Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview A Sinner’s Prayer by @EllingtonWright M.P Wright 5*Genius #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #Series #JTEllington @bwpublishing #Bristol #ASinnersPrayer

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A Sinner’s Prayer by M.P. Wright
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

Saying farewell to the dark side doesn’t mean the dark side wants rid of you. And I was about to be reminded of that fact.

1970, St Pauls, Bristol. A new decade, and JT Ellington is determined it will be a quiet one. He’s stepped away from the private-eye game to scratch a living, respectable at last, as a school caretaker.

Still his nights are full of torment – guilt and ghosts that no prayers will banish but it’s not until the past comes calling in the unwelcome form of Superintendent Fletcher that JT’s resolve is truly tested.

Fletcher has a job for JT – and the hard-nosed cop can’t be refused. A young man, Nikhil Suresh, has disappeared hours before his wedding; rumours abound and his family is distraught. JT is to investigate.

With what feels like blood money in his pocket, JT is plunged deep into a demi-monde of vice, violence and forbidden passion. An extraordinary, malevolent enemy is intent on destroying him. Now – seeking survival and redemption – JT must play as dirty and dangerous as those who want him dead.

My Review ~

‘Sooner or later, everyone round you dies JT. They are in hell, everyone you ever loved, all either burnt up or here rotting with me’

The title opens with JT confronted by the ghostly apparition of Carnell Harris. We become quickly aware of the past characters that have featured in the series. Their links to other returning characters and the toll their pain and losses takes on JT’s psyche. JT Ellington is a haunted man, haunted by his past, haunted by the present and haunted by the future!

‘Carnell Harris was dead because of me’

 The title opens on Friday 13th August 1971 in Bristol. JT is now 48yrs old and we learn that 1970’s Britain is no more kinder to JT than the previous swinging 1960’s. JT faces an avalanche of daily racism, discrimination and prejudice. A fictionalised version of the windrush experience. JT is currently a caretaker at a local primary school, having abandoned the life of a PI for a secure lifestyle for his 6yr old niece Chloe.
But as usual… Trouble lurks closely behind every corner of Jt’s life…

JT is accosted by Detective Inspector Fletcher again, (now Superintendent) He encourages or more likely coerces JT into dealing with the case of a missing shopkeepers son Nikhil Suresh. However, to unravel the mystery of Nikhil’s disappearing act, JT must navigate the world of arranged marriage.

‘I decided to take the Superintendent’s thirty pieces of silver’

We are reintroduced to a wide-range or reoccurring characters such as Aunt Pearl, Uncle Gabe and my favourite Loretta Harris.
But JT’s main focus remains the case of the missing bridegroom. The case becomes even more entangled when we learn of the men living in secret due to their sexuality. Can JT uncover the most precious secrets of those close to Nikhil? Or will Nikhil’s death remain unsolved?

‘The man you search for is with the Jinn’

The LGBT theme in 1970’s England, enables the reader to explore the underground gay scene, drag queens and others society has rejected. The era is one of oppression and it is shocking to think this is not that long ago. Needlessly, the author deals with such matters with tact, delicacy and lets the emotion lead the narrative.

‘The dead man had been associating with monsters, and he’d clearly gone on to pay a very high price for it’

When a local white child’s body is discovered at a local golf course. JT begins to question a link. But why would anyone strangle and beat an 11yr old boy? Is there a definitive link to Nikhil’s disappearance?
One thing is for certain, if the murder of a local white boy is reported in connection with Nikhil, it could unleash all manner of racial tensions, violence and possible riots on the streets. JT must act fast!

When the case is potentially linked to organised crime and gangsters of The Firm. JT calls in the big guns and by big guns, he means Vic!
‘Vic was proof that a black man could live by his own rules in Britain’

Vic is without a shadow of a doubt, one of my favourite male characters in the series (aside from JT). I would love to see the series developed into a TV series and think Idris Elba would make an exceptional Vic we would all fall in love with!

‘White folk were as happy here to let a black man or woman take the fall for them as they were back on Bim, whether they had committed the damn crime or not’

The novel deals with not only tough issues, but complex issues. The racial tensions of the decade are fully explored, as are the potential various motivations. Fear, ignorance and lack of self awareness all play a part in the up rise of white British racism. The plague it holds over its victims is fully explored….
‘I was perhaps descending down into hell and the devil himself would be waiting for me’ 

There are passages of beautiful prose from M.P. Wright and he has excelled himself once again with A Sinner’s Prayer.
‘I imagined prehistoric wolves making the same gesture before they howled at men, women and children sat shivering in their caves’…
‘A trio of deadly executioners, who lived in the knowledge that certain death always followed in their wake’

Dark crime fiction to mix with your dark rum on the sunny summer evenings!
*Raises glass to JT Ellington*
A series finale and a character that will live on in the hearts of his readers.
5* Genius

MPW
M.P. Wright
Twitter
My Q&A with M.P. Wright
My Review of, The Restless Coffins

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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview and Q&A with @HeidiPerksBooks ~ Come Back For Me 5* #NewRelease #Psychological #Thriller #Suspense #CrimeFiction @arrowpublishing

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Come back For Me by Heidi Perks
Review Copy

Synopsis ~ 

A SHOCKING DISCOVERY.
A COMMUNITY WRAPPED IN SECRETS.

A tiny island community is stunned by the discovery of a long-buried body.

For Stella Harvey the news is doubly shocking. The body has been found in the garden of her childhood home – the home her family fled without explanation twenty-five years ago.
Now, questioning her past and desperate to unearth the truth, Stella returns to the isolated island. But she quickly finds that the community she left isn’t as welcoming as she remembers – and that people in it will go to any length to protect their secrets.

One thing rings true…
You can’t bury the truth forever.

Q&A ~

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

A) Come Back For Me is the story of a Stella Harvey, who returns to the idyllic island of Evergreen on which she grew up, when a body is found in the garden of her old home.
The story came about from a number of ideas that I wove together. The idea of living on an island where everyone knows everyone’s business intrigues me and I love the sense of isolation and claustrophobia I hope I’ve drawn out in Evergreen. Also my own childhood home plays a huge part in my dreams and so I liked the idea of Stella revisiting hers, when something had happened that made her wonder whether everything was always as she thought it was. Stella’s journey takes her on a search to find out the truth of why her family suddenly left Evergreen one night, twenty-five years ago, and what secrets were being hidden on the island.

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

A) I spend ages playing around with ideas and working out whether they could actually form the plot for an entire story. Many times I will come to a dead end but it’s wonderful when I have one that I know could work. I will spend some time making notes, sketching out the rough structure and working on the key characters, but at this stage I am never too detailed. I like to start writing before everything is too formed because more often than not the story will end up veering off into a completely different direction.
On average I will spend four to five months writing the first draft, which I will then share with my agent and editors. This is a nail biting but exciting time as this is when I get some fantastic feedback on how to edit my story. By this point I have usually hit a brick wall and can’t see why things aren’t working so having outside input is crucial.
I then write an edit and send it back. And then another, and usually a couple more before everyone is happy that this is the book we want to share with readers. At this point there is usually about four months to go until publication, time for the publishers to work on the marketing plans while I get started on the process all over again! for the next book!

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) There are many authors whose books I will read as soon as they come out like Liane Moriarity, Lisa Jewell, Shari Lapena and Holly Seddon. I typically read psychological thrillers because this is what I love, though occasionally it’s good to pick something up from a completely different genre.
My absolute favourite book is Big Little Lies, which someone once described as a masterclass in plotting.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I loved reading the Famous Five when I was younger, but absolutely adored The Last of The Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews. This was my all-time favourite and I’ve recently read it to my daughter who loved it too.
As a teenager I continued to read mysteries but there were a few good series of books out (back then) like Cheerleaders, and of course Judy Blume was always a popular choice.

Q) What are you currently reading? 

A) I have just finished Amy Lloyd’s incredible One More Lie and last night started Rebecca Tinnelly’s Don’t Say a Word, which is shaping up to be great and out later this year.

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

A) There are two things – the first was being told I’d been offered a publishing deal. I was on holiday at the time and remember crying by the side of the pool!
The second was when my editor called me to say that the same book had been chosen as a Richard and Judy book club read. When I first met my agent, Nelle Andrew, I told her that this was my dream and to have realised it so soon has been amazing.

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) There are so many people. My mum has encouraged my writing since I was a chid but it was my husband who urged me to try writing the first book. Without his support I doubt I would have stuck at it in the early days as it was a bumpy start to the journey.

AB: Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.
HP: Thank you for having me and for all your support!!

Heidi Perks is the Sunday Times bestselling author of Now You See Her, published by Century, Penguin Random House. Her latest novel Come Back For Me is published on the 11th July in hardback and in eBook.

My Review ~

After seeing the book trailer for this title, I couldn’t wait to read it! Yes you did read that correctly… BOOK TRAILER! Lol
The book trailer is possibly the best one I have ever seen!!!! The Mystery within is going to focus on a dead body being uncovered on a tiny island. Which in turn pushes the community to react to protect its people and reputation.

The central protagonist is Stella Harvey. After hearing of the discovery of the body, she is determined to return to the island and solve a family mystery of her own.

Stella’s family left the Evergreen Island in 1993. They never looked back! But Stella being only 11yrs old at the time never understood, why the family left and why in such haste. In 1993, Stella’s family consists of Dad David, Mother Maria, sister Bonnie (17yrs) and brother Danny (15yrs).

