SJ2B House of Books

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Hunt by Tim J. Lebbon

The Hunt by Tim J. Lebbon
Series: N/A
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Pages: 400
Format: e-ARC
ISBN: 9780008122904
PublisherHarper Collins UK Avon (June 18, 2015)
Source: Publisher/Netgalley

Rating:
Synopsis:
Rose is the one that got away. She was the prey in a human trophy hunt organised by an elite secret organisation for super-rich clients seeking a unique thrill. She paid a terrible price. Every moment since she has been planning her revenge ...And now her day has come. Chris returns from his morning run to find his wife and children missing and a stranger in his kitchen. He's told to run. If he's caught and killed, his family go free. If he escapes, they die. Rose is the only one who can help him, but Rose only has her sights on one conclusion. For her, Chris is bait. But The Trail have not forgotten the woman who tried to outwit them. The Trail want Rose. The hunters want Chris's corpse. Rose wants revenge, and Christ just wants his family back. The hunt is on ...

'A great thriller ...breathless all the way.' LEE CHILD 

My Thoughts:
I took Tim J. Lebbon's The Hunt on a canal boat family holiday for a bit of a read at bedtime after a hard days work on the river banks.

I had good intentions of thoroughly pulling my weight along with the rest of the family; hubby, daughter (age 14), son (16) & Buffer the dog (age 2). However I failed at the outset, I was glued to the book from the first page. I could not be prised away from it. Poor old hubby was left to skipper the boat the whole time as I was engrossed in The Hunt.  It was that good, truly I do not exaggerate. I ignored the desperate pleas of 'everyone quick, I need help' shouts as we neared locks and any other hazardous encounter.  Did they not understand that Chris and Rose were all I cared about ?

Due to circumstances beyond my control, my family needing sustenance and vital fluids, I had to do the right thing and provide for them.  So I pulled out the ration packs and advised them to boil the bags in water before consuming to ensure they were ready to continue their marathon steering of the boat and leave me to resume my endurance of The Hunt.

Finally after being held captive for two days, The Hunt came to its explosive finale and I was free to rejoin my family and enjoy our holiday.

Told from the viewpoints of Chris, Gemma his daughter and Rose, The Hunt was a pure 'edge of your seat', 'roller coaster ride'. I loved that it was set predominanly in the rugged wilds of Snowdonia in Wales, and had a totally believable female 'kick ass' protagonist.
This doesn't mean that it was without its flaws, chiefly the lack of real depth of character development of Chris' family, but this was such a minor issue and was outweighed by the more fuller bodied characterisations of Chris and Rose, and Rose's relationship with Holt, that I forgave them.
The character depiction of Rose is outstanding. Rose is the force to be reckoned with and will take no prisoners whilst implementing her murderous plan of action to wreak vengeance on The Trail. She is strong, she has to be.  She has prepared herself mentally and physically for a long time and will let nothing get in her way to achieve her goal. Totally unpredictable, she is surviving on pure hatred and driven in her sole purpose of avenging the slaughter of her family.
We really get to know Rose through flashbacks and feel her agonising despair at the discovery of her family's fate after she managed to escape being hunted. It is Chris who questions the necessity for such extreme violence making him the weaker of the two in their race to ... what, survive ? ... and what will be the consequences ... to lose his family ?
Rose is someone you'd feel desperately for but because she has lost everything meaningful to her she has absolutely nothing to lose making her unpredictable and highly dangerous.  As much as I was on her side and wanted her to kill the members of The Trail I did have some concerns whether she could be trusted to help Chris outrun the hunters and escape The Trail. Also what if she did kill The Trail members who had come to be her driving force for living. What would be left for her to live for ?
At times I felt there were similarities to Richard Bachman's The Running Man, and Suzanne Collins' The Hunger GamesThe Hunt was far superior to the former and definitely The Hunger Games for Gown ups!
Never a dull moment, I was exhausted just reading it.
The Hunt is Tim J. Lebbon's first thriller, please don't let it be the last !
Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of The Hunt by Tim J. Lebbon  was provided by Harper Collins UK Avon via Netgalley in exchange for an honest unbiased review.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Andersonville by Edward M Erdelac Book Review & Giveaway

Andersonville by Edward M Erdelac
Series: N/A
Genre: Historical Fiction, Horror, American Civil War
Pages: 272
Format: e-ARC
PublisherHydra (Aug 18, 2015)
SourceTLC BOOK TOURS/Publisher/Netgalley

Rating:
Synopsis
Readers of Stephen King and Joe Hill will devour this bold, terrifying new novel from Edward M. Erdelac. A mysterious man posing as a Union soldier risks everything to enter the Civil War’s deadliest prison—only to find a horror beyond human reckoning.

Georgia, 1864. Camp Sumter, aka Andersonville, has earned a reputation as an open sewer of sadistic cruelty and terror where death may come at any minute. But as the Union prisoners of war pray for escape, cursing the fate that spared them a quicker end, one man makes his way into the camp purposefully.

Barclay Lourdes has a mission—and a secret. But right now his objective is merely to survive the hellish camp. The slightest misstep summons the full fury of the autocratic commander, Captain Wirz, and the brutal Sergeant Turner. Meanwhile, a band of shiftless thieves and criminals known as the “Raiders” preys upon their fellow prisoners. Barclay soon finds that Andersonville is even less welcoming to a black man—especially when that man is not who he claims to be. Little does he imagine that he’s about to encounter supernatural terrors beyond his wildest dreams . . . or nightmares.

Advance praise for Andersonville
“The true story of Andersonville is one of unimaginable horror and human misery. It’s a testament to his unmatched skill as a storyteller that Edward M. Erdelac is not only able to capture that horror but to add another level of supernatural terror and reveal that the darkest evil of all resides in the human soul. Highly recommended to fans of horror and history alike.”—Brett J. Talley, Bram Stoker Award–nominated author of That Which Should Not Be and He Who Walks in Shadow

Andersonville is a raw, groundbreaking supernatural knuckle-punch. Erdelac absolutely owns Civil War and Wild West horror fiction.”—Weston Ochse, bestselling author of SEAL Team 666.

My Thoughts
Read as part of the TLC Book Tour Aug/Sept 2015

We are introduced to our protagonist Barclay Lourdes as he leaps onto a moving train transporting Union soldiers to the Confederate's prison camp, Camp Sumpter. He assumes the identity of a dead soldier and partners up with fellow prisoner Charlie. Together they attempt to find their place within the camp, quickly adapting to their environment in order to survive in their brutal surroundings where nobody or anything is as it seems.

There's not a lot more to add as the synopsis says enough without giving too much of the plot away so I'll leave it at that.

This is an extremely well written horror novel set in arguably one of the bloodiest times in American history. The true horror is that Camp Sumpter (Andersonville) was indeed a 'hell on earth' and that there can be no overplay of the horror and brutality these men suffered daily in their nightmarish struggle to survive death, madness, disease and starvation.  My initial concerns were that Andersonville was going to evolve into a zombie style farce which in my opinion would belittle the credibility of the plot,  but to my relief this didn't happen.  Instead it took on a supernatural twist involving an occult detective which enhanced the dark menacing atmosphere of the camp and certainly didn't take anything away from the horror of the real Andersonville.

Erdelac's blending of factual and fictional characters together with a supernatural element is well measured without it becoming implausible or laughable.

The intensity builds at a steady pace increasing the atmospheric tension and creating a sense of evil foreboding. I felt concern and fearful for the camps inhabitants.  Although I thought the pacing was a little slow at times Andersonville was a thoroughly compelling and engaging read.  It is a unique piece of alternative history and certainly as good as the best from the likes of Stephen King and Joe Hill. I highly recommend Edward M Erdelac's novel to not only fans of the horror genre, but to anyone interested in the American Civil War with something a little different to their usual read.

Andersonville is currently available in kindle format at £3.47 at Amazon UK and $5.12 Amazon US.  Why not enter the TLC Book Tours Giveaway below for the chance to win a copy of Edward M Erdelac's 'Andersonville' and judge for yourself.

Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of Andersonville was provided by TLC Book Tours via Netgalley in exchange for an honest unbiased review.

