The Father by Anton Svensson
Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Father by Anton Svensson. This is a very intriguing book that is based on a true story. Here’s some more information on it!
How does a child become a criminal? How does a father lose a son?
An epic crime novel with the excitement of Jo Nesbo’s Headhunters and the depth of We Need to Talk About Kevin, THE FATHER is a work of fiction, inspired by the extraordinary true story of three brothers who held Sweden to ransom, committing ten audacious bank robberies over just two years (in the early 1990s) and who rewrote Swedish criminal history.
None had committed a crime before. All were under 24 years old. All of them would be changed forever.
In this intoxicating, heart-breaking thriller, the fourth brother, who was not involved in the real robberies, tells of three boys who grew from innocent children to become public enemy number one – and of the father who made them that way. This is a gripping story about a family, about the bonds of brotherly love and the complex relationship between fathers and sons.
The Father is the first part of a two-part series, with the second part, The Son, to publish in hardback in 2017.
About the Authors
Stefan Thunberg is one of Scandinavia’s most celebrated screenwriters. His body of work spans popular TV-series such as Henning Mankell’s Wallander and Håkan Nesser’s Van Veeteren as well as two of Sweden’s biggest box office successes in recent years: Hamilton and Jägarna 2. While Thunberg achieved fame as a screenwriter, the rest of his family became infamous in an entirely different way: his father and brothers were Sweden’s most notorious bank robbers, dubbed Militärligan (The Military Gang) by the media. The Father is Stefan Thunberg’s debut novel.
Anders Roslund is an award-winning investigative journalist and one of the most successful and critically acclaimed Scandinavian crime writers of our time. Roslund is part of the New York Times bestselling author duo Roslund & Hellström, who are recipients of many prestigious awards, including the CWA International Dagger, the Glass Key and the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award, and who boast sales exceeding five million copies. Films and TV series based on Roslund & Hellström’s novels are in the works, both in Hollywood and Europe. The Father is Anders Roslund’s seventh novel and the first he has co-authored with Stefan Thunberg.
Follow the Tour
Nothing hurts like not knowing who you are.
Nobody will tell Cadi anything about her father and her sister. Her mother Violet believes she can only cope with the past by never talking about it. Lili, Cadi’s aunt, is stuck in the middle, bound by a promise she shouldn’t have made. But this summer, Cadi is determined to find out the truth.
In a world of hauntings and magic, in a village where it rains throughout August, as Cadi starts on her search, the secrets and the ghosts begin to wake up. None of the Hopkins women will be able to escape them.
The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover. It is absolutely gorgeous. It’s full of mystery and intrigue, and having now read the book, really feel it fits too. After seeing the cover, it was the synopsis that got me to read the book. Which I am glad I did. It was a very unique and interesting story full of emotions, mystery and intrigue. While I had a few issues with it, I did overall like the book and would happily recommend it to others. Essentially this book left me feeling full of hope and happiness, and feeling like I had just finished a very magical book.
One of the first problems I had with this book is that it took me a while to get into it. It has a bit of a slow start and feels very confusing to begin with. This is, in most part, to do with the writing style of the author so eventually this got a lot easier to read as I got used to the style. The plot was very fascintating to read about and I loved following the story of the characters’ lives. I loved how it twisted and turned and how it all ended too. It was a really magical and moving story about family, friendship and love.
The characters in the book are all really well-written with intricate backgrounds and unique personalities. I found Cadi to be a very interesting character and I really connected with her as she struggled to understand where she came from and who that made her. I also really liked Lili. She was a fascinating character, strong and resiliant too. Caught in the middle of things and just wanting the best for her neice. And then there’s Violet who has so much burden on her shoulders and struggles to just get by. She’s done what she thinks is best but also what she can cope with. She was a very interesting character to read about. I loved how all the character journey’s came together at the end.
While this book wasn’t my favourite book, I did enjoy reading it and am still very glad that I did. I feel that some of the problem with my connection to the book stems from not coming from a Welsh background nor knowing much about Welsh communities. I also normally love ghost stories but really struggled with the ghost aspects of this book. I have a feeling it is stemmed in a Welsh myth and this, again, is not something I’m familiar with. However, saying that, I did love the way the ghost pulled the story forward and connected everything. I loved everything else about the story and was so moved by the ending. It did leave me feeling full of hope. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a unique story that is essentially uplifting and focuses on family.
** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **
Carol Lovekin was born in Warwickshire. She has Irish blood and a Welsh heart, and has lived in mid Wales for 36 years. She has worked as a cleaner, a freelance journalist, a counsellor, a legal secretary and a shop assistant. She began writing with a view to publication in her late fifties has published short stories, reviews and is a prolific letter writer. She has been blogging for over nine years. Ghostbird is her first traditionally published novel.
Follow the Tour
The Hummel case has bothered William Wisting for more than six months. The investigation into what happened when taxi-driver Jens Hummel disappeared has been fruitless, and he has to endure criticism. A crucial discovery directs suspicion at Dan Roger ‘Danny’ Brodin. The problem is, however, that Danny is already in prison, convicted of another murder. Wisting is accustomed to building up a solid case for the prosecution, but this time things are different. Now he has to use all his expertise and experience to unpick a case that other people already believe to be over and done with. He follows his own convictions – all the way into the courtroom.
Without a Body
When I first heard about Ordeal by John Lier Horst, I was instantly intrigued. I have, however, not read any of the previous William Wisting books in the series so I was a little worried about jumping in at book number ten but I’m very happy to report that this was definitely not an issue. While I do wonder if I would have connected to the book more had I read the previous books, it certainly didn’t stop me from very much enjoying this book. I loved all of the details in the story and the way that the plot really twisted throughout – I honestly had no clue what had happened, which is a refreshing relief in crime fiction.
It Can Be
Due to his background, John Lier Horst brings a very real portrayal of police detective work to his book which, in my opinion, just made it that much more interesting to read. From the tension between different police departments to small details like gun ballistics, it really just added something extra to the book. Add to that a plot that really pulls you in and begs you for more as it weaves between a variety of characters and theories, this book certainly has a way to keep the reader entertained. I loved how the book finally concluded as well, it was very cunning and clever. I will be keeping an eye out on John Lier Horst from now on.
Difficult To Discover
While some readers may have more of a connection to some of the characters in this book due to background knowledge of them, I found that I fell for them pretty quickly. I loved the relationship between William and his daughter, as well as the rest of the detective team. The only relationship I didn’t really connect with was between William and Suzanne as I felt I needed to read the previous books to understand this. What all of this means is that John has created a vast array of interesting and well-developed characters that you love reading about – and thus I want to go back and see what else they’ve been through together.
What’s Actually Happened
Overall, I very much enjoyed reading this book. I love detective novels – and don’t read enough of them – and this was the perfect detective novel for me. With a mix of crime, real details, and enthralling characters who had intricate and interesting lives, it was just a great read to dive into. After finishing the book, I found myself continuously thinking about the setting and the characters so I’m definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the english translated versions of these books and hoping more books get translated in the meantime. So if you love gritty detective novels that keep you guessing – and hence, on your toes – then you should definitely give this book a go!
** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **
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Cineworld Unlimited; February
February was actually a much better month for films than I first thought it was going to be. I was certain that I’d end up only seeing four films and while that is still brilliant, it was nothing on the seven films I had seen in January. And then by the end of the month, I looked at my collected tickets for the month and realised that I had actually seen eight films! One more than January. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed and proud of myself.
And, apologies for the lateness of this post, here are the films I saw and what I thought of each of them!
The 5th Wave
Don’t shoot me but I actually haven’t read the book yet. I’ve had it for a few years but it just hasn’t been one that I’ve picked up yet. But I was intrigued so I wanted to see the film. Fortunately I quite liked the film, thought it was very interesting and easy to follow. I’ll be doing my best to read the book now. But I would recommend the film if you haven’t read the book. It’s a good film, not amazing but good.
I grew up reading the Goosebumps books and I loved them all so much. Admittedly now I’m older, I don’t really remember them but that love for them never went away. Thus when I heard about the Goosebumps film, I couldn’t not go and see it, could I? And I’m glad that I did because I actually really enjoyed this film. It was entertaining, interesting and had me on the edge of my seat. Plus there was a bit of emotion too. Definitely worth a watch whether you read the Goosebumps books or not!
Jem and the Holograms
Apparently February is the month I watched films without reading any of the books they were adapted from. I didn’t realise that this film was both a graphic novel and an old television series before I went to see it. I got a recommendation that it was good and just decided to go and see it. And I’m glad I did. Because I loved it. It was cheesy but it was also cute and heart-warming, and I will admit to crying because it touched me. Definitely a film I’d be happy to watch again!
This was my least favourite film I saw in February. It was far too gruesome for me. And I don’t normally shy away from gruesome films but there were just far too many moments in this that did not sit right with me. I actually felt nauseous through part of the film and covered my face with my jumper during three parts as well. I have never had to do this in a cinema before. It was definitely an epic film and was incredibly well acted, but it just was not the right film for me!
How to Be Single
This was my second least favourite film of the month. While I did enjoy it and it was an entertaining film that I am fairly certain many people will completely love but it irritated me too. It was a very blockbuster version of what being single is like and it just, frustrated me to no end. There were far too many awful things that happened and I just couldn’t love it as much as I should have. Wouldn’t it just be wonderful if we were all caught between three guys, right?
This is a film that I absolutely adored but also completely destroyed me emotionally. It was very well filmed and acted, was very dramatic and compelling and it really caused me to cry. If you don’t know, this book is about the newspaper story about the sexual abuse that was occurring in churches from priests and how they covered it up. It was a very, very powerful film and I would highly recommend it.
The Finest Hours
This is another film that I really, really loved. It was very dramatic, very compelling, and very well acted and filmed. It was gripping, emotional, intense and just everything that I love in a film. I love these kind of films so much, especially when they’re done well and this film was exactly that. Very highly recommend this one!
The film that seemingly everyone is raving about at the moment. I am very glad that I finally went to see this film, even more so because I really, really enjoyed it. What I did come out of the cinema with was the fact that this wasn’t your typical superhero movie. If nothing else, this one felt more like a superhero origins movie but I still very much liked it. It was very much on point with modern references and sarcasm running throughout as well. I thought it was a very entertaining film and I would definitely recommend it. (I also haven’t read the comic so that might change some people’s opinions, of course).
What Did You See In February? Did We Watch Any Of The Same Films?
#TakeTheThrone Blog Tour
Today I’m REALLY excited because I have the AMAZING C. J. Redwine on the blog detailing how writing The Shadow Queen was different to writing her previous trilogy (which I love and highly recommend!).
On Writing The Shadow Queen
by C. J. Redwine
I thoroughly enjoyed writing THE SHADOW QUEEN. I grew up reading volumes of fairy tales every week, so to be able to adapt those short stories into a full scale fantasy felt like a homecoming of sorts. Turning Snow White into a dark epic fantasy required me to build a world and then tie the fairy tale elements into a new and embellished plot.
In my first trilogy, I was writing a post-apocalyptic world. While there were definite changes (like dragons that tunneled up from below the ground and the fact that we lived in city-states again), I was still essentially working with topography and settings that I was familiar with. With THE SHADOW QUEEN, I was creating a world from scratch. I had to decide on the terrain, the climate, the culture, the economy, the political system, the architecture, the food, the education system … every last piece of the world had to be created. It took me weeks of work, but the geek in me loved it.
Once I’d created the world, I turned my attention to the plot. In the DEFIANCE trilogy, the plot was whatever I wanted to make it. But in THE SHADOW QUEEN, I had touchstone moments and images from the original fairy tale that had to be included. I needed the fugitive princess with an affinity for woodland creatures (my princess has a telepathic bond with a seriously fierce gyrfalcon), an evil queen (who in this case is the most powerful sorceress the kingdom has ever known), a huntsman (see: Prince Charming), a prince (who is a dragon shape-shifter so desperate to save his people that he makes a terrible bargain with the queen and becomes her huntsman), the magic mirror (which the queen uses to scry for the missing princess’s location), poison apples (trust me, after reading THE SHADOW QUEEN, you’ll think twice about eating apples for a long time), the heart being ripped out (there are a few twists with this one!), and the kiss that brings the princess back (more plot twists!). And instead of seven dwarves, I have seven dragons. It was fun to take the recognizable elements of the original story and find new, twisted ways to incorporate them into my epic fantasy adventure.
My main goal was to turn the Snow White tale into an epic showdown between two equally powerful female characters—one who will sacrifice anything and anyone to get what she wants and one who will sacrifice herself to save her kingdom—while still giving readers who adore the original tale enough familiar touchstones to make them feel like I’d done the fairy tale justice.
About the Book
In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.
But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.
Follow the Rest of the Tour
Are you excited to read The Shadow Queen?
On Quitting Blogging
Before you go getting too panicked, I am not quitting blogging, or at least not yet. I go through many moments where I ponder throwing in the metaphorical towel when it comes to blogging and often I just take a blogging break and talk myself out of it. After all, I’ve put my heart and soul into this blog and to quit it now would be like losing a part of myself. Besides, it’s my fifth year and I kind of have this desire to actually make it to my five year blogoversary before I make any drastic decisions.
But I have seriously come very close to quitting blogging in the last month. So much as to say I would do the last few blog tours I was signed up for and then I would just stop posting, see how it went and maybe, maybe I just wouldn’t post again.
And then I got an e-mail about a really exciting book and another really exciting book turned up in the mail and I had an interesting idea for a blog post.
And I just realized that it wasn’t going to be as simple as all that. I love blogging. As mentioned above, I’ve put my heart and soul into it and now, blogging is as much a part of me and my identity as reading is. So stopping blogging would be like stopping reading, which would be similar to stopping breathing.
So it’s certainly not something that I will be stopping soon.
But I obviously had to change something because there’s a reason I’ve been feeling this way. A lot of it has to do with my energy levels, and another reason is just not feeling any motivation to blog. So here are some things that I have decided to do;
1) Post only twice a week.
– This is to lower the pressure on me to feel like I have to be on at all times. This will hopefully be every Monday and Friday and will be one book post and one lifestyle post, but I am also not going to stress out if I don’t get a post up.
2) Review less.
– This may seem a little bonkers. But what I mean by this is that I want to feature authors on the blog more. I want to host guest post and interviews rather than reviews. But I am thinking that I will review more on Amazon and Goodreads and Big Book Little Book.
3. Stop feeling guilty.
– I’ve been struggling with this feeling for years but I am really going to do my best to just stop feeling guilty for not reviewing in time for release dates. I am not a fast reader and sometimes life just gets in the way and I just have to accept that.
4. No stressing over no content.
– If I don’t have any ideas or content, I am just not going to stress over it. I just won’t post. If I don’t have time, then I don’t have time. I’m going for a much more laid back approach.
5. Stop stressing about social media.
– I have also been agonizing over keeping up to date with my instagram, facebook and twitter and it’s getting a bit much. I’m just going to post when I want to. Share when I can and take photos when I feel able to. No pressure. No stress. No worries.
And here’s hoping with all of that, that I can feel less stressed and more excited about blogging again.
What do you do when you feel stressed out by blogging?
Welcome to my new feature on A Daydreamer’s Thoughts where I will be telling you fortnightly of two different TV series that I am currently watching (sorry for the super lame feature title!). One of the series will be a re-watch and the other a “new to me” series. I hope for two things to come of this feature. The first is that I hope to recommend you some great TV shows, the second is that you can recommend me some new shows to watch based on what I’m already watching and enjoying!
So without further ado, here are my first two recommendations!
New To Me
I decided to start watching this show as a spur of the moment decision. I was with my mum and we were scrolling through Netflix looking for something new to get our teeth into when we stumbled across Brooklyn 99. After the first episode finished, we watched another two straight away we loved it so much. And then, because I couldn’t stop myself, I then went home and watched ahead. The episodes are funny, the show is addictive and you can’t help but fall in love with all the characters. I have now, sadly, just finished season two and am now waiting in agony for the third season to finish airing on TV so I can start watching it on Netflix!
One Tree Hill
I have re-watched One Tree Hill many times over the years. It’s a TV show that I quickly became addicted to. It’s easy to follow the characters and witness all the drama unfolding. Oddly, it’s only on this re-watch that some small things are bugging me that never did before. It’s a show that when you get to season five and witness these successful 21 and 22 year olds and realise you are 25 and nowhere near as okay with your future, that it gets tough to watch. But saying that, I still love the characters and the show. It’s just interesting how I now take something different from it.
So there you have it, two very wonderful shows that I’m currently watching.
What are you currently watching?
Running & Fitness
February was bad guys, like really bad. I’m not even really sure what I did all month. I was definitely busy, which made me tired, which in turn meant I didn’t make it onto the pavement to run or to the gym – and as such, I think I may be cancelling my membership soon. Turning into a little bit of a waste of money, again. Ugggh.
Which is why this month, I’m going to try once more to use the gym some more and then if I still don’t, cancel it at the end of the month. I have to give a month’s notice so I’ll then use it in April and by May it should be nice enough for me to be hitting the pavement with my running anyway!
These are very similar to last month but yet another step back, a true easing into it gently idea. Here’s hoping it helps.
I aim to do one day at the gym per week
- I also aim to walk to work and back (25mins each way) three days a week (this will be weather dependent)
To continue eating healthily.
- For my body to get used to the workout classes so my muscles suffer less
- To be able to run on the treadmill non-stop for 20 minutes
- To be able to climb the three flights of stairs at work without feeling like I’m dying
Let’s see if I can actually do this!
Are you doing anything to get back into or continue being in shape this month?
Today I’m here as part of the Defender of the Realm blog tour. I have an interview with Mark and Nick and ten reasons why I think you should be reading this book! Enjoy!
Title: Defender of the Realm (Defender of the Realm #1)
Author: Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler
Published: 3rd March 2016
Source:: Review Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK
Super-villains. Hungry monsters. One kid to stop them all. Meet King Alfie: fourteen-year-old British monarch and Defender of the Realm. Alfie never expected to become king so young. He definitely didn’t expect to become a legendary superhero: the Defender. Which means fighting an ancient secret battle against mega-villains and evil monsters. All while grappling with adoring crowds, paparazzi and minders. Now the terrible Black Dragon is rising. Only Alfie can stop him. Think being a king is just about wearing a crown? Wrong.
2. It is also full of humour and will have you awkwardly laughing out loud at various times throughout.
3. There is an awkward, bumbling mess of a protagonist in Alfie that you can’t help but love!
4. Plus a kick-ass, super awesome heroine in Hayley – the perfect teenage role model for girls!
5. Super awesome gadjets that sound amazing; things that I am quite honestly jealous not to have.
6. Wyvern. The most fantastic horse in all of history – supernatural and otherwise!
7. With screenwriting duo – Mark Huckerby + Nick Ostler on board, everything is so easily imagined and great to follow too.
8. It is a novel with a lot of depth that is also just surrounded by childlike wonder and awesomeness.
9. Descriptive writing, fantastic plot, wonderful and vibrant characters – what’s not to love!
10. It is the beginning of what is likely to be an absolutely incredible series that is sure to be liked by Adults and Children alike!
Interview with Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler
Where did the idea for the story come from?
We were thinking about superheroes and why there weren’t really any famous British ones. We have iconic heroes, of course, from legend and fiction, like Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes and James Bond, but that’s not quite the same. So we were trying to imagine what a British superhero might look like and why they would HAVE to be British. What do we have in the U.K. that America, for example, does not? And that’s when we started to think about royalty. What a strange and interesting phenomenon it is, how it has changed over the centuries and yet is still there in our everyday lives, from the coins in our pockets to the names of the pubs we might spend them in! And the more we looked at the history and ritual of British monarchy, the more similarities we saw with how superhero myths work – alter egos, mysterious powers, arch-enemies. It very quickly felt exciting. One of those lying-awake-in-the-middle-of-the-night ideas that demands to be written!
Do you plot every detail or just see where the story takes you?
Because there are two of us, and we draft chapters separately, we always outline in quite a lot of detail first. Although I think we would both do that anyway. It’s very easy to write a terrific opening to a story, but we would very quickly get in a mess if we didn’t know where we were going after that! But that said, we both find it fun to read what the other has written because it’s never comes out exactly as you might have imagined it – there’s always some detail or joke or fresh point of view that occurs to you during the writing, which ends up surprising us – even if we end up rewriting it a dozen times!
What is your favourite drink or snack to eat while you write?
Nick: Tea. Too much tea. Bananas and nuts if I’m being good, biscuits if I’m not.
Mark: Coffee. Dark chocolate and nuts!
Do you listen to music while you write, and if you do, what were you listening to while you wrote Defender of the Realm?
Nick: Not usually, no. I tend to need peace and quiet to concentrate. Although the opera that the theatre lighting designer who works in the next door office listens to sometimes drifts through and I don’t mind that at all.
Mark: Yes. Once upon a time I’d listen to my playlists but I’d find myself getting carried away lip synching and air-guitaring too much. Nowadays, I like Bach, cello concertos, Goldberg Variations, anything. I can get in a zone where I’m hearing the music and enjoying it on one level but working on something else at the same time! As far as Defender of the Realm goes, I was actually listening a lot to Handel’s Coronation Anthems. “Zadok the Priest” has been sung at every coronation of the British monarch since the early 18th century.
Are you characters based on anyone you know? If yes, who?
Not directly, no. But we hope that the memories of what it was like to be fourteen years old were useful when we were getting inside Alfie and Hayley’s heads. We thought the general idea of being that young and having great responsibility placed on your shoulders was an intriguing thing to explore for both Alfie and Hayley.
None of the royal family members in the book were based on any real individual, but the one real historical figure we did read a lot about in preparation was Alfred the Great. His was such a fascinating story – a very young man thrown in at the deep end in a time of great peril for our country, which was under assault from the Vikings. No-one expected Alfred to survive for long and yet he became one of the greatest, if not still the greatest monarch we’ve ever had in terms of what he achieved. In Defender of the Realm, Alfie shares a mysterious and powerful connection with his ancestor and the whole trajectory of his story is in some ways a modern retelling of the Alfred the Great story – though to say too much more about that would be to spoil surprises we have in store for book two and beyond!
If you had to summarise the book in a tweet (140 characters) what would you say?
The hapless, new young king of the U.K. discovers he is also a now a superhero charged with defending the country from super-villains!
Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler are Emmy and BAFTA-nominated screenwriters best known for writing popular TV shows such as Danger Mouse and Thunderbirds Are Go!
Holy Smokes Guys!
February is OVER.
It went by just as quickly as it always does, too quickly!
But enough about that.
Today’s post is where I look at the goals I set myself at the beginning of the month and how well I got on with them, so without further ado…
To finish reading five books.
Okay, so I didn’t quite hit five books. Sadly.
But I did manage to finish three and almost finish a fourth. So I feel like I actually did pretty well. Especially considering that I’d been struggling with a reading slump before February came about!
So here are the books I finished:
And as the only one I haven’t already spoken about, here are my thoughts on
I did like this book, it was very adventurous, creative and intriguing. But it also felt a little slow in places and didn’t quite feel right in others. Overall it wasn’t my favourite book of the bunch but it was definitely one that I’m glad to have read. Besides, you know, ghosts!
And the book that I am SUPER CLOSE to finishing now is…
I’m going to do my best to finish this by the end of tomorrow! Wish me luck!