Tag: mystery

Top Ten Tuesday – Books for a little escapism

Welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! I really like writing these posts and decided it was time for another. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

I quite often go it alone with topics rather than following the set topics for the week. Sometimes the prescribed topics just don’t fit my blog at all! Instead, I have been having a think about an alternative topic for this week. I don’t know about you, but I read for a bit of escapism. I like to break away from the mundane routine. Well, normally. Fact is, the normal mundane routine has been ripped up and tossed out the window. It’s not a very nice situation we are in right now and more than ever I am looking for escapism. I’m sure others are too… and that’s what gave me the idea for this post.

I thought I might struggle to put this list together, but I had the opposite problem! I’ve had to cut it down quite a lot. I’ve excluded a lot of larger names that I would love to feature here because they’re well-known enough to recommend themselves. J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones and J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings are great books – but you probably know about them already. In today’s post, I wanted to talk about books and authors that aren’t as well-known – although they deserve to be!

 

The Mistborn Series – Brandon Sanderson

It would be pretty sacrilegious not to include my current read on this list. I’ve devoured the last three books of this series with fervour over the past few months. The books published to date are split into two timelines. I loved the first trilogy years ago but recently, the later books set in the fictional city of Elendel have reiterated why I love Brandon Sanderson’s writing. The depth of history of the magic, the characters… it’s all fantastic.

I get lost in these books! They’re the kind you promise yourself ‘just one more chapter’ before bed and before you know it, it’s WAY past your bedtime. I don’t regret it either.

 

Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch

This is also a recent discovery. I think the fact that I listened to all of Rivers of London and a third of Moon over Soho in the past couple of weeks alone says it all! If it doesn’t, I don’t know what will!

I’ve been listening to these as audiobooks whilst crocheting. It’s nice to break up the format of ‘reading’ – but I have to praise the narrator Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. He manages to take the author’s already interesting and diverse characters and breathe life into them. The book also balances action, character development and sensory descriptions really well. If you like magical and supernatural mysteries or think you might, I would definitely recommend these books as a starting point! I suspect I’ll continue to binge-listen to these!

 

The Last Kingdom – Bernard Cornwell

Something for historical fiction fans here! I’m not even halfway through this series yet but I love it so much! It was recommended to me by a work colleague and friend. She is Danish, and it prompted some interesting conversation about the historical period. For those that don’t know, it’s set at the time the Vikings invaded Britain. The main character Uhtred is an Englishman, but living in the North, his village was raided when he was a boy and he was subsequently raised by Danes. His personal conflict between both sides runs throughout the books I have read so far and it makes for a really interesting perspective on the period!

 

Simon Says – Jo Wesley

If standalone books are more your thing, then Simon Says might be of interest to you. I’m going to be upfront and say that the storyline is based on the sensitive topic of rape, and the consequences of it. That might put some people off, and that’s fine! This book isn’t for you in that case. Considering the nature of it, I think that it is handled really well. I was really impressed with this book – so much so it made it on my top reads of 2019 list!

 

Daughter of Smoke & Bone – Laini Taylor

This book (and series) also qualified for the top reads of 2019 list! I love Laini Taylor’s style of writing and I’ve really enjoyed her Strange the Dreamer duology previously. The Angels vs Demons (monsters) baseline is plot is great because she breaks down the stereotypes of good and evil and tosses them out of the window.

 

Blackwing – Ed McDonald

Blackwing

If, like me, you love fantasy series with epic fantasy worlds with plenty of lore in a post-apocalyptic setting, then the Raven’s Mark series could be for you! Magic ravaged the world in a cataclysmic event and razed the landscape now known as the Misery. If that’s not interesting enough for you, then how does a plotline indicating that a similar event with even more catastrophic consequences sound?

It was a winner for me and I really, REALLY recommend this one to any and all fantasy fans!

 

Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

Nevernight

The Nevernight Chronicles is another great fantasy series for those that love fantasy novels with lots of history to them. Throw in a young girl who has had her family ripped apart since childhood, rare magic power and a terrible grudge… and you get an amazing, murderous and vengeful trilogy. Determined to bring down the institution that tried to have her murdered as a child, Mia Corvere is a force to be reckoned with. I also quite enjoy Jay Kristoff’s parallels between himself and Mercurio – that’ll make sense if you read the books.

