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GarethPrice "gazza_hoho" (Stockport)

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The Exiled
The Exiled
Price: £9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars this is a good, solid read, 24 May 2016
This review is from: The Exiled (Kindle Edition)
When homicide detective Wes Raney is called on to investigate a drug related triple murder, that has taken place in a locked underground bunker in New Mexico, his past comes back to haunt him.

Told as an ongoing investigation into the murders and interspersed with flashbacks into Raneys' past as a New York narcotics detective, this is a good, solid read. However, for me anyway, it didn't have that elusive spark that, say, Dennis Lehane or George Pelecanos have that would have made it totally compulsive. This is Christopher Charles' first crime novel (he has a novel called Jonah Men out under the name Christopher Narozny) and it bodes well for his next one.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.


LaRose
LaRose
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars This is a brilliant premise for a novel and it works fantastically, 24 May 2016
This review is from: LaRose (Kindle Edition)
When Landreaux Iron accidentally kills his neighbours son Dusty while out hunting, he and his wife, Emmaline, decide to replace him with their own son, LaRose.

This is a brilliant premise for a novel and it works fantastically. We are shown how both families deal with the loss of a child and the interaction between the characters is outstanding. The book deals with complex relationships and is fleshed out with background stories and family history making it on the whole an engrossing and worthwhile read.

I am a big fan of Louise Erdrichs' last novel The Round House and this is just as good. Recommended.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.


Desert Boys: Fiction
Desert Boys: Fiction
Price: £15.97

3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly concerned with coming of age as well as coming to terms with his sexuality they are very good, also, 7 May 2016
Chris McCormick serves up an interesting and very well written selection of stories in this promising debut.

The stories are set in the hard scrabble Antelope Valley where narrator Kush grows up and follow him to San Francisco, where he lives with boyfriend Lloyd, and is pursuing a career as a blogger. Mostly concerned with coming of age as well as coming to terms with his sexuality they are very good, also, at showing the small details of everyday life and how people get by. A childhood crush on best friend Robert Karinger, who dies in a desert war after he and Kush fall out over the war itself, is poignant and emotional. It was hard to shake the feeling that a lot of these stories were autobiographical but that also added weight to their authenticity. Personally I would like to see a full length novel from this very promising writer but this book comes as recommended.

A big thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for free advanced copy of this book in return for an impartial review.


The Sport of Kings
The Sport of Kings
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The Sport of Kings is a family saga like no other, 7 May 2016
The Sport of Kings is a family saga like no other.

The story centres around Henry Forge, his daughter Henrietta and their black horse groom Allmon Shaughnessy and their efforts to make a Derby champion out of the Forges' horse Hellsmouth. There is so much in this book, though, that it is almost impossible to give a lucid synopsis of the storyline. All I would say is that if family sagas or books about horse racing generally put you off I would still recommend you try this fantastic novel for the sheer quality of the writing and what it has to say about race, sexuality and the despicable way human beings can treat each other. I was also going to say that if you need to have likeable characters in your fiction then to avoid this book but then you would be missing out on what is likely to be one of the best books of the year.

Thanks to Netgalley, RealReaders and the publishers for a free advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.


Anatomy of a Soldier
Anatomy of a Soldier
Price: £7.79

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and highly recommended, 6 Mar. 2016
Harry Parker has written an original and bold, sometimes harrowing, debut novel.

Here we see war from both sides told from the perspective of forty-five inanimate objects. Using this original approach Parker allows us to get really close to his characters giving us an insight not only to their actions but their thoughts and feelings as well. By switching perspective from the wounded British soldier, BA5799, to the insurgents and those just hoping to get by in a country under siege, he keeps things interesting and what may have become a gimmick over time stays fresh right to the end.

Parker can write with authority as one who has experienced the pain of war and we should all be thankful that he has put it all down in words for us to learn from. Amazing and highly recommended.

I was given an advanced copy by the publisher, via Netgalley, for an honest review.


Six Four
Six Four
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Six Four is a very good book that may well divide opinion, 6 Mar. 2016
This review is from: Six Four (Kindle Edition)
Six Four tells the story of Mikami, who is head of Media Relations in the Tokyo Police force, and a kidnapping that took place fourteen years earlier. The kidnapper was never caught and the case is a year away from reaching the statute of limitations. The police Commissioner wants to visit the 7 year old victims family to pay his respects and see if they can get a fresh start on the case and Mikami is tasked with approaching the victims father to get the all clear. Things don't go to plan.

Six Four is a very good book that may well divide opinion. There is a great crime story at it's heart but it leans really heavily on Mikami's struggles with the press where I think a bit more of the story could have been given over to the disappearance of his own daughter and his efforts to find her. Having said that the pages still manage to race by and the ending, for me at least, more than made the journey worthwhile.

A copy of this book was provided by the publishers, through Netgalley, in return fo an honest review.


The Fugitives
The Fugitives
by Christopher Sorrentino
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.95

4.0 out of 5 stars ... big fan of Christopher Sorrentino's Trance and it seems like an age has passed since it was published, 14 Feb. 2016
This review is from: The Fugitives (Hardcover)
I am a big fan of Christopher Sorrentino's Trance and it seems like an age has passed since it was published. The Fugitives probably isn't quite as good as that epic imagining of a band of urban guerillas in the '70's but it has plenty to enjoy.

Writer Sandy Mulligan has retreated to a small Michigan town to write his long overdue next book and escape his failed marriage. Instead he spends some of his mornings at the local local library listening to John Salteau, an Ojibway Indian, tell traditional stories to the local children.

Kat Danhoff is a journalist hot on Salteau's trail after a tip off from an old friend that he could be responsible for the theft of £450,000 from a local Indian run casino.

Sorrentino spins a story from these threads that is at times hilarious (the dialogue between Sandy and his editor and Kat and her editor, for instance) and at times deadly serious (the final quarter of the novel where the stakes are upped as they get nearer to Salteau). The chapters are broken up with the stories that Salteau tells at the library and they make for a great aside to the main novel.

All in all a good, enjoyable read. Recommended.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley for an honest review.


Cold Caller
Cold Caller
by Jason Starr
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Jason Starr can write and this was a pretty good book and will resonate with anyone that has ..., 7 Feb. 2016
This review is from: Cold Caller (Paperback)
An early Jason Starr novel about the fall and fall of Bill Moss. Once flying high in the world of advertising he now works as a cold caller for a telemarketing firm. About to lose the job he didn't want in the first place he literally takes things into his own hands.

Jason Starr can write and this was a pretty good book and will resonate with anyone that has ever worked in a call centre.

A copy of this book was provided by No Exit and RealReaders in return for an honest review.


Gold Fame Citrus: A novel
Gold Fame Citrus: A novel
Price: £8.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Until they meet a mysterious child they name Ig and the need to move on and find a better life, and future, 7 Feb. 2016
Gold, Fame, Citrus: three of the things people used to migrate to Los Angeles for. Not any-more, though, as California is stranded and trapped by an ever moving, ever shifting deluge of desert sand. Water is on ration and the people left there have to survive anyway they can.

It's here that we meet Luz and Ray taking things day by day holed up in a starlets mansion. Until they meet a mysterious child they name Ig and the need to move on and find a better life, and future, for themselves.

Gold Fame Citrus is a literary take on the Post-Apocalyptic novel and it works marvellously. Full of great descriptions, digressions and even a fine illustrated section describing the flora of fauna of this new, sun blasted landscape you won't find a whole load of action or horror elements in this book and it is really refreshing for it. A really well written read recommended for those looking for something a bit different.

A copy of this book was provided by RealReaders and the publisher in return for an honest review.


Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist
Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars As the tear gas rains down Yapa keeps things controlled and writes extremely clearly and vividly making it a joy to read, 7 Feb. 2016
Sunil Yapa's debut novel begins with Victor, a young homeless man, making his way to the WTO protest in Seattle in 1999 with the intention of selling a load of weed and getting rich off the proceeds. Only it doesn't work out that way.

Through the course of the book we will follow Victor, his estranged step-father (who also happens to be the Chief of Police) various protesters and members of the police force as what started as a non-violent protest escalates into aggression and chaos. As the tear gas rains down Yapa keeps things controlled and writes extremely clearly and vividly making it a joy to read.

I knew nothing of the events described in the book but got so much out of it thanks to Yapa's talents as a writer. . A great debut.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, via Netgalley, in return for an honest review.


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