The Dogs of Lamu and The China Twelve (#Book3) by Raoul Morris #BookReview #ScienceFiction #CrimeThriller #KindleUnlimited

The Dogs of Lamu and The China 12 by [Raoul Morris]


Another job and the China 12 are vulnerable. The last two months have taken their toll, old ops gone, new ops not embedded, friends still in hospital. The unknown is still out there, defeated, not likely, planning their next move, certainly. Nothing to do but go forward toward the sound of gunfire.
Non stop story, in a world revealed to have changed forever.


The Dogs of Lamu and The China 12


This is one sensational series of thrills, chases and outwitting people that could be trusted not long ago. The story literally continues as if there has been a page turn from the end of book two. I must say now that it isn’t a story you can come in on in this third book, you have to read the whole series to understand the complexity of the stories and characters. There is a lot to get your head around but believe me, it is more than worthy of your time.

The books are set a few years from now, which gives the author licence to make some pretty cool scientific advances, non more than an A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) called Julia, who is functioning, unknown to others, quite contentedly in the mind of Milo. Milo can see Julia and have full-blown conversations with her in his head, which makes for some quite funny situations. Milo is a top character in the series for me and between him and his now constant companion, just entertained like the best of partnership’s that I have ever read about before.

Different sections of the book follow characters as they try to make their way to safe havens, while others still live lies and play both sides. After all, would you trust someone who betrays their friends? Old friends and colleagues become deadly enemies, while battles for power on a larger scale smoulder through the book. You realise that no-one is safe, everything has a price.

I was wowed by the ending but obviously cannot disclose it. This is something to be experienced. I read then re-read again the last few chapters as I was numbed. Just Brilliant!


Raoul Morris

Raoul, of Irish, French, American, Spanish and Scots origin, grew up on the mean streets of Dublin, (not very mean). He has lived in eight different cities on three different continents and currently lives in Canterbury UK. He has an abiding love of history and an ongoing affair with science and science fiction, but, more than anything, loves stories.

Raoul has worked as a screenwriter and filmmaker, in theatre as a lighting designer and in restaurants as a cook and dishwasher, (not at the same time).


Author Page:

Twitter: @ThreeHeadsInc


Brancusi's Head and the China 12

Brancusi’s Head and the China 12

A Sao Paulo Samba and the China 12: A different kind of detective

A Sao Paulo Samba and the China 12: A different kind of detective

The Dogs of Lamu and The China 12 by [Raoul Morris]

The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard #NetGalley #TheNothingMan #catherineryanhoward @CorvusBooks


I was the girl who survived the Nothing Man.
Now I am the woman who is going to catch him…

You’ve just read the opening pages of The Nothing Man, the true crime memoir Eve Black has written about her obsessive search for the man who killed her family nearly two decades ago.

Supermarket security guard Jim Doyle is reading it too, and with each turn of the page his rage grows. Because Jim was – is – the Nothing Man.

The more Jim reads, the more he realises how dangerously close Eve is getting to the truth. He knows she won’t give up until she finds him. He has no choice but to stop her first…


The Nothing Man


The chance of a good nights sleep became a thing of the past for quite a while after reading this book. When I went to bed every little noise became a turn of the key in my door, a footstep on the landing and the sound of someone breathing. It was all down to reading The Nothing Man. What an atmospheric read it was! Tense, scary and definitely under the covers reading and when the sun goes down, to get those extra goosebump moments.

Eve Black had been the only survivor when her family had been murdered by The Nothing Man, a name given to him because he never left any clues about himself behind. Almost twenty years on Eve still struggles with the night her mother, father and younger sister were brutally murdered. As part of her ongoing recovery, she had written a book about The Nothing Man and the families that he destroyed, in the hope that new evidence may still be out there. One man is desperate to read the book, after all, it is about him…..

What a terrific story told by Eve and by the serial killer, who had laid dormant all these years. The story drops back to the crimes that he committed, who he was and how he had easily blended into society so that no-one would ever suspect him of being such a high profile killer.

Eve is an exceptional character whose confidence and determination grows throughout the book. The killer, on the other hand, really does instill fear into you, arrogant, angry and playing the part of blending into normal life, be it without friends. Eve certainly knows how to push this man’s buttons to try and finish what he began all those years ago.

This is a mint read, very highly recommended.

I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Catherine Ryan Howard

CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1982. Her debut thriller, DISTRESS SIGNALS (2016), was an Irish Times and USA Today bestseller, and was shortlisted for both the Irish Crime Novel of the Year and the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger. Her second thriller, THE LIAR’S GIRL (2018) was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. She currently lives in Dublin, where she divides her time between the desk and the sofa.

The Secret Letters by Taryn Leigh @tarynleighbook #KindleUnlimited #Bookreview #NewRelease

The Secret Letters by [Taryn Leigh]


RACHEL, saved from an attack twelve years before by a faceless stranger, never got to thank him, never knew his name.

Despite the devastation she chose to rise above it to help others from their pain by becoming a psychologist….
Her only issue now is that she’s an expert at fixing everyone else’s problems, and blind to her own.

After a long relationship with her boyfriend WILL starts to go south, she turns to her best friend AMELIA for guidance.

Suddenly her world is turned upside down when tragedy strikes and she’s left with no one to comfort her but Will’s rude older brother RUARI.

Paralyzed by fear, she struggles to take grip of her life, until the day when anonymous letters begin to appear from the stranger who saved her twelve years before.


The Secret Letters


This is a book that has everything in it, from mystery to romance, from dealing with the past to finding the future. Rachel had never been able to move on from a terrifying assault and attempted rape when she had been at her school prom. Yes, she has a career now, she helps people every day to face their fears and cope with life, as a psychologist but she is well and truly stuck in her past.

At thirty she felt like she was in a rut and needed to know where she stood in the eleven-year relationship that she had with Will. Amelia was her best friend that she confided in, who always seemed to ask the probing questions that made her think about her relationship with Will. At her lowest, she meets an older gentleman and they form a lovely friendship.

This is a busy book as there are quite a few threads tangled up in Rachel’s life but each fires different emotions and uniqueness like in real life, as we never just have one thing happening at a time. It would be very hard not to like Rachel. I felt hurt for her when she hurt and so elated when things were good.

There is a distressing scene in the book, which some may react to, so just letting you know. There are heartache and fear to overcome, a 12-year-old mystery and healing. I loved reading this book as it soon felt like I knew these people. The storyline is intriguing and it is beautifully written. Highly recommended.


Taryn Leigh is a South African Author, who spent her childhood with her nose buried in books. Her love for reading transpired into her ambition to become an Author.

Taryn Leigh’s first book, Perfect Imperfections, is available in Paperback, eBook and AudioBook. She lives in Pretoria with her husband and son.

Connect with her on social media, she loves to hear from her fans, and is known to always respond.


Instagram: @tarynleighbooks

Twitter: @tarynleighbook


You can also join her fan group on Facebook for giveaways and special news: Taryn Leigh’s Official Fan Group

The Secret Letters by [Taryn Leigh]

Nine Elms (Kate Marshall #1) by Robert Bryndza @RobertBryndza @LittleBrownUK @BooksSphere #NineElms #KateMarshall

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From the breakthrough international bestselling author of The Girl in the Ice, a breathtaking, page-turning novel about a disgraced female detective’s fight for redemption. And survival.

Kate Marshall was a promising young police detective when she caught the notorious Nine Elms serial killer. But her greatest victory suddenly became a nightmare.

Fifteen years after those catastrophic, career-ending events, a copycat killer has taken up the Nine Elms mantle, continuing the ghastly work of his idol.

Enlisting her brilliant research assistant, Tristan Harper, Kate draws on her prodigious and long-neglected skills as an investigator to catch a new monster. But there’s much more than her reputation on the line: Kate was the original killer’s intended fifth victim . . . and his successor means to finish the job.


Nine Elms: The thrilling first book in a brand-new, electrifying crime series (Kate Marshall)


The second book in this series is coming out in November so I wanted to make sure that I didn’t get left behind. I had only heard really brilliant things about this book and so with that and the fact that I loved the author’s previous books this already had a lot to live up to. Oh my, I was not disappointed!

The story begins back in the 1990s with a young Kate Mitchell at the beginning of her career as a detective constable, eager to please and a keen eye to note anything that just doesn’t sit right. There is a killer brutally savaging young women in the area and the body of his fourth victim has just been found. Detective Chief Inspector Peter Conway is heading the new investigation and has just dropped her at home. Life is going to change for so many people and begin for someone else.

The story jumps fifteen years to 2010 when Kate is working as a university lecturer when she receives a letter asking for her help from a couple whose daughter went missing in 1990. Could this be another victim of the infamous ‘Nine Elms Cannibal’? Together with her young assistant, Tristan, they begin to dig into a past that had destroyed her life. Her nightmares really do resurface when a copy cat killer begins a new killing spree.

