#Blogtour #Review: The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter @SlaughterKarin #TheSilentWife @FictionPubTeam @RandomTTours

The Silent Wife BT Poster

Today on MinimacReviews I am beyond thrilled to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter. Like, really excited. Because it’s Karin Fucking Slaughter, and I am of the opinion that this is her best book yet.

If you like your thrillers intense and the social commentary blunt you need this book in your life right now. Don’t worry if you haven’t been following along with the Will Trent and Grant County series, The Silent Wife can be read as a heart-stopping standalone and will undoubtedly leave you wanting more.

The Silent Wife CoverTitle: The Silent Wife

Author: Karin Slaughter

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: June 25, 2020

Genre: Crime ThrillerPolice Procedural

Themes: Murder, Sexual Assault, Serial Killers

My Rating:        5/ 5


Atlanta, Georgia. Present day. A young woman is brutally attacked and left for dead. The police investigate but the trail goes cold. Until a chance assignment takes GBI investigator Will Trent to the state penitentiary, and to a prisoner who says he recognises the MO. The attack looks identical to the one he was accused of eight years earlier. The prisoner’s always insisted that he was innocent, and now he’s sure he has proof. The killer is still out there.

As Will digs into both crimes it becomes clear that he must solve the original case in order to reach the truth. Yet nearly a decade has passed—time for memories to fade, witnesses to vanish, evidence to disappear. And now he needs medical examiner Sara Linton to help him hunt down a ruthless murderer. But when the past and present collide, everything Will values is at stake.

Purchase Links

UK: https://amzn.to/3i2m8XK

US: https://amzn.to/3g3zmlp

Canada: https://amzn.to/3i6zXnU 

As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.


There’s nothing quite as wonderful as picking up a book with high expectations and then having them completely blown away. As a long time fan Slaughter’s cutting prose, disturbingly relatable characterizations, and gritty investigations I was ready to end up totally invested in this book. What I wasn’t prepared for was the ways in which my nerves were slowly flayed with every page and the feeling of utter despair when I turned the final page.

This book is dark, gritty, and deeply nuanced in it’s dissection of serial killers/ assaulters and the cops that investigate them. It doesn’t shy away from the grey areas of the force, the weight of expectation that contributes to the creation of corrupt officers, and the toxic attitudes that often impede the genuine pursuit of justice. Violent sexual crimes are portrayed without glorifying the brutality, and the emphasis on the trauma and recovery of the survivors offers a tender and deeply connected perspective that it too often absent from thrillers and hard-boiled crime.

Let me be clear, there are parts of this book that are graphic, but never gratuitously so. If you’re squeamish, it’s probably best to stay away.

Told in a riveting split timeline that slowly reveals the sequence of events as experienced by Jeffrey Tolliver and his team eight years previously, and the eventual unpacking and reinvestigation of these cases by Will & Co. as they race against the clock to connect the dots there is never a dull moment. The balance between past and present is expertly crafted, as are those between truth and fiction, and evidence and emotion. Add in a dash of personal drama and a handful of cliff-hangers and you have the recipe for a book that’s difficult to put down.

But not everything about this baby is so dark you can’t see the light of day. Instead, The Silent Wife is filled with pop culture references, cutting observations, and elements of the real that ground it in today. For example Slaughter touches on Pastafarians, adult reader/ reviews of YA (I feel so… seen?), and even the reality of a successful investigator having to motherland her whatever to keep those Sims alive. It’s the little details like these sprinkled throughout the pages that brought enough levity to read through the tragedy.

Altogether this book is dark and twisty and utterly fantastic. Whether you’re new to Karin Slaughter or are in it for the 20 book haul, The Silent Wife is an absolute must-read!

About the Author

Karin-Slaughter-Alison-RosaKarin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her 19 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant Sunday Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls, The Good Daughter, and Pieces of Her.

