#Blogtour The People Before by Charlotte Northedge

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The People Before by Charlotte Northedge.

About the Author

Charlotte Northedge is the joint Head of Books for the Guardian. Charlotte has previously written for a range of newspapers and magazines, including the Guardian, Psychologies and Cosmopolitan. A journalist, she has an MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature from Birkbeck and is an alumni of the Curtis Brown Creative writing course. The House Guest was Charlotte’s greatly acclaimed debut novel, published in 2021 by Harper Collins. Follow @charnorth on Twitter

About the book

What if your dream house became your worst nightmare? Jess and her husband need a new start. So when the chance to buy a rambling old house in the Suffolk countryside comes up, they leap at it.

But not everyone in Suffolk is welcoming. The locals know a secret about the Maple House, and soon, Jess realises they’ve made a huge mistake. Something bad happened in that house. Something nobody wants to talk about. Something to do with the people before…

Review

When paranoia is deep in your bones and fear is a constant companion, then I wonder if the advantages of moving into an isolated house with little or no ability to get help when you need it, are really worth all the added anxiety?

I think Jess knows that subconsciously, although she does a great job of trying to convince herself and her family of the positive side of a new start in life. A start that is a little bumpy and uncomfortable at times as she gets to know the locals, and her children attempt to fit in too. Her husband isn’t much help – spending more hours than usual at work, which means Jess and her young children are alone a lot.

That probably makes the odd atmosphere, the mysterious feeling that there is someone watching her, trying to scare her family, all the more intense and frightening.

It’s a psychological domestic thriller that starts with an ominous feeling and ends with quite a few surprises. Even in the first few chapters I found myself telling Jess not to leave her daughter in a room that scared her – to listen more closely to her fears.

It’s a story that is a lot like a knitted blanket someone is slowly unstitching before our eyes, as this psychological mystery and dark domestic thriller takes the reader down rabbit holes they might not have expected in this smooth image of a perfect family.

Buy The People Before at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Harper Collins; pub date 10th November 2022 Hardback | Ebook | Audio | £14.99. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Harper Collins.

#Blogtour The Girl with the Emerald Flag by Kathleen McGurl

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Girl with the Emerald Flag by Kathleen McGurl.

About the Author

Kathleen McGurl lives near the coast in Christchurch, England. She writes dual timeline novels in which a historical mystery is uncovered and resolved in the present day. She is married to an Irishman and has two adult sons. She enjoys travelling, especially in her motorhome around Europe and has of course visited Ireland many times. Follow @KathMcGurl on Twitter, Visit kathleenmcgurl.com

About the book

A country rebelling – It’s 1916 and, as war rages in Europe, Gráinne leaves her job in a department store to join Countess Markiewicz’s revolutionary efforts. It is a decision which will change her life forever. A rebellion is brewing, and as Dublin’s streets become a battleground, Gráinne soon discovers the personal cost of fighting for what you believe in…

A forgotten sacrifice – Decades on, student Nicky is recovering from a break-up when a research project leads her to her great-grandmother’s experiences in revolutionary Ireland. When Nicky finds a long-forgotten handkerchief amongst her great-grandmother’s things, it leads to the revelation of a heartbreaking story of tragedy and courage, and those who sacrificed everything for their country.

Inspired by a heartbreaking true story, this emotional historical novel will sweep you away to the Emerald Isle. Perfect for fans of Jean Grainger, Sandy Taylor and Fiona Valpy.

Review

Nicky is searching for her identity and is very much in the process of discovering herself. It’s probably a little bit of a standard rebellion the way she talks about and feels about her mother. She feels judged, and under constant supervision and criticism. The two of them clash a lot. In the midst of this coming-of-age and acknowledgement of self, Nicky goes on a journey.

The kind of journey that changes your views of the world, the past and even your own loved ones. Nicky uses her grandmother as a font of knowledge to research a rebellion that unbeknownst to her has impacted the life of her grandmother, and also the history of her family.

Gráinne, a young woman also on the cusp of discovering what she wants in life and who she is, is living in the midst of World War I, and is also heavily involved in the plans to change the political status quo in Ireland. A part of the historical path that to this day still shapes the fragility of a relationship built on a history of death and oppression.

I really enjoy watching an author grow, both in skills and in exploration of genre. Although this is still trademark past and present connects, this story shows the growth as it tackles an enormous historical event in Irish history. It was told without the shadow of the usual political perspective or the fury on both sides, instead the author takes it down to the level of people and their personal experience and perspective.

I think, if this is any indication, that the author will take it up a notch, and I am looking forward to it.

Buy The Girl with the Emerald Flag at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. 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 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.

#Review The Hedge Witch by Cari Thomas

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

About the Author

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

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

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

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

About the book

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

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

Review

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

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

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

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

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

#Blogtour Total Control by Alex Shaw

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Total Control by Alex Shaw.

About the Author

Alex Shaw spent the second half of the 1990s in Kyiv, Ukraine running his own business consultancy before being head-hunted for a division of Siemens. The next few years saw him doing business for the company across the former USSR, the Middle East, and Africa. Most recently he has spent several years in Doha, Qatar.

