#BookReview by Lou – The Lost Hours @susanlewisbooks @fictionpubteam @LizDawsonPR @HarperCollinsUK #TheLostHours #Thriller

The Lost Hours
By Susan Lewis

Rating: 5 out of 5.

 

Immersive and page-turning, The Lost Hours, with its fabulous cover is such a page-turner and quite unputdownable as a family goes through such a hard ordeal. It is a brilliant plot in the way it is written, that grips all the way through…

I thank Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me onto the blog tour and for her and Elizabeth Dawson for gifting me a book.

Follow down for the blurb and my review and to find out a bit more about the author.

The Lost Hours Graphic 2

Blurb

A perfect marriage…

Golden couple Annie and David Crayce have it all. A loving marriage, three beautiful children and a thriving family business. Life couldn’t be better. Until the unthinkable happens…

A perfect crime?

A piece of damning DNA evidence has arisen, placing David as the prime suspect of a murder committed twenty-years ago. Annie is sure her David is innocent. But if he isn’t guilty, then either his father or brother must be.

As the police investigate the cold case, so does Annie. Trawling through her old diaries, she begins desperately looking for answers. But it all comes down to a few lost hours she can’t solve.

And Annie begins to doubt the one person she thought she knew best… Her husband.

The Lost Hours Cover

Review

Lots of us I am sure have blown a dandilion clock to “tell the time” or play a game that shows the “hours pass-by” and watched each fragment, artistically blow away in the wind. The cover is evocative in the way it shows time passing by.

Annie and David Crayce have 3 children, a thriving business, a loving marriage. It is the absolute perfect life. In 1999, however, the book begins with a short-sharp jolt from this knowledge, with a body being found and a thought of Karen Lomax being missing, DCI Underwood was the investigating officer and Timbo Jaks was a suspect, but nothing more and the case remained unsolved.
Fast-forwarding to 2019 and DCI Gould and DS. Natalie Rundle is on the case as she starts out her new posting in Dean Valley Force in the CID Department in Kesterly, when readers really get to know more about what happened and things really get interesting with familial DNA…

There are secrets abound and all isn’t all it seems in this supposedly almost perfect family. The family are faced with so much turmoil when the investigation is re-opened.  As time moves on, there are doubts and aspertions cast upon the family. Things hot up and suspense heightens with the familial DNA discovery. The “perfect” family face not just the nightmare of the disappearance of Karen, but then face the scruitny into their lives, especially that of David’s, including his mental health and how he can be, since leaving the army, and harks back occassionally in his nightmarish flashbacks to what happened during his time of service.

It’s an involving, provocative book that has plenty of suspense and keeps you suspicious about who committed the crime all those years ago…

About the Author

Author Susan Lewis at her Bagington home. Friday 5th of December 2014
Author Susan Lewis at her Bagington home

Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of over forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense and crime, including One Minute Later, My Lies, Your Lies and Forgive Me. Susan’s novels have sold nearly three million copies in the UK alone. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s.

Susan has previously worked as a secretary in news and current affairs before training as a production assistant working on light entertainment and drama. She’s lived in Hollywood and the South of France, but now resides in Gloucestershire with husband James, two stepsons and dogs.

WHITE FONT LOST HOURS BT POSTER

#BookReview by Lou of You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes @CarolineKepnes @jessbarratt88 @simonschusterUK #YouLoveMe #Thriller #PsychologicalThriller #EasterReading

You Love Me
By Caroline Kepnes

Rating: 5 out of 5.

You Love Me is the third in the series that began with “You”, which many may be familiar with in book or Netflix form or both. It’s an incredibly spine-chilling, intense psychological thriller series and this latest book is just as amazing! Just remember to breath as it sucks you into the twisted world of Joe Goldberg… Find out more in the blurb and my review. Hello You is available now!

Thanks to Jess Barratt at Simon Schuster for gifting me a copy of Hello You.

You Love Me

Blurb

The highly anticipated new thriller in Caroline Kepnes’s hit You series, now a blockbuster Netflix show . . .

