#BlogTour #BookReview #Extract - The Watcher by Monika Jephcott Thomas

It’s 1949 when Netta’s father Max is released from a Siberian POW camp and returns to his home in occupied Germany. But he is not the man the little girl is expecting – the brave, handsome doctor her mother Erika told her stories of.

Erika too struggles to reconcile this withdrawn, volatile figure with the husband she knew and loved before, and, as she strives to break through the wall Max has built around himself, Netta is both frightened and jealous of this interloper in the previously cosy household she shared with her mother and
doting grandparents.

Now, if family life isn’t tough enough, it is about to get even tougher, when a murder sparks a police investigation, which begins to unearth dark secrets they all hoped had been forgotten.

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for The Watcher today, many thanks to the author, publishers and Rachel Gilbey at Authoright for inviting me to take part and for my advance copy received in return for my honest review.
Before I share my…

#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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