read an early copy of Follow You Home. I swear, I do not know how Mark does it - this is another brilliant read, once again completely different from all his other books. Strong characters, excellent plot, and a completely unexpected twist at the end, meant that I neglected everything until I had finished reading. 

The main body of the story revolves around events that occurred to Daniel and Laura in Romania, and it takes a long time through the novel for exact details to be released - I really enjoyed the whole "secret" plot, I had to keep on reading, unable to put it down until I knew what really had happened in Romania. The villains are deliciously evil, and although I wasn't keen on Daniel at first (he seems like a bit of a wuss), I did really warm to him in the end. The thing that makes the book a  5 star read for me though, is the final twist. I never even saw it coming, never even dreamed there WAS another twist - and it's a good one. 

Follow You Home is out on 30th June and you can get it here:

**MY thanks to Thomas and Mercer for my ARC**

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Just The Way You Are - Lynsey James

"Dear Ava,
How do you start writing a letter to someone, six years after breaking their heart? 
Ava is unlucky in love as well as in life. The new office bitch has landed the dating column Ava wanted, and she can't remember the last time she had a second date. It's a good thing she has best friends Max and Gwen to pick up the pieces. 
Deep down, Ava knows the reason why one date never turns into two – she's in love with someone else. Someone she's never even met. 
It all started six years ago, with a letter from a secret admirer, Mr Writer... but then they suddenly stopped and Ava was heartbroken. 

Now the letters have started again and Ava knows it could mean winning back the dating column at work. This time she's determined to unmask Mr Writer... and find out once and for all if he's Mr Right or Mr Very Definitely Wrong!"

After being stuck in crime-thriller rut for ages, I've found my chick-lit mojo and I'm loving it right now. This was a brilliantly funny novel of love, friendship, loss and a little bit of confusion in some places! Lynsey James has created some lovely, warm, down-to-earth characters, that I could really relate to. There are two love stories for the price of one - Ava and her "Mr Writer" and the love story between Ivy and Leo - I raced through the book in one sitting to find out what was going to happen. 

There are a couple of grotty characters, (I defy ANYONE to want to befriend Amira). which adds to the whole scenario, and Ava's experiences with the fellas that she tracks down while looking for Mr Writer had me roaring with laughing in places. The only thing that I didn't really like was the way Max referred to Ava throughout as "munchkin" - but then I don't think that Ava really liked that either!

This was a perfect Bank Holiday read, a gorgeously warm, funny double love story - I highly recommend it!

Just The Way You Are is out now and you can get it here:

**Many thanks to the publisher for my ARC**

Friday, 15 May 2015

Evil Games - Angela Marsons

"When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work. 

With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment. 

Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing. And this time - it’s personal. "

Angela Marsons has done it again! Evil Games is an absolutely cracking, five-star read - I devoured it in one sitting. Kim Stone has rapidly become one of my favourite ever detectives, and in this second novel in the DI Stone series she kicks ass more than ever, and I have, once again, been left panting in the corner in dire need of a cup of tea!

Pure evil is the name of the game in this book - I loved the fact that the "baddy" in this case is a woman, and Angela really shows how different evil carried out by men and women can be. Although you know who the perpetrator is throughout the novel, the way that her evil is uncovered leaves you wanting more and more. I loved the way Alex and Kim played psychological games with each other, each uncovering more and more layers of the other, before culminating in a tense, exhilarating finale. 

I CANNOT WAIT for the next book in this series - DI Kim Stone is a legend.

Evil Games is out on 29th May and you can get it here:

**Thank you to lovely Kim at Bookouture for my ARC**

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The Time In Between - Nancy Tucker

"When Nancy Tucker was eight years old, her class had to write about what they wanted in life. She thought, and thought, and then, though she didn't know why, she wrote: 'I want to be thin.' Over the next twelve years, she developed anorexia nervosa, was hospitalised, and finally swung the other way towards bulimia nervosa. She left school, rejoined school; went in and out of therapy; ebbed in and out of life. From the bleak reality of a body breaking down to the electric mental highs of starvation, hers has been a life held in thrall by food. Told with remarkable insight, dark humour and acute intelligence, The Time in Between is a profound, important window into the workings of an unquiet mind - a Wasted for the 21st century."

This insightful, astonishingly honest memoir snapped my heart in two by the end of the prologue. Nancy's story of anorexia and bulimia is simply the most touching, heart-rending book I have read this year. 
I've never had any experience of anorexia myself, but being the mum of three children I am conscious of my weight, and can't remember how long I have been on (and failed at) diets. Reading Nancy's story has made me realise that the never ending quest to be thin is not the be all and end all, and it's certainly made me think about the way I behave around food, and the way I think about my own body, particularly in front my almost-teenaged daughter. Nancy is brutally honest about her illness, the effects and how it has affected her life and relationships, and I have nothing but admiration for her. Her writing is lovely, and she tells her story in a matter of fact way. 
Nancy Tucker, you are a very brave lady, and I hold you in the highest esteem - you may have broken my heart, but I'm so glad you're on your way to the rest of your life. 

The time In Between is out now and you can get it here:

**My thanks to the publisher for my review copy**

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Lives Lost - Britta Bolt

"A minute can make all the difference...
Pieter Posthumus is enjoying a quiet drink in his favourite bar when the screaming starts. A minute later, the owner of the guesthouse next door rushes in: one of her tenants has been murdered. 
Marloes, the guesthouse owner, is an odd but kind soul. Posthumus cannot believe it when she is arrested - for both her tenant Zig's murder and another death years before. He knows there are questions unanswered: what is the link between the two cases? Why are people so keen to think Marloes is guilty? And why did Zig paint just one picture every year - a copy of a Dutch master, but with one peculiar twist? 
As his investigation progresses, he comes to see that a few minutes can mean all the difference in the world: between saving a life and taking one; between innocence and guilt. And that sometimes asking questions leads to a truth that's hard to bear."

To be honest, I wasn't too sure about this one when I started it - it was very slow paced and it took me quite a while to get into it, however it did turn out to be a pretty good read. Although it started slowly, the plot was well-written, and once I had my head around a few things that weren't particularly clear in the beginning, (I wasn't too sure at first exactly what Pieter Posthumus did for a living, or how he came to be investigating events), I actually came to quite like Pieter Posthumus, and I could see readers getting rather attached to him, if further books in the series come about, (which I think they will, as the ending leaves you hanging in the hope that there will be more).
The characters are well-written, although some are hard to relate to as they are really quite horrid! The novel works as a standalone, but I think it would be best to read the previous novel first - I didn't, and I get the feeling that I would have found the characters more relatable if I had. 

Lives Lost is a slow, but subtle read, there are a few good twists, and although I found it hard to get into, once I started I wanted to know exactly what was going to happen - and a quirky but charming protagonist ensures you'll be hooked before long. 

Lives Lost is out now and you can get it here:

Pieter Posthumus is renowned among his friends for being a good cook. In LIVES LOST, Posthumus lifts the lid on a casserole dish, releasing aromas of aniseed and thyme. This is what is in it. His niece Merel finds it delicious.

Posthumus’s Aniseed Chicken
1 small tin organic, Italian plum tomatoes
(Posthumus has a low opinion of tasteless, ‘digital’ Dutch fresh tomatoes)
2 large onions, quartered
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
Juice from half a freshly squeezed orange
80 ml Pernod
            (PP’s secret ingredient)
A pinch of saffron
Small handful of fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 large fennel bulbs, preferably with leaves attached, trimmed and cut into eighths
4 chicken legs with thighs attached, skinned

Half a kilo of peeled, fairly firm potatoes
500 ml of chicken stock (preferably home-made)

Zest of one orange
            (Another PP secret)
The day before, mix the ingredients for the marinade in a large ceramic or glass bowl. Add the fennel pieces and give a good stir, then add the chicken and do the same. Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours, giving the whole thing a good turnover from time to time.

At least an hour before you start cooking, remove the marinating chicken from the fridge.
Tip chicken with the marinade into a cast-iron (stove-top) casserole dish, and stew it, covered and in the marinade, on a medium heat for 30 minutes.
Add the potatoes and the stock, bring to the boil, and simmer gently for another 30-45 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked but not disintegrating.
Remove from the heat, leave to stand for five minutes, then add the orange zest and serve.

Adjust seasoning at the end if needs be. This makes a fairly soupy mix, if you’d prefer less liquid reduce the amount of chicken stock.

**My thanks to the Publisher for my ARC ** 

Monday, 11 May 2015

The Gospel According to Drew Barrymore - Pippa Wright

"Friendship is like a shark: it has to keep moving forwards to survive.
Esther and Laura have been best friends since they were seven, when Esther was chubby and Laura was already perfect. So much has changed since then - school, boyfriends, drink, experimental hair-dye, university, jobs, London, babies - and their friendship has changed just as much, but they are still close, still inextricably linked to one another.
So when Esther is told that Laura has gone missing, she leaves everything behind - including her husband and small child - to fly to San Francisco and trace her friend's last movements. All she has is an email from Laura: 'I'm channelling Drew Barrymore, as ever. The Gospel, right?'
In trying to understand why Laura has disappeared, and what on earth Drew Barrymore has to do with it, Esther needs to look back. Back at the secrets woven into their friendship and the truths she's avoided facing for so long."

I read so many thrillers that sometimes I forget just how good a good chick-lit novel can be. I read this while sunning myself at the pool in my hotel in California, and it was the perfect holiday chick-lit read about female friendships and how far we will go for our BFFs. The plot was sweet, with the kind of ending that I was holding out for. 

Esther is a lovely, sweet character, who is determined to help her best friend despite having a family of her own to deal with. Laura, on the other hand, I didn't really like at all - she's pretty selfish and manipulative, and really needed to grow up. I loved the references to the '80's and what girl who grew up in the '80's didn't want to be Drew Barrymore at some point?

This is the first Pippa Wright novel that I've read, and I'm pretty sure it wont be the last. 

The Gospel According to Drew Barrymore is out now and you can get it here:

**Thank you to Pan MacMillan and Netgalley for my ARC**

Friday, 8 May 2015

When We Were Sisters - Beth Miller

"‘I never think of Laura as my step-sister, but that’s what she is.’
Once they were the best of friends, inseparable as only teenage girls can be.
That is until Miffy’s Jewish father runs off with Laura’s Catholic mother and both of their families imploded – as well as Laura’s intense relationship with Miffy’s brother...
Twenty years on, they’re all about to meet again…"

A complicated tale of family, friendship and divorce, I found Beth Miller's novel an easy read, with highly relatable characters. The pain of a divorce is captured perfectly and shown through the eyes of both Miffy and Danny, whose father leaves their family to set up home with Laura's mother. Laura, whose father left years before, doesn't seem to understand why Miffy and Danny feel the way they do, and the story of their reconciliation is both touching and upsetting in places. 

I liked Laura, but also disliked her in some places - she is funny and sarcastic, but also manipulative and more concerned with her own feelings than others around her, however it's more that she's not perfect, than that she is malicious. I felt for Miffy - put in an awkward situation on more than one occasion by Laura, and also in turn by Laura's husband, she is portrayed as fairly naive and innocent. 

This was a touching novel, with a hint of scandal, and one that I would recommend - if (like me), you are a child of divorce then the characters are easy to relate to, and the subject matter is handled in a very sensitive way. 

When We Were Sisters is out now and you can get it here:

**Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC**

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance - Kirsty Greenwood

"Jessica Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she's been forgetting to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother.
Things aren't going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her granddaughter wears neon Wonderbras.
When a lifeline from a London publisher arrives, the pair have an opportunity to secure the roof over their heads - by invigorating the Good Woman guides and transforming modern, rebellious Jess into a demure vintage lady.
The true test of their make-over will be to capture the heart of notorious London playboy Leo Frost and prove that Matilda's guides still work. It's going to take commitment, nerves of steel and one seriously pointy bra to pull this off . . ."

Oh, how I LOVED Jessica Beam - this book made me laugh til I cried and then some. I was sniggering away to myself by the end of chapter one, and it just got better and better. Jessica Beam is a human hurricane, and I loved seeing how she transformed herself through her Grandmother's tips for how to be a "good woman" - tips that embody all that Jess is NOT. 
The writing was fantastic, and I loved the references to modern pop culture (although I do get that not everybody is going to love that part of it). I fell a teensy bit in love with every character - Jess is brilliant and hilariously funny, Peach is a sweetie, as is Jamie, and Leo is…something else. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but it really is a gorgeously sweet, funny,  perfect chick-lit read - one that I swallowed whole in the space of one Bank Holiday weekend. 

The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is out now and you can get it here:

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

No Name Lane - Howard Linskey

"Young girls are being abducted and murdered in the North-East. Out of favour Detective Constable Ian Bradshaw struggles to find any leads - and fears that the only thing this investigation will unravel is himself.
Journalist Tom Carney is suspended by his London tabloid and returns to his home village in County Durham. Helen Norton is the reporter who replaced Tom on the local newspaper. Together, they are drawn into a case that will change their lives forever.
When a body is found, it's not the latest victim but a decades-old corpse. Secrets buried for years are waiting to be found, while in the present-day an unstoppable killer continues to evade justice…"

This was a lovely surprise. It had been sitting on my Kindle for a good while, and I clicked on it whilst on holiday - in a hotel room with no wi-fi and no way of reading the blurb. I'm so glad I picked it up - I was hooked from the first page. There are some very strong characters, and an excellently executed plot which alludes to the final twist at the end early on, but I didn't realise and the twist was a surprise. The story is very well-written, from both time periods, and although sometimes books written in this fashion can become confusing, the storyline ran smoothly from one time period to the next. 
In short, a brilliant book, with a great plot and some excellent characters. I'm glad I wasn't able to read the blurb on the back before reading, as it just added to the tension during the book, as I had no idea at all what I was expecting. 
This is the first Howard Linskey novel I have read, but I highly recommend it and I will definitely be looking out for his previous work!
No Name Lane is out now and you can get it here:

**Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my review copy**

Friday, 1 May 2015

Welcome to Wherever You Are - John Marrs

"How far would you run to escape your past? 

For eight strangers in a Los Angeles backpacking hostel, even the other side of the world isn’t far enough. 

The craving for a new identity and the chance to start again is something they have in common. But the search for a fresh start isn't as easy as they'd imagined. 

And they soon discover that it doesn't matter where you are or who you are - if you can't lay the past to rest, coincidence, fate and deception have a way of catching up with you when you least expect it."

Woah. This book, quite simply, blew me away. Based in Venice Beach, (a place I have just returned from, so that was in the book's favour straight away), and telling the story of eight strangers, all living in a back-packing hostel, Welcome To Wherever You Are is a complex mix of layer upon layer of secrets, secrets, secrets. No one appears to be exactly who they seem, and all of them are hiding something, some things more shocking than others, then just when you think you've got it all straight….BAM, you get hit with another incredible twist. There are some fantastic squeezy-arm-oh-my-god moments (always good), and I was swinging wildly from loving characters, to hating them, to loving them again all the space of a single chapter. 

If you've read (and enjoyed) The Wronged Sons, then you'll love this book - but don't expect it to be similar in any way, shape or form - its a completely different read, one that I found even more enjoyable than The Wronged Sons. If you haven't read John's first novel, then I suggest you do - and follow it up with this brilliant five star story.

Welcome To Wherever You Are is out now and you can get it here:

**Thank you to the author, and our esteemed leader of THE Book Club for my ARC**