Friday, 18 January 2019

#BlogTour Deep Dirty Truth by Steph Broadribb


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour for Deep Dirty Truth by Steph Broadribb. It's the third part in the Lori Anderson series. She is a bounty hunters answer to Tomb Raider, but with more attitude and panache. The kind of character who is just begging to be put on the screen, but is equally entertaining on the pages of a book.


About the Author
Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA. As her alter ego – Crime Thriller Girl – she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at crimethrillergirl.com, where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases. She is also a member of the crime-themed girl band The Splice Girls.

Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California, which inspired her Lori Anderson thrillers. She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens. Her debut thriller, Deep Down Dead, was shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards in two categories, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts. My Little Eye, her first novel under her pseudonym Stephanie Marland was published by Trapeze Books in April 2018.

Follow @crimethrillgirl  @OrendaBooks on Twitter
Visit crimethrillergirl.com
Buy Deep Dirty Truth


About the book
A price on her head, and just 48 hours to expose the truth, and save her family…
Single-mother bounty hunter Lori Anderson has finally got her family back together, but her new found happiness is shattered when she’s snatched by the Miami Mob, who they want her dead. But rather than a bullet, they offer her a job: find the Mob’s ‘numbers man’– Carlton North – who’s in protective custody after being forced to turn federal witness against them. If Lori succeeds, they’ll wipe the slate clean and the price on her head – and those of her family – will be removed. If she fails, they die.

With only 48 hours before North is due to appear in court, Lori sets across Florida, racing against the clock to find him, and save her family…

Brimming with tension, high-stakes jeopardy and high-voltage action, and a deep, emotional core, Deep Dirty Truth is an unmissable thriller by one of the freshest and most exciting voices in crime fiction.

Review
This is the third book in the Lori Anderson series and the rambunctious, impetuous, tough as old boots bounty hunter shows no sign of slowing down in this thrilling adventure. The books in this series set off at an amazing pace and the author keeps that pace going throughout, which means the reader is in for one heck of a ride and a read.

What is remarkable about this author is the consistency of the read. Sometimes when a debut novel comes out of the running blocks at a great speed the next read can have trouble living up to the first success. Broadribb doesn't seem to have that problem, which means you know what you're getting when you buy the product.

Unfortunately Lori still can't seem to extract herself from the ties of her past. The mob still comes calling at regular intervals to get their revenge. It seems that killing a monster is a big deal when it is their monster. Now they have finally figured out Lori was to blame for disposing of said monster they want her to repay the debt of his death. They want a favour, the kind that will make Lori the same as the mobsters she has been running from for years, a favour that could cost her family their lives.

Lori is presented with a difficult decision, does she throw all her morals out of the window to save the man she loves and her young daughter? Or does she bite the bullet and show them what she is made of? Knowing Lori means knowing exactly how she thinks, which also means knowing how stubborn and persistent she can be when it comes to being in a tight spot.

Broadribb has proven that she is an exciting new voice in the crime genre and here to stay. She delivers an exciting and riveting read. The Lori Anderson series is an exciting combination of thriller, adventure, crime and the cherry on top is the sassy main character. She is a bounty hunters answer to Tomb Raider, but with more attitude and panache. The kind of character who is just begging to be put on the screen, but is equally entertaining in the pages of a book.

Buy Deep Dirty Truth at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books; Publication Date: 10 January 2019
Read my review of Deep Blue Trouble (Lori Anderson #2)
Read my review of Deep Down Dead (Lori Anderson #1)


#BlogTour The Hidden Women by Kerry Barrett


Today it's my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Hidden Women by Kerry Barrett. At the end of this post there is an extract of The Hidden Women for you to enjoy. It's a story of women empowering other women, and how some secrets seem more hurtful or sinister when they are kept buried.

About the Author
Kerry has always loved books, words, writing and reading. She was a very bookish child and read all the time. She remembers challenging herself to read all the Famous Five books by her seventh birthday – but she doesn’t remember if she succeeded!

From growing up on a diet of Enid Blyton, Noel Streatfeild, and Sweet Valley High, she moved on to Jackie Collins and her all-time favourite Jilly Cooper. She studied English Literature and Language at the University of Birmingham, then after university, she trained as a journalist and worked on various newspapers and magazines as a writer and editor. In her spare time, she wrote and rewrote what would eventually become her first novel, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, which was published in 2013.

Kerry now divides her time between writing her own novels and editing other people’s. She loves editing as much as writing and she thinks being an editor helps improve her writing, while being a writer makes her a better editor.

Kerry is from Edinburgh originally, but now she lives in South London with her husband and two sons.

Follow @kerrybean73 @HQStories @HQDigitalUK on Twitter
Visit kerrybarrett.co.uk
Buy The Hidden Women


About the book
Berkshire, 1944
When Will Bates offers to take ATA pilot Lilian Miles to the dance, he sends her heart into a flutter. But as their relationship progresses, Lilian can’t help but get cold feet. Deep down she’s always known that the secrets locked in her past would weigh heavily on her future happiness…

London, 2018
Helena Miles loves nothing more than digging into the back stories of celebrity families, making her perfectly suited for her job as a researcher on the hit show Where Did You Come From?. But when handsome superstar Jack Jones sweeps into her life, she unexpectedly finds herself trawling through her own family history.

As she explores her family’s past, she discovers that there are far more secrets hidden there than she ever expected… What really happened to her aunt Lilian during the war, and why can’t she open up about it now?

Review
I think the title is apt, because women do take on roles that are hidden and forgotten in history. Not many of us are able to name famous female figures in science, war, medicine and all other elements of advancement. Why not? Because the names of men tend to take a higher ranking in history. The truth is that there are plenty of unnamed invisible women who have advanced our society and contributed to sustaining the human race in many different ways.

This story is told by two women, Lillian is a fearless female pilot during WW2 who was determined to give herself and the women around her more than one choice in life. Then decades later her great-niece Helena, who is a genealogy researcher, stumbles upon the some of the secrets Lillian has been keeping hidden from her family.

The Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) was a British civilian organisation set up during World War 2. They employed both male and female pilots, due to the lack of available men, and also received equal pay. The women of the ATA tend to be modest and underplay their role in the Second World War, as do the majority of women who took their places in so-called men's jobs and the women who were in active service. Adding the sub-plot of an organised ring where women help other women to re-home or adopt babies, to help women get help in desperate situations was an interesting idea.

The opposite side to Lillian's story, which is also the avenue to her finally being able to reveal her secrets, is Helena digging in places she shouldn't be digging in. Helena sees the similarities between herself and her aunt, and then how differently their lives have evolved across the decade, despite those similarities.

It's a story of women empowering other women, and how some secrets seem more hurtful or sinister when they are kept buried. Barrett manages to balance a tale of empowerment and a cry to arms with the emotional vibe of a family saga. The result is an informative, brave and heart-warming read.

Buy The Hidden Women at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.


EXTRACT of The Hidden Women
Chapter 1
Helena May 2018
‘Here?’ I said, staring at my boss Fliss in astonishment. ‘Jack Jones is coming here?’
‘Yes, here,’ she said, resting her hand on her computer keyboard as though to warn me I was about to lose her attention. ‘Apparently he’s very interested in social history and he wants to know how you work. It’s no biggie.’
‘But I’ve  got a system,’ I said, knowing it was no good protesting when Fliss had decided something. ‘I don’t want him to mess it up.’
‘He’s not taking over, Helena, he just wants to know how you’re getting on.’ Fliss sounded impatient. ‘He’ll be here after lunch.’
I forced a smile. ‘Fine,’ I said. ‘I’ll get some stuff together.’ I wandered back to my desk feeling wrong-footed.
‘What’s with the face?’ asked my colleague Elly as I sat down. ‘Did Fliss tell you off?’
I wiggled my mouse to wake up my screen. ‘No,’ I said gloomily. ‘She told me Jack bloody Jones is coming in this after- noon to see how I’m getting on with my research.’
‘Shut. Up,’ said Elly, spinning round in her chair to face me. ‘Shut. Up.’
I blinked at her. Did she really mean me to be quiet?
‘Jack Jones is coming here? THE Jack Jones? We never get to meet the celebs,’ Elly was beginning to babble. ‘I’ve worked on this show for five years and I’ve never met one single person whose family history I’ve researched. Have you met anyone?’
‘No,’ I said. She was right. I’d not worked on Where Did You Come From? as long as Elly had, but I’d researched the family trees of lots of celebrities and not been so much as introduced to anyone.
‘And it’s Jack Jones?’ Elly went on. ‘Jack. Jones.’
I nodded. ‘It’s an interesting one, actually. His great-grandfa- ther was at the Somme …’
I trailed off as Elly waved her hand to shush me.
‘He’s gorgeous,’ she said. ‘Properly handsome. And I’ve heard he’s going to be in that new superhero film soon so he’ll be a massive Hollywood star.’
I nodded again. I knew who Jack Jones was of course – star of the latest Sunday night detective drama that was wowing audi- ences, and tipped for superstardom – and Elly was right, he was gorgeous. In any other circumstances I’d love to meet him. But I had a certain way of working, and a system, and a process, and I didn’t appreciate interference or anyone checking up on me, however handsome they were.
‘Will you come with me?’ I asked Elly. ‘To the meeting?’
She gaped at me. ‘Seriously?’ she said. ‘The meeting with Jack Jones?’
I couldn’t help laughing at her face. ‘Yes, the meeting with Jack Jones,’ I said. ‘I could do with the help.’
Elly was getting up from her chair. She pulled on her coat and picked up her bag as I looked on in confusion.

‘Is that a no?’ I said.
‘It’s a yes,’ she threw back over her shoulder as she headed for the lift. ‘I’m going to buy a new top and get my hair blow-dried.’ Chuckling to myself I turned back to my screen. We worked  on more than one celebrity story at a time and I was currently tracking the maternal line of a breakfast TV presenter. I’d got right back to the early 1800s and I thought I might be able to
go further if I was clever about it.
I clicked on to the census web page I used, intending to get back to work, though I couldn’t concentrate on Sarah Sanderson properly with the news that Jack Jones was coming into the office weighing on my mind. I absolutely loved my job and I considered myself to be really lucky that I’d landed this role on Where Did You Come From? Social history may have been my passion but it wasn’t exactly well paid – so making the jump into television was brilliant for me – and I enjoyed the research as well as seeing the process of the show being made. My colleagues were lovely, and Fliss was very understanding when it came to having to rush off on time each evening to collect Dora from nursery, or working from home when she was ill.
Spinning round in my chair, I surveyed my shelves of neat brown folders, each with the name of the celebrity written along the spine and arranged in alphabetical order. I ran my finger along them until I found J and pulled out the Jack Jones file. I’d found out quite a lot about his family already so I had things to tell him. But today I was supposed to be working on Sarah Sanderson’s family history. Giving up an afternoon to Jack Jones was going to throw everything out.
I opened the folder and looked at the picture of him clipped to the front cover. I liked to have a photo of each person so I knew whose family I was researching – especially for those celebs I didn’t really know much about. It helped them become real for me, and then their families became real, too.
Elly was right, Jack Jones was really handsome. He had glossy brown hair that was longish and curlyish and flopped over his forehead, and a smile with a hint of mischief. I felt a brief flicker of excitement. Though I wasn’t a massive fan of the whole celeb thing – I couldn’t name the Kardashians or the members of One Direction – I had really enjoyed the detective series that Jack had starred in. I wondered if it would be weird to discuss the cryptic ending with him and decided it would be a bit fangirl. Mind you, I thought, not as fangirl as Elly getting her hair done.
I picked up my phone, smiling at the picture of Dora wearing my sunglasses on my home screen, and took a photo of Jack’s picture, then added it to my siblings’ group chat.
‘Guess who I’m meeting this afternoon …’ I typed.
Almost straight away, my baby sister Imogen replied. ‘OMG!’ she wrote. ‘Is that Jack Jones? I love him!’
I grinned. Before I could reply, a message arrived from my other sister, Miranda. ‘I have no idea who that is,’ she wrote. ‘But he’s easy on the eye.’
I smiled again. My sisters were nothing if not predictable. ‘Has anyone heard from Andy?’ Another message pinged
through from Miranda. ‘I can’t see if he’s getting these. Immy manages to reply all the way from Africa and he can’t be bothered to keep in touch from Scotland.’
I made a face at my phone. I adored my big sister Miranda but she could be a bit of a mother hen. Not surprising, I supposed, when you thought about what she’d had to take on when we were kids, and I’d never forget how she’d been there when I needed her when Dora was born.
‘He’s probably not on Wi-Fi,’ I typed. Andy was on an archae- ological dig somewhere on a windswept island in the North Sea
– hardly hanging out in a coffee bar in Glasgow as Miranda obviously thought. ‘He’ll check in when he can.’
I threw my phone into my bag and pulled out my make-up. If Elly was dolling up to meet Jack Jones, then perhaps I should do the same....


