Deadline Blog Tour

Adam Ferranti was a talented American journalist, who moved to England to escape the issues surrounding his fall from glory at the Washington Post; only to be thrust back in it when a mysterious serial killer makes him his confidante. 

DS Stephanie Walker is a member of the West Yorkshire Police. Whilst tough and results-driven at work, she hides the abuse she suffers at home. She finds Ferranti annoying but he’s her only chance to stay close to what the killer is planning next. 

Ferranti reluctantly complies with the Police, but when the killer reveals himself it suddenly gets personal.

Set in Yorkshire, Deadline opens with news of a mysterious serial killer who seems to be casting themself as Adam Ferranti’s welcoming committee Adam has moved here to escape the speculation and feeding frenzy that accompanied his public shaming at the Washington Post – and the last thing he wants is to be involved in another controversial case…

wide road with vehicle traveling with white dome building

It’s now cue for Detective Sergeant Stephanie Walker to be called in to investigate this challenging crime. They only have a limited time to get the measure of this cryptic killer and the clock is ticking before they fear there may be another victim . Their suspect, turns out to be more than somewhat inscrutable – despite his propensity to befriend Adam, it seems to Stephanie and the team that he won’t be spilling his soul in a way that will help them solve the crimes any time soon …

Stephanie is under pressure to crack this case and Adam’s involvement ensures that the twists and turns pull you in lots of directions at once. The tension throughout this read is incredible – we are totally in the moment with Detective Walker as she attempts to solve this series of gruesome murders and work out whether the desire to speak to Adam is worth pursuing, or just another facet of a sinister and manipulative killer

black car parked on road

The characters of Ferrari and Walker quite simply make this book. They are both complicated and interesting characters that subvert your expectations as you read. I hate spoilers but I will say that many parts of this novel had me with my heart in my mouth – and perhaps not for the reasons you might think in a read like this. It’s not just a straight police procedural – there are elements of espionage and intrigue going way back to the 1970s, with much to think about and keep you turning the pages. Even though they sit on opposite sides of the Atlantic, in terms of their nationalities, there are definitely strong parallels between these two people who don’t like to let people too close – both literally and metaphorically and their personal qualities and back stories make this an intriguing case to solve alongside them.

do not cross police barricade tape close-up photography

This book will appeal to readers who enjoy a story that grips you and characters who are complex and intriguing – this read definitely allows you to get under the skin of its characters and imagine them existing outwith the boundaries of the story. I really recommend this book as a fast paced, dark and page turning read that you will get your teeth into and be reluctant to look up from until you’ve solved the case alongside this duo

Buy yourself a copy here and see if you can join Adam Ferrari & DS Walker in trying to solve this intriguing case. Geoff Major is an interesting new voice in crime writing and I’m definitely recommending him to all my crime-loving pals this winter.

Thanks to Emma Welton for inviting me onto the tour and introducing me to another great voice in fiction. Feeling absolutely spoiled for choice with all these amazing December reads!

Writer On The Shelf

A long time ago, Geoff Major had an idea for a story, whilst walking his girls to primary school. Two years ago, he decided he had the time and patience to try to write the story down. His wife was wholly supportive, so he turned from full-time to part-time for four months and now – 23 years after that idea first popped into his head – it has been published.

As a self-employed business consultant for 18 years and a fundraising adventurer for 10 years (including ski-trekking 50 miles, over 6 days and 6 nights, to the geographic North Pole), he now works for a debt charity whilst plotting his next three books

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GradusPrimus

Blog: https://lets-start-at-the-very-beginning.blogspot.com/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/primusgradus/

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2UAjMok 

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3kALBrp 

Waterstones: https://bit.ly/3kAt0Me 

Publishing Information:

Published in hardcover, paperback and digital formats by Grosvenor House Publishing

The Smallest Man

‘I want you to remember something, Nat. You’re small on the outside. But inside you’re as big as everyone else. You show people that and you won’t go far wrong in life.’
 
A compelling story perfect for fans of The Doll FactoryThe Illumination of Ursula Flight and The Familiars.
 
My name is Nat Davy. Perhaps you’ve heard of me? There was a time when people up and down the land knew my name, though they only ever knew half the story.
 
The year of 1625, it was, when a single shilling changed my life. That shilling got me taken off to London, where they hid me in a pie, of all things, so I could be given as a gift to the new queen of England.
 
They called me the queen’s dwarf, but I was more than that. I was her friend, when she had no one else, and later on, when the people of England turned against their king, it was me who saved her life. When they turned the world upside down, I was there, right at the heart of it, and this is my story.

