Book Review: The Secret Angels by Smita Bhattacharya

About the Book:

♥ A slow-burn atmospheric literary mystery. With armchair travel, intriguing characters, small-town noir, and a troubled heroine. For lovers of Tana French, Veronica Mars, and Sue Grafton. ♥

Darya was meant to be in Mumbai for two months. No more.
It was going to be an ordinary study break. Just that.
Except things didn’t go according to plan.

The year before, Darya accidentally solved the mystery of her uncle’s untimely death in Goa. A year later, she finds herself embroiled in another bizarre mystery: this time at Mumbai’s quirky Chapel Road.

Darya had thought Chapel Road in Bandra was a quaint little lane when she’d decided to rent there. But she soon realizes a tragic mystery is lurking behind its peculiar charm. Three women have disappeared in the past three years, purportedly murdered by a serial killer. No dead bodies have been found and he has never been caught. And now it’s that time of year again. Who will be next?

At first, Darya is only concerned about her creepy landlords, her reticent neighbours, and her temperamental roommate and best friend, Veda. But when one of the missing girls winds up dead in a hotel room, and her roommate, Veda, disappears, Darya is spurred to find out what’s really going on.

But what if it was her life, actually, that was most in danger?

**THE SECRET ANGELS is the second book in the Darya Nandkarni Misadventure series, after KISS OF SALT**

About the Author:

Smita Bhattacharya works as a management consultant and lives in Mumbai. Her short stories have appeared in numerous Indian and international publications. Her books rank among the top Asian Literature & Fiction on Amazon. Strong female protagonists and Agatha Christie-style whodunits are her forte. Smita thrives on crime and coffee. Though she prefers cafés, she occasionally also hangs on Twitter and Instagram @smitabe.

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the Darya Nandkarni Misadventure series and the second book by Smita that I have read. To be honest, I have been reading the books in the reverse order (I read Who Threw Draco Down the Chimney? first), but I have still enjoyed the books so far.

In short, I would describe this book as unputdownable and intriguing!

Now on to a slightly more detailed review… 🙂

The Secret Angels is a slow-burn atmospheric mystery that takes place in Mumbai. Darya and her friend are staying there for two months and get embroiled in the mystery surrounding the street they are staying at. Three girls from the area have mysteriously disappeared over the last few years and nobody know where they are or whether they are alive. However, when one of them turns up dead, warnings flags are raised in Darya’s mind. Something fishy is going on and she feels the urge to find out what it is before someone else gets hurt.

The characters are wonderfully detailed and well thought-out. Darya has so many layers to her personality that make her immediately likeable and interesting. Veda, her best friend, is a contrast in personality is a welcome addition in portraying the subtle differences in the characters. I also enjoyed reading about the landlords of the villa at which Darya was staying.

Smita has a way with words that draws you in and keeps you reading until the very end. This is a fascinating story filled with the right amount of mystique to keep the reader hooked. As the plot thickens and the story unravels, we discover so many unexpected twists! I whole heartedly recommend this series by Smita (even though I am yet to read the first book in the series, which is now on my TBR and in keeping with my reverse read system for these books 😛 ) for all the mystery lovers out there!

Book Review: His Hidden Wife by Wendy Clarke

About the Book:

The first time you see them, out for an evening walk on the cliffs, you’ll think they’re the perfect family. You’ll see a wife who looks so happy, strolling peacefully beside her husband in his dark winter coat, holding her daughter’s hand. But you have no idea what’s really happening in their house…

If you come a little closer you might hear the way the man speaks to his wife.

You might notice that the woman doesn’t have any close friends. That sometimes her husband doesn’t want her to leave the house. You might wonder if that’s a scar her beautiful daughter is hiding on her neck.

When you read the local newspaper and hear the news that the wife has fallen from the cliffs, you’ll question whether it was really an accident at all.

And when the husband starts dating someone new – a woman with the same long dark hair and big blue eyes as his wife – will you say something this time?

Because someone has to protect the little girl and stop history from repeating itself. And it may already be too late.

A thrilling and twisty tale, His Hidden Wife will keep you up all night, desperate to race through to its final conclusion. Readers of Gone Girl, The Couple Next Door and Lisa Jewell will be hooked.

My Thoughts:

His Hidden Wife is the story of Stephen but is told from two different points of view; that of Maya, his 18 year old and Theresa, his colleague at work. The story centers around the mystery surrounding the death of Maya’s mother. Maya doesn’t remember much with respect to the incident and most people in the village do not talk about it anymore.

The story starts of rather slow, introducing us to the characters and trying to establish some context. I found it a little hard to remain engaged with the book and characters until the second half when the pace picked up. I enjoyed the mysterious nature of the plot and the father/daughter relationship. Stephen is indeed an enigma and I could not understand him until the end. Maya is a confused teenager who is trying to figure out the truth. When her father suddenly reveals that he has met someone new and brings Amy home, seeing her reminds Maya of her mother and brings buried memories to the surface.

Theresa’s story is a different one and honestly I could not understand her role in the book until midway when her friendship with Stephen is explained. We also get a glimpse into her life and family. I was not sure where all this fit into the story , but it helped to give some insight into her character. As Maya struggles to sort out her memories, we reach a point in the story where a lot is revealed and the twist in the end is one noone will see coming! Everyone has secrets and noone wants to reveal them! This was handled well and I like how the author brought out each persons role in the story.

This is the first time I cannot decide how I feel about the book. I cannot also connect the story with the title and synopsis of the book. It feels different and out of place to me. However, I would still recommend this book as it has a good plot, it is well-written and is great for those who enjoy a slow burn mystery. The plot is built up until it explodes in the end with unexpected twists and turns!

Wrap-Up: Books Read in March 2021

Hey guys! 

Here’s my wrap-up post for the Month of March! (A little late for this post, I know! But I have been busy and I lost track of these posts!)

I read 9 books in the month which is a major improvement! I am quite happy to have kept the reading streak going.

I thoroughly enjoyed the below books and as you can see, they span a whole lot of genres which kept me entertained.

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Once Upon A [Broken] Time (Book 3)

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Once again, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts or book recommendations! You can also just stop by to chat, I’m almost always around! 🙂

Book Review: Double Identity by Alison Morton

Book Blurb:

Deeply in love, a chic Parisian lifestyle before her. Now she’s facing prison for murder.

It’s three days since Mel des Pittones threw in her job as an intelligence analyst with the French special forces to marry financial trader Gérard Rohlbert. But her dream turns to nightmare when she wakes to find him dead in bed beside her.

Her horror deepens when she’s accused of his murder. Met Police detective Jeff McCracken wants to pin Gérard’s death on her. Mel must track down the real killer, even if that means being forced to work with the obnoxious McCracken.

But as she unpicks her fiancé’s past, she discovers his shocking secret life. To get to the truth, she has to go undercover—and finds almost everybody around her is hiding a second self.

Mel can trust nobody. Can she uncover the real killer before they stop her?

A stunning new thriller from the author of the award-winning Roma Nova series, fans of Daniel Silva, Stella Rimington or Chris Pavone will love Double Identity.

About Alison Morton:

Alison Morton writes award-winning thrillers series featuring tough, but compassionate heroines. She blends her deep love of France with six years’ military service and a life of reading crime, historical, adventure and thriller fiction. On the way, she collected a BA in modern languages and an MA in history.

Grips like a vice – a writer to watch out for” says crime thriller writer Adrian Magson about Roma Nova series starter INCEPTIO. All six full-length Roma Nova thrillers have won the BRAG Medallion, the prestigious award for indie fiction. SUCCESSIO, AURELIA and INSURRECTIO were selected as Historical Novel Society’s Indie Editor’s Choices.  AURELIA was a finalist in the 2016 HNS Indie Award. The Bookseller selected SUCCESSIO as Editor’s Choice in its inaugural indie review.

Now Alison continues to write thrillers and drink wine in France with her husband.

Other works:

The Carina strand
INCEPTIO where New Yorker Karen Brown is thrown into a new life in mysterious Roma Nova and fights to stay alive with a killer hunting her
CARINA, a novella, Carina’s first mission abroad. What could go wrong?
PERFIDITAS, six years on, where betrayal and rebellion are in the air, threatening to topple Roma Nova and ruin Carina’s life.
SUCCESSIO, where a mistake from the past threatens to destroy the next generation.

The Aurelia strand
AURELIA, in late 1960s Roma Nova, Aurelia Mitela battles her life-long nemesis, silver smuggling and is forced to choose between her love, her child and her country
NEXUS Mid 1970s, London, where a simple favour for a friend becomes a chilling pursuit across Europe
INSURRECTIO, where Aurelia Mitela struggles against a manipulative tyrant grabbing power. But it may already be too late to save Roma Nova…
RETALIO, a classic tale of resistance and retribution – the endgame between Aurelia and Caius

Extras
ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories from AD 370 to the present

Contributions
‘A Roman Intervenes‘ in 1066 Turned Upside Down
How Galla Mitela, Roma Novan imperial councillor, attempts to stop the Norman invasion of England. One of a series of possible alternative outcomes of 1066.

