#BookReview – The Last Time We Spoke by Fiona Sussman @AilsaCF @AllisonandBusby @FionaSussman

‘This is an astonishing story about two people trying to make sense of their broken lives.’

Thank you so much to Ailsa at Allison and Busby for sending me a copy of The Last Time We Spoke.  I requested this book as I knew straight away that it was going to be right up my street.  I love harrowing storylines that make you think deeply, and this certainly falls into that category.

51r6B1bHkiL._SX299_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg‘One mild summer evening in rural New Zealand the lives of Carla Reid, a middle-aged farmer’s wife, and Ben Toroa, an illiterate teen, brutally collide.  Neither will be the same again, their futures forever linked.  In the bleak aftermath of this home invasion, ‘The Last Time We Spoke’ traces both Carla and Ben’s journey as they each try to make sense of their new reality.  Carla’s long road from rage and resentment interweaves with Ben’s time in prison as he hardens into manhood.  Set against these parallel stories is also the voice of a Maori ancestor who looks down from Beyond, transporting the story to a wider historical stage.  Many years after their first encounter, Carla and Ben’s lives once more intersect, again with astonishing consequences.’

Fiona uses simple language in a very clever way.  She creates a story that is full of grief and the need for justice, that leaves you hankering on every written word.  It is such a sophisticated tale, so simple and well-written.

We begin with our lead character Carla discovering she is pregnant, the excitement she feels of being given this news after years of trying is emotional.  But what comes next is shocking; a heinous crime is committed and a long path to redemption begins.

We get very involved with what happens next between both Carla and Ben, and how their lives will forever cross, tied together by such a hideous act.  Carla struggles with moving on from that night; a home invasion would be horrifying for anyone, but a child’s death, no-one should ever have to go through that.  Ben on the other hand needs to face up to what he has done and why on earth he did.

The moments following ‘that night’ are powerful.  It is very effective storytelling as you feel compassion and a need to follow Carla on her journey of the aftermath.  What Carla does next, I have the utmost respect for.  It is nice that Fiona has created such a character  that people can aspire to be like – not all people have the capacity for patience or forgiveness, so Carla is a complete breath of fresh air.

The Last Time We Spoke is already available to buy or download now… so go on, you know you want to.

‘It is a provocative and dark tale, but ultimately one of hope and human possibility.’

F x

#BlogTour #BookReview – Hold My Hand by MJ Ford @AvonBooksUK @Sabah_K @MJFordBooks

‘How long do you hunt for the missing?’

Yay! It is my stop today on the Hold My Hand Blog Tour of which I am unbelievably excited to tell you about this stunning debut.  MJ Ford has got it in the bag with this one and thank you so much to Sabah at Avon for inviting me to do a review.

51JQa8jz+XL.jpg‘A horrible vanishing act…

When a young Josie Masters sees a boy wearing a red football shirt, Dylan Jones, being taken by a clown at a carnival, she tries to alert the crowds. But it’s too late. Dylan has disappeared…

Thirty years later, Josie is working as a police officer in Bath. The remains of the body of a child have been found – complete with tatters of a torn red football shirt. Is it the boy she saw vanish in the clutches of the clown? Or is it someone else altogether?

And then another child disappears…’

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#BlogTour #BookReview – The Darkness by Ragnar Jonasson @lcnicol @ragnarjo @MichaelJBooks

It is my stop on the Blog Tour today for ‘The Darkness’ and I am so excited to tell you my thoughts on this book!  I read it from start to finish last Sunday afternoon under a duvet on the sofa, when it was all cold and snowy outside.  It was such an idyllic afternoon, and the book was just so damn good that I didn’t feed the kids until a lot later than usual (bad mum, I know, but needs must and all that!).  Anyway…


‘Before Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir of the Reykjavik Police is forced into early retirement she is told to investigate a cold case of her choice, and she knows just the one.

A young woman found dead on remote seaweed-covered rocks. A woman who was looking for asylum and found only a watery grave. Her death ruled a suicide after a cursory investigation.

But Hulda soon realizes that there was something far darker to this case. This was not the only young woman to disappear around that time. And no one is telling the whole story.

When her own force tries to put the brakes on the investigation Hulda has just days to discover the truth. Even if it means risking her own life…’

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#BookReview – The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin @TinderPress @Bookywookydooda @chloekbenjamin #TheImmortalists

‘If you knew the date of your death, how would you live?’

If that question hasn’t got you pondering, then I don’t know what will.  From the  moment I saw this book splashed all over social media, I knew that I had to get my hands on a copy, and thanks to Caitlin Raynor, I did.

61gF3u+uZlLIt’s 1969, and holed up in a grimy tenement building in New York’s Lower East Side is a travelling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the date they will die. The four Gold children, too young for what they’re about to hear, sneak out to learn their fortunes.

Such prophecies could be dismissed as trickery and nonsense, yet the Golds bury theirs deep. Over the years that follow they attempt to ignore, embrace, cheat and defy the ‘knowledge’ given to them that day – but it will shape the course of their lives forever.

What a work of art!  Chloe has created such a beautifully intense story that keeps you clambering on the pages until the bitter end.  I did not want this tale of four amazingly different siblings to finish, but when it did, it sent goose pimples to my skin.  I loved it.  I devoured it.  I want to read it all over again.

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#BookReview – This is How I Lose You by @katemcnaughton @hannahlbright29 @TransworldBooks @DoubledayUK

51-DbCTiHJL._SX309_BO1,204,203,200_‘What happens to a story when it ends too soon?’

Eva and Adam are love’s young dream but their story together ends far too soon.  Following a night out with friends, they both fall into bed, but only one of them will open their eyes in the morning.

This is a story told in a different format.  This is a story about a young woman finding out the meaning of her own life and who she really is, after a deeply upsetting time.  This is the story of Eva and Adam, and their lives before it ended.

There is so much love in this beautiful book; it is funny, upsetting at times but definitely full of warmth.  It filled my heart with both sadness and happiness.  This is a masterpiece that I would urge you to read as it is about discovery, relationships, trust and finding joy when you are at your lowest point.

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#BlogTour #BookReview #RandomThingsTours – The Hope & Anchor by Julia Kite @unbounders @Unbound_Digital @juliakite @annecater

Hope And Anchor Blog Tour Poster

I was intrigued by this novel from the very moment Anne Cater’s email landed in my inbox.  A big thank you to her for arranging this Blog Tour, you really are an asset to the book community.

61ywkBUvDOL‘In the depths of winter in West London, Neely Sharpe’s life is turned upside down: not only has her career reached a dead end, but her girlfriend, Angela, has vanished.  In desperation, Neely scours the city to try and find out what has happened, travelling from London’s pubs and snowy streets, down to the depths of the sewers.  As her hunt continues, networks of friends, family, and old adversaries become entangled and she ends up delving into Angela’s past. Nothing could prepare her for what she will discover about the hidden life of the woman she loves.  The Hope & Anchor is an atmospheric debut novel which captures the dreams London holds for its natives and newcomers alike, and investigates what happens when the dreamers finally have to wake up.’

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#BookReview – Coming Home by Fern Britton @FictionPubTeam @Fern_Britton @LizDawsonPR @HarperFiction

I managed to nab myself a copy of this on Netgalley earlier this year, and when I finally got round to reading it, I devoured it in very few sittings – what an utterly fabulous book!  Even when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it…


‘Three women.  A lifetime of secrets. The only place to be is home.’

Ella comes back to the beautiful Cornish coast to heal her heart after the death of her beloved grandmother, Adela.  There she finds her home again and discovers a new life, but she also opens a treasure trove of secrets.

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