25 May 2020


Book Review / Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica

New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL, Mary Kubica is back with another exhilarating thriller as a widow's pursuit of the truth leads her to the darkest corners of the psyche. 

"The bad man, Daddy. The bad man is after us." 
Clara Solberg's world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon.

Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick's death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.
Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara's investigation and Nick's last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.

Published:    27th June 2017
Publisher:  Park Row Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


There are two types of thrillers that I love - one type is a slow burn but a really explosive ending and the other type is a suspenseful thriller with a few twists and turns.  The second one may not have an explosive ending for me but the journey to get to discovery of what is going on is just as good as it would have been if it had had an explosive ending.

In this story, we follow Clara whose husband dies in a car crash.  As always in thrillers, things aren't always how they seem to her.  Was it an accident or was it murder?  Are there aspects of her husband's life that she didn't know about.   Clara goes on a hunt for the truth to try and found out the answer to those questions.

What I loved in this story...
I enjoyed following Clara as she slowly discovers different new aspects of both the accident and her husband.  In her grief, she needs to find out the truth.  I liked the fact that this story was split into two perspectives, one from Clara's and one from her husband's.  It gave the story more depth. 

What I didn't like in this story...
Honestly, there wasn't anything that I didn't like in this story.  I would have loved to have had an explosive ending but the journey to get to the ending (which I had predicted already) was just as good for me.

In summary...
A truly interesting thriller that, for me, was more about the journey and the main character's discovery of what had happened rather than any kind of explosive twists and turns.  

Continue reading Book Review / Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica

24 May 2020


Book Review / Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

A chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies in this stunning new psychological thriller from national bestselling author Mary Kubica

She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can't get the girl out of her head...

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family's objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow's past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she's willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.

Published:     28th July 2015
Publisher:  MIRA
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


I am so glad that this was not the first story I had started with, to be honest.  In this story, we follow Heidi whose natural instinct is to help people sees a teenage girl with a baby sitting on the train platform looking like she needs help.  Heidi brings the teenager and baby into her home to help.  The teenager is obviously torn for some reason and the baby is ill.  Getting medical care and support, Heidi helps them as best she can.  But maybe things aren't as they seem for all involved. 

What I loved about this story...
I enjoyed following the story of the teenager.  Her beginnings and why she ended up where she ended up with the baby.  It was very traumatic.

What I didn't like about this story...
Unfortunately this story didn't do it for me.  Don't get me wrong, this was written well and kept me intrigued enough to want to keep going and finish the story but there really wasn't anything that hooked me in.  The pace of the story really didn't help me much with reading this.  I think if the pace in this story was faster, it would have captured my interest a bit more than it did.

In summary...

Slow paced with no surprises for me but written well and worth trying out if you like reading domestic thriller style novels.    I will be reading more novels by this author as I do like her writing style but this one just wasn't for me.  

Continue reading Book Review / Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

23 May 2020


Book Review / When the Lights go Out by Mary Kubica

A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica

Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?

Published:     4th September 2018
Publisher:  Park Row
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


Well, I guess since I enjoyed reading the last book by this author, why not pick up another.  That's just the kind of reader I am.  If I find something good, I am going to keep at it until I have read them all!  In this story, we follow Jessie who is trying to get her life back together after having to take care of her ailing mother for so long.  She moves into a new place but soon discovers that she can't sleep.  Day after day she can't sleep and becomes convinced that things aren't what they seem and she needs to investigate her own history.

What I loved about this story...
That ending.  That is what I loved about this story.  I can't say too much because I don't want to spoil the story for those of you who have not read it yet but this story was getting wierder and wierder and then all of a sudden there is a massive plot twist that really blew me away and I wasn't expecting.  Yes, that twist may not have been an original twist but I loved it.

What I did not like about this story...
Honestly, I did think the story dragged a bit in the middle of the story where, for me, it seemed like the story was not going anywhere - but that did make sense later on in the story why.

In summary...
An intriguing story that can be a bit puzzling at times but worth sticking with it for that twist ending! 

Continue reading Book Review / When the Lights go Out by Mary Kubica

21 May 2020


Book Review / Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica

In downtown Chicago, Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her roommate Quinn Collins to question how well she really knew her friend. Meanwhile, in a small town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more sinister.

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under the stranger's spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us.

Published:     17th May 2016
Publisher:  MIRA
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


Having only read one of Mary Kubica's books before, I was excited to see what else she had to offer, so I decided to pick this one up.  This story follows Quinn who discovers that her roommate has gone missing.  Little by little, clues turn up which takes Quinn in one direction but things are not always how they seem to be.

What I loved about this story...
This story truly gripped me from the beginning.  You have this missing person and you have the friend who is puzzled by her friend's disappearance and starts questioning everything she ever knew about her friend.  This story had so many twists and turns it kept me reading and not wanting to put it down.  I have to say that there wasn't really much that surprised me but there was one twist nearer the end of the story that did and that was what made this great for me.  I read a lot of thrillers and I am always on the hunt for a good thriller that takes me off guard and has a twist ending that really surprises me.  This one did surprise me, that's for sure.

What I did not like in this story...

I would have loved to have a bit more surprise in the story.  As mentioned above, there are a lot of twists and turns in this story but most of them, for me, were easily anticipated.  I would have loved to have been thrown off course a few more times than it did.

In summary...
This was an interesting read that I couldn't stop reading.  A bit predictable but a great twist at the end that was worth it!

Continue reading Book Review / Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica

18 May 2020

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Book Review / The Last Juror by John Grisham

In 1970, one of Mississippi s more colorful weekly newspapers, The Ford County Times, went bankrupt. To the surprise and dismay of many, ownership was assumed by a 23-year-old college dropout, named Willie Traynor. The future of the paper looked grim until a young mother was brutally raped and murdered by a member of the notorious Padgitt family. Willie Traynor reported all the gruesome details, and his newspaper began to prosper.

The murderer, Danny Padgitt, was tried before a packed courthouse in Clanton, Mississippi. The trial came to a startling and dramatic end when the defendant threatened revenge against the jurors if they convicted him. Nevertheless, they found him guilty, and he was sentenced to life in prison.

But in Mississippi in 1970, life didn't necessarily mean life, and nine years later Danny Padgitt managed to get himself paroled. He returned to Ford County, and the retribution began.

Published:     3rd February 2004
Publisher:  Delta
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


There's nothing like the feeling when you open up to the first page of one of your favourite authors to a book that you have not yet read.  I know this story has been around for a while but this is one that I had never got around to reading and this is one that I was eagerly anticipating getting to as I work my way through reading his novels - I had read a lot of his previous works already but this one I had not.

In this story, we follow Willie Traynor whose wealthy grandmother gives him the money to buy a local newpaper business.  Willie is a keen reporter not willing to just stick with the normal or 'do what was done before'.  You then have the attempted rape and murder of a young mother and a suspect is captured but this is not just any normal suspect, it is a Padgitt.  The Padgitt family have been in town for decades and they are not shy to criminal activity and using their own acts of persuasion to get their own way.   Willie, not being worried about the ramifications of his 'scandalous' reporting, continues to post the truth as much as he can irrespective of who might get upset or whether his life might be in danger.

This was a very slow paced read, which I really enjoyed, despite the fact you would have thought it would be more fast paced and based on why there is 'The Last Juror'.  To be honest, that is only a small aspect to this story.  We follow different characters in this story, follow how the town reacts to the murder, see what levels of corruption goes on in the town and watch as the years go by then the case is heard, appeals take place and, finally, jurors are in trouble.  This is a style of writing that I have seen before in John Grisham's novels and that I enjoy the most.

Don't go into this story thinking it will be about the jurors and the trouble they are going to get in.  This is more about the process of law; from the act itself, the court case, length of time in between where life still goes on, appeals and then at the end of the novel we have the jurors.  This story is more about the journey than the ending and I loved that. 

Continue reading Book Review / The Last Juror by John Grisham

17 May 2020


Book Review / Indigo Lake by Jodi Thomas (Book 6, Ransom Canyon)

Two families long divided by an ancient feud. Can a powerful love finally unite them? 
Blade Hamilton is the last of his line. He's never even heard of Crossroads, Texas, until he inherits land there. Riding in on his vintage Harley-Davidson, Blade finds a weathered ranch house, an empty prairie and a dark river that cuts a decisive path between the Hamiltons' land and that of their estranged neighbors.

