Todays #Author answering Questions is #Guest #JohanaGustawsson @JoGustawsson #TheBleeding @OrendaBooks

JW; How much research did you have to do for The Bleeding? Especially the settings as they are so visceral!

JW; I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea of The Bleeding come from?

JG: No, I didn’t know yet! At the time I was answering: an actress! Hahaha! I studied in Paris at a famous acting school at the same time as working as a journalist for the press and TV, and I dreamt of becoming an actress. I was on stage in Paris and had an agent, but I really didn’t like this business. I didn’t like learning the texts, or going to auditions, which was problematic, as you can imagine! It took me a while to realize that what I liked was the text itself! I have always been an avid reader and was very fond of crime novels so, years after that, I started writing and that, I tremendously enjoyed!

The idea of The Bleeding was a mix of crazy and completely different desires: writing about La Belle Epoque, Maxine, and Lina, who came first in my mind and had to be fleshed, setting up my characters in Québec, which I fell in love with thanks to Roxanne Bouchard a friend and fellow writer at Orenda Books.

JW; How much research did you have to do for The Bleeding? Especially the settings as they are so visceral!

JG; It was a lot of research, about the Belle Epoque and witchcraft, but it was fun and I spent a few phenomenal months! I started researching something that had nothing to do with what The Bleeding ended up talking about: I wanted to write about the secret society of the Golden Dawn, and with this terrible habit I have to research more and more and some more with every detail which I find thrilling, I ended up in the caldron of quite a few witches!

JW; The 3 women in The Bleeding are all strong characters, was it important to you to portray them in this way even during the eras?

JG; It was key to me. I wanted to showcase the battles we, women, go through. Battles that can become wars. And some of those battles haven’t changed, despite changing centuries. We have still so much to fight for and against.

JW; As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or watcher of television? Did any part of your childhood make you the writer you are?

JG; I became an avid reader after plunging into my first Agatha Christie, around the age of 7. It was The Mysterious Affair at Styles that made me one. Then I devoured books. I don’t know how I became the writer I am today, but reading, from poetry to dark gritty crimes, surely played its role.

JW; As we’re now in September, which books that you’ve read this year have been your favorite? OR which are you most looking forward to?

JG; I have been reading quite a few but mostly for research for a project I cannot yet talk about. Reading about neurology mostly and memory. And I really found fascinating “Livewired” by David Eagleman, a neuroscientist explains how our brains work.

JW; Do you have a favorite Author or favorite book of all time?

JG: Agatha Christie and French poet Charles Baudelaire. French writer Marguerite Duras is too… “Murder on The Orient Express” and “Les Fleurs du Mal” (Flowers of Evil) are two of my favorites. And actually, traveling on the Orient Express train is still on our dream list with my father, who is also a big fan!

JW; Have you ever been starstruck by meeting one of your heroes in real life?

JG; As a journalist, I met Samuel L. Jackson with whom I shared breakfast (well, I did not eat a thing). I was interviewing him for the movie Snakes on the plane, and he welcomed me saying: “that was a shit movie, don’t you think? Let’s talk about something else. Where are you from?” And we ended up talking about Provence and golf, and god knows what else, whilst he ate his eggs and bacon! And I met Harlan Coben, in 2019 at the Harrogate festival, and there too: starstruck!

JW; What is something you are passionate about aside from writing?

JG; Oh yes! Dancing! I used to be a ballet dancer, and I would love to go back to some sort of dancing: flamenco being my top choice, but I have absolutely no time to dive into anything but writing, which is also my passion, as my three boys take up all my time!

JW; If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

JG; Oh god. There are so many. But I’d chose Paris during La Belle Epoque, like in The Bleeding. The international fair. Another era. The Beauty of Paris in the making.

JW; Can you share a shelfie (photo of your bookshelf) with us?

JW: You can pick 4 famous people, dead or alive, for a dinner party, who would you pick and why?

JG: Agatha Christie. Almodóvar. Poirot (David Suchet will do if I’m not allowed to have a fictionalized character). Dalí. I think the night would be completely mad!

JW; What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

JG: That hard work is the key. Consistency and hard work always pay off. It was, of course, my parents. They taught me it is not over when you lose, it only is when you quit. And of course, they were right!

JW; What’s next? Are you writing a new novel?

