Skip to main content


The Wartime Book Club by Kate Thompson #Review

  The Wartime Book Club is a marvellous historical novel set on Jersey in World War Two. Written by Kate Thompson , it was published by Hodder $ Stoughton on February 13th. Jersey, 1943. Once a warm and neighbourly community, now German soldiers patrol the cobbled streets, imposing a harsh rule on the people of the island. Grace La Mottée, the island's only librarian, is ordered to destroy books which threaten the new regime. Instead, she hides the stories away in secret. Along with her headstrong best friend, postwoman Bea Rose, she wants to fight back. So she forms the wartime book club: a lifeline, offering fearful islanders the joy and escapism of reading. But as the occupation drags on, the women's quiet acts of bravery become more perilous - and more important - than ever before. And, when tensions turn to violence, they are forced to face the true, terrible cost of resistance . . . Based on astonishing real events, The Wartime Book Club is a love letter

Follow Me Down by Sherri Smith **Blog Tour Review and Extract**

I am delighted to welcome you to Books, Life and Everything today for the latest stop on the Follow Me Down Blog Tour. Today, I have an exclusive extract for you but before that, here's a little bit about the psychological thriller:



Mia has built a life for herself far from the small town where she grew up. But she is forced to return home when her brother goes missing. Once the golden boy of the community, Lucas has disappeared the same day as the body of his student is pulled from the river. Unable to reconcile the media’s portrayal of Lucas as a murderer with her own memories of him, Mia is desperate to find another suspect. But if Lucas is innocent, why did he run?

Combining fractured family relationships with small town politics, Smith shoots an injection of dark humour into a book that will make you question how much you really know about the people closest to you. 

 Excerpt - Follow Me Down by Sherri Smith
pages 66/67

Casey’s sports bar hadn’t changed. The sign was off, but at night it blinked neon red with the letter “Y” shaped like a long tongue licking the preceding letters. Inside was still the same old weathered wood, grungy, with an unreasonable number of flat-screen TVs. It was post lunchtime, but still fairly busy. The men looked bored; they ogled their phones as much as the waitresses, who wore knock-off Hooters uniforms. Green and gold, like oversized, sexed-up leprechauns. 

I sat in a booth, hoping to avoid seeing anyone I might know. A bulgy-eyed waitress named Brandy came to take my order, her green shorts pulled up too high over her bony hips. “Anyone else joining you?” She looked worried. Nice women don’t go to bars in Wayoata to drink alone. I had to be either slutty or a lesbian. Slutty was the far more acceptable option. I was glad I’d left three buttons undone on the Neiman Marcus denim top I’d changed into, just to throw them off. “Should I leave menus?” 

“No thanks. Is Zoey here?” 

“Zoey starts at three, but she’s always late.” 

I ordered a tomato juice the shade of Mimi’s paint job on my shirt. A near-adequate meal replacement. 

“OK, well, I’ll just leave these. Just in case.” She left two greasy menus. 

I chewed the soggy celery and looked out the window into the parking lot, trying to shut out the whispery drone of an announcer covering a golf tournament and the smacking sound of hot sauce being licked from fingers. The warm, relaxed feeling of the Valium started to radiate from the back of my neck and spread outward, wrapping itself around my shoulders like an old friend’s embrace.

Across the street was the strip mall with a Chinese buffet restaurant, a used women’s clothing store called Encores, and a “full-service” beauty salon with a sign out front that read congradulations tannis. 

I put the word “Gent” into Google on my phone. “Gent + Wayoata,” “Gent + Lucas Haas.” The actor came up. I scrolled farther down to see a list of search results for news sites with headlines like high school teacher suspect in student’s murder, student-teacher affair gone wrong, missing student turns up dead—teacher disappears. My brother’s name was next to words like “suspect,” “murderer,” “vicious,” “slaying,” and “missing,” and pictures of Joanna Wilkes’s beaming teenage face. The story was gaining traction. It was trickling out of Wayoata, out of North Dakota to newspapers and five o’clock news channels in Nebraska, Minnesota, and Manitoba. It was like a bad rash that spread each time it was scratched. I couldn’t bring myself to click on any of them.

Excerpted from Follow Me Down by Sherri Smith. © 2017 by Sherri Smith. All rights reserved. Published by Titan Books.

My Thoughts

This was an uncompromising read, with a complicated plot and really rather unlikeable characters. Mia's quest to find her twin brother and to clear his name moves relentlessly on and there are plenty of dark, twisty turns on the road. You become aware gradually how Mia's childhood has impacted on her and that you are dealing with a flawed individual who self medicates compulsively. However she has plenty of good traits. Her courage and dogged determination never waver and despite her flaws, you sympathise with her.

    There are plenty of twists and turns to satisfy the reader and a surfeit of red herrings to cloud the picture. The varied cast of characters have plenty of secrets between them. As the story progresses, you never quite know who to trust and doubts creep in, as they do with Mia. The story is told through Mia's perspective, outside the police investigation. I enjoyed that aspect with the police investigation being kept very much in the background. Best of all, the ending is a genuine surprise.

In short: a clever psychological thriller with well drawn characters and far reaching family secrets 

About the Author

Sherri Smith spends time with her family and two rescue dogs, and restores vintage furniture that would otherwise be destined for the dump. She lives in Winnipeg, Canada, where the long, cold winters nurture her dark side. Follow Me Down is her first thriller.

You can follow Sherri on Goodreads   |  on  Twitter   |    on her Website  |  and on Facebook .

Thanks to Phillipa Ward for a copy of the book and a place on the Blog Tour.

Follow the rest of the Tour!


Popular Posts