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#BookReview Leave No Trace by A. J. Landau @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #AJLandau #LeaveNoTrace #NationalParksThriller

#BookReview Leave No Trace by A. J. Landau @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #AJLandau #LeaveNoTrace #NationalParksThriller Title: Leave No Trace

Author: A. J. Landau

Series: National Parks Thriller #1

Published by: Minotaur Books on Feb. 27, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In a daring, brutal act of terrorism, an explosion rocks and topples the Statue of Liberty. Special Agent Michael Walker of the National Park Service is awakened by his boss with that news and sent to New York as the agent-in-charge. Not long after he lands, he learns two things – one that Gina Delgado of the FBI has been placed in charge of the investigation as the lead of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and two, that threats of a second terrorism attack are already being called into the media. While barred from the meetings of the Joint Task Force for his lack of security clearance, Walker finds a young boy among the survivors with a critical piece of information – a video linking the attackers to the assault.

As a radical domestic terrorist group, led by a shadowy figure known only as Jebediah, threatens further attacks against America’s cultural symbols, powerful forces within the government are misleading the investigation to further their own radical agenda.


Review:

Propulsive, twisty, and intense!

Leave No Trace is a sinister, action-packed thrill ride featuring the tenacious FBI ASAC Gina Delgado and the steadfast National Park Service ISB agent Michael Walker as they join forces to hunt down a group of cold, calculating mercenaries who are driven by vengeance, have their own deadly agenda, and are intent on causing as much destruction and devastation as they possibly can.

The writing is tight and crisp. The characters are astute, tenacious, and persistent. And the plot, with its short, intense chapters, keeps you on the edge of your seat as it immerses you, page after page, into a world full of terrorism, politics, revenge, corruption, coercion, military operations, and domestic terrorist drama.

Overall, Leave No Trace is a meticulous, compelling, intricate mystery by this creative writing duo that kept me highly entertained from the very first page and left me more than a little eager to read what Walker and Delgado manage to get mixed up in next.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About A. J. Landau

A. J. LANDAU is the pseudonym for two authors, Jon Land, the award-winning, bestselling author and co-author of more than fifty books, and Jeff Ayers, reviewer, former-librarian, and author. Land lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and Jeff Ayers lives in Seattle, Washington.

#BookReview A Sea of Glass by Gail Avery Halverson @gailhalv #ASeaOfGlass #TheSockbridgeSeries #GailAveryHalverson

#BookReview A Sea of Glass by Gail Avery Halverson @gailhalv #ASeaOfGlass #TheSockbridgeSeries #GailAveryHalverson Title: A Sea of Glass

Author: Gail Avery Halverson

Series: Stockbridge #3

Published by: Gail Avery Halverson on Sep. 20, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 360

Format: Paperback

Source: Gail Avery Halverson

Book Rating: 9/10

In this rich, absorbing tale, Gail Avery Halverson continues the remarkable saga of Lady Catherine Abbott and Simon McKensie that began with the multiple award-winning novels, The Boundary Stone and The Skeptical Physick. Sweeping us from a quaint village in England to Colonial Boston and to the beautiful evils of 17th century Barbados, Gail Avery Halverson has once again written a truly compelling and unforgettable novel.

After a wrenching, heartbreaking tragedy, Catherine yearns for the safety and familiarity England, but when a free, black woman attempts to accomplish the unthinkable, Catherine is forced to decide where her future lies.

When a daring investment in the lucrative 17th century Barbados sugar trade takes a horrifying turn, Simon must at last set his dedication for medicine and scientific discovery aside and face the true ugliness of slavery.

Joining the multitude of courageous souls in the first waves of the Great Migration from England to America, Simon and Catherine McKensie lay witness to the forging of a new country, the first seeds of violent rebellion against the Crown, and the bitter tentacles of a slave trade just beginning to take root.


Review:

Captivating, immersive, and adventurous!

A Sea of Glass is a vivid, atmospheric tale that picks up where The Skeptical Physick left off, taking us back to the mid-1600s and into the lives of Simon, Catherine and their loved ones as they start their new lives in Boston, struggle with the horrifying commonplace of slavery, and head out on the high seas on a rescue mission that gives them a front row seat to the rare beauty of the landscape but also the barbaric ugliness of life on the sugar plantations of Barbados.

The prose is insightful and engaging. The characters are dependable, resourceful, and empathetic. And the plot is a tender, enlightening tale full of life, loss, love, courage, sacrifice, pirates, savagery, injustice, slavery, family, friendship, thrilling escapades, and life in early Boston.

Overall, A Sea of Glass is another fascinating, creative, engrossing read by Halverson that does a brilliant job of highlighting her undoubtable passion and tireless research into seventeenth-century Boston and the political tensions and attitudes that governed and ruled it.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

    

 

 

Thank you to Gail Avery Halverson for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Gail Avery Halverson

Award-winning writer, Gail Avery Halverson, is the author of The Boundary Stone, and its sequel, The Skeptical Physick, a historical romance novel set in 1666 England at the time of the Great Fire and the Scientific Revolution. The Boundary Stone is a Chaucer Award Finalist (historical fiction), a Cygnus Award Finalist (speculative fiction), and a Chatelaine Award Winner (historical romantic fiction). The Skeptical Physick is currently long-listed for both the Chatelaine and the Chaucer Awards. Ms. Halverson is also the writer/producer for “Take it From The Top,” (sitcom pilot, Twin One Productions, Inc.), as well as the playwright and composer of musical plays that have been performed for nearly 300,000 children since 2004. Writing for both theater and television, she holds a B.A. in English Literature/Communications from the University of California, Davis, and is currently at work on the third novel in the Stockbridge Series. She lives in Northern California with her husband and son.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Lilith by Eric Rickstad @ericrickstad @BlackstoneAudio #EricRickstad #Lilith #BlackstonePublishing

#BookReview Lilith by Eric Rickstad @ericrickstad @BlackstoneAudio #EricRickstad #Lilith #BlackstonePublishing Title: Lilith

Author: Eric Rickstad

Published by: Blackstone Publishing on Mar. 19, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 245

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Blackstone Publishing

Book Rating: 10/10

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of I Am Not Who You Think I Am—a New York Times Thriller of the Year—comes Lilith, an incendiary powerhouse of a novel that strikes straight at the wounded heart of America.

After her son Lydan suffers traumatic injuries in a school shooting, single mom Elisabeth Ross grows enraged at men in power. If they won’t do anything to help end this epidemic of violence, she will. Believing it’s her destiny, she sets out to awaken the world to the cowards these men are and commits her own shocking act of violence.

Going by the name Lilith—the first wife of Adam who fled Eden rather than serve a man—she posts a video of her crime that reverberates throughout society.

Praised by some, demonized by others, and sought by the FBI and vigilantes alike, Elisabeth must keep her identity a secret as she tries to care for her son.

As events take startling twists, Elisabeth begins to question her act of violence and the very roots and mythology of violence itself. Was her act justified or has she become the monster that the original Lilith was accused of being?

When the FBI draws closer, and Lydan starts to display odd, terrifying behavior, Elisabeth plots to avoid capture and keep her son safe, fearing she’ll never escape what she’s done without losing her son forever.

Written with Rickstad’s singular command of language, human insight, and unnerving suspense, Lilith is a tale of our times. Tragic and profound, it echoes in the mind and lingers in the blood.


Review:

Powerful, haunting, memorable, and timely!

Lilith is a gritty, moving, frightening tale that takes you into the life of elementary school teacher and single mother Elisabeth Ross who, after a school shooting leaves her son Lydan physically and emotionally changed, damaged and scarred forever, takes it upon herself to retaliate and enact her own style of vengeance on those who turn a blind eye to gun violence and prosper by the sale of these deadly weapons that steal too many innocent lives.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, troubled, and strong. And the plot is a raw, absorbing tale about life, loss, love, grief, strength, parenthood, hope, survival, violence, injustice, community, unconscionable politics, and fear.

