Anne Bonny Top 5 #TranslatedLit picks from the TBR pile #KeigoHigashino @AbacusBooks #TetsuyaHonda @TitanBooks #UnSuKim @4thEstateBooks #SørenSveistrup @MichaelJBooks #StinaJackson @CorvusBooks #Japan #Korea #Sweden #Copenhagen #Denmark

***My top 5 picks from my TBR pile, either translated literature or originally written in another language. In no particular order***

devotion of suspect x
The Devotion Of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
Available in PB/Ebook/Audible
Synopsis ~

Yasuko lives a quiet life, working in a Tokyo bento shop, a good mother to her only child. But when her ex-husband appears at her door without warning one day, her comfortable world is shattered.

When Detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo Police tries to piece together the events of that day, he finds himself confronted by the most puzzling, mysterious circumstances he has ever investigated. Nothing quite makes sense, and it will take a genius to understand the genius behind this particular crime…

One of the biggest-selling Japanese thrillers ever, and the inspiration for a cult film, The Devotion of Suspect X is now being discovered across the world. Its blend of a page-turning story, evocative Tokyo setting and utterly surprising ending make it a must-read for anyone interested in international fiction.

the silent dead
The Silent Dead by Tetsuya Honda ~ Reiko Himekawa #1
Available in PB/Ebook/Audible
Synopsis ~

When a mutilated body wrapped in a blue tarpaulin is found in a quiet neighbourhood, Lieutenant Reiko Himekawa and her squad are assigned the case. As the youngest female detective in the Homicide Division, Reiko has a lot to prove, but she has an undeniable ability to solve crimes. When she uncovers more murders with the same signature, she knows there is a serial killer at work. What is Strawberry Night, the dark web group that links all the victims? And how long will Reiko survive, now the killer knows her name?

the plotters
The Plotters by Un-Su Kim
Available in HB/Ebook/Audible/PB
Synopsis ~

Plotters are just pawns like us. A request comes in and they draw up the plans. There’s someone above them who tells them what to do. And above that person is another plotter telling them what to do. You think that if you go up there with a knife and stab the person at the very top, that’ll fix everything. But no-one’s there. It’s just an empty chair.

Reseng was raised by cantankerous Old Raccoon in the Library of Dogs. To anyone asking, it’s just an ordinary library. To anyone in the know, it’s a hub for Seoul’s organised crime, and a place where contract killings are plotted and planned. So it’s no surprise that Reseng has grown up to become one of the best hitmen in Seoul. He takes orders from the plotters, carries out his grim duties, and comforts himself afterwards with copious quantities of beer and his two cats, Desk and Lampshade.

But after he takes pity on a target and lets her die how she chooses, he finds his every move is being watched. Is he finally about to fall victim to his own game? And why does that new female librarian at the library act so strangely? Is he looking for his enemies in all the wrong places? Could he be at the centre of a plot bigger than anything he’s ever known?

the chestnut man
The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup
Translated by Caroline Waight
Available in HB/Ebook/Audible/PB
Synopsis ~

One blustery October morning in a quiet Copenhagen suburb, the police make a terrible discovery. A young woman is found brutally murdered with one of her hands missing. Above her hangs a small doll made of chestnuts.

Ambitious young detective Naia Thulin is assigned the case. Her partner, Mark Hess, is a burned-out investigator who’s just been kicked out of Europol. They soon discover a mysterious piece of evidence on the chestnut man – evidence connecting it to a girl who went missing a year earlier and is presumed dead; the daughter of politician Rosa Hartung. But the man who confessed to her murder is already behind bars and the case long since closed.

Soon afterwards, a second woman is found murdered, along with another chestnut man. Thulin and Hess suspect that there’s a connection between the Hartung case and the murdered women. But what is it?

Thulin and Hess are racing against the clock, because it’s clear that the killer is on a mission that is far from over . . .

the silver road
The Silver Road by Stina Jackson
Translated by Susan Beard
Available in HB/Ebook/Audible/PB
Synopsis ~

Three years ago, Lelle’s daughter went missing in a remote part of Northern Sweden. Lelle has spent the intervening summers driving the Silver Road under the midnight sun, frantically searching for his lost daughter, for himself and for redemption.

Meanwhile, seventeen-year-old Meja arrives in town hoping for a fresh start. She is the same age as Lelle’s daughter was – a girl on the brink of adulthood. But for Meja, there are dangers to be found in this isolated place.

