Review – Don’t You Cry: Mary Kubica
This is such a fascinating psychological thriller chiller. One of those mysteries where you think you have the story all worked out but really you haven’t.
Quinn’s roommate Esther is missing and so begins her quest to try to unravel exactly what has happened to her. Odd clues are found in Esther’s room and disturbing developments take place which leave Quinn in fear for her own life.
Meanwhile in another town there’s a story developing. There’s a link to the past and we hear from a young man Alex, a dishwasher in a local restaurant, as he becomes intrigued by a mysterious customer who becomes an important part of his life.
The ending of this well-written engrossing book took me totally by surprise.
(Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC copy)
Review – French Illusions Book 2: Linda Kovic Skow The following review has been posted on Goodreads, Amazon US & UK …
Fat Dogs and French Estates Part 1&2 Beth Haslam
Beth Haslam will very shortly have a new book out. It will be the third book in the Fat Dogs and French Estates series. I can’t wait to read it and I’m really looking forward to it because I found the first two books in the series very enjoyable.
Below are my reviews for Fat Dogs and French Estates Book one and Book two. Also posted on Amazon and Goodreads
I was going to include a funny quote, but the humerous quotes are too numerous to highlight just one. Beth writes with an exceptionally observant sense of humour about the search for a property, the dogs who share the journey, the colourful characters they meet along the way and her husband, who let’s just say is entirely unintentionally hilariously funny!
(Read this during a stressful time and it was very good therapy) Highly recommended. Looking forward to Part 2 😀
After reading the first book in the series ‘Fat Dogs and French Estates Part I, I was absolutely bursting to read the second one and it didn’t disappoint.
Beth and her husband Jack accompanied by their two dogs, are still searching for a French domaine to buy and as in the first book, estate agents seem intent on showing them some very undesirable properties with the most peculiar owners.
I love Beth’s humorous descriptions of the seemingly never ending quest to find the perfect property, their adventures along the way and Jack’s irascible and often hilarious outbursts of grumpiness. Jack is a funnier, wittier and grumpier version of the character of Victor Meldrew.
As a bit of a fan of military history, Jack’s scathing remarks about the subject throughout their journey really made me laugh out loud on occasion. Unfortunately, I read the book far too quickly and have now finished the book. Bereft, but I’ll wait patiently for the next one in the series.
I’ve been waiting for this one to come out. The latest in the DI Ted Darling crime fiction series.My review 5*
Another cracking good read from L M Krier that DI Ted Darling fans have been eagerly waiting for.
This is the fourth book in the series and this time there are a series of sexual assaults on young women in Stockport supermarket car parks for DI Ted Darling and his team to investigate. Once more, a difficult topic is handled with sensitivity by the author. The crimes are both nasty and violent and the perpetrator needs to be caught quickly. DI Ted Darling and his team have yet another difficult case ahead of them.
I’ve been waiting for this one to come out and was kindly given a preview copy in exchange for an honest review.
There is something about DI Ted Darling and his partner Trev. You’d want them as friends, neighbours, brothers, colleagues or bosses. In fact I’d just like to move in with them both and their six cats. The author won’t reveal exactly where they live though 🙂
The two characters of Ted and Trev in this crime-fiction series seem to have the same effect on other readers too and have developed quite a fan following. There are interesting snippets of their lives and background throughout all the books and with each new book release, inbetween the details of the cases and investigations, we learn a little more about them as individuals.
The character of DC Vine the female detective we were introduced to in ‘When I’m Old and Grey’ has settled more into her role in the team and plays a vital part in the investigation.
I’m just waiting for the next one in the series to come out now!
To Purchase on Amazon
The Chosen Child by Linda Huber
The following review of Chosen Child: Linda Huber was also posted on Amazon UK & US and Goodreads
I was initially drawn to the book by the beautiful cover. The suspense right from the very first chapter all builds up nicely to draw the reader right into this story.
An illicit affair, a child in need of a loving home, and one cataclysmic day that leads to such a build up of events that I just had to read on and on until the end to find out what happened.
Life can indeed be stranger than fiction at times, so the twists and turns of the plot are entirely believable and all the way through, one of the most quoted lines from Scottish poetry kept going through my head ‘Oh, what a tangled web we weave. When first we practise to deceive!’. Indeed!
Will definitely be reading more from this author.
To Purchase on Amazon
The Wrong Shade of Yellow by Margaret Leigh
The following 5* review was also posted on US & UK Amazon and Goodreads
I enjoyed this book so much that I didn’t want it to end and was quite sad when it did. One of those times where you actually forget that you’re reading a book and are right there with the writer. The book is so well written, witty, funny and descriptive that it was a joy to read.
For someone who doesn’t cycle, I’m often drawn to travel memoirs of the long cycle ride variety. Cyclists see a lot more of the areas they travel through, interact with the local population and can also encounter the dark and dangerous side of cycling and camping alone – definitely more so if female.
The author wasn’t at all keen on some of the countries, or their inhabitants, as she passed through but each to their own and this is one person’s journey, so just their opinion.
The writer from New Zealand, a middle-aged woman, having a mid-life crisis of sorts and virtually homeless, decides to cycle and camp on her own across Europe. Her final destination is Greece where she plans to eventually find a place to live, bringing her 80 year old mother, an indomitable feisty character, with a variety of ailments to live with her.
The journey along the way is fraught with all kinds of challenges and problems to overcome, but a lovely enjoyable read filled with descriptive detail of the landscapes and encounters with various forms of wildlife – not always good experiences. Will definitely be reading more from this author.
To Purchase on Amazon
The Drumbeater by Clive Allan
The following 5* review has been posted on Amazon US & UK and Goodreads
What a thoroughly absorbing and interesting read this was. A cold case wartime mystery set in the present day Scottish Highlands, written by an ex-policeman turned author who has described the atmosphere and the landscape of the surroundings with such descriptive detail that I felt as if I was right there at times. Reminded me of holidays spent in the Highlands and made me feel like packing a bag to return there straight away, or at least once I’d read the book right through to the end.
Snippets of well researched military history, interspersed with historic family mysteries and steady and methodical police work and procedures.
There are several twists and turns that leave the reader wondering who exactly the culprit or culprits were, and an interesting new detective DI Neil Strachan, a no-nonsense straightforward and thorough copper who just gets on with the job, but trusts his instincts and intuitions along the way. A remarkable debut novel and I really hope there will be a whole series to read. A TV series would be excellent with all that scenery to admire as well. What’s not to like.
To Purchase Drumbeater from Amazon
To Purchase from Waterstones
Tuesday Falling by S Williams
The following review was posted on UK & US Amazon and Goodreads.
I was really surprised by this book. I can’t quite believe this is a debut novel, it’s that good. I enjoyed reading it and finished it over two nights. I first heard about it on a Facebook book group when the book was on a free offer. Tuesday Falling, is largely about a small young woman with extraordinary talents wreaking revenge on street gang rapists in a most unusual way.
Worth a mention to say that there are no gratuitous rape scenes – whenever rape is mentioned, the characters in the book are accurately portrayed as suffering from the terrible lasting effects on victims of the crime. The revenge wreaked on the perpetrators however, is not for the faint-hearted.
Set in modern London, but with a dystopian, dare I say underground slant, but including some very interesting historic details of Victorian London in the descriptions of the old, now defunct underground rail stations and tunnels. How historically accurate the descriptions are I have no idea, but they certainly add a lot of interest and drama to the story.
It’s hard to describe the book too much without giving away too many spoilers and each new detail in the story is revealed very cleverly, bit by bit, by the author for the reader to discover, so I’ll leave it there. I really hope to read more by this author.
To Purchase from Amazon
To Purchase from Waterstones
Review also posted on US & UK Amazon & Goodreads
A scary, hold your breath, rollercoaster of a book. My first read of 2016. This was a well written, excellent read, and if I wasn’t going through a busy time, would have finished it in a few sittings. I need a long lie down in a darkened room after reading this one! We rarely get a glimpse into the effect investigating a terrible tragedy has on the police officers involved in the case.
This part, written by the author in the forward of the book drew me in and I knew I had to read this book.
I went out to work on 7 July 2005, and two weeks later I came home wearing the same clothes and with fifty-six people dead. The quest for the truth about the London bombings took years to unravel”
Given the background of the author David Videcette, a former Scotland Yard investigator within the Metropolitan Police, who was a detective in the Anti-Terrorist Branch during the 7/7 London bombings in July 2005, the reader has to decide what is real and what isn’t. A real brain teasing conundrum that leaves you wondering throughout the whole of the book. Some of the evidence from the actual investigation into the 7/7 bombings was publicly aired at the inquest into the bombings in 2010, but little reported at the time. The book is very cleverly written and it must have been a difficult book to write, given the constraints of the Official Secrets Act. As he writes on his website ” “I can’t tell you the truth, but I can tell you a story”.
The author conveys the atmosphere of that time period during the terrible aftermath of the 7/7 atrocity ” This wasn’t London any more. This was a place he didn’t recognise”.
The leading character in the book DI Jake Flanagan, expresses his frustration about the lack of manpower to complete the tasks that he and his team were given.
At times, I had to get into the mindset of an adrenaline fuelled red blooded male, not usually easy for this old granny, but I can understand why some of the warts and all, off duty behaviour of the fictional character of DI Jake Flanagan was included. Nobody, I suspect, could be in this line of work day after day, without letting off a bit of steam on the very rare occasion that they were off duty during this intense investigation.
Reminds me in parts of one of my favourite TV series, Homeland – although that was fiction and this was – well you just don’t know!
As a renowned older lady we all know and love, is alleged to have said to a former butler of some repute, “There are powers at work in this country of which we have no knowledge”.
I sincerely hope that there is a continuing series of books about DI Jake Flanagan. I’ll have to read them with my head under a cushion though, and have long breaks admiring fluffy bunnies and flowery things!
Review –Meadowlands: The Private Life of An English Field: John Lewis-Stempel
The following review has also been posted on Goodreads, Amazon US & UK
I doubt if I have enough words in my vocabulary to give this book the full praise it deserves but here goes:
I found this beautifully descriptive book such a joy to read. I’ve learned so much about nature and wildlife from it.
The author John Lewis-Stempel is such a master of poetic prose, that at times I was brought to tears by the sheer beauty of his descriptions and observations of the flora and fauna during a year in the life of a meadow on his farm on the Herefordshire border.
The book is interspersed with poetry, folk lore and historical snippets of country living and farm life, I suspect that quite a bit of research has gone into producing such a masterpiece but the author is obviously a very well-read chap and much is drawn from his own love of the land, memories and considerable knowledge and experience.
We have birds – their mating, feeding and migratory habits and patterns; wildflowers beloved and necessary to all different types of butterflies and bees. Foxes, with whom the writer appears to have mixed relationship and a grudging admiration for, but if they mess with his chickens ‘I am an Old Testament poultry-keeper. I say a life for a life, and have a gun that speaks death’
Voles and other types of small mammals including hedgehogs and anything living that inhabits the meadow throughout the year. Mouldywarps, which are moles by another name. All have a role, a part to play as an occasionally anthromorphic character in this life and death meadow saga.
I could quote huge sections of this book to illustrate the beauty of it but will just include one
21 MARCH Heavy rain. The horses in House Field stand back to the rain, the sheep and their lambs are either under the hedges or tight against the bales. The red-tailed bumblebee must be glad of the house that it has taken from the mouse. In Lower Meadow I see a small flock of forlorn redwings, the thrush with the fetching cream eye-stripe and orange flanks, in the hazel. At my approach, up into the air they go, slipping left, slipping right, drunkenly unsteady. They loiter for a day. On the 23rd I hear redwings ‘zeeping’ in the starred night when I’m checking the sheep. Next day there are no redwings on the farm. They have gone north, to home in Scandinavia.
To Purchase Meadowland from Waterstones
I’m looking forward to reading John Lewis-Stempel’s latest, recently published book ‘The Running Hare’ that I pre-ordered and it arrived by post the other day.
I’m hoping to move my existing blog http://mrsbloggsbooks.blogspot.co.uk to WordPress, so until it’s all migrated over there won’t be much content yet.