About Edward M Erdelac;


Edward M. Erdelac is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the author of six novels (including the acclaimed weird western series Merkabah Rider) and several short stories.
He is an independent filmmaker, award-winning screenwriter, and sometime Star Wars contributor. Born in Indiana, educated in Chicago, he resides in the LA area with his wife and a bona fide slew of children and cats.


RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY LINK

Edward M. Erdelac’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Tuesday, August 18th: Fourth Street Review
Tuesday, August 18th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, August 19th: The Reader’s Hollow
Wednesday, August 19th: Tynga’s Reviews
Thursday, August 20th: A Book Geek
Monday, August 24th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, August 25th: Kissin’ Blue Karen
Thursday, August 27th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, August 28th: Vic’s Media Room
Monday, August 31st: It’s a Mad Mad World
Tuesday, September 1st: SJ2B House of Books
Wednesday, September 2nd: Historical Fiction Obsession
Thursday, September 3rd: Kimberly’s Bookshelf
Friday, September 4th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Monday, September 7th: From the TBR Pile

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Researching Death Row : Julia Heaberlin


The author of new psychological thriller 'Black-Eyed Susans' Julia Heaberlin, tells 'We Love This Book' a publication of 'The Bookseller' about her research on death row. Click on the link below for more

Julia Heaberlin talks to We Love This Book

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

 Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
Genre: Psychological Thriller | Mystery Suspense
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 368 Hardcover

ISBN978084177993
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: August 13, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Rating:

Synopsis:
For fans of Laura Lippman and Gillian Flynn comes an electrifying novel of stunning psychological suspense.

I am the star of screaming headlines and campfire ghost stories.
I am one of the four Black-Eyed Susans.
The lucky one.

As a sixteen-year-old, Tessa Cartwright was found in a Texas field, barely alive amid a scattering of bones, with only fragments of memory as to how she got there. Ever since, the press has pursued her as the lone surviving “Black-Eyed Susan,” the nickname given to the murder victims because of the yellow carpet of wildflowers that flourished above their shared grave. Tessa’s testimony about those tragic hours put a man on death row.

Now, almost two decades later, Tessa is an artist and single mother. In the desolate cold of February, she is shocked to discover a freshly planted patch of black-eyed susans—a summertime bloom—just outside her bedroom window. Terrified at the implications—that she sent the wrong man to prison and the real killer remains at large—Tessa turns to the lawyers working to exonerate the man awaiting execution. But the flowers alone are not proof enough, and the forensic investigation of the still-unidentified bones is progressing too slowly. An innocent life hangs in the balance. The legal team appeals to Tessa to undergo hypnosis to retrieve lost memories—and to share the drawings she produced as part of an experimental therapy shortly after her rescue.

What they don’t know is that Tessa and the scared, fragile girl she was have built a  fortress of secrets. As the clock ticks toward the execution, Tessa fears for her sanity, but even more for the safety of her teenaged daughter. Is a serial killer still roaming free, taunting Tessa with a trail of clues? She has no choice but to confront old ghosts and lingering nightmares to finally discover what really happened that night.

Shocking, intense, and utterly original, Black-Eyed Susans is a dazzling psychological thriller, seamlessly weaving past and present in a searing tale of a young woman whose harrowing memories remain in a field of flowers—as a killer makes a chilling return to his garden.

My Thoughts:
Set in 1995 and the present day, suburban Fort Worth, Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin is narrated in flashback sequences by Tessie and *Tessa (*as she now calls herself) respectively.
Seventeen year old Tessie is the sole survivor of the 'Black-Eyed Susans' serial killer who left her for dead and buried under a mound of Black-Eyed Susans flowers. Tessie cannot remember anything about the missing 32 hours of her kidnapping or how she ended up being buried alongside the rotting corpse of another victim.
Through therapy sessions Tessie is encouraged to work through her ordeal and remember key information to help identify her abductor and bring him to justice.  She is somewhat coerced into testifying against Terrell Darcy Goodwin the man accused of her abduction who is sentenced and incarcerated on death row awaiting the date of his execution.

One of the most important relationships is between Tessie and her best friend, Lydia. Heaberlin effectively uses scenes from the past and the present to build a gradual piecing together of events and the strange intense but supportive relationship between the girls.

Fast forward seventeen years and Tessie who now prefers to call herself Tessa is the mother of a teenaged daughter. She is still haunted by memories from the past and is unsure that the right man has been convicted.  With the date of Terrell's execution looming ever closer she becomes increasingly more concerned that he may indeed be innocent. If he isn't guilty then the killer is still out there.  A terrifying thought for Tessa who now not only fears for herself but also for her daughter, Charlie.

The characterisation in this thriller is first class. The characters are well-drawn and believable,  easy to picture as real people in totally plausible scenarios.  Julia Heaberlin certainly did a vast amount of research regarding therapy recovery, forensic and DNA investigative detection, and life for inmates on death row making it a fascinating, educated, 
highly absorbing read that I struggled to put down for any length of time.  Any free moment was spent with my head in this book.
Black-Eyed Susans is Julia Heaberlin's third book, and in my opinion, by far her best. Intense, creepy and atmospheric, Black-Eyed Susans is a intelligent character driven masterpiece excellently paced with some great plot twists which had me guessing right to the very end ... brilliant!
I will not be able to look at the yellow daisies I walk past each day without thinking about Julia Heaberlin's thriller for a very long time.

About The Author:
Julia Heaberlin is an award-winning journalist who has worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Detroit News and The Dallas Morning News. Before launching her career as an author, she was an assistant managing editor over features sections at large metropolitan newspapers. Many of those sections won national and state journalism awards. The Star-Telegram Life & Arts section was named as one of the Top 10 sections in the country during her tenure. She has edited real-life thriller stories that inform her writing, including a series on the perplexing and tragic murders of random girls and women buried in the desert in Mexico and another on the frightened women of domestic violence. She lives with her husband and son in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where she is a free-lance writer and is at work on her fourth book.
Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of Black-Eyed Susans was provided by Ballantine Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest unbiased review.


Friday, August 7, 2015

The Lemoncholy of Annie Aster by Scott Wilbanks

The Lemoncholy of Annie Aster by Scott Wilbanks
Genre: Magical Realism, Historical Fantasy, Literary Fiction,
Time Travel, Contemporary

Pages: 400
Format: e-ARC
ISBN: 9781492612469

PublisherSourcebooks Landmark (Aug 4, 2015)
Source: Publisher/Netgalley

Rating:
Synopsis
Annabelle Aster has discovered a curious thing behind her home in San Francisco--a letterbox perched atop a picket fence.  The note inside is blunt—trespass is dealt with at the business end of a shotgun in these parts!—spurring some lively correspondence between the Bay Area orphan and her new neighbor, a feisty widow living in nineteenth-century Kansas.

The source of mischief is an antique door Annie installed at the rear of her house.  The man who made the door—a famed Victorian illusionist—died under mysterious circumstances.
Annie and her new neighbor, with the help of friends and strangers alike, must solve the mystery of what connects them before one of them is convicted of a murder that has yet to happen…and somehow already did.

"Annie wandered past a weather-beaten signpost in the wheat field
where her backyard used to be. "

My Thoughts:
I really wasn't expecting The Lemoncholy of Annie Aster to be as good as it was.  I'd initially requested a review copy based on the gorgeous looking front cover, and intriguing title, but put it on the back burner to read later.  However the publisher asked me if I'd like to take part in a 'book tour' for the title and I said that I would.  I'm so glad the book leaped to the top of the list as I simply loved its charm and innocence from the outset.


The characterisation in The Lemoncholy of Annie Aster is fabulous. The characters are fabulously-drawn, and so vivid they are easy to picture as real people. I found them and the story totally charming and compelling.

The Lemoncholy of Annie Aster is set in two time frames, the present and the early 1900's.  It is a delightful tale about true friendships and finding your place in the world, with magic, time travel, a murder mystery, oh and a romance, or two along the way.  The Lemoncholy of Annie Aster had me reading well into the early hours and I just hated to put it down.

The characters are a mixed band of misfits, from Annie, a throw back to the Victorian era with a dress style and lifestyle to match; her best friend Christian an amnesiac with a severe stutter; Elsbeth the widower in Kansas to whom Annie corresponds via time-travel mailboxes; Cap'n, a street-wise urchin, and the dastardly Mr Culler with his psychotic sidekick Mr Danyer.

Annie, gets more excitement and adventure than she ever dreamed imaginable with her impulse purchase of an antique door she installs as her back door.  A door with magical properties ... a time travel portal passing through Annie's San Franciscan back yard to a wheat field in Kansas from a century before.

With help from her best friend Christian and some lively compatriots they meet along the way, they endeavour to solve the problematic mysteries which present themselves at practically every turn.


As for my favourite character I would find it difficult to choose between Annie, Elsbeth and Christian as they were all equally endearing and compelling in their own right.  I loved them all for their unique and peculiar traits: Annie for her vulnerability but no messing strength of character and drive, Elsbeth for her initial feistiness who then transforms into a caring motherly figure, and Christian for his sensitivity.  He is perhaps the most complex character. Fiercely loyal to his friends he also a loner and lacks confidence in himself and is torn about what he should do regarding his personal relationships. Christian is definitely a character I'd like to know more about.

There are a number of supporting characters and so much going on that I had to, at times, give it my full attention or lose track of the relationships and events occurring due to the complexity of the story line.

The Lemonscholy Life of Annie Aster is a delightful, feel-good, heart-warming tale.  Thoroughly entertaining, and enchanting, it is the perfect Summer read.

I look forward to seeing what Scott Wilbanks comes up with next. Another instalment of Annie Aster perhaps, but whatever it is I'm sure it'll be another gem I'll not want to miss.


Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of The Lemoncholy of Annie Aster was provided by Sourcebooks Landmark via Netgalley in exchange for an honest unbiased review.



Images: Art work used with kind permission of Scott Wilbanks
1. Annie, 2. "Cap'n, before orphanhood", 3. Elsbeth's cabin and wheat-field.




About The Author: Scott Wilbanks graduated summa cum laude from The University of Oklahoma and went on to garner several national titles in the sport of gymnastics.

Scott's husband, Mike, is a New Zealander by birth, and the two split their time between the two countries while Scott is at work on his next standalone novel.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Girl Who Wasn't There by Ferdinand von Schirach

The Girl Who Wasn't There by Ferdinand von Schirach
GenreMystery & Thrillers, Literature, Fiction
Pages: 224
Format: e-ARC
ISBN: 9780349140469
PublisherLittle Brown Book Group UK
Source: Publisher/Netgalley

Waterstones Book of the Month (July 2015)

Rating:
Description:
Sebastian von Eschburg, scion of a wealthy, self-destructive family, survived his disastrous childhood to become a celebrated if controversial artist. He casts a provocative shadow over the Berlin scene; his disturbing photographs and installations show that truth and reality are two distinct things.
When Sebastian is accused of murdering a young woman and the police investigation takes a sinister turn, seasoned lawyer Konrad Biegler agrees to represent him - and hopes to help himself in the process. But Biegler soon learns that nothing about the case, or the suspect, is what it appears. The new thriller from the acclaimed author of The Collini CaseThe Girl Who Wasn't There is dark, ingenious and irresistibly gripping.

My Thoughts:
My initial response on completion was that I didn't like the book. I felt uncomfortable with some of the subject matter. The prose in the first half felt clunky, clipped and disjointed. Then the second half felt more coherent and better put together. The two halves felt disconnected; two different books. Overall, 'The Girl Who Wasn't There' was an interesting read but one which at times felt rather arty and pretentious with too much poetic ambiguous embellishment and at times I was either confused or irritated by it.  A rather odd little crime novel !

After pulling it apart to find out why I didn't like the book, I actually began to appreciate how clever Ferdinand von Schirach had been in creating this complex novel and that what I disliked was not the book itself but my reaction to particular scenes and subject matter. However on reflection I think they were necessary to tune into the mindset of the character concerned.  I won't divulge what these scenes were as it would spoil the storyline and enjoyment of the read for others.  Everything it seems was intended to offend or provoke some form of reaction or thought response. A rather clever little crime novel !

My main concern for 'The Girl Who Wasn't There' is that readers will give up after the first half perhaps feeling as I did, alienated and disconnected to Sebastian von Eschburg and therefore, not give it the chance it deserves.

The pacing of first half of the book is slow, dark, abstract and disjointed with short, sharp sentences.  It concentrates on Sebastian von Eschburg a ten year old boy who is different to most children his age. He sees the world around him in the form of colours rather than objects.
"He saw what other people saw, but in his mind the colours were different. His nanny’s hands were cyan and amber; his hair, as he saw it, shone violet with a touch of ochre; his father’s skin was a pale greenish blue."
Sebastian lives a lonely, detached existence and after his father's suicide he is sent away to boarding school by his emotionally absent mother where he becomes ever more insular.  It is at boarding school where he finds an outlet and is able to make sense of the world with his new found interest in photography in which he develops a real talent.
The second half of the book focuses on Monika Landau, the prosecutor, and Konrad Biegler, the defence lawyer who Sebastian requests to represent him when he is accused of murder in unusual circumstances.  This half is in total contrast and is faster paced, much more engaging and rewarding and ultimately leads to the (not too unexpected in my case) conclusion.
For me the main weakness in the book is the title itself. Originally entitled 'Tabu' for its German publication it was renamed 'The Girl Who Wasn't There' for its English speaking audience. Interesting and complex a plot as it is, it fell flat at the 'big reveal', and to my mind the former title is more suited due to the provocative themes in the main of the storyline, rather than the latter which focuses on its conclusion.
Not a must read book but certainly an interesting and thought provoking one including themes of violence, the representation of sex and violence as an art form, sex trafficking, and torture.
'The Girl Who Wasn't There' by Ferdinand von Schirach, a defence attorney himself and author of 'The Collini Case' is most definitely not your usual crime thriller and certainly not going to be for everyone but I'd definitely recommend it to those who have read, 'The Collini Case'  and Albert Camus' 'The Stranger' and to those appreciative in the arts particularly art vs pornography and the justice system.
A great choice for book reading groups with plenty of 'food for thought' topics for discussion.
Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of 'The Girl Who Wasn't There' was provided by Liitle Brown via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

NELLY DEAN by Alison Case

Nelly Dean by Alison Case
Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Pages: 480
Format: Hardcopy ARC
ISBN: 9780008123383
Publisher: Harper Collins (13th August 2015)
Source: Publisher/Lovereading.co.uk

Rating: DNF

I had a hard time with this one. I truly wanted to love it but regretfully have to say that it wasn't to my liking.

I have no doubt that Alison Case's debut offering will become a best seller.  So why my lack of enthusiasm?  My first reading of Wuthering Heights was over twenty years ago and I fell in love with Emily Bronte's gothic classic.  Maybe I'm stuck in the past with my 15 year old romanticised memories of the spirited Cathy and the broody Heathcliff running wild together on the Yorkshire moors. Could it be that my memories of this classic have merged and blurred with the memory of Hollywood's 1939 film version with Merle Oberon as Cathy and Laurence Olivier's Heathcliff ? Is a reread of the classic in order or should I leave it and retain my fond memories?

I digress, as the retelling of Wuthering Heights from Nelly's perspective through her written correspondence to Mr Lockwood, Nelly recounts, including less favourable details omitted in her original account, the unfortunate events that befell the families at Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange.  The 194 pages I managed to read felt like a chore and it became apparent that I wouldn't finish the book in time to submit my review in the deadline timeframe. Nor did I have the patience to persevere and had to admit defeat.

Nelly Dean is undoubtably well written. The pace is slow allowing the reader to become fully acquainted with the characters.  However they felt flat and uninteresting to me.  Had I continued with the novel I may have changed my view but I didn't feel connected enough to want to find out.  I may be missing out on a brilliant novel, perhaps timing was wrong, and I may try to read it again sometime.

Nelly Dean is a perfect companion to Bronte's Wuthering Heights, for fans of Jo Baker's Longbourne (of which I'm one),  Jessie Burton's The Miniaturist, and Tracy Chevalier. It would certainly make an excellent book club choice.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced reading copy of the book from the publisher via Lovereading .co.uk for an unbiased review.

I didn't finish reading Nelly Dean and am therefore, only able give my thoughts on the chapters read and do not wish to influence the reader in any way and would like to point out that I am in a minority with my opinions and even though this one wasn't for me I look forward to Alison Case's next offering.