Profile for M. F. Cayley > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by M. F. Cayley
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,186
Helpful Votes: 430

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
M. F. Cayley (Hampshire, UK)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Picasso Scam, The (DI Charlie Priest)
Picasso Scam, The (DI Charlie Priest)
by Stuart Pawson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable fairly gentle crime novel, 4 May 2015
The first of a series of crime novels introduces Charlie Priest, the policeman with a heart of gold. What has an art scam got to do with drug-dealing? Charlie risks his life trying to find out, and the drugs are linked to other crimes he investigates. The story is enjoyable, but I found the police banter a bit tedious after a while, and the love-interest seemed rather tacked on. If you like your crime novels dark and violent, this won't be for you: while there is violence, it is not portrayed in gruesome graphic detail. This is not a whodunit: we know who is guilty from an early stage. It is more a fairly gentle thriller as Charlie seeks to nail the villains.


A Cottage by the Sea
A Cottage by the Sea
by Carole Matthews
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely enjoyable, 24 April 2015
This review is from: A Cottage by the Sea (Paperback)
Three very different women, close friends since university, gather with their men at a remote Pembrokeshire cottage. There follow days of emotional mayhem in which the women's lives take new paths and their relationships with each other come under strain. This is a very enjoyable novel, bursting with life.


A Place Called Winter
A Place Called Winter
Price: £6.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Hard-to-put-down historical novel, 13 April 2015
A historical novel by well-known novelist Patrick Gale, set in the first quarter of the 20th century. It opens with a man being treated in a mental institution. He is an Englishman dispatched to pioneering life in Canada in disgrace, leaving behind him wife and daughter. There he discovers both happiness and tragedy. The portrayal of pioneer life is superb, as is that of the prejudices of the time. This is a powerful but not melodramatic novel which I found hard to put down.


The Silent Tide
The Silent Tide
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A 2-period novel which kept me engaged to the end, 8 April 2015
This review is from: The Silent Tide (Kindle Edition)
A book that kept me involved to the end. It starts with a woman, Isabel, falling off a roof into the waters of the 1953 North Sea flooding. It develops into a two-period novel. Part of the book is about Isabel's life up to that point, and her relationship with a rising novelist. The period detail is well researched, and the social attitudes of the the - in which I was a young child - are convincingly portrayed. Side by side with this is a modern story about a publishing editor, Emily, her own relationships with writers, and the evolution of a biography of the novelist. Gradually Emily finds out more about Isabel, and we readers do so along with her. There are a number of twists in the plot to add to the interest. The main characters are well-rounded. The two-period novel is something of a cliche nowadays, but it is very well handled by Rachel Hore.


Sertorius and the Struggle for Spain
Sertorius and the Struggle for Spain
by Philip Matyszak
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.58

4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating account of a Roman general on the losing side in the struggles for power in the 1st century BC, 6 April 2015
A fascinating and generally balanced account of the Roman general who fled to Spain after Sulla mounted a coup in Rome, and largely controlled the Spanish peninsula in the 70s BC, resisting Roman armies until he was assassinated. My main reservations are that in the first part of the book, Philip Matyszak too uncritically accepts some of the belittling of the great general Marius in some of the Roman sources, and is also a bit uncritical in accepting accounts of Sertorius's alleged change of character for the worse in his final year of life.


Entry Island
Entry Island
Price: £2.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointed, 3 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Entry Island (Kindle Edition)
I came to this novel with high expectations, having read Peter May's Lewis trilogy of crime novels. Entry Island is ok but nothing like as good. The starting point is a murder on a remote island off the East coast of mainland Canada. Interwoven with the contemporary murder are the diaries of a 19th-century immigrant from the island of Lewis. I did not feel that the links between past and present were strong enough to warrant the space given to the diaries: it seemed to me that two very different books, a historical novel and a modern crime novel, had been insufficiently brought together. The central modern character is an insomniac policeman and his emotional instability started to irritate me long before the end of the book. The final denouement I found unconvincing. On the other hand, I enjoyed the vivid descriptions in the diaries of the time of the Highland Clearances, and of the appalling conditions those who emigrated to Canada had to endure; and also the way Peter May conveyed the atmosphere of life in a contemporary remote island community.


The Trader's Wife (The Traders Book 1)
The Trader's Wife (The Traders Book 1)
Price: £5.51

5.0 out of 5 stars An easy and enjoyable read, 21 Jan. 2015
The first of a series of novels set mainly in Fremantle in Western Australia in the 19th century. It combines several interwoven family stories with some interesting historical background, which is introduced as a natural part of the story-line. An easy and enjoyable read.


A Good American
A Good American
Price: £4.35

4.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting, 15 Jan. 2015
This review is from: A Good American (Kindle Edition)
An enchanting novel about a couple who emigrated from Germany to small-town Southern USA in the early 20th century and their descendants. What grips is not the story line - there is no strong plot thread - but the beautiful atmospheric style and the slightly humorous take on family relationships. It is slightly let down by the final section, which races through the recent history of the family: it felt to me that the author was not sure how to end the novel. But this did not detract significantly from my overall enjoyment.


Together for Christmas
Together for Christmas
Price: £4.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable novel set during WW1, 6 Jan. 2015
A novel about two contrasting ex-orphanage girls during WW1: one well-behaved, realistic, and capable of looking after herself; the other full of fantasies that lead her into trouble and danger. The novel is light reading, but enjoyable.


The Christmas Surprise
The Christmas Surprise
Price: £6.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Just delightful, 28 Dec. 2014
A delightful book - mostly, despite the title, not about Christmas - set in a Derbyshire village, with a dysfunctional upper-class family, a delightful sweet-shop owner, a wedding that was rescued from near-disaster, and an adopted baby from Africa. Very well written, and the central characters are well-portrayed and engaging. There are moments of comedy and moments of bitter-sweet sadness. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20