Firstly, this book details different aspects of renovating a property and it is adequate in what it does. There are no real "trade secrets" in this book as Liz Hodgkinson is a journalist who happens to like property, writes about it and has owned a few properties herself. She does give plenty of examples but alot of these tend to be "as a case in point, my friend ....." Surprisingly, most of the horror stories involve her friends failing to do things and most of the success stories seem to involve the author.
Liz generally comes across as a negative, know it who can find the bad in almost every situation. For example, in her introduction she decrys the "done up to sell look," sighting her anecdotal evidence about a house that stayed on the market for over a year because the people who would buy it, the chattering classes, were wise to the tricks of property developers. Her logic was that if they had not renovated it that people would find it more attractive, as they could do the work themselves.
She comes across as the most obnoxious of bores on all sorts of property related subjects, of which she seems to possess scant knowledge. Gems such as "don't imagine that officials will be happy with a vague drawing scrawled on the back of an envelope," when applying for planning permissioin may lead the reader feeling more than a little patronised, rather than enlightened.
I would give more detail on the topics that she covers but I fear that you, the reader of this review, might actually like the sound of those topics and consider buying this book. Instead I would recommend something like "Property Ladder" by Sarah Beeny, even if you only want to do something to your house.
In conclusion, if you have an IQ in single figures and like being patronised, buy this book, if not, avoid it like the plague!