Format: Hardcover

#BookReview
The Survivors by Kate Furnivall
@KateFurnivall @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Survivors by Kate Furnivall @KateFurnivall @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Survivors

Author: Kate Furnivall

Published by Simon & Schuster on April 30, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 448

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Directly I saw him, I knew he had to die.’
 
Germany, 1945. Klara Janowska and her daughter Alicja have walked for weeks to get to Graufeld Displaced Persons camp. In the cramped, dirty, dangerous conditions they, along with 3,200 others, are the lucky ones. They have survived and will do anything to find a way back home.
 
But when Klara recognises a man in the camp from her past, a deadly game of cat and mouse begins.

He knows exactly what she did during the war to save her daughter.

She knows his real identity.

What will be the price of silence? And will either make it out of the camp alive?


Review:

Haunting, moving, and gritty!

The Survivors is an edgy, poignant tale that sweeps you away to the Graufeld Displaced Persons Camp, post-WWII, where thousands of people live in cramped conditions with basic rations while they struggle to comprehend the horrors they’ve endured, find love ones possibly lost forever, protect their beloved, rebuild lives, and for some hide from the justice they deserve.

The prose is tense and mysterious. The characters are scared, vulnerable, and resilient. And the plot, set in Germany during the mid-1940s, is an exceptionally enthralling tale about life, love, strength, bravery, deception, loss, injustice, hope, survival, the aftermath of war, and the powerful bonds between a mother and her daughter.

Overall, The Survivors is a magical blend of historical facts, cat-and-mouse mystique, thrilling fiction, and heartwrenching emotion that does a beautiful job of reminding us that humanity can not only be barbaric and cruel but also incredibly compassionate, resilient, and kind.

 

This novel 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 providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kate Furnivall

Kate Furnivall is the author of eight novels, including the international bestseller The Russian Concubine. She lives in Devon.

Photograph by Kate Wright.

#BookReview
Into the Night by Sarah Bailey
@sarahbailey1982 @GrandCentralPub

#BookReview Into the Night by Sarah Bailey @sarahbailey1982 @GrandCentralPubTitle: Into the Night

Author: Sarah Bailey

Series: Gemma Woodstock #2

Published by Grand Central Publishing on December 4, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 404

Format: Hardcover, ARC

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

After the shocking murder of a high-profile celebrity, Gemma Woodstock must pull back the layers of a gilded cage to discover who among the victim’s friends and family can be trusted–and who may be the killer.

Troubled and brilliant, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock finds herself lost and alone after a recent move to Melbourne, brokenhearted by the decisions she’s had to make. Her new workplace is a minefield and Detective Sergeant Nick Fleet, the partner she has been assigned, is uncommunicative and often hostile. When a homeless man is murdered and Gemma is put on the case, she can’t help feeling a connection with the victim and his lonely, isolated existence.

Then Sterling Wade, an up-and-coming actor filming his breakout performance in a closed-off city street, is murdered in the middle of an action-packed shot, and Gemma and Nick have to put aside their differences to unravel the mysteries surrounding the actor’s life and death. Who could commit such a brazen crime? Who stands to profit from it? Far too many people, and none of them can be trusted. Gemma can’t imagine a pair of victims with less in common–and yet as Gemma and Fleet soon learn, both men were keeping secrets that may have led to their deaths.

With riveting suspense, razor-sharp writing, and a fascinating cast of characters, INTO THE NIGHT proves Sarah Bailey is a major new talent to watch in the world of literary crime fiction.


Review:

Intriguing, mysterious, and dark!

In this latest novel in the Gemma Woodstock series, Into the Night, Bailey immerses you into an intense, sultry investigation into the violent homicide of a movie star and the hunt for a confident, callous killer who seems to have gotten away with murder in broad daylight.

The prose is gritty and raw. The characterization is well done with characters that are driven, flawed, and reckless, including the lonely, DS Gemma Woodstock, whose greatest struggles involve her own personal demons and insecurities. And the plot, including all the subplots, keep you engrossed from start to finish with a multitude of twists, turns, deception, revelations, jealousy, obsession, familial drama, secrets, violence, and murder.

