Tuesday, 28 June 2022

On A Night Like This by Lindsey Kelk

On a Night Like ThisOn a Night Like This by Lindsey Kelk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 342

Publisher - Harper Collins

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Within days of wishing she could change her life, Fran Cooper is acting assistant to a celebrity, on a yacht in the Mediterranean, and en route to a tiny Italian island and the glittering Crystal Ball, along with the world’s rich and famous.


When she – quite literally – bumps into a handsome American called Evan, a man able to keep his cool in the face of chaos, the magic really begins.


Evan makes her a promise: no last names, no life stories, just one unforgettable night. Yet Evan belongs at the Crystal Ball and Fran is a gatecrasher. They may be soulmates, but their homes are an ocean apart, and their lives a world apart. They’ll never meet again – unless, on a night like this, everything can change forever…



My Review

Guys I have been struggling to read both in terms of time and concentration, I have read Kelk before and do enjoy her books. In this one we meet Fran, engaged and been with her partner Stew for 12 years, everything is centred around ease/routine of his life. When Fran is offered an interview for a job, assistant type, with little information on the who and all top secret hush hush she goes for it. Kicking off a whirlwind with looking after a high maintenance celebrity, off on a high class super rich yatch and away from Stew, pals, routine, incommunicado effectively.

So if you want to ditch your current life and bounce into one of babysitting a brat celeb, secrecy, money, madness then put your device down and grab this book. Fran is super relatable because she is like your average everyday type person. A bit of a people pleaser but has drive, loves to do a good job but also very human which finds her getting into a few hilarious and mortifying scrapes.

The celeb lifestyle aspects of the story are very believable, we watch Tiktok, we read the stories/news and Kelk spins it we can absorb and eat up every word and enjoy the ride and riddies as poor Fran scrapes through one disaster to the next. Even at the start when we didn't have much info/contact with Stew I wanted to pan his melt in, I just didn't like the way he was with Fran, I found myself eh RED FLAG RED FLAG MATE but Fran has been living it for 12 years whilst a bit selfish and maybe annoying she accepts things as is. Until she takes the job, she knows he won't be happy but she goes for it anyway *air punch* yas, good for you Fran. I did find myself cheering her on at points, others cringing going oh no no no girl don't do/say that, eeek.

I think that is why Kelk books are so popular, you can sink in, leave your own nonsense behind and soak into someone else's. In this one we get transported to the rich and how the other half live but as Fran is staff it makes it more accessible/relatable for the reader. Humour, disaster, romance, celeb, relationships, friendships - it has a bit of everything and so good to just switch everything off to, 4.5/5 for me.




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Friday, 24 June 2022

London in Black by Jack Lutz Blog tour

Today is my stop on the blog tour for London In Black, for my stop I have my non spoiler review.




London in BlackLondon in Black by Jack Lutz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 6 days

Publisher - Pushkin Vertigo

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

A tense ticking-bomb suspense thriller for fans of high-concept dystopian fiction such as Hanna Jameson THE LAST or Lauren Beukes' AFTERLAND.

THE ATTACKS WON'T STOP. NEITHER WILL SHE.

LONDON 2027. Terrorists deploy London Black, a highly sophisticated nerve gas, at Waterloo Station. For the 'Vulnerables', exposure means near-certain death. A lucky few survive, aided by Boost injections.

LONDON 2029. Copy-cat attacks plague the city. DI Lucy Stone, a guilt-ridden Vulnerable, is called to investigate a gruesome murder of a scientist, who might have held the key to an antidote. But is the antidote real?

And can Lucy solve the case before her Boosts stop working, leaving her defenceless once again?


My review

So Di Lucy Stone is a survivor from an attack in London 2027, the time now is 2029. Lucy like other survivors needs to inject herself to keep her levels up as her body has been left "vulnerable" - some are visibly marked after the terror attack, many died. We hear about it back and forth between timelines. Now there has been a murder, someone who worked hard to help the vulnerable, is this what motivated the killing? Lucy investigates the case with her new colleague, fighting against her condition and religious zealots.

So I struggled a bit to start with as Lucy, I get she is/has this horrific after effect and survivor guilt and references to this debt she feels she has and something that happened in her past. She is a DCI though and acts like a hormonal teenager, smashing up an office, deliberately manipulating her superior although maybe this was to highlight the issues with the exposure she had, the survivor guilt as the boss cuts her a lot of slack.

I did find her ability to recognise faces interesting and would have loved more use of that and references. Another thing was the constant reference to her tugging on her hoodie strings, do DCI's actually wear casuals like that? Fair enough if so I just wasn't sure of it nor the often reference to her tugging on it, maybe meant to highlight her twitchiness and repetition as a comfort measure. After five times though it just felt it wasn't needed.

I think the attacks were really interesting and would have liked the story to explore more of it as more attacks happen, religious movements come after (how often do we hear a tragedy being held against survivors and attributed to God(s).

There was a lot going on so you are kept interested in the story but some of it was quite distracting, her constant thoughts to what she perceives as her debt. We know she has guilty feelings over someone but it hints and for me dragged out.

The characters I can't say I loved any of them and when I thought something was maybe happening with one or two and hinted at it kind of fell a bit flat. Lots of swearing, police procedural as we follow Lucy and co trying to find a motive and the actual killer.

Like I say interesting enough but I would have liked a bit more on the terror attacks, the people behind it, the other vulnerables, why was Lucy so different? I would have liked more depth to the characters but if this is book one in a series (not sure it is) it is a good foundation for the series, this is a debut.



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Thursday, 16 June 2022

The Boardwalk Bookshop by Susan Mallery

The Boardwalk BookshopThe Boardwalk Bookshop by Susan Mallery
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out as able over 3days

Pages - 448

Publisher - Mills&Boon

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

When fate brings three strangers to a charming space for lease on the California coast, the Boardwalk Bookshop is born. Part bookstore, part gift shop, part bakery, it's a dream come true for Bree, Mikki and Ashley. But while their business is thriving, their personal lives are…not.

Bree, wounded by brilliant but cold parents and her late husband's ultimate betrayal, has sworn to protect her heart at all costs. Even from Ashley's brother, a writer and adventurer who has inspired millions. He's the first man to see past Bree's barricades to her true self, which terrifies her. Mikki has this divorce thing all figured out—somehow, she's stayed friends with her ex and her in-laws…until a new man changes how everyone looks at her, and how she sees herself. Meanwhile, Ashley discovers that the love of her life never intends to marry. Can she live without being a wife if it means she can have everything else she's ever wanted?

At sunset every Friday on the beach in front of the Boardwalk Bookshop, the three friends share a champagne toast. As their bond grows closer, they challenge one another to become the best versions of themselves in this heartachingly beautiful story of friendship, sisterhood and the transformative power of love.


My Review

Bree, Mikki and Ashley are business partners within the Boardwalk Bookshop, part bookshop, part cake shop and part gift shop. Alone they couldn't do it but together they could achieve their dream so three strangers became partners and friends somewhat. All very different, Bree runs the bookshop, has encounters with men on her terms and after everything she has been through vows not to get in deep with anyone. Ashley is happily in love with boyfriend Seth and all she wants is to get married and have her happy every after but Seth has different values and Ashley finds herself between the man she loves so much and the one thing she really wants, marriage. Mikki the third of the trio has been divorced for a few years now, her kids pretty much grown and her and her ex hubby get on better now than ever. Just as Mikki is about to dip her toe back into the dating world a curve ball she could never have predicted pops up.

The three storylines flow pretty decent and I didn't find myself distracted as we went from one to the other. The three ladies are friends as well as business partners, very different people and do a wee meet every Friday with a bottle of fizz. When one of Ashley's nearest and dearest is drawn to Bree things can get a bit tricky. Of them all I felt so much for Bree, whilst she is a bit of a self saboteur, you can totally understand why when you get into it and her parents. I actually felt heartsore for her, whilst never having that kind of relationship with a parent(s) you can't help but want to hug her. No doubt she would push you away if you tried but you get the meaning.

Ashley I went a bit back and forth on, I absolutely understand where she was coming from but some points she was a bit self involved, wrapped up in her wants than consideration of Seth having a similar feeling just on the opposite end.

Mikki oh I cringed a wee bit in one of two of her moments but again between a rock and a hard place I did feel for her. With all of the women you can't help but think what would you do/say/react to their situations.

My reading is struggling just now due to personal circumstances but it was nice to slip into their world and leave my own behind. The characters, like them or not, you absolutely drew to them and their dilemmas. I looked forward to seeing how it was going to unravel for each, 4/5 for me this time. This is my first Mallery book but it won't be my last, she weaves a tale that allows you to step in and lose yourself for a little while! I used to love Mills and Boon as a teenager, this book reminded me of that and hopefully will read a bit more now.




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Saturday, 11 June 2022

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

The Man Who Died Twice (Thursday Murder Club, #2)The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over a few weeks (as able)

Pages -

Publisher - Viking

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

It's the following Thursday.

Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He's made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life.

As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too? Well, wouldn't that be a bonus?

But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn't bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can The Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?


My Review

This is the second in the series by Osman, you don't have to have read the first to read this and I actually prefer this of the two. I think Osman has found his feet and certainly more comfortable with his craft in this one. Back with our favourites in the retirement village, The Thursday Murder Club, elderly resident who pull together and their resources to solve mysteries/murders. DCI Hudson and PC Donna Freitas are back too investigating and also us getting to know them and each other more personally.

When a letter comes to Elizabeth from an old flame we head into a mystery of stolen diamonds, Elizabeth's past and how she has so many connections. Local dodgy dealers, drug runners, thugs and allmanners of skulduggery.

I think I liked this one better because we already know our characters strengths and weaknesses orflaws. This time we get a bit more depth and insight into Elizabeth and the team work together to solve her mystery and the assault of one of their nearest and dearest.

The book is super busy but not in a distraction type of way, we are offered page turning intrigue, interest, murder, investigation, shade or past reveal. We also have Joyce's diary style entries so along with the case we get those insights too.

The characters are older but anything but dull. Loyal, nosey, fierce, interesting and very human. They have ailments, fears, vulnerabilities, snipes, moods and humour, more than a few chuckles had throughout this one. I hope he has more than a few of these still to pen as I think they will just become better and better as the series goes on, 4/5 for me.


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Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Dead in the Water by Mark Ellis Blog Tour

Today is my stop on the blog tour for book Dead in the Water by Mark Ellis, for my stop I have my review.




Dead In The WaterDead In The Water by Mark Ellis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 6 days

Pages -

Publisher - Headline Accent

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Amazon

Summer, 1942.
The Second World War rages on but Britain now faces the Nazi threat with America at its side.

In a bombed-out London swarming with gangsters and spies, DCI Frank Merlin continues his battle against rampant wartime crime. A mangled body is found in the Thames just as some items of priceless art go mysteriously missing. What sinister connection links the two?

Merlin and his team follow a twisting trail of secrets and lies as they investigate a baffling and deadly puzzle .


My Review

This is book five in a series but my first introduction to both the author and the series. Set in world war 2, 1942, excluding the prologue. The opening is a rather uncomfortable transportation into an interaction with Nazi soldiers doing what they did back then to a wealthy Jewish family. Drawn immediately into the horrors of war and that time period.

The book branches into different story lines so it takes a little to settle to but once you get into it and further along you appreciate the interlinks. DCI Frank Merlin is a good guy, doesn't like to see a wrong go by and not be addressed even if it means ruffling some feathers. Investigating a murder, a body pulled from the water, American soldiers in London, issues with thefts, war is raging, fighting amongst the ranks, family troubles and artworks for sale for millions but it is stolen property?

A historical fiction that has a lot going on and keeps you intrigued. One of the plots takes you into a family & their dynamics, spoiled rich adult brother and sister who rely heavily on their father for money and just brats. Taking you out of the war and reminding you that whilst atrocities were ongoing for some life went a little less painful whilst the biggest hang up being money, their business ventures. Racial issues that makes for uncomfortable reading and people trying to do what is right whilst others actively block them regardless of what is at stake.

I have to admit to being a bit ignorant to knowing the a lot of the history but when I read books like this I tend to read up on some of the bits mentioned. Then I want to read up factual books and I think when a book peaks your interest like that the author has done a good job. Whilst I have came late to the series I do really like Merlin and what that he stands up for what is right, I need to catch up with the previous books, 4/5 for me this time.

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Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Q&A with author John Bleasdale

Welcoming new author, John Bleasdale to talk about his debut book "Scotland's Swedish Adventure".




Hi John welcome to So Many Books, So Little Time.




Q1. Thanks for taking time out to chat with us. Tell us a bit about you.

I’m a 41 year old married man with two sons. I’ve always had a passion for writing and studied journalism at college then university, but dropped out of Uni because I didn’t like the direction it was heading in. I’ve kept my hand in though by writing for the Famous Tartan Army Magazine and Scottish Football Forums, the latter of which I co-host a podcast for.

Q2. What happened that you decided you wanted to write a book & why specifically this type of book?

I had read Neil Doherty’s book World Cup 1998: Scotland’s Story before last years delayed Euro 2020 Finals and it gave me inspiration to do one of my own. I’ve always been fascinated with the Euro 92 story, particularly how it is grossly under appreciated compared to other finals Scotland have appeared in, and my aim was to bring the story to light.

Q3. Apart from Scotland do you follow any other football team? If so would you consider penning a book about them?

I am an Aberdeen fan for my sins. Yes I would definitely consider penning a book about them, or even help one or two of them pen an autobiography.

Q4. What research did you do?

I knew most of the story through memory but watched YouTube highlights of qualifying and finals matches to remind myself of certain incidents, and went down to the Mitchell Library to get further detail of the squads that were picked for certain games. Most importantly though, I conducted zoom interviews with seven of the 20 man squad, Manager Andy Roxburgh and his assistant Craig Brown, journalist Hugh MacDonald, commentator Jock Brown, and 15 fans through a combination of zoom or email. Their accounts are what make this book special.

Q5. How did you go from the idea, to the writing, to getting published?

The process took me seven months, which in itself is remarkable given a lot of authors take a year and a half to two years. Add to that, I have a full time job and two kids, so I’m really proud to produce a quality product in such a short space of time.

Q6. How easy or difficult did you find writing this? What if any obstacles did you meet?

The biggest obstacles were when my youngest son, Henry, got not well on two occasions, and I lost a week each time of writing and research. Fortunately, I had a great publisher in Pitch Publishing behind me, who were so relaxed that they were accommodating and put no pressure on me. The actual writing didn’t phase me as it’s one of the few things I have full confidence in, but I still sought advice from friends by letting them review a chapter each to see that it read well. I am fully grateful to each of them for their assistance.

Q7. This is your debut – do you see you writing another book?

Yes, I’ve got the bug now. I’ve got one or two ideas floating around in my head but, right now, I’m going to let the dust settle on Scotland’s Swedish Adventure, enjoy my upcoming summer holiday with Suzanne, Callum and Henry before I start planning the next one.

Q8. Are you doing any or have you done any book events? Where can fans find you (social media etc)

My launch day was at the Scottish Football Museum, Hampden, which was a Q&A session hosted by Hugh MacDonald and attended by Craig Brown, Jock Brown and Dave McPherson. It was a fabulous day that was well attended and well received by those who were there. There are no upcoming events planned though I am open to any venue who will have me! Fans can find me on Twitter @jbleasdale81, on instagram @jbleasdale1981 or by listening to the Scottish Football Forums podcast through the usual platforms.

Q9. Where is the best place for people to buy your book? What if they want a signed copy?

They can go to Amazon, Waterstones or Pitch directly to buy a copy, or if they want a signed copy to message me directly. My DMs are always open and I do respond quickly – on a normal day!

Q10. Anything I haven’t asked you want to cover/answer?

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to promote Scotland’s Swedish Adventure.

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

After Dark by Jayne Cowie

After DarkAfter Dark by Jayne Cowie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 374

Publisher - Headline Accent

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads


WELCOME TO A WORLD WHERE WOMEN HOLD THE POWER.

They dominate workplaces, public spaces and government.

They are no longer afraid to cross a dark car park, catch the last train, or walk home alone.

With the Curfew law in place, all men are electronically tagged and must stay at home after 7pm.

It changed things for the better. Until now.

A woman is murdered late at night and evidence suggests she knew her attacker.

It couldn't have been a man because a Curfew tag is a solid alibi... Isn't it?


My Review

Whilst this is a work of fiction I think it hits of some very real and relevant points and issues. Long long history of violence and murders against women, in this book things have turned around. Women have had enough of it and passed a law against women being murdered. Men are all tagged, checks done, they cannot be out within certain hours. And yet now a woman is found brutally murdered but there is no way a man could have done it, is there?

We go through view points of four of the main characters, Pamela - officer, Helen - teacher & in a newish romance, Sarah and Cass - mother and daughter with a very tumultuous relationship. A lot of the characters are very unlikeable to so many reasons. Cass is a bit of a brat, torn over the guidelines to protect women and how it impacted (unfairly in her opinion) on her and her da's life. Pamela trying to do her job and like many officers fighting an uphill battle, politics and almost everyone against the idea that could possibly be a man. And Helen, poor Helen - she seems like such a nice person but the more we learn of her and her relationship the more twitchy I got. Despite the many unlikeable characters it makes for compelling reading, a shady character can be really engaging.

The idea of men being punished purely because of their gender, tagged/tracked, only able to do some jobs due to the restrictions on their gender. The book also brings in assessments for when couples want to live together, have a baby and offers options to terminate pregnancy if the test shows it to be a boy. It pushes boundaries and challenges the reader to live in a world faced with some questionable practices and a lot weighing in on your gender, sound familiar? I love when fiction touches into reality but flips social constructs of accepted ideas that in reality we actually live with.

I think this would be a belter of a book for a reading group/discussion as it will evoke some very emotive responses from readers. 4/5 for me this time and I will absolutely be reading this author again.

View all my reviews Out to buy now and at time of posting it is only £4.99 (UK) for the treebook, click HERE for Amazon.

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Elektra by Jennifer Saint

ElektraElektra by Jennifer Saint
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 304

Publisher - Wildfire

Source - Sent by a friend

Blurb from Goodreads

The House of Atreus is cursed. A bloodline tainted by a generational cycle of violence and vengeance. This is the story of three women, their fates inextricably tied to this curse, and the fickle nature of men and gods.

Clytemnestra
The sister of Helen, wife of Agamemnon - her hopes of averting the curse are dashed when her sister is taken to Troy by the feckless Paris. Her husband raises a great army against them, and determines to win, whatever the cost.

Cassandra
Princess of Troy, and cursed by Apollo to see the future but never to be believed when she speaks of it. She is powerless in her knowledge that the city will fall.

Elektra
The youngest daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, Elektra is horrified by the bloodletting of her kin. But, can she escape the curse, or is her own destiny also bound by violence?


My review

So apparently a lot of this is very well known but I am not up on my Greek myths and legends. We hear from three Clytemnestra, Cassandra and Elektra (Clytemmnestra's youngest), Clytemnestra is Helen's sister and Cassandra is Princess of Troy. The story goes between the three and has some pretty tragic heart breaking emotive moments.

I love reading about these type of legends and the retellings, certainly J Saint does it ina way that is very engaging and pulls you in. In actual fact we watched Troy for the first time the other night and the way a movie goes and you watch it - that was the imagery the book/descriptions provoke.

There are many tragedies and a few topics will be triggering for some, murder, sacrifice, infidelity, abuse honestly so much action/horrific and shocking moments. If you are familiar with the legend(s) then it won't hold a ton of surprises for you but for me it did and did it pretty well. I always find after reading these I want to sink my teeth into more, 4/5 for me and looking forward to her next offerings.




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Saturday, 21 May 2022

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

Wrong Place Wrong TimeWrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 374

Publisher - Michael Joseph

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Can you stop a murder after it's already happened?


It's every parent's nightmare.

Your happy, funny, innocent son commits a terrible crime: murdering a complete stranger.

You don't know who. You don't know why. You only know your teenage boy is in custody and his future lost.

That night you fall asleep in despair. Until you wake . . .

. . . and it is yesterday.

Every morning you wake up a day earlier, another day before the murder. Another chance to stop it.

Somewhere in the past lie the answers, and you don't have a choice but to find them . . .

My Review

Imagine watching your loved one involved in an incident that will ruin all of your lives, your child, a murder, the police, arrest and everything you have dreamed of for your child, young adult, now gone. Imagine waking up and the day has been resent, you know what is coming, what do you do to change things?

Thing Groundhog day with Bill Murray but sinister, welcome to Jen's world. Not only do you try to comprehend what is happening but when you go to sleep you reset and not to the day before, you go back another day, then another. How can Jen figure out what is happening, the relevance and most importantly, why and what can she do to save her family.

So there are so many things I quite like about this. A crime has happened, a murder no less but it isn't just about that, that is the event that kicks everything off. Jen ends up going back in time and each time she finds out more and more about her loved ones that she couldn't have forseen. Imagine reliving your time over, you can ignore your work or normal responsibilities because everything scrubs when the day is over. She never knows where she will wake, what she is meant to do or see. One thing for me was waking up in one of her old houses, things she had forgotten like the bed she slept in. For me, nostalgia and details like that add a truth or realistic vein to a story. You do forget things about your past as years go by, houses that have changed and it would be a big thing to wake up in an older poorer home back before you had X career or child or partner. It isn't a huge thing at all in relation to the storyline but for me it gave great weight to the feel of realism.

I felt for Jen because as she goes further back and relives days and events it is like the rug being pulled out from under her. It is really clever writing, the days going back took me a wee bit to settle to as I thought it would be the same day over and over but it isn't so keeps you interested as different things are revealed/lived through.

Time travel but not overly geeky/sci fi type it just helps to assist the story & we meet other characters, not just Jen although she is the main. There is always something happening and you can't help but think what would I do, who would I reach out to, would you be tempted to do XYZ. I think this is my first by McAllister but I have others on my tbrm. A crime/investigation style with a difference, certainly unique which isn't easy with the plethora of books in the crime genre, 4/5 for me this time.

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Monday, 16 May 2022

The Rule by David Jackson

The RuleThe Rule by David Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 336

Publisher -

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

MY DAD SAYS BAD THINGS
HAPPEN WHEN I BREAK IT...

Daniel is looking forward to his birthday. He wants pie and chips, a big chocolate cake, and a comic book starring his favourite superhero. And as long as he follows The Rule, nothing bad will happen.

Daniel will be twenty-three next week. And he has no idea that he's about to kill a stranger.

Daniel's parents know that their beloved and vulnerable son will be taken away. They know that Daniel didn't mean to hurt anyone, he just doesn't know his own strength. They dispose of the body. Isn't that what any loving parent would do? But as forces on both sides of the law begin to close in on them, they realise they have no option but to finish what they started. Even if it means that others will have to die...

Because they'll do anything to protect Daniel. Even murder.


My Review

Daniel is a gentle giant, early twenties and a big guy, a child in a mans body who has no idea of his own strength. As a result his mum and dad have made The Rule, Daniel must never break it because people get hurt when he does. When Daniel accidentally kills a man his parents do what any good parent does, they remove all traces of the crime but can you ever truly remove all traces of a crime?

Aw bless Daniel, he is just a sweet vulnerable adult who is sadly a target and his parents will always try and protect him, who wouldn't. They live in a not too good part of town and sadly with Daniel's vulnerability and size he is a beacon for trouble, that is his innocent inability to be anything other than truthful.

The book splits between the officer investigating and trying to get over her own personal tragedy but also a target, from those on the other side of the law and a potential scapegoat in her workplace.

The opening chapter is a belter and I think will stay with me for a while. The book, whilst being a crime/investigation/coping with the aftermath type it also looks at the personal side and after affects of the characters traumas, a huge central theme. Daniel from the murder and how it affects his parents, Hannah the officer who has trauma from a work event, a personal loss and so much emotion from it all.

Daniel is a wee soul, he has learning difficulties, he is vulnerable and such a sweet gentle giant I think how Jackson brought everything to play, the interactions of the characters and I don't think bonds is the right word but how they impacted upon each other. One incident can have life altering reach and this is the case for pretty much every character in the book. The characters personal journey(s) - all very different - and how they develop, evolve and cope with things thrust upon them that you really struggle to imagine. I will never look at a toilet brush quite the same way again that is for sure, boak.

I was hooked and wanted to see where it would play out. I think his books are standalones but I would quite like to see more from Hannah, she is quite a layered character. 4/5 for me - it has action, murder, shady dodgy folk, actions and consequences and prompts the old what would you do if it was you or yours, one incident changing your life as you know it. I have another of Jackson's on my tbrm so looking forward to that.

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Saturday, 14 May 2022

A Ration Book Victory by Jean Fullerton

Today is my turn on the blog tour for "A Ration Book victory" by author Jean Fullerton. The blog tour arranged by Rachels Random Resources and for my stop I have my review, non spoiler as always.

Out to buy now, click HERE for Amazon UK.


A Ration Book Victory (Ration Book series 8)A Ration Book Victory by Jean Fullerton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 358

Publisher - Corvus books

Source - Review copy

Blurb from the back cover

In the final days of war, only love will pull her through...
Queenie Brogan wasn't always an East End matriarch. Many years ago, before she married Fergus, she was Philomena Dooley, a daughter of Irish Travellers, planning to wed her childhood sweetheart, Patrick Mahone. But when tragedy struck and Patrick's narrow-minded sister, Nora, intervened, the lovers were torn apart.

Fate can be cruel, and when Queenie arrives in Londond she finds that Patrick Mahon is her parish priest, and that the love she had tried to suppress flares again in her heart.

But now in the final months of WW2, Queenie discovers Father Mahon is dying and must face losing him forever. Can she finally tell him the secret she has kept for fifty years or will Nora one again come between them?

And if Queenie does decide to finally tell Patrick, could the truth destroy the Brogan family?


My Review

There is something wonderful about a book that transports you from your own time/place/worries and into the live(s) of others. We open back in 1877 when Queenie (Philomena then) first meet, Ireland, he from a well standing family, her a traveler so classes apart but the two are drawn to each other. We flip to present day where World War 2 is ongoing and Queenie is a gran, widow, Patrick is the local priest and many years and events have passed. War is coming to an end and Queenie is about to have some more heartache.

I have read one of Fullerton's books before but not from this series, this is my first and I think you can absolutely pick this one up as a standalone. That being said I liked it so much I have ordered book one in the series and plan to read the series and catch up.

A ration book victory is more than just a family saga type book, it has duo timelines/location. Queenie is the main character but we have so many others playing their part, Nora, ugh, Patrick's horror sister - I actually can't bring myself to feel sorry for her, despite being an older lady her behaviour and circumstances ugh she and even when younger a busy body! The book takes us through friendship, family, love, loss, relationships, snobbery, classism but also things that give realism to the time period. Rationing, the importance of having your own livestock and how important that can be in terms of food and giving to people in your community.

Queenie is a livewire, as a youngster and as an older adult, she is sharp as a pin, full of heart but also not lying down to anyone, she takes no nonsense! I am so looking forward to reading the earlier books and getting wrapped up in that time period. Some of the things the author captures give authenticity to the time period but also helps the reader imagine living during that time, the horror, the fear, the community spirit, 4.5/5 for me this time!



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Saturday, 7 May 2022

Life Death and Biscuits by Anthea Allan

Life, Death and BiscuitsLife, Death and Biscuits by Anthea Allen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 320

Publisher - Harper Eliment

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads


‘A heart-breaking story of courage and compassion from the front line of the toughest battle our nurses have had to fight. Anthea Allen’s writing is raw, honest and full of love for those she cares for.’ Susanna Reid



An extraordinarily powerful memoir based on the diaries of intensive care nurse Anthea Allen, who worked on the front line of one of the largest hospitals in Europe during the Covid crisis.


With over 30 years of experience as a nurse, Anthea thought she had seen it all. But with Covid came the greatest trial, personally and professionally, of her life. Thrust into hourly challenges – many a matter of life and death – while on the Critical Care units of St George’s in south London, Anthea processed her shocking experiences through writing. It started with an email to request biscuits. But her appeal to help boost the morale of her fellow nurses soon turned into a series of astonishingly moving stories detailing the realities of being a front line worker.


It wasn’t long before Anthea’s accounts were circulating far and wide, capturing the attention of the nation and being feted by the likes of Richard Branson and Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid.


My review

Theses stories aren't for everyone, some people feel it is too close or too soon. I think it is perfect timing because everyone has opinions on everything but not everyone is dealing with the reality of working in healthcare in these uncertain times.

I have read a fair few of these books and whilst it was interesting it wasn't my favourite. The author/nurse started off writing her accounts/experiences as a diary/emailing out to people and keeping them updated on what was going on and also requesting support, kind word, some eateries (cakes/biscuits) and just moral support for what her team where enduring.

I always think it is so interesting to hear from different areas both in hospital departments and actual locations. I was surprised to hear ICU in England cleared and had lulls inbetween the mania. When it hit bad there was help and runners in ICU in the form of a beauty therapist (I think specially a hairdresser, they ran and got all the drugs but advised the author they couldn't administer because they were not a nurse) that was mind blowing. We did see some of the horrific measures healthcare staff faced down in England but it still catches you how dire some of the situations are.

This nurse put a lot of positivity in this and to her team which I think probably kept so many of them going. Unless you are in it you just can't imagine, even reading books like this.

There are some scenes that are graphic and detail what these poor patients endured, high deaths rates and turnovers so just a heads up when going into any of these kind of reads.

A few times I felt it was quite repetitive but then it did start out as a communication and thing for her so understandable. Interesting read none the less and I will continue to read peoples experiences of care giving during the pandemic and just true stories in general of what it is like in different areas, 3/5 for me.



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Friday, 6 May 2022

Nobody But Us by Laure Van Rensburg

Nobody But UsNobody But Us by Laure Van Rensburg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 384

Publisher - Michael Joseph Books

Source - Friend

Blurb from Goodreads

In this locked room, high‑concept thriller that's part The Guest List, part The Girl Before, a couple's romantic weekend‑getaway is not what it seems.

When Ellie and her boyfriend Steven take their first trip together, what starts as an idyllic weekend soon takes a darker turn, as it quickly becomes apparent that each of them harbors secrets—and that one of those secrets is deadly.

Ellie is an NYU grad student, timid but fiercely intelligent, and eager for the perfect weekend away with her boyfriend. Steven is a wealthy and privileged teacher at an elite Manhattan school. His and Ellie's relationship has stirred up envy among the teachers in his academic circle.

When they head out for their romantic break, they're both excited to get to know each other better away from prying eyes. But when a snowstorm strands them in the house, they begin to realize that neither of them is quite who they say they are—and that one of them won't escape the weekend alive.


My Review

Ooooh the opening chapter definitely draws you in with intrigue as the police enter a scene of mayhem, blood, broken carnage around the house, what happened? We flip between chapters titled Ellie, Steven and dates were a story starts to emerge. Ellie and Steven are going on holiday to this far out deserted house, just the two of them, romantic time. They become stranded and both of them are not quite what they seem and the readers get to know a bit more about each as the chapters tease out the details. And things turn dark!

Steven is a college teacher and Ellie is his student and girlfriend of six months, Steve is an unlikeable controlling older man. Ellie is the younger girlfriend, innocent, quiet, meek and manipulated by Steven, he likes his girls a certain way, type, behaviour, his ideals, beliefs and very questionable behaviour.

The tag line was "introducing 2022's most f*cked up couple" and they weren't wrong. The pace isn't neck breaking but you are engaged from the prologue and wanting to know what they are hiding. Toxic is one way of putting it and I was intrigued to the dated diary style entries - clearly damaged, devastated and in love but who is the writer?

Some of the details/passages are pretty horrific, if you have ever been in a toxic relationship the book is likely to stir some hard hitting emotions. #Metoo movement has strongly influenced this story and we get a unique view point of a perpetrator, a victim and a survivor but with a unique spin to it.

Creepy, shocking, stomach turning, tense - a psychological thriller that turns in ways the reader won't predict, well I didn't and aghast at what was happening but unable to put it down long because I needed to know where it was going next, 4/5 for me!

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Monday, 2 May 2022

Wee additional giveaway

The brighter mornings are coming in, nice to see some daylight for a while before bed time but it is bright through the window early bells! I got one of these from the Vine and love it so much I bought another as a giveaway gift for the brighter mornings.




I don't normally like eyemasks, I find them uncomfortable or heavy. This is Mulberry silk, light and soft, really nice material.




It comes with earplugs too, bendy silicone style as shown.




They give a small piece of material to burn as a test for their type of material, never seen that before with any the others I have bought.




To enter just use the Rafflecopter below. As it is very light I will put this as worldwide, please only use the entry tabs you complete as winning entries are always checked. Good luck if entering.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 29 April 2022

Cover Reveal & Trailer for upcoming book "What I Hid from you" by Heleen Kist




Isn't she a beaut!




Blurb
A DEATH
AN ACCIDENT
A STUPID MISTAKE
Traumatised by the death of a patient in her chair, Glaswegian dentist Radha Bakshi succumbs to an addiction to Valium she can’t acknowledge – even to herself.
The pills take the edge off trying to be a consummate professional, a perfect daughter, a devoted wife and a not-too-embarrassing mother to her teenage son.
When increased scrutiny of her work forces her to find a new source of supply, she stumbles into the menacing clutches of blackmailing drug dealers.
A mistake that could cost her everything.
Here is the book trailer




About the author



Heleen Kist is a Dutch, formerly globetrotting career woman who fell in love with a Scotsman and his country, and now writes about its (sometimes scary) people from her garden office in Glasgow. What I Hid From You is her third novel.
She was chosen as an up-and-coming new author at the international crime festival Bloody Scotland 2018. Her debut, ‘In Servitude’ won the silver medal for Best European Fiction at the Independent Publishers Book Awards in the USA and was shortlisted for The Selfies awarded at London Book Fair. Her feminist thriller ‘Stay Mad, Sweetheart’ was a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and won third place in the inaugural Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year award 2020
You can Pre order the book, coming out 23 of June 2022, from Waterstones or Book Depository

Cover Reveal arranged by Kelly Lacey of LOVE BOOK TOURS and the blog tour for the book will be coming soon too!

Thursday, 28 April 2022

Frankie Best Hates Quests by Chris Smith

Frankie Best Hates QuestsFrankie Best Hates Quests by Chris Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 384

Publisher - Penguin

Source - Vine

Blurb from Goodreads

Frankie Best is not happy.

She's stuck at Grandad's with her annoyingly nerdy brother Joel for a whole week while her parents swan off to the Arctic.

Things take a turn for the worse when Grandad gets kidnapped by gnoblins (no, that is not spelt incorrectly) forcing Frankie to embark on a rescue mission across a magical realm filled with strange creatures, dangerous enemies and - worst of all - absolutely no WiFi.

Frankie did have big plans to watch YouTube and eat pot noodles that weekend but it looks like she'll just have to go on an epic mega-dangerous quest instead . . .



My Review

So I hadn't heard of this author before but a few of the books I have read recently have been quite dark plus just life in general so this was perfect book coming along at the perfect time. It is YA (young adult) but don't let anyone tell you these books can only be enjoyed by or purely for youngsters.

Frankie & her wee brother Joel are supposed to be going to their fun aunts whilst their parents go off on a research trip. Instead they end up at Grandad's house and Granda is a bit unique, they have been kept away for a while and can't really remember why. When their Granda is kidnapped by gnoblins they have to enter a magical realm to get him back embarking on a magical, dangerous and unbelievable tale like the games their parents created.

Frankie is twelve and all teen angst, glued to her phone, her brother is a geek and this cannot be happening. Think Lord of the rings meets bedknobs and broomsticks with a bit of harry potter, echoes of Labyrinth, adventure, creatures and a quest despite Frankie raging it is most assuredly NOT A QUEST.

It is light hearted, adventure, some humour, some things you need to take into account & remember the book is aimed at younger audiences so some things are juvenile(ish). The chapters are short, there are diary entries, view points change, overall it is a light hearted adventure read and if you need to drop out of our world for a little while this is a fab one to enter. 4/5 for me, I think this is a standalone, not sure if the author would revisit the world he created, I hope so. I will check out their other books and recommend this!

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Wednesday, 27 April 2022

The Invisible Girl by Torey Hayden

The Invisible Girl: The True Story of an Unheard VoiceThe Invisible Girl: The True Story of an Unheard Voice by Torey L. Hayden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 1 day

Pages - 205

Publisher - Bluebird

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

From Torey Hayden, the number one Sunday Times bestselling author of One Child comes The Invisible Girl, a deeply moving true account of a young teen with a troubling obsession and an extraordinary educational psychologist's sympathy and determination to help.

Eloise is a vibrant and charming young teen with a deeply caring nature, but she also struggles with a worrying delusion. She’s been moved from home to home, and her social workers have difficulty dealing with her habit of running away. After experiencing violence, neglect and sexual abuse from people she should have been able to trust, Eloise has developed complex behavioural needs. She struggles to separate fact from fiction, leading to confusion for the social workers trying to help her.

After Torey learns of Eloise's background she hopes that some gentle care and attention can help Eloise gain some sense of security in her life. Can Torey and the other social workers provide the loving attention that has so far been missing in Eloise's life, or will she run away from them too?



My Review

I have read a fair few on Hayden's books, if you haven't they are not for the faint hearted. They are true stories about some of the children she has helped over the course of her career. We usually meet the child through her telling of how they came to her. This is the story of Eloise who shows up uninvited into Torey's life. Torey finds out Eloise has some deep issues and gets the green light to help/work with her.

These books are quite often traumatic, we find out the abuse and trauma of the kid or kids Torey is to help. Eloise story is pretty tragic and shows how abuse and neglect has such a lasting impact even after they get the child out or away from what happened.

The techniques and approaches I think are so interesting, Hayden is clearly a remarkable human being and how she interacts with and has encounters with them are something that stays with you long after you put the book down.

The kids often have some horrific behaviours because of what they sustained/endured, it is not easy reading but not overly graphic compared to some of the books. Poor Eloise, you feel heart sorry for these kids who are so failed by those suppose to love and protect them. 4/5 for me this time, I have read a few of Hayden's books and will read the others as we come across them.

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Saturday, 23 April 2022

Red Snow by Will Dean

Red Snow (Tuva Moodyson Mystery, #2)Red Snow by Will Dean
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 3 days

Pages - 400

Publisher - Point Blank

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man's eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?



My Review

This is book two in the series, you could start here but I would go back as it is part of a series and you go into this with more knowledge/backstory of both the people and the place. Tuva is our main character, a deaf reporter, an outsider in this small town who made herself even more unpopular by covering the murders (in the last book). She is leaving for a new job but before she goes she has some loose ends to tie up and news to cover as someone dies in the towns local factory, the towns life blood but not everyone is as thankful to it.

Strange characters, strange happenings, the body count is rising and Tuva needs to know who "the ferryman is" and why are people dying. So I actually liked this book more than the last one, I did like book one but I really liked this. Tuva is a fascinating character, we get to see what it is like to be deaf, what things like weather changes can mean/impact on her aids. How people see her, treat her (beside having issues with her as an outsider). Some of the people are strange, I LOVED the character of the granny and would love love love to read more about her.

There are some many themes within the book, murder, death, suicide, family issues, sexuality, small town mentality, Tuva dealing with some personal issues. The town weirdo, weird links with the family who run the factory and their employees, the town is very remote and there is a blizzard so they are even more shut off. Accidents, people being harmed, a killer on the loose and Tuva is trying to report on it all and do some side research for the shunned author.

There is some weird eating in the book, I totally boke at some foods touching so this is an issue , even the salty licorice had me twitching lol. The book is very atmospheric, you don't (well I didn't) know where it is going to take you, what is coming next, I didn't even really have any good suspects on who the dodgy is or what the motive could be. I have all the books in the series so won't be long before I get to the next one and see what is in store next, 4/5 for me.

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Friday, 22 April 2022

Next of Kin by Kia Abdullah

Next of KinNext of Kin by Kia Abdullah
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Pages - 384

Publisher - HQ Stories

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

ON AN ORDINARY WORKING DAY…

Leila Syed receives a call that cleaves her life in two. Her brother-in-law’s voice is filled with panic. He’s at his son’s nursery to pick up Max. But he isn’t there.

YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE…

Leila was supposed to drop Max off that morning. But she forgot.

Racing to the carpark, she grasps the horror of what she has done. Max has been locked in her car for six hours on the hottest day of the year.

IS ABOUT TO COME TRUE…

But she’s too late.

What follows is an explosive, high-profile trial, that will tear the family apart. But as the case progresses it becomes clear there’s more to this incident than meets the eye…

A gripping, brave and tense courtroom drama, Next of Kin will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final, heart-stopping page.



My Review

Leila is the big sister, responsible, organised, does everything for Yasmin since they were kids and it was just them. Yasmin has a little boy Max that Leila dotes on but Leila has always sacrificed everything so Yasmin doesn't have to. When the morning of her big deal comes and she is asked to drop Max off at daycare of course she agrees despite it being an inconvenience. None of them could have forseen what would happen that morning or how their lives will change forever.

It kicks off really quickly so you are pulled in from pretty much the first few chapters. There is a lot of history with Leila and Yasmin and why Leila is always the rescuer and now this incident will completely change their relationship. We see a fair chunk of the book surrounding a court case and the emotions and feelings mostly with Leila drawing you in.

The book has some very hard hitting subjects, death, child endangerment, loss, suicide, relationships, family and so much more. Leila's husband is an absolute tool and I gasped at one point like what the actual, why why why would you do that ugh.

This is my second read with this author and it won't be my last. Some of the happenings in the book are pretty shocking and hard hitting, emotive and either you can identify or empathise with what happens. Pretty emotive and rage inducing at some point, I am struggling to get a proper run at reading however I sank into this over 2 days. 4/5 for me this time, not an easy read due to the subjects covered but absorbing and engaging, she doesn't pull her punches!

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Sunday, 17 April 2022

The Good Girl's Guide to Rakes by Eva Leigh Blog Tour




Today is my turn on the blog tour for The Good Girl's Guide To Rakes by Eva Leigh published by Mills and Boon, for my stop I have my review, enjoy.


The Good Girl's Guide to Rakes (Last Chance Scoundrels, #1)The Good Girl's Guide to Rakes by Eva Leigh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 384

Publisher - Avon Books

Source - Review

Blurb from Goodreads

In USA TODAY bestselling author Eva Leigh's new novel a notorious rake and an innocent debutante strike a scandalous bargain...

When Kieran Ransome’s latest antics result in a massive scandal, his father issues an ultimatum: find a respectable wife or inherit nothing. But as one of London’s most inveterate scoundrels, Kieran doesn’t know any ladies who fit the bill. Or does he?

Celeste Kilburn is a society darling, beloved by influential members of the ton. But keeping a spotless reputation leaves little room for adventure and she longs to escape her gilded cage, especially with her impending engagement to a stuffy earl. When Kieran—her older brother’s best friend and an irresistibly attractive rogue—begs for her help, Celeste makes a deal: she’ll introduce him to the right social circles if he’ll show her the scandalous side of London.

In between proper teas and garden parties, Kieran escorts Celeste—disguised as “Salome”—to rowdy gaming hells, wild fêtes, and sensual art salons. As they spend more time together, their initial attraction builds to a desperate desire that neither can ignore. But when someone discovers their midnight exploits, Celeste’s freedom and reputation are endangered, and Kieran must save the woman he loves… respectable or not.


My Review

Kieran Ransome’s is an absolute rogue, comes from money, does his own thing, wines and dines as he sees fit and sleeps around. Celeste is a debutante, the glimmering hope for her families solid stamp into the higher ranks of society. Living in a time where women are chaperoned, must act accordingly, smile, courtesy, preen and conform to all the societal expectations. When Kieran does something that forces his parent's hands they have had enough of his Casanova ways & he needs his friends sister, respectable Celeste to help him.

Oooooh all the fun and games he is a rogue, attractive, able to go and be wild without consequence. Celeste is the glowing respectable perfect societal lady and bored out of her head. Unlike the other females of her time Celeste wants fun, more than just a beautiful cage, so her and Kieran come to an understanding. She will get to see the unacceptable parts of society, have some fun whilst keeping her identity and most importantly her reputation safe!

It was really interesting to see how she got about enjoying what she wanted and the old actions and consequences for pretty much all of the characters. Normally when you read books set in the past the female characters are a bit shrinking violets but Celeste is pretty brilliant in that she has drive, a brain, thinks wants to enjoy what she can before fulfilling her families (and societies) expectations.

There is romance, sex and some graphic scenes with sex talk so if you are easily offended this is your heads up. The story has a whole mix, relationships, families (toxic in some parts), emotive, friendship, loyalty, boundaries - it has a good pull, starts well and keeps you intrigued to what is coming next. This was my first time reading this author, I would absolutely read her again, 4/5 for me this time.

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Tuesday, 12 April 2022

One For Sorrow By Helen Fields

One for Sorrow (D.I. Callanach #7)One for Sorrow by Helen Sarah Fields
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2.5 days

Pages - 400

Publisher - Avon

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

One for sorrow, two for joy
Edinburgh is gripped by the greatest terror it has ever known. A lone bomber is targeting victims across the city and no one is safe.

Three for a girl, four for a boy
DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach face death every day – and not just the deaths of the people being taken hostage by the killer.

Five for silver, six for gold
When it becomes clear that with every tip-off they are walking into a trap designed to kill them too, Ava and Luc know that finding the truth could mean paying the ultimate price.

Seven for a secret never to be told…
But with the threat – and body count – rising daily, and no clue as to who’s behind it, neither Ava nor Luc know whether they will live long enough to tell the tale…



Mt Review

Dear Lord. We are traumatised. Burst. Emotive. We need to go eat our feelings but it is also 04:32 and we need 😴 sleep. Those were the words I typed after I finished the book and I did indeed go and eat my feelings despite the time! This is book seven in the series, if you haven't read the previous, do yourself a favour and go read them. There is so much you have missed and the intensity of the relationships/friendships you just need the back story.

We have a bomber in Edinburgh and not just planting a bomb and causing chaos, the nature of the bombs are horrific and some add in some kidnappings just to make things worse. The killings are brutal, we have seen some sadistic killers before but this is another level.

I was horrified but couldn't put it down I had to know why dear lord why and what was coming next because you knew this was just the beginning. I have rooting for Luc and Ava every single book, they are work colleagues, they are friends, the are room mates looking after their bestie, they are attracted but one thing or another always gets in the way. This case is going to push them and the team to their limits. The killer isn't going to stop until someone stops them but how do you stop someone who is so random and deadly.

We also have the before and meet Quinn, such a nice girl, family orientated who we follow through a relationship of control, manipulation and a different kind of horror. It is a busy book, the investigation, Ava dealing with a personal loss and trying to pull through one of the toughest cases ever and the before with the young woman and a different thread of horror, the worst side of humanity and whilst the book is fiction we know the issues very much exist! 4.5/5 for me. This book will knock you sideways - it covers a lot of the worst sides of humanity, it is dark, gruesome, gory, horrific, soul destroying, page turning and brilliant, say goodbye to your day. Hope Fields hurries up and pens the next, I NEED TO KNOW WHAT IS COMING NEXT!



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Sunday, 10 April 2022

Grown Ups by Marian Keyes

Grown UpsGrown Ups by Marian Keyes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days

Pages - 656

Publisher - Michael Joseph

Source - bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful, talented wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together - birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they're a happy family. Johnny's wife, Jessie - who has the most money - insists on it.

Under the surface, though, conditions are murkier. While some people clash, other people like each other far too much . . .

Everything stays under control until Ed's wife Cara, gets concussion and can't keep her thoughts to herself. One careless remark at Johnny's birthday party, with the entire family present, starts Cara spilling out all their secrets.

In the subsequent unravelling, every one of the adults finds themselves wondering if it's time - finally - to grow up?


My Review

I do love Keyes books you get to leave your own life and woes behind and jump into someone elses and Keyes does give us some class characters/dramas. Ed, Liam and Johnny are brothers and couldn't be more different. We follow their relationships, family gatherings and everything in between.

The book opens with a family gathering and Cara, Ed's wife, tells some home truths after a knock to the head and some shocks to the family. We then flip to six months before the event and get to know the characters.

Some we love, some misunderstood and we get more depth as we go on. Dysfunctional relationships at it's best. I am struggling to read with a lot going on at home, lack of sleep etc however despite this being a chunky monkey over 600 pages I got through it in 4 days.

There are a lot of issues these folk are experiencing, some will be very hard hitting with some people. Second marriages and the fall out, mental health issues, relationship issues, families, wealth, popularity, money issues - it has a whole bag. Some characters you will love, some not so much and all you want to know what is coming next. This isn't my first Keyes, it won't be my last, 4/5 for me this time.

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