Thursday, 23 February 2017

Book Events: Books and The City / Simon Schuster UK Spring Blogger Event 2017



One huge perk of blogging (other than getting to read so many fantastic books!) is being invited to events where I get to mix with authors, publishers and other book bloggers.

On 2nd February 2017, Books and the City (@TeamBATC) held their annual Spring Blogger Evening at the Simon and Schuster (@simonschusterUK) HQ in London. I have attended this event for 3 years now and it is always an absolutely fantastic evening, largely down to the hosting skills of the HILARIOUS Sara-Jade (@BookMinxSJV) and her exceptional team at BATC.

On arrival, I was really excited to see some friendly faces and to catch up with my fellow bloggers. Whilst I feel as though I know a lot of bloggers through Twitter, it really is fantastic to catch up face to face. Obviously, this involves a lot of book chat and laughter! In particular, it was fantastic to get reacquainted with my old blogger friends Mary, Annette, Linda, Rachel, Julie, Sophie (and everyone else whom I've forgotton to mention!) and meet some lovely bloggers whom I've not had chance to meet before.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Food & Drink: The Giggling Squid, Wokingham



As an early Valentine's Day surprise, my husband treated me to an evening at The Giggling Squid, a Thai restaurant which has recently opened in Wokingham, Berkshire. My husband knew that I was keen to give it a try, despite not always being overly keen on Thai food himself (he has an odd hatred of lemongrass!).



Photo credit: http://www.hospitalityandcateringnews.com/2016/12/giggling-squid-bring-flavours-thailand-wokingham/


I understand that the chain has been around since 2002, although I had not heard the name prior to the restaurant opening in Wokingham. I have read that it was started by Pranee and her husband in a tiny fisherman's cottage in Brighton. The company now boasts 21 restaurants throughout the UK.

When we arrived, we found the interior of the restaurant to be stylish and full of character, boasting some eye-catching ceiling decorations. Whilst we were left waiting in the reception area for quite a while, when a member of staff did approach, we quickly found ourselves seated and ready to order drinks. 

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Blog Tour & Review: Rupture by Ragnar Jonasson


I am delighted to welcome you to today's stop on the blog tour for Ragnar Jonasson's latest crime novel, Rupture.

Author: Ragnar Jonasson
Title: Rupture
Publisher: Orenda
Publication Date: 24 December 2016 (Kindle) and 15 January 2017 (paperback)

Twitter: @ragnarjo

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Blurb

1955. Two young couples move to the uninhabited, isolated fjord of Hedinsfjörður. Their stay ends abruptly when one of the women meets her death in mysterious circumstances. The case is never solved. Fifty years later an old photograph comes to light, and it becomes clear that the couples may not have been alone on the fjord after all…

In nearby Siglufjörður, young policeman Ari Thór tries to piece together what really happened that fateful night, in a town where no one wants to know, where secrets are a way of life. He’s assisted by Ísrún, a news reporter in Reykjavik, who is investigating an increasingly chilling case of her own. Things take a sinister turn when a child goes missing in broad daylight. With a stalker on the loose, and the town of Siglufjörður in quarantine, the past might just come back to haunt them. 

Haunting, frightening and complex, Rupture is a dark and atmospheric thriller from one of Iceland’s foremost crime writers.

Review

Thank you to Karen at Orenda books for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing a copy of Rupture for review.

Rupture is the fourth book in Jónasson's Dark Iceland series, featuring police officer Ari Thor and the isolated town of Siglufjordur. This is one of the few series I have read where I can honestly say that each book is even better than the last! 

As the book opens, things are not going so well for the citizens of Siglufjordur. The town is in quarantine due to a suspected outbreak of haemorrhagic fever. Everyone is staying indoors, in the safety of their homes. This gives an immediate element of claustrophobia to the tale.

With Siglufjordur a veritable ghost town, Ari Thor needs something to occupy his mind. When asked to look into a cold-case, Ari Thor finds his interest piqued and is determined to get to the bottom of the decades-old mystery.

We also become reacquainted with news reporter, Ísrún, who is finding herself stretch in several directions; worrying about her health, acting as go-between for her estranged parents and attempting to establish herself at work.

The story proceeds at a good pace, complete with a few twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes. The plotline contains several threads for the reader to follow: a child abduction, a hit-and-run accident and a suspicious death. Jónasson is certainly skilled at smoothly bringing together seemingly unconnected storylines.

The writing is, for me, one of the highlights of Rupture and the earlier books in the Dark Iceland series. Jónasson writing style is particularly to-the-point and feels almost sparse at times, yet there is a poetic element to his prose which compliments the bleak elegance of the tale. Each word feels as though it has been intentionally chosen to draw the reader into the pages and immerse them in this fictional world.

I like Ari Thor as a character and I was interested to read his interactions with Ísrún, whom we have already met in Jónasson's earlier book, Blackout. Their different investigatory styles seem to compliment each other and they certainly made a good partnership. I hope that we see Ísrún once again in any further additions to this series.

Rupture is a great crime novel - a classic mystery with a contemporary nordic twist. It creeps up on you, gripping your attention until you just can't put it down. A beautifully bleak, intelligent and atmospheric tale which I thoroughly enjoyed and would highly recommend.

About the Author



Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jónasson was born in Reykjavík, and currently works as a lawyer, while teaching copyright law at the Reykjavík University Law School. In the past, he’s worked in TV and radio, including as a news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Before embarking on a writing career, Ragnar translated fourteen Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic, and has had several short stories published in German, English and Icelandic literary magazines. Ragnar set up the first overseas chapter of the CWA (Crime Writers’ Association) in Reykjavík, and is co-founder of the international crime-writing festival Iceland Noir. Ragnar’s debut thriller Snowblind became an almost instant bestseller when it was published in June 2015, with Nightblind (winner of the Dead Good Reads Most Captivating Crime in Translation Award) and then Blackout following soon after. To date, Ragnar Jónasson has written five novels in the Dark Iceland series, which has been optioned for TV by On the Corner, and had rights sold in fourteen countries. He lives in Reykjavík with his wife and two daughters.

Buy Links


Blog Tour

I am one of the last stops, so why not check out the earlier stops on the Rupture blog tour. Details as listed below.



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