Overall, Into the Night is another sinister, tight, riveting thriller by Bailey that reminds us that the lure of fame and fortune mixed with ruthless ambition can sometimes be a deadly combination.

 

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 Sarah Bailey

Sarah lives in Melbourne, Australia. She has two young sons and one very old cat.

Before she wrote The Dark Lake, Sarah worked in advertising as a business manager. These days she splits her time between writing and working at Creative Projects Company, Mr Smith. Sarah is working on her third book which will be published in 2019.

 

#BookReview
Crossing the Line by Bibi Belford
@BarbaraBelford @skyponypress

#BookReview Crossing the Line by Bibi Belford @BarbaraBelford @skyponypressTitle: Crossing the Line

Author: Bibi Belford

Published by Sky Pony Press on July 25, 2017

Genres: Young Adult

Pages: 272

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sky Pony Press

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Billy’s family has fallen on hard times, what with his da hospitalized after the war and his ma barely scraping by. But it’s no hardship for him when there’s not enough money to pay the tuition for Nativity of Our Lord, the private Catholic school everyone in his neighborhood attends. Billy’s not big on education.

When he transfers to James Ward, a Chicago public school, he finds out there’s a big difference at public school: the kids aren’t all Irish—in fact, they aren’t even all white. It isn’t long before Billy’s found a new best friend in Foster, another fifth grader who also doesn’t have any money, loves baseball, and just happens to be black.

Billy is pretty sure skin color doesn’t matter. Not when he and Foster are just horsing around, playing baseball, working on the docks of the canal, and building a raft at their secret hideout on Bridgeport’s Bubbly Creek. But in the Red Summer of 1919, it does matter.


Review:

Heartfelt, sweeping, and immersive!

Crossing the Line is a moving, fascinating, coming-of-age story set in Chicago during the early 1900s that highlights all the struggles and racial tension of the time and reminds us that even though we’ve come so far, we still have a long way to go.

The writing is sincere and smooth. The characters are concerned, vulnerable and loyal. And the story is an exceptionally compelling tale about life, loss, familial dynamics, friendship, courage, community, discrimination, and racial segregation. 

Overall, Crossing the Line is a well written, exceptionally researched, moving novel by Belford that is a beautiful blend of historical facts, intriguing fiction, and endearing characters.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                          

 

 

Thank you to Sky Pony Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Bibi Belford

Bibi Belford graduated with a B.A. in English from Westmont College and has worked as a playground supervisor for children of migrant workers and was a student teacher in a bilingual classroom before completing her masters in Bilingual Literacy at Northern Illinois University. She currently works as a literacy coach and reading interventionist for an elementary school in Illinois. She is the mother of four grown children and lives in Batavia, Illinois.

#BookReview #NowYouSeeHer
Now You See Her by Heidi Perks
@arrowpublishing @HeidiPerksBooks

#BookReview #NowYouSeeHer Now You See Her by Heidi Perks @arrowpublishing @HeidiPerksBooksTitle: Now You See Her

Author: Heidi Perks

Published by Century on July 26, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: Arrow Publishing

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

SHE WAS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. AND NOW SHE’S MISSING.

She’s playing at the school fete with your children. You pull out your phone, scroll through Facebook, and look up again.
NOW YOU DON’T

Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.

Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable, tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.

Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.

Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.

HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO PUT THINGS RIGHT?


Review:

Sophisticated, riveting, and chillingly plausible!

Now You See Her is a highly suspenseful, character-driven thriller that delves into the psychological and emotional devastation caused by a missing child and the resulting finger-pointing, fragility and dynamics between friends, family members, investigators, and the community at large.

The writing is clear and precise. The characters are complex, secretive, and troubled. And the plot told from dual point of views and alternating timelines, before-and-after the incident, ratchets up the intrigue and tension quickly as it twists, turns, and unravels all the motivations, actions, personalities, and relationships within it.

Now You See Her at its core is a novel about family, friendship, fear, secrets, manipulation, negligence, abuse, kidnapping, and murder. It’s a gripping, uniquely-written tale that highlights everything is not always as it seems and is a real page-turner you won’t want to miss.

 

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 UK – Arrow Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Heidi Perks

Heidi Perks was born in 1973. She lives by the sea in Bournemouth with her husband and two children.
Heidi graduated from Bournemouth University in 1997 with a BA (Hons) in Retail Management, and then enjoyed a career in Marketing before leaving in 2012 to focus on both bringing up her family and writing.
Heidi successfully applied for a place on the inaugural Curtis Brown Creative online Novel Writing Course and after that dedicated her time to completing her first novel, Beneath The Surface.
She has a huge interest in what makes people tick and loves to write about family relationships, especially where some of the characters are slightly dysfunctional.

 

#BookReview
Snap by Belinda Bauer
@BelindaBauer @PGCBooks @groveatlantic

#BookReview Snap by Belinda Bauer @BelindaBauer @PGCBooks @groveatlanticTitle: Snap

Author: Belinda Bauer

Published by Atlantic Monthly Press on July 13, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

SNAP DECISIONS CAN BE FATAL . . .

On a stifling summer’s day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. Jack’s in charge, she said. I won’t be long.

But she doesn’t come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever.

Three years later, mum-to-be Catherine wakes to find a knife beside her bed, and a note that says: I could have killed you.

Meanwhile Jack is still in charge – of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they’re alone in the house, and – quite suddenly – of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother.

But the truth can be a dangerous thing . . .


Review:

Ominous, twisty, and unnerving!

Snap is a menacing, creepy police procedural that delves into a cold case involving a murdered, pregnant mother of three and immerses you into the lives of the Bright family as they struggle to cope with their emotional fragility, economic instability, endless grief, and irrepressible desire for justice after the senseless loss of their matriarch.

The writing is descriptive, vivid, and chilling. The characters are desperate, tormented, and resourceful. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel quickly into a compelling investigative tale filled with life, loss, family, survival, heartbreak, misdirection, manipulation, violence, and murder.

Overall, Snap is an intelligent, atmospheric, exceptionally gripping novel that highlights once again Bauer’s ability to create unique stories with a mood and tone that is tense, dark, and eerie without excessive violence or gore that still clearly remind us that even the most heinous of evil is often concealed behind masks of normality.

 

This novel 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 Belinda Bauer

Belinda Bauer grew up in England and South Africa. She has worked as a journalist and screenwriter, and her script THE LOCKER ROOM earned her the Carl Foreman/Bafta Award for Young British Screenwriters, an award that was presented to her by Sidney Poitier. She was a runner-up in the Rhys Davies Short Story Competition for "Mysterious Ways," about a girl stranded on a desert island with 30,000 Bibles. Belinda now lives in Wales.

#BookReview
In Prior’s Wood by G.M. Malliet
@GMMalliet @MinotaurBooks #MaxTudor

#BookReview In Prior’s Wood by G.M. Malliet @GMMalliet @MinotaurBooks #MaxTudorTitle: In Prior's Wood

Author: G.M. Malliet

Series: Max Tudor #7

Published by Minotaur Books on April 17, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 281

Format: Hardcover

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

Agatha Award-winning author G. M. Malliet has charmed mystery lovers and cozy fans with her critically acclaimed mysteries, and this newest one featuring handsome spy-turned-cleric Max Tudor won’t disappoint.

Newly returned from investigating a murder in Monkslip-super-Mare, handsome Max Tudor wants nothing more than to settle back into his predictable routine as vicar of St. Edwold’s Church in the village of Nether Monkslip. But the flow of his sermon on Bathsheba is interrupted when the lady of the local manor house is found in a suicide pact with her young lover.

Lady Duxter’s husband rallies quickly from the double tragedy―too quickly, it is murmured in the village. Lord Duxter already has offered his manor house to a motley crew of writers, including Max’s wife Awena, for his writers’ retreat, and he insists the show must go on.

