#blogtour Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys. @MsTamarCohen @PenguinRHUK #RachelRhys #ADangerousCrossing

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I was very excited when I got an email asking me if I would like to be part of the blog tour for the paperback release of Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys. I’m a big fan of Tammy Cohen. author of psychological thrillers including When She Was Bad and the brilliant First One Missing. When I heard that she was releasing a historical fiction book under the name Rachel Rhys I was disappointed as this would mean that she would be taking time out from writing psychological thrillers and because I did not want to read historical fiction. When Dangerous Crossing was released on Kindle it got great reviews and I was slightly tempted but I’d never been interested in reading historical fiction. But then I read a book, Block 46which had parts set in the past and I found that I actually really enjoyed those bits and figured that I was probably missing out by discounting all historical fiction books and I knew that Dangerous Crossing was the book that I should read to change that.

My Review:

I’d heard a lot of positive things about Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys aka Tammy Cohen whose psychological thriller books I loved, so I was excited to read this book.

I found that I was quickly pulled into the story of Lily, a young English woman who was travelling to Australia for what promised to be an exciting adventure. With some trepidation, Lily boarded the Orontes, a large boat that would take Lily and many others on the long journey. Lily was travelling under the assisted travel scheme which was set up to encourage young women to move to Australia to work in the houses of those rich enough to afford staff.

Although travelling standard class Lily found herself thrown into a world where she lived among others who had much higher social standings than she did. She soon found herself drawn to Edward and his sister with whom she shared the dinner table. Things didn’t always go smoothly though, with the threat of war back at home people were divided and the Jewish travellers found themselves shunned by many, although no by Lily. Lily herself was popular on the boat and even Max and Eliza, an extravagant couple travelling in first class, were drawn to Lily and Edward and keen to spend time with them.

Dangerous Crossing is beautifully written, I felt so drawn into life on the boat and could picture the scenes and imagine myself right there with Lily. There were many different characters in the book who all added a richness to the story and showed how people from many different walks of life were thrown together on board and how they coped with this.

As Australia draws closer Lily realises that she had let herself get caught up with life on the boat and that once she was on land she would soon be working for the very people that she had been socialising with. I loved this bit, society was so different then and the expectation that people would socialise and marry within the same circle and class that they were born into, it really was fascinating to think about.

And Rhys hasn’t totally left her psychological thriller past behind, we know from the start that something happens on the boat, that a woman leaves it in handcuffs, but we’re never quite sure until right at the end exactly what had happened. A great twist to end a superb book.

Blurb:

 

Dangerous Crossing Cover

Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys.

 

England, September 1939
Lily Shepherd boards a cruise liner for a new life in Australia and is plunged into a world of cocktails, jazz and glamorous friends. But as the sun beats down, poisonous secrets begin to surface. Suddenly Lily finds herself trapped with nowhere to go …

Australia, six-weeks later
The world is at war, the cruise liner docks, and a beautiful young woman is escorted onto dry land in handcuffs.

What has she done?

About The Author:

Rachel Rhys+©+Johnny Ring

I was born in Ibadan, Nigeria where my anthropologist father happened to be doing fieldwork at the time. Sabbatical years in far-flung places were a feature of my childhood and I attended school in both Sierra Leone and California. Otherwise, I mostly grew up in the suburbs of London where my adolescence was spent either in the local library or waiting for the last tube home.

After taking an American Studies degree at Manchester University I taught English in Madrid. While working as a secretary back in London, I started writing features and hand-delivering them to the magazine publishing house around the corner. The day the first one got accepted, I packed in my job and declared myself a freelance journalist, which is basically what I remained for the next twenty years, writing features for national magazines and newspapers, such as Marie Claire, The Times and The Telegraph, and then moving on to non fiction books. My dream was always to write fiction but it wasn’t until I was forty-seven that I finally conquered the self doubt and my first novel, The Mistress’s Revenge was published.

These days I live in North London with my partner and three (nearly) grown children and one very badly behaved dog. Together with my family I spent four happy years living in Spain from 2004 to 2008 and I live in fear of people finding this out and asking me something in Spanish at which I remain shamefully inept.

My first novel, The Mistress’s Revenge, was followed by three more contemporary fiction titles under the name Tamar Cohen – The War of the WivesSomeone Else’s Wedding and The Broken.

In November 2014, my first crime novel, Dying For Christmas was published under the name Tammy Cohen, followed by First One Missing a year later, and When She Was Bad in April 2016. My latest, They All Fall Down is published in July 2017.

Writing as Rachel RhysDangerous Crossing, my first foray into historical mystery was published in March 2017.

I am a member of the Killer Women collective of London-based female UK crime writers.

 

Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

#review Broken Branches by @MJonathanLee @HideawayFalls

 

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Broken Branches by M Jonathan Lee

 

My Review:

I wasn’t quite sure what I’d think about Broken Branches by M Jonathan Lee. There was quite a buildup to me receiving it, with the publisher Hideaway Falls, sending myself and many other book bloggers a fun teaser pack before the book finally landed on my doorstep.

I know that M Jonathan Lee is vocal about mental health issues, a subject close to my heart so I was quite looking forward to reading Broken Branches.

The book centres on Ian who is currently living in a cottage that frankly, sounds rather lovely. He lives with his wife and young son and at first, all seems to be well in the family home. But it soon becomes clear that all is not as it first seems.

There are clearly big problems in Ian’s marriage and Ian himself seems to be obsessed with ‘research’ into his family that has lived in his home for many generations. The story changes between the present day and Ian’s childhood as a boy growing up in the cottage when his father farmed the surrounding land. Ian’s childhood was not a happy one and it becomes clear that the family had been plagued by what they called a curse, and that is what Ian is determined to get to the bottom of with his research.

This book is definitely a slow burner, not a great deal actually happens in the book and much of it is spent within Ian’s mind, a mind that seems to be confused and perhaps very unreliable at telling us what is really happening, and at times it seemed to all be getting a little bit silly.

I liked how the story developed though and the more we got to know about Ian the more unsure I was about whether he was totally mad or well, only slightly mad. The writing is solid and it is easy to read, with plenty to keep the reader guessing and a few twists along the way.

Thank you to the author, and to Hideaway Falls, for a copy of Broken Branches.

Blurb:

‘Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.

About the author:

jonathan-lee

M. Jonathan Lee is a nationally shortlisted author who was born in South Yorkshire in 1974. He still lives and works in Yorkshire, England and has three children.

Jonathan began writing seriously at the age of 9 at which point he self-published a magazine which ran for six issues and sold more than 500 copies. Since then, he has written a number of short stories and eagerly hoarded away journal after journal of ideas before finally writing The Radio.

The Radio was shortlisted for The Novel Prize 2012 and is his first novel. He is currently touring schools, colleges, prisons and universities talking about creative writing and storytelling.  The Radio continues to receive excellent reviews and film rights are currently being discussed with interested parties. Jonathan appeared at Sheffield’s Off the Shelf literary festival in 2013 and will appear again this year as well as headlining at Doncaster’s Turn the Page festival 2014.

His second novel, The Page was released in February 2015. He has just finished his third novel, A Tiny Feeling of Fear which was released in September 2015. He is currently working on the final part of the ‘The’ trilogy: working title ‘The Knot’ which is due for release in 2016. He is currently signed on a four book deal with boutique publishers, SoloP Publishing based in the north of England.

Broken Branches is out on 27th July 2017 and is available to pre-order on Amazon UK and Amazon US. You can find out more about the author on his website.

On a little side note, my puppy loved Broken Branches. The photo below shows just how much. She was lucky that she wasn’t rehomed!

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#review: The Honeymoon by @tinaseskis @MichaelJBooks

 

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The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

 

My Review:

I had heard a lot about The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis, but not having read any of her previous books I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

This psychological thriller really does keep the reader guessing. Jemma is on her honeymoon on a beautiful and exclusive island in the Maldives, but it is clear from the start that all is not right with her new marriage, and when her new husband goes missing the reader is unsure whether Jemma’s version that gradually emerges as the book progresses it true, or if she is hiding something.

The book goes back to the start of Jemma’s relationship with Dan when Jemma was really not sure whether he was ‘the one’. As the relationship progresses and we learn more about the backstory I became less and less sure about what was true and what wasn’t. Jemma definitely didn’t seem like a reliable witness.

There are plenty of twists and turns in the book, and I’m happy to admit that I didn’t see the main ones coming. Jemma, as a character was not likeable and there was very little about her that I could like, but that didn’t stop me wanting to know what had happened to her husband and whether she was involved. Another couple on the island provide a bit of light relief, which was welcome.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Honeymoon, I wanted to keep reading and the twists were great and cleverly done. If you like a twisty, turny book then this is for you! It gets an easy 4.5* from me. I’m off to look at Seskis’s other books.

Blurb:

For as long as she can remember, Jemma has been planning the perfect honeymoon. A fortnight’s retreat to a five-star resort in the Maldives, complete with luxury villas, personal butlers and absolute privacy. It should be paradise, but it’s turned into a nightmare.

Because the man Jemma married a week ago has just disappeared from the island without a trace. And now her perfect new life is vanishing just as quickly before her eyes. After everything they’ve been through together, how can this be happening? Is there anyone on the island who Jemma can trust? And above all – where has her husband gone?

About the author:

Tina Seskis grew up in Hampshire, before going off to study in the beautiful city of Bath and then moving to London, where she has lived on and off ever since.

Tina’s first novel One Step Too Far was released in 2013, and has since been published in 17 languages in over 60 countries. Her latest novel, The Honeymoon, will finally be released on 1st June 2017.

Tina lives in North London with her husband and son.

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis is out now and available from  Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Book Review: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

 

 

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Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough.

 

I’d heard a lot of rumblings about Behind Her Eyes before I read it, it was pretty much all positive so I was keen to read it. It was only after I started that I discovered that the ending was a bit of a marmite ending, either you loved it or you hated it. I’d be interested to hear what others think if you’ve read it.

My 3.5* Review:

Having heard a lot of good things about Behind Her Eyes I was keen to read this book, I didn’t know what it was about which is how I generally like to read books. It’s nice to be surprised.

What I found was a book that was very well written, the characters were strong and the story was interesting and easy to read. I was enjoying it and could easily understand the good things that I had heard about the book.

There was one part to the storyline that seemed a little unusual and I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but it wasn’t a major thing so it didn’t really bother me. I was really enjoying reading it.

But then the last chapter happened. Most psychological thrillers have a twist in them and it is fun to try and guess what it might be while reading, but I had absolutely no idea what the twist was going to be, it certainly took me by surprise. But, and I now know that the final chapter is a bit of a marmite chapter, I didn’t like it. I actually wish that I had read Behind Her Eyes right up until the final chapter and then let my imagination come up with the ending, as that would have been a much more believable and satisfactory ending. I don’t want to give too much away and ruin it, but I bet you won’t see it coming.

It’s hard when you really enjoy a book but don’t like the ending and I’ve knocked a star off because of it giving it 3.5*s, perhaps a bit harsh giving the number of amazing reviews that this book has but as I said it is a marmite ending. I will definitely read more from the author though, I’d be very interested to see what else she comes up with!

I received a copy of Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough from Netgalley, I was under no obligation to review it and my views are my own.

Blurb:

Why is everyone talking about the ending of Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes?

Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong, but Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough is out now and available from Amazon UK and in paper book and audiobook on Amazon US.

Blog Tour & Review: 34 Days by Anita Waller.

 

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34 Days by Anita Waller

 

My 4* review:

34 Days tells a story of a woman called Anna. She has finally had enough of life with her husband and leaves him that same day. That decision has far bigger consequences for Anna and her family than she ever imagined it would be. The book follows the first 34 days after Anna leaves her marital home. I was gripped and wanted to keep reading and find out what was going to happen.

Once the first 34 days were over I have to admit that I wondered where the book would go now as there was still half of the book left and it felt like the story was pretty much over. Of course, it wasn’t over and there were twists and turns that I hadn’t expected or seen.

Although I didn’t quite warm to Anna I wanted to know what was going to happen to her and her family. The book had many twists and turns and that kept me engaged in the story and what was going to happen next.

34 Days is easy to read and well written with believable characters and settings. I’d thoroughly recommend it for an easy but enjoyable read. I don’t want to say more about the book and give away any of the story as I think that it is best that the reader discovers it for themselves. Go on, you won’t regret it!

I received a copy of 34 Days from the publisher, Bloodhound Books, in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb:

34 Days by Anita Waller. A gripping psychological thriller from an international best-selling author

How much can your life change in just 34 days?

Anna and Ray have been married for thirty-five years. They are parents and grandparents and appear to be a normal couple. But behind closed doors something isn’t right.

On the day of their wedding anniversary Anna makes a decision that changes everything and throws her family into turmoil. Anna will discover that she is not the only one who has suffered and by leaving Ray she sparks a series of events so awful that it might just end in murder…

34 days is a stunning psychological thriller from the best-selling author of Beautiful & Angel. It will appeal greatly to fans of Kathryn Croft, Rachel Abbott, B A Paris & Louise Jensen.

 

About The Author

Lives in Sheffield, UK. Retired and have recently fulfilled a lifelong ambition of becoming a published author with Bloodhound Books.
Married (almost 50 years) with three children and seven grandchildren.
I am a patchwork and quilting tutor as well as a writer.
My first book was Beautiful and my second, a sequel to Beautiful, is called Angel with 34 Days due for release in October 2016.

34 Days is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

ISBN NUMBER: 978-0-9955111-6-3RELEASE DATE: 3rd October 2016GENRE: Psychological ThrillerPRICE: Pre Order 99phttp://www.gardners.comPUBLISHER: Bloodhound BooksCONTACT: Helen Claire Book Publicist                      publicity@bloodhoundbooks.com

Review: All Fall Down by Tom Bale

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All Fall Down by Tom Bale

I’m having a really good run of books at the moment, this is my third 5* read in a row. Lets hope it continues!

My 5* Review:

Having read See How They Run by Tom Bale in May this year I really wanted to read his new book, All Fall Down. I really enjoyed See How They Run (SHTR), it gripped me from the first chapter and was a thoroughly enjoyable read.

So All Fall Down had a lot to live up to. I was interested to see whether Tom Bale would be able to suck the reader in like he’d done so well in SHTR. The first chapter was good, I wanted to know what was going on but it didn’t have the ‘hit me with a sledgehammer’ feel of the first chapter of SHTR. Was I going to be disappointed?

No. Thankfully not. Although the first half of the book was at times quite slow, once you hit 50% you barely have time to breathe, let alone eat and sleep. All Fall Down felt far more realistic and I felt that the writing was better than SHTR.

I thought that the character development was great, all the main characters had interesting things about them. The plot was full of twists and turns and you were never quite sure what was going to happen next.

The big finale was great, it was so hard to put All Fall Down down once I got half way through. One night it kept me up until gone 2am as I just had to know what was going to happen, and it is a rare book that keeps me up that late. Once I finished the book I felt like I needed to catch my breath and recover. I am writing this review two days after I finished because I needed to digest the book and let my adrenalin settle.

All Fall Down is a great book. It’s easy to read and pulls you in, tosses you about and then spits you back out again. It isn’t a masterpiece, but if you want an enjoyable read that will be hard to put down then you would be pushed to find something better than All Fall Down.

I received an ARC of All Fall Down from the publisher, Bookouture, via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Blurb:

You tried to save a life. Now you’re fighting to save your own.

It should have been an idyllic day for the Turner family – until a dying man, beaten beyond all recognition, arrives at their home, uttering the words, HELP ME.

Rob and Wendy Turner and their children try to explain away the horrific scene as being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but in the days that follow their lives are threatened in ways they could never imagine.

The family is unaware that they are being watched by someone with their own terrifying agenda, who will stop at nothing to fulfil their own twisted desires.

But when hidden secrets come rushing to the surface, it’s clear not everything is as it seems in this happy family. Are the Turners a victim of circumstance – or does the key to their fate lie closer to home?

Forced to fight for everything they hold dear, can they save themselves before time runs out – or will their act of compassion see them paying the ultimate price…?

A heart-stopping, shocking and tense thriller that will keep you guessing to the very last page.

 

All Fall Down will be released on 1st September 2016 and is available to preorder from Amazon UK and Amazon US now.

Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

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The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Just in case my review of The Couple Next Door doesn’t make it obvious, I loved this book. It totally gripped me and I just didn’t want to stop reading it. Books like this don’t come along too often!

‘Wow. I absolutely loved this book. It grabbed me right from the start and I just didn’t want to stop reading. The pace never let up, which is pretty impressive.

The book starts with parents Anne and Marco spending the evening with their neighbours, using a baby monitor to listen out for their six month old Cora who is sleeping at home. When they return home at 1.30am the front door is open and Cora is missing.

I just love this book and how it takes the reader on a journey, at first you’re not really sure exactly what happened and who was involved. Then you think that you know what happened, but suddenly things change and you hadn’t worked it out at all. Talk about twists and turns.

This is a damn good read, I look forward to reading more from the author. I am sure that this book will be high up in my top ten reads of 2016, if I could I’d give it more than 5 stars!

Thank you to the publishers for an ARC of The Couple Next Door via Netgalley in return for an honest review.’

The Couple Next Door will be released on 14th July 2016 and is available to pre-order on Amazon UK and Amazon US now.