Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Gangland Crime, Historical Crime Fiction, Noir, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Silent Money G.D.Harper 4*#Review @harper_author @rararesources #Thriller #PsychologicalThriller #noir #crime #Glasgow #1970s

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#SilentMoney

Glasgow, 1972. Michael Mitchell is ambitious, talented and determined to succeed. But he learns the hard way that he will never achieve his goals in life – unless he plays by a different set of rules.

He partners with a small-time crook to help the Glasgow underworld launder the proceeds of their crimes. As the operation grows, Michael is forced to become more and more ruthless to protect what he has built.

Shocked by who he has become, he vows to leave the criminal world behind and start a new life. But the past has a way of catching up. Finally, he gambles everything on one last desperate attempt to break free.

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Set in Glasgow in the 1970s, this story’s ethos is gritty and full of moral dilemmas. Michael is a hard worker and he wants to succeed, but his efforts are overlooked, and soon he uses his powerful intelligence to become successful in a less orthodox way.

Like the author’s previous book set in 1970s Glasgow and London, Love’s Long Road, this story has excellent characters, a clever plot and you constantly question Michael’s choices, there are so many grey areas,

The pacing is fast, and there is a good balance of action, dialogue and introspection. The setting once again steals the show for me, it encompasses the desperation of the 1970s, a time of high unemployment, and the demise of British industry like coal, shipbuilding and steel. When for many crime was the only way out of poverty.

A good, thought-provoking thriller.

#SilentMoney #Blogtour

I was placed third in the 2015 Lightship Prize for first-time authors, won a 2016 Wishing Shelf Award Red Ribbon, been shortlisted at the UK Festival of Writing for Best First Chapter, longlisted in the 2017 UK Novel Writing Competition.

In 2017, I was one of twelve authors selected for Authors in the Spotlight at the Bloody Scotland book festival in Stirling, showcasing who they considered to be the best emerging talent in crime fiction, and was the only self-published author to be chosen. I have spoken at numerous other book events, including Blackwells’ Writers at the Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; a stand-alone slot at the Byres Road Book Festival in Glasgow, and the Aye Write! Book Festival, also in Glasgow.

I went to Glasgow University in 1975 and lived in the city’s West End, the time and place for the setting of the majority of Love’s Long Road.


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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Noir, Psychological Thriller, Thriller

Love’s Long Road G.D.Harper 4*#Review @harper_author @rararesources #Thriller #PsychologicalThriller #noir #crime #Glasgow #1970s #Guilt

Glasgow, 1975. How do you cope when your boyfriend kills himself because of you?

WhenBobbie Sinclair’s boyfriend commits suicide and blames her, she vows never to love again. Instead, she chooses to lead a double existence, kind-hearted by day and promiscuous by night. She increasingly struggles to maintain the balance between light and dark and soon finds herself sucked into the world of a controlling and ruthless crime lord from which she must escape.

Set against a vibrant but seedy 1970s Glasgow backdrop, Love’s Long Road plots Bobbie’s desperate plight. Starting a new life but constantly afraid of her past catching up with her, she battles danger, adversity and drug addiction on the long and perilous road back to love.

Love’s Long Road is about dealing with the guilt of terrible events in your past and the risk of being corrupted by the world around you; it is a story that captures to perfection what it was like to be young and single in the 1970s. 

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Whilst this type of story is not new, it is given a unique interpretation by the author, told from Bobbie’s point of view in the first person. The reader sees the world, and the decisions she makes, through her eyes. This gives this story undeniable originality.

Bobbie is a young, naive woman, riddled with guilt when her boyfriend who she recently broke up with kills himself. She attends his funeral out of respect but feels so responsible for his death that she feels she shouldn’t be there.

What follows, is a painful journey of self-recrimination and ultimately, self-awareness. Her indiscriminate one-night stands, lead her a dangerous path, where she meets Michael, he is dangerous, but she is too naive to appreciate this until her life is irrecoverably altered.

The pacing is fast, and the story follows Bobbie’s experiences as she tries to build a new life, there are sacrifices and victories, but constant running, until a final twist, means running is not an option. At this moral crossroads, Bobbie has to decide what to do, and it here the reader witnesses her character’s maturity and you want her life to be something worthwhile.

The setting is Glasgow and London in the mid to late 1970s, the culture and ethos of the period are faithfully recreated, and gives the story its authenticity and depth.

Overall this is a well-paced journey of self-discovery, with many intense and suspenseful moments and a believable, yet hopeful conclusion,

#LovesLongRoad

I was placed third in the 2015 Lightship Prize for first-time authors, won a 2016 Wishing Shelf Award Red Ribbon, been shortlisted at the UK Festival of Writing for Best First Chapter, longlisted in the 2017 UK Novel Writing Competition.

In 2017, I was one of twelve authors selected for Authors in the Spotlight at the Bloody Scotland book festival in Stirling, showcasing who they considered to be the best emerging talent in crime fiction, and was the only self-published author to be chosen. I have spoken at numerous other book events, including Blackwells’ Writers at the Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; a stand-alone slot at the Byres Road Book Festival in Glasgow, and the Aye Write! Book Festival, also in Glasgow.

I went to Glasgow University in 1975 and lived in the city’s West End, the time and place for the setting of the majority of Love’s Long Road.


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Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, Mystery

4* #Review The First Time Lauren Pailing Died – Alyson Rudd @HQStories @allyrudd_times #LiteraryFiction #timeslip #love #grief #family #friends #mystery

Lauren Pailing is born in the sixties and a child of the seventies. She is thirteen years old the first time she dies.

Lauren Pailing is a teenager in the eighties, becomes a Londoner in the nineties. And each time she dies, new lives begin for the people who loved her – while Lauren enters a brand new life, too.

But in each of Lauren’s lives, a man called Peter Stanning disappears. And, in each of her lives, Lauren sets out to find him.

And so it is that every ending is also a beginning. And so it is that, with each new beginning, Peter Stanning inches closer to finally being found…

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I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story may not appeal to everyone. You have to be willing to accept the concept of parallel lives that exist but only come to your notice, if you act in a certain way. Lauren Paling as a young girl, sees snapshots of her other possible lives, she learns not to share these insights with others who don’t understand, but then she dies and the emotional rollercoaster journey begins.

In each life she is different, and although surrounded by those who love her, they may relate to her, in different ways. The stories explore, love friendship, relationships loss and grief in a poignant way.

Lauren is searching for a mystery man in each life, without knowing his significance to her, if any. This is a story that can be read more than once, and perhaps needs to be, to fully grasp everything it is about, but that might just be me?

The historical scene-setting is well done, I grew up in this time frame, and I enjoyed the mid to late 20th Century references. Each life has subtle differences to authenticate it to Lauren, as part of her struggles to accept her new present and forget what has gone before.

The plot is detailed and the characters are likeable and believable, despite the extraordinariness of the storyline. This has a uniqueness, because of its emotional content and characterisation, even though the parallel lives concept is often used in science- fiction literature.

If you enjoy variety in your reading and enjoy a lovely, out worldly story this is for you.

Posted in Book Review

3* Review: City on Fire – Garth Risk Hallberg

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Mystery Thriller Blurb

It’s New Year’s Eve, 1976, and New York is a city on the edge. As midnight approaches, a blizzard sets in – and an unmistakable sound rings out across Central Park. Gunshots. Two of them.

The search for the shooter will bring together a rich cast of New Yorkers. From the reluctant heirs to one of the city’s greatest fortunes, to a couple of Long Island kids drawn to the nascent punk scene downtown. From the newly arrived and enchanted, to those so sick of the city they want to burn it to the ground. All these lives are connected to one another – and to the life that still clings to that body in the park. Whether they know it or not, they are bound up in the same story – a story where history and revolution, love and art, crime and conspiracy are all packed into a single shell, ready to explode.

Then, on July 13th, 1977, the lights go out in New York City.

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Mystery Thriller My Review

City on Fire

The characters, setting and plot of this story are engaging; unfortunately it is too long for these positives to retain their impact. This book may appeal to the ‘one book a year reader’ but not someone, who reads for escapism and variety.
I really wanted to like this book, as I grew up in the seventies. I love reading about different reactions and actions to a memorable incident but there were so many superfluous details in this story, the ethos and vintage quality of it got lost.

Reviewing a book is a subjective thing and once again the opinions of those who influence book purchases, are not necessarily those of the readers who buy the books, on their recommendation.
I received a copy of this book from Vintage, Penguin Random House Jonathan Cape via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg

Garth Risk Hallberg

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

4* Review: The Girl Who Lived By The River -Part 4 – Mark Daydy

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Winter Blurb

It’s 1978. Will Tom’s chances of finally taking his relationship with Claire to the ultimate levels of ecstasy be affected by her being in a different country? What exactly is Tom’s musical destiny? And is he the man to finally sort out his mixed-up family?

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Winter My Review

The Girl Who Lived By The River: Part FourThe final part of ‘The Girl Who Lived by the River’ takes place in 1978.
Tom, now eighteen realises what it means to be an adult and starts to reassess his teenage aspirations and dreams. His on/off relationship with Claire is ongoing but with the release of her group’s first single, the chance she will want what Tom has to offer her seems remote.
Tom’s reactions to the political and industrial unrest of this time show how he has matured from the beginning of the book.
The final instalment of Tom’s teenage angst reveals the secrets of the family mystery and answers the question of when he will lose his virginity. There are certainly a few surprises along the way.
If you enjoy ‘retro’, I recommend this book, which captures the late seventies perfectly and introduces the reader to realistic, memorable characters. This is an enjoyable read.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

 

The Girl Who Lived By The River: Part Four by Mark Daydy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Girl Who Lived By The River Part Four by Mark Daydy

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4* Review: The Girl Who Lived By The River – Mark Daydy

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Poppy - Blurb
If you’ve ever experienced the joys and agonies of growing up (well, who hasn’t!) – then travel back to 1975 and meet Tom Alder whose life would be just perfect if only he had a girlfriend, some guitar skills and a family without quite so many skeletons in the closet.
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Flowers - My Review

The Girl Who Lived By The River: Part One Part one, of this four part serial takes you back to the 1970’s. The intermittent decade in the UK between the swinging sixties and the affluent eighties. Epitomised by industrial decline, trade unions, bad fashion and music. I was a teenager in the seventies and this story captures the decade of austerity, glam rock and disco perfectly. A story of first love and teenage aspirations, set in London’s docklands, before it became a fashionable place to live. This gentle, humorous story will draw you into Tom’s world.

Tom has never had a girlfriend but he aims to put that right, before his rapidly approaching sixteenth birthday. Tom is a likeable character and typical of a teenage boy in the seventies, before the internet, sophisticated computer games and musical downloads. Tom, like so many young boys wants to be a rock star, the gateway to fame, riches and women. The first part of this, often poignant serial explores his tentative steps towards forming a band and finding himself a girlfriend.

Through Tom’s school friends and foe, you meet lots of interesting, realistic characters and experience the camaraderie and difficulties of living in the London’s East End; at a time when the docks were in decline and unemployment out of control. A curious mix of new adult and romantic comedy this introduction to Tom’s life is easy to read and addictive. I can’t wait to see what 1976 brings for Tom, in part two.

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

The Girl Who Lived By The River: Part One by Mark Daydy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Girl Who Lived By The River Part One by Mark Daydy

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