Wendy Dranfield's Blog

April 12, 2019

Book Extract: The Girl Who Died

Chapter 1

Her eyes are staring at me, but there’s no life in them anymore. Her skin is already starting to change colour. All that blood escaping from the side of her head is ruining her hair. She looks like she’s trying to out-stare me.

‘First one to blink loses.’

The sound of my voice surprises me. I don’t know how long I’ve been sat here. The quarry we’re in is empty, apart from a black and white horse in the overgrown field nearby. I look up at how far the drop was. Then back at my best friend, who I’ve killed. She’s still looking at me. Her expression doesn’t change but her eyes seem to be looking right through me now, like I’m not here. They’re not as blue as they were earlier today. I’m not sure how to pass the time until I wake up. Surely this is where the dream will end? I must be too hot in bed; that always gives me nightmares. Maybe I fell asleep with my dressing gown on. Katie will freak out when I tell her about this one!

I look back at her familiar round face; my partner in crime. The blood has spread to the front of her head now so that her cheek is pressed into it. She looks like she put on way too much blusher this morning. Her lips are going blue. I can’t stop myself from reaching out to touch her blood. Surely this is what will wake me up? It’s warm. Katie’s blood is warm. I shouldn’t be able to feel that in a dream.

‘Katie, wake up! I’m so sorry! Please Katie, wake up!’

My screams wake the birds who were sleeping in the trees above us. I barely feel my bladder letting go. Even though the July sun is hot, I’m freezing cold. My bones are shivering and my breathing comes in small gulps, like hiccups. I can’t handle this. It’s not real. It can’t be. My arms and legs go numb and I collapse next to Katie. Hopefully we’ll wake up together.

Mum’s not back from work yet. Thank God. It feels weird being home. Was that really the same me who left home this morning, completely oblivious to how bad life can get? I stumble up the stairs towards the bathroom. I need to get out of these disgusting, damp jeans. I fill the bath and sink in. The hot water tries to trick me into believing I’m not evil. No bubble bath today; not for a murderer.

The tears start again. Katie’s in that abandoned quarry, completely alone, while I’m in this safe, hot bath. The heat of the water feels like it’s burning someone else’s skin, not mine. I can’t tell her family what I’ve done, they will literally kill me. I wonder if mum would help me out if I told her. But she’ll be so disgusted with me. Shame works its way up my face, heating my cheeks. If she tells the police, they’ll arrest me. Oh God, what do I do? My whole body is trembling again.

Time disappears. When I next move, I notice the bath water’s gone cold. Not as cold as Katie will feel if she stays in that ditch all night. Every time I think of it I get a stabbing pain in my chest. This is so bad. I wonder what time Katie’s parents will start worrying about her and realise she’s not coming home. She told me they agreed she can stay out until eleven tonight because it’s the start of the school summer holidays.

My eyes are squeezed shut so tightly that I can see a million tiny lights in the blackness. I can hear my heart beating through my brain. I’ve got to sort my face out; it feels like crumpled sandpaper. I pull myself out of the bath and rub steam off the mirror. My reflection shows how sorry I am. My eyes and nose are bright red. The mascara Katie put on me earlier is smeared all down my cheeks. It’s supposed to be waterproof. I attempt to clean my face. Seeing my reflection makes it all real. I look tired and sad. Mum will know something’s up the minute she looks at me. Then again, maybe looking this awful could work for me? Maybe I could close my curtains, get into bed and leave a note for mum telling her I’m not feeling very well? Then she won’t see I’ve been crying. And then, when they realise Katie’s not coming home, I could say that I wasn’t with her so I don’t know where she is. My mind goes into overdrive. Surely anything that gets me off the hook is worth a try?

This tiny speck of hope moves my body into action. I pull my pyjamas on, push the wet jeans under my bed and run downstairs to put a note on the fridge: Got another migraine so came home early. Gone to bed. No dinner thanks.

I have to fight the urge to write how Katie is dead in a ditch, how desperately I need my mum to protect me, and how I’m going to need counselling to block out Katie’s dead face from my mind. I fight back yet more tears as I use a ‘We love Cornwall’ magnet to pin the note on the fridge. I hear mum’s car pulling up in the driveway. As quick as I can I use my last bit of energy to climb the mountainous stairs. I close my curtains and jump into bed, pulling the blanket up over my head.

