Peter Donnelly

Historical Fiction Literary Fiction Mystery

Gifts for the Dead – Joan Schweighardt

October 15, 2019
Gifts for the Dead Book Cover Gifts for the Dead
Joan Schweighardt
Five Directions Press
October 1, 2019

Jack Hopper is holding tight to his secret, though it gets heavier by the day. Nora Sweeny is tired of suffering losses and ready to improvise. Their relationship, based on Jack’s lies and Nora’s pragmatism, builds against a background that includes World War I (as experienced from the docks of Hoboken, New Jersey) and escalates when Jack and Nora travel together to the rainforests of South America seeking closure for a life-shattering event that occurred years earlier. Equal parts romance, adventure, and psychological suspense tale, Gifts for the Dead shines a floodlight on the characters’ deepest yearnings and greatest fears.


Gifts for the Dead is an absorbing story, with outstanding characters that navigate the tangled heart amidst precarious twists of love, loss, truth and guilt. Spanning a period prior to…


My Ugandan Hill – Charles H. Colman

October 3, 2019
My Ugandan Hill Book Cover My Ugandan Hill
C. H. Colman
Self Published
August 26, 2019

When Charles Colman's family moved to Uganda, Africa, they discovered a world far different from post-WWII Britain. Very large snakes could bite or squeeze people to death. Dysentery and malaria were common diseases. A bump behind Charles's ear turned out to be a tick that made him ill with dire symptoms first misdiagnosed as meningitis. Flies laid eggs under his skin. Huge flying cockroaches landed on his face, swam in his milk, and squealed when cornered. Earthquakes abounded, strong enough to crack cement. Conflicts flared between African tribes, and between civilians harassed by the Baganda police. As backdrop to these facets of Ugandan life, a revolution for independence from British imperial rule was brewing.


My Ugandan Hill is Makerere Hill in Kampala. The author is quite clear that the writing is aimed at Middle-Grade students and that does feel accurate. It tackles everything head-on…


Interview with Kate Simants – Author of Lock Me In

October 2, 2019
Interview with Kate Simants Book Cover Interview with Kate Simants
Author Interviews
Peter Donnelly
The Reading Desk
3 October 2019


Author Bio

Kate Simants is a writer of psychological thrillers and crime fiction.

After a decade working in the UK television industry, specialising in investigative documentaries, police shows and undercover work, Kate relocated from London to Bristol to concentrate on writing. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Brunel Univeristy (2007) and another in Crime Fiction from the University of East Anglia (2018), where she was the recipient of the UEA Literary Festival Scholarship. Her novel LOCK ME IN was shortlisted for the 2015 Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger, and is published by HarperCollins.

Kate won the 2019 Bath Novel Award with her second novel THE KNOCKS, which is currently on submission to publishers.

Peter: Kate, your book ‘Lock Me In’ is a wonderful debut novel and I’d like to congratulate you on writing it. I am delighted that we have the opportunity…

Mystery Thriller

Lock Me In – Kate Simants

September 28, 2019
Lock Me In Book Cover Lock Me In
Kate Simants
One More Chapter
October 3, 2019

A debut psychological thriller from a major new talent

Whatever you do, don’t open the door…
By day, Ellie Power has a normal life. She has a stable home, a loving boyfriend, a future.
But at night, she suffers from a sleep disorder. She becomes angry, unpredictable, violent. Her mother locks her in her bedroom every night, to keep them both safe.
Then one morning, Ellie wakes up, horrified to find the lock on her bedroom door smashed from the inside. She is covered in injuries, unable to remember anything about the night before.
And her boyfriend Matt is nowhere to be found…


Lock Me In is a compelling and tense psychological thriller, from debut author, Kate Simants. This is an accomplished novel that is chilling in its complicity and provides engrossing twists…

Literary Fiction

Olive, Again – Elizabeth Strout

September 20, 2019
Olive, Again Book Cover Olive, Again
Olive Kitteridge
Elizabeth Strout
Literary Fiction
October 31, 2019

An extraordinary new novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Number One New York Times bestselling author of Olive Kitteridge and My Name is Lucy Barton Olive, Again follows the blunt, contradictory yet deeply loveable Olive Kitteridge as she grows older, navigating the second half of her life as she comes to terms with the changes - sometimes welcome, sometimes not - in her own existence and in those around her. Olive adjusts to her new life with her second husband, challenges her estranged son and his family to accept him, experiences loss and loneliness, witnesses the triumphs and heartbreaks of her friends and neighbours in the small coastal town of Crosby, Maine - and, finally, opens herself to new lessons about life. 'A powerful storyteller immersed in the nuances of human relationships' Observer 'Writing of this quality comes from an attention to reality so exact that it goes beyond a skill and becomes a virtue' Hilary Mantel on 'My Name is Lucy Barton' 'She gets better with each book' Maggie O'Farrell


Olive, Again is a novel that is boldly observant, honest and searches for apperception. The story of the indomitable Olive Kitteridge follows on two years after her husband Henry’s death….