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I have always loved books ever since I learnt to read. The sort of person who would look at an instruction manual if there were nothing else available. Not that that has happened too often - I have tottering piles of books not to mention e books. I will read almost anything as l long as it holds my interest. Besides books. I love music, photography, cryptic crosswords and playing Fitz 1 & 2 games.
You Belong to Me - Elizabeth McGregor

Faith's husband Guy leaves her for someone else, so she ups sticks and moves to a ramshackle house in Dorset where she meets Adam. She also comes into contact with the rather unpleasant Joz. This book seemed familiar and it turns out that it isn't a new book at all but came out 22 years ago which explains the lack of modern gadgets etc and the rather dated feel to it. However it would be a ok for a holiday read.

The Upstairs Room - Kate Murray-Browne, Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

Eleanor and Richard can't believe how lucky they were to find a Victorian home in London. They move in with their two daughters plus a little later on, Zoe, the lodger, to help pay the mortgage. So far so good, but then things change and not for the better. It's a pity that this wasn't more creepy and sinister, that there was a lot less vomiting and headaches. Nothing wrong with the style of writing except there was just too much of it for this type of book - far too long for what actually happened in it. Didn't like Richard and Zoe at all and Eleanor was too wimpish to have any sympathy for. I loved the description of this book and the cover, but sadly that was all.

Tell Me No Secrets: a gripping thriller you won't want to put down - Lynda Stacey

Three and a half star rating.
Kate, her twin Eve and brother James were in an accident and she not only blames herself, but thinks everyone else does too. Her fiancé Rob has a secret and when she starts a new job as a Private Investigator meets Ben, who is everything Rob isn't. This book has a great cover, easy style of writing and is a real pot pourri - romance by the bucket, crime, deceit, grief and tragedy. A perfect, light summertime read with some nice and some not so nice characters. Enjoy it whilst lounging around near the pool or on the beach!

The Last Wave - Gillian Best

Two and a half stars
Intriguing cover, intriguing idea. Martha has had a lifelong love affair with the sea and has swum the channel several times. I just wasn't grabbed by this and it was confusing on an e-reader as each chapter jumped from different times and different people - certainly keeps you on your toes though. Sad to say I found all the main characters quite charmless and it was hard to see anything likeable in them. Sorry but this book never really got going for me.

The Night Visitor - Lucy Atkins

Two women. Two viewpoints. Vivian and Olivia plus a lot of dung beetles! Olivia is an attractive TV historian and author whose family life isn't so great, unlike her professional life which is very much on the up. She finds out about an exciting Victorian diary which is in Vivian's possession. Vivian is the polar opposite to Olivia, awkward, clumsy, gauche and not terribly attractive. The problem is that Vivian knows something and Olivia is terrified the secret will out and ruin her reputation. Wasn't sure about this book to start with, but soon found myself totally engrossed in this "battle". Neither lady was particularly nice and both had plenty of flaws and it was fascinating discovering what made them behave in the way they did. A slow burner, but still manages to capture the readers' attention quickly - even managing to make dung beetles sound interesting! Hope there will be a follow up to this story.

The Ridge - John Rector

If somewhere sounds just too perfect, too good to be true, then it probably is - pity Megan and Tyler didn't realise this before they moved to The Ridge with all its murky goings on! The book is a bit on the short side and the conversations stilted but it did have some creepy moments which I enjoyed. It's a shame but I was expecting this to be a bit better than it was as the reader never really gets to know the characters very well.

The Lucky Ones - Mark Edwards

Here we have a villain who punishes people if they've been good and also if they've been bad too - there's just no pleasing some people! The killer ensures people are at their most happiest, then they die and Imogen Evans has to work fast to ensure no one else suffers the same fate, so there is much toing and froing across the lovely county of Shropshire. Definitely a thriller, a thriller with lots of suspense to keep everyone gripped. Every time I thought I knew whodunnit, it turns out I didn't. Loved the story and twist at the end. Not a book for a work commute as you might just forget to get off so make sure you have plenty of time because once started, you will want to finish it, with as few interruptions as possible!

Don't Wake Up: A shocking and compelling new thriller that you will not be able to put down! - Liz Lawler

Dr Alex Taylor finds herself in a nightmare scenario, but no one believes her, not even the man she loves. Things go from bad to worse as each new disaster unfolds. A great story which keeps you on your toes, fast moving, vivid descriptions (a bit too vivid sometimes) - definitely a thriller. I did work out who it was before the reveal but that didn't spoil the story, perhaps the why did, a little. However Alex was a bit too perfect, a goody two shoes really which was ever so slightly annoying. Be careful if you are reading this on public transport because you might just miss your stop!

