Anne Bonny #BookReview Cemetery Road by Greg Iles 5* #CrimeFiction #AmericanNoir #LegalThriller

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Cemetery Road by Greg Iles
My Own Copy ~ Hardback

Synopsis ~

Two murders. One Town. And a lifetime of secrets.

‘Pure reading pleasure’ Stephen King

The No.1 New York Times bestselling author of the Natchez Burning trilogy returns with an electrifying standalone. A tale of friendship, betrayal, and shattering secrets that threaten to destroy a small Mississippi town.

Some things should never be uncovered…

When successful journalist Marshall McEwan discovers that his father is terminally ill, he returns to his childhood home in Bienville, Mississippi – a place he vowed to leave behind forever.

His family’s newspaper is failing; and Jet Turner, the love of his youth, has married into the family of Max Matheson, one of the powerful patriarchs who rule the town through the exclusive Poker Club.

Bienville is on the brink of economic salvation, in the form of a billion-dollar Chinese paper mill. But as the deal nears completion, two murders rock the town to its core, threatening far more than the city’s economic future.

Marshall and Jet soon discover a minefield of explosive secrets beneath the soil of Mississippi. And by the time Marshall grasps the long-buried truth about his own history – and the woman he loves – he would give almost anything not to face it.

My Review ~

I am a huge fan of Greg Iles and was very much looking forward to reading this mammoth book beast! I had heard from some early reviewers that Cemetery Road was very similar to the Penn Cage series and in particular the Natchez trilogy. Greg Iles is know for his deeply layered and complex stories and this one did not disappoint!

The title opens with Bienville (Mississippi) local archaeologist Buck Ferris. We are aware he is digging on private property and that he has discovered Native American bones. When he is subsequently attacked and left for dead due to his discovery, we become aware there that Bienville Is much more than the sleepy forgotten American town.

Marshall McEwan is a successful journalist that ran away from Mississippi many years ago, when he was just 18yrs old. He returns 28yrs later due to the health needs of his elderly father Duncan. Duncan McEwan is a legendary newspaper editor of the Bienville watchman. His health is in rapid decline due to his alcoholism, anger and depression. Both men are haunted by the death of Marchall’s brother Adam over 20yrs ago.

‘To understand this story, you must swim between two tides like a person moving from wakefulness to sleep and then back again’

Over the first few pages of the title we become acquainted with several of Bienville’s residents, whom all hold close ties to Marshall. From Quinn Ferris (Buck’s wife), to Denny Allman a 14yr old home-schooled loveable delinquent and Bryon Ellis a county coroner concerned with the crime rates in the African American community. We learn how each character fits into Marshall’s life and why the death of Buck Ferris wounds him so greatly.

 Marshall is a Pulitzer prize winner, a veteran of the Afghan and Iraq wars. Yet there is so much more emotional depth to his character than initially thought. We learn more about the death of his brother Adam and the impact this had on Marshall’s relationship with his parents, friends/locals and most importantly himself. Marshall has Never truly recovered from Adam’s death.

‘A fourteen-year old boy doesn’t need to know grief can last that long’

In the town of Bienville there is a massive wealth divide in the community. Between those that live rich and affluent lives and those who live in near poverty. Inequality in America is a HUGE issue and I have also seen the economic and political consequencesof it within my own country too. I felt that Greg Iles does a brilliant portrayal of this in a fictional form. The struggles of Bienville, feel very real!

‘Not caring is the same as begging for fascism’

As Marshall Looks into the case of Buck’s death, at the request of his wife. He learns something sinister is afoot in Bienville. Something very sinister, that leads all the way to his first love Jet Matheson…
The Matheson family pretty much own Bienville and if Marshall wishes to uncover their secrets, he will have to tread very carefully indeed.

‘A town like Bienville is like the river it was founded on, filled with deep and conflicting currents’

Marshall becomes convinced Buck was murdered and promises Quinn he will unmask the killer in their midst. But who would want to murder an elderly archaeologist? And why?

The book deals with two compelling main themes, that of corporate greed and the fundamental need for a free press. The last 1/4 of the title is very gritty and much more like the Penn Cage trilogy on level of shock value and twists.
American Noir at its finest. 5*

GI
Greg Iles
Website
Twitter

Anne Bonny #BlogTour Wanderers by @chuckwendig 5* @rebellionpub #Wanderers #SciFi #PostApocalypticScienceFiction

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Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope. From the mind of Chuck Wendig comes an astonishing tapestry of humanity that Harlan Coben calls “a suspenseful, twisty, satisfying, surprising, thought-provoking epic.”

Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And, like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them—and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them—the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart—or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.

My Review ~

‘Nessie ran away again’

The title opens with older sister Shana (18yrs) alerted to a missing little sister Nessie (15yrs). The girls are being raised by a single father, as there mother walked out 2yrs previously. The family is one of complexity, but shared emotional bonds. In particular the close bond between sister Shana and Nessie.

When Shana eventually locates Nessie, she is disturbed to find her in a trance like appearance and attempts to stop Nessie from continually walking send her body into a dangerous ‘meltdown’ type phase. Nessie has become the first ‘sleepwalker’ only now Shana has to figure out the how & why!

‘Nessie did not care. She did not hear. She did not see.’

Soon Nessie is joined on her compulsive walk by another sleepwalker and it isn’t long until more and more follow. The novel also introduces a wide-range of characters early on and we re-visit each various scene. There is disgraced scientist Dr Benjamin Ray and Pastor Matthew, each with their own take on what is causing this affliction and what it could possibly mean for the future…

We are also introduced to the backstory of Jerry Garlin. We are at first unaware of how this ties in to the deeper storyline. But I am not going to lie, I spent me time REALLY enjoying the intelligent detail Chuck Wendig had weaved with the tale. The plot is incredibly detailed, but it is one of those titles that NEEDS it. If it lacked in details and description I think more readers would tire of the plot. The author ensures you are paying attention by continually revolving the story around different characters.

‘This was no disease like man had ever seen’

Chuck Wendig has written a novel, that has earnt him (deservingly) comparisons to the master of horror/sci-fi Stephen King and in particular his cult classic The Stand. These comparisons do not come from bloggers or Amazon reviews, but from established authors and critics. Wanderers is 100% a skilled and worthy read!

Pick it up. Escape to Maker’s Bell Pennsylvania. Get lost in the story. And follow the #Sleepwakers.
5*

CW
Chuck Wendig 
Website
Twitter

WANDERERS BLOG TOUR

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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