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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#Wrecked by @JoeIdeTweets US #PublicationDay #Music #Playlist #IQ #Series #Rap #HipHop @mulhollandbooks @wnbooks @orionbooks

Wrecked
Wrecked by Joe Ide ~ IQ #3
Synopsis:

Isaiah Quintabe – IQ for short – has never been more successful, or felt more alone. A series of high-profile wins in his hometown of East Long Beach have made him so notorious that he can hardly go to the corner store without being recognized. Dodson, once his sidekick, is now his full-fledged partner, hell-bent on giving IQ’s PI business some real legitimacy: a Facebook page, and IQ’s promise to stop accepting Christmas sweaters and carpet cleanings in exchange for PI services.

So when a young painter approaches IQ for help tracking down her missing mother, it’s not just the case Isaiah’s looking for, but the human connection. And when his new confidant turns out to be connected to a dangerous paramilitary operation, IQ falls victim to a threat even a genius can’t see coming.

Waiting for Isaiah around every corner is Seb, the Oxford-educated African gangster who was responsible for the death of his brother, Marcus. Only, this time, Isaiah’s not alone. Joined by a new love interest and his familiar band of accomplices, IQ is back – and the adventures are better than ever.

Wrecked/IQ Playlist:

For the US release of Wrecked, knowing I couldn’t blog a review. I decided to host something a little bit different and I HOPE unique!
This is my Wrecked/IQ playlist…………

1) 2pac – Never Had A Friend Like Me
Perfect IQ & Dodson track.
To me this was the easiest choice, The series had to have a 2pac track and this one perfectly sums up the relationship between IQ & Dodson!

2) Drake – Take Care feat Rihanna
Perfect IQ & Grace song! ~ Don’t wish to accidentally provide spoilers, so I guess you’ll have to check back once you’ve read Wrecked!

3) Warren G – Regulate feat Nate Dogg
This would illustrate the world IQ lives in.

4) Mobb Deep – Survival Of The Fittest.
This is the perfect track for WRECKED as an individual title.
I LOVE this song!
This is my favourite on the list!

5) Dr.Dre – The Message feat Mary J Blige
Perfect IQ & Marcus track.
Covers the pain of bereavement of a brother.

***This playlist is NOT endorsed by the author/publishers, nor was I paid to compile it.
It is simply just a blogger/fan playlist to share on social media platforms, to celebrate the release of Wrecked and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and recommendations too***
*please feel free to add song titles/artists to the comments section below*

Other Titles in the series…..
IQ
IQ by Joe Ide ~ IQ #1
Synopsis:

SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA JOHN CREASEY (new blood) DAGGER

THE TIMES CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH: ‘Full of humour, originality and high-quality writing’

East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, the elderly are being mugged, children go missing. But word has spread: if you’ve got a case the police can’t – or won’t – touch, Isaiah Quintabe will help you out.

They call him IQ. He’s a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence. His clients pay him whatever they can afford, a new set of tyres or some homemade muffins. But now he needs a client who can pay. And the only way to that client is through a jive-talking, low-life drug dealer he thought he’d left behind. Then there’s the case itself. A drug-addled rap star surrounded by a crew of flunkies who believes his life is in danger; and a hit man who even other hit men say is a lunatic. If he solves this case, IQ can put right a mistake he made long ago. If not it won’t just be the hit man coming after him …

WINNER of the ANTHONY AWARD for Best Debut, the SHAMUS AWARD for BEST FIRST P.I. NOVEL. the MACAVITY AWARD for Best First Novel; SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 EDGAR AWARD and STRAND CRITICS AWARD.

Righteous
Righteous by Joe Ide ~ IQ #2
Synopsis:

‘In a way, the hate felt good. You were righteous, godlike, the dispenser of justice . . .’
Super-smart sleuth Isaiah Quintabe – IQ to his friends – has built a mostly respectable life for himself, helping out friends and neighbours when he can and taking the occasional case to make ends meet. But there is one mystery that still haunts him almost ten years later – did his brother really die in a hit-and-run or was there more to the story behind his death?

IQ has been approached by his brother’s former girlfriend Sarita, whose younger sister, an erratic DJ and gambling addict, has gone missing in Las Vegas – with a frightening loan shark, Chinese Triad gangsters, and her own deadbeat boyfriend hot on her tail. Accompanied once more by his fast-talking, don’t-call-me-a-sidekick partner Dodson, IQ heads off for the casinos and massage parlours of Las Vegas. His quest takes an unexpected turn when he meets a criminal mastermind who knows something about the murky circumstances that surrounded his brother’s death. But when Isaiah learns the truth, what will he do with it?

JI
Joe Ide
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Wrecked

***Wrecked is released in the US today in BOTH hardback & audio format ~
Ebook format is available from 11th Oct***

***Wrecked is released in the UK in BOTH Audio and Ebook format on 11th Oct ~ Hardback is available on 21st Feb 2019***
*At time of blog post*

HAPPY READING!