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ratscat13 "ratscat13" (North East Scotland)
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Burning Man (A Gideon and Sirius Novel)
Burning Man (A Gideon and Sirius Novel)
by Alan Russell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.64

4.0 out of 5 stars Sirius really is the Dog Star!, 14 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really enjoyed this book. The story starts in the fire where Gideon and his dog Sirius are badly burned bringing a serial killer (The Weatherman) to captivity. The main thread of the book revolves around two separate deaths, that of an abandoned baby, Rose, and a teenager Paul Klein. As Gideon investigates both deaths we are given insights into his ordeal with fire and how that shapes both his personality and his investigations.

I found the writing to be good and the plot lines flowed well. There is enough intrigue to keep you turning the page, though the intrigue is more into Gideon's character than the deaths. The characters are believable and well rounded with just enough flaws to make them human. The star of the book is Sirius, the dog. He is a great character and I like the idea of Gideon keeping him as a partner even though he retired from the K9 unit following his burn and gunshot injuries. He is obviously written by a dog owner and his antics will be recognisable to any dog owner!

An unusual angle for a murder investigation novel to be written from but it is definitely worth a read.


Moon Underfoot (A Jake Crosby Thriller)
Moon Underfoot (A Jake Crosby Thriller)
by Bobby Cole
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.64

3.0 out of 5 stars Reminiscent of an Ealing comedy, 14 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The book tells the story of Jake and his daughter. They are starting to put their lives back together following a traumatic night in the woods which resulted in the death of two men. These two men are now being avenged by their friend Moon Pie.

What results is a tale of elderly bank robbers, a domestic violence situation, drug deals and the mix ups that happen along the way. The tales are separate but they intertwine and create what for me was reminiscent of an Ealing comedy. Where one action creates problems for another story line with the whole being a train wreck approaching!

I enjoyed the read but found the story to be predictable and nothing really came as a surprise. The characters are either good or bad; there are no grey areas in morality here. The writing is ok but nothing special. The plot pace is good but as I say no surprises.

All in all a good little book but nothing to write home about.


The Keeper (DI Sean Corrigan, Book 2) (Di Sean Corrigan 2)
The Keeper (DI Sean Corrigan, Book 2) (Di Sean Corrigan 2)
by Luke Delaney
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.09

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Going Postal, 14 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I met DI Corrigan in The Toy Taker, the third of Delaney's published novels and rated it highly. When I got a chance to review The Keeper for Vine then I jumped at the chance.

The novel is a compulsive page turner right from the first page and whilst I had just moved house and should have been reorganising the bedroom furniture I found myself reading the book in one sitting!

Thomas Keller is an extremely disturbed man and has been through most of his troubled life. He found the love of his life and they were kept apart and since then he has been looking for her. The result is the kidnap of Louise Russell. The woman he is convinced is Sam (his one and only love) who has been brainwashed to forget him. He soon realises that she isn't and so kidnaps another woman with very similar build.

So starts a terrifying journey into the mind of an obsessed man. Equally obsessed is DI Corrigan himself, a man with his own troubled background which led him to the police. It also gives him an insight into the workings of killers but also a need to understand them fully.

The book alternates between the Sean Corrigan and Thomas Keller threads over a linear timeline and this works well. It also alternates between factual investigation and the mental processes of those involved in the tale. It is very well written with scarily descriptive passages of the mental deterioration both of Keller and of the women held.

The characters are believable and this helps draw you into their world. The plot is well paced with developments taking time to discover as in a real case. It also has many false leads for the police which lead to wasted time in finding the kidnap victims. The reader discovers these to be false as the story progresses.

This is not a who dunnit, you know who the responsible party from the start, what it is a darn well written police procedural with a DI who has some rather insightful investigative processes that don't always make sense to his colleagues. Give it a go you won't regret it.


The Next Time You See Me
The Next Time You See Me
by Holly Goddard Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.82

3.0 out of 5 stars A good read just a bit overindulgent for my taste, 2 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The books cover blurb calls it a “brilliantly nuanced, psychologically astute debut that explores the fault lines of a small community”. Just goes to show you can’t believe everything you read.

The novel is about a missing woman and her sister’s search for the truth. The second thread is a lonely thirteen year old girl who finds a body in the woods and doesn’t say anything.

I found the book to be an interesting read and the idea of not reporting a body fascinating. However the book is too drawn out and much of the time the author has tried far too hard. What results is a lot of unnecessary information and some overly descriptive passages. This all disrupt the flow of the story.

People are too deep in the novel; yes it about psychology but it’s too clever for its own good at times.
The story works if you can persevere with the author’s overindulgences. It’s almost like Jones feels she has to prove she is a good writer rather than a good storyteller. An author needs to find a balance of the two.

That said I gave the book three stars as it is an interesting story and you do want to know how the two threads come together in the end. Characters are believable and the underlying secrets of a small town are authentic.

A good read just a bit overindulgent for my taste


It Happens in the Dark
It Happens in the Dark
by Carol O'Connell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.19

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Predictable and a bit too far fetched, 2 May 2014
This review is from: It Happens in the Dark (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have to say I have read Carol O’Connell’s Mallory novels before and found them an ok read. They are enjoyable but the plots are a little stretched. I found this one no different.

The plot revolves around a play and its cast. There is a death in the theatre on opening night. The reviews call it a “play to die for” and attendances for the second night rise, only for the playwright to be found on the front row with his throat slashed during the performance.

The plot revolves around a ghost writer leaving messages on a whiteboard backstage. Messages about changes to the plot and who should play what part and little by little the play changes.

Characters are flat and predictable, the strange little man backstage, the ghost and the Diva. I found them all a little annoying in their own ways and with no real backstory they have no redeeming features at all.

The plot is ridiculous at times and so unrealistic it reduces the novel to a farce at times. I am not sure if this is what was intended but if so it doesn’t work.

The ending is predictable and a little bit of a let down by being so. This is the poorest of the Mallory novels so far but that said I enjoyed it.


The Einstein Pursuit (Payne & Jones 8)
The Einstein Pursuit (Payne & Jones 8)
by Chris Kuzneski
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 8.42

4.0 out of 5 stars Yet again Payne and Jones cause chaos (and a few laughs!), 2 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
In some ways this is a scary book in others it’s a great lot of fun. Payne and Jones are a real pair of characters; ones it’s impossible to take seriously. That however does not mean you should discredit the writing, or the story.

We start with a major explosion in a Swedish scientific research laboratory, one which it comes to light no-one knew about. However there were some major names in multiple branches of science working in the unknown lab. The explosion itself was a cunning use of the buildings design to create the ultimate level of destruction possible, as well as making sure there were no survivors.

Payne and Jones become involved when Dr Sahlberg approaches them for help as his life is in danger. They don’t know him. He claims close working relationship with one of their fathers. He claims to not know about the lab. However he brings together a brain team to look and see if they can work out what the lab was working on.

Just how I like a thriller to start, lots of questions, no answers, and definitely no trust! However in typical Payne and Jones fashion they take on the challenge, what the hell no-one has tried to kill them recently, they haven’t jumped out of a plane for a halo jump, swum with no breathing apparatus or with deadly creatures, or used the corporate jet for a mystery mission in...

..Oh any time recently! By the way one or more of these does NOT happen in this novel. Just so it’s not really a spoiler! There is however much more Payne and Jones action.

In Kuzneski style Payne and Jones rampage around the world causing chaos but somehow managing to crack jokes at each others expense and never getting into any trouble with authorities.

I love this pair. If you like a good James Bond style romp then you will love Payne and Jones. If you haven’t met them yet, get yourself invited to the party.


Natchez Burning
Natchez Burning
by Greg Iles
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.91

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Huge novel of great interest to anyone interested by race relations, 24 April 2014
This review is from: Natchez Burning (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book is not an easy read by any means but it is a damned good one. It’s not easy as its almost 800 pages long and it’s not easy due to it’s content.
The book is set in the present day and covers a period of three days when Penn Cage tries to find out the truth behind the death of his father’s old nurse. In doing so he is taken back to events in the 1960s which show Penn his father may not be the man he always thought he was.
The book is set in the Deep South and racism is rampant. There are lynchings, people burnt alive and even someone shut inside a tree to die. There are fantastic characters with the book having a great guy who runs a music shop – which doubles as a place for mixed race couples to meet, there are corrupt policemen, and those who think the Klan have gone soft...
Set against the true history of the era between the assassinations of JFK and Martin Luther King it is a fascinating tale of hatred based on skin colour and the people who fought against it.
The writing is typical of Greg Iles – dense, full of detail and pulling no punches. It took me almost a week to read it around work, which is a long time for me to finish a book. However it is thought provoking and sometimes I just needed to take time out and walk the dog to digest what I had read (and to remind myself the world is not all full of hatred).


Snowblind
Snowblind
by Christopher Golden
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.79

4.0 out of 5 stars There’s something out there in the storm, 24 April 2014
This review is from: Snowblind (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I could not put this down! I stayed up well into the wee hours reading it right through to the end.
The story is set in a small Massachusetts town, on the shores of a lake, in a brutal storm. It’s not the first time – twelve years ago they were hit by a bad storm and people died. The town still talk about it, and the loved ones they lost.
Now the storms are back but this time there is something out there in it, it brings just what people want, but that’s just the start of the trouble.......

Golden’s narrative is well written and nicely paced. The book sets the scene of the town and its inhabitants well; it also gives a good haunting tale of those lost in the first storm. As the storm approaches the tension builds nicely then during the second storm the book becomes a first rate page turner.

The characters are believable and have depth to them, the suspense is good, and the story is a nice twist on a storm based scary ride.
I agree with Stephen King on this one it ...”is the real deal”


Sutton
Sutton
by J. R. Moehringer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.96

5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting thought on a real life villain, 24 April 2014
This review is from: Sutton (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I wasn’t sure what to make of this book at first, how much was fiction and how much fact? Was their a point to the speculation? In the end I enjoyed it as a good tale of bank robbery and love in mid 20th Century America.
Willie Sutton was set free from Attica on Christmas Eve 1969. No-one knows why he was released. He was released in a burst of media frenzy but only granted one interview. The result of this was strangely missing in facts, and contained some outright lies.
This book aims to fill in what might have happened that day during the interview.

What results is a great story of crime, love, incarceration and intrigue (mostly into Sutton himself).

I enjoyed the writing style and the way the story unfolded. It fits known facts of the case into a great narrative that could just be true. Of course it’s only one possibility and we will never know the truth but that is what makes this such an interesting story. The story runs as a chronology of key points in Sutton’s life and as you read the book you slowly realise that not everything Sutton says is true, but it might just be what he believes is true.


The Toy Taker (DI Sean Corrigan, Book 3) (Di Sean Corrigan 3)
The Toy Taker (DI Sean Corrigan, Book 3) (Di Sean Corrigan 3)
by Luke Delaney
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 6.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting twist on the child abduction story, 24 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I found this novel gripping from the start. It is a tale of child abduction but with a twist. The main character DI Corrigan is interesting and believable. He faces the struggle to solve a series of child abductions against a backdrop of police politics that sees his team transformed into a bigger and more public faced team based in Scotland Yard.

The story develops and it’s not until towards the end that the threads start to come together and the motive behind the abductions is discovered. The story moves at a good pace and is at time frustrating as leads come to nothing and the investigation struggles to find a link between the children.

The background of the political manoeuvring in the police is just enough to provide a second thread to the tale but not overpowering to the main story.

All in all a really good read and I shall be looking out for further investigations by DI Corrigan.


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