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/

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney #BookReview @alicewriterland @HQstories

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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.

img_1258OMG! What a fabulous and twisted read Sometime I Lie is, there is nothing more satisfying than reading a psychological thriller that well and truly messes with your head, and a word of warning here this is one that will leave your head spinning. The market is saturated with psychological thrillers at the moment and on the whole most of the ones I have read have been a decent read, but tend to lack the “thrilling” element I’ve come to expect from such books, but I’m happy to report that Sometime I Lie has the “thrilling” element I crave, it’s also dark and very, very sinister so from the opening chapter I was well and truly hooked.

From the book description it’s evident that Amber is not going to be a reliable narrator, and she certainly doesn’t disappoint. I’m particularly fond of such narrators as you are never quite sure what is real or where the truth lies. As Amber lies in coma there is a deep sense of malevolence that radiates from every page. The characters surrounding Amber as she lies vulnerable all come under close scrutiny and you can’t help but become suspicious of everyone of them at some point in this very deceitful tale. I really thought I had worked out where this story was heading, but fortunately the author wrong footed me at every turn. You know something terrible as happened to Amber but the why’s and how’s are intricately revealed layer by devious layer.

I could go on and on about this book, it really was that good! but in doing so I could give away spoilers which is never my intention, so what I would say this is definitely one of those books you need to read for yourself. It’s difficult to believe this is Alice Feeney’s debut novel it’s an highly addictive and compelling read, deliciously plotted with twist and turns galore I devoured this book in just over a day and it’s definitely going to be one of my top reads of 2017.

I’m sure it won’t come as much of a shock but I will be giving Sometimes I Lie the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, the third 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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Print Length: 279 pages

Publisher: HQ (23 Mar. 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧

**Weekly Wrap Up**

 

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This week I’ve managed to read three books, ok two plus a novella but it’s still a 100% better than last week. Stepping away from social media for a day really helped and in fact it worked so well I’m going to make it a regular event. Thanks to awesome book blogger Renee over at http://itsbooktalk.com who came up with the tag #StepawayTuesday, I will not go near social media on a Tuesday.

Personally I found it worked for me as I really do spend to many hours trawling social media when I could be reading. I did miss reading fellow bloggers awesome reviews, and yes it meant that I missed the most exciting news of the year Last Breath by Robert Bryndza was up on NetGalley shocker! But on the plus side I now have three reviews for the books I’ve read this week.

Books I’ve read this week

Bully Boy Blue by John Nicholl

Last Breath by Robert Bryndza

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

 

ARC’s I’ve received this week

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

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Book description

Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive.

On Thursday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the bad boy, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the jock, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app. Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investi­gators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Thursday, he died. But on Friday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they just the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Last Breath by Robert Bryndza

I’m so excited to read the next book in the Erika Foster series, anyone who follows my blog will know I’m a huge fan of Robert and have been known to go a bit overboard with my reviews for this awesome series 🙈

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Book description

He’s your perfect date. You’re his next victim.

When the tortured body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, her eyes swollen shut and her clothes soaked with blood, Detective Erika Foster is one of the first at the crime scene. The trouble is, this time, it’s not her case.

While she fights to secure her place on the investigation team, Erika can’t help but get involved and quickly finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Dumped in a similar location, both women have identical wounds – a fatal incision to their femoral artery.

Stalking his victims online, the killer is preying on young pretty women using a fake identity. How will Erika catch a murderer who doesn’t seem to exist?

Then another girl is abducted while waiting for a date. Erika and her team must get to her before she becomes another dead victim, and, come face to face with a terrifyingly sadistic individual.

Other news from the book review café

I was so excited (an understatement) to see my quote included on the book jacket for my favourite author on the planet Robert Bryndza’s The Girl In The Ice, yes it’s in Spanish and No I can’t translate it so if you can help please feel free to leave me a comment in this post 😂

Last week on the book review café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/13/rupture-by-ragnar-jonasson-bookreview-orendabooks-ragnarjo/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/16/topfivethursday-with-bookblogger-renee-aka-itsbooktalk/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/17/topfive-with-the-book-review-cafe-crimethrillers-standalones/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/18/blog-tour-six-stories-by-matt-wesolowski-bookreview-concretekraken-orendabooks/

Next week on the book review café

It’s a surprise! or what I really mean is I’m still working out which reviews to schedule next week😂😂

 

 

**Blog Tour** Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski #BookReview @ConcreteKraken @OrendaBooks

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Today I’m thrilled to be the next stop on the Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski blog tour, not only am I excited to being sharing my review for this simply fabulous crime thriller, but it’s also my first blog tour for one of my favourite publishers Orenda Books, so a big thank you to the awesome Karen Sullivan for letting me be part of this blog tour and for all the fabulous books she’s sent me over the last year or so.

Book description

1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who embarked on that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby. 2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure.

In a series of six interviews, King attempts to work out how the dynamics of a group of idle teenagers conspired with the sinister legends surrounding the fell to result in Jeffries’ mysterious death. And who’s to blame … As every interview unveils a new revelation, you’ll be forced to work out for yourself how Tom Jeffries died, and who is telling the truth. A chilling, unpredictable and startling thriller, Six Stories is also a classic murder mystery with a modern twist, and a devastating ending.

img_1258If you are looking for a new and different type of thriller to read look no further than Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski it’s a classic murder mystery with a modern twist. The story is told through podcasts, which immediately piqued my interest, as it’s such a highly original concept to use in story telling. In the series of six interviews journalist Scott King investigates the truth surrounding the death of teenager Tom Jefferies who died two decades previously, each interview focuses on one of the friends who was there at the time, you exactly feel like your eavesdropping on someone’s conversation rather than reading the transcript from each podcast, uncomfortable maybe, but you just can’t pull yourself away. What follows is a captivating read that I found impossible to put down, and one I pretty much read in one sitting.

Six Stories is a penetrating and intelligent looks at the dynamics of a tight-knit group of teenagers and their subsequent behaviour. Each character has a story to tell some are more reliable narrators than others, but that’s what I absolutely loved about this book the author lets the reader reach their own conclusion as he skilfully reveals more about the events surrounding Tom’s death. The author expertly explores teenager behaviour, the emotions, feelings and confusion are very credible (yes I can just about remember my teen age years!), and like them or loathe them all the characters are superbly depicted.

Matt Wesolowski expertly pulls back the layers, revealing more in each interview, as the plot thickens I feel a genuine sense of unease take hold which stayed with me until the novel reached its conclusion. The author has has a unique writing style he sets the scene and creates an atmosphere that is both disturbing and eerie, beautifully descriptive, Scarclaw Fell is a place which will capture your imagination as you conjure up images that will both horrify and haunt you.

This book made for a unpredictable read as it was pretty much impossible to second guess this brilliantly told story, so I felt a constant sense of unease from the first page until the last. Unsettling and disturbing, the actions of the all too human characters lead to a tense and shocking conclusion that left me breathless. Six Stories is like no other book I have ever read it’s highly original and superbly executed, and makes for an absorbing and thrilling read. Matt Wesolowski is a refreshing and powerful new voice in crime fiction and is certainly one to watch out for.

Paperback: 320 pages

Publisher: Orenda (15 Mar. 2017)

img_1639Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North. Matt started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in Ethereal Tales magazine, Midnight Movie Creature Feature anthology, 22 More Quick Shivers anthology and many more.

His debut novella The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013 and a new novella set in the forests of Sweden will be available shortly. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. He is currently working on his second crime novel Ashes, which involves black metal and Icelandic sorcery.

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Links:

https://www.facebook.com/Matt-Wesolowski-1424984807729101/

https://twitter.com/concretekraken?lang=en

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Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

 

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Rupture by Ragnar Jónasson #BookReview @OrendaBooks @ragnarjo

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Book description

1955. Two young couples move to the uninhabited, isolated fjord of Hedinsfjörður. Their stay ends abruptly when one of the women meets her death in mysterious circumstances. The case is never solved. Fifty years later an old photograph comes to light, and it becomes clear that the couples may not have been alone on the fjord after all…

In nearby Siglufjörður, young policeman Ari Thór tries to piece together what really happened that fateful night, in a town where no one wants to know, where secrets are a way of life. He’s assisted by Ísrún, a news reporter in Reykjavik, who is investigating an increasingly chilling case of her own. Things take a sinister turn when a child goes missing in broad daylight. With a stalker on the loose, and the town of Siglufjörður in quarantine, the past might just come back to haunt them.

Rupture by Ragnar Jónasson is the fourth book in the Dark Iceland series and bad blogger that I am I have skipped two, not because I haven’t wanted to read them, it’s more to do with the fact that I have so many books on my TBR pile I just haven’t had the time, but when I received a very special hardback signed edition in a competition over at http://bluebookballoon.blogspot.com
I just had to bump this one to the top of my TBR pile and I’m so glad I did.

img_1258Rupture is a crime thriller that feels like a breath of fresh air, it has much more to offer than the average crime thriller, for me this novel is beautifully written with a well crafted plot, this is Nordic crime noir at it’s best. I’m normally a reader who loves a crime read to be fast paced, which I don’t consider Rupture to be, but what I loved about this novel was the authors incredible gift of being able to pull the reader into his plot and build on the suspense and mystery leaving me eager to read more. Sometimes I struggle with novels that have been translated as the writing can feel stilted or the heart of the story gets lost in translation, but Rupture proves that it can be done successfully, in fact I found it difficult to believe this book was written in anything but English.

Ragnar Jónasson’s writing is beautifully descriptive, he describes the town of Siglufjöróur in great detail, so it’s easy to imagine the bleakness and claustrophobic atmosphere that surrounds the small Icelandic town, as the town is quarantined from a deadly virus, the sense of unease and isolation are palatable. Ari Thór is asked to investigate a suspected murder from the 1950’s, and with the town in quarantine he finds himself with plenty of time on his hands, and as he begins to investigate the case it soon becomes clear that not everything is as it seems. The author intricately adds various plots to the story, but in doing so he adds layer upon layer of mystery to the story which kept me captivated to the last page. Despite the numerous threads the author expertly weaves them into an absorbing and suspense filled plot.

The author even manages to make his characters multi dimensional and complex, so much so you can’t help but feel a connection to them, I especially liked Ari Thor whose life doesn’t appear to run to plan, but never the less he’s a very intriguing character. There are no shocking or fast paced scenes in Rupture, but the author expertly builds on the atmosphere with every sentence he writes whilst maintaining the suspense and mystery. Rupture reads like a classic who dunnit, but that’s a good thing in my opinion and one of the things that make Rupture standout from other crime thriller reads. For me Rupture is refreshingly different amid all the crime thrillers on the market, beautifully and eloquently written it conjures up breathtaking images of a stark landscape that beg to be visited. Chilling, complex and addictive I would highly recommend Rupture to anyone looking for a unique crime thriller.

Print Length: 253 pages

Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (24 Dec. 2016)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧          Amazon US 🇺🇸

My thanks to Karen at Orenda books, David at BlueBookBalloon and Ragnar Jónasson for my treasured signed hardback of Rupture. 

**Weekly Wrap Up**

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Oh dear oh dear! I have only managed one book this week, the good news…. my neck is much better so I’m back to work, but the bad news is it means I have little time to read. So after much consideration I’ve come up with a solution which will hopefully give me more time to read, no im not retiring! I’ve decided I spend too much time browsing social media so for one day a week I’m not going to log in to Twitter, Facebook etc or share posts. I love to support fellow bloggers but some evenings I spend much of the evening sharing posts, RT, liking, and commenting. I’m  sure every blogger on the planet knows what I mean here, so I’m going to use this one day a week to use as reading time only. I’m sure I will be itching to turn on my IPad but I’m going to give it a go. I’m not scheduling any posts next Tuesday so if you see me pop up on social media I’ve failed miserably 😂

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what I read this week

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Book description

Babs had all the world ahead of her, until she got pregnant and the father did a runner. Salvation comes in the form of a man who’ll look after her. Or so she thinks. Stan Miller is really the devil in disguise… and over the next twenty years, Babs will have reason to regret she ever met him.

Starting in the 70s, BLOOD MOTHER is the second thrilling installment in the Flesh and Blood series, capturing a London that was very different from today but where some things still hold true: be careful what you wish for, and watch out for who you trust…

Book post I received this week

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Book description

She Loves Me
A woman’s body lies in the road. At first it looks like a tragic accident. But when Helen Grace arrives on the scene it’s clear she’s looking at a coldblooded killing. But why would anyone target a much loved wife and mother?

She Loves Me Not
Across town, a shopkeeper is killed while his customers are left unharmed. But what lies behind the killer’s choices?

She Loves Me
Who lives? Who dies? Who’s next? The clock is ticking.

She Loves Me Not
If Helen can’t solve this deadly puzzle then more blood will be shed. But any mistake and it might be her own …

This weeks ARC’s

Method 15/33 by Shannon Kirk

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Book description

Imagine a helpless, pregnant 16-year-old who’s just been yanked from the serenity of her home and shoved into a dirty van. Kidnapped…Alone…Terrified.

Now forget her…

Picture instead a pregnant, 16-year-old, manipulative prodigy. She is shoved into a dirty van and, from the first moment of her kidnapping, feels a calm desire for two things: to save her unborn child and to exact merciless revenge.

She is methodical—calculating— scientific in her plotting. A clinical sociopath? Leaving nothing to chance, secure in her timing and practice, she waits—for the perfect moment to strike. Method 15/33 is what happens when the victim is just as cold as her abductors.
The agents searching for a kidnapped girl have their own frustrations and desires wrapped into this chilling drama. In the twists of intersecting stories, one is left to ponder. Who is the victim? Who is the aggressor?

The Quiet Man by James Carol

I love this series and Faber & Faber granted my wish over on the dreaded NetGalley, so how could I refuse 🙈

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Book description
The hugely popular Jefferson Winter series returns in a gripping new thriller.

In Vancouver, the wife of a millionaire is dead following an explosion in her own home. Everyone thinks her husband is responsible, but former FBI profiler Jefferson Winter isn’t so sure.

The method is too perfect; the lack of mistakes, uncanny. He’s seen a series of carefully orchestrated murders – once a year, on exactly the same day, a woman dies in a situation just like this one.

That date is fast approaching and Winter knows another victim has been selected. Can he identify the quiet man before he strikes again?

Books I’ve bought

I haven’t bought any book this week, Shock! Horror! But I treated myself to a year’s subscription of True Crime Magazine. Going back a few years ago I only ever read true crime books, I like to think they give me insight in to why people do such terrible things, I’m not sure they answer all my questions by any means but I do find them an intriguing read.

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Last week on the book review café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/06/blog-tourthe-good-daughter-by-alexandra-burt-extract-giveaway/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/07/the-promise-by-casey-kelleher-bookreview-caseykelleher-bookouture/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/08/blog-tour-dead-embers-by-matt-brolly-guestpost-matthewbrolly-fayerogersuk/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/09/evies-year-of-taking-chances-by-christie-barlow-review-christiejbarlow-bookouture/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/03/10/top-five-friday-with-the-book-review-cafe-thewowfactor/

Next week on the book review café

Rupture by Ragnar Jónasson – review

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

#TopFiveThursday

Top Five Friday- Crime books stand-alones

**Blog tour** Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

 

 

**Top Five Friday** with the book review café #TheWOWFactor

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Today on top five Friday I’m going to share with you the top five books that in my opinion have the WOW factor and left me speechless (no easy feat I can tell you). These are books that I’ve read this year and despite only being three months in to the new year there were plenty of books I could have choosen for this category, but for me these books are extra special and left me stunned by their sheer brilliance.

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The One by John Marrs

I just loved The One by John Marrs, he’s already gone on my list of “must read authors” after reading this awesome novel. With a highly original theme and one which intrigued me from the very first page, a cliche I know but I really struggled to put this book down.

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The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech

I have to say it is the most exquisite and emotive book I have read in a very long while, and in a way it may sound strange but I’m glad I left it so long to read it as I savoured every page of this haunting and beautifully told story.

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Frailty by Betsy Reavley

Frailty by Betsy Reavley not only left me speechless (a very rare thing indeed, as Mr book review café will tell you) but it also reduced me to a blubbering wreck, it’s very rare that a book leaves me emotionally drained, especially a psychological thriller, but my god this book certainly did! From the disturbing prologue to the very last shocking page I struggled to put this book down.

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Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

Six Stories is like no other book I have ever read it’s highly original and superbly executed, for me Matt Wesolowski is a refreshing and powerful new voice in crime fiction and certainly one to watch out for. You can read my review for this awesome book on Saturday 18th March as I’m part of the blog tour.

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The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls is well worth a read, despite its subject matter this book has a hidden depth, it explores the complexity of love and relationships, and dysfunctional families with sensitivity. Although it feels wrong to say I enjoyed this book, it was a hard one to put down and I read it in one sitting.

You can read my reviews here

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

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

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/11/09/frailty-by-betsy-reavley-review-betsyreavley-bloodhoundbook/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/02/28/the-roanoke-girls-by-amy-engel-bookreview-emilykitchin/