Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Cross by James Patterson

Cross (Alex Cross, #12)Cross by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 393

Publisher - Little Brown and Company

Source - Poundshop

Blurb from Goodreads

Alex Cross was a rising star in the Washington, DC, Police Department when an unknown shooter gunned down his wife, Maria, in front of him. The killer was never found, and the case turned cold, filed among the unsolved drive-bys in D.C.'s rough neighborhoods.

Years later, still haunted by his wife's death, Cross is making a bold move in his life. Now a free agent from the police and the FBI, he's set up practice as a psychologist once again. His life with Nana Mama, Damon, Jannie, and little Alex is finally getting in order. He even has a chance at a new love.

Then Cross's former partner, John Sampson, calls in a favor. He is tracking a serial rapist in Georgetown, one whose brutal modus operandi recalls a case Sampson and Cross worked together years earlier. When the case reveals a connection to Maria's death, Cross latches on for the most urgent and terrifying ride of his life.

My Review

I love Alex Cross, I read the series as I come across them and not in order which results in spoilers, I really need to stop. Anyway, here we see Alex revist when his wife died, back to present day when he has a chance to finally leave the force and set up his own business. However we all know Alex can't be kept from his true calling and not when a carrot is dangling, could he actually find out about what happened all those years ago when his wife was brutally snatched from him?

We get a police care, Cross doing what he does best, an investigation, a bit of the past and Alex's family life. I love Nana, she is nobody's fool and the glue that keeps the Cross family together, we don't see her often but when we do it is usually ruling the roost with her wit and tongue!

If you like the previous books I don't see why you wouldn't enjoy this, book 12 in the series, short chapters we have come to know and love, well I do. I think I would have loved it had I had more on the back story, Alex's. We have a lot of focus on the investigation, the bad guy is brutal, he abuses women, rape, control, violence, murder and mutilation. Rotten to the core, very skilled in his madness and feart of no one. Good, page turner but whilst I liked it I didn't love it, 3/5 for me this time.

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Monday, 13 August 2018

Working Stiff by Judy Melinek and T J Mitchell

Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical ExaminerWorking Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 258

Publisher - Scribner

Source - Amazon

Blurb from Goodreads

The fearless memoir of a young forensic pathologist's rookie season as a NYC medical examiner, and the cases, hair-raising and heartbreaking and impossibly complex, that shaped her as both a physician and a mother.

Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband T.J. and their toddler Daniel holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation, performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy's two years of training, taking readers behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple, including a firsthand account of the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax bio-terrorism attack, and the disastrous crash of American Airlines flight 587.

Lively, action-packed, and loaded with mordant wit, Working Stiff offers a firsthand account of daily life in one of America's most arduous professions, and the unexpected challenges of shuttling between the domains of the living and the dead. The body never lies, and through the murders, accidents, and suicides that land on her table, Dr. Melinek lays bare the truth behind the glamorized depictions of autopsy work on shows like CSI and Law and Order to reveal the secret story of the real morgue.

My Review

Books like this I do enjoy reading, if enjoy is the correct word, you learn things about the human body usually picking up terms, diseases and conditions which I then go off and read up on. This isn't heavily packed with that kind of stuff but there are dotterings throughout. You learn about their job but for the most part you get the chunk of what rolls through the mortuary doors.

Some of the book may be quite emotive for some as she examines many different types of deaths, September 11th is also covered and whilst I am UK I remember how I felt/feel reading that so just a headsup. It is gorey and gruesome in parts, heartbreaking, sad and if you have lost someone to suicide you will either agree with her thoughts of be absolutely livid, again just a heads up.

It is an interesting book I could have read this in one sitting had things not got in the way. Easily enough to follow, gripping and grueling accounts of truth deaths so it is sad in parts but really interesting. Some parts may shock you as you know this is real life and not conjured up in the authors brain. This was my first read by this author, I will certainly be checking to see if she has written anything else, books or other publications. 4/5 for me this time, I wouldn't read it just before or after a meal though!

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Sunday, 12 August 2018

Faceless by Rob Ashman

Faceless (DI Rosalind Kray, #1)Faceless by Rob Ashman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - less than 1 day

Pages - 296

Publisher - Bloodhound Books

Source - Fellow book worm

Blurb from Goodreads

After surviving a vicious knife attack, which left her husband dead, DI Rosalind Kray returns to work and is handed a serial killer investigation.

This killer is different, he doesn’t just want to take the lives of his victims, he wants to obliterate their very existence. The murders appear random but the killer selects his quarry with meticulous care.

While fighting her superiors Kray must conquer her own demons, which are tearing her apart.

Kray has the ability to think like a killer and her skills lead to a series of horrifying revelations that turn the case on its head. She believes she is getting close, then her world comes crashing down with devastating consequences.

Will Kray find the murderer and escape with her own life in tact?

The truth is closer than she could have ever imagined…

My Review

DI Kray has just came back to work after almost losing her her own life in a vicious attack, one that killed her husband. Her first proper case is a serial killer and this is a killer unlike any they have came up against so far. Murdering people in a horrific fashion but the violation does not end there and this killer is smart, has a plan and no one is getting in their way.

Ooft guys, this is my first dance with this author. The scenes are really graphic so absolutely not for the faint hearted. You can here the noise in the room (in one particular scene), feel the vibrations, taste the acrid smell and it is a talented writer that can carry you into a scene like that. The killer is really smart and meticulous in the details, choices and planning that goes into everything they do.

The chapters are short and you know, if you follow my reviews, that I love that. We have first and third person narration, first person is when we hear from the killer and it also gives us insight into a tormented soul who has decided on the direction their live will take. Things from their part that shaped the person they have become and the why behind the horror they create. Third person is when we are with the investigation and everyone else.

Kray is a great character, obviously dealing with a horrendous recent past and bereavement, returning to her job and taking on a mammoth task. Not only that, some of her colleagues are actual muppets, vile, pathetic and you want to slap them. She is skilled in catching bad guys and her skills are pushed to the limit, no one is safe and the killer is fearless. Absolutely a page turner, whilst it is my first dance with this author it won't be my last, 4.5/5 for me this time. I have the next book on my tbrm, I will need to bump it up!

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Thursday, 9 August 2018

In Bloom by C J Skuse

Today I am kicking off the blog tour for "In Bloom" by C J Skuse. If you haven't read Sweet Pea (the first book in this series) you really need to. Please check out the other stops that follow on the tour, each blogger offers different content.

In BloomIn Bloom by C.J. Skuse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 384

Publisher - HQ Stories

Source - Review copy (ARC)

Blurb from Goodreads

The darkly comic crime sequel to Sweetpea, following girl-next-door serial killer Rhiannon as she’s now caught between the urge to kill and her unborn baby stopping her.

If only they knew the real truth. It should be my face on those front pages. My headlines. I did those things, not him. I just want to stand on that doorstep and scream it: IT WAS ME. ME. ME. ME. ME!

Rhiannon Lewis has successfully fooled the world and framed her cheating fiancĂ© Craig for the depraved and bloody killing spree she committed. She should be ecstatic that she’s free.

Except for one small problem. She’s pregnant with her ex-lover’s child. The ex-lover she only recently chopped up and buried in her in-laws' garden. And as much as Rhiannon wants to continue making her way through her kill lists, a small voice inside is trying to make her stop.

But can a killer’s urges ever really be curbed?

My Review

Firstly let me say this is the second book in a series, I absolutely advise reading the first, Sweetpea, available to buy now. This book picks up where Sweetpea leaves off, Rhiannon is pregnant, her boyfriend is in jail awaiting trial for several gruesome murders, murders Rhiannon committed herself. Trying to come to terms with pending motherhood, the changes in her body, her bossy fetus and of course her constant need to kill,Rhiannon has her hands full.

If you haven't read Skuse, and I am not sure of her other works but these books are absolutely not for the easily offended. Rhiannon is a brutal killer wih no morals, she has a gob on her that could make a sailor blush, she is self absorbed, horny, crude, sarcastic, hilarious (in a very non pc way), dangerous and one of the most psychotic female serial killers created!

Each chapter (well almost every chapter), like the previous book opens with a list of people she would like to kill that day, if circumstances permitted. She is trying to deal with her changing body, roller coaster emotions, blood thirsty ways oh and the police who are investigating her partner which means questions questions questions.

The book started off a bit of a different pace for me and I wasn't sure if I was going to like this as much as the first, sequels often have the hard job of keeping up with the previous offering. Needless worry, in fact this is one of the very few times I rated the sequel higher than the original which is no mean feat and hats off to the author. Once the book gets going it ensnares you and I found it hard to put the book down, some of it like a car crash you just can't look away. She is a terrible person, a brutal murderer but you find yourself rooting for her, a vigilante who doesn't like animals being hurt so she will always get points off me for that!

Her relationship with a specific character I really liked but it also had me a bit beside myself, by exposing herself to friendships she increases the risk of exposure. At one point it reminded me of, or rather, it echoed Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling's weird relationship but in a good way, absolutely not a criticism. This book is an absolute mind trip, Rhiannon is a unique killer I think and I have read hundred of books with murderers but this is my first pregnant killer who goes on a bit of a journey herself to "mend" her ways but will she be successful? How easy is it to quit your murderous ways, how do you change your future when your past just won't go away and most importantly can she keep it together when all eyes are on her? Packed with bad language, murderous behaviour, sex, lies, kill lists, an outrageous book with a main character holy water and a priest would struggle to bring from the dark side, I loved it! 5/5 for me this time, I will be checking out the rest of Skuse's work and wait impatiently for the next book! Available to buy from today, grab your copy now!

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Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Sheltering Rain by Jojo Moyes

Sheltering RainSheltering Rain by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 448

Publisher - HarperTorch

Source - gift ages ago

Blurb from Goodreads

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You, the basis for the major motion picture, comes the touching, unforgettable story of three generations of Irish women faced with the fundamental truths of love, duty, and the unbreakable bond that unites mothers and daughters.

Estranged from her mother since she ran away from her rural Irish home as a young woman, Kate swore a future oath that she’d always be a friend to her daughter, Sabine. But history has a way of repeating itself, and Kate now faces an ever-widening chasm between herself and her daughter. With Sabine about to make her own journey to Ireland to see the grandmother Kate abandoned, Kate is left wondering how they ever made it here, and what she can do to close the gap between them.

For Joy, seeing her granddaughter is a dream come true. After the painful separation from Kate, she’s looking forward to having time with Sabine. Yet almost as soon as the young woman arrives, the lack of common ground between them deflates her enthusiasm. And when Sabine’s impetuous, inquisitive nature forces Joy to face long-buried secrets from her past, she realizes that perhaps it’s time to finally heal old wounds.

My Review

Sabine goes to live with her grand mother, to help with her grand father, get away from the city and give her mother time to mop up after another failed relationship. Life could not be more different from her city life, telephones, boys, technology, at the farm it is routines, regimented, horses and no networking. Sabine is a vegetarian, her grand parents host hunting parties -Sabine is about to go on a journey that changes everything as she has known it.

The book has two timelines, current day with Sabine on the farm with her grand mother Joy and grand father Edward and back to when Joy was a young girl (1950's), meeting Edward and what follows. A large focus of the book is relationships, personal growth, the decisions we make and the consequences that follow. Infidelity, parenthood, a love of love and focus on horses. Sabine is initially an irritating selfish teen but she grew on me a bit, her mother Kate enraged me, self worth completely tied up in men ugh absolutely infuriating.

A book that has you up and down, back and forth, opinions changing on characters frequently. Whilst I love Moyes you can see a huge difference in her writing now to this, her debut novel, it is still an enjoyable read and she is so talented in her writing abilities. A good story, strong visuals in how she conjurs up scenes and you can easily believe your are back in the 1950's and easily slide into the current day. She handles the duo timeline well and whilst I was reading one I was loathe to jump to the other and back and forth. 3.5/5 for me this time, still enjoyed it but not my favourite, if you aren't familiar with this author I recommend starting with one of her more recent books and working back.

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Sunday, 5 August 2018

The Break by Marian Keyes

The BreakThe Break by Marian Keyes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and over 4 days

Pages - 576

Publisher - Michael Joseph

Source - Book shop

Blurb From Goodreads

'Myself and Hugh . . . We're taking a break.'
'A city-with-fancy-food sort of break?'

If only.

Amy's husband Hugh says he isn't leaving her.

He still loves her, he's just taking a break - from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. Six months to lose himself in south-east Asia. And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it.

Yes, it's a mid-life crisis, but let's be clear: a break isn't a break up - yet . . .

However, for Amy it's enough to send her - along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers - teetering over the edge.

For a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns if he returns, will he be the same man she married? And will Amy be the same woman?

Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then isn't she?

The Break isn't a story about falling in love but about staying in love. It is Marian Keyes at her funniest, wisest and brilliant best.

My Review

Hugh and Amy have been through so much in all their years together, Hugh has had a recent bereavement and no one could have foreseen just how much it would change things. Hugh wants to go on a break, whether Amy agrees or not. Six months travelling, doing what he needs to but he isn't leaving her, it is just six months and he will be back. Everyone has an opinion, Amy doesn't know how to feel but she has six months to work it out right?

Oh I do love Marian Keyes, no matter how serious the topics you always get an injection of the irish humour. This is a hard hitting book and will be for some readers as infidelity plays a large part, extra martial affairs and the fall out/impact of people's decision/actions and consequences.

I love love love the wee granny, Amy's mum. I tweeted the author and asked if she is getting her own book, she really should do, she is comedy gold and just a great character. I experienced so many emotions reading this book, anger, horror, laughter, joy, sadness, outrage, uck it is just a grand book that gets you het up and engaging in what is going on. I went through stages of loathing a few of the characters, actual rage at the selfishness but all in all it is a grand read and I look forward to the next from Keyes, 4/5 for me this time.

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Saturday, 4 August 2018

August giveaway

If you haven't been following on our other social media accounts you may have missed the photo of Trixie, I commented how I wished I was good with photo shop as I would put a wee mic in. My friend kindly did it, now it is our new announcer for comps, how cute/hillar is she!

Happy August you guys and finally time for August's competition. I had put up a poll to see what you guys would prefer as a giveaway, it was a tie. So, as the power bank and tote have green and my birthday is this month and the birthstone is green (peridot) I thought I would go with that. My fav colour is actually purple but August and green it is!

As both these are light I am making the giveaway worldwide. Using Rafflecopter to enter as per, the more options you complete the more times your name goes into the "hat". Good luck and happy August <3

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 3 August 2018

Lost girls by Angela Marsons

Lost Girls (D.I. Kim Stone, #3)Lost Girls by Angela Marsons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 465

Publisher - Zaffre

Source - Book shop

Blurb from Goodreads

Two girls go missing. Only one will return.
The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.

When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.

And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad.

Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour…

Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?

My Review

This is book three in the series, whilst you could get away with reading this as a standalone I would suggest reading the previous two. One it will give you better knowledge of the team, dynamics, relationships and two the books are fantastic, book two is one of my fav this year.

So, two little girls go missing, best friends, parents are besties and it is quickly established it is an organised kidnap. If that isn't horrific enough the families are played against each other and forced to make a horrific decision. Stone is in charge, feathers are ruffles, two innocent lives are at stake and Stone won't rest until she gets the girls home.

As with Marson's previous books the chapters are short, I love it! We hear from Stone, the investigation and the bad guys. One is a sick, twisted and evil individual, guys there is animal torture, homophobia, violence, brutality and not for the faint hearted. It is a grabbing story, as with the previous books it all kicks off really quickly and you are soon absorbed. What is going to happen to the kids, how will Stone fair against such evil, what is the motive, what is the end game?

Marson's is one of those authors you can help but be delighted to come across, I want to devour all her books but also keep them because there are only four left to read. Engaging, challenging and all absorbing, do not pick this up before bed thinking you will only read one chapter, or any of her books as you will be up all night reading. They hook me in, I love Stone, she is such a great character, flawed but so loyal and has a strong purpose/sense of what is right and wrong, loyalty and I bloody love her and her wee dogs relationship. 4.5/5 for me this time, book four is sitting on my shelves and if I don't get the others for my birthday I will absolutely be ordering them. A fantastic creation of characters, she just needs to learn to write faster :D

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Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Our road trip

So if you follow on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram you will know we took miss paws on her first ever road trip and ticked a few things off her bucket list. Trixie is seventeen, has a lot of health problems and we had to come home on an emergency flight in March as we thought we were going to loose her as she took unwell. I tell you, the trip up north, the country air fair agreed with her. She was up on counters (I haven't seen her do that in years!), actually sprinted three times in one morning and played chasing a light reflection.

She gets really car sick, she was only sick once on the way up and not at all on the drive home. I think the travel cage really seems to help. Look at her wee harness!

I took a fair few books, mostly hardback and my kindle and now catching up with the reviews and prepping blog tours I have agreed to before focusing on work stuff. My foot is getting better and whilst going through intense physio hoping to get back to work soon!

Because I now have the boot off and focusing on the exercises we managed to go a decent walk whilst we were up there. An abandoned building is normally all shut off. This time they have opened a wee path you can walk in to go in so I was delighted to get a wee nosey through it. No miss paws this time and we got caught in the rain but it was so worth it, I love abandoned buildings and whilst we couldn't go inside properly and I certainly couldn't climb anyway I was delighted to get so close.

The sky pictures, if you follow my instagram you will know how much I love them, managed to get a fair few snaps.

We always go up to the tourist shops at John O'Groats and I buy a bookmark, sweets or a book. I saw this and couldn't resist. I used to collect coins as a kid, now it is books/bookmarks and look, a wee wren (I think) on the farthing so I HAD to buy it.

Miss paws is exhausted but I think she had a great trip, I certainly needed a few days away, just some down time, recharge and it is lovely seeing family. I think we will keep up trying to get kitty to see a bit more of the outdoors (she is an indoor cat) as she coped so well out and about. Climbing furniture like a kitten, on the beach and up on her first wall looking like a boss!

So, that has been our adventures, 370 piccys by the way just from the phone - she is the most photographed kitty in the world. Happy 1st of August, I am looking forward to the new shark movie Meg (may even get a chance to re read the book before we see it), it is my birthday this month, I am looking forward to seeing some of my fav humans. Being stuck indoors so much and seeing so little people has been horrific for a gab a minute social butterfly like me. So I am just going to draw the winner for July's comp and I will get August's giveaway prepped and ready to go. Have an amazing August you guys, a fresh new month.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Dragged to the Depths by Cheryl Elaine Blog Tour

Today is my stop on the blog tour for "Dragged to the Depths" by Cheryl Elaine. My stop features my wee review, if you like legends and romance you will love this book!

Dragged to the Depths: A Cherry Laine FantasyDragged to the Depths: A Cherry Laine Fantasy by Cheryl Elaine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - Kindle

Publisher - AAH Publishing

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Tormented with grief after losing her father, Emilia journeyed to her gran's, in a desperate attempt to escape the memories surrounding her. But once there, she found little rest and respite on the remote Orkney islands after discovering a supernatural world under the sea.

The gods, goddesses and unfamiliar species of Mother Earth's oceanic lands welcomed her with open arms - particularly Erox, the love of Emilia's life. Her eyes were opened to the greed and hatred of her fellow mortals; it wasn't a question of whether she was simply following destiny - she knew the path to RESET was one she could not ignore.

Erox smiled before giving Emilia a lingering kiss. She didn't hesitate, and gave herself freely to the vortex before heading into the unknown. Could she save herself, let alone everyone else on the planet?

Dragged to the Depths will lead readers into a magical world full of secrets, legacies and adventure. An apocalyptic love story for those who believe there's someone for everyone, somewhere...

