Blogtour #Audiobook Women Like Us: A Memoir by Amanda Prowse

It’s a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour for the Audiobook – Women Like Us: A Memoir by Amanda Prowse.

About the Author

Amanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author whose twenty-six novels, non-fiction title and seven novellas have been published in dozens of languages around the world. Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres. Her books, including the chart topping No.1 titles What Have I Done?, Perfect Daughter, My Husband’s Wife, The Girl in the Corner and The Things I Know have sold millions of copies across the globe.

A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s ‘The Jeremy Vine Show’ and numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on BBC national independent Radio stations including LBC and Talk FM, where she is well known for her insightful observations and her infectious humour. Described by the Daily Mail as ‘The queen of family drama’ Amanda’s novel, A Mother’s Story won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the year Award while Perfect Daughter was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016. Follow @MrsAmandaProwse on Twitter

About the book

Amanda Prowse has built a bestselling career on the lives of fictional women. Now she turns the pen on her own life. From her childhood, where there was no blueprint for success, to building a career as a bestselling novelist against all odds, Amanda Prowse explores what it means to be a woman in a world where popularity, slimness, beauty and youth are currency – and how she overcame all of that to forge her own path to happiness.

Sometimes heartbreaking, often hilarious and always entirely relatable, Prowse details her early struggles with self-esteem and how she coped with the frustrating expectations others had of how she should live. Most poignantly, she delves into her toxic relationship with food, the hardest addiction she has ever known, and how she journeyed out the other side.

One of the most candid memoirs you’re ever likely to read, Women Like Us provides welcome insight into how it is possible – against the odds – to overcome insecurity, body consciousness and the ubiquitous imposter syndrome to find happiness and success, from a woman who’s done it all, and then some

Review

I thought it was interesting how Amanda simultaneously gives the reader, the audience, this trifecta of reasoning and emotion that pings off itself. Acknowledging the truth of her family, upbringing and all the nuances of the working class background and feeling the societal guilt the world (very much a British thing, sorry) forces into our very psyche at the same time. You’re supposed to feel inferior and as if those around you are too. Somehow feel ashamed for who you are.

When you take that invisible burden and it is weighed down by layers of remarks and what people like to refer to as banter, however the way the target receives it can be completely different. In this case it has created a foundation of almost self-loathing and doubt, which leads to seeking comfort in external sources.

It’s a frank and open dialogue about herself and her life, one that is a rollercoaster of emotions. As a reader you go on that ride and often find correlation in situations, thoughts and experiences. It’s brave to open yourself up in such a way, even if it is a self-examination of sorts. It’s definitely an audiobook I would recommend to others.

On a side note – the author narrates the story herself and does so extremely well, but what I wanted to mentioned is what a perfect voice for audio she has – deliciously soothing with a hint of sultry. Combined with her story, which I think most women will be able to relate to in one way or another, it makes it such an easy listening experience.

Buy Women Like Us at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher – Audible UK: pub date: 6th September 2022 | Paperback: £8.99. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Audible Uk.

Listening Length – 12 hours and 16 minutes, Author – Amanda Prowse, Narrator – Amanda Prowse, Audible.co.uk Release Date – 06 September 2022, Publisher – Brilliance Audio, Program Type – Audiobook, Version – Unabridged, Language –  English.

#BlogTour #Audiobook No Place To Run by Mark Edwards

It’s a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour for the Audiobook version of No Place to Run by Mark Edwards.

About the Author

Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people. Mark has sold over 3.5 million books since his first solo novel, The Magpies, was published in 2013 and has topped the bestseller lists numerous times. His other novels include Follow You Home, Here To Stay and The House Guest. 

He has also published six books co-authored with Louise Voss. His last book, The Hollows, was published in July 2021. Mark lives in the West Midlands, England, with his wife, their three children and two cats. He Tweets at @mredwards

About the book

Two years ago, on a trip to Seattle to visit her brother Aidan, fifteen-year-old Scarlett vanished into thin air.

