Anne Bonny #bookReview Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke #AmericanNoir #CrimeFiction #Thriller #Literary #NewRelease @SerpentsTail @atticalocke

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Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke
Review Copy ~ Ebook ~ Netgalley
Synopsis ~

Nine-year-old Levi King knew he should have left for home sooner; instead he found himself all alone, adrift on the vastness of Caddo Lake. A sudden noise –
and all goes dark.

Ranger Darren Matthews is trying to emerge from another kind of darkness; his career and reputation lie in the hands of his mother, who’s never exactly had his best interests at heart. Now she holds the key to his freedom, and she’s not above a little blackmail to press her advantage.

An unlikely possibility of rescue arrives in the form of a case down Highway 59, in a small lakeside town. With Texas already suffering a new wave of racial violence in the wake of the election of Donald Trump, a black man is a suspect in the possible murder of a missing white boy: the son of an Aryan Brotherhood captain.

In deep country where the rule of law only goes so far, Darren has to battle centuries-old prejudices as he races to save not only Levi King, but himself.

My Review ~

I am a HUGE fan of Attica Locke (check out my review of Bluebird Bluebird and Q&A). I think she brings something so unique to the genre. Her novel are diverse, they are intelligent and she is certainly NOT afraid to tackle any form of prejudice (I salute you). I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the second novel in the Highway 59 series. So here are my thoughts on Heaven, My Home…

The novel opens in Texas 2016 in Marion County. We are introduced to Levi King’s family. Mother Marnie, sister Dana, her boyf Rory Pitkin and his mother’s lover Gil. I took an instant dislike to this white trash family, but taking a moment to step back, it is not the children’s fault who raises them and therefore, I was intrigued to see how the story/family would develop. The novel will revolve around the disappearance of 9yur old Levi King. But who would take him and why?

The novel is ruthless is its tackling of the tensions caused by the 2016 election of he whom shall not be named. I applaud Attica Locke for saying what we are all thinking.
‘After Obama, it was forgiveness betrayed’

The King family dynamics hit further complexity as Levi’s father Bill ‘big kill’ King is an active member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT). He is currently 6yrs into a 20yr sentence for drug offences. In an unlikely twist of events, it is Bill that reaches out for help from Darren…

‘I’m begging you, sir. Find my boy’

The location and setting of the novel is fully explored. This really helps UK readers or NON-America readers such as myself. You get a feel for the town everyone and everywhere forgot….
‘It was a town that time had passed by’

There is also brutally honest descriptions of the family of the missing child…
‘Everything In Hopetown looked as mean and underfed as Marnie King’

The characterisation of the novel is outstanding and the author’s creation of ranger Darren Matthews is one she should be exceptionally proud of. He is just so perfect to carry a series. Almost like a diverse ranger version of Harry Bosch!
WE NEED MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES!
The family and namely Bill’s mother through in their two cents of theories into how the boy went missing. Almost no one apart from his incarcerated father seems to care where he is or if he is even alive. Darren does not give up that easily. Not even on a family who despise him…

‘Darren wasn’t sure Gil Thompson knew who Hitler was, let alone could explain the significant of the seminal text of Mein Kampf that was in his trailer’ 

This is a deeply layered exploration of racial hatred, the need for collaboration as citzens of the same county and politics when divides us all. 4.5*
I cannot wait to read what Attica Locke writes next!

AL
Attica Locke
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My review of Bluebird Bluebird and Q&A with the author

Anne Bonny Q&A with #Author @simonkernick #NewRelease #CrimeFiction Die Alone #PreOrder

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Die Alone by Simon Kernick
Currently on Amazon Wishlist
Synopsis ~

Alastair Sheridan has it all. Wealth, good looks, a beautiful wife and children and, in the chaotic world of British politics, a real chance of becoming Prime Minister.

But Alastair also has a secret. He’s a serial killer with a taste for young women.

Only a handful of people know what kind of monster he is, and disgraced detective Ray Mason is one of them.

Awaiting trial for murder, Ray is unexpectedly broken free by armed men and given an offer: assassinate Alastair Sheridan and begin a new life abroad with a new identity. The men claim to be from MI6. They say that Sheridan is a threat to national security and needs to be neutralised. Ray knows they are not who they say they are, and that their real motives are far darker.

The only person Ray trusts is ex-cop and former lover Tina Boyd, who’s keen to settle her own scores with Sheridan.

With enemies on every side, only one thing is certain.

No one wants them to get out alive.

Q&A with Simon Kernick ~

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) Die Alone is a thriller that can be read either as a standalone or as the third and final book in The Bone Field series, featuring disgraced former detectives, Ray Mason and Tina Boyd. As Die Alone begins, Ray is languishing in prison awaiting trial for murder while Tina is back working as a private detective doing divorce cases.

And then Ray’s broken out of prison by unidentified individuals and given an offer: Kill leading politician and potential Prime Minister, Alastair Sheridan, and he can start a new life with a new identity overseas. Sheridan and Ray have history because Ray knows something about him that very few others do, namely that Sheridan is also a serial killer with a taste for young girls.

What follows is a relentless thriller set over a few days, where nothing is as it seems, and where Ray will need to call upon the help of Tina, and use all his ingenuity to get out of the situation in one piece.
Will the two of them succeed? You’ll have to read it to find out.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea, to writing and finally to publication?

A) The idea for a book usually comes to me as just a single thread, and from there, I work around it, building it something resembling a plot. This often requires walking round the countryside or pacing up and down my living room, thinking everything through. Then, when I think I’m about ready, I write a chapter by chapter plan, which can take anything from 2 weeks to 2 months. Only when that’s done do I start putting pen to paper.

Die Alone took a further five months to write, with a lot of ripping bits out and adding bits in, and I finally finished it in June this year after. Next, it was a matter of editing it alongside my long-time editor, Selina Walker. That process was finished in July, and after that it was on to the next one for me (a standalone this time) while I wait until publication day.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) I’m a huge fan of highly underrated American crime writer John Sandford’s Prey series. There are 28 books all featuring the same protagonist, sometime cop Lucas Davenport, set in Minnesota. They’re of a consistently high quality, and I devour the latest one as soon as it’s out.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I used to read a lot of fantasy books, and my favourites were The Runestaff series by Michael Moorcock (I’ve just re-read them now for the first time in twenty-five years, and they still hold their own); and of course, The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien. I also used to read a lot of Agatha Christie as my parents were both big fans, and there were a lot of copies in the family bookcase.

Q) What are you currently reading?

A) I’ve just finished The Guest List by Lucy Foley, which was excellent, and feels like a 21st century version of Agatha Christie, and have just started The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell, which is also shaping up to be very, very good.

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) When my fifth novel, Relentless, was picked as a Richard and Judy Summer Read for 2007. Up to that point, my sales had been steady but not as good as we all would have liked, and I knew that this would be a real boost for me. And indeed it was. Relentless became the best selling crime novel of the year and in many ways I’ve never looked back.

SK
Simon Kernick
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*Die Alone is released in the UK on 28th November in hardback and Ebook. For paperback the release date is 25th June 2020.*
Be sure to pre-order HERE (non-affiliate link)

Anne Bonny #BookReview The Guardians by John Grisham 4.5* #Legal #Thriller #NewRelease @JohnGrisham @HodderBooks @HodderFiction @HodderPublicity

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The Guardians by John Grisham
My Own Copy ~ Hardback book
Synopsis ~

He was framed for murder.
Now he needs a miracle.

22 years ago Quincy Miller was sentenced to life without parole. He was accused of killing Keith Russo, a lawyer in a small Florida town. But there were no reliable witnesses and little motive. Just the fact that Russo had botched Quincy’s divorce case, that Quincy was black in a largely all-white town and that a blood-splattered torch was found in the boot of Quincy’s car. A torch he swore was planted. A torch that was conveniently destroyed in a fire just before his trial.

The lack of evidence made no difference to judge or jury. In the eyes of the law Quincy was guilty and, no matter how often he protested his innocence, his punishment was life in prison.
Finally, after 22 years, comes Quincy’s one and only chance of freedom. An innocence lawyer and minister, Cullen Post, takes on his case. Post has exonerated eight men in the last ten years. He intends to make Quincy the next.

But there were powerful and ruthless people behind Russo’s murder. They prefer that an innocent man dies in jail rather than one of them. There’s one way to guarantee that. They killed one lawyer 22 years ago, and they’ll kill another without a second thought.