My Review

Guys, first thing to say is this is not normally a book I would read but it is set in Orkney and it has mystical sea creatures. I LOVE mythical creatures, we grew up with tales of selkies, mermaids and magical creatures in the waters so this piqued my interest. Emilia heads to the Orkney islands with her mother who is struggling with addiction after a bereavement. Emilia's gran Rose takes over her care and allows Emilia to process her own grief, loss and sadness. This is what draws Erox to Emilia, he knows it is a love that cannot be however both cannot deny the powerful draw of love and give into their feelings. Obstacles in their way, barriers you can only imagine and their union kicks off events that had consequences for the world as we know it.

There is a lot going on in this book, teenage angst, grief, dealing with an addict mother, removal of everything she knows. Personal growth, going through her own emotions and loss then encountering someone unlike anyone she has ever met. Experiencing love for the first time and having to process who Erox is, what he represents and how he fits in our world.

The magical world Emilia encounters was for me enveloping in a world I first met when I was a kid so it conjured up lots of memories for me. I think the location for the story was well chosen, Scottish waters have many a myth to them and it goes perfect with the magical world Elaine creates.

Mythical creatures, love, sacrifice, power, greed, magic, family, relationships are just some of the themes in the book. I love the world created, younger characters can put me off a bit especially when it is a deep love kicking everything off but I soon settled in and couldn't put the book down. Initially you think you can guess exactly where the story is going, soon enough I had the rug pulled out from under me, gripped, not knowing what was coming next. It is a mixed bag, immersing the reader almost from the get go and managing to surprise (I actually gasped out loud at one particular plot twist) engage and compel the reader page after page. 4.5 out of 5 for me this time, this is actually my first by this author, I have another from her but in a different genre, I will be bumping it up the TBRM. Thanks to Shell for asking me to join the tour and for bringing a wee gem of a read my way I most likely would have over looked. I think I need to go digging through my books or order some Scottish myths and legends, I forgot how much I enjoyed stuff like this!

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Please check out the other stops on the blog tour as everyone has different content.

Monday, 30 July 2018

The Mist by Stephen King

The MistThe Mist by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 176

Publisher - Scribner

Source - Gift from O/H

Blurb from Goodreads

In the wake of a summer storm, terror descends...David Drayton, his son Billy, and their neighbor Brent Norton join dozens of others and head to the local grocery store to replenish supplies following a freak storm. Once there, they become trapped by a strange mist that has enveloped the town. As the confinement takes its toll on their nerves, a religious zealot, Mrs. Carmody, begins to play on their fears to convince them that this is God’s vengeance for their sins. She insists a sacrifice must be made and two groups—those for and those against—are aligned. Clearly, staying in the store may prove fatal, and the Draytons, along with store employee Ollie Weeks, Amanda Dumfries, Irene Reppler, and Dan Miller, attempt to make their escape. But what’s out there may be worse than what they left behind.

This exhilarating novella explores the horror in both the enemy you know—and the one you can only imagine.

My Review

I seen the movie years ago so I knew the story and I think I got this mixed up with another book but still knew the jist. A mist comes and with it some unimaginable horrors, we see a group of survivors trapped within a supermarket. Glass windows, fog covering the sight to outside, pack mentality kicks in and it is only a matter of time before "they" get in.

This is such an atmospheric read, claustrophobic, terrifying, they are stuck indoors, the crowd eventually split over what they feel is right and should be done. When pulled from "civilisation" and their lives at risk sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.

The monsters are horrific, the killings brutal, the breakdown of humanity equally as frightening because you can believe it. Tense, gory, King has a way with words and you find yourself turning the lights up and having a look out your window to make sure there is no strange fog coming. My issue with it, as with a few of King's books is how he wraps it up, I also wanted to know definitively what happened to some other aspects but overall I enjoyed it 3.5/5 for me this time. I really need to re watch the movie and I heard there is another version so I need to track that down and maybe re read afterwards.

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Saturday, 28 July 2018

Evil Games by Angela Marsons

Evil Games (D.I. Kim Stone, #2)Evil Games by Angela Marsons
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 435

Publisher - Bonnier Zaffre

Source - Book shop

Blurb from Goodreads

When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work. With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment. Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deep to stop the killing. And this time—it's personal.

My Review

Detective Kim Stone is back and this time she has a killer who will put her through her paces and address things Kim would rather be kept firmly closed in a box! When a rapist is found murdered it seems a relatively straight forward case but something isn't sitting right with Stone. Add to this she has two little girls who have been sexually abused by their father and she is adamant he should pay. When another murder happens and both have a loose common link Kim is pushed to bring justice and keep her team focused. But what do you do when you suspect someone and no one else is buying your theory?

Oh you guuuuuuuuuys! This is book two in a series and whilst I really liked book one I loved book two. A "bad guy" who you find out very quickly their identity and why they are doing what they are doing, smart, position of power and absolutely ruthless, a typical sociopath with their own agenda. Stone is a pretty fabulous character, goes with her gut and gets peoples character relatively quickly, she is smart. closed off and very work focused. We know she has a past, we know she deals with it in her own way and to some people that makes for the ultimate challenge.

This is very much a cat and mouse game, good and evil, police versus bad guy. It has action from the very start, it covers some subjects that some readers will find hard going, sexual abuse, child pornography (it does not go into any kind of graphic detail but it does cover it), emotional manipulations and harm of very vulnerable individuals.

I think what makes this so compelling is you hear of cases on the news, you know professionals and services are involved in anyone experiencing a trauma and if someone in a position of trust abuses that it is terrifying. This book absolutely highlights the darker sides of some humans but in Stone we have a fantastic strong character. She is flawed, she has a past but she is so focused on her job and an absolute advocate of upholding the law, righteousness and justice I just love her. There is also a scene in the book that shows a tender side to her that just made me love it/her even more. I am a sucker for things like that and sorry to be vague but I don't do spoilers and as soon as you read it you will know what part I am referring to. In book one we also got a wee bit of an intro into Kim's past, we get more insight into that and why she is the way she is, I do like when books refer back to or link into stuff from the previous book.

Grabbed from the first pages and more than once I was just going to have one more chapter then would read something, gasp, sit bolt upright, adjust the pillow because I knew I wasn't putting the book down anytime soon. In actual fact I was up until 5am finishing this book as I couldn't end it at that chapter. Sometimes you read something and once you get to the end of that scene you can close off for the night, I would get to the end and HAVE to get right into the next, I NEEDED to know. 5/5 for me this time, one of my best reads this year, I have the next two books on my tbrm, I will be buying the rest of the series, I absolutely love this series, Marson's is fast becoming on of my new fav authors!

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Monday, 23 July 2018

No Ordinary Girl by Cheryl Elaine

No Ordinary Girl: Mind : tainted. Body : broken. Revenge; in motion...No Ordinary Girl: Mind : tainted. Body : broken. Revenge; in motion... by Cheryl Elaine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 3 hours

Pages - 179

Publisher - AAH Publishing

Source - Review copy/bought an ecopy from Amazon

Blurb from Goodreads

What started out as a night of celebration for Aimee soon turned into a nightmare. Snatched by cruel, sadistic monsters - the worst creatures mankind has ever produced - she’s thrown into a metal container, among other victims too frightened to make a single sound.

The game-keepers force everyone to play. They deliver torment and pain in equal measure. Every hunter has their own agenda and reasons to maim and torture.

Detective Johnson is one step away from catching the killers. Wrestling with his instincts as a father to serve justice his own way, this is no ordinary case for him. Can he stop the vile sadists before they damage more young girls, as well as his own daughter?

Aimee’s ordeal within the compound brings her to the conclusion that she’s no ordinary girl. But can she hang onto her sanity long enough to escape? And will she find a different way to play?

This crime thriller will keep you riveted. It’s no ordinary story.

Please note: contains graphic content.

My Review

Aimee and friend Kelly are heading out to celebrate in the hottest spot in town, what turns into flirting, drinks and joy becomes a hell neither could have imagined. Trapped and split up Aimee finds herself in a situation we only see in the worst kind of movie, she is now a pawn in a game for some of the sickest human beings imaginable. Where chances are slim to none for escape, Aimee has to get her head around what has happened to her, what is coming and start to plan how to survive.

