#Review of In the Know by Dougie Brimson @dougiebrimson #CrimeFiction #Thriller

In The Know By Dougie Brimson Rated: 5 stars *****

Crime meeting the world of journalism at its best! There are excellently conceived concepts within this very accomplished, fresh feeling thriller. It is an enjoyable read that I highly recommend. I thank Dougie Brimson for getting in touch with a request for me to review and for sending me a physical copy of the book, all of which I am grateful for. Below you can discover more about the author, the blurb and my review.

About the Author

‘The most famous author you’ve probably never heard of!’

Bestselling Author, Award Winning Screenwriter, Public speaker, Finalist in the English Armed Fores Awards 2020

With just over one million books sold worldwide and three multi-award winning feature films on his CV, former serviceman Dougie Brimson has forged a reputation as one of the UK’s most diverse writers.

Perhaps best known for penning the cult movie Green Street (Elijah Wood, Charlie Hunnam) his first book Everywhere We Go (first published in 1996) remains a firm favourite amongst football fans the world over whilst his debut novel, The Crew, has enjoyed an almost unbroken nine year run at the top of the soccer charts of both Amazon and iTunes.

 This website contains details of all Dougie’s fifteen books and three feature films as well as information on future projects including In The Know, the third book in the The Crew/Top Dog trilogy, the forthcoming feature films The Gentle Sex and Three Greens as well as the forthcoming TV drama, Kathy.

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Blurb

In The Know…Revenge is a dish best served quickly  

From the writer of the cult hooligan film, Green Street and the best-selling thrillers The Crew and Top Dog comes the third and most explosive book yet in the most successful hooligan thriller series ever written.

It’s been over a decade since gang leader Billy Evans stepped away from his life on the wrong side of the law to mourn the murder of his beloved wife.

Yet when he is hit by a second tragedy, his first thoughts are not of more loss, but of revenge. Violent, bloody revenge. However, even before he can make his first move, Billy is presented with an alternative method of extracting vengeance. One so intriguing that he quickly finds his past passion for organised violence reinvigorated. And as Britain heads toward a future defined by Brexit and the political right wing, he realises that he’s stumbled upon the opportunity he’s been waiting for. The chance to wield genuine power within the very establishment he’s fought his entire life. The only question is, will he be allowed to survive long enough to grab it.

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Review

“Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Quickly” is the by-line. My first impression is that it sounds chilling! I do actually like that concept for the book. It intrigues and creates interest. Graham Hawkins is the main protagonist. He has a heightened sense of trouble ahead, which may come with his anxiety. What makes it worse is that he doesn’t know why he feels this way, not on this particular day, as he recalls days of football and his dear friend Billy, whose wife was murdered 12 years previously. Quite a spectrum of emotions, which inhabit the characters is displayed well. Instantly, sympathy for the characters for what happened 12 years ago and how it manifests, would embody any reader. I hadn’t quite expected this and I mean that in a good way. It’s a good hook into the characters.

The tone then changes pretty quickly as full force action takes place and the tension of whether Graham survives or not, builds. The sensitivity mixed with raw emotion is impressively written and with a sense of realism.

There are references to football – predominantly West Ham, which gives a sense of atmosphere and a bit more about the characters and the scene.

 Pete Goodwin and Jamie Brown are journalists and sarcasm is strong in their working partnership and these are the folks in the know, as they research and investigate the latest stories. It makes for a great read as it is a whole different perspective on an unfolding crime story. The discussion points within the interviews between politicians and journalists are relevant and intelligently conceived and highly relevant topics about policing comes into it. The investigative journalism gives this thriller a refreshing feel to it. There seems to be a highly readable grasp of adding social aspects into both the focused story of the crime and also showing a wider picture of opinions and actions of the day, through the journalist’s part in the story.

It’s all in all, a dark book with some brutality, with current affairs and characters that seek revenge. It has enough tones of voice and plots to it that I think would keep a wide spectrum of readers enthralled.

I’ve enjoyed this book from beginning to end and highly recommend it.

The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #TheSkelfs #BlogTour #Review #NewBook #Thriller

The Big Chill
By Doug Johnstone
Rated: 5 stars *****

I hadn’t read any of Doug Johnstone’s books before, but I am very glad I have had the opportunity to read and review now. It turns out he’s very good in what he writes and I can see why he’s so critically accalimed. The Big Chill is a very good thriller that has depth of character and plot to it.
Discover more about this Edinburgh based author, the blurb and my review.
I also thank Orenda Books for supplying me with a book and Anne for inviting me on the blog tour.

About the Author

Doug Johnstone Author PicMcIlvanney-shortlisted Doug Johnstone’s follow-up to his critically acclaimed A Dark Matter, which introduced three generations of women from the Skelf family, who run both a funeral home and a private investigation business.
Doug Johnstone is the author of more ten novels, most recently Breakers (2019), which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year and A Dark Matter (2020), which launched the Skelfs series. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions – including a funeral home, which he drew on to write A Dark Matter – and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also player-manager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh.

The Big Chill Cover

Blurb

Haunted by their past, the Skelf women are hoping for a quieter life. But running both a funeral directors’ and a private investigation business means trouble is never far away, and when a car crashes into the open grave at a funeral Dorothy is conducting, she can’t help looking into the dead driver ’s shadowy life.

While Dorothy uncovers a dark truth at the heart of Edinburgh society, her daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah have their own struggles. Jenny’s ex-husband Craig is making plans that could shatter the Skelf women’s lives, and the increasingly obsessive Hannah has formed a friendship with an elderly professor that is fast turning deadly.
But something even more sinister emerges when a drumming student of Dorothy’s disappears, and suspicion falls on her parents. The Skelf women find themselves immersed in an unbearable darkness – but could the real threat be to themselves?

Fast-paced, darkly funny, yet touching and tender, the Skelf family series is a welcome reboot to the classic PI novel, whilst also asking deeper questions about family, society and grief.

The Big Chill Cover

Review

Meet Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah. They each have a chapter that rotates as the story goes along.

Set in Edinburgh, Scotland, the writing is well-plotted and enthralling, throughout. The Big Chill is interesting, intriguing and tightly written. I like the chapters alternating between each of the people mentioned above. Their parts that create the bigger picture of the story, are all interwoven well.
There are some cleverly placed film references in the book, which is enjoyable and quite different.

Dorothy and Jenny like being surrounded by dead people. Work takes them between the funeral parlour and being a Private Investagator.
Jenny is hired to find evidence of Orla, Liam’s wife, having an affair with the gardener.

Hannah on the other-hand is getting therapy because of something that happened to her dad.

There’s a fabulous energy through the main characters, fuelled by their anger of what happened to Hannah’s dad. It’s just very realistically written and allows readers to feel their anger and feel compassion for them.

It’s an interesting subject to write about – death in the way this book is written. There’s death, but there’s also a person with a psychological condition that is under control, but has made him believe he was dead.

The story looks a bit into what goes on in a funeral parlour, which is fairly different and how different people have died, which is fascinatingly written into this fictional book.

There’s deaths, including a murder, a case to be solved once as there is a suspect and at the heart of it all is Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah. I enjoyed both the thriller element and how their lives are revealed.

I also like the tones within it and that whole pussy-footing around trying not to say the word “dead” to Hannah and her saying that it is okay to say “dead” to her is so realistically done. There is also the sadness, but also the compelling nature of this thriller, with a little bit of humour mixed in, that makes each page so enticing to read.

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Written In Blood by Chris Carter @simonschusteruk @RandomTTours #WrittenInBlood #PsychologicalThriller

Written In Blood
By Chris Carter
Rated: 5 stars *****

Atmospheric and a spectacular page-turner is how I’d describe Written In Blood by Chris Carter.

I thank Anne for inviting me onto the blog tour and for Simon Schuster for providing a print/physical copy of this great book!
Check out more about this author, the blurb and review below.

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About the Author

Chris Carter Author PicBorn in Brazil of Italian origin, Chris Carter studied psychology and criminal behaviour at the University of Michigan. As a member of the Michigan State District Attorney’s Criminal Psychology
team, he interviewed and studied many criminals, including serial and multiple homicide offenders
with life imprisonment convictions. He now lives in London.
Visit his website http://www.chriscarterbooks.com

Blurb

FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER HUNTING EVIL
COMES THE NEXT COMPULSIVE THRILLER IN THE ROBERT HUNTER SERIES
A serial killer will stop at nothing…
The Killer
His most valuable possession has been stolen.
Now he must retrieve it, at any cost.
The Girl
Angela Wood wanted to teach the man a lesson. It was a
bag, just like all the others. But when she opens it, the
worst nightmare of her life begins.
The Detective
A journal ends up at Robert Hunter’s desk. It soon
becomes clear that there is a serial killer on the loose.
And if he can’t stop him in time, more people will die.
If you have read it
You must die

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Review

Written In Blood is a fast-paced, atmospheric, spectacular page-turner. Set in the run-up to Christmas Angela Wood is a mysterious woman in a swanky 1930’s style cocktail bar. She later does something that may well make you gasp!

Hunter is teamed again with Detective Carlos Garcia on the Ultra Violent Crimes Unit. An intriguing notebook lands on their desk with many details, including some co-ordinates, which show somewhere in Deukmejian, as well as some photos that brings some memories back.

The forensics and the unusual choice of clothing that the killer is suspected to have used adds to this sinister mystery. The psychology that builds up around the killer is enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine.

The games that are played through co-ordinates are creepy, although when cracked, does become useful. 

The notebook excerpts keep you guessing whether the killer was delusional or if someone else was also involved. It’s a great technique that’s used to have the font of the notebook entries different from the rest of what is unfolding. It makes each section stand-out.

There are then strange links to the dark web and even more disconcerting video calls that adds even more layers to the case. It’s all very gripping and yet the writing seems effortless. Considering what all that it contains, this is exceptional, even though Chris Carter has a background in criminal psychology.

Do read the acknowledgements and this book becomes even more special and spectacular that it exists.

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#Review of Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver – A Relevant, Gripping, Addictive Thriller for our times @Will_Carver @OrendaBooks #NothingImportantHappenedToday #BlogTour #Review #Thriller #Fiction

Nothing Happened Here Today
By Will Carver
Rated: 5 stars *****

As I read and prepare a review for Hilton Hollow Death Trip (which is shaping up to be another amazing book), I thought I would re-share my review of Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver from last year. This is one of the most relevant, exceptionally dark, yet beautifully written and gripping thrillers you will come across to read this year. Please do read further about the author and my review.

About the Author

Nothing Important Happened Today Will Carver 2Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series.
He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company.
He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children.
Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Express, and hit number one on the e-book charts.


Blurb

A shocking, mesmerizing original, pitch-black thriller, which, following the critically acclaimed Good Samaritans, confirms Will Carver as one of the most imaginative, innovative and exciting authors in crime fiction.

Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But, at the same time, they leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today. That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of The People of Choice: a mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.

Thirty-two people on a train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People of Choice are appearing around the globe. It becomes a movement. A social-media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers.

The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader who does not seem to exist …

 

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Review

I will start by saying this is one of the most highly original and  dramatic books I have read. This book is relevant to today in every single way. Every part of it is believable, every part of it can be related to or recalled as some real events are mentioned. I give it a well-deserved full 5 star rating.

From the first page, I was hooked. My first thought was “Wow!” I will say, if you are suffering from depression, perhaps this is not the book for you, but for anyone else, this book is a fantastically gripping thriller. The prologue – oh my goodness, I’ve read some pretty good prologues in my time, but nothing like this. Read the prologue and also with the genius that is the fact, just prior to it, is who the book is for -“For nobody” is what it says, with that opening line “nobody cares…”

The sentence structure along with the words has grabbed me. The sentences are so sharp, feel so natural and the atmosphere, location and the scene is set. It is dark, but resembles a truth in many ways and even through the darkness, the way it is written is somehow quite beautiful. The descriptions are incredible. There is something weirdly, almost poetic and entrancing about them, that drives readers further and deeper into the events that ensue.

If you didn’t know what a cult was or how they end up being formed, you sure will after the first chapter.

The characters are grouped, numbered and have no actual name. It makes a thought-provoking statement. It’s also so different from so many other books. Keep with it. You will be able to follow the story. You will still understand what is happening. You will get to still know the characters and their lives as you delve deeper into “Nothing Important Happened Today”.

There’s the lovers desperately trying to find that spark pre-children. There is the ungrateful for whom nothing is ever enough, no matter how much of something they have, they want more and more and more. There’s the poet harbouring a lot of angst and deep, dark thoughts and dreams. There’s the doctor, who just wants to help others, she has no room in her life for anything else, that’s what she wants to do, even though she seems exhausted. There’s Nobody #1, the one who works in a library or you’ve perhaps noticed on the street etc. There’s Nobody #2 who is similar to other nobodies. There’s Nobody #3 who may have people who may miss him. There’s Young Levant who is seeing a psychiatrist.
Every single character could well be someone in reality, the types of people you’ve perhaps met or may meet in the future, just living life. This creates an incredible impact.
All those on the bridge could be anyone’s son, daughter etc and could be well-educated and in any profession or doing anything at all with their lives and still, stuff could happen. This is partly what makes this book important to read. This is showing people in story-form that the events and reasoning can be very real. Real names of companies and heads of them are used and people will remember or know of what happened in real life to some people, and yet this is a fictional thriller book. 
These are the people who have notes posted through their letter box. These are the people who end up being caught up in “The People of Choice”. There’s just a global need for there to be a connection of some sort and to belong.

There are police as well investigating what happened and there are witnesses from a train and you’ll need to read the book as to how they handle this grave situation.

As I read on, I am entranced and sort of fixated on what’s going to happen next. It is so hard to put the book down. It is a page-turner and is highly addictive. It had a hold on me. It is ok, I’m not about to follow what is actually occurring in this book), this is incredibly powerful writing from Will Carver. He knows what he is writing about and knows how to capture his readers.

This book isn’t just about cults, it addresses  society too. It tackles society and community ills and how community can so easily become something darker, even though the people within any community are just average people going about their daily lives, and bam!!! They can find themselves unexpectedly caught up in something, in this case an ideology, a cultish type of thing, before they know it. This is a brave book in many ways, as people will discover in its contents as they read it.  This book is so thought-provoking and hopefully many people will find that is the case too.

Look at the cult name – “The People of Choice”, Look at the characters. Look at the bridges. Read and think. See the clever irony. Question, did these people want to die, did they not? All of them strangers to each other, all of them died and yet “Nothing Important Happened Today”.  It’s slick, it’s at an amazing pace with short sentences and chapters.

All of the chapters are fabulous and amazing. They tackle so many issues and what can currently happen. It cleverly talks of millennials, parenting, social media and many issues that all arise in today’s society that everyone lives in, in some form or another.

This book, I just know will become my latest obsession to hope people will read.

This book is just amazing and powerful and gripping from start to finish. It’s a book of our time. It’s a book that could well linger with you, even when you’ve finished reading it. It’s left its mark. “Nothing Important Happened Today”.

One Step Behind by Lauren North @Lauren_C_North @Transworldbooks @penguinrandom @RandomTTours #PsychologicalThriller #OneStepBehind #Review #BlogTour

One Step Behind
By Lauren North
Rated: 5 stars *****

Catch your breath before reading this fantastic, outstanding psychological thriller. It is on the edge of your seat, breath-taking writing from Lauren North.
I would like to thank Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to join this blog tour.
Find more about the author, the blurb and my review below.

About the Author

One Step Behind Lauren North Author PicLauren North writes psychological suspense novels that delve into the darker side of
relationships and families. She has a lifelong passion for writing, reading, and all things
books. Lauren’s love of psychological suspense has grown since childhood and from her
dark imagination of always wondering what’s the worst thing that could happen in every situation.
Lauren studied psychology before moving to London where she lived and

worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside. 
Readers can follow Lauren on Twitter @Lauren_C_North and Facebook @LaurenNorthAuthor

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Blurb

Jenna is a wife, a mother, a doctor. She’s also the victim of a stalker.
Every time she leaves her house, she sees him. Disturbing gifts are left at her door. Cruel emails are sent to her colleagues. She has no idea who this man is but she feels powerless against him.
Until the day he is brought into her hospital after a serious accident, and Jenna is given he chance to find out once and for all why his man is tormenting her. Now, the power is all hers.
But how many lines is she willing to cross to take back control of her life?

Review

It begins on Wednesday 12th June with Dr. Jenna Lawson trying to cope with the whirlwind of life. That’s what it feels like from the first page, with her school-aged children, Beth and Archie.
The fear in Jenna is intense!
It’s a book that won’t leave as pages turn and words are read and the intensity is sustained.
Jenna is being stalked and the writing is of great calibre. It’s edgy, powerful and haunting.
Every single page is gripping. It’s edge of your seat inducing. Just remember to breath!

What makes this story quite unique is that it shows how stalking affects the rest of the family in parts too and does it well. It’s powerfully emotive and descriptive.

Readers meet Sophie. Throughout we see Sophie growing up, more or less as you’d expect and doing the things at each age, you would find an 8, 11, 13, 15 year old doing as she grows up, such as baking, playing board games, discovering music and discos, watching the latest trendy tv shows and social media. Matthew, we discover is far, far from following in his sister’s footsteps and has a darker and there is nothing ‘normal’ or ‘typical about him as his actions and behaviours have far reaching consequences as he spirals out of control.
Sophie however is also an intriguing character.

The scenes in the hospital where Jenna works are insightful, professional in manner and have a twist to them as she fights and holds her own to not let her stalker destroy her career as a doctor. It all shows strength of character.

All the while, Jenna’s stalker is watching and sending creepy emails; enough to make anyone shudder.

The book just grows in intensity right to the climatic finishing chapters.
From beginning to the end, this is a terrific psychological thriller.

The cover cannot go without a mention. It is as emotive and as powerful and leading as the story within.

Other Praise for the author:

A gripping psychological thriller that pulls the reader through the story at a terrific pace, not giving them a moment to draw
breath’ – Nikki Smith, author of All in Her Head
‘A really gripping rollercoaster of a read – I absolutely loved it, and read it in one sitting’ – Lisa Hall, author of Between You and Me
‘I absolutely adored this disturbingly twisty tale of stalking, obsession and control’ – Emma Curtis, author of The Night You Left
‘Twisty and addictive – I loved One Step Behind’ – Louise Beech, author of I Am Dust

Do feel free to follow the rest of the tour, with these fellow bloggers:

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#BookReview of the mesmerising – Tell Me How It Ends @IsabelleGrey @ellapatel__ @QuercusBooks #Thriller

Tell Me How It Ends
By V.B.Grey
Rated: 5 stars *****

Tell Me How It Ends – Cleverly written as a song title and as a title that is so fitting for the mesmerising plot of this glamorous world, where all is not what it seems and us shrouded in mystery, lies and secrets that need uncovering. in this elegant tale of complex, changing times, that has some unexpected twists. It’s a book that I really did wonder how it would all end. It is definitely a book to pick up. Even the cover is evocative, mysterious and powerful.

