The Coral Bride by Roxanne Bouchard/ Blog Tour/Orenda Books Quebec/ Fishing Community. @RandomThingsTours

ABOUT THE BOOK:

In this beautiful, lyrical sequel to the critically acclaimed
We Were the Salt of the Sea, Detective Moralès finds
that a seemingly straightforward search for a missing
fisherwoman off Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula is anything but.
When an abandoned lobster trawler is found adrift off the
coast of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, DS Joaquin Moralès
begins a straightforward search for the boat ’s missing
captain, Angel Roberts – a woman in a male-dominated
world. But Moralès finds himself blocked at every turn – by
his police colleagues, by fisheries bureaucrats, and by his
grown-up son, who has turned up at his door with a host of
his own personal problems.
When Angel’s body is finally discovered, it ’s clear something
very sinister is afoot, and Moralès and son are pulled into
murky, dangerous waters, where old resentments run deep…
An exquisitely written, evocative and poetic thriller, The
Coral Bride powerfully conjures the might of the sea and the
communities who depend on it, the never-ending struggle
between the generations, and an extraordinary mystery at
the heart of both.
MY THOUGHTS:

This book is ideal for people who like books set in small communities; with all that that entails. A mistrust of strangers and a setting where secrets are kept close to the heart and not divulged to others, especially those from the outside. A place not to turn up in, not if you have baggage of your own.

Such a man is Detective Moralès who thinks he is on a routine missing person case. It is anything but routine when the missing person turns up dead and he is quickly involved in a murder case. But his investigation is baulked at every turn. By the community closing ranks, by his fellow police officers and he finds himself up against a brick wall and he is stalled at every step of the investigation.

This is also compounded by the fact that his wife has left to return to the city and his son Sebastian, who is having his own problems, turns up and tries to reconnect with his estranged father.

Enough of the story. What I really like about this book is the writing.  This isn’t just a novel, it’s a song. An ode to the sea and the fishing community. You will feel as if you’re at the heart of this fascinating community and its dark side. The writing and translation are both of a quality that involves the reader in the story. Although a dark story it is not without its comedic moments. Roxanne writes a story that picks up on the minutiae Of small town communities. So a last word Recommended!

ABOUT ROXANNE BOUCHARD

Over ten years ago, Roxanne Bouchard decided it was time she found her
sea legs. So she learned to sail, first on the St Lawrence River, before
taking to the open waters off the Gaspé Peninsula. The local fishermen
soon invited her aboard to reel in their lobster nets, and Roxanne saw for
herself that the sunrise over Bonaventure never lies. Her fifth novel (first
translated into English) We Were the Salt of the Sea was published in 2018
to resounding critical acclaim, sure to be followed by its sequel, The Coral
Bride. She lives in Quebec.

Baghdad Central by Elliott Colla/ Blog Tour/ Gulf War/ Occupation Forces/ Random Things Tours Bitter Lemon Press/

ABOUT THE TALE:

The Book

Baghdad, November 2003. The occupation forces have disbanded the army and there is no police on the streets of Iraq. Inspector Muhsin al-Khafaji is a mid-level Iraqi cop who deserted his post back in April. Captured by the Americans and imprisoned in Abu Ghraib, Khafaji is offered one way out, helping the authorities rebuild the Iraqi Police Services. But it’s only after US forces take his daughter Mrouj that he figures out a way to make his surrender palatable, and even rewarding. Soon, he is investigating the disappearance of young translators working for the US Army.

Khafaji finds himself a collaborator living in a volatile world of shifting alliances and new warlords. Luckily for him, the old consolations of whiskey and love poetry can sometimes still work their magic in the new “liberated” Iraq.

Praise for Baghdad Central

Powerful and authentic, Baghdad Central is a perilous journey through the dark maelstrom of wartime Iraq that will make you want to reach for a flak jacket… even as you’re marvelling at its abiding humanity.’ Dan Fesperman, author of Lie in the Dark

‘A gripping tale of mystery and intrigue in the claustrophobic, morally treacherous world of post-invasion Baghdad, …this is a compelling noir crime novel told from inside Iraqi society.. A great read!Jenny White, author of The Winter Thief, A Kamil Pasha novel

MY THOUGHTS:

This is a book that picks you up and drops you firmly into 2003 Iraq. A powerful well crafted tale. It is a mixture of war thriller and noir crime novel. It takes you into the inside of Iraqi society. With all the uncertainty of a war torn country where corruption is rife.

Inspector Muhsin al-Khafaji is a mid-level Iraqi cop who deserted his post back in April. He is captured by the Americans and imprisoned he is offered a way out. He is asked to organise the formation of a new Iraqi police force. And just to put extra pressure on them they kidnap his ill daughter and offer her the treatment she needs if her father agrees to their demands.

