30 Jun 2021

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Book Review / The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Firzgerald



Jay Gatsby is the man who has everything. But one thing will always be out of his reach. Everybody who is anybody is seen at his glittering parties. Day and night his Long Island mansion buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing, and debating his mysterious character. For Gatsby---young, handsome, and fabulously rich---always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, though no one knows what for. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.





Published:    10th April 1925
Publisher:  Scribner
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned




I have been meaning to pick up this book for so long now.  I think it is because it is a 'classic' I think that it is going to be hard work to read it just like if you pick up a Dickins or something similar (which I have always struggled with in the past).  I am so glad that I picked this up. I had a thoroughly enjoyable time reading this book.

What surprised me, having deliberately not read up about anything in this book, that the story doesn't, in fact, follow Gatsby but actually follows another person and we see Gatsby through the eyes of that person, which made the both the story and the character of Gatsby so much more intriguing to me as you can't hear his thoughts or opinions but just what he portrays himself to be to others which probably adds to the mystique of the character.  There's no way to know his secrets until he wants to tell you about them.  

What also surprised me with this book was that there was a small element of complicated romance in this story as well and I have to say that this was the part that I did enjoy the most!

If you struggle to pick up a classic and want to start with something easier to read, easier to follow and a short read, give this one a go.  You won't be disappointed. 









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27 Jun 2021

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Book Review / Camino Winds by John Grisham

Welcome back to Camino Island, where anything can happen—even a murder in the midst of a hurricane, which might prove to be the perfect crime . . .

Just as Bruce Cable’s Bay Books is preparing for the return of bestselling author Mercer Mann, Hurricane Leo veers from its predicted course and heads straight for the island. Florida’s governor orders a mandatory evacuation, and most residents board up their houses and flee to the mainland, but Bruce decides to stay and ride out the storm.

The hurricane is devastating: homes and condos are leveled, hotels and storefronts ruined, streets flooded, and a dozen people lose their lives. One of the apparent victims is Nelson Kerr, a friend of Bruce’s and an author of thrillers. But the nature of Nelson’s injuries suggests that the storm wasn’t the cause of his death: He has suffered several suspicious blows to the head.

Who would want Nelson dead? The local police are overwhelmed in the aftermath of the storm and ill equipped to handle the case. Bruce begins to wonder if the shady characters in Nelson’s novels might be more real than fictional. And somewhere on Nelson’s computer is the manuscript of his new novel. Could the key to the case be right there—in black and white? As Bruce starts to investigate, what he discovers between the lines is more shocking than any of Nelson’s plot twists—and far more dangerous.


Published:     28th April 2020
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 2, Camino Island
Source:  Owned




After reading Camino Island, I knew that I had to pick up Camino Winds straight afterwards.  I was still in the story and refused to want to leave it.  I was so glad that there was a second book in this series.

We are back in that sleepy town resort, Camino Island, and back at the bookstore owned by Bruce Cable.  There are a few characters that were in Camino Island that are back in this second book in the series.  I loved that.  It gave the story an element of 'realness' to it, if that is such a word...   It was just like you were visiting a place again that you travelled to not that long ago.

This time a hurricane has hit the island (although we do see build up to the hurricane arriving as well) and someone is found dead but not necessarily because of the hurricane.  How did this person die and if it was murder, why?  Did he know too much?

Loved this book just as much as I did Camino Island.  I reallyl do hope that John Grisham will revisit this island again in future books.









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19 Jun 2021

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Book Review / Camino Island by John Grisham

A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a vault deep below Princeton University's Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, impossible to resist.

Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in unsavory ventures.

Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer's block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous monetary offer convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Cable's circle of literary friends, to get close to the ringleader, to discover his secrets.

But soon Mercer learns far too much, and there's trouble in paradise--as only John Grisham can deliver it.


Published:     6th June 2017
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 45, In Death
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher




This book is different to most of John Grisham's novels in that we don't follow a lawyer and the plot is not following a legal case.  Out of all of the newer books written by this author that I had not read yet, this one was one that I was most excited for as not only it is different from most of his previous novels but this was based around a bookstore.  What more could you want!

I loved this book.  We are following Mercer who is a young novelist who is given a proposal by a mysterious woman working for a mysterious compnay to go undercover and get close to both the bookstore in a sleepy resort town and the owner, Bruce Cable.

I adored all of this book but to be more specific enjoyed the characters and their progression through the book.  Not only do you have the main character, Mercer, who at the start is very unsure of herself but as we follow the story through she certainly has to make choices that makes her stronger.  You also have a variety of different other characters in this story that live in that sleepy town resort that we get to know.  Some of them are good and some of them not so much. 

There were certainly quite a lot of twists and turns in this story.  It certainly kept me guessing as to what exactly was going on.  I had my suspicions but loved the ride this story took me on to get to the ending.  

If you are not a big fan of legal thrillers but do want to try a John Grisham novel, you need to pick this up!















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13 Jun 2021

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Book Review / The Whistler by John Grisham

We expect our judges to be honest and wise. Their integrity and impartiality are the bedrock of the entire judicial system. We trust them to ensure fair trials, to protect the rights of all litigants, to punish those who do wrong, and to oversee the orderly and efficient flow of justice.

But what happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? It’s rare, but it happens.

Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is a lawyer, not a cop, and it is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the Board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption.

But a corruption case eventually crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity. He now goes by the name Greg Myers, and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined. And not just crooked judges in Florida. All judges, from all states, and throughout U.S. history.

What’s the source of the ill-gotten gains? It seems the judge was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. The Coast Mafia financed the casino and is now helping itself to a sizable skim of each month’s cash. The judge is getting a cut and looking the other way. It’s a sweet deal: Everyone is making money.

But now Greg wants to put a stop to it. His only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. Greg files a complaint with the Board on Judicial Conduct, and the case is assigned to Lacy Stoltz, who immediately suspects that this one could be dangerous.

Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else.


Published:     25th October 2016
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1, The Whistler
Source: Owned




I can't tell you how much fun I am having re-reading all of John Grisham's novels, especially as I have now got to the point where I have not read those books.  This book came out in 2016 and that was about the same time I started to collect John Grisham's novels (hardback, for sure, some where very difficult to find) ready to read and it was from that point that I would still buy his novels when they come out but not read them as I wanted to start from the oldest to the newest.  

What I loved about this book was, of course, the plot.  We are following investors, mainly Lacy, from the Board on Judicial Contact (not a lawyer this time) who receives a complaint against a local judge, which they are obliged to investigate.  Although, for me, there were not as many twists and turns that I would have liked, I still enjoyed every minute of this story.  Certainly, the events that lead up to the ending just kept me on the edge of my seat.  I couldn't put the book down!!

If you have not yet picked up a John Grisham novel, you should!! 






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Book Review / Witness to a Trial by John Grisham

A startling and original courtroom drama from New York Times #1 Bestseller John Grisham that is the prequel to his newest legal thriller, THE WHISTLER
A judge’s first murder trial.

A defense attorney in over his head.

A prosecutor out for blood and glory.

The accused, who is possibly innocent.

And the killer, who may have just committed the perfect crime.





Published:     27th September 2016
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 0.5, The Whistler
Source:  Owned




I had not realised this was a prequel to The Whistler until I came to pick it up after I had read The Whistler and although I enjoyed this short story I would highly recommend picking this up before reading The Whistler as it is a great introduction to characters and the plot.  

I enjoyed this and it certainly did add more to the main story, but definitely should read this first!








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4 Jun 2021

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Book Review / Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson


A bride’s dream honeymoon becomes a nightmare when a man with whom she’s had a regrettable one-night stand shows up in this psychological thriller from the author of Eight Perfect Murders. Abigail Baskin never thought she’d fall in love with a millionaire. Then she met Bruce Lamb. But right before the wedding, Abigail has a drunken one-night stand on her bachelorette weekend. She puts the incident—and the sexy guy who wouldn’t give her his real name—out of her mind, and now believes she wants to be with Bruce for the rest of her life.

Then the mysterious stranger suddenly appears—and Abigail’s future life and happiness are turned upside down. He insists that their passionate night was the beginning of something special and he’s tracked her down to prove it.

Does she tell Bruce and ruin their idyllic honeymoon—and possibly their marriage? Or should she handle this psychopathic stalker on her own? To make the situation worse, strange things begin to happen. She sees a terrified woman in the night shadows, and no one at the resort seems to believe anything is amiss… including her perfect new husband.


Published:     23rd March 2021
Publisher:  William Morrow
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source: Owned



Having only discovered this author last year and immediately reading all of his books, I couldn't wait to read this new novel.  

With this story we follow the main character, Abigail, as she marries the love of her life and head off on their honeymoon which was the one thing that her new husband had organised and she had no idea where they are going so it will be a nice surprise. Unfortunately, just before she married she had a drunken one night stand with a random person and although she might have thought that she could leave that all behind and forget it, she may not be able to.  

Very suspenseful and had me at the edge of my seat all the way through.  I have to admit that I read this in one sitting on a very quiet Sunday and have no regrets!  If I had to be picky I would have loved a few more twists and turns, or surprises, but still a thoroughly enjoyable read and worth picking up. 



Continue reading Book Review / Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson