#BlogTour BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by SADIE RYAN #BookReview @rararesources

A real treat to be on the Blog Tour for BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by SADIE RYAN so thank you for stopping by today! My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for putting it all together and letting me be art of it all!

Behind Closed Doors

She’s in your house, now she wants your life … 

Tina Valentine has it all: the loving family, the beautiful house, the successful career. 

But then Megan Pearson starts work at Tina’s law firm and with her arrival the perfect world Tina has built for herself starts to collapse as it becomes clear that the newcomer is intent on infiltrating every aspect of her life. 

Something is obviously wrong with Megan but nobody else seems to see it. As the mind games and manipulations continue, Tina comes to the sickening conclusion that now she’s opened the door to Megan, it’s going to be impossible to make her leave …

Purchase Link – amzn.to/2WBOWLB

About the Author

 Sadie Ryan is a British author with two grown up children, she lives with her daughter, adorable rescue dog and cat in a small village in leafy Cheshire in the North West of England. She writes psychological suspense/domestic noir novels. She has completed three psychological suspense/domestic noir novels and is currently writing her fourth. Her first book, Behind Closed Doors, was snapped up by publishers Ruby Fiction and published in May 2019. Her second will be out in January 2020. When asked where she gets her ideas from, she says, ‘From observation, inspiration and lots of wicked thoughts.’

Social Media Links

 www.sadieryan.co.uk  

                          @The__SadieRyan   Twitter

                                       Sadie Ryan Author   Facebook

                                       Sadie.ryan.author    Instagram

MY REVIEW

Yay for twisty thrillers!! And this is another fabulously gripping read that I haven’t been able to put down since starting it, as I was just eager to find out what would happen next and how it would all end! And the twists didn’t let me down!!

Tina has the perfect life – great job, wonderful husband, lovely children – BUT that’s all about to change at the same time as Megan Pearson starts working at the law firm where Tina is hoping for promotion. Her professional manner starts to slip – she forgets things, misplaces important files – but is it her or is someone else setting her up for a big fall?

Tina is an intriguing character – beneath the glossy, successful exterior she alludes to secrets that she’s been keeping from her husband. Does he need to know? I know I wanted to find out, but it’s all cleverly played out that you’re kept waiting for things to fall into place and those secrets to be revealed.

The arrival of Megan at the firm immediately gets Tina on the back foot and she’s suspicious from the offset. But everyone else at the firm, including Tina’s husband Glyn, adores the new recruit and Tina begins to wonder if maybe she’s overthinking things or maybe she’s just going mad! She’s driven to extreme measures at times to try and prove her theories but Megan always seems to come out smelling of roses so maybe it is all in Tina’s head?!

I loved the pace of this story – they way it plays out you’re constantly wondering just who is to blame, what went on in the past, and why would this woman have it in for Tina in the first place if she was manipulating the situation she found herself in. A cracking thriller!!

★★★★★

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 16th November 2019 #bookblogger

Hello!! Another month flying by way too quickly for my liking! And the Xmas songs are being played in shops… there is no escape now! AARRRGGGHHH!!

On to books!  I am being very good and steering well clear of bookshops at the moment – other than to make notes of which books I’d like from Santa! So the postie is getting a bit of a rest at the moment! And I’m trying my best to get ahead on the blog tour reads so I can atually spend the last few weeks of the year, at least!, reading some of those from my own pile! And then when do you start reading 2020 books??!! I’m already getting stressed lol!!

So this past week has seen me finish 6 books again (why can I read ebooks much quicker than a real book?!), I’ve avoided NetGalley completely and just 2 new book arrivals!  Just need to catch up on reviews next….

BOOKS FINISHED

Daisy’s Christmas Gift Shop by Hannah Pearl  – 4 stars

Please Read This Leaflet Carefully by Karen Havelin – 5 stars

Hanukkah at the Great Greenwich Ice Creamery by Sharon Ibbotson – 5 stars

The Naseby Horses by Dominic Brownlow – 5 stars

Bluebell’s Christmas Magic by Marie Laval – 5 stars

Christmas in Little Penhaven by Angela Britnell  – 4 stars

BOOKHAUL

FLOWERS OVER THE INFERNO by ILARIA TUTU

This was the November pick from my Nudge Books  subscription

In a quiet village surrounded by ancient woods and the imposing Italian Alps, a man is found naked with his eyes gouged out. It is the first in a string of gruesome murders.

Superintendent Teresa Battaglia, a detective with a background in criminal profiling, is called to investigate. Battaglia is in her mid-sixties, her rank and expertise hard-won from decades of battling for respect in the male-dominated Italian police force. While she’s not sure she trusts the young city inspector assigned to assist her, she sees right away that this is no ordinary case: buried deep in these mountains are whispers of a dark and dangerous history, possibly tied to a group of eight-year-old children toward whom the killer seems to gravitate.

As Teresa inches closer to the truth, she must also confront the possibility that her body and mind, worn down by age and illness, may fail her before the chase is over

THE RABBIT HUNTER by LARS KEPLER – copy for review

 out January 2020

The latest internationally best-selling installment in the Joona Linna series sees him temporarily called back to the police force to solve a series of bizarre and increasingly horrifying murders.

Detective Joona Linna is finishing out a sentence at Kumla prison for assaulting an officer in the course of his last investigation when he is summoned to a meeting with the Swedish Prime Minister. The Foreign Minister has been brutally murdered. There’s a chance more political figures could be targeted. The police need Linna to find the killer and neutralize the threat, so he’s granted a temporary release from prison. But when another murder occurs, Linna realizes he’s dealing with something far more complex, and far more terrifying, than anyone imagined. As the body count grows, Linna begins to understand that he can’t do this alone and he reaches out to Saga Bauer, the young Security Police detective, for help. Now, together, the two race against time to unravel the killer’s intricate plan before he can take his ultimate revenge.

CURRENTLY READING

THE BEAUTIFUL ONES by PRINCE

BROOKLYN by COLM TOIBIN

🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃

Hope the bookish week has treated you well! And let’s hpe the week ahead is another goodie – and I can keep resisting temptation on the bookish front!!

HAPPY READING!

#BlogTour THE NAME BENEATH THE STONE by ROBERT NEWCOME #UnknownSoldier #BookReview @NewcomeRobert @UnicornPubGroup @Bookollective

An honour to be the stop today on the Blog Tour for the wonderful THE NAME BENEATH THE STONE by Robert Newcome. My thanks to the author, publisher and Bookollective for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Three generations, one family, connected by an historic secret. 1917 Private Daniel Dawkins fights at Messines Ridge and Passchendaele. He writes home to his true-love Joyce, but reveals little of his extreme bravery, his kindness, his loyalty to his comrades and the horrors they experience on the Western Front.

 1920 Captain Peter Harding is tasked with a secret mission to assist in the selection of a body dug up from the battlefields of Flanders to be buried in Westminster Abbey as the ‘Unknown Warrior’. Events take place on that expedition that come to haunt him for the rest of his life.

 2011 Sarah Harding discovers Daniel s letters and Peter s diaries. Together with historian James Marchant she pieces together the hidden truth behind the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and must decide what to do with it. Values are challenged and characters are tested in this gripping novel which asks what if the identity of the Unknown Soldier was discovered – and should that secret ever be revealed? 

published by Unicorn Publishing Group

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon £10.11

whsmith  £10.11

hive.co.uk  £9.55

MY REVIEW

I think it’s books like these that show you just how important it is to keep the stories of the bravery and sacrifice that many made in times of war, and I found myself totally absorbed by this story and all the many layers and timelines it encompasses.  

Set over 3 timelines, each chapter of the story is brilliantly told as a work of fiction based on fact.  In the later timeline, 2011, we have Sarah Harding who is nursing her father has he approaches the end of his life and she uncovers many letters in his possession from his time in the war and they start a chain of research and discovery off as she wishes to find out more about the past and her family link to the story of the unknown soldier.

The timelines also go back to 1917 and 1920 – in 1917 Daniel Dawkins shares his thoughts on all he has seen on the front line and the tragedies he was close to.  The banter that the soldiers shared – men and boys who came from normal backgrounds who were thrown into extraordinary circumstances, and I really loved these moments in the story.  It took you right back to try and gain a little understanding of just how they made sense of what they were witnessing and what they were being expected to do by those in charge. How the different personalities amongst them all dealt with the many horrific sights they came face to face with, and how they tried to help those struggling.

And then the 1920 storyline was that of the Unknown Soldier. How it was thought that bringing home a body from France to bury at Westminster could unite the country and those grieving their lost loved ones.  So many different emotions spring to mind when you think of those lost, and those who are at home not knowing where their loved ones are buried. And to those involved in choosing and transporting this unknown soldier back to the UK as well.

As Sarah starts to put all the pieces together of this astonishing family drama, it became a book that I found it difficult to put down.  There were so many threads to follow that each had so much intrigue that you could easily have had a book written just about each timeline!

What I loved was the human aspect of the storyline.  When we read about history we see the numbers and the cold hard facts, but this kind of book gives you a glimpse behind the scenes – the kind of people involved, how those left at home dealt with not knowing or hearing reports on the radio or in papers, the decisions that had to be made on the frontline and just how they even managed to keep going when they were faced with impossible missions and they’re constantly losing their friends and colleagues but they had to keep on fighting.

This was an enthralling and emotional book and one I’m very glad to have had the pleasure of reading. Alongside the ‘fiction’ element, there’s also a clever use throughout the book of newspaper articles of the time, telegrams from the King and all the goings on behind the scene which helped give more depth and perspective to the news that was filtering back to those in the UK.  

Highly recommended!

★★★★★

YouTube footage of the 1920 funeral of the Unknown Soldier

#MusicMonday When Will I Be Famous by Bros

It’s Monday! It’s time for music!  All thanks to Drew at  The Tattooed Book Geek who started this weekly tag where you get to share favourite songs/videos!

And for me I’m back to my 80’s self when I was (and still am!) a Brosette!  Many trips to London wearing ripped jeans, and grolsch bottle tops to stand outside where they live or meet them at record signings! The good old days!  So here’s When Will I Be Famous!!

When will I be famous?

Yes you’re suitably at one
With your body and the sun
Yes you are
Well you’ve read Karl Marx
And you’ve taught yourself to dance
You’re the best by far
But you keep asking the question
One you’re not supposed to mention

When will I, will I be famous?
I can’t answer, I can’t answer that
When will I see my picture in the paper?
I can’t answer, I can’t answer that
And I can’t tell you when
You’ll see your name up in lights
When will I, will I be famous?
You keep asking me, babe

You’re a slave to fashion
And your life is full of passion
It’s the way you are
You’ve suffered for your art
With the jogging in the park
You know you should go far
But you keep asking the question
One you’re not supposed to mention
(I’m not supposed to mention)When will I, will I be famous?
I can’t answer, I can’t answer that
When will I see my picture in the paper?
I can’t answer, (I can’t wait, ) I can’t answer that
And I can’t tell you when
You’ll see your name up in lights
When will I, will I be famous?
You keep asking me, babe
(I can’t wait)You won’t suffer in silence
You’re a talent, you know that I’ve noticed
You’d like to be a legend
A big star overnight (Tell me when)
I can’t answer your question (I can’t wait)
It’s driving me insane
And your impossible impatience (impatience)
Tearing at my brain
I can’t take it, take it much more
Got too much to hope for

#BlogTour KEEPER OF SECRETS by LYNDA STACEY #BookReview @rararesources

Delighted to be part of the fabulous Blog Tour for the lovely Lynda Stacey and KEEPER OF SECRETS. My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for putting this all together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Keeper of Secrets

Should some secrets stay buried?

For as long as Cassie Hunt can remember her Aunt Aggie has spoken about the forgotten world that exists just below their feet, in the tunnels and catacombs of the Sand House. The story is what inspired Cassie to become an archaeologist. 

But Aggie has a secret that she’s buried as deep as the tunnels and when excavation work begins on the site, Cassie is the only one who can help her keep it. With the assistance of her old university friend, Noah Flanagan, she puts into action a plan to honour Aggie’s wishes. 

It seems the deeper Noah and Cassie dig, the more shocking the secrets uncovered – and danger is never far away, both above and below the ground …

purchase link

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 Lynda is a wife, step-mother and grandmother who grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire..

She is currently the Sales Director of a stationery, office supplies and office furniture company in Doncaster, where she has worked for the past 28 years. Prior to this she’d also been a nurse, a model, an emergency first response instructor and a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor … and yes, she was crazy enough to dive in the sea with sharks, without a cage. 

Following a car accident in 2008, Lynda was left with limited mobility in her right arm. Unable to dive or teach anymore, she turned to her love of writing, a hobby she’d followed avidly since being a teenager.

Her own life story, along with varied career choices, helps Lynda to create stories of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.

She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her ‘hero at home husband’, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.

Lynda joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers’ Scheme and in 2015 her debut novel House of Secrets won Choc Lit’s Search for a Star competition. Lynda writes for both Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction.

Social Media Links – 

Facebook www.facebook.com/lyndastaceyauthor

Twitter https://twitter.com/LyndaStacey

Website www.Lyndastacey.co.uk 

MY REVIEW

This is a book based on a real place, and there’s some fabulous photos and information at the end of the book to shed more light, and this was a wonderful aspect to the whole setting of the story and has made me aware of a place I never knew anything about!

As for the story itself, I found myself totally captivated by Cassie and the drama she found herself involved herself in as she tried to help a beloved family member and shows the lengths you’ll go to help out someone you love.

Cassie has had a very traumatic past. With her sister Lisa, she was bullied as a child and had to deal with tragedy more than she should.  But with the love and support of Aggie, their Aunt, they have managed to move on with their lives and the love that Aggie had for the tunnels and secrets in The Sand House close by, has passed on to Cassie who has become an archeologist.

But Aggie has fallen ill, and wants Cassie to help retrieve something she’s hidden in the tunnels ahead of someone else finding it in a big excavation that is planned for the site.  This leads to some startling revelations as we get to go back in time to hear the story from Aggie, and also to see what took place to Cassie and her family and I loved following all the different storylines.

Working back at home this also brings Cassie back in touch with an old friend, and I loved seeing how their relationship was rekindled and just how protective people were when they knew Cassie could be in danger.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story – I loved the historical aspects which played out nicely alongside the romance and intrigue of just what was so important to Aggie. The bond between them was so touching. In Cassie, there’s a character who was easy to warm to and understand and I loved how there was  a little bit of everything within the pages of this book to keep you entertained, thrilled and shocked!

★★★★

#BookReview PLEASE READ THIS LEAFLET CAREFULLY by KAREN HAVELIN @DeadInkBooks

ABOUT THE BOOK

Please Read This Leaflet Carefully, the debut novel from Norwegian writer and translator Karen Havelin, is the story of a woman whose body has become her enemy.

The novel tracks backward, from 2016 until 1995, etching details of daily life into a gripping and darkly humorous bildungsroman, about the intricacies of love and life in a fragile body.

We meet Laura Fjellstad first as she works and cares for her young daughter, while struggling with debilitating pain and endometriosis, an invisible chronic illness.

As the reader moves in reverse to meet Laura’s younger and somewhat healthier selves (a hopeful bride in New York, a baby queer in Paris, a figure skater in Norway) we uncover her tireless work to gain control of her identity, her illness and the conflicting demands made by doctors, friends, lovers and family.

Man Booker Prize-winning author Paul Beatty says most books about disease try to describe the pain; told in poetic whisper, Karen Havelin’s debut novel lets pain speak for itself. It’s a book that dares you be nosy, to eavesdrop and listen in to a stoic young woman whom no one noticed until she began to disappear, her body disintegrating from the inside out until there’s nothing left but searing agony and almost impossibly―a burning triumph.

Jarringly funny and perceptive; an intimate reckoning with the inner demons and precarity of everyday life, unpacked through the very specific lens of a woman with chronic pain. 

PUBLISHED BY DEAD INK BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon  

whsmith  

publisher website

MY REVIEW

A beautiful and brutal story of life with a chronic illness, that really connected with me as it just felt so honest and insightful and having a chronic illness myself I just felt so much empathy and it just struck a chord with me that I shared many of her thoughts and feelings. It’s also told in a really intriguing way – it’s told from back to front so we go backwards in time so you see the impact on various times in the life of Laura. From where she is now right back to her childhood and how each stage of the illness – endometriosis – has impacted on her everyday life, her interactions with family and friends, and her attitude to the illness over the years.


We start in 2016 and she’s living in New York with her daughter – trying to live a normal life despite the restrictions that a chronic illness place upon you as a person. She’s newly divorced and exhausted, with her parents living in Norway, but she’s reluctant to take any help from anyone as she’s determined she doesn’t need the help of anyone. It’s a stubborness that seems to plague her throughout – she doesn’t want the pity of people and finds it easier to push herself to prove a point, despite knowing that pushing will have a negative effect on her health. And then the story goes backwards in years so you see her at different times in her life, with different views and outlooks on just how the illness is impacting on her and those around her. From moving to another country, to getting married and having a child, and to being back in Norway planning a new life, almost in a way to escape the ‘old her’ and to prove that she can do things on her own, no matter how hard.


She finds astonishing prejudice throughout, especially suffering an invisible illness, so people think she looks ok but are unable to see the pain she’s suffering on a daily basis, and just how exhausting the tiniest task can be. Things a ‘healthy’ person takes for granted. How she becomes aware of the signs when she’s pushing too hard and knowing when to stop and rest. And also recognising the importance of being kind to yourself and those around you. As well as her family issues, it also touches on sexuality and finding yourself.


This book really captures brilliantly all the conflicting feelings that you have with a chronic illness – dealing with the extremely bad days, finding hope in the good days, the well meaning advice you get, the anger, the frustrations and the resilience you build up to coping with things on your own as you don’t want to burden others. I found it fascinating to see how the mindset of Laura changed over the years with the last chapters especially being so poignant, with her in her childhood and the hopes and dreams she had for the future.


A stunning and powerful novel that I can highly recommend, especially to anyone dealing with a chronic illness or people who just want a better understanding of invisible illnesses as this sums it all up perfectly.

★★★★★ 

#BookReview Daisy’s Christmas Gift Shop by Hannah Pearl

ABOUT THE BOOK

Struggling to find the perfect Christmas gift? Step into Romantic Daze …


Daisy Kirk is a sucker for a love story, which is why she opened up her gift shop – because there’s nothing that makes Daisy happier than when she’s helped a customer achieve their own ‘happily ever after’ by finding the perfect Christmas gift for their loved one. And she absolutely does not just sell ‘soppy presents and frilly pants’ as her brother’s infuriating best friend, Eli, is so fond of suggesting.


The sad fact is that whilst Daisy is helping others with their love lives, hers is non-existent. But when unusual circumstances take Daisy and Eli on a road trip from London to rural Wales, will she finally get the happily ever after to her own Christmas love story?

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon UK

MY REVIEW

This was a lovely read full of surprises for me as a reader! I was expecting a light and fun read full of romance – there was plenty of that but also a more darker, thrilling side with the main characters having to track down a missing family member, that took them all out of their comfort zone.

And the comfort zone for Daisy is her lovely gift shop, Romantic Daze! It’s her happy place and she’s all about helping other people finding the right gift for loved ones, whilst never getting the happy ever after for herself! She’s always been a romantic but never seems to be lucky in love.In the background there’s always been her twin brothers’ best friend Eli – they seem to have a flirty but argumentative relationship! There’s always that spark between them which is really exciting to observe – it’s like when you were at school and a boy would say mean things to you, and that would mean he fancied you!

A character I really enjoyed was Lily – she’s the best friend of Daisy and also runs the local sex shop so there’s lots of fun to be had there in this book! She’s a great support to Daisy and is of the opinion ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’!!

With a new bloke on the scene, you get to wonder if that will push Eli and Daisy together on a more permanent basis, but their attention is soon turned by the disappearance of her brother and that brought new twists to the storyline that made it even more compelling to get through each page to see if Daisy would get the happy ending she so richly deserves!!

★★★★

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 10th November 2019 #bookblogger

Hello!  A week of sunshine and showers! And the big coat is out and in use! Time to hibernate!!

And it’s been a good start to my Non Fiction November with 4 books read this week – and NONE bought!!! And i’ve only been tempted by Netgalley once as I try to get that all under control so maybe I’m now finally becoming a more responsible book shopper/collector/hoarder!! Nope, I don’t believe that either!

So here’s a quick look back at my week!

BOOKS FINISHED 

Woods: A Celebration by Robert Penn – 4 stars

The Way To The Sea by Caroline Crampton  – 4 stars

Landfill by Tim Dee  – 4 stars

The Five by Hallie Rubenhold  – 5 stars

BOOKHAUL

Just one visit to Netgalley this week..

THE MISSING LETTERS OF MRS BRIGHT by BETH MILLER

published by Bookouture

Publication date – January 2020

You’ve met Mrs Bright. She’s that nice woman who lives three doors down and always smiles at you in the mornings. She’s planning her thirtieth wedding anniversary with her husband. She wants to travel, read endless books and take beautiful pictures. She’s been waiting for this forever.

For the past twenty-nine years, Kay Bright’s days have had a familiar rhythm: she works in her husband’s stationery shop, cooks for her family, tries to remember to practice yoga, and every other month she writes to her best friend, Ursula, and Ursula replies. Kay could set her calendar by their letters: her heart lifts when the blue airmail envelope, addressed in Ursula’s slanting handwriting, falls gently onto the mat.

Ursula is the only one who knows Kay’s deepest secret, something that happened decades ago that could tear Kay’s life apart today. Ursula has always been the person Kay relies on. Knowing she will hear from Ursula is like being sure the sun will rise tomorrow.

And now Ursula has stopped writing. Three missing letters doesn’t sound like a lot, but Kay gets out her shoebox of notes from her best friend, in case there’s something she overlooked. Ursula seems fine, but the further back she goes, the more Kay begins to question every choice she has made in her life. Which might be why, at ten o’clock one morning, Kay walks out of her yellow front door with a just a rucksack, leaving her wedding ring on the table…

An emotional and heart-warming novel for anyone who knows it’s never too late to look for happiness. Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, A Man Called Ove and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will fall in love with this feel-good and moving story that shows you that the best friendships truly last forever.

CURRENTLY READING

Please Read This Leaflet Carefully by Karen Havelin

The Year After You by Nina de Pass

What’s your bookish week been like?! Any new books I need to be adding to my mountain! Would love to hear about them!

HAPPY READING!!

#BookReview THE FIVE by HALLIE RUBENHOLD #NonFictionNovember

ABOUT THE BOOK

Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London—the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper.

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden, and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.

What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women.

For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that “the Ripper” preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time—but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.

published by Doubleday

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK  

hive.co.uk

whsmith

MY REVIEW

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine, Mary Jane. Names we should all know considering their place in crime history, but many of us don’t as more focus is placed on the perpetrator of the crimes against them than the actual victims. But in this staggering work, the author has set about redressing the balance so we can get to know more about the women who were brutally murdered in London in 1888 by Jack the Ripper.


The attention to detail throughout is staggering and I can only begin to imagine how long it must have taken the author to put this work together. Each woman is given their own section so that their story can be fully told through painstaking research into family trees, newspaper reports and police statements from family and friends, and it just makes for such absorbing reading. It gives you a real glimpse into life in those times, the bleakness, the struggles and the human side of these women who were dealt a rough hand throughout their lives, only for them to be ended in such horrific ways, and then their characters talked down after their deaths.


But this book gives these women a voice, so we learn of their upbringings, the family history and they all came from different backgrounds so there’s so many interesting things to learn about life in the past – the attitudes of society, the family dynamics and the devastating effects of addiction are brought to the front and your heart just bled for these women. However they tried to improve their circumstances, there was always something just around the corner to bring them down once more.


What I also found most profound was the list at the end of the book which was which items the women had on them at the time of their murders. Very poignant and really hit home of just how tragic their lives were.


Mixed in with the local news at the time, the good(well known) and the bad (much less reported!), this book does a magnificent job of transporting the reader back in time and I found it truly astonishing 
and enthralling. A must read and one of my books of 2019!


★★★★★

#BookReview LANDFILL by TIM DEE @LittleToller #NonFictionNovember

ABOUT THE BOOK

A ground breaking new book from the author of The Running Sky and Four Fields, Landfill confronts our waste-making species through the extraordinary and fascinating life of gulls, and the people who watch them. Original, compelling and unflinching, it is the nature book for our times.


We think of gulls as pests. They steal our chips and make newspaper headlines, these animals, often derided as “bin chickens” are complex neighbours, making the most of our throw away species. In the Anthropocene, they are a surprising success story. They’ve become intertwined with us, precisely because we are so good at making rubbish. Landfill is a book that avoids nostalgia and eulogy for nature and instead kicks beneath the littered surface to find stranger and more inspiring truths.
Landfill is the compelling story of how we have worked the rest of the living world, learned about it, named and catalogued it, colonised and planted it, and filled it with our rubbis
h.

PUBLISHED BY Little Toller

PURCHASE LINKS

Publisher Website

Amazon UK

whsmith

MY REVIEW

If you don’t become a ‘gull’ fan after reading this book then I think there’s something wrong with you! They’re a bird I’ve taken for granted, especially living so close to the estuary and the large landfill site in Pitsea where a lot of this book is set (and I never knew such gull action even went on there!), but in this stunning little book, the author really gets behind the ‘trashy’ image we all get of gulls – that they’re aggressive and ugly and serve no real purpose other than nicking your food if you’re at the seaside, or attacking small animals in gardens, thanks to silly season reports in newspapers! The more that he studies these birds in various sites, the more he begins to appreciate them and realise just how much human behaviour has impacted on their habits. Hence the link with rubbish and why so many can be spotted at landfill sites across the county.


The author is a birdwatcher, and his enthusiasm and passion for the subject is infectious as he follows the birds and talks to the people who follow these birds and are known as ‘gullers’. They’ve become fascinated by the species and their behaviour and will travel long distances for glimpses of rare breeds but also to note changes in their numbers. And due to the changes in the way we dispose of food waste especially now, the numbers aren’t seen at landfill sites anymore so they’re having to change where they get their food, and heading away from the seaside and into towns.


I really enjoyed the mix of the way the author told the story of the gull – he used his own knowledge alongside where they’re mentioned in poetry, literature and films, and it made for an absorbing read and I never thought I’d find the subjects of gulls and rubbish so fascinating! The information and anecdotes were really well balanced and made for an enthralling read.


I’m really glad to have been educated about these birds that I think we all take for granted and largely ignore, so will definitely be paying more attention to the local gull population!


★★★★


My thanks to the publisher, Little Toller, for a copy of the book in return for a fair and honest review.