Book Review: Monkey Arkwright (Wardens of the Black Heart 1) by Rob Campbell

Book Description:
Budding writer Lorna Bryson is struggling to come to terms with the recent death of her father when she meets Monkey Arkwright, the boy who loves to climb. The two strike up an immediate rapport, and Monkey challenges her to write about him, claiming that he can show her things that are worth writing about.

True to his word, Lorna is catapulted into Monkey’s world of climbing and other adventures in the churches, woodlands and abandoned places in and around their home town of Culverton Beck. When the two teenagers find an ancient coin in the woods, claims from potential owners soon flood in, including the mysterious Charles Gooch, who is adamant that the coin is his. But this is only the opening act in a much larger mystery that has its roots in some dark deeds that took place more than a century earlier.

Combining their talents, Lorna and Monkey set about fitting the pieces together in a tale of budding friendship, train-obsessed simpletons, the shadow of Napoleon and falling pianos.

 

My Review:
This is a tale of mystery and suspense. One where you have to find clues alongside the characters. There were times when I wondered where the story was going, and what some character’s motivations were, but all questions were answered.

I enjoyed the supernatural elements to the story. There are no ghosts, vampires etc, but the story does make you question your opinions on luck, faith and why things happen the way they do. One character, Charles Gooch, makes you feel uneasy and wary of his intentions, with his ability to be in the right place at the right time. And what is the darkness in his briefcase?

Some of the description used I really liked. For example, ‘But autumn’s grasp had shaken the trees bare, and winter’s broom had swept away the last few leaves. It seemed that the seasons changed everything except for the graves and their permanent residents.’

Although described as a YA read on Amazon, this book has a wider appeal and would be enjoyed by anyone who likes a well told mystery with a supernatural twist. A great first part to a trilogy.

 

About the author:
Rob Campbell was born in the blue half of Manchester.

He studied Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Manchester Polytechnic, gaining an honours degree, but the fact that he got a U in his Chemistry O-Level helps to keep him grounded.
Having had a belly full of capacitors and banana plugs, on graduation he transferred his skills to software engineering. He still writes code by day, but now he writes novels by night.

Listing his pastimes in no particular order, he loves music, reading and holidays, but he is partial to the words and music of Bruce Springsteen.

His favourite authors are David Morrell, Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch & Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

He lives in Manchester with his wife and two daughters.

Rob’s Amazon page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rob-Campbell/e/B07K5JM84G/.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes,

Mark.

Tilbury Talks To… Kate Noble

Today on Tilbury Talks To…I’m delighted to welcome Kate Noble. Thank you for agreeing to take part today Kate. Would you let everyone know a little bit about you?

 I’m a mum, wife and proofreader as well as book blogger and have managed to amass a wonderful collection of books that I wouldn’t want to part with. Rather proud to say that my daughter is also turning into quite the little bookworm. I try to juggle reading and knitting by using a kindle wedged between cushions but occasionally this leads to dropped stitches or me completely abandoning the wool and needles in favour of my book. My go to reads are usually crime and historical thrillers but I do like to challenge myself with something different now and again.

 

What went through your head when you first decided to start your book blog?
It was a way to give my time some shape whilst my baby napped initially. I’ve always been a reader and shared my thoughts on books with family and friends, but a book blog seemed like a good way to keep track of my thoughts on books in one place. Initially, it was just for me, but soon I found out that other people were interested in “hearing” my thoughts on books and so I began posting my reviews on to social media for others to read too.

What are the best and worst things about being a book blogger?
Best would probably be the connections you can make through the book blogging community. There are a whole raft of people out there who love books and aren’t afraid to shout about books. The friendships I’ve made through blogging are wonderful, bloggers are a great bunch who put their hearts and souls into what they do and in turn, offer advice, friendship and comradery.

Worst would probably be learning the hard way that I cannot read every book that I want to, no matter how much sleep I lose. I hate to let people down and feel awful when I have to turn down a review request, but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

Continue reading

Giving Abused Children a Voice. The Abattoir of Dreams.

My third novel, The Abattoir of Dreams, was inspired by news that a high-profile figure had been named by a man in his forties as his abuser in a children’s home. Subsequently, the man said he’d made a mistake – no one leaning on him there, then– the whole case was dropped. This made my blood boil. This poor guy had obviously been through hell as a child, and all these years later, the authorities still slammed the door in his face.

There are so many cases of both historical and current child abuse. The case of the Haut de la Garenne children’s home on Jersey, brought to light a catalogue of abuse – sexual, physical and psychological, stretching back to the end of the second world war. Eight people have been prosecuted for 145 offences and seven men and women have been convicted. Many more alleged offenders, some now dead, have been identified by almost 200 former residents.

A forensics tent at the former Haut de la Garenne children’s home in St Martin, Jersey, in 2008. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

The investigation also found there was a culture of fear on Jersey. Residents were afraid to come forward with criticism or information because they were living so closely to those they were accusing. Bob Hill, a former member of the states assembly – Jersey’s parliament, said people had long been afraid to report the abuse because they did not trust that any allegations would be treated in confidence. Continue reading

Tilbury Talks To… Claire Knight

Firstly, thank you for agreeing to take part today Claire. Please would you introduce yourself?

Hi I’m Claire and my blog is A Knight’s Reads. I’m quite a new solo blogger as I only started my blog in February 2018. Saying that, before that I was a guest reviewer for the fabulous crimebookjunkie book blog. My main choice of read is crime fiction. I’ll read police procedurals, psychological thrillers, cozy crime, murder mysteries. I do dabble in other genres but crime fiction is my passion. Outside of reading, I’m a mum of two gorgeous boys and I work in the very exciting world of pension administration.  I’ve been adopted by the great county of Yorkshire, having been brought up in the East Midlands.

 

What went through your head when you first decided to start your book blog?
My first thought was how do I tell Noelle! I’d been guest reviewing for Crimebookjunkie for two years and I’d always said that I would be setting up my own blog but until my youngest was at school, it wasn’t going to happen. But then he got a place at preschool and I got my day off to myself!! Noelle was great when I told her that I was flying the nest, in fact she was very excited about it. She’s been my cheerleader from day one!

What are the best and worst things about being a book blogger?
The best thing is being about to shout about the fantastic books alongside making some amazing friends within the blogging community. Worst thing….I hate having to say no, I want to read all the books but unfortunately with work and family life, it’s just not possible! Continue reading

Tilbury Talks To… Sandra ‘abookaday’ Jones

 

Today, Tilbury Talks To… Sandra Jones. Sandra lives in New Zealand and as her blog name hints at, she tries to read a book a day. When not reading she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and being close to the sea. Thank you for taking part today Sandra, lets begin.

 

 

 

What went through your head when you first decided to start your book blog?
I often wonder that……

What are the best and worst things about being a book blogger?
I was reading a book a day when I started my blog. I wasn’t working, and not expecting things to change so thought a blog would be a good way to get a bit of intellectual stimulation. Then life changed suddenly, as it seems to do when you think you’ve got it all sussed, and I found myself back in the workforce. I find the pressures of trying to blog every day a bit much at times. …. But I love that I am in contact with so many wonderful people, like you Mark, that I would never have otherwise ‘met’.

How soon after finishing reading a book do you write a review?
Immediately.

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