Blog Blitz Extract ~ The M Word by Eileen Wharton

Hi everyone,

Today I’m taking part in the blog blitz for The M Word by Eileen Wharton and I’ll be sharing an extract with you all further down!

About the author:

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Eileen Wharton is not the naughty great-grandaughter of Edith Wharton. She is currently employed by MI5 but has had various jobs including: wigmaker to Donald Trump, Megan Fox’s stunt double and Ann Summers ‘toy’ tester. She also tells lies for a living.

She currently has five ‘lively’ offspring ranging from thirty to ten years of age and has no plans to procreate further much to the relief of the local schools and police force.

Her first novel, ‘Shit Happens’ was published in 2011 to worldwide critical acclaim. She’s also won awards for exaggeration. It did top the Amazon humour chart so she’s officially a best-selling author.

Her first children’s picture book, ‘The Shmoogly Boo’ was published in the same year and another is in the pipeline entitled, ‘My Dad’s Better than Your Dad.’

Her first crime novel, ‘Blanket of Blood’ was launched as a paperback on Friday 28th November 2016. She is now working on the sequel ‘Blood’s Thicker.’

 She teaches English to teenagers and lives on a council estate in Bishop Auckland. She has never eaten kangaroo testicles, is allergic to cats and has a phobia of tinned tuna.

Author links

https://www.facebook.com/eileen.whartonwriter

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eileen-Wharton/e/B00QQT2IKE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1525777837&sr=8-1

http://eileenwhartonwrite.wixsite.com/eileenwharton

About the book:

Eileen Wharton - The M Word_cover_high res.jpg

Roberta Gallbreath is middle aged and menopausal. She dislikes her children, detests her ex-husband and despises her colleagues.

When her mother dies, Roberta is left with a pile of letters and a mystery surrounding her son. The letters reveal Roberta’s heritage is not what it seems and she is soon on a mission to become a better person.

Told with humour and emotion, The M Word is the tale of one woman’s journey to find out where she came from. As she looks to the past for answers, more questions are raised. Will Roberta discover who she really is?

The M Word by Eileen Wharton

Extract:

Chapter 1

 

@RobertaGallbreath

#Restingbitchface

#Flissflop

‘Mother is dying,’ a voice on the house phone says.

‘Who is this?’ I ask.

‘It’s Fliss, who do you think it is?’

‘Let me see. It’s three years since I spoke to you last, Felicity, so I wasn’t expecting to pick up the phone and hear your voice.’

‘Are you coming or not?’ my sister snaps.

‘Where?’

‘Home, of course. She’s dying, Roberta. Even you must care about that.’ What’s with the even you shit? Why do people say that? My sister is good at emotional blackmail. ‘She’s asking for you. God knows why.’

‘How long?’

‘Days rather than weeks. Doctor said to gather the family. Can you tell Carolyn and Shoni?’

‘And Drew,’ I say. Silence. ‘He didn’t do it, Felicity.’

‘Whatever.’

‘I know my own son.’ Silence. ‘He might be a lot of things, but he’s not a thief.’

‘I didn’t ring to argue with you. Just get here, will you.’

‘I’ll come tomorrow,’ I say. She hangs up.

My sister’s a bitch. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not all sweetness and light myself, but Felicity is a witch and a martyr, and there’s nothing more unattractive than the smell of burning martyr. She stayed with Mother when she could have left to live in Bermuda with a police officer from Pocklington she had met on eHarmony. She’s bitter and twisted, and let’s face it, who wouldn’t be, living with Mother all those years?

 

#nilbymouth

Mother’s on form. Even on her deathbed, she can make me feel like crap. She sits up in bed, her grey curls flattened by the pillows she’s now propped on, winceyette bed jacket draped around her spiky shoulders, “ALICE GALLBREATH: NIL BY MOUTH” at her head.

‘Don’t know why you bothered coming all the way up here,’ she says.

‘It’s only twenty minutes up the road.’

‘Why do I never see you, then? There’s nowt for you in t’ will.’