Katie’s about to fall head first onto glass, so I grab her arm and pull her towards me as hard as I can, away from danger. She falls on me so hard that I’m winded. Her long, hi-lighted hair and numerous necklaces cover my face.

‘I always knew you fancied me!’ She laughs as she struggles to get off me. ‘Any excuse to get me on top of you!’

The relief of hearing my best friend’s voice again makes me cry. I grab hold of her hand, ‘Katie, let’s get out of here.’

She looks at me to ask why but then we both hear a phone ring. It’s not one of our ringtones. Suddenly, I feel like I’m going to puke. I sit up in bed, trying to figure out what was real and what was a dream. My hands are clammy and my pyjamas are drenched with sweat. My brain won’t work quickly enough. Slowly, the awful truth hits me and my stomach lurches with dread. As I reach for the bedside light and check under my bed for the damp jeans, I realise that I didn’t manage to save her after all. I killed her. The phone we heard was the landline. Mum’s running up the stairs. I look at my clock; almost midnight. Her parents must really be starting to worry. Oh God, I’m about to be found out!

Mum gently knocks at my door.

‘Hannah? Are you awake?’

I’m not fast enough to get under the covers and pretend to be asleep. She flicks the big light on and approaches me, looking worried.

‘How are you feeling, love?’

‘A bit weird.’ Even my voice is shaking. ‘The phone woke me.’

‘That was Katie’s mum.’

Shit! How do I not scream?

‘Katie isn’t home yet. Do you know where she is? Have you had any texts from her?’

I slowly reach for my mobile to pretend to check it. If I do have a text from Katie it will be one telling me to burn in hell for leaving her there. My pink phone case seems so childish now.

‘No. I was only with her for an hour before I had to come home.’

‘Okay, I’ll tell Elaine. She’s probably just late. You kids are nothing but trouble!’

I pretend to smile but my hands are clenched under the blanket and my forehead is covered in sweat.

‘You look awful. Has your migraine gone yet?’

‘I think so.’

‘Okay. Well, I’m going to bed in a minute. There’s a quiche in the fridge you can warm up if you’re hungry.’

‘No thanks.’

‘Alright. Goodnight.’

Thank God she’s leaving, I can stop pretending now. I hate lying to her. I’m sure she can tell. When she’s gone, something makes me want to ring Katie’s mobile. It’ll be in her jeans pocket. Maybe she’s woken up and needs help but can’t move enough to walk. If I ring her she might be able to answer and tell me she’s alive. As I ring her number my heart’s beating so loud that I can hear every vein in my head pumping blood. My phone rings out. As I wait, I feel like I’m close to her. Her phone will be in her jeans pocket and I’m making it light up and ring. It’s like I’m touching her.

Warm tears accumulate at my chin and drip onto my blanket. I wish I’d stayed with her. I can’t believe I left her alone out there.

‘Katie speaking.’

OH MY GOD! My stomach jumps into my lungs.


‘Hah! Fooled you! Only leave a message if you’re good looking! Bye!’

I switch my mobile off and collapse back onto my pillows. She scared the shit out of me. I close my eyes and try to slow my breathing down. She really is gone. I can’t believe this is happening to me. The pillow’s softness on my face is deceiving.

My severely dry mouth wakes me up. I’ve managed to sleep until nine o’clock. I force myself out of bed, put on my dressing gown and slowly walk down to the kitchen where mum is stood at the sink. I skipped dinner last night so my stomach is begging for breakfast, even though I have no appetite, and my mouth is begging for water. The mirror above the kitchen table reflects a ghost. I look old. Mum turns to look at me with a really awful expression on her face.

‘Come here love.’

I walk over to her. She’s sat on one of the dining room chairs with an untouched cup of tea in front of her. I don’t know how to look innocent or what to do with my hands. ‘Katie didn’t go home last night,’ she pauses and looks down at her tea. ‘And, well, a girl’s body has been found this morning at that abandoned quarry, by someone walking their dog.’ Her voice cracks, ‘It might be her.’

I burst into tears and only just make it onto the dining room chair before I collapse. Mum mistakes my tears for grief. I suppose they are a bit, but they’re definitely more guilt and fear of what will happen to me if anyone finds out I left her there.

‘Try not to worry love. Her mum and dad are on their way to, well, you know. I just hope it’s not her.’

Mum starts to cry. She knows how close me and Katie are. Or do I have to say ‘were’ now? I hate myself so much. But please don’t let me get caught.

