Geraldine by John Mead # Blog Tour Rachel’sRandomResources.

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Hatred is such a nasty thing – we all deplore it in others but do not necessarily recognise it in ourselves. At what point does resentment, jealousy, betrayal or humiliation turn into anger and then grow to an all consuming hatred? Hatred can be slow, taking years to fester, or can explode in seconds – it can linger for a lifetime or wither in seconds of its conception.

Inspector Matthew Merry and Sergeant Julie Lukula have to deal with the consequences of violence and murder on a daily basis and in the case of Gerry Driver they both see that hatred is the prime motive. But is it, as Julie thinks, one of a series of hate crimes that has led to this killing? Or, is Matthew right in saying, ‘Driver’s death is undoubtedly a hate filled crime but I’m just not convinced that there are sufficient links to suggest it is part of a pattern of hate crimes.’

Only time and their investigation, which takes as many twists and turns as the Thames does along it course through London and past Wapping Old Stairs, will tell.

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Extracts
‘She was obviously attractive when alive,’ Matthew noted out loud. Her shoulder length, light brown hair was still wet and clung to the woman’s face, exaggerating the finely drawn cheeks and chin. Her thin lips were pulled back slightly, showing a glint of evenly spaced teeth in the residual of a smile. Not a beautiful face, he thought, but a pleasant one denoting a strong character. The body was slim, narrow hips, with long legs. Her breasts where fulsome and still filled her bodice making him wonder if they had been cosmetically enlarged, as the silicon would preserve their shape even while she was supine. Only her feet were overly large for her size and, without shoes, looked out of place. Her whole, otherwise elegant, appearance in a smart blue, knee length dress was marred by bruising around her neck, the signs of strangulation in her face and the greyish blue colouring of her glistening, wet skin.

***

The inspector recalled studying Geraldine’s face at close quarters and, even after she’d been dead a few hours, there had been no sign of Gerry to give the game away. Such was the persuasiveness of Gerry’s impersonation that he had tricked death into accepting him as Gerald

My Thoughts and Review:

This is my second read by John. I enjoyed this as much as The Fourth Victim.

A woman’s body is dragged from the Thames and Inspector Matthew Merry is called to the scene and what seems to be the body of an attractive young woman is later discovered to be the body of a female impersonator named Geraldine.

As Matthew and his Sergeant Julie Lukula dive deeper into the investigation, they both form different ideas about the motive behind the crime. But one thing they agree on is hatred is the driving force in this crime.

This is a book that takes the reader into the seedier parts of the entertainment business and also the dark places of the City of London itself!

Whilst Merry is investigating the crime he finds himself playing office politics and being accused of sexual harassment and molestation.   A charge that sees him being relieved of being in charge of the investigation.  Julie meanwhile, having just passed her Inspector’s exam, takes over as chief investigating officer.

Matthew is left wondering what his future is if the charge is found to be true?

A very well written book, which shows the reader that nothing is black or white, but more a murky shade of grey. The characters of Merry and Lukula are particularly well drawn. At first polar opposites, have more in common than they like to admit. Julie is the perfect foil for Merry’s curmudgeon character.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and all opinions are my own.

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Author Bio –

John was born in the mid-fifties in East London, on part of the largest council estate ever built, and was the first pupil from his local secondary modern school to attend university. He has now taken early retirement to write, having spent the first part of his life working in education and the public sector. He was the director of a college, a senior school inspector for a local authority, and was head of a unit for young people with physical and mental health needs.

He has travelled extensively, from America to Tibet, and he enjoys visiting the theatre, reading and going to the pub. It is, perhaps, no surprise that he is an avid ‘people watcher’ and loves to find out about people, their lives, culture and history. When he is not travelling, going to the theatre or the pub; he writes.

Many of the occurrences recounted and the characters found in his novels are based on real incidents and people he has come across. Although he has allowed himself a wide degree of poetic licence in writing about the main characters, their motivations and the killings that are depicted.

John is currently working on a series of novels set in modern day London. These police procedurals examine the darker side of modern life in the East End of the city.

Social Media Links –
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnMeadAuthor
Amazon author profile: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07B8SQ2ZH
Goodreads profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17891273.John_MeadGeraldine Cover

Giveaway to Win 3 x Paperback copies of Geraldine by John Mead (UK Only)
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Deadly Harm by Owen Mullen #Review# ARC#Bloodhoundbooks#Cime fiction.

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BLURB:

It’s been five years since Mackenzie Darroch was abducted and held captive in a derelict house.

She thought she’d found her way out of the darkness. She was wrong.

When she witnesses a car crash and saves the driver’s life, it sets in motion a chain of events that will alter both their futures.

The two women get involved in a high profile police case and draw the attention of a ruthless reporter. Gina Calvi is convinced Mackenzie is not what she appears and is prepared to do anything to prove it.

Meanwhile, across the city, Kirsty McBride, a young single mother, is persuaded to leave a violent relationship. Her partner, Malkie Boyle a Glasgow hardman, is due to be released from prison. Once back on the street and bent on revenge, Boyle is determined to find the people responsible for stealing his family from him.

Can Mackenzie save them or will Boyle get his revenge?

 

 

 

MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW:

I was sent this ARC by the author himself. So thanks Owen for the chance to read it. The heroine of the book is Mackenzie Darroch, 5 years on from her kidnapping. She has found herself the caretaker of a home which is a refuge for victims of domestic violence.

She saves a woman from a car crash and takes her to her refuge. She thinks that will be the end of the matter, but she is wrong. The two women find themselves embroiled in a high profile case.

The women are also drawn into contact with a ruthless journalist Gina Calvi who will stop at any means to get her story.

Enough of the story and more of Owen’s  writing and his characters. All are well drawn and the recurring characters like Mackenzie have all grown in stature.

Also there’re cameos by people from earlier series by Owen. Such as PI Charlie Cameron. But the biggest character is the setting of the book. The Lennoxtown area where the refuge is set.

 

He has also opened up moral questions as to whether everything is black or white, or shades of grey. Would Mackenzie or any other resort to means that are not entirely legal. How far would you go to protect the people close to you. Also if were an upholder of the law; would you keep to the straight and narrow? Or would your human emotions get the better of you?

Owen has set up a tale where the violence has not made the women weaker but rather the opposite, they are stronger

If you have read the first book in this series you relish this like a favourite meal. If you are not aware of Owen’s writing I would you to read his books because you are missing a treat! All the stars from me!

THE AUTHOR:

 

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Bestselling author Owen Mullen is a McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year long-listed novelist.
Owen graduated from Strathclyde University, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter,. He had a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; He still loves to perform on occasion. His passion for travel has taken him on many adventures from the Amazon and Africa to the colourful continent of India and Nepal. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow, and their home in the Greek Islands where Owen writes.

https://m.facebook.com/OwenMullenAuthor
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Carved In Bone by Michael Nava# Blog Tour# Rachel’sRandomThings#

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About the Book;

Carved in Bone
A new mystery by six-time Lambda Literary award winner, Michael Nava. Set in San Francisco in 1984, Henry Rios, a gay criminal defense lawyer, is fresh out of rehab and trying to put his life back together. He’s hired by an insurance company to investigate the apparently accidental death by carbon monoxide poisoning of Bill Ryan in the Castro Street apartment he shared with his lover, who survived. As he delves into Bill Ryan’s life, Rios becomes convinced Ryan’s death was no accident, and that his young lover is implicated. Meanwhile, the tsunami of AIDS is bearing down on San Francisco’s gay community.
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My Thoughts and Review: 

This was a first for me. My first read by this author and my first read of gay fiction.

This was a superb story on multiple fronts. A superb mystery and a documentary on  the aids epidemic  of the 1980’s.

A richly constructed read that is told in two timelines. The story of Bill a gay teenager who finds himself in the gay scene of San Francisco after he is disowned by his family for being gay.

Also Henry Rios, a gay  insurance investigator,  who fresh out of rehab  finds himself investigating Bill’s death and the claims on his life insurance policy. Henry finds himself questioning the  circumstances of his death. And the deeper the investigation goes the more suspicious Henry becomes.  That is the mystery.

The side of the book that appeals to me was Michael’s superb writing and storytelling. Also his superb documentation of the aforementioned Aids epidemic that swept the gay community in the 1980’s.  A community that not only finds itself shunned by the hetrosexual world, Persecuted by the media of the time.

This book is not only a superb story but also gives the reader a bit of historical context of the human story behind the sensational headlines. This book was a revelation and an education. Thanks Michael.

Carved In BoneMichael Nava

Author Bio – Michael Nava is the six-time Lambda Literary Award author of the Henry Rios novels and recipient of the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement in LGBTQ Literature. The New York Times praised him as “one of our best” crime fiction writers. The New Yorker called Henry Rios “a detective unlike any other previous protagonist in American noir.” Carved In Bone is the first Henry Rios novel in 20 years. Says novelist David Ebershoff (The Danish Girl) Carved In Bone is “rich, haunting and deeply engaged with the world.”
Social Media Links – Twitter @micnavawriter
Instagram: @micnavawriter
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MichaelNavaWriter/
Podcast: The Henry Rios Mysteries Podcast (I-tune, Spotify, etc.)

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Mr. Todd’s Reckoning by Iain Maitland.

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Blurb:

Norman Bates is alive and well… He’s living just next door
Behind the normal door of a normal house, in a normal street, two men are slowly driving each other insane. One of them is a psychopath.
The father Mr Todd is at his wits’ end. He’s been robbed of his job as a tax inspector and is now stuck at home… with him. Frustrated. Lonely. Angry. Really angry.
The son Adrian has no job, no friends. He is at home all day, obsessively chopping vegetables and tap-tap-tapping on his computer. And he’s getting worse, disappearing for hours at a time, sneaking off to who-knows-where?
The unholy spirit in the safety of suburbia, one man has developed a taste for killing. And he’ll kill again.

My Thoughts and Review :

My first read by Iain and I really enjoyed it. It is a tale of any street in any town , anywhere in the UK. maybe just a street like yours. Each person in his own little castle, with his own closed door. What goes on behind closed doors stays behind closed doors. Each with his/her own little secret. You don’t want to know; or do you?
Mr. Todd an ex HMRC. Tax inspector lives a seemingly orderly life but is very angry at loosing his job. He lives with his twenty something son Adrian. Adrian suffers from OCD, has no job and disappears for hours at a time with no explanation.
Definitely the weirdo of the family? Or you may think so! Read on to find out.
Iain’s writing is top class and engages the reader in the story. Writing that tells of a serious tale but also displays a wry sense of humour! A tale that moves backwards and forwards in time telling the reader about the characters. All of whom are well rounded and are essential to the story. A book I would urge you to read.

About the Author:

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As well as Mr Todd’s Reckoning, Iain Maitland is the author of the psychological thriller Sweet William (2017) and two non-fiction books on mental health: Dear Michael, Love Dad (2016) and Out of the Madhouse (2018). An ambassador for Stem4, the teenage mental health charity, Iain also speaks on mental health issues in the workplace. A writer since 1987, he is a journalist and has written more than 50 books, mainly on business, which have been published around the world.

Moorings by David Blake# Blog Tour

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Book Description@

A war veteran murdered in his home, a property developer with links to organised crime, and an old family secret that seems unwilling to stay dead.

When Harry Falcon, a wealthy boatyard owner and highly decorated World War Two veteran, is found drowned in his bath, DI John Tanner and DC Jenny Evans start by questioning his two sons, each with a motive for wanting him dead.

But when the elder son is found with his head smashed in under a toppled yacht, and the younger son has been talking to a local property developer, one who’d spent months trying to buy the yard from his father, the investigation soon leads them towards a dark and dangerous secret, one which nobody can quite believe.

Set within the mysterious beauty of the Norfolk Broads, this fast-paced British detective series is a dark cozy murder mystery with a slice of humour and a touch of romance, one that will have you guessing until the very end, when the last shocking twist is finally revealed.

Moorings is a totally addictive gripping crime thriller, the third in a chilling series of serial killer books, ones which will rapidly convert followers of L J Ross, Faith Martin, Joy Ellis, Damien Boyd and Helen H. Durrant into David Blake devotees.
My thoughts and Review:

Book three in the Di Tanner series. And what a book and series this is! David has kept the quality of his writing top notch and the pace of his story never flags!

The story is set as his previous books were in the Norfolk Broads And the reader finds themselves immersed in the atmosphere of this part of the country.

The story starts of with the murder of ninety plus owner of a local boatyard and the immediate suspects are his two sons. But are they the murderers? You may at first think so, but as misfortune befalls them they are quickly ruled out. So who did it? This is just one of the many twists this book takes. Twists that have you second guessing yourself.

The relationship between Tanner and Evans is further fleshed out and Jenny is a great foil for Tanner. Her sense humour a perfect foil his taciturn character. He says he cares for her and feels she is in a job that puts her in danger. He would prefer her to be in a less dangerous job. Is this what he really feels; or the fact she is going for her sergeants exam, she may soon pass him on the promotion ladder!

Also Tanner’s interaction with his colleagues is further explained. All characters in this book are well rounded and take their places in the story.

I read this book at a furious pace. For various reasons. The top quality writing and superb storyline. This is a series that continues to grow with superb writing and characters. I would urge you to read it and the previous two. You will not be disappointed!

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Author Bio:

David is a full-time author living in North London. To date he has written fifteen books along with a collection of short stories. He’s currently working on his sixteenth, Moorings, which is the next in his series of crime fiction thrillers, after Broadland and St. Benet’s.

When not writing, David likes to spend his time mucking about in boats, often in the Norfolk Broads, where his crime fiction books are based.

Website: http://www.david-blake.com

Amazon Profile: viewAuthor.at/DavidBlake
Facebook Readers’ Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/DavidBlakeAuthor
Facebook Site: http://www.facebook.com/DavidBlakeAuthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15104629.David_Blake

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Blood in the Dust by Bill Swiggs. Readersfirst

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Blurb:

1853, Victoria, Australia. Five bushrangers led by the murderous outlaw Warrigal Anderson raid a small homestead. When they ride away, nineteen-year-old Toby O’Rourke’s life is changed forever. His parents lay dead at his feet and his brother, Patrick, is badly wounded.

But Toby O’Rourke is made of steel forged in the hardship of colonial life. Forced into adulthood, he and Patrick will seek to restore the family fortunes and outwit not only the rich businessman who conspired to rob them of their birth right, but the vicious men who murdered their parents . . .

My Thoughts and Review:
Read over 3 days.
A fast paced read.
This was my first read by this author. A tale set in the early settlements of Australia in the 1800’s. A tale of lawlessness and outlaws, or to give them there Australian name bushrangers. A tale of barely scrapping a living, of murder and deceit. But also hope and ambition.
Toby and Paddy O’Rourke find their parents murdered and Paddy seriously injured. And when a friendly neighbour swindles them out of their home and cattle, they find themselves having to find alternative ways to survive.
It is also the story of Frank and Maree Hocking and their two daughters.
All these people and their lives intertwine and they forge a life together, not without setbacks and hardship.
A tale that will appeal to readers of Wilbur Smith. Only the setting is Australia not Africa. A well written fast paced read.

 

About the Author
Bill Swiggs was born in Victoria and brought up in Western Australia, where he still lives. He joined the Royal Australian Air Force as an aviation firefighter before becoming a police officer, and now works as a firefighter for a defence contractor. Bill divides his time between working, writing, flying and his grandchildren.

 

Life’s a Banquet by Robin Bennett# Blog Tour#Rachel’sRandomResources#

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Life’s A Banquet

If life gives you lemons, add gin

Life’s a Banquet is the unofficial but essential ‘guide book’ to negotiating your way through life – through education, family life and business, to relationships, marriage, failure and rejection.

Aged 21, Robin Bennett was set to become a cavalry officer and aged 21 and a half, he found himself working as an assistant grave digger in South London – wondering where it had all gone wrong.

Determined to succeed, he went on and founded The Bennett Group, aged 23, and since then has gone on to start and run over a dozen successful businesses in a variety of areas from dog-sitting to cigars, translation to home tuition. In 2003, Robin was recognised in Who’s Who as one of the UK’s most successful business initiators. Catapulting readers through his colourful life and career, Robin Bennett’s memoir is an inspiring tale.

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lifes-Banquet-Robin-Bennett/dp/1912881683

US – https://www.amazon.com/Lifes-Banquet-Robin-Bennett/dp/1912881683

My Thoughts:

I heard never heard of Robin Bennet. In fact I had to Google him to find out who he was.

He is the founder of The Bennett Group, which he started at the age of 23. He has also started and run numerous other firms. Including dog sitting, home tuition amongst others.

This book is filled with anecdotes and humour. It tells of his young prep school days, university and his business days.

He is an example of using your wit and nuance to get on in life. Yo don’t necessarily need high degrees of education to get on in life.

In fact I get the impression that most of the time he flies by the seat of his pants. But once he sets up in business he surrounds himself with capable people. This was evident from his sandwich bar days at university and seems to be a template for future ventures.

He peppers this book with humorous anecdotes and they’re several laugh out loud moments.

If I have one complaint it is the use of numerous foot notes.  If you like your Non-Fiction with some humour then this could be the book for you!

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Robin Bennett lives in Henley on Thames, Oxon. He is an author and entrepreneur who has written several books for children and books on the swashbuckling world of business. His documentary, Fantastic Britain, about the British obsession with magic and folklore, won best foreign feature at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards.

Robin says, “When the world seems to be precarious and cruel, remember that the game is to never give up – there’s everything to play for, and it will all be OK.”

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