Friday 31 December 2021



Title: Buried
Author: Kennedy Plumb
Publisher: IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association)
Genre: Middle Grade, Teens, YA, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Dystopian
Release Date: 19th November 2021

BLURB from Goodreads
Life in the Underground United States really freakin’ sucks.

No freedom, no sunlight, and the whole place smells like armpit.

That‘s what life has been like for Sam and his little sister Ella for the past eight years, ever since the Draft took their parents. So pretty much hell. But at least they had each other.

​Until they didn’t.

​As if Underground life couldn’t get any worse, Ella mysteriously goes missing without a trace. Sam must now embark on a dangerous journey through the unknowns of the Underground to find her.

But will he find her before it’s too late?

Will a brother’s love be enough to save her? 

Goodreads Link

Amazon US
Amazon UK

It was definitely the cover that first drew my attention to this book. The silvery grey metallic colour of the cover with the circular black landscape-esque cut out that shows the dark but vibrant blue representing one of the zones of the underground described in the book. I think this book cover should really make this book standout on a bookstore shelf. IT would certainly make me want to pick it up and learn more.
Then the blurb tells you just enough about the society and world they are living (suffering in) to encourage you to be eager to learn more.

The book goes back and forth between “before” Samuel & Ella were taken to C9 and the “present” where they are “now”. In the “before” Ella hasn’t even been born, and it is told through Samuels eyes from his point of view. He remembers clearly the day his father, Henry Carmichael left him and his then pregnant mother, Dr Annie Carmichael. Henry didn’t want to leave his family but in accordance with the Executive Order 153 all those over the 18 are to be conscripted and sent to fight in the war which is turning the United States to rubble, wreck and ruin.
Samuel realises something bad is about to happen as he hears his dad and pregnant mum talking quietly when they think he is asleep. Later his dad Henry has a serious talk with young Samuel, telling him that he is to look after his mum and the new baby girl when she arrives. Henry tells Samuel he is to be the man of the house when he has gone. When the men come to collect his father it’s clear his father doesn’t really want to go. One of the men tells Henry he has just 5 minutes to says his goodbyes. Henry hugs Sam, kisses Annie and stoops to hug her pregnant stomach, turning and hugging Sam again until he is abruptly told his time is up, and he is escorted away. Another man approaches Annie, informing her she has just 7 days to self report to Phoenix HQ or they will be back! Annie tries to reason with them telling them it took her 5 whole weeks to recover from her C-Section when she had Sam. The man simply shrugs and replies saying he doesn’t make the rules!
It’s in a flash-back to the “before C9” later in the book we discover that Annie goes into labour earlier than she expected with no one around to help her but Samuel. Luckily as Annie is a Dr she can instruct Samuel to do the emergency C-section she needs to save Ella’s life. Sadly, Annie dies, leaving Samuel with little baby Ella to care for. We then learn, in accordance with the Executive Order 153 they are taken into one of the underground zones. The one they end up in together is C9.

The book in the “present” is set around 8 years later after the sibling’s arrival at C9. Samuel really does keep his word to his parents to look after Ella as best as he can. When they first arrive at C9, those in charge try to separate the, taking Ella to a nursery to be cared for. Ella will not settle for anyone else other than her brother Samuel, so they have to allow him to care for her. Samuel and Ella share a room with two brothers, Teo and Eddie. Ella and Eddie are always teaming up to play pranks on their older brothers, and despite the language barrier the two sets of siblings soon find a way to teach each other words in each other’s native languages to communicate. When Ella and Eddie play a prank on the somewhat miserable guards and the whole of C9 is being punished it seems highly likely someone will turn her in. Before this can happen, Samuel who is no stranger to being punished admits that he is the guilty party despite him knowing and everyone else knowing it is Ella. Shockingly a decision to punish Ella in the place of Samuel who they see as a repeat offender is made. It hurts Samuel more, watching and hearing his younger sister whom he has always protected being lashed than if it were him being beaten.
When they pair are put in a punishment cell, Samuel ends up revealing the truth around exactly what happened when Ella was born. Shocked an upset as soon as the pair are released, Ella she runs off away from Samuel refusing to talk to him.

I really don’t want to reveal much more but it turns out Ella has been kidnapped, and with a little help from an old friend of his fathers, Samuel is released from C9 to go find his sister. The only information Samuel has is that the kidnapping is all part of a big plan by someone called Vegas and that his sister is probably in E2. Samuel meets up with a rather rag tag group of people who live outside the zones making deliveries to all the different zones. It takes some convincing but they eventually seem to accept Samuel into their group. Though infuriatingly for Samuel he is given a nickname as none of the group go by their real names anymore and he is now being referred to as “Pretty boy.” The others in the group are leader and driver Beardsley, then there’s a man named Red, and a young disabled boy called Ponyboy. The females in the group are Steele, Lala and Q and her faithful dog Luna. In an ironic twist it turns out that Samuel knows Lala’s sons from C9 the zone he “escaped” from.

This book covers some really difficult subjects, one in particular that really resembles real life to me is the way those with disabilities are treat. They are basically slaves to those in the Elite zones, and treat no better than animals really and sometimes are beaten for what can only be described as the amusement of the elite.

There really are some fantastic characters in this book, both on the “good guy” side and the “bad guy” side too. Each of the rag tag bunch of characters have their own stories, such as Lala wanting to find and reunite with her sons. I felt almost immediately attached and concerned about the welfare and lives of the main characters of Samuel & Ella Carmichael. Though I equally warmed to the characters of Q, Lala, Steele, Ponyboy and the others too.

I honestly adored this book and hated having to put it down, even to sleep! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am eagerly awaiting more, as the next book is definitely on my must read list already.

My immediate thoughts upon finishing reading this book were Wow! How could it end right there? Amazing book cover, brilliant book, I can't wait to read more!!

Summing up, this book has great characters, world building & plot too!! I highly recommend reading this one. What a fantastic book to finish up 2021 with!! 


Thursday 30 December 2021



The first standalone Swedish crime novel by Hans Rosenfeldt, creator of the TV series The Bridge as well as Netflix’s Emmy-winning Marcella.

Title: Cry Wolf
Author: Hans Rosenfeldt
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Release Date: 28th December 2021

BLURB supplied by Harpercollins
A dead wolf. A drug deal gone wrong. A female assassin of rarely seen skill. Hannah Wester, a policewoman in the remote northern town of Haparanda, finds herself on the precipice of chaos.

When human remains are found in the stomach of a dead wolf, Hannah knows that this summer won’t be like any other. The remains are linked to a bloody drug deal across the border in Finland. But how did the victim end up in the woods outside of Haparanda? And where have the drugs and money gone?

Hannah and her colleagues leave no stone unturned. But time is scarce and they aren’t the only ones looking. When the secretive and deadly Katja shows up, unexpected and brutal events start to pile up. In just a few days, life in Haparanda is turned upside down. Not least for Hannah, who is finally forced to confront her own past.

Goodreads Link

Barnes & Noble


Hans Rosenfeldt is a Swedish screenwriter, radio presenter, novelist and actor. He created the Scandinavian series The Bridge, which is broadcast in more than 170 countries, as well as the ITV/Netflix series Marcella

Author Website - none
Instagram: @hansrosenfeldtofficial
Facebook: @hjorthrosenfeldt

Everything had gone according to plan.

First their arrival.

Be the first in place, park the jeep and black Mercedes be-side each other on a rutted clearing in the middle of the forest, used by lumber trucks and harvesters for loading and U-turns, then position the coolers to face the narrow forest road they’d just come down. The ruts beneath them, the nocturnal birdsong around them, the only thing besides absolute silence until the sound of engines announced the arrival of the Finns.

A Volvo XC90, also black, drove up. Vadim watched as Artjom and Michail took their weapons and left the Mercedes, while he and Ljuba climbed out of their jeep. He liked Ljuba, thought she liked him, too. They’d gone out for a beer together a few times, and when they asked her who she wanted to drive with, she’d chosen him. For a moment he considered telling her to wait in the car, take cover, say he had a premonition this might go wrong. But if he did that, what would they do afterwards?

Run away together? Live happily ever after?

That would be impossible once she knew what had happened. She’d never betray Valerij; she didn’t like him that much, he was sure of it. So he said nothing.

The Volvo stopped a few meters in front of them, the engine switched off, the doors opened and four men stepped out. All of them armed. Looked around suspiciously as they fanned out.

Everything was still.

The calm before the storm.

The Finnish leader, a large man with a buzz cut and a tribal tattoo wrapped around one eye, nodded to the smallest of the four Finns, who holstered his gun, walked behind the Volvo and opened the trunk. Vadim also backed up a few steps to un-lock his jeep’s trunk.

So far everything was going according to their plan.

Time for his plan.

A bullet from a rifle with a silencer on it entered just beneath the eye of the large Finn closest to the car. The sudden explosion of bone, blood, and brain matter as the projectile made its way through the back of his head made the others react instinctively.

Everyone started shooting at the same time.

Everyone except Vadim, who threw himself behind the shelter of the jeep.

The man with the tattoo on his face roared loudly, hugged his trigger, and immediately took down Michail with four or five shots to the chest. Artyom answered with gunfire. The tattooed man was hit by two bullets, staggered back, but re-gained his balance and turned his weapon on Artyom, who threw himself behind the cover of the Mercedes, but it was too late. Several bullets hit his legs from the hip down. Shrieking in pain, he landed on dry gravel. The tattooed man continued bleeding, roaring, and shooting as he moved toward the Volvo, determined to make it out of here alive. But a second later he fell to his knees gurgling, let go of his weapon and pressed his hands to what was left of his neck.

Somewhere more shots were fired, more screams could be heard.

Artjom slid up into a sitting position, while trying to stop the blood that gushed from his thigh in the same rhythm as his racing heartbeat. Then another series of shots, and he went still, his gaze turning from desperation to emptiness, his lips forming some soundless word before his head slumped onto his chest.

The third Finn had thrown himself into the cover of a shallow ditch with a good view beneath the parked cars. A round of concentrated fire from his semi-automatic had hit Artjom in the back. Vadim realized that he, too, must be visible and flung himself around the jeep to hide behind one of its large wheels. When he got to the side of the car, he saw the smallest of the four Finns lying dead on the ground.

Ljuba wasn’t visible.

Another round of shots sounded from the ditch at the forest edge and bullets hit the metal on the back of the wheel, puncturing the tire. One went through the rubber and hit him in the side, just above his butt. The pain was a white-hot flash through his body. He closed his eyes, swallowed a scream, leaned his forehead against his knees and made himself as small as he could. As he slowly let the air in his lungs out again, he realized the gunfire had ceased.

It was silent. Completely silent.

No movement, no voices, no roar of pain or betrayal, no bird-song, nothing. As if the very place itself were holding its breath.

He peeked out carefully from behind the jeep.

Still silent. And still.

Slowly, slowly he raised his head for a better view. The sun hung below the trees, but still above the horizon; the scene in front of him was bathed in that particular soft, warm light of the midnight sun.

He rose cautiously to his feet. A bullet was still lodged in his muscle and tissue, but it didn’t seem to have damaged any vital organs. He pressed his hand to the wound. Blood, but no more than he could stop with a compress.


Ljuba was leaning against the rear bumper of the Finn’s car, breathing shallowly, the front of her gray T-shirt beneath her jacket soaked in blood, the gun still in her right hand. Vadim assessed the damage. The blood was running out at a steady rate, so it hadn’t nicked an artery. No air bubbles, so her lungs were probably intact. She might very well survive.

“Who shot us?” she asked, out of breath, grabbing Vadim’s jacket with a bloody hand. “Who the fuck started shooting?”

“He’s with us.”

“What? What do you mean with us? Who is he?”

“Come on.”

He gently took the gun away from her, pushed it into his pocket before standing up, leaned forward and helped her to her feet. She grimaced from the pain of exertion but managed to stand. With his arm around her waist and her arm around his shoulders, they walked out into the open area between the cars. When they reached the rise where the tattooed Finn had fallen, Vadim stopped, gently removed Ljuba’s arm, released his supportive grip from around her waist, and backed away with two large steps.

“I’m sorry…”

Ljuba’s gaze was uncomprehending at first, but she soon realized what was happening, why he’d brought her here. Seconds later a bullet pierced her temple and she was thrown to the ground.

Vadim pressed his hand to the wound on his lower back and stretched, let out a deep sigh.

In the end, everything had gone according to plan.

Excerpted from Cry Wolf by Hans Rosenfeldt, Copyright © 2022 by Hans Rosenfeldt. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.