It’s been two long, empty hours. We’re waiting for that call confirming the body is Katie. I can’t bear to be sat with mum while she waits. I need to think. She’s reluctant to leave me alone but I manage to leave her downstairs while I stare at Google in my room. My fingers take over and type ‘leaving the scene of a crime’. There are thousands of links on the subject. Hopefully that means I’m not alone. It’s mostly forum comments though, and they’re all nasty and judgemental or quoting the bible. Reading all this is making me shake again. I want to be checking all my social media, not searching for laws on murder. I can’t think about this now. I lie back on my bed and stare through the ceiling until I don’t see it anymore.

‘Why didn’t you help me?’


Shit! That was Katie’s voice right next to my ear! She’s here in my room! If I see her I’ll die!


I cover my face with my hands while every hair on my body stands up. This is my worst nightmare! My breathing won’t slow down. Oh God, now I’m panicking and I can’t breathe at all.

‘Mum!’ It comes out croaky. I can’t even shout loud enough, ‘MUM!’ I hear her running up the stairs.

‘What’s wrong?’

My tears and gulping must give it away because she flings her arms around me and sits next to me on the bed.

‘Slow your breathing down. Take deeper breaths.’

It’s too late. Everything is disappearing.

The room is spinning. I feel like I’m going to fall over. This lasts a few seconds while I try to work out what I’m doing. Maybe I’ve already fallen, because I’m on my back. Eventually, mum comes into view.

‘It’s okay. You passed out for a minute there but you’ll be fine.’

I stare at her but I can’t form any words because I feel so dizzy and weird. Then I remember Katie’s voice and try to sit up too fast.

‘No, stay flat to get some blood back into your head. How do you feel now?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘You might’ve had a panic attack. Just try to relax your breathing.’

I think I just hallucinated Katie. The landline starts ringing. We both hesitate before mum slowly helps me sit up. She runs to her bedroom to pick up the phone. My body feels slow and heavy as it takes me forever to reach her doorway. I don’t hear what she says but then she puts the phone down. She won’t look at me at first. When she does turn around she looks devastated. Her whole face is turned strangely downwards.

‘I’m so sorry, love. It’s her.’

She breaks down, as if it was me they’d identified. It’s weird but, although I’m still shaking and I feel really light headed, I’m so relieved that Katie’s been found and her parents know where she is now, without me having to tell them.

‘How did she die?’

‘She has a head injury.’

‘How did Katie’s mum sound?’

‘That wasn’t her I spoke to, it was Katie’s uncle who’s at the hospital with them. But I could hear Elaine howling in the background.’

Mum’s tears get worse. She hugs me really tight.

‘I shouldn’t say this, but I’m so glad you came home early.’

Hearing this makes me feel even more guilty and then the tears start again. It’s such a relief to cry with mum, instead of on my own. I just hope she stands by me if I get found out. Then she drops a bombshell.

‘Her uncle said the police are on their way now to speak to you.’

My heart almost explodes right out of my chest. I hear a loud clang in my head.

‘They’ll want to see if you know anything about why she was there I expect.’

My mind starts racing for things I might’ve missed. Did anyone see us together yesterday? Was there anyone watching us climb over the gates to get into the quarry? Shit, did anyone come and feed that horse while we were there? My shaking gets worse as I realise I might have to admit what I did. But I’ve left it so late now that it’ll look so much worse. I can’t believe I’m going to prison! Then I remember; my hair! I was wearing it in a ponytail while I was out, but it was already down when I got in the bath. My hair bobble must’ve fallen out somewhere! Can’t they trace DNA by just one strand of hair? I’m sure that was on CSI last week. Shit! I did lie down next to her. It could’ve come out then!

The doorbell rings. We move dreamlike to the front door, almost like we’re being pushed. As mum opens it, my eyes meet the unfriendly gaze of two policewomen. My knees cave in as I lower myself onto the stairs.

‘Mrs Walker?’

‘Ms, I’m divorced.’

‘I’m Inspector Foster and this is PC Williams. We’re here to have a chat with your daughter, Hannah.’

‘Come in. That’s Hannah.’

Why can’t I faint now so that they have to leave me alone? What’s that in her hand? Oh God, what if it’s my hair bobble? What if she asks me if it’s mine, what do I say? If they show mum she’ll know everything. They walk passed me towards the living room and ask me to follow. All this stress really can’t be good for me. I can barely walk on my legs. I sit down next to mum. Only the Inspector talks to me.

‘I’m so sorry about your friend and for having to question you. But the fresher things are in your memory, the better for everyone.’ She pauses, then she leans forward. Hannah, your friend died of a puncture wound to her head. She either fell, or she was pushed-,’


‘-off a high rock face into a ditch which was filled with discarded builder’s waste. Unfortunately, her head landed on a lot of broken glass.’

My eyes are streaming with warm, salty tears but I’m not making any sound.

‘The attending Doctor thinks it would’ve taken quite a while for Katie to bleed to death. That means there was a window of opportunity for whoever was there with her, assuming there was someone there, to get help.’


My chest caves in as I expel every last bit of oxygen in my lungs. She was dead. She was dead straightaway, I was sure of it. Or was that why her eyes were staring at me? Was she trying to tell me something? My heartbeat is so loud in my head, surely that means it’s going to explode soon. Then I realise what she’s saying. I killed my friend twice; first by pushing her off the cliff and then by not phoning for help.

‘Don’t you think that’s too much detail for her?’

My poor mum. She has no idea I sat and watched the blood leaking from Katie’s head and then continued to watch as her body went from pink to blue. She wraps her arms around me for support, but I have to push her away. I shouldn’t be comforted; it’s not right. The Inspector then makes me look directly at her.

‘Hannah? Do you know who Katie was out with yesterday?’

I can’t maintain her gaze. I look away. As my mouth opens, I honestly don’t know what’s going to come out.

Want to read on? The Girl Who Died is available worldwide on Amazon for just 99p or free on Kindle Unlimited!

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on April 12, 2019 04:46 Tags: book-extract, crime, crime-fiction, mystery, preview, suspense, the-girl-who-died, wendy-dranfield, ya

September 25, 2018

Publication Day!

I'm excited to announce that today is publication day for my debut crime thriller; Who Cares If They Die, published by Ruby Fiction. Available as ebook and audiobook.

If you'd like a taster of what it's about I have made a short book trailer, available here: https://youtu.be/UB1GFJ8NZRk

Did she jump or was she pushed?
It starts with the hanging woman in the Maple Valley woods; the woman with no shoes, no car and no name. On paper it’s an obvious case of suicide – but to Officer Dean Matheson, something doesn’t add up.
Then there are the other deaths, deaths that also look like suicides – but are they? The victims are all women living on the fringes of society, addicts and criminals. Who will miss them? Does anyone really care if they die?
Dean Matheson is making it his business to care, even if it means he becomes a target …

If you decide to give it a try, here are all the links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Who-Cares-Th...

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Who-Cares-They...

iBooks: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/gb/book/...

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/who-...

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/d...

Website: https://www.rubyfiction.com/dd-produc...

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...Who Cares If They Die

Thanks for your support!
1 like ·   •  1 comment  •  flag
Twitter icon

August 7, 2018

New book announcement

I'm delighted to announce my new psychological crime thriller is now available to pre-order!

Who Cares If They Die is my first novel to be traditionally published, after having self-published a dark YA novel and two short story anthologies in the recent past.

Ruby Fiction will be releasing Who Cares If They Die for publication on 25th September but it is now available to pre-order worldwide on: Amazon, Nook, iBookstore, Kobo and Google Play.

The ebook is just £1.99 and it will also be released as an audiobook.


Did she jump or was she pushed?

It starts with the hanging woman in the Maple Valley woods; the woman with no shoes, no car and no name. On paper it’s an obvious case of suicide – but to Officer Dean Matheson, something doesn’t add up.

Then there are the other deaths, deaths that also look like suicides – but are they? The victims are all women living on the fringes of society, addicts and criminals. Who will miss them? Does anyone really care if they die?

Dean Matheson is making it his business to care, even if it means he becomes a target …

Find it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...

For Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Who-Cares-Th...

For Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07...
Who Cares If They Die
Who Cares If They DieWho Cares If They Die

Wendy on Twitter: @WendyDranfield

Wendy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WendyDranfie...

Happy reading!
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on August 07, 2018 08:50 Tags: crime, new-release, psychological-thriller, thriller, wendy-dranfield, who-cares-if-they-die

July 28, 2018

The Outsider - Book Review

The OutsiderThe Outsider by Stephen King

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Unpopular opinion alert! Unfortunately, this may be the last Stephen King book I read. I have been a fan ever since I was a teenager and picked up a copy of 'It' in a car boot sale. I also collect his books. But since the Bill Hodges trilogy I have not enjoyed any of his work. Maybe I'm just more suited to his earlier horror books.

I had high hopes for The Outsider because everyone on twitter was raving about how good it was and said it was 'a return to form' for SK, but after reading Sleeping Beauties, I was cautious. It started okay, with a horrible murder and some confusion over how the murderer could be verified as being in two places at one time. But that idea was repeated over and over again all the way through the 500 pages, with barely any action in between. It just consists of various people asking the same question over and over again; how could the murderer be in two places at the same time? I've said that twice now and even that is annoying to me, so to repeat it more than that is ridiculous in a book by a fantastic writer who should know better!

We need more than that, we need intrigue and action and interesting characters. I didn't like any of the characters in this book and his Mexican character left me squirming with discomfort as he was so clichéd.

I got bored very quickly and what started as a crime novel then turned into a paranormal novel (I like both, but if you're going to have two genres in one book, please weave them together from the beginning). The minute it became clear the murderer was a child eating phantom who took over the identity of a person by barely scratching a tiny part of them, well, I mentally switched off and really struggled to finish this. I skimmed the last few chapters and didn't care about what the outcome was for any of the characters as they were so unlikable. Det Ralph Anderson is just Bill Hodges in a slimmer frame.

While we're talking about Bill Hodges, I really disliked those three novels and when I saw Holly's name appear halfway through this book and realised she was going to take over as the hero for the rest of it, I wanted to throw the book in the bin! She was (imo) a bad character in the trilogy and she was even worse in this novel. Sorry, I know many readers absolutely love her but I find her cringeworthy!

I guess I'm disappointed because SK has been my favourite author for a long time but his publishers are now letting him get away with publishing sub-standard extra-long books at too fast a rate instead of taking the time to revise his original drafts to the point where they contain excitement, horror and well-rounded characters that aren't embarrassing clichés!

I should give this a 1 star as that's how I feel but I can't bring myself to give (m)any authors 1 star when they've gone through the painstaking process of writing/publishing/promoting a novel.

BTW I'm sure I will read another SK novel in the future but the last few have really put me off wanting to add any to my collection of wonderful 1980's and 90's classics such as The Shining, IT, Pet Semetary and Christine. Oh and The Dark Half. Of which The Outsider is a really bad imitation.

View all my reviews
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on July 28, 2018 04:45 Tags: the-outsider

January 29, 2018

Book Review: A Book of American Martyrs (Joyce Carol Oates)

A Book of American MartyrsA Book of American Martyrs by Joyce Carol Oates

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, this is a long book and although I don't normally write long reviews, this needs to be longer than usual!

JCO is a prolific writer and I started reading her novels and short stories after Stephen King listed her as a writer he enjoys reading. I've read a lot of her work and I've enjoyed (and understood) about 70% of it. That hasn’t put me off going back to her work time and again because the work I do enjoy is so rich and insightful, I feel like I become a better person for reading it. And don’t get me wrong, I mostly read genre novels (horror, crime etc) and I’m not a literary snob, but JCO is so good a writer that I will always read any work of hers that I haven’t yet tried, because I find it so rewarding.

A Book of American Martyrs is beautifully written and more accessible than some of her other work. At 736 pages it's the longest book I've read in so quick a time, and I didn't want it to end. I love that feeling where I want to go to bed early because I know I have a great book to read, and that hasn’t happened much over the last 12 months (maybe 3 times), but it happened with this book. Not because the characters were lovable (none of them are) or there was a mystery that needed solving, but because the story was both riveting and tragic. The whole book made me emotional and it made me research both perspectives of the abortion debate. But it wasn't the abortion debate that dominated this story, it was a story about humans and how our interactions and beliefs affect those around us. There were so many times I put the book down to think about the issues explored and the way JCO made these come together perfectly. And, although I didn’t want it to end (even after 736 pages), the final sentence was perfect. The best ending this tragic tale could have had.

This will go on my favourite reads list. If you haven't read JCO before, I'd recommend this as a good, accessible starting point. There are always rumours of JCO being nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature and in my opinion, she's a worthy candidate.