‘I don’t want anything, Mother,’ I say.

‘That’ll be a first. Stand up straight and put your legs together. You couldn’t stop a pig in a passage.’

‘Stop with the compliments, will you?’ I say.

‘What you doing here?’

‘I came to see you.’

‘Want to watch me die?’

‘No, Mother. I came to say my goodbyes.’

‘Goodbye, then.’

‘Jesus, can you not just…’

‘What? Just what?’ Mother asks.

‘Just be nice,’ I say.

‘That’s rich, coming from you.’

‘Look, I know I haven’t been the World’s Best Daughter,’ I say.

‘Pah. Understatement of the year. Get one of those thingies from the nurse, will you?’

‘Thingies? Which nurse?’

‘The one that’s plain as a pikestaff. I need to say a decade of the rosary every time I look at her… A thingummy jig whatsit doodah…’ She sets off coughing, and I think she’s going to choke to death there and then. She waves her hand madly in the direction of the cupboard next to the bed.

‘In here?’ I ask. She nods. ‘A tissue?’ She nods again. I hand her a tissue, and she spits into it. Fresh red blood mixed with black swirls like a marble. She folds the tissue, shoves it into my hand and gestures to the plastic bag taped to her locker. I try not to retch as I stuff it in. ‘You haven’t exactly been Mum of the Year, either.’

‘Go on, kick me while I’m down.’

‘I’m not here to kick you, Mother. Felicity said you were asking for me.’

‘Yes, I wanted you to know that I know who took the money and your father’s watch, and I want you to get it back.’

‘Listen, if you’re going to accuse Drew again, I–’

‘I’m not.’

‘That was a terrible time for us…’

‘I wasn’t going to accuse Drew,’ she says. ‘I know it wasn’t Drew. He wouldn’t nick off his granny. I want you to get it back. I still want Drew to have it.’

‘Who was it?’

‘I don’t want it to cause trouble. I just want you to get it back.’

‘From where, Mother? Where do I get it from?’

‘Fliss,’ she says faintly.

‘I don’t understand. What about Felicity?’

‘It wasn’t your dad’s watch. Well, it was. But not the man you thought was your dad.’

‘What do you mean? What are you talking about? You’re talking in riddles. Whose was it? Mother?’

‘The letters explain,’ she says, her breath shallow and laboured.

‘Letters? What letters?’

‘In there,’ she says, pointing to the bedside cabinet. ‘They explain.’

‘Explain what?’

‘Everything. They explain everything. Forgive me…’

Her breath grows ragged, and the machine beside her beeps. A nurse comes running. It’s all a bit of a blur after that. Doctors run in. They shock her, and her heart starts again, then stops. They shock her again, calling, ‘Alice, Alice, can you hear me, Alice?’

When I’ve seen paramedics performing CPR on the telly, it’s so clean and clinical. This is brutal. Messy, noisy, the sound of ribs cracking, a blue mouth foaming, eyes rolling.

It seems like hours before a man in a white coat shakes his head and says, ‘Time of death, eleven twenty-two am.’

I can’t say that what I feel is sadness, but there is shock. Definite shock. Seeing Mother silent and not deadly. I wouldn’t say she looks peaceful or that she looks like she’s sleeping. She looks dead. Bitter Alice. Deceased. What did she want to explain? What did she want me to forgive?

I open her bedside cabinet and take out a brown bag. Inside is a bundle wrapped in red cloth. Unwinding the material, I can see letters, a huge bundle of letters, held together by elastic bands. I stuff them into my bag, intending to read them when I get home.

I sit beside the bed in a state of shock until Felicity arrives and blames me for killing our mother. ‘I think, in fact, that it was lung cancer that killed her.’

‘She was alright last night,’ she says. ‘She was chatting about Freda Birchill’s granddaughter being done for shoplifting.’

‘She wasn’t alright, though, was she? You called me up here because she was dying. You said to me that she didn’t have long left.’

