The Mayfly by James Hazel~ Mini Review

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*Many thanks to the publishers for my Netgalley review copy*

About the book:

A mutilated body discovered in the woods.
A murderous plan conceived in the past.
A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .

When lawyer Charlie Priest is attacked in his own home by a man searching for information he claims Priest has, he is drawn into a web of corruption that has its roots in the last desperate days of World War Two.

When his attacker is found murdered the next day, Priest becomes a suspect and the only way to clear his name is to find out about the mysterious House of Mayfly – a secret society that people will kill for.

As Priest races to uncover the truth, can he prevent history from repeating itself?

The Mayfly by James Hazel

My thoughts:

The Mayfly opens with a pretty grizzly murder and this sets the tone for the rest of the book. It then follows Charlie Priest in the aftermath of an attack in his home, an attack that comes completely out of the blue. When his attacker is found dead the next day, Priest becomes entangled in a web with so many threads that it is hard to see where they begin and end.

I really liked Charlie Priest as a character. As with many main characters, Priest has his own demons and they follow him throughout The Mayfly. I really liked how he was developed during the course of the book and I would be interested to read more about him.

I enjoyed The Mayfly! It was a compulsive and engaging read. I liked the characters, and the plot was interesting. This is the second book I’ve read recently to feature Buchenwald which is an odd coincidence. The dual timeline works well, but I found the jumping between characters to be a bit confusing at times. However, it’s a good read. A little gory, and with plenty to keep the reader guessing!

Recommended! 

~Blog Tour Review~Reconciliation for the Dead by Paul Hardisty

Hi everyone,

Today I’m going to be reviewing Reconciliation for the Dead by Paul Hardisty as part of the blog tour, with thanks to Orenda Books. I read and loved The Evolution Of Fear by Paul E. Hardisty so I was thrilled to be able to read the follow up.

About the author:

Paul Hardisty

Canadian by birth, Paul Hardisty has spent 25 years working all over the world as an engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist. He has roughnecked on oil rigs in Texas, explored for gold in the Arctic, mapped geology in Eastern Turkey (where he was befriended by PKK rebels), and rehabilitated water wells in the wilds of Africa. He was in Ethiopia in 1991 as the Mengistu regime fell, and was bumped from one of the last flights out of Addis Ababa by bureaucrats and their families fleeing the rebels. In 1993 he survived a bomb blast in a café in Sana’a, and was one of the last Westerners out of Yemen before the outbreak of the 1994 civil war. Paul is a university professor and Director of Australia’s national land, water, ecosystems and climate adaptation research programmes. He is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia with his family.

About the book:

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Fresh from events in Yemen and Cyprus, vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker returns to South Africa, seeking absolution for the sins of his past. Over four days, he testifies to Desmond Tutu’s newly established Truth and Reconciliation Commission, recounting the shattering events that led to his dishonourable discharge and exile, fifteen years earlier. It was 1980. The height of the Cold War. Clay is a young paratrooper in the South African Army, fighting in Angola against the Communist insurgency that threatens to topple the White Apartheid regime. On a patrol deep inside Angola, Clay, and his best friend, Eben Barstow, find themselves enmeshed in a tangled conspiracy that threatens everything they have been taught to believe about war, and the sacrifices that they, and their brothers in arms, are expected to make. Witness and unwitting accomplice to an act of shocking brutality, Clay changes allegiance and finds himself labelled a deserter and accused of high treason, setting him on a journey into the dark, twisted heart of institutionalised hatred, from which no one will emerge unscathed.

Buy the book:

Out now in ebook, and out in paperback on May 30th, you can pre-order your copy by clicking HERE.

My thoughts:

Reconciliation For The Dead is the latest instalment in the Claymore Straker series and I swear these books keep getting better and better. Filled with hard-hitting and emotive subject matter, they evoke such a wide range of emotions in the reader from beginning to end.

In Reconciliation, Straker is in the midst of Apartheid Africa where he has to testify to the Truth and Reconciliation Comission. During his testimony, he recounts what happened in the lead up to his dishonourable discharge. What follows is an often harrowing and unflinching recollection of one of the toughest times Clay has experienced .

There is something a bit special about these books. Paul Hardisty has the ability to make the reader connect with his characters, and none more than Clay. The reader is inserted into the story right alongside him, feeling both fearful and hopeful at the same time. In the middle of war-torn Africa, we are brought right into the heart of it, through the superbly constructed and wonderfully evocative prose. Every puff of stifling heat, every step in the arid and harsh climate is almost tangible to the reader thanks to the author’s writing.

I don’t want to give the game away on this one. There are so many subtle nuances and vignettes that the joy of this book is discovering them as you read it. Paul Hardisty has written a tense and haunting book, showing the depths of human depravity and the lengths at which people to go to protect what they believe in.

I cannot recommend it highly enough. 
Follow the blog tour:

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Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler

*Many thanks to the publisher for my Netgalley review copy*

About the book:

Alex Taylor wakes up tied to an operating table.

The man who stands over her isn’t a doctor.

The choice he forces her to make is utterly unspeakable.

But when Alex re-awakens, she’s unharmed – and no one believes her horrifying story. Ostracised by her colleagues, her family and her partner, she begins to wonder if she really is losing her mind.

And then she meets the next victim.

Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler

My thoughts:

Saw this one on Netgalley and I thought it would be an interesting break from the norm in terms of it being a medical thriller on top of everything else. That being said, I still didn’t know what to expect with this book.

Don’t Wake Up is a very fast-paced book with plenty of action. Set in a hospital environment, it follows Dr. Alex Taylor in the aftermath of a horrifying incident that has happened to her. When those around her think she’s lying, and things start happening, she finds herself in a very scary place. There is more than enough going on and then there is the added drama that Dr Alex Taylor seems to be bringing on herself.

I don’t want to say much more because I think it’s always better to let the reader see what the author is aiming to do. I quite enjoyed the book, although in parts I found it a bit far fetched. But then again, it was a fun read from start to finish. It will keep people reading and guessing for sure!

Recommended!

 

The Quiet Man (Jefferson Winter #4) by James Carol 

Many thanks to the publisher for my Netgalley review copy*

About the book:

In Vancouver, the wife of a millionaire is dead following an explosion in her own home.

Everyone thinks her husband is responsible, but former FBI profiler Jefferson Winter isn’t so sure. The method is too perfect; the lack of mistakes, uncanny. He’s seen a series of carefully orchestrated murders – once a year, on exactly the same day, a woman dies in a situation just like this one.

That date is fast approaching and Winter knows another victim has been selected. Can he identify the quiet man before he strikes again?

The Quiet Man by James Carol

My thoughts:

Ive read and loved all of the books and short stories featuring Jefferson Winter so I was thrilled to be able to read and review The Quiet Man as it’s been aaaaaages since I’ve read anything by James Carol.
The Quiet Man is another cracking instalment in the Jefferson Winter series. In this one, Winter is tasked with investigating a serial bomber case in Vancouver. Winter is up against the clock as the bomber strikes on the same day every year and he comes into the investigation in the run up to August 5th, the day the attacks usually happen.

The thing I love about these books is that we know Winter is the son of a serial killer, but it is never the main focus of the story. It is always there, bubbling under the surface, alluded to often but rarely mentioned. I love the inner turmoil that this causes to Winter, how he uses what he’s seen and knows from his last in trying to get into the mind of the killer.

Loved the sense of tension and urgency within this book too. And I really liked the characters Winter works with in this one. Laura is an ex-cop who was on the case, now working out on her own and still investigating the annual bombings. A great female lead, strong and unafraid.

One of my favourite book series, and I think that die hard fans of the series will thoroughly enjoy The Quiet Man!

Definitely recommended! 

The Stolen Child by Sanjida Kay

*Many thanks to Corvus for my review copy*

About the book:

Zoe and Ollie Morley tried for years to have a baby and couldn’t. They turned to adoption and their dreams came true when they were approved to adopt a little girl from birth. They named her Evie.

Seven years later, the family has moved to Yorkshire and grown in number: a wonderful surprise in the form of baby Ben. As a working mum it’s not easy for Zoe, but life is good.

But then Evie begins to receive letters and gifts.

The sender claims to be her birth father.

He has been looking for his daughter.

And now he is coming to take her back…

Buy the book:

The Stolen Child by Sanjida Kay

 

My thoughts:

Having read and loved Bone By Bone, I was delighted to receive a copy of The Stolen Child to read and review.

The Stolen Child centers on Zoe, Ollie and their family. After having problems trying to conceive, they make the decision to adopt a child. Evie is their long awaited baby, and fast forward a few years, with the added surprise of Ben being born, they have settled into family life in Yorkshire.

All is not what it seems though. Evie has started receiving letters and presents, signed from her birth father. This obviously causes her parents to worry and wonder why ,after so long, this is happening now. And what if he does take her?

Every parents worst nightmare becomes a constant shadow on their lives. Zoe and Ollie are at their wit’s end wondering what could possibly come from these gifts and letters. The tension and worry they feel comes across really well in the writing, and more than once it made me feel uncomfortable while I was reading.

The Stolen Child is part domestic noir, part psychological thriller and it will definitely have the reader questioning the motives of the characters. It is a quietly gripping book that creates a sense of uneasiness that is hard to ignore.

Recommended!

Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach 

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*Many thanks to the publishers for my review copy*

About the book:

Ava doesn’t believe it when the email arrives to say that her twin sister is dead. It’s not grief or denial that causes her scepticism – it just feels too perfect to be anything other than Zelda’s usual manipulative scheming. And Ava knows her twin.

Two years after she left, vowing never to speak to Zelda again after the ultimate betrayal, Ava must return home to retrace her errant sister’s last steps. She soon finds notes that lead her on a twisted scavenger-hunt of her twin’s making.

Letter by letter, Ava unearths clues to her sister’s disappearance: and unveils harrowing truths of her own. A is for Ava, and Z is for Zelda, but deciphering the letters in-between is not so simple…

Dead Letters by Caite Dolan Leach

My thoughts:

I had seen Dead Letters popping up on fellow bloggers social media pics as well as reviews, and I was intrigued by the sound of it so I was thrilled to receive a copy in the post from Corvus to read and review. 

Dead Letters follows Ava and Zelda, twin sisters, and Ava’s reaction to finding out that her sister has died in a fire at their childhood home. Upon receiving the traumatic email, Ava returns home from Paris to deal with the aftermath. When she arrives, her mother is in the throws of a degenerative brain illness and her father (now remarried) has returned from California as well.

The sisters had parted on less than friendly terms two years ago, with Ava fleeing to Paris and Zelda staying at home to mind the family vineyard. Not long after arriving home, Ava finds a note from her sister and what follows is a very unusual treasure hunt to discover the truth of what happened to her sister. 

Dead Letters has a dual timeline going on, as we get flashbacks to the sisters lives when they were younger, and we get an insight into their personalities back then. Zelda has always been enigmatic and wild, and it seems she is no different in the present. Ava must work through the letters to discover what happened and it leads her on an emotional journey for which she was thoroughly unprepared.

I enjoyed Dead Letters. It took me a few chapters to get immersed in the story, but it definitely kept me reading as I was eager to find out what was going on. It’s a clever take on a psychological thriller, questioning why we do what we do and so on. It will also keep the reader guessing as they race to the end.

Recommended!

Watching You by Arne Dahl 

*Many thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for my review copy*

About the book:

Someone is watching.

At each abandoned crime scene there’s a hidden clue: a tiny metal cog, almost invisible to the naked eye. Someone is sending Detective Sam Berger a message, someone who knows that only he will understand the cryptic trail.

Someone knows.

When another teenaged girl disappears without trace, Sam must convince his superiors that they’re dealing with a serial killer. As the police continue the hunt to find the latest victim, Sam is forced to unearth long-buried personal demons. He has no choice if he is to understand the killer’s darkly personal message before time runs out.

Somebody is killing just for him.

Watching You by Arne Dahl

My Thoughts:

I’m a huge lover of Scandinavian crime so I was thrilled to be approved to read Watching You. I had no expectation as I’ve not read anything by him before, so I was hoping for greatness!

Watching You started out really well, as you would expect with a solid and gruesome premise. There were plenty of twists and turns along the way, some that were more shocking than others. There is a great sense of momentum at the beginning of the book and I was intrigued right from the beginning. 

I really liked Sam. Typically, he is a flawed and tormented lead detective. I’m drawn to characters like him so I definitely enjoyed his journey during the course of Watching You. I also loved the camaraderie he shared with one of the other characters in the book. 

 I found that towards the end I was less interested though, It seemed to become detail-heavy and lost its way a little for me personally. In saying that though, it’s an enjoyable read. Nothing new in the Scandinavian crime genre, but still a good read.
Recommended if you’re a new convert to Scandinavian crime thrillers!