#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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The Homecoming by Alan Russell #Audiobook @luckylukeekul #FridayReads

  • Author: Alan Russell
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Released: June 2017 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Audiobook, Review, Books

Seven years ago, young Stella Pierce vanished from the face of the earth. Now her grieving, broken family—along with Detective Orson Cheever, who never stopped working her case—is stunned by her mysterious return.

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. 

Love isn’t something you need to capture in a picture. It just is.

After such a lovely get together Eleanor and Duncan Pierce had no idea their lives were about to shatter. That night seven year old Stella Pierce disappeared from her bedroom. Stella’s bed didn’t look slept in and nothing was out of place. She had disappeared without a trace. Continue reading

St Nick ~ A Christmas Cop Story

It’s not looking like a very merry Christmas for San Diego cop Nick Pappas. Suspended from his job, alienated from his family, and persecuted by the press, he’s sorely tempted to turn his gun on himself. Except for his first name, he couldn’t possibly have less in common with jolly old St. Nicholas. But when a local mall decides it needs a secret Santa to help collar some vicious muggers preying on its holiday shoppers, Nick’s persuaded to red-suit up so as to take the naughty punks down and avert a ho-ho homicide. For a chance to bust bad guys, Nick’s willing to deal with crying kids, pushy parents, and a chronically cheerful elf sidekick. But the biggest challenge for this cop-turned-Claus is one that would confound even the real Kris Kringle: making a pair of next-to-impossible Christmas wishes come true for two children in need?before it’s too late.

My Review

This is the best kind of Christmas story and I don’t think it matters what time of year it’s read. The season works it’s magic on Nick without being overly slushy and the message is one of hope, as well as love, humour and loss, with a touch of romance. It’s very moving and what could be better for a Christmas tale.

I had thought Mr Russell must have done some research even before I read his account of events leading up to publication, but didn’t realise the extent and involvement of his research. An interesting story in itself.

Alan Russell article

Nick is at an all time low after a shooting incident and some bad press. I had to feel sorry for him especially as he is also suspended and missing his children. Nick’s story is a sad one and then, as he’s roped in to a job he really doesn’t want by his old partner, who now runs a security team in a shopping mall, his life begins to change. He doesn’t realise it at first but this is the turning point to a better and happier life.

The cast of characters are real, people you might know already or meet, easy to relate to and like. A credible story with good character development, I really enjoyed it. All in all a very satisfactory and uplifting, although sad in one respect, ending.

I always look forward Patrick Lawlor’s narrations, good characterisations with just the right amount of emotion.

Buy from Amazon UK and Amazon US

March New Releases

On my to buy list for March…

Publisher’s Summary from Audible


51X1K2R6h5L._SL175_Kait Winchester inherited a special gift from her Arapaho ancestors: She can heal with her touch. And there is no one she would like to get her hands on more than the super-sexy SEAL who seems determined to ignore their off-the-charts chemistry. When the wounded warrior finally seeks her help, she’s ready to nurse him back to health…and into her bed.

Navy SEAL Lieutenant Marcus “Cosky” Simcosky is no stranger to hot water, but recent events have boiled over into one hell of a mess. His team is under investigation for a hostage rescue gone wrong, a crazy female stalker is on his trail, and the last few bullets he took just may sideline him for the rest of his career. The kicker? The one woman who can help him get back on his feet – and has haunted his fantasies for years – is his teammate’s sister. He’s looked but never touched. When his stalker targets Kait, though, Cosky will have no choice but to do whatever is necessary to keep her safe.
Amazon UK Amazon US

 
Publisher’s Summary from Audible


61a-kSgGW8L._SL175_When Santa Claus is a cop, you better watch out.

It’s not looking like a very merry Christmas for San Diego cop Nick Pappas. Suspended from his job, alienated from his family, and persecuted by the press, he’s sorely tempted to turn his gun on himself. Except for his first name, he couldn’t possibly have less in common with jolly old St. Nicholas. But when a local mall decides it needs a secret Santa to help collar some vicious muggers preying on its holiday shoppers, Nick’s persuaded to red-suit up so as to take the naughty punks down and avert a ho-ho homicide. For a chance to bust bad guys, Nick’s willing to deal with crying kids, pushy parents, and a chronically cheerful “elf” sidekick. But the biggest challenge for this cop-turned-Claus is one that would confound even the real Kris Kringle: Making a pair of next-to-impossible Christmas wishes come true for two children in need…before it’s too late.
Amazon UK Amazon US

 
Publisher’s Summary from Audible
51pvQtmVbeL._SL175_What’s a sweets-loving young boy growing up gay in North Carolina in the ’80s supposed to think when he’s diagnosed with type-1 diabetes? That God is punishing him, naturally.

This was, after all, when gay-hating Jesse Helms was his senator, AIDS was still the boogeyman, and no one was saying, “It gets better.” And if stealing a copy of a gay porno magazine from the newsagent was a sin, then surely what the men inside were doing to one another was much worse.

Sweet Tooth is Tim Anderson’s uproarious memoir of life after his hormones and blood sugar both went berserk at the age of 15. With Morrissey and The Smiths as the soundtrack, Anderson self-deprecatingly recalls love affairs with vests and donuts, first crushes, coming out, and inaugural trips to gay bars. What emerges is the story of a young man trying to build a future that won’t involve crippling loneliness or losing a foot to his disease – and maybe even one that, no matter how unpredictable, can still be pretty sweet.

Amazon UK Amazon US

Shame ~ the audiobook

  • 15949268Author: Alan Russell
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Released: December 2012 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Crime/Thriller/Suspense
  • five-stars

Brutal and unapologetic, Shame draws you into the mind of a serial killer with no chance of escape until the last page is turned.

This is the story of Caleb, the son of a serial killer, and how this fact has affected his life, relationships and ultimately his family, who know nothing about who his father is. 

Gray Parker murdered a number of women before he was caught and executed many years ago.  He always left his ‘signature’ carved into each of the bodies. Continue reading

Multiple Wounds ~ the audiobook

Holly Troy’s mind is a complex maze of myth and reality, multiple personalities vying for time in the spotlight. As an artist, she is creative and compelling. As a witness, she is painfully unreliable, unsure of even which person she was the night of the murder. Even Holly can’t be sure of her own innocence. Homicide detective Orson Cheever never thought he would find himself playing psychologist to a Greek goddess in a modern-day murder investigation, but many of Holly’s personalities come straight from classical mythology, from Cronos and Pandora to the Fates. As Cheever attempts to unravel truth from myth, he learns that there is even more to Holly than meets the eye. One personality in particular—that of a five-year-old girl—hits a little too close to home, and Cheever is forced to finally pull back the dark curtains of his own past in order to uncover the truth in this psychological thriller.
An intriguing concept for a murder story.  Helen Troy has a multiple personality disorder and her ‘other selves’ originate in classical greek mythology. 
 
The story begins with the murder of Bonnie Gill, the owner of the gallery where Helen exhibits her sculptures.  Orson Cheever, the homicide detective leading the investigation who, against his better judgement, finds himself wanting to help the disturbed and vulnerable young woman after he witnesses her crying tears of blood.
 
Helen is a probable suspect in Bonnie’s murder and the case evolves into something Cheever has never witnessed, or had to deal with, before. Cheever and Rachel, Helen’s psychologist become close and unite in trying to help Helen.  As Helen’s past is revealed slowly bit by bit Cheever can’t help but be moved and angered by the sad and shocking truth.

MacLeod Andrews alternates brilliantly between the gravely voiced Cheever, Holly and the varied voices of her personalities, not to mention an array of other characters.

This is a gripping psychological murder/thriller, full of suspense which doesn’t let up.

The descriptions of Helen’s psychotic episodes are very well written. Suspenseful, complex and captivating it’s also a story of love, loss and suffering told with flashes of humour and a lot of emotional turmoil.

The intricacies of multiple personality disorder are handled with thoughtful consideration and, along with the references to greek mythology, have been well researched.

Buy the book Amazon UK