**spoiler alert** This is the second of the trilogy that began with Mr Mercedes. This time we are transported back to 1978, an obsessed reader decides**spoiler alert** This is the second of the trilogy that began with Mr Mercedes. This time we are transported back to 1978, an obsessed reader decides to murder the reclusive author John Rothstein because of his treatment of the character Jimmy Gold. It is not for this that Morris Bellamy the villain of the piece is imprisoned, it is for a later crime. Indeed the money and notebooks Bellamy took when he murdered Rothestein have been stashed away for when he is finally released.
Enter Peter Saubers, his Dad was injured in the first novel when Brady Hartsfield drove a car at a queue of job seekers so when Peter stumbles upon the hidden trunk he thinks all of his prayers have been answered. With the appearance of an anonymous monthly allowance the Saubers family start to me to peace, life moves on and things begin to look up, until the money runs out! By that time Pete has figured out how valuable the notebooks are and is trying to strike a deal to sell them to a book collector. This collector thought knows how valuable the notebooks are and how they were originally obtained and wants to have things his own way.
'Red lips' Bellmay meanwhile is out on parole and keen to touch base with his stashed cash and books and is furious to find them gone. He particualrly want the notebooks to see if Rothstein finally came to his senses regarding the character of Jimmy Gold. As he uncovers what happened to the notebooks Tina Pete's kid sister is worrying about Pete. He is losing weight and withdrawn and she thinks something bad will happen so she confides in her friend Barbara. That's where Mr Hodges, Jerome and Holly come in. They join forces to try and get Pete out of his predicament. Then there is the character of Brady- having survived the concert he is in a medical facility, apparently able to move but not responds, but strange things are happening and the nurses feel uneasy around him. This is clearly King sitting up for the final part of the trilogy.
I read this book as quickly as possible, like all King books the characters are great, they blur the distinctions between good and bad. Pete Saubers takes stolen money from a dead man to help his family and keep them together after they were decimated following an accident. Should he have taken the money clearly not, perhaps trying to sell the notebooks is a step too far hence Red Lips catching up to him, the original criminal. Hodges is getting on but his mind is still sharp but even he taunts the injured Brady in his hospital room. This is an advent told at breakneck speed and one that makes you question the boundaries between good and bad. In the end no-one comes out unaffected by the events that unfold! Highly recommended!...more
**spoiler alert** I read this book in just a few days and it was one of those that you want to continue reading to find out what happens next. Mia is**spoiler alert** I read this book in just a few days and it was one of those that you want to continue reading to find out what happens next. Mia is a therapist with great empathy, probably because she has issues in her own past that help to relate to those of the clients she sees. Gemma is a new client, caught up in a case involving some very dangerous people. She is grieving the loss of her Father, who has disappeared with the money of many innocent investors!
To complicate matters Mia discovers her own family has money invested and she is faced with an investigator who suspects that Gemma is in contact with her Father and knows more than she is letting on and is hoping Mia can help him uncover the truth! Mia of course thinks she has come to terms with her own demons, she has stopped therapy, is in love with a wealthy man who adores her. The issue is of course that his children don't approve of the relationship and he is a bit of a control freak who is away a lot and Mia is coming to realise seems to be more in love with the idea of her than with her. She feels uncomfortable in the expensive restaurants he chooses and the apartment that she disparagingly calls The Fridge!
Her own demons resurface as therapy progresses. Her own 'Daddy' issues with Lorcan resurface and through flashbacks her own past with best friend Lysette's brother and the subsequent fall out resonate with the way she deals with Gemma. Increasingly uncomfortable when Gemma shows up outside appointment times and brings her presents she begins to step out of the client - therapist relationship! As events come to a head and Mia enters a downward spiral both her and Gemma's issues reach a resolution as their paths cross once again. A good read, well written ,sympathetic characters and will keep you guessing....more
**spoiler alert** I had never read a Jackie Collins novel until I was sent this one to review and was expecting a Jilly Cooperesque romp! Instead whils**spoiler alert** I had never read a Jackie Collins novel until I was sent this one to review and was expecting a Jilly Cooperesque romp! Instead whilst there was plenty of romping I was introduced to a colourful cast of characters headed by Lucky and Lennie Santangelo in a fast paced thriller. Lucky Santangelo is in charge of her life, things are going well - until her Father Gino is murdered execution style. Whilst in the past he has had his moments he had been happily settled with his younger wife Paige and so Lucky sets about discovering the culprit and taking her revenge! After all no-one messes with the Santangelos!
Meanwhile Max, her daughter, is busy becoming the new face of a famous fashion house despite being surrounded by a lecherous boss and photographer. Bobby her son has his own problems when in the process of opening his new club he finds himself accused of murder.
There are a whole host of supporting cast members with their own desires to extricate themselves from one another. Pablo want to escape Alejandro. Denver, Bobby's girlfriend is trying to prosecute a notorious drug dealer and putting her job before him. Willow, just wants another moment in the spotlight and is being hassled by her money hungry mother. Billy, a famous film star who has the hots for anything that moves and Venus, Lucky's friend.
There are plenty of others and the action moves swiftly. The first few chapters introduce us to the various character groups, useful for the uninitiated, and from there the stories start to weave together as the characters cross paths in their search for stardom, business deals and love. The settings are drawn well and the characters drive the plot along at a fast pace!
I wasn't sure how the various characters would come together but as the story progresses they interweave and you find yourself going AHA. Lucky is the character holding it all together and even as she plans her Fathers funeral, tries to get her arrested son freed from prison and get his sister back from Europe in time for the funeral she has the sense that something isn't right! Is she correct to have such foreboding and if so will she manage to solve the problem in time? I couldn't possibly say. Perfect for fans of quick paced summer reading!...more
**spoiler alert** This in an interesting story on a similar bent to the Tom Ripley stories. Henry is a writer, at least that is what everyone thinks.**spoiler alert** This in an interesting story on a similar bent to the Tom Ripley stories. Henry is a writer, at least that is what everyone thinks. He laps up the attention and deals with the media and takes the spoils a multi-bestselling author enjoys. The brains behind the operation however is his quiet wife Martha, who does not want to have any attention and gets on with her writing at night, endlessly churning out new stories. Henry has a problem, he has a mistress, she happens to be his editor Betty - and the mistress is pregnant and he needs to make his problem go away, so naturally his answer to this is to push her car off a cliff making it look like an accident.
This proves to start him unravelling as the occupant of the car was in fact his wife, and when his mistress turns up on his doorstep distraught he has to do some quick thinking. With the end of his new novel now last and his publishing house reliant upon him to steer them out of the red Henry is in a pickle. Not only this but one particular police officer isn't buying his story. Henry seems to talk and charm his way out of trouble, eliminating other problems as they arise, some times with a little help from his friends. To us his actions may seem outrageous but to him they are perfectly natural. Indeed even destroying his house to rid himself of a marten that has taken up residence seems perfectly plausible!
There is plenty of black humour and well observed characterisation throughout the story and you are always sure that Henry is about to be found out as his facade slips every now and again, but with quirks of fate and his money to fall back on to get himself out of trouble Henry manages to wriggle out of the problems much of the time! This is the first novel from the German author and well worth a read....more
**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this which bowls along at a fast pace. The main idea is that Gemma and Dan want to get their feet on the housing ladder. T**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this which bowls along at a fast pace. The main idea is that Gemma and Dan want to get their feet on the housing ladder. They have a budget and know what they want and when Gemma falls in love with Pebble cottage and Dan agrees the adventure begins. Unfortunately not all is plain sailing and after agreeing to a price they can't really afford they agree to end up moving back in with Dan's Mother. She herself is an amusing character an author made famous from her books denouncing men following a bitter divorce with Dan's emotionally aloof father who is now falling for a new man herself. Should she follow her heart or give up on love for the sake of her career. Meanwhile Gemma and Dan are finding their relationship stretched thanks to squeaky bed, strange culinary concoctions and the re-ermegence of Alex, Gemma's first love, the increasing complications thrown up by the vendors of Pebble Cottage seem to spell disaster! Rich is doing little to help the situation, the estate agent who fancies himself as a bit of a player and bad communicator. Then there is the ad agency where Gemma works also full of colourful characters! Dilemmas come to a head when Alex becomes more brazen and Pebble Cottage less and less likely to exchange. Will Dan and Gemma have a happy ending - you'll have to read it and find out! Well worth a look and perfect for your beach bag or a pick me up!...more
**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this book, it was certainly a thrilling read with many strand being woven together into an intriguing conclusion. I have n**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this book, it was certainly a thrilling read with many strand being woven together into an intriguing conclusion. I have no idea if the events portrayed are accurate for Russian history but the book has an air of authenticity about it. It centres around agents and murders of children, one of which he is ordered to close. However he soon discovers that there are many other cases with similar characteristics. In the world of reporting those who disobey those in charge Leo and his wife Rasia soon find themselves denounced and on the run. With Leo's arch enemy Vasily hot on their tails things become desperate. With things looking grim for their future Leo and Raisa who have both seen plenty of blood shed decide to see the case through despite their own predicament! Russia is portrayed as brutal and unfair and you are never sure who will triumph in this battle. A good read now with film tie-in!...more
I enjoyed this book having initially been concerned I wouldn't understand it as much was made of the literary style and volume of research that had goI enjoyed this book having initially been concerned I wouldn't understand it as much was made of the literary style and volume of research that had gone into it. I didn't need to be worried. The book is accessible and you I enjoyed the mystery as it unfolded. The story focusses on the two brothers Alex and Simon and their relationship, despite having followed different paths is strong. Simon is Roman Catholic and Alex orthodox, married (although Mona his wife is estranged) and his child Peter. The relationship between the brothers is touching as Alex makes it his mission to prove him innocent of his friends murder. The research is telling as Caldwell takes us expertly in and around Vatican City demonstrating the behind the scenes action as Alex works to prove what happened to Ugo and what he discovered about the Turin Shroud. The book shows the relationships in a touching way and is well written. The characters are well developed and the book moves at a steady pace with plenty of twists and turns along the way. A well-researched, well written and pacy thriller....more
This is a fantastic read. At once horrific and humorous the central character Joe and Beck come to life as do the supporting cast in a unique way. JoeThis is a fantastic read. At once horrific and humorous the central character Joe and Beck come to life as do the supporting cast in a unique way. Joe is lonely, he works in a book store, he meets Beck and he falls in love. So does Beck only she doesn't know it yet. Joe infiltrates his way into her life and attempts to remove all the obstacles to his goal. He carries out acts that are despicable but totally believable in the form of the narrative. The book is over 400 pages long but is compelling. You read it quickly and hungrily and become absorbed by the characters and how far Joe will go to achieve his ambitions. I really enjoyed the read and kept thinking Joe couldn't do anything more outrageous to capture Beck, but then he does, perhaps he'd get caught out. You feel the tension with Joe as the book is written from his point of view and however warped his view is you find yourself rooting for him, wanting him to get what he wants and yet at the same time you know it will be better for everyone he does get caught. Suspenseful, a real page turner, a romance but a thriller as well this is runs across several genres...more
This is a lovely story, well written and tender, both heart warming and heartbreaking. Ivy is a make-up artist and Fisher is a director, they get togetThis is a lovely story, well written and tender, both heart warming and heartbreaking. Ivy is a make-up artist and Fisher is a director, they get together and Ivy falls pregnant. Fisher stands by her sensing that despite their brief liaison he is falling for Ivy. She in turn is falling for him. This is a story about how two people come together and form a relationship. They have their up and downs and awkward moments, meeting each others family , who to spend their first Christmas with and Frank, (Ivy's brother) unexpected stay with them. At times it looks as if events and circumstances are going to break them apart. El, Fisher's best friends is dying, he has Huntingdon's and Fisher has to deal with this as well as the rapidly approaching birth of his children. Not to mention directing his first film penned by a colleague. Somehow the two of them forge ahead. The characters are warm and well drawn, the relationships depicted touching and the emotions pull at the heartstrings. I haven't read a book for a long time that made me feel happy and sad by the end and I would love to know what happened to Ivy and Fisher a few years down the line! ...more
David Walliams does it again. Myself and my three children (7, 8 and 10) all enjoyed this novel. The outrageous behaviour of the aforementioned AuntieDavid Walliams does it again. Myself and my three children (7, 8 and 10) all enjoyed this novel. The outrageous behaviour of the aforementioned Auntie and her owl Wagner horrified them as did the bird stretcher but they loved Stella and Soot. Stella is alone with her Auntie in Saxby Hall after losing her parents in a terrible car accident. It is only when she discovers that she herself is not as injured as she has been told and that she is now the rightful heiress of the Hall that the truth begins to be realised. Her Aunt having lost all her money at tiddlywinks is desperate to find the deeds to the Hall so she can solver her financial problems. Stella is helped by Soot and when all seems lost she is saved by a surprising twist. Raj does not feature in the story itself but this has been remedied by a clever bring back Raj campaign at the back of the book. The kids enjoyed the story which is told at break neck speed and the delightful illustrations add detail to the story. Having said that they have also enjoyed re-listening to the story on the audio version narrated by David Walliams himself. A well recommended read....more
This is not a story infused with hope but is dark and pessimistic but it draws you on. The book centres on a central relationship and the term revivalThis is not a story infused with hope but is dark and pessimistic but it draws you on. The book centres on a central relationship and the term revival can be read into the story in a variety of ways. I found the story intriguing bit don't want to give too much away but would recommend it!...more