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…

The Louisiana Republic by Maxim Jakubowski #BookReview #BlogTour



 'An intriguing mixture of past tradition and future-shock dystopia, written by a giant of the genre ... highly recommended.' Lee Child.
Following an unexplained worldwide catastrophe in which the Internet and all electronic records have been wiped out, much of the USA is in a state of anarchy, with regions/states seceding and not allowing visitors in or people out. An involuntary NYC private eye is asked by a beautiful, if damaged woman to find her younger sister who has disappeared. They are both the daughters of a sinister man, the Commander, who is pulling the strings in a city where Central Park has become a no man's land. Following the trail of nude photos the younger sister was a part of, the detective unravels some of the threads of a major conspiracy, albeit at his bodily peril, assisted by the daughter of the King of Washington Square who helps him evade 'Reservoir Dogs', the Commander's lethal henchman and April Lea an Amazonian model who is also a martial arts fighter and the Commander's Punisher. When a clue left by a dead photographer indicates the young woman is now in New Orleans - alongside the love of the detective's life whom he thought was dead - which is cut off from the rest of the world, the detective and his sidekick make a perilous journey down the Mississippi and manage to smuggle their way into the city, now controlled by an assortment of bizarre gangs, where they face new perils, of a possible supernatural nature which might have a bearing on the worldwide catastrophe and he makes a journey through hell and back to not just solve the case but save his own soul and find the woman he once loved before the world broke down.

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for The Louisiana Republic by Maxim Jakubowski today. Many thanks to the author, publishers and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me and for my ecopy of the novel.
The opening few paragraphs of The Louisiana Republic may suggest that this is going to be a sharp urban noir thriller but the first line should be a clue that this novel is far more than standard crime fiction as we immediately learn that it is the 10th anniversary of the Dark. The book is set in a dystopian near future where the world had awoken a decade previously to discover the Internet and all electronic data had been wiped out, and consequently our protagonist is now a rather reluctant private investigator utilising his previous skills gained when he worked as a magazine researcher. This is a world where information has become currency, libraries are protected fortresses and book lovers are at the top of the evolutionary ladder. The sudden destruction of the technological soul of countries led to wars, massacres, the fall of Governments and a USA which is now anything but united - it has two Presidents and three capital cities - with various states having seceded from the country and declared independence, anarchy reigns.
The story is told in the first person from the perspective of the private investigator who is hired by the alluring but cold, Alexandra Helmsmark to search for her wayward younger sister, Cherise. Their father is the mysterious and powerful Commander Helmsmark. He swiftly - and painfully - learns that the Commander doesn't want his daughter to be found but his research leads him to realise Cherise is linked to the woman he loves and who went missing within the first few days of the Dark. It becomes a case which is personal as well as professional, in spite of the terrible danger he finds himself in when he refuses to stop searching for the two women. What follows is an intriguing, dark and witty novel which combines the aforementioned dystopian noir with erotica, a dangerous road trip and the supernatural. His investigation takes him to the declared Republic of Louisiana and to the walled and heavily guarded New Orleans where eventually the strange and fatal mysteries of the city bring him to his desperate nadir.
The Louisiana Republic is a brutal, no-holds barred book in which sex and violence bloodily collide, there are scenes which are viscerally disturbing and this is most definitely not a novel for cosy crime readers. The language is harsh and uncompromising but entirely appropriate given that this is society broken down where communal values have given way to primitive desires and the fight to be in control. Despite the barbarism, there's something quite seductive about the author's description of New Orleans, which regardless of the new world order is still the steamy city of voodoo and Mardi Gras where spices, jazz and magic intermingle to create an almost overwhelmingly heady atmosphere.
I thoroughly enjoyed this shocking, disturbing and challenging novel. I suspect it will be rather divisive but if you're looking for something different, the twisted, genre-defying The Louisiana Republic is well worth checking out.

The Louisiana Republic will published by Caffeine Nights Publishing on 10th May 2018 and can be purchased here. Don't miss the other stops on the blog tour, details are below.


About the Author

Maxim Jukubowski worked for many years in book publishing as an editor (including titles by William Golding, Peter Ackroyd, Oliver Stone, Michael Moorcock, Peter Ustinov, Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Paul Ableman, Sophie Grigson, Marc Behm, Cornell Woolrich etc) and launched the Murdor One Bookshop, which he owned and ran for over 20 years. 
He now writes, edits and translates full-time in London.
He was born in London and educated in France, and his books have been translated into many languages. From an early age, he was always fascinated by popular culture and his writing and editing has criss-crossed all areas, from science fiction & fantasy to thrillers and, inevitably, erotica.
He conceived one of the genre’s first major contemporary anthologies The Mammoth Book of Erotica which has since been followed by a further 20 volumes, and four books devoted to erotic photography. In addition to over 90 collections in other genres, he has also edited the Sex in the City series, ad runs the Eros Plus and Neon lists, alongside crime imprints Black Box Thrillers, Blue Murder and Maxcrime.
He has been a columnist for Time Out and the Guardian, and contributed to most major newspapers and magazines, and is a regular arts commentator on British TV and radio. He also ran London’s annual crime film and literary festival Crime Scene and is a consultant for several overseas film festivals. 
He has won the Anthony and Karen awards for his contributions to, respectively, crime fiction and SF & fantasy. 
He also writes a monthly book review column for lovereading.co.uk
He is Vice Chairman of the Crime Writer’s Association.
For the past three years he has been busy writing , under a pseudonym, a series of Sunday Times bestselling novels which has now reached ten volumes.
Website

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