BLOG TOUR REVIEW: Sight Unseen – by Sandra Ireland @22_ireland @BirlinnBooks @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

Hello and welcome to my stop of the Sight Unseen Love Books Tours blog tour! A huge thanks to Kelly Lacey for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. I admit I was fully intrigued by this book as soon as I read the blurb, and I most definitely enjoyed my time with this story. Want to know why? Please join me while I share my thoughts…

Title: Sight Unseen
(A Sarah Sutherland Thriller #1)
Author: Sandra Ireland
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: August 6th 2020
Publisher: Polygon
Finished reading: July 27th 2020
Pages: 256

“Stories are like puzzles, charity shop jigsaws with half the pieces missing. It’s up to you to fill in the blanks, let your mind form a version of the true picture.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I admit that I was fully intrigued as soon as I read the blurb of Sight Unseen. The promise of the 1648 flashbacks and a world of witches, scorcery and folklore to contrast the contemporary sounded absolutely fantastic and frankly simply irresistible. I had a feeling that I would enjoy my time with this first book of a new series, and my instincts most definitely turned out to be right. My first meeting with Sarah Sutherland was without doubt a success!

The first thing that stands out is the setting. Sight Unseen takes place in the fictional Kilgour, a small Scottish town with a fascinating history. The many descriptions really made the setting come alive for me and kind of made me wish the town was real so I could visit it someday… The flavor of Scotland is well represented and turns the setting into a real treat. We got to learn more about both the surroundings and the history of Kilgour through the tourist walk the main character Sarah hosts, and it was without doubt an unique way of getting to know the Scottish town.

I loved everything related to the 1648 flashbacks to Alie Gowdie and Rev. William Wilkie’s time. Alie is known as the Kilgour witch and has an intriguing history, and I loved her connection with Sarah as she is currently living in the same house as Alie once inhabited. Sarah has investigated Alie’s life for a long time, and it has been interesting to see more of the true story around Alie slowly come to light. The 1648 scenes without doubt took the story to the next level, and added more dept to the plot as well. The way the new information is comporated into the plot in different ways is a nice touch, and Sarah basically plays historical detective as she tries to unravel the truth of 300 years ago.

I also loved the hint of the paranormal and supernatural in Sight Unseen. We have the story of the witches and the witch hunt of the 17th century, the talk of the devil, the folklore elements, the sightings by Sarah’s father John… All these elements definitely have the story a hint of the haunted and they were a nice contrast with the daily life and other elements in play in the plot. Oh yes, the contemporary storyline is also packed with ‘ordinary’ elements: Sarah’s background, her relationship with her backpacking daughter, Sarah caring for her father, her work in the supermarket, her second job storytelling… All doused with a dose of mystery, romance and a hint of action to spice things up. It was especially fascinating to read more about the so-called Charles Bonnet Syndrome as part of the explanation, as I hadn’t heard of it before and I liked how this element was developed in the story.

It is true that this story could have done without the romance, as it felt forced and not naturally developed. I didn’t think the romance added anything substantial to the plot either, and only distracted from the whole situation with John as well as Alie’s story. Sight Unseen uses a dual POV structure by switching between Rachel and her father John. On top of this, we get 1648 diary fragments written by Rev. William Wilkie as well as different POV fragments which identity is revealed later. The writing is easy on the eye and engaging, and while the pace is slow in points overall Sight Unseen is without doubt a solid and very entertaining read.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sandra Ireland was awarded a Carnegie-Cameron scholarship to study for an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee, graduating with a distinction in 2014. Her work has appeared in various publications and women’s magazines. She is the author of Beneath the Skin (2016), Bone Deep (2018) and The Unmaking of Ellie Rook (2019). She lives in Carnoustie, Scotland.

BUY LINK


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BLOG TOUR REVIEW: Lobizona – by Romina Garber #blogtour @WednesdayBooks @RominaRussell

Hello and welcome to my stop of the Lobizona blog tour! A huge thanks to Meghan Harrington for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. I just knew I HAD to read this story as soon as I read the blurb and saw the mention of the Argentine folklore element. As someone who has called Argentina her home for quite a few years now, it was just irresistible… And this story definitely turned out to be everything I could have hoped for in a story and more. Want to know why? Please join me while I share my thoughts!


Title: Lobizona
(Wolves Of No World #1)
Author: Romina Garber
Genre: YA, Fantasy
First published: August 4th 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Finished reading: July 16th 2020
Pages: 400

“Sometimes reality strays so far from what’s rational that we can only explain it through fantasy.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I knew I just HAD to read Lobizona as soon as I first read the blurb. As an immigrant who has been living in Latin America since 2010, and most of that time in Argentina, I just couldn’t resist the promise of both the immigrant aspect and the Argentine folklore element. I had a feeling this book would be a perfect match for me, and my instincts turned out to be 200% correct. I absolutely loved my time with this first book of a new series, and it is without doubt a new favorite! Trust me, that absolutely gorgeous cover matches its content perfectly.

There are so many elements that I loved in Lobizona and I’m having a bit of a hard time figuring out where to start… But let’s talk about the Argentine folklore and the influence of Argentine culture and customs in general first. As someone who has experienced Argentine life from up close during years (my hubby is actually Argentinian), I absolutely loved how important this element is in the story. The references to food, customs, culture and folklore were numerous and I LOVED just how many Spanish phrases were included. And not only that, but specific Argentine phrases as well as localisms from other countries were included; an absolute treat for the Spanish philologist in me. I do understand that someone without any knowledge of the Spanish language or Argentine culture might struggle, but I personally thought this element gave the story authenticity and made it stand out far above other books of the same genre. And with the main character Manu being bilingual, helpful translations of most if not all Spanish phrases are being included in the dialogue without slowing down the pace or flow of the story.

Another thing that stands out for me in Lobizona is that it is basically a mix of urban and high fantasy, where the real world of Miami and the fantasy world of Lunaris collide. Both worlds are thoroughly described and developed; these descriptions make it really easy to fully immerse yourself in the story. Especially the worldbuilding of Lunaris as well as el Laberinto really made the fantasy part of this story come alive… And I just loved getting the chance to learn more about the world as well as both the werewolves, witches and their powers. Some part of the story almost had that magical realism feel, and the mention of more than one famous Latin American author (including Gabriel García Márquez and Jorge Luis Borges) contributed to that same magic.

The Miami setting is used to help discuss the topic of immigrants and the struggles they face… Especially how hard it is for illegal immigrants to change their fate. As someone who has been an immigrant during the last ten years, this is a topic close to my heart and the way Romina Garber incorporated it into the plot is splendid. The main character Manu is a fascinating character in that way, as her struggle to fit in and exist legally applies in both worlds, albeit for different reasons. On top of the immigrant topic, Lobizona also discusses important topics such as gender discrimination, sexism and the hostility towards the lgbt community… Oh yes, Lobizona is so much more than just another YA fantasy read filled to the brim with romance; instead we have a multi-dimentional and diverse story full of dept that simply blew me away.

I also loved how the focus of the story was on Manu, her self discovery, her development and her struggle to fit in as well as her struggle to find safety. While there is some romance involved in the plot, it is mostly a slowburn romance and somehow it didn’t bother me at all. The characters themselves are well developed and easy to like in general. I loved Manu’s history as well as her development over time, and the rest of the characters were well rounded and intriguing too. It is definitely a cast I will be looking forward to meeting up with again!

The writing itself is in one world brilliant. And I’m not only talking about the writing style as a whole, but also about the many Spanish phrases as well as the flow and pace of the story… I literally devoured each page, impatient to absorb more and more of this wonderful story. I know Lobizona might not be everyone’s taste and some might struggle with the many Spanish phrases, but for me personally it was a match made in heaven. The plot development was spot on and the plot twists were also well handled; the ending definitely left me craving for more!

In short, if you are looking for an unique YA fantasy read with Argentine folklore elements, that magical feel and a healthy dose of interesting topics that give the story dept, Lobizona is simply a must-read.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ROMINA GARBER (pen name Romina Russell) is a New York Times and international bestselling author. Originally from Argentina, she landed her first writing gig as a teen—a weekly column for the Miami Herald that was later nationally syndicated—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Her books include Lobizona. When she’s not working on a novel, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a graduate of Harvard College and a Virgo to the core.

SOCIAL LINKS

Twitter: @RominaRussell // Instagram: @RominaGarber

BUY LINK 


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BLOG TOUR REVIEW: Lies Lies Lies – by Adele Parks #blogtour @HarlequinBooks

Hello and welcome to my stop of the Lies Lies Lies 2020 Summer Reads blog tour! A huge thanks to Justine Sha for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. I was intrigued by Lies Lies Lies as soon as I read the blurb, and this story definitely lived up to expectations. Want to know why? Please join me while I share my thoughts…

Title: Lies Lies Lies
Author: Adele Parks
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: August 4th 2020
Publisher: MIRA
Finished reading: July 22nd 2020
Pages: 384

“The thing about people is that it takes years, and years, and years to know them. Really know them. Because we hide things, all of us, all the time. We’re ashamed, cautious or secretive.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and MIRA in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I’ve had Adele Parks on my list of authors to try for a while now, and after being intrigued by the blurb of her newest I just couldn’t resist signing up for the blog tour. I’m glad I did, because my first experience with her writing was most definitely successful. Lies Lies Lies is more domestic drama than thriller, but it packs a mean punch and it will definitely have you in its grip the whole time. Fans of the genre will be delighted!

