Cold Case in Nuala (The Inspector de Silva Mysteries Book 10) by Harriet Steel @harrietsteel1 #BookReview #KindleUnlimited

Cold Case in Nuala (The Inspector de Silva Mysteries Book 10) by [Harriet Steel]


It’s January 1940 and the day of Nuala’s famous motor rally. Excitement is at full throttle, but matters take a dark turn when that same evening, human remains are found buried in a lonely corner of a local tea plantation.
Inspector de Silva has a cold case to solve. Add a playboy racing driver, a missing Bugatti and a family scandal hushed up years ago into the mix and he has plenty to think about. You can be sure that whatever happened in the past, now de Silva’s in the driving seat, you’re in for a gripping ride.


Cold Case in Nuala (The Inspector de Silva Mysteries Book 10)


What a tremendous series this is that whisked me away to January 1940, just after the start of the second world war in1939. I was more than ready to rub shoulders with the gentry out in Nuala, Ceylon, and one of my favourite couples Inspector de Silva and his sharp thinking and beautiful wife, Jane. The story takes off at speed as the couple go to watch motor cars racing around the town, incorporating the original narrow streets and much wider streets from British intervention. After the race, they all retire to a tea plantation to celebrate the prince’s win.

It is early Sunday morning that de Silva gets a call from his long-standing boss. The remains of a skeleton had been discovered, at the plantation, but whoever could it be? This is the tenth book in this cosy crime series, with its close circle of regular performers.
Although The Inspector and his wife are often included, in this circle of the town’s elite, they know their place too.

It isn’t too long before the bones are identified, and the investigation begins. Finding the bones was the easy part, digging into how and why this person died, and by whom is another. There are a handful of suspects very quickly, and all of them have a reason for murder, but who was the one to take that step.

I feel passionate about this series and the characters with their quirks and pompous attitudes. The Inspector always seems quite chilled, not rushing headlong to conclusions. His wife Jane is his sounding board guiding him without him knowing it in the right direction that he would have eventually taken anyway. Highly recommended as always.


Harriet Steel

Harriet Steel is a British author who writes a series of widely praised, atmospheric mysteries in a traditional style. A few years ago, she spent time on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka and this is where they are set, but in the 1930s rather than the modern day, when it was still the British colony of Ceylon. Her love of history, art, and travel influences her writing, and she also published four historical novels before turning to crime.
Born in London, her family then moved to a farm in the country where she grew up. She later studied law at Cambridge University and was a lawyer for many years before becoming a writer. She would love to go back in time and spend a day having lunch with Hercule Poirot, tea with Miss Marple, and dinner at the Ritz with Lord Peter Wimsey.

Twitter: @harrietsteel1

Cold Case in Nuala (The Inspector de Silva Mysteries Book 10) by [Harriet Steel]

Mrs March by Virginia Feito @4thEstateBooks @WmCollinsBooks #MrsNorth #NetGalley #BookReview #NewRelease

Mrs March: The most compulsive debut gothic thriller of 2021 by [Virginia Feito]


‘Nastily good fun’ Metro


Shirley Jackson meets Ottessa Moshfegh meets My Sister the Serial Killer in a brilliantly unsettling and darkly funny debut novel full of suspense and paranoia

George March’s latest novel is a smash hit. None could be prouder than Mrs. March, his dutiful wife, who revels in his accolades and relishes the lifestyle and status his success brings.

A creature of routine and decorum, Mrs. March lives an exquisitely controlled existence on the Upper East Side. Every morning begins the same way, with a visit to her favourite patisserie to buy a loaf of
olive bread, but her latest trip proves to be her last when she suffers an indignity from which she may never recover: an assumption by the shopkeeper that the protagonist in George March’s new book –
a pathetic sex worker, more a figure of derision than desire – is based on Mrs. March.

One casual remark robs Mrs. March not only of her beloved olive bread but of the belief that she knew everything about her husband – and herself – sending her on an increasingly paranoid journey, one
that starts within the pages of a book but may very well uncover both a killer and the long-buried secrets of Mrs. March’s past.

A razor-sharp exploration of the fragility of identity and the smothering weight of expectations, Mrs. March heralds the arrival of a wicked and wonderful new voice.


Mrs March: The most compulsive debut gothic thriller of 2021


Mrs March was a woman of routine. Each day she would venture to her favourite shop for the best olive bread that she had ever tasted, but today would put her on a new course in her life and destroy everything that she had accepted in the past. Mr March, her highly successful best selling author husband, had just released a new novel, which was rapidly becoming known as his best book yet. She was thrilled to be living in the glory of his success, especially entertaining their high society and well-known friends, along with the prestige that came with it.

She had skimmed the book but not read it herself, so when the shopkeeper asked her if the protagonist was based on her, she began to look at the smiling people more as laughing at her. Mr March’s story was about an ageing and less desirable prostitute. How could he do this to her after all she had given up for him!

Oh wow! What a beauty this is. Mrs March is quite a character, with all of the story being told from how she sees the people around her react. Set in the 1950s, the era is perfectly captured by author Virginia Feito, who has made it into a very visual and captivating story. It is a story that plays with your mind and makes you doubt every character in every chapter. It is wickedly devilish.

When Mrs March makes a shocking discovery, it throws a whole new light on Mr March and sends Mrs March on a mission. Is she onto something? Is she crazy? Or was I? I didn’t know anymore. A perfect build-up to a mind-blowing end. I cannot wait until the movie is released. Yes, the movie. It will be a belter!

I wish to thank 4th Estate Books for inviting me to read and review this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Mrs March: The most compulsive debut gothic thriller of 2021 by [Virginia Feito]

Dovetails in Tall Grass by Samantha Specks @GoSparkPress #NewRelease #BookReview #NetGalley

Dovetails in Tall Grass: A Novel by [Samantha Specks]


As war overtakes the frontier, Emma’s family farmstead is attacked by Dakota-Sioux warriors; on that same prairie, Oenikika desperately tries to hold on to her calling as a healer and follow the orders of her father, Chief Little Crow. When the war is over and revenge-fueled war trials begin, each young woman is faced with an impossible choice. In a swiftly changing world, both Emma and Oenikika must look deep within and fight for the truth of their convictions—even as horror and injustice unfolds all around them.

Inspired by the true story of the thirty-eight Dakota-Sioux men hanged in Minnesota in 1862—the largest mass execution in US history—Dovetails in Tall Grass is a powerful tale of two young women connected by the fate of one man.


Dovetails in Tall Grass


What a tremendous story this is. I felt saddened on each page at the injustice of what occurred. There is a mix of fact and fiction, and on the final pages, a list of characters mentioned from history and fictional ones that make it heartbreakingly real. Each reflects the time. It is hard to believe that this is the author’s first outing, as there is passion on each page.

The story follows two young women, one a teenage girl, who has just finished school and lives with her family as settlers in Minnesota, the other the Indian Chief’s daughter, another teenage girl. From the start of the story you know that the ending is a tragedy, but from the pages between you know it could have been much worse.

As more settlers are dangled carrots to travel west and become homesteaders, the Dakota -Sioux Indians are driven further off their lands. Huge sums of money and a promise of a better life offered if they will move. If only promises would have been kept what happened would not have been a massive loss of lives on both sides.

As the story is told through the lives of the girls, it is more the figures of how many are lost rather than the actual fighting that they hear about. Both girls are exceptional and just. One wants to continue the traditions she has learned while the other seeks justice. Both are strong women. I enjoyed the story coming from them and how each family reacted. Each of the women’s futures is centred around the same man. Another stand out character.

It is a time in history that is not to be proud of, but one that should never be forgotten. Super writing, Recommended reading.

I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for a copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Samantha Specks

Samantha Specks is a clinical social worker who has worked on a child/adolescent psychiatric unit, as a Dialectical Behavioral group therapist with adults and adolescents, and as an outpatient psychotherapist. She currently lives in Texas, but her heart and mind resided in Minnesota, her home state, while working on Dovetails in Tall Grass, which is her debut novel. Her happy place is reading a good book or watching a terrible TV show with a cup of tea and her leggings covered in dog hair. Sticking with the theme of strong young women, Samantha and her husband welcomed a baby girl to their family while she was writing this novel.

Dovetails in Tall Grass: A Novel by [Samantha Specks]

The Gathering Storm (The Sturmtaucher Trilogy Book 1) by Alan Jones @alanjonesbooks #NewRelease #BookReview #TheGatheringStorm #SturmtaucherTrilogy

The Gathering Storm (The Sturmtaucher Trilogy Book 1) by [Alan Jones]


The Gathering Storm: Book 1 in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy, a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.

Kiel, Northern Germany, 1933. A naval city, the base for the German Baltic fleet, and the centre for German sailing, the venue for the upcoming Olympic regatta in 1936.

The Kästners, a prominent Military family, are part of the fabric of the city, and its social, naval and yachting circles. The Nussbaums are the second generation of their family to be in service with the Kästners as domestic staff, but the two households have a closer bond than most.

As Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party claw their way to power in 1933, life has never looked better for families like the Kästners. There is only one problem.

The Nussbaums are Jews.

The Sturmtaucher Trilogy documents the devastating effect on both families of the Nazis’ hateful ideology and the insidious erosion of the rights of Germany’s Jews.

When Germany descends ever deeper into dictatorship, General Erich Kästner tries desperately to protect his employees, and to spirit them to safety.

As the country tears itself apart, the darkness which envelops a nation threatens not only to destroy two families, but to plunge an entire continent into war.’


The Gathering Storm (The Sturmtaucher Trilogy Book 1)


This is a massive book, about three times the length of a good-sized book, but what an incredible story it is! I felt bereft when I read the last page. So do not be put off by the size of it. Embrace it, live it and feel every raw emotion in it. I have read quite a few books around the war years, and this has to rank at the top of them all.

I joined the Kästners, a highly respected German naval officers family and their devoted Jewish servants, the Nussbaums, in 1933. The two families had a very close bond, with the Nussbaums often invited to join the family and their guests after serving them, where they were, treated like family themselves. The children of the families grew up side by side and were best of friends. Unrest was rumbling, and rumours were increasing about the new Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his radical thinking.

General Kästner was a well-respected man with everyone, the men who had served under him, his fellow officers and the local community. He is one of the good guys, a hero. The loyalty of not just the Nussbaum’s but both families to each other is remarkable. The futures of both these families unravel to the early years of WW11 to 1940.

The small things are at first just put down to rumours but, they build over the coming years. I liked that the author also wrote from the children’s point of view, especially the schooling. As more chapters fell behind me, the atrocities increased, and it does not make easy reading. I felt a great sadness for so many of the soldiers, for what they had become.

Where the story has taken me to is perfect. It left me with my heart in the mouth and baited breathe and so very eager to return to both of these incredible families.

Alan Jones, the author, is not just a writer, he has breathed life into every character, with nothing held back. The thing that makes this such a winning book for me, is that it is a story of bonds between people that see each other for the good they are and nothing more, A very highly recommended read, The best this year!


Alan Jones

Alan Jones is a Scottish author with three gritty crime stories to his name, the first two set in Glasgow, the third one based in London. He has now switched genres, and his WW2 trilogy will be published in August 2021. It is a Holocaust story set in Northern Germany.

He is married with four grown up children and four wonderful grandchildren.

He has recently retired as a mixed-practice vet in a small Scottish coastal town in Ayrshire and is one of the RNLI volunteer coxswains on the local lifeboat. He makes furniture in his spare time, and maintains and sails a 45-year-old yacht in the Irish Sea and on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. He loves reading, watching films and cooking. He still plays football despite being just the wrong side of sixty.

His crime novels are not for the faint-hearted, with some strong language, violence, and various degrees of sexual content. The first two books also contain a fair smattering of Glasgow slang.

He is one of the few self-published authors to be given a panel at Bloody Scotland and has done two pop-up book launches at the festival in Stirling.

He has spent the last five years researching and writing the Sturmtaucher Trilogy.

Twitter @alanjonesbooks

The Gathering Storm (The Sturmtaucher Trilogy Book 1) by [Alan Jones]

Traitor in the House by Caz Finlay @cjfinlaywriter @0neMoreChapter_ #TraitorInTheHouse #NewRelease #NetGalley #BookReview

Traitor in the House: The brand new absolutely gripping and gritty gangland crime thriller set in Liverpool (Bad Blood, Book 5) by [Caz Finlay]


Blood is thicker than water…

Old Game

When several young prostitutes are found murdered in Liverpool, DI Leigh Moss knows there is only one person she can turn to for help with the case.  Gangland queen, Grace Carter, knows the streets of Liverpool better than anyone and can ask questions Leigh can’t…but will Grace help?

New Rules

Grace doesn’t trust easily, but when she discovers that her family might be linked with the gruesome murders, she decides to give Leigh a chance. But helping Leigh is risky and as Grace is dragged deeper into the murky world of vice, her own life is put in danger.
Can these two sworn enemies work together?  Or is that a line they will never cross?


Traitor in the House


Here is one almighty gritty gangland thriller that made a tingle through me like fingernails scraping glass. Characters felt real, threatening and as scary as hell. When a new spate of murders begins, there is a couple of common factors. All the girls are known prostitutes, and they all grew up in the same place.

DI Leigh Moss isn’t long before she contacts Grace Carter, wife of one of the biggest, gangland bosses. Grace was looking forward to her and her husband taking it easy, while their sons took over the family business. The thing is, Moss suspects that there are some connections that Grace may need to address. They have had dealings before. Grace is walking on dangerous ground, but she must protect their boys.

It is a gripping story that is impossible to look away from, and believe me, I had to swallow hard on some of these pages. As the reader, you soon become aware of behind the scenes happenings which heighten the storyline because it put me on edge when certain people came together.

Grace is a cracking character, she has done a lot more than most hard men, but she has her stop point unless you mess with her family. Her gangland boss husband, Michael, is quite a character. He does what he has to do, but he has his limit these days, unlike his brother. This deadly duo is an unforgettable pair.
There are a couple of stories twisted together, and both are nail-biting corkers’. If you like the thrill of gangland Liverpool, dive in, this is perfection.


Caz Finlay

Caz Finlay lives in Liverpool with her husband, two children, and a grumpy dog named Bert. She has two BA Hons in Criminal Justice and Community Justice. A Probation Officer for fifteen years, Caz has always been fascinated by the psychology of human behaviour and the reasons people do the things they do. However, it was the loss of her son in 2016 which prompted her to rediscover her love of writing and write her first novel, The Boss. Caz is currently writing the sixth instalment in the Bad Blood series and is also the co-founder of Perfect Crime festival.

Twitter: @cjfinlaywriter

Traitor in the House: The brand new absolutely gripping and gritty gangland crime thriller set in Liverpool (Bad Blood, Book 5) by [Caz Finlay]

Lord Seeks Wife by Heather Barnet @WritesHeather @SerpentineBooks #BlogTour #NewRelease #LordSeeksWife #BookReview

Firstly I wish to thank Raquel Elias of Serpentine Books for inviting me on the Blog Tour for Lord Seeks Wife by Heather Barnett

Lord Seeks Wife: A hilariously funny romantic comedy by [Heather Barnett]


Take 1,000 women, add one earl and whip into a media frenzy.

Reclusive academic Lord Noblet de Beeble doesn’t want to get married but his overbearing mother, Lady Caroline, is insisting he must. When he places an advert for a wife in the Situations Vacant section of his local newspaper, the national press pick up the story. A desperate Noblet calls on his handsome younger brother, Henry, to help him navigate the subsequent media frenzy.

Among the hordes of hopeful candidates to descend on the village of Gently Rising is the beautiful and mysterious Mia Wild, who befriends local primary school teacher, Alice Brand. Alice has been looking for something to spice up her life, but getting embroiled in a very public wife-hunt wasn’t what she had in mind.

In a summer packed with suspicious exes, snobbery, social climbers and sausage rolls, Gently Rising will bear witness to a public courtship like no other. But who will come out on top?


Amazon UK Lord Seeks Wife: A hilariously funny romantic comedy

Amazon US :

Kobo :

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If you are looking for something uplifting to read, that will take you far from social distancing and covid rules, this is the book to do it.

Lady Caroline had done her duty and supplied her husband with an heir to carry on the family name and traditions, but her oldest son was letting the side down. Lord Noblet de Beeble isn’t interested in getting a wife, never mind an heir to follow him. So he does what one does if they require something, he advertises in the local paper. When the tabloids get hold of the story, it goes viral, and the hordes of applicants begin to arrive at this sleepy hamlet of Gently Rising.

There is a slight breather, to get to know a little about the core characters, that live in this quaint picturesque village. Just because they are local doesn’t mean they don’t want a chance to be the lady of the manor too.

The giggles start early on in this book with no holds barred to get noticed. I loved getting to know the vibrant band of colourful characters, from the downright money grabbers to the social wannabees. I don’t want to go into great details about what happens, just that there are lovely goosebump moments too that put smiles on my face.

The characters keep bobbing back in my mind and make me giggle. This author is super talented and produced a brilliant debut, followed by this, a completely different venture.


Heather Barnett

Heather Barnett gained a degree in English and French from the University of Leeds and has written ever since: from copywriting to stand-up comedy and sketches. She is now focusing on writing novels. Heather’s influences span Jane Austen and Douglas Adams at one end of the alphabet through to PG Wodehouse at the other.

Heather’s debut novel, Acts of Kindness, is an uplifting, light-hearted mystery. It was inspired by witnessing commuters helping a woman who’d fallen down the stairs at Paddington station; intermingled with wondering what was behind some grand stone gateposts that she used to drive past in Wiltshire.

Her second novel, Lord Seeks Wife, is a romantic comedy and will be published summer 2021.

Aside from writing, Heather’s interests are classic literature, cats and comedy.

Heather is head of marketing at an agency near Oxford and lives by the river Kennet in Berkshire.

Twitter: @WritesHeather

Dog Rose Dirt by Jen Williams @sennydreadful @HarperCollinsUK #NewRelease #DogRoseDirt #BookReview #NetGalley

Dog Rose Dirt: a gripping new debut serial killer crime thriller that will keep you up all night by [Jen Williams]


What if your mother had been writing to a serial killer?

A convicted murderer with a story to tell
Serial killer Michael Reave – known as The Red Wolf – has been locked in Belmarsh Prison for over 20 years for the brutal and ritualistic murders of countless women.
A grieving daughter with a secret to unearth
Ex-journalist Heather Evans returns to her childhood home after her mother’s inexplicable suicide and discovers something chilling – hundreds of letters between her mother and Reave, dating back decades.
A hunt for a killer ready to strike again

Stick to the top of the blog

When the body of a woman is found decorated with flowers, just like his victims, Reave is the only person alive who could help. After years of silence, he will speak to Heather, and only Heather.

If she wants to unearth the truth and stop further bloodshed, she’ll have to confront a monster.


Dog Rose Dirt


Heather Evans has returned to the place she was raised to deal with the estate of her mother. Heather’s mother had committed suicide with no clue as to why. While sorting out the family home, Heather finds hidden letters to her mother from a notorious serial killer who is still serving time in prison.

Serial killer Michael Reave, known as The Red Wolf, has spent years of his life in prison after being convicted of the murder of numerous women, who were killed most horrendously and left displayed. Heather is distraught and confused why her mother and this man would be in touch at all.

When a copycat killer begins where Reave left off, Heather is determined to find out how Reave knew her mother and expose the copycat killer at the same time. Heather contacts the police and agrees to work with DI Ben Parker. Reave hasn’t been one for opening up about any of his crimes but agrees to see Heather, closely watched by Parker.

What a story this is, as Reave isn’t going to give her everything at once. There is a little pro quo going on. Heather is an ex-journalist but still has her connections, which don’t always work in her favour. I loved how the characters developed, especially Reave, who caught me out, such a gentleman to take you in.

The story drops back into the past where I felt like a rabbit in headlights mesmerised by a charismatic and luring man. He had such a gentle voice of reasoning in my head, and I was petrified. It is such a chilling and captivating story, both past and present. Do we ever really know anyone?

The in-depth descriptions are perfection, awakening every sense in a horrific way that brings clear images off the pages to see from every angle. But it was the calm that was the most frightening. A stunning read not for the faint-hearted by any means, as it doesn’t let you go.

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


Jennifer Williams

Jen Williams lives in London with her partner and their small ridiculous cat. Having been a fan of grisly fairy tales from a young age, these days Jen writes dark unsettling thrillers with strong female leads, as well as character-driven fantasy novels with plenty of adventure and magic. She has twice won the British Fantasy Award for her Winnowing Flame trilogy, and when she’s not writing books she works as a bookseller and a freelance copywriter.

Twitter: @sennydreadful

Dog Rose Dirt: a gripping new debut serial killer crime thriller that will keep you up all night by [Jen Williams]

All Her Fault by Andrea Mara @AndreaMaraBooks @TransworldBooks #NewRelease #AllHerFault #NetGalley

All Her Fault: The breathlessly twisty thriller that everyone is talking about this summer by [Andrea Mara]



Marissa Irvine arrives at 14 Tudor Grove, expecting to pick up her young son Milo from his first playdate with a boy at his new school. But the woman who answers the door isn’t a mother she recognises. She isn’t the nanny. She doesn’t have Milo. And so begins every parent’s worst nightmare.


As news of the disappearance filters through the quiet Dublin suburb and an unexpected suspect is named, whispers start to spread about the women most closely connected to the shocking event. Because only one of them may have taken Milo – but they could all be blamed . . .



All Her Fault


Marissa, her husband Peter and son Milo have recently moved into a very exclusive wealthy area in Dublin, where to have a nanny is a natural thing to do. Although they have the largest property in the area, Marissa wants the family to be welcomed into the community, especially at school for Milo, who is four years old. It has been suggested at school that Milo is a gifted child.

After a school social event for parents, Marissa receives a message from one of the mums she met that evening, asking if Milo would like a play date with her son Jacob. It is the nanny’s day off, so Marissa goes to pick him up at the given time, but it isn’t the woman that she knows that answers the door. The woman knows nothing about Milo. Milo is missing, but who would take him? Why did his teacher let him go with a stranger? The nightmare begins for Marissa and Peter to find their son.

It is a very emotional read from every point of view. I liked how the author involved other characters in the story that developed into prime players in finding the person responsible for taking Milo. The question became why more than who as time passed. I jumped to so many conclusions as I got to know the characters more and saw how they reacted to situations. There are some dodgy moments that you can easily miss. Even the smallest detail is important.

Oh my, the red herrings took great leaps in this story which sent me in every direction until there was only one left. It is a gripping story that just gave more and more. I loved every page that left me looking like a fish out of water. Brilliant story!

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



Andrea Mara is an Irish Times Top Ten bestselling author, and has been shortlisted for a number of awards, including Irish Crime Novel of the Year. She lives in Dublin, Ireland, with her husband and three young children, and also runs multi-award-winning parent and lifestyle blog, All Her Fault is her first thriller to be published in the UK and internationally. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Twitter: @AndreaMaraBooks

All Her Fault: The breathlessly twisty thriller that everyone is talking about this summer by [Andrea Mara]
All Her Fault: The breathlessly twisty thriller that everyone is talking about this summer by [Andrea Mara]

The Face at the Window by Ruby Speechley @rubyspeechley @HeraBooks @BOTBSPublicity #BlogTour #NewRelease #NetGalley #TheFaceAtTheWindow

Firstly I wish to thank Sarah Hardy of Book On The Bright Side Publicity and Promo, for inviting me on the Blog Tour for The face at the Window by Ruby Speechley

The Face At The Window: A gripping, twisty thriller you won't be able to put down by [Ruby Speechley]


They’re in your house.

They want your life.

And now, they have your baby.

To the world, I’m @HappyWife. Online, people only see my picture-perfect home, my handsome husband, Nick, and my beautiful baby, Thomas.

They don’t see the real Gemma Adams. They don’t see my past, the dark secrets I’m hiding in my marriage. They don’t see the fear I live in every single day.

But I know someone is watching me. And now, they’ve taken Thomas.

I just don’t know why.

But I’m going to stop at nothing to get my baby back.

Even if it destroys everything I’ve got to find him.


The Face At The Window


When new mum Gemma is seen struggling with her shopping and baby at the tills, a familiar friendly face appears and offers to help. The young woman, suggests that she could take Thomas outside to wait for her. A grateful Gemma hands over her son and pays for her goods. When she goes outside, neither of them can be seen. It soon becomes clear, that Thomas, has been abducted by the young woman.

What a tremendous story this is. The opening chapter is only the tip of the iceberg of what is to come, as the story drops back a few weeks to fill in why things have become so dramatic. Most of the characters are not particularly likeable, and some you will change your opinion about as the story deepens and opens up. There are a lot of triggers in the story, for anyone that has to be careful with their reading choices.

I liked how the story developed and drew me in, often misleading me, not purposely but because the characters had to work things out themselves too. I believe how the author deals with these sensitive and delicate issues makes you look at how easy it is to be manipulated and not know, especially when the characters are at an impressionable age.

I liked how the author brought all these storylines together at the end. It is so much more than I thought it was going to be.

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


Ruby Speechley

Ruby Speechley is the author of four psychological thrillers published by Hera Books. She loves writing about domestic situations with plenty of twists and secrets.

She was born in Portugal but has lived in the UK since she was three months old. She now lives in Cheshire with her husband and two of her three children and two dogs. She has an older son and grandson.

The Doll (Freyja and Huldar Book 5) by Yrsa Sigurdardottir @YrsaSig @HodderBooks #TheDoll #NewRelease #NetGalley #BookReview

The Doll (Freyja and Huldar Book 5) by [Yrsa Sigurdardottir]


It was meant to be a quiet family fishing trip, a chance for mother and daughter to talk. But it changes the course of their lives forever.

They catch nothing except a broken doll that gets tangled in the net. After years in the ocean, the doll a terrifying sight and the mother’s first instinct is to throw it back, but she relents when her daughter pleads to keep it. This simple act of kindness proves fatal. That evening, the mother posts a picture of the doll on social media. By the morning, she is dead and the doll has disappeared.

Several years later and Detective Huldar is in his least favourite place – on a boat in rough waters, searching for possible human remains. However, identifying the skeleton they find on the seabed proves harder than initially thought, and Huldar must draw on psychologist Freyja’s experience to help him. As the mystery of the unidentified body deepens, Huldar is also drawn into an investigation of a homeless drug addict’s murder, and Freyja investigates a suspected case of child abuse at a foster care home.

What swiftly becomes clear is that the cases are linked through a single, missing, vulnerable witness: the young girl who wanted the doll all those years ago.

Taut, terrifying and impossible to put down, The Doll cements Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s reputation as a master of storytelling tension and surprise.


The Doll (Freyja and Huldar Book 5)


I thought that I would be brave reading this book as I have always had a fear of dolls from being a little girl. Believe me, after reading this book, that fear feels very real now!

While out on a small fishing boat with her mother and the owner of the boat, a young girl manages to snare a very sea beaten doll and persuades her mother to let her keep it. That night the girl’s mum dies mysteriously, and the doll goes missing. The story takes on different directions as it follows a young couple working in Spain to camping in Iceland before disappearing. Again it shoots off to a case of child abuse. The stories have no relevant connections.

It is the fifth book in the Freyja and Huldar series, and I have to say here that it is my first one. I was amused at the relationship that these two had, as Huldar was more than a little skittish where Freyja was concerned. I got the feeling early on that she likes to wind this guy up whenever she could.

I did feel at times a little taken aback at how these individual stories come to an abrupt end without having any answers before moving on to a new group of people and a very different path. They all come together, and I am not sure if it was because they were left without an end or not, but I didn’t forget how each had concluded at the time. It is quite a wicked read that brought everything to a conclusion, but left me a nervous wreck.

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


An image posted by the author.

Yrsa Sigurdardottir is an award-winning, best-selling crime novelist from Iceland. She began her career writing humorous novels for children but made her crime fiction debut in 2005 with Last Rituals, the first installment in the Thóra Guðmundsdóttir series. Her novels have been translated to 35 languages and in the UK she is published by Hodder. Her work stands “comparison with the finest contemporary crime writing anywhere in the world” according to the Times Literary Supplement.

In addition to several stand-alone thrillers Yrsa has embarked on a new series featuring policeman Huldar and child psychologist Freyja. The first book in this series is The Legacy, published by Hodder UK in 2017, followed by the second installment The Reckoning in 2018. The Legacy received the Icelandic Crime book of the year award when it came out and went on to win the Danish prize for best translated crime fiction the following year. In 2015 Yrsa received the UK Petrona Award for best Scandinavian crime novel for Silence of the Sea.

A movie based on her standalone horror novel, I Remember You was premiered in 2017, while adaptation of the Thóra series for English language television is underway.

Yrsa is also a civil engineer and still works as such on geothermal and hydro power plant projects in her native Iceland.

Twitter: @YrsaSig

The Doll (Freyja and Huldar Book 5) by [Yrsa Sigurdardottir]