Tag Archives: Book News

Blood Song by Johana Gustawsson #BookReview @JoGustawsson @OrendaBooks #Mustreads

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for Blood Song by Johana Gustawsson, a must read for crime thriller lovers. Read on for my thoughts, but first the book description……

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Spain, 1938: The country is wracked by civil war, and as Valencia falls to Franco’s brutal dictatorship, Republican Therese witnesses the murders of her family. Captured and sent to the notorious Las Ventas women’s prison, Therese gives birth to a daughter who is forcibly taken from her.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2016: A wealthy family is found savagely murdered in their luxurious home. Discovering that her parents have been slaughtered, Aliénor Lindbergh, a new recruit to the UK’s Scotland Yard, rushes back to Sweden and finds her hometown rocked by the massacre.

Profiler Emily Roy joins forces with Aliénor and soon finds herself on the trail of a monstrous and prolific killer. Little does she realise that this killer is about to change the life of her colleague, true-crime writer Alexis Castells. Joining forces once again, Roy and Castells’ investigation takes them from the Swedish fertility clinics of the present day back to the terror of Franco’s rule, and the horrifying events that took place in Spanish orphanages under its rule.

Terrifying, vivid and recounted at breakneck speed, Blood Song is not only a riveting thriller and an examination of corruption in the fertility industry, but a shocking reminder of the atrocities of Spain’s dictatorship, in the latest, stunning installment in the award-winning Roy & Castells series.

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Blood Song by Johana Gustawsson is the third novel in the Roy and Castells series, I know what you’re thinking ‘not another crime series’ but Blood Song is like no other crime series you’ve ever read. Johana Gustawsson the author weaves historical fact with fiction blurring the edges so the two stories fit perfectly together creating a dark and emotive read. The thing I admire about this author’s novels is the fact she can take a period in history, in this case Spain 1938 and the brutalities of Spain’s dictatorship, and incorporate them with crimes set in 2016, how can someone combine such distant periods into a credible story and intertwine them? and yet Gustawsson accomplishes both producing a story that’s harrowing, disturbing, but such a compelling and intensely heart wrenching read.    

The author transports the reader between the two timelines effortlessly creating a story which is fluid in its telling. Blood Song doesn’t make for an easy read, especially the scenes set during Spain’s dictatorship. Gustawsson vividly portrays the harsh conditions and the brutality of woman’s prisons and the children’s orphanages with such conviction these scenes are vividly brought to life, evoking so many emotions you wouldn’t expect to feel whilst reading a crime novel.  At the same time I feel it’s only fair to mention the scenes are relevant to the story rather than gratuitous.  

The crimes committed in present day including the murders of Aliénor Lindbergh’s family are just as horrifying, as those scenes set in wore torn Spain. Coupled with a plot that involves Swedish fertility clinics and Johana Gustwsson has written a book that takes the reader headlong into a story that’s dark and shocking.  Blood Song sees the return of French true crime writer Alexis Castells and profiler Emily Roy, I do like the author’s career choices for her two main protagonists, as it means the plot doesn’t feature heavily on police procedures, which I find can sometimes overwhelm a plot. Although we get an insight into their personal life’s the plot is the main focus of the book, rather than the characters.   

The tension that reverberates through Blood Song never looses momentum, each short chapter leaves you craving more, urging you on to its conclusion. This book has so much to offer the reader, with a gripping plot, moments of heartbreak, vivid scenes, and characters that will remain with you long after you’ve reached the final pages. With themes of fertility, child abductions, and child abuse the author has created a dark and disquieting story, and one that spans years of violence and abuse.  Blood Song is a ‘must read’ for any crime thriller love, and although it could easily be read as a stand-alone I would suggest you read the series in order you won’t be disappointed I promise. Highly recommended. 

It will come as no surprise but I’m giving Blood Song my Book hangover award.

How do I choose a book for 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.

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  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (19 July 2019)

Buying links:    Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

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

Other books in the series

 

 

M.J. Arlidge celebrates one million books sold in the #HelenGrace series @mjarlidge @PenguinBooks

As this is one of my all time favourite crime series I’m just sharing the fantastic news that M.J. Arlidge’s bestselling Helen Grace series has recently sold one million copies. This has been one of the most successful crime series in recent years and a stunning achievement for both author Matt Arlidge and publisher Michael Joseph.

