Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview The Forgotten Village by @LornaCookAuthor 5* #NewRelease #HistFic #Mystery #Romance @AvonBooksUK #DebutAuthor

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The Forgotten Village by Lorna Cook ~ (Titled, The Forgotten Wife in the US)
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

1943: The world is at war, and the villagers of Tyneham are being asked to make one more sacrifice: to give their homes over to the British army. But on the eve of their departure, a terrible act will cause three of them to disappear forever.

2018: Melissa had hoped a break on the coast of Dorset would rekindle her stagnant relationship, but despite the idyllic scenery, it’s pushing her and Liam to the brink. When Melissa discovers a strange photograph of a woman who once lived in the forgotten local village of Tyneham, she becomes determined to find out more about her story. But Tyneham hides a terrible secret, and Melissa’s search for the truth will change her life in ways she never imagined possible.

‘A coastal village abandoned in wartime, a haunting expression in an old photograph, and a charismatic TV historian: from these raw ingredients Lorna Cook creates an intriguing mystery that will keep you wanting to read more’ ~ Gill Paul

My Review ~

The Forgotten Village is the perfect summer read. It really has a little bit of everything to draw the reader in and warm the heart! It is a dual timeline novel split between the modern day and the historical era of 1943. There is a mystery at the core of the title and a brilliant dash of romance! As I type that, I am aware, I am not known to read romance as such. But with The Forgotten Village I was completely taken in, as much as I was when I devoured the entire series of Poldark!

The title opens in Tyneham, Dorset in December 1943. We become acquainted with Sir Albert and Lady veronica Standish. Their entire village is to be requisitioned and to say Bertie is unhappy about it, is a major understatement. He is furious!

In the Alternative timeline we meet Melissa who is holidaying in the area with her boyfriend Liam. She is captivated by the history of the area, when she reads in the Purbeck Times of the village’s re-opening. Only when she meets historian Guy Cameron and becomes intrigued by an old photo, she is driven to investigate the mystery that lays deep in the war time past.

The novel then  jumps between 1943/2018. We learn how relationships between men and women have changed dramatically. Especially as we follow the events in Melissa and Veronica’s lives. When Melissa fails to uncover death records for the Standish’s; the investigation really heats up! Can Melissa uncover the mysteries of the past? Can Melissa she the romance blossoming before her eyes? Will Veronica find peace in her life? What lengths will Bertie go to, to ensure veronica remains with him for eternity?

‘She had no idea that the worst was yet to come’

There are mysteries and secrets galore and it is the perfect summer read! With a mix of the ‘feel good’ cosy crime. Which would make an ideal Sunday evening TV drama. Huge congratulations to the author on pulling off a fantastic debut novel and I wish her all the best in her future writing career. 5* 

LC
Lorna Cook
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my book

#Review 5* #TrustMe by @TheAngelaClarke @AvonBooksUK #CrimeFiction #SocialMediaSeries

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Trust Me by Angela Clarke
Synopsis:

YOU SAW IT HAPPEN. DIDN’T YOU?

What do you do if you witness a crime…but no-one believes you?

When Kate sees a horrific attack streamed live on her laptop, she calls the police in a state of shock. But when they arrive, the video has disappeared – and she can’t prove anything. Desperate to be believed, Kate tries to find out who the girl in the video could be – and who attacked her.

Freddie and Nas are working on a missing persons case, but the trail has gone cold. When Kate contacts them, they are the only ones to listen and they start to wonder – are the two cases connected?

Dark, gripping, and flawlessly paced, Trust Me is the brilliant third novel in the hugely popular social media murderer series.

‘Smart and sassy’ SARAH PINBOROUGH, author of Behind Her Eyes

‘Clever and unnerving’ C.L. Taylor, author of The Escape

My review:

I am new to this series, but have read many positive reviews and praise. I initially assumed Freddie and Nas were male characters (my bad!). It was a pleasant surprise to see two strong female leads, in a contemporary, police procedural, crime fiction novel. This made the novel feel much more realistic to me. My bestie is a detective. So whilst I know there maybe be fewer female detectives, there are still more than is often portrayed in crime fiction.

The novel opens with Kate witnessing a savage and graphic rape and murder via a live stream on the internet. The periscope account is quickly deactivated, leaving Kate with no proof of what she saw. She contacts a local police officer, PC Jones who is dismissive and trivialises the event.
Leading Kate to start her own investigation!

But Kate isn’t the only one that witnessed the live stream…..

The novel then focuses on the police team. There is wide mixture of characters. With the main two being DS Nasreem Cudmore and civilian investigator Freddie Venton. Freddie is going through a role change. But the individual role of the team members is fully explained. They are currently investigating the case of a missing gang member Paul Robertson, who disappeared with his daughter Amber a year ago. They are linked to a local gang, THM tower hamlets massive and a rival gang the dogberry boys. The gangs are heavily involved in drugs and the trafficking of people, usually for the sex trade. When they investigate Amber’s social media, they are shocked to discover RIP messages. Is Amber dead? Or is this a threat?

There are chapters written from the perspective of someone involved in the live streamed assault. They are chilling! But they do offer an insight into the guilt, people may feel for their involvement or coercion into a brutal assault. Kate is struggling mentally with what she witnessed and becomes more and more unreliable as a character. She begins have delusions and ends up on sleeping tablets, to block out the images of what she saw. I felt this was also an insight into the life of a witness after the tragic event. I am not sure I would have coped much better than Kate.
It must be sheer hell to witness, what she saw…..

The novel continues at quite a rapid pace. We discover Kate’s personal grief, which fuels her delusions. The team also uncover more threats via social media. More witnesses come forward and Freddie and Nas begin to start asking themselves, are they now looking for a body?

“If you cross me I will come for the people you love. I will destroy them. I will take you apart piece by piece” Lex Riley FB post.

This novel has so many themes. We discover the depravity that can lurk in disenfranchised youth. The brutality of rape and its impact on innocent young women. The pain of witnesses in the aftermath. The lure and hold gangs, have over their members. The dangers of social media and the internet. How do the police officers cope, putting a case together, chasing leads and gathering the relevant evidence?
Highly recommended! 5*

*It may also be worth noting. There are a set of questions at the back for reading groups and a Q&A with the author herself. Which makes this ideal for a contemporary crime fiction pick, for reading groups!

AC
Angela Clarke
Authors links:
Twitter: @TheAngelaClarke
Website: http://angelaclarke.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WriterAngelaClarke/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6993171.Angela_Clarke