Tag Archives: New Author To Me

Haverscroft by S.A. Harris #GuestPost #Haverscroft @salharris1 @saltpublishing @EmmaDowson1

Today I’m delighted  to be on the blog tour for Haverscroft  by S.A.Harris. Haverscroft  has been described as a gripping and chilling dark tale, a modern ghost story that will keep you turning its pages late into the night. Today I’m sharing a guest post from the author herself, but first the book description……

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Kate Keeling leaves all she knows and moves to Haverscroft House in an attempt to salvage her marriage. Little does she realise, Haverscroft’s dark secrets will drive her to question her sanity, her husband and fatally engulf her family unless she can stop the past repeating itself. Can Kate keep her children safe and escape Haverscroft in time, even if it will end her marriage?

Haverscroft is a gripping and chilling dark tale, a modern ghost story that will keep you turning its pages late into the night.

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Salt (15 May 2019)

Buying link:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧

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Do You Have A Choice What You Write?

In the run-up to my debut novel, Haverscroft, being published I was asked to write some articles about the road to publication. What influenced me to write dark tales and Gothic fiction. Why this genre, over say, romance? I dredged various things from my memory which had been significant one way or another over the years and wrote a couple of pieces. A friend commented she would not have such a wealth of strange experiences to pull upon and that got me thinking. Do we have a choice what we write or is it inherent like eye colour?

Those weird encounters were many and varied but the one that regularly causes outcries of horror happened when we were on a family holiday a few years ago. It had been a long journey from East Anglia to a cottage near Pitlochry, Scotland. We arrived and loved the house; a light and airy Victorian villa with a patio and manicured garden leading to a bubbling stream and fields. The weather for July was still cool so we put on the heating and settled down for the evening. And that’s when things started to get interesting.

I’d just told our youngest to go to bed for the second time when he announced there was a bat on the wall beside the fireplace in the sitting room. An original delaying tactic if ever I’d heard one. A chorus followed from the rest of the family; A bat? What do you mean, a bat? On closer inspection, it turned out our son was telling the truth.

The little critter was tiny, not much larger than a fifty pence piece and could only crawl rather than fly, thank goodness. Deliberation followed. What should be done with it and where had it come from? I fetched my laptop and began to search the internet for answers. As I sat on the sofa, out of the corner of my eye, something was moving. A small dark shape was travelling from the cushion at my back onto my shoulder and at some speed. My daughter’s exclamation gave the game away before I could shift my position. Another baby bat had arrived.

We started searching the room. Bats were crawling down the curtains, emerging from behind cushions and from beneath the sofa. My husband fled upstairs to bed – moths, spiders, creepy crawlies are not his thing and neither are baby bats it turns out.

The internet provided a number to call which even at 11:30pm on a Saturday evening was answered. Advice was given; put the bats in boxes, lids on with holes punched in the top. Judy from the Bat Conservation Society would call by and collect our small visitors in the morning and, by the way, did we know bats are protected? We should probably move out.

We followed her instructions, found Tupperware, tinfoil and caught as many as we could. I closed the sitting room door and locked up as the children headed upstairs. 

I stood on the threshold of our bedroom with the light from the landing at my back. My husband lay on the mattress, the duvet on the floor. I thought in the dim light he was asleep, at least, he was snoring, anyway. Around him on the bed were small dark shapes. Surely not, I thought. I switched on the light. My husband complained about the glare. There are bats on the bed, I said. No six-foot man has ever moved so quickly.

Early the next morning, Judy explained there was a maternity roost in the chimney. The warmth of the central heating or the heat radiating from our bodies draws out the baby rodents. She took away all the bats we had collected leaving us with the advice more were very likely to crawl out from the nest. How were we going to find alternate accommodation at peak season and at such short notice? We started packing our bags.

So back to that question, are writers born or do we choose our genre? Perhaps if I tried, I could come up with a historical drama or a cosy crime novel. Haverscroft crosses genres. Part ghost story and part intimate examination of a marriage on the rocks in the way of a psychological thriller. By day, I am a solicitor specialising in divorce and relationship breakdown, so again, I guess exposure to such events over decades influenced my writing. But I do not think genre is like eye colour. Experiences over a lifetime become ingrained in us but nothing is inherent. We all draw on experience as well as our imaginations in our writing but ultimately it is our choice what we write.

And after we packed our bags and left the bats behind? We searched for most of a day but eventually found somewhere else to stay. We had salvaged our holiday. As we pulled up to the new cottage it seemed a little strange, but then, that is another story.

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S.A.Harris is an award-winning author and family law solicitor born in Suffolk and now living and working in Norwich, Norfolk.

She won the Retreat West Crime Writer Competition in 2017. She was shortlisted for The Fresher Prize First 500 Words of a Novel Competition in 2018 and published in their anthology, Monsters, in November 2018.

Her debut novel, Haverscroft, will be published on the 15th May 2019.

She is a member of the Society of Authors. You can contact her via her publisher: chris@saltpublishing.com or on Twitter @salharris1 or author website: https://www.saharrisauthor.com

PRAISE FOR HAVERCROFT

An atmospherically creepy ghost story that keeps you guessing till the end! Sally Harris is one to watch.’ –Angela Clarke

REVIEWS OF THIS BOOK

‘The writing is taut and fluid. Both the atmosphere of the old house and the wider family dynamics are evoked with skill. Whatever one thinks of a place harbouring the spirit of past deeds this story could throw shade over certainties. Recommended, but exercise caution if reading after dark.’ –Jackie Law, Never Imitate

My thanks to the author and Emma at Salt publishing for the guest post.

Follow the blog tour…..

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When Darkness Calls by Mark Griffin #Review @themarkgriffin @LittleBrownUK

Today I’m sharing my review for When Darkness Comes, the debut crime thriller from Mark Griffin, if you are a fan of dark and gruesome crime thrillers then this one’s definitely for you.

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***The first book in a bestselling new serial killer series***

Holly Wakefield works for the NHS as a criminal psychologist specialising in serial killers. She has particular reason to be good at her job – but she keeps that to herself.

When DI Bishop from the Met Police approaches Holly to investigate a recent killing, Holly is horrified by the dismembered bodies and the way they have been theatrically positioned. More shocking still is when the pathologist reveals this is not the first time she has seen these mutilations. It means a serial killer is out there, and they’re going to kill again – soon.

Holly is used to chasing serial killers. But this killer has something in common with Holly that she’s kept hidden for as long as she can remember. And for the first time since she was a child, Holly is forced to face the darkness of her past…

The first thriller in a gritty and gripping new crime series starring forensic psychologist Holly Wakefield. For fans of Patricia Cornwell, Val McDermid, Robert Galbraith and the TV’s Luther and Line of Duty.

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When Darkness Calls by Mark Griffin opens with a tantalising first chapter, definitely a promising start for a new crime series by Mark Griffin featuring forensic psychologist Holly Wakefield. I’m a huge fan of crime thriller series (in case you hadn’t already guessed) something guaranteed to make me pick up a book is one that  features a serial killer add in a forensic psychologist in the shape of Holly Wakefield (forensic psychology is another subject that fascinates me) and it was a book I just had to read.  When Darkness Calls is definitely one for those who enjoy a crime thriller that’s veers to the dark and gruesome, it’s compelling with many a nail biting scene to keep the most hardened crime thriller riveted.  

Holly Wakefield, is a criminal psychologist who specialises in the study of psychopaths and serial killers, some of whom she works with at a London psychiatric hospital. Holly is given the chance to work as a profiler with Detective Inspector Bishop and his murder squad. Their investigation begins with the discovery of an elderly couple murdered in their country home and it leads them to discover a trail of deaths stretching back more than 20 years. Holly is a refreshing protagonist for a crime thriller, she’s a walking, talking sickopedia, of serial killers and their macabre crimes, it’s clear she is committed to her job, she’s driven, and she’s quirky, but beneath the veneer are some very dark secrets that Holly would prefer to keep hidden. 

One of the things that makes this book such a compelling read is the author’s clever ploy of using Holly’s unhealthy obsession with serial killers as part of the plot  she relates details of infamous killers, their motives and their methods to the ongoing investigation which I found fascinating, this give the reader an insight into the unknown serial killer, as well as making this crime thriller all the more disturbing. The investigation takes a very dark and seriously twisted route, as Holly and Bishop chase a serial killer who is one sick individual, a master of control, manipulation and domination.  

There aren’t many books that make me grimace, some of the crime scenes and autopsies are graphic and pretty gory to say the least, but in the author’s defence they never feel unwarranted. When Darkness Calls is perfectly paced, it’s a dark tale (definitely my kind of read), with compelling characters, there’s a palatable sense of terror that permeates each page of this well thought out crime thriller. Did I mention this is the author’s debut novel? Well it is and what a fabulous start to this author’s writing career, in my opinion Mark Griffin is a new and exciting voice in the crime thriller genre and I will definitely read the next book in the series without hesitation. Highly recommended by me.

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus (1 Nov. 2018)

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧   Amazon US 🇺🇸

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TURBULENT WAKE by PAUL E. HARDISTY @OrendaBooks @Hardisty_Paul #TurbulentWake #BlogTour #Extract

Today I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Turbulent Wake by Paul E. Hardisty, a book that’s been described as A stark, stunning and emotive new standalone novel. Unfortunately due to my overwhelming TBR pile I haven’t had chance to read this book, but I do have a extract from the book to share with you  ……………

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A bewitching, powerful and deeply moving story of love, loss and grief. This extraordinary departure from the critically acclaimed thriller writer Paul E Hardisty explores the indelible damage we can do to those closest to us, the tragedy of history repeating itself and ultimately, the power of redemption in a time of change. Paul drew on his own experiences of travelling around the world as an engineer, from the dangerous deserts of Yemen, the oil rigs of Texas, the wild rivers of Africa, to the stunning coral cays of the Caribbean.

Ethan Scofield returns to the place of his birth to bury his father, with whom he had a difficult relationship. Whilst clearing out the old man’s house, he finds a strange manuscript, a collection of vignettes and stories that cover the whole of his father’s turbulent and restless life.

As his own life unravels before him, Ethan works his way through the manuscript, searching for answers to the mysteries that have plagued him since he was a child. What happened to his little brother? Why was his mother taken from him? And why, in the end, when there was no one left for him, did his own father push him away?

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

PUBLICATION DATE: 21 MARCH 2019 | PAPERBACK ORIGINAL | £8.99 | ORENDA BOOKS

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Collapsing Infinity

He opens his eyes and looks out at the snow-covered parkway and across the steaming white rooftops, towards the dim memory of the mountains. A breakfast – cold porridge, a plastic bowl of gaily col- oured fruit salad, slightly burned toast – sits on the bed tray before him, ignored. Overnight, snow had drifted up and swallowed the cars that had been abandoned the night before. He’d lain awake and watched their owners, one after the other, stall on the hill, trying for a while to free themselves as the snow piled higher around them, and then finally giving up, trudging towards the lights of the hospital. Now, a lone plough, its orange light flashing in the pre-dawn grey, fights against the burial, its big V-blade sending twin streams of road snow curling away, like surf breaking on a West African beach long ago.

‘How are we this morning, Mister Scofield?’ It’s the nurse, the pretty one with the freckles and the face of a ten-year-old, open and innocent, the skin so smooth and supple, her bottom lip in a pout. He notices that she has applied some balm or gloss that makes her lips look wet. Something stirs deep inside of him, shivers like an echo for a moment, retreats. She reaches under him and plumps his pillow, then winds up his bed a bit, so he can look outside without straining. She knows that’s what he likes to do, does all day, every day: stares out of the window across the winter city and the foothills that he can sometimes see in the distance if the day is cold and the cloud has moved off. Never the television. They must think he is crazy, all of them, with their drapes closed against the day and screens flickering the remaining hours away in front of their faces.
‘Did you sleep well?’ she asks.

He nods, doesn’t smile. He has never been big on smiling. Perhaps it was because he’d never had his teeth fixed to make them look straight and white. They were good teeth, had outlasted other parts of the machinery – no decay, strong, did their job. It hadn’t been until later in life, after he’d married again and divorced, that he’d even realised they were an issue for others. He’d never smiled much before, anyway. He’d always wanted to be taken seriously, to be serious. Smiling wasn’t serious.
‘No breakfast again?’ says the nurse, checking his IV.
He shakes his head. ‘No, thank you.’
‘The doctor says you must eat.’
He pushes the tray away. This was not how he’d imagined it would be, not how he’d ever wanted it. How did it happen? Your life unfolded, you made decisions or didn’t, things happened and didn’t, and what you thought was an ocean stretched out before you turned out to be only a teardrop.

‘I want you to help me,’ he says to the nurse.
She smiles at him. Her teeth are even and white, lovely. For a moment he imagines that she was the girl who’d married his son, had borne his grandsons.
‘Of course, what can I do?’ she says.
He pointed to the IV line. ‘Morphine.’
She checks the line again, his chart. ‘You can dose yourself, as
you like.’
‘No,’ he says. ‘I want more.’ He is conscious of his own voice,
cracked and dry and old. ‘A lot more.’ He looks straight into her clear, pale eyes. What beautiful children she would have made. He wonders if she knows yet that nothing else matters.
She stands a moment looking down at him. ‘You know I can’t do that, Mister Scofield.’
‘Why not? I’ll never tell.’ He curls the corner of his lip.
She doesn’t flinch. ‘If you are in pain, I will speak to the doctor about changing your dosage.’
He shakes his head. ‘I like the pain.’

She doesn’t understand, he knows. How can she? She still sees time as an ocean, can’t fathom this most cruel of illusions. Maybe that’s not so bad either, he thinks. Regardless, we’re looking back at each other from different shores of this same ocean. The only differ- ence is that I can see you, but you can’t see me. Time has accelerated for me, and passes still so slowly for you. Relativity applies. My only language now is the handful of events that I can recall, that stand out among the thousands of hours and days passed undifferentiated in offices and schoolrooms and bedrooms. Necessary, perhaps, but now I regret each of those wasted days.
But these two dozen or so times of my life, he thinks, these might be worth telling, remembering. The problem is I have no one to tell them to. No one left. Perhaps that, in itself, is one of the stories: how I came to be alone. And he wonders if these few moments are not shared, not somehow transcribed, will it be as if they had never occurred at all, and would it matter? He wonders if she would want to listen to his stories, those that might provide her with some glimpse of how to navigate the collapsing infinity between them.
The nurse is standing there, looking at him while he is thinking this. ‘Do you want me to get the doctor?’ she asks.
He shakes his head slowly. ‘The doctor can’t help me,’ he says. ‘But you can.’

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Canadian Paul E Hardisty has spent 25 years working all over the world as an engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist. He has roughnecked on oil rigs in Texas, explored for gold in the Arctic, mapped geology in Eastern Turkey (where he was befriended by PKK rebels), and rehabilitated water wells in the wilds of Africa. He was in Ethiopia in 1991 as the Mengistu regime fell, and was bumped from one of the last flights out of Addis Ababa by bureaucrats and their families fleeing the rebels.

In 1993 he survived a bomb blast in a café in Sana’a, and was one of the last Westerners of out Yemen before the outbreak of the 1994 civil war. Paul is a university professor and CEO of the Australian Institute of Marine Science AIMS). The first four novels in his Claymore Straker series, The Abrupt Physics of Dying, The Evolution of Fear, Reconciliation for the Dead and Absolution all received great critical acclaim and The Abrupt Physics of Dying was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger and was a Daily Telegraph Thriller of the Year. Paul is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia.

Follow the blog tour……

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My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing @smariedowning @penguinrandom #MyLovelyWife #BookHangoverAward #Review

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for My Lovely Wife, the debut novel from Samantha Downing.  If you are looking for a thriller that’s different, then I definitely have just the book for you……

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HOW WELL DO YOU REALLY KNOW THE ONE YOU LOVE THE MOST?

‘The twist at the end of the first chapter made me read through the night’ Jane Corry, bestselling author of The Dead Ex

This is a story about a married couple. They met, fell in love, had two beautiful children. So far, so ordinary.

But they have a very dark secret.

It’s a story with a twist. And then another. And another.

You might think you’ve read stories like this before.

You’d be wrong.

By the end of the first chapter you’ll be hooked.

At page fifty you might not sleep until you finish.

And when you turn the last page, you’ll ask yourself one question:

How well do you really know the person you love most?

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This will probably be the shortest review I’ve ever written, My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing is one of those books where it’s nigh on impossible to mention the plot in any detail without giving away major spoilers. I had no idea what this book was about when I first started reading it; I had no expectations, no thoughts on where the book would lead, and for me personally it made this reading experience even more exciting and enjoyable. My Lovely Wife has to be one of the best novels I’ve read this year, addictive, deliciously dark and very disturbing. 

My Lovely Wife is the story of two ordinary people who meet, fall in love and settle into the humdrum life of suburbia and parenthood, but if you scratch beneath their veneer of respectability, there lies a dark and disturbing secret and one only the couple share, well until now that is! Narrated from the point of view of the husband, we the reader are privy to every detail of this couple’s marriage. As a reader, I’m used to seeing thrillers that come with the promise “a twist you won’t see coming” and more often than not I’m left feeling disappointed that the “twist” was obvious from the start. That’s not the case with this novel, there really were some brilliant twists and in very much in keeping with the plot. 

Samantha Downing has written a novel that captures the reader from the first chapter, and as the book description mentions “At page fifty you might not sleep until you finish” and I have to agree I literally read this book in two hugely satisfying sessions (it would have been one if life didn’t get in the way) My Lovely Wife is a deliciously dark tale of relationships and secrets, not original themes by any means, but it’s so different to any other novel I’ve read, it’s wickedly entertaining, full of black humour, and as for the characters their deeply flawed but fascinating never the less. I have a feeling this novel will be a big hit with fans of psychological and crime thrillers and rightly so. Highly recommended by me 

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Books (26 Mar. 2019)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

I’m giving My Lovely Wife my shiny Book hangover 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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#TheFive by Hallie Rubenhold @HallieRubenhold @DoubledayUK #thefivewomen #iamPollyAnnieElizabethKateMaryJane

Today I’m sharing my review for The Five, the untold lives of the woman killed by Jack The Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold. I’ve recently started reading historical crime  novels and I must say I found this book to be a fascinating read. Read on for my thoughts…..

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Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.

What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888.

Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become far more famous than any of these five women.

Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, historian Hallie Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, and gives these women back their stories.

Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London – the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper

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I have read many true crime books over the years, and they have always focused on infamous killers with little thought given to the victims. I’m sure you can all think of a list of infamous killers, but can you remember any of the victims’ names or their life stories? Probably not I know I can’t, which is desperately sad. This book provides the reader with an incredible insight into the five victims of Jack The Ripper, Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane. Yes, they were victims of the most atrocious crimes,  but Helen Rubenhold’s The Five finally gives these women a voice. Beautifully written the author brings 1888 London to life, but more importantly she brings to life the five women, giving them back their dignity, which for almost 150 years they have been cruelly denied.

As a reader of true crime I have read many books on Jack The Ripper and many of them describe the five victims as prostitutes, a fact that obscured the truth about the women’s real life’s, (only one of the five women sold her body for money). Even back in 1888 the victims of Jack The Ripper were blighted by ‘here say’ and speculation, they were shaped and embellished to make the crimes more newsworthy (sound familiar?).  As most of the victims had no permanent roof over their heads or a husband to protect them, they were seen to be outcasts and so considered to be corrupt and impure, they faced violence, abuse, lived day to day, hungry, cold and unloved, was it any wonder every single one of the woman had struggled with alcohol addiction.

Towards the end of their short life’s circumstances for each woman changed, either through bad choices or misfortune.  Perceived to be either “broken women” or  “fallen women” It’s at this point they were treated with contempt,  and even in death the rumour mill spewed false accusations and showed little sympathy for the Ripper’s victims. None of the women were treated as individual victims in death, but were banded together as victims of “an unfortunate class”, which made me angry and incredibly sad. For the first time ever someone has taken the time to share their stories, they are desperately sad and harrowing but at the same time we see them as wife’s, daughters, and mothers, who faced adversary, and poverty, where every day was a struggle for survival, sometimes wrong choices were made, but then the choices these women had were very limited by circumstances.

Helen Rubenhold’s descriptions of a London in 1888 are vividly described, the sounds, the smells, the doss houses, overcrowded slums, the pubs, transport you back to an age where poverty, malnutrition and disease were rife. It’s obvious the author has extensively researched her subject. Although some parts are speculative, she has incorporated as much factual detail where ever possible. I should mention, if you’re expecting gruesome details of the murders of these five women, or another theory to the ripper’s identity then this book won’t be for you. If you are looking for a powerful book, that blends true crime and one that’s rich in historical detail, that gives a voice to #FiveWoman, Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane, then The Five is definitely a book I would recommend.

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (28 Feb. 2019)

Buying links :  Amazon UK 🇬🇧   Amazon US 🇺🇸

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Breakers by Doug Johnstone #BookReview @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks #Breakers #BookHangoverAward

Today I’m sharing a review for a book by a new author to me, Breakers by Doug Johnstone. If you are looking for a gritty, no nonsense, deeply moving crime  thriller, then I may have just found the book for you……

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Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings, he’s also trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addict mum.

On a job, his brother Barry stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead, but that’s just the beginning of their nightmare, because the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt. With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in devastating danger, Tyler meets posh girl Flick in another stranger’s house, and he thinks she may just be his salvation . . . unless he drags her down, too.

A pulsating, tense psychological thriller, Breakers is also a breathtakingly brutal, beautiful, and deeply moving story of a good kid in the wrong family, from one of Scotland’s finest crime writers

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This is the first book I have read by Doug Johnstone, so I wasn’t sure what to expect,  but one thing I wasn’t expecting was to have my heart shattered into a thousand pieces. Breakers could have been a depressing read considering it’s a modern tale of poverty, and deprivation, and yet it’s not, it’s a plausible and heartbreaking story, but buried amid all the ugliness is the beautiful and moving story of Seventeen-year-old Tyler who lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived area’s. The cards aren’t stacked in his favour, living with his junkie mum and younger sister, he lives hand to mouth stealing from people’s homes to support his family. The contrast between the affluent areas of Edinburgh and the more deprived areas are stark, but very credible. The author doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties of living in such a grim environment where violence, drugs and crime are part and parcel of everyday life for its residents. 

I really did not expect to like, let alone sympathise with Tyler’s character, after all he steals from people’s houses,  causing upset and trauma to the people from whose homes he steals. Yet once the author scratches away below the surface you realise Tyler isn’t all bad, his relationship with his little sister Bethany is heartwarming to say the least, he’s her loyal protector and desperate to shield her from the ugly and harsh realities of the life she has been born into. On the other hand, his relationship with his junkie mother is toxic, despite her shortcomings and she has many, Tyler still isn’t ready to give up on her, he sees things no child should have to witness, and it’s these scenes that are heartbreaking and harrowing, as the reader you want to wrap him in a big hug and tell him “everything is going to be alright” even though you know the realities of the world he lives in and the chance of him finding a “happy after” are slim to none. The author has the unique ability to create characters that despite their flaws, you find yourself rooting for, you feel their pain, experience their joy and cry at the injustice of the world we live in.

Doug Johnstone’s writing is superb every word, in fact every sentence has a deep impact on the reader, his characters are superbly depicted, and if this book doesn’t leave you an emotional wreck, then I’m sure you will be in the minority. Breakers is a searing and heartbreaking portrayal of modern day Britain, the author takes the reader on an emotional journey, one that at times feels uncomfortable, it packs a hell of a punch, you will find yourself questioning your own assumptions, it’s a book whose characters will remain with you long after you reach the last page. In case you haven’t already guessed I loved this book, and it will definitely be one of my top reads of 2019.  Highly recommended to those who enjoy a gritty thriller with a powerful and moving plot.

  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS; (16 Mar. 2019)

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US 🇺🇸

It will come as no surprise but I’m giving Breakers my Book hangover 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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My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

#IKnowYou by Erik Therme #BlogTour @ErikTherme @Bookouture

Today I’m thrilled to be opening the blog tour for I Know You by Erik Therme, along with my partner in crime (excuse the pun) Sarah Hardy don’t forget to check out her post at… bytheletterbookreviews

In my challenge to read more books by authors whose books I haven’t read before I decided to sign up to the blog tour, and I’m so glad I did. Read on for my thoughts….

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I can help you save your sister. But I need something from you …’

Sisters Bree and Alissa Walker share a special bond. Neglected by their parents, they have always looked out for one another. But one day, sixteen-year-old Alissa goes missing. When Bree discovers her green backpack with all her belongings, abandoned on the steps of their run-down trailer, she knows that something bad has happened …

Then she receives a chilling text message. Someone has Alissa. But Bree will have to give up something very precious in exchange.

Desperate to save Alissa, Bree looks at everyone close to their family. She’s sure that Alissa’s best friend is keeping something back about her little sister and a boy at school, and why has their estranged uncle, who they’ve not seen in years, been hanging around again?

It soon becomes clear that the person behind the message knows a lot about the dark truths within the Walker family and will go to any lengths to get revenge. And as the search for Alissa continues, Bree discovers something about her brother Tyler that she wishes she hadn’t, a dangerous secret, which is also the key to bringing her little sister back home …

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I Know You is a relatively short read at 221 pages, but what it lacks in pages it certainly doesn’t lack in action, it’s what I consider to be a fast paced, quick moving thriller. The Walkers can only be described as a “dysfunctional family”, with oldest daughter Bree being the main care provider by default for her younger brother and sister Alissa and Taylor.  

When Bree receives a text stating, simply, “find your sister”, the race is on to find sixteen year old Alissa before it is too late. Bree’s family may not win a “family of the year” award but they are Bree’s family, and rather like a lioness protecting her young she will do anything to safeguard her siblings, this mindset drives her on in the quest to save Alissa. Bree’s a character I really liked, she’s determined, resourceful and ballsy, and despite her difficult childhood she doesn’t allow this to define her.  

The challenges Bree faces to save Alissa, move from the down right scary to the almost impossible, but here’s a character whose going to save her sister come hell or high water. As the story unfolds numerous reasons come to light, each one could potentially be the reason Alissa has been taking, a clever ploy by the author because you find yourself constantly trying to work out why Alissa has been taken? and by whom? There is a long list of worthy suspects who come under the microscope, as each one is discounted another one takes their place. 

The Walker family are central to the plot and although it’s not a book entirely character driven, they do play a big part in the plot. I know You explores what can happen to a family who haven’t had the luxury of growing up in a stable and loving environment and the impact this has on their life’s, the good, the bad, and the damn right ugly.  I wouldn’t say this book had a “heart stopping twist” yes it had plenty of twists and turns, but it lacked that “OMFG” moment I was expecting from the tagline, but never the less this book made for a quick, enjoyable read. This is the perfect thriller for those who are looking for a quick read with well developed characters and a suspenseful plot.

  • Print Length: 221 pages
  • Publisher: Bookouture (12 April 2019)

Buying links:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B07NCYMZSFSocial

Apple Books:  https://apple.co/2TtfXPM

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2MQZdzE

Googleplay: http://ow.ly/uX3W30nA9OJ

My thanks to the author, Noelle Holten and Bookouture for my ARC in exchange for a honest review.

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Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering for his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his seventeen-year-old. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa–one of only twenty places in the world UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.

Author Social Media Links:

Website: www.eriktherme.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ErikTherme

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7831573.Erik_Therme

Facebook: www.facebook.com/erik.therme

Follow the blog tour….

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