My #Review of #OnTheEdge by @AuthorJJesmond published by @VerveBooks #JenShaw #1

Jen Shaw has climbed all her life: daring ascents of sheer rock faces, crumbling buildings, cranes – the riskier the better. Both her work and personal life revolved around climbing, and the adrenaline high it gave her. Until she went too far and hurt the people she cares about. So she’s given it all up now. Honestly, she has. And she’s checked herself into a rehab centre to prove it.

Yet, when Jen awakens to find herself drugged and dangling off the local lighthouse during a wild storm less than twenty-four hours after a ‘family emergency’ takes her home to Cornwall, she needs all her skill to battle her way to safety.

Has Jen fallen back into her old risky ways, or is there a more sinister explanation hidden in her hometown? Only when she has navigated her fragmented memories and faced her troubled past will she be able to piece together what happened – and trust herself to fix it…

This is my first read of a novel by Jane Jesmond, however, I had seen On The edge several times across social media so I was pretty sure that it would be a good read.

Set in the wonderful County of Cornwall (incidentally, where my ancestors come from, they were tin miners around Redruth) this is a great debut novel and written with a pure love of the Cornish countryside and Cornish history.

We meet our heroine Jen Shaw checking herself out of rehab after 8 weeks and returning to her childhood home of Tregonna, after turning on her phone and receiving a message of help from her bother Kit. Well from that point on On The Edge will have you …on the edge lol! It’s a blooming great rollercoaster ride from Jen being drugged and finding herself dangling from a lighthouse to people smugglers, family dynamics and corrupt people in power… I loved On The Edge because it kept me invested with each page, Jen Shaw is a force to be reckoned with. She starts investigating how she managed to be in her hotel room one minute and next she is hanging off a lighthouse, only to be saved by her excellent climbing skills, and in doing so she opens a hornet’s nest of events that threatens to get her killed!

You can tell from Jane Jesmond’s writing that she loves Cornwall and has spent long enough living there to understand its people and how the tourist trade works, On The Edge, is written like a love story to Cornwall and the marvellous Tregonna, Jen Shaw’s family home has a huge role to play in the plot. I loved all the characters in On the Edge, I thought all were well-observed and well-written, and Jane Jesmond has created a great family dynamic, that I’m sure will be explored in further books.

The plot builds like a magnificent crescendo into a gripping ending and I was satisfied to finish it knowing that the bad people would be punished!

You know by now that I don’t give too much away when reviewing books, but if you like crime fiction with a strong female lead, written with a poetic love of the Cornish countryside, then you will want to read On The Edge.

I will give On The edge a 4-star rating, and I’m straight into reading book 2, Cut Adrift as I’m on the blog tour, look out for my post later in February.

Jane Jesmond writes crime, thriller and mystery fiction. Her debut novel, On The Edge, the first in a series featuring dynamic, daredevil protagonist Jen Shaw was a Sunday Times Crime Fiction best book. The second in the series, Cut Adrift, will be published in Feb 2023, and A Quiet Contagion, an unsettling historical mystery for modern times, in Nov 2023. Although she loves writing (and reading) thrillers and mysteries, her real life is very quiet and unexciting. Dead bodies and dangerous exploits are not a feature. She lives by the sea in the northwest tip of France with a husband and a cat and enjoys coastal walks and village life. Unlike her daredevil protagonist, she is terrified of heights!

You can follow Jane Jesmond on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

You can pre-order Cut Adrift HERE

My #review of #ElevenLiars by #RobertGold @books_gold @BooksSphere published 30/03/2023

Journalist Ben Harper is on his way home when he sees the flames in the churchyard. The derelict community centre is on fire. And somebody is trapped inside.

With Ben’s help the person escapes, only to flee the scene before they can be identified. Now the small town of Haddley is abuzz with rumours. Was this an accident, or arson?

Then a skeleton is found in the burnt-out foundations.

