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Archive for the ‘4 Star Books’ Category

Blood

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Blood by Maggie Gee

Who attacked Dad?

When a corrupt, brutal dentist, Albert Ludd, is found battered and bloody after failing to attend a memorial party for his youngest son, suspicion falls on the dentist’s other children. Especially on Dad’s middle daughter, 37-year-old buxom bruiser Monica Ludd, who was heard ‘uttering threats’ against her absent father. How come her car is found outside Dad’s house? Why did she buy a large axe? And yet, Monica’s a deputy head teacher… Blood is a Gothic black comedy seen through the eyes of six-foot Monica, who cannot help speaking her secret thoughts aloud and who has been banned by the principal of her school, from using social media. ‘”Parents are sensitive to abuse.” “Neil, I would never abuse our parents.” “Governors queried ‘moron’ and ‘twat’.” ‘ Set in an angry, anarchic, Brexit-ing Britain where terrorism has become routine, Blood also asks serious questions about modern life: what can we do with the brutal men who bully women and the weak? Can we wait for a world of order and justice? If we hit back, can the circle of violence ever be broken?

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About the Author

Maggie Gee is an English novelist. She was born in Poole, Dorset, then moved to the Midlands and later to Sussex. She was educated at state schools and at Oxford University (MA, B Litt). She later worked in publishing and then had a research post at Wolverhampton Polytechnic where she completed the department’s first PhD. She has written eleven novels and a collection of short stories, and was the first female Chair of the Royal Society of Literature, 2004-2008. She is now one of the Vice-Presidents of the RSL and Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. She has also served on the Society of Authors’ management committee and the government’s Public Lending Right committee. Her seventh novel, The White Family, was shortlisted for the 2003 Orange Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

She writes in a broadly modernist tradition, in that her books have a strong overall sense of pattern and meaning, but her writing is characterised by political and social awareness. She turns a satirical eye on contemporary society but is affectionate towards her characters and has an unironised sense of the beauty of the natural world. Her human beings are biological as well as social creatures, partly because of the influence of science and in particular evolutionary biology on her thinking. Where are The Snows, The Ice People and The Flood have all dealt with the near or distant future. She writes through male characters as often as she does through female characters.

The individual human concerns that her stories address include the difficulties of resolving the conflict between total unselfishness, which often leads to secret unhappiness and resentment against the beneficiaries, and selfishness, which can lead to the unhappiness of others, particularly of children. This is a typical quandary of late-20th and early-21st-century women, but it is also a concern for privileged, wealthy, long-lived western human beings as a whole, and widens into global concerns about wealth and poverty and climate change. Her books also explore how the human species relates to non-human animals and to the natural world as a whole. Two of her books, The White Family and My Cleaner, have had racism as a central theme, dealt with as a tragedy in The White Family but as a comedy in My Cleaner. She is currently writing a memoir called My Animal Life. In 2009 she published “My Driver”, a second novel with many of the same characters as My Cleaner, but this time set in Uganda during a time of tension with neighbouring DRC Congo.

Maggie Gee lives in London with her husband, the writer and broadcaster Nicholas Rankin, an author, and their daughter Rosa.

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My Review

4 Stars

Albert Ludd is a dentist that has terrorized his children. This middle daughter, Monica, believes that he pushed his youngest son into the military which killed him. Monica doesn’t know what she is going to do to her abusive father for sure but she buys and ax and heads over to his house. But before she can decide what she is going to do she discovers her father dead in bed. But she hears police sirens and runs and leaves her car and the ax behind. Now Monica is the prime suspect and it’s going to be up to her to find the killer.

Monica grew up in hell as her father abused her and her siblings. I was surprised that the kids turned out as well as they did. I could relate to Monica and her siblings and my heart went out to them. I came to like big and loud Monica and wanted the best for her. As we dance around discovering who killed Albert we also have the political upheaval of Brexit-ing and the terrorism which seems to mirror the drama closer to home.

This was an interesting and dark read, very bloody. But the ending wraps up nicely and left me wanting to read more from author Maggie Gee.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank MZPR for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Storytellers

Storytellers by Bjorn Larssen

In March 1920 Icelandic days are short and cold, but the nights are long. For most, on those nights, funny, sad, and dramatic stories are told around the fire. But there is nothing dramatic about Gunnar, a hermit blacksmith who barely manages to make ends meet. He knows nobody will remember him – they already don’t. All he wants is peace, the company of his animals, and a steady supply of his medication. Sometimes he wonders what it would feel like to have a story of his own. He’s about to find out.

Sigurd – a man with a plan, a broken ankle, and shocking amounts of money – won’t talk about himself, but is happy to tell a story that just might get Gunnar killed. The blacksmith’s other “friends” are just as eager to write him into stories of their own – from Brynhildur who wants to fix Gunnar, then marry him, his doctor who is on the precipice of calling for an intervention, The Conservative Women of Iceland who want to rehabilitate Gunnar’s “heathen ways” – even the wretched elf has plans for the blacksmith.

As his defenses begin to crumble, Gunnar decides that perhaps his life is due for a change – on his own terms. But can he avoid the endings others have in mind for him, and forge his own?

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About the Author

Bjørn Larssen was made in Poland. He is mostly located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, except for his heart which he lost in Iceland. Born in 1977, he self-published his first graphic novel at the age of seven in a limited edition of one. Since then his short stories and essays were published in Rita Baum Art Magazine, Writer Unboxed, Inaczej Magazine), Edurada.pl, Homiki.pl, and Holandia Expat Magazine. He is a member of Alliance of Independent Authors and Writer Unboxed.

Bjørn has a Master of Science degree in mathematics, worked as a graphic designer, a model, and a blacksmith. He used to speak eight languages (currently down to two and a half). His hobbies include sitting by open fires, dressing like an extra from Vikings, installing operating systems, and dreaming about living in a log cabin in the north of Iceland, even though he hates being cold. He has only met an elf once. So far.

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My Review

4 Stars

Gunnar is a drunken, depressed blacksmith in 1920’s Iceland. Then one night a man comes to his house with a broken ankle, Sigurd. Gunnar reluctantly lets him stay. Sigurd doesn’t really say much about himself but every night when Gunnar comes home Sigurd weaves this captivating tale that has Gunner hurrying home.

Out in the village of Klettafjordur, Gunnar’s neighbors have their own secrets and plans for him. Brynhildur wants to marry him but this is more than simple infatuation. Then there is the Conservative Women of Iceland that want to stop his heathen ways.

This was an interesting story. Although Gunner is a grumpy old jerk the more you are around him you kind of understand why. This is a brutally honest look at depression with everything Gunner feels and I hoped that he would find that one thing that would help him.

Sigurd is suspicious from the beginning but I think that is just me, I always think there is something going on with the strangers. I loved the ending with how everything came together yet left you wondering about other things.

This is a great read and first book from author Bjorn Larssen. I love all the details that went into this story. It’s definitely worth checking out. I can’t wait to see where Bjorn Larssen goes with his next book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

Giveaway to Win 5 x copies of “Iceland: Making Memories” (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Grey Skies

Grey Skies
by William Becker
Genre: Horror
Roman Toguri finds himself burying the body of a nun in Boone, North
Carolina. As the skies darken and it begins to storm, he is forced to
shove the corpse into his trunk and take it home for the night,
unaware of the torment that playing God will bestow upon him.
Enter Hell with two bonus short stories: The White Shade, an ultra-violent
look into the mind of a mass shooter, and The Black Box, a
psychedelic dive into weird horror.
William Becker is an 18-year-old horror author with a mind for weirder sides
of the universe. With an emphasis on complex and layered storylines
that tug harshly on the reader to search for deeper meanings in the
vein of Silent Hill and David Lynch, Becker is a force to be reckoned
within the horror world. His works are constantly unfathomable,
throwing terror into places never before seen, while also providing
compelling storylines that transcend the predictable jumpscares of
the popular modern horror.
His first novel, WEEPING OF THE CAVERNS, was written when he was 14.
After eight months of writing, editing, and revising, the story
arrived soon after his 15th birthday. During the writing sessions for
his debut novel, he also wrote an ultra-controversial short story
known as THE WHITE SHADE that focused on the horrors of a shooting.
Living in a modern climate, it was impossible for THE WHITE SHADE to
see the light of day. Following a psychedelic stint that consisted of
bingeing David Lynch movies, weird art, and considering the depth of
the allegory of the cave wall, he returned to writing with a second
story, THE BLACK BOX, and soon after, his second novel, GREY SKIES.
My Review
4 Stars

Roman Toguri is getting ready to bury a nun when it starts to rain and he stashes her in his trunk and goes home. But when he gets home things go weird and to the next level. We follow along with Roman as he has delusions, or visions, or memories. All are gory and messed up but as you follow along with him you wonder what really happened to him.

I was instantly hooked from the beginning and wanted to know what Roman was doing with a dead nun. Then the story took a dark and very twisted turn as we learn about his past and around to his present situation. There is all kinds of brutal and dark things that are happening that made me wonder about Roman and how much of this was just his addled mind.

But when you get to the end, I was blown away. Everything was a shattered mirror that came together. There are several puzzles throughout the story, unfortunately I’m not really good at solving them but I have the feeling if you did they would add another dimension to this already off the wall story.

William Becker is a wonderful author that has caught my attention. There are two short stories afterwards that are great and have me curious about his other story Weeping of the Caverns. He is definitely someone to keep an eye out for.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
Enter for your chance to win $20 Amazon – 1 winner or Grey Skies Poster – 3 winners
I would like to thank Silver Dagger Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Silent Sea Chronicles

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The Lost Sentinel (Book 1)

The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel.

The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.

Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains she must leave her old life behind.
On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.
Struggling with self doubt, Tei joins the exiles search for the new Sentinel who is the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.

Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache and sacrifice for the exiles to succeed in their quest, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic?

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My Review

4 Stars

We start this story on the island of Kalaya, which is an island that is slowly dying. There a group of people called the Assembly has the rule of the land and enforces that any magic user needs to be killed since they are the ones killing the land. We meet Tei, a tailor’s daughter that has magic and has been using it since she was young.

One day her magic is discovered and her and her father must go on the run to the mountains where the exiles live, other magic users. But the trip is perilous and they are attacked. She is told by her father that the Sentinel, who can restore the land and magic, needs to be found.

At the same times we also follow a young man that takes his father’s place on the Assembly. He has a secret, a young woman on his farm uses magic and he wants to keep her safe no matter what the cost. We also follow a young man from the island of Stone Haven, a brutal place where people rely on raiding to survive. A young commander finds himself draw into war with Kalaya and the magic users.

There is a lot going on in this book besides just the world building. I loved this world and how it was written without a huge info dump. I loved the concept of twisting people’s beliefs of magic users into fear to control. I felt for Tei and her father and was saddened by her loss. But Tei has a lot to accomplish to find the new Sentinel.

Although it was nice to see the world from other’s eyes I think this drew away from Tei’s story. I wanted to see more of her growth in this world. But it does show that there is so much more happening than just the exiles and the rest of the population.

I think this is a great start to a new series. I am very curious to see what happens in the next book and recommend anyone that likes fantasy stories to check this book out.

 

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The Sentinel’s Reign (Book 2)

The Sentinel’s reign is doomed to failure unless Tei can prevent the Kalayan people from plunging into war.

With the new Sentinel initiated and the magic restored on Kalaya, life is flourishing for Tei and the exiles. But Rathnor’s plans for war soon escalate and thwart any chance of peace.

Brogan’s position on the Assembly is uncertain as rumours circulate that he is an exile spy.

After an attempt on his life, Farrell is more determined than ever to build a home for his people on Stone Haven. But the council have their sights set on Kalaya and Farrell struggles to steer them from war.

As trouble brews within and outside forces gather against them, can the exiles keep their hold on the magic, or will this spell the end of Kalaya and its people?

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My Review

4 Stars

Although the Sentinel has been found and magic restored to Kalaya, things are not as great as they first appear. Prejudice and mistrust run deep and not everyone is accepting of those that use magic. There are those that are still planning on a war and won’t be swayed from their goals. Then you have the young man that is still trying to keep his own home going but will he be able to keep war from happening?

Let me start by saying that I recommend reading these books in order. You hop right into the story and will miss some stuff without reading book one. I loved coming back to this world. Things seem to be going better but not perfect. There are still those that hate the exiles and want to end them. You have relationships breaking and rebuilding stronger. And you have those dealing with loss and what to do with their futures.

I really like how those raveled frayed endings from the first book are wrapped together and some of my questions answered. We find an end to one conflict but so many more waiting to strike in the shadows. But I really liked finding out where Rathnor’s hatred for the exiles comes from.

This is a great series and one that any fantasy lover will enjoy. Now I can’t wait to read the last book, Sentinel’s Alliance to see how this finally ends.

I received a complimentary copy of both of these book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review for both books.

For the duration of the blog tour all books in the Silent Sea Chronicles series are $.99.

Author Bio

Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

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Breaking News….

The Sentinel’s Alliance, book 3 of Silent Sea Chronicles is now available on pre-order.

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Can new alliances save the islands of the Silent Sea from the murderers stalking their shores?

As the island of Kalaya and its people recover from civil war, a new threat surfaces. Invaders from the island of Elkena hunt the seas, butchering those who possess magic. Their scar-faced captain seeks the Fire Mage who it has been foretold will kill him and Tei and her people are in his warpath.

Tei and a band of Kalayans travel to Stone Haven, the home of their new allies, planning to restore magic to the dead island. But the Stone Haven Council have abhorred magic since their people were massacred by Elkenan invaders twenty years before. Commander Farrell must persuade his people to accept magic again, but his plans expose them to their biggest fear and he risks leading Tei and her people into danger, and jeopardising the safety of both their islands.

Under Farrell’s guidance treaties are forged, but is the newly formed Silent Sea Alliance enough to defeat the invaders and stop their bloodthirsty quest to destroy magic forever?

The Sentinel’s Alliance is the final book in the Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy.

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I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to read and share these books.

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His Guilty Secret

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His Guilty Secret by Helene Fermont

Secrets & Lies Are Dangerous.

When Jacques’s body is discovered in a hotel room his wife, Patricia, suspects he has been hiding something from her.

Why was he found naked and who is the woman that visited his grave on the day of the funeral? Significantly, who is the unnamed beneficiary Jacques left a large sum of money to in his will and what is the reason her best friend, also Jacques’s sister, Coco, refuses to tell her what he confided to her?

Struggling to find out the truth, Patricia visits Malmö where her twin sister Jasmine lives and is married to her ex boyfriend. But the sisters relationship is toxic and when a family member dies shortly after, an old secret is revealed that shines a light on an event that took place on their tenth birthday.

As one revelation after another is revealed, Patricia is yet to discover her husband’s biggest secret and what ultimately cost him his life.

His Guilty Secret is an unafraid examination of the tangled bonds between siblings, the lengths we go to in protecting our wrongdoings, and the enduring psychological effects this has on the innocent…and the not so innocent.

Hélene Fermont is the author of three books. Because of You and We Never Said Goodbye are also available on Kindle and in print from Amazon.

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Helene Fermont

About the Author

Hélene Fermont writes character-driven psychological crime fiction with a Scandi Noir flavour. Known for her explosive, pacy narrative and storylines, she has published three novels – Because of You, We Never Said Goodbye and His Guilty Secret – and two short story collections – The Love of Her Life and Who’s Sorry Now? Her fourth novel is due for release in the summer of 2019. After 20 years in London, Hélene recently returned to her native Sweden where she finds the unspoiled scenery and tranquillity a therapeutic boost for creativity. Enjoying a successful career as a Psychologist, when she’s not working her ‘day job’, Hélene spends her time writing, with friends and family, or playing with her beloved cat, Teddy.

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My Review

4 Stars

Patricia is shaken when her husband, Jacques is found dead in his hotel room in Paris. Sheis trying to work through his death but something doesn’t feel right to her and she starts asking questions. She eventually learns of Jacques mistress and other secrets. But she is not completely honest either and will have to face demons from her own past.

From the blurb I had an idea where this book was going with the mistress. I didn’t expect where the book really went. I was thinking this might be a murder mystery or such but it really isn’t. It’s more of a look at real life events and how things can affect us for years after the event. Secrets always have a way of coming out.

This is one of those books that makes you think about the little things we do every day. The little secrets we keep, the little things that we over look, and how our relationships are rather complicated. It’s a good read and one I recommend checking out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Book on the Bright Side for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Swann’s Down

Swann's Down by Charles Salzberg Banner

 

Swann’s Down

by Charles Salzberg

on Tour May 1 – June 30, 2019

Synopsis:

Swann's Down by Charles Salzberg

When Henry Swann is asked by his quirky partner, Goldblatt, to find a missing psychic who’s swindled his ex-wife out of a small fortune, he just can’t say no. Although he doesn’t actually expect to get paid, he figures it might give him a chance to finally learn more about his partner’s mysterious past. His search takes him into the controversial, arcane world of psychics, fortune tellers, and charlatans, while raising questions in his own mind about whether or not there is an after-life.

While working his partner’s case, he’s approached by a former employer, attorney Paul Rudder, to track down a missing witness who might be able to provide an alibi for his client, Nicky Diamond, a notorious mob hitman who’s scheduled to go on trial for murder he claims he didn’t commit in a week. Swann’s search for the missing witness, who happens to be the defendant’s girlfriend, takes him from Brooklyn to a small beach town across the Bay from Mobile, Ala. But what does she really know and will she even come back with him to testify for her boyfriend?

Praise for Swann’s Down:

“Psychics, double-crosses, missing persons–Charles Salzberg’s latest Henry Swann book has it all. Swann’s Down is a gritty, no-frills PI novel that brings to mind greats like Reed Farrel Coleman’s Moe Prager and Michael Harvey’s Michael Kelly. Whether this is your first Swann adventure or the latest, you won’t want to miss the brass-knuckle punch that is Swann’s Down. Trust me.” ~ Alex Segura, author of Blackout and Dangerous Ends

“From Manhattan to Coney Island to the steamy shores of Alabama, Charles Salzberg delivers a top-flight mystery with his latest Henry Swann outing. Highly recommended.” ~ Tom Straw, New York Times bestselling author as Richard Castle

Swann’s Down gives readers two intriguing mysteries for the price of one, as skip tracer Henry Swann pursues a woman who might alibi a murderer and a psychic who swindled the ex-wife of Swann’s partner. Shamus Award-nominated Salzberg does a superb job cutting between the two investigations. I kept turning pages to stay with both chases as the suspense increased to the very end. Whatever is going on, Swann is at the center of this story. His wry wit, quotes from authors and philosophers, genius for questioning suspects, and dark past make him a character readers will follow anywhere as he seeks his quarry. This is another thrilling addition to this excellent series. ~ Rich Zahradnik, Lights Out Summer, winner of the 2018 Shamus Award for Best Paperback Private Eye Novel

Henry Swann dives in where others fear to tread in Swann’s Down: Fast. Funny. And Smart. This time out, Swann crosses paths with a psycho hitman, a phony psychic and Swann’s mysterious partner, a disbarred lawyer. Who could ask for more? I hope we’ll see a lot more of Swann in the future and that this isn’t Swann’s swan song. ~ Paul D. Marks, Shamus Award-winning Author of White Heat and Broken Windows.

Book Details:

Genre: Detective/Noir/Mystery Published by: Down & Out Books Publication Date: May 14, 2019 Number of Pages: 300 ISBN: 978-1-64396011-1 Series:Henry Swann Purchase Links: Amazon | BN.com | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

