Month: January 2019

Blog Tour: The Lock by Andrew Barrett

Today I share my review for my stop on the blog tour for The Lock by Andrew Barrett. This is a short novella at 122 pages, but it really delivers in those pages!  I previously read and reviewed Barrett’s short story The Note which also features Eddie Collins, CSI.

Book Description:

This is the story of how I saw a dead man die.

I’m Eddie Collins, a CSI. I was finishing up at a sudden death in an old house, waiting for the body snatchers to arrive, when I heard a noise from the cellar.

I had time to kill, so I went to investigate.

Turns out I wasn’t the only one with killing on his mind.

The Lock
Author: Andrew Barrett

Published: January 10, 2019
122 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 26-31, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Jessica’s Review:

I previously read The Note which also features Eddie Collins. Barrett himself is a CSI and you can see that he takes what he knows from experience and puts them into his stories. And this novella is superb!  It is creepy, suspenseful, and you have absolutely no idea how it is going to end!  You know what they say about ‘curiosity killed the cat’…. Will curiosity be the end of Eddie Collins, CSI?

This novella makes me now think twice before I will go into a basement or cellar again. You never know who or what might be there!  Reading both The Note and now The Lock has me wanting to read more of the Eddie Collins series and more crime books in general! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

Andrew Barrett has enjoyed variety in his professional life, from engine-builder to farmer, from Oilfield Service Technician in Kuwait, to his current role of Senior CSI in Yorkshire.

He’s been a CSI since 1996, and has worked on all scene types from terrorism to murder, suicide to rape, drugs manufacture to bomb scenes. One way or another, Andrew’s life revolves around crime.

In 1997 he finished his first crime thriller, A Long Time Dead, and it’s still a readers’ favourite today, some 120,000 copies later, topping the Amazon charts several times. Two more books featuring SOCO Roger Conniston completed the trilogy.

Today, Andrew is still producing high-quality, authentic crime thrillers with a forensic flavour that attract attention from readers worldwide. He’s also attracted attention from the Yorkshire media, having been featured in the Yorkshire Post, and twice interviewed on BBC Radio Leeds.

He’s best known for his lead character, CSI Eddie Collins, and the acerbic way in which he roots out criminals and administers justice. Eddie’s series is four books and two short stories in length, and there’s still more to come.

Andrew is a proud Yorkshireman and sets all of his novels there, using his home city of Leeds as another major, and complementary, character in each of the stories.

You can find out more about him and his writing at http://www.andrew-barrett.co.uk

Contact Andrew:

Email: andrew@andrewbarrett.co.uk
Website
Twitter: @AndrewBarrettUK
Facebook
Exclusive Readers Group on Facebook
Instagram @andrewbarrettauthor
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com

The Dream Daughter

Author: Diane Chamberlain
Published: October 2, 2018
Audio Download

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 3-11, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

When Caroline Sears receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970 and there seems to be little that can be done. But her brother-in-law, a physicist, tells her that perhaps there is. Hunter appeared in their lives just a few years before—and his appearance was as mysterious as his past. With no family, no friends, and a background shrouded in secrets, Hunter embraced the Sears family and never looked back.

Now, Hunter is telling her that something can be done about her baby’s heart. Something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Caroline has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage that Caroline never knew existed. Something that will mean a mind-bending leap of faith on Caroline’s part.

And all for the love of her unborn child.

A rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother’s quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable. Diane Chamberlain pushes the boundaries of faith and science to deliver a novel that you will never forget.

Jessica’s Review:

I can now say this: The Dream Daughter is my favorite book EVER!  Whenever I am asked about my favorite book, I can’t give an answer other than mentioning the book that got me reading again so long ago.  The Dream Daughter has taken its place and is perfection for me! This was the first book by Chamberlain I have read and it will not be my last.

The advice I can offer up to you is this: Read the book description, but other than that go into this book knowing nothing.  After finishing it, even reviews give away the angle this novel goes, which I will NOT do. Due to the angle the novel moves, this one is different from other Diane Chamberlain books.  All I will say is that there is a sci-fi angle. I listened to the audiobook version and I was skeptical about the novel when it got to the point where you realize the direction the novel was going, but then you are taken for a roller coaster of a ride!  In fact I am still thinking about the novel a few days after finishing it!  My mind was truly blown in a very good way!

Though a few parts were predictable for me, I still loved every bit of The Dream Daughter. I did not know how it was ultimately going to end and then we have that last line: SO powerful!  I am not a mother, but this is a novel for mothers: it shows the unconditional love that a mother has and that Caroline (Carly) will do whatever it takes to save her child.

The narrator, Susan Bennett, captured Carly’s voice perfectly. She conveyed all the emotions needed.

Again, I can say that this is my favorite book ever, so needless to say it will be my number one read of 2019.  Thank you so much to St Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio for sending me a copy to review.

The Dream Daughter is very highly recommended!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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The Dollmaker of Krakow

Author: R.M. Romero
Published: September 12, 2017
336 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

In the land of dolls, there is magic.
In the land of humans, there is war.
Everywhere there is pain.
But together there is hope.

Karolina is a living doll whose king and queen have been overthrown. But when a strange wind spirits her away from the Land of the Dolls, she finds herself in Krakow, Poland, in the company of the Dollmaker, a man with an unusual power and a marked past.

The Dollmaker has learned to keep to himself, but Karolina’s courageous and compassionate manner lead him to smile and to even befriend a violin-playing father and his daughter–that is, once the Dollmaker gets over the shock of realizing a doll is speaking to him.

But their newfound happiness is dashed when Nazi soldiers descend upon Poland. Karolina and the Dollmaker quickly realize that their Jewish friends are in grave danger, and they are determined to help save them, no matter what the risks.

Kim’s Review:

This book is so beautiful! The cover and illustrations throughout are so gorgeous and really enhanced my reading. This book is perfect for middle school kids learning about the Holocaust. The metaphor of the Land of the Dolls was imaginative and easy to understand. There’s a simplicity to the story that still conveys the evil of the Nazis and the terror of the time without giving too much detail that would be inappropriate for kids. Karolina’s simple view of the world brings good clarity that works for younger readers.

The Dollmaker is such a sweet and gentle soul. Jozef and Rena are the perfect representation of Jews living in Poland during the Nazi invasion and occupation. Even the Nazi soldier that the Dollmaker “befriends” is written so well. I’ll admit that I didn’t engage as perfectly as I wanted to, but it’s really because I’m not a part of the age group that Romero was writing for; I’m not an elementary or middle school student, nor am I just starting out learning about the Holocaust. But I did love the story, the characters, and the setting. This is a book that I would put on the shelf of every elementary and middle school history teacher. It should be required reading in those history classes. I absolutely recommend this book to everyone, especially kids!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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