After years of false leads and dead ends, Aidan has almost given up hope. But then a woman sees a girl running for her life across a forest clearing in Northern California. She is convinced the girl is the missing Scarlett. But could it really be her?

Heading south, Aidan finds a fire-ravaged town covered in missing-teenager posters. The locals seem afraid, the police won’t answer any questions and it looks like another dead end―until a chance meeting with returned local Lana gives Aidan his first clue. But as they piece together what happened, Lana and Aidan make deadly enemies. Enemies willing to do anything to silence them. Only one thing matters now: finding Scarlett ― even if it kills him. 

Review

This review is based on the audiobook version – I personally often find listening and reading experiences of the same book or material to be completely different, despite the subject matter. Possibly because the narrator replaces a lot of the imaginary character constructs, and situational reactions and tensions, one automatically creates whilst reading. That’s a pretty long-winded way of saying that I am also going to be reading the hardcopy or digital version of this story.

When Aidan decides to solve the mystery of his teenage sister, who disappeared into thin air a few years prior, he doesn’t realise he will end up having to wade through a quagmire of deception, greed, and ruthless corruption. He finds a companion in Lana, who like himself is looking for a missing loved one – in a town covered in missing posters. Sounds creepy, right? Yeh, it goes to places you just won’t expect it to.

Having read prior work by this author I think it’s fair to say that although this also carries the trademark slow-building and burning when it comes to storytelling, it is also the most boundary pushing and extensive in terms of scope. There was definitely an aspect of opening new doors and seeing where that leads us, especially in regard to combining genres. It’s more speculative, and tugs quite a few ripcords when it comes to controversial topics and indeed 21st century problems.

It’s a captivating, has the potential to be a more than one-of, mystery come thriller. A slight deviation from the usual books by this author, but I am absolutely here for it. I love it when an author goes beyond the realms they might be boxed into for a variety of reasons – the results are often a great reading or listening experience.

Buy No Place to Run by Mark Edwards at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publication: Thomas & Mercer, pub date 21st June 2022 | Paperback -£8.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Listening Length – 10 hours and 11 minutes, Author – Mark Edwards, Narrator – Will M. Watt. Whispersync for Voice – Ready, Audible.co.uk Release Date – 21 June 2022, Publisher – Brilliance Audio, Program Type – Audiobook, Version – Unabridged, Language – English.

#BlogTour #Audiobook The Vaccine by Joe Miller

It’s a pleasure to take  part in the Blogtour for the Audiobook The Vaccine: Inside the Race to Conquer the COVID-19 Pandemic by Joe Miller narrated by John Sackville. Also credited Ugur Sahin (Author), Özlem Türeci (Author).

‘The exclusive story of the greatest scientific breakthrough of the 21st century – the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine.’ 

About the Author

Vaccine is the story of this race against time. Written by Joe Miller, the Financial Times’ correspondent who covered the team’s COVID-19 project in real time, and based off more than 150 hours of interviews with Sahin and Türeci, as well with scientists, politicians, and public health officials, it offers an exclusive behind-the-scenes account of this extraordinary breakthrough. Follow @JoeMillerJr on Twitter

About the book

In mid-January 2020, scientists Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci learned of how a new virus that had emerged in Wuhan, China, was spreading. Recognising the threat at once, they dropped everything and committed themselves to developing a vaccine against the disease that would soon be known as COVID-19. 

No one believed it was possible. But by December, the revolutionary BioNTech-Pfizer mRNA inoculation became the first clinically approved COVID-19 vaccine. Soon it was being injected into the arms of millions, turning the tide on the deadliest pandemic in living memory. 

Cutting-edge science that feels like a thriller, this is an historic account of the triumph of human endeavour in a time of adversity. 

Includes exclusive interview with Joe Miller, Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci.

Review

What Vaccine does really well is capture the entirety of the picture, especially when we are only able to see parts of it. For someone to openly recognise and be honest about the trajectory and evolvement of the pandemic, then following the battle to find a solution and way to curb the pandemic, and of course the amount of fatalities.

