Monthly Archives: June 2015

Blog Tour – Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

MEET THE AUTHOR

SHARON BOLTON – LITTLE BLACK LIES

OFFICIAL BLOG TOUR 2015

S  J  Bolton (c) Mark Bassett - Copy 1.

In the Fifth of a series of Meet the Author Interviews I talk to best-selling author Sharon Bolton about Little Black Lies, the chilling dark thriller based on the Falkland Islands. This is a special edition to coincide with the launch and official blog tour. You can read my review of Little Black Lies Here

What made you think of the Falkland Islands for a setting for Little Black Lies?

I love island settings. I love their physical constraints and the impact these have upon a book’s spirit. I love their closed, claustrophobic communities with their own social customs and moral codes. I love the sense that anything is possible, that one has stepped into a world apart, and that when the sun goes down, there is no escape. Islands are perfect for the books I write. The trouble is, most British islands have already featured in more than one crime novel and I really wanted somewhere new. I was talking about this one day when a friend of mine suggested the Falkland Islands. I wasn’t sure at first, but the more I found out about them, the more perfect they seemed. A place we have all heard of, and yet know practically nothing about. More British than Britain, in many ways, and yet so remote as to be verging on the alien.  

As part of the research for the book did you visit the islands? How long where you there    for?

My visit to the Falkland Islands is yet to take place! I’m sure some readers will question my failure to visit already, but what people often don’t realise is how tight the timescale is for producing commercial fiction. I have less than a year from deciding to write a particular story to seeing it go to print. When I factored in the distance, school holidays and the different hemisphere (my book is set in Spring, so my trip would have had to be in our Winter) a visit just wasn’t practical. Instead, I relied heavily upon desk research, more formally through books and websites, less so through social media. I was also lucky enough to have some people who do know the islands well read through and check the final draft.

Little Black Lies - Copy 1

For a dark psychological thriller set in the South Atlantic what where the challenges you faced in coming up with the plot?

The setting itself presented few challenges as far as the plot was concerned. The plot of Little Black Lies could work in any tight-knit community. For me, the importance of the setting was in the atmosphere it lends to the book and also in its impact upon the characters and their behaviour. For all that the islands are British and should feel very familiar, I wanted a sense of: ‘things are done differently, here.’

Little Black Lies deals with many themses such as ‘Friendship, Grief, Jealousy to name but a few, was this your intention to highlight some key themes as part of the story line?

No. For me, themes are an added bonus. My novels are invariably so complex that I can only really focus upon the plot when I’m planning and even drafting a book. The characters, themes, atmosphere, etc, all have to take care of themselves. at least for the first couple of drafts. What does usually happen, though, is that themes emerge as the writing process continues. When I spot this, I can build upon it, adapt events to bring a particular theme to centre stage, adjust character development, but I would never try, artificially, to impose a theme upon a story. I think the result would be very clumsy and obvious.

For me, the key issues arising from Little Black Lies are a) how can those whose lives have been devastated find a way home and b) how do we ever really know what we are capable of, until we’re put to the test?

When you wrote Little Black Lies were you conscious of some the issues that the storyline brings to the reader such as suicidal thoughts and self hatred and was this difficult to write about?

All my books are difficult to write. They all deal with events and problems that we hope never to come across in our normal lives. Catrin is living our worst nightmare and naturally it was difficult to put myself into her shoes. When I came to Rachel’s point of view, in many ways it was even worse. Suffering a terrible tragedy is one thing, being responsible for that of someone you love is quite another entirely.

How long did it take you to ‘pen’ Little Black Lies and would you say it was your best novel to-date?

It takes a year, from start to finish, to complete a novel and this usually involves the input of several other people, including agents and editors. I’m pleased with Little Black Lies, but ‘best’ is a very subjective judgement. There are people who still think Sacrifice is my best novel, and probably always will, no matter how much I might feel I’ve improved since then.

