The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown
Today is my stop on the Witchfinder’s Sister blog tour and I have for you all a review of this fascinating book!
Before you hear my thoughts though, here is some information on the book.
About the Book
1645. When Alice Hopkins’ husband dies in a tragic accident, she has no choice but to return to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.
But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witches, and of a great book, in which her brother is gathering women’s names.
To what lengths will her brother’s obsession drive him?
And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?
Generally speaking I am one of those readers that loves a variety of genres but I have always struggled with historical fiction. And thus you may be wondering why I then decided to review this book. The answer is quite simple. The book just sounded so very interesting and I had to see what it was all about. I am very glad that I took that leap of faith with this book because I ended up really enjoying the book. There were a few parts that I struggled with due to my distaste of historical fiction but fortunately this did not ruin my overall opinion of the book.
What initially drew me to this book was the storyline being about witches and the witch trials that happened in the 1600s. It is one of those odd periods of history that I actually find quite fascinating. Horrible and disheartening to realise women were treated so awfully but it is also a nice reminder of just how far we have come. Thus I am pleased to report that the plot of this book was compelling and addictive. I found myself turning the pages as quickly as I could just to find out how it was all going to end. And what an ending! Very, very clever.
There was a vast array of characters in the novel, some of whom I felt for, some of whom I vehemently detested. Beth Underdown did a fantastic job of creating realistic characters throughout the novel, and did a marvellous job of describing them all as well. By far my favourite character was Grace. Although only a side character, she was so sweet and lovely, hardworking and also shy. I wanted everything to go okay for her in the end. She is definitely a character that I would love to read more about. Alice is also a fascinating character to read about and she had a very distinctive and interesting voice.
While this book is not one that I would ordinarily pick up, it was one that I found myself enthralled by. It was an emotional, heart-breaking and fascinating book to read that I would recommend to others easily. There were some fictional historical texts interspersed which I struggled with and some other moments within the narrative that I found hard to understand but fortunately this did not ruin my enjoyment of the book. So if you’re looking to read an entertaining and intriguing book about the witch hunting that happened in the 1600s, you should definitely give this book a read.
About the Author
The Witchfinder’s Sister is her debut novel, and is based on the life of the 1640s witch finder Matthew Hopkins.
She first came across him while reading a book about seventeenth-century midwifery. As you do.
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Dead Embers by Matt Brolly
Today is my stop on the Dead Embers tour and I am here for you all with my review of this very addictive read!
Before I tell you how much I liked the book, here is some information on it.
About the Book
When DCI Michael Lambert is called out to an apparent house fire, he knows it can’t be routine. Instead he finds the remains of a burnt house, a traumatised child and two corpses – one of whom is a senior police officer.
Lambert’s got other problems. Anti-corruption are onto his boss. His relationships is on the rocks. He can’t get over his ex-wife and he keeps blacking out.
But when a detective has been murdered the stakes are too high to get distracted. All is not as it seems. As the investigation continues Lambert realises he is getting drawn into something altogether bigger and more terrifying than he could ever have imagined…
Trust no one.
Gripping, chilling to its core and full of twists, the powerful new DCI Michael Lambert from Matt Brolly is perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Helen H. Durrant and Michael Hambling.
I’ve been struggling to keep on top of my reading for a while because of illness and being busy at work, etc, but when it came to picking up Dead Embers, all of that fell away. I read this at every spare moment I had because it was incredibly addictive. There are not enough words to really describe how deep I fell into the world of this book. It instantly took me out of the real world and into book world just with a few words. Everything was described so well and there was so much going on at all times that it was just such an easy, wonderful read – everything that you want in a crime thriller book!
Have To Be
What really kept my interest in this novel was the plot, or I should say the case. I was riveted. This is the kind of case that I can imagine being a huge hit as a TV series, and the case itself could probably have occurred across three or four episodes too. It was intense and well-thought out with lots of different things all coming together to form a whole. The best part about it all was that I really had no idea how it was all going to end up. There was no way to guess as it was only slightly hinted at in different parts of the text. I found this to be such a captivating narrative style!
Careful About Who
I am not shy about shouting out about books with strong characters as I love reading them. Unfortunately this is one of the places where I feel the book falls a little short. I really liked DCI Michael Lambert but there were also parts of his lifestyle that were hinted at but not really explored and it made it harder to get a full grip on who he is as a character. I feel that some of this may have been explained in the previous two books and as such I will be making sure I read them but it felt like there was little to no character development in the book which was a shame but certainly didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the case! I would definitely read another book with DCI Michael Lambert and would be interested to see what happens next for him.
You Can Trust
Overall this book was a very gripping, addictive and captivating read from start to finish. The case was very interesting, disturbing and intriguing all at once. There was so much going on and it was so difficult to know who to trust which I thought was really good. I also liked how one case was all wrapped up but I felt there were still some ties left loose by the end of the book so I’d be very interested in reading further books to see where it goes! I would recommend this book to any reader who loves crime books, especially those that twist and turn as you go along until your left just waiting for the mystery to be solved.
About the Author
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False Prophet by Richard Davis
Today is my stop on the Saul Marshall blog tour and I am here today to share my thoughts on the first book in the series, False Prophet by Richard Davis!
First though, here’s some information on the series.
About the Books
When a rogue cult turns deadly, the FBI call on former conman Agent Saul Marshall. FALSE PROPHET introduces a gripping new series from thriller writer Richard Davis
Marshall is soon drawn into a cat and mouse chase with the leader of the cult, Ivan Drexler. As the scale of Drexler’s terrorist ambition becomes ever clearer, news arrives that he has taken Marshall’s son hostage. Removed from the line of duty, he must work alone, off-grid.
As the attacks intensify, Saul will stop at nothing to defeat Drexler.
But the FBI are questioning Saul’s own part in the carnage. He must work fast to save both his country and his life. Can Saul stop the carnage before it’s too late? And can he save his son?
As wave after wave of attacks break, the clock is ticking for Saul.
As a wave of seemingly random assassinations engulfs California, Marshall finds himself drawn into a situation spiralling out of control.
He soon discovers some of the webs’ most secure protocols have been compromised by a rogue team of former Chinese agents. When Marshall realises what they plan, the stakes are raised…
And that’s before the Secretary of State gets involved. Can Marshall unravel the deceit and tricks before it’s too late? Can he stop the carnage, or will he become part of it? One thing is for certain: either way his enemies will never forget.
Five Favourite Things About False Prophet
Gripping and addictive are the first two words that spring to mind when it comes to False Prophet. Right from the start of this book, I was hooked. It has a brilliant way of drawing you in and then keeping you turning the pages. There is something just so addictive about the book as it continues. It flows really easily and I soon found I had spent a fair few hours reading the book when I should have been sleeping!
From the get go, this book had my curiosity piqued. It starts off in such a unique and intriguing way with a case that really got my hairs to stand on end. The book then continued to pique my curiosity as it continued and I just wanted to find out what was going to happen and how it would all end up. This intriguing plot is what makes this book so addictive to the point where it is just incredibly difficult to put it down or get on with daily life without thinking about the book.
Fast-Paced and Action-Packed. This book, as mentioned above, keeps you on your toes but it never slows down. The main character is always on the go and even when he isn’t, there is always something happening, something to keep you turning that page faster and faster yourself as you try to work out what is happening. I loved this aspect of the book a lot as it really made my heart race and made the book that much more entertaining.
What really makes this book work so well is the narrative style of the book. There is something so simple yet complicated about the writing style. I loved the switch between first and third persons between the chapters, allowing you to really see what was happening and making you ponder how it would all tie together in the end. The narrative style is really what makes this book so addictive and page-turning.
Last, but certainly not least, what really brings this book to being a brilliant read is the main protagonist, Saul Marshall. He is unlike any other protagonist I have read recently and I loved that he wasn’t always easy to read. He wasn’t an upstanding citizen and was once a criminal. I loved how much this brought out his character and made him who he was in the book. I also really loved all the little snippets of his life before as well. He certainly made this book worth reading. And he is the reason I am dying to read Never Forget!
About the Author
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The Follower by Koethi Zan
Today is my stop on The Follower blog tour and I have for you all a wonderful guest post by Koethi Zan to share with you all.
First, here’s some info on the book!
About the Book
Julie has the perfect life.
A kind boyfriend, loving parents and good grades. She has everything ahead of her.
Cora’s life is a nightmare.
A psychopath for a husband, a violent father and a terrible secret. There’s no way out.
But one night, their worlds collide.
Locked in an isolated house together, they must work out what has happened – and who they can trust to set them free.
From the bestselling author of The Never List, this is a breath-taking new thriller about the wife of a kidnapper and her relationship with his last victim.
Five Thrillers That Have Inspired Me
By Koethi Zan
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS by Thomas Harris.
What can I say? This is the crime thriller that started it all for me. I was a teenager when this book was first published, and it planted the first seeds of terror in my innocent young heart. Thank you, Thomas Harris, for this brilliantly constructed book, the epitome of page-turners. Anyone who hasn’t read this classic of the genre should put everything else on hold and dive in.
A JUDGEMENT IN STONE by Ruth Rendell.
It’s hard to choose which Ruth Rendell novel I love the most, but I read this one recently and my jaw dropped as I ploughed through it. She turns the story on its head, telling you from the first line how the book ends, which paradoxically increases the suspense. She is a genius.
SIDETRACKED by Henning Mankell.
The fifth book in the Wallander series is my favorite Mankell novel. In it, Wallander chases a sadistic serial killer while, as usual, balancing the complex and thoroughly engrossing issues of his personal life. Both moving and fast-paced, this novel is Mankell at his best.
CRY OF THE OWL by Patricia Highsmith.
Not as well known as the Ripley series, this truly strange psychological thriller challenges narrative conventions by turning the victim into the hunter. Unpredictable and devastating, this novel’s suspense builds up slowly to a shocking and gory ending.
WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE by Shirley Jackson.
Always on my list of favorites, this brilliant novella puts the reader within the distorted reality of Merricat Blackwood’s head years after the murder of most of her family. Beautifully written and uniquely disorienting, it is to my mind an absolutely perfect work of fiction.
About the Author
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All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker
Today is my stop on the All is not Forgotten blog tour and I have for you a wonderful guest post by Wendy Walker and a chance to win a copy of the book too!
First, here’s more information on the book.
About the Book
Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory. Her father, Tom, becomes obsessed with his inability to find her attacker and seek justice while her mother, Charlotte, prefers to pretend this horrific event did not touch her perfect country club world.
As they seek help for their daughter, the fault lines within their marriage and their close-knit community emerge from the shadows where they have been hidden for years, and the relentless quest to find the monster who invaded their town – or perhaps lives among them – drive this psychological thriller to a shocking and unexpected conclusion
Altering Memories of Violent Crime – Choosing Between Justice and Forgetting
One of the most compelling issues that I came across while writing my thriller, All Is Not Forgotten, is the very real possibility of being able to alter or erase the memory of a violent crime. Scientists now understand how memories are transferred from short term to long term memory. They also know how memories are recalled and then restored back to the many places in the brain where they are held. Today, they can alter certain components of those memories, like emotional and physical pain, and they are using this knowledge to treat victims of trauma and crime who suffer from PTSD and other emotional disorders. Many scientists believe that they will, one day, be able to target and erase the factual components of memories as well!
Now, the most successful treatments for trauma that target memory are administered immediately following the event – before the short term memory is consolidated into long term memory. And the reality is that prosecuting violent crime often requires the testimony of the victim, and that testimony is subjected to rigorous scrutiny by defense attorneys. So there it is – the question that became the driving force of my plot – what would you choose if you were the victim of a violent crime? Would you choose to forget? Or would you seek justice? Even more mind bending – what would you choose for your child?
Treatments for trauma using memory alteration are on the rise and have been the subject of numerous print and television reports in the past year alone. As these treatments become more widely available, they are sure to pose serious moral, ethical, and personal dilemmas within our criminal justice systems.
So I have three copies of this gorgeous book to giveaway to three UK winners!
And all you need to do to enter is comment below with your favourite (or one of your favourite!) thriller authors at the moment!
I will then close entries on 9th March 2017 at 5pm and choose the three winners! They will have 28 days to respond to the e-mail that I will send them before new winners will be chosen!
So, good luck!!
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The Elisenda Domenech Investigation Series by Chris Lloyd
Today I am here on the The Elisenda Domenech Investigation Series blog tour and I have for you a review of the first book in the series – spoiler – I CANNOT wait to read the next two!
Before I get into that part of the post though, here’s some information about all the books in the series!
About the Books
A killer is targeting hate figures in the Catalan city of Girona – a loan shark, a corrupt priest, four thugs who have blighted the streets of the old quarter – leaving clues about his next victim through mysterious effigies left hung on a statue. Each corpse is posed in a way whose meaning no one can fathom. Which is precisely the point the murderer is trying to make.
Elisenda Domènech, the solitary and haunted head of the city’s newly-formed Serious Crime Unit, is determined to do all she can to stop the attacks. She believes the attacker is drawing on the city’s legends to choose his targets, but her colleagues aren’t convinced and her investigation is blocked at every turn.
Battling against the increasing sympathy towards the killer displayed by the press, the public and even some of the police, she finds herself forced to question her own values. But when the attacks start to include less deserving victims, the pressure is suddenly on Elisenda to stop him. The question is: how?
Still recovering from the tragedy that hit her team, Elisenda takes on a new case. Except it’s not new. On an archaeological dig by the coast a body is uncovered, seemingly executed with a spike thrust through the base of the skull – an ancient tribal ritual. It soon becomes clear that this body is neither ancient nor modern, but a mysterious corpse from the 1980s.
Assigned to the case along with her team, Elisenda soon uncovers a complex world of star archaeologists, jealousy and missing persons. They find a dark trade in illicit antiquities, riddled with vicious professional rivalries. And even though she’s staying close to the crime scene, Elisenda is also never far from enemies of her own within the police force.
Just as the case seems to become clear it is blown wide-open by another horrific murder. Elisenda must fight her personal demons and office politics, whilst continuing to uncover plots and hatreds that were long buried. How far will she go to solve the crime? Is her place in the force secure? And can she rebuild her life?
Detective Elisenda Domènech has had a tough few years. The loss of her daughter and a team member; the constant battles against colleagues and judges; the harrowing murder investigations… But it’s about to get much worse.
When the son of a controversial local politician goes missing at election time, Elisenda is put on the case. They simply must solve it. Only the team also have to deal with a spate of horrifically violent break-ins. People are being brutalised in their own homes and the public demands answers.
Could there be a connection? Why is nobody giving a straight answer? And where is Elisenda’s key informant, apparently vanished off the face of the earth? With the body count threatening to increase and her place in the force on the line, the waters are rising…
Be careful not to drown.
I don’t often read books set abroad, especially not crime procedurals but I will definitely be rectifying that after finishing this book! City of Good Death is a compelling, mystery book that had me racing to reach the end to find out who the murderer was. Not only that, the location of Catalan plays a large role in the book and I absolutely loved learning more about the location and all of its myths and legends. This book was a very unique and gripping read.
What really won me over with this book was the way that the plot occurred. There were twists and turns that caused so many theories to appear in my brain but ultimately none of them were correct! I found it fascinating how Chris Lloyd has created a novel that is so very clever and still entertaining too. I am very much looking forward to reading more of his work for similar narrative style.
It took a short while for me to get all of the characters differentiated in my head but this is more to do with the vast number and the foreign names as opposed to being badly presented by Chris Lloyd. However, once I had them all filed away, I found them all really fascinating to read about. I specifically found Elisenda to be an intriguing protagonist for the book and loved how many pressures she was under and yet still managed to be kick ass and amazing at her job.
Catch a Killer
All in all, this was a very entertaining and interesting book to read. It kept me guessing throughout and I really came to love all of the main characters and cannot wait to read more about them in the next two books! This book is compelling, intense and mysterious. It is a book that many crime lovers will absolutely love as it holds a very interesting case between it’s pages. I would definitely recommend this book and I am also really looking forward to reading the next one!
About the Author
He writes the Elisenda Domènech series, featuring a police officer with the newly-devolved Catalan police force in the beautiful city of Girona. The third book in the series, City of Drowned Souls, is published on 6 February 2017.