During a time when people are fractured into different sides, especially when it comes to Covid and subsequently the vaccine, it’s important to shed light on the science to counter the conspiracies.

Conspiracy theorists see and make connections where others don’t. There is a general feeling of mistrust towards science, government and the medical experts in general, which is why books or audiobooks like this are of paramount importance. Countering the stream of misinformation and hopefully allaying some fears along the way.

It’s science heavy – obviously – but for the majority it is explained quite well for a reader who is also a layperson. The use of metaphors really helped with equivalency and association. I could do with a written version of it too.

Given the book was written during the time of the pandemic, the author had certain limitations to deal with and yet he still managed to interview scientists, politicians and staff at BioNTech, and of course Uğur Şahin und Özlem Türeci. The result is a fascinating window into the world behind the vaccine, the company, and the people who created it.

I think it’s worth pointing out that our media, and often the mouthpieces of governments, focus on the negative to gain traction and viewers. The numbers we hear and read about tend to be the losses, the victims, and whilst they are important it’s perhaps impossible to quantify the positive results of the vaccine. Both now and in the future.

It’s a compelling audiobook – I highly recommend it.

Buy The Vaccine at Audible UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon Uk.

Listening Length – 11 Hours and 10 Minutes,Author – Joe Miller, Ugur Sahin, ÖzlemTüreci,Narrator – John Sackville,Audible.co.uk Release Date – 14 September 2021, Publisher – Audible Originals,Program Type – Audiobook,Version – Original recording,Language – English.

#Blogblitz Audiobook – Beyond the Moon by Catherine Taylor

 It’s my turn on the Blog Blitz Beyond the Moon by Catherine Taylor.

About the Author

Catherine Taylor was born and grew up on the island of Guernsey in the British Channel Islands. She is a former journalist, most recently for Dow Jones News and The Wall Street Journal in London. Beyond The Moon is her first novel. She lives in Ealing, London with her husband and two children.

Narrator Bio – Liz May Brice is an English actress. She is known for roles such as the convicted murderer Pat Kerrigan on ITV1’s Bad Girls, and Agent Johnson in Torchwood: Children of Earth.

Follow @CathTaylorNovel on Twitter, on Facebookon Instagram,

About the book

A strange twist of fate connects a British soldier fighting in the First World War in 1916 with a young woman living in modern-day England a century later, in this haunting literary time travel novel.

In 1916 1st Lieutenant Robert Lovett is a patient at Coldbrook Hall military hospital in Sussex, England. A gifted artist, he’s been wounded fighting in the Great War. Shell shocked and suffering from hysterical blindness he can no longer see his own face, let alone paint, and life seems increasingly hopeless.

A century later in 2017, medical student Louisa Casson has just lost her beloved grandmother – her only family. Heartbroken, she drowns her sorrows in alcohol on the South Downs cliffs – only to fall accidentally part-way down. Doctors fear she may have attempted suicide, and Louisa finds herself involuntarily admitted to Coldbrook Hall – now a psychiatric hospital, an unfriendly and chaotic place.

Then one day, while secretly exploring the old Victorian hospital’s ruined, abandoned wing, Louisa hears a voice calling for help, and stumbles across a dark, old-fashioned hospital room. Inside, lying on the floor, is a mysterious, sightless young man, who tells her he was hurt at the Battle of the Somme, a WW1 battle a century ago. And that his name is Lieutenant Robert Lovett…

Review

The story has a similar nostalgic feel as Somewhere in Time, but with an added twist due to the trauma and mental health issues of the main characters. What connects the two of them is grief and perhaps having difficulty finding someone who understands what they are going through, whether that is in the modern times with Louisa or with Robert during the Great War.

Robert is suffering from what we now know is shell shock, which at the time was a greatly misunderstood and misdiagnosed medical condition. He is distressed by his physical condition and feels immense guilt due to his inability to help his colleagues.

Given the nature and way the two characters meet each other and subsequently have a relationship I would say this expands beyond the genre of historical fiction and into speculative fiction. Of course speculative means you can move the goal posts, create scenarios that defy prior knowledge, logic and definitely the laws of science.

This is a review for the audiobook, however I have also read the ebook – sometimes I find it helpful to experience the writing and the audio version of a book – and I think the narrator does a great job of presenting this story. She really hits the tone when it comes to the taught emotional atmosphere between the two characters.

Buy Beyond the Moon at Audible UkAmazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Authors DirectOnly in the US – Buy at Chirpbooks (Chirp is running a special $3.99 deal only available in the US and Canada for a limited time)

Listening Length – 13 hours and 18 minutes, Author – Catherine Taylor, Narrator – Liz May Brice, Audible.co.uk Release Date – 18 February 2021, Publisher – Catherine Taylor, Program Type – Audiobook, Version – Unabridged, Language – English.

Enter the Giveaway to Win 5 x Beyond the Moon Audiobook (Open Internationally*) *Audiobook to be distributed via Authors-Direct. Please check the Authors Direct website to check whether it operates where you are. 

Click here to enter Rafflecopter giveaway 

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide 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 #Audiobook Jailbird by Caro Savage

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for the Audiobook – Jailbird by Caro Savage, narrated by Genevieve Swallow. 

About the Author

Caro Savage knows all about bestselling thrillers having worked as a Waterstones bookseller for 12 years in a previous life. Now taking up the challenge personally and turning to hard-hitting crime thriller writing. Sign up to Caro’s newsletter here

Follow @CaroSavageStory on Twitteron InstagramBuy Jailbird 

About the book 

Detective Constable Bailey Morgan has been out of the undercover game since her last job went horribly wrong, leaving her with scars inside and out. When her colleague Alice is found dead whilst working deep cover in a women’s prison, Bailey steps in to replace her.

Working alone, Bailey embarks on a dangerous journey through the murky underbelly of the prison and soon discovers that Alice’s death was part of a spate of brutal murders. Surrounded by prison officers, criminals and lowlifes, the slightest mistake could cost Bailey her life.

Illicit drug trafficking, prison gangs and corruption are just some of the things she’s up against… and behind it all lurks a sinister and terrifying secret that will truly test her survival instincts.

Heart-stopping and gripping. Perfect for the fans of hit TV shows such as Line of Duty, Orange is the New Black and Bad Girls.

Review

Saying that Bailey’s last undercover job didn’t go exactly as planned is absolutely the biggest understatement of the century. Going back into deep cover again should be the last thing on her mind, and yet when her friend is killed on the job, she decides it’s the only way to find out who killed her.

She is sent into prison as an inmate, without any lifeline I might add, to find and take down the network at the centre of the aforementioned murder. Once in there Bailey finds there are more questions than answers and that it is harder to stay alive inside prison than it is outside.

At times you can feel the way Bailey drifts from one side of the fence to the other. When you are used to living a completely fake life during a deep cover assignment it’s easy to sink too deep into said cover. There are certainly moments when she waivers between crossing the line to keep her cover and revealing all to keep her sanity.

The author delivers a gritty urban crime story with a damaged main character. A character who is willing to do what it takes to bring the monsters, deviants and criminals of this world to their knees. An honest and perhaps worrying look into the world behind bars and the crime that lurks within prisons.

Although I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by Genevieve Swallow, I also read the digital version via KU. Both versions absolutely convinced me and I wouldn’t hesitate to read or listen to another one by this author.

Buy Jailbird at Audible Uk or Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Boldwood Books pub date 15 October 2019. Buy at Amazon com. HiveWaterstones.

Listening Length – 13 hours and 6 minutes, Author – Caro Savage, Narrator – Genevieve Swallow, Whispersync for Voice – Ready,  Audible.co.uk Release Date – 15 October 2019, Publisher – Boldwood Books, Program Type – Audiobook, Version – Unabridged, Language – English.

