Thursday, 12 January 2017

Book Review: Nighblind by Ragnar Jonasson

Title: Nightblind
Author: Ragnar Jonasson
Publisher: Orenda Books
Publication date: 1 December 2015

Twitter: @ragnarjo

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village on the northernmost tip of Iceland, accessible only via a small mountain tunnel. 

Ari Thór Arason: a local policeman, whose tumultuous past and uneasy relationships with the villagers continue to haunt him. 

The peace of this close-knit community is shattered by the murder of a policeman - shot at point-blank range in the dead of night in a deserted house. 

With a killer on the loose and the dark arctic winter closing in, it falls to Ari Thór to piece together a puzzle that involves tangled local politics, a compromised new mayor, and a psychiatric ward in Reykjavik, where someone is being held against their will. Then a mysterious young woman moves to the area, on the run from something she dare not reveal, and it becomes all too clear that tragic events from the past are weaving a sinister spell that may threaten them all. Dark, chilling and complex, Nightblind is an extraordinary thriller from an undeniable new talent.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Book Review: Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson

Title: Snowblind
Author: Ragnar Jonasson
Publisher: Orenda Books
Publication Date: 20 April 2015

Twitter: @ragnarjo

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors - accessible only via a small mountain tunnel. 

Ari Thór Arason: a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavik - with a past that he’s unable to leave behind. 

When a young woman is found lying half-naked in the snow, bleeding and unconscious, and a highly esteemed, elderly writer falls to his death in the local theatre, Ari is dragged straight into the heart of a community where he can trust no one, and secrets and lies are a way of life. 

An avalanche and unremitting snowstorms close the mountain pass, and the 24-hour darkness threatens to push Ari over the edge, as curtains begin to twitch, and his investigation becomes increasingly complex, chilling and personal. Past plays tag with the present and the claustrophobic tension mounts, while Ari is thrust ever deeper into his own darkness - blinded by snow, and with a killer on the loose. 

Taut and terrifying, Snowblind is a startling debut from an extraordinary new talent, taking Nordic Noir to soaring new heights.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Book Review: Dark Fragments by Rob Sinclair

Title: Dark Fragments
Author: Rob Sinclair
Publisher: Bloodhound Books
Publication date: 8 November 2016

Twitter: @rsinclairauthor

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


Dark Fragments: an edge of your seat thriller from the best-selling author of The Enemy Series

Murder. Money. Revenge.Outwardly, Ben Stephens appears to be a normal, hard-working family man. In reality, his life has been in turmoil since the murder of his wife, Alice, seven years ago. The killer was never caught.Now re-married - to the woman he was having an affair with while still married to Alice - Ben's life is once again spiraling out of control, and he's become heavily indebted to an unscrupulous criminal who is baying for Ben's blood.When Ben's estranged twin sister, a police detective, unexpectedly returns to his life, asking too many questions for comfort, it becomes clear that without action, Ben's life will soon reach a crisis point from which there will be no return.In order to avoid falling further into the mire, Ben must examine the past if he is to survive the present - but just how much pressure can one man take before he breaks?

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Book Review: The Tea Planters Wife by Dinah Jefferies

Title: The Tea Planter's Wife
Author: Dinah Jefferies
Publisher: Penguin  
Publication date: 3 September 2015

Rating: 4 out of 5


Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper steps off a steamer in Ceylon full of optimism, eager to join her new husband. But the man who greets her at the tea plantation is not the same one she fell in love with in London.

Distant and brooding, Laurence spends long days wrapped up in his work, leaving his young bride to explore the plantation alone. It's a place filled with clues to the past - locked doors, a yellowed wedding dress in a dusty trunk, an overgrown grave hidden in the grounds, far too small for an adult...

Gwen soon falls pregnant and her husband is overjoyed, but she has little time to celebrate. In the delivery room the new mother is faced with a terrible choice, one she knows no one in her upper class set will understand - least of all Laurence. Forced to bury a secret at the heart of her marriage, Gwen is more isolated than ever. When the time comes, how will her husband ever understand what she has done?

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Book Review: A Death in the Family by Michael Stanley

Title: A Death in the Family
Author: Michael Stanley
Publisher: Orenda Books
Publication Date: 28 October 2015

Rating: 4.5 stars


'There's no easy way to say this, Kubu. Your father's dead. I'm afraid he's been murdered.'

Faced with the violent death of his own father, even Assistant Superintendent David ‘Kubu’ Bengu, Botswana CID's keenest mind, is baffled. Who would kill such a frail old man? The picture becomes even murkier with the apparent suicide of a government official. Are Chinese mine-owners involved? And what role does the US Embassy have to play?

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Weekend Blitz for THE DEADLINE by Jackie Kabler - Q&A and a Giveaway

Today on the blog we're celebrating the release of Jackie Kabler's second novel The Deadline.  I loved the book and will be posting a review very shortly. In the meantime, however, have a read of our interview with the author and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the page!

Title: The Deadline (The Cora Baxter Mysteries book 2)
Author: Jackie Kabler
Publisher: Accent Press
Publication Date: 20 October 2016

Cora Baxter is back - and this time, she's facing the most important deadline of her career…

When TV reporter Cora Baxter attends the scene of a murder in a London park, she's horrified to discover the victim is someone she knows – and devastated when one of her best friends is charged with the crime. Suddenly the fun-filled life of Cora and her eccentric camera crew takes a darker turn. Cora is convinced that her friend is innocent, but with seemingly solid evidence, the police investigation team – reluctantly led by Cora's boyfriend DCI Adam Bradberry – believe the case is closed. With a trail of clues that leads all the way to New York, can Cora find out the truth before the trial begins – or is it already too late? 

Friday, 21 October 2016

Book Review: LOVE IS A FOUR-LEGGED WORD by Michele Gorman

Title: Love is a Four-Legged Word
Author: Michele Gorman
Publisher: Notting Hill Press
Publication Date:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


Best friends Scarlett and Shannon spend their days tripping over dog leads and covered in fur, running their dog business together. Scarlett’s intensive training course, Ruff Love, fixes owners as much as their pets, while Shannon spends her days walking spoiled pooches and working up the guts to talk to her hopeless crush.

The women share more than their business though: they also share Scarlett's husband, Rufus. He’s been Shannon's best friend since childhood and it's a cosy setup - until Scarlett and Rufus's marriage hits the rocks with Shannon stuck in the middle. All three relationships are tested but when loyalties become divided, how do you decide who's most important?


Thank you to Notting Hill Press for providing me with a ARC of Love is a Four-Legged Word. I have read a few of Michele Gorman’s previous novels and have always found them to be good fun. As such, I was happy to be offered a copy of Love is a Four-Legged Word for review.

The story revolves around an animal behaviourist, Scarlett, her husband Rufus, their mutual best friend Shannon and all of their canine customers.

The story commences on a light-hearted note, setting the scene and then quickly progressing into the story with plenty of giggles and doggy delights! As the story progresses, some deeper issues come to the forefront and, as the reader, we watch as the characters’ attempt to resolve those issues.

The characters are very likeable. I especially found myself warming the level-headed but kooky Shannon and I enjoyed reading about Scarlett’s unconventional family. I will admit that I found myself becoming slightly frustrated at Rufus and Scarlett’s inability to effectively communicate with each other. However, anyone who is/has been married or in a long term relationship can understand that it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, sometimes there are some darker moments that will test a relationship to its limits.

The plotline grabbed my attention from the offset. It deals with a variety of relatable issues including family relationships, friendship, infertility and romance. The story flows along at a steady pace and does not falter or loose momentum. Gorman has provided a well-balanced mix of drama and comedy that will keep the reader involved in the story until the last page.

Whilst the story does address some serious issues, there is a lot of light relief provided through canine antics and through Shannon’s pursuit of ‘Mr Darcy’, the focus of her unrequited crush! I particularly enjoyed reading about the dog training classes, with Margaret and Biscuit, Max and Murphy, Charlie and Barkley and Naomi and Hiccup. Their canine capers have certainly enforced my views that I would not have the patience to deal with a dog as a pet!

Love is a Four-Legged Word is ultimately a bitter-sweet tale of romance and friendship - an enjoyable and cute story with some laugh out loud moment.

About the Author

Michele writes books with heart and humour, full of best friends, girl power and, of course, love and romance. Call them beach books or summer reads, chick lit or romcom... readers and reviewers call them "feel good", "relatable" and "thought-provoking".

She is both a Sunday Times and a USA Today bestselling author, raised in the US and living in London. She is very fond of naps, ice cream and Richard Curtis films but objects to spiders and the word "portion".

You can find out more about Michele by following her on twitter, Facebook and by reading her blog or website. Do chat with her online - she's always looking for an excuse to procrastinate!

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