JG; I just handed in my next novel to my French publisher, called The Island of Yule, which Karen Sullivan, my UK and US publisher Called “Christmas Island”, on the spot. The novel is taking place on the island of Storholmen, just in front of the one I live on, in Sweden, where a young girl is found hanged close to a manor said to be haunted. It is out in France in January 2023.

You can buy The Bleeding HERE from Orenda Books

You can follow Johana on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Johana Gustawsson has her own website HERE

#Review of #TheGirlsWhoDisappeared by @Dougieclaire @MichaelJBooks

THREE GIRLS MISSING……..Twenty years ago: One rainy night, Olivia Rutherford is driving three friends home when a figure in the road causes her to swerve and crash. Regaining consciousness, she finds herself alone in the car – her friends have vanished.

THEY ARE NEVER SEEN AGAIN…….Now: Journalist Jenna Halliday visits the close-knit community of Stafferbury to persuade Olivia to talk and solve the mystery of the girl’s disappearance. But Olivia won’t speak.

What happened?……….. Is Olivia hiding something?
Why are the people of Stafferbury so frightened?
How many secrets can one small town hide?

I loved The Girls That Disappeared by Claire Douglas, a totally gripping read from page one.

The start of this book had me hooked and I could not put it down, a very creepy feel to this story which I found made my anxiety rise whilst reading!!

The plot is intelligent and the cast of characters is easy to follow and identify with, the story builds and builds to a crescendo of an ending! A truly great gripping read for spooky October!

Claire Douglas is the award-winning author of seven stand-alone thrillers, THE SISTERS, LOCAL GIRL MISSING, LAST SEEN ALIVE, DO NOT DISTURB, THEN SHE VANISHES, JUST LIKE THE OTHER GIRLS and her most recent, THE COUPLE AT NO. 9, which is a number one Amazon bestseller and reached number three on the Sunday Times bestsellers list. Her books have sold over 500,000 copies in the UK and have been translated into twenty languages.
You can find Claire on Twitter at @DougieClaire, on Instagram as clairedouglasauthor, or visit her Facebook page clairedouglasauthor

You can Follow Claire on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

You can buy The Girls Who Disappeared HERE

#Review of #TheRetreat by @SarahVPearse published by @TransworldBooks @PenguinUKBooks 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Most are here to recharge and refresh.
But someone’s here for revenge . . .

The new atmospheric locked-room thriller from the author of The Sanatorium, the bestselling crime thriller debut of 2021.
___________________________________

This is a warning for all our guests at the wellness retreat.

A woman’s body has been found at the bottom of the cliff beneath the yoga pavilion.

We believe her death was a tragic accident, though DS Elin Warner has arrived on the island to investigate.

A storm has been forecast, but do not panic. Stick together and please ignore any rumours you might have heard about the island and its history.

As soon as the weather clears, we will arrange boats to take you back to the mainland.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy your stay.

Well after reading and loving The Sanatorium last year, I’ve been counting the days down to receive and read The Retreat.

And what a stinking bookbanger The Retreat is! From the outset we are taken on a spooky, locked island journey with out heroine DS Elin Warner on an Island called Reapers Island off the coast of Devon UK.

The Retreat moves along at at fabulously fast pace, with punchy chapters and superb characters. The description of Reapers Island is amazing and really struck me as being so visceral! How writers are able to take the reader to a place and make you feel like you are there, always amazes me, and Sarah Pearse has done it again here! I was almost out of breath at the climatic ending and it’s situation!! ( Nope not giving that away! )

For Sarah’s second book it is an amazing gem of a well written cast, and I love the way we are able to get into DS Elin Warners mind, and her doubts and fears really add to this storyline. The plot is stunning and I didn’t guess the perp until the very end when they were revealed, there are twists and turns a plenty and it really is a gripping read! Sarah seems to have a absolute gift at writing “locked room” mysteries and I am in awe of her talent, a modern Agatha Christie!

I hope with The Retreat this will seal Sarah’s writing in the Suspense/Thriller genre. And I cannot wait for the DS Elin Warner book 3!

A superb and gripping book and a 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ readi!

