Thursday 18 July 2024

Witness 8 by Steve Cavanagh

Pre order available now, on Amazon UK, out to buy August 1st.

Witness 8Witness 8 by Steve Cavanagh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Pages - 421

Publisher - Headline

Source - ARC

Blurb from Goodreads

Ruby Johnson is a nanny and maid to wealthy families in Manhattan's West 74th Street.
She knows their routines. Their secrets.
One night, on her way home, Ruby witnesses a neighbour's murder.

She knows the victim. She knows the killer.
She makes an anonymous call to the police and names the murderer.
But Ruby didn't tell the truth...
Because there's something wrong with Ruby Johnson.

Eddie Flynn, conman turned trial lawyer, must defend an innocent man accused of this terrible crime.
As Ruby's deadly game begins, one thing is certain.
It won't be the last murder this witness is involved in...

My Review

It is no secret I LOVE Eddie Flynn, if you are new to him do yourself a favour and go and read the previous books then this one. You absolutely can read this as a standalone but it is book 8 of an absolutely fantastic series so read the others if you haven't yet! Right, Eddie is a lawyer, previous conman (but not a bad guy like he never done anything to good people) now a lawyer who only represents innocent people. Having previously had a foot in the "underworld" he has an advantage over other lawyers and whilst they are often slimy/shady and some more crooked than the folks they represent - Eddie is a good guy with unconventional contacts at his disposal.

So Eddie is representing a guy accused of murdering someone in his neighbourhood, his posh affulent neighbourhood. Crème de la crème, he is a skilled rich surgeon and the victim is a rich wife who is known to have had many a dalliance with other married men. Someone witnessed the murder, they called it in anonymously and they have their own agenda, enter Ruby. Ruby is a nanny/maid to the rich and who knows all of their business and often secrets, how they operate because Ruby used to be one of them. Now instead of being a wealthy neighbour she works in the house she used to live in and the neighbouring houses. Ruby has fingered the wrong guy intentionally , Ruby has motives and reasons that only she knows. Ruby will have what she wants, she is master of a deadly game that noone but her knows they are playing.

Oooft talk about shady characters! The chapters jump between Ruby (the nanny) and Eddie and co as they try to work out a defense but when the prosecution have their killer and a seemingly bullet proof case Eddie and co sure have their work cut out. And in true Eddie fashion (trouble seems to follow him) they unknowingly shake up a hornets nest and soon they don't just have to look out for their clients!

Action packed but if you know the series this isn't a surprise, investigation and weeding through the facts and evidence of the case. Trying to prove the seemingly unprovable, odds stacked against them but Eddie's team are some of the best, sometimes not the most stable folks, some from the underworld and they work well together, often uphill battles.

Jaw dropping, frustrating characters, shocking behaviours, emotive, skulduggery characters, murder, bad guys and some very unstable people. Jumping between Eddie and Co and Ruby, the chapters flow seamlessly, when we were on Eddie I didn't want to leave, when we were on Ruby I didn't want to leave. Had work/life not gotten in the way I would have read this in one sitting. Gripping, keeping you on the edge of your seat, desperate to fly through it and see where it is going but not wanting it to end because it is just too fricken good!

I eagerly await the next Flynn book(s) with baited breath, I would LOVE to see him on screen (although someone asked me who I pictured when reading him and I am one of those who don't visual my characters as I go), I would need to think. I think what makes them such gripping reads/beloved is they aren't white as snow characters, they have flaws but they work together for the greater good. Eddie has often stood for the underdog and many a times we meet a pompous or read nasty character, often in the courtroom and Eddie brings them down a peg or two, I LOVE THAT. He is just a good dude, I could talk about him/this series all day, no surprises 5/5 for me this time. When you think you know where it is going - you just don't, for being on book 8 I do worry sometimes picking them up, will it have lost its magic? Absolutely not, fresh, page turning, fabulous and some scenes make you feel a bit Annie Wilkes lmao, if you know you know. I cannot recommend this book (and series) enough. Out to buy 1st of August but you can pre order now, moan Eddie, get them!

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Sunday 14 July 2024

JFK - The Conspiracy and Truth behind the assassinations by John Hughes - Wilson

JFK - The Conspiracy and Truth Behind the AssassinationJFK - The Conspiracy and Truth Behind the Assassination by John Hughes Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 5 days

Pages - 368

Publisher - JB

Source - The Works

Blurb from Goodreads

The killing of US President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, in November 1963, sent a shockwave around the world. The charismatic young Democrat was seen as a beacon of hope in the West, but his liberal reforming policies had made him many powerful enemies at home.

For sixty years, numerous theories have swirled around this key event in American - and world - history. Yet whatever the conclusions of the official Warren Report - that the President had been assassinated by a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald - many people doubt that to be true. Indeed, President Nixon later admitted on tape that the report was 'a hoax committed on the American people.' John Hughes-Wilson, a former colonel in British Intelligence, has sifted through the millions of words and thousands of pieces of evidence, to put together an intelligence assessment of what really happened that dreadful high noon in Dallas in 1963.

Reading this astounding book, no one can be in any doubt that JFK's death was not at the hands of a lone deranged gunman, but a deadly plot to remove a President who threatened vested interests at home and abroad.

My Review

I think most of us have or had an interest in the JFK case, I certainly have since we learned about him/it in history. In this book the author has a look at everything that was reported, facts, speculation and some of his own opinions. He was a soldier so comments on the ability of the alleged weapon Lee Harvey Oswald apparently used as a lone gun man.

I think for me the biggest surprise was that JFK had so many enemies and was disliked/hated by men/organisations/people in power. The book goes over his fathers dodgy dealings and the family history (not in huge depth).

I didn't know the extent of corruption, he talks about the wounds/body being manipulated *gasp* I have seen s a few documentaries and the Kevin Costner movie (I am so going to rewatch it) and don't think I ever heard that. To be fair there was a few things in the book I hadn't heard about, the two coffins, the issues with witnesses. Threats galore and the author points out, even now (the bok was released only last year) that still a lot of information is not available to the public and lots that is has been heavily redacted.

It is wild just how much skulduggery was involved, how many potential people were involved in taking out a president and even after the fact how much manipulation/threats and deaths followed potential witnesses. I don't think we will ever fully know the truth about the assassination but there is no doubt it is fascinating, morbid, conspiracy theories galore, 4/5.

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Saturday 13 July 2024

Felicity's War by Jean Fullerton

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Felicity's War by Jean Fullerton, for my stop I have my review. This is a Rachels Random Resources blog tour. The book is available to buy now, Amazon link here.

About the author:

Author Bio – Born and bred in East London Jean was a District Nurse by trade working throughout East London. She had published twenty-three sagas, including the popular WW2 RATION BOOK, which like all her books is set in East London. Jean has also written her autobiography A Child of the East End, about growing up in post-war Stepney and Wapping. She is currently working on first book of her new four book WW2 series.

Felicity's War (The Stepney Girls Book 3)Felicity's War by Jean Fullerton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 383

Publisher - Corvus

Source - arc

Blurb from Goodreads

1941. Whilst London is battered by air raids, Felicity "Fliss" Carmichael has troubles of her own. Still reeling from catching her fiancé cheating, she flees to her childhood home at St. Winifred's Rectory, reuniting with her sister Prue and Hester Katz, a Jewish doctor sheltering there.

Though heartbroken, Fliss finds purpose again as a journalist. On assignment, she crosses paths with Detective Inspector Timothy Wallace, who shares her passion for truth and justice - though not her political beliefs. Despite their differences, an instant spark ignites between them.

But their love faces twists and turns ahead. While Fliss stumbles upon a crime and bravely intervenes, Tim's investigation into black market racketeering puts him in mortal danger...
In a city under siege, Fliss and Tim forge an unlikely bond. But can their blossoming romance endure the perils ahead?

My Review

So I have read book one of this, forgot about book two (it has a festive theme name so will buy and read closer to Christmas) but really liked the sound of this. Once I started reading I realised I recognised the characters but you can absolutely read as a standalone. Fliss is the daughter of a well to do priest, her mother has very high expectations and a touch of the Hyacinth Bouquet about her. Fliss is more interested in her career as a journalist and doing her bit for what is right, in this case, protesting against some shady practises of shop owners overcharging during war time and shortages. Throw into the mix a shady boyfriend, bombs are dropping and you will ALWAYS have some shady characters ready to take advantage at every corner!

I think the thing about these books are it takes you from your own time period to another, in this case, world war. It is mostly about the characters in a small town getting through the issues they face both in the things war throws at them, damage to buildings, loss, death, food shortages, plus everything of the times with the war being on the outer edges of the main story. Like it is relevant but doesn't deeply delve into the war itself but more the people living through it, reporting, surviving but also the domestic stuff and life that continues out with the war!

Be prepared to be annoyed, her mum ripped my knitting in book one and she is still a bit of a what will the neighbours say type person and yet she has a lovely husband and two good /caring about others daughter. Many emotions to be had and I like a book that gives you characters to love and hate! The book has a wee bit of everything - love, infidelity, theft, skulduggery of all kinds, loyalty, family, violence and dangers lurking, 4/5 from us. I will be going to get the book I missed and the others I haven't read of her other series as we do enjoy Fullerton's books, yet to read one we haven't!

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Friday 12 July 2024

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis by Anne Rice

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis (The Vampire Chronicles, #12)Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis by Anne Rice
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - In and out over 6 days

Pages - 451

Publisher - Knopf

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

At the novel's center: the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, hero, leader, inspirer, irresistible force, irrepressible spirit, battling (and ultimately reconciling with) a strange otherworldly form that has somehow taken possession of Lestat's undead body and soul. This ancient and mysterious power and unearthly spirit of vampire lore has all the force, history, and insidious reach of the unknowable Universe.

It is through this spirit, previously considered benign for thousands of vampire years and throughout the Vampire Chronicles, that we come to be told the hypnotic tale of a great sea power of ancient times; a mysterious heaven on earth situated on a boundless continent--and of how and why, and in what manner and with what far-reaching purpose, this force came to build and rule the great legendary empire of centuries ago that thrived in the Atlantic Ocean.

And as we learn of the mighty, far-reaching powers and perfections of this lost kingdom of Atalantaya, the lost realms of Atlantis, we come to understand its secrets, and how and why the vampire Lestat, indeed all the vampires, must reckon so many millennia later with the terrifying force of this ageless, all-powerful Atalantaya spirit.

My Review

I have read the previous books in the series over X amount of years, some I remember more clearly than others and Lestat has certainly been on a journey. This time we see him being the Prince of their people, leader/ruler and he has as an inner spirit hitchhiking in him Amel. When the counsel hear of a vampire being murdered and his brain eaten it brings to attention a new person(s) of interest and a threat to the vampires but they have no idea of just how unique these people are or their purpose!

I really struggled in parts with this one. Some of it was really interesting especially those who can harm vampires, I am purposely being vague here to avoid spoilers. Torture, spirits, higher beings there is a lot in this and a bit of past and present with stories of old being told and beings trying to work out their place amongst each other, both them and the vamps.

Lestat is very different from how I remember him, he is much more chill and wise but he has been through a hundred life times. Louis pops up again not really playing a huge part but then nor are really any of them excluding Amel, Lestat and the others. I almost felt this was a foundation laying book for what is to come, the next book but it was so very long, disjointed a bit and I kept getting pulled out of it. I just don't think it flowed as well as the previous books nor where the characters overly engaging. David popping up did make me think of The Mayfair Witches trilogy and I think I will re read them at some point as I loved them and the Talamasca group - I actually would have loved a book purely on them to be honest. Whilst it is nice to get a few tidbits/updates on previous book characters nothing was overly in depth if you exclude the others and folks from their story. 3/5 from me, of course I will read the next one which I believe is the last in the series but this wasn't my fave by any stretch.

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Wednesday 10 July 2024

Hera by Jennifer Saint

HeraHera by Jennifer Saint
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 400

Publisher - Wildfire

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Hera, immortal goddess and daughter of the ancient Titan Cronos, helped her brother Zeus to overthrow their tyrannical father so that they could rule the world. But, as they establish their reign on Mount Olympus, Hera suspects that Zeus might be just as ruthless and cruel as their father was, and she begins to question her role at his side. She was born to rule, but does that mean perpetuating a cycle of violence and cruelty that has existed since the dawn of time? Will assuming her power mean that Hera loses herself, or can she find a way to forge a better world?

Traditionally portrayed as a jealous wife, a wicked stepmother, and a victim-blaming instrument of the patriarchy, Hera is ripe for a retelling that shows her as a powerful queen―ruthless when she needs to be, but also compassionate, strategic, and ambitious. With Hera, beloved and bestselling author Jennifer Saint delivers another epic and enthralling reimagining of a Greek heroine we only thought we knew.

My Review

I don't know a whole lot of the Greek Mythology, like you know some or snippets of or the legends so when I see Saint has a new book coming out I tend to grab it. They are really interesting retellings and as I have little knowledge on the originals I am not sure how much is different but I do enjoy them (although enjoy seems the wrong word at times for some of the shocking stuff they get up to!).

So this book is about Hera and how she is left with no choice but to accept Zeus and his marriage proposal. Many of the Gods feature in this and their own actions/legends but it is Hera who is the main character and this is from her view point/interactions with the others.

The Gods are not very nice people, Zeus, Zeus comes off terribly in this, he doesn't know the word no, consent, he forces himself on females more than once and often they then suffer again after his initial assault. Hera I really felt for but at times, her choices with her revenge/vengeance against innocents, I struggled at times with her and her choices.

Constant drama/retribution(s)/skulduggery and overall shady behaviours by most if not all of them but it does make for interesting reading, 4/5 for me this time.

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Tuesday 9 July 2024

The Fighter of Auschwitz by Erik Brouwer

The Fighter of Auschwitz: The incredible true story of Leen Sanders who boxed to help others surviveThe Fighter of Auschwitz: The incredible true story of Leen Sanders who boxed to help others survive by Erik Brouwer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 336

Publisher - Cassell

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

The story of Dutch boxer Leen Sanders who was spared to entertain the Nazi guards and helped others survive Auschwitz.

'He had the dream again last night... He taps the gloves of his unbeaten Polish opponent. There are rumours that the loser will be sent to the gas chamber.'

In 1943 Leen Sanders, Dutch champion boxer, was sent to Auschwitz. His wife and children were put to death while he was sent 'to the left' with the others fit enough for labor. Recognised by an SS officer, he was earmarked for a 'privileged' post in the kitchens in exchange for weekly boxing matches for the entertainment of the Nazi guards. From there, he enacted his resistance to their limitless cruelty.

With great risk and danger to his own life, Leen Sanders stole, concealed and smuggled food and clothing from SS nursing units for years to alleviate the unbearable suffering of the prisoners in need. He also regularly supplied extra food to the Dutch women in Dr. Mengele's experiment Block 10. To his fellow Jews in the camp, he acted as a rescuer, leader and role model, defending them even on their bitter death march to Dachau towards the end of the war.

A story of astonishing resilience and compassion, The Fighter of Auschwitz is a testament to the endurance of humanity in the face of extraordinary evil.

My Review

I had never heard of Leen Saunders, a famous Jewish boxer who ended up in Auschwitz, this is his story. The first 100 pages of the book is all about Leen, his family, upbringing, career and then how things slowly change as the ward takes hold. As with many of these books prepare for emotive responses, anger, heartache, absolutely jaw dropping that these things happened, were allowed to happen and how so many innocent people were tortured/abused/murdered by Nazi's.

Leen's boxing career is interesting and for the first quarter plus you could actually forget what is coming as you absorb in his achievements/career. Then we meet Leen the survivor, how he gets through his time in Auschwitz but the absolute acts of bravery/heroism using the small "privileges" he had to ease the suffering of his fellow men and women. There is brief mention of "Doctor" Mengele in this one and some of what he did, I have read a fair few of these types of books but none had mentioned him, absolutely horrified. I think it is the absolute barbaric hate/abuse that people inflicted upon others, some because they were ordered, some because the believed the hate rhetoric spewed by Hitler and some purely because they enjoyed it.

We hear a little about Leen after the war, the impact and cost it was to him and even when he should have been cared for yet more failures from people who should have known better. This man deserved praise, comfort - someone even said about a statue, something, anything - it is horrible that when humanity has the chance for good, often they fail. A lot of emotions from this one and I think another that stays with you long after you put the book down 4.5/5 from us.

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Sunday 7 July 2024

Happy July

Happy July, I know we are a week in already. We have had a lot going on here and with work etc I only just got a chance to draw June's competition winners tonight, winners announced on our Instagram & the winners have been emailed, tagged and DM'd.

For this month I am going to do x1 £10 Amazon voucher. As Amazon only allows us to gift from/for our own country this one is UK ONLY. To enter, use the Rafflecopter below, please only select the entries you have completed, all draws are checked/verified. Non UK folk, don't worry as I will do another giveaway, bookish related on one of our other socials, likely Insta and that one will be open worldwide.

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