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The Diabolical Bones By Bella Ellis

The Diabolical Bones‘The Diabolical Bones’ is the latest book in the ‘The Bronte Mysteries’ by Bella Ellis.

Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë are rather losing interest in detecting until they hear of a shocking discovery: the bones of a child have been found interred within the walls of a local house, Top Withens Hall, home to the scandalous and brutish Bradshaw family. When the sisters set off to find out more, they are confronted with an increasingly complex and sinister case, which leads them into the dark world of orphanages, and onto the trail of other lost, and likely murdered children. After another local boy goes missing, Charlotte, Emily and Anne vow to find him before it’s too late. But in order to do so, they must face their most despicable and wicked adversary yet – one that would not hesitate to cause them the
gravest of harm.

Bella Ellis is back with another Bronte mystery and this time it’s a sad case of discovering bones hidden away. As the sisters begin their investigation, they find themselves delving into a dark history revealing cruelty and an unfortunate child.

I’m not the biggest fan of historical fiction, but I thoroughly enjoyed the latest book in the Bronte Mysteries saga. Once again, the 3 sisters are working closely together as unofficial detectives to solve the mystery occasionally with the help of their old brother Branfield.

I really enjoyed the dynamics of the sisters as they worked together piercing together clues. I loved Anne, the younger sister who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind or stand up to elders, particularly when they were gruff bullying men.

The story is atmospheric from the very beginning, bleak, dismal and set in the bleak midwinter, there’s a sense of eeriness to the story as well as a deep sadness with the discovery of the child’s remains.

It’s fascinating to read the procedures of identifying remains back then with such limited resources. As well as being a murder mystery, there’s a hint of a ghost story to the book, with spooky sounds and coming and goings that makes for unsettling reading as well as urban myths and stories that are weaved throughout the book.

For fans of the Bronte sisters, this book is a must read with a stunning cover and a gripping storyline that pulls the reader in. A splendid adventure that turns into a race against time, ‘The Diabolical Bones’ is a beautifully written chilling and dark story that makes for poignant reading.

You can buy ‘The Diabolical Bones’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

Rescue Me By Sarra Manning

'Rescue MeThe news that we’ve been waiting for is released, Sarra Manning has revealed the name and synopsis for her new book called ‘Rescue Me’.

What the back cover says-

Margot doesn’t have time for love.

Will is afraid to love.

And neither of them are expecting to fall in love with Blossom: a gentle Staffy with a tragic past, a belly made for rubbing and a head the size of a football.

After their first meeting at the rescue centre, both Margot and Will want to adopt Blossom so reluctantly agree to share custody. But Will’s obsession for micro-managing and clear-cut boundaries and Margot’s need to smother Blossom with affection, means that soon they have a very confused and badly behaved dog on their hands.

Can they put their differences aside to become successful “co-pawrents” and maybe even friends? And meanwhile, does Blossom have plans of her own?

With a stunning cover and a lead canine that sounds as lovely Sarra’s beloved Miss Betsy who sadly passed away last year, ‘Rescue Me’ sounds like an absolute treat of a story.

You can pre-order ‘Rescue Me’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from 21st January 2021.

Cracked By Louise McCreesh

Cracked‘Cracked’ is by Louise McCreesh’s debut novel.

Jenny Nilson hasn’t seen her former psychiatrist Phillip since she left the Hillside Psychiatric Unit eight years ago. She wanted to forget everything about her time there, so she kept her secrets buried deep. Especially from her new husband. But now the police are knocking at her door with evidence of her involvement in Phillip’s death. It seems as though everything she’s kept hidden is about to spill out. Jenny desperately needs to speak to old friends, and old enemies, from those dark years. Because they are the only ones who know what really happened at Hillside, and about the dark secret that Phillip kept for them all – that this is not the first death.

Cracked is Louise McCreesh’s debut novel and pardon the pun, but it is quite the cracking read.

The story is written in the past and present tense and is seen through the narrative of Jenny, who was once a patient at Hillside Psychiatric Unit when she was a teenager. Now she’s married to a policeman, an aspiring journalist and her time in Hillside is a distant memory, until one of her therapists is brutally murdered and she has to face up to the life that she left behind.

It’s during her time at the unit, that something terrible happen and this tragedy creates a bond between Jenny and 6 other people who now in the present tense are all suspects in the brutal murder.

This is a cleverly crafted story with an interesting protagonist. Jenny is in Hillside after trying to take her own life and is trying to get to the root of her unhappiness, she’s friends with Tom, Tony, Heidi, Alicia and Olivia who are all struggling with their own demons and their problems make for upsetting reading as they lash out at each other and put each other down and throughout their narrative, you can feel their anguish and pain.

In the present tense, Jenny has to face up to the life that she hid from others particularly her husband and finds herself the centre of the case when her own case file goes missing from the unit.

The story is a tense and compelling rollercoaster of a book that is set against the backdrop of a psychiatric unit that does make for a desperate and bleak setting. With short and snappy chapters that pull the reader in and unreliable characters that makes everyone a suspect, ‘Cracked’ is a sensitive and poignant story about mental health, how fragile it is and how easily a person can crack.

You can buy ‘Cracked’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Cover Your Tracks By Claire Askew

Cover Your Tracks‘Cover Your Tracks’ is the latest book in the DI Birch series.

Robertson Bennet returns to Edinburgh after a 25-year absence in search of his parents and his inheritance. But both have disappeared. A quick, routine police check should be enough – and Detective Inspector Helen Birch has enough on her plate trying to help her brother, Charlie, after an assault in prison. But all her instincts tell her not to let this case go. And so she digs. George and Phamie Bennet were together for a long time. No one can ever really know the secrets kept between husband and wife. But as Birch slowly begins to unravel the truth, terrible crimes start to rise to the surface.

Although this is the third book in the DI Birch series, it’s the first book for me. The story is seen solely through the narrative of DI Helen Birch who’s investigating the disappearance of an elderly couple when their estranged son hasn’t spoken to them in over 30 years.

As she investigates the case, she finds herself delving into old cases and other missing people.

I really enjoyed this story, it’s set in Glasgow and Claire has used the Scottish dialect in the narrative which adds a bit of charm to the story. I really liked the characters, particularly Helen who’s had a bit of a troubled life with an estranged father and a brother in jail.

The story moves at a good pace with regulars twists and reveals that really kept the reader engaged. With atmospheric settings, vivid descriptions and suspense plotted through each page, ‘Cover Your Tracks’ is a great crime novel that introduced me to a new crime series to look forward to exploring more off.

You can pre-order ‘Cover Your Tracks’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops from 20th August 2020.

The Safe Place By Anna Downes

The Safe Place‘The Safe Place’ is the latest book by Anna Downes.

Emily Proudman has been offered the chance of a lifetime – leave her messy London life, move to a beautiful estate in France and help her boss’ wife take care of their daughter, Aurelia. It seems like the perfect opportunity to start again. But once there, Emily soon starts to suspect that her charismatic new employers aren’t telling her the whole truth. That there are even dangerous secrets hidden beneath the glamourous facade. Rather than throwing herself headline into this oasis of wine-soaked days by the pool, Emily can’t help but ask questions. Why have the family been moved to this isolated house so far from home? Why does Aurelia refuse to speak or be touched? Why are there whispers in the night?

Today I spent my day curled up with Anna Downes, a suspenseful thriller that I had absolutely no idea where it was going and for me, that’s the sign of a great book.

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of Emily, an aspiring actress who in the one day loses her job and her accommodation. But her boss Scott Denny comes to the unlikely rescue offering her a a new opportunity with his company, in the form of a housekeeper position for his daughter and wife in France.

Emily finds herself in a secluded house with only Nina and her daughter Aurelia for company as well as the house carekeeper, Yves. The house is in an amazing location but needs a lot of work with only Nina, Emily and Yves able to do it. But as the days pass, Emily begins to wonder if this job is quite the dream that she expected, with remote access and no contact to others, a mute little girl and a house that seems to be shrouded in secrets.

The story is also seen through the perspective of Scott, who’s quite the entrepreneur with a controlling nature and it’s interesting to see why he picked Emily specifically as the house keeper for his house and family. Another narrative is seen from the perspective of Nina, who’s Scott’s wife and it tells the history of the couple and they got into the position that they are currently in.

This is Anna’s debut novel and what a debut it is. Right from the beginning, she reels the reader in with the unsettling and claustrophobic situation that leaves the reader wondering what’s going on and why Emily?

In the initial start of the story, I didn’t like Emily, I think it’s because of how she treats her adoptive parents only getting in contact when she’s looking for something and that seems to be all the time. But as the story progresses, like Emily I begin to fear for her safety and feel sorry for the situation that she is in. Scott and Nina are an interesting couple, they say that they’ve moved to France due to Aurelia’s allergy to the sun, but throughout the story I was convinced there was something far more sinister going on.

The story moves at a nice pace that keeps the reader engaged with the interweaving narratives and dual perspectives. Right from the first page, this story pulled me in, with unreliable characters against the backdrop of a picturesque location, ‘The Safe Place’ is a tense and absorbing thriller that hooks the reader from the first page.

You can buy ‘The Safe Place’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.