#BlogTour #Review #DangerousCrossing by Rachel Rhys @MsTamarCohen @TransworldBooks #HistFic

Dangerous Crossing Cover
Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys
Synopsis:
England, September 1939
Lily Shepherd boards a cruise liner for a new life in Australia and is plunged into a world of cocktails, jazz and glamorous friends. But as the sun beats down, poisonous secrets begin to surface. Suddenly Lily finds herself trapped with nowhere to go …

Australia, six-weeks later
The world is at war, the cruise liner docks, and a beautiful young woman is escorted onto dry land in handcuffs.

What has she done?

My review:

This novel is set on-board a vessel departing England for Australia. The era is 1939 and the second world war looms in the background throughout the novel. I found the novel to be an intricate story of some of the passengers on-board and their relationships with one another. At times I did long for more tension and drama. But this is the 1930s and tension/drama is named as scandal and the novel is packed full of 1930s scandals………

Lillian ‘Lily’ Shepherd is a young woman, coming of age. She leaves behind some dark secrets in England and a family that loves her. She is departing on the Orontes ship for two years’ domestic servitude. Travelling in a third class cabin in F deck, which will be shared with three others and Mrs Collins as their appointed official to accompany the young women.
I got the real sense that Lily was running away from something and her past is interwoven into the plot.

“it’s only two years, remember? I’ll be home before you know it” Lily Shepherd

On-board the ship, Lily meets a wealth of characters and these form the basis of the plot and build the novel to its fantastic ending! Clara and Peggy Mills are a mother and daughter travelling alone. Edward and Helena Fletcher are also a brother and sister traveling to a new life. George Price is heading to New Zealand, his wealthy father wanting to avoid his sole heir being called up to ww2. Lily also meet the elusive and mysterious married couple Eliza and Max Campbell. The Campbell’s are currently first class passengers but enjoying mixing with others, due to a secret in their past. Maria Kats is an Austrian Jewish woman, fleeing for her life, she is disliked by the others but Lily refuses to be ‘told’ with whom she can be friends.

Lily is warned many times that the Campbell’s are dangerous and it isn’t until she starts to witness it with her own eyes, she sees just how much. Ida, one of the other young women leaving for a life of servitude, warns Lily about soiling her reputation. But Lily remains firm, she will decide for herself who her friends are. On-board with illness rife and being in such close proximity to one another. The characters begin to share their secrets and lies, taking one another in confidence.
For one of the group, this shall have deadly consequences………..

When Maria is assaulted, we see a change in the dynamics. Some of the group and the captain show clear disdain for people of the Jewish faith. With George even, going as far, as saying he agrees with Hitler’s attitudes towards Jews. I found this quite shocking! But how they judge each other on the basis of gender, faith and class, is entirely accurate with the era, sadly. The Campbell’s past unravels slowly and we the reader are exposed to scandal after scandal. It’s quite clear the Campbell’s revel in the drama and intrigue of the scandals they create. I found them fascinating as characters, but dreadful as people.

“Damaged people are dangerous people” Ian Jones

Australian natives Ian Jones and his fellow engineers are introduced to the story. It was interesting to read how the group responded to them and they to the group. The gossip and speculation is rife throughout the story. There’s an abject level of snobbery throughout the passengers for various reasons. It builds and builds to a strange, yet engrossing ending, that most readers will NOT spot coming!

I enjoyed this novel and felt the portrayal of characters and the historical accuracy for the era were fabulous. I would definitely read another historical crime fiction novel by the author. The central characters all have depth and Lily as a protagonist is believable and likeable.
I really warmed to Lily throughout the novel. The rose amongst the thorns! 4*

“Lily, do you ever feel as if you only exit when you see yourself reflected back in somebody else’s eyes?” Eliza Campbell.

#BlogTour #Review #LastStopTokyo by #JamesBuckler @TransworldBooks

Last Stop Tokyo Cover
Last Stop Tokyo by James Buckler
Synopsis:

The funny thing with suffering is just when you think you’ve suffered enough, you realize it’s only the beginning.

Alex thought running away would make everything better. Six thousand miles from the mistakes he’s made and the people he’s hurt, Tokyo seems like the perfect escape. A new life, a new Alex.

The bright lights and dark corners of this alien and fascinating city intoxicate him, and he finds himself transfixed by this country, which feels like a puzzle that no one can quite explain. And when Alex meets the enigmatic and alluring Naoko, the peace he sought slips ever further from his grasp.

After all, trust is just betrayal waiting to happen and Alex is about to find out that there’s no such thing as rock bottom. There’s always the chance it’ll get worse . . .

My review:

“Trust is just betrayal waiting to happen”

This really struck me when I read the synopsis and I knew the novel had a theme of betrayal. The theme is very deep and runs throughout the entire novel.
Why do we betray one another and turn on each other?

Alex Mallory is a man with a past, but he won’t tell you all in one, go! His past will slowly unravel and building to the moment you realise why he fled London of bright city lights of Tokyo. At that moment your jaw is likely to be on the floor! Alex’s past is extremely complex, with family feuds, drugs and a fateful accident, which all collide one Christmas day, night!

The novel opens with Alex arriving in Japan having travelled from Thailand. At this point I was slightly confused. This novel has so many twists and turns it was at page 80, I finally had a full grasp of Alex’s predicament. So bear with this novel and it’s conflicting start, because it is so worth it! We learn Alex doesn’t have much in Tokyo, a friend Hiro and a secret girlfriend Naoko. We learn he has lost his career in England and is now working teaching English for a boss he hates. Alex is regarded as a ‘gaijin’ the Japanese term for a foreigner. The Japanese culture, social hierarchy and manners, is fully explored within this novel and makes for absorbing reading! Having never been to Japan, I was eager to absorb as much information as I could.

The novel focuses on the relationships between Alex, Hiro and Naoko. Their unique bonds, differences and secrets from their pasts.
“The past is a dangerous subject” Alex.
It would seem Alex is not the only one with secrets, is Naoko really who she says she is? Why is Hiro so eager to deceive and manipulate the other two? When an argument ensues we the reader are forced to ask, who are Alex and Naoko? Can they survive each other?

This is a novel with strong themes of betrayal and honour. How far would we all go to protect ourselves and our reputation?
“The funny thing with suffering, is just when you think you’ve suffered enough, you realise it’s only just beginning” 4*

#BlogTour 5* #Review #IKnowASecret by @tessgerritsen @TransworldBooks #NewRelease

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I Know A Secret by Tess Gerritsen
Synopsis:

I have a secret.
And someone wants to make sure I never tell . . .

In a house decorated with horror movie posters, a young woman’s body is found. She lies on her bed, two bloodied objects clutched in her palm. Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles are called to the murder scene, but even faced with this gruesome sight they are unable to identify the immediate cause of death.

Their investigation leads them to a high-profile murder case that was seemingly solved years before. But when another body is found in horrific circumstances, the link between the two victims is clear. Was the wrong person sent to prison? Is the real killer out there right now, picking off new targets?

One woman knows the killer is coming for her next. She’s the only one who can help Rizzoli and Isles catch him.

But she has a secret that she has to keep . . .

My review:

This is Rizzoli & Isles #12 but can easily be read as a standalone novel. Detective Jane Rizzoli and forensic pathologist Maura Isles, are a crime solving due in Boston, USA. With a young woman found dead, with links to high-profile solved case from years ago.
This is no easy case to solve by any measure…..

The novel starts quite slow in the beginning and I longed for the usual, complete and utter engrossment, I get with novels by this author. However, at 50% in, things took a monumental turn and I realised this was the work of a very clever author and writing style. It felt as though the first half of the novel, the author is leaving tiny, tiny breadcrumbs and clues to the plot. Which at the halfway mark, blew me away!

The novel opens with unreliable narrator Holly, attending the funeral of childhood friend Sarah. Sarah having been victim to a fatal house fire. I didn’t like Holly from the onset but the way she delivered little riddle like clues, that had me hooked!
Five rode the school bus that afternoon, only 4 remain alive…….

Maura Isles is visiting a terminally ill, cancer patient, who also turns out to be a psychopathic serial killer. Nothing new there, due to her role as a forensic pathologist would often mean engaging with such killers, after they have been caught. Except this killer Amalthea Lank, is Isles birth mother…….
They have a fraught discussion and you can see Lank’s attempts to draw Isle’s into some form of emotional blackmail with mind games. The relationship between the two in the novel, makes for eerie reading and displays the psychology of familial bonds.
The crosses we all bear due to DNA.

Detective Jane Rizzoli and detective Barry Frost are attempting to analyse the crime scene, where the young victim lays sprawled across the bed, with empty eye sockets and an eye in each hand. The crime scene is grotesque and this is not a novel for the faint hearted. The victim Cassandra Coyle, a young wannabe film maker positioning resembles a similar case in Dallas. A case where 3 young college girls were murdered but the perpetrator was caught.
Is someone trying to send a message to the police?
Does this mean there will be more bodies?

Someone is watching Rizzoli and Isles

The investigation continues with much speculation and theories, but theories don’t catch killers! The autopsy turns up more mystery than hard evidence and the CCTV displays nothing more than a silhouette of a tall man. Not to mention the warring parents at the funeral of the victim. Rizzoli and Isles have little more than some sketchy theories and links to a previous new age cult. When the body of a dead man shows up, with similar findings. The duo know they have the work of a crazed killer on their hands.

“oh what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive” Holly

There appears no obvious link to the victims, other than a ‘mechanism of death’ used in the murders. *See I told you this was not for the faint hearted!*
The mechanism of death and theories that surround the case, make for fascinating reading. They force the duo to investigate painful cold cases and contact victims, who would rather forget the past.

I can’t give away anymore, with regards to the plot, because to do so would leave spoilers. I do look forward to hearing other readers shock and awe, when they hit the halfway mark! Because this novel has an insanely epic turn!
There are themes of revenge, abuse, family dynamics, religion and the pain of the past.
It is one hell of a good read! 5*    

TG
Tess Gerritsen
Authors Links:
Web page: http://www.tessgerritsen.com/
Twitter: @tessgerritsen

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