Category Archives: Blog Tour

Blog Tour and Extract: What Falls Between the Cracks by Robert Scragg

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Robert Scragg’s What Falls Between the Cracks, which is published in paperback by Allison & Busby on 20 September, and to be able to share an extract with you.

what falls between the cracks

Did she slip through the cracks, or was she pushed?

When a severed hand is found in an abandoned flat, Detective Jake Porter and his partner Nick Styles are able to DNA match the limb to the owner, Natasha Barclay, who has not been seen in decades.  But why has no one been looking for her?  It seems that Natasha’s family are the people who can least be trusted.

Delving into the details behind her disappearance and discovering links to another investigation, a tragic family history begins to take on a darker twist.  Hampered by a widespread fear of a local heavy, as well as internal politics and possible corruption within the force, Porter and Styles are digging for answers, but will what they find ever see the light of day?

You can find the first chapter of What Falls Between the Cracks on the Allison & Busby website, and I’m thrilled to share chapter two with you!


CHAPTER TWO

Natasha Barclay was a ghost, figuratively speaking, at least. Between them they couldn’t find a single mention of her dated past 1983. Her flat was one of fifteen in a five-storey late Victorian building near Walthamstow, in North East London, built originally as an orphanage. The airy high ceilings and ornate cornices had reminded Porter a little of his own place, although he guessed his flat could fit inside these twice over.

They left three uniformed officers at the building to go door to door with the remaining eleven residents to see if anyone knew Natasha Barclay. It wasn’t out of the question that she was just a private person, and didn’t make small talk with the neighbours. The interviews with the first three residents, particularly the one who’d lived there for over twenty years, didn’t sit well with him. Sure, people led busy lives, but for those lives to have never intersected with as much as a neighbourly nod while leaving or entering the building in over two decades seemed highly unlikely. Then there was the eerie air of dormancy that hung over the place. The dated decor and coat of dust that cloaked every surface had given him the feeling that the apartment had been slumbering for some time before the leaking freezer had rudely interrupted.

They headed back to the station at Paddington Green, along Edgware Road, lined with a cultural melting pot of takeaways, competing amongst themselves to ruin your waistline. Porter’s window was halfway down, spices and fried chicken wafting in on the breeze, making his stomach growl in protest. Compressed storefronts jostled for space, offering everything from Persian carpets to a bet on the three o’clock at Newmarket. Blocks of flats had been built up behind them over the years, peering over the tops of the two- and three-storey buildings on the main road like nosy neighbours. Typical mid-twentieth-century fare, blocky and functional. The station itself wasn’t any prettier. The jutting window ledges around each floor made Porter think of the Stickle Bricks he had as a child.

As soon as they got inside, Styles disappeared into the small kitchen area, returning armed with two mugs of steaming black coffee. Porter realised he’d been staring at a smudge of dirt on the window and blinked his eyes quickly to snap himself out of it.

‘I’ve told you before, you’re wasting your time batting your eyelashes at me. I’m a happily married man,’ said Styles. After a few years working together it was impossible not to be aware of his partner’s little quirks. He jokingly referred to this one sometimes as Porter’s ‘Spidey sense’ after the Marvel comic-book hero’s preternatural ability to read situations and intuit danger. He’d seen it happen on more than one occasion where Porter had progressed a seemingly dead-end case by zoning out like that and joining dots that no one else had spotted.

‘You can’t blame a guy for trying.’ Porter took a cautious sip of the coffee before putting the cup on the desk.

‘Any flashes of inspiration, then?’ asked Styles as he settled into the seat at his desk that adjoined his partner’s.

Porter shook his head. ‘No, no, ladies first this time. You got a theory?’

‘Kind of, actually,’ said Styles. ‘Well, more of a question really,’ he corrected himself. ‘The food in the freezer – that make sense to you?’

‘I was a little preoccupied with the hand to have much of an appetite.’

‘I wasn’t fixing to make myself a snack,’ said Styles. ‘I’m talking about the packaging. I’m assuming you missed that part?’

‘Afraid so. Go on then, enlighten me.’

‘The whole scene was just odd,’ Styles began. ‘The clothes and decor you could put down to individual taste. The dust and cobwebs might just mean she’s been living somewhere else for a while, maybe with a boyfriend. The boxes in the freezer make no sense, though.’

‘How do you mean?’ asked Porter.

‘The packaging,’ said Styles. ‘It was as dated as the rest of the place. Not that I’m an expert in the field of graphic design by any stretch, but it looked ancient compared to what you see in shops today. None of it had the nutritional info on either, and that’s been stamped all over everything for years now.’

Porter raised his eyebrows as he realised what Styles was getting at. ‘So you’re saying you think no one’s been in for years rather than months?’

Styles shrugged. ‘I know stuff keeps for longer in there, but who keeps food for that long?’

‘So we’re saying nobody’s been in there since she last opened her mail?’

‘Maybe, maybe not,’ said Styles. ‘I’m pretty certain nobody’s lived there for a long time. Whether anyone has had a reason to be there or not is another matter.’ Porter opened his mouth to reply, but was stopped in his tracks when his phone started to ring.

‘Hold that thought,’ he said, holding up a finger at Styles as he took the call. ‘This is Porter.’

‘Porter? It’s Will Leonard. You asked me to call as soon as we had something.’

‘Hey, Will. What have you got?’

‘It’s only a preliminary overview, but hopefully it’ll help get you started. The prints from the hand are consistent with the few clear ones we managed to find at the flat. I wasn’t sure what we’d find with it being like a museum in there, but we got lucky. We pulled some fairly clear ones from fatty deposits around the oven, and on and around the make-up products in the bathroom, so it’s reasonable to assume that both they and the hand they come from belong to somebody who lived there. I’m going to run them now and see if we get a match.’

‘OK, thanks, Will. Anything else?’

‘We’ll be doing DNA tests on hair from the hairbrush and a swab of the toothbrush to check against tissue from the hand and the blood from the living room. Results should be back in a day or so. There’s nothing so far to suggest more than one person living there. There were a few smudges that look like they used to be prints in the other rooms, but not as well preserved as the ones in the kitchen.’

‘Good stuff. Let me know when you get the DNA tests back.’ Porter was about to sign off but as an afterthought he mentioned Styles’s theory about the food. Leonard promised to look into it and ended the call. Porter gave Styles the highlights of the conversation.

‘What you said, about the food. I hadn’t twigged to that. You’re right, it does seem weird.’

‘Oh, I’m not just a pretty face,’ said Styles. ‘What’s the plan, then, boss?’

‘First things first, we need to find out what family she has. My gut tells me that it’s most likely her hand we found. I checked with one of the lads working the scene, though, and the amount of blood and distribution on the carpet isn’t consistent with it being removed there, so it begs the questions of where and why.’

‘Speaking of the flat, it would have been a fairly pricey area to live in even back in the eighties. How does a young woman living alone afford somewhere like that?’ asked Styles.

‘Good question,’ said Porter, reaching for his coffee again. ‘You look into the property and check out her finances. See if anything shows up apart from the account with Barclays. I’ll see if I can track down her parents.’

They agreed to meet up again as soon as the officers responsible for interviewing the neighbours returned, and Styles slid his own chair sideways on its casters to park himself at his desk. Porter drained the lukewarm dregs of his coffee and got to work. He hoped tracing the parents wouldn’t prove too tricky, although these conversations were the ones he hated the most. Being the bearer of potentially bad tidings was something he’d had to do more times than he cared to remember, but he’d never get used to it. He remembered it from the other side of the scenario; seeing the blurred shape visible through his front door. Not realising that all that separated him from the blow they were about to deal to his world was an inch-thick rectangle of wood and glass. The struggle to remember what life had been like before he opened the door to see the police officers outside. The bad news they carried carved into every crease on their forehead.

Best case, Natasha Barclay had been the victim of an assault, and worst case her injuries may have been fatal. Without immediate medical attention, she could easily have bled out after her hand was removed. The fact that at least part of the attack looked to have taken place inside her home meant there was a good chance she may have known her assailant. What Porter couldn’t quite reconcile, though, was that if she was alive and well, why nobody, including her parents, had bothered helping to look after her flat. On the flip side, if something more sinister had happened, why had nobody reported her missing? The last thought that struck him as he leant forward to start the task of locating her parents was a little less palatable, but one that would need careful consideration nonetheless. What if those closest to her knew she was missing but had a vested interest in hiding that fact?


Many thanks to Ailsa Floyd at Allison & Busby for the invitation to join the blog tour, and for my copy of What Falls Between the Cracks which I can’t wait to read!

Make sure you check out the other stops on the blog tour!

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Blog Tour: Overkill by Vanda Symon

overkill

I absolutely loved the sound of Overkill when I first read the synopsis, and I was delighted to be given the opportunity to read a copy ahead of publication and to take part in the blog tour organised by Anne Cater of Random Things Tours.

When the body of a young mother is found washed up on the banks of the Mataura River, a small rural community is rocked by her tragic suicide.  But all is not what it seems.

Sam Shephard, sole-charge police constable in Mataura, soon discovers the death was no suicide and has to face the realisation that there is a killer in town.  To complicate the situation, the murdered woman was the wife of her former lover.  When Sam finds herself on the list of suspects and suspended from duty, she must cast aside her personal feelings and take matters into her own hands.

To find the murderer… and clear her name.

Overkill opens with the murder, and throws the reader straight into the story with this brilliant opening paragraph:

The day it was ordained that Gabriella Knowes would die there were no harbingers, omens or owls’ calls.  No tolling of bells.  With the unquestioning courtesy of the well brought up, she invited Death in.

I thought that the prologue was fantastic, and loved that Symon managed to make the opening scene so shocking and yet entirely non-graphic.  It lets the reader know exactly what they are in for, in that the novel will claim its victims without mercy, but also that it won’t be unnecessarily brutal in its approach.  Whilst so many novels rely on shock factor, it was refreshing to read a novel that does this without having to resort to gory scenes.

I loved the setting of Mataura, New Zealand.  It’s a small town, but one that has plenty of secrets hidden away, despite its outwardly peaceful appearance, and Symon evokes a sense of place brilliantly.  As always, the small-town setting makes Sam’s job incredibly difficult, as everyone knows her, just as she knows everyone else, and everyone knows that newly widowed Lockie was her lover in the not too distant past, and that only one half of that couple managed to move on.  She’s a girl who wears her heart on her sleeve, and it doesn’t really come as a surprise that she becomes a suspect.  Not that she’s about to let that get in her way.

The very best thing about Overkill was undoubtedly Sam Shepherd, our main protagonist.  What an absolute star!  I loved her determination to keep looking into the murder despite her feelings on Gaby, the victim.  Suspended from duty, and quite likely to lose her job if she doesn’t step away from the investigation, she just can’t help herself, and I loved this perseverance despite the potential consequences.  She is a character who is most definitely flawed but very much aware of her own shortcomings, and this acceptance of who she is and her “what you see is what you get” attitude make her very easy to like.  She puts herself through some trials in order to gather information, including a rather uncomfortable visit to the nurse!  I won’t spoil it for you… 😉

I thought that the plot moved at a fair pace, and was both interesting and original.  There are red herrings thrown in to keep you on your toes, and whilst this isn’t a novel carrying a big OMG twist, it’s one that keeps you guessing right until the end.  I’m really hoping for more from Symon, hopefully featuring more Sam!

Overkill is published by Orenda Books, and the eBook is available now, with the paperback being published on 6 September.  Thanks to Anne Cater for the review copy and the opportunity to join the blog tour.

Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Make sure you check out the other stops on the tour!

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Blog Tour: Truth and Lies by Caroline Mitchell – Giveaway

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Truth and Lies today, and I have a giveaway for you – see below for details on how to enter.


About the Book

truth and lies

DI Amy Winter is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her highly respected police officer father. But when a letter arrives from the prison cell of Lillian Grimes, one half of a notorious husband-and-wife serial-killer team, it contains a revelation that will tear her life apart.

Responsible for a string of heinous killings decades ago, Lillian is pure evil. A psychopathic murderer. And Amy’s biological mother. Now, she is ready to reveal the location of three of her victims—but only if Amy plays along with her twisted game.

While her fellow detectives frantically search for a young girl taken from her mother’s doorstep, Amy must confront her own dark past. Haunted by blurred memories of a sister who sacrificed herself to save her, Amy faces a race against time to uncover the missing bodies.

But what if, from behind bars, Grimes has been pulling the strings even tighter than Amy thought? And can she overcome her demons to prevent another murder?


About the Author

An international #1 and USA Today bestselling thriller author, Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family in a village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time, with over half a million copies of her books sold.

As well as her crime series, Caroline also writes stand-alone psychological thrillers. The most recent, Silent Victim reached the Amazon number 1 spot in the UK, US and Australia. Her highly anticipated DI Amy Winter series is published by Thomas & Mercer. The first book in the series, Truth and Lies, launches on 13th September. Her works have been translated into four different languages and one of her books is featured as an interactive app, due for release in 2018.

You can find out more about her at http://www.caroline-writes.com, or follow her on Twitter (@caroline_writes) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/CMitchellAuthor/).


Giveaway

To win a signed copy of Truth and Lies, simply leave a comment on this blog post telling me about a time you’ve told a lie.  Big or small, with or without consequence, it’s time to confess!

This giveaway is open to UK residents only (sorry!) and you have until 8pm (UK time) on 4 September to enter.  A winner will be chosen at random from the entries.  I won’t be taking any details from you for the giveaway – once a winner has been chosen, I will let let that person know who to contact at Midas PR (the organisers of the blog tour) in order to claim their prize.

⭐ Good luck! ⭐


Make sure you check out the other stops on the blog tour!

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Blog Tour: An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

an unwanted guest

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Shari Lapena’s latest novel, An Unwanted Guest, today.  I absolutely adore mysteries where the murderer is one of a limited number of people (a la And Then There Were None) and An Unwanted Guest is a very welcome addition to this category.

We can’t choose the strangers we meet.

As the guests arrive at beautiful, remote Mitchell’s Inn, they’re all looking forward to a relaxing weekend deep in the forest, miles from anywhere.  They watch their fellow guests with interest, from a polite distance.

Usually we can avoid the people who make us nervous, make us afraid.

With a violent storm raging, the group finds itself completely cut off from the outside world.  Nobody can get in – or out.  And then the first body is found… and the horrifying truth comes to light.  There’s a killer among them – and nowhere to run.

Until we find ourselves in a situation we can’t escape.  Trapped.

An Unwanted Guest opens with the various characters arriving at Mitchell’s Inn, and works as a brilliant introduction to everyone involved.  Whilst there are several characters, I thought that Lapena did an excellent job in making them all individual and with their own idiosyncrasies which made it easy to avoid confusing x with y as the story progressed.  I thought that the first night – before things really get started – was brilliantly done as you see all of the guests mingling, and start to form opinions as to who might be trouble given that you already know a little of what is to come.

The storm is already making itself known as the guests begin to arrive at Mitchell’s Inn, and it doesn’t take long for them to become completely trapped by the weather.  Whilst they have chosen Mitchell’s Inn because of its remote nature and the ability to get away from it all for a weekend, this is a little more than they had in mind, particularly with the discovery of the first body and the loss of power, and what may have initially seemed like a little adventure takes on a much darker tone.  And the guests can’t even call for help – not that help could get to them easily if it could be contacted – the hotel being so remote that there is no mobile signal or internet access.  They are completely isolated and what should have been an idyllic retreat becomes a living nightmare.

One of the real strengths of the novel for me was the way that Lapena brought the claustrophobic atmosphere to life – you can feel the growing tension that the guests are feeling as they have to band together, knowing that one of their number is a murderer.  As secrets begin to emerge, allegiances shift within the party, and there’s an element of cabin fever as they begin to distrust each other and the accusations – rational and otherwise – begin to fly.

An Unwanted Guest has an excellent plot – there are several feasible options as to “whodunnit”, and I didn’t work it out before the big reveal.  I love it when I get to the end of a novel and think “ah yes – the clues were there all along”.  I think that this is a sign of a great thriller, and that’s how An Unwanted Guest left me feeling at the end.  I also loved that even when I thought I knew everything, there was one final little twist which – and this says a lot about me – made me a laugh a little.  It was just perfect.

An Unwanted Guest was published on 26 July by Bantam Press.  Many thanks to Anne Cater and the publisher for the early review copy and the opportunity to take part in the blog tour.

Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Make sure you check out the other stops on the blog tour:

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Blog Tour: Now You See Her by Heidi Perks

now you see her

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Now You See Her by Heidi Perks today.  I absolutely loved this novel, and was desperate to find out what was going on!

Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears.  She thought the little girl was playing with her own children.  She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.

Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable: tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing.  The child she was meant to be watching.

Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte.  No one could expect her to trust her friend again.

Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police.  And secrets are about to surface.

Someone is hiding the truth about what really happened to Alice.

As with many thrillers, Now You See Her uses a dual time line approach, although the unusual thing here is at the before is only 13 days earlier than the now.  Despite the proximity, the two narratives feel worlds apart, as the reader sees the day Alice went missing and the immediate aftermath, as well as the current storyline which opens with Charlotte being questioned by the police.  From the very opening scene in the police station, I was hooked on this story!  I desperately wanted to know what had happened to Alice, but also why Charlotte was still being questioned 13 days later.  It’s a gripping tale, and I loved the twist that turned all of my assumptions on their head – this was one where I definitely did not see what was coming.

As well as the dual timeline, the story is also told from two points of view, and I loved the contrast in Charlotte and Harriet’s characters.  Harriet seems so wary and even a little timid, and it’s clear that she doesn’t have many friends other than Charlotte.  She seems overly protective of Alice and has never spent a night away from her, even though Alice is four years old.  Despite her best intentions, she seems destined to become the smothering kind of mother that she promised herself she wouldn’t be.  By contrast, Charlotte comes across as one of those effortlessly glamourous mums who just seem to manage and take everything in their stride, until Alice goes missing, that is.  It seems as though there’s little to connect these two, other than their children, and I loved the exploration of their friendship through the story, looking to see what made them close.

There is a third character who is worthy of note here, and that is Brian, Harriet’s husband.  From the beginning, I wasn’t sure what to make of him.  His initial reaction of anger was completely understandable in the circumstances, but it was clear that there was something not quite right about the narrative from the Harriet / Brian household, and I wasn’t initially sure which of them I should trust.  It does soon become clearer what’s going on, however, and this is one of those stories where I wanted a happy outcome, but wasn’t entirely sure that I was going to get it.  I won’t spoil that for you though – you’ll have to read it to find out if it turns out well or not 😉

Now You See Her is an absolutely gripping domestic thriller.  Brilliantly written and with a fantastic twist, I fully expect this to be a poolside favourite over the summer holiday season.

Now You See Her is available now as an eBook, and will be published on 26 July in hardback.  Many thanks to Rachel Kennedy and the publisher, Cornerstone (Penguin Random House) for the early copy.

Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Make sure you check out the other wonderful bloggers taking part in the tour:

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Blog Tour: When I Find You by Emma Curtis

when i find you

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Emma Curtis’s latest novel, When I Find You.  I thoroughly enjoyed Emma’s debut, One Little Mistake, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read her follow up, When I Find You, ahead of publication, and to be able to take part in the blog tour.

What do you do when someone takes advantage of your greatest weakness?

When Laura wakes up after her office Christmas party and sees a man’s shirt on the floor, she is horrified.  But this is no ordinary one-night-stand regret.

Laura suffers from severe face-blindness, a condition that means she is completely unable to identify and remember faces.  So the man she spent all night dancing with and kissing – the man she thought she’d brought home – was ‘Pink Shirt’.

But the shirt on her floor is blue.

And now Laura must go to work every day, and face the man who took advantage of her condition.  The man she has no way of recognising.

She doesn’t know who he is… but she’ll make him pay.

Face-blindness, or Prosopagnosia, is a condition that I didn’t know much about going into this novel, other than it being an inability to recognise faces.  I’d never really thought beyond this, in terms of the impact that this condition would have on a person and those close to them, and the difficulties it would cause in everyday life.   It’s something that Curtis has researched thoroughly for this novel, and I thought that she brought Laura’s daily struggles to life brilliantly, including the question of whether or not to tell people.  It’s a real dilemma – if people know, they can introduce themselves when they speak to you, but there’s always going to be the one bad egg who will take advantage of the condition.

