Evie Mathews and her son Alfie flee from her abusive partner Seth to spend New Year with her half-brother Luke at their late father’s summer home on the Suffolk Coast, only to find Seahurst abandoned and Luke missing.
Evie searches for her brother, filled with a deepening dread that something is very wrong at Seahurst and their father’s death may not have been suicide after all.
As Seahurst’s ancient and sinister secrets unfurl around her, Evie fears the souls of the dead will soon claim another terrible revenge.
Seahurst is a gripping, dark, spooky novel that had me turning the pages and devouring it in a matter of days.
The opening chapter sees us witness the horrendous demise of a woman purported to be a witch, and her children, centuries before. I actually found this so moving and spooky, that I knew Seahurst would deliver.
We follow Evie and her teenage son Alfie, as they arrive to meet her step-brother at Seahurst, a huge looming house set on the coast of Suffolk, near the ruins of an old Monastery which are falling into the sea at an alarming rate. The descriptions of the setting are amazing and made me really feel like I was viewing a movie in my head.
The story builds and builds and the feeling of foreboding is anxiety-inducing! It really had me with my heart in my mouth at times, without giving away any of the plots, it is a fantastic read. A wonderful rich cast of characters and a superb ending.
I will happily read another book by Sally Harris if Seahurst is anything to go by.
Summer, 1943. Daniel Berkåk works as a courier for the Press and Military Office in Stockholm. On his last cross-border mission to Norway, he carries a rucksack full of coded documents and newspapers, but before he has a chance to deliver anything he is shot and killed and the contents of his rucksack are missing.
The Norwegian government, currently exiled in London, wants to know what happened, and the job goes to writer Jomar Kraby,whose first suspect is a Norwegian refugee living in Sweden, whose past that is as horrifying as the events still to come…
Both classic crime and a stunning expose of Norwegian agents in Stockholm during the Second World War, The Lazarus Solution is a compulsive, complex, richly authentic historical thriller from one of the godfathers of Nordic Noir.
For fans of Sebastian Faulks, Lars Mytting, Mick Herron and Robert Harris.
Here is an extract from The Lazarus Solution………..
The oncoming gravel road rushed towards him, bordered on either side by grassy banks and cotoneaster bushes, guelder rose shrubs and lilac trees, their blooms withering now. Gable apexes towering up to the sky revealed the presence of the detached houses concealed by this shrubbery screen. As soon as the building at the top of the hill hove into view, Kai pulled the cord, only to discover that another passenger had already rung; the bulb at the front of the bus was lit.
His seaman’s kit bag slung over his shoulder, Kai made for a flower shop next to a hairdresser’s. Inside, he inhaled the fresh scent of greenery. The female assistant picked out individual carnations from the bucket as he pointed to them. Then she wrapped the bouquet in newspaper.
Kai tucked the flowers under his arm and walked down to the railway station. On the platform, two German officers were talking. They didn’t notice him as he stood waiting for the train. Kai thought about his elder brother, Atle, who would certainly have engaged them in conversation. Or, at any rate, nodded to them. Atle had always been more courteous than he was. More confident. Bolder. When Kai started school, stories were still circulating about his brother’s derring-do. At the age of ten Atle had climbed up a school drainpipe, three floors, swung himself onto the roof tiles with a clatter and run along the ridge, while down in the playground the pupils cheered and the teachers yelled at him. When Kai left school, Atle’s long jump, high jump, 800-metres and 3,000-metre hurdles records still stood. Atle was the coach’s obvious first choice for the SlemdalBesserud stage of the Holmenkollen relay race. He bounded up the steep hills like a mountain goat and, one by one left his competitors for dust. At home, Atle was his big brother. A helping hand he could always reach out for. A lodestar – one phase of his life.
There were still only three people on the platform when there was some air movement around the bend. The train pulled in almost without a sound. The headlamps resembled two eyes. The driver in the small cab turned the crank to slow down and the train gently kissed the buffers and drew to a halt. The doors opened with a dry click. A solitary passenger stepped out. Inside the train, the conductor noisily straightened the seats. He finally emerged – the signal that the three passengers could board. Kai was the last to get on and found a seat two rows behind the officers. They were speaking German.
The sound of laughter drifted in from the platform. The conductor, who had been standing with the driver, smoking, shouted to someone further away and boarded the train. Kai bought a ticket from him and sat staring out of the window as they started up.
Soon they passed a military camp – red flags with a black swastika inside a white circle waving in the wind. At the next stop, lots of soldiers got on. They moved down the train, all with a rifle strapped to their shoulders. When they saw the two officers, they stopped, raised their arms and shouted ‘Heil Hitler.’ The officers returned the salute.
Kai exchanged glances with a woman sitting opposite him. She rolled her eyes and searched for confirmation that he had no sympathy for their guttural shouts either.
You might be paranoid, but that doesn’t mean they’re not watching you.
Adam lives a picture-perfect life: happy marriage, two young children, and a flourishing career as a doctor. But Adam also lives with a secret. Hospital CCTV, strangers’ mobile phones, city traffic cameras – he is convinced that they are all watching him, recording his every move. All because of something terrible that happened at a drunken party when he was a medical student.
Only two other people knew what happened that night. Two people he’s long left behind. Until one of them, Clio – Adam’s great unrequited love – turns up on his doorstep, and reignites a sinister pact twenty-four years in the making…
No Place to Hide is a spellbinding tale of psychological suspense, weaving together the dark web, murder, and blackmail…
‘The Secret History meets The Capture – No Place to Hide is an intelligent and inventive thriller that grips to the very last page.’ J.P. Delaney ‘Compelling, relentless and genuinely frightening.’ Simon Russell Beale
THE REVIEW ……………..
Thank you so much to Poppy at Ransom PR for the Blog tour invite and my proof copy.
I was very interested in reading No Place to Hide, as last year I read The Man on Hackpen Hill also by J.S Monroe, and I thought it was a great read. The blurb for No Place To Hide also looked tasty!
The opening chapters take us into the life of Adam and his wife Tania, they have a toddler called Freddie and have not long had their second baby, Tily. We meet them taking a walk in their local park. They are ruminating over the lack of sleep that they but especially Tania aren’t getting as Tily isn’t a sleepy baby. When a chance to rest on a park bench turns into a full-grown panic as Freddie goes missing, but turns up safe in the arms of a woman, Clio, who it turns out is Adam’s unrequited love from his University days. Things then start to spiral out of control for Adam, as he has a dark secret from his University days, that now seems to be making him even more paranoid than he was already. The reader is taken through a twisty, thriller of a novel which is loosely based on the play Dr Faustus.
I found No Place to Hide a really easy book to read, the pace is fast and the events are credible, with the theme of big brother watching you, and what Adam and his family are put through is truly terrifying.
There is a good cast of characters and they are all well-written, some are not as nice as others, but our main protagonist Adam is a nice guy who made one mistake in life. I was interested all the way through and in fact, it gave me anxiety as the book started to get to its climactic ending. This is a really twisty unputdownable novel, and I loved it.
Jen is climbing in the mountains near Alajar, Spain. And it’s nothing to do with the fact that an old acquaintance, Nick Crawford, may have suggested that she meet him there...
But when things don’t go as planned with Nick and her brother calls to voice concerns over the whereabouts of Morwenna – their estranged, free-spirited mother – Jen winds up travelling to a refugee camp on the south coast of Malta.
Morwenna is working with a small non-governmental organization to help her Libyan friend, Nahla, seek asylum for herself and her two young children. Jen is instantly out of her depth, surrounded by stories of unimaginable suffering and increasing tensions within the camp. Then Nahla recognises someone else from Libya – and ends up dead later that same day.
Jen and Morwenna find themselves responsible for the safety of Nahla’s daughters. But what if the safest thing to do is to get in a boat?
Judefire33 Star rating 4.5 Stars
Firstly Thank you so much to Verve books for inviting me to the Blog Tour and sending me a copy of Cut Adrift.
Cut Adrift carries on where On The Edge finished, in that Jen Shaw is now in Spain, resting and recuperating after the adventures and danger she met in the first novel, in Cornwall.
Cut Adrift starts slowly with Jen deciding to have some fun climbing and travelling in her hired camper van, however, her last lover has sent her a mysterious postcard and asked her to meet her in a bar in Alajar by simply saying “wish you were here”, after some internal struggles Jen decides to go and see if Nick Grimshaw will be waiting for her. What follows is a time of fun, and romance for them both, before this is shattered by Nick having to leave immediately for work and also the news that Jen’s Mum, Morwenna needs to be contacted as her husband (Jen’s Dad) is going to sell the family home, Tregonna in Cornwall and the only one to stop it is Morwenna. The last she was heard of she was in Malta, so Jen makes for malta hoping to find her Mum and talk her into going to a solicitor and stopping the sale of their beloved home.
From then on Cut Adrift picks up the pace as we enter a world (that is extremely well-written and researched) of refugees. Jen and her Mum get caught up in a terrible round of events, including the murder of Nahla, Morwenna’s refugee friend. They are then thrown into a dangerous world and have to fight and run with Nahla’s two children, from people traffickers, killers and terrorists all of who want nothing more than to use the children in the most abhorrent way possible, from this pit on Cut Adrift is an anxiety-ridden ride and one that kept me up at night.
The plot and storyline are very well written, and I was totally hooked into the world unknown to me but that read so realistic of refugees and the dangers they face even when we think they are in Europe and safe. A terrible journey that they face from leaving their home countries, to getting to a safe country where they will be looked after and not become a target for criminals of all sorts.
The concluding chapters were super fast-paced and I was totally immersed, Jane Jesmond has done well to write with such clarity of the fear and anxiety that these poor people face, and entwining this into the lives of Jen Shaw and her Mum Morwenna, is brilliant. Their fight to save and bring two traumatized little girls back to Cornwall is truly heroic and full of danger at every turn, they don’t know who to trust!
The ending was brilliant, but you know, Ik not giving anything away! The writing is beautiful at times with the descriptions of the places we travel to in Cut Adrift. And there are some scary and visceral scenes on the high seas in a yacht, that for me triggered my PTSD (I had to leave a cruise as I was so frightened after being in Force 9 seas), but although this was difficult for me, it’s down to the excellent writing of Jane Jesmond that made me relive it!
An enthralling, tense, adventure and thrilling read hence my score of 4.5 stars.
A severed head is displayed on a stake. A crime so dark only one man is capable of solving it: Police Inspector William Wisting.
Before long, more bodies are found. Media frenzy sweeps the locals into a panic. And when Wisting’s investigation leads him to a deadly underground crime ring, he fears the whole town may be in danger.
But at the heart of it is just one man: The Night Man.
Their elusive leader. The man Wisting must find if he wants to stop the murders.
That is if The Night Man doesn’t get to him first . . .
As all my followers know, Jorn Lier Horst and Wisting are on the top of my favorite author and character list, so as always I was looking forward to reading The Night Man.
I have all the Wisting books that have been published in English and have read them all in the order that they have originally been published in Norway, However, The Night Man is actually book 5 in the series, so therefore it does read a little out of sync. This is my only minus point and I think that it should be made clear before readers dive in.
That said, the story and plot is excellent as always, the way Jorn Lier Horst writes the police procedural side is always so true to life ( something to do with him being a Detective with the Norweigian Police before becoming a novelist ), and I love that we get so deep into Wisting’s psyche with every book in the series. I don’t know why but I just really feel so much warmth for William Wisting as a character, he is such a lovely thoughtful Detective, who always goes to the ends of the earth for the victims of crime. He isn’t perfect, his relationship with his son, Thomas isn’t the best, but he is close to his daughter, Line who I also love… she is a journalist and has her father’s curious and analytical mind. From reading the first book in the Wisting series I totally fell in love with William, that is definitely down to the skilful writing of Jorn Lier Horst, and as an added bonus being set in my favourite Country, Norway, makes these one of my favourite reads.
Line features quite heavily in The Night Man, and as I’ve said it’s strange reading about what’s happening to her as this book is in the last compared to the last read of A Question Of Guilt. But her character is so well written by Jorn, I always find it amazing how male authors can portray female protagonists so well.I love Line to as she is an inquisitive and kick ass journalist, who won’t let things go….however sometimes this can mean trouble can find her!
The storyline follows the discovery of a child’s severed head on a post in the middle of Larvik, Norway. There are some quite gory descriptions of this that made my skin crawl haha, but that’s one of the reasons I adore Crime Fiction. We follow Wisting and his team on a journey through drugs and child exploitation from Europe to Afghanistan, on a quest to find the killer or killers.
The detail Jorn Lier Horst writes in his books is what always stays with me, the descriptions of the settings, the food being eaten, the insides of Norweigian homes, all are exquisite and totally make The Night Man sing with realism.
The ending leaves the reader wanting, but as I’ve said if you were to read the Wisting series in order – the next book being Dregs – it actually makes more sense. But as I love Wisting and also Jorn Lier Horst, it didn’t matter to me. It was a great read and another added to my collection. To help new readers I will list the Wisting series in order for you –
Key Witness (Org. Nøkkelvitnet, 2004)
Disappearance of Felicia (Org. Felicia forsvant, 2005)
When the Sea Calms (Org. Når havet stilner, 2006)
The Only One (Org. Den eneste ene, 2007)
The Night Man (Org. Nattmannen, 2009) – translated into English July 2022
Dregs (Org. Bunnfall, 2010) – translated into English by Anne Bruce, 2011
Closed for Winter (Org. Vinterstengt, 2011) – translated into English 2013
The Hunting Dogs (Org. Jakthundene, 2012) – translated into English 2014
The Caveman (Org. Hulemannen, 2013) – translated into English 2015
Ordeal (Org. Blindgang, 2015) – translated into English 2016
When It Grows Dark (Org. Når Det Mørkner, 2016) – translated into English 2016 (A prequel to the series.)
The Katharina Code (Org. Katharina-koden, 2017) – translated into English 2018
The Cabin (Org. Det innerste rommet, 2018) – translated into English 2019
The Inner Darkness (Org. Illvilje, 2019)- translated into English 2020
A Question of Guilt (Org. Sak 1569, 2020)- translated into English 2021
Boundless (Org. Grenseløs, 2021)
The traitor (Org. Forræderen, 2022)
I hope that this helps those readers who haven’t yet ventured into the Wisting series by Jorn Lier Horst, if you want to read gripping, tense, exceptionally well written police procedurals and thrillers, then I urge you to start collecting and reading this series.
I will also add that all the Wisting novels are written in Norwegian first, then translated into English, this is done so well, that one really doesn’t know they were not written in English first!
So my score is a sound 4 stars, and as always I wait for the next Wisting book to be translated into English!
BERLIN. JANUARY 1941. Evil cannot bring about good . . .
After Germany’s invasion of Poland, the world is holding its breath and hoping for peace. At home, the Nazi Party’s hold on power is absolute.
One freezing night, an SS doctor and his wife return from an evening mingling with their fellow Nazis at the concert hall. By the time the sun rises, the doctor will be lying lifeless in a pool of blood.
Was it murder or suicide? Criminal Inspector Horst Schenke is told that under no circumstances should he investigate. The doctor’s widow, however, is convinced her husband was the target of a hit. But why would anyone murder an apparently obscure doctor? Compelled to dig deeper, Schenke learns of the mysterious death of a child. The cases seem unconnected, but soon chilling links begin to emerge that point to a terrifying secret.
Even in times of war, under a ruthless regime, there are places in hell no man should ever enter. And Schenke fears he may not return alive . . .
Thank you so much to Jess Hunt from Ransom PR for inviting me to the Dead Of Night blog tour and sending me a copy of the book.
As I knew Dead Of Night was book 2 in the Berlin Wartime Series by Simon Scarrow, I decided to read Blackout ( book 1 ) first. And I’m so glad I did, as Blackout is a fantastic opener to the Kripo Inspector Horst Schenke series.
The story for Dead Of Night is set during the coldest of winters January/February 1940… and from the first page, the reader knows they are in for a thrilling read amongst the politics, in-house fighting, and mistrust of Berlin during the early days of WW2 and the rise in Nazism.
The way that Simon Scarrow writes is utterly compelling, he’s like my favorite History Teacher, because although Dead Of Night is a work of fiction, it is based on truth, and in his exceptional style, taught me to look at how working and living in Berlin under the threat of Hitler and his SS henchmen when one is just trying to do one’s job, becomes a minefield of difficulty. In our protagonist, Criminal Inspector Horst Schenke, we have a man who cannot fight due to an injury sustained whilst racing for the famous Silver Arrows Racing Team, so he has risen to the rank of Criminal Inspector with the Kripos, and he loves his job, and just wants to keep fighting the criminals, murderers and rapists and make sure they are caught and punished….sounds simple right? But during wartime in Berlin, nothing is simple, no one trusts one another, and Horst finds himself embroiled in a case that he has been warned off investigating, and when he continues to do so puts himself and those he cares about in grave danger.
I’m not going to give any more of the plot away, but let’s just say the speed of Dead Of Night and the storyline, are thrilling and utterly gripping, you will not be able to put it down. It also had me heading across to Google on several occasions to find out more about topics and people ( there are real Nazis in the books ) so as to add to the story.
If you haven’t read Blackout before you start Dead of Night, I would urge you to – it runs closely after the storyline in Blackout and several characters as important to the storyline and plot in Dead Of Night.
I loved Dead Of Night so much, and am a firm fan of The Berlin Wartime series by Simon Scarrow, I actually feel utterly sad now I’ve finished Dead Of Night! And that, my friends, is the sign of a superb book!
If you like thrillers and Police Procedurals set during WW2, then Dead Of Night is definitely for you, the research Simon Scarrow puts into his work makes for such a visceral and realistic read, and it’s refreshing to have a different point of view with a Police Inspector who is German.
An easy 5-star rating for Dead Of Night and also for Blackout. I cannot wait for book 3!
Simon Scarrow is a Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author with several million copies of his books sold worldwide. After a childhood spent travelling the world, he pursued his great love of history as a teacher, before becoming a full-time writer. His Roman soldier heroes Cato and Macro made their debut in 2000 in UNDER THE EAGLE and have subsequently appeared in many bestsellers in the Eagles of the Empire series, including CENTURION, INVICTUS and DAY OF THE CAESARS. Many of the series have been Sunday Times bestsellers.
Simon Scarrow is also the author of a quartet of novels about the lives of the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte, YOUNG BLOODS, THE GENERALS, FIRE AND SWORD and THE FIELDS OF DEATH; a novel about the 1565 Siege of Malta, SWORD & SCIMITAR; HEARTS OF STONE, set in Greece during the Second World War; and PLAYING WITH DEATH, a contemporary thriller written with Lee Francis. He also wrote the novels ARENA and INVADER with T. J. Andrews. His thriller, BLACKOUT set in WW2 Berlin and first published in 2021 was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick.
The inspiration for ‘Dead of Night’ (in Simon Scarrow’s own words)
When I research the period covering the rise and fall of Nazi Germany, it is sometimes hard to believe the bald statistics concerning the number of people murdered by the regime, nor is it easy to comprehend the cold-blooded manner in which those responsible went about it. Sometimes the sheer scale and breadth of the horrors inflicted by the Nazis is almost impossible to contemplate, and it is necessary to break the atrocity down in a way that allows people to connect with the victims in a more personal and empathetic way. That was the approach I took with this novel.
In order to understand what became known after the war as the Aktion T4 programme, it is necessary to realise that this mass murder policy was the result of many years of conscious preparation, drawing on influences much wider than those located in Germany. A perversion of Darwin’s theories of evolution gave rise to a growing number of works by scientists and pseudo-scientists advocating the removal of ‘defective’ humans in order to take them out of the chain of heredity and thereby ‘improve’ humankind. Such notions were eagerly taken up across Europe and in the Americas and provided febrile encouragement to the political programme of Adolf Hitler and his followers as early as the mid-1920s, when Hitler was already advocating the elimination of those he regarded as ‘degenerates’ (‘degeneriert’).
When the Nazi party seized power in 1933, they wasted no time in imposing their ideology on Germany. Besides the suppression of the media, the arrest, torture and murder of political rivals and the removal of Jewish civil rights, one of the first measures put in place was compulsory sterilization of certain groups. This was imposed on a wide range of those deemed degenerate: gypsies, prostitutes, the work-shy, habitual criminals, mixed-race people and those with incurable mental and physical disabilities. That same July, Hitler intended to pass laws to enable the killing of patients diagnosed with mental illness but was persuaded that such a move was too controversial. Even so, in 1935 he let it be known that, in the event of war, he would introduce such a measure, since the public’s attention would be elsewhere and, in any case, in time of war, a few extra deaths would be easily missed amongst so many others. From 1937 a secret committee of the Nazi party was making plans for a euthanasia programme, seeding the notion through sympathetic articles in the Nazi-controlled press that portrayed the lives of people with disabilities as ‘life not worthy of life’ (‘Lebensunwertes Leben’).
The programme was activated in February 1939 when the father of Gerhard Kretschmar, a boy born with missing limbs, petitioned Hitler to have his son killed. The father had already approached a doctor in Leipzig asking him to end Gerhard’s life but the doctor had refused on the basis that he might as a result be charged with murder. Having reviewed the case, Hitler sent his personal doctor, Karl Brandt, to arrange the murder of the child at the end of July. At the same time Hitler authorised Brandt to oversee the creation of a euthanasia programme. A month later, Hitler put an end to the sterilization program. Things had moved on from preventing reproduction by the ‘degenerates’ to eliminating them altogether. In October, Hitler signed an order empowering doctors to rid society of ‘useless eaters’ (‘unnütze esser’) by granting them a ‘merciful death’ (‘barmherziger Tod’).
The programme was the responsibility of the Reich Committee for Scientific Registering of Serious Hereditary and Congenital Illnesses, whose structure and purpose were kept secret from the general public. The overall head of the programme was Philipp Bouhler, an SS officer, and one of the first members of the Nazi party. The section of the programme concerned with children was under the control of an SS doctor, Viktor Brack, and based at Tiergartenstrasse 4, from which the later name Aktion T4 derives. From the start the emphasis of the programme was on killing, not children already in institutions, but those who were still living at home with their families, before moving on to the elimination of those already institutionalised. Parents were coaxed by doctors to entrust their children to institutions where they would, supposedly, be better cared for. Once the children had been removed from their homes, they were subjected to various treatments ultimately intended to kill them. Some were injected with drugs that would progressively weaken them, while others were starved to death. Their deaths were passed off as the result of natural causes. Often, the bodies were cremated to destroy the evidence, and the parents were only then sent news of the death of their child. Considerable efforts were taken to conceal the scale of the killings; for example Brack’s officials kept a map in their office with pins placed in it for each child, to ensure there were not any suspicious clusters and that the victims were evenly spread out.
Very soon there was pressure to increase the numbers of those being eliminated. The German forces in Poland had already been engaged in mass murder of patients with mental illnesses of all ages, and had first started using poison gas on Polish inmates transported to Posen. Chemical expert Albert Widmann was brought in from the Kripo’s forensic department to develop the most effective and efficient means of using gas (at this point carbon monoxide) to murder people, or, as they were described to him, ‘beasts in human form’. Widmann oversaw the construction of a test unit at Brandenburg prison, where patients diagnosed with mental illness were gassed in batches of fifteen to twenty. The process took approximately twenty minutes to kill them.
The programme was rapidly expanded across Germany and for some time it was kept secret from those not directly involved. But suspicion began to be aroused when the number of deaths in institutions for those with particular illnesses and conditions swiftly climbed and a number of doctors, coroners, judges and Catholic priests began to protest. The American journalist William Shirer was aware of the programme very early on, but only had concrete proof of its existence when he was contacted by a conscience-stricken official with the details in September 1940. Nonetheless, by a combination of denial, distraction, threats and ideological justification, the Nazi regime managed to prevent any effective opposition to the programme. By the end of the war, more than 80,000 people with disabilities had been murdered, over 5,000 of them children.
While the Holocaust is the most notorious crime committed by the Nazi party, it was through the euthanasia program that the Nazis first experimented with then perfected the means by which vast numbers of Jews, political opponents, gypsies, homosexuals and other victims were subsequently murdered. It was on the bodies of those helpless children that the most terrible atrocity of the twentieth century was built.
What was the fate of those responsible? Philipp Bouhler was captured by the Americans then committed suicide. Karl Brandt was tried and hanged in 1948, as was Viktor Brack. Albert Widmann escaped justice until 1959, when he was finally tried for his part in the programme and sentenced to six years in prison. He died in 1986. Even after the war, many of the doctors involved in the programme expressed their pride in what they portrayed as a process intended to improve the human race. In truth, all the above were the real ‘beasts in human form’.
It is worth remembering that the Nazis were not alone in imposing compulsory sterilization. As mentioned earlier, the cause of improving racial purity had gained advocates in many countries. Between the 1907 and 1939 the USA carried out over 60,000 compulsory sterilizations. In Europe, Switzerland, Denmark and Norway also embarked on similar programmes in the 1930s. In the case of Sweden, between 1935 and 1975, over 63,000 compulsory sterilizations took place. That is proportionately more, taking account of the relative populations, than Nazi Germany’s 350,000. It is clear that some seeds of Nazi Germany’s racial policies were sown in many other nations who were influenced by eugenics advocates from both ends of the political spectrum. We should not be so complacent as to assume that what happened in Nazi Germany could not be replicated somewhere else at another time.
I am sure that most people reading this account of the Aktion T4 programme will share my despair that such things are possible. How could such inhumanity as that underlying the Aktion T4 programme and the Holocaust have existed on so vast a scale? I can think of no greater horror than the fate of the vulnerable children who were murdered in cold blood by the Nazis.
When war breaks out, three spirited women must set aside their differences to help Britain win the war. Fighting from the forests, they find new depths of courage, strength, and love. But – when war threatens everything – would you risk your life to save a friend?
When feisty, bohemian Keeva signs up for war work in the forest, she’s already learned the hard way that people can’t be trusted. For Rosie, a factory girl from London’s East End, the forest is an escape – but she can’t stop her big mouth from getting her into trouble. And Beatrice, a wealthy debutante, wants to use her brain, not ruin her fine hands felling trees. Meanwhile, Lady Denman, director of the Women’s Land Army, battles with bureaucrats in Whitehall to defend the Lumberjills.
As these strong women struggle to survive in a tough men’s world, it seems they really may succeed in their dangerous war work… when a terrible disaster strikes and threatens everything they have achieved.
The Lumberjills Stronger Together is inspired by the incredible and heroic true stories of the Women’s Timber Corps, a branch of the Women’s Land Army. Author Joanna Foat researched and interviewed sixty women who served as Lumberjills in World War II. These first-hand accounts, and her own passion for adventure in wild landscapes, bring a rugged authenticity to this emotionally rousing novel of female courage, strength, and determination.
A World War II novel for fans of Suzanne Goldring, Nancy Revell, and Jennifer Worth.
This is the first book I’ve read by Jo Foat, and I was very taken by the premise, as I had never heard of women lumberjacks (Jill’s) before.
I love that this book was forged from researching the real Lumberjills, who during the Second World War, worked alongside men to keep the timber supplies going as this was a vital material needed.
The characters are very well written, and the setting also really stood out to me. we meet girls from various backgrounds who are thrown together to work in often harsh conditions alongside men who have no respect for these women and the fact that eventually they will become as good if not better than them!
We follow the plot through their struggles and lives during the war in the Womens Timber Corps, you can tell there is a lot of research that has gone into The Lumberjills, and it keeps the story authentic and the plot is good and steady.
If you like reading about how women worked during WW2, then although this is a fiction book, it’s a great insight.
A jolly good read, 3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars.
Joanna grew up in Surrey, Great Britain, and always loved the outdoors, forests, and wildlife – climbing trees, helping her Dad work on the car, tinkering in the shed, mowing the lawn and making bonfires. She also loved chopping up wood for the fire and one year her father bought her an axe for Christmas.
From the twelve-million copy bestselling author of the Lewis trilogy comes a chilling new mystery set in the isolated Scottish Highlands.
A TOMB OF ICE
A young meteorologist checking a mountain top weather station in Kinlochleven discovers the body of a missing man entombed in ice.
A DYING DETECTIVE
Cameron Brodie, a Glasgow detective, sets out on a hazardous journey to the isolated and ice-bound village. He has his own reasons for wanting to investigate a murder case so far from his beat.
AN AGONIZING RECKONING
Brodie must face up to the ghosts of his past and to a killer determined to bury forever the chilling secret that his investigation threatens to expose.
Set against a backdrop of a frighteningly plausible near-future, A WINTER GRAVE is Peter May at his page-turning, passionate and provocative best.
Firstly thank you so much to Jess at Ransom PR for inviting me to the blog tour and supplying me with a print copy of A Winter Grave.
Now I’ve only read one other book by Peter May ( I know !) which was Lockdown and I thought it was superb, so I was looking forward to A Winter Grave described as a “Crime Cli-Fi” novel…. I read the blurb and was already itching to start reading!
The novel is set in 2051 and revolves around a body being found in the Scottish Highland during ice and snow storms, where a lot of Scotland has been lost to rising sea levels because successive Governments had ignored the warnings. We follow the journey of Cameron Brodie, a veteran Glasgow Detective as he travels to the bleak inaccessible village of Kinlochleven and the events that surround him once he arrives to investigate the body that was found, who was an Investigative Reporter.
From the get-go, A Winter Grave is absolutely gripping and so visceral, in fact sitting here writing I can see the whole book running through my head like a movie. I mean, Peter May is a Bestselling author for a reason, but I believe A Winters Grave may be his finest novel.
It’s written with so much love and care, by that I mean, you can see Peter May cares about the planet, about finding a way to stop Global Warming and Climate Change, and his love especially of Scotland, his homeland.
The way he has written and described the journey Cameron Brodie has up to Kinlochleven is absolutely breathtaking, I mean you feel like you are traveling with him in the eVTOL ( You need to read A Winters Tale to find out what superb craft this is!), and from the start, even this is hazardous for our protagonist!
The storyline is just sublime, an absolute gem, that gives you shocks, surprises, and major OH NO moments in it, I loved the characters and the way they are written is exceptional, full of vim and empathy, Peter May is an artist at writing his characters!
I was a little worried about reading a book set in the future, as it’s not something I’ve read before, but I need not have been. There’s enough of the familiar to keep the reader invested and it really does work superbly well as a crime novel, but focusing on climate change.
You can see how much research Peter May has done with the turn of each page, and nothing is too technical or scientific that it would baffle the reader. And the attention to detail in the props and climate talk is again, exceptional.
A Winter Grave is a truly gripping bookbanger of a novel, I predict that this will be one of the biggest novels of 2023. You can always tell how good a novel is when you’ve read another couple of books afterwards, but the story is still vivid and dancing inside your mind! There is only one thing that I wanted, and that was a map of the Scottish area from now to how it had changed in 2051, but that’s just my thing, I love book maps!
A super 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star read from me, and a book that needs to fly in 2023!
Peter May is the multi award-winning author of: – the Lewis Trilogy set in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland; – the China Thrillers, featuring Beijing detective Li Yan and American forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell; – the Enzo Files, featuring Scottish forensic scientist Enzo MacLeod, which is set in France. The sixth and final Enzo book is Cast Iron (January 2017, Riverrun). He has also written several standalone books:
May had a successful career as a television writer, creator, and producer.
One of Scotland’s most prolific television dramatists, he garnered more than 1000 credits in 15 years as scriptwriter and script editor on prime-time British television drama. He is the creator of three major television drama series and presided over two of the highest-rated serials in his homeland before quitting television to concentrate on his first love, writing novels. Born and raised in Scotland he lives in France.
His breakthrough as a best-selling author came with The Lewis Trilogy. After being turned down by all the major UK publishers, the first of the The Lewis Trilogy – The Blackhouse – was published in France as L’Ile des Chasseurs d’Oiseaux where it was hailed as “a masterpiece” by the French national newspaper L’Humanité. His novels have a large following in France. The trilogy has won several French literature awards, including one of the world’s largest adjudicated readers awards, the Prix Cezam.
The Blackhouse was published in English by the award-winning Quercus (a relatively young publishing house which did not exist when the book was first presented to British publishers). It went on to become an international best seller, and was shortlisted for both Barry Award and Macavity Award when it was published in the USA.
The Blackhouse won the US Barry Award for Best Mystery Novel at Bouchercon in Albany NY, in 2013
1996. Northern Israel. Lola leaves an unhappy home life in England for the fabled utopian life of a kibbutz, but this heavily guarded farming community on the Arab-Israeli border isn’t the idyll it seems, and tensions are festering.
Hundreds of miles away, in the Jerusalem offices of the International Tribune newspaper, all eyes are on Israel’s response to a spate of rocket attacks from Lebanon, until cub reporter Jonny Murphy gets a tip from a mysterious source that sends him straight into the danger zone.
When the body of an Arab worker is discovered in the dirt of the kibbutz chicken house, it triggers a series of events that puts Lola and the whole community in jeopardy, and Jonny begins to uncover a series of secrets that put everything at risk, as he begins to realise just how far some people will go to belong…
Firstly thank you so much to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for inviting me to be on the Dirt blog tour.
I was taken by the premise of Dirt as I’ve never read a book set in Israel, and I hoped to learn something from Dirt about this politically difficult area, the Middle East.
The plot is a gripping tale set in a Kibbutz (A kibbutz is an intentional community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. The first kibbutz, established in 1909, was Degania), involving a group of European volunteers who traveled to this so-called utopia, often running away from things at home, in the hope to have a “perfect” life with their Jewish and Arab colleagues. However, this is all brought to an abrupt end when first they are very nearly shelled (They believe that by being so close to the Arab-Israeli border they won’t ever get shelled) and whilst they are all sheltering in a bomb shelter a body of one of the workers is found in the chicken house.
The descriptions of the kibbutz setting are absolutely exquisite, I could picture the terrain and layout so well, Sarah has a talent for really putting the reader in the book setting. And these descriptions all really added to make this an unforgettable and tense read. Only let down by not having a map in the beginning, but google did help me! The tensions between the cast of characters are extremely well-written and with each page, you are more and more invested in the plot,I couldn’t put Dirt down!
The book builds to a brilliant ending and even I didn’t guess the outcome, but this is a brilliant thriller involving spies, damaged humans, and damaged relationships, Sarah has a fabulous spirit with the way she writes her cast on Dirt, making them ultra visceral and Dirt played out like a movie in my mind!
A superb 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star read and another triumph from Orenda Books!
Sarah Sultoon is a novelist and journalist, whose prior work as an international news executive at CNN has taken her all over the world, from the seats of power in both Westminster and Washington to the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. She has extensive experience in conflict zones, winning three Peabody awards for her work on the war in Syria, an Emmy for her contribution to the coverage of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, and a number of Royal Television Society gongs. As passionate about fiction as nonfiction, she recently completed a Master of Studies in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, adding to an undergraduate degree in languages, chosen mainly so she could spend time itinerantly traveling the world. She likes running, Indian food, cocktails, playing sports with her children, and throwing a ball for her dog, the order depends on when the cocktails are consumed. The Source her first novel is currently in development for television with Lime Pictures.
After the traumatic events of the past year, Tuva is back as deputy editor reporting for the Gavrik Posten, but her world will never be the same.
A closed community
Rose Farm is home to a group of survivalists, heavily armed and completely cut off from the outside world.
A missing person
A young woman, Elsa Nyberg, goes missing within the perimeter of the farm compound. Can Tuva talk her way inside the tight-knit group to find her?
A frantic search
As Tuva attempts to unmask the culprit, she gains unique access to the residents. But soon she herself is in danger of the pack turning against her. Can she make her way back to safety and expose the truth?
Will Dean’s most heart-pounding Tuva Moodyson thriller yet takes Tuva to her limits, both professionally and in her personal life. Can she, and will she, make the right choice?
Firstly I would like to thank Point Blank Crime and Anne Cater for letting me have a copy of Wolf Pack to review.
So, Wolf Pack is the 5th instalment in Will Dean’s absolutely brilliant Tuva Moodyson series, set in a remote town in Sweden. the previous books being Dark Pines, Red Snow, Black River and Bad Apples.
The first thing to mention if you haven’t read any of this series is Tuva Moodyson is a profoundly deaf lesbian in a small town and a reporter for the town’s newspaper The Gavrik Posten. If you haven’t read the series, I would recommend you do as events in the previous novels do link into Wolf Pack.
The plot of Wolf pack is really quite exceptional, Tuva stumbles upon an injured dog and ends up taking him and his owner to the Gavrik vets, and from then on events just slowly and mysteriously rumble on like a snowball down a hill and Tuva is slap bang in the middle of it.
I really don’t want to give any of the plots away but I must say that due to what has happened to Tuva in the previous book Bad Apples, she is in a dark place personally which leads her to act perhaps more recklessly than we’ve seen before. Will Dean’s use of the two small towns of Visberg and Gavrik and their cast of characters which again pop up in the series, means that we have a claustrophobic mystery involving a missing woman and a group of survivalists. It’s a fabulous study into how easy it is for a group of people to become cut off from society and how that paranoia can affect how people behave.
As I’ve said I’m not going to spoil the plot, but what I will say is the list of characters and their descriptive personalities are so well written, Will dean is so amazingly clever at writing how people think and conveying that to the reader, Wolf Pack is full of unease and suspense. And in one particular scene, I was sweating and my heart was palpitating because it was so descriptive I felt like I was there!
I’ve no idea how Will Dean manages to write book after book with such aplomb, and Wolf Pack is really excellent, I was gripped and could not put it down. I’m such a huge fan of Tuva because I can identify with her in so many ways, I am in awe of male writers who can so easily write from the female perspective too, and Will Dean is a master at this.
So Wolf Pack of course gets 5 stars from me. Another triumph from an author who seemingly cannot put a foot wrong! And now I have to await the next instalment of Tuva Moodyson, and that is the only downside!
WILL DEAN lives in the middle of a vast elk forest in Sweden, where the Tuva Moodyson novels are set. He grew up in the East Midlands. After studying Law at the LSE, and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden and built a wooden house in a boggy clearing, where he lives with his wife and son, and it’s from this base that he reads and writes. Will Dean is the author of Dark Pines, Red Snow, Black River and Bad Apples in the Tuva Moodyson series. His debut novel in the series, Dark Pines, was selected for Zoe Ball’s Book Club and shortlisted for the Guardian Not the Booker prize. The second, Red Snow, won Best Independent Voice at the Amazon Publishing Readers’ Awards and was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2020, as was his third novel, Black River.
The series is in development for television. Will is also the author of two stand-alone novels, The Last Thing to Burn, shortlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2022, and First Born, both published by Hodder.
Will Dean posts regularly about reading and writing on YouTube and you can find him on Twitter, TikTok and Instagram. @willrdean TikTok: will_dean_author YouTube: Will Dean – Forest Author