Alex is an active member of the ITW (The International Thriller Writers organisation) and the CWA (the Crime Writers Association). He is the author of three international bestselling thriller series featuring Aidan Snow, Jack Tate and Sophie Racine, and the standalone ‘Delta Force Vampire’. His writing has also been published in several thriller anthologies.

Total Blackout was Shortlisted for the 2021 Wilbur  Smith Adventure Writing Prize – Best Published Novel.

Alex, his wife and their two sons divide their time between homes in Kyiv – Ukraine, Sussex – England and Doha – Qatar. Follow Alex on twitter: @alexshawhetman

About the book

The target doesn’t exist. – When cyber terrorist Fang Bao abruptly reappears after years in hiding, MI6 agent and former SAS trooper Jack Tate is sent to bring him in – but when Fang is assassinated by an unknown assailant, Tate realises he was only a pawn in a plot that threatens to put the whole world in danger.

The mission is impossible. – Now Tate has to uncover a lethal conspiracy that stretches all the way from Germany through the United States and into the dark heart of the jungle in Myanmar. As the enemy hunt down the owners of military secrets that would make them indestructible, Tate must race to identify not only their next target, but the enemy themselves.

The war is about to begin… Soon he learns the dark truth at the heart of the global conspiracy. The enemy doesn’t want to just assassinate a world leader; they want to make war – and Tate is the only one who can stop them.

Review

This is the third book in the Jack Tate series, which can all be read as standalone novels. This plot is a timely one I think. The necessity of the US and Uk having to work together to combat a common enemy. An insidious game of blame can and will decide the fate of many. A treacherous game of propaganda in the cyber arena. What better way to cause havoc than to present one scenario to fool the world, and in doing so create an explosive situation.

Influencing the outcomes, whilst creating the right kind of weaknesses to exploit. It’s the kind of plot that isn’t beyond the realms of reality, which is probably what makes it a good read.

It was interesting to see a Tate willing to take a risk and he was certainly teetering quite close to the edge when it comes to controlling his anger. I wonder if it is intentional – a way to show the burden of stress, the result of living a life on a lethal tightrope.

When I recommend books I have quite a few readers (often men) who look for a particular genre, which can be a bit niche. I’m glad I can add another author to the list of recommendations when it comes to this action thriller, with a military vibe. The author knows exactly how to pace the story and keep it rolling until the very end.

Buy Total Control at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : ‎HQ Digital, pub date 21 July 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Harper Collins.

#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 The Halfways by Nilopar Uddin

It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Halfways by Nilopar Uddin.

About the Author

Nilopar Uddin was born in Shropshire to Syleti parents, who like the fictional family in The Halfways owned and ran an Indian restaurant in Wales. Every summer her family would travel for their holidays to Bangladesh to visit extended family, and this affection for the country has continued into adulthood; in 2009 she spent some months in Dhaka volunteering for BRAC, one of the largest NGOs in the world.

About the book

Nasrin and Sabrina are two sisters, who on the face of things live successful and enviable lives in London and New York. When their father, Shamsur suddenly dies, they rush to be with their mother at the family home and restaurant in Wales, and reluctantly step back into the stifling world of their childhood.

When Shamsur’s will is read, a devastating secret is revealed that challenges all that people thought and loved about him. It also profoundly changes the lives and identities of the sisters, and creates an irreparable family rift…

Review

The death of a loved one can often mean you get a glimpse into all of their secrets after their death. The kind they sit on and then let you deal with, because they no longer have to and in death you can’t hear the reactions. When Shamsur dies his daughters, Nasrin and Sabrina, are confronted with decades old secrets and the intricate cover-up, which has left terrible scars and caused emotional turmoil. The face of their family will never look the same again.

Personally I thought the choice to include a lot of the words and phrases in the story in the origin language was both a bold choice, there are plenty of readers who find things like that a stumbling block, and one that lent an essence of atmosphere to the story. An air of authenticity, which pulls the reader into the very important cultural aspect of this family saga. Glossary at the front will probably solve any grumbles.

Towards the end in the last few chapters the author manages to create this very visceral connection to the vulnerability of one of the characters – a connection that is a common denominator in all cultures. The small gestures of reassurance, the internal fear of abandonment, but above all the invisible woven emotional web of familial ties.

The difficulty of balancing dual nationalities, cultures and identities is really driven home in this story. The Western values clash with the heritage and culture, old and new generations try to bridge these gaps in different ways or not at all. Often this happens in countries where colonialism is the foundation upon which society has been built.

It’s a nuanced read, and the author tells the tale through multiple narrators in a way that brings empathy, passion and the cold hard truth of the aftermath of decisions made in the echo chamber of restricted and power hungry societies. Looking forward to more by this author.

The Halfways at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎HQ pub date 7 July 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Harper Collins.

#Blogtour One Last Secret by Adele Parks

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour One Last Secret by Adele Parks.

About the Author

Adele Parks MBE was born in North Yorkshire. She is the author of 21 bestselling novels including most recently the Sunday Times and eBook Number One bestseller Both Of You. Over four million UK editions of her work have been sold and her books have been translated into 31 different languages. Adele’s recent Sunday Times Number One bestsellers Lies Lies Lies and Just My Luck were shortlisted for the British Book Awards and have been optioned for development for TV.

She is an ambassador of the National Literacy Trust and the Reading Agency: two charities that promote literacy in the UK. Adele has lived in Botswana, Italy and London and is now settled in Guildford, Surrey. In 2022 she was awarded an MBE for services to literature. Follow @adeleparks on Twitter, Visit adeleparks.com

About the book

One Last Client – A week at a beautiful chateau in the south of France – it should be a straightforward final job for Dora. She’s a smart, stunning and discreet escort and Daniel has paid for her services before. This time, all she has to do is convince the assembled guests that she is his girlfriend. Dora is used to playing roles and being whatever men want her to be. It’s all about putting on a front.

One Last Chance – It will be a last luxurious look at how the other half lives, before Dora turns her back on the escort world and all its dangers. She has found someone she loves and trusts. With him, she can escape the life she’s trapped in. But when Dora arrives at the chateau, it quickly becomes obvious that nothing is what it seems.

One Last Secret – Dora finds herself face to face with a man she has never forgotten, the one man who really knows her. And as old secrets surface, it becomes terrifyingly apparent that one last secret could cost Dora her life…

Review

I’m a sucker for a woman who says it like it is, sees the world the way it really is, and isn’t afraid to take what she wants – regardless of what society says about her.

Dora has no illusions about how she makes her money. It’s just a job, right? The risks are kept to a minimal, but of course there is only so much you can control. It also means it’s harder to move from one tier of the social structure to another – there are plenty of negative connotations when it comes to her chosen career path.

It has shades of Diary of a Call Girl with Gone Girl, and of course the trademark intense scrutiny and dissection of interpersonal relationships. This author knows exactly how to pour salt into an open wound, get readers to experience a smorgasbord of emotional ping-pong, and create a bond between even the most controversial of characters. 

The first few chapters are spectacular – brutally frank, often gross, and they give readers access to a hidden abyss. 

As far as I am concerned this is her best book yet, and it should be added to her growing list of titles being optioned for television. Like a fine wine gets better with age, Parks pushes her boundaries and creativity with each new book.

Buy One Last Secret at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Harper Collins.

#BlogTour Aurora by David Koepp

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Aurora David Koepp.

About the Author

David Koepp is one of the most successful screenwriters working today, known for his work with Steven Spielberg and Brian De Palma. His screenplays include the first two Jurassic Park films, Death Becomes Her, Carlito’s Way, Mission: Impossible, Spider-Man, Panic Room, War of the Worlds, Angels and Demons and Inferno.

Koepp’s debut thriller, Cold Storage, was greeted by a raft of acclaim from writers like Blake Crouch, Linwood Barclay, and Stephen King.

Shortlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger Award for Best Thriller of the Year, Cold Storage has now sold nearly 50,000 copies.

About the book

When the lights go out no one is safe… A planet without power. – When a solar storm hits the earth, the lights go out across the planet. But this time the blackout won’t be over soon – it could last for years. Aubrey and her stepson now face the biggest challenge of their lives.

 A society without rules. – Soon they hear rumours of riots, the struggle for food becomes real, and even within their small communities, the rule of law is collapsing. Aubrey’s estranged brother Thom, a self-made billionaire who abandoned her years ago, retreats to a gilded desert bunker where he can ride out the crisis in perfect luxury.

 A race to build a better world… But the complicated history between the siblings is far from over, and what feels like the end of the world is just the beginning of a personal reckoning long overdue…

Review

I want to start this review with a thank you to the author for the foreword – thanks, I really needed to know that. – Starts to prep, buys tinned goods, digs garden and plants produce, oh and let’s not forget the generator. My father, who always tends to quote a possible zombie apocalypse for his semi-prepping, feels completely validated by this scenario – sans zombies of course.

A solar storm knocks out the power – the blackout rejigs life as everyone knows it, there are no rules of law. Survival of the fittest, the smartest and the most ruthless. Aubrey finds herself stuck with a moody hormonal teenager, who isn’t even a blood relative, and an violent ex-hubby with a lack of boundaries. Her brother Thom, is someone wealthy enough to save himself and his loved ones. He wants to keep Aubrey safe, but she is fiercely independent, and he has to learn the hard way that not everything or everyone can be bought, especially when the established hierarchy and system falls apart and it is every person for themselves.

What I really enjoyed about this story is the wake-up call, the blast of reality, and the way it reads like a written account of a disaster, which could be read by future generations. Also the inability of government at any level to react to an impending crisis with scientific reasoning or common sense, and instead putting greed and profit above safety and potential loss of life. That in itself is indicative of how something like this premise could play out.

The story is almost laid out like a script waiting to be cast. You can envision the screen version, as you read the story. I wouldn’t hesitate to grab another book by this author or recommend him for that matter.

Buy Aurora at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎HQ pub date 9 Jun. 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Harper Collins.