#Blogtour Ariadne by Jennifer Saint #Ariadne

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint Wildfire April 29th 2021

The Blurb

My story would not be one of death and suffering and sacrifice, I would take my place in the songs that would be sung about Theseus; the princess who saved him and ended the monstrosity that blighted Crete’
As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur – Minos’s greatest shame and Ariadne’s brother – demands blood every year.
When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods – drawing their attention can cost you everything.
In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne’s decision to betray Crete for Theseus ensure her happy ending? Or will she find herself sacrificed for her lover’s ambition?
Ariadne gives a voice to the forgotten women of one of the most famous Greek myths, and speaks to their strength in the face of angry, petulant Gods. Beautifully written and completely immersive, this is an exceptional debut novel.
A truly spellbinding, epic story taking readers on an unforgettable journey. Perfect for fans of Circe, A Thousand Ships and The Silence of the Girls.

My Review

Did Ariadne save a hero or did she really save herself was a question Saint asked of us from the early pages of the novel.

Saint portrayed a spirited naive young woman destined to marry a man of her fathers choosing but from the moment she first set eyes on Theseus we knew life was about to change for Ariadne. And oh how it changed, not just for Ariadne but her younger sister Phaedra.

And there lay the crux of Saints novel, two women who in spite of what men threw at them somehow managed to thrive, to butt against the norm.

Ariadne, bedazzled by a man’s heroics, his good looks that hid an ambition to be the greatest no matter what the cost. Yet in adversity Saint gave her determination, a strength and indeed a graceful poise and stature. Yes she had flaws, tucked away in her own enclosed world as she chose to ignore what happened in the wider surroundings until life forced her to venture out. The consequences were not what I was expecting yet it somehow felt a right and fitting trajectory for Saint to choose.

Phaedra, the younger sister, was more stoic, hugely aware of her capacity to subversively change things. She accepted her lot but found ways to exert authority and power, to steer men to her will. Again Saint led her down a path that would be her ultimate undoing, as she paid the greatest sacrifice, over confident and a self belief that no man would turn her away, would say no.

Swirling around those two wonderful women Saint gave us a plethora of Greek gods, of myths and legends we all know about but which Saint brought to life in her wonderfully colourful narrative. We read as Icarus flew too close the son, of Poseidon and Hades their tales blended beautifully into the Ariadne’s and Phaedra’s story.

The bustling island of Crete, the magnificent city of Athens butted against the peace and solitude of the small island of Naxos. Polar opposites, much like the two cities, each sister a product of the location they resided. When finally together the sisters clashed but deep down a strong bond and love remained, each desperate to save the other, the consequences a damning indictment of man’s strong hold and self belief, of women as mere pawns in their pursuit of power and glory.

Ariadne was a fascinating, dazzling and mesmerising tale of Greek gods, myths and legends but more importantly of two women, their plight, and their strength. Putting aside its moral and undertones it was a novel to enjoy and savour.

I would to thank Maclehose for a copy of Ariadne to read and review and to Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Due to a lifelong fascination with Ancient Greek mythology, Jennifer Saint read Classical Studies at King’s College, London. She spent the next thirteen years as an English teacher, sharing a love of literature and creative writing with her students. ARIADNE is her first novel and she is working on another retelling of ancient myth for her second.

Twitter @jennysaint

#Blogtour The Bone Code by Kathy Reichs

The Bone Code by Kathy Reichs Simon Schuster U.K. April 29th 2020

The Blurb

A storm has hit South Carolina, dredging up crimes of the past.
En route to Isle of Palms, a barrier island off the South Carolina coast, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan receives a call from the Charleston coroner. During the storm, a medical waste container has washed up on the beach. Inside are two decomposed bodies wrapped in plastic sheeting and bound with electrical wire. Chillingly, Tempe recognises many details as identical to those of an unsolved case she handled in Quebec fifteen years earlier. With a growing sense of foreboding, she flies to Montreal to gather evidence and convince her boss Pierre LaManch to reopen the cold case. She also seeks the advice—and comfort—of her longtime beau Andrew Ryan.
Meanwhile, a storm of a different type gathers force in South Carolina. The citizens of Charleston are struck by capnocytophaga, a bacterium that, at its worst, can eat human flesh. Thousands panic and test themselves for a rare genetic mutation that may have rendered them vulnerable.
Shockingly, Tempe eventually deduces not only that the victims in both grisly murder cases are related, but that the murders and the disease outbreak also have a common cause .

