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A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village by Michelle Vernal #Review

  Michelle Vernal's A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village was published on September 27th by Bookoutre . Ava Kelly loves returning to Emerald Bay for Christmas. Snowflakes fall on the green rolling hills and mulled wine fills The Shamrock Inn with the smell of winter spice. But this year, the Kelly family is hoping for a miracle… When twenty-four-year-old Ava Kelly and her adventurous twin Grace return home to The Shamrock Inn, their Ma’s favourite baubles bring back so many memories of Christmases past. They have always done everything together, even leaving their little Irish village for the excitement of London. But with the locket her handsome ex Shane gave her hanging just above her heart, Ava has just one wish this festive season… After a year stuck in a job she can’t stand and going on dreadful dates, Ava longs to be back with Shane. Curling up in front of the fire with him, the brooding fisherman everyone else sees melts away as his blue eyes meet hers.

Burned and Broken by Mark Hardie **Blog Tour**

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour to celebrate the e- book release of Mark Hardie's debut novel, BURNED AND BROKEN. It will be published in paperback format in May 2017.

The Blurb  

Peter James meets James Oswald in this gripping, gritty British crime debut

The charred body of an enigmatic policeman – currently the subject of an internal investigation – is found in the burnt-out shell of his car on the Southend sea front.

Meanwhile, a vulnerable young woman, fresh out of the care system, is trying to discover the truth behind the sudden death of her best friend.

As DS Frank Pearson and DC Catherine Russell from the Essex Police Major Investigation Team are brought in to solve the mystery of their colleague's death, dark, dangerous secrets begin to surface. Can they solve both cases, before it's too late?

Mark Hardie's stylish and gripping debut introduces a brilliant new detective duo to the world of crime fiction, weaving together two suspenseful stories that end in a breath-taking finale.

My Thoughts

     I found this police procedural to take perseverance to get into it. The opening is certainly shocking but it took me time to get to grips with the two story strands as they started to unfold. The book is structured into three parts and it was only at the end of the first part that I felt to be properly engaged in the story.

    The most interesting underlying theme for me is what the author has to say about the care system. It was exposed as a worrying place for young vulnerable adolescents and children to be placed and Donna's experience of it rings out. The shadowy undercurrent behind the Children's Home and the adults who had access to it adds a real feeling of jeopardy and menace. Donna herself is difficult to like and I was never sure how reliable a narraor she can be.

    The creation of the character of DC Catharine Russell  stands out. You sense her doubts as she is faced with information about her now dead colleague and realise the difficult position she finds herself in. It will be interesting to see how she develops in subsequent novels if the author chooses to continue with these characters. 

In short: a police procedural, full of gritty details, set against a bleak background but illuminated by a cast of flawed characters. 

                                                                     About the Author 

c. M Hardie

Mark Hardie was born in 1960 in Bow, East London. He began writing fulltime after completely losing his eyesight in 2002. He has completed a creative writing course and an advanced creative writing course at the Open University, both with distinction.

Mark lives with his wife Debbie in Southend-on-Sea.

Thanks to Clara Diaz and Little, Brown Book Group Ltd for a copy of the book and a place on the Blog Tour.


                              Catch up with the rest of the Blog Tour today!


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