Maybe it was because I can’t travel in a literal sense, that I’m getting so much pleasure from time travelling through the books that I’m choosing of late. I can’t stop reaching for historical fiction, and this is one of the best books I’ve read in this genre this year. I was absolutely intrigued by the premise of this book featuring Nat Davey, a fictional character based on Jeffrey Hudson, court dwarf to Queen Henrietta Maria. This book is a stunning tapestry of fact and fiction, taking real characters and moments from history and bringing them to life before our eyes. I was delighted to be invited on the tour by Anne Cater & Random Things Tours and found myself absolutely intrigued by this fasciniating insight into an uncertain and turbulent time in history…

gold and blue crown

This book definitely did not disappoint, it grabbed me and pulled me right into Nat’s story where we are absolutely carried away by this unforgettable and resilient character. Life is difficult enough for people who are different now – you can only imagine how much more difficult things were then. We get to hear about events from such a unique perspective and this really added to the story for me. It’s a book that you’ll find hard to believe it’s fiction as you’ll become so caught up in Nat’s story and you’ll be rooting for him as his fortunes rise and fall as he shows what a survivor he is in an uncertain world.

I absolutely loved the unique atmosphere of this novel and definitely found it quite addictive. It was intriguing to imagine a world in which your choices and next direction has been wholly surrendered to the choices of others and knowing that your fortunes depend on your ability to turn your difficulties into opportunities and to use your wit and wisdom to ensure that you might be small, but you are definitely far from insignificant…

one-point perspective photography of building's interior

This novel presents this period of history in a fresh original way which makes the story linger at the edges of our consciousness even when we aren’t reading it. Nat Davy feels very much like a real person, despite the distance of time between us and his voice sprang off the page – rather than sounding like a mechanism to explore a historical tale – which I’ve often found in novels which want to represent something that happened in the past. This is a really unique novel which has to be experienced to truly realise how special it is. I’d love to see it on the silver screen and hear Nat talk directly to camera as he draws us into his story:

“It’s been quite a life, the one I’ve had; I was there when they turned the world upside down, and I was there, right at the heart of it all, during the turbulent times that led us down the road to that day. So I got to thinking that I should write it all down, because there’s been a lot said about those times, and not all of it’s right.”

The Smallest Man – Frances Quinn –

Frances Quinn is a talented and original writer – and I really enjoyed researching the character from the famous paining for yourself, after you’ve read the book. You will be fascinated to uncover all that Nat went through and shocked that you didn’t know more about this fascinating time in our nation’s history. It is a story filled with skilful description and perceptive characterisation that add up to its sense of atmosphere and your relationship with the characters builds and builds as you experience the challenges and constraints of Nat’s unique circumstances and everything that he has to go through as he battles to defy his circumstances and create a life worth having for himself

9 of hearts and Queen of clubs playing cards

The Smallest Man asks us to think about the way that our personalities evolve through, because of and despite of all our experiences and doesn’t allow us to dismiss these characters as merely fictional – this novel is based on a real story, after all. The story is so unputdownable due to the engaging and direct nature of Nat’s voice and because it’s so immersive I couldn’t stop thinking about the rhythm of its narrative and the bravery of this indomitable character that inspired this fictional tale.

This is a book that I know I’ll be recommending to lots of readers as I was totally immersed in its characters, its pace and the way it really made me think. I can’t wait to see what Frances Quinn does next. The idea that life for people in the past can be a lot darker than you might have learned in your history books is a fascinating one, and I think that this would make an excellent Book Group read as it would be sure to provoke lots and lots of discussion and comment about a part of history that most people don’t know very much about…

Treat yourself to a copy and discover this turbulent and fascinating story for yourself

Writer On The Shelf

Frances Quinn read English at Cambridge, and is a journalist and copy-editor. She completed the Curtis Brown Creative Course in 2015. The Smallest Man is her debut novel.

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Amazon |Waterstones |Hive 

The Mist – Ragnar Jonason

1987. An isolated farm house in the east of Iceland.

The snowstorm should have shut everybody out. But it didn’t.

The couple should never have let him in. But they did.

An unexpected guest, a liar, a killer. Not all will survive the night. And Detective Hulda will be haunted forever . ..

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour to celebrate the publication of this novel from one of my favourite Icelandic novelists, RAGNAR JÓNASSON and would like to thank the lovely Sriya for the tour invitation It’s given me yet another reason to thank the good Lord that I discovered the delights of Icelandic noir and that I’ve been able to sample such a wonderful range of translated fiction over the last few years, Thank you to the excellent translator Victoria Cribb who really managed to convey the beauty of the language in English and draw me seamlessly into the story.

mountain terrain near body of water

If Iceland is only in your mind because of hot springs and wonderful knitwear then you are in for an amazing surprise once you get hooked on its crime fiction. It really is unique in its flavour and once you’ve started, you’ll be totally hooked. This novel follows the previous two Hidden Iceland novels, and I loved the way that they mix the classic elements of the Icelandic crime novel with Hulda Hermansdottir’s personal life so credibly which really appealed to me as a reader.