Overall, Lilith makes you think, it makes you feel, and it ultimately resonates long after the final page. It’s a beautifully written, sobering, impactful tale by Rickstad that uses extraordinary character development to weave a combination of an impressive, sad mystery with a heartrending, realistic tale, all steeped in an abundance of preventable tragedies and unimaginable pain that highlights just how blurry the line between right and wrong can truly often be.

This novel is available March 19, 2024.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Blackstone Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Eric Rickstad

Eric Rickstad is the New York Times bestselling author of I Am Not Who You Think I Am, Reap, What Remains of Her, and the Canaan Crime Trilogy, which has sold more than a half million copies worldwide. He lives in Vermont with his wife, daughter, and son.

#BookReview Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera @amytintera @CeladonBooks #AmyTintera #ListenForTheLie #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner

#BookReview Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera @amytintera @CeladonBooks #AmyTintera #ListenForTheLie #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner Title: Listen for the Lie

Author: Amy Tintera

Published by: Celadon Books on Mar. 5, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Celadon Books

Book Rating: 9/10

What if you thought you murdered your best friend? And if everyone else thought so too? And what if the truth doesn’t matter?

After Lucy is found wandering the streets, covered in her best friend Savvy’s blood, everyone thinks she is a murderer. Lucy and Savvy were the golden girls of their small Texas town: pretty, smart, and enviable. Lucy married a dream guy with a big ring and an even bigger new home. Savvy was the social butterfly loved by all, and if you believe the rumors, especially popular with the men in town. It’s been years since that horrible night, a night Lucy can’t remember anything about, and she has since moved to LA and started a new life.

But now the phenomenally huge hit true crime podcast “Listen for the Lie,” and its too-good looking host Ben Owens, have decided to investigate Savvy’s murder for the show’s second season. Lucy is forced to return to the place she vowed never to set foot in again to solve her friend’s murder, even if she is the one that did it.


Review:

Sophisticated, twisty, and gripping!

Listen for the Lie is an edgy, menacing tale that takes you into the life of Lucy Chase, a young woman who, after staying as far away from her hometown as she possibly could for the past five years, reluctantly returns to celebrate her grandmother’s birthday even knowing that the whole town still thinks she murdered her best friend and the persistent true-crime podcaster Ben Owens is hanging around stirring up trouble and trying to finally discover what really happened on that stormy night all those years ago.

The writing is brisk and tight. The characters are layered, secretive, and troubled. And the plot builds quickly as it twists, turns and unravels all the personalities, motivations, actions, and relationships within it.

Overall, Listen for the Lie, at its core, is a novel about family, friendship, secrets, manipulation, obsession, red herrings, revelations, violence, and murder. It’s a fast-paced, riveting, tortuous tale by Tintera that highlights everything is not always as it seems and is a real page-turner I highly recommend, and one you definitely don’t want to miss.

 

This novel is available March 5, 2024.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Celadon Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Amy Tintera

Amy Tintera is the New York Times bestselling author of several series for young adults. She earned degrees in journalism and film and worked in Hollywood before becoming an author. Raised in Austin, Texas, she frequently sets her novels in the Lone Star State, but she now lives in Los Angeles, where there’s far less humidity but not nearly enough Tex-Mex. Listen for the Lie is her adult debut.

Photo credit: Stephanie Girard

#BookReview Batshit Seven by Sheung-King @PenguinRandomCA #SheungKing #BatshitSeven #PenguinReads

#BookReview Batshit Seven by Sheung-King @PenguinRandomCA #SheungKing #BatshitSeven #PenguinReads Title: Batshit Seven

Author: Sheung-King

Published by: Penguin Canada on Feb. 20, 2024

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

From Governor General’s Award-nominated author Sheung-King comes a novel about a millennial living through the Hong Kong protests, as he struggles to make sense of modern life and the parts of himself that just won’t gel.

Glen Wu (aka Glue) couldn’t care less about his job. He’s returned to Hong Kong, the city he grew up in, and he’s teaching ESL, just to placate his parents. But he shows up hungover to class, barely stays awake, and prefers to spend his time smoking up until dawn breaks.
 
As he watches the city he loves fall—the protests, the brutal arrests—life continues around him. So he drinks more, picks more fights with his drug dealer friend, thinks loftier thoughts about the post-colonial condition and Frantz Fanon. The very little he does care his sister, who deals with Hong Kong’s demise by getting engaged to a rich immigration consultant; his on-and-off-again relationship with a woman who steals things from him; and memories of someone he once met in Canada….
 
When the government tightens its grip, language starts to lose all meaning for Glue, and he finds himself pulled into an unsettling venture, ultimately culminating in an act of violence.
 
Inventive and utterly irresistible, with QR codes woven throughout, Sheung-King’s ingenious novel encapsulates the anxieties and apathies of the millennial experience. Batshit Seven is an ode to a beloved city, an indictment of the cycles of imperialism, and a reminder of the beautiful things left under the hype of commodified living.


Review:

Insightful, candid, and immersive!

Bathsit Seven is a unique, colourful tale that takes us into the life of Glen “Glue” Wu, a young man who, after spending a few years attending university in Canada, returns to a politically tense Hong Kong where he finds himself in a serious rut spending his days drinking, getting high, spending the occasional time with platonic friends as well as those with benefits, masturbating, lackadaisically teaching ESL remotely, and contemplating what he wants out of life and where he actually fits into the world.

The writing is creative and direct. The characters are lonely, impulsive, and insecure. And the plot, told through narration and a scattering of QR Codes, is an engaging, perceptive tale about life, friendship, family, culture, politics, orientalism, racism, and self-identity.

Overall, Batshit Seven is a captivating, well-written, astute tale by Sheung-King that highlights the true struggles of coming of age in a contemporary world that seems to increasingly be more overwhelming, judgemental, and stressful.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sheung-King

SHEUNG-KING’s debut novel, You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked., was a finalist for the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction and the 2021 Amazon Canada First Novel Award. It was longlisted for Canada Reads 2021 and named one of the best book debuts by The Globe and Mail. Sheung-King taught creative writing at the University of Guelph, where he received his MFA. He divides his time between Canada and China.

Photo by Maari Sugawara.

#BookReview Canadian Boyfriend by Jenny Holiday @HBGCanada @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForever2024 #JennyHoliday #CanadianBoyfriend #HBGCanada

#BookReview Canadian Boyfriend by Jenny Holiday @HBGCanada @readforeverpub @grandcentralpub #ReadForever #ReadForever2024 #JennyHoliday #CanadianBoyfriend #HBGCanada Title: Canadian Boyfriend

Author: Jenny Holiday

Published by: Forever on Jan. 30, 2024

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Fate brings together a ballet teacher and a hockey player in this big-hearted novel about second chances and taking risks.

Once upon a time teenage Aurora Evans met a hockey player at the Mall of America. He was from Canada. And soon, he was the perfect fake boyfriend, a get-out-of-jail-free card for all kinds of sticky situations. I can’t go to prom. I’m going to be visiting my boyfriend in Canada. He was just what she needed to cover her social awkwardness. He never had to know. It wasn’t like she was ever going to see him again…

Years later, Aurora is teaching kids’ dance classes and battling panic and eating disorders—souvenirs from her failed ballet career—when pro hockey player Mike Martin walks in with his daughter. Mike’s honesty about his struggles with widowhood helps Aurora confront some of her own demons, and the two forge an unlikely friendship. There’s just one problem: Mike is the boy she spent years pretending was her “Canadian boyfriend.”

The longer she keeps her secret, the more she knows it will shatter the trust between them. But to have the life she wants, she needs to tackle the most important thing of all—believing in herself.


Review:

Winsome, warm, and uplifting!

Canadian Boyfriend is an absorbing, heartfelt tale that takes you into the lives of two main characters. Mike Martin, a professional hockey player and widower whose main focus is raising his daughter the best way he can, and Aurora Evans, a former ballerina turned dance teacher who, after pretending to date a Canadian hockey player for years as a teen, may have finally just stumbled across the man himself in real life.

The writing is light and tender. The characters are supportive, kind, and genuine. And the plot is an entertaining, amusing mix of life, love, family, friendship, grief, trust, compassion, happiness, healing, self-reflection, tricky moments, undeniable attraction, and romance.

Overall, Canadian Boyfriend is a cosy, sweet, heart-tugging tale by Holiday with characters I couldn’t help but fall in love with, a push-pull storyline that kept me engaged from start to finish, and a happy-ever-after ending that made me swoon.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to HBG Canada & Forever for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jenny Holiday

Jenny Holiday is a USA Today bestselling author who started writing at age nine when her awesome fourth-grade teacher gave her a notebook and told her to start writing some stories. That first batch featured mass murderers on the loose, alien invasions, and hauntings. (Looking back, she’s amazed no one sent her to a shrink.) She’s been writing ever since. After a detour to get a PhD in geography, she worked as a professional writer, producing everything from speeches to magazine articles. Later, her tastes having evolved from alien invasions to happily-ever-afters, she tried her hand at romance. She lives in London, Ontario, with her family.

#BookReview The Framed Women of Ardemore House by Brandy Schillace @Hanover_Square #BrandySchillace #TheFramedWomenOfArdemoreHouse #HanoverSquarePress

#BookReview The Framed Women of Ardemore House by Brandy Schillace @Hanover_Square #BrandySchillace #TheFramedWomenOfArdemoreHouse #HanoverSquarePress Title: The Framed Women of Ardemore House

Author: Brandy Schillace

Published by: Hanover Square Press on Feb. 13, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Hanover Square Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A sharp, savvy mystery about an autistic editor who inherits a crumbling English estate, only to find herself at the center of a murder investigation when a family portrait vanishes and a dead body turns up.

Jo Jones has always had a little trouble fitting in. As a neurodivergent, hyperlexic book editor and divorced New Yorker transplanted into the English countryside, Jo doesn’t know what stands out more: her Americanisms or her autism.

After losing her job, her mother, and her marriage all in one year, she couldn’t be happier to take possession of a possibly haunted (and clearly unwanted) family estate in North Yorkshire. But when the body of the moody town groundskeeper turns up on her rug with three bullets in his back, Jo finds herself in potential danger—and she’s also a potential suspect. At the same time, a peculiar family portrait vanishes from a secret room in the manor, bearing a strange connection to both the dead body and Jo’s mysterious family history.

With the aid of a Welsh antiques dealer, the morose local detective, and the Irish innkeeper’s wife, Jo embarks on a mission to clear herself of blame and find the missing painting, unearthing a slew of secrets about the town—and herself—along the way. And she’ll have to do it all before the killer strikes again…


Review:

Atmospheric, suspenseful, and quirky!

The Framed Women of Ardemore House is a captivating, crafty tale that takes us into the life of neurodivergent Jo Jones, a middle-aged American woman and lover of the classics who, after inheriting the family’s rambling estate and moving to the English countryside, quickly discovers that there’s something a little more nefarious going on inside the neglected walls of her ancestors home when a painting vanishes without a trace and the groundskeeper winds up dead.

The writing is playful and light. The characters are unique, clever, and supportive. And the plot is a pacey, amusing whodunit full of misdirection, deduction, humour, clues, suspects, mishaps, amateur sleuthing, and murder.

Overall, The Framed Women of Ardemore House is a cosy, satisfying, entertaining read by Schillace that was so much fun with its eccentric characters, intricacies and drama, and which I do hope may just be the first in a multitude of books in a series that would definitely have a spot on my must-read list.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Hanover Square Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Brandy Schillace

BRANDY SCHILLACE is the author of several works of nonfiction, including Mr. Humble and Dr. Butcher. She is the creator of Peculiar Book Club, a twice-monthly live-streamed YouTube show. A former professor of English and gothic literature, she writes about gender politics and history, medical mystery, and neurodiversity for outlets such as Scientific American, Wired, CrimeReads, and Medium. She is also autistic, though has not (to her knowledge) been a suspect in a murder investigation.

Photo courtesy of author's website.