As autumn’s darkness slowly creeps in, Lelle and Meja’s lives are intertwined in ways, both haunting and tragic, that they could never have imagined.

Anne Bonny Top 5 #ww2Fiction #Historical picks from the TBR pile @VirginiaBaily @swlittlefield @CescaWrites @jingwrites Katie Quinn @ThatSadieJones @FleetReads @WmMorrowBooks @CorvusBooks @OneworldNews @vintagebooks

***Here are some books from my ww2 fiction TBR pile, that I am DYING to read. In no particular order***

the fourth shore
The Fourth Shore by Virginia Baily
Available in HB/Ebook/Audible – PB March 2020
Synopsis ~

The Fourth Shore: the sliver of fertile land along the Tripoli coast, the ‘lost’ territory Mussolini promised to reclaim for Italy. Which is how, in 1929, seventeen-year-old Liliana Cattaneo arrives there from Rome on a ship filled with eager colonists to join her brother and his new wife.

Liliana is sure she was on the brink of a great adventure, but what awaits her is not the Mediterranean idyll of cocktail parties, smart dances, dashing officers and romantic intrigues she had imagined. Instead she finds a world of persecution, violence, repression, corruption and deceptions both great and small.

A child of fascist Italy, blown about by the winds of fascism and Catholicism, Liliana becomes enmeshed in a dark liaison which has terrible consequences both for her and those she loves most.

The Fourth Shore is the engrossing and intensely poignant story of Liliana’s journey from Rome to Tripoli to a north London suburb where, as plain Lily Jones, she begins to uncover a secret she has buried so deeply that even she is far from certain what it is.

The daisy children
The Daisy Children by Sofia Grant
Available in PB/Ebook/Audible
Synopsis ~

Inspired by true events, in Sofia Grant’s powerfully moving new novel a young woman peels back the layers of her family’s history, discovering a tragedy in the past that explains so much of the present. This unforgettable story is one of hope, healing, and the discovery of truth.

Sometimes the untold stories of the past are the ones we need to hear…
When Katie Garrett gets the unexpected news that she’s received an inheritance from the grandmother she hardly knew, it couldn’t have come at a better time. She flees Boston—and her increasingly estranged husband—and travels to rural Texas.
There, she’s greeted by her distant cousin Scarlett. Friendly, flamboyant, eternally optimistic, Scarlett couldn’t be more different from sensible Katie. And as they begin the task of sorting through their grandmother’s possessions, they discover letters and photographs that uncover the hidden truths about their shared history, and the long-forgotten tragedy of the New London school explosion of 1937 that binds them.

the silent hours
The Silent Hours by Cesca Major
Available in PB/Ebook/Audible
Synopsis ~

An epic, sweeping tale set in wartime France, The Silent Hours follows three people whose lives are bound together, before war tears them apart:

Adeline, a mute who takes refuge in a convent, haunted by memories of her past;

Sebastian, a young Jewish banker whose love for the beautiful Isabelle will change the course of his life dramatically;

Tristin, a nine-year-old boy, whose family moves from Paris to settle in a village that is seemingly untouched by war.

Beautifully wrought, utterly compelling and with a shocking true story at its core, The Silent Hours is an unforgettable portrayal of love and loss.

how we disappeared
How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee
Available in HB/Ebook/Audible – PB April 2020
Synopsis ~

The heart-rending story of survival and endurance in Japanese-occupied Singapore

Singapore, 1942.
As Japanese troops sweep down Malaysia and into Singapore, a village is ransacked, leaving only three survivors, one of them a tiny child.

In a neighbouring village, seventeen-year-old Wang Di is bundled into the back of a troop carrier and shipped off to a Japanese military brothel. After sixty years of silence, what she saw and experienced there still haunts her.

And in the year 2000, twelve-year-old Kevin is sitting beside his ailing grandmother when he overhears a mumbled confession. He sets out to discover the truth, wherever it might lead, setting in motion a chain of events he could never have foreseen.

Weaving together two timelines and two very big secrets, this evocative, profoundly moving and utterly dazzling debut opens a window on a little-known period of history, and heralds the arrival of a thrilling new literary star.

the alice network
The Alice Network by Katie Quinn
Available in HB/Ebook/Audible/PB
Synopsis ~

In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She’s also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie’s parents banish her to Europe to have her “little problem” taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she’s recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she’s trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the “Queen of Spies”, who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy’s nose.
Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn’t heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth…no matter where it leads.

**EXTRA PICK**
Not ww2 fiction, but set post-ww2 in Cyprus. I also CANNOT resist this epic cover!
small wars
Small Wars by Sadie Jones
Available in PB/Ebook
Synopsis ~

Hal Treherne is a soldier on the brink of a brilliant career. Impatient to see action, his other commitment in life is to his beloved wife, Clara, and when Hal is transferred to Cyprus she and their twin daughters join him. But the island is in the heat of the emergency; the British are defending the colony against Cypriots – schoolboys and armed guerillas alike – battling for union with Greece.

Clara shares Hal’s sense of duty and honour; she knows she must settle down, make the best of things, smile. But action changes Hal, and the atrocities he is drawn into take him not only further from Clara but himself, too; a betrayal that is only the first step down a dark path.

Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Night By Night by @JackJordanBooks 5* #NewRelease #Psychological #Thriller @CorvusBooks #NightByNight

Cover
Night By Night by Jack Jordan
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

‘If you’re reading this, I’m dead.’

Rejected by her family and plagued by insomnia, Rose Shaw is on the brink . But one dark evening she collides with a man running through the streets, who quickly vanishes. The only sign he ever existed – a journal dropped at Rose’s feet.

She begins to obsessively dedicate her sleepless nights to discovering what happened to Finn Matthews, the mysterious author of the journal. Why was he convinced someone wanted to kill him? And why, in the midst of a string of murders, won’t the police investigate his disappearance?

Rose is determined to uncover the truth.
But she has no idea what the truth will cost her…

My Review ~

‘For those sixty minutes, she was the loneliest woman in the world’

At the beginning of the novel we are introduced to protagonist Rose Shaw, her husband Christian and two young twin daughters Lily and Violet (10yrs). We become aware that Rosie is suffering from chronic insomnia and is plagued with thoughts of how due to this she is failing her children. Her close friend Heather attempts to convince her otherwise, to no avail. But for Rosie, her obsessive and intrusive thoughts, will have to deadly consequences…

‘Motherhood came with a price: it had meant sacrificing her former self’

The novel then jumps ahead 4yrs, to after the accident. It is Lily’s 14th birthday and Rosie is struggling to emotionally connect to anyone. She feels blamed for their pain and punished by her husband. These were painful and moving scenes to read. Rose’s grief and pain felt like a punch to the chest and this is all due to the author’s exceptional skill at weaving emotionally tense scenes between the suspense.

‘I saved the wrong one’

Rose is seeing a therapist Dr William Hunter and it becomes obvious the repercussions seep into every part of Rose’s life. Rose has lost multiple relationships with family and friends. she is surviving in a life of misery and pain.

‘To outward appearances, they had stuck together after the death of their daughter. but within their home they were strangers occupying different rooms, different beds, and avoiding each other’s eyes’

One emotional day, Rose visits her mother and brother’s graves. It is then we become aware the pain in Rose’s life reaches deep into her past also. When she is knocked over by a jogger, whom drops a journal…

‘My name is Finn Matthews and if you’re reading this, I’m dead’

Finn’s dairy tells the story of being stalked and concern he is losing his mind.
The diary scenes are gripping and intense. I kept having to remind myself to breathe!

‘What had become of Finn Matthews?’

Solving Finn’s disappearance becomes an obsession for Rose. Can she find her own salvation in the solving of his case? Can Finn bring Rose the redemption she so desperately needs?

The main focus of the novel is Finn, as a man and his mysterious journal. I don’t want to risk spoilers, but we the reader are in for one hell of a rollercoaster ride. Despite her obvious problems and flaws, protagonist Rose develops into a real fierce warrior of a woman. A HUGE 5* from me!

‘Life Marks us all’

JJ
Jack Jordan
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Jack currently is hosting a UK only giveaway via Pinned Tweet HERE

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#AMightyBlogTour My #Review of A Mighty Dawn by @theodorebrun @CorvusBooks by @annebonnybook #HistoricalFantasy 5*

*I received an arc via the publisher in return for an honest review*
cover
A Mighty Dawn by Theodore Brun
Synopsis:

Sworn to honour.

Broken by betrayal.

Hakan, son of Haldan, chosen son of the Lord of the Northern Jutes, swears loyalty to his father in fire, in iron, and in blood. But there are always shadows that roam. When a terrible tragedy befalls Hakan’s household he is forced to leave his world behind. He must seek to pledge his sword to a new king. Nameless and alone, he embarks on a journey to escape the bonds of his past and fulfil his destiny as a great warrior.

Whispers of sinister forces in the north pull Hakan onwards to a kingdom plagued by mysterious and gruesome deaths. But does he have the strength to do battle with such dark foes? Or is death the only sane thing to seek in this world of blood and broken oaths?

My review:

Hakan son of Haldan, chosen son of the lord of the Northern Jutes. Is the protagonist of this EPIC novel!
Throughout the novel, he will face many challenges that will shake everything he has ever known, to the core……

The prologue opens with a prince on a hunt, he is attacked by a deer. But the attack leaves so much surrounding mystery. When have you ever known, a deer savagely attack a hunter? Are shadowy forces at work?

In the land of the Jutes and in particular, the farmstead of Vendlagard; the lifestyle and hierarchy of the Viking tribe is fully explained. There is a great feast to take place. For Hakan to finally pledge his oath to his father and the kingdom. We learn that Hakan is not a ‘picture perfect’ image of a great warrior. A man whom walks with a limp. We learn why he has such a limp and the story of his parent’s past.
At the feast we learn Hakan is in love, with his cousin Inga. They have a secret love affair of great depth, and are waiting for the appropriate time to inform Haldan of their intentions to marry.

At the feast a stranger arrives, promising tales of future wisdom. The tribe entertain her notions and listen in earnest. But she begins with riddles and curses “you will bear much pain, but you will never break”
“You will fall and rise again” she informs Hakan.
Haldan tires of her dramatics and hangs her!
This novel is accurate to historical fact. The Vikings were savage and brutal. The reader should be under no disillusions of the level of violence within this novel.
Similarly, the story of the Gods is explained. Odin, Frey & Freya, Thor, Njord, Loki, Tyr and Weyland are all covered in detail. The Vikings passion for their gods and their belief system is sacred.

At the feast, a fight breaks out between Hakan and Konur (Hakan’s sworn enemy). The fight is over Inga’s attentions and honour. But could have much deeper repercussions, for both the tribes and ultimately lead to war. At Haldan’s insistence the pair agree to shake hands. But the feud is far from over……..

Hakan awakens the next morning, to discover he is being sent on a mission to several of the external villages. His father believing, he has brought disgrace to the tribe, with his fight the night before.
When he arrives at nearby village Vindhaven, he finds a village burning. Women being shackled and stolen, the stinking air of death lingers, Hakan knows he must report back to his father immediately!

‘You’re to be a man, not a monster’

When Hakan returns, a battle is launched, to protect the tribes honour. What comes, shows the full life/death experience of a young Vikings life. But whilst Hakan battles for his tribe’s honour. Konur returns to Vendlagard and Inga is in fear for her life….

“A man cannot mourn forever. But he can remember” Haldan

When Hakan returns victorious from the spoils of war. He is met with a beautiful but shaken Inga. She informs him, that she is with child and they must ask Haldan for a marriage before the child is born. Hakan is apprehensive, he knows how the hierarchy of the tribe would organise such marriages. His father would be a fool to waste two young lives. When marriages could bring more alliances and wealth to Vendlagard.

“The summer was full of light. Now, all I see ahead is darkness. I want to run but I don’t know where. I’m afraid, Hakan” – Inga

When their love affair is exposed. Old secrets are exposed, that bring great pain and devastation to everyone at Vendlagard.
Hakan is destroyed, as a man, a lover and a Viking. He renounces his birth right. Leaving Vendlegard for good…..

‘He was a stranger. Here. Everywhere. A man owed nothing. Trusted by no one, with no one to trust’

‘In the darkness of his pain, it seemed to shine like gold. Like the first day of a mighty dawn’

This novel is brilliantly written, with incredible detail and emotion. You become heavily invested in the characters and the trials they face; in their search for a better future. For historical fiction it has incredible accuracy and I CANNOT wait to read the next instalment in the series!
It also explores the underlying theme of ‘not all kin, is blood related’.
It is a story of redemption and courage. Good vs evil. Mystery, magic and illusion will all play their part.
An outstanding debut 5*

TB
Theodore Brun
Authors links
Website: www.theodorebrun.com/home
Twitter: @theodorebrun

***The blurb on the cover recommends the novel for fans of The Game Of Thrones series. Having read all the Game Of Thrones novels in just 13 days! I can confirm that the recommendation is 100% spot on!***

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