Thursday, 19 January 2017

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson @PeterSwanson3 #BlogTour @FaberBooks #Giveaway

Following a brutal attack by her ex-boyfriend, Kate Priddy makes an uncharacteristically bold decision after her cousin, Corbin Dell, suggests a temporary apartment swap - and she moves from London to Boston.
But soon after her arrival Kate makes a shocking discovery: Corbin's next-door neighbour, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police begin asking questions about Corbin's relationship with Audrey, and his neighbours come forward with their own suspicions, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own.
Jetlagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination playing out her every fear, Kate can barely trust herself. so how can she trust any of the strangers she's just met?

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson is published in hardback by Faber Books on 19 January 2017 and is the author's third novel.
Back in February 2015 I read the author's last novel; A Kind Worth Killing and absolutely loved it. So much so that it made its way into my Top Reads of 2015. I've been looking forward to Her Every Fear ever since then.

I'm delighted to be taking part in the Blog Tour today, and have one hardback copy of the book to give away. Entry is simple, just fill out the widget at the end of this post.  UK ENTRIES ONLY PLEASE.  Good luck!

Kate Priddy's life has been on hold for some time.  Her ex-boyfriend, George, brutally attacked her,
she was very lucky to survive, and whilst the physical scars may have healed, she is an emotional wreck. Kate was always prone to panic attacks, and suspicion and paranoia. George's attack made everything so much worse. She's sure that she's a 'psycho magnet'.

Surprising everyone, including herself. Kate decides to take up the offer of a house swap with her American cousin Corbin. She will live in his Boston apartment for six months, he will move into her flat in London whilst he's on secondment for his employer. Kate and Corbin have never actually met, but arrangements are made and before she knows it, Kate has arrived at Corbin's luxury apartment.

Audrey Marshall was Corbin's neighbour. Audrey Marshall's body is discovered in the apartment next door, she's been murdered and the police have lots of questions to ask.

Peter Swanson cleverly tells his story using multiple points of view. The reader is never quite sure which of these narratives can be relied upon though. Each one has their own view, each one could be the truth, all of them are convincing.

The reader learns more about Corbin, but very little about Kate and whilst she is the lead character, she's somewhat distant to the plot which can feel a little bit unsettling sometimes. The reader knows far more than Kate does, but despite this in-depth knowledge, dating back many years, there is such an air of mystery and suspicion pervading the story that adds a jaw-tightening tension to the plot.

Peter Swanson writes with clarity and perfect pace. His characters are cleverly created, and their relationships, with each other, and with the reader, are solid.

Her Every Fear is an astute and startling study of the psychopathic brain and takes no prisoners. There are scenes of extreme violence that could shock the reader, and there are many questions raised. This is not a neatly finished off story either, the ending will make every reader ponder and consider. For me, that's perfect, I like a story that makes me question, however there will be some readers who may not be so accepting.

Thrilling, surprising and excellently written. Recommended if you like crime with a twist.

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and invited me to take part in this blog tour.

Peter Swanson's debut novel, The Girl With a Clock for a Heart (2014), was described by Dennis Lehane as a 'twisty, sexy, electric thrill ride' and was nominated for the LA Times book award.
His follow up, The Kind Worth Killing (2015), a Richard and Judy pick, was shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Silver Dagger, and was named the iBook stores Thriller of the Year and was a top ten paperback bestseller.
He lives with his wife and cat in Somerville, Massachusetts

Find out more at
Follow him on Twitter @PeterSwanson3

I have one hardback copy of Her Every Fear to giveaway.  To enter, please complete the widget below. The giveaway runs for one week.  UK ENTRIES ONLY.     Good luck!

#Giveaway Hardback copy of Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson


Monday, 16 January 2017

Our Magic Hour by Jennifer Down @jenniferdown @text_publishing

All night Audrey woke again and again, and every so often Nick would be awake, too, and their bodies would shift into new shapes, and once Nick reached for her as if in a panic, and once Audrey thumped to the kitchen half-awake and stuck her head under the tap to drink, and once she turned over to face Nick, who was open-eyed, and they began to kiss in a dream, bodies just coming to, and she saw the dull shadows from the streetlights pass over his face as he came, and he covered her body with his and she felt his breath in her hair, and they held each other, and the whole time they never said a thing. 

Audrey, Katy and Adam have been friends since high school - a decade of sneaky cigarettes, drunken misadventures on Melbourne backstreets, heart-to-hearts, in-jokes. 

But now Katy has gone. And without her, Audrey is thrown off balance: everything she thought she knew, everything she believed was true, is bent out of shape. 

Audrey's family - her neurotic mother, her wayward teenage brother, her uptight suburban sister - are likely to fall apart. Her boyfriend, Nick, tries to hold their relationship together. And Audrey, caught in the middle, needs to find a reason to keep going when everything around her suddenly seems wrong. 

Evocative and exquisitely written, OUR MAGIC HOUR is a story of love, loss and discovery. Jennifer Down's remarkable debut novel captures that moment when being young and invincible gives way to being open and vulnerable, when one terrible act changes a life forever.

Our Magic Hour by Jennifer Down was published by Text Publishing in paperback on 29 December 2016 and is the author's debut novel.

Our Magic Hour is a fairly short novel at just under 300 pages, it flows beautifully and the writing transports the reader to the Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney, yet it has taken me quite a while to finish the book. Not because I didn't like it, not at all. No, it's the sort of story that packs such an emotional punch that time out is needed every now again. To digest and to recover.

This story looks at the remains of a friendship. Once there were three, and now only two. Audrey, Adam and Katy were always friends, they grew together and they learned together. Katy killed herself and Audrey's whole world was knocked sideways. This is her story, her thoughts and how she copes .... or doesn't.

Audrey has a lot to deal with, it could be asked if the author has included too many issues and themes into her story, but despite this question, there is no doubt that she deals with all of them with a gentle sensitivity, and a clear sense of authority.

Grief, pain, loss and loneliness consume this story, and the reader. I'm probably older than the target audience and have not visited Australia, but the author's sharp writing will appeal to readers who appreciate fine storytelling, with depth and emotion.

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

Jennifer Down was born in 1990. Our Magic Hour was shortlisted for the 2014 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an un-published manuscript.
Her work has appeared in the Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday Paper, Australian Book Review, ABC's The Drum and Blue Mesa Review.
She writes a monthly column on words and language for Overland.

Find out more at
Follow her on Twitter @jenniferdown


Sunday, 15 January 2017

Rupture by Ragnar Jonasson #BlogTour @ragnarjo @OrendaBooks

 1955. Two young couples move to the uninhabited, isolated fjord of Hedinsfjörður. Their stay ends abruptly when one of the women meets her death in mysterious circumstances. The case is never solved. Fifty years later an old photograph comes to light, and it becomes clear that the couples may not have been alone on the fjord after all… 

In nearby Siglufjörður, young policeman Ari Thór tries to piece together what really happened that fateful night, in a town where no one wants to know, where secrets are a way of life. He's assisted by Ísrún, a news reporter in Reykjavik who is investigating an increasingly chilling case of her own. Things take a sinsister turn when a child goes missing in broad daylight. With a stalker on the loose, and the town of Siglufjörður in quarantine, the past might just come back to haunt them. 

Haunting, frightening and complex, Rupture is a dark and atmospheric thriller from one of Iceland's foremost crime writers.

Rupture by Ragnar Jonasson was published in paperback by Orenda Books on 15 January 2017 and is number four in the Dark Iceland series by this author. The first three books in the series are Snowblind (June 2015), Nightblind (January 2016) and Blackout (July 2016). The series is translated by Quentin Bates.

I absolutely love this series! Ragnar Jonasson's writing is wonderfully descriptive and once again he's produced a story that engages from the very first word.

Policeman Ari Thor and TV journalist Isrun take the lead in the Rupture story, it's been fascinating to watch both of these characters grow and develop throughout the series. Both of them are full of life, both have their flaws and their own particular idiosyncrasies, but they are both very realistic and believable.

The town of Siglufjorour is in quarantine, people are frightened that they may catch the illness that has already proved deadly. Ari Thor doesn't have a great deal to do, except dwell on his own turbulent personal life. When he is visited by a man who is looking to solve the mystery of an unknown face in an old photograph, Ari welcomes the distraction. Little does he know that he's about to uncover some long-hidden secrets.

Meanwhile Isrun is also dealing with her own personal demons. Her parents have separated and she's got a huge secret of her own that could have implications for her future. She too welcomes the distraction of a particularly sensitive story, involving high ranking politicians, drugs, murder and the abduction of a small boy.

Ragnar Jonasson expertly weaves these threads together to create a story that flows beautifully. His Icelandic location is blissful and so expertly described. The reader really is transported to the coldest and most desolate spots in this stunning country.

I think that Rupture is the author's best book yet. Whilst only short at just over 200 pages, it packs a huge punch. Elegantly and cleverly paced, with a plot that grips and a totally unexpected ending, this is crime writing of the highest quality.
Exceptional, I loved it.  Roll on the next instalment!

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and invited me to take part in the blog tour.

Ragnar Jonasson ( is the Icelandic writer of the Dark Iceland crime series set in Northern Iceland. Snowblind (2015) is the first book in the Dark Iceland series. Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, and works as a lawyer in Reykjavik. He is also a teacher at Reykjavik University Law School and has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Before embarking on a writing career, Ragnar translated fourteen of Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. Ragnar is the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir, and has appeard on panels at Crimefest in Bristol, Left Coast Crime in the USA, Bloody Scotland in Stirling and Iceland Noir in Iceland. Ragnar’s short story Death of a Sunflower was published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine January 2014 issue, the first story in the magazine by an Icelandic author. His second Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine story, A Letter to Santa, was published in the January 2015 issue. Ragnar’s short story Party of Two was published in the Crime Writers’ Association 2014 anthology Guilty Parties, edited by Martin Edwards. Ragnar lives in Reykjavik with his wife and daughters.

Find out more at
Follow him on Twitter @ragnarjo


Saturday, 14 January 2017

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer Guest Review by Lainy @smbslt

In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life.
She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn't even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.
Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They've killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.
When her former handler offers her a way out, she realises it's her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires makes her situation even more dangerous.
Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.
In this tautly plotted novel, Stephenie Meyer creates a fierce and fascinating new heroine with a very specialised skill set. And she shows once again why she's one of the world's bestselling authors.

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer was published in hardback by Sphere / Little Brown on 8 November 2016.

I'm delighted to welcome Lainy to Random Things today. Lainy blogs at So Many Books, So Little Time  and agreed to guest review The Chemist.

Here's what Lainy says:

Her name constantly changes, it needs to, she is on the run from the Government. Previously employed as an "extractor" she used her knowledge of chemicals to torture and get info from the bad guys to save the innocents until they turned on her. Now she is the hunted, pulled out from her hiding to hunt down a sadist killer who thinks nothing of taking out millions of people, she agrees to meet one of the government operatives. Back to doing what she does best, she goes to work extracting information, but what the prisoner tells her is not what she is expecting and now she finds herself in danger from all camps and not knowing who to believe!

Ooooh think a female style Jason Bourne, The Chemist knows her way around chemicals and she isn't afraid to use them to torture for the greater good. She trusts no one and rightly so, her name changes constantly to keep her identity a secret. A constant game of cat and mouse, she can trust no one. However her prisoner makes her question everything she knows and worse, feelings she is not used to having come to the surface. Trying to survive in a world where no one can be trusted, fling into the mix a male who stirs up feelings she didn't know she could feel and a presence who resents everything she is!

This is a story of relationships, self preservation, personal growth, learning to reintegrate into societal relationships in very unnatural circumstances, murder, trust, betrayal and loyalty. Oh and lets not forget there are some very fabulous well trained loyal dogs, I love dogs in any kind of story! Things I didn't love so much, the main character is a machine, her main operative is staying alive, yet so many decisions and choices she makes questions the earlier version of the character we meet in the start of the book. One character is a machine, indestructible, a high end operative and assassin yet some of the lingo he uses just doesn't fit with who he is presented as in the book. Despite that I did enjoy the book, I would give it, overall, 3.5, as Goodreads and my blog doesn't do point stars, it is a 3/5 for me this time. I enjoyed the Twilight books and I did like this one I just didn't love it, I would read her next book and if you like a thriller style book give this one a spin. Thanks so much to Anne Cater from Random Things Through My Letter Box for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.


Thursday, 12 January 2017

Sirens by Joseph Knox @josephknox__ @DoubledayUK

Isabelle Rossiter has run away again.

When Aidan Waits, a troubled junior detective, is summoned to her father’s penthouse home – he finds a manipulative man, with powerful friends.

But retracing Isabelle’s steps through a dark, nocturnal world, Waits finds something else. An intelligent seventeen-year-old girl who’s scared to death of something. As he investigates her story, and the unsolved disappearance of a young woman just like her, he realizes Isabelle was right to run away.

Soon Waits is cut loose by his superiors, stalked by an unseen killer and dangerously attracted to the wrong woman. He’s out of his depth and out of time.

How can he save the girl, when he can't even save himself?

Sirens by Joseph Knox is published in hardback and ebook by Doubleday on 12 January 2017 and is the author's debut novel.

Detective Constable Aiden Waits narrates this powerful, dark and sometimes grimy story in a voice that is assured and really quite frightening. A flawed copper is certainly no new thing in crime fiction but Aiden Waits' character is refreshingly different, and despite anything and everything that he does, the reader cannot fail to empathise with him, to have his back, and to cheer him on.

Set in the depths of Manchester's sinister and quite bleak world of drugs and criminal gangs; Sirens is a study in degeneracy, with an indepth look at the world of the sirens of the title; the girls who live their lives on the edge, keeping the drugs world running smoothly, risking all for the perceived glamour and status that their role brings to them.

It isn't long before Waits finds himself caught up in the middle of some of the most powerful gangs in the city. He's there on official business, but infiltrating these circles is full of danger. He begins to make links between the runaway daughter of a very powerful man and an old case from ten years ago. He knows he has to get Isabelle away, but can he convince her?

Sirens is a dark, dark story and deals with so many serious issues, but it's not cramped, it's perfectly paced. It feels natural, and real and Joseph Knox's writing is so stylish, his words are almost poetic at times.

If you love crime fiction, you will adore Sirens. If you love beautiful writing, you will adore Sirens. If you love gritty realism and dark dark themes, you will adore Sirens.

Sirens is a triumph. Joseph Knox has huge huge talent. A sure fire hit for 2017.

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

Joseph Knox was born and raised in and around Stoke and Manchester, where he worked in bars and bookshops before moving to London.
He runs, writes and reads compulsively.
Sirens is his first novel.

Find his Author page on Facebook
Follow him on Twitter @josephknox__


Wednesday, 11 January 2017

My Life In Books ~ talking to author Lyn Farrell @FarrellWrites

My Life in Books is an occasional feature on Random Things Through My Letterbox
I've asked authors and people in publishing to share with us a list of the books that are important to them and have made a lasting impression on their life

Please join me in welcoming author Lyn Farrell to Random Things today. Lyn is the author of The Wacky Man which I read and reviewed on Random Things in May last year. The Wacky Man also featured in my Top Reads of 2016.

Here's a snippet from my review:  "Lyn G Farrell writes with incredible insight, I don't know of her background, I don't know how she's captured Amanda's life so well, but she really is one of the most talented and gifted authors that I've come across for many years. Mental anguish, brutality, family relationships, fear and ignorance; these themes make up the heart of this story."

Follow her on Twitter @FarrellWrites

My Life in Books ~ Lyn Farrell

When I was asked to take part in this I was delighted. I’ve enjoyed reader other authors’ choices and love going through the list to discover I’ve also read and been captivated by many of their choices. As others have noted, when it comes to listing your own, it’s a much harder thing to do. My bookshelves and kindle groan under the weight, physical and virtual respectively. However, I’ve gone for just some of the choices that were pivotal in changing how I viewed the world.

Mr Dizzy – Roger Hargreaves  I loved the Mr Men, so much so that I wrote to Roger Hargreaves. He sent a lovely letter back with a picture of the World’s first Mrs Dizzy (it was Mr Dizzy with a bow on the head!). My sister reckons it was my letter – titled the Mrs Madams – that led to the Little Misses. As a small child I loved Mr Dizzy the best because, like me, he was being bullied and he gave me hope as he overcame it. I liked the sense of justice I got from the baddies getting their comeuppance. If only life was always like that.

Watership Down – Richard Adams   As soon as I read the news of Richard Adam’s death, I could see Hazel and Fiver and Bigwig in my mind’s eye. I’ve read this book many times in my life and I always break down at the end. It’s a marvellous feat of imagination and it gives children a way of coming to terms with the harsher realities in life. I don’t recommend it for young children though – in either book or film format. I was taken to see the animated film, as a treat for my seventh birthday. Unfortunately I was traumatised by the wall to wall rabbit death (how the hell did this get a ‘U’?!) and screamed the place down, yelling ‘Mum, make the eagle bring the rabbit back’. We were nearly thrown out because I was frightening the other kids but somehow I made it to the end.

This book was hugely important to me as a ten year old. It was my first encounter with a character that was suffering the extreme violence I was at home. Ranofer, the Egyptian orphan in the story, was beaten and starved by his half brother. Despite this, he clung to his dream of wanting to be a goldsmith. I found a comrade in Ranofer, found comfort in the fact that stories like this could be told. It also took me into an amazing world of exotic foods and landscapes and let me escape my own surroundings. I read this book countless times, over many years, and will never forget how much it helped me.

My oldest sister bought this book for my 11th birthday and it was truly life changing. You can find a lot of positive messages for women and girls today (though I realise that sexism is still, unfortunately common, and that girls today don’t have it easy) but when I grew up in the 1970s, there was a lot of limiting ideas about how they should behave and what they should aspire to. In this book I read, for the very first time, that I could choose how to be a girl. I found the story of a group of girls who successfully protested for the right to wear trousers to school in winter inspiring, and it also taught me about the right to protest and the power of community action. I suddenly felt that, once I’d escaped the tyranny of home, I’d be strong enough to choose my own path in life. I’ve never forgotten that message.

Possibly my first encounter with fantasy/dystopian writing. I identified with Sophie, who was ‘different’ to other children. I found it a terrifying but captivating tale and I remember gasping when Sophie’s wet footprint on the boulder gave away her secret. Apparently it’s widely considered to be Wyndham’s best novel and though I adored his other stories too, I’d have to agree.

Dystopia meets Utopia! I read this novel when I was about 15, not realising then that it was one of the great sci fi novels of the 1970s written by women. Connie, one of the main characters, is trapped through prejudice and poverty in an psychiatric asylum. Her psychic abilities transport her into a better, future, world where women are equal to men and everyone in the community has equal opportunity, after the work is done, to pursue their creative passions. At the same time they’re forced to fight a world, much like ours, where the rich and powerful oppress the poor. Incredibly powerful writing from an author who astonishingly accurately predicted the rise in extreme plastic surgery (“breasts so large they couldn’t walk properly”) to adhere to society forms of beauty. It made me think about the big questions; freedom, society, power and poverty. I could also have chosen Vida by the same writer in terms of the effect it had on me but this was the first book I read by her.

I have to confess that I’m quite jealous of people who can weave comedy into their writing. I love books that are so funny they give me hiccups and I hope it’s something I could do one day. The Hitchhikers’ guide was the first book that I remember reading that made me laugh out loud until I felt sick (I’ve never got along with the film or the radio series but the books oddly enough). I fell in love with humorous writing at this point and have read so many great books since, from Bill Bryson and Michael Carson to Roddy Doyle and John Irving. Oh, and most recently, Jonathan Franzen. There are dozens more that I’ve enjoyed but these spring to mind.

Speaking of comedy in writing – and what I consider to be magic realism – the Illywacker is one of my all time favourite novels. Peter Carey is one of my favourite novelists too, so skilled that I bow my head in awe. I am not the biggest fan, seemingly, of magic realism. I don’t like Angela Carter (please don’t write in, I’ve spent YEARS trying to) and never got on with Salman Rushdie either, though I do, at least love Gabriel García Márquez, especially the incredible ‘One hundred years of solitude’.
The Illywacker is actually beyond description. If I tell you it’s about a 139 year old professional liar learning the art of invisibility, it doesn’t do it justice. Some writers are in a different sphere of excellence and Carey, for me, is one of them. Sometimes, when I get sad that I cannot possibly read all of the best quality novels in one singly lifetime, I cheer myself by saying ‘At least I read The Illywacker’.

I’ve chosen this book because it defeats the ‘write what you know’ law us authors are supposed to obey and that gives me great hope. This is a book set in China, about a British soldier who deserts the army during the Korean war and surrenders to the Chinese. Everything about this story is authentic to me, from the landscapes to the farming and houses and to the sense of aloneness he has throughout the story. When I found out he’d never even set foot in China, but used research to fuel the details in his story I almost applauded. He’s another role model for my collection of ‘writing craft heroes/heroines’ 

The Queen of Tudor times – writing about the Queen of Tudor times. What a book – the scope of it, the details and the tight control she keeps over the movement through time. When I read a novel, there is often a part of my brain telling me off for not attending to my own research or writing. With Wolf Hall my brain just said ‘No worries’ and I jumped in with both feet. The same is true, actually, for ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ and like everyone else, I’m waiting for the final part of the trilogy. Valerie Martin, herself a prize winning novelist whose ‘Property’ is another of my favourite books, praises Mantel to the high heavens for her ability to write historical novels. She is a modern master and anyone who wants to write better should read this book, many times. She is an inspiration to other authors.

My favourite McCarthy book (2nd is No country for old men). The way the style and vocabulary matches the story is a work of genius. The no frills depiction that pares everything down to a journalistic record of ‘what is’, dialogue that is bleak, sparse and only spoken when absolutely necessary. There is absolute and gut wrenching horror in this book; I had to snuggle up to my partner after reading some passages, to have the comfort of the warmth of another human. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read, despite the nightmares. 

Is it cheating to include a book you’ve not yet finished? I’ve included it because I feel like some higher power move have brought this book into my life, just at the very time when I need it most. It’s about the art of writing, about Mailer’s thoughts and fears and experiences over his lifetime of producing great works. The two things that have given me great comfort so far are: he never knew what the ending to a novel would be when he started it and he found his second novel incredibly difficult, both in terms of writing it and the response to it. I’m at that exact point right now – paralysed with fear – and he’s made me realise that even if it goes belly up, you just keep going. There is always a third novel and a fourth….. 

Lyn Farrell - January 2017 


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

No Virgin by Anne Cassidy @annecassidy6 @HotKeyBooks

My name is Stacey Woods and I was raped.

Stacey is the victim of a terrible sexual attack. She does not feel able to go to the police, or talk about it to anybody other than her best friend, Patrice.
Patrice, outraged, when she cannot persuade her to go to the police, encourages Stacey to write everything down. This is Stacey's story.

No Virgin by Anne Cassidy was published in paperback by Hot Key Books on 3 November 2016.

I used to read a lot of Young Adult fiction, but don't seem to have read so much over the past year or so. However, I've been a fan of Anne Cassidy's writing for a long time, her novel Looking for JJ is one of my all-time favourite Young Adult novels. It won many prizes.

No Virgin is an absolute must-read for older teenagers, and their parents or carers. Anne Cassidy deals with the emotional aftermath of a rape. She does it sensitively, with complete understanding, but also pulls no punches at all. Stacey's voice is so recognisable to anyone who knows a teenage girl, or was a teenage girl.

Stacey is seventeen, and in common with most girls of that age she's dealing with a whole host of life issues. Friendship groups, a family that has split, a younger sister who had a baby when she was fourteen. She dreams of becoming a fashion designer and when she meets smooth-talking Harry in a cafe she is in awe. He's a posh boy, goes to a private school and knows people. He can introduce her to people in the fashion world. He bowls her over.

Stacey falls for Harry, but she's really not keen on his friends, or his brother Marty, With good reason.

No means no. It doesn't matter if you've already kissed the guy, it doesn't matter if you are a virgin or not. It doesn't matter if you wear a short skirt, or if you've had too much to drink. If you say no, it means no.

Money, intelligence and a powerful family does not give anyone the right to rape someone. Threats, bribes, flattery and sweet-talk will not alter the fact that no means no, and rape is rape.

Anne Cassidy has dealt with a very important issue, she's created a character who is recognisable, not perfect, and readers will empathise with.

No Virgin is powerful and moving. Anne Cassidy writes with passion and emotion, her voice is clear. The message  is strong and one that should be shouted loudly.

Anne Cassidy lives in Essex. She was a teacher for twenty years before becoming a full-time writer.

She has published over twenty teen novels and is best known for the Booktrust Teenage Book Award winner Looking for JJ, which was also shortlisted for the Whitbread Award and the Carnegie Medal

For more information, visit her website
Follow her on Twitter @annecassidy6