Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview Something To Live For by @richardroper 5* #NewRelease #LiteraryFiction @orionbooks #FeelGoodFiction #FindYourSomething

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Something To Live For by Richard Roper
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

Sometimes you have to risk everything to find your something…

All Andrew wants is to be normal. He has the perfect wife and 2.4 children waiting at home for him after a long day. At least, that’s what he’s told people.

The truth is, his life isn’t exactly as people think and his little white lie is about to catch up with him.

Because in all Andrew’s efforts to fit in, he’s forgotten one important thing: how to really live. And maybe, it’s about time for him to start.

Your favourite authors have all got Something to Live For…

My Review ~

‘Andrew looked at the coffin and tried to remember who was inside’

Our protagonist Andrew, has a job working with the local council. His primary role is to locate the family of deceased residents and organise ‘paupers’ funerals. Something which is explained in much better detail than I could do it justice.
Andrew is 42yrs old, as we begin to read we learn he has been at the department for 5yrs. His boss, Cameron Yates puts him in charge of showing their new employee Peggy Green how to perform various roles and this is when Andrew’s life begins to change.

There is a flashback scene to 5yrs previously and we learn how Andrew came to spin the yarn that is ‘a wife and 2 children’. His ‘wife’ Diane and two kids Steph and David, simply don’t exist. But there is a whole story to their lives.
I actually found Andrew’s story quite heart-warming. He’s just a man desperate to fit in and in his ambition to seem ‘normal’ accidentally ends up having to follow a lie for five whole years!!!!!

‘I just wanted to feel normal’

We also learn of Andrew’s family background. His parents are long gone and within the story, he receives some shocking news about his free-spirit sister Sally too. Andrew really is a man with no such luck!

‘Have you ever imagined your own funeral?’

Something To Live For is the perfect novel for fans of Rowan Coleman’s The Summer Of Impossible Things Also for fans of Mike Gayle’s The Man I Think I Know with a dash of Adrian Mole. An easy feel-good read, I raced through the pages. 5*

‘I spend half my life daydreaming about what I’d be doing with myself If I wasn’t stuck where I was…’ 

RR
Richard Roper
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Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview The Strawberry Thief by Joanne Harris @Joannechocolat 5* Genius #NewRelease #Literature #LiteraryFiction @orionbooks

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The Strawberry Thief by Joanne Harris
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

Vianne Rocher has settled down. Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, the place that once rejected her, has finally become her home. With Rosette, her ‘special’ child, she runs her chocolate shop in the square, talks to her friends on the river, is part of the community. Even Reynaud, the priest, has become a friend.

But when old Narcisse, the florist, dies, leaving a parcel of land to Rosette and a written confession to Reynaud, the life of the sleepy village is once more thrown into disarray.

The arrival of Narcisse’s relatives, the departure of an old friend and the opening of a mysterious new shop in the place of the florist’s across the square – one that mirrors the chocolaterie, and has a strange appeal of its own – all seem to herald some kind of change: a confrontation, a turbulence – even, perhaps, a murder…

My Review ~ 

‘Forty years a witch and now, at last, I have become a puritan’

I am completely new to this series and Joanne Harris’s writing. I do have several on my tbr pile, which I will be aiming to read over the summer. I found The Strawberry Thief to be exceptionally well written, the writing to be both magical and emotive. It really is a feel good summer read for those seeking quirky and eccentric characters.
So lets begin…

‘Snow, out of a clear blue sky. Someone will be dead by dawn’ – Rosette

The title opens with Vianne Rocher who lives with her daughter Rosette in Lansquenet-Sous-Tannes and together they run the local chocolate shop. Vianne deeply misses older daughter Anouk whom is living in Paris. Vianne’s pain at their separation is also followed with a sense of submission to this perfectly normal coming-of-age situation. No matter what age or the circumstance, when your oldest child flies the nest, every mother feels an added sense of loss.

The novel has narratives from various points of view. Which includes Father Reynaud, but my favourite point of view, was that of young Rosette. Who unintentionally becomes the talk of town, when elderly shop owner Narcisse passes away and leaves her an expensive piece of land. Even Vianne is unsure why Narcisse would leave such a gift to a young child. Rosette is often referred to as ‘not-normal, she is often pitied. But despite all the challenges she may face in life. Someone was looking out for her, someone thought she was extra special and someone named her The Strawberry Thief.

‘Making friends isn’t easy when you’re different’

The novel draws in various characters with the reading of the will. We meet the ‘delightful’ Michele Montour (Narcisse’s materialistic daughter) and Vianne’s on/off lover Roux. Rosette is definitely more aware than people give her credit for and in her internal dialogue she begins to question her life and routines. That is until she sees a ghost in Narcisse’s empty shop and becomes entranced by a newcomer to the village.

‘Evil has no feet’

The village is alive with the mystery of Narcisse’s will and speculation turns quickly to gossip. Why did he entrust such a prime piece of land to a young girl of 16yrs old who has her head in the clouds? What makes Rosette so special?
Only one man holds the answers and they are sealed behind the privilege of confession.

Before his death Narcisse had written a letter Which upon his death would be given to Father Reynaud. The letter is a manuscript of Narcisse’s life and within we learn all the secrets he held close to his heart and the deep bond he shared with another.
It is a story that slowly broke my heart, it cuts deep into the human psyche and why we are the way we are. Why we feel the emotions we feel.

‘Love redeems us even when we think ourselves irredeemable’

I highly recommend this title for those whom enjoy quirky characters, beautiful writing and the feeling of being in a small French village as you watch the story unfold.
5* Genius

JH
Joanne Harris
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Anne Bonny #BookReview The Silent Patient by @AlexMichaelides 5* #NewRelease #Psychological #Thriller #TheSilentPatient @orionbooks @orion_crime

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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Review Copy
Synopsis:

ALICIA
Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.
Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.
THEO
Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.
And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?

My Review:

“Alicia Brenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband”

Alicia Brenson has already faced justice for the seemingly random murder of her husband. She has remained in psychiatric settings and has never spoken a word since the murder 6yrs ago. But why does the woman who has it all, murder the man she professes to love?

“I wanted to fix her” – Theo Faber
Enter psychologist Theo Faber, who transfers from Broadmoor with the sole intentions of freeing Alicia from this world of silence. He begins his therapies with little and no response. Theo is facing a backlash from the staff at The Grove, as they disapprove of his methods. But nevertheless, he persists, in his endeavour of helping Alicia. Why does Theo see Alicia as in some form a victim?

The seven-year itch, never seemed so sinister…

Eventually, Theo has some success in discovering a diary, written by Alicia. But what he discovers will shatter his enter world
“No crazy thought allowed”

The novel has a brilliant ending and is a stark reminder, there is always two sides to every story. I actually found the writing style very reminiscent of Sarah Pinborough and was left thinking ‘how do you even write like that?’. A HUGE 5* from me.

AM
Alex Michaelides
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*Apologies for missing my blog tour date*
The Silent Patient Blog Tour Part 2

Anne Bonny #BlogTour #Extract #ForTheMissing by @Linabdtr Lina Bengtsdotter #Scandi #CrimeFiction #NewRelease @orionbooks @orion_crime

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For The Missing by Lina Bengtsdotter
Synopsis:

She must find Annabelle. Before it’s too late.

THE MISSING
Nora’s daughter Annabelle has disappeared, last seen on her way home from a party.

THE LOST
Gullspång’s inexperienced police are wilting under the national media spotlight – and its residents desperate for answers.

THE CLOCK IS TICKING . . .
Stockholm DI Charlie Lager must return home to find Annabelle, and then get out of town as soon as she can. Before everyone discovers the truth about her . . .

Extract:

Charlie woke up at seven. She never slept well after a night of drinking, particularly not in a strange bed. She looked over at the man next to her. Martin, was that his name? And what had she told him her name was? Maria? Magdalena? She always lied about her name when she picked up men in bars – her name
and her profession. Mostly so they wouldn’t try to look her up, but also because nothing was a bigger turn-off than jokes about handcuffs and women in uniform. Being easily bored was one of her many problems.

Anyway, this Martin bloke had come up to her to ask why she was sitting alone at the bar, then without waiting for a reply he had bought her a drink, and then another; and when the place closed they had moved on to his house. Martin was not the type go home with someone on the first date; he had told
her so while fumbling with his front door lock. And Charlie had replied that she was. Martin had laughed and said he really liked women with a sense of humour and Charlie hadn’t had the heart to tell him she wasn’t kidding.

She got up quietly. Her head was pounding. I need to get home, she thought. I need to find my clothes and then get home.
Her dress was on the floor in the kitchen, she didn’t bother looking for her knickers. She had almost made it out when she accidentally stepped on a toy that started playing a loud tune, Mary Had a Little Lamb. ‘Fuck,’ she whispered. ‘Goddamnit.’

She could hear Martin moving in the bedroom. She quickly found her way to the front door, grabbed her shoes, opened the door and ran down the stairs.
She was unprepared for the light that hit her as she stepped out onto the street; it took her a moment to sort through her sensory impressions and pin down exactly where she was. Östermalm, Skeppargatan. A taxi would get her home in five minutes. She looked around, but there were no taxis in sight, so she started walking.

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Anne Bonny #BookReview Never Saw It Coming by @linwood_barclay 4* #Mystery #Thriller @orion_crime ‘What happens when the scammer, gets scammed?’

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Never Saw It Coming by Linwood Barclay
My own copy
Synopsis:

Keisha Ceylon is a psychic. So she says. The truth is, she watches the news for stories of missing family members, gives it a few days, then tells these families she’s had a vision. She may be able to help. And by the way, she charges for this service, and likes to see the money up front.

Keisha’s latest mark is a man whose wife disappeared a week ago. She’s seen him on TV, pleading for his wife to come home, or for whoever took her to let her go. So she pays him a visit.

The trouble is, her vision just happens to be close enough to the truth that it leaves the man rattled. And it may very well leave Keisha dead . . .

NEVER SAW IT COMING is based on the novella CLOUDED VISION, which was published as part of the Quick Reads programme in 2011.

My Review:

I have read several Linwood Barclay novels now and haven’t been let down once! I am a huge fan of his style of writing and my favourite so far is definitely A Noise Downstairs.

Never Saw It Coming, centres around con artist ‘psychic’ Keisha Ceylon. She lives with her dead beat boyfriend Kirk and young son Matthew (10yrs). I think it is quite clear Keisha is motivated by financial means to ‘trick’ the bereaved into hearing what they want to hear. At first I felt uncomfortable reading her scenes thinking ‘how does she sleep at night?’ but then it became evident her tricks were soon to catch up with her. . . .

Keisha has recently pulled off a big con involving a local youth named Justin. When she sees the TV appeal from father and daughter Wendall and Melissa Garfield, pleading for the safe return of Ellie Garfield who is missing. It sparks an idea in Keisha and she begins her usual approach with the family in question. But Keisha isn’t quite prepared for Wendall and his offhand approach towards her. Wendall scares Keisha and for the first time, she begins to feel she may have picked the wrong family to con. . .

What happens when the scammer, gets scammed?

The novel is an intense psychological thriller, packed with shady characters and I really enjoyed the pace and the style. 4*
Next up on my Linwood Barclay TBR pile is Parting Shot.

LB
Linwood Barclay
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