Joe Goldberg is back. And he’s going to start a family – even if it kills him.

Joe Goldberg is done with cities, done with the muck and the posers, done with Love. Now, he’s saying hello to nature, to simple pleasures on a cosy island in the Pacific Northwest. For the first time in a long time, he can just breathe.

He gets a job at the local library – he does know a thing or two about books – and that’s where he meets her: Mary Kay DiMarco. Librarian. Joe won’t meddle, he will not obsess. He’ll win her the old fashioned way . . . by providing a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand. Over time, they’ll both heal their wounds and begin their happily ever after in this sleepy town.

The trouble is . . . Mary Kay already has a life. She’s a mother. She’s a friend. She’s . . . busy.

True love can only triumph if both people are willing to make room for the real thing. Joe cleared his decks. He’s ready. And hopefully, with his encouragement and undying support, Mary Kay will do the right thing and make room for him.

You Love Me

Review

High suspense, You Love Me is the third in the “You” series. Joe Goldberg is back!!! Librarians beware, he is lusting after one and wants real love and a family… Many people will be familiar with either the books or the Netflix series or both and this book does not disappoint! It still has intensity and Joe Goldberg still gives me the creeps and yet, still, I cannot take my eyes off the pages. No wonder he reels all these women in, with his odd charm, that both Guinivere Beck and Peach Salinger saw in him, who get a mention in this third installment. This time he has his sights set on Mary Kay, the librarian he works for, as he is on a quest to figure out some sort of “normal” lovelife and do things in a more normal manner than before…
There is however a whole mix of tension and egotism, paranoia and jealousy that still clutches to Joe as tries to frame himself as now being a good guy as old traits become apparent and pierce through.

I absolutely love the cleverness in style of writing. The way that simple small word – “You”, is written, is spine-chillingly evocative. “You” is completely full-on loaded with intensity as it punctuates the sentences stronger than any other word. Those familiar with the series won’t be disappointed how this continues within this book.

There are twists and turns that made me clutch the book a little tighter, in amongst the cleverly placed music and author references.

The book, in its plot and characters are multi-layered and complex in their actions and behaviours, especially Joe and it makes him to continuously be intriguing, even though he is not the type of guy who anyone would want to meet, but he is a type of dark, sinister, pretty dangerous guy who exists and who embodies many aspects that are within some guys, either singularly or multiple.

Mary Kay’s friends also get involved and it gets even twistier, as if that were possible, but Caroline Kepnes is a master at her craft, within her style of writing for a psychological thriller, such as this series.

Buy Links

Waterstones

Amazon

WH Smith

 

#Review by Lou Backstories by Simon Van Der Velde @SimonVdVwriter #ShortStories #Backstories #Charities #BookReview

Backstories
By
Simon Van Der Velde

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Backstories take readers into compelling shortstories in the most original for yet! Guess the narrator in each story, it will be someone you may know. It is a book of backstories of famous and sometimes infamous, people’s lives, before they became so well-known, in fictional form.
This quirky book also has something extra…. Check this out… This book is dedicated to the victims of violent crime, the struggle against discrimination in all its forms and making the world a better place for our children. That is why 30% of all profits will be shared between Stop Hate UK, The North East Autism Society and Friends of the Earth.

The book is available in paperback, e-book and audible forms…. See links below and find out more as you see the very eye-catching cover, the blurb, the full review and then the links.

 

Backstories

Blurb

These are people you know, but not as you know them. Peel back the mask and see.

CAN YOU FIND THE FAMOUS PERSON HIDDEN IN EVERY STORY?

Dreamers, singers, heroes and killers, they can dazzle with their beauty or their talent or their unmitigated evil, yet inside themselves, they are as frail and desperate as the rest of us. But can you see them? Can you unravel the truth?

“Whatever happened to, all of the heroes?” The Stranglers 1977

I was twelve years old when I first heard this song and although there was something in the feral tone that grabbed me, I didn’t really understand it. I do now. I get the angst and the loss and the emptiness, which is why, in Backstories, I aim to answer the question.

I’m not interested in simplistic tabloid truths. They clung on too long, drank too much, lost their looks and their charm and generally reminded us that we’re all getting older. That’s not what I want from my heroes.

What I want is to find the spark, to dig down into their pain, their passions and their imperfections, and show you our heroes as they truly are.

So join me on my quest. Let’s bypass the obvious, the tedious,and the dull. Brave the deeper, darker paths where the treasures can be found, and together we’ll uncover the fears and doubts that made our heroes what they were and perhaps catch a glimpse of ourselves along the way.

Whatever happened to all of the heroes?

They turned out to be human beings, in all their diverse glory.

Backstories

Review

Backstories is waxing lyrical with an intimate look through portals into snapshots of people’s lives is what Backstories brings readers. It is short stories told in the most original, unusual form. Each story is almost like a game within a plot as readers have to decipher for themselves just who the narrator of each one is.

Each story is an intimate painting of life, of familiar scenes, of people you may know the likes of as the events and people, are real and are well-known, although pretty well fictionalised, but within in each story are good elements of truth.

The characters will have readers delving into the deepest, darkest corners of society and peels back people’s lives from any glitz and glam there may well be, to show souls that are raw, which can be read with real interest as even the most sensitive of subjects are touched upon.

These are fascinating stories that are an impressively compelling read. Backstories certainly brings something new to writing and style.

Links

      Amazon – Backstories        Audible
Goodreads-Backstories
BookBub-Backstories
http://www.simonvandervelde.com/

 

 

#Review by Lou of Notebook by Tom Cox @cox_tom @unbounders @RandomTTours #NonFiction #Notebook

Notebook
by Tom Cox

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I am absolutely delighted and excited to be on the blog tour for Notebook by Tom Cox. It is humorous, moving and highly engaging. I read it all in one sitting! 

Thanks to Random Things Tours for inviting me to review and to Unbound for sending me such a beautiful copy.

About the Author

Notebook Tom Cox Author Pic (1)Tom Cox lives in Norfolk. He is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling The Good, The Bad and The Furry and the William Hill Sports Book longlisted Bring Me the Head of Sergio Garcia. 21st-Century Yokel was longlisted for the Wainwright Prize, and the titular story of Help the Witch won a Shirley Jackson Award.Tom Cox has 75k followers on Twitter and 25k on Instagram. He is also the man behind the enormously popular Why My Cat is Sad account, which has 250k followers.
@cox_tom

Notebook Cover (1)

Blurb

Sure, sex is great, but have you ever cracked open a new notebook and written something on the first page with a really nice pen?
The story behind Notebook starts with a minor crime: the theft of Tom Cox’s rucksack from a Bristol pub in 2018. In that rucksack was a journal containing ten months worth of notes, one of the many Tom has used to record his thoughts and observations over the past twelve years. It wasn’t the best he had ever kept – his handwriting was messier than in his previous notebook, his entries more sporadic – but he still grieved for every one of the hundred or so lost pages.
This incident made Tom appreciate how much notebook-keeping means to him: the act of putting pen to paper has always led him to write with an unvarnished, spur-of-the-moment honesty that he wouldn’t achieve on-screen.
Here, Tom has assembled his favourite stories, fragments, moments and ideas from those notebooks, ranging from memories of his childhood to the revelation that ‘There are two types of people in the world. People who fucking love maps, and people who don’t.’
The result is a book redolent of the real stuff of life, shot through with Cox’s
trademark warmth and wit.

Notebook (2)

Review

Firstly, got to feel very sorry for the theft of his rucksack on all this writing, but this is a marvellous book that has come from experiencing such a terrible crime.The writing is absolutely exquisite, from the humour to the descriptions. It is such a pleasure to read about these seemingly random things and yet to put the observations into a book in such a way that is the complete opposite of mundane that brings such joy is wonderful and no mean feat, it shows skill as he tells anecdotes that are both moving and such fun. There’s an honest about his recollections and Tom Cox writes as though you could be right beside him or as though you’ve unlocked some written treasures. It has the air of intimacy about it as he tells of many places and days. It makes me smile that he talks of Mansfield and around Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire places I know well (and no I don’t live there). He also talks candidly about Norwich and its churches and a ghost walk, before moving onto Norfolk and Somerset and what can be found there. He takes notes on the countryside and nature that can be found in the places he has been to.
The anecdotes throughout the book are humorous and really bring the book to life in the way they are written, whether its about a place, the people, the nature or writing.

There’s so much of life (and death) in the book and so much that is also moving, but it is also incredibly uplifting and is sure to capture people’s humorous side of life and give them a chuckle. As in the style of any notebook, nothing is dwelled on too much and it is jam-packed full of all sorts of curiosities that make it engaging and would defy not to draw any reader in.

The strings of ideas, points of views and observations and thoughts are expertly woven together and yet in the air of a very well-kept notebook, yet raw, honest, no airs or graces and all scribbled down as he sees and thinks things, which is quite a delight for the senses. 

 

Notebook BT Poster (1)

#BookReview by Lou of Murder on Morrison – A Rose McLaren Mystery by Liza Miles

Murder on Morrison
A Rose McLaren Mystery
By Liza Miles

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The simplicity of delicious, freshly baked goods in a bakery in Edinburgh meets murder and complex people in Murder on Morrison.

Thanks to the author, Liza Miles for inviting me to review her book and for a copy to read.

Follow down to find out more in the blurb and review and about the author and discover links to her Amazon and Website as you go along.

Blurb

The historic town of Edinburgh appears to be the perfect location for Rose McLaren to set up shop, creating delectable muffins and biscuits. 

But three years later, a death that seemed like an accident brings Rose face to face with a darker and more sinister side of the city. 

Despite several formidable warnings to stay out of things, finding a dead man on her bed is the final straw and Rose reconnects with an old ally from the other side of the fence. 

In her debut as a sleuth, Rose learns that murder, close friends and past enemies all have a role to play in the mystery which she is determined to unravel and solve. 

Review

Set on a colder and more driech day than normal in October in Edinburgh, Rose and Trixie are at work in the bakery (owned by Rose), that is full of delicious cakes and muffins. It is far from any ordinary day as the lightness of the aromas of baked goods float around, they’re pinched by an undercurrent of darkness as a murder occurs. It’s almost cosy murder with a sprinkling of personality and life experience complexities and a good dollop of intrigue.

Rose, former RAF has a fierceness and perfectionist attitude about her that isn’t as sweet as the cakes that are baked and sold, but in a sense, wants her apprentice, Trixie, to do well so she can give her a glowing reference. Amongst some of her more abrasive nature, there is heart as she gives Rob some time to talk to her about the deceased, but then it gets intriguing as he could be a suspect. There is also intrigue in the deeper mystery as to why the Detective Inspector Chatterton has seen Muffins on Morrison be flagged up on investigations in almost quick succession, it triggers the curiosity.

The book leads readers to real locations, such as Morrison Street and Princes Street, including the M&S that is on Princes Street, where there are some truthful anecdotes that most women will be able to relate to. The case then resumes as to how people are perhaps being murdered and the suspects and trying to piece together motive as cakes and mystery mingle together in its mostly chilled out vibe, until almost half-way through it changes course into a twist and all seems not just more mysterious, but a bit more intense before reaching a satisfying conclusion.

https://www.amazon.com/author/lizamiles

About The Author

Liza is the author of Love Bites, Murder on Morrison and My Life’s not Funny, a YA Fiction to be released on May 1st 2021 by Mad Cat Publishing. Liza also contributed poems and prose to the 2020 lock down Anthology ‘Stir Crazy’, published by Whitewater Publishing and The Book Whisperers. She is a member of the Federation of Writers (Scotland) and the Scottish Writers’ Centre.

As a non fiction writer Liza previously published “Insider Stories” for Lion (UK) and “Mummy had an Owie” for Bookerline Publishing, (Canada.)

Liza began her professional life in advertising and documentary film making.

In 1994 Liza studied expressive arts therapy at IATE in London and established The Arts Counselling Trust.

In 2017 Liza settled in Scotland to concentrate on writing fiction. She has two daughters and two cats.

https://lizamileswriter.com

#BookReview by Lou of Dangerous Women by Hope Adams @adelegeras @MichaelJBooks @GabyYoung

Dangerous Women
By Hope Adams
Rated: 5 stars *****

Captivating and original, Dangerous Women expertly tells a tale of fiction and reality, that not everyone may already know about. It weaves, like the threads in the tapestry that inspired this book, words of fiction and real life together to create an epic adventure, laced with crime from the outset that grips and keeps you guessing, as it takes readers on a great advenuture with crime, based on a true-story.
Thank you so much to Gaby Young at Penguin Michael Joseph publishers for adding me to the blog tour and for sending me a book, which has a terrific cover.
Follow onto the blurb and my review.

Dangerous Women 1

Blurb

London, 1841.
The Rajah sails for Australia.
Aboard:
180 convicted women convicted of petty crimes.
Daughters, sisters, mothers –
they’ll never see their family again.
Despised and damned, they only have one another
Until the murder.
As the fearful hunt for a killer begins,
everyone on board is a suspect.
Based on a real-life voyage, Dangerous women is a tale of confinement, hope and the terrible things we do to survive.

Dangerous Women

Review

The book invites willing travellers to hop aboard onto a boat to sail with women branded as dangerous in this story which, even before the book is opened, sounds thrilling on the cover. Then just inside the cover, take note of your fellow travelling companions on the “Register of Convicts.” It will tell you what you need to know of what they’ve been convicted of…

The book takes place between April and July 1841 and what’s interesting about it, is that this isn’t just any historical thriller, this has been inspired by real-life events. It’s inspired by the real life voyage of the Rajah, which set sail in 1841, with 23 year old Kezia Hayter on board as Matron, who features in this book. This gives this book quite some providence and enters a part of history, that, at least in the UK, not everyone may know anything about. It is however a fictional novel too and that’s worth bearing in mind as you travel along on this voyage, but gives inspiration to look into the true facts behind the story afterwards. It may have been nice if there was a bit added at the back about this as I’ve seen it in some other books, but that doesn’t take focus away from what a rip-roaring book this is and there is an interesting Bibliography, which would be a good place to do your own research from, if the mood is upon anyone, who wishes to do this.

Panic fills the book from the beginning and indeed, who has a knife?
There’s a real sense of what it is like onboard of the Rajah and to get a sense of Kezia and why she is onboard is fascinating! The case starts almost immediately and you can almost smell the sea and there’s almost a claustrophobic atmosphere as women grapple with their innocence and yet someone has been murdered and the gallows await whoever has committed such huge crime. Trust has clearly been broken, even amongst these thieves and panic and darkness sweeps across the women in the boat and enters their every waking and sleeping moment. The research that’s then created into story-telling is exquisite and all-consuming as it swallows any fellow voyager/reader whole in a magnificent read.

The pace, you would expect to be a bit slower for such a period piece, but this is quite the opposite and has not too disimilar pacing to a modern day crime fiction book.

As well as the crimes, there is a human interest story weaving throughout, where readers get to know the convicts, their life of crime and their backstory and how some were respectable at certain points in their lives, like Hattie and it is these stories that may well tug at the heart-strings. It tugs at strands of curiosity throughout, including when the convicts meet at Newgate Prison for the first time.

Surprisingly, there’s a bit of glamour and oppoulence that fans of period pieces have come to know and love, injected in the form of stories from the women’s lives before they were onboard the Rajah, especially in Kezia’s life. There’s also sadness, especially in Clara’s life when she was young.

There’s some lightness in atmosphere and a bit of humour, that cuts through, when the women are sewing and there’s a sense of the patchwork being created and building up.

There’s all the supposition adding to the intrigue as to who the murderer is and if the guilty one will be sent to the gallows.

It is absolutely fascinating to read what became of the women and reading the historical note at the end. There is also a comprehensive bibliography for further reading and demonstrates that this has been well researched, so that this work of fiction does have a backdrop of realism to it.