Sunday, 19 February 2017

Review - Blink by K.L. Slater

Blink by K.L. Slater
Publisher: Bookouture
Release date: 16 February 2017
Rating: ****
Back cover blurb: What if the person you love most in the world was in terrible danger … because of you? Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace. But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth. Toni’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter. A compelling, gripping thriller with a breath-taking twist that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Behind Closed Doors and The Sister.

This is a really difficult novel to review without giving any of the plot twists away – which by the way are amazing!

Blink is a fast paced psychological thriller (if I hadn’t had to go to work I’d have read it in one sitting) that really grips you from the start.

Toni Cotter has recently moved to Nottingham with her five year old daughter Evie to be nearer her Mother.
Her late husband, Evie’s Father passed away whilst serving in Afghanistan and a fresh start is what both Mother and Daughter so desperately need.

Evie is swiftly enrolled into the local primary school, and Toni finds herself a job at the local Estate agency.
Determined to stand on her own two feet and not rely on her Mother’s help, Toni does struggle, but she believes she knows what’s best for her family.

If Toni thought that she was living in a nightmare when her husband died, she was very much mistaken.

For after a chain of unforeseen circumstances, Toni is late picking up Evie from school, and Evie is nowhere to be found. She has seemingly vanished and Toni’s nightmare has only just begun...

Blink is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Review - A room full of killers by Michael Wood

A room full of Killers by Michael Wood
Harper Collins UK/Harper Fiction/Killer Reads
Release date: 17 February 2017
Rating: *****
Back cover blurb: The third book in Michael Wood’s darkly compelling crime series featuring DCI Matilda Darke. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid. Feared by the people of Sheffield, Starling House is home to some of Britain's deadliest teenagers, still too young for prison. Now the building’s latest arrival, Ryan Asher, has been found brutally murdered – stabbed twelve times, left in a pool of blood. When DCI Matilda Darke and her team investigate, they uncover the secrets of a house tainted by evil. Kate Moloney, the prison’s manager, is falling apart, the security system has been sabotaged, and neither the staff nor the inmates can be trusted. There’s only one person Matilda believes is innocent, and he’s facing prison for the rest of his life. With time running out, she must solve the unsolvable to save a young man from his fate. And find a murderer in a house full of killers…

DCI Matilda Darke is a detective that I have somehow not had the pleasure of meeting before. I’m not sure how the first two novels in the series passed me by, but somehow they did and I really need to go back and revisit them. I must stress at this point, that this novel can definitely be read as a standalone, I would just like to read more about Matilda. 

Starling House is home to some of Britain’s deadliest killers, none of them old enough yet to be in an adult prison. When their newest arrival, Ryan Asher is found brutally murdered in a pool of blood, the police are suspicious. Despite the violence of the crime, his body is at odds with the rest of the crime scene, it looks to have been staged. And there are no shortage of suspects.

For those outside Starling House, suspicion would naturally fall on the remaining ‘inmates’, but DCI Matilda Darke and her team focus upon Starling House’s staff. If the house is as secure as everyone says it is, then they can be the only true suspects.

After a trying few days in which very little progress is made, there is a major blip in their investigation, another body is found. This time hanging from a tree. It is another of the boys from the house, and his death also seems staged. Made to look like suicide when it was clearly murder.

DCI Matilda Darke and her team must act quickly to find the perpetrator before they kill again, as they know it is only a matter of time before another victim is killed...

A room full of killers is a very interesting take on the traditional crime novel, with its difficult and controversial subjects, and I loved the ending. I look forward to the next DCI Darke instalment.
A room full of killers is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.
Thank You to the publishers who invited me to view an advanced copy of this novel via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Review - The Best of Adam Sharp

The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Release date: 9 February 2017
Rating: ****
Back cover blurb:  Would you risk everything for a second chance at first love?  At forty-nine-going-on-fifty, Adam Sharp likes his life. He works part-time in IT consulting, is a leading member of his local pub-quiz and has a stable relationship with his partner, Claire. But there's something he can't shake: a longing for the life he might have had with smart, strong-willed actress Angelina Brown. Then, out of nowhere, Angelina walks back into his life. All the intensity of their affair twenty years ago resurfaces and Adam must make a decision. Should he let her go again? Or does he dare to live dangerously? The heart warming new novel from Graeme Simsion, the international bestselling author of The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect.

The Best of Adam Sharp is a perfect novel for a music lover like me. A breath of fresh air in between a couple of heavy crime novels. A really lovely story of how music can bring people together, and how a single song or lyric can stir up memories long forgotten.

Adam Sharp is an IT Consultant, forty nine going on fifty, a regular pub quiz goer with a stable long term relationship. He is happy, content, so he is shocked when he receives a message from an ex-girlfriend, Angelina out of the blue.

Adam met Angelina Brown, actually the love of his life, at the age of Twenty Six. He was playing the piano and singing in a bar in Australia whilst travelling and it was love at first sight. She was a goddess.

Sadly their relationship was doomed from the start, she was a famous Australian soap star, and his time in Oz was limited. But that didn't stop them falling head over heels for each other.

Decades later they are both with other people, Adam knows that he shouldn't respond to Angelina. But you never forget your first love...

When Angelina asks him if he dares to live dangerously, Adam sees it a challenge.

But can two people who loved each other more than Twenty Years ago really still have feelings for each other. And if they do, what should they do about it?

The Best of Adam Sharp is a perfect mid life crisis of a novel. I think there's a little of Adam in all of us, and not necessarily the good bits...

The Best of Adam Sharp is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who invited me to view this novel via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Review - This is how it always is by Laurie Frankel

This is how it always is by Laurie Frankel

Monday, 13 February 2017

Review - Blue Light Yokohama by Nicolas Obregon

Blue Light Yokohama by Nicolas Obregon
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Release date: 2 February 2017
Rating: *** and a half stars 
Back cover blurb: Setagaya ward, Tokyo Inspector Kosuke Iwata, newly transferred to Tokyo's homicide department, is assigned a new partner and a secondhand case. Blunt, hard as nails and shunned by her colleagues, Assistant Inspector Noriko Sakai is a partner Iwata decides it would be unwise to cross. A case that's complicated - a family of four murdered in their own home by a killer who then ate ice cream, surfed the web and painted a hideous black sun on the bedroom ceiling before he left in broad daylight. A case that so haunted the original investigator that he threw himself off the city's famous Rainbow Bridge. Carrying his own secret torment, Iwata is no stranger to pain. He senses the trauma behind the killer's brutal actions. Yet his progress is thwarted in the unlikeliest of places. Fearing corruption among his fellow officers, tracking a killer he's sure is only just beginning and trying to put his own shattered life back together, Iwata knows time is running out before he's taken off the case or there are more killings . . . Blue Light Yokohama is crime fiction at its very best - gripping, haunting, atmospheric and utterly captivating. 

Blue Light Yokohama is Nicolas Obregon's debut novel. A crime thriller set in Japan, sounded like my perfect book, and I really wanted to love this novel. It had so much promise, and I love books that are set in Japan, somehow I seem to be drawn to them. But sadly this novel fell a little short somewhere for me. Inspite of a lot of twists and turns, it just never really seems to 'get going' as it were.

Kosuke Iwata is a new arrival on the Tokyo homicide team when a family of four are found brutally murdered in their own home. There are barely any clues to point the team towards the perpetrator except a half empty ice cream tub, an open web brower on a laptop and an offensive black sun painted on a ceiling in the victims' home.

The murderer has been careful, there are no fingerprints to be found anywhere, no blood except the victims', no DNA fibres- nothing. Iwata wonders where on earth to start, he feels out his depth already and the pressure is mounting. As the newest member of the homicide team he is expected to deliver results, after all he is an experienced officer.

But he has never seen anything like this before...

Blue Light Yokohama has quite a few flashbacks, some of which are helpful in getting to know its characters, and some of which are sadly not. I felt like there was a bit too much of an emphasis on a backstory for Iwata, when truthfully I'm not sure he needed one. For me he was an interesting enough character.

Of course, this is only my opinion and if you like a good police procedural with a few twists and turns thrown in for good measure, then this novel is definitely the one for you. For me sadly, it wasn't the novel I hoped it would be -  but I would read this author again, as I'd be interested to see what else he might have up his sleeve.

Blue Light Yokohama is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who invited me to review this novel via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Review - The Breakdown by BA Paris