Archive | February 2017

Before The Rains – Dinah Jefferies. – Blog Tour.

 

dinah jefferies

 

 

Back of the book :

1930, Rajputana, India.

Since her husband’s death, 28-year-old photojournalist Eliza’s only companion has been her camera. When the British Government send her to an Indian princely state to photograph the royal family, she’s determined to make a name for herself.

But when Eliza arrives at the palace she meets Jay, the Prince’s handsome, brooding brother. While Eliza awakens Jay to the poverty of his people, he awakens her to the injustices of British rule. Soon Jay and Eliza find they have more in common than they think. But their families – and society – think otherwise. Eventually they will have to make a choice between doing what’s expected, or following their hearts. . .

 

What I think : 

In Dec 1912, In India, Eliza and her mother Anna, witnessed the death of her father. He was in a state procession and someone threw a bomb and he was blown up. Thirteen years later, a widower herself, her husband was in a motor accident, she has managed to carve a career out for herself as a photojournalist. when a family friend, Clifford Salter, offers her a job to photograph the Indian royal family for a year, she jumps at the chance. Almost as soon as she gets there, she meets Prince Jayent, the younger brother of the current Prince apparent. She doesn’t really take to him to start with, but as they start spending time together they become friends. As Eliza’s time progresses in India she sees and hears things that shock and upset her. She also realises that there is a lot of poverty in that part of India. She goes to Jay for help, its then, that they realise that their friendship is turning into something forbidden ….

I’ve always had a soft spot for Dinah’s books, ever since I won a copy of ‘The Separation’ a couple of years ago. I always really look forward to Dinah’s next book coming out. So you can imagine how excited I was when I was asked to be on the Blog Tour for this book. I really think that this novel is Dinah’s best yet !

Dinah transported me back to 1930’s India with her wonderful descriptions of the places, sights and sounds. Her brilliantly written characters make me feel as if I was in the background watching it all unfold first hand. I could almost smell the pungent spices and the acrid smoke.

I really couldn’t and didn’t put this book down, I read it all in two sittings. I really do highly recommend this brilliant book and give it a really well-earned 10/10.

 

5 gold stars

 

Published by Viking (Penguin Books) on 23/02/17

A huge Thank you to Josie Murdoch and Penguin Books for the review copy of the book.

 

 

 

 

All The Missing Girls – Megan Miranda. Blog Tour.

 

megan-miranda

 

Back of the book : 

Its been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corrine, disappeared without trace. Then a letter from her father arrives – ‘I need to talk to you. That girl . I saw that girl’  Has her father’s dementia worsened, or has he really seen Corinne ? Returning home. Nicolette must finally face what happened that terrible night all those years ago.

Then, another young woman goes missing, almost to the day of the anniversary of when Corinne vanished. And like ten years ago, the whole town is a suspect.

Told backwards – day 15 to day 1 – Nicolette works to unravel the truth, revealing shocking secrets about her friends, her family and what really happened to Corrine …

 

What I think : 

Nicolette or Nic for short, left the small town in the Virginian hills she grew up in, ten years ago. She has a life, a flat, a job and even a boyfriend (well, a fiance, he put a ring on her finger a few weeks ago !)  in the city and she’s settled. She doesn’t go home much. However she also has a father with dementia who lives in that small town and a brother who’s looking after him. When she gets a letter from her dad telling her that he ‘needs to talk to her’ and its about ‘that girl’ and he’s ‘Seen that girl ‘ she knows she ought to go home. ‘That girl’ is her best friend Corinne and Corrine went missing ten years ago, just before she left town herself and no-one has seen her since. Then she gets a phone call from her brother telling her that her dads money is running out and they need to sell the house. She knows that its time to do what she has been dreading, she gets in her car and drives the nine hours home.

When she gets back home its like time has stood still, almost everything is the same. Including her old boyfriend Tyler, who unlike her, never left. Shes only been home a short while before another girl goes missing and Nic realises that its been almost ten years to the day and its happened again, can Nic discover the truth of what happened all those years ago …. ?

This is a bit of an odd book, I don’t mean it in a bad way, just that this story is told backwards !  The first couple of chapters are normal, setting the scene as it were, then as the story is told proper it counts down from day 15 to day 1.

I must admit,  I did find it difficult to start with, however once I got into it, I really did enjoy it. I found it very dark and a bit claustrophobic in places, and there are quite a few twists and turns to say the least. I really liked the complex characters and I also liked the way you find out bit by bit in each chapter about what happened to Corinne right up until the brilliant end.

I quite liked this dark but thrilling, debut novel and give it 9/10

(5 stars )

5 gold stars

 

Published By Atlantic Books on 02/02/17

A very big Thank you to Corvus (Atlantic Books) for the review copy of the book.

