Her Darkest Nightmare – Brenda Novak

Her Darkest Nightmare - Brenda Novak

ISBN-10 1472240979

ISBN-13 978-1472240972

Author Brenda Novak

Publisher Headline

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

From Goodreads

THE HUNT FOR A SERIAL KILLER
Evelyn Talbot knows that a psychopath can look perfectly normal. She was only sixteen when her own boyfriend Jasper imprisoned and tortured her—and left her for dead. Now an eminent psychiatrist who specializes in the criminal mind, Evelyn is the force behind Hanover House, a maximum-security facility located in a small Alaskan town. Her job puts her at odds with Sergeant Amarok, who is convinced that Hanover is a threat to his community…even as his attraction to beautiful Evelyn threatens to tear his world apart.
BEGINS WITH AN ESCAPE FROM HER PAST
Then, just as the bitter Alaskan winter cuts both town and prison off from the outside world, the mutilated body of a local woman turns up. For Amarok, this is the final proof he needs: Hanover has to go. Evelyn, though, has reason to fear that the crime is a personal message to her—the first sign that the killer who haunts her dreams has found her again. . .and that the life she has so carefully rebuilt will never be the same…

What did I think?

As you probably know by now, I love my psychological thrillers and ‘Her Darkest Nightmare’ had the basis to be a fantastic book and thankfully it didn’t let me down! Firstly, it’s based around psychopaths so instantly lives up to the genre of psychological thriller!

‘Her Darkest Nightmare’ is the second book in the Hanover House/Evelyn Talbot series but that doesn’t mean you need to have read the first book to pick up the story – Novak has covered all bases and ensured that you’re not out of the loop with Evelyn’s story.

Novak has been incredibly clever in her writing, the whole time you think it’s going to be a predictable ‘whodunnit’ and if you’re anything like me, you were certain you knew who was after her from about quarter of the way through…that, refreshingly, wasn’t the case with ‘Her Darkest Nightmare’.

Evelyn Talbot has some issues of her own to deal with and if I’m honest this kind of let the book down for me, not that she had the issues to begin with because it helped create the brilliant novel but the way in which Novak wrote about them. They were very repetitive and it felt like every other page had some issue that had already been covered, it didn’t fully spoil the story for me though but it definitely left me a little deflated after I heard the same thing several times.

If I’m honest I am shocked that I haven’t read anything by Novak before! It has hints of Lisa Gardner and Tess Gerritsen – both are up there with my favourite authors so I’ll definitely be looking in to more Novak novels to see if she can land a spot as a favourite too!

My Rating? ♥♥♥♥

You can buy this book here

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Find Her – Lisa Gardner

Find Her - Lisa Gardner

ISBN-10 1472220315

ISBN-13 978-1472220318

Author Lisa Gardner

Publisher Headline

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

From Goodreads

Flora Dane is a victim.

Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure.

Flora Dane is a survivor.

Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who’s never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she’s become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who’ve never made it home.

Flora Dane is reckless.

. . . or is she? When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime—a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him—she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realises a far more sinister predator is out there. One who’s determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her.

What did I think?

‘Find Her’ is the 8th(!) instalment in the D.D. Warren series written by Lisa Gardner and it didn’t disappoint! I initially started listening to this book with credits I used on Audible but shortly after was sent the book for review so carried on reading in paperback. I’m a huge fan of Lisa Gardner and have read and reviewed other books in the D.D. Warren series so I knew from the very start that ‘Find Her’ was going to be a book I loved.

Gardner keeps you on your toes the whole way through the book and ultimately never lets you fully know what’s going on right until the end. I love how she manages to intertwine more than one story in to the book and each story is just as interesting – Gardner just never drops the ball in her writing and ‘Find Her’ proves this through and through.

This is thriller/mystery writing at its finest! You really won’t be disappointed with it!

My Rating? ♥♥♥♥♥

You can buy this book here

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Book Tour – Fallow – Daniel Shand

Fallow

ISBN-10 1910985341

ISBN-13 978-1910985342

Author Daniel Shand

Publisher Sandstone Press

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

From Goodreads

At the heart of this tense and at times times darkly comic novel is the relationship between two brothers bound by a terrible crime. Paul and Mikey are on the run, apparently from the press surrounding their house after Mikey’s release from prison. His crime – child murder, committed when he was a boy. As they travel, they move from one disturbing scenario to the next, eventually involving themselves with a bizarre religious cult. The power between the brothers begins to shift, and we realise there is more to their history than Paul has allowed us to know.
Excerpt - Chapter One

Something had been in the night and rubbish was strewn all across the grass. I hadn’t heard anything myself but there were crisp packets and beer cans and polystyrene trays scattered around the tent, our carrier bags torn open. We’d spotted some deer up in the hills a few days earlier but it could just as easily have been a fox or a badger or one of the other beasts that roamed around out there. I scanned the ground for human footprints and felt my blood go down when there were none to be found.

I pulled my head back inside the tent and wriggled into my jeans.

I must have disturbed Mikey. He mumbled something.

‘What’s that?’ I asked.

He unzipped the door to the sleeping area and stuck his head out, a mess of greasy hair and beard.

‘What’s going on?’ he asked.

‘Nothing’s going on. I’m just getting up.’

‘You don’t mind if I go back to bed?’

I told him to knock himself out and I crawled outside. The morning air nipped at my bare torso and I slid on dew as I skipped around, picking up the rubbish and stuffing it into a fresh bag. Once I’d tidied up I got the gas stove out from the tent and made myself some coffee. I sat on the groundsheet and rolled a fag while the coffee pot boiled.

A bird of prey swooped out from behind one of the mountains that flanked the meadow, flying in wide arcs, in perfect curves. I hoped it would spot some fluffy wee rodent down in the meadow, maybe even whatever it was that ripped apart our rubbish bag. I wanted to see it dive towards the earth and snatch up its prey. It didn’t though. I kept my eye trained on it until it went behind the mountain again, and then the coffee pot was whistling so I poured some coffee out into my tin mug and lit the fag.

I relished this quiet time in the morning, before Mikey woke. These were the only moments, apart from when I went to town for supplies, that I had for myself. I’d sit and have my coffee and my fag and listen to Mikey snoring and the mad gurgle of the burn down the hill. There was a road beyond the burn that cars rarely used and a house halfway between us and town. We’d selected the site for its remoteness.

Mikey yawned and began to move around inside the tent. Here we go, I thought. He squeezed past me carrying his boots. Same thing every morning. He’d hop around on the wet grass in his yellowing Y-fronts, trying to squeeze into his boots without untying them, before giving up and throwing them down beside the tent.

I watched his routine and sipped my coffee. It tasted horrible.

‘Fuck it,’ he said, chucking the boots away. He ran his fingers through his long hair and scratched at his beard. ‘Morning then,’ he said.

‘How did you sleep?’ I asked, knowing fine well that he slept like a log, because I was the one who had to listen to his snoring.

‘Good,’ he said, stretching and squatting. ‘Well, not bad. Here, mind if I nick a cup?’

‘Fine.’

He squeezed past me to get his mug out from the tent. He had no qualms about pressing his bare flesh against mine. Personal space was not part of his understanding. I poured him some coffee and he stood facing the mountains with his free hand on his hip. He drank a mouthful and I waited for his grimace.

‘Paul,’ he said. ‘I don’t really like coffee.’

‘No,’ I said. ‘I know.’

‘Do you mind if I…’ he asked, miming pouring the cup away.

I shook my head. This was also part of his routine, trying my coffee and inevitably not enjoying it and being timid about throwing it out. That wasn’t every day, like the boots. More like every other day.

After I’d finished the rest of the pot we collected our towels from the guy ropes and traipsed down to the burn for a wash.

‘So,’ said Mikey. ‘What’s the plan for today?’

‘Same as always. I’ll go into town for a bit of food and a paper once we’ve cleaned up.’

‘Right,’ he said, dropping his head.

‘Don’t sulk, Mikey.’

We faced away from each other once we’d taken off our boots and jeans and pants. It was difficult to wash in the burn, because of the cold and the shallowness. You had to scoop up handfuls of water to rinse your hair and squat down to let the water wash your arse and balls. I winced at the coldness that was also a kind of hotness.

Once we were dried off and back into our trousers we turned to face each other. ‘Feels better,’ I said.

‘Yep.’

I spotted a car down on the road as we were walking back to the tent. It was one of those big four-wheel drives and it was parked in a passing place.

‘Here,’ I said, tapping Mikey’s arm to make him stop. ‘See that?’

He peered past me. ‘It’s a motor.’

I tried to make out who was inside, but it was too far off.

Mikey shook some of the wetness out his hair. ‘Reckon they can see us?’

‘I don’t know,’ I admitted. It was about half a mile down to the road, but there was a good chance they’d be able to make us out. Still, it would seem more suspicious if we stood there and watched it like that. ‘Let’s keep going,’ I said.

Up at the tent I did my best to dry my hair before fetching a shirt from inside. All my clothes were getting foul and I knew Mikey’s would be ten times worse than mine. At some point I’d have to make a special trip into town to use the laundrette.

‘Right,’ I told Mikey. ‘I’m going to head down now. You going to be all right?’

‘Aye,’ he said. He was hunched in the tent’s entrance, his head hidden beneath the towel. ‘Like you said, same as always.’

‘What do you say if someone comes?’

‘That we’re ramblers.’

‘Good man.’

I walked down the hill towards the road and was relieved to see the car had moved on. It was only an hour or so into town, the road taking me past the wee house and then right down the valley. Again, this was time I tried to enjoy. There was the worry that some landowner or a group of hill walkers would chance upon Mikey and he’d panic and give them the wrong story, but I tried to ignore that.

What we called town was really just a village. There was a Spar and a pub and a butcher shop and all the other things you’d expect from a place like that. I kept my head down as I walked, never wanting to become a familiar face to the people there.

The butcher was a rancid man. He looked up at me and gave me one of his red-lipped smirks as I entered. He was obese and ginger and had streaks of blood up his forearms.

‘Hello,’ I said.

He winked. ‘Morning. What’ll it be?’

‘I’ll just take four…’

He interrupted. ‘Four sausages.’

‘Aye,’ I said. ‘Four sausages.’

He winked again. ‘Coming right up.’ There was a big basin behind him that he washed his hands in. I could see through the door to the back room, where his acolyte was hacking at a hanging carcass.

‘So,’ said the butcher, turning to me and plucking a piece of cling-film from the dispenser. ‘We’ve got Cumberland, we’ve got Lorne, we’ve got Lincolnshire, we’ve got ring.’

The back door creaked open and the boy emerged to gawk at me. His apron was soaked with blood.

I looked at all the sausages he’d named. ‘Just norm…’

‘Four normal sausages coming right up,’ said the butcher, smirking.

He scooped my order up in his cling-filmed hand and put it into a plastic bag. I had my money ready, the change gripped in my hand inside the pocket of my jeans. I knew exactly how much four normal sausages cost. My grip was so tight that the coins hurt my bones.

The butcher paused as he was handing the sausages over the counter. ‘Sorry,’ he said. ‘It’s just… Andrew and I were wondering…’

‘Yes?’

‘Well. You come in here nearly every morning and ask for four normal sausages.’

I was starting to sweat under my collar. I gripped hold of my change. ‘That’s right.’

He leaned over the counter, smirking, glancing back at the boy he called Andrew. ‘Only ever four sausages. For the past maybe two months.’

‘Aye. That’s true.’

He laughed. Andrew touched his bloodied apron. ‘Well. I mean. Why only four?’

‘I don’t understand. I only need four.’

‘What I mean is, what’s to stop you coming in half as often and buying eight sausages or so on? Stock up?’ He peered at me from under his orange eyebrows. ‘They would keep.’

I swallowed. I looked at the obese butcher, I looked at Andrew’s apron. ‘My fridge is broken. I’m saving up for another one.’

The butcher’s face fell. ‘Oh.’

‘Aye.’

‘That does make sense I suppose.’ He handed me the parcel of sausages and took the wet change from my hand and rung it up on the till. There was dried blood stuck to the cuticles of his fingers. ‘Me and Andrew were curious is all. Cheerio then.’

‘Right. Well. Cheerio.’

I kept walking until I was out of sight of the butcher shop, then I leaned again the wall of the Chinese and let my breath out. After a minute I ducked into the Spar to collect the rest of our supplies. Luckily they seemed to have a never-ending supply of teenage girls to employ; I never saw the same one twice.

I followed the road and then the burn out of town. I passed the wee house and noticed the car parked in the driveway for the first time. It was only the bloody four-wheel drive from before! I thought about sneaking into the garden to try and have a look inside, but getting caught was too big a risk.

Mikey was messing about outside the tent. I could see him hopping around from all the way down at the base of the hill. He didn’t notice me until I was right behind him. He was playing keepy-ups with a football.

‘What’re you doing?’ I asked.

Mikey flinched and turned, missing the ball. ‘Fuck Paul. You made me mess it up.’

‘Where did you get that?’

He pointed to the thickets and undergrowth that marked the edge of the meadow, leading to the mountain’s foot. ‘It was in the bushes there.’

‘Really?’

‘Aye.’

‘Did anyone come?’

He rolled the ball towards himself with his foot and kicked it into the air. ‘Nope.’

I said, ‘Good,’ and put the bags down. I found our stove and the frying pan and set up the sausages to fry. ‘When I was coming up, I went past the house further down the valley.’

‘Oh aye?’

‘Aye. The car from before was parked in the driveway. They must live there.’

‘Right.’

‘Doesn’t that worry you?’

He caught the football on top of his boot and held it in the air. ‘Why would it?’ he grunted.

‘Well, they seemed to be taking an awful interest, didn’t they?’

‘I suppose.’

‘I hope we won’t have to move on again,’ I said, pushing the sausages around with a lolly stick. I kept forgetting to pick up some tongs or a spatula from town.

We’d been up in the valley for a month or two, as the butcher had said. Before that we’d camped out by a loch but fishermen started to show up when the season changed, forcing us to pack up and move on. Before the loch we’d been in fields behind the town where we lived, miles and miles from this little sanctuary under the mountain.

I dished out the sausages onto two cardboard plates. ‘Leave the ball for now,’ I told Mikey, handing him his.

He sat cross-legged on the grass, blowing on his sausages. ‘Here, Paul,’ he said. ‘What’s a sausage made out of anyway?’

‘That’ll be pig in that one, but you get all sorts.’

‘Right. So it’s like chops then. Pork chops.’

‘Kind of. They put all the bits of the pig no one wants to eat in sausages.’

‘Why’re they so nice then?’ He’d already wolfed down both of his and was huffing on the steaming morsels still in his mouth.

‘I don’t know. They just are.’

Mikey eyed my one remaining sausage. ‘Are you going to finish yours?’

‘We’ll split it,’ I said, cutting it in half with a plastic knife and giving Mikey the bigger half.

‘Cheers Paul.’

I put the stove back in the tent once it was cool and threw away the plates. I dug the paper out from the Spar bag. ‘I’m going to check this,’ I told him. ‘You wanting to look with me?’

He shook his head. ‘Nah. It’s too nasty. I’m going to stick at the football.’

I lay down in the tent’s opening and leafed through the paper. I could hear Mikey kicking the ball from somewhere behind the pages. For the first few weeks after we’d left, Mikey had invariably been on the first page. He’d slowly descended through the paper over time and I was waiting for the day when he wasn’t featured at all. Maybe then we could go back.

I was nearly at the sport section when I found him. ‘Fuck,’ I said. They’d printed a recent picture with the article. He had his long hair in this one, and his beard. For a long time it was the police mug shot they used, which wasn’t so bad because the frog-eyed boy of thirteen didn’t look much like the fully-grown Mikey. I didn’t know if there’d been some court ruling that meant they could publish a new picture or perhaps they’d just stopped giving a shit.

I heard Mikey moan from behind my paper.

‘Gone in the burn?’ I called.

‘Aye,’ he said.

‘Listen mate,’ I said, laying the paper down on my chest. ‘We’re going to have to do it. They’ve got a new photo here. Your hair’s all long in it.’

He put his hands on his head. ‘We can’t, Paul. It’s the perfect length.’

‘We’ll have to, mate.’

His eyes started to redden. ‘Maybe we could just wait and see what happens…’

‘Fucken wait and see?’ I said. ‘How long you wanting to be stuck out here?’

‘It’s just…’

‘Never mind it’s just. Get your T-shirt off. Now.’

I found the scissors in my bag of supplies from the shop. I made Mikey sit on the grass and I kneeled behind him. I cut his hair right down and he cried the whole time. I turned him around, wiped the loose hairs from his face and cut his beard down too. I gave him the cheap pair of sunglasses I’d picked up from the rack in Spar.

‘Give them a try,’ I said.

He put the glasses on and had a look in the superfluous shaving mirror we carried around. His face crumpled. ‘I look like fucken… fucken Lou Reed.’

‘Don’t sulk. It had to be done.’

Mikey fished his ball out from the burn and I went back to the paper. We killed the afternoon like that. He practised his keepy-ups and I read every single article and completed every single puzzle. Once I was finished we played the football together. We used the gas stove and the frying pan as goalposts and I played goal. As Mikey was making shots past me he looked the happiest I’d seen him in some time, despite the haircut.

‘There’s this butcher in town,’ I told him as I caught a lob he’d tried to put past my head.

‘Oh aye?’

‘Aye. Asking questions.’ I threw the ball back.

Mikey caught it on his stomach. ‘What sort of questions?’

‘Asking questions like, how come I go in there so often and that.’

Mikey didn’t answer me, just tried to send the ball low across the ground. It collided with the stove.

‘Doesn’t that worry you?’ I asked.

‘He’s probably just taking an interest.’

‘I think he knows. Might recognise me. Maybe the family resemblance or something.’

‘How could he know?’

‘He handles meat for a living Mikey. He knows who’s lying.’

We got bored of the football soon enough. I tried to lie on the grass and have a sleep, but Mikey was too restless. He rolled around on the ground, pushing his head into the earth with frustration. ‘I’m so bored,’ he said. ‘Bored.’

‘I know. I am too.’

‘But you don’t get it. I’m really fucken bored.’

‘You think I’m not bored?’

He shook me to make me open my eyes.

‘But Paul,’ he said. ‘I’m really bored. Could we maybe, like, I don’t know, go into town tonight?’

‘Go into town for what?’

‘Perhaps, like, the pub or something…’

I closed my eyes again. ‘Forget it,’ I told him. ‘It’s not happening.’

Mikey had been obsessed with the idea ever since we’d arrived. The bus had stopped in the village’s main square and he’d spied this lassie, standing outside the pub, smoking, her heel up on the wall.

‘Maybe we should stop in there,’ he’d said. ‘Get some directions and that.’

I’d told him to forget it then as well.

I panicked when I woke up and Mikey was gone. I checked in the tent for him, reasoning he’d maybe nodded off himself. Nothing though. He wasn’t down at the burn either. I found him on the far side of the hill, facing the road. The four-wheel drive was back, parked up in its passing place.

‘Look,’ he said when he heard me approach.

I put my hand on his shoulder. ‘Stop fucken pointing at it,’ I hissed. ‘Wave.’

‘Eh?’

I tightened my hold on his shoulder. ‘Wave,’ I repeated.

The pair of us waved down at the motor until it pulled off and down the road. I turned on my heel and marched back up to the tent. Mikey was in hot pursuit.

‘What’s wrong?’ he asked as I began to sort out the stuff for dinner. We were having rolls with cold meat.

‘You know fine well what’s wrong. Standing there gawking at the car like that. It’s like you want us to have to move on again.’

‘What’s that you’ve got? That ham, is it?’

‘Aye Mikey. It’s ham.’

He nodded. ‘It’s always ham.’

Our routine for the evenings was that we would have our rolls or whatever we were having for tea and then when the sun went down behind the mountain we would put our jumpers on. Mikey would get to work, winding up the torch and the radio and once the sky was completely black, then we would allow ourselves to crack open the lagers I’d bought in the morning.

‘Ah,’ said Mikey as he took his first swig.

The beer was warm of course but it helped pass the days to have something to look forward to in the evening. Some nights we played cards, other times we had a go on the travel Monopoly board Mikey had brought along. It was important that I didn’t always beat him at Monopoly, as otherwise he’d become fractious and sour.

Mikey rolled the tiny dice and moved his Scottie dog. He landed on one of the reds. ‘Your turn,’ he told me.

‘Don’t you want to buy that? It’s a good property.’

‘Nah. I’m saving up for the big tickets. Park Lane. Mayfair. Those are where the real money is.’

I felt myself want to explain that he would have to get a bit of cash in his pocket if he was to have any chance of building on either of those properties, but I stopped myself. I would just end up upsetting him. He proceeded to go around the board five times without landing on either of the spaces he was waiting for.

I looked down at my pile of property cards. ‘Shall we just pack this in?’

‘Aye,’ he said. ‘OK then.’

‘You’re pissed,’ Mikey told me.

It was late and he was right. You could hear the murmurs of night beyond us – the burn curdling, grasshoppers and swallows fizzing.

‘I am pissed.’

‘No, but you’re really pissed.’

‘I said I was, didn’t I?’

Mikey was walking around in the darkness in front of the tent, kicking his legs out and squatting from drunkenness. I suppose he never got the opportunity to build up his tolerance during his teenage years.

He giggled. ‘Whatever you say Paul. I know when you’re pissed, and you’re pissed. Here, how many cans have we got left?’

I check the bag. ‘One each,’ I said and threw his last one out to him.

‘Cheers big ears. Did I ever tell you what we used to drink inside? At Polmont?’

‘No, you didn’t, but I don’t want to hear about it.’

He wasn’t listening. He was balancing the can on the back of his hand and attempting to drink it like that. ‘The older lads used to put orange juice from the canteen in a bag and hide it in the cupboard.’

I put my fingers on the tent’s zip. ‘If you’re going to talk about that then I’m going to sleep.’ I couldn’t bear it when Mikey talked about being on the inside. When he first came home and used to talk to Mum about it I would have to slip upstairs.

‘All right. Sorry. We can talk about something else instead.’

‘Like what?’

He ran his hand over his fresh scalp. ‘What do you reckon’s on telly right now?’

‘I don’t know. What time’s it? Back of eleven. Maybe a film or something?’

‘I think it’ll be a documentary that’s on.’

‘OK.’

‘Something about Africa.’

‘Right.’

We finished our final two cans and undressed inside the tent. Mikey wore an ancient Metallica T-shirt to bed. It was frayed to smithereens under the armpits. I just wore my pants. We crawled into our sleeping bags and I switched off the torch.

‘What’s the plan for tomorrow?’ Mikey yawned.

‘Same as always, mate.’

‘Mm. Maybe we could try walking up the mountain again.’

The last time we’d tried climbing the mountain we had only walked for half an hour before Mikey started to complain about his feet hurting. ‘Maybe,’ I said.

I was somewhere between dreaming and awake when I heard the footsteps outside the tent. Footsteps and ragged breathing. Mikey sat up and I put my hand over his mouth. Whoever was outside was messing around with the rubbish bag. They were opening it up and rustling its contents.

‘Shut it,’ I whispered, directly into Mikey’s ear.

The shadow of whoever was outside fell over the sleeping area. It poked something into the gauze.

‘Hoi,’ they said. A man’s voice.

I felt my brother lick his lips beneath my hand and I tightened my grip on his muzzle. He would want to answer back, I could tell.

‘I know you’re in there. There’s a pair of boots out here. I saw the two of you earlier on. Hello?’

Mikey closed his eyes. I had him right up against my chest, smelling the heat of his scalp.

‘Fine. Well. This is my land. You can’t stay here, it’s not allowed. If you don’t clear off I’ll call the police.’ A long pause, and then, ‘It’s not allowed.’

The voice trailed off and I let go of Mikey. Once I was sure the man had gone I slumped back onto my sleeping bag.

‘Jesus,’ said Mikey.

‘I know.’

‘What’re we going to do?’

What were we going to do? I couldn’t risk the man poking around again. What if he spotted Mikey? ‘We’ll maybe have to move on. Find a new spot.’

‘Really? But I like it here. We’ve got the burn and those sausages are dead nice.’

‘Well,’ I said. ‘I’ll think about it.’

‘Maybe since we’re clearing off and you cut my hair and that, we could pop into the pub for a swift pint before we go?’

I didn’t bother to answer him, just wound my neck up in the sleeping bag and forced myself to sleep.

We woke up to a barrage of rain on the tent, every drop a tiny explosion on the inside. I could tell Mikey was sitting up, awake, without having to open my eyes.

I said, ‘Have you left your boots outside again?’

‘Aye,’ he sighed.

We got dressed in silence and peered out of the tent’s opening. The sky was bruise coloured and water ran over our noses and into our beards. Mikey’s boots were lying in a puddle of caramel water, curled and wrinkled.

‘Have we got enough cash for another pair?’ he asked, streams of water distorting his features.

‘Don’t know,’ I said, bringing my head back inside to look for my own pair. ‘Maybe.’

The ditch that ran alongside the road to town had become waterlogged. So had the handful of potholes I had to step round on my way down. I stopped outside the butcher’s shop, on the other side of the road. Rain fell on the hood of my anorak and through the swirling water that cascaded down the shop’s windowpane I could make him out, behind the counter. He to-ed-and-fro-ed, busying himself with joints and racks and sides. The odd flicker of redness through the smears of rain – that was blood.

The butcher paused and looked through his window, right at me. Neither of us moved. He looked out for ten, fifteen seconds and then was away again, chopping and slicing.

So that was how he was going to play it, was it?

‘All right,’ I said to myself and headed for the square.

There was a shoe shop there. No one was on the till but they were open so I let myself in and made my way to the small display of men’s boots near the back. Mikey would want something cool, something motorbikey, but that was outside of our price range and the shop only seemed to stock hiking boots. I selected a pair that looked comfortable with good ankle support and took them over to the till, ringing the brass bell on the counter.

It took the owner a long time to arrive. She was a wizened old thing, the sleeves of her cardigan stuffed with a lifetime of handkerchiefs. She looked me up and down.

‘What?’ she croaked.

‘I was looking to buy some shoes.’

‘We’re not open yet. Didn’t you read the sign?’

I looked over my shoulder. There was no sign on the door. Before I could comment she went on. ‘But never mind. Never mind common courtesy. Pass them here.’

She rang the boots up on the till and asked for the money. My stomach dropped when I checked my wallet and saw how much we had left. Mikey’s boots would eat up the lion’s share of the cash I’d taken from our mother.

As I went out into the rain, pulling up my hood, the old woman muttered after me, ‘Some people.’

What were we doing to do? The cash we had would barely last us another week. I would need to find some sort of work, that much was clear. Maybe I could get some part-time hours in one of the village shops. Maybe I could join the roster of teenage girls that the Spar seemed to work their way through so quickly.

There was no chance I was going back to the butcher shop, so I ducked into the Spar again. It was quiet and I selected my produce in record time. I bumped into an old friend beside the meat chiller though. I was examining a pack of bacon, wondering whether we could fry it in our tiny pan, when a chubby, red-haired hand crept across my eye line.

The butcher was loading himself up with pack after pack of sausages. It took him a moment to notice me.

He said, ‘Oh.’

I looked from his face to the basket of sausages. ‘Hello,’ I smiled.

He looked at the sausages too. ‘Right,’ he said.

‘It’s all right…’ I started to say, but he interrupted me.

‘Had a bit of an issue with the fridges across the road. You’ll know about that better than most,’ he laughed.

‘Never mind,’ I said and watched him scurry away. He glanced back at the end of the aisle to give me a dirty look.

I paid for the supplies and was getting ready to face the rain again when I spotted the classified adverts by the door. Handwritten postcards for people selling golf clubs and pedigree puppies and used wedding dresses. I scanned the board until one of them caught my eye.

Strong young men wanted for tedious labour. Must be physically able and moderately conscientious. Minimum wage, no benefits. Contact Duncan Weddle on…

I slipped the card into my pocket, not wanting every other fucker in the village with working legs applying and spoiling my chances. The rain eased up as I was coming out of town and I began to sweat buckets inside the anorak. The car was gone from outside the wee house so I took my chances and jumped the fence into the garden. From what I could make out through the back windows it was a nice enough place. A dog whined from somewhere inside and the garden had a view of the mountains. They were a patchwork of peat and stone, smears of moss and long steps of dead rock.

I would let the owner make the next move. If he was so keen to move us on he would have to do it himself. He didn’t know who he was getting himself mixed up with.

 What did I think?
Fallow is a gripping tale of two brothers that hooks you from the very first page. Shand makes the book very realistic and paints the picture in your mind perfectly. I know I’ve said this for another book I’ve reviewed (The Insect Farm), but I can’t help getting the vibe of ‘Of Mice and Men’ from this book too. I guess it’s a book that has stuck out to me because of the brothers and the way one is more dominating than the other – that’s not saying it is a bad likeness to make as I did really enjoy ‘Of Mice and Men’!
At times it did feel a bit far-fetched with some of the scenarios that the brothers found them in, but Shand managed to keep the book on track and made it feel like it could in fact be a very normal occurrence for the duo. I did feel that it was a tad predictable and that’s the only reason why it’s a four heart review. Other than that, it is a fantastic read and Shand has impressed me with his story telling skills!

My rating? ♥♥♥♥

You can buy this book here (the Kindle version is on offer for 99p!)

Will you be adding this to your TBR pile?

Fallow - Daniel Shand

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Upcoming: A Brush With Death – Malcolm Parnell

A Brush With Death - Malcolm Parnell
Written by Malcolm Parnell
Published by 3P Publishing

From Goodreads

Harry Chase, a semi-professional artist and full-time nobody has recently been dumped by his girlfriend. Bewildered by the end of this relationship he withdraws into his painting. An attempt is then made on his life. Dismissing it as a freak accident he organises a painting holiday on the south coast of England with a group of amateur artists. During the holiday several members of the group also have close encounters with death and further attempts are also made on Harry. He has no idea why anyone should wish him harm, but as the holiday progresses he begins to take a closer look at his fellow artists and wonders if they are all that they seem. Maybe one of them is a killer!

Excerpt - Prologue

25 years ago

The boy pulled back the curtains and peered through his bedroom window. The view was to most eyes nothing spectacular, but for him it was magical. Straight ahead he could see across open farmland. Over to his left, separated from the farm by a meandering brook lay an area of marsh land. Mundane and of no practical value to some, to him it was a very special place, a place where all things were possible, a place where you might encounter lizards, snakes and all manner of creeping things. Rats and voles lived there and further on where the earth sloped upwards onto drier ground, foxes, rabbits and who knows what else roamed free. The boy watched his world unfold as light from the sun transformed the grass from a colourless mass to every shade of green. Each blade dancing as the lightest of breezes touched the tips bringing movement like the rolling sea.

Inside, the house was quiet. The only other occupant was his father and he had yet to awake, still clinging to the last vestiges of sleep. His day had not yet begun, but when it did the boy doubted it would involve snakes and lizards.

…………………………….

Water droplets fell like diamonds shimmering in the morning sun as the small net swung round in an arc and then hovered expectantly over the waiting glass jar. Peering into the net, the boy held his breath as he examined his prize. Scooped from its watery lair the great crested newt clambered up the sides of the net before falling back exposing its fiery belly. With a shout of triumph the boy plucked the newt from the net and dropped it into the jar. Holding it up to his face both boy and newt scrutinized each other, the captor and the captured caught in a moment of time, both bathed in the glow of the rising sun, one relishing it, the other, desperate to hide.

The stream gleamed and sparkled, bent and fragmented by stones and tree roots, it seemed to go forever twisting like a coil of rope through the meadows. Where he was standing was the widest point and the water was calmer here among the shallows, providing the perfect home for frogs and fish. The reed fringed banks giving way to a vast bed of water lilies that constantly nudged and swayed against his wellington boots. Further on, the banks grew more steeply and behind the blackthorn bush the lichen covered bricks of the old bridge could just be seen. How long the bridge had spanned the stream no-one knew. Neither could anyone fathom the reason for it being there. No road ran across it and either side was overgrown with wild blackthorn and holly. Those of a fanciful nature suggested it was a bridge to another world, but there seemed nothing other worldly about its overgrown walls and wild flower covered floor, although it is true that if one wandered into the darkness beneath the arch a gap in the bricks could be found. The boy had once explored this further, but after negotiating the almost un-penetrable array of spikey leaves and thorns, he eventually came disappointedly into the open air of the meadow which could have been accessed by the easier route of skirting the bridge further downstream.

The boy gave the newt one final look and lowered the jar into the water. He watched as the newt eager to be free, swam down into the depths and disappeared amongst the vegetation. A sudden splash caught his attention and without turning his head he said, “You came then?”

From behind, a cheerful voice said, “’Course. I said I would, didn’t I?”

“I thought you were going to be dragged off shopping.”

“Nah, made a bit of a fuss. Mum chucked me out. So, Peter me lad, it’s you and me.”

The boy turned to greet his friend. John lived a few doors down from him and they had grown up together. People in the street saw it as a strange alliance as the boys were like chalk and cheese, both physically and in temperament. His friend was short and dark with a mercurial nature, subject to whims and flights of fancy. His attention span was short and he got bored easily which often led him into trouble as his need for thrills caused conflict with the elders. Peter, on the other hand was tall and willowy, prone to deep thought and consideration. He was a shy boy and considered by some to be easily led, but he had a sharp mind and inquisitive nature.

“Not caught anything then?” his friend asked surveying the now empty jam jar.

“I had a crested, just let it go.”

“Have you had a go for Billy?”

“No not yet.”

Billy was a fish, a bullhead, commonly known as a millers thumb. He inhabited a half-submerged rusty oil drum that lay on its side further downstream, here the brook flowed through a small coppice. As bullheads go he was big, at least the size of the boy’s hand and though often seen, was elusive, as the water was deeper there and once the bottom was disturbed, clouds of silt would obscure the view.

“Still, there’s plenty of time.”

The boys grinned. Today was the first day of the school holidays and the immediate future held six glorious weeks of climbing trees, hunting, fishing and exploring. New worlds would be discovered and the prospect was mouth-watering.

The next few hours were spent engrossed in the world of water. Taking turns, they pushed and prodded the fishing net through lily beds and rushes. Many fish were caught, including – to both boys delight – a small jack pike weighing around 1lb. By the middle of the afternoon they had wandered about half a mile upstream and had come to the spot where the blackthorn embraced the old bridge. Climbing out of the water, the boys scrambled through the thick thorns and holly roots before emerging, scratched and torn under the dark recesses of the bridge. Sitting on the moss covered stones they each produced packs of sandwiches and bottled water from their jacket pockets.

“This bridge is creepy.” His friend muttered, chewing on ham and tomato.

“Yeah it’s brill.” Peter answered also chewing on his lunch.

“It’s supposed to be haunted. Tommy Greenway says that a long time ago some kids disappeared from somewhere around here.”

Peter shrugged. He too had heard the story, but was unimpressed.

“Tommy Greenway’s a girlie. He’s scared of his own shadow.”

“Yeah, but, you’ve gotta admit it’s a funny place. For one thing there’s no sound. I don’t like it, I’m going back.”

“What? Why?

“Don’t like it.” John got up to leave and turned his head. “You comin’?”

“No, not yet, I’ll catch you up.” Peter answered and watched his friend back track through the water until he reached the part where the brambles gave way to clear meadow. Soon John was out of sight. Peter stopped chewing and tilted his head. It was true, it was quiet, the silence only punctuated by the occasional bickering of squabbling coots further upstream. But then, a sound could be heard, difficult to make out at first, a sort of scraping noise. The sound a knife makes when being honed to a sharp point across a sharpening stone. Peter quickly looked around, his eyes wide trying to penetrate the gloom. Then, terror struck as a shadow emerged from the walls of the bridge and moved towards him.

My Thoughts

Now, while I’ve let myself down and not actually managed to read the book in time for the blog tour, I must say after reading other blogs on this tour, along with the Prologue and the blurb of the book, I really cannot wait to get stuck in to it.

Parnell seems, on the face of it, to have written a book that would be right up my street and down with my preferred genre so it will be extremely interesting to see if he can meet my high expectations when it comes to books within this genre.

Either way, keep your eyes peeled because my review will be up as soon as I’ve read it (I’ve just got one or two in front of it, so it really shouldn’t be long!)

You can buy this eBook here – if you read it before me, please let me know what you think!!

Hop on to the blog tour and see what else is on offer!

A Brush With Death - Malcolm Parnell

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Book Tour – Doorways – Robert Enright

I’m a huge fan of Robert Enright’s writing and gave a full five star review for his first book One by One so when I was offered the chance to take part in his book door for Doorways, I was more than happy to take part! I want to thank Robert Enright and Urbane Publications for giving me the chance to take part in this book tour for a fantastic book!

Doorways by Robert Enright

ISBN-10 1911129570

ISBN-13 978-1911129578

Author Robert Enright

Publisher Urbane Publications

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

From Goodreads

The Otherside: a world that exists on the outskirts of our own, hiding in plain sight and living within our shadows. Shielded from humanity, the Otherside is watched over by the BTCO, a highly secret government agency whose agents are the few humans who possess “The Knack,” a genetic anomaly that allows them to see the truth of existence.

Franklyn “Bermuda” Jones is the BTCO’s finest agent, the only human to have passed to The Otherside and returned. Gifted with the ability to physically interact with The Otherside, he reluctantly stands between both worlds, pining for the life he had to leave behind. Teamed with the Otherside warrior, Argyle, the two of them are assigned a case of a missing woman, vanished under peculiar circumstances.

As Bermuda delves further into the disappearances, he uncovers a threat to humanity that will not only break the truce between the two worlds, but render them both obsolete.

Excerpt - Chapter One

The flashing blue lights erupted from the top of the police car, illuminating the front of the magnificent Cartwright Manor. The huge, stone structure stood with an overbearing grandeur, the large, solid pillars of the front door cast in intermittent blasts of blue. The smooth tone reached three floors high, the wall segregated by the door sized windows in perfect symmetry.

The drive to Eversley had been fairly straight forward, the dreaded M25 that linked him from Hertfordshire to Hampshire, was quieter in the middle of the night, instead of the usual stand still of regularity. The streets of Eversley were quiet, quaint little streets lined with small houses, all hidden behind their front gardens. A few country pubs that would have undoubtedly been full of locals earlier in the evening. On the outskirts of the town, Cartwright Manor sat in the centre of twenty acres of land. As he passed through the grand, iron gate and slowly cruised up the gravel path that cut through the vast, neatly trimmed lawn, Franklyn ‘Bermuda’ Jones whistled with admiration.

Gazing his green eyes over the immaculate grounds, he slowly rolled his black Honda Civic to a stop, the engine cutting out with a gentle purr. The two police officers stood fifty feet away, their arms folded across their stab proof vests as the car door swung open, the chill of the wind slapping Bermuda across his stubble covered face and throwing his light brown hair into disarray. With the moon hidden by thick, spring clouds, the only lights apart from those emanating from the downstairs of the house, were those of the police car.

Bermuda added his own, cupping his hand around his zippo lighter as the flame flickered, touching the end of his cigarette and casting smoke into the air. He flicked it, the metal lid clapping shut.

“Chilly night, huh?” Bermuda’s London accent filtered through the smoke.

As always, Argyle had met him at their destination. Partnered for over three years, Bermuda had become accustomed the Argyle’s ability to beat him to the scene of the ‘crime’. Although Bermuda stood at six foot tall, his partner towered over him by another eight inches. His muscular arms hung from his shoulders, exposed by the sleeveless armoured plate he wore over his colossal torso. His armoured legs stood firmly together and Bermuda was always impressed with the authority that Argyle’s stance commanded. He on the other hand, in his jeans, shirt and long, black jacket, looked comprehensively human.

Argyle’s grey, pupiless eyes, which sat deep in his dark face, betrayed his humanity. Not that it would be a problem. Especially as only Bermuda could see him. As Bermuda leant against his car, he cast his eyes around the acres of land as it flickered with sprays of blue.

‘I do not surrender any thoughts or feelings towards elements.’ Argyle’s response was firm, his voice carrying a low bass. Bermuda nodded, taking another puff on his cigarette. He looked up at Argyle.

‘I bet it’s a hoarder.’

‘We should assess the situation before reaching conclusions.’

‘Yeah, yeah. I know. And we will.’ Bermuda took another drag, smoke being snatched from the end of his cigarette by the whipping wind. ‘But I bet you ten pounds it’s a hoarder.’

“I have never understood your kind’s obsession with this monetary gain.” Argyle shook his head as he spoke, his words emphasising his disappointment. Bermuda looked towards the officers, their impatience obvious. A smile crept across his handsome face.

‘Let’s go see what the fuzz thinks.’ He pushed himself off from the car and took a final hit of nicotine before carelessly flicking the butt of the cigarette into the darkness. He slapped Argyle on the back, his hand a few inches from the long, razor sharp blade of the sword that hung from his back. Argyle was a fine swordsman and had saved Bermuda's life on a number of occasions with it. Argyle’s other weapon; the ‘Retriever’ was fastened securely around his powerful forearm.

As they walked towards the impatient officers, Bermuda’s own weapon hung from the latch on his belt, hidden by his long coat. His footsteps echoed as the gravel crunched beneath his feet. Argyle walked silently beside him.

‘So what’s the situation?’ Bermuda asked him, scanning the grounds again. He dipped a hand into his pocket and returned shaking a small box of tic tacs.

‘The woman’s husband has vanished. Along with their canine companion. Their maid and a home help worker have also vanished within the last few days. Their relatives have stated that this was their last known location.’ The two police officers stepped forward, getting themselves prepared as Bermuda approached.

‘How old is the woman?’ Bermuda asked, two tic tacs rattling in his mouth.

‘Mrs Cartwright is eighty two years old, a veteran of your people.’ Argyle spoke, his voice firm and authoritative.

‘You can just say old, Argyle.’ Bermuda smirked, hoping to extract a reaction.

‘Would seem strange for such an elderly person to be able to remove that many people.’

‘Well strange is why we are here, big man.’ Bermuda approached the two police officers, both of whom looked at him with caution. The shorter officer, mid-forties, thinning black hair and a shirt about to burst at the mid-section, spoke first.

‘You ok there, fella?’ He looked at his partner and smiled. ‘Having a nice old chat were you?’

‘Just getting updated on the situation.’ Bermuda retorted, accustomed to the idea that people thought he was crazy. He looked up at Argyle and raised his eyebrows. The policeman followed his gaze, saw nothing and readied themselves as if Bermuda was about to attack. ‘Is she inside?’

‘Hold on now.’ The younger officer, tall and muscular, reached out and put his palm into Bermuda’s firm chest. ‘We got a call about some ‘specialist’ coming down.’

Bermuda sighed to himself, and whipped his hand to the back pocket of his jeans. He pulled out the thin, leather wallet and flicked it open.

‘Bermuda Jones, BTCO.’ The two men squinted, trying to read the small print. The plastic card, covered by a sheet of clear plastic, bore his face and details pertaining to the organisation. The short officer scoffed and look up at him.

‘BTCO? Never head of it.’ He said, almost mockingly.

‘You wouldn’t have.’

Bermuda stepped through and once again, the young officer stepped in his way. Bermuda smiled at him politely.

‘Sounds like a load of nonsense to me.’

‘Could you please let me through? I have a job to do.’

Bermuda held his stare.

‘Well as far as I can see, that woman in there has something to do with the disappearance of three people. She doesn’t need a BCOT or whatever it’s called intervention. She needs to be taken in for questioning.’

As if he didn’t even hear it, Bermuda once again smiled politely, the wind snatching up his hair and tugging it in multiple directions.

‘Please let me through, Officer.’

The young officer glared at Bermuda, who politely waited. The elder officer stood to the side, a voice crackling through on the radio. Instantly his attitude changed and he pulled the other officer out of Bermuda’s pathway. As they argued, Bermuda walked slowly towards the large, semi-circular steps that lead up to thick, wooden doors. They were open, the brightly lit hallway welcoming him through with a warm grasp. Argyle followed, his colossal frame just fitting through.

The entrance to the house was as grand as the structure itself, the hallway stretching out towards a broad staircase that split into two directions, wrapping back around the wall underneath the high ceiling, from which an expensive chandelier hung. The walls were lined with large canvases of art, their value not worth guessing. In the far corner stood a suit of armour, the metal shining from good upkeep.

Bermuda popped another few tic tacs into his mouth and then walked through the open door to the right, entering an elegantly decorated living room. An oak table sat near the magnificent bay window, shutting out the world with its drawn curtains. A soft rug welcomed Bermuda as he strolled in, locking his eyes on the elderly woman who sat on the sofa, a roaring fire crackling in front of her.

Above the fire place was a large painting, depicting what Bermuda imagined was Lord William Cartwright, the missing husband. Stood in his hunting gear, he emanated wealth and nobility. Argyle walked calmly to the centre of the room, past a small cabinet which housed several expensive looking liqueurs. He stood powerfully, his short, black beard lining his powerful jaw. Bermuda crunched the remnants of his tic tac and approached the sofa.

‘Mrs Cartwright?’ He offered, his tone friendly. The old lady turned, her wrinkled face forcing a welcoming smile. Her eyes were red, the turmoil of the evening apparent. Bermuda calmly removed his jacket and placed it over the back of the chair. He checked his watch, pulling his shirt back to reveal a heavily tattooed forearm.

‘Please. Call me Eleanor.’

‘Eleanor. Nice to meet you. I’m Bermuda Jones from the BTCO.’

‘The what now?’ She looked at him, puzzled.

‘The BTCO. We deal with rather exceptional cases and believe that your husband is one such case.’

‘My poor William. Where has he gone?’ Bermuda had no doubts in his mind that she was innocent. Her grief for her husband was genuine. The last three years had shown him plenty of it.

‘That is what we are here to find out.’ Bermuda ran his hand through his hair, sweeping it into a side parting…

 

What did I think?

As I’ve already mentioned, I absolutely loved Enright’s first book ‘One By One’ and after conversing with the author about his upcoming book I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as it was completely different to his original thriller. That being said I was hugely surprised at just how much I loved ‘Doorways’.

As a self-confessed crime/thriller lover I was a little sceptical about reading a sci-fi book but much to my surprise, Enright really managed to get me hooked and I stayed fully engaged the whole time. The story line is gripping and at times I could feel my heart in my mouth due to how intense the story went.

Enright has a way of making you love and hate the characters, his writing style is brilliant and that just makes the story that much better. You don’t just read the story, you absorb the tale of Bermuda Jones and The Otherside. With unexpected twists and not fully predictable story lines, Enright  has written a truly fantastic 2nd book and I would love to read more of ‘The Otherside’ and of Bermuda Jones.

My Rating? ♥♥♥♥♥

You can buy this book here (from the 13th October!)

Will you be adding this to your TBR pile?

Q&A with Robert Enright

Robert Enright

Where did you find the inspiration for ‘Doorways’? It’s a very unique story-line! Umm…I really have no idea. It originally started off as two completely different ideas, one of them being similar to the film limitless and the other being about two detectives searching for missing people who keep going missing in dark corners. Eventually, the two ideas collided and then the idea of this other world slowly filtered in and before I knew it, I had created this whole other world. Inspiration wise, I very much see elements of Men in Black and Hellboy’s BPRD. Like you said…..it’s quite unique.

How did you develop the characters and plot? Well Bermuda originally was a PI with a medical condition, who’s medicine allowed him to see things for only a few minutes. It was an intriguing concept but I found it limited what I could do. Eventually, I turned it into an actual ability, and when I pulled The Otherside in, it exploded. Being the only one to physically interact with The Otherside opened up a ‘doorway’ (do not pardon that pun) that allowed Bermuda to be seen as the exception in a bizarre world. Then when I paired him with Argyle, who I love creating storylines for, the whole dynamic and building their friendship began to write itself.

What was the hardest part to write? I’d say establishing this others world and not having it sound really silly. At its heart, Doorways is essentially a crime thriller of someone trying to find missing people. However, bringing in these monsters from another world, like the large Behemoth that Bermuda encounters, and not having it lose credibility, was a tricky task. I had a long discussion with my brother about the tight rope I was walking. Too campy and the book becomes a comedy but too dark and it will alienate a lot of people. It was a hard tone to balance but hopefully I think I managed it.

What were your goals/intentions with ‘Doorways’ and do you think you’ve achieved them? Well the fact that it has been picked up by Urbane means I have achieved my writing goal of being published! From there, I just want to see what I can achieve. I am fully invested and in love with the idea and the characters and I only hope that people join them for whatever bizarre story lines I have in store. I have received my first reviews as well and they were 5 star, which was fantastic as the reviewers were not fans of sci-fi type of books. So right now, I am just hoping it keeps up the positive buzz and will allow me to continue with a few more…

Will we get to read more about Bermuda Jones in the future? That’s the plan. I currently have another 5 or 6 big cases for them to investigate, as well as a lot of twists and turns on the lives of our two heroes. The next one, which is underway, see’s them head to Glasgow, on the hunt for a murderer with a very erratic selection policy but also a very gruesome calling card. Hopefully, you will be able to read that one day.

If so, will Bermuda ever get the life he so desperately wants? (I understand you may not want to give spoilers!) My lips are sealed. I think one of the most endearing characteristics of Bermuda is how much he has had to sacrifice against his will. I think it drives him and there will certainly be highs and lows throughout his journey. That’s all I will say.

Finally, as a huge lover of ‘One by One’ and also ‘Doorways’ – which book did you prefer to write? Do you think this will be the genre you tend to stick to for future books? Both hold a very dear place in my heart. I loved the vengeful hero of Lucas Cole and have another revenge book in the pipeline. However Bermuda is more my cup of tea and I have many of his tales as well as my own take on Vampires, Zombies and (most excitingly for me) Superheroes to come! I kind of just write whatever genre the idea slots itself into. Right now, I am fully in this weird crime thriller/urban sci-fi/mystery world of Bermuda Jones, and I am extremely happy to be here.

Again, a huge thank you to Robert Enright and Urbane Publications for letting me join the book tour. Check out the other stops on this tour to get further confirmation that this is a great book that you need to read!

Doorways by Robert Enright

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