#Review Close To Home by @CaraHunterBooks #DIAdamFawley #CrimeFiction #WhereIsDaisy @PenguinUKBooks @PenguinRHUK

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Close To Home by Cara Hunter
DI Adam Fawley #1
Synopsis:

HOW CAN A CHILD GO MISSING WITHOUT A TRACE?

Last night, eight-year-old Daisy Mason disappeared from a family party. No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying.
DI Adam Fawley is trying to keep an open mind. But he knows the nine times out of ten, it’s someone the victim knew.
That means someone is lying…
And that Daisy’s time is running out.

Introducing DI Fawley and his team of Oxford detectives, and a Richard and Judy Book Club pick for Spring 2018, CLOSE TO HOME is the new crime thriller series to get addicted to.

My review:

This novel is the first in the DI Adam Fawley series.
It surrounds the disappearance of an 8yr old girl named Daisy Mason.
Daisy disappears from a neighbourhood barbeque on a quiet suburban street. From the outside Daisy has the picture perfect lower middle-class existence.
But once you get closer to home, you realise nothing, is ever as perfect as it seems…..

The police team called in to deal with the aftermath of the disappearance are a mixed bunch of characters. But as we learn over the course of the novel DI Fawley is carrying a deep personal pain. As the coppers try to ascertain the facts, the last known sighting of Daisy and the family’s lifestyle. Everything suddenly becomes so much more complex. The Mason’s are far from the perfect family. But do they have something to hide?

Daisy’s mother Sharon is a bossy, vain woman, more consumed with her own image than her two young children. Her father Barry was close to his daughter, but something recently made her retract from him and resent his presence. Older brother Leo is only 10yrs old. He is quiet, bullied and withdrawn, he presents as a child with the weight of the world on his shoulders.
I got the sense he felt unloved and ignored as the investigation unfolded.
I just wanted to give him a hug and tell him everything would be alright.
I may have felt that way, but neither his mother or father did.

The timeline in the novel moves around, from the present day to the days leading up to the disappearance. There is so much more to this family, this neighbourhood and this little girl, than meets the eye. The novel also has a series of Tweets and articles scattered throughout. They make the case feel more realistic and you can easily imagine the media pressure piled onto the police at work. The #FindDaisy becomes a national cause and the family are facing trial by Twitter. Where there every move/look is subject to scrutiny. I found this reminiscent of the Madeleine Mccann case, where the mother was made the ultimate villain. Is Sharon the villain of the story or just a selfish woman? Under intense media scrutiny, I think most ordinary people could have their actions taken out of context. This adds an interesting dynamic to the family’s story, you have to separate the fact from the speculation.

The police officer characters are written very accurately. The novel shows how the case of a missing little girl gets under the skin of the detectives. How policing can be more than just a job, it can be a way of life.
I wish we the reader, had gotten to know more about the detective’s personal lives. But I respect the fact that this is a first in a series and the author is laying the ground work for the series to continue. I hope we learn more about DI Fawley in the series in the future.

There are ample twists and turns within the novel, that keep you guessing. The writing style reminded me of Belinda Bauer, who is one of my favourite authors.
It finishes with a jaw-dropping ending and I look forward to the next novel in the DI Adam Fawley series. 4.5*

Cara Hunter:
Cara Hunter is the pen-name of an established novelist starting a new life of crime in a series of Oxford-based books to be published by Viking/Penguin. Though this is not the Oxford of leafy quads and dreaming spires but an altogether edgier, unkinder place. The first novel, Close to Home, will be out in January 2018, with a second slated for later that year. “So many people who’ve read Close to Home compare it to Broadchurch, and in my book, that’s a compliment to kill for…”
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#BlogTour #Giveaway #UKonly The Dying Game by @asaavdic Asa Avdic @penguinRHUK @WindmillBooks #SwedishNoir

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The Dying Game by Asa Avdic
Synopsis:
Oh, it’s really quite simple. I want you to play dead.’

On the remote island of Isola, seven people have been selected to compete in a 48-hour test for a top-secret intelligence position. One of them is Anna Francis, a workaholic with a nine-year-old daughter she rarely sees, and a secret that haunts her. Her assignment is to stage her own death and then observe, from her hiding place inside the walls of the house, how the other candidates react to the news that a murderer is among them. Who will take control? Who will crack under pressure?

But as soon as Anna steps on to the island she realises something isn’t quite right. And then a storm rolls in, the power goes out, and the real game begins…

#Giveaway:

I am lucky enough to have 5 paperback copies to offer up for a giveaway via my blog! Which I think is awesome!
Not to mention the cover & synopsis, look great & sound very intriguing!

What I want to know ,via blog post comment, Pinned Tweet comment or comment on the original post on my FB page, Anne Bonny Book Reviews.
If given the chance to enter the role of Anna Francis, enter a remote island, fake your own death and watch the games begin, would you?

Could you take on the role of Anne Francis?
Answer #Yes or #No, to be in with a chance to #win!

*I label each entry with a number and one of my 3 kids picks random numbers for me! So there are no right/wrong answers! I shall announce the winners at 10pm Thursday!
via Twitter & Facebook! Good luck!

*****Let the Giveaway begin*****
Are you ready to play?

 

#BlogTour #Review 4* #AnythingYouDoSay by @GillianMAuthor @PenguinRHUK #NewRelease #CrimeFic

*I received an arc copy via the publisher in return for an honest review*

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Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister
Synopsis:

A tense thriller, perfect for fans of BBC’s Doctor Foster.

‘I could run, or I could stay and call him an ambulance. Now it is decision time . . . ‘

It’s the end of the night. You’re walking home on your own.

Then you hear the sound every woman dreads. Footsteps. Behind you. Coming fast.

You’re sure it’s him – the man from the bar who wouldn’t leave you alone.

You make a snap decision. You turn. You push. Your pursuer tumbles down the steps. He lies motionless, face-down on the floor.

Now What?

Call 999
Wait for the police to arrive. For judgement, for justice, whatever that may be. You just hope you husband, family and friends, everyone you love, will stand by you.

OR:

Run
Stay silent. You didn’t mean to do it. You were scared, you panicked. And no one saw. No one will ever know. If you leave now. If you keep quiet. Forever.

Which is it to be?

My review:

“It starts with a selfie”

Protagonist Joanna is out in a bar, in London with best friend Laura. They laugh and joke, posing for a selfie with a random man. They treat the random man (Sadiq) rather coldly, leaving his to retaliate in a rather pushy manner. They leave the bar and part their ways and that is when the unpredictable moment occurs……..

“You don’t want to be talking to me like that” Sadiq

Joanna take her path which leads her alone, down by a canal. She begins to feel followed and anxious. She takes her phone out and calls her husband Rueben, they talk for minutes before the call fails. Leaving Joanna and her pursuer alone…….

Joanna is at the top of the stairs, when she feels a close presence of the man, she thinks is Sadiq. She turns and in a fit of panic pushes the man, down the stairs. He lies at the bottom of the stairs motionless and it is NOW the time for Joanna to decide, Fight or flight?

The following narrative is played out in two sequences. Very reminiscent of the movie Sliding Doors, featuring Gwyneth Paltrow. One half depicts what would have played out had Joanna revealed herself as the attacker. The other portrays what would have occurred had Joanna concealed her attack. I think the alternating chapters offer the reader, much food for thought. So I can see the novel being popular with book groups. I did contemplate myself what I would have done, in a similar situation.

Personally I found the protagonist of Joanna very unlikable. She is obsessed and infatuated with her husband. She is full of middle class drama and at times I contemplated her own mental health. But I found this, to be the point of her character. That we as the reader, won’t necessarily like her. But we will question her actions and why she behaves the way in which she does. Much like the police and the media, question the actions of all involved. Or maybe I got the narrative completely wrong, never the less.
This novel is thought provoking and I read the entire book one evening! 4*

GM
Gillian McAllister
Authors links:
Website: https://gillianmcallister.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gillianmauthor?lang=en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gillianmcallisterauthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15967497.Gillian_McAllister

#Review 4* Hag-Seed by @MargaretAtwood @PenguinRHUK #LiteraryFiction #HogarthShakespeare

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Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
Synopsis:
LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2017

Selected as a Book of the Year – Observer, Sunday Times, Times, Guardian, i magazine

Felix is at the top of his game as Artistic Director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival. His productions have amazed and confounded. Now he’s staging a Tempest like no other. It will boost his reputation. It will heal emotional wounds.

Or that was the plan. Instead, after an act of unforeseen treachery, Felix is living in exile in a backwoods hovel, haunted by memories of his beloved lost daughter, Miranda. Also brewing revenge.

After twelve years, revenge finally arrives in the shape of a theatre course at a nearby prison. Here, Felix and his inmate actors will put on his Tempest and snare the traitors who destroyed him. It’s magic! But will it remake Felix as his enemies fall?

My review:

Before I write this review, I have a little confession to make. Well actually two confessions. Firstly, this is my first book read, by Margaret Atwood. I know, I am ashamed of myself! But to be fair, I didn’t discover Steven King until my 20s! Secondly, I have not read The Tempest by William Shakespeare, of which the novel is largely based. The only Shakespeare, I have read is Romeo And Juliet & Macbeth. These being from my school days! There we go, Abby leaves confessional!

The novel opens with Felix, the artistic director of the Makeshiweg festival, being betrayed and uprooted from his position. I would like to say this is the only emotional pain in Felix’s life, but sadly it is not. Having lost his wife in childbirth and daughter 3 years later to meningitis. Felix is in deep emotional pain.
He vows revenge upon Tony, whom has betrayed him!