And when the identity of the victim is revealed, Ben is confronted with a crime that is terrifyingly close to home. As he uncovers a web of deceit and destruction that goes back decades, Ben quickly learns that in this small town, everybody has something to hide.

I was so excited to receive a proof copy from Sphere books, thank you.

In Eleven Liars we meet up with Ben Harper the local investigative journalist, and another crime for him to report on and ultimately due to his past, get involved in. On his way home one evening, he sees flames from a derelict community centre. He goes to investigate and sees someone inside, in the flames and from there the plot begins.

Centring around the hamlet of Haddley, this event has the town full of rumours and whispers, and as Ben Harper digs deeper he stumbles across truths and half-truths that also have an impact on his friend DI Dani Cash.

I love Ben Harper’s character, he is a young journo who has a sad history, but who is able to use his consummate people skills to get information from people that others cannot. He is a nice lad who people trust, and he is a very loveable character. I also love the frisson undercurrent between Ban and Dani Cash… theres going to be something happening there one feels (and hopes) in furture volumes!

The plot of Eleven Liars runs at full pelt from page to page, and it kept me reading day and night until the conclusion. An absolutely solid crime fiction novel, full of great characters and a really excellent plot line that also links into Twelve Secrets the first Ben Harper novel. I raced through it and was sad once I had finished it! Robert Gold has found a great formula for writing the Ben Harper crime fiction novels, and I look forward to reading many more.

A solid 4-star read from me.

Originally from Harrogate in North Yorkshire, Robert Gold began his career as an intern at the American broadcaster CNN, based in Washington DC. He returned to Yorkshire to work for the retailer ASDA, becoming the chain’s nationwide book buyer. He now works in sales for a UK publishing company. Robert now lives in Putney and his new hometown served as the inspiration for the fictional town of Haddley in Twelve Secrets. In 2016, he co-authored three titles in James Patterson’s Bookshots series.

You can pre-order Eleven Secrets HERE

You can follow Robert Gold on TWITTER FACEBOOK

My #review of #TheLittleWartimeLibrary by @katethompson380 @HodderBooks

London, 1944.

Clara Button is no ordinary librarian. While the world remains at war, in East London Clara has created the country’s only underground library, built over the tracks in the disused Bethnal Green tube station.

Down here a secret community thrives: with thousands of bunk beds, a nursery, a cafe and a theatre offering shelter, solace and escape from the bombs that fall above.Along with her glamorous best friend and library assistant Ruby Munroe, Clara ensures the library is the beating heart of life underground.

But as the war drags on, the women’s determination to remain strong in the face of adversity is tested to the limits when it seems it may come at the price of keeping those closest to them alive.

Based on true events, The Little Wartime Library is a gripping and heart-wrenching page-turner that remembers one of the greatest resistance stories of the war.

For those followers who know my reading patterns, they will know that I really love novels set during WW2, so when I won The Little Wartime Library, I was so pleased as from the premise, I hoped it would be a good read.

Firstly, I must say that The Little Wartime Library is based on fact, this made the red so much better. This is the story of two friends, Clara and Ruby manage to survive the latter part of the war in Bethnal Green, London, working in a library that has been built above the tracks of the Underground because the above-ground library has been hit by a bomb and destroyed. This novel follows their lives and those of the locals, trying to work, live, love, and survive in tired war-torn London.

The cast of characters is quite large, but they are written with such love and care, you can tell that Kate Thompson has done a huge amount of research into the history of Bethnal Green and its inhabitants. I loved the cast of The Little Wartime Library and found the plots to be heart-rendering, gripping, and warm. We follow the novel from both Clara’s and Ruby’s perspectives in each chapter, and this works well.

As always you know I’m not going to give any spoilers away, but this is a multi-faceted story of the lives of the Jewish and English residents of this small corner of London, I really did enjoy The Little Wartime Library, and particularly liked the section at the end of the paperback that tells you how Kate Thompson researched the background to writing this book.

If you like books based during WW2, that are also based on truth, books with a lovely warm feeling about them but also written with knowledge and great care and compassion, then The Little Wartime Library is one for you. I really did enjoy it and gave it a strong 4 stars.

Kate is an award-winning journalist, ghostwriter, and novelist. She spent five years working on national newspapers such as the Daily Express and Daily Mail, and also on all the major national woman’s magazine titles.

Over the past seven years, she has concentrated on writing ten fiction and non-fiction titles. Her debut novel, SECRETS OF THE SINGER GIRLS, was a Sunday Times bestseller in 2015, with first-week sales of over 10,000. It has recently been optioned by Bandit Television.

Kate’s first non-fiction book , which uncovers the lives of extraordinary women of wartime East End, THE STEPNEY DOORSTEP SOCIETY, was published by Penguin (Michael Joseph) in February 2019 and reached number one in the history categories on Amazon.

You can follow Kate Thompson on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

You can buy The Little Wartime Library and Kate Thompson other books HERE

My #Review of the disturbing #SoPretty by @Ronnie_Turner published by @OrendaBooks

When Teddy Colne arrives in the small town of Rye, he believes he will be able to settle down and leave his past behind him. Little does he know that fear blisters through the streets like a fever. The locals tell him to stay away from an establishment known only as Berry & Vincent, that those who rub too closely to its proprietor risk a bad end.

Despite their warnings, Teddy is desperate to understand why Rye has come to fear this one man, and to see what really hides behind the doors of his shop.

Ada moved to Rye with her young son to escape a damaged childhood and years of never fitting in, but she’s lonely and ostracised by the community. Ada is ripe for affection and friendship, and everyone knows it.

As old secrets bleed out into this town, so too will a mystery about a family who vanished fifty years earlier, and a community living on a knife edge.

Teddy looks for answers, thinking he is safe, but some truths are better left undisturbed, and his past will find him here, just as it has always found him before. And before long, it will find Ada too.

Firstly huge thanks to Karen at Orenda Books for kindly sending me a copy.

I went into So Pretty with an open mind, I hadn’t really read much about this novel so when I started reading it, well let’s just say, from the outset unsettled me!

The opening page is the advert above, and Berry & Vincent’s shop is where most of the action takes place.

We follow the story from 2 points of view- Teddy, the son of a notorious serial killer, and Ada, a single Mum of Albie, trying to rise him away from an unloving Mother. Both are inherently lonely and lost, and both are damaged humans, from upbringings and well, life’s hand that they’ve been dealt.

The story starts slowly and builds with each page that you turn, in the small seaside town of Rye, on the South Coast of the UK. We learn things about both Teddy and Ada as we start reading through So Pretty, and the more you read the more creepy, gothic, and frankly bloody terrifying the novel becomes.

I really do not want to give away any of the explosive and utterly thrilling plots, but I will tell you once you start reading, you will not be able to put So Pretty down. And the darkness that lies in the quaint and beautiful Rye, will eek itself into your mind and give you sleepless nights! the way that Ronnie Turner has observed the minds of both Teddy and Ada and has then been able to express this in her writing is frankly a marvel! Her skill at making the reader feel very uncomfortable and unsettled is amazing. So Pretty is a dark, psychological thriller with short snappy chapters that are written in an almost poetic style, and each one will give you that creepy feeling of a gothic horror novel. And it culminates into a frankly terrifying and page-turning conclusion.

This is Ronnie Turner’s first novel and it is a total book banger, another superb find by Orenda books. I look forward to reading her next novel and having sleepless nights!

An amazing and frightening 5-star read.

Ronnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family. At an early age, she discovered a love of literature. She now works as a Senior Waterstones Bookseller and barista. Ronnie lives in the South West with her family and three dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and taking long walks on the coast.

You can buy So Pretty HERE

You can follow Ronnie Turner on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

My #Review of #KillingJericho by @WHusseyAuthor published by @zaffrebooks on 27/04/2023

Scott Jericho thought he’d worked his last case. Fresh out of jail, the disgraced former detective is forced to seek refuge with the fairground family he once rejected.

Then a series of bizarre murders comes to light – deaths that echo a century-old fairground legend. The police can’t connect the victims. But Jericho knows how the legend goes; that more murders are certain to follow.

As Jericho unpicks the deadly mystery, a terrifying question haunts him. As a direct descendant of one of the victims in the legend, is Jericho next on the killer’s list?

From the award-winning author of The Outrage comes Killing Jericho, the gothic, helter-skelter thriller debut that introduces crime fiction’s first ever Traveller detective, Scott Jericho

Firstly a huge thank you to Abi at Bonnier PR for sending me a proof copy of Killing Jericho.

I can’t remember where I first saw the talk of Killing Jericho by William Hussey but as soon as I saw the cover, I just knew it was a book I needed to read and I’m so glad I have!

And from the very opening pages I was hooked! Killing Jericho is an absolutely unique and ground-breaking crime thriller. Not only is our main protagonist, Scott Jericho, a Traveller but he is also Gay, plus he used to be in the Police! The latter 2 things do not sit well within the Traveler society, but William Hussey has managed to describe exactly the impact on Scott Jericho’s life, that this has had and how fabulous to read a crime thriller AND learn about a section of our society that often sees prejudices and misconceptions. We meet Scott while he is living in a trailer at his dad’s traveling fairground. There has never been a Traveller detective in fiction until now, and in Scott Jericho, we have an amazing main character, he is damaged by his past but has the rare skill of being able to read people with aplomb, he is a complex but ultimately loveable character, I’ve fallen for him from this, the first book in an (i hope long!) series!

The plot and storyline are also superb, I’m not going to give too much away but it revolves around some seemingly unconnected killings, that seem to be connected to a century-old fairground legend. there is a marvelous array of characters, which really makes Killing Jericho a vibrant and lively novel, but the theme running through, death and murder, is almost gothic in its intensity.

Killing Jericho needs to be on every crime fiction fans list, it is written extremely well by William Hussey, you can feel his love and passion for his people (the son of a traveling showman himself) and it is an important book within the traveling community and also the LGQBT+ community, and I really hope that Killing Jericho wins prizes and gets the recognition that is so deserved. I’m almost welling up writing this because I really cannot explain how much I adore Killing Jericho, I’ve read many crime fiction books, but this one is a real gem, and I feel honored to be able to review it! I was gripped from the first page, and the plot is excellent, culminating in a hugely surprising ending (which I did not see coming!)

I am left bereft now I’ve finished Killing Jericho! I hope that we don’t have to wait too long for book two! A stunning and masterful read from a hugely talented author. Absolutely fabulous and unique 5-star read from me.

William Hussey is an award-winning author of over a dozen novels. From thrillers for Young Adults to gripping whodunnits for grown-ups, he has written in almost every genre of fiction. His latest books include the highly-anticipated KILLING JERICHO (April 2023), the first in a brand new series featuring crime fiction’s first Traveller detective, and the acclaimed political thriller for teens, THE OUTRAGE.
His other titles for children and Young Adults include Hideous Beauty, Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide, Witchfinder: Gallows at Twilight; Witchfinder: The Last Nightfall; Haunted; The Nightmare Eater; and Turn Her Face To The Wall.

You can Pre-order Killing Jericho HERE

You can follow William Hussey on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

William Hussey has his own website HERE

#Review of #TheSSOfficersArmchair by #DanielLee @daniellee550 @vintagebooks

The gripping account of one historian’s hunt for answers as he delves into the surprising life of an ordinary Nazi officer.

It began with an armchair. It began with the surprise discovery of a stash of personal documents covered in swastikas sewn into its cushion.

The SS Officer’s Armchair is the story of what happened next, as Daniel Lee follows the trail of cold calls, documents, coincidences and family secrets, to uncover the life of one Dr Robert Griesinger from Stuttgart. As Lee delves deeper, Griesinger emerges as at once an ordinary man with a family and ambitions, and an active participant in the Nazi machinery of terror whose choices continue to reverberate today.

I saw this book and read the premise and was so intruiged I had to buy it!

I’ve always had a bit of an interest in WW2 and especially from the German point of view, no idea why, this book was a great read and kept my attention all the way through.

The story was so well researched by Daniel Lee, he went to extraordinary lengths to find out how a chair was found in the Czech Republic, to have a hoard of Nazi documents sewn into the seat, and how for 70 plus years they were only discovered when it was taken to an upholsterers!

I found it even more amazing that Daniel Lee is a Jew, so writing and trying to find out about the life of a former SS Officer was brave move and not without objection from his own community!

The book is as I’ve said, so well researched, I learnt a lot and I think Daniel Lee has managed to write a book describing the almost “normal” life of a man trying to live a life, with a family as a Nazi during WW2 and the effect this had on his relatives which still has an impact even today.

I found it a engrossing read, there are lots of research notes and photographs to help the reader navigate thru a pretty normal life, in terrible times. I do feel as a society we must learn from the past, and this means having the intelligence to read all accounts of peoples lives, weather they be deemed good or bad.

I shall be looking out for any other novels by Daniel Lee, a 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read from me.

DANIEL LEE is a senior lecturer in modern history at Queen Mary, University of London. A specialist in the history of Jews in France and North Africa during the Second World War, he completed his doctorate at the University of Oxford, and is also the author of Pétain’s Jewish Children. As a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker, Lee is a regular broadcaster on radio. He lives in north London.

You can buy The SS Officers Armchair HERE

My #Review of #NoCountryForGirls by #EmmaStyles @emstylesauthor @BooksSphere

GOLD. THEFT. MURDER. A ROAD TRIP TO DIE FOR.

Charlie and Nao are strangers from different sides of the tracks. They should never have met, but one devastating incident binds them together forever. A man is dead and now they are unwilling accomplices in his murder there’s only one thing to do: hit the road in the victim’s twin cab ute, with a bag of stolen gold stashed under the passenger seat.

Suddenly, outlaws, Nao and Charlie must make their way across Australia’s remote outback using only their wits to survive. They’ll do whatever it takes to evade capture and escape with their lives . . . Thelma & Louise for a new generation, No Country for Girls is a gritty, twisty road-trip thriller that follows two young women on the run across the harsh, unforgiving landscape of Australia

As a fan of Australian crime fiction, I was excited to start reading No Country For Girls.

From the very first chapter, the reader is thrown into a tense and gripping story. We meet the wonderfully sharp-edged Charlie and the calmer Nao during the night, they’ve never met before but when they stumble across each other they become allies after a brutal murder. We then follow their journey through rural Australia as they try to outrun the law in a dead mans Ute with a bag full of stolen gold ingots!

I mean the premise for the story is bloody superb, and it does not let up! I found No Country For Girls an exceptional book, so well written from the point of view of 2 girls from different sides of Australia by descent, the way Emma Styles portrays their inner feelings and thoughts is so perfect! Both girls have “backgrounds” that have molded them into the people they are now, and it shapes the whole novel and the outcome.

I was literally full of anxiety reading No Country For Girls, the plot weaves at a fast pace just like the girls across Australia, and there are so many shocking moments that will have you going ” oh no” out loud! As always I’m not giving any of the plots away, but if you like your thrillers dark, edgy and realistic then No Country For Girls is going to be a book for you.

I read this novel in 2 days so that tells you how superb it is, I had both girls, Charlie and Nao firmly in my mind, in fact even after finishing No Country For Girls, they are still vivid and alive in my mind!

A triumphant debut novel from Emma Styles, about friendship, hope and survival. I hope Emma Styles will be up there with the other big names of Australian Thrillers very soon. I am so eager for the next novel!

A ripper of a 5-star read from me!

Emma Styles writes contemporary Australian noir about young women taking on the patriarchy. She grew up in Whadjuk Noongar Country in Perth, Western Australia, and now lives in London where she was born. Emma loves a road trips and once sat out a cyclone on the northwest coast of WA in a LandCruiser Troop Carrier. She spent her teens and twenties learning to ski, snowboard, ride horses and motorcycles, and fly small airplanes. She is less afraid of great white sharks than she should be and is hopeless at surfing.

Emma has an MA in crime fiction from the University of East Anglia. Her debut novel, No Country for Girls, won the Little, Brown UEA Crime Fiction Award in 2020 and was chosen by Val McDermid to feature in her New Blood panel for outstanding debut novelists at the 2022 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.

You can follow Emma Styles on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

You can find out more about Emma Styles HERE on her website

You can buy No Country For Girls HERE

My #Review of the outstanding new novel #DeadMansCreek by #ChrisHammer @hammerNow published by @Wildfirebks on 05.01.2023

Newly-minted homicide detective Nell Buchanan returns to her hometown, annoyed at being assigned a decades-old murder – a “file and forget”.

But this is no ordinary cold case, her arrival provoking an unwelcome and threatening response from the small-town community. As more bodies are discovered, and she begins to question how well she truly knows those closest to her, Nell realises that finding the truth could prove more difficult – and dangerous – than she’d ever expected.

The nearer Nell comes to uncovering the secrets of the past, the more treacherous her path becomes. Can she survive to root out the truth, and what price will she have to pay for it?

First, thank you so much to Zoe at Headline for sending me the lush Proof of Dead Mans Creek.

Dead Mans Creek is the second book in Detective Nell Buchanan and Detective Sergeant Ivan Lucic series, so if you want to read them in order, The first book is Opal Country.

Upon opening the book I find a map, this always makes me excited, I’m a real sucker for maps in books, and I did indeed come back to it many times whilst reading Dead Mans Creek.

I have to say having read all of Chris Hammer’s novels I think this might just be his most accomplished and perfect crime novel. The storyline is brilliant involving present-day investigations into a skeleton being found in a reservoir where an eco-terrorist has blown up a dam, and also moving back in time throughout Dead Mans Creek to slowly give us the events that have led up to the body being found. The story is complicated and gripping, Chris Hammer has such a great way of describing his characters and making them so realistic they just jump off the page.

The setting for Dead Mans Creek is the fictional Tulong and the Millewa – Barmah Forest, and the way Chris writes the description of the Forest and its wildlife, creeks, and grassy plains is so magical, it really bought the pages to life, and you can see what a beautiful place it is in your imagination. It is a real place that Chris has visited and this tells by his writing.

The plot is intricate and involves 50 years of family history, and again this is written so so well, it’s easy to follow again to my surprise at the end of Dead Mans Creek is a family tree, which I found really helpful.

I was totally immersed in the story of Dead Mans Creek, I love Nell Buchanan’s character and Ivan Lucic, in Dead Mans Creek, we see newly promoted homicide Detective, Nell Buchanan lead the investigations in her hometown, and it gets pretty risky, in the end, she uncovers old truths that have been kept secret for so many years, and have a rippling effect on several families.

I loved Dead Mans Creek, and I loved that there are references to Martin Scarsden, and Chris Hammer’s other series of novels. I was gripped from the first page and as with every book I read by Chris Hammer, I didn’t want it to end! The ending was brilliant and I really think that this is the most perfectly written crime novel.

I will be giving Dead Mans Creek 5 stars, it’s a must-read when it’s released in January 2023.

