Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Blog tour - Review - The Safe House by Louise Mumford

The Safe House by Louise Mumford
HQ Digital
Release date:12 May 2022
Back cover blurb: Esther is safe in the house. For sixteen years, she and her mother have lived off the grid, protected from the dangers of the outside world. For sixteen years, Esther has never seen another single soul. Until today. Today there’s a man outside the house. A man who knows Esther’s name, and who proves that her mother’s claims about the outside world are false. A man who is telling Esther that she’s been living a lie. Is her mother keeping Esther safe – or keeping her prisoner?

Esther has been kept in a safe house for sixteen years. She barely remembers life before, so knows only that the house keeps them safe, from 'out there'.

Esther has asthma, ever since she was diagnosed, her Mother has feared for her life. Her need to keep Esther safe from the germs and grime of the outside world forced her to purchase a well hidden underground bunker.

Esther mostly doesn't question this, but as she reaches a significant birthday, she asks her Mother if she can join her on her annual trip outside for supplies. Her request is denied, and Esther's interest now piqued. 

What is out there that her Mother doesn't want her to know/see/hear?

She finds out sooner than she could imagine. 

A man outside the 'house'. Who is he and how did he get there? Dare she open the hatch and talk to him?

Whatever decision Esther makes must be timely, her Mother won't be long, and she can't be seen to be breaking any rules. The truth comes quicker than she imagined, and changes everything Esther thought she knew about the world outside.

The Safe House is a well written, interesting take on the lengths that some people will go to protect those that they love. I've seen some describe the story as a little far fetched, but I believe that we are capable of anything, and I think it's a great story! 

The Safe House is available from 12 May 2022 via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request in exchange for an honest review.

The Blog tour runs until 13th May - Don't forget to check out the other bloggers!

Friday, 6 May 2022

Review - the Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn

The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn
Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Release date: 31 March 2022
Back cover blurb: The brand-new historical novel based on a true story from the bestselling author of The Rose Code and The Alice Network. She’s the war’s most lethal sniper. And the one they least expect… In the snowbound city of Kiev, aspiring historian Mila Pavlichenko’s life revolves around her young son – until Hitler’s invasion of Russia changes everything. Suddenly, she and her friends must take up arms to save their country from the Fuhrer’s destruction. Handed a rifle, Mila discovers a gift – and months of blood, sweat and tears turn the young woman into a deadly sniper: the most lethal hunter of Nazis. Yet success is bittersweet. Mila is torn from the battlefields of the eastern front and sent to America while the war still rages. There, she finds an unexpected ally in First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and an unexpected promise of a different future. But when an old enemy from Mila’s past joins forces with a terrifying new foe, she finds herself in the deadliest duel of her life. The Diamond Eye is a haunting novel of heroism born of desperation, of a mother who became a soldier, of a woman who found her place in the world and changed the course of history forever.

Based on a true story, the Diamond Eye focuses on WW2's most lethal sniper, Mila Pavlichenko.

Mila's life revolves around her young son, until Hitler invades Russia and everything changes. Her friends are suddenly forced to seperate, and in to roles they thought they would never have. Mila must take up arms to save her country from the Fuhrer's destruction.

A novice at handling a rifle, Mila soon discovers that she has a rare gift, and through months of blood, sweat and tears, and the untimely death of some of her comrades, Mila becomes a deadly sniper. Soon her name is notorious and a casual topic of conversation becomes 'how many have you killed now?'

Success comes at a price, not only the loss of some of her dear friends, but also her personality, she is known only as a deadly killer, then thrust into a limelight that she doesn't need or want, sent on a campaign trail to the States. Suddenly she is being transported to America and meeting Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

The luxury of her surroundings is a world away from the front line, but all she wants to do is fight. She should feel safe in a country that isn't infiltrated by the enemy, but she can't help but feel uneasy. It must just be the unwanted attention ...

The Diamond Eye is an excellent historical novel, told from a really interesting angle. I have now read all of Kate Quinn's books and I think they get better each time. I can't wait until the next!

