Mystery at the Old Mill by Clare Chase – review.

Publication date: 7 December, 2020.

Description

When the calm of Saxford St Peter is disrupted by a deadly fire at the Old Mill, amateur sleuth Eve Mallow finds herself investigating a most surprising mystery!

Everyone in Saxford St Peter is desperate to know more about Harry Tennant, the newcomer who owns the Old Mill. He usually keeps himself to himself, but he’s finally invited the villagers round for drinks, and Eve Mallow isn’t the only one looking forward to having some questions answered.

But two days before the party, a terrible fire sweeps through the mill, and Harry is found dead. When Eve passes the burned remains of his beautiful house, she can’t resist the call to investigate. Especially when it turns out quiet, charming Harry was living a double life as the famous advice writer Pippa Longford. Eve has to wonder what revelations were contained in the letters he received… and whether one of them was worth killing for.

Accompanied by her reliable dachshund sidekick Gus, Eve starts digging. She soon realises Harry was at the centre of a web of lives – and lies. There’s an uncle desperate to inherit, two women who thought they were his one and only, not to mention everyone who shared their darkest secrets with him. Was one of those strangers much closer to home than Harry knew? And can Eve untangle the truth before she finds herself face to face with a killer?

A completely charming page-turner, perfect for fans of Faith Martin, Agatha Christie and Betty Rowlands.

About the author

Clare Chase writes classic mysteries. Her aim is to take readers away from it all via some armchair sleuthing in atmospheric locations.

Her debut novel was shortlisted for Novelicious’s Undiscovered Award, as well as an EPIC award post-publication, and was chosen as a Debut of the Month by LoveReading. Murder on the Marshes (Tara Thorpe 1) was shortlisted for an International Thriller Writers award.

Like her heroines, Clare is fascinated by people and what makes them tick. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked in settings as diverse as Littlehey Prison and the University of Cambridge, in her home city. She’s lived everywhere from the house of a lord to a slug-infested flat and finds the mid-terrace she currently occupies a good happy medium.

As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.

My thoughts

I loved ‘Mystery at the Old Mill’. It absolutely oozed charm and then along came a murder of course. The location descriptions were calming and quaint, and if it wasn’t for the danger element, I’d love to live in Saxford St Peter.

I’d like to highly praise amateur detective, Eve Mallow’s sounding board and confidante, Gus the dog. I really enjoyed their conversations and walks as the mystery unfolded. Don’t worry, Gus the dog doesn’t talk back but he is the perfect little short legged partner and I found the descriptions of him adorable.

The opening was intriguing and as gripping as an opening could be. Soon, I was introduced to the main characters of the village through a house tour setting and it really made me feel Christmassy. The scene was well and truly set when the Old Mill, another local residence, is burnt to cinders. That’s when the mystery begins. There is so much more cosy excitement to come after this. This was a real, armchair read. Perfect for this time of the year and definitely one I’d recommend. It’s fun, and surprising at every turn.

The obituary writer day job for Eve was a master stroke, she had the perfect way to enter everyone’s world and investigate the murder. This book is well plotted and the interviews were great to read. There’s plenty of danger and mystery, definitely enough to have kept me reading into the early hours of the morning. Really enjoyable read and the setting – perfect!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mystery-Old-Mill-completely-gripping-ebook/dp/B08CBHCRSG/

Thanks for reading!

Why not check out one of my other reviews? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.

Fog Island by Mariette Lindstein – review. https://griffbuck.wordpress.com/2020/12/04/fog-island-by-mariette-lindstein-review/

Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

https://www.facebook.com/CarlaKovachAuthor/

http://www.carlakovach.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carla-Kovach/e/B00KM50P58

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Fog Island by Mariette Lindstein – review.

Description

Sofia has just finished university and ended a troubled relationship when she attends a lecture about a New Age movement, Via Terra. Its leader is Franz Oswald, young, good-looking, urbane and mesmerizing.

When Sofia meets Franz Oswald, the handsome, charming leader of a mysterious New Age movement, she’s dazzled and intrigued. Visiting his headquarters on Fog Island, Sofia’s struck by the beautiful mansion overlooking the sea, the gardens, the sense of peace and the purposefulness of the people who live there. And she can’t ignore the attraction she feels for Franz.

So she agrees to stay, just for a while. But as summer gives way to winter, and the dense fog from which the island draws its name sets in, it becomes clear that Franz rules the island with an iron fist. No phones or computers are allowed. Contact with the mainland is severed. Electric fences surround the grounds. And Sofia begins to realize how very alone she is and that no one ever leaves Fog Island…

Flowers in the Attic meets The Girls, Fog Island is a gripping combination of fear, sexual tension and lethal fascination.

My thoughts

What a read! I thoroughly enjoyed the journey as I hurried through this book and it was an epic one at that. From the moment Sophia met Frank at a university talk, I had my guard up. Mariette’s writing was so atmospheric, I could feel the density of the fog and I could smell the earth, the woodland and the salty sea.

Setting the story on an island was genius. It not only felt as though everyone was trapped, they were trapped, by water and rocks. The location was a fantastic antagonist in its own right. The whole story develops into something claustrophobic and nail-bitingly tense.

There was a duel timeline going on. The first gave us Sophia in the present and there was a timeline set in the past which was delivered by an unknown narrator. These chapters were short, dark and sinister which propelled the story along at speed.

I loved how all the links came together; the islands past and the people. Then there was a highly exciting run to the end.

The cult theme was definitely captivating and it sent a lot of shivers down my spine. Loved it totally. It’s scary, had my heart racing and really got me thinking! If you’re after a tale of betrayal, cruelty and a lot of OMG moments, this is your book. Brilliant!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fog-Island-terrifying-thriller-modern-day-ebook/dp/B077M48KWK/

Thanks for reading!

Why not check out one of my other reviews? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.

Mine by Casey Kelleher – review. https://griffbuck.wordpress.com/2020/11/29/mine-by-casey-kelleher-review/

Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

https://www.facebook.com/CarlaKovachAuthor/

http://www.carlakovach.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carla-Kovach/e/B00KM50P58

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Mine by Casey Kelleher – review.

Description

Rebecca Dawson lives a life that many women want – married to wealthy, handsome businessman Jamie and new mum to beautiful daughter, Ella, she thinks nothing can burst her bubble. Until a series of sinister events leaves Rebecca convinced that she is being stalked. While her only priority is keeping Ella safe, Rebecca knows that this might be more than coincidence, and fears that her past is back to haunt her. Because somebody knows what she did. They are watching her, tormenting her and soon they are going to make her pay.

While she hides her past, Rebecca finds herself unable to trust anyone, not even her husband, Jamie. Because Jamie is keeping secrets too. Is Jamie gas-lighting Rebecca into thinking she is going mad, in a bid to cover up his own sordid lies? Or is someone more sinister seeking their revenge?

About the author

I was born in Cuckfield, West Sussex, and i grew up as an avid reader.

Whilst working as a beauty therapist and bringing up our three children together with my husband, I penned my debut novel Rotten to the Core. Its success meant that I could give up my day job and concentrate on writing full time. I have since written twelve books. (all listed below)

If you click the yellow ‘follow’ button, Amazon will send you an email when I have a new release, or if there’s a special deal you might be interested in. It’s the best way to make sure you never miss a book! I love connecting with my readers, and there are plenty of ways you can get in touch.

Website: http://www.caseykelleher.co.uk

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officialcaseykelleher

Instagram http://www.instagram.com/caseykelleher

Twitter: @caseykelleher

My thoughts

This is one severely fantastic psychological thriller! It’s literally unputdownable. We have secrets, lies, gaslighting – so much tension. As described in the blurb, Rebecca is the new bride and mother, and I felt her pain as she navigated her way through the first few weeks of motherhood. New baby, new home, new husband – what could go wrong? Everything. I mean, being a new mother is a time in life where a woman can feel at her most emotionally vulnerable. I appreciated the enormity of Rebecca’s situation and her less than supportive husband was upsetting me as the reader.

There are so many spine-tingling, creepy, moments and they don’t stop. Just as I thought it was okay to breathe, I found myself holding my breath again. There’s so much action too and it’s startling, fairly graphic and really propels the story at breakneck speed. In my view, there’s nothing scarier than the thought of losing your sanity, and watching Rebecca suffer through what was happening to her certainly kept me glued to the pages.

