The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad

From prize-winning, bestselling author Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.
In Whitehead s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.
My thoughts:
 A brilliant read. Well written, dragging  the reader along and investing in the characters.
All the characters are well written and take their place in the narrative, where there’s not a wasted word.
This was hard subject to write about. Slavery. We all have our own thoughts and prejudices which can colour  and misinform our reading.
This must be even harder for an author to write and put aside his own bias. This Colson does admirably.
This is the story of an Underground Railroad which slaves use to escape their enslavement.
This is also the story of Cora who uses this to escape to the North and freedom. But all is not as straight forward as it seems.
She not only has to fear the rich plantation owner, who regards her as property, but the poor white who thinks they are superior to her because of their white skin.
A well written and well rounded book. Full of light and shade, wrong and right.
I would urge all to read this book and have no hesitation in giving it 5 stars.
The author:  Colson Whitehead.

Colson Whitehead



Colson Whitehead.

Born in New York City, New York, The United States







I’m the author of the novels Zone One; Sag Harbor; The Intuitionist, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award; John Henry Days, which won the Young Lions Fiction Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Apex Hides the Hurt, winner of the PEN Oakland Award. I’ve also written a book of essays about my home town, The Colossus of New York, and a non-fiction account of the 2011 World Series of Poker called The Noble Hustle. A recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship, I live in New York City.

My latest book, The Underground Railroad, is an Oprah’s Book Club pick.

The One
 Read over 5 days.

The One

How far would you go to find The One?

A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner—the one you’re genetically made for.

That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.

Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…

A word-of-mouth hit in the United Kingdom, The One is a fascinating novel that shows how even the simplest discoveries can have complicated consequences.

My Thoughts:
This was a great read.
Everyone wishes for the perfect match. But if we got it would we be sure or satisfied?
Told from various viewpoints this is the story of a dating site that matches people together, not with  their likes and hobbies etc. But by their DNA,
This will create the perfect match and in the long run lead to the perfect world. Or will it?
Be careful what you wish for because nothing is what it seems. And certainly not perfect.
What starts if as boy meets girl etc. and all will be fine. Nope!
This story told from various viewpoints and short crisp chapters draws you in and makes your jaws drop with OMG moments.
This book will draw you in and make you want to keep reading.
I urge you to read this book. You will enjoy in and I will give it five well deserved stars.
This is my own review and opinions are my own.
Buy a copy: Amazon UK.The Author:

John Marrs

John Marrs



in Northamptonshire, The United Kingdom





John Marrs is the author of The One, The Good Samaritan, When You Disappeared, and Welcome to Wherever You Are.

A freelance journalist based in London, England, he has spent the past twenty years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines.

He has written for publications including the Guardian’s Guide and Guardian Online, Total Film, Huffington Post, Empire, Q, GT, the Independent, S Magazine and Company

A Fractured Winter

A Fractured Winter

A missing girl.
Threatening notes.
Sinister strangers.

Olivia’s idyllic family life in a Swiss mountain village is falling apart.  She thought she’d managed to escape the past, but it’s coming back to haunt her.

Has somebody discovered her secret – why she had to leave Scotland more than ten years ago?

And what is her connection to Marie, a lonely schoolgirl in a Yorkshire seaside town, and Lucy, a student at a Scottish university?

A twisty family mystery with a dark edge, where nothing is as it seems.


My Thoughts:

I received this book from the author herself. Having previously read her Sewing the Shadows Together I was looking forward to reading this book.
I was not disappointed. Alison’s writing was superb as usual and the story pulls the reader along and has you saying to yourself, just one more chapter.
This is a story that involves one protagonist bur different time frames, which all involve and intrigue the reader.
Her sense of description is superb, you can imagine yourself in the Swiss Alps and equally at home in the UK.
A story that involves secrets from the past, cults and missing children. A brilliant book , a worthy 5 stars from me. Well worth the reading
But don’t listen to me. Just buy a copy and dive in! You wont be disappointed !

Alison Baillie
ALISON BAILLIE was brought up in Ilkley,
Although she was born in Yorkshire, she has always felt Scottish. Her parents were both Scottish and she studied English at the University of St Andrews and afterwards taught English at several High Schools in the Edinburgh area. She has also taught English as a Foreign Language in Finland and Switzerland.
She loves reading crime fiction, especially Scottish and Scandinavian, going to crime writing festivals, travelling, walking in the mountains and being with my friends and family.

“Sewing the Shadows Together” is her first novel. Her second novel, “A Fractured Winter” will be published in late spring of 2018



Finding Gobi: The true story of a little dog and an incredible journey
 Read: Over one day.

Finding Gobi: The true story of a little dog and an incredible journey

A man, a dog, and the lengths to which love will go to sacrifice for its companion.
Finding Gobi is the miraculous tale of Dion Leonard, a seasoned ultramarathon runner who crosses paths with a stray dog while competing in a 155-mile race through the Gobi Desert in China. The lovable pup, who would later earn the name Gobi, proved that what she lacked in size, she more than made up for in heart, as she went step for step with Dion over the Tian Shan Mountains, across massive sand dunes, through yurt villages and the black sands of the Gobi Desert, keeping pace with him for nearly 80 miles.
As Dion witnessed the incredible determination and heart of this small animal, he found his own heart undergoing a change as well. Whereas in the past these races were all about winning and being the best, his goal now was to make sure his and Gobi’s friendship continued well after the finish line. He found himself letting Gobi sleep in his tent at night, giving her food and water out of his own limited supply, and carrying her across numerous rivers, even when he knew it would mean putting him behind in the race or, worse, prevent him from finishing at all.
Although Dion did not cross the finish line first, he felt he had won something even greater – a new outlook on life and a new friend that he planned on bringing home as soon as arrangements were made. However, before he could take her home, Gobi went missing in the sprawling Chinese city where she was being kept. Dion, with the help of strangers and a viral outpouring of assistance on the Internet, set out to track her down and reunite forever with the amazing animal that changed his life and proved to him and the world that miracles are possible.
My thoughts:
This was a delightful read. A book I was so happy to been given this by friend, so thanks to all. my friend, Dion Leonard and most of all Gobi.
You don’t have to be a runner, an animal lover to enjoy this book.
You have to just believe in the wonder of chance, of love and the fact we all have a soul.
Dion an Aussie now living in Edinburgh set off to China to run an ultra marathon across the Gobi dessert.
On the night before the second stage of this race he spots a small scruffy dog on the edges of the camp. He wonders where it has come from and then dismisses it.
But the next day she is standing on the start line and continues to run with him.
It is a story of a love won, lost and won again.
It is such a good feel book , it will make you happy and lift you up when you are feeling down.
A brilliant 5 star read that I recommend and urge you to read

The Author:

Dion Leonard

Dion Leonard is a 41 year old Australian who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with his wife Lucja. Dion has not only completed but competed in some of the world’s toughest ultra marathons across the planet’s most inhospitable landscapes. This includes running across the brutal Moroccan Sahara desert twice in the 250km Marathon Des Sables and also twice across South Africa’s Kalahari Desert, also 250km. Dion’s latest 250km race across the Gobi Desert in China turned out to be a completely different race where he fell in love with a stray dog (later named Gobi) that followed him during the week and who would change both of their lives forever.





The Babysitter
 Read: off and on 2 weeks.

The Babysitter

bySheryl Browne(Goodreads Author)
You trust her with your family. Would you trust her with your life?

Mark and Melissa Cain are thrilled to have found Jade, a babysitter who is brilliant with their young children. Having seen her own house burn to the ground, Jade needs them as much as they need her. Moving Jade into the family home can only be a good thing, can’t it?

As Mark works long hours as a police officer and Melissa struggles with running a business, the family become ever more reliant on their babysitter, who is only too happy to help. And as Melissa begins to slip into depression, it’s Jade who is left picking up the pieces.

But Mark soon notices things aren’t quite as they seem. Things at home feel wrong, and as Mark begins to investigate their seemingly perfect sitter, what he discovers shocks him to his core. He’s met Jade before. And now he suspects he might know what she wants …

Mark is in a race against time to protect his family. But what will he find as he goes back to his family home?


  • Amazon UK


My Thoughts:

Review of The Babysitter
4 Stars
Format Kindle edition
Review OMG this was a brilliant read! Grabs the reader by the hand and drags them through chapters of what’s is going on, why can’t you see that! It’s right in front of you!
A story told from the viewpoints of the main characters Max, Melanie, Jade and less so Dylan.
The prologue is especially powerful and sets the premise of the book.
When a neighbour’s cottage burns down and Max and Mel take her in for what is meant to be a few days to she gets herself on her feet and repairs can start on her own property.
When Jade strikes an immediate rapport with their two children,it seems they have a built in babysitter,
A match made in heaven and nothing could go wrong, or could it!
Be careful what you wish for, it may not turn as you wish.
As i said earlier, told from various viewpoints of the main characters.
The superb quality of the writing lets you inhabit their psyches and explore their strengths and weaknesses. Full of why cant you see that? It is obvious, right in front of your face moments.
A superb read and thanks to Sheryl,Bookoture and Netgalley for the ARC. A worthy 4 stars and I urge you to read it.


