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My #Review Jane Doe January by @emilycwinslow 5* @WmMorrowBooks #NonFiction by @annebonnybook

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Jane Doe January by Emily Winslow
Synopsis:
In the vein of Alice Sebold’s Lucky, comes a compelling, real-life crime mystery and gripping memoir of the cold case prosecution of a serial rapist, told by one of his victims.

On the morning of September 12, 2013, a fugitive task force arrested Arthur Fryar at his apartment in Brooklyn. His DNA, entered in the FBI’s criminal database after a drug conviction, had been matched to evidence from a rape in Pennsylvania years earlier. Over the next year, Fryar and his lawyer fought his extradition and prosecution for the rape—and another like it—which occurred in 1992. The victims—one from January of that year, the other from November—were kept anonymous in the media.
This is the story of Jane Doe January.

Emily Winslow was a young drama student at Carnegie Mellon University’s elite conservatory in Pittsburgh when a man brutally attacked and raped her in January 1992. While the police’s search for her rapist proved futile, Emily reclaimed her life. Over the course of the next two decades, she fell in love, married, had two children, and began writing mystery novels set in her new hometown of Cambridge, England. Then, in fall 2013, she received shocking news—the police had found her rapist.

This is her intimate memoir—the story of a woman’s traumatic past catching up with her, in a country far from home, surrounded by people who have no idea what she’s endured. Caught between past and present, and between two very different cultures, the inquisitive and restless crime novelist searches for clarity. Beginning her own investigation, she delves into Fryar’s family and past, reconnects with the detectives of her case, and works with prosecutors in the months leading to trial.

As she recounts her long-term quest for closure, Winslow offers a heartbreakingly honest look at a vicious crime—and offers invaluable insights into the mind and heart of a victim.

My review:

This is an incredibly powerful non-fiction book; which walks us through one woman’s journey in the aftermath of, a stranger rape. The narrative not only focuses on the immediate aftermath; but the longevity of the case spanning over 20 years.
It is at times a difficult read, but one I feel could provide a huge benefit to other victims of sexual violence.

The opening is in September 2013, when Emily finally gets the call she has been longing for. Her rapist has been apprehended. The New York fugitive force have been brought into the case, at the Pennsylvania police forces request.
They inform Emily, the suspect has been arrested for what he had done previously, to another victim, shortly after Emily’s attack!

What makes this novel unique, is that Emily in 2013 is now living in Cambridge, UK. Her attack took place in her college town of Pennsylvania. The case and trial, force Emily to navigate the American legal system, from England. She is often kept out of the loop, of information and you can hear her internal angst, that she may never get justice.

The timeline, jumps from past to present. It details the attack that took place on a college campus in 1992. Where a young Emily, is innocently doing her laundry on a quiet Sunday evening. The violence of the attack is fully explained. Although this may make for uncomfortable reading. I think it is imperative, to understand the full context of the book in its entirety.
When you read the pages of the attack and the aftermath at the hospital. You never one question yourself, was she drinking? What was she wearing on the night of the attack?
Which leads me to wonder, why these are such ‘crucial’ questions frequently at victim’s trials…..

Emily begins her recovery by setting herself mental challenges and rules. She allows herself to be ‘a mess’ for a year only. Seek support in the daytime only and keep a diary of her thoughts. Each victim must deal with the aftermath of their attack individually, and this is also addressed in the book. After getting a sense of who Emily is as a person and her views. I felt she made the decisions based on what was best for her, at that time.
But I often wanted to reach through the book, to offer her my friendship, a hug and some solidarity as a fellow woman.

The book also details the legal aspects of the case, such as the statute of limitations. This doesn’t exist in the UK and therefore I found this intriguing reading. Whilst I respect the legal points of the statute of limitations, it does not consider the advances made in science and in-particular DNA evidence. This is a great shame of the US. Not only that, but the ‘back-log’ of rape kits that haven’t been ran through the new CODIS system.
How many rapists roam American streets freely?