The Diamond Eye is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Review - The Fake-Up by Justin Myers

The Fake Up by Justin Myers
Publisher: Sphere
Release date: 7 April 2022
Back cover blurb: TWO EXES. ONE BIG SECRET. LET THE GAMES BEGIN... Dylan and Flo are in love. The only trouble is, they broke up months ago and everyone was delighted for them. At first, it's exciting sneaking around, hiding from disapproving friends, climbing through bedroom windows to avoid family, and concocting hilarious disguises. It's like Romeo and Juliet. With more sex and less poison. But soon it becomes harder to separate truth from lies. Dylan and Flo are in way over their heads, and the games have only just begun . . .

The Fake Up is a bit of a departure from the thriller and historical fiction novels that I've had my nose in of late. A distraction some may say, and a great one at that.

The Fake Up concerns Dylan, a struggling actor, and Flo, a struggling musician. 

Though ask either of them and they will say that they are moderately successful.

Ask their families, and they will tell you a different story. 

Ask their friends and they will tell you another.

As for their relationship, well everyone will tell you that they're not suited to each other, and list a plethora of reasons why. So when they break up, with the exception of Dylan and Flo themselves, no one is surprised or upset.

Heartbreak leads them to throw themselves in to their day jobs with renewed vigour, and astonishing consequences. They are suddenly in the right places, at the right times, being noticed by the right people.

But they miss each other desperately. Realising it was a huge mistake to break up, they being seeing each other again in secret, with some hilarious consequences, as they both now in the public domain, and everyone wants a piece of them.

The Fake Up is a brilliantly funny novel, with some big characters and will keep you entertained til the end.

The Fake Up is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publisher who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Review - The Resistance Girl by Mandy Robotham

The Resistance Girl by Mandy Robotham
Publisher: Avon Books UK
Release date: 31 March 2022
Back cover blurb: Norway, 1942. War rages, and, under cover of darkness, Rumi Orlstad and her fellow resistance fighters smuggle British agents, fugitives and supplies across the North Sea into Nazi-occupied territory. One night, when he braves a storm to complete an ill-fated mission, Rumi’s fiancé is lost to the dangerous waters. Broken-hearted, she withdraws from the clandestine group, vowing never to let her loved ones put themselves in the line of fire again. But months later, Rumi stumbles across a Nazi secret that lays Hitler’s plans for Norway bare, and she knows she has no choice but to risk her life for her country once more. She has lost everything to the Nazis. But now she fights back…

Rumi Orlstad, the Resistance Girl of the title is a strong Norwegian woman, unafraid of Hitler who is determined to do her bit for the Norwegian war effort, even if it means becoming part of the resistance.

Rumi, alongside her Father and others help to smuggles British agents, fugitives and supplies across the North Sea in to her beloved homeland. When an ill fated mission means that Rumi loses her fiancé to the sea, she vows to never put herself or fellow countrymen in danger again.

Until she meets Jens Parkes, a man who is as British as his is Norwegian, but who's heart lie with Norway. A British SOE (Special Operations Executive) sent to gather intelligence, sabotage the occupiers in any way he can, and help the local resistance movements.

The Nazi's who occupy Norway though are notorious, and when Jens realises who one of them is, he realises that it may not only be his life that is at stake. After a frosty start with Rumi, they become accustomed to one another and Jens doesn't want to put any one else in danger.

Rumi is headstrong, determined and stubborn. After a number of false starts following her fiancés loss, she re-joins the resistance fight with a renewed passion, and wants to help Jens in anyway that she can. When she discovers what's going on at a former stately home, she becomes more determined than ever.

The Resistance Girl touches upon a part of WW2 that I wasn't too familiar with before, and it was all the more interesting for that. Of course there are some rather unpleasant things to read about, but that is part of history, and I believe that it is important these things are shared. Overall this was a really enjoyable read, and I look forward to the authors next. 

The Resistance Girl is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Review - Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough

Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release date: 31 March 2022
Back cover blurb: CHECK THE WINDOWS. It’s been like this since her big 4-0 started getting closer. LOCK THE DOORS. Her mother stopped sleeping just before her 40th birthday too. She went mad and did the unthinkable because of it. LOOK IN ON THE CHILDREN. Is that what’s happening to Emma? WHY CAN’T SHE SLEEP?

Emma Averell has a brilliant life, a family that she loves, a high flying career, and a possible promotion on the cards. She is just days away from her 40th birthday. The same milestone birthday that her Mother hit when life came crashing down for Emma and her sister Phoebe.

Insomnia has never been an issue for Emma before, but she is very much aware that it is an issue her Mother had before her birthday. Before it all went wrong.

Surely it's just a coincidence. Nothing to worry about. 

Perfectly normal.

But then Emma's sister, Phoebe turns up out of the blue, demanding that she visit their Mother in hospital, and suddenly nothing seems normal...

It can't be a coincidence that their Mother has had an episode after years of stable treatment. She had always said that Emma would follow in her footsteps. As the sleepless nights continue, and strange things begin to happen. Emma can't help but wonder, is it lack of sleep? Or is she really following in her Mother's footsteps?

I always find Sarah Pinborough's books intriguing, you never quite know what direction they are going to go in, and this is no exception!

Insomnia is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, 4 April 2022

Review - The Pilot's Girl by Catherine Hokin

The Pilot's Girl by Catherine Hokin
Publisher: Bookouture
Release date: 4 April 2022
Back cover blurb: ‘Smile, nod, and don’t breathe a word of what happens here. Or I’ll put you on the next train to Auschwitz myself.’ Four years later. Hanni Winter shivers in her thin coat as she hurries through the empty Berlin streets to her job. Despite the freezing winter and poverty all around, her cheeks flush when she meets the man she is photographing today, charismatic Tony Miller, the American pilot risking his life to bring food and provisions to the starving people of the city. But her rush of joy turns to ash as she sees the man behind him… It’s been years since Hanni fled her terrible past, but seeing Reiner Foss now brings back harrowing memories of the man they called The Showman, and of the concentration camp he commanded. The last time she tried to expose him, Hanni almost died, can she dare to try again? Or should she seize the chance she sees in Tony’s sparkling eyes to leave the horrors of the war behind? Hanni is no longer the frightened child she was when the Nazis devastated her life beyond repair. She vows to avenge every person who suffered at Reiner’s hands. But does her attraction to Tony leave her vulnerable? Can Hanni protect her loved ones from her past, or will the cost of fighting her demons ultimately prove more than she can pay? 

Hanni Winter, formerly known as Hannelore Foss is the daughter of a high ranking former concentration camp commandant SS officer, Reiner Foss. She has spent years both during the war and after trying to think of a safe way to expose him without putting her own life in danger. Each time she comes close, he fires a warning shot her way.

Now a photographer, who also works with the local police Hanni has rebuilt her life, but her desire for it to be normal is overshadowed by her Father. She is unable to be with the man she loves through a sense of guilt and fear that she is complicit in her Father's crimes by knowledge and association. 

Reiner has survived the war and is living his life undercover so he doesn't have to face up to the crimes that he committed during the war. Still a fully fledged Nazi, he is working undercover to retain the party's name and all that it stands for. In his ideal world, the party would rule again, and he would be one of the elite.

Tony Miller, an American pilot, arrives in Berlin under a celebratory fanfare. The Americans bring food and provisions to the city, and with that a heroic persona. Hanni, is tasked with taking photographs of the popular American, and is at first as taken in with him as everyone else.

But there is something about Tony Miller that isn't quite what it seems. His German is almost too perfect for a native American, and there is a strangeness about him at times, almost as if he's weighing up your usefulness to him.

Hanni can't decide whether she should be in love with him, or afraid of him. It makes her relationship with Freddy seem almost straightforward...

As a serial killer stalks the streets of Berlin, Hanni's love life is the least of her worries, and she is thrown into working with Freddy again and must cast her feelings aside if they are to find the killer together.

The Pilot's Girl is the second of what I believe to be three books in a series, and I can't wait for the next!

The Pilot's Girl is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.