Thank you to Sharon Bolton for taking the time to talk to me ahead of the launch of Little Black Lies which is published on 2 July by Bantam Press

 

Little Black Lies - Copy 1

Competition time. If you would like the chance to win a copy of Little Black Lies. Head over to my Twitter feed @Thelastword1962 just retweet the message to enter the draw. The competition closed at 9pm today and the winner will be drawn and contacted on Wednesday morning. Good luck.

Details of the Little Black Lies Blog Tour 2015

Blog Tour Poster-JPEG-Page1

Blog Tour Poster-JPEG-Page2 - Copy

Advertisements

Book Review: Between the Sunset and the Sea by Simon Ingram

original-1775-3824981

Book cover 1. - Copy

Between the Sunset and the Sea by Simon Ingram

Review Date: 27 June 2015

Author: Simon Ingram

Release Date:  12 March 2015

Publishers: William Collins

ISBN 10: 0007545401

ISBN – 13: 978-0007545407

448pp

Available in Hardback, Kindle & audio download.

Authors Website: http://www.simoningram.net/

The Last Word Review

‘A guided tour of 16 of the UK’s best Mountains. One of the best outdoor books I have read. Rich, and thoroughly well researched’

If like me you are a lover the big outdoors and especially getting up into the hills and mountains, then here is a book that will guide you on a journey of 16 of the most outstanding British climbs. This will appeal to those who look and admire and feel tempted to strap on a pair of stout walking boots and climb your first mountain.

This is a mammoth book at 448 pages covering 16 chapters, interspersed with some beautiful artistic black and white photographs that capture the very essence of life in the mountains.

One aspect of this book I liked is that each chapter is broken down into various themes such as Danger, Weather, Terror, Wilderness, as well as a particular mountain that has been selected as part of the 16 then the author climbs that mountain. Anyone who has climbed any of the ‘Wainwrights’ or ‘Munros’ will salivate at this beautifully written book. Simons’ style of writing not only rich but it takes the reader along on each of his treks. That is some achievement for his debut at writing a book. What I took from each of his mountain treks was respect, for the mountain itself like me when I have climbed you become one with your surroundings and the mountain itself, you talk to it and it talks back. I felt this with all 16 mountains described in his book.

The author has very carefully selected each mountain that I found worked along with each of the chapters, mountains such as Beinn Dearg, An Teallach, Loughrigg Fell and Great Gable are covered. The more I read through this book, the more I came to the conclusion that this was not just a book about 16 mountains it becomes more of a larger theatre, as in covers so much more such as the history, science, travel, History and so on. This is a book that will over time come into its own and may even have set the agenda for writing books about mountains and especially getting out there for yourself and experiencing hill and mountain climbs. Exhilarating just like this book really.

This reviewer is now off to dig his boots out and give them an outing.

RECOMMENDED

Meet the Author:

Simon Ingram

Simon Ingram is a journalist and author.

He has written dozens of features for award-winning national magazines and websites, principally in the fields of adventure journalism, travel, walking, mountaineering and film.

Publications he has written for include Trail and Country Walking, EmpireThe Independent and The Guardian, and he was one of the launch contributors for Outdoor Fitness Magazine.

He is the author of the critically-acclaimed debut Between the Sunset and the Sea (HarperCollins, 2015), an exploration of the British mountains and their enduring fascination.

His photographs have been used extensively in editorial reportage and on the covers of major national publications.

He is a Mountain Leader trainee and has climbed mountains all over the UK, and also the High Atlas of Morocco, Arctic Norway, the French, German and Italian Alps, Slovenia, the Balkans and East Africa.

He is currently the Editor of Trail Magazine (The UK’s Best Selling Hill-Walking Magazine and PPA Magazine of the Year 2005) and www.livefortheoutdoors.com 

He lives in Stamford, Lincolnshire.

 

Book Review: Into the Fire by Manda Scott

original-1775-3824981

Cover 3

Into The Fire by Manda Scott

Review Date: 21 June 2015

Author: Manda Scott

Release Date: 18 June 2015

Publishers: Bantam Press (Transworld Publishers)

ISBN 10: 0593072472

ISBN – 13: 0593072479

480pp

Available in Hardback, and Kindle.

Authors Website: http://mandascott.co.uk/

As Part of the ‘into the Fire’ blog Tour

The Last Word Review:

‘Historical thriller with a burning desire to keep you guessing to the very end’

Imagine a thriller spanning 600 hundred years. Sounds incredible but that is exactly what Manda Scott has achieved just that with Into the Fire.

This is a unique recipe of two great crime novels rolled into one outstanding read that will keep the reader up all night. You have been warned.

The key characters are the Police Capitaine Ines Picaut from current time and from 1429 Joan of Arc trying to turn the tide in the war with the English.

The story opens in current time (2014) and Orleans is under attack by arsonists and on this occasion Capitaine Picaut is called to a hotel in the centre of the old town that has been hit and this time amid the flames lies the charred remains of a body of a male but his identity is unknown. All she has to go on are Islamic extremists claiming responsibility. Who is the dead man? Did he know his attackers? The post mortem later revealed a memory card lodged in his throat. As the investigations move forward to try and solve this crime, the arsonists strike again this time the CCTV cameras have footage. The chase is now on, but there is more to this story that a modern day crime.

In 1429 Joan of Arc (The Maid of Orléans) was in the process of fighting the English, and Tomas Rustbeard has been sent as an undercover operative to seek out and eventually kill ‘The Maid’ and the myth that surrounds her. This part of the story in woven skilfully by the author in to the modern day crime spree.

I have a bucket full of admiration for Manda Scott and the volume of research that has been undertaken to write this novel that spans 600 years. I will admit at first just holding the book I was not sure if it would stand up, but I was nothing but blown away by the storyline and style of writing.

The characters that appear in the pages of Into the Fire are not only strong and but believable as well as the outstanding storyline. Without doubt it will make it to my shortlist of books of 2015.

This is a book that should be on your reading list for this summer it has bags of Heroism and evil to match and keep the reader glued to every page as it weaves from 2014 back to 1429. A true masterclass in historical fiction writing.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

 

 

Meet the Author:

Manda Scott

Manda-Scott.thumb

Manda Scott  is a former veterinary surgeon who is now a writer, Born and educated in Glasgow, Scotland, she trained at the University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine and now lives and works in Shropshire. She made her name initially as a crime writer. Her first novel, Hen’s Teeth, hailed by Fay Weldon as ‘a new voice for a new world’ was shortlisted for the 1997 Orange Prize, and No Good Deed was nominated for the 2003 Edgar Award.

Her subsequent novels, Night MaresStronger than Death and No Good Deed, for which she was hailed as ‘one of Britain’s most important crime writers’ by The Times, were published by Headline and are now published, along with her other books, by Transworld Publishers, an imprint of Random House. She writes both historical and contemporary thrillers. “The Boudica series” are her first historical novels.

Her more recent Rome series (written under the name MC Scott), beginning with The Emperor’s Spy, are spy thrillers, set in the same fictional universe with some of the surviving characters from the Boudica series.

Between the two major historical series, she wrote The Crystal Skull, a dual timeline novel with a historical thread set in the Tudor era and a contemporary thriller set in modern-day Cambridge.

Her latest novel is a fast-paced, dual timeline thriller, Into the Fire, which explores the truth behind the myth of Jeanne d’Arc – and the impact those revelations could have on modern day France.

Blog Tour-page-001

Competition time. Would you like to win a signed copy of Into the Fire by Manda Scott.  Head over to my Twitter page: @Thelastword1962 Just follow and retweet the post for this review and you will go into the draw to win a signed copy. Entries close at 9pm Friday 26 June and the Winner will be notified on Saturday morning.

 

Into The Fire by Manda Scott. The Blog Tour Dates.

It is Happy Publication Day to Manda Scott and Into The Fire released today. It is an outstanding read and will prove to be a sensational Summer hit. Look out for my review coming soon.

Book Cover 1.

