All posts filed under: book reviews

book review: The Good Liar ~ by Catherine McKenzie, 5* review plus bonus author article

Hello everyone! Another day, another week, and, while we’re all waiting for winter to retreat and spring finally to hit us with its waves of pleasantness, here I am again with a brand new review, this time of Catherine McKenzie’s latest book, The Good Liar, which is being marketed as a GoodReads “Hottest Thriller of 2018” selection for fans of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies (Booklist), and one you’re likely to devour in one sitting (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Before I start, however, I have a couple of things I have to confess. Truth is, I had never read anything by Catherine McKenzie before. Unforgivable omission, I know. And I only became fully aware of her new book as something other than a vaguely potential read when I was contacted about my missing review by lovely Denelle Catlett, PR Manager for Lake Union Publishing. Then I remembered where I’d seen the book, and why I had requested it in the first place. It was definitely something I had very much wanted to read, for a host of reasons I …

book review: All The Beautiful Girls ~ by Elizabeth J. Church

This title was rather kindly sent to me by the publishers, HarperCollins / 4th Estate Books. This review is also being published to NetGalley, GoodReads, Amazon, LinkedIn, and all my social media accounts. the synopsis: The dazzling, powerful story of a gutsy showgirl who tries to conquer her past amongst the glamour of 1960s Las Vegas – finding unexpected fortune, friendship and love. In the summer of 1968, Ruby Wilde is the toast of Las Vegas. Showgirl of the Year, in her feathers and rhinestones, five-inch heels and sky-high headdresses, she mesmerises audiences from the Tropicana to the Stardust. Ratpackers and movie stars, gamblers and astronauts vie for her attention and shower her with gifts. But not so long ago Ruby Wilde was Lily Decker from Kansas: an orphaned girl determined to dance her way out of her troubled past. When she was eight years old, Lily survived the car crash that killed her parents and sister. Raised by an aunt who took too little interest in her and an uncle who took too much, dancing …

blog tour: book review & excerpt of Jessica Strawser’s new novel, Not That I Could Tell

This title was rather kindly sent to me by the publishers, Hodder & Stoughton. The present review is also being published to my accounts on NetGalley, GoodReads, Amazon, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media .  I’m delighted to be taking part, this morning, in the blog tour for Jessica Strawser’s second novel, Not That I Could Tell, which was published by Hodder & Stoughton in the UK on the 5th of this month (Kindle, £6.99 and paperback, £14.99), and is being marketed as a general fiction title. On the U.S., the hardcover was published on March 27th ($26.99, St. Martin’s Press), but the novel is being marketed as women’s fiction. Courtesy of the publishers, I am bringing you an excerpt which, though small, is very mysterious and intriguing and will, I am sure, go a long way in spicing up your curiosity about this novel. My own contribution to the blog tour will be, as usual, my full review of the title. the synopsis: Ever wonder what your friends really think of you? Drinks in hand, a …

Book Review: Serenity Engulfed by Craig A. Hart

So. Yesterday was launch day for Craig A. Hart’s new Shelby Alexander thriller, Serenity Engulfed, which we marked with a lengthy feature post including one fab interview with this author. Today, I’m starting a cycle of reviews of Craig’s two thrillers series, The Shelby Alexander Thrillers Series, and the SpyCo Series — with a review of his latest book. Here it is.   Edition details: File Size: 2680 KB Print Length: 190 pages Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1986153517 Publisher: Northern Lake Publishing (April 3, 2018) Publication Date: April 3, 2018 Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC Language: English ASIN: B07B4Y76HC the synopsis: When Shelby’s daughter, Leslie, fails to show up at his cabin for her long-planned visit to northern Michigan, he’s concerned, but makes excuses. When her car is found abandoned by the side of a tree-lined highway, he fears the worst. When her cellphone appears on his front porch, he knows something terrible has happened and that he is to blame. Enlisting the help of the new county sheriff, Shelby launches a search for Leslie, all the while dealing with a prostitute in fear for her …

book review: How I Lose You by Kate McNaughton

This title was rather kindly sent to me by the publishers, Transworld / Doubleday (Random House UK), via NetGalley. This review is also being published on NetGalley, GoodReads, LinkedIn, Amazon UK, and my social media accounts. Acceptance of a copy for review is not binding. the synopsis: When Eva and Adam fall into bed one Friday night, tired and happy after drinks with friends, they have their whole lives ahead of them. But their story ends on page twelve. That’s no reason to stop reading though, because How I Lose You is a story told backwards – and it’s all the more warm, tender and moving because we know it is going to be interrupted. It’s a story Eva thought she knew – but as you and she will discover, it’s not just the ending of the story that she got wrong. advance praise: “Intriguing, poignant and totally absorbing. I had no idea where it was going, but found it thoroughly addictive. A masterful exploration of grief, relationships and the secrets that we keep from …

blog tour: book review and a whole lot more about Tell No Lies and its author, Lisa Hartley

    So. Here I am as promised, though a bit later than usual — blame it please on the horrible migraine that’s been plaguing me for three straight whole days now. Migraine-stricken or not, however, I could not fail to be here to introduce you to a lovely and talented young writer, Lisa Hartley, whose second book on the Detective Caelan Small series has just been published. Moreover, it is a thrill for me to participate in another of Canelo’s blog tours, courtesy of no less lovely Ellie Pilcher’s kind invite. The book I’m talking about is Tell No Lies, a sequel to Ask No Questions, a series about an intrepid undercover detective and her trials and tribulations as she tries to go about her job. Just like Ask No Questions, Tell No Lies was published by the fab folks at Canelo, branded as a Crime / Thriller / Detective Fiction novel, and it came out 19th February last. Here’s Tell No Lies cover image: And here’s the book blurb: Now they’re coming after Caelan’s …

book review: fLy ~ by M.Z

    This title was rather kindly sent to me by the publishers, Troubador Publishing Limited / The Book Guild. This review has also been published to NetGalley, GoodReads, LinkedIn, Amazon UK, to The Book Guild website, and my social media accounts. the synopsis: fLy is an unusual type of fly. fLy is the narrator of this grubby, witty, insensitive story that follows the unhappy lives of two couples that both live on the campus of an elite English private boarding school. fLy lives with Tristan and Hannah; Tristan, an English teacher, is infatuated with one of his students, Sasha Burnham and Hannah, his wife, battles with alcohol dependency, an eating disorder and low self-esteem. But Hannah’s world changes when she realises that she is the object of desire for Jean Lempriere, a colleague of Tristan’s. Hannah has made friends with the other couple on the campus, Fi and Raymond. Raymond is the Head of Economics and a bully and Fi is his frumpy, down trodden wife that confides all in Hannah. fLy humorously reveals …

Book Review: Friends & Other Liars by Kaela Coble

The title was rather kindly made available to me by the publishers, Sourcebooks Landmark. This review is also being published to NetGalley, GoodReads, LinkedIn, and my social media accounts. About the novel Friends and Other Liars: Sometimes the secrets we keep are more dangerous than the ones we reveal… When Ruby St. James returns to her hometown of Chatwick, Vermont, it’s under the worst circumstances. It’s been ten years since she’s been home, and she tells herself the solitary life she’s built in New York City suits her just fine—at least well enough to avoid slicing open the scars left by her first love, Murphy, or her bipolar, recovering alcoholic mother. But when one of her estranged childhood friends commits suicide and another compels her to attend the funeral, guilt draws her right back into the tumultuous world she escaped from a decade ago. Her plan—to hightail it out of town the minute the last rose hits Danny’s coffin—is delayed when her former friends are called together for a reading of Danny’s last words. Their hopes …

book review: Dark Game by Rachel Lynch

the blurb: Kelly’s gut turned over as she realised the danger she was in. She heard no sirens. She knew that she was simply collateral. To these men who made a lot of money from the suffering of others, they’d have no problem snuffing her out. After a scandal forces DI Kelly Porter out of the Met, she returns to her home turf in the Lake District. Crimes in the Cumbrian constabulary tend to be of the minor sort, but Kelly begins work on a cold case that shocked the local community – the abduction and brutal murder of ten-year-old Lottie Davies. Meanwhile, Kelly is also investigating two seemingly straightforward crimes: a case involving an illegal immigrant, and a robbery following the death of local businessman Colin Day. But evidence comes to light that reveals a web of criminal activity beyond anything Kelly imagined. Behind the veneer of sleepy, touristy towns lies a dark and dangerous underworld. As Kelly threatens to expose those with much to lose, she risks paying the ultimate price to get …

Review: If I die before I wake ~ by Emily Koch

This title was rather kindly sent to me by the publishers, Random House UK / Vintage. This review has also been published to NetGalley, GoodReads, LinkedIn, and my social media accounts. the blurb: HOW DO YOU SOLVE YOUR OWN MURDER? Everyone believes Alex is in a coma, unlikely to ever wake up. As his family debate withdrawing life support, and his friends talk about how his girlfriend Bea needs to move on, he can only listen. But Alex soon begins to suspect that the accident that put him here wasn’t really an accident. Even worse, the perpetrator is still out there and Alex is not the only one in danger. As he goes over a series of clues from his past, Alex must use his remaining senses to solve the mystery of who tried to kill him, and try to protect those he loves, before they decide to let him go. A stunning edge-of-your-seat debut novel with an unforgettable narrator. the review: If I die before I wake is Emily Koch’s debut novel, but you …

Review: Fire Sermon ~ by Jamie Quatro

This title was rather kindly sent to me by its publishers, Pan Macmillan/Picador. This review has also been published to NetGalley, GoodReads, LinkedIn, and my social media accounts. the blurb: Maggie is entirely devoted to her husband Thomas, their two beautiful children, and to God—until what begins as a platonic intellectual and spiritual exchange between writer Maggie and poet James transforms into an erotically-charged bond that challenges Maggie’s sense of loyalty and morality, drawing her deeper into the darkness of desire. A daring debut novel of obsession, lust, and salvation by the highly lauded author of the story collection, I Want To Show You More, Fire Sermonis a tour de force that charts with bold intimacy and immersive sensuality the life of a married woman in the grip of a magnetic affair. ♦ “It would be difficult to overstate the wonder I felt while reading this novel. It’s among the most beautiful books I’ve ever read about longing — for beauty, for sex, for God, for a coherent life.” — Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You ♦ the …

Review: Thaw (poems) ~ by Chelsea Dingman

Blurb: Thaw delves into the issues at the core of a resilient family: kinship, poverty, violence, death, abuse, and grief. The poems follow the speaker, as both mother and daughter, as she travels through harsh and beautiful landscapes in Canada, Sweden, and the United States. Moving through these places, she examines how her surroundings affect her inner landscape; the natural world becomes both a place of refuge and a threat. As these themes unfold, the histories and cold truths of her family and country intertwine and impinge on her, even as she tries to outrun them. Unflinching and raw, Chelsea Dingman’s poems meander between childhood and adulthood, the experiences of being a mother and a child paralleling one another. Her investigation becomes one of body, self, woman, mother, daughter, sister, and citizen, and of what those roles mean in the contexts of family and country.   Review: Thaw is Chelsea Dingman’s inaugural poetry collection. In these poems, the author talks about violence, abuse, death, loss and grief; about family and childhood, about being a daughter, …