Anne Bonny #BookReview The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah 5* #HistoricalFic #ww2Lit @panmacmillan ‘This is a story of sisterhood, maternal instincts and the power of women’

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The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
My own copy – Kindle
Synopsis:

Bravery, courage, fear and love in a time of war.

Despite their differences, sisters Viann and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Viann finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.

As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength is tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

Vivid and exquisite in its illumination of a time and place that was filled with atrocities, but also humanity and strength, Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale will provoke thought and discussion that will have readers talking long after they finish reading.

My Review:

The Nightingale falls in my favourite historical fiction era, ww2. I had heard great things about the novel, with many fellow readers recommending it to me. I have since, also devoured The Great Alone, by the same author.

The Nightingale centres around the story of two sisters and the novel tells the story of their journey through world war two. Their stories take place in occupied France and is extremely moving.
I had to relay the entire novel to my husband after reading! I was so taken aback at finally closing the door on both Vianne and Isabelle.

‘The father who went to war was not the one who came home’

Vianne and Isabelle may have had different childhood experiences, but ultimately what pains one, pain the other in a different way. They are both still, in some way grieving for the loss of their mother. While Vianne has thrown herself into married life. Isabelle has thrown her efforts into teenage rebellion. The each carry a sense of abandonment from their father, a man that never fully returned from the first world war.

‘What was love when put up against war?’

When the Germans invade Paris, each sister must make a choice of how they will choose to survive. It will be the choice they have to live with for the rest of their lives…

‘French women do not ask Nazi’s for help’ – Isabelle

Vianne’s husband is called up to service, which eventually will lead him to a POW camp. Leaving Vianne to decide how best she and her young daughter Sophie will cope in the now occupied Loire Valley. Whilst Isabella aspires to join the Free French Movement and fight back against the Nazi’s.
Each choice, will cost each woman dearly, in ways they can never have foreseen.

The location of occupied France is incredibly atmospheric. It also brings it home to you, the fear French women lived under, with Nazi’s at their doors. I have visited Jersey and the various monuments to the occupation. I think this maybe added to my enjoyment of the novel, but also my terror.

This is a story of sisterhood, maternal instincts and the power of women to survive. Highly recommended for book groups, also as a gift for your mother/sister or female relative. 5*

KH
Kristin Hannah
Website

Anne Bonny #BookReview Fade To Grey by @JohnelWilliams #LegalThriller #CrimeFiction @noexitpress ‘Modern and diverse crime fiction 4*’

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Fade To Grey by John Lincoln
Review Copy
Synopsis:

Gethin Grey is the man you call when there’s nowhere else to turn. His Last Resort Legals team investigates miscarriages of justice. But Gethin is running out of options himself: his gambling is out of control, his marriage is falling apart and there’s no money left to pay the wages…

Izma M was sent down years ago for the brutal murder of a young woman. In jail he’s written a bestseller and become a cult hero, and now the charismatic fading-film-star Amelia Laverne wants to bankroll Gethin to prove Izma’s innocence. For Gethin – low on luck and cash – the job is heaven sent.
But is Izma M really as blameless as his fans believe?

My Review:

Fade To Grey is a fascinating legal thriller that tackles the issue of racial prejudice in the criminal justice system. Focusing around the case of Ismail Mohammed/ Izma M/ Tyrell Hanson, who is now a prominent civil rights leader from his jail cell. He currently serves his sentence for the murder of a white girl, despite there being no real evidence to convict him. Is he innocent or guilty as charged?

Gethin Grey runs Last resorts legal team, they invest in miscarriages of justice and are made aware of the case by Amelia Laverne, who wishes to bankroll the quest for justice for Izma.

‘I’ll bet if he’d been a nice middle-class white boy the case never would have got to court’

Gethin prioritises his cases in five categories from the no hopers to the good cases, to the guilty.
Izma’s case sends mixed messages. He denies the brutal murder of Hannah Gold, but DNA evidence confirms the two had sex prior to her death. Gethin and his team will have to dig into the original case notes, if they hope to find evidence of Izma’s innocence.

‘Bad luck and prejudice could easily be enough to see an innocent man convicted’

The team at Last Resorts offer an interesting blend of characters. They add more drama to the investigation as they bring their skills to the table.
Modern and diverse crime fiction. 4*

JL
John Lincoln
Website
Twitter

Anne Bonny #BookReview The Silent Patient by @AlexMichaelides 5* #NewRelease #Psychological #Thriller #TheSilentPatient @orionbooks @orion_crime

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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Review Copy
Synopsis:

ALICIA
Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.
Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.
THEO
Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.
And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?

