Anne Bonny #BookReview The Wartime Midwives by Daisy Styles #ww2Fiction #HistoricalFiction #Mystery #ww2 #Saga

TWM
The Wartime Midwives by Daisy Styles
Review Copy ~ Paperback

Synopsis ~

In the dark days of war a new hope is born . . .
1939.

Mary Vale, a grand and imposing Mother & Baby Home, sits on the edge of the Lake District. Its doors are open to unmarried women who come to hide their condition and find sanctuary.

Women from all walks of life pass through Mary Vale, from beautiful waitress Emily, whose boyfriend has vanished without trace, to young Isla, cast out by her wealthy family after her first year at university goes horribly wrong.

Awaiting them is Nurse Ada and Sister Anne who work tirelessly to aid the mothers and safely deliver the babies. But the unforgiving Matron and Head of Governors, Captain Percival, have other, more sinister, ideas.

As war looms the women at Mary Vale must pull together for the sake of themselves and their babies and Ada and Anne must help protect their patients, no matter what the cost.

My Review ~

‘The place regularly echoes with the cries of heartbroken mothers unable to keep their babies’

With The Wartime Midwives, we are introduced to the wartime unwed mother’s homes and the truly awful way women were treated in the era. There are a wealth of characters within the story. From the girls themselves, to the women on staff and the dark forces at work behind the scenes. As a reader you also begin to understand that the reasons for unwanted pregnancy is not always down to the loose morals of the female but complex issues such as lack of education/access to contraception or in the worst cases… rape.

‘It seemed ridiculous that in 1939 a young woman could be ignorant of the facts of life’

There are various social/economical/financial issues that impact the women’s ability to care for or raise their children. Which class tier you identified with, usually indicated the amount of options available to you…

‘Working class I may be, but I certainly know how to love and nurture a baby’

The sheer emotional power of shame is laid bear for all to see. I really felt for each of the women and wanted to reach through the pages (and the years) to offer some support.
A perfect title for modern day women to read, to gain some insight into the lives of 1940s women. Perfect for fans of Call The Midwife. 4* 

Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas 4* #CrimeFiction #Thriller #Mystery #CoastalCrime #Psychological

cover
Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

THE ONLY THING THAT WILL SHOCK YOU MORE THAN THE FIRST CHAPTER . . .
IS THE LAST. . .

Jess and Heather were once best friends – until the night Heather’s sister Flora vanished. The night that lies tore their friendship apart.

But years later, when a brutal double murder shakes their childhood town, Jess returns home.

Because the suspect is Heather.

What happened to the girl you used to know?

My Review ~

The prologue begins in March 2012. An individual with a shotgun in their hand  and murder on their mind. We then watch on as a man and woman are shot in cold blood and at close range. But the killer knew there was a witness and just casually left the scene of the crime. Why did they murder the people? What is their motive?

We are then introduced to Bristol and Somerset Herald journalist Jessica Fox. She is writing up the murders of mother and son Clive Wilson (58) and Deirdre Wilson (76). The suspect is local woman Heather Underwood (32), but she is in critical condition after administering a near fatal gunshot wound to her chest.
The name Heather Underwood leads Jessica to one question and one question only…
‘Is it my Heather?’

It then becomes clear that Jessica is acquainted with the suspected perpetrator and her family. But will this help or hinder Jess in getting close to the family and uncovering their secrets?
The family background of both Heather and Jess is detailed over the following story and weaved within the narrative. The biggest question remains on everyone’s mind…

‘Why would someone want to kill an old lady who never hurt a fly’

I did find the title had a slow (ish) start after the opening murder scene description and had moments of slow burn throughout. That being said I love the coastal location. The idea of secrets from the past and the intense ‘why she did it’ as opposed to ‘who did it’. 4* 

CD
Claire Douglas
Twitter

banner

Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview The River by Peter Heller 4* #NewRelease #LiteraryFiction #Mystery @wnbooks #Survival #Canada

cover
The River by Peter Heller
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

Two friends
Wynn and Jack have been best friends since their first day of college, brought together by their shared love of books and the great outdoors.

The adventure of a lifetime
When they decide to take time off university and canoe down the Maskwa River in northern Canada, they anticipate the ultimate wilderness experience.
No phones.
No fellow travellers.
No way of going back.

A hellish ride
But as a raging wildfire starts to make its way towards them, their expedition becomes a desperate race for survival. And when a man suddenly appears, claiming his wife has vanished, the fight against nature’s destructive power becomes entangled with a much deadlier game of cat and mouse.

My Review ~

‘The only tracks in the mud of the portages were wolf and moose, otter, bear’

The prologue warns us of a local forest fire. The opening within this title is at times difficult, with the intensity of the story and the descriptive writing. But once Wynn and Jack’s Backstory is revealed it does become a much easier read. Their childhood and family relationships are explored and we come to understand what drives them to want to be alone in the wilderness.

‘There should be two paddles, a man and a woman’
On their trek down river they come across a man (Pierre) alone. He talks of a missing wife named Maia, but she is nowhere to be seen. Wynn and Jack are torn as what to do, they are not only battling natures elements but the elements of great danger with a forest fire quickly spreading. They decide to venture back to the couples camp and assess the situation from there. On the journey back, 10 days of provisions are lost and things don’t look any brighter when they arrive at the couple’s camp, to find Maia, a victim of a violent attack.

