See You In September by Charity Norman

see you

Synopsis

Cassy smiled, blew them a kiss.
‘See you in September,’ she said.
It was a throwaway line. Just words uttered casually by a young woman in a hurry. And then she’d gone.

It was supposed to be a short trip – a break in New Zealand before her best friend’s wedding. But when Cassy waved goodbye to her parents, they never dreamed that it would be years before they’d see her again.

Having broken up with her boyfriend, Cassy accepts an invitation to stay in an idyllic farming collective. Overcome by the peace and beauty of the valley and swept up in the charisma of Justin, the community’s leader, Cassy becomes convinced that she has to stay.

As Cassy becomes more and more entrenched in the group’s rituals and beliefs, her frantic parents fight to bring her home – before Justin’s prophesied Last Day can come to pass.

A powerful story of family, faith and finding yourself, See You in September is an unputdownable new novel from this hugely compelling author.

 

 

My Review

The subject of this book intrigued me. Cults are things you watch documentaries about. I’ve always wondered what sort of people are drawn into cults, how do they not realise how controlling and manipulative these groups are?

See you in September captivated me, I adore books which draw you in and leave you wanting more.

Cassy is travelling around New Zealand with her boyfriend Hamish, not long after landing she discovers she’s pregnant, this doesn’t fit in with Hamish’s plans at all. Hamish suggests Cassy has an abortion, this brings the relationship to an abrupt end!  Cassy hitch hikes and is picked up by a mini bus full of the nicest people she’s ever met….or so she thinks.

The story’s beginning lulls you into a false sense of security, to the point where I checked the blurb to see if I had read it right. Gethsemane, the island where the people are from is idyllic, away from the stresses of modern day life, no mobile phones, self sufficiency, the people are kind and caring. The ‘leader’, Justin is hero worshipped but appears enigmatic and charming.

Then alarm bells begin to ring, they persuade Cassy to transfer all of her savings to the Gethesmane community, Justin believes he is God the community believe that Justin is God, sleep is limited, every one who joins the community is given a new name. All contact with family is severed. They brain wash Cassy into believing her Father abused her as a child, and it gets worse.  Slowly more and more secrets unfold and you see the whole picture. I must admit at times I wanted to jump into the book and shake Cassy, make her wake up and smell the coffee!

The book is written between Cassy’s story or Cairo as she is newly known and her Mother, Diana’s story.  You see both sides of the story from the way the cult brainwash Cassy to how her family slowly fall apart.

This is a definite 5* review from me.

I’ve found, to my joy that Charity has also released as an ebook Best Served Cold- An original short story featuring characters from See You in September. Guess whats at the top of my TBR list!!

About the Author

Charity Norman was born in Uganda and brought up in successive draughty vicarages in Yorkshire and Birmingham. After several years’ travel she became a barrister, specialising in crime and family law. In 2002, realising that her three children had barely met her, she took a break from the law and moved with her family to New Zealand. See You in September is Charity’s fifth novel. Find Charity on Facebook at facebook.com/charitynormanauthor and on Twitter

 

Click here to buy See you in September

Click here to buy Best served cold

best served

Thankyou to Lovereading for allowing me to review See you in September.

The Sixth Victim By Tessa Harris

The sixth victim

Synopsis

London’s East End, 1888: When darkness falls, terror begins

The foggy streets of London’s Whitechapel district have become a nocturnal hunting ground for Jack the Ripper, and no woman is safe. Flower girl Constance Piper is not immune to dread, but she is more preoccupied with her own strange experiences of late.

Clairvoyants seem to be everywhere these days. Constance’s mother has found comfort in contacting her late father in a séance. But are such powers real? And could Constance really be possessed of second sight? She longs for the wise counsel of her mentor and champion of the poor, Emily Tindall, but the kind missionary has gone missing.

Following the latest grisly discovery, Constance is contacted by a high-born lady of means who fears the victim may be her missing sister. She implores Constance to use her clairvoyance to help solve the crime, which the press is calling “the Whitechapel Mystery,” attributing the murder to the Ripper.

As Constance becomes embroiled in intrigue far more sinister than she could have imagined, assistance comes in a startling manner that profoundly challenges her assumptions about the nature of reality. She’ll need all the help she can get—because there may be more than one depraved killer out there…

 

My review

I have never really read novels set in this era but the subject of this book intrigued me. I was captivated from the first chapter!

Set in 1888 as Jack the ripper has just begun his reign of terror the story is told from two perspectives, Constance and Emily’s. The story alternates between the two.

Constance is a flower girl and comes from a poor family, she and her sister make money by stealing from the rich, whilst Constance sells the flowers, Flo pickpockets the customers. She lives in Whitechapel, one of the poorest parts of London and the place where the Jack the ripper murders are taking place.

Emily Tindall is from a good background, she is a Sunday school teacher and has taken Constance under her wing, teaching her to read and showing her a life far removed from her own.

The sixth victim is one of those amazing books that pulls you into the pages, I connected with the characters and couldn’t wait to follow the twists and turns of the story. Very early on you find that Emily isn’t quite what you believe. I don’t  want to spoil the book for you, but when you discover the ‘secret’ it makes you see the story in a whole different light.

The book runs alongside the murders of Jack the ripper but they are very much in the background, the main story is Constance’s search for Emily who seems to have gone missing and how her psychic abilities slowly, to her amazement grow. Constance is also approached by a lady from the upper classes who fears her sister has been victim to Jack the ripper. The lady asks for Constance’s help to solve the mystery.

I loved the way the stories entwined and developed, how characters ended up linking.  The way Tessa portrays Emily’s story is beautiful, it is as if Emily is talking to the reader directly, here is a snippet of a piece of Emily’s story hat shows this perfectly;

Constance does sleep, albeit fitfully, so we shall leave her to return to my own story. For now, it is time to take you on a terrifying journey”

This is the first in ‘Constance Piper Mystery’ series, I’m waiting with baited breath for the second installment which Tessa tells me will be out in 2018.

About the Author
Tessa Harris is the author of the acclaimed Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mysteries, including Secrets in the Stones and The Anatomist’s Apprentice. A graduate of Oxford University with a History degree, Tessa has also been a journalist and editor, contributing to many national publications such as The Times and The Telegraph. She has also acted as a literary publicist for several well-known authors. Readers can visit her website at www.tessaharrisauthor.com

Thank you to Tessa harris for allowing me to review The sixth victim.

Click here to buy The Sixth Victim

 

 

Faithless by Kjel Ola Dahl #BlogTour

Faithless cover

Synopsis

Oslo detectives Gunnarstranda and Frølich are back … and this time, it’s personal… When the body of a woman turns up in a dumpster, scalded and wrapped in plastic, Inspector Frank Frølich is shocked to discover that he knows her … and their recent meetings may hold the clue to her murder. As he ponders the tragic events surrounding her death, Frølich’s colleague Gunnarstranda investigates a disturbingly similar cold case involving the murder of a young girl in northern Norway and Frølich is forced to look into his own past to find the answers – and the killer – before he strikes again. Dark, brooding and utterly chilling, Faithless is a breath-taking and atmospheric page-turner that marks the return of an internationally renowned and award-winning series, from one of the fathers of Nordic Noir.


Review

I’m new to Nordic Noir and wasn’t sure if it was my thing, but i did really enjoyed my first taste .

Faithless is a slowly unfolding thriller that ambles along picking up pace in the final chapters.

The two main characters Frølich and Gunnarstranda are true to life. Their investigation techniques are at times very relaxed and they don’t always do things to the book, nor are they always politically correct, but it makes the characters very likeable. In fact the whole book is very relaxed and a real joy to read. The nice thing is that you find out alot of background about the police officers personal lives, i like this in a novel, it makes the characters have alot more depth and enables you to feel as if you know them.

There are 2 cases running alongside each other, a missing student and the murder of a woman who has been left in a dumpster. The case becomes hard for Frølich when he discovers he knows the murder victim .

I really liked the female police officer  Lena who is feisty, smart and sassy. She really shows her worth in the last few chapters. Although the book is quite slow paced it does really pick up speed in the last few chapters and had me on the edge of my seat!

The ending leaves an definite opening for the nest instalment whicch i will definitely be awaiting!

About the Author

Dahl-Kjell-Ola_Foto-Rolf-M-Aagaard

 

One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo.

Thank you to Anne Cater for allowing me to take part in this Blog Tour and also a big thank you to Orenda Books.

Click here to buy Faithless

A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys

Dangerous crossing Synopsis

Sparkling cocktails, poisonous secrets …

1939, Europe on the brink of war. Lily Shepherd leaves England on an ocean liner for Australia, escaping her life of drudgery for new horizons. She is instantly seduced by the world onboard: cocktails, black-tie balls and beautiful sunsets. Suddenly, Lily finds herself mingling with people who would otherwise never give her the time of day.

But soon she realizes her glamorous new friends are not what they seem. The rich and hedonistic Max and Eliza Campbell, mysterious and flirtatious Edward, and fascist George are all running away from tragedy and scandal even greater than her own.

By the time the ship docks, two passengers are dead, war has been declared, and life will never be the same again.

My Review

Where do i start with this fantastic novel! Firstly i love this era so for me it was off to a good start. By the second chapter i was hooked and drawn into the plot.

A Dangerous Crossing has a mix of everything, love, suspense, murder, mystery, as well as being a historic novel. The twist at the end……amazing and totally unexpected, but i’m not going to spoil it for you, instead i urge you to click on the link at the end of this review and read it for yourself, i promise you won’t be disappointed!

 

The first pages start where the story ends, 4th September 1939, Sydney, Australia. A woman is led down the gangplank of a ship which left Tilbury Docks five and a half weeks earlier. She is in handcuffs and fllanked by a policeman either side of her. What is her crime? Why was she on board the ship?

The story centres around Lily Shepherd. It’s 29th July 1939 she is leaving England to create a new life, the government are offering young women who are prepared to go into domestic work in Australia, a free ticket with a promise of  2 years of work. Lily is running away from life in England and the reason why slowly unfolds as you delve deeper into this book.

The other characters all have secrets they are trying to escape, the rich and damaged Max and Eliza Campbell. They are flamboyant, larger than life and not like anybody Lily has ever met or socialised with before. She is warned about the couple many a time but something draws her back to them.

Helena and Edward Fletcher are brother and sister, Edward’s health has been very poor, Helena has given up her life in England to travel to Australia to make a new life where hopefully Edward’s health will improve, but is there more to them than meets the eye?

Running through the story as an under current is the increasing threat of war and the effect it will have on everyone. As well as the divides of class and nationality.

Lily is a strong and very likeable characater. At the beginning of the story she is very naive, as you follow her journey you feel her changing yet still trying to stay true to who she is. The story has a main core of characters who’s individual stories and secrets slowly unfold.

The only down side of A dangerous crossing is it had to end! This book really does give you a taste of everything and has the ability to keep you up far to late ‘just reading one more chapter’

This is a definite 5 star read for me!

I’d like to thank Alison Barrow from Transworld for allowing me to discover this fab book.

Click here to buy A Dangerous Crossing