Monday, 12 June 2017

Paradise Prison by Faith Mortimer - Review

Today I am giving my review of Paradise Prison by Faith Mortimer. I originally received this book in December 2016 directly from Faith in exchange for an honest review in time for the books publication date. It's taken me five months, but I finally feel able to put my thoughts down about this book. Faith has been lovely and understanding about my reasons for this delay, so please read on so I can explain. 

Paradise Prison

During a huge row, Gillian stands up to her abusive boyfriend. The consequences are horrendous and far-reaching.
Terrified, she flees her home, seeking anonymity abroad while coming to terms with the outcome of her actions.
In Portugal, Gillian meets Harry, a yachtsman, needing crew for his Atlantic Ocean-crossing. She applies for the job. Half-way into the journey, after confessing to her crime, Harry offers her refuge on an uninhabited island in the Caribbean which he says he owns.
Confused and depressed, Gillian imagines this is the answer to her problems. She needs time to lie low and consider her options; confront the authorities or live in obscurity? Harry is offering the perfect hiding place…or is he?
When things start going horribly wrong, she asks herself if she is alone on the island. But maybe the biggest question of all is why she gets the gut feeling Harry wants to keep her there at all costs?
What happens when she says … no?

My Review

Paradise Prison is the fourth book in the Dark Minds series by Faith Mortimer, which is a collection of stand alone novels. I hadn't read any of her other books but this sounded really interesting and I jumped at the chance to read and review it. 

The story kicks off immediately and I was sucked into what was happening and I really felt for Gillian, what she was having to deal with was horrendous and she ended up in a situation that wasn't her fault but she had to face the consequences. 

Gillian goes through both the fight and flight instinct in her situation. but ends up sticking with the flight option to deal with the aftermath. She escapes her life but ends up in a situation far worse than she would have done had she remained to face the music. 

Though I felt for Gillian, I don't think she is a particularly likeable character, but I'm not sure that she's supposed to be. Harry is also an unlikable character and he becomes worse and worse as the story goes on as you can imagine. Even though they were unlikable it didn't affect my reading enjoyment and I still wanted to know what happened. 

When we get to the island the story does become a bit repetitive, but this is important to the story and it helps build the monotony of life there and the feeling of isolation that Gillian feels. I also got a weird feeling of both freedom and claustrophobia which grew the longer Gillian is there. 

The story is really well written and it was something different than anything I have ever read in a thriller. 

Now this is the bit that's difficult to write for me, there's some things that happen later in the book (which I won't spoil obviously) that triggered an anxiety episode and I had to keep reading, but not in an enjoyable way, in a panicked way to find out what happened. I have never had this happen before while reading a book and I didn't know myself that this would happen to me. This isn't the fault of the author as giving any information about this bit of the book would be a spoiler and would ruin some of the suspense and tension. With this happening I didn't feel I could give an honest review as my irrational brain was just saying give it one star. This would not have been representative of how good the book actually is and would have just been a knee jerk response due to my own personal feelings. So I put three stars down as a compromise. I have tried to write this review countless times since, but have not managed until today. Now that I have been able to distance myself from my response and thought about the book and the story I have decided that a true rating is four stars and I will be amending Goodreads to reflect this. 

So yes I would recommend this book, I'm just sorry it's taken so long for me to be able to share my review with everyone.  

About The Author 

Faith Mortimer was born in Manchester and educated in Singapore, Malaya and Hampshire, England. A Registered nurse,then changed careers to oversee a number of travel and sport related companies. Faith is happily married and has two children. She lives in the south of England and so far, has written three series of books which are also, all standalone novels.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

The Silence by Katharine Johnson - Blog Tour Review and Guest Post

Today I am so pleased to be a part of the blog tour for The Silence by Katharine Johnson and I will be sharing my review and a special guest post from the author. 

The Silence

Doctor Abby Fenton has a rewarding career, a loving family, an enviable lifestyle - and a secret that could destroy everything. 
When human remains are discovered in the grounds of an idyllic Tuscan holiday home she is forced to confront the memories she has suppressed until now and relive the summer she spent at the villa in 1992. A summer that ended in tragedy. The nearer she gets to the truth the closer she comes to losing her sanity. 
In order to hold onto the people she loves most, she must make sure they never discover what she did. But the reappearance of someone else from that summer threatens to blow her secret wide open.

My Review

The Silence is absolutely full of twists and turns and kept me reading to see what happened next, meaning that I read this in one sitting. The story takes place in England and Tuscany and the description of Tuscany is amazing, I really felt I was there and the sun was warming my skin as I was reading. 

The story is told both in current time and with flash backs to 1992, the flashbacks were done really well and it really added to the story instead of taking you out of what was happening. It was also interesting finding out things as Abby found them out herself. I knew pretty much nothing about the story before I read it and I'm really glad about that as I feel that is definitely the best plan for reading The Silence. 

Abby was certainly an interesting character and very well developed, but she was not a likeable character to me, some of her decisions and things that she did were not the best. I think she's supposed to be unlikeable though and it certainly took absolutely nothing away from the story, I just wanted to know everything! 

I'd definitely recommend this and I will be keeping my eye out for more from Katharine Johnson in the future. 

I gave The Silence 5 stars.

Guest Post - Book Hangover

This post is about things that get you all discombobulated once they are over, like a meal you never want to end, films you could watch over and over again and songs you could listen to on repeat, all day, every day.

There are just 8 simple questions:
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m a mum, magazine journalist, writer, reader, dreamer and procrastinator. I live in Berkshire with my husband Mike, our three children and our spaniel Monty.
What gives you an actual hangover?
Red wine
What television programme?
I love The Apprentice – largely because I wouldn’t last five minutes on it!
What film?
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched The Talented Mr Ripley – to me it’s a perfect film.
What song?
Elbow’s One Day Like This
What food?
I’m addicted to avocados (although oddly enough when I first tasted one as a teenager I thought it was so disgusting I fainted.)
Which person/people?
My family
And finally, … Which book?
That is so hard! The Great Gatsby because it’s beautifully written

About The Author

Katharine Johnson grew up in Bristol and now divides her time between Berkshire and Lucca, Italy. After doing a History degree she trained to be a journalist and has worked for a variety of magazines, writing about everything including the kitchen sink. She's loved writing since childhood and wrote her first book aged nine. When not writing she can usually be found walking her spaniel, doing the school run, playing netball or playing house in a stately home where she is a room guide. 
Katharine loves to hear from readers so if you fancy a chat do get in touch.

To Connect With Katharine Johnson

Twitter - @kjohnsonwrites

Don't Forget To Check Out The Rest Of The Blog Tour