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boudicca

alwaysbooks

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.
Calamity in Kent - John  Rowland

Jimmy London, a reporter recovering from something, is on the Kent coast which is very useful when a body is discovered in a locked cliff lift. Always with an eye for the main chance, he “helps” Inspector Shelley to solve the case - a bit self seeking, our Jimmy! Still it all makes for a good yarn, with policing from a different era but a villain is a villain no matter from which generation and still needs to be caught. Methodical and painstaking mostly as the crime is solved. Some of these older mysteries seem to have an abrupt ending and this one is no exception. An enjoyable read for those who like old fashioned crime stories.

While You Sleep - Stephanie Merritt

Zoe flies across the Atlantic to a Scottish island to have some time to herself, to get things into perspective whilst she thinks about her life and marriage. She doesn’t get much thinking time though because the minute she arrives is thrust into the mysteries of the house she has rented. Loved this from the first page, the way it grabs you wholeheartedly. A deliciously sinister story, spooky house, Victorian mystery all in a glorious setting, not to mention some decidedly odd modern characters too. Couldn’t put it down and didn’t want it to end - excellent book and well worth 5 stars!

Death in the Tunnel - Miles Burton

A classic mystery from days gone by. The body of Sir Wilfred Saxonby is discovered on a train, but the carriage was locked, so he must have killed himself, mustn't he? The days when legwork really was legwork, when every little detail had to be worked out with no help from computers or smartphones! I love these old fashioned stories, but perhaps this one was a bit too long winded and complicated. It was a fascinating step back in time but I was quite glad to step forward again to today!

Our Kind of Cruelty: A Novel - Araminta Hall

Mike and Verity, or V as he calls her, are in love, or so he thinks. He’s not even shocked to discover she’s engaged to someone she met during his sojourn in America. It’s all part of the weird game they play and she’ll soon be back again, ready for the next episode. Intense or what! Neither of this pair have particularly likeable qualities it has to be said. Creepy Mike sees hidden messages or signs in everything to do with Verity and she is all he can focus on to the detriment of anything else. It was a great start as we get into Mike’s mindset, but there’s a bit too much repetition, especially in court when it’s all played out again. If only the epilogue was from Verity’s point of view, then there would have been some sort of ending, instead of just Mike, Mike, Mike. Loved the style of writing, the idea of this plus the reason why.

Life in a Hospice: Reflections on Caring for the Dying - Anne  Richardson

Three and a half star rating.
Informative, with contributions from people who work or have dealings with these wonderful places. Dealing with all aspects of hospices. Ensuring that no one need fear of either sending a relative or going into one in their final days or weeks.

Bring Me Back: A Novel - B.A. Paris

Two and a half star rating.
12 years ago the charmless Finn and girlfriend Layla were on their way home from a holiday in France when she disappeared. Now living with her sister, the dull Ellen, Finn is receiving a stream of emails from Layla and gifts of Russian dolls. Too, too many mentions of d o l l s! Sadly the "big twist" wasn't really - too easy to work it out early on. Looking forward to reading this after enjoying the previous books by this author, but this was disappointing and not nearly as gripping which is a shame.

If I die before I wake - Emily Koch

Wow, what a debut, what a story! Alex is in hospital after a fall when he was out climbing. He is in a coma, so everyone thinks, but is actually suffering from locked-in syndrome. He’s an expert climber so can’t understand what happened and all he can do is listen carefully to anyone who enters his room and what he hears is shocking. Such a nightmare scenario this author has painted for the reader. The descriptions of what happens when you cannot communicate or move are vivid, intense and very distressing. This book will stay in my mind for quite a while.

The Confession: A Novel - Jo Spain

Harry and Julie are watching TV one night and a man walks in and attacks Harry with one of his own golf sticks whilst Julie sits frozen in fear. The culprit hands himself in a short while later - why did he do that and why did he choose this particular house? A twisty story to keep readers intrigued the whole way through as we discover why it all culminated in shocking violence. Disgraced banker Harry and wife Julie who has come to enjoy the luxuries in life are not the most likeable people it has to be said, but then again, neither is J P (John-Paul). Story told by Julie, J P and Alice Moody, the detective. Certainly starts off with a bang and I loved it especially as it was a matter of finding out why and not who, did it. Definitely recommend it!

Gone Missing: A gripping crime thriller that will have you hooked - T.J. Brearton

3.5 star rating
If you are ever out for an early morning run and come across something out of the ordinary, then give it a wide berth, a very wide berth! Katie should have done then she wouldn’t have been bundled into a van and driven off. A great, exciting read from the very first page, told from the victim’s and leading policeman’s point of view. Definitely fast paced and the pages race past in a blur as we wait to see whether or not Katie will get through her terrifying ordeal and how the police etc try to locate her. A bit gory in parts but par for the course for a thriller of this type. A great holiday read, but maybe not if you intend walking through the wilderness!

White Fur - Jardine Libaire

Jamey and Elise, from different sides of the social spectrum, fall in love. Sounds good, but sadly it wasn’t - everything about this book is stilted and awkward - not my cup of tea at all, but I’m sure it will appeal to lots of other readers.

The Fear - C.L. Taylor

Lou was groomed by an older man when she was just 14 years old and when she returns home years later discovers history repeating itself with the same man and another vulnerable teenager. Looking at other reviews I was expecting to be knocked for six by this book, but was too busy feeling irritated by all the stupid, annoying decisions the older Lou kept making - it was all too much for me! I sympathised with her earlier, horrible experiences with this man, but had none for how she is now and just found her too exasperating. Wendy too wasn’t likeable - just weird. Topical subject to write about and well written as always, but not my favourite book by this author.

The Bad Mother - Amanda Brooke

Lucy's head over heels with her husband Adam, but she's worried about what sort of mother she'll be, especially now as she keeps forgetting, things, making endless mistakes. We already know Adam isn't the person Lucy thinks he is and we have to read through countless episodes until the penny finally drops which makes Lucy one of the most irritating characters around! How could the old Lucy turn into such a drip in such a short space of time? I enjoyed some of the second half of the book but this was overrided by utter exasperation with this woman and how absolutely pathetic she was. This was well written and easy to read but I just lacked patience with the people in the book.

Best Friends Forever - Margot Hunt

Three and a half star rating.
A chance meeting throws the serious, plodding Alice with rich, enigmatic Kat and they are soon best of friends or are they? This book kept me gripped from start to finish, but the ending was a huge disappointment and had expected something better after that build up. The women weren't exactly nice and neither were their husbands - huge streaks of selfishness running through all four of them. What lively Kat actually saw in mundane Alice is a mystery in itself! An easy read, great for holidays.

Save Me: The Most Gritty and Gripping Crime Thriller You'll Read This Year - Mandasue Heller

Have to hand it to Ellie - she certainly knows how to pick'em! She is naive beyond belief and needs a good talking to as she is extremely irritating, letting everyone walk all over her, a proper little "yes" girl. A character such as Gareth wouldn't have been in the position he was when Ellie and he first met and I felt that was really contrived, as was the complete change in another character from totally selfish to caring in just a couple of pages. It was hard to like anyone at all in this book! I found the first half a bit slow and all just a bit predictable, but did love some of the dialogue. Not as gritty or gripping as the gang land books, but still readable.

The Good Samaritan - John Marrs

Have just fallen off this rollercoaster of a book, totally breathless and with no fingernails left!! What an experience it’s been. The lovely, kind Laura is a popular volunteer at a phone centre for troubled people, but she has a bit of an agenda. Then there’s Ryan who wants answers, so it’s like Bonfire Night when these two meet. So much evil contained in these pages, foolhardy and mean, plain nasty and idiotic. Let’s hope that real centres do a few more checks before they let people loose on the phones. I didn’t want to pick this book up but I couldn’t bear to put it down, enthralling, gripping and shocking from start to finish - more John please!!

Her Best Friend - Sarah Wray

Teenagers, Sylvie and Victoria are best friends until tragedy strikes and Victoria is murdered. No one is ever charged with the crime. Twenty years later Sylvie is back in her hometown to sort out her mother’s affairs after her death - it isn’t a happy homecoming. A very slow burner with characters it’s hard to find a connection with. Sylvie is wishy washy now as she was twenty years ago when she was 15, always a follower, never the leader. There are descriptions of mundane activities, one or two surprises, enough to keep on reading. A great sounding book which didn’t quite hit the spot for me this time.