5*, book review, debut author

#BookReview Home by Amanda Berriman. @DoubledayUK @MandyBerriman @jounwin @TransworldBooks @bookreview

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Home by Amanda Berriman.

My Review:

When I read the blurb for Home I knew that I wanted to read it, I then started to hear from others who had read it and they all seemed to love it so I was even more determined to read it. And I’m so pleased that I did.

From literally the very first page I was hooked. The book is narrated by Jesika, a four year old who lives with her Mummy and little brother Toby after her Father moved to Poland, never to be heard from again. Jesika’s Mum is struggling with life, she doesn’t have enough money and they live in a flat that’s got many things wrong with it, including mold. As a result Toby and their Mum both have a bad cough that won’t go away. Life is about to get very difficult for Jesika.

A book narrated by such a young child could easily be awful but thankfully that is not the case here, not even close. It is written in a simple language but I really liked that. From the very start Jesika worked her way into my heart, she was such a wonderful little girl who felt so very real. Her innocence was wonderful and I loved seeing her world through her eyes, but this isn’t always an easy book to read.

Home gives a brilliant example of how grooming happens, the subtleties and ways in which an adult will convince a child to keep secrets for them. While it is not easy to read I thought that Amanda Berriman handled it sensitively and realistically, something that is impressive for any author, let along a debut author. But some will find this very difficult to read so be warned.

But despite this darkness, there is much light in the book. The love that Jesika has for her Mother is wonderful, but also for her little brother Toby. Jesika really is a special little girl who unknowingly brings out the best in people.

Home had me going to bed early so that I could read and check in on Jesika because I’d be worried about her and how she was doing, that is how real that she felt to me. When I finished the book at 2am I felt as though my heart had been shattered by little Jesika and what she went through, but filled with hope that her life was going to get better. The most upsetting thing? That I won’t get to check in on Jesika again and see how she is doing. Home really is a special book and for a debut author it is nothing short of brilliant.

Blurb:

Jesika is four and a half.

She lives in a flat with her mother and baby brother and she knows a lot. She knows their flat is high up and the stairs are smelly. She knows she shouldn’t draw on the peeling wallpaper or touch the broken window. And she knows she loves her mummy and baby brother Toby.

She does not know that their landlord is threatening to evict them and that Toby’s cough is going to get much worse. Or that Paige, her new best friend, has a secret that will explode their world.

About the Author:

Berriman-Mandy-Author-Pic-640x707Mandy was born in a British military hospital in Germany and grew up in Edinburgh, reading books, playing music, writing stories and climbing hills. She studied music at Sheffield University, where she met her husband, and they climbed some more hills in the Peak District before setting off to travel around the world. After learning to teach in Glasgow, she taught in a primary school in the Cambridgeshire fens (not very hilly), where she rediscovered the joy of making up stories and started writing again. She’s now a specialist music teacher at a primary school in Oldham and lives on the edge of the Peak District with her husband, two lego masterbuilders and dog.

Home by Amanda Berriman is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour: 37 Hours by J.F. Kirwan. @kirwanjf @UKCarina @rararesources

37 Hours Full Banner

My Review:

Having read and enjoyed book one in the series I was looking forward to reading 37 Hours and finding out what was next for Nadia and Jake and what they were going to get themselves into this time.

The book did not disappoint because once again Nadia gets herself caught up in a whole lot of trouble. Once again the threat is nuclear and it takes all that Nadia has along with the help of MI6 as they race against time to find a stolen warhead.

37 Hours had many twists and turns and lots of unexpected events that kept the pace going and the tension rising. I had really like the character Jake in the first book and I was disappointed that he didn’t feature more in this book but hopefully book three will make up for that.

The diving remains a central part of the plot but this time there are also some recreational dives to enjoy which I liked, although sharks were a little too demonised in my opinion which was a shame.

I do think that to fully understand the plot of 37 Hours the reader needs to have read the first book in the series, 66 Metres as Nadia especially has so much history that there would be big gaps missing if you hadn’t started the story at the beginning.

Overall this is a great read, it’s fast paced and will keep the reader hooked and guessing what will happen next. I’m now looking forward to reading book three in the series.

Thank you to the publisher for a copy of 37 Hours, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

37 Hours_FINALAfter two long years spent in a secret British prison, Nadia Laksheva is suddenly granted her freedom. Yet there is a dangerous price to pay for her release: she must retrieve the Russian nuclear warhead stolen by her deadliest enemy, a powerful and ruthless terrorist known only as The Client.

But her mysterious nemesis is always one step ahead and the clock is ticking. In 37 hours, the warhead will explode, reducing the city of London to a pile of ash. Only this time, Nadia is prepared to pull the trigger at any cost…

The deadly trail will take her from crowded Moscow to the silent streets of Chernobyl, but will Nadia find what she is looking for before the clock hits zero?

About The Author:

KIRWAN Barry 01 ret 6x8J. F. Kirwan is the author of the Nadia Laksheva thriller series for HarperCollins. Having worked in accident investigation and prevention in nuclear, offshore oil and gas and aviation sectors, he uses his experience of how accidents initially build slowly, then race towards a climax, to plot his novels.

An instructor in both scuba diving and martial arts, he travels extensively all over the world, and loves to set his novels in exotic locations. He is also an insomniac who writes in the dead of night. His favourite authors include Lee Child, David Baldacci and Andy McNab.

33 Hours by J.F. Kirwan is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

You can also read my review of book one in the series, 66 Metres here.

4*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour Bring Me Flowers by D.K. Hood. @DKHood_Author @bookouture

Bring Me Flowers - Blog tour.jpg

My Review:

It isn’t often that I read two books from a series in a row but that is what I did with Bring Me Flowers by D.K. Hood. I read it right after I finished reading part one, Don’t Tell a Soul. As is usual with books in a series book one does a lot of scene setting and character introduction and generally having read book one helps you to understand what is going on it subsequent books. While I think that you could read Bring Me Flowers without having read Don’t Tell A Soul it would definitely be helpful to start at the beginning.

The main characters, Sherrif Alton and Deputy Kane both come with complex pasts which need to be fully understood to appreciate what great, multi-dimensional characters they are.

I enjoyed Don’t Tell A Soul but Bring Me Flowers is even better, somehow the storyline worked in a way that it hadn’t quite in the first book and the more established characters worked well as a team. It was a great read, one of those that you think about when you aren’t reading and go to bed early so that you have a bit of extra reading time. I like Alton and Kane more than I did in book one and, well let’s just say that when I finished Bring Me Flowers I was disappointed that there wasn’t book three waiting for me to read next.

This is definitely a series that is going places and if you like reading books from the point of view of the police, which is how most of the book is told, although we do hear from the perpetrator, victims and some other characters too, then you will enjoy Bring Me Flowers. I am now waiting, not so patiently, for book three.

I received a copy of Bring Me Flowers by D.K. Hood from Bookouture, I was under no obligation to review and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

 

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Bring Me Flowers by D.K. Hood.

 

She didn’t know he was watching. Until it was too late.

She’d walked this path hundreds of times before, she knew every twist and turn. But today was different. She didn’t know someone was waiting for her, hidden away from view. She didn’t know this was the last time she’d walk this path.

Hidden deep in the forest, schoolgirl Felicity Parker is found carefully laid out on a rock with nothing but a freshly picked bunch of flowers next to her lifeless form. Detective Jenna Alton is called in to investigate the gruesome discovery.

With the body found just off a popular hiking route, Jenna believes the killer is a visitor to the town… until a second local girl is discovered.

Within days, Kate Bright, a school friend of Felicity’s, is found brutally murdered at the local swimming pool and once again, the killer has displayed his victim in a terrifying manner and left flowers at the scene.

The town is gripped with fear and Jenna and her deputy, David Kane, now know that the killer is living amongst them, and that he’s picking off school girls one by one. But they don’t know who is next on the list.

As the trail goes cold, Kane and Alton are forced to sit and wait for the killer to make his next move. But now he has a new victim in his sights, and he’s looking much closer to home …

If you love Robert Dugoni, Karin Slaughter and Rachel Abbott you’ll love this nail-biting thriller from D.K. Hood.

About the Author:

17096652I’ve always had a wicked sense of humour, and was the kid who told the ghost stories around the campfire. I am lucky to have family all over the world and have spent many vacations in places from Paris France to Montana USA and Australia. I use the wonderful memories from these visits to enhance my stories.
My interest in the development of forensic science to solve crime goes back many years. I enjoy writing crime, mystery and thrillers. With many stories, waiting for me to write I’ll look forward to sharing many spine tingling stories with you.

D.K. Hood is an active member of International Thriller Writers.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dkhoodauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DKHood_Author

Website: www.dkhood.com

Bring Me Flowers by D.K. Hood is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.