Thursday, 17 January 2019

#BlogTour Mary Kate by Nadine Dorries


Today it's my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Mary Kate by Nadine Dorries. It's heart-warming, sometimes tragic and it's also quite amusing at times. Topping off the emotional turmoil and drama with a cheeky sense of humour is what makes this a compelling story.


About the Author
Nadine Dorries grew up in a working-class family in Liverpool. She spent part of her childhood living on a farm with her grandmother, and attended school in a small remote village in the west of Ireland. She trained as a nurse, then followed with a successful career in which she established and then sold her own business. She has been the MP for Mid-Bedfordshire since 2005 and has three daughters.

Follow @NadineDorries @HoZ_Books on Twitter
Buy Mary Kate


About the book
Mary Kate Malone is seventeen and bitterly unhappy that her father has married again after the death of her mother. On her last day at school, she decides to leave home in Tarabeg on the west coast of Ireland and head for Liverpool to find her mother’s sister, Aunt Bee.

But absolutely nothing goes to plan. Within hours of disembarking, she finds herself penniless and alone, with no place to stay and no idea how she will survive.

Meanwhile, back in Ireland, where old sins cast long shadows, a long-buried secret is about to come to light and a day of reckoning, in the shape of a stranger from America, will set an unstoppable chain of events in motion.

Review
This is the sequel to Shadows in Heaven, and although one might assume that the main focus is on Mary Kate and the people who love her, the rest of the family tries very hard to draw attention away from her. It is a layered family saga with entertaining characters. Never a dull moment with any one of them.

The fact Mary Kate has decided to embark upon wildly exotic travels, from Ireland to Liverpool, comes as a shock to her family. They expect her to settle down near them and stay within the inner hub. She has other ideas and sense of adventure to placate.

Rosie is a character who may divide opinions. At times I felt sorry for her, because living her life in the shadow of a ghost is difficult. Then there is the other side of Rosie, the more spiteful and harsh version of the woman always destined to be second best.

I was annoyed on her behalf about the way she was treated by her husband Michael, his family members and of course by Mary Kate. This woman has raised Mary Kate's brother since his first moments, becoming his surrogate mother after his mother died in childbirth. She is his mother, just not genetically, and yet everyone still behaves as if she is an usurper.

Sarah's presence is felt throughout, as are other ghosts, which is a delightful addition to the story. It gives this family a stronger sense of being bonded together. Daedio in particular is driven by the advice given by long lost loved ones, and he is also the one who made me smile the most.

It has a Catherine Cookson vibe, but less gritty and with more emphasis on the chaotic family entanglements, and of course the family is Irish. It's heart-warming, sometimes tragic and it's also quite amusing at times. Topping off the emotional turmoil and drama with a cheeky sense of humour is what makes this a compelling story.

Buy Mary Kate (Tarabeg #2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Head of Zeus; pub date 10 Jan. 2019
Buy Shadows in Heaven (Tarabeg #1)

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

#BlogTour Island of Secrets by Diane Demetre


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Island of Secrets by Diane Demetre. It's a tale of empowerment, about rising above oppression and a family who keeps their secrets buried deep beneath decades of lies.


About the Author
Diane began her career as a school teacher before moving into the entertainment industry as a choreographer, director, event manager, dancer and actress, working in television and live theatre, and managing multi-million dollar productions.

Following her onstage career, she spent many years as a stress & life skills therapist, keynote speaker and presenter, appearing on national radio and television.When she launched into a writing career, Diane’s debut erotic romance series, the Dance of Love was voted Luminosity Publishing Readers’ Choice Best Books and Best Covers for 2015 and 2016.

Her romantic suspense, Retribution won the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Pro Award 2017 for Best Unpublished Manuscript. Diane loves to write genre-busting stories with a twist. Her works are packed with emotional punch and feature empowered heroines who live life to the fullest, much like the author herself.

Follow @DianeDemetre @LuminosityPub onTwitter
or on Facebook
Visit dianedemetre.com dianedemetre.com.blogposts/


About the book
A captivating story of love, mystery and hope. Two love stories separated in time. Two women following their dreams. In a paradise littered with painful secrets, will love turn the tide?

1973. Cecilia “CiCi” Freemont has a restless soul and the voice of an angel. Leaving her privileged upbringing behind, she chases her dreams to the sandy beaches of an unspoiled Hawaiian paradise, Harbor Island. But life takes an unexpected turn when she falls for the island’s young heir-apparent and her newfound adventure becomes too much to bear…

2017. Investigative journalist Tina Templeton has dedicated herself to the pursuit of truth. But when she inherits Harbor Island, her career plans take a confusing twist. Managing the sprawling island estate is tough business even with the help of aging cabaret singer, CiCi Freemont. Especially when a massive ecological disaster threatens to destroy her beautiful beaches—and the responding coast guard captain steals her heart.

As the investigation into the disaster reveals a 40-year-old mystery that could change their lives forever, will Tina find love among the secrets, or will CiCi’s painful past dash her dreams on the rocks?

Island of Secrets is an epic love story. If you like generations-spanning drama, characters with hidden pasts, heart-warming romance and intrigue, then you’ll love Diane Demetre’s powerful romantic mystery in paradise.

Review
The story is about two women decades apart who are both connected to a special place called Harbor Island. In a way it is about them finding their own voices, paths and strength to overcome any obstacle in their lives.

It starts with the story of Cecilia, a young woman who ends up on Harbor Island after finally coming to the realisation that the free-love phase of the 70s is a lot more messy than she thought it would be. She hears about a job on a nearby private island working for a wealthy family, which is the beginning of her discovering what she wants in life.

Over three decades later Tina returns home to the same island that defined the life of her family and Cecilia. Perhaps it's time the secrets were allowed to breath and infiltrate the family life, which has been built on lies, fraud, pain and the need to please one selfish man.

It has the feel of a family dynasty with plenty of secrets and drama. The characters have a flair for the melodramatic and equally for very serene thoughtful moments. In one moment Cecilia will be pondering her insecurities and how she has overcome them, and in the next moment she exits stage left with a flounce and a hair flip.

It's a tale of empowerment, about rising above oppression and a family who keeps their secrets buried deep beneath decades of lies. Demetre gives the story an exotic, tropical feel, and infuses the imagery with her own love of the beautiful surroundings. Her love of Hawaii is evident, despite Harbor Island being a fictional place.

It's perfect for readers who enjoy romance, intrigue, family feuds, plenty of secrets and a colourful cast of characters.