To coincide with the release there is an official blog tour starting on June 20 and I will be hosting the tour on Friday 26 June and that is not all as there is an exciting free prize draw to win an autographed copy of Into The Fire. All you have to do is keep any eye on my Twitter feed @Thelastword1962 and look out for further details. In the meantime here are the tour dates for Into The Fire

Blog Tour-page-001

Meet the Author – Wendy Holden

original-1775-3824981

MEET THE AUTHOR

WENDY HOLDEN

~BORN SURVIVORS~

Wendy

In the Fourth of a series of Meet the Author Interviews I talk to Wendy Holden about Born Survivors and the story of three courageous women who defied death to bring life and why this has become her ‘legacy’ work.

You have written a number of historical books, what made you want to write about the three incredible and brave women?

Book Photo - Copy

I came across an online obituary of a woman who’d been in Auschwitz and who’d had a baby there that had died. It made me realise that I had never before read a book that gave a full account of any babies born during the Holocaust who had survived. I was staggered to discover that in 70 years no such book had been written to my knowledge, so I decided to investigate further.

 Born Survivors is about three women. Priska, Rachel and Anka who were all pregnant when they entered Auschwitz II-Birkenau. How did you come across their stories?

My research first led me to Eva, Anka’s baby, who happened to live an hour from me in Cambridge, England. After spending an emotional day with her as she told me about her mother, I asked if she would allow me the privilege of writing her story and that I believed it to be unique. She told me she had been waiting for me for 70 years but that five years previously she had discovered almost by chance that two other mothers who had shared the same journey as her mother had also given birth to babies who’d survived.  Each of them were only children and had since become “siblings of the heart”. Even though it would be three times the research, I knew then that I had to encompass all three stories into one epic volume.

What were the main challenges you faced during research and writing Born Survivors?

Keeping control of my emotions. It was extremely harrowing to visit Auschwitz and the other key places in the story with my three mothers so fresh in my mind. I have a vivid writer’s imagination and it was painful to see these sites through their eyes and walk in their footsteps knowing how frightened they must have been. But I also knew that unless I did that and felt some of their fear then I wouldn’t be able to convey that to the reader.

Their stories are remarkable & incredibly brave, how did they manage to keep their pregnancies secret?

Each of them would say that it was luck – luck that they were relatively young, fit and healthy when they were first sent to Auschwitz. Luck that they were thrown inappropriate random baggy clothing that hid their tiny bumps. Luck that they were fed little more than a liquid diet for seven months and each went down to under five stone (70lbs). Luck that they didn’t injure themselves or die of disease or lice infestation along the way. Luck that their pregnancies weren’t spotted by the SS guards who would have sent them back to Auschwitz and Dr Mengele.

The three women gave birth in differing circumstances. What happened?

Priska gave birth on a plank in the slave labour factory while her SS guards leered and took bets on the gender of the baby. Rachel gave birth in an open coal wagon on a 17-day train journey to be gassed, surrounded by dead or dying women. Anka gave birth on a cart full of dying women at the gates of the camp they were finally sent to.

The fact that all three women and their babies survived shows there was an element of luck as well as their mothers’ determination to make sure their babies survived ?

As discussed, luck played a huge part but knowing that they had a tiny life growing inside them and hoping that they would one day be reunited with the husbands they had married for love definitely kept them going.

In the end how were they liberated?

The Nazis had run out of gas by the time the mothers arrived at Mauthausen, the final camp, so they were left to rot or starve in the barracks as the guards fled. A week later the Americans arrived and were horrified to find such conditions in the camp. Although 40,000 prisoners were initially liberated at least 1000 died in the days following liberation – of disease or from eating food after months of ,starvation.

How poorly were the mothers and their new babies when they were liberated?

They described themselves as walking skeletons and were extremely vulnerable to typhus and other diseases. The babies were suffering from chronic malnutrition and both mothers and children were riddled with sores from lice bites

At the wars end, when they were finally allowed to go home, what happened to the three women and their children, with no home to go to, where did they finally settle and call home?

Going home was traumatic – they each lost large numbers of their immediate families their homes and possessions had been stolen from them so they had no money and nobody to support them. Rachel ended up in America after a few years in Israel, Priska returned to her home country – now Slovakia – and stayed there until she died, and Anka came to live in Cardiff, UK. Rachel and Anka remarried and all made new lives for themselves and all lived to a ripe old age.

