February 14

DC Super Hero Girls: Wonder Woman at Superhero High – Lisa Yee

Wonder Woman at Super Hero HighThe first book in an exciting new DC Super Hero Girls™ fiction series!

Wonder Woman™ wants to be the best super hero she can be, and that means going to Super Hero High School. But there’s a lot for the teen super hero to get used to at her new school! Save the Day alarms, a room-mate who shares everything on social media . . . not to mention the fact that Wonder Woman has never seen a boy before.

And, on top of all that, it seems like someone doesn’t want the Amazon princess at the school. Who’s been sending Wonder Woman nasty notes? And will they ruin her chances of success at Super Hero High School?


My thanks to Sarah at Penguin Random House for my review copy

I have been a fan of comic books since I was a kid and the love of those monthly ongoing adventures has never faded. Now my kids have reached the age that I was at when I started to follow the adventures of Batman, Superman and Spider-man.  Back then we had Christopher Reeve in the Superman movies and not much else beyond any comic book you could find in your local newsagent (and in 1980’s Scotland there were precious few of those!)

These days my kids are spoiled for choice as they can do Teen Titans on the cartoon channels, stream Avengers or DareDevil through Netflix or raid my bookshelves for my DC and Marvel graphic novels. So when I suggested they may enjoy the new DC Super Heroes Girls books they were more than a little excited!

And for good reason – these books are perfectly pitched for readers around 8-11 years of age and make really good use of the DC comic book heroes. In Wonder Woman at Super Hero High we have Wonder Woman as a young girl hitting high school for the first time. The story is pitched at a level akin to the Middle Grade schools which my kids are inhaling on a daily basis at the moment so the Hero angle was a welcome change.

I left the eldest bookworm (10 years old) to read his way through the book on his own.  Once done I grilled him for his thoughts…”really good story. I loved when new characters came in and I knew who they were – and it was weird too that they were at school”.  Worth pointing out that my bookworm is a young lad and this is Super Hero Girls – this may explain the “a bit girly at times” comment too but it didn’t stop him reading and enjoying it (and asking if there were other books in the series).

DC Super Hero Girls - Power UpThere are other books in the DC Super Hero Girls range which may appeal to younger kids too.  My 7 year old (the arty one in the family) had loads of fun with the Sticker Book and Doodle book.

This looks a great collection for kids who have got the superhero bug and with The LEGO Batman Movie in cinema’s at the moment there are bound to be a few more budding comic book fans looking for more stories about their heroes.

Wonder Woman at Super Hero High scored as a bit hit with my kids and got their official seal of approval.


Wonder Woman at Super Hero High is published by Puffin and is available now.

You can order books from the DC Super Hero Girls range here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/DC-Super-Hero-Girls-Wonder/dp/014137473X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1487112754&sr=8-2&keywords=wonder+woman+at+superhero+high

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February 13

The Intrusions – Stav Sherez

The IntrusionsWhen a distressed young woman arrives at their station claiming her friend has been abducted, and that the man threatened to come back and ‘claim her next’, Detectives Carrigan and Miller are thrust into a terrifying new world of stalking and obsession.

Taking them from a Bayswater hostel, where backpackers and foreign students share dorms and failing dreams, to the emerging threat of online intimidation, hacking, and control, The Intrusions explores disturbing contemporary themes with all the skill and dark psychology that Stav Sherez’s work has been so acclaimed for.

Under scrutiny themselves, and with old foes and enmities re-surfacing, how long will Carrigan and Miller have to find out the truth behind what these two women have been subjected to?


My thanks to Faber & Faber for my review copy which I received through Netgalley

The Intrusions gripped me. Totally, completely hooked me from the outset. I read it in three sittings and each time I had to put down the book (to go and do the day job) I was counting down the minutes until the time when I could pick it up and begin reading again.

What made matters worse was that when I found out what the Intrusions from the title actually were I became more than a little freaked out. Not only was I dying to get back to reading, I was obsessing slightly about plot threads from the story and looking around my environment wondering if there were reasons to worry!

Cryptic?  Sorry but once you read the book you will understand why…it is a chilling idea but I have no doubt it is happening all around us.

The Intrusions was my first introduction to Stav Sheraz’s books and there were references to previous stories featuring the lead characters (Carrigan and Miller). Sometimes that can be a frustration for a new reader but in this case I found myself on several occasions thinking “I MUST go back and read the earlier books” as the backstory sounds superb.

The Intrusions begins with an abduction but it is not long before events will spiral into a much bigger challenge for the police. I particularly enjoyed how well the investigation was presented by the author, I really felt I was tracking their footsteps as they hunted down leads. Not every police thriller can capture the sense of urgency and pressure of an active investigation but, as I indicated above, I was gripped.

Without doubt one of the best books I have read for many months and a story I am recommending to anyone that will listen. Do not miss The Intrusions.


The Intrusions is published by Faber & Faber and is available now. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Intrusions-Carrigan-Miller-Stav-Sherez/0571297250/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486941671&sr=1-1&keywords=stav+sherez

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February 8

All The Missing Girls – Megan Miranda

8.2.16 - Day 9 - Grab This Book


It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared without trace. Then a letter from her father arrives – ‘I need to talk to you. That girl. I saw that girl.’ Has her father’s dementia worsened, or has he really seen Corinne? Returning home, Nicolette must finally face what happened on that terrible night all those years ago.

Then, another young woman goes missing, almost to the day of the anniversary of when Corinne vanished. And like ten years ago, the whole town is a suspect.

Told backwards – Day 15 to Day 1 – Nicolette works to unravel the truth, revealing shocking secrets about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne.

Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls is a brilliantly plotted debut thriller that will leave you breathless.


All the missing girlsMy thanks to Katherine at Atlantic Books for my review copy and the chance to join the tour.

I do love a small town thriller. In a city nobody cares what may be going on right under their noses, however, in small towns the mindset of the residents is totally different – EVERYONE cares what you do. If you have a secret in a small town you can guarantee everyone else has a theory as to what that may be!

Ten years ago Nicolette’s best friend, Corinne,  vanished. Nic left town shortly afterwards but now she has had to return and face the demons of her past. Nic’s father is suffering badly with advanced dementia but could he be remembering something important about Corinne’s disappearance or is a cryptic statement simply a false memory brought on by his disease.

Almost 10 years to the day that Corinne vanished another girl has gone missing and tensions are running high. All the Missing Girls tracks a 15 day period and covers the events surrounding the investigations. However, everything is told backwards (day 15 back to day 1) so you had better be ready to pay attention as this time it is effect then cause rather than cause and effect.

A devilishly clever idea and it had me really focussed on the story as I realised that the conversation in one chapter was the direct result of a conversation which we see take place 30 pages later.  Keeping up?  Good – it will keep you on your toes.

I like when an author puts a twist on a story and All the Missing Girls has twists aplenty! The style may not be for everyone but if you fancy something new in your crime fiction this is one for you.


All the Missing Girls is published by Altantic Books/Corvus and you can get your copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/All-Missing-Girls-Megan-Miranda/1786490811/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486495241&sr=8-1&keywords=all+the+missing+girls

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February 7

The Damselfly – SJI Holliday

the-damselflyAn unsolved murder. A community turned against each other. A killer close to home…

Katie Taylor is the perfect student. She s bright and funny, she has a boyfriend who adores her and there are only a few months left of school before she can swap Banktoun for the bright lights of London. Life gets even better when she has an unexpected win on a scratch card. But then Katie’s luck runs out.

Her tragic death instead becomes the latest in a series of dark mysteries blighting the small town. The new school counsellor Polly McAllister, who has recently returned to Banktoun to make amends in her own personal life, is thrown in at the deep end as the pupils and staff come to terms with Katie s death. And it s not long before she uncovers a multitude of murky secrets. Did Katie have enemies? Is her boyfriend really so squeaky clean? And who is her brothers mysterious friend?

With Banktouns insular community inflamed by gossip and a baying mob stirring itself into a frenzy on social media, DS Davie Gray and DC Louise Jennings must work out who really murdered Katie before someone takes matters into their own hands.


My thanks to Thomas at Black & White Publishing for my review copy

The Damselfly, the third book in the Banktoun series is officially my favourite of the three. Although all three books can easily be read as stand-alone novels there is a definite reward for returning readers, Characters from earlier novels will cameo and the town seems to be evolving with each new book too – like in a videogame where deeper exploration into the story will open up new areas of the map to enjoy.  In The Damselfly the local school becomes a key focus for events and the pupils will provide much of the drama. SJI Holliday has made Banktoun a great place for readers to visit – but I wouldn’t want to live there!

I cannot review one of Susi’s novels without commenting (again) on her skill at defining characters. Everyone in the story seems more vibrant and realistic than some authors can achieve with their main character. The realism is a problem in The Damselfly though as in this story we have the nasty problem of cyberbullies. The creeping menace of social media is being used to stir up tension and suspicion and it makes for very uncomfortable reading.

The story opens with Katie, she is a bright student and is seeking to improve her lot in life and hoping to get away from Banktoun and move to the bright lights. Sadly fate has a different idea for Katie and her life abruptly comes to an end leaving a mass of unanswered questions and plenty of candidates for the finger of suspicion to point at.  A murder mystery means we get the police involved and in Banktoun that can only mean a welcome return for fan-favourite Davie Gray.

I totally lost myself in The Damselfly. From the early shocking murder of Katie Taylor we see how her death will impact on different characters in the town. Her family torn apart by the tragedy, her classmates believing they know who must be involved and trying to take the law into their own hands, her teachers coping with the shock and trying to support Katie’s former classmates. And, of course, the police who need to unpick Katie’s secrets when nobody seems to want to help them.

The Damselfly is a murder mystery which leaves you wondering who you should trust…A five-star page-turner, I loved it.


The Damselfly is published by Black & White Publishing and is available now in paperback and digital format. Order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Damselfly-gripping-unnerving-crime-thriller-ebook/dp/B01M7RBU7W/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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February 7

Cover Reveal : Rachel Amphlett – Will to Live

I am thrilled to be able to join in with this morning’s cover reveal for Rachel Amphlett’s new novel: Will to Live.

Following on from last year’s Scared to Death, Detective Kay Hunter returns and here is what we can expect:


Will to Live Cover MEDIUM WEB

Reputation is everything

When a packed commuter train runs over a body on a stretch of track known to locals as ‘Suicide Mile’, it soon transpires that the man was a victim of a calculated murder.

As the investigation evolves and a pattern of murders is uncovered, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter realises the railway’s recent reputation may be the work of a brutal serial killer.

With a backlog of cold cases to investigate and attempting to uncover who is behind a professional vendetta against her, Kay must keep one step ahead of both the killer and her own adversaries.

When a second murder takes place within a week of the first, she realises the killer’s timetable has changed, and she’s running out of time to stop him…

Will to Live is the second book in a new crime thriller series featuring Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future…

If you like Angela Marsons, Peter James and Robert Bryndza, you will love Rachel Amphlett’s new series.


Will to Live is coming later in 2017 and I cannot wait.


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February 6

Sealskin – Su Bristow

SealskinWhat happens when magic collides with reality?

Donald is a young fisherman, eking out a lonely living on the west coast of Scotland. One night he witnesses something miraculous …and makes a terrible mistake. His action changes lives – not only his own, but those of his family and the entire tightly knit community in which they live. Can he ever atone for the wrong he has done, and can love grow when its foundation is violence?

Based on the legend of the selkies – seals who can transform into people – Sealskin is a magical story, evoking the harsh beauty of the landscape, the resilience of its people, both human and animal, and the triumph of hope over fear and prejudice.

With exquisite grace, Exeter Novel Prize-winner Su Bristow transports us to a different world, subtly and beautifully exploring what it means to be an outsider, and our innate capacity for forgiveness and acceptance. Rich with myth and magic, Sealskin is, nonetheless, a very human story, as relevant to our world as to the timeless place in which it is set. And it is, quite simply, unforgettable.


My thanks to Karen at Orenda for my review copy and the chance to be involved in the tour.

Before I read Sealskin I had seen huge amounts of praise being lavished upon it. Much of the focus is on the beautiful writing, the haunting story and the beautiful gentle tale.

I was a bit surprised with how the story began as immediately we encounter a shocking act of violence. It caught me unawares and I wondered where the “gentle” story I had been expecting was going to come from. Well stick with it as things do settle down and the relationship story I had been expecting starts to unfold.

Sealskin is a story based around the myth of the Selkie, a seal can shed its skin to take on human form. In Sealskin we meet Donald, a fisherman living in a remote community – he is somewhat alienated by the others in his village but when he brings home a mysterious woman she will transform a community in a way they could never have foreseen.

It is a powerful and emotive story which will impact upon all its readers. Very much out of my comfort zone of reading and quite unlike what I normally pick up so I have a limited benchmark to compare and contrast Sealskin with.

I very much enjoyed the depiction of the remote community and the environment which the fishermen all worked. Capturing the location is essential to engage a reader and Su Bristow does a marvellous job in setting the ideal scene to let her selkie play.

A fantastical tale which is fantastically told.


Sealskin is published by Orenda and is available in digital format and paperback. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sealskin-Su-Bristow/dp/1910633607/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486344510&sr=1-1&keywords=seal+skin+su+bristow

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February 6

Corpus – Rory Clements

Corpus 2 1936.
Europe is in turmoil.
The Nazis have marched into the Rhineland.
In Russia, Stalin has unleashed his Great Terror.
Spain has erupted in civil war.

In Berlin, a young Englishwoman evades the Gestapo to deliver vital papers to a Jewish scientist. Within weeks, she is found dead in her Cambridge bedroom, a silver syringe clutched in her fingers.

In a London club, three senior members of the British establishment light the touch paper on a conspiracy that will threaten the very heart of government. Even the ancient colleges of Cambridge are not immune to political division. Dons and students must choose a side: right or left, where do you stand?

When a renowned member of the county set and his wife are found horribly murdered, a maverick history professor finds himself dragged into a world of espionage which, until now, he has only read about in books. But the deeper Thomas Wilde delves, the more he wonders whether the murders are linked to the death of the girl with the silver syringe – and, just as worryingly, to the scandal surrounding King Edward VIII and his mistress Wallis Simpson…


My thanks to Emily at Zaffre for my review copy

Historical fiction is always a tricky balance – can the author capture the time and setting? Are the events covered so well known that building a new story around famous characters seems implausible? Does the author challenge your perception or understanding of an historical event?  Having read Corpus I can report that Rory Clements does a fantastic job at ticking all those boxes.

It is 1936 and the Nazi party are on the rise in Europe, there are powerful men in prominent positions in England that are keeping their support of Mr Hitler very quiet. There are also a significant number of communist party members to be found in London and Cambridge so political tensions run high. All this is not helped by the pressure on the King who is involved with an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson.

In the midst of all these forces is American History Professor Thomas Wilde. He provides a detached overview of the political manoeuvring and his approach to analyse and challenge events makes him a great lead character. Wilde is well respected but does not seem to fit in with the traditionalists around his college. He will provide guidance to a Times journalist (who may working for more than one master) who wants to consult Wilde on the brutal murder of a member of the aristocracy as there are political ramifications which need explored.

Corpus is a political thriller, there is a murderer running around too and there is a good dose of action adventure happening here too.  As I indicated above, Rory Clements does a brilliant job in setting the scene and keeping the fictional events relevant to the established historical facts that he is weaving his story around. There are some very unlikeable characters, yet Wilde is a joy to follow and reading this story was something of a treat.

Fans of Fatherland, cold war thrillers and political dramas – this is very much one for you.


Corpus is published by Zaffre and is available now in hardback and digital format.  Order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Corpus-gripping-thriller-rival-Fatherland/dp/1785762613/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486343586&sr=8-1&keywords=Corpus



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