Tuesday 11 June 2024

The Sixpenny Orphan by Glenda Young

The Sixpenny OrphanThe Sixpenny Orphan by Glenda Young
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 322

Publisher - Headline

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

'Please, sir, take us both. We only have each other. We don't know how to live apart.'

After the death of their parents, sisters Poppy and Rose are taken in by widow Nellie Harper. But whilst they have a roof over their heads, the young orphans are unloved, unwanted, and always hungry, with only one pair of boots between them. Keen to make money, Nellie hatches a plan to sell the girls to the mysterious Mr Scurrfield. But when the day comes for them to leave, Scurrfield reveals he will take only one of the sisters - and he will decide which it will be on the turn of a sixpence.

Ten years later, Poppy is married with three children. Not a day goes by when she doesn't think about Rose, but after many years of searching, Poppy has accepted that her sister is lost to her. That is until a letter suddenly arrives, revealing Rose's fate and breaking Poppy's heart. Determined to be reunited with her beloved sister, Poppy sets out to bring Rose home.

Mt Review

Two poor little girls being "looked after" by a widow, Nellie, who has little interest in them, the weans are barely cared for. When Nellie has the bright idea to make money and be rid of them both she feels she is coming into money and can say goodbye to her pitiful existence. However when the buyer takes only one of the girls, Poppy is heartbroken and will never forget her sister. Ten years pass and finally Poppy has the chance to try and get her sister back however Poppy is poor and struggling to make ends meet and Rose is very different to the little girl Poppy last seen ten years ago.

Ooft family drama/saga guys, classism, set in a time where people could sell off children to the wealthy and not an eyelid batted, ooft. The book is split really in two, the past when the girls are wee and just trying to get by day by day, starving, sharing a pair of boots and then ten years on and divided by class, money and unknown danger.

As well as issues surrounding the time period, poverty, classism we also examine the affects of family being torn apart, experiences and how that shapes character and interaction(s). Wee bit emotive in places, rage inducing and all the things we have come to expect from Young, we do like her books and perfect for stepping out of your own life into others, if only for a short time. 4/5 from us, we have a few of hers on the tbrm and look forward to reading them.




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Saturday 8 June 2024

Alien River of Pain by Christopher Golden

Alien: River of Pain (Canonical Alien trilogy, #3)Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 352

Publisher - Titan

Source - bought

Source from Goodreads

When Ellen Ripley finally returns to Earth, she learns that the planet LV-426—now called Acheron—has been colonized. But LV-426 is where Ripley and the crew of the Nostromo found the original Xenomorph—the killing machine known as the Alien.

Protected by the Colonial Marines, the colonists seek to terraform the storm-swept planet. Two such residents are Anne and Russell Jorden, seeking a fortune that eluded them on Earth. On Acheron, Anne gives birth to the colony’s first newborn. Rebecca Jordan, also known as Newt.

The wildcatters discover a vast, decaying spaceship. The horseshoe-shaped vessel is of particular interest to Weyland-Yutani, and may be the answer to their dreams. But what Anne and Russ find on board proves to be the stuff, not of dreams, but of nightmares.


My Review

Right guys just to be clear this book is NOT the story of Ripley and the marines going to LV-426 but rather what happens before they get there. The book does open with Ripley and ends with her chat with Gorman and Burke but the meat of the book is the colonists and them pre, during and post finding the ship Kane encountered in the the first movie Alien.

We meet Newt, her parents/brother and some of the adults and soldiers (not those from the movie Aliens) and get to know more of the people, not just wee Newt. I always said I would love to know more about them and the book did give us a fair bit about them,the horror and helplessness against the feriocious Xenomorphs.

What I did like and wasn't expecting was there was more input from the company and representatives than just a message from Burke to check it out. I love anything that gives us a bit more about the franchise be it characters/xenomorphs or any additional bits about them we didn't know.

I am such a huge fan of the series/franchise that I don't think there would be one book/show/movie that I wouldn't try/tune into. When you are a big fan you sometimes let things slip/go but there wasn't any huge complaints or free passes, I think it is a decent offering and liked the Ripley link pre and post main story. I was just a bit disappointed because I thought it was going to be the marines and Ripley going in, I will check out the other books because I love them but also I may yet find the Ripley/Marines book! 4/5 for me this time and I have a few on the tbrm and now knowing there are AVP books too I will be getting them, how could I not!

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Thursday 6 June 2024

Profile K by Helen S Fields

Profile KProfile K by Helen Sarah Fields
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 384

Publisher - AVON

Source - ARC

Blurb from Goodreads

He’s going to kill you. He just doesn’t know it yet. There’s something wrong with me. For years I’ve hidden it. Suppressed it. Blended into society. But The Test awoke something within me. It was just a routine application designed to get to know me better – with results that would show me everything I was capable of. But it showed me that the wickedness is still inside me – and that I am capable of the worst possible things. And now that I know that, there’s no telling what I’ll do next…


My Review

Ooft, the opening chapter just gets right into it and gives us an intro into the bad guy then we meet Midnight. She works in a powerful business that offers profiles to help colleges/businesses with applicants/suitability. When midnight comes across a profile K - basically someone who is off the scale abnormal like ticking all the boxes for being a killer/psychopath in their responses to what they see. When it becomes apparent that someone is killing women in a horrific way but also one that Midnight recognises who can she turn to? The business is all about the business, money, power and with that corruption is rife because the business/reputation must always comes first.

Very much a cat and mouse as Midnight tries to learn more about who she is convinced in a killer and the killer now has Midnight on their radar but very little information to go on apart from her name. The book breaks down really three fold, Midnights pov and happenings, the killers pov and outside the company ie Midnight's private life, being carer to her twin and why she does what she does like everything revolves around her and her care.

Creepy, atmospheric, the killing aspects is horrific and not for the faint hearted. In between all of that what have family, friendship and relationships. I tutted and NOOOOOOOO/FGS Midnight what are you thinking, don't do/say that, ahhhhh. That being said sometimes people behaving daft/questionable is very reflective of real life. Stalking has a big part in the book too so just an fyi/headsup for you. We have read Fields before and will read her again, she has a knack for creating bad guys/creeps and Profile K is no exception, 4/5 from me.

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Monday 3 June 2024

Taste Of Blood by Lynda La Plante

Taste of Blood (Jane Tennison #9)Taste of Blood by Lynda La Plante
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

Pages - 403

Publisher - Zaffre

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Detective Jane Tennison made a bad choice.

She was the one who put in a transfer to the quiet, local police station in Bromley, keen to escape the relentless pressure of her former West End department.

Now she regrets her decision. The tedium of petty crime investigations even makes her question remaining in the force.

But then a complicated domestic assault case lands on her desk - one that might still result in a murder charge if the victim dies of his injuries.

The warring neighbours who witnessed the assault intrigue Jane. The case has a sinister underbelly, she can sense it. And when Jane discovers a handsome young boy had recently disappeared after the tragic death of his girlfriend, every family in the private close becomes a suspect.

As Tennison hunts for the link between the crimes, she uncovers a truth more shocking than she could have contemplated. One that will either make her career - or break it.


My Review

Jane has transferred to a smaller/quieter station, really what was she thinking, we all know she loves to be in the thick of it. The new place mostly investigates small crimes - not a long more than petty squabbles in some cases and it isn't long before Jane questions her choice. An ongoing feud with neighbours turns into an assault with one landing in hospital, badly injured. Jane and co have to investigate and as is with Jane's track record there may be more to the incident and squabbles than first thought. Neighbours can often have secrets and some darker than others, could that explain the erratic behaviours by some of the residents?

So whilst this book looks at an assault and then ?a missing person (older case) we find Jane doing what she does best, digging where folk don't want her to until she gets her answers. We also get a lot more of the person side with Jane, family, relationships and touching on loss and issues that often come hand in hand. She is a bit more tetchy and feisty in this book, she has found her feet and her voice and is a strong character who doesn't suffer fools gladly.

At one point I wanted to hug her, I also went through a few irritational moments with her. This book has a very domestic feel to it both in the investigation and her private life. I like that, this is book nine, we have been with Tennison from the start so it is nice to get a bit more meat from the characters as well as the police stuff. 4/5 for me this time, a few themes that will be emotive to some people. Huge fans of La Plante and really enjoying the Tennison series, looking forward to the next book and seeing what is next for oor Jane.

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Sunday 2 June 2024

June Competition is now live

Happy June lovely people. Been catching up on bits but it is the 2nd of June so I am not doing too bad sorting the comps!

Up for grabs is x1 hardback, as shown, of CJ Tudor's new book "The Gathering" a murder/crime investigation that happens to have vampyrs in it. And in keeping with the theme a cross Faith diamond painting bookmark.




The bookmark




As always it will be entries via the Rafflecopter, please only fill in the entries you have completed. This is UK only as the hardback is quite heavy and postage has gone up again!




Good Luck

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday 1 June 2024

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 389

Publisher -

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story nears its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.



My Review

I had been seeing this book everywhere and of course had the FOMO (fear of missing out). Evelyn is Hollywood royalty, over the decades she has been actress extraordinaire but also had her fair share of scandals/gossip/hit pieces in the news. The book opens with Monique, a very little cog for a big magazine whose having personal issues (relationship) and her career isn't close to where she wants it. Yeah she is working for a huge glossy mag but writing nothing much more than puff pieces. When she is named to interview the elusive Evelyn Hugo she knows this can change her career trajectory but she doesn't know it will change her whole life.

The book jumps in time a bit, easy to follow, from present day the interviews with Monique to Evelyn telling her life stories taking us back to when it all first happened. The book gives me Marilyn Monroe/Liz Taylor style vibes, behind the scenes for the climb in Hollywood. It covers some hard topics too, dv, abuse, violence, LGB representation and the hardships lesbians/gay individuals face let alone when under scrutiny of the whole world in a time where sexuality was kept hidden/discriminated against.

You can completely loose yourself in this, it has scandal, bad behaviour, people more interested in profit than peoples welfare. How fickle the world of fame is, how corrupt money is, how bad the press treat celebs - quick to tear them down but lift them up depending on what they can spin. It is wild, dark, shocking, entertaining - a whole load of drama! 4.5/5 for me this time, perfect for zoning out, poolside reading or just a day on the couch, easily a read in one sitting type book!


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Saturday 25 May 2024

Every Move You Make by C L Taylor

Every Move You MakeEvery Move You Make by C.L. Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read -

Pages - 422

Publisher - Avon

Source - Netgalley & bought a copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer…

Alexandra, Lucy, Bridget, River and Natalie. Five friends who wish they’d never met. Because the one thing they have in common is the worst thing in their lives: they are all being stalked.

When one of their group is murdered, days after their stalker is released from prison, time stands still for them all. They know their lives could end just as brutally at any moment—all it takes is for the people they fear the most to catch up with them.

When the group receive a threat that one of them will die in ten days’ time, the terror that stalks their daily lives becomes all-consuming. But they know they don’t want to be victims anymore—it’s time to turn the tables and finally get their revenge.

Because the only way to stop a stalker is to become one yourself…



My Review

Ooft the opening chapter! A whatsapp group of people - all joined together by one thing, being survivors of stalkers. When the unthinkable happens to one of them the group feel they need to take matters into their own hands. Pinging between messages in the Whatsapp group to happenings in their actual lives we follow the four, Alexandra, Lucy, Bridget, River as they try to take back control and their lives before their stalker(s) strike.

A murder, horrific stalkers, secrets, lies, coercion, gaslighting, the horrible feeling of being stalked, watched, cat and mouse. A constant threat looming and they are all potential targets, I did like the way the book kept you guessing but I also got frustrated and screamed NOOOOOOOO WHAT ARE YOU DOING a few times. Don't do that, oh no why why why.

It is pretty shocking and eye opening, I think when you read the end note from the author about her experiences and know the book is written by someone who went through some of this it hits different. Claustrophic and eerie at parts, you are kept intrigued/hooked and even shocked at parts, 4/5 from me.

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Friday 24 May 2024

Hidden Depths by J H Mann




Today is my stop on the blog tour for "Hidden Depths" by author J H Mann. This is a Rachels Random resources blog tour, for my stop I have my review. The book is available to buy now, ebook and treebook, on Amazon UK.


About the author:

Jason Mann is an award-winning journalist and writer living in the South West of England with Nicola, his wife, and their lively whippet, Patch. He is also a shore-based volunteer for the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution). Jason says: ‘Many of my stories are set in the wonderful county of Cornwall where truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction. I have swum and surfed there much of my life. It has been a special place for me with its legends, soaring cliffs, rugged moors and wild seas. The landscape has a raw, mystical magic. My father and mother’s recollections of rescues and tragedies on the North coast are often the inspiration for my stories. My father became one of the county’s early lifeguards after his predecessor was killed by a strike of lightning while standing in waist-deep water during a rescue.’

Social Media Links

Jason's Twitter

His Facebook

His website

and lastly Instagram

Hidden DepthsHidden Depths by J.H. Mann
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 318

Publisher - Dark Spider Books

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

On a wild Cornish headland, Catherine Carlyon takes a decision that will change her life forever. She is facing the bleak prospect of years in prison after being sucked into a fraud by a man she thought loved her. Catherine has found a possible way out – to disappear. But disappearing comes at a price. She must abandon her family and everything she holds dear. The greatest challenge of her life is looming, an epic adventure in the North Atlantic which will take her to her limits and beyond…Praise for Hidden 'A conventional middle-aged woman has a passionate affair, becomes embroiled in fraud and makes the desperate decision to risk all in the hope of disappearing. J.H.Mann has lovingly evoked the Cornish landscape, from the wild Atlantic coast to the bleak and threatening moors, as the setting for a gripping thriller. I loved it’ – Debi Alper, author of the Nirvana series of thrillers. ‘The real essence of the challenge of open water swimming has been woven into a finely crafted suspense novel’ – Mark Richards, long distance swimmer, one of the few people to have successfully completed the 28-mile swim between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Perfect for fans of Ann Cleeves's Shetland and Vera Stanhope mysteries and novels by Lucy Foley and Alice Feeney. Dive into Hidden Depths today!



My Review

Meet Catherine, she is having a bad time of it, her husband has been laid off and is struggling to find another job. Sinking further into booze responsibility falls to Catherine to cover the bills, keep them afloat as he sinks deeper into a funk/booze. Her son is a typical teen and Catherine is going through the motions, until she makes a decision that brings some fun into her life, passion, challenges her morals/values and finds her sinking deeper and deeper to a dark place where danger looms on every corner.

A passionate affair, challenges to her moral code, decisions that change/challenger her as a person and falling deeper and deeper into a web of lies, deceit, criminality and even threats to her life. The book does a great job of taking a normal housewife, upstanding, good strong morals and then one choice, one affair just upends EVERYTHING and takes you on a wild rollercoaster showing how easily one could fall.

Making the main character someone you can relate to is always a good shout because it makes everything more believable therefore more shocking when it all gets so dark. The tension keeps throughout the book, knowing all she has to loose and every decision takes her another step into chaos and risks.


The mundanity of the good housewife/trusted employee just adds to how shocking it is when she does the things she does and the choices she makes. Read almost in one sitting as I just wanted to see what was coming next. Everyone has different takes on how they enjoy their books being wrapped up and it will be interesting to see how everyone take this.

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Sunday 19 May 2024

Yellowface by Rebecca F Kuang

YellowfaceYellowface by R.F. Kuang
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 336

Publisher - Borough Press

Source - Bought

blurb from Goodreads

White lies. Dark humor. Deadly consequences… Bestselling sensation Juniper Song is not who she says she is, she didn’t write the book she claims she wrote, and she is most certainly not Asian American—in this chilling and hilariously cutting novel from R.F. Kuang, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Babel.

Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars. But Athena’s a literary darling. June Hayward is literally nobody. Who wants stories about basic white girls, June thinks.

So when June witnesses Athena’s death in a freak accident, she acts on impulse: she steals Athena’s just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers during World War I.

So what if June edits Athena’s novel and sends it to her agent as her own work? So what if she lets her new publisher rebrand her as Juniper Song—complete with an ambiguously ethnic author photo? Doesn’t this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller? That’s what June claims, and the New York Times bestseller list seems to agree.

But June can’t get away from Athena’s shadow, and emerging evidence threatens to bring June’s (stolen) success down around her. As June races to protect her secret, she discovers exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.

With its totally immersive first-person voice, Yellowface grapples with questions of diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation, as well as the terrifying alienation of social media. R.F. Kuang’s novel is timely, razor-sharp, and eminently readable.


My Review

Like a Jerry Springer show but instead of cheating spouses we have an author trying to make it big and when an "opportunity" arises she grabs it. Everything from that moment on she does/chooses is just car crash tv. You are mortified and like GIRL NO WHAT ARE YOU THINKING and she just gets worse as the book goes on.

I don't know what I expected with this one from everything everyone was chatting I just knew I HAD to read it but it wasn't what I thought it would be. You get it, authors have it really rough and with this we get a look behind the curtain of what it is like from education to starting out and trying to make a name for yourself. Your friend is doing the same but she strikes gold every single time and our protagonist, June - later Juniper - can't help but compare, resent and be annoyed. We then see inside June's thinking process and her justifications for what she does and her monologue of she deserves this. She isn't a nice person and wow does she spiral.

As success comes so do all the bad sides of it and when you have been a dodgy biscuit and rose high, the height to fall is far higher. Outside the drama we also have themes of cultural appropriation, race/racism, plagiarism, the pitfalls of social media, actions and consequences, greed, death and some seriously shady characters and behaviours.

I liked this I just didn't love it, a lot of characters and choices will grind your gears or just your teeth, not a bad thing. I absolutely wanted to see where it was going and I have another by this author to read, 3.5/5 for me for this one though.



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Wednesday 15 May 2024

ALIEN Sea of Sorrows by James A Moore

Alien: Sea of Sorrows (Canonical Alien trilogy, #2)Alien: Sea of Sorrows by James A. Moore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 352

Publisher - Titan Books

Source - from my boxset

Blurb from Goodreads

As a deputy commissioner for the ICC, Alan Decker’s job is to make sure the settlements on LV178 follow all the rules, keeping the colonists safe. But the planet known as New Galveston holds secrets, lurking deep beneath the toxic sands dubbed the Sea of Sorrows.

The Weyland-Yutani Corporation has secrets of its own, as Decker discovers when he is forced to join a team of mercenaries sent to investigate an ancient excavation. Somewhere in that long-forgotten dig lies the thing the company wants most in the universe—a living Xenomorph.
Decker doesn’t understand why they need him, until his own past comes back to haunt him. Centuries ago, his ancestor fought the Aliens, launching a bloody vendetta that was never satisfied. That was when the creatures swore revenge on the Destroyer… Ellen Ripley .


My Review

Aw guys I know a lot of folk didn't like this one and you need to suspend belief but I mean don't we do that anyways. I love the aliens books/movies so it is a bit like my shark/zombie love, I accept just about anything so with that being said, lets get to it.

This is book two from my boxset and whilst they are from different authors they are from the same universe. This one is X amount of years after the previous, the aliens are still going and they remember Ripley, she isn't in this one but one of her descendants are! So Decker is working on a settlement, something happens and the company are up to their dastardly deeds. After some very questionable behaviours and manipulation Decker is headed back to LV-178 to help the squad acquire what the company have wanted for years, an alien for themselves. Decker has this empathy type "power" that will aid them with the aliens however this connection comes at a cost. The xenos can sense him too and they know him as "the destroyer" akin to Ripley the one who caused them so much pain/hurt/death and he will pay.

The aliens hate humans and really any life that isn't theirs but this for Decker is something else and we hear from the xenos in this one. How they think, focus, what drives them but the whole revenge hate destroy thing reminds me of Jaws 3, this time it is personal. Mind the shark travelled X amount to wipe out Brodie's family (I think it was the third movie) so it had echos of that.

It has strong vibes of the second movie too, the team of professionals who are tooled up and fantastic at what they do, then they meet our bad boys and it all goes to pot. I think if you enjoy the movies/alien universe you will like this one. I did get a wee bit annoyed at some of the choices of these guys but I get that all the time. Its the old watching true crime and giving it all pfft they are so dumb to leave XYZ sitting being a CSI specialist on the couch in my jammies skelping a pot noodle lol. Faced with the perfect killing machine I am sure I would be toast in the first chapter but you still sit high and mighty and judge lol, 3.5/5 for me this time. Looking forward to whatever the next book brings!

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Sunday 12 May 2024

The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes

The Mystery of Mercy Close (Walsh Family, #5)The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days

Pages - 508

Publisher - Penguin books

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Helen Walsh doesn’t believe in fear – it’s just a thing invented by men to get all the money and good job – and yet she’s sinking. Her work as a Private Investigator has dried up, her flat has been repossessed and now some old demons have resurfaced.

Not least in the form of her charming but dodgy ex-boyfriend Jay Parker, who shows up with a missing persons case. Money is tight – so tight Helen’s had to move back in with her elderly parents – and Jay is awash with cash. The missing person is Wayne Diffney, the ‘Wacky One’ from boyband Laddz. He’s vanished from his house in Mercy Close and it’s vital that he’s found – Laddz have a sell-out comeback gig in five days’ time.

Things ended messily with Jay. And she’s never going back there. Besides she has a new boyfriend now, the very sexy detective Artie Devlin and it’s all going well, even though his ex-wife isn’t quite ‘ex’ enough and his teenage son hates her. But the reappearance of Jay is stirring up all kinds of stuff she thought she’d left behind.

Playing by her own rules, Helen is drawn into a dark and glamorous world, where her worst enemy is her own head and where increasingly the only person she feels connected to is Wayne, a man she’s never even met.



My Review

So I think the first thing I would say is this book is a bit darker in some of the themes than any of her others, well that I remember. Don't get me wrong there is still some laughs, hilarity, some oh no she/they didn't and jaw dropper moments. However the book centers around Helen Walsh and she is a very unique individual. She doesn't seem to have a filter, she struggles to gel with people, she is abrupt, brutally honest and has mental health issues. Now I don't often put trigger warnings, I do tend to highlight themes without spoilers but I am putting a trigger warning here so if you have issues with dark mental health/self harm - stop reading here.

Helen is a private detective, she is dealing with some personal problems and the work and focus is good for her. Her new assignment is helping track down a member of a previous very popular boyband member, the band is getting back together (minus the one who burst to great stardom) and now Wayne is missing. We follow Helen tracking him down, working with her ex boyfriend, awks much, looking for a famous dude and trying to keep the black dog (depression) at bay.

The investigation is interesting and how she manages to work the case and juggle so much in her personal life. The mental health stuff, her struggles with her depression, how her family reacts to it and how she herself deals with it. The book jumps around a wee bit and I think that helps to cement the way Helen is and how she gets through her day to day life. I think Keyes does great infusing humour with some really tough/harsh real life topics. Depression, self harm and all the darkness that can go with it is throughout the book along with infidelity, splashes of humour, regular and dark, family and obvs the missing celebrity. We get a peak into how the world of celebrity looks through Helen's eyes and the access she gets through her job.

I don't really know how I feel about this one, I liked parts of it, I think if you have had a history of depression or had any battles with mental health you will take something different. Understanding, empathy, maybe even just feeling "seen" because despite this being a fictional character/book the author has done due diligence with the topics, if you know you know. Overall 3.5/5 for me this time, I am missing gaps in the Walsh books I am sure so I need to catch up with them. Yes I have read them out of order *twitch* but they can pretty much be standalones.

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Sunday 5 May 2024

Two Sisters by Alex Kane

Two SistersTwo Sisters by Alex Kane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out as able

Pages -

Publisher - Hera

Source - Bought/review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Time taken to read - in and out as able over 5 days

Pages - 353

Publisher - Bookouture

Source - Bought

My Review

They tried to forget their past. Now it’s the only thing that can save them.

Ever since being adopted as babies, twins Sinead and Orla have been the only family they’ve ever known. But as adults, their lives have taken different paths. Orla’s got the big house in Glasgow, the supportive husband and teenage daughter, Molly Rose, while Sinead’s struggle with drugs and alcohol has taken her to some very dark places.

But all of that changes when Sinead receives a call from the woman who gave them up at birth. Their mother, Janey, is back in their lives. But she’s far from what they expected and when the siblings discover their mum is the head of a dangerous gangland firm, their lives are turned upside down.

In a firm like Janey’s, you have to watch your back. And when someone from her past targets her new found family, Sinead, Orla and Molly Rose find themselves pawns in a dangerous game, against someone who will stop at nothing to take his revenge on Janey. But when Molly Rose is kidnapped, it’s time for the sisters to show this family will do anything to protect one of their own.

A hard-hitting, action-packed Scottish gangland thriller that fans of Jacqui Rose, Kimberly Chambers and Mandasue Heller won’t be able to put down.



My Review

So apparently this is book two in a series, I didn't know and started here, I will be going back and buying the first book now though. That said you can absolutely read as a standalone, that's what I done and we have brief throwbacks to Janey when she was younger so I don't feel we missed out starting here.

Janey is top of her game in the criminal world and the book flips between Orla, Sinead and Millie Rose, Janey's estranged family. Orla and Sinead are twins, given up at birth and now grown women, Sinead is addicted to substances and does what she needs to on the streets to fund her habit. Orla couldn't be more different, mum to teenager Molly Rose, owner of legitimate businesses. Janey has reached out to Orla who shuns her however when Janey's past impacts on them and putting them in danger Orla has no choice but to let Janey in, they will all do what it takes to protect Molly Rose but is it too late?

Not for the faint hearted, it covers topics of abuse, addiction, prostitution, abandonment, SA, trafficking (is touched upon), family, drugs, secrets and more. Set in Glasgow, we see just how far ripples have from the past/decisions to present and consequences of those. Family is at the heart of this one but with the long reach/affects of skulduggery and shady dealings that go on from living "the life" even if you aren't a direct part of it, 4/5 from me and I will be getting book one and looking forward to the next!

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Saturday 4 May 2024

The Gathering by C J Tudor

The GatheringThe Gathering by C.J. Tudor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 4 days

Pages - 336

Publisher - Michael Joseph

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

A detective investigating a grisly crime in rural Alaska finds herself caught up in the dark secrets and superstitions of a small town in this riveting novel from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man

Deadhart, Alaska. 873. Living.

In a small Alaska town, a boy is found with his throat ripped out and all the blood drained from his body. The inhabitants of Deadhart haven’t seen a killing like this in twenty-five years. But they know who’s responsible: a member of the Colony, an ostracized community of vampyrs living in an old mine settlement deep in the woods.

Detective Barbara Atkins, a specialist in vampyr killings, is called in to officially determine if this is a Colony killing—and authorize a cull. Old suspicions die hard in a town like Deadhart, but Barbara isn’t so sure. Determined to find the truth, she enlists the help of a former Deadhart sheriff, Jenson Tucker, whose investigation into the previous murder almost cost him his life. Since then, Tucker has become a recluse. But he knows the Colony better than almost anyone.

As the pair delve into the town’s history, they uncover secrets darker than they could have imagined. And then another body is found. While the snow thickens and the nights grow longer, a killer stalks Deadhart, and two disparate communities circle each other for blood. Time is running out for Atkins and Tucker to find the truth: Are they hunting a bloodthirsty monster . . . or a twisted psychopath? And which is more dangerous?



My Review

Imagine a world where vampires and humans co exist. Colonies of vampires are protected from being killed, a law is in place. Vampires aren't allowed the same luxuries as humans, the right to work etc. Some humans hate them, some fear them, some want to kill them like animals, some religious folks view them as evils that need rid, attack before being attacked. Detective Barbara Atkins is a specialist officer who investigates vampyr killings and who can authorise the killing of whole colonies. She takes her job very seriously and will investigate everything. Called to a small town where a youngster has been brutally killed and has all the hallmarks of a vampyr being the killer. The town has priors and are anti vampyr already so Barbara has her work cut out for her.

So whilst this is a book with vampyrs it is very much a murder mystery that happens to have vamps, they aren't the main focus although the book is very rooted in them and some shady humans. The hatred is strong, on both sides and with good reason as we find out as the story gives up its secrets and draws us in.

As Barbara tries to do her job the tensions are rising in the small town who are adamant they have all the proof they need - get it done already. Old wounds take the longest to heal, if ever and we learn quite a lot about this shady wee town and the vamps that exist in it (hard to call what they do actually living).

A whodunit crime fiction that just so happens to have vamps, crime, investigation and skulduggery around just about every corner, 4/5 from us.

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Wednesday 1 May 2024

Deadly Fate by Angela Marsons

Deadly Fate (DI Kim Stone, #18)Deadly Fate by Angela Marsons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out as able over 5 days

Pages - 353

Publisher - Bookouture

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

The woman’s bright blonde hair floats in the breeze. She almost looks like she could be resting on the soft green grass. But her brown eyes stare unblinking up at the sky, and the final cut across her mouth is dark with blood. Her words silenced forever…

Late one evening, as the final church bell rings out, Sandra Deakin’s cold and lifeless body is found in the overgrown graveyard with multiple stab wounds. When Detective Kim Stone rushes to the scene, the violence of the attack convinces her that this murder was deeply personal. What could have caused such hate?

As the team dig into Sandra’s life, they discover she believed she could communicate with the dead. Was that why she was targeted? The last people to see her alive were a group of women who had a session with her the night before she was killed, and as Kim and her team pay them a visit, they soon learn each of the women is lying about why they wanted Sandra’s help…

Kim realises she must dig deep and open her mind to every avenue if she’s going to stand a chance at solving this case. And when she learns that Sandra was banned from the church grounds and had been receiving death threats too, she’s ever more certain that Sandra’s gifts are at the heart of everything.

But just when she thinks she’s found a lead, the broken body of a nineteen-year-old boy is found outside a call centre – a single slash across his mouth just like Sandra’s. Kim knows they are now racing against time to understand what triggered these attacks, and to stop a twisted killer.

But they might be too late. Just as Kim sits down at a local psychic show she discovers something that makes her blood run cold. Both Sandra and the call centre were named in an article about frauds. And this show stars the next name on the list. She looks around the audience with a feeling of utter dread, certain the killer is among them…


My Review

If you haven't read the previous ooks in the series, seriously where have you been! This is book 18 and whilst yes this can be read as a standalone I would absolutely read the previous ones because they are such a great series and you know the backstory for the characters. Anyways back to the book/review, this one features two main themes guys, psychics and stalking!

The book opens with the murder of a psychic and there kicks off the investigation by Stone's team. As the book goes on we quickly find that someone has a murderous hate for psychics and this is just the beginning. We have a separate "case but not a case" of a dead homeless man whose identity is unknown and if you know Stone you know the minimal Stone likes is for the dead to at least have their name so as a side thread that is going on. Whilst investigating the psychic a stalker comes up in their investigation and Stacey finds some disturbing info, could this be our killer?

I love the banter/camaraderie with the team especially Stone and Bryant, they are so different and compliment each other as does the team to be fair. The research as always is bang on and woven in to go smoothly and seamlessly with the story. Like I am a fan of psychics and one of the characters in the book debunks them and goes into detail on how they manage to do what they do, I find that so fascinating. The stalker stuff, I am shouting RED FLAG RED FLAG, why why why to X character, pulled right into the story as always. Despite being eighteen books deep Marsons manages (in my opinion) to keep you hooked and invested in the characters, even when you get annoyed you are absolutely invested and questioning why X character is doing XYZ behaviour(s).

I think this book is setting up some bits for the next book and as always we are always waiting with bated breath. Also the pathologist guy, whilst he doesn't make huge appearances in the books I do enjoy their character and their *relationship with Stone. Here is to the next one 4/5 for me this time.

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Tuesday 30 April 2024

Taste of Blood by Lynda La Plante

Today is my review as part of the #TeamTennison project, enjoy.





Taste of Blood (Jane Tennison #9)Taste of Blood by Lynda La Plante
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

Pages - 403

Publisher - Zaffre

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Detective Jane Tennison made a bad choice.

She was the one who put in a transfer to the quiet, local police station in Bromley, keen to escape the relentless pressure of her former West End department.

Now she regrets her decision. The tedium of petty crime investigations even makes her question remaining in the force.

But then a complicated domestic assault case lands on her desk - one that might still result in a murder charge if the victim dies of his injuries.

The warring neighbours who witnessed the assault intrigue Jane. The case has a sinister underbelly, she can sense it. And when Jane discovers a handsome young boy had recently disappeared after the tragic death of his girlfriend, every family in the private close becomes a suspect.

As Tennison hunts for the link between the crimes, she uncovers a truth more shocking than she could have contemplated. One that will either make her career - or break it.


My Review

Jane has transferred to a smaller/quieter station, really what was she thinking, we all know she loves to be in the thick of it. The new place mostly investigates small crimes - not a long more than petty squabbles in some cases and it isn't long before Jane questions her choice. An ongoing feud with neighbours turns into an assault with one landing in hospital, badly injured. Jane and co have to investigate and as is with Jane's track record there may be more to the incident and squabbles than first thought. Neighbours can often have secrets and some darker than others, could that explain the erratic behaviours by some of the residents?

So whilst this book looks at an assault and then ?a missing person (older case) we find Jane doing what she does best, digging where folk don't want her to until she gets her answers. We also get a lot more of the person side with Jane, family, relationships and touching on loss and issues that often come hand in hand. She is a bit more tetchy and feisty in this book, she has found her feet and her voice and is a strong character who doesn't suffer fools gladly.

At one point I wanted to hug her, I also went through a few irritational moments with her. This book has a very domestic feel to it both in the investigation and her private life. I like that, this is book nine, we have been with Tennison from the start so it is nice to get a bit more meat from the characters as well as the police stuff. 4/5 for me this time, a few themes that will be emotive to some people. Huge fans of La Plante and really enjoying the Tennison series, looking forward to the next book and seeing what is next for oor Jane.

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Saturday 27 April 2024

The Happiest Ever After by Milly Johnson

The Happiest Ever AfterThe Happiest Ever After by Milly Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 400

Publisher - Simon & Schuster

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads


Polly Potter is surviving, not thriving. She used to love her job – until her mentor died and her new boss decided to make her life hell. She used to love her partner Chris – until he cheated on her, and now she can’t forget. The only place where her life is working is on the pages of the novel she is writing – there she can create a feistier, bolder, more successful version of herself – as the ­fictional Sabrina Anderson.

But what if it was possible to start over again? To leave everything behind, forget all that went before, and live the life you’d always dreamed of?

After a set of unforeseen circumstances, Polly ends up believing she really IS Sabrina, living at the heart of a noisy Italian family restaurant by the sea. Run by Teddy, the son of her new landlady Marielle, it’s a much-loved place, facing threat of closure as a rival restaurant moves in next door. Sabrina can’t remember her life as Polly, but she knows she is living a different life from the one she used to have.

But what if this new life could belong to her after all?



My Review

Aw Polly! Working in an environment where the men dominate, take all her ideas and pat themselves on the back for a good job. Home life isn't much better, her husband remains self involved, lack of attention to the little things despite saying he would try more after betraying her last year. When one finally act of selfishness on his part and his sister Polly gets the push to be like the character in her book and take off, Polly is ready for putting herself first for a chance. Life likes to mess with you and poor Polly ends up in a new town trying to piece everything together whilst her husband is feeling hard done by and continues to be a selfish pie!

The thing with Johnson books is she makes characters you love and characters you hate. Rooting for some and bursting for others to get their comeuppance. We all know a selfish partner, a busybody, a nasty selfish horror. The book draws you in and keeps you hooked despite it being very normal people in very normal settings.

Secrets, amnesia, love, lies, good hearted people, things going wrong, people rooting for each other and maybe just maybe a wee bit of karma for a few of those we desperately want it to. Warm hearted, emotive in parts, characters you genuinely care about and want to know what happens, even the bams, 4.5/5 for me.

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Wednesday 17 April 2024

A Glasgow Kiss by Sophia Gravia

A Glasgow KissA Glasgow Kiss by Sophie Gravia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 292

Publisher - Orion

Source - Amazon

Blurb from Goodreads

A headbutt or a strike with the head to someone's sensitive area

Meet Zara Smith: 29, single and muddling her way through life as a trainee nurse in Glasgow. With 30 fast approaching, she's determined to do whatever it takes to find love - or at least someone to sext! Cheered on by best friends Ashley and Raj, Zara embarks on a string of dating escapades that are as hilarious as they are disastrous. From online dating to blind dates, hometown hook-ups to flirty bartenders, nothing is off limits.

But when Dr Tom Adams, aka Sugar Daddy, shows interest, it's a game-changing moment. Zara has had a crush on Tom since her very first day at the aesthetics clinic she works at part-time. As things heat up between them, Zara can't help but wonder: is this it? Or is it another disaster waiting to happen?

Filthy, hilarious and painfully relatable, Zara Smith is Bridget Jones for the millennial generation, from the writer of the Sex in the Glasgow City blog. Fans of Fleabag, Girls and Lucy Vine will love A Glasgow Kiss.



My Review

EVERYBODY has been talking about this book for ages and I hadn't gotten around to it but FOMO (fear of missing out) and it was (and still is at time of posting) only 99p on kindle so I got it. Zara is a student nurse trying to get to her end goal of becoming a nurse and working at an aesthetics clinic in between. One of the docs there is older and HOT but he is her work college so one can but drool and dream. We follow Zara and her dating disasters and what happens when your love life crosses over into your work life EEEK.

Guys this is your warning now, if you don't like spicy books this isn't for you, if you don't like graphic scenes with very descriptive body fluids scenes, this isn't for you. Zara has some "interesting" moments with those she dates and some very cringe moments. She is like Bridget Jones if Bridget covered more graphic/body fluids than the innocent/more gentle side of Bridget J we know.

I laughed, I cringed, I was mortified, I got annoyed at her and wanted her to have a backbone at times. I air punched at one point but that was more to do with someone I hated to someone I actually switched to liking. It is entertaining, shocking, boke inducing at times, friendship, relationships and the old when someone makes dumb decisions when dating someone they are hooked on. Zara tends to fall/forgive quickly which some will identify with some with be irritated with. Modern day dating, shameless, I had a riddy for her at parts but you definitely wanted to see where it went. Loads of folk LOVE this book, I liked it and will read book two but defo not in the omg it is amazing. I would say for those who haven't dated in a long time it is an eye opener of modern day dating, whilst it is fiction, from folk I know who are currently dating in these times, it isn't far off the mark in the truth stakes, it is wild out there, folk be wild lol, 3/5.

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Wednesday 10 April 2024

Can I speak to Josephine Please? by Sheila Brill Random Things Blog Tour

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for "Can I Speak To Josephine Please?" by Sheila Brill, for my stop please enjoy my non spoiler review, this is a RandomThingsTour.



About the author:




Since leaving the teaching profession in 1992, Sheila has worked as a Managing Editor, a tutor for foster carers and written for and edited a magazine for families, carers and teachers of children and young people with complex needs. She is a Public Involvement Partner, working as a Co-teacher at the University of the West of England, and an interviewer for paediatric nursing candidates. Originally from Glasgow, Sheila lived in London before moving to Bristol, where she now lives with her husband and son. Since completing her memoir, she has written and broadcast flash fiction.

You can buy your copy now available in kindle, audio and paperback from Amazon UK.

Can I speak to Josephine please?Can I speak to Josephine please? by Sheila Hilary Brill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 2 days

Pages - 356

Publisher - Resilient Books

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Theirs was an unlikely life together. Sheila gave birth to Josephine on 11th May 1993 and for twenty-three years they co-existed in a loving mother-daughter relationship, but one with a difference. Josephine suffered catastrophic brain injury at birth, never spoke to Sheila, rarely smiled and was barely able to see the faces of the people who loved her. Without a how-to guide, people around Josephine strove to make her life better through years of multiple medical procedures, tortuous therapies and uncomfortable equipment. But this isn't a misery memoir; it's the story of a person who touched the lives of so many people - a bright and beautiful young lady who could 'work the room'. despite her enormous limitations. She brought out the best in people. Expect to cry, expect to laugh, but don't expect to be indifferent to this story.


My Review

Buckle up guys we have a bit of an emotive road ahead of us. Meet Sheila, Josephine's mum we learn about the family - Sheila getting pregnant and being cared for by her Father in Laws colleagues, best of care. However when Sheila goes in to labour, the senior doc who was going to over see the labour and birth ends up not being there. A catalogue of mistakes, missed opportunities and downplaying leaves Sheila's new born baby with a catastrophic brain injury. We follow the family in the days/weeks/years after the wean is born. They are told to prepare for the worse (after the birth) as wee Josephine is very poorly and could die anytime.

It makes for really hard reading, Sheila is brutally honest about everything, her fears, what she seen and experienced, the difficulties facing not just being a new mum but one to a child with such profound and specialised needs. Add into that the fight for accountability and proving that everything that was done or lack of actions caused Josephine to have the difficulties she had.

It sounds very doom and gloom and don't get me wrong some of it is harrowing and heart breaking to read. However there is so much positivity to the book and the absolute specialness that Josephine had and overcame despite pretty much all the odds being against her.

It is a very raw at times read, dark, inspiring, uplifting, heroic and even gasp inducing moments. I think also if you have never had a child or loved one with additional needs, reading this book will offer a huge insight into it, how you can be mindful and actually help someone who has a loved one with these needs. I could actually hug Sheila after reading this! It seems Josephine was a very special young lady who touched the lives of those she came to know and love. Not for the faint hearted but I would absolutely recommend it to just about anyone, 4.5/5, I think this will stay with you long after you have finished the last page. I am very interesting in seeing the documentary film type they made and have contacted the author about where to view it!


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Monday 8 April 2024

April giveaway

Happy April you guys, here is hoping wee see some sunshine and weather change soon - more time for reading outside (one of our faves), only managed it twice this year so far.




So, what is up for grabs? Well, x1 book protector as shown.




Put my hand beside it so you can see it for scale, size ish.




And if that isn't enough, you know my wee I love reading magnetic bookmark, I finally found someone selling them again and bought more, so x1 as shown, also up for grabs.







This will be open worldwide as they are both lightweight. To enter, as always, use the Rafflecopter below, please only use the entries you have/plan to actualy complete.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena

Not a Happy FamilyNot a Happy Family by Shari Lapena
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - as able over 4 days

Pages - 433

Publisher - Penguin

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

In this family, everyone is keeping secrets--especially the dead. Brecken Hill in upstate New York is an expensive place to live. You have to be rich to have a house there. And they don't come much richer than Fred and Sheila Merton. But even all their money can't protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mertons are brutally murdered the night after an Easter Dinner with their three adult kids. Who, of course, are devastated.

Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their capricious father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of them is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did one of them snap after that dreadful evening? Or was it someone else that night who crept in with the worst of intentions? It must be. After all, if one of your siblings was a psychopath, you'd know.

Wouldn't you?



My Review

Oh you guys, you know we are big Lapena fans in this house anyway. Well this one we meet the Mertons, Fred and Sheila start the story being horrifically killed. As the book goes on we go back to the evening of their death and the big family dinner/reunion. Ooft the family are dysfunctional and that isn't the half of it. As the investigation into their deaths proceeds we learn more about them and the family, dudes we have a lot of not very nice people!

I think sometimes a book hits harder depending on how your life experiences are. My dad bought me this book and isn't it ironic how the book imitates life. People being more interested in what they can get when a loved one dies, this has ALWAYS been a huge bug bear of mine, such a disrespect to the person who has passed. The Mertons are RICH and we all know how many can make people.

So whilst you have the who done it/investigation aspect of the book the behaviours of the family really got their nails into me. I think sometimes we see the absolute ugliness of people when someone dies, greed, ugly sides of their personality and whilst it is a part of the book it isn't the heart of it but it packed a punch for me. Purely from the aspect that time and time again we have seen this when someone has passed. The Merton children are very different from each other and have turned out very different so hearing of their characters and reactions to their parents demise was interesting in itself, not including all that comes after. The book kept me guessing as Lapena always done, 4.5/5 for me this time. Prepare for some shady behaviours and not very nice people!


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Thursday 4 April 2024

The Know by Martina Cole

The KnowThe Know by Martina Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 5 days

Pages - 629

Publisher - Headline

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Joanie Brewer' s children meant the world to her. She'd do anything to protect them, even resorting to prostitution and petty crime in order to feed and clothe them. So when her beautiful teenage daughter is raped and murdered, only one thing will stop Joanie's pain - seeing her daughter's killer brought to justice. Joanie knows who he is and she'll do whatever it takes to nail him...7


My Review

This one has some hard hitting themes, from the opening prologue you learn a child has died and been the victim of a predator. There are quite a few references to deviants so just a heads up not for the faint hearted. Joanie is working in the world's oldest profession, a lady of the night. Her oldest son is starting to make a name for himself and coming into his own with all things within the criminal world. Her eldest daughter has absolute middle child syndrome and is acting out trying to find her place and who she is. The youngest Kira is the antithesis of them all, sweet, innocent, loved and adored by them all well maybe not Jeanette so much (middle child) but even she can't keep up being mad at the wean.

The story has many dark themes, sa, murder, rape, violence, drug dependency, absolute deviants so you can imagine how seedy things get. The language can be pretty offensive and some of it not used nowadays but reflective of the characters and their time/place. Racism and white supremacy rears its ugly head in this one too so something to really grate on and hate many characters for.

When you think things couldn't get any worse, Cole keeps you on your toes and keeps shocking and bringing it. If you have read her books before you know what to expect. Short chapters and if you want a break from your own reality and sinking into shady characters and all manners of skulduggery, this is as good a place to start as any. It is a standalone too, 4/5 from us but proceed with caution, it is pretty shocking.

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Tuesday 2 April 2024

Dark Rooms by Lynda La Plante




Dark Rooms (Tennison, #8)Dark Rooms by Lynda La Plante
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 3 days

Pages - 336

Publisher - Zaffre

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Helena Lanark is the only one who knows about the horrors which once occurred in her family's house. The heiress of an immense family fortune, she now resides in a luxurious care home; her mind and memory fading fast. Jane Tennison is leading a murder investigation into the recent brutal death of a young girl, her decomposed, starved body discovered in an old air raid shelter in the garden of the Lanark's now derelict house. Initially the focus is on identifying the victim, until another body is found hidden in the walls of the shelter. As the investigation and search for answers intensifies, Jane travels to Australia. There she discovers the dark secret that the Lanark family has kept hidden for decades. A secret that not only threatens to bring down a family dynasty, but also places Jane Tennison in mortal danger . . .


My Review

Welcome to book eight in the Tennison series, you can read it as a standalone but the series is so fab and you would miss so much backstory/character development if you start here. Jane is into yet another new team but this time she will be the lead on a case her superiors aren't enthusiastic about. During work being done on an older wealthy owned estate a body is found chained up in an air raid shelter not on the building plans. Jane being the lead heads down and uncovers another body, this one causing more annoyance from Janes "superiors". Jane is like a dog with a bone and will stop at nothing to find out what happened and get justice and as always to the truth.

This book is really busy, it has a lot going on, the investigations, dealing with the original owners - the attitudes, more inappropriate attitudes, sexism, abuse of position, inappropriate conduct from Janes male counterparts. Honestly I feel in this one we see a different side to Jane, we get the usual where she is absolutely dedicated to the job and victims and regardless of who she may annoy or upset she is getting to the bottom of her case(s). I feel she was a bit more almost wreckless this time, in some of her behaviours, speaking freely about her case to the guy she has in doing work on the house.

We also see Jane dabbling with a relationship and maybe it was ripples from her previous relationships and why she is a bit different/guarded this time. Yet that being said there was also an incident within her home and something she did that I was shocked. Nothing overly major but just from what we know of Jane I felt it was so out of character, she seemed to have a different side showing this time. Not bad but just risks that I didn't expect from her, character development maybe, response to all she has been through, age, I don't know but it is certainly interesting to see her flash a bit off the straight and narrow so to speak.

Family secrets, scandals, touching on some horrific themes, SA, murder, abuse of power/status, police investigation and as always Janes metal at not being badgered or bullied into dropping something or behaving a certain way. I think that is why we are big Tennison fans, she has some flaws (don't we all) but she comes from a good place and always an advocate for the victims who can no longer speak for themselves, 4/5 from me.

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