 

The Wise Man’s Fear – Patrick Rothfuss

It has been a long time since I read these books, but they have definitely made a lasting impression! The first thing I love is the narration style. The tale is told from an older (and hopefully wiser) Kvothe, our main character. He is very candid over the past mistakes of his youth, which we learn about as he retells the tale.

Again, this is a series with a lot of development into the world and characters, so those of you that love that and all the action of the narrative should get on with this very well.

 

The Chalk Man – C.J. Tudor

Here is another standalone for those of you that don’t have the commitment for a series. The Chalk Man is a mystery thriller novel with a chilling premise and plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes! In their youth, Eddie and the gang drew chalk men as a means of communicating with each other secretly around town. However, twenty years on they reunite, and the chalk men have made a mysterious reappearance…

 

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

The last book on my list is another standalone mystery. The premise of the novel is like a traditional murder mystery, only its groundhog day. The protagonist has seven days to relive the day in the bodies of each guest and then name the murderer.

I really liked this one – I thought it was really unique. It’s also very cleverly-written too!

Hopefully, you have found some inspiration from this Top Ten Tuesday list, if that’s what you’re looking for! If not, well I hope you enjoyed this post! Do you agree with any of my recommendations?

 

 

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Blog Tour Review: iRemember – S. V. Bekvalac

Happy weekend readers! I hope you are having a good one? Since we are all in the middle of lockdown, what better way to spend your time than curled up with a good book? That’s how I am spending mine anyway.

If you are looking for book recommendations, then I hope I can help you here. Today I am taking part in the blog tour for iRemember by S. V. Bekvalac and sharing my thoughts on her book. iRemember is perfect for science fiction and/or dystopian fiction fans… so if that’s your cup of tea please read on!

Quickly before I jump in, huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour and to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

 

iRemember – S. V. Kekvalac

Goodreads – iRemember

The city of iRemember shimmers in the desert haze, watched over by the Bureau, a government agency that maintains control through memory surveillance and little pink pills made from the narcotic plant Tranquelle.

It looks like an oasis under its geodesic dome, but the city is under siege. ‘Off-Gridder’ insurgents are fighting to be forgotten.

Bureau Inspector Icara Swansong is on a mission to neutralise the threat. Her investigation leads her into iRemember’s secret underbelly, where she finds herself a fugitive from the very system she had vowed to protect. She has to learn new rules: trust no one. Behind every purple Tranquelle stalk lurk double-agents.

A sci-fi noir with a psychedelic twist, iRemember explores the power the past holds over us and the fragility of everything: what is, what once was, and what will be.

 

Purchase Links –   Amazon UK     Amazon US

For a limited time, iRemember will be available for only 99p.

 

My Thoughts…

iRemember has all the elements expected of dystopian fiction novels – the means to subdue a population and then control it. iRemember was created to allow citizens to protect their memories. The human mind is far from perfect, so why risk losing your precious moments to time and degradation or forgetfulness when you can upload them? That was the idea anyway… and citizens signed up in the thousands.

Helena Frome is the head of the totalitarian government now governing the City. iRemember has become her means of surveillance. Citizens own thoughts and memories can betray them if picked up by those monitoring the data being uploaded to iRemember. Icara Swansong is an agent of the Bureau working for Helena Frome, to rid the world of corruption, but she is fighting a losing battle. Beneath the calming Tranquelle fumes, a dark side of the city simmers away, longing to be forgotten and will do whatever they can to achieve it.

As a huge fan of both science fiction and dystopian novels, iRemember was a great read for me! Set in a futuristic world, the Bureaucrats have all the latest, fancy technology and software. Primitive versions of tech and traditional weapons we know today are relegated to the city’s forgotten underbelly, the Sub Urbs. Despite being more advanced, the technology used in this futuristic universe is very similar to some of the more sophisticated technology we have now and is therefore familiar.

The narrative of iRemember is so twisty that you don’t know who to trust at any given moment. Who is in whose pocket and undercover influence shape the story in an exciting way. Character relations are complex and you’ll find yourself second-guessing people’s motives constantly! I certainly did! There is a vast array in the characters within the novel too. I really enjoyed Lucian’s personal history and cynicism, especially paired with Icara’s overzealous optimism.

The overall story is written really well and draws the reader into the complex web. I really enjoyed reading iRemember and the combination of genres it encompasses. Nothing is ever as it seems and the narrative keeps you on your toes throughout! iRemember is a twisty tale full of deceit, lies and corruption… and cover-ups!

 

Author Bio

SV Bekvalac was born in 1987 in Croatia, in what was then Yugoslavia, but grew up in London.

She studied German and Russian at Oxford, and went to film school in Prague. After almost becoming a film-maker and then an academic, researching cities and films, she found herself writing fiction about cities instead. She started off with screenplays and short stories, but they got longer and longer. iRemember is her first novel.

She has lived in cities all over Europe. Now she lives in London, or in one of her own imaginary cities.

 

Social Media Links Twitter @sandra_bek @EyeAndLightning

Book Review: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

I read and enjoyed The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton in August last year. I had heard great things about the book, so I treated myself to a paperback copy earlier in the year. For those of you that don’t know, I tend to only buy paperbacks when I have confidence that I’ll really enjoy them. Living in a two-bedroom flat, I don’t have a lot of room for books here. Since space is at a premium, I have to be selective about what I buy physical copies of.

I don’t regret getting The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in paperback. It’s unlike anything I have ever read before!

 

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

Goodreads – The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER.

“Gosford Park” meets “Groundhog Day” by way of Agatha Christie – the most inventive story you’ll read this year.

Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed… again.

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…

SELECTED AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE GUARDIAN, I PAPER, FINANCIAL TIMES AND DAILY TELEGRAPH.

 

Purchase Links: – Amazon UK       Amazon US     Waterstones

 

My Thoughts…

Murder mystery meets Groundhog Day in this spectacular mystery/thriller novel! The clock is ticking and Aiden’s chance to solve the murder dwindles day by day. I love the concept of him waking up every morning in someone else’s body. Who he wakes up as on a given day gives him different access to other guests and information to piece together to solve a murder that doesn’t look like murder.

I cannot praise enough how well each different perspective is written! Each of the guests has their own distinctive attitude and personality, which you can see Aiden contending with as he wears their shoes. They have a strong influence over his behaviour – it’s clear whose body he is in at a given time.

Not only do the character shifts work well, but the author also successfully throws in a mix up of chronology in places. You’d think all this mix up would be confusing, but surprisingly, it wasn’t really. You have to concentrate, don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t wading through the narrative completely lost as to what was going on and why. There’s enough left hanging to entice you to read on. Naturally, all the answers can’t be given at once. I was never in any doubt that the unresolved plotlines wouldn’t be tied up and explained.

There are plenty of plot twists to keep you hooked on the novel. I for one didn’t foresee any of it coming! There’s a lot of back story about now Aiden came to be at Blackheath, which I thought was very interesting and unusual. It’s amazing what we are able to learn about Aiden, given that we never meet him as truly himself. The characterisation in this book is fantastic.

There isn’t too much I can say without spoiling the story for you, so apologies if my review seems vague. I can say this; The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is the most unique mystery novel I have read to date. I will without a doubt be picking up Stuart Turton’s future novels.

 

 

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Blog Tour Review: The Mentor – Lee Matthew Goldberg

The Mentor is a chilling thriller novel that blends seamlessly into the horror genre. It’s not a book for the fainthearted, that’s for sure! It explores a sinister side of obsession and the consequences of depravity.

Today’s review is part for the ongoing blog tour with Blackthorn Book Tours. It’s my first time working with them, so a huge thank you for organising the tour and for providing me with a copy of The Mentor in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Mentor – Lee Matthew Goldberg

Goodreads – The Mentor

Kyle Broder has achieved his lifelong dream and is an editor at a major publishing house.

When Kyle is contacted by his favorite college professor, William Lansing, Kyle couldn’t be happier. Kyle has his mentor over for dinner to catch up and introduce him to his girlfriend, Jamie, and the three have a great time. When William mentions that he’s been writing a novel, Kyle is overjoyed. He would love to read the opus his mentor has toiled over.

Until the novel turns out to be not only horribly written, but the most depraved story Kyle has read.

After Kyle politely rejects the novel, William becomes obsessed, causing trouble between Kyle and Jamie, threatening Kyle’s career, and even his life. As Kyle delves into more of this psychopath’s work, it begins to resemble a cold case from his college town, when a girl went missing. William’s work is looking increasingly like a true crime confession.

Lee Matthew Goldberg’s The Mentor is a twisty, nail-biting thriller that explores how the love of words can lead to a deadly obsession with the fate of all those connected and hanging in the balance.

 

Purchase Link:   Amazon

 

My Thoughts…

If you like dark thriller or mystery novels then The Mentor is a book I would recommend, provided you won’t be put off by gory descriptions. Describing the book as a twisty, nail-biting thriller is every inch the truth. I really liked the concept of the novel within this novel. Kyle recognises the book is reminiscent of a missing person case years ago. The girl who disappeared was Kyle’s girlfriend. As events unravel we can only discover what may be the truth behind the case as Kyle reads the manuscript. Effectively, Lee Matthew Goldberg cleverly interweaves the two plotlines together and in my opinion, was pulled off really well.

The Mentor boasts an eclectic range of characters. From intense personalities like William and Kyle to naive Sierra and hot-head Jaime, there’s a complete range present. Each character is portrayed believably; their character traits and mannerisms fit together perfectly to form whole, distinct identities. Even for the likes of Kyle and William, who I suggest are more alike than they would like to admit, have their own distinct voice.

The plot is so cleverly written especially in unravelling the truth of the crime William’s depraved book centres obsessively on. Knowing that both William and Kyle have obsessive personalities and a hand in the events that took place all those years ago, I started to question the truth. Can we trust our narrator? That’s a question I found myself asking and it added a whole new layer to the reading experience.

The ending is what earns the book it’s rating from me. Some of the build-up takes a little bit of time to set up, but the ending unfolded rapidly and unexpectedly! I couldn’t put the book down and read the last quarter in one sitting!

 

Author Bio

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE DESIRE CARD, THE MENTOR, and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The second book in the Desire Card series, PREY NO MORE, is forthcoming in 2020, along with his first Sci-Fi novel ORANGE CITY. His new endeavor will be as the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe Press and Fringe Digital, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, Cagibi, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com.

 

Website – Leematthewgoldberg.com

FB – https://www.facebook.com/leemgol

IG – https://www.instagram.com/leematthewgoldberg/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/LeeMatthewG

Blog Tour Review: One: Rage Vengeance Murder – K. J. McGillick

Today’s blog tour post features my review of One: Rage Vengeance Murder by K. J. McGillick, the last book in the Path of Deception and Betrayal series. You may have gathered at this point that I am a huge fan of this author and her books. She writes crime thrillers so well that they keep you hooked chapter after chapter! If you haven’t seen any of my reviews or heard anything about the Path of Deception and Betrayal series, here’s a link to my last review of the second book in the series, Two.

Once again, let me say thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour, as well as the author for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review!

 

One: Rage Vengeance Murder – K. J. McGillick

Goodreads – One: Rage Vengeance Murder

A stolen life. A Faustian bargain. Prey becomes predator.

Azar Abed is out for revenge for the life Dr. Adrian Armond stole from her. No matter what the cost. Adrien Armond will stop at nothing to recover the massive fortune Azar Abed embezzled from him. Neither will walk away until the other is dead. Someone’s going to die, that is for certain.

Personal revenge gets caught up in a bio-terror plot to crash the world’s economy as darkness spirals into darkness and terror is the order of the day. Azar Abed and Adrien Armond are on a collision course that could have catastrophic consequences on a global scale.

Who will kill who first? Will it be enough? Can anyone stop the bio-terror plot to destroy the world’s economy that is already in motion? Does anyone have enough humanity left even to try?

Set against a backdrop of Washington, DC, ONE is a heart pounding-psychological thriller pitting greed against greed in a cat-and-mouse game where vengeance is the only prize. It can be read as a standalone, or as the conclusion to events begun in its predecessor, TWO. It concludes the Path of Deception and Betrayal series.

 

Purchase Links – Amazon UK     Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

Events from previous books come together in a near-catastrophic crescendo in this last instalment of the series. One is a twisty tale with a sharp focus on the destructive nature of two corrupt individuals, each out for revenge against the other. One has harvested organs from those desperate enough to seek favour and a better life, all for financial gain. The other is plotting to unleash dangerous bio-weapons on the population of Earth, culling the planet of useless mouths that drain on society and gain from a stock market crash.

I was sucked into the story quickly. K J McGillick’s writing is very easy and enjoyable to read. I have pointed something out with every book I have reviewed, but for a good reason. Her medical, legal and art history knowledge shines through throughout her novels. I have the advantage of working in an investments industry, so I particularly enjoyed the economical aspects of the plot. In my opinion, you don’t need any advanced knowledge of the topics brought up; I think it is all explained simply.

One: Rage Vengeance Murder maintains the use of multiple character perspectives to bring together the thriller narrative. Overall, I think we actually get a greater insight into the minds of the corrupt individuals in this final book of the series. I personally feel their characters get a little more exposure to the reader than the previous books. Since the narrative is driven by them, I actually really enjoyed this! We have been introduced to all of the characters previously; I already felt I had somewhat of a rapport with them going into the book.

I had no idea how K. J. McGillick was going to pull together all the threads of this tale, but I was impressed by the ending. I didn’t anticipate it at all, which for me is a sure sign of a great thriller mystery novel!

 

Author Bio

K. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that’s what New Yorker’s do. Right? A Registered Nurse, a lawyer now author.

As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing, she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing

 

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/KJMcGillickauthor/

Kathleen McGillick

@KJMcGillickAuth

http://www.kjmcgillick.com/

https://twitter.com/KJMcGillickAuth

https://www.goodreads.com/Kmcgillick

Blog Tour Review: Two – K. J. McGillick

Good morning everyone! It’s Monday, the start of a brand new week and today I am sharing my review of Two by K. J. McGillick. I have read many books by this author and loved every single one so far. I read the first book in this series, A Path of Deception and Betrayal in June last year.

Before I get into my review of Two, I’d like to say a huge thank you to both Rachel’s Random Resources and K. J. McGillick for the opportunity to take part in this tour!

 

Two: Mind Games and Murder

Goodreads – Two

Her husband wants her locked away in a psychiatric facility. His business partner wants her dead.

Trust. Who do we place our trust in every day? Family members, friends and people who we turn to for help, doctors. But what if the doctor you placed your trust in had secrets? Dark secrets. So many secrets.

Isabella Armond is an ordinary Parisian woman with a comfortable life — until a shocking discovery shatters her perfect world. As her husband’s behavior becomes increasingly unstable, Isabella slowly realizes all the signs point to the fact he is not who he appears to be. Is he a respected Cardio-thoracic surgeon with a thriving Paris medical practice helping people? Or is he leading a double life which involves the international trafficking of black market organs? Greed, blood money, and psychopath are the terms she learns are associated with a man she thought she knew.

Forced to delve deeper into her husband’s secret life, she makes discoveries that will make her question everything she believed forcing her to face an impossible decision. She is desperate to uncover the truth, but once you know something, it can’t be unknown. The more she learns, the more she wishes she knew nothing at all.

When the sun dims, your second self shall disappear. Consequences not of her making were nipping at her heels. Tick. Tock.

 

Purchase Links – Amazon UK     Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

Two is a dark psychological thriller that has you on tenterhooks just from the synopsis. How do you cope with the realisation that the man you thought you knew and loved hides half of his life from you? When Isabella discovers Adrien’s clandestine activities and what it means for her, her world comes tumbling down.

The plotlines of K. J. McGillick’s novels are all expertly outlined to draw you in and unravelled gradually and Two is no exception. Two may be 332 pages long, but I flew through it in three days. Every chapter sparks a new suspicion or unveils something new, compelling you to read on!

All of the novels I have read by the author have an underpinning storyline that dabbles in the criminal and legal dealings of art forgery. It’s clearly a subject she knows a lot about and that really shines through in her narratives. Before I read any of her books I knew precious little about the industry and the risks/costs of forgeries. It goes to show you learn something new every day!

I really enjoy how these books can be read individually, or, if you appreciate a series, a wider plotline runs underneath it all. I personally am I a huge fan of books in a series, and the complexity of the underpinning plot is a huge selling point for me. A lot of the characters from previous books overlap as well. I like the familiarity that comes with the overlap and it makes the series all the more cohesive.

If you enjoy sinister psychological thrillers with mystery and organised crime elements, then Two and the whole of the Path of Deception and Betrayal series is definitely for you! I am also reviewing the next book of the series, One, next month. I can’t wait to see where that instalment takes us!

 

Author Bio

K. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that’s what New Yorker’s do. Right? A Registered Nurse, a lawyer now author.

As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing, she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/KJMcGillickauthor/

Kathleen McGillick

@KJMcGillickAuth

http://www.kjmcgillick.com/

https://twitter.com/KJMcGillickAuth

https://www.goodreads.com/Kmcgillick

Shelf Control #13 – 24/01/2020

After a month or so break, it’s time for my next Shelf control post! As always, in this post, I’ll be taking an in-depth look at the next book on my TBR and tell you what it is I really like, or what interests me about it!

As a refresher, Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

Shelf Control posts allow me to look in more depth at the books I have added to my TBR and listed as keepers in my Down the TBR Hole posts. It’s a great chance to talk about why I want to keep the featured book; it also acts as a second sweep for anything that I may have changed my mind about. I have actually deleted a few books doing this sweep. I don’t necessarily own all the books (yet), but I will have a reasonable number of them. I’ve also gone on to read a couple of the earliest books on the list, so this mini-series is proving useful!

Shall we check out today’s featured book?

 

The Thief Taker – C. S. Quinn

Goodreads – The Thief Taker

Purchase Links: Amazon UK      Amazon US     Waterstones

The year is 1665. Black Death ravages London. A killer stalks the streets in a plague doctor’s hood and mask…

When a girl is gruesomely murdered, thief taker Charlie Tuesday reluctantly agrees to take on the case. But the horrific remains tell him this is no isolated death. The killer’s mad appetites are part of a master plan that could destroy London and reveal the dark secrets of Charlie’s own past.

Now the thief taker must find this murderous mastermind before the plague obliterates the evidence street by street. This terrifying pursuit will take Charlie deep into the black underbelly of old London, where alchemy, witchcraft and blood-spells collide.

In a city drowned in darkness, death could be the most powerful magic of all.

 

My Thoughts…

I’m the first person to admit that I’m not that shy of the macabre in literature. The first thing that struck me about this book and screamed that I’d like to read it is its inclusion of The Black Death. The second thing was murder and the mystery behind it.

The synopsis hints at shady, sinister characters in the dark underbelly of a plagued London. A masked perpetrator walks the streets and it’s a race against time to identify them and prevent further deaths. Combine this with elements of witchcraft, “dark arts” or sorcery and I have very high expectations for this book! I get the impression from some of the reviews that this isn’t for the faint-hearted – I’m intrigued!

 

Have you read The Thief Taker? Would you recommend it? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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***Please note this post contains affiliate links, meaning that I will earn a small commission on purchases made through them. If you like what you read and are interested in purchasing a copy of the book(s) featured in this post, please consider using these links and supporting a book blogger!

Thank you!***

Blog Tour: Guest Post – Zach Abrams

I’m running late as I dash across the concourse of Glasgow Central Station, hoping to reach my train before the doors close. The weather outside is atrocious and it’s difficult to keep my footing on the slippery wet tiles.

In the distance, rushing in my direction, I see a young lady lose her balance. One of her arms clutches her bag while the other flails the air, but to no avail. She spins out of control. Her hip crashes against a solid bench before she crumples to the ground. Her shoe is broken. She nurses injuries to her hip, her ankle and her pride. She looks pained and bewildered.

Should I offer assistance? Already, the chance of me reaching my train, before it leaves, is slight and it’s diminishing by the second.

I’m spared the dilemma of choosing. A young man arrives first and helps her to her feet. Is he a good Samaritan? Well, Glasgow is renowned as a friendly city. His arm is around her waist and I see words pass between them as they stagger off together towards a coffee stall.

What has just happened? An unfortunate mishap, undoubtedly, but what follows? Has there been a reuniting of friends, a meeting of strangers, the start of a romance, or something more sinister; the prelude to an abduction? If you’re writing a story, then it can be anything you want to imagine.

Something similar to this happened and I took in the scene. Although I wasn’t aware of it making a major impact on me, I must have noted the incident in the back of my head, because I recalled the event as I was writing my thriller, ‘133 Hours’.

Perhaps it was influenced by a dream, but I awoke one morning with the concept of a book I wanted to write. The story begins with my protagonist being shocked to realise she’s been missing for over five days with no recollection of where she’s been or of anything that’s happened to her. As my thoughts developed, preparing to start writing, I had a vivid recollection of the station incident. I thought a fictionalised version would make the perfect opening for my story.

I’m like everyone else: I witness and experience different things every day and some I find significant enough to tuck away in my memory. On rare occasions, I’ll make notes. However, often, I’m not even aware that I’m doing it, as I watch an incident or an event of everyday life. It could be something which amuses or shocks me, or maybe a simple observation of how things are. I store the image away, somewhere in my grey matter. Most of it will be forgotten or discarded, but every so often, I recollect a gem which fits perfectly into something I want to write.

My book, ‘133 Hours’ is written in the first person present tense. Because of this, the event had to be turned around. Instead of being the observer, I had to imagine being the unfortunate young lady who experiences the fall. Being a not so young male, it was a challenge to write an entire book from the viewpoint of a twenty-five-year-old female. It required a lot of consultation, a lot of research and a lot of imagination. I hope my readers are satisfied by the result.

 

133 Hours – Zach Abrams

Arriving at work to find she’s lost more than five-and-a-half days (133 hours), Briony Chaplin, has no recollection of where she’d been or what had happened to her. She is distraught. Has she been ill, or had a breakdown, or could she have been drugged and abducted?

Doubting her own sanity, Briony is fearful of what she’ll find. Yet she’s driven to discover the truth. When she trawls her memories, she’s terrified by visions, believing she may have been abused and raped.

Assisted by her friends Alesha and Jenny, and supported by a retired detective, she’s determined to learn where she’s been and why.

Purchase Links:  http://mybook.to/133    Amazon UK     Amazon US

 

Author Bio 

Having the background of a successful career in commerce and finance, Zach Abrams has spent many years writing reports, letters and presentations and it’s only fairly recently he started writing novels. “It’s a more honourable type of fiction,” he declares.

Writer of the Alex Warren Murder Mystery series, set in Scotland, Zach has also written the psychological thriller ‘Ring Fenced’ and the financial thriller ‘Source’, as well as collaborating with Elly Grant on a book of short stories.

Zach is currently producing a non-fiction series to help small businesses -using the collective title ‘Mind Your Own Business’. The first, ‘So, You Think You Want to be a Landlord’ is already available.

Social Media Links –

Website : http://zachabrams.wix.com/zach-abrams
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Zach-Abrams-author-463346010364540/
Twitter: @authorway

 

First Lines Friday – 17/01/2020

I haven’t shared a First Lines Friday post in just over a month. Wow! What with Christmas and New Year, this type of post has been on hold on my blog. However, for a few weeks at least we are back! Today’s featured book is one that I picked up a good while ago from work, of all places. Someone had a sort through of their books and brought them in to see if anyone else wanted them.

I was good actually in just picking up this one! I have heard great things about this author, for reasons I hope will become apparent. It’s written by a renowned author and I wanted to try one of their books to see if I’ll be interested in the rest!

Anyway, let’s jump into the opening paragraph. Can you guess what, or who, it is?

 

My name is Sebastian Rudd, and though I am a well-known street lawyer, you will not see my name on billboards, on bus benches, or screaming at you from the yellow pages. I don’t pay to be seen on television, though I am often there. My name is not listed in any phone book. I do not maintain a traditional office. I carry a gun, legally, because my name and face tend to attract attention from the type of people who also carry guns and don’t mind using them. I live alone, usually sleep alone, and do not possess the patience and understanding to maintain friendships. The law is my life, always consuming and occasionally fulfilling. I wouldn’t call it a “jealous mistress” as some forgotten person once so famously did. It’s more like an overbearing wife who controls the check-book. There’s no way out.

 

 

Shall we find out what it is?

 

Rogue Lawyer – John Grisham

Goodreads – Rogue Lawyer

On the right side of the law. Sort of.

Sebastian Rudd is not your typical street lawyer. He works out of a customized bulletproof van, complete with Wi-Fi, a bar, a small fridge, fine leather chairs, a hidden gun compartment, and a heavily armed driver. He has no firm, no partners, no associates, and only one employee, his driver, who’s also his bodyguard, law clerk, confidant, and golf caddy. He lives alone in a small but extremely safe penthouse apartment, and his primary piece of furniture is a vintage pool table. He drinks small-batch bourbon and carries a gun.

Sebastian defends people other lawyers won’t go near: a drug-addled, tattooed kid rumored to be in a satanic cult, who is accused of molesting and murdering two little girls; a vicious crime lord on death row; a homeowner arrested for shooting at a SWAT team that mistakenly invaded his house.  Why these clients? Because he believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial, even if he, Sebastian, has to cheat to secure one. He hates injustice, doesn’t like insurance companies, banks, or big corporations; he distrusts all levels of government and laughs at the justice system’s notions of ethical behavior.

Sebastian Rudd is one of John Grisham’s most colorful, outrageous, and vividly drawn characters yet. Gritty, witty, and impossible to put down, Rogue Lawyer showcases the master of the legal thriller at his very best.

 

Purchase links: Amazon UK     Amazon US     Waterstones

 

Did you enjoy today’s First Lines Friday post and extract of Rogue Lawyer? Is it on your list to read as well? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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***Please note this post contains affiliate links, meaning that I will earn a small commission on purchases made through them. If you like what you read and are interested in purchasing a copy of the book(s) featured in this post, please consider using these links and supporting a book blogger!

Thank you!***

 

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Haunting at Paradise House – Killian Wolf

Happy Halloween (Hop Tu Naa) everybody and welcome to a very topical book review – The Haunting at Paradise House by Killian Wolf. I have been looking forward to writing today’s post; not only is it the last day of Blogtober, but I also consider this to be prime review day for this tour!

As always, I would like to kick off the post by thanking Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour and inviting me to take part.

 

The Haunting at Paradise House

If you were given the chance to become a powerful sorceress, would you leave behind everything you thought you knew?

When Addison is offered the position of her dreams through a mysterious phone call, she rises to the occasion and moves to the Florida Keys to a mansion called Paradise House. Footsteps from playful ghosts, a room of killer dolls, and an all too intelligent owl lead her to the mysteries that lie within the walls, to reveal the true reason behind her invitation. When dark forces get a hold of her and her patient, Addison is left with no choice but to take extreme measures to protect the ones she loves. Will Addison be able to acquire the necessary skills fast enough in order to protect her patient, and defeat the evil entities that thrive in the mansion?

 

Purchase Links – Amazon UK     Amazon US     Barnes and Noble     Kobo

 

Trailers – 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cRH2NEPDBU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x11nL-q9X4

 

My Thoughts…

The Haunting at Paradise House is a perfect read at this time of year, and really easy to pick up too! The story centres round Addison taking a new job as a nurse in Paradise House; she ends up taking on far more than she bargained for! Addison’s inquisitiveness gets her in trouble on several occasions, but she cannot leave alone knowing something is amiss. Dax, her new boss, isn’t telling her everything and has a mysterious knack of disappearing and reappearing at the most inconvenient times.

The closet full of dolls is something else entirely! I am not easily freaked out or unnerved, but reading about the dolls made me cringe. They are just so freaky but set the right atmosphere for the house and the story. If I were Addison, I wouldn’t have stuck around!

The Haunting at Paradise House is a great mix of genres. I really enjoyed the combination of the fantasy, mystery and paranormal elements of this book. It isn’t what I would describe as a typical read for me, but that didn’t matter at all. The book is well-paced and has a vast array of unique characters interwoven with a sophisticated storyline that was a pleasure to read.

I would like to see a second book as there is great potential with the characters and the ending of the book. I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed!

 

Giveaway to Win a paperback copy of The Haunting at Paradise House (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494294/

 

Author Bio –

Killian Wolf is a Miami, FL native who enjoys pirates, rum, and skulls as much as she loves writing about dark magick and sorcerers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology and a Master of Science in Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy.

Killian writes books about obtaining magickal powers and stepping into other dimensions. She lives in England with her husband, a tornado of a cat, and the most timid snake you’d ever meet.

When she isn’t writing, you might find her at an Archaeological dig, rock climbing, or sipping on dark spiced rum while working on a painting.

 

Social Media Links –

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/killianwolf22/

Twitter- @Killian_Wolf22

Instagram- killian_wolf