The End of Lies blog tour

I am a huge fan of Andy Barretts writing, and think that he is a jolly nice chap in person too, so I leapt at the chance of being on the blog tour for the end of lies , his first stand alone book.

the story:

My name is Becky. I arrived home to find my husband, Chris, stabbed to death and a gang of men ransacking our house.
Turns out that Chris has something that belongs to them. And if I want to stay alive, I have to find it and return it. They have given me seven days. And a beating.
There is nowhere to hide and no time left to look. So I will stand my ground as the deadline approaches. All I have is a head full of lies and a very bad plan.
my thoughts:
Not the usual CSI packed affair from Andy  – but it still retains some of the same humour and fabulous writing that we have come to expect from him.
An enjoyable action packed story full of twists and turns that are completely fascinating and not what you expect at all. As always Andy is very good at fooling you into thinking one thing is happening and then surprising you with a twist.
It can be difficult when an author that you enjoy and know for a particular style of story or character moves away from that theme and tries something new. I feel that for Andy this was a success but I personally will remain a bigger fan of his previous series.
A really enjoyable novel from one of my favourite authors although I do hope Eddie makes a comeback soon as he is one of my all time favourite characters. A 5* read for me.
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The other mother – blog tour

today I am privileged to be on the blog tour for the other mother by Judith Baker, this is the first novel by Judith that I have read and i’m sure i will read more

the story:

Three troubled women. One deadly secret.
Lissy and her daughter, Rosie, live a quiet life in Yorkshire, however when events at Rosie’s school come to light, their peaceful existence is shattered.
Meanwhile, middle-aged women Erica and Beverley appear to have perfect lives but behind closed doors things are not as they seem.
All three women are tied together by a dark past that goes back to their school days. A child was murdered and one of the women is to blame.
But is the person responsible for the child’s death the same person who was blamed for it all those years ago?
As secrets from their past begin to surface it becomes clear that someone has revenge in their sights…

my thoughts:

This is intriguing domestic noir along the lines of Shalini Boland or Maggie James, 2 of my favourite authors. I found the plot of this intriguing although the chapters from the different womens points of view confused me a little at first I soon got engrossed in the plot.

This sheds new thoughts for me on the long term affects of crime and the novel itself had a great final twist to the plot. I was engaged with all the characters and genuinely felt involved with all of them. A fabulous 4  star read for me

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The man in the wall

This blog tour goes out on my brothers birthday – happy birthday Rob. I get to review an interesting translated fiction.

the story:

Alva is a sad and lonely child. With her father locked up in prison, she moves with her mother and two older sisters to an apartment building in town. She does not like her new home. Her room is small and her sisters continue to exclude Alva from their games.

Soon a bizarre murder takes place in the building. A husband discovers his wife dead in the hall of their apartment, two week after she disappeared from their home.

Where had the body been hidden for two weeks? And how could the perpetrator get in and out of the apartment?

As more disturbing things start to take place, Alva is drawn into a sick and twisted game by a killer who is hiding in plain sight. But Alva is just a child and has no idea just how deadly her new friend might be…

The Man in the Wall is a thrilling and stylish Scandinavian thriller.

my thoughts:  This is different to what i first expected, and refreshingly so. A multi layered fascinating crime story set in Sweden with interesting characters. I really enjoyed this novel and it left me thinking about many things including the nature of a psycopath and whether aberrant behaviour in childhood can be corrected before it becomes too serious.

the characters in this novel were really well developed and intriguing and I enjoyed the setting of sweden but scandanavia is one of my favourite places in the world – if you’re looking for something exciting with a slightly horror twist then this is the novel for you a true 5* read for me.

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An open letter to Amazon

We all know Amazon have quite strict review policies, where if you are friends with an author on facebook and you link your social media to your amazon account they won’t let you review that authors books.

Recently I went online to review some Christmas presents and I was blocked from reviewing them, I knew it wasn’t because I was friends with them on facebook, so I emailed amazon to ask why  I couldn’t post my reviews

Finally about 3 days after contacting them I received this reply –
We have determined that you have violated our Customer Review Creation Guidelines. As a result, we have suppressed all of your reviews, and you will no longer be able to post reviews on Amazon.co.uk.

We made this decision after carefully considering your reviewing account. This decision is final.

We cannot share any further information about our decision, and we may not reply to further emails about this issue.

I can’t respond to the email they sent me and as someone who is passionate about championing independent authors many of whom I found from running a facebook group, this makes me really sad and angry.

I understand that after the sock puppetry thing we need reviewing guidelines but to block someone who only ever reviews in good faith and will give an honest review if they are friends with an author or not seems ridiculous

What makes me most angry is I know what a review means to an author and I try to always post my reviews to help them out and now all of those have been reviewed and I cannot review anyone else books, which for someone who spends as much time reviewing – as I do this is huge

So the point I’m trying to get at in writing openly to amazon – is that although I don’t expect a change in my review status, I want them to understand how unfair they are being to the Independent authors many of whom need to connect with people on facebook to make them aware of their works. For a site that is meant to be about making it easier for people to write and share their books and reviews, they are definitely not doing that – maybe Amazons community guidelines should actually be written by their community – they could have a reviewer sign up form so they know why people might be connected to certain authors

The other thing that makes me especially angry about amazon – is this line – We cannot share any further information about our decision, and we may not reply to further emails about this issue.

