Tuesday, 17 July 2018

A Wartime Nurse by Maggie Hope

A Wartime NurseA Wartime Nurse by Maggie Hope
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Pages - 416

Publisher - Ebury Press

Source - The Works (I think)

Blurb from Goodreads

As bombs begin to fall, her strength will be tested...

A newly qualified nurse, Theda Wearmouth is delighted to gain a place at Newcastle Hospital. But the onset of war brings tragedy when her young soldier boyfriend is killed in action before he can make good on his promise to marry her.

Broken-hearted, Theda finds herself re-assigned to a special unit of the hospital dealing with German prisoners of war. Her duty is clear. But will she be able to cope with nursing the very men her fiancé died fighting...?

My Review

I went into this thinking it was going to be one of those books with a big focus on the nursing side, it really isn't. Don't get me wrong it does mention nursing, some of it takes part in a hospital and the main character does train to and become a nurse however the central focus is relationships.

Theda Wearmouth trains to be a nurse, she has a boyfriend who is off to war and dies before they can be married. Theda is distraught but focuses on her career and has no intention of looking for anyone else but you know the way life plays it's hand, when you aren't looking you find someone. As a result Theda's life changes completely and she tries to deal with the hand fate has given her whilst keeping true to her focus, her career. Set during world war two there are many issues, poverty, danger, death, romance, family, ideas on what a young woman should do and how she should behave. Nursing prisoners of war, hospital life during that time period and of course Theda's romantic interests.

I did like the book it just wasn't what I was expecting. It makes you think about life and times of that period in history, the choices and sacrifices women had to make. 3.5/5 for me this time, I think this was my first time reading this author, I would read her again.

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Sunday, 15 July 2018

Th1rt3en by Steve Cavanagh

Thirteen (Eddie Flynn #4)Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 356

Publisher - Orion

Source - Gift from O/H

Blurb from Goodreads

They were Hollywood's hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to Robert's guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie's mind.

What if there's more than one actor in the courtroom?

What if the killer isn't on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?

My Review

Firstly let me say that whilst this is book four in the series I haven't read the previous and don't think I missed out by starting with this one. Famous Hollywood hot shot is being tried for the murder of his wife (also Hollywood gold) and bodyguard. All eyes are on the case, Eddie Flynn is asked onto the defense and with money from the studio to cover it he has a good chance. However there is a spanner in the works because the real killer is on the jury and has no intention of letting his pawn go free.

Ooft what a tagline, the killer is on the jury. Even if you aren't a courtroom fan I think you will enjoy this book. It splits in two main parts, that of the killer told in third person narrative, we know who he is immediately, we know his name and introduced to his murderous ways immediately. He is a smart, cunning, cold, callous killer and whilst we know his true identity we do not know his identity on the jury, suspense and mystery. The other main part is told through Eddie, first person narrative. Man of the law, recovering from loss of his family, past traumas and a penchant for the old booze but keeping it in check. His pal is a judge, he seems to have really good strong morals and whilst he has flaws I absolutely loved him as a character, who doesn't love a good guy!

Back to the killer, Joshua Kane, this is the kind of killer who makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. He has a rare condition, he mimics human behaviours to fit into society and social situations and off the scale intellect. Now what he achieves in the book, being on the jury (among other things) some people may think it is far fetched but Hannibal Lecter has similar things said when he was created and I love him too. A Killer that pushes the boundaries, makes you think and for me, freaked me out. He is a fantastic creation and if you watch or read some of the historical killers in crime history especially the sociopaths you can appreciate how scary someone like Kane is.

For me, I was drawn in from the first chapter, opening with the killer and the beginning of his plan which had me like whaaaaaaaat oh what is coming next and not wanting to put the book down. Flynn I liked so much I have bought the first book in the series and plan to get the other two. If you like crime, a good guy lawyer and bad guy who is so risky, dangerous, clever and just unconscionable like nothing will get in between him and his plan ooft you will love this book. 4.5/5 for me this time, I think Cavanagh spins a fantastic tale, carves characters that leaves you wanting more and more, for me an absolute page turner. Whilst this was my first dance with this author it won't be my last sure I bought the first in the series as soon as I finished this one!

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Friday, 13 July 2018

Rituals of the Dead by Jennifer S Alderson

Rituals of the Dead (Adventures of Zelda Richardson #3)Rituals of the Dead by Jennifer S. Alderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Pages - 280

Publisher - Travelling Life Press

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Art, religion, and anthropology collide in Alderson’s latest art mystery thriller, Rituals of the Dead, Book three of the Adventures of Zelda Richardson series.

Art history student Zelda Richardson is working at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam on an exhibition of bis poles from the Asmat region of Papua – the same area where a famous American anthropologist disappeared in 1962. When his journal is found inside one of the bis poles, Zelda is tasked with finding out more about the man’s last days and his connection to these ritual objects.

Zelda is pulled into a world of shady anthropologists, headhunters, missionaries, art collectors, and smugglers – where the only certainty is that sins of the past are never fully erased.

Join Zelda as she grapples with the anthropologist’s mysterious disappearance fifty years earlier, and a present-day murderer who will do anything to prevent her from discovering the truth.

My Review

Zelda (what a brilliant character name eh) is a student at Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam and gets to work on some Bis poles and cataloguing bones that are mixed, need sorted and returned. The pressure is on, when a diary of missing archaeologist millionaire Nicholas Mayfield shows up in the crate a new mystery needs solved. Nicholas disappeared in 1962 and now his diary has appeared will light finally be shone on what happened? Some people prefer the past to stay in the past and a little thing like murder can help with that, Zelda has no idea what she has stumbled upon.

So, this is book three in a series, I don't think I missed anything by starting here and I liked the book so much I will be checking out the previous ones. There are references to things that have happened in the other books but nothing I would say that screams spoiler.

The book splits in two timelines, present day with the bis poles and museum business, the other is in 1962 with Nicholas and the lead up to his disappearance. I never really thought I was into museum or archaeology type stories and if I pick them up in a shop I am more likely to put them back down than buy them. I am so glad I read this, I actually love reading about other cultures, things people believe, rituals and the lengths people will go to when money is involved.

There are a fair few characters but not so many you get lost or can't keep track. The duo timeline is very well marked so you know exactly what time period you are in and it is really easy to follow. A bit of travel for book location, learning about cultures, bis poles (which I don't even think I knew existed before this book) and then just to kick it up a notch we have a murder!

Really good pace, if I hadn't had a lot on I think I could have read it in one sitting, I love book that spark an interest in something long after you put the book down. I actually want to watch a wee documentary on Dutch New Guinea now, who says you don't learn or get inspired from fiction books! This was my first dance with this author, it won't be my last, action, informative and pulls you into the story quite quickly, 4.5/5 for me this time!

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Thursday, 12 July 2018

Why Mummy Swears by Gill Sims

Why Mummy SwearsWhy Mummy Swears by Gill Sims
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - on and off over 4 days

Pages - 368

Publisher - Harper Collins

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Why Mummy Swears is the much anticipated new novel from Gill Sims, author of the hilarious Why Mummy Drinks and online sensation Peter and Jane.

It’s every parents’ nightmare – the start of the school holidays – and instead of sitting in the sun, reading a book over a cold, crisp glass of Pinot Grigio, Mummy has two bored moppets to attend to. After frantically booking sports camps, child minder slots, not to mention time off work, Mummy is exhausted. But this is only the beginning…

After being dragged to join the school’s PTA in the new term by an annoyingly kind-spirited neighbour, Mummy is stuck with organising the Christmas Fayre and pleasing all the overly disapproving parents. In combination with getting to know her father’s surprise new glamorous (and much younger) wife, and being forced to spend more time with her narcissistic mother, life isn’t cutting her much of a break. What more could possibly happen?

My Review

Over the space of a year we delve into Ellen's life, in diary format. A no holds barred look into parenthood, marriage, two children, interviews/work, family and juggling the added pressures from all corners. Ellen is hillarious, she has a mouth that could make a sailor blush, she swears like almost every other sentence. She is really funny, has different names for the kids, not all pleasant and I think if you don't take it in the humour it was intended some may be offended.

Even if you don't have kids I think you can appreciate and get a kick out of this book. It shows you the madness that is the life of a mum, wife and trying to find time just to be you. We can slip into that domestic situation, get a feel for it, experience it without the committal of being an actual parent.

Lots of ups and downs, some things infuriated me, the relationship with her mother and sister sadly it echos some of the real life family dynamics. The "politics" and behaviours of some parents when trying to arrange things for the kids ugh. However, I loved the shallow, Instagram obsessed Kiki and whilst it is wrote in humour there really are real life Kiki's out there #priorities

For me there were some echos of Bridget Jones in there and what it is like trying to raise kids in a day and age where everything is device and social media obsessed. Laughter, inappropriate humour, emotional, sadness, cursing, joviality to name just a few. Certainly a book you can read poolside and I think it is relate-able for pretty much any reader. This is my first read of this author, it won't be my last 3.5/5 for me this time.

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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

The Perfect Friend by Barbara Copperwaite Blog Tour

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Perfect Friend by Barbara Copperwaite, see my review below.

The Perfect FriendThe Perfect Friend by Barbara Copperthwaite
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 1 day

Pages - 295

Publisher - Bookouture

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

She’ll do anything for you…

My name is Alex, and my world has been shattered.
My husband has left me.
My children won’t speak to me.
My friend Carrie is the only person I have.
She’s the only one I can trust to keep all my secrets.
She’d never do anything to let me down.
Would she?

This dark, gripping psychological thriller will have you holding your breath until the very last page. Fans of Behind Closed Doors, Sometimes I Lie, and The Girl on the Train will be captivated.

My Review

Meet Alex, attending a support group she has much to contend with in her life. This is where she met her friend Carrie, Carrie battled cancer and the group offers support to all who need it. Alex has many issues, she would do anything for Carrie sure guilt can make you like that. Carrie is a wee soul, so positive despite the hand life has dealt her but are Alex and Carrie both what they seem to be?

So the book splits into then and now, the then we don't know which character is is, just what they have gone through growing up. Now follows Alex, her daily struggles, recovering from anorexia, attending a therapist and fiercely protective to Carrie. She is a great friend, she feels guilty but why, what has she done. Her children and husband won't speak to her, her therapist is on her about her weight and behaviour and all Alex can think of is Carrie, how to help her and be the perfect friend.

With Alex being an unreliable narrator it adds to the intensity of the story, something is amiss but what. Why won't her family speak to her, what sparked her food and weight issues, why is she so drawn to Carrie? I hated putting the book down as I needed to know, I felt like I was watching a Murder She Wrote, I was suspecting everyone of everything, or Isa from Still Game, something wasn't right and I NEEDED TO KNOW!

The story covers some hard themes, cancer, loss, anorexia, grief, violence, counselling and whilst a lot of dark the book isn't depressing or doom and gloom. There is also loyalty, friendship, strength of character, love, personal growth. It is a busy wee book with attention to detail, nothing is thrown in just for the sake of it, it is well written and envelopes the reader from pretty much chapter one.

Some points I actually gasped out loud, a few times I put it down to tell my o/h what my newest theory was (he isn't interested but I still have to say) and I was almost always wrong wrong wrong. A book that will keep you on your toes, turning page after page, hooked, involved and constantly guessing. 4.5/5 for me this time, whilst I have bought two of this authors books before this was actually my first dance with her, it won't be my last, I will be bumping up the others on my TBRM. You can get a copy of the book from the 5th of July, let me know if you have read it!

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Sunday, 8 July 2018

July's competition

Hey you guys, can you believe we are already into the second week in JULY :O where is the year going?

Yesterday I put a post up for this months competition, to vote on whether you would like to win all four Harry Potter totebags or have the winner choose the bag of their choice. Between Facebook and Twitter, the winner by far was to win just one totebag, the house picked by the winner. So that is what the competition is for, one Harry Potter totebag, the winner choose which one they would like (bags as pictured).

Open to ALL, you just need to fill in the Rafflecopter below, the more entries you complete the more times your name goes into the draw. All winning entries are checked. Thanks to everyone who interacts with the blog/pages, get books from reading my reviews and giving feedback, always nice to hear from fellow readers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 2 July 2018

Deadlier Than the Male by Terry Manners

Deadlier Than the Male: Stories of Female Serial KillersDeadlier Than the Male: Stories of Female Serial Killers by Terry Manners
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2.5 days

Pages - 372

Publisher - Trafalgar Square Publishing

Source - Friend from RISI

Blurb from Goodreads

The phenomenon of the female serial killer has been increasingly capturing the public's attention. This book examines the motivation of, among others, the revengeful Aileen Wournos, the materialistic Dorothea Puente, the sexually abused Terri Rachals, the psychologically disturbed nurse Beverley Allitt and the obsessive lover Karla Teale. An even more complex creature than her male counterpart, the female serial killer rarely taunts the police nor revels in her sinister "superiority", making her capture more difficult. This book tells the stories of these women, from early childhood to their obsession to kill. From the court case to the psychiatrist's reports, it explores the caverns of the female serial killer's mind.

My Review

A brief look at some of the worlds females serial killers, Mary Ann Cotton, Nannie Doss, Christine Falling, Velma Barfield, Terri Rachals, Dorothea Puente, Beverly Allitt, Aileen Wuornos, Karla Homolka. We briefly examine the different type of killers, The Comfort Serial killer, The Visionary, The Power Seekers, The Disciple and the Hedonistic serial killer. Each killer gets approximately 40 odd pages so I would say this is a good book to start for a brief beginning if you are interested in this kind of subject.

I had heard of a few of them but not all and even the ones I had heard of there were some details that were new to me. It can make for a tough read, whilst it doesn't go into as much detail as some books there is still enough to be brutal. The author has taken a wee bit of artistic creativity with the dialogue however he does say at the beginning where he has gotten his information and what he has done with it.

A good starter book, decent sized chapters, easily enough to read in respects to how it has been written rather than subject content. There is murder, abuse, depravity, child murder and endangerment which is hard to read, sexual deviancy and as I said hard to read the darker side of humanity but in regards to some books in this genre it isn't as heavy. 3.5/5 for me this time, this is my first time reading this author, I will look and see what else he has written.

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