Helen and the Grandbees

Undercurrents of abuse and its inevitable impact on mental health run like a negative charge through this south London story of fear, isolation and gradual re-birth as Helen endures a seemingly interminable emotional blackout before the lights flicker into life again as she is re-united with her daughter and grandchildren. Up until this point Helen … Continue reading “Helen and the Grandbees”

Soldier Boy by Cassandra Parkin

Cassandra Parkin gives added poignancy to Liam’s desperate attempts to hold onto any semblance of normality as she peels back the mental scars of a soldier whose fight to keep his family unit intact appears to have already been lost to the battle fields of Afghanistan. Emma’s solitary battle to overcome the invisible enemy trapped … Continue reading “Soldier Boy by Cassandra Parkin”

Rise of the Shadow Dragons by Liz Flanagan

The much mytholigised fire breathing dragon inhabits childrens’ nightmares before traumatising their waking moments with involuntary checks for singed eyebrows and pleas for parental re-assurances that the house is monster proof. Yet in Liz Flanagan’s sequel to Dragon Daughter we are presented with an unexpected antidote to the winged tormentor who lurks in those dark … Continue reading “Rise of the Shadow Dragons by Liz Flanagan”

Unstoppable by Dan Freedman

Adolescent twins, Kaine and Roxy, are hoping their sporting talents will enablethem to break out from the emotional and physical entrapment of a sinkestate dominated by knife wielding gangs whose coercive influence threatensto sweep away any crime free ambition. The often hopeless existence of this vulnerable underclass is haunted by themenacing presence of Sheldon Statham; … Continue reading “Unstoppable by Dan Freedman”

The Song of Peterloo by Carolyn O’Brien

A peaceful protest at Manchester’s St Peter’s Field is brought to a bloody end by a deadly cavalry charge of sabre swinging yeomanry. The violent culmination to months of fulminating antipathy between the working and ruling classes ultimately becomes a watershed moment in the fight of the disenfranchised to have a voice and meaning to … Continue reading “The Song of Peterloo by Carolyn O’Brien”

Sea of Bones by Deborah O’Donoghue

The whiff of political scandal is swatted to the back benches as Juliet’s suspicions grow over her niece’s sudden death and machievellian egos interplay with the otherworldly symbolism of the Scottish Highlands to unravel a series of human tragedies. In her desperate search for the truth Juliet’s role as Chief of Staff of the Progressive … Continue reading “Sea of Bones by Deborah O’Donoghue”

Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin

Genesis might conjure up childhood memories of Sunday school and the beginning of the bible but in the lead character we have a namesake who is perversely the signifier of the end when an unplanned pregnancy leads to the melt down of a youthful relationship and a fatal decision. This perfect storm of high emotion … Continue reading “Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin”

Tale of a Tooth by Allie Rogers

Colour and sound convey the emotional ebbs and flows of a deteriorating relationship observed through the innocent eyes of Danny whose sensitivities to light and noise hint at a mental imbalance that struggles to find clear expression. The syntax and language are articulated in the voice of a young child allowing the reader to regress … Continue reading “Tale of a Tooth by Allie Rogers”