Anne Bonny #BookReview Under The Harrow by @flynnberry_ 4* #CrimeFiction #Psychological #Thriller @wnbooks ‘A very clever ending’

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Under The Harrow by Flynn Berry
My Own Copy ~ Hardback Book

Synopsis ~

When Nora takes the train from London to visit her sister in the countryside, she expects to find her waiting at the station, or at home cooking dinner. But when she walks into Rachel’s familiar house, what she finds is entirely different: her sister has been the victim of a brutal murder.
Stunned and adrift, Nora finds she can’t return to her former life. An unsolved assault in the past has shaken her faith in the police, and she can’t trust them to find her sister’s killer. Haunted by the murder and the secrets that surround it, Nora is under the harrow: distressed and in danger. As Nora’s fear turns to obsession, she becomes as unrecognizable as the sister her investigation uncovers.
A riveting psychological thriller and a haunting exploration of the fierce love between two sisters, the distortions of grief, and the terrifying power of the past, Under the Harrow marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.

My Review ~

Under The harrow is the tale of two sisters and the lengths one will go to, to get justice for the other. It reads as a psychological thriller, but I was also emotionally pulled due to the relationship between the sisters and the savage nature of the murder.

Nora is travelling to Oxford from London to spend some time with her sister Rachel. She is full of the excitement of her future, having just received news of an art residency in France for 12wks. She is also filed with happy memories of the time the had a Cornish let for Christmas. When Rachel is not at Winshaw train station to collect her, she is not alarmed. But nothing could have prepared her for what she is about to stumble across.

Nora discovers the violent scene of Rachel’s murder. It is a scene that will come to haunt her every waking moment and compel her to solve the murder. With DI Moretti, Nora works over Rachel’s past. Her ex Stephen Bailey who lives in Dorset, her occupation as a nurse. And the attack that Rachel endured at just 17yrs, with Yorkshire police refusing to believe an assault took place. But before Nora can settle on a theory, she is about to uncover Rachel was exhibiting some odd behaviour of her own.

Nora remains at Oxford and attempts to mix in amongst the locals. But Nora is becoming more and more obsessed…

‘I might have just met her murderer’ – Nora

A very clever ending 4*

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Flynn Berry
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***I also snapped up the others second novel on Kindle Ebook deal (currently £1.99) in the UK. I shall add the details below***

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A Double Life by Flynn Berry
Review To Follow

Synopsis ~

Some wounds need more than time. They crave revenge.

Claire’s father is a privileged man: handsome, brilliant, the product of an aristocratic lineage and an expensive education, surrounded by a group of devoted friends who would do anything for him.

But when he becomes the prime suspect in a horrific attack on Claire’s mother – an outsider who married into the elite ranks of society and dared escape her gilded cage – fate and privilege collide, and a scandal erupts.

Claire’s father disappears overnight, his car abandoned, blood on the front seat.

Thirty years after that hellish night, Claire is obsessed with uncovering the truth, and she knows that the answer is held behind the closed doors of beautiful townhouses and country estates, safeguarded by the same friends who all those years before had answered the call to protect one of their own.

Because they know where Claire’s father is.

They helped him escape.

And it’s time their pristine lives met her fury.

#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! 

Anne Bonny #BookReview Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley 5* #EasyRawlins #Series #14 #CrimeFiction @wnbooks ‘As always from the author a complex, deeply layered mystery. With characters just as sharp and quick witted’

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Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley
My Own Copy
Synopsis:

Seymour Brathwaite, a young physicist, was found standing over the body of a murdered man.

Charcoal Joe, one of the deadliest men in America, wants Brathwaite cleared.

Easy Rawlins, a renowned Los Angeles PI, cannot refuse Charcoal Joe.

But what links the king of the LA underworld to Seymour Brathwaite?
And can Easy find the evidence before he gets embroiled in something much, much worse?

My Review:

I am a huge fan of Walter Mosley, I find his writing brilliant and his interviews very inspiring. I was so excited to finally catch up with the latest instalment in the Easy Rawlins series.

‘A professional detective with a bright future and a dark past’

The year is 1968, but the years never get any easier for Easy Rawlins. They usually bring news cases and more racial politics. Yet with this title, we the readers are also dealt an emotional blow in Easy’s love life. One that actually made me physically wince. Nothing is ever easy for Easy!

‘I been an outlaw since I was five’ – Mouse

I was glad to see the return of Mouse into a more central role in the case. There is also the added addition of Fearless Jones (a series I have yet to get too). Walter Mosley always introduces his characters with little backstories and they are sheer brilliance. This is one of my favourite dynamics of his writing style.

This particular novel revolves around Seymour Braithwaite a talented young physicist, who is found standing over the body of a murdered young man. When Charcoal Joe (one of the deadliest men in the USA) asks Easy to clear his name.
Easy knows this will be a complex case to solve.

‘Knowledge is the only real wealth any man can have; knowledge and the will to power’ – Charcoal Joe

Seymour is no easy mark to wrangle in, he believes the justice system in 1968, is just. He is young, impressionable and separated from the life Easy has known.
‘You think that PHD you got makes you immune from your skin’ – Easy to Seymour

As always from the author a complex, deeply layered mystery. With characters just as sharp and quick witted, they make me insanely jealous of the writer’s talent. 5*

WM
Walter Mosley
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Anne Bonny #BookReview Rose Gold by Walter Mosley 5* #EasyRawlins #Series 1960s LA @wnbooks ‘I am a HUGE fan of Walter Mosley’s writing style and he provides the most AMAZING book quotes. His writing is informative, intriguing and genius!’

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Rose Gold by Walter Mosley ~ Easy Rawlins #13
My own copy
Synopsis:

When four armed policemen turn up at Easy Rawlins’s door, he thinks he’s in trouble. He is.

They want him to find Rosemary Goldsmith, the daughter of a millionaire arms dealer. And Easy can’t afford to say no.

The LAPD think she’s with Bob Mantle, a black boxer turned radical. Has she been kidnapped? Is she colluding? When Easy is almost gunned down on his first day on the case, he realises he’ll need more than wits to find Rose Gold.

My Review:

I hit a reading slump and was desperate to read one of my author favourites to pull me out. So I decided to order the last two novels in the Easy Rawlins series, that I haven’t read yet!
I am a HUGE fan of Walter Mosley’s writing style and he provides the most AMAZING book quotes. His writing is informative, intriguing and genius!

Another thing I love about this specific series, is being able to step into Easy’s shoes and see life through his eyes. After all, how else am I going to experience being an African American male in 1967?

The novel opens on moving day, four white armed men appear at Easy’s new address. Easy instantly becomes alert and apprehensive about what they want?
They require his assistance with a particularly sensitive case. A missing person’s case, but no simple ordinary case by any means. Rosemary Goldsmith is the daughter of a billionaire arms dealer. The detectives are unclear whether Rosemary is involved in her own abduction, hence the need to keep this case of the legit records.

Easy is offered $80K for the missing person’s case and $25K upon completion. Easy maybe many things, but stupid ain’t one of them. He is immediately aware that this case must have some serious danger attached.
But like most PI’s he can’t resist the lure of an intriguing case.

Within the novel we are reunited with various characters from the series. The novel does explore and update readers on Easy’s children and best friend Mouse. But the series, really is best read from the beginning, to fully appreciate these characters and their relationships with Easy.

Back to the case, Rosemary is a student at UC Santa Barbara university and has been rumoured to have become friendly with known radical ‘battling Bob Mantle’. Before Easy can even get remotely close to Bob Mantle’s gym, he has his windshield shot out and police harass easy the victim of the crime.

The only cop Easy trusts is Detective Melvin Suggs, who is currently on leave. Easy recruits him to help on the case in exchange for helping Suggs with his recent suspension from the police force. This is where the novel takes a unique spin. Mouse is not as involved in this novel, his character sits it out, as such.
But it doesn’t take from the enjoyment of the novel at all.

This is complex mystery with political themes. There are spin-off stories which add extra depth. I cannot wait to read the next in the series Charcoal Joe. 5*

To fully appreciate the exceptional writing of Walter Mosley, I have left my usual quotes to the end of my review. I guess I am leaving them open to the readers interpretation, as does the author himself.

‘No amount of silver could buy the passions in an aging man’s heart’

‘You know the only thing worse in their books than a black mother is the white mother of a negro child’

‘Innocence was rarely a key factor for justice in the world Bob and I inhabited’

WM
Walter Mosley
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Anne Bonny #BookReview Bitter by Francesca Jakobi – @fjakobi #Literary #Psychological #Suspense @wnbooks Would you let her in?

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Bitter by Francesca Jakobi
Review Copy
Synopsis:

It’s 1969, and while the summer of love lingers in London, Gilda is consumed by the mistakes of her past. She walked out on her beloved son Reuben when he was just a boy and fears he’ll never forgive her.

When Reuben marries a petite blonde gentile, Gilda takes it as the ultimate rejection. Her cold, distant son seems transformed by love – a love she’s craved his entire adult life. What does his new wife have that she doesn’t? And how far will she go to find out? It’s an obsession that will bring shocking truths about the past to light . . .

Bitter is a beautiful and devastating novel about the decisions that define our lives, the fragility of love and the bond between mother and son.

My Review:

This literary novel takes you right into the heart of 1969 and the mind of Gilda, which is not always a nice place to be.
Gilda is such an unusual protagonist, at times I quite liked her. Yet at others I found her behaviour and obsession quite disturbing. Whatever you think of Gilda good or bad, she dominates your thoughts for the entirety of the read!

The novel opens at the wedding of Gilda’s son Reuben to his beloved Alice. Gilda is on edge at the wedding. I couldn’t quite fathom if Gilda is uncomfortable at this wedding, or in her own skin. I was soon to learn the answer is both!
I felt quite sorry for her at the wedding, having to put up with the sight of her ex-husband Frank and Rueben’s stepmother Berta. Especially when guests complimented Berta on what a fabulous son she has raised etc. There is something that told me, there was more to Gilda than meets the eye!
Yet it is at her own son’s speech at which her internal thoughts rage. . .

‘He says she taught him how to love; that she taught him what love could be. And I can’t look at him because he didn’t learn about love from me’ – Gilda

The bond between mother and son is infinitely complex and can be fundamental to the man, that will grow from the boy. Various psychologists have studied the bond between parent and child, including Freud etc. I have also seen the mother/son relationship extensively documented in true crime documentaries. Did the mother cause the man to develop into the killer? So, on and so forth. Yet this novel isn’t about the impact of the relationship on Rueben, but on Gilda.
Gilda’s fractured emotionally longing, for love from her son.

‘This is the son who never touches his mother, not even on the cheek when he kisses me hello. This is the son who never visits me unless he knows he has to’ – Gilda

The wedding and the speech leave quite the impression with Gilda. They cause her to challenge everything about her own childhood, upbringing and existence.
Gilda’s emotional pain at her son’s marriage, weighs on her like a bereavement. She lives alone and has little else in her life to focus on. So, what is born that day becomes an obsession. Gilda’s only (reluctant) friend is Margo, who has known Gilda from their school days together. I hoped through Margo we might get to the truth. But Gilda is content to paint an entirely different story whenever she speaks to her. Margo believes the two share a close bond. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. . . .

‘As if love were simply there for the taking’ – Gilda

The novel explores Gilda’s childhood, she had distant parents. Who were Hamberg socialites until ww2. Gilda was then sent to boarding to school in England to avoid the Nazi’s. She took this as the ultimate rejection, which caused a lack of confidence as a mother herself and last a lifetime.

“Don’t think any of us will miss you” – Lena

Gilda was constantly compared to her sister Lena. Her sister was the blonde bombshell, the beautiful clever daughter. Gilda was seen as the inconvenience or the embarrassment. This is cemented further when her father decides to marry her off to a work colleague. A marriage of convenience for an inconvenient young girl.

“You’ll like him very much. You’ve got no choice” – Gilda’s father

Her marriage to Frank Goodman, was far from a success. But yet produced the very much-loved Reuben. The secrets within Gilda and Frank’s marriage slowly unravel and you begin to see things not only from Gilda’s point of view. But from the truth of what took place years ago.

‘Our marriage went wrong but he wasn’t a bad man. He doesn’t deserve the things I’ve done’ – Gilda

In the present day of 1969, Gilda begins to meddle in the lives of Rueben and Alice. I could tell this would end badly for Gilda and that her continued interference would only push her son further away. I wanted to scream through the pages at her, that she was going to make this all so much worse than it need be.
Alice however, continues to make effort with Gilda to try and form a bond and a relationship with her new unapproving mother-in-law. In one sense Alice is quite the hero of the novel. It maybe through her kindness and tolerance that Gilda sees sense. Rueben on the other hand is not so forgiving. He blurts out a brash statement, that made me physically flinch. As I knew the impact this would have on Gilda’s emotional state.

“She looks after me better than you ever did” – Rueben

Rueben’s own childhood is then explored. We learn that like his mother he too, was sent away to boarding school. However, the circumstances were devastatingly different.
We also learn that through his entire childhood Gilda seemed to love and long for him from afar. Pursuing other interests as she felt so inadequate as a mother. To such an extent that Rueben’s first word was ‘nanny’.

Somehow in all of this, I felt that a lot could be solved if Gilda and Rueben just sat down and talked the past through. Then you remember that this is 1969 and within the era, parenting attitudes were much different to modern-day parenting.

I found this novel incredibly moving, for many reasons. Gilda’s past history makes such a fascinating read. I felt captivated by her. She is this book reading, whiskey drinking woman that loves to wallow in her own misery.
We can all be a Gilda, given Gilda’s personal history.
Essentially this novel is about coming to terms with our past mistakes and building a future. I found it interesting to read about women in a different era. The social norms and traditional roles they play. So much different from my own experiences.

Slow burning, literary and captivating. 4*

FJ
Francesca Jakobi
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