9/10

#BookReview The Innocent Dead by Lin Anderson @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #RhonaMacLeod #TheInnocentDead

#BookReview The Innocent Dead by Lin Anderson @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #RhonaMacLeod #TheInnocentDead Title: The Innocent Dead

Author: Lin Anderson

Series: Rhona MacLeod #15

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Sep. 22, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

A gripping new crime novel by Lin Anderson featuring forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod, who is tasked with solving the case of a young girl who went missing forty-five years ago.

Mary McIntyre’s disappearance tore the local community apart, inflicting wounds that still prove raw for those who knew her. So when the present-day discovery of a child’s remains are found in a peat bog south of Glasgow, it seems the decades-old mystery may finally be solved.

Called in to excavate the body, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod uses the advances made in forensic science since Mary’s vanishing to determine what really happened all those years ago – and who was responsible.

One key person had been Karen Marshall who was devastated by her best friend’s abduction. Questioned by the police at the time had led to a dead end and the case soon went cold.

Now the news of the discovered body brings the nightmares back. But added to that, memories long-buried by Karen are returning, memories that begin to reveal her role in her friend’s disappearance and perhaps even the identity of the killer…

The Innocent Dead is the fifteenth novel in Lin Anderson’s Rhona MacLeod crime series.


Review:

Shrewd, gripping, and meticulous!

In this latest novel by Anderson, The Innocent Dead, we head back to Glasgow where forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod and her team at Police Scotland find themselves investigating and unravelling the 1975 cold case of a missing eleven-year-old girl after a child’s body is accidentally discovered in a nearby peat bog.

The prose is seamless and crisp. The characterization is stellar with all the usual gang back including the meticulous, intuitive Dr Rhona MacLeod who’s still grappling with the psychological and emotional toll left by the sin-eater case. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unwind seamlessly into an engrossing tale full of abuse, deception, secrets, familial drama, red herrings, manipulation, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Innocent Dead is a gripping, atmospheric, highly entertaining tale by Anderson that is another fine example of her exceptional ability to write police procedurals that have catchy storylines and fully-developed characters.

 

This book is available now.

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

              

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lin Anderson

Lin Anderson is a Scottish author and screenwriter known for her bestselling crime series featuring forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod. Four of her novels have been longlisted for the Scottish Crime Book of the Year, with Follow the Dead being a 2018 finalist. Her short film River Child won both a Scottish BAFTA for Best Fiction and the Celtic Film Festival’s Best Drama award and has now been viewed more than one million times on YouTube. Lin is also the co-founder of the international crime writing festival Bloody Scotland, which takes place annually in Stirling.

#BookReview Chaos by Iris Johansen @Iris_Johansen @GrandCentralPub #Chaos #IrisJohansen #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview Chaos by Iris Johansen @Iris_Johansen @GrandCentralPub #Chaos #IrisJohansen #GrandCentralPub Title: Chaos

Author: Iris Johansen

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Sep. 1, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 624

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

The #1 New York Times bestselling author introduces CIA agent Alisa Flynn, who is willing to go rogue if it means catching the most heartless band of criminals she’s ever encountered.

When CIA agent Alisa Flynn flaunts the rules by breaking into a mansion in the middle of the night, she skillfully circumvents alarms and outwits guards only to find herself standing in billionaire Gabe Korgan’s study . . . busted by Korgan himself. This could cost her her job unless, in a split second, she can turn the tables and try to convince him to join her on the most important mission of her life.

In a ripped-from-the-headlines plot, schoolgirls in Africa have been kidnapped, and Alisa knows that Korgan has the courage, financial means, and high-tech weaponry to help rescue them. With so many innocent lives hanging in the balance, what she doesn’t reveal is that one of those schoolgirls is like a little sister to her. But when the truth gets out, the stakes grow even higher.

