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Book Review: Sea Rift, by J M Simpson

Sea Rift by J M Simpson

Today’s review is the latest in the CASTLEBY coastal crime series, SEA RIFT. I’ve read all four in the series and have enjoyed each one, so I was really pleased to hear J M Simpson was realising a fifth instalment this year. In fact, I was one of the first in the queue to ask if I could review it!

J M Simpson


Jo was born in Essex but was raised primarily in the West Country, enjoying a childhood in Devon and Cornwall, never far from a rugged coastline, sandy beach, or harbour. Her parents moved to the country, leaving London, and her father left his job in banking. Jo obtained a degree in Building Surveying from the University of Greenwich and then went on to specialise in research in construction and development, gaining her PhD in 2001. Jo still runs a successful research consultancy and writes her novels in every spare moment she has. J.M. Simpson now lives in Kent's countryside with her family.

The Castleby series is her debut set of novels, based in a fictional coastal community in South Wales, where gripping drama with nail-biting suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final page.

All four novels, SEA STATE, SEA CHANGE, SEA SHAKEN and SEA HAVEN, are available on Amazon in ebook, paperback and on Kindle Unlimited. The fifth in the series SEA RIFT is due out in April, but the ebook can be pre-ordered on Amazon now. If you can’t access Amazon to buy, then email directly at




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The Castleby Series


Old wounds run deep. Revenge has deadly consequences. A dead body is found hanging in local woods. It contains a sinister message for Mickey Camorra. It seems his dark past is catching up with him. As Detective Steve Miller finds another body, he ties both deaths to the Tao crime family. An old contact betrays them and the Camorra’s face their deadliest threat yet. Mike Young is pleased to see an old flame return to Castleby. He’s hopeful they might rekindle their romance, but he soon discovers she is not all she seems. Ex-soldier Foxy tries to move on after the death of his ex-wife. As he explores an unexpected new liaison, a rift with a close friend troubles him deeply, and he wonders about his future happiness. Former hostage negotiator Nate Bennett moves back to Castleby, hoping the town will help heal his sick wife. When a baby is kidnapped from a cafe, and the search intensifies, Nate finds himself face to face with the crazed kidnapper as he desperately tries to save a baby’s life. Revenge, betrayal, drama, and suspense continue in the fifth of the Castleby Series.


Usually, when expectations run high, I’m setting myself up for disappointment, but not this time. After reading the rest of the Castleby series, I couldn’t wait to read Sea Rift. Although it had been a while since I read the previous book, Sea Haven, I had no difficulty in getting into the story and remembering the characters. Sea Rift also introduces a few new faces who gel with the rest of the cast seamlessly. However, my absolute favourites are still Foxy and Pearl. I can see Pearl, an amazingly strong woman who gives even the toughest gangster a run for his money, being the star of her own series. The setting, the characters and the interweaving subplots that accompany the powerful main storyline are fantastic. If you enjoy programmes such as Broadchurch, then you’ll love this! It’s thrilling, entertaining, addictive and such an enjoyable read. I’ve just heard that Jo is writing another in the Castleby series and will also be releasing a new series set in the Scottish mountains very soon. My TBR list just keeps on growing! Thank you, Jo and @LiterallyPR, for my digital copy of Sea Rift in exchange for an honest review.


Now on the top of my long TBR list, is A PRAYER FOR JUNIE, by Fran Clark. This is the second in the Island Secrets series. The first book, Holding Paradise was a joy to read. Full of emotion and captivating characters. I’m looking forward to starting A Prayer For Junie this evening. Here’s the blurb:

When a young woman’s life is in danger, it is her neighbour who steps in to protect her in a 1950s Dominican community where murder puts paid to idle gossip. Now the whole village is paying attention.
Philomena has known Junie’s abusive husband, Gregory, since they were children and has grown to fear him. On secret visits to the river, Philomena and Junie develop a strong bond that leads Junie to question Philomena’s motives.
Philomena’s trust and friendship are put to the test as she discovers how far she will go to protect her friend.
When Junie disappears, will she ever be able to let go of her memory?


Until next time, Happy Reading!

Gillian x


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