A Dark matter by Doug Johnstone (Skelfs #1) #BookReview @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks #TartanNoir

Today I am sharing my review for A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone if you are looking for a different type of thriller, one that stands out from the crowd I may just have the book for you, but first the book description……

93739483-8377-4F3D-A35A-D75B06494A58

Three generations of women from the Skelfs family take over the family funeral-home and PI businesses in the first book of a taut, page-turning and darkly funny new series.

Meet the Skelfs: 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 addictive new series.

FAB6006E-7F50-4328-8643-4A97730F5A32

When I picked up A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone, I felt a frisson of excitement, (Breakers one of his previous book is sitting solidly on my list of top reads of 2019) as you are never sure what road the author will take you down, but once again the author has written an impressive book, with remarkable characters. A Dark Matter is certainly different to Breakers but how I loved this book, it’s the first in a series following three generations of Skelf Woman. This is a book that doesn’t fit neatly into one genre, it’s a kind of family saga, thriller, crime thriller all rolled into one, making for an unusual but compelling read. 

When the head of the family, Jim Skelf passes away, it’s left to his wife Dorothy, daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah to take charge of the family businesses, a funeral-home, and private investigators.Two very different businesses, that are polar opposites, but the two blend perfectly, creating a plot that’s teeming with mystery, dark humour and tension. The story is narrated in alternating chapters by the three women, normally this can cause me issues with the flow of a story, but that’s not the case with A Dark Matter the author moves fluidly between the three POV creating a read that’s seamless.

Doug Johnstone has a knack for creating well-rounded characters, they are characters who get under your skin; you find your thoughts continually returning to them. I admire the fact the author isn’t afraid to create characters who aren’t without flaws, after all none of us are perfect! Neither are they stereotypes, they are likeable, credible, and relatable. The women face overwhelming challenges; we feel their grief, anger, turmoil, and anxiety as they become overwhelmed by hidden secrets, strange disappearances, and adultery. As the three main characters are not bound by rules or regulations, they aren’t afraid to push the boundaries, their techniques aren’t always professional, their unpredictable, rash, led by their emotions, which means you are never sure what they are going to do next, for me personally I thought this made the read even more unpredictable. 

As the location for A Dark Matter is a funeral directors, there is some talk of death, and references to what happens to people after death. In the wrong hands this could have made A Dark Matter a gloomy read, but not the author he deals with the subject with a delicate hand, injecting just the correct amount of ‘dark humour’ to lighten the mood, without appearing insensitive. Doug Johnstone captures the reader’s attention from the original opening, tension mounts as each chapter ends, and with a winning combination of diverse  characters A Dark Matter is a thriller that begs to be read in one sitting. Highly recommend

  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS; None edition (23 Nov. 2019)

Buying link:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

My thanks as always to Karen Sullivan for my ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

E9F1788B-BDDE-497F-8852-4491B0D36C4C

**Bookish Gifts** #FictionalDrinksCoasters #Review inc #DiscountCode #Giveaway #THE AMYGDALAB #Cocktails

C2E6F143-8928-4858-8D44-AA3B84CD195F

Today I have a review for you all, nothing unusual in that I know, but today it’s a review for fiction themed drinks coasters, rather than books! I also so have a discount code you can use, and two sets of these coasters to giveaway (more about that later). Before I share my thoughts about the coasters here’s a bit about how the coasters came about.

**Please note I have not received payment for reviewing these drinks coasters, but I did receive a set in return for a honest and unbiased review**

Hi Everyone! I’m Copernicus the Lab Mouse, official spokes-mouse for THE AMYGDALAB! Copernicus, Lab Mouse and Official Spokesman for The Amygdalab Research Associates at our Literary Research Facility have been hard at work on a special project for book lovers and are now ready to share their results! After months of painstaking research, experimentation, and inquiry our intrepid Library Scientists have released a set of Fictional Bar Coasters, pulled straight from the pages of classic works of literature!

Kat and Vali, are founders of THE AMYGDALAB, an indie brand whose mission is to create unique fun intellectual products for book-lovers, history buffs, and science nerds. Vali is an indie author, cartoonist, and the creative force behind the brand.

