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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.
Stalker - Lisa Stone

Three and a half star rating.
Derek Flint is a bit of a loner, lives with his mother and installs security systems during the day. At night he then watches his “people”, making sure nothing untowards happens. Suddenly there are several crimes being committed at the premises he has been looking after. It was quite easy to spot who was to blame I thought. Loved the creepiness of this - someone watching and listening to you and you are totally oblivious - makes you think about the trust we place in people we invite into our homes. It was a great book, very easy to get into and well worth investing your time into.

The House Swap - Fleet,  Rebecca

Three and a half star rating.
A house swap, but not the usual run of the mill swap where the only thing to concern you is if anything is broken. Not when the person staying in your home knows more about you than they should, as Caroline discovers when she and Francis arranged a little holiday. A slow burner this one, but did heat up nicely, as secrets were revealed. It was a well written, easy to read domestic drama/thriller even if the characters were not too likeable and some were a bit on the strange side. Maybe could have been a bit shorter, especially the Francis sections who was a bit of a bore. If nothing else, this book might make people think twice about letting strangers stay in their homes!

The Cyclist - Anthony Neil Smith

Three and a half star rating.
Don’t take anything on face value, especially online - something Judd forgot when he flew from the U S to see Catriona in Scotland. This keen cyclist got more than he bargained for - much more! The book really got into its stride once Judd and Catriona met at Glasgow airport and from then on it was absolutely action packed, a thrill a minute, but who is the cat and who is the mouse in this violent story? It certainly kept me entertained!

By Flower And Dean Street, & The Love Apple - Patrice Chaplin

Two and a half star rating.
Connie has it all, a lovely home, husband and four children up until she meets a stranger on a night out and then everything changes. Set in the 70's and with the Ripper influence, creepy in places and strange in others but not that scary and with a very sudden ending. I would have liked to have seen less chattering with their friends Mark and Jane and more horror in this short book!

Indian Summer - Marcia Willett

Nice cosy tale of an extended family and friends who always head for this delightful Devon village whenever they have a problem or just want to have some thinking time. Nothing harsh to jar your senses in this book - lovely characters (some of whom may be familiar to readers of earlier books), peaceful setting and dogs! Great for a rainy afternoon in front of a fire with a cup of tea - let the words magic you away to somewhere beautiful and sunny. Marcia's books are very easy to read and get into.

Her Name Was Rose - Claire Allan

When Emily witnesses a fatal hit and run she’s convinced that it was meant to be her, not Rose, the young mum. From that point on she tries to “be” Rose, finding out everything she can, like a stalker would. What she didn’t take into account is the fact that no one has the perfect life, not even Rose. Emily is scatty and needy after being in an abusive relationship and comes across as desperate, always trying too hard to ingratiate herself which makes her unlikeable. The book has plenty of twists, some unexpected and it really comes to life a bit later in the story, so a slow burner. I enjoyed this, the first book I’ve read by this author and look forward to many more.

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.