Blog Tour~Him by Clare Empson

Hey everyone,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Him by Clare Empson and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down.

About the book:

It all started with … HIM. Catherine has become mute. She has witnessed something so disturbing that she simply can’t speak – not to her husband, her children, or her friends. The doctors say the only way forward is to look into her past. Catherine needs to start with Him. Lucian. Catherine met the love of her life at university and was drawn into his elite circle of privileged, hedonistic friends. But one night it all falls apart and she leaves him, shattering his life forever. Still, fifteen years later, Lucian haunts every one of Catherine’s quiet moments, and when they are unexpectedly reunited, their love reignites with explosive force. But they can’t move on from what happened all those years ago. In fact, uncovering the truth will cause their lives to implode once again. This time, with disastrous consequences.

Click the link below to order your copy:

Him by Clare Empson

About the author:

Clare Empson is a journalist with a background in national newspapers and has worked as a small business editor, finance correspondent and fashion at the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Express. Clare freelances for The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Times, the Evening Standard and Tatler amongst others. She currently works as editor/founder of experiential lifestyle website http://www.countrycalling.co.uk. Him is her debut novel. Her second novel Mine is an exploration of the fraught relationship between a birth mother and her adopted son set against a backdrop of a passionate love affair in the 70s. Mine will be available August 2019.

Ellen’s Review:

After hearing the author speak about Him at Harrogate Crime Writers Festival I had to read the book and was not disappointed. In a way it wasn’t what I expected and I certainly didn’t bargain on the emotions it put me through or that I’d be in tears by the end!

The main character Catherine has elective mutism after witnessing…something devastating. She refuses to speak to anyone including her husband and two young children. I was puzzled from the start, what on Earth could have happened that was so bad she couldn’t speak of it to her closest family? Slowly the tale is revealed as we dip in and out of the past. Fifteen years earlier Catherine met the love of her life and the eponymous Him of the novel, Lucian, at university. They are from different sides of the track so to speak and Catherine is soon swept up into an elite circle of friends intent on having the best (and most hedonistic) times of their lives. Catherine and Lucian are so obviously made for each other and their love borders on the obsessive so we are left wondering what happened to shatter this relationship and for Catherine to end up breaking up with Lucian abruptly without explanation and later marrying Sam, a dependable admirer.

I did feel sorry for Sam (and the children) as their time together feels like a chapter, possibly even an inconvenience, in her life that Catherine has settled on while still pining for her lost love. Obviously by the end of the novel and the big reveal I had a better understanding of this but at times I’ll admit to being irritated by Catherine at first.

Him is a love story with a dark and tragic heart. It isn’t very often that I am moved by a book (I have an icy heart when reading!) but Him absolutely punched me in the guts and tore that icy heart right from my chest when I was least expecting it. I am stunned that this book is Claire Empson’s debut and I’m a little scared about what she’ll do with my emotions next time! All the stars for this stunning book.

Check out the tour:

Blog Tour- The Island (Hulda #2) by Ragnar Jónasson

Morning all,

Today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Island by Ragnar Jónasson and I’ll be sharing my review with you all a little further down.

About the author:

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Ragnar Jonasson is the award winning author of the international bestselling Dark Iceland series.

His debut Snowblind, first in the Dark Iceland series, went to number one in the Amazon Kindle charts shortly after publication. The book was also a no. 1 Amazon Kindle bestseller in Australia.

The second book in the series, Nightblind, also became a no. 1 Amazon Kindle bestseller in Australia.

Ragnar is the winner of the Mörda Dead Good Reader Award 2016 for Nightblind.

Snowblind was selected by The Independent as one of the best crime novels of 2015 in the UK and it has also been on best seller lists in France.

Rights to the Dark Iceland series have been sold to 14 countries.

TV rights to the series have been sold to production company On the Corner in the UK, producers of Academy Award winning documentary Amy.

Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he works as a writer and a lawyer. He also teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University and has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV-news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.

Ragnar is a member of the UK Crime Writers’ Association (CWA).

He is also the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir.

From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic.

Ragnar has also had short stories published internationally, including in the distinguished Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in the US, the first stories by an Icelandic author in that magazine.

He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik.

About the book:

Four friends visit the island.

But only three return . . .

Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir is sent to the isolated island of Elliðaey to investigate and soon finds haunting similarities with a previous case – a young woman found murdered ten years ago in the equally desolate Westfjords.

Is there a patient killer stalking these barren outposts?

As Hulda navigates a sinister game constructed of smoke and mirrors she is convinced that no one is telling the truth, including those closest to her. 

But who will crack first? And what secrets is the island hiding?

Haunting, suspenseful and as chilling as an Icelandic winter, The Island follows one woman’s journey to find the truth hidden in the darkest shadows, and shine a light on her own dark past.

