Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Social #Histfic The Swooping Magpie by @LizaPerrat

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

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading The Swooping Magpie by Liza Perrat

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4.5 out of 5 stars

This is a fictional story about the terrible injustices committed towards young, unmarried mothers in Australia until the 1980s, when they were forced into homes and made to sign papers to give their babies up for adoption, often without even seeing them.  It’s hard to imagine such a crime now, but in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when this book is set, a teenage, out-of-wedlock pregnancy was seen as a disgrace to a family, with the girls made to feel like the lowest of the low.  No consideration was given to their feelings, or the resulting trauma they would experience throughout the rest of their lives.  Liza Perrat lists her research material at the back of the book.

Headstrong, pretty and popular Lindsay Townsend has an unhappy childhood with a weak mother and a bully for a father, when she begins an affair with Jon Halliwell, a teacher at her school.  The first half of the book describes not only the passage of the affair and her belief that Jon truly loved her (I loved this part of the book!), but also her time at the home, during which she is finally beaten down.  On a happier note, though, it is there that she made lifelong friends with the other girls who shared her plight.

Jon’s treachery is worse than she knows, as the middle of the book shows us, with a truly shocking twist; I was gripped.  We then move to the immediate aftermath of Lindsay’s loss, and then to the early 1990s and finally to 2013, as she and her friends aim to right the wrongs done to them.

The books is dialogue-led, with much of the story told in conversation. The emotions are real, and well-portrayed, and there is no doubt that Liza Perrat has in no way exaggerated the effect on the women who were at the home with Lindsay; I admit to shedding a tear or two during the final ten per cent of the book. Most of all, though, for anyone who might think, ‘well, I wouldn’t let that happen to me’, Ms Perrat has depicted so well the hopelessness, the reality of being completely trapped and without options, that the girls experienced. It was, indeed, a different world. Well worth a read.

Book description

The thunderclap of sexual revolution collides with the black cloud of illegitimacy.

Sixteen-year-old Lindsay Townsend is pretty and popular at school. At home, it’s a different story. Dad belts her and Mum’s either busy or battling a migraine. So when sexy school-teacher Jon Halliwell finds her irresistible, Lindsay believes life is about to change.

She’s not wrong.

Lindsay and Jon pursue their affair in secret, because if the school finds out, Jon will lose his job. If Lindsay’s dad finds out, there will be hell to pay. But when a dramatic accident turns her life upside down, Lindsay is separated from the man she loves.

Events spiral beyond her control, emotions conflicting with doubt, loneliness and fear, and Lindsay becomes enmeshed in a shocking true-life Australian scandal. The schoolyard beauty will discover the dangerous games of the adult world. Games that destroy lives.

Lindsay is forced into the toughest choice of her young life. The resulting trauma will forever burden her heart.

Reflecting the social changes of 1970s Australia, The Swooping Magpie is a chilling psychological tale of love, loss and grief, and, through collective memory, finding we are not alone.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #HistFic Long Shadows by @ThorneMoore #TuesdayBookBlog

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

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Long Shadows by Thorne Moore

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5 out of 5 stars

Three novellas, set in different historical eras, about the same place, Llys y Garn, a rambling Pembrokeshire mansion in which aspects of its former lives still remain ~ and not just within the building itself.

I loved every word of this book; I kept trying to read it slowly, so it wouldn’t end. The stories are haunting and sad, and say much about the sad lot of women in eras in which they are set.

The Good Servant takes place around the turn of the 20th century, and is about an old spinster maid, Eluned Skeel, who has no one and nothing to love but the unwanted nephew of the family she serves, taken in by them when he has no one else. As Cyril Lawson grows up he causes everyone around him pain – but he is Skeel’s reason for being, whatever he does.  

The Witch is the story of 17th century Elizabeth, daughter of a father who cares nothing for her aside from the fortune or social standing she can bring him through marriage. Elizabeth, though, cares only for Llys y Garn, and wonders if she might be a servant of the devil, as ill falls all who would seek to take it from her.

The Dragon Slayer tells of Angharad, in the 14th century, who longs to escape from the brutality, pain and death of her father’s house, and see the world.  

I didn’t have a favourite; they’re all as good as each other.  Beautifully written, marvellous stories.This book reminded me, in subject matter and writing style, of Norah Lofts’ books The House at Old Vine and A Wayside Tavern. Can’t recommend too highly.

Book description

Llys y Garn is a rambling Victorian-Gothic mansion with vestiges of older glories.

It lies in the isolated parish of Rhyd y Groes in North Pembrokeshire. It is the house of the parish, even in its decline, deeply conscious of its importance, its pedigree and its permanence. It stubbornly remains though the lives of former inhabitants have long since passed away. Only the rooks are left to bear witness to the often desperate march of history.

Throne Moore’s Long Shadows: Tales of Llys y Garn comprises a trio of historical novellas that let us into secrets known only to these melancholy birds.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Fairy Tale Style #Fantasy Novella The Tomato Quest by D.G. Driver

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

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading The Tomato Quest by D.G. Driver

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3 out of 5 stars

In an undisclosed historical era and place, this story is about lowly gardener Dash, who wants to marry the daughter of the noble for whom he works.  Dismissing his request, Lilian’s father sets him a task: he hands him a box of tomatoes and says that if he can make his fortune before they rot, he may have Lilian’s hand in marriage.  Then follows adventure after adventure, as he struggles to complete the seemingly impossible, while Lilian does her best to postpone the engagement to the man her parents want her to marry.

This is a fun idea and a nicely put together story.  I admit to being slightly bothered throughout by the incorrect use of titles; for instance, a ‘Sir’ should be referred to by both first and surnames, never as ‘Sir Barrymore’, and a Duke would be known as the Duke of such-and-such a place, not as Duke followed by his surname.  This sort of thing is easy to find out; I just checked it in a few minutes on Google, to make sure I wasn’t wrong.  Having said that, the story has fantasy elements, so perhaps it doesn’t matter too much!  It should appeal to lovers of fairy tale romance and happy endings.

Book description

Dash and Lillian are in love, but her wealthy father won’t permit them to be married because Dash is not a suitable match. He is nothing but the son of the family’s gardener. To be rid of the young man, Lillian’s father claims that the only way Dash could ever earn Lillian’s hand in marriage is to find his fortune in the time it takes a basket of fresh tomatoes to rot. Naturally, Sir Barrymore isn’t serious about this challenge, but Dash sees it as his only chance to win the hand of the woman he loves. He leaves immediately on a quest to find a way to complete this impossible task. Meanwhile, Lillian is doing her best to make her parents postpone her engagement to someone else in order to give Dash time to return. It is a whirlwind fairy tale adventure full of danger, cunning, magic, true love, and tomatoes.

An original, romantic fairy tale novelette.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #thriller No One Can Hear You by @NikkiCAuthor

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

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading No One Can Hear You by Nikki Crutchley

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4 out of 5 stars

The book opens with an excellent prologue about Faith, a teenage foster kid being abducted, back in 2001.  It then goes back to the main story, about Zoe, a thirty-something, recently unemployed teacher whose life is all at sea, going back to small town Crawton because her mother has died.  Zoe’s feelings about this can hardly even be called ‘mixed’ ~ her relationship with Lilian was cold and distant, and she hasn’t seen her since she was eighteen.  When she arrives in Crawton, though, she is left wondering what really happened to her mother.

Meanwhile, meth-head Megan has been abducted, and is kept prisoner in a storage cupboard.

Despite the themes of abduction, murder and the sleazy underworld of drugs, I’d describe this as a low-key thriller; much of the novel concerns Zoe’s relationship with her mother and the other issues she is working through, and there is quite a lot of domestic and day-to-day conversational detail which, together with the writing style, lends itself more to a dark drama with gradually unfolding sinister developments than edge-of-your-seat suspense.  It’s nicely written and the characterisation is good, particularly Faith, with whom the book opens.  One of the characters has Alzheimer’s, and I thought this was most realistic.

I had a feeling who the baddie(s) might be about half way through, but that’s probably because I watch a lot of TV of this genre; it’s not at all obvious.  The plot is convincing and cleverly structured, I thought the descriptions of what the abducted girls went through was particularly well done, and the ending was good ~ I do appreciate a well-thought out ending.  I can imagine this being the sort of book you might get into reading on holiday.

Book description

‘He said that they’d let me go on purpose. That they could easily find me if they wanted to. He said that they didn’t want me. That I was too much trouble. He said if I went to the cops, he’d know. If I told Sonya, he’d know. If I talked to friends or teachers, he’d know. He told me to pretend it didn’t happen. He told me to consider it a compliment, that I was too strong. His last words to me were, ‘Just forget’.

Troubled teen Faith Marsden was one of several girls abducted from Crawton, a country town known for its picturesque lake and fertile farmland. Unlike the others, she escaped, though sixteen years on she still bears the emotional and physical scars.

Zoe Haywood returns to Crawton to bury her estranged mother Lillian, who has taken her own life. As she and Faith rekindle their high-school friendship, they discover notes left by Lillian that point to two more young women who recently disappeared from Crawton. But Lillian’s confused ramblings leave them with more questions than answers.

As Faith and Zoe delve deeper into the mystery, they become intent on saving the missing women, but in doing so are drawn into Auckland’s hidden world of drugs, abduction and murder. And then Faith decides to confront the mastermind – on her own.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Philadelphia Set #Thriller Quick Fix by @JGregorySmith3 #TuesdayBookBlog

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

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Quick Fix by J Gregory Smith

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4 out of 5 stars

This book has a great opening.  Military contractor Kyle Logan messes up his already messed up life by assaulting his wife’s divorce lawyer, who also happens to be her lover.  He’s then offered a role in the theft of some pieces of valuable artwork, by his friend Ryan.  Kyle is also suffering from injuries caused by an IED when he was in Iraq.

I warmed to the characters and the writing style straight away.  There’s plenty of dark stuff going on, but lots of humour, too – I liked the observations about characters, and often just the way stuff was phrased (‘I hated losing her to a puke like Fenster’).  The guy-on-his-uppers-with-wife-who-has-moved-on-to-a-more-straight-and-successful-new-man thing is an oft-used scenario in this genre in both books and on screen (I’m currently watching the TV series Get Shorty – there it is again!), but it works every time, and J Gregory Smith has painted all participants most colourfully.

When Kyle realises that involvement in Ryan’s criminal schemes means re-acquaintance with childhood chum-turned-gangster Danny ‘Iceballs’ Sheehan, he knows his life is not going to be easy.  Smith has portrayed the atmosphere of the criminal underworld of Philadelphia so well; this book is fast-paced and flows very well, with a convincing plot, and is, basically, a good, solid novel.  I haven’t got anything negative to say about it.  Nice one.

Book description

Military contractor Kyle Logan’s luck has gone from bad to worse ever since he returned home to Philadelphia following an injury by an IED in Iraq. First, his marriage crumbles, then his career after he’s pushed to the brink and assaults his wife’s lover, who is also her divorce attorney.

When Kyle’s shady best friend turns up and offers him a “once in a lifetime” chance to regain his job and his life, all for just a couple night’s work, Kyle figures he’s got nothing to lose. The police, Philly Irish Mob and a couple of drug cartels all think otherwise.

Now forced to fight for his life, and those around him, Kyle must turn to allies from his old neighborhood in a desperate effort to stay alive and out of prison.

Quick Fix is one man’s fall into a world of unintended consequences that seeks to tread the razor-thin lines between right and wrong, loyalty and treachery.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Real Life Crime A CITY OWNED and KILLING COUSINS by @OJModjeska

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

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading A CITY OWNED and KILLING COUSINS by O J Modjeska. A two book series: MURDER BY INCREMENTS

5 out of 5 stars

A City Owned was submitted to Rosie’s Review Team list, but after I’d read it I had to read the second book, too; thus, I am reviewing them as one.

This two part series, Murder by Increments, is about the crimes of the Hillside Stranglers, Kennth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, who made LA a frightening place to be in the late 1970s.  The first book, A City Owned, starts with a picture of what LA was like back then.  Such a clever way to start; to understand the lives of the victims and why Bianchi and Buono went undiscovered for so long, we have first to be aware of the culture of the time.  LA was a seedy place indeed, peopled by many who’d arrived seeking the Hollywood dream, only to be sucked into the underworld of prostitution, porn, drugs and crime.  The cops were overworked and jaded, with few resources; these were the days before the internet, before reliable criminal profiling, and before DNA databases.  Reading how carelessly they bungled the investigations, over and over again, made me think that crime solving had moved on very little in the hundred years since the London police tried in vain to identify Jack the Ripper.

O J Modjeska writes about the victims with great respect for each girl’s short life, drawing a heartbreaking picture each time.  These are not just names, and the book is far from being just a list of heinous crimes.  Only towards the end of the book do Bianchi and Buono themselves appear, and by then I had to know the whole story; I went back to Amazon and bought Killing Cousins as soon as I’d finished A City Owned.

