#Blogtour The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves @AbbieGreaves1 @arrowpublishing @PublicityBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #TheSilentTreatment

The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves
Cornerstone April 2nd 2020

A lifetime of love. Six months of silence. One last chance.

Frank hasn’t spoken to his wife Maggie for six months.

For weeks they have lived under the same roof, slept in the same bed and eaten at the same table – all without words.

Maggie has plenty of ideas as to why her husband has gone quiet, but it will take another heartbreaking turn of events before Frank finally starts to unravel the secrets that have silenced him.

Is this where their story ends?
Or is it where it begins?

With characters that will capture your heart, THE SILENT TREATMENT celebrates the phenomenal power of love and the importance of leaving nothing unsaid.

My Review

This is going to be a very difficult review to write without giving too much away but I shall try my best.

Let’s start with the characters Frank and Maggie. Frank, quiet, reserved, a man of few words, all the common traits of an academic.

Maggie, outgoing, vivacious, almost the complete opposite of Frank. Together they were invincible, close knit and totally and utterly in love until that is they stopped talking for 6 months.

Why? That was something we didn’t find out until the end as Greaves delved into their back story, their meeting, their marriage and all the ups and downs that came with it. Their connection was so close but it wasn’t until a traumatic event that threatened to rip them apart that you realised that actually, they were fathoms apart, their true feelings hidden beneath a secret.

Greaves used Frank as her main voice and what a voice it was. A man who examined every part of his life, his regrets, but also the joy, and the sheer deep love he felt for Maggie. Greaves beautifully captured those emotions, from their first meeting, a hurried marriage to the tragic events that followed. Here was a man adrift, unable to verbalise his feelings, to communicate with his wife, almost alienating himself from her and the rest of the world.

You could sense his desperation, his total despair, as he truly believed he had lost everything he ever had, but it was that desperation, the intervention of a stranger that finally nudged him to open up. As his story unfolded you felt empathy and frustrations, not only with Frank, but also Maggie, as they each made assumptions of the other, scared to almost open up, afraid of what might happen if they did.

When Maggie’s voice finally broke through, Greaves gave you an alternative view, a woman who dearly loved her husband, but had regrets, hid her own secrets. You wanted to bash their heads together, open up, to communicate, make it right and get back to living rather than just existing.

As the story unfolded, Greaves’s narrative became more urgent, time appeared to be running out. A picture emerged of the void within their lives, of the hurt and tragedy they had to live with , before finally, their secret emerged. It wasn’t earth shattering, and I don’t think that was the point to Greaves’s story, it was a tool to show the complexities we often face within relationships, the damage silence could play in tearing people apart, no matter how old you are.

Would they find their way back to one another or would all be lost?

The Silent Treatment was filled with emotion and tenderness, of love and grief , the writing outstanding and so hard to believe this was Abbie Greaves’s debut novel.

I would like to thank Arrow Publishing for a copy of The Silent Treatment to read and review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour

About the author

Abbie Greaves studied at Cambridge University before working in a literary agency for a number of years. She was inspired to write her first novel, The Silent Treatment, after reading a newspaper article about a boy in Japan who had never seen his parents speak to one another before. Abbie lives in Edinburgh with her boyfriend and is hard at work on her follow-up novel, The Ends of the Earth.

#Blogtour Cherry Slice by Jennifer Stone @missjennystone @farragobooks

Cherry Slice by jennifer Stone
Farrago Books April 2nd 2020

Reality TV turns deadly in Cherry Hinton’s first case

When Kenny Thorpe, a contestant on Expose TV’s Big Blubber, the hot new celebrity weight-loss show, is murdered on live television in front of 3 million viewers, the case seems pretty watertight. After all, everyone saw Martin do it – didn’t they?

Cherry Hinton knows there’s more to this than meets the eye. As an investigative reporter, she went undercover on dating show Caravan of Love… but after getting in too deep with one of the other contestants, she was caught knickerless in front of the nation. Humiliated, fired and heartbroken, she has fled to Brentwood, where she opens a cake shop, and tries to forget all about Expose.

Until Kenny Thorpe’s sister walks into her shop with a letter that turns Cherry’s world upside down. Is Martin innocent? How is infamous gangster Leon Solent involved? Is Expose to blame, and is there a killer still on the loose?

Cherry is the only one in a position to find out.

My Review

Cherry Slice was the perfect antidote to the times we find ourselves in from its bright pink cover to the wacky, fun story within its pages.

Now I have to admit to being late to the party, to the bizarre life of Cherry Hinton, ex journalist and reality TV star. I loved that she was famous for all the wrong reasons, yet carried on with her head held high.

Her investigation into the death of an old friend took her reluctantly back into the reality TV world. You could sense her frustration as those she encountered couldn’t quite take her seriously, but she was one determined woman, who you knew would succeed.

Now any murder investigation is serious, but Stone wasn’t here to give us complete doom and gloom she was here to make us laugh, to take us into a whole other world. It was a world of superficiality, of characters whose bodies were more often than not full of plastic, Botox and an incessant need for fame and fortune.

The county of Essex wasn’t perhaps portrayed in the best light, but then that was never, I hope, Stone’s intention. It was all about exaggeration and not taking yourself too seriously which I loved.

I absolutely loved Cherry’s mum, her take on and the modern world and out of the blue one liners were brilliant. She was the perfect foil to Cherry, a woman in the know had her eyes in places Cherry would never have thought!

It wasn’t only Cherry’s mum who had the great one liners, the whole novel was littered with them and I will never forget get the idea of The Faeces Factor out of my head!

If your looking for fun and frivolity then Cherry Slice is the novel for you! I loved it!!

I would like to thank Farrago Books for a copy of Cherry Slice to read and review for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Jennifer Stone was born in Essex and spent her formative years living within its borders and enjoying the delights of the multiple night clubs and alcopop-swigging opportunities available. After a stint in North Wales acquiring a degree and a further spell in Leeds, training to be a teacher, she returned to the south of England to teach English in a variety of schools. She is currently head of English at a boarding school in Suffolk and has just completed her MA in Creative Writing (Crime) at UEA. She lives with her wife and their small son.

#Blogtour Two Lives by A Yi #AYi @flametreepress @annecater #RandomThingsTours #TwoLives

Two Lives by A Yi
Flame Tree Press March 2020

Seven stories, seven whispers into the ears of life: A Yi’s unexpected twists of crime burst from the everyday, with glimpses of romance distorted by the weaknesses of human motive. A Yi employs his forensic skills to offer a series of portraits of modern life, both uniquely Chinese, and universal in their themes.

My Review

I don’t read a lot of short stories but often wished I did, so was pleased to participate in the blogtour for Two Lives.

Now usually the short stories I do read are from U.K. or American authors, hence a Chinese author was going to be something quite different.

Different wouldn’t necessarily be the words I would use to describe Yi’s stories. They were complex, a myriad of themes that challenged the reader, at times required concentration.

He explored the traditions of Chinese family life, the need to marry well, to produce a son, to be a good wife, a good daughter or son.

Yi showed that life didn’t always go to plan, that the face we showed on the outside was not necessarily what was happening on the inside or out of sight. Each of his characters hid a secret, secrets that Yi exposed through events, tragedy or more intriguingly through crime. His background as a former police officer served him well, none more so than in my favourite story Attic, the final reveal a big surprise.

Other stories saw characters search for inner peace, for something other than what they already had as Yi showcased in Bach. Ba Like’s journey was one of soul searching, of rejecting what he had for something less.

The stories were varied, diverse, some easier to grasp the concepts than others, more of a cultural difference than anything else. I have to say I enjoyed them, found Yi’s style interesting and individual, but isn’t that what literature is all about, to challenge, to question. If you don’t read them all you will not be disappointed.

I would like to thank Flame Tree Press for a copy of Two Lives and to Anne Cater for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

A Yi (author) is a celebrated Chinese writer living in Beijing. He worked as a police officer before becoming editor-in- chief of Chutzpah, an avant garde literary magazine. He is the author of several collections of short stories and has published fiction in Granta and the Guardian. In 2010 he was
shortlisted for the People’s Literature Top 20 Literary Giants of the Future. A Perfect Crime, his first book in English was published by Oneworld in 2015. He is noted for his unsentimental worldview, and challenging literary style.

#Blogtour Deep Dark Night by Steph Broadribb @crimethrillergirl @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #DeepDarkNight

 

Deep Dark Night by Steph Broadribb  Orenda Books March 5th 2020

A city in darkness. A building in lockdown. A score that can only be settled in blood…

Working off the books for FBI Special Agent Alex Monroe, Florida bounty-hunter Lori Anderson and her partner, JT, head to Chicago. Their mission: to entrap the head of the Cabressa crime family. The bait: a priceless chess set that Cabressa is determined to add to his collection.

An exclusive high-stakes poker game is arranged in the penthouse suite of one of the city’s tallest buildings, with Lori holding the cards in an agreed arrangement to hand over the pieces, one by one. But, as night falls and the game plays out, stakes rise and tempers flare.

When a power failure plunges the city into darkness, the building goes into lockdown. But this isn’t an ordinary blackout, and the men around the poker table aren’t all who they say they are. Hostages are taken, old scores resurface and the players start to die.

And that’s just the beginning…

My Review

Deep Dark Night was very definitely deep and dark, in fact it was like sitting in the cinema as the action packed drama unfolded in its pages.

Lori Anderson faced her biggest challenge, to pay off her debt to selfish FBI agent Monroe and rebuild her life with her daughter and partner, JT. You knew it wasn’t going to be easy or plain sailing and that Broadribb would push her to the edge.

She lulled us into a false sense of security, a poker game, what could possibly go wrong before bam, no power, no lights. And this is where it Broadribb excelled, not just with the drama but with the characters Lori found herself stuck with.

The big mob boss, the retired boxer, a banker, ball player, all with their own secrets, all ready to implode.

Broadribb, used them all brilliantly as she brought out the worst examples of human nature, the selfishness, the greed, the need for power and control. Yet here was a woman small in stature, ready to take them all on, not with brute force but with intelligence, guile and sheer bloody determination.

Her cool, calm exterior betrayed her inner turmoil as she wrestled with obstacles thrown in front of her, as you cheered her on from the sidelines.

I loved the two strands Broadribb introduced, that doubled the heart rate, and increased the page turning rate of this reader.

As I have already said Broadribb’s narrative was very cinematic. She placed you right at the heart of the action, as they grabbled with the darkness, and most importantly with each other. The viciousness and selfishness was never more apparent and you wondered just who would be alive at the end of it.

This may be a slightly controversial view but Deep Dark Night reminded me of Die Hard, the movie minus Bruce Willis but with a far better character in Lori Anderson.

Will Lori be back for more of the same or will she head off in a new direction?? I cannot wait to find out.

I would like to thank Orenda Books for a copy of Derp Dark Night to read and review and to Anne Cater for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

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, was a finalist in the ITW Awards, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts. The sequels, Deep Blue Trouble and Deep Dirty Truth soon followed suit. My Little Eye, her first novel under her pseudonym Stephanie Marland, was published by Trapeze Books in April 2018. Follow Steph on Twitter @CrimeThrillGirl and on Facebook facebook.com/CrimeThrillerGirl or visit her website: crimerthrillergirl.com

#Review Keeper by Jessica Moor @jessicammoor @VikingBooksUk @MeadOlivia #Keeper

Keeper by Jessica Moor
Viking Books March 19th 2020

He’s been looking in the windows again. Messing with cameras. Leaving notes.
Supposed to be a refuge. But death got inside.

When Katie Straw’s body is pulled from the waters of the local suicide spot, the police decide it’s an open-and-shut case. A standard-issue female suicide.

But the residents of Widringham women’s refuge where Katie worked don’t agree. They say it’s murder.

Will you listen to them?

An addictive literary page-turner about a crime as shocking as it is commonplace, KEEPER will leave you reeling long after the final page is turned.

My Review

‘An addictive literary page turner’ said the blurb and oh how true that was, but that didn’t convey the absolute power that lay within the narrative of Moore’s novel.

It was so much more than a simple literary novel, it’s layers, it’s themes were complex and utterly thought provoking.

Katie Straw, a simple suicide victim or was she, and that was the catalyst for Moore to send her characters on a personal journey of discovery of their lives, their actions. That journey was rooted in domestic abuse but not just the usual physical abuse, Moore examined it all with sensitivity and most importantly balance.

That balance didn’t slate the men who committed the abuse, and I loved how Moore cleverly used the two policeman, at differing ends of their career to highlight the wide spectrum of attitudes. Whitworth, nearing retirement, steeped in old policing methods, bullish in his approach, his social media skills distinctly lacking. You saw his traditional feelings towards his wife, his daughter, the stereotypes he applied to the women in the refuge. Yet you could also sense a subtle shift, as he watched the actions of his younger colleague, the thought that perhaps it was time to step away.

What about the women, again Moore took us away from our preconceptions. She gave us women abused from all walks of life, the 70 year old subjected to years of violence, the wealthy Mum trapped, and then Katie.

A woman at the start of her life, friends, a job, who met a man in a nightclub that changed her life. This was where Moore excelled, as she showed the gradual erosion of her confidence, of her individuality. It was understated, never violent just the little things that slowly added up. You wondered how Katie let it happen, was it the lack of a father in her life, a terminally ill mother that made her crave someone that would ‘look after’ her, take the decision and thought making process away. I found it fascinating and horrifying, Moore’s narrative just wonderful, as she conveyed Katie’s hopelessness, her total and utter despair, her inability to break free.

As Moore alternated her chapters between past and present, Katie’s story unfolded, the literary thriller crept into the edges. The latter parts were shocking and oh my did it take my breath away, at the unexpected surprise conclusion.

Moore had done the impossible, created a fantastic story, with a strong important message. Keeper was chilling, informative and just brilliant.

I would like to thank Viking Books for a copy of Keeper to read and review.

About the author

Jessica Moor studied English at Cambridge before completing a Creative Writing MA at Manchester University. Prior to this she spent a year working in the violence against women and girls sector and this experience inspired her first novel, Keeper.

#Blogtour Black River by Will Dean @willrdean @PtBlankBks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #Tuva #BlackRiver

Black River by Will Dean
Point Blank March 12th 2020

FEAR
Tuva has been living clean in southern Sweden for four months when she receives horrifying news. Her best friend Tammy has gone missing.
SECRETS
Racing back to Gavrik at the height of Midsommar, Tuva fears for Tammy’s life. Who has taken her, and why? And who is sabotaging the small-town search efforts?
LIES
Surrounded by dark pine forest, the sinister residents of Snake River are suspicious of outsiders. Unfortunately, they also hold all the answers. On the shortest night of the year, Tuva must fight to save her friend. But who will be there to save Tuva?
It may be Midsommar in Gavrik, but this is the most chilling episode yet in the acclaimed Scandi thriller series from British writer Will Dean.

My Review

I read this whilst in self isolation and it was a brilliant distraction. Tuva was back at her brilliant best, her personal life more stable in one sense, her love life on rocky ground, and her best friend missing.

She found herself back in her old stomping ground of Gavrik, a town in the midst of Midsommar madness, eternal light, a mass of swirling biting insects and a cast of strange and suspicious characters.

And oh boy, Dean’s characters were brilliant from the guy with a serious foot fetish to the woman who bred snakes of all kinds to sell stuff and eat. What became increasingly clear and so cleverly done by Dean was that all could have had something to do with Tammy’s disappearance, all seemed to be hiding something and it was Tuva’s job to investigate.

As usual Tuva was fearless, relentless and at times foolhardy, but you couldn’t fault her dedication and determination. You felt her frustration as people assumed Tammy wasn’t Swedish, not as important as plastic doll heads, and dead animals that led her on a chase through dense forests, and isolated outbuildings.

It was her journey through Gavrik’s surrounding landscape that gave the novel an edgy, nervy feel. You felt you weren’t quite in the real world, that it was somehow post apocalyptic. The buzzing biting insects, dead snakes, abandoned dolls, dense undergrowth and Tuva’s unease at strange sounds as she slept made you feel jumpy, the tension palpable as you read.

It felt as it must have felt for Tuva, never ending as you and she encountered yet another dead end. Then came the break through, as the clues slowly and inexplicably slotted into place, the outcomes surprising but horrifying. But Dean also left us with more questions, threads left dangling as we wondered just what could be next for Tuva?

So Mr Dean, I do so hope you will not leave us dangling for long and that Tuva will be back very very soon

I would like to thank Point Blank Books for a copy of Black River to read and review and to Anne Carter of Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

WILL DEAN grew up in the East Midlands and had lived in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. After studying law at the LSE, and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden, where he built a house in a boggy clearing at the centre of a vast elk forest. His debut novel, Dark Pines, was selected for Zoe Ball’s Book Club, shortlisted for the Guardian Not the Booker Prize and named a Telegraph book of the year. The second book in the series, Red Snow, is now out in paperba

#Blogtour Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz @ohneKlippo @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #Mexico Street

 

Mexico by Simone Buchholz   Orenda Books March 5th 2020

Hamburg state prosecutor Chastity Riley investigates a series of arson attacks on cars across the city, which leads her to a startling and life-threatening discovery involving criminal gangs and a very illicit love story…

Night after night, cars are set alight across the German city of Hamburg, with no obvious pattern, no explanation and no suspect.

Until, one night, on Mexico Street, a ghetto of high-rise blocks in the north of the city, a Fiat is torched. Only this car isn’t empty. The body of Nouri Saroukhan – prodigal son of the Bremen clan – is soon discovered, and the case becomes a homicide.

Public prosecutor Chastity Riley is handed the investigation, which takes her deep into a criminal underground that snakes beneath the whole of Germany. And as details of Nouri’s background, including an illicit relationship with the mysterious Aliza, emerge, it becomes clear that these are not random attacks, and there are more on the cards…

My Review

In these uncertain times what better tonic than picking up and reading Mexico Street, the latest offering from Simone Buchholz.

Once again, we became embroiled in the chaotic life of Chastity Riley, the hard drinking, chain smoking state prosecutor.

Oh how she frustrated me, with her ever complicated love life, and her car crash journey to what could only be inevitable self destruction at some point in the future. When that will be only Buchholz can decide, but when it does happen I am expecting it to be of epic proportions!

In Mexico Street, her investigative techniques were sorely tested, as she and her colleagues attempted to infiltrate the notorious Bremen clan and the murder of Nouri Saroukhan. And what a clan they were, brutal to those that opposed them, and unflinching in their pursuit of money and dominance.

Their treatment of women was scary and almost archaic, their attitudes much like how you would ill treat an animal. The disgust you felt was strong, and disbelieving.

The investigation took them deeper into their world, and cars burned as they came up against veritable brick walls and dead ends. Yet this is what Buchholz excels at, as she pulled her characters through a dense complex plot, their emotions and patience were tested to the max. You the reader, felt that frustration, wondered where it would all end before a chink of light emerged and slowly the truth pushed to the surface. What you didn’t expect was the blow away last moments which were somehow surreal, a real kick ass moment that sent my imagination into overdrive and had me cheering from my sofa!

Buchholz narrative was on top form, short and snappy perfectly befitting of its characters and the plot. It’s structure with the odd short chapter, it’s myriad of differing voices, filled in the background of the varying strands, gave the novel that special Buchholz feel that we have come to love and expect.

What will Chastity Riley get upto next? Only Buchholz has the answer and I for one cannot wait.

I would like to thank Orenda Books for a copy of Mexico Street to read and review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in Hamburg. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award as well as runner-up in the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night, which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months. She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.