Review: Ungentlemanly Warfare – gripping page-turning thriller from Howard Linskey

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There may be better places to read a tale of derring-do in war torn France, but the Ille de Oleron, in the heart of what was once the occupied zone, takes some beating.

As the OH and I drove through the Frenchcountryside or meandered through sleepy towns and villages, it was easy to picture ourselves in the world depicted in Howard Linskey’s World War Two thriller Ungentlemanly Warfare, where Captain Harry Walsh, has been tasked with assassinating the scientific genius behind the ME 163, a miracle jet fighter that could destroy all chance of allied victory in Europe. Continue reading

Review: Dead Inside marks a twisty crime thriller debut from Noelle Holten

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There’s no point beating about the bush – it was with some trepidation I agreed to read and review Dead Inside, from debut novelist Noelle Holten.

Because, although I’ve never met Noelle – and probably wouldn’t recognise her if we tripped over each other in the street – I do know her through membership of various social media readers groups, where lots of other members have been raving about the book, the first in a new crime thriller series.

So, does Dead Inside live up to the advance billing?

It sure does: the plot is twisty and thought-provoking and Noelle, who was a senior probation office for 18 years, provides real insights into the working partnership between the police and probation services. Continue reading

Review: Author Jo Fenton’s psychological thriller The Brotherhood opens the lid on life within a cult

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It’s the stuff of nightmares – or mine, at least. A bullying ex-boyfriend, a totalitarian religious sect, and a remote abbey that’s more like a concentration camp than a haven. The chills are coming quick and fast.

Add an abusive, albeit charismatic, cult leader and a team of violent wardens, who enforce the leader’s rules with brutal efficiency, and Jo Fenton’s psychological thriller The Brotherhood is one hundred per cent a rollercoaster.

At first, Melissa, who falls back on her faith after the sudden death of her parents, is captivated by Dominic, a minister, who’s supporting her through her bereavement. Continue reading

Review: Cultivating a Fuji takes a thought-provoking look at the perils of social anxiety

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Most workplaces have someone like Martin – competent, capable, reliable but also just a little bit of a ‘weirdo’ who never joins in with the other guys.

Most people – if they give it a thought – assume the Martins of this world choose their solitary existence.

But what if Martin, the unassuming hero of Cultivating a Fuji, isn’t simply shy and retiring? What if hiding his feelings is the only way he knows to survive?

Author Miriam Drori has written a compelling, heart-warming and thought-provoking UpLit exploration of loneliness and social anxiety. Continue reading

Review: A lucid and compelling YA supernatural thriller from Kristy Fairlamb

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Very occasionally, I’m grateful I can’t roll back the years and become a young adult again.

Because, if so, I’d have been weeping fit to burst at the end of Kristy Fairlamb’s, YA supernatural thriller Lucid.

Slightly older me managed a sigh of disappointment because – without giving the game away – I’d really, really have liked things to turn out differently.

Still – there’s hope. This is the first in a two-part series that makes a lovely addition to the YA catalogue of Queensland-based indie publisher Lakewater Press and their first by an Australian author too. Continue reading

Viewpoint: the joy of work wear if you can spend £110 on a pair of pop socks.

It’s always interesting to hear how other authors work: where they write; what they have on their desks (or kitchen tables); the time of day that’s best for them to be creative; and what they wear.

Now to be honest, it’s the ‘what they wear’ that interests me the most today. Sorry to be so shallow, but I know from talking to other people who work from home, we’re not the sort for a full row of pearls and stilettos while we’re sitting in front of our computers bashing out the odd 5,000 words. Continue reading

Review: Make a date with Morgen Bailey’s laugh-out-loud rom-com The Serial Dater’s Shopping List

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Just the thought of dating a different man every night of the week is exhausting.

But local newspaper journalist Izzy MacFarlane, heroine of Morgen Bailey’s aptly titled The Serial Dater’s Shopping List, reckons lining up a new date ever night for the next 31 days, and writing about it, is better than trying to find something new to say about yo-yo dieting – which is the assignment tough-guy editor William has handed out to her pal Donna.

So, Izzy sets up a profile on NorthantsDating.co.uk but, before she dips a toe into the murky waters of internet dating, she lays out some ground rules – her shopping list. Continue reading

Review: Character-driven finale to Bell and Teddington trilogy by GB Williams

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Former detective sergeant Charlie Bell has come a long way since he was first locked up for the murder of Phillip Mansel-Jones, a ‘scumbag of the worse degree’.

Now a free man, he’s attempting to re-build his life, but in Locked Down, the third and final instalment in the Bell and Teddington trilogy by GB Williams, he’s finding it easier to make enemies than to make friends.

Even the woman he loves, prison officer Ariadne Teddington, wants nothing to do with him. Continue reading