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Lost by Leona Deakin

An explosion at a military ball causes mayhem and destruction but when eight ambulances arrive at the scene and only seven arrive at the hospital, something else appears to be afoot. Dr Augusta Bloom is contacted by an old friend, Karene, who tells her that her partner, Captain Harry Peterson is missing, seemingly the occupant of the suspicious ambulance. When he is found three days later, the mystery deepens: why has he got no memory of anything that has happened in the past four years? How can Bloom get to the bottom of the mystery when the only person with the answers has no recollection of what has actually happened?

Lost is the sequel to Gone, and again features the talents of psychologist Dr Augusta Bloom and former MI6 operative, Marcus Jameson. I would recommend that, if you haven’t read the first in the series, you do so before reading this, as events in the first book definitely impact on the plot of this one. While it could be read as a standalone, I feel that an understanding of the characters will definitely be beneficial. There are also several huge spoilers in Lost, that would give away huge chunks of the plot from the previous book.

I think it is fair to say that this is a book that kept me on my toes throughout as there is so much going on and so many different elements to the plot. I did wonder several times how on earth the author was going to join all the threads together but she manages to do this successfully by the end of the book. With an explosive start, we are quickly thrown into the world of Captain Harry Peterson, a character who I found myself liking despite not knowing anything about his recent life due to his memory loss. We soon learn that he knows something that others are trying to discover, but what? This is gradually revealed as the book reaches its fast-paced conclusion but not before we find ourselves reacquainted a character from the previous installment, realising the role that they have played in the case.

I found Lost a very entertaining book that had me totally gripped in the final third. You do have to suspend belief a bit, but I have no problem with that as fiction gives you the license to do this! I’m looking forward to seeing where Leona Deakin takes Bloom and Jameson next.

With thanks to Net Galley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers.

I, Robot: How to be a Footballer 2 by Peter Crouch

With what is going on in the world at the moment, I was in need of something a bit more light-hearted than what I usually read. I, Robot is the second book in a year from footballer Peter Crouch and if you were a fan of the first instalment, then you’re going to enjoy this one too.

If you’re looking for a serious autobiography, then you’re not going to find this here, but then, with Peter Crouch, I’m sure that’s not what you were expecting! What we have here is a collection of anecdotes from both his career as a Premier League footballer and from before this time, split into chapters with headings such as ‘Away Days’, ‘Referees’ and ‘Strikers’. While some sections are more successful than others, on the whole, this is a very readable book with plenty to keep you entertained.

As you would expect, in his writing, Peter Crouch comes across as a self-effacing character, honest about his career and team mates without ever being too shocking. Although he does give his opinion on many aspects of the game, it never veers from being a light-hearted take on the beautiful game. 

If you’re a football fan looking for a non-demanding, easy read, then this just might be the book for you.

With thanks to Ebury Press for my copy of I, Robot. 

 

 

The Murder Map by Danny Miller

When an art dealer with a seemingly dodgy past is found dead at his own home, it is initially thought that his demise is due to a heart attack, brought on by his drinking habits. After signs of a break-in are discovered, and a worthless painting is found to be missing, however, Detective Inspector Frost suspects foul play and so begins an investigation against the wishes of his superintendent. Meanwhile, an infamous criminal, released from prison, arrives back in the area. Has he really turned over a new leaf or is this some elaborate ploy? When a girl is abducted from outside of a school, and bodies start turning up in Denton Woods, everything seems to lead back to the death of the art dealer, Ivan Fielding. Will Frost be able to unlock the past before there are more deaths?

I’ve always loved the Frost books by R D Wingfield and the subsequent TV series starring David Jason, so I was pleased to see that Danny Miller has continued to write about this legendary character. The character of Frost is well-written and it is easy to picture the detective whilst reading although he is more like the detective from the TV series than the Wingfield novels. I particularly enjoyed the scenes where he is trying to avoid his female neighbour – this was Frost at his best.

Although the plot was an interesting one, and a novel concept, I did find the number of characters confusing at times and had to keep reminding myself of who everybody was. I did like how all the plots intertwined and feel that with fewer characters, this would have worked just as well.

Despite this not being my favourite in the series, it was still very readable and it is always good to meet Inspector Frost again.

With thanks to Random House UK and Net Galley for my copy.

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