The Dark Place by Stephanie Rogers #BookReview #BlogTour

When you look at those you love, what do you see?

When Issy, young mother and beloved daughter, seemingly kills herself her family is devastated.

Believing she would never leave son Noah willingly, Jon and Mel determine to discover what really happened to Issy. As they and the rest of the family struggle to come to terms with tragedy, Jon and Mel start to realise Issy’s secrets come from a very dark place…

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for The Dark Place by Stephanie Rogers today. Many thanks to the author, Manatee Books and Tracy Fenton for inviting me and for my digital copy of the novel.

The opening chapter of The Dark Place briefly introduces the reader to Issy as she returns home following her first year at university. We learn very little about her here, other than she is the mother of a young son, Noah who is cared for by her parents and she seems to struggle to know how to relate to him. The moment when her life comes to a sudden and violent end is a shocking …

#BlogTour #BookReview - District Nurse on Call by Donna Douglas

The second book in the Sunday Times bestselling Nurses of Steeple Street series about a District Nurse in a Yorkshire mining town.

West Yorkshire, 1926

After completing her training in Steeple Street, Agnes Sheridan is looking forward to making her mark as Bowden's first district nurse, confident she can make a difference in the locals’ lives.

But when Agnes arrives, she’s treated with suspicion, labelled just another servant of the wealthy mine owners. The locals would much rather place their trust in the resident healer – Hannah Arkwright.

And when the General Strike throws the village into turmoil, the miners and their families face hunger and hardship, and Agnes finds her loyalties tested.

Now it’s time to prove whose side she is really on and to fight for her place in the village . . .

I'm delighted to be hosting the blog tour for District Nurse on Call today, many thanks to the author and publisher for inviting me to read this book. District Nurse on Call is the second book in the Nurses of Steeple Street series. Regular readers of this blog will know I have previous form when it comes to reading books in a series out of order...! Thankfully in the case of District Nurse on Call it didn't really make too much difference, I was able to enjoy this book without having read the first, there were a few references to Agnes' past but nothing that interfered with me reading it. However, I will now read the previous title, The Nurses of Steeple Street as despite this not being my more usual fare I really liked this novel.
It reminded me of television series I used to watch with my family on Sunday evenings. The characters all have their secrets but as the story progresses we may need to reassess our initial responses to them. Agnes herself is the ideal lead character, still young enough for her character to grow through the book but with enough experience to be able to change a few minds and begin to assert her place in the village. The other characters are varied and complex, even the less sympathetic amongst them have redeeming features meaning that the reader becomes invested in the lives of all the villagers.
There's plenty of gritty drama here too of course, not least because Bowden is a mining village and therefore deeply affected both by the General Strike and by the horrific accidents that were part and parcel of that often harsh life. Although I guessed much of what would happen it never detracted from my enjoyment of District Nurse on Call, this sort of book gets its strength from taking its readers on a journey where they may know the destination but want an interesting and involving journey to get there. Donna Douglas has certainly provided that here, and there are still one or two surprises along the way.
There will be obvious comparisons with Call the Midwife but those of us who are a little older may also recall The District Nurse starring Nerys Hughes, fans of both will find much to admire here. As I said before this isn't the sort of genre I'm usually drawn to but Donna Douglas' assured, sensitive writing really drew me in and I will definitely be reading both the previous book and those that follow this one. Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, dates are below.

District Nurse on Call will be published by Arrow, an imprint of Penguin Books UK.  Donna Douglas is on Twitter as @DonnaAuthor. Her website can be found here.

About the Author

Donna Douglas lives in York with her husband and two cats. They have a grown-up daughter. When she is not busy writing, she is generally reading, watching Netflix or drinking cocktails. Sometimes all at the same time.