Sunday Connection – What’s Been Happening This Week? #SundayBlogShare

Just in case you’ve spent the last few days hoping it’s still the holidays and you’ve been hiding under the duvet…

Here’s what you may have missed:

Monday: Karen Bernard reviewed romantic Suspense – When A Stranger Comes by Karen Bell

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Tuesday: I reviewed historical fiction The Lady’s Slipper by Deborah Swift

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Wednesday: Karen Oberlaender reviewed thriller Nothing Bad Happens Here by Nikki Crutchley

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Thursday: Judith Barrow reviewed literary fiction The Unrivalled Transcendence of Willem J Gyle by J.D Dixon

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Friday: Olga Miret reviewed naval thriller Jonah by Carl Rackman

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Saturday: Alison Williams reviewed cultural fiction All The Tomorrows by Nillu Nasser

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There have also been some fun posts

Top ten new-to-me authors I read in 2017

WWW Wednesday (what are you reading meme)

Plus news from around the Blogosphere

Pages unbound – Book Blogging resources for the New Year

https://pagesunbound.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/book-blogging-resources-for-the-new-year/#like-16481

Is literary fiction in decline? – Asks Caroline at Bookword.co.uk

http://www.bookword.co.uk/is-literary-fiction-in-decline/

January Blues? How To Create A Happiness Jar – Shelley Wilson – Motivate Me Now

https://motivatemenow.co.uk/2018/01/01/how-to-create-a-happiness-jar-for-2018-newyear-inspiration/

Just the thing if you need cash after the holidays – Rachel Poli lists some writing competitions with money prizes!

https://rachelpoli.com/2018/01/03/january-february-2018-writing-submissions/

2018 Book Industry Predictions: Are Indie Authors Losing their Independence?

http://blog.smashwords.com/2017/12/2018-book-industry-predictions.html

Finally a fun post – 10 signs you may not be loving your current read…

https://iwuvbooks.wordpress.com/2018/01/04/10-signs-you-may-not-be-loving-your-current-read/

 

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #Thriller NOTHING BAD HAPPENS HERE by @NikkiCAuthor

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

#RBRT Review Team

Karen has been reading Nothing Bad Happens Here by Nikki Crutchley

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My Opinion

This book introduces you to Miller Hatcher, a young journalist with alcohol issues. Her intent is to gain a promotion by covering the murder of Bethany Haliwell.

With Nothing Bad Happens Here, Nikki Crutchley has created a gripping as well as chilling story with a plot that keeps its promises. It is a plot that kept me glued to my eReader, drawing me very close to Miller, and to Kahu. Nikki Crutchley created a well elaborated suspense story with a complex and likable heroine – as well as a colourful variety of further important characters. Miller and the others are believable, complemented by the aptly written plot. There is a lot more to the story than simply good versus bad; there are some insights in the human behaviour that will make you wonder. It is a highly enjoyable read with authentic characters, interesting turns, and a great flow. A memorable book to read again, written by a new author to watch out for!

This is a book for you if you like intriguing suspense, feisty heroines, believable characters, and if you appreciate cleverly elaborated stories.

Book description

“She looked away from his face and took in the clear spring night, full of stars. Her last thoughts were of her mother. Would she finally care, when one day they found her body, and a policeman came knocking at her door?”

The body of missing tourist Bethany Haliwell is found in the small Coromandel town of Castle Bay, where nothing bad ever happens. News crews and journalists from all over the country descend on the small seaside town as old secrets are dragged up and gossip is taken as gospel.
Among them is Miller Hatcher, a journalist battling her own demons, who arrives intent on gaining a promotion by covering the grisly murder.
Following an anonymous tip, Miller begins to unravel the mystery of the small town. And when another woman goes missing, Miller finds herself getting closer to the truth. But at what cost?

About the author

After seven years of working as a librarian in New Zealand and overseas, Nikki now works as a freelance proofreader and copy editor. She lives in the small Waikato town of Cambridge in New Zealand with her husband and two girls.
Nikki has been writing on and off her whole life and recently has had success in flash fiction. She has been published in Flash Frontier, Flash Fiction Magazine and Mayhem Literary Journal. Crime/thriller/mystery novels are her passion. Nothing Bad Happens Here is her first novel (but hopefully not her last), set on the Coromanadel Coast of New Zealand.

Nikki Crutchley

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s Review Team #RBRT #Thriller Nothing Bad Happens Here by @NikkiCAuthor #TuesdayBookBlog

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

#RBRT Review Team

Noelle has been reading Nothing Bad Happens Here by Nikki Crutchley

Nothing Bad Happens Here by [Crutchley, Nikki]

This is Nikki Crutchley’s first book, and for an initial outing, it’s pretty darned good.

The story:

A young tourist disappears from Castle Bay, a small tourist town on the east coast of North Island of New Zealand. When her mangled and mauled body is discovered, news crews and journalists descend on the town. Among them is Miller Hatcher, a young magazine writer battling alcoholism, who is sent there by her editor with the promise of a huge splash in the magazine if she can assemble a strong story for the next month’s edition.

Leading the investigation in Castle Bay is Sgt. Kahu Parata, a Maori and twenty-year member of the local constabulary, at least Detective Nicholson and a team of four arrive. Nicholson pushes Parata aside, leaving him to the day to day running of the station and the odious task of informing the victim’s parents. But Nicholson doesn’t know the town like Parata does. Castle Bay has some dark and well concealed history, but everyone believes nothing bad ever happens there.

Miller finds the only housing available at a wellness retreat a few minutes out of town. It is recommended to her by the wife of the head of the Town Council who herself is going there for a few days’ respite. The wellness center is populated by a small group of women experiencing a variety of crises and has a threatening caretaker who has found needed isolation there after losing his family.  A visitor at the wellness center disappeared from there many years previously, but she was never found, and the town’s residents still believes Castle Bay is safe and welcoming.

***

There are several threads to this mystery, which the author unravels deliberately and with excruciating tension, before wrapping them together tidily in a completely unexpected ending. There are also a couple of ‘gotcha’ moments that gave me a chill. The pacing of the story is excellent and keeps you turning pages (or swiping your Kindle, as the case may be). But the best part of the book are the characters, whom Ms. Crutchley details in such precision that you can easily see them in your mind’s eye. What I particularly liked was that each of them had flaws – their imperfections made them three dimensional and human.

Of the two characters from whose point of view them mystery is seen, I found myself liking Parada, who while caring for a gentle wife with an undisclosed but serious illness, mourns the fact they’ve been unable to have children. Miller is less likeable – her need for alcohol interferes with her investigative journalism and causes her to pull her hairs out one by one in disgusting detail. Nevertheless, she is largely fearless and determined to follow events wherever they lead, even when one of the women at the wellness center subsequently disappears.

The town itself – in an exotic locale for those of us not from that part of the world – becomes a character, full of interesting detail, and darkly looming, surrounded by jungle. As Miller investigates the trails leading into the jungle, the black cloud of evil that seems ever-present for most of the book is cloying, palpable, and ominous.

This is a satisfying read and I recommend it – a great first book for this author.

A quote to tempt you:

“She looked away from his face and took in the clear spring night, full of stars. Her last thoughts were of her mother. Would she finally care, when one day they found her body, and a policeman came knocking at her door?”

Book description

“She looked away from his face and took in the clear spring night, full of stars. Her last thoughts were of her mother. Would she finally care, when one day they found her body, and a policeman came knocking at her door?”

The body of missing tourist Bethany Haliwell is found in the small Coromandel town of Castle Bay, where nothing bad ever happens. News crews and journalists from all over the country descend on the small seaside town as old secrets are dragged up and gossip is taken as gospel.
Among them is Miller Hatcher, a journalist battling her own demons, who arrives intent on gaining a promotion by covering the grisly murder.
Following an anonymous tip, Miller begins to unravel the mystery of the small town. And when another woman goes missing, Miller finds herself getting closer to the truth. But at what cost?

About the author

After seven years of working as a librarian in New Zealand and overseas, Nikki now works as a freelance proofreader and copy editor. She lives in the small Waikato town of Cambridge in New Zealand with her husband and two girls.
Nikki has been writing on and off her whole life and recently has had success in flash fiction. She has been published in Flash Frontier, Flash Fiction Magazine and Mayhem Literary Journal. Crime/thriller/mystery novels are her passion. Nothing Bad Happens Here is her first novel (but hopefully not her last), set on the Coromanadel Coast of New Zealand.

Nikki Crutchley

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter