#BlogTour | #GuestReview: Cause and Effect: Vice Plagues the City by Pete Adams (@Peteadams8) #CauseandEffect #KindHeartsandMartinets @cobaltdinosaur @NextChapterPB #damppebbles

Cause and Effect cover“A self-labelled enigma, Detective Inspector Jack Austin is at once miserable and amusing, melancholy and motivated. Running the Community Police Unit from his deck chair, D.I. Austin is known for his ability to solve crimes out of the blue.

Trying to work cases while struggling with his mental issues, Austin deals with a variety of major crimes, including bicycle theft. But when the case of an executed police officer lands on his desk, he accidentally uncovers a malevolent scheme.

Can he discover who is behind it all – and keep what’s left of his sanity?”

It’s the weekend! Happy Saturday and welcome to damppebbles. I’m only popping in briefly to hand over to my trusty sidekick (he’s going to kill me for saying that 😂), my husband and guest reviewer, Ryan.  Ryan is reviewing the first book in Pete Adams’ Kind Hearts and Martinets series, Cause and EffectCause and Effect was published in paperback and ebook formats by Next Chapter Publishing on 28th June 2019 and Ryan received an eARC which has not influenced his review.

Over to Ryan…

How do you describe Detective Inspector Jack Austin?  Well, I should certainly start by calling him ‘Jane’ as everyone else at his station does.  To use his own words, which he muddles often, he’s a “riddle wrapped up in an enema”.  An aging detective who seems to attract the odd crisis whilst nicknaming almost everyone he meets, solving crimes and getting his words wrong as frequently as possible.

If you don’t like word play, (or sometimes just the wrong darn word!) then I will suggest now that you may not get on with this book. Jane’s use of language is somewhat unique but as the book progresses you soon become used to his turns of phrase.  Stick with it, it’s worth it.  The story from Pete Adams is well put together with multiple strands, criminal and personal playing out at a good pace throughout the book.  Supported by Mands (a.k.a. Mandy Pumps, Mandy Lifeboats, Amanda) , Jo-Jums, Nobby and KFC (no, not the chicken place – don’t ask – you’ll find out when you read it!) DI Jane sets out to solve a case that keeps growing. From stolen bicycles and assault, the story grows and ends up with major criminal rings.  All whilst Jane fights with the English Language and top brass.

The story is strong and I kept picking up my kindle to sneak another chapter in whenever I could.  I have already moved onto book two, Irony in the Soul: Nobody Listens Like the Dying, to find out where the story leads.  The ending is clever revealing threads that had been hinted at.  I must admit in the first chapter I was a little confused by the fact everyone had at least two names (real name and ‘Jane given name’) but this added to the human side of the story and gave insight into the way Jack felt about his team.  Jack is liked by most of the characters in the book, leading the reader to warm to him.  Although there are times when his maverick approach does seem out of kilter with the sleepy suburbs of Portsmouth.

Would I recommend the book?  I would. I can imagine some readers will find the first couple of chapters tricky but the team which emerges as the book progresses makes it worthwhile.  Pete Adams has introduced me to characters I like and I enjoyed spending time with them. Book two, which as I mentioned I’m currently reading, is also getting interesting but more about that next month…

Ryan chose to read and review an eARC of Cause and Effect. The above review is his own unbiased opinion.

Cause and Effect: Vice Plagues the City by Pete Adams was published in the UK by Next Chapter Publishing on 28th June 2019 and is available in paperback and ebook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukamazon.comBook DepositoryGoodreads |

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about-the-author3

pete adams.jpgPete Adams is an architect with a practice in Portsmouth, UK, and from there he has, over forty years, designed and built buildings across England and Wales. Pete took up writing after listening to a radio interview of the writer Michael Connolly whilst driving home from Leeds. A passionate reader, the notion of writing his own novel was compelling, but he had always been told you must have a mind map for the book; Jeez, he could never get that.

Et Voila, Connolly responding to a question, said he never can plan a book, and starts with an idea for chapter one and looks forward to seeing where it would lead. Job done, and that evening Pete started writing and the series, Kind Hearts and Martinets, was on the starting blocks. That was some eight years ago, and hardly a day has passed where Pete has not worked on his writing, and currently, is halfway through his tenth book, has a growing number of short stories, one, critically acclaimed and published by Bloodhound, and has written and illustrated a series of historical nonsense stories called, Whopping Tales.

Pete describes himself as an inveterate daydreamer, and escapes into those dreams by writing crime thrillers with a thoughtful dash of social commentary. He has a writing style shaped by his formative years on an estate that re-housed London families after WWII, and his books have been likened to the writing of Tom Sharpe; his most cherished review, “made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think”.

Pete lives in Southsea with his partner, and Charlie the star-struck Border terrier, the children having flown the coop, and has 3 beautiful granddaughters who will play with him so long as he promises not to be silly.

Author Links:TwitterFacebook |

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Rae (@rae_reads1) #RaeReads #damppebbles

Woohoo! It’s Friday.  I hope you have some exciting bookish plans in store for the weekend.  Today I am delighted to welcome one of my favourite bloggers to damppebbles to share the #R3COMM3ND3D2018 book love.  The ever so lovely Rae of Rae Reads.  I’m a huge fan of Rae’s blog so I strongly recommend you head on over there now to take a peek (and then head straight back here to find out which three books Rae chose as her #R3COMM3ND3D2018 picks!).

#R3COMM3ND3D is all about the book love.  Can you name three books published last year which were standout reads for you? Three books you would recommend to everyone? That’s what #R3COMM3ND3D is all about.  Any genre, written by any author, published traditionally, by an indie press or by the author themselves.  The only catch being they must be from the same year.  At the moment we’re sharing the 2018 love but come 1st November it will be all about 2019’s releases.  If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and you would like to take part in #R3COMM3ND3D2019 then please complete the form at the bottom of this post.

Here are Rae’s choices…

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The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
I loved how dark and intense this book was!
https://raereadsbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/21/the-chalk-man-by-c-j-tudor-cjtudor-blogtour-michaeljbooks-review/

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Lady Cecily and the Mysterious Mr Gray by Janice Preston
I have a soft spot for Historical Romance and this book is such a well written, gorgeous story!
https://raereadsbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/03/lady-cecily-and-the-mysterious-mr-gray-by-janice-preston-janicegpreston-review/

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Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32 by B.C.R. Fegan
This is a book for children but has an element of suspense that I thought was great. I enjoyed it just as much as my children did!
https://raereadsbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/dont-ever-look-behind-door-32-by-b-c-r-fegan-bcrfegan-taleblade-review/

Excellent choices, Rae. Thank you. One of my very favourite books and I think this is the first time we’ve had a children’s book included (which, as a mum of two, I love!).

If Rae has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

The Chalk Man by C.J. TudorLady Cecily and the Mysterious Mr Gray by Janice PrestonDon’t Ever Look Behind Door 32 by B.C.R. Fegan |

About Rae:
I’m a mum of 2 who is stationery, knitting and book obsessed! To be honest my book blog keeps me sane(ish).

Rae’s Social Media Links:
Rae ReadsTwitter @rae_reads1Facebook |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

#BookReview: Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson @BloomsburyRaven #NeverHaveIEver #damppebbles #15BooksofSummer (7/15)

never have I ever

“It starts as a game at a book group one night. Never Have I Ever… done something I shouldn’t.

But Amy Whey has done something she shouldn’t. And Roux, the glamorous newcomer to Amy’s suburban neighbourhood, knows exactly what that is.

Roux promises she will go away – if Amy plays by her rules.

But Amy isn’t prepared to lose everything. She’s going to fight back, and in this escalating game of cat and mouse, there can be only one winner.”

Welcome to damppebbles and to my review of Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson. Never Have I Ever was published on 8th August 2019 by Raven Books and is available in hardcover, audio and ebook formats. I chose Never Have I Ever as my seventh #15BooksofSummer challenge read and received a free eARC of this book but that has in no way influenced my review.

It’s not often I read a ‘teaser’ or sample of a book. I prefer to read the entire thing from start to finish, at my own (some would say, very slow) pace. So when a teaser of Never Have I Ever appeared on NetGalley I planned to walk on by. But that didn’t actually happen. I found myself drawn to this book so I broke the habit of a lifetime and downloaded the first chapter. Looking for something to kill an hour one day in between moving the kids from one after school activity to another, I started to read my short snippet of Never Have I Ever. I was instantly drawn into the world of these women with the interloper in their midst. The exotic Roux who usurped the mumsy book club leader, Charlotte, and made herself very much at home in Amy’s basement having recently moved into the local rental. Roux instantly ruffles a number of feathers, flatters a number of the more timid women and makes her mark on the group. But as the alcohol flows some of their most closely guarded secrets are revealed, all for the momentary thrill of shocking their peers. A game of ‘never have I ever’ takes a more sinister twist and Amy is left wondering exactly what mysterious Roux knows about her past. And that’s where the first chapter ended (!) and I was left hankering after the rest of the story. Thankfully my NetGalley request was approved shortly after that so I didn’t have to wait *too* long for the rest of Roux and Amy’s story!