Why wont they reply or give more details – they are not giving me a chance to defend myself – I have seen this kind of high handed behaviour from them before towards their sellers, but I find it ridiculously unfair, they have decided I have violated some mystery rules, so without warning me so I could change my behaviour they just remove all my priviledges and when I want to talk to them about it – they make it so I cant. Should amazon be allowed to employ these heavy handed tactics to people and get away with it or should we challenge them and expect a change. I think I may start using other bookstores and places to leave my reviews.

my promise to all the authors that I support and champion is that I will continue to do that through my blog, reviews on goodreads and other bookstores and my role as an admin at the UKCBC, I hope you dont feel let down by a lack of review but if i can find a way to share what I think of your books in anyway I can then I will and maybe in the end thats what matters most.

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The secret mother by Shalini Boland – Blog tour

I have the great honour to be on the blog tour for the Secret mother by Shalini Boland, I am a huge fan of Shalini’s work and this is no exception

the story:

‘Are you my mummy?’

Tessa Markham returns home to find a child in her kitchen. He thinks she’s his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children.

Not anymore.

She doesn’t know who the little boy is or how he got there.

After contacting the police, Tessa is suspected of taking the mystery child. Her whole life is turned upside down. And then her husband reveals a secret of his own…

Tessa isn’t sure what to believe or who to trust. Because someone is lying. To find out who, she must confront her painful past. But is the truth more dangerous than Tessa realises?

my thoughts:

This is a truly fascinating example of what I call domestic noir, it has dark moments filled with elements of light in Tessa’s developing relationship with some of the people in her life. This is a fascinating novel and as I was reading I found myself thinking I know where this is going and I don’t mind because its so joyful to read, however I was pleasantly surprised with the ending.

This handles very emotive subject matter with a genuine understanding, the characters are well developed and believable and you find yourself really caring about what happens to all of the people in this book not just Tessa and Harry. On a par with Maggie James for showing the human impact of events on families and individuals this novel is an unputdownable read. A solid 5+ stars from me.

UK 🇬🇧 http://amzn.to/2xrkDu4

 

US 🇺🇸 http://amzn.to/2vXeg3W

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The Dead Whisper

Today i’m lucky enough to be on the dead whisper blog blitz. I have very much enjoyed Emma Clapperton’s books in the past, and the dead whisper did not disappoint

the story: 
D.S Preston and D.C Lang are sent to investigate the death of a young girl in an old manor house in Glasgow. But who would want to kill an innocent girl in her own home and why? When they believe their questions have been answered the case is closed.

Meanwhile, Sam Leonard could not be happier – he has a great acting career and a fantastic girlfriend. After being in a previously turbulent relationship, what could go wrong?

For Patrick McLaughlin life is going well. His marriage is stable and with a baby on the way, things can only get better.
But the house that Patrick moves into is not what it seems. With a family burial plot in the gardens, visions and messages from the deceased, and a recent death in the house, will Patrick and Jodie regret their purchase?

In order to lay the ghosts to rest questions will be asked but can the house ever let go of its past?

My thoughts: I enjoy the hint of supernatural blended into these novels, it never feels forced or unrealistic and always adds to the pace of the story. This felt like an intriguing story from the start, you saw different sides of patrick and jodie and although you think you know what will happen in they story if you think like me you will be very wrong.

I enjoyed the story and how it draws patrick back into the police investigation and the twist at the end is huge and leaves you wondering where this series will go next? I found this a well plotted and enjoyable book that has well written and engaging characters. if you want a classy paranormal crime fiction then this is an author for you. A solid 4* read for me.

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Don’t tell a soul by D K Hood

My turn on my first Bookouture blog tour, thanks for letting me join the blog team. Here are my thoughts on Don’t tell a soul by D.K Hood a read that’s a little out of my comfort zone as it is set in the USA, as admin of the UK crime book club i dont read many books set in different countries.

the story:

The floor was stone cold on her bare skin. Her heart pounded in her chest. ‘Not a soul knows where I am,’ she thought as she took in the darkness around her. And then she heard his footsteps…

When a body is found stuffed into a barrel at a garbage dump, covered in long red cuts, Detective Jenna Alton and her new deputy, David Kane, rush to the scene.

Nothing ever happens in the small American town of Black Rock Falls, so Jenna believes the victim must be one of two recent missing persons, and she fears for the life of the other.

Both were strangers to the town, but there’s nothing else to link them. Jenna knows someone must have seen something, but no one’s talking; how well does she really know the people around her?

Then a disturbing clue makes Jenna suspect a connection with other disappearances in the town’s history. Just when she begins asking the right questions, she realises she’s being followed. Is she next on the killer’s list?

In a race against time, Jenna and David must unlock the dark secret at the heart of the town, before it’s too late…

my thoughts:  A very different read for me and there are some interesting points I can make about it. I liked the 2 characters even though they are gung ho and all action they also felt very real and well developed. However I felt that Jenna is a bit of an enigma because she is meant to be a survivor and a tough cookie but she falls foul of all the horror movie cliches that a single woman can, and how she manages to exit the novel in one piece amazes me.

that said the novel is well plotted and the killers are believably evil, the twist is hard to predict and you are engaged enough with the story to want to find out what will happen. I felt that the novel took a little while to draw me in and I did have issues with Jenna’s carelessness however I would read more by D K Hood as there is a lot to praise in this book and i’m intrigued to see how Jenna and David’s relationship develops. A 4* read for me

buy the novel here:

UK http://amzn.to/2wESpf4
US http://amzn.to/2vgQtva

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