My Review ~

I absolutely adore legal thrillers. I also find the American justice system so much more fascinating than here in the UK. Any novel which has the theme of ‘miscarriage of justice’ or ‘death row’ instantly grab my interest. I immediately purchased this from the local supermarket and devoured it in one weekend.

A potential miscarriage of justice, a life sentence without parole, racial injustice and building tension. GET IN MY SHOPPING TROLLEY!

The novel does surround the case of Quincy Miller in a crime that took place 22yrs ago. He was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of divorce lawyer Keith Russo. He was convicted in a largely all white town, the jury was tainted from the get go and evidence was lost/misplaced. Quincy Miller never stood a chance!

‘It’s fairly easy to convict an innocent man and virtually impossible to exonerate one’ 

However, before the novel gets into Quincy’s case, we learn about Cullen Post an innocence lawyer and former preacher. We learn of the work he does at the innocence project. Who he will and won’t appeal cases for and the type of man he is. Cullen is a intriguing character and one I hope to read more of in the future.

There are backstories in the form of Cullen’s other cases. This is where you will meet other prisoners and some of them accused of heinous crimes. Are they innocent? That is for Cullen to prove. When we first meet Cullen he is consulting on a violent rape and murder conviction. The convict Duke Russell already has his execution scheduled. Can Cullen save his life and prove him innocent? Or is this simply too much to ask for one man?

‘Clemency for Mr Russell is therefore denied’

As we follow Cullen in his investigations into Quincy’s case (and various other sub-characters). We learn it is not only the fight for innocence that drives Cullen but the desire to see justice for the real predators out there enjoying their freedom while someone else does their prison time.

Quincy Miller’s case is complex. It involves a messy divorce, kids that don’t know he exits and jailhouse snitches. Even if Quincy Miller is innocent, he is going to need god on his side to get free. In walks Cullen Post a former preacher and unique man with a personal quest for justice and balance in the world.

‘For twenty-two years he has maintained his innocence, but no one is listening’

Whilst Quincy has a theory on who and why someone set him up. It is going to take heaven and earth to get the people from his past to admit they lied under oath, if they so did lie. But Cullen Post has a plan…

‘Very few women are criminals. Their mistakes are picking bad boyfriends’

Along the way we meet other convicts such as Shasta Briley and Gerald Cook. They bring added depth to the legal novel and that is what make John Grisham the king of the genre. There are multiple thought-provoking scenes and moments to pause and reflect. I will leave you with this quote, which is my personal favourite within the novel…

‘Prison is a nightmare for those who deserve it. For those who don’t it is a daily struggle to maintain some level of sanity’ ~ 4.5* 

JG
John Grisham
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Anne Bonny #BookReview This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch @andrewshatch 4* #Thriller #Psychological #Mystery @SerpentsTail

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This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch
Review Copy – Hardback
Synopsis ~

How well do you know your girlfriend?

How well do you know your lover?

How well do you know yourself?

Daniel and Victoria are together. They’re trying for a baby. Ruby is in prison, convicted of assault on an abusive partner.

But when Daniel joins a pen pal program for prisoners, he and Ruby make contact. At first the messages are polite, neutral – but soon they find themselves revealing more and more about themselves. Their deepest fears, their darkest desires.

And then, one day, Ruby comes to find Daniel. And now he must decide who to choose – and who to trust.

My Review ~

This novel has such a brilliant and appealing synopsis. We immediately know it will be a psychological thriller riddled with suspense and we are NOT let down.
The novel revolves around the characters of Daniel, Victoria and pen-pal Ruby. We are aware that Daniel is enrolled in a pen-pal programme, but the messages end up going so much deeper than a mere friendship…

‘Two damaged souls, reaching out for a connection’

It isn’t long before Daniel is divulging far too many details of his personal life and relationships. When Ruby reciprocates this response, we the reader immediately know it isn’t going to end well for either of them…

‘I didn’t intend to write back to her but of course I did’

Daniel is at times, an unreliable narrator and I never knew if he was telling the truth or playing games. You just simply can’t trust him and neither should Victoria or Ruby.
The novel is fast paced, edgy and modern. A cracking debut might I add. I raced through the pages and couldn’t wait to get to the end.

Daniel is most definitely a weirdo, but that doesn’t make him a criminal or does it? 4*

ASH
A.S. Hatch
Twitter
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*apologies for delayed review*