I love reading novels that confound my expectation – that turn out to be something totally different to the novel that I thought that I was going to be reading. The Mist is one of those novels. It transported me to Iceland right alongside Hulda Hermansdottir and her team and it just immersed me in the case. I don’t think I’ve read a novel recently that kept me on my toes as much in terms of ‘solvability’ – it seemed like each new piece of information pointed me at a new theory about how to solve it and I was absolutely kept on the hook until the end. I really enjoyed this clever writing and rather than waiting for a ‘big twist’ it felt like I was unravelling clues along with Hulda and trying to help her unravel the clues of this compelling and haunting crime.

This is an absolutely immersive read, it’s as rich in setting as it is in  plot, allowing you to be swept off to the austere beauty of the Icelandic landscape and see it for yourself. It had never been somewhere that I’d have been desperate to see – but I found myself browsing online for holidays ‘once this lockdown is all over’ and trying to see some of these places for myself as they sounded so stunningly beautiful. I found myself re-reading certain parts of it – especially the parts featuring the description of the cottage itself and its surroundings –  just to experience them again as I was so caught up in the feeling that I wanted to see this beautiful country for myself one day.

red and white house surround green grass field

The Mist takes us back in time to the very start of Hulda’s career and we get to see her emerging into her career pathway and forming her skills as a detective. To me, these three novels that have taken us back through the three distinct phases of Hulda’s career come together to provide a highly satisfying trilogy as they are woven together so seamlessly in exactly the right proportions that make for an absolutely engrossing trio and would make for a wonderful boxed set for someone’s Christmas.

brown wooden dock front of assorted-color houses

In these novels, Iceland is almost a character in its own right and I felt like Ragnar has really brought the stunning Icelandic landscape vividly to life – blending its remote beauty with the personality of its inhabitants and making us think about the fact that even in the most gorgeous areas, murders can happen and that sometimes there can be just as much violence, hatred and bloodshed bubbling beneath the surfaces of small-town life than any big city on the planet. If like me you are missing travel due to COVID then this novel really is the next best thing and its sense of place is hard to beat. It was wonderful to escape from work and spend time in the beauty and splendour of the Icelandic landscape and felt almost as good as a holiday itself…

aerial view photography of white and red concrete house near village

Ragnar Jonasson is a talented and original writer whose characters spring off the page and come to life for you as you try and work for the answers alongside them. Hulda’s character is unforgettable – she is a woman haunted by the dark shadows of her past and we absolutely empathise with her as she has her demons that haunt her as well as the murders to solve during these investigations. I cannot recommend this highly satidfying third episode of the trilogy and feel very jealous of anyone who has yet to embark upon it.

mountains near body of water

The Mist is a superb blend of skilful plotting with a character-driven novel that I’ll be recommending to everyone. It stands out to me due to its deft manipulation of the reader and the way it keeps us guessing as well as its strong sense of place. Iceland springs to life as a character in its own right and makes you long to see some of these locations for yourself as you are reading.  Ragnar Jonasson’s truly is is an exciting voice in fiction that you need to discover if you haven’t already – for crime fiction with a deep serving of humanity alongside the darkness, look no further…

The Hidden Iceland trilogy: a crime story told in reverse - Dead Good

Buy yourself a copy of this fantastic and unique read here, you definitely won’t regret it.

Praise for The Mist

‘A world-class crime writer . . . One of the most astonishing plots of modern crime fiction’ Sunday Times

‘It is nothing less than a landmark in modern crime fiction’ The Times

‘This is Icelandic noir of the highest order, with Jonasson’s atmospheric sense of place, and his heroine’s unerring humanity shining from every page’ Daily Mail

‘Triumphant conclusion. Chilling, creepy, perceptive, almost unbearably tense’ Ian Rankin

‘This is such a tense, gripping read’ Anthony Horowitz

‘Fans of dark crime fiction that doesn’t pull punches will be amply rewarded’ Publishers Weekly

Writer On The Shelf

www.ragnarjonasson.com

RAGNAR JÓNASSON was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he works as a writer and a lawyer. He also teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University, and has worked as a TV news reporter for Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. He is the author of the DARK ICELAND series (Snowblind, Nightblind, Blackout, Rupture and Whiteout) and the HIDDEN ICELAND series (The Darkness, The Island).

