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JK "Julie K." (UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

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The Weight of Blood
The Weight of Blood
by Laura McHugh
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.49

4.0 out of 5 stars American Gothic. Great scene setting and atmosphere., 1 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Weight of Blood (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm just beginning to explore the world of 'Southern Gothic' fiction. The Weight of Blood fits nicely into the genre.

This is a dark, brooding tale set in the deep South. Much of the the atmosphere comes from the scene setting with it's emphasis on hot, humid conditions and biting, stinging insects. There are lots of places you really wouldn't want to go and the townsfolk are written as a band of people so grotesque you wouldn't be safe to remain in their company. So far so good. Loved all of that quirky, creepy stuff.

The story really kicks in at a point when there's been a murder. The victim is the close friend of Lucy and Lucy has enough on her mind. Her mother Lila disappeared years before and was never found. Is there a link?. Well; the novel is split between Lila and Lucy. It moves between past and present with each woman narrating her own story. Much is uncovered and explained but I'm not telling you anymore.....read the book!.

There were some surprisingly dark and gory elements to the plot. Several times it went further than I'd anticipated and not with a great deal of sensitivity given the subject matter!. Mix in those more brutal scenes with slight supernatural referencing and there's a decently eerie tension building.

The author has the background and scenery almost perfectly painted. Can't fault her. What lets her down is the way the plot begins to ramble towards the end. People begin to reappear. I couldn't remember who they were or work out why they mattered. The ending was a disappointment. What should have been a firework died like a damp sparkler.

For those reasons I'd like to leave 3.5 stars. I can't. I'm rounding up to 4* because I loved the whole 'Gothic' atmosphere.


No Mercy
No Mercy
by John Burley
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much medical scenery and too little 'thrill' factor., 31 Aug 2014
This review is from: No Mercy (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
No Mercy is not the heart churning thrill ride promised on the Amazon website. It's very much a medical investigation/drama and, given the author is a qualified physician, the world of medicine is by far the strongest component. Unfortunately; the constant reference to medical terminology and hospital scenery is overloaded and I switched off on more than one occasion.

Ben Stevenson is a town coroner in small town America. Ben takes it upon himself to get too personally involved in the murders of two teenagers and a dreadful assault on a third youngster who has been left for dead.There's a decent attempt by the author to get inside the minds of the townsfolk who are rocked by something so dreadful happening on their doorstep. As Ben searches for clues several quite obvious red herrings are thrown into the plot to shake things up a little. I wasn't fooled. In fact I'd pretty much worked out 'whodunnit' well before the big reveal.

So; take the basic idea and pad it out with medical referencing and insights into the perfect, personal life of Ben and his family and that's about it. It's OK but I'm not greatly impressed.


HIGHLANDER LIGHTWEIGHT WATER PROOF RUCKSACK PROTECTION COVER 20-30L
HIGHLANDER LIGHTWEIGHT WATER PROOF RUCKSACK PROTECTION COVER 20-30L
Offered by Outdoor Value
Price: 3.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fits 20L backpacks and keeps out surface water/showers., 31 Aug 2014
I use my Highlander cover on my Karrimor 20 L rucksack and it's a good fit though very lightweight. I put my rucksack on the floor at various sporting events and needed something to protect it from surface water. So far the contents of my bag have been bone dry. You do have to hang onto the cover if you're putting it on when it's windy. It weighs nothing at all and is easily blown away. The cover folds up into a small pouch so you can throw it into the bottom of your rucksack and it's there for next time. I'm happy enough that I've just ordered one for my husband. Basic, affordable and reliable little product.


Proporta Headphone Earphone Earbud Earpod Cable Tidy - Pack of 3 for iPhone 4 4S 5 5S 5C iPad 2 3 4 mini Air Kindle HTC Samsung Galaxy S3 S4 Note iPod classic touch shuffle nano Beats Sennheiser Wire Organiser
Proporta Headphone Earphone Earbud Earpod Cable Tidy - Pack of 3 for iPhone 4 4S 5 5S 5C iPad 2 3 4 mini Air Kindle HTC Samsung Galaxy S3 S4 Note iPod classic touch shuffle nano Beats Sennheiser Wire Organiser
Offered by Proporta
Price: 4.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential little gadget, 3 in a pack, wouldn't be without them., 31 Aug 2014
We have a couple of sets of these and they're so useful. No more pockets full of tangled head phone cables!. They're so simple to use and the little magents are really strong. I'd recommend you slide the magnets apart rather than pull them. Much easier that way. My only problem is how many times people see me using a tidy and then try to 'borrow' one because they're so useful!. Essential little gadget and I can't believe I went for so long without them.


Karrimor Unisex Adult Taurus 20 Taurus 20  - Black/Black, One Size Litres
Karrimor Unisex Adult Taurus 20 Taurus 20 - Black/Black, One Size Litres
Price: 8.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Functional, smaller sized bag with enough room for basics., 31 Aug 2014
Smaller sized backpack that's perfect for those occasions when you don't need to carry a lot around. It will take a lightweight jacket, hat, gloves, purse/wallet and other bits and pieces with no problem whatever. It's not waterproof but there's a 'Highlander' rain cover "HIGHLANDER LIGHTWEIGHT WATER PROOF RUCKSACK PROTECTION COVER 20-30L" available on Amazon which fits a treat and is a very reasonable price. That was essential for me. The bag spends a lot of time on the floor at various sporting events and would have been ruined without the cover. Nicely padded at the back and comfy to carry around. Not suitable for a laptop, too small, fine for a tablet if you're happy there's no inner padding or protective pocket. Great little bag for carting around the basics. Happy to recommend.


