#bookreview A Thousand Tiny Disappointments by Sarah Edghill. @EdghillSarah @BloodhoundBooks

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Delighted to share my review with you today for a new novel called A Tiny Thousand Disappointments. I was contacted by the author herself asking if I would like to read a copy in exchange for a review. I said I would be happy to and I’m so glad I did! It is a wonderfully written debut novel and has received some great comments from some great authors.

A Tiny Thousand Disappointments is published by Bloodhound Books and was released on September 21st. It is available to buy on Amazon.

Release date: 21st September 2021

Published by Bloodhound Books

Available in paperback and EBook (as I write the kindle version is available at just 99p)

SYNOPSIS

Martha is being pulled in too many directions, trying to be a good mother, a loving wife, and a dutiful daughter. Despite it all, she’s coping. But then her elderly mother is rushed to the hospital and dies unexpectedly, and the cracks in the life Martha is struggling to hold together are about to be exposed.
 
When she discovers her mother has left her house to a stranger, she’s overwhelmed by grief and hurt. Getting no support from her disinterested husband or arrogant brother, Martha goes on to make some bad decisions.

If she were a good daughter, she would abide by her mother’s final wishes. If she were a good daughter, she wouldn’t destroy the evidence . . .

MY THOUGHTS

An extremely well written debut about a woman called Martha and her day to day struggles and situations brought about by events in her life over the last few years.

After the sudden death of her mother, she soon discovers that neither herself or her brother have been left her mother’s house, and although neither of them ‘need’ it financially, they expected it and they can not understand why their mother would make such a decision. On finding this information, Martha has to make a quick decision on how to handle the matter. This act later fills Martha with regret and in doing so, along with the lack of support from family and friends, makes Martha question her role as a daughter and re-evaluate her life and herself.

The characters within this book and the relationships Martha has with those characters are so believable and somewhat relatable, that this story soon placed itself into my imagination, enabling me to become quickly and utterly absorbed. Her emotions and thoughts are marvellously described by the author as are the actions of others, particularly the character of the brother-in-law who had me inwardly raging at one point in the book. Although both Martha and her brother are comfortable off and perhaps because of this, it really makes you think about the whole issue of inheritance and if parents are expected to leave what they have to their children.

There are two other very key elements to this story and that is Martha’s marriage and her son. I won’t go into these major parts of the book, as it will give too much away, but they are key to how Martha responds to things and the overall outcome of the story. The inclusion of the character of Martha’s friend is also a very interesting addition to Martha’s story.

I very much enjoyed this novel, and although moving and poignant, I found it an uplifting read. I look forward to reading more from this author.

THE AUTHOR

Sarah Edghill worked as a journalist for many years, writing for a range of newspapers and magazines, before turning her hand to fiction.

She is an alumna of the Faber Academy Novel Writing course and her work has won prizes and been short-listed in novel and short story competitions.

She lives in Gloucestershire with her husband, three children and far too many animals.

Sarah can be found on Twitter at @EdghillSarah or www.sarahedghill.com.

#BOOKREVIEW #NEWRELEASE THE END OF THE WORLD IS FLAT by SIMON EDGE @EyeAndLightning

Publisher Lightning Books

Published 16th August 2021

Number of Pages 304

Available in EBook and Paperback

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SYNOPSIS

Mel Winterbourne’s modest map-making charity, the Orange Peel Foundation, has achieved all its aims and she’s ready to shut it down. But glamorous tech billionaire Joey Talavera has other ideas. He hijacks the foundation for his own purpose: to convince the world that the earth is flat.

Using the dark arts of social media at his new master’s behest, Mel’s ruthless young successor, Shane Foxley, turns science on its head. He persuades gullible online zealots that old-style ‘globularism’ is hateful. Teachers and airline pilots face ruin if they reject the new ‘True Earth’ orthodoxy.

Can Mel and her fellow heretics – vilified as ‘True-Earth Rejecting Globularists’ (Tergs) – thwart Orange Peel before insanity takes over? Might the solution to the problem lie in the 15th century?

Using his trademark mix of history and satire to poke fun at modern foibles, Simon Edge is at his razor-sharp best in a caper that may be more relevant than you think.

MY THOUGHTS

This highly entertaining book is an interesting study of how an agenda, however outlandish, unlimited money, the call of “alternative facts” and the power of social media can replace the truth through the erosion of trust in accepted facts. Having read this book and now writing this review I’m not sure that this isn’t a story and that the world is actually flat!

It addresses the question of how to dupe the world into believing alternative facts.

The subject, flat-Earthers, is current and real and living on social media. The story follows the subversion of an organisation, Orange Peel, originally built to correctly map the spherical world by a tech billionaire with limitless money to spend and an agenda to fulfil.

Shane Foxley takes on the project to save his job, but is drawn into a murky world of twitter bots and subterfuge and gradually, almost imperceptibly turns Orange Peel from the respected totem of mapping the spherical globe to the standard bearer for flat-earthers and building this as a new belief .

The book is lightly written, almost as a farce, but all along the way it is very believable, partly because the power of social media is already clear and because the escalation of events in the story, from low key allowing of extreme and unproven points of view as credible to vilifying historical characters like Columbus, is sharply observed.

Funny, entertaining and too believable!

Many thanks to Dan of Eye and Lightning Books for my EBook copy to read and review.


Praise for The End of the World is Flat:
‘I laughed so hard I nearly fell in my cauldron. A masterpiece’
Julie Bindel  
‘A bracingly sharp satire on the sleep of reason and the tyranny of twaddle’ Francis Wheen   ‘Animal Farm for the era of gender lunacy, with jokes’
Jane Harris, author of Sugar Money  
‘Skewers the insanity of gender ideology with the wit
and brilliance of a modern-day Swift’
Helen Joyce, author of Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality  
‘This merry romp punctures the idiocy that would turn language
and good sense upside down and divide us all
into true believers or bigots’
Simon Fanshawe  
‘Very, very funny – and a completely believable account of how this kind of ideology could seep into great institutions’‍ Gillian Philip  

#BLOGTOUR : #BOOKREVIEW : DARK WATERS BY G R HALLIDAY

Delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today, for Dark Waters by G R Halliday.  The second book in the Monica Kennedy series.

I really enjoyed reading From The Shadows ( my review can be found here: https://babbageandsweetcorn.wordpress.com/2020/06/23/book-review-for-from-the-shadows-by-g-r-halliday ) and meeting Monica and her team but wow! This new book was fantastic! Read on for my review.

 

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Book Blurb

The haunting new novel from G. R. Halliday, author of FROM THE SHADOWS, shortlisted for THE MCILVANNEY DEBUT PRIZE

DARK WATERS is dark and disturbing from page one – in the best possible way. The plot is intricate and layered, and peppered with revelations that will keep you reading into the night’ Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

THREE MISTAKES. TWO MURDERS. ONE MORE VICTIM TO GO . . .

Annabelle has come to the Scottish Highlands to escape. But as she speeds along a deserted mountain road, she is suddenly forced to swerve. The next thing she remembers is waking up in a dark, damp room. A voice from the corner of the room says ‘The Doctor will be here soon’.

Scott is camping alone in the Scottish woodlands when he hears a scream. He starts to run in fear of his life. Scott is never seen again.

Meanwhile DI Monica Kennedy has been called to her first Serious Crimes case in six months – a dismembered body has been discovered, abandoned in a dam. Days later, when another victim surfaces, Monica knows she is on the hunt for a ruthless killer.

But as she begins to close in on the murderer, her own dark past isn’t far behind …

 

My Thoughts

If you like your thrillers a little dark, full of twists and turns, with fantastic characters giving the story new leads and information at every turn then grab a copy of this book!!  A fantastic read where I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, ever eager to find out what would happen next.  The pace and drama are totally engrossing and the narrative given by the main victim along with our protagonist DI Monica Kennedy was superb.

Following the end results of book one, Monica has cut back on her work by temporarily joining the traffic department, allowing herself time to heal and to spend more time with her young daughter Lucy.  However whilst out on a trip to the cinema, Monica receives her first call in months from her old boss back in MIT.  She is needed back!  After the discovery of a dismembered body in the more remote parts of the Scottish Highlands Monica joins back up with Crawford, Fisher and new team member Khan, on what turns out to be a major murder and abduction investigation.

Yet again the Highlands and their landscape and weather are wonderfully evoked and it was great to meet back up with the team and we learn a little more about them in this new book.  They also seem a little closer after the events of book one.  I loved the way each chapter was told mainly from the point of view of each of the two main characters and how they overlapped within the time frame of the investigation, plus a few back stories and earlier events which gave the story insights into the crimes taking place.  There are a number of characters but the author introduces them well, as you read about their involvement and learn of yet another lead for Monica and her team to follow up.

The chapters told by Annabelle are quite graphic and scary but boy did I found my heart pumping at each of her attempts to escape. Towards the end of the book the story line from Annabelle and Monica are full of such tense drama and adrenaline, and I loved the way their actions are told, one after another, so that you can follow them getting closer and closer but will it all be too late???

This second book can easily be read as a standalone but I’ve so enjoyed reading these two books that I can’t wait for book three and further enjoyment from this new series.

Thanks so much to Mia from Vintage, for my place on the tour and bringing this new series to my attention.

 

BLOG TOUR : BOOK REVIEW : A QUIET DEATH IN ITALY BY TOM BENJAMIN

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A Quiet Death In Italy

SYNOPSIS

 

Bologna: city of secrets, suspicion . . . and murder

A dark and atmospheric crime thriller set in the beautiful Italian city of Bologna, perfect for fans of Donna Leon, Michael Dibdin and Philip Gwynne Jones.

When the body of a radical protestor is found floating in one of Bologna’s underground canals, it seems that most of the city is ready to blame the usual suspects: the police.

But when private investigator Daniel Leicester, son-in-law to a former chief of police, receives a call from the dead man’s lover, he follows a trail that begins in the 1970s and leads all the way to the rotten heart of the present-day political establishment.

Beneath the beauty of the city, Bologna has a dark underside, and English detective Daniel must unravel a web of secrets, deceit and corruption – before he is caught in it himself.

Tom Benjamin’s gripping debut transports you to the ancient and mysterious Italian city less travelled: Bologna.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Quiet-Death-Italy-Tom-Benjamin/dp/1472131576/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Death-Italy-Tom-Benjamin/dp/1472131576/

 

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MY THOUGHTS

Set in the slightly lesser known Italian city of Bologna, this detail rich, debut novel, follows an investigation into the death of a political protester.  With the police ‘unwilling’ to investigate and possibly even involved, it’s left to out main character, Englishman and private investigator Daniel Leicester to find out the truth.  And boy does it take him on a winding and involved story of Italian politics, corrupt government, and political protesters.  If you like your crime fiction to really have a sense of time and place this is a book for you.

A slow moving and multi layered novel which does a marvellous job at describing and evoking a city lesser known to the tourists which flood into Italy year after year.  The feel of the city with it’s history and it’s wonderful food and architecture are wonderfully described as well as the complicated and age old political and government situations, which are used to their fullest within the story line and plot.

I found Daniel a wonderful character, and felt I had already meet him before yet this is the first book in a new series.  A recent widower, having lost his Italian wife 3 years previously, he lives with his daughter Rose, father-in-law and two other family members. The adults also work together in the family owed business and this connection adds a lovely touch to the story, giving it a lighter thread to follow and grow.

There are a number of characters within the book whom all add their own authenticity  and backdrop to the story, and make this a well written, enjoyable, believable and evocative read.

Thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour and to the publishers Constable Books for my digital copy which has a wonderfully interesting glossary at the end of the book, along with the first 2 chapters of the next book in this series, The Hunting Season!

A Quiet - TomBenjamin

Author Bio

Tom Benjamin started off as a reporter before moving to the press office at Scotland Yard and running drugs awareness campaign FRANK. He moved to Bologna where his work as doorman at a homeless canteen inspired him to create English detective Daniel Leicester in a series that serves up equal helpings of the local cuisine and ubiquitous graffiti; the city’s splendour, decay, and danger.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/tombenjaminsays/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tombenjaminsays

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tombenjaminsays/

 

Fake Like Me by Barbara Bourland

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fake like me

Book Blurb

Everything that gets created destroys something else.

When a fire rips through her studio and burns the seven enormous paintings for her next exhibition, a young, no-name painter is left with an impossible task: recreate her art in just three months – or ruin her fledgling career. Thirty-four, single and homeless, she desperately secures a place at an exclusive upstate retreat.

Brimming with creative history and set on a sparkling black lake, Pine City and its founders – a notorious collective of successful artists – is what she’s idolized all her life. She’s dreamt of the parties, the celebrities, the privilege. What she finds is a ghost of its former self.

The recent suicide of founding member Carey Logan haunts everyone, lurking beneath the surface like a shipwreck. And one thought begins to shadow her every move – what really happened to her hero?

With a flair for sensational detail and acidic wit, Barbara Bourland delivers a darkly satirical thriller about art, money and identity with a twist so sharp it cuts.

 

My Thoughts

After a number of years trying to make a name for herself in the art world, our protagonist meets one Carey Logan, another female artist and member of Pine City.  A talked about group of experimental artists. She is enthralled.

Sometime later, after a fire rips through our unnamed protagonists apartment/studio, whilst preparing for an upcoming showing of her work, she finds herself in desperate need of a work space and ends up on the Pine City estate.

It is at this point the book then takes us into the most marvellously atmospheric world of painting, creative obsession and the mystery behind the members of this well known group.

I found this a great read and a very absorbing novel.  Seen only through the eyes of our main character it really allows the reader to get under her skin and be transported to her world.  It is both interesting and informative but also deeply atmospheric and a believable thriller type novel.

I enjoyed all the characters, even though it is only our main character that is ‘fleshed out’ and whom we learn anything about until the end of the story. The lack of information about the members of Pine City adds to their mysterious nature.

For me the best part of this novel is it’s descriptive writing of setting and the creative obsession and day to day life of this artist at this time.  I found it very interesting hearing of how she actually goes about making her art work, not just from a creative ideas point of view, but also the more practical side of things, like making up frames and the enormous amount of materials needed to obtain an effect or colour she is after for a painting.  The planning, time, and maths needed to do this are often mentioned.

The setting is wonderful and the heat and cloying atmosphere of the estate really came through.  The lake and often empty accommodation matched with the solitude of her work habits add wonderfully to this and creates a world one can really get lost in.  I also enjoyed the way this then lived ‘next door’ to the opulent world of her old friend Max with her parties, privileged up bringing and art collection.

A really interesting book and a good thriller that drew me wonderfully into its world.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my advanced copy.

The Family Upstairs – by Lisa Jewell – Book Review

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Having read and enjoyed Watching You and Then She Was Gone, I was pleased to receive a copy of this new novel via Netgalley.

 

SYNOPSIS

In a large house in London’s fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up.

In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses. Close to them is a hastily scrawled note.

They’ve been dead for several days.

Who has been looking after the baby?

And where did they go?

Two entangled families.
A house with the darkest of secrets.
A compulsive new thriller from Lisa Jewell.

 

MY THOUGHTS

I found this quite different to the other two books, which is good. Not because I preferred this, I didn’t, just that, although it’s nice to know what to expect from an author you’ve read before in terms of likeability, it’s good to mix things up a little. This is a much darker read to the other two I felt.

After another family moves into the home of Henry, Lucy and their parents, a sinister feeling starts to spread throughout the house. Seemingly going from a relatively normal family situation, it soon turns into a cult like setup, with the parents becoming increasingly dependent on the new comers.

Jump 24 years or so and Libby receives a very large, if run down, house in Chelsea as an inheritance. Libby knew she was adopted by her parents but knows little of her birth family. The novel that follows is a very mysterious story told through three of the main characters, and flipping from past to present day.

I thought this novel had a very very sinister edge to it and was a dark but engaging read. I thought the characters worked well within the story, and even though the older part of the tale happens mainly within the confines of the house, there was still an atmosphere of time and place.
There are a lot of very different characters within this story, some you like, some you don’t. But they are all very complex and complicated people.  This isn’t dealt with in great depth but almost by doing not doing so it adds to the suspense and danger.  I enjoyed reading the parts of Lucy the most, for me she was the most interesting character and seemed to be the one with her ‘head screwed on’. I found Henry a very creepy character indeed and this came through very well in the writing.

I part read/part listened to this this book via my ebook copy and a download from BorrowBox.  The narration of Bea Holland, Dominic Thorburn and Tamaryn Payne worked very well together and really brought the book to life.

If you like your books dark, mysterious and that little bit creepy, I’d recommend you give this one a go.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my copy of this book.  Out now in paperback and EBook.

 

Book Review of 8 1/2 STONE by Liz Jones

When Martina Ticic from Midas PR contacted me to ask if I would like to take part in the blog tour for 8 1/2 Stone by Liz Jones, I jumped at the chance.  So it’s a big thank you to Martina for my advanced copy of the EBook.

Liz Jones’s novel, Eight and a Half Stone, is out in EBook on 12th April, £8.99, and is available on all outlets including Apple Books and Kindle.  A paperback follows in August.

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Inspired by her own long-term struggles with an eating disorder, Liz Jones’ debut comic novel Eight and a Half Stone is an honest look at how women view their bodies, and themselves.

About the Book

 When I reach eight and a half stone:

• I will be able to shop in Topshop. If only I could fit in a size 10 or an 8, just walk in a shop and not even have to try it on because let’s face it I will be straight up and down, then everything would slot neatly into place, completing the easiest jigsaw puzzle in the world: all straight edges.

• I will be able to go swimming and not displace all the water and create a tsunami.

• I will fit in changing rooms, without banging my elbows or exposing the moon of my arse through the curtain when I bend over.

• I will be able to fit behind the narrow benches at Ronnie Scott’s to listen to jazz instead of being offered a chair, at the end.

• I will be promoted and not have my desk moved to inside the stationery cupboard.

 

MY THOUGHTS

Full of humour and a lot of sarcasm, this debut novel from columnist Liz Jones follows Pamela over a number of years, as she struggles with her own body image in an often laugh out loud account of diets, surgery and disastrous relationships.

It is also a troubled and brutally honest look at how Pamela feels that to be really happy, she must be thin……81/2 stone to be precise.

With her own low opinion of herself she also has a very poor taste in men.  The stories and incidents describing the way she is treated are really quite sad, but Liz Jones’ humour and dry wit keeps you moving swiftly through the book.

With her money, lifestyle and sometimes not particularly pleasant way of treating some herself, it quickly shows that having nice clothes, luxury hotel breaks and trips around the world does not equal happiness.

I found this a quick and enjoyable read and was chuckling throughout, I liked the style of writing, with it’s witty dry humour and almost journal type format.  It is also however, a book that shows how a person’s self esteem can effect all areas of their life. Not just in what they do, but also in how they are treated by others.

 

 

THE AUTHOR

Liz Jones has millions of readers across the world and was shortlisted five times in the last six years as Columnist of the Year at the British Press Awards and Columnist of the Year 2012 at the BSME awards. Liz Jones, former editor-in-chief of Marie Claire — where she ran a high profile campaign to ban skinny models — fashion editor at the Daily Mail and now columnist at the Mail on Sunday, grew up in Essex, and suffered from eating disorders from the age of 11 until her late thirties.

There will be a multi-stop book-signing tour following publication in the Autumn. For details please visit: https://lizjonesgoddess.com/