And what a story it is! This is a wonderful multi-layered book and I was completely drawn in to the lives of the characters. I loved Amy and her sass. I desperately wanted her to succeed in her plan to win the game and keep her dark past hidden from her family and maintain the life she had built for herself. But I also adored Roux who is darkness and wickedness personified. Good..ish versus evil. The battle is well and truly ON in Never Have I Ever and I savoured every last minute of it. This is an engrossing book with a brilliant plot but the characters are everything. If you don’t feel invested in Amy’s plight by the end of the book then I’m afraid you’ve done it all wrong.

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes! But brace yourself for the unexpected. I don’t want to say anything else about the plot as I already feel I’ve said too much. However, the ending is perfect. I couldn’t work out how the author was going to finish this Battle Royale between these two brilliant adversaries but Jackson does it with absolute aplomb. One of the most fascinating psychological suspense novels I have read in a long time. Amy and Roux have made themselves at home in my memory and I don’t think they’ll be moving out anytime soon.

I chose to read and review an eARC of Never Have I Ever. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson was published in the UK by Raven Books on 8th August 2019 and is available in hardcover, audio and ebook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links (they’re starred*) which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk* | amazon.com | Waterstones* | BookDepository* | Goodreads |

15 books of summer

about-the-author3

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson’s newest book, Never Have I Ever, will launch in July of 2019. You can check out her previous eight novels and other work here. Joshilyn’s books have been translated into a dozen languages, have won SIBA’s Novel of the Year award, have three times been #1 Book Sense Pick, have twice won Georgia Author of the Year awards, have three times been shortlisted for the Townsend Prize for Fiction, and have been a finalist for the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction.

A former actor, Jackson reads the audio versions of both her own novels and the books of other writers; her work in this field has been nominated for the Audie Award, was selected by AudioFile Magazine for their best of the year list, won three Earphones awards, made the 2012 Audible All-Star list for highest listener ranks/reviews, and garnered three Listen Up awards from Publisher’s Weekly.

She serves on the board of Reforming Arts, a nonprofit that runs education-in-prison and reentry programs. Reforming Arts fosters the development of critical and creative thinking skills, encouraging students to build livable lives both during and post-incarceration. Through this organization, Joshilyn has taught creative writing, composition, and literature inside Georgia’s maximum security facility for women.

Joshilyn learned to scuba-dive in order to write Never Have I Ever, and now she and her husband Scott are both avid divers. They live in Decatur, Georgia with their two kids, two entitled cats, and a modestly-sized dog.

Author photo and biog © https://www.joshilynjackson.com/

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Julie Morris (@book_problem) #ALittleBookProblem #damppebbles

Rules are made to be broken (don’t quote me on that!) so in a change to the planned schedule, welcome to #R3COMM3ND3D2018 on a Tuesday! I featured a blog tour review yesterday so I decided to move things around a little this week which means #R3COMM3ND3D2018 on a Tuesday instead of a Monday. I hope you don’t mind! They say a change is as good as a rest (and exactly the same thing will happen next week too). Today I am delighted to welcome the lovely Julie Morris to damppebbles to share her three #R3COMM3ND3D picks. Julie blogs over at the brilliant A Little Book Problem so if you haven’t discovered her wonderful blog yet then head on over and check it out!

What is #R3COMM3ND3D? It’s all about sharing the book love. I invite bookish types – authors, book bloggers and people who work in publishing – to choose three books they think the rest of us should read. They can be any genre, written by any author, traditionally, indie or self-published. The only rule is that they must have been published in the SAME year. At the moment we’re focussing on titles published last year in 2018 but from 1st November it will be all about this year’s new releases. If you’re a bookish type (book blogger, author or you work in publishing) and you would like to take part then please complete the form at the bottom of this post. But hurry, places are limited and they’re going FAST!

Here are Julie’s choices…

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The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper
This is a debut novel which I find quite astounding as the writing is very accomplished and perfect balances humour and emotion. It had me laughing and crying and I really loved it.
https://alittlebookproblem.co.uk/2018/09/19/the-songs-of-us-by-emma-cooper-bookreview-blogtour-itsemmacooper-headlinepg-thesongsofus-uplit/

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All The Hidden Truths by Claire Askew
I love a book that makes you think and this one really does that. It comes at the issue of gun violence from a different angle that was really provocative, which makes it an uneasy read but it is important that we be made uncomfortable about these topics
https://alittlebookproblem.co.uk/2018/08/11/all-the-hidden-truths-by-claire-askew-bookreview-publicationday-onenightstanzas-hodderbooks-netgalley-allthehiddentruths-netgalley/

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Battlestar Suburbia by Chris McCrudden
This is a book that doesn’t seem to have had much attention but it is smart and very funny and I think it deserves a wider readership than it might be getting. I really enjoyed it; it is probably quite different from what others are recommending!
https://alittlebookproblem.co.uk/2018/09/21/battlestar-suburbia-by-chris-mccrudden-bookreview-cmccrudden-farragobooks-netgalley-battlestarsuburbia-netgalley/

Thanks Julie – great choices. All three books sound really interesting and I’ll be adding All The Hidden Truths to the wishlist!

If Julie has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

| The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper | All The Hidden Truths by Claire Askew | Battlestar Suburbia by Chris McCrudden |

About Julie:
I’m Julie, 46, ex-lawyer, blogger, mum/step-mum of 5, book-obsessed aspiring writer.

Julie’s Social Media Links:
| A Little Book Problem | Twitter @book_problem | Facebook | Instagram |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

#BlogTour | #BookReview: Here To Stay by Mark Edwards @AmazonPub @midaspr #HereToStay #damppebbles

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“A beautiful home. A loving wife. And in-laws to die for.

Gemma Robinson comes into Elliot’s life like a whirlwind, and they marry and settle into his home. When she asks him if her parents can come to stay for a couple of weeks, he is keen to oblige – he just doesn’t quite know what he’s signing up for.

The Robinsons arrive with Gemma’s sister, Chloe, a mysterious young woman who refuses to speak or leave her room. Elliot starts to suspect that the Robinsons are hiding a dark secret. And then there are the scars on his wife’s body that she won’t talk about . . .

As Elliot’s in-laws become more comfortable in his home, encroaching on all aspects of his life, it becomes clear that they have no intention of moving out. To protect Gemma, and their marriage, Elliot delves into the Robinsons’ past. But is he prepared for the truth?

From the two million copy bestselling author comes a tale about the chilling consequences of welcoming strangers into your home.”

Welcome to damppebbles and to my stop on the Here To Stay blog tour. I am delighted to be one of two blogs kicking off the tour for this brilliant psychological thriller. Here To Stay is the latest standalone release from one of my ‘must read’ authors, Mark Edwards, and will be published in all formats by Thomas & Mercer on 1st September. I received a free ARC of the book but that has in no way influenced my review.

I am a huge fan of Mark Edwards’ books. He’s a favourite author of mine and someone I always mention when asked for reading recommendations. You can’t really go wrong with his novels – they’re all rather brilliant (In Her Shadow, The Retreat, The Lucky Ones, The Devil’s Work, Follow You Home). And this latest release is another stonking addition to this author’s body of work. I would even go as far as saying it’s bordering on my favourite!

I loved the main character, Elliot. He’s a really decent bloke who enjoys his quiet, ordered life. He has a beautiful home which, after years of gruelling refurbishment, is exactly how he wants it. But there’s no escaping the fact that he’s lonely. A chance encounter one day leads him to meet Gemma. There’s no denying the chemistry that’s bubbling away between them. And when Gemma saves his life Elliot decides it’s time to be spontaneous and ask Gemma out. The couple become inseparable and in a second attempt to keep the spontaneity flowing, Elliot proposes to Gemma after a couple of months. Before long they’re married and life couldn’t be better. That is until one day when Gemma receives word from her parents that they’re leaving France and returning to the UK with nowhere to stay. Gemma asks her new husband if her parents can move in briefly whilst they look for somewhere new to live. Elliot instantly agrees, wanting to keep his new wife and in-laws happy. But he has no idea who he is welcoming into his home and the devastating secrets they’re hiding…

What a page-turner! I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. Edwards’ brilliant characters really leap off the page at the reader and oh my gosh, some of them made my blood boil. The frustration I felt at their behaviour and the empathy I felt for Elliot was palpable at times. I was completely in the story with Elliot and the Robinsons, living each and every moment with them. Watching Elliot attempt to regain control of the situation only for his plans to be dashed by the dastardly in-laws. If you’re looking for a book to get under your skin then you must grab a copy of Here To Stay and meet the Robinsons.

I spent a fair amount of time wondering where Edwards would take the story. The in-laws from hell made great reading but I couldn’t foresee how the story would end and every option I came up with was completely unsatisfying to me. But that’s why Mark Edwards is a bestselling author and I’m not! Oh, the ending of this book is GLORIOUS! It takes the kind of turn which I love in my fiction. It’s a great book but as you approach the end it becomes something SUPERB. I loved it.

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. I would recommend all of Mark Edwards’ books but this one is something quite special. I did manage to guess one of the whodunnits along the way but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment at all because the author made me doubt myself often. Another great read from Mark Edwards which I recommend. I lived the rage, the frustration and the fear with Elliot and I loved it!

I chose to read and review an ARC of Here To Stay. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Here To Stay by Mark Edwards was published in the UK by Thomas & Mercer on 1st September 2019 and is available in hardcover, paperback, audio and ebook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Book Depository | Goodreads |

Here To Stay Blog Tour Banner Final.png

about-the-author3

EDWARDS 7 TS 28

Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people and is inspired by writers such as Stephen King, Ira Levin, Ruth Rendell and Linwood Barclay.

His first solo novel, The Magpies (2013), reached the No.1 spot on Amazon UK and has sold 300,000 copies to date. This was followed by What You Wish For (2014), Because She Loves Me (2014; also a No.1 bestseller in the UK) and Follow You Home(2015).

He also co-writes with Louise Voss. Their novels are: Killing Cupid (2011); Catch Your Death(2011); All Fall Down (2012); Forward Slash and a series featuring Detective Inspector Patrick Lennon, starting with From the Cradle (2014) and The Blissfully Dead (2015). Read more about Voss & Edwards.

Mark grew up on the south coast of England and starting writing in his twenties while working in a number of dead-end jobs. He lived in Tokyo for a year before returning to the UK and starting a career in marketing. He now writes full-time and lives in the West Midlands, England, with his wife, their three children and a ginger cat, Billie, who was named after an actress from Doctor Who.

When he’s not writing or looking after children, Mark reads a lot, devours TV box sets and spends far too much time on Twitter and Facebook, where he loves chatting with readers. He also wishes he had more time to do the activity he loves most: karaoke.

Author Links: | Website | Twitter | Facebook |

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #Author Jo Perry (@JoPerryAuthor) #DeadIsBeautiful @fahrenheitpress #damppebbles

It’s Friiiiiiyaaaaaaaaay! Thank Crunchie it’s Friday. I am delighted to welcome you to damppebbles today and to another brilliant #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post. Today I’m thrilled to welcome the wonderful Jo Perry to the blog.  Jo writes the most intriguing series of crime noir novels, the ‘Charlie and Rose Investigate’ series featuring a dead lead protagonist called Charlie and his equally dead dog, Rose.  The series is published by the mighty Fahrenheit Press and I’ll tell you a little about the latest book in the series, Dead Is Beautiful in a short while.

But first, let me explain what #R3COMM3ND3D is all about.  #R3COMM3ND3D is about sharing the book love.  I invite bookish types – authors, book bloggers and those who work in publishing – to nominate three books they love.  They can be any genre, any author, any publisher – self, indie or traditionally published.  The only stipulation being that they were published in a certain year.  At the moment we’re sharing the 2018 book love but come 1st November it will be all about 2019’s releases.  If you’d like to take part then check out the Google form at the bottom of this post but don’t delay – places are being snapped up faster than ever before.

Here are Jo’s choices…

A Dead American In Paris (The 3rd Republic Novels #2) by Seth Lynch
In book two of Lynch’s series, Salazar remains a uniquely compelling and brilliant protagonist, an existential hero grappling with turbulent internal and external forces: violence, autonomy, alienation and the disordering and disturbed and disturbing world of post-war Paris. What a series!
https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R2NWP8TNZXN05F/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B07BSB9KBB

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Black Moss by David Nolan
An ambitious, powerful and affecting thriller that tackles memory, violence, and guilt–collective and personal. The action moves back and forth in time and from the alcohol-blurred to the sober mind of an endearing and often tragic protagonist I hope to see again. The Manchester setting and news media milieu enrich the novel. A great debut.
https://www.amazon.com/Black-Moss-David-Nolan/dp/1912526336?ref=pf_ov_at_pdctrvw_dp#customerReviews

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The Bomb Maker by Thomas Perry
Absolutely hair-raising suspense but what’s best is the deep dive into the warring consciousnesses of a bomb maker and the bomb squad operative who must stop him. I will be upfront and admit that Thomas Perry is my husband, but that can’t stop me from saying how shreddingly good this book is.

Wonderful choices, Jo. Thank you.  Two of the books you’ve chosen are already on the wish list and the third will be added immediately.

If Jo has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

A Dead American in Paris by Seth LynchBlack Moss by David NolanThe Bomb Maker by Thomas Perry |

About Dead Is Beautiful:
DeadIsBeautifulKindleDEAD IS BEAUTIFUL finds Rose leading Charlie from the peace of the afterlife to the place he hates most on earth, “Beverly Fucking Hills,” where a mature, protected tree harboring a protected bird is being illegally cut down. The tree-assault leads Charlie and Rose to a to murder and to the person Charlie loathes most in life and in death, the sibling he refers to only as “his shit brother,” who is in danger. Charlie fights-across the borders of life and death–for the man who never fought for him, and with the help of a fearless Scotsman, a beautiful witch, and a pissed-off owl, Charlie must stop a cruel and exploitative scheme and protect his beloved Rose.

amazon.co.ukamazon.comFahrenheit Press |

About Jo Perry:
I am the author of the series of dark, comic mysteries, Dead Is Better, Dead Is Best, Dead Is Good and Dead Is Beautiful published by Fahrenheit Press.

Jo’s Social Media Links:
WebsiteTwitter @JoPerryAuthorFacebook |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

#BookReview: Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner @BoroughPress #MissingPresumed #damppebbles

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Mid-December, and Cambridgeshire is blanketed with snow. Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw tries to sleep after yet another soul-destroying Internet date – the low murmuring of her police radio her only solace.

Over the airwaves come reports of a missing woman – door ajar, keys and phone left behind, a spatter of blood on the kitchen floor. Manon knows the first 72 hours are critical: you find her, or you look for a body. And as soon as she sees a picture of Edith Hind, a Cambridge post-graduate from a well-connected family, she knows this case will be big.

Is Edith alive or dead? Was her ‘complex love life’ at the heart of her disappearance, as a senior officer tells the increasingly hungry press? And when a body is found, is it the end or only the beginning?

Hello and a very warm welcome to the blog today and to my review of Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner. Missing, Presumed was published by The Borough Press in 2016. I received a free eARC of this book via NetGalley but that has in no way influenced my review.

Erin Kelly describes this book as beautifully written. I couldn’t agree more. Missing, Presumed feels quite different to other books in the genre. Steiner presents a pretty bleak story but with such style and eloquence that you can’t help but be captivated. This is a slow burn police procedural with a less than perfect detective set in a wintery Cambridgeshire. There was a heck of a lot of buzz about this book when it was first published so I knew I just had to read a copy and find out more. I’m very glad I did.

DS Manon Bradshaw made this book shine for me. On the verge of hitting the big ‘four-oh’ Manon is determined to find a husband (I’m sure a committed partner would be enough in all honesty, lol!). She’s fed up with her life and feeling so lonely, so turns to internet dating to find Mister Right. Only finding Mister Very Wrong, Mister Oh No and Mister You Must Be Joking! Falling asleep every night to the crackle and hiss of her ‘borrowed’ police scanner. When Edith Hind is reported missing Manon is one of the first to hear the report over her scanner, and it’s only around the corner so she gets dressed and heads out into the chilly night. What she finds is a scene that causes some concern; the coats in the hallway are disturbed, the front door is open, Edith’s phone and keys have been left behind and there are a few ominous looking blood spots in the kitchen. An investigation to find missing Edith is launched led by Manon’s Major Incident Team but they’re aware time is running out. When it’s revealed the missing woman is the daughter of Lord Ian Hind, physician to the Queen and is good friends with the Home Secretary, the team know the case is going to be big news. Can Manon and the team find the missing woman before it’s too late…?

The book is written from multiple viewpoints which include Edith’s mother, Miriam, Manon and a wonderful colleague of Manon’s, DC Davy Walker. I loved Davy – what a nice young chap! Manon’s DI, Harriet Harper, is also a great character I loved the relationship between the two of them. I didn’t like any of the Hinds who all come across as pompous, self-serving, self-entitled fools. Even the devastated Miriam failed to stir any sympathy within me. The other character I loved was Fly, a young boy who, having lost his brother, is taken under Manon’s wing. Their relationship absolutely blossoms and it’s a joy to watch.

The investigation was slow going and at times I would have liked things to happen a little quicker. The reveal was quite a shocker but I relished it. It was very satisfying and I wouldn’t have wanted the book to end any other way with hindsight.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I would. It’s beautifully written and a wonderful character driven novel which I thoroughly enjoyed. I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another book by Susie Steiner. An intriguing mystery with a wonderfully flawed lead character who I hope to see a lot more of in the future.

I chose to read and review an eARC of Missing, Presumed. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner was published in the UK by The Borough Press on 25th August 2016 and is available in hardcover, paperback, audio and eBook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | BookDepository | Goodreads |

about-the-author3

susie steiner.jpg

Susie grew up in north London, studied English at university and trained as a journalist. She worked in newspapers for 20 years, 11 of them on staff at The Guardian. Her first novel, Homecoming, was published by Faber & Faber to critical acclaim in 2013. Her second, Missing, Presumed was a Sunday Times bestseller which introduced detective Manon Bradshaw. It was a Richard & Judy book club pick and has sold 250,000 copies to date in the UK. Missing, Presumed was selected as one of the Guardian’s, Wall Street Journal’s and NPR’s standout books of 2016. It was shortlisted for the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year 2017. Persons Unknown, the sequel to Missing, Presumed, is her third novel – also a Richard & Judy book club pick and also long-listed for the Theakstons. The third in the Manon trilogy is called Loss of Life and is due out in May 2020. Susie has written extensively about losing her eyesight to Retinitis Pigmentosa. She is registered fully blind and lives in London with her husband and two children.

Author image and biog © http://www.susiesteiner.co.uk/

Author Images: | Website | Twitter |

#BookReview: The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry @canongatebooks #TheWayofAllFlesh #damppebbles

the way of all flesh“Edinburgh, 1847. Will Raven is a medical student, apprenticing for the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson. Sarah Fisher is Simpson’s housemaid, and has all of Raven’s intelligence but none of his privileges.

As bodies begin to appear across the Old Town, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh’s underworld. And if either of them are to make it out alive, they will have to work together to find out who’s responsible for the gruesome deaths.”

Welcome to damppebbles and to my review of The Way of All Flesh.  The Way of All Flesh was written by Ambrose Parry (also known as Christopher Brookmyre and Dr Marisa Haetzman) and was published by Cannongate Books in paperback format on 30th April 2019.  I received a free eARC of this book from NetGalley but that has in no way influenced my review.

What an absolutely wonderful historical mystery this is!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t read enough historical fiction.  I loved the setting (a dank and foggy Edinburgh in the 1840s), I loved the characters and I loved how wonderfully descriptive the writing is.  I was completely immersed in the story and I relished every single moment of it.

Medical student, Will Raven, acquires an apprenticeship with the renowned obstetrician, Dr James Young Simpson.  He is certain a life of riches awaits him and hopes his association with the esteemed Professor will ensure a line of wealthy patients queue up outside his door seeking his services in return for great financial remuneration.  Arriving at 52 Queen Street in a bloody and battered state Raven soon realises that not everything is as he first hoped and is aghast when the good Doctor is called to a less-than-salubrious abode and waves off payment.  Raven was sure he would be treating wealthy ladies from the New Town and living the high-life on the doctor’s coattails.

When the doctor and Raven witness a young woman’s contorted body being pulled from the docks Raven is reminded of his friend, Evie and how her body was discovered in a similar horrifying state.  Could the deaths be connected?  And what could cause the bodies to contort in such a way?  Raven enlists the help of Sarah Fisher, the doctor’s housemaid and together they try to solve the mystery before more young woman lose their lives in such a horrific manner…

There’s so much to this book.  Yes, the mystery element plays a part but there’s so much more to it than that.  The characters are just wonderful.  I loved both Will and Sarah.  Will is a little priggish at times but he can be forgiven as his heart is in the right place, no matter how it initially seems.  I adore Sarah and I loved how ahead of her time she is.  Wanting to break down those gender and class divides – it’s clear to the reader that she does not want to settle for her lot and her intelligence and thirst for knowledge is an inspiration (unfortunately it just doesn’t *quite* fit into 1840s Edinburgh life).  Brilliant characters and I am thrilled to hear they will return in a second book.

Dr Simpson’s quest to ease the pain and trauma of childbirth for his patients by discovering a new anaesthetic, therefore replacing ether, was a fascinating sub-plot which I thoroughly enjoyed.  There are some scenes in the book which are a little on the gory and upsetting side but these tend to relate to medical procedures and just the way situations were dealt with in the 1840s.

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes, and I’m very much looking forward to the second book in the series which is out this Summer.  I loved how wonderfully atmospheric the writing is.  I loved the characters and can’t wait to see how they develop in future books.  A great historical read and one I heartily recommend.

I chose to read and review an eARC of The Way of All Flesh.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry was published in the UK by Canongate Books on 30th April 2019 and is available in hardcover (which is beautiful, by the way), paperback, eBook and audio formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukamazon.comWaterstonesBookDepositoryGoodreads |

about-the-author3

ambrose parry.jpgAmbrose Parry is a pseudonym for a collaboration between Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman. The couple are married and live in Scotland. Chris Brookmyre is the international bestselling and multi-award-winning author of over twenty novels. Dr Marisa Haetzman is a consultant anaesthetist of twenty years’ experience, whose research for her Master’s degree in the History of Medicine uncovered the material upon which this series, which begun with The Way of All Flesh, is based. The Art of Dying is the second book in the series.

Author Links:Twitter |

 

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Nicola Smith (@ShortBookScribe) #ShortBookandScribes #damppebbles

Hello and welcome to the blog. It’s Monday which means it’s time for another completely brilliant #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post! Today I am delighted to welcome fabulous blogger Nicola Smith to damppebbles to share her three #R3COMM3ND3D picks. Nicola blogs over at the brilliant Short Book and Scribes so why not head on over and pay her a visit. You won’t regret it!

#R3COMM3ND3D2018? What’s that all about then? Allow me to explain. #R3COMM3ND3D is where I invite bookish types; book bloggers, authors and publishers to tell us about three books they think the rest of us MUST read. Any author, any genre, any publisher but with one proviso…the three choices must have been published in one year.  At the moment we’re concentrating on 2018 but from 1st November #R3COMM3ND3D will be all about the 2019 book love.  If you fall into one of the above categories then have a look at Nicola’s recommendations then head down to the bottom of this post to pick three reads from this year you loved and want to share with the rest of us.

Without further ado, here are the books Nicola chose…

the lido.jpg

The Lido by Libby Page
It’s a beautifully written story of friendship and loss. It left me in floods of tears.
http://shortbookandscribes.uk/reviews/bookreview-the-lido-by-libby-page-libbypagewrites-orionbooks-blogtour/

the perfect girlfriend

The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton
This for me was a standout psychological thriller with a very disturbed, yet compelling, protagonist.
http://shortbookandscribes.uk/reviews/bookreview-theperfectgirlfriend-by-karen-hamilton-kjhauthor-wildfirebks-headlinepg-blogtour-loveyoutodeath/

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Appetite by Anita Cassidy
It’s shocking and thrilling, tackling issues of desire and greed in a very honest way.
http://shortbookandscribes.uk/reviews/bookreview-appetite-by-anita-cassidy-anitacassidy76-reddoorbooks-blogtour/

Thanks so much, Nicola. Great choices. I think this is the second (maybe third…? but I’d need to check) mention for The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton. I have a copy on my TBR and I can’t wait to read it!

If Nicola has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

The Lido by Libby PageThe Perfect Girlfriend by Karen HamiltonAppetite by Anita Cassidy |

About Nicola:
I’m Nicola and I blog at Short Book and Scribes. My blog is 2 years old and I love being able to read and review some of the amazing books out there. I have a son who is almost five and I work as a church administrator. It was very hard to limit myself to three books for this feature!

Nicola’s Social Media Links:
Short Book and ScribesFacebookTwitter @ShortBookScribe |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Norrie (@norrie_reads) #ReadingUndertheBlankie #damppebbles

Hello! Welcome to damppebbles and another brilliant #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post. I’m back sharing the book love after a brief break to celebrate anniversaries (10 years!) and birthdays (not going to disclose the years on that one 😉). Today I am delighted to welcome the ever so lovely Norrie of Reading Under the Blankie to share her #R3COMM3ND3D2018 picks. If you haven’t discovered Norrie’s blog yet then what are you waiting for? 😍

‘What is this #R3COMM3ND3D thing you speak of?’ I hear you cry! Well, it’s about the book love and sharing three books you think everyone else should read.  Any author, any genre, any publisher…but with one catch. The books must have been published in the same year.  At the moment we’re sharing the 2018 book love but come 1st November it will be all about 2019.  If you’re a book blogger, author or publisher and would like to take part in #R3COMM3ND3D2019 then please scroll to the bottom of this post and fill in the Google form.

Without further ado, here are Norrie’s choices…

the retreat.jpg

The Retreat by Mark Edwards
When it comes to suspense, Mark Edwards is one of my go-to guys. He just gets it, you know, like he can see into your soul.
https://readingundertheblankie.com/2018/10/10/the-retreat-by-mark-edwards/

and so it begins

And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott
This is such a cleverly plotted, delicious thriller! Part courtroom drama, part murder mystery, this will appeal for a wide range of crime fiction fans.
https://readingundertheblankie.com/2018/10/08/and-so-it-begins-by-rachel-abbott/

tangerine.jpg

Tangerine by Christine Mangan
Set in 1950s Morocco, Christine Mangan’s debut is an unnerving story of obsession, deception and some serious gaslighting. Also a great spin on frenemies!
https://readingundertheblankie.com/2018/03/14/tangerine-by-christine-mangan/

Thanks so much, Norrie. I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed The Retreat by Mark Edwards and I’m adding your other two choices to my wishlist!

If Norrie has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

The Retreat by Mark EdwardsAnd So It Begins by Rachel Abbott |  Tangerine by Christine Mangan |

About Norrie:
Book lover, cat hugger, coffee drinker, capable of eating half a cheesecake in one sitting. Best not to approach before she had her breakfast.

Loves a good thriller, but would probably not touch romance with a stick. Based on the amount of crime fiction she’s read, could probably solve a crime. Or not, but she would certainly try. Loves science fiction and secretly dreams about joining the Starfleet since she was fourteen.

Norrie’s Social Media Links:
Reading Under the BlankieTwitter @norrie_readsInstagram |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)