Dear Laura by Gemma Amor – 5 Star Book Review ***Spoilers***

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SPOILERS

I was recommended this book by a fellow book blogger on Twitter, and my God it’s a good one. It very fast paced, vile and disturbing with some sensitive content, yet treated with a great amount of dignity and tactfulness making it powerful and evocative rather than stomach turning.

Laura’s best friend and childhood sweetheart Bobby disappeared one morning with a ‘man in a van’ and was never never seen or heard from again. The kidnapper.. a truly horrendous individual called ‘X’, plays a lifelong birthday game with Laura, teasing Bobby’s whereabouts in exchange for personal items. The story plays out with Laura going through life struggling to adapt and never quite dealing with what has happened to her and Bobby.

“Dear Laura,
You don’t know me yet, but I know you…”

I loved that we were with Laura through childhood into adulthood, we got a real sense of her heartbreak and her struggle to accept what had happened. It was gut wrenching every time she received a letter from ‘X’. His requests so sinister, ruining the innocence of a child without ever laying a hand on her.. until later.

The story culminated in the only way it really could, the ending was fitting I felt for ‘X’ and I was pleased to see Laura getting the closure she had deserved for so long.

This is an amazing story, handled so delicately with the content and written with such love for the character of Laura.

This book was a five-star review from the get go.

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An Army of Skin – Morgan K. Tanner – Book Review ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

An Army of Skin is a wonderful entertaining and juicy gore fest.

Trevor blames the intriguing Doctor Mellick for the untimely death of his mother… and he wants revenge.

From the outset the gore was strong with this one. The heartbreak of Trevor and his desire for the deepest revenge is woven through this novella perfectly intertwined with the macabre flaying of corpses and the skin coming back to ‘life’. It’s a very visceral tale, it’s engaging from word one with the overly twisted murders followed by the ever so wrong resurrections fitting together like a perfect jigsaw.

An Army of Skin is a well written novella that you won’t want to put down. Be prepared for plenty of blood, guts and terror. It’s a twisted nightmare like no other.

One By One – Book Review

One by One – D. W. Gillespie

Flame Tree Press, 2019

The Easton family has just moved into their new fixer-upper, a beautiful old house that they bought at a steal, and Alice, the youngest of the family, is excited to explore the strange, new place. Her excitement turns to growing dread as she discovers a picture hidden under the old wallpaper, a child’s drawing of a family just like hers. 

Soon after, members of the family begin to disappear, each victim marked on the child’s drawing with a dark black X. It’s up to her to unlock the grim mystery of the house before she becomes the next victim.

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I was hooked from the opening with this book, a very intricately woven family horror tale, narrated by the wise beyond her years Alice. At just 10 years old she is left to uncover the truth behind a sinister wall painting and find out just what is happening to her family.

The story begins with the family arriving at their new house, an absolute “steal” according to Frank, Alice’s father. Frank is prone to whimsical schemes and a bit of a dreamer, so when he buys this house it’s not surprising that the rest of the family isn’t exactly convinced.

Alice seems to connect on anther level with the house, she has her own narration of events in her head, from ‘Mary’, a girl who tragically died in the house. She know’s deep down that something is wrong and that something dark is t work, but she just can’t put her finger on it. When she finds the picture of the previous family under the wallpaper her suspicions seem to take on their own energy. A stick figure family, mother, father, son, daughter and the family pet – just the same as Alice’s family.

Their pet cat vanishes and at the same time a mysterious ‘X’ is drawn over the pet in the picture. The an ‘X’ is drawn over the boy, representing her brother Dean. Just what is happening to Alice’s family and what does ‘Mary’ have to do with it.

I love the mis-direct within the story – the reader is convinced it’s one thing happening when in fact it’s something even more sinister. The story of Mary and just what happened to her is an interesting and tragic tale. We get snippets throughout thanks to Mary’s diary after Alice comes across in and has to read it. It is a very well put together narrative, very clever yet simple at the same time, and for me, the characters, particularly Alice, really set this off.

One by One is my second read from D. W. Gillespie (thanks to Flame Tree Press for the eARC). I look forward to more.

Ghost Mine – ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

Many thanks first of all to Flame Tree Press for the copy of Ghost Mine by Hunter Shea. This is part of the Flame Tree Press May releases.

Ghost Mine is a cowboy/gold rush/Djinn mash up which does work really well for the most part.

Teddy Roosevelt wants the gold from the mining town of Hecla, the problem… well Hecla seems to swallow men whole. He decides his man from the Rough Rider days, Nat, now an NYC cop is the man for the job and sends him in to see what exactly is going on there. Taking is long time friend and fellow adopted Rough Rider, Teta, with him they head out to the unknown.

My favourite thing about this book is Teta, he is a fantastic character. You can feel his sassy energy bouncing of the page and his little digs and quips really worked for me. I hate to say that Nat on the other hand, felt a little, robotic (if thats the right term). For me this let the book down a bit. It’s a great story, and the Wild West setting is wonderful – I love a good western. Sadly the majority of the characters just took the shine off. Selma too, I found her quite irksome for the most part.

The story itself is rather good, opening in Hecla with the naughty kid Billy killing rats in the mines. It seems that something down there did not want to be disturbed and it definitely made itself known. I enjoyed the subtlety of the opening chapter, setting the story up whilst being very tight-lipped about the while ‘what’s down there’.

Ghost Mine is definitely worth a read. As always it’s a very subjective matter. Yes, I couldn’t quite get there with it, but all the same it’s a well set up plot, and Teta who I’ve already gushed over is great!!

Released May 30th 2019 from Flame Tree Press

Ghost Mine (Fiction Without Frontiers) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1787582078/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_gWs2CbE6KQ2GQ

Some light reading….

Thank you to The Bold Mom for this one.., Master of Pain is a very very violent BDSM filled tale based on the true story of America’s first online serial killer.

I’m about 10% in and god yes it tough going. It’s very graphic. I do like it though…. let’s see if I can make it too the end shall we.

The Devil Crept In – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

The Devil Crept In

Ania Ahlborn

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29430798

This is an amazing read, thank you so much to Catherine (RedLaceReviews) for sending me this one.

I really enjoyed this. It’s one of those stories you just can’t put down. With every page I needed to see the next one to find out what happens next. It’s the true definition of a page turner. The mystery of what happened to Jude for the three days he is missing, the curious case of all the pets and then just what did happen to young Max Larson.

Deer Valley, Oregon, is a very dangerous place it would seem.

No one can seem to keep a pet, not of the uncaged variety anyway. They just keep running off into the night, cats and dogs, something keeps pulling them towards the woods and a creepy old abandoned house.

Jude Brighton, a young troubled boy, goes missing for three days. His cousin Stevie will stop at nothing to find him, Jude is his only real friend and ally. Stevie believes that something, not someone has taken Jude.

I really don’t want to say too much more about the story plot-wise as I feel I will give too much away. But what a ride it is.

It is a book of two stories, the intertwine very nicely all through and come together in a shocking conclusion. Everything about this book was perfect for me, the pacing, the characters, the plot with its twists and turns. The story is one which is very well thought out, you can tell the author has really sat down and planned all this out. There is a also a wonderful subtlety to it, the character of ‘Ras’ is underplayed on point. You come to know just who he is without hardly ever coming across him.

I would recommend this book to everyone. Seriously, check it out! Thank you Catherine for sharing this one with me, it really did strike a chord with me.

You can get it here:

5/5

Lesley-Ann

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