Violet Blog Tour

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Carrie’s best friend has an accident and can no longer make the round-the-world trip they’d planned together, so Carrie decides to go it alone.

 

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Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend in Thailand. She is desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available.

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When the two women meet in a Beijing Hotel, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet to take her best friend’s place.

 

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Thrown together in a strange country, and the cramped cabin of the train, the women soon form a bond. But as the journey continues, through Mongolia and into Russia, things start to unravel – because one of these women is not who she claims to be…

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A tense and twisted psychological thriller about obsession, manipulation and toxic friendships, Violet also reminds us that there’s a reason why mother told us not to talk to strangers…

 

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Carrie’s best friend has an accident and can no longer make the round-the-world trip they’d planned together, so Carrie decides to go it alone. Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend. 

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She is also desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available. When the two women meet in Beijing, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet in her best friend’s place.

 

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As the journey continues, things start to unravel. One of these women is not who she claims to be… I started the column by telling you I’d spent this summer travelling and we actually took the Trans-Siberian Express all the way to Beijing from Mongolia. This fabulous read took me right back to my travels.

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It’s atmospheric, gripping and and downright terrifying in places and I recommend it unreservedly to anyone who likes a twisted tale of obsession and toxic friendships.

 

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Such a brilliantly dark compelling story set against such a fantastically exotic backdrop. I don’t think I read the book as much as inhaled it. Compelling, gripping and horrifically entertaining, fasten your seatbelts, this is going to be a bumpy read! I loved it’ Liz Nugent

 

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‘Twisted, gripping and totally addictive’ Paddy Magrane

‘Echoes of a Killing Eve vibe. Fabulously awful women you will love’ Sarah Pinborough

Writer On The Shelf

S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a scientist, writing coach and the bestselling author of five crime novels, including the Banktoun Trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly), the festive chiller The Deaths of December and her creepy Gothic psychological thriller The Lingering.

Her short story ‘Home From Home’ was published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and shortlisted for the CWA Margery Allingham Prize. Encapsulating her love of travel and claustrophobic settings, her latest novel, Violet, explores toxic friendships and the perils of talking to strangers, as well as drawing on her own journey on the Trans-Siberian Express over 10 years ago.

All of her novels have been UK ebook number-one bestsellers. Susi was born and raised in Scotland and now divides her time between Edinburgh, London and as many other exciting places that she can fit in

On The Up – Alice O’Keeffe Blog Tour

 

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By reading Style magazine, I was training myself not to want things. It was going quite well. I had already found that I did not want a pair of Yves Saint Laurent mules, a chandelier made from plastic antlers, or a diamond-encrusted necklace in the shape of a pineapple. I was still working on not wanting a fitted farmhouse kitchen in warm wood.

Sylvia lives in a flat on a council estate with her not-quite-husband Obe and their two young children. She dreams of buying a house on a leafy street like the one she grew up in. If she closes her eyes, she can see it all so clearly: the stripped floorboards, the wisteria growing around the door…

It’s not ideal that she’s about to be made redundant, or that Obe, a playworker, is never going to earn more than the minimum wage. As sleep deprivation sets in, and the RnB downstairs gets ever louder, Sylvia’s life starts to unravel.

But when the estate is earmarked for redevelopment, the threat to her community gives Sylvia a renewed sense of purpose. With a bit of help from her activist sister, and her film-maker friend Frankie, she’s ready to take a stand for what she believes in.

It’s November – and we’re all in need of something uplifting to get us through these long cold winter nights. Well, look no further – I’ve found the perfect antidote to the winter blues…

On the Up is a heartwarming novel that looks into the heart of what makes us belong, asking us to remember the things that get us through the greyest days and connect us with the ones who matter.

If you love a warm and feel-good read, filled with memorable characters, On the Up by Alice O’Keeffe is a the perfect book for you. It changes the narrative around the idea of  ‘there’s no such thing as society’ and whilst it doesn’t shy away from the harsher side of modern life – it reminds you that there’s far more good than bad in the world.

Sylvia is getting through life in a dreary council flat with her ‘intended’ Obe and their two  children. She has fantasies about a life beyond the confines of the council estate  with its noisy neighbours and overturned bins and moving her family to a suburban idyll – like the house that she herself grew up in.

Although this is her dream, Sylvia is a realist and knows fine well that – short of a miracle – this pipe dream is set to remain just that. Money doesn’t grow on trees and it’s a hard enough struggle managing things as they are, never mind upgrading  their life and turning the dream into a reality. Sylvia’s job situation is precarious at best and Obe’s salary is unlikely to rise much, working with children.

Everything starts to change for Sylvia when the estate is earmarked for redevelopment and this sudden threat to her community shakes things up and gives her the feeling that things perhaps don’t have to stay as they are forever and her actions could lead to positive change. Sylvia and her film maker friend, Frankie join forces to ensure that the people’s voices are heard and they don’t have to put up with things if they join together and work towards a common goal.

This book reminded me so much of one of my favourite contemporary reads, The Lido, and I was rooting for Sylvia in exactly the same way! The characters in this heartwarming read join forces ready to fight for their community  and Sylvia rethinks her attitude to the estate that she had previously been so desperate to escape from. It feels empowering to experience people power along with these characters and you really will be rooting for them as you immerse yourself in this wonderful book.

I loved how realistic this novel feels and love the way that Alice O’Keeffe brought her diverse characters to life and made them feel like friends as you drew to the end of their tale. Finding her community who have been there all along is a real voyage of discovery for Sylvia and the warm and witty characterisation will leave you unsure whether to laugh or cry at times. 

On the Up is a triumph of people rising above circumstances and profit.  It allows you to believe that there is still pockets of real community out there if you know where to look and reminds us that we don’t often understand the good things about places we live in until something threatens to change them or take them from us. I enjoyed this book in Rhodes this autumn and could not put it down. I totally recommend it and can’t wait to hear what other bloggers think about it too.

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Buy yourself a copy here and enjoy reading about Sylvia’s adventures for yourself

 

Writer On The Shelf

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Alice O’Keeffe is a freelance writer and journalist. She was deputy editor of the Guardian’s Saturday Review section, and writes book reviews, interviews and features for the Guardian, Observer and New Statesman.

She has been a speechwriter at the Department for Education and literary programmer at the Brighton Festival. Alice lives in Brighton with her husband and two children.

The Ex Girlfriend Blog Tour

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SHE WANTS HIM BACK. SHE WANTS YOU GONE.

Finally, Georgia has found the one. Luke is kind, handsome, and makes her feel safe – which is what she needs after everything she’s been through.

The only problem is his ex-girlfriend.

Luke says Cadence just can’t accept the breakup, and that explains the texts, the emails, the notes…

But then things start to go very wrong – will Cadence really do whatever it takes to get what she wants?

The course of true love never ran smoothly, and this is as twisty and skilful as any you’ve read this year. I guarantee that you’ll think twice before signing up for Tinder after devouring this slice of domestic noir…

 

The Ex-Girlfriend: The gripping and twisty psychological thriller by [Moriarty, Nicola]

Georgia is let down by her Tinder date when she meets the dashing Luke and feels like she’s won the relationship lottery. However, this knight in shining armour comes at a price. In this case, the price is his ex – the delightful Cadence.  If you love domestic noir, you’ll absolutely love the way this starts to unravel as her perfect new relaionship brings some not quite so welcome baggage into Georgia’s life.

 

 

 

Georgia begins to experience some unwelcome side effects after dating Luke and believe me, there’s never a dull moment in this book! Cadence is a fantastic character, she’s totally lacking moral scruples but all the better a character for it!  The plot zips along at a cracking pace and some of her escapades make you – if not quite admire Cadence – certainly be impressed at her imagination as she seeks a way to make sure that she stays in the picture

I’m no fan of books being painted as ‘The next…’ and we’re all sick I’m sure, of seeing books compared with The Girl on the Train or Gone Girl. This definitely isn’t ‘The Girl who won’t be content to be an Ex’  – it’s not trying to be anything else, it’s perfectly happy being its own dark self.  I’d actually love to see it on screen and will be dragging people along with me to see Cadence in the flesh! Her resourcefulness and limitless imagination will certainly keep you entertained as you make your way through this novel – all too quickly, I might add

. You know that I hate spoilers so I’ve tried hard to avoid mentioning exactly how this determined Ex goes about her business – but suffice to say, there’s never a dull moment as Cadence’s motto might be ‘All’s fair in love and war’ when it comes to getting your own way…

Thanks so much to Sriya Varadharajan for sending me this book to review for the blog tour – I absolutely love taking part in Penguin tours and enjoyed reading what the other bloggers thought too. If you haven’t bought yourself a copy yet, you can treat yourself here

An extremely twisty tale of obsession and revenge, this psychological thriller will quickly get under your skin – be prepared for some late nights ’til you finish it! (Heat)

Expect dark themes and plot twists a plenty in this intense, creepy thriller (Red)

A very modern love story with an eerily prescient twist (Daily Mail)

A darkly, thrilling surprise (Sun)

Aussie noir is all the rage at the moment and The Ex-Girlfriend is as grand guignol a slice as anyone could wish for (Buzz Magazine)

 

Writer On The Shelf

Nicola Moriarty is a novelist, copywriter and mum to two small (but remarkably strong-willed) daughters.
In between various career changes, becoming a mum and studying at university, she began to write. Now, she can’t seem to stop.
The Fifth Letter was her UK debut novel, followed by Those Other Women.
Twitter @NikkiM3
@MichaelJBooks
@PenguinUKBooks

The Essential Guide to Caring for Older People

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No one wants to think about getting older. It’s true. At any age, when things are moving along normally day to day and everyone seems fit and well, there seems no reason to think about future problems that your friends and relatives might (and probably will) come across as they age. In fact, it might even seem a little morbid to think such thoughts, or possibly even tempting fate?

Yet there will come a time when you must raise these issues and, ideally, this should be before any problems arise. The Essential Family Guide to Caring for Older People is the ultimate source of information and help for families with care responsibilities. Deborah Stone draws on her extensive experience working in elder care to offer practical advice on every aspect of the field in depth.

Topics range from how to get help immediately, legal information, care funding options, a guide to useful technology and advice on the main physical and mental health issues that affect older people. Plus guidance is given on dealing with social services and ensuring you choose the right care for your situations. Crucially, the book also offers help on how to cope as a carer with practical advice on juggling family, work and your caring responsibilities while looking after yourself.

It’s one of those books that you pick up and start reading through – and look up and realise that you’ve been nodding and agreeing with it for much longer than you were aware of. If you don’t know already, I’m a huge fan of non-fiction and love choosing new subjects, particularly in Non-Fiction November!

Britain has an ageing population and this book will come in incredibly useful if you are involved in the care of elderly people – whether that’s from the perspective of a family member or in a professional capacity. It never comes across as worthy or patronising – it’s just full of little nuggets of practical advice from the perspective of someone who’s definitely ‘been there’

Deborah Stone is clear-eyed and practical at all times and there is a strand of true kindness and empathy running through the heart of this invaluable guide to looking after people who are older than they used to be – but still deserve to be treated as people – first and foremost – rather than problems to be solved or responsibilities to be juggled.

It made me think hard – I currently run a group of Dementia Friends in Dunblane and there is much in this helpful and very human guidebook that will help us in our efforts to try and get things right for the people we are supporting. Here they are with my students, enjoying a lovely afternoon of #BakingAndBlether

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I absolutely recommend Deborah’s book as a compassionate and well-researched ‘bible’ for anyone seeking advice on supporting their elderly friends or family members too. It reads like getting advice from a caring and experienced friend and ensures that you’ll be able to put many of its sound suggestions and tried and tested pieces of advice into practice.

One of my favourite poems about growing older is by Gillian Clarke and I think it’s the perfect counterpart for this book:

Blue Hydrangeas, September
By Gillian Clarke

You bring them in, a trug of thundercloud,
neglected in long grass and the sulk
of a wet summer. Now a weight of wet silk
in my arms like her blue dress, a load
of night-inks shaken from their hair –
her hair a flame, a shadow against light
as long ago she leaned to kiss goodnight
when downstairs was a bright elsewhere
like a lost bush of blue hydrangeas.
You found them, lovely, silky, dangerous,
their lapis lazulis, their indigoes
tide-marked and freckled with the rose
of death, beautiful in decline.
I touch my mother’s skin. Touch mine.

Buy yourself a copy of Deborah Stone’s essential guide here

Writer On The Shelf

Deborah Stone lives in North London with her husband, two sons and fabulous golden retriever, George

Catch up with her website here and definitely check out her non-fiction too!

 

 

The Last Hunt Blog Tour

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A cold case for Captain Benny Griessel and Vaughn Cupido of the Hawks elite police unit – not what they were looking for. And a difficult case, too. The body of Johnson Johnson, ex-cop, has been found beside a railway line. He appears to have jumped from South Africa’s – perhaps the world’s – most luxurious train, and two suspicious characters seen with him have disappeared into thin air. The regular police have already failed to make progress and others are intent on muddying the waters.

Meanwhile in Bordeaux, Daniel Darret is settled in a new life on a different continent. A quiet life. But his skills as an international hit-man are required one more time, and Daniel is given no choice in the matter. He must hunt again – his prey the corrupt president of his homeland. Three strands of the same story become entwined in a ferocious race against time – for the Hawks to work out what lies behind the death of Johnson, for Daniel to evade the relentless Russian agents tracking him, for Benny Griessel to survive long enough to take another huge step in his efforts to piece together again the life he nearly destroyed – and finally ask Alexa Bernard to marry him.

I was really intrigued to read this book as I’d heard so much about Deon Meyer yet he was wholly new to me as a writer – thank you so much to Jenny Platt for inviting me onto the tour and introducing me to a writer who I’d definitely never have picked up before this opportunity – thanks so much!

Am happy to report that in this case, this hype was wholly deserved and I tore through this book in record speed – and not just because I wanted to get the review in on time – but because I simply could NOT put it down.

One of the things I loved about this book is that just when you think you know exactly where you are, Deon Meyer provides his reader with the perfect blend of an intriguing mystery and high-octane thrills and I was definitely at his mercy as I zipped through this book. He’s a deft plotter and as readers, we are definitely given lots to think about as there is SO much going on throughout this gripping and twisty read.

This book was totally different to my normal reading habits and I think I enjoyed it all the more for that very fact – I was so caught up in this million mile an hour tale  and have been telling everyone about it – I also totally loved the setting across two very different continents and have been daydreaming about running off to South Africa/ Bordeaux since I finished reading it last week – It really jumped to the top of my TBR as the eye-catching cover made me want to get stuck in right away.

 

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It feels like a fantastic movie as it unfolds and I feel like it would be the perfect movie adaptation in the near future – I hope that my wishes do come true and I already can’t wait to see how its casting and setting matches up with my own ‘casting’ in my mind’s eye. I want to see if Benny Griessel matches up to my idea of him…

Its meaty story line takes us into the dark heart of humanity and I can’t wait to go back now and read the rest of these; it reminded me of ‘Mission Impossible’ and maintains the same level of suspense and intrigue as we try and navigate ourselves to its conclusion. I loved the character of Daniel Darret and I think that it’s precisely because the people in this gripping read do feel so real and convincing that the rest of the events in the novel feel so plausibly horrifying…

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I really fell for fact that this novel maintains its multi-strand approach so compellingly  which added to the feeling of authenticity for me. Daniel is a perfect protagonist as he’s got just enough of the ‘unknowable’ about him to keep us intrigued–  I found myself staying up too late to get to the end of one more chapter, before being swept away to another location and kept on my toes quite masterfully as the novel unfolded.

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Deon Meyer has created a fantastic, original and addictive read: I  really did stay up way too late last week to finish it.  I absolutely loved the fact that it was just as strong on character as it was on plot as there are so many thrillers out there with very two-dimensional characters that are hard to care about and that really detracts from the reading experience for me.  I have a ‘no spoiler’ policy so you’re just going to have to read #TheLastHunt for yourself to find out exactly how addictive it is!

This novel comes unhesitatingly recommended by me. It’s a  pageturner in every sense of the word and it’s definitely one that I’m certain will be on lots of people’s ‘best thriller of the year’ list at the end of 2019

Buy yourself a copy here and read it before everyone else does

The undisputed champion of South African crime. Meyer grabs you but the throat and never lets you go (Wilbur Smith)

Meyer weaves a web of intrigue, deception thrills and violence in as good a murder mystery/police procedural as you’re likely to read. The richly drawn characters are flesh and blood and the plots all too realistic… quite brilliant (Crime Review)

From its startling opening to its tense and thrilling conclusion, Deon Meyer’s The Last Hunt takes you on a whirlwind safari across two continents. In the whole of the Benny Griessel series so far, the stakes have never been higher or the odds so much against (Peter Robinson)

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Praise for Deon Meyer

Compelling, action-packed and fraught with emotion. At its heart it is a powerful exploration of humanity at its best and worst and bears favourable comparison with landmarks of the genre such as Stephen King’s The Standand Cormac McCarthy’s The RoadSimply stunning. (Daily Express)

 

 

Writer On The Shelf

Deon Meyer

Deon Meyer lives near Cape Town in South Africa. His big passions are motorcycling, music, reading, cooking and rugby. In January 2008 he retired from his day job as a consultant on brand strategy for BMW Motorrad, and is now a full time author. Deon Meyer’s books have attracted worldwide critical acclaim and a growing international fanbase. Originally written in Afrikaans, they have now been translated into twenty-eight languages.

THIRTEEN HOURS was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger and won the Boeke Prize in South Africa – the first time in the prize’s 16 year history that a South African book has won. His novels have also won literary prizes in France, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, and the film rights to seven of his novels have been optioned or sold.

Deon has also written two television series and several screenplays for movies. In 2013 he directed one of his original scripts for the feature film ‘The Last Tango’.

Visit the author’s website at www.deonmeyer.com and follow him on Twitter @MeyerDeon

 

Nothing To Hide Blog Tour

Suspended from duty after her last case ended in the high-profile arrest of one of Britain’s wealthiest men, DC Constance Fairchild is trying to stay away from the limelight. Fate has other ideas . . .

Coming home to her London flat, Constance stumbles across a young man, bloodied, mutilated and barely alive. She calls it in and is quickly thrown into the middle of a nationwide investigation . . . It seems that the victim is just the latest in a string of similar ritualistic attacks.

No matter that she is off-duty, no matter that there are those in the Met who would gladly
see the back of her, Con can’t shake her innate determination to bring the monsters
responsible for this brutality to justice.

Trouble always seems to find her, and even if she has nothing to hide, perhaps she has
everything to lose . . .
The new book in the brilliant Constance Fairchild series, from one of Scotland’s foremost crime writers.

 

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‘THE NEW IAN RANKIN’ Daily Record

‘OSWALD’S WRITING IS A CLASS ABOVE’ Express

Constance Fairchild novels, James Oswald, No Time To Cry, Nothing to Hide

Having enjoyed No Time To Cry so much, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Nothing to Hide as I loved the main character – the whirlwind that is Constance Fairchild. I loved reading that when James Oswald had been thinking about this character he wanted to make her very different to her name – and he certainly has!

When Constance arrives back to her flat and is faced with the bloodied body of a young man, she is plunged headlong into another intriguing case – with a ritualistic angle that really proves to be very intriguing. It must be so difficult for crime writers to keep coming up with fresh and exciting ‘cases to crack’ and I think that this is one of the aspects of James Oswald’s writing that is gathering the most acclaim. You really feel like you get a deep dive into the case with Constance and her somewhat unorthodox way of proceeding with things really sets her apart as a protagonist.

I hate spoilers, so I don’t want to dwell too long on the plot of Nothing To Hide as I want you to be able to experience all the twists and turns for yourself – suffice to say that the skilful way that Oswald weaves the many and disparate elements of this case into the narrative is superbly done and remains convincing throughout. I know at times it can feel like the fictional world is saturated with male/ female detective teams with complicated back stories but the first novel in this series took a wholly  unexpected turn  as Constance’s partner in crime is wiped out leaving her to battle to solve the mystery whilst she herself might be in the frame for the actual crime…

James Oswald, Nothing to Lose, Constance Fairchild, hardback, ebook, audio

 

I loved the way that this novel wove many threads together – a convincing detective story, a nod towards the ritualistic side of the dark arts, an examination of what it is to serve as a police officer and the impact it has on those that take up this often thankless career and the impact it can have on our lives in a much wider way than we might have anticipated – and I also enjoyed the references to Scotland in this novel that definitely made me resolve to read more texts from Scottish writers that I might not have encountered before – with this article handily pointing the way

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Nothing To Hide is definitely one of those novels that stays with you long after closing its final page and one that I will definitely be recommending to my friends – it packs a powerful punch and never lets up in terms of keeping you second-guessing its ending right up until the final few pages.   I can’t wait to see what @SirBenfro does next. I’m a sucker for a fantastically written crime read and Constance is one of my favourite female creations. I can’t wait to see where this series goes and heartily recommend it for whiling away a long dreich winter afternoon by the fire.  Away and treat yourself – You’ll thank me for it.

Buy yourself a copy here

Writer On The Shelf

James Oswald Author Pic

James Oswald is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling Inspector McLean series of detective mysteries. The first two of these, Natural Causes and The Book of Souls were both short-listed for the prestigious CWA Debut Dagger Award. Set in an Edinburgh not so different to the one we all know, Detective Inspector Tony McLean is the unlucky policeman who can see beneath the surface of ordinary criminal life to the dark, menacing evil that lurks beneath.

He has also introduced the world to Detective Constable Constance ‘Con’ Fairchild, whose first outing was in the acclaimed No Time To Cry.

As J D Oswald, James has also written a classic fantasy series, The Ballad of Sir Benfro. Inspired by the language and folklore of Wales, it follows the adventures of a young dragon, Sir Benfro, in a land where his kind have been hunted near to extinction by men. The whole series is now available in print, ebook and audio formats.

James has pursued a varied career – from Wine Merchant to International Carriage Driving Course Builder via Call Centre Operative and professional Sheep Shit Sampler (true). He moved out of the caravan when Storm Gertrude blew the Dutch barn down on top of it, and now lives in a proper house with three dogs, two cats and a long-suffering partner. He farms Highland cows and Romney sheep by day, writes disturbing fiction by night

 

 

The Photographer of the Lost

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Until she knows her husband’s fate, she cannot decide her own…

An epic novel of forbidden love, loss, and the shattered hearts left behind in the wake of World War I1921. 

Families are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many survivors of the Great War have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis has not come home. He is considered ‘missing in action’, but when Edie receives a mysterious photograph taken by Francis in the post, hope flares. And so she beings to search.

