Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Restoration by Angela Slatter

I am delighted to once again be part of the blog tour for a new Verity Fassbinder adventure. Sadly this is the last in the current series :( I have absolutely devoured these books and recommended them every chance I can. Angela Slatter's writing is so smart, so witty and so much fun. Her characters are so wonderful to spend time with and the world of the Weyrd folks of Brisneyland is just spectacular. This is urban fantasy with thrills, spills, adventure, horror, romance, battles between good and evil and a kick ass heroine who just doesn't quit. In this latest installment of Verity's adventures she is tasked with helping the Guardian to recover two lost treasures, a bargain she struck to save her family. To keep them safe Verity has to send her family away and of course she misses them like crazy especially baby Maisie. Without the help of the Weyrd council and her former allies Verity is aided by Joyce the kitsune assassin. Can former enemies really work together? If anyone can make that work Verity can. She's going to have to unravel this mystery before the Guardian comes for her if she wants to keep her family and friends safe and she's going to have to do it fast because there's another problem going on as her old ally Police Inspector McIntyre wants her help in discovering why the bodies of women who disappeared decades ago start turning up dead and McIntyre suspects something Weyrd is going on. I loved this book. I read it in one sitting, just dying to know what happened next and I am going to miss Verity and her family. This is perfect for fans of Urban Fantasy; like Ben Aaronovitch, Patricia Briggs, Liz de Jager, Cassandra Clare etc and it's streets ahead of a great deal of the urban fantasy that's out there. I can't wait to see what Angela Slatter does next. Follow the blog tour, details below.

Monday, August 6, 2018

On Bone Bridge By Maria Hoey

Maria Hoey's second novel was released last month and it is an assured and dazzingly follow up to her debut The Last Lost Girl which was shortlisted for both the Kate O'Brien Debut Award and the Annie McHale Debut Novel of the Year Award. Check out my review of The Last Lost Girl HERE

On Bone Bridge is a tense, edge of your seat psychological tale. Opening in the early 1980s with imaginative and lonely only child Kay Kelly who finds herself befriended by the intriguing Violet-May Duff. They even share a birthday. Kay falls in love with the big house the Duffs live in and head over heels for Violet-May's dark haired older brother. However when Kay and Violet-May take a walk to Bone Bridge with Violet-May's two younger siblings a tragedy unfolds which changes all their lives. Years later having lived in London for many years, Kay reconnects with Violet-May and her family and the echoes of that Summer day and its events reverberate as Kay tries to understand what really happened on that long ago day on Bone Bridge before another tragedy occurs. 
As in her brilliant debut novel Maria Hoey explores family, relationships, memory and loss with precision and emotional honesty. I devoured this book in two sittings, desperate to know what would happen next and utterly intrigued by the brilliantly drawn characters; so lifelike and honest. This is a book that is about grief and healing, secrets and lies and the power of love. 

Thanks to Poolbeg Books for a copy. On Bone Bridge is available in paperback and e-book now. 

Riddle of the Runes by Janina Ramirez

Riddle of the Runes is the first children's book from Art Historian and Viking expert Janina Ramirez. I have had the pleasure of meeting the author and hearing her speak about her passion for medieval history and I can confirm that this first in a projected series of books featuring twelve year old Viking investigator Alva is as thrilling, exciting and fast paced as I anticipated. Alva's father has been away for almost a year but a mysterious casket may hold a clue to his whereabouts. Alva must help her Uncle Magnus; an investigator to decipher a code of Viking runes. If that's not enough to entice you there is a talking raven, a tamed wolf and a race against time through the icy Norwegian snow. This is a wonderful historical adventure which will appeal to readers aged 9 and upwards. It is gorgeously illustrated by David Wyatt and there is a handy guide to Viking Runes and Viking words provided at the back. I can't wait to read more of Alva's adventures. This book is available now from Oxford Children's Books part of OUP
(Thank you to the publisher and for sending me a copy)

Greyfriars House by Emma Fraser

It's 1984 and Charlotte Friel is a top criminal defence lawyer, one of the few women in a very male profession. She has thrown all her energy into her work, so much so that she hadn't noticed how frail and ill her mother had become. A trip home to Scotland means she must face the reality that her mother is dying and consumed with guilt she consents to her mother's request that she reconnect with her relatives at Greyfriars House. Greyfriars is the only house on a remote Scottish Island and Charlotte's elderly great aunts live there alone and isolated, cut off from the world since returning from The Far East after the Second World War. Arriving at Greyfriars Charlotte falls under its spell but there is also a sense of mystery, of secrets and a foreboding sense of being watched. A wonderfully written tale that kept me turning the pages until the early hours. Atmospheric, lush and romantic. A thrilling historical mystery ideal for fans of Kate Morton and Tracy Rees.

A big thank you to Emma Fraser for sending me a copy.
Greyfriars House is available in paperback and e-book from Sphere (Little Brown) now. 

The Story Collector by Evie Gaughan

A truly enchanting book from it's enticing cover and illustrations to the intriguing back cover blurb. The Story Collector is the tale of two young women in two different eras. Anna a young Irish girl in Thornwood Village, Co Clare, in 1910 is just eighteen and desperate for adventure which comes in the form of an American scholar; Harold, who seeks her help in translating Irish folktales from the local people. One hundred years later Sarah Harper makes a snap decision to travel to Ireland for the Christmas holiday and finds herself walking in the footsteps of Anna and Harold and desperate to learn about the local myths and legends. Full of references to the 'good people' or fairy folk this is a wonderful historical mystery layered with romance. Evie Gaughan's third novel is assured and deft. Her skills as a storyteller are in evidence on each page and I was loathe to close the book and leave the characters, the atmosphere and the sense of place that the author had created behind. This is definitely a book you will want to read in one or two sittings but which will linger long after the last page is turned.
Available now from Urbane Books (who kindly sent me a copy)  in paperback and e-book.