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Absolute Proof by Peter James

absolute-proof-by-peter-james1.jpgWell, this knocked my socks off, as my Nan used to say. I have to add here, before I go any further, that this was my first step into the literary world of Peter James. And, it has to be said, I’m a little ashamed of that fact. *hangs head*

International bestselling author, Mr Peter James’ books are clearly something that’s been missing from my bookshelves. But no more, I rectified this dilemma without delay as I finished the last page of Absolute Proof, I purchased another – more about that in the near future.

So, here’s your coffee, snuggle in your favourite chair *sips her caramel latte* this is my spoiler-free review of Absolute Proof.

I’d just like to assure you I’m not a nutcase, Mr Hunter. My name is Dr Harry F. Cook. I know this is going to sound strange, but I’ve recently been given absolute proof of God’s existence – and I’ve been advised there is a writer, a respected journalist called Ross Hunter, who could help me to get taken seriously.

Absolute Proof by Peter James

Investigative journalist, Ross Hunter, famous (or infamous depending on your viewpoint) is renowned for tackling, uncovering, controversial issues in his career, from political corruption to corporate scandals. He’s also no stranger to dangerous threats, always willing to stand up for what’s right not what’s easy. But when he receives a phone call from an old man declaring he has absolute proof of God’s existence, and that he and Ross have been chosen to save the world… well, you can imagine his scepticism, and that too of his expectant wife, Imogen.

With his well-honed curious nature, and look out for the next ‘big story’, Ross agrees to meet Dr Harry Cook, where he produces a manuscript he’d scribed from a direct message from God himself, through a medium. Reluctantly, against his better judgement, opinion that Dr Cook is probably no more than a crazy old man, Ross agrees to read the manuscript. Alas, upon finding the body of murdered Dr Cook a matter of days later, Ross is compelled to take up the staff, beginning his treacherous adventure.

With such a claim, the ‘absolute proof of God’s existence’, it’s no surprise that such momentous news travels fast. Enter here, a spanner in the works; a global household-name pharmaceutical company, a billionaire evangelist, a whoever-pays-the-big-bucks hitman – and the Vatican. Along with a number of other dubious encounters, Ross is on a perilous mission, sending him over the globe to unravel this claim.

There is no doubt that Peter James has done some serious research for this book; by his own admission, ‘a book 30 years in the making.’ Absolute Proof is one hell (excuse the pun) of a rollercoaster ride. It’s fast-paced, with some short concise chapters, from multi-character viewpoints, giving the story a multidimensional feel, with hard-hitting moments that literally take your breath away one minute to making you sit up and think the next. With just the right amount of detail that absorbs you into the page making you one with the plot – there is no escape till that last page.

About two-thirds in I sat and really pondered on the plot, the twists and turns (there are many) on where I really thought the storyline was going, what the outcome would be. After all, what would you do if you were handed the gauntlet to prove to the world of God’s existence, and what would you do faced with perilous hurdles at every turn? Ross Hunter is no way an enviable character, rather an admirable, sometimes foolhardy one, with his tenacious nature, he brings this story to a climactic and extremely clever ending. One I could not have foretold.

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The Purity of Crimson by Beverley Lee

The Purity of Crimson by Beverley LeeFirstly, thank you, Beverley Lee. *bows graciously*

The Purity of Crimson was that book. That much-anticipated read of the Autumn season, the final instalment of the Gabriel Davenport series by the supremely talented, Beverley Lee. Purity held all my expectations after absorbing myself in Gabe’s world with the first two books, The Making of Gabriel Davenport and A Shining in the Shadows; it delivered beyond my expectations. Leaving me bereft once those last few words were uttered; yes, I spoke that last paragraph allowed, finalising the end of an era. *cries in her cappuccino*

I was honoured to have an ARC (advance reading copy), sending my little dark heart all aflutter – thank you, dear Beverley. With its official release date 9th October, it is sure to fulfil all the dark lusting of even the most discerning vampire – “Blood calls to blood.”

The claws of winter raked against his skin but he did not feel its chill. Natural creatures ceased their breathing as he passed, instinctively fearful he would snuff out their lives like a candle flame.

The Purity of Crimson by Beverley Lee

Gabriel with his brothers, Moth and Teal have found refuge, though their safety is to be short-lived. Food is scarce, with danger, strangers, hunters lurk in every shadow. Gabriel, feeling the need with his innate ability as a pure breed, takes responsibility for his brothers, leading them on a journey with the pull of Teal’s fireflies.

This brotherly band go from three to five as they find themselves in the company of a questionable witch boy and a weak, tortured vampire. Can they trust either of these new additions into their fold, when trust is not easily earned in such perilous times?

Gradually the “Bloody Little Prophets” are torn apart, pulled in different directions; one by one, each facing their inner demons as well as the ones that hunt them. Gabriel is forced to accept stark realities as his innermost fear rains down on him, pushing him to the brink of his existence, questioning his very own morality. Finding himself in the company of one who has the answers he seeks, one who holds the key to death itself; can Gabriel resist? – “What would he give to know why the wings of darkness had always sought him? And what would any of them sacrifice to save each other?”

Honestly, a lot of coffee was consumed in the reading of this novel; a boost to keep me going through the late evenings as I literally could not put this down… not that I wanted to. Sleep was something for the dead, not the undead as I was dwelling in those dark hours along with my boys. Over the course of the trilogy, I’ve become quite protective; it’s the dark mother in me. Purity had me in tears more than once as fear for the boys surfaced chapter after chapter.

Purity introduces us to some new characters that weave alongside those we already know and love, some with questionable motives, some just plain evil that we adore to hate, and those who will always remain with us.

Beverley Lee’s creative voice emanates from the page, with her natural ability to produce clear description, enticing you into her world without the need to overdo it. Her writing is subtle with a poetic nuance that sends chills, shivers, captivating with blood-glistening prose with each page turn.

From the first line of book one, The Making of Gabriel Davenport to the closing phrase of this, The Purity of Crimson, I have been captured, bitten by Gabe and all that it delivers within the pages of this trilogy. Once in a while, something special comes along.

If these don’t already sit neatly on your bookshelf, physical or virtual, please do yourself a justice and remedy this.

 

Connect with Beverley Lee – Official website, Amazon, Goodreads, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

 

 

 

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The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate MortonFirstly, it must be said, I couldn’t help but dive straight into The Clockmaker’s Daughter. Anticipating its release, seeing Kate’s social media posts and regular updates over the past months, I let out a great sigh as if I’d been holding my breath; to finally hold it in my hands.

I was lucky enough to be one of the selected to receive the ARC, advance readers copy, in serialisation form through Pigeonhole and Pan Macmillan. I was also thrilled to be invited to the official UK book release evening with Kate Morton. (Oh, when life gets in the way of our dreams) unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it *sighs* But, after seeing the photos I’m sure it was a wonderful intimate evening.

Kate Morton has always reigned as one of my favourite authors; her talent for weaving an intricate, multilayered story, over the years has been of great inspiration.

So, grab your coffee, here’s my spoiler-free review… *sips cappuccino*

‘My father called me Birdie; he said I was his little bird. Others knew me as his child, the clockmaker’s daughter. Edward called me his muse, his destiny. I am remembered as a thief, an imposter, a girl who rose above her station, who was not chaste.
My real name, no one remembers.
The truth about that summer, no one else knows.’

From the cover, The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

The Clockmaker’s Daughter presents us, initially, with two eras.

We start in 1862, Edward Radcliffe, a young passionate painter, invites a group of artist friends to stay at his newly purchased, Birchwood Manor. A long summer ahead of them; one of art, passion, creativity, and long hazy summer evenings by the river. However, their summer is cut short, abruptly, as tragedy strikes. A woman is shot dead, one is missing, his life in tatters, Edward will never be the same again.

In 2017 young London archivist, Elodie Winslow stumbles across a leather satchel, concealing an artist sketchbook and a Victorian photograph of a woman. Flicking through the pages, she finds a sketch of a twin-gabled house. Something about this house and the beautiful young woman, trigger some childhood memories of her deceased mother, and a bedtime story she would tell. Why does this house feel so familiar?

The Clockmakers Daughter takes us off on a wondrous journey, stopping off at certain points in time, all gravitating at one location; a stunning 16th-century house, with stone walls and twin gables, that sits at the bend of the Upper Thames. A house that is steeped in history, sprinkled with mystery and magic. But this house harbours a dark secret.

The Clockmaker’s Daughter has all the hallmarks of a Kate Morton bestseller. A cast of ripe, varied characters, richly painted locations, all wrapped in an intricate plot. This is a murder mystery about love, loss, abandonment, art and creativity, a story of death and survival. It is told to us in multiple voices, all with their own little silken thread, weaving this lavish story tapestry.

Needless to say, I loved it…it’s 6 stars from me.

Are you a Kate Morton fan? Have you read it, I’d love to know your thoughts?

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Fate or Folly?

Author Thoughts

Hello again, here you go, take your favourite chair and let’s enjoy coffee and a chat *sips coffee*

I have a thought for you to mull over. You may well have an immediate opinion or strong point of view. It’s one of those subjects *winks*

I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few days about fate, do I believe, or is it just a load of old phooey? A friend posed the question a little while ago and since then it’s been hovering in the back of my mind, pouncing to the forefront every so often. I think the trouble is, it can be quite a romantic notion, and if nothing, I am an old romantic in many ways.

How many books have you read where the plot line is very much ‘fated’ ‘written in the stars’ ‘meant to be’…? Perhaps it’s our need for a happily ever after, instilled into our subconscious by those childhood fairy tales. After all, the thought that out there, we all have someone waiting for us, our life paths being mapped out in front of us can be quite consoling, don’t you think? But in all honesty, do we actually believe it? Do our cynical brains kick in, that need to question everything, that need for free will, the fear that we have no control, or not being able to take anything on faith? So where do you fall, or are you sitting on the fence… Fate or folly? 

Well, let me tell you a little story. Are you sitting comfortably *sips coffee and winks* then I’ll begin…

About 14 years ago, the days before this life, the days with another’s surname, I started writing a novel. It was not something I had planned on doing, I hadn’t been thinking of writing a book until that morning I woke up. You see, it was literally that quick, by the end of that first day the whole story plot had firmly established itself. Now all I had to do was write it! I hadn’t written a story since I was about ten or eleven, until that point my writing had been freelance, non-fiction for blogs, columns, and magazine articles, those factual pieces of writing a million miles from where I am today. I’m digressing *rolls eyes* Within a couple of days, I knew all the characters, all their physical attributes, needs, desires, all their little foibles… Including one particular character, a fair-haired, quiet soul, James Wright. 

*grins* You can see where I’m going with this, right?

I finished writing my novel, having it published in 2008. Sadly, soon after my life crumbled drastically, with a complete crash, and I say completely in the fullest sense of the word; every aspect of my life changed. I found myself a single mother, needing to work fulltime, my writing career had gone straight out of the window. A year or so passed, having moved to a new location, I had a lovely new position as a hotel receptionist. I was revelling in all the newest. My second day I found myself looking up from my desk to see some lovely blue eyes gazing down at me. During this brief moment of exchange, the fair-haired chef placed his hand in mine, introducing himself as James Wright.

Now, I admit, it didn’t hit me, not then, my previous life had been firmly stashed away under strict lock and key. It wasn’t until almost a year later when ‘fate’ (did you see what I did there *giggles*) took a hand in matters and James and I moved into our own little cottage, that the similarity began to settle. Not only did he share the same name, but also the very same physical, emotional characteristics that I had bestowed upon my fictional James.

Now, the rest they say is history. Apart from adding that I republished the novel, Remember to Love Me in 2016, under my new name of Becky Wright. 

I know, I know, I can hear your thoughts, it’s a case of coincidence, a curious case, a lovely romantic one, but a coincidence all the same. But is it? Do we sometimes have a tiny glimmer of our fate slice into our normal everyday life, every so often giving us a little glint of the future? It’s a lovely thought, and to be honest, I don’t really know where I stand… maybe I am just too happy to sit here on this proverbial fence, glancing over into the golden light fate has to offer, watching those shooting stars.

Sit back, another coffee? *offers a top-up* I’ll leave you to ponder… fate or folly?

Becky x

Fate or Folly.jpg