**Blog Tour** The Lighterman by Simon Michael #AuthorInterview @simonmichaeluk @urbanebooks #Giveaway

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I’m delighted to have been invited to take part in Simon Michael’s blog tour to celebrate the launch of The Lighterman, the third in his series of 1960s London thrillers featuring barrister antihero Charles Holborne. The Lighterman is published by Urbane Books and was released on the 8th June 2017. 

Matthew over at Urbane Books has kindly given me a paperback copy of The Lighterman as a giveaway, you will find the details on how to enter at the bottom of this post.

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imageThe first two novels in your series, The Brief and An Honest Man, both take place over the space of a few weeks in the early 1960s, but in The Lighterman you go back in time even further, to the 1940s. Why did you do that? Did you always intend to write historical thrillers?

As the series has progressed I have come to know Charles much better. Although when I wrote The Brief I knew he was an East End boy made good and he had been in a bit of trouble with the law in his past, as the series progressed what was a line drawing filled out to become a more three-dimensional portrait in my head. I began to understand his family dynamics better, his psychology, his hang-ups. There’s a major reveal coming in Book 4, and I wanted my readers to understand and believe in it. That entails revealing some of what happened to Charles as a teenager, which takes us back to 1940 and the Blitz. I also have a deeper understanding of how plot and character grow out of the fertile soil of place and history. People have commented that London has become an integral part of the stories; I would go further: I think London is a character in the series in its own right.
So, to answer your question simply, in one sense all stories are “historical” in that all characters have a background and past which dictate how they act in the present. If you want to create real characters, they can’t just arrive on the page in the present moment.

For someone who has his own particular moral code, Charles does a lot of lawbreaking in The Lighterman! Aren’t you worried that some of your readers will dislike him?

The reviews seem to suggest that the aspect of the series which appeals most to readers is Charles’s personality. My favourite, from one woman reviewer, is that she thinks she is “a little bit in love with Charles Holborne”. So I realise it’s very important not to make Charles dislikeable. At the same time, it’s his flaws that make him interesting. He went through the War, lived rough on the Blitzed streets, and grew up in an era when women with careers were oddities, men were expected to be the breadwinners and they weren’t supposed to speak about “feelings”. On top of that Charles has been damaged, and he carries that damage into his relationships with women. But as long as the reader sees that he is trying to overcome his deficiencies, that he’s essentially “a good guy” – even one who makes mistakes – I think (hope!) readers will see him as a complete person. As for his lawbreaking, he does it to save lives and to protect the innocent from the machinations of corrupt and venal men with power. I think most readers will forgive that.

You have mentioned Book 4. How many more are there to be in the series?

Charles is involved in a long-running battle with the Kray twins. They didn’t go to prison until 1968 and left a legacy that lasted some years after that. So I have at least a further five years to cover, and the undermining of The Establishment which occurred during the late 60s is a fascinating period in its own right. Books 4 and 5 are part-written. My guess is that there are at least another four books to come, but we shall see.

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About the author

Simon Michael is the author of the best-selling London 1960s noir gangster series featuring his antihero barrister, Charles Holborne. Simon writes from personal experience: he was a barrister for 37 years and worked in the Old Bailey and other criminal courts defending and prosecuting a wide selection of murderers, armed robbers, con artists and other assorted villainy during what was often considered the “Wild West” of British justice. The 1960s was a time when the Krays and the Richardsons and other violent gangs fought for control of London’s organised crime, and the corrupt Metropolitan Police beat up suspects, twisted the evidence and took their share of the criminal proceeds. Simon weaves into his thrillers genuine court documents from cases on which he worked and the big stories of the 1960s.

Simon was a successful author in the 1980s, published here and in the USA, and returned to writing when he retired from the Bar in 2016. The first two books in the Charles Holborne series, THE BRIEF published in September 2015 and AN HONEST MAN published in July 2016, have both garnered rave reviews for their authenticity and excitement. The theme of Simon’s books is alienation; Holborne, who dabbled in crime and in serious violence before becoming a barrister, is an outsider both in the East End where he grew up and in the Temples of the law where he now practices, where he faces daily class and religious prejudice. He has been compared to Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe and Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade, honourable men surrounded by corruption and violence, trying to steer an honest course.

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Links: Website   Blog     Facebook     Twitter    Goodreads    Amazon Author Page

Book Trailer Facebook 

 

Book description

The Lighterman is the third book in the bestselling series of legal thrillers starring barrister Charles Holborne. Simon Michael’s follow up to the bestselling The Brief and An Honest Man, continues the adventures of criminal barrister Charles Holborne.

When Charles Holborne’s cousin, Izzy, is accused of murder, Charles must dig up the secrets of the past to defend him. But brutal gangland leader Ronnie Kray will stop at nothing to get his revenge on Charles for the events of An Honest Man. Can Charles save his cousin…and his own life?

Simon Michael brings the past vividly back to life across a beautifully rendered 60s landscape, and delivers a gripping piece of thriller fiction that will excite any fan of the Britcrime genre.

Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

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I have one paperback copy of The Lighterman by Simon Michael, unfortunately this is open to UK residents only. Winner will be notified within 24 hours of winning. To enter just leave a comment in the post telling me which era you would loved to have been part of?

All entries will be put into a hat and I will get the ever suffering Mr book review cafe to pick a winner.

You can follow the rest of the tour…..

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**Blog Tour** Vile City by Jennifer Lee Thomson #AuthorQ&A @jenthom72 @caffeinenights @TAsTPublicity

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I do love a good twisty crime thriller and so I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for Vile City by Jennifer Lee Thomson.  I haven’t had the time to read this one yet,  but it definitely sounds like my kind of read, and it’s on my TBR pile of crime thrillers, in the meantime I’m thrilled to have Q & A with Jennifer Lee Thomson.  

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Where did the idea for Vile City come from?

For Vile City I was walking through Glasgow city centre with my partner when we took a short cut down an alleyway to avoid the crowds. It was the middle of the day yet so spooky that I thought imagine coming down this way at night alone. So I created Shelley Craig who goes down that very alleyway to find her boyfriend who was answering the call of nature. She gets worried when he hasn’t come back and discovers him unconscious on the pavement. That’s when she’s grabbed.

What was the hardest part of writing vile city?

My main character Shelley Craig makes a decision in Vile City that I really don’t agree with, but as an author of fiction the characters make the decisions not you as the author.

Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals?

I write in the early hours of the morning. I can sit for seven hours straight writing without taking a break. I read out my writing and act bits out. Crazy, but it works.

Have you always wanted to be an author, and when did you first realise you wanted to write?

I’ve been writing stories since I was a wee girl and used to keep a diary. My professional writing career started when I was 15 and wrote an article on superstitions for a girl’s magazine called Jackie.

Do you write an outline before you start writing?

I start with an idea and see where it goes. I ask myself what if this happened? I don’t plan – I find that boring. If I want readers not to see what’s coming next, I have to keep the same mystery for myself.
You have published books under three different names including Jennifer Thomson and Jenny Thomson why three names? 

I write under different names to distinguish between my different books. My self-help books on bullying, living cruelty free and dog care are written as Jennifer Thomson. My fiction is as Jenny Thomson. Vile City and the rest of the books in the Vile City series, as well as my subsequent fiction will be written under Jennifer Lee Thomson in tribute to my late dad who passed away after a long battle with cancer. He always wanted me to use my full birth name.

How did you come to get published by Caffeine nights?

They publish one of my favourite writers, horror writer Shaun Hutson and when I saw they published crime novels I thought I’d submit Vile City. The publisher liked the outline and asked to see some sample chapters. I was delighted when six weeks later they got in touch to say they liked the book and wanted to publish it.

What do you think makes a good story?

Great characters and a fast moving plot. I hate overlong description and think most readers do too. I always skip it.

Can you describe Vile City in five words? 

Gritty, entertaining, mysterious, page-turning, paranormal.

Can you describe yourself in five words?

Meticulous, funny, hardworking, determined, optimistic.

And just a few quick ones to end the interview 

Favourite food?

Anything vegetarian. I’ve been veggie for 31 years and it’s the thing I’m most proud of.

Favourite Drink?

Smoothies.

Favourite author?

Stephen King. I also love Craig Russell, Anna Smith, Stuart MacBride, Simon Kernick and Camilla Lackberg.

Kindle or book? 

Book. I love the new book smell. Kindles are great to use when travelling and on holiday.

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Book description

DI Duncan Waddell has big problems. He’s borderline diabetic, his boss thinks he’s in the Army and the paperwork is piling up faster than the underwear at a porn shoot. The last thing he needs is the country’s biggest case to land on his lap.
Three women have gone missing in the city he’s fast coming to despise, victims of the GLASGOW GRABBER as their assailant has been dubbed by local hack and all round pain in the backside, Catriona Hastie.

