#IncidentReport | #BookReview | DEAD SIMPLE by Peter James @peterjamesuk ‏(January 1st 2006, Pan Macmillan @panmacmillan)

DEAD SIMPLE (Roy Grace #1) by Peter James
1st January 2006, Pan Macmillan

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It was meant to be a harmless stag night prank. A few hours later four of his best friends are dead and Michael Harrison has disappeared. With only three days to the wedding, Detective Superintendent Grace – a man haunted by the shadow of his own missing wife – is contacted by Michael’s beautiful, distraught fiancee, Ashley Harper.

Grace discovers that the one man who ought to know Michael Harrison’s whereabouts is saying nothing. But then he has a lot to gain – more than anyone realizes. For one man’s disaster is another man’s fortune . . . Dead simple . . .

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A favourite book here at the P Turners!

I loved this book. I have read it before but I enjoyed it so much I wanted to give it another go to remind myself of what happens before I get stuck into the rest of the series.

So much happens! It is a maze constantly changing direction with twists and turns that tip everything you know completely on it’s head. It literally leaves you mouth open at one point. It had me sat on the edge of my seat the whole time and I did not want to stop reading.

We are introduced to Detective Roy Grace in this book who is the main character in the series. We are shown glimpses of his personal life and I am sure there will be lots more to discover throughout the books.

There are also a few more names mentioned that I feel will become more regular as the series goes on.

Definitely glad I decided to re read and excited to discover the rest of the series.

You can buy DEAD SIMPLE (Roy Grace #1) from the following booksellers (and obviously many more!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Book Depository | Waterstones

*L*

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#TopReads of 2017

Wowsers! What a year it has been! This time last year I was about to embark on my very first blog tour. Fast forward 12 months and I am so proud and humbled to have worked with some amazing authors, publicists and publishers to work on over FORTY blog tours – hopefully inspiring our followers to pick up something different.

Below are just a handful of my stand out reads for 2017. I’m going to try and keep this as short as possible. Top 5’s are SO last year!

In no particular order….

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THE FOURTH MONKY (#MK4 #1) by J.D Barker (June 2017, HQ)
My GR rating; ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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THE CHILD by Fiona Barton (June 2017, Bantam Press)
My GR rating; ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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INSIDIOUS INTENT (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan #10) by Val McDermid (August 2017, Little Brown)
My GR rating; ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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THE OTHER TWIN by L.V. Hay (July 2017, Orenda)
My GR rating; ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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DEEP DOWN DEAD by Steph Broadribb (January 2017, Orenda)
My GR rating; ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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CURSED (Henning Juul #4) by Thomas Enger (January 2017, Orenda)
My GR rating; ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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THE KILLER (Kaz Phelps #3) by Susan Wilkins (March 2017, Pan Macmillan)
My GR rating; ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Most Anticipated Read for 2018?

There are SO many great authors releasing books next year that it’s difficult to pinpoint a particular favourite… Saying that, there is one book that has stuck with me that I am super keen to read and that is the collaboration between James Patterson and none other and former President of the United States; Bill Clinton!

Their book THE PRESIDENT IS MISSING is due for release early June 2018 (just in time for my birthday) and all the blurb says for now is ‘A sitting president is missing’. Don’t know about you, but I am excited for this already!
Let us know below that your favourite reads of this year were What are your anticipated reads for 2018? 

-S.

#BlogTour| #BookReview | THE CHILD (Paperback Edition) by Fiona Barton @figbarton (December 14th 2017, Transworld Books @TransworldBooks)

Welcome to my stop on this Blog Tour for the paperback edition release of THE CHILD by Fiona Barton.

I would like to say that I am blown away to be invited onto this blog tour! Particular thanks to Anne Cater, Transworld Books and of course the lovely Fiona Barton who gifted me an early copy of THE CHILD. I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.

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To kick off, we have the “blurb” for the book;

When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her.

For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

The Child’s story will be told.

 

So, you want to know what I think?

I have heard nothing but wonderful things both about Fiona Barton and also THE CHILD when it was released in hardback earlier this year. I jumped at the chance to read this book with the worry of suffering with FOMO!

The first thing I thought when reading this book was “Yup. I’ve got this all figured out. I know exactly what’s going on, etc, etc” which for those who read a lot of crime fiction, we always think we have it figured out. But in the case, I was so very wrong!

Like many great crime novels I’ve enjoyed, this is a fast paced and quick read. But quick and fast don’t necessarily mean terrible. Quite the contrary. Short chapters keep the story moving at a fast enough pace that it doesn’t becoming boring, but it gives the reader enough to keep an interest.

THE CHILD is not a fast paced action book with fist fights and car chases at every turn. If that is the type of book you enjoy to read, then I wouldn’t pick this book up. However, if what gets your juices flowing is a deeply emotional, character driven story – then this is the book for you.

What I have discovered is that Fiona has a skill at being able to give little pockets of detail, whilst keeping the reader guessing at to what is coming next. When the climax of this books occurs, I was left with a feeling of surprise. The twist in this book makes perfect sense to the plot and with realism that you don’t always get in some crime fiction. You can tell that Fiona has done her research!

THE CHILD has now set the bar pretty high and I am certainly looking forward to reading more of Fiona’s work!

About Fiona Barton;

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My career has taken some surprising twists and turns over the years. I have been a journalist – senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, where I won Reporter of the Year at the National Press Awards, gave up my job to volunteer in Sri Lanka and since 2008, have trained and worked with exiled and threatened journalists all over the world.

But through it all, a story was cooking in my head.

The worm of my first book infected me long ago when, as a national newspaper journalist covering notorious crimes and trials, I found myself wondering what the wives of those accused really knew – or allowed themselves to know.

It took the liberation of my career change to turn that fascination into a tale of a missing child, narrated by the wife of the man suspected of the crime, the detective leading the hunt, the journalist covering the case and the mother of the victim.

Much to my astonishment and delight, The Widow was published in 36 countries and made the Sunday Times and New York Times Best Seller lists.

It gave me the confidence to write a second book ,The Child, in which I return to another story that had intrigued me as a journalist. It begins with the discovery of a newborn’s skeleton on a building site. It only makes a paragraph in an evening newspaper but for three women it’s impossible to ignore.

You can buy THE CHILD from Transworld Books now or from the following booksellers (but obvs you can get it at other awesome booksellers too!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

-S.

Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this Blog Tour. See below for further details and be sure to follow all of the action across Twitter!

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The Child PB blog tour poster 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#LettersFromTheHeart | #BookReview | Without Merit by Colleen Hoover @colleenhoover (October 3rd 2017, Atria Books @AtriaBooks)

WITHOUT MERIT by Colleen Hoover
October 3rd 2017, Atria Books

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

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It doesn’t matter what Colleen writes I know I am going to love it and WITHOUT MERIT was no exception.

Colleen deals with the subject of depression very well and the signs and symptoms someone may experience. I feel this would help alot of readers suffering themselves to identify and hopefully seek any help they may need.

The thing I loved most about this book was the Voss family. Families come in all shapes and sizes and the Voss family are certainly no exception. With the head of the family seemingly uninterested the kids seem to play by their own rules. Colleen manages to turn this on it’s head and we see a very different side to this family. There are alot of characters in this family that I would love to hear more from, I certainly feel that some of them deserve their own book!

Of course it wouldn’t be normal to have a Colleen Hoover book that doesn’t take you on a rollercoaster emotionally and that is definitely the case here. From reading with your heart in your mouth to laughing out loud this book has it all.

Colleen goes back to her Y.A. roots with WITHOUT MERIT and doesn’t let us down.

A Stunning five star read. I only hope Colleen can keep going with these amazing stories she manages to give us.

You can buy WITHOUT MERIT from the following booksellers;

Amazon (UK) | Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

*L*

#BookReview | HE SAID/SHE SAID by Erin Kelly @mserinkelly (April 20th 2017, Hodder & Stoughton @HodderBooks)

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HE SAID/SHE SAID by Erin Kelly (April 20th 2017, Hodder & Stoughton)

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Who do you believe?

In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack.

She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, it is not only the victim’s life that is changed forever.

Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear.

And while Laura knows she was right to speak out, the events that follow have taught her that you can never see the whole picture: something – and someone – is always in the dark…


So what did I think?

Well, wow. Having spent a matter of hours devouring this on a long train journey – I still find myself asking questions the next day. How did that happen? What don’t we know? What’s next? Will we EVER know?!

Not going to lie – I picked up HE SAID/SHE SAID mainly due to the incredible things I was hearing. Across Bookstagram, the Book Blogger-sphere and also the BBC Radio Two Book Club! Everyone was talking about this book. Thinking the authors name sounded familiar, I then discovered that this is the same Erin Kelly that wrote the novelisation of the ITV drama ‘BROADCHURCH’ (the book is AMAZING by the way! I would highly recommend it!)

What I found most interesting about this novel from the outset was how our characters are Eclipse chasers. I’ve heard of storm chasers – but never Eclipse chasers, so that was a great addition for me. Then we have our main characters… which in my eyes Erin did a sterling job and I cannot fault their development throughout.

I sometimes find psychological thrillers a little predictable, but in the case of HE SAID/SHE SAID – I saw NOTHING coming! This is again a testament to Erin and the way she is able to set up a scene leading the reader one way, then WHAM! it takes the opposite course.

Someone posted that the final sentence of this book was the biggest ‘WTAF?!’ moment in the whole book and I have to agree! I was on the train when I read those words. I closed the book, then just started out of the window for a good 5 minutes essentially tearing apart the whole book wondering if I had missed something?! It was the PERFECT ending to this book.

NB. For anyone who wants to pick this book up – DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT read the ending first!

Erin Kelly and HE SAID/SHE SAID have both restored my faith in psychological thrillers! If anyone was to now ask me for reads in this area, I would have no doubts recommending this book!

You can buy HE SAID/SHE SAID from the following booksellers;

Amazon (UK) | Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

-S.

 

#BookTag | #Top10Tuesday 27/06/2017 – BEST Books You’ve Read in 2017….. So Far!

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#Top10Tuesday is a weekly book tag hosted by the fab team over at The Broke and The Bookish

The rules are simple – following a given prompt (or choose your own) you choose 10 items that fit within that prompt.

This weeks prompt is; BEST BOOKS YOU’VE READ IN 2017… SO FAR

In NO particular order;

1. DEEP DOWN DEAD by Steph Broadribb (April 1st 2017, Orenda Books)

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2. SIX STORIES by Matt Wesolowski

3. THE KILLER by Susan Wilkins

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4. CURSED by Thomas Enger

5. THE CROW GIRL by Erik Axl Sund

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6. RUPTURE by Ragnar Jonasson

7. THE TAKE by Martina Cole

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8. STREETS OF DARKNESS by A.A. Dhand

9. WOLVES IN THE DARK by Gunnar Staalesen
(Full review to be shared on 3rd July as part of BLOG TOUR)

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10. THE ABATTOIR OF DREAMS by Mark Tilbury

What are some of your favourite reads so far this year?

Would love to hear in the comments! 🙂

Until next week, happy reading…..

-S.

 

#IncidentReport – #STREETSOFDARKNESS by A.A. Dhand @aadhand (February 23rd 2017, Corgi Books @PenguinUKBooks)

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STREETS OF DARKNESS (DI Harry Virdee #1) by A.A. Dhand (February 26th 2017, Corgi Books)

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The sky over Bradford is heavy with foreboding. It always is. But this morning it has reason to be – this morning a body has been found. And it’s not just any body.

Detective Harry Virdee should be at home with his wife. Impending fatherhood should be all he can think about but he’s been suspended from work just as the biggest case of the year lands on what would have been his desk. He can’t keep himself away.

Determined to restore his reputation, Harry is obliged to take to the shadows in search of notorious ex-convict and prime suspect, Lucas Dwight. But as the motivations of the murder threaten to tip an already unstable city into riotous anarchy, Harry finds his preconceptions turned on their head as he discovers what it’s like to be on the other side of the law…

In my home city of Bradford over the last few weeks, I started to see posters on bus stops for this new novel STREETS OF DARKNESS and noticed that it was a Bradford based novel. This immediately grabbed me as there are not too many crime fiction novels (that I know of) that are based in Bradford.

I am one of those readers that gets that giddy feeling reading locations which you know really well. The opening scene of Harry Virdee running through Lister Park and I thought “Argh! That’s where I do my Parkrun every week!” Having these visuals in my head helped me to truly get into the story.

STREETS OF DARKNESS is not a light ‘cops and robbers’ tale. It is dark, gritty, violent and quite frankly not too far off the truth. The city still remembers the riots which tore through back in 2001 and many people live on the edge waiting for the next wave. Dhand was able to draw from this tension and it translated perfectly into the pages of the story.

As in the blurb, a body is found. The body of a high profile Asian politician who is celebrated for wanting to make Bradford a better place and bring together the different races that make up the city. The finger is quickly pointed at the controversial political party; BNP. As soon as the BNP were mentioned, I knew that I was in for a rocky ride of violence, scandals and foul play.

DI Harry Virdee is our protaganist tasked with finding the one person who could be responsible for the murder before others do and serve their own kind of justice. We quickly learn that all is not what is appears (when is it ever?!) and that Harry is now part of something much bigger.

STREETS OF DARKNESS is fast paced and heavily plot driven. This book certainly isn’t for those who like to shy away from graphic violence, this book has it all. With the knowledge of Book Two in the series due for release soon, I wasn’t surprised that the ending was left open. The ending felt right and as one comparison makes it reads like an episode of LUTHER.

Book Two featuring DI Harry Virdee; GIRL ZERO is due for release on 13th July 2017 (Hardback) by Bantam Press.

STREETS OF DARKNESS is available now through the following outlets;

Waterstones | Amazon (UK) | Amazon | Book Depository

-S.

#IncidentReport – THE KILLER (Kaz Phelps #3) by Susan Wilkins @SusanWilkins32 (March 23rd 2017, @panmacmillan)

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THE KILLER (Kaz Phelps #3) by Susan Wilkins (March 23rd 2017, Pan Macmillan UK)

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She was a woman, so they thought she’d be easy to kill . . .

Kaz Phelps is on the run – from the past, from the legacy of her criminal family, from the haunting memories of her murdered lover. The police want her back in jail and her enemies want her dead. While standing by the grave of her gangster brother, Kaz realizes she only has one option. To fight back.

Nicci Armstrong was one of the Met’s best detectives until personal tragedy forced her to quit. Now she’s responsible for the security of the super-rich who use her city as a playground. She is one of the few people Kaz might trust. But Nicci’s biggest mistake yet is falling in love with a man she knows is only using her.

Meanwhile, as envious rivals back home plot against him, a Russian billionaire searches for a special gift to keep the Kremlin onside, a disgraced politician dreams of revenge and a Turkish drug baron plots to purge his dishonour with blood.

 

After binge-reading both THE INFORMANT and THE MOURNER last year – I was pretty desperate to get my hands on the third instalment in the Kaz Phelps series; THE KILLER. So imagine my pure glee when I won an uncorrected proof copy ahead of the hardback release on March 23rd! Excited is an understatement.

Other book commitments completed – I sat down and delved into Kaz’s world once more and Wilkins did not disappoint! THE KILLER picks up pretty much straight after the final events in THE MOURNER where we meet our Essex girl at a funeral (no spoilers here as to whose funeral it was!) where things quickly take a turn for the worse and once again Kaz finds herself on the wrong side of the law.

What we then experience as readers throughout the book are many twists, turns and action as Kaz is once again targeted for retribution against crimes her brother committed. It is a fast paced read, which is how I like it and short chapters allow the reader to really get involved with everything as it happens.

Keeping Nicci involved with the story was 100% the right thing to do as we get to delve further into her relationships as she continues to rebuild her life, both personally and professionally. Nicci’s character is truly tested throughout the book and the end part of this story is left open for the next adventures.

I am intrigued to read what happens next for Kaz. Does she eventually get away from Joey’s shadow and start fresh? Who else from Joey and Karen’s past can come back to play tricks with them? How does Nicci fit into the picture? SO many questions which I hope will be answered in Book 4 of the series which Wilkins is currently in the midst of writing.

Without a doubt, I will be waiting with baited breath for the next installment. THE KILLER (as well as THE INFORMANT and THE MOURNER) is now one of those books that I will recommend to EVERYONE and will be cross with those who have not read this. Susan Wilkins is a terrific writer and I will continue to stalk support her work as long she is creating these gems!

THE KILLER is available now through the following UK outlets;

Waterstones; http://bit.ly/2oRH6zn

Amazon (UK); http://amzn.to/2pNXvlB

-S.

 

 

#Top10Tuesday 14/03/2017 – Books That Made Me Cry

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#Top10Tuesday is a weekly book tag hosted by the fab team over at The Broke and The Bookish

The rules are simple – following a given prompt (or choose your own) you choose 10 items that fit within that prompt.

This week I decided to look at books that made me cry. I seem to be getting more emotional as I grow older and I never thought a book would actually make me cry…. Until I read these!

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1. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green
Published; January 10th, 2012 (Dutton Books)

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2. THE MIDNIGHT WATCH by David Dyer
Published; April 5th, 2016 (St. Martin’s Press)

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3. ME BEFORE YOU by JoJo Moyes
Published; December 31st, 2012 (Viking Press)

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4. ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth
Published; October 22nd, 2013 (Harper Collins Children’s)

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5. BEAUTIFUL REDEMPTION by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Published; October 23rd, 2012 (Little Brown)

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6. SEALSKIN by Su Bristow
Published; May 1st, 2017 (Orenda Books)

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7. HARRY POTTER & THE DEATHLY HALLOWS by J.K.Rowling
Published; July 1st, 2007 (Bloomsbury)

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8. MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins
Published; August 24th, 2010 (Scholastic)

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9. IT ENDS WITH US by Colleen Hoover
Published; August 2nd, 2016 (Atria Books)

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10. THE FIREMAN by Joe Hill
Published; May 17th, 2016 (Orion Publishing Group)

Safe to say that all of these books, for different reasons, had the same impact on me;

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Did any of the above books make you cry? What was the last book that made you cry?

Would love to hear in the comments! 🙂

Until next week, happy reading…..

-S.

 

#Top10Tuesday 07/03/2017 – Favourite Books Written By Women

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#Top10Tuesday is a weekly book tag hosted by the fab team over at The Broke and The Bookish

The rules are simple – following a given prompt (or choose your own) you choose 10 items that fit within that prompt.

Given that we are celebrating Women’s History Month on the blog, I thought it only right and fair that my Top 10 this week focus is on my favourite reads by female authors.

Apologies in advance if you see some duplicates from previous Top 10’s! There are just some books that I feel are that great they need mentioning more than once!

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1. FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell
Published; September 10th, 2013 (Martin Press)

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to

This was one of my first flirtations with YA fiction and I wasn’t disappointed. Rowell has been able to realistically able to capture the essence of a lot of young people.

 

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2. DUMPLIN’ by Julie Murphy
Published; September 15h, 2015 (Balzer & Bray)

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

A relevant young adult book that projects the message of body confidence no matter your size, shape and quirks…all whilst set to a soundtrack of Dolly Parton and has drag queens? Yep – this book has exactly that and I loved every page?!

I would recommend this book to everyone. We all have our own body hang ups and this book for me is the middle finger to all those who judge based on looks, when there is actually something pretty special going on underneath.

 

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3. TENNISON by Lynda LaPlante
Published; September 24th, 2015 (Simon & Schuster UK)

From the creator of the award-winning ITV series Prime Suspect, starring Helen Mirren, comes the fascinating back story of the iconic DCI Jane Tennison.

In 1973 Jane Tennison, aged 22, leaves the Metropolitan Police Training Academy to be placed on probationary exercise in Hackney where criminality thrives. We witness her struggle to cope in a male-dominated, chauvinistic environment, learning fast to deal with shocking situations with no help or sympathy from her superiors. Then comes her involvement in her first murder case.

Following THE CROW TRAP by Ann Cleaves, I was keen to carry on my streak of reading crime fiction by women authors and picked up TENNISON.

For fans of the Prime Suspect novels/TV series, TENNISON takes us back to the beginning of Jane Tennison’s career as a WPC on probabtion working in the East End of London. It’s 1973, the era of the Kray Twins and where women have been newly integrated into the Metropolitan Police.

This is my first venture into Lynda La Plante and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. If anything, with her style of writing and character development. I wanted more and HIDDEN KILLERS, the second of the prequel series is on my shelf staring at me!

 

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4. THE INFORMANT by Susan Wilkins
Published; November 20th., 2014 (Pan Macmillan UK)

Set in London and Essex, The Informant is a story of ruthless criminals, corrupt cops, obsessive love and the villainy that operates on both sides of the law.

As a drug-fuelled teenage tearaway, Kaz Phelps took the rap for her little brother Joey over a bungled armed robbery and went to jail.

Six years later she’s released on licence. Clean and sober, and driven by a secret passion for her lawyer, Helen, Kaz wants to escape the violence and abuse of her Essex gangster family.

Joey is a charming, calculating and cold psychopath. He worships the ground Kaz walks on and he’s desperate to get her back in the family firm. All Kaz wants is a fresh start and to put the past behind her.

When Joey murders an undercover cop, DS Nicci Armstrong is determined to put him behind bars. What she doesn’t realize is that her efforts are being sabotaged by one of their own and the Met is being challenged at the highest level.

The final test for Kaz comes when her cousin, Sean, gets out of jail. He is a vicious, old-school thug and wants to show Kaz who is boss. Kaz may be tough enough to face down any man, but is she strong enough to turn her back on her family and go straight?

One of my stand out reads in 2016! This book was gifted to my for my birthday and I spent exactly 24 hours devouring every page whilst sat in a park in Manhattan, New York. That’s right – I was in New York at the time and instead of visiting the sites, I had to sit and finish this book!

THE MOURNER is the second installment of this series which continues directly on from events in THE INFORMANT, which follows Kaz up to Scotland – who has to return to London following news about her brother.

Book Three; THE KILLER is due for release in April 2017 and I for one shall be first in the queue!
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5. DEEP DOWN DEAD by Steph Broadribb
Published; October 15th, 2016 (Orenda Books)

Lori Anderson is as tough as they come, managing to keep her career as a fearless Florida bounty hunter separate from her role as single mother to nine-year-old Dakota, who suffers from leukaemia. But when the hospital bills start to rack up, she has no choice but to take her daughter along on a job that will make her a fast buck. And that’s when things start to go wrong. The fugitive she’s assigned to haul back to court is none other than JT, Lori’s former mentor – the man who taught her everything she knows … the man who also knows the secrets of her murky past.

Not only is JT fighting a child exploitation racket operating out of one of Florida’s biggest theme parks, Winter Wonderland, a place where ‘bad things never happen’, but he’s also mixed up with the powerful Miami Mob. With two fearsome foes on their tails, just three days to get JT back to Florida, and her daughter to protect, Lori has her work cut out for her. When they’re ambushed at a gas station, the stakes go from high to stratospheric, and things become personal.

This was hands down for me a FIVE STAR read! I don’t give out my five stars easily, but I truly feel that DEEP DOWN DEAD deserves it. From the character development, to the pace at which the story flows – everything reads and feels right. What is hard to believe is that this is a debut novel! Broadribb writes like she has been doing this for years. She has that special *something* that some authors may spend a lifetime trying to find. Broadribb just has it!

My only concern now is that I’m going to drive myself crazy waiting for the next installment DEEP BLUE TROUBLE to be finished and released. The last chapters of DEEP DOWN DEAD give just enough to anticipate what will happen in the next book, although this can certainly be appreciated as a standalone novel.

 

 

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6. DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth
Published; November 21st, 2013 (Harper Collins Children’s)

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Not very often a book grabs me and I can’t put it down. It took me 48 hours to read this book and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I could completely understand the hype surrounding this book. The movies were adapted well…but as with all adaptations….could be better!

The beauty of this story is that it is relatable on many levels to young people. Making choices, breaking the status quo and defying the expectations of others.

 

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7. THE WIRE IN THE BLOOD by Val McDermid
Published; 1997 (St.Martin’s Press)

Across the country, dozens of teenage girls have vanished. Authorities are convinced they’re runaways with just the bad luck of the draw to connect them. It’s the job of criminal profilers Dr. Tony Hill and Carol Jordan to look for a pattern. They’ve spent years exploring the psyches of madmen. But sane men kill, too. And when they hide in plain sight, they can be difficult to find…

He’s handsome and talented, rich and famous – a notorious charmer with the power to seduce …and the will to destroy. No-one can believe what he’s capable of. No-one can imagine what he’s already done. And no one can fathom what he’s about to do next. Until one of Hill’s students is murdered – the first move in a sick and violent game for three players. Now, of all the killers Hill and Jordan have hunted, none has been so ruthless, so terrifyingly clever, and so brilliantly elusive as the killer who’s hunting them…

I’m just going to leave this here! Surely if you know my reading habits by now – you know why I love this book so much!

 

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8. BARED TO YOU (Crossfire #1) by Sylvia Day
Published; February 4th, 2014 (Penguin)

“Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness.”

“He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily.”

“Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each others most private wounds and desires.”

“The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn’t tear us apart.”

Venturing into the world of erotic fiction – I couldn’t help but pick this book up. It’s raunchy, sexy and filled with emotion. This isn’t just your standard romp-fest – there is a story in there. A dark, twisted story which leaves our readers wanting nothing more than to root for the protagonists and hope for that one thing readers don’t get too often…a happy ever after.

 

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9. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY by E.L.James
Published; May 25th, 2011 (Vintage)

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Of course, this book divides the masses. But again, without this book – most of the books in this Top 10 would not be here, then it would be a top….one or two?

 

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10. MAYBE SOMEDAY by Colleen Hoover
Published; March 18th, 2014 (Atria Books)

Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she’s a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope….

Maybe someday…

This was my first Colleen Hoover novel and for me it certainly lives up the many recommendations I have had.

I love how the characters we meet are not the typical handsome boy and gorgeous girl (even though they kind of are….) in the “fluffed up” sense. These people are real and are most likely people that we already know in our own lives which made them relatable.

The writing was beautiful. It was intense, romantic, humorous and thankfully wasn’t smutty. You could paint your own picture of certain situations with the words alone.

Until next time…..

-S.