Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

#BookReview The Celestial Wife by Leslie Howard @SimonSchusterCA #TheCelestialWife #LeslieHoward #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Celestial Wife by Leslie Howard @SimonSchusterCA #TheCelestialWife #LeslieHoward #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Celestial Wife

Author: Leslie Howard

Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on Apr. 9, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

A young fundamentalist Mormon girl facing a forced marriage escapes her strict, polygamist community and comes of age in the tumultuous 1960s in this captivating novel inspired by shockingly true events.

Keep sweet no matter what, for this is the way to be lifted up
Keep sweet with every breath, for it is a matter of life or death

1964. Fifteen-year-old Daisy Shoemaker dreams of life beyond her small, isolated fundamentalist Mormon community of Redemption on the Canada—US border—despite Bishop Thorsen’s warning that the outside world is full of sin. According to the Principle, the only way to enter the celestial kingdom is through plural marriage. While the boys are taught to work in the lucrative sawmill that supports their enclave, Daisy and her best friend, Brighten, are instructed to keep sweet and wait for Placement—the day the bishop will choose a husband for them. But Daisy wants to be more than a sister-wife and a mother. So when she is placed with a man forty years her senior, she makes the daring decision to flee Redemption.

Years later, Daisy has a job and a group of trustworthy friends. Emboldened by the ideas of the feminist and counterculture movements, she is freer than she has ever been…until Brighten reaches out with a cry for help and Daisy’s past comes hurtling back. But to save the women she left behind, Daisy must risk her newfound independence and return to Redemption, where hellfire surely awaits.

For readers of Emma Cline’s The Girls and Ami McKay’s The Virgin Cure comes an arresting coming-of-age novel about a fearless young girl’s fight for freedom at a time of great historic change.


Review:

Intense, heart-tugging, and intriguing!

The Celestial Wife is a gripping, emotional tale that sweeps you away to a fundamentalist FLDS community in Redemption, British Columbia and into the life of Daisy Shoemaker, a fifteen-year-old girl who, after being married off as a sister-wife to the middle-aged Bishop of the sect, escapes to find and start a new life outside the compound until she must head back no matter the danger to herself to do whatever she can to save the best friend and mother she left behind.

The writing is crisp and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, determined, and scarred. And the plot is a compelling, hopeful tale of life, loss, secrets, resilience, abuse, friendship, revelations, childhood trauma, self-identification, and freedom.

Overall, The Celestial Wife is an eerie, fascinating, moving tale by Howard that does a beautiful job of reminding us of all the emotional, psychological, and physical effects caused by long-term manipulation, control, indoctrination, and deviant ideologies.

 

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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Leslie Howard

Leslie Howard is the instant bestselling author of The Brideship Wife. She grew up in British Columbia and developed a passion for the province’s history. She divides her time between Vancouver and Penticton, where she and her husband grow cider apples.

Photograph by Bopomo Pictures.

#BookReview Daughter of Mine by Megan Miranda @MeganLMiranda @SimonSchusterCA #DaughterofMine #MeganMiranda #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Daughter of Mine by Megan Miranda @MeganLMiranda @SimonSchusterCA #DaughterofMine #MeganMiranda #SimonSchusterCA Title: Daughter of Mine

Author: Megan Miranda

Published by: Marysue Rucci Books on Apr. 9, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The new thrilling novel from Megan Miranda, the instant New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls, The Last to Vanish, and The Only Survivors.

When Hazel Sharp, daughter of Mirror Lake’s longtime local detective, unexpectedly inherits her childhood home, she’s warily drawn back to the town—and people—she left behind almost a decade earlier. But Hazel’s not the only relic of the past to a drought has descended on the region, and as the water level in the lake drops, long-hidden secrets begin to emerge…including evidence that may help finally explain the mystery of her mother’s disappearance.


Review:

Intricate, unsettling, and gritty!

Daughter of Mine is a compelling, absorbing tale that transports you to Mirror Lake, North Carolina, and into the lives of the Holt family as the past suddenly collides with the present when, soon after the patriarch passes, an automobile is found submerged at the bottom of the lake, and at least one person is on edge and threatened by the long-buried secrets it may finally bring to light.

The writing is intense and tight. The characters are vulnerable, impulsive, and scarred. And the plot intertwines and unravels seamlessly into a riveting tale full of lies, deception, secrets, desperation, manipulation, familial drama, troubled pasts, suspicious behaviours, violence, and murder.

Overall, Daughter of Mine is a dark, atmospheric, engrossing tale by Miranda that kept me enthralled from the very first page and left me entertained, satisfied, and more than a little eager to read whatever her deliciously sinister mind manages to come up with next.

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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Megan Miranda

Megan Miranda is the New York Times bestselling author of ALL THE MISSING GIRLS and THE PERFECT STRANGER. She has also written several books for young adults, including FRACTURE, THE SAFEST LIES, and FRAGMENTS OF THE LOST. She grew up in New Jersey, graduated from MIT, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children.

#BookReview The Secret Keeper by Genevieve Graham @GenGrahamAuthor @SimonSchusterCA #TheSecretKeeper #GenevieveGraham #CanadianHistory

#BookReview The Secret Keeper by Genevieve Graham @GenGrahamAuthor @SimonSchusterCA #TheSecretKeeper #GenevieveGraham #CanadianHistory Title: The Secret Keeper

Author: Genevieve Graham

Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on Apr. 2, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

From USA TODAY and internationally bestselling author Genevieve Graham comes a gripping World War II novel about two sisters who join the war effort—one as a codebreaker and the other as a pilot—and the secrets that threaten to tear them apart. Perfect for fans of The Rose Code and The Nightingale .

Twin sisters Dot and Dash Wilson share many things, and while they are practically inseparable, they are nothing alike. Dot is fascinated by books, puzzles, and Morse code, a language taught to both girls by their father, a WWI veteran. Dash’s days are filled with fixing engines, dancing with friends, and dreaming of flying airplanes. Almost always at their side is their best friend Gus—until war breaks out and he enlists in the army, deploying to an unknown front.

Determined to do their duty, both girls join the WRENS, Dash as a mechanic and Dot as a typist. Before long, Dot’s fixation on patterns and numbers takes her from HMCS Coverdale , a covert listening and codebreaking station working with Bletchley Park in England, to Camp X, a top-secret spy school. But when personal tragedy strikes the family, Dot’s oath of secrecy causes a rift between the sisters.

Eager to leave her pain behind, Dash jumps at the opportunity to train as a pilot with the Air Transport Auxiliary, where she risks her life to ferry aircraft and troops across the battlefields of Europe. Meanwhile Dot is drawn into the Allies’ preparations for D-Day. But Dot’s loyalties are put to the test once more when someone close to her goes missing in Nazi-occupied territory. With everyone’s eyes on Operation Overlord, Dot must use every skill at her disposal to save those she loves before it’s too late.

Inspired by the real-life stories of women in World War II, The Secret Keeper is an extraordinary novel about the unbreakable bonds of sisterhood and the light of courage during the darkest of nights.


Review:

Immersive, evocative, and affecting!

The Secret Keeper is a rich, alluring tale predominantly set in Canada during WWII that follows two sisters, Dash, a thrill seeker who enlists as a WREN working as a mechanic before she receives her dream posting as a pilot for the ATA in England, and Dot, a whiz with puzzles and codes that once enlisted is recruited to hold an invaluable position at Camp X, a top-secret spy school.

The prose is vivid and smooth. The characters are dependable, courageous, and resilient. And the plot is a moving tale of life, loss, secrets, self-discovery, determination, hope, loyalty, survival, friendship, sisterhood, war, love, and Canadian history.

Overall, The Secret Keeper is an emotive, rich, absorbing tale by Graham inspired by real-life stories that transports you to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the feelings, lives, and personalities of the characters you can’t help but be enthralled and fully invested from start to finish.

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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Genevieve Graham

Genevieve Graham is the #1 bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child, Tides of Honour, Promises to Keep, Come from Away, and At the Mountain’s Edge. She is passionate about breathing life back into Canadian history through tales of love and adventure. She lives near Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Photo by Bryghton Towns.

 

#BookReview Here We Go Again by Alison Cochrun @SimonSchusterCA #HereWeGoAgain #AlisonCochrun #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Here We Go Again by Alison Cochrun @SimonSchusterCA #HereWeGoAgain #AlisonCochrun #SimonSchusterCA Title: Here We Go Again

Author: Alison Cochrun

Published by: Atria Books on Apr. 2, 2024

Genres: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA

Pages: 368

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The author of Kiss Her Once for Me returns with a new queer rom-com following once childhood best friends forced together to drive their former teacher across the country.

A long time ago, Logan Maletis and Rosemary Hale used to be friends. They spent their childhood summers running through the woods, rebelling against their conservative small town, and dreaming of escaping. But then an incident the summer before high school turned them into bitter rivals. After graduation, they went ten years without speaking.

Now in their thirties, Logan and Rosemary find they aren’t quite living the lives of adventure they imagined for themselves. Still in their small town and working as teachers at their alma mater, they’re both stuck in old patterns. Uptight Rosemary chooses security and stability over all else, working constantly, and her most stable relationship is with her label maker. Chaotic and impulsive Logan has a long list of misguided ex-lovers and an apathetic shrug she uses to protect herself from anything real. And as hard as they try to avoid each other—and their complicated past—they keep crashing into each other. Including with their cars.

But when their beloved former English teacher and lifelong mentor tells them he has only a few months to live, they’re forced together once and for all to fulfill his last a cross-country road trip. Stuffed into the gayest van west of the Mississippi, the three embark on a life-changing summer trip—from Washington state to the Grand Canyon, from the Gulf Coast to coastal Maine—that will chart a new future and perhaps lead them back to one another.


Review:

Heartwarming, tender, and affecting!

Here We Go Again is a timely, romantic story that sweeps you away into a bittersweet tale where truths are acknowledged, grievances are aired, truces are made, friendships are savoured, tears are shed, memories are created, last requests are honoured, lives are celebrated, and lost loves are found.

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, Here We Go Again is, ultimately, a story about life, love, loss, dreams, heartbreak, friendship, family, and finding happiness, and I absolutely adored it.

 

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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Alison Cochrun

Alison Cochrun is a former high school English teacher and a current writer of queer love stories, including The Charm Offensive and Kiss Her Once for Me. She lives outside of Portland, Oregon, with two giant dogs, her small wife, and too many books.

Photo by Hayley Downing-Fairless.

#BookReview Clear by Carys Davies @ScribnerBooks @SimonSchusterCA #CarysDavies #Clear #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Clear by Carys Davies @ScribnerBooks @SimonSchusterCA #CarysDavies #Clear #SimonSchusterCA Title: Clear

Author: Carys Davies

Published by: Scribner on Apr. 2, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction, LGBTQIA

Pages: 208

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

A stunning, exquisite novel from an award-winning writer about a minister dispatched to a remote island off of Scotland to “clear” the last remaining inhabitant, who has no intention of leaving—an unforgettable tale of resilience, change, and hope.

John, an impoverished Scottish minister, has accepted a job evicting the lone remaining occupant of an island north of Scotland—Ivar, who has been living alone for decades, with only the animals and the sea for company. Though his wife, Mary, has serious misgivings about the errand, he decides to go anyway, setting in motion a chain of events that neither he nor Mary could have predicted.

