#BlogTour Death Deserved by Thomas Enger and Jørn Lier Horst

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Death Deserved by Thomas Enger & Jørn Lier Horst translated by Anne Bruce – published by Orenda Books.

About the Authors

Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger are the internationally bestselling Norwegian authors of the William Wisting and Henning Juul series respectively. Jørn Lier Horst first rose to literary fame with his No. 1 internationally bestselling William Wisting series. A former investigator in the Norwegian police, Horst imbues all his works with an unparalleled realism and suspense.

Follow @LierHorst on Twitter, Visit jlhorst.comon Goodreadson AmazonBuy Death Deserved

Thomas Enger is the journalist-turned-author behind the internationally acclaimed and bestselling Henning Juul series. Enger ’s trademark has become a darkly gritty voice paired with key social messages and tight plotting. Besides writing fiction for both adults and young adults, Enger also works as a music composer. Death Deserved is Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger ’s first co-written thriller.

Follow @EngerThomas @OrendaBooks on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit thomasenger.netBuy Death Deserved

About the book

Oslo, 2018. Former long-distance runner Sonja Nordstrøm never shows at the launch of her controversial autobiography, Always Number One. When celebrity blogger Emma Ramm visits Nordstrøm’s home later that day, she finds the door unlocked and signs of a struggle inside. A bib with the number ‘one’ has been pinned to the TV.

Police officer Alexander Blix is appointed to head up the missingpersons investigation, but he still bears the emotional scars of a hostage situation nineteen years earlier, when he killed the father of a five-year-old girl. Traces of Nordstrøm soon show up at different locations, but the appearance of the clues appear to be carefully calculated … evidence of a bigger picture that he’s just not seeing…

Blix and Ramm soon join forces, determined to find and stop a merciless killer with a flair for the dramatic, and thirst for attention. Trouble is, he’s just got his first taste of it…

Review

You can’t just end a book like that. That’s not a cliffhanger – that’s hanging readers over the Grand Canyon and pulling them back in after you’ve given them a brief taste of excitement. Just saying.

Blix and Ramm are an unusual coupling, perhaps more so because the past has melded them together forever. Ramm is unaware of the connection at first, but where Blix is concerned it defines the way he relates to and interacts with Emma. The decisions he made many years ago are used as an example of right or wrong, and it has stunted his career path, despite being convinced that he did the right thing.

He is pulled into an extremely violent game of fame based cat and mouse when a celebrity goes missing and he starts to feed one journalist in particular the kind of details that could cost him his career.

It’s Nordic noir, a police procedural crime read. A fast-paced brutal serial killer is determined to leave his mark on society and that storyline is balanced excellently with the personal lives of the main characters. Blix who struggles to connect with his grown daughter and Emma who hides her own imperfections, because only the perfect are lovable, right?

The authors give readers the trepidation of crime, whilst simultaneously showing us the fragility of the human psyche. The result is a compelling read.

You could say that aside from the usual problems, which could arise, a novel written by multiple authors and translated from a foreign language often has to rise to the occasion more so than a one author native language novel. This novel does that successfully. Not only is it written so smoothly that you don’t notice a difference in style or voice – the translation and the edit are spot-on.

When you have read the book do yourself a favour and read the acknowledgement. It’s absolutely hilarious and hands down the funniest acknowledgement I have ever read. Those few pages give insight into the relationship which makes Enger and Horst an extremely successful writing team. I hope this is the first of many. It better be – did I mention how they ended the book?

Buy Death Deserved at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books; Pub date 6 FEBRUARY 2020 | Paperback Original | £8.99. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Orenda.co.uk

#BlogTour Wild Spinning Girls by Carol Lovekin

Today it’s also a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Wild Spinning Girls by Carol Lovekin.

About the Author

arol Lovekin is the author of three novels published by Honno, the Welsh Women’s Press. She writes about mother/daughter relationships, family dynamics & her stories are rooted in the Welsh landscape. They touch on the Welsh Gothic & its most powerful motif: the ghost.

Her first novel, Ghostbird (2016) was a Waterstones Wales and Welsh Independent Bookshops Book of the Month, a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2016 & in the same year was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize. Snow Sisters (2017), her second novel, was chosen by the Welsh Books Council as their October Book of the Month (for independent shops.) Her third novel, Wild Spinning Girls is published today.

Follow @carollovekin on Twitter, on Goodreads, Visit carollovekinauthor.comBuy Wild Spinning Girls

About the book

If it wasn’t haunted before she came to live there, after she died, Ty’r Cwmwl made room for her ghost. She brought magic with her.

And the house, having held its breath for years, knew it. Ida Llewellyn loses her job and her parents in the space of a few weeks and, thrown completely off course, she sets out for the Welsh house her father has left her. Ty’r Cwmwl is not at all welcoming despite the fact it looks inhabited, as if someone just left..

It is being cared for as a shrine by the daughter of the last tenant. Determined to scare off her old home’s new landlord, Heather Esyllt Morgan sides with the birds who terrify Ida and plots to evict her. The two girls battle with suspicion and fear before discovering that the secrets harboured by their thoughtless parents have grown rotten with time. Their broken hearts will only mend once they cast off the house and its history, and let go of the keepsakes that they treasure like childhood dreams.

Review

Inheriting a house in an isolated area in Wales is one thing, inheriting a house that comes with a built-in ghost and a slightly crazy young girl with a key for every door, is quite another. At first Ida thinks it is amusing and swipes the constant presence of Heather away like she is swatting a fly, but when Heather appears determined to frighten and threaten her – Ida’s resolution to stay and make the place her home starts to waver.

Ida is torn between being annoyed at the constant intrusion into her life and worrying about the young girl who at this point is worse than a squatter. Heather insists Ida can’t move or change anything let alone touch anything that belonged to her mother. Her sense of loss and grief is palpable. It makes her erratic and often volatile.

Where Heather is comfortable with the quirkyness of the house and surrounding countryside, Ida feels threatened and is often scared by the odd things that happen in the house. Pretty sure the birds have been watching Hitchcock. Just saying.

It’s magical realism and literary fiction with a pinch of women’s empowerment. Lovekin, who tells a great tale by the way, reminds us how important it is to support instead of judge and ignore. To listen instead of assume, because sometimes the hardest exterior hides the most frightened of hearts.

It’s a lovely read. A breath of the unknown – witchcraft, energy and an aura of something watching and controlling the fate of others.

Buy Wild Spinning Girls at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Honno Welsh Women’S Press: pub date 20 Feb. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. 

 

#BlogTour Hidden Wyndham: Life, Love, Letters by Amy Binns

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Hidden Wyndham by Amy Binns.

About the Author

With a decade of experience in news reporting, Dr Amy Binns is now a writer, researcher and journalism lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire.

Her PhD was on solutions to difficult behaviour on social media and other online communities, and she has contributed to a report from the Committee on Standards in Public Life on the intimidation of parliamentary candidates. She regularly speaks on Radio Five Live on social media issues.

Hidden Wyndham: Life, Love, Letters, is Dr Binns’ second book. She has also written about local history in the book “Valley of a Hundred Chapels”, also available on Amazon. She has also published papers and chapters on interwar feminism and social history. Dr Binns lives in Yorkshire with her husband and two children.

About the book

The first biography of the life of science fiction author John Wyndham is now available. It includes the first publication of a collection of love letters to his long-term partner and later wife, Grace Wilson.

Hidden Wyndham: Life, Love, Letters, by Dr Amy Binns, author and senior lecturer in journalism at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), explores Wyndham’s wealthy but traumatic childhood. This was transformed by a spell at the first mixed-sex public school Bedales from 1915 to 1918, the source of the strange but fervent feminism of Consider Her Ways and Trouble with Lichen.

The biography covers his formative years as a pulp fiction writer, his experiences as a censor during the Blitz and his part in the Normandy landings. He described his struggles with his conscience in a moving series of letters to Grace, the teacher with whom he had a 36 year love affair.

After the war, he transformed the searing experiences of wartime London, France and Germany into a series of bestselling novels: The Day of the Triffids, The Chrysalids, The Midwich Cuckoos and The Kraken Wakes. But he remained intensely private, shunning fame and finally retiring to live anonymously with Grace in the countryside he loved.Review

Wyndham made a huge mark as a sci-fi writer with The Day of the Triffids, a book and visual experience that remains one of the most memorable works of the last century. This biography gives an insight into the man behind the words. The creative mind that used his stories to cross boundaries and worlds.

Binns doesn’t rely on gossip, Chinese whispers or the myth behind the stories. This is well- researched and also quite intimate at times. For a man who tried to keep himself and his life out of the spotlight I wonder what he would have thought about the invasive nature of not only his story being told, but also readers evaluating the information.

Either way this book gives the kind of intimate glance into a life Wyndham tried very hard to keep away from not only the curious public, but also from everyone else. Sort of begs the question whether we need access to certain information to be able to understand or better enjoy the written or visual work.

Personally I found it gave an interesting perspective to a man taught to keep his emotions tight to the chest. His inner torment and how he questioned the morality of specific things he was a part of, which he wouldn’t have been able to air in public without being perceived a certain way. His emotions and love being hindered by scars of the past – a fear of public commitment and abandonment perhaps.

It’s a well thought thorough open window into the world, emotions and secrets of Wyndham. Binns does an excellent job of introducing us to the soul and heart he kept hidden.

Buy Hidden Wyndham at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads at any other retailer. Publisher: Grace Judson Press; pub date 1 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#PaperbackPublicationDay for The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

It’s Happy Paperback Publication Day for The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary and to celebrate Quercus Books are giving you the chance to win a copy of The Flatshare with its brilliantly quirky new cover!

To win a copy just leave a comment underneath this post!

About Beth O’Leary

Beth studied English at university before going into children’s publishing. She lives as close to the countryside as she can get while still being within reach of London, and wrote her first novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from work.

You’ll usually find her curled up with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).

Follow @OLearyBeth @QuercusBooks on Twitter, on Instagramon Goodreads, Visit theflatshare.co.ukBuy The FlatShare

Review

This book surprised me. It has the kind of charm that makes it memorable. The main character, Tiffy, is a kind of anti-Eleanor Oliphant and yet at the same time in a way a part of her is an Eleanor. This book has the same kind of quaint je ne sais quoi. An indescribable element which draws readers in.

Tiffy is looking for a place to live and Leon is looking for a flat mate. Neither of them have a lot of choice, which is how they end up coming up with a strange living arrangement. Sharing the same bed, but never at the same time – sounds like a really bizarre way to share a living space.

Leon’s girlfriend, yes he has a girlfriend, just has one rule. Never the twain shall meet. Tiffy and Leon must never be in the flat at the same time.

This is how the most entertaining part of the story evolves, as the two of them inadvertently become involved in each others lives and build a friendship without ever meeting each other. The fine lines of friendship are woven through communication, common concerns and an instantaneous emotional connection.

The other aspect of this book is how Tiffy slowly comes to the realisation that her relationship with her ex might have been anything but perfect. It’s interesting, albeit perhaps not what friends would do, how they are all invested in Tiffy making the connections herself. She isn’t swayed or convinced by anyone, she just starts to see events, actions and remarks in a different light.

The flashbacks she experiences are the beginning of an epiphany. Instead of remembering the loving boyfriend she suddenly feels different emotions. Fear, apprehension and the feeling of being manipulated. Is this because she wants to hate him for leaving her and for cheating? Or is there something more nefarious going on?

It’s a witty contemporary rom-com with endearing characters and a compelling plot. O’Leary brings humour, emotional turmoil and intense relationships to the table, she also weaves more serious topics into the story.

How easy it is to be controlled and abused without realising it and how some people can suck the life out of their partners with their sheer selfishness. Simultaneously it’s also about the fragile bridges of love and romance that can be built over distance and time without any physical interaction at all. It’s a really lovely read.

Buy The Flat Share on Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Quercus; pub date 18 April 2019. Buy at Amazon comat Waterstones.

#BlogTour Blood on His Hands by Ian MacFadyen

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Blood On His Hands by Ian McFadyen.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win 5 x Paperback copies of Blood on His Hands (UK Only)

About the Author

Ian McFadyen lives in Bishops Stortford, Herts and has published seven books in the Carmichael series so far. McFadyen has built up a strong following and is particularly well supported by library borrowers – being positioned in the top 10% of most loaned authors in the last few years. Favourably mentioned alongside Wilkie Collins and Colin Dexter, McFadyen’s titles are all available in paperback and on kindle.

Follow @IanMcFadyen1 on Twitter, on Goodreadson Facebook, Visit ianmcfadyen.webs.com,  Buy Blood on His Hands

About the book

When a stranger enters DI Carmichael’s local church, with blood on his hands claiming to have committed a murder, Carmichael and his team are quickly summoned.

And when the man disappears, as mysteriously as he arrived, with few clues to his identity, where he came from and where he went, Carmichael quickly realises that all may not be as it seems. The conundrum becomes even more puzzling when, in less than 24 hours, a corpse is discovered in the boot of a Bentley car down a quiet country lane.

As the body count rises Carmichael and his team remain confounded as to who is behind the murders and what motive they have for taking so many lives. In this, the eighth gripping murder mystery from the pen of Ian McFadyen, the author once again captivates the reader with an array of beguiling characters tightly woven within an intriguing, skilfully scripted plot.

It will keep you guessing right until the end…

Review

A stranger walks into a church looking like he is in the middle of some sort of bizarre religious hallucination. Instead he tells the local Reverend that the blood on his hands is due to the fact he committed a murder. By the time Barney has called the police the man has vanished. Carmichael and his team are confused but on the case.

Simultaneously Carmichael’s daughter Natalie has been skipping school, which comes to light when the school finally informs her parents. She is the victim of vicious bullies. I have to say whilst this storyline is one that needs more light shed on it, due to the extremely high number of children suffering at the hands of bullies, there were parts of the dialogue I din’t agree with. Her mother is very sanctimonious when it comes the bullies reasons.

This is the eighth book in the DI Carmichael series. It’s a police procedural crime read with a close knit team and family feel to it.

McFadyen creates smaller subplots, which don’t appear to be connected other than through the characters, but ultimately brings all of them together and to a conclusion in the end.

He also has a very specific style, which is very drawn out and laid back. The minutiae of the story can make it seem too long, however I can’t fault the ideas or structure, just perhaps the fact editing could make it more concise. Again, this style could be a cup of tea kind of thing.

Based on the way it ends readers can expect to read more about Carmichael, his team and his family. He has secrets that could ruin his idyllic comfortable life. i wonder what they could be?

Buy Blood On His Hands at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Book Guild Publishing Ltd; pub date 28 Nov. 2019. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Book GuildWaterstonesFoylesBlackwellsWHSmithBook Depository.

Enter the Giveaway to Win 5 x Paperback copies of Blood on His Hands (UK Only)

Click Here to Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

#BlogTour Payback by R.C. Bridgestock

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Payback by R.C. Bridgestock – the brand new series from the writers of DI Fylan and script advisers to TV’s Happy Valley and Scott and Bailey.

About the Author

R.C. Bridgestock is the pen name of writing duo Carol and Bob Bridgestock. Between them they have nearly 50 years of high level experience in West Yorkshire Police. The couple are storyline consultants on Happy Valley and Scott and Bailey and appear regularly on TV, radio and in the press.

Follow @RCBridgestock @TheDomePress on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads, Visit rcbridgestock.comBuy Payback

About the book

Charley Mann left Yorkshire for the Met and a fast-track career – but now she’s back and she’s in charge and the area’s first young female DI. Her hometown, the Yorkshire countryside, and her old friends all seem unchanged, but appearances can be deceptive.

When a brutal murder is discovered, Charley is forced to question everything, and the interest of her ex- reporter Danny Ray – doesn’t make it easier.

Review

There is no mistaking the experience this author duo brings to the table both in policing and script-writing. You can easily lift the dialogue and plot, and imagine the series it could become.

DI Charley Mann returns home after a promotion places her back in an environment full of memories and nightmares. This time she is in charge and she isn’t about to let anyone forget it, especially those who let her down in the past.

Of course there is nothing that shows the strength and weaknesses of an ambitious SOI more than a brutal murder the top brass want solving asap.

With her own secrets kept closely guarded, she finds herself confronted with friends and foes of the past – sometimes there is a fine line between the two.

Charley is an intriguing combination of straight-laced professional and a good ol’ born and bred country lass. A stickler for the rules, a superior to look up to, and yet also a firm believer of local folklore.

It gives the character a real sense of authenticity. Readers can relate to the strength, the fears and the almost nonchalant way Charley also adheres to certain rituals, which are said to keep certain elements at bay.

Whether or not Bridgestock explores that element of superstition further in the future, well I certainly hope so – it adds an extra layer of uncertainty to the plot.

It’s a police procedural with a strong and yet often conflicted main character.

I think it’s fair to say that Bridgestock ends this book in a way that suggests Charley has only just begun to scratch at and peel away the levels of evil and corruption around her, which hopefully means this is the first of many.

Buy Payback at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Dome Press; pub date 9 January 2020. Available in Paperback – 8.99 and Ebook. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Dome Press.  Buy at Waterstones.

#SeriesBlogTour Tomorrow’s Ancestors: The Base of Reflections by A.E. Warren

It’s my second turn on the Blog Tour for the Tomorrow’s Ancestors series by A.E. Warren. I blogged about the first book The Museum of Second Chances a few days ago and today it’s all about the second book, The Base of Reflections.

About the Author

AE Warren lives in the UK. A not-so-covert nerd with mildly obsessive tendencies, she has happily wiled away an inordinate amount of time reading and watching sci-fi/ fantasy and gaming. She is interested in the ‘what ifs’.

The Museum of Second Chances is her first novel and she is currently writing the third book in the ‘Tomorrow’s Ancestors’ series.

Follow @amauthoring on Twitter, on Facebookon Instagramon Goodreadson Amazon, Visit aewarren.comBuy The Base of Reflections

About the book

What happens when the future abandons the past?

Elise and her companions have made it to the safety of Uracil but at a price. Desperate to secure her family’s passage, she makes a deal with Uracil’s Tri-Council. She’ll become their spy, jeopardising her own freedom in the process, in exchange for her family’s safe transfer. But first she has to help rescue the next Neanderthal, Twenty-Two.

Twenty-Two has never left the confines of the steel walls that keep her separated from the other exhibits. She has no contact with the outside world and no way of knowing why she has been abandoned. With diminishing deliveries of food and water, she has to start breaking the museum’s rules if she wants a second chance at living.

One belongs to the future and the other to the past, but both have to adapt—or neither will survive…Review

This is part of a series and I would definitely suggest reading the first in the series, The Museum of Second Chances. Aside from the intricacy of the plot, and it is a really well thought out and intriguing premise, it is necessary to get the entire gist of the story and the characters.

The first book ends with Elise and her companions heading towards Uracil and this one begins with them arriving at their destination. The council is willing to help Elise in return for a favour – they want her to spy for them. She also has to rescue Twenty-two.

Meanwhile Twenty-two is just as determined to escape, especially because the powers that be have been treating her differently to the other human species – the Neanderthal exhibits. For some reason there seems to be a concerted effort to starve and deprive her of her basic needs. Some of their experiments are inhumane, which in itself says a lot about the post-apocalyptic society in power.

Warren deserves to be on quite a few radars. The plot is clever and compelling, and is very much driven by the emotional element that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.

It’s a futuristic, dystopian post-apocalyptic tale – an intriguing look at the worst side of so-called intelligent life form. How easy it is for humankind to swing from survival instinct to excusing acts of cruelty and oppression in the name of science, evolution and development.

Buy The Base of Reflections at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of The Museum of Second Chances by A.E. Warren.