As the Sun Breaks Through by Ellie Dean #BookReview #BlogTour

Cliffehaven, June 1944

As the planes continue to circle over Cliffehaven, Peggy Reilly’s sister Doris must seek refuge after a V-1 blast destroys her home. Rita, Sarah and the other residents at Beach View Boarding House quickly find their peace disturbed and it’s not long before even Peggy loses her patience. But with more bad news to come, will Doris finally be forced to swallow her pride?
Meanwhile Peggy’s father-in-law Ron Reilly is delighted when his sweetheart Rosie returns home. Until a heart-breaking confession suggests things may never be the same between them.
With loved ones scattered far and wide across the globe, and tensions running high, the end of the war feels somehow further than ever. And yet with the long-awaited Allied invasion in sight, a glimmer of light is starting to break through...

I'm delighted to be hosting the first stop on the blog tour for As the Sun Breaks Through by Ellie Dean today. Many thanks to the author and Becky McCarthy from Penguin Random Ho…

#BookReview - Made Safe by Francis Sparks




For Private Investigator, Moses Winter, the job just got more complicated. His adultery case has taken a violent turn landing the subject of his investigation, Fred Dunsmore, in the hospital and Moses in jail. Moses is held for questioning along with his erratic client, Sharon Dunsmore, and Fred’s mistress, a Bosnian refugee who just happens to be related to the DCI agent investigating the case, Raif Rakić.

After Rakić secures their release, Fred goes missing, and Moses Winter finds himself compelled to find him. With the assistance of Rakic, Moses unravels Fred's ties to Des Moines's underworld and is forced to confront the most heinous crimes of his career.


I've said before on this blog that I really enjoy books that have a strong sense of setting and Made Safe certainly does that. Previously only really known to me as the childhood home of Bill Bryson, Des Moines is brought chillingly (literally so, the snow and ice of the Iowan winter certainly play their part here) to life. It's not just the location that provides the shivers here though, Private Investigator, Moses Winter and DCI Raif Rakić find themselves working together on a case that uncovers a truly odious criminal ring. A reluctant hero, Moses Winter is thrown into danger after taking on what should have been a simple investigation into adultery. However, once involved he will not give up and it's his tenacity, even when his life is at real risk, that makes him such an engaging character. He has his fair share of flaws too, not least his tendency to act first and think later but he is a likeable, principled man who has a dry wit about him too. This is just the first book in what will be a series of books featuring Moses, and with such a strong protagonist I certainly think Francis Sparks will be gaining plenty of fans. Raif Rakić is a rather refreshing police officer in a mystery involving a private investigator because he works with, rather than against Moses. Their working relationship has a somewhat rocky start but as events proceed they develop a mutual respect for one another. Rakić has his reasons for wanting the villains they are investigating put behind bars beyond just a simple desire for a police officer to solve a case. His past in Bosnia and his family ties mean he has a special interest in the criminal underbelly they uncover in Des Moines.
Faced paced from the start, Made Safe builds towards a really tense finale. With an all too contemporary mystery at the heart of the book and some really unsavoury villains, this is a taut, atmospheric thriller and a really solid start to a new series. I look forward to meeting Moses again.
My grateful thanks to the author for sending me a copy of Made Safe.

Made Safe is published by Pandamoon Publishing.

Francis Sparks is on Twitter as @writingsparks and his website is here.

About the Author

Francis Sparks lives in Des Moines, Iowa with his amazing wife, Kelly. If he’s not working on his next novel or short story, you can find him teaching his children about dragons.

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