Like I said, Lies Lies Lies felt mostly like a domestic drama and if you are looking for a superfast and action-packed thriller this book will most likely not be your cup of tea. If on the other hand you enjoy domestic thrillers with a focus on the character development, the psychological aspect as well as a healthy dose of shocking secrets and lies, you will be in for a treat.  Lies Lies Lies will deliver all of this and more! Using a dual POV and storyline, we get to hear the story from both Daisy and Simon’s side. We learn about their past, what happened in 2016 that changed their lives forever and what their life is like in 2019 for both after the life changing event. This dual POV is used to explore both characters as well as to build up the suspense and give the multiple secrets they are hiding more impact. Both the plot and plot twists are more than solid and the two POVs complemented each other very well.

As for the characters themselves… In this kind of psychological thriller and domestic drama, the character development is key. While neither Daisy nor Simon are all that likeable, their development is more than thorough, flawed and realistic and it was interesting to see them develop and grow over time. The rest of the cast likewise each had their role to play and they complemented the main characters well. There are a lot of secrets and lies involved in this story, and Lies Lies Lies will have more than a couple surprises in store for you. I especially found Simon’s 2019 chapters to be fascinating for obvious reasons, although I won’t be going into details to avoid spoilers.

Lies Lies Lies deals with a lot of difficult topics, including addiction, alcoholism, dementia, dealing with a life changing injury, infertility, abuse, rape and violence. Again, I won’t be going into details to avoid possible spoilers, but especially the addiction and alcoholism element plays a very important role in the plot and I thought this element and its consequences were represented well. Lies Lies Lies definitely is no picnic and if you are looking for an uplifting read this book is probably not a good choice. But if you are looking for a well written, character driven domestic thriller that isn’t afraid to go dark and packs a mean punch, Lies Lies Lies could be the perfect book for you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adele Parks was born in Teesside, North-East England. Her first novel, Playing Away, was published in 2000 and since then she’s had seventeen international bestsellers, translated into twenty-six languages, including I Invited Her In. She’s been an Ambassador for The Reading Agency and a judge for the Costa. She’s lived in Italy, Botswana and London, and is now settled in Guildford, Surrey, with her husband, teenage son and cat.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Author Website // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook // Goodreads

BUY LINKS

Harlequin // Barnes & Noble // Amazon // Books-A-Million // Powell’s


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BLOG TOUR REVIEW: The Big Chill – by Doug Johnstone #blogtour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours @Orendabooks

Hello and welcome to my stop of the The Big Chill Random Things Tours blog tour! A huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. I became an instant fan of Doug Johnstone‘s writing after reading Breakers last year, and my second experience with A Dark Matter only reconfirmed these feelings. I’ve been looking forward to meet up with the Skelf women ever since, and The Big Chill turned out to be yet another excellent read. Want to know why? Please join me while I share my thoughts…

Title: The Big Chill
(The Skelfs #2)
Author: Doug Johnstone
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: August 20th 2020
Publisher: Orenda Books
Finished reading: July 2nd 2020
Pages: 300

“Words have meaning, of course, but they’re so inadequate, and we each have a lifetime of hang-ups and quirks that feed into how we speak.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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My first experience with Doug Johnstone‘s writing with Breakers last year simply blew me away, and after a repeat experience with A Dark Matter I’ve been waiting impatiently to meet up with the Skelf women again. It’s easy to say that my expectations were high, but I shouldn’t have worried as The Big Chill turned out to be another excellent read. A little warning: while technically you could read this sequel as a stand-alone, you would be missing out on the character background as well as important life changing events in the first book. I would recommend reading them in order! Trust me, both books will be well worth your time.

This series can be seen as a mix of a family drama and a crime thriller with a PI angle and is set in Edinburgh. The description and development of this Scottish setting is simply sublime, and really made Scotland come alive for me. I also love the focus on the funeral home both as a setting and part of the plot itself. It’s without doubt an unique angle and really set the right atmosphere for this story! Both death itself, the private investigator element and the things that happen in the funeral home in general play a key role in the plot, turning the funeral home into an integral part of the story.

The Big Chill once again evolves around three generations of Skelf women: Dorothy, her daughter Jenny and her granddaughter Hannah. Once again, these three different POVs are used to tell us the story, alternating between them as we slowly learn about the different storylines and characters in play. This gives the plot a multidimentional and complex feel and really took the story to the next level for me. It might seem like a lot to juggle initially, but once you get in the groove, you will find yourself fully under the spell of this story. Especially since each POV complemented the other two, adding to their own storyline as well as adding to the suspense and overall story…

This sequel has once again a lot of different elements and storylines in play. Among other things, we have the funeral home and everything it entails, the PI angle and active investigations, more follow-up on Craig after what happened in book one, an unexplained suicide, a body without identity, dealing with life changing and threatening events… This sounds like a lot to juggle in just one story, but somehow it simply works like a charm as each element is incorporated flawlessly. I do have to stay I found the pace to be a bit slower in The Big Chill, and I did wonder about the credibility of some of the plot twists introduced, but overall the rest of the story more than made up for it. Especially since both the writing as well as the suspense and plot twists are once again brilliant, and delivered the same high quality I’ve become used to with Doug Johnstone‘s books. This is a story that will keep you on your toes and there will be more than one shocking surprise before you reach that final page… And that ending will leave you breathless and wanting for more.

The Big Chill is already the second book of this series around the Skelf family, and without doubt another excellent read. While the pace is initially slower than expected, this same pace will pick up as things start spinning out of control and both suspense and plot twists are build up brilliantly. This story definitely ends with a big bang! If you like books that won’t fit into a neat genre box and enjoy a well written and multidimentional crime thriller as well as a family drama element, this series is most likely a great fit.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Doug Johnstone is the author of more ten novels, most recently Breakers (2019), which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year and A Dark Matter (2020), which launched the Skelfs series. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions – including a funeral home, which he drew on to write A Dark Matter – and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also player-manager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh.


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BLOG TOUR REVIEW: Someone’s Listening – by Seraphina Nova Glass #blogtour @HarlequinBooks

Hello and welcome to my stop of the Someone’s Listening 2020 Summer Reads blog tour! A huge thanks to Justine Sha for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. I was intrigued by Someone’s Listening as soon as I read the blurb, and this story definitely lived up to expectations. Want to know why? Please join me while I share my thoughts…

Title: Someone’s Listening
Author: Seraphina Nova Glass
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: July 28th 2020
Publisher: Graydon House
Finished reading: June 14th 2020
Pages: 352

“The thing is, how can I blame the world for believing him? We need to believe victims.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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There was just something about Someone’s Listening that attracted me straight away, and as soon as I read the blurb I knew I wanted to read this story. I think I was intrigued both by the description of the main character Faith and how her life suddenly fell apart… It sounded like a story filled with secrets, twists and that ominous feel and I thought the story and me would be a perfect fit. I’m definitely glad I decided to read Someone’s Listening now, because it turned out to be a more than solid read.

The plot itself is really well done. Both the mystery around the disappearance of Faith’s husband Liam, the mystery around her past, the things that happened in the previous months as well as her present situation will keep you on your toes the whole time. There are lots of different sub storylines to keep track of, and lots of suspects and possible truths too… I always like it when a psychological thriller is not transparent and instead leaves us with a puzzle and that hint of foreboding and urgency to solve the mystery before the story finally reveals its secrets. The multiple suspects, flashbacks and subplots give the story that multi-faceted feel and while I had a hunch about the truth early on, I never stopped doubting that hunch and therefore I didn’t mind too much that I ended up being right.

The writing draws you straight in and I literally finished Someone’s Listening in less than a day. The story incorporates difficult themes such as child and domestic abuse, drug addiction and alcoholism, but it was interesting to see these elements developed in the plot. The story will definitely have some twisted surprises for you in store as well! It was interesting to learn more about Faith’s past as well as seeing the present storyline developed as plot twists and secrets are being revealed and that ominous feel is slowly transformed into real danger. The final reveals are also brilliantly handled!

As for the characters… I think this was probably my main issue with the book. Why? While I do think Faith is a fascinating character with her background and past, I really didn’t like her. Sure, her alcohol and drugs problem can be related to recent events and grief, but I didn’t like the constant focus on it and the whole counting to four (to calm herself) mentioned multiple times got old fast too. I didn’t like the way she treated others and constantly complained about her life either… Sure, there is no denying that she had a difficult past and the things happening to her in the present are without doubt twisted, but I just couldn’t find myself feeling sympathy for her and wasn’t able to connect to her for the same reason. The other characters were not that easy to connect to either, but as the main focus is on Faith that didn’t bother me particularly. That said, this was probably my only issue with an otherwise excellent story though.

