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In The Absence Of Miracles By Michael J Malone

In The Absence Of Miracles‘In The Absence Of Miracles’ is the latest book by Michael J Malone.

John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home following a massive stroke and she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again. With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood. For in a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about. A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover.

For the last couple of days, I’ve been embroiled in this story, genuinely gripping but also heartbreakingly shocking.

The story is seen through the narrative of John, who makes a shocking discovery when hunting through his mother’s house, he uncovers a brother he never knew he had and whilst on a journey uncovers a lot of memories that he had thought he had buried deep.

When I started this book, I had a vague idea of where the story was going but nothing could prepare me for the twist in the book. A story about human trafficking and child abuse, this book is a hard read that is sensitively written about such traumatising topics.

Raw from the first page, we join one man’s journey, as he delves into his family’s past and uncovers secrets and this makes for sad and unsettling reading as he discovers that his memories from the past aren’t what he seemed they were. John is a troubled character, that I felt such empathy for, he’s damaged from his childhood and as he delves deeper, we see him unravel and this makes for emotional reading.

A challenging story about family secrets and lies, ‘In The Absence Of Miracles’ is a harrowing story with a complex storyline that grips the reader’s heart from the first page.

You can buy ‘In The Absence Of Miracles’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Blood Song By Johana Gustawsson

Blood Song‘Blood Song’ is the latest book by Johana Gustawsson in the ‘Roy & Castrells’ series.

Spain, 1938: The country is wracked by civil war, and as Valencia falls to Franco’s brutal dictatorship, Republican Therese witnesses the murders of her family. Captured and sent to the notorious Las Ventas women’s prison, Therese gives birth to a daughter who is forcibly taken from her. Falkenberg, Sweden, 2016: A wealthy family is found savagely murdered in their luxurious home. Discovering that her parents have been slaughtered, Aliénor Lindbergh, a new recruit to the UK’s Scotland Yard, rushes back to Sweden and finds her hometown rocked by the massacre. Profiler Emily Roy joins forces with Aliénor and soon finds herself on the trail of a monstrous and prolific killer. Little does she realise that this killer is about to change the life of her colleague, true-crime writer Alexis Castells. Joining forces once again, Roy and Castells’ investigation takes them from the Swedish fertility clinics of the present day back to the terror of Franco’s rule, and the horrifying events that took place in Spanish orphanages under its rule.

This is the first book in the Roy and Castrells series that I’ve read and it was a gripping introduction to the crime books. Spanning over many decades, the story has two parts. The present part deals with the horrific murders of Aliénor Lindbergh’s family and the other part deal with past crimes, one is is case Spain 1938 and the brutalities of Spain’s dictatorship.

The story is thoroughly researched and you can see the hard work that the author has put into the book. The vivid descriptions of the horror and genocides really strike a chord with the reader.

The story flowed seamlessly from tenses and really pull the reader in, whether it’s reading the atrocities of Franco’s dictatorship or the investigation into the murders of Aliénor’s family which finds the detectives spiralling into a journey of fertility treatments and the extent that people will go to produce a family.

The main characters French true crime writer Alexis Castells and profiler Emily Roy and I quite liked the relationship between the pair of them and how they were written in the story.

The complex and fast paced story spans over decades and travels over many lands before seamlessly coming in the end. A thrilling and unsettling story about fertility, child abuse and secrets, ‘Blood Song’ is perfect read for all crime lovers.

You can buy ‘Blood Song’ from Amazon