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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.

The Dark by Emma Haughton #Review


 Today I am featuring a rather special debut adult crime novel by Emma Haughton, The Dark. It was published on 19th August by Hodder & Stoughton.

Tense, thrilling and unpredictable, with one of the most unique and dangerous settings imaginable.’ Allie Reynolds, author of SHIVER

The Dark is an immersive, sleep-stealing and chill-inducing locked room debut thriller set in one of the most extreme locations on earth, where temperatures can drop as low -80C, and is engulfed in 24-hour darkness for four months of the year. A place so remote that it's easier to get someone back from the space station than the depths of Antarctica in winter. A place so hazardous, that to step outside without adequate protection can lead to death in minutes...

In the most hostile environment -cut off from the rest of the world – there’s a killer on the loose. 


A&E doctor Kate North has been knocked out of her orbit by a personal tragedy. So when she’s offered the opportunity to be an emergency replacement at the UN research station in Antarctica, she jumps at the chance. The previous doctor, Jean-Luc, died in a tragic accident while out on the ice.

The move seems an ideal solution for Kate: no one knows about her past; no one is checking up on her. But as total darkness descends for the winter, she begins to suspect that Jean-Luc’s death wasn’t accidental at all.

  And the more questions she asks, the more dangerous it becomes for them all...

My Thoughts

 Set in Antarctica, you immediately have all the tension and atmosphere such a hostile environment can deliver. From the opening pages, you are aware of the vulnerability of the inhabitants of the research station and how dependent they are on each other and the systems they have put in place. This is a classic locked-room formula with a finite number of suspects and the all- encompassing feeling that no one can really be trusted. I even began to query just how reliable a narrator Kate is, given her problems.

    With some skilful characterisation and a few red herrings, Emma leads you through the novel with a sure hand. You have to question the possible motives that each of the suspects has and wonder at what has brought them each here. As the darkness closes in, the tension and claustrophobic atmosphere ramps up. This is the type of book you find it hard to put down and I am sure it would translate to the screen just as well.

In short: A tense, intriguing thriller.

About the Author

Emma Haughton
grew up in Sussex, studied English at Oxford, and worked as a freelance journalist for
a number of national newspapers, including the Times Travel section. She has written several non-fiction books for schools, as well as three young adult thrillers. The Dark is her first crime novel.

You can follow Emma here: 

 Twitter  |  Website

Book link: Amazon UK 

Thanks to Emma Haughton and Jenny Platt of Hodder & Stoughton for a copy of the book and a place on the tour. 

Check out the rest of the tour!






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