Death Deserved by Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger

Death Deserved by Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger

Thank you Anne Cater for the invite on to this #BlogTour, it is always a pleasure.  My thanks also go out to Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books who has one hell of an eye for a great book let alone authors. To Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger, you certainly know how to fool me into thinking I know who did it but being oh so wrong!

The Book

Oslo, 2018. Former long-distance runner Sonja Nordstrøm never shows at the launch of her controversial autobiography, Always Number One. When celebrity blogger Emma Ramm visits Nordstrøm’s home later that day, she finds the door unlocked and signs of a struggle inside. A bib with the number ‘one’ has been pinned to the TV.

Police officer Alexander Blix is appointed to head up the missing persons investigation, but he still bears the emotional scars of a hostage situation nineteen years earlier, when he killed the father of a five-year-old girl. Traces of Nordstrøm soon show up at different locations, but the appearance of the clues appear to be carefully calculated … evidence of a bigger picture that he’s just not seeing…

Blix and Ramm soon join forces, determined to find and stop a merciless killer with a flair for the dramatic, and thirst for attention.

Trouble is, he’s just got his first taste of it…

My Thoughts

When you start reading a book by an author you have never read before there is always that thought of ‘what if I don’t like it?’. On this occasion the book is by two authors, Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger, and oh my gosh they have blown me away.

Blix is a Detective with an attitude that will not let him stop until the investigation is solved. Add to that Emma, a celebrity journalist keen to branch out into ‘real’ journalism, you are left with an unlikely duo who between them both unearth what can only be described as the case of the century.

Death Deserved is ingenious. I read this whilst reminding myself to breathe. I couldn’t believe what was happening. Every avenue opens up new possibilities. When you think you have the answer believe me you don’t.  

The excitement in Death Deserved keeps on going. The chase is real, you will find yourself not only trying to hunt down this evil killer but also wondering who could be next and why!

I cannot recommend Death Deserved more. If you are a fan of crime thrillers and have nerves of steel make sure you don’t miss out on this.

The Authors

Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger are the internationally bestselling Norwegian authors of the William Wisting and Henning Juul series respectively. Jørn Lier Horst first rose to literary fame with his No. 1 internationally bestselling William Wisting series. A former investigator in the Norwegian police, Horst imbues all his works with an unparalleled realism and suspense. 

Thomas Enger is the journalist-turned-author behind the internationally acclaimed and bestselling Henning Juul series. Enger’s trademark has become a darkly gritty voice paired with key social messages and tight plotting. Besides writing fiction for both adults and young adults, Enger also works as a music composer. 

Death Deserved is Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger’s first co-written thriller. I can’t imagine it will be their last.

Death Deserved will be published in paperback on 23 February 2020 by Orenda Books. To find out where you can get a copy go to Orenda Books

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The Home by Sarah Stovell

The Home by Sarah Stovell

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Anne Cater for the opportunity to read and review The Home. My thanks also go out to Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books for sending me a copy of the book and publishing it. I can’t imagine it was a difficult choice to publish. Last but by no means least my thanks to Sarah Stovell for such an emotive page turner. 

The Back of the Book

When the body of a pregnant fifteen-year-old is discovered in a churchyard on Christmas morning, the community is shocked, but unsurprised. For she lived in The Home, the residence of three young girls, whose violent and disturbing pasts have seen them cloistered away…

As a police investigation gets underway, the lives of Hope, Lara and Annie are examined, and the staff who work at the home are interviewed, leading to shocking and distressing revelations … and clear evidence that someone is seeking revenge.

My Thoughts

I agreed to read and review The Home knowing that there may be sections of the book that I found difficult because of my own personal background. Although there were a few areas that I struggled with I can say that this is because of my current state of mind and I believe is solely a personal experience.

The Home takes you through the lives of Hope, Annie and Lara. The struggles they have had to endure and how each of them try to fight their demons in their own ways. 

It is a truly devastating story leading to a tragic loss of life. 

All of the girls were easy to relate to. I found the story believable and can imagine that there are children in care that have been through similar life experiences. 

If I could have reached into the book and rescued Hope, Annie and Lara I would have. I felt for every single one of them and wanted justice to be done.

But then…… what can I say, the twists and turns make you wonder where Sarah Stovell gets these ideas!

I recommend The Home to any crime and thriller readers. This will have you gripped from the start.

Author Bio

Sarah Stovell was born in 1977 and spent most of her life in the Home Counties before a season working in a remote North Yorkshire youth hostel made her realise she was a northerner at heart. She now lives in Northumberland with her partner and two children and is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Lincoln University. Her debut psychological thriller, Exquisite, was called ‘the book of the summer’ by the Sunday Times.

The Home will be published on 6 February 2020 by Orenda Books. Visit the Orenda Books website for more details on where to purchase. 

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A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone

A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone

Thank you to Anne Cater for the invite to review A Dark Matter, thank you to Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books for sending me the book and a massive thank you to Doug Johnstone for writing this stunningly brilliant thriller.

The Back of the Book

Meet the Skelfs…

A well-known Edinburgh family, proprietors of a long-established funeral home business, and private investigators…

When patriarch Jim dies, it’s left to his wife Dorothy, daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah to take charge of both businesses, kicking off an unexpected series of events.

Dorothy discovers mysterious payments to another woman, suggesting that Jim wasn’t the husband she thought he was. Hannah’s best friend Mel has vanished from university, and the simple adultery case that Jenny takes on leads to something stranger and far darker than any of them could have imagined.

As the women struggle to come to terms with their grief, and the demands of the business threaten to overwhelm them, secrets from the past emerge, which change everything…

A compelling, tense and shocking thriller and a darkly funny and warm portrait of a family in turmoil, A Dark Matter introduces a cast of unforgettable characters, marking the start of an additive new series.

My Thoughts

What can I say… what a start to a series. Doug Johnstone has his work cut out to keep up with A Dark Matter but I have no doubt in my mind that he will knock us out of the park yet again with the next in this series.

To say A Dark Matter is a page turner, magnificent and mesmerising feels like an understatement. I am wildly excited about this series and this is book one

Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah are extremely wicked and fantastic characters, brought to life in every single page. Doug Johnstone has amazed me with the situations these ladies get into and the way they deal with them. 

If I wasn’t laughing, reminiscing or being shocked and shouting ‘NO’ or ‘OMG’ at them, I had tears in my eyes crying with them. My heart was either racing or sinking. Was A Dark Matter emotive… eeh by gum it was!

So much so I am all of a sudden from Yorkshire!

A Dark Matter is multiple extraordinary thrillers in one novel. This introduction to the Skelfs couldn’t have been better.

I cannot wait for the next in the series. It is no wonder that Doug Johnstone has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Best Scottish Crime Novel with Breakers. 

Author Bio

Doug Johnstone is the author of ten novels, most recently Breakers (2018), which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. 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 – 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.

A Dark Matter will be published in paperback on 23 January 2020 by Orenda Books. Buy your copy here. It is currently available as a Kindle Edition here.

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SUPER / NATURAL: ART + FICTION FOR THE FUTURE edited by MADI GIOVINA and TIFFANY NILES

SUPER / NATURAL: ART + FICTION FOR THE FUTURE edited by MADI GIOVINA and TIFFANY NILES

Firstly I would like to thank Madi Giovina for contacting me to ask if I would like to review SUPER / NATURAL: ART + FICTION FOR THE FUTURE. Of course I jumped at the chance and wasn’t disappointed.

The Back of the Book

super / natural is a literary call to action. finding where we’re headed and what our future(s) will look like when we get there. through art, poetry, and prose, twenty-three visionaries tackle the idea that to be the future we must first see the future.

the works are united through their themes of the supernatural, as in the mystical and fantastical, and/or the SUPER natural, going back to our true roots and the heart of our existence. above all, super / natural is a critical look at our relationship with the earth and with each other.

featuring short stories from Alex Benke, Madi Giovina, Donna J.W. Munro, Tiffany Niles Aline-Mwezi Niyonsenga, Nisi Shawl, Keely Shinners and Fanni Somogyi, art from Apu, Amarise Carreras, Adrianna “Kaya” Clark, Joey Dean, Anthony Grimaldi, Antony Ohman, Caiitlin Peck, and Theresa M. Pisani, and poetry from Doriana Gabrielle Diaz, Sage Katherine Enderton, Brandi Spering, and Anna Tregurtha.

My Thoughts – The Review

I have to say I didn’t know what to expect from SUPER / NATURAL: ART + FICTION FOR THE FUTURE. I knew there were elements of supernatural, mystical and fantasy but didn’t know some of these would interest me so much. 

Each piece of writing, whether a poem or speculative fiction, had it’s own uniqueness. Most piqued my interest and made me think of how things would be if these stories were true. How the world would be different and how easy it would be for this to actually happen. 

There were a couple of stories that I found difficult to read but that was just because of my personal circumstances. Other than those I found SUPER / NATURAL: ART + FICTION FOR THE FUTURE easy to read and very interesting. 

Despite the fact that it is fiction it got me thinking about the world we live in and how we can improve it to hopefully stop our planet becoming the dry desert portrayed. 

I would recommend SUPER / NATURAL: ART + FICTION FOR THE FUTURE to anyone with an interest in the supernatural, fantasy and mystical. If you have an interest in the environment and the planet we live on this will no doubt get your mind working overtime. 

Give it a go!

Published on 21st November 2019 by Perennial Press. You can buy your copy here.

COLLAP$E by FREDDIE P. PETERS

COLLAP$E BY FREDDIE P. PETERS

I would like to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Through My Letterbox for inviting me to this tour and introducing me to Freddie P. Peters. 

The Back of the Book

COLLAP$E

SURVIVING IS A SKILL – KILLING ANOTHER

He is a secret IRA operative

He is one of the most successful City bankers in London

…then the 2008 financial crisis happens

Nancy Wu, former eminent Queen’s Counsel, now prominent patron of the arts, receives the most unexpected call for help. Henry Crowne is accused of murder in a case that seems decided from the very beginning. His Irish background, financial terrorist connections and investment banking success inexorably tilt the scales against him. Nancy’s own dark past calls for her to mount Henry’s defence, but her client is her biggest obstacle. Will she manage to unpick the devious manipulations of a most twisted mind?

COLLAP$E is a financial and espionage thriller, and the first book in the ‘Henry Crowne: Paying the Price’ trilogy. If you like The Big Short, The Fear Index and A Week in December you will enjoy the twists and turns of Feddie P. Peters’ fast-paced thrillers.

My Thoughts – The Review

Henry Crowne I found to be a likable but sometimes arrogant character. Freddie P. Peters builds his character throughout the book adding aspects that you will not expect. Personally my favourite character was Nancy Wu. The friendly neighbour is the perfect person to know. Not only does she help but she is strong with it. 

Nancy will not be lied to or messed around. She is there to do a job and she will do it no matter what. 

A few times throughout COLLAP$E Nancy’s relationship with Henry is tested. I wondered how she would respond. I was not disappointed!

As this is the first in the trilogy Freddie P. Peters introduces the characters bringing them to life in such a way that kept me wanting to know more. When reading books which are part of a series I sometimes find that the authors concentrate too much on the characters history rather than the story and situation they are in. This is not one of those books. 

I felt I got to know the characters and their backgrounds at the right points throughout the story with Freddie P. Peters knowing the perfect time to disclose.

There are a number of twists which kept me thinking, what’s going to happen next, maybe it isn’t who I thought it was.

I found myself laughing at times but also being shocked. My favourite part of COLLAP$E was actually one which shocked me not only because I wasn’t expecting it but also because I loved Nancy’s reaction.      

I will certainly be buying Breaking Point and No Turning Back. I want to know what happens next. Where does Henry Crowne go from here?

If like me you would like to buy a copy of one of the books in the series or the series itself you can find them here.

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Five Steps to Happy by Ella Dove

Five Steps to Happy by Ella Dove

I would like to thank Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers, Trapeze Books and Ella Dove for the opportunity to read and review Five Steps to Happy.

What a book! Ella Dove is so talented.

The Back of the Book

On this occasion I am reading from a NetGalley ebook so I am afraid I do not have a photo of the back.

Life can change in a heartbeat…

When struggling actress Heidi has a life-changing accident aged 32, her world falls apart. Stuck in hospital and unable to walk, her only companion is Maud, the elderly lady in the bed next to hers. Heidi misses her flatmate, her life, her freedom – surely 32 is too young to be an amputee?

But when Maud’s aloof but attractive grandson Jack pays a visit to the ward, Heidi realises that her life isn’t over just because it’s different. It might not look like the life she dreamed of, but it’s the one she’s got – and there’s a lot she still wants to tick off her bucket list. With Jack at her side, will Heidi take the first step back to happiness? Or is there one more surprise still in store…?

My Thoughts

Five Steps to Happy although a fiction novel is based on the experience of the author Ella Dove. Because of this, the story of Heidi’s struggles feel so real. This book really makes you think.

An absolute gripper. Five Steps to Happy left me feeling gobsmacked and proud of how far Heidi had come. Her sheer determination is just so inspiring. 

Heidi has her moments but then it’s like a switch goes off and her life changes again in an instant. Her determination grabbed me with both hands. I felt myself cheering her on willing her to succeed.

To describe Five Steps to Happy as thought provoking is an understatement. Life changing is more like it. 

Five Steps to Happy is like a self help book, memoir and out of this world fiction novel all in one.

Seriously, do not miss out on this. 

Five Steps to Happy will be published on 11 July 2019 by Trapeze Books. Buy your copy here.

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Something to Live For by Richard Roper

Something to Live For by Richard Roper

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers, Orion Fiction’s and Richard Roper for the opportunity to read and review Something to Live For as part of the #BlogTour. 

I wouldn’t have missed this for the world!

The Back of the book

Sometimes you need to risk everything…

To find your something

Andrew works with death for a living. Searching for people’s next of kin and attending the funerals if they don’t have anyone, he’s desperate to avoid the same fate for himself. Which is fine, because he has the perfect wife and 2.4 children waiting at home for him after a long day. At least, that’s what he’s told people. 

The truth is, his life isn’t exactly as people think and the little white lie he once told is about to catch up with him. 

Because in all Andrew’s efforts to fit in, he’s forgotten one important thing: how to really live. And maybe, it’s about time for him to start.

My Thoughts

Well where do I start… When I was reading Something to Live For I felt like shouting STOP! when Andrew was digging himself deeper with his lies. Then it came, the tugging of my heart strings, the laughter and the sorrow. What a situation to get in to.

I can honestly say that I had tears in my eyes at times. The desperation of Andrew came across so well, you can feel it as his story progresses. I found myself wishing Andrew and Peggy would talk and get things out in the open. How can one person make their life so difficult with one white lie.

I recommend Something to Live For to everyone. Although this is fiction, there are people out there that get themselves into such a mess they feel they cannot escape. This will certainly make them and others think.

To think this is a debut novel is just astounding.

Absolutely brilliant!

Something to Live For by Richard Roper was published on 27 June 2019 by Orion Fiction. Buy your copy here.

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The A to Z of Skateboarding by Tony Hawks

The A to Z of Skateboarding by Tony Hawks

When Anne Cater sent the email for The A to Z of Skateboarding I have to say I was very curious to see what Tony Hawks had to say about skateboarding. Read on to find out what I thought.

Thank you Anne for the opportunity and thank you so much to Tony Hawks and Unbound for the copy of The A to Z of Skateboarding.

The Back of the Book

For more than twenty years, Tony Hawks has been mistaken for Tony Hawk, the American skateboarder. Even though it is abundantly clear on his website that he is an English comedian and author, people still write to him asking the best way to do a kickflip or land a melon.

One mischievous day he started writing back in a pompous tone, goading his correspondents for their spelling mistakes and poor grammar, while offering bogus or downright silly advice on how to improve their skateboarding.

Featuring entries on parents’ pain, disappointment, underachievers, Quorn and the Vatican, this his A to Z guide to the world of skateboarding, as seen through the eyes of someone who knows absolutely nothing about it.

My Thoughts

I did a little skateboarding as a child and have the scars to prove it so I understand A, E and F.

The A to Z of Skateboarding is very witty and a great way to make a point. It certainly amused me and had me wondering why so many people have made the same mistake for such a long time.

Tony Hawks style of writing and how the chapters are presented is perfect. Not too long and to the point with examples of emails that will have you laughing. I especially like the challenge of trying to read the emails which were sent in what some refer to as texting language. I have to say those are the bits that I giggled at as well……..memories!