When Dakota helps a stranger on the roadside, she isn't prepared for the charisma of the man on the motorbike—or for the last name he bears: Hamilton, of her family's sworn enemies, representing all she's been raised to loathe. The problem is, it looks like Blade is in town to stay, and there's something about his wolf-gray eyes she just can't ignore.

Lauren Brigman feels adrift. Unhappy in work and unlucky in love, she knows she ought to be striving for more, but she's never truly at peace unless she's at home in Crossroads. If the wider world can't satisfy her, is home truly where her heart is?

Published:     18th July 2017
Publisher:  HQN Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 6, Ransom Canyon
Source:  Owned


This is a series that I am thoroughly enjoying the more and more I read of it.  You have Ransom Canyon which is where all of the novels in this series are based but this series is more following different characters who live in the Canyon in each novel.  Sometimes there are some crossovers and sometimes not.  You might get 'cameos' of other characters from previous novels crop up at some point.  This is a series that you can dip in and out of as and when you choose.

In this story we follow Blake Hamilton as he returns to town to inspect the land and house that he has inherited.  His family has a past here in Ransom Canyon that he is now about to figure out.  There is a long standing 'fued' between his family next door that started decades previously.   Even though we are following Blake's side of the story, we are following the story on the 'other side of the fence' also with Dakota who meets Blake for the first time when he comes to inspect his land.  

What I loved the most was the romance and conflict between the Hamiltons and the family on the other side of the 'feuding fence'.  Clearly, there is a past between the two families but also, clearly, there is a lot of chemistry between Blake and Dakota that only time will tell. 

This is not a story that I could binge read from book 1 to the very end.  I find the stories can be very 'samey' when you get to this book in the series.  That doesn't mean that it isn't good.  It is.  I have found that I need to pick up the next novel in the series, read that and then leave the series a bit before I dip into the next one.   

Continue reading Book Review / Indigo Lake by Jodi Thomas (Book 6, Ransom Canyon)

16 May 2020

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Book Review / A Midwinter Promise by Lulu Taylor

One family across two generations.

A marriage marred by trauma and infidelity.

Lives marked by death, divorce and a shattered family.
A dark secret at the heart of a tragedy.

Now the Pengelly family reunites around the sickbed of David, a beloved husband and father, to confront the emotions and the secrets that have divided them over the years.

Set around the beautiful wildness of Tawray, a house near the Cornish coast, A Midwinter Promise by bestselling author Lulu Taylor, is a dramatic story of loss, grief and the legacy of secrets. It is also a tale of reconciliation and renewal.

Published:    26th November 2019
Publisher:  Pan
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone: Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


I am so sad that this is the last novel written by this author that I can get my hands on to read!  I really hope that there will be a new novel this year - I just can't wait to keep reading more!

In this story we follow two timelines (which seems to be Lulu Taylor's style - and I love it!).  In the present we follow Alex and Johnnie who are the siblings of the couple in the story in the past.  They are faced with the potential death of their father and learning to deal with their stepmother, who has always been difficult to deal with.  In the past, we follow David and Julia (Alex and Johnnie's parents) as they meet, fall in love and start a life together.  Julia gets the opportunity to move back and own their family estate and thinks that this will renew her life but things aren't always straight forward.

Most of the story was quite predictable but that didn't distract from it being such a great novel to read and there's always the little plot twist at the end to do with the estate that I hadn't expected and loved.  This was an intriguing story about family drama and mental illness. 

Continue reading Book Review / A Midwinter Promise by Lulu Taylor

14 May 2020

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Book Review / The Winter Secret by Lulu Taylor

The Winter Secret is a thrilling mystery from Lulu Taylor, top ten bestselling author of The Snow Rose.

‘My dear boy, the place is cursed. It always has been and it always will be . . .’
Buttercup Redmain has a life of pampered luxury, living in beautiful Charcombe Park. Her older husband, Charles Redmain, is wealthy and successful, and proud of the house he has painstakingly restored, once owned by a famous ancestor. Buttercup is surrounded by people who make her life delightfully easy. But the one thing she really wants seems impossible.

