The Chosen Ones by Howard Linskey | Blog Tour Extract

 

Published by Penguin (14 June 2018)

Available in ebook and paperback

416 pages



It’s always an honour to open a blog tour, especially on publication day and congratulations to Howard Linskey for publication TODAY of The Chosen Ones.  This looks a superb read and is definitely on my wishlist.  For my turn today, I have an extract to share. My thanks to Sriya at Penguin for the tour invitation.

 

EXTRACT

Chapter One

1997

When Eva woke, imprisoned in a large metal box, the one thing that terrified her more than the prospect of her cap- tor returning was the thought that he might not. Then she would be trapped here for good, or at least until she ran out of the things she needed most: food, water, air.

Oh my God, how long would that take? She didn’t want to die like this. She didn’t want to die at all. She had to stifle the over- whelming feeling of panic and face the reality of her situation. As her eyes became accustomed to the gloom she realized she was in a container of some sort, with thick corrugated- metal sides, floor and roof. She felt dizzy and tried to focus on her surroundings so she could clear her head and begin to understand what might have happened to her.

She was lying on a cheap camp bed with no memory of how she had got there. The only light came from a single battery-operated lamp set upon a packing case that acted as a makeshift bedside table. She felt incredibly weak and had a splitting headache which added to her conviction that she must have been drugged somehow. Had some- one put something in her drink, or did something happen after she had left the pub? She couldn’t remember.

How had she got here? Who had trapped her in this airless metal prison, no bigger than her bedroom at home?

Then there were the unfamiliar clothes. She hadn’t been wearing them before. Her dress was gone. In its place there was a thick, dark-blue sweatshirt that was a little too big for her, its cuffs riding down over her hands, and a pair of loose tracksuit bottoms. Eva didn’t remember removing her dress voluntarily, or putting these other items on. Someone had stripped her then dressed her, but she must have been unconscious while it happened. She was still wearing the same underwear, minus her bra. The thought made her feel physically sick.

In her fear, Eva’s hand gripped the side of the bed. The mattress sagged in the middle where it had once been folded for storage. It smelt new, as if it had been bought with her in mind – that was another chilling realization.

The metal box was a rectangular shape and around twenty feet long and eight wide, with a door in the far wall. There was barely enough room to stand up. Eva tried to do just that but rose too quickly and her legs immediately buckled and she fell back on to the side of the bed, slipped off and landed heavily on the cold, hard floor. She managed to crawl towards the door, fighting the effects of the drug she was sure she must have been given. Once there, she struggled to pull herself to her feet. When she was finally upright, she tugged on the door then pushed at it. Even in her weakened state, she could tell it was stuck fast, locked from the outside.

She returned to the bed, feeling as if her legs were about to give way again at any moment, and allowed her- self to fall back on to it. Then she tried hard to remember what had happened to her, and fragments of the previous evening slowly came back to her.

She had been in the pub with the girls. She didn’t think she had been all that drunk. Eva had a flash of recollection: the girls laughing together about something someone had said, then, later, they were leaving, some on to a club, but Eva couldn’t go with them because she was meant to be at work the next day. Would her colleagues at the gym have missed her and reported her missing, or would they just have assumed she had overslept or felt ill? Was anyone looking for her?

She recalled almost falling over in the street outside the pub because one of her heels broke suddenly, and that she had to go barefoot, making her way gingerly along the pavement.

What had happened after that? Her memory of the evening seemed to end with her standing alone in a street down by the quayside. She recalled walking away from a taxi rank because the queue was absurdly long; it could take an hour to reach the front. She’d been put off by the raised voices and the pushing in she’d witnessed, the kind of behaviour that always seemed to cause a fight. But, after she had made her decision to turn away, what then?

Rain.

Rain? She had a memory of rain, hard and unrelenting, with large drops falling and drenching her. She had worn no coat that night. It had been a sudden and malicious downpour that soaked her auburn hair and drenched her dress until it clung to her. It was so heavy people were running to take shelter, but Eva was barefoot and the ground was cold, wet and slippery. She couldn’t remember anything more after that.

Had she been snatched in the street? Had she gone with someone willingly? She couldn’t imagine she would ever do that unless it was somebody she knew, but had the combination of the downpour and a couple of drinks made her careless? Would she have accepted a lift from a stranger? It seemed unlikely.

The panic began to rise again in her, along with a clawing sense of despair. Eva had almost reached breaking point when she noticed something scraped on the wall near the foot of the bed: white marks, lots of them ‒ and she thought she understood what they were.

She reached for the handle of the lamp and scrambled down to the foot of the bed, holding her face close and the lamp closer, so she could be sure. Scratched into the metal wall of the box were a large number of little white lines. Four verticals and a diagonal over them, to indicate the number five.

Five days.

Someone had been keeping track of the days, somebody who had been held prisoner here before Eva. Each clump of lines represented five days, and there were many, filling a large space that ran down to the floor of the box then ending abruptly. Eva began to scream then.

Inside the box, her screams came loud and shrill and they went on and on, with a force powered by blind terror. Outside, they were muffled by the thick walls of her metal prison. No one could hear.

 

|   About the Book   |

 

Eva Dunbar wakes in a large metal box.

She has no idea who has taken her.

She has no way out.

She isn’t the first young woman to disappear.

And with no leads Detective Ian Bradshaw has precious little time.

When at last a body is found, the police hope the tragic discovery might at least provide a clue that will help them finally find the kidnapper.

But then they identify the body – and realise the case is more twisted than they ever imagined . . .

 

 

 

|   Author Bio   |

‘The Chosen Ones’ is the fourth book in a north-east, crime fiction series written by Howard Linskey for Penguin Random House, featuring journalists Tom Carney & Helen Norton with police detective Ian Bradshaw. The other titles in this series are ‘The Search’ ‘No Name Lane’ and ‘Behind Dead Eyes’. He is also the author of ‘Hunting the Hangman’ a historical thriller about the assassination of Nazi General Reinhard Heydrich in Prague during WW2.

His David Blake trilogy ‘The Drop’, ‘The Damage’ & ‘The Dead’ have been optioned for TV by Harry Potter producer, David Barron. They are published in the UK by No Exit Press, in Germany by Droemer Knaur and in the US by Harper Collins. The Times newspaper voted ‘The Drop’ one of its Top Five Thrillers of the Year and ‘The Damage’ one of its Top Summer Reads. Both books broke into the top five Amazon Kindle chart.

‘The Search’ was featured on CBS Reality true crime TV series ‘Written In Blood’ . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRFJ0txCYvQ

Originally from Ferryhill in County Durham, he now lives in Herts with his wife Alison and daughter Erin

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Love Will Tear Us Apart by Holly Seddon | Book Review | Blog Tour

 

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Atlantic Books; Main edition (7 Jun. 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1786490528
ISBN-13: 978-1786490520

Source: Copy for review from the publisher



Welcome to my turn on the blog tour for Love Will Tear Us Apart, available to buy in ebook and hardback.  My thanks to Corvus for the copy of the book to review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the tour invitation.

 

|   About the Book   |

 

Sometimes a promise becomes a prison.

Fearing eternal singledom, childhood friends Kate and Paul make the age-old vow that if they don’t find love by thirty, they will marry each other.

Years later, with the deadline of their 30th birthdays approaching, the unlikely couple decide to keep their teenage promise. After all, they are such good friends. Surely that’s enough to make a marriage?

Now, on the eve of their 10th wedding anniversary, they will discover that love between men and women is more complex, and more precarious, than they could ever have imagined. As Kate struggles with a secret that reaches far into their past, will the couple’s vow become the very thing that threatens their future?

Love Will Tear Us Apart is a moving and heart-breaking exploration of modern love and friendship, from the bestselling author of Try Not to Breathe

 

|    My Thoughts   |

 

Kate and Paul have been best friends since childhood, first meeting when they were 8 years old. Their backgrounds were completely different – Kate had wealthy parents, went to a private school and lived in a large house whilst Paul’s home life was much more modest . He did however have one thing that Kate didn’t have – and that is parents who cared and who took an interest; Kate’s parent’s being both absent emotionally and physically much of the time.

The story of Kate and Paul goes back and forth, from the 1980’s until 2012, the 10th anniversary of their marriage. They each have had their career highlights and setbacks, love and life disappointments and at times they were not even in touch but that long held friendship between them was always there.

This is a quite a slow paced story but it needs to be because we have to get to know these two characters fully to appreciate how they came to be together. I must admit I found it hard to warm to Kate – she was very ambitious but also had a jealous and sometimes cruel nature which didn’t endear me to her, although possibly her background contributed to this. Paul was more laid back and had a more caring and thoughtful personality; he was much easier to engage with, even if at times I wanted to shake him to get him out of his inertia.

Holly Seddon has written a moving and tender story of two people, trying to deal with all the things that life throws at you – death, grief, job losses, family issues, the fluctuating friendships and enduring relationships that form our lives. Their characters were complex; despite their closeness, they often seemed to be emotionally distant from each other and there were times when I did wonder why, despite their vow, they actually got married at all, as there were times that they didn’t seem to like each other very much.

As for the ‘secret’, this was mentioned quite a lot throughout the book, I did guess at what it could be (I was wrong, by the way!) and perhaps it’s just me expecting something more dramatic here (given that the author’s previous books were psychological thrillers), but I felt a bit underwhelmed by it when it was finally revealed. It did however add an even greater insight into their marriage and their feelings. Kate and Paul may have known each other for most of their lives but does it mean that they really ‘knew’ each other?

This was a departure from the author’s previous genre and although I may have been expecting something a little different, it worked extremely well. She writes beautifully, the characters were well formed, even those on the periphery (I’m thinking of Paul’s mum Viv here especially, one of my favourite characters) and I loved the nostalgic references to the 1980’s that were scattered here and there.  I enjoyed it and would recommend it.

 

 

 

|   Author Bio   |

Holly Seddon is a full time writer, living slap bang in the middle of Amsterdam with her husband James and a house full of children and pets. Holly has written for newspapers, websites and magazines since her early 20s after growing up in the English countryside, obsessed with music and books.

Her first novel TRY NOT TO BREATHE was published worldwide in 2016 and became a national and international bestseller.

Her second novel DON’T CLOSE YOUR EYES was published in July 2017.

 

 

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The Paradise Trees | Guest Post | Location Yorkshire? by Linda Huber (@LindaHuber19)

 

Published by Fabrian Books (5 June 2018)

231 pages



It’s a pleasure to welcome to the blog, Linda Huber, with a guest post about the setting of The Paradise Trees, recently republished.

 

Location: Yorkshire?

by Linda Huber

When I was about ten, my uncle’s family relocated to Yorkshire, and I began a series of visits to a part of England I’d never been to before. Having lived in Glasgow all my life, I was immediately struck by the greenness of the dales, miles of fields and moorland speckled with groups of darker trees and little woods. One of my favourite places was the Cow and Calf rocks near Ilkley – a breezy place with lovely views over the surrounding countryside.

It was this countryside that came to mind when I was planning The Paradise Trees. What I needed was somewhere with little villages dotted around, and yet also an area with easy connections to a larger town or city. Yorkshire was perfect for this, and I set the book in the fictional village of Lower Banford, with Middle and Upper Banford just along the road, and York a short bus ride away.

In The Paradise Trees, Alicia and her eight-year-old daughter Jenny spend the summer in Alicia’s childhood home, while she arranges end-of-life care for her father. The house is old, one of those places that time seems to have stopped dead in about fifty years ago. I modelled the house on one I visited once as a student in Scotland, on the Kintyre peninsula – an old, old cottage belonging to a friend’s elderly aunt. I remembered the collection of dusty china birds there, the grandfather clock tick-tocking in the hallway, the general air of dimness caused by dark wooden furniture and faded wallpaper. Into my book they all went.

I needed woods, too, at the bottom of the garden, for Jenny to play in. Woods were no problem. We have the perfect ones right here in north-east Switzerland. When I was writing the book we lived about five minutes away (and since then we’ve moved to not much more than five metres away) so it was a matter of minutes before I was walking under the trees, dappled sunshine flickering down on me as I imagined Jenny playing there with Conker the dog, and Alicia calling them home from the garden.

Location is important in a book. I never write about a place I haven’t been to, although I often – as I did in The Paradise Trees – make the immediate story location a fictional place. This means I’m free to create a village especially for my story, without the danger that someone objects later if I place the village shop opposite the library instead of behind the school where it is in real life. And so on. But when you know the area you’re writing about, when you’ve felt the wind in your hair there, the story comes alive in a different way.

 

So where is The Paradise Trees set? In Yorkshire – with a little bit of Scotland and a little bit of Switzerland thrown in… And they’re all places I love.

 

|   About the Book   |

 

He had found exactly the right spot in the woods. A little clearing, green and dim, encircled by tall trees. He would bring his lovely Helen here… This time, it was going to be perfect.

When Alicia Bryson returns to her childhood home in a tiny Yorkshire village, she finds her estranged father frail and unable to care for himself. Her daughter Jenny is delighted at the prospect of a whole summer playing in the woods at the bottom of the garden, but as soon as Alicia sets foot in Lower Banford, strange and disturbing memories begin to plague her. What happened in her father’s house, all those years ago?

But coping with the uncertainty and arranging Bob’s care plan aren’t Alicia’s only problems. Unknown to her, she has a stalker. Someone is watching, waiting, making plans of his own. To him, Alicia and Jenny are his beautiful Helens… and they should be in Paradise.

 

|   Author Bio   |

Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. Currently she teaches one day a week, and writes psychological suspense novels and feel-good novellas with (a lot of) the rest of her time.
Her writing career began in the nineties, when she had over fifty short stories published in women’s magazines. Several years later, she turned to psychological suspense fiction, and her seventh novel, Death Wish, was published by Bloodhound Books in August 2017.
Linda’s latest project is a series of feel-good novellas, set on the banks of Lake Constance and just minutes from her home in north-east Switzerland. She really appreciates having the views enjoyed by her characters right on her own doorstep!

 

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Body Heat by Candy Denman | Blog Tour Extract

Paperback: 262 pages
Publisher: Crime Scene Books (24 May 2018)
ISBN-10: 0993381596
ISBN-13: 978-0993381591



My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part in the blog tour for Body Heat, the second book in the Jocasta Hughes series.  For my turn I have an extract to share which looks decidedly gruesome – just my sort of read!!

 

|   About the Book   |

Dr Jocasta Hughes is faced with a gruesome series of murders which leave the remains of the victims twisted and charred. The hunt heats up for the arsonist, and so does Jo’s relationship with the exasperating DI Miller. A chilling mystery with lead characters you want to spend more time with, and a murderer you definitely want to avoid.

 

EXTRACT

Prologue

He was driving carefully, making sure he didn’t attract attention, although he hardly saw another car once he had left the town. He had driven this route several times in preparation, knew all the bends and dips, the houses and driveways, every potential threat. What he hadn’t accounted for was the excitement and tension of doing it for real and the effect of all that extra adrenalin. He thought he was driving exactly as he had in the practice runs, but in fact he was driving considerably faster, a little too fast for a corner that came up sooner than he had expected. He braked hard, and panicked as the rear wheels drifted and hit the grass verge. He overcorrected and the car lurched onto the wrong side of the road, throwing his passenger from side to side as he struggled to straighten up and regain control. He was lucky the road ahead was empty. He pulled over to the side of the road and rested his head against the steering wheel, waiting for his heart rate to come down to something near normal. He couldn’t afford to have an accident. Not now. He took a deep breath to calm himself and then turned to check that she was all right. He had taken care to strap her in with the seat belt when he put her in the car, even though she wouldn’t sit up straight to help him. Couldn’t. She looked fine, slumped in her seat, her head lolling to one side, seemingly asleep. She mumbled something incoherent, but he felt her tone was critical. Bitch.

‘Sorry,’ he said as he looked at her with disgust. She gave a little smile that could have been a grimace, or wind, and mumbled again. He thought it might have been:

‘S’okay.’

That was better, he thought, more respectful. She looked as if she might be sick. He hoped not. He hated the smell of vomit, and he didn’t want her to spoil the moment. If she only knew what he had planned for her. He smiled to himself, feeling instantly better as he thought about what lay ahead, excitement building in his gut again. He started to drive, but more carefully this time. Slow and steady.

At last he pulled into a deserted parking area. It was ideal, remote and surrounded by trees. He had chosen well, he thought with satisfaction. He opened his window and the fresh air seemed to rouse her a little. She blinked, trying to work out where she was, and then noticed her skirt had ridden up slightly leaving her lacy panties on show. She giggled at the sight. The whore.

‘Just getting a rug out of the boot,’ he explained as he got out of the car. ‘Don’t want you getting cold.’ He smiled to himself at the irony, then quickly checked she hadn’t noticed. But she was too busy pulling her skirt down, trying to make herself look respectable again, to worry about what he was doing.

He hurried to get everything out of the boot. The folding bike was awkward to handle. It caught on the lip of the boot and he had to wrench it clear. He stopped, listening in case she realised what was going on, and he heard her try and open her door. He needn’t have worried. In her befuddled state it took her a while to realise that she couldn’t. She didn’t seem to understand why it wouldn’t open and kept trying. He smiled. He had plenty of time. He carried the bike to the edge of the trees and returned for the rest of his equipment.

She stopped banging the door against the post as she saw him return to the driver’s window.

‘Can’t get out,’ she said, voice slurred with drink and drugs. ‘Don’t feel well.’ She started to climb towards the driver’s side, but her tight skirt made movement difficult and it took her a moment to understand what she had seen in his hand. A petrol can. She looked up at him, puzzled, just as he started to splash the liquid inside the car, and over her.

‘What the fuck?’ she shouted, trying to shield herself from the petrol with her hands, suddenly sober. But it was a futile attempt to stop the inevitable, and he didn’t bother to answer her, just emptied the can and threw it behind him, towards the trees where he had left the bike. He took out a book of matches, tearing one off, lighting it and then using this match to light the rest of them. He threw the flaming matchbook into the car quickly, before it burnt his hand, grabbing the petrol can as he scurried back. Fast. He didn’t want to get caught out by being too close, but he didn’t want to move too far either, he wanted to see. He wanted to see her burn. He wanted to see her punished for her sins.
It took a moment for her to realise what had happened. What was happening. The first flames danced, prettily, and she tried to pat them, put them out with her petrol soaked hands. He almost laughed out loud as she waved her burning hands in the air, hoping the wind would douse the flames. Panicking now, she tried her door again and then started to climb across to the driver’s side, through the flames. She was shouting something, but he couldn’t hear her over the roar in his ears. Was it the roar of the fire taking hold or excitement? He thought she might have been shouting for help, but he couldn’t be sure.

Her hair was on fire now, her carefully styled and coloured hair was crackling and burning, leaving nothing but a blackened, blistered scalp, and she hadn’t even got across to the driver’s side yet. There was a sudden whoosh as the back windows blew out. Despite moving away from the car fast, he felt the rush of hot air on his face, not enough to burn or scald him, but a warning that he was too close. He would remember that in future. When he did this again. It was a shame, but he needed to keep his distance. He wouldn’t want to have to explain away any injuries later.

As he backed away from the car, dragging the bike and picking up the discarded petrol can, he watched as her attempts to escape grew less. He unfolded the bike and put the can in a plastic bag, stowing it safely in the back pannier. Her hands, already like claws, were still moving in a futile attempt to put the flames out, a scream frozen on her open mouth, her skin charring before her vaporizing eyeballs. And then she stopped. There was a pause as the fire really took hold, followed by an explosion as the petrol tank blew. Not as dramatic as in the films, but satisfying all the same. Was she dead before the petrol tank exploded? He would never know, but he hoped not. He took one last look, to make sure he had left nothing behind before pedalling away, burning leaves floating down around him, as he smiled at a job well done.

 

 

|   Author Bio   |

Candy Denman is a Crime and TV script writer of programmes such as The Bill, Heartbeat and Doctors. Author of the Dr Jocasta Hughes crime series set in Hastings.

 

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The Guernsey Novels by Anne Allen | The Betrayal Book Review | Culinary Delights Blog Tour Post | #Win a 2 night Guernsey break

My thanks to The Globeflower Agency for the blog tour invitation for The Guernsey Novels.  Anne Allen has appeared on the blog a couple of times with a guest post and I was delighted to take part in the tour. I have a review of one the novels, The Betrayal, and there is also the chance to win a 2 night break in Guernsey – for entry details, please see below but first here’s a few tempting Guernsey culinary delights!

 

The Guernsey Novels Culinary Delights

The author Anne Allen frequently features food in her beautifully written book series The Guernsey Novels. She describes mouth-watering food which makes you crave the delicious and authentic cuisine she weaves throughout her fascinating stories.

“Food and drink is the cornerstone of the social life in Guernsey. People eat out a lot and there’s a wonderful choice of cafes, bars, bistros, and restaurants to choose from,” says Anne.

In her first novel Dangerous Waters, the protagonist Jeanne writes a book about the recipes belonging to her late grandmother, which are a delicious mix of French and Guernsey cuisine. Jeanne teams up with a chef on the island to recreate many of the traditional recipes passed down by her beloved grandmother.

Anne Allen is a firm believer in conducting thorough research for her novels and researched 19th century haute cuisine for her debut novel. In addition to research, Anne has personal knowledge and experience of Guernsey’s food culture as she lived on the island for over fourteen years. She thoroughly enjoyed sampling local produce and dining out with family and friends.

“We enjoyed eating Guernsey’s local produce including the delicacy ormers, which are similar to oysters but fried before eating. They have a limited season and people go out and dive for them.”

“I also purchased fresh produce and flowers using the ‘Hedge Veg’ schemes on the side of the road.”

The Guernsey Novels feature real places including restaurants and cafes throughout the stories. You can view the listed locations and the literary book trails within Anne’s books via the fabulous The Book Trail website.

Talking about the island’s culinary experiences, Anne state “My favourite restaurant is Da Nello, in the Pollet. It is a wonderful Italian restaurant which has a unique ambience as well as good food. We usually visit for birthdays and other celebrations.”

“I also adore Hotel Ziggurat’s delicious food and you can enter my prize draw for the opportunity to win a two-night stay at Ziggurat in Guernsey.”

Anne has featured many of Guernsey’s restaurants in her novels including:

Da Nello
L’ Auberge
Christies
Crabby Jacks
Le Nautique
Sawatdi
The Imperial
St Pierre Park
Old Government House
Bella Luce
Le Barberie
Dix-Neuf
Marina Restaurant
Taste of India
Doghouse

 

 |    The Betrayal – About the Book   |

Source: My own purchased copy

Book Six of The Guernsey Novels is another dual-time story set during the German Occupation and present-day Guernsey and is likely to appeal particularly to fans of the book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Treachery and theft lead to death – and love

1940. Teresa Bichard and her baby are sent by her beloved husband, Leo, to England as the Germans draw closer to Guernsey. Days later they invade…

1942. Leo, of Jewish descent, is betrayed to the Germans and is sent to a concentration camp, never to return.

1945. Teresa returns to find Leo did not survive and the family’s valuable art collection, including a Renoir, is missing. Heartbroken, she returns to England.

2011. Nigel and his twin Fiona, buy a long-established antique shop in Guernsey and during a refit, find a hidden stash of paintings, including what appears to be a Renoir. Days later, Fiona finds Nigel dead, an apparent suicide. Refusing to accept the verdict, a distraught Fiona employs a detective to help her discover the truth…

Searching for the rightful owner of the painting brings Fiona close to someone who opens a chink in her broken heart. Can she answer some crucial questions before laying her brother’s ghost to rest?

Who betrayed Leo?

Who knew about the stolen Renoir?

And are they prepared to kill – again?

 

|   My Thoughts   |

 

The Betrayal is book number 6 in the Guernsey Novels series and although I’ve not read any of the others except for book number 2 ‘Finding Mother’ (reviewed here), please don’t be put off by the word ‘series’. The Betrayal can quite easily be read as a standalone without any loss of enjoyment.

I love a dual time novel, particularly if the setting is WW2 and purchased this book last year. Being invited on to the tour seemed an ideal opportunity to bump it up the reading mountain.

The story begins in 1940 with the island of Guernsey being threatened by German occupation. Antiques dealer Leo Bichard reluctantly sends his wife and young daughter to England to safety and stays on the island to try to keep the business running and look after their home.

In 2011, twins Nigel and Fiona Torode buy an antiques shop on the island and during renovations, discover some items hidden in the basement including what is thought to be a valuable painting by Renoir. The twins know the island well, it was their family home and although it is really Nigel who wants the business, Fiona puts her own career on hold to help him. Unfortunately it seems that someone else also knows about the hidden items and before long tragedy strikes. Fiona doesn’t accept the official version of her brother’s death and decides to conduct her own investigations. This is where the real story begins and the two timelines are woven together.

Anne Allen superbly weaves the story between the two time frames and keeps the anticipation going by ending each chapter on a cliffhanger so you just HAVE to read on! Her love and knowledge of Guernsey clearly shines though with enticing and detailed descriptions of the locations. I’ve been to the island twice, both times only for a very brief visit but now I really want to go again for a longer stay!

I thoroughly enjoyed The Betrayal and found it an intriguing and engrossing read; it hit the mark on several levels for me. I loved the historical element – Leo’s betrayal was poignant and saddening and the difficulties faced by the islanders during the occupation, including rationing and curtailment of everyday life felt authentic and well researched.

The latter day part of the story involving Fiona and the investigation into what really happened to her brother had a suspenseful feel with a very menacing undertone. Fiona’s feelings of loss and grief for her brother came across clearly as did her determination to get justice for Nigel. There was even a touch of romance which added to the enjoyment and made the characters even more engaging.

A recommended read.

 

Win a two-night break

courtesy of The Guernsey Novels by Anne Allen

Would you like to visit gorgeous Guernsey? Well, here is your chance to win a two-night trip to this beautiful island, courtesy of Anne Allen, author of the riveting book series, The Guernsey Novels.

The Guernsey Novels

Anne Allen’s fascinating book series, The Guernsey Novels, comprises six standalone novels. All the stories in her novel series, take place predominantly on the island of Guernsey and are linked by characters popping up from one book to another.

They provide an ongoing story of a ‘village’ spread, so far, over 6 years. Each book is standalone with fresh new lead characters with their own links to the German Occupation during World War 2, having an impact on the present.

The Guernsey Novels are a mix of mystery, family drama, and love story and influenced by the author’s love of the island where she spent many happy years. Guernsey itself is always a main character in the books, offering a gorgeous backdrop to all the sorrows, joys and tragedies she describes.

The Guernsey Novels are available from all leading bookstores:

Book #1 Dangerous Waters

Book #2 Finding Mother

Book #3 Guernsey Retreat

Book #4 The Family Divided

Book #5 Echoes of Time

Book #6 The Betrayal

About the Author Anne Allen

Anne Allen, author of The Guernsey Novels

Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. She was born in Rugby, to an English mother and Welsh father. As a result she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea.

Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.

By profession Anne was a psychotherapist but has long had creative ‘itches’, learning to mosaic, paint furniture, interior design and sculpt. At the back of her mind the itch to write was always present but seemed too time-consuming for a single mum with a need to earn a living. Now retired from the ‘day job’, there’s more time to write and Anne has now published six books in The Guernsey Novels series. She will be publishing her seventh novel later in the year.

To find out more about Anne visit her website: you can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Enter the prize draw to win a two-night break at Hotel Ziggurat in Guernsey

Enter The Guernsey Novels Prize Draw

Read more details about the prize draw, including the Terms and Conditions on Anne Allen’s Website

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