Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

The Promise by Alison Bruce, a review.

The Promise by Alison Bruce

I am gradually reading all of Mrs Bruce’s Gary Goodhew books, The Promise is number six of seven.

Each succeeding book is better than the one preceding it; a difficult accomplishment when the first one, Cambridge Blue is so good.

The brutal murder of a homeless man, known to DC Gary Goodhew, prompts his early return to work while still recovering from injuries received during his last case. Cambridge is the setting for this and the books before it, is captured perfectly; the plot is intricate and convoluted, the characters are well drawn, the ending unexpected.

It is a really difficult book to put down until you have finished reading it I have ordered Cambridge Black and I am looking forward to reading it. It has The Promise of being an excellent read.

Meet Me in the Treehouse by Kelly Tink, a review.

Meet Me in the Treehouse

I confess Romantic Fiction is not a genre I would normally read, “Meet me in the tree house” is the first ever book of romantic fiction I have tried.

Kelly’s book is a well written, well crafted novel, exploring Emma’s grief and her accommodation with loss. The grief is for a dead friend. The loss is that of her marriage, itself another form of grieving. Grieving for the hopes, plans and dreams of a future now gone. Emma hesitates to form new relationships or revisit old ones; she is wary; worried that the history of her failed marriage may repeat itself.

We follow Emma as she tries to reconstruct her life and move on from a troubled past, it is an interesting journey and for me an informative one.

Kelly has I understand started on a second book, I can’t wait to read it.

Meet Me in the Treehouse is available on Amazon

Meet Me in the Treehouse

The Backs Written by Alison Bruce a review.

The Backs written by Alison Bruce

Alison has become one of my favourite authors and I am gradually reading her Gary Goodhew series. I say gradually with good reason. I enjoy her writing and read the books one at a time with an interval in between each one, so I enjoy each one as a fresh read.

“The Backs” is number five in the series and number six “The Promise” is sitting on the shelf ready for my next special occasion.

The Backs, as is all of Alison’s books, the ones I have read so far, set in and around Cambridge. I am familiar with the city and the surrounding area. For me, this familiarity is a bonus.

Following a violent scene-setting prologue the action moves what was for the story the present day, the Gog Magog hills at night, a burning car and the discovery of a gruesome murder.

Jane Osborne’s return to Cambridge sets the story off in another direction and the plot weaves around several different strands. DC Gary Goodhew and the team he belongs to gradually, start to untangle the events leading up to the murder and hitherto undiscovered crimes of the past. In the process darker, secrets emerge from their hiding places.

As with all Alison’s novels (the ones I have read so far), the characters are well-drawn and the plot multilayered, as each layer is lifted more is revealed underneath. Each time the reader thinks they may have an inkling of who the villain may be or the possible outcome the ground shifts underneath.

All in all a damn good read.

The Scent of Guilt by Tony J Forder, a review.

The Scent of Guilt by Tony J Forder

This is the second of Tony J Forder’s books featuring D I Bliss and his partner Detective Sergeant Penny Chandler.

Newly returned to Peterborough after twelve years away policing organised crime, DI Bliss joins the Major Crimes Team and immediately is thrown into a brutal murder enquiry. The murder appears to be the latest in a series. Bliss very quickly spots a possible link between a series of rapes and murders.

Penny Chandler now promoted to Detective Sergeant joins the enquiry as the rapes she has been investigating seem linked to the murders.

The search for the serial killer and rapist then becomes a desperate race against time to apprehend the culprit before he can add to his growing list of rape and murder victims.

The enquiry involves a trawl through old cases and incidents. When a pattern emerges a trip to the U.S.A. becomes a necessity to follow old leads. Bliss and Chandler know they are up against a deadline but don’t know what it is. Speed and accuracy are needed, the plot twists and turns as the desperate search accelerates to a cliff-hanging conclusion.

A satisfying, engaging, read, the characters are well-drawn and apart from the U.S.A., the settings are familiar to me.

Excellent, thank you, Mr Forder.

Degrees of Darkness is the next in the series and I shall be obtaining it before very long.

The Scent of Guilt is available on Amazon and from bookshops.

The Secret Life of Bletchley Park Written by Sinclair McKay a review

The Secret Life of Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay

The Secret Life of Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay, a review.

Few people today are unaware of Bletchley Park and its vital work during World War 2, cracking the German Codes. Although many of us now know of the Enigma machine and have heard of Alan Turing there is much about Bletchley Park that wasn’t known, even amongst its veterans.

Mr McKay has taken the opportunity to talk to as many of the surviving Bletchley veterans as he could, to learn more of the Park’s back story. He sheds light on what went on behind the scenes. How mainly young, men and women drawn from all over the country came to work together on one of the most secret and important projects of the war.

The lives of the listeners, translators, code breakers and those who analysed the intelligence are discussed the problems of accommodation and travel are covered as is the social life of the park.

It is a fascinating book and illustrates the remarkable calibre of the people who worked at the park. Their tremendous sense of loyalty, is something to marvel at. Many took the secret of their vital wartime careers to the grave, children and spouses unaware of the value that work.

