Favorite Thriller/Mystery Books: The First Half Of 2019

Okay so this is exactly the same as the Scifi and fantasy lists, but with Mystery and Thrilers lol, I know, I know, I’m a creative genius. So this only includes books that I’d read up until June, so some may have come out earlier but I didn’t read them cause I was lazy or whatever, who knows.

[Reminder: These are 2019 releases only. At the end of the year I’ll compile lists of my overall favorites, no matter the year of publication]

These aren’t in any particular order than rating, and sometimes I enjoy a book that has a lower rating, idk, my rating system is very complicated. [ie: I don’t really know what I’m doing]

Clicking on the headline will take you to my review, and I’ve included GoodReads links!

 

6. Black Water

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GoodReads:
I killed the boy…
Jig loves football and his dog, hates school, misses his granda and knows to lie low when his ma’s blitzed on the vodka and tablets.
He’s just an ordinary boy on the mean streets alongside Dublin’s Grand Canal. Streets that are ruled by Ghost and his crew. And now Ghost- inked, vicious, unprincipled- has a job for Jig.
A job that no one can afford to go wrong- not the gangs, the police, the locals, and least of all not Jig.

 

 

5. In Search Of A Witch’s Soul

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GoodReads:
Human, private detective Anna Caill isn’t keen on the prohibition of magic enacted by the 18th Amendment, but she won’t deny it’s good for business. The coppers couldn’t care less about the witches’ problems, giving her any number of clients to choose from.
When mysterious witch Jesse Hunt saunters into her office, he and his case will test her limits. While a killer stalks the magical underworld, Anna is hired to find Jesse’s friend, the high priest of an ancient coven.
As her case unravels, Anna is forced to confront her addiction to a dark spell in this urban fantasy noir.

 

 

4. The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone

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GoodReads:
‘We lost all three girls that summer. Let them slip away like the words of some half-remembered song and when one came back, she wasn’t the one we were trying to recall to begin with.’
So begins Tikka Molloy’s recount of the summer of 1992 – the summer the Van Apfel sisters, Hannah, the beautiful Cordelia and Ruth – disappear.
Eleven and one-sixth years old, Tikka is the precocious narrator of this fabulously endearing coming-of-age story, set in an eerie Australian river valley suburb with an unexplained stench. The Van Apfel girls vanish from the valley during the school’s ‘Showstopper’ concert, held at the outdoor amphitheatre by the river. While the search for the sisters unites the small community on Sydney’s urban fringe, the mystery of their disappearance remains unsolved forever.
Brilliantly observed, sharp, lively, funny and entirely endearing, this novel is part mystery, part coming-of-age story – and quintessentially Australian. Think ‘The Virgin Suicides’ meets ‘Jasper Jones’ meets ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’

 

 

3. Without Out A Trace

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GoodReads:
Lily’s gone.
Someone took her.
Unless she was she never there…
A little girl has gone missing.
Lily was last seen being tucked into bed by her adoring mother, Nova. But the next morning, the bed is empty except for a creepy toy rabbit.
Has Nova’s abusive ex stolen his “little bunny” back for good?
At first, Officer Ellie James assumes this is a clear custody battle. Until she discovers that there are no pictures of the girl and her drawers are full of unused toys and brand new clothes that have never been worn…
Is Ellie searching for a missing child who doesn’t actually exist?

 

 

2. The Favorite Daughter

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GoodReads:
From the author of the page-turning domestic suspense Best Day Ever, comes another gripping novel of psychological suspense set in an upscale Southern California community, for fans of B.A. Paris and Shari Lapena.
The perfect home. The perfect family. The perfect lie.
Jane Harris lives in a sparkling home in an oceanfront gated community in Orange County. It’s a place that seems too beautiful to be touched by sadness. But exactly one year ago, Jane’s oldest daughter, Mary, died in a tragic accident and Jane has been grief-stricken ever since. Lost in a haze of anti-depressants, she’s barely even left the house. Now that’s all about to change.
It’s time for Jane to reclaim her life and her family. Jane’s husband, David, has planned a memorial service for Mary and three days later, their youngest daughter, Betsy, graduates high school. Yet as Jane reemerges into the world, it’s clear her family has changed without her. Her husband has been working long days—and nights—at the office. Her daughter seems distant, even secretive. And her beloved Mary was always such a good girl—dutiful and loving. But does someone know more about Mary, and about her last day, than they’ve revealed?
The bonds between mothers and daughters, and husbands and wives should never be broken. But you never know how far someone will go to keep a family together…

 

 

1. Miracle Creek

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GoodReads:
The “gripping… page-turner” (Time) hitting all the best of summer reading lists, Miracle Creek is perfect for book clubs and fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng
How far will you go to protect your family? Will you keep their secrets? Ignore their lies?
In a small town in Virginia, a group of people know each other because they’re part of a special treatment center, a hyperbaric chamber that may cure a range of conditions from infertility to autism. But then the chamber explodes, two people die, and it’s clear the explosion wasn’t an accident.
A powerful showdown unfolds as the story moves across characters who are all maybe keeping secrets, hiding betrayals. Chapter by chapter, we shift alliances and gather evidence: Was it the careless mother of a patient? Was it the owners, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? Could it have been a protester, trying to prove the treatment isn’t safe?
“A stunning debut about parents, children and the unwavering hope of a better life, even when all hope seems lost” (Washington Post), Miracle Creek uncovers the worst prejudice and best intentions, tense rivalries and the challenges of parenting a child with special needs. It’s “a quick-paced murder mystery that plumbs the power and perils of community” (O Magazine) as it carefully pieces together the tense atmosphere of a courtroom drama and the complexities of life as an immigrant family. Drawing on the author’s own experiences as a Korean-American, former trial lawyer, and mother of a “miracle submarine” patient, this is a novel steeped in suspense and igniting discussion. Recommended by Erin Morgenstern, Jean Kwok, Jennifer Weiner, Scott Turow, Laura Lippman, and more– Miracle Creek is a brave, moving debut from an unforgettable new voice.

 

[To be honest, Miracle Creek will probably be my ultimately favorite mystery/courtroom drama read of 2019, so, putting it at number one was no coincidence on this list lol.]

 

What are some of your mystery/thriller faves of 2019 so far? Anything you recommend?

 

Kingdom of Souls eARC Review

 

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GoodReads:
Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay.

Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.

There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.

She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US 
[Affiliated Links: You will not be charged, I will receive a bit of money if you use my link to purchase]

My Review

This is hands down one of the best YA fantasy books I have EVER read. Barron’s writing is superb, her worldbuilding engaging and the pacing was perfect. Honestly, there is little to no complaint out of me other than I wanted more haha [and let’s face it, that’s a pretty common complaint from me].

The magic system is out of this world, I mean, it’s not born or earned, it’s given and it’s not even necessarily a good thing depending on the situation. Though in Arrah’s case, it’s something she wants and yearns for. Still, it’s such a great change of pace to the things we’ve gotten used to seeing in magic systems.

Arrah is such a wonderful protagonist and the side characters are so easy to love [or hate depending on which side of the plot they’re on] and I think I could never get enough of the relationship between Arrah and her Father. So often we find not enough positive parental relationships in YA but Barron gives you the good and the bad and Arrah’s father and grandmother are two of my ultimate favorite characters in this book.

I really want to focus on Arrah and her Father though. There is not enough YA with healthy parental relationships, like not even anything outstanding, just HEALTHY. So the fact that Barron used this as an opportunity to show both sides of parental relationships the amazing on both ends of the spectrum, speaks VOLUMES. Arrah and her Father are close, there is a deep sense of trust and love and the affection is so blatant from her father that it made me teary-eyed several times. His love is what I hope Fathers show their children more often than not and it’s a great balance to strike against the relationship Arrah has with her Mother. [Who still loves her in her very misguided way]

There is so much love in this book, between friends, including Rudjek, between Arrah and her father, and her grandmother, and it makes all the difference when you read this story.

Arrah’s strength is in her love for those close to her, and she comes to realize that it’s a strength, that even if she hadn’t been gifted magic like those around her, she still has something to fight for and the spirit to do so. Not to mention there are some great twists and crazy obstacles that she faces.

If you want lore that’s drenched in the wonders of different African-inspired tribes and cultures with a kickass magic system, heartache, love, and perseverance, well, I present Kingdom of Souls.

** I preordered this in February, and I even was lucky enough to get the Goldsboro edition, but for this review, I used the eARC that HarperVoyager UK gifted me, via NetGalley **

[I could sincerely gush about this all day and feel so lucky to have had a chance to read an eARC of it….But…if you have a physical ARC and wanna talk trades or something, hit me up, please, that is high on my wishlist lol.]

 

About the Author

Rena Barron grew up in small-town Alabama where stories of magic and adventure sparked her imagination. After penning her first awful poem in middle school, she graduated to writing short stories and novels by high school. Rena loves all things science fiction, ghosts, and superheroes. She’s a self-proclaimed space nerd. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading or brushing up on her French.

Author Links

Website| GoodReads | Twitter | Instagram

Kingdom of Souls Site

^^ This site is AMAZING and has so many cool extras ^^

A House of Rage and Sorrow eARC Review

Hey everyone! So, after recovering from the heartbreak of reading A House of Rage and Sorrow, I figured I would bring a review since it’s finally hit the shelves!

If you haven’t read the first book in this, The Celestial Trilogy, I’ve provided a review of that for you as well.

If you’ve read it already and don’t want to hear me fangirl scream about it, well, then, keep scrolling down past it to hear me fangirl about the second book.

This is also my first time using my affiliate links, so please note that they are used in this post, but they run no cost to you, simply makes me a happy caffeine riddled reader if you purchase a book using my link.

Also, Kal is completely to blame for me reading these, her amazing review of A Spark of White Fire made me buy the book and then I just had to read book 2, A House of Rage and Sorrowonce more because of her.

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GoodReads:
In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back.

Raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, Esmae longs to return to her family. When the King of Wychstar offers to gift the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania to a warrior that can win his competition, she sees her way home: she’ll enter the competition, reveal her true identity to the world, and help her famous brother win back the crown of Kali.

It’s a great plan. Until it falls apart.

Inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories, A Spark of White Fire is a lush, sweeping space opera about family, curses, and the endless battle between jealousy and love.

Purchase Link

Amazon UK | Amazon US

My Review

This book is a siren among books, it drags you in the moment you read the first chapter, and that is it, you’re hooked. Your life? It’s over.

Seriously, I remained enthralled and entranced by Mandanna’s style and worldbuilding.

Do you like worldbuilding?

Then trust me when I say she’s a pro at it. She does it while never overwhelming you with details or deterring from the plot, or the characters.

It’s a world of gods, spaceships, and kingdoms.

The characters are great, you love every single one of the cinnamon rolls, and even those that are hard to love, I at least appreciated the work that went into them. Mandanna fleshes out her characters so that those who are ‘stars’ feel intimate to a reader.

Right away I was a huge fan of Esmae, but unfortunately, Rama stole her thunder for me. They have the type of best friend relationship that I at least aspire to keep up with, and not to mention that it is one built most importantly on mutual trust. Rama is a true friend.

And if I start talking about Titania now, I won’t stop until book three is released but she is a brilliant character in her own right if not the actual best character.

There’s so many complex familial relationships and it’s what sets it apart from other Space Operas in my opinion [That and I’ve never read one inspired by the Mahabharata]. It feels real because of the relationships between characters and the romance though present, doesn’t steal the spotlight from what Mandanna wants to convey to us.

And the inkling of foreshadowing about certain things is so well done, I see what you did there, Mandanna, with a certain scene with a certain ‘no longer relevant’ name.

I want to be more thorough but at this point my notes just say, and I quote, ‘AHH NO! *Spoiler which I won’t include* I cannot believe it! Just let me sob here int he corner’

If this doesn’t inspire you to read it, I don’t know what will.

I was able to finally take this off my tbr thanks to Kal having done her #Sparkalong

Honestly, it was perfection to read, and I don’t know how I managed to wait at all for the sequel.

 

Speaking of which, now for the main attraction of today

 

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GoodReads:
One kingdom. One crown. One family.

“Maybe it’s time the great House of Rey came to an end. After all, what are we now? Just a house of rage and sorrow.”

Esmae once wanted nothing more than to help her golden brother win the crown of Kali but that dream died with her best friend. Alexi broke her heart, and she vowed to destroy him for it. And with her sentient warship Titania beside her, how can she possibly fail?

As gods, beasts, and kingdoms choose sides, Alexi seeks out a weapon more devastating than even Titania. Past lives threaten the present. Old enemies claim their due. And Esmae cannot outrun the ghosts and the questions that haunt her. What really happened to her father? What was the third boon her mother asked of Amba? For in the shadows, lurking in wait, are secrets that will swallow her whole.

The House of Rey is at war. And the entire galaxy will bleed before the end.

Purchase Link

Amazon UK | Amazon US

My Review

Do you want to know how you know a book is an excellent read? When you call the author a breeder of heartache.

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She has no shame, look at her, liking all the heartache she’s caused me lol.

Anyway!

This book picks up shortly after where we left off, anything that happened between the end of the first book and the start of the second is run over, and she doesn’t give you a huge time gap either so all in all it’s a really tidy start to the road of broken hearts.

The complex amazing familial relationships only get more complex, though, I mean I hold a torch for Bear, who I just want to sign up for baking classes and let him be happy.

Esmae’s ties to her immediate family are strained, Alexi has destroyed his golden child image, yet she feels as if she’s the only one who cares that he’s proven himself unhonourable. She’s been put on a path of revenge and not even Max or Titania can stop her.

Realizing that revenge has tainted her in a way, she pulls away from relationships both friendly or otherwise and it hurts so much to watch her do that.

Watching her try to comprehend what’s happened and what she’s become is enough to make your eyes a tad leaky, and Amba proves to be just like … words can’t describe it without spoiling it, so I won’t. But my eyes are leaking again.

Also.

Kyra can go fly a kite. I hated her in book one, the hate DOES NOT lessen in this book. *Looks at Kyra* YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID.

We find out so much more about Max, and even about Esmae’s family. There are enough shocking points in this book that I wrote ‘holy shit’ more than once. A couple of things were verified but they were so tiny in the grand scheme of at least one or two plot twists.

Also, there’s more Titania which, let’s face it, who doesn’t need more Titania in your life. And her character development is done so well. SO WELL.

The war loomed in the background in the previous book but it pushes its way forward, though some have hoped that it wouldn’t come to it, there was no other way.

Esmae will take drastic measures, she will stop at nothing to achieve what she thinks should be done. She goes so much further than I ever thought possible. Again, having to be vague to avoid spoilers.

This ending is EPIC and it will RUIN YOU. DO YOU HEAR ME?! RUIN YOU!

I’m not sure what I’m meant to do with myself until book 3, but here we have it, I’m shattered and this book was amazing.

I probably sound like some overlyhyped junkie trying to push some drugs, but, guys, this was perfection and I loved it.

**Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an eARC of this in exchange for my honest opinion.**

 

About the Author

Sangu Mandanna was four years old when an elephant chased her down a forest road and she decided to write her first story about it. Seventeen years and many, many manuscripts later, she signed her first book deal. Sangu now lives in Norwich, a city in the east of England, with her husband and kids.

Author Links

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

 

 

Cover Reveal: Windborn by Mary Fan

It’s cover reveal day for Windborn (Fated Stars, #1) by Mary Fan! This sweeping YA fantasy will be released on February 11, 2020 by Snowy Wings Publishing. An epic adventure across an enchanted fantasyland, this story follows air nymph Kiri on her desperate journey to escape from dark magicians. The cover painting was done by Anne Drury, with titles by Story Wrappers.

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DESCRIPTION

The Age of Fire is coming. It’s written in the stars.

Trapped by dark magicians, the air nymph Kiri is running out of time. Like the rest of her kind, she’s bound to her homeland, and if she doesn’t return in seven days, she’ll die. Her only hope is in the magicians’ young apprentice, Darien, whose fierce gaze belies a kind heart. Despite her warnings, he helps her escape, and Kiri soon finds herself fleeing from relentless pursuers who will stop at nothing to recapture her and kill the boy who dared defy them.

With the magicians hot on their trail, Kiri and Darien embark on a treacherous journey through dangerous lands. But she soon learns that there’s more at stake than her own life. An ancient evil is stirring, one foretold to consume the world with fire. And Darien is at the center of it—though how, she doesn’t know.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on her life, and unless she can make it back to her land, she won’t live long enough to unravel the dark puzzles surrounding the intriguing, secretive young man—or stop the monstrous force bent on destroying everything.

Goodreads Link

 

And here is the full wrap for the hardcover:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Mary Fan is a YA and sci-fi/fantasy author based in New Jersey. Her books include Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon (YA steampunk fantasy, Page Street Publishing), the Starswept trilogy (YA sci-fi, Snowy Wings Publishing), the Flynn Nightsider series (YA dark fantasy, Crazy 8 Press), and the Jane Colt trilogy (a space adventure series from Red Adept Publishing comprising Artificial AbsolutesSynthetic Illusions, and Virtual Shadows). In addition, she is the co-editor of the Brave New Girls YA sci-fi anthologies about girls in STEM, which aim to encourage girls to explore STEM fields and raise money for the Society of Women Engineers scholarship fund.

When she’s not writing, she can usually be found at choir rehearsal, at the kickboxing gym, or falling off a flying trapeze.

Author Links

Website| Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

The Merchant of Menace – Blog Tour

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Blurb:
Reluctantly, Sherlock Holmes agrees to assist Inspector Lestrade who is being hounded by an obnoxious nobleman whose jewel-encrusted dagger has gone missing. However, what Holmes initially believes to be a simple theft turns out instead to be his first encounter with a master criminal, who is as ruthless as he is brilliant, and whom Watson dubs “The Merchant of Menace.”
Soon Holmes finds himself matching wits with a man who will steal anything – if the price is right. Moreover, this thief will go to any lengths, including blackmail and murder, to achieve his desired goal.
As Holmes comes to understand his adversary, he also begins to realize he can only react to the Merchant because he has no idea where this criminal mastermind will strike next. All Holmes knows for certain is the Merchant seems to specialize in priceless, one-of-a-kind articles. Will that be enough information for the Great Detective to outwit his foe?
From the British Museum to the Louvre to Blenheim Palace, Holmes finds himself in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. Set against the backdrop of early Edwardian England, the Great Detective and his Boswell encounter an array of luminaries from the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough to a young Winston Churchill.
For fans of Conan Doyle’s immortal detective, the game is always afoot. However, this time around Holmes must try to bring to justice a villain who might well be the next Napoleon of Crime.

Where to Buy

#4 The Merchant of Menace Amazon UK

My Review

Pretty much the definition of a delight to read. As a fan of Sherlock Holmes, I always enjoy a great new story to add to their adventures. As long as it keeps true to Doyle of course and I think that Ryan has done a very good job injecting Doyle’s spirit with a true sense of his mystery and problem-solving.

Holmes is as logical and observant as ever, and Watson the ever-faithful keeper of his cases.

I can’t stress enough just how enjoyable I found this read and it wasn’t just Ryan’s great adaptation of style for Holmes and Watson but also the pacing and flow.

The story isn’t overly done in length, so our author is able to give us a story that has tension and mystery building throughout while not dragging it on.

Holmes has amazing disguises, there’s an impossible crime, Watson is ever faithfully at his side and trying to piece together clues himself, and well, the game is afoot!

Not to mention he encounters a rather delicious new ‘villain’ this one can give Moriarty a run for is money but instead of trying to one-up the brilliance of Doyle’s Moriarty, Ryan pays homage in the making of his ‘Merchant.’

If you’re a fan of Holmes, and like to read the stories that were inspired by Doyle, I suggest giving this one and the others in the series a try! Four cups of coffee from me!

Thank you to Caroline and the publishers for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Other Books in the Series

#1 The Vatican Cameos | #2 The Stone of Destiny | #3 The Druid of Death

 

About the Author

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A lifelong Sherlockian, Richard Ryan is the author of “The Official Sherlock Holmes Trivia Book” as well as a book on Agatha Christie trivia, and his series, the Sherlock Holmes Adventures, now consisting of four books, all available from MX Publishing, London.

Richard Ryan obtained his master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in medieval literature; he is a die-hard fan of the Fighting Irish — it doesn’t matter what sport. He has been happily married for 40 years and is the proud father of two children.

 

Author Links

Twitter | Amazon | GoodReads

 

The Rest of the Tour

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Swords of Silence – ARC Review

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GoodReads:
Where once new ideas and beliefs were accepted, now the country’s military dictator, the Shogun, is shutting his country down to any outside influences.

Father Joaquim Martinez, who left Portugal to make Hizen Province, Japan, his home, has been tending quietly to the lives of his villagers, but everything is about to be thrown into turmoil, as the Shogun has outlawed Martinez’s beliefs. Those who won’t recant or accept banishment, face a death sentence.

With the threat of a massacre looming, and the Shogun’s samurai closing in, Father Martinez must decide, if he is willing to risk everything, to save those he has sworn to protect.

 

My Review

 

**Thank you to HarperInspire for an ARC copy of this to honestly review**

A historical fiction novel that is an action-packed story of the power of faith and the good of mankind that brings people of different lands and religions together against those who are cruel and oppress.

How often Western History forgets that we were not the only ones with castles and feudal systems, and Curry reminds us that Japan was a land with its own culture and with aspects that were similar to lands across the sea.

This tale follows Father Joaquim Martinez and those he has sworn to lead and protect in every Christian sense and literal sense when it calls for it.

His village or you may see it as his ‘flock,’ has been found out, now the question is, what will Father Martinez do to protect them?

This has excellent pacing, the chapters are perfectly divided out and it makes for a surprisingly quick read because of it. Not only that but there is heart, and struggle, that doesn’t require any religious faith to connect with. A story that is common and known throughout history and cultures. The only difference is, this one is done on an epic Biblical scale and calls forth recollection of the story of Moses.

Father Martinez clearly is impassioned for his cause and his village, and the love and devotion he has to them is admirable.

[You don’t need to know your bible to enjoy this though, and admittedly, I probably know more about Moses from ‘The Prince of Egypt.’ Don’t judge, that’s an excellent movie.]

You don’t see this as a story of ‘simply’ Christianity but rather a story of people trying to choose the way they live their lives, they are beholden to those who own their land, the one they farm and work on and sweat for, only to give these ‘overlords’ their profit of working the land.

Who wouldn’t want something more?

The fight and action scenes were so much fun to read, I loved just how much action there was, and the travelling seemed endless, you held your breath wondering if they would ever be able to stop. [Hopefully, they won’t be wandering for 40 years]

Seriously, there were so many excellent fighting scenes, especially concerning Father Martinez and even Tonia, one of his foreign catechists.

Also, with that sort of ending, I am now very impatiently waiting for book 2.

An inspiring story with a lot of heart and the wish for freedom that everyone can connect to.

As far as favourite characters go, I did love the inspiring Father Joaquim Martinez but I also loved his villagers, but Tonia won my heart.

Four cups of coffee from me, and you can expect this book to hit the shelves on September 19, this year! [2019]

In The Absence Of Miracles – Blog Tour

 

 

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Synopsis:
In this powerful new thriller, Michael J Malone returns to A Suitable Lie territory, movingly and perceptively addressing a shocking social issue. Chilling, perceptive and heartbreakingly emotive, In the Absence of Miracles is domestic noir at its most powerful, and a sensitively wrought portrait of a family whose shameful lies hide the very darkest of secrets. 
John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home. Following a massive stroke, she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again. With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood. 
In a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about. A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover. For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash. 
And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence… 
Book Information:
PUBLICATION DATE: 19 SEPTEMBER 2019
Published By: ORENDA BOOKS
Format: PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
Price: £8.99

 

My Review

This book threw me through a few loops, in all the best ways. Sometimes with thrillers I always try and guess what’s going on, or sometimes I become disinterested if they put too many twists. But Malone does a perfect balance of unexpected twists and reveals against the logical conclusions you expect and perhaps sometimes need in a book to further the suspension of disbelief.

John is a rather heartbreaking character, you can tell he wants to be better, that he’s struggled his whole life trying to be a guy he’s not ashamed of but there’s still something haunting him. The problem is that not even John knows what’s haunting him.

His mother has suffered a horrible stroke, his father had passed away a few years before that, and though he has a brother, Chris, he’s left to deal with selling the family house to pay for their Mother’s care.

But, John makes a chilling discovery while trying to clear out the house and it’s leading him down a path where the truth may cause more damage than the lies he’s accepted. However, he feels a powerful urge to find out more about the secret older brother he had. Is it just the familial connection that drives John, or is he hoping the truth will set him free?

This is a dark and powerful story and one that I enjoyed reading from start to finish.

You watch John in his self-destructive behaviour, you find out more about his family, and everything just weaves into a tragic form of truth.

Really, such a great story, and one that focuses on an important message, the predators aren’t always the ones that we assume, and money often speaks louder than words to a lot of people who do things that seem monstrous.

Definitely, a four cups of coffee read for me, I actually plan to reread this one soon, it was too good not to, and if you enjoy thrillers then I highly recommend this.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Orenda books for a copy of this to read and review honestly as part of the tour.

Content/Trigger Warnings: Violence, Drugs and Alcohol Abuse, and Child Abuse. This includes abuse of a sexual nature.

*Apologies on a late post, suffering my third day in a row of migraines!*

 

About the Author

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Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes Carnegie’s Call; A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage; The Bad Samaritan and Dog Fight. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines and After He Died soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr. 

 

About the Publisher
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Orenda Books is a small independent publishing company specialising in literary fiction with a heavy emphasis on crime/thrillers, and approximately half the list in translation. They’ve been twice shortlisted for the Nick Robinson Best Newcomer Award at the IPG awards, and publisher and owner Karen Sullivan was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2016. In 2018, they were awarded a prestigious Creative Europe grant for their translated books programme. Three authors, including Agnes Ravatn, Matt Wesolowski and Amanda Jennings have been WHSmith Fresh Talent picks, and Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, won an English PEN Translation Award, and adapted for BBC Radio Four’s Book at Bedtime. Six titles have been short- or long-listed for the CWA Daggers. Launched in 2014 with a mission to bring more international literature to the UK market, Orenda Books publishes a host of debuts, many of which have gone on to sell millions worldwide, and looks for fresh, exciting new voices that push the genre in new directions. Bestselling authors include Ragnar Jonasson, Antti Tuomainen, Gunnar Staalesen, Michael J. Malone, Kjell Ola Dahl, Louise Beech, Johana Gustawsson, Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Sarah Stovell.

Publisher Links

Website | Twitter

 

The Rest of the Tour

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