#PTurnersBookClub | #BookReview | A LITTLE LIFE by Hanya Yanagihara (March 10th 2015, Picador @picadorbooks)

A LITTLE LIFE by Hanya Yanagihara
10th March 2015, Picador

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition.

There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.

Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.

[K] Review

22.02.19 Literally just finished, I think I need some time to gather my thoughts before reviewing this one

25.02.19  I think I have had enough time now to gather my thoughts and my page and a half of review notes to give this a go.

This book was read as part of the P Turners blog book club.

I do have to say A Little Life isn’t a book I would normally pick up, I seem to live in a cave as I had never heard anything about this book or any of the fervor this book created being nominated for the Man Booker Prize. Nor is there any synopsis on the back of this book (again doesn’t encourage me to pick it up).

Without giving too much away about this book it follows the life of Jude St Francis, where we first meet him whilst he is in college. There are flashbacks to his harrowing childhood and how he was brought up and we follow him onward from college to his older years. We get to meet all the people he interacts with, good and bad, some deserving more detail than others. I felt emotionally involved in the story and characters as if he was speaking to me about his life in a journal. Speaking about his friends in such a way I very nearly googled them, to then remember these were fictional.

Whilst I have had book hangovers before despite this taking me 3 weeks to read (it is a lot of pages!) I have never felt this sense of loss I felt when finishing this story. I found I was held rapt and enslaved with the detail and depth of the writing.  This novel has taken me well out of my comfort zone and my ‘safe’ genres but will definitely be one that will stay with me.

*L* Review

This book was actually picked by S for a blog book club read and although I’m not sure I would have chosen it for myself to read, I am not one to not at least try so I got started. 

I didn’t not like this book but I struggled with the amount of words and the way it was written. Personally for me I felt that Hanya could have gotten away with a lot less description, there were points where I found myself losing interest and would drift away from the story. It certainly didn’t grip me, I found myself just wanting to get to the end by about 80%.

I also found it hard to keep track of the the timeline of events, the story would start at one point and then jump back in time to something that happened a few months before hand and then back to the starting point and I found myself not really knowing what happened when. It starts off with 4 main characters and I got the impression that the story would be based on the 4 but it seemed to then switch to all be about one particular character with narration from another at points. The other 2 became more like back ground characters although one of them does have a part that’s about him but it’s not consistent. I disliked that as I think I would have enjoyed reading about the 4 and not just the small glimpses we get. I feel that if Hanya wanted it to be about Jude then she should have left the bit based on JB out completely. It felt like a bit of a teaser and irrelevant to the rest of the book. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if there were more about the other characters we are introduced to. 

This book is a very hard hitting book to read. It should come with a number of trigger warnings. Depression and child abuse being the worse things that come to mind. Hanya does write about depression well and those scenes of hyenas chasing Jude came to live in a real way. I found it difficult to read the parts about Jude’s childhood and found I had to take a break several times during those parts. I feel they are needed to really understand why Jude is the way he is and some of the decisions he makes. Hanya describes the self hatred and the emotional depth of Jude’s character extremely well and those bits affected me, to hear what he has been through and continues to struggle with was very difficult.

I did feel a bit heartless when I found myself getting frustrated with Jude. I think I discovered more about myself whilst reading this book. I did quite like Jude’s character, in as much as his friends become his world and when he falls in love you can tell he does it so completely with all of his being, however there were points where I just wanted to take him by his shoulders and shake him to wake up and realise just what he has surrounding him but I guess that’s just one of the ways that depression can affect a person.

All that being said when I got close to the end of the book I did find myself getting very emotional and I realised that maybe this book had affected me a little more than I realised. One very big warning though – do not go into this book expecting a happy ending!

Overall this book will probably stay with me for just how hard hitting and difficult it was. One of the signs of a good book is a book that you find yourself thinking about without even realising and I think this will be one of those for me.

You can buy A LITTLE LIFE from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

#RisqueReads | #BookReview | OFF THE AIR (Running on Air #1) by L.H. Cosway @LHCosway (5th March 2019, Indie Published #IndieAuthor)

OFF THE AIR (Running on Air #1) by L.H. Cosway
Published; March 5th 2019, Indie Published

Spending a month filming a reality TV show with your ex is no picnic.

