Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview The Night Visitor by @PRedmondAuthor 5* Genius #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #Thriller #Horror @BooksManatee #NightVisitor

The Night Visitor Cover
The Night Visitor by Patrick Redmond
Review Copy
Synopsis:

When does a gift become a curse?

Meg has a gift. She can change lives. But when tragedy strikes in childhood she vows never to use it again.
Now an adult, she is living in Cornwall; a place where the elements themselves have a life of their own. When they call she refuses to listen, fearful of the dark places where her gift can lead.

But the dead will not be silenced. They are stronger than her. And now they have chosen she is powerless to escape…

My Review:

‘Until that dreadful day when everything changed’

The novel opens in Suffolk 1991, with sisters Meg (6yrs) and her little sister Grace and their mother Becky. They are in a café, a seemingly innocent day out. When Meg utters some simple words to widow, Edith Harris. This scene sets the tone for the novel and you instantly become aware there is so much more to Meg than meets the eye.

The novel then fast-forwards to 1992 and Meg is now at Wickenham primary school she is often taunted and bullied by the other children. We begin to learn that due to Meg’s visions/premonitions, she is treated as an outcast. She has a bullying teacher in Mrs Fisher and her classmates are quick to join in. For poor Meg life is tough; handling her visions and the shunning of her peers.

‘Please God, don’t let me ever see anything bad about my mum’ – Meg

Then novel progresses over Meg and Grace’s childhood and we learn that it was one of much suffering. The ultimate suffering for Meg is the tragic death of her beloved mother. Which sets Meg’s life on a unique course and ensures her refusal to ever accept her father’s new wife. The scenes are extremely moving and emotive, the girls plight is fully explored; and I must admit you grow to really admire Meg and her defensive stance.

‘Meg would never allow herself to trust anyone ever again’

Meg decides in order to live a happy fulfilled and ‘normal’ life it is best to close herself off to her visions and block them out. A decision she is determined to live by. . .

‘The dead couldn’t reach her. Not anymore. Her barriers were too firmly in place and none of them would ever break through and trick her again.
None but one’

The novel then jumps to 2017 Cornwall, where we are reunited with a now adult Meg. She is taking a break from her tough job at a prestigious law firm; on the West Coast of Cornwall. She slowly becomes friends with her neighbour Dan. But we also become aware Meg is deep in grief after the death of her sister Grace four months ago. Meg comes across as paranoid at moments but a lifetime of grief and emotional pain, can take its toll. She slowly opens up to Dan about Grace and even befriends some of the locals.
Then the nightmares begin. . . .

‘Only by facing it can you hope to conquer fear’

There are a series of unusual encounters, that force Meg to explore her own painful past and the local Cornish history. What she uncovers will lead to shock revelations.

I have enjoyed previous novels by this author and this one does not disappoint. The characterisation of meg is brilliant, as you the reader become drawn into her personality and story. The ending is beautifully written and clearly shows the skill of the delivery of a well-planned novel.
Expect the unexpected 5* genius

PR
Patrick Redmond
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***Don’t miss the other bloggers on the blog tour***
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Anne Bonny Q&A with @davidtallerman #Author of, The Bad Neighbour #CrimeFiction #Leeds @flametreepress

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The Bad Neighbour by David Tallerman
Synopsis:

When part-time teacher Ollie Clay panic-buys a rundown house in the outskirts of Leeds, he soon recognises his mistake. His new neighbour, Chas Walker, is an antisocial thug, and Ollie’s suspicions raise links to a local hate group. With Ollie’s life unravelling rapidly, he feels his choices dwindling: his situation is intolerable and only standing up to Chas can change it. But Ollie has his own history of violence, and increasingly, his own secrets to hide; and Chas may be more than the mindless yob he appears to be. As their conflict spills over into the wider world, Ollie will come to learn that there are worse problems in life than one bad neighbour.

Q&A:

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?

A) I don’t know that there was a single idea, more a lot of nebulous somethings floating around a certain period in my life, when I moved back to the north of England and, like Ollie, bought a very cheap house in a relatively poor area, after months of looking at mostly grim and grotty properties. There was a lot in that experience that felt like it could be explored, and that I’d never really seen addressed anywhere else. But I guess the catalyst was the point when I found out, to my shock, that there was no dividing wall in my roof space and so nothing to separate me and my neighbour. That was really the point where all of the ideas began to swirl together and become the core of what felt like it could be a novel.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) Well, my favourite authors would take too long to list, but the ones that led me to shift toward writing crime after a decade as primarily a fantasy and science-fiction author were the excellent Charlie Huston, whose Hank Thompson trilogy was a definite influence, and Geoffrey Household, whose classic Rogue Male is surely the best thriller I’ve ever read. But, since I read a lot of nonfiction as research for The Bad Neighbour, I should put in a nod to that as well: Mathew Collins’s Hate was probably the best of those, a vital insight into what draws people to extreme right-wing politics and then what keeps them in that crowd when any idiot could see it’s not a great place to be.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) How far back are we going? At one time and another, I was a huge fan of Enid Blyton, Willard Price, series like The Hardy Boys and The Three Investigators, and C. S. Lewis’s Narnia books. All of which probably makes me sound a bit older than I am; I pretty much lived on second hand books! By the time I hit double figures I’d graduated to more adult fantasy and science-fiction – I remember Frank Herbert’s The Green Brain as making a huge impression, and Asimov was an early favourite – and also to classic authors like Joseph Conrad and Henry James. Somewhere in the midst of that muddle I think you can find the roots of the kind of stories I’ve grown up to tell!

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) I used to be quite shy, and one of the biggest shocks of being published was that suddenly I was expected to sit on stages and talk in front of crowds of people. My first panel was probably the biggest I’ve done and was a hell of a wakeup call! But I realised quickly that I loved doing that stuff, and went from being terrified to appear on panels to cheerfully moderating them at any chance I got. I think the ultimate point in that process was when my frequent editor Lee Harris talked me into an event where me and a bunch of other writers had to concoct stories based on random prompts in precisely sixty seconds. It was exactly as difficult and terrifying as it sounds, or maybe a thousand times more difficult and terrifying than that, I’d never put myself through something like that again, and it was a total blast.

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) I’ve had different readers on different books, and a great many people have been supportive in various ways over the course of my career, but the one person who’s always been willing to read my work, and critique it, and fight me like a sonofabitch if he feels something doesn’t work, is my friend Tom Rice. I think he’s beta read every book I’ve written, as well as a fair few short stories, and I honestly don’t know how I’d do this stuff without him anymore.

DT
David Tallerman
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Anne Bonny #BookReview The Secrets You Hide by @KateWritesBooks 4* #LegalThriller #CrimeFiction #Psychological @BonnierZaffre

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The Secrets You Hide by Kate Helm
Review Copy
Synopsis:

Georgia Sage has a gift: she can see evil in people. As a courtroom artist she uses her skills to help condemn those who commit terrible crimes. After all, her own brutal past means she knows innocence is even rarer than justice.

But when she is drawn back into the trial that defined her career, a case of twisted family betrayal, she realises her own reckless pursuit of justice may have helped the guilty go free.

As Georgia gets closer to the truth behind the Slater family, something happens that threatens not only her career – but even her own sanity. At first, she fears her guilt around the events of her terrible childhood is finally coming back to haunt her.

The truth turns out to be even more terrifying . . .

My Review:

The Secrets You Hide is an impressive debut novel, it is packed full of twists and turns; and you never know who you can trust. Which includes our protagonist Georgia Sage.

The novel opens in 1997, with a young girl Suzanne locked in her room, as her father commits an atrocious and traumatic crime.
‘Dad has been acting strange for months’
What’s on the other side of the door?

We then are introduced to Georgia in 2017, She is a freelance court room artist and has sat in on some horrific crimes in her career. As we meet her, she is on the morning of a awkward one night stand. We discover via her internal thoughts she is not as content with her career choice as she’d have others believe.
‘What kind of person paints pictures of the worst humanity has to offer?’

Georgia does take great pride in her work and believes that her courtroom sketches could ultimately impact the jury/public opinion. I wasn’t as sure about this, but I was intrigued by the way in which Georgia sold it to the reader…
‘I build up the layers, to reveal people as they really are, the secrets they hide even from themselves’

We become aware Georgia lives in a large property and has no financial concerns. I think this explains why she is content with a career choice that cannot earn her much money. We also become aware she is a lonely woman, with a troubled past. It is at this point she becomes an unreliable narrator, of her own story.

‘The fear of life was stronger than the relief of death’

The case Georgia is currently in court sessions for is a he/she said rape trial. But Georgia is convinced of the man’s guilt. But that isn’t the case that the novel revolves around. It is a case from Georgia’s past.
A case she has always been uncertain if justice truly was served…..

A complex twisty psychological thriller, with a shocking ending! 4*

KH
Kate Helm
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Anne Bonny #BookReview The Disappeared by @AliHarperWrites #CrimeFiction #DebutAuthor @KillerReads ‘A brilliant debut crime novel 4*’

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The Disappeared by Ali Harper
Review Copy
Synopsis:

YOU’LL NEVER FIND ME…

A twisty, compelling, characterful crime thriller from a major new talent.

NOT TO BE MISSED!

A distraught mother…
When Susan Wilkins walks into No Stone Unturned, Leeds’s newest private detective agency, owners Lee and Jo are thrilled. Their first client is the kind of person they always hoped to help—a kind woman desperately worried about her son, Jack.

