Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield ~ Historical Fiction #TuesdayBookBlog @DianeSetterfie1 #NetGalley #OnceUponARiver

Author: Diane Setterfield

Published: December 2018 by Transworld Digital

Category: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Folklore, Suspense, Romance, Book Review

On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the Thames, the regulars are entertaining themselves by telling stories when the door bursts open and in steps an injured stranger. In his arms is the drowned corpse of a child.

Hours later, the dead girl stirs, takes and breath and returns to life.

Is it a miracle?

Is it magic?

And who does the little girl belong to?

The River Thames is at the heart of this story, along with those who live and work on or around it. The Swan, an ancient inn, sitting on the banks of the river is the focal point of the local community, where the tradition of storytelling thrives. On solstice night, the longest night of the year, with the regulars gathered in the pub, an injured man carrying what looked like a doll but was soon discovered to be a drowned child, staggers through the door and falls to the floor, unconscious. Rita, the local nurse is sent for and after she has attended to the man’s injuries she checks on the child. Although she appears to be dead, Rita is confused. There were no outward signs to show what had happened to the child and none of the expected signs of drowning. And then, inexplicably, the child begins to breathe. 

She stood in the doorway where the man had stood. The dead girl was in her arms.

Again? Was it time’s error? Were they drunk? Had they lost their wits? Too much had happened and their brains were full. They waited for the world to right itself.

The corpse opened its eyes.

The girl’s head swiveled.

Her gaze sent a wave through the room so strong that every eye felt its ripple, every soul was rocked on its mooring.

Time went unmeasured, and when the silence was at last broken, it was Rita who spoke. “I don’t know,” she said.

It was an answer to the question they were too stunned to ask—an answer to the question she could scarcely form herself.

The story of the girl who came back from the dead takes on a life of its own, discussed endlessly in The Swan, and spreading rapidly further afield. A couple whose child was kidnapped, a man searching for his granddaughter, a young woman hiding a guilty secret, all wonder and hope she is the child they are looking for and longing to find. Who this delicate otherworldly child who never speaks belongs too, and how she came to be in the river, forms the basis of the story.

Once Upon A River, set in the 19th century, is a slow but intricate and magical tale, with a good number of beautifully crafted and vividly portrayed diverse characters. The narrative alternates between each of their stories, following a winding course that perhaps seems a little too drawn out on occasion, but the strands are gradually woven together and the plot picks up momentum as the conclusion is in sight.

The writing is lyrical and extremely evocative, threaded throughout with magical realism, folklore, superstition and always the atmospheric setting makes its presence felt. The direction of the story isn’t obvious as it meanders, but like the river there may be more going on under the surface than is immediately apparent. I haven’t read anything quite like this before and, if you’ll pardon the pun, you just need to go with the flow, and be carried along where ever the story takes you. 

I chose to read and review Once Upon A River courtesy of NetGalley and the author/publisher.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US

About the Author

Diane Setterfield is a British author. Her bestselling novel, The Thirteenth Tale (2006) was published in 38 countries worldwide and has sold more than three million copies. It was number one in the New York Times hardback fiction list for three weeks and is enjoyed as much for being ‘a love letter to reading’ as for its mystery and style. Her second novel, Bellman & Black (2013 is a genre-defying tale of rooks and Victorian retail. January 2019 sees the publication of her new title, Once Upon a River, which has been called ‘bewitching’ and ‘enchanting’.

Born in Englefield, Berkshire in 1964, Diane spent most of her childhood in the nearby village of Theale. After schooldays at Theale Green, Diane studied French Literature at the University of Bristol. Her PhD was on autobiographical structures in André Gide’s early fiction. She taught English at the Institut Universitaire de Technologie and the Ecole nationale supérieure de Chimie, both in Mulhouse, France, and later lectured in French at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. She left academia in the late 1990s to pursue writing.

Author links ~ Website | Twitter | Facebook  

The Ruin (Cormac Reilly #1) by @DervlaMcTiernan #Audiobook ~ Debut Crime Fiction set in Ireland #Review @LittleBrownUK

Author: Dervla McTiernan

Performed by Aoife McMahon

Published: Little, Brown Book Group and released on Audible March 2018.

Category: Crime, Murder, Mystery, Suspense, Audiobook Review

February 1993 

On his first week on the job, Garda Cormac Reilly responds to a call at a decrepit country house to find two silent, neglected children waiting for him – fifteen-year-old Maude and five-year-old Jack. Their mother lies dead upstairs.

March 2013 

Twenty years later, Cormac has left his high-flying career as a detective in Dublin and returned to Galway. As he struggles to navigate the politics of a new police station, Maude and Jack return to haunt him.

Twenty years earlier rookie Garda Cormac Reilly discovered the body of Hilaria Blake in a dilapidated old house. He was sent out on what he thought would be a minor domestic call.

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#CoverReveal ~ The Haunting of Alice May by @TonyLeeMoral #NewRelease A Supernatural Mystery #YA

Released today, The Haunting of Alice May is a young adult ghost story/paranormal romance. Here’s the book info…

Alice May Parker moves with her family to the sleepy town of Pacific Grove after her Mom dies, but little does she know the strange and terrifying events to come. When she falls into the bay during a kayaking trip, she is rescued from drowning by the mysterious Henry Raphael. Handsome, old fashioned and cordial, he is unlike any other boy she has known before. Intelligent and romantic, he sees straight into her soul. Soon Alice and Henry are swept up in a passionate and decidedly unorthodox romance until she finds out that Henry is not all what he seems. . .

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US

~~Now for the cover~~

~~About the Author~~

Tony Lee Moral is the author of three books on Alfred Hitchcock and specialises in mystery and suspense; “Alfred Hitchcock’s Movie Making Masterclass”, “The Making of Hitchcock’s The Birds” and “Hitchcock and the Making of Marnie”.

Author Links ~ Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook  

Binary Witness (Amy Lane Mysteries Book 1) by @rosieclaverton ~ Crime in Cardiff #BookReview

Author: Rosie Claverton

Published: Second Edition, April 2018 by Crime Scene Books

Category: Crime, Murder, Mystery, Book Review

A young woman trapped by her fear.

A serial killer on the prowl.

An ex-con hiding from a vengeful gang.

Binary Witness is a crime thriller with a difference. There are two main protagonists. Jason Carr is an ex-con trying to make a new start.

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Sadie by Courtney Summers ~ A Journey of Revenge #YA Audiobook @MacmillanAudio @courtney_s #FridayReads

Author: Courtney Summers

Narrated by a Full Cast

Published by Macmillan Audio

Category: Young Adult, Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Family, Social, Audiobook, Review

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

Since their addict mother Claire left, Sadie has been trying her best to raise Mattie, the little sister she loves dearly. Sadie and her mother have always had a volatile relationship, not helped by the severe stutter that’s afflicted her since childhood and her mother’s many live in boyfriends.

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The Birdwatcher by William Shaw ~ #Murder Mystery in Kent @william1shaw

Author: William Shaw

Published: May 2016 by riverrun

Category: Crime, Murder, Mystery, Book Review

Sergeant William South has always avoided investigating murder. A passionate birdwatcher and quiet man, he has few relationships and prefers it that way.

But when his only friend is found brutally beaten, South’s detachment is tested. Not only is he bereft – it seems that there’s a connection between the suspect and himself.

An enthusiastic bird watcher, Sergeant William South has lived quietly on the atmospheric Kent coast at Dungeness for most of his life, content with his birding and working the local beat.

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The Word Is Murder (Detective Daniel Hawthorne 1) by @anthonyhorowitz ~ #CrimeFiction with a twist #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Anthony Horowitz

Published: April 2018 by Arrow

Category: Murder, Mystery, Crime, Book Review

SHE PLANNED HER OWN FUNERAL. BUT DID SHE ARRANGE HER OWN MURDER?

Daniel Hawthorne, a recalcitrant detective with secrets of his own, is on the case, together with his reluctant side-kick – a man completely unaccustomed to the world of crime.

But even Hawthorne isn’t prepared for the twists and turns in store – as unexpected as they are bloody…

How refreshing to read an inventive and unusual take on a murder mystery. Anthony Horowitz creates a fictionalised version of himself, portrayed as side kick to Daniel Hawthorne, an ex Detective Inspector who used to be with the Metropolitan Police Force.

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#GuestPost by N. Lombardi Jnr #Author of Mystery/Legal #Thriller Justice Gone #NewRelease #Extract #FridayReads

Im happy to welcome Nicholas Lombardi on the publication day of his novel, Justice Gone which was inspired by a real and shocking incident. Before we hear from Nick, here the book info….

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The Lost Man by @janeharperautho ~ #Mystery set in the Australian Outback @caolinndouglas @LittleBrownUK #TheLostMan

Im delighted to be joining the blog tour for The Lost Man by Jane Harper, courtesy of Caolinn Douglas and Little, Brown Books.

About the Book

He had started to remove his clothes as logic had deserted him, and his skin was cracked. Whatever had been going through Cameron’s mind when he was alive, he didn’t look peaceful in death.

Two brothers meet at the remote border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of the outback. In an isolated part of Australia, they are each other’s nearest neighbour, their homes hours apart.

They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old that no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron. The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish.

Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he choose to walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…

My Review

The Outback is a harsh, vast and sparsely populated area with a brutal and unrelenting climate. It’s a hard life and the nearest neighbour could be hours away by car.

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Presumed Guilty (DC Beth Chamberlain #2) by Jane Isaac #CrimeFiction @janeisaacauthor #BookReview

Author: Jane Isaac

Kindle Edition

Category: Crime, Fiction, Murder, Mystery, Book Review

Accident or murder? 

The first victim – a prominent local councillor, killed in a hit and run ‒ could be either, but the next bodies leave no doubt. A twisted killer is at large. And he’s not finished yet. 

Local councillor and business man Stuart Ingram has stopped for his usual take away after the weekly bowls club meeting.

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