Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Dance With The Dead by James Nally @jimnally @AvonBooksUK

Aspiring actress Elizabeth Smart lands her centre stage role: her mutilated body is found dumped in North London’s red light district. Clasped in her hand is a piece of human hair belonging to an unidentified body of a woman murdered two weeks ago.
PC Donal lands himself a place on the murder squad just as his unconventional brother, journalist Finton, unearths the secret double life of Elizabeth.
The bodies mount, each clinging to the strands of hair belonging to the previous victim. The police are convinced it’s the act of a serial killer. But how does Donal convince them it’s not?
The only people he can trust are the victims he dances with in his dreams.

Dance With The Dead by James Nally was published in paperback by Avon on 28 July 2016, and is the second book in the PC Donal Lynch series.

I read and reviewed the first, Alone With The Dead back in October 2015 and was really impressed. Donal Lynch is a very unusual police character and I was looking forward to seeing how this author had developed him.

Since the events played out in Alone With The Dead Donal has been working in the Cold Crime Unit, hidden away and ploughing through cases of unsolved murders. Donal is not the usual candidate to work the Cold Crimes, he's not washed-up, or ready for retirement. He's keen and he's eager. Sometimes he messes up, sometimes he makes the wrong choices but he's determined.

It isn't long before Donal begins to link together some of these unsolved cases. Its clear that the victims; prostitutes, sex workers, or Toms as they are often referred to, have never had anyone working on their murders who actually give a toss about them. Donal is convinced that there is far more to uncover and when a woman is found murdered he's on the case.

I was delighted to be reacquainted with Donal Lynch in this excellently plotted crime story and so pleased that James Nally has really developed him, along with his multiple complicated relationships, and especially his connection with his journalist brother Fintan. The reader learns more about his ex girlfriend whilst watching him form a new relationship with colleague Zoe. There's also the surprise appearance of Donal and Fintan's father, yet another strained and difficult relationship that Donal has to manage.

Alongside the impeccable characterisation in this story, the author also cleverly recreates the atmosphere of the 1990's police force. The attitudes of the police, and the media towards the street girls is horrifying, but sadly does reflect those times. The author does not hold back, the language is raw and brutal, and Donal is a lone soldier against the prejudice and hate.

A complex, multi layered story, riddled with wit and humour, yet dealing with dark and sometimes uncomfortable issues. Dance With The Dead is a worthy follow up to the first in this series. I look forward to book three.

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

James Nally was a journalist for 15 years, before leaving to become a producer and director of TV and film.
This is his first novel, and is based on his experiences of his years writing about the murder victims of London.
Follow him on Twitter @jimnally


Monday, 30 January 2017

My Life in Books ~ talking to author Jane Cable @JaneCable

My Life in Books is an occasional feature on Random Things Through My Letterbox
I've asked authors and people in publishing to share with us a list of the books that are important to them and have made a lasting impression on their life

I'm delighted to welcome author Jane Cable to Random Things today. Back in March 2015 I read and reviewed Jane's novel The Faerie Tree.
Here's a little taster from my review:

"The Faerie Tree was not what I was expecting at all, it far exceeded my expectations. This is high quality writing, and the author is very talented. Her characterisation is outstanding, the story is impeccably paced and very convincing.  A great novel, and one that I'd certainly recommend."
Jane's latest ebook, Another You was published in December last year. Here's a little bit about it:

"Marie Johnson is trapped by her job as a chef in a Dorset pub and by her increasingly poisonous marriage to its landlord. 

Worn down by his string of affairs she has no self-confidence, no self-respect and the only thing that keeps her going is watching her son, Jude, turn into a talented artist. 

But the 60th anniversary of a D-Day exercise triggers chance meetings which prove unlikely catalysts for change. 

First there’s Corbin, the American soldier who she runs into as she’s walking on the cliffs. He is charming and has a quaintness about him, calling her an ‘English rose’. 

Then there’s George the war veteran, who comes to dine at the pub, and his son Mark. George fascinates Marie with his first-hand accounts of the war, whilst Mark proves helpful in making sense of the pub’s financial situation. 

And there’s Paxton. Another American soldier with an uncanny resemblance to Corbin. Young, fit and very attractive, Marie finds him hard to resist. But little does she know Paxton is also battling some inner demons. 

As the heat of the summer intensifies, so do the issues in Marie’s life. 

Why is Corbin so elusive? Why is the pub struggling to make ends meet? Why has Jude suddenly become so withdrawn and unhappy? 

Can she help Paxton open up and begin to deal with his pain? 

Or will she be shackled to the pub and her increasingly spiteful husband forever? 

But as events unfold, Marie finally realises that she is not trapped, but stuck, and that it is down to her to get her life moving again. 

Perfectly blending the complexities of twenty-first century life with the dramatic history of World War Two, Another You is a charming tale that will warm your heart."

Jane Cable is a writer of romantic suspense novels. Her first, The Cheesemaker’s House, was a finalist in The Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist Competition and won Words for the Wounded’s Independent Novel of the Year Award. Her latest book, Another You, is published by Endeavour Press and tells the story of how chance encounters around the 60th anniversary of D-Day help downtrodden Marie to rebuild her self confidence and to find new love.

Find out more at www.janecable.com
Follow her on Twitter @JaneCable

My Life in Books ~ Jane Cable

I grew up in a house of books. My father was an English teacher and in later life a poet and a reviewer for welsh literary journals. When my mother had time – particularly in retirement – a novel was never far from her hand.
Perhaps it was inevitable I would write. It was something I always wanted to do but I could never finish a full length manuscript until I was in my forties. It wasn’t just real life getting in the way, somehow I never had the staying power. But literary influences started from a very early age, even though you don’t realise it at the time. It’s been a fascinating journey looking back for this article, but like most of the other writers featured the hardest thing has been limiting it to ten books.

When I was a child my father read to me every Saturday and Sunday morning. I’d climb into bed next to him and we’d travel together to the worlds of his childhood in the 1930s (Jennings, Just William) and venture on more contemporary voyages of discovery (Moomins, Joan Aitken). But a firm favourite was a book of poetry, each one about a king or queen of England, in chronological order. The verses were light and memorable and to my fascination ended with King George V as the monarch at the time of publication.

There are many books I could have picked from my junior school years but this is the one which has stayed with me to adulthood. Quite literally – my Puffin paperback is falling apart from frequent use. I rarely read books more than once and was never really one for animal stories, but Adams was able to elevate rabbits to human complexities of emotion and motivation. The epilogue when Hazel leaves Watership Down for the last time is one of the most beautiful descriptive passages I’ve ever read.

As a teenager I read countless historical novels and loved the Plantagenet dynasty with a passion. This book was given to me by a lecturer friend of my father’s who doubtless thought I should be reading something with a little more substance. It’s actually a detective novel where an incapacitated policeman reviews the evidence for the murder of the princes in the tower from his twentieth century hospital bed. I loved the way the book was different – and looking back it taught me a great deal about the value of meticulous historical research.

If I could take one book to a desert island, this would be it. Delderfield had the gift of creating a landscape and peopling it with fascinating characters whose stories mixed together in the most natural way.

A difficult book, Regeneration is Barker’s fictionalised account of the treatment of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfrid Owen for shell shock during the First World War. There was a family resonance for me as my grandfather was a neurologist who had worked in the same field in the 1920s. I found the book challenging and harrowing and it was the first time I remember reading about mental health issues. Years later an editor told me I couldn’t write about ‘that sort of thing’ but Regeneration had showed me that I could.

One of the most enjoyable and well rounded books I’ve ever read. Not quite a romance, not quite a saga, the storyline and characterisation are beautiful. If I ever reach Rosamunde Pilcher’s level of skill I’ll be a happy writer.

In terms of my writing life this book opened my eyes more than any other. I loved the way Niffenegger took the reader through the most frankly incredible experiences yet stayed grounded in the real world. It showed me just what is possible if you can make people care enough about your characters.

I struggled with Kate Mosse’s more famous novels but this shorter book held me spellbound as it shifted seamlessly between the middle ages and the 1920s. The beauty and poignancy of the narrative continues to haunt me and the language was so vivid I could smell the trees and feel the cold burn my cheeks. Quite some feat as I was reading it on holiday in the Maldives. It showed me just how good a well crafted ghost story could be and is a gold standard for me to aim for. As Kate Mosse also lives near Chichester I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her and she is a real mistress of her craft.

Cricket has always played an important part in my life and I rekindled my writing career in my forties by freelancing as a cricket journalist. I’ve read a huge number of biographies from the sport but this one is different as it charts Trescothick’s battles with depression. He was the first high profile sportsman to go public about how much he suffered and I have huge admiration for his courage.

My list wouldn’t be complete without some grown up poetry and I thought long and hard about whether the book should be one of my father’s collections. But Glyn was a friend of both my parents and on the morning my mother died I read to her from this book so it carries a very special happy memory of our final hours together. As well as being my best friend my mother was a huge supporter of my writing who always believed in me.

“All in that kitchen’s warmth, that mother’s glow,
    Was bless-ed, nothing was abandoned.”
Glyn Jones – Goodbye, What Were You?

Jane Cable ~ January 2017


Friday, 27 January 2017

The Silk Weaver by Liz Trenow #BlogTour @LizTrenow @panmacmillan

 Anna Butterfield moves from her Suffolk country home to her uncle's house in London, to be introduced to society. A chance encounter with a local silk weaver, French immigrant Henri, throws her from her privileged upbringing to the darker, dangerous world of London's silk trade. Henri is working on his 'master piece' to make his name as a master silk weaver; Anna, meanwhile, is struggling against the constraints of her family and longing to become an artist. Henri realizes that Anna's designs could lift his work above the ordinary, and give them both an opportunity for freedom…

This is a charming story of illicit romance, set against the world of the burgeoning silk trade in eighteenth-century Spitalfields - a time of religious persecution, mass migration, racial tension and wage riots, and very different ideas of what was considered 'proper' for women.

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Silk Weaver by Liz Trenow, published by Pan Macmillan in paperback on 26 January 2017, priced £7.99

I'm delighted to welcome Liz Trenow, author of The Silk Weaver here to Random Things today. Liz is sharing her My Life In Books choices - books that have inspired her, or left a lasting impression on her life.

My Life In Books ~ Liz Trenow

Pride and Prejudice,by Jane Austen.  Of course, isn’t it everyone’s? This was one of the first ‘grown up’ books I remember reading and I was entranced by the social observations, the characterisation and the humour in it. I suppose it is probably the first book that made me think it would be fun to be a novelist, making up imaginary worlds and characters, and having them do things that would be misunderstood and getting them into trouble. While researching The Silk Weaver which is set in Georgian England just a few decades earlier, I reread P&P and other Jane Austen novels, and fell in love with them all over again.

First Love, LastRites, short stories by Ian McEwan  I was studying literature at the University of East Anglia when Ian McEwan was doing his Masters in Creative Writing there, and this was one of his first books. I was star struck: the stories were so compact, so absorbing, and so shocking. What a talent, I thought, and he was only a few years older than me. I’ve been following his writing ever since.

Restoration and Music and Silence, by Rose Tremain  Rose Tremain was my chief inspiration for writing historical novels. Having hated history as it was taught at school I found myself fascinated by the history behind these two 17th century novels set in the English court of Charles II and the court of Christian IV of Denmark respectively. I especially loved the way she drew real-life characters into her plots, which encouraged me to do the same with the artists Georg Ehret, William Hogarth and Thomas Gainsborough in The Silk Weaver.

The Lady and theUnicorn, by Tracy Chevalier  This book made me realise, for the first time, that it would be possible to write novels about the craft of silk weaving, based on my own family heritage. I loved learning about the craft of the medieval Flemish tapestry weavers and it made such an atmospheric setting for her novel. I’ve been a fan ever since and curiously our paths crossed when coincidentally we both wrote novels featuring patchwork quilts: The Last Runaway and The Forgotten Seamstress. Tracy became a real quilter, though, and I’ve never managed to devote the time to it.

Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel.  Friends Wolf Hall was a ‘difficult read’ but I refused to listen and dived in. After just a chapter or two I was hooked. What a brilliant evocation and utterly absorbing evocation of an era.  If I could achieve this only half as well as Hilary Mantel I would die satisfied! I can’t wait for the final book of the trilogy to be published.
warned me that

Last but by no means least: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry  Published last year and rising quickly through the best seller lists (as well as being nominated as the Waterstones Book of the Year) The Essex Serpent deserves all the accolades it has received and is one of the few books that I wanted to read again (I did so, immediately). I adore her prose, characterisation and the gentle humour throughout. I live in the area of the Essex marshes where it is set, which made it all the more fascinating. This is definitely the novel that I (currently) wish I had written!

Liz Trenow ~ January 2017 

Liz Trenow is the author of three previous historical novels: The Last Telegram, The Forgotten Seamstress and The Poppy Factory. Liz's family have been silk weavers for nearly three hundred years, and she grew up in the house next to the mill in Suffolk, England, which still operates today, weaving for top-end fashion houses and royal commissions. This unique history inspired her first two novels, and this, her fourth novel.

Liz is a former journalist who spent fifteen years on regional and national newspapers, and on BBC radio and television news, before turning her hand to fiction. She lives in East Anglia, UK, with her artist husband, and they have two grown-up daughter.

Find out more at www.liztrenow.com
Find her Author page on Facebook
Follow her on Twitter @LizTrenow


Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Trophy Child by Paula Daly #BlogTour @TransworldBooks @BeckyShort1

A doting mother or a pushy parent?

Karen Bloom expects perfection. Her son, Ewan, has been something of a disappointment and she won’t be making the same mistake again with her beloved, talented child, Bronte.

Bronte’s every waking hour will be spent at music lessons and dance classes, doing extra schoolwork and whatever it takes to excel. 

But as Karen pushes Bronte to the brink, the rest of the family crumbles. Karen’s husband, Noel, is losing himself in work, and his teenage daughter from his first marriage, Verity, is becoming ever more volatile. The family is dangerously near breaking point. 

Karen would know when to stop . . . wouldn’t she?

The Trophy Child by Paula Daly is published in hardback by Bantam Press / Transworld on 25 January 2017.

I've been a fan of Paula Daly's writing for a few years now. I remember sitting up throughout the night to finish her novel Keep Your Friends Close, her writing is that gripping. I absolutely raced through The Trophy Child, snatching every spare moment I could to read just a few more pages. I was hooked from the opening paragraph, right through to the unexpected ending.

I don't have children, so can look at the lead character, Karen Bloom through the eyes of the child-free. I didn't like her. I didn't like her one little bit, but oh my goodness, she is one hell of a character. Paula Daly has created my absolute favourite type of lead voice in Karen; that person that you love to hate, that person who constantly surprises you with their words and their actions, and who, despite their hatefulness is the backbone in an excellent story.

Karen Bloom is a 'tiger mother', that fairly recently invented phrase that used to be called the 'pushy
mother'. Her one aim in life is to ensure that her ten year old daughter Bronte is the very best at everything that she does. Bronte's life is a whirlwind of music lessons, reading out loud, grabbing a sandwich on the run .... pressure, pressure, pressure. It's absolutely clear that Bronte knows nothing else but this life, and also that she's not actually particularly gifted in anything, but wants to please her mother. Karen's husband Noel is a GP and does everything he can to avoid her. Her teenage son Ewan, from a previous relationship spends most of his time stoned in his room, and Noel's daughter Verity, from his first marriage is seeking therapy to deal with her violent feelings towards Karen.

A truly dysfunctional family, but one with many secrets and many skeletons in their cupboards. When Bronte disappears, closely followed by Karen, the family is torn even further apart.

DS Joanne Aspinall heads up the investigations into the disappearances, and finds herself drawn closer and closer to Noel and his children. Sailing a little too close to the wind, and battling her very unprofessional feelings, she is determined to get answers.

The Trophy Child is a compelling and intriguing read. Paul Daly's writing shows incredibly sharp insight, she teases the reader. The plot is witty, incredibly well put together and filled with suspense. Sometimes unsettling, but always brilliantly executed.

An absolute thrill of a read. Highly recommended.

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

Paula Daly lives in Cumbria with her husband, three children and whippet Skippy.
Before becoming a writer she was a freelance physiotherapist.

Find her Author page on Facebook 


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The House of New Beginnings by Lucy Diamond @LDiamondAuthor @panmacmillan

Number 11, Dukes Square, looks just like the other houses on the Brighton seafront: a Regency terrace with elegant sash windows, a winding staircase, and post piled up in the hall for its tenants. It might be part of the city's history, but it's also a place of brand new beginnings.
Georgie has followed her childhood sweetheart to Brighton but is determined to carve out a career for herself in journalism. Throwing herself into the city's delights is fun and exciting, but before she knows it, she's sliding into all kinds of trouble . . .
Charlotte's in the city for a new start, hoping to keep her head down and somehow get over the heartbreaking loss she's suffered in the past. But Margot, the stylish old lady on the top floor, has other ideas. Like it or not, Charlotte must confront the outside world, and the possibilities it still holds.
A terrible revelation sent Rosa running from London to start again as a sous chef. The work is gruelling and thankless but it's a distraction at least . . . until she comes up against the stroppy teenager next door who challenges her on her lifestyle choices. What if Rosa's passion for food could lead her to more interesting places?
As the three tenants find each other, it's as if a whole new chapter of their lives has begun. The House of New Beginnings is a moving and uplifting novel from bestselling author Lucy Diamond.

The House of New Beginnings by Lucy Diamond is published  in hardback on 26 January 2017 by Pan Macmillan and is the author’s twelfth novel.

I have one hardback copy of The House of New Beginnings to give away.  Entry is simple; just fill out the competition widget at the end of this post.  UK ENTRIES ONLY.  Good luck!
I’ve been reading Lucy Diamond’s books for ten years and she never ever fails to cheer me. Her stories are warm and entertaining, bursting with characters that almost become friends. She’s one of my absolute go-to authors.  I've reviewed five of her earlier novels here on Random Things: The Beach Cafe (July 2011);  Me and Mr Jones (May 2013); One Night in Italy (March 2014); The Year of Taking Chances (December 2014) and Summer at Shell Cottage (June 2015).
The House of New Beginnings  is set in Brighton and 11, Dukes Square is the place that three women have come to make their own new beginnings.   The house, with its seafront views and ferocious house manager has been converted into flats and Georgie, Charlotte and Rosa are the newest residents.
Three very different women with their own issues and complicated lives, but who are brought together by their new address. The reader is invited along on their journey, and what a fabulous and heart warming trip it is.
The three female lead characters are so very well crafted, each of them have their own personalities, their own strengths and their own honesty, and they complement each other perfectly. In addition to Georgie, Charlotte and Rosa, the author has produced a stellar cast of supporting characters too. I was especially fond of Margot, the elderly French lady who lives on the top floor of the house.
Lucy Diamond has tackled some deep and emotive issues within The House of New Beginnings,  and she does this brilliantly well.  The characters  experience sadness, grief, disappointment and anger, and this clever author skilfully weaves those more sombre moments in with the blossoming friendships, romances and new beginnings to create a really delicious and delightful story.
Once again, Lucy Diamond has completely bowled me over. I adored The House of New Beginnings, it’s a gorgeous and powerful read about relationships, independence, trust and dreams that can come true.

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

I have one hardback copy of The House of New Beginnings to give away.  Entry is simple; just fill out the competition widget at the end of this post.  UK ENTRIES ONLY.  Good luck!

Born in Nottingham, Lucy Diamond has lived in Leeds, London, Oxford and Brighton, but now lives in beautiful Bath. 

She is married with three children.

Find out more at www.lucydiamond.co.uk
Find her Author page on Facebook
Follow her on Twitter @LDiamondAuthor

#Giveaway ~ The House of New Beginnings by Lucy Diamond


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent Paperback #BlogTour @lizzienugent

'My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.'
Lydia Fitzsimons lives in the perfect house with her adoring husband and beloved son. There is just one thing Lydia yearns for to make her perfect life complete, though the last thing she expects is that pursuing it will lead to murder. 
However, needs must - because nothing can stop this mother from getting what she wants ...

Welcome to the Blog Tour for the paperback release of Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent, published by Penguin on 26 December 2016.

Back in July of last year, I was delighted to be part of the initial launch for Lying In Wait, it's a fabulous novel and  featured it in my list of Favourite Reads of 2016.  It has also been selected as a Richard and Judy Spring 2017 featured book.

" Liz Nugent's first book, Unravelling Oliver is a huge favourite of mine. I was hoping and praying that her next book would be another thrilling story, and I'm delighted to say that it certainly is.

This author doesn't ease her readers gently into her stories, just like the first line of her first book, this one opens with a bang too

"My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it."
What an absolute hook! Believe me, it doesn't stop there, Lying In Wait is one of those books that is incredibly difficult to put down, and when you are away from it, you will be itching to get back to it. The characters and the plot consumed me, never far from my thoughts and constantly
surprising me.

Told in three voices; Lydia Fitzsimons, her son Laurence and Karen, the sister of murdered Annie Doyle and set in 1980, this is an incredibly effective technique and allows the reader more insight into the characters and the story.

Lying In Wait is not a detective story. The reader knows from that amazing opening line that Annie Doyle is dead, and who killed her. No, this is a chilling, thrilling psychological story that has twists, turns and shocks reverberating throughout.

Not since Barbara from Zoe Heller's Notes on a Scandal, have I come to detest a female character so much, but oh my goodness, Lydia is wonderful. Liz Nugent has created a monster so vivid, so unbearably unsettling, yet appearing so vulnerable and frail. Lydia is a joy to discover, although her thoughts, words and her actions make the blood run cold at times.

I could talk about Lydia for hours, but the other lead characters are just as mesmerising in their own way. Laurence is an oddity; pampered, spoilt, obese, he's been the only son of parents who adore him. Despite this, he does want to be his own person and as he ages and lurches through adolescence and into adulthood, he questions his heritage, and strikes out on his own.

Karen is feisty and strong. Left distraught by her sister's disappearance, she makes mistakes in life but is basically a good, honest and loyal character who embraces affection, even when it comes from the wrong type of person.

Tightly plotted and excellently paced, Lying In Wait is absolutely gripping. The writing is excellent, the surprises never stop. It is unnerving and irresistible, dark with a devastating twist.

Absolute genius. I loved every single word."

Liz Nugent has worked in Irish film, theatre and television for most of her adult life.
Her first novel, the No.1 bestselling Unravelling Oliver, won the Crime Fiction award in the 2014 Irish Book Awards.
She lives in Dublin with her husband.

Find out more about Liz Nugent, visit her website www.liznugent.ie
Follow her on Twitter @lizzienugent


Sunday, 22 January 2017

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski @ConcreteKraken @OrendaBooks

1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who took that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby. 
2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure.

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski is published by Orenda Books. Ebook 5 December 2016 and paperback 15 March 2017.

Anyone who follows this blog will know that I am a huge supporter of Orenda Books. A small, independent publisher that consistently publishes high-quality books. Books that are a little different, books that push the boundaries, and the reader.

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski is another of those books. Bang up to the minute, relevant and fresh, this is a book that knocks the breath out of the reader. Pulsating with life, with characters who are so incredibly realistic and a plot that is both haunting and terrifying.

I'm not familiar with Serial; the podcast that Six Stories is being compared to, but after reading Matt Wesolowski's novel I really want to catch up with it. For me, the telling of the story through the transcripts of podcasts is so refreshing. It feels a little voyeuristic, a little bit dangerous, as though the reader is actually there, in the story .... just as they really should be.

The story centres on Scarclaw Fell. In 1997 teenager Tom Jeffries disappeared from an outward bound centre, his body was discovered a year later.  Ten years on in 2017, Scott King, a journalist famous for his pod cast series Six Stories has decided to investigate further. He interviews those who were closest to the original investigation and each interview becomes one of the six stories.

I could go on ... and on ... and on.  I won't, because this is a book that I'd urge everyone to go out and buy, and if I tell you any more detail, you'll know far too much!

Six Stories is genre busting, it's a crime story, a psychological thriller, a coming-of-age story. I will appeal to readers of all ages and genders. Gripping, fascinating and wholly entertaining, Matt Wesolowski is a very welcome new voice in fiction. An absolute triumph and highly recommended from me.

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North. Matt started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in Ethereal Tales magazine, Midnight Movie Creature Feature anthology, 22 More Quick Shivers anthology and many more. His debut novella The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013 and a new novella set in the forests of Sweden will be available shortly. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. He is currently working on his second crime novel Ashes, which involves black metal and Icelandic sorcery.

Follow him on Twitter @ConcreteKraken


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson @PeterSwanson3 #BlogTour @FaberBooks #Giveaway

Following a brutal attack by her ex-boyfriend, Kate Priddy makes an uncharacteristically bold decision after her cousin, Corbin Dell, suggests a temporary apartment swap - and she moves from London to Boston.
But soon after her arrival Kate makes a shocking discovery: Corbin's next-door neighbour, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police begin asking questions about Corbin's relationship with Audrey, and his neighbours come forward with their own suspicions, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own.
Jetlagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination playing out her every fear, Kate can barely trust herself. so how can she trust any of the strangers she's just met?

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson is published in hardback by Faber Books on 19 January 2017 and is the author's third novel.
Back in February 2015 I read the author's last novel; A Kind Worth Killing and absolutely loved it. So much so that it made its way into my Top Reads of 2015. I've been looking forward to Her Every Fear ever since then.

I'm delighted to be taking part in the Blog Tour today, and have one hardback copy of the book to give away. Entry is simple, just fill out the widget at the end of this post.  UK ENTRIES ONLY PLEASE.  Good luck!

Kate Priddy's life has been on hold for some time.  Her ex-boyfriend, George, brutally attacked her,
she was very lucky to survive, and whilst the physical scars may have healed, she is an emotional wreck. Kate was always prone to panic attacks, and suspicion and paranoia. George's attack made everything so much worse. She's sure that she's a 'psycho magnet'.

Surprising everyone, including herself. Kate decides to take up the offer of a house swap with her American cousin Corbin. She will live in his Boston apartment for six months, he will move into her flat in London whilst he's on secondment for his employer. Kate and Corbin have never actually met, but arrangements are made and before she knows it, Kate has arrived at Corbin's luxury apartment.

Audrey Marshall was Corbin's neighbour. Audrey Marshall's body is discovered in the apartment next door, she's been murdered and the police have lots of questions to ask.

Peter Swanson cleverly tells his story using multiple points of view. The reader is never quite sure which of these narratives can be relied upon though. Each one has their own view, each one could be the truth, all of them are convincing.

The reader learns more about Corbin, but very little about Kate and whilst she is the lead character, she's somewhat distant to the plot which can feel a little bit unsettling sometimes. The reader knows far more than Kate does, but despite this in-depth knowledge, dating back many years, there is such an air of mystery and suspicion pervading the story that adds a jaw-tightening tension to the plot.

Peter Swanson writes with clarity and perfect pace. His characters are cleverly created, and their relationships, with each other, and with the reader, are solid.

Her Every Fear is an astute and startling study of the psychopathic brain and takes no prisoners. There are scenes of extreme violence that could shock the reader, and there are many questions raised. This is not a neatly finished off story either, the ending will make every reader ponder and consider. For me, that's perfect, I like a story that makes me question, however there will be some readers who may not be so accepting.

Thrilling, surprising and excellently written. Recommended if you like crime with a twist.

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and invited me to take part in this blog tour.

Peter Swanson's debut novel, The Girl With a Clock for a Heart (2014), was described by Dennis Lehane as a 'twisty, sexy, electric thrill ride' and was nominated for the LA Times book award.
His follow up, The Kind Worth Killing (2015), a Richard and Judy pick, was shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Silver Dagger, and was named the iBook stores Thriller of the Year and was a top ten paperback bestseller.
He lives with his wife and cat in Somerville, Massachusetts

Find out more at www.peter-swanson.com
Follow him on Twitter @PeterSwanson3

I have one hardback copy of Her Every Fear to giveaway.  To enter, please complete the widget below. The giveaway runs for one week.  UK ENTRIES ONLY.     Good luck!

#Giveaway Hardback copy of Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson