Monday, 18 May 2015

White Shark by Peter Benchley

White SharkWhite Shark by Peter Benchley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 340

Publisher - St. Martin's Press

Blurb from Goodreads

At a small marine institute off the coast of Connecticut, only marine biologist Simon Chase realizes that a sixteen-foot pregnant Great White is feeding in the area. But even Simon doesn't know that a far deadlier creature is about to come out of the deep and threaten everything he cares for. A creature whose malevolence is unthinkable. Whose need to feed is insatiable. And whose relentless hunt for prey is unstoppable.

Twenty years after his huge bestseller Jaws, the master of the deep has done it again, letting loose a chilling new predator that only he could create. Drawing on his singular knowledge of the sea, science, and history, Peter Benchley masterfully spins a suspense-filled novel that hits you on a primal level, makes your heart pound, and leaves your blood running cold.

White Shark is Peter Benchley at his best. Read it at your own risk.

My Review

I read Jaws years ago and love love love the movie so when I discovered this I had to get a copy. Simon Chase is a marine biologist tracking sixteen foot pregnant great white, he studies her behaviors and travel patterns. A new predator is in the waters, one that was created to perfection and will destroy anything in its path. A creation, perfected by the Germans to use in a war that ended years ago and now this beast has free reign to feed and kill.

The title of the book, I felt was a little misleading, once you have read the tale you may disagree and think it was cleverly and aptly named however thats just a small gripe of mine. The story and kills kick off really quick and your drawn into a tale of horror and fear as a predator we have never encountered is loose and on the hunt in our waters!

Really well done, I would read more by this author, I still feel Jaws will always be my favorite but Benchley creates an eerie spine chilling tale that makes you want to read on and keep your feet out of the water, 3/5 for me this time.

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Prime Suspect by Lynda La PLante

Prime Suspect (Prime Suspect, #1)Prime Suspect by Lynda La Plante
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Publisher - Dell Publishing Company

Pages - 263

Blurb from Goodreads

In the dark night of the soul . . . . If Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison hadn't been a woman, she might not have noticed the victim's shoes . . . . and that they didn't match the size given on the info sheet now so obviously misidentifying the dead blonde as a hooker named Della Mornay. Being so through, so good at the details, made Jane a top investigator; being a woman made the boys in the squadron want to see her fall on her face. But Jane Tennison was determined to catch the madman stalking women in London's street shadows. She had a prime suspect, and she needed to make the charges against him stick. She also needed to keep her own secret in check: she couldn't let anyone see that she was falling apart inside, as her obsession with cracking this case and breaking out from under the heel of the station house boy's club took over life, destroying her relationship with the man she loved, pushing her closer and closer to the dark urges of a killer . . . .

My Review

The book opens with the discovery of a body of a prostitute, in her apartment by her land lord, believed to be Della Mornay. DCI Jane Tennison finally gets a crack at the case and soon spots some things the previous lead detective did not. Jane already has opposition from her male colleagues without calling into question her predecessor's investigation but Jane holds no prisoners and is determined to crack the case. With her mind set she will leave no stone unturned, even if it means exposing secrets best left hidden or her own personal relationships.

I like La Plante and have read her before however not this series or character. I found Tennnison hard to get on with at parts, harsh with witnesses and like a dog with a bone, she will do what needs done to get her results, by the book of course. Trying to break through the boys club must be hard but she is tough as old boots and isn't out to make friends. The victims need justice and Tennison will get it, even if she has to go against the teams wishes.

The is a good story, I do like how La Plante writes although, as stated Tennison isn't my favourite character although I would maybe warm to her eventually. I would read more in this series and I have most of this authors books on my tbr anyway, 3/5 for me this time.

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Sunday, 17 May 2015

Welcome To Wherever You Are by John Marrs

Welcome To Wherever You AreWelcome To Wherever You Are by John Marrs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 401

Publisher - Self published

Blurb from Goodreads

How far would you run to escape your past?

For eight strangers in a Los Angeles backpacking hostel, even the other side of the world isn’t far enough.

The craving for a new identity and the chance to start again is something they have in common. But the search for a fresh start isn't as easy as they'd imagined.

And they soon discover that it doesn't matter where you are or who you are - if you can't lay the past to rest, coincidence, fate and deception have a way of catching up with you when you least expect it.

My Review

Eight people, all running from something in their past end up in a backpacking hostel in Los Angeles. Coming from different backgrounds, trying to find or lose something and get to grips with who they are or where they are going in life. However, you can never truly outrun your past and as these guys find out, you need to deal with your demons before you can look to your future.

The story opens with men trying to capture a young woman and take her into a van, she is more than able for them and then the story begins. We are introduced to quite a few characters, Tommy, Nicole, Eric, Peyk, Ron and Savannah to name some in our tale. All big personalities and offering something different to the story, whilst they all seem unconnected, friendships will form, secrets and lies cannot always be hidden or kept and sometimes some liaisons can be dangerous.

This is my first time reading this author although it is his second novel. I thought the tale was really well done, with so many characters and merging time lines from their past to the present isn't an easy feat but Marrs managed it very well. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes crime, thrillers, secrets, travel and just an adventure to be honest. Really good and engaging book, 4/5 for me and I would read this author again.

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Hen's Teeth by Manda Scott

Hen's Teeth  (Kellen Stewart,  #1)Hen's Teeth by Manda Scott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 480

Publisher - Review

Blurb From Goodreads

A debut crime thriller in which a woman appeals for help after finding her lover dead, and along with her pathologist friend and a genetic scientist with an unusual interest in chickens, becomes tied in a web of intrigue, death and deceit.

My Review

This is the first in a series. Therapist Kellen Stewart gets a call in the middle of the night, the body of her ex lover Bridget has been found. The police believe it to be a heart attack, the attending doctor believes it is suicide and Kellen knows it is neither. As she digs into it and discovers Bridget isn't the only on to die in similar circumstances she needs to investigate, with her doctor friend and try to discover who would want to hurt Bridget and why. Lies, deceit, deception and danger are all lurking, will Kellen survive finding out what happened to her friend?

The book is set in Scotland, the body is found in Glasgow which is always nice to read about a place you know and love, well for me anyway. The story covers a lot from genetics, murder, friendships, lies and lesbianism. The genetics storyline was a bit much for me although it was interesting to read about something new, the lesbian aspects didn't go into graphic details or distract from the story. However, there is a lot of questions left unanswered and I am not sure if its set that way as it is the first book or if the questions are answered later. It isn't really about the plot but more a lot of questions about the main character Kellen, why did they fall out, why did she go away, lots of things that are mentioned or hinted to but not addressed.

Otherwise I quite liked it, theres plenty or suspense and intrigue plus the whole who done it and who may be next. First time reading this author and I would read her again, 3/5 for me.

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Apologies & competition

Firstly apologies for being MIA, we were on holiday and the Internet there was not that great at all. I did get through 11 books though so have quite a few reviews to catch up on and post. We got home the Sunday night & I was exhausted had to do my 5k in Tenerife and the hills and heat near killed me. Then the Monday saw us immediately back to university so it has been all go!.

As a result I also missed the giveaway I had planned to coincide with World Book Night, I did tell the givers I would keep one or two books by for the comp so that is what I will list now. Two copies of Prime Suspect by Lynda La Plante & just due to the prices of postage I will keep these to the UK however, we are more than half way through the month so next month I will open up to outside the UK.

Good luck if you are entering and thanks for taking time to comment, engage on twitter and to those winners who let me know the prizes arrive safe :) Hope your having a good Sunday.

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Thursday, 30 April 2015

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

A Long Way DownA Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 257

Publisher - Penguin

Blurb from Goodreads

"New Year's Eve at Toppers' House, North London's most popular suicide spot. And four strangers are about to discover that doing away with yourself isn't quite the private act they'd each expected." "Perma-tanned Martin Sharp's a disgraced breakfast TV presenter who had it all - the kids, the wife, the pad, the great career - and wasted it away. Killing himself is Martin's logical and appropriate response to an unliveable life." "Maureen has to do it tonight, because of Matty being in the home. He was never able to do any of the normal things kids do - like walk or talk - and loving-mum Maureen can't cope any more. Dutiful Catholic that she is, she's ready to commit the 'biggest sin of all'." "Half-crazed with heartbreak, loneliness, adolescent angst, seven Bacardi Breezers and two Special Brews, Jess's ready to jump, to fly off the roof." "Finally, there's JJ - tall, cool, American, looks like a rock-star, sometimes thinks he plays his guitar like one - who's weighted down with a heap of problems, and pizza." "Four strangers, who moments before were convinced that they were alone and going to end it all that way, share out the pizza and begin to talk ... Only to find that they have even less in common than first suspected." Nick Hornby's A Long Way Down is a novel that asks some of the big questions: about life and death, strangers and friendship, love and pain, and whether a group of losers, and pizza, can really see you through a long, dark night of the soul.

My Review

Four individuals looking to end in all on New Years eve happen upon each other. Toppers house in London, aptly named so as many people choose it to jump from and end their lives. That is the plan for Jess, young, loud and had enough after her boyfriend abruptly broke it off. Maureen, mum to Matty her son who is severely disabled and totally dependent on her. Martin, disgraced tv personality, reputation ruined after jail time and lost his family and career and lastly JJ, failed "rock star", each finds themselves on the rooftop and ready to call it a day when they meet each other and their plans change.

The chapters are short, written in first person point of view and named with the person who is talking for that chapter. The only character I felt any kind of likening for was Maureen, her life is completely around her son, she has noone bar him and the picture of their live together is very sad and lonely. Jess is a self absorbed, very young, loud mouthed individual who doesn't think before she engages her mouth. JJ is a bit of a pathetic figure, he feels the need to embellish his reasons for being on the roof that night because his life is so lacking. Martin, yet another self involved fool who can't see past himself, a legend in his own living room comes to mind.

The four form an unlikely friendship and get to know each other and form a "survivors" pact. The story gets a bit ridiculous in quite a few areas and to be honest, I was glad when it was over. It wasn't all bad, there are a few redeeming qualities within the story, Maureen was the saving grace of the group however it was a bit of an effort to get through. I am in the minority though as I know lots of people who loved this story and the movie, give it a go and see what you think. 2/5 for me this time, this was my first dance with this author, I would read him again though.

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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Dark places by Gillian Flynn

Dark PlacesDark Places by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 424

Publisher - Phoenix

Blurb from Goodreads

Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars.

Since then, she has been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben's innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before. Was the voice she heard her borther's? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back?

She begins to realise that everyone in her family had something to hide that day... especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find.

Who did massacre the Day family?

My Review

Libby Day is the survivor of her family being butchered, well apart from her brother who is serving time in jail for killing them. Libby was only seven years old when it happened and her testimony put Ben in jail. Twenty four years later Libby is stumbling through life, doing not a lot when she is contacted by crime group fanatics who believe her brother is innocent. Libby is desperate for money and agrees to go, before long she is questioning what she remembered that night and could Ben actually be innocent?

This is my third book by this author, she has a unique style to her writing. I find it hard to feel anything akin to liking or even tolerating most of her main characters. Libby is despicable, getting through life exploiting what happened to her family. Her past is littered with stealing, animal cruelty, lies and having a sole interest in herself. You can appreciate, after all she has been through, she will be affected however she is not a very nice or likable human being.

Libby does as the group bids her, speaks to people she hasn't in decades, tracks down witnesses in a bid to discover what actually happened to her family. The journey the reader sees her go through is one of discover and self examination. The tale is spun in a way that is keeps the readers interest but again, I felt I needed a good scrub after reading it. There are some twists and turns throughout. If you liked Sharp Objects and Gone Girl I am sure you will like this. 3/5 for me this time, there was a few things I guessed correctly and others I didn't see coming. Well worth a read if your familiar with this author and like a dark tale.

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