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Hello and welcome if you’ve stumbled across my blog.

I have no idea how these things work so you’ll have to bear with me while I figure it out.

The idea of this is so I can keep on top of my reviews mainly, and maybe I’ll appear a bit more “proper” when it comes to me providing a synopsis and opinion of any book I read.

I love reading. I’ve gone through half of the genres already…………ok I’m including baby books here, but I did it so it is a thing ok! Adult genres, I started on Danielle Steel (not she’s a genre perse but…….) jumped headlong into horror (I got into Richard Laymon just about the time he died, honest, not my fault) loved King. Then it was thrillers which kind of overlapped with mystery, crime, law (yes John Grisham obviously…………….actually, mostly) Scattered in amongst those I like a good fantasy (read Terry Pratchett) (yes another late author, do I need a lawyer?) Now included in amongst those I’m chucking in a bit of humour (Loved Fat Vampire – Jonny B Truant) and I’m currently working my way through the Bad Mother books by Suzy K Quinn…………..think I need a middle initial with my humour authors!

So, put your feet up………………seriously,  please do because I’m the procrastination queen and this might be all you get for months (don’t get me started on Pinterest – please – there’s a day gone)

See you soon!

 

CIRCLE OF BETRAYAL by Ruth O’Neill

Temporary photo until artwork and book is finished, this is the author by the way.

I was gifted this ARC by Ruth in return for an honest review.

Lena Farnham has a job she loves at a school and a home life that rivals it. She is expecting their first child imminently and is close to her maternity leave. A run-in with a pupil leaves her anxious but not immediately worried, yet when she feels she is being followed she has second thoughts.

When the stalker starts leaving messages she gets more concerned and a previous problem with anxiety and paranoia starts up again, yet her husband – who was the one who calmed her through her problems when they met, doesn’t believe her when she tells him. When she says a man grabbed her in a car park and her Husband, who was watching, says there was no-one there you wonder how much is her anxiety and how much is true?

When her baby arrives her stalker is put to the back of her mind, though when Charlie returns from a night in the nursery she can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong.

Back at home with her baby she sets out to work it all out and finding her Husband’s phone she takes a look and finds a photo that makes her world stand still.

I really enjoyed this book, it is a real page turner and had me up past my sleep time the further in I got.

My thanks go to Ruth for giving me the opportunity to read her book.

PERFORMANCE by Celina Grace

This is another one of my favourite book series – Kate Redmond Mysteries.

I was gifted this ARC by Ruth in return for an honest review.

A dead body has been found with no identifying possessions, but as Kate walks in to work one day she notices the theatre billboard and thinks she may recognise her victim.

It turns out the fatality is a young actress, but when they run a check on her name nothing comes up. After a deeper search which involves combing the room where she is staying it transpires her name is not the same as her stage name. On finding her childhood home things get more peculiar as the homeowner says she is no daughter of his and the women in the household (Mother and sisters) won’t talk.

During this time Kate is nursing a sad Chloe (it is the anniversary of her fiancé Roman’s death) and toying with the idea of mentioning that she might rather like to have a child – even though her new Husband (her former boss) is measuring up the ‘nursery’for home office equipment.

As I was reading this I was thinking how I’d love to be there, to be part of it.  Celina has the ability to draw you in so you feel the love Kate has for everyone in her life, and the love she has for her life. You really feel a part of it.

I loved reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes crime with a side of real life thrown in for good measure. My thanks go to Celina for giving me the chance to read her book.

DEAD MAN’S LAKE by H. P. Bayne

This is the latest in the Braddock & Gray series and I was kindly sent this ARC in return for an unbiased opinion.

I do love this series of books (and the preceding series, The Sullivan Gray Books) so my opinion may not be totally unbiased. That said it is a good book, so I have no worries on swaying you towards it without merit.

Sullivan Gray and Desmond Braddock run a PI company with Lachlan Fields. Lachlan and Dez are former police officers and Sully has a unique gift in that he can speak to some, though not all, ghosts. The only ones he sees have been victims of a homicide, so they know when he sees one there’s a crime to solve right away.

Dez’s neighbour sees a ghost covered in ice when he goes to dead mans lake (proper name Crystal Lake) so goes to Dez for advice. Before long Dez and Sully are embroiled in solving the case alongside the surveillance they were doing for their PI Company – which coincidentally becomes linked to the case anyway.

When Sully finds the ghost in question he is in the lake and tries to pull Sully in with him. Most ghosts use touch to let Sully know their problem, usually how they died, but this one seems to want to harm him. Dez pulls him out in time and Sully is a bit dubious to go back to find anything more out. That said later on the ghost does help them by indicating the way they should go when they are chasing someone down.

It was nice to see Sully’s new found police officer brother Forbes joining in as well and they all get into a bit of a pickle before getting themselves out again and solving the case, if not finding the money……………….but that’s a whole other side to the story and you’ll have to read the book to find out about that!!

Definitely recommend you read this. As characters go they are all likable in their own way and they have each others backs. There is a family vibe going on and we also get to see Sully dating – which he doesn’t do a lot of.