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The Breakdown by B. A. Paris
If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.
But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.
The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.
Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…
After reading and falling head over heels in love with B. A. Paris’ first book, Behind Closed Doors (Review Here), I had high expectations for The Breakdown. However there was also a little bit of trepidation too – what if this book was a let down? Fortunately I needed not to have worried. I flicked through The Breakdown quickly because I was addicted and simply had to know what was actually going on. Needless to say this book is one of the best books that I read last year.
One of the absolutely brilliant things about this book is the narrative. The main character is forgetting things but they’re also not in the narrative which leads you to a unreliable narrator as you try to piece together everything that is going on. The plot is incredible clever and well-written and I was quite literally blown away with it. I thought the ending was absolutely fantastic as well. B. A. Paris has written yet another strong and intense book that is sure to become very popular.
I’m not going to lie, I really liked Cass. I was worried about her and for her and wanted to make everything okay for her. She was a strong but fragile character and I could feel her conflicting emotions so well. B. A. Paris has created some very strong and powerful characters in this novel and they’re all very interesting to read about. I am actually a little in awe of how well she creates such believable characters that you feel so much empathy for.
Aside from yelling: READ THIS BOOK, I’m hoping this review dictates how wonderful and brilliant this book is. It’s a rollarcoaster of a read as you feel your way through the storyline and try to work out what is happening and how it will all end. It is addictive, fast paced, and very intense too. If you loved Behind Closed Doors or are just a thriller fan, definitely make sure that you do not miss out on this next stunning book by B. A. Paris!
** 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. **
Playlist for a Paper Angel by Jacqueline Ward
Today is my stop on the Playlist for a Paper Angel blog tour and I am here today to share with you information about the book and to give you a chance to win this book and the first book in the series!
About the Book
DS Jan Pearce is still searching for her missing son. When she finds a little girl, Elise, alone in a pram in a busy town centre, she must unravel a mystery that takes her to the edge of her emotions. Then another child, Dara Price, goes missing.
Lisa Connelly, Elise’s mother, has been forced into a life of prostitution and has been leaving her little girl alone. Her gangland boss is holding her prisoner but she wants her little girl back.
Jan finds herself balancing her search for her son with finding Dara. Her right hand man, Mike Waring, is on another case so she and her temporary partner, profiler Damien Booth, must solve the puzzle and find Lisa before time runs out for Dara.
About the Author
Jacqueline Ward writes short stories, novels and screenplays. She has been writing seriously since 2007 and has had short stories published in anthologies and magazines. Jacqueline won Kindle Scout in 2016 and her crime novel, Random Acts of Unkindness, will be published by Amazon Publishing imprint Kindle Press. Her novel SmartYellowTM was published by Elsewhen Press in 2015 and was nominated for the Arthur C Clarke Award in 2016. Jacqueline is a Chartered psychologist who specializes in narrative psychology, gaining a PhD in narrative and storytelling in 2007. She lives in Oldham, near Manchester, with her partner and their dog.
I have one set of the DS Pearce ebooks for one lucky winner to win! All you need to do is comment on this post with your favourite crime authors!
Winners will be notified by e-mail (so make sure you provide yours!) and will have 28 days to respond before a new winner is chosen.
Entries will close at 6pm on Friday 3rd February
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The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
Today is my spot on the The Keeper of Lost Things blog tour and I have for you all something a bit different. The lovely Ruth Hogan is sharing with us one of her prized possessions and where she got it from.
First up, some info on the book.
About the Book
Bone china cup and saucer—Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidently left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.
Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.
Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.
As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?
The Keeper of Lost Things is out now, priced £16.99, published by Two Roads books.
If You Go Down the Woods Today…
by Ruth Hogan
This teddy bear was one of my early finds and I rescued him from a shop doorstep in town on the way home from the Bedford River Festival one year. My husband said that I should leave him there in case someone came back looking for him. But the bear looked so forlorn that I couldn’t bear (no pun intended) to leave him there. He is now part of the KEEPER window display in The Eagle Bookshop in Castle Road, and it would be lovely if the person who lost him saw him there and came to take him home.