#BookReview By Lou of All About Evie By Matson Taylor – Out Now! @matson_taylor_ @ScribnerUK @simonschusterUK #EvieEpworth #1972 #AllAboutEvie #BookTwt #MustRead

All About Evie
By Matson Taylor

Rating: 5 out of 5.

All About Evie - Matson Taylor

All About Evie is uplifting, incredibly humorous, poignant and a must read for anyone’s tbr list!
This is the second installment from the author who brought us the wonderfully funny and poignant book – The MisEducation Of Evie Epworth 
Check out more in the blurb and then find out about the rest of my review below.
Thanks first to Matson Taylor for arranging a copy to be given to me to review and for 

Blurb

All About Evie CoverTen years on from the events of The Miseducation of Evie Epworth, Evie is settled in London and working as a production assistant for the BBC. She has everything she ever dreamed of (a career, a leatherette briefcase, an Ossie Clark poncho) but, following an unfortunate incident involving a Hornsea Pottery mug and Princess Anne, she finds herself having to rethink her future. What can she do? Is she too old to do it? And will it involve cork-soled sandals? 

As if this isn’t complicated enough, her disastrous love life leaves her worrying that she may be destined for eternal spinsterdom, concerned, as she is, that ‘even Paul had married Linda by the time he was 26’. Through it all, Evie is left wondering whether a 60s miseducation really is the best preparation to glide into womanhood and face the new challenges (strikes, power cuts, Edward Heath’s teeth) thrown up by the growing pains of the 70s.

With the help of friends, both old and new, she might just find a way through her messy 20s and finally discover who exactly she is meant to be…

Review

Evie is now 26 1/2 years old and now living in London, and if there’s something the author – Matson Taylor does well, it is uplifting opening paragraphs and then sustaining that throughout the rest of a book.

Readers – Get re-acquainted with Evie Epworth! This time, the year is 1972 and she is at work doing a sound check at Broadcasting House in the Women’s Hour studio for a special broadcast of Princess Anne doing an interview.
Her best friend is Caroline, who brought her to London as they’re like sisters. She needs that kind of loving after still having her sparkley career in the morning and it vanishing by the afternoon… Then there’s the matter of her love-life and time is moving on and lots of guys are being picked off the shelf and coupled up, as her internal clock is also ticking away. It has a very entertaining, humorous Bridget Jones vibe, right down to a certain list, that fits well and seems a nice nod to those books/films. It’s a vibe that not everyone pulls off well, but Taylor does in this series and yet keeping originality in the characters and narrative.

Nestled amongst the hilarity, there are moments of poignancy and sadness in family matters, but not deeply depressingly sad, it’s another side of grief and dealing with the deceased belongings, a tender, bittersweet moment that is realistically captured, before moving back to Evie working on a plan of action for her next stage in life (sort of).

There are interesting interludes throughout the book, much like there were in the first book – The Miseducation of Evie Epworth. This time it is like a bit of a tour around different parts of Scotland and Yorkshire, giving insights into what happened for a person to get to where they are now. It may not sound like this works on paper like this, but in the book it does and flows naturally. The fact there are interludes sort of reminds me of a style in a drama I used to watch. The interludes in this book add much depth and poignancy.

I am absolutely hooked on reading about Evie Epworth and I am sure others will be too. I can’t wait to see what Matson Taylor writes next!

I highly recommend this book.

 

#BookReview By Lou of Bodies In The Water By AJ Aberford @AJAberford @HobeckBooks #PoliticalThriller #CrimeFiction #Thriller #IndyPublisher

Bodies In The Water
By AJ Aberford

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Bodies In The Water is murky, intriguing, gripping and time will pass you by without you even realising. If you liked tvs Homeland, you’ll like this.

Bodies In The Water cover

Blurb

An unwilling hero

Inspector George Zammit, of the Maltese Pulizija likes a quiet life, keeping his head down and avoiding trouble. But when he investigates a body floating in the waters of Valletta’s Grand Harbour, he soon finds himself entangled in an international criminal plot which leads him on a perilous adventure.

A powerful crime family

Natasha Bonnici is part of a sophisticated Italian crime family whose attentions turn to the oil riches beneath the Libyan desert, where they encounter Abdullah Belkacem, a Libyan militia leader with big ambitions. Nick Walker sells his Maltese online gaming company to a shady purchaser and finds himself at the centre of Europe’s biggest money laundering operation.

Troubled waters

Set against a backdrop of the world of oil smuggling, the turmoil of North Africa and the seemingly unchecked corruption in the Southern Mediterranean, their paths all collide, with disastrous results. 

Review

The Bodies In The Water is highly emotive! Readers will get to know a bit about the Maltese population and the Grand Harbour. It sounds idyillc, but there are dark, murky corners.  
This is a story that takes readers into the world of modern-day people trafficking; which happens in many countries and to many people regardless of race, creed, culture; and no longer is it a particular race etc doing the trafficking, people trafficking is done by so many races, cultures etc.

Meet Mobo and Abeao. They are characters who get under your skin and it’s interesting with the story being seen through their eyes in the prologue. There is also a really shady character – Abdullah, who has some rather illicit plans to cease opportunities to make money.

There is a really strong character in Natasha Bonnici, whose early life has been tough, but is also part of a powerful criminal family.

Business and agendas soon show themselves in the fore in the shady characters who are involved in criminality.

Gerald Camilleri of Assistant Commissioner of Organised Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Command is on the case as there are also shady dealings with a gaming company. There is also Inspector George Zammit, whom readers see some of his family life and also meet his daughter – Marianna, which picks up on a different theme – schooling. His life isn’t so quiet as he ends up be on treacherous adventures and inveestigations.

The style of writing is strong, the themes are hard-hitting and important ones at that and this author knows his stuff and has turned it all into a page-turner of a tightly written plot.

#Review By Lou of Whisper of the Seals – A Detective Morale book By @RBouchard72 @givemeawave @OrendaBooks #CrimeFiction #BlogTour #RandomTTours #DetectiveMorale

Whisper of the Seals
By Roxanne Bouchard
Translated By David Warriner

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Today I am on the blog tour with a review of Whisper of the Seals. It is part of the Detective Moralès series. This is a bit different for me as this detective book takes place out at sea. This book is shortlisted for the Crime Writers of Canada Best French Crime Book 2022.
Check out the blurb and my review below. Thanks to Random T. Tours and Orenda Books for the spot and a copy of the book.

Whisper of the Seals

Blurb

Fisheries officer Simone Lord is transferred to Quebec’s remote Magdalen Islands for the winter, and at the last minute ordered to go aboard a trawler braving a winter storm for the traditional grey seal hunt, while all of the other boats shelter onshore. 

Detective Sergeant Joaquin Moralès is on a cross-country boat trip down the St Lawrence River, accompanied by Nadine Lauzon, a forensic psychologist working on the case of a savagely beaten teenager with Moralès’ old team in Montreal. 

When it becomes clear that Simone is in grave danger aboard the trawler, the two cases converge, with startling terrifying consequences for everyone involved….

Review

Feeling the heat? Turn it down with this cooling seafaring book. There is more than just the lapping of the sea, this is winter and the tide has turned from the summery tides to darker, more moody crashing waves and the lives on the seas are also facing more than a bit roughness as the tide turns.
The setting is a fishing community, which seems innocent enough, but going onwards there are secrets to uncover.

Simone Lord is transferred to Quebec’s remote Magdalen Islands. It’s cold and stormy, creating treacherous conditions for the traditional grey seal hunt. The weather conditions and time of year, make it deeply atmospheric and perfect conditions for a crime to take place.
There are two cases for readers follow, the one of the beaten teenager and Simone being in great danger. There are many twists and turns as it goes along and has much suspense in many parts of this mystery at sea.

The book flows well, so it feels like it works as a translated book, this is with thanks to David Warriner, who has been part of opening up these books to more readers, by translating them into English.

 

#Review By Lou of Lily Bennett’s Bucket List By Katherine Dyson @_katherinedyson @0neMoreChapter_ @HarperCollinsUK #Romcom #ContemporaryFiction #GeneralFiction #BucketlistAdventure

Lily Bennett’s Bucket List
By Katherine Dyson

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Most people love a bucket list right? I certainly do and Lily Bennett’s Bucket List is a gorgeously uplifting read. Thanks to the publisher – One More Chapter.
Find out more in the blurb and my review.