When a young girl goes missing and a crime writer becomes a target, DCI Cotton asks Max to lend his MI5 expertise to the investigation.

Many suspects emerge as the scope of the investigation widens beyond the writers to villagers who had crossed swords with the insufferably smug crime author. But Max begins to wonder: was the attack on the writer only part of a broader conspiracy of silence?


Review:

Mysterious, intriguing, and atmospheric!

In this latest novel by Malliet, In Prior’s Wood, we head back to the quaint English village of Nether Monkslip where Max Tudor, the former spy turned clergyman, finds himself once again immersed in a case with DCI Cotton that quickly unravels from a double suicide into an elaborate scheme of deception, lies, infidelity, jealousy, obsession, and murder.

The writing style is descriptive and light. The setting and mood are authentic and vivid. The characters, including the sharp, handsome hero, are well-developed, quirky, and multilayered. And the plot is a well-paced, witty whodunit that has a nice mix of misdirection, clues, suspects, red herrings, solid deduction, and drama.

In Prior’s Wood is the seventh book in the Max Tudor series, and if you love British cozy mysteries, this novel will not disappoint. It is a fun, twisty, easy read that is refreshing and highly entertaining.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                        

 

 

 

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

 

About G.M. Malliet

G.M. Malliet is the Agatha Award-winning author of the St. Just and Max Tudor mysteries and the standalone suspense novel WEYCOMBE. She lives on the East Coast of the US but all of her books are set in the UK, her home away from home.

She received an M.Phil. degree from the University of Cambridge and did further graduate work at Oxford University. Upon her return to the US, determined to realize her lifelong dream of being a published author, she worked on her short stories and novels for three hours each day, from 4 a.m. until the start of her day job. After the unexpected success of her first book, she left a career writing for corporations like USA Today and PBS to focus full time on her own writing. With five Agatha and three Anthony nominations, she’s also been shortlisted for the Macavity, Left Coast Crime, IPPY, Daphne, David, and Dilys awards. The audio version of her second novel, read by Davina Porter, was a 2014 Anthony nominee.

Her short stories have appeared in several anthologies, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, and The Strand. She regards the short story as the most difficult yet satisfying form of writing.

Her series from Macmillan featuring Max Tudor, a former MI5 agent turned vicar of a small English village, debuted in the autumn of 2011. Of the fourth book in the series, Cleveland.com raved: "[Malliet] may be the best mystery author writing in English at the moment (along with Tana French). She's certainly the most entertaining."

Her dark standalone mystery WEYCOMBE appeared in October 2017. The author is donating part of the proceeds from that book to the American Red Cross to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters.

She is represented by the Vicky Bijur Literary Agency.

Photograph by Joe Henson.

#BookReview
The Italian Party by Christina Lynch
@Clynchwriter @StMartinsPress

#BookReview The Italian Party by Christina Lynch @Clynchwriter @StMartinsPressTitle: The Italian Party

Author: Christina Lynch

Published by St. Martin's Press on March 20, 2018

Genres: General Fiction, Historical Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Newly married, Scottie and Michael are seduced by Tuscany’s famous beauty. But the secrets they are keeping from each other force them beneath the splendid surface to a more complex view of ltaly, America and each other.

When Scottie’s Italian teacher―a teenager with secrets of his own―disappears, her search for him leads her to discover other, darker truths about herself, her husband and her country. Michael’s dedication to saving the world from communism crumbles as he begins to see that he is a pawn in a much different game. Driven apart by lies, Michael and Scottie must find their way through a maze of history, memory, hate and love to a new kind of complicated truth.

Half glamorous fun, half an examination of America’s role in the world, and filled with sun-dappled pasta lunches, prosecco, charming spies and horse racing, The Italian Party is a smart pleasure.


Review:

Picturesque, insightful, and delightfully winsome!

The Italian Party is an immersive story that takes you back to Siena, Italy during the mid-1950s when The Cold War was still influencing Italian politics, Communism was rampant, spies were everywhere, and in this tale newly married American couple Michael and Scottie have just arrived with glamour, high-tech gadgets, and an abundance of secrets.