Click the link below to get your copy:

The Island by Ragnar Jónasson

My thoughts:

The Island is the second book in the Hulda Hermannsdottír series, and as the series is told in reverse chronological order, we are meeting a younger Hulda than we did in The Darkness. I would definitely recommend reading the first book, as it gives the reader a whole other perspective coming into The Island. If you’ve already read it, you’ll know what I mean!

Ragnar Jónasson writes with a deft hand, and with echoes of Agatha Christie’s style in his books, his books are always a pleasure to read.

The Island has two different timelines throughout the novel, so we get glimpses into how everything links up together. I think that this worked really well as it makes the reader think hard in terms of trying to link past and present.

Hulda Hermannsdottír is called to the island of Elliðaey to investigate what happened when four friends on a reunion trip end up losing one of their number. The island is extremely isolated, and with nobody else on the island, this becomes almost like a locked room mystery that Hulda has to try to figure out.

I really enjoyed The Island. To be fair, I’ve loved all of Ragnar Jónasson’s books, and this one is no different. Hulda is such a great character, and I am very much enjoying the backwards journey through her life as we read about the events that shaped her as the Hulda we met initially in The Darkness.

The Island is a tense, dark and atmospheric novel. Accentuated beautifully by the harsh landscape and haunting prose, this is Icelandic crime at its finest.

Highly recommended.

Previous Reviews:

The Darkness by Ragnar Jónasson

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Blog Tour~ Black Wood by Derek Flynn

Hi everyone,

Today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Black Wood by Irish author, Derek Flynn. I’ll be sharing my review with you guys a ittle further down!

About the author:

Derek Flynn is an Irish writer and musician with a Masters in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. BLACK WOOD is his third novel. His previous books BROKEN FALLS and THE DEAD GIRLS have been a big hit with readers – THE DEAD GIRLS featured on a number of book blogger’s “Best of 2018” lists and came in at number 11 in the Rick O’ Shea
Book Club poll of the “Best Irish Books of 2018”.
He is also a regular contributor to Writing.ie, where he writes his “Songbook” column.
Like most writers, he is fuelled solely by caffeine and self-doubt.

About the book:

“How far would you go to get out?”This is the question three unlikely friends living in a dead-end town in America ask each other. The answer would come to haunt them.The narrator is a writer in his late 30s, eking out a living as a college lecturer. Samantha Pierce, a woman he hasn’t seen in twenty years, re-enters his life and tells him that she is being blackmailed – because of something they did twenty years before in the Black Wood. A cat and mouse game ensues as they try to find out the identity of their blackmailer, while the narrator recalls the events of the summer they graduated High School – the summer that led to the fateful night in the Black Wood when their question was answered, and they did something that would change their lives forever.

The Black Wood – the deeper you go, the darker your intent.

Click the link below to order your copy:

Black Wood by Derek Flynn

My thoughts:

Black Wood is an American crime thriller by Irish author Derek Flynn. We are introduced to the narrator, but not by name, as they tell the story of the Black Wood through vignettes into the past.

The narrator is contacted by an old school friend that he hasn’t seen in years, Samantha, who goes on to tell him that she’s being blackmailed by someone who says they know what they did twenty years ago.

What follows is a dark and suspenseful narrative, interwoven with the characters stories both past and present. The Black Wood sounds like a den of iniquity for teens, with anything and everything taking place there. The further in you went, the stronger your intent to be hidden in whatever you were doing. At times, it feels like the Black Wood is a character itself.

Black Wood is a story about small towns and the secrets they can keep. A cautionary tale. It is unreliable, mysterious and definitely an intriguing read.

Recommended for sure!

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Blog Tour- Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech~Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down.

About the author:

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The follow-up, 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.

About the book:

Tonight is the night for secrets… Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught. Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers. Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after twelve years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father … What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof. Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything… With echoes of the chilling Play Misty for Me, Call Me Star Girl is a taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller that plays on our deepest fears, providing a stark reminder that stirring up dark secrets from the past can be deadly…

Click the link below to get your copy:

Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech

Ellen’s Review:

I have loved all of Louise’s books and was intrigued by Call Me Star Girl as it’s a little different to the stories which have preceded it. This one is a psychological thriller and I couldn’t wait to lose myself in the magical (and often dark) words which the author writes. I wasn’t fully aware of the details of Call Me Star Girl so was a little taken aback that child abandonment was a huge part of the story. The main character (Stella) was abandoned by her mother when she was young and left with the impression that she was never loved/appreciated and in fact her mother found her quite uninteresting. This obviously shapes Stella as a person and she is determined to never be boring which leads her to make some risky choices. My mother abandoned me when I was small so I could absolutely put myself in Stella’s shoes and follow her thought processes. I don’t think I have ever highlighted a book so many times and I took comfort in so much of the text and that Stella would get me.


Murder is also a major part of the story; a pregnant woman (Victoria Valbon) was murdered in an alley and her killer has still not been found. Stella McKeever is the host of a late night radio show and is receiving calls from someone claiming to know details about the murder. The theme of her final show is secrets, you tell her yours and she’ll share some of hers and Stella has a LOT of secrets! The macabre bedroom games with her boyfriend Tom, her father’s identity, the mystery of her perfume bottle with the star-shaped topper and so much more. The secrets are slowly revealed by various people over different times and I didn’t expect what revealing the secrets would result in.


I was kept guessing the whole way through the book and still didn’t predict the outcome. Call Me Star Girl is a dark and brooding book but there is still the familiar sparkle of the author’s magical way with words that will bewitch you to the end. Once more I am left reeling by Louise’s book and am convinced she could turn her hand to any genre. I’d definitely book a seat for Call Me Star Girl – The Musical.

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A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty

About the book:

A murder that shocks a city… 
Shots ring out on one of Savannah’s most famous streets. A beautiful law student lies dead.

A case full of secrets and lies…
Three men close to the victim are questioned. All of them claim to love her. All of them say they are innocent of her murder.

An investigation that could prove deadly…
As crime reporter Harper McClain unravels a tangled story of obsession and jealousy, the killer focuses on her. He’s already killed one woman. Will he kill another?

Click the link below to grab your copy:

A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty

My thoughts:

I am a big fan of US-based crime thrillers, and A Beautiful Corpse is another excellent addition to the genre. I would definitely recommend reading the first book in the series before this one though as you get a lot of background for the main character, crime journalist Harper McClain, in The Echo Killing and you’re kind of expected to know it going into ABC.

A Beautiful Corpse opens like many other great crime novels, with a murder. A young woman is killed on one of Savannah’s more well known thoroughfares late at night. Harper ends up at the scene, in part due to her job, but also as it transpires, she knows the victim.

What follows is a narrative fraught with jealousy and obsession. I found A Beautiful Corpse to be a really engaging and well thought out crime novel. Harper McClain is an excellent character. She’s punchy, outspoken and very determined when she gets herself set on something.

For me, this was one of those books I couldn’t put down. The descriptions of the heady Georgia heat, mixed with the dark and deadly crimes made it a very engaging thriller.

Great characters, whip smart plot and an absorbing narrative made A Beautiful Corpse a great read!

Highly recommended!

Previous reviews:

The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty

Red Snow by Will Dean

About the book:

TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

Click the link below to grab your copy:

Red Snow by Will Dean

My thoughts:

I’m a huge fan of Scandinavian crime so I was delighted to see that there was a new Tuva Moodyson book on the way. I found myself hooked early on and ended up devouring Red Snow in a handful of sittings.

Tuva is moving on to pastures new, but when a man commits suicide and more deaths start to be uncovered, she has to work really hard to figure out what’s going on before she leaves. What follows is a really great story packed with characters both unusual and unique.

Will Dean has a lovely writing style and the whole story flowed really well. It’s got the perfect mix of mystery and action so it keeps the reader on their toes right from the outset.

Claustrophobic, tense and utterly absorbing, Red Snow is the perfect crime thriller chiller.

Highly recommended!

March 2019 Book Haul

Hi guys!

Its book haul time! 

*For any of you who don’t know, this is where I list the books that have made Bibliophile Book Club their new home in the previous month. The books are usually bought books, ARC’s sent from publishers, Netgalley review books and just basically any books I get go on here.

So, here’s what I’ve added to my library since last month:

  1. The Devouring Gray by Christine Lee Herman
  2. She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge
  3. Lord of Secrets by Breanna Teintze
  4. The Old Religion by Martyn Waites
  5. The Near Witch by V. E. Schwab
  6. Girl Most Likely by Max Allan Collins
  7. Freefall by Jessica Barry
  8. How To Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price
  9. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  10. If She Knew by Blake Pierce
  11. Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton
  12. Last Summer by Kerry Lonsdale
  13. Killing Floor by Lee Child
  14. The Ghostwriter by Alessandra Torre
  15. Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson
  16. We Are The Dead by Mike Shackle
  17. Changeling by Matt Wesolowski
  18. Happy Girl Lucky by Holly Smale
  19. No Way by SJ Morden
  20. The Princess and The Fangirl by Ashley Poston
  21. The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan
  22. The Good Detective by John McMahon
  23. Girl Next Door by Willow Rose
  24. The Holiday Swap by Zara Stoneley
  25. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
  26. Windwitch by Susan Dennard
  27. Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
  28. Cape May by Chip Cheek
  29. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  30. Geekerella by Ashley Poston

So that’s all the books I bought or was lucky enough to receive over the course of March! Have you read any of these? Would you?! Let me know in the comments 🙂

Until next time…