Acclaimed thriller writer M. J. Arlidge recently celebrated sales of a million copies of his bestselling Helen Grace series with his editor Roland White, Publishing Director of Michael Joseph. Arlidge was presented with a ‘Penguin Donkey’ bookcase at their Strand offices to mark the incredible feat.

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The series, which launched in 2014, has become something of a phenomenon. EENY MEENY was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, it swiftly became a Sunday Times Bestseller and was the best selling crime debut of the year. It went on to sell in over 30 countries worldwide and has been optioned for development by the BBC. The subsequent books in the series have continued Matt’s early success, each one hitting the bestsellers lists and cementing the author’s reputation in the UK and internationally.

Arlidge began his writing career in television, and this background in screenwriting is credited with giving his novels the kind of plotting and pace that readers have found absolutely addictive. But it is his central character, Helen Grace that has really captured the imagination of fans, who last year voted her ‘Best Female Character’ in the 2017 Dead Good Readers awards.

 

M.J. Arlidge’s many fans won’t have long to wait for their next fix, as the eighth book in the series DOWN TO THE WOODS will be published on 20 September.

BIOGRAPHY OF M.J. ARLIDGE M. J. Arlidge is a novelist, screenwriter and producer. He is the author of the bestselling Helen Grace series. Arlidge began his career in television, producing a host of popular dramas, including Eastenders and Monarch of the Glen. Later he specialised in TV crime drama, particularly domestic thrillers, before moving from producing to screenwriting. He writes regularly for hit BBC series Silent Witness and his first original piece for television – Innocent – was show on ITV earlier this year to huge popular and critical acclaim. It starred Hermione Norris and Lee Ingleby and, with 7 million viewers per episode, was the most popular new TV drama so far this year.

And here’s the cover for the next book in the Helen Grace series Down To The Woods which is published on the 20th September 2018. 

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**Sunday catch up** with the book review café

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Well what a great start to the year NOT! I’ve been struggling with the flu this week, so unfortunately anything to do with blogging went on the back burner. I’ve literally spent the week sleeping, sneezing, coughing and being sick with some reading thrown in, but not a lot. Anyway enough of my moaning I’m feeling loads better,  so I thought it was time I did my first catch up post of 2018.

Books I have read since January 1st

 

 

ARC’s

I’m giving myself a “pat” on the back as my NetGalley shelf has the least amount of books on it since I joined way back in 2015!!!! I only have FOUR books on there, and I’m hoping to keep it that way with my new “rule” read one then I can request one, if I can keep to this hopefully I will have a more manageable TBR pile, although it’s hard as there are so many amazing books for publication so let’s see how long my new rule lasts 😂😂

 

Note: Tell Me I’m Wrong is an ARC I received from author Adam Croft

My most viewed posts this week

Despite not posting any new content this week, I’ve still had a healthy (excuse the pun!) amount of visitors pop by my blog. I’m always concerned that when I don’t post for a while everyone will forget my little old blog, but strangely enough I seem to get my visitors when I don’t post anything for a while, there’s a lesson in there somewhere me thinks 😂😂

Life Of Crime by Kimberley Chambers #Bookreview @HarperFiction @Flisssity

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen #OmgthatTwist @panmacmillan

Between You And Me by Lisa Hall

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen #BookReview @Fab_fiction @bookouture

Books I’ve bought this week

I can’t wait for my copy of Unsub by Meg Gardiner to arrive I’ve heard such great things about this book and once I read Janel’s review over at  Keeperofpages I knew I had to buy a copy come hell or high water! And yes after reading all the hype surrounding Anatomy Of A Scandal by Sarah Vaughan I finally gave in an bought a copy.

 

 

Next week on the book review café

I’m hoping to post some book reviews that have been sat in my draft posts for ages, I just haven’t got a round to posting them for one reason and another #BadBookBlogger! And A day with author…… will be back but for now…………….

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