Anne Bonny #Review Where The Missing Go by @emma_rowley 4* #NewRelease #CrimeFiction Just 99p @orionbooks @orion_crime #WhereIsSophie

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Where The Missing Go by Emma Rowley
Synopsis:

MY NAME IS KATE.

I volunteer at a missing persons helpline – young people who have run away from home call me and I pass on messages to their loved ones, no questions asked.

I don’t get many phone calls, and those I do are usually short and vague, or pranks.

But today a girl named Sophie called.

I’m supposed to contact her parents to let them know their child is safe.

The problem is, Sophie isn’t safe.

AND SOPHIE IS MY DAUGHTER.

My review:

“Too late to go back now
He’ll be waiting”

Sixteen-year-old Sophie Harlow went missing two years ago. Her mother has been left devastated and isolated since her disappearance. The case remains open, but there is no active investigation. Her mother has dedicated herself to tireless work at the message in a bottle helpline. A helpline service for people who have ran away and wish to leave a message with their family members. With the police classing Sophie as a ‘voluntary run away’, her mother Kate has little hope……

‘The thing about the missing is that they don’t always want to be found’

One night working at the helpline with Alma, Kate receives a call. But this is no ordinary call. The line has quiet and broken at times, but Kate believes that the call is from her daughter. Calling alone, scared and in desperate need of help.
Is it really Sophie? Is Kate hearing what she wants so desperately to hear?

Come home Sophie

The novel then goes further into detail about Sophie’s past, her disappearance and her family circumstances. The disappearance has cost Kate heavily. Her desperation and questioning keep’s you in suspense throughout the novel.
Kate is more or less friendless, except for elderly neighbour Lily. Lily is confused and makes several references to ‘Nancy’ and ‘her little boy’. When Kate finds a connection to a missing teenager from 20yrs ago. She attempts to connect the dots.

‘She’s alive. She called me. She’s reaching out. That’s all I need to think about, for now’

What makes the case more complex, is Sophie’s note that she left and the postcards that Kate receives regularly. The postcards inform Kate, that Sophie is safe and wants to be left alone. They offer a different viewpoint and create more mystery in the plot. The note shows complicity and defiance from Sophie, in the aftermath of her disappearance.

“I’m sorry everyone. But I need to get away please try not to worry about me, I’m going to be fine.
I love you all, Sophie x x x”

Where is Sophie?
Does she need saving?
Is Kate headed for a breakdown?
What made Sophie run away?

The novel is a thoroughly modern crime thriller. With modern technology playing a huge part in the search. I can see the appeal of this novel for the fans of Angela Clarke and the social media series. The emotional pull of the mother’s love for her missing teenage daughter, had me glued to the page. 4*

 

#Review 4* #NewRelease Now You See by @maxmanningcrime @Wildfirebks @headlinepg #CrimeFiction 99p #Ebook

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Now You See by Max Manning
Synopsis:

Will you look her in the eyes, just before she dies? A terrifying crime thriller that will set your pulse pounding. Perfect for fans of M. J. Arlidge, Robert Bryndza, and Angela Marsons.

I, Killer has posted two photos of his first victim online – Before Death and After Death. They’ve gone viral before DCI Fenton’s team even discovers the body.
Soon, another victim’s photo is similarly posted…and so begins the killer’s following.
DCI Fenton is determined to discover the identity of I, Killer. Then the murderer makes the hunt personal, and Fenton’s search becomes a matter of life or death for him and his daughter.

But as I, Killer’s body-count rises, his number of online followers is growing – and he loves to give his fans what they want…

My Review:

This is a debut novel featuring DCI Dan Fenton. The plot follows a series of brutal and ritualistic murders. That are then depicted online.
Which creates a nightmare for the police officers trying to track down the killer!
The novel opens with an image of a dead woman, but with no body! The Police must wait until the body is discovered to see if there is any viable forensic evidence. All attempts at tracing the internet account leads to dead ends!

There are alternative chapters with the killer’s narrative running alongside the police who are desperate to track him down. When the victims begin to pile up and they have absolutely no connection whatsoever! The team are baffled! Who is the killers target? What message is he trying to send?
The killer comes out with some chilling thoughts, written almost as one liners or quotes! They make your blood run cold!

“That’s the beauty of the relationship between predator and prey. It’s not personal”

The killer seems determined to use the murders as a form of entertainment. Draw an audience and saviour the attention.

The first victim is 27-year-old nurse, Lauren Bishop. Who had her throat slashed on her way to a night shift. Her ex-boyfriend immediately becomes the prime suspect! But he is quite the interesting character himself. Adam Blake, was a journalist and has some hidden trauma in his past.
Did this tip him over the edge into murder? Did he finally snap?

The protagonist police officer, also has a complicated past and it becomes apparent that, there is so much more to Dan Fenton than meets the eye. When someone close to him is targeted personal, he is removed from the case.
So in a bizarre twist of fate Blake and Fenton end up working together under the radar…….

This is a clever debut novel and I would definitely read more in the series! My only wish is that the novel had been slightly darker in its theme! It bordered upon it, but I never felt terrified of the killer! But I am left in no doubt that this will come in time as the foundations of a dark edgy thriller are all clearly there! 4*

Max-Manning
Max Manning
To view my Q&A with Max and access his social media links see here:
https://annebonnybookreviews.com/2017/10/31/qa-with-maxmanningcrime-debutauthor-of-newrelease-nowyousee-wildfirebks-headlinepg-sourcebooks/

 

#BlogTour #GuestReview by @zinca The Future Can’t Wait by @AngelenaBoden @urbanepub #NewRelease @urbanebooks

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The Future Can’t Wait by Angelena Boden
Synopsis:

The Future Can’t Wait is a contemporary novel set in multicultural Birmingham against a background of growing radicalisation of young people sympathetic to Islamic State.   Kendra Blackmore’s half Iranian daughter Ariana (Rani) undergoes an identity crisis which results in her cutting off all contact with her family. Sick with worry and desperate to understand why her home loving daughter would do this, Kendra becomes increasingly desperate for answers – and to bring her estranged daughter home….

#GuestReview:

Review by Kerensa Jennings, bestselling author of SEAS OF SNOW

 

The terrifying unravelling of a mother’s life. The fragility of the human psyche. Brilliantly drawn.

My overwhelming feeling after finishing this book was that I could see it being used in the classroom and in other educational applications to help vulnerable young people. It’s a fascinating read that forces you to evaluate complex issues of identity and cultural heritage from different perspectives and in a variety of lights.

It’s a challenging book because of the highly charged content, infused as it is with an undercurrent of disaffection and anger. Highly relevant to the world we live in, I am impressed both by the author’s courage and the publisher’s commitment to seeing a difficult topic published.

The heart and emotion of the story sing through the pages.

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The unravelling of the protagonist’s mental state as she is caught in the grip of grief, bewilderment and paranoia, is expertly crafted. The dialogue feels authentic and the characters particularly of Kendra – our valiant, yet emotionally fragile lead, her husband David and son Adam are written with integrity. It’s a contemporary novel set in contemporary times. Social media and the digital connectedness of the world are described in technicolour.

The beating pulse of the story is a mother’s relationship with her daughter. It is a painful and upsetting read in many ways, so clunk-click, get ready for the ride. You’ll need to strap yourself in for this one. Anyone wanting a cosy fireside Autumn read…. my advice would be, this is not for you. But anyone intrigued by issues of identity, and the issues and behaviours it might provoke both in the parents and offspring of mixed race children, will find this revealing, difficult and thought provoking.

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I had no preconceptions about this book. I was invited to read it by the publisher, with a view to potentially reviewing it. I have since learned a lot more about the wonderful author behind The Future Can’t Wait – Angelena Boden – her academic rigour, her own personal journey, and her experiences having married an Iranian man earlier in her life. The acknowledgements page at the back of this book is the first time an acknowledgements page has brought tears to my eyes.

There are elements of the story I personally struggled with – particularly an aspect of Kendra’s behaviour involving psychics which I shall let you discover for yourself. It didn’t ring true to me that someone of Kendra’s groundedness would resort to seek comfort in the weasel words of confidence tricksters. But I know from my own journalism background that it is worryingly common for smart, well-rounded people to descend into a spiral of decline. So behaviours can become both unpredictable and unexpected.

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On a personal level, I wish Angelena Boden the very best of luck as her work is gradually discovered across the bookosphere. I know from personal experience writing – and seeing published – my own psychological thriller, SEAS OF SNOW, how overwhelming and frightening it is. My book covers extremely difficult topics, too – from child abuse and domestic abuse to psychopathy. I was incredibly excited about seeing my work out there, but also petrified about the response. I think Angelena Boden has been immensely brave bringing such an important topic to life through such an extraordinary story. It can’t have been easy, I don’t think, but I and many other readers will be very glad that she did.

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Angelena Boden
Author Bio:

Angelena Boden (M.Soc.Sc PGDE) has spent thirty five years as an international training consultant, specialising in interpersonal skills and conflict resolution. She trained in Transactional Analysis, the psychology of communication and behaviour, her preferred tool for counselling and coaching.

Since retiring from training, she runs a coaching practice in Malvern for people who are going through transition periods in their life; divorce, empty nesting, redundancy or coping with difficult situations at work, home and within the wider family.

Angelena has two half Iranian daughters and has extensive experience of helping mixed nationality couples navigate problems in their marriages.

She is the author of The Cruelty of Lambs, a novel about psychological domestic abuse. Her new book, The Future Can’t Wait tackles the breakdown of a mother and daughter relationship within a cross cultural context. It is published by Urbane Publications and is out in November 2017.

Author Links:
Web: http://www.angelenaboden.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AngelenaBoden @AngelenaBoden
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bodenangelena/

#GuestReviewer:
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Kerensa Jennings author of, Seas Of Snow
Website: http://www.seasofsnow.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15253227.Kerensa_Jennings
Twitter: @zinca

*Huge Thanks to Guest reviewer Kerensa Jennings for her review of, The Future can’t Wait.
Which was released 2nd November and is available via kindle or just 99p*

#BlogTour #Review Q&A The Future Can’t Wait by @AngelenaBoden @urbanepub #NewRelease 99p #BookGroupQuestions

*I received an arc via the publisher in return for an honest review. I read/review and write Q&As, before I agree to organise a blog tour*

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The Future Can’t Wait by Angelena Boden
Synopsis:

The Future Can’t Wait is a contemporary novel set in multicultural Birmingham against a background of growing radicalisation of young people sympathetic to Islamic State.   Kendra Blackmore’s half Iranian daughter Ariana (Rani) undergoes an identity crisis which results in her cutting off all contact with her family. Sick with worry and desperate to understand why her home loving daughter would do this, Kendra becomes increasingly desperate for answers – and to bring her estranged daughter home….

My review:

The novel opens in contemporary, multicultural Birmingham. With its mix of cultures and heritage, the location provides the perfect backdrop. Kendra Blackmore a lecturer at the Darwin Academy; is delivering a guest speech, in a lecture regarding psychology. She is widely respected in her field. The crowd are in awe of her ability to relate sympathies to the Islamic State with neuroscience and an individual’s susceptibility to make certain choices.

Kendra returns home to her husband David. He is quite an oddball in his nature but a loving stepfather to her two children. Eldest son Adam is a respected Dr himself, currently living in Boston, USA. Daughter Ariana (Rani), is quite complex young madam! She is currently in the final months of her Astrophysics degree and facing huge exam pressure/stress. She is cleverly a very bright and talented young woman, at the beginning of her adult life. However, she is often moody, immature and prone to outburst towards her mother. I found the mother and daughter relationship, very intriguing!
The way Kendra smothers her daughter, whilst allowing her to be so verbally abusive towards her.
But we have all known such relationships exist.

The background of Kendra’s first marriage is fully explored. With Kendra wondering if this is why, Rani is so distant. Does rani blame her mother for the divorce and having an absent father? Rani continues to push her mother away and Kendra’s desperate attempts to bring her closer only lead to further rows. With Rani becoming suffocated, until the day she leaves. Rani sends her mother a note, cutting off all contact.
It is quite spitefully done and has the reader, questioning Rani’s motives for such a malicious act.

The note and abandonment dominate Kendra’s life. She becomes obsessed and her life slowly unravels. It was at this point I questioned the dynamics, they have the appearance of the perfect middle class family but under the surface, there’s a lot going on! No-one truly knows what goes on in another person’s family. Their inner secrets and shared pain. From the viewpoint of family relationships, this novel offers up, much food for thought!

“The past can be dangerous territory”

Kendra’s obsessions about her daughter build and build. Upon finding some leaflets, in her daughter’s bedroom. She becomes convinced her daughter has been at risk of radicalisation. Messages in Arabic and friendship with a Persian student, add fuel to Kendra’s fire!
She becomes a woman on a mission to find her daughter at all costs………..

As Rani is an adult, she cannot consult the police or authorities until she learns more and gathers more proof. This leads her to an almost breakdown and the devastation of her family.

There are themes of fascism, vulnerability, miseducation, isolation, risk, unity, innocence and maturity within this novel. They are tactfully and sensitively explored. I felt the young adults ‘coming of age’ in this novel are really struggling. With the dark side of the disenfranchised youth of today, fully demonstrated. Kendra struggles to assess how she missed or failed to notice her own daughter’s unhappiness.
But how well do we ever know, those whom we profess to love the most, our children!

What sort of mother does that make me then?”

This novel follows the story of an intelligent woman, whom appears to have it all. We watch her lose something so precious to her, her daughters love and understanding. The aftermath proving so traumatic, it sets off a chain of events. Kendra won’t always make the choices, you think she will or have the thoughts you think she should and that is what makes this novel perfect for book groups. There are a wealth of issues/themes up for debate. The characters are relatable and believable. I would urge book groups to focus on the responses of those in the family and what they themselves would do.

“Ego is the only requirement to destroy any relationship”

Q&A:

Q) The novel opens in contemporary multicultural Birmingham. What made you decide on this location and era, to tell this story?

A) I lived in different areas of Birmingham for almost thirty years and raised my dual heritage children there – I prefer that term to mixed race. I have seen the changes over the years and am saddened to witness today’s tensions in a city which has prided itself on fostering harmonious relationships between the many communities. I wanted to show that things are not always what the media like to make them out to be and that Birmingham is a decent city in which to live and raise a family. I chose a well-to-do suburb of the city as the setting for the book for reasons that hopefully will become clear to the readers.

Q) The mother and daughter relationship is extremely authentic. As I regard in my review, we have all known such relationships take place. What was the inspiration behind this?

A) Many mother-daughter relationships become fraught as the daughter moves into adulthood. This often coincides with major changes for the mother – physical and emotional. The empty nest can be viewed with anticipation and excitement by some but with fear and trepidation by others. I know of many mothers who have really struggled with this. Me included.

Q) The novel deals with the theme of parental abandonment and Kendra’s response to such abandonment. Was this emotionally draining to write? Did it you see the situation through the eyes of the characters themselves?

A) Very draining as I was actually writing from a degree of personal experience. I plan to write about this in more detail in a blog. It took seven drafts to get the balance of the story right for the readers. I could really feel Kendra’s shock and pain and was writing for her. I was in tears many times and had to put the book aside. David’s character was a pleasure to create as my husband is just like him J As far as Rani is concerned I could relate to being her age, many moons ago but more importantly I wrote the book when I was experiencing the tidal waves of my own daughter’s estrangement in 2012 -15.

Q) The novel also depicts family secrets and what goes on behind closed doors. This would be tricky to research, yet is the basis for many novels in this genre. I think your novel is exceptionally unique. From your point of view, as a writer, why are secrets/lies themes so intriguing to the reader?

A) I really didn’t do any research because there were so many secrets in my own immediate family surrounding both my daughters at the time but particularly the younger one that I often felt I was writing more of a memoir. Many families have the proverbial skeleton in the wardrobe and I think we, as readers, are gripped by the intrigue. However not all secrets are revealed in real life or fiction!

Q) The novel depicts Rani’s coming of age and also the disenfranchised youth of today in general, very well. What was the inspiration behind this theme?

A) Young people in the 18-25 age group have never had things so difficult in many respects despite the technology and material stuff many of them have. Parents generally want to see their children do better than they have done – jobs, homes, quality of life but for many this isn’t happening. Frustration and anger has been building up for a while, especially in cities where there has been a target for this – often a minority group gets blamed. In addition we have a generational clash, greater than ever, as my generation had free university education, career progression and the chance to own our own houses from an early age. As a specialist in behaviour I have been tracking these sociological changes for a number of years. More young people present with depression and anxiety at a time they are starting out in life. The pressure to succeed and compete is greater than ever.

Q) One thing that fascinated me, was that Kendra never responded to a situation as I would have predicted. She often made irrational and confusing choices. Was this intentional, to show how we react when emotions are involved?

A) We are really looking at a grief reaction and as you know it is different for everyone. Some cope by blocking it out and getting on with their lives. Others feel the pain more deeply and become paralysed by it. All of us need support when tragedy strikes.

We are all capable of descending into a sort of madness or obsession when we lose something very precious. To answer the last part of your question – yes it was intentional. I hope to encourage more empathy and understanding from those who might say – “I would not have reacted in that way.” There is no right or wrong way to grieve.

It’s a good topic for discussion!

Q) Finally, what are you working on next? Will we see more of Kendra and Rani’s story?

A) Edna’s Death Café is finished and is resting on my desk for the second edit. The main character is an 80 year old woman who goes to university in her seventies and studies Philosophy and Death. She runs a café in a village in my own county of Derbyshire and sets up meetings to talk about death and dying. It’s a light take on a serious, still taboo, subject. The Death Café movement is growing around the UK.

I do have Rani’s story in mind if readers are keen to find out what has happened to her. It wasn’t planned as a sequel but I would feel very privileged to write it if readers requested it.  

AB: Thank you so much Abby for this opportunity to talk about The Future Can’t Wait and for the blog tour.

Book club discussion Questions:

1) How well did you engage with the book?
2) What were your feelings about the main characters? Kendra, David, Rani, Adam, Marco. How authentic were they?

3) The key theme is the mother-daughter relationship. Why is this so fraught? If you don’t have a daughter, think about the relationship with your mother/mother-figure.

4) Did Kendra act/react to her daughter’s disappearance in the way you expected? Why/Why not? How would you have handled it?

5) Where did Kendra’s main sources of support come from? How did they help?

6) What are your impressions of David? Is he just a grumpy old man in his shed or is there something else about him?

7) Another theme is the struggle of young people into adult hood. Why is this such a problem these days? Think back to when you were young. Compare the challenges.

8) What are your thoughts on turning to psychics and mediums for help during difficult times? Have you ever done this?

9) We often jump to conclusions when faced with a shock as our emotions are heightened. What did you conclude about Rani’s disappearance?

10) Were you disappointed that the author didn’t reveal Rani’s story in this book? Would you be interested in a sequel?

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Angelena Boden

Author Bio:
Angelena Boden (M.Soc.Sc PGDE) has spent thirty five years as an international training consultant, specialising in interpersonal skills and conflict resolution. She trained in Transactional Analysis, the psychology of communication and behaviour, her preferred tool for counselling and coaching.

Since retiring from training, she runs a coaching practice in Malvern for people who are going through transition periods in their life; divorce, empty nesting, redundancy or coping with difficult situations at work, home and within the wider family.

Angelena has two half Iranian daughters and has extensive experience of helping mixed nationality couples navigate problems in their marriages.

She is the author of The Cruelty of Lambs, a novel about psychological domestic abuse. Her new book, The Future Can’t Wait tackles the breakdown of a mother and daughter relationship within a cross cultural context. It is published by Urbane Publications and is out in November 2017.

Author Links:
Web: http://www.angelenaboden.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AngelenaBoden @AngelenaBoden
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bodenangelena/

*The Future Can’t Wait, is available for just 99p on Kindle Ebook and is free to members of Kindle Unlimited*

 

#Review 4* #RightBehindYou by @LisaGardnerBKs @headlinepg @bookbridgr

*I received an arc via the Bookbridgr website, in return for an honest review*

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Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner
(FBI profiler book 7)
Synopsis:
Thirteen-year-old Sharlah Nash knows that the first time her brother killed eight years ago, he did it to save their lives.

Now retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his wife Rainie Conner have offered Sharlah a new life of safety. She desperately wants to believe this is her shot at happily ever after.

Then two people are murdered in their local convenience store and Sharlah’s brother is identified as the killer.

Telly Ray Nash is on the hunt for Sharlah and as the death count rises it becomes clear that nothing and no-one, including Pierce and Rainie, will stop him getting to her.

Now, Sharlah has one chance to take control.

She can run for her life… or turn and face the danger right behind her.

My Review:

This is such an unusual crime fiction read. What I thought would present as a simple case and investigation, actually was a manhunt with clever clues woven into the plot.
It is action packed and would suit the reader, that likes to feel they are in on the pursuit of the criminal.

The novel opens with 13 year old Sharlah Nash, currently awaiting adoption by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his wife Rainie Conner. Sharlah has a second chance at life, but it hasn’t always been so easy…….

Sharlah and brother Telly Ray Nash, were raised in abject poverty. With trailer trash parents, a father a junkie abuser and an alcoholic mother who did little to protect them. Ultimately the situation comes to a head one day when Telly is forced to protect his younger sibling, resulting in the deaths of their parents.
No charges were ever filed but the children were separated and Telly labelled bad news!

There is news of a local crime scene at a gas station, with two victims left dead. Everything points to a young male perpetrator with no known motive. When a link is established to Telly, they trace his most recent foster parents, only to discover them dead also. What follows is a man hunt full of twists and turns.
Did Telly shoot his foster parents? If so why? What drove Telly to murder so coldly?

Telly Ray Nash’s childhood, mental state and motives are fully explored. There are a wealth of labels and terms thrown around with no clear diagnosis criteria. I felt this dampened the character at first, he came off as a text book killer rather than a human with emotions, vulnerabilities and childhood trauma. Sharlah’s mental health state is rarely debated and I felt this let down the whole mental health narrative.
Their childhood is fully detailed and makes for shocking reading, how do children like this ever stand a chance?

There are a series of professionals brought in to assist the man hunt and give advice on Telly’s state of mind. I found it quite emotional to read the part where it details the bullying Telly had withstood at school. No wonder some kids just snap?

“Telly Nash, armed with a bat, slugged his mother out of the park then whacked his father till all went dark…”

There are chapters from Telly’s point of view that help the reader establish his true motives. It becomes clear Telly had a deep bond with his foster mother and felt deep pain at the loss of his relationship with his sister. Maybe Telly isn’t what they think?
But the situation takes a drastic turn when Sharlah decides to assist Telly and in doing so runs away………

What will become of Sharlah? Can/will Telly protect her?

An action packed, man hunt story! Perfect for fans of the movie The Fugitive! 4*

LG
Lisa Gardner
Authors links:
Twitter: @LisaGardnerBKs
Website: http://www.lisagardner.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LisaGardnerBks/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18282.Lisa_Gardner

***This book is currently on #Kindle Ebook offer for just 99p***