Nowhere Girl by Ruth Dugdall

imageWhen I read Humber Boy B earlier this year I found it very difficult to read. Not due to the style of writing or characters, just because of the storyline.
I found this follow up novel Nowhere Girl to be much better. Cate has moved with her young daughter to live with her partner Olivier in Luxembourg. When a teenage girl goes missing at a large fair the police don’t take it seriously much to Cate’s disgust. Olivier is one of the police officers looking into the disappearance and he refuses to discuss any part of the investigation with her. Struggling with the language barrier she along with Bridget, the mother and Eva a teacher start their own investigation.
Taking place at the same time is another story that concerns two teenagers Amina and Jodie. They have both been smuggled into the country from Algeria for the chance of a ‘better life in Europe’. However it is not the life that they and probably their families ever imagined. The two stories merge, events from the past are revealed and things become more desperate.
There is a lot covered in the novel. People trafficking, abduction, child abuse and illness and it made a good read. I am reluctant to say too much about how they are covered because it would be easy to reveal too much. I would have liked to seen an outcome for everybody who features in the novel, there were a couple of characters I really liked. However we may, hopefully see them in future novels. I enjoyed reading about Luxembourg, a country I know nothing about and much to my shame I had to google it to find out where it actually is.
It would work as a standalone but there aspects of Cate’s family life that wouldn’t mean anything if you hadn’t read the earlier books. Nothing is revealed about why certain events mentioned in the book are taking place but if you know what they are you understand her more.
With thanks to Jessica at Legend Press for the copy received for review.

Lost Girl by Adam Nevill.

imageMore futuristic thriller than horror, Lost Girl by Adam Nevill is an image of how life could be in the not so distant future. Set in 2053, ‘the father’ who annoyingly never has a name is trying to find his young daughter who was abducted from their garden two years earlier.
The world is everything that our media warns us about. Extreme weather, disease, lack of food and over population has destroyed everything that is taken for granted.
I found it at times quite difficult to read. I didn’t like that the father never had a name, I thought it made him soulless. Although part of me thinks that it was like this because he could be any father searching for his child.
There were not that many characters in the novel but two who appealed more than any of the others were Scarlett and Oleg. Still not likeable as such, but I felt they were stronger because they showed emotion and regret.
There were a few times when I was tempted to put the novel to one side but the appearance of Oleg made me much more interested in reading and finishing the novel.
I feel that this novel is an indication of how this world needs to change to make the future better. Much more preferable to be kept as fiction and not fact.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

Time to Die

imageI’ve always felt very uncomfortable with any form of fortune telling so was uneasy straightaway with Time to Die. Tarot Cards worry me more than any of them and they play a huge part in this novel. The Tarot Card reader Bert, is and has always been a loner. Unwanted as a child and also as an adult he is very unlikeable and very convincing in all of his prophecies. Jennifer and Will start to investigate him when a series of suspicious deaths, including that of the future wife of an old schoolfriend appear to be connected to him.
Jennifer is settled in to her position in her unit, apart from Will they all have their own talents within the paranormal. She is however frightened by the number of ravens that seem to be everywhere she goes. The ravens have always been regarded with suspicion in Haven. She is also upset about the unwelcome reappearance of her father.
I didn’t find it as spooky as the first in the series but I did prefer to read it in daylight. The combined detective/ supernatural storyline works very well and I was forever ‘just reading another chapter’. I hope that there will be more books in this series especially if the storyline that was hinted at in the final chapter is the subject of the next book.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy via netgalley.

How to be Brave

imageI am certain that How to be Brave is going to be a huge success. Based on fact, there are two stories running throughout the novel and both are equally addictive. Natalie and her nine year old daughter Rose are struggling to accept and adapt to the fact that Rose has been diagnosed with type one diabetes. To make the injections that she needs to survive less of a battle Natalie starts to tell Rose about her great grandfather (Colin) who was adrift in a lifeboat for over a month during WW2. She adds to the story by reading an excerpt from Colin’s diary that was found in a box of items that belonged to his wife.
The other story focuses on Colin and his fellow survivors after the ship they were travelling on was torpedoed by the enemy. They had to find land before they ran out of supplies, cope with the blistering heat, some injuries and a constant companion -a shark.
At times I was very emotional. Reading about everything that Colin and his friends had to endure, understandably terrified, but still at times trying to make light of their situation.. And then at the same time reading about Natalie and Rose’s relationship being affected by the diabetes. Both very much alike they had to get past the anger and frustration that the diagnosis had brought. But reading about the events that occurred in 1943 helped them both.
I adored this novel. I did cry quite a lot. I don’t think I’ve cried so much over a book since reading Charlotte’s Web when I was about six years old! But while it didn’t make me laugh as such I did smile a few times. The relationship between Mother, Daughter, Colin and his friends was really quite special.
How to be Brave will definitely be one of my top ten books of the year. It’s a hard act to follow.
With massive thanks to Orenda Books for sending me a copy of this novel.

The House on Cold Hill

imageI like a good horror story, not the type that are full of blood and gore but the ones that play with your mind. The ones that have you wary of being in the house on your own and makes you want to put every light on. The House on Cold Hill does all of this and more.
The ‘scares’ started immediately and stayed pretty intense all the way through. A few of them weren’t convincing but the majority had me biting my nails. I don’t want to go into much detail about any of the events, everybody will find different things that bother them more. But for me it was the windows.
I found Ollie and his family to be the most unbelievable part of the novel. How a couple who were very successful in their careers could overlook all of the work that needed doing on the house.
A very good fairly quick ghostly read for anybody who enjoys to be scared.

Thanks to the publisher and the author for the copy via netgalley