So here we are and welcome to my first blog post on Beyond the Veil. I had to start with this series by the truly awesome Shani Struthers. I say had to because i read the first one, this one, and was hooked! So then spent the next month or so having a total #Shanifest as i devoured every one of the books. Including all of the novellas. They really are a must read for lovers of the paranormal genre.
Psychic surveys was set up originally by Ruby Davies. A young woman who just wants to use her gift for good. To help restless spirits and troubled homeowners alike so they can all get their problems sorted and move on, each on their own path.
In the Haunting of Highdown hall, we meet Ruby and her team, Ness, Theo & Corinna. They are called in by the new owner of the hall who is getting annoyed, irritated & fed up of not being able to live in it properly. The whole of the first floor appears to have been taken over by the spirit of a previous owner, Cynthia Hart. An actress who had her heyday in the 1950’s and made this hall her home. Cynthia is angry, extremely angry and the team are employed to find out why and help her deal with the issue and move into the light.
As the story progresses, Ruby has a chance meeting with Cash. Cash soon becomes a permanent fixture in the life of Ruby and her team.
This story has a bit of everything, the paranormal, an investigative element, a touch of romance and intrigue. The author has written a brilliant, well paced novel that draws you in from page 1. I kid you not, it really does! It is written with such a flowing style that it doesn’t take any effort to get sucked in and drawn into the whole, fabulous saga of The Psychic Surveys investigations. The main thread is the one of Cynthia Hart, but this is not just a one trick pony, oh no! This has so many other little stories going on, that are perfectly blended together, that it provides a depth to the book that can often be missing in other examples of the genre.
I love the fact that as the series progresses we find out more and more about each member of the team, each novella is focussed on a particular member and gives you, the reader, an insight into their backgrounds and personalities. A chance to find out what shaped them, whats happened in their past to make them as they are and how they have all ended up together. But more of that in future posts as like i said, i’ve read the whole lot!
If you pick this up, i guarantee you wont be disappointed. And i’l tell you something else, each book gets better and better, i don’t know how Shani manages it as when i finished each one i thought “That’s it. That’s the best”….and you get where i’m going with this.
featuring (My personal favourite) DCI Cyril Bennett
Harrogate attracts hundreds of players to the annual Games Convention and for one player it is the perfect opportunity to kill by the mechanics of his own sinister game. Each victim will die in the same way. Each will be classed as the loser and their time will have run out. The escape room and the game table will draw more, each believing they are invincible. However, in every game there is always a traitor waiting in the wings. The latest in the bestselling Harrogate Crime Series.
DISCOVER YOUR NEXT FAVOURITE CRIME SERIES NOW.
Book 1: Only The Dead Book 2: Hell’s Gate Book 3: Flesh Evidence Book 4: Game Point Book 5: Dying Art Book 6: Crossed Out Book 7: The Third Breath Book 8: Treble Clef
Now, it will come as no surprise to those who know me, to know that I’m a HUGE fan of Malcolm’s.
I fell in love with Cyril right at the very beginning with Only the dead. My feelings have only increased and gotten stronger with each new adventure. And the 3rd instalment of the series, The Third Breath, has the honour of being one of only four books to ever make me cry, I’m talking properly crying.
So, how did Treble Clef shape up in the bigger picture? In a word…TREMENDOUS! One of the things I look forward too when picking up one of the Harrogate Crime Series is the relationship between Bennett and Owen. They work together so well and know each others strengths and weaknesses. We’ve seen them grow and develop together over the years and as we have such a detailed history of things that have passed between them, the reader can’t help but love them, for all their strength and flaws alike. This book is no exception and in it we just continue to have the privilege to see them grow.
As a reader, right from book 1, I’m always amazed (I don’t know why?) by Malcolm’s ability to keep things fresh. On trend if you will. To keep things like police procedurals, with all the constraints imposed, still feeling new and fresh in each new story, is no mean feat. The author however manages this by combining realism with that flair for fiction and it comes out here in perfect balance to give us all a well rounded and enjoyable book.
I found the story wholly engrossing from page 1. With such attention to detail and a great amount of thought and depth given to both the setting and the characters alike the experience is immersive and relatable. Therefore, the story had me gripped and (again…) emotionally invested. This story has all the great aspects I’ve come to love and expect over the series and this is an excellent addition to the Harrogate Crime Series family.
Be careful when reading this though, as you will not want to put it down. The mentality of that “Just one more page” kicks in and time has passed before you know it. I cannot recommend this book or the series strongly enough. An absolute must read and a HUGE 5🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Once the brightest star in the legal firmament, Sam Williams has hit rock bottom, with barely a client to his name and a short-term cash problem that’s looking longer by the minute. So when he’s summoned to Manchester to help a friend crack a case involving the murder of two unarmed police officers and a suspect who won’t say a word, he jumps at the chance to resurrect his career.
In Manchester he’ll struggle against resentful locals, an enigmatic defence lawyer who thinks he’s stepping on her toes, beatings, corrupt cops and people who’ll do anything to protect their secrets. On its streets, he’ll see people die. But it’s in the hills and valleys further north that Sam will face the biggest challenge of all: learning who he really is and facing the ghosts of his past.
He’s working someone else’s case, and he’s in way over his head. But sometimes you need the wrong man in the right place.
There’s nothing quite like a brand new series to get your teeth into and look forward too, is there? Well, look no further than DEAD NORTH. This book introduces us to Sam Williams.
Up in Manchester, the police have a particularly personal case that they’re working on. Two police officers have been brutally murdered and they’re determined to bring the killer to justice. The killer appears in the form of Thomas Carson. A man whom they already hold in custody.
Enter stage left, Sam Williams. Down in London, Sam is struggling with problems of his own. He’s in a relationship with a woman whom he can’t seem to keep happy. This isn’t helped when you throw into the mix Sams’ flagging career as a lawyer. His inconsistant work life is putting strain not only on him, but the relationship itself. Having to depend heavily financially on his partner has it’s consequences.
Sam gets a call from a member of the Manchester police force. D.I. Roarkes, has asked him if can help them in the search and gathering of any and all relevant information regarding this case. They’re looking for anything that can be used in the prosecution of their suspect.
Now, you would think that the Mancunian force would be happy for all the help they could get in order to ensure justice for their murdered colleagues. Well, you’d be wrong, as was i. Sam comes up against all sorts of problems whilst working this case. Firstly, the suspect refuses to talk (not much of a surprise there). No matter what Sam tries to tell him. Secondly, Sam finds the suspect isn’t the only one giving him the silent treatment. The officers working the case in Manchester don’t appear to have much to say and their offers of help are non-existent. No matter which way he turns, he finds people who would rather close up shop than share any info. So, already having to suffer the disappointment shown from his girlfriend, and open hostility from the northern force, you’d think this poor bloke had suffered enough. Oh no, Sam is having to put with accommodation he would never have chosen and god awful weather to boot.
I thoroughly enjoyed the character and personality of Sam Williams. He had his own set of unique foibles in his personality that shone through. I love it when the author gets a character spot on. One that is believable and someone you can relate too. You feel justified then when you’ve invested your time and emotions into something. And this was without a doubt worth it all.
I thought that Sam and D.I. Roarkes had a brilliant relationship. In the sense that the author has managed to create a special rapport between the two, this ensures that the reader is engaged with them and is rooting for them.
Oh, but it doesn’t end there! Joel shows off his writing skill as he puts in the same amount of care and detail into the rest of the cast. A whole host of other supporting characters, who are made into individuals (thanks to the authors brilliance.) that join Sam & the D.I. to complete what is an all round satisfying novel.
The whole narrative was extremely well written. A fine example of a brilliant story that has it all and is well executed. It is fast paced from the start and is an excellent example of a police procedural thriller. Written with a fabulous sense of humour (truly British at times) , gritty and full of thrills and spills this is one novel that is guaranteed to suck you in and keep you turning those pages.
Basically? Loved it. A book that shows off Joel Hames at his very best. I know i’ve only just finished this, but i’m already looking forward to the next one!
#PersonalPlea – Please Joel, don’t make me wait too long…
About the author:
Joel Hames lives in rural Lancashire, England, with his wife and two daughters, where he works hard at looking serious and pretending to be a proper novelist. After a varied career in London which involved City law firms, a picture frame warehouse, an investment bank and a number of market stalls (he has been known to cry out “Belgian chocolates going cheap over ‘ere” in his sleep), Joel relocated from the Big Smoke to be his own boss. As a result, he now writes what he wants, when he wants to (which by coincidence is when the rest of the family choose to let him). Joel’s first novel, Bankers Town, was published in 2014, and The Art of Staying Dead followed in 2015. The novellas Brexecution (written and published in the space of ten days following the UK’s Brexit referendum, with half of the profits going to charity) and Victims were published in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Joel’s website can be found at http://www.joelhamesauthor.com/, where you can find out more about the writer and the books, and sign up to his email newsletter. If you want to know what Joel has planned for the future, what he thinks right now, or just stalk him a little, you can find him on Facebook at facebook.com/joelhamesauthoror Twitter at @joel_hames. Joel has never seen the word “Joel” appear as frequently as it does right here, and wholeheartedly approves.
If you think this might be the book for you, then just click on the link to buy your nest engrossing read!
And, if you’d like to keep up to date with this authors info, see when mew releases are available and such like, here’s the link for you 🙂
On a wet road in the black of night, Karl Seabury is driving home to his pregnant wife. Suddenly, caught in his headlights in the middle of the road is a woman shaking with fright.
The woman says her name is Liz Smith, that her home was attacked, and that she was the only one to escape.
In a split-second decision, Karl decides to help her to safety. But Liz is hiding a dark secret and now his good deed has put his family in terrible danger…
An absolutely unputdownable thriller, with twist after twist after twist, that will leave you breathless. Perfect for fans of Robert Dugoni, John Marrs and Harlan Coben.
The thoughts of Veilys Reviews:
Well, this certainly wasn’t what i was expecting. In the best possible way i mean. I had it in my head that this was going to be a crime/police novel that follows the usual path towards the inevitable conclusion. Ermm, i was wrong. Whilst reading, every so often i had cause to say…”really?” or “as if”, “no way would that happen”. (you see where i’m going) however, what came as more of a surprise was after i’d finished it. Those first few days after you finish a novel and digest it. What happened then, was the feeling that i experienced. The slow dawning of realisation that i’d actually just finished something pretty special and unique. The things i had questioned whilst reading the book came together to give the reader a very clever, very well written, intriguing story. And then, as if i needed it…the definitive moment when just thinking about the story puts a smile on your face! You know you’ve just been privy to a work of pure genius and loved it. To fully enjoy it though, i’d make sure that during the reading of it, you remember that this IS a work of fiction and as such the author is allowed a certain poetic licence and as a reader, just go with it. It’s worth the ride!
When you start this book, you do hit the ground running, and i’m pleased to say that it never lets up. The crux of the dilemma is actually one that we all experience in day to day living. Do you help? If you see someone in trouble, what DO you do? Would you stop and offer a hand or would you think, nah, none of my business. This moral issue isn’t something new and i’m sure 99% of us would like to say that we would stop and offer a helping hand. What the author does with this story is explore what happens when that good deed backfires, in a most spectacular way.
The characters and personalities in the book are fabulously done. The author executes the whole work with an artistic flair from beginning to end. Almost with an air of flamboyance over the whole thing. (But as i said, just embrace it, go with it, and you’ll enjoy yourself immensely!) The storyline, the premise, was definitely enough of a teaser to do it’s job. It was this initially that peaked my interest.
I could go on, but really, the best thing you could do for yourself is pick it up and read it. Just lose yourself in a work of fiction that has a nod towards the realism of others in this genre and enjoy 🙂
The story continues … Hattie is used to her deceased husband Gary dropping in and out of her life. His timing might not always be great, but at least he’s still around. Although – when Hattie tentatively tries a spot of dating – his interference isn’t entirely welcome.
Best friend Cat is lapping up her new relationship with teacher Jamie, but ex-husband Stewart isn’t prepared to fade into the background.
Hattie’s mother Rachel faces a daunting battle, one she doesn’t want to burden family and friends with. But there’s someone waiting in the wings who might be more than a shoulder to cry on.
Gary still doesn’t know what his mission on earth is, and spirit guide Clarence isn’t offering any clues? Will an encounter with another provide him with answers, or put Hattie in an impossible situation?
Prepare for more laughs and tears in the second instalment of a trilogy which takes a darkly comic look at life … and the afterlife. Warning: Cliffhanger ending
The thoughts of Veilys Reviews:
When i saw this one, i knew i had to read it. Obviously, i had to go back and read book number 1 beforehand as i needed the background story. It was well worth doing. Neither book took much time to read. Short, and engrossing books the size of a novella, you’ll have no problem being drawn into this wonderful, touching story and falling in love with Hattie and Gary. (Hattie’s dead husband).
Gary keeps dropping in on Hattie, keeping his eye on her and making sure she’s safe, even after his death. In this book, we see Hattie try and move on with her life. Make something of it and move forward.
We are reunited with Gary. Who is always hanging around, never quite knowing when he’ll show himself to Hattie. The bonus for her now, is that she’s not on her own in seeing him. She’s not going loopy. Gary has returned with a friend, Marty. A young boy with his little toy called Grump.
Here we have again, a beautiful, heart warming read. Let’s be honest, death is never easy for anyone. it’s an extremely difficult subject to tackle. What this author shows, is that it can be done with warmth and humour, and also have the sensitivity it deserves. Audrey Davis has taken this storyline and run with it and given it a whole new direction. She shows it’s ok to add a bit of humour to the subject. This is at times an emotional read and you’d be hard pushed to find anyone who read this without having even the tiniest pull on the old heart strings!
The characters themselves are well written. Each having their own personality and depth that shines through and brings the story alive (no pun intended). By the end of this book i put it down and found i was fully invested in the lives of these people. I really felt like….”Arrrggghh……..NOW what happens?!? I NEED to know!” I cannot wait for the grand finale to this trilogy. I’m looking forward to snuggling down with a cuppa and part 3 asap!
Basically a fab read that will leave your emotions in a twist…..
To see more thoughts on this book, why not take a look at some of the other blog stops listed below…
About the author:
Audrey Davis survived secondary school on the West coast of Scotland. Rubbish at science but not too bad at English, she originally wanted to be an actress but was persuaded that journalism was a safer option. Probably wise. She studied at Napier College in Edinburgh, the only place in Scotland at that time to offer a journalism course.
Her first foray into the hard-nosed newspaper world was as a junior reporter in Dumfriesshire. Duties included interviewing farmers about the prize-winning heifers to reporting on family tragedies. She persuaded her editor to let her launch an entertainment column which meant meeting the odd celebrity – or just the downright odd. From there, she moved to the loftier rank of senior reporter back in her home patch. Slightly more money, less farm animals but a higher crime rate. As Taggart would say: ‘There’s been a murrrrder!’
After a stint in London on a video magazine – yes, she is that old – Audrey moved to Singapore with her fiancé. She tried valiantly to embrace the stinking heat, humidity and lack of jobs, although she did work briefly on a magazine which was banned by the government for ‘artistic’ use of naked men’s bottoms.
Next on her adventures was a land Down Under where her main focus was raising Cost Centre One (aka firstborn) and coming to terms with the imminent arrival of Number Two. Still, she loved the Aussie way of life – BBQs, beaches and bring your own booze to restaurants – so it came as a blow when OH announced a move back to the UK. Not a job between them, the climate a possible deal breaker and an Exorcist-style vomiting infant on the flight home didn’t bode well …
Always a survivor, Audrey sought out similar-minded friends (i.e. slightly bonkers), got the children into a good school and thought about taking up writing again. Sadly, thinking about it was as far as she got, unless you count shopping lists. Then, hubby drops another bombshell. Switzerland. As in – it’s packing time again. Off to the land of cheese, chocolate, scarily efficient trains and a couple of teeny, tiny issues. Like driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and speaking a foreign language (French). The former was conquered fairly quickly (we’ll skip over the wall demolition in week two), the latter remains an ongoing battle of the hopeful against the hopeless. At least she provides amusement for the local workforce.
It wasn’t until 2016 that Audrey rediscovered her writing mojo with an online Writing Fiction course. From there, her first novel – A Clean Sweep – was born, although it took a bit longer than nine months from conception. A short, darker prequel – A Clean Break – followed, and in November 2017 she published the first in a novella trilogy, The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part One. Part Two is published on 21 March 2018, with the conclusion following in May/June. After which she might have a wee lie down …
To keep up to date n this author and her work, click on the following links!
Genevieve Deboise is too good for Scott Dean. He’s always known that. It isn’t a shock to learn she is cheating on him.
What is a surprise is bumping into his childhood sweetheart in the woods where he’d planned to take solace in his heartbreak and bruised ego.
But running into Mary-Ann Jennings isn’t exactly the fairy tale it might seem.
Instead, his first love needs his help finding a USB stick that has fallen into the wrong hands. Now in the cellar of Genevieve’s new lover, Scotty must confront his feelings for both women in order to retrieve the missing USB stick.
On a quest to confront his past and locate Mary-Ann’s property, he journeys through the whispers that have always surrounded him.
Love will make you do crazy things.
But is it enough to get beneath the whispers?
I do adore a good Jim Ody story. This is an author whom i have a lot of respect for, and i’m a big fan of his work. So i do get excited each time i’m made aware of a new release. Beneath the whispers is this latest offering, and by God is it good! You, ladies and gentlemen are in for a real treat!
This is a novella that i could see being expanded upon and out of it an amazing full length book. However, what you actually have is an amazing 114 page novella.
This book starts off shrouded in mystery. An air of tension permeates each and every page. It only has a small cast of characters. Small and each one beautifully written with an intensity that grabs you.
We start off with Scotty. A man wallowing in his own self pity. Drowning in beer and John Cusack films after a split from a girl who, by his own admission, was way out of his league. His friends are on a lads holiday and unavailable. His fall back girl, Lucy. Has decided enough is enough and it’s time to say no. What is a man to do in this situation? During a walk through the woods he grew up in, lost in his own thoughts and memories he bumps into his first (and probably only true) love, Mary-Ann. Surprised by this turn of events, he’s even more surprised when asked to accompany her to see her dying Nan, Betsy. Not having seen her for years, and with no real direction for him to go, either literally or with life choices at the moment, Scotty decides he’s nothing to lose.
As if things couldn’t get much stranger, Betsy tells him he needs to find and bring to her ….a USB stick. As i’m sure you can imagine, nothing is ever that straight forward and this particular USB stick is currently in the possession of Guy. The man his ex left him for. And it has to be HIM to be the one to do it. Not only that, he’s told to take Freddie with him. Freddie being 13 years old and a member of the family.
Now, bringing all of this together is the wonderful writing of Jim. Jim takes us on a journey that is flowing and well written. I have to say that at no point did i truly guess what was going on, nothing was given away. Just an intriguing and enthralling novella. The characters were brilliantly well thought out. Freddie was by far one of the special people here. The relationship and dialogue between Scotty & Freddie, was thoughtful, deep and funny. The humour was unexpected but added yet another dimension to the tale.
I honestly, loved this. I read it in one sitting, and for me, with all the other stuff going on, is no mean feat. But i lost myself in it. I just kept reading without realising how the time had flown. In my own opinion this is probably my favourite Jim Ody story. It stayed with me after i finished it and couldn’t help going over it all in my mind for days afterwards. It left me with a feeling of excitement and that i’d just read something special.
It’s for books like this that make me read indie/self-published authors. You never know when you are going to find that diamond in the rough. THIS is that diamond. If you haven’t read any by this author before then what have you got too lose? A short novella, that is a brilliant introduction to this authors inimitable & unique style.
In fact……i have to award this a #VeilysReviewTopRead Only the second time this year i’ve given one. I hope you all enjoy as much as i did.
Goodreads rating: 5/5
About the Author: Jim Ody
Jim was first published in an English School Textbook in 1987. He won a competition to draw a dog-walking machine. Having won an art competition the year before, he felt that at the age of eleven he had peaked and consequently retired from the world of art.
For 10 years Jim wrote for a number of websites reviewing and interviewing bands in his own unique way, as well as contributing dark poems and comedic features.
He writes dark psychological/thrillers that have endings that you won’t see coming, and favours stories packed with wit. He has written three novels released through Zombie Cupcake Press and has also contributed to several anthologies. Coming soon is his psychological/mystery ‘Beneath The Whispers’ released by Crazy Ink. He also has short stories appearing in the following anthologies ‘War Paint’, ‘Crazy Fools’, ‘AWOL A.I.’ and ‘The End?’.
Jim has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd. When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife and three beautiful children in Swindon, Wiltshire.