#Blogblitz Dying Day by Stephen Edger #Review @StephenEdger @Bookouture

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Today I’m thrilled to be one of the stops on the Dying Day by the awesome and very talented Stephen Edger #Blogbitz tour. Dying Day is published by one of my very favourite publishers on the planet Bookouture. You don’t even have to wait to buy yourself a copy of this gripping crime thriller as it was published yesterday, so you can hop over to Amazon and “click” the buy now button, before you do you might just want to read my review or maybe not!

Book description

Some mistakes you live with. Others you die for…

When the body of a young woman is found in the boot of an abandoned car near the Southampton Docks, Detective Kate Matthews is ordered to stay well away from the scene.

Exactly a year ago, Amy, a junior detective on Kate’s team, was murdered when she was sent undercover to catch a serial killer targeting young girls. Kate never forgave herself for letting the killer slip through her fingers and her team are worried this coincidence might push her over the edge…

When another girl’s body is uncovered days later with similar bruising around the neck, Kate launches an investigation of her own, determined to connect new evidence to the old to catch this monster before more innocent lives are taken…

Mysterious sympathy cards sent to the victims’ families finally lead Kate to the twisted individual from her past. But if she’s found the killer, why does the body count keep rising?

An absolutely heart-stopping crime thriller that will have you sleeping with the lights on. Perfect for fans of Robert Dugoni, James Patterson and M.J. Arlidge.

My review

Flipping heck I just loved Dying Day it’s much darker and than the first book in the series, and do you know what? that’s just the way I like a crime thriller to be, make of that what you will! Dying Day is the second book in the Detective Kate Matthews series, personally I think this book could be read as a standalone, but if like me you prefer starting a series at the beginning it’s definitely worth reading Dead To Me  first. Stephen Edger draws the reader in with a prologue that leaves you desperate to learn more and keeps you in his clutches until you reach the “OMG I never saw that coming” conclusion.

Dying Day has an extremely spine tingling premise, Young women brutally murdered and left naked, exposed, in public places. As the body count rises Detective Kate Matthews is determined to connect the killer to past crimes which resulted in Amy a young Detective being killed whilst under cover hunting down the killer. If I’m honest, I disliked Kate’s character in Dead To Me but I was surprised to find she’s actually growing on me. Burdened by guilt over the death of Amy, she is determined to seek justice for her by hook or by crook. Her feelings of guilt give her a sense of vulnerability that was lacking in the previous book.

I love the way the author has written this book alternating chapters that move between the current investigation and the POV of Amy before her death, the two threads work well and there’s a constant sense of unease reading about Amy, and the chapters around the police investigation add a sense of urgency to the plot. Perfectly paced, the author misdirects the reader at every opportunity which I just love in a crime thriller. I don’t know about you, but I’m left feeling slightly miffed when I guess the killer early in a book! Crime series are two a penny so for me to continue to invest in a series, each book has to be better than the last, and I’m thrilled to report Dying Day is a worthy addition to this series and I’m excited to see where the author goes from here.

Print Length: 326 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (17 Nov. 2017)

Buying links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧Amazon US 🇺🇸

About the author

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Stephen Edger is a British crime writer, who has been writing since 2010. In that time he has written and published eleven novels, and five short stories. He writes mysteries and thrillers focused on crime.

Stephen was born in the north-east of England, grew up in London, but has lived in Southampton since attending university in the year 2000. Stephen works in the financial industry, and uses his insider knowledge to create the plots of his books. He also has a law degree, which gives him a good understanding of the inner workings of the UK justice system.

Stephen is married, and has two children, and two dogs. He is passionate about reading and writing, and cites Simon Kernick and John Grisham as major influences on his writing style.

Author links:   FacebookTwitterWebsite

Print Length: 326 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (17 Nov. 2017)

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The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd #Review.

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Book description

A young schoolteacher falls for a man on Death Row whom she believes is falsely accused, only to begin wondering after their marriage – and his release.

Twenty years ago Dennis Danson was arrested for the brutal murder of Holly Michaels in Florida’s Red River County. Now he’s the subject of a Making a Murderer-style true crime documentary that’s taking the world by storm – the filmmakers are whipping up a frenzy of coverage to uncover the truth and free the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice.

Samantha may be thousands of miles away in Britain, but she is as invested in Dennis’s case as any of his lawyers. Perhaps even more so, as her letters to the convicted killer grow ever more intimate. Soon she is leaving her life behind to marry Danson and campaign, as his wife, for his release.

But when the campaign is successful, and Dennis is freed, events begin to suggest that he may not be so innocent after all. How many girls went missing in Red River, and what does Dennis really know?

My review

When I read the book description for The Innocent Wife I knew it was one I had to read. I’ve often wondered about the woman and men who write to prisoners on death row, and then go on to fall in love with them. I’m sure the reasons are complex and way beyond my comprehension, but intriguing never the less. If you are a fan of true crime documentaries then this is a book you won’t want to miss, as it’s a story which reads very much like a true crime story.

As you will see from the book description The Innocent Wife is a thriller about Samantha who strikes up a friendship with Dennis a prisoner on death row. What start’s out as a relationship based wholly on writing to each other, soon escalates into something far more intense. The author has created a very intriguing but flawed set of characters, I found myself sympathetic to Dennis’s predicament one minute, and then a couple of chapters later I found myself questioning his innocence and his motives for marrying Sam.You would think a character who has spent twenty years on death row would be the only flawed character, but no Sam is just as flawed, she’s obsessive with HUGE trust issues, not a good combination and doesn’t bode well for “a happy ever after”.

The Innocent Wife is told mostly in a documentary style, eye witness accounts and documents which gives the reader an in depth look into Dennis life and his personality. The plot is very much based on did he do it? Or not? So throughout the book has a sinister and threatening feel to it. I did think this book lacked any real drama or excitement, but then the focus is very much on the did he or didn’t he? conundrum. The author kept me guessing right up until the last few chapters, which is always a bonus and guaranteed to heighten my enjoyment of a book. Twisted and compelling The Innocent Wife is well worth a read if your looking for an original thriller that will keep you guessing right up until the final chapter.

Buying links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 356 pages

Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (6 Oct. 2017)

When You Disappeared by John Marrs #BookReview

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Book description

When Catherine wakes up alone one morning, she thinks her husband has gone for a run before work. But Simon never makes it to the office. His running shoes are by the front door. Nothing is missing–except him.
Catherine knows Simon must be in trouble. He wouldn’t just leave her. He wouldn’t leave the children.

But Simon knows the truth–about why he left and what he’s done. He knows things about his marriage that it would kill Catherine to find out. The memories she holds onto are lies.

While Catherine faces a dark new reality at home, Simon’s halfway around the world, alive and thriving. He’s doing whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of the truth.

But he can’t hide forever, and when he reappears twenty-five years later, Catherine will finally learn who he is.
And wish she’d stayed in the dark.

Revised edition: Previously published as The Wronged Sons, this edition of When You Disappeared includes editorial revisions.

My review

Imagine one day your husband disappears, you have no idea what has happened to him, as time passes you grieve, you go on to build a life without him and then when you least expect he turns up on your doorstep, I’m sure you would be shocked to say the least! and even more so when he reveals what he’s been up too! And this is pretty much the premises for When You Disappear. The story opens with the day Simon left and follows the impact this has on his family, and on Simon himself, when he reappears twenty-five years later, Catherine will finally learn who he really is, and that’s when the book gets really interesting as there are shocks and dark buried secrets galore. 

I absolutely loved The One by John Marrs so I really wanted to read When You Disappeared the author’s debut novel. Although it made for a good read I did have mixed emotions regarding the book as a whole some parts I really enjoyed and other parts I struggled with. Personally I felt this book read more like a mystery until just over the halfway mark when the psychological thriller element kicked in. I do have to mention Simon what an evil, cold hearted individual John Marr’s has created he doesn’t have one endearing feature, and at times he literally made my blood boil, sometimes I think having strong feelings for a character even if they are negative ones can actually heighten my enjoyment of a book, but unfortunately I disliked him so much it actually distracted from my enjoyment of When You Disappeared.

When You Disappeared is told in alternating chapters past and present from the two main characters POV, unfortunately I did find the constant change sometimes made the chapters feel disjointed. Although I can see why the author used this ploy I did find it slightly distracted from my enjoyment of this book. I would describe this book as a Character driven family drama and so I found the pace quite slow, although I do feel the author builds on the suspense and tension as he slowly reveals Simon’s darkest secrets. There is no doubt the author has written a captivating tale that many readers will enjoy with an original plot. It’s an impressive debut and one I’m sure many readers will enjoy.

Buying links:   amazon UK 🇬🇧     amazon US 🇺🇸

Length: 350 pages

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (13 July 2017)

#BlogBlitz Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell #Review @Caroline_writes @Bookouture

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Today I’m may just be a little over excited because not only do I get to share my review for a gripping book, but  I’m also one of many bloggers taking part in the #BligBlitz for Murder Games by the awesome Caroline Mitchell, so make sure you check out all the reviews. Murder Game was published by the fabulous Bookouture on the 31st October 2017.

Murder Game is the third book in the Detective Ruby Preston series and it’s a series I would highly recommend. My thanks to Noelle at https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk and Bookouture for my ARC and allowing me to be part of the #BlogBlitz. 

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Book description

To catch a killer, you must first think like one…

A killer is playing a twisted game of life or death with his victims. After he captures them, a countdown begins. He marks the time by sending clues to the whereabouts of the women he has taken in three disturbing images: alive, tortured, dead.

In a race against the clock, East London Detective Ruby Preston must play the killer’s terrifying murder game and decipher the clues before more women die.

But this isn’t the first time the police have seen such a sickening crime. The notorious Lonely Hearts Killer, Mason Gatley, was put behind bars ten years ago for murdering six women in exactly the same chilling way. Desperate for more information, Ruby asks her gangster boyfriend, Nathan Crosby, to set up a dangerous meeting to allow her to see into the twisted mind of a murderer.

But the closer Ruby grows to the dark and charming Mason Gatley, the more worried her team becomes. Is he really helping her catch the killer? Or is he lining her up to be his next victim?

My review

I will say one thing for Caroline Mitchell her books always open wth an prologue that immediately draws you in with a promise of a dark and deviously plotted tale and Murder Game is no different. Hells bells once I read the epilogue for this one I knew it was going to be a read “in one sitting” kind of book and I wasn’t wrong! This is the third book in the Detective Ruby Preston and although you could probably read it as a standalone I would urge you to read the series in order, just because it’s such a well written crime thriller series.

The author has used her very vivid imagination to come up with a deliciously dark and brutal plot, and what a disturbing killer the author has created, especially when you consider the fact once the victims are captured, the killer sends clues to the whereabouts of the women he has taken in three disturbing images: alive, tortured, and dead. As the investigation intensifies Detective Ruby Preston can’t help but think the killer is following in the footsteps of notorious Lonely Hearts Killer, Mason Gatley, who murdered six women in exactly the same gruesome way? Ruby certainly has her work cut out in Murder Games as she tries to bring one killer to justice, whilst trying to keep one step ahead of the devil himself psychopath Mason Gatley.

It must be difficult when writing a crime thriller to devise a Detective that stands out from the norm, more often than not they end up being your typical stereotype. Fortunately the author manages to add an original slant to her character by putting her in a relationship with gangster boyfriend, Nathan Crosby. At some point you know her relationship with Nathan will go spectacularly wrong and put her career in jeopardy, but the not knowing why are how just makes their relationship all the more interesting.

The author’s background in the police force adds authenticity to Murder Game, Caroline Mitchell very much brings the brutal crime scenes, the investigation and police procedures to life, which at times make for a disconcerting read. The plot is fast paced very much like the investigation, and I’m sure my heart was pounding as Murder Game reached its dramatic conclusion. I think this is the most gruesome book in the series, shocking and gristly in parts and never a dull moment that’s for sure, for me personally, they make the perfect crime thriller read. I’m devastated to learn this will be the last book in the series, as it has huge potential, but Caroline Mitchell has ended the series on a high and Murder Games is a worthy addition to this gripping and highly addictive crime series.

Print Length: 285 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (31 Oct. 2017)
Buying links:     Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

About the author

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USA Today Bestselling Thriller Author.

Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family, parrot and two dogs in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. Published by Bookouture and Thomas & Mercer, she now writes full time and all her books have become number 1 best sellers in their categories.

Her fast-paced DC Jennifer Knight thrillers carry a hint of the supernatural and are weaved from Caroline’s personal experiences in the police and paranormal.

Set in Shoreditch, London, her DS Ruby Preston series is described as “terrifying, addictive serial killer thrillers”.

Caroline also writes psychological thrillers, the most recent, Witness, has been described as “thrilling, tense, exciting, dark and twisted in the best possible way”.

Author Social Media Links:
www.caroline-writes.com
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3076677.Caroline_Mit
https://twitter.com/Caroline_writes
www.pinterest.com/Writeparanormal
https://www.facebook.com/CMitchellAuthor/

 

 

If you want to learn more or buy the other books in the series you can find them here……..Detective Ruby Preston series

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**Blog tour** Beneath The Skin by Caroline England #GuestPost @CazEngland

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Today I’m thrilled to be the next stop on the Beneath The Skin by Caroline England blog tour. To celebrate the occasion The author has written a special guest post for the book review café. Before I get to the post I should mention this is the author’s debut novel and was published by Avon on the 5th October 2017 so you don’t even have to wait to buy a copy. I thought I would include some of the comments about this book to pique your interest.

‘I loved Beneath the Skin. It’s so beautifully written and kept me hooked right to the end. Caroline England knows her wonderful cast of characters inside out. I didn’t want this book to end.’ LIBBY CARPENTER, AUTHOR OF 99 RED BALLOONS

‘I was gripped immediately and I couldn’t wait for it to finish – perfect for fans of Into the Water by Paula Hawkins’ KATERINA DIAMOND, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE TEACHER AND THE SECRET

‘Gripping, immersive, horribly believable, Beneath the Skin asks can we trust our friends? Should we believe our lovers?’ SANJIDA KAY, AUTHOR OF BONE BY BONE

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If Beneath the Skin was made into a film…

Who would I cast? This is a fun question but surprisingly difficult!

Firstly there’s Antonia, beautiful, perfect, flawless on the outside, but on the inside… Physically I always picture Alesha Dixon in my mind, but an actress who’d be perfect is Thandie Newton. Remember her playing DCI Roz Huntley in Line of Duty? The way you didn’t really know what was going on behind her fine eyes? Yup, that’s Antonia!

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Her husband David… Big, posh and gregarious on the surface. Not a trouble in the world; everyone’s friend. He’s probably a little too young, but James Norton could act his socks off as David. Or Rupert Penry-Jones, he’d fit the bill nicely.

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Then we have Irish Mike. This is tricky. So many dark haired handsome Irish actors around. Colin Farrell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Cillian Murphy, to name a few. But which actor can play someone who is thoughtful and introspective as well as being a joker with a great smile? Well, it has to be Aidan Turner, hasn’t it. I’m thinking more Mitchell in Being Human than Ross Poldark! Aidan played the many layers of Mitchell so brilliantly, he could certainly nail the complicated Mike.

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Mike is married to Olivia. Her feisty character doesn’t necessarily match her pale, pretty and petite looks. Carey Mulligan could play her strident and intelligent personality perfectly. She suits an elfin-style hair cut too!

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Sami is charming, swaggering and vain! He’s also drop-dead good looking. The obvious contender would be Idris Elba, but perhaps he’s a little too jaded. Did anyone watch Marcella? Nicholas Pinnock, who played Marcella’s not-so-nice husband? Remember his chiselled good looks, his confident stride? And he looked great in a designer suit!