He finds himself an unwilling collaborator. This makes for a great story, which moves between 2003 Iraq and 1988 when Saddam was at the height of his power.

They’re those who welcome the occupation forces and the chance to have a free Iraq. On the other hand they’re those who see these forces, particularly the Americans, as another form of dictatorship. These opposing dishes are wrapped up in alliances built on shifting sands and a dash of corruption.

Elliot has served up a dish of superb writing, cracking tale and a flawed hero. A book I think you will enjoy.

THE AUTHOR:

Elliott Colla divides his time between Washington DC and the Middle East. This is his first novel. He teaches Arabic literature at Georgetown University. He has translated much contemporary Arabic literature, including: Ibrahim Aslan’s novel, The Heron, Idris Ali’s Poor, Ibrahim al-Koni’s Gold Dust, and Rabai al-Madhoun’s The Lady from Tel Aviv.

THE PUBLISHERS:

Bitter Lemon Press;

BUY LINK: AMAZON and all independent booksellers.

The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty, and War by John “Chick” Donoghue and J.T. Molloy/ Blog Tour@ RandomThingsTours @AnneCater

ABOUT THE BOOK:

“Hey, Collins!” I shouted up. “Tommy!” Tommy peered down into the
boat and did a double take. “Chickie?!” He scurried down the ladder
and grabbed me by the arms as if to see if I was real.
He looked bigger and stronger than when I’d seen him last, and he was
full of questions. “Chickie! Are you kidding me? How did you get here?
Are you nuts? What the hell are you doing here?!”
I pulled a beer out of my pack and handed it to him. “This is from the
Colonel and me and all the guys in Doc Fiddler’s,” I told him. “We all
talked about it, and we decided that somebody ought to come over
here and buy you guys a drink in appreciation for what you are doing.
Well, here I am! John ‘Chickie’ Donohue


THE GREATEST BEER RUN EVER: A Crazy Adventure in a Crazy War is the amazing
true story of a young man going to take his buddies a few cans of beer – in the heat of
the Vietnam war. In 1967 – having seen students protesting against the Vietnam war, some
New York City bar friends decided that someone should hop over to Vietnam to buy their
various neighbourhood army buddies a beer, to show them that SOMEONE appreciates
what they’re doing over there. One man was up for the challenge: John “Chickie” Donohue.
A U. S. Marine Corps veteran turned merchant mariner, Chickie decided he wasn’t about
to desert his buddies on the front lines when they needed him most.
Chickie set off on an adventure that changed his life forever. Armed with Irish luck and
a backpack full of alcohol, he made his way to Qui Nho’n, tracking down his disbelieving
friends one by one. But Chickie saw more of the war than he ever bargained for, unexpectedly getting caught up for a night on the front line in the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), and for weeks in Saigon during the Tet Offensive. In the process of undertaking this well-intentioned but ill thought-through adventure, Chickie learnt a lot about himself and most importantly, changed his view on the Vietnam War, having seen first-hand the craziness of the whole endeavour and ultimately realising that the American government was lying to the American people.

MY THOUGHTS:

This was a book that if you had no information about it you would think it too far fetched , even to be a work of fiction, but it isn’t it’s true. Basically Chickie takes it upon himself to be the bearing of good news from home and also BEER!

Without letting you know the complete story, it is suffice to say that Chickie is very patriotic and his government is in the right and the protesters against the Vietnam war are wrong und in his opinion traitors to the USA.

This is a short book that is written simply and is well written and finds you travelling a road well trodden with Chickie. The prose is simple and as you read on you find yourself agreeing and disagreeing with the books {hero}? as he discovers the country and its people and how his views might be subject to change.

In his own words:

Gradually, I began to see that the protesters, however disrespectfully, were at least
trying to stop this madness. They weren’t acknowledging that so many young men
were doing what they truly believed was their duty—to their country, their family, their
neighbourhood. They weren’t acknowledging that the soldiers were patriots, that they
were heroes. We, in turn, didn’t see at the time that the protesters loved our country,
too. What they didn’t like was our leadership. They were trying to stop more boys from
being killed for somebody else’s legacy. After what I’d witnessed on my journey, I could
definitely agree with that.

A book I think you would enjoy and one I would recommend.

AUTHOR BIO:

AUTHOR INFORMATION
John “Chickie” Donohue joined the United States Marine Corps at the age of
seventeen and spent several years as a Merchant Mariner after his discharge. His
work took him to numerous foreign ports, including Saigon during the Vietnam War.
After the war, he became a Sandhog, or tunnel builder, and eventually became the
Legislative and Political Director of Sandhogs, Local 147, Laborers International Union
of North America, a post in which he served for over three decades. Donohue is a
graduate of the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government where he
received his Master of Public Administration degree. He is happily married to Theresa
“Terri” O’Neil and spends his time between New York, Florida, and West Cork, Ireland.

Medusa’s Children, Keith Antar Mason/ Poetry/ Black Lives Matter @ Love Books Tours, Kelly Lacey


Blurb:MEDUSA’S CHILDREN by Keith Antar Mason
From performing in the alleys of LA, Keith Antar Mason recounts his experience of getting on stage at the  ICA in London with The Hittite Empire Performance Art Collective, an all-Black Intergenerational Men’s Cultural Elite.The narrative of the London trip and snippets of the author’s experiences back in LA is effortlessly interwoven with visceral and evocative images from Black History, as memorised in his genes: We are the nightstickedBillyclubbedStrangewaysStrangefruitsSurvivorsEvery summer is a Red SummerMedusa’s Children is a one voice rant, a prose memoir, a wish poem.This is a memory written inAshes and FogOur Life on MarsStone cold word killersSpitting Knowledge and TruthMother MedusaMake usSubliminal Seducers
MY THOUGHTS:

Well I’ve got to confess something at the start. I’m not a lover of poetry. I think it goes back to my days at school, where we had to learn poems by rote. And these poems were written by people a long time dead.

But this was entirely different from anything I have read before. No ” wandering lonely as a cloud here” This was a difference to what I am used to receiving from poetry.

This was political poetry. This was a rant and also a picture of the differences between two different cultures.

The verse that stuck with me began ” In America I was born a suspect

Tall

Thin

Black

Bad

Dangerous.

Not because of anything he has done or might have done. He is suspected of being a criminal because of the colour of his skin. Being asked by the police to assume the position he likens it to the auctions of the slave block.

A book of poetry that will challenge your beliefs and perceptions. It will give you an insight into what it means to be black in 21st century America. An educational book.

The Ice Killer by Ross Greenwood Blog Tour/Crime Thriller Rachel’sRandomResources

MY THOUGHTS:

Ellen has her issues. Born Sue Ellen and named after a TV character, she has just lost her mother and no one seems to care about her. Her only friend is Scarlett that she knew from school who has done rather well for herself as she knew she would and Ellen has no chance of stepping into her shoes.

When she meets someone from work in the pub he persuades her to go back to his to listen to their band video. What transpires is something she never would have thought in a million years or would she?

Meanwhile D.I. Barton becomes acting Chief Inspector, a role he finds doesn’t sit easily with him; being a hands on person he finds it hard to delegate. Coupled with the fact that two of his team are about to sit their inspector’s exams.

Three bodies are found in a run down house, each with a potential weapon by them. A tall man was seen leaving the building however things don’t quite add up and the hunt is on for a potential murderer. As the murders begin to pile up with seemingly no witnesses or motives the team find their hands full.

 I enjoyed this – it was slightly different from the norm as we know from the beginning who the perpetrator is (or do we?) and some is written in the first person from Ellen’s side of things. A very cleverly written well thought out plot with twists and turns along the way. It’s almost a hybrid psychological thriller/ crime book in how the story pans out. A brilliant read that is gripping and gritty

A great book three in the Killer trilogy and I would recommend it!

THE AUTHOR:

Biography

I was born in 1973 in Peterborough and lived there until I was 20, attending The King’s School in the city. I then began a rather nomadic existence, living and working all over the country and various parts of the world.

I found myself returning to Peterborough many times over the years, usually when things had gone wrong. It was on one of these occasions that I met my partner about 100 metres from my back door whilst walking a dog. Two children swiftly followed. I’m still a little stunned by the pace of it now.

Bloodstock by Rod Humphris/Blog Tour/RandomThingsTours@ AnneCater

ABOUT THE BOOK:

After what feels like a lifetime of mayhem, Simon Ellice returns to the
Hampshire village where he grew up. He enjoys the solace and tranquillity
of rural life, working on a farm and getting to know the lively locals, but
suddenly Si walks right into a deadly mystery.
Old friends are going missing and then turning up dead. Someone from the
City is spreading their evil tentacles and Si dives into London’s underworld
to uncover a conspiracy of poisoning, murder and pagan ritual that
threatens those closest to him.
Written with Humphris’ razor-sharp style, this is Simon Ellice’s darkest and
most challenging adventure yet, touching on themes of sacrifice and
objectification, that threaten the very foundations of our civilised world

ABOUT THE SERIES:

Charismatic, bold and a ruthless warrior, Simon Ellice slinks through the
world like a shark in a limpid pool.
Known simply as Si to friends and enemies, he doesn’t dwell on past
traumas, passing through life with a dry sense of humour and a death wish.

MY THOUGHTS:

This was my first read of Rod’s work and being book four in a series it took a bit getting into. A bit of knowledge about the backstory would have been helpful. But Si{ the hero?} seems to fly by the seat of his pants I decided to do the same. And what a flight it was!  Si investigates the disappearances and subsequent murders of a number of aristocratic young women. It’s an intriguing story, which unfolds amid much speculation as to the true nature of the crime in question. Simon’s haphazard manner of investigation lands him in regular trouble, as do his dalliances with the women in his life.

The book covers a dark subject but is written with a sense of humour and very descriptive writing in which all characters are well drawn.

As I have said top quality, descriptive writing and a sometimes dark read shot through with a sense of humour takes the reader and the story on a meandering adventure which comes to a satisfying conclusion. I book I think you should invest in.

THE AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY:

Rod Humphris is the author of a number of acclaimed thrillers. He is the
happiest and most productive when travelling about in his battered old
truck with a canoe in top and a dog in the back. He currently lives in Bath.
Rod Humphris is the winner of N. N. Light Best Fiction Award 2016

Other books in the series
Dead Ground, Book One, prequel
ISBN 9781999651701 (paperback)
Go Fast, Book Two
ISBN 9780993576140 (hardback)
ISBN 9780993576195 (paperback)
Starlight, Book Three
ISBN 9781999651718 (paperback

Shadow Sands by Robert Bryndza Book Review# Kate Marshall#2

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The internationally bestselling author of Nine Elms and The Girl in the Ice is back with a nail-biting new Kate Marshall case, a woman with a dark secret and a powerful sense of justice.

When Kate Marshall finds the bloated body of a young man floating in the Shadow Sands reservoir, the authorities label it a tragic accident.

But the details don’t add up: why was the victim there, in the middle of the night? If he was such a strong swimmer, how did he drown?

Kate is certain there is more to this case than meets the eye. As she and her research assistant Tristan Harper dig deeper, they discover a bloody trail that points towards an active serial killer hiding in plain sight. People have been silently disappearing for years, and when another woman is taken, Kate and Tristan have a matter of days to save her from meeting the same fate.

MY THOUGHTS:


I have read Robert’s Erika Foster series and enjoyed them all. This is the second book in his Kate Marshall series which I’ve read out of order. It worked quite good as a standalone; but if you could read book one in the series.
It starts when Kate and her son discover the body of a drowned teenager. But is it a simple case of drowning or something more sinister. The young man in question is a strong swimmer , recently trying out for the Olympic swimming team.
As Kate and her research assistant Tristian dig deeper they have a lot of unanswered questions but things seem to point to a serial killer who is still active.
Robert not only manages to write a convincing hunt for a killer but he also throws up and highlights the frailties of his lead characters. A good picture of how human beings are mixture of complex and contradicting emotions. This book contains various themes, serial killers, alcoholism, sexuality all of which Robert handles with aplomb. His well rounded characters are facing a dramatic present, an uncertain future and also to unravel an dark and murky past. This is a book I enjoyed and have no hesitation in recommending to you. 
AUTHOR BIO:

 
Biography
Robert Bryndza is an international bestselling author, best known for his page-turning crime and thriller novels, which have sold over four million copies in the English language.

His crime debut, The Girl in the Ice was released in February 2016, introducing Detective Chief Inspector Erika Foster. Within five months it sold one million copies, reaching number one in the Amazon UK, USA and Australian charts. To date, The Girl in the Ice has sold over 1.5 million copies in the English language and has been sold into translation in 29 countries. It was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Mystery & Thriller (2016), the Grand prix des lectrices de Elle in France (2018), and it won two reader voted awards, The Thrillzone Awards best debut thriller in The Netherlands (2018) and The Dead Good Papercut Award for best page turner at the Harrogate Crime Festival (2016).

Robert has released a further five novels in the Erika Foster series, The Night Stalker, Dark Water, Last Breath, Cold Blood and Deadly Secrets, all of which have been global bestsellers, and in 2017 Last Breath was a Goodreads Choice Award nominee for Mystery and Thriller.

Most recently, Robert created a new crime thriller series based around the central character Kate Marshall, a police officer turned private detective. The first book, Nine Elms, was an Amazon USA #1 bestseller and an Amazon UK top five bestseller, and the series has been sold into translation in 15 countries. The second book, Shadow Sands will be published November 3rd 2020.

Robert was born in Lowestoft, on the east coast of England. He studied at Aberystwyth University, and the Guildford School of Acting, and was an actor for several years, but didn’t find success until he took a play he’d written to the Edinburgh Festival. This led to the decision to change career and start writing. He self-published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels, before switching to writing crime. Robert lives with his husband in Slovakia, and is lucky enough to write full-time.

You can find out more about Robert and his books at http://www.robertbryndza.com