Saturday, 9 December 2017

The Present - D S Devlin


12 deadly gifts, one killer on a Christmas countdown…
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… this is one deadly Christmas that you can’t forget.
The police are baffled by the ‘Santa’ killer, who sends his intended victims gruesome presents based on the twelve days of Christmas. When a young journalist receives a mutilated bird in the post, it’s a race against time to find the killer…


After reviewing the "other" book called The Present a few days ago I've now read the one I intend to. My review for the chicklit version has gone up on the page for this crime novel though!

I'm not one for true crime and gory details and so those aspects of this book did not appeal to me, but it is written in such a homely way that it actually didn't seem as if those things were too real. This enabled me to just carry on reading and enjoy the whodunnit aspect of the novel.

It's only taken me a couple of readings to get through, as once I was hooked and I was so sure of who the "Santa" killer was I had to know I was right! At some point I did think no one would write a plot this obvious and so changed my mind, changed it back again and finally I had no idea!

Just to make it clear this is not someone murdering Santas', but someone using the Christmas song of 12 days of Christmas as clues to taunt the police each year, before eventually murdering a victim. As it takes place during Christmas he is dubbed the "Santa" killer.

You do need to suspend some disbelief that Anna the journalist would put herself in so much danger and be prepared to meet the "Santa" killer one on one. She does come out of it as one gutsy lady despite being petrified, and I was swept along with her descriptive exploits.

If this sounds like your sort of thing and you are not looking for the next big crime writer then it's a good read.

I'm giving this book 4 out of 5 stars. My thanks to Netgalley for a copy of the book for review.

Monday, 4 December 2017

The Present - Charlotte Phillips


Saturday, 2 December 2017

The Art of Hiding - Amanda Prowse

The Art of Hiding by [Prowse, Amanda]


Saturday, 25 November 2017

All I ever wanted - Lucy Dillon


Eva is forty-four, nearly forty-five. She always knew marrying a much older man meant compromises, but she was sure it was worth it – until Mickey dies suddenly, leaving Eva with only his diaries and a voice in the back of her mind telling her that perhaps she's sacrificed more than she meant to.

While Nancy's parents negotiate their separation, the question of weekend contact is solved when her father volunteers his sister Eva's house. As spring turns to summer, a trust slowly begins to form between a little girl with a heartbreaking secret, and a woman who has realised too late that what she yearns for is the love of a child.


I have so many books to read and unfortunately this one slipped down the TBR pile. I really wish it hadn't because I have really loved reading this book, which was my first from Lucy Dillon but it won't be the last.

There are two threads to the story. One with Eva a widow with no children and the decision she faces whether or not to publish her late husbands diaries. The other Eva's brother and his wife decide to separate and the consequences for the children and the effects on them. Together with one of the parents trying to move on.

The star of the story is Nancy who her Mum calls fancy Nancy - something happens to her that is heartbreaking - I was rooting for Nancy throughout the book and could picture her clearly from the way she was described. 

I don't do spoilers, but there is a day when a calamity arises at Eva's house and the way it was written was just as good as any thriller - I was spellbound.

Although this is a chick lit type book there are such a range of subjects covered. The book does flip between Eva and Caitlin, this is done in a measured way though and I felt I knew exactly where I was in each of their stories. Not too many characters and I got to know all of them so well, I really didn't want it to end.

I did shed a few tears near the end of the book - it was just so moving and emotional, but not in a soppy way. So many different levels to the book, but I think if you really connected with the characters you would be hard pressed not to shed a tear.

I'm giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. My thanks to Netgalley for a copy of the book for review.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Greatest Hits - Laura Barnett


Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Anything you do Say - Gillian McAllister


Gone Girl meets Sliding Doors in this edge-of-your-seat thriller.

Joanna is an avoider. So far she has spent her adult life hiding bank statements and changing career aspirations weekly. But then one night Joanna hears footsteps on the way home.
Is she being followed? She is sure it's him; the man from the bar who wouldn't leave her alone.
Hearing the steps speed up, Joanna turns and pushes with all of her might, sending her pursuer tumbling down the steps to lie motionless on the floor. Now Joanna has to make a decision: Fight or flight? Truth or lie? Right or wrong?


I think it was the reference to "Sliding Doors" that got my attention enough to want to read this book. It's clear from the beginning that the book follows that format with headers to chapters of Reveal and Conceal to distinguish which timeline of events you are reading about. Did Joanna "Reveal" what had happened that night, or did she "Conceal" it. I still got a little confused at times with which story line I was reading, but not for very long.

Unfortunately I think the Sliding Doors reference does this book a big injustice as it is such a powerful tale, one I really didn't want to carry on reading at times. A little like car crash tv - you don't want to look but you can't help yourself. So realistic and thought provoking, as the situation Joanna finds herself in - it could happen to anyone.  I'm still not sure what I would have done either.

All the characters are so believable they felt like people I've met and know, I could identify with them and some of their traits. They whole book plays out wonderfully and time and again I found myself thinking - all from those few minutes this happens. I will admit to shedding a few tears - especially at the end of the book. Who knew a thriller would have you crying?

I'm giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. I have the utmost respect for any one who can write a novel. But this is by far the best book I have read this year and I am in awe of Gillian's skill in telling this story - twice!.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Best Day Ever - Kaira Rouda


A loving husband. The perfect killer?

‘I wonder if Mia thinks I have a dark side. Most likely as far as she knows, I am just her dear loving husband.’
Paul Strom has spent years building his perfect life: glittering career, beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in the suburbs.
But he also has his secrets. That’s why Paul has promised his wife a romantic weekend getaway. He proclaims this day, a warm Friday in May, will be the best day ever.
Paul loves his wife, really, he does. But he also wants to get rid of her. And with every hour that passes, Paul ticks off another stage in his elaborately laid plan…

The book blurb tells us upfront that Paul is going to get rid of his wife, so no surprises there. I began reading the book, waiting to see how and when Paul was going to pull this off.

For about the first third of the book I wasn't really getting into the story. However, I was beginning to hate Paul with every fibre of my body as the pages went by. What a smug character he is. We are given flashbacks to exactly how Paul met his wife and subsequently married her with two children to follow. Flashbacks to Paul's office life and the brilliantly written HR scenes. Not hard to follow, nicely flowing in with the story line.

I began to wonder how did Mia stay with Paul when it seemed apparent what he was about i.e. himself and no one else. Surely she must have glimpsed his true character. Well as the book gets down to the action we realise just exactly why Mia didn't "cotton on" to Paul and makes him well and truly even more of a despicable person than I already had him pegged down as.

About the last quarter of the book, and literally all hell breaks loose. The action got very gritty and I was gripped, I really wanted to know how this was all going to end. Some clever twists and although I think the author dropped a couple of hints along the way the ending was still a good one.

That is why I personally didn't like that the book had an epilogue. I just don't think it needed it and I'm not sure I learnt anything new from it. Many a time I hate it when a book leaves you in mid air - but this time it was sewn up just a little too neatly.

I'm giving this book 4 out of 5 stars. My thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins for a copy of the book to review.