#Giveaway The Friend by Dorothy Koomson

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Today I have a very special Giveaway I’m offering one lucky reader the chance to win a hardback copy of The Friend by Dorothy Koomson and a very special letter from the author herself written on seeded paper, you basically put the paper in compost, water it and watch the seeds from the paper grow into a bunch of flowers 🌸🌼🌻💐how brilliant is that? Before  I give you details on how to enter here’s the book description for you

Book description

What secret would you kill to keep?
After her husband’s big promotion, Cece Solarin arrives in Brighton with their three children, ready to start afresh. But their new neighbourhood has a deadly secret. Three weeks earlier, Yvonne, a very popular parent, was almost murdered in the grounds of the local school – the same school where Cece has unwittingly enrolled her children.
Already anxious about making friends when the parents seem so cliquey, Cece is now also worried about her children’s safety. By chance she meets Maxie, Anaya and Hazel, three very different school mothers who make her feel welcome and reassure her about her new life. That is until Cece discovers the police believe one of her new friends tried to kill Yvonne. Reluctant to spy on her friends but determined to discover the truth, Cece must uncover the potential murderer before they strike again . . .

Hardcover: 480 pages

Publisher: Century (1 Jun. 2017)

Link to buy: Amazon UK 🇬🇧
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Unfortunately this competition is open to UK residents only due to postage costs. The winner of this giveaway will be notified within 24 hours of competition ending. Competition ends midnight 29th June 2017 

Enter to win a beautifully wrapped hardback copy of The Friend and the seeded paper here………. http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/86b4d40512/?

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My thanks to the publishers Century and Dorothy Koomson for sending me this fabulous #Giveaway

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne #BookReview @KarenDionne

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Book description

‘I was born two years into my mother’s captivity. She was three weeks shy of seventeen. If I had known then what I do now, things would have been a lot different. I wouldn’t have adored my father.’

When notorious child abductor – known as the Marsh King – escapes from a maximum security prison, Helena immediately suspects that she and her two young daughters are in danger.

No one, not even her husband, knows the truth about Helena’s past: they don’t know that she was born into captivity, that she had no contact with the outside world before the age of twelve – or that her father raised her to be a killer.

And they don’t know that the Marsh King can survive and hunt in the wilderness better than anyone… except, perhaps his own daughter.

img_1258What a year 2017 is turning out to be, there have been some truly outstanding thrillers published this year and I was convinced I had read the best in this genre and then along came The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne. Oh my oh my what a book, this one is definitely going to be one of the top books of summer 2017 and it’s one that’s immediately gone on my top reads of 2017.

Helena had the best time and the most horrifying time growing up, daughter of a child abductor she spent the first twelve years of her life in captivity, raised to be a hunter everything her father teaches her has a disturbing purpose. Fast forward a few years and Helena is married with children living a fairly normal life, that is until her father the aptly named Marsh King escapes from prison and what follows is a heart pounding and throughly compelling read.

From the opening chapter the author grabbed my attention, this novel is beautifully written with breath taking descriptions of the marsh lands, a place that despite the wilderness felt claustrophobic. Poor Helena what a wonderful and complex character she is, The Marsh King is not purely a figure of evil, to Helene he’s a father, the man who taught her to fish and to hunt, but there is always an undertone of darkness and something very sinister about The Marsh King’s parental skills. The story alternates between the present as Helena hunts for her escaped father, and the past when they lived alone in the marshlands. The author moves deftly between the two time lines and I found myself equally fascinated by both.

Each chapter starts with a part of the The Marsh King’s Daughter fairytale by Hans Christian Anderson, as we all know some of the best fairy tales are also the scariest and as the story relates to Helena’s own life it adds to the overwhelming sense of foreboding that radiates from the pages of this novel.
Expertly plotted and wonderfully written this novel made for haunting and compelling read, it’s one of those books that just begs to be read in one satisfying sitting. This is one book I will be recommending to anyone and everybody.

I’m sure it will come as no surprise to hear I’m giving The Marsh King’s Daughter the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic 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.

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Buying links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 322 pages

Publisher: Sphere (13 Jun. 2017)

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**Blog Tour** Exquisite by Sarah Stovell @Orendabooks @Sarahlovescrime #BookReview

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Today I’m absolutely thrilled to be on the blog tour for Exquisite by Sarah Stovall which is published by one of my favourite publisher on the planet Orenda Books. I seem to have been waiting forever to share my review of this throughly gripping novel which I read a few months back. My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda books and Anne Cater for allowing me to be part of this awesome book blog tour.

