Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

#BookReview The Lost Letters of Aisling by Cynthia Ellingsen @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #TheLostLettersOfAisling #CynthiaEllingsen #LakeUnion #FireflyDist

#BookReview The Lost Letters of Aisling by Cynthia Ellingsen @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #TheLostLettersOfAisling #CynthiaEllingsen #LakeUnion #FireflyDist Title: The Lost Letters of Aisling

Author: Cynthia Ellingsen

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Apr. 1, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 302

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Firefly Distributed Lines

Book Rating: 9/10

A woman faces the past she fled in a heart-stirring novel about unforgettable love and indomitable courage by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Lighthouse Keeper.

Rainey’s grandmother makes a startling Take me home. To Ireland, the country she fled post–World War II. Though they’re inseparably close, Rainey knows few of her grandmother’s secrets. Until they arrive at Aisling—the majestic estate on the southern coast of Ireland where her grandmother was raised—and Rainey discovers a collection of seventy-year-old letters in a trunk.

Dublin, 1945. The Germans surrender, celebrants crowd the streets, and fourteen-year-old Evie meets her best friend, the spirited Harding McGovern. Years on, they are more like sisters when rumors begin that Harding works in the black market trade—a source of wealth that could give her a dream life in America but could also cause great danger. Evie is uncertain of the truth but will stand by Harding, whatever the cost.

As Rainey uses the letters to reunite her grandmother with the past, what unfolds is a never-forgotten story of family, friendship, and love, and the healing that comes from letting go of secrets.


Review:

Captivating, rich, and absorbing!

The Lost Letters of Aisling is predominantly set in Ireland during the early 1950s, as well as present day, and is told from two different perspectives. Rainey, a young woman who journeys to Ireland to honour her grandmother’s wishes to return to her homeland to finally confront the past, and Evie, a young woman whose platonic love for her best friend will ultimately change her destiny and life forever.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are troubled, determined, and endearing. And the plot is a moving tale about life, loss, love, emotion, betrayal, family, friendship, heartbreak, guilt, grief, hope, and regret.

Overall, The Lost Letters of Aisling is a heartwarming, alluring, compelling tale by Ellingsen that highlights the enduring passion, loyalty and power of love and is a wonderful choice for anyone who enjoys a dual timeline story with both a sliver of mystery and a touch of romance.

 

This novel is available now.

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

      

 

 

Thank you to Firefly Distributed Lines for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Cynthia Ellingsen

Cynthia Ellingsen is the Amazon Charts bestselling author of the Starlight Cove series. The Lost Letters of Aisling is her tenth novel. A Michigan native, Cynthia has lived in Los Angeles and Chicago. Currently, she lives in Lexington, KY with her family and two sassy but charming Siamese cats.

#BookReview A Storm of Infinite Beauty by Julianne MacLean @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #AStormofInfiniteBeauty #JulianneMacLean #LakeUnion #FireflyDist

#BookReview A Storm of Infinite Beauty by Julianne MacLean @FireflyDist @AmazonPub #AStormofInfiniteBeauty #JulianneMacLean #LakeUnion #FireflyDist Title: A Storm of Infinite Beauty

Author: Julianne MacLean

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Sep. 12, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 300

Format: Paperback

Source: Firefly Distributed Lines

Book Rating: 9/10

From the bestselling author of Beyond the Moonlit Sea comes an atmospheric tale of how one woman’s search for the truth uncovers long-hidden secrets and rocks the very foundation of her world.

Scarlett Fontaine is a true Hollywood legend—a singer, actress, and beloved fashion icon. But Scarlett dies tragically at just thirty-six years old, leaving behind no children. Or so the story goes…

Gwen Hollingsworth is the curator at a museum dedicated to Scarlett’s life. She’s also sole heir to Scarlett’s fortune as a descendant of the star. But all is not well in Gwen’s world. She’s dealing with a messy marital separation and is struggling to move forward. So when Peter Miller, a biographer and photojournalist, comes to the museum with shocking claims about Scarlett—a life of exile in Alaska, a baby born in secret—Gwen’s whole world is turned upside down.Again.

Determined to uncover the truth, Gwen and Peter set out for Alaska together but soon find themselves on a path toward something far deeper and more meaningful than either of them ever expected.

A Storm of Infinite Beauty takes readers on a breathtaking journey from a lush vineyard in Nova Scotia to a rustic lodge in Alaska where old family secrets are revealed and the quest for true happiness begins.