Hi, I’m Sheryl Browne. I live in Worcestershire with my partner and a variety of disabled dogs. According to readers of my thrillers, I also apparently make an excellent psychopath. 😉 Writing powerful psychological thriller and contemporary fiction, my latest thriller THE BABYSITTER is published by fabulous BOOKOUTURE. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and previously writing for award winning Choc Lit, I have several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where, after half a lifetime, I finally completed my MA in Creative Writing.


In Place of Death (Tony Winter #5)

In Place of Death (Tony Winter #5)

A man enters the culverted remains of an ancient Glasgow stream. Deep below the city it is decaying and claustrophobic, and gets more so with every step. As the ceiling lowers to no more than a couple of feet above the ground, he finds his path blocked by another person. But the person is has been murdered.
DS Narey leads the investigation to find who the victim is and who killed him. Photographer Winter begins an investigation of his own, through the shadowy world of urbexers, people who pursue a dangerous and illegal hobby, a world that Winter knows more about than he lets on.
Meanwhile, DI Derek Addison is trying to prevent an escalating drugs war which has already left several casualties in its wake among the city’s rival gangs. A new face in town is upsetting the established order.
Against a backdrop of hauntingly atmospheric and dangerous buildings, the tangled links between the gangs and the urbexers who have strayed unwittingly into deadly territory draw all three investigations together
My Thoughts:
This was a brilliant read. Number 5 in the Narey/Winter series.
Though Number 5 in the series and there is some backstory it can be easily read as a stand alone.
it concerns a group of people called urbexers (urban explorers)
One is Remy Feeks who when exploring an under ground stream makes a gruesome discovery.
A body that he reports to the police via an anonymous phone call. Then he takes a step back and leaves it to the authorities; and this is where the story takes off.
Craig’s writing is such that he makes it easy to follow a story, which at times is twisted and complicated, with ease.
He is comfortable in the area about which he writes and his descriptions of Glasgow and the places the story is set is spot on.
Don’t let this put you off. Though appealing to a Glasgow boy like me it could easily be set in any major city with abandoned buildings and people willing to enter them to stir up the past.
A book that draws the reader in with superb writing and descriptive powers that conjure up the area
in which it is set.
A book full of ghosts of past lives and places; also ever present greed and man’s inhumanity to man.
A book I have read and chosen to review. I enjoyed it and would recommend to all who like a gritty story.

Craig Robertson 

Craig Robertson


The United Kingdom 


During his 20-year career with a Scottish Sunday newspaper, Craig Robertson has interviewed three recent Prime Ministers; attended major stories including 9/11, Dunblane, the Omagh bombing and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann; been pilloried on breakfast television, beaten Oprah Winfrey to a major scoop, been among the first to interview Susan Boyle, spent time on Death Row in the USA and dispensed polio drops in the backstreets of India.

The Pharmacist's Wife

The Pharmacist’s Wife

 Love. Desire. Vengeance. A deadly alchemy.

When Rebecca Palmer’s new husband opens a pharmacy in Victorian Edinburgh, she expects to live the life of a well-heeled gentlewoman. But her ideal is turns to ashes when she discovers her husband is not what he seems. As Rebecca struggles to maintain her dignity in the face of his infidelity and strange sexual desires, Alexander tries to pacify her so-called hysteria with a magical new chemical creation. A wonder-drug he calls heroin.

Rebecca’s journey into addiction takes her further into her past, and her first, lost love, while Alexander looks on, curiously observing his wife’s descent. Meanwhile, Alexander’s desire to profit from his invention leads him down a dangerous path that blurs science, passion, and death. He soon discovers that even the most promising experiments can have unforeseen and deadly consequences…

Reminiscent of the works of Sarah Waters, this is a brilliantly observed piece of Victoriana which deals with the disempowerment of women, addiction, desire, sexual obsession and vengeance.


My thoughts:

When Alexander opens his new pharmacy, things look rosy for him and his new wife Rebecca. But all is not as it seems.
This was a delicious tale. Love, desire,vengeance are all present. Also throw in drug addiction and you have a deadly alchemy.
Set in Victorian Edinburgh this is a gothic tale. Where men rule and women are mere chattels .
They are expected to obey men in all they say and subvert their own opinions and beliefs to the male of the species.
A story that entertains, grips and has readers shaking their head in wonder and incredulity.
A tale that has the reader smelling the atmosphere of Victorian Edinburgh.
A Edinburgh of gas lamps, horse drawn trams and carts.
The atmosphere this author has conjured up is magnificent.
You live in Edinburgh of the mid 1800’s and savour every moment.
If you like the tales of Sarah Waters you will enjoy this book
Thanks to the author, publishers and for the ARC.
A worthy 4 stars