Shelley Craig’s the Grabber’s latest victim, snatched as she and her boyfriend took a shortcut through Glasgow city centre. And she’ll do anything to make it home.
Handling this baffling case is stressful enough without Waddell’s pal DC Stevie Campbell, who’s in a coma after being attacked by a suspect, starting to talk to him. Trouble is, only Waddell can hear him.

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img_1639Jennifer Lee Thomson is an award-winning crime writer who has been scribbling away all her life. She also writes non-fiction as Jennifer Thomson and fiction as Jenny Thomson.

This is her first book as Jennifer Lee Thomson in tribute to her late father who passed away after a long battle with cancer. Books 2 and 3 in the series are already written and she’s working on book 4.
Jennifer is an animal rights and human rights advocate and has a rescue dog.
She also writes the Crime File series of books as Jenny Thomson. Book 1, 2 and 3, are out now. They are in order, Hell to Pay, Throwaways and Don’t Come For Me and feature tough rape survivor Nancy Kerr and her ex-Special Forces boyfriend who fight crime together.
In her spare time, she plans how to survive the zombie apocalypse

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SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VileCitybyJenniferLeeThomson/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jenthom72
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1301634.Jennifer_Thomson
Blog: http://www.ramblingsofafrustratedcrimewriter.blogspot.co.uk
Website: http://www.jenniferthomson.co.uk

BUY LINKS
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vile-City-Jennifer-Lee-Thomson/dp/1910720739
Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/Vile-City-Jennifer-Lee-Thomson/dp/1910720739
Amazon Canada https://www.amazon.ca/Vile-City-Jennifer-Lee-Thomson/dp/1910720739

If you want to follow the tour……..

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My thanks to the author Jennifer Lee Thomson, Kate Moloney and Noelle Holten for my ARC, questions & answers and allowing me to be part of the Vile City blog tour 

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**Blog Tour** The Escape by C.L. Taylor #Review #AuthorInterview @callytaylor @HelenaSheffield

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Today I’m thrilled to be the next stop on The Escape by C.L. Taylor blog tour, and my god I absolutely loved this psychological thriller, I’ve always enjoyed this authors books, but without doubt this is definitely her best book yet. The Escape was published by Avon in March so you don’t even have to wait to get yourselves a copy of this gripping book.

You can read my review further down this post, but first I have an exclusive Q & A with C.L. Taylor which I’m so excited to share with you all.

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Hi Cally I’m so excited to have you on my blog so welcome to The Book Review Café Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Thank you for having me! My name is Cally Taylor and I live in Bristol with my partner and son. I started my writing career writing romantic comedies as Cally Taylor then, when I was on maternity leave with my son I had an idea for a psychological thriller. That book was The Accident and I have now written four psychological thrillers for Avon HarperCollins and I’m contracted to write three more. My second psychological thriller The Lie has been optioned for TV by The Forge who produced National Treasure featuring Robbie Coltrane. In addition to The Escape which was published in March I also have a young adult thriller The Treatment which will be published by HarperCollins HQ in September.

For those readers who haven’t yet heard of you or your book The Escape can you provide us with an introduction?
The Escape is about a woman called Jo Blackmore who lives in Bristol with her partner Max and their two year old daughter Elise. Jo suffers from agoraphobia and her life is filled with anxiety and fear. One day, when she’s about to get into her car, a stranger asks her for a lift. The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband and she got a glove belonging to Elise. Feeling threatened Jo turns to her husband for support but Max is dismissive. He’s seen Jo overreact to situations before. Jo tries to forget about what happened but the stranger has other ideas. She thinks that Max has something that belongs to her and she won’t stop hounding the Blackmore’s until she gets it back…

Where did the idea for The Escape come from?
I got the idea for The Escape from a local news story. I follow Avon and Somerset Constabulary on Facebook and noticed an update asking for help finding a woman who’d gone on the run with her young son instead of turning up at court to hand over residency of him. As members of the public commented that they’d look out for her the woman’s family told them not to. They said she wasn’t a danger to her son, she was actually protecting him by running away. That made me wonder how I’d feel if I had to go on the run to keep my child safe.

What made you decide to have all the titles of your book begin with “The”?

