The Girl in The Ice is one of those books you begin, thinking you’ll read a chapter or two, then get so absorbed in it you look up four hours later onThe Girl in The Ice is one of those books you begin, thinking you’ll read a chapter or two, then get so absorbed in it you look up four hours later only to discover you forgot to do the housework and cook dinner. The book, the first in a series, introduces Detective Erika Foster, who is returning to work following the horrific death of her husband. I dislike wishy-washy, female lead characters so I found myself drawn to Erika, empathising with her and cheering as she takes on colleagues in her quest to find justice for the victim. Like all good heroes, she is flawed. She makes errors of judgment, crosses lines and loses her temper, all of which add to her appeal and make her distinctly human. Erika is assigned to a case in London where a stunning, gregarious socialite has been found brutally murdered and encased in ice. It transpires she’s the daughter of a prominent politician so the heat is on to find the killer. As the layers are unpeeled, Erika discovers not only has the girl been harbouring dark secrets but politics and bureaucracy are mudding the waters and she will need to employ unorthodox methods to work out the identity of the murderer. She takes them all on in an attempt to find justice for the victim. Nothing delights me more than a tingling, edge-of-your-seat thriller that keeps me guessing to the end and Girl in The Ice is one such thriller. At times, I actually found myself holding my breath as I raced through pages at pace. Robert Bryndza’s sortie into a world of crime and psychologically damaged souls makes for a gripping read and I can’t wait to read more of this genre from this talented author.
Chris James is without doubt an excellent writer and I really liked the first collection of this new kind of ‘fan fiction’. But in this next collectioChris James is without doubt an excellent writer and I really liked the first collection of this new kind of ‘fan fiction’. But in this next collection of short stories he excels himself. Clearly this is a writer who has developed his craft and has produced a hugely entertaining collection of stories.
As with the first volume, I didn’t know the Genesis songs which inspired the stories, but also as with the first volume, I didn’t need to. I marvelled at how he succeeds in fusing historical events with science fiction. I was glued to the pages of each story, with just enough pausing now and then to take in sharp breaths of surprise or to breathe sighs of relief.
I really don’t want to give away any spoilers for readers - there really is enough in the descriptions above, but trust me, you will thoroughly enjoy this second collection. Favourite story? All of them....more
Will MacMillan’s latest offering in the Banned Underground series is yet another hugely enjoyable tale.
The Government is struggling to find the way ouWill MacMillan’s latest offering in the Banned Underground series is yet another hugely enjoyable tale.
The Government is struggling to find the way out of the Recession and is working on a system with the Edern. They have a computer linked to a time-travelling SatNav that can predict future events. The Grey Mage (think Evil Lord) wants to hack into that system and use it for himself. He sends his henchmen (Bill and Ben – yes, Mr MacMillan Jones, I got it.) to corrupt it with a virus during a fund-raising event where the Banned Underground are playing.
Confusion and comedy fuse as chaos ensues. The humour comes at you thick and fast in this book. It is choc block full of puns and laughs. You need your wits about you to pick up on the musical references and subtle gags but luckily this reader was on fire that day. It is both slapstick and subtle. And, watch out for the twist at the end. It is very good.
The characters are huge fun. Amusing episodes populate the pages. Dai, the bass playing dragon is love-sick and keeps setting fire to things when he huffs. The Dark Lord, in spite of being evil, is terrified of his wife, Poison Ivy, and the SatNav’s gloomy attitude that reminded me a little of Marvin the paranoid android, in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, all had me laughing out loud.
Light, enjoyable and an easy read although I would suggest you read the preceding books before this as characters are developed throughout the series.
I so wish my SatNav was as much fun as this one. Oh, and don’t forget to put your wages on Madcap Harry!...more
Ingenious and different! I’m quite a big Genesis fan and knew all the songs these stories are based on, but the lyrics in the songs are really only theIngenious and different! I’m quite a big Genesis fan and knew all the songs these stories are based on, but the lyrics in the songs are really only the starting point as each short story takes its own path. Probably the story which sticks closest to the lyrics is The Final Battle, based on Supper’s Ready, which is also the longest story. The other four are great short stories because they all have a little twist to make them memorable. Also, they are all very different. The first and fourth stories are fantasy, the second is very smart historical fiction, set in 1987, and the third and last stories are contemporary fiction. This really gives the book a unique flavour, and I’m definitely looking forward to volume 2!...more
I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of this book. If you are an author and want to know how to get your book 'out there' then this is I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of this book. If you are an author and want to know how to get your book 'out there' then this is for you. This book is uncomplicated and thoroughly enjoyable to read. Written from her own personal experience and filled with lots of honest advice and examples, it shows you how easy it is to launch your book with a bang, gain readers and even chart success. Although you may already be familiar with online parties, Janice manages to throw in innovative ideas that you probably haven't considered, and clear guidelines that are simple to put into practice. The photos and little 'asides' that punctuate the 'dialogue' make the book much easier to read and understand than some other 'How to...' books I have read, and Janice also adds a very nice personal touch to it all with her charm and humour. In fact it's like getting help from a friend. You really should get a copy, after all, who doesn't love a party?...more
It has been a long time since I have laughed out loud at a book, let alone guffawed throughout one, yet this collection of humorous tales, each with aIt has been a long time since I have laughed out loud at a book, let alone guffawed throughout one, yet this collection of humorous tales, each with a modern twist, had me in stitches. The tales, based on traditional fairy stories, and other well-known fables, are amusing in themselves with some dry and witty outcomes, but it is Fran's easy conversational style and comic asides that cause the most hilarity. If Fran weren't a writer she would make a terrific comedienne. Favourite fables? Difficult to chose as they are all hugely entertaining - possibly The Shoemaker and the Elves which appealed to my imagination. I also loved the idea of the French mother being a Porc Gascon and the teenage mirror in Snow White that has a way with words. Hats off to Fran! I hope she brings out another book very, very soon....more
Bad Traffick is probably one of the best thrillers I have read in a long time, and if you consider that I read about fifty books a year, that is a graBad Traffick is probably one of the best thrillers I have read in a long time, and if you consider that I read about fifty books a year, that is a grand statement. Suffice to say, this was a novel that gripped me from the outset and kept me glued to it until the very last page. It came as no surprise to later learn that D V Berkom is a fan of James Bond because this book certainly carries echoes of the breakneck pace of those novels and some excellent fight scenes. The protagonist, Leine Basso is a credible, very likeable character. Berkom succeeds is creating a female character who has guts, determination and ability. Leine is supported by other strong characters, an intriguing plot. the novel is hugely entertaining. I highly recommend this novel and shall certainly be reading others in this series by this same author. ...more
A fast-paced, hugely enjoyable read. Chris James is without doubt an excellent story teller who succeeds in creating a credible futuristic world whereA fast-paced, hugely enjoyable read. Chris James is without doubt an excellent story teller who succeeds in creating a credible futuristic world where time travel into other dimensions exists. Although there are many books which cover this subject, this one is set apart thanks to James's expertise in transporting his character to time zones in the past where he effortlessly describes historical events with panache. This reader could not put the book down and having finished it, immediately raced onto the second in the series. Chris James is an author worth discovering and I cannot recommend this novel highly enough....more