November 4

Secrets of the Last Nazi – Iain King

Secrets of the Last NaziA mind-blowing conspiracy thriller




Berlin, 2015 – a well-connected SS Commander is found dead, having protected the last secret of the Nazi empire for seventy years. A discovery by Nazi Scientists so potent it could change the balance of world power – forever.

Led by misfit military historian Myles Munro, an international team begin to piece together the complex puzzle left by SS Captain Werner Stolz. As their hunt across Europe gathers pace, the brutal killing of one of the group signals that they are not the only ones chasing the answer.

Plunged into a world of international espionage, Myles only has his intellect and instincts to keep him alive. As the team edge closer to an explosive truth, it becomes clear to him that there is a traitor amongst them.

Who can Myles trust? And can he unravel the clues of the past in time to save the future?


My thanks to Bookouture for my review copy which I received through Netgalley.


Myles Munro is a clumsy military historian, he has a cloud of scandal hanging over his head but is called into government duty to investigate the secrets left by former Nazi Werner Stolz. It seems that Stolz may have been keeper of a vast collection of Nazi information – documents and records far too important to be overlooked and potentially of huge value to modern governments.

A delegation of representatives from UK, America, Russia and France are brought together to investigate what Stolz has left behind, however, their investigations are not as secret as they may believe and it is not long before they find themselves in mortal danger.

Secrets of the Last Nazi plays out over a few European countries and feels suitably grand in scale for an international thriller. The action comes thick and fast and there really is a mesmerizing concept underpinning the whole story – one which initially seems unbelievable but as the story unfolded I found myself accepting as viable and plausible. Sharing the secret at the heart of the story is a massive spoiler, suffice to say that both the Church and scientific community combine to try to suppress the nature of Stolz’s legacy such is the risk that it poses to their credibility.

As the investigative team narrow down the clues that Stolz left for those that would follow him the reader learns that there is a traitor in their midst. As the story builds to the dramatic finale the stakes are raised and it becomes clear that our team will not all escape unscathed. Iain King created a small cast of characters that you will want to get to the bottom of the mystery they are facing. As the team members start to waiver and fall (and with suspicion of their motives always in question) you cannot help but keep reading.

While I do not normally seek out thrillers which are founded in the legacy of WW2 I was drawn into Secrets of the Last Nazi and will highly recommend it. It was refreshing to read a book which was much grander in scale than my normal choice of story and Iain King weaves the threads of a fantastic narrative into a slick adventure.


Secrets of the Last Nazi is published by Bookouture and is available in paperback and digital format.

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November 3

Monster – C J Skuse

MonsterAt sixteen Nash thought that the fight to become Head Girl of prestigious boarding school Bathory would be the biggest battle she’d face. Until her brother’s disappearance leads to Nash being trapped at the school over Christmas with Bathory’s assorted misfits.

As a blizzard rages outside, strange things are afoot in the school’s hallways, and legends of the mysterious Beast of Bathory – a big cat rumoured to room the moors outside the school – run wild.

Yet when the girls’ Matron goes missing it’s clear that something altogether darker is to blame – and that they’ll have to stick together if they hope to survive.


My review copy came from Maximum Pop books.

A girls boarding school, the winter holidays and half a dozen girls are unable to travel home for the holidays so are stuck in their remote school over Christmas with just a single adult (the school matron) to supervise them.

My previous experience of reading about girls boarding schools only extends to the Enid Blyton Mallory Towers books, however, it is pleasing to see that the bitchy infighting between the girls is still very much in evidence and still makes for fun reading. It should be noted that CJ Skuse adds an extra level of bitchiness and takes the sexual references to a level that would have made Ms Blyton blush.

But what of the titular Monster?  Well it seems that the remote school may have a mysterious monster running free in the woodland and open moors which surround the school and its grounds. Several of the girls claim to have spotted it over the years but no one is ab e to give an accurate description of what they have seen – assuming they actually tell anyone that they have seen the monster in the first place!

Monster follows Nash – she wants to become Head Girl of Bathory Boarding School but she is facing stiff competition and is also having to deal with personal trauma as her beloved older brother has gone missing and is feared dead. We see Nash struggle to maintain a degree of control as she tries to balance her impeccable image at school while facing taunting and snide jokes from some of the meaner girls she boards with.

I don’t read many YA novels but sometimes I find that the content can be more shocking or explicit than I originally expected.  Monster begins with quite a mild tone and keeps this going for the majority of the book – until the endgame where CJ Skuse unshackles the restraint and delivers a nasty and quite brutal reward.

At the end of Monster I was left with the sense of having experienced a classic Doctor Who story. In the 60’s there was a period of time where the Doctor experienced a sequence of stories defined as ‘Base under Siege’ and this is how I viewed Monster.  A small band of humans battling for survival against the odds with a Monster lurking and picking them off.

All good fun and very readable.


Monster is published by Mira Ink and is available now in paperback and digital format.

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November 2

Talk of the Toun – Helen MacKinven

Talk of the Toun‘She was greetin’ again. But there’s no need for Lorraine to be feart, since the first day of primary school, Angela has always been there to mop up her tears and snotters.’ An uplifting black comedy of love, family life and friendship, Talk of the Toun is a bittersweet coming-of-age tale set in the summer of 1985, in working class, central belt Scotland. Lifelong friends Angela and Lorraine are two very different girls, with a growing divide in their aspirations and ambitions putting their friendship under increasing strain.

Artistically gifted Angela has her sights set on art school, but lassies like Angela, from a small town council scheme, are expected to settle for a nice wee secretarial job at the local factory. Her only ally is her gallus gran, Senga, the pet psychic, who firmly believes that her granddaughter can be whatever she wants. Though Lorraine’s ambitions are focused closer to home Angela has plans for her too, and a caravan holiday to Filey with Angela’s family tests the dynamics of their relationship and has lifelong consequences for them both.

Effortlessly capturing the religious and social intricacies of 1980s Scotland, Talk of the Toun is the perfect mix of pathos and humour as the two girls wrestle with the complications of growing up and exploring who they really are.


My thanks to Helen and Thunderpoint for my review copy and for inviting me to join the blog tour.


As Helen and I live in the same corner of the world I was able to attend the launch of Talk of the Toun. During the evening Helen read from the book and brought her characters to life for the room – everyone was captivated.  I closed my eyes and was transported to 1980’s Falkirk such was the brilliance of her reading. Naturally nobody wants to be transported back to Falkirk in the 80’s so I opened my eyes again pretty quickly!

Talk of the Toun is a fantastic coming of age story following Angela and her best friend Lorraine as they cope with their teenage years as they reach the end of their time at school. This is a story which will make you laugh then cry, characters can be very ‘un-pc’ and Helen MacKinven does not shy away from addressing awkward and sensitive issues.

For two teen girls there are a wealth of daily challenges to overcome, in a predominantly Protestant town attending the Catholic school means even walking down the street can bring trouble. Now factor in their quest to lose their virginity, Angela wanting to escape her life to follow her dream of attending Art School and Lorraine having to help look after her handicapped sister and you find two young women with a story you want to read.

A highlight of Talk of the Toun is the supporting cast: Angela’s parents, her Gran (a sometime pet psychic) and cover star Bimbo the dog all bring the extra dimension you want which will bring the depth to the story and add the realism that lets the reader buy into the tale. These are people you want to read about – once you start to learn about their lives you want to know more and see how they overcome the challenges which the author has placed in their way.

I would highlight that the book is written with plenty of local flavour. Language and phrases which are all very recognisable to me (as this is the world I grew up in) MAY cause some readers not accustomed to the Central Scotland dialect some mild confusion – this should not be something that puts you off reading Talk of the Toun. It is authentic, believable and lots of the humour relies upon the language being natural.

Talk of the Toun is a strong debut novel which deserves to be read. For those of us who experienced life in the 80’s it will strike many chords and bring back so many memories.  I wonder if Helen MacKinven could put me together a soundtrack to go along with the book too?


Talk of the Toun is published by Thunderpoint Publishing and is available in paperback and digital format.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour at the sites below:

Blog Tour image


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