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Archive for the tag “shocking revelations”

‘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.

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Silent Girls’ by Ann Troup

Blog Tour Banner

‘The Silent Girls’ was published by Carina on the 18th February 2016.  I really liked the sound of this book and was interested in taking part in the blog tour for it.  Today it is my turn and below is my review.

Returning to Number 17, Coronation Square in Winfield after a very long time, Edie is shocked to find that the place she remembers from her childhood reeks of mould and decay.  But she has a task to do, a big one at that.  Edie is there to clear out her recently deceased Aunt Dolly’s house.  It sounds simple enough but it isn’t.  Coronation Square, where five vicious murders took place many years ago has changed a lot and not for the best either.

At Number 17 there is misery, sin and dark secrets that can no longer stay hidden.  The truth has to come out at some stage.  Finding herself dragged into the horrific murders of the past, Edie must find out what happened all those years ago.  But as she uncovers the history of her family she had all but forgotten, she begins to wonder if perhaps it would have been best to leave things as they were.

I thought ‘The Silent Girls’ was a cracking read, absolutely fantastic.  The prologue had me totally intrigued and I couldn’t wait to get into the story.  There were some shocking revelations and secrets and it was just so hard to trust the majority of the characters.

I really liked Ann Troup’s style of writing.  There were so many twists and turns throughout this story and I found myself trying to piece everything together and work out what actually happened all those years ago.  I have to say I would never have guessed in a million years who was actually responsible for the murders.

One of the characters, Sophie is actually named after a book blogger I know.  In the story she was down on her luck, but Edie being the kind person she was took her in and looked out for her.  The real Sophie is lovely and I soon found myself warming to her as a fictional character as well.  I thought she was really gutsy and that she deserved a break.

‘The Silent Girls’ will have you sitting on the edge of your seat and it will leave you wanting more.  This isn’t a story you’ll forget in a hurry.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

About Ann Troup

Author Picture

Ann Troup tells tales and can always make something out of nothing (which means she writes books and can create unique things from stuff other people might not glance twice at). She was once awarded 11 out of 10 for a piece of poetry at school – she now holds that teacher entirely responsible for her inclination to write.

Her writing space is known as ‘the empty nest’, having formerly been her daughters bedroom. She shares this space with ten tons of junk and an elderly Westie, named Rooney, who is her constant companion whether she likes it or not. He likes to contribute to the creative process by going to sleep on top of her paperwork and running away with crucial post-it notes, which have inadvertently become stuck to his fur. She is thinking of renaming him Gremlin.

She lives by the sea in Devon with her husband and said dog. Two children have been known to remember the place that they call home, but mainly when they are in need of a decent roast dinner, it’s Christmas or when only Mum will do. She also has extremely decent stepchildren.

In a former incarnation she was psychiatric nurse, an experience which frequently informs her writing. She has also owned a cafe and an art/craft gallery. Now she only makes bacon sandwiches as a sideline, but does continue to dabble with clay, paint, paper, textiles, glue…you name it. Occasionally she may decide to give away some of these creations (you have been warned!).

 

Links

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B015QM8AP8/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28441057-the-silent-girls?ac=1&from_search=1

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TroupAnn

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

Website: https://anntroup.wordpress.com/

 

 

Blog Tour – ‘Black Wood’ by SJI Holliday

Blog Tour Poster

‘Black Wood’ is SJI Holliday’s debut novel.  It was published by Black and White Publishing in paperback on the 19th March 2015.  I have been hearing a lot about this novel and was really looking forward to reading it.  As part of this blog tour I have written a review.

As young girls Claire and Jo had a very nasty experience which would change their lives for good.  It happened while they were in the woods resulting in Claire being paralysed for life and Jo being left with deep mental scars from which she had never totally recovered from.

Twenty-three years later and Jo gets a shock when a customer walks in to the bookshop where she is working.  There is something so very familiar about him and Jo is convinced that she has seen him before  Elsewhere, Sergeant Davie Gray is investigating reports of a man wearing a balaclava who is apparently attacking young women on a disused railway.  This comes as a shock to the residents of Banktoun, a small and quiet town where crime very rarely occurs.  Is there a connection between the man from the past and the one going around scaring young women?

I found ‘Black Wood’ to be intriguing right from the start and couldn’t wait to read more.  It was thrilling and fast-paced.  I really like the way SJI Holliday writes.  The story goes back and forth from the past to the present which I thought worked well. The majority of the chapters are very short and have been written in such a way that you are left in suspense waiting to find out what happens next with a particular character.  It’s a bit like someone tantalising you with a bar of chocolate whilst opening it really slowly.

The author described the old cottage where Jo’s grandmother had lived so well that I could almost feel the chilling atmosphere.  Maybe some of what went on in there was in Jo’s mind with all the anguish she was going through, but I think there was definitely more to it.

‘Black Wood’ is a dark and disturbing story with a number of shocking revelations.  For fans of crime fiction this is a must read.

I am looking forward to seeing what SJI Holliday comes up with next.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

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SJI Holliday has kindly written a guest post for me.

 

When A Character Calls

When I first started plotting Black Wood, I had it planned in my head as a fairly straightforward, linear tale of obsession; written in first person, by the deeply flawed protagonist, Jo. It was a tale of revenge, and Jo was going to tell it all by herself.

Except it didn’t work out like that.

A few chapters in, and I was already starting to panic that Jo was too dark, too intense. There were plot points that had to happen to see the story through, and it soon became obvious that Jo couldn’t tell the story alone.

The thing about writing in first person is that you can follow the character on a journey, you can get right into their head – you might feel like they’re carrying you on their shoulders as they lead your through the story. But there are limitations. You can only see what they see, and you can only know what they know – unless you force things in – things that sometimes work, and sometimes don’t – such as the character being told things in dialogue by others, or the character finding a letter or a diary. There are many ways, but I was struggling to find the best way.

I realised I needed to lift the reader out of Jo’s head a bit – give them some respite from her unravelling thoughts.

So in walked Sergeant Davie Gray.

Well, he didn’t walk, actually. He was sitting in a police station, bored out of his tree, playing wastepaper basketball with his colleague. A phone call from their boss takes him away from his chair and out into Banktoun, a place where nothing ever happens… except when it does. He walks smack into Jo, and it soon becomes clear that the two of them have some history – but maybe not in the way you might think.

I never planned to have a police character. I never planned to have one that people would love and want to hear more about. I never planned to write a series… yet Davie is calling me. He has many more tales to tell.

I can hardly just ignore him now, can I?

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