Kate is a complex character with a mountain of emotional turmoil that is never far away from spilling over. Does a monster make another monster or is it already an imprint on DNA? There are some corking characters in this book, Enid is the cannibal’s mother but believe me, being petrified of someone has nothing to do with their age. She is one character that made my blood run cold on every page.

Kate’s mother is another strong character in the story. She has played a massive part in Kate’s dark days and keeps tight reigns on the family. A lady to be admired in so many ways for the part she has played. She is very much the glue that keeps them together.

This is an edgy read throughout with gruesome murders and killers that literally had a taste of their victims’ terror. What a terrific series this is going to be!


Robert Bryndza

Robert Bryndza began his career training at the Guildford School of Acting. He spent six years as an actor, doing all kinds of strange jobs in between, which was the perfect training for being an author. He began to write during a long period of unemployment, first comedy sketches, a show which he took to the Edinburgh Festival, and then four romantic comedy novels which he self-published, and they became Amazon charts bestsellers selling over 250,000 copies.

His debut crime thriller The Girl in the Ice was the first book in his Detective Erika Foster series. It has sold over 1 million copies in the English language, and won the Dead Good Reader Award for best kick-ass female character at the 2016 Harrogate Crime Festival. Erika Foster has gone on to kick-ass in five further books; The Night Stalker, Dark Water, Last Breath, Cold Blood and Deadly Secrets. The series was twice nominated in Goodreads Choice Awards (Mystery and Thriller category) in 2016 for The Girl in the Ice, and in 2017 for Last Breath. Robert’s books have sold over 3 million copies in the English language, and have been translated into 29 languages.

Nine Elms, the first book in his new Kate Marshall private detective series was published late in 2019 and was an instant Amazon USA no.1 bestseller, an Amazon UK top 10 bestseller and topped bestselling charts around the world. The second book in the series, Shadow Sands, will be published in November 2020. Robert is British and lives in Slovakia.

TWITTER: @RobertBryndza

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Gaijin by Sarah Z. Sleeper @SarahZSleeper @RunWildBooks @AnnaSacca @FSBAssociates #Gaijin #NetGalley #NewRelease

Firstly I would like to thank Anna Sacca of FSB Associates for inviting me to read and review this book

Gaijin by [Sarah Z Sleeper, Barbara Lockwood]


The Japanese word gaijin means “unwelcome foreigner.” It’s not profanity, but is sometimes a slur directed at non-Japanese people in Japan. My novel is called Gaijin…

Lucy is a budding journalist at Northwestern University and she’s obsessed with an exotic new student, Owen Ota, who becomes her lover and her sensei. When he disappears without explanation, she’s devastated and sets out to find him. On her three-month quest across Japan she finds only snippets of the elegant culture Owen had described. Instead she faces anti-U.S. protests, menacing street thugs and sexist treatment, and she winds up at the base of Mt. Fuji, in the terrifying Suicide Forest. Will she ever find Owen? Will she be driven back to the U.S.? Gaijin is a coming-of-age story about a woman who solves a heartbreaking mystery that alters the trajectory of her life.




When Lucy first meets Owen Ota at Northwestern University, where she is studying journalism, she soon becomes quite besotted by him. He talks to her of traditional cultures of his home in Japan, the sheer beauty of the country and the gentle people. It isn’t long before she has fallen in love with him and his homeland. They are soon dating but he often refers to her as his friend, which she finds strange and things don’t progress quite like she would have liked, but she is still learning about his ways and traditions. He says he is a gaijin in her country, an unwanted foreigner.

Owen invites her to go to Japan with him but strangely disappears without saying anything to her. Lucy continues at university and adds a new course about Japan. When she sees a position advertised at a newspaper in Japan she applies for the position and is totally surprised that they offer her the job.

I loved how Lucy’s character developed and how the environment made her so much stronger.