‘The Mystery of Victory’ in Rubicon (HWA/Sharpe Books)
What did happen to the Altar of Victory in the dusk of the Roman Empire?

‘The Idealist’ in Betrayal (Historical Fictioneers, 2020)

Non Fiction
Military or civilians? The curious anomaly of the German Women’s Auxiliary Services during the Second World War.

The 500 Word Writing Buddy: 35 Inner Secrets for the New Writer

Social Media:

Connect with Alison on her Roma Nova site: https://alison-morton.com

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AlisonMortonAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alison_morton @alison_morton

Alison’s writing blog: https://alisonmortonauthor.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alisonmortonauthor/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5783095.Alison_Morton
Alison’s Amazon page: http://Author.to/AlisonMortonAmazon

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/ckNeFL

Purchase Links:

Kindle:  https://mybook.to/DoubleIdentity

Apple: https://books.apple.com/book/double-identity/id1542244030

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/fr/en/ebook/double-identity-11

B&N Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/double-identity-alison-morton/1138382128?ean=2940162679202

Book2Read: https://books2read.com/DoubleIdentity

Publishing Information:

Published in paperback and digital formats by Pulcheria Press on 7th January 2021

 

My Thoughts:

Double Identity is a refreshingly new thriller that will hold the readers attention until the very end. The story follows Mel who has recently retired from the French Army and is engaged to Gerard Rohlbert, a financial trader. The story begins with Mel waking us disoriented to a dead fiance next to her. Having been accused of murder, Mel sets out on a journey to prove her innocence and find out the truth.

It is indeed a race against time as Police detective Jeff McCracken works to try and pin the murder on Mel. Working against each other, they become unlikely partners in the race to uncover the truth. I truly love how the characters are created in this book and Mel’s character was inspiring. She is a fresh new face and someone who is strong and can stand up for herself. I admired this in her and in the way the author made her the focus of the story.

This is a fast paced thriller that is gripping and well written. With the way the story jumps right in from page one, readers are sure to be hooked and will enjoy this read! I strongly recommend this book to all those who love a good thriller and murder mystery!

 

Book Review: Yearn to Fear by Chas Murrell

Book Blurb:

The greatest scientific invention of modern times…
Capable of curing humanity…
But more adept at controlling it…

Sydney scientist, Marcus Hall, is developing a radical 5G Wi-Fi receiver for CSIRO. With access to secretive Lamarr computer chips – this technology promises billions to repair Australia’s ravaged economy. On a caffeine boosted whim, he inadvertently discovers a therapeutic breakthrough in neuroscience. Or so he thinks…

His seemingly trustworthy lab partner, Henry, is an unlikely Australian spy. His official duty is keeping tabs on the project and their Lamarr chips. But the whole project is now classified top-secret.
Marcus remains blissfully unaware of the many secrets surrounding him, until he witnesses the graphic murder of a colleague. Could this event reveal Henry as a master deceiver and ruthless double agent? Will the scientific discovery be fatal for Marcus, those he loves, and the one he yearns for? Marcus faces a soul tearing dilemma: is the only means of stopping the carnage to weaponise his prototype?

Foreign intelligence agencies realise the top-secret breakthrough is priceless. One particular spy leads the race to seize the invention. A psychological master of the long game, espionage, and extortion, his only rule according to Kung Fu: Win.

Friend and foe alike confront this psychotic mastermind. All will FEAR him, but is their FEAR real? Only the next six minutes will tell…

About Chas Murrell:

Chas Murrell has been a Police Officer, Senior Fire Commander, Customs Coastwatch surveillance mission co-ordinator, heavy machinery mechanic, emergency medical technician/ instructor, film extra, and General Manager of an event company. He has published academic papers on liquid hydrogen and held a worldwide provisional patent for a nonlinear mathematical calculation. He survived Australia’s largest gas BLEVE in 1987, and has provided operational support to some of Australia’s largest natural disasters in North Queensland.

On a personal level he has suffered from relentless and debilitating migraines all his life, is father to four and pop to two. He and his artistically entrepreneurial wife live in Tasmania, which looks very much like Scotland and they wouldn’t have it any other way. A direct descendant of Robert the Bruce (King of Scots), history runs deep in Chas’s veins, along with a profound knowledge of both World Wars. You may even come across him online playing World of Tanks.

In his Australian spy thriller books you will get to know Chas’s knowledge of technology, intrigue, crime, espionage, weaponry, banter, romance and even whisky… yet above all, there is believability and no loose ends.

Social Media:

Website: https://www.chasmurrell.com.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Chas-Murrell-Author

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/murrellchas

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chasmurrellauthor/

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2MWoPj4

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2ZcuCDF

Waterstones: http://bit.ly/3ahwrFG

Publishing Information:

Published in paperback and digital formats on 18th November 2020

My Thoughts:

This is a very well written spy thriller that will hold the readers attention until the very end. The story is written in a conversational manner and I felt that this was an interesting way to portray it. The story follows Marcus Hall, an electronics engineer working for CSIRO on the Lamarr chips project. We follow Marcus’s interactions with his team member Henry and project manager Sarah. Adding to the mystery surrounding the characters is the shady way in which each one behaves. This is obviously visible only to the reader but holds our attention until all the parts come together. This keeps us guessing always.

It is quite evident that Chas Murrell has drawn on his experience and expertise to weave intricate sequences, giving us the right amount of information without sounding too descriptive. I thoroughly enjoyed the narrative and the glimpse into Australian culture. This is an area previously unexplored for me and this book took me on a wonderfully informative journey.

Overall, I enjoyed the plot, the style of writing and even the characters, both positive and negative who had specific roles to play in this fast-paced thriller!

 

WWW WEDNESDAY – 03/03/2021

This is a fun weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

All you need to do is answer the following three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Also, do follow the host and other bloggers who participate!

It is wonderful to know what everyone is reading and recommendations are always welcome!

 ——————————————————————————————————————

What are you currently reading?

The Far Away Girl  Yearn to Fear: Australian Spy Thriller (The Lamarr Series Book 1)

What did you recently finish reading?

  The Watchmaker of Dachau

What do you think you’ll read next?

       There are too many books on the TBR. This is my usual statement, but I am planning to see where my mood takes me! I will pick my next reads based on that! 😀

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Do stop by to share your thoughts or posts!

Book Review: The Awakening (The Immortal Wizards, Book 1) by Andreas Suchanek

About the Book:

The Awakening (The Immortal Wizards, Book 1)

The world as you know it is a lie.
For over a century, the mystic Wall has kept the magical society hidden from human eyes, guaranteeing peace and equality between humans and wizards. But in the shadows a war for supremacy rages.
Jennifer Danvers is a wizard. When her friend and comrade-in-arms dies, a new heir to magic awakens in Alexander Kent, whom she must introduce to the world of magic.
Neither of them suspects that the balance of light and darkness is out of control. An ancient evil is rising. Its only goal: to shatter the mystic Wall and bring darkness upon the wizards and immortals.

Powerful spells, dangerous artifacts, ancient catacombs and secret archives. Fight aside Joan of Arc, Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein and other immortals.

My Thoughts:

The Awakening is the first book in The Immortal Wizards series by author Andreas Suchanek. I came across this book on NetGalley and found the blurb to be interesting. I was definitely not disappointed. The book takes us into a world of magic, powers and characters from history who are immortal and magical! I would never have imagined getting the chance to be around Joan of Arc, Leonardo da Vinci or even Albert Einstein, but this book brings them to life.

The story introduces us to many characters and explains how they get their power, how it works and how to use it. With a threat looming over the magical world, the author dives right in to the plot interspersing the action with background information and details. This was an interesting way to handle the story and trust me, there is a lot of action and adventure! An old prophecy is introduced and some of the key players in the plot to bring down the Magical Wall.

Some aspects of the plot feel like a repetition, considering that there is only so much one can do with this genre, but putting it aside, the story flows well and remains original for the most part. My suggestion is to persevere through, it is worth it! The characters are well thought out and though we do not interact with them as much as we would like, the reader will still enjoy the interactions.

I truly enjoyed this story and am looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

Weekly round up – 11/01 to 16/01

Hello All,

To keep things interesting, I have decided to do a round-up of books read every week and share some insight into the books I liked best and those which did not live up to expectations (though I am sure this is very less so far!).

So here is the list of books read in the last week, from 11.01.2021 (Sunday) until 16.01.2021 (Saturday).

 

 

This duology is definitely worth reading and describes one of the best heists and revenge plots that I have come across with wonderfully crafted characters who are ruthless and still honorable in their own way. A must read series!

 

 

 

 

 

This fast paced book has so many plots and sub plots and sub sub plots that it is hard to keep track, but important all the same. I love that there are so many aspects to the story that add value to the entire story! In the end, the book will leave the reader wanting more! I have never felt so happy after having read a book and this series has done this and more! It has left me raving and talking about it even after finishing the books!

 

 

 

 

In conclusion, this book is worth the read as is the entire series! The Vikramaditya Veergatha proves to be a treasure trove of mystery keeping the reader guessing until the very end! The readers are in for a treat and eventually arrive at a conclusion that will satisfy everyone with strong characters fighting to save humanity against all odds!

 

 

 

The Newlyweds

 

 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and was truly shocked by some of the revelations. I would never have guessed at anything that happened. This is the beauty of the story telling and I highly recommend this book for fans of psychological thrillers!

 

 

 

 

Do share your thoughts and the books read in the last week! 🙂 Have a great weekend and week ahead!

Book Review: The Newlyweds by Arianne Richmonde

About the Book:

The Newlyweds

One marriage. One lie. Two sides to the story.

The moment Vivien meets Ashton, she knows she will be his wife and absolutely nothing will stop her.

Powerful, rich and from a good family, Ashton is everything Vivien is not. So, she molds herself into Ashton’s perfect soulmate.

Pouring his favorite vintage wine, whispering ‘I love you’ over dinner in front of friends and biting her tongue when she disagrees with him are simple sacrifices for the perfect marriage she has always craved.

When people begin to notice the bruises on her cheek, she holds their stares. There is no cry for help from Vivien. She simply keeps her mouth shut and lets the gossip continue.

If you saw Vivien nursing a black eye, you might be forgiven for thinking what everyone else does – that she is the victim in her marriage, but you’d be wrong. Vivien and Ashton’s life together is much more complicated than that. You will never guess the true story behind Vivien’s undying devotion to her husband. Nor could you possibly predict what she does next…

Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Behind Closed Doors and The Perfect Couple. If you enjoy reading twisted psychological thrillers with bags of suspense, then you’ll love The Newlyweds from USA TODAY bestselling author Arianne Richmonde.

My Thoughts:

The Newlyweds is a psychological thriller that follows the life of Vivien and Ashton as they transition into life as a newly married couple. Vivien is seen trying to fit into society and uphold her name as the perfect wife to Ashton. As the story progresses, we get pulled into the narration assuming that Ashton is abusive in the marriage. But no way! After building this narrative, the author starts to pull apart the plot and reveals so much more that is happening underneath.

As the real story emerges, the reader is in for a roller coaster ride filled with lies and deception. Noone is as they seem and everything we learn is a lie. The author has done an amazing job with the plot line and narration, making us like some characters, dislike some and then completely change our minds about the entire set of characters. For every plan, there is a master plan and then another one.

Though some parts of the plot line didn’t make sense or fully fit in, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and was truly shocked by some of the revelations. I would never have guessed at anything that happened. This is the beauty of the story telling and I highly recommend this book for fans of psychological thrillers!

WWW WEDNESDAY – 13/01/2021

This is a fun weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

All you need to do is answer the following three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Also, do follow the host and other bloggers who participate!

It is wonderful to know what everyone is reading and recommendations are always welcome!

 ——————————————————————————————————————

What are you currently reading?

The NewlywedsAbout the Book:

One marriage. One lie. Two sides to the story.

The moment Vivien meets Ashton, she knows she will be his wife and absolutely nothing will stop her.

Powerful, rich and from a good family, Ashton is everything Vivien is not. So, she molds herself into Ashton’s perfect soulmate.

Pouring his favorite vintage wine, whispering ‘I love you’ over dinner in front of friends and biting her tongue when she disagrees with him are simple sacrifices for the perfect marriage she has always craved.

When people begin to notice the bruises on her cheek, she holds their stares. There is no cry for help from Vivien. She simply keeps her mouth shut and lets the gossip continue.

If you saw Vivien nursing a black eye, you might be forgiven for thinking what everyone else does – that she is the victim in her marriage, but you’d be wrong. Vivien and Ashton’s life together is much more complicated than that. You will never guess the true story behind Vivien’s undying devotion to her husband. Nor could you possibly predict what she does next…

Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Behind Closed Doors and The Perfect Couple. If you enjoy reading twisted psychological thrillers with bags of suspense, then you’ll love The Newlyweds from USA TODAY bestselling author Arianne Richmonde.

What did you recently finish reading?

 

The Vengeance of Indra is Book 3 in the Vikramaditya Veergatha series and is absolutely mind-blowing! The book is so well-written and filled with so many twists and turns!

This series is indeed a must read for fans of Indian Mythology and mythology in general!

 

 

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Wrath of the Hellfires (Vikramaditya Veergatha, #4)

 

Well, as usual my TBR pile is high and there are many upcoming Book releases and blog tours!

In spite of all this, my main target is to read The Wrath of the Hellfires, Book 4 in the Vikramaditya Veergatha series. This is the final book and will bring the entire story to conclusion.