If you fancy a giggle this is the book for you.

The A to Z of Skateboarding was published on 13th June 2019 by Unbound. Buy your copy here.

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The Amber Maze by Christopher Bowden

The Amber Maze by Christopher Bowden

Thank you to Anne Cater for the opportunity to read and review The Amber Maze by Christopher Bowden. Also thanks to Christopher Bowden and Langdon & Wood for sending the book. There is nothing like a good mystery to keep you guessing.

The Back of the Book

While staying in a Dorset cottage, Hugh Mullion finds a mysterious key down the side of an antique chair. No one can say how long the key has been there or what it opens.

Hugh’s search for answers will unlock the secrets of the troubled life of a talented artist, destined to be hailed a neglected genius fifty years too late. And no secret is darker than that of The Amber Maze, from whose malign influence he never escaped.

The trail takes Hugh from Edwardian Oxfordshire to 1960’s Camden Town, where the ghosts of the past are finally laid to rest.

Delicately crafted noir fiction at it’s best.

My thoughts

I found The Amber Maze akin to Agatha Christie with its mystery drawing you in. Wondering where the next clue will take you and how the story will end.

Delving into the history of the Assendene’s takes Hugh down a road of investigation bringing nightmares and panic.

Taking the investigation in another direction brings to light the amazing talent hidden from populations.

Reading this had me thinking about my own family history and what deep dark secrets could lurk beneath. Who knows the real truth behind any family!?!

The Amber Maze was published in September 2018 by Langton & Wood. Buy your copy here currently on sale for £1.98. Do not miss out!

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This Queer Angel by Elaine M. Chambers

This Queer Angel by Elaine M. Chambers

When I received the email from Anne Cater about This Queer Angel I jumped at the chance even saying to Anne “This is of particular interest to me, being a gay woman.” hoping I wouldn’t miss out.

Having the opportunity to read and review Elaine Chambers life story has been a pleasure. Thank you Elaine for having the courage to put all of the events into This Queer Angel, thank you to Unbound for publishing it and last but not least thank you to Anne Cater for giving me this opportunity by choosing this lesbian to write a review.

The Back of the book

A revealing memoir, laying open the cruel truth behind the longstanding ban on LGBT+ personnel serving openly in H.M. Forces.

Discover the human cost of being deemed a criminal in the institutions protecting fellow citizens’ hard-won freedoms.

The first book covering recent military history, written from a lesbian perspective.

My Thoughts

When I first read the back of the book it made me angry. I am a lesbian and unfortunately have had my share of prejudice over the years. However, This Queer Angel is something completely different. Despite their sexuality and the ban on LGBT+ people serving openly in H.M. Forces they were willing to put their lives at risk in more ways than most to protect us!!

I honestly don’t know where to start but here goes….

This Queer Angel has taken me through so many emotions I feel a little lost but also found. Reading Elaine Chambers early stories of growing up unsure about her sexuality and the way she dealt with that rang so many bells. Often we hear the ‘coming out’ stories but we don’t hear of their struggle to get there. It has been so refreshing to read.

I was not shocked in any way about some of the events throughout her life having lived some similar situations myself but what shocked me was the blatant homophobia in H.M. Forces. Maybe it is naive of me to say? I had no idea what it would have been like for anyone. Shock is one word for it, absolutely disgusted are others!

I know it was a different time but who in their right mind thinks they have the right to tell people that they cannot live their lives as they wish and be open with their sexuality. Yes this made me so angry but I feel enlightened having read about it.

Elaine Chambers writes in such a way that you are intrigued to know what on earth is coming next and how on earth does anyone get through this. It seems to me that Elaine and so many others in the Forces suffered extreme prejudice at the hands of an archaic regime which thankfully they went on to fight and won.

Without people like Elaine we LGBT+ ladies and gents would not have been able to live life as free as we do today compared to only 30 years ago.

Elaine, finding yourself and being brave enough to fight the system then go on to right this book is beyond a massive achievement and I personally am very proud of you.

Keep fighting!!

Do not miss out on This Queer Angel. There is something in it for everyone.

This Queer Angel by Elaine M. Chambers was published on 7 March 2019 by Unbound. Buy your copy here.

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