About The Book
THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY.
Liz Kendall wouldn’t hurt a fly. Even when times get tough, she’s devoted to bringing up her kids in a loving home.
But there’s another side to Liz, one that’s dark and malicious. She will do anything to get her way – no matter how extreme.
And when her alter-ego takes control, the consequences are devastating.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Well this was an unusual novel. I had seen various reviews which suggest that it is difficult to assign it to a specific genre and I would definitely agree. My personal feelings are that it is crime, fantasy and love story.
It did take me a while to get into and I found it much easier to read in large chunks. It starts with violence when Liz is being attacked by her ex husband and she defends herself. This is also the start of something a little more mysterious.
The other story in the novel concerns Fran who survived an abduction when she was a young child. She still suffers because of those events despite her father’s best efforts and her only salvation comes from the wonderful Jinx. As much as I want to say plenty about Jinx I will leave it all as a surprise. But it is a brilliant part of the novel. Their lives are combined after a meeting in a psychiatrist’s waiting room.
There was plenty about the novel I got wrong. I felt I should reread now I know what was happening, just to see if I feel different. All of the characters are brilliantly portrayed, Liz, Fran, Jinx. Gil, Marc, Zac and Molly especially. The author has done a fantastic job of making them all feel real. Adult, child, male, female and especially animal.
It is the first book I have read by this author, I think I need to read more.
About The Book
A killer is on the loose, attacking people in places they feel most safe: their workplaces, their homes. It’s up to DS Grace Allendale to stop the murders, and prove herself to her new team.
All clues lead to local crime family the Steeles, but that’s where things get complicated. Because the Steeles aren’t just any family, they’re Grace’s family. Two brothers and two sisters, connected by the violent father only Grace and her mother escaped.
To catch the killer, Grace will have to choose between her team and her blood. But who do you trust, when both sides are out to get you?
With thanks to the publishers for the copy received. The book starts with a murder. The more you find out about this man in the flashbacks throughout the novel made me feel little sympathy for his death. He was a horrible man whose actions had severe repercussions for the rest of his family. His murder is only the first and occurs before Grace returns to Stoke. It is the subsequent murders that she has to try to solve but she does have a connection to him. And it is that connection to him that could stop her becoming part of the team in her home town.
His actions are described in the book from a child’s point of view. You see the fear and upset over the violence shown to a mother but much of it is from listening to what is happening. It’s different to what I’ve read before and at times chilling.
Grace was a character who I warmed to instantly. Still struggling after the loss of her husband and mother she has moved back down to Stoke. Whilst the move could be good for her it also brings back unwelcome memories and brings her into contact with family she wants to have no contact with. But she has a stubborn streak, is determined to be honest with her new colleagues and solve the murders that are happening. I was willing her to succeed and not feel threatened by events that were happening in modern-day and the memories of her childhood.
I loved the descriptions of Stoke, it’s somewhere I’ve never been. It must be easy to over describe a place you know well and I found it worked perfectly here. I had a feeling of the area, with its history. places to see and places to go. And the oatcakes.
I really enjoyed Mel’s Allie Shenton series so was looking forward to what her new series would be like. I was delighted that there were some characters that had reappeared.
It is good news that book two will be released in Spring 2019.I am looking forward to seeing Grace and her team become good friends.
About The Book
Undercover ops are always dangerous, but DC Constance Fairchild never expected things to go this wrong.
Returning to their base of operations, an anonymous office in a shabby neighbourhood, she finds the bloodied body of her boss, and friend, DI Pete Copperthwaite. He’s been executed – a single shot to the head.
In the aftermath, it seems someone in the Met is determined to make sure that blame for the wrecked operation falls squarely on Con’s shoulders. She is cut loose and cast out, angry and alone with her grief… right until the moment someone also tries to put a bullet through her head.
There’s no place to hide, and no time to cry.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Constance Fairchild’s life is turned upside down when she discovers the body of her boss in their undercover premises. She also has her suspicions confirmed that he was her only friend amongst the team that she works with. To make matters worse, she is also suspended, accused of being responsible for his death. With too much time on her hands she gets involved in the disappearance of somebody who she knows from home.
Con, she hates being called Connie, is a very strong character. You often read about female police officers having to prove themselves before they are accepted by the male officers in a team of detectives, but she has more of a battle on her hands with her family background and education. Even if she has no contact with them and her schooling wasn’t what it should have been. She is very much the black sheep in the family. There is only one of them she is close to, Aunt Felicity, who was one of my favourite characters.
There are some evil people in this book, the very worst that you see in society and the ones you would avoid if you could. There are some vivid descriptions in part, I have read a lot worse, but it’s also what remains unsaid that stays with you. It is not just the crimes, it’s also the ignorance and neglect by those who should love you most. A parent.
But there are also some wonderful characters, Felicity, Rose and Cat are amongst those who I hope to see again. And another who I am yet to decide if they are a ghost or an imaginary friend.
No Time To Cry is the first book in a new series. A new lead character and a different city could be a little intimidating for any author but there was no sign of any self-doubt or nerves that I picked up on. And I thought that the book was exceptional. I will be very surprised if I read one better this year.
About The Book
When DI Colin Strong interviews a suspect on suspicion of handling stolen goods he’s convinced he’s heard their voice before. Nearly 25 years ago the tape of Wearside Jack taunted West Yorkshire Police and his suspect fits the profile.
Then the body of a known burglar shows up and a mysterious metal case is discovered at the scene.
Strong turns to his close friend, journalist Bob Souter, and embarks on an awkward alliance to probe areas he is unable to explore.
As the murder suspects start to disappear Strong must discover just who the shadowy figure inciting fear and panic amongst those he encounters is.
Strong wants to bring a murderer to justice and Souter is hungry for a story.
Who will get to the truth first and can their friendship remain intact?
With thanks to the author for the copy received. Trophies is the first book in The Wakefield Series and much of it takes place in and around Yorkshire. It is fiction that has a slight connection with fact. Many people will be aware of the serial killer Peter Sutcliffe and how the hoax caller ‘Wearside Jack’ jeopardised the investigation. The book is mainly based on the investigation into the murder of a known felon. It is during this investigation that the possible connection to Wearside Jack is considered.
There are two main characters. Colin Strong, an inspector who is leading the investigation and Bob Souter a journalist who has recently returned to the area. They have been friends since school but their friendship is tested at times. Whilst I did like both characters my favourite was Kelly Stainmore, a detective who works closely with Strong. I liked her honesty, her approach to everyday policing and her opinion on other members of the team, especially their superior officer.
There are many people in the novel. All of the police team feature strongly which I always like. It is always good to see how each try to get a solution. I appreciated the humour and the consideration that Strong showed to the more junior members of the squad. But there is also room for the suspects, the victims and all of their families. Some were stronger than others, particularly Rosie and Montgomery’s father.
A good start to a new series which I imagine will appeal strongly to local readers.
About The Book
One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach.
Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Good Samaritans is one of those novels that leaves you lost for words. And it is extremely difficult to review without revealing anything about the complex plotline. So, if you want to know what it is about read the synopsis.
I went through a wide range of emotions when reading. One of apprehension, where the hairs went up on my arms at some of the more graphic scenes. Of devastation where you consider what type of world we live in when a pathologist is desensitized to what they see. Of amusement at the comments regarding the often pathetic comments on social media and the inane programmes that are on television. And finally, one of sadness thinking about how many couples don’t enjoy each others company.
None of the characters who feature would I want to spend any time with. My initial likeness for any of them changed dramatically with the many twists. All of which made me realise I wasn’t as clever as I thought I was. It also left me very reluctant to answer the telephone.
It is complex, original and definitely not for the fainthearted.