Enter D C Charlotte (Charlie) Stafford. She works at the Community Support Units at Lambeth HQ, Metropolitan Police. Like many main protagonists in crEnter D C Charlotte (Charlie) Stafford. She works at the Community Support Units at Lambeth HQ, Metropolitan Police. Like many main protagonists in crime novels, she has secret past plus a strong dedication to her job. As well as Charlie, the author includes a minor cast of family and colleagues to embroider her character. In the first few chapters, I felt the book was a bit ‘all over the place’ e.g., told from multiple third-person perspectives, as more characters are added, plus one crime after another. Maybe there were too many storylines introduced in the background. It then settled down into a violent, tense, gritty and dark, disturbing novel with a fair number of suspects. The interaction between Charlie and suspects during station interviews were very well done – seemingly accurate and believable.
I found the plot had a good pace overall, but I have deducted 1 mark because I felt something was missing – of which I couldn’t place my finger on. The ending was a bit OTT, and I disliked the ‘super heroine’ effect. A woman a little too good to be true! I would be interested in how Charlie conducts herself in follow up stories. ...more
This was my first venture into reading one of Netta Newbound’s psychological thrillers and as the story gripped me from the opening pages, I’m sure I’This was my first venture into reading one of Netta Newbound’s psychological thrillers and as the story gripped me from the opening pages, I’m sure I’ll be back for more. Beyond Shadows is concerned with Amanda Flynn, a woman going through a personal crisis after discovering her husband is having an affair with a voluptuous red-head and to her horror discovers that her convicted paedophile of a father has just been released from prison and subsequently gone missing.
Ms Newbound defines her characters pretty well, and her narrative contains many twists and turns which kept me engrossed. There are graphic scenes – beware those of a nervous disposition. This is a story with enough intrigue to make it a good psychological crime thriller mystery.
Ah! Another Jan Ruth, contemporary novel! I’ve enjoyed all I’ve read from Ms Ruth so far and I felt nervous as to whether this book, ‘Palomino Sky’ thAh! Another Jan Ruth, contemporary novel! I’ve enjoyed all I’ve read from Ms Ruth so far and I felt nervous as to whether this book, ‘Palomino Sky’ the sequel to Midnight Sky, would live up to expectations.
These books, set in wild and rugged north Wales, are essentially about the lives of James and Laura, with a colourful, handful of other characters’ thrown in. I say colourful, because Ms Ruth never fails to create full-blown three D characters, complete with a full set of failings and idiosyncrasies both likeable and not so. The titles of this book, like the original, are named after horses and are set on the farm where James, (a healer of horses) runs an equestrian business.
Palomino Sky follows on from Midnight Sky – Laura and James are set to be married when dramatic and catastrophic events threaten to overtake their lives. Throughout the first book and continuing in this one, both lead characters have ghosts which in their minds refuse to lie down. Unless this happens then neither can move on.
I won’t say any more about the story as other readers have already done that. Instead I’ll talk about the plot, storyline and overall writing.
As I’ve said, Ms Ruth can paint a very vivid picture of her characters and repeats it here. Her descriptions of the place, the majestic National park (Snowdonia), the run-down and decrepit riding school, and Laura’s family with their erratic life and often out of control lives make for compelling reading.
The plot is good – I had a very brief ten minutes when I wondered if the first few chapters were slow, but on reflection I believe it was the characters themselves who were dithering. I wanted to force them to stop messing around and get on with the wedding! Leading on to the storyline – well, it is the perfect sequel. There is very little break in story between the two, the action continues at a good spanking pace, and the events are perfectly feasible and exciting in themselves. At times, the story is heart breaking, annoying, realistic, evocative and troubling – as real life so often proves.
Running throughout the main story, is a whole plethora of other characters’ tales, including the horses. They too are often damaged and need to escape a cruel and painful past. Their stories are often an echo to the humans’ plight.
Great writing, loved the book, and can honestly say this is one of the better books, no, best books I’ve read in 2016.
Well done and I look forward to reading more of Jan Ruth’s work. Highly recommended.
I was given a copy of Palomino Sky in exchange for a fair and honest review of Jan Ruth’s Palomino Sky.
Yellow Crocus – good but could have made a lot more impact
An easy to read novel about slavery in the southern US states. The story was somewhat expectYellow Crocus – good but could have made a lot more impact
An easy to read novel about slavery in the southern US states. The story was somewhat expected with an emotional pull which I felt was lacking in intensity. The subject matter could have been much more powerful. Although I felt sympathetic to the slaves I never felt close enough to shed tears and after consideration I think this novel is more for the young adult market . I was expecting more impact and the characters didn’t quite come off. So overall a good read but not exceptional. I award this a strong 3.5 stars ...more
This novel by Irish author Gerry McCullough was something of a surprise. At first I supposed it to be chick-lit but IHel’s Heroes – a surprise for me!
This novel by Irish author Gerry McCullough was something of a surprise. At first I supposed it to be chick-lit but I was wrong. Protagonist Helen McFadden is a historical romance writer and after the unfortunate demise of her two parents has become something of a recluse. The only bright light in her cupboard is that she is successful at what she does.
In love with the heroes she creates she realises she is missing out in life, and it isn’t until her friend Sandy interferes that she discovers she’s missing out on a true love relationship herself. Enter Pete Montgomery, a childhood school friend she barely remembers but seems intent on staying around Helen (Hel) as she rediscovers her life. After being caught up in her world of fiction, Hel must learn the most important lesson – she mustn’t mix fantasy with real love.
Running parallel to Hel’s own voyage of discovery, Hel writes the final chapters to her latest romantic novel, which takes place in another century. I enjoyed the parallels of the two women – similar and yet at the same time completely different.
The Lie is related to the reader in alternating chapters between the present day and events 5 years ago. The plot cen4.5 stars for good solid thriller
The Lie is related to the reader in alternating chapters between the present day and events 5 years ago. The plot centres around a group of four women friends who go off to Nepal on holiday. While at a ‘resort’ of sorts in the Himalayas, secrets and lies are revealed in this intriguing psychological thriller. Overall, I found the beginning a bit of a plod and not very interesting, but once the four main characters were in Nepal things picked up. The women’s characters were all very different – fairly well developed, but I failed to find much affinity with any of them. Three quarters in and I wanted to give them all a slap as I thought some of the plot twists were very far-fetched, but the last quarter picked up and I really enjoyed it. Overall, a good book with a unique storyline, characters could have been stronger, but the ending overcame that. One small thing – the character telling the story - the author does rely on a lot of telling instead of showing – but it didn’t detract too much. Recommended at 4.5 star rating ...more
Interesting read with potential.*Minor spoiler near end of review*.
I was looking forward to reading Black Wood as it was the author’s debut novel andInteresting read with potential.*Minor spoiler near end of review*.
I was looking forward to reading Black Wood as it was the author’s debut novel and THE Book Club read of the month. The beginning had me interested; exciting enough to grip me, but after a few chapters I began to have some doubts. In parts I didn’t think it particularly well written and the plot started deviating all over the place. I had looked at previous reviews (all 5 categories) prior to buying the book and I was wondering if this book wasn’t living up to the all hype. First of all I have to believe and feel some empathy with the main characters. I found Holliday had added a lot of people to the script, and unfortunately failed to flesh most of them out – leaving the reader with a list of undeveloped ‘walk-on parts’ as in a TV programme. I say unfortunate - because if characters are left like this then they become nothing more than a list of ‘also-ran’, all of whom I, as a reader couldn’t care less about.
This should have been a good read; I love a thriller, especially one with memories that gradually reveal the earlier story. But this fell short. Even the ending which told us what actually happened in the woods was sub-standard. I kept thinking there was going to be some huge revelation…but no, I was left with a weak tale in which there wasn’t a lot to talk about. I also get annoyed when the ‘bad guy’ turns out to be someone who has hardly featured in the whole of the story apart from a few cursory mentions. I have read a lot worse, but this was just an okay read, with a so-so ending. However, I feel the writer has a lot more to tell – I have a feeling her next book will be better. ...more
“A Vila dos Assassinos” introduz, Diana Rivers, escritora, às vezes atriz e investigadora amadora, note bem. Ainda que os romances de mistério e suspe“A Vila dos Assassinos” introduz, Diana Rivers, escritora, às vezes atriz e investigadora amadora, note bem. Ainda que os romances de mistério e suspense de assassinato de Diana Rivers sejam uma série, eles podem ser lidos em qualquer ordem.
Quando um grupo de teatro de estrangeiros se reúne para discutir sua próxima peça, um assassinato acontecerá. Um chantagista persegue essa pitoresca vila cipriota. O grupo está devastado por ciúmes, rivalidades, tensão sexual e negócios ilícitos.
Em segredo, todos tentam encontrar soluções para seus problemas. Alguns acreditam que esta se encontra em um assassinato. Será que conseguirão encontrar o chantagista? Será que conseguirão encontrar o importante “livrinho negro” – uma crônica de todos os seus delitos?
Um corpo é encontrado e Diana se transforma em detetive para desenhar uma lista de suspeitos. Depois de a polícia de envolver, um dos suspeitos é encontrado enforcado – é algum outro assassinato ou um suicídio? Ele realmente se enforcou? Uma visita a casa de um morador da vila descobre um antigo instrumento de assassinos. Essa poderia ser a arma do assassinato? É possível que o assassino more do coração da antes pacífica e idílica vila na montanha?
Amor, ódio, assassinato e drama estão presentes nessa história clássica de detetive. Com uma longa lista de suspeitos, algumas viradas dramáticas e peixes com vinho tinto, o leitor é deixado para adivinhar até as cortinas do final. ...more
This is the first novel I’ve read by Angela Marsons, but no doubt I’ll be back for more. I haven’t given the full five stars (4.5) as I4.5 star review
This is the first novel I’ve read by Angela Marsons, but no doubt I’ll be back for more. I haven’t given the full five stars (4.5) as I felt parts of the book were a little lacking, but nothing major. It took me until chapter ten to really get embroiled and I believe this was down to the main character, detective Kim Stone. Kim Stone seemed too cold towards her work colleagues. Saying that – the chapters are remarkably short (70 in all!). To some extent the maverick police officer is a little clichéd as a flawed protagonist. But, it makes the story work; it flows well and I enjoyed reading it. The further into the book the reader gets, the more Kim Stone’s character and tortured past is revealed. I thought the story was very good and although lacking in originality the concept was impressively developed throughout. Angela Marsons created some very vivid landscapes, and as the reader, I enjoyed being part of the scene as it were. The other characters, bar one, were plausible and their histories were well constructed. (I wasn’t too sure about the bipolar part…it may be me mistake but I thought both women were introduced at one stage during the story…) I would read more from this author and recommend Silent Scream.
This is the first novel I’ve read by Mark Edwards and I bought it because of the reviews – which vary immensely – but come down heavi3.5 Stars Review
This is the first novel I’ve read by Mark Edwards and I bought it because of the reviews – which vary immensely – but come down heavily in favour of 4/5 stars. Now I’ve finished The Magpies I’m in two minds about this book altogether. I took a few chapters to get into story, but once in I sped through this book and at times I did feel gripped by the scenario as it could happen to anyone. However, three things bugged me. I wasn’t too happy with the prose – at times it seemed to have been written by a teenager and at other times flowed well. The second thing were the two main characters, of whom I didn’t feel in any way engaging, so my sympathies were perhaps not as strong if I’d have liked them to have been. Finally, I was very disappointed with the ending. It felt rushed and unfinished, and not in keeping with the main body of work at all. Saying all that, I wanted to finish the book, discover what was going to happen, and I did enjoy it overall. I’d like to give the book four stars, but for my three main gripes, so in this instance I award it 3.5 stars. I would read more from this author. ...more
Kith & Kill heroine, Resa James, is diff Review of Kith & Kill by Thea Hartley
Picture Interesting storyline and credible plot
Kith & Kill heroine, Resa James, is different. She’s not a detective but a psychologist, and is called in to assist the police in identifying the type of person who would kill childless couples.
The author, Thea Hartley, has a good formula with her heroine, as Resa is uniquely placed to identify the connection. As the story unfolds – at a decent pace – more details come to light. Characters are introduced at the right time for the reader to assimilate the information, and I found a good mix of clues popping up here and there.
Running through the novel is a lot of interesting information about infertility and clinics – a large part of the book concerns this, as it is the basis of the plot.
Apart from a scattering of typos and minor grammar mistakes, the book on the whole is taken from a good idea and makes a credible story.
There are more books planned in the series. ...more