A sharp twist on the noir genre from one of England’s finest fiction writers
‘I worked one hundred murders,’ says Detective Mike Hoolihan, an American policewoman. ‘In my time I have come in on the aftermath of maybe a thousand suspicious deaths, most of which turned out to be suicides, accidentals or plain unattendeds. So I’ve seen them all: jumpers, stumpers, dumpers, dunkers, bleeders, floaters, poppers, bursters. But of all the bodies I have ever seen none has stayed with me, in my gut, like the body of Jennifer Rockwell. I say all this because I am part of the story I am going to tell, and I feel the need to give you some idea of where I’m coming from.’
Night Train is a mystery story which lingers in the reader’s mind even after Mike Hoolihan declares the case closed.
‘Night Train is both delicate and bruising – a long drawn-out blue note. The book hangs around in the mind like smoke in a jazz club’ Telegraph Magazine
The Night Train – a euphemism for suicide and also the train that thunders past the detectives window every night…
I love murder mysteries, and have even written some, but never anything like The Night Train by Martin Amis.
This, without doubt, is the most unusual and riveting story, complete with the most unusual detective. Mike Hoolihan is a woman and like no one I have ever met, in real life or fiction. Her life is raw and brutal and has left its mark, but she gets the job done and better than most.
I loved her no nonsense attitude in what must be a nightmare of a job. Her sense of humour and way of talking were both refreshing and entertaining, and I will remember Mike Hoolihan and her determination for a long time…
A father’s secret… a mother’s lie… a family mystery. An unexpected phone call – and Nina’s life takes a disturbing twist. Who is John Moore? And how does he know her name? Nina travels south to see the house she inherited, but sinister letters arrive and she finds herself in the middle of a police investigation. With her identity called into question, Nina uncovers a shocking crime. But what, exactly, happened in the attic room, all those years ago? The answer could lie close to home.
A fast-moving, chilling suspense novel by the author of The Cold Cold Sea, The Paradise Trees , Chosen Child, and others.
The Attic Room is the first book I have read by Linda Huber, although most of her books are on my reading list as I love psychological thrillers, and this is one of the best!
Just weeks after her mother dies, Nina is told of another death, only this man is a stranger. A stranger who had left her his house, a large depressing building that might reveal a clue as to who he was, and why he knew her.
This was where the tension began to grow into a strangle hold, as the mysterious secrets begin to unfold. The atmosphere of the house, leaking it’s evil memories of the past came through strongly and chilled me to the bone.
Beautifully written and superbly plotted, I thoroughly enjoyed The Attic Room…
The Attic Room is mostly told from the point of view of Nina who is struggling with having just lost her mother, Claire, and who lives with her daughter Naomi on the beautiful Isle of Arran. She gets a telephone call which turns her world upside down and has to head off to Bedford to try and uncover what appears to be a family secret, the truth of which has died along with her mother.
Nina knows nothing of any extended family she may have and is keen to find out more but when she does she is in for an unpleasant discovery. It is a surprise that Claire never told her the truth however unpalatable but I can understand how that can happen. You always think one day I shall tell them then something can happen which snatches that chance away from you. I liked the chapters told from Claire’s point of view which filled in some of the gaps for the readers, if not for Nina.
I enjoyed the settings in this book. I love the thought of Arran, and while I intend on making it there one day I already know the second setting, Bedford, very well. Not as idyllic perhaps but I liked picturing the locations and knew just where the house that Nina inherits is located.
A woman flees an abusive husband and finds hope in the wilds of the Arizona desert.
Rebecca Quinn escapes her controlling husband and, with nowhere else to go, hops the red eye to Arizona. There, Gaby Strand – her aunt’s college roommate – gives her shelter at the Salt River Inn, a 1930’s guesthouse located in the wildly beautiful Tonto National Forest.
Becca struggles with post-traumatic stress but is enthralled by the splendour and fragility of the Sonoran Desert. The once aspiring artist meets Noah Tanner, a cattle rancher and beekeeper, Oscar Billingsley, a retired psychiatrist and avid birder, and a blacksmith named Walt. Thanks to her new friends and a small band of wild horses, Becca adjusts to life in the desert and rekindles her love of art. Then, Becca’s husband tracks her down, forcing her to summon all her strength. But can she finally stop running away?
This isn’t the first book by Anne Montgomery I have been lucky enough to read, so I already knew I would enjoy Wild Horses on the Salt.
The Scent of Rain on Amazon about a young girl’s life in a fundamentalist community literally had me gripped by the throat, so I was expecting a gentler read this time!
Brilliant opening chapter, full of questions that I had to know the answers to… Becca has run away from a horrible situation, turning to a family friend in the heart of the Sonoran Desert. She was safe, but not happy. She didn’t belong there, had nothing to do and no plans for her future, if that was even possible. The author’s brilliant world building soon had me relaxing and enjoying the desert, the wilderness with so many horses. This was the kind of story I knew I wouldn’t want to end. I loved the delightful chapters voiced by the horses, and although I was enjoying this beautifully written story, I knew trouble was brewing, simply biding its time. When it finally arrived, I wondered if Becca would manage to find a way to be free, once and for all…
I recommend Wild Horses on the Salt to readers of great fiction!
You can find more information about Anne Montgomery and her novels at the following sites:
Becca curled into a ball beneath the soft cotton sheets and the horse-adorned bedspread. She didn’t want to move, but then her stomach growled. How long had it been since she’d eaten? She stretched, and her assorted injuries made her wince. She crawled from beneath the bedding, holding her side, surprised to see that she had fallen asleep in her clothes. Becca eyed the small garment bag that rested unopened on a chair in the corner. She needed to brush her teeth. She eased herself slowly off the bed. The bruises on her hip and shoulder were still fresh and achy. Becca didn’t glance in the mirror as she crossed the room. She’d had a black eye before. Understood the rainbow transformation that would render the area purple, green, then a sickly yellow-brown before the wound would finally disappear from her skin, but not from her soul. Becca ran her fingers through her hair, then opened the door.
“Hello, Becca.” Gabriella Strand was tall with streaks of gray in her dark hair that was cut short and looped behind her ears. She wore teardrop-shaped turquoise earrings set in silver, a black sweatshirt that boasted a herd of galloping horses, black jeans, and a pair of worn black cowboy boots. If the woman standing before her was surprised by her appearance, she didn’t show it. Becca turned her bruised eye away. “Ms. Strand.” Gabriella laughed. “Oh, honey, no one has called me Ms. Strand in a very long time. It’s Gaby. Didn’t your aunt tell you?”
“Yes. I’m sorry. She did…Gaby.”
“No need to be sorry. Now, let’s get you something to eat.”
Later, Becca stared at the empty plate before her. She’d devoured the ham, egg, and cheese scramble, four pieces of thick smoked bacon, a stack of fluffy pancakes smothered in real maple syrup, and a large pot of hot black tea. Gaby sat and wrapped her large hands around a mug of strong coffee. The older woman gazed at Becca with dark eyes, her face etched with fine lines that indicated a lifetime spent outdoors in the Arizona sun. Becca didn’t know what to say to this woman who she knew only through stories told by her Aunt Ruthie. The two women had been college roommates, both history majors at Northern Arizona University. After graduation, a continent had come between them, with Ruthie moving back to New Jersey and Gaby remaining in her home state. But the two women never lost contact, had often visited over the years. When it became clear that Becca needed to leave, her aunt had insisted she would be safe with Gaby.
“You don’t have to say anything.” Gaby smiled. “I left some towels in your room. You can shower or take a bath, if you’d like. Then, rest. We’ll talk later.” All Becca could do was nod.
Once a year, the skies burn red. Upon this day, the Fire Kingdom’s priests perform their ritual: each newborn’s palm is lacerated, opened with a sacred sword, for Firia’s next ruler will be seen to shed no blood.
Alas, this can prove a perilous process. When young Noakhail demonstrates his destiny, a wicked imposter attempts to slay the boy. Soldier Lumio intervenes, escaping with defenseless Noakhail—set for distant Aquadom to hide . . . and gather strength. Seventeen years later, Lumio illuminates Noakhail’s true identity, presenting Distra, his rightful sword. Training side by side, the pair devise a plan to reclaim the throne . . . but this will mean ousting a crooked king, whose warriors are everywhere. Should Noakhail hope to triumph, he’ll be forced to look inside himself and tame explosive power on the expedition homeward bound. His path will cut through all four kingdoms—each replete with danger but, in turn, a chance to grow. Meanwhile, in Aquadom’s royal palace, the water sword has chosen its heir, but envy stands to jeopardize an age of fragile peace.
“I haven’t read such a complex and fascinating fantasy novel like The Sapphire Eruption for some time and the incredible pace had me out of breath on several occasions!
Maybe it should come with a health warning for the older generation?
Right from the brilliant prologue, I was completely immersed in this amazing world of magic and mystery with all its vastly different characters and magic swords. Brilliantly plotted, it kept me on the edge of my seat!
I didn’t enjoy the torture and killing of the giant’s horse, but it did serve to emphasise the determination and frustration of the soldiers as they tried their best to fulfil their destiny.
If the rest of this series continues like this one, I can see it doing well…”
Noakhail survives the ascendency ceremony by a narrow escape and develops his swordsmanship skills with the help from his adopted father, Lumino. His relationship with the sword is always fraught and double-edged. Vienne is chosen as future Queen of Aquadom. However, she is unsure of herself and sceptical of her powers, leaving others in her kingdom, including her own sister, to take advantage of her weakness and plot against her.
The Sapphire Eruption is an excellent fantasy novel with many classic elements. It is an exciting escape into a perilous world, populated by four warring lands ruled by ruthless kings and queens, who do not deserve to wield power. Surprising new rulers are anointed in mystical ceremonies in which the powerful and possessed swords chose their heirs to the kingdom. But these choices come at a price, as the swords don’t automatically offer allegiance and control to their owners; who have to earn the right to possess these potent weapons.
These two unlikely heirs to the supreme power of the swords are set on a dangerous collision course in the first book of a very promising series.
The first book in this trilogy opens with an idiot thinking he could outwit Hurricane Charley. Breathless opening sequence as the storm seeks him out, followed by an accurate and disturbing description of what happens to somebody caught in a hurricane.
This storm affects the people in this story very differently. Ronnie, the female lead, is somehow transported back to the eighteenth century. She feels the same but looks very different, and in this strange antiquated world, she has an angry and violent brother.
There turns out to be a very good reason for her transportation, and it has a lot to do with a bracelet she wears. I loved the way the author makes us jump through time and back again, as we keep track of the storyline.
Going back in time is usually portrayed as an exciting occurrence, but not in this book. Ronnie has never been treated so brutally before, and the bloodletting scenes are brilliantly written. It’s not just Ronnie who has been misplaced, parts of history are not right either.
This book has it all. Mysterious circumstances, violent characters, historical facts, and more than a touch of the supernatural. Our heroine is subjected to an arranged marriage, a witch hunt and a little romance along the way. Her life is threatened more than once, and her struggle to live will leave you breathless.
About The Author
KJ Waters is the author of the Stealing Time series. Her prior work experience was as the Director of Marketing and Communications at a national health care company. Her award winning blog, Blondie in the Water, features water stories and information about the books. She is also the owner of Blondie’s Custom Book Covers helping authors and publishers create stunning book covers.