Someone’s Listening is an engaging, twisted and compelling psychological thriller that will keep you on your toes until the very last page. Recommended if you enjoy the genre and don’t mind reading about an unlikeable but intriguing main character.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Seraphina Nova Glass is a professor and Playwright-in-Residence at the University of Texas-Arlington, where she teaches Film Studies and Playwriting. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Smith College, and has optioned multiple screenplays to Hallmark and Lifetime. Someone’s Listening is her first novel.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Author Website // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook // Goodreads

BUY LINKS

Harlequin // Barnes & Noble // Amazon // Books-A-Million // Powell’s


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BLOG TOUR REVIEW: Deadly Vengeance – by OMJ Ryan #blogtour @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #InkubatorBooks @OMJRYAN1

Hello and welcome to my stop of the Deadly Vengeance blog tour! A huge thanks to Emma Welton for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. I’ve been following this series ever since the first book came out last year and I have been looking forward to meet up with Jane Phillips again… And it was without doubt another successful meeting! Want to know why? Please join me while I share my thoughts.


Title: Deadly Vengeance
(Detective Jane Phillips #3)
Author: OMJ Ryan
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: July 19th 2020
Publisher: Inkubator Books
Finished reading: July 10th 2020
Pages: 290

“It was usually when she was alone that her thoughts were at their darkest.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Inkubator Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I first discovered this series last year, and I became an instant fan of detective Jane Phillips and her team. I had an excellent time with the sequel as well, so I jumped at the chance to read book three to discover what the characters are up to next. This time around the plot is all about a kidnapping case, and while Deadly Vengeance is not my favorite of the series, it still is a more than solid detective thriller fans of the genre will enjoy.

While Deadly Vengeance can technically be read as a stand-alone, you might not fully understand the dynamics between and development of the different characters in the detective team… It’s nothing too drastic, but the first two books are excellent reads and absolutely worth taking the time to read before you continue with this third book. I felt like Deadly Vengeance had a slightly different vibe though, although I can’t put my finger exactly on the why. It might have to do with the fact that the focus is on a kidnapping case instead of the good old murder investigation… I do always love it when detective thriller spends a lot of time focusing on the police work behind the case, and you definitely get a healthy dose of that in Deadly Vengeance.

The story uses a multiple POV structure, and while Jane Phillips is the star of the show of course, we also see the other members of the team as well as Hollie’s POV too. The different POVs complement each other and didn’t slow down the pace at all. In fact, Deadly Vengeance turned out to be an engaging and superfast read and I managed to finish it in no time at all. This is also due to the writing itself, which simply reads like a train. I also really liked the Manchester setting, as I spent a few weeks there ten years ago… I loved how the historical architecture of the city plays a role in the plot. It was interesting to see the different elements in the plot develop and evolve; the plot twists and developments in the kidnapping case slowly being revealed along the way. Some parts were a bit predictable, but overall I had a great time reading this story.

As for the characters… I still like Jane, her team and their banter. There isn’t too much development to speak of this time around (with one exception I don’t want to reveal too much about to avoid spoilers), but there were some hints at the future that left me intrigued. The behavior of Jane Phillips’ boss Fox was once again extremely annoying and frustrating though, and the same goes for some of the new characters including Saxby and Sir Richard Hawkins. I know they were supposed to be unlikeable and creating a nemesis might add more spice to the plot, but I felt it went just one step too far to my taste.

That said, if you enjoy a solid and engaging detective thriller and don’t mind an unlikeable character or two, Deadly Vengeance is an excellent choice.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hailing from Yorkshire, OMJ Ryan worked in radio and entertainment for over twenty years, collaborating with household names and accumulating a host of international writing and radio awards. In 2018 he followed his passion to become a full-time novelist, writing stories for people who devour exciting, fast-paced thrillers by the pool, on their commute – or those rare moments of downtime before bed. Owen’s mission is to entertain from the first page to the last.

Deadly Vengeance is the third Detective Jane Phillips book in the series and OMJ’s fourth book with Inkubator Books.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter // Facebook // Website // Instagram

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK // Amazon US


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BLOG TOUR REVIEW: Hinton Hollow Death Trip – by Will Carver #blogtour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours @Orendabooks

Hello and welcome to my stop of the Hinton Hollow Death Trip Random Things Tours blog tour! A huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. I finally read Good Samaritans earlier this year and it left me completely flabbergasted… And I’ve been looking for a repeat experience with Detective Sergeant Pace ever since. Want to know what my reaction was to yet another mindblowingly unique story? Please join me while I share my thoughts…

Title: Hinton Hollow Death Trip
(Detective Sergeant Pace #3)
Author: Will Carver
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: June 12th 2020
Publisher: Orenda Books
Finished reading: June 25th 2020
Pages: 276

“Everyone is now two people. The physical person. And the online persona. The trouble is that nobody is fully their physical self nor their online alter ego.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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Okay… Where do I even start when describing my reading experience with Hinton Hollow Death Trip?!?! I already knew I was in for reviewing trouble after a mindblowing experience with Good Samaritans earlier this year, but even days after finishing Detective Sergeant Pace number three I’m still lost for words. Please bear with me while I try to make sense of the mess this story left my brain in… Because I can guarantee you one thing: this book will hit you with a sledgehammer.

Shocking. Mindboggling. Mental. Extremely unique. Provoking. Infuriating. This book doesn’t follow the rules and isn’t afraid to step on more than one toe along the way. Hinton Hollow Death Trip is under no circumstance your regular thriller, and instead delivers us a completely unique story and perspective that will blow your mind regardless of the fact if you actually enjoy reading the story itself. Sure, this book might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and I confess that I didn’t enjoy it as much as others myself this time around, but you cannot help but feeling intrigued and applaud its sheer originality. Told by Evil itself in person, Hinton Hollow Death Trip is a story about how a whole town is affected by its touch and how multiple lives change forever in a very short time. Talk about an unique perspective and premise!

A little note: the first book of this series, Good Samaritans, still stands out above the rest for me. It might have been because I preferred the serial killer POV and tone in that one (although the next two books were plently deadly too), it might be that I’m just not in the right mindset for his writing right now… I still can’t put my finger exactly on the reason behind this feeling, although I do have to say that I still mostly enjoyed my time with Hinton Hollow Death Trip. I’m taking a guess here and say that my main issue with this story probably involved the fact that a few elements rubbed me the wrong way. The innecessary animal cruelty, the cheating, the sexy scenes, the tone in certain parts… I know this story is ment to provoke and anger, but I guess I just wasn’t in the right mindset for this kind of read.

That said, both the premise and perspective of Hinton Hollow Death Trip really made this story stand out far above the average thriller. You all might remember a certain popular YA story narrated by Death, but this story is narrated by Evil instead, and boy do you notice the difference. This book is dark, this book is disturbing, this book is twisted… It really shows what evil things humans are capable of with just a little nudge in the ‘right’ direction. Hinton Hollow Death Trip is narrated by Evil, but we get to know a wide variety of inhabitants of the little town along the way as Evil focuses on them. This change in focus and POV helps enrich the plot further and will have you occupied juggling the different storylines and characters while you wonder just how far out of control things will spin.

The plot itself is brilliantly constructed, and designed to escalate, shock as well as send you on the wrong track. Evil things are happening in Hinton Hollow, and you won’t understand the full scope and connections between the different events until it’s too late… And those final reveals will most likely make your jaw drop right to the floor. Oh yes, Hinton Hollow Death Trip will leave you absolutely flabbergasted and staring at that final page wondering if you really understood what just happened… Is it true? Is it another trick? I’m still not sure myself, but what I’m sure of is that Will Carver sure knows how to handle that sledgehammer. What a read!

Hinton Hollow Death Trip is an extremely unique, mindboggling as well as infuriating read that will manage to blow you away regardless of the fact if it’s really your cup of tea or not. While there were a few elements that just didn’t do it for me, I simply applaud the sheer originality and wow factor of this story.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series.
He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.


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BLOG TOUR REVIEW: Turn To Dust – by Rachel Amphlett #blogtour @RachelAmphlett @BOTBSPublicity

Hello and welcome to my stop of the Turn To Dust blog tour! A huge thanks to Sarah Hardy for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. Detective Kay Hunter is easily one of my absolute favorite detective series, so I was stoked to be able to join the blog tour for what is already book number nine. And as I already expected, it turned out to be another fantastic ride. Want to know why? Please join me while I share my thoughts!

Title: Turn To Dust
(Detective Kay Hunter #9)
Author: Rachel Amphlett
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: July 13th 2020
Publisher: Saxon Publishing
Finished reading: June 6th 2020
Pages: 338

“Life went on, and so did the need for justice.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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!! Happy publication day !!

I confess that I’m a bit late to the party when it comes to the Detective Kay Hunter series, but I finally met her in 2018 and I turned into a fan instantly. I have loved every single book since, and of course book number nine Turn To Dust was on my list on most anticipated releases ever since I first heard about it. I jumped on the opportunity to join the blog tour to help share the Kay Hunter love as soon as the email hit my inbox… Because yes, I was already 100% convinced I was going to love this newest installment as well. And guess what? My instincts were right! Turn To Dust is another worthy sequel and anyone who loves a good detective thriller will be in for an absolute treat. Technically you can read this book as a stand-alone too, although you might not fully understand the dynamics between Kay and the rest of the characters if you don’t read the previous books.

Detective Kay Hunter is easily one of my absolute favorite detective series and I feel giddy every time I’m lucky enough to spend more time with her. These books are a real treat, and I always clear my schedule before starting a new one as I know I won’t be able to stop reading once I read that first chapter. Turn To Dust is no exception, and I literally finished it in one sitting! It felt great to return to some of my favorite characters and see how they tackle their newest case. These books are actually refreshing, as you get more of a glimpse inside real police work with corresponding procedures and more realistic investigating. You will find no serial killer nor non-stop action in Turn To Dust, but instead you get a solid detective thriller that focuses on the police work itself as well as the development of the characters. And while I love my dark detective thrillers too, it is nice to have a little breather and Turn To Dust will still give you plenty of suspense and twists.

The plot in Turn To Dust is another interesting one. Finding a body in the middle of a field, and having no idea about the identity nor cause of death raises an interesting question: how can you investigate a murder if you don’t know the basic facts about the victim? It was intriguing to see this developed and the story offered us more than one shocking plot twist along the way. While it’s true that I had a hunch about those behind it all early on and it turned out to be true, I never guessed the full truth and the development of the plot as a whole was excellently done. There are definitely some darker scenes included too and a warning of the mention of animal cruelty might be in place… It makes you think about how your pet food is really made.

The writing is excellent, but that’s what I’ve come to expect of this series and Rachel Amphlett‘s work in general. Turn To Dust won me over from the very first page, and I had a fantastic time meeting up with Kay Hunter and her team again. I also love finding out what animal Adam brings home next! There are developments in the team as well, and I’m curious to see how that would work out in the future.

In short, if you enjoy detective thrillers and are looking for an engaging read with more focus on real police work, definitely give Turn To Dust and the rest of the series a go. Trust me, Kay Hunter won’t disappoint! Nine books of absolute detective reading pleasure and counting (I hope).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a film extra and freelanced in radio as a presenter and producer for the BBC.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and is a bestselling author of crime fiction and spy thrillers, many of which have been translated worldwide.

Her novels are available in eBook, print, large print and audiobook formats from libraries and worldwide retailers.

A keen traveller, Rachel has both EU and Australian citizenship.

Website // Email: info@rachelamphlett.com // Twitter: @RachelAmphlett // Instagram: @RachelAmphlett // Facebook


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BLOG TOUR REVIEW: The Girl From Widow Hills – by Megan Miranda #blogtour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours @CorvusBooks

Hello and welcome to my stop of the The Girl From Widow Hills Random Things Tours blog tour! A huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. I’ve been a fan of Megan Miranda‘s psychological thrillers ever since I read All The Missing Girls back in 2016, and I was stoked to have the opportunity to read her newest´story early. It’s without doubt another solid read! Want to know why? Please join me while I share my thoughts…

Title: The Girl From Widow Hills
Author: Megan Miranda
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: June 23rd 2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Finished reading: June 13th 2020
Pages: 352

“A story about you doesn’t necessarily belong to you. It belongs to the writer. To the witness. To the teller.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I’ve been a fan of Megan Miranda‘s psychological thrillers ever since I read All The Missing Girls back in 2016. I’m always looking forward to new titles and I added The Girl From Widow Hills to my most anticipated 2020 releases list as soon as I first heard about it. I was stoked when I received the blog tour invitation and jumped at the chance to read this story early… And it turned out to be yet another successful psychological thriller read.

The first thing that stands out in The Girl From Widow Hills is the plot. I really liked the structure of the plot, where the present storyline with Olivia is interrupted by flashbacks to 2000 to help us learn more about what happened to her back then. They are not ordinary flashback chapters, but instead transcripts of different interviews, 911 calls and even excerpts from the book her mother had written after the event. This definitely livens up the plot and I liked how they contributed to the story as a whole. It was fascinating to slowly learn more about the past as well as trying to understand how such event and the media attention both during and after can change someone’s life forever… Let’s just say that I can understand why Olivia changed her name and wanted a fresh start.

The writing is without doubt engaging and I was drawn in as soon as I started reading The Girl From Widow Hills. While I do have to confess that the pace and the story itself can be a tad slow in parts and takes a long time building up, it was the final part of this story that mostly made up for that. The slow building up of suspense and the mystery around the past as well as the present murder investigation make you wonder what secrets people are hiding and how to distinguish the truth from the lies. The plot twists are inserted in convenient places to help ensnare you and keep you on the wrong track… And I most definitely didn’t see that ending coming!

As for the characters… Olivia herself is an intriguing character and while not completely likeable, both her past and her current situation manage to draw you straight in and you can’t help but feel sympathy for her after everything she endured both in 2000 and the years after. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be hunted and basically bullied by the press as well as other people who think that they have a claim over you… Thinking about it alone already gives me the chills. It was interesting to see her character as well as her past developed as the plot evolved and there were quite a few things I didn’t see coming. The other characters are a bit of a mixed bunch, but I like the role most of them played in the plot (the most prominent exception probably being Jonah) and it was interesting to see the dynamics between the different characters as well.

In short, if you enjoy a well written, slower paced and mostly character driven psychological thriller with an explosive ending, The Girl From Widow Hills is without doubt an excellent choice.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Megan Miranda is the author of All The Missing Girls, The Perfect Stranger, and The Last House Guest, which was the August 2019 Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine pick. She grew up in New Jersey, graduated from MIT, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children. Follow @MeganLMiranda on Twitter and Instagram, or @AuthorMeganMiranda on Facebook.


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BLOG TOUR REVIEW: The Bone Jar – by S.W. Kane #blogtour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours

Hello and welcome to my stop of the The Bone Jar Random Things Tours blog tour! A huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. I knew I wanted to read this story as soon as I first read the blurb and saw the abandoned asylum setting. Talk about a perfect creepy backdrop for a detective thriller! And I most definitely enjoyed my time with this story. Want to know why? Please join me while I share my thoughts…

Title: The Bone Jar
(Detective Lew Kirby #1)

Author: S.W. Kane
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: July 1st 2020
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Finished reading: June 11th 2020
Pages: 328

“He wondered what it was like to live here all alone – and not only that, but in the grounds of the very institution that had once removed you from society.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I confess that I was fully intrigued as soon as I took my first glimpse at the blurb of The Bone Jar. I always love a good detective thriller, and the promise of an abandoned asylum setting combined with hints at its past and secrets as well as a former patient involved in a present day murder investigation sounded simply irresistible. Talk about the perfect hair-raising backdrop for this first book of a new detective series! I had a hunch that I would enjoy this story, and my instincts definitely turned out to be right. The Bone Jar is a dark, eerie and atmospheric detective thriller that will chill you to the bone, and not just because of the winter wonderland descriptions. Without a doubt recommended if you enjoy the detective thriller genre!

There is no doubt that the Blackwater Asylum steals the show here. Not only does the majority of the story take place in or around the abandoned asylum, but its descriptions also give the story that spine-chilling feel as well as a hint of forboding. The descriptions are thorough and beautifully done, and really made the setting come alive for me. The fact that The Bone Jar takes place during the cold winter months only adds to the eerie atmosphere… The snow and cold weather used to add obstacles to the investigation as well as influencing how the plot as a whole develops. Especially the focus on the Blackwater Asylum was a huge bonus for me, as I have a weak spot for stories with that angle and its incorporation in the plot was handled splendidly.

The Bone Jar has quite a few characters in play, and I confess that initially I struggled a little to remember how they all connected. This feeling was only temporary though and as soon as I was able to fit them all into their place in the plot puzzle, I was fully hooked. I wish we could have seen more of new main character detective Lew Kirby, but we did get a few hints at his private life and I’m definitely intrigued. We mainly see the story and investigation through his eyes, but both Raymond and Connie are also key to the plot of this first book. Both will soon find themselves in the middle of everything and I quite liked getting to learn more about them. Especially Raymond is a fascinating character with his past and possible knowledge of present events as well as secrets about Blackwater Asylum.

I also really liked the mention of urban exploration and the connection more than one character had with this activity in the plot. It was interesting to learn a little about the urban exploration terms and I would have loved to see it even more present! The Bone Jar mainly focused on the asylum and its hidden secrets as well as the present murder case though. It was interesting to see Lew Kirby and the others investigating the crime and both the building up of suspense and the introduction of plot twists is more than solid. You keep wondering how everything and everyone connects and fits in, and the story will definitely have some surprises for you in store as well.

With its eerie and atmospheric derelict asylum setting, The Bone Jar sets the tone for what is an excellent start of a new detective series. Any fan of the genre will have a brilliant time meeting Lew Kirby as well as exploring Blackwater Asylum!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SW Kane studied History of Design and worked at the RIBA before taking on a series of totally unrelated jobs in radio and the music industry, where she still works as a freelance music PR. She has an MA in Creative (Crime) Writing from City University. She began reading crime fiction from an early age and developed an obsession with crime set in cold places. A chance encounter with a derelict fort in rural Pembrokeshire led to a fascination with urban exploration, which in turn became the inspiration for her crime novels. She lives London.


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