Book Review & Giveaway: A Death in the Valley by John Gruffydd.

03 Apr
Book Review & Giveaway: A Death in the Valley by John Gruffydd.

Thank you to publishers Austin Macauley for my copy of this book. I was particularly interested when they got in touch with this book as it is a crime thriller based in the valleys of Wales, which is where I am from. Keep reading to see what I thought of it….

best book gif



Told from the perspective of Gareth, an honest loyal retired solicitor, this is a mystery in the best tradition with twists and turns that keep you turning pages until the end. John Gruffydd takes you with Gareth, asking; is anyone as they first seem? Who can he trust? Can he trust his own instincts? Showing great understanding of police and legal processes, Gruffydd also shows such insight into human nature that you will start to look into your own heart to question, if it were me, what would I do?

a death in the valley


My Thoughts:

I was intrigued by the blurb of this book, especially when it said :

“… will start to look into your own heart to question, if it were me, what would I do?” – I was watching out for the parts that made me consider what I would do…

The story follows Gareth, a retired solicitor as he is asked to take on another case as it involves people he knew and worked with. The story is mainly based in Pentreglo, where within the first chapter I was gripped by the characters and the wonder of what is going on here!?

The book does a great job of making you wonder who do you trust? and do you really know people? There were multiple characters within the book who could bring out different emotions within me as the reader – compassion, anger, sadness and laughter. The plot of this book takes us from a little Welsh village to Cardiff and then Spain. There were twists that I didn’t see coming and I was left guessing right until the end who was the untrustworthy one! This is just the kind of book that I love, one where you can tell the Author has experience of the tale he writes, I suspect that Gruffydd has done some legal work in his time. He kept us suspended until the end, but gave us enough storyline and information so that we can consider every character and are they really as they come across. I totally see what the Author means when he wrote:

‘is anyone as they seem?‘ – I have to say I did suspect the ‘criminal’, but then I considered everyone, so I cannot claim to have guessed the twist! 

I love John Gruffydd’s style of writing, he writes so eloquently but he adds in real comedy within his characters. I found his main character Gareth so funny, even though ‘Gareth’ wasn’t trying to be funny, I think he seemed to me to be a grumpy older man who thinks a lot! He did make me laugh! I haven’t read a thriller that has made me laugh before, so I really applaud Gruffydd for this and I would certainly read more of his work just based on his writing style. 

“….she had commented that they were arriving in dribs and drabs. That was enough to set me off, and pedantic as ever, I had demanded to know whether we were a drib or a drab”

Another part of this book and Author that I loved was I could tell his nationality so openly and obviously (to me), as he scattered in Welsh colloquial language. This was so nice. If you don’t understand Welsh, don’t worry, it is obvious what he means. However if you are Welsh I really recommend this book. 

“You come here with your posh voice and fancy manners treating me as if I’m twp”

I really enjoyed this book, it was full of suspense, quick witted humour and a lovely dose of Welsh-ness! I absolutely recommend it. 

The generous Author and publishers at Austin MaCauley have let me host a giveaway whereby I can offer 5 paperback copies of this book. I am going to giveaway 3 from my rafflecopter giveaway and 2 from my Twitter account. If you think this book sounds good, enter my giveaways and wish yourself luck. I’d love to hear the winners thoughts on the book. Good luck readers! 





Twitter – AustinMacauley

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Competition now closed, the winners are Donna @choconwaffles,  Florence,  Dawn @3obriens Rhonda @rhondareads Liz @Cvr_2_Cvr . Congratulations, I hope you all enjoy the book. I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Do you like the sound of this book? Have you read any books based in Wales or in your home town? Do you think you will pick this book up? Let me know your thoughts.





Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Posted by on April 3, 2016 in Books, Giveaways


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19 responses to “Book Review & Giveaway: A Death in the Valley by John Gruffydd.

  1. Donna

    April 3, 2016 at 11:45 am

    That sounds like an interesting read! I find myself craving crime and thriller books at the moment, I am definitely adding this one to my TBR. Plus, I have a thing for solicitors. I don’t have many books set in Wales, time to fix this! 🙂 Earlier this week, I added books set in Bordeaux, but it’s kind of hard to find, especially ones that are not written in French.Thank you for recommending this 🙂

    • chocolatepages

      April 3, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      That’s the same as me. I was more a chick lit girl, but I’m much preferring crime thrillers at the moment. This is a really good one. Good luck if you enter the competition.

  2. LizScanlon

    April 3, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Great review, Amanda! I love the sound of this book!

    • chocolatepages

      April 3, 2016 at 11:59 am

      Thank you, I really enjoyed it too. Good luck if you enter the competition.

  3. Suze

    April 3, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    I love books set in Wales, great review! It sounds really good.

    • chocolatepages

      April 3, 2016 at 12:37 pm

      Thank you, I thought it might be a book that you and Tanya would enjoy.

  4. Amanda (@gingermumblog)

    April 3, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Oh this is a book which I woudn’t have thought of buying but I’m intrigued now! Must give it a go. Thanks for the tip. #KCACOLS

    • chocolatepages

      April 3, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Thank you, and best of luck if you enter the giveaway.

  5. Rhonda

    April 3, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks for alerting me to this discovering new to me authors.Book Rhondasounds intriguing.

    • chocolatepages

      April 3, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      Glad you like the sound of it. I hope to read more from John Gruffydd.

  6. florence

    April 3, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Crime thrillers are my favourite at the moment – sounds like an excellent read.

    • chocolatepages

      April 4, 2016 at 8:52 am

      It was brilliant. Good luck if you enter the giveaway.

  7. islandliving365

    April 5, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Fantastic review! Sounds like it would be a really good read, I am off to look it up now #KCACOLS

    • chocolatepages

      April 5, 2016 at 8:52 am

      Thank you. Good luck in the giveaway if you enter, it’s a great read.

  8. Dawn obrien

    April 7, 2016 at 7:36 am

    the book sounds great, my dad is from llanfairfechan and we still have family there !

    • chocolatepages

      April 7, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      I think you would really love it then, good luck for the giveaway.

  9. A Moment with Franca

    April 7, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Oh this sounds great!! And it is particular interesting as I have never been to Wales but I have been invited to go to Bluestone next week so it will be my first time in Wales and I’m so excited about it!! yaay!! lol This is the type of book I could read an enjoy for sure. Great review as always Amanda!! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again on Sunday! 🙂 x

    • chocolatepages

      April 7, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      Thank you, I really enjoyed it and its nice to be able to offer a giveaway too. I’m sure you will have a great time at Bluestone. Thanks for hosting, I will see you again at #kcacols.

  10. yakob (@MaroBenipayo)

    April 8, 2016 at 11:55 am

    love it!


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