#Blogtour All The Wrong Places by Joy Fielding @joyfielding @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders #AllTheWrongPlaces

All The Wrong Places by Joy Fielding  Zaffre December 12th 2019

You always know who you’re meeting online . . . don’t you?

Four women decide to explore online dating, downloading an app that promises they will swipe their way to love and happiness.

But not everyone is who they seem online. Hidden behind a perfect smile and charming humour, one man appears to be the perfect date. But the night he has planned is unlike any other.

The clock is ticking, and for one woman, this date might just be her last . . .

My Review

Ok, I’m single and will admit to the odd foray into online dating. I can’t say it was that successful and I did think that one day I might just give it another go, that is until I read All The Wrong Places!

Fieldings novel explored the darker side, the side everyone warns you about but you push to the back of your mind as you pursue that special someone. That special someone was a dangerous man, a damaged man, women merely the object to satisfy his needs and desires. Fielding didn’t hold back, the scenes, graphic and ultimately very chilling.

I loved that the women were all so different, both in age, stage in their life and character. Paige, reeled from the break up of her relationship, her cousin Heather the other woman, jealous and vindictive as she chased to better Paige.

Chloe, Mum to two young children, wife of a philandering husband, who tried to make things work. And lastly Joan, my favourite, the widow who wasn’t quite sure how to rebuild her life after the death of her beloved husband.

What I liked more than anything was that Fielding didn’t just concentrate on online dating but gave us a realistic look into their lives. It was almost as if the online dating scenario was a sideline, one that showed us their emotional turmoil as they sought to rebuild, to discover who and what made them happy. How it wasn’t necessarily a relationship but being happy with who you were and the strength women can find by helping each other.

Fielding kept us guessing until the end, would Paige be unlucky to meet the date that would spell danger or would something stop her or get in the way?

Would they each find love and happiness or not?

All The Wrong Places was a novel that pleasantly surprised that for once didn’t take the typical stereotypical route of the crime novel. It had all the drama, twists and turns but with a slightly different angle which I for one thoroughly enjoyed.

I would like to thank Zaffre for a copy of All The Wrong Places to read and review and to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

 

Joy Fielding is the New York Times bestselling author of Charley’s WebHeartstopperMad River RoadSee Jane Run, and other acclaimed novels. She divides her time between Toronto and Palm Beach, Florida.

 

#Blogtour What She Saw Last Night by MJ Cross @MasonCrossBooks @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders #WhatSheSawLastNight

What She Saw Last Night by MJ Cross  Orion April 2019

A secret that could kill her.

A truth no one believes…

Jenny Bowen is going home. Boarding the Caledonian Sleeper, all she wants to do is forget about her upcoming divorce and relax on the ten-hour journey through the night.

In her search for her cabin, Jenny helps a panicked woman with a young girl she assumes to be her daughter. Then she finds her compartment and falls straight to sleep.

Waking in the night, Jenny discovers the woman dead in her cabin … but there’s no sign of the little girl. The train company have no record of a child being booked on the train, and CCTV shows the dead woman boarding alone.

The police don’t believe Jenny, and soon she tries to put the incident out of her head and tells herself that everyone else is right: she must have imagined the little girl.

But deep down, she knows that isn’t the truth.

My Review

After a couple of intense novels I was ready for a good thriller and Cross’s novel, What She Saw Last Night fitted that bill perfectly.

What was not to like about a young woman found dead on a sleeper train by our main protagonist and then her search for the child she saw!

Or did she see a child, a question Jenny had to continually ask herself as she took us on a rollercoaster journey from the highlands of Scotland to the bustle of London.

Jenny was a great character, tenacious, determined but also sensitive and compassionate. Her divorce and the death of her dad seemed to be a catalyst for change, the events on the sleeper train a distraction which only led to danger and a deeper mystery.

What I liked was that Cross didn’t just concentrate on Jenny’s story, he gave us the perspective of Mike, a local transport police officer, a man also grappling with a past. They made a great team as they dug further and further into the young child’s disappearance. Cross injected a little will they or won’t they get together, as you sensed their feelings of mutual respect and affection!

