Genre: Mystery/Thriller

#BookReview
Dead Guilty by Michelle Davies
@M_Davieswrites @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview Dead Guilty by Michelle Davies @M_Davieswrites @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: Dead Guilty

Author: Michelle Davies

Series: DC Maggie Neville #4

Published by: Pan Macmillan on October 8, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

Synopsis:

Dead Guilty by Michelle Davies is the captivating fourth novel in the critically acclaimed Maggie Neville series, following False Witness.

Has the killer in DC Maggie Neville’s cold case returned after a decade of silence?

Katy Pope was seventeen when she was brutally murdered on a family holiday in Majorca. Despite her mother’s high rank in the Met and the joint major investigation between the British and Spanish police, Katy’s killer was never caught.

Ten years later, Katy’s family return to the Spanish island to launch a fresh appeal for information, taking with them the now skeletal team of investigating Met detectives, and newly seconded Maggie as the family liaison officer.

But Maggie’s first international investigation quickly goes from being more than just a press conference when another British girl there on holiday goes missing, and Katy’s killer announces that it’s time for an encore . . .


Review:

Sharp, engrossing, and perfectly plotted!

In this fourth novel in the DC Maggie Neville series, Dead Guilty, Davies has written a fast-paced, police procedural that has DC Maggie Neville struggling to adapt to her new role within the Met, whisking off to Majorca to act as the Family Liaison Officer for the Pope family as they struggle to cope with their emotional fragility, endless grief, and irrepressible desire for justice for the 10-year-old unsolved murder of their daughter, and on the hunt for a sadistic serial killer who may have just found a new victim to terrorize.

The writing is crisp and bold. The characters are tenacious, flawed, and astute. And the plot keeps you on the edge of your seat with its short, intense chapters that submerge you into an ominous tale full of twists, turns, red herrings, secrets, obsession, mayhem, deduction, attraction, violence, and murder.

Overall, Dead Guilty has an incredibly pacey storyline and exceptional character development. It’s dark, crafty, and riveting and is a clear indicator that Davies has hit her stride. If you love well-written police procedurals with intriguing characters then this is definitely one book/series you don’t want to miss.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                         

 

 

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

 

About Michelle Davies

Michelle Davies has been writing for magazines for twenty years, including on the production desk at Elle, and as Features Editor of Heat. Her last staff position before going freelance was Editor-at-Large at Grazia magazine and she currently writes for a number of women's magazines and newspaper supplements. Michelle has previously reviewed crime fiction for the Sunday Express's Books section.

Michelle lives in London with her partner and daughter and juggles writing crime fiction with her freelance journalism and motherhood. The Maggie Neville Series consists of Gone Astray, Wrong Place, False Witness and Dead Guilty.

#BookReview
The Poison Garden by A. J. Banner
@ajbannerwriter @AmazonPub

#BookReview The Poison Garden by A. J. Banner @ajbannerwriter @AmazonPubTitle: The Poison Garden

Author: A. J. Banner

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on October 22, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 208

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A woman’s idyllic life becomes a deceptive hall of mirrors in a thriller of exquisitely constructed psychological suspense by A. J. Banner, bestselling author of The Good Neighbor.

Elise Watters seems to have it all—a blissful marriage, a gorgeous Victorian home surrounded by lush gardens, and a dream job running her late mother’s herbal boutique.

But on the eve of her first wedding anniversary, Elise makes a shocking discovery that turns her life upside down and casts doubt on everything she thought she knew—about her marriage, her friends, and even herself. As she treads into dangerous territory, Elise is forced to wonder: Is her whole future at stake? Or is paranoia getting the best of her?

If she is to believe what she sees, Elise has every reason to fear for her life…


Review:

Complex, twisty, and unpredictable!

The Poison Garden is an unnerving, menacing, domestic thriller that delves into all the deep, dark secrets people keep even from those closest to them and highlights just how easily people can be psychologically and emotionally manipulated.

The prose is tight and intense. The characters are secretive, unstable, and troubled. And the plot, told through an unreliable narrator, builds and unravels briskly into a story filled with unexpected twists, suspicious personalities, lethal vegetation, familial drama, deception, jealousy, violence, and greed.

Overall, The Poison Garden is a sinister, tortuous, cunning tale by Banner that keeps you guessing from the very first page and is fast-paced, highly entertaining, and eerily atmospheric.

 

This novel is available on October 22, 2019.

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

                                  

 

 

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

 

About A. J. Banner

A. J. Banner grew up reading Agatha Christie, Daphne du Maurier, and other masters of love and mystery. She enjoyed sneaking thrillers from her parents' library, which gave her excellent fodder for her novels of psychological suspense, The Good Neighbor, The Twilight Wife, After Nightfall, and her upcoming release, The Poison Garden. The Good Neighbor was a #1 Kindle bestseller for 34 days in a row, and The Twilight Wife became a USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller. After Nightfall has been a Kindle bestseller in several categories. Born in India and raised in North America, she always dreamed of writing gripping stories in which nothing is what it seems. She's hard at work on her next novel in her home office overlooking a Pacific Northwest forest.

Photograph from Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview
One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski
@TaraLWrites @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski @TaraLWrites @HarlequinBooksTitle: One Night Gone

Author: Tara Laskowski

Published by: Graydon House on October 1, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

It was the perfect place to disappear…

One sultry summer, Maureen Haddaway arrives in the wealthy town of Opal Beach to start her life anew—to achieve her destiny. There, she finds herself lured by the promise of friendship, love, starry skies, and wild parties. But Maureen’s new life just might be too good to be true, and before the summer is up, she vanishes.

Decades later, when Allison Simpson is offered the opportunity to house-sit in Opal Beach during the off-season, it seems like the perfect chance to begin fresh after a messy divorce. But when she becomes drawn into the mysterious disappearance of a girl thirty years before, Allison realizes the gorgeous homes of Opal Beach hide dark secrets. And the truth of that long-ago summer is not even the most shocking part of all…


Review:

Tight, mysterious, and pacey!

One Night Gone is an atmospheric, suspenseful thriller that takes us into the life of Allison Simpson, a depressed, heartbroken meteorologist who after moving to Opal Beach to house sit for the fall inadvertently gets drawn into a thirty-year-old missing persons case involving the young carnival teen, Maureen Haddaway who one day just vanished without a trace.

The prose is descriptive and intense. The characters are troubled, vulnerable, and tenacious. And the plot using a past/present, back-and-forth style unravels and intertwines into a compelling, cunning tale full of deception, manipulation, familial drama, swirling emotions, violence, mayhem, and murder.

Overall, One Night Gone is an eerie, sharp, ominous debut by Laskowski that highlights the selfish, scheming, desperate side of human nature and reminds us that skeletons often find their way to the surface no matter how well they are hidden or buried.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

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

 

About Tara Laskowski

TARA LASKOWSKI is the award-winning author of two short story collections, Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons and Bystanders, which was named a best book of 2017 by Jennifer Egan in The Guardian. Her debut novel One Night Gone will be published in October 2019 by Graydon House Books. She has had stories published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Mid-American Review, and the Norton anthology New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, among others. Her Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine story, “States of Matter,” was selected by Amy Hempel for the 2017 Best Small Fictions anthology, and her short story “The Case of the Vanishing Professor” is a finalist for the 2019 Agatha Award. Tara was the winner of the 2010 Santa Fe Writers Project’s Literary Awards Prize, has been the editor of the popular online flash fiction journal SmokeLong Quarterly since 2010, and is a member of Sisters in Crime. She and her husband, writer Art Taylor, write the column Long Story Short at the Washington Independent Review of Books. She earned a BA in English with a minor in writing from Susquehanna University and an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University. She grew up in Pennsylvania and lives in Virginia.

#BookReview
Clear My Name by Paula Daly
@PaulaDalyAuthor @PGCBooks @groveatlantic

#BookReview Clear My Name by Paula Daly @PaulaDalyAuthor @PGCBooks @groveatlanticTitle: Clear My Name

Author: Paula Daly

Published by: Grove Press on September 20, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A rising star in domestic suspense broadens her canvas in a brilliant new thriller in which a woman convicted of murdering her husband’s lover waits to be exonerated by a female investigator battling her own dark past Paula Daly is widely acclaimed for her masterful plotting and thrilling page-turners. Now she delivers Clear My Name, a page-turning new thriller about an investigator, who in order to free her client, must confront secrets she has struggled a lifetime to hide.

When Carrie was accused of brutally murdering her husband’s lover, she denied it. She denied it again when they found her blood inside his house, again when they put her in front of a jury, and again when they sent her to prison. Now she’s three years into her fifteen-year sentence, gradually losing hope and separated from her pregnant daughter, but she is still maintaining her innocence. Tess is the only paid employee of Innocence UK, a charity that helps clear people wrongfully convicted of crimes, and which accepts Carrie’s case. But can she trust Carrie? Tess is no starry-eyed recent grad – her assumption is that they’re all lying.”

Meanwhile, Tess is also paired with Avril, a naive young investigator-in-training, with the hope that by mentoring her, she can eventually double the group’s investigative workload. But Tess unexpectedly bolts when she’s tipped off to a witness that could possibly prove Carrie didn’t commit the crime. While Tess and Avril work the case, re-interviewing witnesses and testing assumptions made at the time of the arrest, the tension ratchets up in both the case and Tess’s personal life.


Review:

Gripping, intense, and tricky!

In this latest novel by Daly, Clear My Name, Tess Gilroy chief investigator for Innocence UK heads back to her hometown of Morecambe, England where she finds herself not only investigating the possible wrongful conviction of Carrie Kamara in the stabbing of her husband’s mistress but also having to confront her own past that’s littered with secrets and heartbreak.

The prose is tight and direct. The characters are meticulous, troubled, and multilayered. And the plot is a compelling tale full of deduction, duplicity, manipulation, infidelity, obsession, anger, hatred, injustice, violence, and murder.

Overall, Clear My Name is a sophisticated, unnerving, gritty read that has just enough twists, suspense, in-depth character development, and forensic analysis to keep you intrigued from start to finish.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                          

 

 

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

 

About Paula Daly

Paula Daly is the acclaimed author of five novels. Her work has been sold in fifteen countries, shortlisted for CWA Gold Dagger Crime Novel of the Year award, and her books are currently being developed into the ITV drama - Deep Water - set to air in 2019. She was born in Lancashire and lives in the Lake District with her husband, three children, and whippet Skippy.

#BookReview
Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati
@akaSaraDonati @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati @akaSaraDonati @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCATitle: Where the Light Enters

Author: Sara Donati

Series: The Gilded Hour #2

Published by: Berkley Books on September 10, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 672

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

Synopsis:

From the international bestselling author of The Gilded Hourcomes Sara Donati’s enthralling epic about two trailblazing female doctors in nineteenth-century New York

Obstetrician Dr. Sophie Savard returns home to the achingly familiar rhythms of Manhattan in the early spring of 1884 to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. With the help of Dr. Anna Savard, her dearest friend, cousin, and fellow physician she plans to continue her work aiding the disadvantaged women society would rather forget.

As Sophie sets out to construct a new life for herself, Anna’s husband, Detective-Sergeant Jack Mezzanotte calls on them both to consult on two new cases: the wife of a prominent banker has disappeared into thin air, and the corpse of a young woman is found with baffling wounds that suggest a killer is on the loose. In New York it seems that the advancement of women has brought out the worst in some men. Unable to ignore the plight of New York’s less fortunate, these intrepid cousins draw on all resources to protect their patients.


Review:

Multilayered, fascinating, and incredibly absorbing!

Where the Light Enters is a gritty, compelling tale set in New York City in the mid-1880s at a time when the island was bustling, female doctors were still discounted and frowned upon, reproduction and childbirth still had high mortality rates, and women looking for help with unwanted pregnancies had little or nowhere to go.

There are two main memorable characters in this novel; Dr. Sophie Savard, a young multi-ethnic obstetrician who returns to the United States to open a scholarship program and home for girls looking to study medicine after her husband succumbs to Consumption; and Dr. Anna Mezzanotte, a young surgeon who spends her days operating on those less fortunate and helping her detective husband Jack as he hunts for a serial killer who preys on women seeking an abortion.

The prose is eloquent and rich. The characters are strong, independent, intelligent, and genuine. And the plot using an intriguing mixture of narration, letters, newspaper articles, and reports immerses you in a riveting, suspenseful tale of familial dynamics, duty, friendship, passion, loss, love, sexism, violence, murder, and the roles and struggles faced by female physicians in early medicine.

Where the Light Enters is once again another hefty novel by Donati, with just under 700 pages, but it is so remarkably atmospheric and beautifully written that before you know it the story is finished and you’re yearning for more.

 

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

 

About Sara Donati

Sara Donati is the pen name of Rosina Lippi, a former academic and tenured university professor. Since 2000 she has been writing fiction full-time, haunting the intersection where history and storytelling meet, wallowing in nineteenth-century newspapers, magazines, street maps, and academic historical research. She is the internationally bestselling author of the Wilderness series (Into the Wilderness, Dawn on a Distant Shore, Lake in the Clouds, Fire Along the Sky, Queen of Swords, and The Endless Forest) as well as The Gilded Hour, the first in a new series following the descendants of characters from the Wilderness series. She lives between the Cascades and Puget Sound with her husband, daughter, Jimmy Dean (a Havanese), and Max and Bella (the cats).

Photograph courtesy of penguinrandomhouse.com

#BookReview
Your Truth or Mine? by Trisha Sakhlecha
@TrishaSakhlecha @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview Your Truth or Mine? by Trisha Sakhlecha @TrishaSakhlecha @PGCBooks @panmacmillanTitle: Your Truth or Mine?

Author: Trisha Sakhlecha

Published by: Pan Macmillan on September 3, 3019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Your Truth or Mine? is about the dark secrets couples keep from one another and how a marriage unravels, perfect for fans of Erin Kelly’s He Said/She Said and Lisa Jewell’s Then She Was Gone.

At their wedding Mia and Roy Kapoor promised to love and cherish each other.

Whilst not perfect, their marriage is sacred and their commitment absolute.

But a knock at the door changes everything when Roy is questioned over the disappearance of a young woman.

As Roy and Mia’s life unravels, they must question everything they know about each other if their marriage is to survive.

But what if the real truth is not what they, or you, think?


Review:

Edgy, cunning, and pacey!

Your Truth or Mine? is a character-driven, domestic thriller that delves into the question how well do you really know anyone and highlights just how many secrets and lies people keep and tell to those closest to them.

The prose is tight and intense. The characters are vulnerable, crafty, and troubled. And the plot starts off with a bang and quickly unfolds into an ominous tale full of love, life, loss, deception, desperation, familial drama, manipulation, jealousy, obsession, violence, and murder.

Overall, Your Truth or Mine? is a dark, eerie, sophisticated tale by Sakhlecha that keeps you enthralled from the very first page and is undoubtedly an extremely promising debut.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                          

 

 

 

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

 

About Trisha Sakhlecha

Trisha Sakhlecha grew up in New Delhi and now lives in London. She works in fashion and is a graduate of the acclaimed Faber Academy writing course. In the past, Trisha has worked as a designer, trend forecaster, and lecturer. Your Truth or Mine? is her first novel.

Photograph courtesy of Goodreads Author Page.

#BookReview
Missing Person by Sarah Lotz
@mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada

#BookReview Missing Person by Sarah Lotz @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanadaTitle: Missing Person

Author: Sarah Lotz

Published by: Mulholland Books on September 3, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 480

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From acclaimed horror writer Sarah Lotz, hailed by Stephen King as “vastly entertaining,” a new novel about a group of amateur detectives infiltrated by the sadistic killer whose case they’re investigating.

Reclusive Irish bookseller Shaun Ryan has always believed that his uncle Teddy died in a car accident. It’s only on his mother’s deathbed that he learns the truth: Teddy, who was gay, fled the Catholic, deeply conservative County Wicklow for New York decades earlier. Shaun finds no sign of him in New York or anywhere else–until he comes across the unsolved murder of a John Doe whose description matches Teddy’s.

Desperate for information, Shaun tracks down Chris Guzman, a woman who runs a website dedicated to matching missing persons cases with unidentified bodies. Through Chris’s site, a group of online cold case fanatics connect Teddy with the notorious “Boy in the Dress” murder, believed to be one of many committed by a serial killer targeting gay men.

But who are these cold case fanatics, and how do they know so much about a case that left the police and the FBI stumped? With investigators, amateurs, and one sadistic killer on a collision course, Missing Person is Sarah Lotz at her most thrilling and terrifying.


Review:

Gripping, mysterious, and sinister!

Missing Person is a captivating, slow-burning mystery that takes us into the lives of Shaun Ryan, a young Irish lad whose uncle has been missing for the past twenty years, a group of online amateur sleuths who take it upon themselves to identify and pursue new evidence in cold cases, and a ruthless killer who may or may not be willing to kill again.

The writing is methodical and sharp. The characters are secretive, sly, and determined. And the plot told from multiple perspectives builds steadily as it twists, turns, and unravels all the behaviours, actions, motivations, relationships, and personalities within it.

Missing Person is ultimately a novel about family, friendship, secrets, manipulation, jealousy, criminal fanatics, obsession, violence, and murder that does a nice job of reminding us that people aren’t always who they perceive themselves to be, especially online. And even though I would have loved a little more urgency and thrills it was still a dark, creepy, entertaining read.

 

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

 

About Sarah Lotz

Sarah Lotz is a screenwriter and novelist with a fondness for the macabre and fake names. Among other things, she writes urban horror novels under the name S.L. Grey with author Louis Greenberg; a YA pulp-fiction zombie series, Deadlands, with her daughter, Savannah, under the pseudonym Lily Herne; and quirky erotica novels with authors Helen Moffett and Paige Nick under the name Helena S. Paige. She lives in Cape Town with her family and other animals.

Photograph courtesy of Goodreads Author Page.

#BookReview
The Long Call (Two Rivers #1)
by Ann Cleeves @AnnCleeves @PGCBooks
@panmacmillan @headcrime #thelongcall

#BookReview The Long Call (Two Rivers #1) by Ann Cleeves @AnnCleeves @PGCBooks @panmacmillan @headcrime #thelongcallTitle: The Long Call

Author: Ann Cleeves

Series: Two Rivers #1

Published by: Pan Macmillan on September 3, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

Synopsis:

Bestselling author of the Shetland and Vera Stanhope series’, Ann Cleeves returns with the first in a brand-new series set in North Devon and featuring Detective Matthew Venn. In this rural idyll, where two rivers meet, crime is always there waiting to rise from the water.

In North Devon, where the rivers Taw and Torridge converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place. The day Matthew turned his back on the strict evangelical community in which he grew up, he lost his family too.

Now he’s back, not just to mourn his father at a distance, but to take charge of his first major case in the Two Rivers region; a complex place not quite as idyllic as tourists suppose.

A body has been found on the beach near to Matthew’s new home: a man with the tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

Finding the killer is Venn’s only focus, and his team’s investigation will take him straight back into the community he left behind, and the deadly secrets that lurk there.


Review:

Simmering, menacing, and clever!

The Long Call is the kickoff for a brand-new series by Cleeves that sweeps you away to North Devon where the reticent, intelligent, DI Matthew Vern finds himself investigating a complicated case involving a stabbing victim with a bird tattoo, two missing girls, a community centre that hits a little too close to home, and an evangelical Brethren that excommunicated him in the past.

The prose is meticulous and crisp. The characters are methodical, relentless, and flawed. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine into a mysterious tale filled with mixed emotions, deception, abuse, manipulation, corruption, red herrings, and murder.

Overall, The Long Call is a well-paced, pensive, sophisticated thriller by Cleeves that’s a brilliant start to the Two Rivers series and another fine example of her ability to write police procedurals with well-drawn characters and sinister storylines.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                          

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada 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 Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal
@esmacneal @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal @esmacneal @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Doll Factory

Author: Elizabeth Macneal

Published by: Simon & Schuster on August 13, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 386

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The Doll Factory, the debut novel by Elizabeth Macneal, is an intoxicating story of art, obsession and possession.

London. 1850. The Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and among the crowd watching the spectacle two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist, it is the encounter of a moment – forgotten seconds later, but for Silas, a collector entranced by the strange and beautiful, that meeting marks a new beginning.

When Iris is asked to model for pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint. Suddenly her world begins to expand, to become a place of art and love.

But Silas has only thought of one thing since their meeting, and his obsession is darkening . . .


Review:

Gothic, evocative, and eerie!

The Doll Factory is a riveting, gritty tale set in London in the mid-1800s at a time when the city was bustling, scavenging was prevalent, respectability meant everything, The Great Exhibition was a structural marvel, and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was redefining visual art.

There are three main memorable characters in this novel; Iris Whittle, a young red-headed girl who dreams of becoming an artist and unconsciously catches the eye of many; Silas Reed, a strange fellow with a morbid fascination with taxidermy and a macabre, obsessive nature; and Albie, a young guttersnipe who spends his days traipsing the streets for a shilling and dreaming of a mouth full of pearly whites.

The prose is ominous and rich. The supporting characters are multilayered, flawed, and believable. And the plot is an insightful, compelling tale of familial responsibilities, strength, duty, coming-of-age, art, friendship, passion, desire, obsession, loss, love, survival, and the roles of women in Victorian England.

Overall, The Doll Factory is an intense, creative, menacing read by Macneal that does a beautiful job of interweaving historical facts and compelling fiction into a sinister, suspenseful mystery that is deliciously atmospheric 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 Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elizabeth Macneal

Elizabeth Macneal was born in Edinburgh and now lives in East London. She is a writer and potter and works from a small studio at the bottom of her garden. She read English Literature at Oxford University, before working in the City for several years. In 2017, she completed the Creative Writing MA at UEA in 2017 where she was awarded the Malcolm Bradbury scholarship.

The Doll Factory, Elizabeth's debut novel, won the Caledonia Noel Award 2018. It will be published in twenty-eight languages and TV rights have sold to Buccaneer Media.

Photography by Mat Smith.

#BlogTour #GuestPost
Tight Lies by Ted Denton
@UrbaneBooks @LoveBooksGroup #TedDenton #LoveBooksGroupTours

#BlogTour #GuestPost Tight Lies by Ted Denton @UrbaneBooks @LoveBooksGroup #TedDenton #LoveBooksGroupToursTitle: Tight Lies

Author: Ted Denton

Published by: Urbane Publications on July 4, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 360

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Ted Denton’s explosive debut novel is an exhilarating action thriller pitching the privileged, seductive world of a professional sports agent against a backdrop of political double-dealing, corporate corruption and brutal violence.

A young Daniel Ratchet arrives in Spain to begin his dream job as a golf agent on the European Tour. In London, the Russian Rublex Corporation, with its history mired in ‘Vory‘ mafia criminality, is working on a huge gas deal off the Falkland Islands with the British government. Veteran civil servant Derek Hemmings is tasked to rubber-stamp the deal for the Foreign Office.

But things are not what they seem … With the help of Wallace, a cantankerous old golf coach, Daniel discovers match fixing, fraud and corruption on the Tour, all at the seeming behest of Rublex. A thorn in the Russians’ side, Daniel is kidnapped before he can expose the truth. Wallace, needing help, contacts an old army buddy who deploys violent loose cannon Tom Hunter on a mission to save him.

A tense race against time ensues, both to rescue Daniel from the clutches of the Vory and for Hemmings in Whitehall to prove that the deadly deal is corrupt. The stakes are high. As the body count mounts will the volatile Hunter reveal the truth or will he be too late?

Dead or alive, the truth always comes at a cost.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link!

 

And now Ted Denton with:

 

CHARACTER PROFILE

Tom Hunter is the violent protagonist of the Ted Denton thriller Tight Lies. A blunt instrument deployed by The Unit, a private kidnap-rescue organisation assembled by the shadowy Charles Hand who is known ubiquitously as the Hand of God, Hunter is a powerful, larger-than-life character to write. Relentless, honest, unpredictable, good humoured, violent and consistently flawed. He represents the extremes that can exist in all of us, serving perhaps as an exemplar of the fragility of the common human condition. As a consequence, there is a relished freedom that accompanies writing this character.  He is not afraid of the consequences of his savage actions nor ashamed by his often-puerile attitudes which may often be incongruous with a decent, moral and politically correct society. The writing can reflect this. Hunter is a visceral character. He is the anti-hero that the reader can at once find repellent yet remains inexorably drawn towards, unable to look away from, compelled to know more. He straddles the line of right and wrong and that incongruity can make the reader feel uncomfortable as they have to work to understand how they do actually feel about him versus the response that their own relationship with society demands of them.

Despite accepting what he is, at a base level, with an overt bloodlust and rampant carnal appetites for sex, drugs, coffee and alcohol, Tom has a ready, often self-depreciating sense of humour and underlying intelligence which belie the abhorrent machismo and unedifying sexist behaviour – for which there is no excuse given.

He wears his manifold mistakes and challenges with an uncurrent of bravado. Whilst Hunter displays self-awareness, embracing a relentless torrent of painful introspection through the recognition of his own personal demons, it cannot be said that he truly likes himself. Nevertheless, he embraces his fierce capabilities and understands what drives him. The deep contradictions that ride as an unwelcome passenger with all of us, however much we may battle against them, are evident in his ever-present discomfort with normality. Hunter is haunted by persistent waking nightmares left over from a life lived absorbed in so much violence, addiction, and of his true love brutally ripped from him as a consequence of his own bad choices. The disconnection he feels from belonging within a civilised society is exacerbated by his pervasive feeling that he doesn’t actually deserve that privilege. Instead Tom clings onto his sanity by his ragged fingertips and a pervasive belief that if he just keeps moving forward relentlessly and at least makes an attempt to show some signs of conventional social norms and interaction, then he might just get away with it unnoticed. Tom Hunter’s lust for extremes in all things is simply perpetuated by this overriding need to feel something relatable. To feel alive. The daily torment he endures from the terror of his retrograde memories may serve to generate the unwelcome illusion to him that he is already residing within a version of Hell itself. The physiological responses that he craves to pain, adrenaline and high octane risk-taking therefore, which are induced by the human body’s real-world stimuli and response mechanisms, serve to prove to Tom Hunter and to his sense of self, that he is still very much alive and kicking. And he is determined to make a dent in the world in order to prove that to himself.

 

About Ted Denton

Author Ted Denton was offered a bursary at an early age to serve as a commissioned officer within the British armed forces. Fascinated with both geo-political relations and bipartisan negotiation, Ted has engaged with international governments, political faculties and Non-Governmental-Organisations (NGOs).

Ted has forged an exciting career through his founding of a private international consultancy. He undertakes extensive global travel and exploration. Ted is passionate about writing, boxing and adventuring

 

Thank you to Ted Denton for being featured on my blog today!

 

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