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Hard Landing (The 1st Spider Shepherd Thriller)
Hard Landing (The 1st Spider Shepherd Thriller)
Price: £0.49

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book, 24 April 2011
This book makes fantastic reading, I was totally entertained and utterly enthralled in the story from beginning to end. I have been a massive fan of Lee Child's Jack Reacher for years and am so happy that I have found a british equivalent in Dan "Spider" Shepherd.

Great story, seemed very realistic and I love the fact that the good guys as well as bad guys are portrayed in different shades of gray rather than black or white. I don't know much about drug barons, prison or police undercover work but it felt like the author has done thorough research and carefully plotted the story - although all loose ends got tied up by the end nothing was "too convenient" or contrived.

I really enjoyed this book and immediately bought the next one in the series. If you like authors like Lee Child or Chris Ryan then I think that you will really enjoy this book.

Bosch PLR 50 Digital Laser Range Finder
Bosch PLR 50 Digital Laser Range Finder
Price: £113.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the price!, 16 Mar 2011
I bought this for my boyfriend (he sells home solar electricity systems) last year and he's still raving on about how brilliant it is 4 months later!

He tells me that it saves him so much time when he surveys a customer's house as well as looking really professional. He was blown away by the accuracy and ease of use and more importantly none of the solar fitters have come back to him since he's had this device and complained that his measurments are wrong in any way.

He says that it gives him total confidence with his figures so he can concentrate instead on selling so I think it would have still been good value for money even if I'd paid double for it!

Sugar & Spice
Sugar & Spice
Price: £0.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shows potential, 14 Mar 2011
This review is from: Sugar & Spice (Kindle Edition)
Firstly I would like to congratulate the author on having the courage to write a book like this. Sadly paedophilia is not uncommon and understandably people have very strong views about the subject matter.

I think that the storyline is excellent in that it also enables readers to see, and to some extent sympathise with, a paedophiles' viewpoint - by this I mean the people who day-in and day-out struggle against giving in to these urges, usually alone and afraid as society will shun any such person who openly asks for help. But "Mr Tom" is depicted correctly as a truly evil individual - thus giving us a well balanced view of different types of paedophiles.

Another thing I found exceptional was the way the author never went into explicit detail with the crimes involving the children yet still absolutely managed to portray the terror and despair without sensationalising it in any way. These scenes were extremely well written but never too graphic.

But I was disappointed with the portrayal of the Child Protection Services; this seemed very one-sided and biased. While I am sure that the CPS has (as with every profession) its fair share of selfish, cruel and uncaring individuals surely the CPS characters in this book do not reflect CPS as a whole? And yes I know that the book is fiction but I still think that it is simply lazy writing and characterisation when the goodies are oh-so-good yet the baddies are so-very-bad. Both the police and paedophile characters were realistically represented, why not also the CPS workers?

I enjoyed the first 3 quarters of the book immensely but the ending was a real letdown for me. I found the writing style and storytelling up to this point similar to Peter James and I raced through each chapter - I couldn't wait to read the next one and find out what happens next! Up to the point where I began to have suspicions about Mr Tom's true identity I found the book totally believable and very true to life. But at this point I think the author got a bit carried away and I was really unhappy with the way the story ended, at this point it felt really unbelievable and the author didn't manage to sell me this at all. However I think that a lot of readers who also enjoy for example Patricia Cornwell will be totally satisfied - it just got a bit too far-fetched for me.

All in all an enjoyable book (even though I didn't like the ending) and I look forward to reading more from this author.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 16, 2011 8:31 AM GMT

The Lies We Told
The Lies We Told

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weak ending compared with her other novels, 23 Feb 2011
This review is from: The Lies We Told (Kindle Edition)
I really like Diane Chamberlain's writing style and have read a number of her books but I struggled a bit with the ending in this one. The story started really well and as always Ms Chamberlain is very detailed in her charater descriptions and actions. The story is interesting and really picks up pace for the first half of the book. The ending is what does it for me, I find it completely believable that the family relationships could change in this way but totally unbelievable that there are "no hard feelings" and everybody remains friends. They are better people that I could be in that position.

If you are a fan of Jodi Picult's books then I think you will enjoy Diane Chamberlain's (personally I prefer Ms Chamberlain) however for any new readers out there my recommendation would be to start with "Before the Storm" - I think this has a much stronger ending and I enjoyed reading it far more (possibly because I'd be far more likely to react/act like this if it happened to me)

The ending knocks off a star for me.

Uprising (The Fall of Haven Book 1)
Uprising (The Fall of Haven Book 1)
Price: £0.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for me but very clever, 27 Nov 2010
I am not a sci-fi fan at all but decided to give this a try as it was free, had 2 good reviews, and I do love the fantasy genre so I'm ever hopeful that I will click at some point with sci-fi. Reading this book has not changed my opinion of the genre as a whole but the book itself was very well written although I found the ending depressing.

Brilliant concept but it left me with a lot of questions about how the world came about which is so frustrating for me and usually the reason I don't read this kind of thing. Very snappy dialog, the characters are well-rounded and I did not see the ending coming. I felt that the interaction between the 2 russian sidekicks Tanya and Eugene was over the top however, Tanya *really* grated on me.

This is a 3 star book for me but i've given it 4 stars as normally I would not manage to get half way though a book like this (especially if it cost nothing!) and the fact that I finished it in my opinion speaks volumes for the author's talent with sucking you in by weaving you a story that you just *must* know the end of.

Great writing but for sci-fi fans only.

Kill&Cure (Varcy and Kendrick #1)
Kill&Cure (Varcy and Kendrick #1)

3.0 out of 5 stars Very similar to Michael Palmer..., 26 Nov 2010
Very similar to Michael Palmer... and therein lies the problem for me. I don't really have anything bad to say about the book, the story was interesting enough and quite well thought out. The author writes well and there is a lot of medical information (which went way over my head for the most part so I can't comment on the validity but his knowledge certainly impressed me) but I just didn't really care about the characters that much. I got a bit lost with the different storylines as the book went on and realised that is was due to the characters not making any real impression on me so I forgot about them pretty much after the chapter introducing them ended. Then when they reappeared later on I couldn't work out who they were.

To be honest I got a distinct deja-vu feeling when reading the story, the usual big medical conspiracy with the usual "shocking" twist at the end - I feel I've read it all before.

Reading Kill&Cure killed a couple of hours for me this afternoon however and I can't fault the price at all.I've only given the book 3 stars because I just don't think the story itself is original enough for 4, the writing certainly is though. I think fans of Michael Palmer will like this book, but unfortunately I'm not one of his (many) fans.

48 Hours: A City of London Thriller
48 Hours: A City of London Thriller
Price: £0.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 hours? More like 5 hours....., 26 Nov 2010
I absolutely loved this book and finished it in about 5 hours, all in one go! It was brilliant. The story itself was fairly straightforward, no massive twists or surprises but the writing and the suspense it created as I waited to find out what next was such that I couldn't put the book down. I love characters like Lee Child's "Jack Reacher" and it was a brilliant move on the authors part to have the lead character as a pretty straightforward guy, nothing special, but give him a truly inspirational side-kick in the form of his female bodyguard Dee. (5ft nothing, intelligent, sexy and totally bad-ass)

I found the story really believable and it wasn't a whodunnit at all - the team quickly worked out the person behind the blackmailing is, in fact I found myself wondering after approx 22% (i have the kindle version) "where do they go from here? They already know who the bad guy is..." - well i was not disappointed! The rest of the book was for me a very realistic account about the police procedure, how they interacted with the security company and what lengths criminals with power will go to, to cover their tracks and escape justice. Totally believable and so refreshing that the author relies on great story-telling and not a massive twist at the end which usually just makes me groan at yet another far-fetched conspiracy.

I was fascinated from beginning to end and cannot wait for the next book - which continues with Dee and the security firm she works for.

According to the publisher's blurb JD has been a published author for 16 years - I'd love to know what his other pseudonyms are so I can read some of his other work. So JD if you're reading.... please give us a clue....
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 27, 2010 11:37 AM GMT

Once Bitten (A thriller with bite)
Once Bitten (A thriller with bite)
Price: £2.68

80 of 87 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected pleasure..., 26 Nov 2010
I bought this book as it was in the Kindle top 100 and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It is not your typical vampire story and gives an interesting alternative to the standard view. I could really see this book being made into a indie type film (low - moderate budget or maybe made-for-TV movie) and the way it is written reminded me very much of Michael Crichton, especially with the extra detail about things that are not necessary for the actual plot but still very interesting and which help me get a better understanding of the lead characters line of work. A good, well thought out plot as well and I especially liked the ending.

Why only 4 stars? At only 250 pages it was too short for me personally, I think the "10 years" period (can't say more than this without spoilers) could have been more detailed which could easily have lengthened the book by another 100 or so pages. But this is simply my personal preference - I like long and detailed books - and the story itself certainly didn't require it and didn't feel rushed in any way.

A word of warning: if you like your books all neatly tied up at the end then you won't enjoy this book's conclusion as it is very much true to life in that there are a lot of questions left unanswered. This could be because the author intends to write a sequel but I suspect what is actually intended is to make you think a bit...

Final Whistle
Final Whistle
Price: £0.77

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant first effort!, 17 Nov 2010
This review is from: Final Whistle (Kindle Edition)
When I finished this book I was really disappointed with it and at first I couldn't work out why. The writing was great and the story is really fast-paced with a lot of different threads going on which all slowly came together. I was surprised that this was Tom Spencer's first book as he certainly came across as very accomplished and the story felt well within his comfort zone. I warmed to the lead character immensely and really cared about what would happen next.

So I set the book aside and came back to it 2 weeks later and read it again. I loved it! So why didn't I like it the first time? I had just finished re-reading Dick Francis' "High Stakes" and deliberately bought this book because Tom Spencer is reported to be "the new Dick Francis". Well he's not - and what's more I don't think he's trying to be! What I really like about DK is that his novels are always fairly straight-forward: the story is less about "whodunnit" and more about a very normal, average individual who comes up against something that pushes him beyond endurance but he still manages to take a stand - no major twists, no multiple storylines, just simplicity and great writing. Tom Spencer's "Final Whistle" is nothing like this (apart from the great writing) - it sets a cracking pace early on and doesn't let up for a minute!

The book has been thoroughly researched and I am transported into the world of a premiership football player at the top of his game and his actions after a close friend dies and he is also sidelined with a potentially career-ending injury. You do not need to know much about football before you start but it is advisable that you have some interest in it otherwise you may find yourself skipping some pages as matches and actions do feature heavily. I really liked the fact that the characters were well rounded and it was refreshing that the main character was based on the Michael Owens and Danny Murphys of the Premiership and not the John Terrys or Ashley Coles. There was more than one twist and I read the last third all in one sitting - the story simply raced along - I couldn't put it down. Really, really enjoyable and I look forward to more from this author.

Why not 5 stars? Firstly the love interest. It just felt a bit fake and rushed to me and a bit like it was added as the author thought there should be one and less because it actually suited the story. Secondly everything got tied up a wee bit too nicely for me at the end, I think a risk could have been taken here and it would have meant that the book had a longer lasting impact.

Overall however I think that if Tom Spencer continues writing crime fiction affiliated in some way with the footballing world then he may well do with football what DK did with racing - but in his own style!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 9, 2013 8:13 PM BST

Price: £1.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for a first effort, 16 Nov 2010
This review is from: FALLEN IDOLS (Kindle Edition)
This book is not about footballers, it is really about a journalist and a police officer and a crime that happened a decade ago catching up with the perpetrator and how it affected members of a community who covered it up. I disagree with the reviewers who say the author "doesn't care" and "didn't do his research" into the football community as the footballer thing for me was simply part of the overall story and not the focus. I didn't come away from the book with any greater insights into the footballer world (but I didn't expect to so it didn't spoil the story for me)

I enjoyed the book but there were a couple of inconsistencies for me that mean I only give it 3 stars. It's difficult to write about these without spoilers so sorry if I can't make myself totally clear here or if I give too much away.

I am an avid fan of Lee Child's Jack Reacher series and from reading these I get the distinct impression that it is quite difficult to shoot someone accurately from far away (things like wind speed and direction are a factor?). I just don't buy into the theory that the person responsible was capable of this and there is also no background given that supports this skill. I also do not understand how all this weaponry was available to the perpetrator, again, not enough background.

The perpetrator comes across in the book as being more than slightly mentally disturbed but is able to function totally normally around a number of people (but others are in no way fooled). I can't believe that the "voices" and "noises" can be turned on and off again by will alone so this part of the story does not ring true for me at all.

The book's redeeming feature is that despite all this I still enjoyed the story! I think that the author writes well and I warmed to the lead characters Jack Garrett and Laura McGanity. I will be purchasing further books in the series to see how their relationship develops. If you look at this book as a crime thriller and you are interested in how the police force and journalists function and also how things that happened long ago can ripple out and effect a community today then I think you will enjoy this book.

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