The Good Daughter and Cop Town are in development for film and television and Pieces of Her is soon to be an eight-part Netflix adaptation, directed by Lesli Linka Glatter (Mad Men), and produced by Charlotte Stoudt (Homeland) and Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies).

Karin is the founder of the Save the Libraries project- a non-profit organisation established to support libraries and library programming.

She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Many thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate in the Blog Tour.




#Blogtour #Review: The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly @rararesources @VictoriaDarcy

The Beauty of Broken Things

Today I have pleasure of hosting a stop on the Blog Tour for The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly. This heartfelt story about loss, recovery, and genuine friendship is sure to draw you in, hold you close, and tug at the heartstrings. If you’re looking for some fantastic contemporary fiction with a strong focus on relationships but none of the romance, than this might just be the one for you!

The_Beauty_Of_Broken_Things-Victoria_Connelly review coverTitle: The Beauty of Broken Things

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Publication Date: June 9, 2020

Genre: General Fiction

Themes: Trauma, Loss, Friendship


United by tragedy, can two broken souls make each other whole?

After the tragic loss of his wife, Helen, Luke Hansard is desperate to keep her memory alive. In an effort to stay close to her, he reaches out to an online friend Helen often mentioned: a reclusive photographer with a curious interest in beautiful but broken objects. But first he must find her—and she doesn’t want to be found.

Orla Kendrick lives alone in the ruins of a remote Suffolk castle, hiding from the haunting past that has left her physically and emotionally scarred. In her fortress, she can keep a safe distance from prying eyes, surrounded by her broken treasures and insulated from the world outside.

When Luke tracks Orla down, he is determined to help her in the way Helen wanted to: by encouraging her out of her isolation and back into the world. But Orla has never seen her refuge as a prison and, when painful secrets and dangerous threats begin to resurface, Luke’s good deed is turned on its head.

As they work through their grief for Helen in very different ways, will these two broken souls be able to heal?

Purchase Links

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07YKW2D3B

US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YKW2D3B

Aus: https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B07YKW2D3B


I must say, it’s wonderful to com across a book that is all about the relationships with none of the romance. Not that I hate romantic arcs, but it’s just that there’s more than one kind of relationship in this world and it’s refreshing to see story about an honest adult friendship developing out of the ruins of tragedy. The Beauty of Broken Things offers a tender exploration of community, both in person and online, and the days in which is can bring us together as well as drive us apart. And above all else, it offers a sweet and gentle look at loss, grief, trauma, and recovery and the vastly different ways it can be experienced – obvious or otherwise.

On one hand we have Orla, a reclusive woman who is hiding from a turbulent past, who has since locked herself away in a ruined castle as a means of shielding herself from the world. She is lonely, isolated, and lives under the weight of a debilitating fear. These circumstances are compounded further by a well-meaning mother who aggressively shields her daughter from any potential threat, engages in a touch of gaslighting and emotional manipulation, and might just want to keep Orla dependent on her for all her emotional needs.

I found Orla to be a challenging character to read because she was incredibly well written. The fear and anxiety that have come to define her bleeds off the page and into the reading experience, as does her reluctant desire to live a life that offers just a little bit more – even if it scares her to death. I found myself cheering every little step she made towards recovery, zipping through those sections when her fear was legitimized by real threats, and growing closer to her as a character with every tentative new relationship she added to her collection of broken things.

On the other hand we have Luke, who comes at Orla’s carefully constructed walls with all the grace of a siege engine fuelled by the newly discovered desires of his deceased wife. Where Orla would have been happy to have never built another relationship again, Luke is determined to be the real-life friend that Helen never could have been online. He’s stubborn, sweet, and is most definitely using his spur-of-the-moment adventure to East Anglia as a means of avoidance when it comes to dealing with his own trauma. Now add in a castle that need a little (or a lot) work, and Luke thinks that he has the perfect opportunity to repair the owner as well as the landmark. The only problem is that he doesn’t expect Orla and the community of Lorford to start carrying out the same kind of emotional work on him.

