Friday, 14 January 2022

Review - A Terrible Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe

A Terrible Kindness
Publisher: Faber and Faber Ltd
Release date: 20 January 2022
Back cover blurb: It is October 1966 and William Lavery is having the night of his life at his first black-tie do. But, as the evening unfolds, news hits of a landslide at a coal mine. It has buried a school: Aberfan. William decides he must act, so he stands and volunteers to attend. It will be his first job as an embalmer, and it will be one he never forgets. His work that night will force him to think about the little boy he was, and the losses he has worked so hard to forget. But compassion can have surprising consequences, because - as William discovers - giving so much to others can sometimes help us heal ourselves.

A Terrible Kindness is a beautifully written novel about love, loss, grief and everything in-between.

William is a newly qualified embalmer, following in his Uncle and Late Father's footsteps, when the function he is at is interrupted, asking for volunteers to help at Aberfan. He is having the time of his life, at his first black-tie function alongside Gloria who he is in love with - but hasn't told yet.

It's October 1966, and Aberfan primary school has just been buried following the catastrophic collapse of colliery spoil tip no 7. The village is in shock, it's children dead or missing.

William's job at first is to help identify the victims by extracting their clothing and then holding the item aloft where the parents of the missing are gathered, waiting for someone to claim the garment and their child.

He quickly moves on to what he knows best, embalming. The work is relentless, so many bodies to get through, and the work becomes harder, the victims more gravely injured as time goes on. William thinks little of it at the time, he is there to do a job, a job he excels at.

It isn't until he returns home that he realises his life may never be the same again. Still young himself, the Aberfan disaster forces William to think about his troubled past and consider events that he has tried hard to forget, as he tries to look toward the future and whatever that may hold. 

This is a superb debut, and I can't wait to see what this author does next!

A Terrible Kindness is available from 20 January 2022 via Amazon and all good book shops.

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

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Review - The Man in the Bunker by Rory Clements

The Man in the Bunker by Rory Clements
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
Release date: 20 January 2022
Back cover blurb: Germany, late summer 1945 - The war is over but the country is in ruins. Millions of refugees and holocaust survivors strive to rebuild their lives in displaced persons camps. Millions of German soldiers and SS men are held captive in primitive conditions in open-air detention centres. Everywhere, civilians are desperate for food and shelter. No one admits to having voted Nazi, yet many are unrepentant. Adolf Hitler is said to have killed himself in his Berlin bunker. But no body was found - and many people believe he is alive. Newspapers are full of stories reporting sightings and theories. Even Stalin, whose own troops captured the bunker, has told President Truman he believes the former F├╝hrer is not dead. Day by day, American and British intelligence officers subject senior members of the Nazi regime to gruelling interrogation in their quest for their truth. Enter Tom Wilde - the Cambridge professor and spy sent in to find out the truth...

What if Hitler had survived the War?

It's a question that has been asked time and time again, but in the late summer of 1945 with the War barely over, the answer to that question could change everything.

With several high profile Nazi leaders still on the loose, and others awaiting trial, finding Hitler and bringing him to justice would be the highlight of Tom Wilde's career.

Except Tom Wilde is gearing up for the new term in his role as a Cambridge professor, and not prepared to go back to Europe as a spy. But his former boss has other ideas, and assigns him a colleague for his mission.

Hitler is said to be alive, secreted deep in the Alps, awaiting his next move. Tom must speak to those who are currently detained, and find those who are missing. The members of the party, the ones in the Berlin bunker who saw out the last days of the War with him .... The ones who knew him best.

Some are said to have fled to other countries, some seemingly vanished without a trace. But Tom knows in order to find Hitler he must tread carefully. Because if he is alive, then he is being protected, and if he's found out, then Tom and his colleagues lives are very much in danger.

The Man in the Bunker is a fast paced thrill of a read for anyone who loves historical fiction, WWII Fiction and alternate history theories...

The Man in the Bunker is available to pre-order 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.

Thursday, 6 January 2022

Review - Both of You by Adele Parks

Both of You by Adele Parks
Publisher: HQ
Release date: 6 January 2022
Back cover blurb: Happy. Married. Missing. Leigh Fletcher, devoted wife and stepmum, goes to work one day and never returns home. Same week, different world … Kai Janssen leaves her sexy, wealthy husband and their luxurious penthouse, and vanishes into thin air. Both husbands seem distraught, claiming they have no idea where their wives have gone. DC Clements wants answers. Did these women run away or were they taken? Most importantly, where are they now? When the detective discovers a shocking link between the missing women, it’s clear the truth can devastate. Now Clements must work against a ticking clock, before both wives disappear forever. The Sunday Times Number One bestseller Adele Parks returns with her most provocative book to date: Both Of You.

Both of You is the perfect novel for me to recommence book blogging with, after all as any regular/previous readers of my blog will know, Adele Parks is my absolute favourite author. 

I actually read this novel last year in hard back, but unfortunately didn’t get round to publishing my review. So publication day for the paperback version seemed like the perfect day to post!

I know it probably seems like I say this after every one of Adele's new books, but I think this is my favourite to date - proof that she just keeps getting better and better I guess?!

Both of You is quite a hard novel to review without giving too much away, but I'll do my best ... I'm a little of practice now.

Leigh Fletcher, devoted wife to Mark and step mum to two boys, goes to work one day and never returns. Sure, she left on bad terms, but it's not like they haven't argued before. Who can say that they've never left the house in a huff?

Kai Jensen, devoted wife to Daan is reported missing by her seemingly distraught husband in the same week. She has simply vanished into thin air.

DC Clements now has responsibility for these two women, and she wants answers. 

Do these two women know each other?

Did these women run away, or were they taken? 

More importantly, where are they now? 

Everyone knows that in missing person cases it is usually the partner involved, so DC Clements' suspicions naturally lie there. She isn't sure that the cases are connected, but they are very close in time, even if the women seemingly have nothing else in common. 

People don't just disappear...  do they?

Both of You is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

My top picks for 2022

 Books I am looking forward to reading in 2022, in no particular order ...

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Hello 2022!!! New Year, New (blogging) Me!


I'm sorry, it's been a while. 

I appreciate that is a massive understatement, but the last year, okay maybe the last two years have been really tough.

I know that's the case for most people, but I have neglected reading, in a way that I never have before as the pandemic has forced me to be more focused on my job and my family.

However, I realised recently that I hadn't made much time for me... 

So, I've made the decision to do something I never do, which is to make a New Year's resolution, to do exactly that. 

Make more ME time. 

Whether that be reading, blogging or something else.

By doing this I hope that I can find some time to read the incredible novels that are waiting for me, and have been piling up over the last 15 months or so.

I'm looking forward to getting back in to blogging too. As I sit here writing this, I realise just how much I have missed it.

Here's to a better 2022 for all of us.


Monday, 19 April 2021

Review - The Good Neighbour by R.J. Parker

The Good Neighbour by R.J. Parker
Publisher: One More Chapter (Harper Collins UK)
Release date: 18 March 2021
Back cover blurb: He isn’t who you think he is… When Leah Talbot crashes her car one night, she spots a light on in a nearby house and approaches, hoping that someone is home. He is. Charming, handsome, Martin Tate answers the door to the bedraggled and traumatised Leah, inviting her in. Though she’s not there for long, Leah feels an indescribable pull to the man who has helped in her hour of need. But when she returns the next morning to say thank you, it isn’t Martin who answers the door this time. It’s the police. There’s been a brutal murder and the female homeowner is lying dead in a pool of blood upstairs in bed. There’s no sign of Martin… Until he comes looking for Leah.

Leah Talbot is only minutes away from home when she hits a deer and is forced to abandon her vehicle at the side of the road. The conditions are awful, so she walks to the nearest house for help, clearly in shock, and is allowed to use the telephone and await the vehicle recovery services in the kind strangers home.

Martin Tate does everything he can to make Leah feel at ease, and despite her fear she feels a magnetic pull towards him. But that could be because it's valentine's night, she can't get hold of her husband, has no idea where he is in fact, and this stranger is being kinder to her than anyone has been in years.

When Leah returns the next day to gift a bottle of wine to her neighbour, he has gone and instead the police are on the doorstep wanting to know why she is at the house of a murdered woman. 

Martin Tate is nowhere to be seen.

Leah is understandably shocked, and more than a little confused as she explains the previous nights events to the police. They tell her not to worry, that they will look after her, and her husband, whilst they attempt to find Tate, their prime suspect.

Leah is pacified by this, until she gets a phone call from Tate, and then the real 'fun' begins ....

The Good Neighbour is an addictive read, that will keep you hooked until the end.

The Good Neighbour 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.