Ragnar is the co-founder of Iceland Noir, Iceland’s first crime fiction festival. From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic; a practice that has inspired his own writing.

Author Links
Website: ragnarjonasson.com
Twitter: @Ragnarjo

BUY LINKS

Bookshop.org  |  Hive  |   Waterstones 

The Stone Diaries Blog Tour

Widely regarded as a modern classic, The Stone Diaries is the story of one woman’s life; that of Daisy Goodwill Flett, a seemingly ordinary woman born in Canada in 1905. Beautifully written and deeply compassionate, it follows Daisy’s life through marriage, widowhood, motherhood, and old age, as she charts her own path alongside that of an unsettled century. A subtle but affective portrait of an everywoman reflecting on an unconventional life, this multi-award-winning story deals with everyday issues of existence with an extraordinary vibrancy and irresistible flair.

unknown person writing

The Stone Diaries narrates the life story of Daisy Goodwill Flett, an ‘ordinary’ woman whose story is absolutely extraordinary. I received this novel as a graduation gift in 1993 and it is an absolute pleasure to revisit it and think about how differently I’m reading it now at almost 50, than I did as a bright-eyed young graduate

person holding brown and black box

The Stone Diaries won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995. It is often regarded as a modern classic. and Margaret Atwood quite rightly describes it as Carol Shields’ ‘glory book’- I think if it weren’t for COVID, I’d be suggesting it to our book group as I’d absolutely love to hear what a wide range of women with all different life experiences and outlooks would make of it.

black and white book page

I got really interested in reading around the book this time and it was fascinating to reflect on the afterword where Carole Shields tells us:

When I first began the novel I thought I was writing a family saga…Before long I realized I was, instead, writing about the subject of autobiography, about the central question of whether or not we can know the story of our own lives…The most substantial parts of a human narrative, it seemed to me, were borrowed from the impressions that other people – friends and family and passing acquaintances – had of us and I wanted these imagined voices to enter the novel and to inform Daisy Goodwill Flett…What do people think of us? These received thoughts, sometimes tragically, make a life.

brown and black hardbound book

Daisy Stone Goodwill drifts through the roles of child, wife, widow, and mother, and finally into her old age. Bewildered by her inability to understand her place in her own life, Daisy attempts to find a way to tell her story within a novel that is itself about the limitations of autobiography. How can we accurately convey all the tiny agonies and wonders of a life through the narrow medium of words? This novel is even more fascinating to read now that I have much more of my own life to look back on an I think it will make a great read for the end of a year as it is a book that inspires much reflection and meditation on my own life as well as Daisy’s

brown book

This book is a stunning mosaic of observations, fragments and recollections that blend together like a real life looked back upon with repetition, inaccuracies, conflicting accounts and omissions. It was very nostalgic to read it again and I’m delighted that Anne Cater invited me onto the tour and allowed me to reconnect with this much-loved classic that is a seminal piece of writing in considering the way that women’s lives have evolved across the 20th century.

black and white book on brown wooden table

The Stone Diaries allows us to think about the radical transformations that have occurred in the lives of ‘ordinary women’ throughout the last century. It is also a fascinating account of one woman’s experiences, warts and all – with a wonderful supporting cast that will stay in your mind long after you’ve finished reading Daisy’s story. I enjoyed thinking about who might recall moments in my own life and where I might fit into the recollections of the lives of others. It’s a really thought provoking read and i think it would make a wonderful Christmas gift for a woman who’s looking for a new writer to fall in love with.

selective focus photography of Holy Bible

I loved being invited onto this blog tour by the lovely Anne Cater to mark the launch of the Carol Shields Prize for Fiction, a North American literary award dedicated to women’s fiction. Thank you to Random Things Tours and World Editions for inviting me to be part of the blog tour to promote the re-publication Check out these reviews from these other fantastic book bloggers…

silver and diamond ring on book page

Buy yourself a copy of The Stone Diaries here and find out how wonderful it is for yourself

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Writer On The Shelf

Carol Shields Author pic

Carol Shields (1935–2003) was born in the United States and emigrated to Canada when she was 22. She is acclaimed for her empathetic and witty, yet penetrating insights into human nature.

Her most famous novel, The Stone Diaries, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, along with the Governor General’s Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Happenstance was praised as her tour de force, masterly combining two novels in one. The international bestseller Mary Swann was awarded with the Arthur Ellis Award for best Canadian mystery, while The Republic of Love was chosen as the first runner-up for the Guardian Fiction Prize.

In 2020, the Carol Shields Prize for Fiction, a North American literary award dedicated to writing by women, was set up in her honour. Her work has been published in over thirty languages.