Especially Katherine Macpherson who organised a second review copy of the book for me, after the first one went astray !

all-the-missing-girls

 

Perfect Remains – Helen Fields. – Blog Tour.

 

helen-fields

 

Back of the book :

On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing.


In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness.

Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.

It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes … The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.

 

What I think : 

D.I Luc Callenach’s first day in his new job at Police Scotland is not the one you’d want. Having left France and Interpol under a cloud, Luc really needs this job. So when a burning body is found in the Scottish Hills with only a tooth, a piece of cloth and baseball bat as evidence, things aren’t going well. Add to the mix that his colleagues don’t seem to be taking to him, partly because they can’t understand his french accent (he’s half French, half Scottish) and partly because they just don’t like him. D.I Ava Turner, however see’s something in him that the others don’t and slowly they become friends.

Somewhere in Edinburgh, in a house in the suburbs a woman is bound and gagged in a hidden room at the back of the house. In amongst all of this a woman is missing. Elaine Buxton hasn’t been seen for days. Where is Elaine ? is she burnt to a crisp or is she bound and gagged … ?

Then another woman goes missing, the Rev Jayne Magee. Are the disappearances linked to the same abductor/Murderer. Can Luc and his team save these women before its too late ?

This isn’t a ordinary thriller in as much as you have to guess who the murderer is, you find out quite early on and you follow them on their outings to murder and take the women. You really do get the chance to get inside their heads and find out what they’re doing and why.

The relationship between Luc and Ava is quite an odd one, not quite that friendly but not quite not. It will be interesting to see how this develops in future books. However it turns out though, I do think that they’ll always have each others backs.

I didn’t know quite what to expect when I first started to read, When a book starts with a burning body, things always are slightly weird ! But right from that burning body scene the book had me gripped and I found that I couldn’t actually put it down. I was engrossed !! It is a bit gory and explicit in places, which did take a bit of getting used to. There are also plenty of twists and turns.

I found the characters quite complex and I’m sorry to say that I really did have trouble liking Luc. I found him quite standoffish and a bit arrogant, I really hope he gets a bit more likeable in future books. I really liked Ava and felt quite sorry for her in places.

All in all I found this a great debut novel and I’m really looking forward to the next novel.

I give this atmospheric, tense thriller 9/10. (5 Stars )

5 gold stars

Published by Avon (Harper Collins) on 26/01/17.

A huge thank you to Helena Sheffield at Avon for the review copy of the book.

 

Here for your reading pleasure is an extract from the book …. hope you enjoy it 🙂

 

Extract :

‘Come on then, everyone has a reason. Why the police?’ Ava asked as she dipped baguette in melted cheese.

Callanach instantly regretted having asked Ava such a personal question. He should have foreseen having to respond in kind.

His pause was long enough that Ava had fully gauged his reti­cence before he met her eyes again.

 ‘You don’t have to answer. It’s not a trick. And tell me if I’m misreading this or being dense, but this is the way it usually works. You ask me a question, I ask you one. We bump into each other at work, we get to know each other better so there’s more trust. When we have a bad day, we smile at one another, remind ourselves that it’s all par for the course.’

 ‘I know how it works,’ Callanach said. It came out more brusquely than he’d intended and he regretted it immediately. This wasn’t how he’d wanted the evening to go. He readied himself to say sorry.

 ‘Don’t,’ Ava said. ‘Don’t apologise again. People are who they are. As far as I’m concerned, forcing a square peg into a round hole is a waste of energy. But you’ll have to find a better means of communication than this. Your squad doesn’t have to like you, but they do have to respect you. So here’s the thing. If you don’t say please or thank you to your detectives, they’ll still do what they’re told but they won’t feel a sense of pleasure in working their hardest for you. If you snap at everyone all the time, you’ll drag your team down. And if you don’t let anyone get to know you, whether it’s me or anyone else, then you’ve got no reason to be here because there’ll be no loyalty and no community. And that’s all you have in the police.

 It’s what grounds you and supports you. It’s the only thing that makes the job tolerable at the end of the day. Feel free to stop me when you want to explain that you already know all of this.’

 Ava stood up, picked up her bag and strode away. Callanach realised she’d left her jacket, grabbed it and turned to call after her. She had already disappeared. Letting out a stream of expletives he returned to the table, threw the jacket back onto her chair and put his head in his hands. He never used to be this person. On top of everything he’d lost – his home, his career, even his mother – he’d become someone he no longer liked. Perhaps Scotland was a mistake, perhaps he was wrong thinking he could take up policing in a new country and that it would be the way it was before. If he was going to run, he should have run much further and never looked back. Slipping on his jacket, he stood up to leave as a glass of wine was thrust into his hand. He stared at Ava.

 ‘Going somewhere?’ she asked.

 ‘I assumed you’d . . .’ he stuttered, trying to stop the words before he looked even more foolish than he already did.

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