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.


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.)


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.


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.


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.


Book review: Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

Monday, May 9, 2016 Permalink

Last year a book called My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises was doing the rounds. I loved the title but – for reasons I now do not recall – didn’t get around to reading that book.

It wasn’t until after I finished Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman that I discovered the Swedish blogger and columnist also authored ‘My Grandmother… etc’ and his latest had a quirky and beguiling warmth that makes me realise I would have loved to read about the apologising grandmother.


Book review: The Narrow Bed by Sophie Hannah

Thursday, February 18, 2016 Permalink

British author and poet Sophie Hannah is hugely popular. Indeed her work’s won a myriad of awards and been adapted for television.  And she’s prolific, writing crime fiction, psychological suspense, children’s literature and poetry.

I’m a relative newcomer to her work, having (only) read her standalone thriller, A Game for all the Family and the predecessor to her latest release, The Narrow Bed. And I have to admit… I’m still a little undecided about the extent of my own thrall….