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December 2015

Legacy by Tim Cahill

The son of a Samoan mother and an English father, ‘Legacy’ is the autobiography of Australian footballer Tim Cahill. Known primarily in the UK for his many years spent at Everton, the book charts the beginning of his career in the country of his birth, to his arrival in England with Millwall and leads up to his time at current team Shanghai Shenhua.

One thing that can be said about this autobiography is that if you are expecting scandal then this is not the book for you. A lot of the book centres around how his great work ethic has propelled Tim from his humble background to, arguably, the most successful footballer in Australian history. Unlike a lot of autobiographies, this is not simply a recount of various dressing room tales but more of an account of how he got to where he is today.

His liking for all his previous clubs is apparent but it is his love for Everton that shines through; from the players and management to the backroom staff and fans, it is clear to see that Everton is in his heart. This is not just about club football, however, as much of the book is taken up with his international career – something which he is seemingly very proud of.

It will be interesting to see if he achieves his aim of buying an A-League club when his playing days are finally over. Any chance of a role at Everton first, Tim?!

The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths

I received this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Local druid, Cathbad, believes he has seen a vision when he spies a vision in blue in the graveyard next to the cottage he is looking after. As this is Walsingham, a place with connections to Mary, the mother of Jesus, he is not too perturbed. Things take a twist, however, when the body of a model is found nearby wearing a blue dressing gown – definitely not an apparition.

When Dr. Ruth Galloway receives an email from an old university friend asking to meet, her initial response is to ignore it. Hilary Smithson is persistent, however, and when she reveals that she has been the target of anonymous letters, Ruth’s interest is piqued. When another woman is found dead, Ruth and DCI Nelson begin to wonder if the murders and the letters are somehow linked…

‘The Woman in Blue’ is the eighth novel in the series featuring Ruth Galloway. One of the problems in not reading from the start of a series is that, often, the characters’ backstories can be confusing. Thankfully, this is not the case in this book – Elly Griffiths gives enough of what has happened in the past to help you understand the characters’ motives and actions.

The book contains enough red herrings to keep you guessing throughout but does not fall into the trap of making the conclusion either too predictable or implausible. It is easy to imagine this being turned into a TV drama.

Five stars out of five!

The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood

51qMqw4BKtL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_I received this book from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

When three-year-old identical twin, Coco Jackson, disappears during her father’s birthday celebrations, it soon becomes apparent that there is more to this story than meets the eye. Due to the calibre of guest at the party and her father’s wealth, there is soon intense scrutiny on all the family as the whereabouts of Coco are investigated.

The story is told in two timeframes – the weekend Coco goes missing and twelve years later at the funeral of her father, Sean. Funerals are always an occasion when family and friends reunite and this one is no exception. The only difference is that soon ‘The Darkest Secret’ will be revealed…

Alex Marwood writes the characters in such a way that you take an immediate dislike to most of them and you just know that one or more have to be involved in some shape or form. There are a few exceptions, however, and the story of Claire, Coco’s mother, is a particularly sad one as we see how the events of twelve years ago have changed her completely. The blossoming relationship between Ruby (Coco’s twin) and Mila, Sean’s daughter from a previous marriage, is another highlight as we see how people are drawn together through tragedy.

Although it is easy to predict quite early on what has happened to Coco, this does not detract from the brilliance of the story as the relationships between the characters is what makes this book so intriguing. There is, however, a slight twist which provided a very satisfying end.

Highly recommended and definitely worthy of a five star rating.

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