 

My review

I genuinely love these drinks coasters, there quirky, functional, and very eye catching (I’m not sure the photos show how vibrant they actually are so I’ve included my own photos and Kat and Vali’s.

I was expecting to receive the coasters in a flimsy box and for the coasters to be made of card, so I was pleasantly surprised how sturdy the box they came in actually was. The coasters are ceramic with a cork base, and they are waterproof always a bonus when you are as clumsy as me. They can easily be wiped clean with a damp cloth. As they are ceramic they seem pretty robust, they are also quite heavy which I wasn’t expecting.

Each of the four Fictional Bar Coasters, feature Alice in Wonderland, Moby Dick, The Odyssey, and Rikki Tikki Tavi.

CC346683-0F46-436A-8043-EB005B98AA27

I think they are really good value for the money, there well made,  robust and not at all cheap looking. Personally I think they would be the perfect present for a bookworm who likes something a little bit quirky. I should point the coasters are shipped from the USA but mine arrived within a week of ordering them. As an extra touch you get an ebook of mouthwatering cocktails which you can download. I haven’t had time to try them but I will certainly be trying some of the recipes over Christmas.

78E43C39-FF37-4B4C-8590-3E245D7A6125

I like the fact THE AMYGDALAB is an indie brand and not a mass marketed company, it’s also an highly original idea and I love the story behind the coasters. I will definitely be keeping a look out for other products the trio come up with.

My thanks to Kat and Vali for my bar drink coasters in exchange for an honest and impartial review.

8BB4CCCE-1A20-4711-A206-D59B32A5CB07You can order set here…… Book bar drinks coasters . Don’t forget to use my 20% discount code LorraineR20

B60A445E-8E0A-46AE-BBC2-C93C5D5B89A2

D2A47F82-AA3E-416F-8853-9EB4105AF8B2

I have two sets of the fictional bar coasters to giveaway

**Please note this giveaway is open to UK residents only. I will notify the winner via email within 24 hours of  the giveaway ending. Good luck**

Giveaway ends midnight Sunday 24th November’s, winners will be notified within 48 hours of competition ending. The winner must be following my blog via twitter or my blog. Enter the giveaway here…..Fictional Bar Coasters 🥂🍺🍹🍸

Follow THE AMYGDALAB at………

Blog    

Instagram

 

First Blood by Angela Marsons #BookReview @WriteAngie @Bookouture #BreakingNews #TeamKimStone #FirstBlood #Surprise

E63460A6-FE7A-447A-8B99-BA345D666C7E

Today I’m over the moon to be sharing my review for a very special book…….First Blood by Angela Marsons, it’s the PREQUEL to the Kim Stone crime series!!!!!! “What? How did I not know about this book”? I can hear Angela Marsons fans shouting. Bookouture decided to do something very unusual and keep this book top secret until publication day, (naughty Bookouture, but what a brilliant idea) which means you can grab a copy of this fabulous book right now, but before you head off to get your copy, here’s my review, along with the book description………

562B3AF0-7551-4CCD-8F33-19C598519A4B

In the darkness of a cold December morning, Detective Kim Stone steps through the doors of Halesowen Police Station.  She’s about to meet her team for the first time.  The victim of her next case is about to meet his killer…

When the body of a young man is found beheaded and staked to the ground in a secluded area of the Clent Hills, Kim and her new squad rush to the crime scene.

Searching the victim’s home, Kim discovers a little girl’s bedroom and a hidden laptop.  Why is his sister relieved to hear he’s dead – and where is the rest of his family?  

As Kim begins to unearth the dark secrets at the heart of the case, D.C. Stacey Wood finds a disturbing resemblance to the recent murder of Lester Jackson.  But that’s not all Stacey finds …

She’s convinced there is a link between the victims and a women’s shelter run by Marianne Forbes, Lester’s niece. A child of the care system herself, Kim knows all too well what it means to be vulnerable. Could Marianne be the key to cracking this case?