Friend Request - Laura Marshall

You just never know who will ask to be your friend on Facebook, it could be absolutely anyone, even someone who died years ago. So when Louise gets a request from an old school friend she doesn't really want to accept. This is a now and then book from Louise's point of view. If anyone needs a reminder of what school life is like then is a great one to choose. Selfish and mean spirited, the desperate need to fit in, leaving people out and playing nasty tricks - all par for the course. There aren't too many nice characters, nor did I feel any empathy for Louise at all. She was irritating as a young girl and not much improved as an adult either. Loved this from the very first page, found it gripping and creepy and has put me off school reunions for life!

The Party - Elizabeth Day

A tale of hangers on, sycophancy and unrequited love. Martin knows his life will change the moment he steps on the train en route to boarding school. He's right, it does when he meets the charismatic Ben who is everything he is not with his privileged background. Interspersed with the past there's a police interview after an incident at a party at Ben's home. This was a great story, told well despite the characters being very unlikeable - all of them. Some might have looked nice on the outside but inside, where it matters, they were really very ugly. Wealthy and privileged they might be, but nice? - not at all, with their sense of self entitlement. This book is dark and comical in turns and I enjoyed every single page!

The Idea of You - Amanda Prowse

Lucy, 39 is desperate to be a mum and so is thrilled to meet and fall in love with Jonah, but things get a bit tricky when his teenage daughter comes to stay. It's a bit hard to like Lucy as she is sickly sweet and some of the other characters are often irritating. The dialogue isn't always convincing plus there's an awful lot of someone saying something twice in the same sentence - e.g. I'm going to do something, I am which irks a bit. Very descriptive though of Lucy's troubles and you can sympathise with her, up to a point. A bit of all sorts in this book, feel good factor, sadness and happiness too. I liked it.

Did You See Melody? - Sophie Hannah

Cara isn't pleased with her family's reaction to some news, so on a whim takes herself off to a very fancy, very expensive hotel/spa complex in Arizona, where she sees something she shouldn't have. This is a strange book where most of the characters behave oddly and are quite bizarre - would anyone go as far as Cara did just to think? Would the rest of them act like they did, no one being who they seemed to be? I did like the descriptions of the spa, but there were too many pages devoted to it and it did get a bit tedious when Bonnie Juno appeared - all those pages of transcript to get through. I enjoyed the last quarter, especially that twist. Could there be a follow up? Time will tell!

Last Breath: A gripping serial killer thriller that will have you hooked (Detective Erika Foster) (Volume 4) - Robert Bryndza

Be very careful if you arrange to meet someone you've chatted to online as you just don't know who will turn up - the man of your dreams or an evil monster! After a spell away, pushing paper around DCI Erika Foster is back to lead the team, hunting for a sadistic killer of several young women. She's still pushy and opinionated but that's all part of her "charm!". I love her commitment to finding the murderer, who is a rather nasty specimen and has absolutely nothing going for him. This book is like a bike going up and down a hill - starts slowly and then picks up speed especially on the downward stretch. I raced through to see how it would all end and it certainly didn't disappoint - just hope my next book will be as good as this!

DEAD & BURIED a gripping crime thriller full of twists - Helen H. Durrant

More bodies and unsolved crimes in a small Pennine town near Manchester. DCI Callandine and some of the other members of the team from the other books in the series are on the case plus an abrasive woman from another division who is there temporarily, working on a different angle. These stories work best if you read the other books in order. I liked some of the characters but that Callandine is a one with his women - don't know how he does it! This is a gripping tale and not too violent, ideal for the more sensitive souls amongst us and would make a good holiday read.

DARK CRIMES a gripping detective thriller full of suspense - Michael Hambling

A woman found dead on a footpath in a Dorset coastal town is the first case for a new DCI - Sophie Allen. I love the setting (Swanage) plus the other familiar places in Dorset, so I would read other stories for that reason alone. I liked the team and the way they worked together to solve the crime but although the villain did horrible things to the victims didn't really come across as frightening or menacing which is a pity and when arrested it was an anticlimax which left me thinking "is that it?" as the character did or said very little afterwards. A promising start and I shall look forward to meeting DCI Allen again!

The Girl in the Painting - Kirsty Ferry

Three and a half star rating.
Cori moves down to London, is fascinated by the PRB and consequently meets the lovely Simon and then Daisy who goes on to make her presence felt in many ways. This is a good mix of art, obsession, ghosts and two different timescales featuring ladies who resemble Ophelia, told in an easy restful way. Perfect book for people who like romantic mysteries, with amusing characters, just the sort of thing to take away on holiday!