29 Nov 2017


Blog Tour Book Review / Know Me Now by CJ Carver


A thirteen-year-old boy commits suicide.

A sixty-five-year old man dies of a heart attack.

Dan Forrester, ex-MI5 agent, is connected to them both.

And when he discovers that his godson and his father have been murdered, he teams up with his old friend, DC Lucy Davies, to find answers.

But as the pair investigate, they unravel a dark and violent mystery stretching decades into the past and uncover a terrible secret.

A secret someone will do anything to keep buried . . .

Published:     14th December 2017
Publisher:  Zaffre
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 3, Dan Forrester
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


Now I know that this book is book 3 in a series and no I haven't read the first 2 booked in this series but luckily you don't have to.  This is one of those books that you can read independently of the series or part of the series if you choose to.  That said, I am definitely going to be checking out the first two books now I have read and thoroughly enjoyed this one.

This story felt very real with a lot of twists and turns that really kept me at the edge of my seat wanting to know what actually happened and what will happen.  I think what when I do check out the first two books in this series I am going to re-read this one and see what I think of it then.  Will it change my opinion?  The best thing about this book was the sense of adventure, suspense and the twists and turns.

Continue reading Blog Tour Book Review / Know Me Now by CJ Carver

27 Nov 2017


Book Review / The Mother by Jaime Raven

I’ve taken your daughter, as punishment for what you did …

Prepare to be gripped by the heart-stopping new thriller from the author of The Madam.

South London detective Sarah Mason is a single mother. It’s a tough life, but Sarah gets by. She and her ex-husband, fellow detective Adam Boyd, adore their 15-month-old daughter Molly.

Until Sarah’s world falls apart when she receives a devastating threat: Her daughter has been taken, and the abductor plans to raise Molly as their own, as punishment for something Sarah did.

Sarah is forced to stand back while her team try to track down the kidnapper. But her colleagues aren’t working fast enough to find Molly. To save her daughter, Sarah must take matters into her own hands, in a desperate hunt that will take her to the very depths of London’s underworld.

Published:     7th September 2017
Publisher:  Avon
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


After reading and loving The Alibi by this author, I just had to read this one!   Great suspense and a few twists and turns, that is all I need in a good thriller.  Oh and, of course, a good plot.  This book had all of them.  You have the one question right from the start, your daughter has been kidnappeed for what you did, what was the reason?  That question alone kept me reading.  I had to know why!

What puzzled me a bit with this book is the question of your daughter has gone missing, your ex-husband goes all out in trying to find her but you don't get involved until halfway through the story.  That part confused me a bit.  

With the exception of a bit of a slow pace in the middle of the book, this was a great read.  I did guess the twist in this story but I still enjoyed the ride of getting to that point. 

Continue reading Book Review / The Mother by Jaime Raven

23 Nov 2017


Book Review / The Shock by Marc Raabe


When Laura Bjely goes missing during a storm on the Cote d'Azur, the only thing her friend Jan finds is her smartphone - with a disturbing film in the memory.

Back in Berlin, Jan's neighbour is discovered with a bloody message left on her forehead.

As Jan searches for answers about what happened to Laura, he is thrown into a nightmare of madness and murder.

An exhilarating and merciless psychological thriller from the author of The Cut.

Published:     24th August 2017
Publisher:  Bonnier Zaffre
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


I have to admit that this book fitted into the catagory of 'this one is just not for me'.  I had a few issues that I just could not get past with this one.  Firstly, it was a lot more disturbing than I had imagined with a lot of what I believed were graphic sex scenes that I just did not get on well with.  That's just not my thing, so any stories with that in immediately turn me off.  I also found this story to be slow paced with not a lot of twists and turns, which is not what I was expecting and mixed with the above and the fact that I didn't really like the ending - I didn't enjoy this one.

That said there was one aspect that I did like and that was the investigating into Laura's background.  I liked that part as there was a hint of mystery of the unknown. 
Continue reading Book Review / The Shock by Marc Raabe

20 Nov 2017


Book Review / Wychwood by George Mann

Elspeth May, a young female journalist who never seems to be in the right place at the right time, suddenly gets her big break only to find that no one will ever believe her story.

When a local woman is found murdered in her own home, slashed viciously across the throat, the police begin a manhunt of the surrounding villages, unsure exactly of who or what they are looking for. Elspeth, accidentally first on the scene, finds her interest piqued, and sets out to investigate the details surrounding the crime. In doing so she finds herself constantly battling against Peter Shaw, a police sergeant working on the case and under suspicion due to a terrible incident that occurred on a previous investigation. More murders follow, each of them adopting a similar pattern. What links the victims? And why are some of the local people trying to cover things up

Published:     12th September 2017
Publisher:  Titan Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


A very interesting story indeed!  I wasn't sure what to think about this one when I first went into it.  Was it a thriller?  Was it supernatural in some way?   I wasn't sure what to think about the folklore aspect of it - was it real or was it made up with a mad person behind it?   This was definitely a creepy thriller style book with the perfect backdrop of a little town where nothing usually happens, which just happens to be Elspeth's home town.

With a lot of twists and turns in this story I wasn't sure which way to look and who could be behind the murders.  I wasn't really surprised by the ending, by that point I had figured out most of what was happening but the most enjoyable part of this story was the build up and following Elspeth as more and more is uncovered.
Continue reading Book Review / Wychwood by George Mann

13 Nov 2017


Book Review / Secrets in Death by JD Robb

A new novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series: Lt. Eve Dallas must separate rumors from reality when a woman who traffics in other people’s secrets is silenced.

The chic Manhattan nightspot Du Vin is not the kind of place Eve Dallas would usually patronize, and it’s not the kind of bar where a lot of blood gets spilled. But that’s exactly what happens one cold February evening.

The mortally wounded woman is Larinda Mars, a self-described “social information reporter,” or as most people would call it, a professional gossip. As it turns out, she was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally—with a knife to the brachial artery.

Eve didn’t like Larinda Mars. But she likes murder even less. To find justice for this victim, she’ll have to plunge into the dirty little secrets of all the people Larinda Mars victimized herself. But along the way, she may be exposed to some information she really didn’t want to know…

Published:     5th September 2017
Publisher:  Piatkus Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 45, In Death
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


What I love about this series is the fact that you don't have to read them in order.  Now, I do have to admit that this goes against almost everything I do.  I like order.  I like starting at 1 and ending at 10 and so on.  I usually don't pick up things halfway through.  This is the exception.  There are 45 books in this series.  To be able to read this series in order and read this one, I would have to read 44 other books in the series.  This is something I am definitely going to plan to do, maybe for 2018, but for now I just wanted to experience this story.  With this series, you do not have a to pick them up in order.  You can pick up any one you want and get reading.  I have read a few of these now in this way, there is a 'bigger picture' that would be better experienced probably if you started at book 1.

What I liked the most about this story, honestly, was the ending.  Don't get me wrong, the build up was really good but the ending I was not expecting and threw me completely.  I loved it! 

Continue reading Book Review / Secrets in Death by JD Robb

9 Nov 2017

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Book Review / Perfect by Cecelia Ahern

You will be punished…

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found flawed.

In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where perfection is paramount and flaws lead to punishment. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.

Published:     6th April 2017
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 2, Flawed
Source:  Bought


I loved the first book in this duology and could not wait any longer to find out what happens next.  Since it had been a little while since I had read the first book, Flawed, I did wonder whether I should re-read the first book before digging into this one but I decided not to.  A true test of a good next book in a series/duology is whether it goes a good job with reminding the reader what happened before.

As I had anticipated, Cecelia Ahern does a marvellous job reminding me what had happened in book 1, it was just as if I had just read it before picking up this one!  Good pacing, action and a few twists and turns along the way, my favourite combination.  There was not one moment in this story where I felt I was bored or the story was going nowhere.  The ending, as well, was perfect (excuse the pun!).

What I loved the most about this book and the duology as a whole is the message it gives that you don't have to be perfect.  You can be flawed and still be a valued member of the community.  A great message to send out everywhere... 

Continue reading Book Review / Perfect by Cecelia Ahern

6 Nov 2017


Book Review / Rabbit by Patricia Williams

You want to know about the struggle of growing up poor, black and female? Ask any girl from any hood. You want to know what it takes to rise above your circumstances when all the cards are stacked against you? Ask me.

Comedian Patricia Williams, who for years went by her street-name "Rabbit," was born and raised in Atlanta’s most troubled neighborhood at the height of the crack epidemic.

One of five children, Pat watched as her alcoholic mother struggled to get by on charity, cons and petty crimes. At seven Pat was taught to roll drunks for money. At 12, she was targeted for sex by a man eight years her senior; by 13 she was pregnant. By 15 Pat was a mother of two.

Alone at 16, Pat was determined to make a better life for her children. But with no job skills and an eighth-grade education, her options were limited. She learned quickly that hustling and humor were the only tools she had to survive.

Rabbit is an unflinching memoir of cinematic scope and unexpected humor that offers a rare glimpse into the harrowing reality of life on America’s margins, resilience, determination, and the transformative power of love.

Published:     22nd August 2017
Publisher:  Dey Street Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand Alone, Non-Fiction
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


I don't usually pick up and read non-fiction.  That's not because I don't like them or anything like that, its just that I naturally gravitate towards fiction rather than non-fiction.  I have to be honest and say that I had not heard of Patricia Williams but the description alone piqued my interest and I wanted to find out more about her. 

I hadn't realised that this book would be quite as shocking as it was, purely for the level of abuse experienced from a very young age.  It appeared to me that there was a severe lack of any responsible adult about with the exception of an incredibly wonderful teacher who helped her at school.  

Following Patricia's story, I quickly discovered what a strong character Patricia is.  With all that she has gone through, she should be! 

A truly inspirational autobiography that I am so glad that I picked up and learned more. 

Continue reading Book Review / Rabbit by Patricia Williams

2 Nov 2017

Blog Tour / Author Interview - Fair of Face by Christina James

A double murder is discovered in Spalding some days after it takes place.

The victims are Tina Brackenbury, the foster mother of Grace Winter, a ten-year-old who escapes the killer because she is staying her friend Chloe Hebblewhite's house at the time, and Tina's infant daughter. Enquiries by the police and social services reveal that some four years previously Grace was the sole survivor of the horrific massacre of her mother, grandparents and sister at Brocklesby Farm in North Lincolnshire, a crime for which her uncle Tristram Arkwright is currently serving a whole-life tariff.

Why did Amy Winter, Grace's adoptive mother, send her to live with a foster parent? Is it a coincidence that both of Grace's families have now been brutally killed? And is it possible that Grace's uncle, a notorious con-man, has found a way to contact her from his maximum security cell?

DI Yates and his team face a series of apparently impenetrable conundrums.


If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
I’m not clear about how collaborative authoring works. Writing has always seemed to me to be a very solitary activity. But I’d love to be able to share my MSs with another writer sympathetic to my work who could offer advice on how to improve it. Ours would be a reciprocal arrangement: I’d want to help them, too. If it was another crime writer, I’d probably choose Donna Leon: I much admire her work, and would value her advice, and although I wouldn’t be able to translate her novels, I might be able to suggest a few alternatives to some of the phrases her translators use. If it could be anyone at all, I’d opt for Sebastian Faulks – who, although he isn’t generally thought of as a crime writer, as the creator of Enderby has written one of the finest crime novels I’ve ever read. But I’m not sure how he’d react to me!

What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
I mostly write in my office, because my day job is based at home, so that’s where I usually am. However, I travel frequently, and I like writing on trains and planes. I often visit London, and when I’m there I sometimes visit the British Library to write between meetings. I also always choose somewhere quiet for my main annual holiday, so that I can spend my mornings writing – often devoting this time to working on the outline of a new novel. I’ve just returned from two weeks in the Dordogne, where I wrote for several hours each day. I try to write every day wherever I am – at least 1000 words. But often the day job, or some other aspect of daily life, intrudes and I don’t manage it!
What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
Sticking to a daily routine, as I’ve just said.

When and why did you first start writing?
Like many authors, I’ve more or less been writing for ever. I started with a children’s book while I was still at primary school. When I was in my twenties I wrote a very literary novel, which was sent to Liz Calder, who was then and is still a famous editor (Jonathan Cape and Bloomsbury). She told me I could write but that I needed more plot. I persevered with the literary fiction for a while – I’ve written three novels which will never see print – but I took her point. I thought that focusing on crime fiction would help me to develop my plot-building skills. That’s when I started writing the DI Yates series.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Each of the Yates novels is a psychological thriller (I don’t do blood and guts) and each one is, I hope, quite different from the others. The plot and main character of Fair of Face was one that I’d been thinking about for some time. I’m not going to say too much about it, as this will almost certainly result in a ‘spoiler’. It’s about a very sensitive subject. Like all the Yates novels, it’s partly set in Spalding, in South Lincolnshire. One extraordinary thing about it is that after I’d started writing, a crime very similar to the one in the novel actually happened there. This is the second time that a major ‘real life’ event has mirrored something I’ve already written about. I’m not superstitious, but it is spooky!

Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
I’m a huge reader! The Booksellers Association’s definition of a ‘heavy book buyer’ is someone who buys 12 books a year; I’ve reached my quota well before the end of January each year. I read history, biography, current affairs and popular science as well as fiction, and I usually have several books on the go. At present I’m reading A Social History of England 900 – 1200, edited by Julia Crick and Elisabeth Van Houts, and Incarnations: A History of India in 50 Lives, by Sunil Khilnani (the latter to prepare myself for an upcoming visit to India). Fiction-wise, I’ve just finished reading The Squeeze, by Lesley Glaister, and I’m about to start 4321, by Paul Auster.

Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Revise, revise, revise is my mantra: but by this I don’t mean embroider your work. The trick is to pare it down, so that the prose is as elegant, timeless and spare as you can make it. Much easier said than done!

Continue reading Blog Tour / Author Interview - Fair of Face by Christina James