Thursday, 29 August 2013

Review - Dead Lovely by Helen Fitzgerald

Dead LovelyDead Lovely by Helen Fitzgerald
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Publisher - Faber and Faber

Blurb from Goodreads

Krissie and Sarah had been best friends since they were children. But cracks start to appear when Sarah and her husband Kyle who have been trying unsuccessfully to have a baby and Krissie accidentally becomes pregnant following a drug-fuelled dalliance in a Tenerife toilet cubicle. Then one night friendship turns to betrayal, and to murder.


My Review

The book starts with Krissie and an admission of adultery with her best friends husband and the murder of her best friend Sarah. How is that for an opening first page! The story then bounces back to when Krissie, our main character, finds out she is pregnant and it is Sarah who helps her through it. This leads to an opening on Sarah's story and her husband who is also Krissie's friend of old. we get a background on their relationships then back to what is happening and reverting back to relevant history. Sarah has problems conceiving which leads to issues with her husband Kyle and they are all dealing with issues. They decide to go on a camping trip together, which is where the story starts initially and then goes back to a chunk of the book later, where everything takes a dark turn.

This could be one of the most bizarre books I have read or at least up in the top ten. It starts off with dark humour, a build up of their friendship and all the carry on in between. It then just takes a crazy turn where it stretches the imagination to be believable, body excretions are involved in a graphic and stomach turning way and everything goes crazy.

You can't help but keep going as you want to know where the story will end up, I honestly couldn't see where this was going to go. It is incredibly crazy, over the top with it's madness although only after the camping trip really as before that it was just a story laying foundation between the characters. I have an author event in Waterstones which is why I bought this book to see the way the author writes. As this is her first book I can't wait to see how her writing has progressed and what the new book is like. This one I would say if you don't go for a tale that goes a bit over the realms of believability with mentions of body excretions and are easily offended avoid this one. Sex is mentioned a few times throughout and again I can't stress enough about body fluids also there is a pedophile story branched in as well, just an fyi. I am not sure how her other novels compare but this one I feel is a 3/5, certainly for the bulk of the story.

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Review - The Make by Jessie Keane

The MakeThe Make by Jessie Keane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Publisher - Harper

blurb from Goodreads

Murder, loyalty and vengeance collide in Jessie Keane's gritty fourth novel.


Life is good for Gracie Doyle – running her Manchester casino keeps her busy. Until the police turn up at her door one day and her world is turned upside down. She is given news that her two estranged brothers have been viciously attacked. George is in hospital on a ventilator and worringly, Harry is missing.


Gracie has no option but to leave the good life and dip her toe into the murky waters of her East End past. She leaves for London in an attempt to avenge her brothers and in doing so uncovers some unsavoury secrets about the lifestyle they've been leading. Their little games have got them into big trouble with the wrong people…


She must keep her wits about her and try to find Harry, or it could prove fatal…



My Review

Gracie Doyle is our main character and where the story starts off. She runs her own Casino in Manchester and life is good. The police inform her that her estranged brother is on a ventilator and may not survive after a vicious attack whilst her other brother is missing. Gracie receives her own threats and heads to London to see what her brothers have been up to and dragged her into. Soon she realizes that this is serious and begins to do some digging before she becomes the next target.

I have to be honest, I have enjoyed Jessie Keane's last two books I read but this one was quite a struggle. It starts off fairly quickly with enough to grab your attention but I just felt it was slow going in a lot of places. It starts present day in December with Gracie, then skips into the recent past to cover Harry and George, her brothers, and what happens with them to lead up to recent events.

When things kick off it does hold your attention but really that is all, I struggled between giving this a 3 or 2 star rating. I finally went with a 3 star as it is a decent read but I feel it does pale in comparison to her other work I have read and enjoyed. I will read her other work as I do enjoy her writing style but if your just about to try this author I would start with another book, 3/5 for me this time.

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Saturday, 24 August 2013

Brand new copies of MandaSue Hellers Broke (paperback)

As part of the book tour I took part in for Mandasue Heller's awesome new book, Hodder & Stoughton are giving away two brand new copies of Broke in paperback. This competition will run for 2 days and end on Monday. To be in with a chance for this great prize you just need to fill in the rafflecopter below.