I wish to thank Anna Sacca of FSB Associates and NetGalley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Sarah Z. Sleeper

Sarah Z. Sleeper is an ex-journalist with an MFA in creative writing. Gaijin is her first novel. Her short story, “A Few Innocuous Lines,” won an award from Writer’s Digest. Her non-fiction essay, “On Getting Vivian,” was published in The Shanghai Literary Review. Her poetry was published in A Year in Ink, San Diego Poetry Annual and Painters & Poets, and exhibited at the Bellarmine Museum. In the recent past she was an editor at New Rivers Press, and editor-in-chief of the literary journal Mason’s Road. She completed her MFA at Fairfield University in 2012. Prior to that she had a twenty-five-year career as a business writer and technology reporter and won three journalism awards and a fellowship at the National Press Foundation

Twitter: @SarahZSleeper

We Are All The Same In The Dark by Julia Heaberlin @juliathrillers #WeAreAllTheSameInTheDark @MichaelJBooks @NetGalley


‘Gorgeous writing, interesting characters, a unique setting, and an unsettling, surprising mystery. We Are All the Same in the Dark has it all’ Amy Engel, bestselling author of The Roanoke Girls

It’s been a decade since the town’s sweetheart Trumanell Branson disappeared, leaving only a bloody handprint behind.

Since her disappearance, Tru’s brother, Wyatt, has lived as an outcast, desperate to know what happened to his sister.

So when Wyatt finds a lost girl, he believes she is a sign.

But for new cop, Odette Tucker, this girl’s appearance reopens old wounds.

Determined to solve both cases, Odette fights to save a lost girl in the present and in doing so digs up a shocking truth about that fateful night in the past . . .


We Are All the Same in the Dark


Firstly I love this cover!

Oh my, just the mention of this author’s name and I get a little twitchy as I automatically think back to the other books by her that I have already got permanently in printed in my mind. I already know that what I read won’t go away when I want to sleep.

Wyatt was the only one that stopped when he saw something over the fence when he was driving his truck. The only reason he stopped was that he thought it was a dog, he needed a dog. What he didn’t need was a girl, but he took her anyway. The girl was mute, so he called her Angel. I knew that Wyatt would sit on my shoulder now until I finished this story and for a little after that too.

The story is told by three characters, Wyatt, Angel and Odette, a young police officer who had been Wyatt’s sister’s friend before she went missing ten years ago, now thought to be dead. The town had turned away from Wyatt believing that he has killed his sister, Odette is the only one that believes that he is innocent. After finding the young girl at Wyatt’s she makes it her mission to solve both mysteries. What happened to Trumanell, Wyatt’s sister and who is this mystery girl?

The story has a slow burn feel about it that you know will take off when you least expect it. I was like did that just happen, turned back to the beginning of the chapter and read again, yep! It is a story that turns on you when you think you have it. It has a shock factor and knots of lies that need teasing loose in each chapter. I loved Angel’s character as time past in the story, it is set over years not months.

I liked how the story turned in on itself, loved that I had been fascinated by the first half and engrossed in the second. I felt like I had lost a piece of myself. It shocked me, enraged me and drained me. Wow! loved how it all came together. Another story to be added to ‘makes me feel really uneasy books’.

I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Julia Heaberlin is the author of the international bestseller BLACK-EYED SUSANS and PAPER GHOSTS, a finalist for Best Novel of the year by the International Thriller Writers. WE ARE ALL THE SAME IN THE DARK, her latest psychological thriller, has received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Her books have sold to more than twenty countries, including two other psychological thrillers set in Texas, PLAYING DEAD and LIE STILL. A journalist, she has long held an interest in true crime and its lasting psychological effects on victims. Her books have examined themes of the Texas death penalty, dementia, prosthetics, and the power of DNA technology. Before writing novels, she was an award-winning editor for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Detroit News, and The Dallas Morning News. (Almost) a native Texan, Heaberlin lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area where she is at work on her next book.

Twitter: @juliathrillers

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Lost Souls by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman @penguinrandom #Lost souls #NetGalley #BookReview

Firstly I wish to thank Isabelle Ralphs of Penguin Random House for inviting me to read and review Lost Souls by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman.

Lost Souls by [Jonathan Kellerman]


The gripping new thriller from multi-bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman and his son, Jesse, features a deputy coroner and a seemingly impossible case set against an atmospheric Californian backdrop.

‘Storytelling at its best, I loved it’ Kathy Reichs


Deputy Coroner Clay Edison is juggling a new baby who won’t sleep with working the graveyard shift. For once he’s trying to keep things simple.


When infant remains are found by developers demolishing a local park, a devastating cold case is brought back to light.


Clay has barely begun to investigate when he receives a call from a man who thinks the remains could belong to his sister – who went missing fifty years ago. Now Clay is locked in a relentless search that will unearth a web of violence, secrets and betrayal.