Book description

Bo Luxton has it all—a loving family, a beautiful home in the Lake District, and a clutch of bestselling books to her name. Enter Alice Dark, an aspiring writer who is drifting through life, with a series of dead-end jobs and a freeloading boyfriend. When they meet at a writers’ retreat, the chemistry is instant, and a sinister relationship develops. Or does it?

Breathlessly pacey, taut and terrifying, Exquisite is a startlingly original and unbalancing psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last page

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Oh my goodness I’ve thought long and hard about my review for this book and I’m not convinced I can do this book justice, it’s just one of those books that takes your breath away, it’s such an unique psychological thriller that I’m positive this book will haunt me for weeks to come. After I read Exquisite by Sarah Stovell I looked up the definition Exquisite: of special beauty or charm, or rare and appealing excellence, as a face, a flower, colouring, music, or poetry, or in this case a book because the definition actually sums up this book perfectly, beautifully written, superb characterisation, twisted but compelling, without a shadow of doubt this book has gone straight onto my top reads of 2017.

Bo Luxton is a successful mature author, married with a two young daughters and appears to have the perfect life. Alice Dark is a young aspiring writer who is the polar opposite to Bo she’s young, with no direction and her life appears to be a mess. When the two women meet on a Creative Writing course a sinister relationship develops between the pair. As the plot develops It soon becomes apparent that both characters are very troubled souls, what follows is one of the most perfectly twisted and intense books I’ve read in a long time.

Exquisite is the perfect example of a psychological thriller, the author deftly draws the reader in, but throughout you are trying to work out which of the two characters are the more reliable narrator and even when I had finished this book, I still wasn’t sure who was telling the truth, but it certainly made for a gripping read. This book is very much character led and the author has done a superb job, so much so the characters come to life, they may not be the most likeable characters I’ve come across but I won’t be forgetting either of them in a hurry that’s for sure.

Throughout the book there is an undercurrent of rage, manipulation and madness which add layer upon layer of trepidation, you just can’t help wondering where the plot is heading, leaving the reader with a constant sense of foreboding. There is no doubt in my mind that Sarah Stovell has written a very accomplished psychological thriller its deliciously dark, highly addictive and it’s definitely one of those books you will struggle to put down.

Links to buy:      Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

Exquisite by Sarah Stovell was published by Orenda Books in paperback on 15 June 2017.

About the author

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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, is set in the Lake District.

 

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**Weekly Wrap Up**

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Another week gone and I managed to read two books which I’m  happy about one was the top secret ARC I mentioned in last weeks post, my lips remained tightly shut for now but when I can share you will be the first to know until then…..🤐🤐🤐

Books I read this week

 

 

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter I’m a huge fan of this author but I won’t be sharing my review just yet as I’m saving it until Monday 17th July when it’s my stop on the blog tour.

What I’m hoping to read next week

Beneath The Surface by Sibel Hodge

Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel

Books I bought this week

I know I said I was on a self imposed book ban until my NetGalley pile had decreased, but in my defence it’s an Ebook so in my world that doesn’t count, although the lovely Dee over at http://www.noveldeelights.com was quick to point out that it does! I’ve always been a rebel  😂😂

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Book description

The heat of the Florida summer is relentless. Lucas is coasting to retirement in a mundane Florida police precinct. His world falls apart when a brutal serial killer codenamed Mechanic lands on his patch.

Three years ago they thought Mechanic was dead. But Mechanic is very much alive and the savage ritualistic murders continue. No family is safe from the threat of slaughter at this sadistic killer’s hands.

Mechanic is always one step ahead and Lucas is forced to operate outside the law.

Who can he trust?

The shocking truth is more terrifying than Lucas could ever imagine … and he has to put his life on the line to get it.

ARC’s I received this week

Ooopps I popped over to NetGalley to leave a review and some how managed to “click” on a couple of books, so there goes my 84% 🙈(Holds head in shame)

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Book description

How do you catch a killer who knows your every move?

She drew the curtains and returned to the kitchen where she removed the bottle of vodka from the freezer and reached for the large kitchen knife. If he dared to come back, she’d be ready for him.

When a body is found hanging in the remains of a dock-side warehouse, Detective Kate Matthews is called to the scene. Recently transferred following the death of a colleague, Kate is yet to see a successful prosecution over the line. But this won’t be an easy win…

Someone is watching her: leaving her clues in her home, taunting her to throw the case and threatening the life of her little girl.

As more bodies begin to surface and Kate’s stalker closes in, her instincts tell her that there is a link hidden among the victims’ missing pieces. This is a killer with a message and Kate must race against the clock to solve his twisted riddle.

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Book description

How far is too far when it comes to protecting your marriage? Find out in this relentlessly paced novel of psychological suspense.

“Gripping, thought-provoking, and irresistible.”—Dean Koontz

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . .

Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples.

And then one of them breaks the rules.

The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule.

For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

Last week on the book review café

#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Sean aka Seansbookreviews @seantalbot1977 | The Book Review Café
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/06/22/%ef%bb%bftopfivethursday-with-bookblogger-sean-aka-seansbookreviews-seantalbot1977/

The Detriment by David Videcette #BookReview @DavidVidecette | The Book Review Café
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/06/21/the-detriment-by-david-videcette-bookreview-davidvidecette/

The Betrayed by Casey Kelleher #BookReview @CaseyKelleher @Bookouture | The Book Review Café
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/06/20/the-betrayed-by-casey-kelleher-bookreview-caseykelleher-bookouture/

**Blog Tour** The Woman In The Wood by Lesley Pearse @LesleyPearse #LoveLesley #BookReview | The Book Review Café
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/06/19/blog-tour-the-woman-in-the-wood-by-lesley-pearse-lesleypearse-lovelesley-bookreview/

Next week on the book review café

**Blog tour** Exquisite by Sarah Stovall #Bookreview

**Blog tour**  Wolves In The Dark by Gunnar Staalesen

The Marsh Kings Daughter byKaren Dionne #Bookreview

My book of the month

#Giveaway

 

 

#TopFiveThursday with #BookBlogger Sean aka Seansbookreviews @seantalbot1977

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Today I’m thrilled to have Sean answer my #TopFiveThursday questions, not only does he run an awesome blog http://seansbookreviews.wordpress.com but he’s also the second male to take part in this feature, so a huge thank you to Sean for participating. There really are some great book blogs out there run by men, but either they are very shy or they just hate this feature😂😂.

Back to Sean who mostly reviews crime thrillers  and fantasy books if you like honest and to the point reviews (rather unlike my own🙈), then Sean’s your man, why not pop over and take a look once you’ve read his answers to #TopFiveThursday of course!

Top 5 books you read in 2016?

What a great question and one that has been hard to answer

Think of the children by Kerry Wilkinson

Play dead by angela marsons

The witness by Caroline Mitchell

The opticians wife by Betsey reavley

Last to die by Arlene hunt

 

 

Top 5 authors you think everyone should read?

Charlottes web by E B White

In Plain Sight by MA Comley

Flying in place by Susan Palwick

Arrows of the queen by Mercedes Lackey

Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

Top 5 books you want to read in 2017?

That’s very hard but the ones I keep looking at are the following authors

Mel comley I know she is has another hero book coming out

The serial killers daughter by Lesley welsh

2nd book of Jake Boulder due out this year by Graham Smith

The Detriment by David Videcette

Family Spies by Mercedes Lackey which is due out in October

Top 5 blogging tips that you would give to new bloggers?

Keep things simple

Always use images to make your blog pop

Don’t put direct links to goodreads reviews

Write to your strength

Have fun

Top 5 book blogs you follow? 

Noelle @ https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk

Sarah @ https://bytheletterbookreviews.wordpress.com

Kim @ http://www.kimthebookworm.co.uk

Emma @ http://www.emmathelittlebookworm.wordpress.com

Shell @ http://chellesbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

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I’m Sean an avid reader who spans many different genres.
I started out with Mystery novels but progressed to Fantasy and stayed reading only fantasy for almost 20 years. I now will read almost anything at least once as I want to get the most out of my reading pleasure. Currently I am reading a lot of Crime or Thriller style books but I still read the occasional fantasy especially from some of my all time favourite authors.

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Links:

http://seansbookreviews.wordpress.com

Twitter: @seantalbot1977

The Detriment by David Videcette #BookReview @DavidVidecette

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Book description

June 2007: a barbaric nail bomb is planted outside a London nightclub, a spy is found dead in his garden, and a blazing Jeep is driven into Glasgow airport. Three events bound by an earth-shattering connection that should have remained buried forever.

From the author of the The Theseus Paradox, the smash-hit 7/7 thriller based on true events, comes the sequel about a real-life mystery that threatens to destroy a nation. Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan must uncover how a series of astonishing events are inextricably linked, before the past closes in on him.

img_1258Ever since I read The Theseus Paradox I’ve been eagerly anticipating the second book in the Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan series. Sometimes when I anticipate great things for a novel I can be left disappointed, but I’m thrilled to report if anything The Detriment takes this series to a whole new level, it’s the definition of a “thriller”,with terrorism, murder, secrets and corruption at the heart of the story this novel made for a fast paced, explosive read.

Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan now here’s a character who intrigues me, his peers consider him to be a loose cannon, a detective whose a liability and takes unnecessary risks, and his personal life is complicated to say the least, but as the author digs deeper into Jake’s behaviour you  realise this is a man on the edge, whose seen and experienced terrible things and it’s only now his emotions are are beginning to surface which make him a very credible protagonist. 

The Detriment opens with a car bomb outside a London night club and what follows makes for a very intense and satisfying read.  I found myself reluctant to put this book down as I was eager to see how all the threads to this rivetting tale would piece together. There were so many elements of this tale that I enjoyed and amid it all there is controversy that will leave you questioning Jake’s decisions, he certainly doesn’t have an easy ride in this novel!

What I really love about David Videcette’s writing is the fact not only do his novels make for a very original and compelling read, but as The Detriment is based on real real life events  mixed with fiction you can’t help but wonder how much of this novel is actual fiction , the whole tale is just far too chillingly credible. Would I recommend this book? I most certainly would, especially if you are looking for a thriller that’s highly original and jam packed with intrigue and suspense.

Print Length: 358 pages

Publisher: Videcette Limited (29 Jun. 2017)

Pre-order kindle links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

Pre-order paperback:    Bookdepository with free delivery world wide

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About David Videcette

A former Scotland Yard investigator with twenty years’ policing experience, including counter-terror operations and organised crime, David was a lead detective on the 7/7 London bombings investigation.

He’s been awarded several police commendations, including one for outstanding detective work and perseverance which led to his discovery of a 7/7 bomb factory during Operation Theseus.

Links to the author:  Authors Books     Website    Twitter     Facebook     LinkedIn

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The Betrayed by Casey Kelleher #BookReview @CaseyKelleher @Bookouture

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Book description

Those closest to you don’t stab you in the back. Do they?

Jimmy Byrne is one of the biggest faces on the Soho scene. Equally feared and respected, he’s clawed his way to the top. Money is his game, and he’ll make it by any means necessary.

When Jimmy sets his sights on shy young Colleen Walsh, she is quickly seduced by his sweet words and the life of luxury he offers her. But behind the diamonds and fur coats lies the reality of gangland violence – and by the time she realises the truth, she’s already in too deep.

Like her father, Jimmy Byrne, Nancy Byrne is strong, opinionated – and ruthless. But when Jimmy is murdered. Nancy vows to find the killer and make them pay for their actions.

Only the perpetrator is someone close to home. Someone she trusted. Someone who betrayed them all.

Blood is thicker than water – but Nancy is not afraid to spill some to get the truth.

img_1258Hells bells Casey Kelleher certainly knows how to drag the reader in with a shocker of a first chapter,  this pretty much sets the tone for this gripping book. Spattered with choice language The Betrayed isn’t one I would recommend to the faint hearted there’s lots of swearing and I mean lots! but it’s very much in keeping with the plot and characters. If you enjoy what I personally call “Grit lit”, a story full of violence, treachery and family ties then look no further, this book has all this and so much more.

A lot of the characters in this novel could be seen as your typical stereotypes In a novel of this genre, fortunately for the reader Casey Kelleher has the ability to make her characters standout, love them or hate you certainly won’t forget them! From the ruthless gangster Jimmy, the shy and innocent Colleen who isn’t prepared for the life of a gangsters wife, to the sharp witted Edel who made me laugh out loud with her “one liners” you can’t help but become immersed in their gritty story.

I love a dysfunctional family and the Byrne’s certainly fit the description perfectly, they are a family whose life’s are built on lies, violence and betrayal which you know is going to lead to a whole host of trouble, what follows is a brutal and explosive story, one that I found impossible to put down even for a few minutes.

The Betrayed is a novel that pulls no punches, the authors ability to portray the viciousness of the criminal world made for a gripping read. I would have loved this book to have been longer because it really was so good, I’m really hoping there is going to be a sequel to The Betrayed and if not there really should be. Would I recommend this book? It’s a huge “yes” from me, this is Casey Kelleher best book yet without a shadow of a  doubt.

Pre-order links:     Amazon UK 🇬🇧        Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 328 pages
Publisher: Bookouture (June 21, 2017)