It is possible that had the true value of Turing’s work been more widely known he wouldn’t have been subjected to the terrible treatment that led to his early tragic death.

This is a testament to part of a great generation that did so much for those of us who followed, a story that needed to be told.

What Lies Beyond Sci-Fi Stories of the Future, Edited byJ K Larkin, a review

What Lies Beyond

Stephen Oliver, one of the book’s contributing authors gave me the heads up on this terrific collection.

The Generalist is Stephen’s contribution and thoroughly deserves its place in this book with the other excellent stories. Stephen’s stories are always unusual and quirky not only displaying an orignality of thought but also quality writing.

A cousin of mine named Startruck her favourite in an earlier collection “Where the Wild Winds Blow.” Another book showcasing some of Stephen’s work.

So what of the other stories? they were all exceptionally good but I particularly enjoyed Preacher by Lisa Diaz Meyer and The Felinedae Mission by Debbie De Louise, those who have cats would regard this as entirely plausible.

The Moment Before Impact by Alison Bruce, a review

The Moment Before Impact by Alison Bruce

Most of us I am sure are familiar with books that you can’t put down because you want to know what happens next but don’t want to the story to end because they are so good, this is one of those books.

The story is set in and around Cambridge, the streets and places are familiar to those who live in or visit the city. For others who do not share that familiarity with the city, a Google search makes it accessible and I am sure encourages readers to visit and see it for themselves.

The plot is engaging and draws the reader in, Celia Henry a tenacious former reporter tries to make sense of the circumstances leading up to a serious road accident. Those involved have become  the adults she watched growing up as children while their neighbour.

An open and shut case becomes increasing more open and less shut as the story moves on with Celia prompting the police to look again. The story grips and holds the reader as it twists and turns revealing more of the back story.

One word describes it for me “Brilliant” but don’t take my word for it, read it yourself.

More please Mrs. Bruce

The Moment Before Impact is available on Amazon and in book shops.

Witch Way a review

Witch Way

Witch Way

Cathy Cade’s book of short stories and poems is a wonderful collection of well-written pieces, each one beautifully crafted.

The range of subjects is wide and eclectic embracing beautifully written children’s stories, fascinating mysteries together with truly delightful poetry. There is something in here for everyone, every item is a brightly polished gem.

My favourite but only just is the beautifully picturesque Witch Way. The characters inhabit your imagination, so beautifully are they drawn. It is for me like watching a film of the story rather than reading the words on the page.

It is a gift few writers have.

Cathy is a writer of extraordinary ability I am looking forward to reading more of her work.

Available on Amazon

Witch Way on Amazon

It will soon be available on Smash Words too:

Smashwords

Cathy’s Blog is always worth a visit:

Cathy’s Blog

Hand of the Beast, written by Stuart Roberts, a review.

Hand of the beast2

Hand of the Beast written by Stuart Roberts

We are very fortunate to have a good number of talented authors living in our region some of whom live locally. I have just finished reading Hand of the Beast by Stuart Roberts, one of our very local writers.

I had the privilege of reading his draft manuscript  of Hand of The Beast a little while back as a Beta reader. I was really keen therefore, to see this the published version. Stuart’s second novel, like his first, All Time Lowe, it is a psychological and supernatural thriller.

The story is centred around the troubled Danny. An orphan traumatised by an abusive childhood he struggles to deal with life. His adoptive parents help him navigate his way through into adulthood but it is a chance meeting with a Goth girl that changes his life completely.

The police after discovering two murders, quickly find they are on the trail of a serial killer responsible for many more deaths.

A twisty journey of a book a really good read, five stars from me.

If you would like to buy a copy, (one of my US readers wanted a copy of All Time Lowe which is why I posted this link) the Amazon link:

Hand of the beast

For my review of All Time Lowe:

All time Lowe a review

Beau Death by Peter Lovesey a review.

Beau Death cover2

Beau Death written by Peter Lovesey

There is usually at least one of Peter Lovesey’s books in my “to be read pile”.  Of the Peter Diamond series, I now have only one more to read, unless of course there is another ready to publish.

I have enjoyed all the Peter Diamond novels but for me Beau Death is the best so far.

Following a cracking start, literally, a wrecking ball smashes into the top of an old house in Twerton, exposing the remains of a long hidden body. The beginning of a herculean quest for Deective Superintendent Peter Diamond and his team. Not only to establish the identity of the corpse but to discover the circumstances of its death.

As with the majority of the Peter Diamond novels the city of Bath is the setting.

With each new book there is a new visit, for us readers. Each time we learn a little more about the place and its rich history. This outing introduces Beau Nash to those of us, who know little, not only of Bath but the characters which helped shape the city.

As with all good books it is difficult to put down, resolution waits until the end of the story and is satisfying. I will be ordering Killing with Confetti, the latest Peter Diamond book, shortly. Ready to be placed on the TBR pile.

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