Anne Bonny #BookReview Severed by @revpeterlaws 5* #NewRelease #Horror @AllisonandBusby ‏

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Severed by Peter Laws
Review Copy
Synopsis:

During a communion service at a village church, the teenage son of a vicar brutally attacks his father with an axe. The horrified congregation watch the son escape and during a frantic police search rumours arise that the boy was involved in devil worship. Professor Matt Hunter, an atheist ex-minister and expert on religion, is brought in to advise, yet he quickly suspects the church attack may have a far more complex cause.

Meanwhile, a ten-year-old boy called Ever grows up in a small Christian cult. The group believe they are the only true humans left and that the world is filled with demons called Hollows, but they’re working on a bizarre ritual that will bring peace and paradise to the world. Soon, the worlds of Matt and Ever will collide in one awful, terrifying night where Matt is thrown into the frightening and murderous world of religious mania.

My Review:

The prologue of Severed describes the history of the Crooked church in the Chiltern Hills. Which slowly sets the tone for this complex psychological horror thriller.

We are quickly introduced to Rev David East and his son Micah. They live alone after David’s wife Zara left 2yrs ago. David is struggling as a single father and is filled with the constant worry that something he has done, has caused Micah’s withdrawal from their active community. He is consoled by parishioner Miriam, from the church he has served for 10yrs, the Crooked Church…

‘Maybe God’s planning something. Something wonderful’ – Miriam Aimes

As David enters the church, he feels reassured with the kind words of Miriam and begins his service…
‘God’s going to move today, Vic. I can feel it’ – Rev East

However, Micah has other ideas…
‘Eloi, Eloi, Lama Kataltani’ – Micah
With those words spoken, Micah leap into attack and pounces on his father. But why?

‘The boy has the Devil in him’

In the aftermath of the attack, Professor Matt Hunter is called in to help local CID Detective Jill Bowland. While Rev David East remains in a coma fighting for his life from the axe attack. The police and Matt must apprehend Micah.
A search of the house reveals a disturbing bedroom, which poses the question, is this child part of a group? Or acting alone?

There are scenes from another young Male’s point of view, Ever. They are chilling scenes that surround what a child can be forced to believe!

The novel is gripping and stays with you, it has brilliant themes and makes for an intense read. The mystery of cults and controlling behaviour is fully explored. 5*

PL
Peter Laws
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Anne Bonny #BookReview Red Snow by @willrdean 4* #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #Sweden @OneworldNews #TeamTuva

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Red Snow by Will Dean
Review Copy
Synopsis:

TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

My Review:

Red Snow centres around a murder mystery in the small town of Gavrik, Sweden. After local business owner Gustav Grimberg leaps from the roof of his liquorice factory. Despite being warned off by local constable Thord, Tuva once again finds her self in the role of investigator.

‘Two bodies in one place, it doesn’t feel right’

The novel is atmospheric and there is incredible detail into the small town of Gavrik. How such a small town survives, the local community and running of the main and only business. It is refreshing to read such an inclusive character such as Tuva, for reasons, I will let you the reader discover.

Ultimately it is a story of the people from a small town, with themes of friendship, betrayal and murderous impulses! 4*

WD
Will Dean
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Anne Bonny #BookReview Blood & Sugar by @LauraSRobinson #HistoricalFiction #NewRelease @MantleBooks

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Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson
Review Copy
Synopsis:

June, 1781. An unidentified body hangs upon a hook at Deptford Dock – horribly tortured and branded with a slaver’s mark.

Some days later, Captain Harry Corsham – a war hero embarking upon a promising parliamentary career – is visited by the sister of an old friend. Her brother, passionate abolitionist Tad Archer, had been about to expose a secret that he believed could cause irreparable damage to the British slaving industry. He’d said people were trying to kill him, and now he is missing . . .

To discover what happened to Tad, Harry is forced to pick up the threads of his friend’s investigation, delving into the heart of the conspiracy Tad had unearthed. His investigation will threaten his political prospects, his family’s happiness, and force a reckoning with his past, risking the revelation of secrets that have the power to destroy him.

And that is only if he can survive the mortal dangers awaiting him in Deptford . . .

My Review:

Blood And Sugar is a historical fiction novel set in 1781, dealing with a grisly murder at Deptford Dock…
But why does the body show signs of torture and with a slavers mark on the corpse?
In the opening prologue Nathanial Grimshaw find the naked body of Thomas Valentine (Tad). We are immediately drawn into the drama with exceptional writing.
‘On every side of them, the Devil’s breath coiled and smoked’

Captain Harry Cosham, war hero recently turned parliamentarian is immediately drawn to investigate the case, as Tad was a close personal friend. He begins by questioning Tad’s sister Amelia Bradsheet. Amelia is a widow and we become aware she is also shunned via shame and kept away from society. What little information she can provide points to trouble snapping at Tad’s heels…

‘Tad was mixed up in something dangerous. He told me that he had made some powerful enemies’ – Amelia

The body of the deceased shows multiple signs of having received slave punishments. Then the throat cut and left on display as a warning. But who is the killer sending a message to?

‘Our shard past was a dark and dangerous place’ – Harry

Harry’s wife Caro is reluctant for him to get involved with the case, due to his promising career.
We are reminded this is an era, where scandal could lose you everything you hold dear.

