April Reading Roundup

April turned out to be a fantastic month for me on the reading front. For some reason I found myself tearing through books. I was just devouring them, so many books were appealing to me that I was inundated with lots of choice. I just seemed to bounce from one book to another loving everything I was picked up. I read a real mixture in terms of genre, there was a quite a lot of YA that found its way to my reading list as well as historical fixture, a little bit of crime and some comedy. In terms of book ratings I cant really say I had any misses this month, all the books I read were rated highly and were thoroughly enjoyable.

Image result for angela marsons silent scream

 

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons

Rating – 5/5

Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood …Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country. But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades. As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?

I was on a huge detective/crime binge throughout March and this continued into the beginning of April. (I do tend to pick and genre and roll with it for ages). Having now caught up on Stuart McBrides Logan McRae series I was on the hunt for a new crime series and a new detective to love. I’m quite picky when it comes to fictional detectives and they have to appeal to me straight away or I wont be able to get into the story. Amazon very kindly suggested Angela Marsons Kim Stone novels so I thought I would give the first in the series Silent Scream a go and I was so impressed by this book. I liked the character of Kim, she didn’t steal my heart like Logan has but she is an interesting character. She is strong and not afraid to bend the rules if the case requires. We learnt quite a bit about Kim’s past early on but I definitely think there is more to explore and unfold. The team she works with were pleasant and again I feel with more books I could grow to really like them. What I loved about this book though was the detective are of it. If you are a fan of books that really detail police procedures you will love this. Everything the police did, every interview they carried out, every piece of evidence uncovered was described in such detail I felt like I was there as one of the team involved in it happening. It was the kind of book that really got to the nitty gritty of police work. I really loved that it was so detailed and heavy on the procedure side of the investigation.The story was packed with suspense throughout as well as lots of twists and turns some of which I thought were incredibly clever and unexpected. It was a great series opener and a great book to start my interest in Angela’s work and luckily she has plenty more for me to get stuck into.

 

Image result for love hate and other filters

Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Rating – 4/5

Maya Aziz dreams of being a film maker in New York. Her family have other ideas. They want her to be a dutiful daughter who wears gold jewellery and high heels and trains to be a doctor. But jewellery and heels are so uncomfortable…She’s also caught between the guy she SHOULD like and the guy she DOES like. But she doesn’t want to let Kareem down and things with Phil would never work out anyway. Would they? Then a suicide bomber who shares her last name strikes in a city hundreds of miles away and everything changes . .

I had heard a lot of talk about this book online and was really interested in the idea behind it. The premise seems really topical and current and like it had a lot of scope to make an impact. I really enjoyed this book, I like the character of Maya and felt for her situation. She’s desperately trying to walk the line between her happiness and desires and those of her families which are heavily influenced by their culture. In my life I have been surrounded by people who have often been in similar situation so I know how hard that can be. The majority of the characters in this book I was a big fan of Maya’s aunt Hina who was so supportive and it was so nice to see someone standing up for her. I also liked both love interests in Kareem and Phil, and the situation between them just highlighted the wider conflict Maya faced.

I feel I cannot discuss this book without mentioning the events of the terrorist attack. When this takes place the person deemed responsible shares a surname with Maya and this leads to ramifications for her and her family and in turn how her family treat her. From what I had heard of this book I thought this would be the focus of the story but it wasn’t, these events didn’t occur until much later in the book. I thought this was really interesting take because although these events were important Mayas story and development was more important.

IMG_2330

Fat Chance by Nick Spalding

Rating – 5/5

Meet Zoe and Greg Milton, a married couple who have let themselves go a bit. Zoe was a stunner in her college days, but the intervening decades have added five stone, and removed most of her self-esteem. Greg’s rugby-playing days are well and truly behind him, thanks to countless pints of beer and chicken curry. When Elise, a radio DJ and Zoe’s best friend, tells them about a new competition, it seems like the perfect opportunity to turn their lives around. Fat Chance will pit six hefty couples against one another to see who can collectively lose the most weight and walk away with a £50,000 prize. So begins six months of abject misery, tears, and frustration—that just might turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to them.

This book was a re-read and is one of my favourite books of all time. I have a post where I discuss in detail this along with some of my other favourites which you can read here.Essentially it’s one of the funniest, heartwarming stories I have ever read. The two main characters just struck such a cord with me that made me so invested in them and their story. It was lovely to revisit it and just know I was going to have a great couple of days whilst reading it.

 

IMG_2263

Savage Island by Bryony Pearce

Rating 4.5/5

When reclusive millionaire Marcus Gold announces that he’s going to be staging an “Iron Teen” competition on his private island in the Outer Hebrides, teenagers Ben, Lizzie, Will, Grady and Carmen sign up – the prize is one million pounds … each. But when the competition begins, the group begin to regret their decision. Other teams are hunting their competitors and attacking them for body parts. Can the friends stick together under such extreme pressure to survive? When lives are at stake, you find out who you can really trust…

I was so excited to read this book! I have read three books in the Red Eye series before this one all of which were by Alex Bell and I have been delighted with all of them so I was keen to read more. This is obviously by a different author but I expected it to be just as dark and eerie and it didn’t disappoint. The premise for this story is so wonderfully grim and gory. We follow 5 teenagers who travel to an island to take part in what they believe is a natural survival challenge. However they soon realise the game makers want them to sacrifice body parts to be able to win the game…sounds pretty grim right? But part of me felt I wanted it to be pushed further I wanted more body parts and more sacrifice then we got. Does that make me odd?!. I must say of the 5 main characters we followed I wasn’t a fan of any of them if I am honest. There was no one I felt particular affiliation to or really cared about, oddly though this didn’t stop me from loving the book. It kept me hooked until the end with so many twists and turns occurring. It was packed with suspense and I stayed awake far too late just to finish it because I had to know how it ended. If I had to choose one word to describe this book I would pick haunting. The ending gave me chills and you just felt the sheer sense of helplessness the characters must have felt. It just left me feeling cold, uncomfortable and well..haunting.