Calling in additional assistance from renowned horse whisperer Margaret Douglas, Alisa and Gabe lay their plans, only to see them descend into chaos as the line between right and wrong wavers before them like a mirage. Every path is strewn with pitfalls, each likely to get them — or the hostages — killed. But with the help of a brave team and a horse with the heart of a warrior, they might just get out of this alive.


Review:

Adrenaline-pumping, fast-paced, and suspenseful!

In this first instalment in the Alisa Flynn series, Chaos, Johansen has written an action-packed thrill ride that introduces the highly intelligent CIA Special Operative Flynn who with the help of her friend, the animal whisperer, Margaret Douglas, and the billionaire inventor, Gabe Korgan, is on the hunt for a group of mercenaries who have kidnapped a group of rich, young girls, a stable full of thoroughbred horses, and Alisa’s ward, Sasha Lawrence from the St. Eldon’s Academy with disturbingly nefarious purposes in mind.

The writing is edgy and crisp. The characters are persistent, ruthless, and unique. And the plot keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish as it submerges you in a menacing, chilling tale full of violence, deception, corruption, mayhem, danger, control, power, murder, and a sliver of the supernatural.

Overall, Chaos is a tortuous, pacey, exciting mystery that’s sure to be a new fan favourite with its creative, well-drawn characterization, heightened sense of urgency, and thrilling conclusion.

 

This novel is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Iris Johansen

Iris Johansen is a New York Times bestselling author. She began her writing after her children left home for college. She first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, Johansen began writing suspense historical romance novels, starting with the publication of The Wind Dancer. In 1996 Johansen switched genres, turning to crime fiction, with which she has had great success.

She lives in Georgia and is married. Her son, Roy Johansen, is an Edgar Award-winning screenwriter and novelist. Her daughter, Tamara, serves as her research assistant.

#BookReview The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves @AnnCleeves @PGCBooks #TheDarkestEvening #VeraStanhope #AnnCleeves

#BookReview The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves @AnnCleeves @PGCBooks #TheDarkestEvening #VeraStanhope #AnnCleeves Title: The Darkest Evening

Author: Ann Cleeves

Series: Vera Stanhope #9

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Sep. 8, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

From Ann CleevesNew York Times bestselling and award-winning author of the Vera and Shetland series, both of which are hit TV showscomes the stunning new Vera Stanhope novel.

On the first snowy night of winter, Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope sets off for her home in the hills. Though the road is familiar, she misses a turning and soon becomes lost and disorientated. A car has skidded off the narrow road in front of her, its door left open, and she stops to help. There is no driver to be seen, so Vera assumes that the owner has gone to find help. But a cry calls her back: a toddler is strapped in the back seat.

Vera takes the child and, driving on, she arrives at a place she knows well. Brockburn is a large, grand house in the wilds of Northumberland, now a little shabby and run down. It’s also where her father, Hector, grew up. Inside, there’s a party in full swing: music, Christmas lights and laughter. Outside, unbeknownst to the revelers, a woman lies dead in the snow.

As the blizzard traps the group deep in the freezing Northumberland countryside, Brockburn begins to give up its secrets, and as Vera digs deeper into her investigation, she also begins to uncover her family’s complicated past.


Review:

Intricate, clever and engrossing!

In this splendid ninth installment in the Vera Stanhope series, The Darkest Evening, Cleeves has written an unpredictable, pacey, police procedural that sees quirky Det. Insp. Vera Stanhope immersed in a new murder investigation close to her estranged family home, Brockburn, when during a cold blustery evening she unexpectedly happens upon an abandoned car on the side of the road with a door left wide open and a toddler crying inside.

The writing is polished and precise. The characters are eccentric, secretive, and methodical. And the plot is a compelling tale full of twists, turns, red herrings, secrets, obsession, deduction, duplicity, manipulation, familial drama, and murder. 

Overall, The Darkest Evening has an intriguing, well-developed storyline with exceptional character development, and is another fantastic addition to this shrewd, compulsive, well-loved series.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ann Cleeves

Ann Cleeves is the author behind PBS’s Vera and BBC One’s Shetland. She has written over twenty-five novels, and is the creator of detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez – characters loved both on screen and in print. Her books have now sold over 1 million copies worldwide.

Ann worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook and auxiliary coastguard before becoming a crime writer. She is a member of ‘Murder Squad’, working with other British northern writers to promote crime fiction. In 2006 Ann was awarded the Duncan Lawrie Dagger (CWA Gold Dagger) for Best Crime Novel, for Raven Black, the first book in her Shetland series, and in 2012 she was inducted into the CWA Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame. Ann lives in North Tyneside, England.

#BookReview The River Home by Hannah Richell @hannahrichell @HarperPerennial #The RiverHome #HarperPerennial #HannahRichell #OliveInfluencer

#BookReview The River Home by Hannah Richell @hannahrichell @HarperPerennial #The RiverHome #HarperPerennial #HannahRichell #OliveInfluencer Title: The River Home

Author: Hannah Richell

Published by: Harper Paperbacks on Aug. 4, 2020

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Harper Perennial

Book Rating: 9/10

From beloved international bestselling author Hannah Richell comes a spellbinding novel about the secrets brought to the surface when a large family gathers for a wedding.

Can the damage of the past ever be healed?

In their ramshackle Somerset home, with its lush gardens running down to the river, the Sorrells have gathered for a last-minute wedding—an occasion that is met with trepidation by each member of the family.

Lucy, the bride, has begged her loved ones to attend—not telling them that she has some important news to share once they’ve gathered. Her prodigal baby sister, Margot, who left home after a devastating argument with their mother, reluctantly agrees, though their family home is the site of so much pain for her. Meanwhile, their eldest sister, Eve, has thrown herself into a tailspin planning the details of the wedding—anything to distract herself from how her own life is unraveling—and their long-separated artist parents are forced to play the roles of cheerful hosts through gritted teeth.

As the Sorrells come together for a week of celebration and confrontation, their painful memories are revisited and their relationships stretched to the breaking point.

Moving, poignant, and unforgettable, The River Home showcases once again Hannah Richell’s talent for creating characters readers can relate to—and telling stories that linger in the mind long after the final page.


Review:

Moving, mysterious, and absorbing!

The River Home is a pensive, compelling tale that sweeps you away to the Somerset fields and immerses you into the lives of the Sorrell family, especially three strong, young women, as they gather to celebrate, support, confront, communicate, repair relationships, and finally reveal secrets that could potentially change their lives forever.

The prose is smooth and expressive. The characters are genuine, troubled, and sympathetic. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel effortlessly into a heartfelt tale of life, love, loss, resilience, determination, acceptance, self-reflection, and all the intricate dynamics that exist between family members.

Overall, The River Home is an honest, sentimental, hopeful tale by Richell that does a beautiful job of reminding us that life is complicated and messy and even the smallest choices we make can often have far-reaching consequences.

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Harper Perennial for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Hannah Richell

Before I became a writer, I worked in the publishing and film industries marketing books and movies. I began to write in 2007 while pregnant with my first child. The result was Secrets of the Tides, which was picked for the 2012 Richard & Judy Book Club, the Waterstones Book Club and was shortlisted for the Australian Independent Bookseller Best Debut Fiction Award, ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year (2013) and ABIA Newcomer of the Year (2013).

Since then I have written The Shadow Year (2013), The Peacock Summer (2018) and my latest novel, The River Home, which will be published in 2020. My work is available in twenty-two territories and has been translated into seventeen languages.

I have also written for a number of media outlets including Harper’s Bazaar, The Independent, Fairfax Media and Australian Women’s Weekly.

I am a dual citizen of the UK and Australia, though I currently live in the South West of England with my family.

Photograph by Claire Newman-Williams.