I didn’t! My title for my first psychological thriller was An End to Silence but my publisher felt that The Accident would be more impactful. The book sold so well that, when it came time to name my second book, my publisher suggested we stick with ‘The…’ title and that book became The Lie. Now all of my books have ‘The…’ titles!

How did you research material for The Escape?

The Escape is my most heavily researched book to date. It took me three months of research before I wrote a word. I talked to a GP, a social worker, a family lawyer, an IT specialist, a journalist and an expert in Irish policing. I also travelled across to Ireland to research locations for the second part of the book and went to dinner with two Irish blogger who answered my questions about life in Ireland now and in the 1980s.

Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals?

I have to have warm feet when I’m writing so I keep a pair of skiing socks close by. I also have a soundtrack to each novel I write. I can’t write to lyrics so will pick an instrumental or film soundtrack album that matches the mood of the novel then I’ll play it on a loop each time I sit down to write. I sometimes have a scented candle burning too (different for each book).

My favourite character in The Escape has to be Jo, Who was your favourite character to write about?

I loved Jo but she was exhausting to write because she’s so anxious all the time and you have to channel the emotions that your character is feeling. I really enjoyed writing Max as I wrote him in the third person and that’s the first time I’ve used that point of view in one of my novels.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being an author?

The emails from authors telling me that one of my novels made them fall in love with reading again, or even that one of my books has ignited a love of reading. When people tell me that they’ve never finished a book before or they normally struggle to read but they sped through one of my books it’s the biggest compliment I could ever be given. Reading those emails always makes me feel very emotional.

On the other side, what would you say is the most challenging part of writing?

Sitting down to write when you’re not in the mood or when you know you’ve got a difficult scene to tackle. At times like those I wish I could magic the words out of my head and onto the screen.

Who is/are your favourite author/authors? What is it that draws you, as a reader, to certain books?
My favourite author as a child was Enid Blyton. Her Magic Faraway Tree series so was so magical it fired my imagination. As an adult I’m a big fan of George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, Maggie O’Farrell, Belinda Bauer, Mark Edwards and Tammy Cohen. I’m not sure what it is that draws me to certain books – it’s normally a writer’s style or voice that draws me in first, then it’s their storytelling ability (they have to write a page turner) and then there’s the subject matter. I’ve always been drawn to dystopian novels which explains George Orwell and Margaret Atwood and I enjoyed the Hunger Games series too.

Are you able to tell me anything about your next book?

My next book is actually my debut YA thriller THE TREATMENT. I recently completed the edits and it’s due to be published by HarperCollins HQ in September 2017. It’s about a young woman called Drew who tries to rescue her younger brother from being brainwashed at a remote residential reform school in Northumberland. In April I’m due to start my fifth psychological thriller for Avon but, as I haven’t written a word, I can’t tell you about that yet!

And lastly can you describe yourself in five words?
Tall, tired, creative, determined, introvert.

My Thanks to Cally Taylor for taking time out of her hectic schedule to answer my questions.

img_1639C.L. Taylor is the Sunday Times bestselling author of four gripping psychological thrillers: THE ACCIDENT, THE LIE, THE MISSING and THE ESCAPE. Her books have sold in excess of a million copies, been translated into over 20 languages and have been shortlisted for three Dead Good Books awards. THE LIE has been optioned for TV by The Forge who produced National Treasure featuring Robbie Coltrane.

Cally Taylor was born in Worcester and spent her early years living in various army camps in the UK and Germany. She studied Psychology at the University of Northumbria and went on forge a career in instructional design and e-Learning before leaving to write full time in 2014.

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Links:

http://www.callytaylor.co.uk
http://writing-about-writing.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/CallyTaylorAuthor

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Book description

“Look after your daughter’s things. And your daughter…”

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t. The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her. No one believes that Elise is in danger.

img_1258It’s not very often it happens but The Escape by C L Taylor left me with a serious book hangover, I picked up this book thinking I would just read the first couple of chapters, BIG MISTAKE as three hours later I reached the final page in this addictive psychological thriller. There are a huge number of books in this genre so for me the difference between a good psychological thriller and an outstanding one is the authors ability to mess with my head, a plot that contains suspense and “edge of your seat moments” and C L Taylor manages this and so much more with this addictive novel.

The author presents the reader with an unreliable narrator in the shape of Jo Blackmore, a young mother whose behaviour becomes increasingly erratic, she’s neurotic, has panic attacks and she’s paranoid. Unreliable narrators are one of my favourite types of characters and so I was immediately drawn to her tale, unpredictable she also appears to be losing her grip on reality so you are never quite sure what to believe. When she is threatened by a young woman Jo’s life begins to unravel in the most spectacular fashion. You cannot help questioning is what Jo going through real?, is she really in danger? Or is she misinterpreting events? I found I became totally immersed in Jo’s tale, her sense of fear is palatable from the first chapter and this grows as the plot progresses. It’s a disturbing yet believable study of family, lies, and deception and the overwhelming need to “Escape” from the harsh realities of life.

The chapters told in the voice of an unknown narrator add a sense of malice and danger to the tale, and it was these chapters that completely threw me. In fact when I finished reading The Escape I went back and re-read them, a very clever and deceiving ploy by the author I have to say. Wickedly told and fast paced this is definitely one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read this year. C L Taylor delivers the most deliciously devious plot that will throw the reader at every twisted turn, even the most hardened psychological thrillers readers will struggle to put this one down. In my opinion C L Taylor’s writing goes from strength to strength, each of her books is worthy of high praise but The Escape is definitely my favourite so far and I’m already excited to see if her next book can beat this truly gripping read.

Print Length: 433 pages

Publisher: Avon (23 Mar. 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

If you want to read further reviews on this gripping book, you may want to check out some of my fellow bloggers posts…..
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Top Five Friday with The Book Review Café #Thrillers

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Today on Top Five Friday I’ve choosen my five top thriller reads, again this was a difficult one but after some thought these are still some of my favourite books in this genre.

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The Theseus Paradox by David Videcette

What I found fascinating about The Theseus Pardox is, that although it isn’t my usual type of book,I found it to be a compelling read. David Videcette is a uniquely gifted story-teller, who draw’s the reader in by writing a chillingly and credible tale based on real circumstances, it’s so well written it’s difficult to distinguish fact from fiction.

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The Killing Game by J. S. Carol

The Killing Game is a highly addictive read, in fact I felt I needed therapy after finishing it, as this book left me with a hell of a book hangover! I couldn’t bear to put it down. In my humble opinion The Killing Games has the hallmarks of a Hollywood blockbuster, with a highly original plot, action a plenty, and bucketfuls of suspense this is the perfect action thriller novel.

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All Fall Down by Tom Bale

Tom Bale should write a masterclass on how to bring suspense to a novel, All Fall Down is packed to the brim with it, as the story unfolds you soon realise the family are being watched, and the author very cleverly adds chapters told by an anonymous narrator which literally made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, these chapters were full of malice and intrigue, so much so I found myself holding my breath as I wondered what lay in store for the family.

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My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Elwood

When I first saw the title of this book I conjured up so many different scenarios but oh my god I couldn’t have been more wrong! New author on the block Nuala Ellwood has certainly written a disturbing and spine chilling tale that I found impossible to put down once I started reading.

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See How They Run by Tom Bale

Tom Bale has written an absolutely fantastic book, I felt like I was on a roller coaster with no let up in pace (cliched I know, but in this case very true), I truly loved every heart stopping page of See How They Run, With a well defined plot that was taut and original in content it’s a compulsive read, and one I could not put down until I reached the nail biting conclusion .

You can read all my reviews for these fabulous books here…

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2015/12/28/author-interview-the-theseus-paradox-by-david-videcette/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/10/17/blog-tour-the-killing-game-by-j-s-carol-jamescarolbooks-review-bookouture/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/09/04/blog-tour-all-fall-down-by-tom-bale-interview-review/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/11/04/blog-tour-my-sisters-bones-by-nuala-elwood-review-nualawrites/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/05/05/see-how-they-run-by-tom-bale/

**My Book Of The Month** January 2017

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Well we’ve reached the end of January 2017 which can only mean one thing, it’s time to choose my Book Of The Month for January 2017.

The Book Of The Month is chosen by myself at the beginning of every month, for the previous month. It goes to the author/book that I found outstanding for that month, and I may have given a higher rating than a 5 star review. I’m also hoping if a do this monthly come December it will make it easier to do a best reads of 2017 post or that’s my plan.

I have read some outstanding books in January, but here is where I fell at the first hurdle as I really couldn’t choose between two books this month, I’m not know for being decisive at the best of times! The two books I have chosen are polar opposites, but both books stood our for me because I still thought about them long after I finished them. Although very different in every way possible, they both had one thing in common they kept me glued to my kindle!

These fantastic books had all the elements I look for when reading books, well developed characters, a strong plot and bucketfuls of suspense, so without further ado the books I have given the Gold Star Award are……….

The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech

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You can read my review here:
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/13/the-mountain-in-my-shoe-by-louise-beech-orendabooks-louisewriter-bookreview/

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

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You can read my review here: https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/29/blog-tour-behind-her-eyes-by-sarah-pinborough-authorinterview-review-sarahpinborough-wtfthatending/

As I mentioned earlier two very different books but they are two that I would highly recommend to everyone and anyone.

what do you think of my books of the month? Did I choose well? What books would you choose? Please feel free to leave a comment

**Blog Tour** Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough #AuthorInterview & #Review @sarahpinborough #WTFthatending

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Today to say I’m excited is an understatement, It’s finally my stop on the blog tour for Behind Her Eyes by the awesome Sarah Pinborough not only do I get to share my review with you,  (mark my words this book has “BEST SELLER” written all over it), but I also have a very intriguing interview with the author herself.

This has to be one of the hardest books I’ve ever had to review, I hope I do the book justice and definitely hope it contains **No Spoilers** So without further ado here’s the interview with the one and only Sarah Pinborough and you can read my review further down the post.

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For those readers who haven’t yet heard of you or your book Behind Her Eyes can you provide us with an introduction?

I’m a thriller and YA novelist and screenwriter who’s written about 20 books thus far across a variety of genres. At the moment I’m all about crime and thrillers though!

Where did the idea for Behind Her Eyes come from?

I wanted to write about an affair because they’re so much a part of modern life and we find them fascinating as much as terrifying. They’re the ultimate betrayal from those we love, and they’re messy and never as clean cut in terms of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ as we try and frame them. So that was my starting point – to look at the three parts of an affair and what happens if the girlfriend becomes the wife’s friend, and they keep that secret from the husband.

What was the hardest part of writing Behind Her Eyes?

Ha, that’s hard to say without giving too much away. I guess what was hardest was wanting people to get to the end and think ‘Oh, of course!’ but to have not seen the ‘Oh, of course!’ moment coming. So laying out clues in plain sight while also keeping them hidden was pretty difficult! But that’s part of the fun.

Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals?

No, not really! I like to write in the mornings best but that’s about it. Oh, and when making notes and planning I can only use Uniball Fine gel pens.

Have you always wanted to be an author, and when did you first realise you wanted to write?

It was either an author or an actress, but I have been writing stories and making stuff up as long as I can remember. I think that’s how most people who end up doing this for a living are. Also I like food too much to be an actress and writers don’t have to get up at 5am;-)

Do you write an outline before you start writing?

Yes, I always outline – not massively but as I sell on pitch I have to do a three page summary/pitch document for that so I tend to have my beginning and ending sorted, and then as I go a plan out in more detail, adding stuff and taking stuff out.

How long did it take to get your Behind Your Eyes published?

Well, HarperFiction had bought it before I started writing it because I’ve been doing this long enough that I don’t have to write a book on spec at the moment, but we did delay it a while. I had 13 Minutes coming out from Orion in 2016 and we wanted a gap after that. Also, that meant that by the time the deal was announced, I’d already written the book and so my agent could then sell it worldwide, which has gone well. Very much looking forward to seeing the final book!

The hashtag #Wtfthatending is all over social media, did you expect it to take off like it did?

I absolutely love the hashtag, but I was also worried that it was setting me up to fail and people would be a bit, ‘Meh, the end was good but it wasn’t THAT good.. BUT thus far thankfully there haven’t been many of those! It’s great that the US publisher, Flatiron, are also using it, and it seems to be working as well there as it is here!

Have you seen any reviews that give away the ending? And if so how does this make you feel?

I’ve seen a couple that come close to giving it away – definitely they spoil the book – but one has been hidden by Goodreads (yay goodreads!) and another I hope will be buried by less spoilery ones. It’s irritating because it’s quite selfish to want to spoil the enjoyment of a book for others just because it may not have been your cup of tea, but to be honest, I’ve been overwhelmingly grateful that thus far most people are giving nothing away!

My favourite character in Behind Her Eyes has to be Adele she is one complex piece of work, which character is your favourite? and which one was the hardest to write about?