It’s a twisty read that had me tricked as I constantly second guessed what was happening. Everyone was under suspicion and I had no idea which of the characters could be trusted.

This is a definite recommend for psychological thriller lovers and it has a mega ending. Make sure you have the day free when you start this novel, it’s definitely a one-sitting-read!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/MINE-Casey-Kelleher-ebook/dp/B082WHHXP2/

Thanks for reading!

Why not check out one of my other reviews? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.

Unfaithful by Natalie Barelli – review. https://griffbuck.wordpress.com/2020/11/27/unfaithful-by-natalie-barelli-review/

Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

https://www.facebook.com/CarlaKovachAuthor/

http://www.carlakovach.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carla-Kovach/e/B00KM50P58

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Unfaithful by Natalie Barelli – review.

Publication date: 27 November, 2020.

Description

“Thank you,” I say sweetly when she tells me I’m lucky to have such a beautiful family. But I want to tell her it’s not just luck. A family is like a fortress you have to defend all the time. You can’t relax because there’s always someone looking for a breach, always someone trying to get in. Someone just like her…

When I arrive unannounced at my husband’s studio in need of a shoulder to cry on after hearing that my best student, Alex, has died, I see a pair of wineglasses drying by the sink and my deepest fear is confirmed: my husband is having an affair.

Most women would fall to their knees in tears and throw him out of the house–but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

Instead, I go home and cook a healthy dinner for our children, walk the dog and unload the dishwasher without complaint. I will make him see that I’m still the woman he married; attractive, successful, the glue that holds our perfect family together. I need this marriage to work to protect a terrible secret of my own, something that would destroy everything I’ve already sacrificed so much for.

But when the police arrive at my door asking questions about Alex’s death that I can’t answer, and threatening text messages start appearing on my phone, I know that someone close has been watching me very carefully.

The truth is, there are three people in my marriage, but only one of them is deadly…

About the author

Natalie Barelli can usually be found reading a book, and that book will more likely than not be a psychological thriller. When not absorbed in the latest gripping page-turner, Natalie loves cooking, enjoys riding her Vespa around town and otherwise spends far too much time at the computer. She lives in Australia, with her family.

My thoughts

‘Unfaithful’ was an intriguing read and packed full of mystery. Anna is far from perfect but I felt that I was on her side from the start even thought I cringed at some of her decisions.

The author does a fantastic job of presenting how downtrodden she was by everyone which made me hope that she would explode. As for her character, I totally enjoyed her being highly intelligent. Being someone who taught university maths and works with PhD students placed her high on the clever scale. It made it all the more disheartening when she was treated badly in the workplace. I felt her disappointment.

I loved how the story then wound around Anna’s suspicions and followed on with the gathering of evidence when it came to her husband’s suspicious behaviour. I also enjoyed how she was trying to juggle all that was happening in her own life. It was great that on the surface, she was always so together but as the reader of her first person POV, I recognised that rumble of thunder that was building up for a mega storm.

There are many tense moments and a few scary moments. There is one particular scene that takes place in a cupboard and that really creeped me out. The explosive ending was set up brilliantly and full of surprises! If you love a fast moving psychological thriller with infidelity at its core, ‘Unfaithful’ is just that! It’s punchy, exciting and knuckle clenching!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unfaithful-unputdownable-absolutely-gripping-psychological-ebook/dp/B08JH3BP9K/

Thanks for reading!

Why not check out one of my other reviews? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.

Cold Mercy by MA Comley – review. https://griffbuck.wordpress.com/2020/11/24/cold-mercy-by-ma-comley-review/

Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

https://www.facebook.com/CarlaKovachAuthor/

http://www.carlakovach.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carla-Kovach/e/B00KM50P58

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Cold Mercy by MA Comley – review.

Description

Murder is on the cards…

And someone with a sinister agenda emerges from the shadows.

Detective Inspector Sara Ramsey and her team have a tough case to solve when a farmer’s car explodes, killing his wife.

Was this a simple accident? Or is there something far more malevolent afoot? If so, who could possibly be responsible?

Recent threats against the farmer surface, which throws the investigation into a spin.

The community is in shock and fearing for their lives in this fast-paced thriller, where clues are minimal and the tension is high.

About the author

M A Comley is a KINDLE UNLIMITED ALL-STAR author as well as being a New York Times, USA Today, Amazon Top 20 bestselling author, she has topped the book charts on iBooks as a top 5 bestselling and reached #2 bestselling author on Barnes and Noble. Over two and a half million copies sold world wide. She’s a British author who moved to France in 2002, and that’s when she turned her hobby into a career.

When she’s not writing crime novels as well as caring for her elderly mother, she’s either reading or going on long walks with her rescue pup Labrador, Dex.

My thoughts

‘Cold Mercy’ has an explosive opening and this brilliantly sets the pace for the whole book. This time DI Sara Ramsey and team are investigating the most heinous of crimes in rural Herefordshire.

The opening really is just the start. The accelerator is then floored and the tension builds from one level to the next which is why it had me racing through the pages – and that end, it was definitely a big wow.

As always, I loved the team dynamics. The conversation between the characters feels totally believable with little lashings of wit in just the right places. This book can definitely be read as a stand-alone but I really enjoyed reading the stories of the main characters that have developed with each book.

Another winner in the DI Ramsey series. It’s a speedy one so buckle up. Fab read!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cold-Mercy-Sara-Ramsey-Book-ebook/dp/B08KFJVV7H/

Thanks for reading!

Why not check out one of my other reviews? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.

The Stranger in my Bed by Karen King – review. https://griffbuck.wordpress.com/2020/11/23/the-stranger-in-my-bed-by-karen-king-review/

Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

https://www.facebook.com/CarlaKovachAuthor/

http://www.carlakovach.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carla-Kovach/e/B00KM50P58

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The Stranger in my Bed by Karen King – review.

Publication date: 23rd November, 2020.

Description

‘We have a patient who has been involved in a serious accident. We believe he’s your husband.’

When Freya first met Phil, she thought he was the man of her dreams. He bought her roses every week, booked surprise trips to sun-soaked destinations, and showed her affection like she’d never experienced before. But over time the dream has become a violent nightmare. And now Freya is packing her bags, knowing it’s time she escaped their increasingly broken marriage.

But then Freya gets a visit from the police. Phil’s been in a horrific car crash and – as he comes around – it becomes clear that he remembers nothing since their blissful honeymoon two years before, back when their relationship was perfect. All he wants is to be happily married again.

Freya knows giving him another chance could be dangerous. But now he’s the one who needs her, it’s a chance to turn the tables, and to change the outcome of their relationship once and for all. After all, he will only know what she chooses to tell him…

But what really happened during those two years of marriage? And as they start over again, who is safe? And whose life is in danger?

Fans of The Girl on the Train, Behind Closed Doors and Date Night, who are looking for a dark, gripping psychological suspense novel, will love The Stranger in My Bed.

About the author

Karen King is a multi-published bestselling author of fiction for both adults and children. She has also written several short stories for women’s magazines.

Currently published by Bookouture and Headline. Karen has recently signed a two-book deal with Bookouture to write psychological thrillers. The first one will be out in November, and the second one in 2021. She is also contracted to write three romance novels for Headline, which will be out in 2021 and 2022.

My thoughts

Ooh, this book opens with a huge dilemma. Freya has to make a choice in how she deals with the effects of Phil’s accident. The wrong decision could be deadly, but her husband looks so vulnerable.

There are three main POV’s and a POV by an unknown character which added a big fat dose of mystery to the story. These chapters were sinister in nature and kept me scrolling through the pages to find out who was lurking in the shadows.

The main themes in the book are gaslighting and domestic abuse, and the way these themes are brought to life through the characters and story give a realistic feel to it all. The themes are skilfully handled and some chapters actually saddened me. My thoughts were really with Freya through the whole book.

It’s walking-on-eggshells tense throughout and if you love psychological thrillers, then it’s one to read! Thoroughly enjoyed.

PS – I’m going to double lock the doors tonight – eek!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stranger-My-Bed-gripping-psychological-ebook/dp/B08GKRRPWH/

Thanks for reading!

Why not check out one of my other reviews? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.

Trust Me by Sheryl Browne- review. https://griffbuck.wordpress.com/2020/11/20/trust-me-by-sheryl-browne-review/

Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

https://www.facebook.com/CarlaKovachAuthor/

http://www.carlakovach.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carla-Kovach/e/B00KM50P58

Posted in Book Reviews | 1 Comment

Trust Me by Sheryl Browne- review.

Publication date: 20th November, 2020.

Description

Emily and Jake are the perfect couple. Or so everyone says. But Emily just read a letter that has shattered her perfect world. Now she only has one thing on her mind… which one of her friends is sleeping with her husband?

Emily watches Jake as he makes small talk with their children, still the perfect man she married years ago. But when the phone rings and he answers before quickly putting it down again, she sees the look on her husband’s face – guilt. She knows the signs – after all, she’s been lying to him for years.

Working with Jake at the local doctor’s surgery, Emily starts to listen at closed doors and read things she shouldn’t, hoping to find the truth about her husband. Soon she learns that hers isn’t the only family telling lies to each other. Is there anyone Emily can trust? And who is behind the letter to Jake?

When a second letter, revealing a wife’s hidden pregnancy, is sent to the woman’s husband, it has disastrous consequences. And as more angry letters revealing people’s biggest secrets begin to appear, fingers point at Emily. After all, she’s the one with access to everyone’s private history, and she’s the one with a score to settle. Emily says she didn’t do it. But this isn’t the first time Emily has lied. What happens next will have you questioning everything…

You might have already decided that Emily is guilty, but as each twist is revealed, you’ll begin to doubt everyone in this quiet little town. This is a psychological thriller that will keep you up all night!

About the author

Bestselling Author, Sheryl Browne, writes taut, twisty psychological thriller. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies where she completed her MA in Creative Writing. Sheryl has also obtained a Certificate of Achievement in Forensic Science and – according to readers – she makes an excellent psychopath. Sheryl’s latest psychological thriller THE NEW GIRLFRIEND comes to you from fabulous BOOKOUTURE. Her previous works include the DI Matthew Adams Crime Thriller series, along with contemporary fiction novels, The Rest of My Life and Learning to Love published by ChocLit.

Sheryl lives in Worcestershire UK with her husband and her timid rescue dog, Brie, whose little back legs were pinned after a road accident. She expects her family to grow, however. imminent arrivals being other rescue dogs with disabilities who need that extra special bit of love and care.

To find out more about Sheryl’s novels, go to http://www.facebook.com/SherylBrowne.Author/ or follow @SherylBrowne on Twitter. To find out more about Sheryl, go to http://www.sherylbrowne.com

My thoughts

Trust is a prevalent theme in this book, as you can tell by the title too, and boy does it explore every inch of trust in detail. I loved how a little nugget of leaked information could be the catalyst of such destruction!

Every relationship was brought into question. Each person had something to hide. As humans, haven’t we all got baggage we don’t wish to share? Baggage is a part of life after all. Facing this thought head on, ‘Trust Me’ is scary. It also explores how frail relationships are and how quickly worlds can shatter.

I loved that the main setting was a village doctors’ surgery and I thought Jake and Tom’s relationship and background gave such good history to the story. Emily’s past layered everything on thickly and the surprises were just, wow! I went from biting my nails for Emily to biting them for her daughter. Sheryl captured teenagers-in-the-house perfectly. All that hormonal angst – it was like a time bomb waiting to detonate.

The finger pointing amongst the village was fearful! The heat and blame bounced all over the place and it was brought together brilliantly. The ending, whoosh! It’s mega as the secrets spill. Just when I thought I knew a character, something happened to make me change my mind.

Forgiveness is also a huge part of this story and it made me think deeply. Some things are forgivable, others not so much. Can this broken family find a way of coming back together? Who was keeping secrets? Who was telling lies? Find out when you read the book!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trust-Me-absolutely-unputdownable-psychological-ebook/dp/B08LGS5243/

Thanks for reading!

Why not check out one of my other reviews? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.

