Book Reviews

Have been very lax lately at uploading the books I’ve been reading – the ones listed are now relatively old but still well worth a read! I promise I will get to updating this page as soon as I can!!

Very real look at the world of bullying in the NHS – based primarily on personal experience but then with the added impact from David speaking to numerous other people about the issue. Very well written, and actually scary what goes on behind closed doors.

I’m no stranger to feeling low and am constantly on the look out for something to perk me up on a day-to-day basis – this book by Victoria J Brown is a fab, easy to read, short novel that gives you positive reinforcements every day for 21 days with the hope at the end that it’s a more natural process to focus on it. really enjoyed it and still dip in and out of it now.

Liz Mistry is a fab crime author with 5 novels under her belt so far – loved every one of them. Can’t beat the attention to detail and the overall feel to these novels.

Rob Ashman is a master of gritty and full-on crime novels – love the character of Roz – she’s flawed and broken and cracking on regardless. Love the theory behind this novel – it was well-researched and reads great. i couldnt put it down.

The Chaos Series by Victoria J Brown is like reading a book of real life – the characters are great and the dramas feel like real-life. I love Kat’s character in particular – she’s strong and ends up having to overcome the challenges she faces. Great set of women’s fiction novels that read really well.

I often promote this as the weirdest kill method ever – and it’s absolutely true! Its a roller-coaster of a novel, dark and gritty but with a great northern england feel to it. I love DI Blood – he’s struggling with some aspects of his home-life and does his best not to let this interfere with his work. Tree is a great character! love her attitude.

Have read all the Seals of Honour series by Dale Mayer and love the easy writing style – it makes it really easy to read. Fabulous characters and story-lines. well worth a read.

Love the DEA Fast Series by Kaylea Cross – so many books by this author it would take forever to list them all but another fab romantic suspense author.

Alex is the first book in a series of romantic action/suspense novels by Irish Winters – I’ve read and loved every book in this series – I adore the writing style and action-filled stories. Alex heads up the business – he’s a little broken, a lot full-on and a fantastic character, as are every other ones that Winters’ writes. Definitely worth a look.

Was recommended this book by a fellow author, and it did not disappoint. It was gripping from start to finish, with excellent twists and turns in the plot. Really likable characters who sprung off the page. Literally read this in one sitting – really well written, enjoyable book.

Wow – another hit from the fantastic Karen Rose- absolutely love Deacon Novak with more than a little bit of realism – think my hubby may have been a little jealous in fact! Always love how Karen gets the balance between a good crime novel, and a good romance right every time. It’s never too easy for the characters, and they get challenged constantly. There’s a reason this lady is one of my favourite authors. And using Deacon’s medical condition to make him stand out from the crowd was brill – I could literally see him in my head. Can’t wait for the next one. I read every Karen Rose novel as they come out and love the character inter-weaving and overlaps. Currently reading Say You’re Sorry which is her latest.

As usual, another gripping read from the fantastic Mo Hayder – I’m slowly working my way through all of hers, but when I start one they’re impossible to put down! Love the characters and how they interact together, love the intricate plots and the attention to detail. In fact, my only complaint would be – that my coffee goes cold as I’m too busy reading to look up!

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Am currently reading this short novel by the lovely Pete Sortwell – love the light humour around the reading but it still touches on things close to most people’s hearts. It’s something a little different, and the writing style flows amazingly well. Can’t wait to finish this and read more from this fab author.

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The Dog with Nine Lives was a heart-warming, heart breaking read but a lovely story about a little dog found abroad and shipped to the UK. Della, the author, writes from her perspective and her writing displays just how amazing this dog was. Definitely worth a read but have the tissues handy!

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Cannot fault this man’s writing! Fantastic writing style, engaging characters and a chilling plot. I actually got this FOC from Harrogate Crime Festival last year, but bought it on kindle as I couldn’t wait to read it and I was at work! And it was well worth it – Luca is a fantastic author who’s style suits all levels of crime reader. Love his character’s – they connect well with the reader and make it impossible to put down!


Yet another fantastic novel from the wonderful Karen Rose – twists and turns galore, heart wrenching minutes with Clay showing his huge sensitive side, and it was great to finally see Clay and Stevie get the happy ending they both deserve, even if it did take them a while to get there!! As always, I can’t wait for the next one!   Daily Inspirational Messages 2014 - A Quote a Day for You!

Excellent source of daily messages designed to inspire throughout 2014 – Vicky does a yearly book of this nature and it’s well worth a look. It’s nice just to be able to flick through and bring some positivity into your life.

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I thoroughly enjoyed reading Death Cache, followed rapidly by Dream Weaver as the characters overlapped. Death Cache was well written, and easy to read. Tiffinie has a lovely writing style which draws the reader in and brings the characters to life. It brings alive the wilds of Alaska, including the nature within. Dream Weaver was equally well written though I must admit to enjoying her other work more than this novella. I believe this was more to do with the ‘dead guy brought back to life’ element than anything else as I enjoyed learning about the legends surrounding Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Will be looking forward to her next novel.   Finished Shiver yesterday after starting on the same day. Fab romantic suspense with engaging characters and a good plot. I normally read crime and found the last twist to be well executed, and not obvious. Was great to see Aidan find his soulmate again after meeting him in Hooked and growing to like him as a character then. This is the perfect book for those rainy Sunday afternoons with a nice hot choc by your side. download (4)

Absolutely loved this book – it’s been ages since I read a book and got real shivers down my spine. Loved the twists and turns, well-thought out plot and characters that jumped out of the page – and the killer wearing a devil mask just couldn’t get any creepier! Definitely couldn’t ask for anything more. Will be picking up Steve’s other books soon.   I found this novel to be fast paced, interesting and I loved the characters.

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Tom has done a good job of telling a story whilst maintaining the integrity of criminalist work in the USA. The only downfall for this one was that the ending felt rushed – there was a huge build up and suddenly it was over in a blink of the eye. I felt another chapter or two would have enhanced the overall experience, but in general a good read. Could have used some severe editing but Tom obviously has a flair for story telling, and has performed a lot of research / has a great deal of knowledge about the subject matter. I’ll definitely be looking forward to the next one.

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Baldacci does it again in this great story – brilliant insight into the grisly world of government run assassins. Was great seeing Robie as a human and it’s well written, short punchy sentences pull you in and don’t let you go until you’ve finished reading. The only thing that marginally annoyed me, ok so slightly more than marginally, was the editing. The book had several spelling errors thoug hout which should have been picked up by Baldacci’s editor. I’d like to say that this bothered me because I’m a writer also, but it didn’t. It would have bothered me as a normal reader too. Overall though a great read and well worth a look – it’s a sequel so read The Innocent first though it would be fine as a stand-alone, just minor bits make more sense with the overall picture.

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I enjoyed Criminal by Karin Slaughter as I do most of her books. The developing relationship between Will and Sarah is interesting though I do perhaps feel that Sarah is losing a bit of her identity in doing so. Enjoyed the overall story and the look into Will’s life, and how he and Amanda got to know each other. It was good to get an insight into Will’s problems and how he came to be how he is. Not her best but by far not the worst in my opinion.

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EDGE is a romantic suspense novel written by Tiffinie Helmer. Based in Alaska, the story focuses around the heroine and hero getting in and out of scrapes together. Reminded me a little of the Mills and Boon Intrigue collection, but thoroughly enjoyable. Nice cast of characters who are easy to relate to, didn’t want to put it down until I’d finished which is always a good sign. Definitely one to have a glance over and perfect for the long, lazy days sitting by the pool.

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Just a quick review of the Blue Day Book by Bradley Trevor Greive – this is a fantastic feel good book with amazing photography of animals and slogans underneath each picture that perfectly encapsulate what is happening in the picture. It starts by basically we all have crappy days, then moves on and shows that the only way to get past that is to look forward and realise that things aren’t all that bad! I’ve owned this book since I was really poorly with depression many years ago, and since it’s release Grieve has released many more in a similar theme. I do own most of them, but this one remains my favourite. Give it a read 🙂 51z0g1OMqAL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-62,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_

Just finished this sequel to How My Life Became Chaos, written by the lovely Victoria J Brown – Now we all know I’m not normally one for chick-lit however Vicky’s writing style makes her books easy to read. The plot was well thought out, the characters very likable and it’s nice just to be able to read something that could have been written about any one of us. Vicky has done excellent research relating to the somewhat sensitive aspects of the novel. Very well done.

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I’m reading this book at the minute – The Murder Wall by Mari Hannah.Mari weaves a fantastic tale with very well researched information – the police procedural knowledge alone stands out, Mari knows her stuff. It’s set in Northumberland and it’s very true to life, with excellent descriptions and use of local interest points. It’s based around Kate Daniels who is a Detective Sergeant trying to make her way in the police force whilst battling with some personal demons along the way. I particularly like the interactions between Kate and the higher ranking officers. Excellent read and available at reasonable price on Amazon, as well as in hard copy from most popular book stores.

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Read this book some time ago but it’s a brilliant look inside the Behavioural Analysis Unit of the FBI in America. Anyone who knows me knows just how much I love knowing what’s going on in the background. This book is definitely a show and tell of the utmost proportion. John Douglas has a good writing style, which pulls you in and makes you want to finish reading the whole thing. It’s slightly autobiographical too so we get a look at how the stresses of implementing such a unit impact on Douglas, and how he deals with it all. For anyone interested in Criminal Minds (the TV show) or even just criminal minds in the literal sense, this book gives an excellent insight. He has quite a few similarly themed books on the market available through Amazon also

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Didn’t take long to finish this relatively short novel by David Mark – as a debut novel and first in the DS Aector McAvoy series. Although I enjoyed the story immensley, and thought the twists and turns were well thought out and implemented this novel was actually quite hard to read. It’s written in first person which is fine, Harlan Coben does this regularly and gets away with it beautifully. The style that I felt let it down was writing in present tense. It made the read seem a little jolty and stopped it flowing as well as it should. I did love the descriptive qualities though, and the emotion used when Aector is with his wife and child – very realistic. Book available for a very reasonable price through Amazon. Overall I will look forward to the next one and recommend this as a good read.

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I’m almost finished this book by Chris Ewan. It’s has fantastic twists and turns, with you not quite knowing who to trust from beginning to end. Written in first person, it took me a few pages to get into as I’m used to reading crime in third person, but once I was in it had me hooked! I really like the descriptive qualities, Anderson wielding the baseball bat is particularly well described, and I adore the emotion behind the reasonably small character base. Officially love Grandad! He’s fab, always popping in unannounced. I’m really looking forward to finishing it and seeing what happens in the end. Excellent first pubication for what I think will be a great up and coming author.

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As usual Baldacci has it right on the nose with this one. A fab sequel to the first John Puller novel, Zero Day. I particularly like how John is humanised with the murder of his aunt, and how such a hard-ass character deals with this loss. I did notice a couple of minor irritable repetitions (relating to Mecho in the grounds of the ‘big house’ where he could have been a burglar) – specifically around three times the same or similar sentence used to describe him being in the location. But other than that it was a great read, and I look forward to the next Baldacci novel, The Hit, which is the next Wil Robie sequel out shortly.


Clan of the Cave Bear is the first in the Earth Children series by Jean M Auel. I’m not reading it currently but it is a book that I come back to time and time again. It’s set in the cave times and depicts the struggles between a homosapien girl, Ayla, who loses her parents very young and ends up being taken in by a clan of Neanderthals (cave people). It’s an extremely detailed moving story about how Ayla has to learn a new way of life and language, and the relationships that develop within the clan that does not usually get along with homosapiens. This book is not one I normally would have chosen to read, being a crime fan generally, however the authors attention to detail and extensive research brings to life a time that we could not possibly understand in normal life. There are six books in the series, each one progressing with Ayla as she grows and meets people of her own race. As usual, the books are available via the usual retail outlets and recently have been added to the kindle lists via amazon.


Moving on, or rather backwards onto this novel. I started reading Baldacci when on holiday in October last year – started with Zero Day which was his latest at the time. Absolute Power was his first novel – it was made into a film in the early eighties and is a political crime novel. I’m about a third of the way through now and find it quite compelling. The characters are easy to get to know, and to follow through. I love the emotional aspect – the burglar who sees the presidents men kill his bit on the side but can’t exactly report it, Jack who is marrying into the rich and powerful but secretly still has feelings for his straight-talking ex Kate (who happens to be the daughter of the burglar!). I’m looking forward to seeing how the plot transpires and what happens next. Baldacci has a way of drawing you into his story – even if you’re not political. Am moving on to the sequel to Zero Day after this one and can hardly wait. This novel is available through the normal channels such as amazon etc.

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This is the book I am currently reading – I love how Karen Rose incorporates a large character number yet makes you feel as if every character is someone you know. As a reader I thoroughly enjoy perusing a large number of books from different genres but my ‘go to’ books in the likes of Waterstones and WH Smiths are always crime-fiction. This particular book is one of my favourites yet – the plot is well structured and has me hooked from page one. Generally I take my time reading, enjoying being able to immerse myself in the novel but with Karen Rose I find myself unable to put the book down. What will happen to Ford? Would Daphne and Joseph ever recover if something did happen? Will Stevie let Clay know how she feels? And will Mitch see the error of his ways? Have read every one of her novels, some more than once, and sincerely hope such a fabulous author continues to write – in fact I’m almost done with this one – need the next one asap! This book is available through the normal routes, as either ebook or hard copy, and general retailers.


Blanket of Blood by Eileen Wharton is a gripping thriller featuring DI Gary Blood – this is the first in what will hopefully become a series and is a a great read. Eileen’s characters are true to life and it’s hands down the weirdest kill method i’ve ever read! Available on Amazon and all good bookshops.

Read all of Karen Rose’s books and this one definitely doesnt disappoint! absolutely fab from start to finish.

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Crime Author, Blogger and generally nice person :-)

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