Thursday 29 February 2024

Unholy Murder by Lynda La Plante

The #TeamTennison tour continues, today we have our review for "Unholy Murder" by author Lynda La Plante.

Unholy Murder (Tennison, #7)Unholy Murder by Lynda La Plante
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days (inbetween shifts as able)

Pages - 380

Publisher - Zaffre

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

'Help me turn the coffin lid over.' Jane Tennison said, grabbing one end.
'What you looking for?' Doctor Pullen asked.
'I want to see the condition of the interior lining.'
'The right hand on the body has a broken fingernails, some are worn down to the fingertips.' Doctor Pullen informed them as they gently turned the lid over. The mouldy white satin lining was torn and hanging loose at the head end. Jane gently brushed it to one side revealing deep fingernail scratch marks on the interior metal.
'Oh my God,' Tennison exclaimed. 'She was buried alive.'

In Unholy Murder, Tennison must lift the lid on the most chilling murder case of her career to date . . .

My Review

This is book seven in the Tennison series, Jane is doing pretty well/established and respected considering we are in the early 80s and she is a female officer. This time we have a coffin found on a construction job, when it is opened we do indeed have a body, whilst one cop wants to declare it normal/case closed Jane has always been one to look at everything. Not only is it the body of a nun but upon closer inspection she has been murdered. Now to establish an identity, time line and if a case is to be answered to.

I love that Jane is always force for the victims, no matter what she is faced with and lets face it, the previous six books she has more than had her work cut out for her. This time, with the investigation we have to look at the Catholic church and deal with priests, nuns and those in higher capacities. We have bad blood already between some of the officers and those in the holy order. Much is at risk for all concerned and some people will do anything to keep past secrets exactly that, in the past.

This time, as much as we have the investigation into the murder/identity, we see more of a person side for Jane and of course how that impacts or clashes with the job. A bit more of a flawed version of the Jane we have come to know and love, not in any huge capacity but a few things in this book make her seem more, I don't think vulnerable is the word I am looking for but certainly mis stepping once or twice.

Because there are practicing religious folk and some questionable/shady behaviours/secrets I think there may be a few gasps for those who hold people of the cloth in higher esteem that those who don't. Also the fact the victim is a nun is also a bit of a chest skelp as there are some folk you often put in untouchable categories, innocents, kids, animals, people serving/giving their lives to a higher order. So whilst the book isn't break neck pace it absolutely smacks you in the chops from early on, who would target a nun and in such a horrific way and then you are hooked! 4/5 for me this time, book eight is giving me the eyeball from the shelf already to see what is next in store!

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Sunday 25 February 2024

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

All Your PerfectsAll Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time take to read - 5 days

Pages - 305

Publisher - Simon and Schuster

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Colleen Hoover delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.

Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?

My Review

What an opener, we see an infidelity busted and the book then goes from present day back to the time the infidelity was discovered and everything that transpires afterward. Quinn and Graham met under not the best circumstances but fate tends to have better plans for them. Present day and their perfect marriage is suffering, inability to talk about it, game face on and the longer the elephant in the room doesn't get discussed the bigger the rift between them becomes.

This book will have a lot of triggers for many, infidelity, relationship issues, conceiving, issues around it, it is very relationship centric. You know something is between Quinn and Graham but not what and we bounce back and forth past and present. It shows just how huge the issues are between them with stark almost side to side comparison, loves young dream, fresh in the throes of love to present day and struggling to be honest/close.

It is hard to go into it without giving spoilers which we don't do but it covers some heartbreak, some big issues within relationships, fertility and everything that comes with it. I think there are some actions/reactions that will annoy/enrage some readers. I think Hoover is a bit marmite, some folk love her stuff, some not so much. Regardless I think she creates characters/situations that whilst you may not always like them I think you can tune into or relate to, 3/5 for me this time. I have a fair few others of hers on the tbrm and I think they all are pretty different, lied but didn't love.

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Friday 16 February 2024

Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon

Alien: Out of the Shadows (Canonical Alien trilogy, #1)Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 347

Publisher - Titan books

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

As a child, Chris Hooper dreamed of monsters. But in deep space, he found only darkness and isolation. Then on planet LV-178, he and his fellow miners discovered a storm-scoured, sand blasted hell — and Trimonite, the hardest material known to man.

When a shuttle crashes into the mining ship Marion, the miners learn that there was more than Trimonite deep in the caverns. There was evil, hibernating — and waiting for suitable prey.

My Review

You guuuuuuuuuys! You know I love horror and the Alien movies are some of my faves - Ellen Ripley is one of the most epic characters in horror/sci-fi especially against one of the most deadly enemies. Here the book is set just after Alien movie, the original and before Aliens (the one with the marines) and to be honest I am so here for it.

Ripley ends up on LV178 I think it was, they were mining for trimonite, a substance really hard and I imagine like steel or something to that effect. Of course there is contact with our known apex predators and infection hits. For reasons to become clear later Ripley is pulled from her hyper sleep and docked into a nightmare she barely survived.

Tense, creepy, shocking and I LOVE that we get a bit more of Ripley's metal/character and again a horrible situation against the deadliest adversaries. I think this hits a few things that fans would have liked that we didn't see in the first movie and maybe even a few nods to the second.

And you know me, even briefly, bringing a cat, especially the legend that is Jonesy back D E lighted, and *gasp* the aliens are not the only adversary, if you are a fan of the series/movies I think you will really enjoy this, 4.5/5 for me!

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Wednesday 14 February 2024

No Mercy by Martina Cole

No MercyNo Mercy by Martina Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over a few days

Pages - 436

Publisher - Headline

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Family always comes first. Until now.

Get ready for the ultimate summer read with the explosive new novel from Sunday Times No.1 bestseller and 'undisputed queen of crime writing' ( Guardian ) Martina Cole.

Diana Davis has been head of the family business since the death of her husband, an infamous bank robber. She's a woman in a man's world, but no one messes with her.

Her only son, Angus, is a natural born villain, but he needs to earn Diana's trust before she'll allow him into the business.

Once he's proved he has the brains to run their clubs in Marbella, he is given what he's always wanted. It's the beginning of a reign of terror that knows no bounds.

But Angus has a blind his wife, Lorna, and their three kids, Angus Junior, Sean and Eilish. And as the next generation enters the business, Angus has a painful truth to learn. Even when it comes to family, he must show no mercy...

My Review

Diana Davis is a woman to be reckoned with. In the world of drugs/crime/violence it isn't known for having women in the face leagues. Diana has proven herself time and time again and her eldest Angus is desperate to make his own mark in the game & butts heads a bit with mother dearest. We span across the years as Angus becomes a face in his own right, has his own family & faces the threats & issues that comes with the territory of drugs, violence and crime.

It has been a wee while since I read Cole & I don't know why, i do enjoy her books. For anyone not familiar with her work the characters are gritty, grim, shady, violent, some are very loyal and almost all swear like troopers. This book, like some of the others, features some dark themes that others may find triggering, SA, abuse, manipulation, gaslighting, mental health, murder, violence etc.

Short chapters which I love, characters that you love to hate, action and skulduggery costly afoot or the threat of. I will be checking to see what others I have still to read and getting them. If you want to leave behind your own world and submerge into the gritty no holds barred world of criminals then look no further, 4/5.

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Saturday 10 February 2024

Q&A with Fictional Flames and a wee giveaway

So if you follow us on our social media channels you will have seen the candle we got made by small business Fictional_Flames, we love supporting small businesses where able. As well as doing a fab job we have set up a Q&A with the owner Natalie and you have the chance to win one of her fabulous candles. You can choose one of her exisiting ones that have bookish quotes, you can request for a personalised one like we have or a specicial bookish quote, your choice.

Thanks Natalia for taking time to do a Q&A with us.

Tell us about the business

Fictional Flames makes premium scented soy wax container candles. What makes my products different is that all labels are fully customisable and I provide a bespoke service to make sure the end design is exactly what my customers want - which works great for other businesses and authors - who are always my favourite to work with!

How did you come up with the idea

Fictional Flames makes premium scented soy wax container candles. What makes my products different is that all labels are fully customisable and I provide a bespoke service to make sure the end design is exactly what my customers want - which works great for other businesses and authors - who are always my favourite to work with!
I started to make candles as a hobby and decided I wanted to share a product I'm so proud of with other people. I decided for a strong bookish theme because it's how i spend most of my time! As someone who is completely allergic to colour I decided I wanted my candles to be explicit, funny and bookish but versatile enough to fit in any room with any decor and on any bookshelf and I felt that the simple design was something that wasn't available with bookish candles

How long has it been going

It will be a year in April!

Where are you based

Nantwich in Cheshire

If authors et al wished to do a collab what is the best way to approach you

Instagram is always the best way!

How can people help small businesses?

Post engagement is super helpful! And any time that you buy from etsy, leave a review!!!

Where is the best place(s) to buy your candles (ie got your own website or list all where you are/sell)

I'm currently trying to set up a new website so at the moment Etsy

What scents do you recommend?

THERE ARE SO MANY!! Cherry amaretto, Pina Colada, strawberry daquari… there seems to be a theme here ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘€

Anything else you would like to add we haven't asked?

I don't think so but I would like to thank you for including me in this, i fucking love talking about candles๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿฉท

To enter please use the Rafflecopter below, if you are new here you complete the entries you want to, the more you do the more times your name is entered into the giveaway, entries are checked once the winner is drawn. Please note this is UK only as the business only delivers to the UK, the competition runs to the end of the month and will be drawn at the start of March. Good luck lovelies and as always thanks for entering/supporting the blog.

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Tuesday 6 February 2024

Charlie's Promise by Annemarie Allan

Charlie's PromiseCharlie's Promise by Annemarie Allan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read -

Pages - 192

Publisher - Pokey Hat

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Would you break the rules or break your promise? On the outskirts of Edinburgh, just before the outbreak of WW2, Charlie finds a starving German boy called Josef hiding in the woods near his home. Josef can’t speak English and is desperately afraid, especially of anyone in uniform. Charlie promises to help Josef find his Jewish relatives in the city. It’s a journey that will force them to face their fears, testing their new-found friendship, and Charlie’s promise, to the limit. ‘Poignant, graceful, and relevant for today’ Alex Nye

My Review

Very much young adult, we open with a little boy, hiding at his mothers request as their house is set upon. After Josef finds himself put on a boat and sent off to a country he knows not where, a name and address in his pockets and some German coins. A chance encounter in the woods finds him coming across the path of Charlie and Jean, sparking up a friendship and promise on Charlie's side. Who listens to kids especially when everyone is poor, rumours of horror/crimes against humanity and here we have two weans, altready unlikely pals willing to do what it takes to save their wee pal.

The book is under 200 pages long and your main/central characters are pre teen weans so you have the unique simple view point of children but seeing what is going on. Josef is starving, dirty, cannot speak English and the weans themselves come from not much but loyalty and friendship is everything. Putting themselves at risk and in the firing line for all manners of trouble they embark on an adventure to getting Josef where he is meant to be.

Set mostly in Edinburgh we see the trials the kids face whilst trying to do the right thing, we follow them along the way through some shady characters and perils along the way. It is YA and whilst it does have some veins of darkness/sadness I think it is told really well, the impact of war (and this is at the very beginning) through the medium of innocent children. It also gives a lot of heart lifting moments and strength from the children simply being children and helping a friend despite having so much threat, obstacles and trouble against them, 4/5 from me. I read this in a few hours!

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Thursday 1 February 2024

February giveaway is now live

Happy February loves. I know not everyone bothers with Valentines but I think we can all agree we all like a wee comp. So what is up for grabs?

Winner gets x1 box of MilkTray chocolates as in the picture.

A wee leather style bookmark, it goes on the page corner, green as in picture.

And x1 loveheart keyring that is also a stressball but cutesy shape with a wee face, as shown. The winner picks one - just tell us which colour you would like of the four options available.

As everything is quite lightweight I am opening this worldwide. To enter just fill in the Rafflecopter below, as usual please only select the entries you have completed. Once the winner is announced entries are checked/validated prior to announcement. Good luck, we will leave this up until the end of the month. Thanks to everyone who supports the blog, gets books based on our recs and gives us feedback/chat, even Luna has been spoiled and sent bits. Here is to a happy and healthy month for us all.

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Blunt Force by Lynda La Plante Blog Tour

Today for my stop on the #TeamTennison tour we have my review, non spoiler as per, enjoy loves!

Blunt ForceBlunt Force by Lynda La Plante
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages -

Publisher - Zaffre

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

From Lynda La Plante, the international bestselling author who "practically invented the thriller," (Karin Slaughter) comes a brilliant new page-turner that follows Jane Tennison into the salacious world of theatre to solve a brutal murder in the heart of London's West End

Things can't get much worse for detective Jane Tennison. Unceremoniously kicked off the adrenaline-fuelled Flying Squad, she now plies her trade in Gerald Road, a small and sleepy police station in the heart of London's affluent Knightsbridge.

With only petty crime to sink her teeth into, Tennison can feel her career slowly flatlining. That is until the discovery of the most brutal murder Jane has ever seen: Charlie Foxley has been found viciously beaten to death with a cricket bat - his body dismembered and disembowelled.

As a big-time theatrical agent, Foxley had a lot of powerful friends - but just as many enemies. And alongside her old friend DS Spencer Gibbs, Tennison must journey into the salacious world of show business to find out which one is the killer, before they strike again.

My Review

Jane is still reeling from the after effects of all that happened in the last book with the Flying Squad, dropped from the team and now in a slow moving station in a decent area. In a sleepy affluent neighbourhood where crime is petty Jane feels everything she has worked so hard for is slipping through her fingers. Taking steps to train for better reactions in situations as those she recently encountered (and being held against her) she also comes across an old familiar face, Spencer. When a routine enquiry turns into a murder so heinous the specialists are called in too, Jane finds herself fighting to prove her right to be heard on the team and an effective investigator.

Ah I do love Jane, faults and all, it really grinds my gears though the chauvinistic eejits she has to deal with and proving herself over and over again. Her and Spencer get bumped down the chain as seniors come in and they (the team) find themselves rubbing shoulders with some of Hollywood elite whilst trying to investigate the murder.

As always we have skulduggery, lies, secrets, murder, fame, money and all the traipsing that comes with it as Tennison and co try to figure out who would want the victim dead, who he was, who had motive and what would drive someone to utterly annihilate a person the way the victim was.

Pacey, shocking, vile behaviours from some of the wealthiest people but amongst a cesspool how do you pick out who has the potential to murder and what secrets may have lead to it. Lets face it, most folk in showbiz, those who help them along the way and those who try to make it would do almost anything to make it and everyone (mostly) has secrets in their closets, some may just well be worth killing for! 4/5 from me, very much looking forward to the next!

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