Adele is my favourite too. I think we all want to be Adele but we’re pretty much all Louise;-) She was also the hardest character to write because she’s so different to me. I’m definitely more of a Louise.

Are you able to tell me anything about your next book?

The next book is another domestic thriller but quite different to Behind Her Eyes in subject matter. HOWEVER, I’ve realised my new genre is ‘writing books where you can’t actually talk about what it’s about without giving the twist away’. Which is not great for marketing! It’s female main characters again and a similar structure. And it has a great twist 😉

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Sarah Pinborough is an award-winning YA and adult thriller, fantasy and horror novelist and screenwriter. She has published more than 20 novels and has written for the BBC and is currently working with several television companies on original projects. Her recent novels include the dystopian love story, The Death House, and a teenage thriller, 13 Minutes which has been bought by Netflix with Josh Schwartz adapting.

Her next adult novel, a psychological thriller, Behind Her Eyes, Is published  in January 2017 from HarperFiction in the UK. The book has sold to nearly twenty territories so far and was sold at auction to the US in a significant deal to Flatiron, Macmillan. There are discussions on going with several movies studios about the film adaptation.

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Links:     Website       Twitter:@sarahpinborough.

Book description

Why is everyone talking about the ending of Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes?

Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake, but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend. But she also just happens to be married to David. And if you think you know where this story is going, think again, because Behind Her Eyes is like no other book you’ve read before.

David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife. But then why is David so controlling? And why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong. But Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.

In Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough has written a novel that takes the modern day love triangle and not only turns it on its head, but completely reinvents it in a way that will leave readers reeling.

img_1258Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough is all over social media with the hashtag #WTFthatending, So I read this book “waiting” for that WTF moment, now normally the alarm bells start ringing when I see “Shock”endings attached to any novel, I’m the one normally left thinking “is that it, really?” But OMG I never saw it coming until it hit me slap bang in the face. At the heart of the story is a love triangle between David a married man, Adele his beautiful wife and Louise his mistress. Ok this may sound like your average domestic noir thriller with the usual stereotypes, but that’s where you would be completely wrong, It’s anything but. As the two women become friends they realise they have more in common than they think, both suffer from sleep disturbance and night fears and it’s this that forges their friendship.

The author has created well developed characters, some more likeable than others. Each have their flaws, but the most intriguing character for me was Adele she’s complex, she’s beautiful and very wealthy, but she is also devious and manipulative, a combination that makes her a character you want to learn more about. Louise on the other hand is her polar opposite, a single mother, lacks confidence and leads a mundane life, when David comes into her life what starts out as something exciting soon turns into her worse nightmare. As Louise becomes more embroiled in her lovers toxic and disturbing marriage it’s difficult for the reader to know who to trust, deception plays a big part in this deliciously dark and twisted tale, and it’s a difficult to work out who is the more reliable narrator. The novel is told from Louise and Adele’s POV, past and present and as the author spun an intricate and devious web I became so engrossed in this menacing tale I really couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

This is a story of lies, secrets, deception and mental illness, it’s dark and gripping and compulsive. It has all the ingredients and more that I expect from a psychological thriller, intriguing characters, well plotted and it certainly messed with my head! In fact when I finished this novel I had to go back at read the first couple of chapters again, as I couldn’t believe what I had read. One thing I will say and it’s not a criticism by any means I did have to suspend belief as Behind Her Eyes reached its dramatic and shocking conclusion now this usually leaves me feeling short changed, but my god Sarah Pinborough has written such a unique story I was happy to fall for it hook, line and sinker, and yes I did think “WTF” just happened?

This book certainly deserves all the hype and I have to agree with the book quote on the jacket…Don’t trust the story don’t trust the ending and don’t trust yourself. This book is going to be HUGE in 2017 and it certainly deserves to be, it’s got all the hallmarks of a gripping psychological thriller, but it’s also got an extra something which makes it stand out from other books in this genre. I must applaud Sarah Pinborough for writing not only a dark and twisted tale but also an ingenious one. Would I recommend this book? Hell yes I certainly would!

I’m sure it won’t come as much of a shock but I will be giving Behind Her Eyes the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, the second book of 2017 to get 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 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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Hardcover: 384 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins (26 Jan. 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour……..dates and bloggers participating listed below

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**Weekly Wrap Up**

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Oh dear oh dear! It’s been a shocking week for reading this week, I just managed to read one whole book, I’ve been so tired I’ve struggled to concentrate on anything 😢😢. Mind you it was a fab read and one I would highly recommend I won’t be sharing my review quite yet as I’m saving it for the blog tour early next month.

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Books I Bought this week

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The complete Fathers Of Lies series by S E England 

This series had been on my radar for ages but when I spotted fellow book blogger Sarah Hardy all the books in the series were on special offer for £3.00 how could I resist?

 

BOOK 1 – FATHER OF LIES

Ruby is the most violently disturbed patient ever admitted to Drummersgate Asylum, high on the bleak moors of northern England. With no improvement after two years, Dr. Jack McGowan finally decides to take a risk and hypnotises her. With terrifying consequences.
A horrific dark force is now unleashed on the entire medical team, as each in turn attempts to unlock Ruby’s shocking and sinister past. Who is this girl? And how did she manage to survive such unimaginable evil? Set in a desolate ex-mining village, where secrets are tightly kept and intruders hounded out, their questions soon lead to a haunted mill, the heart of darkness…and The Father of Lies.’

BOOK 2 – TANNERS DELL

Following the hypnosis of violently disturbed psychiatric patient, Ruby Dean, an unholy dark force was unleashed on the medical staff who tried to help her. Now only one of the original team remains – Ward Sister, Becky.
Despite her fiancé, D.I. Ross, being unconscious and many of her colleagues either dead or critically ill, Becky is determined to rescue Ruby’s twelve year old daughter from a similar fate to her mother. But no one asking questions in the desolate mining village Ruby descends from ever comes to a good end. And as the diabolical history of the area is gradually revealed, it seems the evil invoked is now both real and contagious.’

BOOK 3 – MAGDA

‘The dark and twisted community of Woodsend harbours a terrible secret – one tracing back to the age of the Elizabethan witch hunts, when many innocent women were persecuted and hanged.
But there is a far deeper vein of horror running through this village; an evil that once invoked has no intention of relinquishing its grip on the modern world. Rather it watches and waits with a focused intelligence, leaving Ward Sister, Becky, and Police Officer, Toby, constantly checking over their shoulders and jumping at shadows.
Just who invited in this malevolent presence? And is the demonic woman who possessed Magda back in the sixteenth century, the same one now gazing at Becky whenever she looks in the mirror?
You may need to sleep with the lights on after reading this…Are you ready to meet Magda in this final instalment to the trilogy? Are you sure?’

I also pre-ordered these two little beauty’s, I love both of these series so can’t wait to read them .

Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner

The Caller by Chris Carter 

ARC’s I received this week

I made the fatal mistake of browsing NetGalley OMG there are so many books that I soooo need to read! But I was pleased that I showed some constraint and only requested THREE books unfortunately or fortunately which ever way you choose to look at it, I got accepted for all of them 🙈 I think it’s safe to say my self imposed NetGalley ban has well and truly been broken.

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Book description

Laura has it all. A successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn’t had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura’s life. Cherry comes to the family wide-eyed and wants to be welcomed with open arms, but Laura suspects she’s not all that she seems. When tragedy strikes, an unforgiveable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.

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Book description

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:

1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

Unnerving, twisted and utterly compelling, you won’t be able to put this new thriller down. Set to be the most talked about book in 2017, it’s perfect for fans of Behind Closed Doors, The Girl on the Train and The Widow.

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Book description

When she was good, she was very, very good. When she was bad, she was deadly.

Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.

Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list……A kill list.

From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.

Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…

So that’s eight books added to my TBR pile and one read, so if I want to get to my poor neglected TBR shelf, as all my old school reports always stated “I need to try harder” read faster or ban NetGalley? Watch this space.

Last week on the book review café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/20/blog-tour-guestpost-by-cj-carver-author-of-tell-me-a-lie-c_j_carver/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/19/topfivethursday-with-bookblogger-lucy-v-hay-lucyvhayauthor/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/17/the-one-by-john-marrs-bookreview-johnmarrs1-eburypublishing/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/16/guest-post-by-j-m-richardson-author-of-the-barataria-key-jmrichardson1/

Next week on the book review café

Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer blog tour

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough blog tour, I’m so excited for this one as I have an exclusive interview with the author herself and we’re talking about #WTFthat ending! But obviously no spoilers involved

#TopFiveThursday

Blink by K L Slater Review

TattleTale by Sarah J Naughton review