Friday 27 August 2021

August's Eyes by Glenn Rolfe blog tour

Today is my turn and closing the blog tour for August Eye's by author Glen Rolfe, for my stop I have my review, enjoy.

About The Author:

Glenn Rolfe is an author from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona,and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.

The book is available to buy now, click HERE for Amazon UK.

August's EyesAugust's Eyes by Glenn Rolfe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 228

Publisher - Flame Tree Press

Source - ARC

Blurb from Goodreads

"An intense tale reminiscent of classic works by Jack Ketchum or Stephen King" — Booklist

When dreams start bleeding into reality, a social worker is forced to face the mistakes of his past.

A serial killer has found a way to make his land of graveyards a sinister playground to be bent at his sadistic will.

The secrets behind August's eyes will bring two worlds together, and end in a cataclysm of pain and ruin.

My Review

Sometimes we have a dream that stays with us for the rest of the day, a dream that freaks you out, that gives you the heebies. Meet John, that is exactly what is happening to him, the dreams are getting more frequent and creepy. When he thinks he sees one of the boys from his dreams, in real life he really starts freaking out, is he losing it? As the dreams become more vivid and John attempts to deal with his issues and the dreams he starts to realise that sometimes you can't escape the past and actions have consequences.

Heads up guys there is a creepy pervert pedophile bad guy, he doesn't appear a whole lot but the theme is relevant to the story and we do hear from the scumbag at points. The dreamland we visit via John, as a kid, is creepy, haunting, eerie and sets up the atmospheric spooky vibes that are laced throughout the book. There are also nods to movies and songs, I love this in a book, I end up telling Alexa to play them and movies or books I tend to look up. These type of references or casual mentions tends, well for me anyway, to fire up some memories - I grew up on old school horror!

We are introduced to horror in human form then normal life/relationships for the main character as things start to slowly edge in and become freaky/dark. I love when a book builds up like that, you get to know the characters, care for them or not, then things start to unravel and descend.

Rolfe is a new author for me, I enjoyed the chilling vibes and hair raising moments that brought normal life to the supernatural. Dreams or rather nightmares have always been a good way for stories/movies to go, you are so vulnerable when you are asleep so it adds to the horror/fear. The book seems to add a dash of some many things, some crime, depravity, creepy crawlies, supernatural and crosses over to John's normal waking day, I really liked it. August's Eyes is my first dance with this author, I will be checking out his other offerings for sure, 4/5 for me this time!

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Monday 23 August 2021

Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs

Deadly Decisions (Temperance Brennan, #3)Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 416

Publisher - Arrow

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

A nine-year old girl dies on her way to ballet class, caught in outlaw biker crossfire. Violence is spilling on to the streets of Montreal and Dr Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist for the state, has to pick up the pieces.

She knows she shouldn't let emotion get in the way of her role as scientist, but when nine-year-old Emily's body is wheeled into the morgue she cannot help but react. Tempe's nephew, Kit, is mesmerised by motorcycles. Does he understand the dangers posed by the outlaw gangs?

An exhumation uncovers the bones of another innocent, hidden in a clandestine grave close to a biker headquarters. With her boss in the hospital and her sparring partner Andrew Ryan disturbingly unavailable, Tempe begins a perilous investigation into a lawless underworld of organised crime.

My review

This book has been on my shelves for years so it was really nice to reacquaint with Tempe, Doctor Temperance Brennan, bone doctor /forensic anthropologist. A nine year old little girl is killed when rival biker gangs target each other and she is caught in the crossfire. Tempe helps the team investigate and get answers on some bones linked with one of the gangs. Along with this her young nephew has come to town and has a keen interest in motorbikes but he wouldn't get caught up with the wrong people surely. Trying to do her job, look out for her family and then her relationship with her boyfriend takes an unexpected surprise.

I love the way you sink into some books, Tempe is very thorough in her job so we learn a wee bit of something with each body she examines. The book has lots going on, her and the cop rubbing the wrong way, her family life/relationships and then the unexpected turn with the boyfriend.

Rival gangs are dangerous territory and with Tempe being on the news that adds another level of danger for her. The book is busy, paced and keeps you hooked because there is so much going on at each turn. I have a fair few of these on the tbrm and although I have been known to read out of sequence but I think the next few are in order. Looking forward to picking the next one up, 4/5 for me this time.

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Wednesday 18 August 2021

The Echo Chamber by John Boyne

The Echo ChamberThe Echo Chamber by John Boyne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Publisher - Transworld

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

What a thing of wonder a mobile phone is. Six ounces of metal, glass and plastic, fashioned into a sleek, shiny, precious object. At once, a gateway to other worlds - and a treacherous weapon in the hands of the unwary, the unwitting, the inept.

The Cleverley family live a gilded life, little realising how precarious their privilege is, just one tweet away from disaster. George, the patriarch, is a stalwart of television interviewing, a 'national treasure' (his words), his wife Beverley, a celebrated novelist (although not as celebrated as she would like), and their children, Nelson, Elizabeth, Achilles, various degrees of catastrophe waiting to happen.

Together they will go on a journey of discovery through the Hogarthian jungle of the modern living where past presumptions count for nothing and carefully curated reputations can be destroyed in an instant. Along the way they will learn how volatile, how outraged, how unforgiving the world can be when you step from the proscribed path.

My Review

Dear lord what an unsavoury bunch a lot of the characters are in this book, shady, shocking, hillarious, rude ooft so so many words where to start. Meet the Cleverley family, George father and beloved tv personality with the BBC, Beverley his wife is a novelist snob and a firm believer in staff knowing their place. They have three grown children, Nelson the eldest is a teacher and socially awkward but working through it with a therapist and uniforms. Elizabeth is a spoilt brat who cares more about social media presence than pretty much anything else. Achilles is the baby, seventeen and at school, beautiful, gift of the gab and very aware how much he can get out of his looks. The book follows each of the characters and what is happening in their lives and the impact of actions and consequences.

I cringed so so many times at scenes in this book, sometimes I laughed out loud, shook my head, gasped, got enraged. The book looks at so many themes and issues, how we as a society are tied up with social media, our phones, our public personas. The book looks at homophobia, transphobia, racism, being pc and I think by making the characters such extremes of what they are it punches it through. Even in these times people behave appallingly but often think they can get away with it because of who they are or "it is just an opinion" or hide behind a computer screen. Whilst there is a lot of humour laced throughout there are some very serious messages/lessons in the book.

I do enjoy Boyne's writing, I have read a few of his books and find even if the characters are loveable or you loathe them you can sink into their world and loose yourself for a few hours. Prepare for some entitled self involved shady cheating unlikable characters - I sometimes find books with horrid people are often then ones you end up glued to, they said WHAT?!?!?! 4/5 for me this time.

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Friday 13 August 2021

The Girl Who Escaped from Auschwitz by Ellie Midwood

The Girl Who Escaped from Auschwitz: A totally gripping and absolutely heartbreaking World War 2 page-turner, based on a true storyThe Girl Who Escaped from Auschwitz: A totally gripping and absolutely heartbreaking World War 2 page-turner, based on a true story by Ellie Midwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time take to read - 2 days

Pages -

Publisher - Bookouture

Source - Netgalley & bought a treebook copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Millions of people walked through Auschwitz’s gates, but she was the first woman who escaped. This powerful novel tells the inspiring true story of Mala Zimetbaum, whose heroism will never be forgotten, and whose fate altered the course of history…

Nobody leaves Auschwitz alive.

Mala, inmate 19880, understood that the moment she stepped off the cattle train into the depths of hell. As an interpreter for the SS, she uses her position to save as many lives as she can, smuggling scraps of bread to those desperate with hunger.

Edward, inmate 531, is a camp veteran and a political prisoner. Though he looks like everyone else, with a shaved head and striped uniform, he’s a fighter in the underground Resistance. And he has an escape plan.

They are locked up for no other sin than simply existing. But when they meet, the dark shadow of Auschwitz is lit by a glimmer of hope. Edward makes Mala believe in the impossible. That despite being surrounded by electric wire, machine guns topping endless watchtowers and searchlights roaming the ground, they will leave this death camp.

A promise is made––they will escape together or they will die together. What follows is one of the greatest love stories in history…

My review

This is apparently based on a true story, the first female escapee from Auschwitz and an unlikely place for two people who fall in love. The book is set in Auschwitz and we follow Edek and Mala's story, each having their own chapters and it flipping between the two.

Through Edek we see the horrors in the camp, the utter disregard for human life and some of the worst atrocities. It is very hard hitting, hard to read and very emotional. Mala has things better than most prisoners there, she works in an office for the Nazi's, has clothes, food, warm, decent sleeping quarters and yet she risks everything to try and do what she can to save those she is able to and ease suffering to the others.

Edek and Mala work together to do what they can to help the resistance, their people and of course the more they see of each other a friendship begins. These kinds of books always knock you in the feels, fiction or non fiction, as they are often well researched so have an authentic voice. I went to Ann Franks house/museum in Amsterdam and reading this brought back that experience too. Your heart hurts and you are horrified to contemplate how people could do these murderous/vile/inhuman acts. Despite this being a relatively short book (under 300 pages) it manages to cover a lot of what happened there and the book has plenty for the reader to follow up reading once you finish the book. 4/5 for me this time, prepare yourself for anger, tears, horror and an emotive rollercoaster.

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Tuesday 10 August 2021

The Nurse by J A Corrigan

The NurseThe Nurse by J.A. Corrigan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 336

Publisher - Canelo

Source - Netgalley and bought copy

Blurb from Goodreads

When you hear her story, will you believe her?

Rose Marlowe is a hard-working nurse, a loving wife, and a merciless killer. Or so she says. Despite her confession, it is hard to believe that this beautiful, kind woman could have killed her vulnerable patient in cold blood.

Down-on-his luck author and ex-journalist, Theo Hazel, is convinced that there’s more to what happened than Rose is telling, and so decides to visit her behind bars to write her story. His first surprise comes when Rose reveals that the victim was not a stranger to her.

As time goes on, it seems that Rose is letting Theo see behind her perfect mask. With each new visit, he learns terrible new things about her heart-breaking past. With each new visit, he becomes more and more convinced that she can’t be a killer. But is he trying to free an innocent victim, or falling prey to a calculating murderer?

My Review

Rose has committed the worse offense ever, she is a nurse and has murdered her patient, she has confessed and been sentenced. She is very much resigned to her fate, declined to give out anything that would possibly help her and yet she doesn't come across as a cold killer. She has refused interviews and limits her visits, until now. Accepting to see a journalist turned author she decides to tell her story, her way, he has his own agenda, he will exploit the case and Rose for money and all it will bring. However when Theo meets Rose and starts to hear her story he can't help but be drawn in as Rose reveals her secrets that could change everything.

The book comes at you quite different from a lot of those I have read over the years, Rose admits to the crime but is quite cagey in what she reveals. We flip between Rose and Theo, Rose telling her story so taking us way back to Theo, present day, processing what he has been told and carrying out his own interviews.

The book has some very difficult themes, murder, betrayal, grief, loss and some of the shadier sides of humanity. I had no idea where the book was going nor saw it going in X directions, I love when a book pulls a punch. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE are words I said more than once. The characters are a bit random, her mother I didn't know what to make of, Rose herself comes across one way, kind, considerate, calming and yet we know she has admitted to murder in such a heinous way.

You know something is coming, just not what so I was loathe to put the book down because I wanted to know what was happening. 4/5 for me this time, I think this was my first time reading this author, won't be my last.

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Wednesday 4 August 2021

The Devil's Advocate by Steve Cavanagh

The Devil's AdvocateThe Devil's Advocate by Steve Cavanagh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Pages - 304

Publisher - Orion

Source - ARC

Blurb from Goodreads

A deadly prosecutor

They call him the King of Death Row. Randal Korn has sent more men to their deaths than any district attorney in the history of the United States.

A twisted ritualistic killing

When a young woman, Skylar Edwards, is found murdered in Buckstown, Alabama, a corrupt sheriff arrests the last person to see her alive, Andy Dubois. It doesn't seem to matter to anyone that Andy is innocent.

A small town boiling with rage

Everyone in Buckstown believes Andy is guilty. He has no hope of a fair trial. And the local defense attorney assigned to represent him has disappeared.

A former con-artist

Hot shot New York lawyer Eddie Flynn travels south to fight fire with fire. He plans to destroy the prosecutors case, find the real killer and save Andy from the electric chair.

But the murders are just beginning.

Is Eddie Flynn next?

My Review

So I have read a few of the Eddie Flynn books, bought the ones I have missed and need to actually read them. I LOVE Eddie, he is a lawyer who won't represent anyone who is guilty, I imagine this may be covered, the why, in the earlier books. He has a colourful past and can be a wee bit dodgy but in a totally good way, he is a really good guy and has a moral compass, he also bends some rules as and when needed. He has been asked to come to a small town to help a guy accused of murder, the prosecutor has a record for going for the death penalty and it is never reversed. The town is shady, dodgy, racist and even the decent people aren't huge on outsiders. The prosecutor loves his record, he is powerful, rich and very influential, nothing and no-one gets between him and his goal, Eddie has met some bad people in the past but this town has folk of the likes he has never encountered before.

If I hadn't had work I would have sunk this in one sitting. I make no qualms about how much I love Flynn so I really need to find the earlier books and get them read. He is the type of guy you can't help but love, wee bit shady, heart in the right place, fighting for the good "guy" and the odds are usually placed against them.

This book gave me "A Time To Kill" vibes, racism, them vs us, murder, violence, manipulation, corruption, abuse of power, ooft heart in my mouth multiple times and beyond horrified at the behaviour of some of the humans in this book. I know it is fiction but attitudes and violence like we see in this book is all to real and fiction that evokes strong emotional responses *mic drop*.

I couldn't guess where the book was going, I gasped a fair few times and was just like there is no way out for X character, where to next? The author pulls the rug from under you a fair few times, I was totally invested in the characters and a total ragin spice at others. Definitely one of my 5/5 this year, I am re arranging my 5 bookcases soon so will be actively hunting the earlier Flynn books. Out to buy tomorrow in ebook and tree book, I can't recommend this story enough. Be warned it has some very hard hitting themes, do not start it late at night or if you have plans that day because you are drawn in and need to know what happens next! Buy link from AMAZON UK.

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Monday 2 August 2021

Behind Closed Doors by Catherine Alliott

Behind Closed DoorsBehind Closed Doors by Catherine Alliott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 400

Publisher - Penguin

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

From the outside, anyone would think that Lucy Palmer has it all: loving children, a dashing husband and a gorgeous home.

But when her marriage to Michael comes to an abrupt and unexpected end, her life is turned upside down in a flash.

As the truth of her marriage threatens to surface, Lucy seizes the opportunity to swap her house in London - and the stories it hides - for a rural escape to her parents' farmhouse in the Chilterns.

But Lucy gets more than she bargained for when she moves back to her childhood home, especially when it throws her into the path of an old flame.

Coming face-to-face with her mistakes, Lucy is forced to confront the secrets she's been keeping from herself and those she loves.

Is she ready to let someone in? Or will she leave the door to her past firmly closed . . .

My Review

Oooft Lucy has headed home to her parent's after her toxic marriage has ended. Her parent's are knocking about in the big farmhouse and it is clear they are having issues coping, albeit they are in absolute denial. Lucy has some healing to do, some truths to face and helping her very reluctant parents to face their own issues.

I have never read Alliott before, this was my first and it won't be my last that is for sure. The book is laced with some light relief and comedy inbetween some very hard hitting issues. Abuse (gaslighting), martial abuse, infidelity, threats, I found some of the situations Lucy found herself in or rather her response to them very frustrating. I think dependent upon your own life experiences and type of person you are you will have different reactions, empathy with her, angry/frustrated at what she endures and or how she responds.

Her parents are hilarious, very human with their antics and flaws, still enjoying their life whilst causing their daughters grey hair from worry and very blasé attitudes. They also like a drop or ten of booze and party accordingly whilst turning a blind eye to health issues. The book has a good mix of emotive, funny, shocking, horrific shows of human behavior, selfishness, selflessness - it is a very mixed bag. The characters are very different so I think readers will be able to related to some and get highly upset/annoyed at others. 4/5 for me this time, I will be checking out her back catalogue as I know I don't have any others on my tbrm. My thanks to Hanifa for bringing this author and book to my attention and putting another author on my almost collapsing tbrm lol.

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Sunday 1 August 2021

Happy August 1st and Orenda book/bookmark giveaway

Looking forward to August like Luna is looking forward to nom noms in this piccy!

This coming week we are celebrating me turning 21+ (again) lol, o/h is fixing up the back garden to accomodate more people and going to see our friends. We also plan to go see our loved ones and some animals and abandoned buildings. I am on annual leave AND it is my birthday soon so lots of positives to focus on.

This month I want to do a giveaway of x1 book from the Orenda Books website. Orenda books is Karen Sullivan's baby, she has brought happiness to so many book worms. I managed to attend an Orenda Roadshow book event, fantastic evenings with access to authors, their books and you weren't even charged for the evening. She is such a lovely human and so so kind. On top of that, I have yet to find a book by them I haven't liked (I haven't yet read every book but those I have I have liked or loved).

So for this months giveaway, open worldwide, the winner can choose any one book from the list available on the Orenda book website. A runner up will get x1 of the Orenda bookmarks as in the photo. All of the Orenda books are very different so have a good look and read through the synopsis. To enter, as always, use the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

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