Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Venetian (This Haunted World 1) by Shani Struthers

Synopsis from Goodreads:


Their troubled past behind them, married couple, Rob and Louise, visit Venice for the first time together, looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Not just a romantic destination, it’s also the ‘most haunted city in the world’ and soon, Louise finds herself the focus of an entity she can’t quite get to grips with – a ‘veiled lady’ who stalks her.

After marrying young Venetian doctor, Enrico Sanuto, Charlotte moves from England to Venice, full of hope for the future. Home though is not in the city; it’s on Poveglia, in the Venetian lagoon, where she is set to work in an asylum, tending to those that society shuns. As the true horror of her surroundings reveals itself, hope turns to dust.

From the labyrinthine alleys of Venice to the twisting, turning corridors of Poveglia, their fates intertwine. Vengeance only waits for so long…


My review:

The Venetian is set in the beautiful city of Venice and I applaud the author for the great knowledge which lends itself to the lovely description of Venice life and architecture. It sets the atmosphere of this book perfectly.

Rob and Louise seem to be at a crossroad in their married life, having to carry a heavy luggage of infertility on their backs, both trying to pretend they can go on as it is. Once they arrive in Venice, Louise experiences changes within herself - passion, anger and of course the scary sightings of the veiled lady. 

After meeting a friendly Venetian couple in a backstreet restaurant, they are offered a trip to the island of Poveglia - the most haunted and forbidden place to visit in Venice. A home to the ghosts of plague victims, who were shipped off to the island during the epidemic and also the ghosts of mental health patients who suffered some grisly experiments in the hands of so called break through doctors of the first half of the twentieth century.

The two-time style of this story flowed very well and I found myself engrossed in the novel right from the first page. Both present time Louise and 1930s Charlotte made for great characters. Passionate women - perhaps too clever and human for their own good. The novel is dark and eerie and just what you expect from a good ghost story. But it's also more than that thanks to the authors attention to details and brilliant story telling. It's a captivating story of hidden history, secrets, sufferings and love. 

Thank you to the author and TBC for access to this book in exchange for this honest review.

My rating: 5/5

Published 09 August 2016 and available from:

Amazon UK
Amazon UK

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

F.B.O.M. by E.M. Bosso

Synopsis from Goodreads:

There is no pain like the loss of a child. When that pain can be directed at one group, in the hands of a dark and brilliant zealot, there are no prisoners no survivors; only a wake of destruction and damnation. 

This is the story of one such man, the woman who loves him, the detective who hates him, and the country girl who understands him far too well. Who will come out on top as they interact in the dark and dangerous world of wealthy sons, mob bosses and corrupt politicians? 
My review:

FBOM is your perfect charity organisation, helping victims of sexual abuse back on their feet with all sorts of brilliant support.  Created by a father, who lost his own daughter to consequences of rape, the organisation helps hundreds of victims in their fight to get their lives back on track. 

However there is a darker side to FBOM.  A side of judgement, retribution, persecution and punishment which, at first, I thought was a marvellous idea. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if victims always got the justice they deserved and their perpetrator was punished in an eye for eye fashion?

However, as cliched as it sounds, the road to evil in a slippery slope.  As the judge or the person giving out punishment – what do you become? Are you any better than them? Where does the just punishment stop and anger driven revenge start. It seems to be a fine line for Michael, the Charity's founder, breaking the punishment laws of the very organisation he build to protect people from violence.

This is a dark, disturbing novel that everyone should read - men and women. It's very well written in a past/present style that I found easy to follow. This novel makes you think and question your own morals and priorities, hence the five stars I have given it.

Thank you to the E.M. Bosso and TBC for access to this book in return for this honest opinion.

My rating: 5/5

Published 11 September 2016 and available for from:

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Monday, 8 August 2016

Mummy's Favourite (DC Charlie Stafford #1) by Sarah Flint

Synopsis from Goodreads:

He's watching... He's waiting... Who's next? 
Buried in a woodland grave are a mother and her child. One is alive. One is dead.

DC ‘Charlie’ Stafford is assigned by her boss, DI Geoffrey Hunter to assist with the missing persons investigation.

As more pairs go missing, the pressure mounts. Leads are going cold. Suspects are identified but have they got the right person? Can Charlie stop the sadistic killer whose only wish is to punish those he deems to have committed a wrong. Or will she herself unwittingly become a victim.

A gripping, heart-stopping crime thriller, introducing new series character DC Charlotte 'Charlie' Stafford of London Metropolitan Police.

My review:

This book is brilliant and I cannot wait to for the next instalment in DC Charlie Stafford’s detective carrier.

As the synopsis suggest, this crime story follow an investigation into the kidnapping of a mother and a child. The book follows from the Police investigation point of view and also from the mind of the kidnapper, although it does cleverly throw you of the trail with a couple of sub-stories that at first glance have nothing to do with the main investigation, but prove later on just how interlinked people’s lives can be.

Charlie is a good, intuitive detective with a good sense of justice, great visual memory and an invested heart. She is passionate about getting the right person in jail and getting closure for the victim’s families – something she has never had herself.

You can recognise the author’s own 35 years’ worth of experience shining throughout the book and it certainly helps set the scene for this series.

Thank you to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for access to this book in return for this honest opinion.

My rating: 5/5

Published by Aria 01 August 2016 and available in e-book format from:
Amazon US