Beyond Evil

imageIt is a few years since I read a novel by Neil White, so when I was asked to read any for part of a blog promotion I jumped at the chance to read this stand alone.
Set in a rundown Lancashire former industrial town, which I’m convinced I’ve worked in we have a detective haunted by a cold case, a disillusioned lawyer and a member of a local cult. When the original suspect is found murdered Sheldon, the detective is hoping to find the answers to both the crimes and prove himself as a competent police officer.
Charlie, the lawyer is increasingly suspicious of everybody, his business partner, a young girl who is training with them and two strangers who have suddenly started hanging around.
John is the newest recruit into the local cult. All members of the cult are creepily dedicated to their cause and part of the novel focuses on John having to prove his commitment.
It was quite gruesome at times, but there was also focus on coping with loss. The way that Alice’s family dealt with their loss was very convincing and at times moving. I did have a good idea which way the novel was going but there were parts of it I hadn’t worked out.
I always enjoy reading a novel that has local setting and Beyond Evil doesn’t disappoint. Very true to life in the way the town and its inhabitants are portrayed. Now I just need to decide which of two series I want to read first.

Husk

I don’t read much science fiction but Husk appealed because it sounded so different. Rhodes is a ‘husk’, basically he is willing to rent out his body to people who are willing to pay. When he starts to experience flashbacks and minor injuries he feels less happy about his career. Other members of the team he works with also have disastrous things happen to them.
I found this novel to be quite scary. I initially thought that it would be set in the future but there were a few references to music from the 1980s so it takes place much closer in time. It was very convincing, New York and London totally different to real life but a vision of how life could be.
Some of the rentals that Rhodes was used for were poignant but most were done for very nasty people to have their fun.
A very sinister read which I really enjoyed.
Thanks to the publisher for the proof copy received for review purposes.image

Redemption Road

imageI have had this book for a while and fancied something different to the usual crime fiction genre.
Margaret is driving home in treacherous conditions after working late when she is involved in a horrific accident. She is pulled from her car by a stranger just before it sets on fire. Deeply affected by the crash, desperate to find the man who saved her and also to find some answers to events in her childhood that the crash has stirred memories of.
The book the goes back in time to Moll, a seven year old who lives with her mother and stepfather and has no contact with her natural father ‘Big George’. George is the only decent member of a gangster family and is desperate to have some part in Moll’s life. Another main character is a thoroughly repulsive journalist, Angus, who is very eager to get his big story. Every chapter that featured him had me cringing.
The novel covers evenly Margaret building a relationship with the man who saved her, George’s time with Moll and Angus’s quest for his story. Every character even the minor characters are strong and feel real.
I loved Margaret’s relationship with her family especially her stepfather and also Moll’s relationship with George.
Redemption Road is a fantastic read by an author that is new to me. Highly recommended.
Thanks to the publisher and the author for the copy via netgalley.

Humber Boy B

imageHumber Boy B is a book that at times I really struggled up carry on reading. I knew that I would be reading about children killing a child but combined with a tale of child neglect, child cruelty and ‘Ben’ trying to make friends and rebuild his life outside prison made it, for me, a very difficult book at times.
I did carry on reading and finished it, whilst I did find it harrowing I wanted to know the ending. Not really for me but I did think it was very well done.
Thanks to the publisher and the author for the copy via netgalley

Little Black Lies

imageOne of the reasons I love Sharon Bolton’s writing is the way she can describe an area so well. What little I knew about the Falklands was about the war, I knew nothing about the island, its inhabitants or its wildlife and I loved learning about it.
Little Black Lies takes place in 1994, twelve years after the war and three years after the death of Catrin’s two sons. When a young boy, a visitor to the island goes missing the islanders join in the search for him.
The novel is split into three parts and each one is narrated by one of the main characters. Catrin, Callum and Rachel. Initially I struggled to warm to Catrin but as I got further into the book I understood her more. Parts of the novel are harrowing, Callum’s flashbacks are very convincing but other parts of the novel were amusing, I loved Rachel’s chats with her horse!
I was surprised by the ending it was one I really wasn’t prepared for.
There was one minor character that I would like to make a crossover into the novels featuring Lacey Flint. I think that would make interesting reading.
A fantastic stand alone novel from one of my favourite authors.
Thanks to the publisher and the author for the copy via netgalley