AUTHOR

Sarah Pearse

Sarah Pearse lives by the sea in South Devon with her husband and two daughters. She studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Warwick and worked in Brand PR for a variety of household brands. After moving to Switzerland in her twenties, she spent every spare moment exploring the mountains in the Swiss Alpine town of Crans Montana, the dramatic setting that inspired her novel. Sarah has always been drawn to the dark and creepy – remote spaces and abandoned places – so when she read an article in a local Swiss magazine about the history of sanatoriums in the area, she knew she’d found the spark of the idea for her debut novel, The Sanatorium. Her short fiction has been published in a wide variety of magazines and has been shortlisted for several prizes.

You can find out more about Sarah Pearse on her WEBSITE

You can BUY The Retreat HERE

My #Review of #TheManOnHackpenHill by #JSMonroe @JSThrillers published by @HoZ_Books

Her best friend is dead and she needs to know why.

Aspiring journalist Bella is on work experience at a national newspaper when, out of the blue, she receives an anonymous letter promising her a big scoop if she travels down to Wiltshire.

All she finds is a government scientist spouting conspiracy theories in the pub. But then Bella’s best friend Erin is found dead in a nearby field, her body staged in the centre of a crop circle. Bella is devastated. Is this the real reason she was lured out here?

While detective Silas Hart searches for evidence, Bella scours her own memory for clues. But it’s full of blanks – the details of her university days with Erin keep slipping away. What secrets was Erin hiding? And, once they’re uncovered, what will it mean for Bella?

Firstly thank you so much, as always to the wonderful Head Of Zeus Publishing for gifting me a copy of The Man On Hackpen Hill by J.S Monroe

Secondly, this is my first read of a J.S Monroe book, the blurb had got my interest piqued, and let me tell you, from the moment I picked it up, I was hooked and obsessed!

The storyline is fast and really interesting revolving around our two protagonists Bella and Jim and the dark goings on of Porton Down, and testing of psychiatric drugs on human guinea pigs! I loved both these characters so much, and found them totally believable, so much so that I never saw the ending coming!! The illegal goings on are investigated by DI Silas Hart of Swindon CID, and he is also a character I loved… he had his own demons to deal with which made this case pretty close to home. I really hope that DI Silas Hart will return in another book as I also adored the setting in the countryside around Swindon, Wiltshire and Hampshire and not a million miles from where I live, and I’m quite familiar with it, which I think also makes for a reader to love this book.

It’s not too scientific which is good as it’s not really something I’m that interested in BUT it works so well in this storyline! I read The Man On Hackpen Hill over a weekend as I could not put it down! The writing is easy to read with short sharp chapters, I can find no faults with this book, in fact it’s going to be in my top 10 of the year I’m sure, I utterly loved loved loved it!

If you like a fast paced gripping thriller then look no further than The Man On Hackpen Hill by J.S Monroe.

An exceptional 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star read!


J.S.Monroe is the pseudonym of author Jon Stock (see separate author page), who is currently the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Mansfield College, Oxford. The new J.S.Monroe suspense thriller, set in rural Wiltshire, is called The Man on Hackpen Hill. It was published in the UK in September 2021 and is the third book to feature DI Hart, head of Swindon CID. A dead body in a crop circle sends a coded message. Can DI Hart uncover the chilling truth before it’s too late?
Rosamund Lupton, bestselling author of Three Hours, said of it: “Original and brilliantly plotted, with not so much a twist as a seismic shifting of the ground under your feet … Amazing.” Tom Bradby, author of Secret Service, said: “A kind of Wiltshire Da Vinci Code, with crop circles, mathematical equations and shadowy figures from Porton Down. A real page turner written with beguiling wit.”
J.S.Monroe’s third thriller, The Other You, was published by Head of Zeus in in the UK in January 2020 and in paperback in January 2021. The book, the second to feature DI Silas Hart, has been in the Kindle Top 100 for two months and an Amazon #1 Bestseller in Medical thrillers.
“Brilliantly original and intriguing … Kept me hooked, enthralled and guessing to the very end,” according to Peter James. The Telegraph’s Jake Kerridge agreed: “I doubt many other psychological thrillers published this year will be as propulsive and fun.”
Monroe’s best-selling debut, Find Me, was published in the UK and the US in 2017. Translation rights have been sold to 14 countries.
Forget My Name, the first DI Hart thriller, was published by Head of Zeus in hardback in the UK in October 2018 and in paperback in June 2019. It was published in the US as The Last Thing She Remembers by Park Row Books (HarperCollins) in May 2019.
After reading English at Magdalene College, Cambridge, Jon worked as a freelance journalist in London, writing features for most of Britain’s national newspapers, as well as contributing to BBC Radio 4. He was also chosen for Carlton TV’s acclaimed screenwriters course.
In 1995 he lived in Kochi in Kerala, where he worked on the staff of India’s The Week magazine. Between 1998 and 2000, he was a foreign correspondent in Delhi, writing for the Daily Telegraph, South China Morning Post and the Singapore Straits Times. He also wrote the Last Word column in The Week magazine from 1995 to 2012.
On his return to Britain in 2000, Jon worked on various Saturday sections of the Telegraph before taking up a staff job as editor of its flagship Weekend section in 2005, which he oversaw for five years. He left Weekend and the Telegraph in 2010 to finish writing his Daniel Marchant trilogy (under the name Jon Stock) and returned to the Telegraph in February 2013 to oversee the Telegraph’s digital books channel. In May 2014 he was promoted to Executive Head of Weekend and Living, editing the paper’s Saturday and Sunday print supplements, as well as a range of digital lifestyle channels. He left the paper in October 2015 to resume his thriller-writing career.
Jon’s first two novels, The Riot Act, and The India Spy (originally published as The Cardamom Club) were reissued as eBooks by Head of Zeus – “J.S.Monroe writing as Jon Stock” – in November 2018.
The Riot Act, originally published by Serpent’s Tail, was launched on the top floor of Canary Wharf tower in 1997. The book was shortlisted by the Crime Writers’ Association for its best first novel award and was subsequently published by Gallimard in France as part of its acclaimed Serie Noir. The Sunday Times called it a “darkly sparkling crime thriller”. The Cardamom Club was published in 2003 by Blackamber (now Arcadia Books) in Britain and by Penguin in India. It was hailed by the travel writer William Dalrymple as a “witty, fast-moving, cleverly plotted espionage romp”.
Dead Spy Running, his third novel and the first in the Daniel Marchant (or ‘Legoland’) trilogy, was published by HarperCollins (Blue Door) in 2009 and has been translated into five languages. It follows Daniel Marchant, a young MI6 officer, as he tries to clear the name of his disgraced father, the former Chief of MI6. The sequel, Games Traitors Play, was published in 2011, and the final part of the trilogy, Dirty Little Secret, was published in 2012.
Warner Brothers bought the film rights to the trilogy in 2009, hiring Oscar-winner Stephen Gaghan (Traffic, Syriana) to write the screenplay for Dead Spy Running, which went into development with McG (Terminator IV, Charlie’s Angels, This Means War) and Kevin McCormick (Gangster Squad) producing. Jamie Moss worked on Gaghan’s script, followed by Simon Barrett, with Adam Wingard attached to direct.
In 2014, the film rights to Dead Spy Running were bought by Wonderland Sound and Vision, McG’s own production company.
In 2017, Jon was commissioned by The Nare, a luxury hotel in Cornwall, to write a spy novella set in and around the hotel, which is located on the Roseland Peninsula. To Snare A Spy is available to buy from the hotel.

Www.jsthrillers.com

#Guest #Author #JamesMylet @JamesMylet author of #TheHomes @ViperBooks @UA_Books published 22.05.2022

Thank you so much James for being a guest on my blog, it is a huge honour! 

JW: I’d like to start, by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea of The Homes come from?

JM: Yes I have always wanted to be a writer, from about the age of 16 when I first fell in love with books. I always used to write short stories or ideas and share them with my friends, as if I didn’t get them out of my head they would eat away at me. It took me to the age of 34 to first get published and there were a couple of books I wrote first before then that looking back probably helped me get better at writing.

The idea for The Homes came about because after my father died I moved back in with my mum and we talked a lot more than we had done when I was growing up as there was no longer the burden of parenting any more. She told me about The Quarrier’s homes in Bridge of Weir and it sounded like such a strange and unique place, I hadn’t ever seen a book written that was set there and I wanted to get the story told before that generation who lived it got too old.

Quarrier’s Home’s Children’s Houses on Faith Avenue (Dalry Home nearest Camera) 2005 @ Peter Higginbotham

JW: How hard was it writing from the point of view of teenage girls (Lesley & Jonesy)?

