Till the dust settles by Pat young

my turn today on the Till the dust settles blog tour. This is Pat young’s debut novel with bloodhound and an intriguing read.

the story:

The lives of two women who never meet are about to collide.

Lucie married young. Her husband has become abusive, controlling and violent.  Having lost everything as a result of the marriage, Lucie decides it is time to walk away.

As she leaves the house on the morning of September 11th, heading to a job interview at the World Trade Centre and the promise of a new life, the unthinkable happens.

On a street in New York, choking on the dust, Lucie stumbles upon an opportunity for a new life.

She thought the grass would be greener. But starting again is never that simple…

Sometimes, what lies ahead is even more deadly

My thoughts:

This is a really interesting novel with a fresh approach. I think the idea of a doppelganger is something slightly underused (and yes i know i may have used the term wrongly but i’m trying not to give away spoilers) and this does it in a fascinating manner.

it also deals sensitively with the 9/11 attacks which although horrifying are handled well in this work of fiction. I found the characters engaging and well developed and you found yourself really rooting for the protagonist.

however the ending spoiled it slightly for me as it felt just a little too farfetched. However this is a solid 4* read for me from a new author discovery and will definitely not the be the last book i read from this author.BLOG TOUR (9).png

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The second captive by Maggie James

This is another rerelease of Maggie Jame’s work since she became the latest star author to be signed by Bloodhound books. I am a huge fan of Maggie’s work and this story is no exception

the story:

Eighteen-year-old Beth Sutton is abducted and held prisoner in a basement. Dependent on her captor for everything, Beth slowly starts to build a relationship with the man responsible for her imprisonment.

But her abductor is guilty of more than just kidnap  and she has the evidence to prove it.

When she escapes from the basement Beth’s toughest  challenge will be dealing with her memories.

Will Beth ever overcome her trauma?

And what is the relationship between love and fear?

My thoughts:

This novel is outstanding, it grabs you from the very first pages and never lets you go, it even keeps you thinking after the novel has finished. I loved the way you saw how Beth’s thoughts changed as she spent longer in captivity. The whole concept of this story was fascinating and I found the standard of writing to be breathtaking if you haven’t discovered Maggie James yet where have you been. I can’t find the words to express how much I enjoyed this novel, it’s a 5** + read for me.BLOG TOUR (5)-2.png

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Poor Hands by Oliver Tidy

It feels like i’ve been waiting a long time for the third instalment in the Booker and Cash Series by Oliver Tidy. This is his newest release with Bloodhound books, it follows the lives of Booker and Cash a secondhand bookstore/cafe owner and private detective respectively.

the story:

In a big old building on the south coast of Kent, David Booker runs a book-themed coffee shop and Jo Cash operates a private investigation business. They live there, too. But not like that.

Jo needs help with tracing a mystery client’s living relatives. David needs help with his staffing problems.  Will they both get what they are looking for?

Sometimes two heads are better than one. Sometimes a poor hand is better than none. But not always…

My thoughts:

I have always been a fan of this series and this is a good addition to the trilogy. The book could be read as a standalone but if you have not read booker and cash before you would be better starting at the beginning. It follows to semi intertwining stories of a young girl in trouble and a family history conundrum. Once again the quality of writing, strength of characters and the authors clear knowledge of romney marsh shine through. I loved the clues set in cash’s investigation and found this a real sleep stealer of a novel. It was hard to put down and full of Oliver’s trademark humour. A real 5* read for me

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The man upstairs by Mark Fowler

I was invited to participate in this blog tour by Caroline Vincent who blogs at bits about books. I have previously read one of Mark’s works but the man upstairs was new to me

The book – Frank Miller, hero of the best-selling mystery novels written by The Man Upstairs, works the weird streets of Chapeltown as a private detective. During the legendary case of the Black Widow everything changed when Frank became aware of his fictional existence. Proclaimed at the time as a work of genius, Frank wonders if it was the first sign that The Man Upstairs was sick.

This latest case, involving the death of a care worker, and coinciding with the appointment of Chapeltown’s first elected mayor, has Frank baffled. The Man Upstairs appears to be losing the plot, giving the womanising Frank a steady girlfriend, Marge, who warns him that to survive he must change from the tired cliché that he has become.

As the case darkens Frank recognises the depth of his creator’s sickness. His days are numbered as clearly as the pages in the books in which he features. The looming battle with the Mayor of Chapeltown is nothing less than the battle to save himself, Marge, the series – and the mind of The Man Upstairs.

The Man Upstairs is plotting to kill Frank Miller and take Chapeltown to hell.

My thoughts – There are some interesting elements of old school detective noir here and the premise itself is interesting. I think Mark is good at committing thoroughly to a theme but the concept just didn’t gel well with me as a reader I think possibly because the characters in the novel were so caricaturish, I didn’t find myself engaging with them as people which is one of the key things I look for in a novel.

There is a clear element of humour and some chilling aspects to the story – it had real reminiscences of Sin city in its noirish – fourth wall breaking detectiveness. The comaprisons to Sin city continue when you meet the Angels who all seem to have a seedier side to them.  The solid win for me in this book is that it poses the philosophical question of how much is an author influenced by his characters, at what point do they mirror his life, this novel takes it to the extreme by having the character become autonomous and able to disagree with the author. Although Mark is not the first author to broach this topic he does add an interesting spin to the idea.

 

 

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