#Blogtour The Lost by Simon Beckett @BeckettSimon @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #CompulsiveReaders #TheLost

The Lost: It's not the missing who are in danger, but those left behind. (Hardback)
Orion 25th November 2021

A MISSING CHILD

Ten years ago, the disappearance of firearms police officer Jonah Colley’s young son almost destroyed him.

A GRUESOME DISCOVERY

A plea for help from an old friend leads Jonah to Slaughter Quay, and the discovery of four bodies. Brutally attacked and left for dead, he is the only survivor.

A SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH

My Review

Hands up I have never read a Simon Beckett novel but after a shout out from the lovely Tracy Fenton to support Simon after his Twitter incident I knew it was time to step in and help out.

I am so glad I did as I loved The Lost, not least because of the superb narrative from Beckett. His character Jonah was a policeman pushed to his limits, those limits tested in the very first few pages as he wrestled with an unknown attacker, forced to see things no person should. Injured, hurt Beckett piled on even more pressure as two detectives put him at the top of their suspect list.

We knew or at least we thought we did that whatever had occurred wasn’t of Jonah’s volition yet they didn’t and I loved Beckett’a cat and mouse game between them.

Jonah also had to contend with his own personal issues not least the disappearance of his son ten years ago and the realisation that it could be linked to his current predicament.

Beckett wasn’t going to tell us anything as he threw Jonah deeper and deeper into a intricate web of drugs, money and trafficking. You could sense the stress emanating from Jonah, you railed at the detectives, at their narrow mindedness, wondered if Beckett would let Jonah survive.

More turmoil ensued, risks taken, bodies found until finally the shocking big reveal. You had an inkling what and who it would be, but all credit to Beckett for keeping you guessing.

I loved the pulsating drama of the final few pages, of the sadness and betrayal that engulfed Jonah. In essence I just loved this thriller and from now onwards will be hugely anticipating the next novel from Simon Beckett.

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

About the author

Simon Beckett is the No.1 international bestselling author of the David Hunter series: The Chemistry of Death, Written in Bone, Whispers of the Dead, The Calling of the Grave, The Restless Dead and The Scent of Death. His books have been translated into 29 languages, appeared in the Sunday Times top 10 bestseller lists and sold over 10 million copies worldwide. A former freelance journalist, he has written for The Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent on Sunday and Observer. The inspiration for the first David Hunter novel came after a visit to the world-renowned Body Farm in Tennessee introduced him to the work of forensic anthropologists. Joint-winner (with Arne Dahl) of Europe’s largest crime fiction prize – the Ripper Award 2018/19 – he has also won the Raymond Chandler Society’s Marlowe Award and been short-listed for the CWA Gold Dagger, CWA Dagger in the Library and Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year awards. He is also the author of several stand-alone novels including Stone Bruises and Where There’s Smoke. Simon Beckett lives in Sheffield.

#Blogtour The Quiet People by Paul Cleave @PaulCleave @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #TheQuietPeople

Orenda Books November 25th 2021

The Blurb

Cameron and Lisa Murdoch are successful New Zealand crime writers, happily married and topping bestseller lists worldwide. They have been on the promotional circuit for years, joking that no one knows how to get away with crime like they do. After all, they write about it for a living.

So when their challenging seven-year-old son Zach disappears, the police and the public naturally wonder if they have finally decided to prove what they have been saying all this time…

Are they trying to show how they can commit the perfect crime?

Electrifying, taut and immaculately plotted, The Quiet People is a chilling, tantalisingly twisted thriller that will keep you gripped and guessing to the last explosive page.

My Review

You will need to strap yourself in before reading The Quiet People, it was quite honestly one of the most fast paced and truly brilliant thrillers I have read in a very long time.

Lets start with the first chapter, a car chase, the inevitable crash and a whole lot of questions for the reader. Then Cleeve introduced us to Cameron and Lisa Murdoch, crime writers, who lived a ‘quiet’ life in the suburbs with their son, Zach , a young boy with obvious issues that rose to the fore with devastating consequences when he suddenly disappeared.

What happened next was just thrilling, Cleeve never let his narrative or indeed the twists and turns let up. I loved that it was all in one voice, that of Cameron, the father, his emotions never left the surface, they were what drove him, what pushed him to extremes.

Cleeve based those extremes on reality, the role of social media, 24hrs news, the perceptions of those of us that read, watch and listen. There were characters that pushed buttons for their own purposes, to avenge past grudges without foresight, without thought for what may happen.

There was the idea that crime writers would and could commit the perfect crime, their minds stuck in the depths of depravity, a ploy to increase books sales, to raise their profiles, but was that something Cameron would seriously consider? The police seemed to think so, as did the public and there was only so much a man could take as Cameron was pushed further and further to the edge until Cleeve gave him permission take matters into his own hands. The anger emanated from the pages, his rage vented on those who sought to do him wrong and just when you thought it was all over Cleeve ranked it up a notch, a glorious twist, a glimmer of hope. Yet hope often comes with truth and that was the cleverness in Cleeve’s plotting, as greed and lust reared its ugly head, the shock and horror of what people will do to get what they want became abundantly clear.

Yes, it was exaggerated, yes it bent the realms of reality but I for one did not care. This is what crime /thriller writing was all about, that instant buzz of an explosive first few pages, the numerous, inventive plot twists, the constant nagging at the back of the readers mind as to Cameron’s innocence, the depravity of persons within our society and an ability to not give in to that all encompassing happy ending.

Orenda, I do hope you will be publishing more of Mr Paul Cleeve’s novels because I for one will be first in the queue.

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

About the author

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Paul is Christchurch born and raised, and other than a couple of years when he was living in London and bouncing around Europe a little, he’s always lived there. Paul wanted to write horror, and it was a few years in when he realised that crime – real life crime – is horror. When he made that connection, he turned to writing dark crime fiction, writing first The Killing Hour, and then The Cleaner, in his mid-twenties. Not long after that Paul sold his house and lived with his parents so he could write full time – a gamble that paid off a few years later when Random House signed him up. From that point on he’s written his dark tales set in his home city, introducing Joe Middleton – the Christchurch Carver, and Melissa, and Theodore Tate, and Schroder, and Jerry Gray, among others to the world.

#Blogtour Blue Skinned Gods by SJ Sindu @SJSindu @Legend_Times #BlueSkinnedGods

Legend Press November 2nd 2022

The Blurb

Traveling from the ashrams of India to the underground rock scene of New York City, Blue-Skinned Gods explores ethnic, gender, and sexual identities, and examines the need for belief in a fractured world.


In Tamil Nadu, India, a boy is born with blue skin. His father sets up an ashram, and the family makes a living off of the pilgrims who seek the child’s blessings and miracles, believing young Kalki to be tenth human incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.


Kalki is confronted with three trials in his tenth year—tests of his power that will prove his divine status and, his father tells him, spread his fame worldwide. Over the next decade, as the story of his family unravels, his relationship to everyone—his dominating father, his beloved cousin, his cancer-stricken aunt, and the young woman he imagines he will marry—threatens to fall apart. At once a personal tale of youthful searching, and a magisterial, continent spanning tour-de-force, Blue-Skinned Gods is unwaveringly honest and heartbreaking, a powerful novel told through the eyes of a wonderfully winning and idiosyncratic protagonist.

My Review

It’s all very well to be an outsider looking in, to see the calm, serenity of an Ashram, to see the Kalki, the young boy with blue skin, proclaimed god, healer and to believe so utterly in what is presented. Yet what if you were on the inside, what if you were Kalki that blue skinned boy we first met age 6? That was Sindu’s aim to take us to the inside to hear Kalki’s voice, his thoughts, his feelings and what a story.

I was amazed at the strength of Kalki’s voice, of Sindu’s ability to translate that into her narrative, the ten year old forced to pass 3 tests to prove his status as a God. You saw his anguish as he so desperately wished to succeed, the pressure from his father, the scrutiny from those around him. His best friend Lakshman and his Amma seemed to be the only people he could be himself, to enjoy being a ten year old.

As the years progressed, the pressure on Kalki increased the net his father wound around him grew tighter. Sindu made you feel frustration as those around Kalki warned him that it was all a scam, yet the constant brainwashing persisted, his mother the one person that kept him tied to the ashram.

When escape finally arrived you wondered if it was too late but loved the wonderment and naivety, the confusion felt by Kalki as his mind tried to unwind to switch off from everything he had been told.

You could enjoy the novel purely for the excellence of the story and the writing or you could chose to examine the undercurrents and themes explored so brilliantly by Sindu. I chose to do both, angry that as with most things in society money seemed to be the main driver, Kalki’s fathers desperation to control, to push Kalki to the extreme to pull the wealth he craved. But was it more than that, was it also about power, status, recognition, a perverse sense of what was right, what the world needed, could not do without. You could also question Lakshamn’s motives as he helped his friend navigate a new world, his use of Kalki to further the fame of his band, and ultimately make them money.

And what of Kalki, how does he break free, learn to speak and think for himself. You knew it would take time, and Sindu gave us little glimpses of that free mind, of the strength he slowly regained to push forward and be his own person.

Sindu’s narrative was emotive, brilliantly conveyed Kalki’s story and provoked anger, frustration and numerous questions from this reader.

I would like to thank Legend Press for a copy of Blue Skinned Gods to read and review and for inviting My Bookish blogspot to participate in the blogtour

About the author

SJ Sindu was born in Sri Lanka and raised in Massachusetts. Sindu is the author of the novel Marriage of a Thousand Lies, which was selected by the American Library Association as a Stonewall Honor Book, as well as nonfi ction I Once Met You But You Were Dead, which won the Split Lip Press Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest. A 2013 Lambda Literary Fellow, Sindu holds a PhD in Creative Writing

#Blogtour Psychopaths Anonymous by Will Carver @will_carver @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #PsychopathsAnonymous

Orenda Books

The Blurb

Maeve has everything. A high-powered job, a beautiful home, a string of uncomplicated one-night encounters. She’s also an addict: A functioning alcoholic with a dependence on sex and an insatiable appetite for killing men.

When she can’t find a support group to share her obsession, she creates her own. And Psychopaths Anonymous is born. Friends of Maeve.

Now in a serious relationship, Maeve wants to keep the group a secret. But not everyone in the group adheres to the rules, and when a reckless member raises suspicions with the police, Maeve’s drinking spirals out of control.

She needs to stop killing. She needs to close the group.

But Maeve can’t seem to quit the things that are bad for her, including her new man…

A scathing, violent and darkly funny book about love, connection, obsessions and sex – and the aspects of human nature we’d prefer to hide – Psychopaths Anonymous is also an electrifyingly original, unpredictable thriller that challenges virtually everything.

My Review

From what recess of Carver’s imagination did Maeve come from, because I know for sure I could never have realised such a character. Here was a woman who managed a hugely successful career in marketing, went home drank copious amounts of alcohol, attended numerous AA meetings and just as a bonus killed a few men that clearly annoyed her.

You may imagine that she was evil, totally unlikeable but no Carver was clever, he actually made me like her. Underneath that lethal exterior lay a woman who in some way looked after her so called friends, Jill one example, there was the capacity against her own will to fall in love, to not want to lose that love and to do all she could to keep it. In essence, to me, Carver had created the ultimate compassionate serial killer who throughout the pages searched for her place in society.
That search saw Maeve trawl the numerous AA meetings dotted around community centres, church halls, a different story of her fall into alcoholism at each one, disdain for the people that attended. What became even more apparent was Maeve’s view of God, the role of religion within the alcoholic community. I loved how Carver showed the similarities between the twelve steps and the ten commandments, the giving back of what you had taken, the making amends, living a purer and better life. At its heart was God, Gods place, his supposed power to absolve and provide comfort and relief.

Did Maeve believe? Of course not, this is after all a Will Carver novel, not for Maeve the safety of God’s embrace, instead her own group of like minded individuals, all with their own psychopathic tendencies. I particularly loved the surgeon with a nasty habit of a wavering surgical blade.

As the body count rose so did the stakes, the risk and Carver gave you the sense that Maeve needed to reign herself in, to gain some distance from the group and to her dismay, a need to rescue her relationship with Sebastian, the one thing she was not ready to give up. Would Sebastian feel the same way or was their relationship doomed?

My fingers, my heart were all crossed and with one final surprise from Carver he gave me my answer, but which one?

Brutal, dark, funny, with Carvers own subversive take on society and the world we live you could not help but once again admire his nerve, skill and sheer uniqueness.

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

About the author

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Will’s latest title published by Orenda Books, The Beresford is out in July. His previous title Hinton Hollow Death Trip was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize, while Nothing Important Happened Today was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.

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