Who did this to Maia? Was this a bear attack? A domestic violence incident?
Who can Wynn and Jack trust? 

‘It’s a death sentence’ 

The remote location really adds to the sense of despair and isolation from assistance. There are various scenarios for Pierre and Maia’s plight, scenarios both Wynn and Jack attempt to understand. The hunger, exposure or the elements and exhaustion seeps from the pages. I really felt as though I was on the river, in a kayak, with the characters.
I raced through the pages in less than 3hrs, a perfect Saturday afternoon read! 4*

PH
Peter Heller
GoodReads

baner

Anne Bonny #BookReview No One Home by Tim Weaver 5* #DavidRaker #Series #Mystery #Thriller #NoOneHome

cover
No One Home by Tim Weaver ~ David Raker #10
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

Nine neighbours gathered on Halloween.
But by the next morning, they had disappeared without a trace.
No bodies, no evidence, and no clues.

Two and a half years later, it remains a mystery.
Desperate for answers, the families of the missing turn to investigator David Raker.
How did an entire village vanish overnight?

And is he looking for nine missing people, or nine dead bodies?

My Review ~

‘Welcome to Black Gate’

No One Here is a terrific novel of suspense and mystery. It feels more like a standalone and can easily be read as one. However, the ending reminds us just why this is such a badass series! It is a cliff-hanger that has me buzzing to read the next title in the series.

‘It wasn’t just the Perry’s that had disappeared it was the whole viullage’

The title opens 2.5yrs after the disappearance of the families of Black Gate. An isolated and rural community, with the residents taking no money, passports or clothes. The local police and Raker are baffled as to how they’ve managed to simply disappear.
The missing residents are:
Chris & Laura Gibbs and their 19ur old son Mark.
Patrick & Francesca Perry.
Randolph Solomon (70yrs) & Emiline Wilson (64yrs)
John (68yrs) & Freda (67yrs) Davey.
All residents had been present that evening at the Gibbs family farm for a planned dinner party that evening. Did an organised killer strike? or did one of the group SNAP?

‘It didn’t look like a home anymore it looked like a mausoleum’
Raker begins by searching the premises of Black Gate and data checks on the financial backgrounds of the residents. But Whilst he finds some suspicious clues, it reaches to no concrete motive…

‘The crime itself was like oxygen. When it was there, a case and a story continued to breathe. When it wasn’t, everything withered and died’

There are alternative chapters set in LA following American cop Joline in 1985. An era of sexism within the LAPD. Joline is attempting to locate various criminals, as she has been nudged out of the largest police hunt… the police hunt for The Night Stalker!

There are some characters from Raker’s past involved in his investigations. We are reminded that not only is Raker an esteemed missing persons investigator. But that the cases are ingrained within his personality.
‘This wasn’t just a job to me missing people were my life’

A cracking new edition to the series and I CANNOT wait to read the next title in the series after that jaw-dropping ending!!!!!! 5*

‘Black Gate had started out as one of the strangest disappearances I’d ever come across’

TW
Tim Weaver
Website
The Authors missing persons Podcast
Twitter
My Review of I Am Missing and Q&A with Tim Weaver
My Review of You Were Gone

Anne Bonny #BookReview Never Tell by@LisaGardnerBks 5* #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #Thriller #Mystery #DDWarren #Series ‘The novel is a dark and twisted web of murder, arson, secrets and lies’

cover
Never Tell by Lisa Gardner
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

One death might be an accident.
Two deaths looks like murder.

A man is shot dead in his own home, and his pregnant wife, Evie, is found with the gun in her hands.

Detective D.D. Warren instantly recognises her. Sixteen years ago, Evie also shot her own father. That killing was ruled an accident.

D.D. doesn’t believe in coincidences. But this case isn’t as open and shut as it first appears, and her job is to discover the truth.

Evie might be a victim.

Or she might be about to get away with murder again.

My Review ~

‘My Husband’
‘He’s been shot. He’s dead’ – Evie

Never Tell focuses on protagonist Evie Carter, her past, her present and the men she leaves dead in her wake.
But is Evie innocent or guilty of murder?
Surely no one can be a victim in both cases?
Do coincidences really occur in first degree murder cases?

Detective D.D Warren is a workaholic cop with the Boston homicide unit. She was the police officer on the case of Evie’s fathers murder. When he was shot at his computer desk 16yrs ago. Warren becomes convinced Evie is a killer with secrets to hide.

‘For the second time in her life, Evie Carter’s gonna get away with murder’

At the scene of Evie’s husbands murder, in the present day. Evie remains calm, composed and cooperative as she is charged with murder. She shows no signs of physical abuse, tests positive for GSR and makes no denials. Evie is also five months pregnant…

‘I haven’t even met my baby yet, and I’m already filled with so many regrets’

Flora Dane, kidnap victim and confidential informant of warren; throws another spanner in the works when she recognises Conrad (Evie’s husband) from her past with kidnapper Jacob Ness. If Conrad is connected to Jacob, is he a predator? Was Evie just protecting herself and her unborn child?

Warren believes the answers must lie in the past and begins digging into Evie’s fathers crime scene, the potential motives and evidence. Evie’s father was a Harvard professor and mathematical genius with a photographic memory. What secrets lay behind what happened that day? And what drives a pregnant wife to killer her husband? What is Evie’s motive?

The novel is a dark and twisted web of murder, arson, secrets and lies. Gripping 5*

LG
Lisa Gardner
Website
Twitter