Holding by Graham Norton @grahnort @hodderbooks #review

Holding by [Norton, Graham]

Holding is the debut novel by well known tv and radio personality Graham Norton. I think he is a naturally funny guy and really enjoy his Friday Night chat show and Saturday morning Radio 2 programme. And of course, his hilarious commentary on Eurovision is not to be missed! So you’d expect a novel by Mr Norton to be full of laughs and larger than life characters a bit like himself right? Wrong! Holding is essentially a gentle mystery story set in the sleepy Irish village of Duneen, where the residents are about to be shaken by the news that human remains have been found on a building site.

Graham Norton has created some wonderful characters to populate his village. There’s PJ, the overweight Garda who rarely has much to do and wonders if he will be able to solve the mystery of who lies buried in the town. Mrs Meaney, his housekeeper, has lived with a secret shame all her life and thinks she knows something about the grisly discovery. Brid Riordan is in a very unhappy marriage and seeks consolation in the many bottles of wine she has stashed in her fridge. The Ross sisters have been tinged with the tragedy of their parents’ deaths and live together quietly in the family home.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has a distinctively Irish voice with some gentle humour apparent throughout the story. As the guilty secrets of the villagers begin to emerge along with plenty of rumours, finger pointing and gossip, the reader begins to understand more about the complex relationships between the characters. Graham Norton shows how dashed hopes, past losses and a deep-rooted need for love has affected his characters throughout the years.

Holding is a hugely enjoyable read which had me turning the pages late into the evening to see how it would end. There are some surprisingly moving parts of the novel and it would be hard not to have sympathy for the characters and what they have gone through. One in particular I felt so sad for but of course, I’m not saying who or why! I really hope that Graham Norton may write again about some of his characters as I’d really like to know what happens next for them. He has certainly shown in this novel that as well as being a talented entertainer, he knows how to tell an excellent story too.

My thanks to the publishers, Hodder & Stoughton, for allowing me to read a review copy via Netgalley. Holding will be published in hardback and as an e-book on 6th October, with the paperback due to follow next July. You can order a copy online here: Holding

From the back of the book

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama; and yet its inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn’t always been this overweight; mother of­ two Brid Riordan hasn’t always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn’t always felt that her life was a total waste.

So when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be that of Tommy Burke – a former­ love of both Brid and Evelyn – the village’s dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated PJ struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community’s worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.

Darkly comic, touching and at times profoundly sad. Graham Norton employs his acerbic wit to breathe life into a host of loveable characters, and explore – with searing honesty – the complexities and contradictions that make us human.

 

Stella Hervey Birrell – Author in the Spotlight @atinylife140

17.11.2015. Stella Hervey Birrell.
Stella writing at home (photo by Gordon Bell)

I’m very pleased to welcome Stella Hervey Birrell to the blog today. I read her novel How Many Wrongs Make a Mr Right recently and you can read my review by clicking here.

Thanks for stepping into the spotlight Stella. First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?

I was a dreamy child. To be fair, I’m probably a fairly dreamy adult … I was a fairly typical, annoying child, the youngest of five, and a nippy teenager (aren’t they all?). My twenties were a bit of a mess due to mental health problems – but now, as well as being a published author, I’m married with two children and two cats. Being in my thirties rocks!

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always written to get things out of my system. One of those ‘things’ was picked up by The Guardian, and the response encouraged me to give up the day job.

Tell me about your journey to publication

I gave up paid work in 2012, and my first novel was published in 2016. But I had given myself 10 years to get anywhere so I was pleasantly surprised to only have to wait for 4. I submitted the first three chapters of How Many Wrongs… to over thirty agents and publishers. I was just about to give up on the novel entirely when Crooked Cat offered to publish.

crooked cat logo

Luck finally strikes with the Cats!

 

In a nutshell, what is your latest book about?

How Many Wrongs Cover

It’s a chick-lit, ‘with grit’ as I like to say, which follows Melissa, probably the most aggravating anti-heroine ever. A novel about frog-kissing, bed-hopping, sliding off your lily-pad with embarrassment, and croaking for joy.

How did you come up with the title for your book?

Funnily enough, it was my pal Christine, who hadn’t even read it! I told her what the book was about and she came up with the title in about thirty seconds. I’m just waiting for the invoice …

How did you celebrate publication day?

