Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

The Beach House by PR Black – Book Review


This vacation is about to turn deadly…

Cora’s on the island vacation of her dreams: a private beach in paradise, a romantic proposal, and an eight-figure cheque following the sale of her new fiancé’s business.

When their island turns out to be not so private after all, Cora tries to make the best of a bad situation by inviting their strangely friendly neighbours to celebrate with them. But it doesn’t take long for her once-in-a-lifetime holiday to take a very sinister turn…



Cora and Jonathan plan the perfect holiday to celebrate their engagement and the selling of Jonathan’s business.

On their perfect, idyllic island they come across Hazel and Dylan…..the island was not as private as they believed…

They soon become friendly, but Cora is a little uneasy as she notices just how much the couple resemble her and Jonathan……and then events turn sinister. With flashbacks to Cora’s past…….the tension builds.

This is a slow burn of a psychological thriller with a feeling of unease and an ever building sense of tension…..

With a marvellously complex plot, with plenty of surprises, adding to  the suspense from start to the exciting and ultimately satisfying ending. I can thoroughly recommend it.

Thank you to Vicky Joss at Aria Fiction for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.


About the author


Author and journalist PR Black lives in Yorkshire, although he was born and brought up in Glasgow. When he’s not driving his wife and two children to distraction with all the typing, he enjoys hillwalking, fresh air and the natural world, and can often be found asking the way to the nearest pub in the Lake District. His short stories have been published in several books including the Daily Telegraph’s Ghost Stories and the Northern Crime One anthology. His Glasgow detective, Inspector Lomond, is appearing in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. He took the runner-up spot in the 2014 Bloody Scotland crime-writing competition with “Ghostie Men”. His work has also been performed on stage in London by Liars’ League. He has also been shortlisted for the Red Cross International Prize, the William Hazlitt essay prize and the Bridport Prize. 


Follow P.R. Black: 

Twitter: @PatBlack9

Facebook: @PRBlackAuthor


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Book reviews, Historical fiction

Dreamland by Nancy Bilyeau – Book Review


The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground. 

The invitation to Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer working at the Moonrise Bookstore than keeping up appearances with New York City socialites and her snobbish, controlling family. 

But soon it transpires that the hedonism of Coney Island affords Peggy the freedom she has been yearning for, and it’s not long before she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of. 

Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal, and deadly secrets. And as bodies begin to mount up amidst the sweltering clamor of Coney Island, it seems the powerful Batternbergs can get away with anything… even murder. 

Extravagant, intoxicating, and thumping with suspense, bestselling Nancy Bilyeau’s magnificent Dreamland is a story of corruption, class, and dangerous obsession.


Peggy works in the Moonrise Bookstore, that is until her Uncle arrives and tells her she is needed at home. It turns out Peggy is a member of the wealthiest families in America, the Batternbergs. It’s 1911 and Peggy is a new woman, independent and knows her own mind.

She has been told she must spend the summer with the family at the Oriental Hotel. Her father had died in debt and the Batternberg family had been paying all expenses since, but when her mother finds out she decides to sell their home, downsize and live off the proceeds….Peggy is dubious as this doesn’t sound like her mother.

At the hotel, there’s Peggy, her mother, sister Lydia and brother, Lawrence. There is also Henry, Lydia’s fiancé, plus cousin Ben.

Dealing with the stifling atmosphere, Peggy escapes and meets, artist Stefan in Dreamland on Coney Island…….but then a woman’s body is found, Stefan is suspected due to his background but she knows he’s innocent and sets out to prove it putting herself in danger at times too. 

This is just a perfect read, historical fiction at its finest, with a strong female character, a murder mystery and a little love too. It highlights the vast difference between the wealthy, the less fortunate and those from a different country or culture, not only in monetary terms but in attitudes and behaviour.  The writing is so descriptive, you can feel the sweltering heatwave and the family tensions are palpable….I love it and is a must read for anyone who enjoys engrossing historical fiction. Gloriously entertaining.

Thank you to Hannah at Endeavour Books for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review. My thanks also to Pigeonhole, for the daily staves of Dreamland…..


You can buy a copy here:




Nancy is a writer and magazine editor who has worked as an editor at “Rolling Stone,” “InStyle,” and “Good Housekeeping.” 

Her new historical novel is “Dreamland,” set in 1911 New York City and telling the story of a rebellious heiress who escapes from her over protective family to experience the delights of Coney IIsland–but there are dangers too.

In December 2019 Nancy published a novella set in old New York: “The Ghost of Madison Avenue,” telling a mystery set in the private library of JP Morgan,

Nancy is the author of “The Blue,” a novel of suspense set in the art and porcelain worlds of 18th century Europe featuring a young female artist turned spy, and a trilogy of award-winning Tudor mysteries, published in 9 countries: “The Crown,” “The Chalice,” and “The Tapestry.” 

Nancy’s mind is usually in past centuries, but she lives with her family in the Queens borough of New York City.

Visit Nancy’s website at, and follow her on Twitter @tudorscribe (courtesy of Goodreads)