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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
Anyone who is a bit of a prude or shrinking violet should keep well away from this book, but for everyone else be prepared for a fantastic read and I certainly couldn't put it down! Here we have Rhiannon, a mouse by day and a terror at night who only wants to be happy. What a great story, filled with people we have all come across and who hasn't felt the same as Rhiannon in the supermarket and elsewhere with so many inconsiderate people around. Lots of laugh aloud, close your eyes and ouch moments - so irreverent and un PC, a real breath of fresh air. To call this gripping would be an absolute understatement, so if you can cope with swearing, violence and lots of comedy, then read this and you won't be disappointed - I wasn't and it is definitely my favourite book of the year so far!
Olivia is grabbed from the street on her very first day of leaving home for university by two men wearing animal masks and is not seen again for several years. The graphic, gory descriptions of violence are definitely not for the faint hearted and are liable to give some people nightmares. There's a strong sense of menace and fear running throughout the book - a page turner if ever there was one. Could people be as horrible as this pair? One would hope not and it makes you aware of who you might pass in the street, of who might be watching you, which is a good thing. Make sure the windows are closed and the doors are locked! I'm afraid the ending was far too abrupt to be satisfying.
One rainy night on holiday Carly asks Rob a question and doesn't like the answer. A whole chain of events then begin to unfold from this conversation. Be prepared to ride the rollercoaster of emotions reading the points of view of Carly, Rob, Jenni and Craig, who are all so appalling that you'll hardly dare to peek at the words! I wouldn't like to meet even one let alone all four of them - a terrible foursome indeed. This book certainly kept me gripped the whole way through and I was very glad to get to firmer ground again afterwards. The constant description of "eyes" was a bit tiresome otherwise I would have given this the full five stars. After this book can't wait to read something else by this author.