I really appreciated that Luke’s perspective was present and not just Orla’s, as it provided a subtle balance between the emotional expectations and coping mechanisms experienced by men and women. It’s clear from the start that Luke’s stoic approach isn’t working, and that he’s denying himself a desperately needed emotional journey. And the camaraderie found between Luke and Orla allows for them both to break down their walls, and the stereotypical expectations placed on those in their respective situations.

The Beauty of Broken Things is written in exquisite prose that draws you in from the very first page. It will make you laugh, make you cry, and it will most definitely leave you rooting for our broken beauties as they take their first steps towards healing and recovery.

If you’re craving real characters, genuinely human experiences, and the purest form of friendship I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

About the Author

Victoria Connelly Author PhotoVictoria Connelly studied English Literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens. She is the million-selling author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actresswas shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.

Victoria loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden either with a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.

Social Media Links –


Instagram: @victoriaconnellyauthor

Facebook: @victoriaconnellyauthor

Twitter: @VictoriaDarcy

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Many thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the Blog Tour.




#Review: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor #YA #MG #Fantasy

If you’re looking for a thrilling MG/ YA fantasy read that has as much action as it does substance, then look no further, Akata Witch has it all. And don’t let the age of the MC fool you – this is the kind of book that will appeal to middle grade, young adult, and adult reader alike.

akataTitle: Akata Witch

Series: Akata Witch #1

Author: Nnedi Okorafor

Publisher: Viking Children’s

Original Publication: April 14, 2011

Audiobook Publication Date: March 30, 2018 (Tantor Audio)

Read By: Yetide Badaki

Genre: YA Fiction, YA Fantasy, Fantasy, Middle Grade Fiction, Middle Grade Fantasy

My Rating: 4/ 5


From Goodreads…

Akata Witch transports the reader to a magical place where nothing is quite as it seems. Born in New York, but living in Aba, Nigeria, twelve-year old Sunny is understandably a little lost. She is albino and thus, incredibly sensitive to the sun. All Sunny wants to do is be able to play football and get through another day of school without being bullied. But once she befriends Orlu and Chichi, Sunny is plunged in to the world of the Leopard People, where your worst defect becomes your greatest asset. Together, Sunny, Orlu, Chichi and Sasha form the youngest ever Oha Coven. Their mission is to track down Black Hat Otokoto, the man responsible for kidnapping and maiming children. Will Sunny be able to overcome the killer with powers stronger than her own, or will the future she saw in the flames become reality?

Purchase this book in Canada, the U.S.A., or the UK.

As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.

My Review

Following 12 year old Sunny as she embarks on a journey of magic, friendship, and self discovery with a healthy side of saving the world this is the kind of book that hooks you from the beginning and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very last words. It’s filled with a beautiful range of characters from the eclectic personalities of the Oha Coven, to complex villains, and some incredible mentors to help the kids along their way. It’s got a healthy dose of teenaged angst and some turbulent emotions, but more than anything it’s got a group of outsiders coming together to find their community and I am so here for it.

While there are definitely some familiar tropes that are popular in genre I think it’s important not to play the comparison game. Yes, there are a group of kids that have discovered that they’re magical, they’re attending a secret school unknown to the mainstream world, and they have to come together to defeat a villain who wants to release an unimaginable evil on the world. But I love it when someone takes an existing trope and breathes a new and unique life into it. Okorafo’s magic system is beautifully crafted and infused with culture, deep learning, and genuine consequences for using power. And unlike some series that fall into the magic school category, Akata Witch places significantly more emphasis on celebrating differences and finding community rather than categorically dividing people based on personality traits or lineage.

If there is one thing I’m going to complain about it’s the constant descriptions of food. Seriously. It’s always described in such sumptuous detail that I was hungry the whole damned time I was reading. Honesty though, I thought this was a touch of genius as it highlights the connection that food has to family, feelings, and culture. It creates a grounding and constant thread through all the trials and tribulations that our kiddos face.

There were a few moments, especially when it came to the various romantic arcs in the book, where I questioned whether certain actions were realistic for characters of their age. But the reality is that 12 year olds have crushes, find people attractive, steal kisses, and often have older friends that have even done a little more. I have seen a number of reviews coming down particularly hard on Chichi for being unrealistic and have to respectfully disagree. While Sunny is only 12, it’s important to remember that Chichi is, in fact, a young woman. There are a number of times that Okorafor mentions that not only is Chichi the oldest member of the Oha Coven, but that none of the other kids know her exact age. From what I can guess she’s likely in her mid-to-late teens and from this, both her relationship and impulsive teen-like behaviour are exactly on point for her age. This age disparity creates a nuanced depiction of group dynamics amongst friends of different ages. It highlights the camaraderie and loyalty amongst friends as much as their differences, as well as providing a tender exploration of the challenges of growing up.

Altogether this was an incredible read. It’s beautifully written, expertly narrated if you opt to listen to the audiobook, and transports you to a magical world that will leave you wanting more. It’s an absolutely must read.

Like the sound of this book? Buy it here.

I borrowed this audiobook from my public library as a result of blogger recommendations, all opinions are my own.


#Blogtour #Extract: Seven and a Half Minutes by Roxana Valea @rararesources

Seven and a Half Minutes

Today on the blog I have the pleasure of taking part in the tour for Roxana Valea’s third book in the Polo Diaries series, Seven and a Half Minutes, by way of an extract. Read on friends, and get yourself a taste of this bit of contemporary fiction.

Seven and a Half Minutes - 9780993130991Title: Seven and a Half Minutes

Series: The Polo Diaries: Book 3

Author: Roxana Valea

Publication Date: June 2, 2020

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

Themes: Polo, Dating, Teamwork


Before Roxy found herself “Single in Buenos Aires,” she was a single girl in London in search of true love. The third installment of The Polo Diaries series takes us back to that time, and we follow Roxy as she hires a love coach to help her navigate the dating scene. But the love coach comes up with an unexpected assignment: reconnect to a long-forgotten passion. For Roxy this means horses. Within weeks, she finds herself playing polo, thanks to a series of unforeseen events.

Torn between her desire to become the best polo player she can be and the dream of falling in love, Roxy steps fully into the exciting and demanding world of polo, where injury and recovery mix with hard training, and where celebrating the victory of a tournament comes at a high price. Will Roxy eventually become the polo player she dreams to be? And with polo being such a demanding sport, can there be any space left for love?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Seven-Half-Minutes-Polo-Diaries-ebook/dp/B083KB87KG/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Seven-Half-Minutes-Polo-Diaries-ebook/dp/B083KB87KG/


Context: Roxy plays polo but her mind is set on dating. And even the instructions shouted at her on a polo field seem like dating advice…

“Talk to me! Talk to me, I am your teammate! Talk to me!”
His face is serious, borderline angry. I’m angry too, but for different reasons. I’m angry at the guy I was marking from the other team, who’s decided to use this chukka as a platform to show off his polo skills. I’m angry because I’m not as good as he is, and I lose every ride-off. I’m angry because we’re losing the game. I’m angry at myself for being angry. And now, he’s angry too. We’re riding back after the first chukka, and Cholo, who’s the professional player on our team, is seriously pissed off at me.
“Talk to me, Rosanna! Talk to me! This is what teammates are for! When you see me with the ball, and you are behind, tell me if I should send it tail or open. I cannot see behind. I have to rely on you. Talk to me, OK? Talk to me!”

He has a point. I’ve never been too good at teamwork. But here on the polo field, you can only play as a team. There’s no game for lonely riders. I nod my head in agreement. All right, I’ll talk to you, I promise him silently in my own mind. The anger is still there as I change my pony, as I get on my new horse, and as I ride back to the field. I’m angry at my own anger.

But promises made in the surreal quiet time between two chukkas are hard to keep on the field. When the adrenaline kicks in, and the horses are running wild, your mind goes still, and any thoughts you hold fade away. You are left face to face with the raw you, the very naked raw you as you happen to be that day. And for me, today, I am left face to face with anger. I ride with anger, and I don’t even notice that my horse feels my anger too, and he starts bouncing from one leg to the other and refusing to stop, refusing to turn…

“Rosanna! Stick to your man! Stick to your man!” I hear the shout of my teammate in the distance.

He’s got no idea, but this is a tricky one for me. I’m still single: there’s no man in my life to stick to. He means the man on the field, of course, the man I’m marking. But this is enough to get me angry once again, angry that a guy on a polo field reminds me that I’ve been single for some time now, angry that polo – the perfect substitute for having a relationship – is becoming a platform for sticking-to-your- man discussions. I ride on, irritated, forgetting about who I’m to mark, forgetting to talk to my Argentine teammate, forgetting about everything, even the ball and the game. I am back to dwell in anger.

“Stick to your man, I said!” his shout comes back, merciless.

“Not that one, Rosannaaaa! That one is not your man, the other one is your man, the one with the blue hat. Rosanna, you are confused! The other one, I said! Yes, that one! Stick to him. Don’t lose him. This time you must not lose your man!”

No, he’s not making fun of me. He’s simply playing the game.

I get confused. I find a man I think is mine. It turns out he’s the wrong man. Then I try to repair my mistake quickly before he shouts at me again, and I choose another one to mark, the first one who crosses my path. But no, this one isn’t my man either. Alone and confused, I give up on men altogether and I ride around in circles on my own until Cholo shouts one more time.

“The blue hat, I said. Find the one in the blue hat. Number four!”

So number four must be the right one. I cannot see any blue hat on the field though. I look hard. Cholo has started speaking Spanish. I’m useless with his instruction anyway, and he’s probably given up on me.

I find my blue-hat man, then I lose him again and get more dating advice from Cholo. I try hard to stick to my man, to talk to my teammate, and to remember there’s a ball in the game as well. I try hard to do it all. I fail, get angry once again, and decide not to talk to anyone any longer.

“Rosanna, you put your head down, you don’t look right, you don’t look left, you just run, run, run. What type of game is this? Stick to your man, remember? And look at me, look where I am and talk to me, OK? Talk to me.”

In the silence of the three minutes between the chukkas, I make another promise to myself. I’ll accept the anger that is in me today. I’ll simply let it be there and play through it. And then, once I do that, I’ll find my man and stick to him.

The bell is ringing, and we line up on the field for the start of a new chukka, like a new blank page where the future is yet to be written. I line up next to Cholo, my mallet down, ready for the throw-in. I’ll talk to him this time, I know I will…

About the Author

Seven and a Half Minutes Author PhotoRoxana Valea was born in Romania and lived in Italy, Switzerland, England and Argentina before settling in Spain. She has a BA in journalism and an MBA degree. She spent more than twenty years in the business world as an entrepreneur, manager and management consultant working for top companies like Apple, eBay, and Sony. She is also a Reiki Master and shamanic energy medicine practitioner.

As an author, Roxana writes books inspired by real events. Her memoir Through Dust and Dreams is a faithful account of a trip she took at the age of twenty-eight across Africa by car in the company of two strangers she met over the internet. Her following book, Personal Power: Mindfulness Techniques for the Corporate Word is a nonfiction book filled with personal anecdotes from her consulting years. The Polo Diaries series is inspired by her experiences as a female polo player–traveling to Argentina, falling in love, and surviving the highs and lows of this dangerous sport.

Roxana lives with her husband between England and Spain, and splits her time between writing, coaching and therapy work, but her first passion remains writing.

Facebook –https://www.facebook.com/RoxanaValeaAuthor/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/roxanavalea_author/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/roxana_valea

Seven and a Half Minutes Full Tour Banner

Many thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the Blog Tour.