#BookReview by Lou of #Damage by Caitlin Wahrer @CaitlinWahrer @JenLovesReadin #Thriller

Damage
By Caitlin Wahrer

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Damage is compelling and one that grips from the very start. Thanks to Penguin Random House for gifting me a copy to review. Read on to discover the blurb and my review below.

Damage

Blurb

Sometimes, the true story is the hardest to believe.

TONY has always looked out for his younger brother, Nick. So when Nick is badly hurt and it looks like he was the victim of sexual assault, Tony’s anger flares.

JULIA is alarmed by her husband Tony’s obsession with Nick’s case. She’s always known Tony has a temper. But does she really know what he’s capable of?

NICK went out for a drink. After that, everything’s a blank. When he woke up he found himself in a world of confusion and pain, and the man who hurt him doesn’t deny doing it. But he says the whole thing was consensual.

Three ordinary people; one life-shattering event. When the police get involved with this family in crisis, all the cracks will start to show…

Set to ignite debate and as gripping as your favourite box-set, Damage is a compulsive drama from an extraordinary new writer.

Review

Chilling, atmospheric, visceral, emotional and absolutely grips from the start! It’ll make you take a sharp in-take of breath!

Set between 2019 and 2015; Detective John Rice is on the case and Nick is the victim of a sexual assault. Tony Hall is his brother, who along with his wife, Julia want to protect him. Tony and Julia have their relationship issues and what’s happened to Nick furthers that stress.

This in a way tells an important story with a deep subject matter – it shows a young man being sexually assaulted and both brothers being damaged, not just by this, but the book also hints at the sort of man their father is. It shows their raw emotion and reaction, which is so heartrendering. This is all handled with realism and sensitivity, especially when it comes to Nick meeting Lisa who questions him. It’s a very moving book with the way the characters interact with each other and how they are affected by the secrets that spiral through the book.

The level of high intensity is consistent throughout the book. As much as it is an emotionally affecting read, it is powerful and so much so, it’s quite hard to put down. It magically draws the attention in, even though the subject matters within it are hard ones. 

There are twists and turns as a result of so much damage being caused to people, that are deeper and darker than expected and that grip ferociously to the very end as the effects are huge and cause behaviours to spiral out of control.

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#BookRevew by Lou – Dead Secret by Noelle Holten @nholten40 @0neMoreChapter @BOTBSPublicity #CrimeFiction #DeadSecret #DCMaggieJamiesonNovel

There are psychopaths within Dead Secret, the latest in this series by Noelle Holten. Such a case to solve and so many secrets to uncover along the way, that keeps you guessing. Readers are in for a treat, all be it, a dark twisted one… Today I have the priviledge of kicking off the blog tour, thanks to BOTBSPublicity and One More Chapter for inviting me and for gifting me a book.
Find out more in the blurb and review…

Dead Secret Banner

Blurb

Dead Secret coverPsychopaths can take root in the unlikeliest soil…

DC Maggie Jamieson crosses paths once again with Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood when a domestic violence survivor stumbles into her new refuge, unable to speak, desperate for help.

Then another case hits Maggie’s desk. A young man has been murdered, and a curious constellation of black dots has been inked onto his cheek.

That’s when DCI Hastings goes missing and Maggie uncovers a shocking connection that turns the case on its head.

Every family may hide secrets, but not every family buries them…

Review

This is a twisty and authentic book, as are all the books in this series. Dead Secret is compelling to say the least and psychopath’s are indeed on the loose.

DCI Hastings and his family are missing and a young man has been murdered, meaning DCI Maggie Jamieson has a lot of ground to cover to work out what is going on, not to mention the domestic violence survivor, who Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood deals with at her refuge, so means their paths cross. It turns out it isn’t easy for the domestic violence survivor to speak up about what happened to her, which adds into the layers of believability, necessary for such a storyline.
With all this going on, their lives are busy enough, but then there’s also the press to deal with. DCI Maggie spars quite a bit with the journalists, especially Julia.

In the police station itself, it is interesting reading further into the relationships between the officers, how they communicate to each other and how some of the dynamics have now changed, which refreshes things a bit.

This book keeps you guessing what’s going to happen next and what the connections are in the people the police are dealing with. There are lots of acronyms, perhaps almost on the same scale as Line of Duty, but like that series, it’s easy to get a grasp of what they all mean, well, I find this anyway.

The book in all its aspects is expertly written and also feels very authentic. It is also gripping right up to and including the last chapter. There’s a very good pace and all the characters are pretty strong, but with vulnerabilities that creep in.

About the Author

Noelle HoltenNoelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog. Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

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#Review by Lou – Everyone Is Still Alive By Cathy Rentzenbrink @CathRentzenbrink @Phoenix_Bks @RandomTTours

Everyone Is Still Alive
By Cathy Rentzenbrink

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Everyone is Still Alive is a moving, well-observed story about parenthood and more… It has wit and challenges and certain aspects made me think of hit tv show Motherland in someways.
Thanks to Phoenix Books for gifting me with the book and to Random T Tours for organising this and inviting me to review

Find out more in the blurb and my review below.

