Martha’s Secrets by Joanna Larum #guestreview #blogtour @mgriffiths163 @Books_n_all

Today I pass the blog back to Mandie who has a blog tour review of Martha’s Secrets by Joanna Larum. Thanks to Jill Burkinshaw for inviting us to join the tour and to the author for the advance review copy. Here is what the book is all about.

MSAbout the Book

Daniel Coleman is worrying about keeping his two new businesses going while, at the same time, trying to find a way out of being conscripted into the Army and being sent to Flanders to fight. He has enough on his plate without finding out that his younger sister, Martha, isn’t the pleasant and polite young woman she pretends to be but a vindictive and vicious termagant who will stop at nothing to gain revenge for any perceived wrong. What can Daniel do when he discovers that Martha is not only a spiteful blackmailer but also a ruthless killer? How can he stop her from killing again, especially as he may be her next victim?

Martha and Daniel Coleman did not have the best start in life. Both were born illegitimately and although their mother loved them unconditionally their grandparents never let them forget the circumstances and shame surrounding their birth. Despite this they have managed to make something of their lives with Daniel now owning two businesses and Martha restoring furniture. On the surface everything seems normal but behind closed doors you get to see just how different these siblings really are.

Martha is polite to peoples and helpful to people’s faces and even seems to have her mother wrapped around her little finger. In reality she is a master manipulator using anyone she can to wreak revenge on those who cross her. She does seem to have a genuine affection for Daniel but I am not sure that even he would escape if she felt threatened by him.

Daniel in comparison is a kind and gentle soul who adopts a young orphan boy from the workhouse to assist with his work. In essence he is the exact polar opposite of his sister. He is not oblivious to her nasty streak but does not have any actual proof of what she has done… just suspicions. With WW1 just starting he is concerned about having to join up and fight… not just because of the worry of not feeling that he could actually kill anyone but also he is worried what will happen if he is not there to keep an eye on Martha.

I will admit that I did struggle to understand why this book was called Martha’s secret at the beginning as I felt that the focus was mainly on Daniel for a lot of the story with Martha more of a secondary character. It was only as you got further in that Martha and her plans took centre stage.  This didn’t detract from the enjoyment of the book however. I actually found myself liking the character of Martha, one minute she would be concerned for Daniel and the next she is plotting someone’s downfall.  Joanna Larum has worked the setting of the story to its best advantage. With everything up in the air and hope fading for some then this is the prime time for people and situations to be manipulated. The ending also left you wondering if this was the last we would hear of Martha Coleman of if maybe in the future she may just turn up again. I for one would like to find out what happens next.

Martha’s Secrets is available now from the following retailers:

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

About the Author

jlI only went to school to learn to read. At age 6, I decided I COULD read and promptly left, by the school gate, the same gate which my mother marched me back through 10 minutes later. So I had to spend the next 12 years at school, learning lots of different things, none of which lived up to the excitement of reading. Wanting to be a writer was a natural progression, because there is nothing as exciting as inventing the story yourself. But it’s taken over 50 years before I dared to present my stories for other people to read. So, here they are! I’ll just creep behind the sofa.

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