Anne Bonny #BlogTour #Extract Goodbye For Now by @MikeHollows #NewRelease #HistoricalFiction #WW1Fiction @HQDigitalUK

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Goodbye For Now by M J Hollows
Synopsis:

Two brothers, only one survives.
As Europe is torn apart by war, two brothers fight very different battles, and both could lose everything…

While George has always been the brother to rush towards the action, fast becoming a boy-soldier when war breaks out, Joe thinks differently. Refusing to fight, Joe stays behind as a conscientious objector battling against the propaganda.

On the Western front, George soon discovers that war is not the great adventure he was led to believe. Surrounded by mud, blood and horror his mindset begins to shift as he questions everything he was once sure of.

At home in Liverpool, Joe has his own war to win. Judged and imprisoned for his cowardice, he is determined to stand by his convictions, no matter the cost.

By the end of The Great War only one brother will survive, but which?

Extract:

Chapter 1

‘It’s war!’

George Abbott would never forget where he was that day, when those very words were spoken. He was sat at the family kitchen table, a roughly cut dark wooden frame, with an off-white cloth draped across it to hide its wear and tear. He leaned over a bowl of oats, playing them around with his tarnished spoon. Beside it was an enamel plate with some bread and milk.

His sisters, Catherine and Elisabeth, sat either side of him. Catherine was looking over at George to see if he would eat his bread, or if she could take it. Her hair was a deep black mess of curls, the same as their mother’s, framing a pale, chubby face, whereas little Elisabeth’s hair was a distinct copper colour, more like their father’s. At the other end of the table, across the other side was George’s brother Joe, gaunt and long like their father, although with a growth of unkempt curly black hair. He wore the deep brown suit that he always wore to work, even at the breakfast table. He was careful not to get any food on it.

The back door had burst open and their father limped in clutching the Daily Post to his chest and calling to the family. If George were to look him in the eye, it would be like looking in a mirror, except his father was older and thinner. Their faces were exactly alike and the resemblance was uncanny. It was only his father’s eyes that looked different, like they had seen a thousand things, and crow’s feet pulled at the edge of his face.

‘It’s war!’ he said. ‘We’ve declared war.’ He carried on as if unheard. ‘Britain has declared war on Germany.’

Everyone stared, not knowing quite what to say. War had been brewing for some time, so they weren’t surprised.

‘Pass your father the kedgeree,’ their mother said to Catherine and she did as bid, passing the dish of flaked fish and rice that everyone but their father despised. He must have picked up his taste for it in India.

‘I thought we were allies with Germany?’ Their mother was ever the practical woman. She carried on eating while the rest of the family grew excited and agitated. George pushed his plate of bread towards Catherine to distract her, but she just stared at it, then at him.

Their father finally found his seat, hanging his cheap coat behind him as he wrestled his body onto the chair.

‘No, no, love. Belgium. They’re the ones. They invaded there, so ol’ squiffy told ’em where to go.’

‘Belgium invaded Germany?’

‘No. The other way round!’

She didn’t appear to be listening and smiled conspiratorially in her husband’s direction, before collecting up more plates.

Joe stared across the room at the news their father had brought with him, wringing his hands in front of his face. Joe was older than George, but in this moment he looked even older, worry lining his face. His hair threatened to grow too long on his head and his feeble attempts to grow a beard in patches on his chin was a constant source of ridicule. The object of Joe’s gaze was a faded photograph of their dad dressed in his uniform, beaming with pride at the South Africa medal pinned to his breast. He still often wore his medal, stroking the silver disc absent-mindedly. Father turned to Joe, putting the paper down.

‘D’you know what this means, son?’ Joe didn’t respond and their father looked around the room, at the rest of them, testing everyone’s reaction. ‘The papers say they’re going to issue a call. They’re gonna need more men.’

George carried on playing with his oats, knowing that this was between Joe and their dad. Joe looked into the middle distance, the edges of his mouth moving as if about to form words but thinking better of it.

After a tense pause, Joe spoke. ‘I won’t do it,’ he muttered under his breath, so quietly that George almost didn’t hear.

Their father banged a fist on the table, and cutlery jingled as it was disturbed.

MJH
M J Hollows
Twitter
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***Don’t miss the other bloggers on the blog tour***
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Anne Bonny #BookReview A Question Of Trust by Penny Vincenzi #LiteraryFiction @headlinepg ‘This title is perfect for book groups’ 4*

my copy
A Question Of Trust by Penny Vincenzi
Netgalley/Own Copy
Synopsis:

1950s London. Tom Knelston is charismatic, working class and driven by ambition, ideals and passion. He is a man to watch. His wife Alice shares his vision. It seems they are the perfect match.

Then out of the blue, Tom meets beautiful and unhappily married Diana Southcott, a fashion model. An exciting but dangerous affair is inevitable and potentially damaging to their careers. And when a child becomes ill, Tom is forced to make decisions about his principles, his reputation, his marriage, and most of all, his love for his child.

My Review:

This is my first ever novel read by Penny Vincenzi. She is my sister’s favourite author and I decided to glance at the synopsis when I saw it on netgalley. Immediately it intrigued me and I decided I would give it a try…
What I was to uncover was, I am quite the Penny Vincenzi fan myself.

The novel is 600 pages in length and spans the years from 1936-1954. It covers many aspects of life within the era. The second world war, the changing roles of women, the sexual liberation of women, the class structure and changing political atmosphere.
Which as you can imagine is quite a lot to cover within one novel. The novel is character driven and centres around two main characters. Tom Knelston the working-class done good, that longs for a career in politics and is heavily influenced by the post-war socialist movement.

