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Showing posts from March, 2019

Book review: The Third Wheel

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By Michael J Ritchie Published by Unbound Digital Synopsis: English teacher Dexter feels like he’s being taunted by the universe. Everywhere he turns he’s accosted by wedding invitations, housewarming parties and tables for two. Every last one of his friends is settling down with their other halves, while Dexter spends his evenings marking schoolbooks with his ginger cat for company. The thing is, he doesn’t even mind being single; he just wishes his friends were too. After another wedding ends in a drunken disaster, Dexter is musing on the situation and wondering what he’s going to screw up next, when he gets the shocking reminder that he’s not the centre of the universe. An alien spaceship has landed on the continent and when first contact is made, it’s anything but friendly. Humanity’s numbers dwindle immediately, and the survivors are left to do exactly that – survive. Dexter gathers his friends and they all set off on a mission across the country, each with the goal of p

In conversation with... Kate London

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Hi Kate! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of Gallowstree Lane ! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about? A: A boy steps out of the shadows of Gallowstree Lane and asks a stranger for help. The stranger is an off-duty paramedic and quickly realises the boy has been stabbed and that his life is in danger. In his concern he doesn’t notice the other boy, watching in the shadows. This is Ryan. Spencer, the boy who has been stabbed, is his best friend. Ryan’s is desperate to find out why Spencer has been killed and determined to take revenge for his death. In the process he gets drawn into the bigger world of serious and organised crime, where the stakes are high and the violence ripples outwards to endanger everyone who has dealings on Gallowstree Lane. Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing the book or did it take an unexpected turn as the characters grew on the page? A: I don’t have a plot figured out from

Book review: I'll Find You

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By Liz Lawler Published by Bonnier Zaffre Synopsis: Emily Jacobs wakes up in the night after a minor operation, woozy with anaesthetic. She sees the doctor frantically trying to resuscitate the woman in the bed next to her.  In the morning, she is told that she must have had a nightmare. That the bed has been empty all along… When Emily returns to her work as a nurse, she discovers a bracelet that she believes belonged to the missing woman. She becomes convinced the people at the hospital are hiding a terrible secret. What if she's right? What else could they be capable of? How did this book end up in my hands? Yes, you guessed correctly: I read the serialisation of this book via The Pigeonhole ! Was it a page-turner? Absolutely! I think each instalment was supposed to represent approximately a 20-minute reading session but it was more like a 2-minute scramble to find out more! Having read the synopsis, did the book meet my expectations? The synopsis gave me a g

In conversation with... Phoebe Morgan

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Hi Phoebe! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of The Girl Next Door ! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about? A: Thank you so much! The Girl Next Door is about sixteen-year-old Clare Edwards, who is found dead in a local field in a small town in Essex. The town is shocked by her murder, and gradually, secrets and lies are revealed – showing that in this small, gossipy community, nothing is quite what it seems…  Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing the book or did it take an unexpected turn as the characters grew on the page? A: I had the idea for Clare’s death and for the marriage at the heart of the novel, but the ending changed during edits, and further twists came to me as I wrote! I tend not to plot everything out right at the start, rather I begin with an idea or a character and then usually things grow from there. It does mean there are often big rewrites, but I find those easier than the excruciating

Book review: The Flower Girls

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By Alice Clark-Platts Published by Bloomsbury Publishing Synopsis: The Flower Girls. Laurel and Primrose. One convicted of murder, the other given a new identity. Now, nineteen years later, another child has gone missing. And the Flower Girls are about to hit the headlines all over again… How did this book end up in my hands? I read a 10-part serialisation of this book in January via The Pigeonhole . Was it a page-turner? OMG, totally. I could have read it in one sitting given the opportunity and – having read the comments written by my fellow readers – I know I am not the only one to think that. This is one of those novels that make you suspect just about every character and change your theories every few chapters! Having read the synopsis, did the book meet my expectations? I knew after reading the tagline - Three children went out to play. Only two came back. – that this was going to be an unsettling book but the reality definitely exceeded my expectations.

In conversation with... Rebecca Done

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Hi Rebecca! I have just finished reading My Husband the Stranger and I couldn’t put it down ! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about? A: Thanks so much Silvia! I’m so happy you enjoyed the book. My Husband the Stranger is a love story about married couple Molly and Alex. When they got married, Molly knew it would be for ever - but one night Alex has a terrible accident, which leaves him with permanent brain damage. In a single moment, the man Molly married has been transformed into someone new. The book follows Molly and Alex’s journey as they both try to come to terms with his new personality, and what it means for their marriage. And there are some unexpected twists and turns along the way! Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing the book or did it take an unexpected turn as the characters grew on the page? A: I usually try and have the plot fully figured out before I start writing, sometimes down to the chapter. Not because I’m particular

Book review: My Husband the Stranger

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By Rebecca Done Published by Penguin Synopsis: When Molly married Alex Frazer, she knew it was for ever. Theirs would be the perfect future.  However, after a night out with his twin brother, Graeme, a terrible injury leaves Alex with permanent brain damage. In a single moment the man she married is transformed into someone new. Someone who has forgotten how to love her. And someone Molly isn't sure she can ever love again.  The Alex she married no longer exists. Even with Graeme willing to help, Molly isn't sure that she can go on. How can she stay married to a man she doesn't know? Should she let the future she dreamed of slip through her fingers? And what really happened on the night that turned her husband into a stranger?  How did this book end up in my hands? I listened to the audiobook version of this book via the BorrowBox app. I was looking for a captivating read and I stroke gold! Was it a page-turner? I couldn’t stop listening to this. My wife cau

In conversation with... Michael J Ritchie

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Hi Michael ! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of The Third Wheel , which I have recently enjoyed via its serialisation on The Pigeonhole! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about? A: Hello! Thank you, I’m glad you liked it! The Third Wheel is about Dexter, a twenty-something who is coming to terms with the fact that all of his friends are coupled up and moving on with their lives, but he’s single, lonely and feeling left behind. He doesn’t subscribe to society’s notion that you need to find “The One” and would rather have his friends back to spend time with. However, when aliens invade the planet, it puts a lot of his problems into perspective as he and his friends are left to survive in this new world, and suddenly Dexter’s singleness might just be his greatest asset… Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing the book or did it take an unexpected turn as the characters grew on the page? A: Very little of the

Book review: The Chestnut Man

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By Søren Sveistrup Translated from the Danish by Caroline Waight Published by Michael Joseph Synopsis: One blustery October morning in a quiet suburb of Copenhagen, the police make a terrible discovery. A young woman is found brutally murdered in a playground and one of her hands is missing. Above her hangs a small doll made of chestnuts.  Ambitious young detective Naia Thulin is assigned the case. Her partner, Mark Hess, is a burned-out investigator who's just been kicked out of Europol. They soon discover a mysterious piece of evidence on the chestnut man - evidence connecting it to a girl who went missing a year earlier and is presumed dead - the daughter of politician Rosa Hartung.  The man who confessed to her murder is behind bars and the case is long since closed.  Soon afterwards, another woman is found murdered, along with another chestnut man. Thulin and Hess suspect that there's a connection between the Hartung case, the murdered women and a killer who i