Sunday, 29 March 2020

Rage and Retribution (A DI Sterling Thriller) by Lorraine Mace

I'm delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for another Paolo Sterling thriller from Lorraine Mace having loved the previous one I read. Big thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for the invitation and to the publisher for my review copy.  



The Blurb:

Can two wrongs ever make a right?

A man is found by the side of a canal, comatose and brutally attacked.

It quickly becomes clear that someone is abducting men and subjecting them to horrific acts of torture. After three days they're released, fighting for their lives and refusing to speak.

A councillor is accused of fraud.

Montague Mason is an upstanding member of the community. That is until he's publicly accused of stealing the youth centre's funds - an accusation that threatens to rip through the very heart of the community and expose his best-kept secret. But how far would he go to protect himself?

Two cases. One deadly answer.

As the two cases collide, D.I. Paolo Sterling finds he has more questions than answers. And, when torture escalates to murder, he suddenly finds himself in a race against time to find the killer and put an end to the depravity - once and for all.

Rage and Retribution was published in paperback, audio and digital formats by Accent Press on 13th February 2020.


Purchase Links:

Kobo 



My Review:

Rage and Retribution is the fourth in the DI Sterling series but can easily be read as a standalone. I had only read the first one, Retriever of Souls before this (review here) and didn't feel disadvantaged in any way.

DI Paolo Sterling is unveiling the plaque at the opening ceremony of the youth centre he was instrumental in renovating, but things don't quite go plan and Councillor Montague Mason (brilliant name) is anonymously accused of a crime. It seems like it might just be a stunt, but Paolo is duty bound to investigate. And also to discover who the accuser is from all the staff, volunteers, tradespeople and businessmen involved in the regeneration of the centre.

Meanwhile, an unidentified man has been admitted to the local hospital in a coma with terrible injuries that suggest prolonged, painful torture. His doctor has seen similar injuries before and and calls Paolo in to discuss the situation.

On top of all this, Paolo's personal life is in turmoil on all fronts, and sidekick Dave is being bullied by some of his colleagues. He's also a bit distracted by stuff outside of work.

I like Paolo. He's a straight arrow with a good moral compass and strong sense of right and wrong, sometimes to the point of being a bit blinkered. He loves his family deeply and clearly cares for the people who work under him. Dave too, is a great character. He's much calmer here than when I met him in book one, and is a solid, reliable member of the team.  All the characters are brilliantly described - the janitor and the swimming coach at the youth centre are standouts for me in this respect.

And it's just as well these chaps are made of strong stuff. As the seemingly unrelated cases start to look a little less unconnected, Paolo and his team have to deal with some pretty difficult and uncomfortable things. This would seem like a good time to mention that Rage and Retribution features a fair bit of graphic sexual violence, which has stayed with me since reading it, so it won't be for everyone. It made for some uncomfortable reading, but I felt it was an interesting take on the things, once the full story became clear. There's also some entertainment in a local club which is pretty twisted, but novel.

The plot line was complex enough to keep my attention without confusing me too much and there are plenty of red herrings and sub plots. The denouement was tense and had me shouting 'No!' at my Kindle screen. It was nail biting! This is a strong story, with  great characters and a hefty dose of sexual violence, perhaps a tad too much for me. But I enjoyed the book and loved seeing what was going on with Paolo - poor guy doesn't get it easy!


The Author:


Born and raised in South East London, Lorraine lived and worked in South Africa, on the Island of Gozo and in France before settling on the Costa del Sol in Spain. She lives with her partner in a traditional Spanish village inland from the coast and enjoys sampling the regional dishes and ever-changing tapas in the local bars. Her knowledge of Spanish is expanding. To stop her waistline from doing the same, she runs five times a week.

When not working on the D.I. Sterling series of crime novels, Lorraine is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers' Forum and is head judge for WritersForum monthly fiction competitions.

A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service.

Author Social Media Links:

Instagram

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Feasible Planet by Ken Kroes

Today I am delighted to shine a spotlight on to Feasible Planet by Ken Kroes. We are destroying our planet and things need to change. This book helps us to take small steps to improving the situation, with clear explanations of the science and reasoning behind the suggested changes. Thanks to Kelly at Love Books Tours for inviting me to take part in today's blog blitz.




The Blurb:

Are we doing enough?

Are you concerned about the state of our planet and hope that governments and corporations will find a sustainable way for us to live? If you do not think about it too hard, that may work, but will it? Left on their own, with drivers of popularity and profits, I am not too convinced that it will.

The missing part of this equation is you and me. Individuals who believe that corporations and governments can do better. Individuals who believe that through action, we can buy a bit more time to develop and implement solutions to our critical issues.

Did I hear a groan out there when you read the word actions? Do not worry! Most of the actions that I am referring to will not only help save the planet, but will benefit you right away through saving money, time, better health, and having a happier life in general.

Sustainability goes beyond controlling our consumption and pollution. There are key social, political, and economic areas that need to be addressed as well, and there are several steps that individuals can take to help in these areas.

For those of you who feel we could do more, this book is for you and is loaded with actionable activities, the reasons for doing them, and explores why we are not doing them already.
  
Every journey starts with a first step. Hopefully, this book will lead to those first sustainable steps and that will change the world.


Buy Link:

https://amzn.to/2Sm9tnQ


The Author:


Ken Kroes is the author of the Percipience Eco-Fiction Series and the non-fiction books, Feasible Planet and Feasible Living. He is passionate about our relationship with our planet and applies his diverse background which includes agriculture, mechanical engineering and information systems into his writing. Born in Calgary, Canada he has bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering and has had the pleasure of living in many locations in North America and has travelled extensively.

He can be reached at Ken@feasibleplanet.com

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Containment by Vanda Symon


Today is my stop on the blog tour for Containment, the third Sam Shephard novel from Vanda Symon and I'm delighted to share my review below (click through to see my reviews of the first two books, Overkill and The Ringmaster). Huge thanks as always to Anne Cater for inviting me and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda for my review copy.



The Blurb:

Chaos reigns in the sleepy village of Aramoana on the New Zealand coast, when a series of shipping containers wash up on the beach and looting begins. Detective Constable Sam Shephard experiences the desperation of the scavengers first-hand, and ends up in an ambulance, nursing her wounds and puzzling over an assault that left her assailant for dead. What appears to be a clear-cut case of a cargo ship running aground soon takes a more sinister turn when a skull is found in the sand, and the body of a diver is pulled from the sea ... a diver who didn't die of drowning...

As first officer at the scene, Sam is handed the case, much to the displeasure of her superiors, and she must put together an increasingly confusing series of clues to get to the bottom of a mystery that may still have more victims...

Containment was published by Orenda Books as an eBook on 5th January 2020 and in paperback on 5th March 2020. It is available from the publisher and all usual retailers. In these difficult times, please do try to support independent bookshops if you can. Check out if your local one can deliver to you or send in the post. Or online you could try Hive (which will link to the nearest participating indie bookshop). 



My Review:

'Though she be but little, she is fierce.'

It's not often that I quote William Shakespeare in my reviews, but this particular quote came to mind when I was thinking about Sam Shephard.

Containment is the third Sam Shephard novel, but can easily be enjoyed as a standalone. A quiet weekend of dog sitting for Sam turns into something quite different when a cargo ship runs aground and the inhabitants of coastal village Aramoana, and beyond, start looting the containers washed ashore. Sam gets into the middle of a fight between two men and ends up in hospital for her trouble. Her assailant, however, comes off worse. Returning to work after her recovery, she is sent to recover a body drowned at sea, except it turns out he didn't drown after all...

A brilliant cast of characters help bring this story to life. It was hard not to laugh at the description of Frog, whose real name was even funnier, and I had a perfect (to me) idea of the man with the walrus moustache. And Spaz, with his very unPC nickname, was my absolute favourite here. He's cheeky, funny and capable. It was great to see Symon show a disabled character with so much respect, using humour but never mocking or belittling, instead showing his abilities.

Of course at the centre of the story is Sam. I have followed her career over the last two books and was delighted to see her back. To go back to my quote at the beginning, she's a little powerhouse. She's not always taken seriously by some colleagues who don't consider she's earned her place in the team, and is frequently put down by her boss DI Johns (oh, I so wanted to punch him), often publicly, but constantly strives to prove herself. She is supported and encouraged by partner Smithy, colleague Reihana and one or two others, and she is determined to show she is up to the job. Outside of work she has best friend Maggie, who is the kind of friend everyone needs, and Paul, although she seems determined to stuff things up with him. She is strong, but not as strong as she likes to make out, and we often see her emotional side, and that just made me warm to her more. Everyone is so well described that I have full pictures of them in my mind.

The story is actually made up of two or three different strands all cleverly woven together, and what begins as a fairly pedestrian police investigation soon ramps up into something more urgent, as more discoveries are made. There are red herrings aplenty too. A real sense of place added to my enjoyment - I loved The Mole, the breakwater at Aramoana. Actually, I think I would like Aramoana, it sounds beautiful. There is humour sprinkled throughout, often beteween Sam and her work colleagues, but her conversation with Crystal the spider had me crying with laughter. (there were drugs involved)!

I really didn't see where the story was going, and the ending had my heart in my mouth. It was very tense and unexpectedly emotional. Not everything was tied up, and there were some changes afoot both at home and work for Sam, so I'm really hoping she'll be back.

Funny, touching, tense, well paced, clearly well researched (there are one or two icky bits) and full of brilliant characters, I loved this. Sam may be little, but she's certainly fierce and fabulous, and I can't wait to join her for her next adventure.


The Author


Vanda Symon is a crime writer, TV presenter and radio host from Dunedin, New Zealand, and the chair of the Otago Southland branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors. The Sam Shephard series has climbed to number on the New Zealand bestseller list and also been shortlisted for Ngaio Marsh Award for best crime novel. She currently lives in Dunedin, with her husband and two sons. 






Thursday, 19 March 2020

Mine by Clare Empson


I'm delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for this brilliant book. My thanks to Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers for the invitation and to the publisher for my review copy. 



The Blurb:

'Who am I? Why am I here? Why did my mother give me away?'

On the surface, Luke and his girlfriend Hannah seem to have a perfect life. He's an A&R man, she's an arts correspondent and they are devoted to their newborn son Samuel.

But beneath the gloss Luke has always felt like an outsider. So when he finds his birth mother Alice, the instant connection with her is a little like falling in love.

When Hannah goes back to work, Luke asks Alice to look after their son. But Alice - fuelled with grief from when her baby was taken from her 27 years ago - starts to fall in love with Samuel. And Luke won't settle for his mother pushing him aside once again...


Mine was published by Orion as an eBook on 22nd August 2019 and in paperback today, and is available from all usual retailers. Why not visit your local independent bookshop? Or online you could try Bert's BooksThe Big Green Bookshop, or Hive (which will link to the nearest participating indie bookshop).


My Review:

Oh gosh, where to start! This is my first book by this author but on the strength of this, I think I would enjoy her previous novel. Mine is dark, tense, emotional and heartbreaking. Alternating between dual timelines we see things from Luke's first person point of view now (2000) and Alice's then (1973).

Luke has recently found his birth mother, and the connection between them is immediate. Alice is delighted to meet Luke, his girlfriend Hannah and little baby Samuel. She is brilliant with the wee one. after a few meetings, Luke is thrilled that everything is going so well. So when Hannah goes back to work, Alice offers to look after Samuel and the arrangement suits everyone - Hannah can work, Luke can build a relationship with Alice and she can get to know her baby grandson. Everything igoes great. For a while. But soon Luke feels that Alice only wants to spend time with Samuel and all his efforts to get to know his mother fall flat, causing him a growing sense of unease. 

Meanwhile, back in 1973, Alice is in art school, against her parents' wishes, where she quickly bonds with Rick. Then on a night out they meet the lead singer of an up and coming band, and the encounter changes their lives for ever.

There are so many richly drawn characters here, Luke and Alice particularly. Luke's feeling of not belonging, not fitting in, is acute, but so is his worry about being disloyal to his adopted mother. His fear about meeting Alice for the first time - even I had butterflies in my tummy! Alice that we meet in 2000 wasn't immediately likeable, but my opinion of her changed as I learned more about her. Her younger self that we meet in 1973, I loved. She's nineteen years old, finding her way in life and love and determined to grab them with both hands. But mention must go to Rick, who for me is the unsung hero in this book. Such an important character.  And I loved 70s London and Italy, brought to life here so evocatively.

This is much slower than most psychological thrillers I've read, but tension builds steadily in both storylines as they move towards their respective conclusions, and towards each other. I did feel the denouement was dealt with rather quickly after building up to it through the whole book, but enjoyed it nevertheless.

Empson hasn't been afraid to tackle sensitive and difficult topics, in this case adoption and mental health, and she does so very effectively. She has clearly done her research, and it shows. Yes, this is a thriller, but a character driven one with real heart. And more than that, it's a novel about love, loss, family, grief, identity and belonging. It's an emotional read which might just make you cry. Would happily recommend.


The Author:


Clare Empson is a journalist with a background in national newspapers and has worked as a small business editor, finance correspondent and fashion at the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Express. Clare freelances for The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Times, the Evening Standard and Tatler amongst others. She currently works as editor/founder of experiential lifestyle website www.countrycalling.co.uk. Him is her debut novel. Her second novel Mine is an exploration of the fraught relationship between a birth mother and her adopted son set against a backdrop of a passionate love affair in the 70s.


Be sure to check out the other awesome bloggers taking part in the tour! Details above and below. 






Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Happy Birthday to Me - with Anniversary Giveaway!

Happy birthday to me! Well, not quite - still a couple of months to wait for that. But this here little blog is two years old today!


This last year has been a bit up and down. I was off work for eight months with poor mental health, so things were  difficult for a while, and there were tears. Lots of tears. And anxieties. I struggled with events, mainly book ones, and festivals, but with the support of fabulous friends I made it to most things. At times blogging felt too much. Hell, at times, reading felt a bit much. I took December off, but otherwise kept going, albeit a bit sporadically. I didn't read as many books or write as many reviews as I would have liked, but that's OK.

With author Johana Gustawsson at Bloody Scotland, September 2019.
Photo taken by Thomas Enger.
The blog still needs work done to it - think I might have said that a year ago, or moreπŸ˜‚. The number of followers has just about scraped into double figures πŸ˜‚ but with a bigger presence on Twitter and shares by wonderful members of the blogging community, my posts reach a wider audience. Over the last two years, I've shared 229 posts and had over 63,500 page views. I have no idea if that is good or bad, but that doesn't matter because it's not about the numbers. It is, and always has been, about sharing the book love.

So that was then and this is now. After a lot of help, some ongoing, and making some changes my mental health is way, way better and I'm feeling much happier (except about what's going on currently) which is great.

Far too early (for me) the other morning, but wanted a recent happy, if a little messy, pic

But this third (blog) year isn't starting  brilliantly. I went back work last week in a voluntary capacity to settle in and will re-start my job proper next week. Hopefully. The timing, what with Covid-19 and all isn't great, and I, like many others, will be impacted. But I work with individuals who have a degree of deafblindness and many of them will need support over this time, so I expect to be out working at least some of the time. And I am determined to use this time of social distancing to catch up with 101 things, but primarily my backlog of reading and reviewing. Oh, and I should probably finish my decorating... And of course the blog will continue to be about sharing the book love! ❤



But enough of these inane ramblings, this is a birthday, for goodness sake! There should be celebrations! And cake! And presents! Well, I must be doing something wrong, because I'm the one giving out presents! To celebrate, as is now tradition - because I did it last year  - I'm doing an anniversary giveaway. And because it's also tradition - and he happens to publish books at the right time - I'm giving away the new one from Douglas Skelton, which this year is, The Blood Is Still. It's an absolute belter of a book and you can read my review here. Given the situation we're all in, I've opted not to go with a paperback which would need posted etc. and will instead be giving away THREE Kindle copies.


Douglas Skelton almost looking pleased I'd bought his book! πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚
At his fab launch event in Edinburgh in March 2020.

To enter, follow the blog and comment here and/or find me on Facebook (Suze Reviews), Twitter (@SuzeCM) or Instagram (simplysuze70) and follow the instructions to enter there.  A contribution in each platform counts as a separate entry (only one per platform), giving you up to four chances of winning, so go for it! Entries will be allocated a number and the winners will be selected by a random number generator. Closing at midday on Wednesday 25th March. Get entering and good luck! Oh, and I'm keeping the birthday cake to myself, sorry (not sorry)!



* Please note this competition is not affiliated in any way with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz (translated by Rachel Ward)

As always, I'm thrilled to be taking part in a blog tour for Orenda Books, this time for Mexico Street, featuring feisty prosecutor Chastity Riley. Huge thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation and to Karen at Orenda for my review copy.



The Blurb:

Hamburg state prosecutor Chastity Riley investigates a series of arson attacks on cars across the city, which leads her to a startling and life-threatening discovery involving criminal gangs and a very illicit love story…

Night after night, cars are set alight across the German city of Hamburg, with no obvious pattern, no explanation and no suspect.

Until, one night, on Mexico Street, a ghetto of high-rise blocks in the north of the city, a Fiat is torched. Only this car isn’t empty. The body of Nouri Saroukhan – prodigal son of the Bremen clan – is soon discovered, and the case becomes a homicide.

Public prosecutor Chastity Riley is handed the investigation, which takes her deep into a criminal underground that snakes beneath the whole of Germany. And as details of Nouri’s background, including an illicit relationship with the mysterious Aliza, emerge, it becomes clear that these are not random attacks, and there are more on the cards…


Mexico Street was published by Orenda Books as an eBook on 5th January 2020 and in paperback on 5th March 2020. It is available from the publisher and all usual retailers. Why not visit your local independent bookshop? Or online you could try Bert's BooksThe Big Green Bookshop, or Hive (which will link to the nearest participating indie bookshop).


My Review:

This is the third book featuring prosecutor Chastity Riley but the first one I've read. I didn't feel particularly disadvantaged and enjoyed this as a standalone, but there are various incidents and relationships alluded to here that I want to investigate further so I will be seeking out the previous books.

Hamburg is being set on fire. Well, cars in Hamburg are being set on fire. Public prosecutor Chastity Riley isn't that bothered about those, but when a car set alight in Mexico Street with a man locked inside she's interested. The man is Nouri Saroukhan, an estranged member of an extensive, strict and closed off criminal clan from Bremen. His death leads Riley and her colleagues into the murky world of the Mhallami criminals, clan wars and uncovers an intense, illicit love affair.

Written in the first person, mainly present tense and mainly from Riley's point of view, although we do visit the past with Nouri and Aliza, Buchholz's style is not one I'm used to. So it took me a while to get used to it. The world she presents is dark, noirish, intense and pretty bleak. However, Riley and her team provide a counterpoint to that with their humour, sarcasm and camaraderie.

Chastity is such an interesting, layered and flawed character. She drinks too much, smokes too much and tells it like it is. She doesn't like mornings - 'The pilot-policeman tries to focus on me. It won't work. I'm fundamentally out of focus at this time in the morning.' and used phrases like 'gets on my tits'. I like her! But she doesn't do soft or emotional. There seems to be much heartache in Riley's past and she has tried to close herself off. But there is a definite frisson between her and colleague Stepanovic - I loved their exchanges - and she is completely thrown when an old face turns up.

The extended Saroukhan clan are cruel, vicious and deadly with absolutely no respect for the law. Their treatment of women is  eye watering and anger fizzles off the page every time the Mhallami men meet with the police. This feels authentic - Buchholz has clearly done her research. And in the face of all this anger, fear and hostility, love affairs must all be doomed.

Once used to it, the author's style is often surreal, frequently poetic. There is a wonderful moment when Chastity mentally throws a question out into the room and Buchholz describes the route it takes on its way back to Chastity, bouncing off walls etc. Another, a description of clothes falling to the floor, is really powerful. And I loved her enjoying a halloumi wrap because warm cheese holds together her cuts on the inside for a while. But there are many other fine examples. So, this seems a good point to thank Rachel Ward for the excellent translation which enabled me to enjoy this text.

I whizzed through this little book with its short, snappy chapters. And it would be remiss of me not to mention the chapter headings - some of the best titles ever! Favourites were 'Loneliness is like a jacket that's too tight, but without the jacket you freeze', 'Stand by me, because of the frogs and because of all the very different shit too' and 'A face to match the taste in my mouth', which I had highlighted in the text. These headings added to my enjoyment, wondering where they would fit in.

It took me a wee while, but I loved this book. Actually it's grown on me. It's very dark even though the cars are burning bright. It could be depressing but for the wonderful characters Buchholz has created, especially in Chastity Riley and Ivo Stepanovic, but the others too, and the humour shot through the writing. The whole thing brought to mind an old black and white film - in fact, I would love to see this on screen! Simone, you have a new fan!


The Author:


Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in Hamburg. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award as well as runner-up in the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night, which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months. She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Paper Sparrows by Nathalie Abi-Ezzi

I'm delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for this beautiful book - something a wee bit different for me. Huge thanks to Emma Welton at damppebblestours for inviting me and to the publisher for my review copy.



The Blurb:

It is the summer of 2006, and nineteen-year-old London music student, Layla, returns home for the holidays to a now peaceful Lebanon. When she arrives, though, she finds that her troubled younger brother has gone missing. "Borrowing" her father's car, she heads to Beirut to search for him, meeting a variety of people along the way. But her quest is cut short when, without warning, Beirut comes under heavy artillery fire. A new war has begun, and now she is trapped in the middle of it.

Paper Sparrows was published in paperback and digital format by Holland House Books on 5th March 2020.



Purchase Links:

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Waterstones
Foyles
WHSmith


My Review:

Before I talk about the book itself, can I just give it some cover love? I'm not easily influenced by covers but this one is really attractive. I love how everything comes together into something gorgeous.

This book is a departure for me, not my usual thing at all, but it appealed to me. I am horribly ignorant of the history and politics of this area of the world so it was an interesting read from that point of view, but this is a very human story.

Nineteen year old Layla has been studying music in London but is returning home to Lebanon for the holidays for the first time in three years. She is devastated when her brother isn't there to welcome her back. Sixteen year old Ziad has stormed off to a friend's place in Beirut after an argument with his father. When he is still not home after nearly two days and there has been no contact from him, Layla borrows her father's car and heads off to Beirut to look for him, even though there is a threat of war on the horizon. When she arrives at the home of Ziad's friend Jacques, she discovers that he wasn't such a great friend. But as Layla searches for Ziad, helped by Jacques's brother Joe, the threat of war suddenly gets much closer.

I loved Layla. I felt her frustration at her brother's absence when she arrived and her sadness as she realises how different she is now from the friends she grew up with. And her surprise at the changes that her country has experienced in the time she has been away. I loved reading her memories from when she was younger, particularly ones featuring Ziad who she clearly loves dearly. She is independent, resourceful and absolutely determined to find her brother. Oh, and she's falling in love.

A sweet, earnest young man, Joe offers to help Layla find Ziad, insists actually, and they tentatively start to get to know each other. Abu-Ezzi writes beautifully, perfectly illustrating the faltering beginnings of a relationship, the highs and lows:
'He looks beautiful standing there. Not the person she interpreted outside his flat yesterday, but someone more.'

But their fledgling romance, along with their search for Ziad, is threatened when bombs start falling on Beirut. The absolute terror that people must have felt is depicted well, and also the fear of not knowing. Not knowing if you'll survive the night, or what you'll find when you open your door or whether your relatives will survive. I am lucky never to have had those fears but this gave me an idea of how it might feel.

There are so many wonderful characters in this book. As well as Layla and Joe, I was particularly touched by Fadi, Layla's father. There's a scene towards the end with him and Layla that brought tears to my eyes. But really, all the characters are richly described.

The author's style of writing, her descriptions, the flow of her words all really spoke to me. Even the scenes about bombs and fear and crying are beautiful to read. Here's another short example of the writing, one of several I highlighted:
'She...feels like a fish out of water: taken away from her element, she knows she will carry on gasping until she finds herself swimming in music again.'

This is a book about family, love, loss, identity, fear, music and bombs. The ending was bittersweet for me. Actually, it hurt my heart a little, but I think it was the right choice. I thought this book was beautiful and I loved it.


The Author:


Nathalie Abi-Ezzi was born in Beirut, and has lived in Lebanon, Austria and the UK.

It was while working on her Ph.D in English Literature at King's College London that she realized that she wanted to write her own novels rather than just analyse other people's. So, while working variously as an editor, teacher and tutor, she wrote and published several prize-winning short stories and her first novel, A Girl Made of Dust (4th Estate, 2008), which was short-listed for the Desmond Elliot Prize and the Author's Club Best First Novel Award, and was the winner of the LiBeraturpreis in 2011.

She has, for better or worse, always been given to utterly pointless yet entirely joyful activities like playing music, drawing, painting, reading, and going on long walks. She has a particular interest in animal welfare, and has volunteered at shelters and rescue centres for many years. She always has a rescue dog by her side while writing, which is perhaps why animals invariably find their way into her work ...


Author Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EzziAbi
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nathalieabiezzi/
Website: http://www.nathalieabiezzi.com/

Rage and Retribution (A DI Sterling Thriller) by Lorraine Mace

I'm delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for another Paolo Sterling thriller from Lorraine Mace having loved the previous one I...