Rizzio by Denise Mina Historical Fiction Novella Book Review

About the Book:

From the multi-award-winning master of crime, Denise Mina delivers a radical new take on one of the darkest episodes in Scottish history—the bloody assassination of David Rizzio  private secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots, in the queen’s chambers in Holyrood Palace.

On the evening of March 9th, 1566, David Rizzio, the private secretary of Mary, Queen of Scots, was brutally murdered. Dragged from the chamber of the heavily pregnant Mary, Rizzio was stabbed fifty six times by a party of assassins. This breathtakingly tense novella dramatises the events that led up to that night, telling the infamous story as it has never been told before.

A dark tale of sex, secrets and lies, Rizzio looks at a shocking historical murder through a modern lens—and explores the lengths that men and women will go to in their search for love and power.

Rizzio is nothing less than a provocative and thrilling new literary masterpiece.

My Thoughts:

One of my favourite writers Denise Mina is primely known as crime writer and though this is historical fiction it is based on true events. The murder of David Rizzio, Mary Queen of Scots secretary and confident.

Set just after the reformation in Scotland; where a Catholic Queen is seen both as a threat and feeling threatened. Her Catholic consort Darnley feels emasculated and powerless as Mary refuses to acknowledge him as King. He easily allows himself to fall into the schemes of the nobles who prey upon Darnley’s jealousy of Rizzio as a rival for Mary’s affections. But was Darnley merely a pawn in this murder. A murder that could have easily become regicide and infanticide.

Seen through a modern lens this is a cautionary tale when you mix jealousy,religious intolerance and lust for power into a combustible mix.

The Author:

Denise Mina
Denise Mina was born in Glasgow in 1966. Because of her father’s job as an engineer, the family followed the north sea oil boom of the seventies around Europe, moving twenty one times in eighteen years from Paris to the Hague, London, Scotland and Bergen. She left school at sixteen and did a number of poorly paid jobs: working in a meat factory, bar maid, kitchen porter and cook. Eventually she settle in auxiliary nursing for geriatric and terminal care patients.
At twenty one she passed exams, got into study Law at Glasgow University and went on to research a PhD thesis at Strathclyde University on the ascription of mental illness to female offenders, teaching criminology and criminal law in the mean time.
Misusing her grant she stayed at home and wrote a novel, ‘Garnethill’ when she was supposed to be studying instead.
‘Garnethill’ won the Crime Writers’ Association John Creasy Dagger for the best first crime novel and was the start of a trilogy completed by ‘Exile’ and ‘Resolution’.
A fourth novel followed, a stand alone, named ‘Sanctum’ in the UK and ‘Deception’ in the US.
In 2005 ‘The Field of Blood’ was published, the first of a series of five books following the career and life of journalist Paddy Meehan from the newsrooms of the early 1980s, through the momentous events of the nineteen nineties. The second in the series was published in 2006, ‘The Dead Hour’ and the third will follow in 2007.
She also writes comics and wrote ‘Hellblazer’, the John Constantine series for Vertigo, for a year, published soon as graphic novels called ‘Empathy is the Enemy’ and ‘The Red Right Hand’. She has also written a one-off graphic novel about spree killing and property prices called ‘A Sickness in the Family’ (DC Comics forthcoming).
In 2006 she wrote her first play, “Ida Tamson” an adaptation of a short story which was serialised in the Evening Times over five nights. The play was part of the Oran Mor ‘A Play, a Pie and a Pint’ series, starred Elaine C. Smith and was, frankly, rather super.
As well as all of this she writes short stories published various collections, stories for BBC Radio 4, contributes to TV and radio as a big red face at the corner of the sofa who interjects occasionally, is writing a film adaptation of Ida Tamson and has a number of other projects on the go.

Solo by Jenny Tough/ Blog Tour Running the Mountain Ranges Vulnerability; Mental and Physical @RandomThingsTours

About the Book:

SOLO chronicles Jenny’s journey every step of the
way across the Tien Shan (Asia), the High Atlas
(Africa), the Bolivian Andes (South America), the
Southern Alps (Oceania), the Canadian Rockies
(North America) and the Transylvanian Alps
(Europe), as she learns lessons in self-esteem,
resilience, bravery and so much more.
What Jenny’s story tells us most of all is that setting
out to do things solo – whether the ambitious or the
everyday – can be invigorating, encouraging and
joyful. And her call to action to find strength,
confidence and self-belief in everything we do
will inspire and motivate.

My Thoughts:

I have heard people answer the question, ” Why did you climb the mountain” with “Because It’s there” But never the question about running up a mountain, or several peaks in the same mountain range. I guess it takes all sorts; or maybe a certain sort.

Solo is the account of the author’s quest to run solo through mountain ranges over six continents; the Tien Shan, the High Atlas, the Bolivian Andes, the Southern Alps, the Canadian Rockies & the Transylvanian Alps. It took her a gruelling five years (broken up) to complete & it was a voyage of discovery & determination.

I don’t usually go for non-fiction reads; though I’m trying to read more, but this had me absolutely hooked! I got to experience some major wanderlust for some of the amazing destinations Jenny explored with a few chuckles along the way and discovered a completely unique experience of each of the different cultures.

This book had everything you could wish for. A great that has Jenny questioning why she is doing these endurance quests, exploring new cultures and putting up with obstacles being put in her way. From people who are genuinely thinking she is putting herself in danger to those who see a woman on her own as fair game to exploit as they see fit. She battles misogynists and people who really don’t understand why she is doing this. This is as big a challenge as the scaling of the mountains she wants to scale.

A good memoir to read if you want to understand the human spirit.

The Author:

Jenny Tough is an endurance athlete who’s best
known for running and cycling in some of world’s
most challenging events – achieving accolades that
are an inspiration to outdoor adventurers
everywhere. But SOLO tells the story of a much
more personal project: Jenny’s quest to come to
terms with feelings and emotions that were holding
her back.
Like runners at any level, she knew already that
running made her feel better, and like so many of us,
she knew that completing goals independently was
empowering, too. So, she set herself an audacious
objective: to run – solo, unsupported, on her own

  • across mountain ranges on six continents, starting
    with one of the most remote locations on Earth in
    Kyrgyzstan.

Night Shadows by Eva Bjorg AEgisdottir BlogTour…..Crime Forbidden Iceland 3 @RandomThingsTours @Orenda Books 

About the Book:

The small community of Akranes is devastated when a young man dies in a
mysterious house fire, and when Detective Elma and her colleagues from
West Iceland CID discover the fire was arson, they become embroiled in an
increasingly perplexing case involving multiple suspects. What’s more, the
dead man’s final online search raises fears that they could be investigating
not one murder, but two.
A few months before the fire, a young Dutch woman takes a job as an au pair
in Iceland, desperate to make a new life for herself after the death of her
father. But the seemingly perfect family who employs her turns out to have
problems of its own and she soon discovers she is running out of people to
turn to.
As the police begin to home in on the truth, Elma, already struggling to
come to terms with a life-changing event, finds herself in mortal danger as it
becomes clear that someone has secrets they’ll do anything to hide…

My Thoughts:

Well here we are at book three in the Forbidden Iceland series, a series that goes from strength to strength as Eva and Orenda Books continue their partnership. A series worth diving into if you haven’t already/

The quality of the writing is top notch and paints a perfect picture of the chilling atmosphere of this story and bleakness of Icelandic scenery. This book throws up five suspects, all who have motive for the crime(s) and the investigation is well plotted and carried out by Elma and her team. Suspects abound but who is the guilty party? You will need to invest in a copy, read it and find out. You will not be disappointed.

This is a slow burn of a book with a pace of which Icelandic life to be. There is no bright lights and intrusive technology getting in the way of the narrative. It is very stripped back and at times cold and bleak but nevertheless superb for all that.

As I said earlier, a superb narrative, superb series with quality writing and well rounded characters. A series of books I encourage all readers of quality Scandi Noir to invest in. Highly recommended.

The Author:

Born in Akranes in 1988, Eva moved to Trondheim, Norway to study my
MSc in Globalisation when she was 25. After moving back home having
completed her MSc, she knew it was time to start working on her novel.
Eva has wanted to write books since she was 15 years old, having won a
short story contest in Iceland.
Eva worked as a stewardess to make ends meet while she wrote her first
novel, The Creak on the Stairs. The book went on to win the CWA Debut
Dagger, the Blackbird Award, was shortlisted (twice) for the Capital Crime
Readers’ Awards, and became a number one bestseller in Iceland. The
critically acclaimed Girls Who Lie (book two in the Forbidden Iceland
series) soon followed, with Night Shadows (book three) following suit in
July 2022. Eva lives with her husband and three children in Reykjavík.

The Daves Next Door by Will Carver @RandomThingsTours @Orenda Books

About the Book:


A disillusioned nurse suddenly learns how to care.
An injured young sportsman wakes up find that he can see only in black and
white.
A desperate old widower takes too many pills and believes that two angels have
arrived to usher him through purgatory.
Two agoraphobic men called Dave share the symptoms of a brain tumour, and
frequently waken their neighbour with their ongoing rows.
Separate lives, running in parallel, destined to collide and then explode.
Like the suicide bomber, riding the Circle Line, day after day, waiting for the right
time to detonate, waiting for answers to his questions: Am I God? Am I dead?
Will I blow up this train?
Shocking, intensely emotive and wildly original, Will Carver’s The Daves Next
Door is an explosive existential thriller and a piercing examination of what it
means to be human … or not

My Thoughts:

Orenda Books and Will Carver team up to do it again. They bring you one smashing read. The thing about Will and his books you can say with certainty is you never know what you are going to get. Will is either a genius or a madman, or possibly a mashup of both; but one thing is true he is a dam good writer and I love his books!

What can you say about Will Carver as an author or this book. So many tales of different people, seemingly going nowhere. Not in the least connected. Or are they? You will need to read this book to find out. Will Carver is a must read author for me. Maybe for you to.

His books fall into and between so many genres they can be whatever you want them to be.

Many books nowadays have what is termed unreliable narrators but this book seems to have plenty of them. Can you really believe any of them. That’s up to you. I’m not telling you anything.

Great story, brilliant writing and remarkable characters. What this book does is have you questioning the characters but also your own viewpoint. In a word Excellent!

The Author:

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He
spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his
sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study
theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful
theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives
in Reading with his two children. Will’s latest title published by Orenda Books, The
Beresford is out in July. His previous title Hinton Hollow Death Trip was longlisted
for the Not the Booker Prize, while Nothing Important Happened Today was
longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Good
Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express, and hit
number one on the ebook chart

Blog Tour# The Heron Kings’ Flight By Eric Lewis# Grim Dark Fantasy

About the Book:

The Heron Kings have been betrayed. A centuryafter their formation from a
gang of desperate peasant insurgents, the shadowy band of forest rangers
suffers arare defeat when askirmish turns into a bloodyambush. Their shaky
truce with the crown is tested as young members Linetand Aerrus work to
track down their enemies. When reluctant peacetime soldier Eyvind reveals a
conspiracy to welcome the charismatic invader Phynagoras, the trio must
convince a weak king and pitifully few allies to stand against the storm.
Their only hope lies in the forgotten tactics of their own guerrilla past,and a
terrifying new alchemical weapon the likes of which the world had never
imagined. The only question is which side will be destroyed by it first…

My Thoughts:


I have just finished this most enjoyable fantasy. It is the type of fantasy I enjoy. No dragons, troll, wizards etc. No monsters summoned from other worlds to fight as allies. Instead the monsters in this book wear an all too human face. 

This is my first read by this author and is book two in this series that I read as a stand alone and it worked perfectly. This is not high epic fantasy but is more a medieval fiction and could appeal to lovers of historical fiction as well.

This book had plenty of action and fights galore. Great world building and well fleshed out characters. This is a book that you will plunge yourself into and it will not let you go. You will find yourself swinging a sword along with Linet and Eywind, the unlikely allies and heroes. This is a great read and you like your fantasy grim then I would highly recommend this book to you. Grab a copy!

The Author:

Eric Lewis is the author of The Heron Kings, an “excellent debut” (Publishers Weekly) that is “dark, brutal and bloody” (Grimdark Magazine) and “fast-paced & gripping” (British Fantasy Society) with “a Robin Hood feel” (Booklist). The sequel The Heron Kings’ Flight is a “high-energy, atmospheric follow-up” and a “pulse-pounding adventure” that is “sure to please” (Publishers Weekly).

He is also the author of several works of speculative short fiction published in Nature, Speculative North, Cossmass Infinities, Electric Spec, Bards & Sages Quarterly, the anthology Crash Code, and various other pro, semipro and amateur venues. His short stories are also available in the collections Tricks of the Blade and As It Seems.

His greatest writing influences are Frank Herbert, Robert Graves, Sharon Kay Penman, Colleen McCullough, Peter S. Beagle and Joe Abercrombie. By day he is a research scientist weathering the latest rounds of mergers and layoffs and trying to remember how to be a person again long after surviving grad school.

When not subjecting his writing to one rejection after another he can sometimes be found browsing antique swords he can’t afford, or searching for the perfect hiking trail or archery range. Don’t ask where because he’s never lived anywhere for longer than five years.

He engages in shameless self-promotion on Twitter @TheHeronKing. Details, newsletter & blog at ericlewis.ink.

Blog Tour # Do No Harm Jack Jordan #Thriller RandomThingsTours

About The Book:

My son has been taken. And I’ve been given a choice…
Kill a patient on the operating table. Or never see him again.
The man lies on the table in front of me.
As a surgeon, it’s my job to save him.
As a mother, I know I must kill him.
You might think that I’m a monster.
But there really is only one choice.
I must get away with murder.
Or I will never see my son again.
Could you kill another person to save your own child?
When heart surgeon Dr Anna Jones returns home to find her
son kidnapped, she is forced to make an impossible choice. Kill a
high-profile patient on the operating table, or never see her son
again.
Told from the perspectives of Anna, her scrub nurse, Margot,
who has her own secrets to protect and DI Rachel Conaty, Anna
must first make the impossible decision…
I’VE SAVED MANY LIVES.
WOULD YOU TRUST ME WITH YOURS?
THE HEART-STOPPING THRILLER OF 2022

#DO NO HARM.

My Thoughts:

Firstly my thanks to Anne Cater @RandomThingsTours and Jack Jordan and his publishers for my copy to review.

Jack is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. He improves with every book and this is his best yet. If this book doesn’t have you on the edge of your seat, biting your fingernails then there must be something wrong with you.

This is a book of three women. Their secrets, troubles and what they do to survive.

DR. Anna Jones is a heart surgeon who has sworn an oath; part of which is DO NO HARM. Having sworn that oath would you take a life to save a life?

Margot a theatre scrub nurse who has multiple problems of her own.

And Rachel a DI who is carrying about a burden of guilt on her shoulders.

Three different women from opposite ends of the spectrum. What could they have in common? You will need to read this book to find out.

Jack shows his skills as an author, he takes these three disparate threads and weaves them together to form one outstanding story. A story that will drag you in and not let go until the last word has wrung every last emotion you posses.

A story of three women, who are well rounded characters. The prose flows along and takes the reader on the trip of a lifetime.

To put it quite simply this book puts the THRILL into THRILLER. Read this book. I’m glad I did. A commended read.