Of course, this is the situation Laura finds herself in after he office Christmas party when she realises the morning after that the man she took home with her is not the man she had been canoodling with all evening, the difference highlighted by the colour of the shirt she finds on the floor.  Coward that he is, he does a runner before she can confront him, and she is left to work out who it was, why they would commit such an act, and how they knew, given that she has only told her boss, Rebecca – no one else knows.  And Laura feels unable to report the incident to the police, fearing that they won’t believe her “sorry, officer, I don’t who he was because I don’t recognise faces”.  Laura is left in a situation of not knowing who she can trust, and takes the only option available to her in not trusting anyone, attempting to cope on her own.

Laura’s character is one that it’s so easy to get behind.  Her ways of coping with her condition show such determination, and whilst her intent to take her revenge on the culprit, once she works out who it is, maybe isn’t entirely advisable, I couldn’t help but admire her spirit, and I wanted her to succeed.  I think that Laura also inspired sympathy in the way that those around her treat her.  Most don’t know about her face-blindness, and so find her to be anti-social and standoffish, but even Rebecca is unsympathetic towards her, and makes things harder for Laura than they need to be.  It has to be said that the other characters in the novel, for the most part, aren’t all that likeable, making it easier to support Laura in her quest for revenge.

When I Find You is an incredibly fast-paced story, and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened.  I thought I’d been really clever in working it out, and whilst I got some elements right, the final twist was absolutely brilliant, and completely unexpected.  This is a fantastically original thriller, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

When I Find You was published as an eBook on 1 July, and will be out in paperback on 9 August.  Many thanks to the publisher, Black Swan for the review copy, and to Anne Cater for inviting me to join the blog tour.

Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Make sure you check out the other stops on the blog tour!

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Blog Tour: Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks

call of the curlew

Virginia Wrathmell knows she will walk on to the marsh one New Year’s Eve, and meet her end there.

One snowy New Year’s Eve, at the age of eighty-six, Virginia feels the time has finally come.

New Year’s Eve, 1939.  Virginia is ten, an orphan arriving to meet her new parents at their mysterious house, Salt Winds.  Her new home sits on the edge of a vast marsh, a beautiful but dangerous place.  War feels far away out here amongst the birds and shifting sands – until the day a German fighter plane crashes into the marsh.  The people at Salt Winds are the only ones to see it.

What happens next is something Virginia will regret for the next seventy-five years, and which will change the whole course of her life.

Call of the Curlew is a novel that had me hooked from the very first page.  Who is Virginia Wrathmell, and why is she so certain that she would meet her end on the marsh?  The first of these questions was answered earlier than the second, as the reader gets to know Virginia both now (in 2015) and as a child at the outset of the Second World War.  Both storylines reveal much about her, although I did prefer the earlier sections as the reader begins to understand the burden that she has carried throughout her life.  What this is takes some time to be fully revealed, and I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough to find out what had gone so horribly wrong.

As an orphan, it would be easy to assume that her childhood was an unhappy one, and yet that doesn’t seem to be the case here.  The orphanage was kind to her prior to her adoption by Clem and Lorna, and her adoptive parents treat her well, even if Lorna doesn’t exactly exude maternal instinct.  I loved the way her relationship with Clem developed into something that’s not quite father and daughter, but close enough to be enjoyable for them both.  The other characters in the novel are also well-developed, particularly the ever present yet rarely welcome neighbour, Max Deering, and it’s no surprise that he has his role to play in what comes to follow.

I found the present-day storyline to be extremely thought-provoking, as Virginia seeks to wrap up loose ends before heading out into the marsh.  Things don’t entirely go to plan, however, as she has an unexpected visitor, and one that has her own links to Virginia’s past, stirring up more memories.  Whilst this might seem coincidental, I thought that this development was explained well, and I thought that this was a brilliant way of sharing the outcome for other characters in the novel, without resorting to Virginia simply telling the reader what happened.

The dual timeline means that this is a novel that will appeal to those who enjoy historical fiction, and the mystery which slowly unravels will keep you hooked until the end.  It’s not a fast-paced novel, but I thoroughly enjoyed the slow unravelling of events.  Call of the Curlew is brilliantly written and atmospheric throughout and is imbued with a fantastic sense of place, so much so that the marshes almost seem like a character in themselves, and I liked the constant they provided in the story whilst everything else changes over time.  This is a poignant story, and one that will stay with me for some time.

Call of the Curlew was published by Doubleday on 28 June.  Many thanks to Anne Cater and Hannah Bright for the review copy and the opportunity to join the blog tour.

Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


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