Because in this town, the past isn’t dead. It’s very much alive. And it can kill.


Lost Souls


Although this is the 3rd book in this series featuring Deputy Coroner Clay Edison, it is my first book. It did read perfectly well from the start though I do prefer to read books in order.

When the remains of a baby are found by a demolition company in a local park, Edison is called on to determine what the cause of death was and who the child is. When a man comes forward with a ‘dog eared’ picture of who he believes was his baby sister, some 50 years ago, it turns into a heartbreaking case.

Edison is working the graveyard shift to help do his bit to look after his baby daughter who doesn’t sleep the best. Amy his wife has her routine with their daughter but at times seems a little resentful that Clay can tackle some of the baby jobs better than herself. They are a happy little family and I really took to them both.

A secondary investigation is also taken on with clay when a friend asks for his help, regarding another baby. Edison is a smart bloke and looks at things in a very practical way rather than just jumping in. He is wise enough too to know when to back down and clear out of a place.

Things hot up when trouble follows him home but he is determined that the baby in the park will belong to someone, somewhere and deserves a proper resting place. Being a father himself now gives him the protective nurturing element to do right and not give up for this dead child.

The story takes you back to a very different time when attitudes were different and regulations not as strict as now. Help wasn’t always on hand and problems where for families to deal with themselves. A hard-hitting story in places.

I loved the mix of work and home life for Edison, the balance was just perfect. It really showed how one influences the other side. Excellent storylines with full conclusions to the threads.

I wish to thank the publisher and NetGalley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Jonathan Kellerman

Jonathan Kellerman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than forty crime novels, including the Alex Delaware series, The Butcher’s Theater, Billy Straight, The Conspiracy Club, Twisted, True Detectives, and The Murderer’s Daughter. With his wife, Faye Kellerman, he co-authored Double Homicide and Capital Crimes. With his son, Jesse Kellerman, he co-authored Crime Scene, A Measure of Darkness, The Golem of Hollywood, and The Golem of Paris. He is also the author of two children’s books and numerous nonfiction works, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children and With Strings Attached: The Art and Beauty of Vintage Guitars. He has won the Goldwyn, Edgar, and Anthony awards and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association. Jonathan and Faye Kellerman live in California and New Mexico.

Jesse Kellerman

Jesse Kellerman won the Princess Grace Award for best young American playwright and is the author of Sunstroke, Trouble (nominated for the ITW Thriller Award for Best Novel), The Genius (winner of the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle), The Executor, and Potboiler (nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel).



Lost Souls by [Jonathan Kellerman]

Tales from the Red Sun Village: Volume 1 by Mark Swaine @MKSwaine #ScienceFictionAnthologies #BookReview #KindleUnlimited

Tales from the Red Sun Village: Volume 1 by [Mark Swaine]


The legendary warrior Kamui Li visits the people of a settlement in the badlands of Purgatoria. In a bid to build morale, the dangerous Samurai recounts three campfire stories to the nervous people of the village to help them overcome their fears of this dangerous new world.

The Midnight Foot Masseuse
A down on his luck chef encounters a demon living under his bed, a demon with a penchant for giving foot massages that somehow improves his life, but at what cost.

Plus a Few Upgrades
A tech savvy girl purchases a cursed videogame console from a car boot sale, and now she’s in the fight for her life whilst avenging her brother’s.

The Child’s Ward
A monster seeks weapons of mental mass destruction as an ignorant teen keeps vigil over a sick infant in the children’s ward of a hospital.


Tales from the Red Sun Village: Volume 1


I couldn’t help but be drawn in with these campfire stories, the curtains drawn and a drink at my side, I felt like I was there listening with the people from the village as the master of storytellers shared his tales.

Mark Swaine is a new author to me and I hope to many more readers too very soon. He creates the perfect setting and makes it all very visual, I felt part of this very special group of people waiting on his every word. Three stories, all very different and unique, it was like entering the twilight zone of bizarre weirdness that kept me transfixed to the unbelievable, but only because it hadn’t happened yet……

I won’t go into the stories as there is enough in the blurb to make you want to know more without giving too much away. The stories are all unique with unsuspecting victims and heroes in each one. You won’t always find a happy ending and some could have more to come but what I can tell you is that I gripped onto every sentence and wanted more.

I can’t even pick out the best story, each is so different and equally entertaining. One did make me laugh though and ashamedly it was at someone’s demise. I won’t ever to be able to see kebab meat again without thinking of a certain gentleman. (Gentleman is a loose term here)

The author says this book took many years to perfect, I do hope he can publish Volume 2 real soon though. I am hooked and need more!

Highly recommended!


Mark Swaine Swaine

Mark Swaine (1979) was born in Blackpool, England to Glynis Lawford, a hard working social worker and Arthur Swaine. Mark grew up in Rochdale, Lancashire and moved to Spain, Cadiz in 1999 and lived there for eleven years whilst working across the border in Gibraltar working various barman and Construction jobs. Mark eventually moved to Gibraltar to live with his fiancé, where he lives happily with his large family.

He had his first short story/poem published in the local paper ‘The Rochdale Observer’ at the age of ten and wrote short stories in his spare time. In 2004 he bought his first laptop and began work on his first (as yet unpublished) book ‘Legend of the Red Sun Village: Day of the Dead’. In 2011 he began writing solidly for six years until finally publishing his first book in an intended trilogy ‘Legend of the Red Sun Village’ 28th January 2016.

His second book in his long planned epic saga ‘Legend of the Red Sun Village: The Crenshaw Serpent’ was published on 25th July 2016. His third book ‘Legend of the Red Sun Village: Interpol and the Public Enemy of Diyu’ was released on 24th July 2017. Taking a break from the main story of the Legend of the Red Sun Village, Mark is now focussing on writing short stories set in the legend of the Red Sun Village mythology. The first in a planned volume of short stories ‘Tales from the Red Sun Village Vol.1’ was released on 30th May 2020 with many more planned. Hopefully one day when he has a few more marbles rolling around his head he’ll be able to finish his epic saga Legend of the Red Sun Village’.

Tales from the Red Sun Village: Volume 1 by [Mark Swaine]

The Gates of Athens by Conn Iggulden @Conn_Iggulden @MichaelJBooks #TheGatesOfAthens #NetGalley #BookReview #NewRelease

The Gates of Athens: Athenian by [Conn Iggulden]


490 B.C.

Two great empires are about to go to war . . .

The momentous struggle between Athens and Sparta as rival powers and political systems will last for twenty-seven years (431 to 404 BC).

It will end in the fall of a dynasty.

Filled with cunning political scheming and astonishing military prowess, invasions and treacheries, plagues and slaughters, passion and power, Conn Iggulden brings to life one of the most thrilling chapters of the ancient world.


The Gates of Athens: Athenian


I cannot claim to be a history buff but I enjoy historical stories. I am fascinated by how advanced some of the cultures were in comparison to others. There architectural skills, their politics and the battles that they commanded. This is a book that gets you involved with the characters and no matter how powerful they are they can be brought down so much quicker than they can climb society ladder and politics.

This book tells how history changed course as two giants in Europe come head to head both on land and at sea. Set mainly in Athens, the two main characters in the story were on the same side but had a huge dislike for each other. When an order is disobeyed in battle, which becomes the reason for victory, one of them can’t say he disobeyed his commander without facing dire consequences and the other because he would lose face. The rift between them deepens and both their futures are set.

This author knows how to bring to life the past, as I got a real feel not just for the battles but for the lifestyle, family life and choices that desperate women had to take. It is strange that some problems way back then can still raise their heads today. Somethings just don’t change.

I only have one problem with this story and that was it ended all too quickly. I had been absorbed in the past, transfixed on planning and execution of battle plans and loved to get a taste of the very famous Spartans. Totally wowed!

I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Conn Iggulden

I was born in the normal way in 1971, and vaguely remember half-pennies and sixpences. I have written for as long as I can remember: poetry, short stories and novels. It’s what I always wanted to do and read English at London University with writing in mind. I taught English for seven years and was Head of English at St. Gregory’s RC High School in London by the end of that period. I have enormous respect for those who still labour at the chalk-face. In truth, I can’t find it in me to miss the grind of paperwork and initiatives. I do miss the camaraderie of the smokers’ room, as well as the lessons where their faces lit up as they understood what I was wittering on about.

My mother is Irish and from an early age she told me history as an exciting series of stories – with dates. My great-grandfather was a Seannachie, so I suppose story-telling is in the genes somewhere. My father flew in Bomber Command in WWII, then taught maths and science. Perhaps crucially, he also loved poetry and cracking good tales. Though it seems a dated idea now, I began teaching when boys were told only girls were good at English, despite the great names that must spring to mind after that statement. My father loved working with wood and equations, but he also recited ‘Vitai Lampada’ with a gleam in his eye and that matters, frankly.