‘Yeah, but I didn’t think…that she would really die.’ Her face crumples then, and I feel almost sorry for her. I put my hand on her shoulder, and she shrugs it off. ‘Do you think it’s been fun looking after her for the past twenty years while you swanned off to the city? You, the big I am.’

‘It’s Newcastle, Felicity, not New York. If you wanted a life, you could have chosen one.’

‘Chosen? Chosen?’ Her voice rises, and she beats her chest. ‘I didn’t have choices. My path was paved when you left. I couldn’t leave as well, could I? She’d have been on her own.’

I ignored her self-pity party. ‘She mentioned the money and Granddad’s watch. She said she knew Drew didn’t take it.’

‘If you’ve come here to cause trouble, I swear I’ll …’

‘Do what? Fliss, you invited me to come.’

‘Just go back to where you came from.’

‘I came from here, actually.’

‘So why do you talk as though you have a mouth full of marbles?’

‘What is it you want from me, Felicity?’

‘Nothing. I want nothing. Precisely what you’ve given me over the years.’

‘I’m going back,’ I say. ‘Let me know the arrangements for the funeral.’

‘Oh, yes, leave it all to me as usual. You can tell Drew to stay away, for a start.’

‘I’ll tell him no such thing. And I’ll tell you another thing, Mother wants him to have his granddad’s watch. Well, she said it’s not Dad’s. So, what do you know about that?’

‘Nothing. I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.’

‘She wants me to find the watch and give it to Drew, and that’s what I’m going to do.’ Her face turns red, then green, then white. She storms off, sticking her nose in the air.



Make sure to check out the other blogs taking part in the blitz:

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Blog Tour~ Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen

Hi everyone,

Today, I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen and I’ll be sharing my review with you all!

About the author:

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Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at
the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book
in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been
published in 24 countries and sold over five million copies. Twelve film
adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring
the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim, and a further series is being
filmed now. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of
Honour) and the Petrona Award, and been shortlisted for the CWA Dagger, lives
in Bergen with his wife.

About the translator:

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Don Bartlett lives with his family in a village in Norfolk. He completed an MA in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia in 2000 and has since worked with a wide variety of Danish and Norwegian authors, including Jo Nesbø and Karl Ove Knausgård. He has previously translated The Consorts of Death and Cold Hearts in the Varg Veum series.

 

About the book:

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PI Varg Veum receives a surprise visit in his office from a woman who introduces herself as his half-sister, and she has a job for him. Her god-daughter, a nineteen-year-old trainee nurse from Haugesund, moved from her bedsit in Bergen two weeks ago. Since then no one has heard anything from her. She didn’t leave an address. She doesn’t answer her phone. And the police refuse to take her case seriously. Veum’s investigation uncovers a series of carefully covered-up crimes and pent-up hatreds, and the trail
leads to a gang of extreme bikers and to a shadowy group, whose dark actions are hidden by the anonymity of the Internet. And then things get personal…
Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Big Sister reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the
world’s foremost thriller writers.

Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen

My thoughts:

Having read and enjoyed the previous translated Varg Veum books, I was thrilled to be able to read Big Sister recently. Gunnar Staalesen is a masterful storyteller and I was eager to get reading.

In Big Sister, Veum finds out that he has a half-sister, Norma. The only reason he finds this out is because Norma turns up at his office needing his help in finding her missing goddaughter Emma. Emma has vanished from Bergen, and Norma figured this was as good a reason as any to track down her half-brother.

The police don’t seem to be taking the disappearance seriously, so Norma and Veum undertake their own investigation. This leads them into danger, when what seems to be a wide investigative net becomes quite smaller and they find themselves wondering what they have stumbled into.

I don’t want to go into the plot any more than that because Gunnar Staalesen does such a wonderful job of weaving the threads together that I don’t want to spoil it by picking them apart. I really enjoy reading about Varg Veum as a character. Something about him makes him seem really genteel, and relatable. This is what I love about these books, the comfort in picking up the book and feeling like you are catching up with an old friend. Staalesen’s lyrical prose makes it an engaging and enthralling read, and I look forward to reading the next in the series.

Big Sister is an excellent example of Nordic noir. Hints of menace coupled with a chilling climate make this the perfect locational mystery. There is also an emotional element attached to these books, and that is extremely prevalent in Big Sister.

Highly recommended!

Previous Reviews:

Where Roses Never Die by Gunnar Staalesen

Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen

Check out the blog tour:

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Blog Tour: Love Will Tear Us Apart by Holly Seddon

Hi everyone,

Today I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Love Will Tear Us Apart by Holly Seddon and I’ll be sharing my review with you all!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Holly Seddon Author Picture

Holly Seddon is a full time writer, living slap bang in the middle of Amsterdam with her husband James and a house full of children and pets. Holly has written for newspapers, websites and magazines since her early 20s after growing up in the English countryside, obsessed with music and books. 

Her first novel TRY NOT TO BREATHE was published worldwide in 2016 and became a national and international bestseller. 

Her second novel DON’T CLOSE YOUR EYES was published in July 2017.

Twitter @hollyseddon

Website: http://www.hollyseddon.com/

Facebook Author Page : https://www.facebook.com/hollyseddonauthor

About the book:

Love Will Tear Us Apart Cover.jpg

Sometimes a promise becomes a prison.

Fearing eternal singledom, childhood friends Kate and Paul make the age-old vow that if they don’t find love by thirty, they will marry each other. 

Years later, with the deadline of their 30th birthdays approaching, the unlikely couple decide to keep their teenage promise. After all, they are such good friends. Surely that’s enough to make a marriage? 

Now, on the eve of their 10th wedding anniversary, they will discover that love between men and women is more complex, and more precarious, than they could ever have imagined. As Kate struggles with a secret that reaches far into their past, will the couple’s vow become the very thing that threatens their future? 

Love Will Tear Us Apart is a moving and heart-breaking exploration of modern love and friendship, from the bestselling author of Try Not to Breathe

Love Will Tear Us Apart by Holly Seddon

My thoughts:

I’m a huge fan of Holly’s writing so I was delighted to be asked to take part in the blog tour for Love Will Tear Us Apart. Also, every time I say this title, I start singing the Joy Division song so I defy you not to do the same 🙂

Love Will Tear Us Apart is an emotional roller coaster, let’s be honest. I found myself experiencing a range of emotions while I was reading. Something that Holly is superb at doing with her readers, and that is no different with this book.

Dealing with relationships and friendships, I found myself thoroughly engaged with the story from the very beginning. I loved the characters, and I found myself thinking about them even when I wasn’t reading the book.

When we meet Paul and Kate, they are in the lead up to their tenth wedding anniversary, and heading away with their family to spend some time together. But a past secret threatens everything that they have known up until now. Through the narrative, the reader is transported back and forth in time, and it is in these vignettes that we learn a lot more about their characters and motivations.

Love Will Tear Us Apart is a powerful and thought-provoking book. It has an emotional rawness and is written with real heart and humanity. I found myself well up a little at times, which NEVER happens, but something about Holly’s writing speaks to my dark heart.

Highly recommended!

 

Previous reviews:

Try Not To Breathe by Holly Seddon

Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon

Follow the tour:

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Blog Tour~Motherland by G. D. Abson

Hi everyone,

Today I’m closing out the blog tour for Motherland by G. D. Abson and I’ll be sharing an extract with you all!

About the author:

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G.D. Abson was born in County Durham and grew up on army bases in Germany and Singapore before returning to the North-East. He is the author of Motherland, the first in a series featuring Senior Investigator Natalya Ivanova, and was shortlisted for a Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger.

About the book:

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Student Zena Dahl, the daughter of a Swedish millionaire, has gone missing in St Petersburg (or Piter as the city is colloquially known) after a night out with a friend. Captain Natalya Ivanova is assigned the case, making a change for Natalya from her usual fare of domestic violence work, but, because of the family’s wealth, there’s pressure for a quick result. As she investigates she discovers that the case is not as straightforward as it may seem. Dark, violent and insightful, Motherland twists and turns to a satisfyingly dramatic conclusion.