“Tony and Sal must suffer”

Felix packs up his belongings and retreats to a shanty cottage in the woods. Where he remains in exile for quite sometime…. Whilst in exile he begins to have delusions of his daughter. They empower him to seek vengeance and Felix becomes an internet stalker, of the men who have wronged him. On year nine of exile, he applies for a job at the Fletcher Correctional facility. Under the secret identity of Mr Duke, he applies for the role of running the literacy program delivered to the inmates.

Felix is accepted for the position and his role involved assignments and producing a play. Of which he chooses The Tempest, guiding and aiding the inmates to fully understand the play. I found Felix to be charismatic yet troubled and charming and likable. I began to root for Felix on his journey towards revenge. By running the program Felix meets new people, who improve his life and help him heal.
But not before he has, had his revenge……

I really enjoyed this novel and can see the huge appeal of the book to book groups. There is room for the debate of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and also the character is Felix and what guides his vendetta. I really enjoyed how cleverly written the novel is and I look forward to The Handmaids tale, which is also on my book shelves! 4*

MA
Margaret Atwood
Authors Links:
Twitter: @MargaretAtwood
Website: http://margaretatwood.ca/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3472.Margaret_Atwood
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MargaretAtwoodAuthor/

 

#BlogTour review: The Search by Howard Linskey

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The Search by Howard Linskey

The synopsis:

Someone knows where the bodies are buried…

Little Susan Verity went missing during the heatwave of 1976. An unprecedented amount of police resource went into finding her, but to no avail. Until now.

Convicted serial killer Adrian Wicklow was always the prime suspect. In the past, he’s repeatedly lied to the police about where Susan’s body is buried – playing a sick game from behind bars.

But this time, he says, he’ll tell the truth. Because Adrian Wicklow is dying.

Detective Ian Bradshaw works with investigative journalists Helen Norton and Tom Carney to find the body. However, this is Wicklow’s life’s work. Would a murderer on death’s door give up his last secret so easily…?

My review:

Whenever I hear Howard Linskey has a new book out, I am automatically interested!
The Search is the third novel in his Durham series, which centres around Detective Ian Bradshaw and Journalists Helen Morton & Tom Carney. I would equally recommend the others in the series #1 No name Lane and #2 Behind Dead Eyes.

The Search opens on the 20-year anniversary of the disappearance of missing little girl Susan Verity. The novel is set between two eras, with 1996 being the present and the backdrop of the disappearance in 1976. We meet oddball Billy Thorpe, who was the last person to see Susan alive. He is rather obsessed with the case and uses it to gain sympathy from people. Convicted serial killer Adrian Wicklow is thought to have killed Susan, however with no body and little evidence was unable to be formally convicted for it. Which leads to speculation and mystery of if he did it or if the killer is still out there?

The 1976 case is complex, with rumours the Durham police force beat Wicklow to obtain a confession and that they in some way, messed up the original investigation. It is known as Durham’s greatest unsolved mystery and with the 20-year anniversary documentary looming, Detective Ian Bradshaw is asked to re-investigate. With the original police officers now retired or moved on, it presents as a difficult case to tackle. Frustrated with the old evidence and on orders from the police hierarchy Ian decides to visit Wicklow…..

Wicklow is currently residing in solitary confinement, he has cancer and only has weeks left to live. Wicklow is known to use interviews with psychiatrists, victim’s family members and police to exercise his control over them and initiate minds games. With victim’s bodies still missing and a lack of understanding about why he did what he did Wicklow holds all the cards, or does he?

Billy continues to be a pest and involve himself in the media surrounding the anniversary. We learn through the story there were 6 children playing in their constructed den in the fields that day. They remain affected by the case to the present day and they are widely known as cursed due to the incident. But what secrets do Susan, Andrea, Michelle, Danny, Kevin and Billy hold? 6 cursed children went into the den, 5 returned and 1 went missing, never to be seen again!

There is a secondary story when Tom meets Lena who is searching for her sister Jess in Durham. He agrees to help her in her search but Helen is more reluctant. There is an air of tension between Tom, Helen, Lena and Philip in this novel. Which slowly unfolds within the novel.

Wicklow gives Bradshaw a Dictaphone tape of his life story. Is this one of Wicklow’s mind games? Can Bradshaw decipher the past to find answers? Did Wicklow murder Susan? Their interviews continue and they make for chilling reading. Wicklow attempting to exert his authority over Bradshaw and Bradshaw becoming more and more sickened by Wicklow. The case continues to build, it becomes more and more complex, what really happened that day? Where is poor Susan verity?

I really enjoyed this crime fiction novel and look forward to reading more in the series and more by Howard Linskey. The Search is released tomorrow (4th May 2017).
My Blog will also feature a review for the #BlogTour of Howard’s other novel out this month, Hunting The Hangman. A WW2 novel of epic proportions, released 25th May and published by No Exit Press. My blog post is planned for the 18th May 🙂

Author’s Links:
Web: HowardLinskey.co.uk
Twitter: @HowardLinskey