Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT IREX by @CarlRackman Victorian Seafaring HistFic #Thriller

Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs here http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Noelle has been reading Irex by Carl Rackman

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Book Review: #Victorian historical mystery #psychological thriller #seafaring tale

 Irex is Carl Rackman’s debut novel, and in terms of creating a feeling of doom and tension in totally bleak surroundings, this author succeeds too well!

Set in the late Victorian era, the story alternates between the maiden voyage of the steel hulled, tall ship Irex, and the investigation into the causes of its wreck and the fate of the survivors amongst her passengers. The settings: The Firth of Clyde, the North Atlantic and the Isle of Wight – all in late winter with unceasing rain, snow and sleet.

Will Hutton, a good and decent married man, has been chosen to captain Irex on this voyage, the ship carrying a cargo of three thousand tons of pig iron to Rio de Janeiro. Hutton has decades of sailing experience, having served on such ships since he was a boy. In addition to the cargo, there are three passengers on Irex: Salvation Army missionaries George and Elizabeth Barstow and a mysterious man of means, Edward Clarence. Captain Hutton’s developing relationships with each of these passengers is a complex subplot, more so when he discovers that one of them hides a horrifying past and none of them are who they seem. The unending storms preventing Irex from making headway on her journey and an early death of a crew member foretells an ill-fated voyage. Lack of sleep, his physical attraction to Mrs. Barstow, challenges to his authority and blackmail all threaten Hutton’s ability to save his ship and challenge his sanity.

Irex wrecks off the Isle of Wight six weeks after sailing from Scotland, and a county coroner, Frederick Blake, is sent to the island to hold an inquiry into the cause. The inquiry is compromised from the start by the existence of a mole within the procedure, and with a disturbing lack of information and witnesses, Blake finds he himself must unravel the events dooming the ship, as well as the character of the crew and its passengers, to reach a finding. When he discovers that powerful forces within the British aristocracy are working to impede his investigation, he is more determined than ever to find out what actually occurred aboard Irex.

The atmosphere of this mystery is exceptional and the author’s attention to detail, especially in the chapters dealing with the voyage and the sailing of such a large ship, show an incredible depth of research. The ship, its crew, and their responsibilities are finely delineated – as a sailor myself, I appreciated the descriptions.

The author has created a rich Victorian world and spun the tail with colourful, unforgettable characters, weaving in intrigue and mystery. When the truth about Clarence is revealed, the plot unveils a deeper depravity – for me a light bulb moment.

My only complaint is the slow pace at which the plot unfolds. The book is dense, very dense, and there were stretches that could have been shortened significantly without affecting the content. I truly wanted to digest it all but wanted more to get to the resolution!

Mr. Rackman is an exceptional writer and this is a superb first outing – a psychological thriller, a seafaring adventure, and first rate murder mystery. I look forward to his next book.

Book Description

In the harsh winter of December 1889, the sailing vessel Irex leaves Scotland bound for Rio de Janeiro. She carries three thousand tons of pig iron and just three passengers for what should be a routine voyage. But Captain Will Hutton discovers that one of his passengers hides a horrifying secret. 

When the Irex is wrecked off the Isle of Wight six weeks later, it falls to the county coroner, Frederick Blake, to begin to unravel the events that overtook the doomed ship — but he soon finds that powerful forces within the British Establishment are working to thwart him. Locked in a race against time and the sinister agents sent to impede him, he gradually discovers that nothing aboard the Irex is what it first seemed… 

Irex is an atmospheric mystery, set in a rich Victorian world, packed with intrigue, twists and colourful characters — the spellbinding first novel by Carl Rackman.

