#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

Kickstarter Prelaunch

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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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#Blogtour The Girls From Alexandria by Carol Cooper @DrCarolCooper @AgoraBooksLDN

The Girls From Alexandria by Carol Cooper Agora April 1st 2021

The Blurb

‘Memories are fragile when you are seventy years old. I can’t afford to lose any more of them, not when remembering the past might help with the here and now.’
Nadia needs help. Help getting out of her hospital bed. Help taking her pills. One thing she doesn’t need help with is remembering her sister. But she does need help finding her. Alone and abandoned in a London hospital, 70-year-old Nadia is facing the rest of her life spent in a care home unless she can contact her sister Simone… who’s been missing for 50 years.
Despite being told she’s ‘confused’ and not quite understanding how wi-fi works, Nadia is determined to find Simone. So with only cryptic postcards and her own jumbled memories to go on, Nadia must race against her own fading faculties and find her sister before she herself is forgotten.
Set against the lush and glamorous backdrop of 20th century Alexandria, Carol Cooper’s The Girls from Alexandria is equal parts contemporary mystery and historical fiction: a re-coming of age story about
family, identity, and homeland.

My Review

Ask me about the Ancient Egyptians and I could give you numerous facts, ask me about Egypt from the 1950’s and I would draw a complete blank. My ignorance was finally banished by Carol Cooper’s The Girls From Alexandria.

I got to see Egypt through the eyes of Nadia, a woman laid in a hospital bed with a mysterious illness who longs to the see her long lost sister. At first glance you would think, ok I’ve read this before its going to be no different from every other novel of someone looking back over their past, and yes it followed the same premise, but in all others aspects it stood above from the crowd.

Why? First of all Nadia herself, from child to adult, Cooper gave us such a wonderful in depth portrayal of what it was like to live in an evolving Egypt. There was her love for Alexandria, the bustle of the city, the family get togethers, the inner dynamics that moulded her character and indeed her attitudes. Nadia’s elder sister, Simone, was her everything, the one person she looked to, and I suppose aspired to be like and Coopers ploy to make her disappear was a brilliant tactic as we watched Nadia stand on her own two feet, and make her own decisions both good and bad.

Her marriage to an aspiring doctor, her move backwards and forwards to the UK , the life they led all seemed empty, as Cooper gave the sense that Nadia’s life was incomplete and would never be full until she found her sister. Cooper took us to and from past to present and it was the present where her determination, her inner strength shone through, her need to prove the doctors wrong, that she really did have her sister, that she could navigate Facebook, google to look for clues and track Simone down.

As she searched, it gave Cooper scope to open up her world in Alexandria which I found absolutely fascinating. The politics of the country, the numerous coups, the protests, the assassinations were all examined but in no way drowned out the real essence of the story. We saw the impact it had on Nadia’s family, the inability to travel, the gradual erosion of status and indeed wealth, the limited choices available especially for women. It was no wonder Simone disappeared, yet Nadia remained, conformed, her small acts of rebellion carefully hidden until events forced change, new decisions and a new direction as Cooper used illness and the sense of immortality to push Nadia further in her quest to find Simone.

You would expect a happy ending, but Cooper took a different tack, looked at events from a differing angle as we saw Nadia wrestle with anger, resentment, reticence, happiness not a given but something that needed to be found, compromises reached.

All in all, The Girls From Alexandria was a beautiful fascinating novel that brilliantly drew on Cooper’s own personal experiences, that gave the novel such a wonderfully authentic feel.

I would like to thank Agora for a copy of The Girls From Alexandria to read and review and to Peyton Stableford for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Carol Cooper is a doctor, journalist, and author. Born in London, she was only a few months old when her cosmopolitan family took her to live in Egypt. She returned to the UK at eighteen and went to Cambridge University where she studied medicine and her fellow students. On her path to a career in general practice, she worked at supermarket checkouts, typed manuscripts in Russian, and spent years as a hospital doctor.
Following a string of popular health books as well as an award-winning medical textbook, Carol turned to writing fiction. Her first two novels were contemporary tales set in London. Ever a believer in writing what you know, she mined the rich material of her childhood for The Girls from Alexandria.
Carol lives with her husband in Cambridge and Hampstead. She has three grownup sons and three stepchildren.