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July 2015

No Place to Die by Clare Donoghue

I received this book  from Net Galley in return for an honest review.No Place To Die

A good book should hook you from the start and Clare Donoghue manages to do that from the very first page. The fear of being buried alive is not a new idea, indeed in the 19th century, safety coffins were developed to prevent this happening. Donoghue gives this a pyschological twist, however, by interspersing chapters with the thoughts and fears of someone who is enduring this ordeal.

The second book in the series (although it could be read as a standalone) sees DS Jane Bennett and DI Mike Lockyer investigating the disappearance of a colleague after blood is found at his home. This inevitably leads up to a re-investigation of an old case he was involved in and soon a link is found to a body found buried in an underground chamber. Bennett and Lockyer have different ideas about who the culprit is, but who is correct?

Part police procedural, part psychological thriller, this is a gripping read which, at times, moves along at breakneck speed. Characters are written well and the author manages to convey the daily struggles of Bennett as she attempts to juggle her demanding career with her home life where she is the single mother of an autistic child.

I look forward to the next book in the series!

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Two Bronze Pennies: A Police Procedural Set in Late 19th Century England by Chris Nickson

Two Bronze PenniesI received this book from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

As a fan of the books of Alex Grecian and as someone with an interest in Victorian crime, this book grabbed my attention from the outset. The characters are well-written and likeable and the author manages to give a real insight into issues affecting Victorian Leeds. I particularly enjoyed the character of Annabelle as, in many Victorian novels, wives are hidden away in the background – it was good to see a woman of independent means who also manages to support her husband’s career.

Based on this book, I would definitely read more books in the series. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

I received this e-book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.Little Black Lies

Losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare. For Catrin, it’s a nightmare that she relives on a daily basis ever since her best friend, Rachel, killed her two sons in an unfortunate accident. For the people of the Falkland Islands, a missing child is becoming an all too common occurrence as, after two young boys disappeared without trace over the past few years, it would seem that it has happened for a third time…

This thriller, by Sharon Bolton, is told from the perspective of the three main characters, all of them damaged and battling personal demons. In addition to Catrin and Rachel, we are also introduced to Callum, a veteran of the Falklands Conflict, whose PTSD plays a pivotal role in many of the episodes of the book. The relationships between these three characters are intertwined and the author successfully manages to weave their versions of the story together to create a tense yet satisfied ending.

It could be said that there is a fourth main character in the story – the islands themselves. Bolton has obviously undertaken a great deal of research into the Falklands, and manages to paint a vivid picture of the landscape and wildlife, which enhances the tension in the book.

It is a rare occurrence for a book to contain a twist that the reader does not see coming from a mile off, but ‘Little Black Lies’ manages this. Definitely worthy of a five-star rating.

London From My Windows by Mary Carter

I receiveLondon From My Windowsd this book from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

While not being the sort of book I would normally read, as a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window,’ I was immediately drawn to the idea of a person watching the world go by from the confinement of her own home. This book turned out to be much more than that.

From the start of the book, the author has you empathising with Ava, the agoraphobic who has been that way since the untimely death of her father when she was a child. We get to understand why she has a strained relationship with her mother and why her home has become her sanctuary.

Although the topic is not a light-hearted one, the author manages to weave humour into the text and the scenario at the airport, in particular, is well-written. The only negative aspect of the book, for me, was the character of Vic. In a book full of likeable characters, this character remained the complete opposite throughout the story, to the point where I couldn’t see a purpose for her character.

All in all, I feel that the author manages to display a positive approach to this ‘hidden illness,’ whilst demonstrating the trials an agoraphobic person faces on a daily basis.

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