Good luck to everyone entering. I really enjoyed this book, read my review here http://www.alwaysreading.net/2013/01/arc-broke-by-mandasue-heller.html

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Friday, 23 August 2013

Review - The Black Widow by Jessie Keane

Black Widow (Annie Carter #2)Black Widow by Jessie Keane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Publisher - Harper

Blurb from Goodreads

In Dirty Game, Annie Bailey was an East End Madam. In Black Widow she’s queen of the gangs and trying to save her daughter’s life…

Annie Bailey had done it all; Madam, mistress and Gangster's moll. Now she's Annie Carter, and she taking over the East End.

Annie knew that it wouldn't last. Everything was going so well; she was living in Majorca, had Max Carter - the head of the Carter firm by her side, and had given him a beautiful daughter, Layla. But if there was one thing life had taught her, it was that everything could change in the blink of an eye. One minute she's lying by the pool, the next she's out cold. When she comes round Max and Layla are gone.

It's not long before she gets the demands. They want money or she'll be getting her little girl back in pieces…

There's only one thing Annie can do, she heads back to the East End of London and gathers the Carter firm together. Someone has snatched her husband and child. Now there's a score to settle, and it's being settled Annie Carter style…



My Review


The book starts off about 4 years after the first book. Annie is happy married to Max and they have a beautiful wee girl Layla. Living in Majorca and not having to think about anything Annie has gotten comfortable and let her guard down and she will pay for it. She is lying in the sun enjoying her family one minute and the next she wakes up to a blood bath and Max and Layla are gone. She soon discovers that if she wants her family she better pay up. Annie finds herself going through a horrific journey, trying to jump through hoops to meet the demands, keep her family safe and maintain her sanity but the clock is ticking!

I have to say, the book starts quite quick and then slows down a bit but keeps you engrossed. Annie's character, albeit she has had a shock, seemed a light version of her previous hard as nails character. I didn't like it and it seemed to take forever for Annie to get with it and come into her character. For that reason the book almost got a 3 star rating, however, over half way through it starts to pick up and I couldn't put it down. Annie becomes the Annie we know of old and tackles things head on and does what she has to to try and get her family back.

I also wasn't overly impressed with the massacres in this book, not in how they are done as the writing is fine but it just seemed overkill and not required. I am going to get into the third book soon and hoping things are evened out a bit. We see the characters of the past back in this tale and it is nice to read about people we have met in the previous book. There are a few new faces in this one, some to love and some to hate. I would recommend reading the first in this series as it helps build up your picture of what Annie is really like and a love for the other characters. This one I was on the fence with for quite a bit but the latter half of the book really saved it so 4/5 for me this time.

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Review - The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain

The Midwife's Confession The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Publisher - Harlequin Mira

Blurb from Goodreads

"I don't know how to tell you what I did."

Would you read a letter never meant to be opened? Would you want to know secrets never meant to be told? Or should a woman's mistakes stay buried?

An unfinished letter was hidden among Tara and Emerson's best friend's things after her suicide. Noelle was the woman they entrusted to deliver their precious babies into the world, a beloved friend. Her suicide shocked them both. But her legacy could destroy them.

For her letter reveals a terrible secret that challenges everything they thought they knew. Taking them on a journey that will irrevocably change their own lives - and the life of a desperate stranger - forever.


My Review

Imagine your best friend had killed herself, the kindest and most helpful person in your wee town and out of the blue she kills herself. Now imagine you and your other best friend trying to go through her stuff and piece it all together. This is what happens with Tara and Emerson after Noelle commits suicide. A midwife who helped many and ran loads of programmes to help others and for no known reason has left them. As they start to go through her belongings they discover secrets that show they didn't know their friend at all and some secrets that will rip their world apart.

Oh.My.God I loved this story and had life and work not got in the way I would have got through it in one sitting. The story goes chapter to chapter from each of the girls and from the present to the past. Each chapter is named on who the view point is from (it is all done in first person narrative) and the past is dated so you can follow it easily. A few times I felt I knew exactly where the story was going and then Chamberlain would pull something else out of the bag and turn it on its head. The twist at the end I did not see coming and gasped!

This book has had some slated reviews which I actually don't understand as it is well written, engaging from the start and covers a lot of bases. Some parts of the story some people may find a bit "aye right" but overall it is very well done and I bought into it all. The characters are quite different and each has something you will like or hate. It is books like this that prompt me to go off and snap up all of the authors work and race through them. I thought it was a great read although some parts of it may be a bit upsetting as one of the characters is a midwife and as much as they bring and experience joy there are some sad moments in their career. This was a blinder for me, I loved it so 5/5 for me.

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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Additonal giveaway - Turner by Karl Drinkwater

I am giving away my copy of my latest read and ARR book - Turner by Karl Drinkwater. The book has the slightest evidence of being read, however the spine is in tact and has no creases or damage. The back cover has a wee kick out due to being carried around in my bag for a few hours. You can find my review here http://www.alwaysreading.net/2013/08/arr-turner-by-karl-drinkwater.html

This is a wee additional giveaway so it will only be open for a week, fill out the rafflecopter form as always.

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ARR - Turner by Karl Drinkwater

TurnerTurner by Karl Drinkwater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Blurb From Goodreads

An isolated Welsh island seemed like the perfect escape for a convict on the run, a jilted woman, and a policeman seeking a quiet life. When the surly locals turn to murderous violence the three visitors are forced on the run together, trying to stay one step ahead of their increasingly insane pursuers.

The bad news keeps coming. There are too many to fight. There is no escape from the island. And the worst storm in years has just begun. They can only run and hide as they face a night of horror and madness. If they don't work together then none of them will live to see the light of day.

Phil Rickman, on BBC Radio Wales' Phil The Shelf literary programme, likened it to "The Wicker Man in Wales". The writer Bec Zugor summed it up as: "This will do, for visiting remote islands, what Jaws did for swimming in the sea."

This tense survival horror novel is a homage to decades of nasty villains, scary predicaments, and bloody books and films.

My Review

A small island in Wales, beautiful countryside, small population and right beside the sea, sounds perfect right? It does for a newly located police officer David Smithwick, wanting a quiet change away from his recent past with his new dog Spotty. A young man, Chris, looking to stay under the radar, get a wee job and keep his head down & Megan a young woman taking a break, camping and being at one with nature after being jilted by her lover. These three are looking for something in this island away from the "real world" and get a lot more than they bargain for. When David happens upon Megan by accident, or fate, soon they realize this town is more than they bargained for and are soon on the run for their lives. When Chris comes into the mix, the trio must trust in each other, strangers, to fight for their lives and try and come to terms with what is happening and stay ahead of the horror and violence that awaits them.

When I am approached by an author who isn't well known, I approach the books with an open mind but never expect too much. I was really surprised and delighted by this wee book, coming in at 191 pages, I read it in one night. It is a creepy wee town and there are more than the three characters I listed above, they are the start of main ones. There are "baddies" throughout the book and satanic tones but I don't want to spoil any surprises or ruin the suspense for you. The book reminded me of many, many horror movies that I have loved growing up, not in a copying sense, more how you are drawn in to the creepiness and thinking oh no, do go in there or don't do that.

It doesn't take long to start and the anticipation that something is about to go wrong and is eerie starts from the opening chapter. There were a few wee things that annoyed me however characters in horror movies and books will always evoke this reaction, for me anyway.

Chris has quite a mouth on him and if swearing offends you, you should steer clear of this book as his language does get quite colorful. However I believe if you were being hunted down you may be the same and it falls in with his character background, which you find out about as the story progresses.

I did enjoy this book, especially one part near the end of the story, I may have actually whooped out loud! I would read this author again and indeed have another on my tbr list but for me this time it is a 4/5. If your looking for a new author to try, like stories that revolve around remote towns gone wrong, blood lust and murder then I think this might be perfect for you. Available on amazon for £7.00 in paperback or £2.01 for the kindle. Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Saturday, 17 August 2013

August pre-loved giveaway is Streetwise by Chris Freeman

This book is in great condition, the top right hand corner of the cover has a wee crease, the spine is in perfect condition (uncreased with no damage) and the rest of the book is fine.


Blurb from Amazon: This is a Joseph Soyinka mystery.Murder on the city streets - Police detective Joseph Soyinka made many enemies fighting police corruption in Nigeria but he refused to be intimidated - until his wife was killed and his life destroyed by unknown forces. Now he lives with his young son in the anonymous safety of New York City. By day he drives a yellow cab. By night, he tries to forget about the past...But when a vulnerable girl is killed and his colleague framed for her murder, Joseph finds that old instincts die hard indeed, and he's soon on the trail of a vicious killer...

Sorry this is late going up, the competition will run to the end of the month as always. Fill in the Rafflecopter form below, the more you fill in the greatwe your chances are of winning. This comp is open to everyone, feel free to share. a Rafflecopter giveaway Any questions or issues, please drop me a note

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Friday, 16 August 2013

Review - Jail Bird by Jessie Keane

Jail BirdJail Bird by Jessie Keane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Publisher - Harper (Harper Collins Publishers)

Blurb from Goodreads

Murder, loyalty and vengeance collide in Jessie Keane’s gritty fourth novel.


Lily King has spent years behind bars


Convicted of murdering her husband, London villain Leo King, she hasn’t been missed. Everyone believes she got what she deserved, but Lily knows she was fitted up.


Now she’s out, and she doesn’t do forgiveness. In her absence, things have moved on and the old order has changed. But now she’s ready to reclaim her position as head of the King family.


Fuelled by vengeance, Lily King is back, and some people aren’t going to know what’s hit them.



My review


We start off in 1996, introduced to Leo King, a man whose reputation proceeds him both with the ladies and in the criminal world. We then jump to Lily, Leo's wife and the night her life was turned upside down, still in 1996. Chapter 3 takes us to 2009 and sees Lily released from prison, jailed for the murder of her husband. Lily is ready to do some digging and set the record set, not every one is happy to see her and less believe she is innocent. What follows will stir up a lot of emotions, secrets and violence.

This is a great story and you get pulled into the drama straight away, I was up to 4am as I wanted to find out what happened. There is a few red herrings along the way or maybe I just watched too much murder she wrote as a child as I thought I knew who the killer was a few time, I was wrong every time.

The characters are quite well done, I have to say though Lily really annoyed me quite a lot by her stupid rash actions as sometimes she seemed quite with it and level headed then she would do something idiotic. Some of her responses irked me too as you know reading it if someone challenged you in the way she was you would react very differently. The brothers Si and Freddy, well more Si actually as Freddy is a hot head grated me as you would imagine he would approach Lily when he knew she was digging around. Small things like that is why the book lost a star however overall it was really good and by the end you have an answer for all your questions. I have enjoyed this author so much I bought all the rest in the series, 4/5 for me this time.

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ARC - Another Way To Fall by Amanda Brooke

Another Way to FallAnother Way to Fall by Amanda Brooke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 6 days

Publisher - HarperFiction (HarperCollins)

Blurb From Goodreads

What would you do if you could write the story of your life?

After battling a brain tumour twenty-nine year old Emma thinks she is in the clear, but her world comes crashing down around her when she is told her fight was in vain, and there is nothing more the doctors can do.

Realising that she won’t now have time to achieve the things she dreamed of, Emma decides to write her perfect life in a story. She imagines all the things she would have done, the places she would have seen, the husband she would have shared her life with and the family they would have raised. And, mysteriously, as she writes her story, she starts to notice that some of her dreams seem to be coming true.

Now with a real love in her life, and her fading hope burning brighter, reality and fiction start to become blurred. As she writes their life-long love story Emma dares to believe that anything is possible, but can she really change her fate?



My Review


Emma is 29, sitting in the doctors office waiting to hear if her cancer is gone. Her life has been on hold and now is her chance to get it back on track. However the news she receives is far from positive and Emma has to face the harsh reality that there is nothing more to be done. Emma decides to write a book, chronicling her life how she feels it should have been had fate and her body not cheated her.

The story splits between reality and Emma's book, her fantasy world. In her real life she is trying to cope with her diagnosis, her mother’s inability to accept it and trying everything in her power to save her daughter. Her relationships and things she has to tie up before she dies. Her fantasy world is written in italics so you know the story has switched and goes into depth on what would have happened had she got the all clear that day at the doctor’s office.

I felt this story had a bit of a lull at parts and yet others I couldn't stop reading. It pulls on your heart strings and you can't help but wonder what if it was you or your daughter or sister. What would you do differently?

We meet some characters who have amazing strength and character, Emma of course and her mother and some who are not. Cancer can change a life and this story gives an insight into it and how it touches the lives of not just the person suffering but also their nearest and dearest. As I mentioned there were some lulls in the story, however the last quarter I actually couldn't put down. You find yourself on a bit of an emotional and thought provoking journey with this book. This is a new author for me, I would definitely read her again. 4/5 for me this time, thanks to HarperFiction and Jaime Frost (at HarperCollins) for giving me an ARC copy of this and for introducing me to a new author. This book is out to buy, in paperback for £7.99 from the 22nd of August 2013.


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Mandasue Heller Blog Tour for Broke

As you all know, I don't usually host blog tours, take part or do many Q&A with authors. Mandasue Heller has a new book out, released yesterday the 15th of August. As a result I agreed to participate in a Q&A with the author as part of this blog tour, there will also be a few copies of the book available for competition however I am awaiting confirmation of the number of novels from the publicist so keep your eyes peeled for that.




Q: You have a new book out in paperback, this is your chance to plug it, tell us all about it.
BROKE is about a couple who married far too young and are finding it difficult to cope with the reality of trying to bring up two small children on a low wage. When the hubby loses his job as a result of his gambling addiction, things go from bad to worse, and his wife’s life is turned upside down when he gets into debt with a particularly nasty loan shark. An actor friend of mine recently likened it to a modern-day Cathy Come Home, which blew me away, as I love that book!

Q: What inspired your new book?
I’m not sure, to be honest; I just get ideas and run with them. Sometimes, they come from things that have actually happened to me – Forget Me Not, for example; that came into being after I decided to write about an incident when, at the age of 9, I was assaulted by a man who caught me smoking in the park. I completely took myself out of it after I started to write the book properly, so it has no basis in reality, but that’s where it originated from.

Q: What do you choose the genre you do?
I’ve either witnessed or experienced similar situations to those that I tackle in my books, and so have a deep personal understanding of the world my characters inhabit.

Q: Would you ever try your hand to something different and if yes what?
I once tried a Mills & Boon type thing, but was so bored by page 6 I wanted to push both of my lead characters under the train they had met on! I have tried a few different things, but they inevitably get dark as they go on, no matter how light I intended for them to be, so I guess I’m meant to stick to this genre.

Q: Who is your favourite author to read?
I don’t really have much time to read these days, but I do love a good Martina, Kimberley, or Stephen King. In my younger days I was a huge Catherine Cookson fan. She was the original grit-lit author, and I loved her portrayals of ordinary folk struggling against the odds, so I was flattered when my mum recently compared Broke to her style of books.

Q: How do you find your research, do you do it alone or with a team?
I rarely research as I prefer to use my imagination, and I always steer clear of going into too much technical detail, because it can really interrupt the flow of the story. Too much info about police methods, etc, bores the pants off me, so I would hate to inflict anything like that on my readers. That said, in my latest book, Respect, I needed verification that something I had written about a particular job was correct, so I googled local firms specialising in it and rang one of them to ask. I was right in what I’d written, but the girl I spoke with gave me more information which proved very helpful.

Q: Do you think you will ever tour in Scotland?
I don’t have any immediate plans to tour anywhere at the moment, but I would never say never.

Q: Would you ever do a reality show and if so which one?
I doubt it, as I really don’t like being away from home for too long. The only thing I could ever imagine doing along those lines would probably be something like Come Dine With Me, because I can actually cook and love catering to friends and family – although I’m not sure how people who aren’t used to it would react to my somewhat spicy food! As for something like Get Me Out Of Here, or Big Brother – Never!!!

Q: Finally, out of all your books which is your favourite and why?

That’s a tough one. They’re all special to me, because they all came from my heart and possessed me completely while I was writing them, but Forget Me Not is particularly special - for the reason I mentioned earlier. It’s probably easier to say which characters are my favourites, rather than which book. I loved Harry in Tainted Lives, and Vibes and Jenna in The Club. And I’m really fond of Chantelle and Anton: the lead characters in my new book, Respect. Broke by Mandasue Heller is published in paperback on 15th August by Hodder & Stoughton, £6.99.

You can find Mandasue Heller on twitter @MandasueHeller and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mandasue-Heller/245189808162

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Review - Dirty Game by Jessie Keane

Dirty Game (Annie Carter #1)Dirty Game by Jessie Keane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Publisher - Harper Collins

Blurb from Goodreads

Adultery, murder and dangerous love collide in Jessie Keane’s gritty debut thriller set in the London’s East End. Perfect for fans of Martina Cole and Lynda La Plante.

For longer than she cares to remember Annie Bailey has lived in the shadow of her older sister Ruthie. Now Ruthie has her hands on Max Carter, the much feared head of the Carter family and a top class villain.

Seducing Max wasn't a problem, but the guilt, shame and anger of rejection afterwards was.

Thrown onto the streets Annie finds herself living with Celia, a wayward aunt with a shocking secret. As the months pass Annie's resourceful nature sees her mature and carve out a life for herself, albeit not legal. But if you play with fire, you can expect to get burned and her lavish new lifestyle and connections may be about to come crashing down around her.

Annie has unwittingly placed herself between two rival gangs and upset too many people, and these kind of people don't forget. But as everyone knows, Annie Bailey is no ordinary woman.


My Review

This book starts straight from the first few pages, hell even from the first sentence "Annie Bailey knew she was dying." The book opens with Annie Bailey, our main character who has been shot and is recapping her life as it flashes before her eyes. We go back to before her sisters wedding and Annie seduces the bridegroom, spurned she can't help but keep her mouth shut. She finds herself thrown out of the family home and caught up in a new life style, surrounded by her sisters husbands rivals. Soon she becomes trapped between the Carters & the Delaney's and when rivals both want something people always get hurt!

Oooh this is a great read, crime, gritty, murder, sex, betrayal & lies. If you like Martina Cole and Mandasue Heller, Kimberley Chambers etc you will like this. The only thing that I would say is there are a few terms that may offend some people. For example the characters are rough around the edges and derogatory towards one of the gay characters, terms like shirt lifter etc.

There are a few elements to this story, of course the big one is Annie going through the transformation of girl into woman. Learning to stand on her own two feet and learn the ropes of a "knocking shop" and initiating her own ideas for it. The issue of Max Carter, the man she loves who is now married to her sister and furious with her for her indiscretion. As she is shunned from her family and Max she moves further into Delaney territory and soon finding herself in deep water!

I really liked the pace of this book, like I said it pulls you in from the start. I felt a mix of emotions towards Annie but by the end I actually started to like her. 4/5 for me and I will be reading this author again.

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Thursday, 8 August 2013

ARC - The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

The One Plus OneThe One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 6 hours

Publisher - Penguin Books (UK)

Blurb from NetGalley

One single mum.
One chaotic family.
One handsome stranger.
One unexpected love story.

Join the conversation online:
#TheOneJojo

My Review


We open up the tale with Jess & Natalie, Jess is our main character, well one of them, and Natalie as they go about their job, cleaning. They are chatting and giving the reader an insight into Jess's life. The next few chapters bring in Tanzie, Ed and Nicky, each chapter has a name underneath the chapter so you know which person it is coming from or focusing on. The view point alternates between first and third person, this is done with ease though and actually adds to the joy of the story.

Jess is struggling to make ends meet, her husband is trying to sort himself out at his mothers whilst Jess keeps the home, finance and kids going. Working herself to the bone with two jobs, lack of time with the kids and money worries she still manages to maintain a positive outlook. When she gets an opportunity for Tanzie to better her life she will do anything she can to make it work.

Ed is our other big character, he has money, homes, cars and everything a geek could ask for. When his life and routine come to a halt whilst he is investigated and everything he knows is at risk, he meets someone in their hour of need. What follows is a journey that will highlight strengths and weaknesses in each of them and force them to question their chosen paths in life.

Oh.My.God I love this book! I thought after Me Before You I wouldn't be able to 5 star another book by this author as it was their peak book. I was wrong, although this is a totally different kind of book it stirred up a lot of the same responses as Me Before You. Gasping out loud (always a tad mortified when this happens, especially if people are around), smiling, laughter and tears, everything a great book should do. The ARC I got is 436 pages, I devoured it in 6 hours and it would have been quicker but I had to do some housework in between. I was loath to put it down, I couldn't wait to find out where it was going, what else would come to light and how it played out for the characters. When I read the first few chapters, I wasn't convinced I was going to love it as I thought there might be too many characters. There are 4 centered ones, Ed & Jess are your big characters and Nicky and Tanzie feature heavily too (as well as their daft dog Norman) but as I said, the chapters are titled with their names and it is really easy to follow.

