Anne Bonny #BookReview An Unwanted Guest by @sharilapena #NewRelease #Mystery #Thriller @TransworldBooks ‘Murder, mystery and suspicion’

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An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
Review Copy
Synopsis:

We can’t choose the strangers we meet.

As the guests arrive at beautiful, remote Mitchell’s Inn, they’re all looking forward to a relaxing weekend deep in the forest, miles from anywhere. They watch their fellow guests with interest, from a polite distance.

Usually we can avoid the people who make us nervous, make us afraid.

With a violent storm raging, the group finds itself completely cut off from the outside world. Nobody can get in – or out. And then the first body is found . . . and the horrifying truth comes to light. There’s a killer among them – and nowhere to run.

Until we find ourselves in a situation we can’t escape. Trapped.

My Review:

An Unwanted Guest centres around a weekend at the Mitchells Inn. A weekend that should be one filled with relaxation, peace and quiet. But turns out to be a weekend of murder, mystery and suspicion. During a violent storm, the guests finds themselves cut off from the outside work. In a remote location where no one can get in or out!
With a killer in their midst.

The novel is told in almost a diary style, with the dates/times listed. So we read on, as each of the guests arrive and come to know there individual personalities. They are an unusual bunch and none of them really trusts one another, when the murders begin. . .

Gwen Delaney and Riley Shuter are best friends on a weekend escape from life. Riley is distant; and we learn that it is due to her PTSD and recovery from time as a war correspondent for national news. There is also top NY criminal defence attorney David Paley, a widower seeking a break from the daily grind of work.

There are three couples Lauren Day and Ian Beeton. Beverley and Henry Sullivan, an older couple with a marriage in trouble. Dana Hart and Matthew Hutchinson, a newly engaged couple that are the gossip of the guests.
There is also a resident writer on retreat Candice White, whom spends most of her time alone and away from the other guests.

Six of the twelve rooms are occupied this weekend. With the weather the hotel is short staffed. As it is a family owned business, father and son James and Bradley Harwood, find themselves managing all the tasks needed to keep the hotel running. The father James is the hotel’s chef and the son Bradley the bartender. The guests settle in and unpack for their first night at the hotel. In the morning, they are awoken by the sounds of screams. . . .

At the bottom of the stairs lays a body. There is a power-cut and the hotel is plummeted into darkness. Did the victim fall? Or were they pushed? Is this an accident or murder?

Throughout the novel, the guest’s dark secrets are slowly revealed. I was gripped by the individual storylines. Beverley and Henry’s unhappy marriage goes from bad to worse. The friendship between Gwen and riley is truly tested, when Gwen makes choices Riley disapproves of.

The characterisation is brilliant; and I loved how the secrets are slowly revealed.
They felt like little bits of gossip and really added to my feelings regarding different characters.

Upon the discovery of the body, fear sets in and accusations begin to fly. With the guests turning on each other, will the killer ever be revealed? David with his experience of criminal court, takes centre stage making decisions for the group. But even David has secrets. Secrets he doesn’t want revealed.

The novel has a clever whodunit style. Like a modern-day Agatha Christie novel. It has a brilliant ending that doesn’t disappoint.
Murder, mystery and suspicion 4*

SL
Shari Lapena
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Anne Bonny #BlogBlitz #GuestPost Murder By The Broads by @Tamiozzo3 #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #MurderByTheBroads @Bloodhoundbook

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Murder By The Broads by Anthony Tamiozzo
Synopsis:

Discover an unmissable new crime thriller today.

Meet DS Adam Burnt, a troubled man who has his work cut out.

While at a crime scene he is informed of another murder. But Burnt is also having problems at home. He suspects his wife is having an affair.

As the clues unfold DS Burnt begins a game of cat and mouse.

What links the two murders to a doctor and a psychiatric hospital?

Trying to juggle his personal life and the job, Burnt must navigate Great Yarmouth and the surrounding areas to catch a killer and stop a vicious gang.

Guest Post by Anthony Tamiozzo:

New or old?

A friend of mine, Jonathon.G.Foss, who writes, and got me into writing has a difference of opinion with me on the subject.
Since catching the writing bug I knew straight away what I wanted to achieve. From the first few lines I typed out I knew I wanted to write a commercial crime thriller. I read debut novels from indie publishers to get a feel for what you have to achieve to get published – to find how high the bar is.
This was an instinctive pursuit. I hadn’t thought there was any other way to view your achievement in writing. If you were published your stuff is good – right? It’s been through the, to use an engineering term, quality control.

Well, Mr Foss thinks different. Firstly he writes for fun, doesn’t do too many drafts. For me I endured multiple re-writes to improve the style. Fossy has self-published several fantasy/sci-fi books and a fun insight into the life in oil and gas in the North-sea called Angels of SCADA. He says if people want to read them – great! If not, who cares.
Then he pointed out his dislike of modern writing (not all), how everything has to be so tight, and cannot deviate from the plot for the fear of losing the reader, like there is so many rules with modern writing. He has read far more books than me, has trawled through a lot of old classics and uses those to reference what is different about writing today. He says ‘A modern editor would have cut Moby Dick in half. It’s baggy, fully of detail.’
Another example of classic writing is In Les Miserables the landlord character has a huge long flashback to the battle of Waterloo. But there is no relevance to the rest of the story. I haven’t read it, so I take his word, I am too busy reading tight, clipped modern thrillers. Foss would happily write pages and pages of exposition while I summarise.
The modern way is – if you can do without it, then cut it. Classic writing is more about the detail, almost writing for writings sake. I guess this is an oversimplified view, and I am showing my ignorance in classic writing but all that said, what I find thought-provoking is that writing like most art-forms has trends. Question is – will it do a full circle? Will the classic writing pattern return to popularity? Maybe it has and I have missed it because I’m engrossed in my own bubble.

People go for certain titles, styles and genres change, quicker than ever before due to the immediacy of vast literature that’s within a touch of a button. What I can’t help thinking is that the modern abbreviated style suits people’s lives. Everything is faster paced than previous years. People read on their commute, for ten minutes at a time on their phone at a bus stop, or in queue at the dentist. People can have hordes of books on the go, and flick between them in a swish so an array of fast paced novels with minimal detail is ideal.

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Anthony Tamiozzo
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