Die of Shame

Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Thriller
Publisher :

Summary

Mark Billigham
Mark Billingham

Every Monday evening, six people gather in a smart North London house to talk about shame. A respected doctor, a well-heeled housewife, a young male prostitute . . . they could not be more different. All they have in common is a history of addiction. But when one of the group is murdered, it quickly becomes apparent that someone else in that circle is responsible. The investigation is hampered by the strict confidentiality that binds these individuals and their therapist together, which makes things difficult for Detective Inspector Nicola Tanner, a woman who can appreciate the desire to keep personal matters private. If she is to find the killer, she will need to use less obvious means. The question is: What could be shameful enough to cost someone their life? And how do you find the truth when secrets, lies, and denial are second nature to all of your suspects?

Review

Screenshot_20170901-191934.jpgI picked up this book at the airport on the way to sunny Tenerife. After enjoying his book In the Dark i was keen to pick up another one of his works. This was another stand alone book and the summary did catch my interest further.

The aspect of addiction as the main background of the story was new to me and interesting. Perhaps it would be of even more interest to others who can relate or who just enjoy studying it. Learned quite a bit about addiction and therapy despite it being a fiction book.

The book changes from the then to the now however it wasn’t hard to follow at all which can happen with some books. Main thing that I enjoyed was the characters, each so extremely different and well written. The books splits the chapters to each character so you keep switching between being in all their shoes but at the same time doesn’t get confusing as some books can.

The ending was a little bit of a let down, not in the way that you saw it coming but more so that it seemed too long at this stage to find out who done it. It also didn’t feel wrapped up, this was the intent I’m guessing however not really something I like too much.

 

Conclusion

Good read. Interesting plot and interesting characters. I would definitely recommend this book be in on a sun lounger or not. 4 out of 5 stars for me.

4stars

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The Girls

Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Suspense
Publisher : Arrow Books

Summary

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By Lisa Jewell

Imagine that you live on a picturesque communal garden square, an oasis in urban London where your children run free, in and out of other people’s houses. You’ve known your neighbors for years and you trust them. Implicitly. You think your children are safe. But are they really?

On a midsummer night, as a festive neighborhood party is
taking place, preteen Pip discovers her thirteen-year-old sister Grace lying unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner of a lush rose garden. What really happened to her? And who is responsible?

Dark secrets, a devastating mystery, and the games both children and adults play all swirl together in this gripping novel, packed with utterly believable characters and page-turning suspense.

Review

Screenshot_20170406-211718.jpgThis book was given to me by a friend in work. Reading the summary I was interested and decided to give it a shot. The first section does well to capture interest however this is where it ends for me. The “Before” section that starts then drags out way to long, going into detail that sometimes seem very irrelevant. I got to the stage where I was questioning what this book is really about because it didnt seem to lead in the direction of that gripping first section.

The “After” section I figured would be where the story really picks up. I was wrong. Just when you think that the story will finally start to get interesting and there will be more of that promised suspense. There was none. The book ends without even giving a clear ending, no ending for that matter. Its like the author got bored of writing and decided to half write an ending that doesnt even tie anything up. Ah just leave it at that.

The book has no suspense, nothing gripping, nothing intriguing. No mystery. The language is plain and even dull at times. The word flat comes to mind. There was potential for the story there but at every chance the potential was wasted.

 

Conclusion

Dont bother. I wish I hadnt. Zero stars.

rating-star0

Lady of the Shades

Genre: Fiction / Horror / Fantasy / Thriller / Crime
Publisher : Orion Books

Summary

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By Darren Shan

Ed, an American author on the hunt for a story for his next book, arrives in London looking for inspiration. A stranger in a strange city, he’s haunted by a deadly secret that refuses to stay buried, and no matter how hard he tries he cannot escape the manifest sins of his past.
What Ed wants is answers, what he finds is something he definitely didn’t bargain for: the beautiful and untouchable Andeanna Menderes. Andeanna is a woman who is dangerously bound to one of London’s most notorious crime lords, and if they are caught together it could mean death for them both.
Ensnared in an illicit affair that can only be conducted in the shadows, Ed’s world is turned upside down as a series of shattering revelations blurs the line between what’s real and what’s not.

