Title: Tainted Love

Author: T. S. Hunter

Pages: 114 Pages

Publisher: Red Dog Press

The Blurb

SOME RELATIONSHIPS ARE JUST MURDER

It’s 1985, and Joe Stone is excited to be joining his old school friend, and lifelong crush, Chris, for a long weekend in London’s Soho—home to a vibrant, developing gay scene, and a million miles from the small town where Joe and Chris grew up.

When Chris is found brutally murdered, the police write his death off as just another rent boy fallen foul of a bad hook up. But Joe knows his friend was killed deliberately, and joins forces with former police detective, Russell Dixon—Chris’s flatmate—to find out why.

Spiralling debt, illicit sex, blackmail, spurned lovers and hard-nosed gangsters all play their part, but who among the celebrities, fashionistas, drag queens, ex-lovers and so-called friends is Chris’s killer?
A noirish whodunnit set in 1980s London, with all the big hair, electro-pop, shoulder pads, police discrimination and lethal killers that the era had to offer.

TAINTED LOVE IS THE FIRST BOOK IN THE SOHO NOIR SERIES OF COZY CRIME NOVELLAS.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I say it often but I will say it again. I am the perfect audience for crime, thriller, mystery, and ghost stories. I am jumpy and I never, ever guess who the killer/culprit is. That is one of the many reasons I really enjoyed reading T. S. Hunters crime novella Tainted Love.

Even though it is a very short novella, Hunter manages to pack an awful lot of mystery and intrigue in the pages. I was constantly guessing whodunit and I can honestly say that I didn’t guess  the outcome – this probably says a lot more about me and why I am not pursuing a career at Scotland Yard.

Amidst the crime element, Hunter uses London – in particular Soho as the setting which almost becomes a character in itself – especially when the next element is juxtaposed with it – that element, the growing LGBT community during the 80s. Furthermore, Hunter explores the prejudices that someone would in that community would face; not just by the everyday person but more worryingly within the emergency services, in particular – the police, who were meant to protect everyone.

So yes, Tainted Love is a crime noir novella but it is so much more than that.

Tainted Love by T. S. Hunter is available now.

For more information regarding T. S. Hunter (@TSHunter5) please visit his Twitter page.

For more information regarding Red Dog Press (@RedDogTweets) please visit www.reddogpress.co.uk

Title: The Final Raven

Author: Finian Black

Pages: 271 Pages

Publisher: CreateSpace

The Blurb

Plague is spreading across modern day Britain. People are dying. Birds are dying. If the ravens at the Tower of London are gone, the kingdom will fall. A handful of children can make a difference. Will love, friendship and belief be enough to stop what seems unstoppable?

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

With so many dystopian YA fiction books flying around I have to say I was genuinely surprised at how unique and wonderfully entertaining Finain Black’s novel The Final Raven was to read.

Set in London with a historical backdrop and a big fat dollop of Arthurian legend to boot, a group of young adults are set with the task of surviving a deadly plague that seems to be taking out the majority of Britain. They don’t know why they seem to be immune to this illness or what is expected of them, they just know that they have been selected to help save society from evil.

The Final Raven is a glorious adventure that kept me hooked to the very last page. I felt compelled to believe in the group of children tasked with saving the world. I whooped with joy and covered my eyes at the more frightening parts but I knew without a doubt that I was reading something rather special.

Finian Black has created a real page turner with the potential to keep me hooked for a whole series.

The Final Raven by Finian Black is available now.

For more information regarding Finian Black (@finianblack) please visit www.finianblack.com.

For more information regarding CreateSpace (@CreateSpace) please visit www.createspace.com.

One Christmas Kiss in Notting HillTitle: One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill

Author: Mandy Baggot

Pages: 448 Pages

Publisher: Penguin/Ebury Publishing/Ebury Press

The Blurb

Curl up by the fire with the ultimate seasonal romance, from the bestselling author Mandy Baggot!

‘I absolutely love Mandy’s books’ Milly Johnson

Imagine the perfect Christmas Kiss…

His strong arms around her waist, her hands on his face, the snow slowly starts to fall…

It’s enough to make Isla Winters cringe! While her sister can’t get enough of this – increasingly common – sight on the streets of London, Isla’s too busy trying to stop Hannah’s wheelchair from slipping on the ice, and making sure she’s not too late to her dream job at Breekers International.

But everything changes with the arrival of Chase Bryan, fresh from the New York office. He’s eager to learn everything about Isla’s beloved Notting Hill, but as the nights get colder, will cosying up to him come at a price?

The Review

There is nothing better than a honest to goodness Christmas romance story and dammit that is what Mandy Baggot has delivered with her brilliant new novel One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill.

Isla works for a company that helps get buildings built. She does this with a good conscience as she tries to get hospitals built and whilst doing that trying to keep the unique fingerprint of London alive but when she gets the chance to work on a new project it seems that a conflict of interest is going to hinder her – and the projects –progress.

Throw into this a 20 year old sister who happens to be in a wheelchair and who desperately wants independence and a hot new boss who Isla is having inappropriate feelings for, she feels like her world is moving too fast and she cannot keep up.

Will this year be Isla’s worst Christmas ever?

I really enjoyed this story and what was brilliant about it is that the character arc came from the secondary protagonist. Isla stayed determinedly herself throughout. She is the heart of the novel and everyone is infected by her Britishness and her sense of history.

One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill was a joy to read and was as much as a lovely romance novel as it was a love letter to a specific area of London.

One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill by Mandy Baggot is available now.

For more information regarding Mandy Baggot (@mandybaggot) please visit www.mandybaggot.com.

For more information regarding Penguin Books UK (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

For more information regarding Ebury Publishing (@EburyPublishing) please visit www.penguinrandomhouse.co.uk/publishers/ebury/.

4 Stars

 

The Lesser BohemiansTitle: The Lesser Bohemians

Author: Eimear McBride

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Crown Publishing/Hogarth

The Blurb

The captivating, daring new novel from Eimear McBride, whose astonishing debut novel, A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, was an international literary phenomenon and earned the author multiple awards and recognition.

Upon arrival in London, an eighteen-year-old Irish girl begins anew as a drama student, with all the hopes of any young actress searching for the fame she’s always dreamed of. She struggles to fit in — she’s young and unexotic; a naive new girl — but soon she forges friendships and finds a place for herself in the big city.

Then she meets an attractive older man. He’s an established actor twenty years her senior, and the inevitable, clamorous relationship that ensues is one that will change her forever.

A redemptive, captivating story of passion and innocence set across the bedsits of mid-nineties London, McBride holds new love under her fierce gaze, giving us all a chance to remember what it’s like to fall hard for another.

The Review

When I first started reading The Lesser Bohemians I didn’t like it. Even as an avid reader, I have never come across this writing style before and I won’t lie to you it got me cross. There were unfinished sentences and thoughts and I will admit I just thought that Eimear McBride was writing in this style to be artsy and different. I found it to be a pretentious style of writing. However, my mama didn’t raise no quitter so I persevered and I am awfully glad that I did.

The overall story is really good. The relationship between the two main characters is developed nicely over time and you can feel the struggles of this bourgeoning relationship because of the age different and life experiences.

Therefore, I liked the story as a whole but the writing style is just not my cup of tea.

The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride is available now.

For more information regarding Eimear McBride please visit www.eimearmcbride.com.

For more information regarding Crown Publishing (@CrownPublishing) please visit www.CrownPublishing.com.

For more information regarding Hogarth Books (@HogarthBooks_UK) please visit www.vintage-books.co.uk.

3 Stars

Title: Paradise City

Author: Elizabeth Day

Pages: 354 Pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury

The Blurb

Beatrice Kizza, a woman fleeing a homeland that condemned her for daring to love, has come to London. There, she shields her sorrow from the indifference of her adopted city, and navigate a night-time world of shift-work and bedsits.

Howard Pink, is a self-made millionaire who has risen from Petticoat Lane to the mansions of Kensington on a tide of determination and bluster. Yet self-doubt still snaps at his heels and his life is shadowed by the terrible loss that has shaken him to his foundations.

Carol Hetherington, recently widowed, is living the quiet life in Wandsworth with her cat and The Jeremy Kyle Show for company. As she frets over her daughter’s prospects and tries to come to terms with the absence her husband has left on the other side of the bed, she wonders if she’ll ever be happy again.

Emse Reade, is a young journalist learning to muck-rake and doorstep in pursuit of the elusive scoop, even as she longs to find some greater meaning and leave her imprint on the world.

Four strangers, each inhabitants of the same city, where the gulf between those who have too much and those who will never have enough is impossibly vast. But when the glass that separates Howard’s and Beatrice’s worlds is shattered by an inexcusable act, they discover that the capital has connected them in ways they could never have imagined.

The Review

I am a sucker for a beautiful cover and when I saw the cover for Paradise City I wanted to buy it and much like most of my book purchases I put it on the bookshelf (where admittedly it did look pretty) where it festered for a year and a half. I recently picked it up and was thoroughly transported into modern day London and surrounded by scandal.

If I am totally honest it did take me a few chapters to really get into Paradise City. I wasn’t instantly enamoured but the more I read on the more intrigued I became about the lives of these four characters and what I really enjoyed was watching and waiting to see how their lives interwove and interlocked.

When all that became a bit clearer I did genuinely find it hard to put down.

Paradise City is a really good mystery set amongst modern day people dealing with contentious issues in the nation’s capital. It definitely justifies my book buying investment.

Paradise City by Elizabeth Day is available now.

For more information regarding Elizabeth Day (@elizabday) please visit www.elizabethdayonline.co.uk.

For more information regarding Bloomsbury (@) please visit www.bloomsbury.com.

35 Stars