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S Riaz "S Riaz" (England)
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Rexel JOY 182 mm Comfort Scissors - Blissful Blue
Rexel JOY 182 mm Comfort Scissors - Blissful Blue
Price: £2.63

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rexel Joy Comfort Scissors - Blissful Blue, 30 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These are nice, sharp scissors and ideal for crafts, or general use. I tried them to cut some cloth and they managed that without snagging. With stainless steel blades and comfortable handles, these are nice to use. I do have quite small hands and the only downside to these that I feel is an issue, is that the handles are quite small – should you have large hands, then these probably would not be comfortable to grip. However, they come in a good range of bright colours and I certainly found them easy to use and very functional.


The Murders at White House Farm
The Murders at White House Farm
Price: £7.47

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Murders at White House Farm, 30 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have always been an avid reader of Carol Ann Lee’s true crime books and so I was delighted to have the chance to review her latest – The Murders at White House Farm, which looks at the Jeremy Bamber case. The murder of Jeremy Bamber’s family; his adopted parents and sister, plus her two young twin sons, happened in 1985, when I was a student. However, I still recall the horrific crime and the way the press, and public, turned from viewing Jeremy Bamber as a tragic figure to a possible suspect. Of course, Bamber himself has always maintained his innocence and this book gives you all the possible facts, allowing you to make your own deductions from the evidence, but does not attempt to ‘lead’ you in thinking one way or another.

The book begins with giving the history of the Bamber family. Nevill Bamber and his wife, Jean, were devout and hard working farming people. The couple adopted their daughter, Sheila Jean in 1958 and son Jeremy Nevill in 1961 and raised them at White House Farm, in the beautiful countryside. However, as is so often the case, what looks idyllic from the outside, is rarely so when examined closely and the Bamber family had their share of issues over the years. Obviously, I do not wish to spoil the book by giving too much away – but, among other things, Jean’s religious outlook caused friction within the family, as did Sheila’s later mental illness and Jeremy’s lack of interest in the farm.

Carol Ann Lee steers us through events; from childhood up until the very day of the murders, plus the police investigation, trial and Bamber’s quest to obtain his freedom. Obviously, nobody really knows what happened on the nights of the murders, although this book does try to recreate events as far as possible (and the book includes an Appendix which gives the official police account of a possible reconstruction of events at White House Farm). However, it was clear that, originally, the murders were viewed as that of a suicide/murder scenario – with Jeremy’s sister Sheila assumed to have killed her family, before killing herself. I knew very little about this case and found this book extremely interesting. It reads almost like a thriller, with greed and suspicion raising their heads as attention begins to turn towards Jeremy as the killer.

Like all Carol Ann Lee’s books, this is meticulously researched, brilliantly told and an absolute must read for all true crime fans. Movingly, the book ends with an email from Colin Caffell; the father of Sheila’s sons, Nicholas and Daniel, and his thoughts of how these terrible and tragic events have affected his life. However, despite the difficult subject matter, these events are told with sympathy, intelligence and in great detail. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.


Devastation Road
Devastation Road
Price: £9.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Devastation Road, 30 July 2015
This review is from: Devastation Road (Kindle Edition)
“And so the war had ended – not with a bang but a slow death, a last exhale to nothing….”

When Owen wakes up in a field, with a sore head, he has no idea where he is. His last memories include being at work in 1940, of his brother Max and his parents at home. In fact, it is 1945 and Owen is somewhere in Europe, separated from everything – and everyone – he knows. With no idea where he is, or where to go, Owen begins to walk. Eventually, he stumbles upon others; Janek, a young Czechoslovakian boy in search of his brother, and Irena, a girl too young to have the baby she cannot care for.

Lots of people are, in fact, walking across a fractured, damaged and scarred Europe. Refugees are everywhere and so is death – bodies piled by the road, soldiers wandering in shock and families fleeing from one war zone into the death throes of another. As Owen finds himself in an uncomfortable, yet comforting, alliance with Janek and Irena, his memories slowly begin to return. Yet, with no food, shelter or safety, and unsure of where he is – or where he is heading – Owen wonders what the others want from him and what he can offer them.

I really enjoyed Jason Hewitt’s first novel “The Dynamite Room,” and was happy to be given the chance to review this. Like, “The Dynamite Room,” this offers a different view of WWII – in this case the devastation faced by civilians as the war came to an end and people fled the approaching Russian troops. Hewitt perfectly captures the utter exhaustion of people; after years of turmoil and war, they are seemingly on an endless march across a desolate landscape. The relationship between Owen and his travelling companions, both with their own secrets, gives the novel a poignant and, sometimes tense, feeling.

I enjoyed this novel very much and look forward to reading more by Jason Hewitt. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.

When Owen wakes up in a field, with a sore head, he has no idea where he is. His last memories include being at work in 1940, of his brother Max and his parents at home. In fact, it is 1945 and Owen is somewhere in Europe, separated from everything – and everyone – he knows. With no idea where he is, or where to go, Owen begins to walk. Eventually, he stumbles upon others; Janek, a young Czechoslovakian boy in search of his brother, and Irena, a girl too young to have the baby she cannot care for.

Lots of people are, in fact, walking across a fractured, damaged and scarred Europe. Refugees are everywhere and so is death – bodies piled by the road, soldiers wandering in shock and families fleeing from one war zone into the death throes of another. As Owen finds himself in an uncomfortable, yet comforting, alliance with Janek and Irena, his memories slowly begin to return. Yet, with no food, shelter or safety, and unsure of where he is – or where he is heading – Owen wonders what the others want from him and what he can offer them.

I really enjoyed Jason Hewitt’s first novel “The Dynamite Room,” and was happy to be given the chance to review this. Like, “The Dynamite Room,” this offers a different view of WWII – in this case the devastation faced by civilians as the war came to an end and people fled the approaching Russian troops. Hewitt perfectly captures the utter exhaustion of people; after years of turmoil and war, they are seemingly on an endless march across a desolate landscape. The relationship between Owen and his travelling companions, both with their own secrets, gives the novel a poignant and, sometimes tense, feeling.

I enjoyed this novel very much and look forward to reading more by Jason Hewitt. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.


The Protector
The Protector
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Protector, 30 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Protector (Kindle Edition)
I loved the first historical mystery featuring William Falkland, “The Royalist,” so I was very happy to be given the chance to review the second in the series. It is 1646 and Falkland has spent six months struggling through a war weary country looking for his beloved wife, Caro, and two children, to no avail. For Falkland left home six years before under the king’s banner and now his family home is empty and he has no idea where his family are, or why they left.

In the first novel, Falkland was approached by Oliver Cromwell, to help investigate a spate of suicides in his New Model Army. Now, Falkland is again approached by Henry Warbeck, Cromwell’s man, to investigate the whereabouts of a missing person. The Civil War is nearly over; Prince Rupert still holds Oxford, which is a city under siege, but there is hope that soon the long conflict that has divided the country will be over.

John Milton, pamphleteer, wordsmith for Parliament and poet, is in London and his words are important to the cause. As such, Cromwell is keen to keep this difficult, volatile man happy. Milton’s sister, Anne Agar, was abducted some weeks ago and it is assumed that she has been taken by supporters of the king. The irony of searching for a missing woman, while unable to locate his own family, is not lost on Falkland, but he agrees to help.

Anne Agar’s husband, long missing in the war, was a royalist; while Milton supports Parliament. They are another divided family in the conflict and, from the first, Falkland is unsure that the story is being told is the whole truth. However, if Anne was not taken by the royalists, then who snatched her and why? What are the significance of letters, stolen from Anne’s room and what part have ‘The Levellers’ – extreme anti-royalists – played in events? Falkland’s investigation will lead him through a country that needs to heal violent wounds and where, with the war coming to an end, many worry about both what lies ahead and what crimes they may need to answer for during the conflict…

I really enjoyed this second mystery featuring William Falkland. A royalist no longer, like so many in this book, he just wishes the war to be over. As well as the return of Henry Warbeck, Kate Cain, from “The Royalist,” also features in this novel. I enjoyed the setting of the novel; much of it in London and showing the importance of the booksellers and printers of the time. There is also good use of real life characters, including Oliver Cromwell and John Milton – of course, best known for “Paradise Lost, “ which would have been written long after events in this book. I sincerely hope there will be more mysteries featuring William Falkland, as I look forward to reading more in this series. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.


Tenacity
Tenacity
Price: £6.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tenacity, 30 July 2015
This review is from: Tenacity (Kindle Edition)
This is an unusual thriller, featuring Navy Officer and Special Investigator, Lieutenant Danielle Lewis. The story begins with a flashback of events in 2010, when Dan Lewis confronted murderer Christopher Hamilton. This investigation is to haunt Dan, cause a rift with her partner, John Granger, who had no idea she was intending to go off on her own without backup, and damage her reputation.

We now move forward to 2014 and find Dan living alone, still struggling with the aftermath of the Hamilton investigation and distanced from her family. She is summoned by Commander Roger Blackett, “Head of Kill,” as the Crimes Involving Loss of Lives Division is nicknamed. Stuart Walker was found dead, a suspected suicide, on board HMT Tenacity, a nuclear submarine and Dan is told to investigate. However, of course, things are never that simple and, to complicate matters, Stuart Walker’s wife was brutally beaten, raped and murdered shortly before his suicide. To complicate matters still further, Dan is told that John Granger has been chosen to be her assisting officer.

Although Dan has spent most of her adult life in the Navy, we are soon clear that submarines are a law until themselves. Run by Commanding Officer Melvin Bradshaw, otherwise known as the ‘Old Man’ it is soon clear to Dan that she is not welcome and her investigation viewed with suspicion. She suspects there is a link between the deaths of Stuart Walker and his wife, Cheryl, and also fears that there are links to the one case that overshadows her life. However, when she is forced to continue her case on board Tenacity, not only the investigation but her life is in danger…

This is an interesting novel, with an unusual setting and a good lead character. The author makes no effort to spare us from the realities of life on board – not only the claustrophobic setting, but the bullying and sexist behaviour that Dan both witnesses and experiences. At times, this is an uncomfortable read and Dan a flawed and realistic character, facing the hostility of the crew and officers and the outdated misogynist attitudes that prevail on board. As Dan is told, there are three places for her to be – in the bedroom, the kitchen or off the submarine. However, she has no intention of going anywhere until she gets justice for Cheryl Walker. Why was she afraid of Tenacity returning and did Stuart Walker really commit suicide, or was he murdered?

I hope that this book will have a sequel, because I would love to see how Dan Lewis progresses. I enjoyed the slightly uneasy quality of the storyline – nothing is clear cut and certainly events do not always go in Dan’s favour. Overall, a promising start to what will hopefully turn out to be a series. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.


KS2 Maths Targeted SATs Question Book - Standard
KS2 Maths Targeted SATs Question Book - Standard
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars KS2 SATS Question Book - Standard Level, 29 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This Standard Level SATS Question Book is fully up to date for the new KS2 Maths SATS in 2016. . New KS2 Maths SATs start in May 2016 and the old Levels that parents and teachers have been familiar with (3-6) have been changed in favour of an emphasis on whether pupils are ‘secure’ in the Year 6 Learning Objectives and those who are ‘exceeding’ them. Roughly, the Standard Level corresponds to the old Level 3-4, while the Advanced Level is the equivalent to Levels 5-6 and reflects the larger number of children aiming for Level 6 at the end of primary school.

CGP have two study books and two, corresponding, question books in this series – one ‘Advanced’ and one ‘Standard.’ This SATS Question Book is Standard Level and can be used with the Revision Guide. This is set out in the same sections as the Study Book: Numbers and Place Value , Calculations, Fractions, Decimals and Percentages, Ratio, Proportion and Algebra, Measure, Geometry and Statistics. It is packed with SATS style questions and also has Practice Tests at the start and end of the book (good to see how your child has progressed after completing the workbook), as well as step by step answers to help correct mistakes. Clearly laid out, this is an excellent book and best used in conjunction with the Study Book for SATS revision at Standard Level.


Philips Pulse Relief Wireless Electro Pulse Therapy
Philips Pulse Relief Wireless Electro Pulse Therapy
Price: £31.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Philips Pulse Relief Wireless Electro Pulse Therapy TENS, 29 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This Philips Pulse Relief TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) pain relief machine, is controlled by a specially designed app on your iOS or Android device. You do need to check that your phone or tablet is compatible before purchasing this - according to their website, the app will work with iPhones, iPads and Android phones, but you can check online first and make sure that your device will be compatible before you purchase this.

The machine itself is slim and lightweight. The idea behind TENS is that it activates the body’s own pain-suppressing mechanisms and releases endorphins, while blocking the pain signal going to the brain. You can use this for post-surgical pain and my mother in law used a TENS machine after surgery with good effect. It is also used for those suffering chronic pain.

Controlling this through an app does mean that you have a great deal of mobility whilst using it. The TENS machine my mother in law has been using has wires attached to the machine; which means that, once you have attached the TENS machine, you have to stay in one place. This allows you to easily connect the two TENS units using self-adhesive electrodes and magnets. The units snap on and can be charged (a USB adapter is included) for up to eight hours. Should you want to, you could in fact, wear this and simply go about your usual business while the unit is attached and working, which is obviously a real bonus.

Having attached your TENS machine, what exactly does it offer? There are a variety of treatments. In fact, there are 15 programmes which can be used to relieve all kinds of pain – from osteoarthritis pain, musculoskeletal pain or chronic pain in general. There are also 5 EMS programmes to offer stimulation with what is termed, ‘potential’ strengthening of muscles. Obviously, your medical practitioner can advise you on whether this is suitable and, if so, which kind of programme you should use. There are also 60 intensity levels and, again, you need to speak to your doctor or health advisor and get some advice on what would be appropriate for you.

The app provides a treatment diary and this gives you an overview of your treatment history and this can be used to find what works for you and hopefully optimise your treatment. This comes with two attachable electrodes and TENS units, but you can also attach another device to this, giving you the ability to cover a greater area and have four electrodes; although obviously there is the cost of buying another unit. However, should you decide that you want that option, then it is something to think about.

I would think this would be best for mild to moderate pain. It is drug free, which is an advantage, and you could use this with no side effects. I like the way that you do not have to be limited in how you move about and have much more freedom. On the minus side, only two electrodes will mean this is not too effective unless the area you are targeting is specific – a knee, elbow, etc. However, I liked the app and thought it could be very effective in helping organise how, and when, you use the TENS machine. A good buy, but with some limitations.


Bendon Disney Frozen Elsa Wooden Magnetic Playset (25-Piece)
Bendon Disney Frozen Elsa Wooden Magnetic Playset (25-Piece)
Offered by GCShopUK
Price: £25.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disney Frozen Princess Dress Up Magnetic Elsa, 29 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Suitable for 3+ this set comes with a wooden Elsa figure, a stand and 25 various, magnetic accessories to dress her with. Unlike some ‘dress up’ dolls, the accessories are quite good – there are various skirts and tops, as well as lots of smaller pieces – gloves, a tiara, sceptre, etc to accessorise with. The Elsa set also comes with an Olaf – although the Anna doll which is also available to buy, does not.

The wooden doll is stable when standing and the actual figure is made from thick wood and is sturdy and strong. The doll is only painted on the front – the back is plain wood. All the pieces are housed in a wooden box, but, unfortunately, this has no top or cover. As this set does not come in a box which closes, it loses a star, as I feel the pieces will be too easy to lose. However, this is a good toy, which will appeal to all Frozen fans.


Disney Frozen Princess Dress Up Magnetic Wooden Dress up doll
Disney Frozen Princess Dress Up Magnetic Wooden Dress up doll
Offered by Barcleys
Price: £28.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disney Frozen Princess Dress Up Magnetic Anna, 29 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Suitable for 3+ this set comes with a wooden Anna figure, a stand and 25 various, magnetic accessories to dress her with. Unlike some ‘dress up’ dolls, the accessories are quite good – there are various skirts and tops, as well as lots of smaller pieces – hats, bags, gloves and flowers, to accessorise with.

The wooden doll is stable when standing and the actual figure is made from thick wood and is sturdy and strong. The doll is only painted on the front – the back is plain wood. All the pieces are housed in a wooden box, but, unfortunately, this has no top or cover. As this set does not come in a box which closes, it loses a star, as I feel the pieces will be too easy to lose. However, this is a good toy, which will appeal to all Frozen fans – an Elsa doll is also available.


Igenix Pikapak HL9208 Edison Screw R63 Reflector Lamp 60 W - Pack of 5, Clear
Igenix Pikapak HL9208 Edison Screw R63 Reflector Lamp 60 W - Pack of 5, Clear
Price: £8.36

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Igenix Pikapak HL9208 Edison Screw Reflector Lamp Bulbs, 29 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This pack includes 5 Edison screw bulbs, which are 60W. They are a standard bulb, which screw in and are ideal for use in lamps. At 60W they throw out a nice light, but have a slightly matt look, so are not too bright.

You get a pack of 5, making these good value for money. The bulbs do come very well wrapped – which means they will be safe from breaking in the post. Nice quality bulbs which work well.


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