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Sandra Ireland was born in Yorkshire, lived for many years in Limerick, and is now based in Carnoustie. In 2013 Sandra was awarded a Carnegie-Cameron scholarship to study for an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee, graduating with a distinction in 2014. Her work has appeared in various publications and women’s magazines.
A thoughtful yet suspense filled novel introducing the first Sarah Sutherland thriller. Sarah, in her 40’s and divorced, rushes from her day job to care for her father who lives alone. She delights in a second role telling chilling stories to tourists about the Scottish witch trials of the 17th century. I have read Sandra Ireland’s previous three standalone novels and love her blend of piercing reality and folklore. Here we step into a new series and as Sarah narrates, I felt myself sympathising, smiling, and investing in her as a character. Both Sarah and her father John head chapters, with information about Alie Gowdie who lived in Sarah’s cottage and was executed in 1648 also slipping between the pages. A clever brew of tension, diversions and suspense takes hold, with questions forming and sitting at the back of my mind, waiting, biding their time. With an unexpected bite Sight Unseen challenges and provokes thoughts and I thoroughly enjoyed this start to a new series.
Sliding through thoughts and slicing into feelings, this is a captivating and rewarding psychological thriller. Sandra Ireland’s novels speak to me, darkly mesmerising with throbbing attitude and heart, they are also just that little bit different. Ellie Rook rushes home when she hears bad news, however waiting for her is the life she so desperately wanted to leave behind. Constant, dwelling in the background of the story, is the legend of Finella, who lured a Scottish King to his death in revenge for the death of her son. As I read I discovered nooks, spaces, gaps, did I dare fill in them in? Ellie is feisty, contrary, full of love and uncertainty. She feels alive, real, touchable, relatable. There may well be some differences of opinion on the ending, I will say no more than I personally loved it. The Unmaking of Ellie Rook with a gorgeous blend of folklore and the most thought provoking and modern of times, is a fabulous read.
A siren-like read, the storyline simply swallowed me whole, it created such tension I could not stop reading! Mac a retired history lecturer who specialises in folklore and oral tradition hires Lucie who is running away from her life, as her Girl-Friday. As the story reveals itself, so does a threatening and deadly presence. The sense of foreboding sent shivers down my arms. While this is a very modern story, it has the feel of a twisted ghostly fairytale as a deep dark power weaves through the pages. Both Mac and Lucie tell their own tales, while another story ensures the past shimmers ever closer, before crashing into the present. I also adored Sandra Ireland’s debut ‘Beneath the Skin’, her writing has the ability to seduce, while creating a slicing piercing energy. I feel as though I was fated to read ‘Bone Deep’, that our paths were meant to cross, it is a chilling, yet absolute treasure of a book - highly recommended.
October 2016 Debut of the Month. Powerful, unsettling, beautifully written and wonderfully captivating, this a thought-provoking debut. Walt is skimming through life, barely existing, attempting to cope with combat post traumatic stress disorder. He takes a job with taxidermist Alys and while living with Alys, her sister and nephew, begins to step into a confusing world of feelings. Walt finds himself constantly alert and his hackles are raised… watching, waiting, ready. Sandra Ireland writes with a subtle yet devastating pen, short edgy chapters kept me on my toes, my feelings contorted and altered as I read. Even though I was on tenterhooks, I still found myself surprised when unexpected bursts of information attacked my mind. Touching guilt, exposing isolation, and unveiling resilience, ‘Beneath The Skin’ inched it’s way into my soul, and I truly do recommend this compelling read. ~ Liz Robinson