Three and a half star rating.
A house full of blood but no body - what's going on? This is what Maeve Kerrigan and Josh Derwent have to find out. A very promising first chapter when Chloe, the victim's daughter, returns home earlier than expected and she's met, not by her mother, but an empty, blood spattered house. This was my first book by this author, so didn't know very much about the characters or their histories, but that didn't matter too much. I liked Josh and Maeve, the way they worked together and the villains were suitably bad too. The book was easy to read despite the gruesome parts and certainly kept this reader turning the pages to discover the truth about what really happened in this case. I will be looking forward to the next crime that this pair will solve!
Snowy, cold Norway in the depths of winter. Karl and Marte Vollan are leaving for the hospital to give birth, when a hooded stranger leaps in front of their car, preventing it from moving. What does he want and more to the point why has he chosen to come to their house? This is a short, intense story with great descriptions of the cold, the snow and of a terrifying situation. There's violence, so not recommended if you are of faint heart and probably not the best book to read if you live in a cold climate and have to go out in the dark! This was interesting enough for me to read something else by this author.
Three and a half stars.
A governess, a young child, and a spooky house on an island. What secrets lie in this house, what is Sophie's father up to in the dead of the night and what really happened to his wife Lucy? A fantastic cover which really draws the reader in and if I came across it in a bookshop would certainly pick it up for a closer look. The description of the island and how difficult it is to reach it are very vivid and easy to imagine. I like Gothic tales and this fitted the bill nicely as it wasn't overly long. It will be interesting to see what this author will come up with next!
Four and a half stars
Such a mix of characters in this book - some you love to hate and others you hate to love! Lara and Maggie are both second wives to two brothers (Massimo and Nico), doing their best to fit in with their Italian upbringing and ways, but it isn't easy especially when there are children involved. There are shocking secrets to discover and maybe disclose, not to mention Anna, the matriarch to deal with. Loved the cover and description but most of all loved the story which was fantastic and definitely worth the time spent reading it, so much so wish it had been longer and I don't say that very often!
Be very careful about what you sign up for, something Emma (then) and Jane (now) should have been when they agreed to rent a property owned by Edward, the architect who designed it. It's a very strange house, extremely minimalist and then there are the huge amount of rules and regulations which ought to have set the alarm bells ringing loud and clear! This was a very easy book to get into, a great yarn which kept my attention throughout. A few villains appeared here and there to spice things up and it was fast paced with plenty to get your teeth into which is all that is required from a good thriller and thrill it did!
Cass's life changes overnight when she takes a decision to take a short cut through the woods one rainy evening. There's a car parked in the layby and apart from stopping her car for a few minutes, doesn't get out to help, something she will regret. Shortly afterwards things start to go wrong, forgetting things, mysterious parcels arrive, silent phone calls - she's doubting her own sanity. Wow!! Just loved this from the very first line - what a stomping good read, gripping and menacing, pacey and dark. It was one of those books you just have to read in one sitting, no putting it down apart from the essentials that is! Allow plenty of time because you won't want to leave this story and watch out for your fingernails as you just might bite them off as you feverishly turn the pages! Another wonderful book by this author.
If you are fastidious, don't like filth or stench, then you would have not wanted to live in Victorian times as there was plenty of both and even if you were wealthy it was no protection as there was no avoiding either! This is a really well researched book, filled with everything you could possibly want to know about this subject. There was a lot of fascinating information about grime, soot, toilets, housing, washing clothes and bodies etc, but there was also a lot about this or that committee, so and so said/did this, somebody else did that which wasn't nearly so interesting and I ended up skim reading these sections. The photos don't work too well on a kindle which is a shame. It is still worth reading this title to get a great insight as to how our forebears lived.
Every now and then a book comes along that you just know you are going to love, even before you start it, well this is one such book. Rachel, from a rough part of London, marries David, a very handsome, rich widower who owns a beautiful house in Cornwall. Jamie, her new stepson, seems a little disturbed and says some strange things and what did happen to Nina, the first wife? I loved the build up, the suspense not to mention what life was like for the Cornish miners working in appalling conditions. There were vivid descriptions of the landscape, the bleak but beautiful moors, the stunning coastline. The photos were an added bonus too. This book literally grabbed me from the start and hasn't let go yet even though I've finished it! Highly recommend this novel.
Three and a half stars
Another case for DCI Stephen Greco and the team. Two young girls have been killed in a particularly cruel and horrible way by someone without an ounce of kindness or goodness. You would not want to come across this particular individual - ever! Greco is still not a people person but is trying his best, both at work and at home. Although this book began with a good pace, it definitely went up a gear or two later as the team began to piece it all together. I found myself racing through the pages in my haste to see who had done it and why. I've enjoyed all this authors' books and this is no exception - perfect for those who enjoy crime/police novels.
Brutally honest account of his wife Tanvi's battle with cancer - sadly a fight she was ultimately to lose. Despite the seriousness of the situation they did manage to see the funny side sometimes. Their faith in God helped them to cope with everything that was thrown at them. The overall message is to appreciate what you already have before things change irrevocably.
Three and three quarter stars
Jenna (who it has to be said is pretty annoying) has a heart transplant and that should be that, but she is determined to find out who the donor was despite advice to the contrary. There's some mystery about this donor, Callie and Jenna being Jenna refuses to give up until she knows what it is. Great story and writing and I loved it until it started veering on the incredulous plus not all the ends were tied up ie some of the other characters. Despite that I was still gripped and thought it was a good, exciting thriller which was different from normal.
Four and a half stars.
A compelling story about a 15 year old girl and the adult who took advantage of her but should have known much better. Thought provoking, tense and all too believable how awful some people can be - predator not carer. Loved the book but not the characters who were about as awful as they could be, ranging from weak and wishy washy to plain manipulative. They were not at all likeable, most seemed to have serious flaws one way or another. This novel was hard to put down and I ignored everything just to carry on reading it! It certainly kept me gripped from the first to last page.
This isn't the usual stuff from this author - yes there's a police department featuring Mick and her new, very handsome partner Zach, who has some unusual talents. They are tasked to find some missing girls in New Orleans but this time there is no run of the mill villain but a supernatural one to contend with. I liked the mix of the hard, seen it all before Mick and her softer sidekick, the normal police work combined with darker forces and secrets. It was pacey and gripping - a hit with me! Looking forward to the next book in this series.
Iris waves her husband off as he leaves for a conference, so she's not worried when she hears about a plane crash en route to Seattle, but then she's told he was on board and doesn't believe it because he was going to Orlando. This story grabs you hook, line and sinker right from the start as we go with Iris on her emotional roller coaster as she tries to find out what Will was doing on the wrong plane. I for one couldn't put this down, didn't skim read either, trying to keep up with the fast moving events. Certainly one of the best books I've read in a while and I was delighted to see that this author has written other novels too as I love her writing style and descriptions of various places.
Does anyone ever really know anyone else? This is what Fran is faced with - who or what is her husband Nathan. I wanted to love this book as it definitely sounded by sort of thing, but sadly didn't. Didn't care for the style of writing which was a bit clunky with the very short sentences, sometimes only consisting of 1 word. The main off putting thing was Fran herself, both before and after they moved. Was there ever such a boring non-entity as this - she could send paint to sleep! Nathan is also annoying and the local police don't exactly fill you with confidence either. Loved the cover and the descriptions of The Fens.
Four and a half stars
Told by 2 voices, Bec and Rebecca. Bec disappears from her home and ten years later Rebecca, who looks very much like her, sidles into the family home - an imposter trying to live the life of her predecessor. This is one dark thriller with some very creepy people. Reading this is like being in a maze trying to find your way out - first one way, then speeding off in another direction. I loved it and found it very hard to put down. What a great story, so different from the usual psychological tales. I hope Anna is busy writing another book especially if it's anywhere near as good as this one!