Monday, 27 January 2020

Review - The Six by Luca Veste

The Six by Luca Veste
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date: 1 January 2020
Back cover blurb: Six friends trapped by one dark secret. It was supposed to be our last weekend away as friends, before marriage and respectability beckoned. But what happened that Saturday changed everything. In the middle of the night, someone died. The six of us promised each other we would not tell anyone about the body we buried. But now the pact has been broken. And the killing has started again... Who knows what we did? And what price will we pay?

The Six is my favourite Luca Veste novel to date, it is unbelievably good, and yes I know it's early days, but it's already a contender for my favourite novel of 2020.

Some have said they were nervous of reading a standalone novel (away from the Rossi/Murphy series), but that was never an issue for me, as Veste is such a brilliant story teller.

Six friends are on an unremarkable weekend at a music festival when something terrible happens.

They witness a strangers murder, and it is clear that life will never be the same for any of them ever again.

Each of the Six agrees that they should never talk about that night again, and never tell anyone what happened. For some, this is an easier promise to keep than others, but a year passes without too much trouble.

Then someone else dies, and the past is bought back to haunt all Six.

Luca Veste is a master in creating a sense of nervousness and there is an always an edge to his novels, but the final parts of the Six are something else. Dark and atmospheric until the final pages, we go on a full journey with the Six from joyous music festival to murky murderous warehouses.

Definitely an edge of your seat novel, that will have you gripped and left wanting more.

The Six 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.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Review - So Lucky by Dawn O'Porter

So Lucky by Dawn O'Porter
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release date: 31 October 2019
Back cover blurb: IS ANYONE’S LIFE . . . Beth shows that women really can have it all. Ruby lives life by her own rules. And then there’s Lauren, living the dream. AS PERFECT AS IT LOOKS? Beth hasn’t had sex in a year. Ruby feels like she’s failing. Lauren’s happiness is fake news. And it just takes one shocking event to make the truth come tumbling out… The bold and brilliant new novel from Dawn O’Porter, the bestselling author of The Cows.

I absolutely loved Dawn O'Porter's previous novel 'The Cows' and I had high expectations for So Lucky. I wasn't disappointed, and think I actually enjoyed this novel even more than the aforementioned.

Beth is happily married with a young child. Although 'happily' might be stretching the truth a little. The fact of the matter is that she hasn't had sex with her husband for over a year.

Ruby is struggling as a single Mother. Feeling like a failure, worrying about people's perceptions of her, but not realising just how amazing she is.

Lauren has it all. Or so it seems. Engaged to one of the hottest men around, with her own social media 'career' ever on the up. But deep on the inside she is battling insecurities like the rest of us.

Three totally different women, whose lives are about to become entwined due to an unthinkable and totally unexpected chain of events.

People's lives are never as perfect as they appear to be, and we all have our own battles to fight. Dawn O'Porter has a way of making her characters so damn real and relatable, that we can see a little bit of Beth, Ruby and Lauren in all ourselves.

I do hope there is another Dawn O'Porter novel in the making, because I for one cannot wait to read it.

So Lucky 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, 14 January 2020

Review - The German House by Annette Hess

The German House by Annette Hess
Publisher: 4th Estate
Back cover blurb: 12 December 2019
Release date: What if everything your family ever told you was a lie? At the war’s end, Frankfurt was a smoldering ruin, severely damaged by the Allied bombings. But that was two decades ago. Now it is 1963, and the city’s streets, once cratered are smooth and paved. Shiny new stores replace scorched rubble. For twenty-four-year-old Eva Bruhn, World War II is a foggy childhood memory. Eager for her wealthy suitor, Jürgen Schoorman, to propose, Eva dreams of starting a new life away from her parents and sister. But Eva’s plans are turned upside down when an American investigator, David Miller, hires her as a translator for a war crimes trial. As she becomes more and more involved in the Frankfurt Trials, Eva begins to question her family’s silence on the war and her future. Why do her parents refuse to talk about what happened? What are they hiding? Does she really love Jürgen and will she be happy as a housewife? Though it means going against the wishes of her family and her lover, Eva, propelled by her own conscience, joins a team of fiery prosecutors determined to bring the Nazis to justice—a decision that will help change her country forever.

What if everything your family ever told you was a lie?

What if the place you grew up in harboured life changing secrets?

What if your fiancee is not the man you thought he was?

These are the questions that 24 year old Eva Bruhn is forced to ask herself in 1963, when she becomes a translator at the Frankfurt trials.

Eva was a child during the war, and has led a somewhat sheltered life.When she is asked by American investigator David Miller to translate the testimony of the Polish speaking Jews who were imprisoned at Auschwitz, it opens her eyes to a world she knew nothing about.

Of course, she has heard the stories about the War, but could not bring herself to believe that fellow residents of her own country would be responsible for such atrocities.

As part of the trial, the Court make a trip to Auschwitz where Eva is forced to confront her family's past, as she recognises much of the landscape. As she realises that her family have been lying to her for decades, she must make a decision about her future.

Should she continue with the trial, or should she protect her family from the true horrors of their past?

The German House is a difficult novel to describe, it is tough (in subject matter) but enjoyable. None of the characters are particularly likeable, but Eva definitely becomes a different person by the end of the novel, and you cannot help but feel for her.

The German House 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.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Review - Ghoster by Jason Arnopp

Ghoster by Jason Arnopp
Publisher: Little Brown Book Group
Release date: 24 October 2019
Back cover blurb: Kate Collins has been ghosted. She was supposed to be moving in with her new boyfriend Scott, but all she finds after relocating to Brighton is an empty flat. Scott has vanished. His possessions have all disappeared. Except for his mobile phone. Kate knows she shouldn't hack into Scott's phone. She shouldn't look at his Tinder, his texts, his social media. But she can't quite help herself. That's when the trouble starts. Strange, whispering phone calls from numbers she doesn't recognise. Scratch marks on the door that she can't explain. And the growing feeling that she's being watched . . . Jason Arnopp - author of The Last Days of Jack Sparks, a Radio 2 Bookclub pick - returns with a razor-sharp thriller for a social-media obsessed world. Prepare to never look at your phone the same way again . . 

Ghoster is unlike any novel that I have read in a long while, it focuses on Scott Palmer and his relationship with paramedic, Kate Collins but with a supernatural/paranormal twist. Which, if I'm totally honest, I'm not sure I'd have chosen to read the novel if I'd known about beforehand, as I'm not a fan of the genre. But it is fairly light, so not too off putting.

Kate, social media and mobile addict meets Scott on a digital detox, after an incident at work forces her to reevaluate her relationship with all things online and break-up with her smart phone in exchange for an old nokia. 

The two live miles apart, but after a whirlwind romance, Kate decides to transfer her role to Brighton and move from Leeds to be with her new man. She doesn't care much that she hasn't known him for long, to her, their relationship just feels right.

However, things start to go wrong the day before the move for Kate. Scott suddenly stops responding to her texts and calls. Kate has second thoughts about the move, thinking Scott is 'ghosting' her, but she decides to go ahead with the move anyway. She'll soon find out the truth.

But nothing can prepare Kate for what greets her upon her arrival at Scott's plush waterfront apartment. Literally nothing.

The apartment has been totally cleared with no sign that Scott was ever there. This is the starting point of the novel taking an interesting turn of events, and I can't say too much more without giving anything away.

Ghoster 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.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

My top picks for 2020

I can't quite believe that it's that time of year again...

The past year was such a crazy one for me, that it barely seems 5 minutes ago that I was looking forward to what I was going to read in 2019, and here we are in the beginning of the '20's!

I read some amazing books in 2019, and I know that there are some great titles ahead for 2020, so here's my annual pick, in no particular order;

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Review - The Secret Messenger by Mandy Robotham

The Secret Messenger by Mandy Robotham
Publisher: Avon Books UK
Release date: 12 December 2019
Back cover blurb: Venice, 1943. The world is at war, and Stella Jilani is leading a double life. By day she works in the lion’s den as a typist for the Reich; by night, she risks her life as a messenger for the Italian resistance. Against all odds, Stella must impart Nazi secrets, smuggle essential supplies, and produce an underground newspaper on her beloved typewriter. But when German commander General Breugal becomes suspicious, it seems he will stop at nothing to find the mole, and Stella knows her future could be in jeopardy… London, 2017. Years later, Luisa Belmont finds a mysterious old typewriter in her attic. Determined to find out who it belonged to, Luisa delves into the past and uncovers a story of fierce love, unimaginable sacrifice and, ultimately, the worst kind of betrayal… Set between German-occupied 1940s Venice and modern-day London, this is a fascinating tale of the bravery of everyday women in the darkest corners of WWII, for readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris.

1943, Stella Jilani is living a double life. By day she work's as a typist/translator for the Reich in occupied Venice. By night she is a prominent member of the resistance working as a typist/journalist and messenger. 

In 2017 Luisa Belmont is clearing the house after her Mothers' passing, when she finds a mysterious old typewriter. She is inexplicably drawn to the object and determined to find out who it belonged to. As she knows for sure that it wasn't her Mother's.

Her quest for information leads her to Italy, where she begins to unravel the complex origins of the typewriter and it's previous owner, and discovers far more than she ever dreamed possible.

Luisa's grandmother, Stella was in a member of the resistance during the Second World War, working for the Reich during the day, and rebelling against her bosses by night. She risks her life every single day for the war effort, and her family have no idea.

Luisa also makes another discovery, when she finds an old photo of her Grandmother and this leads to even more questions about her Grandmother's life, both during and after the war.

The Secret Messenger is a thrilling read, with brilliant characters, and I cannot wait for Mandy Robotham's next!

The Secret Messenger 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.