Motherland by G. D. Abson

Prologue:

Two hours had gone by since they’d left the city behind. The heater was on full but still she shivered. Out here, away from the water and heading north to Finland, forests threatened the road and the temperature dropped to minus thirty in winter. Ksenia stirred with the noise of the engine and Kristina shifted position, bringing circulation to her numb right arm. The silence was oppressive in the Zhiguli and he broke it by turning on the radio; there was nothing except static and he switched to long-wave. She heard the President’s voice and was stunned.

There had been the horror of Chechnya, then everyone’s savings had been wiped out when the rouble crashed. And still Yeltsin survived, propped up by Berezovksy and the other oligarchs. He’d gone to America and been discovered drunk outside the White House in his underwear. On the TV puppet show, Kukly, she had cringed as he was humiliated again and again.

‘He’s leaving,’ she said in shock. ‘Boris Yeltsin is resigning.’

She twisted the volume control to hear it over the Zhiguli’s engine and caught phrases:

“I want to ask for your forgiveness because many of our dreams didn’t come true… the pain of every one of you, I feel in myself, in my heart… in saying goodbye, I want to say to every one of you: be happy. You deserve happiness. You deserve happiness, and peace.”

The old buffoon had made her cry. She dipped her head forwards to dab her tears on the arm of her jacket.

Now the Acting President, a KGB goon called Putin, was promising freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. She wondered if he was smirking while he spoke. At least he didn’t drink, maybe he was what the country needed now: someone serious and sober.

They were travelling faster, a hundred kilometres an hour on the empty carriageway; the Zhiguli’s lights illuminating cones of snowflakes. She wanted to tell him to slow down but she was just as impatient to get away. The radio announcer cut to a live broadcast outside the Kremlin and they sat in silence as the bells of Spasskaya Tower clock chimed.

‘Happy New Year, darling.’ She reached across to squeeze his hand. ‘To our happiness and peace.’

‘I love you,’ he said.

‘I love you too.’ She offered a smile to cover up the white lie.

He yanked his hand from hers.

She looked at him, confused, and saw him gripping the steering wheel; his mouth had fallen open.

The Zhiguli slid silently along the iced road. He stamped on the brake pedal; the car jerked to the left. She held Ksenia tightly against her chest. The Zhiguli cut across the opposite carriageway and there was a smashing of steel that thrust her forwards. She floated in clear air and screamed all the way down.

 

Catch up with the tour:

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Blog Tour: Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

Hi guys,

Today, I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh. I’m going to repost my original review as I was lucky enough to read this one when it was released in Ireland back in January!

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About the book:

‘To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?’

Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.

Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.

This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.

But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.

Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.

Published by Orion, you can grab your copy by clicking the link below:

Thirteen: The serial killer isn’t on trial. He’s on the jury

About the author:

Steve Cavanagh was born and raised in Belfast and is a practicing lawyer and holds a certificate in Advanced Advocacy. He is married with two young children. The Defence was chosen as one of Amazon’s great debuts for 2015, as part of their Amazon Rising Stars programme. In 2015 Steve received the ACES award for Literature from the Northern Ireland Arts Council. The Defence was longlisted for the Crime Writer’s Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and shortlisted for two Dead Good Readers Awards.

Steve writes fast-paced legal thrillers set in New York City featuring series character Eddie Flynn.

Steve also hosts the weekly Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast along with Luca Veste.
Find out more at http://www.stevecavanagh.com or follow Steve on Twitter @SSCav

My thoughts:

There are a handful of authors whose books I will go out and buy without fail, and Steve Cavanagh is one such author. I hadn’t really read legal thrillers until I picked up The Defence a few years ago, and basically fell in love with Eddie Flynn as a character. I’ve been following him ever since, and I was beyond THRILLED to hear Thirteen was available in Ireland in January. Needless to say, I hightailed it to my local bookshop to grab a copy. I started and finished it in one day. It was THAT good!

