Thursday, 20 October 2016

Cover Crush: Gwendolen by Diana Souhami

Erin over at Flashlight Commentary is the one that came up with the cover crush idea and I loved it so much that I decided that every Thursday would I post a cover that I really love. 

This week's Cover Crush is Gwendolen by Diana Souhami. I find the cover delightful and it's just the kind that makes me curious to read what the book is all about. I like how Gwendolen is the sole person on the cover and I love how she stands there ready to shot that arrow.It's just so striking and intruging! 


In an astonishing unsent love letter, a 19th-century Englishwoman looks back at her formative years, when she fell in love with one man but married another

Gwendolen Harleth, an exceptionally beautiful upper-class Englishwoman, is gambling boldly at a resort when she catches the eye of a handsome, pensive gentleman. His gaze unnerves her, and she loses her winnings. The next day, she learns that her widowed mother and younger sisters, for whom she is financially responsible, have lost their family's fortune. As a young woman in the 1860s with only her looks to serve her, Gwendolen's options are few, so when Henleigh Grandcourt, a wealthy aristocrat, proposes to her, she accepts, despite her discovery of an alarming secret about his past.

This novel is Gwendolen's passionate later-life letter to the handsome man who caught her eye at the gambling tables-the man she did not marry-and reveals what happened across the brutal and transformative years of her early twenties, after she married Grandcourt. That Gwendolen is also the heroine of George Eliot's novel Daniel Deronda (and is writing to Deronda) will intrigue and delight legions of Eliot fans, but debut novelist and award-winning biographer Souhami has brilliantly and movingly breathed fresh life into a classic story in ways that will appeal to readers entirely unfamiliar with Eliot's fictions.


Check out this week's cover crushes over at my friend's blogs:

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena (SWE/ENG)

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Anne och Marco Conti är ett par som tycks ha allt: ett kärleksfullt förhållande, ett vackert hem och en underbar bebis, Cora.

Nu säger deras granne att hon inte vill ha med deras sex månader gamla dotter på sin middagsbjudning. Inget personligt, hon står bara inte ut med gråten. Marco säger att det är okej. De bor ju trots allt bara i huset bredvid. De kommer att ha babyalarmet med sig och turas om att gå hem en gång i halvtimmen.

När Anne tittade till Cora för bara en stund sedan sov barnet djupt. Men nu, efter att hon rusat upp för trapporna i deras dödligt tysta hus, besannas hennes djupaste rädsla. Cora är borta!

Anne och Marco har aldrig tidigare behövt ringa polisen. Men nu är polisen i deras hem, i deras liv. Och vem vet vad de kommer att upptäcka där?

På andra sidan väggen är en psykologisk thriller som håller läsaren i ett järngrepp fram till sista sidan. En roman om svek, manipulation och dubbelspel – och om vad människor är kapabla till när de pressas till bristningsgränsen.


Wow, vilken bok. Jag måste erkänna att jag inte trodde att boken skulle fängsla mig så mycket att jag i slutändan skulle ge den en 5:a. Jag hoppas att den den skulle vara underhållande, men jag trodde aldrig att den skulle vara så underhållande att den skulle vara svår at lägga ifrån sig på kvällen. En riktig blandvändare med andra ord! Jag svär, om jag inte hade haft jobb dagen efter jag började läsa boken så skulle jag nog läst klart den troligtvis samma kväll. 

Vad jag verkligen älskade med boken var känslan av att alla dolde något, och det visade sig vara korrekt. Även när händelser avslöjades som kanske inte alls var så överraskande så kände jag aldrig att det var för lätt, utan det var snarare så att jag hade en misstanke och när den visade sig vara rätt så var det med belåtenhet jag insåg att jag hade gissat rätt. Självklart var det händelser som jag absolut inte hade räknat med. Som det briljanta slutet. Wow!

Jag vill inte avslöja något av handlingen, men jag måste bara få säga att jag är verkligen imponerad över hur mänskliga karaktärerna i boken är. Lapena har verkligen lyckats med att skapa karaktärer som jag kunde känna sympati för (tja de flesta människor, de fanns några vidriga som jag inte gillade speciellt mycket eller kände sympati för). Genom att karaktärerna blev så levande så kändes handlingen verkligen levande. Jag drog in i berättelsen och sedan släppte den inte taget om mig.

På andra sidan väggen var en fantastisk läsupplevelse. Shari Lapena är ett namn jag bara måste lägga på minnet och jag ser fram emot att läsa framtida böcker av henne!

Tack till Modernista och Louise Bäckelin Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!


You never know what's happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You'll have the baby monitor and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She's gone.

You've never had to call the police before. But now they're in your home, and who knows what they'll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?


Wow, what a book. I have to admit that I did not think I would love it as much as I did. I was hoping to be entertained, but I never thought that I would find it so engrossing that it would be hard to put it down. I swear, if I hadn't had work the day after I started the book would I probably have read most of the book that evening that I started it.

What I really loved about the book was the sense that everyone is hiding something, and sure they did and even when things were revealed that perhaps was not so surprising did I never feel that it was too easy, it was more of a getting right when you are getting suspicious about something. Of course, there were events that I didn't expect at all. Like the brilliant ending. Wow.

I don't want to give the story away, all I want to say that I'm very impressed how Lapena managed to make the characters so real that I really could feel for them (well most of the people, some I did not like because they were quite frankly awful human beings). By making the characters feel alive did this story come alive. I was pulled into the story and it didn't let go for a minute.

The Couple Next Door was a fantastic reading experience. Shari Lapena is definitely a name that I need to keep track of for future books!

Thanks to Modernista and Louise Bäckelin Förlag for the review copy!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Blog Tour: For Sale by Owner by Marlene Bateman

Stressed by a year of intense, ongoing problems, McKenzie Forsberg decides to quit her high-powered job and move back to her hometown. Determined to rebuild her life, Kenzie desperately needs the peace and security she is sure will come from buying the home she grew up in. But when she arrives in town, Kenzie discovers that a handsome widower, Jared Rawlins, has already put an offer on the house.  However, he can only close the deal if he sells his own house by Christmas Eve.  

When Kenzie unexpectedly runs into a couple who are considering buying Jared’s house, she unthinkingly gives them information that changes their mind. Jared, who had been more than a little interested in Kenzie, has second thoughts when he begins to believe Kenzie may have deliberately tried to sabotage the sale of his home. Feeling bad, Kenzie apologizes but the damage may be too much for their relationship to overcome.

Despite his misgivings, and Kenzie’s own concerns, sparks of attraction between Jared and Kenzie grow into something more. Then, Kenzie makes a stunning discovery about her past. In that moment, everything changes. Will the power of love be enough to bring Jared and Kenzie together and allow them to find their happily ever after?

For Sale by Owner is available at Deseret Book and Seagull Book and can also be purchased online at:
Seagull Book;


Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and grew up in Sandy, Utah.  She graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they live in North Salt Lake, Utah with their two dogs and four cats. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and wrote the best-selling romance/suspense novel, Light on Fire Island. She has written three other mysteries; Motive for Murder, A Death in the Family, and Crooked House.

Marlene has also written a number of LDS, non-fiction books:  Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s from Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, Brigham’s Boys, Heroes of Faith, Gaze into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, and The Magnificent World of Spirits; Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die.

“What made you decide to move to Lake Forest?” Kenzie asked.
“I’ve always loved it here,” Jared said. “It’s a beautiful area, and there’s a special atmosphere here. People are so friendly. I guess part of the reason I came is because I needed to go someplace new and kind of start over, you know?”
                      Kenzie did know. That was exactly what she was doing now. She’d gotten over Larry, but she needed to go someplace new and reinvent herself and her life.
“Now let me ask you,” Jared said. “What made you decide to come back?”
                      “A lot of reasons. I need a fresh start too. I’m tired of the hectic pace in Chicago.” Impulsively she added, “Also, I had to get away from my job at Midwest. A guy was causing some real problems for me—” She stopped. Their eyes met and lingered. Jared’s compassion was evident and the expression on his face kind. She felt so comfortable talking with him—as if they were kindred spirits. Something in her heart softened into a spreading pool, and she smiled at him.
Tearing open his packet of Oreo cookies., Jared took one and dunked it in his hot chocolate.
Kenzie frowned. “Figures. You’re a dunker.”
“And I bet you’re a twister.”
Snatching up a cookie, Kenzie twisted it open and took a bite of the creamy middle. “Ummm.”
Jared shuddered. “That’s wrong in so many ways.”
Picking up her mug and warming her fingers, Kenzie sipped her hot chocolate. “This is wonderful!”
“It’s a secret recipe—been in my family for generations.”
                      “No, but it sounds good, doesn’t it?”

Blog Tour: Strong Cold Dead by Jon Land

Strong Cold Dead by Jon Land
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Strong Cold Dead

by Jon Land

on Tour October 2016


In her storied career as a Texas Ranger, Caitlin has confronted all manner of villains, but nothing that’s prepared her for the terrorist group ISIS’s pursuit of a devastating weapon on Lone Star State soil. The land in question lies on an Indian reservation where a drilling operation steeped in mystery and controversy is about to commence under the auspices of shadowy billionaire Cray Rawls.

