A truly wonderful read
A review for 'Angel's Blade', by Trisha Brett
Second of the Sangster stories, Angels Blade was a delight, with twists and turns along the way. Personally, for me with my love of Cornwall, it transported me back to Truro, Bodmin Moor, Rough Tor, Brown Willy, Liskeard, Falmouth etc. It was so good to relate to the places I visited as a child. Some fantastic characters to remind me of people I met there, Pengelly, Morwenna, Sue Driver, and many more, whilst losing myself in familiar surroundings. Certainly a book to engross you. With every page I felt like I was in the story too, meeting the characters face to face, revisiting the places and interacting with the whole adventure... A truly wonderful read. I have a wonderful image of a debonair, handsome Jack Sangster and look forward to his next adventures. Hail to Lewis Hinton & Jack Sangster.
A real page-turner with a hero you will want to see more of...
A review for 'The Face Stone', by Amanda (Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 February 2023)
Lewis Hinton manages perfectly to evoke an era that, whilst it may be in living memory of many of his readers, is far enough from the present day to be history. If you are of a certain age, many of his characters and their settings will transport you right back to that period. But in Jack Sangster, he has created a hero who is both of his time and independent of it, with a measured wisdom and open mindedness that save the day. Add in a fascinating central premise and some unexpected plot twists, and the result is a real page-turner. I’ve just ordered ‘Angel’s Blade’, the next book in the Jack Sangster series!
A masterclass in historical mysteries
A review for 'Angel's Blade', by Elizabeth Wroughton
Angel’s Blade is not just a book, to this reader, it’s a time machine to 1970s Cornwall, a thrilling mystery, and a deep dive into one’s supernatural faith, all wrapped into one. A beautifully spun tale, Hinton has written a world I wish I could visit. I yearn to sit in the Cassandra Arms for a pint of Cornwall’s finest bitter and take the ferry along the river with the colourful characters I’ve come to know in this story. I’m impressed by the level of the Cornish language in this book (that partially being based on how much I didn’t understand first read round!) and found it helped ensconce me in the landscape of the novel. My views of religion being disbelief, I was sceptical when the theme of Jesus was introduced. However, upon further delving into the book, it gave me the chance to revisit my biases and have an open mind to a frankly fascinating subject. Jesus in Cornwall? That’s news to me! A new batch of exciting characters, a story that had me guessing to the very end, and a lesson in ancient history, all make for a fascinating read.
Mixing a mystery with history is a great plot theme.
A review for 'Angel's Blade', by Brenda and Scott Widener (USA)
What did I like about this book?
- The plot: Mixing a mystery with history is a great plot theme.
- The character: The protagonist is likeable and I got invested with his story and processing of clues.
- The students: Showing students that are not only gifted but could easily be on the autism spectrum being heroes and thought of in a positive light is a trend that I really appreciate.
What didn’t like about this book? The pacing had issues at time and some of the plot lines were a little unbelievable and far fetched. But was it enough for me not to enjoy this book? No.
Who would like this book? Readers of historical mystery thrillers.
I couldn’t put it down
A review for 'The Face Stone', by Elizabeth Wroughton
An effortless transportation to another time. The words of The Face Stone leapt off the page the moment I picked it up. My impression is as follows: a nuanced piece of tantalising fiction, with a myriad of fascinating trivia sprinkled throughout the plot. Speaking of the plot, I have yet to come across one quite like this one. It brings to mind the twists and turns of a Jonathan Creek storyline and the intrigue of a classic Poirot mystery. Each character of The Face Stone felt carefully considered, even if they had only a few lines, their presence was purposeful. I found myself both afraid for, and at the same time perhaps disliking, the focus of Sangster’s case, Michael, the being afraid part perhaps not happening as often as it should. It’s intriguing to have a victim that’s also dark, even if it may not be his fault. In any event, Hinton’s unrelenting pursuit of a thrilling novel, from start to finish, is evident.
Evocative, mysterious, intriguing...
A review for 'The Face Stone', by S.B.
Evocative, mysterious, intriguing...
These are three words that describe this fast-paced page-turner, a story with well observed characters and lots of attention to detail. Whilst reading The Face Stone, I felt plunged into the 1960's, walking side by side with a 'detective' who is not a detective, and was left wondering until almost the very end.
Very interesting plot
A review for 'The Face Stone', by Louise Gray
An education inspector is not the protagonist I have come to expect in my thrillers/mysteries but this guy works. Somehow the author has created a period setting which makes sense to the modern reader, with characters, settings and issues which are all eminently relatable. Very interesting plot and there is something out of the ordinary in how the tale is told.
An intriguing book to read.
A review for 'The Face Stone', by Brompton Sawdon
The blurb makes this an intriguing book to read. An eco thriller set in the late 60's. A story that promised glimpses into another world. A new writer to read. Yep sounds like my sort of thing. Would the book live up to the hype of the blurb? Well almost. Apart from a few reservations, it was a good read. I'd definitely recommend it.
The story follows an education inspector, with a difference. Jack Sangster is a likeable character. He's sent by the mysterious Granville Institute to investigate why a boy at a minor public school is constantly playing truant. When he arrives he finds that the boy has gone missing. Not only the one boy, but two others are missing to. It takes on the air of a cover-up. A cagey headmaster doesn't help Jack, who now assumes something worse is happening.
The story is really well written, the conversation spot on. There's an air of humour, a whiff of nostalgia as you navigate the pages. The story is incredibly easy to read. That's not derogatory, but shows an author who is in sync with his readership. There are a lot of facts in this book, lots of information about the natural world, which I loved. It's not fantastical. I loved all this little nuggets of wisdom that appear. The story strides along to the point you're near the end and don't know how it's all going to come together.
That may be the one place I think this book is lacking. The main storyline about the boy ends too quickly for me. The adrenaline rush of the rescue near the end is too quick. Other than that, I can't grumble, it's an excellent read. Jack Sangster is a character I want to read more about. I see there are another two planned, both set in the eco world.
Four stars, very nearly five for this debut Jack Sangster novel. Look forward to reading more.
I received The Face Stone through Netgallery in return for a fair and unbiased review. Thanks also to publishers The Book Guild.
A review for 'The Face Stone', by Tom S Sime
I very much enjoyed reading this book, and it is certainly a page turner, told from the perspective of the lead character, Jack Sangster as he tries to find out what happened to a young man who has gone missing. As the story develops, we gain an appreciation of the charms of the Wirral in northern England (which is a hidden gem).
The book is set in the late sixties, and the writer captures the period's transition from the post war era to the swinging sixties.
I recommend this book to a reader who enjoys a thriller with interesting twists and is more than just another crime story.