Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

The Cleansing by JA Baker – Book Review



When Ray moves to a new house in the village of Whitchurch, he leaves behind a relationship and a luxury apartment in search of a better life in the countryside.

However, he soon realises that sleepy Whitchurch also has its own fair share of problems. Last year, a woman’s body was discovered in the woods nearby. The killer was never caught.

Soon suspicious things start to happen. Threatening letters are sent, cars are vandalised and headstones are desecrated. But who is responsible for these acts and why?

As the tension in the village builds, Ray begins to feel the pressure. Someone is out to cause trouble and that someone might be closer to Ray than he ever imagined.


Whitchurch seems to be a lovely little village, everyone knows each other and a nice community with a local pub….all good…except something dark is happening…

A local woman’s body was found….the killer unknown, then a cat is killed, threatening letters are sent to various inhabitants and dog mess smeared on some cars…some of the villagers are a little hysterical and blaming an ex-con who lives in one of the local houses…..just who beat Jim, who was just watching the stars! Who set fire to Emily’s home…..were these attempted murders?

Ray has moved to Whitchurch after leaving a relationship in Birmingham, he wants a quiet life. It takes a little while to be accepted into the village, but the friendly barmaid, Lily helps and he’s soon mixing and socialising with the villagers…

I liked the way the book was set out, with the short chapters from the perpetrators point of view….it builds a sense of unease. Just how much does nurture over nature affect a child….?

There’s lots of gossip and pondering as to who the perpetrator is, but J.A.Baker’s clever writing keeps you guessing…..right up to a gasp inducing end….!

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.


BUY A COPY HERE (click on the image)





J.A.BAKER was born and brought up in North East England and has had a love of language for as long as she can remember.

She enjoys reading many genres of books but especially enjoys psychological thrillers. When she’s not busy writing, she can be found trying to keep on top of her high maintenance garden!

In December 2016 she was signed by Bloodhound Books who published Undercurrent.


Her second novel, Her Dark Retreat was published in October 2017. Since then she has written four other novels – The Other Mother, Finding Eva, The Uninvited and The Cleansing which is her latest release.

J.A. Baker has four grown-up children and a grandchild and lives in a village near Darlington with her husband and madcap dog.

You find out more about J.A.Baker by visiting her website at

Book reviews

Dyed Souls by Gary Santorella – Book Review



Described by John Lloyd of The Bookbag as “Catcher in the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Dyed Souls is a gritty coming-of-age literary novel, set in a residential treatment center in 1980’s California.

Charlie Lyle loves science, natural history, and the world of the mind, and it is his refuge and salvation as he copes with his drug-addicted mother and a world of circumstances well-beyond his grasp. More a work of philosophy than psychology, “For the teen it has a galling coming-of-age, redemption quest. For the adult it has that, as well as a literary look at a singular fictional life.”



This is a marvellously written story of a young man called Charlie.

He had to go to the Hawthorne Residential Treatment Centre for troubled young people. Charlie is very intelligent and reads constantly, this makes him different amongst his peers.

His drug addicted mother, tends to treat him badly as though she feels he is to blame somehow for her situation….but he’s very close to his grandparents..

This story tells of Charlie’s life at Hawthorne, there are many incidents, even Charlie fighting with another child.

But then he meets Margo, a pretty girl he falls in love with and he feels a happiness he hasn’t known before…..but will this end well?

This is a coming of age story which is wonderfully written, heartbreakingly sad at times but a compelling read….

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

Purchase Links

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US –

Author Bio


Gary Santorella, Owner, Interactive Consulting is a Lean implementation, ..organizational development, conflict resolution, and team-building specialist. He has a BA in Behavioural Psychology from Providence College, Providence, RI (1980), a Master’s Degree in Occupational Social Welfare from UC Berkeley (1990), and is a licensed cognitive-behavioural therapist in the State of California. His book: Lean Culture for the Construction Industry: Building Responsible & Committed Project Teams 2nd Edition was published by Productivity Press (a division of Taylor & Francis) in 2017. His first novel, Dyed Souls, was published by Matador Publishing in 2018.

Social Media Links –
Dyed Souls has won two awards:
Silver in the 2018 Global eBook Awards – Young Adult Fiction Category
Chill With a Book Readers Award.