My Review:

“Alicia Brenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband”

Alicia Brenson has already faced justice for the seemingly random murder of her husband. She has remained in psychiatric settings and has never spoken a word since the murder 6yrs ago. But why does the woman who has it all, murder the man she professes to love?

“I wanted to fix her” – Theo Faber
Enter psychologist Theo Faber, who transfers from Broadmoor with the sole intentions of freeing Alicia from this world of silence. He begins his therapies with little and no response. Theo is facing a backlash from the staff at The Grove, as they disapprove of his methods. But nevertheless, he persists, in his endeavour of helping Alicia. Why does Theo see Alicia as in some form a victim?

The seven-year itch, never seemed so sinister…

Eventually, Theo has some success in discovering a diary, written by Alicia. But what he discovers will shatter his enter world
“No crazy thought allowed”

The novel has a brilliant ending and is a stark reminder, there is always two sides to every story. I actually found the writing style very reminiscent of Sarah Pinborough and was left thinking ‘how do you even write like that?’. A HUGE 5* from me.

AM
Alex Michaelides
Twitter
Instagram

*Apologies for missing my blog tour date*
The Silent Patient Blog Tour Part 2

Anne Bonny #BookReview A Gift For Dying by @mjarlidge 4* #NewRelease #Thriller #AGiftForDying #ICanSeeDeath

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A Gift For Dying by M.J. Arlidge
Review Copy
Synopsis:

Nothing surprises Adam Brandt anymore. As a forensic psychologist, he’s seen and heard everything.

That is, until he meets Kassie.

Because she claims to have a terrible gift – with one look into your eyes, she can see when and how you will die.

Adam doesn’t believe her, obviously.

But then a serial killer starts wreaking havoc across the city, and only Kassie seems to know where he’ll strike next.

Against all his intuition, Adam starts to believe her.

He just doesn’t realise how dangerous this trust might be . . .

My Review:

‘We’ve got I live one here’
Adam Brandt is an on-call forensic psychologist at the Cook County jail in Chicago, which put him in contact with various professionals and criminals alike.

This will be where he comes to meet Kassandra ‘Kassie’ Wojeck. When she is brought in, after a public altercation with federal prosecutor Jacob James. Kassie is 15yrs old and with a rap sheet a hardened criminal would be proud of. Kassie’s relationship with her mother Natalia is virtually non-existent due to Kassie’s criminal activity.

The bringing together of Adam, Kassie and Jacob would usually not remain of any significance. That is until… Jacob is missing and Detective Gabrielle Grey’s brought in to investigate, everything just got 100% more complicated.
Detective Grey is convinced the disappearance is a gang related crime, due to gangbanger activity in the local vicinity and Jacob’s chosen profession.
But is it really that open and shut?

‘Nobody becomes a detective in Chicago for an easy life’ 

When Patrolman Dwayne Reid, pulls over local gangbangers and finds Jacob’s mutilated corpse inside the book. The case appears solved!
But Kassie has something to share…
‘I can see death’

Kassie has a special vision, which she desperately tries to explain to Adam. Whilst at the same time, she is unaware she is seriously incriminating herself!!!
As Kassie’s past and Adam’s personal life are further exploded as the two grow closer. Adam is still unsure, if he can trust this tearaway teen. That is until Kassie makes a SHOCKING admission, one that had me gasping at the pages and shouting “they have to make this into a film!!!!” (Page 186 – reference).

When another body is found and can be tracked back to Kassie. She will have to work hard to convince Adam she is telling the truth. But is she? Does Kassie have genuine visions? Or are they a ruse?

Kassie really drew me into the story. She is young, friendless and lonely. She has a strained relationship with her mother and her father is dead. She finds little comfort/support in life and this made me warm to her character. But at the same time, I didn’t trust her and could fully understand Adam’s predicament.

A Gift For Dying is a gripping and tense story, surrounding the Chicago Butcher.
Can Kassie prevent the killer adding more lives to his tally? or are her visions due to her own fragile mental health?
You’ll be racing across the pages to discover the truth. 4*

MJA
M.J. Arlidge
Twitter

***Don’t miss the other bloggers on the blog tour***
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