Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre

#BookReview
Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler
@AuthorLizLawler @BonnierZaffre @twenty7books

#BookReview Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler @AuthorLizLawler @BonnierZaffre @twenty7booksTitle: Don't Wake Up

Author: Liz Lawler

Published by Bonnier Zaffre on May 25, 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bonnier Zaffre, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Alex Taylor wakes up tied to an operating table.

The man who stands over her isn’t a doctor.

The offer he makes her is utterly unspeakable.

But when Alex re-awakens, she’s unharmed – and no one believes her horrifying story. Ostracised by her colleagues, her family and her partner, she begins to wonder if she really is losing her mind.

And then she meets the next victim.


Review:

Fast-paced, gritty, and disturbingly creepy!

Don’t Wake Up is a character-driven psychological thriller that highlights how fragile the mind truly is and how easily someone’s behaviour can be questioned, misinterpreted, manipulated, and used against them.

It is, ultimately, a story about jealousy, revenge, hatred, violence, and murder.

The characters are multilayered, vulnerable, and at times believably unreliable.  The writing is well done. And the plot unfolds rapidly and has a nice balance of suspense, tension, suspects, and surprises.

Overall Don’t Wake Up is a compelling, well-written debut for Lawler that once started will keep you intrigued and entertained until the very end.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Bonnier Zaffre – Twenty7 for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Liz Lawler

Liz Lawler had a 20-year career as a nurse before becoming a general manager of a five star hotel. She found it an easy transition as she used the same greeting to both patient and hotel guest 'Good morning. did you sleep well?' she loves books and all things bookish!

#BookReview
Unforgivable by Mike Thomas
@ItDaFiveOh @BonnierZaffre

#BookReview Unforgivable by Mike Thomas @ItDaFiveOh @BonnierZaffreTitle: Unforgivable

Author: Mike Thomas

Series: DC Will MacReady #2

Published by Bonnier Zaffre on July 27, 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 400

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bonnier Zaffre, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation.
An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside.
But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . .

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker. If they knew the ‘why’, then surely they can find the ‘who’? But that isn’t so easy, and time is fast running out . . .

MacReady is still trying to prove himself after the horrific events of the previous year, which left his sergeant injured and his job in jeopardy, so he feels sidelined when he’s asked to investigate a vicious knife attack on a young woman.

But all is not as it seems with his new case, and soon MacReady must put everything on the line in order to do what is right.


Review:

Explosive, adrenaline-pumping, and chillingly plausible!

Unforgivable is a well crafted, perfectly executed thriller that takes us on a manhunt for a ruthless terrorist and highlights how vulnerable we truly are.

The writing is tight and intense. The characterization is spot on with a whole slew of complex, genuine characters including the intelligent, gutsy, troubled Will MacReady whose greatest weakness seems to be his fearless, impulsive behaviour and his continuously unfolding personal drama. And the plot is a never-ending rollercoaster ride of twists, turns, suspense, intrigue, violence, and murder.

Overall this book has everything you look for in an action-packed mystery. It’s timely, provocative, has great pace, incredible depth and does an exceptional job of showcasing Thomas’ extraordinary knowledge of the nitty-gritty details of police policies and procedures.

Unforgivable is the first book I’ve read by Thomas, for which I am now definitely kicking myself, and even though it is the second novel in the “DC Will MacReady” series and there are some references to events from the previous novel it can be read as a standalone. However, if you would prefer to be a little smarter than me then be sure to pick up Ash and Bones, book #1, to start this clever, satisfying series right!

 

This book is available now.

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

                                         

 

 

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

 

About Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas was born in Wales in 1971. For more than two decades he served in the police, working some of Cardiff’s busiest neighbourhoods in uniform, public order units, drugs teams and CID. He left the force in 2015 to write full time.

His debut novel, Pocket Notebook, was published by William Heinemann (Penguin Random House) and longlisted for the Wales Book of the Year. The author was also named as one of Waterstones' 'New Voices' for 2010. His second novel, Ugly Bus, is currently in development for a six part television series with the BBC.

The first in the MacReady series, Ash and Bones, was published in August 2016 by Bonnier Zaffre. The sequel, Unforgivable, is published in July 2017.

He lives in the wilds of Portugal with his wife, two children and an unstable, futon-eating dog.

