Book review: The Lying Room by Nicci French

Saturday, September 28, 2019 Permalink

I was surprised to read this was the first Nicci French (Nicci Gerrard / Sean French) standalone novel in 10 years. I’ve got quite a few on my bookshelves so it made me feel a little old. Of course I’ve not really been smitten with the Frieda Klein series, though have enjoyed the last few more than the first couple.

And I really enjoyed much of this novel and (unsurprisingly, cos I’m not great at delaying instant gratification) read it in a sitting. I was a tad disappointed with the end as it felt a little anti-climatic but I’d enjoyed everything that came before.

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four-stars

Book review: Hunting Evil by Chris Carter

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 Permalink

I have inadvertently come and gone from this series featuring Detective Robert Hunter from LAPD’s Ultra Violent Crimes Unit. (And yes, each time I have a giggle at the ‘ultra’ and try to remember to add the ‘n’ in violent.)

I’ve enjoyed the books I’ve read (here’s my review of the 2018 release ) and am pretty consistent now but – as it would happen – this is actually a sequel to an earlier book in the series and even the author Chris Carter recommends we read its precursor.

However… #spoileralert: I hadn’t read it and survived.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Providence by Caroline Kepnes

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 Permalink

The backcover blurb for this book makes it clear it’s not like Caroline Kepnes’ fabulous debut novel You, or its sequel, Hidden Bodies. So I was prepared for something quite different.

And it starts well. Our main characters are interesting, the disappearance of Jon (and even his reappearance) intriguing. But it seemed to get a bit lost after that and I wasn’t sure even Kepnes knew where she wanted to take us.

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three-stars

Book review: The Wanted by Robert Crais

Saturday, December 30, 2017 Permalink

I am extremely ashamed to admit that *I think* The Wanted by Robert Crais is the first book I’ve read in his Elvis Cole series.

I was going to say I have no idea why, but if I’m completely honest I guess I’ve perhaps conjured up some image of a wannabe Elvis Presley in my mind and have thought he’d be kinda naff (apologies to fans of Elvis or Elvis look-alikes but I Just. Don’t. Get. It: the allure of Elvis so many years later, or the whole Vegas culture), but our private detective wasn’t at all like that.

Elvis Cole was younger than I expected and I actually really really liked him!

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four-stars

Book review: Kill the Father by Sandrone Dazieri

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 Permalink

It’s weird when a book becomes something you’re not expecting. I recently read a book that ventured into the mystical… and I wasn’t quite ready for it. This book by Sandrone Dazieri – the first UK release for the author of 8 novels and 50 screenplays – was good. Indeed, I demolished the first half in a sitting. But – it became something kinda different as Dazieri introduced elements that, well… while they may have made sense to many, were less of interest to me.

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four-stars

Book review: The Girl from Venice by Martin Cruz Smith

Saturday, October 29, 2016 Permalink

As I’m not a fan of historical fiction I wasn’t quite sure how long I would last with this latest release by Martin Cruz Smith. And – although it wasn’t a riveting read – I found myself quite enchanted by the story of the Italian fisherman Cenzo, and Giulia… the girl he found in the lagoon.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Hidden Killers by Lynda LaPlante

Friday, October 28, 2016 Permalink

One of my top six books last year was Tennison by Lynda LaPlante. As a fan of the (ahem) older Jane Tennison via LaPlante’s Prime Suspect series I loved that she’d leapt back in time, allowing us to meet a young Jane and giving us the opportunity to understand how the popular character of the 1990s became so resilient… not to mention a bit of a hard-arse.

Happily LaPlante is now offering up another episode in the life of young Jane – with her passion for justice and occasional disdain for authority – as she continues to doggedly pursue the baddies.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Leave Me by Gayle Forman

Sunday, September 18, 2016 Permalink

I’ve only read one previous book by the popular young adult novelist Gayle Forman and was surprised at how much I enjoyed I Was Here. In my review I mention that it touches on a lot of important themes. (As does the book-turned-movie, If I Stay, which I’ve seen but not read.)

Forman’s latest is her first book for ‘adults’ – to use the publisher’s vernacular – and its theme is certainly targetted at an audience conscious of commitments and responsibilities. Like many of her young adult novels, the notion or threat of death lies at the centre of this novel though it’s probably a little less weighty (theme-wise) than many of her previous books.

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four-stars