Author Bio:

Jack Jordan is the global bestselling author of Anything for Her, My Girl, A Woman
Scorned, Before Her Eyes, and Night by Night and an Amazon No.1 bestseller in the
UK, Canada, and Australia. After selling at auction in the UK and numerous foreign
territories, Do No Harm is set to be the thriller of the summer in 2022. The idea for
Do No Harm came to Jack after undergoing a minor medical procedure where he
had to be sedated and trust strangers with his welfare. After the anaesthesia wore
off, Jack began scribbling his notes, wondering to himself just how iron-clad a
surgeon’s oath is, and what it would take to break it…

Further praise for Do No Harm
‘Utterly gripping, addictive and brilliantly tense’ Karen Hamilton


‘Do No Harm hooked me with that gut wrenching dilemma [and] then mercilessly ratcheted up the tension. What a terrifying ride!’ Gilly Macmillan
‘The ultimate page turning edge-of-your-seat thriller. Loved it’ Nikki Smith



‘With an agonising dilemma at its heart and a pace that never lets up, Jack Jordan has delivered a corker of a thriller with Do No Harm’ Kate Riordan
,Had me on the edge of my seat . . . Do No Harm is brilliantly thrilling’ Nadine Matheson
”Seriously terrifying, chilling and unputdownable’ Emma Curtis
‘An edge-of-your-seat, head-spinning thriller with emotion and depth woven through its
heart’ Lauren North
A brilliant example of psychological crime writing at its very best, always compelling, with
fascinating characters . . . Something tells me Jack Jordan is going to HUGE’ Kate Rhodes

‘A real winner: gut-wrenching, nail-biting and thought-provoking’ Robin Morgan-Bentley
‘A disturbing, heart-stopping page turner. Do No Harm is THE must-read of 2022. I loved it!’ Ruby Speechley

‘Completely brilliant: fast-paced, brimming with action, utterly compelling. Exactly what a great thriller should be. Sarah Bonner

Blog Tour #The Hostage of Rome Robert. M. Kidd# Historical Fiction

About The Book:

217 BC. Rome has been savaged, beaten and is in retreat. Yet, in that winter of winters, her garrisons cling on behind the walls of Placentia and Cremona, thanks to her sea-born supplies. If he could be freed, a hostage of Rome may yet hold the key to launching a fleet of pirates that could sweep Rome from the seas. For that hostage is none other than Corinna’s son Cleon, rival heir to the throne of Illyria, held in Brundisium, four hundred miles south of the Rubicon.
But Hannibal is set on a greater prize! Macedon is the great power in Greece, feared even by Rome. Its young king, Philip, is being compared with his illustrious ancestor, Alexander the Great. An alliance with Macedon would surely sound the death knell for Rome.
Given Hannibal’s blessing, Sphax, Idwal and Corinna face an epic journey against impossible odds. Navigating the length of the Padus, past legionary garrisons and hostile Gauls, they must then risk the perils of the storm-torn Adria in the depths of the winter. If the gods favour them and they reach the lands of the pirate queen, only then will their real trials begin. 

Buy Links

My Thoughts:

Thanks to Rachel Gilbey for inviting me on this tour. I have never read anything by Robert M. Kidd before and I was unaware this was the third book in a trilogy and therefore I read it as a stand alone. Whilst it was a good read if I had read the first two books in the series then I would’ve known more about the back – story.

What is obvious at the outset is how well this book has been researched and how good the author is at conveying the sense of time in which the book is set. A really exciting story, beautifully researched and full of authentic detail. With an amazingly powerful female central character the narrative rips along at a cracking pace with never a dull moment. i thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

I would recommend this book highly; but do what I’m going to do. Start from book one to get full enjoyment from the books ans to follow Sphax’s story from the start to it’s climax.

About the Author:

When Cato the Censor demanded that ‘Carthage must be destroyed,’ Rome did just that. In 146 BC, after a three year siege, Carthage was razed to the ground, its citizens sold into slavery and the fields where this once magnificent city had stood, ploughed by oxen. Carthage was erased from history.
That’s why I’m a novelist on a mission! I want to set the historical record straight. Our entire history of Hannibal’s wars with Rome is nothing short of propaganda, written by Greeks and Romans for their Roman clients. It intrigues me that Hannibal took two Greek scholars and historians with him on campaign, yet their histories of Rome’s deadliest war have never seen the light of day.
My hero, Sphax the Numidian, tells a different story!
When I’m not waging war with my pen, I like to indulge my passion for travel and hill walking, and like my hero, I too love horses. I live in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.

Thanks to Robert M. Kidd for the story.

Thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite

One Of The Girls..By Lucy Clarke Blog Tour# Psychological Thriller RandomThingsTours

About the Book:

One of us is a liar. One of us is a stranger. One of us is a cheater.
But who could be a killer?
The six of us arrived on the beautiful, sunbaked island of Aegos to leave it all behind, our suitcases packed with flip flops and beach towels, our heads full of dreams for the perfect weekend away with friends…


On the first night, we laughed and danced under the stars. On the second night we went skinny dipping in the warm, summer sea. On the third night the wine loosened our tongues, the lies spilling and the masks starting to slip.


And on the final night it all ignited as we celebrated around the beach fire – for someone, the holiday in Greece would be their last…

My Thoughts:

A hen party in Greece. A time for celebration and happiness? Wrong! As the blurb says, One of us is a liar, One of us a stranger, One of us a cheater and One of us killer. So you know the premise of the book. But? What a great time you will have finding out who’s who!

This is my first dance with this author and what a dance it was. I loved every page of this book and look forward to reading more by this author if this is the standard she has set. This tale is a twisted and creepy tale which will have you second guessing yourself as to which way it is going. Just when you think you have handle on the plot and where it is going another spanner is thrown into the works and everything is up for grabs again. Everything about this book suited me down to the ground. No pages of dense text, crisp dialogue and short chapters that had you saying to yourself, one more chapter; which was a breeze as the plot and quality writing pulled you along.

At the risk of repeating myself a delicious bundle of crisp dialogue, quality writing and well fleshed out characters. You will notice I haven’t told you much about the plot. If you want to know about it I would say the best way is to get a copy and read!

A brilliant book by Lucy which I would recommend to all.

The Author:

Sunday Times bestseller Lucy Clarke writes from a beach hut, using the inspiration from the wild south coast to craft her stories. Her debut novel, The Sea Sisters, was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick, and she has since published A Single Breath, The Blue/No Escape, Last Seen, You Let Me In, and The Castaways, which was a Waterstones Thriller of the Month. Lucy lives by the sea with her husband and two children.

Brazen By Julia Haart# Blog Tour UltraOrthodoxJewishLife RandomThingsTours

About The Book:

A riveting, inspiring memoir of one woman’s escape from an extremist religious sect and an extraordinary rise from housewife to shoe designer, to CEO and co-owner of the modeling agency Elite World Group

Ever since she was a child, every aspect of Julia Haart’s life–what she wore, what she ate, what she thought–was controlled by the dictates of ultra-orthodox Judaism. At nineteen, after a lifetime spent caring for her seven younger siblings, she was married off to a man she barely knew. For the next twenty-three years, he would rule her life. Eventually, when Julia’s youngest daughter Miriam started to question why she wasn’t allowed to sing, run, or ride a bike, Julia reached a breaking point. She knew that if she didn’t find a way to leave, her daughters would be forced into the same unending servitude that had imprisoned her.

So Julia created a double life. When no one was looking, she’d sneak looks at fashion magazines and sketch designs for the clothes she dreamed about wearing in the world beyond her orthodox suburb. In the ultra-orthodox world, clothing has one purpose: to cover the body, head to toe. Giving any thought to one’s appearance beyond that is considered sinful, an affront to God. She started clandestinely selling life insurance to save her “freedom” money. At the age of forty-two, she finally mustered the courage to flee the fundamentalist life that was strangling her soul.

Within a week of her escape, Julia started a shoe brand, and within nine months she was at Paris for fashion week. A year later, she became creative director of La Perla, the world-leading lingerie brand. And now, she is the co-owner and CEO of Elite World Group, and one of the most powerful people in the fashion industry.

Propulsive and unforgettable, Julia’s story is the journey from a world of “no” to a world of “yes,” and an inspiration for women everywhere to find their freedom, their purpose, and their voice.

My Thoughts:

I have never heard of Julia Haart before or seen her Netflix My Unorthodox Life. Also though I have Jewish friends I know nothing about UltraOrthodox life.

Julia talks us through her early life as the child of Russian parents living in communism through to being raised in Ultra Orthodox Judaism and eventually her adulthood as an Ultra Orthodox Jew. The last quarter of the book talks about how she builds up her business and the trials and tribulations of doing so when you’ve barely been in the ‘outside world’ for long.

I found the book interesting and captivating and I enjoyed how Julia explains the religious concepts in detail and how this juxtaposes against the no details spared nature of the post ultra orthodox parts.

I think Julia’s story is a great story of courage.

The Author:

Julia Haart is the star of the Netflix docuseries My Unorthodox Life.She is the CEO, co-owner and chief creative officer of Elite World Group, the world’s first talent media agency, which is comprised of 48 global agencies representing the most dynamic and culturally connected talent in the world. She was previously the creative director of La Perla, the luxury Italian intimates brand, and launched her career as a designer with her namesake shoe collection. Julia lives in Manhattan. Instagram: @juliahaart.

Keep Her Sweet by Helen Fitzgerald Blog Tour# Dysfunctional Family @Orenda Books @RandomThingsTours

About The Book:

Desperate to enjoy their empty nest, Jen and Andeep downsize to the
countryside, to forage, upcycle and fall in love again, only to be joined by their
two twenty-something daughters, Asha and Camille.
Living on top of each other in a tiny house, with no way to make money, tensions
simmer, and as Jen and Andeep focus increasingly on themselves, the girls
become isolated, argumentative and violent.
When Asha injures Camille, a family therapist is called in, but she shrugs off the
escalating violence between the sisters as a classic case of sibling rivalry … and
the stress of the family move.
But this is not sibling rivalry. The sisters are in far too deep for that.
This is a murder, just waiting to happen…
Chilling, vicious and darkly funny, Keep Her Sweet is not just a tense, sinister
psychological thriller, but a startling look at sister relationships and they bonds
they share … or shatter.

My Thoughts:

Another great book from Helen Fitzgerald. What I love about Helen is you never know what you are getting. No two books are the same. How do you compare The Cry to Bloody Women and now Keep Her Sweet. You can’t you just read on and enjoy.

A dark and at times comedic novel about a dysfunctional family. Not only affecting themselves but everyone who comes within their orbit.

Penny and Andeep decide to downsize, upcycle and try to enjoy having an empty nest. Despite all their best intentions their plans go out the window when they are joined by their two squabbling daughters Asha and Camille.

This squabbling is more than sibling rivalry it causes severe harm in particular on the younger daughter Camille. When Asha injures Camille a therapist Joy is called in; and quite frankly she is about as useful as a chocolate teapot. She laughs it off as sibling rivalry and seems more concerned with her own daughter Jeannie.

With Penny and Andeep focusing on themselves and ignoring their daughters; whose relationship is fast descending into utter anarchy the stage is set for the complete disaster that ensues.

They’re no likable characters in this book but if pushed you may have some sympathy for Camille, the put upon younger daughter and Joy who is completely out of her depth. I also like the name Joy for the therapist when all around her is chaos and sadness.

A book I highly recommend and urge you to pick up a copy.

The Author:

Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers,
including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the
Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year, and adapted for a major BBC
drama. Her 2019 dark-comedy thriller Worst Case Scenario was a Book of the
Year in the Literary Review, Herald Scotland, Guardian and Daily
Telegraph, shortlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year,
and won the CrimeFest Last Laugh Award. Her latest title Ash Mountain was
published in 2020. Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over
fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia, and now lives in Glasgow with
her husband. Follow Helen on Twitter @FitzHelen.

You can buy Helen’s books direct from Orenda Books, Amazon and all good independent bookstores. You can also request them from your local library.