Audiobook, Book reviews, humour

The Game’s Gone by Simon Barnes – Audiobook Review


Not since Richard Ford’s classic novel, The Sportswriter, has a novel caught the world of sports journalism so vividly and so well.

No one would call David Rose – or ‘Rosie’ as he’s known to one and all – a star, but he’s good at his job and proud of his work as a sportswriter for a national newspaper. He’s used to seeing flashier talents come and go – both on the field, and in the competitive world of the press. Football comes first in the way he spends his working life, but he’s happy to pitch in whatever the sport – from Formula 1 to Test cricket in the West Indies, the Olympics to a heavyweight championship bout in Japan.

He’s used to the ups and downs of a journalist’s life and has learned to keep his own head safely down – until an especially venal boss pins his own misdemeanours on the entirely innocent Rose. He’s forced to work closely first with a frustrated poet, then with a moral puritan and then the final horror: a real woman. How will Rosie cope?


The Game’s Gone is the tale of David ‘Rosie’ Rose and his ups and downs in sports journalism.

I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable listen even though I’m not a big sports fan, but it really doesn’t matter as it’s not just about the sport, but how Rosie deals with his despicable, backstabbing boss and his ultimate revenge.

It’s full of humour and quite emotional at times, with lots of insight into the cut throat world of sports journalism.

Perfectly narrated by Colin Mace who captures the atmosphere so well. An enjoyable and compelling listen. 

Thank you to Amber at Midas PR for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a copy of the audiobook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Exclusively available from Audible





Simon Barnes was the Chief Sports Writer for The Times until 2014, having worked for the paper for 30 years, during which he covered seven Olympic Games and six World Cup finals. He writes about sports and wildlife and is the author of over 20 books, including the best-selling How to be a Bad Birdwatcher; Epic: In Search of the Soul of Sport and Why It Matters; and Rewild Yourself: 23 Spellbinding Ways to Make Nature More Visible.

Simon Barnes commented: “It was only after I had left the asylum that I was truly aware of the madness. So I thought I’d try and write the madness before I forgot it. But I thought I’d better tone it down a bit – to make it believable.”



The Game’s Gone will be available for 1 credit to Audible members or priced at £19.99 for non-members. It joins a wealth of compelling original fiction on Audible, including Alex Callister’s Winter Dark, Michael Wood’s The Seventh Victim, Ann Morgan’s Crossing Over, K.L. Slater’s The Apartment, and Tom Bale’s The Stone Song. 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Love Me To Death by Susan Gee – Book Review


Something sinister stirs in Stockport…

The police find a young woman’s body in the woods the same week a couple discover a crude, handmade doll in Lyme Park. But are the two findings connected… or a strange coincidence?

In a town full of loners and unhappy families, nothing is as it seems…

All Mr Anderson wants is a family. After his elderly mother died, he was almost unbearably lonely. Now it’s time for him to claim his own.

All Jacob wants is for Maggie to love him back. She only has eyes for the Vincent twins – but maybe he can make her see just how much he cares.

And everyone is a suspect.

A quietly sinister, utterly chilling new thriller from Susan Gee, the author of Kiss Her 

Goodbye. Perfect for fans of You and How to Get Away with Murder.



Love Me To Death is a story of abuse and loneliness. Two people, one an adult and the other a young teen, both suffered and suffers abuse by a parent or ‘step-parent’. As a result these two damaged people just want a family and someone to love them.

Mr Anderson is making his own family and this is dark and distinctly creepy, when he befriends young Jacob, his neighbour, the tension builds and you wonder about his motives.

This is a slow burn of a tale that really draws you in with its emotion and you have empathy for the characters, even though one is a disturbing serial killer.

A tense, dark, thoughtful and utterly compelling read.

Thank you to Vicky at Head Of Zeus for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Love Me To Death. This is my honest and unbiased review.




Susan Gee is a crime writer from the North West. She was a finalist in the Good 

Housekeeping Novel Competition and The Daily Mail ‘Write a Best Seller’ 

Competition. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Manchester University. Love 

Me to Death is her second novel. Susan lives in Stockport with her husband and two 



Follow Susan:


Twitter: @SusanGeeWriter

Instagram: @susangeewriter

Pre-order links:



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Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction 


Black Blood by Jane Eddie – Book Review


Danni was a trainee corporate lawyer before she was forced to flee her life in London. Having escaped a controlling and abusive partner, she now finds herself hiding from another predator – her employer.

Post-Brexit, the U.K. oil industry is on its knees and desperate to turn a profit, but at what cost?

Many companies in Aberdeen have already been forced to sell out to the Russians, but when a prominent CEO is found dead, the number of mysterious deaths offshore have escalated and oil platforms are being targeted by terrorists. But who is actually calling the shots? There is more to these attacks than meets the eye…

As Danni draws ever closer to discovering the truth, she becomes embroiled in a web of secrets and deceit where doing the right thing could cost her life.



Black Blood is set in Aberdeen and the oil industry.

It starts with a bit of insight into the effect the downturn in the oil industry had on the economy of Aberdeen and how the job losses affected the whole community. This really sets the atmosphere of the tale.

A Russian company takes over and the main character, Danni, works for them but soon feels something is not quite right and is deadly for some.

And so the story begins.

This has a tense and twisty plot to keep you hooked from start to finish. Jane Eddie has great, descriptive writing to the extent I feel I could almost find my way around Aberdeen,  and with well developed, likeable characters it all makes for a fast paced, gripping thriller with real atmosphere. Thoroughly entertaining.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.




I am a 48-year-old Contracts Manager for a Well Abandonment Company working in the oil industry in Aberdeen. I live in a farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Netherley, Aberdeenshire with my long suffering partner, four horses and two working cocker spaniels. When I’ve not got my head stuck in a book, my time is devoted to my horses, one of which I compete at dressage.

During the last downturn in the oil market I became disillusioned with my job and made a conscious decision to do something that made me happy. That turned out to be writing! I think my partner thought I was having a mid-life crisis when I told him I was quitting my job to write a book. I have been an avid reader from a young age and always have a book on the go. My passion is crime and psychological thrillers. I had the idea for this novel floating about in my head for about a year and decided it was time to unleash my secret desire to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and see if I could turn my notion of a story into reality. The time it took to write and edit my book have been the most enjoyable of my life so far. Unfortunately I have had to return to work to pay the bills but I am working on an idea for Book 2!


Twitter @JaneEddie2


Paperback: 300 pages

  • Publisher: Book Guild Publishing Ltd (5 Dec. 2019) • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1913208060
  • ISBN-13: 978-1913208066 
Contemporary fiction

One Year Of Ugly by Caroline MacKenzie – Book Review


Having escaped crumbling, socialist Venezuela, Yola Palacios and her family are settling into their new under-the-radar life in Trinidad.

But when the formidable* Aunt Celia dies, the Palacios discover that she’s been keeping one hell of a secret. She’s seriously in debt to a local criminal called Ugly, a debt that is now theirs to repay.

He might dress like David Bowie, but Ugly’s business style is pure Pablo Escobar. What he says, the Palacios must do, otherwise: big trouble.

Ugly’s right-hand man Román is tasked with keeping an eye on the family but Yola can barely keep her eyes off him. Forbidden fruit is the original aphrodisiac, and when Yola and Román fall in lust, even bigger trouble is on the horizon…

Told with raw, acid humour, One Year of Ugly is a story of family, first love and finding home. A blisteringly fresh take on the migrant experience, set in a beautiful corner of the Caribbean, and a poignant reminder that no matter what form of ugly crosses your path, there’s always a way to laugh through it.


*family bitch



The Palacios family fled Venezuela to make a new life in Trinidad, but when Aunt Celia dies they find she has amassed a large debt with the criminal underworld, namely Ugly. When Ugly comes calling for repayment the family end up ‘working’ for him to repay this debt.

Yola, who narrates the story, has a razor sharp wit that will have you laughing out loud at the family antics, the dark humour helps deal with the darker moments of life…..

Will the Palacios family manage to free themselves from Ugly?

This is a tale of the harsh realities of being a refugee, of the daily exploitation they suffer, but it’s also a tale of family, love and humour in adversity. It’s all mixed with such great characters to make an amazingly entertaining read.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.


You can buy a copy here:




Caroline Mackenzie is a freelance translator living in Trinidad with her husband and son. A national scholar, she studied in the UK on an Open Scholarship for four years to qualify as a specialist translator before returning to her native Trinidad, where she began writing more extensively. Her short fiction has appeared in literary publications around the world, and in 2017 she was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. In 2018 she was named the Short Fiction winner of the Small Axe Literary Competition. One Year of Ugly is her first novel, and the TV rights have already been snapped up by Netflix.