Shortly after John reaches the island, he falls down a cliff and is found, unconscious and badly injured, by Ivar who takes him home and tends to his wounds. The two men do not speak a common language, but as John builds a dictionary of Ivar’s world, they learn to communicate and, as Ivar sees himself for the first time in decades reflected through the eyes of another person, they build a fragile, unusual connection.

Unfolding in the 1840s in the final stages of the infamous Scottish Clearances—which saw whole communities of the rural poor driven off the land in a relentless program of forced evictions—this singular, beautiful, deeply surprising novel explores the differences and connections between us, the way history shapes our deepest convictions, and how the human spirit can survive despite all odds. Moving and unpredictable, sensitive and spellbinding, Clear is a profound and pleasurable read.


Review:

Poignant, immersive, and affecting!

Clear is a raw, vivid tale that sweeps you away to 1840s Scotland and into the life of John Ferguson, a young minister who, after recently breaking away from an established church and in desperate need of money, agrees to travel to an isolated island for a landowner to expel the last remaining inhabitant living there. But things don’t turn out exactly as planned, and after sustaining an injury shortly after his arrival he awakes to find himself not only at the mercy of this larger-than-life man who speaks a language he doesn’t understand but forming an unlikely friendship that will test everything he ever knew about love and himself.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are kind, vulnerable, and strong. And the plot is an exceptionally tender tale about life, loss, friendship, strength, language, isolation, loneliness, self-discovery, revelations, belonging, and love.

Overall, Clear is a powerful, pensive, well-written story by Davies where the space between the words resonates as loudly as the words themselves and is a beautiful reminder that to love and be loved is truly one of humanity’s most fundamental needs.

 

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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Carys Davies

Carys Davies’s debut novel West was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize, runner-up for the Society of Authors’ McKitterick Prize, and winner of the Wales Book of the Year for Fiction. She is also the author of The Mission House, which was The Sunday Times (London) 2020 Novel of the Year, and two collections of short stories, Some New Ambush and The Redemption of Galen Pike, which won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. Her other awards include the Royal Society of Literature’s V.S. Pritchett Prize, the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Short Story Award, and a Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library. Born in Wales, she lived and worked for twelve years in New York and Chicago, and now lives in Edinburgh. Clear is her most recent novel.

#BookReview Expiration Dates by Rebecca Serle @RebeccaASerle @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #ExpirationDates #RebeccaSerle #SimonSchusterCA #Gifted

#BookReview Expiration Dates by Rebecca Serle @RebeccaASerle @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #ExpirationDates #RebeccaSerle #SimonSchusterCA #Gifted Title: Expiration Dates

Author: Rebecca Serle

Published by: Atria Books on Mar. 19, 2024

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Being single is like playing the lottery. There’s always the chance that with one piece of paper you could win it all.

From the New York Times bestselling author of In Five Years and One Italian Summer comes the romance that will define a generation.

Daphne Bell believes the universe has a plan for her. Every time she meets a new man , she receives a slip of paper with his name and a number on it—the exact amount of time they will be together. The papers told her she’d spend three days with Martin in Paris; five weeks with Noah in San Francisco; and three months with Hugo, her ex-boyfriend turned best friend. Daphne has been receiving the numbered papers for over twenty years, always wondering when there might be one without an expiration. Finally, the night of a blind date at her favorite Los Angeles restaurant, there’s only a Jake.

But as Jake and Daphne’s story unfolds, Daphne finds herself doubting the paper’s prediction, and wrestling with what it means to be both committed and truthful. Because Daphne knows things Jake doesn’t, information that—if he found out—would break his heart.

Told with her signature warmth and insight into matters of the heart, Rebecca Serle has finally set her sights on romantic love. The result is a gripping, emotional, passionate, and (yes) heartbreaking novel about what it means to be single, what it means to find love, and ultimately how we define each of them for ourselves. Expiration Dates is the one fans have been waiting for.


Review:

Pensive, fresh, and romantic!

Expiration Dates is a charged, tender tale that takes you into the life of Daphne Bell, a young woman with a big secret who, after so long believing in fate and the mysterious papers she always receives that tell her exactly how long her relationships will last, thinks she may have finally found the one when the latest slip of paper has no end date, only a name.

The prose is heartfelt and immersive. The characters are flawed, troubled, and genuine. And the plot is an absorbing tale about life, loss, love, grief, friendship, family, relationship dynamics, introspection, hope, happiness, and romance, all interwoven with a thread of the supernatural.

Overall, Expiration Dates is a compelling, heartwarming, optimistic tale by Serle that does a beautiful job of reminding us to always live life to the fullest and surround ourselves with those we love.

 

This book 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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Rebecca Serle

Rebecca Serle is the New York Times bestselling author of In Five Years, The Dinner List, and the young adult novels The Edge of Falling and When You Were Mine. Serle also developed the hit TV adaptation Famous in Love, based on her YA series of the same name. She is a graduate of USC and The New School and lives in Los Angeles.

Photo by Ann Molen.

#BookReview The Black Crescent by Jane Johnson @JaneJohnsonBakr @SimonSchusterCA #TheBlackCrescent #JaneJohnson #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Black Crescent by Jane Johnson @JaneJohnsonBakr @SimonSchusterCA #TheBlackCrescent #JaneJohnson #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Black Crescent

Author: Jane Johnson

Published by: Simon & Schuster on Mar. 5, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A captivating historical novel set in post-war Casablanca about a young man marked by djinns who must decide where his loyalties lie as the fight for Moroccan independence erupts.

Hamou Badi is born in a village in the Anti-Atlas Mountains with the markings of the zouhry on his hands. In Morocco, the zouhry is a figure of legend, a child of both humans and djinns, capable of finding treasure, lost objects, and even water in the worst of droughts. But when young Hamou finds the body of a murdered woman, his life is forever changed.

Haunted by this unsolved murder and driven by the desire to do good in the world, Hamou leaves his village for Casablanca to become an officer of the law under the French Protectorate.

But Casablanca is not the shining beacon of modernity he was expecting. The forcible exile of Morocco’s sultan by the French sparks a nationalist uprising led by violent dissident groups, none so fearsome as the Black Crescent. Torn between his heritage and his employers, Hamou will be caught in the crossfire.

The lines between right and wrong, past and future, the old world and the new, are not as clear as the magical lines on his palms. And as the danger grows, Hamou is forced to choose between all he knows and all he loves.


Review:

Complex, evocative, and moving!

The Black Crescent is a compelling, gritty tale that sweeps you away to Morocco in the mid-1950s and into the life of Hamou Badi, a young man from the small village of Tiziane who, after discovering a murdered woman on his way home as a young boy, decides to train as a police officer in Casablanca to try to do some good in a country that is unfortunately full of unrest and upheaval and where simmering anger, questions of loyalty, and ongoing tension due to the French occupation is quickly coming to a violent head.

The prose is rich and smooth. The characters are kind, strong, and resilient. And the plot is a vivid, suspenseful tale filled with life, loss, friendship, family, folklore, religion, morality, self-identity, patriotism, survival, politics, romance, murder, and culture.

Overall, The Black Crescent is a thought-provoking, informative, atmospheric tale by Johnson that reminds us that often the choices we make have far-reaching consequences and has just the right amount of intrigue, colourful history, magic, culture, moral dilemmas, and heart-tugging emotion to be exceptionally pleasing to lovers, like myself, of the historical fiction genre.

 

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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jane Johnson

Jane Johnson is from Cornwall and has worked in the book industry for over 20 years, as a bookseller, publisher and writer. She is responsible for the publishing of many major authors, including George RR Martin.

In 2005 she was in Morocco researching the story of a distant family member who was abducted from a Cornish church in 1625 by Barbary pirates and sold into slavery in North Africa, when a near-fatal climbing incident caused her to rethink her future. She returned home, gave up her office job in London, and moved to Morocco. She married her own ‘Berber pirate’ and now they split their time between Cornwall and a village in the Anti-Atlas Mountains. She still works, remotely, as Fiction Publishing Director for HarperCollins.

#BookReview The Other Valley by Scott Alexander Howard @SimonSchusterCA #TheOtherValley #ScottAlexanderHoward #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Other Valley by Scott Alexander Howard @SimonSchusterCA #TheOtherValley #ScottAlexanderHoward #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Other Valley

Author: Scott Alexander Howard

Published by: Scribner on Feb. 27, 2024

Genres: Fantasy, General Fiction, Science Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A literary speculative novel about an isolated town neighbored by its own past and future

Sixteen-year-old Odile is an awkward, quiet girl vying for a coveted seat on the Conseil. If she earns the position, she’ll decide who may cross her town’s heavily guarded borders. On the other side, it’s the same valley, the same town–except to the east, the town is twenty years ahead in time. To the west, it’s twenty years behind. The towns repeat in an endless sequence across the wilderness.

When Odile recognizes two visitors she wasn’t supposed to see, she realizes that the parents of her friend Edme have been escorted across the border from the future, on a mourning tour, to view their son while he’s still alive in Odile’s present. Edme––who is brilliant, funny, and the only person to truly see Odile––is about to die. Sworn to secrecy in order to preserve the timeline, Odile now becomes the Conseil’s top candidate, yet she finds herself drawing closer to the doomed boy, imperiling her entire future.


Review:

Intricate, unique, and thought-provoking!

The Other Valley is a clever, absorbing tale that takes you into the life of Odile, a young girl who has her life turned upside down when she accidentally glimpses people visiting from the east who are living twenty years in the future, one of her close friends suddenly dies, she destroys her chances of becoming a member of the influential Conseil, and she must decide whether she will risk her life to go twenty years in the past and enter the duplicate valley to the west to alter the one tragedy that changed so many lives forever.

The prose is raw and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, conflicted, and inured. And the plot is a mysterious, immersive tale of life, love, loss, family, friendship, self-identity, power, security, control, duty, desperation, and magical realism.

Overall, The Other Valley is a gripping, pensive, speculative story by Howard that did a beautiful job of incorporating a creative storyline, what-if fiction, and an atmospheric setting into a compelling coming-of-age tale full of reflection, friendship, and first love.

 

This book 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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Scott Alexander Howard

Scott Alexander Howard lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard, where his work focused on the relationship between memory, emotion, and literature. The Other Valley is his first novel.

Photograph by Veronica Bonderud

#BookReview What We Buried by Robert Rotenberg @RobertRotenberg @SimonSchusterCA #WhatWeBuried #RobertRotenberg #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview What We Buried by Robert Rotenberg @RobertRotenberg @SimonSchusterCA #WhatWeBuried #RobertRotenberg #SimonSchusterCA Title: What We Buried

Author: Robert Rotenberg

Published by: Simon & Schuster on Feb. 27, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A Toronto homicide detective is attacked at his doorstep when his investigation into possible links between the Nazi occupation of Italy and the murder of his brother decades later gets too close to the truth—in the new crime thriller from bestselling author Robert Rotenberg. Perfect for fans of Scott Turow and David Baldacci.

It’s been years since Daniel Kennicott’s brother, Michael, was shot and killed the night before he was about to depart for Gubbio, Italy. The case, never solved, has haunted Daniel ever since. Long suspecting the killing was tied to Michael’s planned trip but overwhelmed with grief, Daniel has put off going there—until now, the tenth anniversary of the murder.

As he’s about to leave, Daniel learns that his two mentors, detectives Ari Greene and Nora Bering, have been more involved in the investigation of Michael’s murder than he ever knew. And they’re concerned about Daniel’s safety. But why? Is Daniel risking his life—and those of others—by trying to uncover the truth?

When Daniel arrives in the bucolic Italian hill town, he learns the past has not been put to rest. Residents are still haunted by the brutal Nazi occupation, the brave acts of the local freedom fighters, and the swift savagery of German retribution.

And as Daniel delves into his family’s deadly connection to Gubbio, Ari Greene searches for a killer closer to home.

Inspired by the true story of the Forty Martyrs in Gubbio, Italy, during World War II, What We Buried is an extraordinary crime novel about troubled legacies, revenge, and the unbreakable bonds of family.


Review:

Compelling, suspenseful, and fast-paced!

What We Buried is an intense, ominous tale that takes us into the life of Toronto detective Daniel Kennicott who, on the tenth anniversary of his brother’s murder, heads to Gubbio, Italy, to finally discover what his brother was working on before his death and uncover all the deep dark family secrets leading back to WWII that may have led to it.

The prose is meticulous and tight. The characters are persistent, troubled, and resourceful. And the plot, told from multiple perspectives, is an insightful, menacing tale about life, loss, tragedy, danger, desperation, secrets, survival, manipulation, betrayal, deception, deduction, violence, and wartime brutalities.

Overall, What We Buried is an absorbing, mysterious, well-written tale by Rotennberg inspired by real-life events that does a wonderful job of interweaving historical facts and compelling fiction into an insightful, sinister tale that is intriguing and highly entertaining.

 

This book 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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Robert Rotenberg

Robert Rotenberg is the author of several bestselling novels, including Old City Hall, The Guilty Plea, Stray Bullets, Stranglehold, Heart of the City, and Downfall. He is a criminal lawyer in Toronto with his firm Rotenberg Shidlowski Jesin. He is also a television screenwriter and a writing teacher.

Photo by Ted Feld Photography.

#BookReview The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes @SimonSchusterCA #TheYearoftheLocust #TerryHayes #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes @SimonSchusterCA #TheYearoftheLocust #TerryHayes #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Year of the Locust

Author: Terry Hayes

Published by: Atria/Emily Bestler Books on Feb. 06, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 800

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

If, like Kane, you’re a Denied Access Area spy for the CIA, then boundaries have no meaning. Your function is to go in, do whatever is required, and get out again – by whatever means necessary. You know when to run, when to hide – and when to shoot.

But some places don’t play by the rules. Some places are too dangerous, even for a man of Kane’s experience. The badlands where the borders of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan meet are such a place – a place where violence is the only way to survive.

Kane travels there to exfiltrate a man with vital information for the safety of the West – but instead he meets an adversary who will take the world to the brink of extinction. A frightening, clever, vicious man with blood on his hands and vengeance in his heart…


Review:

Ominous, action-packed, and twisty!

The Year of the Locust is an intelligent, sinister tale that takes you into the life of CIA operative Kane, a man who has access to the deadliest secrets and who, after his initial operation in the Middle East goes sideways, ends up with an archenemy whose terror knows no bounds and if left unrestrained will happily destroy the world and the human race as we currently know it.

The prose is brisk and tight. The characters are vulnerable, resourceful, and persistent. And the plot is a unique, captivating tale full of greed, power, deception, coercion, manipulation, corruption, espionage, politics, destruction, danger, end-of-the-world mayhem, and murder.

Overall, The Year of the Locust is a hefty novel by Hayes, coming in around 800 pages. And even though it took a little detour, I wasn’t expecting and didn’t entirely love around the seventy-five percent mark. It is still undoubtedly an absorbing, creative, enthralling saga by Hayes that was highly entertaining and is a great choice for anyone who enjoys the spy thriller genre with a side of terminator-like science fiction.

 

This book 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 gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Terry Hayes

Terry Hayes is the New York Times bestselling author of I Am Pilgrim and The Year of the Locust and is the award-winning writer and producer of numerous movies. His credits include Payback, Road Warrior, and Dead Calm (featuring Nicole Kidman). He lives in Switzerland with his wife, Kristen, and their four children.

Photograph © Stuart Simpson