Profile for S Riaz > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by S Riaz
Top Reviewer Ranking: 10
Helpful Votes: 10226

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England)
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Scratch Art Racing Car Bookmarks (Pack of 10)
Scratch Art Racing Car Bookmarks (Pack of 10)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scratch Art Racing Car Bookmarks, 28 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This set includes twelve bookmarks, twelve little ‘pens’ for the scratch designs and twelve ribbons. They are a great buy – a fun art activity to do on a rainy afternoon, for a children’s party or during a play date. These ones are in the shape of racing cars, while other packs come in different shapes and sizes - such as plain rectangle bookmarks, butterflies, magic wands and football boots, to cater for all interests. As a reading mentor, I am always on the lookout for small gifts associated with books which I can give out, and these are a really nice treat for the end of term, or, in this case, for a party gift which children will enjoy and use. I love these and will be buying further packs as they are so much fun and are good value for money.


Magic Wand Scratch Art Bookmarks (Pack of 12)
Magic Wand Scratch Art Bookmarks (Pack of 12)
Offered by Yellow Moon UK Ltd
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic Wand Scratch Art Bookmarks, 28 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This set includes twelve bookmarks, twelve little ‘pens’ for the scratch designs and twelve ribbons. They are a great buy – a fun art activity to do on a rainy afternoon, for a children’s party or during a play date. I brought them as a nice party bag filler, which I thought my daughter and her friends would enjoy. These ones are in the shape of Magic Wands - with star and heart shapes. Other packs come in other shapes and sizes - such as plain rectangle bookmarks, butterflies, racing cars and football boots, to cater for all interests. As a reading mentor, I am always on the lookout for small gifts associated with books which I can give out, and these are a really nice treat for the end of term, or, in this case, for a party gift which children will enjoy and use. I love these and will be buying further packs as they are so much fun and are good value for money..


Philips Disney Frozen Children's Sensor Night Light (1 x 0.06 W Integrated LED)
Philips Disney Frozen Children's Sensor Night Light (1 x 0.06 W Integrated LED)
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disney Frozen Children's Sensor Night Light, 28 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a fairly small night light – a little larger than the palm of my hand – which can be placed near a child’s bed or on a wall (it has a little indentation at the back to fit over a hook or nail). At first I thought it was really too small to be much use, but it is surprising how much light it provides in a dark room. The light has a motion sensor, so it lights up when your child moves – therefore, it is best not to position it too close to your childs bed. I put it on the side of the bed where my daughter usually gets out; so if she does wake in the night and get up the light comes on. The night light has a decal of Anna and Elsa which, as my daughter is currently obsessed with Frozen, meant she loved it. It works very well, emitting enough of a glow for a child to see to go to the toilet without tripping over anything, but then turning itself off after about half a minute. When the room is dark, the light looks very pretty and, once the novelty of her turning it on has died down, I think it will be a comforting and pretty addition to her room. It saves a child possibly turning on their lamp or light and waking more fully, especially when they are small. Just be aware that this needs 2 AAA batteries and they are not included. Also, although the light can be placed on the wall, it works just as well if you place it flat on a bedside cabinet.


Problem at Sea: A Hercule Poirot Short Story
Problem at Sea: A Hercule Poirot Short Story
Price: £0.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Problem at Sea, 27 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First published in 1936, this story sees Poirot taking a cruise down the Nile. As always, Poirot enjoys people watching and his attention is drawn to Colonel Clapperton, married to the odious – but incredibly wealthy widow – Lady Carrington. Rumoured to have been on the music hall stage before his marriage, Colonel Clapperton seems completely indifferent to his wife’s sniping and complaints – but is he? When a murder occurs, it is up to Poirot to solve the crime. This has a good setting, a cruise ship with lots of interesting characters, plus a nice twist at the end. Perfectly plotted and with Poirot at his best. At one point Mrs Clapperton asks him, “what would one be if one wasn’t alive?” to which he dryly replies, “dead.” However, despite his dislike of the victim, Hercule Poirot does not, “approve of murder” and can be counted on to see justice done.


König Piano 4.0 Bluetooth Soundbar - Black
König Piano 4.0 Bluetooth Soundbar - Black
Price: £116.36

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Konig Piano Bluetooth Soundbar, 27 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a fairly large Sound Bar – it is a plain black colour, which matches most televisions these days and is easy to place on your stand, although it also comes with a wall mount bracket. The sound bar comes with a remote control (including batteries), a UK and Euro mains lead, a wall mount bracket and wall fixings, a HDMI lead, an optical audio lead, a jack to jack audio lead and a jack to phone audio lead. If you are comfortable with installing new gadgets, I am sure you will find this extremely easy. Personally, I found the instructions rather unhelpful and had to enlist help from my teenage son. I am sure that most people will not have a problem, but I did think the instructions should have been easier to follow.

I have never used – or even thought to use – a sound bar before. What it does is improve the sound quality from your TV – my sons especially liked the enhanced sound when they were playing games on their consoles. You can also connect other devices – laptop, smart phone or tablet – so you can play music via the speakers. In fact, you can connect up to seven devices to this and the sound quality is extremely good. I was really impressed with this and thought it really did enhance the sound of the devices that I used it for. A good buy and only slightly let down by the lack of instructions to help set it up.


Lamentation (The Shardlake series Book 6)
Lamentation (The Shardlake series Book 6)
Price: £7.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lamentation, 26 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Without doubt, the Shardlake series is my favourite historical mystery series ever. Having re-read the earlier books, I started the latest with anticipation. C J Sansom has created a word so realistic that, as soon as you begin reading, you are back in that era – it is all waiting for you, from the Inns of Court, to Shardlake’s house – with his continuing problems of finding a steward he is comfortable with – to the malevolent presence of a King, so unpredictable and feared that most people tend to practice their faith as Henry demands, regardless of his whims and changes, and simply keep their heads down. We are made aware of what not doing what Henry demands can lead to at the very beginning of this book, when Shardlake is ordered to attend the burning of Mistress Anne Askew and three men on a summers day in July, 1546…

Shardlake’s life has changed since we last met him. He has a new steward, Martin Brocket and his wife Agnes, to help Josephine and Timothy in the house, while Simon has gone to be apprenticed. In his office, along with Skelly and the ever faithful Jack Barak, now a content husband and father, there is a new member – Nicholas Overton, who begins the book as slightly immature and unsure young gentleman. Meanwhile, Guy also has a new assistant, and there is a distinct coldness from Shardlake’s old friend towards him, which causes the lawyer a deep sadness. However, much will change in this novel to all our favourite characters, and new ones that we meet.

As always in a Shardlake novel, there is the main plot and one involving a legal case that he is involved with. The side story this time involves a case that Shardlake is involved with concerning a feud between a brother and sister – Mistress Isabel Slanning and her brother, Edward Cotterstone. This will cause Shardlake problems by the end of the book, but the main storyline involves a far larger problem. Despite Matthew Shardlake’s vow that he wants a quiet life, he receives a summons to the palace, where Queen Catherine needs his help again. She has written a religious book – the ‘Lamentations’ of the title – which has been stolen from her private chamber. Now she lives in fear that the book will be printed and made public by radicals. The Court, as always, is a place of intrigue and fear – and this is certainly echoed on the streets of the city. Everyone is fearful, speaking in whispers and afraid of voicing political, or religious, opinions. ‘Lamentations’ could bring down the Queen and – if she falls – so could Shardlake.

This novel has everything fans of the series will love. Shardlake is again embroiled in conspiracy; pitted against his old enemy Richard Rich in a search which will take him from the London docks to the Tower of London. Henry is dying and, even weakened, his charisma is still a powerful tool in this novel. Catherine herself seems to fear him, while Shardlake is still aware of the last time he drew the wrath of the king. Shardlake himself, like many of the characters in this book, seem older and more mature. Aware that he has no wife, Shardlake is continually belittled and laughed at for his ‘crookback’ and he is, as always, a slightly melancholy figure. However, along with the old, we also meet new characters who will become extremely important in (we hope) further books. These include the tantalising prospect of a young William Cecil, helping Lord Parr, the Queen’s uncle, and the introduction of a young Princess Elizabeth. Power, intrigue, heresy and fear make a heady mix and, as always, Shardlake finds himself involved in the highest powers of the land. Along the way, you will be surprised, shocked and saddened, but I hope that we see more books involving our favourite characters. This is truly a masterpiece – fiction at its finest – for which I can only thank the author for creating a cast of characters I care about as though they were real; which, for me, they are.


Frozen Sing-Along Edition [DVD]
Frozen Sing-Along Edition [DVD]
Price: £8.00

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frozen Sing-Along Edition DVD, 26 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a really perfect stocking filler for Christmas, which will be adored by all Frozen fans. If you already have the film, you may be wondering what this DVD offers that will make it worth buying again. It comes in a slip case, with an attractive cover, making it look just a little bit more special if you are buying it as a present. The DVD itself comtains the film, but with the added extra of the words included underneath the songs - along with a bouncing snowflake, which follows the words, so your little one can sing along. Even better, in the extra bonus features there is a 'sing along selection' - which is simply all the songs together. My daughter had a play date yesterday and I think I must have heard, "Let It Go," accompanied by raucous seven year olds, about twenty times. So, this DVD will drive you crazy, but the kids will adore it! The bonus features also contains a little documentary, "Breaking the Ice," about the making of this incredibly successful movie and a little Mickey Mouse short feature, "Get a Horse." It is impossible to say why some films take off, but for my little girl - and many others - this has become a mini obsession. It certainly contains good female characters and some really catchy songs and this edition will be greatly enjoyed by Frozen fans everywhere.


Chasing the Ripper (Kindle Single)
Chasing the Ripper (Kindle Single)
Price: £0.99

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Chasing the Ripper, 25 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In 2002, crime author Patricia Cornwell wrote a very contentious book about Jack the Ripper, titled, "Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed." In that book she recollected how, after a visit to London , she became interested in the Ripper case and concluded that artist Walter Sickert was responsible for the killings. I have to say that I, and many others, were unconvinced by her arguments. Considering the terrible ratings the book got and the way it was pretty much savaged, I was surprised to see this Kindle Single appearing. However, despite my misgivings, I decided to read this and see what her latest conclusions were. I was curious to see whether she would defend some of her earlier suggestions, such as Martha Tabram being his first victim (hotly disputed by Ripperologists) or the many assumptions she made about Sickert himself. In fact, this seems to be little more than a rant, in which the author defends her first book, whilst also making some rather wild accusations about Sickert continuing to kill, murdering many more women and children than she first suspected and generally confusing the issues outlined in her first arguments even more.

From the beginning, Cornwell admits that she is asked constantly about her conviction that Jack the Ripper was British artist Walter Sickert - more than anything else she has done. Considering her successful career as a crime writer, I am sure that this must rankle and, indeed, Ms Cornwell's hackles are up in this book. She questions aloud - why is she so sure? "How did he get away with serial homicides for more than a century?" Hmmm, she is still obviously convinced that he IS, without doubt, the Ripper, but he is only one of a number of proposed possible suspects and not a front runner in any other book I have read about the case. Again, she shows disturbing certainty - "I feel sure," crops up time and time again - that Sickert followed the murders, that he read all about the Ripper, that he wrote letters to the police. However, even if he DID write to the police, the fact that he was the killer does not necessarily follow. He was obviously quite obsessed with the case, but then so were many people living in the city of London at the time.

In this book, Cornwell considers her decision to write her book on the Ripper. She claims it gave her no pleasure and that weird happenings occurred during the time she was writing her book. If she is obsessed by the Ripper, than possibly she needs to take a step back and distance herself from something which is obviously causing her distress. She bemoans the fact that, wherever she goes, she is taken to view gruesome sights. Presumably, specialists think they are aiding her writing, but it obviously disturbs her - and she would not be normal if it didn't. However, a chance tour of Scotland Yard and a comment about Walter Sickert led to her book and a furore she obviously did not anticipate. She discusses her early research on the case and yet still dismisses other Ripperologists theories as `utter nonsense.'

One of the problems I had with the first book, also occurs here. Cornwell asks, "what if modern science were applied?" The problem is, it wasn't and now it can't be. She complains of being `ridiculed' and `resented' and finally admits to being `too adamant....' Again, also, she puts modern judgements on those inhabitants of Victorian London - too drunk, too poor, too uneducated... In fact, considering the distain in which she seems to hold those concerned with the Ripper murders, it is confusing why she seems to so concerned about the murder of a series of women little known for their sobriety. In fact, her obsession has little to do with the victims and far more to do with her desire to label Sickert as the Ripper and for us to agree with her.

Does she answer her critics in this ill advised ebook or simply defend her position? She tries to answer criticisms aimed at her, but comes across badly. Even in the `About the Author' section it states, "Cornwell has written a definitive book about Jack the Ripper." Well, no, she didn't. She hasn't here either; she has taken the evidence she found and fitted it around a theory, while discarding anything which disagrees with her stance. She is obviously resentful of being questioned, especially by any British Ripperologists, and is too eager to state her case as the correct one. Personally, I do not think Walter Sickert was the Ripper, but I would be more willing to read her argument, if it were a little less biased. As it is, I think Ms Cornwell should go back to writing her very successful crime novels and let go of this obsession which is obviously causing her enough distress that she feels the need to answer her critics in this way. Frankly, this whole book sounds like a long complaint of how she has been treated and, although I am sad she feels so resentful and ill-used, this book does not help her case.


Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper--Case Closed 1st by Cornwell, Patricia (2002) Hardcover
Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper--Case Closed 1st by Cornwell, Patricia (2002) Hardcover
by Patricia Cornwell
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a Killer - Case Closed, 25 Nov 2014
I cannot claim to be a Ripperologist, but I have read a fair number of books about the Ripper murders and none so arrogant and uninformative as this. Before I say any more, let me just say that I enjoy Patricia Cornwell's novels, she's a good writer, so I am simply unable to decide what on earth made her write this. In the beginning of this book, the author states that she became interested in the Ripper murders on a visit to London and was soon convinced that the artist Walter Sickert was responsible. Having decided on this, she then claims to have solved the murders and sets about, rather unconvincingly, attempting to convince us that this is the case.

Alarm bells began to ring when Cornwell states with utter conviction that the Ripper's first victim was Martha Tabram - a fact hotly disputed amongst those who have investigated the Ripper murders. Her total and utter conviction that she is right in everything is rather concerning. She has a rather naive view of Victorian London, is quite insulting about the people who lived there (they may have been poverty stricken, drunk, uneducated, illiterate etc, but no person deserves to be described as "rubbish") and discusses in great depth the way postmortems would currently be carried out now, which is interesting but ultimately irrelevant, as the murders happened so long ago. Bodies found in dark alleyways in the middle of the night and carted off to the nearest poorhouse or shed to be examined are obviously not going to be subject to the same scrutiny or scientific testing they would be now.

Now we come on the subject of Sickert - the man Cornwell says categorically was the Ripper. Her evidence is very flimsy. Many of the Ripper letters were written on paper that can be traced to him - if we accept this it says he may have written some letters to the press or police, but the writers of the letters was not necessarily the murderer. Again and again she makes assumptions - about his health, his childhood, his marriage, his whereabouts, his love of disguises and rented rooms where he could work in private, the fact he may or may not have defaced a visitors book at a guest house... Sickert may have been a very odd man - he certainly had an obsession with Jack the Ripper, he claimed to stay in a room the Ripper lived in, he was compulsive, a news addict, a prolific writer, he liked his models to be extremely unnattractive and was certainly attracted to the underlife of the city. Does this make him a murderer? I would have preferred to have read a balanced account - this was not it and I remain unconvinced of Cornwell's arguments.


Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper - Case Closed by Cornwell, Patricia ( Author ) ON Jun-05-2003, Paperback
Portrait of a Killer Jack the Ripper - Case Closed by Cornwell, Patricia ( Author ) ON Jun-05-2003, Paperback
by Patricia Cornwell
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a Killer : Jack the Ripper - Case Closed, 25 Nov 2014
I cannot claim to be a Ripperologist, but I have read a fair number of books about the Ripper murders and none so arrogant and uninformative as this. Before I say any more, let me just say that I enjoy Patricia Cornwell's novels, she's a good writer, so I am simply unable to decide what on earth made her write this. In the beginning of this book, the author states that she became interested in the Ripper murders on a visit to London and was soon convinced that the artist Walter Sickert was responsible. Having decided on this, she then claims to have solved the murders and sets about, rather unconvincingly, attempting to convince us that this is the case.

Alarm bells began to ring when Cornwell states with utter conviction that the Ripper's first victim was Martha Tabram - a fact hotly disputed amongst those who have investigated the Ripper murders. Her total and utter conviction that she is right in everything is rather concerning. She has a rather naive view of Victorian London, is quite insulting about the people who lived there (they may have been poverty stricken, drunk, uneducated, illiterate etc, but no person deserves to be described as "rubbish") and discusses in great depth the way postmortems would currently be carried out now, which is interesting but ultimately irrelevant, as the murders happened so long ago. Bodies found in dark alleyways in the middle of the night and carted off to the nearest poorhouse or shed to be examined are obviously not going to be subject to the same scrutiny or scientific testing they would be now.

Now we come on the subject of Sickert - the man Cornwell says categorically was the Ripper. Her evidence is very flimsy. Many of the Ripper letters were written on paper that can be traced to him - if we accept this it says he may have written some letters to the press or police, but the writers of the letters was not necessarily the murderer. Again and again she makes assumptions - about his health, his childhood, his marriage, his whereabouts, his love of disguises and rented rooms where he could work in private, the fact he may or may not have defaced a visitors book at a guest house... Sickert may have been a very odd man - he certainly had an obsession with Jack the Ripper, he claimed to stay in a room the Ripper lived in, he was compulsive, a news addict, a prolific writer, he liked his models to be extremely unnattractive and was certainly attracted to the underlife of the city. Does this make him a murderer? I would have preferred to have read a balanced account - this was not it and I remain unconvinced of Cornwell's arguments.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20