Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Bertie's Gift by Hannah Coates

I would like to thank the publishers for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. Today I am delighted to host a Q and A with Hanney Coates as part of the Bertie's Gift blog tour,  as well as sharing my review with you all. 

Q and A with Hammer Coates:

1.       What was it that made you want to write a book from the perspective of a dog? And, in particular, a beagle?
Forget reindeers. Dogs and Christmas go together like mince pies and brandy butter. Fun, optimistic, generous, loving - all the things that make Christmas great are also qualities we associate with our favourite dogs. So when I sat down to write a festive tale, a dog's voice was the obvious choice. My first dog, as quite a young child, was a beagle with a Kennel Club name so long and complicated, it was more like the name of a certain Welsh railway station. None of us could ever remember it. So we called him Pippin Boot instead. Pippin after the hobbit in Lord of the Rings, and Boot after his favourite food. Yes, Pippin was a very playful and mischievous dog, especially as a puppy, and regularly ate anything he could get hold of, even things not ordinarily viewed as food. He chewed boots and table legs and magazines - and once stole and consumed an entire packet of butter. I thought my mother would have a heart attack ... But he was adorable too, and such wonderful company, he soon became the model for my hero in Bertie's Gift.
2.       Bertie’s Gift deals with themes of tragedy and loss, do you think dogs can play a crucial part in helping their owners heal?
Absolutely, and we see this in action when trained animals are placed with people as 'therapy dogs' or mental health 'assistance dogs' in the hope they will provide the sufferer with a calming and comforting influence. But even your average family pooch can help owners get through times of bereavement, stress and depression, by being there for you, not only someone who will listen in a non-judgemental way - and without offering unwanted or contradictory advice - but also a physical presence, warm, soft and strokable. This may seem obvious, but if you're alone or unhappy, having a fluffy dog to hug and pet is a great way to self-comfort - as well as making your dog happy too!
3.       How do you get inspiration to write? What is your writer’s process?
I love solving problems, and a novel is one gigantic problem waiting to be resolved, both in terms of plot and character development, and in language terms, from sentences to word selection. That ongoing challenge - as well as needing to pay the bills! - is what drives me back to my current manuscript every day. My writing process is fairly simple. I prefer to work with a detailed plan, though I do wing it occasionally, and I start with page one and push through to the end as planned. No secret method entailed. But unlike many writers, I tend not to plan out characters - all that writing school guff like, 'What does your hero eat for breakfast? what is his favourite colour?' That seems pointless and mechanical to me, not to mention dreary. Instead, I work with plot first, and let the characters reveal themselves to me by the way they react to situations and other people. I used to have a lot of trouble with beginnings, and often rewrote the first page hundreds of times. Now, the first few sentences tell me what kind of story it's going to be, and if I'm happy with that 'voice' I just crack on from there ...

4.       Christmas is drawing ever closer, what do you do to get in the spirit?
Buy presents and stock up on food! Seriously though, as a busy mum of five as well as a writer, I do spend a fair amount of time buying presents, and not just for my kids but my furbabies too. I'm always looking for novelty gifts for our pets. My favourite this year has to be a pirate ship for cats. Whoever thought of that deserves a medal! I usually leave the tinsel and tree-dressing to my teenagers these days. The ceremony of unearthing Christmas ornaments and placing the angel on the tree are wonderful family traditions, handed down from my own mum, who was also a writer and mother of five! 
5.       Can you share with us your top three doggy books?
The Starlight Barking, Dodie Smith; The Incredible Journey, Sheila Burnford; White Fang, Jack London.
6.       And finally, the John Lewis Christmas advert. Yay or nay?
A bit on the corny side. Though there was a fabulous meme doing the rounds of someone's Boxer dog watching the advert and bouncing up and down too, just like Buster on the telly.* Superb!


Bertie's Gift is a Christmas book with a difference.  This book is told from the point of view of Bertie, a beagle, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I started reading it, but very early on in the book I found myself immersed in the story and I couldn't put the book down. 

After Mrs Minton died, her husband has been finding it hard to cope.  He's elderly and alone and five dogs just seem to be too much for him.  When the dogs cause trouble one day and ruin one f his late wife's dresses, Mr. Minton feels that this is the last straw and soon the dogs end up in a rescue home, where Bertie is seperated from his sister and best friend, Molly for the first time in hos life.  When Molly is adopted by a woman that quite frankly, Bertie does not like the look of, Bertie is numb with grief.  But soon, Bertie is adopted by a family who have had their own fair share of grief and Bertie knows that they need him just as much as Molly.  Bertie soon joins forces with Kitty and Rico, the two cats also owned by the Green family and Pepper, next doors poodle and a plan is hatched to rescue Molly from that awful woman so that they can be a family again.  Suddenly crisis strikes and it's up to Bertie to save the day and Christmas before the worst happens.

This book made me an emotional wreck.  I was crying happy tears one minute and tears of sadness the next.  Everything was happening so fast and I couldn't help but think of my own little doggy and how I would feel of something like this happened to him.  Bertie is the most amazing dog and I take my hat off to the author for being able to create him the way that she did.  He is utterly brilliant and everything that he does stays true to him being a dog. 

The story has enough twists and turns to keep the reader interested and I found that after a while the pages seemed to just turn themselves, as I fell deeper and deeper into the storyline.

Every single character in this book, from the cats to the humans and everything in between are so well written and developed.  As a cat and dog owner, I couldn't help but smile at how to animals treated each other, because every bit of it is so true to life.

Bertie's Gift is an emotional rollercoaster of a book that will show you the real meaning of Christmas and just how much us humans mean to our pets.  Every last page is beautiful and heartwarming and will make you feel warm inside on the coldest winter's day.  I can't recommend this book enough.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Blog Tour: Fifteen Words by Monika Jephcott Thomas

I did not have much of an opportunity as a child in post war Germany to read books as my family‘s first priority was to provide shelter and food. I had the Grimm’s fairy tales read to me at bed time but I found those quite scary and not conducive to sleep.  Hence nowadays I do not read crime stories at bedtime. Also there were  2 childrens’ books called ‘Max und Moritz ‘and ‘Struwelpeter’, by Wilhelm  Busch  which were all filled with moral advice and I did not like them a lot because of what happened to children if they were naughty. I thought was quite cruel.
What I had the chance to do however is play which I did in all my spare time alone or with friends roaming woods, playing by the local river in the fields etc. I had total freedom so enjoyed life and was not contained within the house which might have meant I would be using my imagination in play and write stories rather than being free to be outside in fields, biking etc. . . . Unfortunately children do not often have this opportunity nowadays although we know how important free play is in their emotional development.
 My love of books started in Secondary school where we were introduced to the German classics.  I enjoyed mainly the poetry of Goethe, Eichendorff and Rilke
When I got into the 6th form we were introduced to non-German literature and my favourites were Dickens, Shakespeare, Bronte sisters, Sartre
My book was mainly influenced by my family history and I found Jodi Picoult’s ‘Story Teller’ very interesting.  It gave me some insight into questions in my mind as to ’how could ‘Hitler’ happen in Germany. In her book Jodi describes how the ‘monster inside you’ can emerge through circumstances
Unfortunately I have not got much time nowadays to do reading for leisure. My reading time is taken up with professional books which I do not read again and again but use as reference material. What I read often again are my favourite poets like those mentioned above and English poets like Donne and the English Romantics.

Fifteen Words Blurb
Two young doctors form a profound and loving bond in Nazi Germany; a bond that will stretch them to the very limits of human endurance. Catholic Max - whose religious and moral beliefs are in conflict, has been conscripted to join the war effort as a medic, despite his hatred of Hitler’s regime. His beloved Erika, a privileged young woman, is herself a product of the Hitler Youth. In spite of their stark differences, Max and Erika defy convention and marry.
But when Max is stationed at the fortress city of Breslau, their worst nightmares are realised; his hospital is bombed, he is captured by the Soviet Army and taken to a POW camp in Siberia. Max experiences untold horrors, his one comfort the letters he is allowed to send home: messages that can only contain Fifteen Words. Back in Germany, Erika is struggling to survive and protect their young daughter, finding comfort in the arms of a local carpenter. Worlds apart and with only sparse words for comfort, will they ever find their way back to one another, and will Germany ever find peace?
 Fifteen Words is a vivid and intimate portrayal of human love and perseverance, one which illuminates the German experience of the war, which has often been overshadowed by history.
Purchase on Amazon UK -

About Monike Jephcott Thomas
Monika Jephcott Thomas grew up in Dortmund Mengede, north-west Germany. She moved to the UK in 1966, enjoying a thirty year career in education before retraining as a therapist. Along with her partner Jeff she established the Academy of Play & Child Psychotherapy in order to support the twenty per cent of children who have emotional, behavioural, social and mental health problems by using play and the creative Arts. A founder member of Play Therapy UK, Jephcott Thomas was elected President of Play Therapy International in 2002.

Blog Tour : Who Killed the Mice Spy? by Matthew Redford

The Blurb:
Tenacious carrot, detective inspector Willie Wortell is back to reveal the deviously delicious mind behind the crime of the festive season in this hugely entertaining, and utterly unconventional, short story.
When Mitchell the Mince Spy is horrifically murdered by being over baked in a fan oven, it falls to the Food Related Crime team to investigate this heinous act. Why was Mitchell killed? Who is the mysterious man with a long white beard and why does he carry a syringe? Why is it that the death of a mince spy smells so good?

Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, the best food sapiens police officer, once again leads his team into a series of crazy escapades. Supported by his able homo sapiens sergeant Dorothy Knox and his less able fruit officers Oranges and Lemons, they encounter Snow White and the seven dwarf cabbages as well as having a run in with the food sapiens secret service, MI GasMark5.
With a thigh slap here, and a thigh slap there, the team know Christmas is coming as the upper classes are acting strangely - why else would there be lords a leaping, ladies dancing and maids a milking?
And if that wasn't enough, the Government Minister for the Department of Fisheries, Agriculture and Rural Trade (DAFaRT) has only gone and given the turkeys a vote on whether they are for or against Christmas.

Let the madness begin!

Who Killed The Mince Spy is a Christmas book with a twist and I loved every single page of it.  I think this is the first time that I've wished a short story wasn't so short.  This story is just madness from beginning to end and is thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining, with a whodunnit aspect.

Who Killed the Mince Spy? follows the Food Related Crime team as they investigate who killed Mitchell, the mince spy, after he is heinously murdered and cooked in an oven. But who killed Mitchell and what motives did they have.  As the Crime Investigation team follow a man with a syringe and a long white beard.  As DI  Wortel leads his team on a crazy adventure to try to bring Mitchell's killer to justice, the madness keeps on coming.

This story is laugh out loud funny, but still managed to keep me on the edge of my seat.  The characters are very well developed and very likable, with each one adding that special something to the story.

I enjoyed every single page of this book and I found that the pages seemed to turn themselves by the time I got to the end of the story.  Going into this book I had no idea what to expect, but I do know that I never thought I'd enjoy it as much as I did.

Who Killed The Mince Spy was the first Christmas book that I read this year and I'm glad that I chose this book to kick off my festive reading.  I truly adored every page from start to finish.  A book that doesn't take itself too seriously and will give you endless entertainment long after you've turned the last page. I can't recommend that you add this story to your Christmas reading list enough.

This short story by Matthew Redford follows his deliciously irreverent debut Addicted To Death (Clink Street Publishing, 2015).

Purchase from Amazon UK -

About Matthew Redford
Born in 1980, Matthew Redford grew up with his parents and elder brother on a council
estate in Bermondsey, south-east London. He now lives in Longfield, Kent, takes masochistic pleasure in watching his favourite football team snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, is a keen chess player and is planning future food related crime novels. To counterbalance the quirkiness of his crime fiction Redford is an accountant. His unconventional debut crime thriller, Addicted to Death: A Food Related Crime
Investigation was published by Clink Street Publishing last summer.
Website -
Twitter -

Monday, 21 November 2016

A Year and A Day by Isabelle Broome

I would like to thank the publishers for sending me an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.

From the very first moment I opened this book, I just knew that there was going to be something special about it.  Every one of the characters were likeable and very well developed and written.  Each one added that little something special to the story, yet from very early on in the book, something about the story started to niggle at me, and I couldn't put my finger on what exactly it was.  I just knew deep down that something about the story wasn't right, the final piece of the puzzle just wasn't fitting in right, so I knew from early on the a big twist was going to make an appearance, I just didn't know what it was going to be.

The book starts with Megan getting ready to go on an educational trip to Prague with her friend Ollie, who is  teacher and is researching the city so he can teach his class about it once the new term begins.  Megan, a keen photographer accompanies him on his journey in order to take photos of the beautiful city in all it's glory for her upcoming exhibition. Having kissed Ollie once before and branding it the biggest mistake she's ever made in her life, Megan is keen to make this trip as normal as possible and to do so she has to tell Ollie that there will be no funny business whatsoever.

Meanwhile, newly engaged Sophie, is heading off to Prague a few days ahead of her beloved fiance Robin, who she met in Prague.  The two return to the city every year, with this year being no different.  But Sophie is counting down the days until Robin joins her and all is put right with the world again.

Lastly, we meet Hope, who is devastated her daughter has cut off all contact with her after catching Hope in a compromising position with a man who was definitely not her father.  Thrown out of her house and her sham of a marriage, Hope finds herself living in Charlie's tiny flat with nothing to do and no one to talk to.  In an attempt to cheer Hope up, Charlie takes her on the trip of a lifetime to Prague, where Charlie hopes he can draw Hope out of the darkness.

When all three of these women meet in Prague, they go on a journey together and lasting friendships are formed.  The chemistry between the three women was brilliantly written and seemed to ooze off of the page.  Each one of the characters was so lovingly written, it was obvious from the word go that Isabelle Broome poured her heart and soul into creating these characters and telling their story.

This is the first book that I have read by Isabelle Broome, so I had no idea what to expect, even though I had heard so many good things about My Map of You, I just haven't been able to get my hands on it yet, but after reading A Year and A Day I will be making sure that I own a copy as soon as possible.  

A Year and A Day is a captivating story that will make you fall in love with Prague in a heartbeat.  The story is based around the idea that if you touch a cross on one of Prague's bridges then that wish will come true in a year and a day.  I feel that this is such a lovely idea for a story and I was blown away by how talented a storyteller the author is.  

A Year and A Day is the one of the best, most spellbinding books that I have read all year and I can't get over how much it drew me in.  I fell for this book hook, line and sinker and I only hope that it gets the recognition that it so rightly deserves.  You won't read a better book this Christmas and A Year and A Day is sure to put you in a festive mood.

You can buy the book here.

Excerpt from What I Love About Dublin by Amanda Laneley

Today I am delighted to be hosting an excerpt from What I Love About Dublin by Amanda Laneley.


“Welcome to Dublin.”
The welcome came over the loudspeakers as soon as the plane landed, and Sara unfastened her seatbelt with impatient fingers. She breathed out, filled with a mixture of apprehension, weariness and sadness. Barely past her mid-twenties, she was going to step onto European soil for the first time. She was finally going to become acquainted with the ancient continent she had fantasized so much about in the novels she devoured. What she wanted most was to repair her broken heart after what had happened with Antonio, to start over again surrounded by the greenery of Ireland.
“Greenery?” she wondered, disillusioned, as soon as she had left the airport and caught a glimpse of the bleak surroundings. “More like grayness.” The sunset, weighed down by black clouds, frigid gusts of wind and an incessant rainfall that spread in all directions, wasn’t exactly the cordial welcome Sara had hoped for. But, truth be told, nothing about the past forty-eight hours had been cordial. She never imagined she would hurriedly leave Chile. She had only long enough to say good-bye to her parents, whose worried faces reflected their opinion, repeating a thousand times that her going off to Ireland was a huge mistake.
Sara replayed in her mind the whole argument with Antonio, and as she rolled her luggage toward the taxi stand, her eyes filled with tears. She felt so alone! And the worst part was that now she really was alone. She didn’t know anyone in Dublin, neither family nor friends. All she had was the hope of a new beginning and a piece of paper with an address written on it, which she clung to for dear life.
The arrival of an empty taxi made her swallow her tears. She held out the address to the taxi driver and, twenty minutes later, found herself in the front yard of a narrow red house with a pointed roof while the darkness surrounded her and rain mercilessly pelted her and her luggage. As fast as she could, she rolled the suitcase to the front door and rang the bell.
No answer. She rubbed her hands together and blew on them to heat them up. She rang a second time. Nothing. He teeth chattering, she peered through the stained glass windows of the front door. She couldn’t make out anyone, but a light was on, so someone must be there. Lord, at least she hoped there was; if not, she didn’t know where else to go.
She knocked and, after a minute that seemed like an eternity, the door finally opened.
 “Hello?” said a beautiful brunette of about her age, half greeting her and half inquiring.
 “Hola, I mean, hello. I’m Sara and. . .”
 “You speak my language,” the young woman interrupted, switching to Spanish with a Central American accent. “Are you looking for one of the boys, Sara? Because no one is here; they all went out.”
 “No, actually, I came about the room for rent. I reserved it a few days ago.”
The young woman shook her head in unequivocal negation.
 “That’s impossible; there must be some error. The ad clearly says we rent only to men. Better luck next time,” she said, starting to shut the door.
Sara’s stomach tied up in knots as she imagined herself looking for a place to stay somewhere else, in an unknown city, in the middle of the rain and darkness.
 “Stephen Brennan gave me the address!” said Sara hurriedly. “He told me to come here.”
The young woman opened the door again and studied her, frowning.
 “Stephen? He told you to come? Are you sure?”
 “Yes, he gave me the address. I came straight from the airport.”
The young woman looked at Sara’s luggage, which was collecting water, forming an enormous pool. When she saw that its owner didn’t seem to be in much better shape than the luggage, her expression softened.
 “Come in while we clear up this misunderstanding.” She opened the door and gestured to a spot near the entrance. “If you like, you can leave your things there. I’m Fran, by the way.”
 “Thanks, Fran.” Sara obeyed, taking off her coat. She suddenly sneezed several times.
 “You’re drenched. Would you like a cup of coffee?”
 “Yes, please.”
She followed Fran to a spacious wooden kitchen. She didn’t much care for coffee; still, she was willing to swallow anything that might raise her body temperature by a couple of degrees.
Her hostess put on water to boil.
 “How do you know Stephen, Sara?”
 “Actually, I don’t know him, at least not personally. I’m going to teach at the same university he does, Spanish classes, and he was my contact for arranging all the paperwork. He was very kind in recommending somewhere to live; he did not need to do it.”
 “Yes, he’s kind when he wants to be; at least when he can make the effort to listen. I’ve told him a thousand times that the room isn’t available to women. Sometimes what I tell him goes in one ear and right out the other. Men!”
 “Are you his girlfriend?” Sara guessed, from the annoyance and familiarity she heard in Fran’s voice.
 “Yes. Let me call him and see what we can do.” Fran dialed a number and started speaking in English. “Stephen, it’s me. Sara, the girl you gave this address to, is here. Yes, but I told you we would rent the room only to a man. What? But I told you a thousand times!. What? No, it has to be right now! At least speak to her! What do I care if you’re in a meeting? No, Stephen. . . don’t you dare hang up on m. . . Hello? Hello?”
Fran suddenly slammed the phone down on the table. Sara didn’t dare breathe; she didn’t know what to say.
 “Always the same thing!” complained Fran, exhaling a weary sigh. “I’m sorry, Sara, but you can’t stay here. I’d be very happy to rent you the room, but it isn’t up to me. It’s up to the boys.”
 “But maybe I could speak to them, somehow convince them,” said Sara, feeling her throat close up.
 “Don’t waste your time. You wouldn’t be the first one to try it and fail. I’m sorry, Sara, I wish I could help you, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to go someplace else.”
Sara agreed quietly, feeling her eyes fill with tears. “I understand,” she said in a hoarse voice. “It’s just that I don’t know where to go. I don’t know anyone in this city. Stephen was the only contact I had.”
 “You can go to a hotel,” suggested Fran, observing Sara sympathetically.
 “Yes, of course, that’s what I’ll do. . .” Her voice was about to break. “It’s just that, well, I didn’t feel like being alone today. . .” She remembered how alone she was. She thought of Antonio, of her uncertain future, and she couldn’t hold back a pair of silent tears. “Fran, excuse me, you barely know me and here I am crying in front of you. It’s just that the past two days have been the worst of my life, and all I want is a warm bed, a place to sleep and to forget about everything for a while.”


Amanda Laneley is passionate about writing and exploring the world. She has traveled through five continents, collecting anecdotes and stories that she turns into novels.
She loves the movies of Meg Ryan and the novels of Jane Austen. She adores learning and thinks that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do it. She loves to dance, laugh and share a beer with good friends.
She was a professor, entrepreneur and hypnotic therapist before devoting herself to writing. She started writing because, one night, a romantic story appeared in her dreams and wouldn’t let go of her. That story became her first novel. The curious thing is that as soon as she finished it, another story appeared and then another. Since then, she hasn’t stopped writing or dreaming.
Amanda loves to hear from her readers. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook and her website.
Twitter: @amandalaneley

Monday, 7 November 2016

Dark Fragments by Rob Sinclair

Dark Fragments 

Ben Stephen's has not had an easy life.  Since his wife was murdered in their bed seven years ago, Ben's life has been in turmoil.  Her killer has never been caught and is still out there somewhere.  Now, Ben has remarried and his second wife is a great mother to their two children, but she is the woman that he was having an affair with while he was still married to Alice, his first wife.  Seven years on from the day that Ben's life fell apart, he finds that once again, he is losing control of his life, as there is now a criminal baying for his blood.  Just when Ben thought that life couldn't get much worse, his estranged twin sister, who also happens to be a detective with the police, turns up and is back in his life. With his sister asking more questions than she should, about things that she should know nothing about, Ben realises that he has to take a trip back into his past in order to survive to see his future.

This is the second book that I have read by Rob Sinclair and I have to say that I absolutely loved it.  It is so fast paced and action packed, with something new and exciting happening with the turn of every page.  Dark Fragments is a stand alone thriller and I find myself hoping that someday there might be a sequel because these characters are too good to put to bed after just one novel.

From the outset, the story is gripping and really draws the reader in.  Add to this the well developed and engaging characters and Rob Sinclair has written one cracker of a book.  Books like this one make me regret not reading thrillers sooner.  

If there is one thing that I didn't like about this book, it's that it's told in the first person, but that is only a tiny criticism to what is otherwise a fantastic book.  

The twists all the way throughout the book, are nail-biting edge of your seat stuff and I can guarantee that the reader will not see them coming. I couldn't have predicted the end in a million years and I was as surprised as I was shocked when all was revealed at the end of the book.  The pages seemed to turn themselves and I was totally immersed in the book from start to finish.  This is not my usual type of read, as normally I prefer books that a lot lighter, but I was delighted to shake things up a bit with this one and I couldn't have enjoyed it more.

Dark Fragments is a page turner that will have you on the edge of your seat throughout, with an ending that you won't see coming.  I can't recommend it highly enough to fans of thrillers and crime fiction.

4 stars.

I would like to thank the author for a review copy of this book in return for an honest review.

The Last Night by Cesca Major

I would like to thank the publishers, Corvus, for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review

I bought The Silent Hours a few weeks back, but I hadn’t gotten around to reading it yet, when this book arrived through my letter box.  As I hadn’t read anything by Cesca Major before, I didn’t know what to expect.  I knew that it was Historical Fiction, yes, but that was all I knew.  I wasn’t expecting it to pull at my heartstrings quite the way it did.  My heart broke a little more, when I read the authors note at the end of the book and found out that it was a true story.  

The Last Night tells the story of two different women, decades apart, which were inspired by true events, as I have already mentioned.  Irina, has her fair share of secrets.  She has pushed away those closest to her, finding herself single, Irina spends her days a furniture restorer.  She sees each new project as a challenge, but when a bureau arrives for restoration, it brings with it many secret of the past, that haunt Irina and send her on the journey of a lifetime, while she tries to figure out why the bureau holds such a significance to her.  

Rewind to 1952, and we meet Abigail, who is devastated after the sudden and unexpected death of her beloved mother.  With nowhere else to go, Abi is forced to move to a strange town and in with her sister and her sister's husband.  Abi hasn't seen her sister in quite some time, and even though the two were close when they were younger, now they seem like strangers.  Surprised by the luxurious lifestyle that her sister lives, Abi starts to settle in well, but soon she realises that her sister's husband isn't all he's cracked up to be.  Shocked by his actions, Abi plans to get away, but then disaster strikes the little seaside town and nothing will ever be the same for the residents of the town again.

I adored this book from start to finish.  I love how it has a real air of mystery to it, especially in the form of the ghostly goings-on in relation to the bureau.  We are also left guessing when it comes to Irina's past.  We know that she is left with a scar on her face as a result of an accident as a child, but we are left guessing as to what the accident and what effect it has had on her life.  As the story progresses and more and more pieces of the puzzle are put together, my heart began to break for Irina and all she has been through.  The ghostly incidents involving the bureau are extremely compelling and really keep the reader on the edge of their seat throughout the book.  

The characters are so brilliantly written and very well developed.  Both Abi and Irina are extremely likeable characters and I wanted nothing but the best for them throughout the book.  Upon reading the end note at the end of the book and discovering that this story is based around true events, I was very glad that Cesca Major decided to write this story and to give that woman a name, so to speak.

The Last Night is full of twists and turns around every corner, with each chapter brings even more suspense and mystery to the story.  I couldn't put this book down.  Once I had started reading the story, I was quickly swept up and into the pages of the book, living every moment with the fantastic characters.  Cesca Major has written an absolutely spellbind and breathtaking book, with some of the most beautiful imaginary that I have the pleasure to read.  A very talented author, who has mastered the art of storytelling perfectly.  I can't wait to discover more from this brilliant author.

5 stars.


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