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Saturday, 20 July 2019

The Cinderella Plan by Abi Silver #BlogTour #Review #TheCinderellaPlan @abisilver16 @rararesources

The Cinderella Plan by Abi Silver
Published by Lightning Books
Publication Date 11th July 2019
448 pages
Genre: Thriller

Book Description:

For James Salisbury the only thing worse than being found guilty… is being found not guilty
When James Salisbury, the owner of a British car manufacturer, ploughs his `self-drive' car into a young family, the consequences are deadly. Will the car's `black box' reveal what really happened or will the industry, poised to launch these products to an eager public, close ranks to cover things up? James himself faces a personal dilemma. If it is proved that he was driving the car he may go to prison. But if he is found innocent, and the autonomous car is to blame, the business he has spent most of his life building, and his dream of safer transport for all, may collapse. Lawyers Judith Burton and Constance Lamb team up once again, this time to defend a man who may not want to go free, in a case that asks difficult questions about the speed at which technology is taking over our lives.

My Review:


There was only one problem I had with reading this book (and this is unlikely to affect many other readers): I had literally just put down John Marrs' novel 'The Passengers' which is also based around the concept of autonomous vehicles and is a nail-biting, fast-paced rollercoaster of a book which had left me with a bit of a book hangover.  Written from a completely different angle from John's book and at a much slower pace, it takes a look at the complex issues faced by the designer and manufacturer of a hybrid vehicle which crashes into a young family.  The vehicle has a manual override option, and the prosecution judge is determined to prove that James had control over the vehicle at the point of impact; James cannot remember the detail of the crash but is convinced the vehicle was in autonomous mode as he never manually drove the vehicle.  The conflict of emotions James is experiencing is heart-rending as he clearly believes 100% in the safety of his product however the fact that things have gone so devastatingly wrong have left him in torment. If the car was in manual mode, James could face prison however if his car is at fault then he loses everything he has worked for and has to face a different set of charges. Whichever way it goes, things don't look good for him.

What James is unaware of though are the ongoing politics among his staff and government ministers who are deciding the future of autonomous vehicles on the UK's roads.  If James's company SEDA can secure permission to release cars in the UK then things are going to be huge for him, as the company can then seek to release vehicles internationally. But the people at the top are not playing fair. Then there are personal issues in James's life which could potentially have influenced the decisions being made. Why was his wife spending so much time at the business premises in areas which she would have no need to be in? Who was she talking to and why?

This is a fantastic book of morals, politics and technology which may not be far away from our roads - it certainly made me think about certain angles to the autonomous vehicle arguments.  The effects on employment in the future - all the lorry drivers, bus and taxi drivers who would potentially no longer be required if the vehicles drove themselves; what happens when a vehicle crashes - the insurance implications regarding fault and payouts; should the vehicles be totally autonomous or is the manual override system essential for safety reasons? Abi Silver has certainly opened my mind to a whole set of issues which I had never considered regarding driverless vehicles and the research she must have done to be able to present such a multi-faceted story is mind blowing.

My thanks to Rachel Gilbey for allocating me a slot on the tour for this book, which I thoroughly enjoyed especially given the purely coincidental timing of reading it.


Purchase Links

Readers can order the book from the Lightning Books website at 50% off (with free UK p&p) if you enter this code at checkout – BLOGTOURCIND




Giveaway to Win 5 x PB of The Cinderella Plan (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK 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.




About the Author:



Yorkshire-bred, Abi Silver is a lawyer by profession. She lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and three sons. Her first courtroom thriller featuring the legal duo Judith Burton and Constance Lamb, The Pinocchio Brief, was published by Lightning Books in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award. Her follow-up The Aladdin Trial, featuring the same legal team, was published in 2018.
Read more about Abi and her work at www.abisilver.co.uk .
Social Media Links
Twitter: @abisilver16


 

Monday, 15 July 2019

Follow The Money by David Fuentes #audiobook #Review #FollowTheMoney

Follow The Money by David Fuentes
Audiobook
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Published 27th June 2018
Genre: Fiction

Book Description:

‘Follow The Money: A Tale of Tales’ is a collection of fascinating Novellas that follow the lives of different bank notes on their journeys, as they pass from one person to the next, through London and New York respectively. Both of these bank notes undergo a ...TWIST OF FATE in the second instalment of each story that sends them on a completely new journey into the unknown; so fasten your seat belts and brace yourself for the ride of your lives. YOUR JOURNEY AWAITS...

My Review:

This is my first proper foray in to audiobooks, having previously tried to listen to other titles and finding that I tend to fall asleep.  So, this time I changed tack and instead of lying in bed whilst listening I tried having the book as a soundtrack while I did my chores. Far more successful this time around which I am so pleased about as I really like the concept of the subject of this book. It also helped make doing mundane chores far more enjoyable which is always very welcome.

The author has used the idea of the journey of a banknote from the moment it is issued into open use at the ATM and following it as it passes through the hands of various recipients.  It is a concept that I had discussed with a friend before now but David Fuentes has given his bank note far more exciting escapades than those I had considered.  Some may not be captivated by the idea, but I would say to them: give this book a try because there are possibilities there which I bet you won't have thought of!

Some of the recipients are every day working folk, others have far more interesting 'day jobs'. The methods in which the note changes hands are as many and varied as the people involved and I would say that the average bank note has a far more exciting working life than most of people I know.

If you like books which make you consider the possibilities of things you wouldn't normally be giving much thought to then I think you will really enjoy this.  Also having the British vs American perspective was a nice slant too.

My thanks go to the author who provided a link to the audiobook in exchange for an unbiased review. In doing so I not only got to read a really original, quirky book but also changed my attitude to audiobooks - basically I need to listen whilst in a vertical position because no matter how gripping the book is I just cannot stay awake (I blame my mother reading me bedtime stories hahahaha).



About the Author:


David Fuentes has been successfully writing for many years having achieved sales of his books worldwide. Foremost he has worked in the non-fictional field of promotional marketing with a number of books produced in the “Win Competitions Online” series, helping people to find and win free to enter competitions on and offline. He has now gone on to create this series of Fictional Crime Drama Novellas following the lives of a variety of different bank notes as they pass from one person to the next with future plans to release many more fascinating tales in the future. He currently resides in Hertfordshire, England with his family.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Upcoming Review - The Cinderella Plan Blog Tour

See what other bloggers are saying about Abi Silver's new novel The Cinderella Plan by following the tour:




Saturday, 6 July 2019

The Divorce by Victoria Jenkins @Bookouture #BlogTour #Review #NetGalley #TheDivorce @vicwritescrime

The Divorce by Victoria Jenkins
Published by Bookouture
Publication Date: 4th July 2019
225 pages
Genre: Psychological Thriller

Book Description:

They seemed like any other couple 

Josh and Lydia Green. A doctor, and a stay-at-home mother. They met at a party, which led to a dinner, which led to a happy and comfortable life together. They married young, and had children earlier than planned.

Their marriage seemed like any other marriage 

They have their moments, of course – who doesn’t? With Josh working longer hours in the hospital, and Lydia feeling increasingly isolated at home, the strain is starting to show. They don’t talk as much as they used to.

But they have a secret like no other

Not every wife is as scared as Lydia.
Not every husband is hiding as much as Josh.
Not everything you think about them is true.

And this book contains a twist like no other… 

The Divorce is an absolutely unputdownable psychological thriller which will have you hooked until the final incredible twist. Perfect for everyone who loved Gone GirlThe Woman in the Window and The Wife Between Us.

My Review:

Having read the 'blurb' about this book I was interested to see what angle the author was going to take as it's a subject which has been the focus of many a book over the years. I really didn't expect what the book offered, and I very much enjoyed what I read.

We are presented with the scenario of a couple attending their first marriage guidance session.  Josh and Lydia are clearly struggling with their relationship, with Lydia seeming keen to talk things through and Josh a hostile, cool, presence - somewhat smug and arrogant and critical of virtually everything Lydia says.  Counsellor Karen is keen to try and help, encouraging them both to talk honestly and openly about how they see their relationship and the faults they feel need fixing. In this initial meeting she feels very much that Josh is where she needs to focus her attention, her sympathies lying firmly with Lydia.
As we follow their counselling sessions, we discover that Karen herself has had situations in her life which have led to her decision to be a counsellor.  She understands first hand some of the abusive personality traits which can ruin a marriage yet knows that the long term effects of these can be helped with counselling, yet never really go away.
The book then takes a sinister turn, and we begin to see that things between Lydia and Josh are not quite as we have been led to believe. Suddenly Josh seems the vulnerable party in the relationship and Karen suggests he seeks grief counselling to help heal his emotional wounds. The whole dynamic seems to have shifted in a short space of time, and the two parties both seek individual sessions with Karen to discuss their personal issues.
This was the point in the book I really started to take notice of what was being said - and the body language which the author described which often didn't match the words being spoken. The whole story stepped up a notch, both in pace and content. Even Karen herself moved from the stereotypical, hippy-type counsellor to a more gritty individual drawing on personal experience rather than what the textbooks say she should be doing.
The climax of the book really did go off at a tangent to what I was expecting, and I give much respect to the author for smoke screening so well in the early part of the book. I was not expecting that ending at all, and was very impressed with the complete switch of direction.  I haven't read any of this author's work previously but will be looking out for her in future and will be checking out her backlist too.

My thanks to Noelle Holten from Bookouture and Netgalley for the opportunity to discover yet another excellent author and review their work as part of the blog tour.


Buy your copy here:-





About the Author:


Victoria Jenkins lives with her husband and daughter in South Wales, where her series of crime novels featuring Detectives King and Lane is based. Her debut novel The Girls in the Water is an Amazon UK top 30 bestseller, and top 5 bestseller in the Amazon US chart.




Author Links:

Twitter: @vicwritescrime
facebook.com/victoriajenkinsauthor

Follow the Tour:



Tuesday, 2 July 2019

The Liar's House by Carla Kovach @Bookouture @CKovachAuthor #BlogTour #TheLiarsHouse #NetGalley

The Liar's House by Carla Kovach
DI Gina Harte #4
Published By Bookouture
Publication Date: 2nd July 2019
337 pages
Genre: Crime, Police Procedural

Book Description:


Samantha stumbled out of the party and on to a busy street only ten minutes away from her home. But she never made it home… Seven years after Samantha’s disappearance, on what would have been her thirty-fifth birthday, her best friend Diane is shocked to find a letter addressed to Samantha on her doorstep.

Opening the envelope, Diane pulls out a birthday card and a finger nail painted in dusky pink nail polish. The same shade Samantha always wore. The same shade she was wearing the night she went missing.

When police analyse the nail, they don’t get the result they expected. Instead of linking them to Samantha, the nail belongs to another woman, Jade Ashmore. And Jade was murdered the night before the envelope was delivered….

My Review:

My decision to ask for a place on the blog tour for this book of Carla Kovach's was based on my enjoyment of the previous book in the series 'Her Pretty Bones'.  The setting of the books being local to me adds an extra dimension to the stories too, I find.

DI Gina Harte and DS Jacob Driscoll are called to the scene of a deadly assault on a young woman in an alleyway in the dark of night.  Jade Ashmore has left a party early but doesn't make it home. It's up to  Harte and her team to find out what has happened and why - and more importantly who wanted her dead. Why did she leave alone when her husband was also at the party?

This is a fairly fast paced novel, with short punchy chapters which keep the action moving and your attention focused on the characters.  It is probably best to have read at least one of the previous novels in the series in order to understand Gina's personal and career history and how this influences her feelings towards this case.  As Gina interviews local residents and other partygoers who would have known Jade, the past and present  come hurtling together and threaten to have Gina taken off the case.  It's all getting a bit close to home - but is Gina being paranoid or has someone orchestrated the whole scenario in order to get the DI personally involved?

With a cold case from 7 years previous suddenly seeming to come alive when the best friend of a missing woman receives a birthday card containing a fingernail painted in her favourite colour nail polish, Gina has her work cut out to find out whether this is just another coincidence or whether the sender has knowledge of the events surrounding Jade's attack. Why wait 7 years to make themselves known?

We follow the investigation of the two events which throw up some eyebrow raising facts along the way.  There are some really unlikeable people in this book and some who I genuinely felt sympathy for.  I found this a good balance of characters and a realistic representation of how some of the people we see outwardly as happy, outgoing and funloving are actually very lonely and sad behind closed doors. We are only judged by the persona we present to the world, but if you scratch the veneer sufficiently the real person underneath can be a very different soul. Everyone has their secrets.

I am really enjoying this series, and would recommend it as a good crime/police procedural series if you don't want anything too heavy. A good book to pop in your suitcase for your holiday.



About the Author:

Carla started writing more seriously ten years ago after having flirted with musical theatre and occasional writing in her youth.
Since then she has written & produced several stage plays, has four self-published books, has acted in several independent films and is currently in the final stages of production of her feature horror film, Penny for the Guy.
She now writes full time as well as co-owning a film, photography & video production company located in the heart of Redditch town centre.

Twitter: @CKovachAuthor

Sunday, 30 June 2019

What Fell From the TBR mountain in June

I started this month with a book which I hadn't intended to read just yet but am SO pleased I did. The Passengers by John Marrs grabbed my attention and kept me turning pages when I should have been reading for blog tours. I then had to knuckle down and stick to my reading schedule - that was until I received a copy of 'Skint Estate' which demanded I read it straight away purely due to its subject material.  Here's how my month's reading panned out:-

The Passengers by John Marrs


Eight self-drive cars set on a collision course. Who lives, who dies? You decide.
When someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars, their passengers are set on a fatal collision course.
The passengers are: a TV star, a pregnant young woman, a disabled war hero, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife - and parents of two - who are travelling in separate vehicles and a suicidal man. Now the public have to judge who should survive but are the passengers all that they first seem?

The Dream House by Jess Ryder

When I first set eyes on Westhill House with its breath-taking views of the sea I knew Jack and I could make this our forever home.
It may be falling apart with an overgrown garden, but with some tender loving care, we can repair this beautiful building and perhaps our relationship too…
But the more time I spend renovating our new house, the more time Jack is spending at work.
At least Lori is here to keep me company.
She has her own troubles yet she always listens to mine.
She’s helping to restore the house, uncovering its secrets one by one.
Like the children’s drawings under the wallpaper in the back bedroom.
The hidden papers underneath the floorboards in the turret room.
And the fact that Westhill House is a place women used to go to feel safe…
Lori seems to know a lot about Westhill House.
The question is, why?



Don't Ever Tell by Lucy Dawson

Never make a promise you can’t afford to keep… This is a story about Charlotte – a mother and a wife with the perfect job, the perfect life… at least, that’s how it looks from the outside.
But behind closed doors, the marriage is breaking, and Charlotte’s husband Tris doesn’t even know how much. He has no idea what Charlotte has planned for him, who she has found, why she has hired someone to pretend to be her. But he doesn’t have long to wait to find out… 



The Brief by Simon Michael

Guilty until proven innocent… London, 1960
Barrister Charles Holborne is not popular. A Jewish East Ender with a rough past, he is ostracised by his anti-Semitic and class-conscious colleagues who don’t want him in their prestigious Establishment profession.
And the bitterness Charles feels at work is spilling over into his personal life, putting his marriage under strain.
When a high-profile murder case lands on his desk, Charles is hopeful his fortunes will turn around.
But after a shocking crime is committed, he finds himself on the other side of law…
Can he outwit those trying to frame him? Will he manage to unmask the real criminal?

Or will he find himself on trial for murder…?


Skint Estate by Cash Carraway

Single mum. ‘Stain on society’. Caught in a poverty trap. It’s a luxury to afford morals and if you’re Cash Carraway, you do what you can to survive.

Skint Estate is the hard-hitting, blunt, dignified and brutally revealing debut memoir about impoverishment, loneliness and violence in austerity Britain – set against a grim landscape of sink estates, police cells, refuges and peepshows – skilfully woven into a manifesto for change.



