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Annette Dunlea Irish Author "Annette Julia Dunlea" (Cork, Ireland)

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Her Fearful Symmetry
Her Fearful Symmetry
by Audrey Niffenegger
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gothic Romance, 2 Oct 2009
This review is from: Her Fearful Symmetry (Hardcover)
Her Fearful Symmetry - Book Review
After six long years Audrey Niffenegger has published her second book Her Fearful Symmetry. It is published by Jonathan Cape Ltd and its ISBN is 0224085611. It is a beautifully written ghost story. This Gothic romance is set in Highgate Cemetry in London and the author explores the themes of : love, secrets, obesessions and identity. The book is centered around the two twins Julia and Valentia Poole who inherit a flat from their unknown aunt Elspeth. The girls travel from Chicago to London to receive their flat and they soon get to know their neighbours. There is Martin the OCD sufferer whose marriage fails due to his mental illness and Robert the ex lover of Elspeth, who cannot get over her death. Indeed the most fundamental journey is the girls' own struggle to establish their own identities . The will stated that the girls hadto live in the flat for one year and her parents could not step foot in the flat. Secrets are soon revealed as the ghost Elspeth makes contact. This bitter sweet tale is a very enjoyable read. This was reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of Always and Forever and The Honey Trap.


Ritual: Jack Caffery series 3
Ritual: Jack Caffery series 3
by Mo Hayder
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good crime thriller, 1 Sep 2009
Ritual by Mo Hayder (Book Review)
Ritual by Mo Hayder is the first novel in her new Walking Man Series. It is a paperback published by Bantam Press and its ISBN is 0553820435. From the author who brought us The Birdman, Skin and The Treatment like the others it is a graphically scary novel not for the faint hearted. While I enjoyed it I felt it was not her best book. To be fair it is the first book in a new series and new characters and scenes are been introduced. This will be a good series. A severed hand is found in Bristol waters and the other hand is found buried under a restaurant. It is believed that the person may be alive. The hands belong to Mossy, a missing drug addict. Mo introduces us to African rituals and folklore but that is not the main story it is a straight forward crime novel. For a female she writes very graphically gruesome scenes and is a major crime thriller writer I look forward to the next in this series. Here is an extract of the book: "Just after lunch on pontoon tanks, then dump a little air from her suit so she was stabilized enough to get to the bottom and take a little time to feel the object.It was pitch dark down there, like having her face in mud, no point in trying to see what she was holding. With most river and harbour diving everything had to be done by touch, so she had to be patient, allow the thing to feed its shape from her fingers up her arm, download an image in her mind. She palpated it gently, closing her eyes, counting the fingers to reassure herself it was human, then worked out which digit was which: the ring finger first, bent away from her, and from that she could figure out which way the hand was lying - palm upward. Her thoughts RITUAL raced, as she tried to picture how the body would be - on its side probably. She gave the hand an experimental tug. Instead of there being a weight behind it, it floated free of the silt, coming away easily. At the place where a wrist should be there was just raw bone and gristle". This book was reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of Always and Forever and The Honey Trap.


The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite
The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite
by Beatrice Colin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 5 Star Literary Novel, 28 Aug 2009
The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite (Book Review)
The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite is a bestselling literary novel by Beatrice Colin. It is a paperback published by John Murray and its ISBN is 1848540310. It is so well written it is a pleasure to read and it is full of historical content of 20th century Germany and the history of the movie industry. It is a sad and touching story rich in characterisation and highly evocative. Through a lovers quarrel Lilly is orphaned and sent to a Catholic orphanage. It is a poor and depressing time in Berlin and Lilly is befriended by Hanne. Hanne is street wise and looks out for Lilly, they form a sisterhood and bond that survives love affairs and wartime. Lilly and Hanne move from the night clubs to the film motion pictures. Lilly is strikingly pretty and sings beautifully and so she becomes a success in the movies in Germany. Then she meets a man who could ruin everything, will she risk her success and future? This story is a sad historical fictional story of 20th century Germany. There is no happy ending but such is life we are born into a period of time and live the deck of cards we are handed. There is depth in this story and great detail and it is obvious a lot of historical research has been done by the author. I highly recommend this beautifully written tale. Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of Always and Forever and The Honey Trap.


Bake
Bake
by Rachel Allen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.10

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Baking Success, 28 July 2009
This review is from: Bake (Hardcover)
Bake by Rachael Allen
Bake is Rachel Allen's hardback cookery book to accompany her current TV Series. It is published by Collins Press and its ISBN is 007259700. I watched her tv series and she has a pleasant manner and her instructions are very easy to follow. She has a no nonsense approach to baking. She says in her book there is no magic baking is all about using the right ingredients in the right quantities. Her book is beautifully laid out with clear instructions and pictures to accompany the text. It is divided into 9 chapters clearly labelled. Included in this book she has trouble shooting ideas, alternatives to use for recipes, step by step instructions to making various pastries and a list of kitchen utensils the cook needs. Amongst the sweet and savoury recipes she included lots of my favourites : eccles cakes, fairy cakes, swiss roll, Baked Alaska, chocolate cake, Quiche Lorraine, croissants, eclairs, cottage pie and doughnuts. I am passionate in life about two things my writing and my food and I loved this book. I recommend this for anybody as a reference book for every kitchen. Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of Always and Forever and The Honey Trap.


Dead Man's Footsteps
Dead Man's Footsteps
by Peter James
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Deadly, 25 July 2009
This review is from: Dead Man's Footsteps (Paperback)
Dead Man's Footsteps By Peter James
Dead Man's Footsteps is another Roy Grace's crime thriller by Peter James. It is an exciting but complex novel with flashbacks, lots of characters and plots but well integrated. Its ISBN is 0330446134 and it is published by Pan Books. Like James' other books it is very well researched, written and has great dialogue. Ronnie Wilson a failed business man uses 9/11 to pretend he died and escaped to a new country and created a new identity. Five years later a womans body is discovered in Brighton and accross the world another womans body is found. Both are later identifed as Wilson's first and second wives, all dead. It becomes more sinister Ronnie Wilson is dead but then he is linked to another woman who is terrorised by Ronnie. Inspector Grace these murders in an effort to save a woman's life in a race against time. Inspector Grace is always on the search for any clues on his disappeared wife Sandy. What happened Sandy more clues are given but not answered in this novel. There are many plots and twists in this thick novel and it is a real page turner. The closing line is brillant make the reader scream more more information and the next book. This is an exciting read and another bestseller that will please any crime lover or Peter James fan. Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of Always and Forever and The Honey Trap.


When Will There Be Good News?: (Jackson Brodie)
When Will There Be Good News?: (Jackson Brodie)
by Kate Atkinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars gripping literary crime novel, 23 July 2009
When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson
When Will There Be Good News is a literary crime novel by Kate Atkinson. This bestseller is published by Black Swan and its ISBN is 0552772453. It is a tale concerned with fate, loss and memory. Her story's theme is irrecoverable loss of love ones and how our past is part of our present thus begging the question when will there be good news? It has a brillant opening and suspense is built up from the very beginning. 6 Year old Joanna witnesses her mother, brother and sister been slaughtered by a total stranger while out for a walk. She obeys her mother and runs into the long grasses where she escapes Decker. Even the family dog is killed. We meet Joanna again 30 years later when she is a successful doctor married with a child. She employs a 16 year old Nanny Reggie. Chief Inspector Louise Monroe informs Dr. Hunter that Decker is been released from prison he has served his time. Next, Dr. Hunter disappears and Reggie is the only one concerned about her disappearance. She dutifully informs the gaurds, her husband swears she is safe, away for a while. Louise Monroe meets up with her friend the ex-cop turned PI Jackson Brodie. There are many characters and digressions well intergrated into a gripping suspense novel. It is a complex novel but a great suspense read. Her fans and crime writers will not be disappointed. I recommend this thriller. Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of Always and Forever and The Honey Trap.


