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Book Addict Shaun (England, UK)

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The Wronged (Butlers 3)
The Wronged (Butlers 3)
by Kimberley Chambers
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.49

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars and I would definitely recommend reading The Trap and Payback before The Wronged, 12 Mar. 2015
I can't actually believe that it is coming up to three years since I read my first Kimberley Chambers book. I had no idea when I decided to read The Feud that I would spend that week barely sleeping, unable to stop reading until I had completed the Mitchell & O'Hara trilogy. Now a number one bestselling author, Kimberley is finally receiving the recognition and success that she absolutely deserves.

Discussing the plot or even the characters without giving away the plot of previous books is impossible, and I would definitely recommend reading The Trap and Payback before The Wronged. Events in The Wronged left me speechless, and the chilling and haunting ending was in my thoughts for weeks afterwards. Picking up following the events of Payback and the years that followed, we learn just what has happened to the Butler family in that time. With the amount of death and heartache the family has suffered in the past, it isn't over yet and it isn't long before the family is once again falling apart. With enemies within and outside the family this is again a story of revenge, and that makes the book all the more exciting because there's characters plotting away but we don't know just whose plans will come to fruition and who will even still be alive by the end of the book. The writing style and back and forth way the story is told might not be for everyone, but I love it. It allows for lots of mini-cliffhangers throughout the book.

Kimberley creates some fantastic characters, but also some extremely hateful ones as well. Vinny Butler and his son, Little Vinny are two evil characters. But, they are also two of the most fascinating and the series wouldn't be the same without them. Is it wrong for me to be looking for positives in these two characters? Queenie and Vivian are just brilliant, two proper East End characters that I just love and who almost had me in tears laughing thanks to Kim's unique brand of humour. Never afraid to say it how it is, or to voice their opinions loud and clear, they say what most other people are afraid to say and Queenie is definitely one of my favourites in the Butler family. I loved the little nods from Kim to things taking place around the time the book is set, watching Brookside and the start of EastEnders being some standout parts thanks to the sisters observations. They certainly aren't afraid to tell people what they think of them, often in the knowledge that the threat of Michael and Vinny will shut most people up.

I love the East End of London, it's one of my favourite areas and despite it being vastly different nowadays, I love reading books that capture that era and Kimberley does that so well. Everything about The Wronged is so vivid because of how authentic the whole thing feels, nods to real life gangsters and places, mentions of music, films, TV shows, news events and of course brilliant descriptions thanks to Kimberley's knowledge of the area all help to form that picture inside your head. I would love to see these books made into a TV show one day.

This genre often has strong female characters, but with Kimberley's books the male characters are often the more dominant and do rule the roost so to speak, but the power of certain female characters is often understated, and well, I was left stunned with the actions of a couple of the female characters during this book... To say more would of course ruin it and there are far too many characters and history for me to relay here, but it was brilliant. Speaking of strong male characters, I was delighted to see Eddie Mitchell played a rather significant role in this book rather than just a couple of fleeting appearances. Fans are crying out for a return to the Mitchell family and I think the story here will satisfy those readers wanting a full story. Also, Facebook fans will be pleased to finally see the latest addition to the Butler family...

Kimberley has really played a blinder with this one. You only have to read my other reviews of her books to see just how much I love this author, but that means that I judge each book more harshly rather than just giving them all five stars. I mean every single word when I say how good this book was, how much I enjoyed it and how much I recommend it. This will surely be another number one for Kimberley Chambers, and here's to many more in the future.

Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery
Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 26 Feb. 2015
Jenny Colgan is one of my favourite authors, she creates the most perfect settings for her books, and I want to live in them all (though at different times of the year as each have their good and bad points throughout the seasons)! The latest is Mount Polbearne, where Polly lives in a lighthouse with her boyfriend, Huckle. A lighthouse! She runs the Little Beach Street Bakery, a place that makes the most delicious sounding bread, meaning this book is not to be read if you have an empty stomach. As much as I loved Little Beach Street Bakery, I did wonder where Polly's story could go in this sequel. I love that the book is about a bakery, and since reading these books I am definitely looking at bread differently, Polly wants to serve only the very best, which she does and it all just sounds so amazing. I'm practically drooling as I write (lovely).

In the beginning I was just far too happy to be back in this world again, Neil the puffin is back (I want one!) and the story involving him was just amazing, all the regulars are back and I was soon fully engrossed in the book. This time around there's a new arrival to the town. In Little Beach Street Bakery Polly had a short dalliance with a local fisherman, a married fisherman who died rather tragically in the novel. The town's new arrival is the fisherman's widow, Selina, and she moves to Mount Polbearne hoping that it will help her get over her grief and move on with her life. Also, the blurb doesn't mention it but something happens that turns Polly's life upside down, and I won't spoil it by saying what that is but it is something that adds a lot of drama to the book, and I didn't see it coming. I got fully involved with the book, feeling genuine anger at times and it completely endeared me to Polly and the people of Polbearne even more, I was really rooting for Polly and the residents, and I can't even say why! This is one of those books that will have you shouting out loud if you're anything like me, and feeling a little smug when it all goes wrong for certain individuals.

Jenny has such a wonderful writing style, her books just flow perfectly and it's far too easy to sit down to read a couple of chapters only to still be reading hours later. From the beginning to the beautiful, perfect ending I loved this book. It is now impossible for me to choose between Polly and Rosie Hopkins as my favourite character! I've purposely kept this short (-er than most of my reviews) because all I want to say is read this book! I don't think you will be disappointed. I cannot wait to see where Jenny takes us next and hope that she continues in the same vein as her last few books. Having brought us a cupcake cafe, a sweetshop, a chocolate shop and a bakery, there are surely some more culinary delights awaiting us somewhere else in the world. Cyprus, perhaps? (Wishful thinking!) Either way I will be at the front of the queue for her next book and anyway, the story of Polly and Huckle isn't fully complete so perhaps we will meet them again in the future?

14th Deadly Sin: (Women's Murder Club 14) (Women's Murder Club)
14th Deadly Sin: (Women's Murder Club 14) (Women's Murder Club)
Price: £8.55

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE this series, 26 Feb. 2015
James Patterson's Women's Murder Club series is one of my favourite crime series of all-time so when I received an early copy of 14th Deadly Sin, I was ecstatic. It's hard to believe that this is the 14th novel, but the series definitely shows no sign of slowing down and Patterson and Maxine Paetro have definitely written one of the strongest books in the series yet. I do find myself saying this a lot and am perhaps a little biased given how much I love the series, but looking at it as impartially as I can, it was a very good book and I hope there's going to be plenty more.

James Patterson's books usually have crimes which are quite over the top, but which when you really think about them aren't totally unrealistic. In 14th Deadly Sin it's a gang of men dressed as police officers carrying out robbery homicides around San Francisco. Lindsey and her bosses are naturally quite worried about whether the killers are actual police officers, or impersonators. With threatening notes being left for Lindsay, and with a major discovery that she's uncovered regarding other murders, she's definitely kept busy throughout this novel.

I do love each of the characters that make up the Women's Murder Club, and love the continued character development for each of them. Lindsey is my favourite as always, but this time around I really enjoyed Yuki's story and she has somewhat of a starring role in 14th Deadly Sin. It took me a while to like Yuki back when she was first introduced, but now I like her as much as the others. I love a good courtroom drama, and with a job change on the cards for Yuki that makes for some quite exciting developments throughout the book especially in her relationship both with Lindsey and with her husband, Lieutenant Brady. These four women are friends, but their jobs often have the potential for drama yet their friendship seems able to overcome almost anything. I do sometimes read these books a little bit on edge, fearful that our four characters won't get that typical hero's ending that is commonplace in crime fiction. I still mourn Jill!

Despite the story itself being strong, I did work out who was responsible very early on, which sadly does sometimes happen in crime fiction. But, Patterson and Paetro pack in more than enough twists to keep this book exciting all the way through, especially towards the end where the book ends on a huge cliffhanger which as always is both brilliant but incredibly frustrating as it makes the yearly wait for the next book seem far too long and there will be a 15th book in 2016, right? I certainly hope so and as always I will be at the front of the queue. Long live the Women's Murder Club!

Silent Scream: An edge of your seat serial killer thriller (Detective Kim Stone crime thriller series Book 1)
Silent Scream: An edge of your seat serial killer thriller (Detective Kim Stone crime thriller series Book 1)
Price: £0.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book!!, 20 Feb. 2015
Silent Scream is Bookouture's first crime novel and it's a resounding success even before its release. Everywhere I look on Twitter somebody is talking about this book, the five star ratings from bloggers are flying in and it is topping the charts on Amazon. If Silent Scream is the standard of crime fiction Bookouture is commissioning, I am very excited to see what they bring us next. Normally when I see everybody rating a book five stars I think 'Is it really that good?' Silent Scream is that good, and then some. Since starting the blog in late March 2014 I have read a lot of crime fiction written by women, more than I ever have before and a lot of them were amongst my favourite reads of 2014. To describe a book as addictive is terribly cliched, but I can't think of a more apt word to describe Silent Scream. Picking it up to read a couple of chapters found me still reading over an hour later, with no signs of stopping. Angela barely gives the reader time to breathe, the action comes thick and fast, not a single word is wasted in this book.

One of my favourite things about British crime fiction is those scenes in the station and in the field. I love a proper police procedural and that is definitely what we get with Silent Scream. Having read hundreds of crime novels since I could borrow adult books from the library, I have met countless investigative teams, most of which blur into one but the team in Silent Scream was brilliantly created, with some intriguing and realistic characters, all of whom have their role to play in the book but with two standout characters in D.I. Kim Stone and her partner Bryant. Describing Kim Stone almost makes her seem like your typical female detective; she has issues in her personal life and work life, she had a troubled upbringing and she doesn't just ignore the rule book but chews it up and spits it in the face of her superiors. I have to say, I loved her. She was just such a fantastic character, ballsy, tough and more than a match for any male detective I've ever read about, but underneath all of that you know there's a sensitive side somewhere. I honestly can't wait to meet her again. Reading about her history was a bit like 'How many bad things can happen to one person?!' but overall I really liked her. I would love to see Silent Scream on the small screen, but have no idea who could play these characters.

With some dark scenes, and tackling a quite sensitive subject which at times made for quite difficult reading, Silent Scream could have run the risk of becoming a little bit morbid, but it really wasn't and Angela tackles these subjects in a sensitive way, not sugarcoating anything but writing in a believable way that makes you feel sad for the victims but absolutely furious that the events were allowed to take place. We only have to read the news to know that events such as those depicted in this book are far too common. This makes the book as frightening as it is compelling and the case is all too true to life for Kim as well when secrets of a local children's home start to be uncovered, quite literally as the bones of perhaps more than one body are found on the site of the home. When members of staff who worked at the home start turning up murdered, Kim has her work cut out in attempting to catch a killer, and she doesn't care how much trouble she might get into in her haste to do so. I could talk about this story all day but really, I can't say any more than that about the plot. Just believe me when I say it will have you gripped.

It seems though that Angela also has a comedic side to her, bringing some much needed humour to the book but in a realistic way, I do love a bit of humour in crime fiction and Kim Stone had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. The mix of comedy and seriousness in Silent Scream was just right. The duo of Kim and Bryant was brilliant, it's always difficult for an author to achieve that chemistry between two characters but what we have here is a very believable relationship. I finished this book with a huge smile on my face at the thought of meeting these characters again as this has surely got to be the first in a long-running series. I know book two isn't far away.

Silent Scream is very much a mystery, clues are dropped throughout the book, some more obvious than others and Angela definitely keeps the reader on their toes with this wonderfully twisty tale, often danger lurks in the most unlikeliest of places but sometimes it lurks in the more obvious. I had an idea very early on of what was going to happen, almost sitting here feeling quite smug before later in the novel the smile was well and truly wiped off my face with a seriously brilliant twist. Not a twist I haven't seen done before, but one that I wasn't expecting. But, with enough suspects to keep things interesting, there will be more than just this reader that doesn't fully solve this case. I don't know what else to say to convince you to pick up this book, I can't recommend it enough and as I have started saying about books that I have loved this year, please do not let this one sit on your TBR for weeks/months/years, pick it up as soon as possible. The only problem Angela now faces is keeping up this standard as the series progresses, but if she does than she's going to be an author to watch and a huge star within the genre.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 21, 2015 12:30 PM GMT

Tied up With Love
Tied up With Love
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 15 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Tied up With Love (Kindle Edition)
In the opening to Tied Up with Love, I wondered whether Amelia Thorne had turned her hand to crime fiction when our main character, Izzy, is thrown into the back of a van and kidnapped. Even more so when the kidnappers discover she wasn't the intended target and have to decide whether to kill her or let her go. It is all however just a horrible mistake, the kidnappers work for Kidnap My Wife, a service that works pretty much like you are now thinking it does (with the agreement of husband and wife) and rather than kill Izzy, they take her to their boss which is where we and Izzy meet the formidable Ethan Chase. Izzy ends up using the situation to her advantage, by blackmailing her way into a job at KMW, and sets about making some much needed changes to the business.

I absolutely loved Izzy from the minute we met her and as we discover more about her, learning about a previous business she owned that some readers might just recognise. The opening of the book is very funny, giving us the first of many laugh out loud moments as we are introduced to the various larger than life characters that make up Chessingburyford (God that's a pain to get right) but it is of course Izzy and Ethan who are the stars of the show. To say they clash in the beginning would be an understatement, described as a bit of a womaniser (aren't they always) and gorgeous (of course) it was very easy to see the attraction between the pair to the point where I almost shared in their frustration as the novel progressed. Ahem.

I absolutely loved the idea for KMW and liked how Amelia managed to make a story that has been done countless times before seem fresh and original. The actual idea for the company isn't as seedy as it might first sound (though I did find myself hoping the company had a very good cleaner for the house where this all takes place, which thankfully they do)! It also makes for some fantastic scenes inside the house between Izzy and Ethan, honestly, you will howl with laughter. If you read this on public transport the funny looks will be more than worth it. Readers who might perhaps be put off by the idea of the book should know that there's so much more to it than that, it takes a lot to shock me so I didn't bat an eyelid, and I do love an author that isn't afraid to take risks.

Humour aside there is so much more to Ethan than the man we meet at the beginning of the book and readers will definitely fall for his charms, as the story progresses and secrets are revealed this is definitely a couple you will be able to root for. I had an idea of how the story would ultimately end, but no idea of the twists and hurdles Amelia would put in the way before the conclusion. A conclusion which I felt was a little bit rushed but still a satisfying one nonetheless. I did at times feel this book would have worked better on a grander scale, and I would have liked a couple more twists, but I did really enjoy the book and would love to read about Izzy and Ethan again. I have no hesitation in recommending Tied Up with Love, releasing Valentine's Day it is the perfect time to pick it up.

Tell Tale: A DI Charlotte Savage Novel
Tell Tale: A DI Charlotte Savage Novel
Price: £1.49

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 15 Feb. 2015
Mark Sennen's books have been on my TBR for a long time so when mysterious black envelopes started getting delivered to me, I was thrilled when a final package arrived with Tell Tale inside. For those who may also be new to the series, this is the place to start. I never had that feeling you sometimes get jumping into a series of feeling out of place. Rather the story was so good and I was endeared to the character of Charlotte Savage from very early on, that it didn't matter I hadn't read the previous books. Sennen sets the scene, makes the introductions and just gets straight into the story.

Usually this is where I do the 'book jacket blurb' and some shout 'Spoilers!' but the book's blurb gives nothing away and I feel I must do the same and urge you to go into this book knowing as little about it as possible. It's a very addictive mystery, with some equally addictive subplots running alongside it. Not least Charlotte Savage and the decisions she must make concerning her daughter's killer, who just so happens to be the son of somebody of a very high rank. This part of the story excited me because there was a real sense of unpredictability in not knowing just how Savage was going to act. I can't say whether the outcome is the one I would have chosen, but it was interesting to read a crime fiction book with this level of corruption.

Tell Tale is a little bit of a slow burner in the beginning, but this was necessary to introduce the characters and get the story going, starting that build up to a very exciting second half as some brilliant twists and turns take us towards a thrilling conclusion, and speaking of twists there were a couple in Tell Tale that I just did not see coming until they were revealed. Quite chilling in places and with an eerie sense of realism, this is a story that will definitely draw emotion from the reader, and I do always enjoy a book more that has that effect on me as a reader, getting caught up in the case and caring about the characters.

I loved the setting for this book, and really liked the way it was used to create some truly atmospheric scenes that at times had my heart racing. Some vivid descriptions allow the areas used in the book to completely come alive in the mind of the reader, making the book all the more exciting. Also, given how the story plays out the setting is perfect for it. You'll see why when you read. Overall the story, characters and everything else about Tell Tale just felt really fresh, and left me excited at having finally read one of Mark Sennen's books (I wasn't crazy about the short story released over Christmas) but I have definitely been left with the desire to go back and read the previous books in the series, and will be at the front of the queue for book five, as I can't wait to pick up where this book left off. I highly recommend Tell Tale and don't think it will disappoint new or returning readers.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 22, 2015 12:03 PM GMT

The Doll's House: DI Helen Grace 3 (A DI Helen Grace Thriller)
The Doll's House: DI Helen Grace 3 (A DI Helen Grace Thriller)
Price: £3.66

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this series, 15 Feb. 2015
The Doll's House is one of the books I have most been looking forward to reading in 2015 and it did not disappoint in the slightest. The DI Helen Grace series is fast becoming one of my favourites (yes, another one!) but really, it is absolute top quality crime fiction with real longevity and so I can't wait for book four, Liar, Liar (which is out very soon, no torturous wait for us impatient crime fans). M.J. Arlidge is one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction, and his experience in television has translated extremely well, allowing him to write authentic crime novels with all those hallmarks that keep you glued to the screen, or in this case book!

This book has a rather compelling opening, as Arlidge sets the scene brilliantly, feeding you enough information but then holding the rest back, demanding that you read on. A young woman wakes up in a cold, dark cellar with no recollection of how she got there, or who her captor is. DI Helen Grace is called to a remote beach, the body of a dead woman has been found, believed to have been dead for a couple of years, her family are perturbed as she has been communicating with them during that time (through technology only). Helen Grace is a little bit too quick to work things out at times, and does stray a little too close to 'Supercop' at times for my liking and she soon finds herself on the hunt for a killer, trying to save a young woman's life in the process. The book moves at just the right pace, containing enough red herrings to keep you guessing and with enough going on in the background to make The Doll's House an action-packed read.

Where this book excels for me is in its characters, and their continued development. Helen in particular is an intriguing one, with enough about her to stand out from the crowd. The story concerning her nephew which I have never been sure about in the past completely came into its own in this novel and it was brilliant. Often the side stories in crime fiction lessen my enjoyment, but that's not the case here. Usually in crime novels we have that camaraderie amongst the officers, but in The Doll's House there's a lot of animosity and competitiveness amongst the team which I enjoyed, especially between Helen and her Superintendent. I do enjoy those moments where as a reader you can sit back and feel quite smug and let's just say that happened a couple of times in this book. Returning readers will be familiar with the character of Charlie, and I very much enjoyed the developments with Helen and Charlie now they are friends again.

I don't know whether this series runs the risk of becoming a bit samey though, with Helen continually on the hunt for a killer. Most crime authors do start to mix things up after their introductory novels so I would like to see that here in the future, by perhaps taking Helen out of Southampton for a case or just doing something completely different. That said, when an author is capable of writing books this good, I'm not going to complain. You could say as crime fans we are spoilt for choice, but I'd say it's a case of seeking out those books that are a step above the rest, and Arlidge's books are definitely that. Seek them out if you haven't already, and if you have already read them then pick up The Doll's House and enjoy. This is a book (and a series) that deserves to be read, and not sit languishing on a TBR.

Price: £4.75

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How does Jessie do it?!, 15 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Dangerous (Kindle Edition)
How does Jessie Keane do it? When I discovered that Dangerous was a standalone I was a little apprehensive, the Annie Carter series is brilliant but perhaps complete and the same could be said for the Ruby Darke series, yet I would like to see that continued one day. That said, I wasn't that far into Dangerous when I became fully engrossed in the story and all apprehension vanished.

The opening to Dangerous reminded me a little of Kay Brellend's sagas set on Campbell Road, a notorious London slum with whole families packed into one room, sharing a stinking toilet with the residents having to almost sleep with one eye open to protect themselves. It is on a road like that where we meet fifteen-year-old Clara Dolan, who finds her world turned upside down when her mother dies because of complications during childbirth. Not wanting to be split up from her siblings, Clara must flee the house, desperately turning to somebody she hopes can help but who in turn brings about her introduction to London's underworld. We see Clara turn from a vulnerable young girl, into a woman as she is forced to make some difficult decisions in her attempts to keep her family together.

As much as I liked Clara, and rooted for her, she wasn't without her faults, but I did feel she acted in the best interests of her siblings; quiet, sensible Bernie and out of control Henry. She builds her life and future off the back of men, by using them for her own personal gain. As a genre famed for its strong, independent women, without the help (or idiocy) of men, Clara would never have made it out of the slums. As we know a little about where the story is headed from the Prologue (before going back in time), the shocks and twists don't really come into play until we reach that moment later on in the book. That said, the twists in this book are some of the best yet and there's one in Dangerous that I just didn't expect, it was brilliant but I feel I should have seen it coming.

As always we are introduced to a lot of characters, far too many to mention here and I wouldn't want to for fear of spoilers with describing who everybody is but in a book like this most people are out for what they can get, nearly all of the characters are untrustworthy, a little unsavoury and those moments where the bad guys get their comeuppance are some of the most enjoyable. As always our main character, in this case Clara, has people out for revenge because of her actions. One of the villains is, as always, ridiculously attractive, a bit of an enigma, rich and there's an instant attraction between Marcus Redmayne and Clara whereas the less attractive, poorer villain develops somewhat of an obsession with Clara, causing untold grief for all concerned. There's so much I want to say about the characters, but can't for fear of spoilers.

What I love most about these books, whether from Jessie or her contemporaries is being transported back in time to London in the 50s and 60s. Growing up I was fascinated with the likes of the Kray twins, and read and watched anything I could about that era and we are now spoilt for choice for books set around this time; Jessie, Kimberley Chambers and Jacqui Rose to name a few who are at the top of their game. Jessie in particular paints a truly realistic picture of that era, to the point where it really is like being there for yourself. She is somebody that knows what she's talking about, and isn't afraid to tell it like it is, which makes for an exciting read but at the same time a pretty bleak, yet completely believable one.

The last hundred pages in particular of this book were brilliant, I just couldn't and wouldn't stop reading until I finished the book and then I instantly regretted it because I always rush through Jessie's books, and then have a torturous wait for the next one. As I said at the start, I have no idea how Jessie does it. Writing books in the same genre, yet still managing to make each one fresh, original and different but at the same time retaining all those features that make this genre the massive success that it is. I can almost guarantee Jessie's fans will love this book, and have no hesitation in recommending it as a must buy. Not ending on a cliffhanger, I feel this book will remain as a standalone which is a shame as certain things felt a bit rushed, whereas in the past they would have been continued in a future book, so who knows what Jessie will bring us next? I cannot wait to find out.

Follow The Leader (A DS Allie Shenton Novel Book 2)
Follow The Leader (A DS Allie Shenton Novel Book 2)
Price: £3.98

5.0 out of 5 stars As always, brilliant, 10 Feb. 2015
Mel Sherratt is now a must read author for me, and Follow the Leader is my favourite book of hers so far (that I have read). The premise for the book actually sounds quite simple, but in the hands of Mel Sherratt it is anything but simple. Mel knows how to tell a story, and how to tell it in a way that has me gripped. As always I'm wary of how much to reveal, but it is hard to review a book without giving away some of the plot so don't say I didn't warn you.

A man's body is found on a canal towpath, and a magnetic letter E is found in his pocket. DS Allie Shenton, from Taunting the Dead is one of the officers on the case and they barely have time to breathe before another body is found, this time of a local glamour model, a letter V tucked into her clothing. Both victims are connected to the killer, Patrick, and that connection is made clear at the very start of the book. We often follow the killer in crime fiction, but it isn't often their motives are made that clear, so early on. The book lost none of its excitement or tension however, as Mel kept the twists coming until the very end of the book.

The book features flashbacks to the killer's schooldays, I attended an inner city comprehensive which wasn't exactly rough, but it had its moments so the scenes being described here were instantly recognisable to me, and made me remember those kids that were picked on for the way they looked, dressed or acted. Patrick has a clear motivation behind what he's doing and it's frightening to think that something from a person's schooldays can remain with them until adulthood, turning them into a killer. His upbringing did play a big part in things however, and despite the fact he was a killer there were still moments I felt for him and it was interesting to really get inside his head. The flashbacks certainly show Patrick's justification (or at least in his eyes) for carrying out the murders, some of these characters are still pretty horrible in the present day and whilst murder might be a tad extreme, those scenes were brilliantly written and at times graphic, just what I want from a book.

Allie is a character I am fast becoming a fan of, and I love that she's a strong character, still with various flaws and weaknesses but she's a character that stands out in this crowded genre. I'm rather bored of the single woman police officer, with the vodka in the freezer and the empty wine bottles overflowing in the recycling who has an unhealthy relationship with men and sex so it's quite refreshing to have a character like Allie. That's not so say her home life and relationship aren't without their problems, but they are problems I actually want to read about. Especially the continuing thread from Taunting the Dead concerning her sister who was attacked and left for dead years earlier, the attacker was never found but is still in the background taunting Allie. I had a theory about this, and thought it was going to be a twist in this book but sadly, I was wrong! What I will say though is that whilst this thread is interesting, approaching book three I would like some resolution rather than it being continually dragged out for ages, Peter James' Sandy anyone? So hopefully book three will see that resolved.

Another thing I love about this series is Mel's portrayal of Stoke, I don't know the city and have never visited but reading these books I feel like I do know the city, and it really came to life within this book's pages. You can tell Mel knows and loves the city, shining a light on its good parts but also its bad. I read a lot of London set crime fiction or US crime fiction so it's always nice to read a book not set in those areas. Also, all of her characters feel like actual people, which gives her books more of a sense of realism. This is fiction that you can easily picture being real life, a story on the news or even something that could happen on your own street which oddly, makes me enjoy the book even more. That realism and believable portrayal of the human mind really gets my own mind ticking over, and I do spent a little longer mulling over my thoughts after reading a Mel Sherratt book than I might with other books especially with this book's unexpected but brilliant ending. You can see the effort that has gone it, and having followed Mel on Twitter for a while now it's obvious she loves what she does and that shows on every page, yes every author loves writing but Mel was born to do it, and she does it better than most. The DS Allie Shenton series comes highly recommended by me, and I want book three now after that cliffhanger!
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Cherish (Covet, #1.5)
Cherish (Covet, #1.5)
by Ms Tracey Garvis Graves
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.35

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 29 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Cherish (Covet, #1.5) (Paperback)
In 2012 I picked up a book on a whim, On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves. That book is now one of my all-time favourites. 2013 saw the release of Covet, and once again I finished it speechless and with the knowledge that it would be a book I would never forget. I contacted Tracey via Goodreads to share my review with her, something I have never felt compelled to do and the fact she read my review was fantastic, but she actually shared with me some secrets about the book that not many people at the time knew, it was an alternate ending to Covet and I felt very privileged and found it a little bit exciting to be told something like that. That experience was one of the reasons I set up this blog in the first place, connecting with an author like that is just incredible, and something only other book lovers will 'get'!

You really have to have read Covet before Cherish, as it continues the story of Daniel. A policeman who was shot in the line of duty at the end of Covet and when I finished that book, I wasn't the only reader left desperate to know what happened to Daniel in the aftermath. Cherish is a novella, so I can't speak about the story too much, apart from to say that most people will have an idea of where it goes, but let me tell you that it is done in the most beautiful way, and this short story really is one of the most perfect, poignant and incredible love stories that I have ever read. I completely fell in love with both characters myself, and reached the book's conclusion long before I wanted to. There aren't any spectacular scenes but rather this is a story about two people, not falling back in love as they never fell out of it, but it is almost like that. As Jess nurses Daniel back to full health, and his memories start to come back, and our two characters finally start to tell each other how they feel, well, it's just wonderful. The book did almost make me cry, but in a good way.

The characters of Daniel and Jess felt so real, the book itself didn't feel fictional and this is something I have said about each of Tracey's books that I have read. I've read over 400 books since On the Island and a couple of hundred since Covet (and Uncharted) but I could tell you everything about those books despite having only read them once, and that's because of Tracey's ability to tell a story that remains with the reader for a long, long time and I am so glad that Cherish was everything that I wanted it to be and more. This is very much a book for the fans, but also one that new readers of Covet will have ready to pick up once they finish it. I could praise Tracey and her books all night, but really, I've said it all before. I feel like I've found something special with Tracey's books, and really mean it when I say that she's one of my favourite authors and that when I recommend one of her books, it's in a 'read them now!' kind of way and not add them to a TBR that you'll never get through. With that said, if you do have Tracey's books on your TBR then I would advise you to move them to the very top. In fact, start one today! You definitely will not regret it.

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