June 8

Epiphany Jones – Michael Grothaus

Epiphany Jones A/W.inddJerry has a traumatic past that leaves him subject to psychotic hallucinations and depressive episodes. When he stands accused of stealing a priceless Van Gogh painting, he goes underground, where he develops an unwilling relationship with a woman who believes that the voices she hears are from God.

Involuntarily entangled in the illicit world of sex-trafficking amongst the Hollywood elite, and on a mission to find redemption for a haunting series of events from the past, Jerry is thrust into a genuinely shocking and outrageously funny quest to uncover the truth and atone for historical sins.


My thanks to Karen at Orenda Books for my review copy and the chance to host this leg of the blog tour.


From page one, I knew I was going to love this book.  What I hadn’t realised at that early point was just how much!

Meet Jerry. He has had a rough old time of it whilst growing up. He sees imaginary people (his ‘figments’), he is depressive, dangerously addicted to celebrity internet porn (fake) and may have stolen a Van Gogh painting from work (but he isn’t sure).  Jerry’s life is about to change in ways that he could never possibly have imagined and it is all down to a girl called Epiphany Jones – but can Jerry even be sure she is real?

If you read the introductory text from the book and took in the phrase sex-trafficking and then spotted my reference to internet porn you will realise that Epiphany Jones may not be catering for everyone’s tastes.  There are some very dark, graphic and disturbing scenes in this book. They are powerful, emotive, chilling and excellently handled by the author.  The harsh backdrop of the story is often lifted by laugh out loud moments as there are some wonderfully comedic scenes to enjoy too…Jerry’s visit to his mother’s house is worth the admission price alone.

So with Jerry’s life in turmoil what of the titular Ms Jones?  Well she is something of an enigma. Her history is a closed book. She shares nothing more than she has to and she maintains she hears God’s voice as He is guiding her mission. Jerry and Epiphany are the oddest couple I have encountered in a long time yet it works!

It absolutely and totally works.

Their conflicted relationship (not that type) bounces from flashpoint to flashpoint and the pair frequently clash. Well Jerry clashes – Epiphany just deals with it as she knows that God has brought them together for a reason.

Grothaus has taken the dark subject of sex-trafficking and made it a bedfellow of the glitz, glamour and sleaze of Hollywood. Worlds collide in spectacular fashion and Jerry and Epiphany are caught up in the middle of the carnage. It makes for utterly compulsive reading.

I cannot say enough good things about Epiphany Jones, it was a phenomenal read and, at the end, it left me somewhat traumatised. I have concentrated on the dark subjects and the black humour but there is a love story lurking, a story of self discovery and a tale of a lost soul trying to be found.  This is a book that needs to be read – assuming you can handle it.

Epiphany Jones is the perfect blend of thrills, comedy and darkness. It is going to take something special to top it this year, but I know already that this is going to be a book that I will recommend for many years to come.

A 5/5 review score for Epiphany Jones – but only because I cannot score it more than 5.  It blew me away.

Epiphany Jones Blog tour


Epiphany Jones is published by Orenda Booka and is available in paperback and digital format. You can order a copy here.

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June 7

Twisted River: Siobhan MacDonald

Twisted RiverLimerick, Ireland: Oscar Harvey finds the body of a woman in a car boot, beaten and bloody. But let’s start at the beginning…

Kate and Mannix O’Brien live in a lovely Limerick house they can barely afford. Their autistic son is bullied at school and their daughter Izzy wishes she could protect him. When Kate spots a gorgeous New York flat on a home-exchange website, she decides her family needs a holiday.

Hazel and Oscar Harvey, and their two children, live on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Though they seem successful, Hazel has mysterious bruises and Oscar is hiding something.

Hazel is keen to revisit her native Limerick, and the house swap offers a perfect chance to soothe both troubled marriages.

But this will be anything but a perfect break. And the body is just the beginning.


My thanks to Heloise at EDPR for my review copy


Twisted River opens with a punch – a car is standing in the driveway beside a house. A woman’s body is being bundled into the boot of a car when two children appear asking their father where their mother has gone…

Brilliant opening and it made me want to keep reading but Siobhan MacDonald gets nasty at this point and jumps us back in time to spend some time outlining the events that led up to that shocking opening.

Twisted River tells the story of two families. One from Ireland, the other from the US. The reader is introduced to the two households and we learn that all is not well on either side of the pond.  The mothers of the house, Kate and Hazel, each feel that a change of scene will do their respective families the world of good. With Hazel keen to return to her native Ireland and Kate desperate to allow her son the chance to see New York City, the two families agree a house swap.

But Kate and Hazel will soon learn that leaving your problems at your doorstep isn’t as easy as they would hope – particularly when crossing someone else’s doorstep means you inherit some of their problems too.

I found Twisted River to be a pretty enjoyable read. As a speed reader, with multiple books on the go at any one time, I did struggle initially keeping up with which character belonged in which family.  That is more a reflection on me than on the author (I am terrible with names) but it did mean that I had to back track a couple of times to place the scene.  As I got deeper into the plot this minor inconvenience faded and I enjoyed where the story was going.

Dysfunctional families throw up some interesting dynamics and the author managed to capture and convey the sibling rivalry and domestic grief well.  I also thought the scenes where both families arrived at their new ‘homes’ were very well constructed and I actually felt the enjoyment and wonder that the two families were experiencing as they explored their new environments.

This is Siobhan MacDonald’s debut novel and I would definitely be inclined to pick up more books by this author. The characters were well realised, the story was well paced and kept me guessing. By the time we were back at the boot scene I can confess I was totally wrong about what I thought would have occurred to lead us up to that point.

Definitely a book which is worth your consideration.


Twisted River is published by Canelo and you can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Twisted-River-unmissable-psychological-thriller-ebook/dp/B01DUPBA3W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1465256131&sr=8-1&keywords=twisted+river

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June 6

Long Time Lost – Chris Ewan

Long time lostNick Miller and his team provide a unique and highly illegal service, relocating at-risk individuals across Europe with new identities and new lives. Nick excels at what he does for a reason: he’s spent years living in the shadows under an assumed name.
But when Nick steps in to prevent the attempted murder of witness-in-hiding Kate Sutherland on the Isle of Man, he triggers a chain of events with devastating consequences for everyone he protects – because Nick and Kate share a common enemy in Connor Lane, a man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, even if it means tearing Nick’s entire network apart.


My thanks to Sophie at Faber for my review copy

Last year I really enjoyed Chris Ewan’s Dark Tides.  It was a claustrophobic, atmospheric thriller.  This year Chris brings us Long Time Lost and shows his skills on a much larger platform as this is a globetrotting action adventure. It is also a damn fine read!

Nick Miller is a man with secrets. He comes to the rescue of Kate Sutherland who narrowly avoids death when the witness protection scheme fails her. Kate places her trust in Nick to keep her safe until such time as she can get to court to testify.

Miller, working with a handpicked team, is keeping a small number of people safe in various European cities. He has developed a surreptitious means for keeping track of them and as long as everyone follows Miller’s rules their safety will be assured. But there is one key question that everyone in the story must be able to answer: “Can you keep a secret?”

Kate and Miller are caught up in a desperate rush across Europe as Miller’s “clients” become targets.

Back at home, the police are very keen to catch up with Nick Miller. It seems that Miller has secrets of his own and if he values his continued freedom then he needs to keep off the radar too.

Long Time Lost is a tense thrill ride. Chris Ewan keeps the action zipping along and when we meet the bad guys that Kate and Miller are trying to escape, the tension cranks up a notch or two.

Chris Ewan always seems to create characters that I actually care about (given the number of books I can have on the go at any one time this is not something I say often). I had lots of fun reading Long Time Lost – it was one of the books I read long into the night when I really should have been trying to sleep. Perfect reading for thriller fans.


Long Time Lost is published by Faber & Faber. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Long-Time-Lost-Chris-Ewan-ebook/dp/B01B8GDRKE/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1464996879&sr=1-1

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June 4

Harvest Festival – Karl Drinkwater

Harvest Festival


First the birds went quiet. Then the evening sky filled with strange clouds that trapped the heat below. Now Callum wakes, dripping in sweat. Something has come to his isolated Welsh farm. If he’s going to keep his family alive during this single night when all hell breaks loose, he’ll have to think fast. And when he sees what he’s facing, he suspects even that may not be enough.


One of my own purchases this one but special shout-out ‘thanks’ to Sarah Hardy from By The Letter Book Reviews  who wrote the review that made me buy Harvest Festival.


A shorter review as this is a novella and I don’t want to spoil too much of Harvest Festival as the fun is in the unknown in this one.

On a remote Welsh farm a family awake to find intruders on their property. Callum leaves the safety of the home to investigate who is snooping around his farmyard – what he finds is both shocking and terrifying and now Callum has made himself and his family into targets.

What begins as a picture of a typical family scene soon flips into a terrifying fight for survival.  I enjoyed how the author took time to ensure we cared about Callum and his family before the peril kicks in. Once the danger had arrived the pace picked up and remained relentless.

Harvest Festival was a straight through, single sitting read. I really enjoyed where the author took the story and the finale left me hoping Callum’s family would come through unscathed – sadly I cannot tell you if they did…no spoilers!


Harvest Festival is published by Organic Apocalypse and can be ordered here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Harvest-Festival-Karl-Drinkwater/dp/1911278088/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1464993546&sr=8-7&keywords=harvest+festival





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June 1

Security – Gina Wohlsdorf

securityWhen the gleaming new Manderley Resort opens in twenty-four hours, Santa Barbara’s exclusive beachfront hotel will offer its patrons the ultimate in luxury and high-tech security. No indulgence has been ignored, no detail overlooked. But all the money in the world can’t guarantee safety. As hotel manager Tessa and her employees ready the hotel for its invitation-only grand opening, a killer is in their midst. One by one, staff are picked off with ruthless precision. And before the night is over, as Tessa desperately struggles to survive, it will become clear that the strangest and most terrible truth at Manderley is simply this: someone is watching.


My thanks to Claire Bowles PR for my review copy.


Security is a slasher movie in a book.  The cast is small, the book plays out entirely within the rooms and corridors of a grand hotel and there is a deadly game of cat and mouse about to unfold.

In the new Manderley hotel the employees prepping for the grand opening. It’s the end of the working day and most of the staff are leaving for the night.  The manager, Tessa, is running a final check over her new domain, the chef is prepping, the housekeeper is polishing and a killer is cleaning his knife, removing the blood which coats the blade.

On the top floor is a security suite. Cameras are discretely hidden all around the hotel and someone is always watching but who is watching the killer and why are they not doing anything to alert the authorities?

I read Security in a day. I couldn’t get through it quick enough and the book helped with this as the action was coming quick and fast. Some pages are cleverly written to reflect one moment in time seen through two, three or four security cameras – the page divided to show different viewpoints and track the subjects moving around the hotel.

Tessa is a strong lead character and even amongst the backdrop of a murder story there is time for the author to develop a love story which may (or may not) all end in tears if our killer has their way.

A fast paced, adrenalin filled thriller. Gripping tension, grizzly scenes and a nail-biting finale…Security is one for those that like their crime stories crossing into horror territory.


Security is published by Algonquin Books on 13 July.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Security-Gina-Wohlsdorf/dp/1616205628/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1464728096&sr=1-1&keywords=security+gina

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