#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Lies Within (DI Will Jackman #3) by Jane Isaac #CrimeFiction

The Lies Within was published in May 2017 and is the third book in the excellent Will Jackman series, set in Stratford upon Avon.

My Thoughts

Grace Daniels, mother and grandmother, is on trial for murder. The story begins on the first day with a forceful opening of the prosecution’s case. ‘Be under no illusions by her smart clothes, her kind face and eloquent manner… This woman is guilty of murder…’  I was hooked immediately, and having read and enjoyed the first two books in the series I was sure this would be another gripping instalment.

Backtracking to ten months earlier we follow the events leading up to Grace’s arrest. Acting DCI, Will Jackman has been assigned to special projects, the regional lead on Adult Sexual Offences, with a view to improving procedures and reviewing any outstanding cases which could be connected. When the body of a young woman, with signs of sexual assault, is discovered in rural Leicestershire, Will is called to the scene. The victim is identified as Jo Lamborne, Grace Daniels’ daughter. Jo’s murder is similar to two other unsolved cases Will has been reviewing but, as yet, no link has been uncovered. 

Grace was unpacking the dishwasher when the doorbell rang. It was almost 7am and darkness still clung to the windows outside, holding onto the final moments of night. Her head felt wooly from the evening before, but nothing, it seemed, not even a hangover would prevent her habitual early rising. 

Phil was already at the door by the time Grace reached the hallway. His eyes met hers for long enough to pull a face. They weren’t expecting visitors. He opened the door to reveal a tall man with a mop of dark hair, a solid stance and striking green eyes. The black woman next to him was smaller, but almost as stocky. Her mouth formed a thin smile. She looked past Phil towards Grace. “Mrs Daniels?”

Thinking about that scenario – the knock on the door, the serious faced policemen, just knowing immediately something must be wrong – I can’t imagine how heart stopping it must be. And then to be told the worst possible news. The impact of Jo’s murder on her family is conveyed extremely realistically, the emotional turmoil, the feelings of grief and Grace’s consequent inability to function normally. Meeting Faye Campbell, an acquaintance from her past becomes a source of comfort and support, but Grace’s younger daughter is less than enamoured of her mother’s new friend. 

The story centres around Grace, which expands the narrative, but we still get to follow the ups and downs of the investigative process from Will’s point of view. Personal issues and a morally difficult situation continue to plague him but his character shines through, and it seems there may be a glimmer of light at the end of a very dark tunnel. 

This series just keeps getting better. Jane Isaac has created a well constructed, compelling plot with a psychological thread; a likeable, well developed and believable, non-clichéd personality in Will Jackman and a storyline that’s part police procedural, part courtroom drama with a deeply emotional family trauma at its heart. The reveal was a complete surprise but looking back the clues were there amongst all the red herrings. I was too engrossed to catch them – that’s my excuse anyway. It’s an extremely well written story, the procedural, courtroom detailing and storytelling ability are all excellent.

About the Book

Grace Daniels is distraught after her daughter’s body is found in a Leicestershire country lane. With her family falling apart and the investigation going nowhere, Grace’s only solace is the re-emergence of Faye, an old friend who seems to understand her loss. DI Will Jackman delves into the case, until a family tragedy and a figure from his past threaten to derail him.
 
When the police discover another victim, the spotlight falls on Grace. Can Jackman find the killer, before Grace is convicted of a crime she didn’t commit?

(Having a change of scenery for a few days, and a short blogging break but will no doubt be dipping in and out of social media.)

#BookReview ~ Being Alert! by @claidlawauthor ~ Timely Contemporary Fiction #Satire #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Charlie Laidlaw

Kindle Edition

Category: Satire, Humour, Fiction, Book Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Being Alert! begins in January 2020 as the British prime minister, Winston Spragg, first learns about a new illness that seems to be centred in a city in China that nobody has heard of.

Following in a long tradition of British satire, the book populates Downing Street and Whitehall with an inept prime minister presiding over a dysfunctional government as it deals with an existential threat that rapidly becomes a national crisis.

Like satires before it, the book uses humour to paint an uncomfortable picture of a government seemingly as concerned about justifying itself as working to protect the country.

The beginning

In late January, two Chinese nationals were the first to test positive for coronavirus in the UK. The first officially-recorded fatality took place in China on January 11th.

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#BlogTour #Extract ~ Someday in Paris by Olivia Lara @olilara_writes #Romance @rararesources

Welcome to my stop of the blog tour for Someday in Paris, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources. 

Today I have an extract for you, but first we’ll see what the book is about.

‘An epic, sweeping romance about soulmates and second chances’ Holly Miller. 

‘An absolutely unforgettable love story’ Mandy Baggot. 

‘A deeply moving, richly evocative story of love, loss and the power of hope’ Miranda Dickinson. 

Finding the one is only the beginning… 

1954. Zara is fifteen the first time she meets Leon. During a power cut in a small French museum, the two spend one short hour in the dark talking about their love for art, Monet and Paris. Neither knows what the other looks like. Both know their lives will never be the same. 

1963. In Paris, Leon no longer believes he will ever find the girl he lost that night. After dreaming about him for years, Zara thinks she has already found him. When they meet at an exhibition, they don’t recognise each other – yet the way they feel is so familiar… 

Over the course of twenty years, Zara and Leon are destined to fall in love again and again. But will they ever find a way to be together? 

‘It’s about dreams and taking chances. Missed opportunities and mistakes. Loss and sacrifice. But above all, it is about love. The kind of love that survives time, distance… even death. The kind of love I wish for you.’ 

A magical new love story about star-crossed lovers, perfect for hopeless romantics and fans of One Day and The Notebook. 

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Fiona’s Guardians by Dan Klefstad @danklefstad #UrbanFantasy #Vampire #BookReview + #Extract #FridayReads

Author: Dan Klefstad

Due to be Published: October 2nd by Burton Mayers Books

Category: Vampire, Urban Fantasy, Book Review

When a vampire seduces you, death is minutes away. When she hires you, you’ll soon wish you were dead.

It’s a truth known to every guardian who worked for Fiona, including Daniel. Aside from managing the day to day chores and keeping her protected, he manages an investment portfolio to buy stolen blood from hospital workers.

After 35 years, what keeps him loyal? And will he ever be allowed to leave?

Fiona’s Guardians is a vampire story with a difference. Daniel has served as Fiona’s guardian for more years than he cares to remember, supplying her with the ten pints of her preferred O negative which she requires each day. He achieves this by means of canny investing and a network he has perfected over time, with people in hospitals and blood banks in several cities.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Homecoming by Alan Russell #Audiobook #Fantasy #Review

Another audiobook for this week’s Throwback Thursday. The Homecoming was released in June 2017 by Brilliance Audio and is performed by Luke Daniels.

My Thoughts

Set in California, Alan Russell opens the story with several couples and their children having a Valentine’s Day BBQ at the beach. A ghost story told by the fire, sworn to be true by the teller, fascinates Stella but makes the adults uncomfortable. Introducing Jason’s story lays the groundwork for what was to come.

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#CoverReveal + #Extract ~ The Cat That Changed America by @TonyLeeMoral #ChildrensFiction based on a true story

The Cat That Changed America is based on a true story, with an imaginative retelling for children, and illustrated by Louise Goves.

The book is scheduled for publication on October 22nd (P22 day in California) by Sabana Publishing and can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK and Amazon US

The book is a heart warming, captivating and entertaining story of the life of a juvenile mountain lion, which also has an underlying conservation message for young readers. P22 has a huge fan club, not only in the States, but internationally, as conservationists try to raise money to build a wildlife crossing over the 101.

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Grave’s End (DS Alexandra Cupidi #3) by William Shaw @william1shaw #CrimeFiction #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: William Shaw

Published: May 2020 by riverrun

Category: Crime, Suspense, Environmental, Book Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A BIZARRE DISCOVERY

An unidentified cadaver is found in a freezer in an unoccupied luxury house. No-one seems to know or care who it is or who placed it there. When DS Alexandra Cupidi is handed the case, she can have no idea it will lead her to a series of murderous cover-ups and buried secrets. Namely the discovery of the skeleton of public-school boy, Trevor Grey, beneath a housing development.

Grave’s End begins with a unique viewpoint—that of an old badger. In fact, a small but significant thread throughout the story is about the badger and how he survives. Due to the proposed development of a site for housing the badgers’ habitat is declining and, along with this disruption, they have to contend with the increasing lack of food, plus other dangers posed by humans. As the diggers cause the badgers’ tunnels to collapse, more are dug out, which is how human bones were unearthed.

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Endless Skies: A modern day romance with a historical twist… by @JaneCable #Mystery #Romance #FridayReads

Author: Jane Cable

Published: July 2020 by Sapere Books

Category: Contemporary Fiction, Romance with a touch of the Paranormal, Book Review

If you want to move forward, you have to deal with the past…

After yet another disastrous love affair – this time with her married boss – Rachel Ward has been forced to leave her long-term position in Southampton for a temporary role as an Archaeology Lecturer at Lincoln University.

Rachel has sworn off men and is determined to spend her time away clearing her head and sorting her life out.

But when one of her students begins flirting with her, it seems she could be about to make the same mistakes again…

Rachel Ward has a tendency to embark on relationships that end up being something of a disaster. The consequences of her latest romance with a married professor in Southampton results in her banishment to Lincolnshire for a twelve months stint as Visiting Lecturer in Archaeology at Lincoln University. However, it’s not long before her position at the University is in jeopardy due to another unwise choice.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart #YA #Audiobook #Review

Throwback Thursday this week is an audiobook aimed at the younger reader, performed excellently by MacLeod Andrews. It was published in January 2016 by Scholastic Audio.

My Thoughts

When twelve year old Jonathan Grisby arrives at Slabhenge, hungry, cold and tormented, he faces at least ten weeks in the forbidding and Dickensian-like reform school. Run by The Admiral and his staff, who take pleasure from making life as difficult and uncomfortable as possible for the unfortunates who have been sent there. Slabhenge has had several incarnations, including a facility for the mentally ill, but to the boys it seems more like a prison with it’s many corridors, staircases and stone-walled, dank rooms.

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#Extract from Blooms Of War by Suzanne Tierney @notajaxgirl #HistoricalFiction @rararesources #Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Blooms Of War, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources. Today I have an extract for you.

Firstly, lets see what the book is about…

In war, she fell in love.

Vera Betts shouldn’t be falling in love with the enigmatic doctor she suspects of espionage. Reeling from her family’s betrayal, she’s faked her nursing credentials, invented a new name, and run away to the frontlines of the French battlefield. Four years into the Great War and she knows who she is and what she’s meant for—to save the living and sit vigil by the dying. When the cagey-yet-earnest Dr. Nicholas Wallace arrives, so do mysterious explosions destroying hospitals. Even as Nick raises her suspicions, he lowers her defenses. He wants the war to end. Are his acts of sabotage politically motivated or a desperate attempt at peace?

In peace, she fell apart.

A year later, Vera is back with her oppressive family, living under her real name, and Nick is on trial for murder. Trapped in grief and guilt, she cannot speak about the past and does not believe in the future. With Nick refusing to defend himself, she ventures to London to understand why he is so willing to embrace the hangman’s noose. Who is he trying to protect? What secrets does he plan to carry to his grave? And why does Nick insist upon hiding her true identity? To save the man she loves, Vera must tear open the past and confront the tragic price for peace.

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