Guys this is the second book I have read by this author, the other one is a completely different genre, it won't be my last! Very quickly the book becomes dark, depraved and you want to put the book down to get away from the horror but compelled to turn page after page. This is not a read for the faint hearted, think Hostel meets SAW and you are just starting to scratch the surface. Human life means nothing, rape, mutilation, brutality, horror are all just part and parcel for the game, human life is expendable and the supply is plentiful.

It isn't just horrific acts although there are plenty so be prepared. We have police investigation, survival, coping mechanisms, self preservation, the impact something like this has on human behaviour from different aspects. Those investigating, the families, the players, the victims and those who know it is only a matter of time before it is their turn. For such a wee book there is a lot going on, back stories on the bad guys and how the innocents react when in this kind of situation you can only imagine.

Stomach churning, bokey and you know the face you make when folk rip their nails down a blackboard am pretty sure I made that face more than once. I cannot believe this is a debut novel, you would think she had been perfecting her art for years. If you like a book that pushes you, horrifies, hooks, makes you uneasy but compels to keep going then look no further, 4.5 for me this time. This is absolutely one of the authors to keep an eye on and I do so hope this is just the start of the stories for the detective.

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Sunday, 22 July 2018

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the blog tour for the fantastic "An Unwanted Guest" by Shari Lapena, please check out the other stops on the tour as everyone offer different content and it is a great book. I also think the banner for this blog tour may be my favorite ever, I love how all the lights come on for each room, bloody fabulous!

An Unwanted GuestAn Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 304

Publisher - Bantam Press

Source - Random Things review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

We can’t choose the strangers we meet.

As the guests arrive at beautiful, remote Mitchell’s Inn, they’re all looking forward to a relaxing weekend deep in the forest, miles from anywhere. They watch their fellow guests with interest, from a polite distance.

Usually we can avoid the people who make us nervous, make us afraid.

With a violent storm raging, the group finds itself completely cut off from the outside world. Nobody can get in – or out. And then the first body is found . . . and the horrifying truth comes to light. There’s a killer among them – and nowhere to run.

Until we find ourselves in a situation we can’t escape. Trapped.

My Review

Welcome to the Mitchell Inn, a wee hotel out of the way and a storm is raging! Two friends and a few couples escape to the inn to work on their own issues. When a body turns up and there is no way to get out or communicate it soon turns into a cabin fever picture with a killer on the loose.

EEEEK so lets talk location, it all takes place in The Mitchell Inn, I am so gutted this isn't a real place, I would have love to go there minus the killing. It is old fashioned, unique, no wifi, a wee retreat type place, an ice bar, sitting room and a library bliss. Add to that they are snowed in so really if it hadn't ended up all murderous it would be a bloody perfect location.

Gwen & her friend Riley, David is a lawyer and travelling alone, Lauren & Ian are a couple, Beverly & Henry are married this weekend is to fix their marriage and Dana and Matthew are newly engaged and wedding planning. All have their own issues, all are looking forward to their time away, none realising nothing will ever be the same again after this weekend.

So, it starts off relatively gentle, we just get to know all the visitors, the hotel is small and with the weather it is a tiny skeleton staff running it. I have to say, normally the small stories getting to know the characters I am a bit meh, these guys we get in bite size as it moves to the next visitors. I found myself getting immersed quickly and not wanting to move on to anyone else for every person I was reading. It isn't that huge things happen immediately but Lapena writes in such a way you want to get to know the characters more. When the first body appears the story takes on a new feel and as the characters start to freak out you can help but feel the tension and suspect everyone. It is all a bit cabin fever and as you turn page after page, more than once, I was holding my breath. What is happening, who is next, who is the bad guy, I found myself going through it like an old Murder She Wrote = suspect them all, trust no one!

I really enjoyed this, pulled in quickly, experiencing the terror and tension with the characters and fully engaging with it as it all unfolds. I have read this author before and I think there is only one more of hers I need to get. I was kept guessing the whole time and I love when a book does that to you, absolutely a testament to the authors ability to weave a tale and keep you on your toes, 4/5 for me this time. Thanks so much to Random Things Tours for giving me the opportunity to read this and remind me how much I enjoy Lapena's writing!

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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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