With the killer about to strike again, Kim is in deep water with a rookie squad.  Inexperienced Stacey is showing signs of brilliance but struggling to hold her nerve and, while D.S. Bryant is reliable and calm, D.S. Dawson is a liability. With his home life in pieces, his volatile behaviour is already fracturing her fragile new team.

Can Kim bring Dawson in line and pull her crew together in time to catch the killer before another life is taken? This time, one of her own could be in terrible danger…

Discover where it all began for Kim and her team. An absolutely heart-stopping mystery thriller that will keep you glued to the pages, reading late into the night.  Perfect for Kim Stone fans and new readers to the million-copy bestselling series.

A detective hiding dark secrets, Kim Stone will stop at nothing to protect the innocent.

7EA954D3-4585-4186-9F44-02A1419B35DC

Oh, my giddy aunt I can’t believe that Angela Marsons has finally written the VERY book I’ve been fantasying about,  First Blood a PREQUEL to the Kim Stone books, yes you read that right!!!!!! Anyone who follows this series will love this book. As a huge fan I’ve watched Kim and her team (and surrogate family) evolve and grow into living, breathing characters. I’ve always wondered about the previous years, and what forces bought  Kim, Bryant, Stacey, and Dawson together, well here Lie all the answers in First Blood the exciting and riveting prequel. **a word of warning** you will struggle to put this book down, forget about eating, drinking, sleeping, and work, this book will consume your every waking moment.

As per Angela Marsons she doesn’t hang about in drawing the reader in, from the promising and shocking prologue to the very last page the author keeps you firmly in her clutches. We first meet Kim as she’s seconded to Halesowen, or rather she’s forced upon them after being transferred from West Bromwich, after a communication issue with a chauvinistic senior officer! Kim’s newly gained  team are full of reservations, about working with her, sadly for Kim her reputation proceeds her, she’s known for being difficult, lacks social skills, and is considered  bloody-minded. 

Their first case together sees them hunting a serial killer, that kills their victims in the most savage way, besides finding a killer, they also have the added challenge of being a new team. It was interesting to see how the dynamics between the team shifted as their strengths  and weaknesses became clear. Bryant is solid and dependable, Stacey is keen and passionate about her work, Dawson ambitious, lazy and rebellious. As for Kim she has to learn to work as part of a team, rather than being a ‘one-man band’, which takes some doing especially when you don’t trust or like people! 

As the plot develops and the team close in on the killer, the book takes a dark turn, one that’s horrifying, and unsettling, and yet you have to read on, racing on to the dramatic conclusion. First Blood is peppered with chapters narrated by an unknown voice, the fury that radiates from these chapters is palatable, It’s seldom I feel any sympathy towards a serial killer in a crime thriller, but Angela Marsons has managed to do just that, I found myself questioning my own moral compass. A small part of me had a small amount of  respect for this killer, even though it conflicts with my own thoughts on murder, at the same time I struggled to summon up any sympathy for the victims. 

As you would expect with any good crime thriller,  it’s very well written (but we’re talking Angela Marsons here, so I expected nothing less, she sure knows how to draw the reader in.  There are more twists and turns than a rollercoaster, the tension ramps out with every turn of the page, there are gory crime scenes (not for the fainthearted), brilliant characters that immediately draw you in, misdirection at every turn. In fact, it’s the perfect crime thriller read. Without a shadow of a doubt Angela Marsons has written another best seller, highly, highly recommended.

What’s on your bookshelf? With #BookBlogger Noelle at Crimebookjunkie @nholten40

65AD1F9D-60BE-4092-8B5D-B6D0AE224CC2

Whoop whoop today not only is it #HumpDay but it’s time for another What’s On Your BookShelf? Post, and I’m so excited to look around the one and only Noelle Holten’s (aka crimebookjunkie) bookshelves.

Noelle was one of the first book bloggers I followed when I started blogging, not only is she one of my favourite bloggers, but she’s also now one of my favourite authors. If you haven’t read her debut novel Dead Inside it’s a Must! Noelle blogs over at https://crimebookjunkie.co.uk/

Now over to Noelle……..

How many bookcases do you have?

I have six bookcases but need another one or two (or four 🙈) to house the books I have in piles around my home. I actually donated twelve bags (those #bagsforlife strong bags) to charity a few months back – I had read those books and thought someone else might enjoy them. 

Approximately how many books are on your book case? 

About 800 … there could be a lot more though 😂😂 and if we include my kindle shelves, well there are about 1000 books there…(some have been read though, I just haven’t organised my kindle to remove them and some are writing reference books) The actual bookshelves I have are filled with books I collect (ie: my Jack The Ripper books), proofs, books I have purchased, signed copies of books purchased and crime theory/practice books. I couldn’t squeeze all the books I have in pictures so sent a few. 

08E8A24A-EC03-4F73-B7FF-1B90F83050E1

What genre do your bookcase mainly comprise of?

Crime fiction (various sub genres); crime theory; true crime; psychological thrillers; philosophy; and a lot of research material or manuals on writing, types of crimes, offender profiling and the like. Basically crime 😂

Which book on your bookcase are you desperate to read?

Again, ALL OF THEM! There is just not enough time in the day and I keep buying more books, even though I get sent ARC’s – sometimes I buy the physical version as well as the kindle as I can struggle to hold a physical book but I love them, so buy the kindle version to read. I definitely want to get back to reading the Lennox series by Craig Russell, so I’m going to say that – final answer! 

0360A0C1-DD69-472D-9440-CE6DC6AC741C

Which book has been sat on your bookcase the longest and you haven’t yet got around to reading? 

I couldn’t even tell you which has been there the longest. There are quite a few I have had for years – and I couldn’t even guess. So I won’t! 😂

Which books are you desperate to add to your bookcase over the next few months?

There are far too many to mention and as I have deadlines now to write/ edit my own series (shameless plug) I’m being really strict! However, I’m looking forward to Martina Cole’s next book out in October and a new, non-Rebus book from Ian Rankin out in November I think! 

58FA77CA-3D48-420E-BD91-AEDDD1AB9F26

If you could only keep one book from your bookcase, which one would you choose? And why? 

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor dostoevski – I read this in highschool and it always stayed with me. Or Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. I’ve read both of these numerous times and enjoy them more each time. 

5D1E209D-1409-46F6-9623-EE155BBB0863

Last question if you could have one author come to your house to borrow a book who would it be and why? 

You’re killing me here! I’d want to invite them all! I just can’t choose one as I am a fan of so many, I’d welcome each and every one of them into my home! And if they end up locked in my basement..well… 🤷‍♀️

About Noelle

DD5850E5-F5E8-49B5-A437-351BCF5E8687

  • I blog at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. I am one of the PR & Social Media Managers for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and was a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. I worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse but left in 2017. I have three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. My hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via my blog.
    Dead Inside is my debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.
    Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:
  • Website: https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk
    Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noelleholtenauthor/
    Blog FB page: https://www.facebook.com/crimebookjunkie/
    Instagram: @crimebookjunkie

40077D5A-3490-4707-9A2B-9C86DB4E9072

My thanks to Noelle for answering my question and for the use of her personal photographs.

If you are a book blogger and would like to take part in this feature, the more the merrier. I’m hoping to make it a long running feature and looking for more bloggers to take part in 2020. Please email me at thebookreviewcafe.mail.com or leave a comment below. Many thanks 

Violet by SJI Holliday #BookReview @SJIHolliday @OrendaBooks #Violet #BookHangoverAward

Today I’m sharing my review for Violet by SJI Holliday, Violet is published by the fabulous Orenda Books. What I love about this publishers books is the fact no two books are the same or even similar in plot. Read on for my thoughts about Violet but first the book description…….

28FB1407-EE55-484E-ABBC-41CB4F76FB66

When two strangers end up sharing a cabin on the Trans-Siberian Express, an intense friendship develops, one that can only have one ending … a nerve-shattering psychological thriller from bestselling author SJI Holliday

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

Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend in Thailand. She is also desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available.

When the two women meet in a Beijing Hotel, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet to take her best friend’s place.

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

A tense and twisted psychological thriller about obsession, manipulation and toxic friendships, Violet also reminds us that there’s a reason why mother told us not to talk to strangers…

AC8C90CE-C6EF-4E6D-B464-351E4DABC600

Oh, how I loved Violet by SJI Holliday, what an intense, psychological thriller this novel turned out to be. Sometimes strangers come into our life’s, and it seems like fate, they become friends, a confidant, someone who we will feel better for knowing,  this appears to be the case for Violet and Carrie when they meet by chance in a Beijing Hotel. On impulse Carrie invites Violet to take the place of her friend and accompany her on the Trans-Siberian Express. The more sensible amongst us would think twice, after all you have to take a stranger at face value, how do we  know they are who they say they are? they could be an axe murderer or drug trafficker, but both girls are young, living for the moment, the worlds their oyster and where we perceive danger they see adventure! So we the reader accompany them on their journey aboard the Trans Siberian Express, a journey that darkens with every country that passes. 

This story tale is narrated from Violets POV, the ‘wary’ part of me immediately went on high alert, there was something about Violets story that set alarm bells ringing, her story seemed to have a lot of holes, she skirts certain subjects, and there was always a niggling feeling that she was keeping something back, she came across as being very intense and a little bit creepy. There are also sporadic emails from Carrie sent to her best friend Laura, she shares her inner thoughts and feelings, these could easily be dismissed as ramblings but it’s only later you realise there importance. SJL Halliday expertly allows each of her characters to raise suspicion in the reader’s head, whose telling the truth? Violet? Carrie? Or neither? 

The parent in me wanted to shake Violet and Carrie so intent are they at ‘having the time of their life’ they take unnecessary risks with their own safety, drugs, drink, talking to strangers, but maybe all the time danger lays much close to home!  To begin with Violet and Carrie’s new found friendship seems to thrive, but as their journey progresses, it turns into something much more intense, it begins to feel uncomfortable, it’s a friendship that’s based on manipulation and obsession, it’s one that’s toxic in its making, this adds a darkness to the story, along with a growing sense of dread. 

The attention to detail in this book is evident, SJI Holliday writes in such a descriptive way, it’s easy to conjure up images of the country’s the two girls visit, the atmosphere, the train journey, and the people they meet along the way. There are so many psychological thrillers on the market, it’s difficult to find one that stands out from the crowd, but Violet does just that, and for all the right reasons it’s deliciously dark, slightly creepy, with unreliable characters. It’s a book that will keep you guessing until the devious author decides to reveal all. Exquisitely written, Violet makes for an all-consuming read, one that begs to be read in one hugely satisfying sitting. Highly recommended 

Yes you’ve guessed it I’m giving Violet my shiny Book hangover award, 

What criteria does a book need to meet to win this award?

It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.

F0E1C6C5-958E-4490-A9FD-C768CE59E80E

  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (14 Sept. 2019)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review. 

B5B7B73B-AA88-4014-97FA-906564A8FE9A

The Child Of Auschwitz by Lily Graham #BookReview #BlogTour @lilygrahambooks @Bookouture #HistoricalFiction

Today I’m on the blog tour for The Child Of Auschwitz by Lily Graham, not my normal kind of read by any means, but I do like to mix up my genres once in a blue moon. Before I share my review here’s the book description…..

F4F01F50-7A0B-40CD-8F54-380A0FD4AEC0

She touched the photograph in its gilt frame that was always on her desk, of a young, thin woman with very short hair and a baby in her arms. She had one last story to tell. Theirs. And it began in hell on earth.’

It is 1942 and Eva Adami has boarded a train to Auschwitz. Barely able to breathe due to the press of bodies and exhausted from standing up for two days, she can think only of her longed-for reunion with her husband Michal, who was sent there six months earlier.

But when Eva arrives at Auschwitz, there is no sign of Michal and the stark reality of the camp comes crashing down upon her. As she lies heartbroken and shivering on a thin mattress, her head shaved by rough hands, she hears a whisper. Her bunkmate, Sofie, is reaching out her hand…As the days pass, the two women learn each other’s hopes and dreams – Eva’s is that she will find Michal alive in this terrible place, and Sofie’s is that she will be reunited with her son Tomas, over the border in an orphanage in Austria. Sofie sees the chance to engineer one last meeting between Eva and Michal and knows she must take it even if means befriending the enemy…

But when Eva realises she is pregnant she fears she has endangered both their lives. The women promise to protect each other’s children, should the worst occur. For they are determined to hold on to the last flower of hope in the shadows and degradation: their precious children, who they pray will live to tell their story when they no longer can.

A heart-breaking story of survival, where life or death relies on the smallest chance and happiness can be found in the darkest times. Fans of The Choice and The Tattooist of Auschwitz will fall in love with this beautiful novel.

34FA6CF4-0775-4F92-83B2-6B152AE81374

This is the first book I have read by Lily Graham,  I feel it’s improper to say I enjoyed a book based on an appalling time in history, but I found it to be a compelling read. It’s exquisitely written, a bittersweet tale, which recounts the story of Eva, one of thousands of women held captive in the death camp Auschwitz. The story shifts between two timelines, when Eva and Michael first met, and the troubling times that led up to the war and persecution of Jews,  and the second focuses on Eva’s time at Auschwitz, and her search for Michael, and the birth of their child. The Child Of Auschwitz is a remarkable tale of endurance, love and friendship, and the worse and best of humanity. 

The novel is set against the harrowing backdrop of Auschwitz, personally I think any author who uses a concentration camp as a location hasn’t chosen an easy path. When ever I pick up a fictional book about this location, I always worry an author won’t be able to get the balance right, I generally find Auschwitz has been used as a setting to shock and sell books, and lack empathy for the real victims of Auschwitz, or the story overshadows just how horrifying these concentrations camps were. I think Lily Graham manages to get the balance right; she doesn’t shy away from describing the severe conditions or the cruel treatment of Eva and her fellow prisoners, but neither is this her primary focus, it’s very much  a character driven novel about friendship, lost, survival and hope.  

It was heartwarming to see the developing friendship between Eva and Sophie blossom, a friendship so deep that they willing forego their own moral compass to help each other through sickness and starvation. When Eva gave birth my heart broke, It’s almost impossible to imagine that babies were born in Auschwitz let alone survived, their mothers experienced a life of starvation, forced labour, and infectious diseases, which hardly gave these innocent infants the best start in life. I found this read incredibly sad as fact blended with fiction, at other times my heart lifted at the strength, determination and camaraderie between the prisoners shone through. 

The Child Of Auschwitz is a reminder that even in the darkest of places its possible to find happiness,  it may be only have been for a few seconds, before it crumbled to dust, but it was moments like this that gave prisoners hope and the will to survive.  Whilst reading The Child Of Auschwitz I found it difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction, Eva’s story could be any number of women who had the misfortune to end up in Auschwitz in fact the story was inspired by Vera Bein who gave birth during her time in Auschwitz. The Child Of Auschwitz is a moving story that’s emotive, horrifying, and heartbreaking, you can’t help but think of the millions of prisoners who suffered, and died in the concentration camps. Highly recommended to those who enjoy historical fiction

  • Print Length: 149 pages
  • Publisher: Bookouture (8 Nov. 2019)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

CA44E74F-B4D7-442D-BCEF-E7AF8C4E1DB3

149C92F0-7BBF-459F-93BC-57967171AB65

Lily Graham grew up in South Africa, and is a former journalist. She lives now in the Suffolk coast with her husband and English bulldog, Fudge.

She is the author of six novels, published by Bookouture, including the bestselling, The Paris Secret and The Island Villa. 

Her latest novel The Child of Auschwitz published 8th November 2019 by digital publishers Bookouture.

My thanks to Kim Nash and Bookouture for my ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Follow the blog tour………

9BA9F008-7699-478E-9BD4-5647505E98FE

What’s on your bookshelf? With #BookBlogger Sarah Hardy at bytheletterbookreviews @sarahhardy681

65AD1F9D-60BE-4092-8B5D-B6D0AE224CC2
Woohoo it’s Wednesday not only is it #HumpDay but it’s also time to share another What’s on your bookshelf? post.
Today I’m thrilled to welcome one of my favourite bloggers on the planet to the book review café, THE Sarah Hardy, book blogger extraordinaire at Bytheletterbookreviews and book blog tour organiser at Book On The Bright Side. I’m sure you already follow Sarah’s blog, but if you don’t, it’s a MUST! I hope you enjoy reading Sarah’s post, and I have to say after seeing her photos I have serious bookshelf #Envy 😂. So without further ado over to Sarah……..

