Anne Bonny #BookReview Under The Harrow by @flynnberry_ 4* #CrimeFiction #Psychological #Thriller @wnbooks ‘A very clever ending’

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Under The Harrow by Flynn Berry
My Own Copy ~ Hardback Book

Synopsis ~

When Nora takes the train from London to visit her sister in the countryside, she expects to find her waiting at the station, or at home cooking dinner. But when she walks into Rachel’s familiar house, what she finds is entirely different: her sister has been the victim of a brutal murder.
Stunned and adrift, Nora finds she can’t return to her former life. An unsolved assault in the past has shaken her faith in the police, and she can’t trust them to find her sister’s killer. Haunted by the murder and the secrets that surround it, Nora is under the harrow: distressed and in danger. As Nora’s fear turns to obsession, she becomes as unrecognizable as the sister her investigation uncovers.
A riveting psychological thriller and a haunting exploration of the fierce love between two sisters, the distortions of grief, and the terrifying power of the past, Under the Harrow marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.

My Review ~

Under The harrow is the tale of two sisters and the lengths one will go to, to get justice for the other. It reads as a psychological thriller, but I was also emotionally pulled due to the relationship between the sisters and the savage nature of the murder.

Nora is travelling to Oxford from London to spend some time with her sister Rachel. She is full of the excitement of her future, having just received news of an art residency in France for 12wks. She is also filed with happy memories of the time the had a Cornish let for Christmas. When Rachel is not at Winshaw train station to collect her, she is not alarmed. But nothing could have prepared her for what she is about to stumble across.

Nora discovers the violent scene of Rachel’s murder. It is a scene that will come to haunt her every waking moment and compel her to solve the murder. With DI Moretti, Nora works over Rachel’s past. Her ex Stephen Bailey who lives in Dorset, her occupation as a nurse. And the attack that Rachel endured at just 17yrs, with Yorkshire police refusing to believe an assault took place. But before Nora can settle on a theory, she is about to uncover Rachel was exhibiting some odd behaviour of her own.

Nora remains at Oxford and attempts to mix in amongst the locals. But Nora is becoming more and more obsessed…

‘I might have just met her murderer’ – Nora

A very clever ending 4*

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Flynn Berry
Twitter

***I also snapped up the others second novel on Kindle Ebook deal (currently £1.99) in the UK. I shall add the details below***

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A Double Life by Flynn Berry
Review To Follow

Synopsis ~

Some wounds need more than time. They crave revenge.

Claire’s father is a privileged man: handsome, brilliant, the product of an aristocratic lineage and an expensive education, surrounded by a group of devoted friends who would do anything for him.

But when he becomes the prime suspect in a horrific attack on Claire’s mother – an outsider who married into the elite ranks of society and dared escape her gilded cage – fate and privilege collide, and a scandal erupts.

Claire’s father disappears overnight, his car abandoned, blood on the front seat.

Thirty years after that hellish night, Claire is obsessed with uncovering the truth, and she knows that the answer is held behind the closed doors of beautiful townhouses and country estates, safeguarded by the same friends who all those years before had answered the call to protect one of their own.

Because they know where Claire’s father is.

They helped him escape.

And it’s time their pristine lives met her fury.

Anne Bonny #BookReview Only Killers And Thieves by @paulhowarth_ 4* #NewRelease #Western #Australia #HistoricalFiction #HistFic @PushkinPress

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Only Killers And Thieves by Paul Howarth
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

A story of two brothers on a trail of revenge

Queensland, 1885. It is a scorching day in Australia’s deserted outback when Tommy McBride and his brother, Billy, return home to discover a devastating tragedy.

Distraught and eager for revenge, the young men set out in search of the perpetrators. They are soon forced to seek help from their ruthless neighbour John Sullivan, and the Queensland Native Police an armed militia infamous for hunting down Indigenous Australians. The retribution that follows will embroil the brothers in a heart-breaking injustice, uniting them in a battle for survival, and forever tearing them apart.

My Review ~

Only Killers And Thieves is set in 1885 Queensland, Australia. I will confess that I don’t read many westerns despite being a big fan of historical fiction. So, I most definitely found this title to be very unique in its themes and characters.
I never thought I’d enjoy a western!

The title opens with the McBride brother’s Tommy (14yrs) and Billy (16yrs) hunting in a drought. The boys trespass on John Sullivan’s land leading to a dressing down from the native mounted police, Inspector Edmund Noone. Where they also witness two mutilated and burned bodies Noone has hung from a tree. The two victims are black men and this causes tension when the boys relay the story to their father…

‘Using black to hunt other blacks. It’s disgraceful’

We become aware of the racial tensions that exist in the historical era. The brother’s entitlement to their land, despite being of Scottish/English/Irish descent.
Their father is disgusted at the crimes, which causes Joseph to leave his employment and seek to move on. However, he fears a war developing with John Sullivan. So, he is willing to over look the murders to keep the peace.
That is until he receives a note from Sullivan…

‘I’m waiting Ned’

The McBride brothers return one day, to find their father dead. Their mother assaulted and killed and their sister barely killing to life. The brothers instantly blame Joseph, who recently left their employment, as they rush to pin the blame on someone. The brother’s seek help from John Sullivan, with Billy embellishing their story stating he saw Joseph present at the scene. But can the boys trust John Sullivan?
Why are they so quick to turn their backs on Joseph?

‘Being a wage slave ain’t much better than being a black fella’

The racial prejudices of John Sullivan and the era in general may shock the reader. But they are historically accurate for the colonial history. Sometimes I think the harsh reality of this era, has almost been completely whitewashed from history.

With Billy swept up in the horrors of violent racism. Has he sold his soul to the devil?
The brother’s pick different sides, will this be their downfall?

Prejudice, anger, violence and revenge. 4*

PH
Paul Howarth
Website
Twitter

Anne Bonny #BookReview From The Shadows by @gr_halliday 4* #NewRelease #CrimeFiction @HarvillSecker #DIMonicaKennedy #Series #Scotland

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From The Shadows by G. R. Halliday
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

A stunning, atmospheric police procedural set against the grit of Inverness and the raw beauty of the Scottish Highlands, this is the first book in the DI Monica Kennedy series.

Sixteen-year-old Robert arrives home late. Without a word to his dad, he goes up to his bedroom. Robert is never seen alive again.

A body is soon found on the coast of the Scottish Highlands. Detective Inspector Monica Kennedy stands by the victim in this starkly beautiful and remote landscape. Instinct tells her the case won’t begin and end with this one death.

Meanwhile, Inverness-based social worker Michael Bach is worried about one of his clients whose last correspondence was a single ambiguous text message; Nichol Morgan has been missing for seven days.

As Monica is faced with catching a murderer who has been meticulously watching and waiting, Michael keeps searching for Nichol, desperate to find him before the killer claims another victim.

My Review ~

From The Shadows, is a brand new Scottish crime series set in the remote location of the Highlands. The novel focuses on the investigation of a missing teenage boy, bringing together both local copper and social worker.
What happened to 16yr old Robert and why does there remain no sighting of the boy, in the days following his disappearance?

The characters of DI Monica Kennedy and social worker Michael Bach add extra depth to the story. They offer the opportunity for us to view the case not only as a criminal endeavour but from a social point also.
When Robert disappears one Friday evening after receiving some bizarre messages. A body is discovered the following morning posed, showing signs of torture and with something lodged in the throat. Is the body Robert’s or do the police have two separate cases to work?
4*

GRH
G. R. Halliday
Twitter

Anne Bonny #BookReview Into The River by @mb_randi 4* #PsychologicalThriller #LiteraryFiction #Noir #Mystery #Australia @Legend_Press

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Into The River by Mark Brandi
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

WINNER OF THE CRIME WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION DEBUT DAGGER
WINNER OF THE 2018 INDIE DEBUT FICTION AWARD
SHORTLISTED FOR LITERARY FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR, ABIA AWARDS 2018
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MATT RICHELL AWARD FOR NEW WRITER OF THE YEAR, ABIA AWARDS 2018
SHORTLISTED FOR THE NED KELLY AWARD FOR BEST FIRST FICTION 2018

Growing up in a small country town, Ben and Fab spend their days playing cricket, wanting a pair of Nike Air Maxes and not talking about how Fab’s dad hits him, or how the sudden death of Ben’s next-door neighbour unsettled him. Almost teenagers, they already know some things are better left unsaid.

Then a newcomer arrived. Fab reckoned he was a secret agent and he and Ben staked him out. He looked strong. Maybe even stronger than Fab’s dad. Neither realised the shadow this man would cast over both their lives.

Twenty years later, Fab is going nowhere but hoping for somewhere better. Then a body is found in the river, and Fab can’t ignore the past any more.

My Review ~

Into The water tells the story of childhood friends Ben and Fab. It is a small town story, featuring small town characters but it packs one hell of a punch to the feels.

The novel jumps between the past and the present as Fab tries to come to terms with his story as he relays it to his friend Lucy.
‘He knew he couldn’t tell her everything though. There were some things that were without a doubt, better left unsaid’

Ben’s neighbour Daisy (14yrs) commits suicide via hanging in her backyard. Her family quickly move away and in moves Ronnie to the neighbourhood. Ben is intrigued by Daisy’s suicide and what drove her to take her own life. He is also suspicious of his new neighbour Ronnie.

The novel’s location is rural Australia and depicts a 1980s childhood. As the readers you witness the boy’s exposure to racial harassment and domestic abuse. Which only tightens their bond. Then Ronnie begins to confide in Ben about what really happened to Daisy. A story that will become all too relevant to Ben soon.

‘It wasn’t until years later that he would realise that the cold, twisting feeling in his guts that day was something like grief’

This is a victim centred crime drama. My heart really went out to Ben and Fab, their childhood choices and futures. 4*

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Mark Brandi
Website
Twitter

Anne Bonny #BookReview The Stalker by @Alexincrimeland 4* #NewRelease #Psychological #Thriller #Scotland #WilliamLorimer

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The Stalker by Alex Gray
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

A murder on their doorstep
A case that’s too close to home . . .

The body of a young woman has been discovered in Bellahouston park, the second in a matter of months. It’s clear to Detective Superintendent William Lorimer of Police Scotland that they have a repeat killer on their hands, who is sure to strike again.

Lucky for DSI Lorimer that his wife, Maggie, is miles away from potential danger, touring Scotland to promote her first book. Faced with strangers at every event, Maggie doesn’t notice the quiet, non-descript man sitting in the back row.

But he has noticed Maggie Lorimer. And soon his will be a face she never forgets.

My Review ~

‘Darkness, be my friend’

The Stalker is a police procedural novel which surround the stalking of a female. But this isn’t just any female, this is Maggie Lorimer, wife to DSI William Lorimer head of the major incident team in Glasgow. Maggie is currently touring Scotland to promote her new book. Which makes her isolated, lonely and vulnerable. We become aware as we read on, that someone is following Maggie, someone who has an unhealthy obsession.

The title opens with DSI Lorimer at the crime scene of a murder victim in Bellahouston Park. The victim is in her 30s and has been strangled. Which draws a comparison to another recent case of a female found at Queens Park.
Is there a serial killer prowling the streets of Glasgow?

The novel continues and we learn more about the difficulty in prosecuting stalking as a crime and what is currently considered ‘enough’ to keep victims safe. With warning and court orders being the standard police pursuit.
The novel creates much rom for discussion with regards to the psychology of stalking. And what drives individual stalkers to pursue their victims. 4*

AG
Alex Gray
Website
Twitter