Friday, 12 July 2019

I had to wipe away my tears reading this book because Wendy is so amazing. Her struggle with early onset Alzheimers is emotional and hard, the very essence who she has always been is disappearing. However, she has learnt to live a different life, to adapt her way of living so she can live with the disease and not be defeated by it. She has a constant battle to hold onto the skills she once had. Part of her journey has been to educate others, including healthcare professionals, about what it means to live with Alzheimers. It has been an eye-opener for me and I have a much better understanding now of how this affects people. For anyone who knows someone battling with this then this book is an essential read but it makes for an inspirational read for anyone. Very highly recommend this.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Tom and his young son Jake, move into a sleepy village in search of a new start after the death of Tom's wife. But Tom moves into a place called Featherbank and he moves there because his son picked out a strange house from the internet. Featherbank has a dark past where, fifteen years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five young boys. The killer was finally caught and put behind bars. He is known locally as The Whisper Man.
Soon after Tom and Jake move into Featherbank, another boy goes missing and the whispers start again.
I loved this plot, it had me hooked with the tension and the twists and turns, I couldn't put it down until I knew everything.
It is written in the third person point of view, except for Tom who tells the story from first person.  I guess because he drives the story forward and it works this way.
Little Jake, however, stole the show for me. This is a brilliant piece of writing from a child's perspective.
I also loved DI Pete Willis who caught the original killer at a huge emotional cost to himself.
This book is not just a scary, creepy story, it also explores the themes of father-son relationships, grief, and loss.
A great compelling plot with plenty of cliff hangers and twists and turns.
A great read and will make a brilliant film.

Stella is a radio show host. She loves her job and you can tell because she is so good at it, speaking to her listeners as if addressing each person personally. However, she is leaving and tonight is her last show. She has decided that the theme of her last show will be secrets. If you tell her yours, she'll tell you some of hers.
And she does have secrets to tell, which she slowly reveals throughout her show and the reader gets to understand the complexities of Stella. She has a boyfriend Tom and a relationship that is complicated and fascinating, her mother who has returned into her life after being absent for fourteen years and a father she has never known.
Then someone calls the station and they tell Stella they have information on who killed Victoria. Victoria was pregnant and brutally murdered in an alley by the station, just three weeks ago and the police are still hunting for the killer.
The tension is so creepy, especially when we know that Stella is all alone in the station and it is late at night and a killer is out there. Wonderful plotting.
Stella is a great character, when you understand the trauma she has suffered in the past you really do relate to her.
The writing is, as always with Louise Beech, beautiful and moving. The plot is scary, full of tension and conflict and twists and turns. The ending is completely unexpected and shocking.
Although it is a psychological thriller, it is also a very moving, very sad story about abandonment and love.
Brilliant reading that I recommend to everyone.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

A stand out 5 stars for this one.
Two strangers turn up at an isolated farmhouse and slaughter the Cooper family. Little Nell, however, escapes and runs. Meanwhile, Valerie Hart is on the trail of the serial killers and that trail eventually leads to Nell.
I wasn't sure I could keep reading this book when I started it. It is full on gruesome and dark and scared the hell out of me. I especially don't like it when children are hurt, so if you don't like that either, you may want to give this a miss. I persevered, and I'm glad I did.
The writing is excellent. I loved the flawed character Valerie. Yes I know, another flawed cop, but she was so good, her own story so heartbreaking and beautifully done. I wanted her to succeed and not just in finding the killers.
The writing also takes the reader into the mind of the killers. You get to feel and see what they do and why they do it. It will make you squirm and probably feel sick but also compelled to read on.
I did think the ending was drawn out, like a blockbuster film where the villain cannot be killed even when faced with experienced, gun-wielding cops. But it does stretch the conflict and suspense until it's almost unbearable, and it would make a brilliant film.
Altogether a very disturbing but so well written book.
I'm still recovering.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen

In the heart of Venice, a woman is sacrificed to a forgotten god, sparking a mystery lost for thousands of years.
Dr. Penelope Bryne is ridiculed by the academic community for her quest to find the remnants of Atlantis, but when an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site, she flies to Venice determined to help the police before the killer strikes again.
Penelope has spent her entire life trying to ignore the unexplainable and magical history of Atlantis, but when she meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato, everything she believes will be challenged. Little does she know, Alexis has spent the last three years doing his best to sabotage Penelope’s career so doesn’t learn the truth—Atlantis had seven magicians who survived, and who he has a duty to protect.
As Alexis draws her into the darkly, seductive world of magic and history, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head if she is to find the answers she seeks. 
With the new MOSE system due to come online, and Carnivale exploding around them, Penelope and Alexis will have to work together to stop the killer and prevent dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea. 
This book is definitely a piece of escapism and made a welcome change to the books I generally read.
It has its dark and grisly moments but also a sprinkling of romance with very interesting magicians.
The historical aspect is fascinating and very thorough and rich in detail.
The plot is fast and well developed, I was gripped from start to finish.
The characters are generally well developed, the romance between the hero and heroine perhaps a bit cliched but still a lot of fun.

A lot of work has obviously gone into this book and it brought back wonderful memories of Venice which is such a magical city it is the perfect setting for this book.
I would recommend as a book to get lost in, and aren't they the best?

My review of Pieces Of Her by Karin Slaughter

I'm a big fan this author's work, especially the Will Trent series, so I knew this would be good.
The story starts with a bang with chaos and conflict and continues pretty much like that right to the end. I had to keep reading to find out just what was the truth and what would happen next.
The plot and the writing are very clever, complex and full of murder, manipulation, and suspense.
The characters are well developed and three dimensional, the manipulative Nick particularly so.
I didn't take to Jane or her daughter Andy. Too much crying and Andy finding nothing to say and I could just never forgive Jane for letting someone do something so horrific to her and yet stay with that person. But not liking every character is part of the experience, I still loved the book.
It does switch back and forth between two different times and points of view, but the switch is clearly made and easy to follow.
A great read, very exciting page turner.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

My review of The Fifth To Die by J.D. Barker

Exceptional storyline and writing.
Read the 4MK first otherwise, you will miss out on a real treat of a series that is compelling, exciting and unputdownable.
This book, like the first, is fast-paced and so tense my toes curled. It has multiple storylines, but you won't get lost or confused because J.D brings all the threads together - eventually. It has multiple POV's but again you won't get confused because each character is unique with their own distinct voice. You will enter a world full of believable personalities and this book is rich with excellent dialogue.
I loved Sam Porter even more in this book, but now we have some unanswered questions and I can't wait to find out what's going on. But I will have to wait because this is, of course, not the end.
And then there is Anson Bishop, the sociopath that Porter is obsessed with finding. He has such a brilliant, twisted mind that I'm left admiring him! and that's bad right? Because he's a serial killer, but he draws you into his sick games where you keep trying to guess his next move and never get it right. He's scary, thrilling and I'm left enthralled by him. He's a man with, 'a steady tick of a clock somewhere in a little nook of my subconscious, a clock more accurate than any hanging on a wall.' And his 'anger can be held in check, bottled and stored and opened when it is most needed.' He makes me shiver with delight.
This is a dark, gritty, compelling read where the tensions build from the start and don't end. I can't wait for the next installment. Thank you J.D Barker for another masterpiece.