#BlogTour & #BookReview
Every Secret Thing By Rachel Crowther
@bookollective

#BlogTour & #BookReview Every Secret Thing By Rachel Crowther @bookollectiveTitle: Every Secret Thing

Author: Rachel Crowther

Published by Bonnier Zaffre on June 29, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bookollective

Book Rating: 7/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Can you ever bury the past?

She’d recognised in him something of herself: that sense of not belonging, of secrets fiercely kept . . .

Five friends, newly graduated, travel together to the Lake District. Young and ambitious, they little imagine the events that will overtake them that fateful summer, tearing their fragile group apart.

Twenty years later, they return to the same spot, summoned by a mysterious bequest. It’s not long before old friendships – and old romances – are re-kindled. But soon, too, rivalries begin to re-emerge and wounds are painfully reopened . . .

How long does it take for past sins to be forgiven? And can the things they destroy ever really be recovered?


Review:

Intense, sobering, and perceptive!

This is a character-driven novel that reminds us that life is precious and short and that everyone and everything that enters it shapes, defines, and influences us.

The writing is intelligent and descriptive. The characters are complex, secretive, and selfish. And the plot, although a little slow at times, is narrated from multiple perspectives and written in a past/present style that does a remarkable job of revealing all the personalities, motivations, and actions within it and finishes with a nice little twist.

This is ultimately a novel about life, friendship, secrets, manipulation, desire, jealousy, acceptance and forgiveness and has a very contemplative, moody feel. And although it is very clear from the onset that Crowther is a strong, literary writer I would have preferred the characters to have a few more redeeming qualities and be a little more likable.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

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

 

About Rachel Crowther

Rachel Crowther qualified as a doctor and worked in the NHS for twenty years before succumbing to a lifelong yearning to write fiction, previously indulged during successive bouts of maternity leave. She has an MA in Creative Writing with distinction from Oxford Brookes, and a string of prizes for her short fiction.

Her first novel, THE PARTRIDGE AND THE PELICAN, was published in 2011 and was a Tatler ‘sizzling summer read’. THE THINGS YOU DO FOR LOVE is published in August 2016 and has been called ‘a delight of a read’ by Fay Weldon, ‘the very best sort of fiction’ by Juliet Nicolson (A House Full of Daughters) and ‘a richly textured tale of life and love’ by Richard Mason (The Drowning People).

Rachel has five children, two mad dogs and an abiding passion for music, art, cooking and travel, both in Britain and further afield. She currently lives in Surrey.

 

#BookReview & #BlogTour
The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir by Lesley Allen
@Lesley_Allen_

#BookReview & #BlogTour The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir by Lesley Allen @Lesley_Allen_Title: The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir

Author: Lesley Allen

Published by Bonnier Zaffre on November 3, 2016

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 344

Format: Paperback

Source: Bonnier Zaffre

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Biddy Weir is a shy young loner. Abandoned by her mother as a baby, and with a father who’s not quite equipped for the challenges of modern parenting, Biddy lives in her own little world, happy to pass her time painting by the sea and watching the birds go by.

With no friends, no schoolbag, and, worst of all, no mother, Biddy is branded a ‘Bloody Weirdo’ by the most popular girl in her primary school.

What follows is a heart-breaking tale of bullying and redemption, of falling down and of starting again, and of one woman’s battle to learn to love herself for who she is.

Set in a fictional seaside town in Northern Ireland, the novel is a stark illustration of the extent to which bullying can affect us all, beyond just the victim and perpetrator.

Spare, dark and often unrelenting, The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir is a story with universal appeal, which ultimately affirms the value of being different.


Review:

Haunting, heartbreakingly poignant, and exceptionally thought-provoking!

This is an incredibly intriguing novel that delves into the emotional and physical suffering experienced when targeted, ostracized and bullied from an early age, and reminds us how hostile, cruel and passive children can sometimes be.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The main character, Biddy, is multi-layered, unique, wounded, naive, and endearing. And the plot is thoroughly captivating and engrossing as it sweeps you along through the highs and lows of Biddy’s life effortlessly.

This is, ultimately, a deeply moving, remarkable story about loneliness, torment, injustice, diffidence, family, friendship, and self-love that will make you cry; make you smile; and will resonate with you long after the final page has been turned.

 

This novel is due to be published in paperback on November 3, 2016. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaChapters/IndigoBook Depository

 

 

And what does a “Writing Day” look like for Leslie Allen?

My dream average writing day would go something like this: rise at seven to a glorious, gently warm, blue-sky day, preferably on a Greek Island. A sea view would be good. I’d do a few yoga stretches out on the terrace to the sound of the goats softly bleating on the hill behind, followed by a healthy breakfast of my own homemade muesli with peaches from my neighbour’s orchard, local honey, and fresh yoghurt made by the goat herder who lives down the road. After a cup of green tea, I’d retire to my zen-zone office – whitewashed walls, blue shuttered windows that overlook the matching blue Aegean, a simple wooden writing desk that once belonged to a famous Greek author, and a chair specially made for me by the local (very handsome) carpenter. I’d bash out a few hundred words, hell, let’s make it 1,000, before breaking for a jog on the beach…

The reality is somewhat different. I do rise at seven, but I live in Northern Ireland, so the warm, blue-sky day thing only happens twice a year. Three times if we’re lucky. In my head I’m a yoga girl – but I tried it once, and my dodgy knees couldn’t hack it. I like the idea of muesli but I just can’t do currants, and green tea makes me gag. My office at the top of the house is a tip – well, not quite a tip, but it hasn’t been painted since I moved here two years ago, and still serves as the ‘if you don’t know where to put it dump it in there’ room. The desk is ugly and bulky, and the chair used to belong to my ex-husband. I get wind just sitting in it. And I can’t jog the length of myself.

As for the 1,000 words – when I do get full days to dedicate to writing (which are rare in between juggling work as a freelance copywriter & press officer, being a single mum, keeping a feral cat in line, trying to learn the words ‘sorry, I can’t do that today, I’m writing’, and cleaning toilets – the curse of the procrastinator) they usually do flow with relative ease. But, basically, no day in my life is average, never mind a writing one. I’m going to hold onto that dream writing day on my Greek island though, as I know for a fact that dreams really can come true. As I type this at my ugly desk, sitting in the chair that gives me wind, the most beautiful thing in the world (apart, of course, from my daughter – just in case she reads this!) is propped up right beside my laptop: my very own copy of my very own book. It took a while, but that dream came true, so why not the Greek one! In the meantime, I’m happy with my lot. I have a book, I have the tools to write another one, and I even have a sea view. It’s more of a grey-green than a deep blue one, but I love it.

It’s probably time to buy a new chair, though.

 

Thank you to twenty7 – Bonnier Zaffre and Lesley Allen for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. It was a real pleasure and honour to read.

 

About Lesley Allen

Lesley Allen lives in Bangor, County Down. She is a freelance copywriter and the press officer and assistant programme developer for Open House Festival. Lesley is previous recipient of the James Kilfedder Memorial Bursary, and two Support for the Individual Artist Art’s Council Awards. She was named as one of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s 2016 Artist Career Enhancement Scheme (ACES) recipients for literature. She will be using the award to complete her second book.

 

And for more information on other titles available from twenty7, Bonnier Zaffre visit them at:

twenty7books.co.uk or on Twitter at: @BonnierZaffre

 

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#BookReview
What We Didn’t Say by Rory Dunlop
@roryjamesdunlop

#BookReview What We Didn’t Say by Rory Dunlop @roryjamesdunlopTitle: What We Didn't Say

Author: Rory Dunlop

Published by Bonnier Zaffre on June 30, 2016

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bonnier Publishing, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A darkly funny story of a marriage in crisis, perfect for readers who loved Us by David Nicholls and The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

Jack and Laura have separated. Jack thinks it’s all Laura’s fault.

Laura disagrees.

Jack writes to Laura, desperate to put across his side of the story.

Laura interrupts.

Wryly sarcastic and intensely well-observed, What We Didn’t Say is about that gap between words and feelings where relationships live – and die.


Review:

Deeply moving, insightful, and captivating.

This is a poignant novel that reminds us that life is short and precious, and that fundamentally we all need to love and be loved.

It touches on familial dynamics, marriage, secrets, jealousy, love, trust, and the importance of communication.

The story is written using a two-person narration, in a creative and unique style, which allows readers to flow both effortlessly between past and present, as well as hear both perspectives seamlessly.

It is well written. The prose is simple, precise, and darkly witty.  And the characters are complex and real.

This is engaging story with a powerful impact, and I highly recommend it.

 

This book is due to be published on June 30, 2016.

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

Amazon UK

 

For more information on Rory Dunlop, follow him on Twitter at: @roryjamesdunlop

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Bonnier Publishing, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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