The criminals got a look in too, their intent plain for us to see but not for Jenny and Mike and I loved the tension it allowed Cross to create.

The isolation of the Highlands played its part wonderfully as the novel wound itself up into a thrilling ending that had me sat on the edge of my seat.

Did it all work out, did Jenny discover the missing child?? You will have to read Cross’s fantastic novel to find out.

I would like to thank Orion for a copy of what She Saw Last Night to read and review and to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

 

Mason Cross is the author of the Carter Blake thriller series published by Orion. The first book, The Killing Season, was  published in 2014, and was followed by The SamaritanThe Time to Kill (titled Winterlong in the USA), Don’t Look For Me and Presumed DeadWhat She Saw Last Night, his first standalone novel, was published in 2019.

Mason Cross’s short crime stories have been published in magazines including Ellery Queen and First Edition. His story, ‘A Living’, was shortlisted for the Quick Reads ‘Get Britain Reading’ Award.

The Killing Season was longlisted for the 2015 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award, and The Samaritan was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club for Spring 2016. Most recently, Presumed Dead was longlisted for the 2018 McIlvanney Prize.

 

#Blogtour The Naseby Horses by Dominic Brownlow @DominicBrownlow @LouiseWalters12 @DamppebblesBTs #TheNasebyHorses

 

The Naseby Horses by Dominic Brownlow  Louise Walters Books December 5th 2019

“‘I only know Charlotte is not dead. I feel it within me, her heartbeat the echo of my own. She is with me still. She is near. I have to save her, for that is all in life I have ever been required to do.’

Seventeen-year-old Simon’s sister Charlotte is missing. The lonely Fenland village the family recently moved to from London is odd, silent, and mysterious. Simon is epileptic and his seizures are increasing in severity, but when he is told of the local curse of the Naseby Horses, he is convinced it has something to do with Charlotte’s disappearance. Despite resistance from the villagers, the police, and his own family, Simon is determined to uncover the truth, and save his sister.

Under the oppressive Fenland skies and in the heat of a relentless June, Simon’s bond with Charlotte is fierce, all-consuming, and unbreakable; but can he find her? And does she even want to be found?

Drawing on philosophy, science, and the natural world, The Naseby Horses is a moving exploration of the bond between a brother and his sister; of love; and of the meaning of life itself.

My Review

I am a big advocate of supporting independent presses and this novel jumped out at me and I knew I had to read and be part of the blogtour.

It didn’t disappoint as Brownlow skilfully mixed the real and mythical with a unique look at the love between brother and sister.

Simon wasn’t really your average teenager, one who suffered severe epileptic fits, that gave him an aura. It was an aura that made him seemed removed from those around him, as though he was looking from the outside in. It was interesting to see how people treated him as they searched for his missing sister, as if maybe he knew more than he let on.

Indeed, Brownlow was quite ambiguous on this front, as he made the reader doubt Simon on numerous occasions.

As Simon sought answers, he drew us into the history of the house, of the fenland area and its historical connections with the Battle of Naseby of the conflict that once existed. It opened up the fable of the Naseby Horses, of the events that followed that somehow seemed linked to Charlotte’s disappearance. Was it merely coincidence or was there a connection? I for one was never quite sure, my realistic head often the dominant one, but that was Broenlow’s skill, his constant questioning of what was real versus the mythical.

Brownlow’s narrative was superb, his descriptive prose deep, with visual overload that was at times intense. He somehow managed to get across Simon’s anguish, but also his sensitivities, his loneliness, his affinity with birds and the surrounding landscape. There was his deep sense of loss at the disappearance of Charlotte but also an absolute belief that she would return, that they would see each other again.

The Naseby Horses was one of those novels that was never going to be straightforward, that wouldn’t give you the answers you wanted nor expected. It was measured, intense and beautifully written and I for one will be very interested to read what Brownlow will write next.

I would like to thank Louise Walters Books for a copy of The Naseby Horses to read and review and to Emma Welton fo Damp Pebble Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Dominic Brownlow

Dominic lives near Peterborough with his children. He worked in the music industry as a manager before setting up his own independent label.

His debut novel The Naseby Horses will be published in December 2019.

Dominic tweets @DominicBrownlow

Dom’s favourite novel is Climbers by M John Harrison, and his favourite novella is Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter. His top poets are John Cooper Clarke and Nigel Blackwell.

#Blogtour The Fathers The Sons And The Anxious Ghost by Jamie Adams @JamieAdStories @AustinMacaulay @damppebbles #DampPebblesBlogtours #TheFathersTheSonsAndTheAnxiousGhosts

the fathers the sons and the anxious ghosts.jpg

The Fathers, The Sons And The Anxious Ghosts by Jamie Adams

Three guys in their thirties have something in common. Their children all go to the same school. One day a tragic event leads to them having to deal with a lurking aftermath which draws them into each other’s lives and causes them to rethink their attitudes to just about everything.

The children tell the second part of this story, ten years after the initial events. The dust seems to have settled until one of them uncovers information that throws everything back into chaos.

The third part… well that will have to wait

My Review

This novel was short, but definitely not short on storytelling, its themes based on what we see on the outside, never really knowing what goes on behind closed doors.

I liked that the author chose to fill his novel with largely male characters, always interesting to see their thought processes, often so different from the female. Split into three sections Adams introduced us to the Fathers, Matt, Alex and Josh, each so different, Matt and Josh married, Josh single, but all with children. It was their interaction with each other and indeed their children that stood out, Matt very much the dominate parent, as his wife focused on her career, Alex the breadwinner, Josh the single, part time parent. Adam’s had all societal angles covered, and it allowed him to show the myriad of reactions to the tragic events that unfolded.

Adam’s didn’t dwell on the present before fast forwarding to ten years later and it was the turn of the sons to tell their story, still at school but now faced with the aftershocks as they dealt with new revelations. It was interesting to see their reactions, how some appeared more mature than others.

The third part was definitely different and to avoid spoilers I shall not reveal what it contained but instead just to say that it was a quite a clever technique employed by the author.

It made you question the impact our adult actions can have on our children, how even adults can at times be the child, be unable to let things go, to forgive, and move on. The consequences are often felt for many years in the future, the parent often selfish in pursuit of their own needs.

Its not easy to write a novella, to get the balance right but Adams has done a pretty good job and it will be interesting to see what he writes next.

I would like to thank Austin Macaulay for a copy of The Fathers, The Sons and The Anxious Ghosts to read and review and to Emma Welton of Damp Pebbles Blogtours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Jamie is a teacher who has studied a geography degree back in the nineties because of his love of nature and the outdoors. He found environmental education especially important and soon became a teacher for the primary-age group.

Jamie enjoys reading and watching all kinds of theatre productions, from high dramas to lively musicals. His love of writing shines through in everything he does.

#Blogtour The Pact by Amy Heydenrych @AmyHeydenrych @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders #ThePact

 

9781785770982.jpg

The Pact by Amy Heydenrych  Zaffre  November 28th 2019

When your dream job turns into a nightmare, who can you turn to? A gripping and chilling suspense novel about the deadly intentions of office life, for fans of The Rumour and Michelle Frances’ The Temp.

What if a prank leads to murder?

When Freya arrives at her dream job with the city’s hottest start-up, she can’t wait to begin a new and exciting life, including dating her new colleague Jay.

However, Nicole, Jay’s ex and fellow employee, seems intent on making her life a misery. After a big deadline, where Nicole continually picks on her, Freya snaps and tells Jay about the bullying and together they concoct a revenge prank.

The next morning, Nicole is found dead in her apartment…

Is this just a prank gone wrong? Or does Freya know someone who is capable of murder – and could she be next?

