OK, today we have more book love. But, would you be surprised to hear that considering the author is Sharon Bolton? I adored her previous standalone bOK, today we have more book love. But, would you be surprised to hear that considering the author is Sharon Bolton? I adored her previous standalone book, Little Black Lies. Daisy In Chains is equally as stunning a read. And another of my holiday reads. I really did get to read some great books as I lay about in the sun this year. I made some good choices.
I adored reading about Maggie Rose. She is a strong female and has her own distinct sense of self that I was envious of. She had the courage to wear her hair blue and not care what people thought. She was self-assured and confident and she wasn’t taking any demands from Hamish Wolf or his fan club.
Hamish Wolf, in prison for the murder of several young women was once a well-respected doctor and there are people who believe his innocence. He’s an interesting character. You never quite know how to take him, which makes the writing absolutely brilliant.
And then you have the investigating detective on the case Pete Weston and his team, who are the middle of Maggie and Hamish. They are trying to make sure their case is still tight in case Maggie does decide to take his case, but they seem to have a good working relationship as Maggie is wooed by the project to support Wolf’s appeal.
The characterisations are solid and believable and really draw you in. The story is a complex web which will leave you guessing until the last-minute. I mean – does a book like this end with him being guilty or innocent? It really could go either way and you need to read it to find out…
You won’t be able to turn the pages fast enough to find out what on earth is happening, though.
An absolutely fantastic read.
With thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for my copy.
An excellent novella from Cavanagh, which has all the flair of The Defence, strong storytelling and great characters. It keeps you turning the pages.An excellent novella from Cavanagh, which has all the flair of The Defence, strong storytelling and great characters. It keeps you turning the pages. And for a novella, it doesn't skimp on story, depth or length. A great read! ...more
This is Kubica's third novel and it is the third novel I have loved.
I'm currently on holiday (flying home today) and I've had a wonderful time catchinThis is Kubica's third novel and it is the third novel I have loved.
I'm currently on holiday (flying home today) and I've had a wonderful time catching up with my TBR pile. Laying in the sun reading has been blissful and it's a time when I always seem to read Kubica's next novel.
There are two narratives in Don't You Cry. That of Alex, a small time boy of 18, who lives at home with his drunk of a father, being the adult of the house, and Quinn whose Chicago roommate suddenly goes missing one night.
You think you know how the two narratives are bound together, but you are never quite sure. However, it never seems to matter because the story is just beautifully told. It's not a fast-paced "page-turner" but a real honest look at people, their lives, emotions, hopes, dreams and fears, and it pulls you into the pages and holds you in its spell. You love the frailty of Alex and how he admits to his first kiss and how it all went wrong with the telescope. You love the drive of Quinn to stay in that place in the world where she fits and she can be a better friend to someone she cares about.
And, Don't You Cry - well, it had me crying! Luckily I think I was in my room by that point and not laid around the pool otherwise, it would not have been a good look for me.
Another highly recommended Kubica novel. Awaiting the next one for next years holiday!...more
I reviewed Mark’s last book, Follow You Home,not too long ago and I’d loved it. So when he asked if I wanted an advanced reader copy of The Devil’s WoI reviewed Mark’s last book, Follow You Home,not too long ago and I’d loved it. So when he asked if I wanted an advanced reader copy of The Devil’s Work I obviously jumped at the chance.
I wasn’t disappointed.
It is an entirely different read but it still has Mark’s unique style about it. His voice. He has an ability to keep you turning the pages, wanting to know more all the time. He holds back, just teasing the story along. Keeping you engrossed but at the same time, without you quite realising it, not giving you enough to fill you.
The Devil’s work follows two timelines for our protagonist Sophie. The current timeline set in 2015 where she starts a new job in a publishing house (how great to see a novel set in the book world!) and one several years earlier when she was a young and insecure woman at university. You realise that of course, these two timelines have to converge at some point but you can’t quite figure out how that will come about, so, you have to keep reading.
But, in the meantime, she really is quite anxious by events that are occurring in her new dream job that she doesn’t feel quite so dreamily about now. It starts fairly small and innocuous (though maybe not for other people) and gradually has her feeling extremely nervous and worried about her life.
With the two running timelines, I enjoyed seeing that Sophie had actually grown into an adult and wasn’t still the same person she’d been at university, just at a different time. Mark had made her a fully drawn and well-rounded character.
As the timelines start to converge, the page turning gets to erratic levels as you just have to know how things are going to play out.
It’s another great read from Mark Edwards and I have to thank him and the publisher for my advance copy.
I can’t rave about this book enough. No matter how much I have raved about any book on this blog, this is one book I think everyone must read. And I kI can’t rave about this book enough. No matter how much I have raved about any book on this blog, this is one book I think everyone must read. And I kid you not, with that bolded out statement. I am deadly serious. If you’re using social media, then you need this book in your life and you need to read it quickly before you keep typing into your tweet stream or Facebook feed. It’s that important.
This book scared the living daylights out of me.
I was already aware of the power of social media before I read it. It was one of the reasons I picked it up from the shelf in the bookshop. I’d heard about it and had an understanding of where it was coming from.
We’re a society using public shaming to control people/organisations/governments. To make change happen. It can be for the good. But when directed at a single individual, it can be terrifying.
Have you ever heard of someone who has hurt a friend on social media by their words or actions and then gone on to castigate them for it, making it public so others can see the error of their ways? Or have you seen a wrong doing already circling and shared the tweet or Facebook post, sharing the outrage?
It’s this simple act. You/me, a single person, who makes the whole monster. A monster who is uncontrollable and who, actually, the offending person, really doesn’t deserve that level of anger. Yes, they may be an ignorant idiot, but fired from their job? Don’t kid yourself.
One guy in this book was at a conference, sat with a friend, he made a remark that could have been taken as sexual innuendo (to his friend) about the slide on the screen in front of them (a dongle joke – it was a tech conference). A woman sat in front turned around, took his photo, indignantly tweeted it and it went viral. He lost his job.
It’s that easy.
Was he wrong? I don’t know, maybe if she was really that offended, then he should have thought about how loud he was speaking or if it was an appropriate place etc, but did he deserve to be publicly shamed and lose his job? Absolutely not.
Now, you may say you wouldn’t tweet something like that, but this weekend I saw a Facebook post where a woman was rude on a plane. She’d been rude to a family who had a child with an invisible illness (autism). She’d said can they shut that kid up. A few times I believe. Yes, she was rude. – But, the family took her photo (side profile) and shared a Facebook post saying they hope she was sleeping well because their daughter was distressed and in the hospital, hashtag autism (because obviously that was going to get more shares – cynical, me?) It had, when I saw it, 106 thousand shares on Facebook.
Did that rude woman deserve her photo and this story to be this big because she was so rude? Some would say so. But what if she was invisibly ill? And it was giving her a bad day? And now she has this. And what if she actually loses her job because she works in a place where she needs to be polite and her employer sees it? The family, if they felt like voicing outrage could have simply created the s
The family, if they felt like voicing outrage could have simply created the same post but without the photo and it would have had the same impact for them, the same sense of outrage and disgust that they felt someone had behaved badly to them and their daughter, but adding the photo and potentially identifying her adds a whole other realm to it.
I once read and shared a blog post where an invisibly disabled woman wrote an open letter to another woman who had tutted at her for using a disabled toilet. It was an amazing blog post. She was using a colostomy bag that was full to bursting and the other toilets were full and if she hadn’t rushed into the disabled toilets there could have been a real mess (if I remember it correctly). A powerful post, identifying a problem in society, without the need to publicly castigate the specific individual.
Our actions have consequences.
Where we think we are sending one tweet in support, we are actually building a momentum, an avalanche, a deluge that sweeps away the person at the other end. It completely washes them away.
Yes, Twitter is great for getting big organisations to listen to the masses, but not to target an individual. It smacks of playground bullying in the extreme.
Really, I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s fascinating. And not just about how you can affect the lives of others, but also how people are watching what you tweet…
Martha Lost is 16 years old and has never stepped foot outside Lime Steet Station. She’s a foundling. A phrase I’d never heard, meI adored this book.
Martha Lost is 16 years old and has never stepped foot outside Lime Steet Station. She’s a foundling. A phrase I’d never heard, meaning someone who has been abandoned and found by someone at birth. She believes that if she steps foot outside of Lime Street Station it will collapse in on itself.
Her world is extremely narrow and yet she is a beautiful soul.
Wallace has done an absolutely magnificent job of creating Martha and her world without making it feel twee. You want to read on, you want to know what happens to her. To her friends. And even though you know Lime Street Station couldn’t possible collapse if she set foot outside, you hold your breath, because – could it?
It’s set in the 1970’s heatwave and it’s magical, beautifully drawn and I didn’t want to put it down. I didn’t want Martha Lost’s world to end.
It’s a book I’d highly recommend if you fancy a change from all the death and destruction of the crime reads.
With thanks to the publisher, author and NetGalley for my copy. I’m thrilled to have been able to read it....more
I downloaded this book as an audiobook because I’d heard the sample and listening to Sue Perkins read her own book had me sniggering – from just the sI downloaded this book as an audiobook because I’d heard the sample and listening to Sue Perkins read her own book had me sniggering – from just the sample. I couldn’t wait to hear the whole book.
And it didn’t let me down.
I know I need to read more non-fiction and this was a great start. Sue is brutally honest. I don’t think there’s much point in writing these things if you’re not going to be. But, the way she tells you the stories, either has you reaching for a tissue to wipe your eyes, or reaching for a tissue to wipe your eyes!
The book travels all the way from childhood to present day, sometimes jumping about between the two when a moment reminds her of another. But, you never feel lost and she always brings you right back to where you were originally going. The detour always felt worth doing.
You find out how hard she worked to be where she is now. No, she didn’t just turn up on British Bake Off, already made, like instant cuppa soup, she worked hard beforehand. If you don’t know her work history there are some funny moments that get you through from start to finish.
There are also some seriously personal moments in the book. Very personal and having Sue read it to you in the audio format, makes it feel even more intimate. A sharing of your life, verbally this way must be strange. Writing it down, you’re somewhat detached from it once you press send to the editor and then the publisher, but standing there in the audio booth, reading the work you’ve already sent off, must have been a very strange experience indeed.
Though, the simplicity with which she approached everything, factually, and with good humour, must have helped.
There are, of course, very many funny moments. Moments that had me laughing out loud.
And, it wasn’t always appropriate or seemly for me to be doing that. Not with where I was sitting listening to it!
I’d recommend Spectacles and I’d listen to another autobiography on audiobook if it was read by the author as it definitely adds to the experience. They know how they want it to sound, how the tone of the paragraph is supposed to be. It’s their life, they lived it, there is emotion and meaning in there.
If you enjoy seeing Sue, wherever you have come across her, then I really do think you will enjoy this book, in whichever format you read it, but the audiobook is a real treat.
I bought this book on Audible . It only took 45 minutes to listen to. It’s not a long read.
It is a hard-hitting read, though. King pulls no punches.
WhI bought this book on Audible . It only took 45 minutes to listen to. It’s not a long read.
It is a hard-hitting read, though. King pulls no punches.
What did shock me about this was something he says about one of his own novels and gun crime. The story around it is unbelievable, particularly for a writer to listen to, and his response, measured.
Though, his response is not measured when he relays an argument he read online that a woman posted about why semi-automatic weapons should be kept. Her argument being that they are simply tools, like a spoon.
A spoon. Yes.
This isn’t a completely anti-gun rant. King admits to having his own registered weapons. But, he makes solid arguments for tight control and even talks about people who have accidentally shot family members believing them to be burglars. So I have to wonder if I actually heard him correctly when he said he owned some. (It’s not him narrating.)
From a UK resident perspective and in light of very recent events, this made for a strong read/listen and if you are interested in this topic and you like King, I’d recommend reading how he views this volatile topic....more
I loved Liz’s debut, Unravelling Oliver, and I wondered if she was going to be able to follow-up such a fantastic debut.
I needn’t have worried.
LyingI loved Liz’s debut, Unravelling Oliver, and I wondered if she was going to be able to follow-up such a fantastic debut.
I needn’t have worried.
Lying in Wait is an assured and equally mesmerising novel. There is a belter of a first line…
"My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it."
It drags you kicking and screaming straight into the story, wanting to know what happened, doesn’t it? Who is this woman who is talking in such a cold manner about Annie Doyle being killed? Why did the husband kill her and who is Annie Doyle, why did she deserve to die?
It’s all answered through three very strong narratives. The wife, Lydia, her son Laurence and Annie’s sister, Karen.
And with three narratives, you have to make sure that each person has their own voice. They are distinct in their own right, and Nugent does this with ease. Lydia is cold and manipulative, Laurence, we see grow from a child to a man within the confines of this cold upbringing and Karen we watch search for her missing sister, her twin sister and we watch as she refuses to let it go even as the years drag on.
This story twists in quite a dramatic way and I was left shocked. But the writing is beautiful and it is handled brilliantly and is all done in keeping with character traits. It is yet another corking book from Liz Nugent who is now an author who is fast becoming a name I must read whether I’ve read the blurb on the back or not.
With thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for my copy....more
This book has been in my field of vision for the past year as it was published in April 2015, to a huge amount of chatter on social media and in thatThis book has been in my field of vision for the past year as it was published in April 2015, to a huge amount of chatter on social media and in that period of time, two other books in the series have been released. Marnie has been very busy indeed!
But, as with all books, my TBR pile and my own work has had the better of me and it has taken me this long to get around to reading it.
But, really, what were my excuses for taking so long?!
Someone should have taken my arm and forced it with a great deal of enthusiasm, up my back, until I agreed to read it sooner because I can now understand why there was so much social network chatter about the book.
(I really do need to get on top of my books so that I can read books as they’re coming out!)
The book focuses on Georgina McKenzie, or as she likes to be known to her friends, George. She’s an English student living in Amsterdam and is settled very happily there. She’s settled into student life, she has a place to live and friends. She’s a great character, strong and willful, but also kind, thoughtful and with a deep sensitive side to those she cares about. I loved how well drawn the locale was. The flat, coffee shop and
I also loved how well drawn the locale was. The flat, coffee shop and neighbours. You could easily picture it all.
But, suddenly, life changes for the students as a bomb goes off and George meets Inspector Paul van de Bergen.
Now, I adored van de Bergen. Absolutely loved him. He’s so real. Not some superheroic jumping through hoops cop. He is older, he has a dodgy hip and everything else seems to hurt him at some point or other. Also, his feet look ginormous in wellies! He’s a down to earth, brilliant guy who I really can’t wait to meet again.
The tension in the book is tight. It only took me the three days it took me because I wasn’t feeling well and it’s hard to continue reading with a pounding head. But it is definitely one of those books you want to keep reading.
I loved the European feel, I loved the characterisations, I loved the pace and atmosphere. I can’t wait to read the next two and if you haven’t yet read Marnie Riches, I’d recommend you give her a try....more
I need to lose some weight and I also need to address my general diet because of health issues and I'm aware that food can impact how you feel generalI need to lose some weight and I also need to address my general diet because of health issues and I'm aware that food can impact how you feel generally. Im not diabetic but when I put weight on I put it on my stomach first.
This book is clear and easy to understand and is backed up by examples/evidence of people having used it. It also explains that not all doctors recognise it as useful yet and that if you are diabetic then you might need to cajole your dr into letting you do this. It's very matter of fact and honest.
I've tried the diet, cutting out carbs and sugars and lost 6lbs in my first week.
The reason I've not given the book 5 stars is that it provides you with a menu plan and I'm a bit of a fussy eater. I'd have found it more helpful if there had have been a list of foods I could eat so I could make up my own meals (as I've been doing anyway). But it would have added to the book.
If you're looking to feel better, understand why and lose weight in the process (and understand why) then this is a good book to pick up. ...more
I absolutely blew through this book. I couldn’t put it down. I was immersed in the life of Robert (Bob) Finlay and all that happened to him. The autheI absolutely blew through this book. I couldn’t put it down. I was immersed in the life of Robert (Bob) Finlay and all that happened to him. The authenticity that Matt Johnson’s own life has brought to the novel is obvious from the outset and with the book reading in first person PoV you do feel as though you are living someone’s life.
What I particularly liked about this, and I don’t really read many thrillers of this type, is how Finlay is an older male who is settled down with a wife and child and is feeling his age a little. He’s not some fit, handsome superhero. He’s an ordinary man, who has made career choices that have put him in extraordinary situations, which in turn have led him down a path where he has to face difficult decisions.
It’s this normality about Finlay that appealed to me and kept me reading. The believability of the story. The authenticity.
Even if you don’t normally read this kind of book, I’d really recommend you give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.
With thanks to the author and publisher, Karen at Orenda, for my copy.
Holliday has done it again, she has created characters who are believable and relatable, and shrouded them in a dark suffocating psychological thrilleHolliday has done it again, she has created characters who are believable and relatable, and shrouded them in a dark suffocating psychological thriller that has you gripped from start to finish.
Small town settings are wonderful places for crime fiction and Holliday certainly makes the most of it. I loved meeting a couple of characters I already knew and I definitely enjoyed meeting the new ones. Though some you really wouldn't want to meet on a dark street. A great read!
With thanks to the author and publisher for my copy. ...more