View all my reviews
1 like ·   •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on January 29, 2018 01:20 Tags: a-book-of-american-martyrs, book-review, joyce-carol-oates

January 7, 2018

Book Review

The TakingThe Taking by Dean Koontz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first Dean Koontz book I've enjoyed in a long time. It started really exciting, with the extreme weather moving the story along nicely. The two main characters had interesting back stories and there wasn't too much detail given about them, which kept the pace fast (I'm not keen on lots of background info).
I had no idea this was an alien invasion book when I picked it up but that, mixed with horror, is right up my street! It was a bit slow towards the last third and in my opinion the book was about 80 pages too long, plus I'm not sure there was a good enough explanation for the aliens to suddenly withdraw from Earth. However, overall it was a good mix of horror with a bit of sci fi thrown in.
Conclusion: An enjoyable read that left me looking forward to picking it up every night.

View all my reviews
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on January 07, 2018 05:27 Tags: book-review, dean-koontz, horror, sci-fi

September 24, 2017

Book Review

Up Till NowUp Till Now by William Shatner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book hugely entertaining. I grew up in a household of Trekkies so by default I've seen every single episode of every single series (and every single movie), but I didn't know anything about Shatner. I bought this book for my brother but he already had a copy so I read it myself.

It's written in an engaging way and it feels as though you're sat across from Shatner, listening to him chat. He's got a great sense of humour with some real laughable antics, but it was the fascinating behind-the-scene facts about working in TV, theatre and film from the sixties onwards that held my attention. Shatner has been in just about every single TV show ever made!

The photos from his own collection are great too. The insight into the death of his third wife was very touching, he clearly lost the love of his life that night.

The only negative about this book is that it's slightly too long, so my interest was waning towards the end, but I'm glad I read it. I wouldn't say you need to be a Trekkie or a Shatner fan to enjoy this book.

View all my reviews
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on September 24, 2017 02:25 Tags: book-review, star-trek, william-shatner

September 15, 2017

Book Review

At the Edge of the OrchardAt the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A friend gave me this and although it's not the kind of book I usually read and the blurb didn't appeal to me, I never turn down a free book and I really enjoyed it. It's well written and quite spellbinding, even though the Goodenough parents are hard to like and the first third of the book is all about apple trees!
I'm a gardener myself so I found the tree history interesting, but the book really picked up when Robert, the son, left the black swamp to live his own life and try to escape the horror of what he experiences in childhood. I'm not one for happy endings either but it really works here. What's happened to me?!
This book reminded me somewhat of The Grapes of Wrath, which is another book I didn't expect to like. It's obvious that Tracy Chevalier conducted a lot of research for this book and I enjoyed the history lessons, which is not like me at all! That shows how well written this is. Give it a try, even if it doesn't initially appeal to you!

View all my reviews
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on September 15, 2017 02:30 Tags: at-the-edge-of-the-orchard, tracy-chevalier

June 25, 2017

Book Review

Dark MasquesDark Masques by J.N. Williamson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of the best collections of dark/horror short stories I've read in a long time. There were so many times I exclaimed, "I wish I'd written that!" It's great value for money with 46 stories included and most of them very good. As with all short story collections, there are always some that readers won't enjoy but that depends on your tastes and it's great to have such a varied selection. With so many stories on offer, I found I didn't mind skipping the odd one or two if I wasn't enjoying it.

Stephen King's entry has a nice twist and I hadn't read it anywhere else, despite being a collector of his books. The collection ends with my overall favourite; The Boy Who Came Back From the Dead. Like many others in the collection, this one was entertaining, disturbing and unpredictable and completed my enjoyment of Dark Masques.

View all my reviews
1 like ·   •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on June 25, 2017 02:35

June 15, 2017

Book Review

Nigel: my family and other dogsNigel: my family and other dogs by Monty Don

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was an enjoyable and easy read about Monty's gardens and his dogs. Anyone who loves watching Gardeners' World and loves Nigel and Nellie, will find this a lovely relaxing read, with some laughs as well as sorrow. It was heartbreaking to read about the deaths of each dog, but as Monty himself says; you can't have a pet without the responsibility of knowing they won't live forever. The behind-the-scenes details about filming the show were interesting too. It's not as simple as Monty makes it look!
I was lucky enough to attend Monty's talk at the Hay Festival 2017 where he brought Nigel and Nellie on stage (they were incredibly well bahaved for a 60 minute talk!), and then he signed my copy of this book afterwards.
I think the appeal of Gardeners' World (Monty's gentle instructions, the dogs lounging nearby and the beautiful flowers and plants) are carried through into this book.

View all my reviews
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on June 15, 2017 02:36 Tags: book-review