Harry, Francis’s brother, fought alongside him. He too longs for Francis to be alive, so they can forgive each other for the last things they ever said. Both brothers shared a love of photography and it is that which brings Harry back to the Western Front. Hired by grieving families to photograph gravesites, as he travels through battle-scarred France gathering news for British wives and mothers, Harry also searches for evidence of his brother.

And as Harry and Edie’s paths converge, they get closer to a startling truth.

An incredibly moving account of an often-forgotten moment in history, The Photographer of the Lost tells the story of the thousands of soldiers who were lost amid the chaos and ruins, and the even greater number of men and women desperate to find them again.

Every photograph has a story, every story needs an ending

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If you got the chance to have a read of my #SpringReads Column earlier this year, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, especially one that’s set during this period. I absolutely love books that have real historical characters and events woven through them and often go off on a mission to try and find out as much as possible about the people living at the time of characters that I’ve fallen in love with after finishing them as I get so caught up in the story. The Photographer of the Lost was right up my street and I loved having it arrive just before my recent holiday to Rhodes so that I could dedicate a whole day to this wonderful book and find myself totally caught up in the beauty and pathos of its story.

 

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This is the latest read from Caroline Scott who I came to know at first through her non-fiction writing – particularly her fantastic book about the Land Girls which I totally loved. This novel just proves that her range is exceptional– she can literally write about anything.  This is an emotional and harrowing read at times with every element of it absolutely pitch-perfect. I could not tear myself away from its fascinating insights into the lives of those whose loved ones ‘never made it home’ and I absolutely adored the way its characters stepped right off the page and spoke to me as real people who moved me so much! Perhaps the fact that I work at a military school that sent lots of its 17 year olds off to Flanders fields made it an extra poignant read for me but at times I could barely see to read the pages as it was so emotional…

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The Photographer of the Lost is a stunning historical read that undoubtedly allows Caroline Scott to deploy all of her historical research and use it to make this narrative feel utterly authentic and bring to life these experiences so vividly  that lots of the time I forgot that they were characters in a book as it felt like these were real people that I was getting to know.  I was fascinated to think about the effort and research that went into this novel – which  has ensured that you definitely feel like you are time-travelling into this post-war world and experiencing events alongside these families as they seek to find their loved ones’ final resting places.

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I absolutely love it when my own world and the world of a book that I am reading coincide – it always feels serendipitous!  It was amazing to read about these lost boys whilst investigating the stories of my own school’s fallen soldiers and  ‘meet’ them through the pages. Harry and Edie are such vivid creations that I felt like I was able to walk the ‘Western Front’right alongside them and reflect on the millions of boys, like my own school’s who never made it back.

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Through Harry & Edie’s experiences, we are allowed an insight into the way that the war affected the lives of those left behind – perhaps even more so as they had to struggle onward with unanswered questions and fears about the fate of their lost ones – often with no answers to be had.  The Photographer of the Lost is one of my reads of the year so far – you cannot fail to be drawn into this fully-realised historical world. If you adored Birdsong or The Nightingale,  you’ll absolutely love this book and I cannot wait to see what my fellow historical novel buffs think about it. It’s getting some amazing pres and it’s all absolutely deserved!

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The Photographer of the Lost is available now  – it would be an absolutely wonderful git for someone and in this season of Remembrance, I could think of no more fitting gift for someone close to you. I’m sure that they’ll love it just as much as I did. 

If I haven’t convinced you yet, take a look at what these other fantastic fellow bloggers think

jill;;;

 

Writer On The Shelf

Caroline completed a PhD in History at the University of Durham. She developed a particular interest in the impact of the First World War on the landscape of Belgium and France, and in the experience of women during the conflict – fascinations that she was able to pursue while she spent several years working as a researcher for a Belgian company. Caroline is originally from Lancashire, but now lives in southwest France.

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