I found Killing Cousins the most absorbing of the two books, as I am more interested in the psychological background of killers than the solving of crimes.  The drawn out trial was at times farcical, not only because of Bianchi’s attempts to convince psychiatrists that he suffered from Multiple Personality Disorder, but because of the self-interest and prejudice of many involved.

‘There were the cops who thought the lives of prostitutes were worthless, the officials who wanted to look good in front of the media, the shrinks seeking professional recognition, the prosecutors who assumed middle-aged women were crazy, and the politicians seeking office.  There was stupidity, there was self-aggrandizement, there was sexism and the tyranny of the herd.’ 

This two-book series is everything that true crime should be, without being in any way sensationalised.  O J Modjeska has not only written a riveting account of the victims, perpetrators and law enforcement bodies, but also shown how very different attitudes in general were, only forty years ago; if just a few incidents had not taken place, a few people not spoken up, if a few jurors been swayed by the individuals who defended these two monsters, the outcome might have been very different.

Book description

A City Owned

One after another, they appear by the sides of suburban roads and freeways – the naked, strangled bodies of women who have been raped, tortured and left for dead.

Police begin to suspect that their target is a rogue operator who has emerged from their own ranks. And then, all hell breaks loose in Los Angeles…

An arrest in the strangling murders of two co-eds across state lines finally leads to a break in the case, but the mild-mannered suspect remembers nothing about the crime of which he is accused. His attorney and a team of psychiatrists are convinced this is no lust murderer, but a mentally ill man tormented by an evil alter personality, the terrifyingly malevolent sexual sadist “Steve”. But what if Steve is the final triumphant act in a psychopath’s lifelong career in deception?

None are prepared for the dark journey through the mazes of the human mind it will take to unlock the door to justice.

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Book description

Killing Cousins

One after another, they appear by the sides of suburban roads and freeways – the naked, strangled bodies of women who have been raped, tortured and left for dead.

Police begin to suspect that their target is a rogue operator who has emerged from their own ranks. And then, all hell breaks loose in Los Angeles…

An arrest in the strangling murders of two co-eds across state lines finally leads to a break in the case, but the mild-mannered suspect remembers nothing about the crime of which he is accused. His attorney and a team of psychiatrists are convinced this is no lust murderer, but a mentally ill man tormented by an evil alter personality, the terrifyingly malevolent sexual sadist “Steve”. But what if Steve is the final triumphant act in a psychopath’s lifelong career in deception?

None are prepared for the dark journey through the mazes of the human mind it will take to unlock the door to justice.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Relationship novel The Men by @fannycalder #TuesdayBookBlog

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

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading The Men by Fanny Calder

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5 out of 5 stars

Loved this book!  As a member of Rosie’s review team, I look down the submissions list when it’s time to choose a new one, and I usually go for sci-fi, dystopian or something otherwise nice and dark, rarely anything about love relationships or labelled ‘women’s fiction’, but I’m so glad I stepped out of my box with this one – it’s eons away from mainstream relationship dramas.

The Men is a series of thirteen snapshots, all linked so that it’s a continuing story, about the relationships with the opposite sex that have punctuated the author’s life.  It appears they’re part autobiographical, part fiction:

‘It is a tale of urban human connections crafted with no judgement or deep introspection – a window on the author’s own life at that time that will resonate and stay with you.’

Some of them reminded me of my own younger years, the racketing around and caring only about the moment, which is perhaps why I liked them so much; particularly the first one, The Singer.  The writing style is great – witty, sharp, joyful, but melancholy at times, too.  Some of the relationships are sad, some heartbreaking, and some made me think ‘what the hell was she thinking of’ (Rotting Man!), but those made me sad, too; loneliness can push people into all sorts of bad decisions, and I felt that the author was lonely, sometimes.  Never in a victim or despairing sort of way, though she seems to become more so as the book goes on.

I loved how the book concentrates only on The Men, that she was never tempted to give more background, which would have diluted it.  On occasion the writing is quite beautiful; a section about a party with an eighteenth century theme made me want to stay in it.

One point that intrigued me―earlier in the book she clearly has a high-powered job that involves much travel, though we are never told what it is.  I did a bit of digging and discovered that the author is a fairly well-known environmental campaigner; all that and she can write, too.

Highly recommended; I wanted to carry on reading when I’d finished it.

Book description

A darkly brilliant debut novel by Fanny Calder, and arguably essential reading for the feminist hedonist woman in your life. City life in the 1990s. Anonymous, intense, paradoxical and sometimes lonely. A young, haunted woman falls in love with a singer. She finds she has been consumed by the relationship and when it ends – as it inevitably does – she feels unable to quite rediscover herself. Cities can draw you into even darker places, and she embarks on a series of intense relationships with thirteen men of very different types, from a rough sleeper to a millionaire, and from a transvestite to a leading politician. As she is propelled through a series of extraordinary adventures and wild parties she finds she begins to lose her own identity. Is there a way out? A raw and unflinchingly honest narrative with stripped down language that is liberating and sometimes challenging. It is a tale of urban human connections crafted with no judgement or deep introspection – a window on the author’s own life at that time that will resonate and stay with you.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Histfic #Mystery Fear & Phantoms by @carolJhedges #TuesdayBookBlog

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

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Fear & Phantoms by Carol Hedges

5 stars (and possibly more)

This is the sixth book in Carol Hedges’ Victorian Detectives series, featuring the inimitable Leo Stride and Jack Cully.  As ever, it is a complete stand alone; there is the odd reference to events that occurred in previous books, but none of these would make the book any less enjoyable to a reader new to the series.

The story opens in London’s freezing early months of 1865, with a series of sightings of a ghostly Madonna in the Underground.  This, however, is but a humorous diversion from the main story, which involves a dastardly conman who defrauds banks to the extent of their ruin, and murders those who impede his success.

As ever, the star of the show is mid-Victorian era London itself, with many delightful, larger-than-life characters to illustrate its many faces.  You will meet the enchanting Pip and Muggly – starving street children who press their noses up against bakery shop windows – the rich in their gambling dens, hard-working clerks Helen and her twin brother Lambert Trigg, the lovely Lucy Landseer – aspiring novelist and writer of controversial articles – and the Triggs’ landlords, Mr and Mrs Mutesius, so beautifully painted that you can almost smell the fustiness of their downstairs quarters, and many more.

One quip I have to mention ~ Jack Cully’s disapproval of the name of a new cosmetic.  ‘I’m not a religious man, but all the same, I don’t approve of using Bible names like that.  It’s wrong.  Virgin soap, Virgin cream ~ whatever next?  Virgin trains?’

No detail is spared in illustrating the gap between rich and poor, the plight of those who are just scraping together enough to keep body and soul together in grim lodgings, and the careless attitude of the unprincipled rich.  Ms Hedges’ love of London and the period shines through, as always, her impeccable research and easy wit making this novel a joy to read; I read it in bed, as I always do with this series; curled up under the duvet I could almost believe that outside my window was Victorian London.  I loved every word.

Book description

When a young man’s body is discovered buried deep beneath the winter snow, Detectives Stride and Cully little realise where the discovery will take them. Is his murder a random, one-off event, or could the death be linked to the mysteriously elusive individual who has already brought down one of the City’s long-standing private banks?

Mishap, misunderstanding and mystery dog their footsteps, as the Scotland Yard detectives find themselves in very murky territory indeed, struggling to keep their heads above water in the umbrous underworld of murder and  financial fraud.

Can they unmask the dark brutal mastermind lurking at the centre of it all, before he strikes again?

A taut, gripping historical crime novel that lays bare the dubious practices of the Victorian banking businesses and entices the reader into the shady world of high-class gambling houses, where fortunes can be made or lost on the luck of the cards.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Scifi / #Horror Survivors’ Club by @MKMartinWriter

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

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Survivor’s Club by M. K. Martin

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4 out of 5 stars

A brilliant young geneticist, Marius Tenartier, starts work at the top security Chrysalis Biopharmaceuticals.  It seems like he’s landed a dream job, but is a bit perturbed by the excessive regulations and the way in which the company appears to expect full life commitment.  The first 20% was brilliant; I was totally engrossed.  It was clear that the author really knows her stuff, and was so well-written, and cleverly, subtly sinister.  Then Marius is sent on a mission to pick up one of the boss’s daughters and pick up some samples, and the book turned into something else.  I felt as if it had switched genre from a terrifically convincing scifi thriller into comedy horror, with humans growing tentacles and damsel in distress Miranda’s inner thoughts about how hot Marius is when she’s strapped to a gurney by a mutating madman.

The book is more people-fighting-monsters-ish than I thought it would be, but of its type it’s jolly good.  I liked the writing style a lot, although sometimes the quip-filled dialogue became a little irritating, particularly that of Miranda.  I notice that the author has a military type background and this is clear; this aspect of the novel was highly convincing, as was the medical.  I liked the ending very much; I love a book that surprises and leaves you up in the air in the last chapter, a perfect lead in to the next book.

If you like intelligent scifi/horror and have an interest in horrendous viral outbreaks, I’d most certainly recommend this book.  

Book description

People have always wanted to be stronger, faster, smarter, better. The scientists at Chrysalis Biopharmaceuticals believe they’ve found a virus that will allow them to unlock humanity’s hidden potential. The cost is small. A few lives here and there, but it’s all for the greater good … and the corporate bottom line.

Brilliant and idealistic geneticist, Marius Tenartier, has dedicated his life to battling the world’s worst diseases – from malaria to Ebola, tuberculosis to cancer. When Chrysalis offers Marius the chance to carry on his work with no budget caps, he accepts, no questions asked.

While Marius tackles the most challenging pathogens, Chrysalis secretly uses his work to develop an experimental vaccine intended to artificially evolve the human race. Instead of making people into super humans, it mutates them into terrifying abominations. After Marius is caught in an outbreak, he realizes that Chrysalis has been using him. Worse, they’ve covered up the outbreak.

Bureaucracy, incompetence, and greed threaten civilization and even the human race’s survival. Surrounded by danger and cut off from the outside world, time is running out to contain the virus, and Marius can’t do it alone.

Who can he trust – Chrysalis’ ambitious vice president, the rigid head of security, or the CEO’s fearless daughter?

Can Marius discover the truth about the virus’s origin before it’s too late to prevent a global pandemic?

About the author

M. K. Martin is a motorcycle-riding, linguistics nerd. A former Army interrogator with a degree in psychology, she uses her unique knowledge and skill set to create smart, gritty stories that give readers a glimpse into the darker corners of the human mind.

M.K. Martin

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #thriller Lily White In Detroit by @CynthiaHarriso1 #TuesdayBookBlog

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

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Lily White In Detroit by Cynthia Harrison

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4 out of 5 stars

Lily White is a PI in Detroit who usually concentrates on insurance scams and missing persons.  When she is asked to investigate the activities of Jimmy Heyl’s wife, she finds herself involved in much more than she bargained for, and events become complicated when her personal and professional lives become intertwined.

The novel is written in alternating POVs: Lily in the 1st person, and Detective Paxton in the third.  From the beginning of the story, we discover that there is more to Lily than meets the eye, and the mystery surrounding her is drip-fed slowly, which I liked.  The theme of PTSD is examined throughout the novel, with regard to both Lily and the ex-partner of Paxton.  It is clear that the author has done her research into not only the psychological effects but also the physiological, and the effect is quite an eye-opener for a reader such as me; I knew very little about it.  The factual side of the novel is convincing throughout, and I liked the picture of the Detroit of the 21st century.

I do warm to an emotionally damaged loner in novels, and though this character type is one to be found often in detective stories both in literature and on-screen, Lily was in no way a stereotype.  The author’s background in romance novel writing was evident in that I could see exactly where a certain relationship was heading from the very beginning (you know how in romance novels the reader knows before the characters do!), but this element did not seem out of place, for this is a psychological drama as well as a crime story.

There were some events that I thought deserved to be shown in an actual scene via flashback, or at the time, rather than the details being related to one character from another in dialogue, which would have made for more impact and suspense, but on the whole it’s a cleverly put together book, and I’d recommend it for anyone who enjoys unravelling murder clues, or has particular interest in PTSD.

Book description

Private investigator Lily White has a client with a faulty moral compass. When the client is arrested for murdering his wife and her alleged lover, Lily follows her intuition and her own leads. If she’s wrong, she’ll at least know she did her job.

Detroit police detective Derrick Paxton remembers Lily from another case. He understands she suffers from PTSD and thinks her judgment is impaired. He goes after her client and the evidence he needs to close the case. When Lily is kidnapped, the case takes an unexpected turn.

In a sometimes racially divided city, a black cop and a white PI work together to peel back every layer to find the truth. What they find leads them to each other, but do they have enough to bring the true criminals to justice?

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