My Review

I can’t remember the last time I read a Kathy Reichs novel but as soon as I started it felt wonderfully comfortable and I felt safe in the knowledge I was in for a thumping good read.

Bodies in containers numerous years apart and in differing locations proved a tantalising and complicated case for Temperance Brennan and for us too. That didn’t faze Temperance nor did it faze me, in fact I relished having Reichs literally fry my brain. It was a heady combination of science and piecing together the history of the dead. We flew from the chill of Montreal to the humidity of Charleston as Reichs sent Temperance on multiple lines of enquiry that slowly opened up small chunks of clarity.

Reichs took us deeper into the murky underworld of the pharmaceutical industry, the dizzying theories behind genetics, vaccines and disease. The outbreak of a disease transferred from animals added to the confusion and you knew there was a connection but never quite sure what and who it might be.

Reichs didn’t forget that Temperance also had a personal life and the interjections with friend Anne and her partner Ryan gave the novel balance and indeed some light relief and humour. My favourite had to be her cat, Birdie and I loved his cantankerous indifference to everyone and anyone around him!

I revelled in the speed at which Reichs pushed the plot, she seemed to sense the readers need to be completely immersed and you waited with baited breath to see how it all ended. When it came it was suitably dramatic, numerous ends tied up and the lengths a person would go to make money and gain power laid bare on the pages.

For Temperance Brennan it was a job well done but little clues indicated something more lay in store and I for one cannot wait to find out what that might be.

I would like to thank Simon Schuster UK for a copy of The Bone Code to read and review and to Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead was a number one bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. The Bone Code is Kathy’s twentieth entry in her series featuring forensic anthropologist Temper- ance Brennan. Kathy was also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.
Dr. Reichs is one of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and as a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada.

#Blogtour Geiger by Gustaf Skorderman @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders #Geiger

Image result for gustaf skordeman geiger

The Blurb

The landline rings as Agneta is waving off her grandchildren. Just one word comes out of the receiver: ‘Geiger’.

For decades, Agneta has always known that this moment would come, but she is shaken. She knows what it means.

Retrieving her weapon from its hiding place, she attaches the silencer and creeps up behind her husband before pressing the barrel to his temple.

Then she squeezes the trigger and disappears – leaving behind her wallet and keys.

The extraordinary murder is not Sara Nowak’s case. But she was once close to those affected and, defying regulations, she joins the investigation. What Sara doesn’t know is that the mysterious codeword is just the first piece in the puzzle of an intricate and devastating plot fifty years in the making . . .

My Review

Geiger read like a contradiction, on the one hand an old fashioned spy novel as the spy networks of old East Germany resurfaced and on the other hand present day, a female detective grappling with the injustices of sexual exploitation, protecting her young family and coming to terms with her own origins and future.

Skordeman didn’t hang around, a quiet family day, a phone ringing, one word spoken, Geiger, and a famous ex TV star, Uncle Stellan dead in his chair, his wife Agneta on the run.

On the other side of the city, police officer Sara, on the hunt for pimps, impetuous and downright angry. When she hears of Uncle Stellan’s murder it awoke memories of her childhood of own her ties with Stellan and his family.

What followed was brilliantly compulsive reading, Skordeman swapped effortlessly between Sara, and Agneta, between past years as slowly the layers were peeled back. It was complex but fascinating, the old East Germany, the Stasi, it’s spies who infiltrated the upper echelons of Swedish society and politics. Sara was right in the centre, desperate to solve the murder, to find out who Geiger was, what it all meant.

We went with Sara as she encountered German intelligence, fought to get her own police force to accept her findings. Whilst this was exciting I was impressed with Skordeman’s skill in interweaving Sara’s own story, her dogged determination to rid Stockholm of its seedier side of women’s sexual exploitation, of her own turmoil. Did she still love her husband, her relationship with her children and indeed her own mother. And there lay another layer, her early years living in Stellan’s property, her relationship with his children, the sudden withdrawal, the move away.

As she dug deeper, Skordeman played a master stroke, one that appalled, that shocked not only us but Sara. Just as we got our heads around that this next twist, he threw in another one, and we crashed to a dramatic and revealing ending.

