Monday 29 June 2015

Fox Evil by Minette Walters

Fox EvilFox Evil by Minette Walters
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 5 days

Publisher - Berkley Trade

Pages - 400

Blurb from Goodreads

Friendless and alone after his wife dies under suspicious circumstances, Colonel James Lockyer-Fox searches desperately for the illegitimate grand-daughter who could be the only answer to the problems plaguing his name and his life.

My Review

June 2001 the story opens with the murder of a wee fox. We are then treated to a news paper article covering some issues with Travellers camping in areas in England, then the story begins. We are introduced to Wolfie, a ten year old boy amidst the travellers and his violent father Fox. We then move on to Nancy Smith, tracked down by a rich families lawyer to discuss her adoption with her. The story takes shape and shifts between Nancy, her grandfather the Colonel and Fox and his band of travellers. The Colonel, James Lockyer-Fox is shunned by the locals after his wife is killed and he is believed to be the culprit. Despite being cleared by the police, some of the locals will not let him rest. Will Nancy be drawn to her blood family and discover who is responsible and what is the real reason Fox and his travelers have descended upon the Colonels town?

The story is fairly decent paced, there is murder, crime and mayhem afoot. Nancy has her own career in the military, her adopted family have money and love galore she has no need for the Lockyer-Fox, however Martin, the family lawyer, is working for James and won't easily be told no. The travelers or rather one in particular has a reason for coming to this town and they won't be easily deterred from their plan.

A book with twists and turn, secrets and questions that will keep you reading to the end. I do like Minette Walters although sometimes it takes a wee bit of time to get used to the format, between news articles, and the following of the different characters. A good read although a few details readers may find upsetting, undertones of sexual abuse and animal cruelty although they are not overly graphic but worth mentioning they do crop up. 3/5 for me, I have a few of her other books on my tbr and I will be reading her again.

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Wednesday 17 June 2015

Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult

Handle with CareHandle with Care by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time take to read - 2 days

Publisher - Atria Books

Pages - 477

Blurb from Goodreads

When Willow is born with severe osteogenesis imperfecta, her parents are devastated--she will suffer hundreds of broken bones as she grows, a lifetime of pain. Every expectant parent will tell you that they don't want a perfect baby, just a healthy one. Charlotte and Sean O'Keefe would have asked for a healthy baby, too, if they'd been given the choice. Instead, their lives are made up of sleepless nights, mounting bills, the pitying stares of "luckier" parents, and maybe worst of all, the what-ifs. What if their child had been born healthy? But it's all worth it because Willow is, funny as it seems, perfect. She's smart as a whip, on her way to being as pretty as her mother, kind, brave, and for a five-year-old an unexpectedly deep source of wisdom. Willow is Willow, in sickness and in health.

Everything changes, though, after a series of events forces Charlotte and her husband to confront the most serious what-ifs of all. What if Charlotte had known earlier of Willow's illness? What if things could have been different? What if their beloved Willow had never been born? To do Willow justice, Charlotte must ask herself these questions and one more. What constitutes a valuable life?

My Review

Willow is born with osteogenesis imperfecta, she had broken bones in the womb and more so when she was born. She has over 100 broken bones by the time she is five, she needs lots of care, expenses are running high and her life span is questionable. After a disastrous trip to Disney World the family go to a lawyer, whilst they have no case against Disney, they do have one against their Obstetrician. The only thing is, thats Willows mums best friend in the world, not only would she need to sue her, she would need to admit she would have aborted Willow if she had been told of her condition in the beginning of her pregnancy.

Charlotte is Willows mum, Sean is her dad, Amelia is her sister, Piper is Charlottes best friend. Taking this to court is going to rock all of their world, Charlotte wants to do what is best for Willow and doesn't care how it looks to the outside world. Piper is devastated, Sean is disgusted, Amelia feels invisible and poor Willow, wise beyond her years thinks she isn't wanted.

This is a story that pulls on your heart stings, the chapters are named at the top and each of the characters gives us their point of view as the story progresses. I liked learning about OI as I had never heard of it before, seeing it from the different points of view and how one actions can ripple across and impact on so many lives.

I loved Willow, bless her although I think some people found her a bit unbelievable due to her age, I think she was created and portrayed brilliantly. I really disliked Charlotte after a time and found my views on the others change as events unfolded. I wasn't enamoured with how the book drew to a close but I still thought it was a great story and found it hard to put down, 4/5 for me this time.

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The Woman in Silk by R J Gadney

The Woman in SilkThe Woman in Silk by R.J. Gadney
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 5 days

Publisher - Quercus

Pages - 472

Blurb from Goodreads

Captain Hal Stirling is flown to England from Afghanistan after a roadside bomb renders him battered and broken.
Once home, he retreats to his ancestral family seat of Stirling Towers--a gothic mansion that dominates the landscape near the remote Scottish Borders--for a Christmas of quiet recuperation. But on arrival he discovers that his mother, a fanatical spiritualist, has died and been hastily buried.
Isolated from the insular local community, Hal finds himself at the mercy of his mother's two mysterious nurses, the harshest winter on record and, before long, the horrific visions; experiences he attributes to his heavy medication. Yet as the December weather deteriorates, so does Hal's certainty that his home is a place of safety.
Who, or what, is trying to frighten him to death?

My Review

Oh I really hate to give a book 1 star rating and it is rare that I do but I honestly couldn't give it any higher. Captain Hal Stirling is going home to England, from Afghanistan after a roadside bomb goes off and he is injured. Hals home is a Gothic mansion, isolated and his mother and two nurses await him. However upon arrival home, his mother has passed and been buried, the weather is getting worse and Hal is at home with his two nurses and some horrific visions. Are they a result of his injury, is it his medications, do the nurses play a part in it or is it something else, supernatural in his home?

The book is very disjointed, it jumps around and to be honest I think this does add to what Hal has been through and gives authenticity to his experience. However, as a reader I was so confused to what was going on, was it real or was Hal imagining it? The themes didn't work for me, you had religion, animals being killed, a patient being drugged by nurses and sex all over the place. The issue of the nurses behavior and how it would fair with their governing body, like realistic things with unrealistic actions. Spirits, supernatural, disjointed visions and then introducing but what would their governing body say if they knew of their behavior. I honestly had a headache trying to keep up with it all and digest it.

Hal is a complex character, he has clearly been traumatized by what happened to him and in love with his girlfriend yet he then proceeds to sleep with almost everyone he comes into contact with. I really didn't like any of the characters in this story, I couldn't work out their behavior and even when I finished the story, I was left with more questions than I started with. 1/5 for me, some people did like this book so if you like a challenging read this would be a good one for you to try.

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A Brutal Trade by Faith Mortimer

A Brutal TradeA Brutal Trade by Faith Mortimer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days (on and off)

Pages - 207

Publisher - Topsails Charter

Blurb from Goodreads

Even on a small island the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever…

It began like any normal day in Cyprus…except it wasn’t…the body of a woman brutally murdered and discovered in a shallow grave changes all that.

It is only days later when amateur sleuth, Diana Rivers and old flame, Chief Superintendent Adam Lovell discover a second female victim…only this time the discovery is even more chilling and shocks the island inhabitants.

Joining forces with local policeman, Sergeant Yiannis Loukiades, the three embark on a journey which takes them on the fringes of humanity. Disturbing secrets are unearthed. They are on the hunt for killers who will stop at nothing in their hunt for one vital woman.

As the bodies mount up, the detectives ask themselves one question. What is the reason for the women’s’ deaths and their horrific mutilations?

With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Diana finds herself exposed to great danger…in the sights of a lethal individual who’ll put a stop to her meddling. Each move could be deadly… vicious in its outcome…can the team bring a halt to this brutal trade?

My Review

Set on a small island in Cyprus, a mutilated body of a female is discovered with some body parts missing. Diana & former lover Chief Superintendent Adam Lovell discover a second body, realizing someone is targeting these girls and for a specific reason. As the tale goes on and bodies start piling up, Diana is drawn further into the investigation and danger is closer to home than she could have imagined.

Diana is a writer and also a private investigator, long since has she moved on from Adam however he is visiting the island with his partner Clare, who is psychic and recovering from surgery. Together with the local police they dig into the case and discover a dark and dangerous motive for these killings.

This is the 7th book in a series, the Diana Rivers mysteries however, I can say you don't need to have read the previous to start here, as I have done. The book is a bit brutal in that it covers rape, torture, murder and mutilation to highlight some of the themes. You are drawn in to this dark tale and see the darker side of humanity, were human life is expendable and these people will stop at nothing to achieve their goals.

Diana reminded me of a modern day Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote, a lovely lady who gets caught up and involved in all manners of skulduggery. I would love to read more or even a spin off tale of Clare, I absolutely love psychics in stories and would like to see her feature more. This was a really well done fictional portrayal of a horrific crime trade, despite the brutal content I think it was handled very well. This is my first time reading this author and it certainly won't be the last. 4/5 for me this time, thanks so much to the author for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. At the time of posting you can get this on the kindle for £0.99 and it is also available in paperback for £8.99, from Amazon. You can find Faith on Twitter @FaithMortimer and Facebook.

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Thursday 4 June 2015

June's giveaway - Freud For Beginners

A bit of a change up for a wee giveaway, this is a pre loved copy of Freud for Beginners, it has a wee bit of wear to the edges but the spine is in tact. It is illustrations comic book like set up on Freud's discoveries and methods. Sigmund Freud was a psychoanalyst and this is a very light intro into some of his work.

175 pages, I bought this for college but I ended up not needing it so here it is for a giveaway, as always use the rafflecopter to enter the giveaway, open to all.

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