‘You cannot break the rules without consequences’ – Caro

There is an array of characters from slavers, abolitionists, prostitutes and key political figures. This is an intelligent novel steeped in historical accuracy, with the dark theme of mass murder of slaves (regarded as property, not people in the era).
Whys is Harry obligated to find Tad’s killer?
Who can you trust when money and power corrupts at its leisure?
The truth is finally revealed, and the ending is shocking and heart-breaking in equal measure.
Perfect for book groups and a thoroughly cracking debut novel. 4.5*

LSR
Laura Shepherd-Robinson
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Anne Bonny #BookReview The Familiars by @stacey_halls 5* #NewRelease #HistoricalFiction #Lancashire @BonnierZaffre

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The Familiars by Stacey Halls
Review Copy
Synopsis:

In a time of suspicion and accusation, to be a woman is the greatest risk of all . . .

Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married, and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband Richard is anxious for an heir. When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn’t supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy.

Then she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife. Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby, and to prove the physician wrong.

As Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the north-west, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her. But is there more to Alice than meets the eye?

Soon the two women’s lives will become inextricably bound together as the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood’s stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake.

Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

My Review:

The Familiars is set in Lancashire in 1612. It revolves around the life of Fleetwood Shuttleworth and her young midwife Alice Grey. Fleetwood is feeling the pressure to provide an heir, at only 17yrs old and with three stillbirths. It is a stifling pressure that consumes her every waking moment.
Fleetwood lives at Gawthrope Hall, with many staff to attend to her every need and a loving husband Richard. But these bring little comfort to her when she discovers a letter predicting her death, in a future child birth…

It is during one of her long walks around her estate, that she stumbles across Alice Grey. A chance meeting that’ll change both of their lives. Whilst Alice promises to help Fleetwood deliver a healthy baby and survive. Fleetwood is also aware of recent assumptions of witchcraft across Lancashire…

‘The Devil only appears to those he recognises to be his servants’

Whilst news of the witchcraft spreads across the county. People come forward to point the finger at others in their community and sometimes women they personally know. It isn’t long until several women find themselves under arrest.
But are they really practicing witchcraft?

‘The King is not a supporter of women trying to make their way in the world’

Fleetwood feels the authorities breathing down her neck and questioning Alice’s role in her life. Can Fleetwood help Alice survive the accusations and in turn give birth to a healthy baby and heir?

‘Women and cattle are very similar’

This novel is plotted around the real Pendle witch trials of 1612. Lancashire history comes alive on the page and makes for a cracking read. I look forward to future releases by this author, most definitely, one to watch out for! 5*

SH
Stacey Halls
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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Bollywood Wives by @alexkhanauthor @herabooks #NewRelease #Bollywood

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Bollywood Wives by Alex Khan
Review Copy
Synopsis:

Zara Das is Bollywood’s hottest property, her every move watched by the eyes of the press. Riding high from the success of a string of blockbusters, she has the world at her feet, but the scandal from her latest film threatens to dethrone her as Bollywood’s reigning queen.

So when superstar director Raj Dillon stages a lavish retelling of Pride and Prejudice, moving the shoot from Mumbai’s soundstages to London, Zara knows this is the role that could put her back on top. Coming with them are the Bollywood Wives – Jackie, Sasha, and Rani – bringing their own off-screen drama.

But behind the diamonds, designer clothes and seven-star hotels lies the truth of how Zara reached the top. And when a dead body is found in her hotel room, it seems that someone is determined to take Zara down – and will stop at nothing to expose her darkest secrets.

Zara has spent years running from her past. But now it’s caught up with her…

A sexy, gripping, scandalous novel set in the world of Bollywood – fans of Jackie Collins, Crazy Rich Asians and Lauren Weisberger won’t be able to put this one down.

My Review:

Bollywood Wives revolves around protagonist Zara Das. She is a feisty, beautiful and troubled Bollywood star, scandal follows her at every turn!
But the novel isn’t just focused on her role within the story. We meet the fabulous Bollywood wives Sasha, Jackie, Rani and the insufferable snob Penny. We learn that behind each woman’s smile is a secret past. With emotions brimming to the surface, Zara’s latest Bollywood flick is relocated from Mumbai to London; after a serious attempt on her life. But who would want to kill Zara? And why?

‘Ten years of dragging myself to the top, and now, they were trying to drag her down again’ 

At just 29 years old, Zara has over a decades experience within the world of Bollywood. But it has not come without its price. Slowly the author weaves his magic and amongst the glamour, jealousy, secrets and search for inner happiness; the characters pasts are revealed. It is a tale of #MeToo for the Bollywood genre…

I really enjoyed the insight into life upon the Bollywood movie set. I felt that despite the female glamour and beauty, it was still a very male dominated industry. But with Zara’s determination to survive the threats on her life, she begins to seek a new life. One of independence for herself and the woman around her.
There is a dark crime at the novel’s heart and at times I felt extremely emotional, as I read Zara’s journey. What it has personally cost her, to become India’s number one star!
Behind the ‘perfect image’ each of the Bollywood actress, film crew and spouses unique stories are exposed and it makes for intriguing reading.

A glamourous, yet scandalous read. 4.5*

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