Lily Bennett's Bucket List cover

Blurb

The most life-affirming and uplifting debut you will read this year. Perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Fiona Gibson and Clare Pooley.

What would Lily Bennett do?

This is the question Lydia Grey finds herself asking when she discovers Lily’s bucket list at the bottom of her shopping trolley. Having just run into her ex – and his supermodel gorgeous new girlfriend – while doing the walk of shame, Lydia’s discovery takes her down an unexpected path…and into the company of Jake Jones.

Jake mistakes Lydia for Lily when he offers to help her complete the list, but tempted to be someone – anyone – other than plain old Lydia Grey for once in her life, Lydia doesn’t correct him.

Now, as each new adventure brings Lydia and Jake closer, her lie threatens everything. To complete the list she’ll need to tackle #9: ‘do the scariest thing you can think of’, but how can she do that when the scariest thing she can think of is telling Jake the truth…which could mean losing him forever?

Review

So many people have a bucket list, including me, either one for later or like me, working through it bit by bit as when something can be ticked off.
Lydia Grey’s life is often dull, as dull as the colour grey when there’s no light and shade and atmosphere to it, say like you would see in a painting. It’s just plain dull! Even her husband, since left, even though after so many years together, because she had become drab and boring.
Then life spices up quite significantly and brightness shines through, along with a whole array of colours and experiences when she discovers Lily Bennett’s bucket list at the bottom of a shopping trolley. Lily is a complete stranger to Lydia, but this list looks adventurous, so she gets brave and decides to make her way down it doing all the activities on it. Then the excitement and wonderful adventures begin!
Jake assumes Lydia is Lily and she doesn’t put him right, which later causes a bit of trepidation and wonder about what she is going to do when it comes to it, as they embark on the adventures together.

It’s a sweet, uplifting read with an edge of bittersweetness. It’s a really nice debut novel for readers to settle down and relax into, with its warmth, romance and humour.

#Review By Lou of From Sorrow’s Hold By Jonathan Peace – Happy Publication Day @JPwritescrime @HobeckBooks #BlogTour #BookRecommendation #BookTwitter #CrimeFiction #PoliceProcedural #FromSorrowsHold

From Sorrow’s Hold
By Jonathan Peace

Rating: 5 out of 5.

.From Sorrow’s Hold is mysterious, heartfelt and compelling. It is out now! Today I am joining the blog tour on Publication Day for the second in the series of crime books by Jonathan Peace, and going back in time to the 1980’s. Find out more about it in the blurb and my review below. Then find out a little about the author and how he is a “cat dad”, as well as social media links you can click into.
Thanks first to the publisher, Hobeck Books for inviting me to review.

From Sorrow's Hold

Blurb

December, 1988

Christmas beckons
What should be a time of excitement and joy is forever tainted when a teenager’s body is found in the graveyard of Ossett’s Holy Trinity Church.

A suspected suicide
As they respond to the devastating event, WDCs Louise Miller and Elizabeth Hines, together with psychologist Karla Hayes, each use their own experiences of suicide to help the wider community as it struggles to understand the terrible choice that was made.

Another missing teenager
Louise starts to believe there is something even more sinister behind the events…

Review

Firstly, Happy Publication Day to Jonathan Peace.
Secondly, you’ll have seen that cover! It has atmosphere and is a bit spine-tingling in the chilling sense. It sets the scene well as the book itself is atmospheric.
This is a hard-hitting book to say the least and yet compulsive. The 1980’s style of policing makes for a great series. Think Life On Mars with extra tension and grittiness. Although it is set at Christmas, the book feels fine to read at any time of year for the crime-solving.

From Sorrow’s Hold is the second in the series (the first was Dirty Little Secret), often what authors say is that “tricky book”, but this author has cracked it! He captures the time period well and hooks you in with another great mystery. It would read well as a stand-alone for the mystery, but also as part of the series for the main character thread. The character development grows in this book and it’s great getting to know more about WDC Louise Miller, who is hardworking, strong but also has her own personal issues. This time she is on a new case because a teenager has reportedly committed suicide. The mystery then really turns up a few notches as there are questions surrounding this that need answering and it all may not be quite as straight-forward as it first seems. Elizabeth Hines, her work partner and Karla Hayes, the psychologist drafted in to help with her interesting insights and knowledge in what is a heartbreaking, dark case, that has more twists than what WDC Miller and her team were expecting. The further and deeper the case takes her team, the more sinister it becomes and the more compelling to read it is.
I recommend this series and you can grab your copy from today!

About The Author

Jonathan Peace is a husband, cat-dad and author of the WDC Louise Miller novels.

A Yorkshire lad at heart, Jonathan sets his novels in a fictionalised version of his hometown of Ossett, West Yorkshire, during the 1980’s. He now lives and works out of his home in Derbyshire, where he shares his writing office with his author wife, Lucy, and their three cats.

You can find him across the socials at the following:

Website: https://www.jpwritescrime.com

Twitter: @JPwritescrime

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JPwritescrime

Subscribe to his newsletter for monthly updates at: Jonathan Peace Newsletter

Hobeck Books: https://www.hobeck.net/

#Review By Lou of Hostage By Claire Mackintosh @ClareMackint0sh @BookSphere @RandomTTours #Thriller #CrimeFiction #SummerReading #summerread #HolidayReading #BlogTour #HostageBook

Hostage
By Claire Mackintosh

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Hostage Graphic3

Hold on tight for a breath-taking fast-paced summer read in Hostage By Claire Mackintosh. Today I am on the blog tour with a review. Find out more in the blurb and review below. Thanks first to Random T. Tours and Book Sphere for inviting me onto the tour to review and for a copy of the book.

Save hundres of lives

Blurb

Hostage Cover ImageSave hundreds of lives. Or save your child?
You’re on board the first non-stop flight from London to Sydney. It’s a landmark journey, and the world is watching.
Shortly after take-off, you receive a chilling anonymous note.
There are people on this plane intent on bringing it down – and you’re the key to their plan.
You’d never help them, even if your life depended on it.
But they have your daughter . . . So now you have to
choose.
DO YOU SAVE HUNDREDS OF LIVES? OR THE ONE
THAT MATTERS MOST?

Or the one that matters most

Review

Hostage begins with a heart in the mouth moment, there’s no other way of describing the opening pages. It’s tense as eyes open wider and boom, hooked, and got to know what happened to lead up to that moment of a horrific and terrifying incident. A situation no one would ever want to find themselves in.

The book cycles between Mina and Adam and various passengers. Mina’s life has complexities that are spilled out to her work colleague, like she is getting it all off her chest; the difficulties to conceive, Sophia who she adopted and turns out she has been diagnosed by a psychologist with hyperlexia and other deep issues. The book takes readers between homelife and the momentous, ground-breaking flight.

There’s a lot of anticpation about the first non-stop flight to Sidney and Mina is working on it. The passengers have various reasons to be on this particular flight, some are very deep and to very consciously leave something or someone behind. They all have a story to tell, all with some type of profound emotion attached.

Adam, Mina’s husband, works in the police force in CID on major cases as he is a Detective Sergeant, who is given a hard time by Sophia, but the intense love cuts through.

Things get even more intense, as if that were possible, but Mackintosh wracks it up a few more notches and it all becomes increasingly chilling when a note is found that spell that lives are in danger and a situation involving Sophia comes to head.~
There are many moments that are sure to make any reader gasp and want to hold their breath as it is breath-taking, but remember to breath as no one can hold their breath for 385 pages, no matter how fast-paced they are.

Hostage is intense and an absolute page-turner. It’s incredibly immersive, more than what readers may be bargaining for.

About the Author

Claire Author PicClare Mackintosh is the multi-award-winning author of five Sunday Times bestselling novels, including I Let You Go, which was the fastest-selling debut thriller in the year it was released.
Translated into forty languages, her books have sold more than two million copies worldwide, have been New York Times and international bestsellers and have spent a combined total of 64                                                       weeks in the Sunday Times bestseller chart.
Clare spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order
commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media
consultant and is the founder of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival. She now writes full time
and lives in Wales with her husband and their three children.
http://www.claremackintosh.com / http://www.facebook.com/ClareMackWrites / @ClareMackint0sh

Hostage BT Poster