#BlogTour Under the Cloud by B.R. Erlank

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Under the Cloud by B.R. Erlank.

About the Author

Boris Erlank grew up in Southern Africa and Namibia. He has lived and worked in places as diverse as Luanda, Cape Town, Singapore and San Francisco. Boris recently gave up his job as Global Privacy Manager with a Fortune 100 company to focus on writing full-time. 

He has an extensive background in IT, data privacy and cybersecurity, and has drawn on that experience to craft his latest novel, “Under the Cloud”. 

Boris lives with his family and two dogs in the foothills of Mount Diablo, east of San Francisco. In his spare time, he likes to cycle, hike, sing in a choir, and listen to audiobooks. Visit brerlank.wordpress.com or B.R. Erlank on Facebook

About the book

They call themselves The Settlement Bureau. A faceless, soulless organization coercing Americans with threats to expose their improprieties and vulnerabilities. Inhumanely persistent, they’ve secretly driven hundreds of victims into bankruptcy, despair – and several even to suicide.

But when this organization tries to blackmail IT expert Terry Reynolds, they make a serious mistake. Terry is down on his luck. He is penniless, divorced and in a dead-end job. Yet, the abuse of his personal information stirs Terry out of his lethargy, and he fights back. He embarks on a digital game of cat-and-mouse with the cold, calculating minds behind The Settlement Bureau – and in doing so, uncovers a sprawling criminal conspiracy.

Review

At the core of this read is religion and the fine line drawn between Christians and the posers using religion it to earn a dime. Zealous pseudo-Christians and in particular the big Evangelists – the TV evangelists. Talk about the world’s greatest con. People want to believe and are eager to send their money. Talking of fine lines – there is also an invisible one many of these pseudo religious groups cross, and often it isn’t even invisible – the line into being a cult.

I think the author makes some interesting comparisons to already existing groups and individuals who are willing to be ruthless, criminal and blatantly devoid of any morals or suggested religious values. People are easy pickings for those working the long con under the guise of a religion – willing to give or do anything only to be embraced by the faux lord and get a key to the door in the sky.

When you combine that with cyber-crime, which is one of the biggest threats the world is confronted with in this era, then you have a perfect collusion between crime, vulnerability and the manipulation via media outlets.

I thought this was quite clever, especially when it waded into more controversial topics. Giving both sides or positions without taking a definitive stand, very diplomatic indeed and yet simultaneously also presenting a no-holds-barred picture of the issue. It’s an engrossing and fast-paced read.

Buy Under the Cloud at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: ‎Khanya pub date 15 Sept. 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

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#Blogtour The Invisible by Michelle Dunne

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour – The Invisible by Michelle Dunne.

About the Author

Born and raised in the harbour town of Cobh, Co Cork, Michelle joined the Irish army at the age of 18, where she went from recruit to infantry soldier, to Peacekeeper with the UN, to instructor back home in Ireland.

During her time in Lebanon, she got to experience first-hand the camaraderie between soldiers and the sense of humour that got them all through some frightening situations. She also got to experience how ordinary families tried to live in conflict zones and these experiences have inspired so much of her work to date.

The Invisible is Michelle’s fourth book, but the second in The Lindsey Ryan series, following on from While Nobody is Watching, which is currently in development for television and inspired by her military experiences and the types of relationships that form within army ranks. Follow @NotDunneYet on Twitter, Visit michelledunnebooks.com

About the book

A migrant crisis. A corrupt harbour town. Who will stand for those who have become invisible to the rest of the world?

People have become one of the world’s most valuable commodities. Trafficked on the promise of a new life only to be hidden away as modern-day slaves. When Lena, a raped and badly beaten Syrian woman, literally falls into Lindsey Ryan’s life, she’s left with no choice but to find her part in this new war and play it as best she can.

But before she can work out a safe plan to get Lena away from her very own hell at the hands of Patrick Adebayo, Lindsey hears of an unconscious child being smuggled into Patrick’s building just two doors up. Despite having Patrick’s unwanted attention, she has to help the child and get Lena to safety regardless of the cost. In doing so, she finds herself face to face with the worst of humanity.

Added to her own private battle with PTSD, former soldier Lindsey Ryan is in a race against time and must once again fight for her life. But if she fails to protect those around her, what if anything, will that life be worth?

Review

This is a raw experience. There is no unicorn fluff to pad the brutal truth and soften the blow, which is what makes this a great read.

Lyndsey is followed by flashbacks, day mares linked to past trauma. It’s hard to keep them at bay in order to function, and yet they are also equally responsible for the inner ear that listens to the extra layer of gut instinct. 

Those instincts serve her well when she is tasked with dealing with the bottom-feeders who traffic the vulnerable and desperate. Lives are expendable and worth only what they can used for. The lives of children and young people included – something Lyndsey won’t turn a blind eye to.

Although the thriller and crime story in the midst of this is a good read, the world and character building of the main character is the more poignant element. It cocoons the story in its entirety, which is perhaps a metaphor in itself. When a person is dealing with PTSD it can become a tentacled being that wraps its arms around every interaction and situation, sometimes with disastrous results. Daily life can be a constant adapting of coping mechanisms.

Buy The Invisible at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: ‎ Bad Press Ink pub date 25 April 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour All That’s Left unsaid by Tracey Lien.

About the Author

Tracey Lien was born and raised in southwestern Sydney, Australia. She earned her MFA at the University of Kansas and was previously a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. All That’s Left Unsaid is her first novel.

About the book

They claim they saw nothing. She knows they’re lying. 1996 – Cabramatta, Sydney ‘Just let him go.’

Those are words Ky Tran will forever regret. The words she spoke when her parents called to ask if they should let her younger brother Denny out to celebrate his high school graduation with friends. That night, Denny – optimistic, guileless Denny – is brutally murdered inside a busy restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta, a refugee enclave facing violent crime, and an indifferent police force.

Returning home for the funeral, Ky learns that the police are stumped by her brother’s case. Even though several people were present at Denny’s murder, each bystander claims to have seen nothing, and they are all staying silent.

Determined to uncover the truth, Ky tracks down and questions the witnesses herself. But what she learns goes beyond what happened that fateful night. The silence has always been there, threaded through the generations, and Ky begins to expose the complex traumas weighing on those present the night Denny died. As she peels back the layers of the place that shaped her, she must confront more than the reasons her brother is dead. And once those truths have finally been spoken, how can any of them move on?

Review

Ky doesn’t realise her advice to give her baby brother a little freedom ultimately ends up being one of a few elements that leads to his death. Coping with his tragic death is one thing but trying to understand why the people who watched it happen are unwilling to help bring his killer to justice, is quite another. She can’t let it go.

It’s a spectacular read – nuanced and layered. When you strip away everything and are left with just the crime there is the bystander effect, the string of decisions and coincidences that lead to the event, and the emotional minefield and destruction that is left behind after a violent death.

What surrounds the event is a poignant blueprint of life as a refugee in a society that relegates you to the bottom step, because of race and heritage. The magnitude of the impact of generational trauma and PTSD on those who have lived through it, and the children born to those who have experienced it.

Those experiences determine self-imposed rules, fears, anxiety and in this case even the look away and accept the fate or hand you have been dealt with by life attitude.

I enjoyed the story surrounding the core, and to be fair the actual death is probably the least important element of the premise, which is tragic in itself. A riveting read.

Buy All That’s Left Unsaid at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher‏: ‎HQ pub date 15 Sept. 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Harper Collins.

#BlogTour Small Deaths by Rijula Das

It’s a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Small Deaths by Rijula Das. – Winner of the 2021 Tata Literature Live! First Book Award – Fiction Longlisted for The JCB Prize for Literature 2021.

