Saturday 27 December 2014

Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck

Thanks to, I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review.

‘Wolf winter,’ she said, her voice small. ‘I wanted to ask about it. You know, what it is.’He was silent for a long time. ‘It’s the kind of winter that will remind us we are mortal,’ he said. ‘Mortal and alone.’ 

The story is set in Swedish Lapland, 1717 where we meet Maija, her husband Paavo and her daughters Frederika and Dorotea whom have arrived from their native Finland, hoping to forget the traumas of their past and put down new roots.  Above them looms Blackåsen, a mountain whose foreboding presence looms over the valley and whose dark history seems to haunt the lives of those who live in its shadow.

One day Frederika unexpectedly comes across the mutilated body of one of their neighbours, Eriksson
while herding the family’s goats on the mountain. His death is dismissed as a wolf attack, but Maija feels certain that the wounds could only have been inflicted by another man. She feels that she needs to investigate despite her neighbours strange disinterest in the death and the fate of Eriksson’s widow, Maija is attracted to the dark history of tragedies and betrayals that have taken place on Blackåsen. Young Frederika finds herself pulled towards the mountain as well, feeling something none of the adults around her seem to notice.

As the “Wolf Winter,” the harshest winter in memory, descends upon them and the the snow gathers, the outsiders secrets are increasingly laid bare. Scarce resources and the never-ending darkness force them to come together, Maija, doesn't know who she can trust and who may betray her, but is determined to find the answers for herself.

I liked this book, however I found this story difficult to get into at first - I had to read the first few pages several times to get the characters straight in my head and I did find that it dipped a bit in the middle, maybe a bit too long but once the story picked up I flew through the book.  It's worth the effort though as it's a good story that is well told and the setting is evocative and atmospheric - especially reading it at this time of the year.

This book is available on Kindle & in all good bookstores from February 2015.

Friday 12 December 2014

Hangman by Stephan Talty

Thanks to Bookbridgr I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review.


A white New York State Corrections van is transporting a dangerous prisoner to Attica Prison.  This prisoner is none other than serial killer Marcus Flynn AKA Hangman who has killed three teenage girls but with his last victim's fate unknown.  In a backyard in Buffalo, Detective Absalom Kearney is doing a bit of work in her garden when her phone buzzes, she really hopes that it's not work related but the message reads: MARCUS FLYNN ESCAPED.  ALL PERSONNEL REPORT TO HQ.

The City of Buffalo is gripped with fear and goes into lockdown as Hangman is poised to strike again, no-one is allowed to come or go anywhere, especially young teenage girls.  It is no longer safe to go to the mall or walk to and from school.  Abbie leads the desperate manhunt to re-capture this monster before he finds his next victim, it's a race against time, will they get him or will they be too late??

This was my first Stephan Tallty novel that I've read and it definitely won’t be my last. I really loved it, it's exactly the type of novel I like. This novel is very well written in terms of suspense and it really had me gripped from this first few pages. I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this novel and Stephan Talty's ability to craft such a gripping story. I reckon the chilling rhyme above will stay with me for a long time, just like the chilling rhyme from Nightmare On Elm Street. It's prose is simple and the sort of novel you can happily cosy up on the sofa, once you have locked all the doors and windows and know you are going to be in for a cleverly crafted psychological thriller (you've been warned).

Hangman was published on 4th December 2014. It is available on Kindle & in all good bookstores.

Monday 1 December 2014

COVER REVEAL - To Fall In Love Again by David Burnett

Thanks to JB Johnson from Brook Cottage Books, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to host the cover reveal for To Fall in Love Again by David Burnett for Monday 1st December.  It is released on 30th November, please find the links attached below.

Drew Nelson did not plan to talk with anyone that morning. He did not plan to make a new friend. He certainly did not plan to fall in love.  He resisted all of Amy’s attempts to draw him out− at the hotel, at the airport, on the airplane− giving hurried responses and burying his face in a pile of papers. It was only when the flight attendant offered coffee, and a muscle in Amy’s back twitched as she reached for it, and the cup tipped, and the hot liquid puddled in Drew’s lap that they began to talk.  Earlier in the year, each had lost a spouse of over thirty years. Drew’s wife had died of a brain tumor, Amy’s husband when his small airplane nose-dived to earth, the engine at full throttle − an accident, it was ruled.  They live in the same city. Both have grandchildren. They are about the same age. Consciously, or not, they both are looking to love again.  But relationships do not exist in vacuums. Drew is wealthy, and Amy is middle class. Amy is “new” in town – she and her husband moved to Charleston twenty-five years ago – while Drew’s family has lived there for three centuries. Drew lives below Broad, a code word for high society, old families, power, and money. Amy’s home is across the river.  Class warfare may be less violent than it was in the past, but when Drew invites Amy to the St Cecelia Ball, battle lines are drawn. In a city in which ancestry is important, the ball’s membership is passed from father to son, and only those from the oldest families attend.  Family, friends, co-workers all weigh in on their relationship and choose sides. Allies are found in unexpected places. Opposition comes from among those who were thought to be friends. Though they are gone, even their spouses − through things they have done and things they have said − wield influence in the conflict that follows.  Amy begins to suspect that Drew is one of them, the rich snobs who despise her, while Drew concludes that Amy neither trusts him nor cares for him. As each questions the other’s motives, their feelings for each other are tested, and Drew and Amy are challenged to consider if they truly want to fall in love again.

About David Burnett 

I live in Columbia South Carolina, with my wife and our blue-eyed cat, Bonnie. I enjoy traveling, photography, baking bread, and the Carolina beaches.  We have traveled widely in the United States and the United Kingdom. During one trip to Scotland, we visited Crathes Castle, the ancestral home of the Burnett family near Aberdeen.  My photographic subjects have been as varied as prehistoric ruins on the islands of Scotland, star trails, sea gulls, and a Native American powwow.  I went to school for longer than I want to admit, and I have graduate degrees in psychology and education. I was formerly director of research for our state education department. We have two daughters and three grandchildren. To Fall in Love Again is my third novel.