I’ve always loved historical fiction as a genre and cut my teeth on Hornblower and Tai-Pan, Flashman, Sharpe and Jack Aubrey. I still remember the sheer joy of reading my first Patrick O’Brian book and discovering there were nineteen more in the series. I love just about anything by David Gemmell, or Peter F. Hamilton or Wilbur Smith. I suppose the one thing that links all those is the love of a good tale.

That’s about it for the moment. If you’d like to get in touch with me leave a comment in the forum or you can tweet me @Conn_Iggulden. I’ll leave it there for the moment. If you’ve read my books, you know an awful lot about the way I think already. There’s no point overdoing it.


Twitter: @Conn_Iggulden

The Gates of Athens: Athenian by [Conn Iggulden]

The Garden of Forgotten Wishes by Trisha Ashley @trishaashley @TransworldBooks #NetGalley #TheGardenOfForgottenWishes

Thanks to Ruth Richardson of Penguin Random House for inviting me to read and review this book.


The brilliant new novel from Top Five Sunday Times bestselling author Trisha Ashley

All Marnie wants is somewhere to call home. Mourning lost years spent in a marriage that has finally come to an end, she needs a fresh start and time to heal. Things she hopes to find in the rural west Lancashire village her mother always told her about.

With nothing but her two green thumbs, Marnie takes a job as a gardener, which comes with a little cottage to make her own. The garden is beautiful – filled with roses, lavender and honeysuckle – and only a little rough around the edges. Which is more than can be said for her next-door-neighbour, Ned Mars.

Marnie remembers Ned from her school days but he’s far from the untroubled man she once knew. A recent relationship has left him with a heart as bruised as her own.

Can a summer spent gardening help them heal and recapture the forgotten dreams they’ve let get away?


The Garden of Forgotten Wishes: The heartwarming and uplifting new rom-com from the Sunday Times bestseller


When Marine was a little girl her mum use to tell her stories of Jericho’s End, where she had grown-up as a child. The stories seemed quite magical to Marnie but her mother warned her never to go there. Marnie’s mum tragically died and she was young. Marine was adopted by a lovely family and grew up happy with a ‘sister’ that became her best friend.

After a disastrous marriage, she needed a complete get away from it all and a new start. When a dream job came up in Jericho’s End including accommodation, it is all too good to miss, after all, no-one will know who she is, will they? This is a beautifully written uplifting story by Trisha Ashley, who always seems to make me want to be the leading character in all her books. Marine is a lady that you just want to find a fairy tale ending.

Jericho’s End is one of those small places that is steeped in family history passed down through the generations. So it isn’t just the gardens that Marine goes digging about in. My imagination ran wide with this book and all the lovely, and at times, strange characters that the author had brought to life.

I swooned over Ned, wanted to eat ice cream continually and cringed at Wayne and his dad! It all made me feel like the place was cut off from the real world, all cocooned in its own haven but it is always too easy to forget whose is on the outside of the village.

A lovely, lovely story again. I always finish reading with a sigh and a smile with these books.

I wish to thank the publisher and NetGalley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Trisha Ashley

Trisha Ashley writes romantic comedies and her latest novel, The House of Hopes and Dreams, which is published by Transworld, is her eleventh consecutive Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller. Her novels have twice been shortlisted for the Melissa Nathan award for Romantic Comedy and Every Woman for Herself was nominated by magazine readers as one of the top three romantic novels of the last fifty years.
She is from St Helens in West Lancashire, and believes that her typically dark Lancashire sense of humour in adversity, crossed with a good dose of Celtic creativity from her Welsh grandmother, has made her what she is today…whatever that is. Several of her novels are set in rural West Lancashire, West Yorkshire and Wales. They frequently explore aspects of the three F’s that are a constant in her own life: Food, Flowers and Friendship and include delicious recipes at the back.
Nowadays she lives in North Wales and is the founder member of NW Novelistas Ink, a group of twelve novelists, several of whom are bestselling, who meet regularly in North Wales; she is also one of the trio of authors called The 500 Club, along with Leah Fleming and Elizabeth Gill.
She is a long term member of the Society of Authors and a member of the Welsh Academi.
Trisha has a website at where you can sign up for her newsletters, and an official fan site at where you can find out more about her, or see a complete list of her books. You will also find her on twitter as @trishaashley and

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