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Basement Cat (UK)
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Unexploded
Unexploded
Price: 3.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Something Missing, 21 Oct 2013
This review is from: Unexploded (Kindle Edition)
The opening chapter started so well, with Evelyn struggling to make do without her daily help, and trying to coming to terms with a possible invasion after the failure of the Dunkirk landings. This swiftly changed as historical errors blundered their way into the text of my pre-release copy, with mentions of paracetamol and antibiotics for Geoffrey's toothache. I hope this was corrected before publication, but my trust in the author was lost from that point.
Geoffrey, Evelyn and their son Philip are three people in a family that hardly seem to know each other at all. All three of them seem to be something else on the surface, maybe playing a role that they feel society has imposed on them. But just under that surface, and very easily exposed, is something else much darker. All this has unbelievably been hidden throughout their marriage, and all three of them go off the rails at the same time. The problem with this is, that it's very hard to care about what happens to any of these people. They seem to be deceitful and uncaring both to each other, and the others they involve as well. Because of the way that the characters are introduced to the reader, it just seemed too incredible that they would actually do these things too. I do not think that the author has understood how people really lived and interacted in the 1940's in Britain, but has used an idea based on a stereotype that never existed. This is a shame, because it could have been such a fantastic book. The plot is good, the ideas for the characters and the historical context, especially the location - all great, but only in the hands of a different author.


Rose Harbor in Bloom (Rose Harbor 2)
Rose Harbor in Bloom (Rose Harbor 2)
Price: 2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 16 Oct 2013
Sometimes, a Debbie Macomber book is just what you need to make yourself feel better about yourself and the world. She has the ability to take you so deeply inside her character's lives that you feel as though they are real people that you know and care deeply about. I find the books as comforting as a lovely hot water-bottle after a hard day at work, and so very, very addictive. This second book in the Rose Harbour series is sadder than the first one for Jo Marie and her guests, but there's definitely something intriguing about the handyman that she employs to help with the garden. A great page turner that ticks all the right boxes for me.


The Husband's Secret
The Husband's Secret
Price: 1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fantastic, 16 Oct 2013
This has to be one of the best books that I have read for a long, long time. It is so absolutely gripping, that I just couldn't bear to put it down, and after I reached a certain point, I knew that I would have to stay up all night to finish it if necessary.
The story concerns three very ordinary women whose family lives intersect after a very extraordinary event comes to light after a long time. These women are so ordinary that you can imagine they are people that you might even know yourself from the school gates or somewhere similar. I found myself empathising with them all, and caring deeply about the possible outcomes. The event that shakes them up is not at all what I had expected, and is extremely well-handled. This author really knows how to keep her readers hooked right to the very last page. Brilliant!


Zyliss Herb Tool Cutter
Zyliss Herb Tool Cutter
Price: 11.79

3.0 out of 5 stars Very sharp, 16 Oct 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is very sharp, but not in a good way. It looks quite innocent, but my adult son managed to cut himself quite deeply because he didn't realise quite how sharp it was, and I very nearly did the same. It is a very dangerous item when it's taken apart for cleaning, and if I had to wash it up by hand I wouldn't use it. As it is, I have used it a couple of times, and considering that it is so sharp, I don't think that it does a particularly good job. You seem to have to run over the herbs with the blades quite a few times to get a good result. It's much easier to use a sharp knife, and unless you a chopping a lot of herbs it seems a bit pointless to use this. I probably will use it occasionally, but I shall definitely handle it with extreme care.


Zyliss Coarse Grater, Acid Etched
Zyliss Coarse Grater, Acid Etched
Price: 13.04

3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Special, 16 Oct 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I got this because I have the Zyliss fine grater, which is brilliant - very sharp and grates everything effortlessly. That is exceptional, but this is not much better than one I bought from Sainsbury's for under 5. I don't think that it grates particularly well, as cheese comes out in curl shapes, although it does seem to be quite sharp. It performs better on vegetables, such as carrots and onions, but as I would mainly like it to grate cheese, I'm not thrilled with it. Because of it's sharpness, it comes with a smart grey plastic cover to stop you cutting yourself on it by mistake. I like the handle shape, and the non-slip board rest on the bottom. You can see and feel that it's very well made, and consequently should last a lot longer than it's 5 year guarantee period.


Vanguard Kinray Lite 48Bk Large Backpack With Removable Padded Camera Insert And Quick Side Access And Rain Cover - Black
Vanguard Kinray Lite 48Bk Large Backpack With Removable Padded Camera Insert And Quick Side Access And Rain Cover - Black
Price: 81.68

4.0 out of 5 stars Good qualility, 26 Sep 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the most expensive bag that isn't a handbag that I have ever owned. It is quite small and neat, made of lightweight, but sturdy material which provides protection for your equipment from bumps and from the weather, as it has it's own rain cover. The camera compartment itself is thickly padded, and easily accessible. It can also be removed so you can use it just as a normal backpack. The straps are wide and very comfortable, which is an important factor in any choice. This a very high quality item, which is very well-made, and will last me for years. All the zips and fastenings seem to be very strong, and my only negative thought is that perhaps it could have done with a few more pockets.


Loewe Speaker 2go Aluminium Bluetooth Mobile Speaker with NFC - Silver
Loewe Speaker 2go Aluminium Bluetooth Mobile Speaker with NFC - Silver
Price: 269.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 26 Sep 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a wonderful piece of equipment, and so very useful and easy to use. The most important aspect of any speaker is it's sound, of course. This sounds incredible, and is easily able to fill a smallish room. I don't really know much about describing the technical side of this, but it sounds so clear, and the bass is very good too. I tried it on plenty of different genres of music, and found that is good with them all. It initially charged up very quickly, and lasts most of the day, depending on how much you use it. I take it from room to room with me, and use it either with my iPhone or ipad, which it quickly connects to using Bluetooth. You could take this out with you, but you probably would want to use more protection than is supplied by the black velvet pouch that comes with it. This would only protect the beautiful aluminium casing from fingerprints etc., so is a bit superfluous. You can also attach non-Bluetooth items to the speaker with a cable, and you can also use it as a speaker for hands-free phone calls, neither of which I have tried yet. It is a lovely speaker, and I am very pleased with both the excellent sound quality and the ease of use. And it looks gorgeous too!


Paris
Paris
by Edward Rutherfurd
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 15.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as it could have been, 19 Sep 2013
This review is from: Paris (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Edward Rutherfurd is well known for his very large books which follow the foundation and growth of a particular city, such as 'Sarum' or 'London'. 'Paris' is slightly different in that respect, as it begins in the nineteenth century, with occasional forays into the past, but not as far back as he goes in his previous novels. I wanted to read it as I know that there are big gaps in my historical knowledge of this city, and whatever you think of the book, you can be sure that the facts and dates are correct.
I found it quite difficult to get into this book - it is quite slow to get moving, and difficult to work out who is who. There are four different families in the story, but it seemed as though there was such a long gap between their appearances that it was a problem to remember who they were. It was quite difficult to build up any empathy with the characters because of this, and I almost gave up several times. The story sometimes goes back in time so that we can meet the ancestors of the present characters, which again extended the time between their appearances. It was interesting to learn historical details about Paris in a non-threatening way, but this sometimes seemed to be done in a bit of a clunky way, such as when Roland's father gives him a bit of a history quiz as they ride through the city. I might well have given up very early on, if it hadn't been for the most interesting character, Thomas Gascon, though I found his relationship with Mr Eiffel a bit hard to believe. This is a very long book, which could have done with quite a bit of editing, as there was an awful lot of detail that was superfluous to the plot. The writing is not particularly sparkling, but the story of Paris is interesting enough to carry it.


The Fire Witness
The Fire Witness
by Lars Kepler
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars So Gripping!, 19 Sep 2013
This review is from: The Fire Witness (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have read the first book in this series featuring Joona Linna, but not the second. It didn't seem to be a problem though, as each book so far seems to be quite self-contained. Joona Linna is a charismatic detective, who is very driven in his attempts to solve his crimes. It's apparent right at the beginning of the book that there is some darkness involving has family, although very little is given away throughout the narrative. At times,because of this, Joona seems a bit one dimensional, unlike other Swedish detectives, such as Wallander, who is quite prone to introspection. You begin to realise that you know nothing about him, apart from his single-minded determination to find the killer. However, it all comes together eventually in the most amazing, heart-stopping manner that I could never have imagined. The people who are complaining that they don't know what happened to Joona's wife and child obviously didn't finish the book! The last chapters set the scene for the next instalment, which I although I can't wait to read, looks as though it will be as heartbreaking as it will be chilling.


Zyliss Fine Grater, Acid Etched
Zyliss Fine Grater, Acid Etched
Price: 14.20

5.0 out of 5 stars Sharp, 19 Sep 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am so pleased with this grater, as it just works so well. I used to hate grating lemons on my old box grater, as most of it seemed to get stuck in the ridges and had to be scraped of with a knife, losing quite a bit in the process. This, though, works wonderfully well, with all the peel going into the mixing bowl. It is sharp though, so care is needed to not grate the pith as well, and skin or fingernails. It grates Parmesan-type cheese wonderfully, and is very easily cleaned, or you can put it in the dishwasher. It has a nice yellow grippy handle, and comes with a plastic shield to stop you accidentally cutting yourself on it when it is in the drawer. This is a really useful piece of kitchen equipment that makes light work of grating anything that I've tried so far.


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