‘What happened to us all?’

In the present day, Stella is a family therapist. As part of her intensive training and education in becoming a therapist. Stella has, had to undergo therapy herself. One of her personal therapies greatest mysteries was uncovering why the family fled the island back in 1993.
When a body is discovered on the garden territory line, of Stella’s childhood home. She quickly becomes obsessed with the case. Who is the victim? Were they murdered on Evergreen Island?

PC Walton and PC Killner approach the Harvey family with routine questions. Whilst Stella answers with intrigue. Bonnie is freaked out, she wishes to sever all times with the island before it forces her to return to the bottle again.

Stella as a counsellor is driven by her need to investigate and understand social situations and mystery’s.
One thing is for sure, it won’t end well for the sisters…

‘Something else changed that summer’

As the chapters alternate between the present day and their last summer on the island in 1993. We become aware that not all is well with older brother Danny. A social outcast and misfit, he struggles to fit in on the island. His attempts at social cues often leave the teenage girls of Evergreen island shook! We also become aware he is estranged from the family in the present day. What made Danny flee the Harvey family? Does he know the secrets of the past? Or is he responsible for the need for secrecy?

As Stella returns to the island to dig deeper, she begins receiving threatening letters. But they do not deter her…
‘Stop digging. You won’t like what you find’

Stella becomes suspicious of everyone. Her since passed mother, her estranged father, her recovering alcoholic sister and the residents of Evergreen island…

‘Everything I once believed was a lie’

The novel is one of family secrets and revelation after revelation. The Harvey family appear conventional from the outside. But as read on, we learn they all have secrets.
The residents of Evergreen are reluctant to welcome Stella back. Although they cannot stop her from pursuing the mystery.
They regard the Harvey family as one of ‘trouble’… but why? 5*

HP
Heidi Perks
Website
Twitter
My Review of, Now You See Her

Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Something To Live For by @richardroper 5* #NewRelease #LiteraryFiction @orionbooks #FeelGoodFiction #FindYourSomething

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Something To Live For by Richard Roper
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

Sometimes you have to risk everything to find your something…

All Andrew wants is to be normal. He has the perfect wife and 2.4 children waiting at home for him after a long day. At least, that’s what he’s told people.

The truth is, his life isn’t exactly as people think and his little white lie is about to catch up with him.

Because in all Andrew’s efforts to fit in, he’s forgotten one important thing: how to really live. And maybe, it’s about time for him to start.

Your favourite authors have all got Something to Live For…

My Review ~

‘Andrew looked at the coffin and tried to remember who was inside’

Our protagonist Andrew, has a job working with the local council. His primary role is to locate the family of deceased residents and organise ‘paupers’ funerals. Something which is explained in much better detail than I could do it justice.
Andrew is 42yrs old, as we begin to read we learn he has been at the department for 5yrs. His boss, Cameron Yates puts him in charge of showing their new employee Peggy Green how to perform various roles and this is when Andrew’s life begins to change.

There is a flashback scene to 5yrs previously and we learn how Andrew came to spin the yarn that is ‘a wife and 2 children’. His ‘wife’ Diane and two kids Steph and David, simply don’t exist. But there is a whole story to their lives.
I actually found Andrew’s story quite heart-warming. He’s just a man desperate to fit in and in his ambition to seem ‘normal’ accidentally ends up having to follow a lie for five whole years!!!!!

‘I just wanted to feel normal’

We also learn of Andrew’s family background. His parents are long gone and within the story, he receives some shocking news about his free-spirit sister Sally too. Andrew really is a man with no such luck!

‘Have you ever imagined your own funeral?’

Something To Live For is the perfect novel for fans of Rowan Coleman’s The Summer Of Impossible Things Also for fans of Mike Gayle’s The Man I Think I Know with a dash of Adrian Mole. An easy feel-good read, I raced through the pages. 5*

‘I spend half my life daydreaming about what I’d be doing with myself If I wasn’t stuck where I was…’ 

RR
Richard Roper
Website
Twitter

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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview You’ll Never See Me Again by @LesleyPearse 5* #NewRelease #Coastal #Historical #Saga #LoveLesley @MichaelJBooks

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You’ll Never See Me Again by Lesley Pearse
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

You have to keep running if you want to survive . . .

When her husband returns shell-shocked and broken from the Great War and his mother makes her life a misery, Betty Wellow discovers how bitter and hard life can truly be. But it is not until a devastating storm sweeps through their small fishing village and endangers her life, that she sees her chance to escape – and takes it.

Fleeing to Bristol, she changes her name to Mabel Brook and takes a position as a maid. But tragedy strikes once more after the sudden death of her mistress and she is cast back onto the streets.

Penniless and alone Mabel suffers a brutal attack before being rescued by a psychic named Nora Nightingale. There she gets her first taste of those who receive messages from the dead and realises she may have this gift herself.

But it isn’t long before Mabel receives her own message and is forced back to the very place she has escaped. A place of heartbreak and perhaps even murder – but Mabel realises that to secure her future she must confront her past one last time.

My Review ~

I am a HUGE Lesley Pearse fangirl. My favourite title is Remember Me which covers the historical fleets of the convicts being shipped to Australia. I would urge anyone and everyone to read it. Especially if you are fans of TV shoes such as Banished or Jamestown which also deal with the theme of British Colonies.

You’ll Never See Me Again deals with some incredibly deep and emotive issues but it is ultimately the story of the protagonist Betty Wellows later known as Mabel Brook. A title I have read lately of a similar summary would be Those Who Are loved by Victoria Hislop. Although this title is set along the Southern coasts of England.

The novel opens in Devon 1917, with Betty battling with her forbidding mother-in-law Agnes. Betty’s husband and childhood sweetheart, Martin has returned from the great war, with severe shell shock and is no longer able to verbally communicate. Betty’s life is now being ran by matriarch Agnes. Whom controls every aspect of betty’s existence.

‘I don’t know what my son ever saw in you’

One Stormy evening, when Betty can’t take the verbal abuse anymore, she makes a rash decision to flee. Leaving behind her, her husband and her miserable life as Betty Fellows.
Betty’s life story is explained and I really felt for the character, she had known so much heartache, so young.
She is determined to start again, a new life, as Mabel Brook.

‘You’ll never see me again’

She ends up in Bristol, although she fears the big city life. The guest house of Mrs Halliwell’s is filled with warmth and kindness. But Mabel fears exposure, as local articles surface of her assumed dead back in Devon.

‘She’d thought she was heading for an adventure, something better than she had before, but it seemed it was going to be far worse’

Mabel moves around and in turn we are introduced to a wide variety of characters. I became quickly and happily wrapped up in the story of Mabel’s future and her quest to finally be free!

‘Holding bitterness inside you isn’t good for anyone’

Lesley Pearse is on fire, as always! 5*

LP
Lesley Pearse
Website
Twitter

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Anne Bonny #BookReview Out Of The Ashes by Vicky Newham 5* #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #DiverseReads @HQstories #MayaRahman #Series

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Out Of The Ashes by Vicky Newham ~ DI Maya Rahman #2
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

A tragic accident – or a ruthless killer?
When a flash mob on Brick Lane is interrupted by a sudden explosion, DI Maya Rahman dashes to the scene. A fire is raging through one of the city’s most infamous streets, the site of Maya’s childhood home. And the discovery of two charred bodies in the burnt-out building transforms an arson attack into a murder case.

With witnesses too caught up in the crowd to have seen anything useful, Maya is facing a complex investigation without a single lead. And, when reports of a second, even more horrifying crime land on Maya’s desk, it’s obvious there’s more at stake than she could ever have imagined. She must find the answers – before all of East London goes up in flames.

My Review ~

Out Of The Ashes is the second title in the DI Maya Rahman series. With this novel taking place in the diverse area of London known as Brick Lane. I was really looking forward to digging further into Maya’s personality and past as a character and I was not disappointed at all.

The novel opens with Rosa Feldman a Jewish business owner on Brick Lane. She is swept up with a local flash mob appears, narrowly just missing an explosion on the Lane. DI Maya Rahman and DS Dan Maguire are called to the scene. With two dead victims their investigation, just became potentially a double murder case…
Is this an accident? tragic arson? a terrorist attack? or a hate crime?

Through the story we are introduced to a wealth of interesting and diverse characters. This is clearly a theme that the author is passionate about and it reflects brilliantly on the page. A modern new crime series, with a modern protagonist and for a new era of young modern readers. I think Newham’s creation of Maya, is the perfect character to bring the younger readers to the genre.

Back to the story ~ Although Maya and Dan appear to have only a minor few leads. They lead to much more intriguing mysteries. Such as: a flash mob protest with a anti-gentrification mission. We learn of the various diverse communities. The racism they’ve faced historically and in the current climate.
There is much more depth to Brick Lane, than first assumed.

‘Working class areas of London are becoming the domain of the privileged’ 

The victims lives adds more confusion and complexity into the case. A man found dead, in the arms of a lover, but not his pregnant partner…
We are given some insight into Maya’s past with some interesting breadcrumb clues of her backstory. Why did Maya’s father go missing? And Why is Rosa Feldman convinced that he did not simply disappear?

I raced through the title in just one afternoon. It has various themes that really resonate with the reader. Family loyalty and people just trying to get by, with the support of their local communities. 5*

VN
Vicky Newham
Website
Twitter