Thursday, 3 December 2020

December Giveaway

Competition time YAAAAAAAAAY

I love December - I know it can be a hard time of the year for people for a multitude of reasons. It certainly reminds me of those I have lost and who loved this time of year. I embrace December, Christmas and a love of all things TACKY.

It looks like Christmas has vomitted in my house when I get started. I dress in Christmas clothes, I tacky up the house and we have always stuck to the 12 days before 12 days after for decorations up, I may change that this year.

Even Luna is getting a taste of Christmas dress, as allows. She will not tolerate hats or anything but she does seem fine with a bow (long as the bell is removed) and isn't she just a doll.

Anyway back to the competition, up for grabs is X1 gimble book accessory (as pictured) - they keep your book open - I use mine when eating but folk use them out and about. The winner can pick if they want the pink one or the blue one.

We will open this up worldwide, good luck if entering xxx

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Every Three Hours by Chris Mooney

Every Three Hours (Darby McCormick, #6)Every Three Hours by Chris Mooney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 400

Publisher - Penguin

Source - Bought

Blub from Goodreads

The new pulse-pounding latest instalment in the outstanding Darby McCormick series.

'One of the best thriller writers working today'
Lee Child


Forensic investigator Darby McCormick queues to enter Boston Police Headquarters on a freezing winter morning. Lured back to her hometown to help solve a cold case, Darby won't get far inside the station - and this will be no ordinary homecoming...

Because someone suddenly takes a woman hostage and a stand-off ensues. The man has explosives strapped to himself and other bombs hidden around the city, rigged to explode - every three hours - until he gets what he wants.

Working desperately against the clock, Darby realizes she is trapped between a kidnapper who would kill to expose the truth and people who would let others die to hide their lies...

My Review

The book kicks off pretty quick, Darby is back and headed into the Boston police department (headquarters) to help with an old case. She ends up in the middle of a hostage situation, threats of a bomb going off around the city, every three hours if the demands are not met. Darby gets backs up almost immediately but seems to have the ear of the hostage taker and is determined not to lose any more lives. The bad guy wants the previous mayor to come to the station with a tv crew and until he does the clock is counting.

Darby is a great character, I am a huge fan. she doesn't let past grudges go, she is loyal to those close to her and she always tries to do what she thinks is right. Some shady shady behaviour comes to light, secrets, dodgy past darkness and Darby is the the thick of everything.

These books are always pacey, shocks, surprises and when you think you got something down the author pulls the rug out from under you. I love to be kept on my toes and Mooney does that, again! 4 stars for me this time, I already have the others on the mountain just waiting to be plucked. Also, short chapters guys so if you are struggling a bit with reading just now, Mooney is perfect to pick up!

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Sunday, 29 November 2020

Hannibal by Thomas Harris

Hannibal (Hannibal Lecter, #3)Hannibal by Thomas Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 1 week

Pages - 564

Publisher - Arrow

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Years after his escape, posing as scholarly Dr. Fell, curator of a grand family's palazzo, Hannibal lives the good life in Florence, playing lovely tunes by serial killer/composer Henry VIII and killing hardly anyone himself. Clarice is unluckier: in the novel's action-film-like opening scene, she survives an FBI shootout gone wrong, and her nemesis, Paul Krendler, makes her the fall guy. Clarice is suspended, so, unfortunately, the first cop who stumbles on Hannibal is an Italian named Pazzi, who takes after his ancestors, greedy betrayers depicted in Dante's Inferno. Pazzi is on the take from a character as scary as Hannibal: Mason Verger. When Verger was a young man busted for raping children, his vast wealth saved him from jail. All he needed was psychotherapy--with Dr. Lecter. Thanks to the treatment, Verger is now on a respirator, paralyzed except for one crablike hand, watching his enormous, brutal moray eel swim figure eights and devour fish. His obsession is to feed Lecter to some other brutal pets.

My Review

Hannibal is still loose, Starling is struggling in her career after a high profile shooting and someone higher up has it out for her. Many people are after Lecter, none more so than Mason Verger one of Hannibal's only surviving victims. Verger has money and despite his disabilities at the hands of Lecter he has fury, evil and money at his disposal and will stop at nothing to make Lecter pay.

We flip between Hannibal's current situation, Verger's plotting, Starling's uphill battle with her career and the shady male colleagues who are happy to step on her. Starling wants to recapture Lecter and as per goes above and beyond to do what needs done, to her own detriment.

If you are a fan of the series you will enjoy it, I think this one is pretty gruesome and some real shady dirtbag deviant characters. Some parts I felt I needed to wash my eyeballs out after reading *shudders* - not as good as the previous two but give me a story with Hannibal Lecter and I am going to read it, 3.5/5 for me this time.

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Friday, 27 November 2020

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 1 week

Pages - 579

Publisher - Viking Penguin

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.

My Review

I can't believe this is a debut, it is packed with so much and reads like someone who has been writing a long long time. Diana is a witch but has always repressed that side, she comes from a very powerful family but after her parents were murdered when she was a child she has ignored her magic. Now a scholar (with tenure no less) in Oxford, when she pulls up an old manuscript that everyone has been waiting for, witches, daemons and vampires she unwittingly turns her whole life upside down. What starts as a search for her work leads her into an unlikely set of relationships, love, danger and a find that could change the history for all creatures.

Who doesn't love a vampire book, a witch book and some flashes of daemons. Creatures that aren't meant to mingle, stay out of the interest of humans, ignored magic, family secrets and a house that has family ghost that are temperamental and all manners of magic.

There are sciencey bits where one of the vampires looks at genetics/dna. Witches, vampires and daemons at odds with each other and others learning to be friendly. A witch who denied her powers now having to work at undoing years of denial/repression but also another hill to climb to engage with her own power. Folk turning on their own kind for daring to "mix" with others out with their own species. It has so much going on and I thought it was grand, I have books two and three on the tbrm, hopefully not be too long until I get to them, 4/5 for me this time.

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Tuesday, 24 November 2020

The Girls He Adored by Jonathan Nasaw

The Girls He AdoredThe Girls He Adored by Jonathan Nasaw
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 448

Publisher - Atria

Source - Bought years ago

Blurb from Goodreads

For ten years, the charmingly disheveled veteran FBI Special Agent E.L. Pender has been investigating the apparently random disappearances of a dozen women across the country. The only detail the cases have in common is the strawberry blond color of the victims' hair, and the presence of a mystery man with whom they were last seen.

Then, in Monterey, California, a routine traffic stop erupts into a scene of horrific violence. The local police are stunned by a disemboweled strawberry blond victim and an ingenious killer with multiple alternating personalities. Pender is convinced he has found his man, but before he can prove it, the suspect stages a cunning jailbreak and abducts his court-appointed psychiatrist, Irene Cogan.

In a house on a secluded ridge in Oregon, Irene must navigate through the minefield of her captor's various egos -- male and female, brilliant and naive, murderous and passive -- all of whom are dominated by Max, a seductive killer who views her as both his prisoner and his salvation. Irene knows that to survive she must play along with Max's game of sexual perversion. Only then will she be able to strip back the layers to discover a chilling story of a shattered young boy -- and all the girls he adored.

A sexually charged thriller of extraordinary originality and page-turning suspense, The Girls He Adored moves furiously from the inner recesses of the psyche to its final, startling climax. Jonathan Nasaw brilliantly portrays two equally intense characters -- a deviant killer and the expert who can unlock his darkest secrets -- and introduces one of the most likable sleuths in recent fiction.

My Review

I have had this on the shelves for a while and heard folk talk about it even longer. A bag guy is in jail, he is very very dangerous, on par with Lecter. court-appointed psychiatrist, Irene Cogan. is brought in to assess a prisoner witholding their identity but also presenting as multiple personality disorder (mpd)..............and stage set! FBI Special Agent E.L. Pender has been convinced for years there is a serial killer on the loose and risked much to prove it, could this guy be the one who has evaded him for years?

Guys this book is not for the faint hearted, the bad guy has multiple personalities, some cunning, some psychotic/murderous/naïve. This was a huge draw for me, I have read hundreds of crime books and mpd doesn't feature in many of them. This one was so compelling because they are all so different and getting to see how the psychiatrist assesses them and interacts with this bad guy was so good. There is a huge aspect of sexual deviancy/abuse/violence and real bottom of the barrel aspects of humanity so again NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED!

Compelling, shocking, twists, so so dark in some parts but it pulls the reader in from the very first pages, NEEDING to know where it is going to go. There are another four in the series, I have no idea where they are going to go but I am absolutely ordering book two (as we type), 4/5 for me this time. My first dance with this author, absolutely won't be my last!

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Sunday, 22 November 2020

The Apparition Phase by Will Maclean

The Apparition PhaseThe Apparition Phase by Will Maclean
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 416

Publisher - William Heinemann

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

An atmospheric and stunning literary debut, reminiscent of the gothic suspense of Shirley Jackson and the ghost stories of MR James

Tim and Abi have always been different from their peers. Precociously bright, they spend their evenings in their parents’ attic discussing the macabre and unexplained, zealously rereading books on folklore, hauntings and the supernatural. In particular, they are obsessed with photographs of ghostly apparitions and the mix of terror and delight they provoke in their otherwise boring and safe childhoods.

But when Tim and Abi decide to fake a photo of a ghost to frighten an unpopular school friend, they set in motion a deadly and terrifying chain of events that neither of them could have predicted, and are forced to confront the possibility that what began as a callous prank might well have taken on a malevolent life of its own.

My Review

We open with two teenagers obsessed with ghosts and all thing macabre, so the kids decide to make a ghost photo and it has long standing consequences. Abi and Tim are pretty happy being in each others company and are pretty different and weird. The photo marks the beginning of huge changes and the story takes place over years, Tim into adulthood with spooky and eerie happenings.

For me, the story could almost be three separate ones, the kids and their upbringing, the event that changes everything for Tim, the personal and emotive journey then a heavy focus with the supernatural, haunted "house" seances. Throughout them all we have some fabulous freaky spine tingling moments. I love how so much started with a "prank" mock up photo and the message of how dangerous it can be to tangle with the unknown.

I would LOVE this to be a movie - some of the scenes echoes the old school horror/ghosts movies, creepy creepy, Vincent Price type. I would have loved a more in-depth look at the later characters that turn up, the seances, the history. It may have been my fave section of the book, give me a creepy place with anything spooky and BAM I am hooked. For a debut, with the spooky creepy parts I loved, there are emotive, personal parts to it that was ok but I wanted more of the spook. I think some people will love the other aspects of the book, who doesn't like different themes throughout a book but I would have enjoyed more of the ghostlike creepy stuff. I did enjoy this and would like to see more from this author, 3/5 for me this time.

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Friday, 20 November 2020

What Lies Between Us by John Marrs

What Lies Between UsWhat Lies Between Us by John Marrs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 367

Publisher - Thomas and Mercer

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

Nina can never forgive Maggie for what she did. And she can never let her leave.

They say every house has its secrets, and the house that Maggie and Nina have shared for so long is no different. Except that these secrets are not buried in the past.

Every other night, Maggie and Nina have dinner together. When they are finished, Nina helps Maggie back to her room in the attic, and into the heavy chain that keeps her there. Because Maggie has done things to Nina that can’t ever be forgiven, and now she is paying the price.

But there are many things about the past that Nina doesn’t know, and Maggie is going to keep it that way—even if it kills her.

Because in this house, the truth is more dangerous than lies.

My Review

When I started this I wasn't too sure what was going on, what the relationship between the two main characters, the chills creep in pretty much from the get go. The chapters alternate between the two, Nina and Maggie. Nina sorts the meals, keeps house and Maggie is living vicariously through everything/everyone she sees through the window, of her bedroom where she is kept. What is the deal with these two, they dine together, they house together yet they seem to hate each other.

As we flip characters we learn a bit more about each lady, what their relationship is and pulled into their weird situation. As we delve deeper we start to get a bit of understanding of how they come to their current situation, flipping back to the past and some genuinely breath taking moments. You dislike or even hate one character and feel sorry for the other then BAM the author pulls the rug and you feel yourself switching and starting to understand a bit where the other is coming from.

It is a hell of a mind trip, emotive and some seriously shocking themes and choices/behaviours of the characters. More so once you start to seep into the heart of the story, I was pulled in pretty much from the get go & have found this with the previous books I have read by this author, 4.5/5 for me this time. I have more of his works on my tbrm, I need to bump them up the list. Prepare to lose your day and be rocked by some utterly shocking characters!

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Monday, 16 November 2020

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder Club (Thursday Murder Club, #1)The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 336

Publisher - Penguin

Source - Review copy & bought the hardback

Blurb from Goodreads

Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
Welcome to…

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late?

My Review

In a wee but fabulous retirement village a quartet of friends meet everything Thursday for "The Thursday Murder Club". They look at old unsolved crimes, go through them, debate, speculate and investigate. When a murder happens right on their doorstep - its practically fate for the club, isn't it? A new copper PC Donna De Freitas goes to give a chat to the elderly folks and ends up getting more than she bargained for. Involving themselves in the investigation and making pals with the cops the unlikely gang set to pulling their resources and manipulating the police to get the answers they need to try and discover "who done it?"

We get introduced to the characters, their personalities, their quirks/stereotypes/opinions and who they are and how they gel together despite their differences. The retirement village sounds a lovely wee place to end up in, especially with amateur sleuths and how sharp they are with their insights.

A murder, secrets, lies, friendship - this is an absolute wee cozy crime reads. It also has some humour laced throughout and if you like a wee crime story but not too heavy and with bigger focus on relationships and group/personality dynamics you will love this. Book one in a series, I liked this, few wee surprises and wee flashes of emotives in it, I look forward to the next one, 3.5/5 for me!

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Saturday, 14 November 2020

Vanish by Tess Gerritsen

Vanish (Rizzoli & Isles, #5)Vanish by Tess Gerritsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 462

Publisher - Bantam

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

A nameless, beautiful woman appears to be just another corpse in the morgue. An apparent suicide, she lies on a gurney, awaiting the dissecting scalpel of medical examiner Maura Isles. But when Maura unzips the body bag and looks down at the body, she gets the fright of her life. The corpse opens its eyes.
Very much alive, the woman is rushed to the hospital, where with shockingly cool precision, she murders a security guard and seizes hostages . . . one of them a pregnant patient, Jane Rizzoli.
Who is this violent, desperate soul, and what does she want? As the tense hours tick by, Maura joins forces with Jane s husband, FBI agent Gabriel Dean, to track down the mysterious killer s identity. When federal agents suddenly appear on the scene, Maura and Gabriel realize that they are dealing with a case that goes far deeper than just an ordinary hostage crisis.
Only Jane, trapped with the armed madwoman, holds the key to the mystery. And only she can solve it if she survives the night. ."

My Review

This is book 5 in the Rizzoli & Isle's series, I have to confess to reading them out of order and this one must have slipped my attention. These books are gritty and fast paced, short chapters which I love and perfect if you are struggling reading and having your attention kept just now.

Human trafficking and the sex trade features in parts of the book and of course all the brutality that comes with that so be prepared. A body makes its way to Isle's mortuary only for her to discover it isn't actually a dead body. Chaos ensues a hostage situation/standoff and Rizzoli who is heavily pregnant is caught in the middle. Things aren't always what they seem and as the tension the situation becomes more deadly it gets some of the "players" wondering if there isn't more to all this than meets the eye.

The book splits between the situation with Isles/Rizzoli/the undead woman and that of a girl promised a better future only to be caught up in enforced prostitution. We follow the girls, what they have to endure and just trying to survive to the hostage situation and back and forth.

Tense, brutal and we see a bit more of a tender side to feisty Rizzoli despite being heavily pregnant. A fantastic series and I forgot how much I enjoy Gerritsen books, I will need to look and see if there are any others I have missed, 4/5 for me this time.

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Monday, 9 November 2020

November giveaway

Happy Winter you guys, welcome to October. It is boltic cauld here! But the leaves are all over the ground, trees are orange/green and we have to enjoy the little things don't we.

I do enjoy the views when we get a wee walk.

I have tried sitting out the back, on the swing to read but it is hard to last longer than a few minutes, even with a blanket because it is so chilly.

So I think it is time to do a wee giveaway, this one is UK ONLY purely because Amazon (UK) won't allow me to gift outside my country. I will sort a giveaway soon, worldwide but thought I should get at least one up as we head into week two of November.

Giving thought to doing a Christmas themed comp too but having decided on anything concerete, whatever we do we will get a worldwide one sorted anyway, something to cheer us up! To enter the giveaway please fill in the Rafflecopter below, please only complete entries you have done as all winning entries are checked. Good luck all. xxx

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Sunday, 8 November 2020

The Science of Stephen King by Meg Hafdahl & Kelly Florence

The Science of Stephen King: The Truth Behind Pennywise, Jack Torrance, Carrie, Cujo, and More Iconic Characters from the Master of HorrorThe Science of Stephen King: The Truth Behind Pennywise, Jack Torrance, Carrie, Cujo, and More Iconic Characters from the Master of Horror by Meg Hafdahl
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 4 days

Pages - 264

Publisher - Skyhorse

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Gothic media moguls Meg Hafdahl and Kelly Florence, authors of The Science of Monsters and The Science of Women in Horror, and co-hosts of the Horror Rewind podcast called “the best horror film podcast out there” by Film Daddy, present a guide to the Stephen King stories and characters we all know and love. Through interviews, literary and film analysis, and bone-chilling discoveries, The Science of Stephen King delves into the uniquely horrific Stephen King universe to uncover the science behind the legendary novels that have become an integral part of modern pop culture, answering such questions as:
What is the science behind time travel and parallel universes like in The Dark Tower series and 11/22/63?
How does lack of sleep affect the human body like in Insomnia?
Is it possible for horrific creatures to exist like in Nightshift?
What is the science behind curses and legends like in Dreamcatcher and Thinner?
Join Kelly and Meg as they learn if we all really do float down here!

My Review

Ha I am a complete muppet, the SCIENCE of Stephen King and I didn't tipple there would be science in it lmao. I just saw Stephen King and was immediately interested. I have loved Stephen King and horror since I stumbled across him as a kid (I know I know). So Hafdahl and Florence have created a book that looks into some of our best King stories and looked into some of the science behind the heart of some of these books.

For example, IT we all know is a killer who takes the shape of whatever the children most fear but often, whilst toying with the losers club it takes the shape of Pennywise the Dancing Clown. This section offers a wee bit on the book itself and looks into coulrophobia and the history of clowns and why something that is meant to make us smile brings fear to so many. This is what the authors have done, they break the book down into decades, 1970s to 2010s. We get a bit of history on the main man himself and then a look at (some of) the books from those years. What the story is about, each chapter is titled but if you haven't read that story you will find a spoiler or two as they examine and chat about the story, the central theme and history/science around that topic.

I won't go into every story but Cujo, they obvs talk about the story itself, then look at the history of dogs and their relationships with humans, rabies and snippets of King's personal battles along his career.

Throughout the book we also get wee snippets of facts, information, titbits scattered throughout the pages, relevant to whatever that chapter is discussing. Whilst I was expecting the book to be something very different (I thought it was going to be in depth study/facts about the books/characters) I really enjoyed it. Information and facts about King I didn't know, facts/information/science and history relevant to each of the stories selected - like really interesting stuff from periods of history that I want to read more into. We have a very morbid history in some places do us humans and I am interested to read more. 4/5 for me, first time reading these guys works, they have other books I would be interested in checking out. If you are a fan of Master King, his works and some shady history of humanity you will absolutely enjoy this book, a keeper for me!

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Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecter, #1)Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time to taken to read - < 3 days

Pages - 454

Publisher - Arrow books

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

A second family has been massacred by the terrifying serial killer the press has christened "The Tooth Fairy." Special Agent Jack Crawford turns to the one man who can help restart a failed investigation: Will Graham. Graham is the greatest profiler the FBI ever had, but the physical and mental scars of capturing Hannibal Lecter have caused Graham to go into early retirement. Now, Graham must turn to Lecter for help.

My Review

The first book introducing Hannibal Lecter, I first heard of him after watching The Silence of the Lambs movie. To know there are four books and this is book one, brilliant. There is a predator, targeting families, always a mum, dad, kids and a family pet. He is methodical and he will keep going until he is stopped, he is strategic, smart and leaves no clues. The FBI calls on the help of Will Graham, an FBI profiler who has something the team doesn't, something that helps him get in the head of these specialist type bad guys. He also adds to his belt being the one who caught and only just survived Hannibal Lecter. In order to to what needs done he must face his fears, past traumas and come face to face with Lecter.

Oh I loved the movie, Will played by Edward Norton and that's how I see/hear him in this book. Harris has a way of creating the scenes and characters that grips you pretty much from the beginning and plays out vividly in your head. Gruesome, repugnant, shocking and brings to life two of the most shocking killers in crime fiction, the "Tooth Fairy" and Doctor Hannibal Lecter.

I bought the four of these books, I have read three previously but it was like coming at it as a new reader, it stays fresh and there was things I forgot, 5/5 for me!

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Sunday, 1 November 2020

Ghost Virus by Graham Masterton

Ghost VirusGhost Virus by Graham Masterton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 400

Publisher - Head of Zeus

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads


The girl had been staring into her mirror all morning before she picked up the small bottle of sulphuric acid and poured it over her forehead.

Samira was a young woman with her whole life ahead of her. What could have brought her to this? DC Jerry Pardoe and DS Jamila Patel of Tooting Police suspect it's suicide. But then a meek husband kills his wife, and the headteacher of the local school throws her pupils out of a window. It's no longer a random outbreak of horrific crimes. It's a deadly virus. And it's spreading. Somehow, ordinary Londoners are being infected with an insatiable lust to murder. All of the killers were wearing second-hand clothes. Could these garments be possessed by some supernatural force?

The death count is multiplying. Now Jerry and Jamila must defeat the ghost virus, before they are all infected...

'One of the most original and frightening storytellers of our time' PETER JAMES.

My Review

The opening chapter is pretty shocking, self harm so brutal it has a police investigation looking into if someone else if responsible. It is just the beginning, folk behaving in horrific violent ways, murder, referring to a second self. Whatever it is, it is happening more often, the police are puzzled and as they start digging they can't quite believe what they are uncovering.

Supernatural, graphic, gruesome, horrific - certainly a new turn on horror with a mix of human brutality. It makes for an interesting read and I think as the story unravels folk will find it a bit marmite. I enjoyed i for what it was but didn't love it. I do enjoy the writers style and will absolutely read more of his stuff.

Perfect for a horror/October/Halloween type read, suspend reality and sink in for some seriously messed up behaviour, 3/5 for me this time.

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Thursday, 29 October 2020

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill HouseThe Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 246

Publisher - Penguin Classics

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads


The best-known of Shirley Jackson's novels and a major inspiration for writers like Neil Gaiman and Stephen King, The Haunting of Hill House is a chilling story of the power of fear.

Four seekers have arrived at the rambling old pile known as Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of psychic phenomena; Theodora, his lovely assistant; Luke, the future inheritor of the estate; and Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman with a dark past. As they begin to cope with horrifying occurrences beyond their control or understanding, they cannot possibly know what lies ahead. For Hill House is gathering its powers - and soon it will choose one of them to make its own. Twice filmed as The Haunting, and the inspiration for a new 10-part Netflix series, The Haunting of Hill House is a powerful work of slow-burning psychological horror

My Review

This is a well love book by many and it is a new series on Netflix, kinda wish I had watched that then read this. Absolutely a slow burner, perfect for lying reading curled up on the couch, candle light and just absorbing. It is very sedate pace but has wee creepy elements to it and it builds as it goes.

I can't say I liked any of the characters that much and some of it read a wee bit soap opera type, personality flaws, issues. Some of their interactions with each other are just so weird, is it the effect the house is having on them or just who they are?

Defo worth reading, like I said so many people loved it. I liked the eerie aspect but that was really the only parts and to see where it was going. Feel a wee bit like I missed something, 3/5 for me.

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Tuesday, 27 October 2020

In The Dark by Richard Laymon

In the DarkIn the Dark by Richard Laymon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 503

Publisher - Headline

Source - Bought from Waterstones

Blurb from Goodreads

Nothing much happens to Jane Kerry, a young librarian. Then one day Jane finds an envelope containing a fifty-dollar bill and a note instructing her to "Look homeward, angel." Jane pulls a copy of the Thomas Wolfe novel of that title off the shelf and finds a second envelope. This one contains a hundred-dollar bill and another clue. Both are signed, "MOG (Master of Games)." But this is no ordinary game. As it goes on, it requires more and more of Jane's ingenuity, and pushes her into actions that she knows are crazy, immoral or criminal--and it becomes continually more dangerous. More than once, Jane must fight for her life, and she soon learns that MOG won't let her quit this game. She'll have to play to the bitter end.

My Review

Jane plods along in her job, working a library, nothing really interesting happens. She finds an envelope waiting for her that changes that. It contains a $50 bill and an invite to "play" a game and directions where to find the next envelope. As Jane accepts and plays, I mean what harm could it do, she finds the clues and locations more dangerous but the money is bigger each time.

Oooft I think the thing about this one is it could happen to anyone, a random person inviting you to play a game, money, anonymity, excitement, danger. Jane is compelled to find the next and see if MOG (Master of Games) keeps upping the money. Despite things getting darker and much more dangerous Jane convinces herself she isn't doing anything wrong and can stop, if she wants.

I found myself getting frustrated at times with Jane, why why why would you put yourself through that, don't go in there, WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!! In the same breath I couldn't put it down because I had to know what was next, who is MOG, why is this even happening and how far was Jane willing to go.

Holding my breath for some scenes, the book is brutal in some parts, disgusting, shocking, horrifying and just wild. If you have read Laymon before you know there is a mix of just about everything in store for you, if not, lace up your books cos it is a good one, 4/5 for me this time.

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Friday, 23 October 2020

The Loch by Steve Alten

The LochThe Loch by Steve Alten
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 5 days

Pages - 541

Publisher - Tor books

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Incorporating the latest research and new evidence, that leads to real answers concerning the Loch Ness monster's identity, bestselling author Steve Alten weaves a tale of horror about the most publicized and controversial creature ever imagined.

My Review

A marine biologist Zach has a long history with The Loch heads down on a dive that ends in tragedy. Escaping death, screwed over by his colleague, career down the pan - when a blast from the past comes calling he heads back, to his past and The Loch. Something is attacking folk, Zach cannot escape from his past and now a huge problem with the water, not great for a marine biologist. Everything seems linked, Zach is going to need to face his fears and address his past if he has any hope of a future.

The underwater scenes on the initial dive I thought was brilliantly done, very atmospheric, spooky and then your worst nightmare. The flashes to the past and Scottish history I didn't get nor see the relevance but stick with it and all becomes clear, eventually.

I think this would make great for a movie on the horror channel, a creature feature. Lots of family drama, character issues as well as the man eating horrific monster. I like Alten's writing, well what I have read from the Meg series (who doesn't love a shark). I didn't love this but I liked it, if you are looking for a monster book and some theories for Nessie, give it a bash, 3/5 for me.

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Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Lost Souls by Dean Koontz

Lost Souls (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein #4)Lost Souls by Dean Koontz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 350

Publisher - Bantam

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads


The war against humanity has begun. In the dead hours of the night, a stranger enters the home of the mayor of Rainbow Falls, Montana. The stranger is in the vanguard of a wave of intruders who will invade other homes . . . offices . . . every local institution, assuming the identities and the lives of those they have been engineered to replace. Before the sun rises, the town will be under full assault, the opening objective in the new Victor Frankenstein’s trajectory of ultimate destruction. Deucalion—Victor’s first, haunted creation—saw his maker die in New Orleans two years earlier. Yet an unshakable intuition tells him that Victor lives—and is at work again. Within hours Deucalion will come together with his old allies, detectives Carson O’Connor and Michael Maddison, Victor’s engineered wife, Erika Five, and her companion Jocko to confront new peril. Others will gather around them. But this time Victor has a mysterious, powerful new backer, and he and his army are more formidable, their means and intentions infinitely more deadly, than ever before.

My Review

Book four in the Frankenstein series, if you haven't read other others you could get away with starting here but you will have missed so much. Victor survived - well in a fashion and his plan is back, worse than before, humanity is at risk and they don't even know it.

The invaders, mimics, replacers, replicas are back, more effective, organised and primed to do what Victor initially set out to do. With only a handful of people aware of what is going on humanities chances are slim but we have Deucalion and an unlikely couple of allies.

The book isn't really giving us anything new from the last three, we know the plan, we know the players and this is I think two years on from the last book. Its the earth shaking just as it had settled and the players involved thought everything was ok. It is almost, I felt, like a bridge book, bringing in a few loose ends, bringing everything from the previous together and building up to prepare for the grand finale. They have changed tactics a bit from the original series so that is new and all so brutal and methodical. If you liked the previous books I think you will "enjoy" this as part of the series. I have high hopes for the last book, I liked this I just didn't love it, 3.5/5 for me.

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Sunday, 18 October 2020

Dracula by Bram Stoker

DraculaDracula by Bram Stoker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 5 days

Pages - 382

Publisher - Signet Classics

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Dracula is perhaps almost as interesting regarded historically as the product of a specific time as it is engaging to continuing generations of readers in a 'timeless' fashion. In her introduction Byron first discusses the famous novel as an expression not of universal fears and desires but of specifically late nineteenth-century concerns. At the same time she is entirely attuned to the ways in which, however much Dracula is a Victorian text, Dracula is a very twentieth-century character, a representative of modernity and of the future.

My review

Guys this has been on my shelves for donkeys years! Cannot believe I hadn't read it before now :O We all know the story, we have saw the movies. Jonathan Harker is headed to meet and stay with Dracula as part of his job and Dracula is the client. This is a huge task for Jonathan and he is committed to doing a great job. As we all know who and what Dracula is but poor Jonathan does not and we follow his journey via his diary entries. We also hear from Mina, his fiance's through her diary entries, in fact all the entries/stories/sides of the tale are in diary format.

Atmospheric, spooky and although a bit of a slower pace than many of the books we devour nowadays it keeps your attention and the suspense throughout. I have just watched two of the movies (I had seen before) and it is interesting to see the changes and takes from the book, mostly it stays true to the important parts.

I am no a fan of the classics at all, I find them a struggle to get through yet I did enjoy this one, took me a wee bit longer than a normal book would, espesh one so thin. A different time and style of writing but I think if you are a fan of Dracula and don't mind diary entries style of writing you will also enjoy the book.

Perfect for this time of year, revisiting an old fave and of course Van Helsing is in it (I won't eve be able to visualize anyone but Price when I read him in books, indeed why would you want to). 4/5 for me this time, if you struggle with the classics but want to read one, look no further!

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Friday, 16 October 2020

Dear NHS 100 Stories to Say Thank You - Adam Kay and various celebrities

Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank YouDear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You by Adam Kay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 3 days

Pages - 408

Publisher - Orion

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Created and edited by Adam Kay (author of multi-million best seller 'This is Going to Hurt'), 'DEAR NHS' features household names telling their personal stories of the health service. Contributors include Joanna Lumley, Naomie Harris, Kate Tempest, Lee Child, Tanni Grey Thomson, Bill Bryson, Trevor McDonald, Jack Whitehall, Michael Palin, Stanley Tucci and many, many more.

All profits from this book will go to NHS Charities Together to fund vital research and projects and the Lullaby Trust which supports parents bereaved of babies and young children.

The NHS is our single greatest achievement as a country. No matter who you are, no matter what your health needs are and no matter how much money you have, the NHS is there for you. In 'DEAR NHS', 100 inspirational people come together to share their stories of how the National Health Service has been there for them and changed their lives in the process. By turns deeply moving, hilarious, hopeful and impassioned, these stories together become a love letter to the NHS and the 1.4 million people who go above and beyond the call of duty every single day - selflessly, generously, putting others before themselves, never more so than now.

They are all heroes, and this book is our way of saying thank you.

My Review

Someone said to me, if you work in the NHS and read this don't you think it is a bit self serving (or something to that effect). No! Yes the book is a Thank You to the NHS but it is about the people sharing THEIR stories, it is THEIR experiences and they just happen to be celebrities.

Working in healthcare, in any setting, if you don't work in it it is hard to explain. You are blessed, challenged, pushed, stressed, happy, sad, privileged and get to experience and share things that you otherwise, in any other job or walk of life you would not.

This book is a collection of many peoples stories, what happened to them and their experience in and with the NHS, there are poems too. The actual stories, some are heartbreaking, frightening, breath taking, very personal glimpses and snapshots into what these people experienced in their time with or appreciation of the NHS.

I would recommend this book to anyone, whether you work in the NHS, like healthcare stories, have an interest in celebrities - this book offers something for everyone. I felt quite emotive reading the personal accounts, peoples brushes with the NHS, no matter how you feel currently, the NHS is a special and precious service to many, 4/5 for me this time. I read tons of books across many genres but I do find true stories in health settings so interesting. Accounts and experiences are so varied, life is so precious, the old but for the grace of God go I.

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Wednesday, 14 October 2020

The End of Her by Shari Lapena

The End of HerThe End of Her by Shari Lapena
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 1 day

Pages - 352

Publisher - Bantam Press

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

It starts with a shocking accusation...

Stephanie and Patrick are recently married, with new-born twins. While Stephanie struggles with the disorienting effects of sleep deprivation, there’s one thing she knows for certain – she has everything she ever wanted.

Then a woman from his past arrives and makes a shocking accusation about his first wife. He always claimed her death was an accident – but she says it was murder.

He insists he’s innocent, that this is nothing but a blackmail attempt. But is Patrick telling the truth? Or has Stephanie made a terrible mistake?

How will it end?

My Review

Stephanie is exhausted, new born twins and her husband Patrick is working hard, the weans have colic and sleep is rare. They have always been a team and whilst things are trying they are managing until someone from Patrick's past comes back. She is beautiful, her accusations are horrific and Stephanie can't help but start to wonder if she knows Patrick as well as she thinks she does.

It is pretty well known, if you follow my reviews, I really really enjoy Lapena's books. I think she pulls you in and engages you quickly and has a knack for creating characters you either want to punch in the face, distrust, hate or sympathise with. The End of Her is no different, she creates a world of characters you fall into quickly, I felt for Stephanie, I hated Erica and the book spins the darker and selfish side of some people and look at folks morals or lack thereof.

There are a lot of subjects in the book that are hard hitting especially when the siren that is Erica shows up, she has zero morals and everything is there to be used to her advantage. Stephanie goes though a pretty tough time, two beautiful wee twin babies, sleepless nights, stress, self doubt as a mum and then the bombshell thrown at her wee family by Erica, ooft. My attention was grabbed very early on, if you have enjoyed Lapena's previous books you will this one too, 4/5 for me this time. Very much looking forward to her next and hoping it won't be too long a wait til we get our paws on it!

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Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Wee October giveaway

Happy October guys, I LOVE October. It is the month of horror, scare & all things spooky.

I am the same come December but then it is Criimbo stuff. My o/h isn't into horror at all but indulges my love of tat and horror because it makes me happy. My Halloween decorations from last year are still MIA but I managed to get some stuff for the bathroom, so it begins.

October is one of my themed reads months so my current read is Bram Stoker's Dracula, I could have sworn I had read it but it turns out I have not, hoping to finish it today.

I know not everyone loves October/horror/spooky so I thought I would do a wee giveaway not horror related. For my spooky lovers there is still time to enter the competition for x1 horror character bookmark (winner chooses from those available which one they want), over on our INSTAGRAM page, as pictured below.

For this wee October giveaway I have the newest offering from author Katerina Diamond, a standalone, crime fiction, x1 paperback "The Heatwave" and one metal cat shaped bookmark, both as pictured below. To enter, just use the Rafflecopter below. As always, the more entries you complete the more times you name is entered. Please only complete entries you have actually done, all winning entries are checked. Good luck and happy October xxx

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