Thursday, 26 February 2015

Three Twisted Stories by Karin Slaughter

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Uk I was sent a copy of this book to review.

Three Twisted Stories consists of a novella and 2 short stories.

Go Deep

Growing up dirt poor, Charlie Lam worked his ass off to make something of himself, no thanks to his deadbeat father or his long-suffering mother. And now a lot of people depend on Charlie: by his last count, sixty-eight employees at his Atlanta auto dealership, eleven shiftless brothers and sisters, an ungrateful wife, a spoiled daughter, a shameless girlfriend. Who could really blame him for wanting a little extra?

The arrangement is simple: Charlie picks up a suit from the dry cleaner’s. In the suit pocket is the name of a very important man. The next day, that man walks into the dealership, drives out in a new car, and Charlie gets a fat envelope full of cash. Everyone’s happy. No one gets hurt. So long as Charlie doesn’t cross his business partner. But with one twist of a knife, the unthinkable happens. And suddenly Charlie is in deeper trouble than he could have possibly imagined.

This is the longest of the three stories with 9 chapters and my favourite. It's dark, it's fun and satirical.

Necessary Women

In a border town between Georgia and Alabama, in a three-room house made of cement block, a fourteen-year-old girl watches her mother die. Her father is a long-haul trucker, away for weeks, sometimes months, at a time. Her mother, with two menial jobs cleaning restrooms and working nights at the laundry, had been just thirty years old.

A week before she died, noticing her daughter getting attention from a boy, the girl’s mother warned her not to make the same mistakes she did. Now, her father tells her, she’s the woman of the house, and she must do all the necessary things the woman must do: the cleaning, the cooking, the laundry. But there’s a lot more to being a woman than fixing dinner and doing the wash. Her mother was right: She won’t end up like her—and she’ll do anything to prove it.

This one had me feeling quite sorry for the character but not all is what it seems. It gives you chills and goose bumps and I felt I wanted it to be longer, I didn't want it to stop and the story could have continued.

Remmy Rothstein Toes The Line

As an intrepid adjudicator of World Records, Mindy Patel has met lots of strange people in lots of strange places. But they’re no match for the Swampers of the Georgia bayou. Mindy has braved the oppressive August heat in search of Remmy Rothstein, who they call “The Cajun Jew.” If the photos are indeed accurate, she might be about to certify Remmy as the World Record Holder for Longest Tongue in the World . . . and maybe even the Widest!

First Mindy meets Remmy’s half-brother, Buell Rabinowitz, surely the world’s only one-legged, albino, Jewish African American. Then she makes the acquaintance of Remmy’s mother, a foul-mouthed old woman with an impressive beard. None of which prepares her for an eyeful of Remmy: a man who measures up to his singular reputation in ways that will change the course of Mindy’s life.

This was my least favourite of the three stories but still enjoyable. It had me laughing out loud a few times as it's written as a series of emails and Mindy is a bit of a rambler.

Anyone who's a fan of dark humour will find this book an enjoyable read, it's not for the faint hearted. Fans of Karin Slaughter will be surprised how different this book is to her usual writing and although I'm not usually a fan of short stories I had to give this one a go and I'm glad I did.

I've given this a 4 star rating as I feel the last story let it down a little bit.
Buy your copy here

Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Bookseller by C. Robert Cales

Book 12
The Bookseller by C. Robert Cales

The Bookseller second edition.

Across from Boston Common, nestled into the corner of a cobblestone mall, sits The Bookseller, a bookstore owned by a lovable rare book dealer and his wife, who runs a coffee parlor inside the store. The parlor is the morning gathering place for business people from around the mall where the complimentary coffee is hot and delicious, the croissants are a quarter, and the lively banter is free. George and Elizabeth lead a happy life surrounded by many friends.

Their happiness is about to be shattered by a violent South American drug cartel with a new, high tech process for smuggling cocaine. 
I was privileged to receive this book from Netgalley and although I found this book to be very long it was really good.
This book ticks all the boxes, you have romance, crime, supernatural and sci-fi all rolled into one.
At first I couldn't see see how a nice respectable bookseller, his wife and neighbour, a very nasty drug lord trying to smuggle cocaine into America and a nice guy who demolishes a house that's scared the residents of it's town for over 200 years could tie in together but it does and Mr Cales does it tremendously.
If this had been a film I would have been hiding behind my couch at some points, it's very cleverly written and the different amount of emotions you feel while reading this are unbelievable and I was kind of sad when I'd finished the book as it leaves you wanting more. I look forward to reading more by C. Robert Cales in the future.
Buy your copy here

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Little Shop of hopes and Dreams by Fiona Harper

Book 11
The Little Shop of Hopes and Dreams by Fiona Harper

Nicole Harrison is planning the proposal of the century. Too bad its not her own
Nicole, a born organiser and true romantic, has created her dream job when she sets up the Hopes & Dreams proposal agency – staging YouTube worthy proposals…until she’s hired to plan a proposal by gorgeous photographer Alex Black’s girlfriend. Alex is the New Year’s kiss that Nicole hasn’t been able to forget – and now she’s planning his wedding to someone else! But if she lets herself fall for Alex’s charms, her reputation and business will be ruined before it’s even got off the ground! Suddenly the girl whose always prepared is at a loss…and falling head over heels.

After reading so many crime books over the last month or so I thought it was about time I read something a bit lighter especially since I started dreaming about murders, kind of a sign to change.
When I saw this book I was instantly drawn to it by it's beautiful cover. It looked quite Christmassy (but it isn't)  and the title sounded lovely.
I got straight into the book and instantly warmed to Nicole, her character is hard working, she knows what she wants and where she wants to go in life, well with her career anyway. Then along comes Alex Black and everything's turned upside down and Nicole starts to question herself and the person she has become.
The book gave me some laughs and often I could feel myself getting frustrated just wanting to bang Alex and Nicole's heads together which I suppose is a sign of a good book when you feel the emotions of the characters.
This was a lovely romantic book and just what I needed to lift me out of my murderous world!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Watching Over You by Mel Sherratt

Book 10
Watching Over You by Mel Sherratt

After the death of her husband and unborn child Charley Bellington decides it's time to sell her home and make a fresh start. Finding a nice flat to rent for while and meeting her new landlady Ella who seems like she could be a good friend things seem to be going well for Charley.

Ella is a troubled soul who drinks uncontrollably, has black outs and is a sex addict all due to a very troubled past and Charley's life doesn't go well for long.

This is the first book I've read by Mel Sherratt and after reading it I instantly looked up other books by this Author.
This book is quite a gripper although it did have me cringing at some of Ella's antics. It becomes quite obvious Ella is out of control and reading pages from her diary's you do tend to feel a bit sorry for her but then out comes Cassandra  and you realise she's a psychopath!
Elizabeth Haynes described this as a book you need to read from behind a cushion! and now I understand why, everyone is being watched by someone. A fabulous read and now I'm away to make sure my curtains are closed.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Chameleon (A City of London Thriller) by J Jackson Bently

Book 9
Chameleon by J Jackson Bentley

This book I will have to come back to, to review. I got to the end of chapter 2 and gave up which was quite disappointing after the book 48 Hours had me gripped from the get go.
I was maybe just too tired but I will go back to it and try again soon.

The Magpies by Mark Edwards

Book 8
The Magpies by Mark Edwards

A young couple buy their first flat and have so much to look forward to. They make a home for themselves and make friends with the neighbours but strange things start to happen and one of there friends seemingly after an accident ends up in a coma.

This was a fabulous book, I read it in 2 sittings. The characters are believable and you feel like you really get to know them, the twists in the story are good and you feel the frustration for the characters. The ending is not what you would expect though which was an added bonus and it left me wanting more.
At the end of the book when you read about the author he actually started the book as he had been in a similar situation with bad neighbours (no where near as bad as in the book) and it made him write about what could have happened and got his imagination going.
I really look forward to reading more by Mark Edwards.

48 Hours (A City of London Thriller) by J Jackson Bentley

Book 7
48 Hours (A City of London Thriller) by J Jackson Bentley

The text message on Josh Hammonds phone reads "if you don't pay me £250,000 in 48 hours you die". The black mailers serious, as becomes obvious and Josh must pay to save his life.

This book as the title says is set in London and goes to great detail with Street names and settings which makes it feel real. The characters are easy to get to know and you don't need to read far into the book as the plot gets off the ground only a few pages in.
There's romance and danger as Dee is hired to be Josh's protection officer and the relationship between the two builds throughout the story.
The only thing about the book is there are a lot of mistakes and it could have been better written, one characters name changes from Martin to Michael then back to Martin which had me a little confused and I had to skip back to see if I'd missed something.