I didn't want it to end, I loved the characters and think there is someone for everyone to relate to. If not someone then at least one of the situations. The book covers a host of issues, single mum struggling to make ends meet, misfit kids, the misconception and judgments people make on each other, betrayal, honesty, love and loyalty to name but a few.

I try not to do big long reviews but I could talk about this book for ages. Sadly it isn't out to buy until the 27th of February 2014 which is a bit of a wait but it will be worth it. I will be buying at least two copies as gifts and maybe even one for a keeper. Thanks so much to NetGalley for listing this and to Penguin Books (UK) for approving my request for a review copy. All thoughts are honest and my own.


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Monday, 5 August 2013

ARC - The Keeper by Luke Delaney

I am uploading my image of the book as my copy has a different cover from that showing on Goodreads.
The KeeperThe Keeper by Luke Delaney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Publisher - Harper Collins

Blurb from Goodreads

Thomas Keller knows exactly who he’s looking for…

They tried to keep them apart, but when he finds her, he’s going to keep her. Just like he knows she wants him to.

DI Sean Corrigan is not like other detectives. His dark past has given him the ability to step into a crime scene and see it through the offender’s eyes. He understands what drives a person to commit terrible acts – but sometimes his gift feels more like a curse.

When women start disappearing from their homes in broad daylight, Corrigan’s Murder Investigation Team is reluctant to take on a missing persons case. But then the first body turns up, and Corrigan knows he must quickly get into the mind of the murderer. Because this killer knows exactly who he wants. And he won’t stop until he finds her.



My Review

I read the first book in the series, I hope this is a series with more to come, this is book two, of DI Sean Corrigan's career and investigations. Sean has an ability that helps him read crime scenes and understand criminals in a way that no other officer could or even quite understand. This book sees us follow Corrigan trying to peace together the disappearance of women, from their own homes by a madman who will stop at nothing to get exactly what he needs. When a body shows up and another female is missing, the police have to acknowledge this isn't going to stop until they catch him.

Ah it isn't often I like a second book more than the first one but this is the case this time. Don't get me wrong I did like the first book but this one just had something a bit more than the last one. Possibly because, I feel, it is a psychological thriller. It still is all crime, graphic descriptions and pulls you in however this time, our psychopath uses a method that, even now after finishing another book, it still is with me. The story kicks off with our psycho, Thomas Keller, in his uniform, about to make his grab. Right from the first page I was hooked as how often do you confidently open your door, without thinking twice, to a man in a uniform. It is the thought of how easy it could actually happen, despite it being a fiction book. The chapters go between Sean & Thomas and what is happening, how Thomas is progressing, thinking and what he is doing and with the women. Then to Sean going through his paces and concluding they have a case before they have a body.

Some of the scenes, especially with Thomas and his victims are very graphic and brutal and not for those easily upset or offended. DI Corrigan is brilliant again with his 6th sense on picking up vital information via the crime scenes and bread crumbs left behind. I would recommend anyone reading this to get Cold killing first as that explains how Sean has this "sense" and I think you would definitely enjoy this book more knowing the background.

We also reacquaint with Detective Sergent Sally Jones in this follow up book and how she is since all of the dramas and incidents in the first book, sorry no spoilers here. How she is coping back at work, her health and overall attitude towards 'perps', victims and her role as an officer.

I honestly hope this is just the beginning of a very long series as I will be following DI Corrigan's progress in any following novels. He is very much like the character Edward Norton plays in red dragon, especially with this sense of the killer and the killers motives. Had work not got in the way I could have seen me getting through this is a day, which considering it is 457 pages and a largish sized book says a lot I feel. An author who is progressing in his writing and coming along grand, I eagerly await the next installment. 4/5 for me this time, thanks so much to Harper Collins & the Killer Reads Team for sending me this ARC. Available to buy from the 29th of August from all good retailers.

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