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Book reviews ... Author interviews ... and anything else I think might be of interest to writers and readers.

Friday, 17 June 2016

My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry



My Husband’s Wife



My Husband’s Wife is a very complex story, and it is also very much a story of two distinct halves. The second half revisits the characters of the first half, but picks up their stories fifteen years later.

The book starts with newly-weds Lily and Ed. We know they are having problems in their marriage, and that there is something Lily should be telling her husband and isn’t. But we don’t know what. We also meet their neighbours, Francesca and her young daughter Carla. Their story is told from Carla’s point of view, firstly as a child and then later as an adult.

The first half spends a lot of time setting up the various characters and scenarios and at times it can feel a little slow moving, but it is well worth bearing with it. Trust me – you do need to know all this!

It is then in the second half that the story starts to really take off as it chases towards its dramatic climax. All the secrets and lies of the past come together to set the stage for a mighty battle of the characters towards the finish.

One of the interesting things about this book is that most of the characters are pretty unlikeable. They are selfish, they lie to each other and scheme to get their own way. And yet, Jane Corry has pulled off the clever trick of getting the reader interested in them and invested in their stories despite this.

Part of the complexity of the story is the way in which it deals with moral issues. Right and wrong, justice and injustice, truth and lies. As the story goes on we find out more and more about the characters’ motives and their inner lives and the layers of secrecy are peeled away to reveal what is really going on.

Fast moving, gripping and emotional. I recommend this to anyone who likes a thriller with real depth to the characters.

This book is available as an ebook now, and will be released in paperback on 25th August. 

Thanks very much to the publishers for a review copy of this book.

You can find out more here


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Late Checkout by Alex Walters - Special Offer

Late Checkout

by Alex Walters

Great news! Until 6pm tomorrow (UK time) Late Checkout is on special offer for a mere 99p! Get it while you can.


We also, for today only, have Murrain's Truth on FREE offer. So, if you love a bargain, why not scoot over to Amazon and get both!

You can buy Late Checkout here.

And you can download Murrain's Truth for free (today only) here.

If you read and enjoy them, we'd really appreciate a brief Amazon review!


Monday, 13 June 2016

Late Checkout by Alex Walters - Winners!

Late Checkout 


Thanks to everyone who dropped by over the weekend to read our posts about Late Checkout and to enter the two competitions!

We have winners!

The winner of the competition for the story about the best mishap in a hotel is Awen, with this gem. 

'We went to a hotel in Malta two years ago. It had a balcony with sliding patio doors. One evening I was sitting on the balcony with my Ipad writing, husband asked if I'd like a glass of wine (silly question) As he brought the two glasses of wine out, he closed the door with his elbow, to keep the insects out of the room... and locked us out. We couldn't climb over to anyone else's balcony to knock on their door to tell reception. There wasn't any one around to shout below, and to make matters worse, we'd put the bolt on the main door too. Neither had our phones to phone the hotel reception. I tried emailing the hotel reception... no reply. After a while I had the idea to use the SMSmessage app on my Ipad to message my son's Iphone! Husband despaired as son never answers his phone! I text,' Are you around?' Obviously his mum asking a weird question from Malta got him worried, I got an almost instant reply. "Yeah, you ok?" I explained we were trapped on our hotel balcony, dad had shut the door behind him and it locked, and needed him to phone Hotel reception and ask them to rescue us, although the bolt was also on the room door." Reply? "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!" He did phone them and sent a message that the porter would rescue us soon. After another 30 minutes we could see the handle being wiggled then a knife blade working on the door frame and lock and another 15 minutes later the porter opened the door. We were very pleased to see him as there were loads of biting insects gathering near my bare arms and legs. Apparently, he carries his trusty penknife around with him, as we were not the first people to get locked out. We were so grateful, but he wouldn't take a reward ! After that we threw a towel in the door way to stop it closing.'

There were some other great contenders though, so do have a look at the comments on the competition post as well.

The winner of the competition to share the most interesting thing about your home town, which took place on the Alex Walters blog, was Mandy with this spooky offering.

'I live in Hitchin in Hertfordshire. There was a road in Hitchin that was once called Dead Street, because not a single person living there survived the plague of 1665. More cheerfully, the first translator of Homer, George Chapman, who was believed to be the rival poet in Shakespeare’s sonnets, was born and brought up here. The house is said to be now extremely haunted.'

Congratulations to both winners. I will be in touch in the next couple of days to ask for your addresses so that I can send you your signed books!

Meanwhile, don't forget you can buy Late Checkout here.

And you can read a sample for free here.




Thursday, 9 June 2016

Late Checkout by Alex Walters

Late Checkout

by Alex Walters

To celebrate the publication of 'Late Checkout' today we have, not one, but two book giveaways for you.