Well, if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s throwing a party. Crooked Cat always release their books on Kindle and other online platforms first, so I hosted my very first Facebook party between 7am and 10pm that day. But I still invited some friends over so I could pop back and forth between the computer and the prosecco! Once the book went into paperback, I wanted to host a proper launch – partly to thank everyone for their support. We booked a local art gallery, had a reading, live music, wine and nibbles and books for sale (of course). Much, much later, we ended up at my local pub: singing raucously, much to the amusement of Jamie the landlord, and drinking more than was strictly advisable.

Do you have a work in progress just now?

Yes. I’m very excited about my second novel and can’t wait to share it. It’s nearly, nearly done, but I keep tweaking little bits here and there. And I am saying nothing more about it, because it has a huge secret at its heart.

What’s your favourite book you’ve read in the past few months? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose!

I had an extreme reaction to Nobody Told Me, by Hollie McNish. To say I couldn’t put it down is an understatement. I was reading it with one hand and pulling pizza out of the freezer with the other, so that I could make the easiest tea possible! It follows Hollie from when she found out she was pregnant, to her daughter’s first birthday, and it spoke directly to so many of my experiences.

nobodytoldme_cover

Highly recommended

What are you reading just now?

I’m reading the Earthsea Quartet by Ursula Le Guin. I’ve been meaning to get round to it for ages, so I’ve nicked my Mum’s copy (thanks Mum!). It is wonderful. I knew it would be.

Earthsea

This has been responsible for some late nights over the summer!

Tell me about your reading habits:  book or kindle, bed or bath, morning or evening?

I have a kindle but also love holding (and let’s face it, smelling) a book. I read everywhere – kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, walking to the front door as the doorbell has gone, waiting for a bus/a train/a child to finish swimming lesson, etc, etc. I will almost always end my day with at least a page or two. Or a chapter or two if it’s suddenly become imperative to find out what happens next!

Best Friends

My Best Friends … I mean, er, books.

How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?

How to find me: please come and say ‘hi’ in one or more of these places.

My blog space is https://atinylife140.wordpress.com/

Twitter is @atinylife140

I have a page on Facebook here.

Email me at atinylife140@gmail.com.

I can also be found wandering the streets of various East Lothian villages – I’m the dreamy-looking one!

And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?

Hanging out at Pemberley sounds good …

Book Links

My book, How Many Wrongs make a Mr Right? is available from the following places

UK Amazon

US Amazon

Kobo

Nook

iBooks

 

A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams #review @bcwilliamsbooks @fictionpubteam

I chose this novel for my book group to read and it achieved the rare feat of being a book we all really enjoyed!

It is the 1920s in New York and on the face of it beautiful socialite Mrs Theresa Williams has a perfect life. Married to the wealthy, much older Sylvo, they turn a blind eye to each others extra-marital affairs, as divorce is scandalous.  A Certain Age follows the relationship between Theresa and her younger lover, the splendidly named Captain Octavian Rofrano. When Theresa’s brother Ox wants to marry young Sophie Fortescue, Octavian is enlisted to carry out the family’s tradition and take the heirloom engagement ring to Sophie, asking the question on behalf of Ox. He is also tasked with checking into the family to make sure there are no skeletons lurking. And of course, there certainly are! Handsome Octavian and beautiful young Sophie find they are attracted to each other yet neither is in a position to act on their feelings. Interspersed with the story are breathily excited newspaper gossip columns written by Patty Cake – a pseudonym for someone whose identity is revealed near the end – as she reports on ‘the trial of the century’ which involves many of the characters in the book.

This was a steady paced story where the secrets are gradually revealed. Often the reader gleans more from the newspaper articles, as they fill in much of what the characters don’t tell. This was a glamorous time with the beautiful clothes and the high society parties seeming so decadent. Think Downton Abbey transported to New York and you have an idea of the clothing styles and also of the changes society was undergoing. I enjoyed reading more about what scandals were going on and what secrets the characters were hiding. 

I particularly enjoyed reading Helen Rowland’s witty comments about men, women and marriage at start of each chapter. She was a real-life journalist who wrote a column in a New York newspaper about life as a bachelor girl. Many of these made me smile including this little gem: “When you see what some women marry, you realize how they must hate to work for a living.”

A elegant novel with secrets, romance and a murder mystery at its heart. There were some dramatic scenes near the end bringing the murder mystery element of the story to a conclusion together with resolving the love stories of the main characters. There seems to be potential to carry on the stories of some of the characters after this book ends and I’d particularly like to know more about Theresa and  Virginia.

My thanks to Jaime Frost at HarperCollins for my review copy of this book. A Certain Age was published on 14 July 2016 in paperback and as e-book. You can order a copy online here: A Certain Age

From the back of the book

New York in the Roaring Twenties – a time for love, secrets and scandal…

As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue – a beautiful socialite of a certain age – has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young lover, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. But though times are changing, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question.

When Theresa’s bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the youngest daughter of a newly wealthy inventor, Theresa enlists her lover to present the family’s diamond rose ring to pretty ingénue, Miss Sophie Fortescue – and to check into the background of this little-known family. Yet even as he uncovers a shocking secret, Octavian falls under Sophie’s spell…

Divided loyalties and dangerous revelations lead to a shocking transgression and eventually Theresa must make a choice that will change them all forever.

.

Christina Banach – Author in the Spotlight @ChristinaBanach

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I’m delighted to welcome Christina Banach to the blog today. I had the pleasure of meeting Christina at a gathering of authors and bloggers in Edinburgh in June so it’s lovely to find out more about her through her answers. Her novel, Minty, was published in 2014 and has amazing reviews on Amazon. I have a copy so watch out for my review in the next few weeks. You can order a copy online here: Minty

Hi Christina, thanks for taking part. First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?

I’m a writer and former Headteacher living in the Kingdom of Fife, Scotland, with my husband and two rescue dogs. I write young adult/crossover fiction. Amongst the things I love are: writing (obviously!); spending time with my family and friends; being curled up with a good book; indulging in great food (not always in moderation!); being on or near the sea; chilling in front of the TV; going for long walks; and nights out at the theatre. Oh – and I’m a bit of a chocoholic! My debut novel, Minty, was a Scottish Book Trust Teen’s Book of the Month, shortlisted for the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award and nominated for a Cybils Award.

What inspired you to start writing?

Although I’d written stories, poems etc in childhood and throughout my teens, it wasn’t until many years later that I began to write seriously. The catalyst for this was a prolonged period of ill-health, coupled with a turbulent time in my personal life. I guess I turned to writing as a way of making sense of my reactions to these events. It was at that point that the writing bug held me in its grip and wouldn’t let go.

Tell me about your journey to publication

Once I rediscovered my childhood passion for writing it consumed me. However, it was increasingly difficult to find the time to devote to it so I took a leap of faith and resigned from my job. At that point my major focus was on writing adult fiction. Then I came across David Almond’s beautiful novel, Skellig, which inspired me to write for young people.

Meantime I devoured as much fiction as possible, in order to study how other writers constructed their books. I also pored over writing advice from authors such as James Scott Bell (his books are so useful!), Christopher Vogler, Robert McKee, Stephen King and Christopher Brooker; in fact, every book on the craft of writing I could lay my hands on. I made notes, cogitated, digested and applied what I’d learned. I joined SCBWI (the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). I also surfed the Net for anything that would make me a better writer – there are so many great writing blogs online. When I sent work to a literary consultancy, for editorial feedback, they offered to sell me through to agents (they’re also literary scouts). It was through them I signed with my agent and, shortly afterwards I was offered a book deal with Three Hares Publishing.

In a nutshell, what is your latest book about?

Product Details

My book, Minty, is set in Fife and is a contemporary ghost story, told from the point of view of the ghost. It has described it as a cross between The Lovely Bones (without the grim murder!) and Ghost. I’m told that it’s a real weepy that has heart and warmth at its core. It tells the story of fourteen-year-old twins Minty and Jess who, although they sometimes bicker, are completely inseparable. Then a day trip to the coast puts their bond in jeopardy. As Minty tries to rescue her dog from drowning she ends up fighting for her life, a fight that results in drastic consequences for both sisters.

How did you come up with the title for your book?

The title came to me in a flash, along with the idea. During the night I thought I sensed my late father’s presence, after which, unable to get back to sleep, I sat in the sunroom contemplating what had actually happened. Whilst doing this I heard my dog panting and put out my hand to stroke her. Until it struck me – how could it be my pet? She’d died the month before.

That’s when Minty’s name and her story came to me: the tale of a teenaged girl to whom the unimaginable happens. One that deals with universal themes such as love, family, grief, hope and redemption, but that also attempts to answer one of the big questions in life, namely, what happens to us after we die?

How did you celebrate publication day?

I spent a large part of Minty’s publication day in my pyjamas answering the phone (to real-life people wishing me well, not folks trying to sell me PPI!) and replying to congratulatory messages online. It was such a wonderfully crazy day – people were incredibly kind and lovely – and seeing Minty published was a dream come to fruition, so it’s one that I’ll never forget. By the way, I did manage to get out of those PJs and get showered in time for a celebratory dinner, complete with champagne!

Do you have a work in progress just now?

Yes, I’m working on the fourth draft of Coira, a young adult mystery set in the legendary village of Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands. It’s a complex and ambitious story which has involved a lot of research but one with which I’ve completely fallen in love.

What’s your favourite book you’ve read in the past few months? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose!

This is such a devilish question, Joanne! I’ve read several great books lately and it’s impossible to choose just one – thank goodness you’ve allowed me three! Here they are, in no particular order: Jon Teckman’s hilarious Ordinary Joe, The Dust That Falls From Dreams by Louise de Bernieres and Beetle Boy by M G Leonard.

What are you reading just now? 

As of now, September 2016, I’m just about to start Mesmeris by Karen E Coles. It’s a young adult novel that has garnered great reviews from readers of all ages – I can’t wait to delve into it.

Tell me about your reading habits:  book or kindle, bed or bath, morning or evening?

On a rare Internet-free holiday it’s all of the above. Under normal circumstances, however, I do most of my reading when I go to bed at night. I prefer a paperback as I have slightly arthritic hands which can make holding a hardback a wee bit tricky. Although my preference is for a physical book I do own and use a Kindle, mainly because I don’t want to disturb my husband when I want to read on into the night. This means that I now have several virtual and real copies of the same book!

How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?

I love connecting with readers and have several online accounts to enable this. I can be contacted through my website, or on Twitter and Facebook. I can also be found on Pinterest and Instagram.

Website: www.christinabanach.com

Twitter: @ChristinaBanach

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christina.banach.9

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/cbanachauthor/

Instagram: christina.banach

And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?

No question about it, I would be Scout Finch from Harper Lee’s, To Kill a Mockingbird. Why? Ah that’s easy; it’s because Scout’s father, Atticus, is one of my heroes so it would be amazing to spend time with him.

 

The Day I Lost You by Fionnuala Kearney @fionnualatweets #review @HarperCollinsUK

The Day I Lost You: A heartfelt, emotion-packed, twist-filled read by [Kearney, Fionnuala]

 

Thankfully, I have never lost anyone close to me in tragic circumstances and so can only imagine how a family copes when tragedy happens. In this book, I  feel that Fionnuala Kearney has probably come as close as it’s possible to get to describing the grief felt by a parent following the loss of a child. Jess’s free-spirited daughter Anna was reported lost in an avalanche just before Christmas and the story begins properly ten weeks later, on what would have been both their birthdays. Jess is now looking after her young grand-daughter Rose and just about getting by with the support of her sister and her mother. The story is also told through the eyes of Theo, a good friend of Jess, who is also coming to terms with loss. In his case, it is the breakdown of his marriage and he has been left as a lone parent, so in a similar situation to Jess. Through Anna’s blog posts, scattered throughout the story, the reader begins to learn more about her life too.

This is such a moving, compelling story. Fionnuala Kearney captures perfectly the turmoil of emotions her characters experience – the grief, the rage, the emptiness, the questioning, everything that someone goes through when they lose someone they love. I felt such compassion for Jess as she struggled to deal with the loss of Anna while at the same time trying to keep things as normal as they could be for Rose. Her elderly father also has health issues which her mother is trying to cope with alone, not wanting to admit that things are getting too much for her. Jess is very much of the generation of women caught in the middle of caring – caring for grandchildren but still caring for parents too. I feel that many women will identify with her feelings of being pulled in all directions, trying to do her best for everyone but she has her intense grief to deal with too.

Another theme of the story is how well can we ever know someone we love? Anna kept many secrets from her mother and this was something that Jess found hard to cope with as she began to uncover more about Anna’s life. It must have been hard to find that Anna was sharing her deepest thoughts on a blog, albeit anonymously, and yet did not feel able to share them with her mother. As becomes apparent though, there was a very good reason why she did not share what was arguably her biggest secret. It is a secret that could very well tear her family apart, even after her death.

The Day I Lost You is a beautifully written, emotional exploration of the effects of grief and revelations on a family. Fionnuala Kearney has shown in her second novel that she is skilled at writing about emotions in a way which will have her readers completely engaged with and empathising with her characters. They are flawed but human and that’s what makes this such a wonderful read – they are real.

My thanks to the publishers Harper for my review copy of this book. The Day I Lost You in available as an e-book and in paperback and you can order a copy here: The Day I Lost You

From the back of the book

THE DAY I LOST YOU WAS THE DAY I DISCOVERED I NEVER REALLY KNEW YOU

When Jess’s daughter, Anna, is reported lost in an avalanche, everything changes.

Jess’s first instinct is to protect Rose, Anna’s five-year-old daughter. But then she starts to uncover Anna’s other life – unearthing a secret that alters their whole world irrevocably.

THE DAY I LOST YOU WAS THE DAY YOU TORE OUR FAMILY APART

The perfect emotional and absorbing story for fans of Jojo Moyes and David Nicholls

Leah from Reflections of a Reader – Blogger in the Spotlight @LeahJMoyse

Leah Moyse

I’m very pleased to welcome Leah today. Leah wins a prize for taking longest to complete her answers as she first got the questions over a year ago! But she also wins a prize for being quickest as, after she asked me to resend them, she replied very promptly. Thanks for agreeing to be part of my Blogger in the Spotlight feature Leah. First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?

Thanks for letting me take part. My name is Leah. I am 33yrs old and live with my partner Ian in Watford, Hertfordshire. We live in a flat so sadly are unable to keep pets and we don’t have any children. I work full time as a Bookkeeper for a local business. Ironically, I spend all day thinking of words and books whilst dealing with numbers. I was born in Germany as my Father was in the Army, so I was used to moving around a bit when I was younger.  My second love after books is music.

What books/authors did you enjoy as a child?

I can remember reading right from the beginning of school, with the One Two Three and Away books by Sheila K. McCullagh. I also loved Spot the Dog by Eric Hill and The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. As I got older I loved the Beatrix Potter set I had, and the Mrs Pepperpot books by Alf Proysen. After that I moved on to Nancy Drew and anything by Enid Blyton. I had a particular penchant for The Magic Faraway series and remember loving Moonface. I also remember enjoying Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry.

What made you want to start blogging?

It just seemed like a natural progression for me. I was a member of an online book forum, where I reviewed books that I had read. I just wanted my own space on the worldwide web that I could call my own and recommend books to other people and maybe make contact/friends with like minded people. I am actually quite shy around people I don’t know, so this seemed liked the ideal hobby for me.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I love the fact that I am the member or a wonderful and supportive community of book lovers, I love the fact that I get to recommend books to other people, often before they have been released for general sale. I love all of the friendships that I have made, that I wouldn’t have without the blog. People I haven’t even met in real life. I love the escapism that reading and blogging give me after a hard day.

Tell me about your blog – sell yourself!

I have said elsewhere that I am quite shy, so selling myself is something of a difficulty! I like to think that I provide thoughtful and honest reviews of a wide variety of genres. I would love to review as frequently as some of my fellow bloggers but with a demanding job it is tricky to fit it all in.

What’s your favourite book you’ve reviewed in the past year? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose.

This is really tricky as I hate favourites, but these three are all amazing.

The Wacky Man by Lyn G. Farrell

In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

What are you reading just now? 

Right now I am reading Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant – August 2016

Tell me about your reading habits:  book or kindle, bed or bath, morning or evening?

I don’t have a kindle so it is real books for me all the way. I actually prefer paperbacks to hardbacks as I find hardbacks whilst lovely to look at on the shelves, annoying to read. I don’t read in bed or the bath. Ever since I dropped a book in the bath anyway and I can’t get past a page if I read in bed before falling asleep – not very productive.

I do most of my reading at the weekend and some in the evenings. I love looking forward to the weekend when I know I have large chunks of time to devote to reading. It feels like a treat every single time.

How can people follow your blog or connect with you on social media?

You can find me in various places on social media:

On the blog itself: https://reflectionsofareader.blogspot.co.uk

On facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reflectionsofareader/?fref=ts

On Twitter: @LeahJMoyse

And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?

This is such a difficult question! I could change my mind a million times but at the moment I think I would be DI Rio Wray from the books by Dreda Say Mitchell. I adore her tenacious spirit, her fight to get to the top of her career. I love the fact that she is feisty, fiery and strong and will do what it takes to get what she wants. Although not perfect and she does have her flaws, I admire her.

Beneath the Surface by Jo Spain @SpainJoanne @QuercusBooks #review

Beneath the Surface: An Inspector Tom Reynolds Mystery (2) (Inspector Tom Reynolds 2) by [Spain, Jo]

Beneath the Surface is the second book to feature Inspector Tom Reynolds and his team and this time we find him investigating a shocking murder at the Leinster House, seat of the Irish Parliament. The victim, Ryan Finnegan, leaves behind a baby daughter and a grieving widow who can’t understand why anyone would want to hurt her husband, who had only just returned to work following a serious car crash. Ryan also leaves a trail of clues gradually uncovered by Tom and his team and leading them to discover corruption and scandal in very high places.

This was another gripping read from Jo Spain. Tom is central again of course but I felt I got to know his team a lot better throughout the course of the book, especially  Ray and Laura. It will be interesting to see how the dynamics between the team develop in future books. (There will be more books won’t there Jo?) Tensions between Tom and his wife Louise and daughter Maria came to the fore in this book. It makes such a refreshing change to have a police story where the lead character has a relatively normal home-life. I could completely understand Louise’s frustration at so often taking second place to her husband’s job and was glad she seemed to have made him understand this. I am slightly concerned though that Tom’s response was to talk about retirement. Not yet please Tom, I’m just getting to know you! It also seemed natural that Louise’s frustrations spilled out into her trying to control Maria’s routine with baby Cait. I think anyone who has had a baby will recognise that feeling when well-meaning relatives offer ‘advice’!

Turning to the crime element of this book, there was so much going on just beneath the surface for the characters both politically and personally. It was a enthralling read as the team worked together to try to discover who the murderer was but also discovered so much more as potential motives were revealed. Jo Spain cleverly led my thoughts from one suspect to another throughout the book. I partly guessed who was responsible for once (usually I haven’t a clue) though did not fully guess the reasons why. But as Reynolds found, the clues were there in what the characters were saying, and not saying, all along.

The book ends with a very intriguing epilogue featuring one of the politicians who appeared in the book. He had seemed to be squeaky clean but this epilogue showed him to appear rather more devious and certainly with his own agenda. Perhaps this is setting up nicely for the next Inspector Reynolds book? I do hope so!

My thanks to the author and her publishers for giving me a copy of this book to review. Beneath the Surface was published by Quercus on 8th September as an e-book with the paperback due to follow in June next year. You can order a copy here: Beneath the Surface

From the back of the book

Did I know it would come to this? That I was playing Russian Roulette? I would give anything to turn back time and to be with my girls. There is no shot at redemption. I am going to die. The gun is in my eye-line as the second bullet is fired. That’s the one that kills me.

Late at night, two powerful men meet in a secret location to discuss a long nurtured plan about to come to fruition. One is desperate to know there is nothing standing in their way – the other assures him everything is taken care of. Hours later, a high-ranking government official called Ryan Finnegan is brutally slain in the most secure building in Ireland – Leinster House, the seat of parliament. Inspector Tom Reynolds and his team are called in to uncover the truth behind the murder.

At first, all the evidence hints at a politically motivated crime, until a surprise discovery takes the investigation in a dramatically different direction. Suddenly the motive for murder has got a lot more personal. . . but who benefits the most from Ryan’s death?