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Ceri Elin Anwen

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Total Eclipse of the Harriet
Total Eclipse of the Harriet
Price: £1.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute delight!, 9 May 2015
I've been waiting for a second book from this up-and-coming author and I wasn't disappointed. It's an absolute delight! Funny and tongue-in-cheek, yet serious and reflective in places, Ms Collins weaves a chick-lit tale with the best of them.
Harriet is brilliantly drawn, and such a contrast to Patti. In fact each character in it brings something different to the story, and I loved Patti's elderly mother!
For all its light-heartedness there is subtle undercurrent running through it, focusing on relationships, particularity between mothers and daughters, that anchors Ms Collin's writing and gives it depth and substance. Add to this good pacing, intriguing and unforeseen events, humour and a good plot, and this book has everything for a fun, feel-good read. The author's typically British sense of humour sets the tone and the setting and references are so English, they brought a smile to my face. I was engaged in every aspect of this novel: the premise, the characters, the voice - everything!
If you only buy one novel this year, make it this one. Fiona Jane Collins is an author to watch out for, and I sincerely hope she has more gems like this one up her literary sleeve.


Kickback (The DI Nick Dixon Crime Series Book 3)
Kickback (The DI Nick Dixon Crime Series Book 3)
Price: £3.49

5.0 out of 5 stars He is a self-effacing hero (much like those of Francis), 13 April 2015
I have always been a fan of Dick Francis, and this novel was reminiscent of his books. Set in the racing world, Nick Dixon takes the reader through the solving of not one crime, but two. He is a self-effacing hero (much like those of Francis), and is likeable and solid.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The relationship between Nick and Jane is better developed in this novel, and there is a definite move forward for both characters. However, I do feel I don’t know Jane nearly as well as I have come to know Nick, and considering she is such an important part of his life, I think there is potential in future novels to explore her personality a little more.

Boyd has a dependable writing style, with no unnecessary flamboyance. Solid police procedures, a realistic crime and an unsuspected perpetrator makes for a good plot. The story flows and the author doesn’t intrude. I lost myself in this novel as I knew I would.


The Journey (An Anna Kronberg Thriller Book 3)
The Journey (An Anna Kronberg Thriller Book 3)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How can anyone who likes Sherlock Holmes fail to love this book, 25 Mar. 2015
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How can anyone who likes Sherlock Holmes fail to love this book!

This is possibly darker than the others in the series, and more introspective, but I think the main character has earned this.

Once again, the interaction between Anna and Sherlock is intense and speculative, and kept me on my toes. Then there is the added problem of Anna's pregnancy... They are so much alike, yet so different, and the author weaves all the uncertainty surrounding their relationship into the plot as seamlessly as any master tailor. The ending had me in tears (and that happens so rarely).

Ms Wendeberg is a skilful storyteller and this is one of the best series I have read in a long time. One suggestion - don't read them out of sync or as stand alones. To appreciate the full beauty of these works, start at the beginning and enjoy!


The Undead Pool
The Undead Pool
by Kim Harrison
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Having loved her Hollows series, 19 Mar. 2015
I wanted to give this novel 5*, I really did. Having loved her Hollows series, I was hoping that this would not be a mere exercise in wrapping up the characters. It wasn’t. Somewhat confusing in places and with an overly complex plot, this last instalment in the series contained a definite story line, which was why I gave it the star rating I did.

What prevented me from giving it an all-out thumbs up was the nature of that story. It seemed to step outside what I had come to believe as acceptable for this series. A Goddess and her mystics was just a tad too far, and I wondered if, in trying not to do a Charlaine Harris (of Southern Vampire/True Blood fame) dismal last-in-series book of the mere tying up of loose ends, the author took it to the other extreme. I would have perhaps preferred another way of creating the necessary tension and plot line in which the wrap-up could have taken place.

Still, it was nice to revisit Rachel and the gang, and I did enjoy it, in spite of skimming some parts.

I felt the conclusion was a fitting end to what has been an excellent series.


Shady Cross
Shady Cross
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars For such a criminal as Stokes the right decision wasn't easily arrived at, 16 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Shady Cross (Kindle Edition)
What would you do if you found a dead man, a bag full of money and realised the money was a ransom payment for a 6 year old child? Hopefully you'd do the right thing. Hopefully you wouldn't think twice.

For such a criminal as Stokes the right decision wasn't easily arrived at. Stokes is a remorseless, conscienceless character that I couldn't help but like. Mr Hankins skilfully introduces the severity of Stokes' crimes in a way that is in direct proportion to the amount of care and empathy that the reader invests in him. Stokes develops from committing crimes for his own gain to committing crimes to save the life of a child.

This novel is compelling, with surprises dotted throughout like currants in a cake. The ending is not at all what I anticipated (I like that), even though it was somewhat flowery and overcooked in the last page or so.

Thoroughly entertaining!


The Venus Trap
The Venus Trap
Price: £3.98

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this novel is driven by love in its various forms, 13 Mar. 2015
This review is from: The Venus Trap (Kindle Edition)
For such a disturbing tale, this novel is driven by love in its various forms: unrequited, marital, lost. It is an unsettling read.

The protagonist is particularly distasteful and pathetic, and creepy and ordinary - but I couldn't help a smidge of sympathy for him at the end. He was at the mercy of his emotions as was the main female character. Her emotions were no less destructive than his - albeit in a different way.

The author did a creditable job of keeping the tension going throughout, and this was helped by a couple of unsuspected revelations along the way.

Compelling and disturbing - a good example of s psychological thriller.


Old Earth
Old Earth
Price: £6.44

3.0 out of 5 stars or a the rise of a totally separate intelligent civilization (non-human) then I would have found the novel ..., 11 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Old Earth (Kindle Edition)
This novel just didn't do it for me. It took a long time for me to get into it, and then I didn't loose myself. I didn't invest anything in it until the actual dig site, when it eventually captured my interest and became more interesting.

Unfortunately I felt the premise was a bit 'off'and I failed to reconcile my perceived model of evolutionary theory with the book's claim that humans had evolved once before millions of years ago. It just didn't work for me. I found myself asking too many questions of the novel as I was reading it, which the book failed to answer.

If the author had taken this secret in another direction, say, ancient aliens, or a the rise of a totally separate intelligent civilization (non-human) then I would have found the novel far more entertaining and easier to digest


The Kind Worth Killing
The Kind Worth Killing
by Peter Swanson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars and found it really hard to tear myself away from it to other things - like eat and sleep, 10 Mar. 2015
This review is from: The Kind Worth Killing (Hardcover)
Well, well, well, I didn't expect that!

There is a fascinating mix of personalities in this book, which is told from several different POVs. Twists and turns abound, and I was never really sure where the story was going to end up. Every time I anticipated an ending, the rug was pulled from under my feet and I have to have a rethink - only for the same thing to happen again.

Dark, filled with avarice and murder, the characters are compelling and disturbing. It is excellently written, and the plot is complicated and fast paced.

I was riveted by this novel, and found it really hard to tear myself away from it to other things - like eat and sleep!


The Exit
The Exit
by Helen FitzGerald
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly good read, which starts off reasonably enough but soon ..., 9 Mar. 2015
This review is from: The Exit (Paperback)
This novel deals with a couple of 'now' issues- nursing homes and dementia, and does it very well.

I adored Rose and thought the author did a marvellous job of portraying her at both her ages. Ms Fitzgerald handled Rose's character with sensitivity and creativity. Catherine, initially deliberately unlikable, developed into a character the reader cared about, and as the story progressed I was rooting for her right to the end.

The end - left a little up in the air in my opinion, nut I can see why the author left it at that point, and it does actually work.

A thoroughly good read, which starts off reasonably enough but soon becomes much darker than the blurb would suggest. I'll be looking out for more from this author.


Stolen Child: The Janna Chronicles 2
Stolen Child: The Janna Chronicles 2
Price: £2.84

4.0 out of 5 stars which it would probably have been useful to have read, 7 Mar. 2015
There is a prior novel to this one, which it would probably have been useful to have read, but the author provided enough backstory for me to be able to go with the flow of this one without having read the first.

Th historical and setting details were interesting and accurate (as far as I could tell), and the storyline was plausible and engaging. This is an easy, enjoyable read with a good pace and well-drawn characters.

It's classed as adult fiction, but I didn't realise this when I was reading it and assumed it to be YA, because of the writing style and content. It could safely be given to older teenagers to learn a little about history in the Middle Ages in Britain.


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