Especially when you’ve signed a contract stating that the two of you will not, under any circumstances, have romantic relations while filming.

Leanne Simmons and Callum Davidson never had an easy relationship. From enemies to lovers and back to enemies, they’ve been on again/off again for years. Things come to a head when Callum gets into an altercation with a rival for Leanne’s affections. Their management decide enough is enough and give them both an ultimatum: sign the contract or leave the show.

Unwilling to give up their livelihoods, Callum and Leanne sign on the dotted line. However, like always, they can’t resist making a bet. Callum thinks it’s only a matter of time before they break the agreement, while Leanne is determined to see it through.

Can she resist him for an entire month without losing her sanity? And what if this is the one bet that finally breaks them both?

Off the Air is a contemporary romance and Book One in L.H. Cosway’s brand new “Running on Air” Series. Each book focuses on a different couple and can be read as a standalone.

Being asked to read OFF THE AIR, the new L H Cosway novel and review it was a dream come true.

I’ve been a massive fan of Cosway since reading KILLER QUEEN last year and couldn’t wait to read her latest adventures. And what a rollercoaster this is, the story of Leanne and Callum, two beautiful souls on a journey of self discovery and at time self destruction. Here is a love story that is cemented in a world we can believe we could orbit. Cosway has once again created a set of characters so intriguing that you never want the novel to end. Not only are we enamoured with Leanne and Cal, with the turbulent and beautiful relationship between them but also with their parkour family.

A bunch of unlikely friends, joined together in their love of free running to become a family that we fall head over heels in love with. Every character has a depth to them that let’s you know Cosway means business. Here is an author who knows her story, sets the tone perfectly and makes you fall in love with every turn of the page. I wanted to read this novel from the offset but I became compelled to read as soon as I was introduced to the beauties Leanne and Cal.

This is a story that lives on once the last page has been turned. When the kindle has died and the tears have been shed. Nothing prepares you for how easily you’ll fall for these characters, but then why would you want to be prepared? All the best rides are ones into the unknown. Every novel I’ve read by L H Cosway has only made me love this author more. Her story telling is fascinating, no two novels the same. The characters she creates are beautiful both in appearance and in soul. Sure nothing is plain sailing but we love the stories all the more for it.

Another one to add the bookshelves, one of those rare reads that pull you out of reality and into the fictional world. I need this in paperback and I most certainly will be reading more of L H Cosway’s work. Just try to stop me!

You can buy OFF THE AIR (Running on Air #1) from the following booksellers (and many more!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

*M*

#ThrillerReads | #BookReview| THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Phoebe Morgan @Phoebe_A_Morgan (February 21st 2019, HQ Stories @HQstories)

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Phoebe Morgan
Published; February 21st 2019, HQ Stories

One little lie just became deadly…

Perfect mother. Perfect wife. Jane Goodwin has spent years building her picture-perfect life in the quiet town of Ashdon.

So when the girl next door, sixteen-year-old Clare Edwards, is found murdered, Jane knows she must first protect her family.

Every marriage has a few white lies and hers is no exception. Jane’s worked hard to cover up her dark secret from all those years ago – and she’ll do anything to keep it hidden…

The gripping new psychological thriller from the author of The Doll House, the number one digital bestseller.

Well where do I even start with this book?!

It starts off with a young girl, from a well off area, being murdered and found on the meadow by someone the whole town is wary of. Written from several different points of view including the murdered girl, the next door neighbour and the investigating officer, I was completely gripped by this book as I tried to figure out where the story was going to lead and I LOVE books like that. I love trying to guess what the ending will be, although mostly I am completely wrong, it adds an element of fun to the book. 

I figured that it wouldn’t be as obvious as it first seemed and that became more clear as the story progresses. I feel like Jane, the next door neighbour of murdered girl Claire, is the main narrator and you can tell from the offset that things are not quite what they seem in regards to her story but Phoebe had a knack of giving little tit bits that keep you on the edge of the seat. As Jane explains about her names, friends in the PTA and her husband as well as Claire’s family whose windows she can see straight into, you know that the saying “you don’t know what happens behind closed doors” is never more truer. I had the unfortunate experience of reading this on Pigeonhole so only got a stave per day and I struggled not being able to find out what happened next at the end of each section. It gets more and more excited as all the little twists are revealed and we start to get a sense of what happened the night of the murder. 

Phoebe wrote this book very well, giving just enough information at each point that you have to finish to discover what really happened but also tied it up at the end so well that all the unanswered questions are finally answered and you are left feeling satisfied although a little weirded out by the outcome.

A very well written thriller that would be quick to read as you continuously fly through the pages. 

You can buy THE GIRL NEXT DOOR from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

*L*

#IncidentReport | #BookReview | ONE MINUTE LATER by Susan Lewis @susandlewis (February 21st 2019, Harper Collins @HarperCollinsUK )

ONE MINUTE LATER by Susan Lewis
21st February 2019, Harper Collins UK

It’s takes one minute to change everything…

Vivienne Shager has it all. A highflying job. A beautiful apartment. Friends whose lives are as perfect as her own. But on the afternoon of her 27th birthday, Vivi has a heart attack.

Now Vivi’s life shrinks back to how it begun, as she moves back to the small seaside town she grew up in. With her time running out, there is one thing she wants to know the truth about.

Some secrets are best left in the past…

Thirty years earlier, Shelley’s family home, Deerwood farm, bursts full of love and happiness. But one family member has hidden a secret for all these years. Until Vivi comes home demanding answers, and it takes just a moment to unravel the lie at their heart of their lives…

Vivienne thinks she has it all. The flat in the posh part of London, the great job as a lawyer, lots of good friends and a boyfriend that doesn’t want to be in her pockets but when on her birthday she has a massive heart attack her whole life is altered. 

As Vivi finds out she needs a new heart and whilst waiting for one to become available her whole life has to change otherwise there is a high chance she won’t live she has to uproot to her childhood home so she can be looked after by her family and friends. As she tries to adjust to this new lifestyle she is also determined to find out about her real father, a secret her mother is intent on holding.

The story jumps from present day to 1989 where we are introduced to the Raynor family who live at Deerwood Farm and although we get to see lots about their lives and obviously know there is a link between the two stories, we have no idea what that link is until much later in the book, although as it progresses you don’t start to think the story is going one way. I quite enjoyed the Raynor story, more than the Vivienne story if I’m honest. Deerwood was described as a very beautiful place and really felt like it came alive.

I have to be honest and say that the link between the 2 for me was very disappointing. I felt that there was a huge build up throughout the story that ended on an anti climax. Small characters had a brief mention to then have a huge role later on. I also didn’t have a huge connection with Vivienne, I found her irritating and she took some of the shine away from the story for me. I feel like the link was sort of included to take it away from being a romance novel and try and turn it into a thriller and that didn’t really work for me. I would definitely describe this book as a romance. 

That being said the book has been give a 4 star review by me because the ending is so good. I actually got goosebumps and felt myself getting very emotional throughout the last few pages. It didn’t go where I thought it would, but this pleased me as the ending it did have seemed a bit more realistic than what I expected to happen. You can certainly tell that Susan has done her research into heart failure and transplants as the information included seems to be spot on. The ending completely turned the book around for me.

If your looking for something a bit more hard hitting than just a regular run of the mill romance novel then definitely give this a try.

You can buy ONE MINUTE LATER from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

*L*

#BlogBlitz| #BookReview | #IncidentReport | LOCKED DOWN (The Locked Trilogy #3) by GB Williams @gailbwilliams (February 18th 2019, Indie Published #IndieAuthor)

Welcome to my stop on this Blog Tour for the release of LOCKED DOWN – the final instalment in the LOCKED Trilogy by GB Williams.

I would like to say that it is truly my pleasure to be invited onto this blog tour! Particular thanks of course to the lovely GB Williams who gifted me an early copy of LOCKED DOWN. I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.

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

What DCI Piper dredges up when investigating the cold case of Terrence Whittaker’s disappearance is unexpected and unwelcome – especially when it links to a current missing persons case. 

Charlie Bell’s only goal in life is ending the tyranny of the Mansel-Jones crime family. 

While Ariadne Teddington recovers after a car crash, her missing brother’s case is reopened, and a past she has always struggled to deal with comes back to haunt her. 

Finding the new lodger isn’t who she was expecting makes life a rollercoaster she can’t get off. 

What will it take to get a criminal locked down for once and for all? 

Can the present overcome the past? 

And can any of them afford the price?

So, want to know what I thought?;

As much as I was ready for LOCKED DOWN – I also didn’t want to read it. For the sole reason that I knew this was the end 😦 (Even though I hope GB decides to continue the series…which is more than fine by me!)

Everything that has taken place in LOCKED UP (#1) and LOCKED IN (#2) has lead us to this final chapter, so with this in mind – PLEASE read the books in order. If you were to read this as a standalone, you would become lost with the story and characters!

I really can’t say much about the plot in detail as it will give away key twists and turns, but what I can tell you is that with the first two instalments, the story moves at a steady pace. Short chapters to keep the reader glued to the page. Just when you think you are comfortable with the pace and enjoying the scenery (so to speak), GB puts her foot down and the story then heads into warp speed with many things happening in tandem. You’re left wondering whether every loose end can be tied up in time!

All I can say through the power of the animated graphic image is that the ending got me like….

I thoroughly enjoyed not only this book, but the entire series. It’s one of those hidden gems that more people should be aware of! If this series gives an indication of the standard of GB’s writing and development style going forward, then I am keen beans to read what she produces in the future!!

About GB Williams;

Colour Portrait 10

After being made redundant in 2012, GB started taking her life-long passion for writing more seriously and looking to sell her work. Specialising in complex, fast-paced crime novels. Her debut novel, Locked Up, was released in September 2017, Locked In follows in February 2018, and Locked Down in September 2018.

GB was shortlisted for the 2014 CWA Margery Allingham Short Story Competition with the story Last Shakes, now available in Last Cut Casebook. She is also a
feature writer and occasional comic book reviewer. Crime novels are her stock in trade, but she has had success with short stories in various genres
including steampunk, horror, erotica and general fiction.

With bills to pay, she’s back working as a systems architect by day, a freelance fiction editor and keen writer of an evening and weekend. GB really needs to
learn to sleep.

Originally from Kent, GB moved to South Wales as a supposed first step on a year around the world.  Then she met a guy.  Kept the guy, kissed the travel goodbye. Knowing that the best way to travel is by book anyway, she has always read, always written. GB now has two grown-up children, the world’s most imperious
cat, a house full of books and a hard drive full of manuscripts (though some will never be allowed out of a locked basement).

You can buy LOCKED DOWN from the following booksellers (however, there are MANY more!!)

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (AU)

-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!

#BlogTour | #BlogBlitz | #BookReview | #IncidentReport | BROKEN by Betsy Reavley @BetsyReavley (February 18th 2019, Bloodhound Books @bloodhoundbook)

Welcome to my stop on this Blog Tour for the release of BROKEN, the latest chilling novel by the wonderful Betsy Reavley!

I would like to say that it is truly my pleasure to be invited onto this blog tour! Particular thanks to Emma Welton, Heather @ Bloodhound Books and of course the awesome Betsy Reavley who gifted me an early copy of BROKEN. I am forever grateful and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.

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

Annabel, a troubled young woman trying to put her life back together, decides to take a trip to the Suffolk coast to clear her head and get away from her mother. But when she arrives in the little seaside town, she discovers a series of grisly murders have taken place and police are searching for a twisted killer.

After a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger, Jude, the course of her life changes and soon she finds peace in a world away from the misery she has known.

But when Jude comes under suspicion from the police, and her idyllic world is threatened, Annabel’s happy existence starts to become a nightmare.

Can Annabel escape her painful past or is her fate sealed? And why is she haunted by horrific visions when she seems on the verge of finding happiness?

This astonishing novel will take you on a shattering journey through Annabel’s fight for survival and will ask if the greatest threat we pose is to ourselves.

Suitable for over 18’s only. It contains graphic scenes some readers may find disturbing.

(previously published under the title Beneath the Watery Moon)

So, want to know what I thought?

“Suitable for over 18’s only.
It contains graphic scenes some readers may find disturbing.”

This is probably the best way to peak my interest in a book! I like being pushed to the boundary of the content I’m reading and I’ve only read a couple of books where it’s actually made me think “shit…that was….”. The first one being AMERICAN PSYCHO by Bret Easton Ellis and then HEART SWARM by Allan Watson. Based on the blurb alone I was ready to dive in.

Now, like most reviewers, I found myself reading the book and thinking I had an idea of where the story was going, but then wondering where and when the graphic content would come in. I keep going and then BAM!! Like a frying pan to the face, it got me…and it got me good!!

My next expressions and emotions can only best be described through a sequence of gifs….

That pretty much sums it up!! With all the gifs aside, I LOVED this book! Not sure what that says about me?! What I loved the most was how Betsy led us up the garden path towards the house, but then blew that house and garden up and left us there wondering “WTF?” what do we do now?! This is most certainly a credit to Betsy and her writing. I was left wondering what I’d just read….but wanting more!

100% agree that if you are turned off by graphic scenes of torture, then you may want to stay clear of this book. However, if you’re looking to push your reading boundaries…. bob this on your shelf 😉

Meet Betsy Reavley;

Author of The Quiet Ones, The Optician’s Wife, Murder at the Book Club, Murder in the Dark, Frailty, Carrion, Broken and the poetry collection The Worm in the Bottle. Betsy was born in Hammersmith, London.

As a child she moved around frequently with her family, spending time in London, Provence, Tuscany, Gloucestershire and Cambridgeshire.

She showed a flair for literature and writing from a young age and had a particular interest in poetry, of which she was a prolific consumer and producer.

In her early twenties she moved to Oxford where she would eventually meet her husband. During her time in Oxford her interests turned from poetry to novels and she began to develop her own unique style of psychological thriller.

Betsy says “I believe people are at their most fascinating when they are faced by the dark side of life. This is what I like to write about.”

Betsy Reavley currently lives in Cambridge with her husband, 2 children, dog and quail.

Betsy’s Social Media Links:

Twitter https://twitter.com/BetsyReavley @BetsyReavley

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BetsyReavleyAuthor/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Betsy-Reavley/e/B00I970NY4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1544003078&sr=8-1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7730760.Betsy_Reavley?from_search=true

You can buy BROKEN from the following booksellers (and many more! Support local booksellers where you can!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

-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!

#IncidentReport | #BookReview | LETHAL WHITE (Cormoran Strike #4) by Robert Galbraith @jk_rowling (September 18th 2018, Sphere @LittleBrownUK)

LETHAL WHITE (Cormoran Strike #4) by Robert Galbraith
18th September 2018, Sphere (Little Brown UK)

“I seen a kid killed…He strangled it, up by the horse.”

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.

Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott—once his assistant, now a partner in the agency—set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.

And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been—Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much trickier than that.

When I saw the size of the book I was put off picking it up! I had to have it back to the library and I wondered if I would manage to get through it in time, but it was such a fast paced brilliant read that I found I flicked through the pages quicker than I thought possible and having it finished was not an issue.

The prologue starts exactly where CAREER OF EVIL ended. With Robin’s wedding and Strike turning up during the ceremony. Then we jump forward a year and Cormoran is doing so well with the agency, they are having to take on more investigators. As his fame grows Strike is still fighting all his inner demons, his feelings with Robin, his leg and stump causing him pain and women who want more than he is willing to give. Robin is fighting her demons too, her feelings for Strike and a marriage that she does not want to be in. 

As well as the personal drama there is of course a case Strike and Robin are investigating. This book is written in two parts, the first is about a government minster who enlists their help when he is being blackmailed and the second part is about his murder and who may have done it.

As with the three previous books I struggled to guess who the culprit was. I did manage to guess a couple of the shocks but that didn’t spoil the story for me. I still had to keep reading to find out how all the links are connected because as with the previous three you know there is going to be a great climax. I found myself so engrossed in this story that everything happening around me blended into the background. Robert manages to write characters so well that they really feel real when reading about them. you become so impatient to know how things turn out for them. 

I found this book a brilliant addition to the Strike series and it was very well written and really got me gripped. Can’t wait to see what Robert comes up with next and where our characters go.

You can buy LETHAL WHITE (Cormoran Strike #4) from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

*L*

#MiniReviewMondays | #BookReviews | 28/01/2019

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Never has a quote been so relevant to EVERY book worm around the globe (and further!). SO many books, but so little time! The same can also be said for book bloggers. We read that many books so we can share them with our audience, but we find ourselves short of time to write all our thoughts down in a comprehensive review 🙂

This brings us nicely to ‘Mini Review Monday’. A place where, to compliment our current content, we can share with you some of our initial thoughts on books we have been reading over the last week.

SNAP by Belinda Bauer
Published; May 3rd 2018, Transworld Digital

I have read Belinda Bauer before so when I saw this book in my local library picking it up was a no brainer!

This book follows a family who’s mother disappears after going to find help when their car breaks down. Years later the eldest son is trying to keep the family together, survive and not have any outside interference that could split the siblings up and remove them from their family home with memories of their mother. 

I found this a very clever thriller that kept me reading, with so many twists and turns that I found I could not read as fast as I wanted to so I could find out what happened next. Each time I thought I had worked out what had happened and what is likely to happen, boom, on the next page there is another surprise that throws all my theories out of the window.

[K]

THE CROW TRAP (Vera Stanhope #1) by Ann Cleaves
Published; February 11th 2016, Pan Macmillan (First published 1999)

I decided to try the Vera series as the TV series was going to be shown on the TV and was glad I did.

I found the story was well described and could visualise the moors and countryside that surrounds a cottage and farm which is the main setting for this book. It is a bit of a slow burner, Vera herself doesn’t appear straight away and the story revolves around the 3 women who come to visit the cottage to do an environmental survey, the first of whom finds the lady who lives in the farm has apparently committed suicide. Each of these ladies have good reasons for wanting to go to an isolate place and escaping the community, so when there is another murder will these secrets stay hidden? 

I think this would be a good book for those that like Detective stories like Columbo. 

[K]

LOST BOY; The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry
Published; July 4th 2017, Berkley Books

Each time I see a Christina Henry book I find I have to read it!

In this story it is a dark retelling of Peter Pan, who leaves Never-Never land to find lost/unloved children to take home to be his playmates. Jamie is one of these children that Peter has brought home, but this is not the Disney version of Peter Pan, there is danger and death on the island, and nothing is what it seems.

Whilst I had a rough idea of how the story went I really did not expect the story to go the way it did! I just could not put this story down. I cannot wait to get my hands on her next book.

[K]

Have you read any of the books above? Let us know your thoughts! 🙂

#IncidentReport | #BookReview | NEED YOU DEAD (Roy Grace #13) by Peter James @peterjamesuk (May 18th 2017, Pan Macmillan @panmacmillan)

NEED YOU DEAD (Roy Grace #13) by Peter James
18th May 2017, Pan Macmillan

Roy Grace, creation of the CWA Diamond Dagger award winning author Peter James, faces his most mysterious case yet in Need You Dead.

Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.

When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.

I always struggle with long series as I think what can the author possibly do to make this book any better or different to the past books he has written? I was also a little apprehensive going into this one as I had been reading reviews that stated it wasn’t as good as the previous ones 😦

However personally for me I found it just as enjoyable as the previous 12! It starts off with Lorna Belling being killed by a lover who we have discovered is not who he claims to be. As Lorna threatens him with his whole life, the lover trying to stop her, kills her and then tries to cover his tracks. Peter manages to give just enough away about the killer to spike the reader’s interest but not enough way that it takes anything away from the “whodunnit” of the story, although I have to admit I did have some suspicions about who the killer could be I didn’t predict the actual outcome. 

Roy Grace is obviously, as with all the books, still dealing with the aftermath of discovering his wife Sandy, who he had presumed to be dead for the last 10 years, was actually alive and had had a son by him. Although in book 12 Sandy dies for real, Roy and Cleo now have to adapt to having Roy’s son, Bruno around. Sandy mentions in her suicide not that she worries about Bruno, and with a couple of little hints throughout Need you Dead I feel that Peter is leading this somewhere and I am sure we will discover a lot more about Bruno as the books progress. 

Glenn Branson isn’t such a big part of this book. I am hoping that is not an indication of future books as I enjoy the banter between Glenn and Roy and it really adds the humour element to what can otherwise be quite a hard read. Other side characters also make appearances in this book as well as some new faces who I am sure we will learn more about in future books. 

As with all of my previous reviews I feel I need to mention how much I enjoy that the books are only set just a few months apart. There are mentions of past cases and how they are progressing in terms of court appearances etc, I enjoy knowing that the case hasn’t just ended because the book did. It also helps me to feel like I haven’t missed huge chunks of Roy’s life. Noah is still a baby, not at school already and Cleo is still trying to juggle being a working mother. 

As with the previous 12 books, NEED YOU DEAD is full of twists and turns that make you want to keep turning the pages. I love how they completely blind side the reader with what happens and are so unpredictable. So much happens within one book that by the time you reach the end you feel like you have been on one hell of a rollercoaster ride.

I am looking forward to book 14 and where Peter decides to take Roy next. I know that book 15 is in the process of being released and who knows how many more he will write. Personally if they are all as good as NEED YOU DEAD I hope he never stops!

You can buy NEED YOU DEAD (Roy Grace #13) from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

*L*

#TerrorTomes | #BookReview | SLEEPING BEAUTIES by Stephen King & Owen King @StephenKing (September 26th 2017, Hodder & Stoughton @HodderBooks) #BeatTheBacklist

SLEEPING BEAUTIES by Stephen King & Owen King
26th September 2017, Hodder & Stoughton

In this spectacular father/son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?

All around the world, something is happening to women when they fall asleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed, the women become feral and spectacularly violent…

In the small town of Dooling, West Virginia, the virus is spreading through a women’s prison, affecting all the inmates except one. Soon, word spreads about the mysterious Evie, who seems able to sleep – and wake. Is she a medical anomaly or a demon to be slain?

The abandoned men, left to their increasingly primal devices, are fighting each other, while Dooling’s Sheriff, Lila Norcross, is just fighting to stay awake.

And the sleeping women are about to open their eyes to a new world altogether…

Okie doke. Where do I even start with writing a review for this book?! 

SLEEPING BEAUTIES always intimidated from the moment I held it in my hands – mainly due to its sheer size (I have the UK hardback at 713 pages) and I knew it would take me longer than most books to get through! I don’t mind that too much. Sometimes it’s nice to take your time with a book to really get yourself invested in it. Rewind five years and it took me THREE WEEKS to finish IT!! 

I’ve not read a lot of Stephen King (I have a fair amount on my TBR for this year though!) or even Owen King for that matter. Let’s not forget that this book is a collaboration with father and son! From what I have read of Stephen’s work, SLEEPING BEAUTIES is so far one of my favourites. 

If you are looking for a fast paced fantasy/horror novel, then I would look elsewhere. This is not one of those books. What this book does VERY well is embrace the slow burn. We spend a fair amount of the book learning the background of many of the ensemble characters, which a smidge of the ‘action’ (the action being the sleeping sickness). This continues to build until the balance shifts and the female characters are faced with a new world in which to learn how to live again. 

What I loved so much about this story was how you can take some of the themes from the ‘real world’ and with certain scenes and writing can be turned into horror. The treatment of women plays a large part in this story and their survival. Each female character has their own unique back story and how they react. From a feminist point of view, it makes for an outstanding read!!

I would encourage EVERYONE to read this book!

You can buy SLEEPING BEAUTIES from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

-S.