JM: I wrestled a lot with this a lot. I felt weird writing at a 40+ bloke writing as a 12-year-old girl (and originally wanted it to be anonymous or under a pseudonym, in the end, we went with a genderless name), but that girl is essentially my mother at that age and I worked with her a lot to get it right, but I would think it is unlikely I would write in the voice of a teenage girl again, just feels a bit weird.

There is an amazing and hilarious Twitter account called @menwritewomen and I live in fear of ever having my work on there.

https://twitter.com/menwritewomen?lang=en

JW: How important do you think it is to raise the issues children face in care, in the past and today?

JM: The overwhelming thing I wanted to get across was how brave the kids were to make it out of these places, they really had to fend for themselves. The whole book is a tribute to my mum and her friend (who she didn’t meet until after they had left the homes) and the courage and bravery that showed each day.

My mum is a quiet woman and I wanted a book that showed bravery not as a soldier running into a battlefield all guns blazing, but as a small person showing courage on a daily basis to get themselves out of this place.

JW: Who would you like to see playing the part of Jonesy & Lesley The Homes were to be turned into a TV series or movie?

JM: I never really had ideas for the children’s parts as I don’t know any child actors, but I did think of Peter Mullan as the Superintendent.

Peter Mullan

JW: I have to add here that I think Tessa Peake-Jones would be brilliant as Mrs Patterson!!

Tessa Peake -Jones

JW: As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

JM: I really didn’t like reading growing up. My dad loved reading and it wasn’t for me, I wanted to be outside playing football. Then one day I read Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh and a lightbulb went on that “Oh books can be like this”

That said my favourite childhood book and the book that I remember my dad reading to me was Danny Champion of the World by Roald Dahl, and I have since read it to my son and he loved it and it felt like passing on a baton.

JW: Which book, that you read in 2021, has been your favourite?

JM: I really enjoyed Andrew O’Hagan – Mayflies and The Young Team by Graeme Armstrong

I should say in the last year I have read a lot of the authors on Viper., the publisher of The Homes, and the standard on that imprint is terrifyingly good. Janice Hallet, Tina Baker, David Jackson, Catriona Ward, every one of the books gives you something more that you were thinking of, every one of them has wonderful extra levels.

JW: Who do you most admire?

JM: Bookwise Iain Banks, Michael Marshall Smith, Steve Toltz.

JW: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

JM: I think the friends and family I have, I am fortunate to have such good friends and a lovely family and it’s important to stop and appreciate it, that and the penalty I saved in the last minute of a cup final when I was 10.

JW: If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

JM: Anfield ’89. I got offered a ticket in my maths lesson at school for £3.50 and we couldn’t go as we were travelling to Scotland that day for the Scotland vs England match the next day.

Football – 1988 / 1989 First Division – Liverpool 0 Arsenal 2 The press team sheet list the players for the title-deciding game at Anfield. 26/05/1989

JW: What is something you are passionate about aside from writing?

JM: Music – I have always loved music. I haven’t been to an event in a long time and saw Father John Misty last week and I have forgotten how much I love it. I have spent a lot of this year trying to listen to albums in full rather than Spotify shuffle.

Father John Misty

JW: If you could invite 4 people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

JM: Amanda Donohoe, David Rocastle, Bill Drummond, David Bowie (the world has gone to pieces since he left us, I think he was holding it all together)

JW: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

JM: Bad news quick, good news slow. If you know or think something is going to be bad, better warn someone and let them know, with good news, make sure you are certain of the good news as it’s the hope that kills you.

JW: What’s next? What are you currently working on??

JM: I am working on a story called The Herd of Buffaloes, I am 75,000 words into the first draft so there’s a long way to go but after 10 years of starting it I finally have the ending I want for it which is a relief. The hard work starts once the first draft is done.

James Mylet

You can Pre-order The Homes HERE

You can follow James Mylet on TWITTER FACEBOOK

My #Review of #TheHomes by @JamesMylet published by @ViperBooks on 26/05/2022

Based on the true story of a childhood growing up in a home for abandoned and unwanted children, The Homes is a beautiful and haunting thriller.

As moving as it is gripping… I loved it’ CHRIS BROOKMYRE
‘Utterly compelling’ MARION TODD
‘Extraordinary’ JAMES OSWALD

There were good people in The Homes. But there were also some very, very bad ones…

A thousand unwanted children live in The Homes, a village of orphans in the Scottish Lowlands on the outskirts of Glasgow. Lesley was six before she learned that most children live with their parents. Now Lesley is twelve, and she and her best friend Jonesy live in Cottage 5, Jonesy the irrepressible spirit to Lesley’s quiet thoughtfulness.

Life is often cruel at The Homes, and suddenly it becomes much crueller. A child is found murdered. Then another. With the police unable to catch the killer, Lesley and Jonesy decide to take the matter into their own hands. But unwanted children are easy victims, and they are both in terrible danger…

Inspired by a true story, and introducing readers to the unforgettable voice of young orphan Lesley, The Homes is a moving and lyrical thriller, perfect for readers of Val McDermid, Chris Whitaker, Jane Casey and Denise Mina.

Thank you so much to Viper Books for the brilliant proof copy of The Homes

This is the first book I have read by James Mylet, and I was absolutely obsessed with it from page 1! The way it’s written is such an easy read, but the story is not skimped on.

A tale that is based on some truth of 2 twelve-year-old girls in a children’s home in Scotland.

The 2 main characters of Lesley and “Jonesey” are written with such love and care, and they tell the story of friendship, murder and abuse in a place that should keep children safe. That is not to say that there are any extreme scenes, in fact the power of NOT saying something is sometimes stronger!

It’s not very often that books make me cry, but this one did …. NO SPOILERS!

I was totally invested in The Homes, the story and plot were excellent, and I did not guess who the murderer was until it was revealed at the end!

If you like a creepy, thriller then I urge you to read The Homes from a talented and caring writer.

A fantastic 5 star read

James Mylet was inspired to write The Homes based on the short stories his Mother told him about her childhood.She grew up in the infamous Quarrier’s Homes in Scotland in the 1960’s, along with thousands of other orphaned or unwanted children, and did not realise that children were supposed to live with their parents until she was seven. James felt this story needed to be told. James lives in London

You can find James on TWITTER

My #Review of #TheHouseboat by #DaneBahr published by @CounterpointLLC

Local outcast Rigby Sellers lives in squalor on a dilapidated houseboat moored on the Mississippi River. With only stolen manikins and the river to keep him company, Rigby begins to spiral from the bizarre to the threatening.

As a year of drought gives way to a season of squalls, a girl is found trembling on the side of the road, claiming her boyfriend was murdered. The nearby town of Oscar turns their suspicions toward Sellers. Town sheriff Amos Fielding knows this crime is more than he can handle alone. He calls on the regional marshall up in Minnesota, and detective Edward Ness arrives in Oscar to help him investigate the homicide and defuse the growing unrest. Ness, suffering his own demons, is determined to put his past behind him and solve the case.

But soon more bodies are found. As Ness and Fielding uncover disturbing facts about Sellers, and a great storm floods the Mississippi, threatening the town, Oscar is pushed to a breaking point even Ness may not be able to prevent.

I saw this and bought it The Houseboat on impulse as the cover is superb and it drew me in!


A fabulous creepy story from Iowa in the 1960’s involving a strange outsider and Detective Edward Ness from the big city of Minesotta ….. a cat and mouse game in the swamps and heat and rain of the little township of Oscar, involving death, sex, weirdness, personal tragedy and a mystery…I loved it. Dane Bahrain writes in an almost poetic style describing the setting for The Houseboat, I loved the literary feel to this creepy story.


A short novel but one that’s full of atmosphere. A 4 Star read ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My #Review of #TwoStormWood by #PhilipGray @PhilipGrayBooks @HarvillSecker

THE GUNS ARE SILENT. THE DEAD ARE NOT.

1919. On the desolate battlefields of northern France, the guns of the Great War are silent. Special battalions now face the dangerous task of gathering up the dead for mass burial.

Captain Mackenzie, a survivor of the war, cannot yet bring himself to go home. First he must see that his fallen comrades are recovered and laid to rest. His task is upended when a gruesome discovery is made beneath the ruins of a German strongpoint.

Amy Vanneck’s fiancé is one soldier lost amongst many, but she cannot accept that his body may never be found. She heads to France, determined to discover what became of the man she loved.

It soon becomes clear that what Mackenzie has uncovered is a war crime of inhuman savagery. As the dark truth leaches out, both he and Amy are drawn into the hunt for a psychopath, one for whom the atrocity at Two Storm Wood is not an end, but a beginning.

I really like novels that are set during WW1 or WW2 so I was excited to be able to start Two Storm Wood, especially as it’s part of my Backlog!

From the outset this book grabbed me, it’s a love story, a tragedy, a creepy thriller. The two main characters Amy Vanneck and her fiancé Edward Haslam are brought to life so expertly and the attention to detail in describing how they look and their inner minds, is frankly, amazing. The setting is France in 1919 but we also travel back in time and revisit the death fields of war, the descriptions of which are SO realistic, the violence of war is put on paper so skilfully by Philip Gray, and the mental torture that affected every soldier is laid bare here.

The story is vast and almost cinematic in nature as we travel through the abandoned battlefields with Amy in search of her missing fiancé, it is very clear to me that Philip did a ton of research into WW1 and this makes Two Storm Wood such an authentic historical thriller. The battle scenes are almost TOO well described!

It’s almost a strange thing to say, but I loved the storyline of Two Storm Wood, I mean strange in that, some of it is so visceral in its depictions of war, which we know is horrific, but it is not there for glorification, Two Storm Wood just balances love and horror so well. The thrilling conclusion had me literally with my jaw dropping!

I love that Two Storm Wood is almost a love letter to Philip’s Grandfather, who kept records and maps during his time fighting in WW1 ( for more information on this head to Philip’s website) All in all this is a fabulous novel, if you like historical thrillers with a creepy edge, then Two Storm Wood is for you!

A 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read!


Philip studied modern history at Cambridge University, and went on to work as a journalist in Madrid, Rome and Lisbon. He has tutored in crime writing at City University in London and serves as a director at an award-winning documentary film company, specialising in science and history.

Philip’s grandfather was a captain in the Lancashire Fusiliers and fought through the First World War from start to finish, losing his closest friends along the way. Years after his death, Philip came across a cache of trench maps and military documents that his grandfather had kept, and in which he had recorded the events that befell his unit. Philip was inspired to write his thriller Two Storm Wood when the pull of his grandfather’s legacy felt too strong to ignore.

You can buy Two Storm Wood HERE

Philip Gray’s website HERE TWITTER

My #Review of the #creepy and #sumptuous #ChasingTheBoogeyman by @RichardChizmar @HodderBooks

In the summer of 1988, the mutilated bodies of several missing girls begin to turn up in a small Maryland town. The grisly evidence leads police to the terrifying assumption that a serial killer is on the loose in the quiet suburb. But soon a rumor begins to spread that the evil stalking local teens is not entirely human. Law enforcement, as well as members of the FBI are certain that the killer is a living, breathing madman-and he’s playing games with them. For a once peaceful community trapped in the depths of paranoia and suspicion, it feels like a nightmare that will never end.

Recent college graduate Richard Chizmar returns to his hometown just as a curfew is enacted and a neighborhood watch is formed. In the midst of preparing for his wedding and embarking on a writing career, he soon finds himself thrust into the real-life horror story. Inspired by the terrifying events, Richard writes a personal account of the serial killer’s reign of terror, unaware that these events will continue to haunt him for years to come.

A clever, terrifying, and heartrending work of metafiction, ‘Chasing the Boogeyman does what true crime so often cannot: it offers both chills and a satisfying conclusion’ (Stephen King). Chizmar’s ‘brilliant . . . absolutely fascinating, totally compelling, and immediately poignant’ (C.J. Tudor, New York Times bestselling author) writing is on full display in this truly unique novel that will haunt you long after you turn the final page.

I’ve had Chasing The Boogeyman on my radar since it was released, so as a start on my backlogue, I gobbled it up!

From the start you can tell that Richard Chizmar is an author who pays attention to the little details, his writing is sublime and sumptuous. Putting himself at the heart of a spate of murders in his hometown of Edgewood, was frankly audacious! But it works SO well. His descriptions of everyday life in small town America is awe inspiring, I was absolutely drawn in to this story from the opening page. The way Richard has worked his love for his hometown, memories of growing up and his parents is frankly brilliant, add to that a serial killer and you have a perfect novel.

I flew through the story totally rapt at what events were happening, I loved the fact that there are photographs included which makes it seem super realistic. The plot and storyline is twisty and frankly chilling, and I loved it! I didn’t guess who the killer was but the way we are bought to that moment is brilliant.

A gripping, creepy, almost memoir like, fabulous read from someone who writes with a clear love of words.!

A 5 star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read

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Richard Chizmar is the author of Gwendy’s Button Box (with Stephen King) and A Long December, which was nominated for numerous awards. His fiction has appeared in dozens of publications, including Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and multiple editions of The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories. He has won two World Fantasy awards, four International Horror Guild awards, and the HWA’s Board of Trustee’s award. His third short story collection, A Long December, was recently published to starred reviews in both Kirkus and Booklist, and was featured in Entertainment Weekly. Chizmar’s work has been translated into many languages throughout the world, and he has appeared at numerous conferences as a writing instructor, guest speaker, panelist, and guest of honor.

You can buy Chasing The Boogeyman HERE

You can go to Richard Chizmar’s website HERE

You can follow Richard on Twitter HERE Facebook HERE

My #Review of the fabulous #theEchoMan by @SamHollandBooks @HarperCollins @crookedlanebks Published OUT NOW!

For fans of Harlen Coben and “Mindhunter,” Sam Holland’s chilling debut draws inspiration from infamous serial killer cases, culminating in the ultimate, heart-pounding copycat tale.

Detectives Cara Elliott and Noah Deakin are on the case of a series of seemingly unconnected murders, each different in method, but each shocking and brutal. As the body count increases, they can’t ignore the details that echo famous cases of the past—Manson, Kemper, Dahmer, and more. As Elliott and Deakin get closer to unmasking the killer, the murders are moving closer to home.

Meanwhile, Jessica Ambrose is on the run. She’s been implicated as the arsonist who killed her neglectful husband and injured her young daughter. With the help of disgraced and suspended detective Nate Griffin, Jess discovers a shocking link between her case and that of the ultimate copycat killer working on his horrifying masterpiece.

Firstly thank you so much to Harper Collins for the Proof of The Echo Man.

I knew I would love The Echo Man before I even started because the cover on the proof was so amazing! Before I started blogging I always chose books by their covers!

From the very beginning The Echo man hits you straight between the eyes, the prologue is so gory and nasty, I was instantly gripped! Once the storyline gets going at its fast pace, I was wracking my brains and notes (yes I made notes to see if I could guess who the perp was!) to see if I would be able to work out the identity of the murder…I did not and when I found out who it was I was really shocked!

I loved all the main protagonists in this book, The mentally broken and damaged Jess Ambrose and Nate Griffin, and the brilliant and caring DCI Cara Elliott, were all so well written and I absolutely related to all of them and actually I was a little in love with them! That is the talent and skill of a great author, I’m so glad I came across Sam Holland’s work as I think The Echo Man will be one of the years bookbangers, and I cannot wait to read her next book!

If you have an interest in true crime, you will love The Echo Man, the motivation and unique style of the murders (of which there are many!), had me really loving this book so much. It’s so obviously well researched and also you can tell Sam loves her true crime! It is a gory, bloody, dark, intense and very descriptive book, if you have a weak stomach, then you will be gagging at some parts, trust me, even I did at a few bits BUT that’s the magic of a fabulous book! To be able to get that visceral reality into the reader’s mind is a superb talent!

At 400+ pages long it’s a great read that doesn’t have any duff chapters and it keeps you gripped all the way through, and let me just tell you about the ending…..wait…no, you will have to read it, BUT OH MY GOD!!!!!

So another 5 stars read for 2022, and Sam holland will be a guest on my blog in the near future, so look out for that. She is going to be HUGE in the book world in 2022, plus this is her DEBUT novel!!

A bit about Sam Holland

Having always been fascinated with the dark and macabre, Sam Holland’s love of reading was forged in the library through Stephen King, Dean Koontz and James Herbert. A self-confessed serial killer nerd, Holland studied psychology at university then spent the next few years working in HR, before quitting for a full-time career in writing. The Echo Man is the result.

You can follow Sam on Twitter HERE Facebook HERE Instagram HERE

You can Pre-Order The Echo Man HERE