Blog Tour Extract~Halcyon by Rio Youers

Hi guys,

Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Halcyon by Rio Youers and I’ll be sharing an extract with you all in just a little bit!

About the author:

Rio Youers
Rio Youers is the British Fantasy Award–nominated author of Old Man Scratch and Point Hollow. His short fiction has been published in many notable anthologies, and his novel, Westlake Soul, was nominated for Canada’s prestigious Sunburst Award. He has been favorably reviewed in such venues as Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and The National Post. His latest novel, The Forgotten Girl, was released by Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press in June 2017.
Rio lives in southwestern Ontario with his wife, Emily, and their children, Lily and Charlie.

About the book:

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Halcyon is the answer for anyone who wants to escape, but paradise isn’t what it seems.

A self-sustaining community on a breathtakingly beautiful island, Halcyon is run for people who want to live without fear, crime or greed. Its leader has dedicated her life to the pursuit of Glam Moon, a place of eternal beauty and healing, and believes the pathway there can only be found at the end of pleasure.

On the heels of tragedy, Martin Lovegrove moves his family to Halcyon. A couple of months, he tells himself, to retreat from the chaos and grind. Yet he soon begins to suspect there is something beneath Halcyon’s perfect veneer. As the founder captivates his young family, Martin sets out to discover the truth of the island, however terrible it might be, where something so perfect hides unimaginable darkness beneath…

Halcyon by Rio Youers

Extract:

Laura muttered, “He does Dylan better than Dylan,” and Martin snapped out of his show. That was when he noticed the clicking. It wasn’t the rhythmic clicking he associated with Shirley’s texting. This was constant. A purr. He looked up, expecting to see her zoned out. And she was, but not in the usual way. Her head was angled awkwardly and her eyelids uttered. Her thumbs blurred on the screen.

“Shirley?”

She was having some kind of seizure. Martin drew his leg off the arm and sprang from his chair. He got Laura’s attention by waving a hand in front of her eyes, then crossed the room to where Shirley reclined in the other armchair.

 

He cradled the back of her head in one hand and gently tilted her jaw to keep her airway open. She garbled something. The veins across her throat bulged.

“What’s happening to her?” Laura asked, crouching beside the armchair. She tried removing the cell phone from Shirley’s hands but Shirley held tight, her thumbs still working.

“Seizure, I think,” Martin said. “Maybe she was looking at flashing images.”

“Should I call nine-one-one?”

Martin looked from Shirley to Laura, then down at the cell phone’s screen as Laura tried to free it from their daughter’s clasp. He glimpsed what she’d typed: a string of random letters, symbols, and emojis, but with several full words interspersed in all the nonsense. Martin barely logged them before Laura pried the phone away. He definitely saw SCARED and CHIPPEWA and perhaps BOTTLECAP, or maybe it was BOTTLETOP.

“Martin?” Laura snapped. She threw the cell phone on the floor and clutched Shirley’s hands. “Nine-one-one?”

“Wait,” he said. He eased Shirley onto her side and peeled damp strands of hair from her brow. “It’s okay, baby. Mom and Dad are here.” Her eyes flashed open and closed. Her mouth moved silently. Martin pressed the cool back of his hand to her cheek and she whimpered. A moment later, she screwed her face up and started to cry. It was like a pressure release. The tightness left her body at once. Her trembling first lessened, then stopped altogether.

“Mom . . . ?”

“Okay, sweetie,” Laura said. “It’s okay.”

 

Martin wiped her tears away. She blinked, took deep breaths, and looked into her empty hands for her phone. Her expression switched from confusion to fear.

“Edith,” she said.

“What about Edith?” Martin asked.

Shirley shook her head and groaned. More tears spilled from her eyes. “She’s screaming inside,” she said.

 

Check out the tour:

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Blog Tour: A Breath After Drowning by Alice Blanchard

Hi everyone,

Today I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Alice Blanchard’s A Breath After Drowning and I’ll be sharing my review with you all further down the post!

About the author:

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Alice Blanchard won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction for her book of short stories, “The Stuntman’s Daughter.” Her first novel, “Darkness Peering,” was a New York Times’ Notable Book and a Barnes & Noble Best Mystery. Her thriller, “The Breathtaker,” was an official selection of the NBC Today Book Club. Alice has received a PEN Award, a New Letters Literary Award, and a Centrum Artists-in-Residence Fellowship. Her books have been published in 16 countries. Her new psychological thriller, “A Breath After Drowning,” will be published by Titan Books in April 2018.

About the book:

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Sixteen years ago, Kate Wolfe’s young sister Savannah was brutally murdered. Forced to live with the guilt of how her own selfishness put Savannah in harm’s way, Kate was at least comforted by the knowledge that the man responsible was behind bars. But when she meets a retired detective who is certain that Kate’s sister was only one of many victims of a serial killer, Kate must face the possibility that Savannah’s murderer walks free.
Unearthing disturbing family secrets in her search for the truth, Kate becomes sure that she has discovered the depraved mind responsible for so much death. But as she hunts for a killer, a killer is hunting her…

Out now, you can get your copy by clicking HERE!

My thoughts:

A Breath After Drowning is one of those books that gets its hooks into you quite early on, but you don’t realize it until you try to put it down. I found myself thinking about the story and the characters when I wasn’t reading it, which is always a sign of a good book for me.

Character-driven for the first while, the author does a great job of getting the reader invested in Kate’s life and her work. We learn her routine, her issues arising from her sister’s death and how she deals with her job as a psychologist on a daily basis. This all builds a foundation for how dark the book gets.

This is a really gripping book, I loved how the author wove past and present events, and how it all played out between the pages. I won’t lie, I had some suspicions along the way, but this in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the book. Guessing something isn’t the same as seeing how creatively the author will bring you towards the ultimate denouement, and Alice Blanchard does this beautifully.

Engaging, clever and more than a little dark in places, A Breath After Drowning is a most excellent psychological thriller.

Highly recommended!

Check out the tour:

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The Silent Dead by Tetsuya Honda

My thanks as always to the lovely folks at Titan Books for my copy of The Silent Dead! Much appreciated! 😊


About the book:

Twenty-seven-year-old Detective Reiko Himekawa has an impressive ability to solve crimes. When a gruesomely slaughtered body wrapped in plastic is discovered, Reiko soon uncovers eleven other murders with a similar signature and a reference to something called strawberry night, a group that recruits victims and murderers on the internet. To solve the case, Reiko is forced to reach back into her own troubled past.

 
My Thoughts:

The Silent Dead is my first foray into crime thrillers based in Japan. I’ve read lots of crime books, but this is my first based in Asia and it was a promising introduction. Not least because there are more books in the series which I would definitely be interested in reading if and when they are translated.

The intro to The Silent Dead is quite gruesome, and sets the scene for further on in the book. Detective Reiko Himekawa is tasked with the investigations and as the body count rises, the evidence mounts against so many people that it’s almost hard to keep track of the who and the why!

The Silent Dead took me a while to get into, as I found it lacked pace in the middle of the novel. It opened with a bang, and then seemed to taper off for a while until the last third of the book. I did enjoy it, but it left me wanting something more. I don’t know, it’s hard to verbalise, it just left me feeling a little flat after it all.

That’s not to say it’s not well written, or well translated for that matter. It is both of these things, it just didn’t work for me! I gave The Silent Dead 3⭐️ on Goodreads, it’s out now and you can pick up a copy by clicking HERE.

Have you read it? Would you read it? Let me know in the comments! 😊📖

River Road by Carol Goodman 


About the book:

Nan Lewis—a creative writing professor at a state university in upstate New York—is driving home from a faculty holiday party after finding out she’s been denied tenure. On her way, she hits a deer, but when she gets out of her car to look for it, the deer is nowhere to be found. Eager to get home and out of the oncoming snowstorm, Nan is forced to leave her car at the bottom of her snowy driveway to wait out the longest night of the year—and the lowest point of her life…

The next morning, Nan is woken up by a police officer at her door with terrible news—one of her students, Leia Dawson, was killed in a hit-and-run on River Road the night before. And because of the damage to her car, Nan is a suspect. In the days following the accident, Nan finds herself shunned by the same community that rallied around her when her own daughter was killed in an eerily similar accident six years prior. When Nan begins finding disturbing tokens that recall the death of Nan’s own daughter, Nan suspects that the two accidents are connected.

As she begins to dig further, she discovers that everyone around her, including Leia, is hiding secrets. But can she uncover them, clear her name, and figure out who really killed Leia before her reputation is destroyed for good? 

My thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed River Road. It was pacy, with questionable characters and a very good story.

We meet Nan Lewis, a teacher, who on her way home from a party hits a deer with her car. When she wakes in the morning to the news that one of her students was killed in a hit and run on the same road she instantly becomes the main suspect in the investigation.

What follows is a taut thriller, full of interesting and well written characters that pulls you in and keeps you reading. I was hooked fairly early on, and I was eager to know what was happening. 

I felt sorry for Nan as she is essentially ostracised by her small community, and the hit and run of her own daughter many years ago comes back to haunt her in other ways. Struggling to keep her head above water, she vows to find out what happened and how she is involved.

River Road was an unexpectedly gripping read, full of twists and turns, with plenty of red herrings thrown in for good measure too! In the interest of full disclosure I figured out some of these early on, but it in no way hindered my enjoyment of this book. I just wanted the characters to catch up! 😂

Carol Goodman is a new author for me, so I will definitely be checking her previous books. I really liked River Road, 4⭐️ on Goodreads, and I would highly recommend it! 😊
*Thanks to Titan Books for my review copy*

Have you read it?! Would you read it?? Let me know in the comments! 😉📚