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Then there’s Sophie. I’m struggling to cast her. She’s acerbic but fun, always the centre of attention. Not traditionally beautiful, but the force of her personality shines through her emerald eyes. Geri Halliwell in her plumper days? Or maybe ask Kate Winslet to dye her hair auburn. I’m sure she could pull off any role.

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Though he can be grumpy at times, Charlie’s a good soul. He’s a bit set in his ways and has always looked older than his years. Toby Jones is a fantastic actor, he’d do a great job.

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Charlie’s wife Helen is a no-nonsense academic who’s often inadvertently blunt. She doesn’t give two hoots about her appearance, but she’s not unattractive. Helen McCrory is such a versatile actress, she would be perfect.

Helen McCrory

Book description

Presenting a stunning debut psychological thriller about a life-changing lie.

Caroline England’s, Beneath The Skin is a tense and compelling read, exploring truth, friendships and betrayal.

No-one remembers your past. But you do.

‘Antonia, Antonia. My name is Antonia.’

It’s been her name for many years. But sometimes, like tonight, she forgets. Antonia has a secret. A secret so dark and so deep that she can barely admit it to herself. Instead, she treats herself to Friday night sessions of self-harm while her husband David is at the pub, and her best friend Sophie is drinking too much wine a few doors down.

Nobody close to her knows the truth about what the teenage Antonia saw all those years ago. No-one, that is, except her mother. But Candy is in a care home now, her mind too addled to remember the truth.

Antonia is safe. Isn’t she? The lies start small. They always do. But when the tightly woven story you’ve told yourself begins to unravel, the truth threatens to come to the surface. And then what’s going to happen?

Buying links:     Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

About the author

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Born Yorkshire lass, Caroline studied Law at the University of Manchester and stayed over the border. Caroline was a divorce and professional indemnity lawyer and instigated her jottings when she deserted the law to bring up her three lovely daughters. In addition to the publication of her short story collection, Watching Horsepats Feed the Roses by ACHUKAbooks, Caroline has had short stories and poems published in a variety of literary publications and anthologies. She was shortlisted for the Impress Prize 2015, in the Pulp Idol 2016 finals and long listed for the UK Novel Writing Competition 2017.

Follow the blog tour…….

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Broken Bones by Angela Marsons #BookReview @WriteAngie @Bookouture

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Book description

They thought they were safe. They were wrong.

The murder of a young prostitute and a baby found abandoned on the same winter night signals the start of a disturbing investigation for Detective Kim Stone – one which brings her face to face with someone from her own horrific childhood.

As more sex workers are murdered in quick succession, each death more violent than the last, Kim and her team realise that the initial killing was no one-off frenzied attack, but a twisted serial killer preying on the vulnerable.

At the same time, the search begins for the desperate woman who left her newborn baby at the station – but what looks like a tragic abandonment turns even more sinister when a case of modern slavery is uncovered.

The two investigations bring the team into a terrifying world of human exploitation and cruelty – and a showdown that puts Kim’s life at risk as shocking secrets from her own past come to light.

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My review

There are so many Crime detective series on the market that it’s almost impossible to keep up with them all. There are a few series that come high or hell water I wouldn’t miss the latest instalment of and Angela Marsons Detective Kim Stone series is one of them. I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of Broken Bones that I didn’t even read the book description, but then I have such faith in this author’s ability to deliver a riveting read. Was my faith misplaced? Hell no despite this book being the seventh in the series Angela Marsons has only gone and written another worthy nail biting addition to what is a compulsive series.

Detective Kim Stone is one of my favourite crime Detectives and I feel as the series has evolved so has her character, interestingly in Broken Bones there is more emphasis on Stacy and Dawson valuable members of Kim’s team. This works perfectly as the reader learns more about the dynamics of her team, and each character has a very different story to tell, so as the reader you feel a connection to the team as a whole.

I will say one thing for the author, she certainly doesn’t hang about and waste words, no siree Angela Marsons grabs the reader’s attention with a disturbing prologue, one which promises the reader an intense and unputdownable read. From the first page to the last the author keeps the reader firmly in her clutches, as Kim and her team investigate two crimes that involve human exploitation and cruelty you will be hard pressed to put this gripping book down. As usual the author doesn’t shy away from writing about difficult subjects, prostitution, modern day slavery, grooming to name but a few, but that’s what make her books so original there dark, gritty and disturbing, but one thing they can never be called is “dull”.

I could wax lyrical about Broken Bones from morning through to night the characters, the plot and the heart racing moments, and so much more but then in doing so I could possibly spoil the read for others, so all I’m going to say is “read this book at the earliest opportunity” and to those who have yet to read this series well your definitely missing out on one of the best crime series out there at the moment.

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

Print Length: 374 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (3 Nov. 2017)

Other books in the series:

 

 

 

 

 

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain #BookReview @panmacmillan 

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Book description

Steeped in history and filled with heart-wrenching twists, The Stolen Marriage is an emotionally captivating novel of secrets, betrayals, prejudice, and forgiveness. It showcases Diane Chamberlain at the top of her talent.

One mistake, one fateful night, and Tess DeMello’s life is changed forever.
It is 1944. Pregnant, alone, and riddled with guilt, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly gives up her budding career as a nurse and ends her engagement to the love of her life, unable to live a lie. Instead, she turns to the baby’s father for help and agrees to marry him, moving to the small, rural town of Hickory, North Carolina. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows her no affection. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.

The people of Hickory love and respect Henry but see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain. When one of the town’s golden girls dies in a terrible accident, everyone holds Tess responsible. But Henry keeps his secrets even closer now, though it seems that everyone knows something about him that Tess does not.

My Review

As anyone who follows my blog will know I mostly read crime and psychological thrillers but every once in a while I like to move away from the “dark side” and pick up a book that’s very different to my usual read. I’m a huge fan of Diane Chamberlain and have been for a number of years I love her style of writing and I always find I quickly get immersed her books once I start reading them.

The Stolen Marriage is a very compelling historical novel with an element of mystery thrown in, set in the 1940’s in Hickory, North Carolina, like many towns of that era the author depicts a authentic picture of a small town steeped in racial prejudice, a polio epidemic and the hardships faced by people during World War Two. One moment of madness leads to Tess finding herself trapped in a loveless marriage to Henry, as she tries to adjust to married life she realises there’s a lot more to her new husband than meets the eye. When a polio epidemic strikes the town Tess, who has a nursing degree, ignores Henry’s wishes and begins to work at the hospital, finding meaning in nursing the young victims. Tess begins her story in crisis and self doubt but as The Stolen Marriage progresses she grows stronger through adversity.

The Stolen Marriage is an eye opener and thank goodness the 1940’s are well and truly behind us. Everything was so different then, interracial Marriage was prohibited and punishable by up to ten years in prison, and a woman working, unthinkable! these views sound unbelievable but unfortunately they were alive and kicking in the 1940’s, for me this novel gave an authentic insight into an age where things were so different. Diane Chamberlain has created a host of characters some more likeable than others, Henry Kraft was a character that I found hard to like, but I was surprised by the last third of the book I actually ended up feeling a great deal of empathy for him.

Diane Chamberlain has once again written a fascinating novel and one I’m sure her legions of fans will love. If I had one small criticism I thought the first half of the book was very slow, but in saying that the author uses this time to develop her characters. The one thing I really enjoyed about this book was the author’s attention to detail I really felt the town of Hickory came alive, it almost felt like I was stepping back in time to a town steeped in prejudice, snobbery and old fashioned views. It’s also obvious the author has spent a lot of time researching polio, and has written a very credible story. All in all I found this novel to be an throughly enjoyable read.The Stolen Marriage is a book that I would definitely recommend to those who enjoy a historical novel with some mystery thrown in.

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 384 pages

Publisher: Macmillan; Main Market Ed. edition (5 Oct. 2017)