 

IMG_2389

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Rating 4/5

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life. Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

I have been meaning to pick this book up for a while since I saw Hailey of Hailey in Bookland raving about it. I like many people am fascinated with the Jack the Ripper crimes, isn’t it bizarre how as humans we cant help but be intrigued by dark and gory happenings even though they are incredibly unpleasant. I finally took the plunge and bought it and I’m so pleased I did, have never read a book like this before. Essentially it documents the Ripper murders but with fictional characters living through and investigating them. It was a really clever idea and as I say I hadn’t come across anything like it (there probably are books like this out there does anyone have recommendations of books similar to this?). I really liked out main character of Audrey Rose, she was a strong lady who didn’t want to conform to women’s roles of the time. Despite this there were a few occasions where she annoyed me a little by being a tad juvenile in her actions BUT she is only 19. She is in a rather unusual situation so one could excuse this and say its actually a good portrayal of a young character.

I think it was very interesting that I am used to reading books about crime where the characters have lots of science and techniques at their disposal to investigate a crimes. However in the Victorian period when this is set they didn’t have that and had to piece the crimes together in a different way. Part of me really missed that and made me question how different it would be today if those crimes were committed. It was definitely successful and I was desperate to get to the end and find the outcome. I admit I did work out who the killer was quite early on and found myself frustrated with the characters and how long it took them to work it out but I guess if they figured it out right away there would be no book! Overall I really enjoyed it and am definitely going to read the sequel Hunting Prince Dracula.

 

IMG_2268Goodbye Perfect by Sara Bernard

Rating 4/5

Eden McKinley knows she can’t count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend. So it’s a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with a guy Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their GCSEs. And it’s the last person she would have expected. Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie’s location, and that’s the way it has to stay. There’s no way she’s betraying her best friend. Not even when she’s faced with police questioning, suspicious parents and her own growing doubts. As the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend and herself.

This book was one I was really anticipating at the start of this year. I loved Sara Bernard previous two book particularly A Quiet Kind of Thunder so I was keen to read more from her. I found this book really enjoyable, it was a really easy relatively quick book to finish. We follow Eden as she comes to terms with the fact her best friend Bonnie has run away with her music teacher whom Eden didn’t know she was having a relationship with. I found it was a great exploration of friendship, how fragile they can be when you are a teen and the ramifications of trust being broken. I loved how incredibly loyal Eden was to Bonnie even though she often didn’t deserve it. I do really like books that tap into and explore friendship and this really focused on that. I also adored Eden’s boyfriend Connor, I thought he was lovely, so kind and loving towards Eden their relationship was great. Furthermore I really took a liking to Eden’s older sister Valerie. As the book went along I really enjoyed watching the development of her and Eden’s relationship.

 

IMG_2304

The Witch’s Blood by Elizabeth and Katharine Corr

Rating 4.5/5

Life as a teenage witch just got harder for Merry when her brother, Leo is captured and taken into an alternative reality by evil witch Ronan. Determined to get him back, Merry needs to use blood magic to outwit her arch-rival and get Leo back. Merry is more powerful than ever now, but she is also more dangerous and within the coven, loyalties are split on her use of the magic. In trying to save Leo, Merry will have to confront evil from her past and present and risk the lives of everyone she’s ever loved. Given the chaos she’s created, just what will she sacrifice to make things right?

I’m not going to discuss this book in too much detail as I have a full trilogy review coming soon but needless to save I loved it. I have become so submerged in this series and just devoured it. I was eager to read this book and finish this series but did so with a heavy heart as I really didn’t want it to be over. I’m so sad so say goodbye to Merry and Leo, I loved watching their relationship grow and change and seeing their unbreakable sibling bond was great. I am now eagerly awaiting more of the same from Elizabeth and Katharine.

 

Image result for girlhood by cat clarkeGirlhood by Cat Clarke

Rating 3.5/5

Harper has tried to forget the past and fit in at expensive boarding school Duncraggan Academy. Her new group of friends are tight; the kind of girls who Harper knows have her back. But Harper can’t escape the guilt of her twin sister’s Jenna’s death, and her own part in it – and she knows noone else will ever really understand. But new girl Kirsty seems to get Harper in ways she never expected. She has lost a sister too. Harper finally feels secure. She finally feels…loved. As if she can grow beyond the person she was when Jenna died. Then Kirsty’s behaviour becomes more erratic. Why is her life a perfect mirror of Harper’s? And why is she so obsessed with Harper’s lost sister? Soon, Harper’s closeness with Kirsty begins to threaten her other relationships, and her own sense of identity. How can Harper get back to the person she wants to be, and to the girls who mean the most to her?

I bought this book as part of the Zoella and Friends book club bundle and never got around to reading it. For some reason it leapt out at me when I was scouring my shelves for so something YA to read. There were lots of great things about this book and I whizzed through it throughly enjoying it. However it left me feeling a little underwhelmed. The setting was fabulous don’t know why but I do love a book set in a boarding school. There was a lot of focus on friendship which as I said previously I really enjoyed in books. We follow the impact new student Kirsty had on a friendship group. There was a constant underdone indicating Kirsty may not b as she seems and it felt quite sinister at times but for me that didn’t go far enough and the ending just left me feeling a little flat. I just felt the story was building towards something big but that then fizzled out. However despite this I really really enjoyed reading it. I am now really keen to visit Cat Clarke back catalogue and will do very soon, luckily there are plenty to choose from.

 

Advertisements

Tilford Woods Lodge Park Review

As you’re all probably aware the focus on the blog is always books. However every now and again I like to throw a bonus post out there that features a little beauty and lifestyle. Today I wanted to do something completely new and share my experience of a lodge park myself and hubby love and are loyal visitors to. In January we decided to take a break for my husbands birthday and opted to stay at Tilford Woods Lodge Park where we have stayed 3 times previously. Having returned multiple times we obviously love it there so I really wanted to share our experiences and recommend it to some others. Tilford Woods Lodge Park is run by the company Darwin Escapes. Below you can check out their website to explore more about the lodge park as well as others they manage. I have also linked the Hoseasons  website with whom we always book our lodge holidays. Their website is a great hub to explore lots of different types of accommodation in both the UK and further afield.

Darwin Escapes

Hoseasons

The Setting

Firstly I wanted to talk about the setting which in my opinion is picturesque. Near to the lodge there is a small village and it’s exactly how I imagined a country village to be. There is a church, a small school, a shop and village green. During a visit in the summer there was even a cricket match taking place on the green whilst families had picnics by the stream that runs through the village. Obviously it could be awful to live there! I don’t know but it appears simply idyllic and I would love to live somewhere like this. It’s the kind of place I imagine when I reading books set in quaint villages.

The Accommodation

Having been lucky enough to visit a few times before has given us plenty of opportunity to check out the various types of accommodation the park offers. This is a relatively small park with around 20 lodges.

They cater for couples and families offering one, two and three bedroom lodges which I really like. As a couple we often find it difficult to find lodge parks that cater for two people as accommodation usually has at least two bedrooms and you find yourself paying more. Tilford offers both contemporary and traditional style, some with additional extras including saunas and hot tubs. There is also an option to stay in pet friendly lodges as well as being able to specify if you want a lodge that doesn’t allow pets if you have allergies like myself.

We have had the privilege of staying in the premium lodges (called Corbett) in both traditional and contemporary style. Both of these are equipped with an enclosed hot tub at the back and a sauna. We have also stayed in a standard lodge (called Sturt) and been inside a bigger waterside Sturt lodge when we stayed with family.

All in all the accommodation has always been outstanding; it’s always been immaculately clean with modern and good quality facilities and fitting. Regardless of the lodge you choose the bathrooms are fabulous and of such a high specification. I always go home wishing my bathroom at home was a nice as these ones. In the premium lodes you will also have the edition of jet bath. I have never really used this as I find it so loud! But it’s a nice addition to have.

The kitchens have always been clean and well equip with a pint of milk, bottled water and some cleaning products (sponge, washing up liquid and dishwasher tablets) provided. There is also a little chest of teas, coffee and biscuits provided similar to in a hotel, it’s just handy to have this waiting for you if you happen to have forgotten something or plan to shop once you arrive.

I also always find the sofas extremely comfy too which has been a problem at the other lodge parks we have stayed at! It’s also likely that whilst you are there you will receive a visit from the local ducks. There is a pond within the park so the ducks often wander around stopping by various lodges to see if there is any food on offer.

Things to do

There are plenty of options for things to do in the local area. We also tend to use our visits for lots of relaxation. We will often just spend the day in the lodge watching films and having a dip in the hot tub because the accommodation is so nice we want to really enjoy it. The location is very remote; you really are in the woods. I would say it’s important to have a car if you’re going to be staying here. The nearest town with a train station is around a 15 minute drive but as I mentioned because you’re in the woods there isn’t any public transport to get you around so if you want to get out and about a car is key. There is a farm shop a short drive away which is really well stocked with necessities and locally source foods. They sell everything from frozen pizzas and ready meals to fresh bread and cakes as well as jam, chutneys, snacks, fresh fruit and vegetables. I would personally recommend food from their deli counter. The fresh pies are incredible as are the scotch eggs; there is also a selection of pasties, hams, cheeses and fresh meat too. We love this shop and always make sure we buy a couple of pies from there when visiting.

Near to the farm shop is the Rural Life Centre which offering an insight into country life. A little further afield you will find the village of Chawton home of the Jane Austen House Museum, Winchester with some lovely shops and the Cathedral, Basingstoke again with a good choice of shops, Alton with a quaint high street with a small market on certain days. There is also the local attraction Birdworld where you can easily spend half a day. In line with the setting there is also numerous designated woodland walks and trails you can follow to.

The Local Pub

Finally I want to talk about the adjoining pub The Duke of Cambridge. This is right next to the lodge park so it’s very easy to get to. There is a pub in the main village but you would need to drive or walk the dark country lanes to get there so having attached to the lodge is awesome. What is also great is how amazing this pub is.

As with the rest of the area it’s unbelievably quaint and everything you would imagine when you think of a village pub. It’s quite small but extremely cosy and warm. There is the welcome addition of a wood burning fire in the winter months. I would always recommend booking a table if you want to eat as even on a week night it can get very busy with a combination of locals and holiday makers from the lodge park. The food is outstanding. The menu changes seasonally so every time we have been the food has been different there are always specials available too. I also recommend a pint of Hazy Hog cider, a particular favourite of mine. I’m not really an alcohol drinker but I do like their cider and will treat myself. If you’re around at the weekend I would also recommend trying their Sunday roast menu too as its fabulous. We always look forward to our return visits.

Overall I just cannot recommend this place highly enough. If you’re staying and want a break where you can explore the local towns its perfect, if you want quiet woodland walks its perfect, if you just want to kick back and relax its perfect. It’s our favourite UK place to holiday we have found and there is a reason we keep returning.

Duke of Cambridge Pub

Book Review of The Bronte Book Club for Hopeless Romantics by Laura Briggs

Image result for bronte book club for hopeless romantics“Quaint Lewis Cove is home to the charming three-story Victorian manor known as the Alice Wilshire Lending Library and its plucky librarian Peg Turner: the current hostess of the weekly Bronte Book Club, better known as the ‘Hopeless Romantics’ of all ages. Nurse Annette has been too busy working for love; mechanic Tim has missed the boat somewhere in his past; art student Sophie comes off as too unique, while tech geek C.J. has fallen—hopelessly—for the too-cool-to-care Llourdes. With her vacation plans indefinitely on hold for the summer, Peg has decided to transform the ‘Hopeless Romantics’ into hopeful ones. But while she’s trying to help her fellow readers find romance, she’s avoiding her matchmaker friend Caroline’s latest blind date—only to see her best friend Cam, the ruggedly-cute-but-sometimes-curmudgeonly coffee shop owner fixed up instead. And that’s something Peg isn’t sure she likes. Questions about love and last chances on her mind, and way too many books piled on her desk, will Peg succeed in finding romantic hope for anyone, including herself?”

Rating 3.5/5

In the quaint Lewis Cove Peg Turner spends her time running the Alice Wilshire library set in a very unique Victorian Manor house. Aside from her day job Peg hosts a local book club, avoids best friend Caroline’s match making attempts whilst doing a spot of match making of her own. With peg focused on finding love for her friends will she miss out on an opportunity for herself?

I came across this book when Rachel of Rachel’s Random Reads reviewed it on her blog. I love books that involve book clubs. There is nothing I love more than hearing characters discussing their favourite books and a book club provides the perfect opportunity for this. I couldn’t wait to check this out and I’m pleased to say there were many great things this book had to offer:

  • A warm likable leading lady
  • A library setting
  • The setting sounds really unique and architecturally pleasing
  • A cute cat
  • Lots of focus on books
  • The featured library hosts a summer literacy program aimed at children
  • A book club
  • The book club features heavily and offers detailed discussions of the books they are reading
  • A focus on the Bronte books
  • A little romance in the making

Overall I thought there was a lot of good stuff packed into this short offering. It was a really solid start to what I hope is a good series. In the rest of the series the book club will reading Miss Marple, Jane Austen and Shelley so I do look forward to continuing with it and seeing what our members get up to and if Peg manages to find love of her own.

Book Review of The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

IMG_1789“Who are the Nowhere Girls? They’re every girl. But they start with just three: Grace, the preacher’s daughter who unwittingly moved into the old house of a victim whose pain adorns the walls. Bold Rosina, whose heart has become hardened by all of the straight girls who broke it. And misunderstood Erin, the girl who finds more solace in science and order than she does in people. They are brought together by the idea of changing the narrative of a girl they had never met, Lucy Moynihan, the victim of a sexual assault who was victimised further by people who found it easier to believe she had cried wolf than to confront what had really happened to her. A girl who, through the course of one evening, went from an excited teenager who felt wanted by a boy for the first time, to someone else entirely, with ‘a voice in the darkness, giving her a new name: Slut’. Together, they form the Nowhere Girls, and decide to avenge the rape of a girl none of them knew”

Rating 5/5

When Grace moves to the small town of Prescott she notices etchings on her bedroom wall left by its previous occupant, cries for help. This occupant was Lucy Moynihan. The year before Lucy accused the three most popular boys at her school of rape but no one believed her. A year on Lucy has been run out of town and following Grace’s findings she wants justice. Teaming up with fellow outsiders Rosina and Erin they start a revolution creating The Nowhere Girls, a safe haven for girls to share their experiences and together fight back against the boys of their school.

This book was fantastic. I had read Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu last year and I loved it so I had an inkling I would really like this book but it was much better than I thought it could be. It was not only amazing in its story and the message it sends but the writing was beautiful. It was just so well-crafted and a pleasure to read something written in such a stunning way. I think its amazing books like this are being written in YA and only wish such stories existed when I was a teenager.

With a book of this nature the characters are paramount and those featured were incredible. There were so many diverse characters that when bought together made a mean force to be reckoned with. Since its 2018 and 100 years since women gained the right to vote I thought its only right we celebrate the three Kick-ass characters in this book and I share why I loved our three founders of The Nowhere Girls.

Firstly quiet new girl Grace kicks off the revolution when she hears Lucy’s story. I thought it was incredibly brave of her to join a new school and want to stand up for what’s right and what she believed in even thought it could be a unpopular choice. It was great to see how Grace really developed throughout the story and comes out of her shell. She starts off introverted and unsure of herself and as The Nowhere Girls grow so does her confidence.

Next we had Erin who had Asperger’s/autism and who I thought was so well depicted. Obviously Asperger’s/autism are extremely varied between different people but I just felt Erin was written so well and could offer such a good understanding of those who have this condition. I loved that a by-product of this was how frank and honest Erin was with people whether she meant to be or not and this actually made her a really funny character. As with Grace you see her grow during the book and break out of her comfort zone which you know if very difficult for her. However she does it anyway and although she’s still Erin by the end of the story she’s a tiny bit more confident her own skin and self-assured then she was before.

Finally Rosina was a feisty quick whited chick who literally glued the group together and spurred them on when they needed it. I really felt for her and the pressure she was under from her family. She was constantly trying to do the right thing by The Nowhere Girls but this landed her in hot water with her family. It was a real juggling act and she didn’t always get it right but you constantly routed for her and hoped things work out well.

As mentioned it’s the characters that drive this story. These three girls are the catalyst for change and the bonds that make The Nowhere Girls but each girl involved brings something unique. This book was just laced with the most powerful message of sisterhood, self-belief, strength and courage. It’s a very inspiring book and I recommend everyone takes some time to read it.

Friday Favourites – Five of my Favourite Books

Today I thought it would be fun to share with out 5 of my all-time favourite books. These are by no means my definitive top 5 as there are many more books I would like to add to this list but these are 5 books I absolutely love. Often when I finish a book I find it hard to define what has made it a 5 star read over a 4 star. For me a 4 star read is a fabulous book that I would thoroughly recommend to people but a 5 star offers me that extra special feeling that other books don’t, a 5 star is all about the feelings it evokes. I would happily re-read these 5 books numerous times and have done and recommend that everyone else does too! Interestingly they are all quite varied and I love them all for such different reasons.

IMG_2332A Weekend with Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly

This is my go to book if I want something cosy, warm and relaxing. There is something so familiar about this book and these characters that I feel like I’m catching up with old friends when I read them. I love the fact there is such a strong focus on books and literature and all the characters have such an appreciation of this. The setting of a Jane Austen conference provides such a welcome base for the characters you feel like you’re in a happy bubble whilst reading. There is quite an eclectic group of characters and everyone has their own story and brings something to the story. It’s also got a good hit of romance which just completes it perfectly.

IMG_2330

Fat Chance by Nick Spalding

I picked this book up a few years back on a complete whim. It popped up on my kindle suggestions because it was on offer and sounded quite interesting as I was currently in the process of looking weight. It turned into be one of my favourite. This was the first book I read by Nick and his wit and humour blew me away. I always say it’s hard to capture humour and make it translate from a book but by golly did he do that. I was laughing aloud the whole way through; I would go as far as to say it’s the funniest book I have ever read. The book centres on a weight loss competition where couple compete to lose the most amount of weight for a cash prize. This book was so relatable to me. Each chapter alternates between our two main characters Zoe and Gregg as they relay tales from their journey. I felt like every diet they tried or consequences of these diets that they shared were so well depicted. At the time I was trying to lose weight myself and just found myself nodding in agreement thinking “yes I’ve done that” “yes I have experienced that”. I feel anyone who has been on a weight loss journey could read this, relate to it and laugh which is the main thing I took from this book. If I need cheering up or need a bit of a shove of motivation with my weight lose I know I can pick this book up and it would do the trick.

IMG_2361Lizzie by Lena Kennedy

This book holds such a special place in my heart. At around 14 a friend of mine said she was reading this book and loved it so when she finished it she lent it to me. It was the first adult women’s fiction book I had ever read and it opened my eyes to this whole new genre which is now one of my favourite genres. Before this I only really read pre-teen books. It also ignited my love for books set in east end war time London. It focuses on Lizzie and her life as she battles for survival in war torn London. I have had always had an interest in the world wars and life on the home front and this book just captured that and illustrated it. It also exposed me to the work of Lena Kennedy who is now one of my favourite authors. I’ve read her whole back catalogue, some similar to Lizzie and some very different. However Lizzie will always hold a special place in my heart as the first women’s fiction book I read.

IMG_2353You’re The One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher

I love Giovanna Fletchers work and she has fast become one of my favourite authors and this is my favourite book she has written. Despite it being her second book it was the first one I read from her. It is such a beautiful story about love that exists in both a romantic sense and in friendship. It’s essentially centres on a love triangle but I felt it was so much more than just another YA love story. I loved all the characters and genuinely didn’t know who I wanted Maddy to end up with. The ending and the meaning behind it has always stuck with me and I actually cried on the train reading it which I never do!

IMG_2344Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth

I think everyone is familiar with this book thanks to the TV series. I watched the first series and then decided to give the book a try and I am so glad I did because I loved it. I loved all three books in this series but book one is the original and my favourite. It was fun to read the full stories behind what we saw on the screen and see stories that would feature in future episodes. I loved that this book is a factual account of post war East London (again with my interesting in war time London). It’s also great as it tells the account of midwives so fulfils my gruesome curiosity. My favourite part of this book though is the lovely warm comforting feeling it offers just as the show does. When reading it I feel a sense of comfort and community the east end offered even in hard times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review of This is going to hurt by Adam Kay

Image result for this is going to hurt book“Welcome to 97-hour weeks. Welcome to life and death decisions. Welcome to a constant tsunami of bodily fluids. Welcome to earning less than the hospital parking meter. Wave goodbye to your friends and relationships . . . Welcome to the life of a junior doctor. Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, comedian and former junior doctor Adam Kay’s This Is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heart-breaking by turns, these diaries are everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward. And yes, it may leave a scar”

Rating 5/5

When I started this book I didn’t intend to review it as it’s a non-fiction book which I do not usually read so don’t really get the opportunity to. However I found this story to be so impactful that I felt it was worthy of a review. In this frank and fearless memoir one time practicing doctor Adam Kay lifts the lid on what life is like on the front line in an NHS hospital. It’s incredibly insightful, funny and really a rather sad read.

In recent years I have seen many books offering accounts of life in different professions but this was the first one I saw that was getting some attention. I found it incredibly interesting to hear a first-hand account of what life was like as a doctor. We see so much about doctors and the NHS in the news now especially regarding junior doctors so it certainly has been released at the right time. Before reading this I had so much admiration for NHS staff but after reading this that has shot up tenfold. I never realised just how tough being a doctor is and the constraints they face. I was left feeling so sad that in this day and age our NHS and those who work in it are suffering so much.

What I really liked about this book is despite the seriousness of the topics Adam relays his stories in a really humorous and witty way. I found myself laughing aloud constantly whilst reading. I have said before I don’t think it’s easy to make a reader laugh but Adam has me chuckling non-stop! The stories he shares range from funny to emotional to damn right bizarre. I think everyone who works with the public have a catalogue of funny stories but it seems in a hospital these reach new heights.

The book certainly doesn’t pull any punches in the cold hard facts Adam shares but also in the graphic slightly gruesome stories. I personally loved this. Adam is a doctor on the obstetrics and gynaecology ward and I’ve toyed with returning to university on several occasions to train as a midwife so I found this fascinating. I would say some parts would make the slightly squeamish squirm but if you’re anything like me and find things gruesome quite interesting then it’s perfect. Overall I would encourage everyone to take some time to read this book. It was a relatively quick read and certainly a laid back easy one because of Adams humorous, relaxed writing style. I think this is one of those books everyone should read because it’s so eye opening. There is certainly a few MP’s who could probably benefit from an evening with Adam.

 

Three things I want to tell you about Elsie

IMG_1721“There are three things you should know about Elsie. The first thing is that she’s my best friend. The second is that she always knows what to say to make me feel better. And the third thing… might take a little bit more explaining.

84-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light; and, if the charming new resident is who he claims to be, why does he look exactly like a man who died sixty years ago?”

Rating 5/5

Alone and afraid after a fall elderly Florence waits in her sheltered accommodation flat for someone to find her. From here she relays the tales from past and present that led her to this point. Florence lives in Cherry Tree’s sheltered accommodation but with her behaviour becoming more erratic staff worry that it may be time to mover her to a care home. This behaviour only becomes more compounded with the arrival of a new resident. Florence is sure he’s a face from the past…but this isn’t possible as this particular face died many years ago. Plagued with early dementia we follow Florence with the help of her friend Elsie as she explores her past and tried to recall the events that led to this death and if it’s possible that her past has come back to haunt her. This book was fantastic that I wanted to share 3 reasons why I loved it so much:

  1. This is an incredibly moving and poignant story. I knew from the premise is would be but it hit me hard from the off. It faces the truth about aging head on and really challenges our perceptions of aging and how we view elderly people. Ultimately Florence is an elderly lady who’s struggling with her health and is reaching the later stages of her life. For me I found this really touching and in some cases tough to read. I’m terrified of death, be it my own or others around me. I also find it a tough thought that there will come a day when you’re no longer here and so much time has passed that there isn’t a trace of you left, be it a memory or physically (except then with a few extraordinary people) and these themes are all addressed in this book. For me it made me question what we are doing here and how we can leave a lasting impression on others. I think it makes a really interesting statement about how we as a society treat and regard elderly people. If an elderly person was suffering from dementia and started making claims as Florence did would you believe them? Or would you brush off their concerns as being down to age and confusion? Would you put attribute erratic behaviour to this or believe them if they said something else was going on? It just posed some really interesting questions and got me thinking and feeling. It was beautifully written with these themes being explored and for this reason it really touched me.
  2. It was a really suspense filled book. Before reading I was unsure what kind of book this would be but I think it does fall into the realm of a mystery/thriller. Right from the off your questioning who Gabriel Price is and if he’s telling the truth. You then do not know if you can trust Florence’s claims or if they are unfounded. Then as a reader you go on a journey whereby you follow Florence as she tries to discover the truth about Gabriel and her past. You’re constantly unsure if you can trust Florence’s version of events and kept guessing right up until the end. You’re also unsure throughout if Florence will be found in time following her fall. All this comes together to make a real page turner that I was desperate to find the outcome to.
  3. The final reason I loved this book was because of the characters and in particular Florence. I loved her! She may be elderly and she knows her memory isn’t as sharp as it once was and she struggles to relay things accurately at times but she’s no bodies fool. When Gabriel Price moves in she’s sure she recognises him from her past despite logic telling her otherwise she sticks to her guns. When she believes Gabriel is playing mind games with her she fights to make people see this despite knowing it could cost her if they don’t believe her. Ultimately Florence is resilient and she’s a fighter and I loved that. I also really liked the other characters featured too. I thought Florence’s friend Jack was lovely and his faith and believe in her was brilliant. I also really liked Simon and Miss Ambrose. I was unsure of them at first but they both surprised me greatly in the end which was nice.

Book Review of Happy Birthday Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly

Image result for happy birthday mr darcy book“You are cordially invited to a wedding at Purley Hall…It’s the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ but it’s also a special year for Katherine Roberts and Warwick Lawton because they’re getting married. But can Katherine put aside her fear about the future and can Warwick put his pen down long enough to actually make it up the aisle?”

Rating 5/5

Katherine and Warwick are getting married! And where else would they pick than their beloved Purley Hall. We re-join Dame Pamela, Robin, Dan and Higgins as they prepare for the big day. It just so happens to be Mr Darcy’s 200th birthday so the celebrations are in full swing. However with Katherine questioning herself, Warwick’s sister trying to convince him to run away and a local siren making a play for Dan it’s possible the day may not go to plan. Will they make it to the hall on time? And will the wedding go without a hitch.

It was lovely to return to Purley Hall and all my favourite characters! It was also lovely to read this book for a second time around. It’s so easy to read these novella’s you just slip into them and feel like you’re catching up with old friends. Victoria as usual does a great job of filling in any gaps in our memories or if you have missed any books prior to this.

The wedding provides the perfect focal to bring all the characters together and even they cheeky Mrs Soames manages to blag an invite! Of course there is a little drama as Katherine is plagued with doubts about the prospect of marriage. I loved that one of her concerns focused on how they would combine their book collections. That really made me chuckle! We also see a little drama from Robyn and Dan in the shape of another woman…but I’ll say no more than that so as not to spoil anything.

I choose to re-read this book whilst on a short break in Surrey. We spent much of our time tucked away in our warm lodge and it was a welcome addition to our time there. I only wish the nearby Jane Austen House Museum had been open as it would have been lovely to sit in the gardens and read a chapter of two of this.

Book Review of the Extinction Trials by S.M.Wilson

IMG_1717“Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival. Welcome to The Extinction Trials…In Stormchaser and Lincoln’s ruined world, the only way to survive is to risk everything. To face a contest more dangerous than anyone can imagine. And they will do anything to win. But in a land full of monsters – human and reptilian – they can’t afford to trust anyone. Perhaps not even each other…”

Rating 5/5

In the world of Earthasia food is scarce, homes are scarcer and hope is non-existent. Buildings are high close together and over populated. There is little food and no area left to grow any. A world away from Earthasia is Piloria a continent of polar opposites. Its vast green and uninhabited….except for the tribes of dinosaurs! Every year Earthasia’s government send people to Piloria in an attempt to find new food sources they can bring home. People go with the promise of food, wealth and health care but very few ever return. This year the government want volunteers but this mission is different, instead of food they want dinosaur eggs to gain dino DNA in the hope of eradicating them all together. Lincolns sister is sick and desperately needs health care, Stormchaser is alone, with a desire to explore and very little to lose. Along with other recruits we follow them as they embark of their life threatening quest. Will they make it back alive?

Wow wow wow! Was my reaction to this book! I first started to hear about it last year and to be honest didn’t take much notice initially. I then heard it described as Hunger Games meets Jurassic Park and this intrigued me. Much to my surprise I loved The Hunger Games books and they really opened my eyes to fantasy and dystopian books. I also like the Jurassic Park films (although I haven’t read the books) so I was suddenly very keen to read it. Around its release Wildest Dreams book box announced their January theme was Into the Jungle so I had a steak suspicious this could be the featured book and luckily I was correct! I was so keen to read it so I started it right away and finished it in just over a day (which is pretty fast for me) I could not put this book down and then I wasn’t reading it it was on my mind and I couldn’t wait to get back to it.

I think my favourite part of this book was the world building the author did. Everything was so detailed, so thought out and frighteningly so believable. It was completely immersive. I was totally sucked in by Earthasia and could imagine the despair of living there and what would drive the characters to decide to enter the trials. I had never read a book with dinosaurs in before so I was unsure how I would like this. However it was so well written, I could vividly see the scenes playing out in my head as a result. Interestingly for me it really opened my mind to the world of dinosaurs and I found myself googling them to see if the facts in the book were true. Of course some facts and the dinosaurs actions embellished for our reading pleasure but that didn’t matter, for me it sparked an interested that I hadn’t had before which is what mattered to me. I actually now want to revisit the natural history museum (for the first time for years) and check out the dinosaur exhibit.

At the start of the book I was unsure if i liked Stormchaser but as the book went on and you’re read her story you understand why she was a little brash at times. There were many characters that I didn’t dislike but I didn’t really care for and they became so integrated into the story that I ended up feeling compassionately towards them and hoping they would survive. There were of course some characters I hoped could get eaten though! Dare I say my favourite characters were the dinosaurs themselves. As I said I know some facts were embellished but overall I feel like the depiction of the animals was so well written. I found myself feeling compassion towards these obviously intelligent creatures and routing for them. I’d be angry if someone came and tried to steal my hatchlings! I also found myself being astounded by their actions. I don’t know if real dinosaurs would have been behaviours this way but in terms of the story it really worked and for me made them the stars.

Overall as you may gather I loved this book. Its only January but I already know it’s going to be a favourite of the year. It was so fast paced with twists and turns right until the last page! The sequel is due out this June and I really cannot wait. I’m itching to read it. When I read The Hunger Games I actually preferred the second book to number one so I’m curious if I will feel the same about this series. I hope so!

 

 

February & March Reading Roundup

For the first time since I started reading roundups I have missed a month! I am so disappointed in myself but due to my aforementioned blogging slump I didn’t want to push myself to write when I wasn’t feeling like it. However I am now attempting to drag myself from said slump so I wanted to have a go at sharing what I have been reading.

As I mentioned it my previous post despite being in a big fat blogging slump that has not been the case with my reading. I really have been reading some cracking books this year! I don’t know what’s happened but I am just finding some real gems and in doing so it’s making so excited for reading in general. I cannot wait to see what great books and authors I am going to discover next. Here is a little roundup of what I have spent my February and March reading.

img_2262.jpgFreshers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivision

Uni beckons. Phoebe can’t wait, especially since her crush from school will be there. But Luke’s oblivious, still reeling from the fallout of the break-up with his ex. Thrown head first into a world of new friends, parties and social media disasters – can Phoebe and Luke survive the year, let alone find each other?

Rating 5/5

In the last year I have really discovered YA books and followed more and more bloggers and YouTubers who like this genre. I had heard a few of them talk about this book and was really intrigued. In this book we meet Phoebe as she heads off to university as does long term school crush Luke. We then follow them and their fellow fresher’s as their paths cross. I loved this book so much! I loved university life, being a student and everything that came along with it. However I did live at home during my time studying so I never got the full fresher’s experience. I must say having read this book it sounds like there are some parts I definitely didn’t miss out on! However part of me always missed having that opportunity. I think that’s why I loved it so much this book allowed me to live vicariously through Luke Phoebe and their friends for a few days. I also fell in love with the characters of Luke and Phoebe. They turned out to be two of my favourite characters in a book I have ever read. I did not want to leave them behind when the story ended. I wanted to keep following them for the rest of their university life and find out what happened to them next. It was just a fun standalone book that I think any pre fresher’s (or lets me honest any YA fan) will love.

 

IMG_2296The Witch’s Kiss – Katherine and Elizabeth Corr

Sixteeen-year-old Meredith is fed-up with her feuding family and feeling invisible at school – not to mention the witch magic that shoots out of her fingernails when she’s stressed. Then sweet, sensitive Jack comes into her life and she falls for him hard. The only problem is that he is periodically possessed by a destructive centuries-old curse.

Meredith has lost her heart, but will she also lose her life? Or in true fairytale tradition, can true love’s kiss save the day?

Rating 4/5

Until recently I hadn’t heard of this book or anything about it. It was whilst taking part in a twitter char I first discovered Katherine Corr and decided to look up her books which she co-writes with Sister Elizabeth. The story sounded very interesting focusing on 16 year old Merry, a witch as she learns to control her powers. This was enough information to suck me in. It gave me real Sabrina the Teenage Witch feels a show I loved as a teenager (and still do). However upon reading I discovered there was much more depth to this book than I thought. Merry is a teenage witch who has to discover how to control and use her powers but the story is much darker than this. I don’t want to go into too much detail as I plan to write a full trilogy review when I have read the final book. However suffice to say Merry has to learn about her powers quite quickly as she had a huge task ahead of her. I loved everything about this book, the world building, the magic, the origin story that everything centres on but most of all Merry and her brother Leo. So much of this story centres on this sibling relationship and I loved that.

 

IMG_2298The Witch’s Tear – Katherine and Elizabeth Corr

It’s not easy being a teenage witch. Just ask Merry. She’s drowning in textbooks and rules set by the coven, drowning in heartbreak after the loss of Jack. But Merry is not the only one whose fairy tale is over.

Big brother Leo is falling apart and everything Merry does seems to push him further to the brink. And everything that happens to Leo makes her ache for revenge. So, when strangers offering friendship show them a different path, they’d be mad not to take it…

Some rules were made to be broken, right?

Rating 5/5

Off the back of The Witch’s Kiss I had to read this book and find out what happened next. We pick up three months on from the events of book one as Merry and Leo face the fallout from this as well as a host of new challenges. I actually liked this book even more than the first one. There was a real amount of intrigue and mystery in this story as you never quite know who is good and who is bad and their real intentions. This is all compounded by the introduction of some new big characters. We also see Leo and Merry’s relationship tested in this book which I was unsure if I liked. I loved them as a strong unit in book one however its completely understandable as to why there is a shift following the events of book one. The ending is a full on cliff hanger and left me desperate for the next book which was released in early March.

 

img_2310.jpgAnnihilation – Jeff Vandermeer

For thirty years, Area X has remained mysterious and remote behind its intangible border – an environmental disaster zone, though to all appearances an abundant wilderness.

The Southern Reach, a secretive government agency, has sent eleven expeditions to investigate Area X. One has ended in mass suicide, another in a hail of gunfire, the eleventh in a fatal cancer epidemic.

Now four women embark on the twelfth expedition into the unknown.

Rating 3/5

Following reading two books packed with fantasy and action I wanted something equally mysterious and eventful so I picked up Annihilation. This was a Valentine’s Day present from my husband after he had read an article about the book to movie adaptation and thought I may like it. After finishing this book it took me days to gather my thoughts as it was so bizarre. The premise was great; four women rather crazily explore an uninhibited area following previous expeditions that have ended in death and disaster. It was a really intriguing idea, was very mysterious and full of suspense. However it was grounded in sci fi and I had never really read or had been interested in this genre before. Therefore everything seemed to take quite a bizarre turns with things seeming quite unrealistic. I couldn’t decide if it was really odd as a concept or just so different to what I was used to. Either way I rated it straight in the middle at 3 stars, there were bits I loved and bits I hated. However it left me with lots of questions and with some many things unexplained that I’m really curious to see where book two goes and how it compares.

 

IMG_2318Brain Freeze – Tom Fletcher

A little girl discovers that eating ice cream from her grandfather’s old ice-cream truck gives her the power to travel through time.

Rating 4/5

This was another purchase courtesy of my hubby (he knows me so well!) This was part of the World Book Day releases where authors and celebrities write short stories that can be purchased for £1. Children can also collect book tokens from school which they can exchange in shops to get these for free which I’m sure you’ll agree is a cracking idea. Interestingly this year as part of World Book Day there were also YA full length releases that could be purchased for the very affordable price of £2.50, another great idea opening up the celebrations to teens and beyond but I do digress from the point. This was a fantastic fun read that followed Izzy after the death of her Grandpa as she discovered his famous ice cream van is a time travelling portal. It was very fun yet quite emotional but ultimately uplifting. Yes it was aimed at children but it involved time travel and ice cream and no one is ever too old for that.

 

IMG_2276The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the strange bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate – the Hazel Wood – Alice learns how bad her luck can really get. Her mother is stolen away – by a figure who claims to come from the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: STAY AWAY FROM THE HAZEL WOOD.

To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began . . .

Rating 3/5

Alice and her mum have always been on the move, plagued by bad luck that seems to follow them. Estranged from her grandmother author of a notorious fairytale book Alice has always been curious about life before she was born, her grandmother, her stories and the notorious Hazel Wood. When her mum disappears it seems she has no option but to track down the Hazel Wood in an attempt to find her. However her task is not easy especially as the characters from her grandmother’s stories seems to be coming to life and are chasing her. This was a very interesting and intriguing story and I actually found quite a difficult book to summarise concisely.  Similarly to Annihilation this book split me in two and took some time to process my thoughts before I decided on a rating. There was so much good stuff in this book. The world building was awesome and I was totally absorbed in it. I loved the fairytale element and the dark fairytales that Alice’s grandmother has written; they are so different, clever and inventive, I loved reading them. I would buy a book made up of these stories alone. I thought the suspense of Alice’s mother disappearing was great as were her and Finch investigation to find her. However things started to veer off for me once Alice reaches the Hinterland and you start to discover this world and the Hazel Wood. I started to get quite confused and events shift quickly and I just started to lose interest as a result. However when the story of Alice and her family’s history, the Hinterland and the Hazel Wood began to unravel it turned into an incredibly creative and clever story as with the fairytales featured. For that reason I was divided and again had to rate it at 3 stars as parts of it were incredibly and parts of it lost me.

 

The Missing and the Dead (Logan McRae, Book 9) by [MacBride, Stuart]The Missing Dead – Stuart Macbride

One mistake can cost you everything…

A little girl’s body washes up just outside the sleepy coastal town of Macduff, kicking off a major manhunt. Officially, the investigation is out of Sergeant Logan McRae’s hands, but DCI Steel’s Major Investigation Team, drafted in from Aberdeen, is getting nowhere fast.

Steel is running out of ideas and time. She wants Logan back on her team, and doesn’t care how she gets him there.

One thing is clear: there are dangerous predators lurking in the wilds of Aberdeenshire, and not everyone’s getting out of this alive…

Rating 4/5

This book was the 9th instalment in Stuart MacBride’s Logan McRae series of which I adore. I love stuarts gritty tales of police work and am a little in love with Logan as a character. He is a completed flawed in so many ways but so is so loveable and you just route for things to go right for him for a change. The story is quite a shift from previous books as Logan has made a move to a small town in Scotland and is leading a team in community policing. This is quite a change of pace from the other books in the series that are often fast passed and driven towards solving one huge crime. This one has much more focus on the nitty gritty everyday police work and I will admit I was a little bored to start with after having 8 action packed books. However I persevered and actually ended up really liking it this shift in pace. It was interesting seeing the real details of police work in action. Of course by no means is this book drama free. Logan still manages to get dragged into lots of trouble. It’s another great instalment from Stuart.

 

In the Cold Dark Ground (Logan McRae, Book 10) by [MacBride, Stuart]In the Cold Dark Ground – Stuart Macbride

Rating 4/5

Sergeant Logan McRae’s team find a body dumped in the woods – but is it the missing businessman they’ve been searching for, or something far more sinister? It doesn’t help that his ex-boss is taking over the case, a new Superintendent has it in for him, and Professional Standards are looming.

Even worse: Aberdeen’s criminal overlord, Wee Hamish Mowat, is dying and rival gangs all over the UK are eying his territory.

There’s a war brewing and Logan’s trapped right in the middle, whether he likes it or not

Having read The Witch’s Kiss and The Witch’s Tear back to back I realised I much prefer series when I read books consecutively. With that in mind I headed straight to book number 10 in the Logan McRae series. Here we re-join Logan a few months on from the events of the last book. Despite being a Sergeant in charge of his small team he finds himself sucked back into MIT with his companion DI Steel much to his annoyance. As ever it’s great to see Logan and Steel reunited, she is a complete nightmare but together make a great double act. The storyline was again a little different from the previous novels. Here Logan shifts back from community policing back to an MIT murder investigation. However many events in this book are based around Logan’s personal life and culminating events from previous books. Once again it was a fabulous instalment from Stuart and I’m now completely up to date with this series to have to wait until June for the next one!

 

Now We Are Dead by [MacBride, Stuart]Now we are Dead – Stuart Macbride

Detective Chief Inspector Roberta Steel got caught fitting up Jack Wallace – that’s why they demoted her and quashed his sentence. Now he’s back on the streets and women are being attacked again. Wallace has to be responsible, but if Detective Sergeant Steel goes anywhere near him, his lawyers will get her thrown off the force for good.

The Powers That Be won’t listen to her, not after what happened last time. According to them, she’s got more than enough ongoing cases to keep her busy. Perhaps she could try solving a few instead of harassing an innocent man?

Steel knows Wallace is guilty. And the longer he gets away with it, the more women will suffer. The question is: how much is she willing to sacrifice to stop him?

Rating 5/5

By this point I was totally sucked into a Stuart Macbride feast and couldn’t help but read another book. In this book we focus completely on DI Steel. I was really excited for this one as despite Steel being a total nightmare who you wouldn’t want to work from a reader’s point of view she makes for a great character and I find her hilarious! What I really did like about this book is not only do we get lots of the humour we get to know Steel more as a character. You start to see beyond the brash exterior and see how much heart she has. She ultimately loves her job and is driven by her desire to help people and put away the bad guys even if he methods aren’t always 100% honest. This book does pick up where the last book left off in terms of events but I do feel like your given enough background to read it as a standalone. Of course there were a couple of cheeky appearances from Logan which I did expect and was a nice inclusion. One thing I particularly liked about this book was the involvement of police officer Tufty. We met him in the last Logan book where he was introduced as one of Logan’s team. Here we see him working alongside Steel as her number two which I thought was a brilliant choice for a supporting character. Tufty is funny and loyal and it was great to get to know him more. You also got to see he’s actually a great police officer too which is nice as the featured police force does seem to have its fair share of bumbling officers.