About the Author

Rijula Das received her PhD in Creative Writing/prose-fiction in 2017 from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, where she taught writing for two years. She is a recipient of the 2019 Michael King Writers Centre Residency in Auckland and the 2016 Dastaan Award for her short story Notes From A Passing. Her short story, The Grave of The Heart Eater, was longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2019. Her short fiction and translations have appeared in Newsroom, New Zealand and The Hindu. She lives and works in Wellington, New Zealand. Follow @RijulaDas on Twitter

About the book

In the red-light district of Shonagachhi, Lalee dreams of trading a life of penury and violence for one of relative luxury as a better-paid ‘escort’. Her long-standing client, Trilokeshwar ‘Tilu’ Shau is an erotic novelist hopelessly in love with her.

When a young girl who lives next door to Lalee gets brutally murdered, a spiral of deceit and crime begins to disturb the fragile stability of this underworld’s existence. One day, without notice, Lalee’s employer and landlady, the formidable Shefali Madam, decrees that she must now service wealthier clients at plush venues outside the familiar walls of the brothel. But the new job is fraught with unknown hazards and drives Lalee into a nefarious web of prostitution, pimps, sex rings, cults and unimaginable secrets that endanger her life and that of numerous women like her. 

As the local Sex Workers’ Collective’s protests against government and police inaction and calls for justice for the deceased girl gain fervour, Tilu Shau must embark on a life-altering misadventure to ensure Lalee does not meet a similarly savage fate.

Set in Calcutta’s most fabled neighbourhood, Small Deaths is a literary noir as absorbing as it is heart-wrenching, holding within it an unforgettable story of our society’s outcasts and marking the arrival of a riveting new writer.

Review

This is very much a read between the lines story, despite the fact the brutal reality of these scenarios couldn’t be presented in a more precise and clear way. With that in mind, and the fate of the vulnerable, the disposable and those who have no one to miss them when they disappear without a trace – the title of small deaths takes on an entirely different meaning.

In the midst of the degradation, the abuse and the lack of control over her life Lalee accepts help from one of few who have shown her kindness. Is it kindness though, when Tilu is just another customer? Sometimes you just have to grasp at straws, especially when you are in the midst of a whirlpool of expendability.

When you take a close look at the frame of the premise you can take it and place it in multiple countries – the structure is always the same. You take the desperate, the innocent, the vulnerable and those who are easy victims and create a profitable base for criminals and deviants. In Shonagachhi you see the way these specific areas become their own cosmos – a community within the wider societal community.

It’s literary fiction, the retracing of what led to a crime, and the attempt to change just one small iota – one life – of the many held captive by the depravity of the criminals and collaborators of Calcutta and its red-light district. It’s a bleak reality check and an excellent read. Kudos for the last chapter.

Buy Small Deaths at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Amazon Crossing; pub date 13th September | Paperback: £8.99 UK | €9.99 EU. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Collective by Alison Gaylin

It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Collective by Alison Gaylin.

About the Author

Alison Gaylin is the award-winning author of Hide Your Eyes and its sequel, You Kill Me; the standalones Trashed, Heartless, What Remains Of Me and If I Die Tonight; and the Brenna Spector series: And She Was, Into the Dark, and Stay with Me. A graduate of Northwestern University and of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, she lives with her husband and daughter in Woodstock, New York. Follow @alisongaylin on Twitter

About the book

Camille Gardner is a grieving and angry mother who, fives years after her daughter’s death, is obsessed with the man she believes to be responsible. Because Camille wants revenge.

Enter: the Collective. A group of women who enact revenge on those who have taken their children.

But as Camille gets more involved in the group she must decide whether these women are the heroes or the villains. And if she chooses wrong, will she ever get out alive?

Review

Less is probably more when it comes to reviewing this, just so the way the plot unfolds remains free from spoilers. There are plenty of juicy bits to focus on though.

Camille is obsessed with the death of her daughter or more accurately her murder and the fact her murderer is allowed to enjoy life as if he were an innocent man. At the height of her destructive phase she encounters a group of women who know exactly how she feels, and more importantly they also believe the guilty should be punished.

For me the core of this story is about the grief and the way it manifests in a different way for each individual. Also how grief is experienced depending on the circumstances of the loss a person experiences. It’s such a nuanced, deeply felt, chaotic and often very destructive emotion.

I think it’s easy to feel empathy for Camille, regardless of the way she acts or reacts. Her frustration and anger are justified. The truth is there is no justice when a loved one is ripped from your life in a vicious way, especially when the perpetrator is allowed to walk away without any consequences.

I really enjoyed the way the author took this plot and ran with it and didn’t feel the need to deliver an ending tied up with a pretty bow. Instead the anger and need for vengeance that simmers throughout the book is presented on a silver platter. Nicely done. 

Buy The Collective at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orion Fiction, pub date1st September 2022 – Mass market paperback (£8.99), eBook and audio also available. Buy at Amazon com. Via Orion Books.

#BlogTour The Change by Kirsten Miller

It’s an absolute pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Change by Kirsten Miller.

About the Author

Kirsten Miller is an outstanding feminist author in the YA and children’s space, who spent twenty-five years as a strategist in the advertising industry. During that time, she worked for some of the largest agencies in the world – including J Walter Thompson, DDB, Lowe, and Ogilvy & Mather – as well as boutique agencies and an eight-person start-up. 

She’s proud to have quit a senior job at one of the most famous ad agencies in America over an ad that’s described in The Change. The Change is her first adult novel. Follow @bankstirregular on Twitter

About the book

Nessa: The Seeker, Harriett: The Punisher, Jo: The Protector – with new-found powers the time has come to take matters into their own hands…

After Nessa is widowed and her daughters leave for college, she’s left alone in her house near the ocean. In the quiet hours, she hears voices belonging to the dead – who will speak to her.

On the cusp of fifty Harriett’s marriage and career imploded, and she hasn’t left her house in months. But her life is far from over – in fact, she’s undergone a stunning metamorphosis.

Jo spent thirty years at war with her body. The rage that arrived with menopause felt like the last straw – until she discovers she’s able to channel it.

Guided by voices only Nessa can hear, the trio discover the abandoned body of a teenage girl. The police have written off the victim. But the women have not. Their own investigations lead them to more bodies and a world and wealth where the rules don’t apply – and the realisation that laws are designed to protect villains, not the vulnerable.

Review

This has got to be one of the most interesting melding of genres I have read in a long time. It’s a tale of empowerment, of sisterhood, and of being invisible in plain sight. It’s also a tale of the biological monster that lurks within us and how easy it is to dismiss women when they hit a certain age, and of course how many girls and women sink into the pages of history without leaving a footnote behind. there’s a reason for that of course, one that is ingrained deep into society.

Jo, Nessa and Harriett couldn’t be more different, and yet there is a common denominator. The kind of bond that links all women, because although some elements may be different there is no escaping certain biological changes or womanhood in general.

Harriett is considered to be the betrayed woman, who has lost her sanity and acquired a bit of a reputation in town. Jo has always been at odds with the way her life has been controlled by her body, now it’s time to channel the rage that burns within her. Then there is Nessa, the woman with a gift of bringing members of the sisterhood home, when they are lost.

If this is optioned for the screen, and it absolutely should be, then I hope that the powers that be cast women of an appropriate age-range, and not younger women acting said age. If not, the whole concept and story would be submerged in the industry norm, and it would lose the power it contains and emits.

I enjoyed it so much I have bought copies for women who need to read this – it hits a lot of the right notes when it comes to reaching a certain age as a woman, and indeed when they start to navigate the erratic and bountiful nuances of the change. Yes, I am being simultaneously polite and facetious when it comes to the great biological power of the menopause.

Even if this is a story filled with magical realism, built upon a foundation of women and their individual experiences, which are often similar in tone and nature, it is also a riveting story of mystery and murder. A crime read with the frank intensity of Blackwell’s Sound of her Voice. The truth about the worth of girls, women and their lives, and how expendable they are. It gives this read the feel of an intense thriller.

The true intensity however is driven by the power within each woman. The comparison between the powers and the upheavals women go through during life and the change is really well written. Ah, were we but able to throw off the invisible chains of societal norms and misconceptions, to avert the labels of crazy, angry or vengeful.

I can’t recommend this enough – it is an incredible read. 

Buy The Change at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Harper Collins.

BlogTour This Wild, Wild Country by Inga Vesper

It’s my turn on the BlogTour This Wild, Wild Country by Inga Vesper – the captivating new mystery from the author of The Long, Long Afternoon.

About the Author

Inga Vesper is a journalist and editor. She moved to the UK from Germany to work as a carer, before the urge to write and explore brought her to journalism. As a reporter, she covered the coroner’s court and was able to observe how family, neighbours and police react to a suspicious death. Inga has worked in Syria and Tanzania, but now lives in Glasgow, because there’s no better way to find a good story than eavesdropping on the chatter in a Scottish cafe on a rainy day. Follow @wekesperos on Twitter,

About the book

Three women. An isolated town. A decades-old mystery. – They hate me down there, in Boldville. I can read it in their eyes, smell it on their noxious breaths. That dreaded little town hates everything about me: not just my personality and form, the clothes I wear, but the way I think. The things that I know.

1933. Cornelia Stover is headstrong and business-minded – not the kind of woman the men of Boldville, New Mexico, expect her to be. Then she stumbles upon a secret hidden out in the hills . . .

1970. Decades later, Joanna Riley, a former cop, packs up her car in the middle of the night and drives west, fleeing an abusive marriage and a life she can no longer bear. Eventually, she runs out of gas and finds herself in Boldville, a sleepy desert town in the foothills of the Gila Mountains.

Joanna was looking for somewhere to retreat, to hide, but something is off about this place. In a commune on the outskirts a young man has been found dead and Joanna knows a cover up when she sees it. Soon, she and Glitter, a young, disaffected hippie, find themselves caught up in a dark mystery that goes to the very heart of Boldville, where for too long people have kept their eyes shut and turned their heads away. A mystery that leads them all the way back to the unexplained disappearance of Glitter’s grandmother Cornelia forty years before . . .

Review

For me the veins of gold in this story – pun totally intended – are the moments in history that have been retold through the lens of those who write history. Predominantly white men, who speak of free love, rebellion, lack of boundaries and peace. What would those historical movements look like if told through the lens of women, but stripped down to the bare facts without the flowy, flowery, drug-fuelled unicorn fluff of that era.

How many people have shoved their own MeToo moments into a box and labelled it all part of the hippie culture and free love movement. Then swallowed those moments and the trauma eventually surfaces when the confines of those times no longer have any validity. Often things are merely in vogue or the way the voice of the people rises above the norms of society with loud murmurs of discontent.

It’s interesting how those murmurs and attempts at changing the status quo are recalled. A certain element of irresponsibility and lack of clarity, a minor blip of youth experimentation. The reality hidden behind the exterior of talk of peace and harmony.

In a way all of the main characters share their own moments in history where they are stereotyped, abused and oppressed, which is where their paths meet. It’s an interesting second book from this author, and has its place when you consider the first book. A mystery hidden in a forest full of issues, emotional baggage, and a story of women. I wonder where the story and the author will lead us next.

Buy This Wild, Wild Country at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Bonnier Zaffre – Manilla Press pub date 4 Aug. 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour A Killer Legacy by Jim McGhee

 It’s my turn on the Blogtour A Killer Legacy by Jim McGhee.

About the Author

Jim McGhee’s a former award-winning environmental journalist. Based in East Lothian, near Edinburgh, Scotland, he spends much of each year (in normal times) in the South of France, the main setting for the DI Barney Mains series, with tolerant wife Jean and rampant Irish Terrier, Jack.

After a full-on career as a campaigning newspaper reporter, he and Jean launched their own recruitment company in central Edinburgh and for twelve fun-packed years worked closely together alongside their brilliant team – without spilling a single drop of blood.

The Alpes-Maritimes and Var departments, on the other hand, have provided a host of dramatic locations just perfect as inspiration for the odd spot of fictional gore.

Locals, blessed with scenery ranging from unspoiled mountain villages to the classic palms-and-marinas coast, claim that they can be swimming one moment and skiing a little over an hour later. Though when not writing or travelling en famille, Jim’s more likely to be off on a hike in the hills with his ever-ready buddy, Jack. Follow @bigbarneymains, Visit jimmcghee.net

About the book

A serial killer is executed in a courtroom surrounded by police. Who in their right mind would take such a risk? And why? But in a South of France being torn apart by anti-British protests and deadly wildfires, nothing is as it seems. 

Amidst the chaos, DI Barney Mains must somehow distinguish friend from foe. For he has been landed with the victim’s dying wish. And it’s something he just has to do. Even if it kills him…

Review

This is the third book in the DI Barney Mains series and can be read as a standalone novel. I would however recommend reading the first two books in the series.

Barney, retired and yet never really completely retired, is roped into solving a spate of vandalism, thefts and arson. Simultaneously he is also trying to solve the assassination of the murderer he caught. The irony of it all. Not sure I would try so hard, but then perhaps I’m not as conscientious as Barney – the man is determined to solve the cases he is handed. 

I enjoyed the way the author gives readers a less fluffed out version of ex-pats living in France. The wealthy who would have voted with confidence for the cord to be cut between Europe and the UK, and yet still want the full benefit of living as if the cord hadn’t slowly unravelled and is threatening to snap.

The reawakened simmering discord between the French and the English, a historical throwback of tension, and the ever present discord (deep resentment) between the Scottish and the English – all woven into the plot in a light-hearted way. 

The way the essence of morality, the boundary between justice and vengeance, is carried on a platter in front of everyone is this book, and yet swept under the rug bit by bit as the story progresses. An interesting crime read that gives the reader the mystery of the plot, whilst delivering strong character development with the same depth.

Buy A Killer Legacy at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson

It’s my turn on the Blogtour The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson.

A small treat for you – Listen to an extract of the audiobook of The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson read by Diveen Henry: https://soundcloud.com/harpercollinspublishers/the-binding-room-by-nadine-matheson-read-by-diveen-henry

About the Author

Nadine Matheson was born and raised in Deptford (one of the murders in The Jigsaw Man takes place five minutes from her front door) and is a criminal solicitor. Nadine is also a winner of the City University Crime Writing competition and you can follow her on Twitter @nadinematheson, and on Instagram @queennads. The Jigsaw Man was her first crime novel and was loved by readers around the world. The Binding Room is Nadine’s second novel featuring DI |Henley and the Serial Crimes Unit.

About the book

In this room, no one can hear you scream… The Serial Crimes Unit are called in to investigate when a local pastor is found stabbed to death. As DI Henley assesses the crime scene, she discovers a hidden door that conceals a room set up for torture – and bound to the bed in the middle of the room is the body of a man.

When another body is found, also tied down, Henley realises there’s someone out there torturing innocent people and leaving them for dead. But why?

There’s nothing that connects the victims. They didn’t know each other. Their paths never crossed. But someone has targeted them, and it’s up to Henley and the SCU to stop them before they find another binding room…

Review

This is the second book in the Inspector Anjelica Henley series. A dead body accidentally reveals the true inhumanity people are capable of when they believe they are righteous and acting upon the word of a higher power. It opens up a can of depraved worms and the kind of abyss Henley and her team would rather not be confronted with.

I felt as if there was a slight difference in the writing this time. Where before the character’s lives and the main plot often seemed to compete with each other for the main stage, this time everything was balanced exactly right. It made for a smoother read – the author is honing her voice and style. That reminds me, if you haven’t read Jigsaw Man yet, you should.

There is this moment in the last chapter, an incredibly poignant one when Henley is opening up about something she is accused of doing. The expectation that a certain connection – sorry I have to be vague because of potential spoilers – means you are not doing your job, but rather working for the oppressor. Nice point, because it gives real depth to the main character, her interactions and experiences.

It will be interesting to see where the series goes and what else this author comes up with. Just getting started.

Buy The Binding Room at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎HQ pub date 7 July 2022. Buy at Harper CollinsBuy via Harper Collins.

#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.