Review
Screenshot_20160512-194125.jpgThis was the second time I came across Darren Shan’s adult books. I first picked up his teen books after I seen someone read one and the picture of an axe on the cover when I was only 13. Since then I’ve been a loyal fan of all his work. Don’t make the mistake to think that just because he writes teen books that the adult books wouldn’t be that good. This book is as adult as it gets.

The beginning isn’t gripping, so much so that i thought id hate the book before I even finished a single chapter. Even one of my favourite books is not without flaw and perhaps this is a major one to some.  The story slowly reveals itself. The slow pace is just right to build up to the mayhem that begins in the second half of the book. The fact that this is a standalone, you know the mayhem will be good and Shan doesn’t disappoint.

The characters aren’t overly developed but their story is described just enough for you to follow yet not get too deep. The story line it self is not difficult to follow dispute the twists and turns, and what twists they are!

The only downside for me is that Shan can go too far into the fantasy realm which shatters the illusion of any of this being real and someone looses a little of the appeal especially in books where fantasy of such is not necessary. Perhaps he is just drawn to it.

The ending wowed me to this day i remember how I felt reading that final epic reveal twist plot. My jaw did literally drop I gasped out loud and that’s no exaggeration. For the twists alone I give this book top marks.

Conclusion

If you are a lover of twists, this is the book for you. This book has the most twists and surprises than any thriller Ive ever read. Despite the minor flaws the book does make up for it in the end and sits firmly on my list of re-read and re-read and again. 5 out of 5.

5stars

The Book Thief

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Fiction
Publisher : Knopf Books

Summary

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By Markus Zusak


It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .
Set during World War II in Germany, the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

Review

Screenshot_20170319-144716The reason I picked up this book was purely from the initial interest in the title. A book about a book thief intrigued me, what I didnt realise at the time was that it was a historical fiction which I dont often read. Despite the fact that this was a book outside my norm I really enjoyed it.

One of the main things I liked about this book was that it was set during the Holocaust but it didnt revolve itself around that it kept the focus on the main character and what she was experiencing which made the historical part of it far more interesting.

The fact that the book is narrated by death was an interesting take but it also wasn’t as depressing and negative as you might think death would be at narrating. I found the book descriptive enough to set the picture in my mind without boring me with details which not every author can get the balance of right. Although its not a happy story I feel like you can get the happiness from the main characters love of books and to be fair if you know when/where the book is set I don’t see how you cant see how the end plays out.

Conclusion
I found the book interesting and a very easy read. I would recommend this book to friends, however I can also see how this might not be up to everyone’s liking either. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

4stars

Flash and Bones

Genre: Mystery / Fiction / Thriller
Publisher : Arrow Books`
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By Kathy Reichs

Summary

A body is found in a barrel of asphalt next to Lowes Motor Speedway near Charlotte just as 200,000 fans are pouring into town for race week. The next day, a NASCAR crew member shares with Tempe a devastating story. Twelve years earlier his sister, Cyndi Gamble, then a high school senior who wanted to be a professional racecar driver, disappeared along with her boyfriend, Cale Lovette. Lovette kept company with a group of right wing extremists known as the Patriot Posse. Is the body Cyndi’s? Or Cale’s?

At the time of their disappearance, the FBI joined the investigation, but the search was quickly terminated. As Tempe is considering multiple theories, including an FBI cover-up, a surprising, secret substance is found with the body, leaving Tempe to wonder what exactly the government was up to. . . .

Review

The was one of the first Kathy Reichs books I had picked up, although its actually the 14th in the series. As I’ve mentioned in previous Kathy Reichs reviews, each book is its own story and just like I never started from the first book my reviews will follow the same (non) logic and be as jumbled up as the sequence of me reading them.Screenshot_20170319-144930

At the beginning of the book i found myself a little lost in the whole NASCAR world as I’m not familiar with any of it. My lack of interest in NASCAR also made me nearly dose off at parts. The first half of the book seemed a little dull, with very little forensic work described. If you had read her other books this one would seem more like a holiday book from that world, although still within the same theme it moved away from the main personal story of Temperance Brennan so it was refreshing in that sense.

Although it took me a while to get fully into this book, the second half of it was much more promising. This book was definitely one where I didn’t guess who the killer was and I find that’s what keeps me loyal to Kathy Reichs aside from the forensics of course.

Conclusion

Although my review might come off as more negative then positive I did enjoy this book and was left surprised by the ending. I would recommend this book to any crime / mystery lover without a doubt. I would give this a 4 out of 5 as there were parts which could have been better.

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Taboo

Genre: Crime / Mystery / Thriller
Publisher : Simon & Schuster
Image result for casey hill author
By Casey Hill (Melissa & Kevin)

Summary

Forensic Investigator Reilly Steel, Quantico-trained and California born and bred, imagined Dublin to be a far cry from San Francisco, a sleepy backwater where she can lay past ghosts to rest and start anew. She’s arrived in town to drag the Irish crime lab into the 21st century, plus keep tabs on her Irish-born father who’s increasingly seeking solace in the bottle after a family tragedy.

But a brutal serial killer soon puts paid to that. When a young man and woman are found dead in an apartment, the gunshot wounds on their naked bodies suggest a suicide pact. But Reilly’s instincts are screaming that something’s seriously amiss and, as more bodies are discovered, the team soon realise tht a twisted murderer is at work, one who seeks to upset society’s norms in the most sickening way imaginable….

 

Review

img_20170111_195756 I picked up this book in the book shop after reading the summary at the back. I was interested in a crime mystery set in Dublin because up to that point I was only familiar with Chick Lit romantic books set in Dublin. I guess I didn’t have huge expectations at the time and left it on my book shelf for a long time before deciding to get stuck into it.
I don’t know what I was thinking not reading this book sooner. The story is very interesting, the concept of the killer was very intriguing. The book was well written which I had doubts about since the only other book I had read by two authors before this was a disaster.
The story kept you in suspense in the “Ah just one more chapter” way which is always a great sign. The story line kept you guessing and I for one couldn’t have predicted the ending. Plenty of surprises along the way to keep this an exciting one till the very end. I felt like this book could do well as a t.v. series, I could picture it while I read how well it would work.
The Characters were well written, you weren’t overwhelmed with details which allowed you to make up your own details but enough to make the characters their own. The characters kept developing through out the story, the boring stiff was not as boring as you thought towards the end sort of way.

Conclusion

I had a great time reading this, it was an easy read too. After finishing the book I discovered there is 5 more in the series of Reilly Steel so I’m keen to get my hands on those too. I would give this book a  5 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this to any crime lover, its a great book but also easy to read. I would be definitely be looking at these two authors more in the future.

5stars

The Time of my Life

Genre: Woman’s Fiction/ Chick Lit
Publisher : Harper Collins
By Cecelia Ahern

Summary
Lucy Silchester has an appointment with her life. Lying on her carpet one day when she returns from work is a gold envelope. Inside is an invitation – to a meeting with Life. Her life. It turns out she’s been ignoring it. She’s read about the Life agency in a magazine and now her’s wanted to meet with her. But Lucy’s life isn’t what it seems. Some of the choices she’s made – and stories she’s told – aren’t what they seem either. From the moment she meets the man who introduces himself as her life, her stubborn half-truths are going to be revealed in all their glory – unless Lucy learns to tell the truth about what really matters to her.

 

Review
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The reason I picked up this book was because I’ve enjoyed the Authors previous works. After “One Hundred Names” I wasn’t too keen on picking up another of her books but I got this one before that read and figured its no use just sitting on my shelf.

The book is an easy read as her previous works. I decided given its easy style I was going to take it with me on holidays for the plane and the lounging in the sun. It has a great uplifting feel to it. The story is very similar to her “How to Fall in Love” where as well as a romantic story she incorporates a story of self exploration and even therapy.

I really felt a connection to the main character and now because I lie as much as she does but more so because she feels very real like a non polished person you would meet in real life. It is the most real character I have read in any of my books. As well as the main character the rest are also well developed and play their part in a very realistic way.

One of the nice things about this book is that it is set in Dublin, just like many of her others. As I am from Dublin this helps plaint a clearer picture of the story and once again makes it all the more real.

Although it is a romantic book it is not a soppy one. There is plenty of humor and jokes. I had plenty of out loud laughs myself while reading it, possibly looking crazy as a result.

There is plenty of suspense too, the exciting kind which leaves you on the edge of your seat.

Conclusion
This was one of my favorites from Cecelia. This was a lovely story with an exciting pace. I would recommend this book to any woman in my life. I’d rate it a 5 out of 5.

5stars

The Girl in the Ice

Genre: Fiction/ Mystery/ Crime /Thriller
Publisher : Bloomsbury

Summary

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Lotte & Soren Hammer

Under the heartless vault of Greenland’s arctic sky the body of a girl is discovered. Half-naked and tied up, buried hundreds of miles from any signs of life, she has lain alone, hidden in the ice cap, for twenty-five years. Now an ice melt has revealed her.

When Detective Chief Superintendent Konrad Simonsen is flown in to investigate this horrific murder and he sees how she was attacked, it triggers a dark memory and he realizes this was not the killer’s only victim. As Simonsen’s team works to discover evidence that has long since been buried, they unearth truths that certain people would prefer stayed forgotten. Disturbing details about the moral standing of some of Denmark’s political figures are revealed and powerful individuals are suddenly working against the case. But the pressure is on as it becomes clear that the killer chooses victims who all look unsettlingly similar, a similarity that may be used to the investigators’ advantage—just so long as they can keep the suspect in their sights.

Review

screenshot_20161205-211904I was browsing through suggestions for me on the GoodReads.com website which I had only discovered at the time. Once of the books recommended to me was one called “The girl in the Ice” so when I came across the title in the book shop a few days later I picked it up straight away looking forward to get stuck into it. Little did I know at the time, and not until I had finished the book that the book suggested to me was written by someone else. My late realisation of picking up the wrong book was only one of very many disappointments when it came to this book.

Dont get me wrong I fell for that summary head over heels as many of you might, but it sucks you in just to disappoint you. Once you start reading the book, its far from captivating. I had to continuously reassure myself that this will get better, which is already a bad sign.
The language is hard to read. When i say that I don’t mean that i couldn’t understand the words, more like it was difficult to follow. Perhaps it was the translation but I suspect it was the style it was written. You cant put so much blame on a translation.
There is absolutely no suspense. None. Oh they try to create suspense alright but it doesn’t work for them. They leave the reader out of the loop of some conversations which only ads to the confusion and builds more irritation than suspense. In the opportunities where they could have created suspense they just gave it away in the next paragraph.
The background on the main characters is just not there. They describe scenes where its already expected that you know they characters big secret. I realise that this is actually a second book in a series but I have read many books from middle of a series and there was never an issue like this.

Conclusion

Its not the worst book I have ever read simply because the story had promise but the execution of it was terrible. It has felt like the biggest waste of time and I would definitely not recommend this to anyone. I was furious when I finished the book simply because I wasted so much time on a story that could have been so much more. I am giving this one star and the single star is only there because of the interesting premise and nothing else.

1star

In the Dark

Genre: Crime / Mystery / Thriller
Publisher : Sphere
Mark Billigham
By Mark Billingham

Summary

A Deadly Crash
A rainy night in south London. A gun is fired into a car which swerves on to the pavement and ploughs into a bus stop. It seems that a chilling gang initiation has cost an innocent victim their life. But the reality is far more sinister…
A Dangerous Quest
One life is wiped out and three more are changed forever: the young man whose finger was on the trigger; an ageing gangster planning a deadly revenge, and the pregnant woman who struggles desperately to uncover the truth. Two weeks away from giving birth, how will she deal with a world where death is an occupational hazard?
A Shocking Twist
In a city where violence can be random or meticulously planned, where teenage gangs clash with career criminals and where loyalty is paid for in blood, anything is possible. Secrets are uncovered as fast as bodies, and the story’s final twist is as breathtakingly surprising as they come.

 

Review

Screenshot_20160611-192136.jpgI decided to write this review as it goes well with my upcoming review of my trip to London as the story is set in the city. I wont lie the main reason i picked up the book was because the cover looked so cool with its 3D rain drops, and I’m very glad i picked it up. Once i read the summary on the back it hooked me in straight away.

 I really enjoyed this book and got hooked into it from the very start. The story being told from different perspectives is always something I enjoy in the books i read and especially if I’m not expecting it.
The main narrating done from the perspective of the pregnant woman felt so real that I almost started walking like I’m pregnant (and I wasn’t) after getting so sucked into it. Apart from just being a pregnant narrator I really enjoyed how well the character was established she was strong and smart and made the story very enjoyable to follow.
The book gave a very good impression of both the low gangs and high criminals as well as the police within London. The progressions and rules within the gangs and their lives and what leads them to this was very interesting.It was part of the story and not just a one paragraph summary of “this is how its done here”.
The fact that the main character is pregnant and close to giving birth gives you a feel of of a time limit in her investigation and there for giving you the reader the feeling of being at the edge of the seat that anything can happen at any minute.
The ending isn’t a huge shocking twist but personally I actually enjoyed that the twists unfolded gradually throughout the chapters coming to the towards the end of the book. The unfold of all the loose ends just kept you hungry for the next.

Conclusion

I really enjoying this book and found myself completely consumed by it. It was definitely a book i struggled to put down and was hungry for more with every chapter I read. I would give this book a  5 out of 5 stars without any hesitation. I would recommend this to any crime lover and I know I will definitely be interested in reading more of Mark’s work.

5stars

The Host

Genre: Fiction / Fantasy / Sci-fi
Publisher : Sphere
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Stephenie Mayer

Summary

The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. An invading “soul” called Wanderer has been given a human body of a Melanie Stryder to try get information on the resisting humans. Wanderer didn’t expect to find Melanie refusing to give up control of her body or give up on her family.

As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of humans who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for the humans and Melanies loved ones. Will the humans accept Wanderer or are they headed to their doom.

Review

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I bought this book after a work colleague couldn’t recommended it highly enough. I can completely agree with her now.
There seems to be a very big divide on what people thought of this book, a hate it or love it relationship but no in between. The main pitfall people fall into when reviewing this book seems to be that they focus so much on her previous work and everything is compared to Twillight. This is a stand alone novel and when you read it you would understand this.
Firstly, I really enjoyed the back story. The aliens and their way of life was interesting to read. It was well developed and described. You continue to learn about the race throughout the book. Although there is romance in the book it is not the focus point.
The characters were great, very well developed and interesting. Even though you had two characters in one body you can really feel for both and there is just no way to pick sides. Wanderer is compassionate, caring and very deserving of the name as simple as it may be. Melanie is strong, a fighter and caring but in a strong way. You can feel the hatred from humans towards the aliens, the longing to be understood, these are all very real issues that people can relate too.
The ending was full of hope and happiness which left me in a daze of warm and fuzzy for days. Who doesn’t love that feeling after reading a book.

Conclusion

This book is definitely in my top 5 favourite books. Perhaps it is because I’m a sucker for fantasy books or maybe the story was just that good. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading it again!! I would recommend this to everyone, boys/girls you name it. The one piece of advice I would give is don’t judge a book by the authors previous works, this book is worth giving a chance to.

5stars