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The Fascination by Essie Fox #Review #Giveaway

   Today be prepared for a dark, Victorian gothic novel! The Fascination by Essie Fox is published on June 22nd by Orenda . For the chance to win a print copy of The Fascination see the foot of this post for details. Victorian England. A world of rural fairgrounds and glamorous London theatres. A world of dark secrets and deadly obsessions… Twin sisters Keziah and Tilly Lovell are identical in every way, except that Tilly hasn't grown a single inch since she was five. Coerced into promoting their father's quack elixir as they tour the country fairgrounds, at the age of fifteen the girls are sold to a mysterious Italian known as ‘Captain’. Theo is an orphan, raised by his grandfather, Lord Seabrook, a man who has a dark interest in anatomical freaks and other curiosities … particularly the human kind. Resenting his grandson for his mother’s death in childbirth, when Seabrook remarries and a new heir is produced, Theo is forced to leave home without a penny to his

Dead of Night by Michael Stanley ** Blog Tour Review**

I am happy to be on the blog tour to celebrate the publication of Dead of Night. This is the first standalone thriller by the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip who write under the pen name of Michael Stanley. Michael Stanley wrote the international best-selling Detective Kubu series. You can read my review of Dying to Live, one of the series, here. 


When freelance journalist, Crystal Nguyen, heads to South Africa, she thinks she’ll be researching an article on rhino-horn smuggling for National Geographic, while searching for her missing colleague. But, within a week, she’s been hunting poachers, hunted by their bosses, and then arrested in connection with a murder. And everyone is after a briefcase full of money that may hold the key to everything. Fleeing South Africa, she goes undercover in Vietnam, trying to discover the truth before she’s exposed by the local mafia. Discovering the plot behind the money is only half the battle. Now she must convince the South African authorities to take action before it’s too late. She has a shocking story to tell, if she survives long enough to tell it… 

Fast-paced, relevant and chilling, Dead of Night is a stunning new thriller that exposes one of the most vicious conflicts on the African continent… 

                                                                                     My Thoughts

This is a fast paced thriller with a serious message at its core. It centres on the issue of rhino poaching and takes the reader deeper and deeper into the murky world of the poachers. The central figure of Crystal Nguyen, a freelance journalist tries to discover what has happened to her colleague but finds this trail leads her further into corruption at all levels. The most striking aspect of this for me is the journey which Crystal goes on, as she realises how the issues have gone beyond care of animals into the depths of moral depravity, deceit and big business. Crystal takes the reader with her and beyond the story, there is so much information on this terrible trade. 

    I loved the African backdrop, present for most of the story, with its inky darkness and inhospitable heat. As an outsider, you see it through Crystal's eyes and feel her horror at what she has to see. This is such economical writing with no superfluous passages or filler descriptions. The pace of the writing is fast and steady as it twists and turns, with quite a few shocks to jolt the reader. 

In short: a fast-paced thriller which informs, shocks and engrosses.
                                                                             About the Author 

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley
Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA Debut Dagger.
The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers’ award. Dead of Night is their first stand-alone thriller. 

You can follow them here: Twitter   |  Website 

Book link:  Amazon UK  |  Orenda eBookstore

Thanks to Michael Stanley and Karen Sullivan and Ane Cater of Orenda Books  for a copy of the book and a place on the tour. 

                                                     Don't forget the rest of the tour!


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