Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview The Party by @LisaHallAuthor 5* #Psychological #Thriller @HQStories ‘It’s all going on in suburbia’

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The Party by Lisa Hall
Review Copy
Synopsis:

It was just a party. But it turned into a nightmare.

When Rachel wakes up in a strange room, the morning after a neighbour’s party, she has no memory of what happened the night before. Why did her husband leave her alone at the party? Did they row? Why are Rachel’s arms so bruised? And why are her neighbours and friends so vague about what really happened?

Little by little, Rachel pieces together the devastating events that took place in a friend’s house, at a party where she should have been safe. Everyone remembers what happened that night differently, and everyone has something to hide. But someone knows the truth about what happened to Rachel. And she’s determined to find them.

My Review:

‘Something happened. Something bad’ – Rachel

Rachel wakes up, the morning after the night before. She is in an unfamiliar room and feels unwell. She has bruising and is naked from the waist down. She slowly becomes aware, she is in her neighbours Neil and Liz’s spare room. But how did she get there? And what happened to her?

‘I’ve never had a hangover like this before’ – Rachel

As Rachel battles with her own memory, pain and embarrassment she makes her way home. Only to be met by her husband Gareth and his unsympathetic response. . .
‘Look at the state of you, you’re a disgrace’ – Gareth

We begin to learn that Rachel’s marriage is far from perfect and that Gareth’s anger is understandable to some degree. They attempt to keep the peace for the sake of their 18yr old son Robbie. But as Rachel’s realisation sinks in, she is left alone to deal with the emotional and physical pain. Which is made worse by her lack of memory. What happened to Rachel?

‘Something bad happened. Someone did this to me – someone hurt me, and did things to me against my will. Someone raped me’ – Rachel

The novel then jumps in timeline, to four months before the New Year’s Eve party. It continues to flick between the build-up to the party and modern day narrative and the aftermath of the assault. We learn that life is not so rosy in the little West Marsham cul-de-sac, The Vines.

Eventually Rachel confesses the truth to Gareth and they go to the police in search of justice and answers. But Rachel must navigate the world of rape victim, where you are not instantly believed and treated with suspicion yourself. The novel also covers the lack of evidence, DNA and how complex it can be to prove rape took place. Then Rachel begins to receive sinister notes. She is being watched!

The novel is gripping and intense. Rachel’s story and constant state of fear seeps from the pages and I HAD to know what happened to her and what took place that night. When the truth is finally revealed, my jaw hit the floor!

It’s all going on in suburbia 5*

LH
Lisa Hall
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Anne Bonny #BookReview The Girl With No Name by @Lisalregan #JosieQuinn #CrimeFiction #Series @bookouture ‘Fast-paced, intense and full of baby mama drama!’

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The Girl With No Name by Lisa Regan – Josie Quinn #2
Review copy
Synopsis:

When Detective Josie Quinn is called to a large house on the outskirts of the small town of Denton, she’s horrified by the viciousness of the attack – smashed glass, splintered furniture and blood spattered across the floor. The owner, a single mother, is fighting for her life, and her newborn baby is missing.

A beautiful young woman caught fleeing the scene is Josie’s only lead, but when questioned it seems this mysterious girl doesn’t know who she is, where she’s from or why she’s so terrified…

Is she a witness, a suspect, or the next victim?

As Josie digs deeper, a letter found hidden in the house convinces her the attack, the missing child, and the nameless woman are linked to a spate of killings across the county, and Josie is faced with a heart-breaking decision…

Should she risk the life of one child to save many others? Or can she find another way to stop this killer before any more innocent lives are taken?

My Review:

This is the second novel in the Detective Josie Quinn series. They are fast-paced and full of mystery and intrigue. I really enjoyed Vanishing Girls (book #1) and I’ve recently finished Her mother’s gave (book #3). Josie is a tough, likable and awesome protagonist. She is brilliant to read and leaps from the page.

The novel opens with Josie as the new Chief of police in Denton, US. The novel centres around a vicious attack on single mum Misty Derossi. Who we know from the previous novel, as Josie’s husband’s ‘other woman’. When previously pregnant Misty, is found badly beaten and no baby in sight. The case takes a sinister turn. Who has the baby? Why have they taken the baby?

The novel forces you to suspend your judgement on Misty and actually understand why she is the woman she is. Misty is portrayed as a loud mouthed stripper and homewrecker in the first novel. Yet within this case we learn that there is more to Misty than meets the eye. The novel does detail the various men in her life. But also her desire to make things right for her baby.

When a body is discovered on Luke’s property (Josie’s fiancé) and a mysterious woman inside, wearing his clothes. The case is blown wide open.
There is revelation upon, revelation for Josie to endure. Can she handle everything this case throws at her?

Fast-paced, intense and full of baby mama drama! 4*

LR
Lisa Regan
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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Testament by @kimtsherwood #Literary #ww2Fiction #NewRelease @riverrunbooks #Testament

9781786488671
Testament by Kim Sherwood
Review copy
Synopsis:

WINNER OF THE BATH NOVEL AWARD

Of everyone in her complicated family, Eva was closest to her grandfather: a charismatic painter – and a keeper of secrets. So when he dies, she’s hit by a greater loss – of the questions he never answered, and the past he never shared.

It’s then she finds the letter from the Jewish Museum in Berlin. They have uncovered the testimony he gave after his forced labour service in Hungary, which took him to the death camps and then to England as a refugee. This is how he survived.

But there is a deeper story that Eva will unravel – of how her grandfather learnt to live afterwards. As she confronts the lies that have haunted her family, their identity shifts and her own takes shape. The testament is in her hands.

Kim Sherwood’s extraordinary first novel is a powerful statement of intent. Beautifully written, moving and hopeful, it crosses the tidemark where the third generation meets the first, finding a new language to express love, legacy and our place within history.

My Review:

‘Everything I knew about Silk’s life began in London 1945’

Testament is a tender novel, it explores the relationship between grandfather and granddaughter. The desire for the granddaughter to know more about her grandfather’s history and the journey of discovery this take her upon.

Eva is present at the death of her grandfather Joseph. She has to inform her father and it is then that we learn the relationship between the two is far from perfect. Eva has grown up close to her grandfather and they have shared a close relationship.
One she has not shared with her own father.

When Eva receives a letter from Dr Felix Gershel from the Judisches museum in Berlin, it sets her on a course of discovery about her grandfather and his complex history.
The Testament is the story of Joseph’s time in the labour camps of ww2. Something Eva believes is everything he wouldn’t want the world to see. It was never his desire to be defined by his experiences in the Holocaust.

This is a moving story that fully covers the true horror of being a survivor of the Holocaust. The refugee aftermath and attempting to locate one’s family members. It really puts you in the place of Joseph and we see life through his eyes.

‘You do not know if you will ever see
your family again.
He cries himself to sleep’

It is also very moving in the exploration of father/daughter and grandfather/granddaughter relationships and family roles. Eva has a turbulent relationship with her father, which is fully explored within the novel. But the grief at the loss of her grandfather forces her to search for understanding, to ease her pain.

‘Vengeance is not Jewish’

Personally, I found the tender and emotional bond between Eva and Joseph very touching. I was very close to my own grandfather, before he passed away in 2001. It reminded me, of some of the conversations we had shared and how entirely different our lives were. Yet we are of the same family.

Testament is slow-paced and very literary in its content.
But it is written with such emotional intelligence. 4*

Kim1
Kim Sherwood
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Anne Bonny Mini #BookReview The Blood Road by @StuartMacBride 5* #CrimeFiction #NewRelease What drives someone to murder? #LoganMcRae #Series #TheBloodRoad

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The Blood Road by Stuart MacBride – Logan McRae #11
My own copy
Synopsis:

What drives someone to murder?

The No.1 Sunday Times bestselling author returns with the much anticipated new Logan McRae thriller.

Some things just won’t stay buried…

Logan McRae’s personal history is hardly squeaky clean, but now that he works for Professional Standards he’s policing his fellow officers.
When Detective Inspector Bell turns up dead in the driver’s seat of a crashed car it’s a shock to everyone. Because Bell died two years ago, they buried him.
Or they thought they did.

As an investigation is launched into Bell’s stabbing, Logan digs into his past. Where has he been all this time? Why did he disappear? And what’s so important that he felt the need to come back from the dead?

But the deeper Logan digs, the more bones he uncovers – and there are people out there who’ll kill to keep those skeletons buried. If Logan can’t stop them, DI Bell won’t be the only one to die…

My Review:

The Blood Road is the latest in the Logan McRae series. It revolves around the murder of DI Duncan Bell. The only problem is Bell died two years ago and was buried with full police honours. So where has Bell been? And who is currently in his grave?

‘Why would Ding Dong fake his own death?’

The police are currently under the midst of a media frenzy, due to a local child abduction case. Ellie Morton (4yrs) has gone missing and she becomes the first in a long line of vulnerable kids going missing from Scottish streets. Who is taking these kids? And why?

Logan must tackle the Bell case and begins with Bell’s former police partner DS Rose Savage. Coincidentally their last case together was that of a child abduction. Aiden MacAuley (3yrs) went missing and was never seen again.
Whilst Logan begins the proceedings to exhume the Bell’s grave. He must also dodge Roberta Steele. Something which is written with brilliant humour, despite the dark themes within the novel.

Logan must dig into past cases and risks ruffling the feathers of present police detectives. But to get justice for the victim’s Logan must ask questions.

There are various spin-off threads within the novel. The author has a clever way of leading you to believe you have it all figured out, only to pull the rug from under you!
I really enjoyed this edition, to an already outstanding series.
Logan Vs Battleaxe Steele and the dark humour are everything I have come to love about this series. 5*

SM
Stuart MacBride
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Anne Bonny #BookReview Murder At The Grand Raj Palace by @VaseemKhanUK 5* Genius #CosyCrime #CrimeFiction #India @MulhollandUK ‘Perfect escapism and a cracking cosy crime mystery!’

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Murder At The Grand Raj Palace by Vaseem Khan
My own copy
Synopsis:

In the enchanting new Baby Ganesh Agency novel, Inspector Chopra and his elephant sidekick investigate a murder at Mumbai’s grandest hotel.

For a century the iconic Grand Raj Palace Hotel has welcomed the world’s elite. From film stars to foreign dignitaries, anyone who is anyone stays at the Grand Raj.
The last thing the venerable old hotel needs is a murder…

When American billionaire Hollis Burbank is found dead – the day after buying India’s most expensive painting – the authorities are keen to label it a suicide. But the man in charge of the investigation is not so sure. Chopra is called in – and discovers a hotel full of people with a reason to want Burbank dead.

Accompanied by his sidekick, baby elephant Ganesha, Chopra navigates his way through the palatial building, a journey that leads him steadily to a killer, and into the heart of darkness . . .

My Review:

‘It was said that the Grand Raj Palace owed its existence to an insult’

The novel opens with the history of the Grand Raj Palace. A history that is rotted in the British colonialism. The hotel was then and is now, revered as a symbol of India’s ambition and self-worth. I love how the author has cleverly weaved historical details into the story and the novel itself is scattered with them.
It really adds to the beauty of what makes this series to great!

What also makes this series so great is the brilliant characterisation of Chopra and Poppy. They compliment each other perfectly and in this particular case poppy gets a mystery of her own to solve.
Their relationship and the way it flows from the page, makes for brilliant reading. With them both playing the role of ‘investigator’ in this novel, we the reader are in for a double treat!

‘The thought of confronting his wife when her temper was up was as attractive to him as placing his head into the mouth of a ravenous tiger’

Chopra is summoned to the hotel by a former police colleague Rohan Tripathi. After the death of American billionaire and hotel client Hollis Burbank. It is a case that will lead Chopra into the murky side of the side industry. Burbank was found with a knife in his chest in his hotel room. On the wall written in blood are the words ‘I am sorry’.
But what is Burbank sorry for? What is his motive for suicide?

Irfan, Chopra and Poppy’s adopted son and previous street urchin, makes a brief appearance in the novel. He is still tainted by his previous life and at 10yrs old has experienced far too much for a child. We hear Poppy’s thoughts on parenting and they every much echo my own.
‘The true definition of parenthood was the ability to love, to care, to put the welfare of another before one’s own’

Whilst Chopra persists to look into hotel security and deal with Lisa Taylor of the art auction house. Poppy determined not to be forgotten on her 25th wedding anniversary, makes herself and Irfan guests of the hotel. Where she stumbles upon a mysterious case. The case of the missing bride.

‘Everything is illusion,
and no one is who we believe they are’ – Chopra

It would appear that Burbank’s secrets lead deeper into India’s past and deeper within the ruthless and competitive art world.
But can Chopra solve the case?

There is a brilliant opening to a chapter on page 222. Where the author details the colonial history and India’s railway system. It is some of the finest writing, I even took a photo of it on my phone to save. I think that has been the niche of this particular novel, Vaseem Khan’s ability to merge the past and the present and write a brilliant story.

There is also a devious monkey, which adds a comedy element into the plot!
I found myself giggling whilst poor Ganesh shoulders the blame.

My favourite part of the novel is Poppy’s development as a main character. There is a particular scene where Poppy sticks up for herself and Irfan and it just reminded me that Poppy can hold her own. Poppy is a modern woman and the mystery she solves suits her character perfectly.

Perfect escapism and a cracking cosy crime mystery! 5* Genius!

Vaseem Khan
Vaseem Khan
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