Sunday 27 September 2015

The Blissfully Dead - Louise Voss & Mark Edwards

The Blissfully Dead sees the return of DI Patrick Lennon. This is his second case and it's another tremendous read.

This time the case is related to boy-band fans and social media. When two teenage girls are found dead, the only link between them seems to be their adoration of current boy band OnTarget but who would have a motive to kill them? So when another young girl is found the heat is on. Could this case be linked to the death of an OAP or is it a case of mere coincidence that she has similar wounds to the teenagers?

What follows is a tangled journey through the world of celebrity and the music industry and examining the dark side of social media.

This is a novel full of twists, turns and red herrings. I was convinced that I knew who the killer was only to be thrown totally off course when another revelation came to light. DI Lennon is a superb character, who is still battling with issues in his home life and repeatedly having to bite his tongue whenever his colleague DC Winkler is around.  The side story of Lennon's strained relationship with his wife is never a distraction from the main plot and gives him more credibility as a character. The fast pace is more than enough to keep you interested and I was really struggling to put it down.

This writing duo have once again successfully written another magnificent novel that I can't recommend highly enough and it's available to pre-order now.

With kind thanks to authors Louise Voss and Mark Edwards, NetGalley and publishers Thomas & Mercer for the review copies.

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Karma Dead Ahead - D.H. Montgomery

Karma Dead Ahead is a terrific read and D.H. Montgomery is an author that I'll be watching out for in the future.

This book is a wonderful mix of humour and suspense and right from the word go I found myself laughing out loud.

Sagacity and Chance are two graduate students in a university paranormal research lab who find themselves on a Caribbean island searching for Amanda Prosner who has failed to return from her holiday there. Amanda had a strong feeling that something bad was going to happen to her while she was away so she contacted Sagacity and Chance before she left and asked them to look for her if and when she didn't return.

The two detectives turn to the Gang of Four, a group of four psychics from a local spiritualist church to help them try and work out what's happened to her and the identity of the mystery man that managed to lure her to the islands.

What follows is a series of events that involve a meteorite, a witch who develops phone apps, corrupt officials, a rather large python and a duo who are totally oblivious to the fact that they have become worldwide celebrities.

I loved every page of this book. The story flows well and the characters are so realistic. I especially loved the interactions between the members of the Gang of Four who all have their own individual psychic traits which makes them mix about as well as oil and water at times. The relationship between Sagacity and Chance is also an amusing one and you could almost compare them to Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson as Sagacity is the natural leader and thinker while Chance is more of the side-kick who is just looking for a quiet life. D.H. Montgomery has a natural flair for making his characters real and likable while still being believable as well as telling a story that straddles different genres effortlessly. I was stunned when I read that the whole novel came about over the course of about a month as I've read books that have taken a lot longer to write that pale into comparison. Even the Note to Readers at the end of the book is wonderfully written and gave me a feel for the author behind the words. Karma Dead Ahead is only 99p on Amazon at the time of writing this review and I think it's well worth it.

With kind thanks to author D.H. Montgomery for the review copy.

Sunday 20 September 2015

Perfect Daughter - Amanda Prowse

Perfect Daughter is the latest offering from Amanda Prowse and one that I've been really looking forward to reading.

Jacks Davies has just married Pete, they have a baby on the way, a new home and hopes and dreams for the future. Fast forward through the years though and Jacks is still living in the same house, still waiting for her conservatory and now has two children and her mother living with her.

This isn't how Jack's had pictured her life would be and she now finds herself trying to live her life through her daughter Martha but of course that isn't going to end well.

When a face from Jack's past unexpectedly turns up her life becomes complicated and she doesn't know which way to turn.

Once again Amanda Prowse has written an emotional, thought-provoking novel that will tug at your heartstrings. I loved the way the story alternated between the past and the present to enable the reader to find out more about Jack's life. The character's were believable and even though the story is essentially about the day-to-day struggles of one family coping with the mundane struggles of life, it's beautifully written and I was compelled to read on. Amanda Prowse has clearly done her research on dementia and anyone who has had experience with this cruel disease will be able to identify with Jack's character. I'm a big fan of this author's work, I loved this book and I hope that you will too.

Sunday 13 September 2015

From The Cradle - Louise Voss & Mark Edwards

Regular readers of my Facebook page will know that I'm a big fan of both of these authors and that I was lucky enough to win  a review copy of The Blissfully Dead (published on 29th Sept) which is the second Detective Lennon novel not having realised that I hadn't read the first one From The Cradle.

Helen and Sean Phillips have a rare night out leaving their three year old daughter Frankie with her 15 year old half sister but when they arrive home Frankie is nowhere to be found. Two other children have been abducted recently so is Frankie's disappearance linked to the other two cases?

Detective Inspector Patrick Lennon is heading up the investigation but he has his own problems, bringing up his young daughter single handedly and having to move back in with his parents being just a few of them.

From The Cradle is a terrific read full of twists and turns, just when you think you have everything worked out along comes another curveball that throws you completely off track. With each chapter being written from a different character's point of view, it's a clever way to hear the story and discover motivations but this is done in a very adept way that doesn't leave you confused.

The book even ends with a twist but the great thing about that is that you don't have to wait long until you can read the next instalment, and I  can't wait to find out what comes next for Patrick Lennon.

Sunday 6 September 2015

The Good Neighbour - Beth Miller

The Good Neighbour is a terrific book and one that I was reluctant to put down.

Minette lives with Abe and is a stay at home mum who is pleased when the neighbours from hell next door move out and Cath moves in with her two young children Davey and Lola. Grateful to at last have some adult company Minette quickly becomes friends with Cath but as the friendship grows it soon becomes clear that Cath isn't the person she makes out to be.

Cath is unwilling to reveal too much about her past and much prefers to find out everything about her neighbours instead and even has a secret notebook where she records her findings. The reasons for this are slowly uncovered as the story develops.

Minette trusts Cath a little bit too much and soon finds herself caught up in a nasty web of lies and deceit not knowing who to trust.

As much as I'd love to tell you more, I can't as I'd hate to ruin the story for you. What I will tell you is that  this is an excellent read and Beth Miller has constructed an intricate story of friendship, trust, betrayal and reconciliation with truly believable characters, some of whom you'll love more than others at times. I loved the fact that the chapters were written from the point of view of three of the characters as it gives you the opportunity to really get inside their heads and discover things you might not normally have uncovered. It's difficult to determine a genre for this book as I feel it sits somewhere between contemporary and psychological thriller, but regardless of how you want to categorise it I think it's a enthralling read and well worth adding to your TBR when it's published on the 10th September.

If my cryptic review isn't enough for you check out the trailer made by Beth and her children here.

With kind thanks to the author, Ebury Press and Penguin Random House UK for the review copy.