#BlogTour The Club by Ellery Lloyd

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Club by Ellery Lloyd.

‘For fans of The White Lotus, Big Little Lies and The Hunting Party, Ellery Lloyd’s The Club is an exhilarating, addictive read, telling a story of ambition, excess, and what happens when people who have everything – or nothing – to lose are pushed to their limit.’

About the Author/s

Ellery Lloyd is the pseudonym for London-based husband-and-wife writing team Collette Lyons and Paul Vlitos. Collette is a journalist and editor, and former features editor at Stylist, content director of Elle and editorial director at Soho House. She has written for the Guardian, the Telegraph and the Sunday Times as well as two travel books.

Paul is the author of Welcome to the Working Week and Every Day is Like Sunday. He is the subject leader for English Literature, Film and Creative Writing at the University of Surrey. The Club is their second novel. Their first, People Like Her, was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. Follow @ElleryLloyd  

About the book

There’s no place like Home . . . – The Home Group is a collection of ultra-exclusive private members’ clubs and a global phenomenon, and the opening of its most ambitious project yet – Island Home, a forgotten island transformed into the height of luxury – is billed as the celebrity event of the decade.

But as the first guests arrive, the weekend soon proves deadly – because it turns out that even the most beautiful people can keep the ugliest secrets and, in a world where reputation is everything, they’ll do anything to keep it.

Review

The Home, a series of private clubs around the world is exclusive, and with all things that are exclusive it means certain groups of people will automatically be subjugated to those who are more powerful and in control. As with most situations it also means people will abuse the power structure they control. 

The timing of this story and the parallels that can be drawn to certain real life situations should be food for thought, especially when it comes to powerful networks who have procured without remorse. Timely and poignant. 

The story is told from the lead-up and aftermath of a tragic incident and the events leading up to the event. The celebrities who gather to enjoy pleasure without consequences, the people who enable them and of course the minions who suffer the greed and lack of boundaries of others.

It has the dramatic tension and style of a Jackie Collins – Lace, Lucky – and complex layers of a modern psychological thriller. The inner structure of the plot speaks to the depravity, secrecy and complacency that lives within our society. I wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually see this as a film or Netflix series. It will appeal to the readers who like a tight plot that keeps them guessing, the ones who like their justice delivered with a calculating swiftness and those who appreciate a jolly good story.

Buy The Club at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Mantle; pub date 31 Mar. 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Imposter by Anna Wharton

It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Imposter by Anna Wharton.

About the Author

Anna Wharton has been a print and broadcast journalist for more than twenty years, writing for newspapers including The Times, Guardian, Sunday Times Magazine, Grazia and Red. She was formally an executive editor at The Daily Mail. Anna has ghostwritten four memoirs including the Sunday Times bestseller Somebody I Used To Know and Orwell Prize longlisted CUT: One Woman’s Fight Against FGM in Britain Today. The Imposter is her first novel.

Follow @whartonswords, Visit annawharton.com

About the book

Chloe lives a quiet life. Working as a newspaper archivist in the day and taking care of her Nan in the evening, she’s happy simply to read about the lives of others as she files away the news clippings from the safety of her desk. But there’s one story that she can’t stop thinking about. The case of Angie Kyle – a girl, Chloe’s age, who went missing as a child. A girl whose parents never gave up hope.

When Chloe’s Nan gets moved into a nursing home, leaving Chloe on the brink of homelessness, she takes a desperate step: answering an ad to be a lodger in the missing girl’s family home. It could be the perfect opportunity to get closer to the story she’s read so much about. But it’s not long until she realizes this couple aren’t all they seem from the outside . . .

But with everyone in the house hiding something, the question is – whose secrets are the most dangerous?

Review

Chloe struggles with her identity, perhaps because it is neither here nor there, and now her Nan is suffering from dementia her identity is slipping away from the only family she knows. When you add that frustration to a boring job, it’s easy to see how she could be swept up by a mysterious disappearance.

A young child who simply vanished one day many decades ago. Parents who still hope for some news, whether good or bad. Chloe becomes absolutely fascinated by the correlation between the blanks in her own childhood and this young child. One could say a little obsessed.

As the obsession with fantasy merges into reality the reader isn’t sure if Chloe is on the brink of a revelation, a breakdown or has she found herself in the web of a murderous spider?

It reminded me of the way Kubica plots – there is always this insidious and nefarious thread woven into the fabric of the story. You think you know where the author is going, but just as you get comfortable there is a sharp left. Victim, villain, damaged individual – which is it or is at all three?

It’s an engrossing dark domestic psychological thriller, definitely a story for readers who like their crime twisty, tense and unpredictable. 

Buy the Imposter at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Mantle; pub date 1st April – Hardback – £14.99. Buy at Waterstones.

The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing by Mary Paulson-Ellis

Review

This book should without a doubt be on some prestigious lists. It is a superbly told story and Paulson-Ellis is a spectacular storyteller. The way she weaves the individual threads through the timelines and the story, is done in such a subtle way you almost don’t realise she is doing it.

The story takes place in the present with the heir hunter Solomon Farthing and in the past with his grandfather in the First World War. Whilst the story bounces back and forth it also takes pit-stops in the years in between. Connections are drawn from the small group of soldiers to the same men in the future and their offspring. The result is a well-plotted narrative about guilt, brotherhood, loyalty and a question of conscience.

There is a parallel between the betting games the soldiers play to pass the time and to fight the fear and anxiety, and the veterans who connect with each other after the war, specifically the items they place as bets. Each one of them brings something, leaves an item and then takes another thing with them. A spool of thread, buttons, walnuts, fruit, cap badges and a pawn ticket. Anything can become one man’s treasure in a setting where every single item can become as precious as a cave full of gold.

At times I had tears in my eyes, it’s emotional and nostalgic, especially because the author brings realism and authenticity to the table. As a reader you can’t help but think about the young boys and men who died under appalling circumstances. Often following the orders that meant they knew they were nothing but bullet fodder for the enemy. Nothing but numbers for their own country.

Would you lead your brothers in arms into death – on a suicide mission? Would you risk death to ensure others cheat death? Of course disregarding an order meant death by firing squad. The crimes of cowardice, pacifism and just pure trauma took far too many victims in the war.

It’s historical war fiction, literary fiction and simultaneously a story filled with unanswered questions and mysteries. It is an excellent read. A book that belongs on best books lists.

Buy The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Mantle; pub date 5 Sept. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Follow @mspaulsonellis on Twitter, Visit marypaulsonellis.co.uk

Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

With historical crime fiction it’s paramount to get the historical facts right, even if the author plays fast and loose with a few details or uses their artistic license. Books in this particular genre often become not only an engrossing read, they can also be a learning experience. This is without a doubt both.

When Captain Harry Corsham starts investigating the brutal and torturous death of his friend the abolitionist Tad Archer, he stumbles upon a swamp of deception, lies and violence. Whilst trying to find one killer Harry finds men guilty of mass murder and inhumane atrocities. He puts himself, anyone who is involved and any person who speaks to him in peril as the upper echelon tries to keep

Shepherd-Robinson has researched the history of British slavery or rather Britain’s culpability in regards to slavery in depth. It’s history we are aware of, but for some reason it is never given the same voice as in the United States for instance. One could argue, and I am sure plenty would, that Britain paid restitution when slavery was abolished in 1833 in the UK, except it was paid to the slave and plantation owners to compensate them for the loss of their human property.

The exploitation of human flesh was a profitable one, a tragic element that the author makes clear in this story. The atrocious treatment of those slaves by their sellers and owners is a black mark in history in general. The author ensures that the reader can smell the fear, taste the tears and hear the screams of these unfortunate human beings caught in the vicious web of greed and inhumanity.

One can be aware of certain historical events, but when names are put to faces and details are so specific, it’s hard not to feel outraged, angered and upset by the truth. The author conveys this with the brutality it merits, and still manages to pull-off a fascinating crime story at the same time.

I was really surprised to discover, after the fact, that this is a debut novel. This is the work of a seasoned writer, on par with someone who has been honing their skills for many years and books. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend or to buy further books by this author.

It’s historical crime fiction, which leaves a strong message and vivid imagery in its wake, and is driven by a masterful and complex main character. I hope this isn’t the last time we hear from Harry Corsham. Shepherd-Robinson is a writer to watch. This is hopefully just the beginning.

Buy Blood & Sugar at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Mantle; pub date 24 Jan. 2019, Buy at Waterstones

Follow @LauraSRobinson @MantleBooks @panmacmillan on Twitter, Visit laurashepherdrobinson.com