Anne Bonny Mini #BookReview Meet Me At The Museum by #AnneYoungson #NewRelease #Literary #Romance @TransworldBooks #MeetMeAtTheMuseum ‘A tender novel’

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Meet Me At The Museum by Anne Youngson
Review copy
Synopsis:

Sometimes it takes a stranger to really know who you are

When Tina Hopgood writes a letter of regret to a man she has never met, she doesn’t expect a reply.

When Anders Larsen, a lonely museum curator, answers it, nor does he.

They’re both searching for something, they just don’t know it yet.

Anders has lost his wife, along with his hopes and dreams for the future. Tina is trapped in a marriage she doesn’t remember choosing.

Slowly their correspondence blossoms as they bare their souls to each other with stories of joy, anguish and discovery. But then Tina’s letters suddenly cease, and Anders is thrown into despair.

Can their unexpected friendship survive?

My Review:

Meet Me At The Museum, is a short novel at just 201 pages. It is a correspondence based exploration of the two central characters. Tina Hopgood writes a letter originally intended to reach P.V. Glob, a professor whom dedicated a novel to her many years ago. Upon the discovery of P.V Glob’s death, she begins writing a series of letters to museum curator Anders Larson.

Through the letters we learn Tina and Anders full history. The hardships they have faced and the lessons they have learned throughout their lives.

What I really enjoyed about the exchange of letters, was that they were conversations you would never possibly hold with anyone face to face. But given the distance they are allowed to connect in an unusual way. They become emotionally intimate, with each offering the other a source of comfort and acknowledgement.

The novel is a story of human connection and it made me wonder, if we all had a pen-pal to confide in would it help us to self-analyse our own behaviours and lifestyle choices.

A tender novel 4*

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A beautiful hardback to add to any collection!

 

Anne Bonny mini #BookReview The Deserter’s Daughter by @SusannaBavin #NewRelease #Historical #Saga #ww1 @AllisonandBusby Can she escape the burden of her past?

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The Deserter’s Daughter by Susanna Bevin
Review copy
Synopsis:

1920, Chorlton, Manchester. As her wedding day draws near, Carrie Jenkins is trying on her dress and eagerly anticipating becoming Mrs Billy Shipton. But all too soon she is reeling from the news that her beloved father was shot for desertion during the Great War. When Carrie is jilted and the close-knit community turns its back on her as well as her mother and her half-sister, Evadne, the plans Carrie nurtured are in disarray.

Desperate to overcome private shock and public humiliation, and with her mother also gravely ill, Carrie accepts the unsettling advances of well-to-do furniture dealer Ralph Armstrong. Through Ralph, Evadne meets the aristocratic Alex Larter, who seems to be the answer to her matrimonial ambitions as well. But both sisters put their faith in men who are not to be trusted, and they will face danger and heartache before they can find the happiness they deserve.

My Mini Review:

The novel is set in 1920 Manchester, with our protagonist Carrie Jenkins a soon-to-be bride. She lives with her jealous sister Evadne and grieving mother. In the opening scenes Father Kelly; the local Catholic priest visits and reveals a devastating secret to the girls. One that will leave them in a cloud of shame.

‘You defied God himself rather than face the shame of your husband being shot at dawn for desertion’ – Father Kelly

The mother’s long-held secret is then exposed to not only her daughters but the entire local community. Their father was court marshalled and executed on the battlefields of ww1.

Carrie thinks that she may find some solace in the arms of her love Billy Shipton. But Ma Shipton, upon hearing the shocking news soon puts an end to any planning nuptials. The Shipton’s don’t wish to be associated with the scandal of marrying into the family of a deserter. Carrie is now alone more than ever, and she harbours a secret of her own.

The women are tested beyond belief, when they lose their employment. They are ostracised from their community, a community that longs to see them in ruin.

In the background there is a spin-off theme of the doctors working to understand ‘mind-horror’. I felt this was a fascinating thread as we still know so little about PTSD and battle fatigue.

This novel has much more of a historical fiction feel to it than a saga. It lacks the warmth of the characters in a saga novel and the local northern dialect. But with that being said, the family is one in turmoil.

A personal story of a ww1 deserter and the family he left behind. 4*

SB
Susanne Bavin
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Anne Bonny #BookReview Only The Dead Know by @verdandiweaves C.J. Dunford #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #NewSeries #Debut #DanielUneasyTruce @be_ebooks_com ‘Intriguing new addition to the crime fiction genre’

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Only The Dead Know by C.J Dunford
Daniel ‘Uneasy’ Truce – Mystery #1
Review copy
Synopsis:

After a traumatic military tour in the Middle East, Daniel “Uneasy” Truce returns home with PTSD. Something happened there. Something he never wants to come out.

A few hand shakes later, Truce lands a new job in a ragtag investigations unit. He may be emotionally awkward, but he’s got a knack for reading body language. Problem is, his boss hates him. Calls him mentally unsound. She gives Truce the dirty work. That’s how he ends up with “the crazy old bat” case.

At 11 a.m. every morning, June drops by her local police station to report a murder she witnessed. Initially the cops took her seriously. They visit the alleged victim’s home to find him very much alive. But June won’t give up, and her daily appearances become a nuisance. Truce is tasked to investigate. To shut her up. Soon June winds up dead-hit by a car. Was it really an accident? Truce thinks there’s more to the case. That maybe someone just doesn’t want the truth to come out …

Only the Dead Know is the first book in the Daniel ‘Uneasy’ Truce Mystery series.

My Review:

I am always intrigued by novels that feature military veterans. I am myself married to a veteran of 15yrs military service. I think even for myself, there is something fascinating about a protagonist who has been to war.

Daniel ‘uneasy’ Truce is an ex-military cop. He was orphaned at a young age and went from children’s home to military service. A situation not to unbelievable, if you’ve ever known any serving personnel. His only friend in the world is Leighton, who is what I’d call a sofa surfer. A close friend that hangs on Daniel’s every word, but actually contributes very little to the household.

Major Percival Bay managed to organise a role for Truce as a special advisor to combined special crimes task force – police Scotland. A role that is not what it seems. With a boos that hates him, he is often side-lined and given the uninteresting ‘crimes’. His boss Chief Superintendent Lydia Rose assigns him to the case of June Mills. An elderly lady who is reporting the same murder daily.
He is given specific instructions to ‘shut her up’.

‘You could talk to her: mental case to mental case’ – Chief Superintendent Lydia Rose

When Daniel meets June he actually really warms to her character. She assures him, she is not going senile. But when he digs a little deeper it would appear June is not lying. She leads a busy and happy lifestyle. She had met the victim previous to witnessing his alleged murder. The one problem is, the victim Davie Whiles, isn’t dead!

Despite their heart-to-heart and meeting of minds. When June fees she isn’t getting anywhere she goes to the press. Which brings a Lydia Rose sized storm upon Daniel.
Eventually Daniel relents and agrees to take June to the mortuary to ID any recent bodies. I wasn’t 100% this scene was very accurate.
But nevertheless, I ran with it. June ID’s no body.

‘There’s a mystery here. A mystery no one wants to solve. Yet everything about it is impossible’ – Truce

Days later Daniel spots a newspaper article, with a recent death of a woman that sounds a lot like June. The lady in question was knocked over and killed by a taxi driver. Daniel vows to investigate further.

‘There’s enough evil in this world without you making up more’ – Leighton

At June’s funeral, Daniel is introduced to her friends and learns more facts. Everything about June’s suicide contradicts itself. June’s death is a confusing case and nothing makes sense at all.

I did really enjoy the mystery element and found Daniel Truce a fantastic protagonist. There is a Q&A at the back of the novel which expands further upon his characters and themes. It is a brilliant addition and gives much food for thought. But obviously I cannot cover it within this review. There were elements I wasn’t so keen on, the police cast aside from Daniel were an array of stereotype cops. But it doesn’t ruin the enjoyment of this novel, as the main focus is mostly on Daniel.

Intriguing new addition to the crime fiction genre. 4*

CJD
C.J. Dunford
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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Motherland by @garry_abson #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #Russia #NatalyaIvanova #NewSeries #Debut @TheMirrorBooks ‘Darkest crimes in the deepest of pasts’

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Motherland by G.D Abson
Natalya Ivanova – Thriller #1

Review copy
Synopsis:

Motherland is the first in a gripping series of contemporary crime novels set in contemporary St Petersburg, featuring sharp and intriguing policewoman, Captain Natalya Ivanova.

Student Zena Dahl, the daughter of a Swedish millionaire, has gone missing in St Petersburg (or Piter as the city is colloquially known) after a night out with a friend. Captain Natalya Ivanova is assigned the case, making a change for Natalya from her usual fare of domestic violence work, but, because of the family’s wealth, there’s pressure for a quick result. But as she investigates she discovers that the case is not as straightforward as it may seem. Dark, violent and insightful, Motherland twists and turns to a satisfyingly dramatic conclusion.

My Review:

Modern day Russia is an unusual setting and era for a crime fiction novel. Yet it really works, it adds to the mystery and intrigue of organised crime and citizens being silenced.

The novel opens in St Petersburg 1999, new years eve night. With Sasha, Kristina, Vova and 2yr old Ksenia. It is a vague prologue and we are given snippets of information. We become aware a character named Yuri left 3 months ago to serve on in a prison colony. But we are left wondering how these characters fit into the main plot, of the story.

The novel then jumps to June 2017, with Zena Dahl from Ostermalm (near Stockholm) Sweden. She is enjoying a night out with friend Yulia, when she is accosted by some males and nearly raped. Is this where Zena goes missing?

Natalya Ivanova is our protagonist for this series. She is currently a police officer working predominately with domestic violence. But in a country where the harshest sentence for such crime is 3hrs detention, she is fighting a losing battle. Natalya works for the criminal investigations directorate, dealing with serious crimes. She is a tough and ambitious cop and one you instantly like. Her husband Mikhail is also a senior detective and he has a son Anton now 18ys old. There is family drama regarding Anton’s future. No university placement means conscription!
Something the couple are keen to avoid for their son.

When Natalya is called out to a recent domestic assault, we see the true nature of her day to day case load. With 14 thousand women murdered by their partners every year, domestic violence is a prevalent problem in modern day Russia.

Natalya is pulled of the routine case to assist with the missing teenager. Zena Dahl maybe 19yrs old but she has a wealthy father and that makes her case top priority. Zena interviews her neighbours and alleged best friend, but the leads don’t point to some serious harm having come to Zena. Natalya knows if she cannot prove this, the case will be dropped. Zena’s welfare rests solely with Natalya.

Zena’s father Thorsten Dahl with his lawyer Anatoly Lagunov. We learn that Zena was adopted by Throsten at 18 months old, as a single father. He has links to the orphanage she was residing in due to the death of her parents. She took an instant shine to Thorsten and he decided to adopt her and give her opportunities she never would have had with a life in care.
“Zena is all I have and I am all she has” – Thorsten Dahl

This is a complex case at its heart. The story of a missing woman in a country that appears not to care too much for its female citizens. Natalya Ivanova is feisty and fiery, she refuses to be overlooked by or for her male counterparts. She refuses to tow the line in a country where money and bribes talk. . .

“It’s always about the money and yet you call yourselves patriots” –  Natalya Ivanova

Darkest crimes in the deepest of pasts. 4*

Garry Abson
G.D. Abson
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***Don’t miss the other bloggers on the blog tour***
MOTHERLAND_blog-tour-2018

Anne Bonny #BookReview Should You Ask Me by @MarianneKav #NewRelease #Historical #Literary #ww2 @HodderPublicity @HodderBooks ‘I especially love the inclusion of an 86yr old protagonist who is captivating.’

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Should You Ask Me by Marianne Kavanagh
Review copy
Synopsis:

‘I’ve come about the bodies. I know who they are.’

Mary is eighty-six years old, and she’s tired of being quiet.

She has a story to tell, and she’s only going to tell it once, so she won’t be rushed.

Especially as it’s not just a story, it’s a confession.

Because Mary has a dark secret, buried decades before. And while William, the nice young constable, might think she just wants someone to talk to, everything she says forces him to confront his own difficult past.

A unique and poignant novel about passion, regret and heartbreak, set during one of the most tumultuous periods of modern British history.

My Review:

This is such a quirky novel! I was really surprised as it was not what I was expecting at all. The cover gives the impression of a mystery/thriller, which it is. What you don’t fully grasp is that this is set amongst the backdrop of ww2. I felt as though I was going on a journey with Miss Mary Holmes, a journey through her past. I was absolutely hooked! I think this would make a great TV drama. I especially love the inclusion of an 86yr old protagonist who is captivating.

The novel opens on a normal Monday morning in Dorset. The only thing slightly unusual is that Mary makes her way to the police station to make a confession. When I say ‘slightly unusual’ that is because Mary is known to spin a yarn or two. . .

‘You could say that I killed them’ – Miss Holmes

Recently in the little town of Acton there has been the discovery of two people’s remains. When Mary Homes makes her confession to the on-duty young constable William, it is clear she has a story to tell. She starts with her brief admission that she is responsible for both deaths. The whys/how’s are going to take much longer to get to the bottom of. This is a secret Mary has held for 60yrs.

‘I’m eighty-six years old. I’m tired of being quiet’ – Miss Holmes

The chapters also alternate between Mary’s past and that of William the police officer she is confessing too. It would seem both of them have a past and both of them have secrets.

‘The guilt eats away at you. A lifetime of telling lies’ – Miss Holmes

Over a series of days, Mary’s story is eventually unravelled by the ever-patient and attentive William It is a long drawn out story, but it is intriguing nevertheless. This novel is slow-burning as clearly stated. But it is one of those cosy reads, you’d enjoy by a log fire. I did find the story to be very realistic. My background is in adult mental health and I have worked in dementia care. I can assure you, the elderly often harbour, some secrets you’d never suspect by simply looking at them. 4*

MK
Marianne Kavanagh
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