#BlogTour | #BookReview: The Long Weekend by Gilly Macmillan @centurybooksuk #TheLongWeekend #damppebbles

By the time you read this, I’ll have killed one of your husbands.

In an isolated retreat, deep in the Northumbria moors, three women arrive for a weekend getaway.

Their husbands will be joining them in the morning. Or so they think.

But when they get to Dark Fell Barn, the women find a devastating note that claims one of their husbands has been murdered. Their phones are out of range. There’s no internet. They’re stranded. And a storm’s coming in.

Friendships fracture and the situation spins out of control as each wife tries to find out what’s going on, who is responsible and which husband has been targeted.

This was a tight-knit group. They’ve survived a lot. But they won’t weather this. Because someone has decided that enough is enough.

That it’s time for a reckoning.”

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to be joining The Long Weekend blog tour. The Long Weekend by Gilly Macmillan will be published by Century on 3rd February 2022 in hardcover, audio and digital formats with the paperback to follow later in the year. I chose to read and review a free eARC of The Long Weekend but that has in no way influenced my review.

The Long Weekend is a book that I just could not resist! With that striking cover and that very intriguing blurb, I had to read this one. Plus I’ve been keen to read a Gilly Macmillan novel for a while now – this being my first – so all the stars aligned and I got stuck into this one straight away. And what a ride!

Three couples book a weekend away in Northumbria. They’ve chosen a converted barn, far from civilisation, out of mobile range, on a farm. It’s the perfect place to get away from it all and spend some quality time together. But the men unexpectedly get held up, so the three women – Jayne, Ruth and Emily – head north, with the men joining them the following day. On arrival, they discover a devastating note which sends their weekend into free fall. The note claims that one of their husbands has been killed. Completely isolated, unable to contact their husbands and with a ferocious storm approaching, tempers begin to fray. Uncertainty and fear drive the women to turn on each other. Which husband has been targeted, and why? And will the women ever escape Dark Fell Barn to find out…

The Long Weekend is a gripping psychological suspense novel and one I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved the atmospheric feel the author gives to the Northumbrian setting. I could feel the chill of the wind and the rain, the pressing darkness as tensions mount. It was wonderful. I also really liked the sub-plot featuring Maggie and John, the owners of the farm. John’s health is deteriorating but Maggie can’t stop her strong-willed husband from doing what he’s always done. He knows the landscape like the back of his hand. Or he did, at least… As their story reached its climax, I became quite emotional.

The three main characters – Jayne, Ruth and Emily – have very little in common yet are forced to be friendly because of their husbands friendship and shared history. Jayne is ex-military intelligence – straight down the line, has been a part of traumatic decisions but lacks self-confidence and sees herself as unattractive and plain. Ruth is a GP and a new mum, struggling to cope with the work/life balance, and not helped by Toby, her husband, becoming distant since the baby’s arrival. Emily is young and attractive, a new addition to the group. The trophy wife – or so the others think – but her love for husband Paul is clear. As the situation worsens, as the truth becomes clear, the relationship between the women crumbles further.

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. I really enjoyed The Long Weekend. I found it to be a twisty, compelling read from start to finish, and I was keen to find out how things would end for the characters. There are quite a few surprises along the way which kept me on my toes and kept me guessing. An intriguing, well-written story by an author I’m keen to read more from. Recommended.

I chose to read and review a free eARC of The Long Weekend. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The Long Weekend by Gilly Macmillan was published in the UK by Century Books on 3rd February 2022 and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukWaterstonesFoylesBook Depository | bookshop.orgGoodreadsdamppebbles bookshop.org shop |

Gilly Macmillan

©Céline Nieszawer/Leextra

Gilly Macmillan is the Sunday Times & New York Times bestselling author of THE NANNY (out 2019). Also WHAT SHE KNEW (previously published as BURNT PAPER SKY in some territories), THE PERFECT GIRL, ODD CHILD OUT & I KNOW YOU KNOW.

Gilly is Edgar Award nominated and an ITW award finalist. Her books have been translated into over 20 languages.

She grew up in Swindon, Wiltshire and also lived in Northern California. She studied History of Art at Bristol University and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

Gilly lives in Bristol, UK with her family and writes full time.

#BookReview: The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd @PenguinUKBooks #TheInnocentWife #damppebbles

the innocent wife.jpg“You’re in love with a man on Death Row in Florida, convicted of a brutal murder twenty years ago.

You’re convinced he didn’t do it, and you’re determined to prove it. You’re part of a mass online campaign that picks holes in the case, uncovers evidence of police incompetence, and agitates for this miscarriage of justice to be overturned.

Now you’re married to him, and he’s a free man, his conviction thrown out. You have the rest of your lives to spend together.

You’re overjoyed. After all, he’s innocent.

Isn’t he?”

I am delighted to welcome you to the blog today and to my review of The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd.  This book had a real buzz about it when it was first published in December 2017 (yes it has been on my NetGalley shelf for a while, yes I am a terrible book blogger who reads at a snail’s pace!).  I received a free eARC copy of The Innocent Wife which has in no way influenced my review.

I keep seeing mixed reviews for this book and I just don’t get it.  I know, I know, you don’t have to tell me – reading is subjective.  I totally get that.  I’ll say this though, if you’re anything like me you will love this book.  It has everything I want in a novel.  I loved the small town American feel of it, I loved how the author has used the nation’s love of true crime to give it a more authentic edge, I loved the plot and I loved the characters.  This is turning into an epic year of reading for me; nearly every book I pick up just blows me away!  And that includes The Innocent Wife.

Notorious convicted killer, Dennis Danson, comes to Sam’s attention when questions begin to be raised over the evidence and trial used to convict him and send him to death row.  An online group start petitioning for his release claiming the Red River Police got the wrong man.  Sam does what any normal (!) 30-something would do in this situation and starts corresponding with Dennis.  Before long a strong bond is formed between them and Dennis sends a visiting order.  Sam drops everything, packs her bags and flies off to Altoona Prison to meet Dennis in person, hoping he’s everything his letters lead her to believe he is.  After an awkward start, the couple relax into each others company and before long Sam has extended her visa to allow her to visit Dennis on a regular basis.  Then he’s released and everything changes.  Sam is married to a man she hardly knows.  And what’s more, what she was once certain of, she’s not anymore…

Character, character, character.  I flipping love a bunch of fascinating people!  I really felt for Sam.  I could feel her loneliness, her need to be loved and adored which emanated from the page.  I also found her a little frustrating at times because I wanted her to stop being so drippy and ‘woman-up’ a bit.  That didn’t stop me from wanting to read Sam’s story though.  She intrigued me.  I also loved the mysterious Dennis, although I doubt very much I was supposed to!  There was something quite dark and dangerous about him and that appealed. Other characters were great too such as the true crime documentary filmmaker, Carrie, who welcomes Sam to the US with open arms and then becomes her guardian angel.  She just knows Dennis is innocent and will do everything in her power to prove it.

Would I recommend this book?  I would, yes.  It’s a delicious slow burn of a read and I loved it!  I was absolutely fascinated to see where the story was going to go and I wasn’t at all disappointed.  Gripping, unnerving and it ticked so many boxes for me.  I would not hesitate to pick up another book by Amy Lloyd.  In fact, I can’t wait to read more from this author! Highly recommended.

I chose to read and review an eARC of The Innocent Wife.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd was published in the UK by Arrow Publishing on 4th October 2018 in paperback, hardcover, audio and eBook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukamazon.comWaterstonesBookDepositoryGoodreads |

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amy lloyd.jpgAmy Lloyd studied English and Creative Writing at Cardiff Metropolitan University. In 2016 she won the Daily Mail Bestseller Competition for her debut novel The Innocent Wife which, when it was published, became a Sunday Times top ten bestseller. Amy lives in Cardiff with her partner, who is also a published novelist.

Author Links:TwitterFacebook |

 

#BlogTour | #BookReview: The Bone Field by Simon Kernick (@simonkernick) @arrowpublishing

51-vigayfol-_sx331_bo1204203200_“When the bones of a 21-year old woman who went missing without trace in Thailand in 1990, are discovered in the grounds of an old Catholic school in Buckinghamshire, an enduring mystery takes on a whole new twist.

Her boyfriend at the time, and the man who reported her missing, Henry Forbes, now a middle-aged university lecturer, comes forward with his lawyer and tells DI Ray Mason of the Met’s Homicide Command that he knows what happened to Kitty, and who killed her.

So begins a hunt for the truth that will focus on a ruthless crime gang, a rich, dysfunctional family with a terrible past, and a highly ambitious man so cruel and ruthless that he must be brought down at any cost.”

I am very excited, a little awestruck and incredibly pleased to welcome you to my stop on Simon Kernick’s The Bone Field blog tour.  And it’s my first blog post of the year, so a belated Happy New Year lovely booky people!  What a way to start 2017 huh?

Now I don’t think Simon Kernick needs much of an introduction as I (and many others) consider him to be a household name and one of the biggest names in UK-based thriller writing.  However, if you have never read a Simon Kernick novel before (…seriously? You’ve been missing out!) then all you need to know is that Simon has released a number of darn good, bestselling, high intensity thrillers over the years and continues to do so (I hope, for many years to come).  He leads the way for British crime thriller writers, leaving many in his wake.

The majority of Simon’s books are standalone thrillers chock full of action, adventure and heaps of excitement.  He has previously published a couple of three-part serial thrillers but this, The Bone Field, marks the start of a brand new series.  And what a series it’s going to be!  High energy, action packed reading that’ll keep your heart rate high and your attention glued to the pages.  Some books should come with a health warning and this is certainly one of them.  Edge of your seat stuff that I insist you read!

What I love about The Bone Field is that the author, as is customary in his previous books, has used fully developed, pre-existing, previously published characters but put them up against (or with, in this case!) a new ally.  The Bone Field features DI Ray Mason who is now working at part of the Met’s Homicide Command.  We have met DI Mason before when he featured in The Witness (published June 2016) but back then he was part of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.  DI Mason (who I love by the way, he’s nearly everything I look for in my detectives…just not quite grumpy enough!) contacts a PI by the name of Tina Boyd as part of the ongoing investigation.  There was something familiar about Tina to me.  A strange sense of recognition.  That was when I realised that she is the lead protagonist in Relentless (pub. 2006), Target (pub. 2009) and The Last 10 Seconds (pub. 2010), all of which I have read and very much enjoyed.  What a treat!  The simmering chemistry between Ray and Tina was quite addictive.  As I may have mentioned before, I’m not one for romance in my crime books but they really worked for me.

I loved the action which was well written and at a consistent pace throughout.  This novel was incredibly easy to read, I polished it off in two short days (that’s quick for me).  There is, unsurprisingly in a Simon Kernick novel, a number of violent scenes but regular readers of the blog will know that the more gore and violence in a book, the more it appeals to me. I would also like to mention the villain of this book who is by far one of the creepiest bad guys I have met in a novel for some time.  Expertly written much like the majority of characters within the pages of The Bone Field. I very much enjoyed the plot which I found twisty and unpredictable from start to finish.  And as for that last sentence….WOW!!

Would I recommend this book?  I would as it’s a high octane, well written thriller by an author who knows his characters inside out and round-side-round.  To be able to maintain such a high level of action and suspense is a real skill and Simon Kernick is a master of the thriller.  I can’t wait for the second book in this new series.

Four out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an ARC of The Bone Field.  Many thanks to Sam Deacon at Penguin Random House for providing me with a copy.  All of the above views are my own and are unbiased.

The Bone Field by Simon Kernick is published by Century | Penguin Random House on 12th January 2017 and is available in hardcover, eBook and audio formats (with the paperback to follow later this year) | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

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Smith & Sons (11)

253943Simon Kernick is one of Britain’s most exciting thriller writers. He talks both on and off the record to members of the Met’s Special Branch and the Anti-Terrorist Branch and the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, so he gets to hear first hand what actually happens in the dark and murky underbelly of UK crime.

Author Links:Website | Facebook | Twitter |