A missing son…
The case seems simple—kid starts college, takes up with the wrong crowd, forgets to ring his mother. But very quickly, Lee and Jo suspect they’re not being told the whole truth.

A case which could prove deadly…
Their office is ransacked, everyone who knows Jack refuses to talk to them and they feel like they’re being followed…it’s clear Lee and Jo have stumbled into something bigger, and far more dangerous, than they ever expected. Will they find Jack, or will their first case silence them both for good?

My Review:

The Disappeared is a gritty northern crime fiction novel. There are feminist themes running throughout and as a female reader, this only made me love it more. When Susan Wilkin’s appears at the No Stone Unturned private detective agency; she isn’t expecting to be met by two female detectives Lee and Jo.
At first the case seems an obvious ‘boy goes off to Uni and goes missing for days on a bender’ type of case. Except it isn’t it is much deeper layered than that.

‘Had I known our first client would be dead less than twenty-six hours after signing the contract, I might not have been so thrilled when she pushed open our office door’ – Lee Winters

The two investigate and what they discover shocks them to the core. Jack hasn’t been missing for several days but 3 months. He isn’t a Uni student but a heroin addict living in a rancid squat. This is not quite the image Mrs Wilkin’s his mother put forward…

‘We fit the pictures to the story we want to hear. And I wanted to see was a middle-aged, middle-class woman desperately seeking her son’ – Lee Winters

When Jack’s real life is exposed, the pair are left to wonder if Susan really is, who she says she is and if not, who on earth is she?

When their office gets trashed and the case goes much darker. The two become more determined to get to the bottom of Jack’s disappearance. They find his local mates and on/off lover who offer clues and information. But where will it lead?

A brilliant debut crime novel 4*

AH
Ali Harper
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Anne Bonny #BookReview November Road by @Lou_Berney #NewRelease #Literary #CrimeFiction @HarperCollins ‘Fantastic historical American noir 4*’

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November Road by Lou Berney
US Review Copy
Synopsis:

Set against the assassination of JFK, a poignant and evocative crime novel – a story of unexpected connections, daring possibilities, and the hope of second chances from the Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone.

Frank Guidry’s luck has finally run out…

A loyal street lieutenant to New Orleans’ mob boss Carlos Marcello, Guidry knows too much about the crime of the century: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Within hours of JFK’s murder, everyone with ties to Marcello is turning up dead. Suspecting he’s next, Guidry hits the road to Las Vegas. When he spots a beautiful housewife and her two young daughters stranded on the side of the road, he sees the perfect disguise to cover his tracks from the hit men on his trail.

The two strangers share the open road west – and find each other on the way. But Guidry’s relentless hunters are closing in on him, and now he doesn’t want to just survive, he wants to really live, maybe for the first time.

Everyone’s expendable, or they should be, but Guidry just can’t throw away the woman he’s come to love. And it might get them both killed.

My Review:

November Road is an atmospheric novel set amongst the backdrop of the JFK assassination. I am a huge fan of American Noir and historical fiction, so I couldn’t wait to get started on this novel. I am new to Lou Berney’s writing but will be keeping an eye out for future titles by the author.

The novel opens in 1963 New Orleans, with one of our central character Frank Guidry. Frank currently works for mob boss Carlos Marcello, but fears after the assassination of JFK, he himself will be left for dead.
‘Someone shot him. Someone shot President Kennedy’

Franks possibly involvement and links to the assassination is all fully explored within his narrative. You actually begin to become quite attached to Frank, as he desperately seeks to leave town before he is killed. . .

‘Bobby Kennedy and the FBI wouldn’t stop until they’d turned over every goddamn rock’

The other central is mother of two young daughters Charlie (Charlotte). Charlie is a photographer by trade, she is married to a deadbeat alcoholic named Dooley. They are behind on their mortgage and struggling financially. In a moment of madness, she packs up her and her daughter’s Rosemary and Joan’s possessions and leaves town. Charlie seeks a better life for her daughter’s, than the life she has lived. She knows the only way to achieve this, is to break free of Dooley.
But Dooley might not be quite so keen to see her leave. . .

‘Divorce was the edge of a cliff. Once you flung yourself into the great blue yonder, there was no going back’

The lives of Frank and Charlie collide, and this is when the novel really shines. We are show the narratives of Frank, Charlie and those hunting Guidry.
It amps up the intensity of the novel and threat to Guidry’s life.

‘He couldn’t chase the idea from his head that maybe, just maybe, Seraphine and Carlos planned to kill him’

Through Charlie’s eyes we learn what life was truly like in the 1960s. An era that would go on to be the beginning of the female sexual revolution. But also, one where divorce was considered a scandal of the highest order.
Between Charlie and Frank, a meeting of minds develops, an unusual pairing but both desperately fleeing uncertain circumstances.

The era and background history really add to the story.
Fantastic historical American noir 4*

LB
Lou Berney
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