But Rawls is only one of Caitlin’s problems. Her surrogate son Dylan, the oldest boy of her reformed outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters, has joined the tribe to protest Rawls’ desecration of the sacred Indian lands. The same desecration that has unearthed an ancient evil Caitlin’s own great-great-grandfather fought nearly 150 years before. There’s also a twisted genius who’s uncovered the true nature of that evil, a young man with whom Caitlin shares a past now poised to deliver Armageddon from Texas’ canyonlands.

To save millions from a horrible fate at the hands of ISIS, Caitlin and Cort Wesley must sort through a web of death and deceit as tangled as the blood-soaked grounds of the reservation that hold a deadly secret. A secret that’s the source of a battle rooted in the past and now destined to determine the shape of the future.

Book Details:
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Forge Books
Publication Date: October 4th 2016
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 0765335131 (ISBN13: 9780765335135)
Series: Caitlin Strong Novel #8

Get Your Copy of Strong Cold Dead by Jon Land on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or add it to your list at Goodreads


Strong Cold Dead is the first book Caitlin Strong book I have read, but I'm pretty sure it will not be my last. I'm actually quite sure about that since the first thing I did after finishing this book was ordering the first book. Lucky me that have seven unread Caitlin Strong books to read.

So, what was it that got me so enthralled that I just had to buy myself the first book? When it comes to book so are some so good that I feel right from the start that this is a 5-star book. And, this one felt like that. And, not for a moment did I waver from that thought. Strong Cold Dead has several fascinated characters, and of course, Caitlin is one of them, but also just loved to read Caitlin's great-great-grandfather Steeldust Jack Strong's POV in the book, who like Caitlin was a Texas Ranger. I was fascinated with the mystery of what it was on the Indian reservation that was so special and what secret the people living there are hiding from the outside world. And, to top it all, suddenly we have ISIS also involved in the story. There is a lot of jumping between characters, but that never really bothered me and this is one book were both parallel storylines (the one in the present and the one 150 years before) were equally interesting to read. The addition of a mystery from the 1930s added some extra intrigue to the story. 

Strong Cold Dead was a fantastic book, well-written, and I've taken to my heart both Caitlin and Steeldust Jack Strong. They are so well-developed and fascinating that I just can't wait to read more about them. There is a lot of action, but also some very poignant moments. In short, this book has all the ingredients I love, humor, action, mystery, and tragedy. And, I wish to God that I had the first book right now! I'm even tempted to order book two in the series, I'm hooked!

I want to thank Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! 

Read an excerpt:

East San Antonio, Texas
“Nobody goes beyond this point, ma’am,” the tall, burly San Antonio policeman, outfitted in full riot gear, told Caitlin Strong.
“That include Texas Rangers . . .” She hesitated long enough to read the name plate over his badge. “. . . Officer Salazar?”
“That’s Sergeant Salazar, Ranger. And the answer is, yes, it includes everyone. Especially Texas Rangers.”
“Well, Sergeant, maybe we wouldn’t need to be here if a couple of your patrolmen hadn’t gunned down a ten-year-old boy.”
Salazar looked at Caitlin, scowling as he backed away from her Explorer. A few blocks beyond the checkpoint, a grayish mist seemed to hover in the air, residue of the tear gas she expected would be unleashed again soon. That is, unless the youthful crowd currently packed into the small commercial district at the near end of Hackberry Avenue dispersed, which they were showing no signs of doing. The third night of trouble had brought the National Guard to the scene in full battle attire that included M4 rifles and flak jackets. Caitlin could see more floodlights had been brought in to keep the street bathed in day-glow brightness, casting a strange hue in the air that reminded her of movie kliegs, as if this were a scene concocted from fiction rather than one that had arisen out of random tragedy.
Sergeant Salazar came right up to her open window, close enough for Caitlin to smell spearmint on his breath, as he worked a wad of gum from one side of his mouth to the other. “Those patrolmen found themselves in the crossfire of a gunfight between a neighborhood watch leader and gang bangers he thought were robbing a convenience store where most pay with their EFD cards. The clerk who chased them down the street just wanted to return the change they’d left on the counter for their ice cream, but the watch leader, Alfonzo Martinez, saw the scene otherwise and ordered the bangers to stop and put their hands in the air.”
Neighborhood watch leader Martinez, a lifelong resident of J Street who’d managed to steer clear of violence all his life, started firing his heirloom Springfield 1911 model .45 as soon as the gang bangers yanked pistols from the droopy waistbands of their trousers. The only thing his shots hit was a passing San Antonio police car, the uniformed officers inside mistaking the fire as the gang bangers’ and opened up on them so indiscriminately that the lone victim of their fire was a ten-year-old boy who’d emerged from the same convenience store.
It was almost dawn before everything got sorted out and the investigative team comprised of San Antonio and Highway Patrol detectives thought they’d managed to get control of the situation. Then relatively peaceful protests by day gave way to an eruption of violence at night, spearheaded by rival gangs who abandoned their turf wars to join forces against an enemy both of them loathed. Violence and looting reined, only to get worse by the second night when eight officers ended up hospitalized, one from what was later identified as a bullet instead of a rock. And now the third night found the National Guard on the scene in force and armored police vehicles from as far away as Houston barricading the streets to basically shut off the neighborhoods of East San Antonio’s northern periphery from the rest of the city.
“You’re still here, Ranger,” Sergeant Salazar noted.
“Just considering my options.”
“Only option you have is turn your vehicle around and leave the area, ma’am. You’re not needed or welcome here.”
“On whose orders exactly?” Caitlin wondered.
“Mine,” a female voice boomed, a moment before Caitlin heard a loud pop!, like a shotgun blast, crackle through the air.
East San Antonio, Texas
A few blocks beyond the checkpoint, one of the spotlights fizzled and died, victim of a well-thrown rock more likely than a bullet. Caitlin was out of her Explorer by then, hand instinctively straying to her holstered SIG Sauer P-225 in anticipation of more shots to follow. “Get back in your vehicle, Ranger,” said Consuelo Alonzo, deputy chief of the San Antonio police department, as she strode forward, red-faced from the exertion of rushing to the scene from the police line upon learning of Caitlin’s arrival.
“You got a problem with getting some more back-up?” Caitlin asked her.
“I do when it comes from you.”
“Why don’t you catch your breath and hear me out?”
“Because there’s nothing you have to say that can possibly interest me right now. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re sitting on a powder keg one spark away from blowing San Antonio to hell. We don’t need you providing that spark, Ranger. No way.”
Instead of settling down, Alonzo’s agitation continued to increase. Her face had grown redder, her words emerging through breaths becoming more and more rapid. She had risen quickly through the ranks of the department, becoming the youngest woman ever to make captain three years prior to her recent promotion to deputy chief. And she had been rumored to be in line for the job of Public Safety Commissioner that came with a plush Austin office and a job that would place her, among other things, as chief overseer of the Texas Rangers. Alonzo no doubt relished that particular perk of a job certain to be hers, until the death of a Chinese diplomat, exacerbated by Caitlin’s solving the murder while Alonzo was dealing with more politically oriented ramifications, led to her being passed over.
Alonzo had overcome an appearance often referred to as “masculine” by even her supporters and much worse than that by her detractors, who seemed to put no stock in the fact that she was happily raising three young children with her husband who was a professional boxing referee. This was Texas, after all, where a woman needed to work twice as hard, and be twice as good, in a profession ruggedly and stubbornly perceived to be for men only. Caitlin and Alonzo had had their differences over the years, but had mostly maintained a mutual respect defined by their professionalism, and the sense that their own squabbles only further emboldened those who sought their demise.
At least until Alonzo cast Caitlin with all the blame for her losing out on a job that was likely never going to be hers now. Since then, she’d used her position as deputy chief to wage subtle war on the Rangers’ San Antonio-based Company F whenever possible, seizing upon any bureaucratic conflict or jurisdictional dispute she could in a hapless attempt to make Caitlin’s life miserable.
Alonzo ran a hand through her spiky hair. She was heavyset and had once set the woman’s record for the bench press in her weight class. She’d also done some boxing and was reputed to be the best target shooter with a pistol in the entire department. But Caitlin had beaten her three times running when they’d gone up against each other in state-sponsored contests, winning the overall title in two of those instead of just the woman’s division. She’d stop entering after her most recent victory, figuring the last thing she needed was to draw more attention to herself than her exploits already had.
“You’re not moving, Ranger,” Alonzo told her.
Caitlin gestured toward a figure pressed tight against the waist-high concrete barrier erected to close off the street to unauthorized vehicles. “See that woman there? That’s the mother of the boy who was killed by the fire of those SAPD officers. She’s the one who called me, asked me to see what I could do about the violence being done in her boy’s name. She doesn’t want the city to burn on his account. She wants this resolved peacefully.”
“And you think I don’t?”
“No, ma’am. It’s question about how you’re going about things.”
“And how’s that?” Alonso asked, not sounding as if she was really interested in Caitlin’s answer. “We got a full-scale riot brewing back there. What exactly do you think you can do about it that we can’t?”
“I’ve got an idea or two.”
“Care to share them?”
“Ever hear of Diego Ramon Alcantara?”
“Can’t say that I have.”
“He goes by the nickname ‘Diablo.’ Leader of a gang running drugs for a Mexican cartel that sees the riots as their opportunity to solidify their hold on the business throughout the state. And Diablo Alcantara has united the city’s normally warring gangs toward that purpose on the cartel’s behalf. I take him off the board, all this goes away.”
Alonzo shook her head, her expression a mix of resentment and disbelief. “You alone?”
“That’s right. Just give me a chance. What have you got to lose, Deputy Chief?”
“How about this city?”
Caitlin turned her gaze in the direction of the rioting. “Seems to me it’s already lost. Thing at this point is to get it back.” Alonzo’s lower lip crawled over her upper one, puckering her cheeks until she blew out some breath that hit Caitlin like a blast wave from a just opened oven. “We’ve got five hundred personnel on scene who haven’t been able to manage that.”
“Would it really hurt to listen to what I’ve got to say?”
“It hurts me standing here right now instead of commanding the front line. The governor just approved an assault. We move inside the next hour, if the crowd doesn’t disperse as ordered.”
“Just give me a chance.”
This time Alonzo finished her chuckle. “You know the saying ‘stone cold dead,’ Ranger?”
“I do.”
“Maybe you haven’t heard that among Texas law enforcement types it’s called ‘strong cold dead’ now.”
Caitlin smiled slightly. “Is that a fact?”
Alonzo was left shaking her head. “Tell me, when you look in the mirror, how big’s the army that looks back?”
“Well, you know how the saying goes, Deputy Chief,” Caitlin said, backpedaling toward her SUV. “’One riot, one Ranger.’”
East San Antonio, Texas
Caitlin skulked about the outskirts of the neighborhoods just outside the riot zone. Through windows not boarded up or covered in grates, she spied more than one family following the simmering violence just a few blocks away on their televisions while huddled against a wall.
According to the information she’d obtained from a trio of informants, “Diablo” Alcantara was running the show from his sister’s home near J Street two blocks from the brewing riot’s front lines. The cartels had trained Alcantara well, taught him the tricks of their own trade to inspire everyday people to turn to violence to the point that it came to define them. A road a person was often too far down by the time he found himself on it at all. So it was here in East San Antonio, where closing the schools for the day had turned hundreds of teenagers into virtual anarchists, looting and destroying for its own sake. Right now Caitlin could still smell the smoke from a Laundromat that had burned to the ground when local firefighters and their trucks were chased back by crowds hurling bottles and rocks. Three had been hospitalized and one of the engines had been abandoned at the head of the street where it too had been set ablaze.
The Laundromat had chemicals and detergents stored in a back room that turned the air noxious for a time, the strange combination of lavender soap powder mixing with the corrosive bleaches to form the perfect metaphor for the city of San Antonio. Watching those white curtains of mist wafting through the flames to chase the rioters away more effectively than any efforts the authorities had mounted, though, had given Caitlin the idea to which Deputy Chief Alonzo had refused to listen.
Holding her position against a house in view of the main drag, Caitlin checked her watch, then the sky, and finally her cell phone to make sure she had a strong signal. Since word was the gangs were communicating via text message, there was talk of shutting down the grid, lasting until nobody could figure out a way to do it quickly—something she was glad for now.
Above the fire smoke and tear gas residue staining the air in patches, the night sky was clear and she made out a bevy of news choppers with navigation lights flashing like the stars millions of miles beyond them. Creeping closer to J Street and the home of Diablo Alcantara’s sister, Caitlin froze just beyond the spray of a streetlight showcasing a block packed with gang members proudly and openly displaying their colors. Amid the gang bangers unified in this unholy alliance, she spotted a stocky figure more bulk than muscle holding court near the rear. Diablo Alcantara had gotten into a knife fight while in high school and ended up losing an eye to a slice that split the left side of his face right down the middle. Even in pictures, it was hard to look at the jagged scar and translucent orb visible through the narrow slit Alcantara had for a socket without feeling a flutter in her stomach from the sight.
Caitlin knew the stocky figure was Alcantara the moment he turned enough toward the streetlight for its spray to reflect off the marble-like thing wedged into his skull in place of an eye. She counted fifty bangers in the vicinity armed with assault rifles and submachine guns no intelligence report had made mention of, meaning such firepower must’ve only just reached the scene courtesy the cartels.
The bangers, under Diablo Alcantara’s leadership, looked ready to launch their assault that would push the rioting from this neighborhood into the city proper, intent on turning San Antonio into Juarez. Caitlin’s plan hadn’t accounted for going up against heavy weaponry, but the reality made its implementation all the more necessary. Giving the matter no further consideration, she lifted the cell phone closer and pressed out three words in a text message:
Caitlin figured she had three, maybe four minutes to wait, spending the first of them following the gang members’ antics in preparation for what was to come. Some of them wore military-grade flak jackets, in odd counterpoint to the pungent scent of marijuana smoke gradually claiming the air. She watched beer bottles drained and smashed, a few stray shots fired into the air to cheering by the most chemically altered in the bunch.
Caitlin checked her watch one last time before she stepped out from the darkness onto the street, light glinting off her badge and holstered pistol in plain view, as she continued toward the center of the block.
“I’m a Texas Ranger,” she called out to the gang members, whose gazes fixed on her in disbelief. “All of you, stay right where you are.”

Author Bio:

Jon Land is the USA Today bestselling author of 38 novels, including eight titles in the critically acclaimed Caitlin Strong series: Strong Enough to Die, Strong Justice, Strong at the Break, Strong Vengeance, Strong Rain Falling (winner of the 2014 International Book Award and 2013 USA Best Book Award for Mystery-Suspense), Strong Darkness (winner of the 2014 USA Books Best Book Award and the 2015 International Book Award for Thriller and Strong Light of Day which won the 2016 International Book Award for Best Thriller-Adventure, the 2015 Books and Author Award for Best Mystery Thriller, and the 2016 Beverly Hills Book Award for Best Mystery.

The latest title in the series is Strong Cold Dead, to be published on October 4 and about which Strand Magazine said is “certain to rank Land among a handful of our most talented thriller authors of this decade.” Land has also teamed with multiple New York Times bestselling author Heather Graham on a new sci-fi series, the first of which, The Rising, will be published by Forge in January of 2017. He is a 1979 graduate of Brown University and lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Catch Up with Jon on his website and on Twitter & Facebook

Tour Participants:


This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jon Land to celebrate the release of his 8th Caitlin Strong thriller, Strong Cold Dead. There will be 5 winners of one (1) autographed copy of Strong Cold Dead by Jon Land. This giveaway is limited to US & Canadian residents only. The giveaway begins on September 28th and runs through November 3rd, 2016.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours


The Obsidian Chamber by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

The Obsidian Chamber by Douglas Preston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


After a harrowing, otherworldly confrontation on the shores of Exmouth, Massachussetts, Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast is missing, presumed dead.


Sick with grief, Pendergast's ward, Constance, retreats to her chambers beneath the family mansion at 891 Riverside Drive--only to be taken captive by a shadowy figure from the past.


Proctor, Pendergast's longtime bodyguard, springs to action, chasing Constance's kidnapper through cities, across oceans, and into wastelands unknown.


And by the time Proctor discovers the truth, a terrifying engine has stirred-and it may already be too late.


I read the first Pendergast book Relic a couple of years ago and since then I have this been a favorite series of mine. It has been an interesting journey where I have learned more about Aloysius Pendergast and his family as the books progress and now here we are at book 16.

Pendergast is missing after the harrowing ending in the last book, and no one knows if he is alive or dead. For Constance, his ward is this a traumatizing experience and she has decided to retreat to the world she is so familiar with, the chambers below the Pendergast mansion. However, and an old enemy has returned, someone that she knows very well. But, Constance will soon learn that not everything is as it seems.

As with most books in this series was The Obsidian Chamber a pure joy to read. I miss the time when I had several Pendergast books to read, but in a way is it also nice to get a new one every year. This book felt more like a Constance book than an Aloysius Pendergast book. Of course, he is not totally missing from the book, but much of the story is about Constance. It's actually a bit tricky to write this review without spoiling too much of the story, like for instance who is back. So, I will just write some general thoughts about the book.

Constance is an intersecting character, not my personal favorite, but her backstory is truly intriguing and her first introduction to the series was spectacular. I do find myself not overfond with her growing attraction to Aloysius. I just can't seem to enjoy that idea. I must prefer her just being his ward. She has a central role in this book, and I did enjoy her part in this book. I was a bit surprised by her action in this book, how docile she seemed. However, everything got explained nicely towards the end of the book.

I was a bit worried that it would end with a cliffhanger, and yes, there was a kind of cliffhanger, but still the story felt ended at the moment. It's the kind of ending that felt satisfying and not frustrating. The previous books end was way more frustrating than this.

Finally, I hope that Corrie is in the next book. She has not had a prominent role since White Fire book 13 and I loved that book and I adore her.

I want to thank Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

The Obsidian Chamber by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (US/Canada)

Monday, 17 October 2016

End of Watch by Stephen King (SWE/ENG)

End of Watch by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Mercedesmördaren är tillbaka

För sju år sedan körde den ökände "Mercedesmördaren" Brady Hartsfield rakt in i en folkmassa. Åtta människor dog och långt fler fick men för livet. Den pensionerade kriminalpolisen Bill Hodges har inte kunnat lägga vansinnesdådet bakom sig, och när han nås av den oroande nyheten att en efter en av de överlevande efter Mercedesmassakern försökt ta sina liv under mystiska omständigheter, inser han att mardrömmen är långt ifrån över.

Hodges blir allt mer övertygad om att Brady Hartsfield har ett finger med i spelet i det som börjar likna en självmordsepidemi. Men hur kan det vara möjligt, när Hartsfield som är dömd till psykiatrisk vård, sitter i rullstol och knappt kan prata? Vad döljer sig bakom Mercedesmördarens tomma blick?

Sista vakten avslutar Stephen Kings hyllade thrillertrilogi om Bill Hodges och hans ständiga medhjälpare Holly och Jerome. Den första boken i serien, Mr Mercedes, tilldelades 2015 års Edgar Award för bästa spänningsroman. 


Innan jag recenserar denna bok vill jag bara säga att det har varit en intressant trilogi att läsa. det har inte varit min favorit trilogi för att vara ärlig, men ändå har den varit tillfredsställande. Mr. Mercedes, den första boken i series, var för mig den svagaste. Jag föll varken för story eller dess karaktärer. Men, Den som finner, uppföljaren funkade mycket bättre, även om stora delen av boken kändes som att läsa en bok som inte alls var del av denna serie. Slutligen har vi Sista vakten, och i och med denna bok så fann jag mig äntligen fängslade medan jag läste. 

I Den som finner får vi en titt in i Bradys liv efter att han stoppades i boken Mr. Mercedes, men i Sista vakten får vi äntligen den fulla berättelsen och äntligen en slutlig konfrontation mellan Brady och Bill Hodges. Men hur, undrar du säkert? Brady är ju hjärnskadad och kan knappt gå och prata. Låt oss säga att han fann en väg och eftersom detta är en King roman så är inte allting rationellt. Och det är en av orsakerna till att jag verkligen gillade boken. Sammansmältningen av thriller och paranormalt, Jag bara älskar det. 

Sista vakten är mycket bra och jag är överraskad över hur mycket jag gillade boken med tanke på att jag inte var jätteimponerad över de föregående böckerna. Men, trilogin blev helt klart bättre och bättre med varje bok och den slutade starkt. Jag gillade verkligen att King inte lät allting sluta helt lyckligt, det passade bra att avrunda serien på den sättet som hade gjorde. I slutändan kom jag att gilla Bill, Holly och Jerome väldigt mycket, vilket jag inte trodde jag skulle göra efter att ha läst Mr. Mercedes.

Tack till Albert Bonniers Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!


Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.

Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney, who delivered the blow to Hartsfield's head that put him on the brain injury ward. Brady also remembers that. When Bill and Holly are called to a murder-suicide with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put not only their lives at risk, but those of Hodges’s friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Because Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Bill Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.

In End of Watch, Stephen King brings the Hodges trilogy to a sublimely terrifying conclusion, combining the detective fiction of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers with the supernatural suspense that has been his trademark. The result is an unnerving look at human vulnerability and up-all-night entertainment.


Before I start to review this book, do I want to say that this has been a very interesting trilogy to read. Not, my favorite trilogy, to be honest, but still a nice one. Mr. Mercedes, the first book in the series did not sit well with me. To be honest, the story and its characters were not my cup of tea. However, Finders Keepers, the sequel turned out to be much better, even though it felt for much time while reading the book like it was not part of this series. Then, we have End of Watch, the final book. Here, I finally found myself quite engrossed with the story.

In Finders Keepers, we get some glimpse of Brady's life after he was stopped in Mr. Mercedes. and, in End of Watch, we really pick up the story and finally get to see Brady and Bill Hodges confront each other. But, how can that be you wonder? Brady is brain damaged and can hardly move and talk. Well, let's say he discovers a way. And, as this is a King novel is not everything rational. And, that's what I love about this book. The blend of thriller and paranormal. And, that's probably one of the reason for me liking the book so much.

End of Watch was frankly quite good and it surprised me how much I liked it since I did not love the previous two books that much. For me, this trilogy just got better and better and it ended with a bang. I love the fact that King didn't let it all end totally happy, it felt like a good ending. I even came to really enjoy Bill, Holly, and Jerome very much in this book, which I didn't think I would when I read Mr. Merecdes.

Thanks to Albert Bonniers Förlag for the review copy!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

A Cotswold Christmas by Kate Hewitt Weekend Blitz (book review)

A Cotswold Christmas by Kate Hewitt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Welcome to Wychwood-on-Lea… a not-too-quaint village where frosty evenings, welcoming fires, and second chances will make this a Christmas you’ll never forget.

Anna Vere has escaped to the Cotswolds for Christmas to try to heal from her broken engagement and, far worse, her broken dreams. When her reserved room at a bed & breakfast is flooded, she takes up the offer of camping out in Willoughby Close, the converted stables of the nearby manor house… and is taken under the wing of sexy local carpenter Colin Heath.

What starts out as merely helping a neighbor in need turns into far more as Colin and Anna share a surprisingly intense and emotional connection, weaving their own Christmas magic as they spend the holiday together. But Anna has a secret she’s scared to reveal, something that could destroy the fragile bond they’ve just created, and Colin knows she’s only in England for a short time. Can these two sudden soul mates risk their hearts for a love that has yet to be tried and tested?

Get swept away by this poignant and heartwarming story, set in beautiful Wychwood-on-Lea, in the English Cotswolds. And look forward to four more books set in Willoughby Close, where everyday miracles and happily-ever-afters are guaranteed.


I don't read much contemporary romance. Heck, I don't read much romance at all. But, I wanted to participate in this book blitz, and then I saw that I also had agreed to read the book. But, since it's just 168 page long did I don't see it a big problem. I was more concern over how I would feel about the story. But, strangely and happily this novella worked for me. 

I have a feeling I have weekends for books with a winter/Christmas theme. Just set the story around Christmas and I'm sold. Also, the story felt refreshing, sure this is a romance book, but the issues the characters faced felt real. Anna's secret did feel like a new angle, not overdone too much and I found it to be an interesting problem, both in her life and her budding romance with Colin. Colin also has some issues, he has a tendency to not be able to finish things he has committed to. And, perhaps that will also make it hard for him to dare to take the step to commit to a relationship. Especially one that has some distance problem. 

I was charmed. Completely and utterly charmed by this book and I look forward to reading more books set in Willoughby Close.

I want to thank Jenny in Neverland for providing a free copy for an honest review! 


About Kate Hewitt: 

Kate is the USA Today-bestselling author of over 40 books of women's fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England's Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. Other series include the Emigrants Trilogy, the Amherst Island Trilogy, and the Falling For The Freemans series. 

She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women's fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots. 

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in the English Cotswolds with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.


Friday, 14 October 2016

Three Weeks Dead: A DC Sally Poynter Novella by Rebecca Bradley

Three Weeks Dead: A DC Sally Poynter Novella by Rebecca Bradley
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

How far would you go if someone took your wife?

Especially, if you buried her a week ago.

When Jason Wells is faced with this scenario, he is confronted with the prospect of committing a crime that will have far-reaching consequences.

Can young DC Sally Poynter get through to him before he crosses that line, or does a desperate husband prove to be the case she won’t ever forget?

A prequel novella, set before Shallow Waters, the first in the DI Hannah Robbins series.


I was lucky to get this short novella from the author to read. I have not read Shallow Waters the first book in the series and that Three Weeks Dead is a prequel to. But, I found no problems getting into the story.

In Three Weeks Dead, we get two POV. We have Jason Wells the husband to the kidnapped dead wife and then we have DC Sally Poynter, a young and inexperienced policewoman. Both are faced with troubles of them own, Jason with the moral dilemma of doing the right thing, not giving in to the kidnappers, but still wanting the body of his wife back. And, Sally is young, trying to balance marriage life with being a police and at the same time hoping to not doing anything wrong with the case.

For me was Three Weeks Dead an interesting book because I don't think I have ever read a book where the dead body is used as a bargaining chip. It was quite interesting to follow Jason as he wrestles with himself about not giving in to the kidnapper's demand. I mean it's easy to sit here and judge telling Jason mentally that she's just a dead body, she's not there anymore. But, for him, that's still his wife's body, a woman she loved. As for Sally, I have to admit that here newbie attitude was a bit grating for me, but I do like that Sally towards the end started to feel a bit more mature. However, here problems with a fellow male colleague in the book annoyed me, sure I can understand that some clashes occur, but it's not a long story, and I felt sometimes that it took a bit too large part of the story. It's not especially new in police books to have a male police hating a female police so it could be that I was just tired of an old cliché. It will be interesting to read Shallow Waters to see how I will feel about the situations.       

Also, as much as I enjoyed the story was it pretty short and I often feel that short stories are like a synopsis of a book. Give it more flesh, more story, and you will have a great book. I felt it reading this one, the idea was great, and I would have loved reading a full-length book. As a novella was it not bad, but you only scratch the surface when it comes to the characters. I always want more!

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