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P. A. Pendrey
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The Moment Collector
The Moment Collector
by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasing story, beautifully told., 6 Sept. 2014
This review is from: The Moment Collector (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
After experiencing financial problems Maggie and her parents move to Gill Creek, a small township on the shores of Lake Michigan. Their new home is a rather run down, remote house that is reputed to be haunted.

Maggie is a thoughtful, artistic girl and one day sees a tall, skinny girl standing on the shore of the lake. The unknown girl leaves presents outside Maggie's home and they eventually meet. The girl is Pauline, who is beautiful and lives in a grand house not too far away.

Pauline is outgoing, quick to change her mind and daring. The two become close friends and Pauline introduces Maggie to a boy, Liam, whom she has known since childhood.

A killer is in the district and two girls have been murdered, but this does not affect the trio as they live in their own closed world.

Pauline is sent away for safety. Maggie and Liam go out together and find their feelings are more than just friendship they are falling in love something they are reluctant to reveal to Pauline when she returns, if she returns home.

The house does hold a secret - a ghost watches as it has no identity or reason why it is there and is searching for something, anything to give it an explanation for its existence.

A lovely story of young love lost, murder and ultimate tragedy. The author has not made the story over long by using lengthy embellishments. There are good descriptions of a remote countryside, people and characters.

A pleasure to read.


Hild
Hild
by Nicola Griffith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of the Dark Ages., 7 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Hild (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Hild is a young girl taken to the court of King Edwin by her mother, both to protect the child and to get close to the king. She comes to the attention of Edwin as Hild has the gift of prophecy. Hild reads the signs of nature and observes human behaviour to make her remarkably accurate predictions. At court she becomes seer to the king and he expects her to predict events. Showered with gifts Hild becomes wealthy and maintains her own household, but she also becomes a warrior.

There are those who are suspicious of her and believe she is a witch. Set in an era when superstition still prevails there comes a conflict of religious beliefs as Christianity begins to spread.

The British Isles are made up of small 'kingdoms' and there are many battles fought by Edwin and other Lords to gain overall kingship.

Hild in later years becomes known as St. Hilda of Whitby after embracing the Christian religion.

A well written book. Some excellent description of battles and journeys made in the days when lawlessness, poor roads and slow transport in bullock drawn carts were the norm. The different character's jealousies and superstitions are nicely drawn. There are no particularly likeable characters.


Shovel Ready (Spademan 1)
Shovel Ready (Spademan 1)
by Adam Sternbergh
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars In a devastated city, a killer walks., 28 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The city of New York has been left almost deserted after the detonation of a dirty bomb. Only the wealthy live in a protected, dreamlike world. The rest of the population survive in whatever way they can.

Spademan was a garbage man. His wife was killed and now he has become a hit man. Spademan's policy - name the target, pay him and he will do the rest. No reasons needed, no questions asked - he just kills anyone. His only redeeming factor - he will not kill a child.

Hired to kill a girl, Spademan sets out to find her, but his victim is not what he expected and his mission is suddenly changed.

Not an enjoyable read. Lots of conversation between characters (mainly one liners with little punctuation). Most of the characters are unpleasant people. The author is determined to give the reader many details of the killings through the eyes of the killers. Not an outstanding novel.


The Final Silence
The Final Silence
by Stuart Neville
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent thriller., 16 July 2014
This review is from: The Final Silence (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Rea Carlisle inherits a house from an uncle she didn't know. Visiting the house she finds it old fashioned, dingy and uninviting. She collects the old man's possessions together ready to dispose of them. Again she explores the house and upstairs finds a locked room, one she cannot open nor find a key for it. Not to be defeated Rea is determined to enter the room. What she finds is a book of horrific crime details.

DI Jack Lennon is an officer suspended from the Police Force and still suffering from injuries he received in a shooting incident. By a twist of fate he meets Rea, an old flame, and as a result of this meeting and what she tells him he later becomes involved in a web of murder, lies and deceit. Trying to solve the mystery of the now missing book he finds opposition from DCI Serena Flanagan and also he becomes the chief suspect in a crime case in which DCI Flanagan is the investigating officer. Flanagan is a tough and efficient policewoman haunting Lennon as she believes he committed a murder.

A cleverly woven thriller that gradually unravels and provides a thrilling conclusion. Nicely drawn characters with an insight into their problems create an apt background for this murder mystery. Contains some graphic details.


Forty Acres
Forty Acres
by Dwayne Alexander Smith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An edge of the seat thriller., 5 July 2014
This review is from: Forty Acres (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A young talented African American lawyer, Martin Grey, saw a group of reporters on the steps of the Foley Square Courthouse. Martin passed a brief comment to the now surrounding reporters and entered the building. The case he has been working on had now grown to a big case of racial discrimination. and today was its finale. The opposing counsel was an African American, Damon Darrell, an extremely skilful and successful man.

When it came to the final closings Damon gave a lengthy argument both serious and yet containing some humour. This left Martin little time to speak as it was approaching the lunch time break. Martin was challenged and gave a short yet convincing speech and noted that Damon Darrell looked uncertain.

Martin won the case and was having a celebration party with his partner, Glen Grossman and their wives and some friends when a smartly dressed man arrived - Damon Darrell smiling broadly and carrying two bottles of champagne.

Martin and Damon developed a friendly relationship and one day Damon suggested Martin should meet some of his close friends. To Martin's surprise they were four heads of some of the largest businesses and all were African Americans.

After some social occasions, parties and dinners with wealthy people Martin was invited to join the group for a white water rafting trip well away from wives and bustle of the city. Anna, Martin's wife, had doubts about the trip, but did not stop her husband despite stating her reservations.

After travelling in a luxurious private jet, which landed on a secluded airstrip Martin found himself in an unfamiliar, heavily forested place. The group were transported along a barely visible track until they reached a gated, guarded compound. A long driveway stretched before them which passed through magnificent gardens. Finally they reached a large, imposing mansion with servants waiting to great them.

Martin is awed by the luxury of the house and Damon tells him he would be meeting their host after dinner. Martin meets the man, who the others treat with great respect, but this is only the beginning of Martin's problems. He must play along with events even though horrified by the dark secrets of the estate. His own life and that of his wife are in danger. Now he realises that he must escape to inform the authorities and bring about the destruction of this place named Forty Acres.

This is a well written, thought provoking novel. The tension smoothly builds up to the dramatic, race for life ending. A novel that holds the reader's attention throughout.


The Kill: (Maeve Kerrigan 5)
The Kill: (Maeve Kerrigan 5)
by Jane Casey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A killer on the loose - target - the police, 16 Jun. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A young couple on a badger watch hear gunshots. It is dark and they are afraid of being seen, but manage to observe a car being driven away down a rough track. Cautiously they investigate and find the body of a man in his car, The man is a police officer, Terence Hammond.

DC Maeve Kerrigan, a bright young rather sensitive woman and DI Josh Derwent, a brusque, efficient officer are assigned to investigate the case, but they have little to work on - the killer made sure of that.

Kerrigan feeling cold and upset by what she has seen and sits in the car of Supt. Godley. He looks tired and worried. His mobile beeps and Kerrigan accidentally sees a text message that is threatening in nature. Godley appears more anxious and Kerrigan is suspicious. With what was Godley involved and with whom?

The trail leads Kerrigan and Derwent to a school where Hammond's daughter was a pupil, thence to a shooting club and a run down estate where five policemen have been shot dead and again the killer leaves no clues. The residents say they have seen nothing of what happened!

Senior officers are wanting a result before more officers die. This causes strain and dissention amongst the investigating teams.

All attempts to track the filler seem to be going nowhere and then a girl is murdered.

Kerrigan begins to quietly search through files and re-read evidence and sees something familiar. She is also increasingly concerned by Godley's unstable behaviour. From information she has obtained on Godley's past and the text message Kerrigan realises what is troubling Godley. The time is not right for her to approach him or pass on the information.

Derwent and Kerrigan begin to find possible motives and clues to the killings, but this leads them both into deadly danger as they track and finally confront the killer.

This is a well written novel and the author gives a good insight into police procedure. The principal characters are nicely drawn and there are some fairly graphic details of the killings.

However, one drawback is the many pages of conversation between characters which does become rather tedious and slows the story. Perhaps the author does this to show the time element of a police investigation.

As an observation, this novel could well be adapted as an acceptable TV crime story.


The Cabana Cookbook
The Cabana Cookbook
by David Ponté
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

4.0 out of 5 stars A taste of Brasil, 4 Jun. 2014
This review is from: The Cabana Cookbook (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A well presented cookbook that is both an introduction to and a celebration of Brasilian food.

The ingredients and method of preparation are clearly explained. Each dish is illustrated by a colour photograph. Most pages have a short paragraph explaining how the recipes were developed, also the origin of the food and the region of Brasil in which it is popular.

However, in addition to the recipes there is a guide to preparing a barbeque for a large number of people, say for a birthday party etc., There are tips for drinks and an article on how to Samba. A useful diagram shows the Brasilian beef cuts and our own similar cuts of meat could be substituted for them without detriment to the recipe.

The Crazy Lady cake is a flourless indulgent chocolate creation. For breakfast, Coconut porridge would be tasty on a cool Summer morning.

Access to a large supermarket offering a wide range of international foodstuffs and a market or specialist greengrocery shop selling the more exotic vegetables and fruits would be ideal to re-create the recipes.


Salter 145 Mechanical Bathroom Scale - Silver Black
Salter 145 Mechanical Bathroom Scale - Silver Black
Price: £24.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Very good product, 3 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This item was bought as a gift. there were no problems with delivery of item and the item was undamaged. After enquiry the recipient did not report any problems with the product. It is sturdy and accurate on weighing.


Lagoon
Lagoon
by Nnedi Okorafor
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars An unusual attention holding sci-fi story, 19 May 2014
This review is from: Lagoon (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
On Bar, Beach, Lagos three people are walking. Agu, a soldier injured after being involved in a fight, Anthony, a well known and popular rapper and Adaora,a marine scientist, weeping because her husband had hit her. Although not together their paths will cross

A loud boom is heard and the trio throw themselves onto the sand. The ocean becomes disturbed and the water begins to creep over the shore. People are frightened and Agu, Anthony and Adaora begin to run away, but a wave follows them, overtakes them and they are sucked into the deep ocean.

How much times has passed they do not know, but the three are now lying stunned on the sand. A female voice speaks to Adaora. A beautiful woman stands beside her and tells her of a change about to come to the world and how her people are already on earth. The aliens love the flowers, trees and beauty of earth, but that the oceans are being polluted.

As the waters continue to rise people flee the city and the local gangs begin to loot and fight, bringing chaos to the city.

Adaora, Agu and Anthony have gone to Adaora's house where she has a laboratory containing a sizeable aquarium of sea creatures. The alien woman is with them and they give her the name Ayodele. The husband, Chris, and the children of Adaola come into the laboratory and the children after a while like the serene alien, but Chris accuses his wife of being a witch, is angry and demands to know who the people are. Ayodele changes her shape to that of Chris, who is frightened by this shape changing alien.

The three people know that their lives have changed and that they saw something marvellous beneath the sea and spoke to the alien beings.

Adoyele, protected by the three, appears on all TV, mobile phone and computer screens and delivers her message not of conquest but of help from the elders of her people.

There is more panic and more fighting. On a gridlocked highway the road begins to heave as in an earthquake, but this is only the beginning for those on land and for the creatures of the ocean.

This is a well written story with elements of danger and excitement. Each of the principal characters is given his or her own section and we understand what type of people they are, what they have experienced and we can understand them. There is an interesting combination of sci-fi, local customs and beliefs, which works well.

A very readable novel, with perhaps a simple message from the aliens of how we should be taking care of our planet.


Gooey skin for Samsung Galaxy S4, Red
Gooey skin for Samsung Galaxy S4, Red
Price: £3.37

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A product that works, 1 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The 'Goo-ey' sticks to flat glass and metal. It does not leave a mark, leaves hands free and avoids 'phone being placed in areas that may be dusty or dirty with grease, water or paint. The product would also prevent 'phone being knocked off a metal desktop/worktop or glass table.

The item was not tested on a marble surface.

On the downside, it is a shame the manufacturers recommendation is for use on glass, metal and marble surfaces only. Ideally it would be useful if it could also be used on wood or modern plastic type materials - Upvc or those for vehicle interiors.

The product does work as described and the item tried was compatible with the Galaxy S4.

NB> The item was tried on a Upvc door frame and did stick firmly although the surface material is not on the manufacturers list.


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