Blog Tour! Review of The Long Forgotten by David Whitehouse ~ #TheLongForgotten #BlogTour #BookReview #RandomThingsTours

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, RandomThingsTours, Uncategorized

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share my review of The Long Forgotten by David Whitehouse!



The Long Forgotten Cover Image

The Long Forgotten


David Whitehouse



When the black box flight recorder of a plane that went missing 30 years ago is found at the bottom of the sea, a young man named Dove begins to remember a past that isn’t his. The memories belong to a rare flower hunter in 1980s New York, whose search led him around the world and ended in tragedy.
Restless and lonely in present-day London, Dove is quickly consumed by the memories, which might just hold the key to the mystery of his own identity and what happened to the passengers on that doomed flight, The Long Forgotten.
The Long Forgotten is a thrilling mystery about memory and identity from David Whitehouse, the award-winning author of Bed and Mobile Library.





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My Review:




Dove Gale was an orphan, left on a doorstep in a moses basket, abandoned by his parents. As a young boy he was taken in by Maud and Len, an elderly couple who bestowed on him an unlimited source of love, kindness and care. They soothed his restless mind and tamed the anger and fear he felt at being abandoned once more. They loved him, taught him and welcomed him into their shared world. And in Len and Maud, he found a mother and a father. Now Dove is an emergency services control room operator, answering the calls from a multitude of panicked voices. But despite so many conversations and a room full of people, he is lonely. The days are black with feelings of grief and solitude. When he begins to recollect memories that are not and never have been his own, Dove is plunged into the past of a 1980s American flower-hunter by the name of Peter Manyweathers, who lived a mysterious and truly unforgettable life.

David Whitehouse depicts things as simple as a room, a face, or even a flower with such power and colour, it is impossible from the first word not to fall in love with his bewitching prose. I read this from cover to cover, enveloped in what has been a scintillating story, brimming with rich characters and intriguing places. From America to Sumatra to Chile, The Long Forgotten spans a lifetime and transports the reader under the wing of an endearing explorer to some of the most exotic locations. I felt as if I was by Peter Manyweathers’ side all throughout. He is such a fantastic character. Sweet, intelligent and very endearing.

After reading this, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the flowers mentioned in this book. If you look up a few, you can really see how beautifully David Whitehouse has described them. It’s almost hard to imagine that these wonders exist in some far off place when just outside sits the ordinary flowers we keep in our plant pots. I’ve popped a picture below of a flower called the corpse flower, which can grow up to eight feet, so you can see what I mean. It’s remarkable! And I really enjoyed reading snippets about them in this book. Just one more thing I loved about it!

The Long Forgotten is a bewitching novel about love, loneliness, identity and discovery. It’s will jolt you with a shock of profound fascination and leave you meditating about the significance of time and the power of memory. I loved this book and hope to be devouring David Whitehouse’s next book very soon! Wonderful!

Intriguing. Emotional. Superb.





corpse flower





To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository




About David Whitehouse


David Whitehouse Author Picture


I have written three novels. The first, BED, was published in 2011 by Canongate in the UK and Scribner in the US.  It won The Betty Trask Prize 2012. The movie rights were optioned by Duck Soup and Film 4.
The second, MOBILE LIBRARY, was published in January 2015 by Picador in the UK and Scribner in the US. It won the Jerwood Fiction Prize 2015 and the TV rights were optioned by Duck Soup and Channel 4.
The third, THE LONG FORGOTTEN, will be published by Picador in March 2018.
I currently have a number of TV projects in development.
I have written for lots of newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, Esquire, The Times, The Observer Magazine, Sunday Times Style and many more. I’ve won awards for journalism from The Times, The Evening Standard, the PPA and the PTC. I am the Editor-at-Large of ShortList magazine.
Twitter: @d_whitehouse






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Huge thanks to Emma Finnigan, Anne Cater at #RandomThingsTours and Picador Books for my review copy and the blog tour invite!



From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan ~ #LowAndQuiet #BookReview #BlogTour #RandomThingsTours

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share my revew of this fabulous book by Donal Ryan!


From A Low And Quiet Sea Cover


From a Low and Quiet Sea


Donal Ryan


‘Can you imagine how that would be? If a tree is starving, its neighbours will send it food. No one really knows how this can be, but it is. Nutrients will travel in the tunnel made of fungus from the roots of a healthy tree to its starving neighbour, even one of a different species. Trees live, like you and me , long lives, and they know things. They know the rule, the only one that’s real and must be kept. What’s the rule? You know. I’ve told you lots of times before. Be kind.’

From a Low and Quiet Sea is Donal Ryan’s most expansive book to date, partially set in Syria and partially in the familiar territory of rural Ireland.
Farouk’s country has been torn apart by war.
Lampy’s heart has been laid waste by Chloe.
John’s past torments him as he nears his end.
The refugee. The dreamer. The penitent. From war-torn Syria to small-town Ireland, three
men, scarred by all they have loved and lost, are searching for some version of home.
Each is drawn towards a powerful reckoning, one that will bring them together in the most
unexpected of ways.






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From a Low and Quiet Sea is a story of three very different men. Farouk is fleeing a war-torn country with the haze of distruction and death in his wake, seeking salvation for his wife and daughter and nurturing the hope of a better future for them all somewhere new.

Lampy is recovering from a broken heart, his thoughts continuously returning to Chloe, the girl he loved with all his heart and who he was certain reciprocated his feelings. Struggling with the coldness of her sudden departure from their relationship, Lampy harbours a dream of becoming more than he is, of a life and home that is more than it is now.

John is clinging to the edges of life, troubled by his past and the things he has done. From the heat and sand of Syria to the small-town world of Ireland, runs three stories that converge in a way that is both heartbreaking and dazzling.


This book will resonate with the reader in a mutlitude of ways. Donal Ryan’s extraordanary story encapsulates the varying shades of greif, loss, hope and love with a profound depth. It will break you, then delicately rebuild you, it will shock you and dazzle you because here is an author who can perfectly portray what we all feel but can seldom put into words so beautifully. The poetic, poignant prose of Donal Ryan’s will wrap itself from your heart. It’s stunning!


This book is about three men and the way their lives come together. But it’s about so much more. It’s about heartbreak and hope, loss and love, sadness and survival. And it’s power is deeply affecting. I was awash with emotion reading this book. And I still can’t quite stop myself from thinking about it now, days later.


From a Low and Quiet Sea is such a beautiful, beautiful book! If you’ve yet to discover this amazing author, I urge you to run to the bookshop and find this book. It’s remarkable!


Moving. Poignant. Captivating.



To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK


Book Depository




About Donal Ryan



Donal Ryan is from Nenagh in County Tipperary. His first three novels, The Spinning Heart, The Thing About December and All We Shall Know, and his short story collection A Slanting of the Sun, have all been published to major acclaim. The Spinning Heart won the Guardian First Book Award, the EU Prize for Literature (Ireland), and Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards; it was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize, and was recently voted ‘Irish Book of the Decade’. His fourth novel, From a Low and Quiet Sea, will be published in March 2018. A former civil servant, Donal lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Limerick. He lives with his wife Anne Marie and their two children just outside Limerick City.


Follow the lovely bloggers on the #LowAndQuiet blog tour!



From A Low & Quiet Sea Blog Tour Poster




Huge thanks to Sophie Christopher & Anne Cater for my review copy and for including me on the blog tour!

Good Friday by Lynda La Plante ~ #BookReview #GoodFriday #LyndaLaPlante

Book Reviews

good friday

Good Friday


Lynda La Plante


Every legend has a beginning . . .

During 1974 and 1975 the IRA subjected London to a terrifying bombing campaign. In one day alone, they planted seven bombs at locations across central London. Some were defused – some were not.

Jane Tennison is now a fully-fledged detective. On the way to court one morning, Jane passes through Covent Garden Underground station and is caught up in a bomb blast that leaves several people dead, and many horribly injured. Jane is a key witness, but is adamant that she can’t identify the bomber. When a photograph appears in the newspapers, showing Jane assisting the injured at the scene, it puts her and her family at risk from IRA retaliation.

‘Good Friday’ is the eagerly awaited date of the annual formal CID dinner, due to take place at St Ermin’s Hotel. Hundreds of detectives and their wives will be there. It’s the perfect target. As Jane arrives for the evening, she realises that she recognises the parking attendant as the bomber from Covent Garden. Can she convince her senior officers in time, or will another bomb destroy London’s entire detective force?




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My Review:



Jane Tennison is embracing a new phase of life. She has moved into her very own flat a stone’s throw from Regent’s Park and her new role in the Dip Squad comes with the possibility of a promotion in a mere six months’ time. Buoyed by her independence and the challenges given by her new team, Jane is on her way to court when a bomb goes off at Covent Garden tube station, killing several people and wounding even more. She jumps into action, aiding the victims amid the downpour of blood and debris and the shrieks of so many frightened souls. As the tousle between life and death ensues around her, Jane’s mind is filled with thoughts of the bomber, a man whose face she fleetingly saw seconds before the blast.


As Jane, a key witness, is thrust into the eye of the media at a press conference, her safety is put even further at risk. With the possibility of more IRA attacks soon, the investigation to unmask those responsible proves to be a road littered with risks and danger. And at the centre of it is Jane, who is just starting out in her new role, tenacious and honest.


All the way through this book, Jane battles the prejudice and sexism from her colleagues in what is predominantly considered a ‘man’s job’. But Jane, despite being new to it, combats this with her intelligence, skill and passion for the job. She’s such a fabulous character! This book casts a new light on her as a character. A new side that really draws you in!


Lynda la Plante’s every word is soaked in suspense. I read Good Friday whilst I was snowed in, curled up on the sofa with my puppy and cup of tea. And I loved it! Fast-paced and thrilling, this is a book you’ll enjoy whether you’re new to Lynda la Plante’s books or you’re a long-time fan! It’s wonderful!

Pacy. Gripping. Brilliant.


To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below

Amazon UK

Book Depository


About Lynda La Plante




Lynda La Plante was born in Liverpool. She trained for the stage at RADA and worked with the National Theatre and RDC before becoming a television actress. She then turned to writing – and made her breakthrough with the phenomenally successful TV series WIDOWS.

Her novels have all been international bestsellers. Her original script for the much-acclaimed PRIME SUSPECT won awards from BAFTA, Emmys, British Broadcasting and Royal Television Society as well as the 1993 Edgar Allan Poe Writer’s Award.

Since 1993 Lynda has spearheaded La Plante Productions. In that time the company has produced a stunning slate of innovative dramas with proven success and enduring international appeal.

Based on Lynda’s best selling series of Anna Travis novels, Above Suspicion, Silent Scream, Deadly Intent and Silent Scream have all adapted into TV scripts and received impressive viewing figures.

Lynda has been made honorary fellow of the British Film Institute and was awarded the BAFTA Dennis Potter Writer’s Award 2000.

On 14th June 2008 Lynda was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List (Writer and Producer for services to Literature, Drama and to Charity).

On 3rd October 2009, Lynda was honoured at the Cologne Conference International Film and Television Festival with the prestigious TV Spielfilm Award for her television adaptation of her novel, Above Suspicion.

Books penned by Lynda La Plante include: The Legacy, The Talisman, Bella Mafia, Entwined, Cold Shoulder, Cold Blood, Cold Heart, Sleeping Cruelty, Royal Flush, Above Suspicion, The Red Dahlia, Clean Cut, Deadly Intent and Silent Scream, Blind Fury (this entered the UK Sunday Times Bestsellers List at number 1 having sold 9,500 copies in its first two weeks), Blood Line, Backlash, Wrongful Death, and Twisted, which have all been international best-sellers.

In Feb 2012 Lynda’s chilling tale of THE LITTLE ONE was published in conjunction with Quick Reads through Simon & Schuster UK.

Lynda’s latest book, Tennison, was published on 24th September 2015 and is the prequel the highly acclaimed Prime Suspect. The story charts Jane Tennison’s entry into the police force as a 22 year old Probationary Officer at Hackney Police Station in 1973.

Lynda La Plante is published in the UK by Simon & Schuster.
Lynda La Plante is published in the US by HarperCollins Publishers.

Please visit for further information. You can also follow Lynda on Facebook and Twitter.






Huge thanks to Annabelle Wright, ED PR and Bonner Zaffre for my review copy!

Blog Tour! Author Guest Post & Review of Twin Truths by Shelan Rodger ~ #TwinTruths #GuestPost #BookReview #BlogTour

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Guest Posts

Twin Truths bc


Twin Truths


Shelan Rodger


What is the truth? And how do you recognise it when you hear it?

Jenny and Pippa are twins. Like many twins they often know what the other is thinking. They complete each other. When Pippa disappears, Jenny is left to face the world alone, as she tries to find out what happened to her ‘other half’. But the truth, for Jenny, can be a slippery thing.




On the blog today I’m thrilled to post my review of Twin Truths by Shelan Rodger and to share a wonderful guest post from the author herself about the inspiration behind this fabulous book! But first is my review.





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In the heat of the Argentinean sun a young woman with a troubled past and uncertain future sits in front of a psychotherapist and tells him her story. Or a story she wants him to believe. Flashes of another life that are so much easier to speak of than her own. But, Jenny, despite her love of spinning a fictitious tale, is disarmed by this man and soon he is unlocking a part of her past that she has kept hidden away. Soon he unlocks her memories of Pippa, her twin. The one who supported her, loved her, the one who was by her side through everything. And the one whose path diverged so painstakingly from her own on that terrible day.



Jenny is adventurous, daring and outgoing. Pippa is shy, reticent and reserved. She finds solace in the pages of a book, cradles a deep-seated fascination with life that only a quiet observation can satisfy. Whereas Jenny must explore, experience and revel in the wonders of the world with wild abandon. The things that make them differ are as profound as the things that make them similar. And shared by them is a mutual love, its strength rivalling even the darkness of their past; a trauma no child should endure. Shelan Rodger has created a set of characters that feel almost as real as the person next to you and a book that conjures a wealth of emotion in her readers.


There are some parts in this book that are very difficult to read but, just as always, Shelan Rodger writes with startling care and aplomb. Her prose plucks the emotions of the reader and sweeps them into a story of abuse, betrayal and discovery that will mark your heart with its depth and honesty.


Twin Truths is a very difficult book to review. I’ve tried to be careful not to give anything away because everyone should have their own chance to discover what a monumental book it is. And I don’t want to spoil even a single word of it. I can’t recommend Twin Truths enough. It will overwhelm you, resonate with you and leave you feeling like you won’t ever be able to stop thinking about it!


Emotional. Twisty. Gripping.




To purchase a copy of this book you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository





And now for the wonderful guest post from Shelan Rodger:



What was your inspiration for the book?

The title of Twin Truths appeared in my head one day and haunted me. It played with two ideas: dual realities and truths about twins. I knew then that my main characters were twins and that I was going to write a book that explored the notion of truth. If you and I experience the exact same thing, our experience and memories of that thing will be utterly different, we will each walk away with entirely different realities. Which one is true? Both, of course – reality is elastic, an exercise in perspective, there is never only one reality.

What is it that creates our sense of who we are? What is personal identity? We live in an era which embraces the idea that our individual identity resides somewhere within us, as if it is something almost static, waiting to be discovered. Modern Western ethos encourages us to be ‘authentic’, ‘true to ourselves’, and, once we have discovered ‘who we really are,’ to use this as a barometer for the biggest decisions in our lives.

And yet, this ‘I’ we believe in is a tricky beast. It can mutate and have many different facets or phases in its lifetime. It can change according to whose company it’s in, it can be transformed by drink or drugs or medicine, or be thrown totally off course by an unexpected twist in life’s journey. Scientific research indicates that, given the ‘right’ circumstances, we are all capable of torture.
So, this tricky little beast is perhaps easier to live with if we tame it and name it. This ‘I’ may be the ultimate habit, comforting in the extreme, the story we unknowingly create to make it possible for us to negotiate the world and our relationships.
But what happens if something bad is thrown suddenly into the cage we have built for this tricky little beast? Trauma can break a habit or create a new one. And this is what led to the drama at the heart of Twin Truths, a story that exposes the elasticity of reality.

I had great fun discovering that elasticity while I was writing. I wanted to push the boundaries. I wanted to write a page-turner that also makes people think. I wanted to achieve an ending that was as much a twist for the narrator as for the reader.
The patchwork nature of my own life has undoubtedly fuelled the fascination with personal identity that inspired Twin Truths. I was born in Nigeria, grew up in an aboriginal community on the Tiwi Islands north of Australia, and moved to England for the first time at the age of eleven. After university, I spent nine years in Argentina, where Twin Truths is set, and I have continued to migrate between different landscapes and cultures since then, moving between the UK, Kenya, and Spain.

Whether we move between countries, or relationships, or just different phases in our lives, we all experience multiple realities. We all carry more than one story within our own personal history… and in the end, we all write our own book.


That was wonderful!!




About Shelan Rodger


Shelan Rodger Headshot 2


Shelan’s life is a patchwork of different cultures and landscapes; she was born in northern Nigeria, growing up among the Tiwi – an aboriginal community on an island north of Darwin, and moved to England at the age of eleven. She then travelled to Buenos Aires after graduating in Modern Languages from Oxford, and stayed for nine years. Then another chapter in England, followed by six years in Kenya on flower farms by Lake Naivasha and the lower slopes of Mount Kenya.

Now, Shelan lives in Andalucia, Spain. She has learnt in and outside many classrooms around the world, teaching in some of them too. Her professional career has revolved around international education, learning and development, with an emphasis during her time in Kenya on anti-discrimination.

Shelan’s first book, Twin Truths, was published by Cutting Edge Press in 2014, followed by Yellow Room, also in 2015.

As of 2017, The Dome Press acquired the rights to these two titles and Yellow Room was released in October 2017, with Twin Truths following in March 2018.







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Huge thanks to Shelan Rodger, The Dome Press and Emily Glenister for my review copy, the wonderful guest post and for including me on the blog tour!

Blog Tour! Review of End Game by Matt Johnson ~ #EndGame #RandomThingsTours #OrendaBooks

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour! I’m thrilled to share my review today of End Game by Matt Johnson!



End Game


Matt Johnson



Robert Finlay seems to have finally left his SAS past behind him and is settled into his new career as a detective. But when the girlfriend of his former SAS colleague and close friend Kevin Jones is murdered, it’s clear that Finlay’s troubles are far from over. Jones is arrested for the killing, but soon escapes from jail, and Finlay is held responsible for the breakout. Suspended from duty and sure he’s being framed too, our hero teams up with MI5 agent Toni Fellowes to find out who’s behind the conspiracy. Their quest soon reveals a plot that goes to the very heart of the UK’s security services. End Game, the final part in the critically acclaimed Robert Finlay trilogy, sees our hero in an intricately plotted and terrifyingly fast-paced race to uncover the truth and escape those who’d sooner have him dead than be exposed.




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My Review:


It’s with some sadness that I write this review because End Game is the conclusion to what has been a fantastic series. I love this series for introducing me to a memorable new character in Robert Finley and for providing me with hours of entertainment. End Game can be read as a standalone but if you’re only just discovering the works of Matt Johnson, I urge you to start at the beginning because then you’ll be treated to the full force of this unforgettable series!



End Game is as fast-paced as they come. Continuously I found myself reading for what felt like mere moments, only to look up and find that hours had passed me by.
Something I love about Matt’s books is how important the emotional core is. His books aren’t just about the action, the guns and the investigation, they’re about characters –  who feel as if they are about to leap from the page – about their lives, their families, their hopes and fears. And the dangers that threaten them. Robert has just welcomed a little girl into the world and you can really feel his love for his family ripple across the page. It’s astounding, the way Matt Johnson seamlessly blends these two elements!



Another factor I have to mention in this review is how real End Game feels to the reader. It’s author is an ex-soldier and Metropolitan Police Officer and all of his experience is harboured in these pages. It lends the book a real authenticity! It almost feel as if you are walking in Robert’s footsteps. Every danger is not only a risk to him but to you also, every worry and fear and piece of the puzzle affects you as well as him. it’s shocking and thrilling and so, so emotional.



End Game is the conclusion to what has been a wonderful series. I couldn’t have enjoyed these books more than I did. And I hope we’ll have another series from Matt Johnson very soon.



Thrilling. Absorbing. Emotional.




To purchase a copy of the book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository




About Matt Johnson:


Matt Johnson Author Picture


Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for twenty-five years. Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1993, and one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent’s Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People’s Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital. Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. His bestselling thriller, Wicked Game, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, was the result. Deadly Game and now End Game, the final book in the Robert Finlay series, once again draw on Matt’s experiences and drips with the same raw authenticity of its predecessor.




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Huge thanks to Karen and Anne for my review copy and for including me on the blog tour!

Blog Tour Review: Kiss Me, Kill Me by J. S. Carol #KissMeKillMe #BookReview #BlogTour

Blog Tours, Book Reviews

Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share my review of Kiss Me, Kill Me by J. S. Carol!



Kiss Me, Kill Me


J. S. Carol

When Zoe meets Dan, he’s everything she is looking for in a man – intelligent, charming, supportive.
It’s only after they’re married that she realises that he’s controlling, aggressive, paranoid.
And there’s no way out.

Or is there?

Zoe knows she has to escape, but Dan’s found her once before, and she knows he can find her again.
But Dan has plans of his own. Plans that don’t necessarily include Zoe.

Be careful who you trust . . .




review picture

My Review:


A girl living in a small town aspires to be a New York Times bestselling author. Until then she works in a restaurant to make ends meet with her friend and roommate Lizzy. Life is good. It’s even better when handsome, charming Daniel walks into her life. He is everything she could possibly ask for in a partner. Caring, supportive, stable, loving. Zoe had a rough start but now life has delivered to her a future tied with bow. And despite Lizzy’s concerns, she throws herself into the relationship. Because Daniel is all that matters. He is “The One.”

A young woman sits in her kitchen, listening to the sound of her husband’s footfalls upstairs, awaiting his departure for work. It is their third anniversary and she celebrates with the meagre portion of food he restricts her to and thoughts of her punishment should she ignore orders. Married life is not what she expected it to be. From the moment of the honeymoon, it has entailed fear, anguish, hunger and punishment. It is three years since she met him in that restaurant and for three years she has suffered his abuse. But now Zoe is pregnant and she will do anything to keep her child safe from Daniel.

Something I loved about Kiss Me, Kill Me is how J. S. Carol familiarises you with the characters, settles you into the story, then pulls the rug out from under your feet. I was sure I had the ending figured out, then all off a sudden, everything shifts and I’m left wondering where the afternoon went. I really felt for Zoe in this book. She rushed into a relationship with this man, blindsided by his intelligence and charm, completely dubious to his manipulation and cunning tricks. And when she tries to run away, he tracks her down like a predictor on the hunt for its prey and forces her to return home with him. For three years she was stuck in a marriage and when the possibility of escape arrives, it is almost as frightening and dangerous as staying. Not only is this a gripping read, it is also a very emotional one!

J. S. Carol’s characterisation is fantastic, his writing wonderful. I really, really enjoyed Kiss Me, Kill Me. As soon as I read the first sentence, I was hooked. This is a fantastic new addition to the genre, a slice of perfection that will have psychological thriller fans in it grips for hours!

Thrilling. Shocking. Fabulous




To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links blow

Amazon UK

Book Depository



About J. S. Carol


James Carol is the bestselling author of BROKEN DOLLS, the first in a series featuring former FBI profiler Jefferson Winter. The novel was released in the UK in January 2014 to rave reviews and reached number 1 on the Amazon fiction and thriller charts. In addition James is writing a series of eBooks set during Winter’s FBI days. PRESUMED GUILTY is the first of these. Under the pseudonym J.S. Carol, he has also written a number of standalones. KISS ME KILL ME is the latest.

James was born in Scotland and moved to England in the early-eighties. At various times he has worked as a guitarist, sound engineer, guitar tutor, journalist, and a horse riding instructor. When he’s not writing, James can usually be found in a pair of headphones writing and recording music. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two children.

For more information you can follow these links:






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Huge thanks to Imogen at Bonnier Zaffre for my review copy and for including me on the blog tour!

Blog Tour! Review of The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton ~ #RandomThingsTours #LoveYouToDeath #ThePerfectGirlfriend

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m so excited to share my review of The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

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The Perfect Girlfriend


Karen Hamilton


A frightening depiction of unbridled obsession, where love and pure hatred grapple on a knife edge.
Juliette loves Nate. The fact that he’s broken up with her doesn’t change that.
She has a plan to win him back, starting with training as a flight attendant for the airline where he works as a pilot, so she can keep a closer eye on him. Twisting the self-help books she’s read, she takes the mantra ‘in charge of you own destiny’ to new extremes.
She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants – the perfect boyfriend, the perfect life, the perfect ending.


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My Review


Juliette is in love with Nate. Nate is in love with Juliette. They are a matched made in heaven. They are living their happily ever after, or so it would seem. When Nate breaks up with her, Juliette’s carefully perfected world collapses. She did everything for him, she was everything for him. The Perfect Girlfriend. She supported him, loved him, gave her life for him. Her world was sculpted around his. And now he has shrugged off her love and walked away from their relationship. Pulsing with a determination to right this wrong, she hatches plans to win him back. And becoming an air hostess to keep herself close to him, is just the first hurdle to jump. As Juliette’s obsession simmers into something frightening, her plan to reunite them both sinks into dangerous waters.


It’s apparent from very early on in the book that Juliette has a tragic past, and it affects her actions severely. I really felt for her at the beginning but as I read more, those feeling were stripped away by her shockingly cold calculation of others. Juliette is such a fascinating character. The worse she became, the more I liked her. Karen Hamilton has crafted a character that will challenge the emotions of a lot of readers. Love her, hate her, Juliette is someone who you will not be able to stop thinking about!


The way the author has portrayed the work of an air hostess and the cultures and locations in this books is simply stunning. Her description leapt off the page and I couldn’t read fast enough. Snatches of the different countries slotted beautifully into the book and I really felt as if I was by Juliette’s side as she visited these places.


At the tension ratchets up to a nerve-tingling high, The Perfect Girlfriend will send you sailing through the pages, desperate to discover the outcome. A fabulously gripping read that will steal into your mind with the utmost stealth and lodge itself in your thoughts for a long time to come.


Thrilling. Shocking. Fabulous!




 To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below

Amazon UK

Book Depository



About Karen Hamilton


Karen Hamilton


Karen Hamilton spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy, and developed a love of travel through moving around so much. This led her to a career as a flight attendant, and it was in the air that she thought of the idea for her debut thirller THE PERFECT GIRLFRIEND, which aims to explore not only obsession, but also the true faces behind those who go to work in uniform.
Karen is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy, and has now put down roots in Hampshire to raise her young family with her husband.



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Huge thanks to Becky Hunter and Anne Cater for my review copy and for including me on the blog tour!

Blog Tour! Review of We Were the Salt of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard #SaltOfTheSea #RandomThingsTours #OrendaBooks

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share my review of We Were the Salt of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard!



We were the Salt of the Sea


Roxanne Bouchard


As Montrealer Catherine Day sets foot in a remote fishing village and starts asking around about her birth mother, the body of a woman dredges up in a fisherman’s nets. Not just any woman, though: Marie Garant, an elusive, nomadic sailor and unbridled beauty who once tied many a man’s heart in knots. Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales, newly drafted to the area from the suburbs of Montreal, barely has time to unpack his suitcase before he’s thrown into the deep end of the investigation. On Quebec’s outlying Gaspe Peninsula, the truth can be slippery, especially down on the fishermen’s wharves.




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My Review:


Catherine Day departs home for the shores of Gaspé to find her birth mother. She is met with a close-nit community, where her mother’s name rings on the lips of its villagers and where the sound of clamouring secrets burst from doors, sweep along the streets and slip into the sea. It is clear there is more to this little village than meets the eye. Drawn into a friendship with fisherman Cyrille, Catherine is determined to find her mother and by doing so find herself. When the body of a woman is found swaddled in a fisherman’s net, the news peals like bells through the streets. Her name is Marie Garant. And in this small village she is renowned for her beauty, her love of sailing and her wild nature.


Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales is assigned the investigation of this puzzling death. But in this beauty spot, the locals are weary of newcomers and the answers he seeks are not so easily found. Questioning his own life and the relationship with his wife, Joaquin is ferried deep into the mystery that swathes Gaspé and into the lives of its people.


As soon as I started reading this book, I fell hook, line and sinker in love with the characters. I love them for their quirks and eccentricities, their passion for the sea and their endearing personality traits, every one, down to the last chorus of “Christ in a challis!” They really got under my skin and I think that’s where they will stay. Roxanne Bouchard’s rich characterisation and beautiful writing captured my heart straight away! After just one page, I felt that little ping of excitement you get when you can feel in your bones you’ve stumbled on something magnificent. We Were the Salt of the Sea is lyrical, magical tale of profound proportions! I couldn’t have loved this beautiful book more than I did!


From the pen of this remarkable author comes a spellbinding book that will grasp at the hearts of its readers like the sea grasps at the sand along the shore. It will tempt away your heart and leave you breathless with its emotion, mystery and poetic beauty!


Rich. Lyrical. Phenomenal.





To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository



About Roxanne Bouchard



Roxanne Bouchard reads a lot, but she laughs even more. Her first novel, Whisky et Paraboles, garnered an array of prestigious awards in Quebec and caught the attention of British researcher, Jasmina Bolfek-Radovani, of the University of Westminster, who saw for herself how Roxanne weaves poetry and geography together to delve into her characters’ intimate worlds. Ten years or so ago, Roxanne Bouchard decided it was time she found her sea legs. So she learned to sail, first on the St Lawrence River, before taking to the open waters off the Gaspe Peninsula. The local fishermen soon invited her aboard to reel in their lobster nets, and Roxanne saw for herself that the sunrise over Bonaventure never lies. We Were the Salt of the Sea is her fifth novel, and her first to be translated into English. She lives in Quebec.




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Huge thanks to Karen and Anne for my review copy and for including me on the blog tour!

Evidence of Death by Peter Ritchie ~ #BookReview #BlogTour #EvidenceOfDeath

Blog Tours, Book Reviews

Welcome to my spot on the Evidence of Death blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share my review of this fabulous book by Peter Ritchie!



Evidence of Death


Peter Ritchie


Billy Nelson is back home in battle-scarred Belfast. But the Troubles have cut this ex-Army Loyalist hard man deep – and now that his city’s allegiances have shifted, nothing is quite the same.

An outbreak of gang violence forces Billy to move on. This time to Edinburgh, where he muscles in on the capital’s drug trade and the family who run it. As the balance of power tips, underworld rivalries between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast spill out onto the streets.

With a spate of horrific incidents and a trail of victims, the pressure is mounting for Grace Macallan, new superintendent of the Crime & Counter Terrorism Directorate. Troubled by her own demons and with everyone baying for the blood of Billy Nelson and his old paramilitary contacts, can Grace hold her nerve?




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My Review:



Billy Nelson has returned to a changed Dublin. When he left for the army, he left with horror and destruction in his wake. But now the Troubles are over and people are starting to recover, their allegiances shifting, their lives changing. Billy isn’t ready to forget though, he wants revenge. And soon his actions are stirring the attention of Jackie Martin, a man he does not want to cross. Sent to Edinburgh to ply his seedy trade, Nelson’s rise up the ladder of the drugs trade is laced with blood and gore. Nothing will hinder his progress to be king of the hierarchy and no one – not even the family who run it – will stand in his way.



Grace Macallan is grieving the loss of a dear friend when she is hit by a blast from the past. Jack Fraser, a former lover who broke her heart, steals into her new life. Just as charming, handsome and successful as ever. But he abandoned her when she was at her lowest point and now, as she embraces a forgive and forget life philosophy, those feelings she discarded so long ago reemerge. Investigating a new foe who has taken over the drugs trade, she is faced with frightening battles, one with her past and one with a group of men who are determined to win.



Peter Ritchie’s past as a Senior Police officer has lent this book an authenticity that is hard to match. He’s poured his knowledge and experience into Evidence of Death and you can really feel depth of it shot through the prose. It this aspect of the book that made it really feel as if I was in the middle of it all. I was by Grace’s side as she investigated Billy Nelson and his gang, her life continuously at risk. I was with Billy as he climbed the ranks, utilising his armoury of violence, manipulation and deceit. I was right there in the thick of it! It’s thrilling stuff!



Evidence of Death follows the tug-and-war for power and ranking amid the seedy underbelly of three capitals. It’s a fiercely gripping, surprising novel that will grip you from cover to cover.


Dark. Intriguing. Gripping. 


To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository




About Peter Ritchie



Peter Ritchie is a retired senior police officer. The real-world authenticity in his novels comes from vast experience gained working in CID, murder squads, Serious and Regional Crime Squads and Europol.




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Huge thanks to Lina Langlee for my review copy and for including me on the blog tour!


The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox ~ #BookReview #TheSmilingMan

Book Reviews


The Smiling Man


Joseph Knox


Disconnected from his history and careless of his future, Detective Aidan Waits has resigned himself to the night shift. An endless cycle of meaningless emergency calls and lonely dead ends. Until he and his partner, Detective Inspector Peter ‘Sutty’ Sutcliffe, are summoned to The Palace, a vast disused hotel in the centre of a restless, simmering city.

There they find the body of a man. He is dead.

And he is smiling.

The tags have been removed from the man’s clothes. His teeth filed down and replaced. Even his fingertips are not his own. Only a patch sewn into the inside of his trousers gives any indication as to who he was, and to the desperate last act of his life…

But even as Waits puts together the pieces of this stranger’s life, someone is sifting through the shards of his own.

When the mysterious fires, anonymous phone calls and outright threats escalate, he realises that a ghost from his own past haunts his every move.

And to discover the smiling man’s identity, he must finally confront his own.




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My Review



Detective Aidan Waits is called to a disused hotel when an alarm is tripped. Just another sweep of drudgery in his new role covering the night shifts. Except when he arrives, he finds an unconsciousness guard, a fleeing figure and the dead body of a man in room 413. A man with a smile, his lips frozen in a final disturbing expression. With no tags on his clothes, nor proof of identity in his pockets, his anonymity proves difficult to crack when Aidan discovers that the man’s fingerprints have been surgically removed and his teeth filed down. As new clues muddy the waters of this case, Aidan’s personal life dances on the fringe of ruin. He is plagued by phone calls with threats breathed down the line and a man who dogs his movements. After his actions stained his career with a smudge of disgrace, it soon becomes clear that his profession is but one of his concerns. His life, something that is marred by dislike and distrust, is being threatened.


Joseph Knox writing is truly remarkable. His narrator, Detective Aidan Waits is one of the most intriguing characters I have ever come across. He has huge faults and is deeply effected by his troubled past but I think that is what makes him such a fabulous character. His early life is a big part of who he is and his harrowing memories torment him, exacerbate his struggles. But his other side is very strong and very caring. Sirens was the introduction to Aidan and his story – The Smiling Man carries us a little bit further into Aidan’s character, into his past and into his future. And how Joseph Knox allows the reader to slowly glimpse the crux of Aidan’s childhood is simply incredible.


Juxtaposed with an examination of the darkest of dark hearts in the underworld of Manchester, runs a startlingly intelligent, pulsating and extremely emotional novel from the extraordinary talent that is Joseph Knox. After loving both this and Sirens, I’m so excited to see where he takes this series next.


The Smiling Man is a suspenseful, riveting new instalment in the Detective Aidan Waits series. If you were a fan of Sirens, then you will adore this. It’s utterly wonderful! It kept me awake till 2 in the morning – brace yourself for a journey into the heart of Manchester and the dark world of a brilliant detective.



Gritty. Gripping. Glorious.




To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository





About Joseph Knox



Joseph Knox was born and raised in and around Stoke-On-Trent and Manchester, where he worked in bars and bookshops before moving to London. He runs, writes and reads compulsively.

Sirens is his debut novel. His second, The Smiling Man, will be released in March, 2018.









Huge thanks to Alison Barrow for my review copy!