Sunday, 22 October 2017

#BookReview Strandsittaren by Anna Ihrén (SWE/ENG)

Strandsittaren by Anna Ihrén
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Dennis Wilhelmson tar tjänstledigt från polisen i Göteborg och åker upp till barndomsön Smögen för att bearbeta den livskris han gått igenom under våren. Men sommaren blir inte så lugn och harmonisk som han planerat. En ung man hittas död i Smögens hamnbassäng och en gammal vän till honom försvinner spårlöst.

Ofrivilligt dras Dennis in i Sotenäsets mest uppmärksammade mordutredning någonsin. Han lär känna polisaspiranten Sandra Haraldsson som är ung, ambitiös och rättfram, och på något sätt når hon fram till honom. Sakta men säkert börjar hans inre att läkas. Vad Dennis inte vet är att släktforskaren och svenskamerikanen Anthony har hittat berättelser och människor i Smögens historia som kommer att påverka hans framtid för alltid...

Strandsittaren är den första fristående kriminalromanen i Morden på Smögen-serien.

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Tankarna går lätt till både Camilla Läckberg och Ann Rosman när man läser denna bok då precis som i Läckbergs och Rosmans böcker så utspelas Anna Ihrén serie Morden på Smögen på västkusten. detta är inget som bekymrar mig. Jag älskar att läsa kriminalare som utspelas på västkusten, speciellt då jag har släkt där och känner igen så många landmärken etc.

Dennis Wilhelmson och Sandra Haraldsson är ett bra radarpar och jag njöt verkligen av att läsa denna bok som inte bara har ett intressant mordfall, utan även tillbakablickar till 1800-talet och och en familj av strandsittare. Strandsittare är fattiga människor utan egendom som fick jordägarens godkännande att slå sig ner på en bit jord, ofta ett stycke mark som det är svårt att så något på.

Mordfallet tvingar Dennis tillbaka i tjänsten, men trots hans motstånd i början så börjar han intressera sig mer och mer för fallet. Vem hade motiv att mörda mannen och kommer mördaren slå till igen?

Det är flertalet människor att hålla reda på i denna bok, men det fanns jag bara intressant att läsa om, alla dessa människoöden som strålas samman denna sommar i Smögen. Jag fann miljöbeskrivningarna härliga och sidospåret som har med släktforskning at göra var spännande. Jag ser fram emot att läsa nästa bok i serien.

Tack till Mima förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Dennis Wilhelmson takes leave of absence from the police in Gothenburg and goes up to the island Smögen, where he spent his childhood, to process the life crisis he has experienced during the spring. But, the summer does not get as calm and harmonious as he planned. A young man is found dead in the harbor and an old friend of him disappears without a trace.

Involuntarily Dennis is drawn into Sotenäs's most high profile murder investigation ever. He gets to know the police aspirant Sandra Haraldsson who is young, ambitious and straightforward, and in some way she reaches him. Slowly but surely, his heart begins to heal. What Dennis does not know is that the genealogist and Swedish American Anthony have found stories and people in the history of Smögen that will affect Dennis future forever ...

Strandsittaren is the first independent crime novel in the Morden on Smögen series.

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My thoughts went straight to Camilla Läckberg and Ann Rosman books while I read this book. Just like in Läckberg and Rosman's books, is Anna Ihrén series The Murders on Smögen set on the west coast of Sweden. This didn't bother me. I love to read crime novels set on the west coast, especially since I have relatives there and recognize many landmarks, etc.

Dennis Wilhelmson and Sandra Haraldsson is a good team and I really enjoyed reading this book, which not only has an interesting murder case, but also flashbacks to the 19th century, and a family of "beach sitters". Beach sitters (Strandsittare) were poor people without property that got the landlord's approval to settle on a piece of land, often a piece of land that is hard to sow anything on.

The murder case forces Dennis back in the duty. But, despite his resistance to working again at the beginning, does he begin to be more interested in the case. Who had motives to kill the man and will the murderer do it again?

There are a lot of people to keep in mind in this book, but I never found it hard to keep track of who is who and I enjoyed reading about them as the summer progressed in Smögen. I found the environmental descriptions lovely and the sidestory that has with genealogy to do was fascinating. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Thanks to Mima förlag for the review copy!

Friday, 20 October 2017

#CoverReveal Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan (@Lisalregan) @bookouture

Vanishing Girls: A totally heart-stopping crime thriller (Detective Josie Quinn gripping crime fiction series – Book 1

She was close enough to see that the girl had written a word on the wall in bright, warm red blood. Not a word, actually. A name…

Everyone in the small American town of Denton is searching for Isabelle Coleman, a missing seventeen-year-old girl. All they’ve found so far is her phone and another girl they didn’t even know was missing.

Mute and completely unresponsive to the world around her, it’s clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Detective Josie Quinn can get from her is a name: Ramona.

Currently suspended from the force for misconduct, Josie takes matters into her own hands as the name leads her to evidence linking the two girls. She knows the race is on to find Isabelle alive, and she fears there may be others…  

The trail leads Josie to another victim, a girl who escaped but whose case was labelled a hoax by authorities. To catch this monster, Josie must confront her own nightmares and follow her instinct to the darkest of places. But can she make it out alive?

Fans of Angela Marsons, Helen Fields and Robert Dugoni will be utterly gripped and sleeping with the lights on once they discover the first in this unputdownable new crime thriller series.
Pre-order the book (released 17th Jan 2018 )

UK 🇬🇧http://amzn.to/2gQn1on
US 🇺🇸http://amzn.to/2hQp23w

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lisa Regan is an Amazon bestselling crime novelist.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University.  She is a member of Sisters In Crime, Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Find out more at her website: www.lisaregan.com

Connect with Lisa Regan here:



Thursday, 19 October 2017

#CoverCrush No Cure for the Dead by Christine Trent

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!


When a young nurse dies on her watch, Florence Nightingale must uncover the deep-hidden secrets someone will kill to keep buried. 

When a young nurse dies on her watch, Florence Nightingale must uncover the deep-hidden secrets someone will kill to keep buried.

It is 1853. Lady of the Lamp Florence Nightingale has just accepted the position of Superintendent of the Establishment for Gentlewomen During Temporary Illness in London. She has hardly had time to learn the names of the nurses in her charge when she suddenly finds one of them hanging in the Establishment’s library. Her name was Nurse Bellamy.

Florence’s mettle is tested by the dual goals of preserving what little reputation her hospital has and bringing Nurse Bellamy’s killer to justice. Her efforts are met with upturned noses and wayward glances except for her close friend and advocate inside the House of Commons, Sidney Herbert. As Florence digs deeper, however, her attention turns to one of the hospital investors and suddenly, Sidney becomes reluctant to help.

With no one but herself to count on, Florence must now puzzle out what the death of an unknown, nondescript young nurse has to do with conspiracies lurking about at the highest levels of government before she’s silenced too.

Some thoughts about the cover:

I've been wanting to pick this cover as a Cover Crush for some time now, but I fully expected that a fellow Cover Crush friend (down below) would post it. But, no-one has so I dared it! As a historical mystery fan is both the blurb and the beautiful cover intriguing. 

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages





#BookReview The Lost Village by Neil Spring (@NeilSpring) @QuercusBooks

The Lost Village by Neil Spring
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some stories are never finished. Some voices insist on being heard, even after death . . .

Many years ago, soldiers entered a remote English village called Imber and forced every inhabitant out. It remains abandoned . . .
Each winter, on one night only, Imber's former residents return to visit loved ones buried in the overgrown churchyard. But this year, something has gone wrong. Secrets are surfacing, putting all who come near Imber in danger. And only one man can help.

Notorious ghost hunter Harry Price has reluctantly reunited with his former assistant Sarah Grey. Once, she worshipped Harry, but their relationship has recently soured. Harry knows that Sarah could be the key to unlocking the mystery of Imber, but will her involvement in the case be the undoing of them both?

Inspired by real historical events, this is the second novel by Neil Spring featuring the notorious real-life ghost hunter, Harry Price. The critically acclaimed ITV drama Harry Price: Ghost Hunter, starring Rafe Spall, was adapted from Spring's first novel, The Ghost Hunters.


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I found The Ghost Hunters to be pretty awesome, but this book was fabulous! I was thrilled to learn that the Ghost Hunters would get a sequel and I was even more thrilled when I got the book to read. And, what a book. From the first page was a hooked and the story kept its hold on my wall the way until the end. You don't have to read the first book, to read this one, but I would recommend you do that to get to know Sarah Grey and Harry Price from the start, how they met, how Sarah started to work for him and what went wrong.

The Lost Village is a captivating tale. I was curious to learn what the connection between Sarah and the village. And, is Imber really haunted? And, what has the movie theater that is said to be haunted to do with everything? Is there some connection between the movie theater and the village? Sarah and Harry reunite to solve the mystery of Imber. But, their past is between them and the village is not a very peaceful place. This case could be the end of them...

Neil Spring is a very talented writer and I sure hope that he will write at least one more book about Sarah and Harry. Although, to get this one was more than I hoped for and it was very bittersweet to turn the last page. It's an extraordinary tale and I recommend it warmly!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

#BlogTour The Fallen Agent by Oliver Tidy (@olivertidy) @CarolineBookBit

The Fallen Agent by Oliver Tidy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jess Albion has recently started a new life on the other side of the world with a new identity. She used to be MI5. Then a job went bad, someone died and she was made an example of in the British courts. But MI5 look after their own. Or they did until rumours of a planned Al Qaeda biological terror attack on London started circulating. Now someone in the British security services is giving agents up in return for information. No price, it seems, is too high to save London from the ultimate threat.

When Jess’s fresh start is compromised she has a choice to make: run and hide and spend the rest of her life looking over her shoulder or go looking for the threat and snuff it out. On her own, she’d run, but she has Nick on her side.

The Fallen Agent is a story of love and hate, of loyalty and betrayal, of revenge and callous disregard for human life in the pursuit of satisfaction.


BUY THE BOOK


BOOK REVIEW

The Fallen Agent is inspired by an episode of the British TV series Spooks. I haven't seen the TV series, but you really don't need to have done that to appreciate this story. Since it's inspired by the TV series isn't it like you need to know a lot of stuff before you read the book. I liked that, it made it so much easier to read the book. The past events that happened before the story in this book are explained and the characters are easy to get to know.

I actually read this book during one day, or rather half a day thanks to a short memory and the realization that it was my turn to host the blog tour the day after. But, if there is something I like is it to be challenged so I decided to do what I do best, and that's to read!

The story starts off strong with a wtf moment. I swear to you I was like "huh?" and then I realized that the surprising start made sense. I love starts like that, the ones that right from the first page has you on the edge of the chair and then keeps going strong. This was not the only surprise moment, which btw is another thing that I loved about this book. One can't take this story for granted, this is not a story that playing it safe, instead, things happened that will really surprise you. One thing for sure, Oliver Tidy isn't afraid to twist the story in a way to will take you by surprise.

I love the whole spy business, with Jess Albion being dragged back into her old life when an old enemy decided to have here killed and also treated to cause a terror attack if she isn't killed. However, Jess may be an ex-spy, but that doesn't mean that she will have a hard time getting back into the game nor is she friendless. The question is, will she be able to both stay alive, capture the man that wants her dead and stop terrorists from attacking London?

The Fallen Agent is the first book in the Jess Albion series. It's a fast-paced story with the short chapters. Just the way I want my thrillers to be. I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading the sequel when it's published!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Crime writing author Oliver Tidy has had a life-long love affair with books. He dreams of one day writing something that he could find in a beautifully-jacketed hard-cover or paperback copy on a shelf in a book shop. He’d even be happy with something taking up space in the remainder bin, on a pavement, in the rain, outside The Works.

He found the time and opportunity to finally indulge his writing ambition after moving abroad to teach English as a foreign language to young learners eight years ago.

Impatient for success and an income that would enable him to stay at home all day in his pyjamas he discovered self-publishing. He gave it go. By and large readers have been kind to him. Very kind. Kind enough that two years ago he was able to give up the day job and write full-time. Mostly in his pyjamas.

Oliver Tidy has fourteen books in three series, a couple of stand-alone novels and a couple of short story collections. All available through Amazon (clickable link to Am Author Page). Among his books are The Romney and Marsh Files (British police procedurals set in Dover) and the Booker & Cash novels, a series of private detective tales set in the south of England and published by Bloodhound Books.

Oliver is back living on Romney Marsh in the UK. His home. He still wakes in the night from time to time shouting about seeing his books on a shelf in Waterstones.

For more on Oliver Tidy and his books, check out his website: https://olivertidy.com/

Or follow him on:


Twitter: https://twitter.com/olivertidy

FB Author Page: 
https://www.facebook.com/Oliver-Tidy-467297426793288/


Sunday, 15 October 2017

#BookReview De förjagade (The Banished) by Mikael Strömberg

De förjagade by Mikael Strömberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

I december 1917 skickas en grupp svenska soldater till en utpost i Norrbotten, där en hemlig transaktion med Ryssland ska äga rum nära gränsen till Finland. Vid ankomsten upptäcker de dessvärre att uppdraget inte tycks vara av fredlig karaktär. Någonting allvarligt har hänt i lägret. De finner spår som visar tecken på strid. Isolerade och ansatta av meterdjup snö, sträng kyla och evigt nattmörker, står de nu inför ett okänt hot.

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De förjagade är den första boken av Mikael Strömberg jag har läst men jag måste helt klart läsa hans tidigare publicerade böcker för om det är något jag älskar så är det rysare. Speciellt rysare där handlingen tar vid i ödsliga ogästvänliga platser. Vad kan då vara bättre än att läsa en bok vars handling utspelas under första världskriget, lång upp i Sverige i en tid på året när snön ligger djupt och det råder mörker och kyla? 

Vad är det egentligen som har hänt i lägret, var är alla människor som borde ha varit där? Redan innan soldaterna har anlänt på plats är det oro i gruppen och den isolerad miljön och den obehagliga upptäckten att något inte står rätt till ökar den paranoida känslan i gruppen. De förjagade är en bok som jag läste klart på en dag, den är välskriven och spännande och jag njöt verkligen av att få läsa en svensk rysare. Jag är inte lättskrämd av mig och tyckte inte boken var otäck, men spänningsnivån och ovissheten gör boken verkligen läsvärd. 

Tack till Lind & Co för recensionexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

December 1917 and a group of Swedish soldiers are sent to an outpost in Norrbotten, where a secret transaction with Russia should take place near the border with Finland. On arrival, they, unfortunately, discover that the assignment does not appear to be of a peaceful nature. Something serious has happened in the camp. They find traces that show signs of battle. Isolated and beset by snow, severe cold, and everlasting nightmares, are they now facing an unknown threat.

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De förjagade (roughly translated into The Banished) is the first book by Mikael Strömberg I have read, but I must definitely read his previously published books because if that's something I love, it's horror books. Especially books where the story takes place in desolate and unwelcome places. What could then be better than reading a book where the story is set during World War One, far up in Sweden and at the time of year when the snow is deep and it's cold and dark.

What is really happening in the camp, where are all the people who should have been there? Even before the soldiers have arrived in place, is the group troubled and the isolated environment and the unpleasant discovery that something is not right increases the paranoid feeling in the group. The Banished is a book that I read straight through during one day, it is well-written and compelling and I really enjoyed reading a Swedish horror. I'm not easily scared and did not think the book was scary, but the tension and the uncertainty make the book really readable.

Thanks to Lind & Co for the review copy!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

#BookReview Sargad (Under the Harrow) by Flynn Berry (SWE/ENG)

Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Nora tar tåget från London till sin syster på den engelska landsbygden. Men den mysiga helgen som hon förväntat sig förvandlas till en mardröm när hon hittar Rachel brutalt knivmördad i sitt hus. Polisens frågor väcker minnen av den okände man som attackerade Rachel för femton år sedan. Är han tillbaka?

Nora tror att hon vet allt om sin syster, men när hon börjar göra egna efterforskningar visar det sig att Rachel har många hemligheter.


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Jag kände mig väldigt kluven under tiden jag läste boken. En del av mig ville verkligen få reda på sanningen om Rachels död, men samtidigt så hade jag svårt för själva berättarstilen. Första persons perspektiv kan vara lurigt. Ibland funkar det, ibland funkar det inte lika bra. Med Sargad måste jag erkänna att jag kämpade med det.

Själva story funkar tack vare att man inte vet om det förflutna har något med Rachels död att göra samt att Nora faktiskt beter sig konstigt, som om hon har något att dölja. Men i och med att det är Nora som är berättaren, så känns det som om man sitter fast i hennes huvud, och hennes tankegångar är inte alltid så klara. Däremot så fann jag inte tillbakablickarna på det förflutna när Nora och rachel var unga så svåra att hänga med i.

Men vad jag verkligen saknade var beskrivningar. Språket kändes så torftigt och det var svårt att få grepp om de andra karaktärerna i boken eftersom Nora i stort sett bara nämnde dem vid namn med aldrig riktigt gav en målande bild av dem. Vilket gjorde att de var lätt att glömda. Detsamma kan sägas om omgivningar etc.

Det är själva fallet, mordet på Rachel som gav liv till denna bok. Jag ville verkligen får reda på vem som hade mördat henne och varför. Och jag är glad att jag fortsatte läsa boken för trots mina problem med berättarstilen så var boken helt OK med ett slut som inte var tillrättalagt.

Tack till Louise Bäckelin Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!


ENGLISH REVIEW

When Nora takes the train from London to visit her sister in the countryside, she expects to find her waiting at the station, or at home cooking dinner. But when she walks into Rachel’s familiar house, what she finds is entirely different: her sister has been the victim of a brutal murder.

Stunned and adrift, Nora finds she can’t return to her former life. An unsolved assault in the past has shaken her faith in the police, and she can’t trust them to find her sister’s killer. Haunted by the murder and the secrets that surround it, Nora is under the harrow: distressed and in danger. As Nora’s fear turns to obsession, she becomes as unrecognizable as the sister her investigation uncovers.


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I felt that I was on the fence about this book during the time I read it. Part of me really wanted to find out the truth about Rachel's death, but at the same time, was I having trouble with the narrative. First person's perspective can be tricky. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not work as well. In Under the Harrow, do I have to admit that I was struggling with it.

The story itself works because you do not know if the past has anything to do with Rachel's death and that Nora actually behaves strangely as if she has something to hide makes the story more thrilling. But, because Nora is the narrator, it feels like being stuck in her head, and her thoughts are not always so clear. On the other hand, I did not find the flashbacks to the past when Nora and Rachel were young that hard to keep up with.

What I really missed was descriptions. The language felt so meager and it was difficult to grasp the other characters in the book because Nora basically just mentioned them by name with never really giving a good description of them. Which made them easy to forget. The same goes for the landscape, etc. 

It's the case, the murder of Rachel who gave life to this book. I really wanted to find out who had murdered her and why. And I'm glad I continued reading the book, despite the narrative problems, as the book was okay with an ending that I felt worked well thanks to not being too obvious.

Thanks to Louise Bäckelin Förlag for the review copy!

Friday, 13 October 2017

#BookReview The Final Seven by Erica Spindler

The Final Seven by Erica Spindler
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The first Saturday in July. . . A missing coed . . .The number seven carved into her door . . .

The countdown has begun.

New Orleans Detective Micki Dee Dare is a seasoned, no-nonsense cop. She doesn't need a partner, especially not Zach "Hollywood" Harris, an irreverent charmer, fresh out of an experimental FBI program. And her assignment -- keep him alive while he fights crime using the special skills he brings to the table -- is not what she signed up for. But the die has been cast and there's nothing she can do about it.

Micki soon realizes there's more to her partner than meets the eye--and more at stake than catching bad guys and closing cases. There's a new kind of evil at work the Crescent City, more cunning, more powerful than any she's ever encountered. And she and Zach may be the only ones who can stop it.

As another coed goes missing and the darkness closes in, Micki must face a terrifying truth: this time she might not make it. This time the evil they're facing might destroy them all . . .

Full of surprise twists and unexpected turns, The Final Seven is a heart-pounding thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.

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Sometimes, I just don't understand why a book doesn't work for me. I mean I loved the next book in this series and I like the characters. But, The Final Seven is just one of those books that fail to grab my interest. For one thing, did it take me several days to finish the book and it's not a thick book with small font. I just felt that my heart was not in it. One theory I have is that I knew what would happen since I read the next book in the series. But, I usually don't have any problems with reading books in different order. It could be because it was the first book in the series and it was an introduction to the characters and sometimes the first book is not as good as the next book in the series when you get right to the action. 

As you can see do I not have any good explanations, hell it could be that it was the wrong month to read the book. But, I will say this. It's not a badly written book. I like Erica Spindler's writing style, and I've read other books by her that I love. This is just one of those books that didn't enthrall me. But, I still look forward to reading book three in this series because I really liked book two. 

It was, however, nice to read about how Micki and Zack got to work together and how they met Angel. And, also getting to know Eli from the start was nice since I like him. But, the story in the next book is definitely better!