Married Girls – Diney Costeloe

Married GirlsISBN-10 1784976121

ISBN-13 978-1784976125

Author Diney Costeloe

Publisher Head of Zeus

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

From Goodreads

Wynsdown, 1949. In the small Somerset village of Wynsdown, Charlotte Shepherd is happily married to farmer Billy. She arrived from Germany on the Kindertransport as a child during the war and now feels settled in her adopted home.

Meanwhile, the squire’s fighter pilot son, Felix, has returned to the village with a fiancée in tow. Daphne is beautiful, charming… and harbouring secrets. After meeting during the war, Felix knows some of Daphne’s past, but she has worked hard to conceal that which could unravel her carefully built life.

For Charlotte, too, a dangerous past is coming back in the shape of fellow refugee, bad boy Harry Black. Forever bound by their childhoods, Charlotte will always care for him, but Harry’s return disrupts the village quiet and it’s not long before gossip spreads.

The war may have ended, but for these girls, trouble is only just beginning.

What did I think?

After ‘The Girl with No Name’ I wasn’t quite sure what to expect or how in fact Diney Costeloe was going to expand on Lisa’s story within ‘Married Girls’. I was quite surprised when I notices that ‘Married Girls’ focused on a completely new character who wasn’t in the first book – Lisa is still very much a main character but the actual storyline is away from her (sort of!)

I have mixed feelings on whether or not the first book is a must read before ‘Married Girls’. When the story sways towards Lisa then I think it helps to have read ‘The Girl with No Name’ but as ‘Married Girls’ is mainly focused on the new character, Felix, I don’t think it is imperative. Although it wouldn’t hurt, especially if you have both books!

‘Married Girls’ surprised me with the story line and how absorbed I was. Diney Costeloe followed on her fabulous writing style to create an emotion evoking story that has you experiencing a range of different feelings. I love ‘The Girl with No Name’ series and would recommend it to anyone! It will be interesting to see if there will be a 3rd book in the series and even more interesting to see where Diney Costeloe takes Lisa’s story!

My Rating? ♥♥♥♥

Will you be adding this to your TBR pile?

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Stronger Than Skin – Stephen May

Stronger Than SkinISBN-10 1910985406

ISBN-13 978-1910985403

Author Stephen May

Publisher Sandstone Press

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

From Goodreads

Mark Chadwick is cycling home from work, eager to get back to his pregnant wife Katy and two children, when he sees the police calling at his house. He knows exactly why they are there and he knows that the world he has carefully constructed over twenty deliberately uneventful years is about to fall apart. He could lose everything.
A story of a toxic love gone wrong, with a setting that moves easily between present day London and 1990s Cambridge, Stronger Than Skin is compulsively readable, combining a gripping narrative with a keen eye for the absurdities of the way we live now.

What did I think?

Stronger Than Skin was intriguing from the offset, Mark is on the run from the police and you have absolutely no idea why and you have no idea for about 80% of the book – amazing how a book that revolves around the Mark man-hunt doesn’t give anything away but somehow manages to keep you turning the pages and reading on.

Stephen May writes about the characters of Stronger Than Skin throughout various stages of their life, it helps you form a connection with the characters as you feel you’ve grown with them. This evokes strong emotions within the reader and makes the shocking parts of the story more hard-hitting. You really get a sense of the love and pain within Marks life and it this kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to know more.

I loved the way Stronger Than Skin ended, it took me by surprise and without giving away too much it’s not something you see in every book – in fact it’s rarer than I would like. I wish I could say more but if I did I would be taking the excitement of the book away from you – it’s unpredictable to say the least, the whole book is!

My Rating? ♥♥♥♥

Will you be adding this to your TBR pile?

(psst. the eBook version is only £1 at the moment!)

Check out the other blogs on this tour!

Stronger Than Skin

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Porcelain: Flesh of the Innocents – Lee Cockburn

Porcelain - Lee CockburnISBN-10 191152531X

ISBN-13 978-1911525318

Author Lee Cockburn

Publisher Clink Street Publishing

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

From Goodreads

Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks is back and in charge of tracking down a sadistic vigilante, with a penchant for torturing paedophiles, in this unsettling crime thriller by a real-life police sergeant.

High-powered businessmen are turning up tortured around the city of Edinburgh with one specific thing in common — a sinister double life involving pedophilia. Leaving his ‘victims’ in a disturbing state, the individual responsible calls the police and lays bare the evidence of their targets’ twisted misdemeanours to discover, along with a special memento of their own troubled past — a chilling calling card. Once again heading the investigation team is Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks, along with her partner Detective Constable Marcus Black, who are tasked not only with tracking the perpetrator down but also dealing with the unusual scenario of having to arrest the victims for their own barbarous crimes. But with the wounded piling up the predator’s thirst for revenge intensifies and soon Nicks discovers that she is no longer chasing down a sinister attacker but a deadly serial killer.

What did I think?

Porcelain: Flesh of the Innocents is the 2nd book with DS Nicks as the leading character and it was a book I’d been looking forward to after finishing Devil’s Demise last year! With Devil’s Demise I did make a comment to suggest there was too much ‘erotica’ in the book for my liking (I like a thriller to be a thriller!) and I must admit that Cockburn has turned the ‘erotica’ theme down throughout Porcelain and it didn’t overpower the story-line.

Porcelain is dark, way darker than Devil’s Demise was (which is saying something!) but so well written! There is no stereotypical ‘good guy’ in this book, that keeps it interesting and isn’t very common in books!

At times Porcelain was suffocating, it did not let you catch your breath, Lee Cockburn is an author who knows how to get you hooked! It definitely isn’t a story-line for the feint-hearted, it’s an uncomfortable read (in the best possible way) but Lee Cockburn has been incredibly respectful in her writing.

Porcelain was left fairly open-ended, I really hope that means that we see more of DS Nicks. The cases she investigates and the trials and tribulations her colleagues deal with along the way make for any Cockburn novel a must read!

My Rating? ♥♥♥♥

Will you be adding this to your TBR pile?

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Playlist for a Paper Angel – Jacqueline Ward

Playlist for a Paper AngelASIN B01N74PKV5

Author Jacqueline Ward

Publisher Kindle Press

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


From Goodreads

DS Jan Pearce is still searching for her missing son. When she finds a little girl, Elise, alone in a pram in a busy town centre, she must unravel a mystery that takes her to the edge of her emotions. Then another child, Dara Price, goes missing.

Lisa Connelly, Elise’s mother, has been forced into a life of prostitution and has been leaving her little girl alone. Her gangland boss is holding her prisoner but she wants her little girl back.

Jan finds herself balancing her search for her son with finding Dara. Her right hand man, Mike Waring, is on another case so she and her temporary partner, profiler Damien Booth, must solve the puzzle and find Lisa before time runs out for Dara.

What did I think?

‘Playlist for a Paper Angel’ took me by complete surprise, it was a little bit slow to begin with but Ward didn’t keep you waiting for long. Once the story was in motion there was no stopping, and that accounts for my reading too – I couldn’t put it down!

Considering this book has an incredibly dark story-line that I think a lot will struggle to read at times, Ward approached the subjects in a respectful way while making sure they still hit hard. You start to connect with the characters and the emotions that you feel throughout are strengthened by the relationships you’ve built.

‘Playlist for a Paper Angel’ doesn’t stop at any point, it keeps on going until the very last sentence and it keeps you wanting more. I felt emotionally drained when I finished ‘Playlist for a Paper Angel’ and I didn’t expect it in the slightest. Ward is an extremely talented author and ‘Playlist for a Paper Angel’ is a great example of what a thriller should be, I loved every minute of it.

My Rating? ♥♥♥♥♥

Will you be adding this to your TBR pile?