There are other discomforting realities: her husband’s ex-wife Ingrid still lives nearby although Buttercup has never met her. And it soon becomes clear that all the people who make Buttercup’s life so carefree are also watching her every move. Does she actually live in a comfortable but inescapable cage? And what is the real story of her husband’s previous marriage?

In the late 1940s, Xenia Arkadyoff lived in Charcombe Park with her father, a Russian prince, and her mother, a famous film star. Life seemed charmed, full of glamour and beauty. But behind the glittering facade lay pain, betrayal, and the truth about the woman Xenia spent her life protecting.
Now Charcombe Park is calling back people who were once part of its story, and the secrets that have stayed long hidden are bubbling inexorably to the surface . . .

Published:     29th November 2019
Publisher:  Pan
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone

Source:  Owned


Yet another fantastic novel!  Ever since picking up my first Lulu Taylor novel earlier this year, I have not been able to stop reading them!  It has taken a while, wanting to savour each of them in their own right.

As with all of her novels, this story runs in two timelines - the past and the present.  In the past we follow Xenia who lives at Charcome Park with her father and mother.   Although life should be wonderful, but it isn't.  Her mother is not well at all and Xenia finds herself having to be more grown up than what she should be.  In the present, we folow Buttercup who marries Charles and moves into Charcome Park.  Her life should be wonderful, but things aren't what they seem.  Maybe she is not as free as she would like to think she is.

Such a great story about family drama, love and betrayal.  Would highly recommend. 
Continue reading Book Review / The Winter Secret by Lulu Taylor

12 May 2020

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Book Review / Bleachers by John Grisham

High school All-American Neely Crenshaw was probably the best quarterback ever to play for the legendary Messina Spartans. Fifteen years have gone by since those glory days, and Neely has come home to Messina to bury Coach Eddie Rake, the man who molded the Spartans into an unbeatable football dynasty.

As Coach Rake's 'boys' sit in the bleachers waiting for the dimming field lights to signal his passing, they replay the old glories, and try to decide once and for all whether they love Eddie Rake or hate him. For Neely Crenshaw, still struggling to come to terms with his explosive relationship with the Coach, his dreams of a great career in the NFL, and the choices he made as a young man, the stakes could not be higher.

Published:     7th May 2003
Publisher:  Arrow
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


Now this is why I love reading John Grisham's novels  On the one hand, you get a story like The King of Torts, which I had read previously, and on the other hand you get a story like this.  Please don't pick this up thinking that this is going to be a fast paced legal thriller, it is not.  But that doesn't mean this isn't just as good. 

We follow Neely and other characters as they return to their home down.  Their coach is on the verge of dying and they want to pay their respects. 

I read this story in one sitting, not wanting to put it down.  It is very slow paced as we follow different characters, but mainly Neely, as they return to their home down to pay their respects to their Coach, who was a larger than life character and certainly shaped them for their futures - maybe sometimes with a harder tone than what may be appropriate but, to me, it seems with all the best intentions.  For someone like me who does not really follow or understand the sport, you don't need to.  For me, the story was more about the characters. 

This was such a beautifully written story that I wouldn't hesitate recommended to everyone.

Continue reading Book Review / Bleachers by John Grisham

11 May 2020

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Book Review / The Snow Rose by Lulu Taylor

The Snow Rose is the gripping story of a woman on the run from her past by Lulu Taylor, author of The Winter Folly.

I suppose Rory and I will divorce at some point, when I've got the time to think about it and the strength to tackle the dreary admin it will involve. The house. The division of money and belongings. What will happen to Heather.

He's not taking her away from me. It's what he wants. It's what they all want.

I know they think I'm not fit to look after her. My mother thinks it. That's why I won't see her either, or my sister. They're in cahoots with Rory, all of them scheming how to get her away from me. That's why I have to escape them while I can, while I still have the opportunity . . .

Kate is on the run with her daughter, her identity hidden and her destination unknown to her husband and family. She's found a place where she and Heather can be alone and safe, a huge old house full of empty rooms. But it turns out she's not alone. There are the strange old ladies in the cottage next door, Matty and her blind sister Sissy. How long can Kate hide Heather's presence from them? And then the newcomers arrive, the band of eccentrics led by the charming and charismatic Archer. Kate begins to realize that she is involved in something strange and dangerous, and the past she's so desperate to escape is about to find her . . .

Published:     1st December 2016
Publisher:  Pan
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


Lulu Taylor has this style of writing that just keeps me wanting to pick up more and more of her books!

In this story, we follow Kate, who believes that her husband (they are separated) was going to take her daughter away from her, as she takes her daughter away into hiding.  They go to stay at a large estate.  Kate is not only there to hide away.  She is there to look after the estate and map out what is wrong with it, for a company who had hired her to do that.  As expected, things aren't what they seem and Kate soon realises that she is on a downward spiral in more ways than one. We also follow the story of the house in the past and what had happened to lead to the estate being abandoned. 

I just could not stop reading this book.  I had to know what was going to happen next.   There were certainly quite a lot of twists and turns that kept me on my toes.  Some of them I had already guessed but the major plot twists that come nearer the end of the story took me completely by surprise.

Continue reading Book Review / The Snow Rose by Lulu Taylor

7 May 2020

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Series Review / Wayward Children (Every Heart a Doorway) by Seana McGuire

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

Published:     2016 to 2020
Publisher:  Tor
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Books 1 to 5, Wayward Children
Source:  Owned


I have been seeing this series everywhere and just had to see what all the fuss was about!  Having read quite a lot of thrillers and romance recently, I thought this would be good for a change and this is definately something that is out of my comfort zone.   I would not normally pick this type of book up, but since I can't escape seeing people buying and reviewing this series I needed to see what the fuss was all about.

This series is centred at Eleanor West's Home for Warward Children.  Eleanor founded this home for children who have found 'doorways' to another 'worlds', have somehow made their way back to their 'home world' and are having trouble adjusting (or wanting to return but do not know how to summon doorways).

With each book we follow a different character and a different story.  I won't go into too much detail on each of the characters as I don't want to spoil any part of the story but my favourite characters by far in this story are Jack and Jill, who are twins.

I thoroughly enjoyed this series.  It was so much fun to read - very dark but also had moments which found me laughing out loud.  I would highly recommend!

Continue reading Series Review / Wayward Children (Every Heart a Doorway) by Seana McGuire

1 May 2020

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Book Review / The King of Torts by John Grisham

The office of the public defender is not known as a training ground for bright young litigators. Clay Carter has been there too long and, like most of his colleagues, dreams of a better job in a real firm. When he reluctantly takes the case of a young man charged with a random street killing, he assumes it is just another of the many senseless murders that hit D.C. every week.

As he digs into the background of his client, Clay stumbles on a conspiracy too horrible to believe. He suddenly finds himself in the middle of a complex case against one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, looking at the kind of enormous settlement that would totally change his life--that would make him, almost overnight, the legal profession's newest king of torts...

Published:    27th December 2005
Publisher:  Delta
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone

Source: Owned


Now this is what you call a page turner!  I just could not put this down...  This is the style of legal thriller that drew me into reading John Grisham's books in the first place and this one just took me right back to the first time I read one of his books.

We follow Clay Carter who is a young lawyer who works for the Office of the Public Defender.  His girlfriend and her family have high hopes of her marrying someone that is a high achiever and high earner and, at this time, Clay just isn't it.  On his own, Clay gets an offer of a lifetime.  Soon he has started his new business and is raking in the money.  Could it be as easy as this to gain money and legal fame?

There are so many things I loved about this book but if I had to pick one it would have to be the legal process.  Following Clay as he makes his different legal moves, how he deals with clients and how he deals with colleagues.  We follow the process of massive complex medical legal cases and how these are 'negotiated'.  I have to be honest and say that I didn't really care for the way that he treated his new girlfriend, as a sort of play thing and a sort of status play but that was such a minor part in this story it really didn't bother me that much but I guess at the moment he makes the decision to be with her he has lost all sense of reason anyway in the bigger picture.  I also enjoyed the ending but would have loved something a bit more explosive than what we had.

That said, I loved this story and the writing.  It was so good to delve into a really great legal thriller.

Continue reading Book Review / The King of Torts by John Grisham