I post book reviews as often as possible but at least once a week every Wednesday! I hope they help you to find some new books that you'll love as much as I did!
Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea! Thanks so much to Jenny for organising the tour. And don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops!
Jón Eiríksson buried one wife this year. How long before he buries a second?
AN ISOLATED, WINDSWEPT LAND
HAUNTED BY WITCH TRIALS AND STEEPED IN THE ANCIENT SAGAS.
Betrothed unexpectedly to Jón Eiríksson, Rósa is sent to join her new husband in the remote village of Stykkishólmur. Here, the villagers are wary of outsiders.
But Rósa harbours her own suspicions. Her husband buried his first wife alone in the dead of night. He will not talk of it. Instead he gives her a small glass figurine. She does not know what it signifies.
The villagers mistrust them both. Dark threats are whispered. There is an evil here - Rósa can feel it. Is it her husband, the villagers - or the land itself?
Alone and far from home, Rósa sees the darkness coming. She fears she will be its next victim . . .
The Glass Woman is quite simply an absolutely stunning read.
Despite the beautiful cover, it’s probably not the kind of book I would usually be drawn to straight away, as I tend to choose something in a more contemporary setting, but when I got invited to the blog tour and I read the synopsis I thought it looked brilliant - and gosh was I right or what!
By the opening few pages, Lea had ensured that I wouldn’t be putting The Glass Woman down any time soon, by instantly drawing me into the extremely atmospheric setting she created. I have no personal experience of Iceland but I could picture every detail.
I remained completely engrossed for the entirety of my train journey, and even managed to ignore someone’s music playing loudly through their headphones!
I finished the book in just 2 days and its grip on me didn’t falter once. It’s really well paced and expertly creates intrigue and a growing sense of foreboding as the story progresses.
The characters are unique and fascinating to read. All of them are well-developed and explored, allowing me to feel really strongly what they were all experiencing - especially Rósa.
The ending is beautiful, moving and absolutely brilliant. It’s so well written and felt really right.
Overall, I’m giving The Glass Woman 4.5 out of 5. It’s dark, emotive and compelling. A beautifully written and thoroughly enjoyable read.
*Just a brief word of warning to those who are slightly squeamish, the later parts of the book can be a little graphic in places, so do be prepared for that. It’s definitely bearable and worthwhile though, so please don’t let that stop you reading it!*
This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review.
The above is an affiliate link.
About the Author
Caroline Lea grew up in Jersey and gained a First in English Literature and Creative Writing from Warwick University, where she now teaches writing. Her fiction and poetry have been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize.
Today is my stop on the blog tour for Tell Me a Secret by Jane Fallon! Thanks so much to Jenny for organising the tour and don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops!
Best friends Holly and Roz tell each other everything.
So when Holly gets a shot at her dream job after putting everything on hold to raise her daughter, she assumes Roz will be waiting to pop the champagne.
But is she just imagining things or is Roz not quite as happy as she should be?
And now she thinks about it, a few things don't quite add up...
Perhaps it was a mistake to tell Roz all her secrets.
Because it takes two to tango.
But only one to start a war...
Tell Me a Secret is the first book I’ve read by Jane Fallon. Straight away I loved her writing style and found myself adding all of her previous books to my evergrowing to be read list!
I think my favourite part about this read was Holly and Dee’s friendship. I found myself smiling many a time at their exploits and it really brought a lot of warmth to the book.
I felt that there was a good balance of humour and intrigue all the way through. It worked really well, making sure the overall tone was never too dark or too light.
It was a well paced read and there were plenty of twists which kept me turning the pages, but I knew that I was truly hooked when I was reading this book on the train, and we were told the train would be held in the station for at least 30 minutes. Instead of being annoyed at how late it would make me, I was actually delighted and silently celebrated the extra reading time!
It was well worth it too, as the extra time meant I managed to finish the book - I really enjoyed the satisfying and feel-good ending.
Overall, I’m giving Tell Me a Secret 4 out of 5. It’s twisty, compelling and entertaining. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
The above is an affiliate link.
About the Author
Jane Fallon is the multi-award-winning television producer behind shows such as This Life, Teachers and 20 Things to Do Before You're 30. Her Sunday Times bestselling books are Getting Rid of Matthew, Got You Back, Foursome, The Ugly Sister, Skeletons, Strictly Between Us, My Sweet Revenge and Faking Friends. They have sold over a million copies in the UK alone.
Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup! Thanks so much to Jenny for organising the tour! Don’t forget to check out the posts by the other wonderful bloggers taking part too!
THE DEBUT NOVEL FROM THE CREATOR AND WRITER OF THE KILLING
One blustery October morning in a quiet suburb of Copenhagen, the police make a terrible discovery. A young woman is found brutally murdered in a playground and one of her hands is missing. Above her hangs a small doll made of chestnuts.
Ambitious young detective Naia Thulin is assigned the case. Her partner, Mark Hess, is a burned-out investigator who's just been kicked out of Europol. They soon discover a mysterious piece of evidence on the chestnut man - evidence connecting it to a girl who went missing a year earlier and is presumed dead - the daughter of politician Rosa Hartung.
The man who confessed to her murder is behind bars and the case is long since closed.
Soon afterwards, another woman is found murdered, along with another chestnut man. Thulin and Hess suspect that there's a connection between the Hartung case, the murdered women and a killer who is spreading fear throughout the country. But what is it?
Thulin and Hess are racing against the clock, because it's clear that the murderer is on a mission that is far from over . . .
At around 500 pages, The Chestnut Man is definitely one of the longer reads I’ve enjoyed recently, but let me tell you, it is worth every single one of those pages and more. They’re all completely transfixing and the book is absolutely impossible to put down. In fact, the writing is so engrossing that I didn’t want to look away for a second, even whilst I was reading the most gruesome scenes. Although just a warning, the gory scenes are very unsettling and dark so this book isn’t for the faint hearted!
There are lots of twists and the book is well plotted too and while there’s quite a lot going on, everything comes together really, really well.
While I enjoyed the first half of the book very much, it was at about the half-way point where this book really came into its own for me. I felt that the tension intensified even more and I really didn’t see the ending coming.
Overall, I’m giving The Chestnut Man 4.5 out of 5. It’s unsettling, transfixing and impossible to put down. I’m really looking forward to seeing more from Søren Sveistrup in the future!
The Chestnut Man is out tomorrow! (10th January)
This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. The above is an affiliate link.
About the Author
Søren Sveistrup is an internationally acclaimed scriptwriter of the Danish television phenomenon The Killing which won various international awards and sold in more than a hundred countries.
More recently, Sveistrup wrote the screenplay for Jo Nesbø's The Snowman. Sveistrup obtained a Master in Literature and in History from the University of Copenhagen and studied at the Danish Film School. He has won countless prizes, including an Emmy for Nikolaj and Julie and a BAFTA for The Killing.
Today is my stop on the blog tour for Who I Am by Sarah Simpson.
Thanks so much to Vicky for organising the tour and don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops!
I know everything about you
And you know everything about me… except
WHO I AM.
Andi met Camilla at university. Instantly best friends, they shared everything together. Until their long-planned graduation celebration ends in tragedy…
Years later, Andi is living a seemingly perfect life on the rugged Cornish Coast with her loving husband, happy children and dream home. Yet Andi is haunted by a secret she thought only she knew. Someone out there is bringing Andi’s deepest fears to life. And she knows there’s no escaping the past that has come back to haunt her…
You trusted me with your secrets, you told me everything, you thought I was your best friend... but you have no idea WHO I AM.
Sarah Simpson sure knows how to write a dark and complex psychological thriller!
The characters are all so well developed and Simpson really gets right to the heart of them on a psychological level. She’s also wonderfully skilled at creating and maintaining intrigue and suspense and left me wanting to read on and on at the end of every chapter. The story is full of twists and turns too, some of which I predicted and others which I most certainly didn’t!
I’d recommend reading this when you can give it your full attention as there are quite a few characters to remember and a lot of detail to take in, but it’s so worth it if you’re willing to give it a bit of extra concentration, as all of the little details subtly contribute to the gradual reveal of what exactly happened in the characters’ pasts.
Overall, I’m giving Who I Am 4 out of 5. It’s twisty, gripping and really keeps you in suspense the whole way through.
Who I am is the first book I’ve read by Sarah Simpson but I’ll definitely be looking out for more by this author!
This e-book was provided free in exchange for an honest review
About the Author
Sarah Simpson has a first-class honours degree in Psychology and has experienced working at a Brain Rehabilitation Hospital. She has spent time as a family consultant for Warwickshire and Oxfordshire solicitors and gained knowledge of the Family Court System. She now lives in Cornwall with her husband, three children and animals.
Twitter handle: @sarahrsimpson
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Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Importance of Being Aisling!
Thanks so much to Olivia for organising the tour and don't forget to check out the rest of the stops!
You can take the small-town girl out of the big city - but can you take the big city out of the girl?
Job. Flat. Boyfriend. Tick. Tick. Tick.
Aisling (seems) to be winning at life. But life has other ideas.
Fired. Homeless. Dumped. Tick. Tick. Tick.
When everything comes crashing down around her, moving back in with her mam seems like a disaster.
But might returning to her roots provide the answers Aisling's looking for?
After reading Oh My God What a Complete Aisling, I absolutely fell in love with the book and the characters, so I was very excited when I heard the next one was coming out, and even more excited to be on the blog tour!
Opening The Importance of Being Aisling was just like seeing an old friend again and I was instantly absorbed right back into Aisling’s world. She’s such a loveable character and this book really cemented her place in my heart.
I don’t think you need to have read the first book to be able to read and enjoy this one, but I really wouldn’t recommend missing OMGWACA, it was a truly wonderful book and even one of my five-star favourites, so if you can, definitely read them both - you can never have too much Aisling!
All of the characters are believable and once again I loved how Irish it was. Reading it, you really do feel as though you’ve taken a trip to Ireland and you almost forget that you’re not there when you stop reading!
I also love how the authors combine laugh out loud funny with touching moments and important messages. It creates a really uplifting take on things and leaves you feeling positive. The only complaint I have is that my face hurts from laughing!
I normally just stick around the crime genre and when I first read OMGWACA I was worried that maybe I wouldn’t enjoy it because of the different genre to what I usually read, but now here I am on the second book in the series shouting about it from the rooftops and wanting to read more and more Aisling. So, what I wanted to highlight, is that I feel like this book is for anyone. It’s so funny and warm that I don’t know how anyone couldn’t love it and I really feel like the Aisling books can be enjoyed whether you usually read their genre or not.
Overall, I’m giving The Importance of Being Aisling 5 out of 5! It’s touching, heart-warming and hilarious. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a feel-good comedy to help them escape from it all.
This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review
About the Authors
Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen conceived the character of Aisling in their sitting room in 2008, when they began to observe the many traits, characteristics and quirks of a very particular type of Irish girl; one they identified around them and one they identified with.
Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling was an instant sensation in their native Ireland and the Number One bestselling adult fiction title of 2017.
Emer McLysaght is the former editor of The Daily Edge and has worked extensively in journalism and radio.
Sarah Breen is a journalist whose work has appeared in Stellar, Image, U, the Irish Independent and The Gloss.
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