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Showing posts from December, 2019

My Review of Hope Cottage by Catherine McCarthy

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 I gave Hope Cottage 4* out of 5*

Book Description

Recently divorced from a manipulative husband and grief-stricken following the death of her mother, Cassie Wilkinson has never felt so hopeless and alone. An unexpected inheritance affords her the opportunity to start anew. The surprise acquisition of the unsuitably named Hope Cottage spurs her to flee from the familiarity of the place she has always known to the quintessential English village of Marleston, but this gift from the grave is not without its ghosts. A startling discovery unveils a series of tragedies and emotional turmoil inherent within the family of her estranged grandmother.Will Cassie find the quietude for which she longs or will the skeletons in the closet vanquish any chance of true happiness? 

My Review:

When I first started writing reviews I often wondered if it sounded insulting if I said a book was an easy read. But I’m happy to say that now because I realised it all depends on the genre and what I’m looking for in …

My Review of Hotel Obscure by Lisette Brodey

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I gave Hotel Obscure by Lisette Brodey 4* out of 5*

Book Description:

In a run-down neighbourhood in an unnamed city, people live and die in “the Obscure.”

Whether anyone remembers the real name of the derelict establishment is a mystery. In this six-story building, most who occupy the rooms are long-term residents, though some stay for as little as an hour.

The patronage is an eclectic group: musicians, writers, addicts, hookers, lonely people, poor people, rich people, once-well-off people, and those who have reason to hide from their former lives or to escape the demands of a disapproving and punishing society.

As shabby as the Obscure is, as long as its walls keep out the wind and the rain, it remains a shelter, a hideaway, and a home for the many bewildered souls.

Hotel Obscure is a collection of seventeen short stories that all take place in or around the “the Obscure.” While the stories stand alone, they are to be read in order. Some characters appear in multiple stories, and sometim…

My Review of Acts Of Convenience by Alex Craigie

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I gave Acts of Convenience 4* out of 5*Book Description:Imagine, if you will, a near future where governments adopt policies that suit them rather than the people they were elected to represent.
Imagine a near future where old age and chronic problems are swept away with expedient legislation.
I know; it's an unlikely scenario.
However, it's a scenario in which Cassie Lincoln finds herself.
It's a scenario that compels her to take action.
It's a scenario that leads to despair and danger.My Review:

I am already familiar with Alex Craigie's work, having read her debut novel. Someone Close to Home which I reviewed here, and I admire and enjoy her style of writing.

Similar to this first book there is an underlying passion in the themes she has chosen in Acts of Convenience

Yet this book is different; this is a slow burner; the first third of the story sets the scene, the world that Cassie Lincoln and her family live and work in. This is a Britain that is inexorably controll…

My Review of Where She Went by B E Jones

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Book Description She used to report on murder cases. Now she's the victim of one . . . TV journalist Melanie Black wakes up one morning next to a man she doesn't remember. When his wife walks in he greets her with a smile and to her horror, Melanie comes to realise that no one can see or hear her - because she is dead. But has she woken up next to her murderer? And why is she an invisible and uninvited guest in a house she can't seem to leave? As she begins to piece together the last days of her life it becomes clear she has to make a choice: bring her killer to justice, or wreak her own punishment on the man who murdered her.
 My Review: I loved the originality of this book, the writing style of the author, the chilling yet sometimeshumorous internal dialogue of the once ambitious and ruthless TV journalist and now dead, Melanie Black... and yet... somehow B E Jones managed to make me instantly dislike and distrust this protagonist, even though she is the victim. But isn't t…

My Review of In Two Minds (The Teifi Valley Coroner) by Alis Hawkins

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I gave In Two Minds 5* out of 5*

In Two Minds (The Teifi Valley Coroner)

Book Description:
Harry Probert-Lloyd, a young barrister forced home from London by encroaching blindness, has begun work as the acting coroner of Teifi Valley with solicitor's clerk John Davies as his assistant.
When a faceless body is found on an isolated beach, Harry must lead the inquest. But his dogged pursuit of the truth begins to ruffle feathers. Especially when he decided to work alongside a local doctor with a dubious reputation and experimental theories considered radical and dangerous. Refusing to accept easy answers might not only jeopardise Harry's chance to be elected coroner permanently but could, it seems implicate his own family in a crime.

My Review:
Remembering the problems I had with the first book I read of this author's (Revealed here: here to those who need to be warned), I only settled down to read In Two Minds after I'd hidden the car in a nearby drive, drawn the curtains, swit…

My Review of Willow: Book Four of The Katherine Wheel Saga by Alex Martin

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I gave Willow 4* out of 5* 
Book Description:
The stifling heat of a summer’s day lures four children to the cool green waters of the river running between Cheadle Manor and The Katherine Wheel Garage.
Al captains the little band of pirates as they blithely board the wooden dinghy. Headstrong Lottie vies with him to be in charge while Isobel tries to keep the peace and look after little Lily.
But it is the river that is really in control.
Lost and alone, the four children must face many dangers, but it is the unforeseen consequences of their innocent adventure that will shape their futures for years to come.

Book Four of The Katherine Wheel Series may be small in size but it packs in many surprises for the children of Katy and Jem and Douglas and Cassandra. Willow bridges the generation gap between the last three books, Daffodils, Peace Lily and Speedwell, and Book Five, Woodbine, when the four children are on the brink of both adulthood and the outbreak of the Second World War. The series …

My Review of Gertie’s War by David Western

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I gave Gertie's War 4* out of 5*
Book Description:  Housewife Gertie is happily married to railwayman Albert in Germany, during the latter years of WW2. Her son and brothers are away fighting and Albert wants to join up too. Gertie is resiliently enduring the hardships of war, in early 1944. Like millions of others, she believes the Nazi propaganda that’s fed to her. Then one day a knock on the door changes her life forever. An innocent action on Gertie’s part, has started a terrifying chain of circumstances, in which she suffers at the hands of a powerful man determined to use her for his own purposes. She meets other victims of the Nazi legal system and experiences the terror of an air raid. Her beliefs and values are challenged as never before and she begins to question long held and official attitudes and actions. With only the love for her husband and family to keep her going, will it be enough?
My Review:

Set in Germany during the last years of WW2, the background for  Gertie’s …

Reviewing The Locked Trilogy in Few Words - Not That They Need Many More: A Brilliant Series of Books

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By GB Williams
I know I am cheating with the review of this brilliant trilogy by copying the blurb of the books as a description of these stories. But I’ve been promising myself I will catch up on as many reviews as I can before the end of 2019. It’s been an odd year at the Barrow household, one way and another and reviewing, I’m sorry to say, has been overlooked. I usually give a breakdown on all the components of a novel: characters, dialogue, setting, plot etc. But I’m hoping I can show how much I enjoyed reading this trilogy in the following extremely succinct way:
Ariadne Teddington and Charlie Bell are strong, well rounded characters that it’s impossible not to care about, the dialogue of all the characters is believable and well written, the settings give a strong sense of place and, last of all, the plots are actually … mind- blowing. I was totally absorbed from beginning to end. I cannot recommend them enough to any reader who loves a great crime thriller – and that’s all I can…