#BookReview The Phoenix Crown by Kate Quinn & Janie Chang @uplitreads @uplitreads #thephoenixcrown #katequinn #janiechang #gifted #uplitreads

#BookReview The Phoenix Crown by Kate Quinn & Janie Chang @uplitreads @uplitreads #thephoenixcrown #katequinn #janiechang #gifted #uplitreads Title: The Phoenix Crown

Author: Kate Quinn, Janie Chang

Published by: William Morrow Paperbacks on Feb. 13, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Uplit Reads

Book Rating: 8/10

From bestselling authors Janie Chang and Kate Quinn, a thrilling and unforgettable narrative about the intertwined lives of two wronged women, spanning from the chaos of the San Francisco earthquake to the glittering palaces of Versailles.

San Francisco, 1906. In a city bustling with newly minted millionaires and scheming upstarts, two very different women hope to change their fortunes: Gemma, a golden-haired, silver-voiced soprano whose career desperately needs rekindling, and Suling, a petite and resolute Chinatown embroideress who is determined to escape an arranged marriage. Their paths cross when they are drawn into the orbit of Henry Thornton, a charming railroad magnate whose extraordinary collection of Chinese antiques includes the fabled Phoenix Crown, a legendary relic of Beijing’s fallen Summer Palace.

His patronage offers Gemma and Suling the chance of a lifetime, but their lives are thrown into turmoil when a devastating earthquake rips San Francisco apart and Thornton disappears, leaving behind a mystery reaching further than anyone could have imagined . . . until the Phoenix Crown reappears five years later at a sumptuous Paris costume ball, drawing Gemma and Suling together in one last desperate quest for justice.


Review:

Compelling, atmospheric, and mysterious!

The Phoenix Crown is a captivating, insightful tale set during 1906 that takes you into the life of Gemma Garland, an operatic soprano who, after having a lacklustre career in New York, heads to San Francisco to meet up with her friend, Nell and give her career the boost it needs, but things don’t work out exactly as she hoped, and as the earthquake and subsequent fires destroy the foundations of the city, it quickly becomes apparent that the railroad magnate and Chinese antiquities collector, Henry Thornton is not quite the catch he first appeared, and it will take forming a close friendship with a young embroider and a middle-aged renowned botanist to finally bring his nefarious actions to light.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are naive, vulnerable, and resilient. And the plot is an engaging tale of life, loss, deception, surprises, heartbreak, betrayal, danger, friendship, inequality, survival, a touch of romance, and the great San Francisco earthquake.

Overall, The Phoenix Crown is an intriguing, absorbing, enigmatic tale by this dynamic writing duo that immerses you in another time and place and does a wonderful job of highlighting the lengths that people will often go for power, success, acceptance, retribution, and survival.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to Uplit Reads for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Janie Chang

Born in Taiwan, Janie Chang has lived in the Philippines, Iran, Thailand, New Zealand, and Canada. She writes historical fiction, often drawing from family history and ancestral stories. She has a degree in computer science and is a graduate of the Writer’s Studio Program at Simon Fraser University. She is the author of Three Souls, Dragon Springs Road, and The Library of Legends.

About Kate Quinn

Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of Southern California, she attended Boston University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in classical voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga and two books set in the Italian Renaissance before turning to the 20th century with The Alice Network, The Huntress, The Rose Code, and The Diamond Eye. All have been translated into multiple languages. She and her husband now live in California with three black rescue dogs.

#BookReview The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes @SimonSchusterCA #TheYearoftheLocust #TerryHayes #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes @SimonSchusterCA #TheYearoftheLocust #TerryHayes #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Year of the Locust

Author: Terry Hayes

Published by: Atria/Emily Bestler Books on Feb. 06, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 800

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

If, like Kane, you’re a Denied Access Area spy for the CIA, then boundaries have no meaning. Your function is to go in, do whatever is required, and get out again – by whatever means necessary. You know when to run, when to hide – and when to shoot.

But some places don’t play by the rules. Some places are too dangerous, even for a man of Kane’s experience. The badlands where the borders of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan meet are such a place – a place where violence is the only way to survive.

Kane travels there to exfiltrate a man with vital information for the safety of the West – but instead he meets an adversary who will take the world to the brink of extinction. A frightening, clever, vicious man with blood on his hands and vengeance in his heart…


Review:

Ominous, action-packed, and twisty!

The Year of the Locust is an intelligent, sinister tale that takes you into the life of CIA operative Kane, a man who has access to the deadliest secrets and who, after his initial operation in the Middle East goes sideways, ends up with an archenemy whose terror knows no bounds and if left unrestrained will happily destroy the world and the human race as we currently know it.

The prose is brisk and tight. The characters are vulnerable, resourceful, and persistent. And the plot is a unique, captivating tale full of greed, power, deception, coercion, manipulation, corruption, espionage, politics, destruction, danger, end-of-the-world mayhem, and murder.

Overall, The Year of the Locust is a hefty novel by Hayes, coming in around 800 pages. And even though it took a little detour, I wasn’t expecting and didn’t entirely love around the seventy-five percent mark. It is still undoubtedly an absorbing, creative, enthralling saga by Hayes that was highly entertaining and is a great choice for anyone who enjoys the spy thriller genre with a side of terminator-like science fiction.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Terry Hayes

Terry Hayes is the New York Times bestselling author of I Am Pilgrim and The Year of the Locust and is the award-winning writer and producer of numerous movies. His credits include Payback, Road Warrior, and Dead Calm (featuring Nicole Kidman). He lives in Switzerland with his wife, Kristen, and their four children.

Photograph © Stuart Simpson

#BookReview Queens of London by Heather Webb @msheatherwebb @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #QueensofLondon #HeatherWebb #bookmarkedbylandmark

#BookReview Queens of London by Heather Webb @msheatherwebb @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #QueensofLondon #HeatherWebb #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: Queens of London

Author: Heather Webb

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Feb. 6, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 9/10

Maybe women can have it all, as long as they’re willing to steal it.

1925. London. When Alice Diamond, AKA “Diamond Annie,” is elected the Queen of the Forty Elephants, she’s determined to take the all-girl gang to new heights. She’s ambitious, tough as nails, and a brilliant mastermind, with a plan to create a dynasty the likes of which no one has ever seen. Alice demands absolute loyalty from her “family”—it’s how she’s always kept the cops in line. Too bad she’s now the target for one of Britain’s first female policewomen.

Officer Lilian Wyles isn’t merely one of the first female detectives at Scotland Yard, she’s one of the best detectives on the force. Even so, she’ll have to win a big score to prove herself, to break free from the “women’s work” she’s been assigned. When she hears about the large-scale heist in the works to fund Alice’s new dynasty, she realizes she has the chance she’s been looking for—and the added bonus of putting Diamond Annie out of business permanently.

A tale of dark glamour and sisterhood, Queens of London is a look at Britain’s first female crime syndicate, the ever-shifting meaning of justice, and the way women claim their power by any means necessary, from USA Today bestselling author Heather Webb.


Review:

Immersive, charged, and gritty!

Queens of London is an engaging, enlightening tale that sweeps you away to London during 1925 and into the lives of a handful of women, including the notorious Diamond Annie, leader of the all-female crime gang, the Forty Elephants; Lilian Wyles, the first female CID officer at Scotland Yard; Hira, a young orphan determined to do whatever it takes to make it on the streets alone; and Dorothy, a somewhat naive young shop assistant who is almost too kind for her own good.

The prose is evocative and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, driven, and engaging. And the plot is an intriguing, action-packed tale of life, loss, love, self-discovery, secrets, manipulation, female friendships, determination, family, betrayal, moral dilemmas, well-planned heists, street crime, and the ins and outs of policing in the early twentieth century.

Overall, Queens of London is a wonderful blend of historical facts and compelling fiction that’s gripping, atmospheric, and perfect for anyone who loves to learn a little bit more about some of the most trailblazing women in history.

 

This novel is available now.

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Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Heather Webb

Heather Webb is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of seven historical novels. In 2015, Rodin’s Lover was a Goodread’s Top Pick, and in 2018, Last Christmas in Paris won the Women’s Fiction Writers Association STAR Award. Meet Me in Monaco, was selected as a finalist for the 2020 Goldsboro RNA award in the UK, as well as the 2019 Digital Book World’s Fiction prize. To date, Heather’s books have been translated to sixteen languages. She lives in New England with her family, a mischievous kitten, and one feisty rabbit.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.