Geiger was exhilarating, utterly fascinating and everything a thriller should be but with a wonderful emotive, human element. It was hardly surprising to read it has been snapped up by a production company and will soon be winging its way onto our screens.

I would like to thank Zaffre for a copy of Geiger to read and review and to Compulsive Readers for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

#Blogtour Facets Of Death by Michael Stanley @ @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #FacetsOf Death

The Blurb

A dark and sophisticated thriller set in the heart of Botswana, introducing Michael Stanley’s beloved Detective Kubu Recruited straight from university to Botswana’s CID, David ‘Kubu’ Bengu has raised his colleagues’ suspicions with his meteoric rise within the department, and he has a lot to prove. When the richest diamond mine in the world is robbed of 100,000 carats worth of gems, and the thieves are found, executed, Kubu leaps at the chance to prove himself. First he must find the diamonds – and it seems that a witch doctor and his son have a part to play.
Does this young detective have the skill and integrity to engineer an international trap? Or could it cost him everything?

My Review

I am sure that Botswana is a beautiful country but the one Michael Stanley pitched me into was one full of greed, of corruption diamond stealing and murder.

Detective Sergeant David ‘Kubu’ Bengu was thrown into this maelstrom, fresh out of university, naive but determined to prove himself.

He was not quite what I expected from a young detective. Definitely not the tall handsome brooding type but small, squat and somewhat rotund hence the nickname ‘Kubu’ rhino. This alternative to the usual stereotype was a welcome surprise and I loved his quiet and unassuming manner. He had a charm, a way that made people like him, do things for him even if they really didn’t want to.

His place in the diamond heist investigation was his steep learning curve, his chance to shine and at times he did. His ability to think outside the box and his tenacity soon saw him gain a begrudging respect, and some light relief in the form of a potential love interest.

The diamond heist itself was cleverly thought out, every angle, every possibility brilliantly thought out and researched by the authors. We knew from the start it was an inside job, the criminals selfish and brutal in their intentions, as the body count rose. What we didn’t know was who the mastermind was, the brains and Michael Stanley led me down multiple dead ends, multiple suspects before the fog cleared and all was revealed.

It was the getting to the end that intrigued the most and I loved the cultural angle the authors intertwined within the narrative. Who would have thought grown men would cower from black magic and small favours left by so called witch doctors scared of the negative impact and evil that would come to pass if they tampered or came into contact with them. The veritable heat, its dryness, the stillness of night added to the menace, and the bursts of gunfire conjured numerous chilling images but also excitement, a thrill as you were left wondering who survived and more importantly who had the diamonds. It left you with a taste for danger, a need for more and more importantly more encounters with Detective Sergeant David ‘Kubu’ Bengu.

I would like to thank Orenda for a copy of The Facets of Death to read and review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participatw in the blogtour.

About the author


Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA Debut Dagger. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers’ award, and book five, A Death in the Family, was an international bestseller. Their first standalone thriller, Dead of Night, was published in 2019.

#Blogblast Love In Five Acts by Daniela Krien #DanielaKrien @QuercusBooks @MacLehosePress @Millsreid11 #LoveInFiveActs

The Blurb

Bookseller Paula has lost a child, and a husband. Where will she find her happiness? Fiercely independent Judith thinks more of horses than men, but that doesn’t stop her looking for love online. Brida is a writer with no time to write, until she faces a choice between her work and her family. Abandoned by the “perfect” man, Malika struggles for recognition from her parents. Her sister Jorinde, anactor, is pregnant for a third time, but how can she provide for her family alone?

Love in Five Acts explores what is left to five women when they have fulfilled their roles as wives, mothers, friends, lovers, sisters and daughters. As teenagers they experienced the fall of the Berlin Wall, but freedom brings with it another form of pressure: the pressure of choice.

Punchy and entirely of the moment, Love in Five Acts engages head-on with what it is to be a woman in the twenty-first century.

Translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch

My Review

Love In Five Acts was one of those novels that worked on so many levels, it mesmerised, asked questions and brilliantly picked apart the lives of its five female protagonists.

Krien started with Paula, separated with one child caught between grief and the pitfalls of a new relationship. She took us back to the beginning to her relationship with ex-husband Ludger, their meeting, their marriage and their foray into parenthood. It seemed happy and full of potential until Krien made us look more closely as Ludger became dominate, as his opinions and decisions took over. It wasn’t until the death of their second child that it all fell apart, both grieving in differing ways, the pain tangible within Krien’s wonderful narrative. For many such a trauma would bring a couple together for others it drives them apart, each left to pick up the pieces in their own way. They seemed to be only one way Paula and Ludger could go, yet Krien left you with a sense of hope and a way forward.

Paula’s story was the one that seemed to linger with me because of its emotive content but that wasn’t to say that the four other women were not as good as they were, just different. I think that they represented the more common threads of love prevalent within society. There was Judith, the GP, the common thread, the one who knew all the other four women, the one who saw the other four women struggle with their own love lives. Was it a lesson to her, or did she crave some aspect of what they had. I found her quite selfish, stern, as she searched online for the one, and I was never sure what she was actually looking for, but I guess that was Krien’s point as she made Judith trawl the online dating sites.

For Brida it was coming to terms with ex husband Gotz’s new love, the idea that they could all get on for the sake of the children. Krein made her question how she could manage without him, made her look back with anguish at her failed marriage before the mist appeared to clear and a sereneness descended, an acceptance.

Malika was the woman left behind, the professional musician who had to live with rejection not only from the man she loved but her parents, then her sister Jorinde, the actress split between being a parent and pursuing the job she loved. I loved how they found a way to support each other to find some comfort and indeed a way to find individual happiness by working together.

I recognised some aspect of my own marriage and love life in all five of Krien’s women, that search for your soul mate, the perfect partner followed by marriage and children. I too have had to deal with divorce, the blended families, the foray into the online dating world, the rejection before eventually finding peace and solace in the fact that I don’t necessarily need a man to make me happy or even complete. Krien made it ok for us to reject the social norm or conform to what is expected, that it was upto to us as strong vibrant women to do as we please. Her observations, her understanding were brilliant and the skill in turning that into a novel that had such variety and depth was truly admiral.

I would like to thank Quercus for copy of Love In Five Acts to read and review and to Milly Reid for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to read and review.

About the author

Daniela Krien was born in 1975 in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, then in the G.D.R. Her first novel, Someday We’ll Tell Each Other Everything, was published in English in 2013 (MacLehose Press) and in fourteen other languages. For a subsequent volume of short stories, Muldental, she was awarded the Nicolaus Born Prize. Love in Five Acts has been sold for translation into twenty languages. She lives in Leipzig with her two daughters.

#Blogtour The Dig Street Festival by Chris Walsh @WalshWrites @LouiseWalters12 @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #TheDigStreetFestival

The Blurb

It’s 2006 in the fictional East London borough of Leytonstow. The UK’s pub smoking ban is about to happen, and thirty-eight-and-a-half year old John Torrington, a mopper and trolley collector at his local DIY store, is secretly in love with the stylish, beautiful, and middle-class barmaid Lois. John and his hapless, strange, and down-on-their-luck friends, Gabby Longfeather and Glyn Hopkins, live in Clements Markham House – a semi-derelict Edwardian villa divided into unsanitary bedsits, and (mis)managed by the shrewd, Dickensian business man, Mr Kapoor.

When Mr Kapoor, in a bizarre and criminal fluke, makes him fabulously credit-worthy, John surprises his friends and colleagues alike by announcing he will organise an amazing ‘urban love revolution’, aka the Dig Street Festival. But when he discovers dark secrets at the DIY store, and Mr Kapoor’s ruthless gentrification scheme for Clements Markham House, John’s plans take several unexpected and worrisome turns…

Funny, original, philosophical, and unexpectedly moving, The Dig Street Festival takes a long, hard, satirical look at modern British life, and asks of us all, how can we be better people?

My Review

I was distinctly out of breath and my head was in a veritable spin when i closed the final page of The Dig Street Festival, Walsh definitely knew how to spin a yarn.

It helped enormously that his characters were at one whacky, fun, but also with a distinct serious side that seemed to highlight the facets of society. Walsh largely centered his novel around three characters, its leader John Torrington, the one with the gumption and the brains, stuck in a dead end job, who wasn’t quite expecting that a series of random events would have such a serious impact on his life.

Glyn Hopkins was the introvert philosophical one, the one whose dreams saw him meet everyone from Mozart to Hitler and had an unfortunate habit of dry retching when placed in awkward and stressful situations.

Gabby Longfeather was my absolute favourite, a man who never understood the world he lived in, completely and utterly gullable, a mummy’s boy who needed a guiding hand to keep him out of unintentional trouble.

Together they were a force to be reckoned with as Walsh hurtled them through a random series events that saw them grabble with the criminal underworld of Leystonstow. It was a criminal underworld that was just as disorganised and haphazard as John and as his friends except Walsh gave them the upper hand, gave John some inner fight and intelligence that saw him conquer and gain their respect. His finest moment his involvement with the local Dig street Festival which in itself turned into something no one ever imagined with national TV coverage and his fifteen minutes of fame.

For all the chaotic mayhem of Walsh’s novel a serious side simmered underneath. We learnt the value of looking beneath the superficial veneer of those around us, of being able to challenge the acceptable norm and respecting and appreciating individuality no matter how unique and eccentric that person may be.

The Dig Street Festival was a fun roller coaster ride of a novel and one I thoroughly enjoyed.

I would like to thank Louis Walters Books for a copy of The Dig Street Festival to read and review and to Damp Pebbles Blogtours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Chris Walsh grew up in Middlesbrough and now lives in Kent. He writes both fiction and non-fiction, an example of which you can read here in May 2020’s Moxy Magazine.

​Chris’s debut novel The Dig Street Festival will be published by Louise Walters Books in April 2021. 

​Chris’s favourite novel is Stoner by John Williams and his favourite novella is The Death of Ivan Illyich by Leo Tolstoy. His top poet is Philip Larkin. He is also a fan of Spike Milligan.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WalshWrites

Purchase Links:

Louise Walters Books: http://bit.ly/3f9jJvz

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3cakZfQ

Foyles: https://bit.ly/3lBCCIJ

Waterstones: http://bit.ly/3tO2VhH

Book Depository: http://bit.ly/3caF7yg

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2QoYsn3

#Blogtour Judas Horse by Lynda La Plante #LyndaLaPlante @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders #JudasHorse

Judas Horse (DC Jack Warr #2)
Judas Horse by Lynda La Plante Zaffre April 1st 2021

Violent burglars have been terrorising residents across the English countryside. But when a mutilated body is discovered in a Cotswolds house, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary group of opportunist thieves.

As Detective Jack Warr investigates, he discovers locals with dark secrets, unearths hidden crimes – and hits countless dead ends. With few leads and the violent attacks escalating, he will have to act as audaciously as the criminals if he hopes to stop them.

When Warr meets Charlotte Miles, a terrified woman with links to the group, he must use her to lure the unsuspecting killers into one last job, and into his trap. But with the law already stretched to breaking point, any failure will be on Warr’s head – and any more blood spilled, on his hands …

My Review

I will admit it now, I have never read a novel by Lynda La Plante, however I have watched all of the Jane Tennsion series so Judas Horse would be my first foray. It wasn’t Jane Tennsion that La Plante wrote about but a new detective DC Jack Warr, one who first appeared in Buried the first of her new series. Trust me to not start at the beginning, and yes it would have been helpful but it didn’t stop my enjoyment nor any continual second guessing about past events.

Who was Jack Warr? As far as I could make out he was newly married to Maggie, about to become a first time father and shared a house with his mother, Penny. La Plante gave us a good sense of his trepidation as more personal responsibility loomed. I loved that La Plante gave us those two sides of Warr, the personal and the professional, the confidence that oozed in his professional life and the more vulnerable cautiousness in his personal.

His work life was for me the most interesting, the one that got the heart rate going that kept me on my toes, as I wondered what turn the plot would take, who would emerge innocent or guilty. The main plot line revolved around a reign of terror and fear from a gang of clever burglars in the wealthy belt of the Cotswolds, Warr seconded to use his brilliant expertise to bring their reign to an end. I liked that he didn’t blend in, his city ways that caused problems with his new team, his unwillingness to compromise to get results, to alienate those who thought they knew better. It added a distinct edge, but also showed his nurturing qualities, his skill in developing those in which he recognised future potential.

What Plante got across so well was his tenacity and his determination to unearth the criminals, he had an in built ability to think outside the box, to read those he came into contact with.

The burglaries were wonderfully complex, a myriad of layers, intelligently thought out by the perpetrators, and La Plante increased the stakes, turned up the brutality and the lengths they would go to achieve their aim. As Warr unravelled their intentions so his clashes with certain colleagues became more intense, unwanted casualties piled up but still he ploughed on until he achieved his objective.

La Plante didn’t take prisoners least of all the reader never losing their interest, always another corner to turn, another blind alley to back away from. The ending certainly delivered and this reader definitely loved Detective Warr and is looking forward to his next investigation.

I would like to thank Zaffre Books for a copy of Judas Horse to read and review and Compulsive Readers for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour

About the author

Lynda La Plante (born Lynda Titchmarsh) is a British author, screenwriter, and erstwhile actress (her performances in Rentaghost and other programmes were under her stage name of Lynda Marchal), best known for writing the Prime Suspect television crime series.

Her first TV series as a scriptwriter was the six part robbery series Widows, in 1983, in which the widows of four armed robbers carry out a heist planned by their deceased husbands.

In 1991 ITV released Prime Suspect which has now run to seven series and stars Helen Mirren as DCI Jane Tennison. (In the United States Prime Suspect airs on PBS as part of the anthology program Mystery!) In 1993 La Plante won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for her work on the series. In 1992 she wrote at TV movie called Seekers, starring Brenda Fricker and Josette Simon, produced by Sarah Lawson.

She formed her own television production company, La Plante Productions, in 1994 and as La Plante Productions she wrote and produced the sequel to Widows, the equally gutsy She’s Out (ITV, 1995). The name “La Plante” comes from her marriage to writer Richard La Plante, author of the book Mantis and Hog Fever. La Plante divorced Lynda in the early 1990s.

Her output continued with The Governor (ITV 1995-96), a series focusing on the female governor of a high security prison, and was followed by a string of ratings pulling miniseries: the psycho killer nightmare events of Trial & Retribution (ITV 1997-), the widows’ revenge of the murders of their husbands & children Bella Mafia (1997) (starring Vanessa Redgrave), the undercover police unit operations of Supply and Demand (ITV 1998), videogame/internet murder mystery Killer Net (Channel 4 1998) and the female criminal profiler cases of Mind Games (ITV 2001).

Two additions to the Trial and Retribution miniseries were broadcast during 2006.

#Blogtour The Source by Sarah Sultoon @SultoonSarah @OrendaBook @annecater #RandomThingsTours #TheSource

The Source by Sarah Sultoon Orenda Books April 15th 2021

The Blurb

1996. Essex. Thirteen-year-old schoolgirl Carly lives in a disenfranchised town dominated by a military base, struggling to care for her baby sister while her mum sleeps off another binge. When her squaddie brother brings food and treats, and offers an exclusive invitation to army parties, things start to look a little less bleak…

2006. London. Junior TV newsroom journalist Marie has spent six months exposing a gang of sex traffickers, but everything is derailed when New Scotland Yard announces the re-opening of Operation Andromeda, the notorious investigation into allegations of sex abuse at an army base a decade earlier

As the lives of these two characters intertwine around a single, defining event, a series of utterly chilling experiences is revealed, sparking a nail-biting race to find the truth … and justice.

A riveting, searing and devastatingly dark thriller, The Source is also a story about survival, about hopes and dreams, about power, abuse and resilience … an immense, tense and thought-provoking debut that you will never, ever forget.

My Review

When an author writes a novel based on what they know and what they do in their everyday work life it can go one of two ways, its either overloaded with far too much detail and banal insider stuff or its totally fascinating and perfectly compliments the story the author is trying to tell. In Sultoon’s, The Source, the latter was very definitely evident, the premise of sex trafficking, investigative cover ups all true in the world we currently inhabit.

As much as the plotline was important stand out characters are always needed to carry the story, Maria and Carly definitely stood out, Maria 2006, Carly 1996. Carly was the young teenager, whose life on an army base was fraught, an alcoholic mother who couldn’t take care of herself never mind Carly and her baby sister Kayleigh. Sultoon gave her a naivety and a desperation that made her extremely vulnerable, a need to provide for her sister the overriding reason as she followed her brother into a world of army parties and what we could only assume the provision of sexual favours for officers and guests. Sultoon hinted at a reticence, her best friend Rach the driving force the one that pushed, that coerced, yet gave Carly reassurance, a mother figure who appeared in some misguided way to offer what her own mother could not.

2006 and Maria, a junior production assistant for a news channel who worked undercover to expose a sex trafficking ring, again Sultoon showed a vulnerability, the shadow of something in the past that weighed heavily in her present. She had a fragility, but also a steely determination that rose to the surface as the story unfolded.

It wasn’t until an investigation into the army’s own sex trafficking scandal that Sultoon cleverly blurred the lines between past and present, between Carly and Maria. Suddenly we wondered if there was a connection, and if yes what that connection was as Sultoon ramped up the stakes for both girls. I loved that she highlighted their fragility, the mental and indeed physical anguish it imposed on them, the gradual wearing down of resistance, the inability to be able to move forward. You understood why the word ‘no’ wasn’t a thing to be tolerated, what reasons drove young women to do such desperate things, and it stirred anger and incredulity in you as you read.

The slow unfolding of lies, of cover ups, of individuals selfish motives to protect themselves, was prevalent throughout but none more so than in the second half of the novel, as Sultoon revealed the horrors that faced young girls, and their exploitation by those in power. In some ways it was shocking but then in other ways not when in recent years we have read of similar cases in Rochdale, but what Sultoon managed to do so brilliantly was to get inside the heads of those young girls, of why they did it, of the fear, the manipulation, the long term after effects that no one could ever take away from them.

As much as this was about the psychology and the intricacies of sex rings, The Source was also a brilliant story. It had fantastic characters, a storyline that twisted one way then the other and the ability to hold your attention throughout to the point i did not want to put it done. It was hard to believe that this was Sultoon’s debut novel and I am very much hoping another novel is in the pipeline.

I would like to thank Orenda for a copy of The Source to read and review and to Random Things Tours for inviting My Booksih Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Sarah Sultoon is a journalist and writer whose work as an international news executive at CNN has taken her all over the world, from the seats of power in both Westminster and Washington to the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. She has extensive experience in conflict zones, winning three Peabody awards for
her work on the war in Syria, an Emmy for her contribution to the coverage of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, and a number of Royal Television Society gongs. As passionate about fiction as nonfiction, she recently completed a Masters of Studies in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, adding to an
undergraduate language degree in French and Spanish, and Masters of Philosophy in History, Film and Television. When not reading or writing she can usually be found somewhere outside, either running, swimming or throwing a ball for her three children and dog while she imagines what might happen if…

Books On The Hill #BooksOnTheHill #OpenDsylexiaKickstarterProject #AccessibleFictionForAll

BOTH logo 7 shop colours

Since I was a child I have always loved reading and as an adult it has been my escape from the stress of normal everyday life. What if the words were all scrambled and reading was difficult, how would you cope. I know for me it would be a complete disaster and that it is why I wanted to bring your attention to a great project from Books On The Hill. Have a read at the information below and if you know anyone that struggles with dyslexia point them in this their direction

What it’s all about

Books on the Hill is passionate about helping people who have dyslexia, or have any difficulty with reading, to access the joy of good fiction. There are great books out now for children with dyslexia, with specialist publishers like Barrington Stokes and mainstream publishers such as Bloomsbury doing their part. However, there are sadly very few books for adults with Dyslexia in traditional mass market publishing.

Dyslexia is a learning difference that primarily affects reading and writing skills. The NHS estimates that up to 1 in every 10 people in the UK have some form of dyslexia, while other dyslexic organisations believe 1 in 5 and more than 2 million people in the UK are severely affected.

Dyslexia does not stop someone from achieving. There are many individuals who are successful and are dyslexic. Famous actors, such as Orlando Bloom; Entrepreneurs like Theo Paphitis, and many, many more, including myself. All of who believe dyslexia has helped them to be where they are now. Dyslexia, though, as I can attest to, does not go away. You don’t grow out of it, and so we are acknowledging that and trying to without being patronising, create a selection of books that will be friendly to people who deal with dyslexia every day.

Since we started the project in 2019, Books on the Hill have had many adults customers with dyslexia come in shop the asking for something accessible to read. For example, one customer asked if we stocked well known novels in a dyslexic friendly format. Unfortunately we had to say no, as they just don’t exist. We explained what we are trying to achieve by printing our own and she replied:

“I have been reading [children dyslexic] books but they are a bit childish so am really happy I have found your company!! Thanks so much again and thank you for making such a helpful and inclusive brand – it means a lot. “

This response is not isolated. We have had many adults come in to the shop with dyslexia, who do not read or struggle to read and they they believe dyslexic friendly books would have real impact on their reading for pleasure.

We are launching a Kickstarter beginning in April 2nd 2021 for 30 days, with the focus on paying for the printing of our books and giving us starting capital to continue to print more titles.

How you can get involved

There will be many ways you can be involved in this. You can contribute on the Kickstarter website itself. There will be a number of different options of donating money, in which you will receive rewards, such as ebooks of a title or a paperback of one or more of the titles to be published. In addition a unique reward from authors who are contributing to the project.

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You can still contribute outside the Kickstarter. We are happy to receive your help in the shop, where we will have a donation box available.

Links

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#Blogtour Rites Of Spring by Anders de la Motte #AndersdelaMotte @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders #RitesOfSpring

Rites of Spring: The internationally bestselling new crime series
Rites Of Spring by Anders de la Motte Zaffre April 1st 2021

The Blurb

On Walpurgis night of 1986, a sixteen-year-old girl is ritualistically murdered in the woods adjacent to a castle in the southernmost part of Sweden. Her stepbrother is convicted of the terrible deed, and shortly after, the entire family vanishes without a trace.

The spring of 2019, doctor Thea Lind moves into the castle. Having made a strange discovery in an ancient oak tree on the grounds, her fascination with the old tragedy deepens. As she uncovers more and more similarities between her own troubled past and the murdered girl’s upbringing, her conviction grows: the truth of the killing was never uncovered. The spring of 1986 claimed more victims than one.

Rites of Spring is the final installment in Anders de la Motte’s lauded series of stand-alone suspense novels set in southern Sweden.

My Review

I definitely chose the right time to read Rites Of Spring the first warm sunny weather of the year meant I could sit in my garden and immerse myself in the story of Thea Lind and her quest to discover the truth behind the sacrifical murder of Elita Svart.

Immerse was an apt word to describe Motte’s novel, as I literally did not want to put it down. I think it was a combination of brilliant characterisation and his ability to pull me in to the Swedish landscape, the haunting denseness of the forest, the marshes, and the green moss strewn canal, all part of Thea’s new surroundings. Thea herself came with her own issues, a career as a doctor in the war torn regions of the world, a dear friend forever scarred, a husband, David who put her back together, who she felt she owed. And this was where many of her problems lay as she discovered David’s connection to the murder, his family and friends all intrinsically linked. Rather than seamlessly fitting in with the new community Motte placed Thea very much on the outside.

It soon became clear that Motte had given Thea a cause, something that went back to her past, a need to proof that just because we came from a certain background didn’t mean we had to conform to stated stereotypes. It was a secret she guarded and you just knew that at some point it would emerge, our guess was when and what impact it would have.

Motte gave Thea a veritable array of supporting cast characters. Her husband David the failed chef who worked on rebuilding a new venture in his hometown supported by childhood friends, protected by a mother from his past. There was the mysterious Hubert, resident in a wing of the castle, disinherited by his father, a loner, a little strange but for some reason Thea and Hubert shared a connection. As the novel progressed I got the feeling he wanted to share information with Thea, the little clues, pointers he threw her way, ones that led her deeper and deeper into Elita’s death, the communities involvement and indeed who the killer was.

Who was the killer? For much of the novel my guesses flitted from one character to the next as Motte took us and Thea on a meandering journey of clues, interview documents and case notes. The anecdotal evidence of the various characters and their assumptions often placed Thea in danger, the ever present feeling of being watched, but somehow with sheer determination it never seemed to stop Thea.

Motte never let his reader feel comfortable as layer after layer of the story slowly unraveled and the last third was unbelievably tense to the point I had to get up and walk around before continuing. The outcome was not quite what I was expecting but then for me that is the best sign that the novel was everything you wanted and a whole lot more.

Rites of Spring was wonderfully atmospheric, dark and chilling and it was such a shame this it was the last novel in Motte’s quartet, but then again maybe that’s a good thing, maybe he has something completely new in store for his next novel.

I would like to thank Zaffre for a copy of Rites Of Spring to read and review and to Compulsive Readers for inviting My Bookish Blogpsot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Anders de la Motte (b. 1971), a former police officer, made his crime fiction debut in 2010 with Game and has since become one of Sweden’s most beloved crime writers. De la Motte is the author of three acclaimed crime fiction series and in 2016 he embarked on his new series, the electrifying Skåne Quartet. Deeds of Fall is his fourth stand-alone installment, completing this bestselling and award-winning suspense quartet.

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