Book Review: The Confession of Thomas Hawkins by Antonia Hodgson

My first thoughts on this book was that it looked like a really interesting read. I haven’t read that many historical crime fiction, but was totally absorbed and intrigued by the cover of this one. 
Book Description

Spring, 1728. A young, well-dressed man is dragged through the streets of London to the gallows at Tyburn. The crowds jeer and curse as he passes, calling him a murderer. He tries to remain calm. His name is Tom Hawkins and he is innocent. Somehow he has to prove it, before the rope squeezes the life out of him.



It is, of course, all his own fault. He was happy with Kitty Sparks. Life was good. He should never have told the most dangerous criminal in London that he was ‘bored and looking for adventure’. He should never have offered to help Henrietta Howard, the king’s mistress, in her desperate struggles with a brutal husband. And most of all, he should never have trusted the witty, calculating Queen Caroline. She has promised him a royal pardon if he holds his tongue but then again, there is nothing more silent than a hanged man.

Based loosely on actual events, Antonia Hodgson’s new novel is both a sequel to The Devil in the Marshalsea and a standalone historical mystery. From the gilded cage of the Court to the wicked freedoms of the slums, it reveals a world both seductive and deadly. And it continues the rake’s progress of Tom Hawkins – assuming he can find a way to survive the noose…
           

When I decided I wanted to read this novel, I didn’t realise that it was a sequel to The Devil in the Marshalsea, but anyway I decided to give it a go. I am really glad I did, and felt that it didn’t matter that I hadn’t read the previous novel. 
The setting of the novel is in the deep grotty slums of London in the 1700’s. The way the book is written gives you a great picture of this time with the corruption and violence that seems to be all around you. The main character Thomas is such a likable character, and I was rooting for him all the time as we try to discover who actually dunnit?
The one thing I enjoyed about the book was that it is actually loosely based on real events, this to me gives it a sense of reality and truth behind the story.
My overall thoughts is that you will be taken on a fabulous ride with this thriller through grimy London and be guessing all the way! I have enjoyed it very much and look forward to going back and reading The Devil in the Marshalsea.
I have given The Confession of Thomas Hawkins by Antonia Hodgson 4 out of 5 stars.
Hardback Edition
Published 4th June 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton
Rachel xx
Disclaimer I was given this hardback edition to read and review free of charge from Bookbridgr. All opinions and views expressed are my own.

Book Review: The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

I requested to read an ebook copy of The Bones of You by Debbie Howells from Netgalley for one of my Bank Holiday reads. My initial thoughts of the cover image shown further below was that I am going to be in for a deep, dark, mystery, psychological thriller type of a book. I was not disappointed, and if you decide to read it neither would you.                                             
Book Description

When Kate receives a phone call with news that Rosie Anderson is missing, she’s stunned and disturbed. Rosie is eighteen, the same age as Kate’s daughter, and a beautiful, quiet, and kind young woman. Though the locals are optimistic—girls like Rosie don’t get into real trouble—Kate’s sense of foreboding is confirmed when Rosie is found fatally beaten and stabbed.
Who would kill the perfect daughter, from the perfect family? Yet the more Kate entwines herself with the Andersons—graceful mother Jo, renowned journalist father Neal, watchful younger sister Delphine—the more she is convinced that not everything is as it seems. Anonymous notes arrive, urging Kate to unravel the tangled threads of Rosie’s life and death, though she has no idea where they will lead.
Weaving flashbacks from Rosie’s perspective into a tautly plotted narrative, The Bones of You is a gripping, haunting novel of sacrifices and lies, desperation and love.
The book starts of with a rather creepy intro from Rosie, telling us that she is looking at the movie of her life. This suggests that she is dying and her life is flashing before her eyes. We hear Rosie’s side of the story throughout the book, and get to know her character this way.
Rosie’s mother Jo calls Kate to tell her that her daughter is missing. Kate and Jo don’t really know each other very much, but through the disappearance of Rosie and then the finding of her body, Kate becomes Jo’s rock. Jo’s marriage crumbles through the book, and she becomes a depressed pill taking alcoholic. Kate is with her every step of the way trying to make sense of what is happening while watching her own daughter Grace go off to university and her husband Angus heading up to York for work. 
I didn’t particularly like the character of Kate in the beginning, she seemed to be a bit of an interferring busy body, but as the book goes on I can see why. I am not quite sure I like the parts of Rosie telling her story from the grave either. This narative can be a bit confusing. 
I do like the author’s style of writing designed to tease the reader, drawing you in, thinking yes I know what happened, then throwing another spanner in the works changing your line of thinking. This keeps the reader very much engaged with the story.
This book is a good read for anyone looking for a mystery suspense who dunnit novel. 
I have given The Bones of You by Debbie Howells 3 out of 5 stars. 
Expected publication date 30th June 2015 by Kensington Books
Rachel xx

Disclaimer: I received this ebook free of charge in exchange for an hoenst review. All views and opinions expressed are my own. Book cover image and Book Description taken from NetGalley.com for purpose of this review only.

Book Review: The Day We Disappeared

Last month I won this book with @joythestore on Twitter. It is a book I heard about before and so really wanted to read it. My luck was in when I was announced as one of their competition winners.
The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson is a cross between a romance novel and a mystery psychological thriller type of book. The two main characters are Annie and Kate, old friends that are living in two totally different worlds and not sure who they are anymore. 
Annie is a hippy type of girl working as a masseuse in various little rooms around London. One day she meets Stephen in one of these little rooms and he becomes her boyfriend and her ‘night in shining armour’ rescuing her and giving her a new working space in his office building. What Stephen doesn’t know is that Annie has a secret from her past that she doesn’t want anyone around her to know. 
Kate has run away from Dublin, suffering from stress and burnout and ends up at a livery yard working for Mark Waverley in Somerset. Kate is scared that she is going to be found at any minute, but this doesn’t stop her from having feelings for her new boss. 
I love the way the author Lucy switches each chapter back and forth between Annie and Kate’s stories. It’s written in a very clever way. I think Kate’s story is my favourite because of her love for Mark and his horse Stumpy and the way their relationships develop. The story keeps you holding on for more as you progress through the book. I really wanted to know why Kate ended up in Somerset! The characters are very well thought out and you will learn to love them all.
My only criticism is that it does start of fairly slow, but now I can see it was building and keeping us on tenderhooks till the end. 
I would recommend this book to mystery romance lovers. It’s perfect for holiday reading and it will keep you on edge till the very end. It’s a book I will be proud to keep on my bookshelf and I’m glad I have been given the opportunity to read it.
I gave The day We Disappeared 4 out of 5 stars.
Rachel xx
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Yet another book win!

I found a competition on Goodreads for this book, The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly back in March and I was one of the lucky winners. I have been waiting patiently for it to arrive for ages and it turned up last week. 
You know when you enter a competition that you really want to win, well this was one of them! I have been a huge Matthew Reilly fan for years. My older sister introduced me to his books ages ago. The first book of Reilly’s I read was Ice Station, its was a fantastic thriller with the introduction of Shane Schofield, and many other characters which turn up in his later books. 

If you are into fast paced action thrillers these book are for you!

Reilly creates very strong characters which makes the books so much better to get absorbed into.
Here is a list of his books and which are on my to-read list:
Shane Scofield Novels:
  • Ice Station (read)
  • Area 7 (read)
  • Scarecrow (read)
  • Hell Island (read)
  • Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves (to-read)
Jack West Jr Novels:
  • Seven Ancient Wonders (read)
  • The Six Sacred Stones (read)
  • The Five Greatest Warriors (to-read)
Stand Alone Novels:
  • Hovercar Racer (read)
  • Contest (read)
  • Temple (read)
  • The Tournament (to-read)
  • Troll Mountain (to-read)
  • The Great Zoo of China (to-read)

I hoped you have enjoyed this post, if you are looking to read more like this please follow me on Bloglovin to keep up to date.
Rachel xx

Midweek Book Arrivals

The postman and comping fairy have been very kind to me over the past week and delivered these wonderful books and goodies. I always get so excited to receive books!
It’s Not Me It’s you by Mhairi McFarlane came from a Twitter win with AvonBooksUK. It’s a modern romantic fiction novel perfect for summer reading. I love the cute little button badge and postcard that arrived with it. Touches like these make the win more special to me, it shows care and attention to the reader.

A Few Words for the Dead by Guy Adams was sent to me by DelReyUK Books from a competition they were running on Twitter. This novel is a spy-thriller with a supernatural twist. It is the third book in the Clown Service series by Guy Adams. I think if you like spy-espionage thriller type books with sci-fi and fantasy thrown in this will be right up your street!
I felt very lucky to win this goody pack with MIRAInk on Twitter. The book is called Talon by Julie Kagawa It is the first in the Talon Saga. I loved the feel of the book cover as it’s like dragon scales! The goody pack contained a poster, sneak preview of the next book and the most gorgeous blue necklace. I am looking forward to getting stuck into this fantasy series, I mean who doesn’t like a good dragon book?
The necklace was so pretty that I had to show you a close up photo! From what i can gather there was a choice of what colour dragons egg necklace you would have received, mine was cobalt. 
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and would love you to follow me on Bloglovin and Facebook to keep you up to date with more like this.
Rachel xx

Book Review: The Crooked House

Back in January I won this hardback copy of the The Crooked House by Christobel Kent in a Twitter competition with @TheCrimeVault. Its a fantastic enthralling psychological thriller that keeps you guessing to the very end. The storyline is full of twists and turns that builds to a very intense climax. It has a very atmospheric and moody feeling which brings it out to the book cover as well. 

The book is about Alison’s story. 13 years ago she was the only survivor of a horrendous tragedy that happened one night in her house and has very limited memories of what happened. Now she has changed her name from Esme to Alison, lives a quiet life with no ties, but when she meets her boyfriend Paul Bartlett she only then decides to go back to her previous life and confront her past during a wedding back in her hometown. . 
The story is set in a small rural community called Saltleigh where outsiders do not fit in, this gives it a much more creepy feeling as a young Esme and her family are looked at as strangers/outsiders. The description of the setting is very vivid and you can see with your own eyes that a town with muddy marshes and bleak moors makes it very isolated.
Alison is such a likable and strong character that you cannot help but feel for her as she revisits her memories. She is very determined to find out the truth and shows a great deal of inner strength. With her creepy boyfriend Paul from the beginning you feel that something is amiss with him, and this develops further into the story.
It’s a very dark, mysterious book with sinister undertones, just when you think it’s gonna get better for Alison, something else crops up. Its one of those books where it always gets worse before it gets better! 
I really loved reading this book and I found it hard to put down hence why I read it in only 4 days! I highly reccommend it! 

Rachel xx