Q&A with Jacqueline Ward

Where did you find the inspiration for ‘Playlist for a Paper Angel’? The inspiration for Playlist for a Paper Angel came from the Ed Sheeran song ‘The A Team’. Lisa appeared in the previous Jan Pearce novel ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ as a member of the Connelly family who had gone into police protection and I was interested in what might have happened to her. I find inspiration from lots of different places but stories in music influences me a lot.

How did you develop the characters and plot? I developed the plot over a long time. Jan’s story had to progress in the direction of looking for Aiden, but I wanted a storyline where she and Mike get closer and she is teamed up with another police operative. Lisa’s was more difficult. I had ideas for her character and I read other novels and watched films about young girls who had limited choices. I also wanted to introduce Della, Mike’s wife as she is an interesting character.

What was the hardest part to write? The hardest part of this novel to write was all the parts involving children. It’s hard to write bad things about children in fiction – they happen in the real world but it’s hard to find a balance between being gratuitous and telling a story. I hope I have done the latter.

What were your goals/intentions with ‘Playlist for a Paper Angel‘ and do you think you’ve achieved them? Mothering is often stereotyped and, as a subtext, I wanted to look at how mothers have different types of lives and how they look after their children with the resources they have, and how external aspects of life influence. Part of this novel looked at how the criminal world takes advantage of young people who are drawn to the peripherals, and I hope I achieved that.

Playlist for a Paper Angel‘ has a very, very dark story-line that evokes a lot of emotions. How did you find writing such a dark story? It was difficult. I had to interview women who worked in the sex industry and learn about their experiences – despite what the media often report, not one of them told me that they had voluntarily entered the industry, rather that they had either been forced because of financial problems or had progressed from no sex industry roles. None of them were happy, and it made me realise how privileged I was and also that in this day and age it it horrendous that women still have to do this. Writing Lisa’s story was underpinned by this darkness and it brought up a lot of emotions.

Will we be hearing more from DS Jan Pearce? Yes! Jan isn’t finished yet –  she’s only just started. I have a series prologue novel due out soon and a third DS Jan Pearce novel later on in 2017.

I for one cannot wait to read more of DS Jan Pearce’s story!

Playlist for a Paper Angel

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Burned and Broken – Mark Hardie

Burned and BrokenISBN-10 0751562084

ISBN-13 978-0751562088

Author Mark Hardie

Publisher Sphere

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

From Goodreads

An enigmatic policeman – currently the subject of an internal investigation – is found burned to death in his car on the Southend sea front.

A vulnerable young woman, fresh out of the care system, is trying to discover the truth behind the sudden death of her best friend.

As DS Frank Pearson and DC Catherine Russell from the Essex Police Major Investigation Team are brought in to solve the mystery that surrounds their colleague’s death, they’re under intense pressure to crack the case without damaging the force’s reputation.

When a dramatic turn of events casts a whole new light on both cases, the way forward is far from clear. Were the victims connected in some way? And just how much should Pearson and Russell reveal to their bosses as they begin to unearth some dark secrets that the force would rather keep buried?

What did I think?

‘Burned and Broken’ sounded like a book right up my street, a police procedural, a murder or two and twists and turns at every point. I jumped at the opportunity to take part in this blog tour and Mark Hardie’s writing skills didn’t let me down.

There are lots of sub-stories in ‘Burned and Broken’ and while I did find it a little slow at points, the book never fully lost my interest. There’s just enough suspense to keep you wanting to read on and I’m really glad I did. ‘Burned and Broken’ got better the more pages I turned.

The ending really made it for me, it had a great twist and it made me feel a bit stupid that I didn’t see it coming. I thought I had it sussed by just over halfway through but Mark Hardie proved me wrong and ‘Burned and Broken’ is worth reading for the ending alone!

My Rating? ♥♥♥♥

Will you be adding this to your TBR pile?

Why not follow the blog tour for different views?

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