We have been talking about Priska, Rachel and Anka and there newborn babies but what happened to their husbands. Did any of them survive the concentration camps?

Sadly, all three husbands were murdered by the Nazis and each almost at the end of the war having suffered great privation in ghettos and concentration camps. It was my dream to be able to find out precisely what happened to each of them and where they might be buried but I soon discovered the problem that so many survivors faced which was that it is likely that nobody wil ever know.

As the three children grew older did their mothers confide in them as to how and where they were born?

Each of them grew up knowing that their fathers were killed during the war. Many of their schoolfriends had also lost parents and grandparents in the war so it didn’t seem that unusual. Mark’s mother told him he had been born on a train and he assumed it was a regular passenger train until he discovered the terrible truth later. None of them discovered the full horror until they were teenagers and mothers fed them snippets of information over the years.

The story of Priska, Rachel and Anka and giving birth to their children under the most horrendous conditions is one of courage and hope, do you think that the fact the women were preganant helped in their determination to survive and give their babies a future?

Undoubtedly. I think they emerged from the war with something positive – unlike millions of others. In the early months they didn’t yet know about their husbands and still hoped for the best but by the time they learned the truth, they had small babies to care for and that helped occupy their minds.

Have the children been back to the places where they were born?

Yes. Priska has been to Freiberg and took Hana with her as a teenager. Mark isn’t sure exactly where he was born on the train but he has driven its route, and Eva has been to Mauthausen many times.

Looking back on your experiences during writing Born Survivors, what effect has this had on you?

I have developed a great passion for these women and their babies, Born Survivors has become my legacy work and much more than just another book. These ‘babies’ will be the last survivors of the Holocaust and I call them the ” voices of the voiceless”. It has been one of the greatest privileges of my life to chronicle what happened to them. I feel humbled.

Your book was launched on May 7 and has since been published in 18 Countries and translated into 14 Languages and you are also on a book tour at present, how is this going?

 CHS7FHsWEAABnf2 (1) - Copy

It’s all been incredible – moving and emotional and exciting. We launched the book at the camp in Mauthausen, then came to London and appeared on multiple TV and radio shows, then we went to Chicago to launch the book at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and meet the sons of the U.S. Liberator of the camp, whose grave we visited. Then Eva and I have just been in Madrid. Next we go to Portugal and – later in the year – to Slovakia and hopefully the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany and back to the U.S. We have also been invited to the Austrian Embassy in London for a special presentation. I am sure that there will be more invitations for us to talk about these amazing women as word gets out.

Any plans for a UK book tour during this year?

Eva and I will be attending several book festivals this year – at Dartington Hall in Devon, Henley, Southwold and the Isle of Wight. We will also be on tour as part of Jewish Book Week next year and making multiple other appearances including a book signing at Heffers book store in Eva’s hometown of Cambridge in September.

I am extremely grateful to Wendy for taking the time out of her busy schedule to take part in ‘Meet the Author’. If you would like more information on Wendy’s work or further details of Born Survivors or any of her previous best-selling books please visit http://www.wendyholden.com/

*Stop Press: As this interview was being published it was announced that Born Survivors is to be published in China making the total now 19 territories and 14 languages.

Born Survivors by Wendy Holden

original-1775-3824981

Born Survivors Pic 2

Born Survivors by Wendy Holden

Review Date: 11 June 2015

Author: Wendy Holden

Release Date:  7 May 2015

Publishers: Sphere (Little,Brown Book Group)

ISBN 10: 0751557382

ISBN – 13: 978-0751557381

400pp

Available in Hardback and Kindle.

Authors Website: http://www.wendyholden.com/

The Last Word Review:

‘One of the most important Holocaust historical accounts of modern times. A story that had to be told. Deeply moving and poignant’. 

 

‘Good morning pretty lady, are you pregnant?’ These where the infamous words from Josef Mengele, the so-called Angel of Death, at Auschwitz II–Birkenau concentration camp. If found to be pregnant then – with a flick of Mengele’s glove – the women would have been taken away to face certain death in the gas chambers.

Born Survivors is the story of Priska, Rachel and Anka, three women who had never met but were transported to the camp late on during the war. The book tells the story of how at the beginning they believed they would be fine and survive, then as the Nazis moved in to their respective countries how they then tried to stay free from capture.

All three young women were married by the time they entered Auschwitz that day in 1944. Little did they know what was to lie ahead for each of the three women and this is their story in a new book Born Survivors by Wendy Holden.

All three women were pregnant as infamous trains transported them to be met by brutal SS guards with their ferocious guard dogs. During the coming hours they were stripped and their heads shaved before standing naked as Mengele went through the selection process. When each of the women were asked if they were pregnant they instinctively replied “Nein” which saved them from the gas chambers.

All three women who were separated from their husbands with no knowledge of their whereabouts were deemed fit for slave labour. None of them knew from one day to another whether they would face being selected for the gas chamber or work.

This was just the beginning for each of the three women. Their food rations could only be described as dishwater and crumbs of bread. Living conditions deteriorated by the day as did their health. Priska, Rachel and Anka managed to hide their pregnancies from their fellow inmates, knowing if they were found they would face certain death at the hands of Nazi killing machine.

The emaciated and lice-ridden women faced  afurther ordeal as they were selected to help the German war machine by being transferred to Freiberg working as slave labours in a factory making parts for aircraft. During their time here the allies were advancing and bombing raids were daily, during which the women were locked in a room on the top floor of the factory while their Nazi captors hid in shelters. As their health deteriorated and being so thin the three women still managed to hide their secret. Rachel who shared a bunk with her sisters did not even dare tell them out of fear.

Then on April 12 1945 Priska gave birth to Hana on a plank laid on a table. The Nazi captors even joked and had bets as to what the sex of the baby would be.

With little food and water, the newborn was vastly underweight at 3 pounds. Then along with the other 1000 or so women they were evacuated from the factory as the Russians and Americans closed in. They were boarded onto trains with little or no food and water. How mother and baby survived on meagre rations living in rags at this time no-one knew. Nor did they know their destination with Allied bombing raids causing great confusion as bombs fell.

Rachel weighing under 70lbs and in one of the crammed open coal wagons with little food and water she gave birth to a baby boy she named Mark. They were halfway through their 17 day journey in hellish conditions when she went into labour, with only a rusty blade to sever the umbilical cord. In hope of saving her baby she told her guards the baby was born on Hitler’s birthday (April 20), so the SS guards joked ‘another Jew for the Fuhrer’.

Their final destination was the infamous Mauthausen Camp (known as the Bone-Grinder) situated in Austria close to the Danube. This camp had the reputation of being the final destination – once through the gates you entered hell never to leave alive. Many in Mauthausen died from the appalling conditions including hard labour, lack of food, illness, being gassed or from the sheer brutality of the SS guards.

It was on the final part of the journey to the camp that Anka gave birth to baby Eva on the back of a cart filled with the dead or dying women after being pulled off the train.

The war was close to its end and the Allies were closing in on the Nazi regime and the hilltop camp. The guards herded many of the latest arrivals into the gas chambers only to realise they had run out of Zyklon B crystals used to gas those they wanted to kill.

Within days the Americans arrived, spearheaded by the US Thunderbolts headed by Sgt Albert J. Kosiek a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge. A hardened soldier, he had seen and witnessed much but nothing could prepare him or his men for what they found at Mauthausen. Many of the men broke down when the sheer horror unfolded in front of their eyes. The war was finally over, Priska, Rachel and Anka though nothing more than skeletons had survived with their babies despite the horrors that they were born into. Born Survivors indeed.

Many of the American servicemen who liberated the camp refused to speak of what they found at Mauthausen. The sheer horror would never leave them and would haunt them for the rest of their lives.

The three mothers who defied death to give life were eventually allowed to leave and head home to try and find their husbands and rebuild their lives. Their journeys would end in heartbreak as their husbands were never to return and their homes and possessions all gone. Some of the women  would be ostracised and had to move on to find a new home.

Priska, Rachel and Anka are sadly no longer alive but their memory lives on in their children Hana, Mark and Eva, almost certainly the last living survivors of the Holocaust.

Just very recently, on 10 May 2015, the Austrian authorities marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Mauthausen in the presence of relatives of survivors and those still alive who helped liberate the camp. Also present were Hana, Mark and Eva, celebrating the day the Americans arrived to set them free.

The legacy of Priska, Rachel and Anka will live on through their children and their grandchildren and they deserve that.

Born Survivors is a book of defiance, courage and hope. The author Wendy Holden deserves the plaudits for the painstaking research for this book and also the accolades that surely will come.

For this reviewer I shed tears at the close of this book and the profound effect it has had on me. I for one will remember Priska, Rachel and Anka and their courage to defy death to bring life.

I would like to thank both Wendy Holden and the publishers Sphere (Little, Brown Book Group) for giving me the opportunity of reviewing one of the most important and historically significant books of 2015. This is a book that deserves to be read.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Meet the Author:

Wendy Holden

Wendy

Wendy Holden was a journalist for eighteen years, including a decade at the Daily Telegraph where she worked as a foreign and war correspondent.

She is author and the co-author of more than thirty books, including several bestselling wartime biographies, includingTomorrow to be Brave, Til the Sun Grows Cold, and Behind Enemy Lines.

She lives in Suffolk, with her husband and two dogs and divides her time between the U.K. and the U.S.

Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

original-1775-3824981

Book Photo - Copy

Little Black Lies By Sharon Bolton

Review Date: 7 June 2015

Author: Sharon Bolton

Release Date:  2 July 2015

Publishers: Bantam Press (Transworld Publishers)

ISBN 10: 059306920X

ISBN – 13: 978-0593069202

368pp

Available in Hardback, Paperback, and Kindle.

Authors Website: http://www.sjbolton.com/

The Last Word Review:

‘Riveting and chilling South Atlantic thriller’

Thank you to Alison Barrow and Transworld Publishers for the ARC. This is my first Sharon Bolton thriller that I have reviewed and ‘Little Black Lies’ really left its mark on me. This is a dark thriller that has all the ingredients to be a big hit.

The scene is 1994 and the Falkland Islands, the war with Argentina ended some years before but the scars are still visible. Very quickly in to this book you are hit with something disturbing. Catrin’s two Sons are killed in a tragic accident while in the care of her best friend Rachel. This would test any long standing friendship. Now since this happened 3 other boys have gone missing from their tight knit community.

The book is very much told in the first person through the eyes of its three main characters, Catrin, Callum, (former Paratrooper and Falkland’s veteran) and Rachel. This keeps the story moving along and is very character focussed.

Catrin has never forgiven Rachel and there is an air of revenge running through this plot. Rachel feels guilty and blames herself for the accident. In the small Community there is no hiding place and Rachel is more or less left isolated by the events. When the island has visitors from a cruise ship another child goes missing and questions are coming thick and fast, the body of one of the missing children is discovered Callum now believes a killer is now among them tension and mistrust roam the community.

When the missing child is found and then to add to the panic Rachel’s young Son goes missing it is natural to think that Catrin could be behind this latest development.

‘Little Black Lies’ is packed with raw tension and drama set in a dark setting that only the South Atlantic could deliver rugged, the harsh and desolate landscape that is the Falklands. There is also the Wildlife of the islands and some distressing moments. The actual setting has been superbly chosen and the author should be congratulated on this. The book also delivers on many themes that has been woven into the story. The ending is simply outstanding and I had to re-read this a few times, that caught me out. This is an exceptional thriller that I would more than happily recommend to a book club and there are many discussion points to work through.

‘Highly Recommended’

Meet the Author:

Sharon Bolton

991214d3661e070e8da05d5437ec8c63_400x400

Sharon Bolton (previously S. J. Bolton) is the critically acclaimed author of some of the most bone-chilling crime books ever written. She has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and the CWA Dagger in the Library.
Sharon lives near Oxford with her husband and young son. For further information please visit Sharon Bolton’s website.                       

%d bloggers like this: