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Tales From Dark Places The Halloween Collection (The Indie Collaboration Book 1)
Tales From Dark Places The Halloween Collection (The Indie Collaboration Book 1)
Price: £0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed stories, 7 Jun. 2017
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None of the stories are bad. Some of them are indeed exception, but others are... bland. You know that they were supposed to be scary, but fell short. A couple, in truth reminded me of lazy creative writing projects.
But, for the good stories it is worth skimming through the bad.
After all, I may be talking twaddle.


The Black Eyed Blonde: A Philip Marlowe Novel (Philip Marlowe Series Book 10)
The Black Eyed Blonde: A Philip Marlowe Novel (Philip Marlowe Series Book 10)
Price: £5.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming, 26 April 2017
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I have tried like blue blazes to like this book but at 34% I've given up on it.
The fact is that I have read Chandler for over fourth years. I know his style and know his characters and while the lead character has the same name, he is not Philip Marlowe. The style is Twenty-first century mimicry and lacks the heart of the period.
Don't understand me too quickly. It's ok.
But it's not Marlowe and it's certainly not Chandler. If I want to read a modern author handle Marlowe I'll go for Robert B Parker. If I want the heart I'll read Kinky Freedman or Rob Pierce. I will steer clear of Benjamin Black


Ash
Ash
by Julieanne Lynch
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.21

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A seriously Cracking read, 3 Oct. 2016
This review is from: Ash (Paperback)
I’m not a fan of Romance novels. They tend to bore me. I prefer hard boiled crime novels. They tend not to be sentimental twaddle.
And that’s the thing.
When reading Ash I was expecting sentimental twaddle. After all, it’s a Romance. A love story. Even a few scenes of ‘Hide the Sausage’ thrown in for good measure.
But... and this is the important bit... Ash is a love story, written by an adult, for adults. It assumes the readers do not need spoon feeding every little bit of information and feeling, but are capable of reading with intellect and perception. Yes, there are scenes of a sexual nature, but they are neither gratuitous nor casual. They reflect an adult, developing relationship between two broken people. Indeed they are integral to their growing relationship.
Noticeable within this romance is the nature of fractured spirits. Ms Lynch has brought to life an array of broken people. Not just Ash, heartbroken and crushed by grief, but his lover, best friend and a truly terrible protagonist. And not in the least, Ash’s dead wife. All are brought to a painful life on the page, some with straightforward storytelling, but others by slow reveal.
This leads to the story being personality driven. Despite Ash being a fireman there are no dramatic action scenes as he fights fires or rescues people. Rather there is the internal dialogue he holds with himself to enable him to get through another day. The scenes are day to day ones. Ash at work. Ash with his son. Ash getting a tattoo. Ash, in flashback, and the developing relationship between himself and his dead wife.
Not only is this written perfectly, but it reveals a great deal about the man’s character and personality. The ‘Why’ of where he is when the story starts. It gives a basis for his actions and decisions as well as explaining his fluctuating mental state.
At the core of the story is a very real heart. Not just those of the characters, but that of the writer.
While I have read quite a few of Ms. Lynch’s novels, and thoroughly enjoyed them, in this novel she has truly invested herself in her writing. The characters are real. The situations those any of us could find ourselves in. The dialogue is sharp and realistic, possibly the best she’s written. But the strongest aspect is the way she obviously invests herself into each character, mind set, each page. All are carefully structured to move the story along, but resonate with the feelings of the writer. When a writer takes so much care with their work, you cannot help but like it.
It’s hard to find anything bad to say about the book. And I’ve looked. The worst I can say about it is that tattoos are not my bag. If that is the worst I can say about the book then it’s pretty damn special.
To be honest, I’m not doing the book justice.
No matter how good I think it is, irrespective of how loud or strong I sing its praises, I cannot encapsulate the sheer quality of it. Don’t understand me too quickly. I must have read dozens of books in my life that are just as good, or even better... but there’s the thing. It is within my top 100.
But is it worth spending money on, or should you just wait a year or two until it turns up free or for pennies?
Put it like this. I had the opportunity to read it for free as a review item. I took the opportunity and read it. Then before starting the review I bought it. Currently it’s gift wrapped as a Christmas present for my wife. Following the logic of that through, if it wasn’t damn good why would I spend good money on it, let alone gift it as a present to the woman I love?
So... but the book and love it. Or don’t. If you don’t your world will not be a worse place, but you will have missed a seriously cracking read.


Reign of Assassins
Reign of Assassins
Dvd
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Faultless, 11 July 2016
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This review is from: Reign of Assassins (Amazon Video)
Ye God's this is good.
I mean really good.
So good I'm lost for words.
However I may have fallen a little in love with Michelle Yeoh


Alluvia
Alluvia
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best book I've read this year., 11 July 2016
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This review is from: Alluvia (Kindle Edition)
Wonderful. Simply wonderful.
Every now and then you discover a book where, from the first chapter, you find yourself wishing that the book won;t end. That is because everything about it is perfect to the moment. These are books that take you body and soul to a different place where you are totally submerged in the world of the authors creation and are lost to the characters, the story and the language.
So it is with Alluvia.
There are no literary pretentions here, yet it is literature of the highest order, opperating on multiple levels to bring a story that wraps around you and burries itself into your brain and soul.
I rather like it. Could you tell.
JH Lewis has an easy style about her. She simply tells a story, but with a manner that makes you feel you are listening to an old friend talking. Not only do you not want to interupt her, you want no one else to either. She draws you in with a gob-smacking opening chapter and begins to weave the story around you, slowly revealing elements of the plot and forming a tapestry of great scope and depth. Gradually elements are revealed and your jaw drops at the surprises come at you like a rhino on valium. It may move a little slower but by the God's do you know it when it hits.
While often in reviews you will find reviewers comparing one author to another, so that people have an idea of what to expect, it is impossible with Alluvia, because JH Lewis is a rare voice. One of gentle surprise. Her style perfectly matches her story and truly kicks bottom.
I have not revealed a single thing about the plot, because it should be something that you should simply surrender to and experience yourself. Trust me though, it is not what you may expect, but will hold you captivated from first to last.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. So much so that come pay day I will be buying a copy in paperback. It's too good not to have on a shelf.
So, stop reading reviews. Go buy it. You'll not regret it.


Still Dazed: Through a Grunge Rocker's Eyes
Still Dazed: Through a Grunge Rocker's Eyes
Price: £5.54

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read all year., 16 Jan. 2016
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A wee while ago I read DAZED by Ms Palamino. It blew me away. It touched me to such an extent that when I saw there was a sequel my heart sank a little. Partly because DAZED was such a damn good book in its own right that I didn;t feel that it needed one, and partly because a sequel rarely matches up to the original.
I was blisfully wrong.
Still Dazed kicks bottom with seriously big steel toe capped boots.
The writing is superb. Harsh, poetic and understated, with a realism that would put many Noir writers to shame. You become hooked and find it hard to put down.
The joy of the book is the way it operates on so many levels. As character led drama it can be dark, gritty and ultimatley life affirming. As social commentarty it holds a mirror up to society that blasts away preconceptions and delusions.
But... at the end of it, pretention aside, it's a bloody good read. So good that I must have read it twice, back to back with Dazed. Well worth the time and money.


Uncle Dust
Uncle Dust
by Rob Pierce
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.24

5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning first noverl, 23 July 2015
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This review is from: Uncle Dust (Paperback)
Damn it.
I could really learn to hate a man who writes as well as this. It's addictive. So addictive, that when I came to the end of it I had to trawl teh Interweb to find more that Rob Pierce had written. Giving up smoking was easier.
Why?
Well for a start Uncle Dust is a wonderful anachronism. I read Chandler, Hammett etc. All of the Old School Hard Boiled writers. Mainly becasue tehre are very few today who have the skill to write a novel that's not a soap opera.
Then along comes Rob Pierce with a story of an old school, hard boiled criminal and the book grabs you by the throat, slams you onto the floor and digs its toes into your ribs just to get your attention. And you love it. The ploting is charactrer led. Led by a drunken mess up who you find yourself growing to like in spite of yourself. The incidental characters too have a vibrancy and life of their own who stay with you after the story ends.
In effect it is a story of broken people who try to get by in the world despite their pasts, which makes them real. A rarity nowerdays.
And then there is the writing.
Often words just wash over you when reading a book. That's just a fact. They are a medium that conveys a story. But Rob Pierce writes like a straight razor down the optic nerve and straight into your brain. It's a harsh, minimalistic poetry that leaves no stone unturned and none of the things underneath the stone unpoked with a poiinty stick.
And incidentally...
The cover.
It may not mean much, but when you search through the Kindle store, you are deluged with images of scantily clad men and women, all used in a vain attempt to gather more book sales from people who'd rather self gratify over the cover than actually read the damn book. I personally find the cover for Uncle Dust a striking piece of cover art. A hint of what lies between the pages rather than a distraction. For a bibliophile that's important.

So why hate Rob Pierce? Simple. He writes better than I do. And why I may want to break his knees, metaphorically, I have to admit that his first novel is One Hell of an Arse Kicker.


PANIC
PANIC
Price: £0.00

2.0 out of 5 stars 24%, 11 May 2015
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This review is from: PANIC (Kindle Edition)
I only managed a little of the book before I gave up.
It's not that it was badly written or anything, just not my style.
But do tr for yourself. I could be talking a load of twaddle.


Madeline (A Short Horror Story)
Madeline (A Short Horror Story)
Price: £0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By way of complaint, 11 May 2015
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I have come to know that if you stick the word complaint in a heading people might just read the reviews.
But I do have a complaint.
It's too damn short.
This book could quite easily be developed into a first class novel.
Well written, scary, but I wanted more.
A first class read, but don't just take my word for it. Download it yourself and see.


The Nightmare Collective: An Anthology of Horror Short Stories
The Nightmare Collective: An Anthology of Horror Short Stories
Price: £2.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true, terrible joy, 17 April 2015
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Whenever you read a collection of short stories, the fact is that you gear yourself up for disappointment. For the fifty par cent that are simply not very good.

Not so here.

There was only one story that didn't keep me hooked, and that was down to my mood as much as the story itself.
Overall this was one of the best collections of horror stories you could get, and a collection of writers I'll be keeping an eye on.


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