Book review: The Institute by Stephen King

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 Permalink

The first part of this book introduces us to one of our narrators and lead characters. Interestingly it doesn’t touch on ‘the institute’ at all. I’d read the backcover blurb and wondered what on earth disgraced-but-heroic cop Tim Jamieson had to do with gifted kids being kidnapped in Maine but Stephen King is such a masterful storyteller I didn’t really care. I was happy to read about Tim hitch-hiking to DuPray, South Carolina and the people he met along the way, as well as the way he settled into the local community on his arrival.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 Permalink

Even though the cover seemed very familiar it wasn’t until I checked my Goodreads account that I discovered I hadn’t read Erin Kelly’s popular He Said / She Said, which was released 2017. I had – however – read her 2014 novel, The Ties That Bind.

Stone Mothers, we learn, is what the Victorians used to call their mental hospitals because they had faith that the architecture and building design could literally nurse the sick back to health.

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three-stars

Book review & giveaway: Treasury of Bedtime Stories by Enid Blyton

Monday, October 15, 2018 Permalink

I suspect if you asked many people of my generation (and perhaps those born a decade or so before / after) we’d say that Enid Blyton was one of the biggest influences on our reading lives.

I have VERY vivid memories of going to our former library to borrow Noddy books and I LOVED the Faraway Tree, Wishing Chair, Secret Seven and Amelia Jane (though her less so, cos she WAS naughty) but most particularly The Famous Five.

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Book review: The Outsider by Stephen King

Sunday, June 3, 2018 Permalink

Stephen King is a very gifted writer. I suspect I – and many others – have been distracted over the years by his plots and quirky / endearing /  just pure evil characters… that it’s easy to forget how effortlessly engaging his writing can be.

It was something that struck me most in his new novel, The Outsider, which is predominantly centred around new character and local cop Ralph Anderson, although King later introduces Holly Gibney – who regular readers met in the Mr Mercedes / Finders Keepers / End of Watch series.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Did You See Melody by Sophie Hannah

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 Permalink

This latest release by Sophie Hannah reminded me of my cozy fiction days. In many ways, our lead character Cara and another resort guest (Tarin) are Miss Marplesque characters. Though perhaps more like Agatha Raisin. Or Phrynne Fisher (‘Lady Detective’).

I must admit, I was rather taken with Tarin (and Zellie) Fry in particular, and wouldn’t mind meeting them again. I suspect Cara’s story is done, but Tarin  would hold some allure for future books in a series. (Akin perhaps to Mary Higgins Clark’s lottery winners, Alvirah and Willy Meehan, who often feature – even in secondary roles – in her novels.)

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four-stars

Book review: Holding by Graham Norton

Saturday, October 15, 2016 Permalink

I rarely watch talk shows. The only one I do watch – depending on its  guests – is The Graham Norton Show because I love the host’s wicked and irreverent sense of humour.

I’m aware he’s released a couple of biographical memoirs but regular readers know how I feel about non-fiction (ie. I’d rather poke myself in the eye with a stick. Or eat broccoli.), but I jumped at the chance to read his first foray into fiction, hoping his droll sarcasm found its way into his debut novel. Which it certainly does.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Sting by Sandra Brown

Monday, September 5, 2016 Permalink

Sandra Brown is one of my go-to authors. She writes romantic suspense and usually offers up a pretty good balance between the two. I very much enjoyed her latest novel, which was a tad predictable in the romance stakes, but far less so on the suspense side.

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four-stars

Book review: End of Watch by Stephen King

Thursday, June 9, 2016 Permalink

I missed the first in this Stephen King trilogy. Mr Mercedes received great reviews which tempted me (after a long break from King’s fiction) to read the second in the series, Finders Keepers.

I mostly enjoyed Finders Keepers and you can check out my review here, but… without the Mr Mercedes backstory I failed to really engage with Bill Hodges and his cohorts – who entered the Finders Keepers plot when I was already well and truly settled in with its main protagonist, young Peter Saubers and his family.

End of Watch seems to return to where Mr Mercedes left off, but interestingly, provides a really good recap of the key points of the original. So I enjoyed it a lot.

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four-stars