Tag Archives: Reading

Pendle Fire by Paul Southern (@psouthernauthor) – Blog Blitz

B L O G B L I T Z

Today I’m taking part in the blog blitz for the Pendle Fire the new release by Paul Southern, here’s the blurb –

Title – Pendle Fire
Author – Paul Southern
Genre – Thriller
Length – 256 Pages
Publication – 1st April 2018
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Social worker Johnny Malkin is battling a crippling workload and a hostile local community. That’s on a good day: things are about to get a whole lot worse.

Two fourteen-year-old girls are found wandering Aitken Wood on the slopes of Pendle Hill, claiming to have been raped by a gang of men. With no female social workers available, Johnny is assigned to their case. But what, at first, looks like yet another incident of child exploitation takes a sinister turn when the girls start speaking of a forthcoming apocalypse.

When Johnny interviews one of the girls, Jenna Dunham, her story starts to unravel. His investigation draws him into a tight-knit village community in the shadow of Pendle Hill, where whispers of witchcraft and child abuse go back to the Middle Ages.

One name recurs: The Hobbledy Man. Is he responsible for the outbreaks of violence sweeping across the country?

Is he more than just myth?

Review

Pendle Fire is a thriller with a supernatural edge and at every turn you are left wondering who or what is causing all the violence. Is this myth from the past real or is there somethings else afoot?

The book follows two main characters PC Shaf and Johnny Malkin. They are both caught up and a whirlwind of violence and mystery and the deeper they go the more confusing it gets for them to separate the truth from fiction.

I’ve reviewed for the author previously and knew from the off that the direction I as a reader would go would be turned on its head.

The story line is very engrossing and tackles some difficult subjects such as grooming with some very detailed accounts at times and while it’s a hard subject to read about it added to the mystery of the tale..for me I was left undecided as to the true culprit(s) of the of the events that played out and I feel the author wrote it this way to engage with the reader..you decide the ending you believe.

I’m all about the flow of a book and the alternating perspectives worked well and kept things fresh adding suspense as the tale progressed.

Overall a fast paced dark and disturbing tale, well written with a decent page count makes this an easy read to get stuck into.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

My thanks go to the author and Bloodhound books for the chance to be part of the tour

Author Bio:

Paul+Southern+picture+

Paul Southern was born in the 1960s to itinerant parents who moved from city to city. He lived in Liverpool, Belfast, London and Leeds, then escaped to university, where he nearly died of a brain haemorrhage. After an unexpected recovery, he co-formed an underground indie group (Sexus). Made immediate plans to become rich and famous, but ended up in Manchester. Shared a house with mice, cockroaches, and slugs; shared the street with criminals. Five years later, hit the big time with a Warners record deal. Concerts at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Melody Maker front cover, Smash Hits Single of the Week, Radio 1 and EastEnders. Mixed with the really rich and famous. Then mixed with lawyers. Ended up back in Manchester, broke. He got a PhD in English (he is the world’s leading authority on Tennyson’s stage plays!), then wrote his first novel, The Craze, based on his experiences of the Muslim community. He has three other published books and has written for ITV. He was shortlisted for a CWA Dagger award in 2002 and received positive reviews from national and international press, including The Guardian, Arena, Radio 4, Ladsmag, and Kirkus, amongst many others.

Links:

www.paulsouthern.org

https://www.facebook.com/paulsouthernauthor/

https://twitter.com/psouthernauthor

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Cover Reveal – Past Imperfect: A Collection of Short Stories by Pam Lecky – (@pamlecky )

Today I bring to you a cover reveal for Past Imperfect a series of short stories by author Pam Lecky.

You should know the name if you follow my blog as she Is the author of  The Bowes Inheritance and In Three-Quarter Time both of which earned 5* ratings from me.

Whats the new book about I hear you ask..here’s the blurb –

You can never escape the past …

Included in this anthology, by Irish historical fiction author, Pam Lecky, are short stories, a childhood memoir and a Victorian novelette.

With settings as diverse as WW1 era Dublin, the sinking of the Luisitania, and a lonely haunted lighthouse, romance, tragedy and the supernatural await you.

Now to the cover…

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My thoughts.. I like it. I feel it fits Pam’s style of writing and gives the reader an easy indication of the type of story you will be reading.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The books is available now for pre-order for release 6th April here 

I’ve pre-ordered my copy and look forward to reviewing the book on my blog shortly!

Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots: The Life of King Henry VIII’s Sister by Sarah-Beth Watkins – Review

Title – Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots: The Life of King Henry VIII’s Sister
Author – Sarah-Beth Watkins
Genre – History, Biography
Length – 169 Pages
Publication – 8th December 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Margaret Tudor was Henry VIII’s older sister and became the Queen of Scotland after her marriage to James IV in 1503. Her life was troubled and fraught with tension. She was continually caught between her country of birth and the country she ruled. After James IV’s death, she made the disastrous decision to marry the Earl of Angus, threatening her regency and forcing the Scottish council to send for the Duke of Albany to rule in her stead. Over the years, Margaret’s allegiance swung between England and Scotland, making her brother Henry VIII both her ally and her enemy at times. Although Margaret wished for peace between the two countries, these were tumultuous years and she didn’t always make the wisest choices. Yet, all she did she did for her son James V, and her absolute conviction he would rule Scotland as its rightful king.

Review

Ever since I caught the reading bug I’ve always enjoyed historical fiction but while the tales are always exciting a fun for me once in a while I quite like learning some cold hard truths and that’s where Sarah-Beth Watkins fits in perfectly.

Watkins writes in a very clear manner, setting out the details as they are known in the life of Margaret Tudor. You might think a biography might be a little dry but I find Watkins’s books so refreshing and easy to read.

This book is packed full of detail and really shows you how a woman of royal birth was treated at the time. They are little more than bargaining chips.

It’s a short read but packed full of info so you feel you get your money’s worth.

The story itself is fascinating. Margaret Tudor suffers so much in her life and at times it’s rather emotional as the story comes to life and the relationship she had with her brother made this book a real page turner.

What Watkins does time and time again is she makes her books more than just a fact based text-book for history students..she gives it life and makes it rather more mainstream and interesting for the everyday reader.

Highly recommend for history fans.

My thanks go to the publishers and the author for the chance to read and review the book in exchange for an honest review.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

Eagles of Dacia (Praetorian #3) by S.J.A. Turney – Review

Title – Eagles of Dacia (Praetorian #3)
Author – S.J.A. Turney
Genre – Historical Fiction
Length – 412 Pages
Publication – 16th November 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

At the mercy of the scheming Imperial Chamberlain, Cleander, Rufinus is dispatched to Dacia, a land of untamed beauty at the edge of the Roman world, with orders to investigate the two legionary commanders there for signs of treason.

Uncertain what to expect from his mission, the two generals, or the land itself, Rufinus travels east with Senova and his faithful hound, Acheron. But machinations and skullduggery are afoot in Dacia, and the young praetorian is walking into the heart of empire-changing events.

As the generals Clodius Albinus and Pescennius Niger work to put the province right following recent invasions and revolts, Rufinus begins his investigation, suffering insubordinate soldiers, unseen attackers and dangerous locals.

At the edge of the world, Rufinus is about to stumble across a web that will put him in direct danger and threaten the empire to its core.

Welcome to Dacia.

Review

It’s a welcome return to the world of Rufinus. He’s had quite a wild ride hasn’t he so far. Well the great game continues and Rufinus is in for the toughest trial yet.

Cleander is powerful man and Rufinus just so happened to get on his bad side.. because of this he’s charges with a mission..the mission is basically just a way to keep Rufinus as far away from Rome as possible.

One lucky thing for our hero is he’s sent away with Senova his lover and Acheron his ever faithful hound. I still love Acheron..I always get excited when I see the name pop up as those scenes are the highlights of the story for me. Acheron steals the limelight at every turn.

Senova develops well in the book.. even Rufinus see changes in her and not all of them he likes. Being a freed slave there’s a stigma attached and Rufinus tries to shield her from this as much as he can but Senova only see’s this as Rufinus being embarrassed about her past.

Cleander sends Rufinus to Darcia to test the loyalties of the border legions and what is uncovered could blow the empire apart.

Enemies are everywhere and Rufinus finds himself stuck. Never quite sure who to trust and If you’ve read any of the authors work before you’ll already know Rufinus won’t get out of this without at least a few scars.

Along the way Senova is given a slave boy Luca who becomes much more to her than that and he was a great addition to the tale although it just gives Rufinus one more thing to worry about.

It’s difficult to put into word the epic life or death struggle Rufinus finds himself in as it would give too much away but some things I really enjoyed about the plot were the never-ending twists..nothing is ever simple and you really do get sucked in wondering if Rufinus will ever be able to get out of this with his head intact.

The Praetorian series is a brilliant adventure, each book links so well with the last but at the same time is completely new and fresh..it grows each time into a bigger adventure and I’m excited for more.

Overall I love the series, the plots are interesting and gripping. The writing flows well with a decent amount of time given to descriptive elements without it becoming boring or repetitive. The characters grow each time and I feel we see real changes in them as they develop as you would growing up naturally.

A great little series to get stuck into.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

Burn the Evidence: (The Detective Solomon Gray Series Book 2) by Keith Nixon – Review

Title – Burn the Evidence: (The Detective Solomon Gray Series Book 2)
Author – Keith Nixon
Genre – Crime Fiction
Length – 229 Pages
Publication – 12th December 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Keith Nixon’s latest Solomon Gray murder mystery pushes all the hot button issues of a traumatised post-Brexit UK in this dark tale of loss, revenge and redemption. Flawed and floored by personal tragedy, DS Solomon Gray is ready to take his place alongside DS Logan McRae, DS Roy Grace and DCI John Luther. Modern jet-black Brit Noir at its best.”
– Tim Baker, CWA shortlisted author of Fever City

Mixing business with family can be a murderous affair …

A body washes up on the beach near Ramsgate in the South of England. For DS Solomon Gray, the case appears cut and dried-a drowning. An immigrant. Another victim to the sea in his desperate attempt to reach the UK.

As the tidewaters recede, two more corpses surface. One appears to be a refugee, stabbed to death. The other, Gray recognises immediately. Regan Armitage: son of business tycoon Jake Armitage. Gray knows this means trouble.

A post mortem reveals ligature marks on Regan’s wrists. Drugs in his bloodstream. All signs indicate murder. Armitage swears to track down his son’s killer and avenge his death.

Gray’s investigation points to a deadly fire ten years prior, and soon Armitage comes under suspicion. But DS Gray knows what it’s like to lose a child and puts aside his distrust of Armitage to help.

How are the dead men connected to each other-and to the infamous fire?

It’s then that Gray gets another tip on the whereabouts of his own missing son, Tom …

BURN THE EVIDENCE is the second book in a series featuring Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray. The crime series is perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and Peter James.

About the Author
Keith Nixon is a British born writer of crime and historical fiction novels. Originally he trained as a chemist, but Keith is now in a senior sales role for a high-tech business. Keith currently lives with his family in the North West of England.

 

Review

Burn the evidence is the followup to Dig Two Graves. We are back with DS Gray.. he’s flawed to the max but he’s good at what he does.

Gray has one hell of a back story which continues to unravel during this book. He can’t let go of the past, his son went missing years ago and when potential new information surfaces he can’t focus on the job at hand. That job being a triple murder.

When 3 bodies are given up by the sea Gray is trust into the case but are the bodies connected and if so how?

Something I really enjoy about the book is the back and forth from past to present..slowly giving the reader the full picture. If I’m honest it’s this type of writing that really grips me with a crime fiction book..the suspense, I want to put the pieces together just like Gray does.

Keith Nixon has written a brilliant follow-up book which combines multiple plots and twists that converge to keep you hooked. The author even dropped a bombshell which will no doubt be explored during the next instalment… it’s endings like this that keep me coming back to an author. I’m left with a  thirst that can only be quenched by reading the next installment as soon as it is released…other books can be put on hold but after an ending like that how could the next installment not be put on my most anticipated releases list!

This is what crime fiction should be for me. We have a flawed lead, (let’s face it no one is perfect, we just do the best we can) with a mix of personal and work issues to deal with. The cases develop at a good pace which keep me engaged and I must certainly want more. Chapter length was perfect, development felt natural rather than forced and there’s plenty of twists and turns to keep a real crime junkie happy also.

I’ve read a lot of Keith’s books and this is certainly a credit to his increasing collection of works and I hope there’s plenty more to follow.

Top notch work.

I would be lying if I didn’t say admit I received a copy of the book from NetGalley but I only did that so I could have a review up quickly, which I’m very grateful for, but if you take a look at Amazon you’ll now see that “verified purchase” next to my name 🙂

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

The Hidden Face by S.C. Flynn – Review

Title – The Hidden Face
Author – S.C. Flynn
Genre – Fantasy
Length –  403 Pages
Publication – 25th Nov 2017
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

A face without a face – an unmasking that leaves the mask.

Once every few hundred years, the sun god, the Akhen takes on human form and descends to earth. Each Unmasking of the Face of the Akhen ends one era and begins another; the last one created the Faustian Empire. Where and when will the Face next appear, and who will he – or she – be?

Dayraven, son of a great hero, returns to Faustia after years as a hostage of their rivals, the Magians. Those years have changed him, but Faustia has changed as well; the emperor Calvo now seems eccentric and is controlled by one of Dayraven’s old enemies. Following the brutal death of his old teacher, Dayraven is drawn, together with a warrior woman named Sunniva, into the search for an ancient secret that would change the fate of empires.

Powerful enemies want the secret as well, including a dynasty of magician-kings who were thought to have died out long before, a mad, murderous hunchback and a beautiful, deadly woman who is never seen. Sunniva and Dayraven fight to survive and to solve the mystery while their own pasts come back to life and the attraction between them deepens.

The Hidden Face is a fantasy mystery drenched in the atmosphere of the Early Middle Ages and in Kabbalistic riddles, and is the first book in the Fifth Unmasking series.

Review

The Hidden Face by S.C. Flynn is a super-fast paced fantasy adventure.

There’s quite a nice build-up to start with as we learn about the main character Dayraven and his family history. Dayraven has been kept away from his homeland for many years and on his return he is quickly thrust into a quest to protect The Hidden Face.

Little does Dayraven know but those close to him have helped keep a secret safe for many years and after the murder of his old teacher things quickly start to unravel.

Sunniva quickly enters the plot, her family have connections to The Hidden Face also and she and Dayraven are thrust together to solve the clues left for them.

This is the fun part of the story as we find clues have been left.. but the answer are only something Dayraven and Sunniva would be able to figure out..and they need to work together to ensure it’s done quickly so they can keep ahead of those who wish to find The Hidden Face of themselves.

Who is The Hidden Face you might ask. A god turned human.. who  heralds the rise of one nation and the fall of another. Dayraven must stop the power of The Hidden Face falling into the wrong hands.

A major plus for this book is that I loved the vast and varied characters within the tale. To be honest I actually preferred the supporting cast over the main duo.

The only thing I can say I didn’t really enjoy was the love angle between Dayraven and Sunniva..the emotional connection wasn’t there for me so it just didn’t feel right…saying that if you read my reviews you’ll know I’m never a big romance fan.

Overall a decent plot with a fun ensemble of characters, there’s more to come and I’m interested to see what happens next.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

BLOG TOUR – The Silver Wolf by Rob Sinclair – Review

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Today is my stop of the blog tour for Rob Sinclair’s latest release The Silver Wolf, book 3 in the Jame Ryker series. Here’s the blurb –
Genre – Thriller
Length – 371 Pages
Publication – 17th Nov 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Still tormented by the disappearance of his wife, ex-intelligence agent James Ryker sets out on a personal mission of revenge, prepared to go to any lengths in search of the truth.

The trail takes him from the crystal waters of Mexico’s Caribbean coast, back to a place he thought he would never set foot again – his country of birth, England. But there he discovers more than even he bargained for. Stumbling across a terrorist attack targeted against his old employers – the secretive Joint Intelligence Agency -the faint clues to many events in his recent past are all seemingly linked to one mysterious character; The Silver Wolf.

But just who is the Silver Wolf, and why is he hell bent on punishing not just Ryker, but his closest allies at the JIA too?

Has Ryker finally met his match?

Review

We are back with Ryker, he now knows the fate of Lisa and he’s even more determined than ever to make those involved pay no matter the cost.

Ryker used to work for the JIA but not anymore..he’s happy to be a lone wolf on this one but will take any assistance offered if it helps him track down his targets.

While on his personal mission he ends up stumbling upon a much bigger issue and can’t help but be sucked in. His personal mission might not be the same as the JIA’s but while they are of use to him he will continue to do what he does best..cause trouble.

There are some amazing twists to this explosive and gruesome tale..Ryker definitely has a darker edge to him. I must admit this story plays out like a Jason Bourne kind of tale but it’s much more exciting.

The author takes no prisoners.. I’m not going to spoil it but there’s one scene that left speechless and I read it over again a few times thinking – “Oh MY GOD did he really just do that”. Damn it’s good.

The Silver Wolf offers everything you could need in a thriller, it’s dark and heavy hitting which gives it an edge, there’s suspense but plenty of action for the adrenaline junkies, twists all over and I can’t stress enough how amazing the overall plot is.

It was a true pleasure to read, seeing the big picture come together as Ryker but’s the pieces together. The author continues to knocking cracking tales time and time again and delivers every time.

It’s a must read series.

My thanks go to the auhtor and Bloodhound Books for the chance to read/review the book! I sense a paperback copy being ordered for my collection 🙂

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

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Author Bio:
Rob is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series and James Ryker series of espionage thrillers. His books have sold over half a million copies to date with many reviewers and readers having likened Rob’s work to authors at the very top of the genre, including Lee Child and Vince Flynn.

Rob began writing in 2009 following a promise to his wife, an avid reader, that he could pen a ‘can’t put down’ thriller. He worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. Rob now writes full time.

Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons