Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Scorched Shadows by Steve McHugh - Blog Tour Review

Life Of A Nerdish Mum today is taking part in the blog tour for Scorched Shadows, by Steve McHugh. Scorched Shadows is the seventh and final chapter in The Hellequin Chronicles, so be wary of reading the synopsis if you're not up to book seven yet. My review however has no spoilers so read away!

Scorched Shadows

In the final chapter of the Hellequin Chronicles, secrets will be revealed, friendships will be tested, and destinies will be fulfilled.

Avalon is under siege. A shadowy cabal, headed by a mysterious figure known only as “My Liege”, has launched a series of deadly attacks across the globe, catching innocent human bystanders in the crossfire.

Emerging from the debris of battle, Nate Garrett, the sixteen-hundred-year-old sorcerer also called Hellequin, and his friends must stop My Liege once and for all. But powerful forces stand in their way. To save Avalon, they will need to enlist the help of Mordred, once Nate’s greatest nemesis, now his most formidable ally. But Mordred is grappling with a dark prophecy that could spell Nate’s doom…

The fate of the world hangs in the balance. Even if Nate can halt the war, will there be anything left worth saving?

My Review

Being the last book in a series, Scorched Shadows was pretty fast paced right from page one, which I really enjoyed. It gets you right into the thick of it and I was instantly wrapped up in the story and found myself fully engrossed.

A minor disclaimer before I continue, I haven't read the previous books in the series and I hadn't originally realised that it was supposed to be the last book (my bad for not checking) but I decided to read it anyway because I loved the synopsis and between that, the title and the cover it had sucked me in!

I found the characters extremely strong and even though I didn't know their full back story, there was enough to fill me in and I still became attached to certain people and I really cared what was going to happen to Nate and the whole of Avalon.

I very much liked the combination of mythological creatures mixed with current day world. I enjoy things being seemingly out of place as it gives them a greater focus. That and I love mythological creatures!

I feel the ending will be extremely polarising with people loving it or hating it, with very little in-between. I really enjoyed it and thought it was a pretty ingenuitive way to end the Hellequin Chronicles.

I thoroughly enjoyed Scorched Shadows and I am now looking forward to returning to the beginning of the series and reading it as a whole, so this is a definite recommendation from me.

I gave this book 4 stars.

About The Author

Steve's been writing from an early age, his first completed story was done in an English lesson. Unfortunately, after the teacher read it, he had to have a chat with the head of the year about the violent content and bad language. The follow up 'One boy and his frog' was less concerning to his teachers and got him an A.

It wasn't for another decade that he would start work on a full length novel, the result of which; Crimes Against Magic is now available from Amazon.

He was born in a small village called Mexborough, South Yorkshire, but now lives with his wife and three young daughters in Southampton.

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

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Front Page Murder by Peter Bartram - Blog Tour Review

I'm very honoured today to be kicking off the blog tour for the latest novel in the Crampton of the Chronicle series. Front Page Murder, by Peter Bartram. I also have an exciting extract, so stick around after my review to check that out!

Front Page Murder - A Crampton of the Chronicle mystery

It's December 1963 and Archie Flowerdew is sitting in a cell at Wandsworth Prison waiting to be hanged. On Christmas Eve. It's not exactly how he planned to spend the festive season. But, then, Archie was found guilty of murdering fellow comic postcard artist Percy Despart.

It seems there's nothing that can stop Archie's neck being wrung like a turkey's. Except that his niece Tammy is convinced Archie is innocent. She's determined he will sit down on Christmas Day to tuck into the plum pudding. She persuades Brighton Evening Chronicle crime reporter Colin Crampton to take up the case.

But Colin has problems of his own. First, that good turn he did to help out Chronicle sub-editor Barry Hobhouse has come back to bite him on the bum. Then Beatrice "the Widow" Gribble, Colin's trouble-prone landlady, needs him to sort out her latest faux pas - she's accidentally sent a Christmas card to her local butcher suggesting she's available for hot sex. And that's before Brighton cops clap Colin and girlfriend Shirley Goldsmith in jail on the charge of harbouring a fugitive from justice.