‘Politics are about principles’

Also, the beautiful Diana Southcott, born into privilege and wealth but; self-aware enough to realise that this does not always lead to a happy life.

“No I despise people who think marrying the right man, by which they mean rich and not common, is the only thing they want to do’ – Alice

The novel flicks back and forth between each character and details the choices they make and the impact they have on their own individual futures. They both chose to marry, Tom to local girl Alice and Diana to a man of her own class Jonathan. But when Jonathan is brutalised by the second world war, their love becomes divided and Diana becomes bored….
‘How Diana would fit into that future, he could not begin to imagine. Or even think about’ – Jonathan

There are secondary characters included, who are mutual friends of both Tom and Diana. One of my particular favourites was Ned. But for reasons I do not want to state as I do not want to leave spoilers in my review.

As said above the novel is long and one best enjoyed if you are invested in the characters early on. Personally, I became very invested in the characters and seeing how their lives turned out.
The author has done a fantastic job of bringing the 1940’s and 1950’s era fully alive. From the harsh realities of ww2, to Diana’s glamourous modelling career.

This title is perfect for book groups and I can imagine a whole host of debate themes would be uncovered. 4*

PV
Penny Vincenzi

Anne Bonny #BookReview The Disappeared by @AliHarperWrites #CrimeFiction #DebutAuthor @KillerReads ‘A brilliant debut crime novel 4*’

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The Disappeared by Ali Harper
Review Copy
Synopsis:

YOU’LL NEVER FIND ME…

A twisty, compelling, characterful crime thriller from a major new talent.

NOT TO BE MISSED!

A distraught mother…
When Susan Wilkins walks into No Stone Unturned, Leeds’s newest private detective agency, owners Lee and Jo are thrilled. Their first client is the kind of person they always hoped to help—a kind woman desperately worried about her son, Jack.

A missing son…
The case seems simple—kid starts college, takes up with the wrong crowd, forgets to ring his mother. But very quickly, Lee and Jo suspect they’re not being told the whole truth.

A case which could prove deadly…
Their office is ransacked, everyone who knows Jack refuses to talk to them and they feel like they’re being followed…it’s clear Lee and Jo have stumbled into something bigger, and far more dangerous, than they ever expected. Will they find Jack, or will their first case silence them both for good?

My Review:

The Disappeared is a gritty northern crime fiction novel. There are feminist themes running throughout and as a female reader, this only made me love it more. When Susan Wilkin’s appears at the No Stone Unturned private detective agency; she isn’t expecting to be met by two female detectives Lee and Jo.
At first the case seems an obvious ‘boy goes off to Uni and goes missing for days on a bender’ type of case. Except it isn’t it is much deeper layered than that.

‘Had I known our first client would be dead less than twenty-six hours after signing the contract, I might not have been so thrilled when she pushed open our office door’ – Lee Winters

The two investigate and what they discover shocks them to the core. Jack hasn’t been missing for several days but 3 months. He isn’t a Uni student but a heroin addict living in a rancid squat. This is not quite the image Mrs Wilkin’s his mother put forward…

‘We fit the pictures to the story we want to hear. And I wanted to see was a middle-aged, middle-class woman desperately seeking her son’ – Lee Winters

When Jack’s real life is exposed, the pair are left to wonder if Susan really is, who she says she is and if not, who on earth is she?

When their office gets trashed and the case goes much darker. The two become more determined to get to the bottom of Jack’s disappearance. They find his local mates and on/off lover who offer clues and information. But where will it lead?

A brilliant debut crime novel 4*

AH
Ali Harper
Twitter
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Anne Bonny #BookReview Macbeth by #JoNesbo #CrimeFiction #HogarthShakespere @vintagebooks ‘A great edition to the Hogarth Shakespeare series’

my copy
Macbeth by Jo Nesbo
Review Copy
Synopsis:

He’s the best cop they’ve got.

When a drug bust turns into a bloodbath it’s up to Inspector Macbeth and his team to clean up the mess.
He’s also an ex-drug addict with a troubled past.

He’s rewarded for his success. Power. Money. Respect. They’re all within reach.

But a man like him won’t get to the top.

Plagued by hallucinations and paranoia, Macbeth starts to unravel. He’s convinced he won’t get what is rightfully his.
Unless he kills for it.

My Review:

Macbeth is the Third Hogarth Shakespeare novel I have read. Having previously enjoyed New Boy by Tracy Chevalier and Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood. This is however, my FIRST novel by Jo Nesbo despite owning the 11 Harry Hole novels. It is a series I am reluctant to start because I know I will want to devour each title one after the other.
I will also be investing in the four other standalone novels by the author.

Macbeth is a gritty and harsh look into police corruption and organised crime. I felt the author had done an incredible job of adapting the original into a modern-day setting. With Macbeth the reluctant dirty cop and the city with its prostitute ‘witches’.

‘Everyone has a price’

The novel shows how the narcotics unit, SWAT team and gang unit work independently of one another but are eventually brought together after police corruption and malpractice is exposed. The new unit (OCU) organised crime unit with unite all three departments under the supervision of one senior office.
But who will be the officer in charge and wield the power over the city?
‘For Eternal loyalty is inhuman and betrayal is human’

Macbeth’s love a casino boss named ‘Lady’ plays the role of Lady Macbeth to the letter. She is cunning and desperate for the two to hold power over the entire city.
‘You have to kill Duncan’ – Lady

Betrayal and power go hand in hand in this character driven novel. I was intrigued by so many minor characters/themes. Such as, the one-eyed drug addict and the ‘Brew’ the new drug doing the rounds on Scotland’s streets.

A great edition to the Hogarth Shakespeare series.
One I am sure my GCSE teen would love to study much more than the original. 4*

JN
Jo Nesbo
Website