The Liars's House by Carla Kovach

Samantha stumbled out of the party and on to a busy street only ten minutes away from her home. But she never made it home… Seven years after Samantha’s disappearance, on what would have been her thirty-fifth birthday, her best friend Diane is shocked to find a letter addressed to Samantha on her doorstep.
Opening the envelope, Diane pulls out a birthday card and a finger nail painted in dusky pink nail polish. The same shade Samantha always wore. The same shade she was wearing the night she went missing.
When police analyse the nail, they don’t get the result they expected. Instead of linking them to Samantha, the nail belongs to another woman, Jade Ashmore. And Jade was murdered the night before the envelope was delivered….

The Divorce by Victoria Jenkins

I thought I knew how to help them. I knew nothing.
When Lydia and Josh Green walk into Karen’s office one rainy February morning, Karen sees a couple under stress, almost at breaking point. But working with struggling couples, finding out more about their problems, helping to save their marriages, is what Karen does.
But as Karen spends more time with Lydia and Josh, her sense of unease grows… 

The Cinderella Plan by Abi Silver

James Salisbury, owner of a British car manufacturer, ploughs his "self-drive'" car into a young family, with deadly consequences. Will the industry, poised to launch these products, close ranks to cover things up? If it is proved that James was driving the car he may go to prison. But if he is found innocent, the business he has spent most of his life building, and his dream of safer transport for all, may collapse. Lawyers Judith Burton and Constance Lamb team up once again, this time to defend a man who may not want to go free.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Don't Ever Tell by Lucy Dawson @Bookouture #Review #NetGalley @lucydawsonbooks

Don't Ever Tell by Lucy Dawson
Published by Bookouture
Publication Date: 25th June 2019
Genre:Psychological Thriller
299 pages

Book Description:

Never make a promise you can’t afford to keep…This is a story about Charlotte – a mother and a wife with the perfect job, the perfect life… at least, that’s how it looks from the outside.

But behind closed doors, the marriage is breaking, and Charlotte’s husband Tris doesn’t even know how much. He has no idea what Charlotte has planned for him, who she has found, why she has hired someone to pretend to be her. But he doesn’t have long to wait to find out…

Don’t Ever Tell will keep you gripped from the very first page and have you guessing until the very last. From the bestselling author of The Daughter and White Lies comes an unputdownable psychological thriller unlike anything you’ve read before! 

My Review:

This is a very finely interwoven story, one where I struggled to work out who exactly knew what about the others in the story and which character was telling the whole truth - if any of them.  The writing is top notch, keeping you guessing right from the start as to why each of the handful of main players is treating their friends/family the way they are.  I am reluctant to give too much detail as the whole story needs to be read from the perspective of 'going in blind' else it just won't work - so if you're one of those folks who likes a sneak peak at the end of the book before you get stuck in proper, then in this case I really recommend that you don't because you will be utterly confused and not enjoy how the end relates to the beginning.

Charlotte and Tris are struggling to keep their marriage going, but things really are not what they seem in the early stages.  There are proper 'O...M...G' moments at various stages through the book and I felt my allegiances shift from one side of the marriage to the other and back again several times.  Neither character is squeaky clean but at the same time the course of action both of them has chosen seemed at least a little harsh on the other - to say the least. And don't get me started on the way Charlotte treats her sister - I don't know how to spell the sound which expresses my exasperation with that relationship!!

The conclusion to the story is shocking and I don't think I came out of the story liking any of the characters very much, although one in particular I felt more aggrieved for than the others - I am really struggling to tell you my thoughts yet not reveal any key points here!!

It's definitely a book I suggest you read for yourself, you will be engrossed in reading just how badly people can behave when a marriage sours and how far they will go to get vengeance.

My thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read and review this book ahead of publication.

About the Author:



Lucy has been writing psychological suspense novels since 2008, when her first bestseller – His Other Lover – was published. She writes full time from her home in Devon, where she lives with her husband and children.
Before that, she used to interview the likes of Steps and SClub7 for a living, making absolutely no use whatsoever of her psychology degree from Warwick University, but having a lot of fun. Lucy is published worldwide and her works has been translated into numerous languages.
Twitter: @lucydawsonbooks