Friday, 29 May 2020

She's Not ThereShe's Not There by P.J. Parrish
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yes yes YES this is what I love in a thriller that it’s....

Thrilling
Intriguing
Keeps you up all night
Keeps you reading and focusing on just this no matter what’s going on around you.

Being in lockdown is painful, trying to find a spot where my family leave me to read.....well I could be in the middle of the busiest Town Centre and you couldn’t have distracted me.

What a rollercoaster.

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Review: Then You Were Gone

Then You Were Gone Then You Were Gone by Claire Moss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

On the whole a good read that was written well. Relatable characters......but...
A story that’s been written before albeit different names and places and circumstances.

Her fella goes missing.....
That’s a sort of question and a half as he’s left a note saying not to look for him but of course, off she goes to investigate.

Don’t get me wrong it’s a well written edition of a well used plot but it held no surprises for me at all.

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Review: Sister Dear

Sister Dear Sister Dear by Laura McNeill
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Another book that is written so well, great writing style, brilliant relatable characters but a storyline that’s not unique.
My other fault is that the author gives us the clues every step of the way instead of allowing the reader to fit the jigsaws together thus undermining the readers intelligence.
Well, that’s my take on it.

Hence my ratings

But don’t go by me, read others reviews as some really loved it.

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Review: When She Was Bad

When She Was Bad When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Although this book has been marketed under the genre Thriller, to my mind it’s not. It’s more like suspense, family drama. Because it’s been put into that category I think I was expecting more so got disappointed. If it were put under family/suspense then I think I’d have been on a difference course in my mind reading it (if that makes sense).

It’s very well written as you’d expect from this author with very well developed characters. It did keep my interest and I did enjoy it.

It just wasn’t what I was expecting.

My downside is, I do have an average memory but there are so many people in this story I occasionally got lost.

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Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Review: Liar

Liar Liar by Lesley Pearse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been a fan of Lesley Pearse books since my mid to late twenties. It’s no secret that I’m in my sixties now. I recall her debut as she was signing at my local library, nothing like they do now of course. I happened upon her there as I was taking my library books back. I was also pregnant with my daughter. 
I joined the queue once I understood what was happening, not a very big queue, bought the book and she signed it. Since that very first book I’ve read all of her books except one I missed. Which I aim to buy. 

I just love how the author takes a female and Makes her real for us readers. An ordinary woman who could be anyone. Showing their vulnerability as well depicting a strength from their inner side.

Amelia is such a woman.

This is based in the 1970’s in West London. A time of power cuts and dustbin men going on strike. Amelias past family life was awful. A Father who drank aplenty and liked using his fists. A mother quite partial to the bottle too. Who neglected her children and had to fend for themselves.

Amelia broke free.

From statistics we all know and are aware that some children grow to be just like their parents, but, there are choices and Amelia was aware of what was good and what was bad. What was right and what was wrong.

She dreamed of becoming a journalist. 
Everyone starts at the bottom up, she’s working for the local paper selling advertising.

Little did she know she would be part of a scoop herself one day. She had discovered the body of a young women. Journalist were spreading lies about the victim. 
So what did Amelia do?

There are so many corners to this wonderful story it didn’t take me too long to read. 

If you like a suspense with body, this is surely a good read for you. 

I loved Amelia as a character growing in this book, her decisions, her vulnerability and her strengths.

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Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Review: Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OK, this is a 2017 published book that I didn’t get around to reading and now that I did and watched the drama series I’m annoyed at myself for missing this one earlier. I think the hype put me off, I thought I’d read it when the hype died down but, not for this long!

I enjoyed the book and the series of episodes I watched on Amazon Prime so much.

It took me a few chapters to get into it but then I was on a roll. So much so I didn’t want to do much else than read. So I did.

My conception of the story going by the title was way out.

The build up to the “spark” of this book was gradual just a flickering flame in the background throughout the chapters as I kept reading.

I now know why loads of people loved this. The characters so three dimensional and complicated. 

Loved all the reveals, and that ending.....oh that ending.

Definitely a 5* from my love of this book.
The author did a fabulous job in keeping my attention.

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Saturday, 23 May 2020



C. L Taylor STRANGERS


Published by Avon.





ABOUT THE BOOK


Sleep 
Seven strangers, seven secrets, one killer 
4th April 2019

‘I raced through Sleep in less than a day. It’s chilling, wonderfully atmospheric, and with a knock-out ending I can’t stop thinking about.’ Paula Daly

'Another masterclass in heart-in-mouth suspense. I raced to the end, suspecting everyone but still WAY off the mark.'
Tammy Cohen 

'A classic premise with a paranoid protagonist and juicy suspects. Thoroughly enjoyed this and raced to the end. Great book.'
Steve Cavanagh 



MY REVIEW


An absolutely amazing and intense thriller.

Three main characters with huge parts are cast within this story.
Ursula, Gareth and Alice.

Each chapter is dedicated to each person.

Ursula was a complex character and in some ways I kind of understood her and grew towards her. 
She was definitely a character I didn’t warm to straight away. 

What I especially found thrilling was the way most chapters ended on a “cliffhanger” not sure if that was the purpose of the author but......I loved it! And because the next chapter belonged to someone else I was waiting eagerly to pick up the thread from that previous chapter. It made the book speed by for me.

Snappy active chapters is something I love.

This definitely is a character driven thriller which kept me questioning things.

Based around my home town (Bristol UK) I was able to envision areas that were very familiar to me. Added bonus!

Strangers is an absorbing read. 

This is an author I fall back on, and since this world we live in isn’t free and normal my mind and anxiety has been all over the place, I was thankful that I had this book on my pile to read. I knew I could get my head into the zone for this one as I’m used to this authors writing. 

If you like suspense, thrillers, character driven books. I think you’d enjoy this one.



Friday, 22 May 2020

Review: Child of the State

Child of the State Child of the State by Catherine Lea
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I’ve done it again. This is book 2 in a series.

Hey ho, this time it didn’t make much difference because it’s worked well on its own merits.

Stacey has been in prison for 3 years. It explains why but I’m sure it’s initially from book 1 that would round the events off, however, it was easy to pick the story up.

Her son has been in care for that period of time. Any mum would jump through hoops to be reunited with her son. Which she does with filling in paperwork after paperwork.

Something happens. She knows why but not who.
She has to take her son and run.

It’s a breathless catch and mouse from then on with Stacey needing to keep one step ahead.

I thought it was a very well written book, enough to keep me on edge.

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Review: My Name is Leon

My Name is Leon My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book should go to every single Social worker and all those in the welfare of children out for fostering or adoption.

Do not break up siblings, just don’t do it.

This story is told through the eyes of a young boy who is broken, and can’t explain his feelings, wants, needs and desires. He just doesn’t own the vocal words yet.

This broke my heart into zillions of pieces until the author could lighten it again with hope and experiences, expectations and reality through the eyes of a child then through the eyes of me, the reader.

Many have read this book already, this one slipped through my net.
If you’ve not read it, get the tissues.
 

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Review: Little Secrets

Little Secrets Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I felt like a fly on the wall with this family saga/mystery it was so tense, so interesting and so damaging at the same time.

This happy couple who has everything then a nightmare happens. Their son Sabastian goes missing.
The dynamics of the home starts to crumble.
Her and her husband hardly speak.

She’s become a fraction of the person she was before.

No leads to Sabastians whereabouts so she hires a Private Investigator and finds out more than she bargained for.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end. 

The author did a fantastic job in keeping me very well entertained.

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Monday, 18 May 2020

Review: Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace Amazing Grace by Kim Nash
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finally got to this beautiful and touching book.

I’m going to swap the title from Amazing Grace to Grace is amazing, because she is. She’s a single parent doing the best she can. She’s more resilient than what she thinks.

It was so touching reading a letter in here. The relationship between a daughter and her Mother is something quite precious and brought a lump to my throat.

But I also laughed within this reading experience when her friends tried to match her up with a blind date from on the web. Hilariously funny.



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Sunday, 17 May 2020

Review: The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A powerful book within these short pages. I liked it.
This was made into a film although I’ve not seen it.

A man who reconnected with a woman from his past each telling their account. It’s really interesting how our recalls from the past are not the same as others remember it.

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Review: What Belongs to You

What Belongs to You What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What an amazing read this was. I can’t believe it’s a debut. It’s perfection is beyond as it’s written so well, I pounced on every word, I followed every line and action, sometimes gasping and sometimes holding my breath.

This is a romance, a gay romance.

But beware it sometimes leaves you enstranged.

It’s relationships, it’s sex and it’s sometimes mystical eroticism.

Beautifully written

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Review: Fever Dream

Fever Dream Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

You can read this in one sitting. It’s totally bonkers but compelling. Yes the word bonkers and compelling can connect!

It’s creepy. It’s tense. It’s a quality mystery. 

......somebody is trapped in a hospital bed.........

It was all getting to me.........
Then.......
It fell flat.

I’ve given it 3* because of the initial reactions it gave me. Shame about the ending.

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Review: Lumiere pale sur les collines - A Pale View of the Hills

Lumiere pale sur les collines - A Pale View of the Hills Lumiere pale sur les collines - A Pale View of the Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A beautiful little novel that tells of rebuilding Nagasaki after the atomic bomb.

It’s not a book I would usually pick up but I came across it forgotten on my short story shelf. Books that are 200 pages or under.

Lovely writing but different. A lot of it is in dialogue and I needed to concentrate more than I would have liked.

But worth a read if just for the translation. 

Don’t let me put you off reading it with my 2*. It just was hard going.

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Review: The Vegetarian

The Vegetarian The Vegetarian by Han Kang
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I found this book to be enthralling but I don’t know why?
I found the contents overwhelmingly shocking......and I do know why.

Metamorphosis Is something not hidden within the confines of this story.
You can read so much into this it’s unreal, no wonder it was nominated for a prize when it was published.

It’s weird, yet unputdownable. 

The reviews on here are much more accurate than mine could ever be. Putting into words what I’ve just read I can only say is short.....

Shocking......honest
Blunt.....clear
Horrific......compelling

Thats it.

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Review: Terror Train

Terror Train Terror Train by A. Henry Keene
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I’ve been mood reading on and off since Quarantine, some days I’m OK others I just want to read something short and snappy and the stories within this Anthology fitted my mood.

Although it’s hailed as ‘horror’ do not be mislead, some of the stories will make you laugh.

It’s difficult to rate anthologies so I’m going to give it 3.75* because it fitted my day/mood. It was easy to pick up and put down between stories and they all were surprisingly good.



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Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Review: Brave Like Lily

Brave Like Lily Brave Like Lily by Richard Cardenas
My rating: 0 of 5 stars



I think if you start reading this book you will find it hard to put down, I say that for many different reasons.

1) The writing style is set out as a quick read.
2) It sets out with a little boy whose lost his sister Lily in circumstances we only read about in newspapers, but never actually sit and think deeply about for long.

Told through the eyes of a little boy with a disability of his own. His sister has been shit to death by a Police Officer.

A family, Mexican-American. Has incidences happened like this before? Sure it has.
And is justice done? Sure it isn’t.

The dynamics of the family I enjoyed. And the feelings that came from them through the pages to me were family warmth, sorrow, frustration but never hatred.
A right for justice, yes you bet! An attempt at justice? Yes you bet.

Being “brave” comes in many disguises and that’s what I took away from this.

Yes a YA book, but this old lady loved it.

The male/male romance was a lovely soft touch and I’d love to see how that developed and how that family got on in time to come.

Quick solid read with a punch.




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Sunday, 10 May 2020

Review: The Lost

The Lost The Lost by Mari Hannah
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The start of a brand new series coupled with a well known DI. Great partnership.

Yes this is about a missing child......it’s unlike any other as there are dark, yes, very dark twisted things happening.

Mum goes off on holiday for the first time since she’s had her son. He’s now ten years old. Encouraged by her husband to take a holiday break and have some down time.

When she arrives back from holiday her son is nowhere to be seen.

He’s now a Missing Person.

Lots of darkness, lots of puzzling things and twists that will tie you up in knots.

It could be anyone.

Because the story is so well written it reads in no time at all.

Great start to a series (although book 2 is out.......I’m late)


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Review: What It Seems

What It Seems What It Seems by Emily Bleeker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I need to give this a 3.75* rounded down to a 3*.

The first bit was gripping. It had me wondering about the circumstances of this story. Plus the emotional impact everything was having on this girl. The girl who sits chatting to her dolls each night, the child who has to creep her use of the computer and her obsession with a live family she watches online that she envies.

Her “mother” isn’t her biological mother. She’s cruel, controlling and bullying. 

The mother of her “pretend” she is pregnant.
It had all the ingredients of a good book.

I’ve read 4 books by this author and loved every one. I’m sad to give this less than a 4*. But it lacked something for me. Like a cake without flavour or moistness.

I still liked it. I’d say, go ahead and read it. Ignore me because you might like it much more than me. 
It might be where I started it and the beginning of the pandemic? I was very reluctant to read.

So it may not be the book, it may be me and what’s happening in the world?

If you read it, let me know how you get on. I’m interested as I might have to reread if my trusted friends like it.


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Thursday, 7 May 2020

Review: The Marriage Pact

The Marriage Pact The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a high 4* book for me. It ticked many of my troops I love in a book.

Realistic characters
Cult (ish) type events
Sinister
Different
Smart and sometimes scary.

Marriage is a wonderful institute when it’s respected and worked upon by both sides. It takes lots of ingredients to bake a marriage and make it work. On so,I’d foundation.

Lots of marriages break up for all kinds of reasons.........so.......if you could join The Marriage Trap to sustain your marriage, would you do so?

It all sounds so weird in itself and it certainly is in reality .......but we see how The Marriage Pact and its Friends can get just a little eccentric and cruel.

Is there a place for cruelty in life to make someone a better wife or a better husband? Do you have to suffer to appreciate the good?

A very compelling and sinister book. One that I’ll remember for a very King time.

If you like realistic characters around an unrealistic arena. Try this.
Do you like being kept guessing? Try this.

The ending I thought let it down......but then thinking about it, is it making the reader interpret the results themselves?

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Sunday, 3 May 2020

Review: Manipulated Lives

Manipulated Lives Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book ages ago. I can’t find my original review which is odd.

This book consists of 5 stories with the theme Manipulation running through it.

I think Tess and Tattoos was my favourite. 
However they all tell a very good story with great realistic people in them. Very believable.

narcissistic Tendencies is something I’ve come across in many books I’ve read, but for some reason the short stories impacted a punch.


The Runaway was also a thought provoking read. A teenager. We see what influences them. And how we rely on them to make the right insightful voices.

Although I’d give some of these stories 3* others I’d give 5* so to balance the book. I’ve chosen 4*

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Saturday, 2 May 2020

Review: His Light in the Dark

His Light in the Dark His Light in the Dark by L.A. Fiore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I know. I know! I’m giving this 3*. But I liked it. I didn’t love it, but it was sure compelling reading where I couldn’t unstick this book from my hands!

It started off really strong. My stomach churned.

We have one lad who comes from an abusive home and all that impacts on that and him growing up.

Then we have Mia his friend who comes from a loving home.

What happens in this crossover is horrendous.

Some of the writing was a bit dodgy in areas and some a bit repetitive and lacking in the ability to hold my attention in parts.

Everyone loves a happy ending? Is that true? Or a realistic one?

I’ll leave you with that thought.



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Review: The Prettiest One

The Prettiest One The Prettiest One by James Hankins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Can you imagine what it would be like to lose your memory? To see blood on your hands and not know why it’s there?
To lose trust and belief in yourself? And your relationship?

This story has all the foundation of a brilliant thriller.

Remember this is just my view and thoughts and you must make your own minds up.

It was lacking belief in some areas where I raised my eyes to the ceiling. Overlooking that and pressing on I did like this book. I’ll certainly read another by this author before making my mind up about his writing.

On the whole, premise for a good thriller.

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Review: Would Like to Meet

Would Like to Meet Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was cute. Something that I needed today. Just a nice easy little story that I didn’t have to think too much about.

It’s been ages since I’ve read a rom com like this. The premise was ok. Kept my interest but.....the beginning was so slow. It took half the book to pick up pace. 

Varied amount of emotions.

I think if the first half of the book had as much pace as the second half it would have got higher stars. It was easy to read, but a bit tedious in places. If that makes sense? My mind started wandering. But like I said, soon as it picked up half way I was enjoying it much better.


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Review: Little Creeping Things

Little Creeping Things Little Creeping Things by Chelsea Ichaso
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A good healthy 3🌟from me.

Creepy enough to keep my interest, although it’s a YA book and I’m (cough cough) a lot older!
A lot of YA thrillers have been pretty mediocre lately for me, and although this slightly lagged in the middle it was a string start and very good climax.

The characters were relatable, old and young could experience any of what goes on. 
That cover. That cover though! Freaked me out! 


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Friday, 1 May 2020

Review: The Last One To See Her

The Last One To See Her The Last One To See Her by Mark Tilbury
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



4.75 for sure without any doubt this book is spine chilling, suspenseful, tummy churning good!

The way the author has laid the chapters out (for me) it kept me awake and aware. Almost each chapter ending had a (what I would call a “dot dot dot”) what do I mean?
Well, you know if you read a sentence that said “could it? Or can’t it.” .......
Would you be eager to want more? I was! 

The characters chosen in this story was so well done.
Matthew in his 20’s who experienced trauma when younger leaving him with some diversity to his brain.
A brother who he looks up to.
A mother who looks after him well. 

His brother doesn’t live with them, he moved out a while ago but keeps in touch all the time. 

A young girl goes missing. Matthew is sat in a place where he had seen her pass by. She had gone to fetch milk for her mother. Matthew is not left alone though and that’s where this nasty character comes to the fore.

The plot thickens. The events and findings will definitely keep you on your toes. I didn’t guess the ending until just a few pages before. Now that’s brilliant seeing my main genre are thrillers.

I love this authors writing. It’s wickedly done with such eerie characters playing the main scenes.

You really should pick this book up.


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