Chris Hammer was a journalist for more than thirty years, dividing his career between covering Australian federal politics and international affairs. For many years he was a roving foreign correspondent for SBS TV’s flagship current affairs program Dateline. He has reported from more than thirty countries on six continents. Chris’s non-fiction book, The River, published in 2010 to critical acclaim, was the recipient of the ACT Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Walkley Book Award. Scrublands, his first novel, was published in 2018 and was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Debut Dagger Award, Best Debut Fiction at the Indie Book Awards, and Best General Fiction at the ABIA Awards. It has also been longlisted for the Ned Kelly Best Crime Novel of the Year. Scrublands was optioned for television by Easy Tiger (a FremantleMedia company). Chris has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Charles Sturt University and a master’s degree in international relations from the Australian National University. He lives in Canberra with his wife, Dr Tomoko Akami. The couple have two children.

You can follow Chris Hammer on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Chris Hammer has his own WEBSITE

You can BUY Dead Mans Creek HERE

My #review of #TheInvisable by #PeterPapathanasiou @peteplastic @maclehosepress

Burnt out from policework, Detective Sergeant George Manolis flies from Australia to Greece for a holiday. Recently divorced and mourning the death of his father, who emigrated from the turbulent Prespes region which straddles the borders of Greece, Albania and North Macedonia, Manolis hopes to reconnect with his roots and heritage.

On arrival, Manolis learns of the disappearance of an ‘invisible’ – a local man who lives without a scrap of paperwork. The police and some locals believe the man’s disappearance was pre-planned, while others suspect foul play. Reluctantly, Manolis agrees to work undercover to find the invisible and must navigate the complicated relationships of a tiny village where grudges run deep.

It soon becomes clear to Manolis that he may never locate a man who, for all intents and purposes, doesn’t exist. And with the clock ticking, the ghosts of the past continue to haunt the events of today as Manolis’s investigation leads him to uncover a dark and long-forgotten practice.

After reading The Stoning recently (see my other reviews) I wanted to read The Invisible as I love the way Peter Papathansiou writes, gritty outback noir.

The start of The Invisible sees Detective George Manolis working in the inner city, he’s also got Constable Andrew Sparrow with him however they are involved in a tragic shooting of a homeless kid, which leads to Manolis being ordered to take leave after suffering PTSD. He decides to head off to Greece, in search of inner calm and a break…… however things don’t work out that way!

When he arrives in the mountainous region of Perpes, he’s drawn into an off-duty undercover search for his friend Lefty, which will take him into the furthest reaches of the deserted and harsh landscape and put him in danger.

Now as always, I’m not going to give the plot away, but I must say that The Invisible is a stunning novel, it’s a love story of Greece from an author who loves his heritage and has clearly done a lot of research in this region of Greece. I learned an awful lot about Greek culture and history, in fact, it made me wish that Peter Papathansiou was around when I was at school as he explains the conflicts affecting Greece and its neighboring Countries really well. There is so much to take away from The invisible that it had me hitting up Google to find out more about the customs and culture of Greece, a place I’ve never visited but that I felt I had whilst reading Peters’s novel. It’s written in the same gritty, noir style as The Stoning but it leaves you feeling like you’ve just visited Greece as the prose is absolutely magical and so visceral.

And as for the climactic ending of The Invisible, well let’s just say, I did not see that coming and was super surprised! I’m so looking forward to the next book in the Detective George Manolis series.

If you like to travel the world from your armchair whilst reading then look no further than The Invisible, it will also teach you some Greek history on the way, A compelling and lush novel. A 5-star read from me!

Peter Papathanasiou was born in northern Greece in 1974 and adopted as a baby to an Australian family. His debut book, a memoir, was published in 2019 as “Son of Mine” by Salt Publishing (UK) and “Little One” by Allen & Unwin (Australia). His debut novel, a work of crime fiction, was published in 2021 as “The Stoning” by MacLehose Press (UK) and Transit Lounge (Australia), and in 2022 by Polar Verlag (Germany). Peter’s writing has otherwise been published by The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Seattle Times, The Guardian UK, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Good Weekend, ABC and SBS. He holds a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from City, University of London; a Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences from The Australian National University (ANU); and a Bachelor of Laws from ANU specializing in criminal law.

My review of The Stoning is HERE

You can follow Peter Papathanasiou on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

You can buy The Invisible HERE

My #review of #OperationMoonlight by #LouiseMorrish @LouiseMorrish1 @centurybooksuk

1944: Newly recruited SOE agent Elisabeth Shepherd is faced with an impossible mission: to parachute behind enemy lines into Nazi-occupied France and monitor the new long-range missiles the Germans are working on.

Her only advice? Trust absolutely no one. With danger lurking at every turn, one wrong move for Elisabeth could spell instant death.

2018: Betty is about to celebrate her 100th birthday. With her carer Tali at her side, she receives an invite from the Century Society to reminisce on the past.

Remembering a life shrouded in secrecy and danger, Betty remains tight-lipped. But when Tali finds a box filled with maps, letters and a gun hidden in Betty’s cellar, it becomes clear that Betty’s secrets are about to be uncovered . . .

Nostalgic, heart-pumping and truly page-turning, OPERATION MOONLIGHT is both a gripping read and a novel that makes you think about a generation of women and men who truly knew what it meant to survive.

I happened across Operation Moonlight whilst looking at books on Amazon, once I read the premise, I knew I would want to read it. So duly ordered it ( even though I’m not supposed to be buying books! ), and when it arrived was a gorgeous looking tome by a new author to me, Louise Morrish.

The novel is told from two timelines, 2018 when we meet Betty Shepherd the soon to be 100 year old slightly frail lady who lives in her family home of Weyside in Guildford, Surrey, with her lovely young Maurician carer Tali. The second timeline is during WW2, 1944 to be precise when we meet Elisabeth Shepherd and travel with her during her journey of secrets through 1944 & 1945.

So if you like the sound of the premise, you will love Operation Moonlight. It is written so well by Louise Morrish and it’s her debut novel ( it does not read like that!). The attention to detail describing Elisabeth’s adventures during WW2 is truly excellent, and for me, really visceral as most of the action takes place where I’ve lived and visited in the past! Maybe that’s what made the book more magical for me? Who knows, but the wonderful descriptions of what accounts for everyday life during WW2 are astounding, and so moving. Louise Morrish has a real talent for writing from the heart and making that character live through her words, a rare talent, especially in a debut author! Betty/Elisabeth just appeared off the page during both timelines so magically. You can tell that Louise Morrish has studied people of all ages and used that research in writing about Betty.

The story is gripping, and at times had me breaking out in a fit of nerves I did not expect several of the events that happened in fact I was shocked! Operation Moonlight is such an easy read even though it’s packed with historical facts, Louise Morrish really does know how to write a compelling read and keeps the reader engaged the whole way through.

I was left wanting more once I had finished, mainly because I loved all the characters so much. As usual, I’m not going to give any of the plot away, but having read a few Wartime books, I have to say that this is going to be up there as one of my favorites, and it’s a certain contender for my yearly top ten books!

I know I normally stick to crime fiction, as I’m obsessed with murder LOL, but I do love novels set during WW2, this has defiantly been one of my highlights of that genre. That it passed below my radar and hasn’t been talked about on Twitter etc is a travesty, I urge my fellow readers to go out and buy a copy now, you won’t be disappointed.

A glorious 5 stars from me…indeed I’d give it more if I could!

Louise Morrish is a Librarian whose debut novel won the 2019 Penguin Random House First Novel Competition. She finds inspiration for her stories in the real-life adventures of women in the past, whom history has forgotten. She lives in Hampshire with her family.

You can buy Operation Moonlight HERE

You can follow Louise Morrish on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK