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Archive for the tag “intrigue”

Blog Tour – ‘Ice Lake’ by John A Lenahan

‘Ice Lake’, the first of a series, was published as an eBook on the 7th July 2017 by Killer Reads. I was invited to take part in the blog tour for this book and was very kindly sent an ARC for review.

This story is set in Pennsylvania. A man is found murdered in the woods by a local kid. But what was the motive for killing him? Harry Cull a psychologist with a tragic past is called in to help with the murder investigation. Arriving at the picturesque town of Ice Lake he unravels a web of lies and deceit that leads to the dark heart of a community torn apart by fracking, drugs and murder.

A few days later another body is found and Harry finds himself on the trail of a twisted killer who will do absolutely anything to keep the town’s darkest secrets buried.

I really enjoyed reading ‘Ice Lake’ and I think this book is a promising start to a new series. I liked the writing style although it took a little bit of getting used to. The snippets of information at the beginning of some of the chapters were quite interesting and I actually felt that I learnt something. I wouldn’t have minded living near Ice Lake. The view from the house Harry was staying in sounded spectacular. I’d probably get fat from eating too many donuts though.

I warmed to Harry Cull almost instantly and I liked the banter between him and Trooper Cirba. Cirba was another favourite of mine. There were a few people who could have been responsible for the murders and it did seem as if the investigation wasn’t really going anywhere for a while. But Harry was smart and Cirba knew this. I thought the author did a pretty good job of keeping me guessing who the killer was. He kept me intrigued.

I am delighted to have been given the chance to discover yet another new author and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I hope Harry Cull gets involved in many more investigations.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

 

About John Lenahan

John Lenahan is a popular TV magician who became the first person in 85 years to be expelled from the Magic Circle. He has had a prime time BBC1 TV show called ‘Secrets Of Magic’ and also a BBC2 series ‘Stuff The White Rabbit’. He was the voice of the toaster in ‘Red Dwarf’ and has made guest appearances on numerous variety shows. He has toured with Jack Dee, Lenny Henry and Victoria Wood. Shadowmagic was an award-winning podcast novel prior to being signed to The Friday Project.

 

 

‘Ice Lake’ is available to buy from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ice-Lake-gripping-guessing-Psychologist-ebook/dp/B06XBKYTB7/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499750704&sr=1-1&keywords=ice+lake+by+john+a+lenahan

 

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‘The Butcher Bird’ by S D Sykes

The Butcher Bird

I reviewed ‘Plague Land’, the first book in the Oswald de Lacy series back in 2014. Having loved this novel I recently bought ‘The Butcher Bird’ which came out in paperback on the 7th April of this year.

It is now 1351 and life continues as it has been doing at Somershill Manor.  Oswald is doing his very best to continue to run a struggling estate.  However, with a socially ambitious mother, an overbearing sister and a mutinous workforce who are demanding higher wages, this doesn’t prove to be very easy and certain things are beyond his control.

When a baby is found impaled on a thorn bush word soon gets around and people start claiming that they have seen a huge creature in the skies.  It is up to Oswald to find out the truth and quickly before more murders are committed.  Is there such a thing as The Butcher Bird or is there something even more sinister at play?

I could have screamed with joy when I saw ‘The Butcher Bird’ in Waterstones.  Having thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series I was expecting great things and I’m really happy to say that my expectations were more than met.  This was an absolutely fantastic read with some shocking revelations and a number of twists and turns.  Throughout the story you are reminded about what happened in ‘Plague Land’ which is good because it means you don’t need to refer back to it.

It was interesting seeing the character of Oswald de Lacy developing.  He really did have a lot put on him at a young age but I think he coped pretty well.  I loved reading about the journey to London from Somershill.  I thought it to be very descriptive and fascinating.  I also enjoyed meeting a number of the same characters.

The author has written another interesting historical note which you will find at the back of the book.  I do like that she does her research and that a number of events that took part in the story actually did happen.  There is also a useful glossary at the back too.

S D Sykes has done it again by writing yet another brilliant book.  I don’t mean to wish the rest of the year away when it is already going so fast, but I really can’t wait for the next instalment in this series which is due out in early 2017.

You really should read ‘Plague Land’ first before starting this book.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

‘Plague Land’ by S D Sykes + Competition

Plague Land

‘Plague Land’ was published today in both hardback and eBook. I first heard about this book from History Lives, the historical fiction community from Hodder & Stoughton.  It sounded so interesting and I was very kindly sent a proof copy to read and review.  ‘Plague Land’ is S D Sykes debut novel; an exciting new voice in historical crime.

This story is based in medieval Kent and is set in the aftermath of the Black Death.  It is 1350 and Oswald de Lacy has been sent home from the monastery he was packed off to at the young age of seven.  Now eighteen and having recently lost his father and two older brothers to the Black Death, he is faced with a huge amount of responsibility.  It will be his job to run the estate as Lord of Somershill Manor, something he never expected.

Oswald has no idea just how bad things are. The years of pestilence and neglect have affected the estate badly and lots of people have lost their lives.  His mother however still remains the powerful matriarch of the family and his sister Clemence who isn’t very easy to get on with still lives at Somershill Manor.  Just as Oswald is about to tackle things he is notified about a vicious murder of a young woman.  The rather ambitious village priest insists that she was killed by demonic dog-headed men, but Oswald sees his claim as a load of nonsense.  He soon finds himself with the job of trying to solve the crime and find the murderer, but each step he takes seems to lead him into a maze of political intrigue, family secrets and violence.

I knew as soon as I opened this book that I was going to enjoy reading it. The prologue had me totally intrigued.  If I had not known that this was S D Sykes debut novel I would never have guessed, it is that good.  The quality of the writing throughout is amazing and the story doesn’t drag.  S D Sykes paints a very good picture of what life was like in those days.

There is a handy glossary to refer to and at the end a very interesting historical note from the author which is really worth reading.

‘Plague Land’ is a fascinating and intriguing read and a real page-turner.  This is historical crime at its best.  I am already looking forward to S D Sykes next book.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

Both S D Sykes and History Lives are on Twitter.  Do follow them.

S D Sykes – @SD_Sykes

History Lives – @HistoryLives_

 

Competition

Three very lucky people have a chance to win a copy of ‘Plague Land’.  To enter leave a comment telling me what your favourite era is.

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 12th October 2014.

Winners will be notified within 7 days and their details will be passed on to Hodder & Stoughton who will send out the prizes.

 

Good luck! 🙂

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