Saturday, 22 November 2014

Review - The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

The House at RivertonThe House at Riverton by Kate Morton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - on and off over 7 days

Pages - 599

Publisher - Macmillan Pan Books

Blurb from Goodreads

Summer 1924

On the eve of a glittering society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again.

Winter 1999

Grace Bradley, ninety-eight, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken and old memories - long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind - begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge, something history has forgotten but Grace never could.

Set as the war-shattered Edwardian summer surrenders to the decadent twenties, The House at Riverton is a thrilling mystery and a compelling love story.



My Review


Grace Bradley is 98 years old, reminiscing on her days as a housemaid, and later as a ladies maid at Riverton Manor. A movie is being made of its history and Grace is being interviewed, this brings back many memories and secrets, some of which the family, and Grace would prefer to stay in the past.

The story goes between the 1920s and present day, set to 1999. The story revolves around Grace going into employment within the Riverton Manor, where her mother worked years previously. There is a blatant theme from the servants that they know something about Grace, and her mother, that she isn't aware of. The story build up is long, drawn out and takes, I felt, forever for anything to actually happen or come to fruition. The last quarter of the book is where it really starts to come together, you get an insight into what has been hinted at throughout the book and some closure with the characters, past and present.

I think it is a nice tale if you like a sedate pace, a long and winding tale with lots of mundane stages that allude to something big coming. It was nicely written and a well received book by many, however, for me I prefer a bit more meat to my read. 2/5 for me this time, I would read this author again however I won't be rushing out to buy up her work.

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Friday, 21 November 2014

Review - The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

The Witching HourThe Witching Hour by Anne Rice
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - on and off over 15 days

Pages - 1207

Publisher - Penguin Books

Blurb from Goodreads

Demonstrating once again her gift for spellbinding storytelling, Anne Rice makes real a family of witches-a family given to poetry and incest, to murder and philosophy, a family that is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous and seductive being."

My Review

Rowan Mayfair was kept from her immediate family from birth, to save her from the family legacy and curse. Events take place that will bring Rowan home,the history of the witches and its ghost are about to come to a head and something new is coming along.

Rowan is a fabulous young doctor, she saves the life of Michael in a chance meeting that will change their lives forever. Michael is suffering from visions and his hands are picking up vibes and readings from anything he touches. He needs to figure out what it all means before going crazy. Rowan is desperate to meet her family, despite making a promise to the woman who raised her that she would never return. Together Rowan and Michael try to unravel the mystery of the Mayfair family and what it means for them and their relationship.

The book covers the past and present, the history of the family ghost and all of the Mayfair witches to date. It gives some insight into Lasher, the family ghost, although not in depth as this will follow in the second book.

The book covers secrets, murder, sex, incest, magic, history, lies and deception to name just a few of the themes covered within this tale. It is quite a long book standing at over 1200 pages, some of this I feel could have been trimmed off and not have affected the overall tale. It has mystical and magical happenings, sex is a strong theme throughout which may make some readers feel uncomfortable. For me, this is a reread, I read this as a teenager and loved it. I still liked it as an adult however, after having devoured so many books I find myself much more critical and clearly not as enamored with the tale as I had been as a teen. It is a great book, opening up a new world with ghosts (or demons if thats your preferred term for Lasher) and witches that spills over into our world.

This is the first in a trilogy, as I have said I have read it before and will track the others down, they are somewhere in my many book shelves. Despite the time line jumping around and there being quite a few characters, the story is quite easy to follow and Anne Rice has created a world that many will love. Certainly worth a read if you like mystical type tales laced with sex and family tragedy and secrets, 3/5 for me this time.

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Saturday, 15 November 2014

Review - Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Rot & RuinRot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken to Read - 3 days

Blurb from Goodreads

Pages - 458

Publisher - Simon & Schuster

Nearly fourteen years ago, a freak virus swept across the world turning the living into the undead. Benny Imura was only a toddler, but his last memory of his parents is tainted by the image of them becoming zombies, and he blames his older brother, Tom, for not saving them.

Now Benny is fifteen, and Tom wants them to put their difficult relationship behind them and work together in the “family business”: as zombie killers. It’s the last thing Benny wants to do, but he needs a job and he thinks it’ll be an easy ride.