“I don’t want to have to say that he ruined my life. I don’t want to consider my life ruined” – Emily

The book goes on to detail the cops involved in the case, both past and present. The legal team and the obstacles they face in securing a conviction. The book also recounts Emily’s desperate search for information about her rapist. I don’t know if this is her attempts to understand why the attack took place. Her inner need; to gain back some control over the situation now developing in 2013. She often references forgiveness and punishment within her narrative. Meanwhile, her rapist is determined to dominate and control the investigation and legal process, right up to trial!

“I know that some people hate the term ‘victim’ and prefer to be called a ‘survivor’ instead, but I don’t mind the word. He did hurt me. I was a victim of that. It bothers me to euphemize it” – Emily

I felt privileged to be able to read Emily’s story. Fortunate that she lets us, the reader, into her emotional journey. There is a specific part where she uses the aftermath of the ordeal; as a metaphoric comparison to carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide doesn’t harm you, by itself, it merely takes the space of the oxygen. This is both profound and insightful to the emotional/psychological impact that rape, has on its victims.

Emily comes across as someone you can relate to. Almost like someone you knew growing up. Which makes the narrative and pain she goes through harder to digest. But I think this book could be a huge benefit to other victims. It may help them validate their feelings and pain. There are paragraphs designed as advice to fellow victims. There is a ‘in conversation’ part with author Sophie Hannah. Reading group questions and information relating to behind the book and the backlog of rape kits. The author has covered, as many aspects as possible to offer help and support to others and for that she deserves huge credit.
A non-fiction title that will stay with me for a very long time! 5*

emily
Emily Winslow
Authors links:
Website: http://emilywinslow.com/
Twitter: @emilycwinslow

#BlogTour #Giveaway Zen And The Art Of Murder by Oliver Bottini Translated by @jamiebulloch @maclehosepress UK & IRL ONLY

Today on the blog I am hosting a giveaway for 3 copies of this fabulous new release!

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Zen And The Art Of Murder by Oliver Bottini
Translated by Jamie Bulloch
Synopsis:
The first in a gripping new crime series set in Germany – the Black Forest Investigations

Louise Boni, maverick chief inspector with the Black Forest crime squad, is struggling with her demons. Divorced at forty-two, she is haunted by the shadows of the past.
Dreading yet another a dreary winter weekend alone, she receives a call from the departmental chief which signals the strangest assignment of her career – to trail a Japanese monk wandering through the snowy wasteland to the east of Freiburg, dressed only in sandals and a cowl. She sets off reluctantly, and by the time she catches up with him, she discovers that he is injured, and fearfully fleeing some unknown evil. When her own team comes under fire, the investigation takes on a terrifying dimension, uncovering a hideous ring of child traffickers. The repercussions of their crimes will change the course of her own life.

Oliver Bottini is a fresh and exciting voice in the world of crime fiction in translation; the Rhine borderlands of the Black Forest are a perfect setting for his beautifully crafted mysteries.

Translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch

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***To enter the giveaway, all I want to know is………… What language is the novel translated from? Leave a comment on either A) this blog post B) the pinned Tweet via Twitter @annebonnybook C) My Facebook page Anne Bonny Book Reviews  I will draw the giveaway on 20th January at the end of the #BlogTour***
GOOD LUCK!

Please check out the other stops on the #BlogTour

My #BlogTour #Review of, Faking Friends by @JaneFallon #NewRelease @penguinrandom by @annebonnybook

*I received an arc via the publisher in return for an honest review*
I have just realised via a diary mishap, that I have mixed up the dates 11th & 12th January. My apologises to the author, publisher and publicist. 

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Faking Friends by Jane Fallon
Synopsis:
Amy thought she knew everything there was to know about her best friend Melissa. Then again, Amy also thought she was on the verge of the wedding of her dreams to her long-distance fiancé.

Until she pays a surprise trip home to London. Jack is out, but it’s clear another woman has been making herself at home in their flat.

There’s something about her stuff that feels oddly familiar . . . and then it hits Amy. The Other Woman is Melissa.

Amy has lost her home, her fiancé and her best friend in one disastrous weekend – but instead of falling apart, she’s determined to get her own back.

Piecing her life back together won’t be half as fun as dismantling theirs, after all.

My review:

Faking Friends is an unusual novel for me to read. I rarely read contemporary fiction, based on modern day relationships.
But with this novel, I was looking forward to reading something different. I regularly jump between novel genre’s.
I was drawn to the psychological element of the synopsis.

Aspiring actress Amy, returns to London to surprise fiancé Jack. Unbeknown to her, the surprise will be on her! As she arrives to find a woman’s things in her place, in her flat.
And not just any woman’s things, the items of her best friend Melissa……..

I was immediately drawn to the WOW factor of a shock surprise, of the ultimate betrayal. Amy is left devastated, how could her best friend from childhood betray her? How long has this love affair been going on? Why would Jack do this to her?

Amy cannot bring herself to face up to the answers to these questions. At least not just yet! She begins to plot her revenge. What follows is a toxic friendship on full display.
Amy’s inner-feelings of hurt at the betrayal are moving, you get a real sense of a woman in deep emotional pain.
A woman scorned…….

As Amy comes to terms with the mess, that is her life. We learn that Mel is an extremely vicious woman. Who will destroy anyone or anything, to get what she wants.
I took an immediate dislike to Mel and her selfish behaviour. I felt myself, become more and more drawn into the plot. Almost as if I was on Amy’s side cheering her on!

‘There is nothing left to salvage in either of these relationships. There’s nothing to mourn the loss of because they weren’t the real people I thought they were’

This isn’t just a story of revenge and the emotional damage of cheating. It also shows a woman, determined to pull her life back together.
To start again and in turn, become a new woman! 4*

Jane_Fallon_HP
Jane Fallon
Author links:
Website: http://www.janefallon.co.uk/
Twitter: @JaneFallon

Make sure to follow the other bloggers on the #BlogTour
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#AMightyBlogTour My #Review of A Mighty Dawn by @theodorebrun @CorvusBooks by @annebonnybook #HistoricalFantasy 5*

*I received an arc via the publisher in return for an honest review*
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A Mighty Dawn by Theodore Brun
Synopsis:

Sworn to honour.

Broken by betrayal.

Hakan, son of Haldan, chosen son of the Lord of the Northern Jutes, swears loyalty to his father in fire, in iron, and in blood. But there are always shadows that roam. When a terrible tragedy befalls Hakan’s household he is forced to leave his world behind. He must seek to pledge his sword to a new king. Nameless and alone, he embarks on a journey to escape the bonds of his past and fulfil his destiny as a great warrior.

Whispers of sinister forces in the north pull Hakan onwards to a kingdom plagued by mysterious and gruesome deaths. But does he have the strength to do battle with such dark foes? Or is death the only sane thing to seek in this world of blood and broken oaths?

My review:

Hakan son of Haldan, chosen son of the lord of the Northern Jutes. Is the protagonist of this EPIC novel!
Throughout the novel, he will face many challenges that will shake everything he has ever known, to the core……

The prologue opens with a prince on a hunt, he is attacked by a deer. But the attack leaves so much surrounding mystery. When have you ever known, a deer savagely attack a hunter? Are shadowy forces at work?

In the land of the Jutes and in particular, the farmstead of Vendlagard; the lifestyle and hierarchy of the Viking tribe is fully explained. There is a great feast to take place. For Hakan to finally pledge his oath to his father and the kingdom. We learn that Hakan is not a ‘picture perfect’ image of a great warrior. A man whom walks with a limp. We learn why he has such a limp and the story of his parent’s past.
At the feast we learn Hakan is in love, with his cousin Inga. They have a secret love affair of great depth, and are waiting for the appropriate time to inform Haldan of their intentions to marry.

At the feast a stranger arrives, promising tales of future wisdom. The tribe entertain her notions and listen in earnest. But she begins with riddles and curses “you will bear much pain, but you will never break”
“You will fall and rise again” she informs Hakan.
Haldan tires of her dramatics and hangs her!
This novel is accurate to historical fact. The Vikings were savage and brutal. The reader should be under no disillusions of the level of violence within this novel.
Similarly, the story of the Gods is explained. Odin, Frey & Freya, Thor, Njord, Loki, Tyr and Weyland are all covered in detail. The Vikings passion for their gods and their belief system is sacred.