#BookReview #Giveaway Thick as Thieves Sandra Brown @sandrabrown_NYT @GrandCentralPub #SandraBrown #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview #Giveaway Thick as Thieves Sandra Brown @sandrabrown_NYT @GrandCentralPub #SandraBrown #GrandCentralPub Title: Thick as Thieves

Author: Sandra Brown

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Aug. 25, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Romantic Suspense

Pages: 496

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

In this tantalizing thriller from a #1 New York Timesbestselling author, a woman uncovers lifelong secrets as she searches for the truth behind her father’s involvement in a heist gone wrong.

Twenty years ago in the dead of night, four seemingly random individuals pulled the ultimate heist and almost walked away with half a million dollars. But by daybreak, their plan had been shot to hell. One of them was in the hospital. One was in jail. One was dead. And one got away with it.

Arden Maxwell, the daughter of the man who disappeared all those years ago — presumably with the money, after murdering his accomplice — has never reconciled with her father’s abandonment of her and her sister. After countless personal setbacks she decides to return to her family home near mysterious Caddo Lake, and finally get answers to the many questions that torment her. Little does she know, two of her father’s co-conspirators — a war hero and a corrupt district attorney — are watching her every move.

Ledge Burnet, a rebellious teen at the time of the heist, evaded his jail sentence by enlisting in the army. Now he’s back in town to care for his ailing father — and to keep his eye on the county’s corrupt district attorney, whom he suspects was the real murderer. Although the two are bound to silence because of the crime they committed together, each has spent years waiting and hoping that the other will make a fatal misstep. But the arrival of their elusive accomplice’s daughter, Arden, who may know more about the missing money than she’s telling, sets them both on red alert. She ignites Ledge’s determination to expose the D.A.’s treachery . . . and sparks a desire he wishes to deny.


Review:

Menacing, absorbing, and well crafted!

Thick as Thieves is an intricate, steamy thrill ride that takes you to Penton, Texas and into the lives of Arden Maxwell and Ledge Burnet as they investigate and unravel all the lies, secrets, deception, and corruption that has tainted their past, and attempt to finally uncover what really happened on that one night twenty years ago.

The writing is taut and smooth. The characters are secretive, complex, and scarred. And the plot, using a past/present, back-and-forth style and told from multiple perspectives is an intense, mysterious tale filled with familial drama, police corruption, palpable chemistry, coercion, manipulation, thievery, violence, and murder.

Overall, Thick as Thieves is another adrenaline-pumping, twisty, highly satisfying page-turner by Brown that has just the right amount of suspense and romance to keep you engaged, invested, and guessing until the very last page.

This book is available now.

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

                

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

GIVEAWAY!

 

I’m giving two people a chance to win a copy of Thick as Thieves. To enter please visit my Instagram page HERE

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for sponsoring the giveaway! All giveaway information can be found in the Instagram Giveaway Post. Books will be mailed by the publisher to the randomly chosen winners. Good luck!

 

About Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown is the author of sixty-nine New York Times bestsellers, including the #1 Seeing Red. There are over eighty million copies of her books in print worldwide, and her work has been translated into thirty-four languages. She lives in Texas.

 

Photograph courtesy of grandcentralpublishing.com.

#BookReview The Paris Children by Gloria Goldreich @Sourcebooks #TheParisChildren #GloriaGoldreich

#BookReview The Paris Children by Gloria Goldreich @Sourcebooks #TheParisChildren #GloriaGoldreich Title: The Paris Children

Author: Gloria Goldreich

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Sep. 1, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 9/10

Inspired by the true story of one woman’s fight to survive during the 20th century’s darkest hour

Paris, 1935. A dark shadow falls over Europe as Adolf Hitler’s regime gains momentum, leaving the city of Paris on the brink of occupation. Young Madeleine Levy—granddaughter of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish World War I hero—steps bravely into a new wave of resistance and becomes the guardian of lost children.

When Madeleine meets a small girl in a tattered coat with the hollow look of one forced to live a nightmare—a young Jewish refugee from Germany named Anna—she knows that she cannot stand idly by. Paris is full of children like Anna—frightened and starving, innocent casualties of a war barely begun. Madeleine offers them comfort and strength while working with other members of the resistance to smuggle them into safer territories. But as the Paris she loves is transformed into a theater of tension and hatred, many people are tempted to abandon the cause—and the country. And amidst the impending horror and doubt, Madeleine’s relationship with Claude, a young Jewish Resistance fighter, as passionate about saving vulnerable children as she is, deepens. With a questionable future ahead of them, all Madeleine can do is continue fighting and hope that her spirit—and the nation’s—won’t be broken.

A remarkable, paranoramic novel, The Paris Children is a story of love and tragedy that illuminates the power of hope and courage in the face of adversity.


Review:

Absorbing, haunting, and deeply moving!

The Paris Children is a compelling, immersive, beautifully written tale set in France between 1935 and 1943 that takes you into the lives of the Levy family, especially Madeleine, a young Jewish woman who spent the majority of the war helping to hide and save as many Jewish children as possible.

The prose is authentic and perceptive. The characters are selfless, brave, and vulnerable. And the plot is a rich, poignant tale of life, loss, love, friendship, family, perseverance, survival, betrayal, courage, sacrifice, Jewish traditions, war, and the important role played by the Jewish scouts in the French Resistance.

Overall, The Paris Children is a beautiful blend of horrifying facts and evocative fiction. It’s a pensive, affecting, powerful tale by Goldreich that highlights humanities incredible ability to love and still be kind, compassionate, and resilient even in the face of unimaginable evil.

This novel is available now.

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

              

 

 

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

 

About Gloria Goldreich

Gloria Goldreich graduated from Brandeis University and did graduate work in Jewish history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She was a coordinator in the Department of Jewish Education at National Hadassah and served as Public Relations Director of the Baruch College of the City University of New York.

While still an undergraduate at Brandeis, she was a winner of the Seventeen magazine short story contest where her first nationally published work appeared. Subsequently, her short fiction and critical essays have appeared in Commentary, McCalls, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Mademoiselle, Ms., Chatelaine, Hadassah Magazine and numerous other magazines and journals. Her work has been widely anthologized and translated.

She is the author of a series of children's books on women in the professions entitled What Can She Be? She has also written novels for young adults, Ten Traditional Jewish Stories, and she edited a prize-winning anthology A Treasury of Jewish Literature.

Her novel, Leah's Journey won the National Jewish Book Award for fiction in 1979, and her second novel Four Days won the Federation Arts and Letters Award. Her other novels include Promised Land, This Burning Harvest, Leah's Children, West to Eden, Mothers, Years of Dreams and That Year of Our War. Her books have been selections of the Book of the Month Club, the Literary Guild and the Troll Book Club.

She has lectured throughout the United States and in Canada.

Gloria Goldreich is married to an attorney and is the mother of two daughters and a son, and the grandmother of six grandchildren.

#BookReview The Woman in Red by Diana Giovinazzo @DianaGauthor @GrandCentralPub #TheWomaninRed #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview The Woman in Red by Diana Giovinazzo @DianaGauthor @GrandCentralPub #TheWomaninRed #GrandCentralPub Title: The Woman in Red

Author: Diana Giovinazzo

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Aug. 4, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

Experience the “epic tale of one woman’s fight . . . to create the life of her dreams” in this sweeping novel of Anita Garibaldi, a 19th century Brazilian revolutionary who loved as fiercely as she fought for freedom (Adriana Trigiani).

Destiny toys with us all, but Anita Garibaldi is a force to be reckoned with. Forced into marriage at a young age, Anita feels trapped in a union she does not want. But when she meets the leader of the Brazilian resistance, Giuseppe Garibaldi, in 1839, everything changes.

Swept into a passionate affair with the idolized mercenary, Anita’s life is suddenly consumed by the plight to liberate Southern Brazil from Portugal — a struggle that would cost thousands of lives and span almost ten bloody years. Little did she know that this first taste of revolution would lead her to cross oceans, traverse continents, and alter the course of her entire life — and the world.

At once an exhilarating adventure and an unforgettable love story, The Woman in Red is a sweeping, illuminating tale of the feminist icon who became one of the most revered historical figures of South America and Italy.


Review:

Engaging, enlightening, and inspiring!

The Woman in Red is a compelling, adventurous interpretation of the life of Anna “Anita” Garibaldi, a strong-willed, Brazilian woman who after meeting the Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi spent the next ten years of her life participating in and supporting his conquests for freedom and a unified Italy until her untimely death at the tender age of 27 from Malaria.

The prose is evocative and expressive. The characters are strong, passionate, determined, and courageous. And the plot, set in Brazil, Uruguay, and Italy during 1839 to 1849 is a fast-paced, fascinating tale about life, love, bravery, strength, loss, loyalty, danger, motivation, heroism, and survival.

I have to admit that I knew very little about Anna Garibaldi when I started The Woman in Red, but Giovinazzo did such a wonderful job of blending historical facts with captivating, alluring fiction that I was not only left entertained but incredibly intrigued to learn more about this exceptionally fearless, iconic woman’s legacy.

This novel is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Diana Giovinazzo

Diana Giovinazzo is the co-creator of Wine, Women and Words, a weekly literary podcast featuring interviews with au­thors over a glass of wine. Diana is active within her local literary community as the president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Women’s National Book Association. The Woman in Red is her debut novel.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Skeptical Physick (The Sockbridge Series #2) by Gail Avery Halverson @gailhalv #TheSkepticalPhysick

#BookReview The Skeptical Physick (The Sockbridge Series #2) by Gail Avery Halverson @gailhalv #TheSkepticalPhysick Title: The Skeptical Physick

Author: Gail Avery Halverson

Series: Stockbridge #2

Published by: Knight Wenstrom Publishers on Sep. 8, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 337

Format: Paperback

Source: Gail Avery Halverson

Book Rating: 9/10

In this gripping follow up to “The Boundary Stone,” Lady Catherine Abbott’s life takes an unexpected turn when an abused young woman forces her to examine the privileges of 17th century aristocratic English society, the roles of women, and her own place in the world.

Determined to discover the mysteries of the human body, daring physick, Simon McKensie, fights once more against superstition, ignorance and the vast, unknown boundaries of science when he creates a remarkable experiment that could change the very course of medicine itself.

Set against the sweeping backdrop of both the Great Fire of London and the extraordinary discoveries of the Scientific Revolution, Simon and Catherine together must face the villainous consequences of his fierce, intellectual curiosity and his dangerous thirst for knowledge.


Review:

Multilayered, alluring, and exceptionally atmospheric!

The Skeptical Physick is a rich, informative tale that picks up right where The Boundary Stone left off taking us back to seventeenth-century London and into the lives of Simon and Catherine as they endure one of the most devasting disasters of all time, The Great Fire of London while continuing to also battle those who frown upon, discount, and discourage scientific exploration and medical research.

The prose is eloquent and vivid. The characters are reliable, selfless, and courageous. And the plot is an immersive, fascinating tale of life, loss, love, optimism, bravery, tragedy, devastation, romance, and the procedures and evolution of early medicine.

Overall, The Skeptical Physick is another beautifully written, incredibly enthralling tale by Halverson that grabs you from the very first page and does an exceptional job of blending historical facts with fiction that is both enlightening and wonderfully compelling.

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 providing me with 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 The Night Swim by Megan Goldin @megangoldin @StMartinsPress #TheNightSwim

#BookReview The Night Swim by Megan Goldin @megangoldin @StMartinsPress #TheNightSwim Title: The Night Swim

Author: Megan Goldin

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Aug. 4, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 9/10

In this new thriller from the author of The Escape Room, a podcast host covering a controversial trial in a small town becomes obsessed with a brutal crime that took place there years before.

After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―and the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a high school student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season Three a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing and investigating―but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered―and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.

Electrifying and propulsive, The Night Swim asks: What is the price of a reputation? Can a small town ever right the wrongs of its past? And what really happened to Jenny?


