Source: Publishers Group Canada

#BookReview Forgotten on Sunday by Valérie Perrin (translated by Hildegarde Serle) @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #ForgottenOnSunday #ValeriePerrin #PGCBooks #EuropaEditions

#BookReview Forgotten on Sunday by Valérie Perrin (translated by Hildegarde Serle) @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #ForgottenOnSunday #ValeriePerrin #PGCBooks #EuropaEditions Title: Forgotten on Sunday

Author: Valérie Perrin

Published by: Europa Editions on Jun. 14, 2024

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 316

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

An unforgettable story about an unlikely friendship and about healing the wounds of a broken past from the million-copy bestselling author of Fresh Water for Flowers.

Justine is 21 years old and has lived with her grandparents and her cousin Jules since the death of her parents. As a nursing assistant at a retirement home, she spends much of her days listening to her residents’ stories. 

After bonding with Hélène, an almost 100-year-old resident, the two women slowly reveal their stories to one another. Whilst Justine helps Hélène to relive her memories of love and war, Hélène encourages Justine to confront the secrets of her own past, and the loss she keeps buried deep within. 

One day, a mysterious phone detailing a shocking revelation shakes the retirement home to its core. At once humorous and melancholic, Valérie Perrin’s novel depicts the consequences of undeclared love and, in her inimitable way, portrays once again how the past is never really past.


Review:

Captivating, melancholic, and sensitive!

Forgotten on Sunday is a heart-tugging, character-driven tale set in France during the 1930s, as well as present day, that takes you into the lives of two main characters. Justine, a young nursing aide who after being raised by her grandparents from an early age after the sudden loss of her parents, spends her days caring for the elderly and writing down all the stories they choose to share, and Hélène a ninety-six-year-old woman who as her life slowly comes to an end reveals a well-lived life that was bursting with passion, pain, tragedy, and war.

The prose is elegant and rich. The characters are troubled, sympathetic, and endearing. And the plot is a moving tale about life, love, loss, lies, emotion, betrayal, family, friendship, secrets, heartbreak, guilt, grief, hope, and regret.

Overall, Forgotten on Sunday is another immersive, touching, astute tale by Perrin that highlights once again her innate ability to delve into all the messy emotional and psychological entanglements that exist between family members, lovers, and friends, and proves why year after year her novels garner enormous amounts of high praise.

 

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

 

About Valérie Perrin

Valérie Perrin was born in 1967 in Remiremont, in the Vosges Mountains, France. She grew up in Burgundy and settled in Paris in 1986. Her novel The Forgotten Sunday (2015) won the Booksellers Choice Award and the paperback edition has been long-selling best-seller since publication. Her English-language debut, Fresh Water for Flowers (Europa, 2020) won the Maison de la Presse Prize, the Paperback Readers Prize, and was named a 2020 ABA Indies Introduce and Indie Next List title. It has been translated into over thirty languages. Figaro Littéraire named Perrin one of the ten best-selling authors in France in 2019, and in Italy, Fresh Water for Flowers was the best selling book of 2020. Perrin now lives in Normandy.

Photo © Valentin Lauvergne

#BookReview They Thought I Was Dead: Sandy’s Story by Peter James @peterjamesuk @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #PeterJames #TheyThoughtIWasDead #RoyGrace #PGCBooks

#BookReview They Thought I Was Dead: Sandy’s Story by Peter James @peterjamesuk @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #PeterJames #TheyThoughtIWasDead #RoyGrace #PGCBooks Title: They Thought I Was Dead: Sandy's Story

Author: Peter James

Series: Roy Grace #20

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 23, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Peter James, international bestselling author of the Roy Grace series, returns with a standalone novel revealing the truth behind Sandy Grace’s dramatic disappearance.

Some will know how it begins.

Her name is Sandy. You might know her as the loving wife of Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. But there’s more to her than meets the eye. A woman with a dubious past, a complicated present and an uncertain future. Then she was gone.

Some will know how it ends.

Her disappearance caused a nationwide search. Even the best detective on the force couldn’t find her. They thought she was dead.

But nobody knows this…

Where did she go? Why did she run? What would cause a woman to leave her whole life behind and simply vanish? For the first time, award-winning crime writer Peter James lays bare what really happened to Sandy Grace. They Thought I Was Dead will thrill fans and new readers alike with its gripping story of a woman on the run. This is Sandy’s story.


Review:

Tense, menacing, and gritty!

They Thought I Was Dead is a clever, captivating mystery that takes us back to the beginning and into the life of Sandy Grace, the elusive first wife of Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, whose reckless behaviour leaves his world irrevocably turned upside down and hers on a fast road to ruin.

The writing is brisk and tight. The characters are multilayered, vulnerable, and impulsive. And the plot is a sinister tale full of twists, turns, deception, mayhem, lies, secrets, suspicious personalities, revelations, addiction, and murder.

I have to say that die-hard fans of the Roy Grace series will be absolutely thrilled with this latest outing by James. They Thought I Was Dead is an ominous, sophisticated, entertaining tale that finally gives readers the insight and answers they’ve been waiting for.

 

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

 

About Peter James

Peter James is the international bestselling author of many award-winning novels. His Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series, set in Brighton, has been translated into thirty-seven languages with worldwide sales of over eighteen million copies, and has given him eleven consecutive Sunday Times number ones. In 2015 WHSmith customers publicly voted him the Greatest Crime Author of All Time and in 2016 he became the recipient of the coveted CWA Diamond Dagger lifetime achievement award for sustained excellence. Peter has also written a short story collection, A Twist of the Knife, and his standalone titles include Perfect People and The House on Cold Hill. He has also co-written a non-fiction account of Brighton’s toughest cases with former detective Graham Bartlett entitled Death Comes Knocking. The Perfect Murder, Dead Simple and Not Dead Enough have all been turned into smash-hit stage plays. All his novels reflect his deep interest in the world of the police. Three of his novels have been filmed and before becoming a full-time author he produced numerous films, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons. He divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill, London and near Brighton in Sussex.

#BookReview A Good Life by Virginie Grimaldi (translated by Hildegarde Serle) @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #AGoodLife #VirginieGrimaldi #PGCBooks #EuropaEditions

#BookReview A Good Life by Virginie Grimaldi (translated by Hildegarde Serle) @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #AGoodLife #VirginieGrimaldi #PGCBooks #EuropaEditions Title: A Good Life

Author: Virginie Grimaldi

Published by: Europa Editions on Jun. 7, 2024

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Full of humor and compassion, a profound exploration of sisterhood, healing, and the ineffable beauty of life from France‘s most beloved contemporary novelist

Laughter, tears, the transformative power of love, unexpected revelations, and striking natural these are the ingredients that combine to make best-selling author Virginie Grimaldi’s American debut the feel-good read of 2024. Grimaldi is among France’s top ten contemporary authors and her uplifting, unputdownable literary novels have quickly garnered her millions of adoring fans. This, her American debut, is among her most delicately wrought and emotionally compelling novels to date. 

Emma and Agathe are sisters. They were thick as thieves when they were young but have always been as different as can be. Agathe, the younger sister, is disorderly, chaotic, and fiery. Five years older, Emma has always been the more mature sister, the defender, the protector, the worrier. Their relationship as adults is scarred by a tragedy that transformed their happy, ordinary childhoods into something much more complex and challenging. For a long time, Emma hasn’t wanted to be involved in Agathe’s life. But then they must return together to the Basque Country, to the house of their adored grandmother, to empty out her home and in the process to reconcile, to remember, and to pour out what is in their hearts. 

The story alternates between Agathe and Emma’s childhood and their present day, with everything in between, and readers see them as young girls, teenagers, young women, mothers, wives, partners, individuals, sisters. This is a story that encompasses whole lives, complex lives, women’s lives, asking all the while how the scars of the past can be healed and what, in the end, is a good life.


Review:

Tender, sincere, and memorable!

A Good Life is an intimate, poignant tale that sweeps you away to France and immerses you into the lives of two sisters, Emma and Agathe, as after being estranged for several years, they come together to clean out their late grandmother’s home and discover how to accept the things they cannot change, confront a past littered with tragedy and heartbreak, acknowledge and repair long-strained relationships, and ultimately learn to savour every moment.

The writing is effortless and polished. The characters are multi-layered, genuine, and scarred. And the plot, including all the subplots, skillfully intertwines and unravels into a delightfully touching tale about life, love, loss, guilt, grief, family drama, secrets, happiness, self-discovery, and sisterhood.

Overall, A Good Life is a beautiful mix of hope, heart, and healing that is not only a humorous, emotive, lovely novel by Virginie Grimaldi but one which I don’t think anyone could possibly read and not be completely absorbed and moved.

 

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

 

About Virginie Grimaldi

Virginie Grimaldi was born in 1977 in Bordeaux, where she still lives. She is the author of nine novels and was the most read French writer for three consecutive years (in 2019, 2020, and 2021). Her novels have been bestsellers in Europe and have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Photo Pascal Ito © Flammarion.

#BookReview Death on the Lusitania by R. L. Graham @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #DeathOnTheLusitania #RLGraham #PGCBooks

#BookReview Death on the Lusitania by R. L. Graham @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #DeathOnTheLusitania #RLGraham #PGCBooks Title: Death on the Lusitania

Author: R. L. Graham

Series: Patrick Gallagher #1

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Apr. 2, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Welcome on board the Lusitania’s final voyage . . .

New York, 1915. RMS Lusitania, one of the world’s most luxurious trans-Atlantic liners, departs for Liverpool and war-torn Europe. Among those on board is Patrick Gallagher, a civil servant in Her Majesty’s government tasked with discreetly escorting a British diplomat back to England in relation to charges of suspected treason.

When a fellow passenger, Jimmy Dowrich, is found shot to death in his cabin, the captain asks Gallagher to investigate. Knowing something of the man’s past, Gallagher realizes that the problem will not be simple; and also, the body was discovered in a locked cabin with the key inside and no gun to be found.

Gallagher believes that one of his fellow passengers is a deadly killer. But many of those on board are harbouring secrets of their own, and his questioning reveals that several had a motive for ending Dowrich’s life. He fears that the killer could strike again to protect their true reasons for being on board and all the while, the ship sails on towards Europe, where deadly submarines patrol the war zone . . .


Review:

Mysterious, captivating, and atmospheric!

Death on the Lusitania is an Agatha Christie-like murder mystery set during 1915 on the infamous HMS Lusitania that features the savvy Patrick Gallagher who, when shortly after departure from New York, one of the travellers winds up dead in a locked cabin with no murder weapon in sight, endeavours to a find the murderer onboard amongst a passenger list riddled with secrets, deception, and ulterior motives.

The prose is descriptive and light. The characters are multi-layered, intriguing, and secretive. And the plot is a well-paced, locked-door style whodunit full of red herrings, suspects, amateur sleuthing, deduction, danger and, of course, a touch of the unexpected.

Overall, Death on the Lusitania is the first book in the Patrick Gallagher series, and if you love historical mysteries, this one won’t disappoint. It’s an entertaining, cosy, satisfying debut by the writing duo of Graham, and I can only hope, even with the tragic loss of one half of this dynamic team, that there is still more to come.

 

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

 

About R. L. Graham

R. L. Graham is a husband-and-wife team of historians and writers with a broad range of interests in many periods of history, including the belle époque and the tumultuous years leading up to the First World War and the post-war re-ordering of the world.

They are very much drawn to the shadowy world of crime, espionage and political intrigue. They are particularly fascinated by historical mysteries: things which have happened but have no apparent explanation. Originally from Canada, they now live in a small village in Devon. Marilyn Livingstone, one half of R. L. Graham, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer while this book was being written. She passed away in September 2023.

#BookReview The Dredge by Brendan Flaherty @PGCBooks @groveatlantic #TheDredge #BrendanFlaherty #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Dredge by Brendan Flaherty @PGCBooks @groveatlantic #TheDredge #BrendanFlaherty #PGCBooks Title: The Dredge

Author: Brendan Flaherty

Published by: Atlantic Monthly Press on Mar. 5, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 240

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

n Brendan Flaherty’s debut novel, two estranged brothers must confront the violence of the past when they find out a pond where they played as children will be dredged.

After some traumatic teenaged years in rural Connecticut, Cale and Ambrose Casey had nothing left to say to each other. Cale ran off to Hawaii to sell luxury real estate. Ambrose stayed behind and built up his construction company. Neither thought they’d be in touch again and were glad for it—until they learned of a real estate developer’s plan to drain and expand Gibbs Pond.

Nearly 30 years before, the Casey brothers buried a secret in that pond, which fell somewhere between self-defense and family preservation.

Lily Rowe, the contractor in charge of the dredging, can also trace her roots—and her trauma—to the banks of Gibbs Pond. After a childhood that saw her and her brother yanked across the country by her abusive father, it was here where she finally stayed put, even if they didn’t. But as ambitious as Lily is, and as much as she wants answers of her own, her family also has secrets to protect. 

Now, the haunted lives of Cale, Ambrose, and Lily collide once more as they reunite to unearth the devastation of the past.


Review:

Intricate, gritty, and unsettling!

The Dredge is a compelling, absorbing tale that transports you to Macoun, Connecticut, and into the lives of members of both the Rowe and Casey families as the past suddenly collides with the present when a developer decides to dredge Gibbs Pond and more than one person is on edge and threatened by the long-buried secrets it may finally bring to light.

The writing is tight and intense. The characters are vulnerable, impulsive, and scarred. And the plot, using a back-and-forth style, intertwines and unravels seamlessly into an engrossing tale full of lies, deception, abuse, desperation, manipulation, familial drama, troubled pasts, unusual friendships, troubling behaviours, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Dredge is a dark, atmospheric, promising debut by Flaherty that kept me enthralled from the very first page and left me entertained, satisfied, and eager to read whatever his deliciously sinister mind manages to come up with next. 

 

This book is available now.

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

 

About Brendan Flaherty

Brendan Flaherty is from outside Hartford. He went to Washington University in St. Louis, and received his MFA from Boston University, where he was awarded the Saul Bellow prize. The Dredge is his debut novel.

Photo by Luke Wayne Photography

#BookReview The Escape by Ruth Kelly @ruthywriter @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheEscape #RuthKelly #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Escape by Ruth Kelly @ruthywriter @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheEscape #RuthKelly #PGCBooks Title: The Escape

Author: Ruth Kelly

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jan. 23, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

The grander the house. The darker the secrets.

From bestselling author Ruth Kelly, The Escape is an electrifying winter read for fans of Lisa Jewell and Sarah Pearse.

The Perfect Escape

When struggling influencer couple Adele and Jack post a crowdfunding video online, they’re amazed when a mysterious benefactor offers to buy them an idyllic 17th century French château. It’s the lifeline they need to leave all their troubles behind and patch up their relationship after a rocky period.

The Influencer

For Adele, it’s a dream come true. She will post videos from the fairy tale setting, renovating the grand building as thousands of online subscribers follow their journey. But the château is not all it seems and the local community is far from welcoming.

The Sister

Then Adele’s videos suddenly stop. Her sister Erin travels to France to make sure she’s okay but the couple have vanished. Between the obsession of Adele’s fans, the unsettling history of the building and the claustrophobic secrecy of the nearby town, Erin must unravel the shocking truth behind why the anonymous investor gifted Adele and Jack their dream home in the first place . . .


Review:

Dark, ominous, and unnerving!

The Escape is an intense, well-crafted tale that takes us into the life of Erin, a young woman who, after her social media influencer sister vanishes without a trace, travels to France to uncover what truly happened inside the run-down French chateau she was gifted to renovate by a mysterious benefactor.

The writing is sharp and menacing. The characters are self-involved, adventurous, and exposed. And the plot is an intricate, tension-filled tall full of mischief, mayhem, secrets, deception, manipulation, shocking revelations, lies, indulgence, depravity, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Escape is a sinister, atmospheric, twisty whodunit by Kelly that does a splendid job of highlighting just how vulnerable and susceptible technology and social media makes us and reminds us just how far some people are willing to go to protect the ability to keep their deviant proclivities consistently available and hidden from normal society.

 

This novel is available now.

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

 

About Ruth Kelly

Ruth Kelly is an award-winning journalist who has ghosted a string of Sunday Times top ten bestsellers - most recently The Prison Doctor, which sold over 250,000 copies, and The Governor, which went straight in at number one on the Amazon charts and number five in the Sunday Times bestseller list. The Villa is Ruth's debut thriller. She's drawn inspiration from her years working as a reporter for national newspapers as well as her experience writing for TV shows, most notably with Endemol, the creators of the original reality show Big Brother.

#BookReview How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage by Dr Amir Khan @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #DrAmirKhan #PGCBooks #HowNotToHaveAnArrangedMarriage

#BookReview How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage by Dr Amir Khan @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #DrAmirKhan #PGCBooks #HowNotToHaveAnArrangedMarriage Title: How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage

Author: Dr. Amir Khan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jan. 9, 2024

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 480

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A debut novel following the adventures of a young Muslim student doctor torn between his traditional family and his heart.

He’s the perfect catch (according to his mother).

Yousef is the golden child to his strict, Pakistani parents, overshadowing his younger sister, Rehana. As he finishes his medical degree in London, Yousef’s life appears to be mapped out for him: become a doctor, marry a suitable girl of his parents’ choosing and, above all, make his family proud. Then Yosef meets Jess.

A fellow medical student, Jess presents a complication to the plan. Suddenly, Yousef finds himself torn between two worlds – keeping each a secret from the other.

And as graduation day looms, Yousef’s mother informs him that she’s started looking for his wife.

Amir Khan’s How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage is a timely, heartfelt novel which looks at all aspects of modern arranged marriages.


Review:

Astute, passionate, and compelling!

How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage is a fresh, heartwarming tale that takes you into the life of Yousef Ahmed, a hardworking Muslim young man, as he struggles to juggle a demanding career, a whole slew of familial expectations, and a deep, everlasting love for a woman his family will never approve of.

The prose is heartfelt and light. The characters are kind, independent, and intelligent. And the plot is a push-pull tale of familial responsibility, intrusive parents, witty banter, tender moments, goals, expectations, secrets, friendship, chemistry, introspection, honesty, and love.

Overall, How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage has everything you look for in a rom-com novel, as well as the added bonus of a touch of culture, traditions, parental pressures, and timely issues.

 

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

 

About Dr. Amir Khan

Author Photo - Dr. Amir Khan

Dr Amir Khan is a full-time GP and best selling author working in inner city Bradford.

Amir is a resident doctor for ITV’s Lorraine and Good Morning Britain and has recently been seen hosting Dr Amir’s Sugar Crash (Channel 5) and You Are What You Eat (Channel 5) with Trisha Goddard.

Amir is president of the RSPB, vice president of The Wildlife Trusts and an ambassador for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and Butterfly Conservation, working closely with them to ensure access to green spaces for inner-city children and spreading the word on how being outside with nature is good for health. When he is not in surgery or on TV, Amir spends his time gardening, baking, running and supporting wildlife conservation.

He is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Doctor Will See You Now. How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage is his first novel.

#BookReview Restless Dolly Maunder by Kate Grenville @PGCBooks @canongatebooks #RestlessDollyMaunder #KateGrenville #PGCBooks

#BookReview Restless Dolly Maunder by Kate Grenville @PGCBooks @canongatebooks #RestlessDollyMaunder #KateGrenville #PGCBooks Title: Restless Dolly Maunder

Author: Kate Grenville

Published by: Canongate Books Ltd on Nov. 2, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 256

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The international bestselling author of The Secret River and A Room Made of Leaves returns with a fictionalised account of her grandmother’s life, commemorating a strong female character making the best out of the times and society she was born in.

Dolly Maunder is born at the end of the nineteenth century, when society’s long-locked doors are just starting to creak ajar for determined women. Growing up in a poor farming family in rural New South Wales, Dolly spends her life doggedly pushing at those doors. A husband and two children do not deter her from searching for love and independence.

Restless Dolly Maunder is a subversive, triumphant tale of a pioneering woman working her way through a world of limits and obstacles, who is able – despite the cost – to make a life she could call her own.


Review:

Nostalgic, sensitive, and intriguing!

Restless Dolly Maunder is an absorbing, fictional biography that sweeps you away to New South Wales during the late 1800s and into the life of the author’s maternal grandmother, Dolly Maunder, a woman who, after always craving something more than the simple farm life she only ever knew, successfully acquires business after business, from shops to boardinghouses to pubs, while at the same time creating a distance between herself and her children who were often left feeling disappointed, neglected and unloved. 

The prose is insightful and authentic. The characters are strong, intelligent, and enterprising. And the plot is a tender tale of life, loss, love, family, sacrifice, determination, history, tragedy, selfishness, and ambition.

Overall, Restless Dolly Maunder is a heartfelt, illuminating, personal family tale by Grenville that reminds us that families are complicated and messy and the choices we make often have far-reaching consequences.

 

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

 

About Kate Grenville

Kate Grenville's bestselling novel The Secret River received the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award. The Idea of Perfection won the Orange Prize. Grenville's other novels include Sarah Thornhill, The Lieutenant, Lilian's Story, Dark Places, Joan Makes History and A Room Made of
Leaves.

#BookReview Voices of the Dead by Ambrose Parry @ambroseparry @canongatebooks @PGCBooks #VoicesoftheDead #RavenFisherSimpsonSeries #AmbroseParry #PGCBooks

#BookReview Voices of the Dead by Ambrose Parry @ambroseparry @canongatebooks @PGCBooks #VoicesoftheDead #RavenFisherSimpsonSeries #AmbroseParry #PGCBooks Title: Voices of the Dead

Author: Ambrose Parry

Series: Raven Fisher and Simpson #4

Published by: Canongate Books Ltd on Sep. 26, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

EDINBURGH, 1853.
In a city of science, discovery can be deadly . . .

In a time of unprecedented scientific discovery, the public’s appetite for wonder has seen a resurgence of interest in mesmerism, spiritualism and other unexplained phenomena.

Dr Will Raven is wary of the shadowlands that lie between progress and quackery, but Sarah Fisher can’t afford to be so picky. Frustrated in her medical ambitions, she sees opportunity in a new therapeutic field not already closed off to women.

Raven has enough on his hands as it is. Body parts have been found at Surgeons’ Hall, and they’re not anatomy specimens. In a city still haunted by the crimes of Burke and Hare, he is tasked with heading off a scandal.

When further human remains are found, Raven is able to identify a prime suspect, and the hunt is on before he kills again. Unfortunately, the individual he seeks happens to be an accomplished actor, a man of a thousand faces and a renowned master of disguise.

With the lines between science and spectacle dangerously blurred, the stage is set for a grand and deadly illusion . . .


Review:

Atmospheric, absorbing, and intriguing!

Voices of the Dead is a mysterious, engaging tale that takes us back to Edinburgh during 1853 and into the lives of both Dr Will Raven, who finds a reprieve from family life when he is called to Surgeon’s Hall regarding the discovery of a severed foot and a missing professor, and Sarah Fisher who after stumbling into the world of mesmerism temporarily contemplates specializing in the field when her frustration over the fact her gender will never allow her to become the qualified doctor she wishes be has her looking for something more.

The prose is tense and tight. The characters are determined, reliable, and loyal. And the plot is a menacing tale full of twists, turns, revelations, insecurities, life, duty, friendship, misdirection, trickery, and murder.

Overall, Voices of the Dead is another complex, sophisticated, perilous tale in the Raven, Fisher, Simpson series by the Parry duo that does a wonderful job of interweaving historical facts and compelling fiction into a suspenseful mystery that is not only captivating but highly entertaining.

 

 

This novel is available now.

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

 

About Ambrose Parry

Ambrose Parry is a pseudonym for a collaboration between Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman. The couple are married and live in Scotland. Chris Brookmyre is the international bestselling and multi-award-winning author of over twenty novels. Dr Marisa Haetzman is a consultant anaesthetist of twenty years' experience, whose research for her Master's degree in the History of Medicine uncovered the material upon which this series, which begun with The Way of All Flesh, is based. The Way of all Flesh was longlisted for both the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award and the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year.

#BookReview Past Lying by Val McDermid @valmcdermid @PGCBooks #PastLying #InspectorKarenPirie #ValMcDermid #PGCBooks

#BookReview Past Lying by Val McDermid @valmcdermid @PGCBooks #PastLying #InspectorKarenPirie #ValMcDermid #PGCBooks Title: Past Lying

Author: Val McDermid

Series: Inspector Karen Pirie #7

Published by: Atlantic Monthly Press on Nov. 14, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 464

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

In this superb new addition to Val McDermid’s masterful crime series, DCI Karen Pirie returns in a propulsive thriller of deceit and vengeance, set against the disquiet of a global pandemic

Britain’s reigning “Queen of Crime” (The Scotsman), Val McDermid is the award-winning, internationally bestselling author of over thirty novels. The long-awaited seventh novel in the acclaimed series that has captivated audiences for twenty years, both on the page and now in the Edgar Award–nominated ITV/BritBox show, Past Lying is a full tilt novel of ego, retribution, deceit, and just how far one will go to settle the score.

It’s April 2020 and Edinburgh is in lockdown. It would seem like a strange time for a cold case to go hot—the streets all but empty, an hour’s outdoor exercise the maximum allowed—but a mere pandemic doesn’t mean crime takes a holiday. When a source at the National Library contacts DCI Karen Pirie’s team about documents in the archive of a recently deceased crime novelist, it seems it’s game on again. At the center of it, a novel: two crime novelists facing off over a chessboard. But it quickly emerges that their real-life competition is drawing blood. What unspools is a twisted game of betrayal and revenge, and as Karen and her team attempt to disentangle fact from fiction, it becomes clear that their investigation is more complicated than they ever imagined.

A tense, atmospheric page-turner, Past Lying reaffirms McDermid as one of the most talented crime writers of her generation.


Review:

Sharp, intricate, and gripping!

Past Lying is a well-paced, enthralling police procedural that sees Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie and her HCU team investigating the case of a missing woman during the deserted streets of lockdown when an archivist stumbles on an unpublished manuscript of a recently deceased author that seems to represent life imitating art involving two authors and the perfect crime.

The writing is compelling and tight. The characters are intelligent, multilayered, and persistent. And the plot, set during the COVID pandemic, is an intense, mysterious tale filled with twists, turns, deception, infidelity, revenge, jealousy, red herrings, suspicious personalities, lies, secrets, deduction, greed, and murder.

Overall, Past Lying is another complex, intriguing, atmospheric addition to the Karen Pirie series by McDermid that ultimately left me surprised, engrossed, and undoubtedly confident that this is still a must-read series for me.

 

This book is available now.

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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.