Hi Sarah how many bookcases do you have?

Technically two and a half, which you can see from the picture. There is still room luckily for a few more books yet and then comes the hard part of what to keep and what to get rid off as hubby has put his foot down that, that’s all the book space I can have. I could of course just get rid of him instead. I do also have around twenty books on two shelves in my bedroom which I have still to read all of them. There is also a work desk which has around another thirty odd books on the shelves but was a bit embarrassed to take a picture as not the tidest of work spaces lol. So can understand the hubby’s reluctance at making anymore room for them.
832C7F3B-3852-43CF-925B-5B389566008A
Approximately how many books are on your bookcase?
I have no idea how many books I have. I could of course, include my kindle and it would be probably running over a thousand but physical, at a guess, Maybe two hundred. I wouldn’t swear on that though.
What genre does your bookcase mainly comprise of?
Definitely crime/thrillers are the main genre on my shelves. My all time favourite genre is psychological thrillers. I do read mainly on my Kindle now a days and love getting books signed by authors for books i’ve already read and then pop them on my shelves next to the other signed ones. Getting quite a collection now.
1AB82108-E568-448D-868C-DC6C6A772439
Which book on your bookcase are you desperate to read?
The most desperate book is probably The Talking Of Annie Thorne by C.J. Tudor. Har last book, The Chalk Man I had sat on my book case for over two years before reading it and so far this one has been there for over a year and hearing yet again so many great things, I know I really need to get round to reading it soon.
2A5B063C-729E-4F62-9503-37BAAE164E3D
Which book has been sat on your bookcase the longest and you haven’t yet got around to reading?
So ashamed with how long this one has been sat here for but it’s Far From True by Linwood Barclay. I got a signed copy at Theakstons crime writing fesitval in Harrogate in July 2016. I have only just recently read Elevator Pitch by the author which I loved and that is actually the first book I have read by him. I bought this copy after hearing so many great things and also my wonderful Harrogate room mate, Joanne Robertson over at My Chestnut Reading Tree, won a competition to have afternoon tea with the author and she very kindly took me as her plus one. Such a lovely man and I have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to his books.
00EDE3AA-47C1-44BB-9A3F-D1EC31C4ECA2
Which books are you desperate to add to your bookcase over the next few months?
Definitely a signed copy of Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza. I am a huge fan of his books. The crime ones as well as the wonderful Coco Pinchard series. I have them all and each one signed. Even the one that he co wrote with his husband which I got them both to sign another year at the Theakstons Crime Writing Festival. Also can’t wait to add Dead Wrong by Noelle Holten which is the second book in the brilliant Maggie Jamieson crime series. Very excited about this series.
If you could only keep one book from your bookcase, which one would you choose? And why?
Ooh, that is a very tough question. It’s like asking me which is my favourite child. As it’s been my top read of 2019 though, I would have to say my proof copy of Nine Elms. Definitely my most outstanding read this year.
F23EB395-FBEA-4CB0-92C6-2956B0D6DAD9
Last question if you could have one author come to your house to borrow a book who would it be and why?
If you hadn’t already gathered, it would have to be Robert Bryndza. He is such a lovely guy and I love all his books. i would only let him borrow one though if he gave me a sneak preview of his next book. That would only be fair wouldn’t it?

About Sarah

5046E71D-9CD1-466D-8DAB-5B49565F9095

Sarah is a wife, mum to two, as well as her two fur babies, Bailey and Woody. She lives in West Yorkshire where she works from home. Through her love of books, she also set up her own book blog, By The Letter Book Reviews, which will have been going 5 years next year.

My thanks to Sarah for answering my question and for the use of her personal photographs.

If you are a book blogger and would like to take part in this feature, the more the merrier as I’m hoping to make it a long running feature. Please email me at thebookreviewcafe.mail.com or leave a comment below. Many thanks