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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.
Lecretia's Choice: A Story of Love, Death and the Law - Matt Vickers

Books such as this are neither good, nor bad, just varying degrees of horribleness. This is Matt's account of his beautiful wife, Lecretia's battle against a virulent brain tumour plus a fight with the New Zealand government to change the law so that people in similar situations can choose how and when to die. She was a successful high flying lawyer when she started getting the first worrying symptoms of this merciless illness. Brutally honest about what happened, how they coped, his feelings and the shortcomings of the New Zealand health service. Very sad, but uplifting at the same time.

The Other Girl - Erica Spindler

Miranda or Randi previously, is a bad girl turned good according to the small town where she lives. Now a cop, she is called to investigate a particularly gruesome murder of a well respected college Professor. But it seems she might have had something to do with it. This was a speedy paced book, things going on all the time but it was all a bit too predictable and I expect most people will work it all out long before the end! Never mind it didn't detract from reading it. Great writing style which is easy to read plus an interesting cover with an enticing storyline. Always enjoy this author's books, but some more than others!

Then She Was Gone - LISA JEWELL

A story of loss, angst and obsession. A happy family, mum, dad and three children, living the good life, until the day 15 year old Ellie doesn't come home. Ten years later and Laurel meets the handsome Floyd and his daughter Poppy who looks familiar. Told from the points of view of the main characters the reader discovers exactly what happened and why. Another fantastic book from this author, which kept me engrossed the whole way through - without any skimming! Descriptions of loss intermingled with happier moments as we go through Laurel's ups and downs as she tries to find out what happened to her beautiful daughter. Loved this story and didn't want it to end!

Reported Missing: A gripping psychological thriller with a breath-taking twist - Sarah Wray

A northern seaside town, not the liveliest of places until a man disappears on the same day as a local teenager. Immediately people start assuming the worst and a witch hunt begins. Rebecca who has to bear the brunt of the ill will is shocked that her husband Chris could just walk out and leave her. She doesn't handle the situation well, takes herself off to a ramshackle caravan and drinks far too much. It was hard to feel much sympathy for her or the way she behaved. The sort of person that you would say "get a grip" to. It took me a long time to get into this book as it was a very slow burner and only really sprang to life after the half way mark. It was an interesting idea with great descriptions of living in a caravan out of season - the lack of facilities, the cold, being almost the only resident. A credible first book!

The Fear - Rae Louise

Mia, daughter Louisa, and sister Jamie move into an inherited house in Yorkshire but it's not long before they wish they hadn't! Plenty of creepy things going on to keep any fan of this genre happy. Just little things to begin with before the real nastiness takes over. I loved it from the start, the way Mia struggles to keep her family together, including her mother who has dementia and lives in a home. Living with a stroppy teenager isn't easy at the best of times let alone when there is an unwanted presence in the house too! Very much a page turner which you won't want to put down.

A Stranger in the House - Shari Lapena

A beautiful couple leading beautiful lives until,the night Tom comes home from work to find a Marie Celeste situation - Karen isn't there. Tom runs around for a bit like some headless chicken, wondering what he should do about the situation. A creepy neighbour lives in their street to add some spice to the mix. It was entertaining rather than edge of your seat thrilling, a turn the page gently, not rip apart in the haste to find out what happens. Tom was a selfish drip, Karen was rather cold and unlikeable as were many of the other characters in this story. Great idea and cover and I would definitely pick it up for a closer look if I saw it in a bookshop.

Hostage to Fortune - Elizabeth Chaplin

What would you do if you won a small fortune? A dilemma for Susan, but not for long as she knows exactly what she'll do. Husband Jeff is thrilled with the win too especially when he buys his pride and joy - a Rolls Royce! You'd think that everything in the garden will be rosy now wouldn't you, but there are other underlying things going on. Interesting concept, but this pair are really quite awful, especially to each other and I for one would rather be penniless than be like them. I would have preferred the story to continue a little more as it ended in a bit of a hurry.

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!