Thursday 30 September 2021

To All The Living by Monica Felton BLOG TOUR #ToAllTheLiving #WarTimeClassics @I_W_M @angelamarymar @RandomTTours


In January 1941 Griselda Green arrives at Blimpton, a place ‘so far from anywhere as to be, for all practical purposes, nowhere.’

Monica Felton’s 1945 novel gives a lively account of the experiences of a group of men and women working in a munitions factory during the Second World War. Wide-ranging in the themes it touches on, including class, sexism, socialism, fear of communism, workers’ rights, anti-semitism, and xenophobia, the novel gives a vivid portrayal of factory life and details the challenges, triumphs and tragedies of a diverse list of characters. Adding another crucial female voice to the Wartime Classics series, To All the Living provides a fascinating insight into a vital aspect of Britain’s home front.

To All The Living by Monica Felton was re-published as part of the Imperial War Museum War Time Classics collection on 23 September 2021.

As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today. 

Extract from 
To All The Living by Monica Felton 

BLIMPTON IS SO far away from anywhere as to be, for all practical purposes, nowhere. As far as the ordinary, everyday things of life are concerned – such as paying a visit, or sending a letter, or ringing up on the telephone, or delivering a thousand tons of cordite – the place might almost as well not exist. Almost, but not quite. It is true that you can telephone to Blimpton, but only when you have induced one of the thirty-thousand-odd officials of the Ministry of Weapon Production to give you the number; and only then if the number is not changed, as it very probably will be, between the time when you put down the receiver at the end of one call and pick it up again to ask for another. You can, too, send a letter; but the whereabouts of Blimpton are so shrouded in secrecy, even within the confines of the G P O Sorting Office, that anything you put in the post is likely to arrive, if it arrives at all, only after going to Brompton and Brimpton and Brighton and Blisworth and fifteen or twenty other places whose names begin with the letter B or look as if they might.

It is also possible to go to Blimpton; but this is the most difficult undertaking of all. It is true that nearly twenty thousand men and women go there every day unless they happen to be attending a football match or going to the cinema or staying at home to do the shopping or to have a baby. These twenty thousand, however, would not willingly do anything to lessen Blimpton’s happy obscurity. Some of them come from Scotland, a few from Wales and a good many from Ireland; the others come from almost every county in England, and it is said that those who do succeed in arriving at Blimpton find it extraordinarily difficult to get away. If Blimpton is the last place in the world that you want to go to, and if your innocent ambition is merely to keep on with whatever job you have been doing since you were first thrown out upon the world to earn your living, if you are one of the people who know that they ought to be doing something about the war, and can’t think quite what, then, for such is the way things are ordered, if you haven’t been sent to Blimpton yet the probabilities are that you will find yourself there before the war is over.

MONICA FELTON (1906–1970) was a feminist, socialist, peace activist, historian and author, and a
pioneering proponent of town planning. She attended University College, Southampton, and was awarded a doctorate for a thesis on emigration from Britain between 1802 and 1860 at the London School of Economics. In 1937 she was elected a member of the London County Council, representing St Pancras South West.
During the Second World War Felton served in the Ministry of Supply, on which her publications Civilian Supplies in Wartime Britain and her novel To All the Living are based. After her time at the Ministry, Felton was Clerk of the House of Commons until 1943. She then worked for the Army Bureau of Current Affairs, lecturing servicemen and women across Britain and the Middle East about world affairs and the problems of post-war Britain. After the war, she became heavily involved in town planning, serving as Chair for the Peterlee and Stevenage Development Corporations. However, she was fired from the chair of Stevenage by Hugh Dalton, Minister of Local Government and Planning, after taking an unauthorised trip to North Korea on behalf of the Women’s International Democratic Federation in 1951, during the Korean War. On her return from this trip she accused American troops of atrocities and British complicity. There was a media and establishment backlash, and even accusations of treason from Members of Parliament for suborning American and British prisoners of war. As a result, Felton became increasingly isolated in Britain and moved to India in 1956. Whilst there, she wrote biographies of the Indian statesman Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari and women’s social reformer Sister R S Subhalakshmi. She died in Madras (modern day Chennai) in 1970.

Wednesday 29 September 2021

The Woman In The Purple Skirt by Natsuko Imamura Trans. @japanonmymind @FaberBooks #TheWomanInThePurpleSkirt #BookReview #TranslatedFiction


The Woman in the Purple Skirt is being watched. 

Someone is following her, always perched just out of sight, monitoring which buses she takes; what she eats; whom she speaks to. 

But this invisible observer isn't a stalker - it's much more complicated than that.

The Woman in the Purple Skirt by Natsuko Imamura was published by Faber on 3 June 2021 and is translated from the Japanese by Lucy North. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review. 

What a fascinating and enthralling story this is. Just over two hundred pages long, with fairly large print, I read this one in just one day. It is one of those stories that draws you in, you never quite know just what is happening. The narrator is anonymous, and the woman in the purple skirt herself is an enigmatic and mysterious figure who delivers surprise after surprise. 

The reader learns that the narrator is 'the woman in the yellow cardigan', and it is clear that she is entranced by the woman who sits on the same park bench every day, eating bakery goods and wearing a purple skirt.  Purple skirt is well-known in the neighbourhood, she is a constant source of amusement for the local children who make a game of tapping her on the shoulder and then running away. For the woman in the yellow cardigan, she is so much more.  She is an obsession, she cannot stop herself from watching, at a distance. She knows everything about the woman's life. The reader is never quite sure if purple skirt is aware of yellow cardigan. I think she actually is!

The story is voyeuristic and becomes quite creepy and chilling. As yellow cardigan engineers, in her own, not so subtle way, a job for purple cardigan in a local hotel, their real names are revealed, and the characters become far more real. The workplace setting is incredibly well suited to the style of the story, as both women work in low-paid jobs, trying to create their own place in an environment that is initially unwelcoming and quite hostile. 

This is a difficult book to review. It's unusual, unique and quite startling at times. It's easy to read, but it can make the reader feel uneasy. Beautifully imagined, with stark and sparse prose but hard hitting at the same time. Recommended by me.

Natsuko Imamura was born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1980.

Her fiction has won various prestigious Japanese literary prizes, including the Noma Literary New Face Prize, the Mishima Yukio Prize and the Akutagawa Prize.

She lives in Osaka with her husband and daughter. 

Lucy North is a British translator of Japanese fiction and non-fiction. 

Her translations include Toddler Hunting and Other Stories, as yet the sole book of fiction in English by Taeko Kono, and Record of a Night Too Brief, a collection of stories by Hiromi Kawakami. 

Her fiction translations have appeared in Granta, Words Without Borders, and The Southern Review and in several anthologies, including The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories and The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature. 

She lives in Hastings, East Sussex.

Twitter @japanonmymind

Game On by Sue Anstiss BLOG TOUR @sueanstiss @unbounders #GameOn @RandomTTours #BookExtract


Sport has an extraordinary, unique capacity to challenge and change society – to bring joy and hope; to improve physical and mental health, reduce loneliness and build self-esteem and happiness. It’s also a multi-billion-pound commercial industry that can transform lives, businesses, nations and regions. Why has half the population been deprived of access to something so culturally powerful?

In recent years, the landscape for women’s sport has finally begun to shift. We’ve seen significant increases in investment, spectators and media coverage. More women as professional athletes and taking influential roles as board directors, editors, officials and CEOs.

Yet still, female athletes don’t get equal funding or opportunities. In many sports, women receive less prize money, lower sponsorship revenues and a tiny fraction of the media coverage.

Drawing on her own experiences, and interviews with high profile Olympic and Paralympic champions, broadcasters, journalists, sports scientists, CEOs, officials and sponsors, Sue Anstiss investigates why women have been excluded from the world of sport for centuries – and why we are now witnessing positive change as never before.

Game On is a celebration of the trailblazing women opening doors for others and a manifesto for women’s sport – a rallying cry to ensure the progress we are currently seeing goes from strength to strength.

Game On by Sue Anstiss was published on 2 September 2021 by Unbound.

As part of this #RandomThingsTours blog tour I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today. 

Extract from

Game On by Sue Anstiss

Sport’s powerful force for good has long been accepted.

It was 20 years ago that Nelson Mandela said ‘Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in the way that little else does… Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination.’

Sport is something unique in our culture. Is has enormous potential to be socially disruptive. It can unite and divide us like nothing else. Enormous national pride results from success at Olympic Games and World Cups, alongside the divisive vitriol and animosity from opposing football fans.

For many people sport is their ‘go to’ conversation starter. Millions of pounds of business are done every year over a round of golf or in a hospitality box at the cricket. All news bulletins end with sport, there are sports pages at the back of every newspaper, our government and big brands invest billions in sport every year.

Yet, until now, women haven’t had equal access to sport and all the joys and benefits it offers.

Sport reflects and magnifies key gender issues in society. The momentous shift in women’s sport since 2012 is in line with the ‘fourth wave’ of feminism and its focus on empowering women to ensure greater female representation in politics and business.

Attitudes around women have changed. From women’s bodies to women’s rights, powerful campaigns have seen women collaborate and mobilise to call out harassment and misogyny, demanding equal pay and equal opportunities with the likes of #metoo, No More Page 3, Time’s Up, the Everyday Sexism Project and the Women’s Marches.

Everyone can play their part in calling out sexism in sport when they see it. Count the number of articles about women’s sport you see in papers, on websites or on radio bulletins, and when it’s not equal to men’s coverage, make some noise about it on social media. Back campaigns that support equal pay and coverage. If you’re a fan of a men’s football, rugby or cricket team encourage them to invest equally in their women’s teams too.

Celebrate the brands and organisations that are choosing backing women’s sport - buy their products to show your support.

Watch more women’s sport as a spectator at live events or when it’s broadcast and encourage others to do the same.

Encourage the women in your world to enjoy sports at every level.

Sport matters. Game on.

Sue Anstiss has been a pioneer in women's sport for over thirty years. A founding trustee of the
Women's Sport Trust, and co-founder of the Women's Sport Collective, in 2018 Sue received an MBE for her services to women's sport.

Sue's award-winning podcast The Game Changers celebrates trailblazing women and her guests include some of the most influential in global sport.

Sue is now CEO of Fearless Women, a company with a powerful ambition to drive positive change for women's sport. 

Twitter @sueanstiss

Friday 24 September 2021

Windswept by Annabelle McCormack BLOG TOUR #Windswept @annabelledando #Win #Competition #Giveaway #Prize @RandomTTours


May, 1917. Ginger Whitman left a life of wealth and privilege in England to train as a battlefield nurse and serve in the Great War. Working on the brutal frontlines in Palestine, she finds a wounded soldier hiding in her camp. The soldier claims to carry intelligence unmasking a secret plot against the British-and that traitors within British intelligence are searching for him. Desperate and dying, the soldier entrusts a coded message to her care.

Ginger is hurled into an unfamiliar world of intrigue and murder amidst the war-ravaged Arabian desert. She's determined to help her country but trusting the wrong person could cost her life. Then the arrival of mysterious and handsome British intelligence officer Major Noah Benson offers a chance of help. But Noah may be as dangerous as he is charming. As she's swept away by stolen moments on the desert sands, Ginger realizes her heart may also be at risk.

Hunted by a shadowy enemy spy, Ginger must decide if she can trust Noah. But as she grapples with her decision, Ginger makes a shocking discovery: a sinister secret that threatens to shatter the world she thought she knew.

Windswept by Annabelle McCormack was published on 21 September 2021.
As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour I am delighted to offer a giveaway. I have one digital copy of the book on offer. 
Entry is simple, just fill out the competition widget in this blog post. 

One digital copy of Windswept by Annabelle McCormack

Annabelle McCormack writes to bring under-explored periods of history to life. 

She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University’s M.A. in Writing Program. Half-Costa Rican, she also speaks fluent Spanish. 

She lives in Maryland with her hilarious husband, where she serves as a snack bitch for her (lucky-they’re-cute) five children.

Visit her at or to follow her daily adventures.

Twitter @annabelledando

Salt Lick by Lulu Allison BLOG TOUR @LuluAllison7 @unbounders #SaltLick @RandomTTours #BookExtract


Britain is awash, the sea creeps into the land, brambles and forest swamp derelict towns. Food production has moved overseas and people are forced to move to the cities for work. The countryside is empty. A chorus, the herd voice of feral cows, wander this newly wild land watching over changing times, speaking with love and exasperation. 

Jesse and his puppy Mister Maliks roam the woods until his family are forced to leave for London. Lee runs from the terrible restrictions of the White Town where he grew up. Isolde leaves London on foot, walking the abandoned A12 in search of the truth about her mother.

Salt Lick by Lulu Allison was published on 16 September 2021 by Unbound.  
As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today

 Extract from 
Salt Lick by Lulu Allison

The economic decline of the countryside slid in first to the fields and farmlands, then to the villages, the market towns. Workforces and wage offers no longer matched and so the workers disappeared. For a while, for the well-heeled, little changed. Marshal kept up his flatteringly matey friendships with the wealthy of the parish. The men, encountering their own physicality only in the pampered confines of a gym, were drawn to his way of treating them as casually manly equals. All customers spoke of his impeccable reputation for quality. Though increasingly, at the golf clubs and spas, people muttered about the economic climate. The gin and tonics were knocked back between head shakes and bluster, bitter soliloquies about betrayal. Hand-in-fist together, planning national strategies that best served them, the rural wealthy and the landed gentry were outraged to discover that they no longer had the ear of government.

Chunks of ice clinked against comfortingly hefty glass in the tremor of a suddenly bankrupt hand. During the chaos of the pandemic, the pattern of wealth in the country shifted. Over time, the losses increased, the economic climate became harder still. Some of the rich remained rich. Some did not. There were heart attacks and suicides. The gentleman farmers, astonishingly quickly found that all they had to bargain with was the long habit of association with those that ruled the country. Friendship can go a long way, in individual cases; some of those bonds survived the fall from grace, but is was the developers in the towns who were courted. What was the wealth of a landowner when no one wanted land? 

Marshal, quicker to spot the signs than his complacent customers has shored up some of his options by becoming an installer of new systems for bespoke, single unit flood defences. The wealthy that remain shifted spending from luxury and pleasure to the necessary, to insurance. He is still busy enough to feed the family, busy enough to feel too distant from them, but the days of easy wealth are behind them. 

over time

all will fade


and grow again

this is the meaning of natural order

your time comes to a close

yes in many ways you spent it well

that was a time, was it not?

but think what you could have done with such gifts

Lulu Allison grew up in a small village in the Chilterns. 

She did an illustration degree at St Martin’s School of Art and a fine-art M.A at the University of Brighton. She has exhibited in group and solo shows, worked as a gallery educator and arts facilitator. She has also worked as a cleaner, an art teacher, a scuba-diving instructor, and a maker of spectacle hinges in a small factory in Munich.

She came to writing accidentally whilst undertaking what she thought was an art project, unexpectedly discovering what she should have been doing all along. That art project became her first novel, Twice the Speed of Dark, published by Unbound in 2017. Salt Lick is her second novel, and she is working on a third, inspired by the Thomas Mann novel, Doctor Faustus. 
She lives in Brighton.

Thursday 23 September 2021

Black Reed Bay by Rod Reynolds BLOG TOUR @Rod_WR @OrendaBooks #BlackReedBay #MeetCasey #BookReview

Don’t trust ANYONE…

When a young woman makes a distressing middle-of-the-night call to 911, apparently running for her life in a quiet, exclusive beachside neighbourhood, miles from her home, everything suggests a domestic incident.

Except no one has seen her since, and something doesn’t sit right with the officers at Hampstead County PD. With multiple suspects and witnesses throwing up startling inconsistencies, and interference from the top threatening the integrity of the investigation, lead detective Casey Wray is thrust into an increasingly puzzling case that looks like it’s going to have only one ending…

And then the first body appears…

Black Reed Bay by Rod Reynolds was published in paperback by Orenda Books on 02 September 2021. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this Blog Tour 

I am so very very excited about this book, especially as it the first in a new series from an incredible talent. Here we have a truly American Noir story told by a guy from London with an amazing female lead character who every single reader will fall in love with and back to the hilt. It's frenzied in pace, it's complex, its atmospheric and it is utterly gripping. 

Detective Casey Wray is something of an enigma. It's clear that her rise to Detective level has not been simple, but she has a great mentor and loyal and steady partner to work alongside. Every now and again, she has her doubts about herself. Casey does a lot of inward thinking, she has no choice as she's alone in the world apart from her work colleagues. No romantic relationship and no family, just Casey, and the job. 

A frantic call is received via 911 and this sparks the case that is central to the plot. A young woman, identified as Tina Grace shouts into the phone that 'he is going to kill me', and then the call ends. That's all Casey and partner Cullen have to go on. 

What could have been a fairly simple case of a missing woman soon turns into a case that has multiple strands, and involves the richest community in the Long Island town of Rockport. As is usually the case, money and stature leads to long silences, it's not only the known criminals that are feared in this town, it's the people with the cash and the power that really rule the show. 

There's some pretty explosive action throughout this one, there are some heart breaking scenes too and there's a whole lot of damn fine writing. Reynolds propels the reader into the heart of this town and the surrounding areas, it feels so real, so American, just so like everything you've ever seen of US based cop dramas. 

I was glued to it and I want more, and soon please. I want to know more about Casey, I want more about her background. I want to see how she progresses in the force after the devastation that this case has brought for her department. I just want more.

Highly recommended by me. I loved every single page. 

Rod Reynolds is the author of five novels, including the Charlie Yates series, the standalone Blood
Red City and  Black Reed Bay.

His 2015 debut, The Dark Inside, was longlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger, and was followed by Black Night Falling (2016) and Cold Desert Sky (2018); the Guardian have called the books 'Pitch-perfect American noir.' A lifelong Londoner, in 2020 Orenda Books published his first novel set in his hometown, Blood Red City, which was a Summer 2020 pick in the FT. In 2021, he again turns to the US, this time to present-day Long Island, with Black Reed Bay.

Rod previously worked in advertising as a media buyer, and holds an MA in Novel Writing from City University London. Rod lives with his wife and children and spends most of his time trying to keep up with them.

Contact him:

twitter: @Rod_WR

How To Be An Olympian by Harry Reardon BLOG TOUR @rsreardon @unbounders #HowToBeAnOlympian #BookExtract


Hannah Dines and Jess Leyden are two perfectly normal, brilliant women. One, a world record-holding athlete and a Paralympian on the trike. The other, a multiple age-group world champion and one of the most promising rowers Great Britain has to offer.

In the five years (yes, that’s right) between Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, they will face cancer scares, crushing defeats, and the biggest global health crisis in a century. They will get dropped, they will get injured, and they will win medals. They will spend the best years of their lives knowing that at any moment, it could all come crashing down. That all the training, all the sacrifice could be in vain, wasted effort as a pandemic raged. That maybe these could be the years that will shape their finest hour – or that maybe, after everything that they’ve been through, it could all still be snatched away at the last… 

How To Be An Olympian by Harry Reardon was published on 16 September 2021 by Unbound.
As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you. 

Extract from 
How To Be An Olympian by Harry Reardon

First up, a hop over the North Sea to Rotterdam, and the under-23 World Championships. Since the quad missed out on Rio, the coaches have been lining Jess up for a double with the other stand-out sculling prospect in the British women's squad, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne. It's a boat, though, that has no history and very possibly no future, however well they perform. It's not nothing, of course – it'll keep them in shape, it might well earn them a medal. But it's been cobbled together at short notice essentially to give them both something to do, and age-group racing in the September of an Olympic year is not why either of them got into the sport.

For Jess and Mathilda, what the next few months are really about is getting in the best possible shape for trials – the series of head-to-head races, time trials and rowing machine tests which runs between November and April each year, punctuating the punishing winter-to-spring training programme. It's a gruelling experience, which will officially form the basis for crew selections for next season and in practice quite probably beyond; in fact, it's fair to say that what happens at the upcoming final assessment, in April next year, could end up defining the whole Olympic cycle. Which makes it important, obviously, even if you can't think of it like that.

“Sometimes people –” begins Jess, and she names no names, but that's not the point, this could be anyone, any sport, any cycle, any country – “sometimes people get really caught up in trials, and trying to be the best person in the country. Whereas actually, day-to-day training as a team, you should be thinking about beating the world. That's the team I want to be part of, a strong team that wants to beat the world and not just each other, that shouts to each other to get better, but that supports each other, and doesn't tear each other down. Because you'd rather miss out on a team that's winning a gold medal than be in a team that comes last.”

Team dynamics. At the very top level, a huge amount of sport is about how to get people working together, and it's a tricky business. For one thing, assuming Jess makes it into a boat this time around, it's going to be completely different to the one that missed out on Rio, not least because over the next few weeks, half of the old crew will quit the squad – Ro to try her hand at cycling, Tina to turn her back on professional sport entirely and join Deloitte. So if there is going to be a return to the quad, and Jess admits to a feeling of unfinished business, there will need to be new team mates, new relationships. The only one left from the Rio cycle that she could be racing alongside is Holly Nixon, and the two of them haven't always seen eye-to-eye.

“When we first came onto the team together, we didn't really trust each other,” says Jess. “I think Holly had a few issues outside of training that she was trying to work through, but she was quite closed about those, and so came across to me as weak-minded. And with my personality, I'm a bit of a bull in a china shop.” But then British Rowing brought in someone from one of those companies that do team insight profiles, the upshot of which was everyone on the squad being assigned colours to represent their personalities. Holly came out as Earth Green, Jess was a Fiery Red, and just like that, it started to make a bit more sense. So now when Jess blurts out something critical, Holly knows that she's not doing it to upset her, and when Holly is acting all sensitive and over-thinking things, it's not because she wants to piss Jess off. It's anyone's guess how that will play out in the long term if they end up back in a boat together, but for now it's great, it's lovely, it's the end of Cool Runnings and it's Junior and Yul and 'This doesn't mean that I like you.' Holly helps Jess rein herself in, and if Jess really believes in what she's saying, she'll explain why and they'll talk it through, and now Holly's one of the closest friends Jess has got.

Harry Reardon is a qualified lawyer who, at the age of thirty-one, left the law completely to train as a sports journalist. He now works in the civil service. He lives in a small village outside Winchester with his wife and their two young children.

Twitter @hsreardon

Tuesday 21 September 2021

The Sound of Sirens by Ewan Gault @EwanGault @leamingtonbooks #TheSoundOfSirens #BookReview

In a dead-beat coastal town in North East Scotland, seventeen-year-old Malky Campbell is desperate to help his pregnant and heroin addicted girlfriend.

DI Stark, a middle-aged detective, alarmed by the rise of teenage crime in Port Cawdor, uncovers the operations of a county line gang that are flooding the area with drugs and engaging in a vicious turf war with a local family. 

Malky has just started working on his family’s trawler with his cousin Johnny, when their boat pulls up Johnny’s brother in its nets. The rest of the crew, the tightly-knit community and the police start to suspect that the cousins are responsible for his death.   
With his brother dead, Johnny inherits the family trawler, which he plans to use to smuggle drugs into the country for the county line gang, giving him enough money to start a new life.
Ewan Gault’s debut, The Sound of Sirens is a tough, modern crime novel, presenting the complexities of young life in a town at the end of the line.

The Sound of Sirens by Ewan Gault is published on 23 September 2021 by Leamington Books. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review. 

I have been absolutely consumed by the plot and the characters of this stunning debut novel. Ewan Gault is an incredible talent. This is a story that has lingered in my head for days. It is often brutal, it is dark and grim, but it is beautifully constructed and packs such an emotional punch. 

Port Cawdor is a town on the coast of Scotland. Once a thriving fishing community, it is now well known as the town with the drug habit. The young people just want to get out and the older ones are just resigned to their fate. 

The construction of the story is perfectly done, as the reader learns about each character. We find out what they think about, what they'd like to be and who they are. The town is described excellently, it's a dark and dreary place, there's not a lot of laughter but there's so much pain. 

Malky recently started to work on his uncle's trawler and on this particular day, the net that they haul in doesn't contain fish. Instead, they drag up the body of his cousin Joe. Joe went overboard some weeks ago and his body is not a sight to savour.

DI Stark is tired of Port Cawdor. He is tired of the drug dealers, the organised crime gangs who run the county lines. He's tired of the addicts and he wants out. He wants more for his two daughters than a life surrounded by drugs and hopelessness. Stark doesn't believe that Joe's death was an accident and starts to ask awkward questions of Malky and the other crew aboard that night. 

Joe's brother Johnny has plans for the trawler. He can get rich and it involves drugs and will also put him and Malky at risk. There's already drug dealers in town, and they don't want to share their patch.
Malky just wants his friend Nikki to have a decent place to live. Nikki is pregnant and a heroin addict, and Malky is determined to find a clean home for her and the baby when it arrives. He soon finds himself doing things that he could never imagined.

The tension builds and the pace increases toward the shocking finale of the story, I was utterly gripped. 

The story is brutal, grim, very dark and very emotional. We see humanity at its very worst, we see people who have no hope in life and those who do hope but who have everything in their ways. It's a look at fractured relationships and small town politics. Unflinchingly honest and at times very moving. 

This is Ewan Gault's debut novel and it is stunning. Highly recommended from me, one of the best books I've read this year. 

Ewan Gault is the author of the novel ‘The Most Distant 
Way’ and numerous short stories that have appeared in anthologies and magazines including New Writing Scotland and Gutter.

In his new crime novel ‘The Sound of Sirens’, a body is 
dredged up in a trawler’s nets bringing with it submerged secrets to the surface. Extracts from the novel have won the Fish Knife Award and the Toulmin Prize. 

He works as an English teacher in a sixth form 
college in Tottenham.

Twitter @EwanGault