Wednesday 20 March 2013

ARC - Guilt By Degrees by Marcia Clark

Guilt by DegreesGuilt by Degrees by Marcia Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 3 days

Publisher - Mulholland Books

Blurb From Goodreads

Someone has been watching D.A. Rachel Knight--someone who's Rachel's equal in brains, but with more malicious intentions. It began when a near-impossible case fell into Rachel's lap, the suspectless homicide of a homeless man. In the face of courthouse backbiting and a gauzy web of clues, Rachel is determined to deliver justice. She's got back-up: tough-as-nails Detective Bailey Keller. As Rachel and Bailey stir things up, they're shocked to uncover a connection with the vicious murder of an LAPD cop a year earlier. Something tells Rachel someone knows the truth, someone who'd kill to keep it secret.

Harrowing, smart, and riotously entertaining, GUILT BY DEGREES is a thrilling ride through the world of LA courts with the unforgettable Rachel Knight.

My Review

The press release I got with this one had some big names with good comments associated with it but I always reserve my own judgment as my taste varies. I have to say, I agree with pretty much all of the comments that came with it but I digress, onto the actual story and review.

District Attorney Rachel Knight is our main character along with her buddy, Detective Bailey Keller and they make quite the team. Rachel barges into a case being poorly handled by the prosecution, about to be dropped and takes it on. A homeless man murdered with very little to go on, until she starts digging. Slowly more pieces are revealed showing there is more to the case than initially thought that will put people at risk including Rachel.

Ah it isn't very often I really like a character so quickly, especially in a court type kind of book. However Rachel takes on the murder of a homeless man that no one else really cares about and that alone made me warm to her instantly. She is a tad impulsive and has a name for it in her work but continues to fight for justice and like a dog with a bone won't let go.

Her past comes into play during the book and it isn't until later you find out why and it had me thinking all kinds of theories and conspiracies. The story is quite compelling and I have to admit, I was dragged in very quickly. The chapters are really quite short, you know how I love them, which means you can dip in and out, however it also means "just one more chapter" turns into 2am when it's a work night! Ignore the fact it took 3 days for me to read this because the reality is, had I not had loads of assignments and projects due in I would have devoured this book in one sitting.

The pace is quite good and well balanced, it isn't a murder every two minutes kind of book however there are lots of twists and depths within it which keeps it interesting and you hooked. My biggest complaint has to be I was left hanging, I absolutely hate this! It is a fabulous trick by authors because you are guaranteed, well I am, to having to get the next book to find out where the story goes and get closure. Sorry to be vague but I don't do spoilers and they say it is a good author who keeps the reader wanting more, I am just very impatient! This was my first encounter with Marcia Clark and it won't be my last, 4/5 for me this time. A huge thanks to Kerry Hood & Mulholland books for sending me an ARC copy of this book and for introducing me to another new author. The book will be available from all good retailers from 11th April 2013, in paperback and ebook for £6.99 - you can find Marcia on facebook and twitter

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Sunday 17 March 2013

Cold Hearted by Beverly Barton

Cold Hearted (Griffin Powell, #9)Cold Hearted by Beverly Barton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 4 days

Blurb From Goodreads

They all loved her. That was their mistake. Two husbands, her college fiancĂ©, and influential boss – every man who gets close to Jordan Price is made to pay in blood. And the list is growing…

Hired by the Powell Agency to investigate Senator Dan price’s death, Rick Carson can see at once why people would believe Jordan Price is incapable of cold-blooded murder. Slender, pale, and elegant, she stands by her late husband’s graveside exuding sweet vulnerability. Only Rick notices that she never sheds a tear. And the deeper he delves into the string of deaths from which Jordan has profited handsomely, the more convinced Rick becomes that he is dealing with a callous, cunning, unstoppable killer…

The closer rick gets to the chilling truth, the more dangerous this game of cat-and-mouse becomes. The targets are changing, and suddenly, nothing and no one is safe. If Jordan is as innocent as she claims, Rick may have placed her in a killer’s cross hairs. And if she’s guilty, he’ll never live to regret it…

My Review

Jordan Price's husband has just committed suicide, his brother refuses to believe it and hires an investigator Rick Carson. The investigation soon reveals Senator Dan Price wasn't her first husband to die and soon a police investigation begins. Jordan is accused of being a black widow and has to face facts, if she didn't kill the men in her life then someone close to her must have and who will be next?

The story kicks off fairly quick with the night the Senator dies and what actually happened to him. The story goes along at a fairly good pace. The killer comes in at intermittent intervals thinking back to past murders and what is happening present day. These is no change in the text when the killer is talking and it takes a few sentences to catch on it is the killer, this annoyed me somewhat.

I also disliked Rick Carson. He is a hired professional who battles whether or not he thinks Jordan is innocent or a cold hearted killer, add into that his conflict about his feelings for her. He comes across at times as a hormonal teenager rather than a professional caught in a murder investigation.

Despite the irritation the story itself is really good and I was guessing right up until the end who the killer was. I think I had about 6 different theories and was wrong on them all. 3/5 for me this time.

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Sunday 10 March 2013

February's Competition winner is......

Jen Boucher, no website given. The winner has been notified and the book and voucher will be sent soon. Thanks so much to everyone who entered, it was a very popular competition. Apologies to everyone for the delay in announcing a winner, I have been swamped and today was the first chance I have had.

As I have so much to do, at the moment I have no plans for a competition for March, hopefully I will sort one out for April or if I get a spare minute I will sort something out for March, watch this space. Thanks again and hope your all having a wonderful mothers day xxx

The Promise by Lesley Pearse

The PromiseThe Promise by Lesley Pearce
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 5 days

Publisher - Penguin

Blurb from Goodreads

London 1914

Belle Reilly finally has the life she's dreamed of thanks to a devoted husband in Jimmy and the hat shop she's wanted to own since she was a child. But as the storm clouds of World War One begin to gather, Belle's already turbulent life is to change in ways she never imagined possible.

When Jimmy enlists in the army and leaves for the battlefields of Ypres, her world is shattered and she realises she can no longer stand by and watch, she must volunteer to help the wounded. But her work as a Red Cross ambulance driver in France throws her into the path of Etienne, the enigmatic man who played a significant role in her childhood, and Belle finds herself torn agonisingly between forbidden passion and loyalty to a good man.

But the past returns to haunt her present in other - more unpleasant - ways and Belle's character is put to the test like never before. Can she survive this most brutal of wars with her spirit intact? And will destiny finally lead her to lasting happiness even while war rages all around?

My Review

I read Belle a few years ago, centered around the characters of this book but years previous. As so much time has passed I had forgotten a lot of it and just remembered some parts of it however Pearse covers enough in this one that you can get away with not reading Belle. I would say though it is a great book so if you can, read it first.

Belle and Jimmy are married, settled and very happy however War has broken out and Jimmy has to step up. Belle faces some life changing and heartbreaking events which lead her forward to doing her bit and volunteering during the war. Belle's past comes back to haunt her in more ways than one and soon Belle is faced with some hard choices, does she do what is right or what her heart tells her?

I really enjoyed this book, some people have slated it saying it was predictable and while there was one or two aspects I could see coming, overall it was delightful. There were some twists I didn't see coming and as always you felt a connection with at least one if not more of the characters. The chapters vary in length some ten pages long some double that in length which means you can still dip in and out fairly regular throughout the day.

The back story and the war aspect seems to have been very well researched, from what little I know of the war, it reads very realistic and paints a vivid picture. Overall a very good read, 4/5 for me this time.

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