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 …

The Karma Farmers by Pierre Hollins #BookReview #BlogTour



Bradley Holmeson a thirty-something bookshop manager, is attempting to cure his existential dilemma with quantum physics. A reluctant philosopher embroiled in an occult experiment, he meets the violent, the obsessed and the dangerously misguided, armed only with his defensive sarcasm - all to win back the woman he loves. 

I'm delighted to be hosting the blog tour for The Karma Farmers by Pierre Hollins today. Many thanks to the author and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me and for my copy of the novel.
I'm not really sure how I'm going to review The Karma Farmers, it's a book that needs to be read rather than explained. I loved it, that I can say; it's unlike anything I've read before, a book that combines science, philosophy, love and a hitman...
Bradley Holmeson would probably be described as a hipster, he lives in Brighton, manages a bookshop and considers his hash smoking to be his portal to divine inspiration. When he self-publishes his manifesto, 'Death and Physics' to explore the ides of a collective consciousness that exists beyond death, he enlists the help of his girlfriend and they sneak copies into bookshops. He hopes that anybody picking up a copy will enter into a transaction with the bookseller and haggle over the price. He describes it as "distributing revolutionary literature, to facilitate the downfall of The Capitalist State" but it ends up introducing him to an eclectic collection of characters and leads him into an adventure that will test both his body and mind.
 Shortly after Bradley's revolutionary bookshop mission, he is greeted on his doorstep one day by Frank and Norman, funeral directors who drive a Cadillac Coupe De Ville hearse and are collectors and purveyors of the occult. They are eager to discuss his ideas and tell him they know Eugene Polonksi, an old man with an intriguing past. He once knew the theoretical physicist, David Bohm who re-imagined the nature of consciousness and whose findings inspire Bradley's manifesto. They say they will introduce him at a forthcoming public reading of Death & Physics. Meanwhile, a sociopathic hitman, Finnegan has a new assignment that will also result in an unlikely meeting of minds between him and our armchair philosopher.
It all results in a frantic adventure where the threads of the various storylines are eventually woven together. There are some fascinating theoretical ideas in The Karma Farmers but if the thought of reading about existentialism, quantum physics and Complex Adaptive Systems sounds a bit daunting, don't let it put you off reading the book. It might consider some really deep ideas but the story that brings everything together is a humorous, even playful drama with an engaging, if bizarre cast of characters. Even at its most complicated, the story is so compelling that not fully understanding the science doesn't matter - as we learn from John D. Barrow's paradox: The Groucho Marx Effect - A universe simple enough to be understood is too simple to produce a mind capable of understanding it. Pierre Hollins has also included Bradley's manifesto at the end of the book which actually explains his ideas in terms that will make sense to even the most science-shy readers.
The Karma Farmers is an intelligent and complex novel which looks at some genuinely thought-provoking philosophical and scientific theories relating to evolution, religion and human consciousness and has been written with a witty lightness of touch that makes it tremendous fun. I'm thrilled to discover it's the first in a trilogy and look forward to reading the sequels. Highly recommended.

The Karma Farmers is published by Unbound and can be purchased here.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.


About the Author

Pierre Hollins is a stand up comedian; he has written for TV and radio, and his cartoon strip GURU featured in the Fortean Times for many years. This is his first novel, published by Unbound.

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