We're giving you two chances to win signed paperbacks of the first two novels by Alex Walters, 'Trust No One' and 'Nowhere To Hide'.

On this blog post I just want you to leave a comment telling me about your oddest or most humorous experience of staying in a hotel. Anything from fire alarms going off in the middle of the night, to locking yourself out of your room in your pyjamas!

You've got until the end of Sunday and we will pick a winner on Monday morning.

On Alex's blog there is a separate competition where we are looking for the most obscure or interesting fact about your home town. You can find the blog post here

You can buy 'Late Checkout' here.

For more news about 'Late Checkout' you can follow the Alex Walters Facebook page here, or follow him on Twitter at @MikeWalters60.

We are also having a Thunderclap to publicise the book on 14 June. For anyone who doesn't know what this is, it's just a way of getting as many mentions of the book on social media as possible at the same time in order to give the book a boost. It only takes a couple of clicks and just means that you're allowing your FB and/or Twitter to put up a one off promotional post. If you're willing to help, you can sign up here


Monday, 23 May 2016

Murrain's Truth by Alex Walters

Murrain's Truth

by Alex Walters

Ahead of the June release of Late Checkout my husband has released this trio of short stories introducing DCI Kenny Murrain. The e-book also contains a taster chapter of Late Checkout so it's definitely worth a look!

You can download Murrain's Truth for a mere 99p here. And you can pre-order Late Checkout here.

For further news and updates you can follow Alex Walters on Facebook here and on Twitter as @MikeWalters60.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Murder Ring by Leigh Russell



Murder Ring


This is another great outing for the compelling DI Geraldine Steel. When a dead body is discovered in a dark side street, Geraldine finds herself caught up in another murder investigation. When this is followed by another mysterious murder, the investigation becomes ever more complicated.

As with all the Geraldine Steel books we get a good mix of insights into Geraldine’s working life and interaction with her colleagues, the often messy lives of the perpetrators and victims of crime, and a glimpse into Geraldine’s personal life.

In this book, the working team is shaken up by a new arrival in the shape of DCI Adam Eastwood. Good looking and determined to get results, he certainly changes the dynamics of Geraldine’s working life.

We also have the familiar Sam – Geraldine’s sergeant and sometimes confidante. But this time there is an edge between the two women as they disagree about gun crime, and Geraldine finds her own personal problems too much to deal with.

One of the things that I think makes the Geraldine Steel crime series so successful is that as time has gone on Leigh Russell has made enough changes to Geraldine's circumstances and the people around her to keep it fresh and different, whilst keeping enough factors the same to give a sense of continuity and familiarity to the series.

This book sees some huge events in Geraldine’s private life, I won’t say too much as I don’t want to give anything away, but a storyline that has been running through the whole series has some major developments. These glimpses into Geraldine’s family life are one of the things that make this series special, in my view, and make Geraldine a very rounded and human character.

The plot is satisfying, with plenty going on, and the ‘murder ring’ at the centre gives it a sense of intrigue as we follow its progress.

To get the full Geraldine Steel experience I recommend you read all the books. You can find my reviews of earlier books in the series (and the accompanying Ian Peterson series) here and here.

But this is a great murder mystery in its own right and highly recommended if you want an introduction to Leigh Russell’s work.

 Overall, a very enjoyable and well written story.

Thanks very much to the publishers for a review copy of this book.

You can find out more here.


This post is part of a blog tour for Murder Ring, and you can find the other stops on the tour here.


Monday, 2 May 2016

The Missing by CL Taylor


The Missing


‘The Missing’ takes the reader into scary territory from the start. A teenager, Billy, has gone missing and his mother is living every parent’s nightmare.

Claire has no idea what has happened to her son or whether she will ever find him alive. And then to make things worse her mind starts playing tricks on her and she is diagnosed as having experienced fugue states.

As the story goes on, we find out more about Claire and her family and discover that everyone is hiding something. If Claire can work out what is going on, will she be able to find Billy before it is too late?

Claire was a great character, and I found myself empathising with her more and more as the book went on, particularly as some of the things she finds out about the people around her – who are all deeply flawed - are so distressing. The claustrophobic feeling of sharing a house with people who are all distressed and suffering is also very well done.

CL Taylor has made some brave decisions in the writing of this book. I can’t say too much more than that without spoilers, but it is the way the story veers away from what you might expect that gives it an edge and makes it stand out.

I found this a real page-turner. There are so many questions that the reader wants to know the answer to that the story sucks you in and takes you along with it.

A recommended read for those who enjoy intrigue, suspense and mystery.

Don’t miss your chance to read this one!

You can find out more here.