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

#BlogTour #review of #DeadInTheWater by #MarkEllis @MarkEllis15 @AccentPress @midaspr @amberchoudhary

Summer, 1942.
The Second World War rages on but Britain now faces the Nazi threat with America at its side.

In a bombed-out London swarming with gangsters and spies, DCI Frank Merlin continues his battle against rampant wartime crime. A mangled body is found in the Thames just as some items of priceless art go mysteriously missing. What sinister connection links the two?

Merlin and his team follow a twisting trail of secrets and lies as they investigate a baffling and deadly puzzle .

This is my first read of a novel by Mark Ellis, but as I love Historical crime fiction, particularly set around the World Wars, I was looking forward to it.

I know that this is the 5th Novel in the DCI Frank Merlin series, but even with a back history, this can be read as a standalone.

The writing is gritty, evocative and absolutely full of attention to detail which makes the reader really feel like they are there in London, in the Summer of 1942. In particular, the description of chaps attires right down to the name of his shirt maker and shoes (both of which I googled to make sure this was factual – it was!).

The plot was character-heavy at the beginning, and I was a little lost BUT all is revealed in the end and it works, it really does. The writing is pure noir and the character descriptions are really amazing. Even famous figures are given the Ellis touch here – Herman Goering for one was spectacular over breakfast with his wife…totally believable!

The plot is thick with spies, Army Officials of all sides and Police including, of course, the wonderful DCI Frank Merlin, who for a first-time reader I instantly loved!

The feel when you read Dead In The Water is amazing, its like you are transported from our messed up 2022 right back to 1942, again I must applaud the attention to detail, it is clear that Mark has an amazing mind at writing intricate and stunning Thriller, but also his love for the period during the Second World War in London. It almost read like a sweeping black and white movie at times!

In essence, this is a fantastic novel of wartime Noir at its best, gritty, tense and intelligent. I shall be awarding it 5-star rating.

If you’ve not read any of the DCI Frank Merlin books then I urge you to, I shall be buying the back catalogue to binge read on!

Mark Ellis is a thriller writer from Swansea and a former barrister and entrepreneur.
He is the creator of DCI Frank Merlin, an Anglo-Spanish police detective operating in World War 2 London. His books treat the reader to a vivid portrait of London during the war skilfully blended with gripping plots, political intrigue and a charismatic protagonist.
Mark grew up under the shadow of his parents’ experience of the Second World War. His father served in the wartime navy and died a young man. His mother told him stories of watching the heavy bombardment of Swansea from the safe vantage point of a hill in Llanelli, and of attending tea dances in wartime London under the bombs and doodlebugs.
In consequence Mark has always been fascinated by WW2 and in particular the Home Front and the fact that while the nation was engaged in a heroic endeavour, crime flourished. Murder, robbery, theft and rape were rife and the Blitz provided scope for widespread looting.
This was an intriguing, harsh and cruel world. This is the world of DCI Frank Merlin.
DCI Frank Merlin appears in four novels: ‘Princes Gate’, ‘Stalin’s Gold’, ‘Merlin at War’ and the just published ‘A Death In Mayfair’.
Mark Ellis is a member of the Crime Writers Association.’MerlinAt War’ was longlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger in 2018.

You can find Mark Ellis’s Website HERE

You can follow Mark Ellis on TWITTER FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM

You can buy Dead In The Water HERE

#Review of #NoLessTheDevil by #StuartMacbride @TransworldBooks @PenguinUKBooks UK Release 28th April 2022

‘We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.’

It’s been seventeen months since the Bloodsmith butchered his first victim and Operation Maypole is still no nearer catching him. The media is whipping up a storm, the top brass are demanding results, but the investigation is sinking fast.

Now isn’t the time to get distracted with other cases, but Detective Sergeant Lucy McVeigh doesn’t have much choice. When Benedict Strachan was just eleven, he hunted down and killed a homeless man. No one’s ever figured out why Benedict did it, but now, after sixteen years, he’s back on the streets again – battered, frightened, convinced a shadowy ‘They’ are out to get him, and begging Lucy for help.

It sounds like paranoia, but what if he’s right? What if he really is caught up in something bigger and darker than Lucy’s ever dealt with before? What if the Bloodsmith isn’t the only monster out there? And what’s going to happen when Lucy goes after them?

Firstly I must say a massive thank you to Transworld Books for kindly sending me an advanced copy of No Less The Devil.

Now I am a HUGE Stuart Macbride fan and with each new release, I’m usually super excited and cannot wait to read his books. For those who haven’t read any, start with the utterly magnificent Logan McRae Series, and you will not be disappointed!

I loved No Less The Devil from the very first chapter, Stuart MacBride is BACK and back to his utter best, writing in that gritty, Scottish Noir style, filled with local dialects and full of humour, sarcasm and frankly bloody dark places, that only He can take you to with such style.

I cannot give away any of the plots but our main protagonist is DS Lucy McVeigh a loveable, brilliant, bright and funny character even though she has some demons of her own (frankly this is an understatement!) and inner darkness so bleak it’s unending! Her trusty sidekick is DC “The Dunk” Fraser, half a step behind, wheezing and coughing his lungs up …but still smoking another fag! I love the way Stuart Macbride can write the dark Police humour with such ease, this is a rare talent and not all authors get it, Mr MacBride gets it in spades!

The story is a fast-paced, intricate, twisty, cannonball of events and takes us to some dark places. Stuart has an amazing talent for writing in the first person and making his characters come alive with each sentence you read, DS Lucy McVeigh is a fabulous character and I really hope we will be seeing her in future adventures around Oldcastle.

May I just add that Stuarts books are spotted with fabulous descriptions of dirty, dank Scottish Towns and the mundane, thus it makes for a gritty Noir of a book, I have to say that No Less The Devil is one of Stuart Macbride’s best novels in ages!

If you like edgey, Scottish Noir with bundles of twists and frankly astounding moments, then, No Less The Devil is for you!

Without a doubt No Less The Devil will be HUGE in 2022.

10 stars from me!!

A BIT ABOUT STUART

Stuart MacBride is the Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae and Ash Henderson novels. He’s also published standalones, novellas, and short stories, as well as a slightly twisted children’s picture book for slightly twisted children. Stuart lives in the northeast of Scotland with his wife Fiona, cats Gherkin, Onion and Beetroot, some hens, some horses, and an impressive collection of assorted weeds.

www.stuartmacbride.com Facebook

You can pre-order No Less The Devil HERE in all formats