Book Review: Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton @AuthorSJBolton @TransworldBooks

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Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton.

So, this is my final review of 2017. I can’t believe that the year is over already, I’ve got so caught up with everything that I haven’t even started my book of the year post. Bad me. I have definitely been neglecting my lovely blog over the last few weeks but I endeavour to do better.

The worst thing about this review is that I actually read it months ago, how I forgot to review it I don’t know because I really enjoyed this book. Bad me again.

My Review:

I really, really like Sharon Bolton. She is a great author whose writing is so solid and real that I often think that her characters are real life people. There are still some of her books that I am yet to read but I am determined to make my way through all of them. My favourite so far is, without a doubt, Little Black Lies and I very much doubt that any of her books will beat that!

Dead Woman Walking gripped me from the very start, the balloon ride that goes horribly wrong when they see a woman being killed below. Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time! When the murderer chases the balloon which soon crashes out of the sky in a spectacular fashion leaving just one survivor the tension is cranked right up.

That tension barely let up through the book as the sole survivor fights for survival, not so easy when they have no idea who they can trust. I haven’t given anything away that isn’t in the blurb and I really don’t want to do that, so if you enjoy thrillers where the story twists and turns and you’re never quite sure who is who and who to trust then this book is one for you. I’m looking forward to reading the authors next book.

Blurb:

Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, a man murders a young woman. At the same time, a hot-air balloon crashes out of the sky. There’s just one survivor.

She’s seen the killer’s face – but he’s also seen hers. And he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the only witness to his crime.

Alone, scared, trusting no one, she’s running to where she feels safe – but it could be the most dangerous place of all . . .

About The Author:

1038226Sharon (formerly SJ) Bolton grew up in a cotton-mill town in Lancashire and had an eclectic early career which she is now rather embarrassed about. She gave it all up to become a mother and a writer.

Her first novel, Sacrifice, was voted Best New Read by Amazon.uk, whilst her second, Awakening, won the 2010 Mary Higgins Clark award. In 2014, Lost, (UK title, Like This, For Ever) was named RT Magazine’s Best Contemporary Thriller in the US, and in France, Now You See Me won the Plume de Bronze. That same year, Sharon was awarded the CWA Dagger in the Library, for her entire body of work.

 

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

#BookReview The Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan @SVaughanAuthor @simonschusterUK

 

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Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan.

 

My Review:

There is a lot of hype from fellow book bloggers about Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan, this can be a good thing as hype doesn’t happen over an average book but it can also be a bad thing, having heard all the hype it is easy to have high expectations and be disappointed by a book.

Having seen nothing but 5* reviews for this book I had high hopes, but did it live up to my expectations? Well, the answer is yes, and no. One pretty amazing thing about this book is timing, given how long it takes to write a book, edit it and get it ready for publication the timing of the release is pretty perfect as the story is so so current.

With the recent flurry of stories coming from Westminister about sexual assaults and people taking advantage of junior staff this book is timely and certainly gives food for thought.

The story of James, the apparently loving family man, is accused of a serious crime by his former mistress. The fact that they previously had a consensual sexual relationship does muddy the water slightly as he can easily claim revenge for breaking up with her.

The book is well written and the characters have a great backstory and their actions are in the main believable. It is a great book and well worth reading but for me, it lacked the wow factor that other readers have felt when reading it. Who knows why, but it’s still a great read that I’d definitely recommend.

Blurb:

An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

About the Author:

1026489 Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to be a journalist. After training with the Press Association, she worked for The Guardian for 11 years as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent before leaving to freelance. She started writing fiction the week she turned forty. Anatomy of a Scandal is her third novel and will be published in January 2018 by S&S in the UK, US and Canada, plus other commonwealth countries. It will also be translated into 16 languages. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and two young children and is currently writing her fourth novel.

 

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan is out on 11th January 2018 and can be pre-ordered now from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

#BookReview The Surrogate by Louise Jensen @Fab_Fiction @bookouture

 

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The Surrogate by Louise Jensen.

My Review:

Louise Jensen is another great author published by Bookouture, a reliably good publisher. Having enjoyed her previous books I was very keen to read this one, especially when I saw the cover and the title also intrigued me. Surrogacy is such an amazing thing but so many things can go wrong which makes it a perfect subject for a psychological thriller.

Jensen shows us in The Surrogate how she has progressed as an author, this book is such a twisty turny read that is cleverly woven together in a believable way. I really was never quite sure who to trust, whose version of events was accurate and what was the real motivation for what they did?

