Saturday 30 July 2016

No Turning Back by Tracy Buchanan

No Turning BackNo Turning Back by Tracy Buchanan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 400

Publisher - Avon

Blurb from Goodreads

You’d kill to protect your child – wouldn’t you?

When radio presenter Anna Graves and her baby are attacked on the beach by a crazed teenager, Anna reacts instinctively to protect her daughter.

But her life falls apart when the schoolboy dies from his injuries. The police believe Anna’s story, until the autopsy results reveal something more sinister.

A frenzied media attack sends Anna into a spiral of self-doubt. Her precarious mental state is further threatened when she receives a chilling message from someone claiming to be the ‘Ophelia Killer’, responsible for a series of murders twenty years ago.

Is Anna as innocent as she claims? And is murder forgiveable, if committed to save your child’s life…?

My Review

Walking along with your child on the beach and out of nowhere a teenager attacks, self defence is a must but what happens when you accidentally kill the attacker? Social media goes wild and Anna finds herself and family being scrutinised, judged and dragged through the mill. If things aren't bad enough, Anna starts receiving messages from someone claiming to be the serial killer from decades ago who was never caught. The police aren't willing to listen and Anna finds herself under scrutiny from not only them, the press and the public but on the radar of a killer.

This is my first dance with this author and I have to say, from the opening chapter I was hooked. The prologue takes us to the killer and their first victim which in itself puts grabs your attention, then we flip to Anna, popular radio show host who finds herself on the beach and under attack with her daughter. The story follows her, the victims family and the small town reaction to a well loved radio host under the social media scrutiny after a horrendous event. How society as a whole judges her and how it impacts on her family, how people judge on what would you do, how you act and every other aspect of Anna's life.

I really enjoyed this multidimensional story, with a host of complexities ranging from relationships, friendships, secrets, motherhood, family, murder, societal values & judgements not to mention the whole cat and mouse aspect! A great introduction, for me, to this author, I will be seeking out more by this author, 4/5 for me. Thanks so much to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review, you can buy a copy now from all good retailers.

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Thursday 28 July 2016

Kimberley Chambers & Anna Smith author event at Waterstones

Can we just take a moment to appreciate how beautiful the window pane is in Waterstones.

I am literally just through the door and home from yet another fabulous event hosted by Waterstones, was also lunching and dinner with friends, the book chat was the finale of the day. Tonight's event was the lovely Kimberley Chambers and Anna Smith chatting together about their books, Chambers Tainted Love is out today in paperback.

There was a wee clearance box out to browse whilst we waited so I picked up another book, shhh don't tell my other half! The ladies had a great and relaxed evening, introduced themselves and a bit about their background. Chambers is hilarious, if you have never had the pleasure of meeting her or hearing her talk, you really should get to one of her events. One of the gentlemen in the audience actually praised her for when he reached out online she replied as a lot of well known authors who are very popular don't always. Anna Smith I don't really know (not that I know Chambers but she does have an online presence), I may have read one of her books but it has been a while if I have, I need to seek one out. I also don't see her on any of the online book groups whereas Chambers has a huge presence and often in or the subject of much chat in them.

The ladies had a great flow with each other, easy banter which had a knock on effect with the audience. Sometimes it is like pulling teeth trying to get audience interaction, not so tonight, in fact had the chap in Waterstones not made time for signings we may still be sitting there.

I also got to briefly meet Fliss, one of Chambers team, I have spoken to her online so it was lovely to meet the actual person and she is just as lovely in person. The team at Waterstones did a grand job as always and the ladies got a great turnout for the chat, I don't think there was an empty seat by the time they got started.

You can find the ladies on Twitter & Facebook Anna Smith @annasmithauthor

And Kimberley Chambers @kimbochambers

What a great day and to top it all off, I came home with one or two new books :P

Wednesday 27 July 2016

The Missing by Chris Mooney

The Missing (Darby McCormick #1)The Missing by Chris Mooney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 6 hours

Pages - 368

Publisher - Atria Books

Blurb from Goodreads

Darby McCormack was in high school when she first encountered the killer: someone murdered a woman in the woods where Darby and her two best friends were partying. His race to silence the witnesses was sure-footed and violent - but somehow Darby survived.

Twenty-five years later, Darby is a crime-scene investigator for the Boston Police Department, and a chilling case - a woman's late-night abduction - has her uncovering strange leads to missing women, past and present. As forensic clues lead her closer to a psychopath called the Traveler, Darby must finally resolve the nightmare of her past and come face-to-face with a killer who is determined to keep the missing - and the horrors they endured at his hands - from ever coming to light.

My Review

We open with a young Darby McCormack, drinking with her friends in the woods when they see a woman being murdered. The killer takes his revenge but Darby manages to survive, we flip to twenty three years later and Darby is a CSI. Investigating a young woman's abduction Darby finds a lead that will blow the case wide open and chase a killer who will stop at nothing to keep his game going.

Oooh I started this thinking just one chapter and then I will go to bed, I was still reading at 4am, I could not put it down. We follow McCormack and alternate a few chapters with the killer, the book draws you in from the get go with a murder within the first few chapters and the pace hottens up from there. As the investigation picks up McCormack realises this is a methodic, intelligent, psychopathic killer who has perfected his "art" over the years and isn't about to stop.

This book is not just a crime and murder story, it looks at the impact relationships and exposure have on human behaviour and choices. Secrets, lies, murder, love, partnership a bit of cat and mouse and police procedures. I actually gasped out loud reading a particular scene in this book and I haven't done that for ages. I loved this book, 5/5 for me & I had already bought the next four after the author joined our online book club so will certainly be reading him again.

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Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant

Lie With MeLie With Me by Sabine Durrant
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Publisher - Mulholland Books

Pages - 293

Blurb from Amazon

It starts with a lie. The kind we've all told - to a former acquaintance we can't quite place but still, for some reason, feel the need to impress. The story of our life, embellished for the benefit of the happily married lawyer with the kids and the lovely home.

And the next thing you know, you're having dinner at their house, and accepting an invitation to join them on holiday - swept up in their perfect life, the kind you always dreamed of...

Which turns out to be less than perfect. But by the time you're trapped and sweating in the relentless Greek sun, burning to escape the tension all around you - by the time you start to realise that, however painful the truth might be, it's the lies that cause the real damage...

... well, by then, it could just be too late.

My Review

Paul is a has-been, a successful author of a novel, decades past, and not managed to do a whole lot else. When he bumps into an old acquaintance, Andrew, from his glory days Paul can't help but accept his invitation to dinner. He meets Alice, not his usual type, older and mother of spoiled teenagers but she has money & Paul is never one to miss an opportunity. With his self infated ego and the ability to spin lies at the drop of a hat, Paul wangles his way on holiday with this upper class group and his new girlfriend. His small lies get bigger and Paul finds himself caught up in a web of deceit where he isn't the only one with something to hide.

Paul is our protagonist and not a very likeable chap. He is a womanizer, a sponger, a liar and those are probably not his worst traits. Alice is a means to an end however Paul finds himself drawn to her and becoming jealous of her friendship with Andrew, the old acquaintance that brought them together. Trying to keep on top of his lies, examining his feelings for Alice and be accepted by the rich snobs Paul embarks on a journey of self examination and growth. As Paul seems to start to grow as a person his lies threaten to catch up with him and bring it all down.

None of these characters are particularly likeable, they each have their own agenda and irritating traits. The story gets under your skin, it is at times unsettling and splits between the current dilema we know Paul ends up in as thats how the book opens but also what happened to the girl Alice is looking for. The girl who went missing in Greece ten years ago that Alice is frantic to find and won't stop looking for until she has answers. It is a busy wee book once it gets going and an engaging story that draws the reader in, 3/5 for me this time. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. I have never read this author before, I would certainly read her again, Lie With Me is available to buy from the 28/07/2016.

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Sunday 24 July 2016

The Fire Child by S K Tremayne

The Fire ChildThe Fire Child by S.K. Tremayne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Publisher - Harper Collins

Pages - 400

Blurb from Goodreads

When Rachel marries dark, handsome David, everything seems to fall into place. Swept from single life in London to the beautiful Carnhallow House in Cornwall, she gains wealth, love, and an affectionate stepson, Jamie.

But then Jamie’s behaviour changes, and Rachel’s perfect life begins to unravel. He makes disturbing predictions, claiming to be haunted by the spectre of his late mother – David’s previous wife. Is this Jamie’s way of punishing Rachel, or is he far more traumatized than she thought?

As Rachel starts digging into the past, she begins to grow suspicious of her husband. Why is he so reluctant to discuss Jamie’s outbursts? And what exactly happened to cause his ex-wife’s untimely death, less than two years ago? As summer slips away and December looms, Rachel begins to fear there might be truth in Jamie’s words:

‘You will be dead by Christmas.’

My Review

We start 178 days before Christmas, Rachel is a new wife, moved to be with the man she loves and his son Jamie. Young Jamie is troubled, his mother died and as Rachel spends more time with him his behaviour becomes even more worriesome. Jamie appears to be haunted by his mother and making scary predictions that Rachel fears are coming true. The most recent "You will be dead by Christmas", Rachels husband doesn't want to know so Rachel starts to dig into Jamies claims and their past. Some things are best left alone but Rachel is scared, lonely and the more she digs the more her husband pulls away from her, is Rachel really in danger?

This is Tremaynes second book and I actually prefered this one to the first. It has the same eery spooky under currents of the Ice Twins but I felt this one draws you in from the offset. The chapters vary in length but are all relatively short which I quite like in a book. Each chapter has a photograph at the beginning of the chapter of the settings of the book which is a relatively nice touch, I have the hardback version but assume all formats will have this.

The characters are well drawn, the little boys behaviour fluctuates from affection and acceptance of Rachel to withdrawn and preocupation of her demise or his mothers ghost. Rachel is a bit unreliable as a person, she begins relatively strong but as she gets spooked her behaviour becomes somewhat questionable. The book deals with some tough issues, death, mental health, violence, loss, love, acceptance, ghosts, martial issues to name just a few. I think if you take the story as it is you will really enjoy it, creepy, dark and eery with a bit of suspension of reality required. 3/5 for me this time, I would read this authors work again, thanks to Harper Collins for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Willnot by James Sallis

WillnotWillnot by James Sallis
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 192

Publisher - No Exit Press

Blurb from Goodreads

In the woods outside the town of Willnot, the remains of several people have suddenly been discovered, unnerving the community and unsettling Hale, the town's all-purpose general practitioner, surgeon, and town conscience. At the same time, Bobby Lowndes--his military records disappeared, being followed by the FBI--mysteriously reappears in his hometown, at Hale's door. Over the ensuing months, the daily dramas Hale faces as he tends to his town and to his partner, Richard, collide with the inexplicable vagaries of life in Willnot. And when a gunshot aimed at Lowndes critically wounds Richard, Hale's world is truly upended.

My Review

By reading the blurb, I took this book to be a crime/murder/who done it with the effects it has on the small town. It isn't that kind of book at all really, whilst there are bodies found and shootings, the book is not primarily about that. It is more centered on the ripples the bodies found has on the town and the main character, who he is, what he does for the town, flashbacks to things that happened in his life.

I have found this to be the case before, reading the blurb sets a bar and raises expectations of what said book will be about, as a result I didn't enjoy this book. I think had I picked it up and just read it I would have liked it far more as most readers loved it and it has high praise indeed. Instead I found there was a lot of characters that I couldn't quite see what part they would play in the crime aspect of the book and looked for plots and skulduggery where there weren't any.

A book that focuses on relationships, how events from the past can shape us as people and how a small town accepts folk quirks and all. It has quite a bit of medical talk in it being as the main character is the town doctor/surgeon I actually quite enjoyed these bits and it kept me reading. Not badly written at all however when you go into a book thinking it is one thing and it ends up being something entirely different it does dampen the enjoyment and raise expectations. Sadly 2/5 for me, I would read this author again however I would skip the blurb next time. Well written and enjoyed by many so give it a bash, it just wasn't for me.

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Friday 22 July 2016

Bad Blood by Julie Shaw Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the Blog Tour for Bad Blood by Julie Shaw, her newest novel which is now available to buy in paperback or kindle edition.

I have had the pleasure of reading this book already, you can read my review here.

Welcome Julie, thanks for stopping by and taking the time out to answer some questions for us.

1. Hi Julie, welcome to So Many Books So Little Time. This is your first Blog Tour if I am correct, how are you finding it?

I am really enjoying it. It’s especially interesting to answer the numerous questions I have been asked as it gets me really thinking about why I write the things I do.

2. I have read one of your books before Bad Blood, your settings are always in lower class gritty scheme settings, what draws you to these and do you think you will ever branch out from them?

I was actually brought up in very similar circumstances to a lot of my characters. By that I mean on the same estates, had very similar friends, and had family members who lived through very difficult circumstances. Since being very young I have tried my hand at all genres, and many different styles of writing, but I’m much more comfortable writing about the grittier, seedier side of life. Will I branch out? Maybe, I don’t know at the moment, but what I do know is that I feel much happier writing about the tougher side of life.

3. The character Lizzie, page 30 had me horrified, without spoiling it for others, how did you manage to come up with her and that scene? Creative genius or tapping into a true event?

Oh dear, unfortunately I have known many Lizzie’s in my time. Her character is an amalgamation of quite a few women I knew over the years. That scene was also easy to write as that was very definitely a true scenario, believe it or not.

4. Who inspires you to write?

Lots of people actually. As a child I would lose myself in any books I could get my hands. A story took me away from everything and I could be anyone and anywhere I wanted to be. If I had to choose an early writer that made me think ‘yes! I want to do this!’ then it would have to be Enid Blyton – I thought she was simply incredible. These days however, my hero is Kimberley Chambers. Her characters are so bad, I just love them! Now she really does tell it like it is!

5. What are your three top favourite books of all time?

I hate this question J I have so many that I love and I always feel horribly guilty about the ones I don’t mention. Also, my answer may surprise you. Okay, so the number one spot has to go to Mr Shakespeare himself with Romeo and Juliet. My first ever tragic love story. I was blown away by it. The number two spot would go to Roots by Alex Haley – another book that helped form my opinion on the world, and last but not least, They Put Me Inside by Tony Grestone – a book I read as a young teenager that really did change me.

6. What is next for Julie Shaw? Do you have another book in the process already?

I have just handed in Blood Sisters, which I’m sure you’ll like if you enjoyed Bad Blood, and I am just about to start writing a sequel to Bad Blood in fact. We don’t have a definite title for it yet, but I’m hoping it will be Sins of the Father. Watch this space J

7. Where can fans find you?

Facebook is simply Julie Shaw, though I also have a page especially relating to my books, and that is Canterbury Warriors. My Twitter is @jueshaw

8. Anything else you would like to add or tell readers about yourself?

I think I have gone on for long enough lol, but I do really appreciate all of my readers and particularly you fantastic bloggers who spread the word. Thanks again J xx

And up for grabs is 1 paperback pre-loved copy of Bad Blood, as always, use the Rafflecopter below to enter, this giveaway will run for 1 week.

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Sunday 17 July 2016

Julys Giveaway is a £5 Amazon Voucher

Sorry it is a bit late, I have been so behind with everything and picking up extra shifts that I am only just managing to catch up today.

As always, competitions are entered by using the Rafflecopter below. The more entry options you complete they more times your name is entered into the draw. Competition runs until the end of the month, as it is a wee Amazon voucher it is open worldwide, all you need is an email address linked to Amazon. Good luck and thanks for taking part.

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Blood Wedding by Pierre LeMaitre

Blood WeddingBlood Wedding by Pierre Lemaitre
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days (on and off)

Pages - 320

Publisher - MacLehose Press

Blurb from back cover

Sophie is haunted by the things she can't remember - and visions from the past she will never forget.

One morning, she wakes to find that the little boy in her care is dead. She has no memory of what happened. And her side of the story is no match for the evidence piled against her.

Her only hiding place is in a new identity. A new life, with a man she has met online.

But Sophie is not the only one keeping secrets...

My Review

The story opens with Sophie, Sophie is tired, reflecting on her losses and now her job with little Leo, the six year old child in her care. Sophie looses time, when she looses time bad things happen and this time little Leo is dead. Sophie has to run, make a new life, get a new identity and hopefully a new man she meets online will be her salvation.

The story is split, Sophie's story then Frantz story, the timeline between the two jumps a bit to tell eachs story. Sophies takes a bit to get into, she is an unreliable narrator purely because she isn't always sure what has transpired, the reader is discovering happenings as Sophie does. Frantz part of the story is clear from the very beginning, it is dark and draws you in immediately. I felt more in the loop once I got half way through, things started to become clear. It is a dark and twisted tale that will freak the reader out and pull you down into Sophies darkness.

It isn't for the faint hearted, there are themes of abuse, sexual deviancy, murder, violence, drugs, relationships, brutality and much more. It is haunting because of how clever Lemaitre builds up the suspense and leaves the reader reeling to who is guilty, who is the bad guy and at times just what is actually happening. My first time reading this author, I would read him again, 3/5 for me, thanks so much to RealReaders for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Bad Blood by Julie Shaw - Blog Tour Stop

Today is my turn on the Blog Tour for Bad Blood by Julie Shaw, her newest novel which is now available to buy in paperback or kindle edition.

Bad Blood by Julie Shaw

Bad BloodBad Blood by Julie Shaw
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Publisher - Harper Element

Pages - 336

Blurb from Goodreads

It’s 1981 and seventeen-year-old Christine is about to give birth to her son. When her family throw her out, Christine has the biggest fight of her life to bring up her son safe on the infamous Canterbury Estate in Bradford, rife with crime, alcohol and drugs, a place where family is everything and nothing.

It's Friday evening on the Canterbury Estate in Bradford and Christine, who's been rushed to hospital by her friend, Josie, is on the maternity ward giving birth. She's 17 and terrified. Not just of the pain, which is ripping her in two, but because she knows that once the baby arrives, her family is never going to speak to her again.

Her beautiful baby boy is about to start a chain of events that will lead to tragedy - and only her own family can save her.

My Review

Christine is seventeen, pregnant, single, it is 1981, if that isn't bad enough the fathers identity, if discovered, will have devastating consequences. With the birth of the baby life as Christine knows it changes forever. From a relatively innocent led life to one of poverty, drugs, addiction, abuse, violence and danger, Christine is forced to grow up quickly, make some tough decisions and learn that all choices come with grave consequences.

Oh this is a hard hitting book, set in estate life where drugs and poverty are rife, Christine has generally been untouched by it all until her life changes when her child is born. Gritty, hard hitting and at times makes for very uncomfortable reading with the subjects that are covered. Racism rears its ugly head, some scenes that would be fitting in trainspotting and the journey of one young woman trying to survive against the odds with her baby.

I have read Shaw before and I would read her again, whilst the subject matter is often hair raising and challenging it reflects true life which isn't always sweetness and light. There is bad language, challenging situations and questionable decisions made by the characters which again mirror reality which I think Shaw has captured well. 4/5 for me this time, thanks so much to the publishers for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. Bad Blood is available to buy now in paperback and kindle edition.

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Thursday 14 July 2016

Watching Edie by Camilla Way

Watching EdieWatching Edie by Camilla Way
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 304

Publisher - Harper Collins

Blurb From Goodreads

Beautiful, creative, a little wild… Edie was the kind of girl who immediately caused a stir when she walked into your life. And she had dreams back then—but it didn’t take long for her to learn that things don’t always turn out the way you want them to.

Now, at thirty-three, Edie is working as a waitress, pregnant and alone. And when she becomes overwhelmed by the needs of her new baby and sinks into a bleak despair, she thinks that there’s no one to turn to…

But someone’s been watching Edie, waiting for the chance to prove once again what a perfect friend she can be. It’s no coincidence that Heather shows up on Edie’s doorstep, just when Edie needs her the most. So much has passed between them—so much envy, longing, and betrayal. And Edie’s about to learn a new lesson: those who have hurt us deeply—or who we have hurt—never let us go, not entirely…

My Review

The opening chapter is set in the present day titled"After", Edie is an adult and the past is put behind her although Heather and Connor often come to her mind. Edie is most in her time of need when the door goes and who should appear but Heather, what does she want after all this time. Edie becomes increasing reliant and spooked by Edie and things that happen since Heather has come back into her life.

Ooooh, this was just fabulous! Set in present day as Edie and Heather are reunited we flip from present to the past when the two first met and their realtionship up until they broke off contact all those years ago. The reader is taken on an intense journey, a crescendo of nail biting tension as Heather takes over the present and the past threatens to catch up with Edie.

I read this in one day, I was loathe to put it down, as much as duo timelines often frustrate me I was tuned into both trying to determine what drove Heather & how it would all pan out. This is the authors third offering although my first time reading her, I would certainly read her again and will look out for her previous books. If you fancy a modern day thriller with echos of Single White Female then you really need to grab a copy of this book! Unsettling, creepy, and dealing with tough themes such as stalking, violence, abuse, drugs and sex it isn't a book for the faint hearted. 5/5 for me this time, thanks so much to Harper Collins for a wee ARC of this in exchange for an honest review and introducing me to a new author.

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Friday 8 July 2016

Buy Buy Baby by Helen MacKinven - Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the Buy Buy Baby Blog tour, the second book released by Helen MacKinven. Her first was Talk Of The Toun, you can find my review of that here.

Helen had the book launch night last night in Falkirk, I was working so I am gutted to say I missed it, this is Helen from her first book signing. She will be chatting about Buy Buy Baby in Waterstones Glasgow Argyll Street on the 19th of July, for more info click here.

Buy Buy Baby is quite a different feel from Talk Of The Toun however both are Scottish, deal with some delicate issues and laced with humour, you can read my review for it here.

You can find Helen on Twitter at @HelenMacKinven or visit her website here.

Buy Buy Baby is available to buy now. I have one paperback copy up for grabs, as usual entries below using the Rafflecopter, I will leave the giveaway open for approximately 1 week. Good luck if you are entering & thanks for stopping by for the tour.

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Tuesday 5 July 2016

The Caller by M A Comley & Tara Lyons - Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the Blog Tour for The Caller. I don't often do blog tours however these ladies are in a few book groups I am in Book Connectors on Facebook that authors and trusted bloggers can join. The Crime Book Club on Facebook open to everyone who loves crime, fans & authors. And also on #TBConFB which is a secret group that you can get into by messaging Tracy on Twitter. There has been so much praise for their work individually which you can check out on Fantastic Fiction or their author websites and I personally really enjoyed this book.

My Review Meet DI Angie North, leading member of the Organised Crime Team, tasked with solving a cold case and bringing the new team together. More attacks come to light and the clock is ticking for Angie and her team to capture the culprits and save the unsuspecting public from another attack.

This tale is two fold, one is the team relationship and how they come together, bond, react to each other and the second is the criminal aspect of the story. The hierarchy of the gang members, the dynamics of their group and how loyalties are tested. As well as examining police procedures, pulling an investigating team together and the inner workings of a gang and gang mentalities we see the difficulties police have to endure during this type of operation/investigation.

The prologue sets the reader straight on the theme of the book, brutal, graphic, sexual violence, murder and that is just the opening! The theme is fast paced and jumps between the bad guys and the police officers trying to catch them. The chapters are relatively short in length which is something I personally like in a book. There are some dark themes that some readers may struggle with, violence, murder, sexual abuse, torture, drugs and of course some bad language all of which you would expect when gangs are involved.

This is my first time reading these authors, although I have some of their independent work on my tbr, and I really enjoyed it. A tale that is both dark and deep, if you like thrillers or crime then this is a book for you, 4/5 for me. Thanks so much to the authors for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

You can find both ladies on twitter.


for Mel Comley @Melcom1

I am also hosting a giveaway, one e book copy of The Caller, to link in with the blog tour, as usual please use the Rafflecopter below. Complete as many entries as you wish, the prize is for an Amazon voucher to order the book. Good luck if you are entering and thanks for stopping by.

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Monday 4 July 2016

Buy Buy Baby by Helen MacKinven

Buy Buy BabyBuy Buy Baby by Helen MacKinven
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Publisher - Cranachan

Pages - 298

Blurb from Goodreads

What price tag would you put on a baby?

Set in and around Glasgow, Buy Buy Baby is a moving and funny story of life, loss and longing.

Packed full of bitchy banter, it follows the bittersweet quest of two very different women united by the same desire - they desperately want a baby.

Carol talks to her dog, has an expensive eBay habit and relies on wine to forget she's no longer a mum following the death of her young son.

Cheeky besom Julia is career-driven and appears to have it all. But after disastrous attempts at internet dating, she feels there is a baby-shaped hole in her life.

In steps Dan, a total charmer with a solution to their problems.

But only if they are willing to pay the price, on every level...

My Review

Two women living in Glasgow, Carol who, life as she knew it halted after her son's death and is now filled with Ebay impulse buys and talking to, and for, her dog Jinky. And Julia, a career driven woman with disastrous online dating attempts and a ticking biological clock. The two women could not be more different but both have a longing for a baby and one man could be the answer to their prayers.

I don't often comment on book covers, although to be fair, of late, I have found myself drawn to or passing comment on some. Buy Buy Baby sports the face of a doll with piercing blue eyes which I think most people would stop for a gander passing it on a bookshelf. It catches your eye and draws you to it, not giving much away to what the genre or content could be, kudos to the designer & team, it certainly deserves a mention. My copy is the exact same as the picture featured on this review & synced picture on Goodreads, if you normally scroll past have a wee scroll back up and check it out, eerie and eye catching!

This is MacKinven's second book and sports her trademark humor stamp but also having, a deeper, more adult feel to it. The themes cover grief, loss, love, relationships, abuse, friendship and many more infused with Glasgow humour whilst tackling some dark subjects. Looking at how one woman tries to cope with the loss of a child and get through everyday with the other coming to realise something is missing in her life and just how far each will go to obtain their goal.

I think this book may stir up a host of emotions for many readers, the content addresses some brutal aspects of adult life that many readers may have experienced or identify with. Buy Buy Baby is a story that will make you snort with laughter & well up as you go on an emotional rollercoaster with two ladies desperate for a baby. Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review, 4/5 for me this time. I look forward to more from this author and you can get a copy for yourself from 7th July 2016 from any good retailer.

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Saturday 2 July 2016

The Sleep Room by F R Tallis

The Sleep RoomThe Sleep Room by Frank Tallis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 400

Publisher - Pan

Blurb from Goodreads

When promising young psychiatrist James Richardson is offered the job opportunity of a lifetime by the charismatic Dr. Hugh Maitland, he is thrilled. Setting off to take up his post at Wyldehope Hall in deepest Suffolk, Richardson doesn't look back. One of his tasks is to manage Maitland's most controversial project--a pioneering therapy in which extremely disturbed patients are kept asleep for months. If this radical and potentially dangerous procedure is successful, it could mean professional glory for both doctors.

As Richardson settles into his new life, he begins to sense something uncanny about the sleeping patients--six women, forsaken by society. Why is Maitland unwilling to discuss their past lives? Why is the trainee nurse so on edge when she spends nights alone with them? And what can it mean when all the sleepers start dreaming at the same time? In this atmospheric reinvention of the ghost story, Richardson finds himself questioning everything he knows about the human mind, as he attempts to uncover the shocking secrets of The Sleep Room . . .

My Review

James Richardson is at the beginnings of his career as a psychiatrist when an opportunity to work for Dr. Hugh Maitland opens up. Maitland is well respected and offers Richardson a unique opportunity to work in Wyldehope Hall in Suffolk, looking after patients with psychiatric conditions and 6 ladies in a sleep room. A room where they are kept asleep with drugs, monitored & woken at arrange interval for brief periods. At first it seems like the dream job however strange and eerie events occur, one of the nurses is behaving bizarrely & James can't stop asking questions.

This is a strange wee tale, it starts off relatively fine with James moving in, asking about the predecessor and learning what the job entails. Soon things start to happen to make James question if there isn't some kind of paranormal activity going on and wanting to know more about the patients. James has the task of trying to investigate without seeming like he has lost his sanity or annoying his new boss.

There is a wee bit of everything in this book, death, spooky happenings, relationships, medical chat such as conditions and drugs. It goes along at a decent pace, building up an atmospheric tension as the reader plods along with James trying to grasp what is happening. The end came along a little suddenly for more and I would have liked a bit more in depth explanation however I am one of those readers who always wants more, 3/5 for me this time, I would read this author again.

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