Thursday 8 March 2018

Tell No Lies - Lisa Hartley

Now they’re coming after Caelan’s team…

A tortured body is found in a basement. Drug dealing and people smuggling 

are on the rise. Then police start going missing.

There seems to be no connection between the crimes, but Detective Caelan Small senses something isn’t right.

Plunged into a new investigation, lives are on the line. And in the web of gangs, brothels and nerve-shattering undercover work, Caelan must get to the truth – or be killed trying.

And then there’s Nicky...

Tell No Lies is the second book in the Caelan Small series by author Lisa Hartley. The story kicks off immediately after the terrifying events of Ask No Questions and the discovery that one of their own was indeed involved in murder. It's hard to know how to talk about Tell No Lies without giving away spoilers for the first book. This is one of those rare instances where I think you really do need to read Ask No Questions first otherwise you'll be floundering slightly, with no clue as to some of the things that are mentioned.

Lisa Hartley has created a fascinating character in Caelan Small, famed for her chameleon-like ability to blend in and not be noticed. Working as an undercover police officer is perfect for Caelan but still reeling from shocking truths at the end of Ask No Questions she's doubting herself and her colleagues. The last thing she wants to do is work with someone who she doesn't trust but this new case involves a dead police officer, drug dealers, and brutal murders.

Gritty and blunt, Tell No Lies doesn't hold back on the punches and you're soon deep in the story, cringing every time Caelan thinks she's been made or has done something she probably shouldn't have. The tension created by the death of the young police officer leaps off the page and even though you know he's a police officer you find yourself wondering exactly what he was doing when he was killed. All of Ms. Hartley's characters are well written, for police officers you're never quite sure if you can trust them but I can only imagine this both because of the undercover nature of most of them and because of events in book one.

I was hooked from page one of Ask No Questions and read Tell No Lies immediately after finishing it, turning the pages until it was well beyond my bedtime! The ending was another clever twist with the culprit being the person you'd least suspect and Caelan yet again ending up in hospital, that's not a spoiler as I'm assuming there will be a third book given the events of the last chapter which I will definitely be reading.

Tell No Lies - Lisa Hartley
Publisher - Canelo
Release date - February 19th, 2018

About The Author

Lisa Hartley lives with her partner, son, two dogs and several cats. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Studies, then had a variety of jobs but kept writing in her spare time. She is currently working on the next DS Catherine Bishop novel, as well as the new Caelan Small series with Canelo.

Tuesday 6 March 2018

Brightstorm - Vashti Hardy

Twins Arthur and Maudie receive word in Lontown that their famous explorer father died in a failed attempt to reach South Polaris. Not only that, but he has been accused of trying to steal fuel from his competitors before he died! The twins don't believe the news, and they answer an ad to help crew a new exploration attempt in the hope of learning the truth and salvaging their family's reputation. As the winged ship Aurora sets sail, the twins must keep their wits about them and prove themselves worthy of the rest of the crew. But will Arthur and Maudie find the answers they seek?

If you're looking for a fast-paced, steampunk-ish, middle-grade adventure story, then look no further. Brightstorm by debut author Vashti Hardy is all that and more. Featuring twins Arthur and Maudie, grieving for their father who has been accused of a crime he didn't commit and evicted from their family home,  who join Harriet Culpepper and her crew on the sky-ship Aurora, heading for South Polaris, from whence nobody has ever successfully returned to civilization before.

Desperate to clear their father's name Arthur and Maudie decide to join a new expedition heading to the last place he was seen alive, on an unknown sky-ship that has been ridiculed by the Geographical Society. Maudie is ecstatic, she has always loved all thing engineering and mechanical (including the iron arm she made for Arthur) but Arthur is quieter, more sensitive, a bookworm and just about the only male character who features prominently. The captain of the Aurora is Harriet Culpepper, aided and abetted by Felicity Wiggety and Welby, her butler. Harriet is like Maudie, highly inventive, and where other ships might fail to reach South Polaris, Harriet has devised a new type of engine, one which might mean they are the first crew to discover the unknown reaches of South Polaris.

Vashti Hardy has created a stunning new world, one which is easy to get lost in, and one in which I would love to join them on an expedition. There are whales and kings, sapient animals (Parthena, the Brightstorm's white hawk, and Queenie, Harriet's cat) which are no doubt a nod to Philip Pullman and his daemons. There are talking wolves (my favorites) and bandits, and villains trying to stop them reaching South Polaris by any way necessary. The writing is a sheer delight to read and for a debut novel was almost perfection, Brightstorm is going on to the 'keeper's' shelf and I can't wait for the eight-year-olds to read it. The books itself is gorgeous with a foldout flap featuring the map of the Great Wide and the cog & compass illustrations at the start of each chapter are a wonderful addition.

Brightstorm is a fresh, amazing debut about friendship and family, and I can't wait to read more, whether it's more adventures with Arthur, Maudie and the rest of the crew or something completely different. Huge thanks to Scholastic for sending me a copy of the book and inviting me to take part in the blog tour! If you want to read more reviews, guest posts and interviews with Vashti, then do check out all the blogs taking part.

Brightstorm - Vashti Hardy
ISBN - 9781407181707
Publisher - Scholastic
Release date - March 1st, 2018

About The Author

Vashti Hardy lives near Brighton and was a primary school teacher before moving into digital marketing. She is an alumni member and buddy at the Golden Egg Academy. Brightstorm is her debut novel published by Scholastic.

Thursday 1 March 2018

March New Release Giveaway

Welcome to the March 2018 New Release Giveaway Hop, hosted by It Starts At Midnight! The hop now runs all month long so you can enter from now until midnight on March 31st. Up for grabs is any new release this month up to the value of $20 from the Book Depository as long as they deliver to your country - find the list of countries here

All you have to do is choose any new release published in March and fill out the rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the linky for more chances to win, thanks for entering and good luck!

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