Stranded by Stuart James – review. https://griffbuck.wordpress.com/2020/11/19/stranded-by-stuart-james-review/

Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

https://www.facebook.com/CarlaKovachAuthor/

http://www.carlakovach.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carla-Kovach/e/B00KM50P58

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Stranded by Stuart James – review.

Description

What could be more innocent than going on a family holiday?

As a family drive along a quiet country lane on their way to the airport, they meet a stranger standing alone in the middle of the road.

Steering them along another path, he tells the driver, Ben, that a tree has fallen and there’s no way through.

But as they make their way along the diverted route, they come across a coach blocking the road.

Getting out of the car Ben goes to investigate and is horrified to find the passengers tied to their seats.

Then a discarded phone starts to ring…

If Ben calls the police, everyone on board will die.

Let the horrific game begin…

About the author

Stuart James is also the bestselling author of Apartment 6 and the award-winning The House On Rectory Lane. Stranded is a gripping and twisty psychological thriller which fans of authors like Mark Edwards, Teresa Driscoll Rachel Abbott and are sure to love.

My thoughts

‘Stranded’ is a book full of nonstop horrific thrills and action! At no point did the tension ease and it was definitely a white knuckle ride. As soon as hero, Ben pulled over in the car with his family, I couldn’t put this book down. The opening also gave a gripping insight into the antagonist we were going to be dealing with – intriguing and scary.

I absolutely loved the back-in-time chapters which gave me a real insight into each of the characters involved and these chapters definitely didn’t slow the pace down. Themes include justice and retribution, and there are lashings of terrifying horror. As I read, I could smell the decay and pain as the descriptions were so, so, good!

One thing that heightened everything was the setting. Although I had a sense of the outdoors with expanses of land, it remained claustrophobic all the way through. Control by mind game comes to mind.

I’d put this book into the psychological horror category and there is a mass of action thriller too. The ending is stunning – not beautiful, more stun gun – mwahaha. It’s sick, twisted and compellingly page turning!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stranded-gripping-psychological-thriller-twists-ebook/dp/B08L456DYP/

Thanks for reading!

Why not check out one of my other reviews? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.

The Violinist of Auschwitz by Ellie Midwood – review. https://griffbuck.wordpress.com/2020/11/18/the-violinist-of-auschwitz-by-ellie-midwood-review/

Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

https://www.facebook.com/CarlaKovachAuthor/

http://www.carlakovach.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carla-Kovach/e/B00KM50P58

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The Violinist of Auschwitz by Ellie Midwood – review.

Publication date: 18th November, 2020.

Description

Auschwitz, 1943: In the depths of hell, can hope rise? And can love triumph over hatred?

Based on the unforgettable true story of Alma Rosé, The Violinist of Auschwitz brings to life one of history’s most fearless, inspiring and courageous heroines. Alma’s bravery saved countless lives, bringing hope to those who had forgotten its meaning…

In Auschwitz, every day is a fight for survival. Alma is inmate 50381, the number tattooed on her skin in pale blue ink. She is cooped up with thousands of others, torn from loved ones, trapped in a maze of barbed wire. Every day people disappear, never to be seen again.

This tragic reality couldn’t be further from Alma’s previous life. An esteemed violinist, her performances left her audiences spellbound. But when the Nazis descend on Europe, none of that can save her…

When the head of the women’s camp appoints Alma as the conductor of the orchestra, performing for prisoners trudging to work as well as the highest-ranking Nazis, Alma refuses: “they can kill me but they won’t make me play”. Yet she soon realizes the power this position offers: she can provide starving girls with extra rations and save many from the clutches of death.

This is how Alma meets Miklos, a talented pianist. Surrounded by despair, they find happiness in joint rehearsals, secret notes, and concerts they give side by side––all the while praying that this will one day end. But in Auschwitz, the very air is tainted with loss, and tragedy is the only certainty… In such a hopeless place, can their love survive?

This devastatingly heartbreaking yet beautifully hopeful tale proves that even in the darkest of days, love can prevail––and give you something to live for. Fans of The Choice, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Orphan Train will lose their hearts to this magnificent tale.

My thoughts

Okay, I love horror of all descriptions and I read a hell-of-a lot of gruesome crime, but war stories, especially those based on real life people really make me buckle. There is nothing more horrific than the devastation of war and the holocaust. I avoided watching ‘Schindler’s List’ for so many years as I thought I wouldn’t be able take it. I spend so much time mulling over documentaries about what happened in the concentration camps, they play on my mind (and so they should).

I really struggle to read this genre as I find it upsetting. However, it happened and there are stories to tell and I chose this book to read. Why? The people who ended up in those concentration camps deserve to be heard however hard people like me find it to listen.

Ellie Midwood has written a brilliant, well researched book based on the time violinist, Alma Rosé, spent at Auschwitz and believe me, it’s heartbreaking. I see a brave woman, someone who still managed to be herself throughout and someone who helped so many. The reader letter at the end and the section about Alma’s actual life was interesting and I’d recommend that if you read this book, don’t skip those bits. There’s so much more to think about and process.

As for this novel, it’s raw, it’s sad, it made me angry – everything you’d expect a person to feel after reading this book. It’s brilliantly written and stories like this need to be written. They need to be read. They scare me because they tell of a truth, a real life atrocity that happened.

I’d say, read it! It’s a must, that’s for sure and the end – oh my goodness – definitely have your tissues at hand!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Violinist-Auschwitz-absolutely-heartbreaking-gripping-ebook/dp/B08G579PC8/

Thanks for reading!

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Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carla-Kovach/e/B00KM50P58

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Never Let Me go by Kazuo Ishiguro- review.

Description

One of the most acclaimed novels of the 21st Century, from the Nobel Prize-winning author

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England. Narrated by Kathy, now thirty-one, Never Let Me Go dramatises her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends in the wider world. A story of love, friendship and memory, Never Let Me Go is charged throughout with a sense of the fragility of life.

About the author

Kazuo Ishiguro is the author of six novels, A Pale View of Hills (1982, Winifred Holtby Prize), An Artist of the Floating World (1986, Whitbread Book of the Year Award, Primio Scanno, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), The Remains of the Day (1989, winner of the Booker Prize), The Unconsoled (1995, winner of the Cheltenham Prize), When We Were Orphans (2000, shortlisted for the Booker Prize) and Never Let Me Go (2005, shortlisted for the MAN Booker Prize), and a book of stories, Nocturnes (2009). He received an OBE for Services to Literature in 1995, and the French decoration of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1998.

My thoughts

This has to be one of the saddest books I’ve read for ages, not just because of the the novel’s main thread but also when I think about the book’s world in a wider context. Things that come to mind are loss of humanity and dehumanisation. Although the wider world is left more to the imagination, there is the occasional mention that gives its readers the tiniest snippets of what’s going on globally. Everything feels insular and you have to search for the clues and piece together what’s happening.

The language and voice of main character, Kathy is really easy to follow. I got a full sense of her character as she narrated in her way, based on her own upbringing and probably, conditioning. Her strong sense of identity is felt throughout as she nostalgically talks about Halisham and best friends, Ruth and Tommy.

One of the saddest parts is the level of passiveness, and acceptance of mortality, throughout. Told in three parts, the novel bounces around in time and is written as a stream of thought as Kathy tells her story.

Seriously, if the world ever comes to this, I don’t want to be a part of it. It’s sad, tragic and harsh. Even the kindest of intentions from some of the characters felt like a poor show. This book is by no means scary in tone, it’s a gentle read, but it’s also horrific and thought provoking and I’ll add tearjerker to the list. I’d definitely recommend this book and it would be great for bookclub discussions. There’s so much else I could talk about but spoilers would be a must and I’d need a lot more time to collate what I’d want to say. It’s a must read!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Never-Let-Me-Kazuo-Ishiguro-ebook/dp/B002RI9ZX6/

Thanks for reading!

Why not check out one of my other reviews? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.

Never Let Me go by Kazuo Ishiguro- review. https://griffbuck.wordpress.com/2020/11/15/never-let-me-go-by-kazuo-ishiguro-review/

Deadly Cry by Angela Marsons – review. https://griffbuck.wordpress.com/2020/11/13/deadly-cry-by-angela-marsons-review/

Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

https://www.facebook.com/CarlaKovachAuthor/

http://www.carlakovach.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carla-Kovach/e/B00KM50P58

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