Book Review: The Tower by Anne Marie Ormsby

Reading is a great way to escape during lockdown but like many my focus is all over the place. Long heavy books remain closed on my bookcase and Kindle. For this reason I was excited to be invited on this blog tour for The Tower by Anne Marie Ormsby. The blurb drew me in as I love ghost stories and it was short.

Book Review: The Tower by Anne Marie Ormsby

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The Tower by Anne Marie Ormsby

Title: The Tower

Author: Anne Marie Ormsby

Publisher: Darkstroke

Release date: 10 Jan 2020

Blurb:

Sometimes the dead come back. And sometimes all they want is to hurt you.

When residents on an east London housing estate start dying in gruesome ways, housing manager Ada begins to worry that her past is coming back to haunt her.

Once a powerful medium, able to talk to the dead with amazing ease, she became more comfortable with the afterlife than real life, and with that openness she attracted something dark from the other side. Terrified by the experience she swore she would never communicate with the dead again.

Ten years later at the scene of an apparent suicide, her long closed-down connection to the dead is reopened, and she begins to receive information she shouldn’t know about the victims’ final moments.

Stalked in her dreams and in waking life by an angry male presence, Ada begins to relive the dark days when something from the other side wanted her to end her life.

But as the bodies stack up and the visions intensify, Ada realises that in order to stop more people from dying she has to let the dead back in to find out the truth of what is driving her residents to violent acts – and face up to her own ghosts

My Thoughts

It has been a while since I have read any books classed as horror, but the blurb caught my attention. The book cover sent shivers down my spine so I approached with caution. The action began on the first page and kept going as Ada battled with the reemergence of the ability to see ghosts and the fear that the mounting dead bodies were a sign for her. As a character she is flawed; she has issues, a tendency to drink too much and scared of commitment. These make her an ideal protagonist as you want to discover what made her that way.

The best thing about this book is the setting. Many ghost stories, including recent ones,  are set in old houses with a history, but this is set in inner city London and the condemned tower blocks speak for themselves. The details reminded me of one of the places I lived as a kid and the feeling of vulnerability is spot on.

The hauntings are creepy, and the sense of evil ramps up as the story unfolds. I loved the premise, the twists are clever and the unexpected ending made it a fulfilling ghost story.

Would I recommend?

If you fancy something different with a supernatural and slight horror edge without it being heavy, this is ideal. It was easily read in a day. I enjoyed the style and look forward to reading more from this author.

Author Biography

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Anne Marie Ormsby

On a warm day in July 1978, a mother was admitted to hospital, awaiting the arrival of her new baby. She was reading Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie and the midwives thought it a gruesome choice for an expectant mother. A story of a long forgotten murder and repressed memories. As it turned out her new baby, Anne-Marie would grow up and find herself drawn to all things macabre, and would one day herself turn out a story of murder and memories lost.

Anne Marie grew up on the Essex coast with her parents and six siblings in a house that was full of books and movies and set the scene for her lifelong love of both.

She began writing short stories when she was still at primary school after reading the book The October Country by Ray Bradbury. He was and still is her favourite author and the reason she decided at age 9 that she too would be a writer someday.

In her teens she continued to write short stories and branched out into poetry, publishing a few in her late teens. In her early twenties she began committing herself to writing a novel and wrote one by the age of 20 that she then put away, fearing it was too weird for publication.

She wrote Purgatory Hotel over several years, but again kept it aside after several rejections from publishers. Luckily for her, she found a home for her twisted tale with Crooked Cat Books.

Her favourite authors include Ray Bradbury, Jack Kerouac, Stephen King, Denis Lehane and Douglas Coupland. She also takes great inspiration from music and movies, her favourite artists being Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Johnny Cash, Interpol, David Lynch and David Fincher.

After ten years living in London, Anne-Marie moved to Margate where she lives with her husband and their daughter.

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and introducing me to a new author.

Love

Book Review: The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

Book Review: The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

With Halloween and the spookiness of October just passed, and discovering the next book in the trilogy is out at the end of the next year, I decided to revisit The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton.

Book Review: The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

The Craftsman

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

Title: The Craftsman

Author: Sharon Bolton

Publisher: Trapeze

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Release Date: 3rd May 2018

Blurb

He makes his living from death. But is he capable of murder? Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Grassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares, the victims were buried, but while they were still alive. Larry confessed the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves. Did she get it wrong all those years ago? Or is there something much darker at play?

My Thoughts

Since I first read The Craftsman last year, I have visited Lancaster and seeing the  its stunning mountains and dramatic landscape of the Lancashire countryside in reality added to the creepy atmosphere of this novel. Set in the footholds of the hills of Pendle, famous for the Pendle witch trials, there is an air of menace throughout made worse by the horrific murders. Being buried alive is a fear I have after reading Peter James’ Twilight.* The death of  serial killer, The Craftsman, draws Detective Florence Lovelady back to Lancashire where she began her career and the discovery of an effigy makes her question whether he was really guilty or a victim of miscarriage of justice. With a blend of murder investigations and supernatural it drew me in and kept me turning the page even though this was a reread. I have discovered she is one crime writer you can read over and over because even if you know the truth, you always learn something new and the tension of the chase still remains. Watching the George Gently TV series helped me visualise Flossie and her working environment in the 1960’s where she faces not only the danger of a killer on the loose, but the patriarchy attitude and discrimination at that time. She is independent, brave and has self-belief I wish I had at her age.

Would I recommend?

Yes. Sharon Bolton has a talent for sending chills down your spine with her creepy psychological thrillers and this is no exception. It’s dark, disturbing and makes you leave the light on.  It is the beginning of a series, though there is a prequel short story on Kindle, Alive. It is perfect for the dark evenings and curling up in front of the fire when you want the thrill of being spooked and discovering who did it.  I can’t wait for the next book.

What are you reading this weekend?

Happy reading!

Love

*An excellent horror book which I may have to read again.

Book Review: And No Birds Will Sing by E.A Clark

It is nearly Halloween; my favourite time of year to read books with a spooky edge so I am pleased to share my review for And No Birds Will Sing as part of the blog tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.

Book Review: And No Birds Will Sing by E.A Clark

 

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And No Birds Will Sing by E.A Clark Book Cover

 

Title: And No Birds Will Sing

Author: E.A Clark

Genre: Horror, Suspense, Paranormal

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Release date:  3rd September 2018

Blurb

Not all spirits rest in peace…

Following a personal tragedy, a recovering Grace Clements relocates with her husband and daughter to an old cottage in idyllic rural Oxfordshire. As the family integrate into the seemingly benign local community, they learn unsettling facts about the cottage’s dark past. Grace quickly becomes uncomfortably aware of a menacing presence within their new home.

Stumbling upon a neglected cemetery, Grace and her daughter discover the graves of the house’s previous inhabitants, including those of nine babies. Dismayed to find herself pregnant, Grace suspects she has awoken something truly evil in her new residence. She develops a creeping sense of unease as she unravels the disturbing truth about the history of the cottage and the fate of its occupants.

Who is the sinister boy watching Grace and her family? Are there malevolent forces at work? Or is the mentally fragile Grace heading for another breakdown?

A spellbinding paranormal thriller from the best-selling author of Lay Me To Rest. You may want to keep the lights on…

Purchase Links

UK https://amzn.to/2Mvmbey

US https://amzn.to/2noxGJO

https://www.crookedcatbooks.com/product/and-no-birds-shall-sing/

My Thoughts

Within the first few pages, I questioned my wisdom of reading this book at night before I went to sleep. I instantly felt the tension and unease radiating from the cottage in the woods. This well-written novel has all the classic elements of a good ghost story – a rundown house with a back story the villagers are wary to discuss, a family wanting a new start and chilling episodes of hauntings which send shivers down your spine. It is made better by being on the right side of realism. The events are believable. Caught by E.A. Clarke’s imagery, I found myself emerged in the story. Emotionally attached to Grace as she struggled to deal with her grief alongside the hauntings and Cassie with her guide dog Jet, my fear was heightened. I was  trapped between wanting to find out more and wanting to put the book down because I was scared for the characters in peril. I tentatively turned the pages until the end.

Would I recommend?

Yes. This eerie book is perfect for a Halloween read.

Author Bio

Crooked Cat Photo

E.A Clark Author

Elizabeth Clark was born and raised in the Midlands, where she continues to live with her husband and son, plus an assortment of pets. Much of her formative existence was spent with her head in a book, and from an early age, she grew to relish the sheer escapism afforded by both reading and writing fiction. Putting things on hold for a time to raise her three children, she has resumed her fervent scribbling.

She has a love of antiquity and a penchant for visiting old graveyards, often speculating on the demise of those entombed beneath. Whilst she has written short stories and poetry for many years, a lifelong fascination with all things paranormal culminated in her first novel for adults, ‘Lay Me to Rest’, published in September 2017 by HQ Digital.

‘And No Birds Shall Sing’, to be published by Crooked Cat in October 2018, is her second foray into the realms of the supernatural.

Social Media Links 

Twitter handle –  @EAClarkAuthor ;

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.clark.779857

Goodreads – E.A. Clark – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17100457.E_A_Clark

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/e-a-clark

 

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for the opportunity to review this book. Why not visit the blogs below for further reviews and info on the book and author.

Happy reading!

 

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