The Maeve Binchy Writers' Club
The Maeve Binchy Writers' Club
by Maeve Binchy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars creative writing, 22 July 2009
Maeve Binchy : The Writers Club
The Writers Club is a book written by Ireland's queen of fiction Maeve Binchy as a beginner's writers guide. It is published by Orion and its ISBN is 0752883070. It is as one would expect written in Maeve's usual style both witty and compassionate . She says everyone can write ! It comprises of 20 letters from Maeve to aspiring writers including advice on writing and getting published. Tips on what publishers and agents are looking for are included, as is snippets of a writer's life. Blank pages are included for personal thoughts and notes so it can be used as a journal. A sweet short story by Maeve Binchy called Writing Class is also included. It is a pleasant book aimed to inspire people to just pick up a pen and begin to write. I am a huge Mave Binchy fan and that helped but I still highly recommend to all libraries, bookclubs, colleges and budding writers. Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of Always and Forever and The Honey Trap.


Brute Force
Brute Force
by Andy McNab
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars fast and furious, 21 July 2009
This review is from: Brute Force (Paperback)
Brute Force by Andy Mc Nab
Brute Force is Mc Nab's 11th Nick Stone novel. It is published by Bantam Press and its ISBN is 0593055624. Nick Stone fans will not be dissappointed. It is action packed fast and furious. It is a real page turner and ended too quickly for me. Stone used be in the UK special forces but is now retired. Still someone is trying to kill him. First his car blows up and then a man on the back of a motorbike tries to gun him down. He sets about trying to discover who is trying to kill him. This journey makes him revisit his past and he travels from Ireland to Norfolk to Libyia. It is a great but violent thriller. Fans of Mc Nab or terrorist novels must buy this. Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of Always and Forever and The Honey Trap.


The Cellist of Sarajevo
The Cellist of Sarajevo
by Steven Galloway
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

4.0 out of 5 stars the music of hope, 9 July 2009
The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway (Book Review)
The Cellist of Sarajevo is a fictional account of the Siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s. It is beautifully written by Steven Galloway and published by Atlantic Books. Its ISBN is 1843547414. The book's theme is the destruction and carnage of war and the fragility of life. From the three characters Arrow, Dragon and Kenan we get their different perspectives of the civil war and its daily struggles to retain humantity and survival. They long for normaility and through their flashbacks we learn what ordinary life was like in Sarajevo before the civil war.Amidst sniper shots the people travel to work or go and collect water and amidst this chaos there is a cellist. The cellist plays his music at the same spot in the bread line for 22 days where 22 people where killed. It is the music of hope and of inspiration and Arrow the counter sniper protects the cellist and thus her city and culture. Everyday basic needs like electricity and water are gone, family are suffering or in exile and yet they struggle to retain humantity and joy in the little things of life.It is a sad and moving book that transends time and place. Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of Always and Forever and The Honey Trap


Home
Home
by Marilynne Robinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a deeply moving beautiful book, 9 July 2009
This review is from: Home (Paperback)
The novel Home by Marilynne Robinson won the Orange Prize 2009. Its ISBN is 1844085503 and it is published by Virago Press. It is a sad and slow moving book but rich in characterisation and in human understanding. It is set in the 1950s in Gilead where a brother and sister return as adults to live in the family home. Glory comes home to nurse her dying father and Jack the prodigal son returns home in search of reconcilation and inner peace. Each of their stories unfold slowly. Jack and Glory form a bond and acquire an understanding of each other and a mutual understanding of the burden of parental expectations. Glory accepts her role as preserver of the home and teachs Jack love and self respect. It is a beautiful tale of hope and redemption written in magnificently descriptive prose. This book will become a classic novel read for generations. Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of Always and Forever and The Honey Trap


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