You may have seen the #thatbookthathook hashtag on twitter in the run up to publication, and it is pretty apt. That hook is unreal. I mean, a serial killer, ON THE JURY for god’s sake!!!!

In Thirteen, Eddie is called to help represent Bobby Solomon, a high-profile movie star who is up on a murder charge. His wife and head of Security were found dead in their NY brownstone, and it doesn’t look good for Bobby. Eddie is hoping that this case can give him the stability he so craves to save his marriage, which is hanging by a thread following events in previous books (Go and read them to find out what I mean!). But life is never easy for Eddie Flynn, and things soon take a dark turn.

Maaaaaaaaaaaan, can Steve Cavanagh write. Every damn time I thought I had twigged something, he smashed my theory by throwing in something else. Pretty sure I could have had whiplash with the amount of times I had to go back and re-read a line or a paragraph to see what nugget I missed. That is what I love about his writing style. Aside from the fact that it is oh so clever, Steve has the ability to grab the reader by the liathróidi (it’s an Irish word, google it!) with the shocks he delivers. Thirteen is a prime example of that!

Thirteen has an excellent cast of characters. From Eddie, to Art Pryor (lawyer and showman extraordinaire), to Judge Harry Ford (YAY) and Harper, an investigator that Eddie uses! Now, I know I said I love Eddie Flynn, and I do, but I think Joshua Kane may have stolen my black heart just a bit. Yes, he’s pure dodge, but my god is he a wily character. I don’t want to say too much, I don’t, but he is one of the most clever guys I’ve read in terms of an antagonist. Jeeeeeez, I really want to go into details here, but I know I can’t!!!! Aaaaaaaaargh!!!!!

I feel like I need to read Thirteen again because I read it so fast. I just had to see it through. And it was so worth waiting for. I probably say this with every one of these (LOL), but Thirteen is the best Eddie Flynn book so far. THE BEST! It is so damned clever, it has got real heart at its core, and more action than any blockbuster movie. These books are so cinematic, they would be amazing on the big screen. Thirteen, especially.

So yeah, safe to say I absolutely loved this one. LOVED IT!!!!

Ingenious plot, superb characters and a killer hook, Thirteen will take you on a wild ride, so buckle up…

HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

FOREVER.

ALL THE STARS.

#TEAMEDDIE

Previous posts:

The Defence by Steve Cavanagh

The Plea by Steve Cavanagh

The Liar by Steve Cavanagh

 

 

I don’t always match my tattoos to books, but this one was too easy… 🙂

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Check out the blog tour:

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Blog Tour: When The Waters Recede by Graham Smith Ellen’s Review

Hi all,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for When The Waters Recede by Graham Smith and I’ll be sharing her review with you all!

About the author:

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Graham Smith is a time served joiner who has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000, he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

He is an internationally best-selling Kindle author and has four books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, and two novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

2018 will be a busy year for Graham as he has the third Jake Boulder being published and a Harry Evans novel and novella.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com since 2009

Graham is the founder of Crime and Publishment, a weekend of crime-writing classes which includes the chance for attendees to pitch their novels to agents and publishers. Since the first weekend in 2013, eight attendees have gone on to sign publishing contracts.

Links:

About the book:

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When a car is pulled from raging floodwaters with a dead man in the front and the decapitated body of an evil woman in the boot, Cumbria’s Major Crimes Team are handed the investigation. The woman is soon recognised, but the man cannot be identified and this leads the team and their former leader, Harry Evans, into areas none of them want to visit. Before they know it, they’re dealing with protection scams and looking for answers to questions they didn’t know needed to be asked.

When The Waters Recede by Graham Smith

Ellen’s Review:

I’ll kick this review off by saying that in my opinion this is the best DI Harry Evans Major Crimes Team book yet!! An absolute crime lovers delight from beginning to end. I have read all the full length stories and novellas in this series but this blows the others out of the (flood)water.

The book opens with a car being pulled from raging flood waters; in the driver’s seat is a dead man and in the boot the decapitated body of a woman and the Major Crimes Team are handed the investigation. The woman is soon recognised as a local ne’er-do-well, but the man cannot be identified and this leads the team and their former leader, Harry Evans, into the dark underworld of the Cumbrian crime scene. They soon end up investigating protection scams which in turn lead them into things they never expected.

I love the way that we have got to know the Major Crimes Team as the books and novellas have progressed. Each seems to reveal a little bit more about each member of the team and this time it was Lauren’s time to shine. Now, I reckon she’s a total love/hate character. You’re either gonna love the way she uses her feminine wiles to gain the information she requires or she’ll rub you up the wrong way and you’ll want to poke her eyes out. In When the Waters Recede we are presented with a troubled and changed Lauren. Gone is the confident, cocksure woman she was and her vulnerable side is exposed; I couldn’t help but feel for her. Luckily Harry has got her back as always.

Harry Evans is the loveable rogue that you can’t help but admire. Yes, he doesn’t always do things by the book but he gets the job done. There is still a power struggle between himself and his replacement DI Campbell. Harry really struggles to relinquish his control at times but just about manages to toe the line he needs to keep the fragile peace of their arrangement. It was interesting to see a possible love interest on the horizon and I would love for Harry to finally have some closure on the tragic loss of his wife and baby. Saying this, I have come to expect the unexpected with Graham Smith’s books though so won’t be holding my breath!

A fantastic addition to the series and no spoilers, but….I cannot WAIT for the next!! #TeamEvans

Blog Tour~Rubicon by Ian Patrick

Hi everyone,

Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Ian Patick’s Rubicon, published by the force of nature that is Fahrenheit Press. I’ll be re-sharing my review for this gem, but first, the all-important bookish information!

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About the book:

Two cops, both on different sides of the law – both with the same gangland boss in their sights.

Sam Batford is a corrupt undercover officer with the Metropolitan Police who will stop at nothing to get his hands on fearsome crime-lord Vincenzo Guardino’s drug supply.

DCI Klara Winter runs a team on the National Crime Agency, she’s also chasing down Guardino, but unlike Sam Batford she’s determined to bring the gangster to justice and get his drugs off the streets.

Set in a time of austerity and police cuts where opportunities for corruption are rife, Rubicon is a tense, dark thriller that is definitely not for the faint hearted.

Buy Rubicon direct from Fahrenheit Press:

http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_rubicon.html

About the author:

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Educated in Nottingham, Ian left school at sixteen. After three years in the Civil Service he moved to London for a career in the Metropolitan Police.

He spent twenty-seven years as a police officer, the majority as a detective within the Specialist Operations Command. A career in policing is a career in writing. Ian has been used to carrying a book and pen and making notes.

Now retired, the need to write didn’t leave and evolved into fiction.

Ian’s Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IPatrick_Author

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ian-Patrick/e/B075VB1MP4/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

My thoughts:

I don’t know where to start with this review to be honest. I’ve written and deleted it more than once. Not because I didn’t enjoy Rubicon, but because I couldn’t put the bloody book down once I started it, I was hooked!

Rubicon is quite a book. It is dark, gritty and packed with action. The main characters, Sam Batford and Klara Winter are like chalk and cheese, so I really enjoyed their brief interludes during the course of the story. Both after the same thing, but for wildly different reasons, their story arc was really fun to read!

Batford is an undercover officer, corrupt as you like, and not one bit sorry. This attitude translates really well into his story as it makes him almost a bit of a lad, in terms of his cockiness and general devil-may-care approach to certain things. He’s a bit of a renegade, let’s be honest, but he is also my favourite part of the story!

I really enjoyed reading Rubicon, not least because the author’s previous experience in this line of work really shines through, but also because it’s not my usual kind of crime read. I tend not to read these gangland-y (not a word, I know!) books but I am SO glad I got to read this little gem.

Ian Patrick has a great writing style. Short, pacy chapters mean you’re constantly turning the page to see what the hell Batford is going to do next, and because he’s a bit of an asshole, you know he’ll be up to no good. Can’t wait to see where the author takes us with his next one.

Highly recommended!

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