#BlogTour #Audiobook The Evidence by K. L. Slater

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Evidence by K.L. Slater, narrated by Clare Corbett, Rachel Atkins, Alexandra Afryea & David Holt

About the Author

Kim is the million-copy bestselling author of twelve psychological crime thrillers. Kim’s titles are published by Bookouture, Audible and are available in paperback by Sphere in the UK and Grand Central in the USA.

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected an impressive stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating in 2012, she gained literary agent representation and a book deal. As Kim says, ‘it was a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’ Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottinghamshire with her husband.

Follow @KimLSlater on Twitter, Visit klslaterauthor.com

About the book

When a killer’s podcast reveals more than the truth….

Esme is a start-up success who runs her own successful media company and heads up a series of investigative podcasts. She also has a beautiful home, where she lives with her sister, Michelle, and her son, Zachary. Sure, there’s an ex-husband hanging around – Owen likes to pop round a bit too often – but everything is civilised and amicable. She has life all tied up.

But Esme knows that any successful podcaster is only as good as her last story, so she sets out on a new series of interviews to get to the truth behind Simone Fischer’s high-profile murder of her husband. Self-defence, crime of passion or coldly pre-meditated? She emerges after one jail visit to discover that her sister has been viciously attacked and is in a coma. And so begins the unravelling of Esme’s life. Where she thought there was trust and loyalty, she slowly discovers deceit and betrayal. No one is quite who they seem – not even her closest family.

As the podcast interviews plunge deeper into revealing the unnerving psychology of a murderer, Esme must try to keep her own sanity intact. The truth – about Simone and Esme’s own family – is there, if Esme can only find it. But will her investigations reveal more than she ever wanted to know?

Review

Esme has her own media company and her thing is investigative podcasts. It’s all the rage to dismantle the details of true crime and if possible to solve complex, cold cases and cases where doubt hovers like a helicopter.

Esme is looking for the buzz. The type of story that gives you media-cred and helps to build your reputation. She juicier the better, but it also means she might dig too deep and uncover something that puts herself and her family in danger.

The high profile murder committed by Simone Fischer seems to be the right story to draw the listeners, but things go pear shaped really quickly when violence comes calling after she starts investigating. It is the beginning of a downhill roll. Esme has no clue what’s coming for her.

This reminded me of the brilliant Six Stories series by Wesolowski. The combination of modern media, a zest for true crime and the truth, and of course characters who run so close to the boundary of reality and fiction that it is hard to discern what is real or fiction.

When I listen to a well narrated book I often wonder whether the listening, and the very specific experience of multiple character narrators will give you the same experience if you are reading it. The audiobook gives this extra distinction and feel for the differences between the characters, especially when it comes to one of the female characters.

It’s a gripping psychological thriller, which has an incredible cast of narrators who bring life and an air of authenticity to the story.

Buy The Evidence in Audible Ukat Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Audible Original | 11th February. Buy at Amazon com.

Listening Length – 9 hours and 1 minute, Author – K L Slater, Narrator – Clare Corbett, Rachel Atkins, Alexandra Afryea, David Holt, Audible.co.uk Release Date – 11 February 2021, Publisher –Audible Studios, Program Type – Audiobook, Version – Unabridged, Language – English.

#BlogTour Audiobook – Dear Lina by Jess Glaisher

It’s an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for the Audiobook Dear Lina by Jess Glaisher, narrated by Amélie Roch and Dervla Kirwan, 

About the Author

Jess is a queer disabled feminist and activist, whose writing focusses on LGBTQ+ character representation, mental health visibility, and the lives of women. Her first short story ‘Destiny’ appears in the anthology (Re)Sisters: Stories of Rebel Girls, Revolution, Empowerment and Escape. Her work has also been featured in Novelty Magazine, Severine Lit, The Tiny Narrative, and on Dear Damsels, including their print anthology for 2019. 

She writes alongside a creative collective of women who met through the amazing Write Like a Grrrl course. She has written a TinyLetter about her mental health called The Stories I Tell Myself, as well as a blog about her experiences with endometriosis called Eight Years and Counting.

Follow @JGlaisher on Twitterjessglaisher_writer on Instagram, on Goodreads, Visit jgrenaissancewoman.comBuy Dear Lina

About the book

 England is recognisable on the surface: the buildings are the same, there is still a government, the tube still runs through London. For Lina, however, the England she knew when she was little, when her mum was still around, has disappeared completely.

Arriving home one day to find her mum gone, Lina finds in her place a leather-bound notebook containing hundreds of pages of her mum’s handwriting: letters of advice and memories; all the things her mother would no longer have the chance to teach her. Through these pages, Lina learns that her mother, Eve, left in the middle of the night to avoid being arrested. The Government crackdown on immigrants meant that Eve either had to flee or risk the same fate as her friends; friends who were taken away from their homes and families, but never made it back to their country of birth.

Taking Eve’s advice, Lina leaves her life behind, and sets off on a journey north to Scotland to find freedom and, she hopes, her mother.

Review

I hope this is released in book format, although there is a particular emotional element to hearing both characters speak to each other. I loved it. There is so much packed into this dystopian read, but in a subtle way, which means the reader may be paying attention to either woman and the oppressive structure of the time Lina lives in flows alongside like a bad dream.

The story is delivered by mother and daughter, as both narrate in turns. The mother speaking about the all the hopes and dreams she had and has for her daughter. The daughter as she tires of the Big Brother society, the inability to live and love as she pleases, and as her thirst for freedom grows stronger.

All that is left of her mother are memories and a notebook with thoughts her mothers wants her to acknowledge and hear. The mother who disappeared without a trace one day. Is she alive or is she a victim of the suffocating rules of the country they live in.

It’s a scathing social commentary on our own times and yet takes place in a dystopian setting. A moving and harsh scenario that shines a light on the systemic racism, discrimination of the population, but predominantly of those considered to be inferior and different. Women fit into that category, non-whites fit into that category and any LGBTQ+ fit into that category, as do Lina and her mother.

This author is definitely one to watch out for in the future. The intuitive, intelligent and accurate portrayal of a futuristic society bogged down by the shortfalls of the one we live in today is a sharp tongued warning delivered with finesse. Excellent listening experience.

Buy Dear Lina at Audible Ukat Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Listening Length – 9 hours and 7 minutes,  Author – Jess Glaisher, Narrator – Amélie Roch, Dervla Kirwan, Audible.co.uk Release Date – 03 December 2020, Publisher – Audible Studios, Program Type -Audiobook, Version – Unabridged, Language – English.

#BlogTour Audiobook – No Ceremony for the Dead: Stories from the Margins by Shane Dunphy

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Book 3 in the Audiobook series Stories From the Margins – No Ceremony for the Dead by Shane Dunphy.

About the Author

Shane Dunphy was born in Brighton in 1973. A child protection worker for 15 years, he is the bestselling author of 16 books. His first nine titles dealt with his time on the frontline of social care work, and include the number one bestseller Wednesday’s Child. His series of crime novels (written under the name SA Dunphy) feature the emotionally damaged criminologist David Dunnigan. Stories From the Margins, his new series of True Crime books written for Audible, is critically acclaimed as well as being an audio-bestseller.

Follow @shanedunphy1 on Twitteron Facebookshanedunphyauthor.comBuy No Ceremony for the Dead: Stories from the Margins 

About the book

‘I know I has special needs. So does Stanley and Francis and Billy and Josh. People don’t listen to us, ’cause they thinks we’re thick in our heads.’

Charlie works at St Patrick’s residential home, where the walls are so thick no one can hear you cry. He’s asking child protection expert Shane Dunphy for help, before someone gets murdered. Charlie tells him of mistreatment, brutality and random cruelty, and now Maisie, his girlfriend, a resident at the home, has gone missing. When Shane finds out what has happened to Maisie, he knows he’s uncovered a world of trouble.

Shane works his connections and, together with the ingenuity of the care home residents, attempts to subvert and infiltrate the system and bring the guilty to justice.

Review

In this third book of the Stories from the Margins series, which is part memoir and true crime, the author turns his attention on a story about St Patrick’s residential home. A place that purports to protect the vulnerable special needs adults it is supposed to be caring for. Instead it has become the hunting ground for an habitual abuser, a person who enjoys the power, pain and humiliation of his charges.

After being approached by a vulnerable young man who has come looking for assistance from the man who helps those who are unable to help themselves. Shane believes Charlie’s tale is enough to warrant a closer look into the accusations of abuse, what follows is the kind of truth that needs to be made public and the voiceless deserve to be heard loud and clear.

What I really enjoy about the way Dunphy approaches this series is the way he breaks up the listen with music and folklore, both of which give context and flavour to the story. The history on the way imperfect children were treated historically, which explains misconceptions and attitudes towards them. The chapter on the Changelings was especially interesting, albeit it very tragic.

Now this may seem to be an odd angle to work when it comes to true crime, however it turns the listen into a learning experience and an enjoyable one too. It also serves the purpose of being able to listen to the hard stuff by inserting breathers – music, folktales, historic crimes – intermittently throughout the audiobook.

The result is an invigorating encounter for the senses, a talent and style specific to this author, as he guides the listener with his dulcet tones and Irish lilt. Always an exceptionally enjoyable experience.

Buy No Ceremony for the Dead at Audible UkAmazon Uk, Published by Audible Studios – pub date 14 Jan 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

Listening Length – 8 hours and 19 minutes, Author – Shane Dunphy, Narrator – Shane Dunphy,  Audible.co.uk  Release Date – 14 January 2021, Publisher – Audible Studios, Program Type – Audiobook, Version – Unabridged, Language – English.

Read my review of the Audiobook – The Bad Place: Stories From the Margins by Shane Dunphy.

#Review #Audiobook The Killings at Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah

This is the 4th Hercule Poirot story written by Sophie Hannah. It is narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt.

Follow the author @sophiehannahCB1 on Twitteron Goodreads, Visit sophiehannah.comBuy The Killings at Kingfisher Hill

About the book

Hercule Poirot is travelling by luxury passenger coach from London to the exclusive Kingfisher Hill estate. Richard Devonport has summoned him to prove that his fiancée, Helen, is innocent of the murder of his brother, Frank. There is one strange condition attached to this request: Poirot must conceal his true reason for being there from the rest of the Devonport family.

On the coach, a distressed woman leaps up, demanding to disembark. She insists that if she stays in her seat, she will be murdered. A seat-swap is arranged, and the rest of the journey passes without incident. But Poirot has a bad feeling about it, and his fears are later confirmed when a body is discovered in the Devonports’ home with a note that refers to “the seat that you shouldn’t have sat in.”

Could this new murder and the peculiar incident on the coach be clues to solving the mystery of who killed Frank Devonport? And can Poirot find the real murderer in time to save an innocent woman from the gallows?

Review
Poirot is on his way to investigate the death of Frank Devonport at the behest of Richard Devonport. He is travelling with his companion and police detective, who is a really good sidekick by the way. Their attention is drawn by the antics of a young woman who seems particularly distressed and also convinced that someone is intent on killing her.

Her behaviour and insistence on swapping seats sets a series of events in motion that garners Poirot’s attention and gets the little grey cells bouncing, however he isn’t quite prepared for the surprises awaiting him at the esteemed Kingfisher Hill residence. A mystery on the way to solve a mystery – only Poirot can find himself in such a complex situation.

I have to say the more Hannah writes Poirot the more her voice sounds like Christie. Listening to the audiobook actually gives the listener or reader a better feel for said voice, because the narrator has the characters down to a fine art, especially Poirot. Julian Rhind-Tutt is an excellent choice.

I look forward to reading the next in the series and can only hope that eventually someone will revive the series in film or tv format featuring the stories of Christie’s famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot with Hannah at the helm of the ship. I miss Suchet and this gives me Suchet-Poirot vibes.

Buy The Killings at Kingfisher Hill at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Waterstones.

By: Sophie Hannah, Agatha Christie, Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt, Series: New Hercule Poirot Mysteries, Book 4, Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins, Unabridged AudiobookRelease date: 20-08-20, Language: English, Publisher: HarperCollins.

Read The Mystery of Three Quarters (Hercule Poirot #3) by Sophie Hannah. Read Did You See Melody? by Sophie Hannah

#Audiobook #BlogTour The Bad Place: Stories from the Margins by Shane Dunphy

It’s a pleasure to take part in the Audiobook BlogTour The Bad Place: Stories from the Margins by Shane Dunphy – narrated by Shane Dunphy.

About the Author

Shane Dunphy was born in Brighton in 1973. A child protection worker for 15 years, he is the bestselling author of 16 books. His first nine titles dealt with his time on the frontline of social care work, and include the number one bestseller Wednesday’s Child. His series of crime novels (written under the name SA Dunphy) feature the emotionally damaged criminologist David Dunnigan. Stories From the Margins, his new series of True Crime books written for Audible, is critically acclaimed as well as being an audio-bestseller.

Follow @shanedunphy1 on Twitteron Facebook,  Visit shanedunphyauthor.comBuy The Bad Place: Stories from the Margins 

About the book

The Bad Place sees Shane Dunphy contacted by an old friend seeking advice about children who went missing in the 1980s. The call forces him to revisit a dark time in his early career as a child protection officer, when a young girl described children in care being taken to a residence known as the Bad Place. As a conspiracy emerges that goes to the top of the Irish police and Government, Dunphy recognises the MO of the alleged killer as The Dark Man, a terrifying figure he encountered over thirty years ago, who nearly ended his career before it had even begun.

Determined to confront his past, Dunphy decides to investigate, uncovering a vast international child trafficking ring involving cases of historical child disappearances, unsolved abductions, collusion with the Catholic church and its culture of secrets, lies and cover up

Review

I love the way the music, the talk of the culture, history and folklore of Ireland are interwoven into the stories. The frightening uncertain balance between fact and fiction, abuse and murder, and the general stereotypical ideas that come to mind when the country and people are mentioned.

Dunphy lifts the lid on the horrors, the reality and the unspoken is a direct contradiction to the image portrayed by anyone outside of the aforementioned. These brutally honest stories of True Crime will often make listeners shake their heads in horror, dismay and disbelief, especially given what appears to be complacency about the systemic abuse and murder committed against children and the vulnerable in Ireland.

Dunphy also delves into the status of the Irish Travellers as an ethnic minority. History builds a picture of why there is such a divide between the travelling community and the rest of Ireland. There is so much in this second book in the Stories from the Margins it would be hard to go into each story individually and would also spoil the listen for other listeners.

I’ll be honest some of the stories are tough to listen to, others are riveting because they explain so many unanswered questions, but overall this is a fascinating listening experience. One I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

Dunphy’s personal experiences result in a commentary, which will of course be uncomfortable for many, but it is important to open the doors on these horrors that the perpetrators want to keep hidden. Too many predators are organised in a way that is shockingly accurate, clever and done in a way that functions just below the surface of the face of normality. Somebody has to be the voice of the lost, the innocent and the forgotten. Shane Dunphy is one of those important voices.

Buy The Bad Place: Stories from the Margins at Amazon Uk 

Listening Length – 7 hours and 43 minutes, Author – Shane Dunphy, Narrator – Shane Dunphy, Audible.co.uk Release Date – 15 October 2020, Publisher – Audible Studios, Program Type – Audiobook, Version – Unabridged, Language – English.

Stories From the Margins #3 – Ceremony For the Dead (to be released March 2021)

Ceremony of the Dead – A group of childhood friends are coming after the man who abused them and put one of their friends in a coma; can Shane Dunphy stop their murderous plans but still bring the predator to justice?