Thursday, 6 August 2020

With or Without You by Drew Davies

With or Without you- Drew Davies- Humorous literary fiction
“‘How long does a coma last?’ I ask.‘Days, weeks, months?’The nurse replies with a shrug, although her
eyes are very kind.
‘But on average?’She just smiles, unable to give me an answer.”
Wendy Dixit lives with her husband Naveem in a flat and they keep themselves pretty
much to themselves. She has a sister who is rather critical and vaguely knows the lady
living above who is Mrs Ramprasan. When Neveen has an accident in his taxi Mrs Dixit’s
(as she is mostly known as) world changes as he is left in a coma. His family never had
anything to do with them as they didn’t approve of his marriage. Wendy is advised to sit
and talk to Naveem but she really doesn’t know what to say and feels uncomfortable
doing so. Then the silence and the feeling of being hemmed in gets all too much and she
craves noise and bustle. Mrs Ramprasan takes her to the edge of the airport to watch
and feel the planes taking off and every bone in your body shaking with the vibration.
A story of how things can change in the flicker of an eye and how you can be lost in
what you thought was a familiar world. Of breaking barriers and making friends, of
changing habits of a lifetime and looking at things with a new set of eyes. A very
different read, a thought provoking and at times emotional one that left me with
a smile. 
For more reviews please see my blog

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Book Description:  

‘How long does a coma last?’ I ask.
‘Days, weeks, months?’ the nurse replies with a shrug, although her eyes are very kind.
‘But on average?’
She just smiles, unable to give me an answer.

Wendy’s life can be neatly divided into two: before and after.

Before her husband’s car accident, it was just the two of them. They never took the train at rush hour, and they avoided their noisy neighbour upstairs. Naveem devoted his spare time to vintage train models, and Wendy to re-reading the well-thumbed pages of her favourite books. It didn’t matter what others thought about their small, quiet life together – they were happy.

After the coma, Wendy barely recognises herself. When she’s not holding the love of her life’s hand, accompanied by the beep of the life-support machine, who is she? The nurse tells her to talk to Naveem – that he can still hear her – but she doesn’t have a single thing to say.

Suddenly Wendy can’t bear the silence. She needs something, anything, to talk to Naveem about. Suddenly she’s losing herself at fairgrounds packed with crowds and candyfloss, she’s at the airport, waiting for the whoosh of the planes as they take off, making friends with the neighbour she has spent over a decade avoiding.

Knowing that every breath her husband takes might be his last, Wendy has no choice but to try to carry on without him. Should she feel guilty about living while his life is on pause? And when – if – he wakes up, will he still love the woman she has become?

This poignant, moving and uplifting tale is for anyone who has taken life for granted, neglected to say ‘I love you’ to their loved ones, or forgotten to find happiness in the little things. Perfect for fans of Josie Silver, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Jojo Moyes. 

Author Bio:

Drew Davies was born in London and grew up in Whanganui, New Zealand. He attended the Unitec School of Performing Arts in Auckland and won a Playmarket New Zealand Young Playwright of the Year award in 2000. After a brief stint on a kiwi soap, he has worked in Search for the past 15 years. Drew’s other claim to fame is that Stephen Fry once called him droll. Either that, or he got his name wrong. He now lives in Wanstead, London. 

Twitter: @Drew_Davies
Instagram: @drewdavieswriter

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Tuesday, 4 August 2020

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Half a World Away- Mike Gayle- contemporary fiction 
Dear Mike,

I hope you don't mind me calling you that as having read two of your novels I feel
as if I  know you a little,  ok maybe know a little of what makes your world go around
as it shines through in both books. I blubbed my way through the last 25% and through
the tears saw the message of hope that like the words in a stick of rock goes solidly
through your books. That the world has its ups and downs ( and boy are there some
bumps along the way) but through it all, it's how people are that counts. Not their
standing in life, or what they have achieved or are dressed in, but what is in their
hearts and how they treat others that truly makes the world go around.  Not all of us
have had loving parents or love,support or encrouagement- only perhaps finding this 
later in life and wow, what a difference it makes to the world.
You can't change the world but the world can change for someone with a kind word or
gesture.  Thank you. My heart is singing through the tears and every time I see
something glittery, I  know that there is love and hope out there. A truly stunning
read and one I will remember for a very long time.

Friday, 31 July 2020

The Dying Light by Joy Ellis -psychological thriller      
  Ex DCI Matt Ballard and his partner (Ex DS) Liz are now both retired from the force.
To keep the grey matter active and as they are too young “to have an allotment and
join the bowling club” have decided to start a P.I business. Having just completed
their first successful case they are taking some down time- or so they think. A
neighbour and friend is rather worried about his nearest neighbour. A lady who lives
on her own appears to be being targeted at some rather nasty incidents. Her cat has
been killed and her shed broken into amongst other things. Matt and Liz say they will
do their best but as friends rather than P.I’s. The friend Will is also worried about his
wife Kate who since a breakdown a few years ago has been behaving rather oddly and
not the woman he knew and loved. When he has to fly over to Canada for a funeral,
Liz offers to keep an eye on Kate whose wonderful illustrations are now taking on a
very dark and macabre twist. Who is targeting the old lady and why and does Holland
house where Will and Kate live have its own secrets? Oooh!! I very quickly got into
this and wanted to keep turning and turning. I like Matt and Liz but there is something
about Joy’s plots and style of writing that is such a joy to read (every pun intended!).
A warmth and depth of character, wonderful scenery (without overly outdoing the
plot as can happen with some authors) and a very clever captivating multi thread
plot line. This is one of a series #3 but would happily stand alone- but why miss out
on the other brilliant reads in the series? A brilliant read that I didn't want to end,
I very much look forward to the next in the series.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter@nickisbookblog

THE DYING LIGHT a totally enthralling psychological thriller with a stunning ending (Detective Matt Ballard Book 3) From multiple #1 best-selling author Joy Ellis, comes a psychological thriller that will have you glued from first page to last. WHISPER FEN HOLDS DARK SECRETS As the mists roll over the fens and enigmatic lights twinkle in the distance, only the locals know their way along the hidden paths through the mysterious watery terrain of one of England’s most beautiful and sometimes dangerous places. Detective Matt Ballard may have retired but there’s still plenty going on the fens to keep him busy. Someone trashes an old lady’s garden and daubs her isolated cottage with hateful graffiti. Emilia Swain seems to be totally harmless, so why is she being targeted? Matt’s best friend Will and his wife Kate moved to Holland House to put their past behind them. But Kate’s mental state is deteriorating and she’s obsessed with the tragic history of the house and an old doll she finds in the garden. And why is Kate suddenly friends with a loner who haunts the fens? Has the dreadful past come back to haunt the present owners? Former detectives Matt and Liz want to help their friends and neighbours. But how can you help people who don’t want to be helped? DISCOVER A TOTALLY ENTHRALLING PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER FROM JOY ELLIS What readers are saying about JOY ELLIS “The suspense starts on Page 1 and continues through the twists and turns until the very surprising ending.” Linda Strong “OMG, this book was fantastic I absolutely loved it. I was gripped from the first page but as the tension and suspense mounted throughout the book it just got better and better and that ending, well just WOW!” Dawn Jones “I absolutely loved it.” Viv “Will keep you guessing until the end of the book.” Barbara “What a book!!!” Sian “I was so engrossed I sat up way too late to finish it in one sitting.” Elaine The Setting England's rural fenland is a strange place, with its never-ending fields, winding tracks, and long straight droves (the old livestock routes) that lead to nowhere. The lonely lanes are flanked either side by deep drainage ditches and are, for a good part of the year, filled with tall, whispering reeds. Closer to the Wash, high seabanks form a barrier between river and marsh, and the richly fertile soil of the drained land. But when the mists come down, as they so often do, perspective is destroyed and all sense of direction lost, and then the fens become a rather frightening place of mystery and danger. Somewhere that you do not want to be at night. ALSO BY JOY ELLIS THE BEST-SELLING NIKKI GALENA SERIES Book 1: CRIME ON THE FENS Book 2: SHADOW OVER THE FENS Book 3: HUNTED ON THE FENS Book 4: KILLER ON THE FENS Book 5: STALKER ON THE FENS Book 6: CAPTIVE ON THE FENS Book 7: BURIED ON THE FENS Book 8: THIEVES ON THE FENS Book 9: FIRE ON THE FENS Book 10: HIDDEN ON THE FENS JACKMAN & EVANS Book 1: THE MURDERER’S SON Book 2: THEIR LOST DAUGHTERS Book 3: THE FOURTH FRIEND Book 4: THE GUILTY ONES Book 5: THE STOLEN BOYS DETECTIVE MATT BALLARD Book 1: BEWARE THE PAST Book 2: FIVE BLOODY HEARTS Book 3: THE DYING LIGHT

JOY ELLIS UK #1 BEST SELLER WITH THEIR LOST DAUGHTERS, DARKNESS ON THE FENS, THE FOURTH FRIEND, BEWARE THE PAST, FIRE ON THE FENS, AND THE GUILTY ONES OVER 2 MILLION BOOKS SOLD! "I was born in Kent but spent most of my working life in London and Surrey. I was an apprentice florist to Constance Spry Ltd, a prestigious Mayfair shop that throughout the sixties and seventies teemed with both royalty and ‘real’ celebrities. What an eye-opener for a working-class kid from the Garden of England! I swore then, probably whilst I was scrubbing the floor or making the tea, that I would have a shop of my own one day. It took until the early eighties, but I did it. Sadly the recession wiped us out, and I embarked on a series of weird and wonderful jobs; the last one being a bookshop manager. Surrounded by books all day, getting to order whatever you liked, and being paid for it! Oh bliss! And now I live in a village in the Lincolnshire Fens with my partner, Jacqueline, a highly decorated retired police officer, and our four barking mad Springer spaniels. If I do get any spare time, which is rare these days, my one relaxation is painting, especially using soft pastels. We have been here for twenty years now and although I’ll never be a true ‘Yeller Belly’, a native born to this county, I have adopted it as my own. I love the mists, the big skies and the endless waterways. All my books are set here on the Fens, and why not? The location is perfect for murder!” BOOKS BY JOY ELLIS DI NIKKI GALENA SERIES: CRIME ON THE FENS SHADOW OVER THE FENS HUNTED ON THE FENS KILLER ON THE FENS STALKER ON THE FENS CAPTIVE ON THE FENS BURIED ON THE FENS THIEVES ON THE FENS FIRE ON THE FENS DARKNESS ON THE FENS HIDDEN ON THE FENS NIKKI GALENA BOX SET, BOOKS 1-3 NIKKI GALENA BOX SET, BOOKS 4-6 NIKKI GALENA BOX SET, BOOKS 7-9 JACKMAN & EVANS SERIES: THE MURDERER’S SON THEIR LOST DAUGHTERS FOURTH FRIEND THE GUILTY ONES THE STOLEN BOYS THE PATIENT MAN MATT BALLARD SERIES: BEWARE THE PAST FIVE BLOODY HEARTS STANDALONE NOVELS: GUIDE STAR FIND JOY ON AUTHOR WEBSITE FACEBOOK GOODREADS

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Shed No Tears: The stunning new thriller from the author of Richard and Judy pick 'Sweet Little Lies' (DC Cat Kinsella)
Shed No Tears- Caz Frear- Crime Thriller

DC Cat Kinsella and her team are investigating the “roommate” killings as there is another
possible victim. The man whom they thought was the perpetrator is now dead himself
but things aren’t adding up as the first victims were strangled and the latest one was shot.
Cat has her own issues. Her boyfriend had his sister go missing several years before then
being found dead and she knows her father, albeit innocent, knows something about this.
This is the third in the series but happily stands alone (I hadn’t read the others). This is
a fairly fast pace and very “chatty” style of crime writing- something different and new
to me. Alot is learned from conversations rather than situations and the whole thing
is told by Cat and hence from her perspective. A very different read and one to keep
the grey matter alive.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter@nickisbookblog

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

What Lies Beneath (Rutland crime series Book 1)
What Lies Beneath- Adam Croft- Crime                 
When two men out fishing on Rutland water find what they first thought is a pile of
clothes and turns out to be a body, DI Caroline Hills and her team have their work cut
out. The body has been strategically placed which may give some clues but why? The
victim runs a construction firm and is on the local council- nothing glaringly obvious that
would make him a target. There isn’t a large team as there would be anywhere else as
Rutland being the smallest county in England has only a few key players. Caroline and her
family have recently moved from London and she is finding the bucolic life rather different
from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis and how people treat each other is
something totally foreign to her. She has her own well kept secret but things are moving
on and it's time to finally spill the beans. I really enjoyed this, a good plot and likeable
characters and set in a familiar place, somewhere I have both worked and enjoyed. I
have crossed that railway time and waited more times than I can remember! The first
of a series, a wonderful read that is a very comfortable one- nothing to put you off
dinner or freak you out with nightmares- a well thought out, very agreeable read
  and I very much look forward to the next one in the series. Thank you Adam, this
brought both a smile and memories. 
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter@nickisbookblog

Monday, 27 July 2020

All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle Literary Fiction
Oh boy! I knew from the blurb I was likely to enjoy this, what I wasn’t prepared for was that
even just a few pages in that I would be so engaged with Hubert. Hubert is a lonely old man
of 84. His daughter lives in Australia and on their regular phone calls he tells her of his life
and his activities and his friends- except every word is his imagination. He rarely goes out
and sees very little of the human race. He even has notes about his three friends so that
story lines add up and make sense. His daughter is coming home in a few months and he
doesn’t know quite how he is going to tell her that it's all made up. One day he gets a
knock on the door and there instead of a parcel delivery for someone else, stands a
young woman and her daughter who have just moved in close by.  Alternate chapters
take us back to 1958 and Huberts arrival from Jamaica and his meeting with the love
of his life Joyce. Sometimes in amongst the many books I read comes along something
special, something life affirming and one to make me stop and think, smile and cry and
take stock of the world we are in. This is currently a very topical subject as Hubert and
his family have suffered racism for almost as long as he can remember. The major topic
is loneliness, something we can all do something about. When passing someone,
instead of nodding hello, maybe pass the time of day albeit briefly. Even just a few kind
words may mean the world to someone and change their day- we don’t know what
they are going through. I really didn’t want this to end. Each year about 10% of the
books I read (250+) earn a 5** rating for having that something extra. This one has
earned this and more. A book I have taken to my heart. Loved it really doesn’t
cover it. 
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter@nickisbookblog

Sunday, 26 July 2020

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In My Wake by Ruth Harrow-psychological thriller      
Hannah is married to Will and they have a young daughter. She is back in her home village
for the funeral of her sister April who committed suicide. A body was never found but she
was seen by the river and her body was found nearby. At the funeral someone has pasted
over the eulogy insinuating that April had something to do with a young girl who was
killed years before. Again a body was neer found- the father was arrested however
most people in the village never believed the father would hurt his daughter. April
once dated Will and issued Hannah a warning about him- something at the time
she dismissed as jealousy. As time goes on Hannah is finding more and more about
Will and the past that she never knew. Occasional chapters take us back to when
Will and April were dating and Hannah was around twelve years of age. A read that
slowly but surely draws you in. You know that there is something, just something
that you can’t quite put your finger on and characters that I was never sure just
who was telling the truth. A clever premise, an interesting read with plenty
of twists and turns. 
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter@nickisbookblog

Book Description:

Some secrets are best kept buried
… But someone won't let her forget ...

Decades ago, the disturbing disappearance of an eleven-year-old girl shook the tiny village Hannah grew up in. Now Hannah receives the shock of her life when she is told her sister, April, has committed suicide. Distraught, she returns to her childhood home for the funeral.

But someone who refuses to forget the past has sickening shocks in store for the grieving family and soon latch onto Hannah instead, leaving her looking over her shoulder at every turn.

Now the nightmares aren't only inside Hannah's head ...

The close-knit community is rattled as devastating secrets and unspeakable truths are shaken up and it seems everyone has a secret to hide ...

Hannah feels her grip on reality slipping as she starts to suspect even those closest to her - including her husband Will. April had uttered words of warning against him, but was it merely jealousy? Or does Hannah truly have something to fear from the father of her child?

Could the danger be closer to home than she realises?

And why is Hannah’s own father insisting that the past should remain in the past?

In My Wake is an unputdownable psychological thriller about a woman forced to confront her devastating past. Fans of K.L. Slater, Shalini Boland, Laura Marshall and The Silent Patient will love the shocking twists and unexpected revelations.

Author Bio:

Ruth Harrow was born and raised in London and graduated from the University of Kent before embarking on an unfulfilling career as an accountant.
She eventually put pen to paper and her debut psychological thriller, In Her Footsteps, was published in 2018 and quickly became a bestseller. Following the success of her first novel, her second book, You’re All Mine, was released in 2019. Her third psychological thriller, In My Wake will arrive on 16th July 2020.
She lives in Colchester with her husband, two children and chocolate Labrador, Rolo.
For more information and to get exclusive updates about future books please visit:
Twitter: @ruth_harrow
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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...