#audiobook The Hiding Place by C J Tudor – a #BookReview

Title: The Hiding Place by CJ Tudor

Narrator: Richard Armitage

Genre: British Detectives, Supernatural Thrillers

  • Audible Audiobook
  • Listening Length: 10 hours and 43 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: February 5, 2019
  • Whispersync for Voice: Ready
  • Language: English, English
  • ASIN: B07K8XYSVJ

Print Length: 281 pages

Source: Request audiobook from local library

Title Link: The Hiding Place

audiobook-The Hiding Place

Book Blurb:

The thrilling second novel from the author of The Chalk Man, about a teacher with a hidden agenda who returns to settle scores at a school he once attended, only to uncover a darker secret than he could have imagined.

Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang – the betrayal, the suicide, the murder – and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn’t have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe’s sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.

Lying his way into a teaching job at his former high school is the easy part. Facing off with former friends who are none too happy to have him back in town – while avoiding the enemies he’s made in the years since – is tougher. But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing.

It was the day she came back.

With the same virtuosic command of character and pacing she displayed in The Chalk Man, C. J. Tudor has once again crafted an extraordinary novel that brilliantly blends harrowing psychological suspense, a devilishly puzzling mystery, and enough shocks and thrills to satisfy even the most seasoned listener. 

My Review:

Audible - The Hiding PlaceAH! Not my first venture into an audiobook, but certainly the first I’ve borrowed from my local handy-handy library with the intention of using for an audible review. I’m usually very careful about committing to a book without investigating the blurb, the genre, and the reviews. But I had seen this author’s name bandied about among my review blogger buddies and bit when I saw it available at the library. If I were more technologically inclined, I’d have had half this book notated (I can do that on my cell phone with a Kindle book). But this book–so many quotables–lost to me.

It is definitely noir–very dark–supernatural bordering on horror. (And if you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll remember I don’t do horror. Okay–VERY occasionally and depends…(for instance, I like Dean Koontz.) First, I experienced some difficulty in separating the storyline, the author’s writing style (which is very distinctive), from the narrator’s masterful interpretation of the words and proper inflection. No denying, for me, the narrator did a smashing job of providing a creepy, eerie voice to the tale, but the author certainly knew which bits and pieces of the dark history of the protagonist to release at precisely the appropriate time.

The protagonist, Joe Thorne, is a middle-aged teacher summoned to return to his boyhood home of Arnhill. No love lost there. But worst, dark history he needs to confront and finally put to rest. He has taken both the teaching position of the former teacher who killed her son and herself, as well as the cottage where the tragedy occurred. Arnhill is a former colliery town, now closed, though really the town was there before the mine. He’s not exactly taken the world by storm and no one is happy to see him back, most especially those boys with whom he misspent his youth. He is not a protagonist designed to garner your empathy–you can’t walk in his shoes–he’s not very likable.

It is flashbacks to those youthful years with the present that gradually lays out the story of which a great deal revolves around his eight-year-old sister (at his 15 yrs) and her beloved doll, Annie Eyes. He loved her. And she followed him everywhere–which turned out–was not a good thing. When she inexplicably returns after a brief 48-hour disappearance, she is not the same and both she and his father are killed a short time later. He has blanks in his memory, but lives with the legacy of a mangled leg, the result of the fatal auto crash.

The novel carries a sub-plot revolving around Joe’s unfortunate vice, as well as several themes, not the least of which are the trauma teens are capable of, domestic noir, bullying, extreme grief and guilt and just how the baggage we carry shapes our lives going into adulthood.

The dialogue is clipped but engaging and it’s easy to become quickly invested in the well-plotted noir, pseudo-supernatural (though I wasn’t sure it needed that element) underlayment. Twists and turns left you unable to guess how this would ultimately end, though when it did, the conclusion gripped you in one more horrific surprise.

I was allowed this audible download from my local accommodating library and would totally recommend the audiobook narrated by Richard Armitage. (And I’ll be looking for other audiobooks narrated by him as well.)

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four of Five Stars Four stars

cj tudorThe Author: C. J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter.

She left school at sixteen and has had a variety of jobs over the years, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, shop assistant, ad agency copywriter and voiceover.

In the early nineties, she fell into a job as a television presenter for a show on Channel 4 called Moviewatch. Although a terrible presenter, she got to interview acting legends such as Sigourney Weaver, Michael Douglas, Emma Thompson and Robin Williams. She also annoyed Tim Robbins by asking a question about Susan Sarandon’s breasts and was extremely flattered when Robert Downey Junior showed her his chest.

While writing the Chalk Man she ran a dog-walking business, walking over twenty dogs a week as well as looking after her little girl.

She’s been writing since she was a child but only knuckled down to it properly in her thirties. Her English teacher once told her that if she ‘did not become Prime Minister or a best-selling author’ he would be ‘very disappointed.’

The Chalk Man was inspired by a tub of chalks a friend bought for her daughter’s second birthday. One afternoon they drew chalk figures all over the driveway. Later that night she opened the back door to be confronted by weird stick men everywhere. In the dark, they looked incredibly sinister. She called to her partner: ‘These chalk men look really creepy in the dark . . .’

She is never knowingly over-dressed. She has never owned a handbag and the last time she wore heels (twelve years ago) she broke a tooth.

She loves The Killers, Foo Fighters and Frank Turner. Her favourite venue is Rock City.

Her favourite films are Ghostbusters and The Lost Boys. Her favourite authors are Stephen King, Michael Marshall and Harlan Coben.

She is SO glad she was a teenager in the eighties.

She firmly believes that there are no finer meals than takeaway pizza and champagne, or chips with curry sauce after a night out.

Everyone calls her Caz.

The Narrator: Richard Armitage Not a stranger to narrating audiobooks, including widely acclaimed The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

©2019 V Williams Blog author

Time’s Up, Afton by Brent Jones – a #BookReview

Time's Up, Afton by Brent JonesTitle: Time’s Up, Afton (Afton Morrison Series Book 4) by Brent Jones

Genre: Thriller, Crime Fiction, Vigilante Justice, Serial Killers

142 Pages

Publication Date: To be released October 29, 2018

ASIN: B07G25CNSF

Source: Author request

Title and Cover: Time’s Up, AftonLove these beautiful covers

Book Blurb:

Some secrets stay buried for a lifetime, but nothing lasts forever.

Connected to a number of high-profile deaths, Afton finds herself not only under scrutiny from the chief of police, but damned in the court of public opinion, as well.

In the aftermath of the fiery assault on Wakefield, a low-level gang has infiltrated the town, flooding its streets with bad drugs, killing several teenagers. As Afton prepares for the final showdown with her tormentor, she marks each gang member as a target for elimination, in a methodical plan to gain the upper hand. What follows is a race against the clock that will keep readers guessing until the very last page, as Afton risks life and limb to fulfill her murderous mission of doing good in the world.

Time’s Up, Afton is the fourth and final part in a new serial thriller by author Brent Jones. Packed with grit and action, The Afton Morrison Series delves into a world of moral ambiguity, delivering audiences an unlikely heroine in the form of a disturbed vigilante murderess. Continue reading “Time’s Up, Afton by Brent Jones – a #BookReview”

Hello October! Are We Reading #Thrillers?

Hello October!

Welcome October! Surely it can’t be already! Halloween, followed closely by Thanksgiving, and then we’re into the holidays. When my two babies were little, I couldn’t wait to tear into decorating for Halloween, but my daughter was born on October 14th, so I always tried to make sure we celebrated her birthday first! However, Harvest time and October can be a beautiful month with clean, crisp air, and a great time to start ripping into thrillers, horror, paranormal, and mysteries. Leave the lights on!

As you may have guessed from noting the covers in the above photo, I’ll be participating in a number of cozy mystery book tours, including Assault and Beadery by Mollie Cox Bryan, Glitter Bomb by Laura Childs, and The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller (A Haunted Bookshop Mystery #6) by Cleo Coyle (sounds perfect, huh?).

Heavier reads are interspersed with the cozies, including Open Your Eyes by Paula Daly (a thriller), The Enigma Source by Breakfield and Burkey (you’ll remember I started that last week about crypto-currency and got distracted), and Time’s Up, Afton by Brent Jones, which is the fourth and final in his spine-tingling, nerve-jangling Afton Morrison series (See my reviews for the first three on this blog). Then I’ll wrap the month up with The Long Paw of the Law (Paw Enforcement #7) by Diane Kelly. That cover is too cute to ignore and you know how much I love K-9 books!

All books noted above are from NetGalley with the exception of Time’s Up, Afton which is an author request. That’s a good start but you know I’ll be adding to the TBR as I still have a few slots to fill. I know, right?I can’t believe it either! Seems so many of the cozies are scheduled for November book tours. (In the meantime, before the temps drop I have a quilt to finish!)

Do you have any of these novels on your TBR also? Are you recommending thrillers for Halloween? Send me your recommendations–please–and thank you!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

 

Rosepoint #BookReviews – September Recap

Review Recap - September

Oh my gosh! Got into some super reads in September, (eleven!) stretched my reading chops with a horror, a couple thrillers, political conspiracy, and K-9 (service dog) mysteries. I really love the stories about those valiant, stout-hearted canines who do so much for us without so much as a clue what it all means. (Or maybe they do! Long as we’re happy–they’re happy.)

Greatly enjoy working on graphics and sometimes when I see a particular cover love to stretch the imagination into a bookstagram. And it’s fun heading into fall to switch themes now with harvest colors and later, Halloween. I stay on the lookout for new tutorials, but so often when I’ve tried the technique discover it’s for business or paid accounts only. (Either that or my programs are just way too old.) And “stories”? Gees, I could write a book on what I DON’T know about stories. So, no I don’t know what I’m doing, but at least I can still deliver a review on a timely basis.

My book reviews for September:

How many have you read? Did you agree with my analysis? Click the links below to read any reviews you might have missed.

Sept 2 – The Forbidden Door – a #BookReview – #greatreads – Dean Koontz

Sept 4 – Nice Try, Afton – a #BookReview – Brent Jones

Sept 7 – Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery by Melinda Mullet #BookTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Sept 9 – A Borrowing of Bones – a #BookReview – Paula Munier

Sept 11-Cast No Shadow: A Short Story #Review – Brandon Dragan

Sept 14-Malice at the Manor – a #BookReview – J Marshall Gordon

Sept 16-Read and Gone – a #BookReview #BookTour #Giveaway – Allison Brook

Sept 18-Lackbeard – a Children’s Fantasy Pirate Adventure #BookReview – Cody B Stewart and Adam Rocke

Sept 21-In Cold Chocolate by Dorothy St. James #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Sept 25-Malice by Jennifer Jaynes – a #BookReview

Sept 27-High Crimes by Libby Fischer Hellmann – a #BookReview

The books above came from author requests, NetGalley, and/or part of book tours. The ole October TBR is stacking up to include a number of cozy mysteries from NetGalley for reviews and book tours as well as an author request. The Throwback Thursdays have included books published more than a year ago but reviewed this year by the CE. My conundrum has become the skewed stats on Goodreads and Amazon accounts as I receive his books through BookBub but they appear on both Amazon and Goodreads. (EEK!) Taking his reviews out of my numbers, I’m still five short of achieving my Goodreads Challenge. Yes, I’m working on fixing that…in the meantime

A big thank to all my new followers and as always so appreciate you who continue to read and comment! Thank you!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday – The Dying Hour by Rick Mofina – a #BookReview

#ThrowbackThursday - The Dying Hour by Rick Mofina

Renee began the #ThrowbackThursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out. And, if you’d like to join the fun, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

This week I am highlighting Rick Mofina, another terrific, prolific author who wrote The Dying Hour. Today’s review is written by the C.E., my intrepid associate reviewer. I love that he is usually up for a variety of genre and this one took him by surprise. Yeah, knew it would! 😏   (This was his first Mofina.) I’ve read several before and last posted a review of Cold Fear for Throwback Thursday on February 8, 2018. This novel was published by Carrick Publishing on April 8, 2015. Mofina consistently runs approximately 4.5-5 stars for any of his books sold on Amazon.

Book Blurb:

The Dying Hour introduces Jason Wade, a rookie crime reporter with The Seattle Mirror, a loner who grew up in the shadow of a brewery in one of the city’s blue-collar neighborhoods. At The Seattle Mirror, he is competing for the single full-time job being offered through the paper’s intense intern program. But unlike the program’s other young reporters, who attended big name schools and worked at other big metro dailies, Wade put himself through community college, and lacked the same experience. 

Wade struggles with his haunting past as he pursues the story of Karen Harding, a college student whose car was found abandoned on a lonely stretch of highway in the Pacific Northwest. How could this beloved young woman with the altruistic nature simply vanish?

Wade battles mounting odds and cut-throat competition to unearth the truth behind Karen Harding’s disturbing case. Her disappearance is a story he cannot give up, never realizing the toll it could exact from him. The Dying Hour is a bone-chilling, mesmerizing page-turner that introduces readers to an all-too-human young hero who journeys into the darkest regions of the human heart to confront a nightmare. 

Add to Goodreads

Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – The Dying Hour by Rick Mofina – a #BookReview”

The Crooked Staircase – a #BookReview

The Crooked Staircase: A Jane Hawk Novel by Dean Koontz

Title: The Crooked Staircase: A Jane Hawk Novel (#3) by Dean Koontz

Genre: Currently #90 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery

Publisher: Random House Publishing, Ballantine – Bantam

Publication Date: To be released May 8, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: The Crooked Staircase – Eerie cover evokes dark evasion

Have you seen that #ForgetSleep hashtag recently? You could easily apply the tag to this book but it wouldn’t completely explain the third book in this series. This is a Koontz suspense meant to keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you hanging there, breathless, until the fourth (and final?) episode is released. That you should have such patience! Continue reading “The Crooked Staircase – a #BookReview”

#Author Spotlight – Dean Koontz

author spotlight

Rumored to be worth over $145 million, Dean Ray Koontz is most definitely a successful author. Born in Everett, PA in 1945 (72 years of age), his novels are generally described as suspense thrillers, although he frequently infuses his stories with horror, fantasy, and sci-fi aspects as well.

His official website notes he has sold over 450 million copies of his works, sixteen (paperback) of which were included on the NY Times bestseller list as number one. He used numerous pen names early in his career including Brian Coffey.

His childhood less than standard 50’s Cleavers, Koontz was the product of an abusive alcoholic father and his defiant “physically diminutive mother.” Koontz discovered the Catholic faith and converted while in college. Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton(And btw, he gives a shout out to English writer and Catholic convert G.K. Chesterton who wrote about the fictional Roman Catholic priest and amateur detective Father Brown. Father Brown is a featured English series on NetFlix.) I find this connection fascinating since I innocently wandered into Mayhem & Mass recently and the review brought a comment from fellow blogger, Angela of Books and Opinions, LLC who also noted G. K. Chesterton as being a favorite ol’ English author. (Freaky, huh?)

Graduating in 1967, Koontz went on variously teaching English in high school and working for a federally funded poverty program. It was during this time that he began writing in earnest and in ten years his major breakthrough novel, Whispers, was published in 1980. Of course, since I’m usually late to the party, was just introduced to Koontz through NetGalley with a book I recently read and reviewed called The Whispering Room. It was just released on November 21, 2017 and I still think the newest of his books.

When I mentioned to my son that I was reading a Dean Koontz book, his eyebrows shot up. “I’m surprised you’re reading Koontz, mom, he’s a horror writer.” (Not considered my usual genre. True.) And, perhaps this might be considered that, but more so psychological thriller and suspense. (Also, gripping, thoughtful, and perhaps sci-fi coming true.) After I posted my review, one of our old Navy friends, Kitra, saw the review on Facebook and noted, Just an FYI he grew up in Ted’s little town, donated a lot to the library in honor of his English teacher. Was happy to see that.”

Dean Koontz - author - Happy Holidays photoDean Koontz is currently living in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, and their golden, Ms. Elsa. You’ll have to read her story, which is related in typical humorous Koontz style here.

Mr. Koontz has joined my favorite authors list and I’m looking forward to his next well-crafted novel. Have you looked into his books lately? Which was your favorite? (Info gleaned from Wikipedia and the Dean Koontz website.) ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

Her Last Day – a Book Review

Her Last Day by T R RaganTitle: Her Last Day by T. R. Ragan

Genre: Currently #608 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank for Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Private Investigators

Amazon Author Rank #7 in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: October 24, 2017

Source: Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Her Last Day – Interesting cover, but I’m not sure how it conveys either the title or genre

Happy release day to Theresa Ragan! I love it when I am introduced to a new-to-me author and her first book in a new series! T. R. Ragan is an accomplished author with successful series publications already behind her. In Her Last Day Jessie Cole #1 we are introduced to capable, independent and responsible Jessie Cole. Yes, she’s a woman with issues. Who doesn’t have baggage? But her history does not define her. Continue reading “Her Last Day – a Book Review”

2016 Goodreads Choice Book Awards-Did You See the Book Trailers?

Book Trailers!

I’ve written about them before, including those trailers I published for my grandfather’s books, as well as one I created for Jean Grainger, an Irish author. Ms. Grainger published “So Much Owed – An Irish World War 2 Story” on December 1, 2013. I enjoyed the book so much that I felt compelled to create a short book trailer, which I uploaded to YouTube on March 6, 2017.

Given that I’m a member of the Book Trailer Group on Goodreads, I keep bumping up against book trailers; fascinated with most. Some amateur trailers are amazing good, some professionally produced piss-poor. But everyone sees a trailer, whether movie or book, in their own eyes. So I got to wondering about the 2016 Goodreads Choice Book Awards. How many winners had book trailers? Continue reading “2016 Goodreads Choice Book Awards-Did You See the Book Trailers?”