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

***Don’t miss the other bloggers on the blog tour***
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Anne Bonny #BookReview Jar Of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier #Psychological #CrimeFiction #Thriller @CorvusBooks

cover
Jar Of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
Review Copy
Synopsis:

Five years ago, Geo’s first love was revealed as a terrifying serial killer.
But he escaped custody and went on the run.
Now, bodies have started turning up, killed in exactly the same way as before.
The message is clear: he’s making his way to her, one murder at a time…

My Review:

I can see this novel being massively popular, as it is a fantastic psychological thriller, written in such an unusual way. It explores the inner torment of repressing the most painful of secrets. The novel opens with our protagonist Geo staring as witness for the prosecution in a case where she herself took a plea deal. Geo’s guilt is never called into question as such, it is more about how much did Geo know?
Why did she keep such heart-breaking and painful secrets?

The novel is told in 5 parts, or stages. As each is labelled as one of the stages of grief. Denial, Anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance each play their part in Geo’s story. It is a story that builds layer upon layer of mystery and intrigue.
Until a phenomenal ending, that will leave readers open mouthed!

Calvin James Geo’s childhood boyfriend is the killer on trial. The Sweetbay Strangler the media calls him. He is found guilty of the murder of Angela Wong, Geo’s childhood best friend. A secret Geo knew and kept for 14yrs.
When Angela went missing, Geo kept her silence but why? Why did Geo enable Calvin? Who then went on to rape and murder three more victims until his apprehension.

Angela’s parents are in the courtroom, as they hear Geo’s evidence. The pain and anger they must feel towards Geo leaps from the page. As Geo avoids all eye contact with them. When Geo completes her testimony, she is taken straight away to serve her 5yr sentence at Hazelwood correctional institute.

Geo may have held onto secrets, but once she is convicted she loses everything she gained in those 14yrs. Gone is the wealthy fiancé and dreams of the all-American dream. Gone is the prestigious career and bright future. Gone is Geo to ‘Hellwood’.
When she arrives, it becomes clear to Geo she is going to have to find a way to survive prison. That prison eats weak and vulnerable people.

‘There are three types of currency in prison: drugs, sex and information’ – Geo

Her prison experiences did remind me of the TV show Orange Is The New Black. As Geo tries to navigate a world she is unprepared for. I almost visualised her as the main character Piper. Whilst Geo survives prison, there are flashback scenes to her arrest and interrogation. We learn how and why geo lost it all and what information she did disclose to the police. We also learn that she is holding something back.

The week before Geo is released from prison, two bodies are discovered in the exact location of Angela’s remains. Although we know it can not be Geo responsible, Calvin remains at large as a fugitive. Is Calvin back? why return to the same town?
Who are the victims and are they connected?

The two victims are a grown woman and two-year-old child. Calvin was never known to harm any young children, which leave the police baffled.
That is until they dig further into the victim’s past!

The detective handling the case is Kaiser Brody. Who attended school with both Angela and Geo. The trio were often seen hanging around together. Kaiser has kept a close discreet eye on Geo during her prison term and continues to do much the same once she is released. But can Kaiser get to the truth? Will Geo confessing her secrets, finally put the past behind her?

This novel brings Geo’s past and present together and builds to a dramatic, action-packed ending! 4*

JH
Jennifer Hillier
Website
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Anne Bonny #BookReview Perfect Match by @Thorne_D 4* #CrimeFiction #NewRelease @CorvusBooks There are bad dates, and there are killer dates. . . .

cover
Perfect Match by D.B Thorne
Synopsis:

When Solomon’s sister is found drugged and in a coma after an online date, Solomon can’t believe this was just a terrible accident. Determined to find out what happened to his sister, and with the police unwilling to help, Solomon begins to investigate on his own. He soon uncovers a rash of similar cases of women who have been found brutally murdered or assaulted after an online date.

There is a predator out there working the streets of London, preying on young women. Solomon sets out to bring him to justice, putting him on a collision course with a deadly killer who is fiendishly clever and more twisted than anyone could possibly imagine…

My Review:

The novel opens with Tiffany (Solomon’s sister) being watched by her on/off boyfriend Robbie White. He is a controlling and domineering man, known to be violent.
The case should be, oh so very straight forward, accept it isn’t!

Solomon sits at his sister’s hospital bedside. She lays in the bed in intensive care at the Royal London Hospital. She has a broken arm and missing teeth.
Somebody subjected Tiffany to a brutal beating.

Inspector Helen Fox is the police officer tasked with solving the obvious case of assault. Fox has little interest in the case and effectively blames the victim for her own beating. Fox is happy to list the case as an accident/suicide attempt gone wrong. This infuriates Solomon and leads him to form his own investigation.

The theme of the victim being blamed for her own assault, is the one that held my interest. Tiffany comes from a criminal family, dead parents and a chaotic lifestyle all help to disinterest the police. The assumptions and stereotypes are quickly formed. Stripper soon becomes prostitute and drugs in her system quickly becomes drug addict. The thought process used in the novel, has played out in real-life cases.
Why can the police/media be so cruel to society’s most vulnerable, when they are the victims of crime?

The unconventional lifestyle of the young victim Tiffany, drives the narrative. Solomon is concerned she will become the victim nobody cares about. This theme really got me thinking, it’s almost as if, society needs to believe violent crime happens to those who it deems ‘deserve’ it. Whilst this is an incredibly harsh sense of justice rolled out to mainly female victims of crime; I think the novel opens it up to much debate.

Solomon continues to investigate other possible previous cases of the attacker.
Has the attacker struck before? What is the motive?

The novel is what I could call ‘technology inspired crime fiction’. As the themes of internet and online dating, play their part. Which is intriguing and popular within the genre. For me personally the most haunting theme was the victimisation of women and how some victims aren’t deemed worthy.

A cracking crime fiction read! 4*

DBT
D.B Thorne
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