And then there’s the ending. Well, I wasn’t expecting that. It’s one of those endings that you have to read again just to make sure that you didn’t miss something and that it all really did happen. So clever and well done. I really cannot wait to see what Louise Jensen does next.

Blurb:

‘You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you’d kill for it?’

Be careful what you wish for…

Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.

But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets.

And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.

As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family…

About The Author:

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Louise Jensen is a No. 1 bestselling author of psychological thrillers. Her debut novel ‘The Sister,’ was published by Bookouture (Hachette) in July 2016 and quickly reached No. 1 in the UK where it stayed for over 5 weeks, and it also hit No. 1 on the Canadian Amazon chart, No.1 in Apple’s iBooks and is listed as a USA Today Bestseller. It was the 6th biggest selling book on Amazon in 2016. 
 
‘The Sister’ is a book about a grieving girl who thought there was nothing as frightening as being alone – she was wrong.
 
‘The Gift’ Louise’s second book, was published in December 2016 and within three days of release gave Louise her second No. 1 in 2016 and her first No.1 in 2017, both in the UK, where it stayed for over a 5 weeks, and in Canada. It is also a USA Today Bestseller. In Amazon’s half-year trends report The Gift is reported as the 3rd biggest selling ebook in the UK in 2017. 
 
‘The Gift’ is a book about a perfect daughter and how a secret is eating her family alive.
 
‘The Surrogate’ is Louise’s recently released third novel about how far we’d go to create that perfect family.
 
To date Louise has sold over 850,00 books and her novels have been sold for translation in seventeen territories. Louise was nominated for the Goodreads Debut Author of 2016 Award. Due to her phenomenal success her paperbacks are now published by Sphere (Little, Brown) and are available in all good bookstores and supermarkets. 
 
Louise also writes flash fiction, and features and articles for both magazines and online publications. Louise specialises in writing about mindfulness, chronic pain and mental health. Her fourth psychological thriller will be published in the summer of 2018.
The Surrogate by Louise Jensen and published by Bookouture is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

#BookReview The Christmas Tale of Elaine Gale by Daniel Thompson, illustrated by Connor Edwards @AuthorDThompson

 

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The Christmas Tale of Elaine Gale by Daniel Thompson.

 

My Review:

I think that The Christmas Tale of Elaine Gale by Daniel Thompson is the first book that I have read that came about thanks to a Kickstarter campaign. I heard about it on a Facebook group and jumped at the chance to review the book, it sounded intriguing and I knew that having a Christmas theme would appeal to my children who are aged seven.

When the book arrived my daughter was especially excited. She did try and read it but found the font quite difficult so soon gave up and asked me to read it to her. The font and the way it is worded means that it isn’t, in my opinion, suitable for a learner reader to read themselves. To fully appreciate the rhyming it is also best read by a confident reader. Even I struggled at times with the book, the font and unexpected words used to help with the rhyming did not suit my dyslexia, but this was minimal and just required more concentration on my part. At 96 pages the book is also quite long, far longer than our usual bedtime story so we spread it over a couple of nights.

The book is a lot of fun. I loved the story and especially loved that Claire, the girl who names Elaine Gale is the leader of the group and the one who helps to defeat Elaine Gale, with Santa’s help of course. Definitely a great book for girl power. The story was great, fun and a bit scary but fast moving and very clever.

I think that this book would be loved by children aged 6+, it is a little scary and it is quite wordy so I don’t think that younger children will appreciate it as much. I’m sure that we will be reading this book for quite a few Christmas’ to come.

Review by Dora aged seven:

I loved the pictures, I didn’t like Elaine Gale because she was mean. I loved the Santa part. I loved the start and I loved the building of the snowman.

Review by Jake aged seven:

I loved the pictures and I loved the book.

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About the Author:

22894527_533128290354859_8553091132211693350_n I’m Danny, a Poet/film maker/musician and all round creative human from Birmingham.

I wrote this book because I love Christmas and I wanted to create something to add to the already rich tapestry of the Christmas festivities. I felt it was really important to tell an original Christmas story that a new generation of readers can claim as their own. I am really proud of what Connor and I have created with this book and I hope you enjoy our work.

 

About the Illustrator:

I’m Connor, a graphic design student and illustrator from Birmingham.

For me the book was an exciting project to work on because its quirky story and writing style really inspired my imagination. As a Christmas story it was unlike anything already available, this refreshing look at the Christmas story gave me a lot to work with. I hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I loved making it.

The Christmas Tale of Elaine Gale by Daniel Thomson and illustrated by Connor Edwards is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US or you can buy it directly from the website of The Christmas Tale of Elaine Gale.