Review:

Raw, impactful, and thought-provoking!

The Night Swim is a slow-burning, intense mystery that introduces us to the tenacious, driven, podcast-host Rachel Krall as she heads to Neapolis, North Carolina to cover the rape trial of a sixteen-year-old teen by the local superstar athlete and ends up in turn also unexpectedly investigating a twenty-five-year-old murder.

The writing is sharp and edgy. The characters are intelligent, relentless, and determined. And the complex plot told from alternating POVs and through a mixture of narration and podcast-style musings subtly unfolds into a chilling tale of scandal, consent, deception, reputation, coercion, injustice, class division, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Night Swim is a dark, gripping, sensitive tale by Goldin that packs a real emotional punch and does an exceptional job of highlighting the psychological and emotional devastation caused by rape and the cultural stigmatization that regrettably still surrounds it.

 

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 for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Megan Goldin

MEGAN GOLDIN worked as a correspondent for Reuters and other media outlets where she covered war, peace, international terrorism and financial meltdowns in the Middle East and Asia. She is now based in Melbourne, Australia where she raises three sons and is a foster mum to Labrador puppies learning to be guide dogs. THE ESCAPE ROOM was her debut novel.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

 

#BookReview Hamnet & Judith by Maggie O’Farrell @KnopfCA @PenguinRandomCA #HamnetandJudith

#BookReview Hamnet & Judith by Maggie O’Farrell @KnopfCA @PenguinRandomCA #HamnetandJudith Title: Hamnet & Judith

Author: Maggie O'Farrell

Published by: Knopf Canada on Jul. 21, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

TWO EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE. A LOVE THAT DRAWS THEM TOGETHER. A PLAGUE THAT THREATENS TO TEAR THEM APART.

England, 1580. A young Latin tutor–penniless, bullied by a violent father–falls in love with an eccentric young woman: a wild creature who walks her family’s estate with a falcon on her shoulder and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer. Agnes understands plants and potions better than she does people, but once she settles on the Henley Street in Stratford she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband. His gifts as a writer are just beginning to awaken when their beloved twins, Hamnet and Judith, are afflicted with the bubonic plague, and, devastatingly, one of them succumbs to the illness.

A luminous portrait of a marriage, a shattering evocation of a family ravaged by grief and loss, and a hypnotic recreation of the story that inspired one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time, Hamnet & Judith is mesmerizing and seductive, an impossible-to-put-down novel from one of our most gifted writers.


Review:

Rich, immersive, and evocative!

Hamnet & Judith is a vivid, compelling, powerful interpretation that sweeps you away to Stratford-upon-Avon in the late 1500s and into the life of the Shakespeare family, from the courtship and marriage of William and Agnes to the devastating loss of their young son Hamlet at the tender age of eleven.

The prose is eloquent and emotive. The characters are well-drawn, endearing, and authentic. And the plot is an absorbing tale of life, loss, love, grief, family, aspirations, heartache, and motherhood.

Overall, Hamnet & Judith is a pensive, alluring, beautifully written story by O’Farrell that does a remarkable job of highlighting her incredible knowledge and research into these renowned historical figures whose personal lives are often unknown, forgotten, or overshadowed by the patriarch’s incredibly profound contribution to the world of drama and literature.

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Knopf Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Maggie O'Farrell

Born in Northern Ireland in 1972, MAGGIE O'FARRELL grew up in Wales and Scotland and now lives in London. She has worked as a waitress, chambermaid, bike messenger, teacher, arts administrator, journalist (in Hong Kong and London), and as the deputy literary editor of The Independent on Sunday. She is the author of After You'd Gone (winner of the Betty Trask Award); My Lover's Lover; The Distance Between Us (recipient of a Somerset Maugham Award); The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox; The Hand That First Held Mine; Instructions for a Heatwave (winner of a Costa Book Award); This Must Be the Place; and most recently, I Am, I Am, I Am.

Photograph by Murdo Macleod.

%d bloggers like this: