Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Murder in the Mansion- Faith Martin- 4*  

A middle aged woman is murdered at her door. She is going through an acrimonious
divorce but it doesn’t look like the husband was anywhere near. Who else would
want her dead and why? Meanwhile a sniper is picking of Police as they arrive for
work and shooting from a nearby rooftop. Which station will be next and could an
innocent umbrella save some lives? DI Hillary Greene has her hands full. Faith has
a knack of writing characters so you take the them easily (or not!) and with
snippets of background in each book providing an interesting background story.
Hillary is a likeable figure- a strong female lead who has gained the respect of
her team by doing things herself, including getting shot. A brilliant plot, an
excellent story and a cliffhanger to lead us into the next book very nicely

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Sunday, 28 January 2018

Before I found you- Daisy White-4*

Some friends returning home after a night out find a young girl on the beach
shouting at at the waves  “Come back” but there is no-one that they can see.
They rescue her as she is in danger of being swept away however she won’t
say another word.  Ruby works in a hairdressers with her best friend Mary
whom she also shares a bedsit with along with Mary’s baby. A woman comes
in who has been in prison for 10 years. Her daughter disappeared and although
a body was never found, bloodstained clothing was and she was charged
accordingly. Now she wants Ruby to try and find her daughter and who set her up.
Set in the 1960’s this brings a refreshing change to the world of mobiles and
internet access. When phone boxes were used and if you wanted to know
anything then it was either a friend of a friend or the library. A network of
friends and acquaintances prove invaluable to Ruby’s investigation bureau.
A well written book to take you back if you are a certain age- or to maybe
enlighten you if you are not! We did manage without today’s technology
and maybe even communicated on a more personal level. A different time.
A very enjoyable read.
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Forget her Name- Jane Holland 4*

A chilling psychological thriller that plays with your mind. Catherine is volunteering in
a food bank when she receives a parcel. It contains her dead sisters snow globe from
when they were children however there is something inside it. Things soon get worse
and she has to tell her fiance Dominic whom to date she has only told certain things
about Rachel- the dead sister - as the rest is too horrific for her to even think about
and she doesn’t want to put him off before the wedding. This is so well written that it
grabs you from the start. A rather sinister plot that gave me the creeps a little in parts
but kept me reading wanting to find out more. I read this in two sittings- it gripped me
so much I couldn’t put it down. I won’t give anything away other than to say expect the
unexpected. Expect your mind to be confused and go around in circles.You think you
have it sussed and then another twist and turn. One you will be thinking about long
after you have read it.  A well written, very different, compelling read.

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About The Author
Jane Holland is a Gregory Award–winning poet and novelist who also writes commercial fiction under the pseudonyms Victoria Lamb, Elizabeth Moss, Beth Good and Hannah Coates. Her debut thriller, Girl Number One, hit #1 in the UK Kindle Store in December 2015. Jane lives with her husband and young family near the North Cornwall/Devon border. A homeschooler, her hobbies include photography and growing her own vegetables.

Crossed out- Malcolm Hollingdrake- 4*

It’s a bit like a gruesome treasure hunt in Harrogate. Small crosses each with a fishing
type line attached to a bag of dyed hair keep being found. Then bones are discovered
when a house almost falls into a sinkhole. DCI Bennett and his team have got their
hands full. Three people who are on the missing list have a connection via DNA to
the bags found.  Cyril is a very likeable character and Malcolm always gives enough
background to provide extra interest without distracting from the main plot. we
learn a little more about Cyril’ life in each book and this one gives a big insight into
one of his troubles. The more I read about Cyril the more I think he would be a good
neighbour or friend.  A very well written book with a little something for every crime
book reader. A touch of humour and an excellent plot make for an easy enjoyable
read. A book to leave you with a smile.

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Friday, 26 January 2018


Tell me I’m Wrong- Adam Croft-5*  

Riley loves football. He wants to play for Crystal Palace as he likes their kit.
One day after playing with his friends he is taking the path back home, being careful to
stay away from the water as his Mum has always told him to, when everything goes black.
Meanwhile, Megan is trying to bond with her baby Evie. Chris her husband likes fishing
and whilst doing so decides that he should do more to help.He has a secret but thinks
that no-one knows.  Chapters are written voiced by the different characters mostly
in the first person, which made me take to them quickly and easily. The chapters are
short and punchy which keeps the flow. There is of course a twist or two, one of which
I didn’t see coming and then…. I won’t give anything away other than to say an
excellent ending which for me is very important as so many are left on a cliff with no
real answers. A very well written engaging tale. This is my first book by Adam and it
won’t be my last,

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A Cold Cold heart- John Nichol- 5*

Oh Wow! Where do I start? What a ride! A book that draws you in from the word
go and doesn’t let go until the very end. I normally enjoy reading in small doses,
say over a coffee for 30 minutes or so. This one I couldn’t even get the coffee- I
really didn’t want to put it down . John has a talent, a really wonderful talent.
Characters that come to life and a storyline that takes you in it’s grip (every pun
intended- read it and you will know what I mean). A series of murders, a
background story of one of the main characters and a brilliant conclusion.
A crime book with a psychological twist. Dear John…. when is your next one
out please? A big 5* from me.

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Thursday, 25 January 2018

Dark Angel- Helen Durrant 4*

A young woman falls into a ditch trying to get away from her boyfriend at a festival.
She gets up to find that next to her isn’t rubbish but a body. Meanwhile two small
time thieves are given a tip of about a house to “visit”. They have bitten off more
than they can chew and quickly turn up dead. One of them sent a picture of drugs
to the police as “insurance” just before they met their untimely end. Why? A
haulage firm is transporting more than they should however neither the police or
customs have any idea of how it is being done. A cleverly thought out plot with
enough turns to keep the flow. Characters which you easily take to and become
alive through excellent descriptions and enough backstory to keep you interested
without it taking over- which can be a fine balance. I like enough to give them life
but not too much to distract from  the main theme. Helen always does this
extremely well. This is the fourth in a series but would stand alone quite easily.  
A thoroughly enjoyable read.

Fear- Dirk Kurbjuweit 3*

Randolph lives in a flat with his wife and children. In the basement flat lives Dieter 
Tiberius who is rather strange.A good choice of name for the perpetrator(The Roman
 emperor Tiberius being known for sexual perversion ).He starts out being friendly to 
the family and then begins stalking them, creeping around the garden when
 Randolph is away. This is told from Randolph’s point of view as a story to his wife,
 and also gives quite a bit of his background. It starts from the end (if that makes
 sense) and then works it way towards that explaining what occurred to bring that 
end about. When the law of the land is unable to help you are forced to make your
 own decisions. This is well written albeit a slightly “weird” novel. Almost a
 biography with a twist (loosely based on a true experience by the author)

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The Abandoned: a gripping crime thriller by [Thompson, Sharon]

The Abandoned-Sharon Thompson
Peggy runs a whorehouse. She used to find homes for unwanted children until she
was caught. She also does abortions on the side. One day something happens to one of
her customers when things are kicking off with one of her girls and things very quickly
have to change. This is quite a “wordy” read with vivid excellent descriptions. It did
take me awhile to get into it. Whilst reading i kept wondering what time period it
was set in as other than the mention of a radio and a car it could have been anywhere
from Victorian times to modern day although it reads as an historical novel.
The rise of women and the change in how they are treated by men.
An unusual read.

Sunday, 21 January 2018


Cargo- J.C Macek-4*  

Anthony wakes to find himself in a metal shipping container. He struggles to
remember how he got there but remembers having a drink in  a bar and then
everything going black. There is a phone taped to the wall. Through this he
receives a message telling him he has twenty four hours to raise $10 million
or both he and his wife will die. He is given evidence of her capture and torture
and if he contacts any authorities then again they will both die. The air in the
container will last 24 hours. This is a very clever premise. Anthony’s thoughts
and actions whilst incarcerated are very interesting along with his past.
His misdemeanours, his love for his wife and how things will change once
he gets out are powerfully portrayed. A very different story, well told.

Saturday, 20 January 2018


What she Left- Rosie Fiore 5*

Author Bio – Rosie Fiore was born and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. She studied drama at the University of the Witwatersrand and has worked as a writer for theatre, television, magazines, advertising, comedy and the corporate market. 

Her first two novels, This Year's Black and Lame Angel were published by Struik in South Africa.
This Year's Black was longlisted for the South African Sunday Times Literary Award and has
subsequently been re-released as an e-book. Babies in Waiting, Wonder Women and Holly at
Christmas were published by Quercus. She is the author of After Isabella, also published by Allen
& Unwin.
Rosie’s next book, The After Wife (written as Cass Hunter), will be published by Trapeze in 2018
, and in translation is seven countries around the world.

Rosie lives in London with her husband and two sons.
Sam has found his soulmate Helen after losing his first wife leaving him with
two small girls. After several years together and Helen being a housewife, she
leaves home to go on a course, turns the corner and disappears. Her husband
is meant to be collecting the children from school but has left her a message to
say he has been called away and hence can’t get there. When the school call
him he realises something could be wrong- very wrong. Helen is always so
organised- her life and the family plans are so organised that almost everything
is on a spreadsheet. So where is she?

This is a very different “missing person” book- one that makes you stop and
think about life. Not in the realm of murder or kidnap- a totally different scenario.
 I won’t give anything away but towards the end there are some very true,
reflective words in a stunning piece of writing which made me stop and think
about my own life and journey. A very well written account mainly of characters.
We feel for Sam and then realise that at times he is his own worst enemy-
at times you may want to shout at him in frustration for his actions, mostly to
himself. For Lara who does her best to help but ends up being somewhat of a
doormat. For the children having lost a second mother figure. You wonder why
she could leave a blissful life- from the outside and then find out that little bit
more. The ending I was wondering about before I got there- what would
happen? Would there be a happy one? No spoilers- just to say - perfect.

Friday, 19 January 2018


Calling Major Tom-David M. Barnett- 4*

Tom Major is in space going to Mars and is grumpy to say the least.
 Back on earth Gladys is getting confused. She can remember what her husband
made for dinner 30 years ago but not where her phone is. This was just an
extract but gave a wonderful flavour of the full book. Written with humour and
a little pathos, it is one of those easily read books that will lift you and gives
evocative characters that you remember. It’s quirky, slightly nonsensical but
wonderfully enjoyable. A book to look forward to.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018


Killer Lies- Chris Collett-5*

A body is found at the rear of a car. The passengers inside looking like they are awaiting
the return of the driver-only they too have both been shot. Tom is attending the local
carol service in the cathedral when on their way there is an explosion. He is getting
anonymous notes which imply, to him, that he could be the target. In all those dignitaries?
Maybe he is just being paranoid. As ever this grips you from the start and draws you in.
Chris has the talent of bringing characters to life and a plot to keep you turning the pages.
A background thread personal to Mariner brings the real Tom even more to life as does
his relationship with his girlfriend and the trial and tribulations of normal life. A fairly
complicated plot with twists and turns (nothing too difficult to follow) which kept me
interested right to the very end. I really enjoyed this and look forward to the next

Thursday, 11 January 2018

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather   Morris

The Tattooist of Auschwitz- Heather Morris-5**

One of those books that will stay with me forever. Lale has volunteered to go
and work for the Germans so as to save the rest of his family. Those who don’t
“give” one son will be sent to the concentration camps This is the story of Lale’s
journey through Auschwitz /Birkenau and of his presence of mind to live and to
help others. This could be a work of fiction- it isn’t. Lale lived and saw so much
that man should never have to see let alone think about. This, to me, should be
compulsory school reading, so that the atrocities are never allowed to happen
again, and that we all understand why so that man can live alongside man in
harmony. This is captivatingly written and you take not only to Lale but to some
of the others, some of whom only “live” for a few pages but represent so many
innocent lives. A poignant, brilliantly told tale that I can’t recommend highly
enough. I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a film (It started life as a
screenplay). I do hope so as the impact it will then have would be tremendous.
There aren’t the right words to describe this or how it makes you feel.
So I will just say read it- you will be enlightened for doing so.

The Note

The Note- Andrew Barrett- 5* A short story written in the first person by CSI Eddie Collins. Eddie is the sort of bloke who calls a s...