#Review The Hedge Witch by Cari Thomas

The Hedge Witch: A Threadneedle novella -a small slice of the Threadneedle universe, with more to come! And the cover is amazing.

About the Author

Cari Thomas is author of the Sunday Times Bestseller, Threadneedle – her debut novel and the first in her language of Magic series.

Cari grew up in the Wye Valley area of Wales and, after studying English Literature & Creative Writing at Warwick University and Magazine Journalism at the Cardiff School of Journalism, moved to London. She worked as a journalist and at a creative agency, before finally doing what she’d always wanted to do: quit her job and write a book about magic.

The result was Threadneedle. Be introduced to a world of wild, ancient witchcraft hidden within today’s London; where libraries made of books breathe dusty pages beneath the city, where witch clubs serve up magical cocktails and vintage shops sell memories. A world where magic gleams light and very, very dark.

Cari now lives in Wales with her husband and son. Discover more on her website: carithomas.com, Follow @Cari_Threads on Twitter.

About the book

Rowan is visiting her aunt – Winne the hedge witch – in the Welsh countryside, to get back to nature and hone her skills, as well as taking a break from her annoying sisters and enjoying some peace and quiet. However, Rowan soon comes to realise that hedges are a serious business and this isn’t quite the opportunity to rest and escape she thought it might be.

Not only that, but mysterious events around the town are causing panic in the secret magical community and cowans – non-magical folk – are starting to take notice. Can Rowan hone her hedge craft, try to make some friends and solve the riddle of the mysterious goings-on, or is magic about to be revealed to the world … or at least Wales?

Review

This is a novella that fits into the Threadneedle universe, a world of magic and of self-discovery. If you haven’t read the first book I would certainly suggest doing so. Saying that, this can absolutely be read as a standalone story and there are more to come.

Rowan is sent to spend her summer holidays with an aunt in the country, very reluctantly I might add. She would rather be spending it pretending to be part of a large social group at school – the truth is she is an outsider who struggles to fit in everywhere.

Part of the holiday regime is learning what her aunt has to teach about being a hedge witch, learning to respect the hedge and communicate with it, to harness the power that flows within her. Power that needs structure instead of erratic emotions and lack of focus, but Rowan is a teenager who would rather discover new friends and break the rules.

It’s a lovely story, a sort of tentacle that reaches from the hive – one of the many threads of magic of this series. It’s also a story for both the young and old.

Buy The Hedge Witch at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏:‎ HarperVoyager pub date 7 July 2022. Buy at Amazon com. Buy via Harper Collins.

#Review Operation Moonlight by Louise Morrish

 A great story based on real events during WW2 – Operation Moonlight by Louise Morrish. ‘Wartime France. A newly trained agent. A deadly mission.’

About the Author

Louise Morrish is a Librarian whose debut novel won the 2019 Penguin Random House First Novel Competition – chosen from over 4000 entries – in partnership with the Daily Mail. She finds inspiration for her stories in the real-life adventures of women in the past, whom history has forgotten. She lives in Hampshire with her family. Follow @LouiseMorrish1 on Twitter, Find out more about Louise at linktr.ee/louisemorrish

About the book

1944: newly recruited SOE agent Elisabeth Shepherd is faced with an impossible mission: to parachute behind enemy lines into Nazi-occupied France and monitor the new long-range missiles the Germans are working on. Her only advice? Trust absolutely no one. With danger lurking at every turn, one wrong move for Elisabeth could spell instant death.

2018: Betty is about to celebrate her 100th birthday. With her carer Tali at her side, she receives an invite from the Century Society to reminisce on the past.

Remembering a life shrouded in secrecy and danger, Betty remains tight-lipped. But when Tali finds a box filled with maps, letters and a gun hidden in Betty’s cellar, it becomes clear that Betty’s secrets are about to be uncovered . . .

Nostalgic, heart-pumping and truly page-turning, Operation Moonlight is both a gripping read and a novel that makes you think about a generation of women and men who truly knew what it meant to survive.

The inspiration for Operation Moonlight – The real-life SOE heroines of WW2

The Special Operations Executive (SOE) was a clandestine government organisation, authorized by Winston Churchill in 1940 to ‘set Europe ablaze’, which recruited and trained over 400 secret agents, 39 of them women. Only a handful of these female secret agents have been remembered for their brave achievements.

In 1942, in an unprecedented move, women were recruited into the organisation. The decision shocked and angered some people, not least because if women were given the right to bear arms they would no longer be protected by the Geneva Convention. This meant that if they were caught by the enemy, they could not expect to be treated as prisoners of war.

Nevertheless, 39 French speaking women, some of them wives and mothers, their ages ranging from 19 to 51, from a variety of backgrounds, were recruited. Once recruited, the women embarked on a 4-stage course, training alongside their male counterparts.

If the agents passed the stringent criteria, they were then sent to paramilitary training in Arisaig, Scotland. Here, they learned to survive in the beautiful, yet wild and unforgiving Scottish landscape. On the remote beaches and secluded moors, they were taught the rudiments of demolition and sabotage.

The second stage of the agents’ course was parachute training, which took place at Ringway Aerodrome in Manchester. Up until now, the women had endured everything the male agents experienced. But when it came to jumping from a plane, the women were only expected to make three practise jumps, their fourth being into France. The men, however, performed an additional night jump, and thus were awarded their ‘wings’.

The final stage of training was known as Finishing School, and took place at various Stately Homes such as Beaulieu in Hampshire. Here, the agents honed their skills in espionage, and undertook pseudo-schemes, evading capture by the Southampton police force, in readiness for their real missions in France.

Of the 39 women who risked their lives as agents, 12 were executed following their capture by the Germans, while one died of meningitis during her mission. The remainder survived the war.

Writing Operation Moonlight, Louise Morrish took inspiration from all the female agents of the SOE, but three women – in addition to Louise’s grandmother Betty – in particular: Noor Inayat Khan, Violette Szabo, and Odette Sansom Hallowes, whom Morrish researched in detail at The National Archives, at Kew.

Review

This is a dual timeline read – the reader is taken back and forth from 2018 and to the 1940s, as the secrets of an old lady who is about to celebrate a milestone birthday start to emerge. Betty still finds it hard to change old habits, which is to let sleeping dogs lie because you’ve been taught to never say a word, ergo periods of her life have been hidden from everyone around her. It also means there has never been any recognition for the her bravery.

You already low-key know you’re going to enjoy a book when you start casting the characters for the screen version shortly after starting the book. It has the emotional bonding of Home Fire with Bletchley House suspense, and I would very much like to throw in a pop culture reference  – it absolutely gave me Fall From Grace vibes.

It’s both tragically sad and disappointing that although we remember the casualties of war every year, we seem to forget the service and sacrifice of the living, during the same periods of time in history. It’s a strange phenomenon that those who returned were revered less than those who didn’t, to live forever in the shadow of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and yet is or was theirs not equally as great.

It’s a riveting historical fiction read, which is even more fascinating given the true events it is based on, and the author absolutely does her personal connection to the story justice. These women were incredibly brave, especially considering the lack of support they knew to expect if they were caught. It’s an incredible part of history that has taken a secondary place in comparison to the actions and deaths of others.

Buy Operation Moonlight at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Century, pub date 21 July 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Penguin Uk.

#Review #Booktok The Black Chalice by Lauretta Hignett

I thought it might be fun to randomly pick books to review that come up on my #fyp on TikTok, so here we go: #Booktok

About the book

My name is Eve, and I’m cursed. – It’s just a theory, but I’m sure I’m cursed.  In every other way, I’m a completely normal, ordinary girl. There’s just one thing. Every time I get close to someone, they go crazy and try to kill me.

It’s happened more times than I care to count. And whenever I think I’ve found a new safe haven, violence always smashes through it. I’ve come to accept that there is nowhere safe on earth. Because it’s me. It’s my curse.

I’ve been doing okay lately. I even have a normal job – I’m night receptionist at Revelations, the most exclusive, isolated and top-secret hotel resort in the entire world. Only the richest people can afford to stay here, and they’re more interested in themselves than they are in me. It’s beautiful. I feel safe here.

Until last night, when I had a vivid dream about an angel and a demon.  It felt so real, it unsettled me. The angel was the most heartbreakingly handsome thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

I just can’t shake the dream. Which is too bad. Because the angel just walked into reception. And he’s standing right in front of me.

Review

Eve has a troubled past and finds comfort in the secluded nature of her place of employment. It caters only to the most privileged and wealthy, which can at times be quite frustrating. Eve also sometimes finds it hard to control her temper when confronted with arrogance, rudeness and disgusting behaviour.

Lately dreams and reality have started to merge into one and into the world as she knows it. Where hunky angels and demons go from vivid dreams to stirring up things for Eve in real time.

It has slight echoes of the First Grave series, well with urban fantasy there will always be an a semblance of something, and it is on the cusp of something, but not quite there yet. There is a lot of information in the angel, demon world-building – all thrown out there within a chapter or so. There is an imbalance between the lackadaisical interactions, and the potential between Eve, and the angel and demon. And, I might add, one can be a chalice without becoming a high-stakes assault target (sa).

It has plenty of potential though.

Buy The Black Chalice at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Follow @laurettahignett, Visit laurettahignett.com

#Review Notes On An Execution by Danya Kukafka

This is a fascinating read and Danya Kukafka is an excellent writer.

About the Author

Danya Kukafka is the bestselling author of the novels Notes On An Execution and Girl In Snow. She is a graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She works as a literary agent. Follow @danyakukafka on Twitter

About the book

Ansel Packer is scheduled to die in twelve hours. – He knows what he’s done, and now awaits the same fate he forced on those girls, years ago. Ansel doesn’t want to die; he wants to be celebrated, understood. – But this is not his story.

As the clock ticks down, three women uncover the history of a tragedy and the long shadow it casts. Lavender, Ansel’s mother, is a seventeen-year-old girl pushed to desperation. Hazel, twin sister to his wife, is forced to watch helplessly as the relationship threatens to devour them all. And Saffy, the detective hot on his trail, is devoted to bringing bad men to justice but struggling to see her own life clearly. – This is the story of the women left behind.

Review

I first heard about this book on Twitter a few months ago and pre-ordered a copy based on what I was hearing, then I actually bought the Audiobook too. I found the premise intriguing, and I wasn’t disappointed at all – this is an excellent read.

It’s going to be really difficult to do this book the justice it deserves without giving too much away. The author weaves the complex layers of this psychological read, that veers into the literary sphere, with such expertise and detailed nuance – it is truly an indicator of a talented scribe and storyteller.

Narrated by the main character Ansel, the man on death row, and the women who have been a part of his life. The women who defined him, the women who called for his accountability, and the women who were his victims in one way or other. It’s a ticking clock, a timer, a revisiting of truths. His, their truths and the facts that meet both stories in the middle.

The boy, who like many others, is born into a world of violence and depravation, and subsequently abandoned or saved. It depends on the way you look at it. It’s easy to lay the blame for his future behaviour and crimes at the feet of an abusive parent and an absentee one. The truth is perhaps a little more complex, predictive behaviour and a genetic disposition in culmination with the worst start in life can result in a person who rightly ends up behind bars on death row.

The only aspect I wondered about was the connection between Lavender to Ansel at the end and whether it should have taken more of a centre stage, but then I thought about the intent, symbolism, emotional bond and power. More importantly, where all of those things should lie, because in her own way the author makes an argument for the both the hypocrisy and cruelty of the death sentence, whilst simultaneously proving why sometimes it is the only true solution. It may not be justice – there is no justice for certain crimes, but it is closure. 