About the author

Carl Rackman

Carl Rackman is a former airline pilot with interests in seafaring and mysteries. His reading is multi-genre – historical, sci-fi, fantasy and techno – but psychological thrillers are prime. He started writing in 2016 and Irex is his first novel. He lives in Surrey, UK.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT GIRL IN A GOLDEN CAGE by @lucyBranch11 #Alchemy #Italy

Today’s team review is from Judith W, she blogs here https://readandreview2016.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Judith has been reading Girl In A Golden Cage by Lucy Branch

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#RBRT: GIRL IN A GOLDEN CAGE by LUCY BRANCH @lucyBranch11 #BookReview #CrimeThriller

  • Title: Girl In A Golden Cage
  • Author: Lucy Branch
  • Published: 2016
  • Started: 19th December 2016
  • Finished: 31st December 2016

Girl In A Golden Cage is about Francesca Milliardo as she discovers she has an extraordinary and supernatural talent. She visits her rich father in Milan, and enjoys a life of glitz and glamour – a refreshing change from her home in the UK, but slowly begins to feel more unsettled.

From my understanding, Girl In A Golden Cage is the sequel to A Rarer Gift Than Gold, which I’m only just realising now. I haven’t read A Rarer Gift Than Gold, which, according to Amazon, is about Abigail Argent, a skilled craftswoman, who can enhance the beauty in metal sculptures. She discovers her craft is linked the art of alchemy, and uncovers a dangerous secret.

Although Abigail features in Girl In A Golden Cage, I don’t think I’ve missed out, despite not reading the first book. Francesca is a new character, and we explore the seemingly luxurious and wonderful Italian through her eyes – not Abigail’s – and watch her gradually uncover her father’s deception.

There are lots of Italian references (obviously) and a lot of artistic language and description. I didn’t really understand these parts – I’m not a very artistic or multi-cultural person, but I am confident Branch knows what she’s talking about. Amazon lists some of her achievements, such as studying at University College London, The Royal College of Art and Victoria Albert Museum and being a restorer of public sculptures and historic features.

My favourite aspect of this book were Francesca’s “out of body” experiences; they were supernatural, but not scary. While I don’t believe in “out of body” experiences in real life, I think it’s a fascinating subject to write fiction about, and made the storyline enjoyable.

While I liked the character of Lorin, I thought his motivations for involving himself Francesca were a little predictable. I didn’t feel that their connection was “real”, despite Francesca believing she was in a genuine and trusting relationship.

Also, I’m not sure what genre Girl In A Golden Cage is meant to be – it’s very difficult to pin down. There’s suspense, but it’s not wholly a mystery novel. There are some violent moments, and criminal activity does crop up, but I don’t feel like there’s enough to classify it as a crime novel. If anyone has any suggestions as to a genre which best fits this book, I’d be glad to hear them.

For me, the main let-down of Girl In A Golden Cage was a little too much unnecessary dialogue and the subsequent description of speech acts (e.g. he said/she said). I’m a strong believer in not overusing dialogue (or obvious narration) to convey basic information. For example (this is not lifted from the book, but an exaggerated example), I prefer to interpret a speaker’s body language, for instance, based on the way they speak and the character traits that have already been assigned to them, rather than a descriptive line of dialogue such as: “I am very annoyed” said the man, in a frustrated tone of voice, folding his arms and scowling.

On the whole, despite not reading A Rarer Gift Than Gold, I managed to enjoy Girl In A Golden Cage and thought it was a good book, although I can’t put into words exactly why that is!

Star Rating: 4/5 Stars

A Rarer Gift Than Gold is available to buy as an e-book or paperback from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.

Girl In A Golden Cage is available to buy as an e-book or paperback from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.

Book Description

She has an eye for detail but can she see the truth? Making decisions is not one of Francesca Miliardo’s strengths so when something mysterious starts unfolding in her father’s mansion in Milan – it’s no surprise that she’s unsure what to do. Francesca dreams of becoming a star in the contemporary art world and she has all the right connections, though what should be a summer of fun is turning out to be anything but.

Crippling migraines have always been a burden, now strange happenings are making her question whether they really are a curse. It’s not the best time to fall for someone, but who could resist a man with wolf’s eyes? Knowing who to trust is vital when those closest to you are suddenly not all they seem. It’s the time in Francesca’s life to make some hard choices: follow her own path or step into somebody else’s story.