Barbie and the Secret Door (Includes Barbie Songbook) [DVD]
Barbie and the Secret Door (Includes Barbie Songbook) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Karen J. Lloyd
Price: 7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bright, sparkly musical tale of magic and the value of real friendship., 31 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Barbie and the Secret Door (plus songbook) ties in with the launch of the new Princess Alexa doll. We've had the doll for over a week and my granddaughter loves her so much I had to buy her the DVD. So far we've watched the film twice and it only arrived this morning!. It's a nice story about a Princess who discovers the true value of friendship. All very sweet and fantastical. There's plenty of music, magic and cute little characters...everything little girls love....and it's all presented in a glory of pinks, purples and sparkle.

The DVD is on one disc, lasts for approximately 81 minutes and has a U certificate.

It's nice to have a songbook. We're learning the words. The Princess Alex doll is musical and she sings two of the songs with us!. I can't leave less than 5* because my granddaughter is absolutely hooked!.


XMI X-Mini WE XAM17-B Portable Thumb Size Speaker for iPhone/iPad/iPod/MP3 Player/Laptop - Orange
XMI X-Mini WE XAM17-B Portable Thumb Size Speaker for iPhone/iPad/iPod/MP3 Player/Laptop - Orange
Price: 27.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tiny speaker with punchy sound quality., 31 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Wasn't expecting great things from a tiny, portable speaker. It's actually pretty good. Really punchy bass that's neither tinny nor distorted when cranked up high. The rubber base helps prevent vibration/movement when the speaker's on a hard surface. Battery life is good. One full charge will give you around 6 hours of use. There's an LED indicator light to show charging and 'on'. Nice rounded shape means no sharp edges to snag or break when you're out and about. Small size but not as small as you might think. 'Thumb' size it isn't. More like the size of a small camera lens, looks pretty similar, but it's the perfect shape and size to transport around without getting lost in your bag. Punchy little gadget. I'm happy to recommend especially at the price.


Marius Fabre Cube of Pure Marseilles Soap (600G, 1. Green (Olive Oil))
Marius Fabre Cube of Pure Marseilles Soap (600G, 1. Green (Olive Oil))
Offered by Marmaduke The Cat
Price: 7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful cube of high vegetable oil soap - great for dry skin., 30 Aug 2014
One of the best soaps I've used. Has a soothing effect on dry skin because there are no artificial preservatives, colours or perfumes to irritate sensitive areas. The soap was originally used for household chores, washing clothes etc., and has a cube shape which makes it easier to hold onto in water. We now know the benefits of pure ingredients and the Marius Fabre Marseilles Soap is popular for personal washing. It's high vegetable oil content has a naturally moisturising effect. The white cube doesn't contain olive oil. It's made from palm oil which gives a light, gentle lather that's easy to rinse off. The green cube is a mix of olive and copra oil and equally as good. I use both. I love the cubed design and it certainly looks different. I suffer badly with dry skin and try all types of products. This is one of the best.


Melissa & Doug Magnetic Letters and Numbers Bundle
Melissa & Doug Magnetic Letters and Numbers Bundle
Price: 18.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Large, colourful numbers and letters in lovely wooden boxes., 29 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Two traditional wooden boxes with sliding lids. One with 32 numbers plus 5 mathematical symbols and the other with a set of 52 letters in upper and lower case. The shapes are flat, painted in bright colours and have magnets on the back. They've been made large enough to allow for the child to hold and feel. That way they familiarise themselves with the shapes of the the numbers and letters. Being a larger size than the usual plastic sets they're much easier for children to handle and move around. Have to say I think the 'old fashioned' look of the painted boxes with the wooden numbers makes such a nice change. Sheets of white and black paper show the bright, flat characters up really nicely if you want to play on the floor or a fridge/freezer door offers plenty of space for them to play while you're busy. Nice item and I am happy to recommend.


Le Creuset Wine Accessories WT110W 2 Step Waiters, Wood
Le Creuset Wine Accessories WT110W 2 Step Waiters, Wood
Price: 27.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous gift, looks great and is so comfortable to use., 29 Aug 2014
Lovely little gadget and a great gift for any wine lover. We've had ours for a while, use it regularly and have never had a problem. Does it work better than cheaper brands?. Not really. What you're paying for is the beauty of the design, solid weight and quality of the steel. There's no plastic anywhere and the larger size means it's less slippy and more comfortable to hold. I didn't know Le Creuset made bottle openers so when we received this as a Christmas gift we were surprised and happy. Just be careful with the cleaning though. Wood and steel should be gently wiped clean and not put in the dishwasher. Comes with a 10 years guarantee and I'd certainly buy another if we needed a replacement.


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