Sandlands by Rosy Thornton #RBRT



The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

(by Goodreads)

This beautifully written short story collection is inspired by coastal England, by the landscape and its flora and fauna, as well as by its folklore and historical and cultural heritage. Several of the stories focus on a bird, animal, wildflower, or insect characteristic of the locality, from barn owl to butterfly. The book might be described as a collection of ghost stories; in fact, while one or two stories involve a more or less supernatural element, each of them deals in various ways with the tug of the past upon the present, and explores how past and present can intersect in unexpected ways.

Genre(s): Folklore, Fairy Tales, Short Stories
Series: n.a.
Length: 320 pages
Release date: 2016-07-21



Tyto alba was its Latin name – the white owl, confusingly, in spite of its largely golden-brown plumage, and in spite of the existence, too, of the snowy owl, or Bubo scandiacus. In flight at dawn or dusk, though, she supposed her owl was so pallid as almost to appear white. ‘Ethereal’ was the word that came to Rebecca’s mind. In some Inuit dialects, she discovered, the word for barn owl was the same as the word for ghost.

My Opinion

This book introduces you to the Sandlands – the landscape of the Suffolk coast. 16 charming – and linked – short stories invite you to Blaxhall and its surrounding area.

With Sandlands, Rosy Thornton has created a charming collection of short stories with a good measure of folklore. It is a very enjoyable and varied read, drawing you in as you learn more about coastal Suffolk and its inhabitants. Rosy Thornton paints a clear picture of the characters and landscape while the story evolves. The characters are of sufficient depth, believable with their flaws and virtues; the author’s care for each of them shows. As for the locations, I had a clear vision of the landscape – without having been there myself. The stories are very nicely woven and have a wonderful flow. This calm way of story telling exquisitely matches the stories.

This is a book for you if you like folklore, linked short stories, believable characters, and enjoy excellent writing.


In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Thoughtful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:
Violence :mrgreen:
Sexual content :mrgreen:


About the author

Rosy Thornton is a UK-based author of contemporary fiction, published by Headline Review. Her novels could perhaps be described as romantic comedy with a touch of satire – or possibly social satire with a hint of romance. In real life she lectures in Law at the University of Cambridge, where she is a Fellow of Emmanuel College. She shares her home with her partner, two daughters and two lunatic spaniels.


Connect with the author:

Amazon:  Rosy Thornton

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Sandlands?  Or – if you did not yet read Sandlands – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂








A Different Place to Die by RR Gall



The author sent me a copy of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).


My rating:  4  of  5  stars

(by Amazon)

Shona Bally is a Civilian Investigator for the Glasgow police.

Inspector Tom Quiss has made a necessary move from serious crime.

But when two bodies are discovered, they are pulled into a sparky and unique partnership.

Is it a suicide? Can it be that simple?
A new Glasgow detective, with a twist.
A murder/mystery thriller.
Contains some swearing.


Genre:  Mystery



8.51 am.

Shona watches the man shuffle into the lonely room in the police headquarters. His eyes are on the floor. She watches Inspector Tom Quiss make his way to the large desk at the front. She sees him for the first time in this new job. He walks as though his shoes are tied together with rubber bands. He walks as if his shoes are made from lead.

He wears a dark blue, slightly faded jacket, no tie, and black trousers. He teeters on the cusp of casual and unkempt. Her eyebrows arch in disbelief. She had not been expecting much, but, still, she is disappointed.


My Opinion

The book introduces you to Inspector Tom Quiss, 52 years old, obsessed with bowling, who is forced to return to the murder team. Additionally he leads a newly founded civilian support group, consisting of Shona Bally and Elspeth Brown. This team is also drawn into the murder investigation. These very different characters are cleverly elaborated, and very believable due to their flaws and actions. It is easy to relate. It is more than a simple Scottish mystery; it is a story of coping with personal needs and conflicting points of view, cooperating, and solving a series of strange crimes. I will not tell you more about the story than shown in the Amazon plot description. This would spoil the fun of reading this book yourself.

With A Different Place to Die, RR Gall has created an intriguing mystery. A Different Place to Die is an entertaining, gripping, and not too fast read – I would love to read more about this team. I was drawn into the story right away. I felt quite close to the protagonists and everything that happened. All characters were believable with all their virtues and flaws. A Different Place to Die is a great story not only for Scottish mystery lovers; it consists great twists – making your inner sleuth rethink.

This is a book to read again.


About the author

Writer of The Dumfries Detective Trilogy, The Wrath Inside, and Another Place To Die.


Connect with the Author:

Amazon:  RR Gall
Amazon (US):  buy link


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about A Different Place to Die?  Or – if you did not yet read A Different Place to Die  – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

My question for you cinephiles:
If A Different Place to Die was filmed – who should direct it, who could you imagine as actors?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