My Review
You get the perfect job, the one you have worked hard, against all the odds, to have. The boss is super cool, and thinks your the best, but was it all too good to be true.
For Freya, you felt she was always waiting for the bubble to burst, that yes it was too good to be true, but until proven otherwise she intended to lap up every single thing. And that is exactly what she did, including dating the perfect boyfriend.
Heydenrych gave you a great sense of who exactly Freya was. A young woman who had succeeded despite being abandoned as a baby, who fought her hardest to get where she was. She wasn’t ruthless, as so many authors like to portray their characters, she was sincere, perhaps a little naive. Would you ignore the bullying, the inappropriate closeness of your boss to keep your dream job, to prevent the world you’d worked so hard for from tumbling down? It was an interesting question that Heydenrych used brilliantly to shape her novel.
The murder of Nicole, the bully, set off a chain of events that saw the introduction of Isla, journalist, victim of an incident that affected her own life, that made her all the more determined to find justice for Nicole.
Like Freya, you felt she too had something to prove, but instead of towing the line Isla fought, fought against sexual harassment in the work place, on social media.
The two differing angles worked so well together, as Heydrenych used alternating chapters in the voices of each woman. She gave us their background stories which neatly contextualised their current circumstances. You felt it was a healing process for both women, a way of finding their place in the world they found themselves in.
If sexual harassment and the empowerment of women was at the heart of the novel, Heydrenych didn’t forget it was also a crime novel, the solving of a murder the catalyst for something so much deeper and profound complete with some wonderful twist and turns.
She certainly kept the reader on tenterhooks, as the narrative swayed in the direction of one potential murderer before an about turn and casting the spotlight on a other.
It definitely wasn’t the ending I was expecting which is always the sign that the author has done a fantastic job and written a cracking novel!
I would like to thank Zaffre for a copy of The Pact to read and review and to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Amy Heydenrych is a writer and book blogger based in South Africa. She has been shortlisted twice for the acclaimed Miles Morland African Writing Scholarship. Her short stories and poems have published in multiple anthologies including Brittle PaperThe Kalahari Review and the Short Sharp Stories anthologies. When she is not writing her own fiction, she ghost-writes books and columns for global tech and financial companies.
THE PACT

#Blogtour Black Summer by M. W. Craven @MWCravenUk @LittleBrownUK @BethWright26 #BlackSummer #TeamTilly

img_0617

Black Summer M. W Craven   Constable December 12th 2019

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

My Review

Washington Poe was back and how excited was I. One of my favourite detectives, a man who enjoyed the outdoor life of Cumbria and owner of my favourite Spaniel, Edgar!

Pie didn’t have much time to enjoy the rugged and wild landscape of the Cumbrian fells as he found himself embroiled in the reappearance of a missing, supposedly murdered girl, daughter of a celebrity chef who resided at her majesty’s pleasure for her murder.

Was all as it seemed or was something more sinister at play? Luckily for us something more sinister was definitely afoot, and Craven once again led us on a complex, action packed investigation.

Poe, as ever, was at the helm, his investigative abilities tested to the fore, but luckily he had his trusted side kick super intelligent Tilly Bradshaw with him.

I loved their relationship, their mutual respect for each other’s skills, their playful conversations, and ability to accept each other’s faults. I often felt that Tilly was just a little bit in love with Poe, but didn’t have the capability to understand or act on her feelings. Maybe something in the future, but I hope not because I think it would spoil what is and has the potential to develop into one of the best investigative duos in fiction.

The case was complex but that was no problem for Craven, as he skilfully led this reader through the multiple layers with ease. Little clues littered his narrative but I can honestly say I did not see the surprise twist and it only made me like Craven and his novel just that little bit more.

Some aspects were particularly gruesome but entirely in keeping and relevant to the various themes, and I was glad I had eaten my dinner before reading.

The Cumbrian landscape, once again played its part, the inclement weather added brilliant atmosphere, the isolated spots provided the drama you craved and which Craven delivered in abundance.

We saw a little bit more of Poe, of a character with a hard exterior but a soft inside, that perhaps craved more than the company of his beloved Edgar as he sought to repair himself. The ending lent itself to a future glimpse into this man, and I for one am hoping that Craven will not keep us waiting long for the next instalment.

I would like to thank Constable for a copy of Black Summer to read and review and to Beth Wright for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, returning after 31 years to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals. His first novel featuring Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw, The Puppet Show, was published by Constable to huge acclaim, and was longlisted for the 2019 CWA Gold Dagger Award. M. W. Craven lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can usually be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.