Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Where The Memories Lie by Sibel Hodge

The title of this story can be read in more than one way.  Oliva's father-in-law tells her what seems to be a confession, but since he has Alzheimers Disease, is what he's saying true or just his mind getting muddled.  As Olivia tries to investigate based on just an off-hand comment, she starts to wonder who in her family is telling the truth.

This is a great story that's hard to put in a genre, it's not a psychological thriller, it's not a police procedural and it's not really a murder mystery, although it seems there might have been a murder and there's certainly mystery around it.  It's more about Olivia and her convictions and about family and about lies.  Should you tell them?   Should you keep secrets?

I enjoyed reading this although I did want to knock the characters' heads together at times.


Thursday, 17 September 2015

The Cage by David Haynes

I started reading this story without a clue of the plot.  All I know is that I love this author's stories.

This one starts with a murder in a hotel room.  But who did it?  Was it really the husband who was caught "red handed"?

Ted is hired to investigate this and sets off in a snowstorm to the hotel.  There's just him and the twins who run the place staying in the hotel.  Or is there?  

This started off more of a mystery, but as it progressed and the snow penned the people in, the story got more and more claustrophobic and ever so creepy.  The noise the cages made was horrific in my imagination.  This is not a story to read late at night.  There are many layers to this story, even though it's not a mammoth read.

As expected, I thoroughly enjoyed this story.  This author's mind is a bit warped.  Which is good for us readers.


Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Closer to Death in a Garden by Cecilia Peartree

Number 10 in the ongoing adventures of our faithful Pitkirtly gang has a bit of a mouthful for a title.  It does become obvious what it refers to early on, so it didn't bother me for much.

As usual there's a murder, as usual Amarylis is in the middle of it.  As usual Christopher doesn't want to be in the middle of it.  And there are alpacas about.

I always start reading these books expecting them to be five star reads and, for me, they never fail to live up to what I expect.

What's to say - the gang are all here, doing what they usually do.  They get in the way of the police, they kind of solve the mystery.  The joy of reading these stories for me is the familiarity of the characters and somehow, each mystery seems to be fresh and new.

Another top Pitkirtly read indeed.


Monday, 31 August 2015

Bad and Badder by Ray Kingfisher

Bad and Badder is a collection of 5 short stories with the theme of badness.  They are all different and, in my opinion, all great self-contained stories.

Each of these stories had me getting more and more gripped as I read on with little twists to keep me on my toes.

I think my favourite was the last one, Crow Ridge, as it was more other-worldly.  More of a macabre gothic tale.


Thursday, 27 August 2015

Demon Road by Derek Landy

This, apparently is the first in a new series from Derek Landy.  I enjoyed the first of the Skulduggery Pleasant series, but this one is aimed for a bit older audience.

When Amber becomes 16, she realises why her parents haven't really been bothered with her for all her life.  Until now, when she becomes interesting to them and their friends.  And so starts a mad road trip across America with her new found minder, Milo, and Glen the annoying side-kick, trying to stay one step ahead of her parents.

Following the "Demon Road" Amber and the gang meet all sorts of unsavoury characters and usually have to fight it out.

This is quite a violent story and I don't think Amber has as many good one-liners as Stephanie in the Skulduggery Pleasant series.  It was a good read, however and I did enjoy it.


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

No Time Like the Past by Jodi Taylor

No Time Like the Past is Jodi Taylor's 5th book in the St Mary's series.  This time Max and the team are in a "quieter" period of this history.  Well, quiet by St Mary's standards.

Max tries to take it easy, but history doesn't like that.  The team go back to their roots of rescuing artifacts that are about to be removed from existence, but things never go to plan.

I found this book to be more educational with the history they visit.  That's the good thing about these stories, I learn lots as well as enjoying the journeys.

I really enjoyed the open day scenes.  I'd love to have visited to see the race.

Again, another great story and since there's lots of history that's happened, there's lots for the team to visit. 


Saturday, 8 August 2015

Hybrid by Vanessa Wester

This is a book of two very different halves.  The first half is Caitlin's story.  She starts at college and meets a guy Steven.  They start off as friends, but it soon develops.

But Steven has a past he doesn't know about.  And when Steven finds out about it, it's too late for him and Caitlin.  The second half of the book is him finding out what he really is.

I enjoyed this story, although it seemed like two separate stories.  Southampton was a long long way from the Brazilian rainforest.  


Friday, 7 August 2015

Power Games by Victoria Fox

I'm on holidays and fancied a bit of a bonkbuster, so I started this one.  As it happens, this is not a bonkbuster, it's a story of survival.

Seven "celebrities" who are rich and shallow get invited to a charity appearance.  Whilst travelling there, their plane explodes.

The first part of the book is the shallow lives of these people.  We find out what their public faces are.  The second part is after the crash and how they cope with themselves.

This is a blockbuster-sized book and I found myself addicted to it.  


Godsquad by Heide Goody and Iain Grant

Having adored both Clovenhoof and Pigeonwings I thought I might miss Jeremy.  As it happens I didn't.  The "Godsquad" were almost as good as Jeremy.

A prayer has come in from Simon.  Simon doesn't seem to have a soul, so Joan of Arc, Saint Christoper and Francis of Assisi have been sent back to earth to track down Mary Mother of Jesus and then find Simon.  Mary has gone AWOL in Europe and Simon seems to be counting down to the Apocalypse, so it's a bit urgent that Joan and friends find them.

This story was a road trip with a difference. The cast are out of time and out of this world too.  They meet up with people who help them and those that hinder them, although they certainly hinder themselves with ease.

I love this author(s) writing.  It's fast-paced, funny and irreverent.  A joy to read indeed.


Thursday, 6 August 2015

A Trail Through Time by Jodi Taylor

This is the fourth story in the St Mary's Chronicles and has to advance the story from the catastrophic ending of book 3.  I'm not sure if I'm 100% for the way they did it, but that's how it starts and this one is the most action packed of all the books.

The Time Police are after Max and she and Leon try to keep one step ahead of them as they jump across time, sometimes they are only half a step ahead.

The main adventure is set in Pompeii and, as usual, nothing goes to plan.  This all builds up to the final fight, which may well be the final fight of all.

I really enjoy this series.  As the books go on the characters develop.  Max is not the young newcomer from the first book anymore. The supporting cast are well rounded and bring more to the story with their St Mary's quirks.


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Eye of Dominion by David Staniforth

This is the sequel to Alloria, the tale of Alloria finding out she is the first wizard's daughter.  They think they have vanquished the villain in the first book, but it seems his spirit is still alive.  Alloria has join her father Ymarid, and their protectors Bane and Nathan and venture back into the labyrinths to visit other worlds to save their world.

This story is about Yrion, Alloria's brother who is jealous that she has returned.  Yrion is under the influence of Glebester, one of the most gross characters I've ever read.  I really disliked reading about his "seepages" to say the least.  His hold over Yrion was very powerful

I enjoyed this story, even though its intended audience is the teen YA market.  It had enough grown up intelligence without talking down to the younger audience.


Gray Retribution by Alan McDermott

Tom Gray has settled down with his wife and child and is just running the company now.  He sends people out to train up foreign armies, but tries to keep out of trouble himself.  Until the day he visits his wife's uncle's shop and gets into a bit of a fracas with a local thug.

Two stories then unfold.  The thug wanting revenge and an uprising in Africa.  Tom is torn between the two, but needs to help his men as they are seemingly overwhelmed.

With this series of books I seem to really like the odd numbers and aren't fussed on the even numbers.  This being book number 4 didn't do much for me.  His team in Africa didn't appear to be in too much peril, even being outnumbered 10 to 1.  I'm not saying I didn't enjoy this - the writing is good - but the subject matter didn't interest me as much as books 1 and 3.


Sword of Damocles by Andrew Barrett

Eddie Collins the SOCO guy is back.  This time he's investigating a murder that might just go back a long way.

I do like a good murder death kill story and since the author works as a crime scene examiner I feel that the story has "bones" so to speak.

The story was a bit slow to start, but it got going soon enough.  It was a good chunk of a book due to the twists and turns and many extra clues.

Eddie's personal life is going to the dogs again and there's a case that's annoying him.  Something is not quite right and so he needs to go back in time to solve it.

I enjoy reading this author's stories as they keep you interested all the way.


Saturday, 18 July 2015

The Stranger in the Shed by Nicola Palmer

Nicola Palmer writes children's books.  I like reading Nicola Palmer's stories.  I'm not a (young) child.

Again, this is a fab story from this author.  There's an underlying story about bullying, but it's more about friendship.  Is smelly Angus real or imaginary?  Is Angus' world real or imaginary?  Does it matter to Rory when he's ignored by just about everyone else?

Even though this is aimed at 10 year olds, I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Thursday, 2 July 2015

Global Domination for Beginners by Will Once

We get James Bond's side of the story, The Saint's, Bourne's, Austin Powers' too.  But what about the bad guy?  What's his story?  Where did he get his inspiration from?  Why hollowed out volcanoes, why henchmen, why lairs?

Well, you don't have to wonder any more.  Read this book and you'll soon know how a power-crazed megalomaniac thinks.

Number One tells his life story to a spy he's caught and, literally being a captive audience, he has to listen.

This is a really funny story.  Things really aren't easy if you want to take over the world.  You can't imagine the minutiae that has to be taken care of.  Especially when nobody takes you seriously.


Sunday, 28 June 2015

Vegas, Lies and Murder by Sibel Hodge.

Vegas, Lies and Murder is the fifth book in the Amber Fox series.  This time Amber and her fiance Brad are off to Las Vegas to get married.  Amber's parents are joining them, along with her sister and Amber and Brad's friends and co-workers Hacker and Tia.

Obviously, being the chaos magnet that she is, Amber's holiday starts off bad and just gets worse.  Instead of getting married, they find themselves mixed up in a potential murder and having to go under cover in a gentleman's club.

I like this series of books.  Amber is a great character, although sometimes I get worn out with the trouble she seems to always get into.  I like how her relationships mature with each book.

This is a quick and easy and fast paced read and I thoroughly enjoyed it as expected.


Thursday, 25 June 2015

Sleep TIght by Rachel Abbott

Sleep Tight is the 3rd in the DCI Tom Douglas series, however Tom's life plays a secondary part in this and it's not important that you need to have read the others.

Olivia's gone missing, but does her husband know more than he's telling?

This story weaves from suggesting one thing to another and makes you believe one thing, then twists it to the opposite.  I was totally gripped.


Sunday, 7 June 2015

Wizard's Brew by Chris I. Naylor

I like a bit of silly and this was certainly a bit of silly.
An inexperienced wizard is employed to cast a spell to help the fishermen catch lots of fish, instead the spell wakes up a nasty demon who has been trapped for a very long time under the sea.  The demon's form is a massive slug that eliminates anything it slimes over.

With the freedom fighter rabbits, the wizard and his dwarf friend banished from Camelot and the inhabitants of Redbrush Hall, this is a great cast of characters.  The nasty shape-shifting slugs need to be beaten, but none of the heroes are aware that there is any enemy.

My favourite characters were the rabbits and I loved their "rebel names".  And this book has my favourite line ever in it.  If you've read it, it's the "sym" bit.

So yes, this book is silly and a bit childish at times, but I found it wonderfully fun to read.  I came across it by accident, I think the cover is a bit rubbish, but I totally recommend giving it a go and I'm going to read the next ones.


Sunday, 31 May 2015

The Time Hunters and The Lost City by Carl Ashmore

The Lost City is the fifth and final installment in the wonderful Time Hunters series.  Becky, her brother Joe and Uncle Percy, the time traveller, are off to find El Dorado, the fabled Lost City.

This book starts off with a massive bang.  Emmerson Drake, their evil enemy blows up not only the Houses of Parliament, but just about every other major seat of power.  The story then ramps up as the family set off to find the last of the Eden Relics.

This may be a children's book, but I know of so many (alleged) grown-ups who love this series.  It has great depth, lots of action, humour and love.  What's not to like.

I'm a bit sad that this is the end.  The first Time Hunter story was the first kindle book I paid for and I feel I've been on this journey with the Mellors.  I'd like to think there'll be more stories set in this world.



Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Death in a Cold Spring by Cecilia Peartree

This is the ninth in the Pitkirtly series and is probably my favourite so far.

Amaryllis has put herself forward for being a councillor, but has this dulled her senses?  Christopher has loads to do at the Cultural Centre, but what's this art exhibition he doesn't really know about?  When Christopher and Amaryllis find something nasty at the Centre, they try to go their typical opposite ways, Christopher doesn't want to know, but Amaryllis needs to stick her nose in.

As with the previous 8 stories,  there's a crime in the community and the locals do their best to "help", although the police wouldn't call it that.  Keith is the only policeman around and he's struggling to keep up.

In each episode we get more info on a supporting character and this time it's Keith.  I enjoyed finding more about Keith in this story, now that Charlie is the pub landlord.  I particularly liked the dogs' stories.  They seemed to have a more starring role.

This story is best enjoyed having read the previous ones, but I think this stands on it's own.  You don't really need to know the cast's history, it just makes it seem that they are your friends.