This book was published in Oct 2010 so I'm hoping the next books by Mr Bentley have improved a bit in the years that have followed. 

Someone Else's Daughter by Linsey Lanier

Book 5
Someone Else's Daughter (A Miranda's Rights Mystery 1) by Linsey Lanier

This was another free book I downloaded on my kindle.

This was a good book and another that I couldn't put down. It's well written but in my opinion a little far fetched in some places but maybe it's because I wasn't in the right frame of mind at the time of reading it.

Miranda Steele hasn't had it easy, an abusive husband who stole her baby and put it up for adoption has made her toughen up and is on the search for her lost daughter.

Wade Parker is a private investigator who is wealthy and runs Parker Investigative Agency and after the body of a young girl who has been missing is found by Miranda when out searching for her daughter she's arrested.
Miranda and Wade team up to investigate the murder and with a few twists, turns and some romance thrown in the life of another young girl hangs in the balance and it's up to Miranda and Wade to find the killer before it's too late.
Even though it's not the best review I will be purchasing the next book as this one leaves things open and me being the nosey parker I am I will have to find out what happens next.

Rachel Abbott

Books 3, 4 & 5

Only the Innocent,
The Back Road
Sleep Tight

All three of these books were a really good read. I actually read the third book first by mistake not realising it was part of a series but it didn't spoil the others in any way.

Only the Innocent
This book had me gripped from the beginning.
The victim, a man known for his charitable work with Eastern European prostitutes is found dead and at least one of these girls is missing so it's up to Chief Inspector Tom Douglas to find the killer and the connection.
The victims wife Laura knows more than she's letting on and through a series of letters she's written to her friend but never posted we found out what horrors she has had to endure and the many secrets her husband has kept.

The Back Road
This book is one of those books that keeps you guessing and guessing, you have your suspicions and its such a good read you don't want to put it down until it's finished and you find out if you were right.

Little Melham is a small quiet Village shocked after a young girl is involved in a hit and run and left for dead.
Tom Douglas has just moved to Little Melham to be closer to his daughter and for some well deserved peace and quiet but is drawn into the investigation. Every character in the book has a secret and could also be suspect. There are lots of twists in this book and I found reading it I got so frustrated (in a good way) as I just wanted to find out what the hell was going on. This is by far one of my favourites so far.

Sleep Tight
Another great read by Rachel Abbott.
Tom Douglas is called to a case where a wife and children have gone missing, years earlier though it was the husband and the children that had gone missing!
With lots of twists in this book it keeps you guessing, Did the husband kill his wife and children? If not then why is her car, bag and purse all left in the house and then there's the blood, who's blood? With so much lies, deceit and controlling what has really happened?
It's also good to find out what's going on in Tom Douglas's life too, his career and personal life are moving along through all three books.
I've really enjoyed all three books and look forward to reading more by Rachel Abbott.

Die Again by Tess Gerritsen

Book 2
Die Again (Rizzoli & Isles 11) by Tess Gerritsen

After reading all the books in the Rizzoli & Isles Series I couldn't wait for this one to come out so had it pre-ordered quite a while before it was released.
This book did not disappoint and shows that Tess Gerritsen still has it. It's another one of those books you just can't put down.

The book starts off  with a group of people on a safari in Botswana telling the story then heads back to Boston where Rizzoli heads up the murder investigation of a well known taxidermist and Isles joins for the post mortem.
The book flits back and forward from Botswana and Boston, with murders a plenty and Rizzoli and Isles not only having difficulties in piecing the case together but also telling you about the difficulties they face in their own personal lives.
Although this book was quite different from the other's in the series it was another edge of your seat book. Fingers crossed we don't have to long to wait for number 12.

Hurt by Brian McGilloway

Book 1
Hurt (DS Lucy Black Book 2) by Brian McGilloway
This is the second in the DS Lucy Black Series, the first being Little Girl Lost.

I first came across Brian McGilloway after downloading Little Girl Lost for free on my Kindle. I was hooked straight away and couldn't wait to get Hurt and I wasn't disappointed.

Set in Derry, Northern Ireland the discovery of a 16 year old girls body on a railway line starts off this murder investigation.
Throughout the book we find out more about Lucy, her family and her colleagues while also feeling her anger and frustration throughout the investigation.
This book covers some quite dark areas, murder and paedophilia but is written in a way that does not give too much away to make it difficult to read.
I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from Brian McGilloway soon.