At the feast, a fight breaks out between Hakan and Konur (Hakan’s sworn enemy). The fight is over Inga’s attentions and honour. But could have much deeper repercussions, for both the tribes and ultimately lead to war. At Haldan’s insistence the pair agree to shake hands. But the feud is far from over……..

Hakan awakens the next morning, to discover he is being sent on a mission to several of the external villages. His father believing, he has brought disgrace to the tribe, with his fight the night before.
When he arrives at nearby village Vindhaven, he finds a village burning. Women being shackled and stolen, the stinking air of death lingers, Hakan knows he must report back to his father immediately!

‘You’re to be a man, not a monster’

When Hakan returns, a battle is launched, to protect the tribes honour. What comes, shows the full life/death experience of a young Vikings life. But whilst Hakan battles for his tribe’s honour. Konur returns to Vendlagard and Inga is in fear for her life….

“A man cannot mourn forever. But he can remember” Haldan

When Hakan returns victorious from the spoils of war. He is met with a beautiful but shaken Inga. She informs him, that she is with child and they must ask Haldan for a marriage before the child is born. Hakan is apprehensive, he knows how the hierarchy of the tribe would organise such marriages. His father would be a fool to waste two young lives. When marriages could bring more alliances and wealth to Vendlagard.

“The summer was full of light. Now, all I see ahead is darkness. I want to run but I don’t know where. I’m afraid, Hakan” – Inga

When their love affair is exposed. Old secrets are exposed, that bring great pain and devastation to everyone at Vendlagard.
Hakan is destroyed, as a man, a lover and a Viking. He renounces his birth right. Leaving Vendlegard for good…..

‘He was a stranger. Here. Everywhere. A man owed nothing. Trusted by no one, with no one to trust’

‘In the darkness of his pain, it seemed to shine like gold. Like the first day of a mighty dawn’

This novel is brilliantly written, with incredible detail and emotion. You become heavily invested in the characters and the trials they face; in their search for a better future. For historical fiction it has incredible accuracy and I CANNOT wait to read the next instalment in the series!
It also explores the underlying theme of ‘not all kin, is blood related’.
It is a story of redemption and courage. Good vs evil. Mystery, magic and illusion will all play their part.
An outstanding debut 5*

TB
Theodore Brun
Authors links
Website: www.theodorebrun.com/home
Twitter: @theodorebrun

***The blurb on the cover recommends the novel for fans of The Game Of Thrones series. Having read all the Game Of Thrones novels in just 13 days! I can confirm that the recommendation is 100% spot on!***

Check out the other blogs on the #AMightyBlogTour

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#BlogTour #Giveaway Deep Blue Trouble by @crimethrillgirl Steph Broadribb @OrendaBooks UK only

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Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broaddribb
Synopsis:
Single-mother Florida bounty hunter Lori Anderson’s got an ocean of trouble on her hands. Her daughter Dakota is safe, but her cancer is threatening a comeback, and Lori needs JT – Dakota’s daddy and the man who taught Lori everything – alive and kicking. Problem is, he’s behind bars, and heading for death row. Desperate to save him, Lori does a deal, taking on off-the-books job from shady FBI agent Alex Monroe. Bring back on-the-run felon, Gibson ‘The Fish’ Fletcher, and JT walks free. Following Fletcher from Florida to California, Lori teams up with local bounty hunter Dez McGregor and his team. But Dez works very differently to Lori, and the tension between them threatens to put the whole job in danger. With Monroe pressuring Lori for results, the clock ticking on JT’s life, and nothing about the Fletcher case adding up, Lori’s hitting walls at every turn. But this is one job she’s got to get right, or she’ll lose everything… Breathlessly paced, and bursting with high-voltage action and edge-of-your-seat jeopardy, Deep Blue Trouble is the unmissable next instalment featuring one of the most memorable and fearless female characters in crime fiction.

Giveaway:

To be in with a chance of WINNING the paperback copy up for grabs! UK only
Simply tell me the name of the female protagonist on either:
The original Facebook post at Anne Bonny Book reviews 
The Pinned Tweet @annebonnybook
Or this blog post!
*I will pick a winner on Saturday! Good Luck!*