Review:

Immersive, emotional, and vivid!

A Storm of Infinite Beauty is set in Valdez, Alaska and Wolfville, Nova Scotia, in both 1964 and 2017, and is told from two different perspectives; Gwen, a young woman who spends her days running a museum dedicated to Scarlett Fontaine until a biographer shares some intriguing information that sees her travelling to Alaska to unravel the secrets surrounding one year of her late, legendary family member’s life, and Valerie/Scarlet, a young girl whose life is changed forever after she spends a year of heartache, loss, and tragedy in Valdez before heading to LA to follow her dream of becoming an actress/songwriter.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are resilient, brave, and scarred. And the plot is a moving tale about life, loss, family, secrets, desperation, friendship, survival, grief, marital discord, and the devastation of the Great Alaskan earthquake.

Overall, A Storm of Infinite Beauty is a heartfelt, sentimental, affecting read by MacLean that does a lovely job of interweaving historical facts and compelling fiction into an insightful, heart-tugging tale that is atmospheric and highly absorbing.

 

This novel is available now.

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

      

 

 

Thank you to Firefly Distributed Lines for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Julianne MacLean

Julianne MacLean is a USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the contemporary women’s fiction Color of Heaven Series. Readers have described her books as “breathtaking,” “soulful” and “uplifting.” MacLean is a four-time Romance Writers of America RITA finalist and has won numerous awards, including the Booksellers’ Best Award and a Reviewers’ Choice Award from Romantic Times. Her novels have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been published in over a dozen languages.

MacLean has a degree in English literature from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a degree in business administration from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. She loves to travel and has lived in New Zealand, Canada, and England. MacLean currently resides on the east coast of Canada in a lakeside home with her husband and daughter.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Goodnight from Paris by Jane Healey @healeyJane @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #GoodnightfromParis #JaneHealey #LakeUnion #ThomasAllen

#BookReview Goodnight from Paris by Jane Healey @healeyJane @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #GoodnightfromParis #JaneHealey #LakeUnion #ThomasAllen Title: Goodnight from Paris

Author: Jane Healey

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Mar. 7, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 413

Format: Paperback

Source: Thomas Allen & Son

Book Rating: 9/10

In Nazi-occupied France, an American film star takes on the most dangerous role of her life in a gripping novel about loyalty and resistance, inspired by a true story, from the Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Secret Stealers.

Paris, 1939. Hollywood actress Drue Leyton, married to Frenchman Jacques Tartière, lives as an expatriate in love. But when her husband is dispatched to Brittany to work as a liaison for the British military, Drue finds herself alone with her housekeeper, adrift and heartsick in her adopted city. With her career and fame forty-five hundred miles away, Drue accepts an opportunity that will change her life forever.

Befriended by seasoned wartime journalist Dorothy Thompson and urged on by political operative Jean Fraysse, Drue broadcasts radio programs to the United States. Her duty: shake America from its apathy and, as Nazis encroach and France is occupied, push for resistance and help from the US. As Drue and Jean fall under suspicion, Hitler sends his own message: when Drue’s adopted country is conquered, she will be executed.

In a Paris that is no longer safe, Drue’s political passion is ignited. She’s prepared to risk anything to fight the enemy no matter how dangerous it gets—for her, for everyone she loves, and for everything she’s fighting for.


Review:

Captivating, heart-tugging, and absorbing!

Goodnight from Paris is an immersive, tender tale set in Nazi-Occupied France during WWII that follows American actress Drue Leyton Tartière who, after her husband heads off to Brittany as a liaison for the British military, takes a job working for Jean Fraysse at Paris Mondiale broadcasting the true horrors of war to the American people while also doing whatever she can, even at the detriment to her own safety, to help as many downed Allied pilots as possible escape the enemy and find their way home.

The prose is rich and vivid. The characters are brave, vulnerable, and strong. And the plot is a compelling blend of life, loss, secrets, surprises, heartbreak, betrayal, survival, danger, grief, war, friendship, romance, and selflessness.

Overall, Goodnight from Paris is a bittersweet, affecting, atmospheric tale inspired by real-life events that sweeps you away to another time and place and does an exceptional job of reminding you that survival of any form takes unimaginable sacrifice, enormous courage, and exceptional strength.