About the author

Lucy Branch

Lucy Branch’s fiction has been featured on Radio 4, Timeout London and The BBC World Service. She is an expert in the conservation of public sculpture and has worked on some of the UK’s highest profile projects including Nelson’s Column, Eros and Cleopatra’s Needle. She studied at University College London, The Royal College of Art and Victoria Albert Museum. Her knowledge and passion for the art world is poured into her fiction which she weaves together with myth, conspiracy theory and fantasy.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT ECLIPSE LAKE by @MaeClair1 #Romance #Mystery

Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs at http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Noelle has been reading Eclipse Lake by Mae Clair

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Eclipse Lake is the latest book from popular author Mae Clair. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of romance, but I enjoyed this book because the romance had a good dash of mystery thrown in.

The story takes place mainly in the small town of Onyx, which lies on the edge of Eclipse Lake. As you might suspect, it has some dark secrets, and one of them is the troubled past of widower Dane Carlisle, owner of a successful security company. Dane left Onyx under a cloud fifteen years earlier and now wants to reconnect with his older brother Jonah, a park warden. He returns to Onyx with his adopted teenage son, Jesse, child of his wife. The reader is quickly ensnared in the enmity between Dane and his brother, who can’t forgive Dane for failing to return when their mother was dying. Adding to the tension is Roy Harland, sheriff of Onyx and father of Brenda, who disappeared around the time Dane left Onyx. Harland has always thought Dane has something to do with her disappearance.

Romance rears its head with the arrival of Ellie Sullivan, world-traveling nature photographer, whose latest assignment brings her to Eclipse Lake. Her first encounter with Dane is contentious, but as things go, she finds herself overwhelmingly attracted to him. Jesse also finds puppy love with Paige Taggert, daughter of the town’s deputy and quickly becomes enmeshed in the lives of the teens of the town, all of whom are super nice.

The mystery begins when a rain storm reveals the skeletal remains of the sheriff’s daughter, and Dane’s past comes back to haunt him.

The story made me think of Lake Wobegon, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” Dane is the strikingly handsome, super-rich, clean-as-a-whistle man, Ellie is the beautiful young woman, and Jesse alternates between mature, rationale adult and whining teenager. I know this is the traditional format for a romance but the characters are a little too good to be true. The sheriff, who brings the real tension to the story, is one dimensional.

What does ring honestly is the relationship between the brothers, once close, now bitter. The resentment of Jonah comes through loud and clear, as the various facets of their lives are shown to be complicated by the past.

This is a fairly squeaky-clean romance with an unexpected ending to the mystery of the who killed Brenda Harland. This saved the book for me, the non-romance reader. It’s well-written and -plotted, which are the hallmarks of the author and undoubtedly why she has so many ardent followers.

I would have to recommend this book to any die-hard romantics.

Book Description

Small towns hold the darkest secrets.
Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son. 
But memories in small towns are bitter and long.
Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.

About The Author

Mae Clair

A member of International Thriller Writers, Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. 

Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with conflict, mystery, suspense and a hint of romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats. 

Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at www.MaeClair.net

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INTO THE SHADOWS by @MarieJones14057 Irish #Romance #SundayBlogShare

Into The Shadows *** NUMBER 1 BOOK ***Into The Shadows *** NUMBER 1 BOOK *** by Marie Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Into The Shadows is a romance set in Dingle, Ireland. Lily Crossways recently found a ghostly figure in the background of a beach photo she’d taken whilst on holiday. Lily swore the beach was empty when she took the photo, yet Lily is convinced the woman needs her help.

The draw to return to Dingle is so strong that Lily sets out for Ireland once more. She begins showing around her photo and finds she opens a Pandora’s box of suppressed memories.

David’s sister has been missing for several years, searches have been fruitless, but when Lily shows him the photo, he can’t believe his eyes. At first he thinks it is a hoax, but Lily wins him round and they begin a new search. Their digging also opens old wounds which link Lily’s family to Dingle and more than one person needs to face their past before they can move forward.

This is a light easy read in a lovely setting and the paranormal thread was an interesting storyline, I wasn’t quite convinced with Lily’s character leaping from a shy introvert type to a strong adventurous leader and all round heroine, perhaps she just hadn’t found her passion in life and Dingle was meant to be her true life path? Recommended for lovers of Irish themed romances.

View all my reviews Goodreads

Book Description

Arriving home from a short holiday in Dingle, Lily Crossways makes a staggering discovery – on one of her photos taken on ‘Inch’ beach, a woman’s desperate face is staring directly at her. Yet Lily knows she was alone that day on the beach. 
Who is she, is she even real, and why has she appeared to Lily? 
Unable to let the woman go, Lily makes the uncharacteristic decision to leave behind her safe world in England and return to Dingle to try and find her. Her search eventually leads her to cafe owner David Carson, this woman’s brother, who hasn’t seen his ‘missing’ sister in five years. 
Lily must now convince him to trust in her, taking bold steps to prove herself to him, and together track down his sister before it’s too late. 
Yet are either prepared for the hidden secrets they are about to uncover in their earnest desire to find her, and the impact it will have on those they love? 

About the author

where I loved nothing more than writing stories into my special A4 lined exercise book.

I remember my English teacher reading out one of my stories to the whole class and encouraging me to keep writing.  Later in life, I went on to study creative writing at evening class.

My favourite place to write is in my lounge when the house is quiet and my kids are out (though have learnt to write around noise!).

I have always been an avid reader from the first moment I could read, and some of my favourite authors are Kate Moreton, Santa Montefiore, Philippa Gregory, and Nicholas Sparks to name a few. Any book that grips me, will always pull me in.

Around writing and family life, I also work part time as a Teaching Assistant at a local primary school, every day encouraging the budding talent of our future writers.

I’m married, and we have two gorgeous children. I’m loving being in my 40s and highly recommend it!

My other passions include photography, travelling and pencil drawing. I ran my own photography business for a few years and had my photos exhibited.

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit many countries around the world, yet Ireland still remains one of my all time favourite countries. What an amazing world, full of God’s beauty and creation, we live in…

Whether I am writing stories, photographing or drawing, everyday men and women with all their amazing complexities will always fascinate and inspire me.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT REGICIDE by @DavidBoyle1958 #HistFic #Mystery

Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs at http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Noelle has been reading Regicide by David Boyle

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Book Review – Regicide: Peter Abelard and the Great Jewel

Regicide begins with a description of a historical event: King William of England, known as William Rufus (1087-1100) died after being struck by an arrow while he was hunting in Normandy, shot by a person unknown. His younger brother Henry succeeded him with such great haste that murder was suspected, but never proven.

The real story commences in 1119, when Hilary (a person who did exist), a traveling teacher, sometime poet and clerk in Holy Orders, is let go from his position as a tutor to the daughter of the Lord of Beaugency, after she dies of St. Anthony’s fire (ergot poisoning, common in France and Germany at the time). Taken by cart with his books and papers to the Loire River, from where he could go by boat to Orleans in search of a new position, he spends the night at a riverside inn. There he meets John of Muchelney who buys the impoverished young man his dinner and afterwards plays dice with him. When Hilary loses, his debt is discharged by his obligation to take a bulky pouch to Count Fulk of Anjou. The next morning, Hilary finds John horribly murdered and fearing himself in danger, eschews the boat and quickly begins the many days’ walk to Orleans and then Chartres. Still feeling himself followed, he goes on to Paris to consult with his old tutor and Master, Peter Abelard, in the hopes of some direction as to what to do.

When he and Abelard read the contents of the pouch entrusted to Hilary, they realize that it is part of a conspiracy to overthrow King Henry, a message about who benefitted from the death of William Rufus, and about the Great Jewel of Alfred the Great, which had been missing since 1066. Despite the fact the contents puts Hilary in the crosshairs of both sides of the debate, he nevertheless feels his vow to deliver its contents is unbreakable and Abelard decides to help Hilary fulfill his promise.

The author weaves many historical characters in and out of this story – Heloise, Fulk of Anjou, Walter Tirel, Hugues de Payen – as our pair travels as far as Jerusalem in search of Fulk, then returns with the rejected pouch contents to present to King Henry as a sign of goodwill. Death follows them, and the reader is treated to the Tower of London, along with a mass of other historical details.

The story reminded me no small amount of the adventures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Peter Abelard is the philosopher, deep thinker, orator and teacher, while Hilary, his student, is the grounding and querying sidekick.

I loved the history around which this novel is woven – that of the Anglo-Saxons – and I found the detail captivating. However, because of this detail, the book must be read slowly to absorb everything and I found myself doing some online searching of the history. It also varies from slow and ponderous exposition to scenes filled with action and tension. Luckily there was enough of the latter to keep me going!

If you like historical fiction and an alternative and intriguing story of an ages-old mystery, and you don’t mind the occasional slow pace, then Regicide is a book for you.

This review is offered as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team. I purchased this book for review.

Book Description

England, 1100. King William Rufus is killed with an arrow on a hunt. Rumours start immediately that he was murdered. Nineteen years later in France, Hilary the Englishman is dismissed from his position as tutor when his student, Alys, a young girl with whom he has fallen in love, dies of fever.
Turned out in the street Hilary meets a strange man offers to buy Hilary a meal if he does him a favour. He gives Hilary a pouch of silver, and a message to be delivered to Count Fulk in Anjou. But by morning the man is dead, and the crows feasting on his body. Fearing he will be accused of murder, Hilary flees. But he owes a debt of honour to deliver the message. Hilary knows only one man can help him. His former teacher, the brilliant Peter Abelard.
Much has happened to Abelard in the years since Hilary knew him. Although he may not be the man he was, he comes to the aid of his former student, deciphering the message….A message about the death of King William Rufus all those years before. A message about who benefited from that death and about the Great Jewel of Alfred the Great… a jewel which rested in the crown used at the coronation of kings, but has been missing since 1066. Hilary and Abelard’s journey will take them through France, England, and Jerusalem as they race against time to save their own lives, and the fate of the monarchy. For there is a mysterious Saxon claimant to the throne.

About the author

David Boyle

David Courtney Boyle, 1958-, is a British author and journalist who writes mainly about history and new ideas in economics, money, business and culture. He lives in the South Downs. His most recent public role was conducting an independent review for the Treasury and the Cabinet Office on Barriers to Public Service Choice, which reported early in 2013.

His book Authenticity put the phenomenon on the business and political agenda. His previous books The Tyranny of Numbers and The Sum of Our Discontent predicted and fermented the backlash against target culture. Funny Money helped launched the time banks movement in the UK.

More recently, he has been writing about why organisations and public services are so ineffective, working with the New Economics Foundation and NESTA on a series of publications about coproduction, and publishing his own solutions as The Human Element. This argues that organisations have abandoned human skills in favour of numerical targets or IT systems, which frustrate the business of building relationships and making things happen.

His history books usually have a business or economic dimension, including Blondel’s Song (UK) and The Troubadour’s Song (USA) about the imprisonment and ransom of Richard the Lionheart. His 2008 book Toward the Setting Sun tells the intertwined story of Christopher Columbus, John Cabot and Amerigo Vespucci and their race for America in the 1490s. His 2010 book, Eminent Corporations with (Andrew Simms) has introduced a new genre, the mini-corporate biography, launching the idea of corporate history as tragedy. His recent book Broke has launched a public debate about the plight of the middle classes.

He has been the editor of several journals including New Economics and Town & Country Planning. He is a fellow of the New Economics Foundation and has been at the heart of the effort to develop co-production and introduce time banks to Britain as a critical element of public service reform. He has been closely involved in their Clone Town Britain campaign and writes about the future of volunteering, cities and business. He edited the Foundation’s publications New Economics, News from the New Economy, and then Radical Economics from 1987-2010.

David helped found the London Time Bank, and was co-founder of Time Banking UK. He has been a candidate for Parliament of the United Kingdom. He was editor of the weekly Liberal Democrat News from 1992-1998.

His bestselling books for Kindle have mainly been about history, including Alan Turing: Unlocking the Enigma, Peace on Earth and Unheard, Unseen.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT A SHORTCUT TO MURDER by William Savage @penandpension #HistFic

Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs here http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Noelle has been reading A Shortcut To Murder by William Savage

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#Book Review: A Shortcut to Murder by William Savage @penandpension #RBRT #historical mystery

This review is for Rosie’s #Bookreview team. The book was purchased by the reviewer.

A Shortcut To Murder is the third in The Dr. Adam Bascom Mysteries set in Georgian England. I’ve read the first two and was intrigued by the historical setting and, since I’m married to a physician and taught medical students for years, was drawn to the sleuth.

The main character, Dr. Adam Bascom, practices medicine in Aylsham, a small town in Norwich. His closest friend, and the person off of whom he bounces ideas, is Peter Lassimer, a pharmacist and a confirmed ladies’ man. Indeed, Dr. Bascom’s unmarried status is the subject of many of their interchanges and a thread running through this book, as in the first two, but with more intensity.

After solving the previous two murders, the good doctor is anxious to get back to treating patients, and his first is the nephew of Lady Alice, young widow of one of Bascom’s former patients. Bascom becomes progressively drawn into this family and drawn to Lady Alice as the story evolves. However, he is interrupted in his practice yet again, this time called by his brother, Giles, a magistrate, to confirm the findings of a local coroner in the death of Sir Jackman Wennard, a local landowner, debauching scoundrel, racehorse breeder and baronet. His son, now Sir Robert, is an equally repugnant character and refuses to accept that his father’s death was anything more than an accident.

Sir Jackman was killed by a blow to his body, which caused him to fall off his horse and break his neck. Bascom quickly confirms the injury he sustained could not have resulted from a simple fall, but rather from running into a rope, which flung him back and all but severed his head from his body. There are many unresolved questions and as some are answered, others emerge. How could the blow be delivered with such force? How could the killer have known where and when to lie in wait? – especially since no one could have foreseen Sir Jackman’s movements on the morning of his death.

Who is the woman who caused Sir Jackman to take the path he did that morning, and why is his son so determined to prevent the lawyers from assessing Jackman’s belongings in order to probate his will? Piling on to Bascom’s confusion is the kidnapping of Sir Robert. Is it related to the rash of highway robberies plaguing local roads?

This is the densest of the author’s mysteries yet, with many threads that as they are pulled, reveal others. It also adds more depth to the main character, his determination to find the answers, his insight, and also his confusion about himself – does he want to remain a country doctor and how does he truly feel about women? Add to that a wealth of detailed information about life in Georgian Norwich, all of which gives the reader a rich slice of life at that time.

There are some drawbacks to this novel: there are long dialogue dumps and there is repetition galore as Bascom goes over and over what he knows with various friends and family. As I result, I did skim some pages.

Overall, though, I enjoyed this book as much as the previous one and would recommend it to anyone who likes historical mysteries.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

MÂTOWAK: WOMAN WHO CRIES by Jolene N Butler @cluculzwriter #Canada #Mystery #TuesdayBookBlog

Mâtowak: Woman Who CriesMâtowak: Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three Point Five Stars.

Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries is a murder mystery set in Canada, and is a sequel to “Broken But Not Dead”. The book opens with a murder scene of Leland Warner a former Minister of National Defense. During Leland’s life and political career he built a long list of enemies and it quickly becomes a high profile case.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Corporal Danny Killian is given the case, he’s a native Haida aboriginal, whose wife was recently murdered, which gives him an emotional tie to Leland’s wife Sally.

Sally Warner has suffered enough; miscarriages, a still birth of a daughter and the death of two sons eighteen months ago, and now she faces life without her husband too. However she cannot be dismissed as a possible suspect.

The book is written from alternating points of view of both Sally and Killian with added character’s own thoughts in an aside to the reader. The plot builds the suspense with suitable twists. Throughout we see a side of Canada described by culture and racism which adds to the atmosphere of the story-line.

There was room to shorten some of the dialogue into more natural everyday conversations, especially where the police procedures were being described, I expect most crime readers or TV viewers of crime have a good notion of what goes on and some of the details felt a little unnecessary, or repetitive.

My review is based on a free ARC pre final edit in return for an honest review.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

 
Author Joylene Nowell Butler is on tour this month with MC Book Tours featuring her new novel, Mâtowak Woman Who Cries, being released Nov. 1 by Dancing Lemur Press L.L.C.
You can follow Joylene’s tour schedule HERE for excerpts, Q&As,  chances to win copies of her book and more.
A murder enveloped in pain and mystery…
When Canada’s retired Minister of National Defense, Leland Warner, is murdered in his home, the case is handed to Corporal Danny Killian, an aboriginal man tortured by his wife’s unsolved murder.
The suspect, 60-year-old Sally Warner, still grieves for the loss of her two sons, dead in a suicide/murder eighteen months earlier. Confused and damaged, she sees in Corporal Killian a friend sympathetic to her grief and suffering and wants more than anything to trust him.
Danny finds himself with a difficult choice—indict his prime suspect, the dead minister’s horribly abused wife or find a way to protect her and risk demotion. Or worse, transfer away from the scene of his wife’s murder and the guilt that haunts him…

 

Mâtowak Woman Who Cries is available in eBook at the following sites:
The print copy is available at: 

 

When Joylene’s father died in 1983, she wrote her first full–length manuscript to channel her grief. The seven-year process left her hooked and she began Dead Witness within a few weeks of finishing Always Father’s Child. Today Joylene is the author of three suspense novels: Dead Witness, Broken But Not Dead, and the steampunk collaboration Break Time. While she’ll admit being published didn’t fix all the wrongs in her life, she wishes her parents had lived to see her success. Dead Witness was a finalist in the 2012 Global eBook Awards. Broken But Not Dead won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal and its sequel Mâtowak Woman Who Cries is due for release November 1, 2016.
Joylene lives with her husband and their two cats Marbles and Shasta on beautiful Cluculz Lake in central British Columbia. They spend their winters in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico.
For more on Joylene and her writing, visit her website and blog then connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and her Amazon Author Page.

 

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT POISON BAY by @Belinda_Pollard #Mystery set in #NewZealand

Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs at http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Noelle has been reading Poison Bay by Belinda Pollard

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Book Review: Poison Bay by Belinda Pollard

Poison Bay tells the story of a wilderness hike turned dark and deadly. Eight friends from high school embark on a trek into New Zealand’s most forbidding wilderness. All of the trekkers have something from their past to hide, related to the suicide of another classmate, Liana, in front of them at an end-of-high-school party. Each of them has a guilty conscience from their relationship with Liana.

Their leader, Bryan, now lives in New Zealand, and has become an experienced trekker, orienteer, and survivalist. Bryan talks his classmates into joining him on the trek as a reunion celebration, a way to reconnect and work through Liana’s death. Bryan also tells them their expedition would establish an alternative to the famed Milford Track in Fiordland National Park. To ensure their participation, he pays for all their equipment and food. He then proceeds to take his classmates on a trek through unplotted and challenging wilderness at a brutal pace. By the time the classmates realize the sinister purpose of the trip, they are hopelessly lost and missing emergency communication equipment. Have they learned enough from the trek so far to survive and find their way back?

The author clearly has hiking experience in this park and has done a lot of research to make her story realistic. I felt myself trekking with them. I wish I could feel the characters as well. I wondered what they’d all been doing for the previous ten years (with the exception of Bryon and Callie) and they were rather two-dimensional, without character or dialogue quirks except for Rachel’s diabetes and Sharon’s lack of athleticism. There were long pages of dialogue I was tempted to skip. I also could not fathom why the group would surrender themselves so willingly to Bryan’s tyrannical leadership and not question where he was taking them a day or two into the hike.

Offsetting this were the challenges to the group’s finding their way out of the park – food, mudslides, avalanches, snow and torrents of rain. Plus a lot of surprises, all plotted in the darkness of Bryan’s need for personal revenge on each of his classmates. Three characters in the group searching for the trekkers – Sgt. Hubble and his trusted deputy, Tom Ganton, and Rachel’s mother – have more depth, and there are surprises in this side of the story as well.

This is the author’s first mystery novel. Despite its shortcomings, I was compelled to read it to the end, pushed by the scenery, surprises, and tension of the trek.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT TROUBLE IN NUALA by @harrietsteel1 #Mystery #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs here http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com

#RBRT Review Team

Cathy has been reading Trouble In Nuala by Harriet Steel

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The story is set in 1930’s Ceylon when it was still a British colony. Inspector Shanti de Silva has left the big, bustling city of Columbo behind with no regrets. He and his English wife, Jane, an ex governess, have settled in the much more peaceful town of Nuala where de Silva runs the local police station with the aid of Sergeant Prasanna and Constable Nadar.

De Silva is called to a meeting with Archie Clutterbuck, the assistant government agent, at his home and asked to investigate a plantation owner who allegedly flogged one of his workers. Charles Renshaw, the plantation owner, is opinionated and unpopular, with a younger, vulnerable wife and stepson. The investigation progresses at a steady pace and as the case evolves there’s a death which turns out to be suspicious. De Silva refuses to be less than efficient regardless of Clutterbuck wanting the case solved with the minimum of fuss. Perhaps, after all, life isn’t going to be as restful as De Silva hoped.

The author’s representation of Ceylon and evocative descriptions conjure up immediate images; the weather, food, scenery and social climate are evident. I can just see de Silva’s sitting in splendour in his pride and joy, the Morris Cowley 2-seater Tourer.

‘Rickshaws darted between bullock carts laden with sacks of rice; piles of bananas and coconuts; and mounds of other fruits and vegetables. Stalls offering cooked food lined the dusty streets and passers-by stopped to purchase bowls of curry and rice or paper cornets of sticky sweetmeats.’

An enjoyable, well written cozy mystery with a cast of well defined characters. Shanti de Silva is an engaging and wonderfully drawn protagonist. A man of principle, practical and not averse to following his own instincts if the situation warrants. The wonderful setting sets the story apart and allows a look back at a fascinating way of life and culture. I love the relationship between De Silva and Jane and look forward to the next book.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com also available free from Kindle Unlimited

Rosie’s #Bookreview #Team #RBRT ECLIPSE LAKE by @MaeClair1 #Mystery #WeekendBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Eclipse Lake by Mae Clair

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Eclipse Lake by Mae Clair

3.5 out of 5 stars

This is a very readable mystery with a romantic sub-plot, involving the feud between two brothers when bad boy-turned-multi-millionaire-philanthropist Dane Carlisle returns to his small home town and finds that the residents have long memories.  Dane has been widowed for two years; his adopted son, Jesse, arrives with him, and soon becomes interested in clearing his father’s name.  This is all set against the backdrop of Eclipse Lake, where Dane meets dedicated photographer Ellie.

By far the best illustrated character is Jonah Carlisle, who did everything right but ended up with so little in comparison with his brother, and can’t forgive Dane for neglecting their late mother.  The complicated relationship between the brothers comes over well, and Jonah’s bitterness, resentment and loneliness is most convincing.  Other characters, I found less so.  Through meeting a businessman who believed in him, Dane metamorphosed from a juvenile delinquent, convict and hobo into this golden success story with the outlook of a puritan priest, who looks like a Greek god but lives a celibate life (I know he was heartbroken when his wife died, but it still didn’t ring true) and, when he falls in love with Ellie (who adores him too, and is much more real), behaves like a 1950s Mills and Boon hero without the passion.

Then there are the teenagers (aged 16-18) who don’t drink, swear, or even smoke the odd dodgy cigarette, and hang out in ice cream parlours.  Jesse behaves like a truculent 14 year old but the next minute is using the vocabulary, reasoning powers and articulation skills of one much older and more experienced.  I did wonder if this is specifically written for the ‘clean read’ market, in which case I suppose many of these observations would be considered plus points!

Having said all that, it is a well thought out plot, I enjoyed reading it for the most part, and I’ll give full marks for the end twist which I totally didn’t guess – something that always impresses me.  Mae Clair writes well, I just think that more realistic characterisation would make all the difference; for instance, if Dane had just cleaned up his act rather than become a dynamic, super-rich Chris Hemsworth/Josh Holloway lookalike.  Then, I could have believed in him.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com