Thank you very much Ella Patel at Quercus and V.B. Grey for sending me a physical copy of the book, upon enquiry. That was definitely some exciting book post to receive and I have enjoyed the book very much.

Below, discover a bit about the author, the blurb and my review.

About the Author

V.B. Grey is a pseudonym for Isabelle Grey, a novelist a television screenwriter whose credits include Jimmy McGovern’s BAFTA award-winning series – Accused: Tina’s Story as weall as over thirty-five episodes of Midsomer Murders, Casualty, The Bill, Rosemary & Thyme and Wycliffe. She is the  author of two novels of psychological suspense and four books of a contemporary crime series under her own name.  Her psuedonym marks a change in creative direction.  Isabelle grew up in Manchester and now lives in north London.

Blurb

Delia Maxwell is an international singing sensation, an icon of Fifties glamour who is riding high on the new Sixties scene.
Adored by millions, all men want to be with her, all women want to be her. But one woman wants it a little too much…

Lily Brooks has watched Delia all her life, studying her music and her on-stage mannerisms. Now she has a dream job as Delia’s assistant – but is there more to her attachment than the admiration of a fan?
Private investigator, Frank, is beginning to wonder.

As Lily steps into Delia’s spotlight, and Delia encourages her ambitious protegee, Frank’s suspicions of Lily’s ulterior motives increase. But are his own feelings for Delia clouding his judgement?

The truth is something far darker: the shocking result of years of pain and rage, rooted in Europe’s darkest hour. If Delia thought she had put the past behind her, she had better start watching her back.

Tell Me How It Ends cover

Review

From the first few pages, I am somehow hooked and mesmerised and I have a need to know more about the shrouded mystery that surrounds Delia Maxwell.
Right away the intrigue is set-up in this immersive story, told by Frank, Lily and Delia.

Delia Maxwell appears to have vanished off the face of the earth! Just disappeared, right when her career was going places. She had a big Hollywood contract to sign and had plans to move to Florida. Her future was all mapped out and it was all going looking exciting. For all the glamour and the people she entertained, she seems like there’s something down-to-earth. You’d expect something swanky, but no, she was renowned for making omlettes for her guests.
There were strange events from over-zealous fans at the BBC concert hall at BBC Broadcasting House. One of them being Lily Brooks. The fan who crossed the line and became unhealthily fixated. She had studied the singing sensation – Delia Maxwell all her life and became her assistant. Intriguingly, she gets some of the limelight and sings her song “Tell Me How It Ends”. It already has a slight uneasiness about it and then there’s a shock revelation…

There’s more to this story in subplots too, like what is happening in world affairs at this time. It gives it all a sense of time and place. It rather adds to the complexities of the characters and the strange disappearance of Delia, as more mysterious connections emerge as more connections to her life and secrets are unveiled.

The book has an astonishing unsettling quality to it, no more so than when it comes to Lily. No matter how atmospheric it becomes, the more that just needs to be read. It’s such an elegantly written book.

In amongst the secrets, there are themes of identity, rivalries and the marks left by war times, especially on Jews. There are also secrets surrounding Anna Kormocksy as her life unfolds and tells of what she had endured during war times. It’s fascinatingly interwoven and shows some of the human story as well as her link to Delia.

This is such a book of secrets and lies and unexpected twists and turns. In someways there are parts I wasn’t expecting at all, which makes this book quite unique. All just isn’t quite as it first appears in this well-plotted book that captures atmosphere and glamour so well, which is testament to V.B. Grey’s love of the 1940’s and 1950’s periods of time and  noir thrillers and ‘women’s pictures’ coming through in abundance, which shows the complexities of the world and the changing times in a compelling way.

Elly Girffiths describes it as “Mesmerising and powerful”
Louise Candlish describes it as “A spellbinding read”

I must say that they aren’t wrong and it is absolutely one to read with the uniqueness it encompasses.