A Lover of Books

Archive for the tag “intrigue”

Book Review – ‘I Am Dust’ by Louise Beech ~ @OrendaBooks @LouiseWriter

I hope everyone is well and having as lovely a weekend as you can.

This is a bit later than planned, but I now have my review of ‘I Am Dust’ by Louise Beech.  For ease of reference here is the book blurb again.

 

Book Blurb

When iconic musical Dust is revived twenty years after the leading actress was murdered in her dressing room, a series of eerie events haunts the new cast…

The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…

Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?

Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?

Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.

And Chloe has been watching…

 

My Review

Wow! Just Wow!! ‘I Am Dust’ was such an amazing read and I really hope I can do it justice with this review.

Louise Beech has written a book so wonderful that it has left me in total awe. The writing is simply beautiful and very descriptive, and I loved the style of it. The words have a way of catching hold of you and tantalising you so that you become totally caught up in the story.

I really did like the storyline and found it to be extremely gripping. Bringing back the iconic musical ‘Dust’ after twenty years was bound to spark a lot of interest from the press because of what had happened the first time it played at the theatre. Was there any truth about the actress who was murdered in her dressing room haunting the theatre? What if history were to repeat itself?

Through Chloe, an usher at the theatre and the main character in this story, we learn about what happened when she was just a teenager along with Jess and Ryan. It made for quite disturbing reading at times, especially with the message they received, a warning you could say.

Chloe came across as a really lovely and genuine person. All she ever wanted was to be loved and she couldn’t even have that. One thing she did have though was a gift, whether she wanted it or not.

There were a few shocks later on in the story which left me totally gobsmacked. I also found the song that was sung by the actress who had been murdered to be pretty haunting. I thought the ending was very poignant. It is such a shame the way things worked out.

‘I Am Dust’ is haunting, mesmerising and chilling. It is a story of obsession, greed and betrayal and at the same time it is a love story of sorts.

This is not a book I will forget very easily, and it will definitely be going on my list of favourites. I think this could even be my most favourite book of the year.

If any book deserves to win an award it is this one. Louise Beech is an exceptionally talented writer.  I highly recommend that you read ‘I Am Dust’. It is everything and more besides.

 

‘I Am Dust’ can be purchased from Amazon:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/I-Am-Dust-Louise-Beech-ebook/dp/B07X8SSJV7/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1586503297&sr=8-1

 

Thank you to the publisher for my review copy.

 

Blog Tour – ‘I Am Dust’ by Louise Beech ~ #RandomThingsTours @annecater @OrendaBooks @LouiseWriter

‘I Am Dust’ by Louise Beech was published as an eBook in February by Orenda Books and will be out in paperback on the 16th April 2020.  I am delighted to be taking part in this blog tour and would like to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate.

You will have to wait until next week to find out what I think about ‘I Am Dust’.  I will say though that Louise Beech is a remarkable writer and this book truly deserves to win an award.

I have a competition for you all.  First though here’s the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

When iconic musical Dust is revived twenty years after the leading actress was murdered in her dressing room, a series of eerie events haunts the new cast…

The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…

Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?

Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?

Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.

And Chloe has been watching…

 

About Louise Beech

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. Her second book, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both of her previous books Maria in the Moon and The Lion Tamer Who Lost were widely reviewed, critically acclaimed and number-one bestsellers on Kindle. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was shortlisted for the RNA Most Popular Romantic Novel Award in 2019. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband on the outskirts of Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.

 

Links

‘I Am Dust’ can be bought / pre-ordered from Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/I-Am-Dust-Louise-Beech-ebook/dp/B07X8SSJV7/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1586503297&sr=8-1

Website – https://louisebeech.co.uk/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/LouiseWriter

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4122943.Louise_Beech

 

Competition

One lucky person has the chance to win an eBook copy of ‘I Am Dust’.  To enter just share this post on social media and leave a comment here.

 

Terms and Conditions

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 24th April 2020.

The winner will be chosen within 7 days of the closing date and their details passed on to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours.

This competition is open to UK residents only.

Blog Tour – ‘Cherry Slice’ by Jennifer Stone ~ @farragobooks @missjennystone

I am absolutely thrilled to be closing this blog tour.  I was actually down as taking part in it today and would like to thank the publisher for letting me stick to my original date.

‘Cherry Slice’ by Jennifer Stone is the first book in the Cherry PI Mystery series.  It is being published tomorrow the 2nd April 2020 in paperback and as an eBook by Farrago Books and will also be available as an Audiobook and Audio CD.

I would like to thank the publisher for inviting me to participate in this tour and for my review copy of ‘Cherry Slice’.  You will find out what I thought about this book in a minute.  First though here’s the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

In Cherry Hinton’s first case, she discovers that it takes a reality TV star to catch a reality TV murderer.

When Kenny Thorpe, a contestant on Expose TV’s Big Blubber, the hot new celebrity weight-loss show, is murdered on live television in front of three million viewers, the case seems pretty watertight. After all, everyone saw Martin do it, didn’t they?

Cherry Hinton knows there’s more to this than meets the eye. As an investigative reporter, she went undercover on dating show Caravan of Love…but after getting in too deep with one of the other contestants, she was caught knicker-less in front of the nation. Humiliated, fired and heartbroken, she has fled to Brentwood, where she opens a cake shop and tries to forget all about Expose.

Until Kenny Thorpe’s sister walks into her shop with a letter that turns Cherry’s world upside down. Is Martin innocent? How is infamous gangster Leon Solent involved? Is Expose to blame, and is there a killer still on the loose?

Cherry is the only one in a position to find out.

 

My Review

The first thing that caught my eye was the cover. Isn’t it just pure gorgeousness? I love the bright pink and as for that cake. Heaven! I could quite easily lust over it. Now, I’m not really a fan of reality TV, although I did watch two series of a certain show many years ago now. Why then did I want to read this book? Well, apart from the fact that I loved the cover and could spend literally hours staring at that delicious looking cake, I was intrigued when I saw that murder was involved.

What an entertaining and light-hearted read this was. I knew within the first couple of pages that I was going to enjoy this book. It is just what I needed with all that is going on at the moment and it actually helped me to take my mind off things. I loved the author’s style of writing and the humour throughout the story.

I absolutely adored Cherry Hinton. To me she was pure class. After losing her job as an investigative reporter Cherry decides to make a fresh start. She opens a bakery and creates the most wonderful and mouth-watering sounding cakes, her mind working overtime with new ideas. A woman with many talents, she soon finds herself involved in investigating a murder. Was the wrong person convicted and will she discover the truth?

I was most interested to see where Cherry’s investigation would take her and admired her skills and how she worked things out with a bit of assistance from others.

I didn’t really take to any of the contestants who took part in Big Blubber as such. The only person I remotely liked was Jodrell Banks.

If you are looking for something to take your mind off the current world situation and you like cosy crime, then I highly recommend ‘Cherry Slice’.  It is like a breath of fresh air reading this book. I am so excited that there will be a second book in this series and am very much looking forward to reading it.

This is the first title by Farrago Books that I have read, and I am seriously impressed. I will definitely be checking out more of their books.

‘Cherry Slice’ can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cherry-Slice-PI-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B07R1PY7R7/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1585726831&sr=1-1

 

About Jennifer Stone

Jennifer Stone was born in Essex and spent her formative years living within its borders and enjoying the delights of the multiple night clubs and alcopop-swigging opportunities available. After a stint in North Wales acquiring a degree and a further spell in Leeds, training to be a teacher, she returned to the south of England to teach English in a variety of schools. She is currently head of English at a boarding school in Suffolk and has just completed her MA in Creative Writing (Crime) at UEA. She lives with her wife and their small son.

 

Links

Twitter – https://twitter.com/missjennystone

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/220958.Jennifer_Stone

Blog Tour – ‘Here To Stay’ by Mark Edwards ~ @midaspr @AmazonPub @mredwards

‘Here To Stay’ is Mark Edwards brand new book and it is being published in hardback, paperback and as an eBook on the 1st September 2019 by Thomas & Mercer.  I am really excited to be kicking off this blog tour today along with Damppebbles.  I would like to thank Midas PR for inviting me to participate in this tour and for my review copy.

I can’t wait to tell you exactly what I thought about ‘Here To Stay’.  First though here’s the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

“Mark Edwards always delivers! Taut, gripping, scary and original – a fabulous read!”—Robert Bryndza, #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author

A beautiful home. A loving wife. And in-laws to die for.

Gemma Robinson comes into Elliot’s life like a whirlwind, and they marry and settle into his home. When she asks him if her parents can come to stay for a couple of weeks, he is keen to oblige – he just doesn’t quite know what he’s signing up for.

The Robinsons arrive with Gemma’s sister, Chloe, a mysterious young woman who refuses to speak or leave her room. Elliot starts to suspect that the Robinsons are hiding a dark secret. And then there are the scars on his wife’s body that she won’t talk about . . .

As Elliot’s in-laws become more comfortable in his home, encroaching on all aspects of his life, it becomes clear that they have no intention of moving out. To protect Gemma, and their marriage, Elliot delves into the Robinsons’ past. But is he prepared for the truth?

From the two million copy bestselling author comes a tale about the chilling consequences of welcoming strangers into your home.

 

My Review

WOW! I am actually lost for words. Where do I start? That was one amazeballs read and I am still on a high. I was totally hooked and really didn’t want to have to put the book down at all.

Mark Edwards sure knows how to tell a good tale. I loved his style of writing and how he kept me guessing. As events started to unfurl, I found myself sitting there in total shock and at the same time dying to know what was going to happen next. I kept turning the pages eagerly. I loved the shorter chapters and the intrigue and excitement which came with them.

Elliot’s life changed in the blink of an eye. It went from just him and his adorable cat to suddenly finding himself in love and getting married. All seemed perfect. His life was almost complete. But then his in-laws came to stay and that’s when things seemed to take a turn for the worse. That’s when each day literally became a living nightmare with no way out.

I absolutely despised Jeff and Lizzy. They had no respect for Gemma and Elliott at all and the fact that they were still newlyweds who would naturally want their own privacy. All they appeared to care about was themselves. Talk about outstaying their welcome. They came out with such cruel things and it was obvious they were doing things deliberately.

I didn’t really warm to Chloe either but at the same time I did feel sorry for her. I thought maybe she was being bullied by her parents and that that was why she appeared to be a bit strange. But as I discovered that really wasn’t the case.

‘Here To Stay’ will shock you to the core. If you are a fan of psychological thrillers, then I really recommend you read it. This story will probably be etched on my mind forever.

I know one thing; I am definitely going to have to read all of Mark Edwards’ previous books.

 

‘Here To Stay’ can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Here-Stay-Mark-Edwards/dp/1542006619/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

About Mark Edwards

Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people.

Mark has sold over 2 million books since his first solo novel, The Magpies, was published in 2013 and has topped the bestseller lists eight times. His other novels are Because She Loves Me, Follow You Home, What You Wish For, The Devil’s Work, The Lucky Ones, The Retreat and In Her Shadow. He has also published A Murder of Magpies (a short sequel to The Magpies) and six books co-authored with Louise Voss.

Mark lives in the West Midlands, England, with his wife, their children, two cats and a golden retriever.

 

Links

Website – https://www.markedwardsauthor.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/mredwards

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/markedwardsbooks

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5267328.Mark_Edwards

 

Blog Tour – ‘No More Lies’ by Robert Crouch ~ #BitsaboutBooksBlogTour @CarolineBookBit @robertcrouchuk

I am thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour for ‘No More Lies’ along with Donna’s Book Blog.  This is the fourth book in the Kent Fisher series and it is out today in paperback and as an eBook.  I would like to thank Caroline at Bits about Books for inviting me to participate in this tour.  Thanks must go also to both Robert Crouch and Caroline for my review copy.

I will tell you soon what I thought about ‘No More Lies’  First though, the blurb.

 

Book Blurb

Kent Fisher gets more than he bargained for when Detective Inspector Ashley Goodman enlists his help with a ten year old murder. She’s on a mission and needs a big case to put her career back on track.

And they don’t come much bigger than Miles Birchill, Downland’s wealthiest and most divisive resident.

Not for the first time, Kent has doubts about the case, forcing him to make choices. But who do you trust when everyone has something to hide?

Caught in the middle, he has no alternative but to solve the murder, unaware that his every move is being watched.

The Kent Fisher novels offer a fresh and contemporary reworking of the classic whodunit and murder mysteries of authors like Agatha Christie.

 

My Review

I have enjoyed this series from the very start. It really does feel like I have waited ages, at least ten years, for ‘No More Lies’ to be published. I absolutely love Robert Crouch’s style of writing. He has mentioned previous murder cases Kent has solved and details about his personal life in this book so that it can be read as a standalone. Personally though I would say to read the series from the very start if you can, simply because it’s so good.

Kent Fisher really does tick all my boxes. He still has his animal sanctuary and would concentrate on it full-time if he could. That makes him a very caring and loving man, looking after animals. I love his sense of humour and I also think he makes a great sleuth. Nothing gets past him, oh no!

I found this case intriguing and was trying to fit all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together. A murder from ten years ago wasn’t going to be easy to solve. That didn’t stop Kent though. He was put under so much pressure by DI Ashley Goodman and time was ticking fast.

I wasn’t keen on DI Goodman at all. There was just something about her. I didn’t like how she treated Kent. It felt like she was using him for her own selfish reasons in order to further her career. Admittedly she did have good reason to suspect who she did though. I really liked Freya and was so happy for Kent.

I loved the cliffhanger at the end of the story and I am so very excited that there is a fifth book coming out. I hope I don’t have to wait another ten years though! Well, okay, I know it’s not quite that long. Somehow I don’t think I could ever tire of this series.

Robert Crouch has done it again.

~~~~~

‘No More Lies’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

http://getbook.at/NoMoreLies

 

About Robert Crouch

Inspired by Miss Marple, Inspector Morse and Columbo, Robert Crouch wanted to write entertaining crime fiction the whole family could enjoy.

At their heart is Kent Fisher, an environmental health officer with more baggage than an airport carousel. Passionate about the environment, justice and fair play, he’s soon embroiled in murder.

Drawing on his experiences as an environmental health officer, Robert has created a new kind of detective who brings a unique and fresh twist to the traditional murder mystery. With complex plots, topical issues and a liberal dash of irreverent humour, the Kent Fisher mysteries offer an alternative to the standard police procedural.

Robert now writes full time and lives on the South Coast of England with his wife and their West Highland White Terrier, Harvey, who appears in the novels as Kent’s sidekick, Columbo.

To discover more, visit http://robertcrouch.co.uk.

 

Social Media Links

Website – http://robertcrouch.co.uk/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/@robertcrouchuk
Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/robertcrouchauthor/
Amazon Author Page – author.to/RobertCrouch
GoodReads – www.goodreads.com/author/show/16222367.Robert_Crouch

Book Review – ‘Death’s Silent Judgement’ by Anne Coates

I was invited to take part in the blog tour for Anne Coates’ new book, ‘Songs of Innocence’.  Realising that I still needed to read ‘Death’s Silent Judgement’, which was published last year by Urbane Publications, this prompted me to do so.  I know that in many cases some books in a series can be read as standalone novels, but I wasn’t sure if this was the case with this one.

You will find out in a bit what I thought of ‘Death’s Silent Judgement’.  First though, here’s what it’s about.

 

Book Blurb

Death’s Silent Judgement is the thrilling sequel to Dancers in the Wind, and continues the gripping series starring London-based investigative journalist Hannah Weybridge.

Following the deadly events of Dancers in the Wind, freelance journalist and single mother Hannah Weybridge is thrown into the heart of a horrific murder investigation when a friend, Liz Rayman, is found with her throat slashed at her dental practice.

With few clues to the apparently motiveless crime Hannah throws herself into discovering the reason for her friend’s brutal murder, and is determined to unmask the killer. But before long Hannah’s investigations place her in mortal danger, her hunt for the truth placing her in the path of a remorseless killer…

The series is very much in the best traditions of British women crime writers such as Lynda La Plante and Martina Cole.

 

My Review

I bought my copy of ‘Death’s Silent Judgement’ at Anne Coates’ book launch last year. I’m so very glad that I decided to read this book first. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I was kept on tenterhooks.

Set in January 1994 onwards, the story starts off in The Crypt of St John’s Church where Hannah’s friend Liz has been brutally murdered. Anne Coates actually held her book launch in The Crypt which made it easy for me to picture the scene. Hannah really is an amazing person. You would think after what happened to her she would want to lie low and not get involved in other murders, especially as she has a young daughter. But at the end of the day Liz was her friend and she wasn’t going to let things go so easily. Good for her I say.

I mentioned it in my review of ‘Dancers in the Wind’, but I really do like how this author writes about issues that are to this day are still happening around the world. It reminds you of the suffering caused to millions of people and it certainly makes me very grateful for the life I have. This story dealt with child trafficking and it didn’t make for very pretty reading at all.

‘Death’s Silent Judgement’ is an exciting and thought-provoking story. You will feel that you have actually learnt something from it.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

~~~~~

‘Death’s Silent Judgement’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deaths-Silent-Judgement-thrilling-Weybridge-ebook/dp/B06ZXXCR29/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1527327945&sr=1-1&keywords=death%27s+silent+judgement

 

If you want a taster of ‘Death’s Silent Judgement’ you can read an extract here:-

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/extract-from-deaths-silent-judgement-by-anne-coates/

 

About Anne Coates

For most of her working life in publishing, Anne has had a foot in both camps as a writer and an editor, moving from book publishing to magazines and then freelancing in both. Having edited both fiction and narrative non-fiction, Anne has also had short stories published in a variety of magazines including Bella and Candis and is the author of seven non-fiction books. Telling stories is Anne’s first love and nearly all her short fiction as well as Dancers in The Wind and Death’s Silent Judgement began with a real event followed by a ‘what if …’; That is also the case with the two prize-winning 99Fiction.net stories: Codewords and Eternal Love. Songs of Innocence will publish summer 2018.

 

Links

Author Website: http://www.annecoatesauthor.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anne_Coates1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnneCoatesAuthor/

 

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

 

‘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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