EVERYONE WORTH KNOWING by Jeff Richards

I was kindly given an ARC of this book by the author’s book publicist in return for an unbiased review.

When it came time to read a couple of weeks later I’d totally forgotten it was a book of short stories. I got to ‘chapter two’ and thought, this doesn’t make sense.

After re-reading the ‘blurb’ I was back on track, re-read the first chapter and wondered where the ending had gone.

I must admit at this point to realising I have fallen for every shock horror preview about the books I’ve read. You know the ones – a twist you’ll never see coming, shock ending, packed with twists, unputdownable (not even a word) psychological thriller, twisted and terrifying, breathtaking twist etcetera – they all seem to want to outdo each other, making each one more shock-inducing than the last.

This book has none of the above. It doesn’t pretend it has. It is, as the publicist puts it “social commentaries evoked from current events, paintings, movies, and blues and rock songs” and if you were expecting any of the usual ‘twisty endings’ prepare to be disappointed.

But don’t, because when you get your head around the fact that these stories are snippets of life you’ll start enjoying them. You will also appreciate the way the author can slip into a variety of personalities (you know various authors who write every book sounding the same – which is ok if it features the same character)

Admittedly I was left slightly bemused by some, as they did just come to an end, like ‘this is getting good…….oh’. Others have an ending and others I really had to think. But some, as I said, just ended, which in a way IS an ending, isn’t it?

THE MAGPIES TRILOGY by Mark Edwards

I read the first one then realised there was another two and I had to buy them to find out what happened so here’s all three in the same review. This may cause spoilers for you. Sorry.

THE MAGPIES by Mark Edwards

Discovered this after an update, it had got rather lost in amongst all the books I have on my kindle. I actually thought I’d read it but apparently not (either that or my advancing age forgetfulness is really getting worse)

Kirsty and Jamie move into their dream flat, it’s light and airy and comes with some nice neighbours. Brian and Linda live on the top (Brian is a YA author) Mary and her cat live under them, and then under their flat is Lucy and Chris.

They get invited round to Chris and Lucy’s for dinner and they seem to be getting along fine. Until they get a letter asking them to keep the noise down. They weren’t making any noise. Then they get a CD of them having sex. Then there’s the ice that causes pregnant Kirsty to slip on the stairs and miscarry. The spiders were just too much for poor Kirsty. Eventually she moves out and Jamie should have gone with her but he was just too stubborn and that was the end of their marriage. The showdown/meltdown at the end put an end to one of their tormentors.

So then I found dear Mark had written a sequel as too many readers had contacted him for answers to the unanswered questions the book brought up.

A MURDER OF MAGPIES (Same author)

Cut to five years later and Jamie is living in Australia, Kirsty still in England having had a relationship that produced a longed for child.

A chance meeting with his old neighbour Brian brings all the old feelings back and then he gives Jamie Kirsty’s number. With him thinking about that time in his life he happens upon a forum and gets contacted by someone who has, they think, Lucy as their neighbour. Anita tells him what she’s done to her so far and Jamie feels he has to fly over and help.

Big mistake! I won’t spoil it for you and as this is a novella there’s not too much story I can tell you without giving it all away.

On to the next one…………

THE LAST OF THE MAGPIES (him again)

Fast forward 12 months and Jamie is teaming up with a true crime podcaster who wants to do a piece on Lucy Newton.

She really wants Kirsty to be in on it too as she was there in the thick of it. Also up crops a publisher who wants to do a book with Jamie. He has done a book with Lucy as it happens and wants to get the other side of the story. The book he published by Lucy was not the original, however, she was persuaded not to publish this as it would get her arrested. We get little clips of this original book through the novella and I’d love to read the whole book (Mark? Idea for another one)

Be warned this is part of a trilogy and a short book – if you read on it’s own you may be disappointed.

Anyway, this was a fitting conclusion to the story and as is usual people don’t turn out to be as they seem!

Brilliant set, loved every minute. Buy the lot.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by B A Paris

As the song goes “no-one knows what goes on behind closed doors” and if your abusing partner is clever enough he will have groomed you to do what he tells you, such as making it all look on the outside as if everything is perfect.

But, of course, if you keep cancelling things people will eventually get suspicious – or just not bother contacting you again.

This is what happens in this story. I know some reviews say it is far fetched, I am guessing they have been lucky enough not to have witnessed abuse like this. Ok most women aren’t locked up most of the time but only because the abuser has complete control over them. Jack doesn’t have complete control; Grace does try to escape, to send messages to others asking for help, but is thwarted at every turn.

Grace has a sister, Millie, who has downs syndrome and lives in a home. Jack uses her love for her sister as a tool for getting his way. However he underestimates her intelligence and it is Millie who comes through for Grace at the end.

The story unfolds in a past and present approach, the past finally catching up with the ending in an impressive ending.

He started out as her knight in shining armour but the fairy tale turned into a nightmare.

One thing I did think of – surely Jack would have had to get someone in the do the alterations to the house, i.e. the bars on the windows fitting up the room in the basement…….wouldn’t they have though “hang on, this seems a bit dodgy”?

I loved this book; don’t listen to the reviews that say it isn’t worth your time.

THE BLAKE GHOST by H P Bayne

My favourite sleuthing brothers!

Dez and Sully are given a case involving a haunting of a young couple in their new home whilst doing their last minute Christmas shopping.

It’s not going to be an easy one as Sully recognises the address as the place he was fostered out to before finding the Braddock’s, and Mr Blake was not a nice man.

The house was burnt to the ground along with everyone in it, apart from Sully, so aside from being an outright a*hole anyway Blake is super pissed off! Even so Sully reckons he can deal with him, he just hadn’t counted on Blake hitching a ride with his brother.

Now Blake can go anywhere, and with Dez’s strength do almost anything – most of which mortify poor Dez, who can see everything happening but doesn’t have Sully’s ability to deal with the ghost.

Be warned though this is a novella – I finished it in two nights and I’m not a fast reader. That aside, I would recommend this book, maybe even gift it to someone as a taster of the series and its previous series.

TORN APART by M A Comley

I have always loved M A Comley’s books and this is a new series featuring a new character – DI Hero Nelson, known as Patch to his friends.

In the Manchester council estates lurk gangs, and one in particular, the krulls, are really nasty.

Saskia Hartley comes upon them in a burger café when she takes her son for a treat after his boarding school breaks up at the end of term. She is raped and then they are both run down after finally escaping. Understandably her Husband is beside himself with grief and needs the police to find the culprits and bring them to justice.

The police, unfortunately, have the gang’s stomping ground listed as a no go area and find it difficult to going forward with any arrests – even though they are sure this gang did it.

The rest of the story unfolds at pace and ends with a twist I never saw coming.

I didn’t actually warm to Patch as much as I have other characters in MA’s books and I struggled with some of the terms used (a gang wouldn’t generally call themselves ‘the Krull gang’, just ‘the Krulls’). Also I couldn’t believe the other gang – the Tidy gang a) stupid name b) it didn’t come across that they could beat their way out of a paper bag.

That said I love a British crime thriller and this fitted the bill for me.

P.S. I haven’t seen the film Krull, but maybe this is where the name came from?

BAD MOTHER’S WEDDING by Suzy K Quinn



If you read my reviews you’ll know I just love love love this series of books. I just can’t get enough of them (or Suzy doesn’t write enough) I guess that is my problem, I kind of wish I’d come across this series some time in the future, when there was about thirty books in the series, then I could cocoon myself in my bed and just read the whole bloody lot……………….and I wouldn’t be thinking that I’ll leave it at that last chapter I read coz if I just carry on reading the book will be over and then what will I do??
 
So the first lockdown is over and Juliette and Alex are planning their wedding. Her and Daisy, John boy, Brandi and Callum and Zach, Laura and Bear are all living with Alex and Catrina at the Dalton estate.
 
Booking a wedding, when everything is so up in the air with regard to covid, is not without its difficulties. Also going for a local venue at the same time as your conniving ex and his Mother totally doesn’t help (well who wanted the sailing club anyway). Then the second venue falls through and Juliette is left stressed.
 
When the housekeeper comes back to work after lockdown she starts clashing with the family. Zach, Laura and Bear move into their new home and Brandi, John boy and Callum move back into Juliette’s cottage……….followed by Juliette and Daisy – which stirs things up as Alex assumes she’s actually left him and it’s all over, when all she wanted was to get away from the housekeeper.
 
I haven’t even mentioned Shirley (Juliette’s Mum and my soul sister when it comes to over consumption) She goes on a health kick, diet and exercise AND sticks to it. (I don’t think this means I have to do it as well but I am mourning the Shirley I once knew and loved)
 
So, I could tell you whole story but then you wouldn’t need to read the book – it’s not an essay for school!!
 
I say it every time after one of Suzy’s books – get it now! Her writing style is so easy to read and the wit just rolls off the page.

THE BOY BETWEEN By Amanda Prowse & Josh Hartley

Amanda is one of my favourite authors so when I saw this book about part of her life, written by her and her son, I had to get it.

The book is all about the struggle her family went through when Josh developed depression and came close to killing himself. (Another reason I had to get this book – I have had (and still do) similar suffering in my own family)

Each chapter is written alternately by Josh and Amanda and is written in the timeline of how it all took place.

The book documents what actually happened, how they think it may have started and what they did to rectify it. There are some very handy links at the back of the book to organisations who can help and a very scathing statement on who really didn’t help (we’re looking at you family GP)

I knew when I started this book that I was going to have get the tissues out, and it happened often (and surprisingly early). There were the comments that made me sad, the ones that resonated with me but all through was Amanda’s hope that it would get better. Josh’s step dad Simeon, was a rock and weirdly slightly psychic (luckily)

I definitely liked this book, I can’t say enjoyed it as that suggests I get some morbid pleasure from such content, but I think for someone going through this it would be a great help. I still cry when someone puts into words what I felt when I was in the depths, and I am ‘better’. (for now)

Get this book, even if you don’t think you know anyone who has a similar health issue, you may find you do (we are quite good at hiding it)