Friday, 27 May 2022


A Long Way from Home by Brian W. Caves

A book that grabbed me and took me back in time, it will enthral you


Outstanding! Caves has weaved a gripping story. I simply could not put it down


A powerful read


Thought-provoking and unmissable from the first page until the last

Here’s the blurb:

A sleepy town in 1960s South Georgia, where to some residents, segregation is more

important than catching a killer.

An ex-homicide detective from Chicago called to honour an old promise.

With a rising body count and a community guarding their secrets more fiercely than  their children, asking questions could prove deadly for the outsider…

About the Author

I started out as an engineer, then an estate agent, followed by senior management roles in cable TV and telecoms. Spent a few years as a management consultant and now work in the language translation industry.

I have played music all my life. Classically trained on the clarinet from the age of eight until fourteen when my world took a quantum leap forward after hearing Jimi Hendrix and Voodoo Child on the radio. I thought, wow, I gotta do that. I dumped the clarinet and I picked up the guitar and have never put it down. I have played alongside topflight musicians, both live and in studios.

From a young age I read books like Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, Black Beauty, Swallows and Amazons, then The Famous Five, Billy Bunter, Jennings and Derbyshire, Biggles, and Tarzan. Agatha Christie had a major impact as did Georges Simenon. I penned short stories at school – mostly adventure, but it wasn’t until I became hooked on American Crime Noir that my urge to write came crashing to the forefront of my mind. Reading Hammett, Chandler, Jim Thompson, Macdonald, and the master, James M. Cain had the same effect on my potential writing career as Hendrix had for my music.

Currently, having been further influenced by the greats of Southern literature, I write crime stories based in the Deep South as well as UK based dark noir crime set in the county of Northamptonshire where I reside. Throw into the pot crime and horror short stories and novellas and you’ll have some idea of what goes on in my head.

Twitter: @brian_caves

Red Dragon Publishing:


@RedDragonbooks / @ConradJones / @emmamitchellfpr


@conradjones3 / @emitch101


Friday, 20 May 2022

Good Neighbours


Good Neighbours by Mary Grand-psychological thriller

Nia is staying at her aunt's to house sit and have a break from her life for a while. Her aunt lives on the Isle of Wight in a small close where everyone knows and looks out for each other so she is soon swept into the group who each have their own issues.  Nia is not sure if her husband has been having an affair- she has followed and asked him but he says she is getting confused about things and denies any more than a professional relationship with the other woman. Nia is sure of what she thinks but has no way of proving it as things changed in her house. On the Island she meets a young woman Ruby who is rather suspicious of the others in the group as she has received a voodoo doll and is sure it is from one of them. When Nia then finds a body on the beach things take a turn for the worse. Has Ruby killed herself and what are the secrets everyone appears to be hiding?

This is skillfully written and quickly drew me in. There is a good tension of something not quite right which keeps the pages easily turning. I liked Nia even though she was perhaps a little naive in some of her actions- but we all  live and learn. I hadn't worked out who the perpetrator was and enjoyed the lead up and surprise. A book to keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. 

For more reviews please follow me on Twitter@nickisbookblog


Good Neighbours It was meant to be a safe place to start again...  In need of an escape from her failing marriage, Nia agrees to house-sit her aunt’s cottage on the Isle of Wight. She feels sure the cosy close in a quaint harbour town will be a safe place to hide and figure out what to do next.  But things are not all as they seem in the close, and the neighbours who welcome her with open arms, are keeping secrets. When Nia finds the body of one of her new friends lying on the beach, she feels sickeningly sure that the killer is dangerously near to home. Who killed her friend and why did she have to die? And if Nia discovers the answers she’s looking for, is she next on their hit list? Good neighbours may become good friends, but they can also make deadly enemies…  Purchase Link -

Author Bio – Mary Grand is the author of five novels and writes gripping, page-turning suspense, with a dark and often murderous underside. She grew up in Wales, was for many years a teacher of deaf children and now lives on the Isle of Wight where her novel, The House Party, which was published by Boldwood in July 2020, is set. Social Media Links – Facebook Twitter Instagram Newsletter Sign Up:

Monday, 16 May 2022

The Memory Keeper of Kyiv


The Memory Keeper of Kyiv- Erin Litteken- historical fiction/dual timeline  

A share of proceeds will be donated to DEC's Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. The author began this story after the Russian invasion of Crimes in 2014 and today it is even more poignant.

Set in two timelines this alternates between 1930’s Ukraine and early 2000’s in Wisconsin USA. In modern day  a little girl,Birdie lives with her mother and hasn't spoken in over 14 months. 18 months ago she lost her father in an accident when she was in the car with him. They have moved in with Birdie's grandmother Bobby, who is getting rather forgetful- but remembering things from her past that no one knows about. In the 1930’s, Stalin is trying to make all the farmers pool their resources- together they would be better- an early stance for communism and the villagers are understandably not happy about this. Anyone defying the rules is likely to be shot- people are disappearing in the middle of the night, no one knowing where they are taken to or even if alive.  Alina and Katya are sisters and are due to be married to brothers whom they have known since they were very small. Everyone is short of food as more and more things are belonging to the state and many are dying of starvation. There are spies everywhere. some having joined the ranks out of fear for their lives so stealing even potato peelings is risking life. Look up the Holomdor- I wasn't aware of it prior to this book and it's something many more should be aware of in my eyes.

Oh wow. I quickly found myself immersed in this and couldn't help but feel for how the innocent were being treated through a system of communism, fear and dictatorship. Of how they could see piles of rotting potatoes guarded whilst all around there were people dying of starvation. As the author herself says “Ukrainians today are fighting for their country with a strength and tenacity that has captivated the world, but it is impossible to deny that history is repeating itself. It’s horrifying, and we must do better.” Kudos to Erin for writing this. A incredible (but very credible) debut read of history, determination and a little romance and more. Brave, emotional, honest- stunning.

For more reviews please follow me on Twitter@nickisbookblog

Friday, 13 May 2022


Kiss of Death- Adam Croft- Crime           

We are back in Rutland  and DI Caroline Hills is happy to be having a quieter time of things. Not too far away a woman feels ill whilst in church and collapses and dies. When there is another apparently unconnected but unexplained death, things don’t quite add up. 

This is the fourth in the Rutland crime series but happily stands alone. I love this series- they are an easy, page turning read that quickly enveloped me into the pages. The characters come across brilliantly and are well rounded having that extra backstory enhancing their police persona. Anyone knowing the Rutland area will quickly envisage some of the place names and perhaps smile at the misdemeanours- as Adam says we really don’t know who we are standing next to at the supermarket- a thief, a burglar or worse- they still go about most of their everyday lives just like anyone else and Rutland is no different albeit a scenic rurality.

A wonderful, highly entertaining read with an excellent plot that kept me turning the pages rapidly.

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Thursday, 12 May 2022



Thrown- Sara Cox- Women's fiction

Oh I loved this- a wonderful smile from the very beginning. This tells of a group of people who get to know each other through a pottery class. Each of the group has their own issues- Becky lives with her son, her ex husband being in prison. Jameela has had a string of miscarriages and her husband has up sticks and left. Sheila is retired and would love to move to Spain only her husband isn't that keen. Louise and Danny are a couple, Louise being a little fed up with Danny's “happy to settle, not push for things” in life.

I had a good feeling with this book very early on when I read ( she) “ squeezed the extra bit of fat that had taken up residence over Christmas and had made itself so at home that it seemed set to stay through spring”. This to me gave a hint as to not only the humour which is nicely woven throughout the book, but also that life experience which you can't buy. The one that enables us to perhaps laugh at ourselves when sometimes we are doing anything but still manage to make someone smile- which can be worth its weight in gold and in turn makes us feel that little bit better ourselves. Sara of course hosted “ the Great Pottery throw down” and her experience in this shines through in discussing the pottery classes. A book to enjoy and perhaps reflect on life a little albeit in a light hearted way. Of friends and relationships that can ease our way through the storms life sometimes throws at us. A wonderful, entertaining read.

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Monday, 9 May 2022

The Gathering Storm

 The Gathering Storm- Alan Jones- (The Sturmtaucher Trilogy #1) pre/WW2 historical fiction-

This is set in the early 1930s (and onwards) when Hitler had just come to power. Germany has been suffering high unemployment and poor housing and many see him as a possible saviour to improve Germany once and for all. The Kastners are a prominent military family and have the Nausbamms working for them as they have for many years. The men even went to school together. Whilst the Nausbamms have always suffered the occasional taunt from being Jewish, things are now beginning to heat up and it appears that this is fuelled by Hitlers National socialist party. I found it interesting to read that Hitler was tried and found guilty (in 1923) for treason but was so successful at his trial that he pretty much came out of it unscathed. He dictated Mein Kampf whilst in prison and was already the leader of the National German socialist workers party. This is the story of the two families living and working side by side in extremely trying times in the lead up to the war and just into the early part.

I found this an interesting and fascinating read- a wonderful way to learn about social and political history. I've learnt much about WW2 from novels and this one gave so much more as it gives the lead up to the war and what was happening in Germany. An incredibly well researched novel with a wonderful story woven in which must have taken hours, scrap that, months of research. A good length read so incredibly good value  (£1.77 on kindle at time of writing) which drew me in and kept the pages turning. There's a little light heartedness which comes across well and lightens being in the face of adversity from both families and how friends can get you through. 

A stunning, compelling, really interesting read- wow. The very best way (for me) to learn so much and have a story woven around the facts of war which at the time of writing are rather poignant. A highly recommended read and I very much look forward to the next instalments.

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Watch a trailer here!

Friday, 6 May 2022

I'll Be Home For Christmas


I'll be home for Christmas- M Arnold- (broken wings bk3). Historical mystery

We are back with the ladies of the ATA and another mystery has landed at their feet. Betty has a mysterious key which she believes belonged to her deceased sister. Unravelling the mystery has caused some unwanted attention and resulted in the women being followed. Penny has her own issues of a more personal nature and of course the planes still have to be delivered- there is a war going on after all.

I love this series. This is the third one and for the ladies' pasts and relevance to the war effort to make sense the others in the series should be read first (both 5* from me- bk 1- A Wing and a Prayer, bk 2- Wild Blue Yonder). There are clearly hours, make that days or weeks of research gone into these books which shines through the pages to make it a very realistic read. There is really a little of everything in there- mystery, drama, saga, romance- all the things that take us through life very well portrayed which keeps the pages turning very easily. Im feeling Im getting to know the ladies now and really enjoy their company. I think there may be a book 4 on its way which I look forward to reading- so enjoyable and easy reading. 

  Although Christmas is in the title- this can be read any time of year ( I'm sitting here on a beautiful sunny spring day) as the main part of the story is mystery and wartime rather than seasonal.

A wonderful, highly  entertaining read with an excellent plot, magnificent characters and a smile along the way. A highly recommended read. 

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The Note

The Note- Andrew Barrett- 5* A short story written in the first person by CSI Eddie Collins. Eddie is the sort of bloke who calls a s...