#BlogTour Nothing To Hide by James Oswald

Today it’s a pleasure to help kick off the BlogTour Nothing To Hide by James Oswald.

About the Author

James Oswald is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling Inspector McLean series of detective mysteries, as well as the new DC Constance Fairchild series. James’s first two books, Natural Causes and The Book of Souls, were both short-listed for the prestigious CWA Debut Dagger Award.

James farms Highland cows and Romney sheep by day, writes disturbing fiction by night.

Follow @SirBenFro and @Wildfirebks on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit jamesoswald.co.ukBuy Nothing to Hide

About the book

Suspended from duty after her last case ended in the high-profile arrest of one of Britain’s wealthiest men, DC Constance Fairchild is trying to stay away from the limelight. Fate has other ideas . . .

Coming home to her London flat, Constance stumbles across a young man, bloodied, mutilated and barely alive. She calls it in and is quickly thrown into the middle of a nationwide investigation . . . It seems that the victim is just the latest in a string of similar ritualistic attacks.

No matter that she is off-duty, no matter that there are those in the Met who would gladly see the back of her, Con can’t shake her innate determination to bring the monsters responsible for this brutality to justice.

Trouble always seems to find her, and even if she has nothing to hide, perhaps she has everything to lose . . .

Review

Not to be critical or anything, but Fairchild can really do without the extra aggro of finding a corpse. After the whole Serpicoesque drama of the previous book she should be steering clear of trouble, but hey we all know when crime and trouble call Constance is the first to pick up the phone.

This is the second in the Constance Fairchild series. Both books can be read as standalone novels, however I would recommend reading No Time to Cry to get the full gist of this new series by Oswald.

Constance Fairchild is a police officer through and through. There is no doubt that she is driven to find the criminal elements in the world and bring them to justice, especially the kind that enjoy torturing and killing young men.

Oswald likes to add a pinch of magical realism to his police procedural, which also brings a hint of mystery to the table. Simultaneously the author captures both the camaraderie of the police force and how hostile the environment can become when you go against the brotherhood.

It’s a police procedural with crime at the core, which seems like a given, and yet the author sets fire to the rain by adding that extra note to the story.

If I am being completely honest I think Oswald is just getting started. There is a lot more to come. I say open the doors and let it out.

Buy Nothing To Hide at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Wildfire; pub date 14th November 2019 – Published in paperback by Wildfire £7.99 – eBook and Audiobook also available. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of No Time to Cry by James Oswald

Read my review of Cold As the Grave by James Oswald

Read my review of Written in Bones by James Oswald

#BlogTour Violet by S.J.I. Holliday

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Violet by S.J.I. Holliday. It’s a noirish psychological thriller.About the Author

S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a scientist, writing coach and the bestselling author of five crime novels, including the Banktoun Trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly), the festive chiller The Deaths of December and her creepy Gothic psychological thriller The Lingering. Her short story ‘Home From Home’ was published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and shortlisted for the CWA Margery Allingham Prize.

Encapsulating her love of travel and claustrophobic settings, her latest novel, Violet, explores toxic friendships and the perils of talking to strangers, as well as drawing on her own journey on the Trans-Siberian Express over 10 years ago. All of her novels have been UK ebook number-one bestsellers. Susi was born and raised in Scotland and now divides her time between Edinburgh, London and as many other exciting places that she can fit in.

Follow @SJIHolliday @OrendaBooks on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads,  Visit sjiholliday.comBuy Violet

About the book

Carrie’s best friend has an accident and can no longer make the round-the-world trip they’d planned together, so Carrie decides to go it alone.

Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend in Thailand. She is desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available.When the two women meet in a Beijing Hotel, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet to take her best friend’s place.

Thrown together in a strange country, and the cramped cabin of the train, the women soon form a bond. But as the journey continues, through Mongolia and into Russia, things start to unravel –because one of these women is not who she claims to be…

Review

This is going to sound strange, but it’s nice to see or read a story with a woman as the stone cold psychopath. She may not be as quick-witted and sassy as Villanelle, however she sure does try hard to be right up there with the worst of them. Okay, that’s a lie she doesn’t try very hard, because death and violence come quite easily to her.

Is this a story about trust? Or is it a story about someone who really just wants to love and be loved? A lonely soul in search of human contact, warmth and affection.She may get a wee bit testy when things don’t go her way or the object of her obsession doesn’t want to be obsessed over. Granted, she may leave her path littered with corpses, but hey her heart is in the right place.

Or is this a story about a criminal mind, someone who is very adept at finding the right mark, perhaps we should call them prey instead. Finding the right person at the right time. Someone to leech off of and yet simultaneously fill a gaping void with.

It’s noirish psychological thriller with a Mr Ripley vibe, but with less class and on a backpacking budget. Holliday steps it up a notch with this relentlessly dark and brutal read. There is no time or space for pity, fear or remorse. It just is.

It will probably make you look twice at the kind stranger you feel such an instant connection with, especially if you like escaping into the wilds of the world with just a backpack and a thirst for new experiences. Pay attention – are they friend or foe. Do they care if you live or die?

Buy Violet at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books, Publication date: 14 November 2019 | Paperback Original | £8.99. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Orenda Books

Read my review of The Lingering by S.J.I. Holliday.

#BlogTour Doing Time by Jodi Taylor

Today it’s the start of the BlogTour Doing Time by Jodi Taylor.

About the Author

Jodi Taylor is the internationally bestselling author of the Chronicles of St Mary’s series, the story of a bunch of disaster-prone individuals who investigate major historical events in contemporary time. Do NOT call it time travel!

Born in Bristol and now living in Gloucester (facts both cities vigorously deny), she spent many years with her head somewhere else, much to the dismay of family, teachers and employers, before finally deciding to put all that daydreaming to good use and write a novel. Nearly twenty books later, she still has no idea what she wants to do when she grows up.

Follow @JodiTaylorBooks on Twitter, on Facebookon Goodreadson Amazon, Visit jodi-taylor.comBuy Doing Time

About the book

Introducing The Time Police, the brand-new series by international bestselling author, Jodi Taylor – an irresistible spinoff from the much-loved Chronicles of St Mary’s series. Perfect reading for fans of Doctor Who, Ben Aaronovitch and Jasper Fforde.

A long time ago in the future, the secret of time travel became known to all. Everyone seized the opportunity – and the world nearly ended. There will always be idiots who want to change history. And so, the Time Police were formed. An all-powerful, international organisation tasked with keeping the timeline straight. At all costs. Their success is legendary, and the Time Wars are over. But now the Time Police must fight to save a very different future – their own.

This is the story of Jane, Luke and Matthew – arguably the worst recruits in Time Police history. Or, very possibly, three young people who might just change everything.

Review

For me this had a very specific brand of humour. The kind of dry humour that’s in Hot Fuzz and The World’s End (someone in my household has a thing for Simon Pegg comedies atm). It sometimes flies over the head, because it is subtle or people just don’t get the snark.

The Time Police are sent back into time to keep timelines straight and to ensure that history isn’t changed or thrown off-track. They are sent to stop time-criminals and to intervene before the worst case scenario happens.

The Time Police have a serious job to do, and yet our special team is newly qualified and perhaps more of a pain in the butt to the powers that be than said powers will admit. One gets the feeling they are not only expecting them to mess up, but are actually hoping they end up causing a catastrophe.

In particular Luke’s father hopes he makes his mark and grows up a bit, and yet simultaneously he expects him to fail.

It’s science-fiction, a futuristic time-challenging premise that can be read by both young and older readers. It’s straightforward, filled with a slapstick and snarky kind of humour. It would have been interesting to wade into the dangers and perhaps even merits of playing with time. Saying that, I think Taylor likes to give readers a lighthearted, easy and amusing read, which is indeed the case.

Buy Doing Time at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in Hardback by Headline 17 October 2019 – Hardback – £18.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Cage by Lilja Sigurdardóttir

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Cage, the last part of the Reykjavik Noir Trilogy, by Lilja Sigurdardóttir.

About the Author

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, including Snare and Trap, the first two books in the Reykjavik Noir trilogy, which have hit bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

Follow @lilja1972 on Twitter, on Goodreads,  Visit liljawriter.com

About the book

A masterful conclusion to the award-winning, critically acclaimed Reykjavík Noir trilogy, as drug-smuggling, financial crime, political intrigue, love, murder and betrayal come together.

The prison doors slam shut behind Agla, when her sentence for financial misconduct ends, but her lover Sonja is not there to meet her. As a group of foreign businessmen tries to draw Agla into an ingenious fraud that stretches from Iceland around the world, Agla and her former nemesis María find the stakes being raised at a terrifying speed. Ruthless entrepreneur Ingimar will stop at nothing to protect his empire, but he has no idea about the powder keg he is sitting on in his own home. And at the same time, a deadly threat to Sonja and her family brings her from London back to Iceland, where she needs to settle scores with longstanding adversaries if she wants to stay alive…

The lives of these characters are about to collide in a shocking crescendo, until the winner takes it all…Review

Cage can be read as a standalone novel, although I would suggest reading the previous two books in this trilogy, Trap and Snare, to get the full gist of the series. Whilst the majority of the two previous books in this trilogy focus on the character of Sonja, especially Snare, this one sees Agla and Maria take more of a centre stage.

Although the vibe of this book is perhaps slightly less ruthless, there is just as much wheeling, dealing and criminal activity. Agla is still wanted for her talents in corporate and financial crime, although I think it’s fair to say Agla’s relationship with Sonja and her stint in prison have changed her outlook on life.

It’s interesting how Sonja has morphed, during the duration of the trilogy, into the person her nemesis wanted her to be. She has become more brusque and ruthless or is it just her willingness to do anything she can to save her family and herself? To do that she has to make some uncomfortable decisions, which include her relationship with Agla.

It’s Scandinavian Noir, a corporate, financial and urban crime trilogy with feisty, but not necessarily sympathetic characters. Sigurdardóttir brings this series to a strangely comforting conclusion, perhaps not the one some readers may have expected, given how harsh some of the scenarios have been, but a conclusion nonetheless.

This author has a talent for bringing the underbelly of crime as it pertains to the small fish and those without sociopathic tendencies to the table. The result is the kind of crime read that is as unpredictable and at times as dark and unforgiving as crime itself.

Buy Cage at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books; Publication Date: 17 October 2019 | Paperback Original | £8.99. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Orenda.

Read my reviews of Snare and Trap by Lilja

cage 2019 (1)

#BlogTour Brando’s Bride by Sarah Broughton

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Brando’s Bride by Sarah Broughton.

About the Author

Sarah Broughton was born in London, lives in Cardiff and is the Creative Director of Martha Stone Productions.

She has written a novel, ‘Other Useful Numbers’, and a non-fiction book about the mysterious first wife of Marlon Brando, ‘Brando’s Bride’. Both are published by Parthian Books.

She can be found on twitter @sjbroughton124Buy Brando’s BrideAbout the book

In October 1957 Marlon Brando married a young studio actress called Anna Kashfi. He was thirty-three and at the pinnacle of his beautiful fame having recently won an Oscar for On the Waterfront. The wedding was front-page news around the world. His new bride was twenty-three, claimed to be an Indian princess and was pregnant. The day after the wedding a factory worker living in Wales, William O’Callaghan, revealed that Brando’s bride was in fact his daughter, Joan O’Callaghan and had been a butcher’s assistant from Cardiff. This book sets out to discover who was telling the truth and who was lying – and, perhaps more importantly, why?

Review

I think if this happened in the 21st century there would be a better understanding of why Anna, her parents and Marlon reacted the way they did. In general there is more information and clarification about the stigma and racism, which is why Anna’s story imploded the way it did.

Her parents were eager to hide behind their initial lies, because they didn’t want to be rejected by society. That rejection must have appeared to be a far worse fate than the disowning their daughter. The same could be said for Anna of course, who was left to her own devices after the studio helped her to build a story around her Anna Kashfi Anglo-Indian persona.

Then there is Marlon Brando – a man already convinced and consumed by his massive aura and ego. The fact his feeling of embarrassment was more important than his relationship with Anna frankly says a lot more about him than he probably would like people to know.

I think it is fair to say he was enamoured by the idea that the world knew Brando the great had an exotic woman on his arm. In a way his choices in women were more than just being attracted to a certain type of woman. It was about cementing his image as an activist in the civil rights and for the Native American movements.

Anna came from a world and a time in history when reinventing yourself by becoming bog standard white, English and Anglican was a choice made to protect, as opposed to trying to deceive.

It’s a well-researched biography, which Broughton approaches with empathy and respect. She gives Anna a voice – a voice she needed many decades ago. Not a piece written by those willing to feed the readers hungry for gossip and wanting to disparage someone. A voice speaking for the women who were used by the film industry as examples of exotic beauty, and then cast aside when they became too troublesome or threatened to bring scandals to their doors.

Buy Brando’s Bride at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Parthian Books; pub date 1 Jun. 2019. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Parthian Books.

#BlogTour Too Early For Death by Simon Farrant

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Too Early for Death by Simon Farrant.About the Author

I am an emerging author, a submission to a short story anthology kicked it all off. Black Cat is my first short story, and the hero isn’t maybe who you would assume.

Originally from Doncaster, South Yorkshire and now Corby in Northants. I’m in my forties, married with three children. We share our home with a Bengal cat and a Pink Tongued Skink.

I’ve been lucky enough to have had an interesting (well to me!) life. I have been a truck driver, university graduate and motorbike salesman amongst other things.

My two novellas, Newdon Killers series, The Crucifix and Famously Ordinary are out now! The third book, Death Dolls is coming soon estimated launch date 22 August.

Later this year a new series in a different genre Mystery / contemporary fantasy will be published.

I have a Facebook page, Simon Farrant Official, I’d be pleased to see you there. Follow me on Twitter – @asfarrant

I also have a newsletter. Sign up to receive the latest news first 🙂 https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/b2t0m0

About the book

Death can take you to the most unexpected places.

Damien Lennon finds himself on a mysterious island… and dead. He has more questions than answers. Why? Where? How? What next?

In a place where forests hide secrets and a leader rules with an iron fist, can Damien change his destiny?

‘Too Early for Death’ starts a journey through the Limbo Island trilogy, a series that unravels a story of life after death, hierarchy, tragedy, jealousy and eternal love. A heartbreaking yet heartwarming adventure awaits.

Review

They are just an ordinary family on a day trip to the museum. None of them have any idea that the trip will change their lives forever, because one of them disappears into thin air during the visit. A mysterious door leads Damien to a world beyond everything he knows to be true. As he searches desperately for the door that leads back to his wife and son, he slowly realises that there is more going on than meets the eye.

This isn’t a case of parallel worlds or a very realistic dream. Time doesn’t travel at the same speed, but he is unaware of that and also of his status. Meanwhile his family struggles with the mystery of his disappearance and the finality of his not being around to complete their family. They have to carve out a new existence for themselves, despite not having an explanation.

It’s speculative fiction, perhaps even magical realism. A premise that questions whether death is fate, choice or chance. Farrant presents Damien as a man who hasn’t followed the rules and ended up on Limbo Island due to his choices, which suggests we have some kind of control over our death and when it happens.

Having read Death Dolls by Farrant I found this one had a more simplistic writing style, perhaps to make it more accessible to a larger group of readers. It was less complex, despite the fantastical concept.

Buy Too Early for Death at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Farrant Fiction; pub date 6 May 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Death Dolls by Simon Farrant

Buy Death Dolls (Newdon Killers #3) at Amazon Uk

Buy The Crucifix (Newdon Killers #1)

Buy Famously Ordinary (Newdon Killers #2)

#BlogTour The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

This is one of my favourite fantasy series, so it is my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for The Winter of the Witch, the last part of The Winternight Trilogy (a damn shame) by Katherine Arden.

About the Author

Born in Austin, Texas, Katherine Arden spent her junior year of high school in Rennes, France. Following her acceptance to Middlebury College in Vermont, she deferred enrolment for a year in order to live and study in Moscow. At Middlebury, she specialized in French and Russian literature.

After receiving her BA, she moved to Maui, Hawaii, working every kind of odd job imaginable, from grant writing and making crêpes to serving as a personal tour guide. After a year on the island, she moved to Briançon, France, and spent nine months teaching. She then returned to Maui, stayed for nearly a year, then left again to wander. Currently she lives in Vermont, but really, you never know.

She is the author of The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower. These novels make up the first two parts of The Winternight Trilogy.

Follow @arden_katherine @EburyPublishing on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads, Visit katherinearden.comBuy The Winter of the Witch

About the book

One girl can make a difference…

Moscow is in flames, leaving its people searching for answers – and someone to blame. Vasilisa, a girl with extraordinary gifts, must flee for her life, pursued by those who blame their misfortune on her magic.

Then a vengeful demon returns, stronger than ever. Determined to engulf the world in chaos, he finds allies among men and spirits. Mankind and magical creatures alike find their fates resting on Vasya’s shoulders. But she may not be able to save them all.

Review

This is the third and final part of The Winternight Trilogy. I really wish it wasn’t, perhaps there will be a spin-off one day. Then again why mess with a perfect series of books. If you are just stumbling on this author or this book then I recommend you go back and read the other two books. You won’t be disappointed.

At the end of book two a huge fire rips through Moscow. Vasya finds herself exposed and revealed, which leads to her nearly being killed by a frenzied mob, all thanks to the meddling of her old nemesis Konstantin. There are plans to burn her as a witch, but her life comes at a terrible price and sacrifice.

Everything that has gone before, every creature, demon, witch and tale comes together to bring this majestic and magical story to its conclusion. Vasya must face peril without the safety-net of Morozko and the two of them must finally come to terms with the obsessive pull of their relationship.

The entire story is like a magical spiderweb that is spun by Rumpelstiltskin like figures and spread over the Russian landscape by the magic that floats in the air and lives in the shadows.

Arden combines the artful storytelling skill of an old Russian master with fairytales, folklore and myth. The result is a fantastical vision of nightmares, daydreams and reality. It’s innovative and compelling fantasy fiction written with a passion for folklore.

Arden manages to bring consistency to the table with each of the three books. they are all equally poetic, beautiful, well-written and breathtaking.

Buy The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Ebury Publishing; pub date the 3rd October 2019 – Paperback • EBook • Audio. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Winternight Trilogy #1 – The Bear and the Nightingale Buy here

Read my review of Winternight Trilogy #2 – The Girl in the Tower Buy here