#BookReview THE LAMPLIGHTERS by EMMA STONEX



ABOUT THE BOOK 


They say we’ll never know what happened to those men.

They say the sea keeps its secrets…

Cornwall, 1972. Three keepers vanish from a remote lighthouse, miles from the shore. The entrance door is locked from the inside. The clocks have stopped. The Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a mighty storm, but the skies have been clear all week.

What happened to those three men, out on the tower? The heavy sea whispers their names. The tide shifts beneath the swell, drowning ghosts. Can their secrets ever be recovered from the waves?

Twenty years later, the women they left behind are still struggling to move on. Helen, Jenny and Michelle should have been united by the tragedy, but instead it drove them apart. And then a writer approaches them. He wants to give them a chance to tell their side of the story. But only in confronting their darkest fears can the truth begin to surface . . .

The Lamplighters is a heart-stopping mystery rich with the salty air of the Cornish coast, and an unforgettable story of love and grief that explores the way our fears blur the line between the real and the imagined.

PUBLISHED BY PICADOR

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

Blackwell’s

MY REVIEW

Holy Moly!! This is one of those books that leaves you feeling bereft when it ends! The characters take over your every thought and you’re left experiencing every kind of emotion as you read their stories unfold in front of your eyes. And all set against the backdrop of an imposing lighthouse and the unpredictability of the sea.

The story is told as now and then! Looking back at the families of the men who worked on the lighthouse and how they dealt with the mystery of the men’s disappearance on one fateful night. There’s no sign of a struggle, they left no trace behind … so where did they go and what happened to them? The book is based on a real life event, but the author has a wonderful time reimagining the events surrounding the disappearance and the impact on the families left behind.

With the story being told from both the viewpoint of the men as they worked on the lighthouse, and to the women dealing with life married to them and the years that followed after their disappearance, you really get a wonderful sense of how the isolation the men often felt, alongside how the women coped and tried to come to terms with their lives after – their own theories of what happened and the letters shared between the women as their friendships shattered.

There’s so much going on within each chapter and revelation. I loved the way the story came back to life as the mystery was looked into by a writer who wanted to try and get to the bottom of it all. Old wounds are reopened and feelings have to be confronted.

A wonderfully evocative book that has a little bit of every genre in it and I adored every single second of it!!

★★★★★

#BookReview I AM DUST by LOUISE BEECH #Audiobook

ABOUT THE BOOK


The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…

Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?

Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?

Is the role of Esme Black cursed? Could witchcraft be at the heart of the tragedy? And are dark deeds from Chloe’s past about to catch up with her?

Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.

And Chloe has been watching…

PUBLISHED BY ORENDA


MY REVIEW

I listened to the audio version of this book… wow!

Intoxicating
Atmospheric
Moving
Dramatic
Unforgettable
Spine Tingling
Triumphant!!

I think that pretty much sums up my thoughts on this book! I always love the stories that Louise creates, and this one just gets under your skin from the get go. With 2 timelines, the past and present, we are based at a theatre and following the story of Chloe who is working there as an usher. She’s always wanted to be an actress but this is the closest she has got to her dream! The show Dust is set to return to the theatre, 20 years after the opening, which went down in infamy due to the murder of the main character. She’s thought to haunt the theatre still….

In Chloe’s past, she and 2 friends mucked around with a ouija board and had some chilling encounters that have played a big part in how their lives panned out. As the past starts to reconnect with the present, Chloe is facing some haunting challenges ahead that makes her think she might be losing her mind.

The 2 timelines worked so well with each other!! Having the backdrop of the Theatre alongside the tragedy of Dust from 20 years ago, it really sets the scene for so many questions and wondering just what happened back then and seeing how messing about with the ouija board had such an impact and why Chloe is key to it all.

I couldn’t stop listening to this once I’d started! I found myself picturing the theatre, imagining the terror and confusion of the characters as things played out, and hearing the voices of the past whispering their truths…….. loved it!!!


★★★★★

#BookReview IT STARTED WITH A PIRATE by KIRSTY FERRY

ABOUT THE BOOK

Coffee, cake and cats …


These are a few of Lexie Farrington’s favourite things, and when she walks into the Thistledean Café in Edinburgh, she’s delighted to find all three: coffee, cake, a big black cat on a purple lead being held by a very grumpy-looking pirate. Okay, maybe she wasn’t quite expecting that one …


Of course, Billy McCreadie isn’t really a pirate; he just knows a lot about them and is on his way to give a historical talk to school kids, hence the get-up. He’s also in desperate need of a cat sitter.When Lexie steps in, little does she realise that Billy will be the key to a hidden Edinburgh she would have never discovered herself, and he might also be the man to help solve a certain piratical puzzle of her own …

PUBLISHED BY CHOC LIT

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Started-Pirate-fabulous-romantic-Schubert-ebook/dp/B08R679NSB/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Started-Pirate-fabulous-romantic-Schubert-ebook/dp/B08R679NSB/

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/it-started-with-a-pirate

Apple: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/it-started-with-a-pirate/id1546080295

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kirsty_Ferry_It_Started_with_a_Pirate?id=V6kSEAAAQBAJ

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/it-started-with-a-pirate-kirsty-ferry/1138511497?ean=2940162708896 

MY REVIEW

The world always seems like a happier place when Schubert is around, so I was so glad to read the latest installment of the series – although these books are easily read as standalone!  

Schubert appears in the life of Lexie this time around and  he’s being looked after by Nessa’s brother Billy. It’s not the ideal situation for Billy as he’s got some historical talks to do and finds himself dressed as a Pirate …!  But the pirate look grabs the attention of Lexie when she visits the cafe he is in, and Schubert works his magic once more in introducing them to each other!

Their shared love of history and cemeteries bond them quickly, and they soon find themselves on a quest to find out more about a mysterious woman who appears in their life.  This is no ordinary search though as it opens up fascinating stories from the past and adds a twist to their time spent in cemeteries!!  The historical rabbit hole they find themselves disappearing down was brilliant!

I always love reconnecting with Schubert and the cast of characters around him – this is another fun read that you’ll find yourself racing through and wishing you had a chatty, helpful, meddlesome cat in your life!!

★★★★★

#BookReview THE LIBRARY OF THE DEAD by T.L.HUCHU #TheLibraryOfTheDead @UKTor @MyBookishLife

ABOUT THE BOOK


When ghosts talk, she will listen . . .

Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghost talker – and she now speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children – leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honour bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.

She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan . . .) as she calls on Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets. And in the process, she discovers an occult library and some unexpected allies. Yet as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?

Opening up a world of magic and adventure, The Library of the Dead by T. L. Huchu is the first book in the Edinburgh Nights series.


PUBLISHED BY TOR BOOKS


PURCHASE LINK


Amazon

MY REVIEW

What a brilliant way to start off a series!! I’m already itching to carry on the adventures with Ropa and the supernatural world she finds herself in! This is one of those books that quickly draws you in and doesn’t let go of you easy!

Ropa sees dead people! She also speaks to them and uses this ability as a way of making some money to help support her family – she passes on messages from the dead to the living, helping to rid houses of ghosts and letting those ghosts find some peace.

But she’s also struggling to make ends meet day to day, and when one of her jobs has the prospect of no money she isn’t too keen to devote much time to it – but the other world has different ideas! Ropa is a gutsy character who doesn’t like to let people down so when she hears of a ghost wanting help in finding her son who has gone missing, she starts the search. And what she finds is more chilling than she dare imagine.

Beware of the Midnight Milkman! He is a character destined to give you nightmares and tracking him down doesn’t prove easy. I loved the thrill of the chase in this story – the research, the inventiveness of Ropa and her friend in using the resources of The Library of the Dead in helping them on their quest to save children from harm.

This was a really fun and atmospheric way to start off a series and I cannot wait to see what the author has in store for us in Book 2


★★★★


My thanks to Stephen at Tor Books for the advanced reading copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#BookReview WITCHBORN by NICHOLAS BOWLING #20BooksOfSummer20


ABOUT THE BOOK

It’s 1577. Queen Elizabeth I has imprisoned scheming Mary Queen of Scots, and Alyce’s mother is burned at the stake for witchcraft. Alyce kills the witchfinder and flees to London – but the chase isn’t over yet. As she discovers her own dark magic, powerful political forces are on her trail. She can’t help but wonder: why is she so important? Soon she finds herself deep in a secret battle between rival queens, the fate of England resting on her shoulders…

PUBLISHED BY CHICKEN HOUSE LTD


MY REVIEW

This is Book 13 of my 20 Books of Summer 2020.

Seduced by the beautiful cover, and the promise of a mix of history and witches I was itching to read this book, but found myself feeling a little underwhelmed by the storyline as it never, for me, seemed to get going.

I really enjoyed the start with the story of Alyce finding herself in Bedlam after escaping home, when her mother was accused of witchcraft and Alyce was told to run far away. I’m fascinated by the period of history this was set in so was excited to see various historical figures of the time featuring in the storyline but it just didn’t seem to sit quite right. Alyce seemed to find herself being captured or escaping which seemed to be a little overdone and it was only right towards the end that the truth about her mother and more of the witchcraft element which I wish had been more prominent during the rest of the book.

It was an easy read and entertaining in patches as you tried to work out what was so special about Alyce to have all these people hunting her down!

★★★

#BookReview SLADE HOUSE by DAVID MITCHELL #20booksofsummer20

ABOUT THE BOOK

Keep your eyes peeled for a small black iron door.Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narrow alley, if the conditions are exactly right, you’ll find the entrance to Slade House. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won’t want to leave. Later, you’ll find that you can’t. Every nine years, the house’s residents — an odd brother and sister — extend a unique invitation to someone who’s different or lonely: a precocious teenager, a recently divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it’s already too late…Spanning five decades, from the last days of the 1970s to the present, leaping genres, and barreling toward an astonishing conclusion, this intricately woven novel will pull you into a reality-warping new vision of the haunted house story—as only David Mitchell could imagine it.

MY REVIEW


Book 3 of my 20 Books of Summer 2020.

This was more miss than hit for me, unfortunately. I don’t know if I wanted it to be more weird, more scary, more humourous! But it just fell short on all counts for me as you didn’t get to spend enough time in the company of various characters to care enough what fate befell them! Maybe if I had read Bone Clocks before it would have all made a little more sense….

The house itself was a fascinating prospect with all its’ odd goings on, as well as the twins Jonah and Norah as their story was intriguing to say the least – I would have loved to have just read all about them and their abilities


★★★

Readers Imbibing Peril XIV – I’m signing up! #readingchallenge #ripxiv #bookblogger

With 20 Books of Summer just finished I’ve been looking for another little reading challenge to see me through – and the lovely Nikki of The Secret Library Site reminded me that this reading challenge is back so here I am to sign myself up!

It’s the 14th year of the challenge, wonderfully hosted by https://readersimbibingperil.com/ and here’s a little bit more about it – maybe you’ll sign up too!

The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:

Mystery.Suspense.Thriller.Dark Fantasy.Gothic.Horror.Supernatural.


The emphasis is never on the word challenge, instead it is about coming together as a community and embracing the autumnal mood, whether the weather is cooperative where you live or not.

The goals are simple. 

1. Have fun reading.

2. Share that fun with others.

I like a flexible and fun reading challenge so have been having a rummage through my bookshelves, and took a trip to the local library and have picked out a few possibilities that I’m hoping to get to over the next 2 months! And we all know what I’m like with lists so I’m sure different books may/will be chosen as and when! Will see how the mood grabs me!!

MEMENTO MORI by PAUL HOLBROOK

Whitechapel, London 1877
Sibelius Darke is a man rising to the top of his profession. He is a photographer by trade, but the subjects of his pictures are quite unusual, for they are dead. Darke offers a unique service; family portraits taken with the recently deceased.
The rich and the powerful wish to acquire his services and he is only too willing to do what he must to attain his dreams.
However after hearing a warning from the mouth of a dead child, a monster begins to stalk the streets, killing children. A beast from Darke’s own childhood nightmares.
Seen as a suspect in the eyes of the police, can he stop the killer himself? Or will it take and destroy everything that he holds dear?

Memento Mori is a Supernatural Murder Mystery Novel set in Late Victorian London. Mixing Finnish mythology with 19th century degradation and depravity, Memento Mori tells a story of murder, madness and corruption at the heart of Victorian high society.

WE by YEVGENY ZAMYATIN

We takes place in a distant future, where humans are forced to submit their wills to the requirements of the state, under the rule of the all-powerful Benefactor, and dreams are regarded as a sign of mental illness. In a city of straight lines, protected by green walls and a glass dome, a spaceship is being built in order to spearhead the conquest of new planets. Its chief engineer, a man called D-503, keeps a journal of his life and activities: to his mathematical mind everything seems to make sense and proceed as it should, until a chance encounter with a woman threatens to shatter the very foundations of the world he lives in.

Written in a highly charged, direct and concise style, Zamyatin’s 1921 seminal novel – here presented in Hugh Aplin’s crisp translation – is not only an indictment of the Soviet Russia of his time and a precursor of the works of Orwell and the dystopian genre, but also a prefiguration of much of twentieth-century history and a harbinger of the ominous future that may still lay ahead of us.
 

THE SHINING by STEPHEN KING

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote . . . and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

THIS CENSUS TAKER by CHINA MIEVILLE

For readers of George Saunders, Kelly Link, and Karen Russell, This Census Taker is the poignant and uncanny new novella from award-winning and bestselling author China Miéville. After witnessing a profoundly traumatic event, a boy is left alone in a remote house on a hilltop with his increasingly deranged parent. When a stranger knocks on his door, the boy senses that his days of isolation are over—but by what authority does this man keep the meticulous records he carries? Is he the boy’s friend? His enemy? Or something altogether other?

MR GODLEY’S PHANTOM by MAL PEET

A haunting masterpiece from storyteller Mal Peet. Part ghost story, part detective novel and part something else entirely, Mr Godley’s Phantom is something of an enigma, with its own distinctive fifties flavour of cigarettes, petrol and mystery.

THE GIRL WHO COULD MOVE SH*T WITH HER MIND by JACKSON FORD

For Teagan Frost, sh*t just got real.

Teagan Frost is having a hard time keeping it together. Sure, she’s got telekinetic powers—a skill that the government is all too happy to make use of, sending her on secret break-in missions that no ordinary human could carry out. But all she really wants to do is kick back, have a beer, and pretend she’s normal for once.

But then a body turns up at the site of her last job—murdered in a way that only someone like Teagan could have pulled off. She’s got 24 hours to clear her name—and it’s not just her life at stake. If she can’t unravel the conspiracy in time, her hometown of Los Angeles will be in the crosshairs of an underground battle that’s on the brink of exploding…

Full of imagination, wit and random sh*t flying through the air, this insane adventure from an irreverent new voice will blow your tiny mind.

👻👻👻👻👻

So I may to get all of these, or may just read 1!  I’m just looking forward to a few different reads over the next 8 weeks  Just hope they don’t scare me too much……..

#BlogTour #BookReview THE OLD DRAGON’S HEAD by JUSTIN NEWLAND #LoveBooksTours #JustinNewland

Delighted to bring you my thoughts today on THE OLD DRAGON’S HEAD by JUSTIN NEWLAND as part of the fabulous Blog Tour. My thanks to the author, publisher and Kelly of  LoveBooksTours for putting it all together and letting me be part of it!

Blurb

Constructed of stone and packed earth, the Great Wall of 10,000 li protects China’s northern borders from the threat of Mongol incursion. The wall is also home to a supernatural beast: the Old Dragon. The Old Dragon’s Head is the most easterly point of the wall, where it finally meets the sea.


In every era, a Dragon Master is born. Endowed with the powers of Heaven, only he can summon the Old Dragon so long as he possess the dragon pearl.It’s the year 1400, and neither the Old Dragon, the dragon pearl, nor the Dragon Master, has been seen for twenty years. Bolin, a young man working on the Old Dragon’s Head, suffers visions of ghosts. Folk believe he has yin-yang eyes and other paranormal gifts.

When Bolin’s fief lord, the Prince of Yan, rebels against his nephew, the Jianwen Emperor, a bitter war of succession ensues in which the Mongols hold the balance of power. While the victor might win the battle on earth, China’s Dragon Throne can only be earned with a Mandate from Heaven – and the support of the Old Dragon.Bolin embarks on a journey of self-discovery, mirroring Old China’s endeavour to come of age. When Bolin accepts his destiny as the Dragon Master, Heaven sends a third coming of age – for humanity itself. But are any of them ready for what is rising in the east?

Purchase on Amazon UK

Author Website

MY REVIEW

Show me a book with a dragon in it and I want to know about it! And this fabulous adventure didn’t let me down as it had a little bit of everything in there for me to enjoy – mystery, humour, fantasy, power struggles and good old fashioned treachery!

At the heart of the story is Bolin who is coming to terms with having strange visions and headaches and wondering what to make of it all. He lives a simple life as a fishermans’ son so to have visions is something unheard of. There has always been a dragon master around but none has been seen for 20 years – with it comes great power.

AT the same time there’s an awful lot of power struggles going on with various other characters. And woe betide you if you get in the way! As Bolin goes looking for answers, we also find the character Feng looking to find answers to the goings on in his life and there are plenty of people who don’t want them to find out the truth.

With the threat of the Mongol Army attacking the town never far away, he tension is always rising and I loved all the little subplots coming together and keeping you on your toes as to where the story was going, and what secrets from the past were next to be revealed – and what consequences they would lead to!

This book was an enjoyable mix of history with the supernatural and was really well paced. Destiny plays a big part in this story too and I’m hoping there will be further adventures featuring these characters so we can watch them on their journey!

🐲🐲🐲🐲

#BookReview Things In Jars by Jess Kidd

About the book

London, 1863. Bridie Devine, the finest female detective of her age, is taking on her toughest case yet. Reeling from her last job and with her reputation in tatters, a remarkable puzzle has come her way. Christabel Berwick has been kidnapped. But Christabel is no ordinary child. She is not supposed to exist.

As Bridie fights to recover the stolen child she enters a world of fanatical anatomists, crooked surgeons and mercenary showmen. Anomalies are in fashion, curiosities are the thing, and fortunes are won and lost in the name of entertainment. The public love a spectacle and Christabel may well prove the most remarkable spectacle London has ever seen.

Things in Jars is an enchanting Victorian detective novel that explores what it is to be human in inhumane times.

Published by Canongate Books

Publication Date – 4th April 2019

PRE-ORDER LINKS

Goldsboro Books  – signed first edition £14.99

hive.co.uk  £10.99

waterstones  £14.99

MY REVIEW

Move over Sherlock, Bridie Devine is the new super sleuth in town and I adore her! Jess Kidd has created another dark and wonderful tale set in Victorian times that explores the disturbing disappearance of a young girl, who has been kept hidden away because she’s ‘different’ – she feeds on snails, has an unusual appearance and is also said to possess powers.  The family she is stolen from are never too forthcoming with details about her, so it’s left to Bridie to uncover the dark story behind young Christabel, and that leads Bridie to look back on her own childhood too.

She isn’t alone on her quest as she is joined by the rather wonderful   Ruby, a ghost-boxer who appears in Bridie’s life at a seemingly random time! Is there more to his story than meets the eye?! He adds many lighter moments throughout with his comments and observations but also shows sensitivities which are very touching.

As she confronts many repulsive characters on the search for Christabel, the look back on her own earlier life is also a fascinating glimpse into why she feels so connected to this poor girl and why she is determined to try and save her.  

And while there is much love for Bridie and her quest, the evilness of many characters throughout is another success of this book! The levels of depravity that some of them sink to is eye-wateringly shocking and I just found myself wishing for karma to deal with them as soon as possible – in a very unpleasant way!!

I was utterly riveted by this story! And switching the story from the now timeline to Bridie’s past added more as she also had a very unconventional upbringing which explained her outlook on life – and death – now!  The more she uncovers about various characters, the more you left to be staggered by the goings on and I found that I had my heart in my mouth with the dramatic ending.

  I would love to say more about this book but am sure I would include a spoiler or three, so I’m just going to have to say if you love your stories dark, dramatic, mysterious, macabre, weird, wonderful, tense and thrilling then look no further!!

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

#BlogBlast The Burning House by Neil Spring #BookReview @QuercusBooks #BurningHouse

About the book

It was a victimless crime…

Estate Agent Clara is struggling to make a sale. With her abusive ex-husband on the brink of finding where she’s hiding, she needs to make a commission soon or lose her chance to escape.

Boleskine House on the shores of Loch Ness has remained unsold for years, and Clara is sure that an ‘innocent’ fire will force the price down. But the perfect crime soon turns into the perfect nightmare: there was a witness, a stranger in the village, and he’s not going to let Clara get away with it that easily…

From the bestselling author of The Ghost Hunters, The Watchers and The Lost Village comes a tense and claustrophobic psychological thriller

Published by Quercus Books

Publication Date – 29th November 2018 – ebook

                             21st March 2019 – paperback

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

hive.co.uk

MY REVIEW

Wow! What a tense and chilling read that was!! From the start you are thrown into quite a chain of shocking events  and the consequences of these are felt throughout the book, and leads to some very dark places for some of the characters!

Clara Jones seems to be doing her best to put an abusive relationship behind her by hiding away and creating a new life for herself.  And life as an estate agent brings her to Boleskine House, a substantial home in an idyllic spot on the banks of Loch Ness, but it’s a house with a very dark past and legends last a long time in this part of the world.  She decides to take matters into her own hands to try and get a quicker sale and this leads to devastating consequences!

Oswald is a man on a mission – and his mission is that he must own Boleskine.  For what purpose it is unclear to begin with , but Clara soon finds herself drawn into an extremely unsettling and disturbing world – one she’d thought she’d left behind when she left London.

There are a number of characters in this book who are deeply unpleasant, and that just adds to the bleak and terrifying situations that poor Clara finds herself put in.  It’s one of those books that just gets your blood pumping with all the action and alarming dark twists and turns!  The action never seems to let up and I found myself gasping in shock  on many occasions throughout! It’s one of those books that definitely leaves a lasting and chilling impression!

🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