Monday 26 July 2021

The Angels by Alex Kane

The AngelsThe Angels by Alex Kane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 345

Publisher - Hera Books

Source - Arc & bought copy

Blurb from Goodreads

It takes a good woman to take a bad man down

Amber. As the top performer at Angel Silk gentleman’s club, she’s seen it all, been forced to do things she never wanted to do. She’s tired of this life… but can she escape it?

Lizzy. To the women at Angel Silk, she’s the strong queen bee, mother to the girls. But she’s hiding her own dark secrets - and if they come to light, her life could be destroyed.

Jade. The newest dancer at Angel Silk, she’s innocent, beautiful… and trapped. She’s in over her head – but does she have the strength to break free?

Three women, all under the control of feared gangster, Marcus. To take back their lives, they need to come together. But will he let them go – or will finding freedom mean paying the ultimate price?

A completely addictive, gripping and gritty gangland thriller that will have you hooked. If you like Martina Cole, Kimberly Chambers or Jacqui Rose, you will love this nail-biting read.

My Review

A gentleman's club, dancers and a bit extra if the money is right. Amber is one of the top in the club but Amber isn't there by choice, she is just trying to survive. Lizzy is the head of the club, owner and always there for her girls but sometimes we don't see what is right in front of us especially if we are distracted by our secrets from the past. Jade, innocent Jade just loves her boyfriend Marcus, security and investor in the club. She doesn't like the way some of the girls are with him and sees Amber as a potential threat. Jade has no idea just what Marcus is really like, what he is hiding and most importantly - what he has in store for her.

Three women, all involved with the club, each in different ways but all connected to the same fate. A path that brings them all together could be the very thing that threatens their lives or saves them.

This book has some pretty dark themes, abuse, drugs, enforced prostitution, addiction, slavery, violence, secrets, love, murder, lies, it is pretty packed. The chapters are names and we hear and see Amber, Lizzy, Jade and Marcus through their own voices as they each interact and fall deeper into the seedy world that some of them had no idea existed.

Pulled in quickly you are desperate to see where the story goes and just how evil and shady some of the characters are. 4/5 for me, I have read this author before, just bought another of hers and got another one or two to get. Absolutely recommend!

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Saturday 24 July 2021

Dead Secret by Noelle Holten Blog Tour

Today is my stop and closing the blog tour for Dead Secret by Noelle Holten, for my stop I have my on spoiler review, enjoy!

About the author

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog. Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

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About the Book

‘Enthralling from the first page to the last. Devoured in one sitting. Noelle Holten has become one of my must-read authors’ Angela Marsons, bestselling author of the Detective Kim Stone series

Psychopaths can take root in the unlikeliest soil… DC Maggie Jamieson crosses paths once again with Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood when a domestic violence survivor stumbles into her new refuge, unable to speak, desperate for help.

Then another case hits Maggie’s desk. A young man has been murdered, and a curious constellation of black dots has been inked onto his cheek.

That’s when DCI Hastings goes missing and Maggie uncovers a shocking connection that turns the case on its head.

Every family may hide secrets, but not every family buries them…

Available to buy now in ebook and treebook format, link to AMAZON UK.

Dead Secret (DC Maggie Jamieson, #4)Dead Secret by Noelle Holten
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages -

Publisher - One More Chapter

Source - ARC

Blurb from Goodreads

Psychopaths can take root in the unlikeliest soil…
DC Maggie Jamieson crosses paths once again with Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood when a domestic violence survivor stumbles into her new refuge, unable to speak, desperate for help.

Then another case hits Maggie’s desk. A young man has been murdered, and a curious constellation of black dots has been inked onto his cheek.

That’s when DCI Hastings goes missing and Maggie uncovers a shocking connection that turns the case on its head.

Every family may hide secrets, but not every family buries them…

My Review

DC Maggie Jamieson and squad are back! Lucy is just about to open her doors for domestic abuse victims when she finds one literally on her doorstep. Hurt, scared, unable to communicate Lucy takes her in and calls the cops. Jamieson has a murder case on her hands, a young man found dead and a curious marking to his face. Before long another body turns up, some shocking news hits the team and things really begin to kick off.

If you haven't read the previous books I would urge you to do so as you get more of a feel for the characters and players. You could pick this up as a standalone though but you are missing out, this is book four of the series.

Murder investigation, shocks, violence, death, attacks and we get to see Maggie in a more personal light as she tries to juggle her personal life, sexuality, dating and of course the job. A busy wee book with lots going on to keep the reader hooked and on their toes. A few different storylines that whilst you may make a connection or two will for the majority keep your interest peeked and you guessing, 4/5 for me this time.

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Thursday 22 July 2021

Critical: Stories from the front line of Intensive Care medicine by Doctor Matt Morgan

Critical: Stories from the front line of intensive care medicineCritical: Stories from the front line of intensive care medicine by Matt Morgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 244

Publisher - Simon & Schuster

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Critical is an intelligent, compelling and profoundly insightful journey into the world of intensive care medicine and the lives of people who have forever been changed by it.

Being critically ill means one or more of your vital organs have failed – this could be your lungs, your heart, your kidneys, gut or even your brain. Starting with the first recognised case in which a little girl was saved by intensive care in 1952 in Copenhagen, Matt writes brilliantly about the fascinating history, practices and technology in this newest of all the major medical specialties. Matt guides us around the ICU by guiding us around the body and the different organs, and in this way, we learn not only the stories of many of the patients he’s treated over the years, but also about the various functions different parts of the body.

He draws on his time spent with real patients, on the brink of death, and explains how he and his colleagues fight against the odds to help them live. Happily many of his cases have happy endings, but Matt also writes movingly about those cases which will always remain with him – the cases where the mysteries of the body proved too hard to solve, or diagnoses came too late or made no difference to the outcome.

My Review

True stories from doctor Matt Morgan, what it is like to work in intensive care, some of the patients stories and journeys. There are so many of these types of books out just now covering the medical profession, behind the scenes, heart breaking journeys of patients.

This book is a bit different as we get a lot of the background on the medical, how we have the service and procedures we do now. I think for some this may be a bit much but I really enjoyed it, I love reading about medical history and how far we have come along in our knowledge and techniques. I think it is a very important book, tomorrow is never guaranteed and you can never imagine the journey some folk endure both as patients and family of loved ones who experience horrific accidents or when their body fails them.

We get a walk through some of Morgan's patients, their recovery and for some of the ones who didn't make it. Emotive, shocking, educational, shocking, heartbreaking - I can't recommend these true stories/healthcare enough, 4/5 for me this time.

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Monday 19 July 2021

A deal with the Devil Part 2 by Netta Newbound and Marcus Brown

A Deal With the Devil: Discovering Chris Watts: - Part Two - The FactsA Deal With the Devil: Discovering Chris Watts: - Part Two - The Facts by Netta Newbound
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 6 weeks

Pages - 506

Publisher - Junction Publishing

Source - Bought Amazon Kindle

Blurb from Amazon

During this series we will look at the facts, the police investigation, the evidence, hear Chris Watts’ explanation and his reasoning. We will try to make some sense of what occurred during the early hours of August 13th 2018.
We will endeavour to present to you all aspects of the case, right from the initial investigation and how it unfolded, to the first and subsequent confessions all transcribed word for word (where possible) from actual video and audio footage obtained from the FBI’s Discovery Files.

We will continue where we left off.

At the end of book one, Chris Watts had finally confessed to murdering them and disposing of their bodies at an oil field.
In part two, we will focus on…
•… the grim discovery and recovery of the bodies.
•… the chilling details of the autopsies.
•… the remaining police interviews of Nichol Kessinger.
•… the Plea Deal.
•… the sentencing.
•… Chris Watts Prison Interview.

Marcus and Netta have worked together for a few years now, mainly in a publishing capacity, but in 2019 they joined forces and wrote Avaline Saddlebags—the first in a psychological fiction thriller series.

Combining their joint obsession with this case, they studied the files together, often into the small hours.

We want to stress that if you have already read the discovery files, then this series of books is probably not for you.

As seen on the new Netflix documentary - American Murder: The Family Next Door

My Review

I read book one and it covered the interviews, verbatim up to the confession and where he put the weans. The book ended abruptly so I HAD to buy book two. This book is not for the faint hearted. It includes the autopsies and is very upsetting and disturbing. The interviews with Watts and his girlfriend, as with book 1 they are verbatim. If there is an um, throat clear, every single word/action is transcribed. That is partly why it took so long to read because it is very dry, repetitive but hard going and horrific.

The conditions of the bodies is very upsetting, the weans had been in oil tanks and whilst this was known from the Netflix documentary and the forensic files they took these interviews from you don't really (well I hadn't) think about the decomposition/injuries.

The interviews are so so so so so long that I think had they actually just written the heart of them rather than translating every word, pause, throat clear yes the book would be shorter but easier to read.

What I did find interesting is they cover sentencing etc that you see in the Netflix but after he is sentenced and jailed the officers go back to talk to Watts. They actually get details of what he claims happened, what he did, his thoughts on it and some background info on his relationships. The main thing I think and the detectives touch on this is that everyone says he was such a nice guy, never any of the stories some folk say once someone does something like that. Even after it everyone is shocked because "not Chris" he was always such a nice guy, quiet etc. He also talks about what was discussed with lawyers and how they went about his plea and what prison life is like for him.

It is an interesting read as most killers don't talk openly about what they did or speculate about themselves and their actions. I also hadn't realised there was some questionable stuff with the girlfriend and the authors include a few wee sentences commenting on the interviews.

Part three is apparently theories and opinions but not those of the authors, I wonder if this is just stuff lifted from online? The two books have literally been the interviews transcribed verbatim, including every pause with just a few sentences from the authors. Book three is likely the same as the blurb actually specifies "These theories are not the opinions of the authors and in no way are they saying these events are actually true. But they are most definitely food for thought…" for £6 despite this I know I will likely end up buying it for completeness, ugh! The authors do specify if you have seen the documentary (not the Netflix I think it is forensic files) then this book is not for you but I still think you would miss stuff - I doubt the program covered every pause/throat clear. Interesting read for sure, shocking and emotive but very dry at times just because of the fact it is the interviews turned into books, 3/5. Sorry I kinda went a bit long and on and on for this one, it is a shocking, devastating and heart breaking case - you could discuss it for hours!

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Wednesday 14 July 2021

Liar by Lesley Pearse

LiarLiar by Lesley Pearse
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 384

Publisher - Penguin

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Amelia White dreamed of being a reporter, but the closest she'd come was selling advertising in the local paper.

Until the fateful day she stumbles on a truly shocking scoop.

A murder victim, round the corner from her home.

When the police and reporters descend, Amelia is horrified at the assumptions made and lies soon to be spread about this poor young woman.

Convincing her local paper to let her take up the story herself, Amelia is determined to protect the victim from these smears. But when another body is found, the police investigation stalls.

Now, Amelia's own unfolding investigation may be the only chance of uncovering the truth, and stopping more killings.

If only she can work out who the liar is . . .

My Review

Amelia works for the newspaper selling advertising space but really wants to be a reporter so when she stumbles upon a murder victim her chance finally comes. With her easy going manner and the fact she found the body she gets to have an exclusive and write a piece that she hopes will put her on managements "map". The body discovery also brings a chance meeting of Max, a friend, neighbour and love interest, things seem to be looking up for Amelia but she cannot let go that a killer is still out there and soon finds trouble at her own door.

Set in 1970 it is nice to have a female character who wants to succeed in her career as well as her personal life. The struggles at work, dating and getting caught up in a murder case, when the killer strikes again Amelia is in the heart of it. She wants the story of the victims, who they were and for their families not just sensationalism or tearing the women's characters apart.

Amelia is a character I went back and forth on, she is kind, sweet and for a reporter (ish) she has a big heart. She also has some questionable actions and judgements but we all know someone like that and sometimes it brings a bit more realism to the character.

The book deals in a few topics, murder, abuse of a few varieties, violence, relationships to name a few. I like Pearse's stories, even when I don't love the characters I still get totally drawn in and there are a few to dislike. 3.5/5 for me this time, I think I still have one or two to buy and catch up on but I have read most and either enjoy or love them.

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Wednesday 7 July 2021

The Split by Laura Kay

The SplitThe Split by Laura Kay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Pages - 400

Publisher - Quercus Books

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Wounded and betrayed, after being dumped by her girlfriend, Ally makes off to her dad’s in Sheffield with the one thing that might soothe the pain and force her ex to speak to her again: Emily's cat, Malcolm.

Back home and forced into a 'date' by their parents, Ally and her first ever beard, Jeremy, come up with a ridiculous plan to win their exes back... to revenge-run a half marathon. Given neither of them can run, they enlist the support of athletic, not to mention beautiful, Jo. But will she have them running for the hills... or will their ridiculous plan pay off...?

My Review

Ally and Emily have been together for seven years, their break up comes out of the blue for Ally. Heartbroken, shocked and upset she leaves their boat and takes Emily's cat Malcolm, heading back home to Sheffield to lick her wounds. She reconnects with her old friend Jeremy, also home, heartbroken after having split from his boyfriend. The two decide to help each other through it and train for a half marathon, show their exes what they are missing.

Whilst Ally tries to win back her ex (or manipulate depending on how you see it) we get to know her. She emails Emily updates, mopes about the house before starting to train for this marathon with Jeremy. At some point she has to start looking for a job but prior to that we see her enjoying lazing about, eating what she wants (her ex was vegan so Ally "had" to be to). At parts Ally really isn't a nice person, treatment of a particular person in the attempts to win back the ex.

Self discovery, focus, personal growth and at one part I felt very emotive -, I know it is fiction but so many kids going through such isolation, feeling like an outsider growing up and noone "like you". We need to do better.

I think this might be marmite for some, I liked it, splashes of humour, shadiness, relationships, breakups and the madness of being a couch potato training for a half marathon (I was rooting for them!) I know I couldn't do it. 4/5 for me this time, will definitely look for more by her. xxx

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Saturday 3 July 2021

Whisper of the Lotus by Gabrielle Yetter

Whisper of the LotusWhisper of the Lotus by Gabrielle Yetter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 366

Publisher - Meanderthals Publishing

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Charlotte Fontaine's dead-end life lacked excitement so she impulsively booked a flight to Cambodia to visit her best friend. She never imagined that sitting on a plane, struggling with her fear of flying, might lead a chance encounter with Rashid, an old man whose tragic secret would take her on a mystery tour of discovery.

In a land of golden temples, orange-clad monks, and smiling people, Charlotte discovers nothing is as she'd expected. She also never imagined the journey would take her back to the night when her father walked out on the family.

And who was Rashid? Was he just a kindly old man, or was there something deeper sewn into the exquisite fabric of his life?

My Review

Charlotte has been stuck being the faithful daughter, looking after her problematic manipulative mother since her father abandoned them. Her bestie took off to live her best life and finally Charlotte is taking the plunge and head over to Cambodia, to see her best friend in the world and try and take charge of her life.

The plane ride over finds Charlotte meeting an interesting older man that puts her on an unexpected "journey" and getting to grips with her new surroundings. I LOVED Cambodia, the people (not all of it, some gave you a wee bit of the fear) are so kind despite their poverty. Such a lovely community spirit, people coming together and Charlotte getting to know her friends life and her inner strength and sides to herself she didn't know she existed.

We see parts of Charlotte's life, the impact of her father leaving, the ongoing manipulation by her mother despite being hundreds of miles away. I think from a TripFiction point of view the book really brings to life Cambodia, it has never been on my places to go but I would quite like to now, I love places where people make it what it is. It isn't all sweetness and light, it has some shady characters that Charlotte comes across and at times I was frustrated at her "blind trusting" or blatant disregard for her own safety.

The book has a lot going on, personal journey, new people, bonding and some of the best of people and some shift characters. Despite her "quest" being a bit insane at times I was intrigued to see where it would go. 4/5 for me this time, I enjoyed the location, some of the interactions/characters and the "puzzle" Charlotte is trying to solve. This was my first time reading this author, I would read her again and I would love to revisit this location!

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Thursday 1 July 2021

Love You, Mean It by Patricia Carrington, Julia Collins, Ann Haynes, Eve Charles and Claudia Gerbasi

Love You, Mean It: A True Story of Love, Loss, and FriendshipLove You, Mean It: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Friendship by Patricia Carrington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 336

Publisher - Hatchette Books

Source - Bought

Blurb from Amazon

How would you feel and what would you do if, one glorious, sunny day your partner and love were to die suddenly, when all he did was go to work and you didn't even wake up properly to say goodbye? How could you possibly cope?

In Love You, Mean It, four women whose husbands died in the World Trade Center tell their own, very remarkable, moving and honest stories, the stories of their very different marriages, the paths that led them to September 11th.

They explain how it was only when they came together, drawn as much by their diverse backgrounds as their shared tragedy, that their mutual support and love saw them through their darkest hours. The truths they discovered in the process are universal, compelling and altogether inspiring.

My Review

Four widows sharing their stories of their lives, the morning the twin towers were attacked, the devastation and how each of them started that day and what followed. We hear about how they met their husbands, their lives together, how their morning started that horrific day that changed theirs and so many lives.

Not only do we get to know the wives, we learn about their husbands who died and how much was taken from them. How they found each other, their friendship cemented and how they got each other through some of the hardest moments you can only imagine. Their last moments together, of normality and their worlds being shattered. I remember that day, I think pretty much everyone does, I remember being in shock, horrified, sad and not knowing what to say, you couldn't believe what you were seeing. So to be someone actually living there, having a loved one near or in there, it is very emotive dipping into these ladies lives.

The stories are told through their words, experiences and they share their grief and raw emotions from hearing their worlds have been torn apart to trying to self heal, recover and face a life without their loved ones. It is a very emotive read and I it takes you back to that day, the images and news footage - I couldn't stop thinking about it, 4/5 for me.

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