Buy Island of Secrets at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Paperback
Publisher: Luminosity Publishing LLP; pub date Oct. 2018
Buy Island of Secrets on Amazon com at Luminosity Publishing Bookstrand Smashwords Google Play Kobo Barnes &Noble Itunes


Saturday, 12 January 2019

#BlogTour Evil Things by Katja Ivar


Today it's my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Evil Things by Katja Ivar. It’s a fascinating combo of Cold War political thriller with a hint of Scandi noir and a riveting murder mystery.

About the Author
Katja Ivar grew up in Russia and the U.S. She travelled the world extensively, from Almaty to Ushuaia, from Karelia to Kyushu, before finally settling in Paris where she lives with her husband and three children. She received a B.A. in Linguistics and a master's degree in Contemporary History from Sorbonne University. Evil Things is her debut novel.
Follow @KatjaIvar @bitterlemonpub
Buy Evil Things
About the book
Lapland, Finland, 1952. It’s the height of the Cold War and Finland is a snow-smothered powder keg. Sharing a long border with the Soviet Union the country is engaged in a high-wire act of protecting its independence from its sometimes dangerous neighbour.
Hella Mauzer is the first female Inspector in the Helsinki Homicide Unit. Or was, until she was deemed too ‘emotional’ for the job and reassigned to Lapland. When a man disappears from a remote village on the Soviet border, Hella jumps at the chance to investigate. Her boss is sceptical; after all, people disappear in the snows of Finland all the time. Then a body is found. But the small village of Käärmela is harbouring a second crime. A crime whose evil is of another magnitude.


Review
I can imagine some readers may be inclined to overlook this book because the title suggests something more along the genre of horror. Luckily the blurb allays any such notion, because this is the perfect read for lovers of Scandinavian crime and Cold War fiction to dip into.

I'll admit it took me by surprise. It is well-written and plotted with a fantastically obnoxious and eccentric main character. I think Hella Mauzer might be my grumpy soul spirit living in the type of freezing environment I would never venture into or live in.

One of the most annoying and most poignant points the author makes in the story is the second-class status of females in the police force during more than the first half of the twentieth century. Women were perceived, as is Mauzer, to be too emotional and fragile to work as effective police officers. They certainly weren't allowed anywhere near a crime scene. Good gosh, they might cry or be overwhelmed with emotions. They should be at home making babies and baking cookies, waiting for their partners, who clearly have to be chosen by other people, because hey we all know women weren't capable of making lucid choices for their own future. 'Sigh.'

Those kind of attitudes are enough to drive anyone to become withdrawn or spend a lifetime pretending to be something they aren't. They certainly do nothing for the career Hella wants to expand and enjoy. Instead she is blocked, deterred and insulted at every opportunity by the colleagues who should have er back, which leaves her in dangerous situations at times.

Unlike her male colleagues, Hella has a nose for crime. She has a gut instinct for things that just don't see quite right, but gut instinct just screams women's intuition to her boss, which means he ignores her observations.

She heads up to an isolated area in Lapland to investigate the disappearance of a man, after his young grandson is found cold and hungry in their cabin. Everything Hella finds out suggests she would never leave the boy alone for six days, well not voluntarily. So, where the heck is he?

It's a fascinating combination of Cold War political games with a hint of Scandi Noir, and a riveting murder mystery. The main character and the way she reacts to her environment and other people is what gives this read a flair of eccentric humour. You can almost imagine her stomping off into the cold or interviewing suspects with her brusque and less than charming manner.

I commend Ivar for coming up with a character who has to try and solve crimes within the constraints of misogyny and misguided misconceptions. She is without a doubt a writer to watch out for.

Buy Evil Things on Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press, pub date 11 Jan 2019
Visit bitterlemonpress.com and Buy Evil Things

Thursday, 10 January 2019

#BlogTour Red Snow by Will Dean


It's my turn on the BlogTour for Red Snow by Will Dean today. It's witty, eccentric and down-to-earth, and I thoroughly enjoyed the sarcastic quips. Dean is definitely an author to watch. Happy Publication Day!


About the Author
Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. After studying at the LSE and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden with his wife. He built a wooden house in a boggy forest clearing at the centre of a vast elk forest, and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes.

Follow @willrdean @PtBlankBks on Twitter #RedSnow
Buy Red Snow


About the book
Two Bodies - One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?
Two Coins - Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man's eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.
Two Weeks - Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?


Review
I have been hearing and seeing a lot about Will Dean lately. Bloggers, readers and reviewers were quite impressed by Dark Pines, the first book in the Tuva Moodyson series. This is the second book, and less than halfway through it I went and bought the first book, which says a lot about the strength of his writing and his talent for telling a story.

This time Tuva happens to notice a link between some tragic accidents and deaths with the biggest local employer. At first they just seem to be random events, but when certain events start linking back to her habit of asking too many questions, she starts to wonder whether something more nefarious is afoot.

It's witty, eccentric and down-to-earth, and I thoroughly enjoyed the sarcastic quips. Instead of presenting the surroundings as the romanticised version most people have of Sweden or Scandinavian countries in general, the author presents a more realistic image of the living conditions and the population.

That particular hardened, brusque attitude towards life is what makes this series so charming, and of course let's not forget Tuva herself. She is definitely a memorable character. At times it seems as if she just accidentally falls into trouble then her gut instinct kicks in and she starts to dig like a dog who has caught a scent.

For me the most interesting element of Tuva's character is her deafness. In particular how the author describes the perhaps trivial details of her daily existence in relation to her non-hearing and hearing with hearing aids. Instead of embracing the joy of being able to hear, which is how the deaf are usually described, it's more about enjoying the silence. The small details about wearing the aids, how they fit and feel, the impact of low level noise on her -  it makes all the difference to the story and the character.

It's an unusual combination of comfortable pace, uncooperative characters - including Tuva, a snarky sense of humour with a noirish vibe. I look forward to seeing where Dean takes Tuva next.

Buy Red Snow (A Tuva Moodyson Mystery #2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Point Blank; pub date 10 Jan. 2019
Buy Dark Pines (A Tuva Moodyson Mystery #1)

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins-Reid


Let me tell you what the real brilliance of this book is - the authenticity of it all. After a few pages I found myself questioning whether it was fictional. Halfway through the story I was avidly googling The Six, Daisy Jones and both of the Dunne brothers. No result. Double-check. Nope, definitely says it is a fictional story. Kudos to the author for creating not only an authentic story, but also such convincing dialogue and characters.

The reader can feel the passion, the self-destruction and flighty confusion of the era, which in turn is reflected in the characters. The era of free love, lots of drugs and plenty of rock n' roll. Nobody embodies the life quite like the lead singer of The Six, Billy Dunne.

When he reaches breaking point the relationship between Billy and his future wife Camila is what keeps him from running straight off a cliff. He gets his act together and then Daisy Jones steps into his life.

Daisy is a free spirit who wants to make her mark in the world of music, but on her terms and not on those of some man in charge of her. She is very much the feminine version of Billy. They have the same need to control their environment, to create their own music and to be adored by an army of fans.

This is the story of how Daisy Jones and The Six came to be and at the same time how it all ended abruptly in the midst of a successful tour. The story is told via a series of interviews with the responses to each event or question answered in mixed sequence by the band members, Daisy, family and managers.

It's as if the reader is thrust into rooms where the entire cast of characters participate in front of each other, but are often simultaneously unaware of what the other is saying. Which means you get different accounts of the same situation as each individual remembers it. In essence it's a kind of 4D holographic literary experience - of memories, opinions and emotional responses. It is absolutely fascinating.

Buy Daisy Jones and The Six at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Random House Uk, Cornerstone Digital (ecopy), Hutchinson (Hardcover) pub date 7 March 2019
Follow @tjenkinsreid @HutchinsonBooks on Twitter
Visit taylorjenkinsreid.com