This book is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son & Amazon Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jane Healey

Jane Healey is the author of three historical fiction novels. Her novel THE BEANTOWN GIRLS was a Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller. Her latest novel, THE SECRET STEALERS, was an Amazon First Reads Editor’s Pick, one of the New York Post’s Best New Books in April 2021 and was a Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choice pick.

Jane has given presentations about the history behind her novels to hundreds of libraries, book clubs and organizations around the country, including through the Jewish Book Council Network and the American Red Cross. She is also the host of Historical Happy Hour, a monthly webinar and podcast featuring premiere historical fiction authors and their latest novels.

A graduate of the University of New Hampshire and Northeastern University, Jane shares a home north of Boston with her husband, two daughters, and two cats. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, running, cooking, and going to the beach.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview So Long, Chester Wheeler by Catherine Ryan Hyde @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #SoLongChesterWheeler #CatherineRyanHyde #LakeUnion

#BookReview So Long, Chester Wheeler by Catherine Ryan Hyde @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #SoLongChesterWheeler #CatherineRyanHyde #LakeUnion Title: So Long, Chester Wheeler

Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Dec. 6, 2022

Genres: General Fiction, LGBTQIA

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: Thomas Allen & Son

Book Rating: 10/10

Unlikely road trip companions form an unexpected bond in an uplifting novel about the past—lost and found—by the New York Times and #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author.

Lewis Madigan is young, gay, out of work, and getting antsy when he’s roped into providing end-of-life care for his insufferable homophobic neighbor, Chester Wheeler. Lewis doesn’t need the aggravation, just the money. The only requirements: run errands, be on call, and put up with a miserable old churl no one else in Buffalo can bear. After exchanging barbs, bickering, baiting, and pushing buttons, Chester hits Lewis with the big ask.

Lewis can’t say no to a dying wish: drive Chester to Arizona in his rust bucket of a Winnebago to see his ex-wife for the first time in thirty-two years—for the last time. One week, two thousand miles. To Lewis, it becomes an illuminating journey into the life and secrets of a vulnerable man he’s finally beginning to understand. A neighbor, a stranger, and a surprising new friend whose closure on a conflicted past is also just beginning.

So Long, Chester Wheeler is an uplifting novel about looking deeper into the heart and soul to form bonds with the last people we’d expect—only to discover that they’re the ones who need it most.


Review:

Heartwarming, memorable, and affecting!

So Long, Chester Wheeler is a timely, sentimental story that sweeps you away into a bittersweet tale where grievances are aired, truths are acknowledged, truces are made, friendships are savoured, tears are shed, memories are created, last requests are honoured, lives are celebrated, and love is forged and shared.

The writing is smooth and heartfelt. The characters are sincere, genuine, and lovable. And the plot is a delightful blend of heart, hope, humour, nostalgia, drama, and emotion.

Overall, So Long, Chester Wheeler is, ultimately, a story about life, love, loss, dreams, heartbreak, friendship, family, and finding happiness, and I absolutely adored it. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and in the end, it left me smiling.

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Catherine Ryan Hyde

I am the author of more than 30 published and forthcoming books, including ALLIE AND BEA, SAY GOODBYE FOR NOW, LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER, ASK HIM WHY, WORTHY, THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS, TAKE ME WITH YOU, WHERE WE BELONG, WHEN I FOUND YOU, WALK ME HOME, SECOND HAND HEART, DON'T LET ME GO, and WHEN YOU WERE OLDER.

I'm an avid hiker, traveller, equestrian, and amateur photographer, and have released my first book of photos, 365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE: PHOTOS FROM A BEAUTIFUL WORLD.

I am co-author, with fellow author and publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE: A SELF-HELP GUIDE.

My novel PAY IT FORWARD was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries. The paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. Simon & Schuster released PAY IT FORWARD: YOUNG READERS' EDITION in August of '14. It is suitable for kids as young as eight. A special Fifteenth Anniversary Edition of the original PAY IT FORWARD was released in December of '14

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Secret of Elephants by Vasundra Tailor @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #TheSecretofElephants #VasundraTailor #LakeUnion

#BookReview The Secret of Elephants by Vasundra Tailor @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #TheSecretofElephants #VasundraTailor #LakeUnion Title: The Secret of Elephants

Author: Vasundra Tailor

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Sep. 1, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 318

Format: Paperback

Source: Thomas Allen & Son

Book Rating: 8/10

Navsari, India. Penniless and trapped in a loveless marriage, Nirmala spends her days anxiously caring for her sick young son, Varun. Looming over Nirmala’s impoverished home is an imposing mansion built by her grandfather, and from its balcony her cruel aunt scorns them, refusing to help in any way.

But when a mysterious letter addressed to her long-dead father arrives from Zimbabwe, it opens a door to a past Nirmala never knew existed and a future she never imagined possible. If the contents of the letter can be believed, not only does she have family in Africa, but they might also hold the answers to a family mystery that spans three generations.

While travelling to Zimbabwe might lead to a brighter future for Nirmala and her son, it could also reignite the bitter family feud that condemned her family to poverty. Nirmala is ready to risk it all to uncover the truth, but how will she cope when this journey changes her life forever?


Review:

Atmospheric, pensive, and moving!

The Secret of Elephants is an emotional tale predominantly set in Navsari, India, that takes you into the life of Nirmala, a young mother who, after her son is diagnosed with epilepsy and her loveless marriage finally falls apart, journeys to Zimbabwe after receiving an unexpected letter from a cousin she never knew she had to unravel her family’s history and discovery the secrets of her father’s past.

The prose is vibrant and expressive. The characters are multilayered, vulnerable, and troubled. And the plot is an intriguing, tender tale of life, loss, family, tragedy, secrets, betrayal, prejudice, segregation, caste division, and forgiveness.

Overall, The Secret of Elephants is a lush, intriguing, absorbing debut by Tailor that does a lovely job of blending historical events, intense emotion, and thought-provoking fiction.

 

This book is available now.

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

        

 

 

Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Vasundra Tailor

Vasundra Tailor was born in India and raised in Zimbabwe when it was called Rhodesia. She is a qualified pharmacist who completed her Masters in Pharmaceutical Microbiology at the University of Strathclyde. Based in London, she began her debut novel after obsessing about families currently living in a property in India which once belonged to her father. Curious about human relationships, she loves to meet people from diverse backgrounds and see how they connect with those around them.

Her novel extract won the second runner-up prize for the Mo Siewcharran Fiction Competition in November 2019.

#BookReview The London Girls by Soraya M. Lane @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #TheLondonGirls #SorayaMLane #LakeUnion

#BookReview The London Girls by Soraya M. Lane @ThomasAllenLTD @AmazonPub #TheLondonGirls #SorayaMLane #LakeUnion Title: The London Girls

Author: Soraya M. Lane

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Nov. 8, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 334

Format: Paperback

Source: Thomas Allen & Son

Book Rating: 9/10

From the bestselling author of The Last Correspondent comes a remarkable story of three young women who defy the bombs to do their bit for Britain. Will they survive the dark streets of London to see the Allies win the war?

London, 1941. The Blitz. When a Royal Navy memo arrives at head office, requesting female recruits to sign up as motorcycle dispatch riders, delivering highly classified orders across the country, three women jump at the chance to sign up for the most dangerous jobs in London.

Olivia grew up riding motorcycles with her brothers, and with them fighting abroad she feels it is her duty to join up. The thrill of adventure draws Ava, but with more enthusiasm than skill, will she learn to navigate the treacherous London streets safely? Having lost her family during one of the first air attacks, Florence knows how important it is to have help arrive on the scene—fast—and so she steps up, out-manoeuvring the men behind the wheel of an ambulance. When Olivia, Ava and Florence meet for the first time they know they have found something all of them need—family.

As bombs fall, decimating the city they love, these three brave women build a sisterhood amid the rumble, facing down anyone—even their own families—who objects to their service. And while romances bloom and fade, their connection grows ever stronger. But none of them dare consider the terrifying reality that one night Florence’s ambulance may be rescuing someone she loves…


Review:

Hopeful, heart-wrenching, and memorable!

The London Girls is an immersive, poignant tale set in London during WWII that takes you into the lives of three main characters. Ava Williamson, a daring, somewhat reckless young woman driven by overconfidence and a desire for a little more time and freedom to spend with her married lover; Olivia Blakely, an independent gal determined to use the motorcycle skills she was taught by her older brother to support the war effort however she can while she patiently awaits the return of her dearly beloved fiancé; and Florence Hughes a scarred ambulance driver who after losing her family when a bomb exploded on their home spends as many nights as possible trying to save those she can.

The prose is expressive and rich. The characters are independent, supportive, and courageous. And the plot is an intriguing, tender tale of life, loss, love, family, despair, sacrifices, tragedy, bravery, new beginnings, and the importance of female friendships.

Overall, The London Girls is an absorbing, moving, rollercoaster ride of emotion by Lane that does a wonderful job of showcasing the hard work, bravery, and danger involved in being one of the chosen female dispatch riders involved in transporting top-secret invaluable military information around the UK during WWII, and even though it’s surprisingly the first novel I’ve read by Lane, I can guarantee it won’t be my last.

 

This book is available now.

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

        

 

 

Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Soraya M. Lane

Soraya M. Lane graduated with a law degree before realizing that law wasn't the career for her and that her future was in writing. She is the author of historical and contemporary women's fiction, and her novel Wives of War was an Amazon Charts bestseller.

Soraya lives on a small farm in her native New Zealand with her husband, their two young sons and a collection of four legged friends. When she's not writing, she loves to be outside playing make-believe with her children or snuggled up inside reading.

Photo courtesy of Author's Amazon Page.

#BookReview The Deception by Kim Taylor Blakemore @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #TheDeception #KimTaylorBlakemore

#BookReview The Deception by Kim Taylor Blakemore @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #TheDeception #KimTaylorBlakemore Title: The Deception

Author: Kim Taylor Blakemore

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Sep. 27, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

A sleight of hand. A trick up the sleeve. A call for the dead. It’s all part of the game in this twisty tale by the bestselling author of After Alice Fell.

New Hampshire, 1877. Maud Price was once a celebrated child medium, a true believer in lifting the veil between the living and the dead. Now penniless, her guiding spirits gone, the so-called “Maid of Light” is desperate to regain her reputation—but doing so means putting her faith in deceiving others.

Clementine Watkins, known in spiritualist circles for her bag of tricks and utmost discretion, creates the sort of theatrics that can fill Maud’s parlor again, and with each misdirection, Maud’s fame is restored. But her guilt is a heavy burden. And the ruse has become a risk. Others are plotting to expose the fraud, and Clem can’t allow anyone—even Maud—to jeopardize the fortune the hoax has made her.

When the deception hints at a possible murder, Maud realizes how dangerous a game she’s playing. But to return to the light from which she’s strayed, she must first survive the darkness created by Clem’s smoke and mirrors.


Review:

Vivid, cunning, and mysterious!

The Deception is an eerie, sinister tale that transports you to New Hampshire during 1877 and into the lives of two main characters. Maud Price, a young woman who, after being a successful child medium, is struggling to make ends meet now that her connection to the afterlife has dwindled and her clientele are moving on, and Clementine Watkins, a selfish unscrupulous inventor driven by purely altruistic motives who finds the perfect partner to use, manipulate, and showcase her exceptional ability at creating illusions, theatrics, and misdirection.

The prose is tight and gritty. The characters are vulnerable, troubled, and resourceful. And the plot is a menacing tale about life, loss, tragedy, desperation, lies, manipulation, ruthless ambition, familial drama, secrets, and supernatural phenomena.

Overall, The Deception is a dark, gothic, intense novel by Blakemore that does a wonderful job of interweaving historical movements and compelling fiction into a 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 Kim Taylor Blakemore for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kim Taylor Blakemore

Kim Taylor Blakemore is the author of the historical mysteries THE COMPANION and AFTER ALICE FELL (March 2021). Publishers Weekly calls The Companion a "captivating tale of psychological suspense."

Other novels include BOWERY GIRL a NYPL Best Reads for Teens; and CISSY FUNK, a Willa Literary Award winner for Best YA Novel.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers and Historical Novel Society. She and her family reside in the Pacific Northwest, and she loves the rain. Truly.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

  

#BookReview All the Lies They Did Not Tell by Pablo Trincia (translated by Elettra Pauletto) @pablotrincia @AmazonPub @OverTheRiverPR #AlltheLiesTheyDidNotTell #PabloTrincia #AmazonCrossing #OTRPR

#BookReview All the Lies They Did Not Tell by Pablo Trincia (translated by Elettra Pauletto) @pablotrincia @AmazonPub @OverTheRiverPR #AlltheLiesTheyDidNotTell #PabloTrincia #AmazonCrossing #OTRPR Title: All the Lies They Did Not Tell

Author: Pablo Trincia, Elettra Pauletto

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Aug. 1, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Nonfiction

Pages: 236

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Amazon Publishing, OTRPR

Book Rating: 8/10

In 1997 a six-year-old boy questioned by authorities relayed disturbing stories of abuse. The more he talked, the more people were implicated in his shocking revelations. And he was only the first child to come forward. 

Within a year, in two towns of the Bassa region of Italy, fifteen more children with similar tales were taken from their families and transferred to protected locations. Their parents were accused of belonging to a sect of satanic pedophiles who performed nighttime rituals in cemeteries under the guidance of a well-known local priest, Don Giorgio Govoni. With each child’s confession, the network of monsters they described grew and involved fathers, mothers, brothers, uncles, and acquaintances.  

Except there were no adult witnesses and only circumstantial evidence. No one ever saw or heard anything. What was really happening in the Bassa Modenese? Italian investigative journalist Pablo Trincia returned to the scene of the crimes to find the answer. Together with his colleague Alessia Rafanelli, Trincia spent three years examining court records, interviewing experts and people involved, and visiting the places where the events took place. And the truth he uncovered is as terrifying as the lies. 

“I quickly realized that this was not a story about pedophilia or Satanism,” Trincia explains. “It was much bigger than that. It had to do with mass hysteria, false memories, the justice system, the foster care system and much more.”


Review:

Complex, disturbing, and dark!

All the Lies They Did Not Tell is the inconceivable, eye-opening investigation of one of the most horrifying miscarriages of justice to ever rock the country of Italy that started with the poorly substantiated testimony of torture, sexual abuse, and satanic violence from one young boy, Dario, and which quickly escalated into the removal of a multitude children from their homes, shattered families, imprisonments, suicides, acquittals, and a community forever shattered by fear and scandal.

The writing is detailed and precise. And the novel is an absorbing, compelling tale of one man’s dogged determination to uncover and expose the true story of the satanic panic of the late 1990s, known as “the Devils of the Bassa Modenese.”

Overall, All the Lies They Did Not Tell is a tragic, frightening, exceptionally well-researched novel by Trincia that is a scary reminder that things are not always as they seem and those in authority often coerce, act unprofessionally, make mistakes, see what they want to see, and intentionally or unintentionally, especially when it comes to children, fall prey to confirmation bias.

 

This book is available now.

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

      

 

 

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

 

About Elettra Pauletto

Elettra Pauletto translates from Italian and French into English. Her writing and translations have appeared in Harper’s, Guernica, and Quartz, while her book translations have spanned a range of subjects, including music, art, and narrative nonfiction. She earned her MFA in creative writing and translation from Columbia University and now divides her time between Italy and western Massachusetts.

About Pablo Trincia

Pablo Trincia has worked as an award-winning correspondent and writer for print media, TV, and the web. In 2017, he and his colleague Alessia Rafanelli wrote the podcast Veleno, a highly acclaimed investigative audio series released in eight episodes on repubblica.it. The investigation reopened the case of the Devils of the Bassa Modenese, one of the darkest and most controversial cases the Italian legal system has tackled in recent years.

 

#BookReview The Unknown Beloved by Amy Harmon @aharmon_author @AmazonPub @ThomasAllenLTD #TheUnknownBeloved #AmyHarmon #LakeUnion

#BookReview The Unknown Beloved by Amy Harmon @aharmon_author @AmazonPub @ThomasAllenLTD #TheUnknownBeloved #AmyHarmon #LakeUnion Title: The Unknown Beloved

Author: Amy Harmon

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Apr. 19, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 414

Format: Paperback

Source: Thomas Allen & Son

Book Rating: 9/10

From the bestselling author of Where the Lost Wander and What the Wind Knows comes the evocative story of two people whose paths collide against the backdrop of mystery, murder, and the Great Depression.

Chicago, 1923: Ten-year-old Dani Flanagan returns home to find police swarming the house, her parents dead. Michael Malone, the young patrolman assigned to the case, discovers there’s more to the situation—and to Dani Flanagan herself—than the authorities care to explore. Malone is told to shut his mouth, and Dani is sent away to live with her spinster aunts in Cleveland.

Fifteen years later, Michael Malone is summoned to Cleveland to investigate a series of murders that have everyone stumped, including his friend and famed Prohibition agent Eliot Ness, now Cleveland’s director of safety. There, in a city caught in the grip of a serial killer, Malone’s and Dani’s paths cross once again.

Malone is drawn to Dani and her affinity for the dead and compassion for the destitute. It doesn’t take long for him to realize that she could help him solve his case. As terror descends on the city and Malone and Dani confront the dark secrets that draw them together, it’s a race to find the killer or risk becoming his next victims.


Review:

Absorbing, intense, and evocative!

The Unknown Beloved is a gripping, suspenseful tale predominantly set in Cleveland in the late 1930s when the city was still feeling the devastating effects of the depression, poverty was still rampant, mobsters were finally getting their comeuppance, and a serial killer, appropriately named “The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run” had Michael Malone pounding the pavement undercover, and using intuition, intelligence, instincts, and the help of the lovely Dani Kos and her special ability to see through touch to try and stop his reign of terror.

The prose is rich and expressive. The characters are complex, flawed, and tenacious. And the plot, including all the subplots, seamlessly intertwine and unravel into an immersive tale of life, loss, duty, deception, manipulation, depravity, violence, murder, magical realism, and the intricacies of policing in the early twentieth century.

I have yet to read a novel by Harmon that I didn’t really enjoy, and The Unknown Beloved is no exception. It’s a tense, taut, riveting tale loosely based on a real-life crime that reminds us that taking down the evil that loves to hide amongst normality has always been a painstakingly dangerous job performed by selfless, often humble, unknown heroes.

This novel is available now.

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

             

 

 

Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Amy Harmon

Amy Harmon is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and New York Times Bestselling author. Amy knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Her books are now being published in eighteen languages, truly a dream come true for a little country girl from Levan, Utah.

Amy Harmon has written fourteen novels including the USA Today Bestsellers, Making Faces and Running Barefoot, as well as The Law of Moses, Infinity + One and the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue. Her fantasy novel, The Bird and the Sword, was a Goodreads Book of the Year finalist. Her newest release, What the Wind Knows, is an Amazon charts bestseller.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Moment in Time by Suzanne Redfearn @SuzanneRedfearn @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #MomentinTime #SuzanneRedfearn

#BookReview Moment in Time by Suzanne Redfearn @SuzanneRedfearn @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #MomentinTime #SuzanneRedfearn Title: Moment in Time

Author: Suzanne Redfearn

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on Mar. 8, 2022

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

From the bestselling author of In an Instant comes a heartrending story about the power of friendship during the most challenging moments in life.

It’s been eight years since a tragic accident changed Mo Kaminski’s and Chloe Miller’s lives forever. Now in their midtwenties, they’re sharing an apartment in San Francisco and navigating the normal challenges of early adulthood. Along with their roommate, Hazel, they are making their marks on the world—Mo revolutionizing the news with her media start-up, Hazel using her big brain to anticipate the future, and Chloe rescuing abandoned strays in the city.

But when Hazel disappears after being sexually assaulted, Mo’s and Chloe’s lives are again suddenly ripped apart. And when the perpetrator turns up drugged and beaten, the mystery of where Hazel is deepens. Intensely worried and desperate to discover the truth, they set out to find Hazel and bring her home.

Mo and Chloe are no strangers to tragedy, but this journey will test them in ways they never imagined. The stakes are high; the future uncertain; the need for justice essential.

Will their commitment to their friend bring them closer together—or ultimately drive them apart?


Review:

Intricate, compelling, and dark!

Moment in Time is a complex, sobering novel that takes you into the lives of Mo and Chloe, two young women who, after their roommate is drugged and sexually assaulted, careen down a path of retribution, revenge, and recovery that involves a misogynistic police officer with aggressive and obsessive tendencies, a perpetrator with no conscious and a history littered with allegations, and a victim running to find peace and quiet after her world has been violently shattered.

The writing is tight and intense. The characters are impulsive, troubled, and naive. And the plot is a taut, twisty tale of life, love, friendship, grief, guilt, drama, tragedy, justice, and introspection.

Overall, Moment in Time allowed me to step back into the lives of some of the characters from Redfearn’s other books, and even though it didn’t pack the emotional punch of In An Instant, which was one of my favourite books of 2020, it still tackled some difficult themes and kept me engaged and entertained 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 Suzanne Redfearn for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Suzanne Redfearn

Suzanne Redfearn is the award-winning author of three novels: Hush Little Baby, No Ordinary Life, and In an Instant. In addition to being an author, she’s also an architect specializing in residential and commercial design. She lives in Laguna Beach, California, where she and her husband own two restaurants: Lumberyard and Slice Pizza and Beer.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.