Everyone Graphic

About the Author

Cathy Rentzenbrink Author PicCathy Rentzenbrink grew up in Yorkshire, spent many years in London, and now lives in Cornwall.
She is the SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author of THE LAST ACT OF LOVE, which was shortlisted for the Wellcome Prize, and the acclaimed memoirs A MANUAL FOR HEARTACHE and DEAR READER. EVERYONE IS STILL ALIVE is her first novel.

 

Blurb

Everyone Is Still Alive CoverThe wise, witty and moving debut novel from SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author Cathy Rentzenbrink
– exploring the deeper reality of marriage, parenthood and the way life thwarts our expectations.
It is summer on Magnolia Road when Juliet moves into her late mother’s house with her husband Liam and their young son, Charlie. Preoccupied by guilt, grief and the juggle of working motherhood, she
can’t imagine finding time to get to know the neighbouring families, let alone fitting in with them.
But for Liam, a writer, the morning coffees and after-school gatherings soon reveal the secret struggles, fears and rivalries playing out behind closed doors – all of which are going straight into his new novel . . .
Juliet tries to bury her unease and leave Liam to forge these new friendships. But when the rupture of a marriage sends ripples through the group, painful home truths are brought to light. And then, one sundrenched afternoon at a party, a single moment changes everything.
EVERYONE IS STILL ALIVE is the story of several families who live on the same suburban street, all
secretly struggling with the anxieties of the modern world whilst trying to maintain the illusion that
everything is fine. This is a novel about guilt, grief, working motherhood, the mental load, envy, fear and
status, but it’s also about love, friendship, community and how we figure out what really matters.

Review

It has a striking beginning in the prologue, with what people worry about. Juliet and Liam are parents to Charlie and have just moved house and discover they live across from Brian and Jim, who kindly introduce themselves.

The book deals with death and grief in the family as Charlie’s gran’s died. It leads readers into very moving depicitions of a family trying to be okay and deal with it all, especially with a child and Charlie has his own concerns and how he views granny as having being more fun than mummy. It then shows Juliet making an effort as Charlie goes to his new school and existing parents making an effort and Juliet integrating into her new life on Magnolia Road. Readers then get to know a bit more about Helen and Dan and their children, Daisy and Freddie and how Freddie needs his fidget spinner and how his parents are wondering what’s going on with his behaviour and tantrums.
Everyone Is Still Alive shows a little about some of the difficulties with bonding at times, as well as the joy and the social occassions, work getting in the way, the compromises, the stuff that some parents feel obliged to be in, such as PTA meeting. It shows the whirlwind of parenting, whether still together or co-parenting, as Lucy and Bas are and the issues and feelings and questions that throws up about what they really want.

There’s also a sudden incident that occurs in Juliet’s family that is sure to also keep readers gripped as it’s a matter of life or death.

It’s an insightful book into different people’s lives, emotions, kindness, relationships. It may even have people looking at their own lives.

There’s humour, honesty and emotion and many situations that families get themselves into, which are well-observed. It also shows a resilience, which I think may interest many readers. I also think if you like Motherland on TV, you may like this book.

Readers will find “The Credits” at the back have a fascinating insight into just how many people work on a book to get it out there into the public sphere so people can read it.

#BookReview by Lou – Meet Me In Another Life by Catriona Silvey @silveycat @HarperVoyagerUK @fictionpubteam #Fiction

Meet Me In Another Life
By Catriona Silvey

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Meet Me In Another Life is compelling. It is so inventive and very different in concept. It will keep you guessing to the end. Thanks to Harper Voyager for allowing me to post about the cover reveal some months back and for gifting me the book in-exchange for an honest review.

Meet In Another Life

Blurb

’Beautifully explored and deeply complex’ Gal Gadot

Joyful, devastating, and profound, Meet Me in Another Life is a story of love and connection in every possible form that will captivate fans of Stuart Turton, Claire North, and Audrey Niffenegger.

Thora and Santi have met before…

Under the clocktower in central Cologne, with nothing but the stars above and their futures ahead.

They will meet again…

They don’t know it yet, but they’ll meet again: in numerous lives they will become friends, colleagues, lovers, enemies – meeting over and over for the first time, every time; each coming to know every version of the other.

Only they can make sure it’s not for the last time.

But as they’re endlessly drawn together and the lines between their different lives begin to blur, they are faced with one question: why?

They must discover the truth of their strange attachment before this, and all their lives, are lost forever.

Review

Meet In Another LifeIt starts with Thora, who is a bit lost in life and wishes she could start over again, but then she meets Santi. This book is partly about having an event occurring that means relations with another person is disconnected and at different points in their lives, they are repeatedly brought together, but it’s more like they meet for the first time, over and over again. A bit like Groundhog Day, except it is so much more than that as they live so many different lives and are in a different one, each time they meet. It’s done in quite a unique way and just as you think it may head in one direction, it takes you in another as they come back in different relationships, and not how you would think at all. It’s different relationships to each other, like student and teacher and so many more… The book keeps you guessing about what is actually going on and what life they’re going to live next and when they’ll meet again… For that first time. It keeps you guessing how it could possibly all end.

The characters and the concept is absolutely enthralling and it all just pulls you into one part of life to another. It’s sweet, imaginative, entertaining, profound and emotional.

#BookReview by Lou – The Art of Loving You by Amelia Henley @MsAmeliaHenley @HQstories #Fiction #Books #RomanticFiction

The Art of Loving You
By Amelia Henley

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Art of Loving You is a love story in a complex, devastating situation, written beautifully and well observed.
Thanks to publisher HQ Stories for gifting me the book to review, especially since. Find out more in the blurb and my review.

The Art of Loving You

Blurb

They were so in love . . .
And then life changed forever . . .
Will they find happiness again?

Libby and Jack are the happiest they’ve ever been. Thanks to their dear friend, eighty-year-old Sid, they’ve just bought their first house together, and it’s the beginning of the life they’ve always dreamed of.

But the universe has other plans for Libby and Jack and a devastating twist of fate shatters their world.

All of a sudden life is looking very different, and unlikely though it seems, might Sid be the one person who can help Libby and Jack move forward when what they loved the most has been lost?

Review

The Art of Loving You starts with a pretty gripping beginning, during the prologue. Jack and Libby have a lovely life together and have a nice relationship with 80 year old Sid, who is in a carehome and is in contact with them by having Face to Face Time on the computer and he’s ready and willing to help them out in many ways. It’s all a very sweet, tender friendship that Libby and Jack have with Sid. Life was great and then there’s a horrific incident that happens to Jack. It is so sudden that you can’t help but wonder what happens next. You really feel for Libby, her pain and feel her time moving so slowly, this isn’t to say the book moves slowly, it does not. The pacing is spot on.

The Art of Loving You shows the turning upside down of life in a way that unfortunately may well resonate with some readers and other readers should pay attention to because what occurs, covers a serious subject.
So many emotions that come through this book that is written so beautifully, with intent and purpose.

The Art of Loving You is a love story, but not, as you can tell, a straightforward one. It has complexities within this relationship. Each one presents itself with such deep emotions, even to the point of playing the “What If game”. 

This is sad and heartwrenching and so well observed, but it also turns corners that brings a light and beauty to the situation of life, love, death. It’s such an absorbing book that will take readers through the whole gambit of emotions and leave you perhaps thinking “phew” and leaves a rather sombre, but satisfied feeling of it being a great book, but then, when you land on the very last page, it also leaves you wanting to give everyone a huge hug.

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#BookReview by Lou – Bertie at the Worldwide Games @WendyHJones @malcolmdown @lovebooksgroup @mdpublishing #lovebookstours #ChildrensBook #PictureBook #KS1

Bertie at the Worldwide Games
By Wendy H. Jones
Illustrated by Barry Diaper

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I am excited to share with you the news that Bertie the Buffalo from Scotland is back and he is on another adventure. The first one was loved by young children (4 to 6 and sometimes younger) in not just the UK, but other countries in the world. With the Olympic Games just around the corner, and excitement mounting, this book couldn’t be more timely and is a great addition to add to the entertainment. The books work just as well as standalone.
Find out more in the blurb and then what else I think of this book in my review.

Bertie Cover

Blurb

BertieTourP3Bertie the Buffalo is having fun on the farm where he lives in Scotland. Then a mysterious letter arrives inviting him to represent Scotland in the Worldwide Games. Bertie and his friends fly to Tokyo where they meet new and exotic animals and try to win first prize in all the different events. Bertie is sad when he isn’t winning any medals but finds out if he works together with his friends, he will be a winner in the end.

 

Review

Bertie the Buffalo is back! This time he has bounded onto a plane and is heading to Tokyo for the Olympics, not to watch as one might presume, but to participate, in this fun and zany rhyming story, that has many animals from many parts of the world taking part. It is a timely book with terrific pictures, that also help tell the story in a way that makes this book Dyslexic friendly.

The first book had mass appeal and this one does too. It’s great that children can reunite with Bertie and his Alpacea friend, who were in the first book. I will say that each book is complete within themselves too. Countries are represented by different animals from their country of origin and each one has a speciality sporting event that they are competing in, just like the human olympics. Each sport is recognisable from the real olympics as is the competitive nature. The competitive nature, which is in the writing is also conveyed in the illustrations, so however children read and look at the book, they don’t miss out on any of the action or atmosphere.

There’s a great sense of comaraderie and upbeat celebration that goes through the book to excite children as it brings good cheer.

The book is fun for the timing of it, but is also a good fun way of introducing children to the olympics, the different events and also to different animals and where they come from.

Intelligently, there is a look in the story about the speed of animals and which one is perhaps faster than the next.

About the Author and Illustrator

BertieTourP2Author: Wendy H. Jones

Wendy H. Jones is the award-winning author of the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries and Cass Claymore Investigates. She lives in Scotland and is also an international public speaker and the president of the Scottish Association of Writers.

BertieTourP4

Illustrator: Barry Diaper  

Barry Diaper is best known for his cartoons and caricatures for The Beano. He was once short-listed for the Daily Mail’s ‘Not the Turner Prize’. He lives in Salisbury, England.

 

 

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