‘A very creepy and threatening feel to the narrative.’ @AlisonW_Editor reviews #Crimefiction Fault Lines by Tsveti Nacheva @guelphed

Today’s team review is from Alison. She blogs here https://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Alison has been reading Fault Lines by Tsveti Nacheva

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I really enjoyed this novel. The characters are very well-written, the writing flows well, and there’s enough intrigue and twists and turns to keep you turning the page.

Laurie’s best friend vanishes after a Halloween party out in the backwoods of Canada. Laurie having gone to bed drunk, can’t remember the night clearly, but what she does remember is that her boyfriend Nate’s clothes were covered in blood – surely he can’t have anything to do with Ashley’s disappearance?

They split up, but years later, Laurie’s work takes her back to her past, and she’s finally forced to confront the truth.

As the story unfolds, our ideas about the characters and their motivations unfold too, and they reveal things about themselves that add to the intrigue of the story. That said, I did feel that Erin was a bit of a missed opportunity – I was expecting more from her and her potential didn’t feel realised.

Laurie, though, is a great character; it’s very easy to believe in her and the way she behaves and to sympathise with her. Her confusion and her emotions are so well portrayed.

The settings work very well too, and there’s a very creepy and threatening feel to the narrative.

One of the strengths of the novel for me was the smaller storyline around Ashley’s mum and her frustration and fear around her daughter’s disappearance. She’s another really well-written and fully realised character.

There are a few issues with tense, however, with lots of switches from past to present that don’t really work, and some of the dialogue feels rather formal.

But overall this is a very well-written and enjoyable novel

Four stars

Desc 1

When the unthinkable happens…
When her best friend disappears from a party at a haunted house attraction, Laurie Arbo fears the worst. Ashley would not just up and leave. As days turn into weeks, it becomes clear that she is not coming back. But without a body, proving that a crime has been committed—let alone unmasking the culprit—is a tall order.

The truth should come first.
All eyes are on Ashley’s boyfriend, who is being cagey. But Laurie’s own partner, Nate, is keeping secrets too. On that fateful night, his clothes were covered in blood, which he swears wasn’t Ashley’s. Refusing to accept the man she loves might be a murderer, Laurie decides to believe him. Yet, unable to put the past behind them, they drift apart.

But what if it’s ugly?
Seven years later, while working on a TV documentary about a local family drama, she reconnects with Nate, and the pieces start falling together. As Laurie draws closer to learning what happened that night, she realizes the truth might be the one thing she doesn’t want to uncover.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #HistoricalFiction Lilacs In The Dust Bowl by @DianaStevan

Lilacs in the Dust BowlLilacs in the Dust Bowl by Diana Stevan

4 stars

Lilacs In The Dust Bowl is historical fiction set in Canada and begins in 1929. It follows Lukia Mazurets and her family who leave their home in the Ukraine and immigrate to Canada. The Canadian authorities have offered farmland at a fraction of the cost of land at home and thousands are flocking there.

However, once Lukia and her family arrive in Winnipeg, all the good land has already been bought. They face extreme cold each winter, summers which stretch to drought, terrible dust storms, grasshopper plagues and near starvation especially when the grain prices plummet as Canada goes into its Depression years.

The book covers around eight years of Lukia’s life; she is fifty-four when she leaves the Ukraine and the book ends with her reflections, then aged sixty-two. This book is the sequel to Sunflowers Under Fire, which I haven’t read, and I was interested to read in the author’s notes that Lukia was the author’s grandmother.

It was quite humbling to read how the family survived. The author’s research into the Depression years shone through with details from the era, but on occasions I felt that some of the story was written so that historical facts could be added, rather than them complimenting the narrative.

As a dedication to the author’s relatives, this book worked well; as an engaging piece of fiction, it was okay, but I struggled to engage with the characters as much as I had hoped and I kept comparing the story to similar ones I’ve read.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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A family saga, set during the Great Depression, when hope and opportunity clashed for all who tried to make a living off the land.

Based on the true story of her grandmother’s trials, Diana Stevan continues the amazing tale of Lukia, a woman who showed—no matter what life threw her—where there’s a will, there’s a way.

When Lukia Mazurets, a Ukrainian peasant farmer, and her family immigrate to Canada in 1929, she has no idea the stock market is about to crash and throw the world into a deep depression. For the next seven years, she and her children will be tested not only by life as immigrants in a strange country but also by the ravages of nature. The threat to family security will also come from her rebellious son, her willful daughter, her arrogant brother, and the married son she’s come to rely on. And to add to the turbulence in her home, she’ll be romanced, awakening desire she thought was long gone.

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