1 The Age of Aquarius

“We’re partners, right?” Nothing good can come from that question when it comes from the mouth of Goldblatt. “I mean, all for one and one for all, am I right?” he quickly added in an attempt, I was sure, to seal the deal. “I think you’re confusing us with the three musketeers. May I point out there are only two of us, and I’m afraid that’s not the only fallacy in your declaration. But you might as well finish what you’ve started.” We were having our weekly Friday lunchtime sit-down to discuss what Goldblatt likes to refer to as “business.” I have another name for it: waste of time. Our venue changes from week to week but the concept is always pretty much the same: a cheap diner-slash-coffee shop somewhere on the island of Manhattan. Today’s eatery of choice (Goldblatt’s choice, my destiny) is the Utopia Diner, on Amsterdam, near 72nd Street. And as for the business we’d just finished discussing, well, to be honest, there never is very much actual business to discuss and today was no exception. At this particular moment in time, we were going through a bit of a dry spell, which always makes me a little nervous because no matter how much I banish it from my mind, the rent is due the first of every month and at least three times a day I seem to develop a hunger that must be quenched. Still, a good fifteen, twenty years away from Social Security, and with precious little dough in the bank–okay, let’s be honest, no dough in the bank–and no 401-K to fall back on, I need to keep working. And, as much as I don’t like to admit it, lately it’s been my “partner,” as he likes to refer to himself, as opposed to my preferred albatross, who’s brought in the bulk of our clients. We’d already finished eating–though technically, Goldblatt never actually finishes eating which means a meal can easily turn into an all-day affair, if I don’t apply the brakes–and we were just waiting for the check to arrive. This is a crucial point of any meal with Goldblatt because it is the opening gambit in what has become our weekly routine of watching the check sit there in no-man’s land somewhere between us until I inevitably give in, pick it up, and pay. Otherwise, I risk one of two things: either we’d be there all afternoon or, worst case scenario, Goldblatt will decide he’s still hungry and threaten to order something else. Neither one of these options is the least bit appealing. “I’ll get right to the point,” he said. Just then, out of the corner of my eye I spotted the waiter, like a white knight, approaching with our check in hand. If I acted quick enough I might be able to get out of there before I can be sucked into something I don’t want to have anything to do with. “That would be nice,” I said, reaching for my wallet. “What is your point?” “I need to hire you.” I was stopped in my tracks before I got my wallet halfway out of my back pocket. “Really? To do what?” “I want you to find someone for me. Well, to be more precise it’s not really for me. It’s for my ex-wife.” Wait a minute! Goldblatt married? Goldblatt with a wife? Goldblatt a husband? This was a new one on me, something I’d never even considered. “You…you’ve been married?” I stammered. Truth is, I never pictured Goldblatt being in any relationship other than with, yes, as irritating as it might be, me. I mean the guy isn’t exactly anyone’s idea of Don Juan, although I suppose in theory there are women who might find him if not attractive in the conventional way at least interesting in a specimen-under-glass way. Or maybe as a project. Women love a project. They love a challenge. They love the idea that they have the opportunity to remake a man in their image. Maybe that was it. But whatever it was, my world was shaken to the core. And what would shake it even more would be to find that he was actually a father, too. But one shock per meal is more than enough, so there was no chance I was going to pursue that line of questioning. “Unfortunately, the answer is yes. More than once, in fact.” “Holy Cow,” I blurted out, channeling the Scooter. “You’re kidding me?” At this point the same bald, squat waiter who seems to serve us in every diner we patronize, reached our table and dropped the check right in front of me. “This is not something a man usually kids about.” “How many times?” He held up three fingers. “Three times! You’ve been married three times?” “Yeah.” I gulped. “Are you married now?” He shook his head. “Nah. I’m kinda between wives. Giving it a rest, if you know what I mean. But chances are I’ll be back in the saddle again soon enough.” “Okay, so let me get this straight. You’ve been married three times and now you’re single but you would consider getting married again?” “Man is not meant to be alone, Swannie. You might consider the possibility that your life would be enriched if you found your soulmate.” You’re fortunate if you find one soul mate in life and I’d already had mine. She was yanked from my life as a result of a freak accident, a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn’t know if Goldblatt knew the circumstances of her bizarre accidental death, but I wouldn’t have been surprised because he seems to know a lot of things he has no business knowing. “Some men are meant to be alone, Goldblatt. I’m one of them and after three failed marriages maybe you should consider the possibility you are, too.” He smiled and puffed out his chest. “What can I say, Swann? I’m a friggin’ babe magnet.” I would have laughed, should have laughed, but I was still processing the scary fact that he’d been married three times. That meant there were three women in the world who not only were willing to marry him but did marry him. I wanted to know more. Much more. Everything, in fact. But this was not the time and certainly not the place to delve into Goldblatt’s mysterious, sordid past. Nevertheless, I promised myself I would revisit this topic in the not too distant future. Still in shock, I avoided our weekly “who’s paying for this meal” tango, grabbed the check and reached for my wallet…again. “So, wanna know the story?” he asked. “Which story would that be?” “The story of why I want to hire you?” “Desperately.” *** Excerpt from Swann’s Down by Charles Salzberg. Copyright 2019 by Charles Salzberg. Reproduced with permission from Charles Salzberg. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Charles Salzberg Charles Salzberg is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in New York magazine, Esquire, GQ, Redbook, The New York Times Book Review and other periodicals. He has written over 20 non-fiction books, including From Set Shot to Slam Dunk, an oral history of the NBA, and Soupy Sez: My Zany Life and Times. He is author of the Shamus Award nominated Swann’s Last Song, Swann Dives In, Swann’s Lake of Despair, nominated for two Silver Falchions, Swann’s Way Out, Devil in the Hole, named one of the best crime novels of the year by Suspense Magazine. He was a Visiting Professor of Magazine at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and he teaches writing the New York Writers Workshop where he is a Founding Member. He is a member of the MWA-NY Board.

Catch Up With Charles Salzberg On: Charlessalzberg.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

My Review

4 stars

Henry Swann has been asked by his partner Goldblatt to look into a psychic that swindled his ex-wife out of her inheritance. Although not expecting much except information on Goldblatt Henry heads out to an abandoned hotel on Coney Island for information about this fake and finds himself into the world of the occult.

At the same time, attorney Paul Rudder asks Henry to hunt down a witness for a mob hitman. It seems the hitman is claiming that he didn’t kill the person and his girlfriend would prove him right, if they can find the girl. So off to Fairhope, Alabama as Henry begins his hunt for the missing witness.

I didn’t realize that this was the fifth book in the series. I easily figured out most of what is going on but I’m still curious about Henry and Goldblatt’s relationship. I noticed that this story doesn’t have they typical intense action scenes that a lot of stories do but that is not a bad thing. It has an amazing story that keeps you reading to see what trouble Henry is going to get himself into next.

I do love the snarky outlook and witty comebacks that you read along this journey, I really made the story feel real to me. I love when the main characters can laugh at themselves and the situations they find themselves in. I think this is a great read and I do want to catch up on the first four books of this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Charles Salzberg. There will be 6 giveaway winners. There will be 1 Grand Prize winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. There will be five (5) 2nd Prize winners of one (1) Print Edition of Swann’s Down (U.S. Mailing Addresses only). The giveaway begins on May 1, 2019 and runs through July 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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The Poison Thread

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The Poison Thread by Laura Purcell

A thrilling Victorian gothic horror tale about a young seamstress who claims her needle and thread have the power to kill

Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy, and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor, and awaiting trial for murder.

When Dorothea’s charitable work brings her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted by the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person’s skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets one of the prisoners, the teenaged seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another strange idea: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread–because Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.

The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations–of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses–will shake Dorothea’s belief in rationality, and the power of redemption. Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer? The Poison Thread is a spine-tingling, sinister read about the evil that lurks behind the facade of innocence.

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Laura  Purcell

About the Author

Laura Purcell is a former bookseller and lives in Colchester with her husband and pet guinea pigs.

Her first novel for Raven Books THE SILENT COMPANIONS won the WHSmith Thumping Good Read Award 2018 and featured in both the Zoe Ball and Radio 2 Book Clubs. Other Gothic novels include THE CORSET (THE POISON THREAD in USA), BONE CHINA and THE SHAPE OF DARKNESS (2020)

Laura’s historical fiction about the Hanoverian monarchs, QUEEN OF BEDLAM and MISTRESS OF THE COURT, was published by Myrmidon.

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My Review

4 Stars

This is the story of two women from opposite social standings. Dorothea Truelove is a good girl but unmarried at 25 with a passion for phrenology. She finds herself at the newly constructed Oakgate Prison where she is studying murders for the phrenology and comes across a sixteen year old girl that believes her sewing holds a supernatural power.

Ruth Butterham grew up rough and has faces may hardships in her short life. Her mother came from status but gave it up for the love of an artist. Times were rough and hard and when it was discovered that Ruth was a better embroider than her mother she was put to work to feed the family.

I really enjoyed The Silent Companions and was excited to see what Laura Purcell would come up with next. This is a great study in the differences between social classes. Dorothea, Dotty, seems to have it all and can do as she pleases when it comes to her life. Sadly her hardest decision is should she marry the man her father approves of or the policeman she loves and loose her social standing.

Ruth on the other hand has had to struggle to survive from an early age with numerous hardships. This part broke my heart seeing the things she had to endure in her young life. But I found it interesting how she believes her sewing is related to the murders. I didn’t realize that there was so much superstitious beliefs about sewing and added another dimension to this story.

I think this is a great read with a surprising ending. There were some parts that the narration took over but this is a gothic story. There were other parts where the people in the story got a bit over whelming and distracting too. But overall I really enjoyed this book and recommend those that like gothic thrillers check it out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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