The prose is eloquent and atmospheric. The characterization is exceptionally well drawn with a whole slew of characters that are colourful, affable, and quirky. And the plot is an intriguing mix of spy thriller, romance, and comedy, that’s full of life, love, self-discovery, deception, betrayal, grief, friendship, antics, and community.

I have to admit I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started The Italian Party but it wasn’t long before Lynch swept me away in a debut that’s mysterious, informative, and witty and gave me a beautiful picture postcard of the history, landmarks, culture, and culinary fare of a country she obviously loves and knows well.

 

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 in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Christina Lynch

Christina Lynch’s picaresque journey includes chapters in Chicago and at Harvard, where she was an editor on the Harvard Lampoon. She was the Milan correspondent for W magazine and Women’s Wear Daily, and disappeared for four years in Tuscany. In L.A. she was on the writing staff of Unhappily Ever After; Encore, Encore; The Dead Zone and Wildfire. She now lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. She is the co-author of two novels under the pen name Magnus Flyte. She teaches at College of the Sequoias. The Italian Party is her debut novel under her own name.

 

 

#BookReview
Insidious Intent by Val McDermid
@valmcdermid @PGCBooks

#BookReview Insidious Intent by Val McDermid @valmcdermid @PGCBooksTitle: Insidious Intent

Author: Val McDermid

Series: Tony Hill & Carol Jordan #10

Published by Atlantic Monthly Press on December 5, 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 424

Format: Hardcover, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

Synopsis:

Widely recognized as one of our finest crime writers, with numerous accolades and legions of devoted readers worldwide, internationally bestselling author Val McDermid is back with the latest installment in her series featuring psychologist Tony Hill and former police detective Carol Jordan. In Insidious Intent, Tony and Carol are on the hunt for a serial killer who victimizes women at weddings without a date–and forces the duo to confront their most haunting moral dilemma so far.

In the north of England, single women are beginning to disappear from weddings. A pattern soon becomes clear: Someone is crashing the festivities and luring the women away–only to leave the victims’ bodies in their own burned-out cars in remote locations. Tony and Carol are called upon to investigate–but this may be the toughest case they’ve ever had to face. Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant Paula McIntyre and her partner Elinor must deal with a cruel cyber-blackmailer targeting their teenage ward, Torin.


Review:

Dark, meticulous, and menacing!

Insidious Intent is a riveting tale that immerses you into the evidence collection and investigation into the kidnapping and violent homicide of several lonely, vulnerable women and the hunt for a serial killer with a penchant for fire.

The prose is sophisticated and crisp. The characterization is spot on with all the usual gang back including the resilient, determined Carol Jordan whose greatest struggles involve her own guilt, secrets, demons, and addictions. And the plot is a skillfully crafted mix of twists, turns, murder, police corruption, manipulation, obsession, and deception.

Overall, Insidious Intent is nicely paced and has exceptional depth in both the storyline and character development. And even though this is the tenth book in the Tony Hill & Carol Jordan series, McDermid has written such an intriguing, entertaining tale that new fans will be quickly adding the previous novels in the series to their TBR and long-standing fans will be satisfied, surprised, and eager for book #11.

 

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 Val McDermid

Val McDermid is a No. 1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over eleven million copies.

She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for 2010. In 2011 she received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award.

She writes full time and divides her time between Cheshire and Edinburgh.

#BookReview #BlogTour
Exile by James Swallow
@jmswallow @BonnierZaffre

#BookReview #BlogTour Exile by James Swallow @jmswallow @BonnierZaffreTitle: Exile

Author: James Swallow

Series: Marc Dane #2

Published by Zaffre on June 1st 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 496

Format: Hardcover

Source: Bonnier Zaffre

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A vicious Serbian gang whose profits come from fake nuclear weapons

A disgraced Russian general, with access to the real thing.

A vengeful Somali warlord, with a cause for which he’d let the world burn.

A jaded government agency, without the information to stop him.

Only one man sees what’s coming. And even he might not be able to prevent it . . .

Racing breathlessly from uncharted CIA prisons to the skyscrapers of Dubai, from stormbeaten oil rigs off the African coast to the ancient caverns beneath the city of Naples, Marc Dane returns in the explosive new thriller from the internationally bestselling author of NOMAD


Review:

Intelligent, gripping, and chillingly plausible!

Exile is an adrenaline-pumping thrill ride that immerses you in the dark, gritty underworld of arms dealing and terrorism and reminds us that corruption, greed, and revenge often has no limits.

The writing is intense and well paced. The characters are strong-willed, tenacious, and resilient. And the plot is a riveting tale full of twists, turns, action, intrigue, power, violence, duplicity, manipulation, terror, and murder.

Overall Exile is a timely, suspenseful, action-packed thriller that showcases Swallow’s exceptional knowledge of cyber warfare, military weapons, and covert operations.

Exile is the second book in the “Marc Dane” series, and even though there are some references to events from the previous novel, Nomad, it can certainly be read as a standalone.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Bonnier Zaffre for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About James Swallow

James Swallow is a New York Times, Sunday Times and Amazon bestselling author and scriptwriter, a BAFTA nominee, a former journalist and the award-winning writer of over forty-five books, along with numerous scripts for videogames, radio and television.

His writing includes the Marc Dane action thriller series, the Sundowners steampunk Westerns and fiction from the worlds of Star Trek, Warhammer 40,000, Doctor Who, 24, Deus Ex, Stargate, Tannhauser and 2000AD.

 

#BookReview
Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore
@PGCBooks @groveatlantic

#BookReview Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore @PGCBooks @groveatlanticTitle: Birdcage Walk

Author: Helen Dunmore

Published by Atlantic Monthly Press on August 1, 2017

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

It is 1792 and Europe is seized by political turmoil and violence. Lizzie Fawkes has grown up in Radical circles where each step of the French Revolution is followed with eager idealism. But she has recently married John Diner Tredevant, a property developer who is heavily invested in Bristol’s housing boom, and he has everything to lose from social upheaval and the prospect of war. Soon his plans for a magnificent terrace built above the two-hundred-foot drop of the Gorge come under threat. Tormented and striving Diner believes that Lizzie’s independent, questioning spirit must be coerced and subdued. She belongs to him: law and custom confirm it, and she must live as he wants–his passion for Lizzie darkening until she finds herself dangerously alone.

Weaving a deeply personal and moving story with a historical moment of critical and complex importance, Birdcage Walk is an unsettling and brilliantly tense drama of public and private violence, resistance and terror from one of our greatest storytellers.


Review:

Poignant, ominous, and remarkable descriptive!

Birdcage Walk takes us back to Bristol in the late 1790s when France was full of unrest, war was on the horizon, and the British people struggled with impoverishment, scarcity, impending disaster, and financial ruin.

The prose is expressive and raw. The main characters include the maternal, independent, supportive Lizzie and the jealous, iron-fisted, ruined Tredevant. And the plot, although a little slow in the middle, is laced from start to finish with an underlying feeling of despair and a real, palpable bleakness as the ongoing drama, social strife, economic uncertainty, marital tension, and increasing violence unravels.

I have to admit that even though Birdcage Walk is not my favourite novel by Dunmore, it is still a beautiful, haunting tale that highlights her talent of writing historical fiction that moves, informs, and leaves a lasting impression. The passing of Dunmore earlier this year is certainly a tremendous loss for the literary world and to quote from the inscription on the grave of her fictional character in this novel, “Her Words Remain Our Inheritance.”

If you haven’t had a chance to read my review for “The Lie” by Dunmore be sure to check it out here:

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

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

 

About Helen Dunmore

Helen Dunmore is the author of twelve books, including The Greatcoat, The Betrayal, a New York Times Editors’ Choice; The Siege, a best seller and finalist for the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award; and A Spell of Winter, winner of the Orange Prize.

Helen Dunmore (1952 – 2017)

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