Kudos to Kukafka for the ending, the homage and the lost possibilities – very well said. It also gives and leaves the power with those who are deserving of it. This is certainly one of my top reads of the year.

Buy Notes On An Execution at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: Phoenix  pub date 3 Feb. 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Bookshop.org

#Review The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont

‘The Christie Affair is a stunning novel which reimagines the unexplained eleven-day disappearance of Agatha Christie in 1926 that captivated the world.’

About the Author

Nina de Gramont lives with her husband and daughter in coastal North Carolina, where she teaches Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her interest in writing about Agatha Christie began in 2015 when she first learned about the famous author’s eleven-day disappearance. Christie’s refusal to ever speak about this episode particularly intrigued Nina, who loves the fact that someone who unravelled mysteries for a living managed to keep her own intact. The Christie Affair is her fourth novel.

Follow @NinadeGramont on Twitter, Visit ninadegramont.com

About the book

In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days. Only I know the truth of her disappearance. I’m no Hercule Poirot. I’m her husband’s mistress. – Agatha Christie’s world is one of glamorous society parties, country house weekends, and growing literary fame.

Nan O’Dea’s world is something very different. Her attempts to escape a tough London upbringing during the Great War led to a life in Ireland marred by a hidden tragedy. After fighting her way back to England, she’s set her sights on Agatha. Because Agatha Christie has something Nan wants. And it’s not just her husband.

Despite their differences, the two women will become the most unlikely of allies. And during the mysterious eleven days that Agatha goes missing, they will unravel a dark secret that only Nan holds the key to.

Review

Nan is a character everyone will love to hate, but they should perhaps admire her with equal passion. She envelopes the entirety of this plot in her web and consumes everyone in her path, she is also a wonderful narrator I might add. She has set her sights on Agatha’s husband, the life she lives and perhaps even more.

When Agatha, yes the Agatha Christie, disappears in the aftermath of some emotional turmoil, the entire country is searching for her. Is she missing, dead or has she been kidnapped? Has the treacherous husband got something to do with it or Nan perhaps?

What is Nan up to in the background, does she have access to information we aren’t privy to? It’s an excellently spun web of lies, desires, memories and ultimately one of secrets and hidden truths.

My only complaint about this book is that it is fiction. That it is a story born from the mind of a creative just based on the factual event – the eleven-day disappearance of Agatha Christie in the 1920s. Part of me wishes it actually happened, it’s a great scenario and well executed.

It’s also nice wee homage to the Queen of Mystery Crime, although she may not have been amused by the drama of her life becoming the scene of a mystery and a crime, however I think readers will certainly appreciate the irony.

Buy The Christie Affair at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Mantle pub date 20 Jan. 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy at WaterstonesAt Pan MacMillan.

#Review Autopsy by Patricia Cornwell

 Autopsy is book 25 in the Kay Scarpetta series written by Patricia Cornwell, yet another great read by Cornwell.

About the Author

Patricia Cornwell is recognized as one of the world’s top bestselling crime authors with novels translated into thirty-six languages in more than 120 countries. Her novels have won numerous prestigious awards including the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, Macavity, and the French Prix du Roman d’Aventure prize. 

Beyond the Scarpetta series, Patricia has written a definitive book about Jack the Ripper and a biography and has created two more fiction series among others. Cornwell, a licensed helicopter pilot and scuba diver, actively researches the cutting-edge forensic technologies that inform her work. She was born in Miami, grew up in Montreat, NC, and now lives and works in Boston. 

Follow @1pcornwell on Twitter, Visit patriciacornwell.com

About the book

Forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta has returned to Virginia as the chief medical examiner. Finding herself the new girl in town once again after being away for many years, she’s inherited an overbearing secretary and a legacy of neglect and possible corruption.

She and her husband Benton Wesley, now a forensic psychologist with the U.S. Secret Service, have relocated to Old Town Alexandria where she’s headquartered five miles from the Pentagon in a post-pandemic world that’s been torn by civil and political unrest. Just weeks on the job, she’s called to a scene by railroad tracks where a woman’s body has been shockingly displayed, her throat cut down to the spine, and as Scarpetta begins to follow the trail, it leads unnervingly close to her own historic neighborhood.

At the same time, a catastrophe occurs in a top secret private laboratory in outer space, and at least two scientists aboard are found dead. Appointed to the highly classified Doomsday Commission that specializes in sensitive national security cases, Scarpetta is summoned to the White House Situation Room and tasked with finding out what happened. But even as she works the first crime scene in space remotely, an apparent serial killer strikes again. And this time, Scarpetta could be in greater danger than ever before.

Review

It wasn’t until I read which number this is in the Scarpetta series that I realised just how long I have been reading books by this particular author. I must have missed a few because I was a wee bit surprised by the Marino and Kay’s sister coupling. I know his almost obsessive need to protect and to be in Kay’s orbit is a main driver, but her sister can be such ego driven being. Surely that counts as dysfunctional.

Is the obsessive close friendship only viewed as a positive, because Kay is unable to take a step back from it, as opposed to an outsider thinking Marino is on the precipice of something screwy in regards to his friend? Is that a book waiting to happen.

Kay has been more or less manipulated into the career move she has made recently. I think the full picture and repercussions of said move will be fodder for this and some books to come. I actually found Scarpetta’s lack of response to the negative attitudes, blatant disregard for her position, was infuriating. Where was her outrage instead of just letting certain people just dance on her grave?

I’m not sure whether the last few years have anything to do with it, but it certainly seemed as if there was a lot going on in this book, perhaps to the detriment of the book. The serial killer plot, the White House situation, her professional status and the way her niece is dealing with a personal loss. Many sub-plots pulling in a lot of different directions, then again some of it felt a little like a build-up to a bigger plot.

It’s certainly a gripping read, albeit it one that bounces from one goal post to the other. I am hoping in the next book Kay comes back willing to fight with a bit more vigor.

Buy Autopsy at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎HarperCollins pub date 25 Nov. 2021. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Harper Collins Uk.

#Review The Appeal by Janice Hallett

The Appeal – ‘The standout debut thriller of 2021 that delivers multiple brilliant twists, and will change the way you think about the modern crime novel.’ Coming in January 2022 – The Twyford Code also by Janice Hallett

About the Author

Janice Hallett is a former magazine editor, award-winning journalist and government communications writer. She wrote articles and speeches for, among others, the Cabinet Office, Home Office and Department for International Development. Her enthusiasm for travel has taken her around the world several times, from Madagascar to the Galapagos, Guatemala to Zimbabwe, Japan, Russia and South Korea. 

A playwright and screenwriter, she penned the feminist Shakespearean stage comedy NetherBard and co-wrote the feature film Retreat, a psychological thriller starring Cillian Murphy, Thandiwe Newton and Jamie Bell. The Appeal was her first novel, her second The Twyford Code is set to be published by Viper Books in January 2022. Follow @JaniceHallett on Twitter

About the book

In a town full of secrets. Someone was murdered. Someone went to prison. And Everyone’s a suspect. Can you uncover the truth?
There is a mystery to solve in the sleepy town of Lower Lockwood. It starts with the arrival of two secretive newcomers, and ends with a tragic death. Roderick Tanner QC has assigned law students Charlotte and Femi to the case. Someone has already been sent to prison for murder, but he suspects that they are innocent. And that far darker secrets have yet to be revealed…

Throughout the amateur dramatics society’s disastrous staging of All My Sons and the shady charity appeal for a little girl’s medical treatment, the murderer hid in plain sight. The evidence is all there, waiting to be found. But will Charlotte and Femi solve the case? Will you?

Review

I think less will be more when it comes to reviewing this one. I wouldn’t want to take away the pleasure of experiencing this little treasure with an open mind.

Just one thing though, the minutes created by Isabel Beck were a riot – this is what happens when you write what you think, as opposed to giving a written narrative of what was actually said. Maybe she can come do some clerking in our town, it would go down a treat.

I have to give Hallett her dues, this is a completely engrossing and original piece of work. Interestingly it never loses the element of intrigue, despite the quite often seemingly mundane flowing in and out of the interactions and communications. It reminded me of a toss-up between a modern Cluedo and a game of mastermind. It’s about the right place and time, the right combination of people, place, evidence and above all the clues.

It’s a really well executed original piece of fiction. Using texts, emails, letters in a story isn’t unusual – completing a whole murder mystery that way is. You either fail to reel in your audience or you excel at it, as Hallett has done.

Buy The Appeal at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : ‎Viper; pub date 14 Jan. 2021. Buy at Amazon comAt Waterstones.

#Review A Line to Kill by Anthony Horowitz

Another great read in the Hawthorne and Horowitz series!

About the Author

The author of the bestselling teen spy series. Alex Rider, Anthony Horowitz is also responsible for creating and writing some of the UK’s most loved and successful TV series including Midsomer Murders and Foyle’s War.

He has also written two highly acclaimed Sherlock Holmes novels, The House of Silk and Moriarty, two James Bond novels, Trigger Mortis and Forever And a Day, and two bestselling crime novels, The Word is Murder and The Sentence is Death, starring Detective Daniel Hawthorne. A Line to Kill is the third in the Daniel Hawthorne series.

In 2016 he wrote Magpie Murders, which became a bestseller around the world, and was the recipient of eight literary awards in Japan. Moonflower Murders, published in August 2020 continued the story. Follow @AnthonyHorowitz on Twitter, Visit anthonyhorowitz.com

About the book 

There has never been a murder on the island of Alderney. But as writers gather for a brand new literary festival a killer lies in wait. An island full of secrets is about to become an island full of suspects…

Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne and the writer, Anthony Horowitz have been invited to the festival to talk about their new book. Very soon they discover that dark forces are at work. Alderney is in turmoil over a planned power line that will cut through it, desecrating a war cemetery and turning neighbour against neighbour. And the visiting authors – including a blind medium, a French performance poet and a celebrity chef – seem to be harbouring any number of unpleasant secrets.

When the festival’s wealthy sponsor is found brutally murdered, Alderney goes into lockdown and Hawthorne knows he doesn’t have to look too far for suspects. There’s no escape. The killer is on the island. And there’s about to be a second death…

Review

They do make an excellent sleuthing duo these two. The reluctant, slightly bumbling Horowitz who is almost always in a state of disbelief at the situations he finds himself in, and the all-knowing, brusque, secretive, but very self-assured and slightly arrogant Hawthorne.

Horowitz is never quite sure who has the upper hand in their relationship, especially because Hawthorne seems to have taken over the area of the author’s own expertise. Apparently the two of them are heading to a literary festival on Alderney to promote their new book.

Then murder most wicked happens. Does it have anything to do with the contentious plans for a power line or does it have something to do with the past? 

I do so love this series, the only thing that would make it better would be a visual televised representation of Hawthorne and Horowitz. Hmm, I wonder if Horowitz should play himself? And who would make a great Hawthorne? Absolutely food for thought. Whilst readers wait for that to happen let’s hope we get more books in this series.

Buy A Line to Kill at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Century: pub date 19 August 2021- Hardback £20. Buy at Amazon comOrder via Penguin

An Island by Karen Jennings

Longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize

About the Author

Karen Jennings was born in Cape Town in 1982. She holds Master’s degrees in both English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town, and a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

About the book 

Samuel has lived alone for a long time; one morning he finds the sea has brought someone to offer companionship and to threaten his solitude…

A young refugee washes up unconscious on the beach of a small island inhabited by no one but Samuel, an old lighthouse keeper. Unsettled, Samuel is soon swept up in memories of his former life on the mainland: a life that saw his country suffer under colonisers, then fight for independence, only to fall under the rule of a cruel dictator; and he recalls his own part in its history. 

In this new man’s presence he begins to consider, as he did in his youth, what is meant by land and to whom it should belong. To what lengths will a person go in order to ensure that what is theirs will not be taken from them? – A novel about guilt and fear, friendship and rejection; about the meaning of home.

Review

It’s a solitary endeavour, both from a premise and literary perspective. A short powerful read that sets the scene without any inner or outer architecture. It’s just Samuel, the island and sometimes the man who intrudes upon the two.

As the reader gets to know the man, they also travel with him through time. From his traumatic childhood fleeing the violence of his rural area, to the poverty that later defines and changes his family, which leads to the years as a prisoner and the hermit-like existence.

An existence that has created layers of guilt in general, survivor’s guilt, grief and a lack of impulse control when it comes to violence. Agoraphobia and a territorial behaviour combined with paranoia and flashbacks – one could say the events that unfold are inevitable.

I can see why it has been longlisted for the Booker. It’s an unusual piece that stands out from the crowd. It will be interesting to see where Jennings takes us next.

Buy An Island at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Holland House Books pub date 23 July 2021. Buy at Amazon comBuy from Holland House Books.

#Review Both of You by Adele Parks

Another fantastic read from Adele Parks coming end of May 2021!

About the Author

Adele Parks was born in Teesside, North-east England. her first novel, Playing Away, was published in 2000 and since then she’s had eighteen international bestsellers. She’s been an Ambassador for The Reading Agency and a judge for the Costa and is a keen supporter of The National Literary Trust. She’s lived in Italy, Botswana and London, and is now settled in Guildford, Surrey, with her husband and son.

Follow @adeleparks on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit adeleparks.com

About the book

Leigh Fletcher: happily married stepmum to two gorgeous boys goes missing on Monday. Her husband Mark says he knows nothing of her whereabouts. She simply went to work and just never came home. Their family is shattered.

Kai Janssen: married to wealthy Dutch businessman, Daan, vanishes the same week. Kai left their luxurious penthouse and glamourous world without a backward glance. She seemingly evaporated into thin air. Daan is distraught.

DC Clements knows that people disappear all the time – far too frequently. Most run away from things, some run towards, others are taken but find their way back. A sad few never return. These two women are from very different worlds, their disappearances are unlikely to be connected. And yet, at a gut level, the DC believes they are.

How could these women walk away from their families, husbands and homes willingly? Clements is determined to unearth the truth, no matter how shocking and devastating it may be.

Review

It’s going to be a bit of task to review the way I would like to without giving the plot away, but hey ho I’m going to try because its such an interesting premise. 

Two women, completely different women, disappear without a trace. The only thing they have in common is the fact they are gone and they vanished around the same time. The reader gets a glimpse of one in captivity – the other fate unknown. Meanwhile the outside world thinks they have gone because they are disgruntled and unhappy with their lives. No one is really looking that hard. Their husbands aren’t looking at all. Who wants to hurt Leigh or Kai? 

The juxtaposition of the two women who have nothing in common is the most intriguing element of the read. Leigh the loving wife who has become the caring stepmother. She is chaotic, frustrated with dealing with an ungrateful teenager and often wonders why she is still with her husband

Kudos to Parks she is getting better with each book, which is quite a feat seeing as she has already written some humdingers. Also for the clever double entendre in regards to the book title. This does not disappoint and has her trademark depth and moral conundrum written all over it and of course it’s a great read.

Buy Both of You at Amazon Uk o go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon comAt Hive.