But when they head into the Rot and Ruin, an area full of wandering zombies, Benny soon realises that there’s more to the job than just whacking zombies. And, as he’s confronted with the truth about the world around him Benny makes the most terrifying discovery of all, that the worst monsters you can imagine might actually be human ...


My Review


Benny is fifteen years old, in a world where the living dead are ever a threat to humans, when you come of age (fifteen) you must contribute to the community in order to eat, live, survive there. Benny's brother Tom has quite a reputation, a hero, he kills zombies and is well thought of in the community. Benny knows differently, he knows Tom is a coward and he hates him, however he has to learn the business in order to earn his keep. Benny starts to realize there is more to the job and indeed his brother as he ventures out into the Rot and Ruin. As Benny starts to see the world differently, he realizes how dangerous the world around him is and the things he thought he knew aren't quite what they seemed.

I have read a Jonathan Maberry before, Patient Zero, and loved it. This is very different, although both are zombie stories. This one heavily focuses on the personal journey young Benny takes, from developing interest in the opposite sex, family grudges, secrets and making the transition from petulant teenager into a young man. There is of course zombies and danger although it has a very different feel from his other tale. Discovering the zombies may be different from what young Benny had imagined and learning that sometimes people can be worse than the zombies, Benny goes on a journey of self discovery, growth and survival.

It is a good introduction to a new zombie series, it isn't just all gore and guts as a lot of zombie books are. It isn't the best I have read but I certainly enjoyed it and will follow the series as I come upon it, 3/5 for me this time.

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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Novembers giveaway is Watch me by James Carol

The book is in great condition, the spine is completely intact and looks as it did the day I bought it, little scuff around the corners but otherwise grand. I read and enjoyed it, 3/5 stars but haven't had time to review it yet.

Blurb from Goodreads Everybody's got something to hide . . .
Ex-FBI profiler Jefferson Winter has taken a new case in sunny Louisiana, where the only thing more intense than the heat is a killer on the loose in the small town of Eagle Creek.
Sam Galloway, a prominent lawyer from one of Eagle Creek's most respected families, has been murdered. All the sheriff's department have to go on, however, is a film of Galloway that shows him being burned alive.
Enter Jefferson Winter, whose expertise is serial criminals. But in a town where secrets are rife and history has a way of repeating itself, can Winter solve the case before someone else dies?

As always, competition runs until the end of the month. Enter using the rafflecopter below, the more entries you complete, the more chance you have of winning. Apologies it is late and good luck, thanks for stopping by.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 7 November 2014

Review - Night Music by Jojo Moyes

Night MusicNight Music by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - <4 hours

Pages - 416

Blurb from Goodreads

The Spanish House is known to locals as an architectural folly, and it is now nearly derelict to boot. When its reclusive owner dies intestate the Spanish House is left to his city-dwelling niece. For the recently-widowed Isabel, the house is a potential lifeline. For her neighbour Matt McCarthy, the house is revenge.


My Review

Matt McCarthy and his wife, Laura, have pampered to their neighbour, taking him meals, cleaning his sheets, looking after him and putting up with his crude comments. All for the deeds of his house when he passes on, which should be soon they think, as he has no family. As it is, it passes to his niece and children, Isabel, Kitty, and Thierry, struggling with the death of her husband and their new financial issues they move to the country and learn a new way of life. However Matt isn't about to let his dream go and soon puts his plan into action, with consequences that change the lives of everyone.

I love Jojo Moyes, her books are always really different from each other and her style is so easy to follow, it is like getting into your comfy slippers. I normally take to one or more of her characters, especially the main players, however, I didn't find this the case in this story. Whilst Matt is deplorable and his wife a willing accomplice, Isabel isn't a great character either. Still wrapped up in the grief of losing her husband, her children have clearly suffered, she makes poor choices that impacts them and seems to take an age to come together. I did like the wee shop keepers right enough and the grumpy handyman had some redeeming quality's as the tale goes on.

As it is a country book there is some animal hunting which, whilst it doesn't go into minute detail it did still make me uneasy to read it. The story has some ups and downs, personal growth, a little bit of sex, manipulation, lies, family secrets and problems just to name a few of the themes within the book.

I got through it in 4 hours so it is a good story, it just isn't her strongest although still a good tale. 3/5 for me this time, I will definitely read more by Jojo Moyes, I have read most of them already and look forward to her next.

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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Halloween Giveaway - 30 days of night by Jeff Mariotte

I think as it is Halloween, a wee additional giveaway is required. This is a vampire book, I haven't read any of this series before. Blurb is from Goodreads.

A terrifying species of legend that exists in shadow and thrives in night, preying on and intriguing an unsuspecting modern world. An amoral, clandestine government operation that uses whatever means necessary to inflict maximum damage upon one of the most frightening and demonized forces humanity has ever encounteredÉ And all of mankind is threatened by the chain of events set in motion by this unrestrained conflict, and the ripple effects of a new element to the hostilities will forever alter the rules of engagement....

The competition will run until the 31st. As always, the more options you do on the Rafflecopter, the more entries you have. Good luck guys and gals. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 18 October 2014

NR - The Golem of Hollywood by Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman

The Golem of HollywoodThe Golem of Hollywood by Jonathan Kellerman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 5 days

Pages - 550

Publisher - Headline

Blurb from Inside of the book cover

Detective Jacob Lev wakes one morning, dazed and confused: He seems to have picked up a beautiful woman in a bar the night before, but he can’t remember anything about the encounter, and before he knows it, she has gone. But this mystery pales in comparison to the one he’s about to be called on to solve. Newly reassigned to a Special Projects squad he didn’t even know existed, he’s sent to a murder scene far up in the hills of Hollywood Division. There is no body, only an unidentified head lying on the floor of a house. Seared into a kitchen counter nearby is a single word: the Hebrew for justice.



Detective Lev is about to embark on an odyssey—through Los Angeles, through many parts of the United States, through London and Prague, but most of all, through himself. All that he has believed to be true will be upended—and not only his world, but the world itself, will be changed.



My Review

The book opens in Prague with Heap, a serial killer who is stalking his next victim. Just as he swoops in for the kill, he is intercepted by a supernatural presence stops in him in tracks. We flick then to Los Angeles, Jacob Lev a police officer with an alcohol dependency and a woman he becomes obsessed with who leaves his life as quickly as she entered it. A case has come up, Lev is getting on peoples nerves and this combined with his Jewish background puts him forward to investigate a murder. A decapitated body, in part, a message left in Jewish writing at the scene and Jacob has little else to go on. As well as this we have another story, Cain and Abels sister, Asham, her choices or lack of and their repercussions, this is visited periodically throughout the book. Feeling confused? Exactly how I felt!

This book has too much going on in it for my liking. Too many different story lines, seemingly unrelated to each other, religious themes throughout, murder, bizarre sex, supernatural creatures, beasties, violence and thats just some of the content. The sexual element, for me, held no major significance, maybe there was and it was just over my head. However it was very weird, disjointed and didn't add to the story. When Jacob is investigating, I liked that although he did seem to get nowhere fast and constantly met resistance, even by those who put him on the case.

His relationship with his father is another line in the story, a seemingly nice, vulnerable Rabbi, worried about his son, who has lost his face and met alcohol since the death of his mother. His father often is featured along with some Jewish tales which I did find interesting however, like I said it is a busy busy book. It seemed to go off on tangents, I had a headache trying to keep up with it and work out what was relevant to what I had already read.

It isn't all bad, like I say I liked when Jacob got into investigating, I liked reading the Jewish stories and learning of some of the Jewish relation. The descriptions where some of the story took place was very detailed and painted a good picture, there is no doubt these writers are good however, maybe together it just doesn't gel. I have read and enjoyed Jonathan before but not Jesse, maybe that was my issue, along with the jumping about and weird sexual scenes. I also had issues with how some of the story lines were wrapped up, I don't like to be left hanging but I would prefer that to things that make no sense or just don't flow. That said a lot of people love this book, including Stephen King, whom I love, so if you have no issue with the previously mentioned give it a go, sadly it wasn't for me. 2/5 this time, I would read Jonathan Kellerman again and I would try Jesse Kellerman, both writing alone, I doubt I would pick up a joint effort by them again though as I really struggled with this and the things I disliked far outweighed those that I did.



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