And, anyway, the more Colin investigates Archie's case, the more it looks like he is guilty… Pick up the third full-length novel in the Crampton of the Chronicle mystery series to get you in the mood for a murderous Christmas!

My Review

Front Page Murder is another book by Peter Bartram that's kept me up at night just wanting to read the next page and see what happens next! 

Colin Crampton is a fantastic character, I love his sarcasm and sass and I love that he's always getting himself into scrapes just for the sake of a byline. Though he has a jack the lad attitude, he's a softy on the inside and that's the reason he gets in to trouble half of the time. 

The story of Front Page Murder follows the story of Archie Flowerdew in the days before his hanging and his niece who is trying to prove his innocence of the murder of fellow local post card artist Percy Despart. Colin has to think outside the box as to how to prove his innocence as all of Archie's clemency hearings have failed. As usual he does things that are borderline illegal (only just) but anything to provide justice.....and a good story! 

One of my favourite things about Front Page Murder was the description of all the different scathing post cards that Percy Despart had drawn before his untimely death. They were hilariously described and I could really picture all of them. I just wish there has been sketches of them scattered throughout the book. 

Being a crime novel, I can't discuss the story without spoilers, but I can say that it is incredibly well written and plotted out. 

Overall an excellent read and I'm already looking forward to the next in the series. 

I gave this book 5 stars. 

An Extract From Front Page Murder

By Peter Bartram

Colin Crampton crime correspondent on the Brighton Evening Chronicle is investigating a case of murder. Colin has discovered that the victim had a book which included a photograph of a painting called the Avenging Angel. The painting hangs in St Rita's church. But the vicar, Canon Gideon Burke, has a reputation as a randy old goat. Colin visits St Rita's for morning service and afterwards decides to investigate further. He takes up the story…

I made my way to the back of the church and hung around for a bit. I wanted to have a nose about. I fancied a quick look-see at the painting of the Avenging Angel by a pupil of Raphael. During Burke's sermon I'd been looking around. Each of the church's transepts held a small chapel. Most of the artworks seemed to be hung in these chapels. The chapel off the right-hand side of the nave looked the most ornate. I guessed that's where the Avenging Angel would be slinging her thunderbolts.
  I threaded my way through the pews and entered the chapel. I was right. The Angel hung on the end wall above a small altar. After viewing the colour plate in The Art of Sussex Churches, I'd been expecting a large canvas. But this was strangely unimpressive. An ornate, portrait-shaped frame about twenty inches high by fifteen across held a picture that lacked the vibrant colours I'd seen in the book. Old paintings, I knew, gathered dirt over the years and were cleaned by specialists. The Avenging Angel looked as though she were long overdue a spruce up.
  I was mulling this over when a voice behind me said: "Just because she's small, don't underestimate her power."
  I turned. Burke was standing there in his canonical gear. He had the kind of grin gangsters use when they're collecting protection money but want to keep it friendly.
  I said: "Size isn't everything - for women or men."
  Burke took that in his stride. "I haven't seen you at divine service before."
  "It's my first time. I just felt it might help me think out a worry on my mind."
  I'd had an idea which might help me discover whether the rumours about Burke and the virgins were true.
  "Would you like to talk about it, my son?"
  "It's difficult. Very personal. And a bit embarrassing."
  "Embarrassment is only your conscience talking to you. Listen to it."
  "The thing is it involves a girl."
  "Really?" Burke flicked a lizard-like tongue over his lips. He moved closer.
  "Yes, it's my girlfriend Shirley."
  "Does it involve your feelings for Shirley?"
  "In a way, but it's more her feelings for me."
  "You are both wondering whether you should consummate your love, perhaps? I have to tell you I do not believe in sex before marriage."
  I grinned. "Especially if it delays the ceremony, vicar."
  "This is not a matter for misplaced levity."
  "I'm sorry. To come to the point, Shirley wants me to make love to her - and I'm not sure it's right for me to do what she wants."
  A fleck of spittle had appeared at the side of Burke's mouth. "And what does she want?"
  "She wants me to dress as a vicar while I'm giving her the benefit. Well, actually, not the full gear. She wants me to skip the robes and all that and just wear the main item."
  "The main item? I don't understand."
  "The dog collar."
  Burke's Adam's apple bobbed as he swallowed hard. "Let me get this right. Your girlfriend wants you to make love to her wearing only a dog collar."
  "That's about the size of it. Of what she wants. Not the size of the dog collar. I expect they come in different sizes. Do they?"
  Burke's jowly cheeks had become red. A bead of sweat trickled down his brow. "Yes, they do come. I mean in different sizes. But that is not the point."
  "What is the point, vicar? That's what I want to know."
  Burke took a guilty glance at the Avenging Angel.
  "I think you should bring your girlfriend Shirley to see me. It's clear the girl needs divine guidance."
  "You really think that's the answer?"
  Burke harrumphed. For the first time, he looked embarrassed. Perhaps his conscience was talking to him. Or, more likely, he'd just told it to shut up.
  "I could manage a short interview with her at about half past seven this evening," he said. "After the evening service."
  "That would be very helpful, vicar."
  "I shall call upon the spirit of St Rita to guide me."
  "I'll let Shirley know. I think she knew a Rita as well. I believe she was a hostess in a nightclub. More of a sinner than a saint."
  I turned to leave. Looked back over my shoulder. Burke had taken a handkerchief from somewhere in his vestments and was wiping sweat from his brow.

About The Author

I was lucky enough to interview Peter Bartram when I reviewed his previous full length novel, Stop Press Murder, which you can check out here

Peter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle crime mystery series, which features Colin Crampton, crime correspondent of the 1960s fictional newspaper the Brighton Evening Chronicle. Peter began his career as a reporter on a real-life local newspaper not far from Brighton. Then he worked as a journalist and newspaper editor in London before becoming freelance. He has done most things in journalism from door-stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700 feet down a coal mine and Buckingham Palace. Peter's "Swinging Sixties" murder mysteries combine clue-solving with comedy - the laughs are never far from the action. Other books in the series, which has already logged more than 100 5-star reviews on Amazon, include Headline Murder and Stop Press Murder.

Front Page Murder e-book is on special offer until the end of December for 99p/99c

For readers who want to start the series at the beginning, there's a deal which includes Headline Murder, Stop Press Murder and Front Page Murder in e-book formats for £4.97/$4.97. This offer also closes on 31 December.

Don't Forget The Rest Of The Tour

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Niggle by Peta Rainford - Review

I'm very happy to be able to share my review of The Niggle, written and illustrated by the ever lovely Peta Rainford on the day of its release. 

The Niggle

Joe Jackson is a little boy who has never felt fear... until the day a miniature monster swims in his ear! The monster is the Niggle, who whispers worries in Joe's head and makes him afraid.

Will Joe Jackson let the Niggle win? Or will he learn to overcome his fears? Read this rhyming picture book to find out. And remember: you can't be brave if you don't feel fear!

My Review

I absolutely loved The Niggle, it is so well thought out and so well written. The rhyming really flows as you are reading and it makes everything sound good whether you're reading it out loud or in your head.

Joe is a great character and reflects so well what children are like before their fears (or Niggles) creep in and make them more cautious. I enjoyed watching his fearless journey up until his accident. I then thought it was powerful how he slowly over time learnt how to deal with his Niggle and how to still do everything he wanted to safely.

The artwork is absolutely lovely and really matches the tone of the story. I have watched Peta Rainford share snippets of her drawings on her Facebook page as she planned out The Niggle, so it was really good to see it all put together and in context.

At the end, after Joe deals with his Niggle, there is a page aimed at the reader, which I thought was a really nice touch. It makes the child (or reader) relate the story to themselves and realise that they too can overcome their fears. Also that being afraid isn't a bad thing, you just need to know how to use it.

The Niggle is a very enjoyable read and both me and mini Nerdling will be reading this many more times in the future.

About The Author

Peta Rainford was lovely enough to appear on my feature, Getting To Know... so you can find out even more about her here.

Peta grew up on the Isle of Wight so long ago she can remember buying crisps from the school tuck shop for 21⁄2p. As a child she loved words, and loved drawing too, but she had no idea what she wanted to do when she grew up. She studied English at York University and then worked in London as a business journalist and editor for 14 years. She went to art classes and even studied fine art at St Martins, but she still had no idea what she wanted to do when she grew up. She moved back to the Isle of Wight in 2006, and it was here that Peta, now balancing the roles of freelance writer and mum, decided to write and illustrate her first book for children. It was a revelation: a way of combining picture making with her love of words – not to mention an outlet for her awful jokes. It may have taken more than four decades, but finally, Peta knows what she wants to do when she grows up.

The Puppet Master by Abigail Osborne - Blog Blitz Review

I bought The Puppet Master months ago and have been wanting to read it, but have just not had the time. When I saw Bloodhound Books were going to be running a blog blitz for the book, I immediately volunteered to be part as it gave me the perfect reason to have time to read a book I've wanted to read for so long! I'm so glad I did as it was well worth the wait to read. 

The Puppet Master 

Billie is hiding from the world in fear of a man who nearly destroyed her. But a chance meeting with budding journalist, Adam, sparks a relationship that could free her from her life of isolation and fear.
Unbeknown to Billie, Adam knows exactly who Billie is and is determined to expose her and get justice for the lives he believes she has ruined. But first, he needs to convince her to open up to him. As an unwanted attraction blossoms between them, Adam comes to realise that all is not as it seems.
Who is really pulling the strings? And are Adam and Billie both being played?
One thing is for sure, The Master wants his puppets back – and he’ll do anything to keep them.
My Review

The Puppet Master certainly fits the bill perfectly for being a psychological thriller, its dark, chilling and the tension builds to a crescendo. I absolutely loved it.

The story alternates between the two main characters, Adam and Billie and I really enjoyed the multiple perspectives that gave me as the reader. It's always good to get inside the head of more than one character in a story. I also thinks it makes the book even harder to put down as I always tell myself I need to find out what the other person thought about what just happened!

The story also shifts between present day and when all of Billie's problems started. That was a really clever way of giving us readers information without info dumping and I really enjoyed going through things as they happened with the character.

I was fascinated to find out exactly what Billie had been through and just what Adam knew about her as he seems to know so much. The relationship that's built between them is very tentative and fraught with indecision and mixed feelings. It really showed just how much they had been messed up by things that had been controlled by someone else.

I really wanted to see how someone could really control two peoples lives so minutely and without spoiling anything I can say it was pretty darn genius! I was taken aback a few times through the book by things that I was not expecting.

Overall an absolutely excellent debut novel from Abigail Osborne and I can't wait for more from her. I just won't leave as long to read this time.

About The Author

I was lucky enough to have Abigail appear on my Getting To Know... feature which you can check out here if you'd like to know more about her. 

Abigail is originally from the Lake District but moved to the West Midlands for University where she completed an English Literature & History degree and also met her husband. She is a passionate reader and has an unsustainable collection of books. This obsession with books has led to her creating her own Dewey decimal system and she has been known to issue fines to family and friends if her book is not returned on time. 'The Puppet Master' is Abigail's debut novel and has unleashed a passion for writing. When not writing or reading Abigail is usually playing her violin or hiding from her much too energetic cats. She also works as a Needs Assessor for disabled university students in the West Midlands.


Don't Forget About The Rest Of The Blitz

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Live Life Like You Give A F**K! by Nicola Findlay - Blog Tour Review

I'm excited to be kicking off the blog tour for Live Life Like You Give A F**K! by Nicola Findlay. The book is a more modern and kickass version of a self help book and one I thoroughly enjoyed. 

Live Life Like You Give A F**K!

The No Nonsense Philosophy for Smart Girls who Want to Smash It!
Boss a bitch? Diet a hot mess? Broke after payday? Ghosted on tinder? 
If life feels like a constant hangover why not take five f**king minutes for yourself to decide what you really want. Slam on the brakes, kick off your heels and unplug from the social media circus.
Stop Surviving - Start Thriving
Live Like You Give A F**K will show you how to create the future you want, not the one that’s been shoved down your throat. It will shake and wake you from the hypnosis of modern living. The triple shot of empowerment, confidence and motivation will unleash the badass in you.
Nicola Findlay is the straight-talking, bold, coaching diva who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. If you ask her advice about your lame partner she’ll give you a bitch slap, tell you to raise your standards and get rid of that loser.
She’s your best friend, your enemy, your punchbag and your cheerleader. Some people call her a diva, some people call her a badass bitch but whichever you decide you will get results.  
WARNING: If you’re afraid of a few swear words on a page put this book down and go cry to your Mama. I’m not here to offend anyone.  I’m here to tell you how to rock your world, and because I’m so passionate about it I’ll be shouting and swearing from the rooftops.

My Review

Well, this book is certainly not like any other self help book I have ever read! It's the kind of book that takes you by the shoulders and gives you a short, sharp shake. I have to admit the swearing took me aback for the first page or so, not because I was offended (trust me I can swear like a sailor!), just the fact that I'm not used to reading that kind of language. It certainly makes an impact and I sat up and paid attention. As the book goes on, it does level out and the swearing becomes more conversational rather than in your face.

There are some really useful and actually quite powerful exercises throughout and ones that I will continue to use going forward. However if you are reading the e-book version like myself, then be armed with paper and pen as you can't utilise the lines designed for you to write on. I love stationery so I always have a notebook and pen to hand, so this wasn't a problem for me.

I wasn't sure what to expect before reading Live Life Like You Give A F**K! but I was incredibly motivated to make goals and get stuff done (which wasn't the best idea at midnight led in bed haha) but I made sure I made my lists so I knew what I had to do or where I had to start. I'm definitely looking forward to some of the changes that I want to make and I'm excited about my goals knowing I'm making a start instead of just thinking about them.

Live Life Like You Give A F**K! is aimed at women, but genuinely the advice given is perfectly valid for anyone, so don't let that put you off giving it a try.

I read the book all in one go, with breaks taken to write my lists and goals etc, but it is perfectly set out so that you can dive in and out at your own leisure. You can also go back to different chapters if you want to go back over anything at any time, which I can see myself doing in the future.

There are things that I know won't work for me, but as the author says (paraphrasing) "dump that shit like a bag of crap". Everything doesn't work for everybody, so you can choose what work for you and ignore the bits that don't. Having that freedom to decide whether I was going to use what was suggested was really good and it actually made me put more thought into each exercise as I wanted to decide properly as to whether I would use it or not.

Overall an excellent book and one I will be recommending (and gifting) to my friends.

I gave this book 4.5 stars.

About The Author

Nicola Findlay, a former British Airways air stewardess, is a qualified neurolinguistic practitioner and accredited international coach with over a decade of experience. She runs personal group workshops, 1-2-1 coaching and corporate training working with companies such as Specsavers and Stella & Dot. Previously she managed the Brighton branch of Life Clubs where she ran weekly personal development workshops with different themes each week before starting her own company The Coaching Diva in 2015. In 2018 she is planning a series of live events in London and New York including; Attracting Mr Right and Live Like You Give A F**K! Nicola lives with her 7 year old daughter and husband in Surrey, England
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/nicolafindlaytcd/

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

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Why We Love Mysteries - A Guest Post by Larry Enmon

Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I am very pleased to welcome debut author Larry Enmon to my blog as he discusses just why everyone loves a good mystery.


Just so we start off on the right foot here, I've read everything Sir Author Conan Doyle ever wrote about Sherlock Holmes. As a young man I was fascinated by mysteries and mystery writing. Read everything I could get. But I did something that caused me to stop following the genre. I became a policeman.

For thirty-seven years I lived the dream—and often the nightmare—of solving mysteries. I started as a municipal police officer in Houston working uniform patrol and undercover vice. I eventually accepted an appointment as a special agent with the Secret Service and continued investigating crimes and solving mysteries. But I stopped reading them. That was probably a mistake.

Every good story contains an element of mystery. It's in our human DNA to ask why—to solve the puzzle, to discover the secret. That's what pushes mankind forward. Everyone wants to be the first to figure it out.

Reading a good mystery allows the reader to experience the thrill of the hunt without the inherent dangers involved in hunting. Staying at a safe distance from danger is always better than experiencing it first hand. Trust me—I've been shot at more than once. And what else do we love about mysteries? The crime gets solved and the bad guy either gets killed or goes to jail. Not always so in the real world.

The old-style detective and mystery writers weren’t as concerned about characters as the new writers of today. What started out as a plot-driven genre has evolved into a character-driven one. In the digital age, we want to know everything about everyone. This has led to the characters in mysteries becoming more interesting than the plot. Let me share an example: True Detective – Season One (HBO). Sure we care about the detectives discovering the identity of the serial killer, but what keeps us coming back to view the next episode is the relationship between the two detectives, Rust and Marty.

Another writer once asked me how many homicides I saw as a uniform police officer. This started me to thinking about all the different types of death I investigated. Each had a mystery associated with it that needed solving. I saw death by shooting, stabbing, drowning, electrocution, crushing (yes, that happens), poisoning, blunt force trauma, falling, hanging, and burning. I was the first unit on the scene, and it was my job to determine what happened, how it happened, why it happened, and round up the witnesses before the homicide detectives arrived. (Old Cop Trick #1: Always ask the witnesses for some identification. Once they present it, drop it in your pocket. If you don't, in all the confusion, they might just wander away.)

I suspect that few police officers read mysteries, probably for the same reasons that I stopped. It's hard enough living with the horrible real images we see as police. Also living with the fictional ones is like taking your work home with you. But having the experience as an officer gave me the background necessary to write a good mystery. I still love to solve crimes, but only fictional ones, please.

So let me leave you with a real police mystery I witnessed first-hand. My partner and I made the scene of a shooting involving two men. The victim was in his mid-twenties, six foot five, and unarmed. The suspect was in his late teens and five feet tall. According to a half dozen witnesses, the older man began harassing and threatening the younger one over the affections of a woman. The younger man pulled out a small caliber pistol and pointed it at the older one. The victim screamed, "Nooooooooooooo!" just as the single shot rang out. The victim fell to the pavement, dead as a door nail. But there was one problem. The body didn't have a mark on it. No entry wound of any kind!

Everyone assumed the guy either cracked his skull when he fell or suffered a heart attack out of fear. The only blood was a few drops on the guy's lower lip, which could be attributed to biting his tongue or lip as he hit the pavement. The homicide detectives were on their way, so I had only a few minutes to figure it out. As far as everyone was concerned, the suspect had missed the victim when he shot at him. But it was a homicide. Want to know how?

The short suspect fired the small caliber pistol at the taller victim as he screamed, "Nooooooooooo!" The bullet entered the victim's mouth and, because of the angle of the shot (five-foot-tall guy shooting at six-foot-five guy), went into his brain, killing him instantly. The small amount of blood on the victim's lower lip was the only sign of violence. But the bullet in the brain was the cause of death.

Yes, everyone loves a good mystery.


In Dallas, Texas, Katrina Wallace goes missing. As the mayor's daughter, her kidnapping triggers mounting political pressure and forces the Chief of Police to put two senior detectives on the case. Rob Soliz and Frank Pierce have done the impossible in the past, but their methods are unconventional.
The only evidence at the scene is a Bible found in the girl's car and soon Frank and Rob find themselves involved in a disturbing investigation shrouded by Bible prophecy, doomsday cults, and murder.
Is Katrina still alive? And what exactly is Wormwood?
As the trail leads them into the woods of rural East Texas, Frank must deal with his lingering religious doubts and solve the case. His worst fears will be realised when he must discover the ugly truth about Wormwood. But he and Rob will have to get out alive to tell the story...

About The Author

Larry Enmon retired from the U.S. Secret Service and started writing. During his career he acted as liaison between the USSS and FBI, working in the Joint Terrorism Task Force.  He received special training from the FBI and CIA in weapons of mass destruction.

For relaxation, and to get away from the city, he likes spending time at his ranch in rural Eastern Texas. With 200+ acres, private shooting range, a 2 ½ acre pond, and miles of woodland trails to explore on four-wheelers and RTV’s, it’s the perfect getaway.
He swims four miles a week, holds a Divemaster rating with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors and has a black belt in Tang Soo Do karate.  He is married with two children and lives in Tarrant County, TX.
His debut crime mystery novel Wormwood is being published by Bloodhound Books, Cambridge. He is represented by the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency, Ltd, London.
To Connect With Larry Enmon
Twitter: @LarryEnmon
Instagram: @Larry_Enmon

Whiteout by Ragnar Jónasson - Blog Tour Review

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Orenda Books publish the most amazing books from the most amazing authors! If I could realistically read and review every single book they publish in time for the tours, I'd never say no! Whiteout by Ragnar Jónasson is another excellent example of the quality of books they produce and I'm very happy to be sharing my review with you all today. 


Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop? With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thór Arason discovers that the victim's mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier. As the dark history and its secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place. Dark, chilling and complex, Whiteout is a haunting, atmospheric and stunningly plotted thriller from one of Iceland's bestselling crime writers.

My Review

Ari Thór is back with another dark and fascinating case. Ragnor Jónasson's writing is excellent and the cases he comes up with are incredibly unique and fascinating. 

The first few chapters in Whiteout, follow Ásta who is returning to her childhood home after over twenty years. We don't get much information about her as she is quiet and reticent, but we know enough to really get to care about her and what will happen on her visit "home". I thought it was a really nice touch, getting to know the victim first and joining her on her last few days before her untimely death. 

As always Iceland is one of the main characters of the story and the dark, cold isolation of Kálfshamarsvík really comes through the pages. I could feel the bitter chill of the winter and the wildness of the sea crashing against the cliff bottoms. Such a lonely and sad place to die. 

On this case, Ari is back working with Tómas, his old boss as a favour and as a way to possibly move to a different police force. It was good to see them back together, though they seemed to have drifted apart in the time they haven't been working together as Tómas isn't aware of some major happenings in Ari's life. We also see more of Kristin in Whiteout and her and Ari's relationship is an interesting one. They've been through a lot together, but I personally don't know if they really work. 

As this is a sequel and a crime book, I won't be talking about the plot as I would never want to spoil anyone discovering what has happened on their own. As usual you can read this as a stand alone, but there are some minor spoilers from previous books, but nothing too major that I can recall. The translation is absolutely spot on and again you wouldn't know this was originally written in another language. I think this is so very important in translated books so as not to make the reading difficult and put anyone off trying more. 

Overall another excellent nordic noir from Ragnor Jónasson and one that has left me eagerly anticipating the next book in the Dark Iceland series. If you haven't already, go check out the series! 

I gave Whiteout 5 stars. 

About The Author

Ragnar Jónasson is author of the international bestselling Dark Iceland series. His debut Snowblind went to number one in the kindle charts shortly after publication, and Nightblind, Blackout and Rupture soon followed suit, hitting the number one spot in five countries, and the series being sold in 18 countries and for TV. Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he continues to work as a lawyer. From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik with his wife and young daughters.

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