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Book Addict Shaun (England, UK)

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A Home In Sunset Bay
A Home In Sunset Bay
Price: £2.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I fell in love with Rebecca Pugh's writing in Return to Bluebell Hill ..., 11 Feb. 2016
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I fell in love with Rebecca Pugh's writing in Return to Bluebell Hill and was eagerly awaiting her second book, A Home in Sunset Bay and it didn't disappoint. Luckily this time round I was lucky enough to receive a review copy and didn't have to wake up at stupid o'clock on release day to download it. Rebecca is an author to watch and I expect we'll be reading many more books from her in the years to come. Rebecca has a distinctive writing style, and it's reminiscent of her reviewing style on Becca's Books; enthusiastic, passionate, detailed and beautifully descriptive which means that every single thing you read about in the story is brought to life, and is vivid in your mind. It's evident when an author has put their all into what they have written and that makes the story so much more enjoyable. The rating for this book is based solely on my enjoyment of it, nothing else. I do hate disclaimers but I also know what some people are like. Also, just a warning, this book will make you hungry and will make you desperate to visit the fabulous Dolly's Diner.

A Home in Sunset Bay tells the story of two somewhat different sisters who, as the story progresses, we learn aren't all that different at all but are actually quite similar. Mia Chapman loves running Dolly's Diner in the picture-perfect Cornish town of Sunset Bay. Rebecca's wonderful descriptions really brought this town to life on the page and it sounded magical, the perfect place to go for a holiday, to enjoy the surroundings with beautiful shops, places to visit and most importantly, places to eat some delicious sounding food. Despite loving running the diner, Mia longs for adventure, and is full of wonderment about the world that exists outside of Sunset Bay, and it was early on in the story that I found myself relating to Mia. Seeing friends talking about or going off on their travels makes me jealous at times, and I wish I had the get up and go to do something like that too. Mia is an instantly likeable character, and I knew as the book progressed she was going to be a character I would be rooting for all the way.

A long way away from Sunset Bay is Laurie who is unhappy with her own life and also wants that something extra rather than just her job and relationship, a relationship which is about to end when Laurie finds her boyfriend cheating on her in her own bed. She soon makes the decision to take indefinite leave from work and finds herself heading back to Sunset Bay to visit her sister, Mia. Once upon a time the sisters were best friends, but now they no longer have that close bond and the time has finally come for the sisters to confront the past, find out whether they can move forward and, ultimately, rebuild that bond that they once had.

Laurie too is a likeable character, she's an intriguing character and it was fun to witness the differences between the sisters. It's clear that Laurie wants more from life, and has never really lived the way she wants to live, but the way her annoying and overbearing mother wanted her to. Watching events unfold and past secrets come out, I felt for Laurie and desperately wanted her to find the happiness that she craved and deserved. Intriguing too was trying to unravel the mystery, and I really wanted to learn more about what went on within the family. Families are a complicated thing and Rebecca, through various members of Mia and Laurie's family really portrays a believable image of what family is, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Rebecca creates believable and identifiable characters, each of them beautifully drawn and each of them not without their faults which is what makes them so real. Mia and Laurie both go on a journey of self-discovery throughout the story and that was great to witness. They are relateable characters. Female readers will recognise bits of their own personalities in Mia and Laurie because they are such believable characters and so richly developed, from start to finish the change in the sisters is clear to see. There's a fantastic cast of characters that make up the story, and I won't list them all but this is a romance book after all and so there are a couple of male characters for readers (and Mia and Laurie) to swoon over. Rebecca really captures the true essence of love in her books and you really invest in and believe what you are reading, despite it being a fictional tale. Rebecca's writing has progressed and matured from her debut novel and it's clear to see, and this is just from a reader's point of view, the potential she has as an author and I'm extremely excited to read whatever else she writes next.

Follow Me: The bestselling crime novel terrifying everyone this year
Follow Me: The bestselling crime novel terrifying everyone this year
Price: £2.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking read, 1 Feb. 2016
Avon's books always stand out as some of my most memorable reads of the year and I couldn't wait to read Follow Me when I received a review copy because I loved the sound of it. The story centres around the 'Hashtag Murderer' who posts cryptic clues on Twitter which point to their next target, the murder basically playing out on social media. Taunting the police. Enthralling the press. Capturing the public's imagination. As the story grows, so too does the follower count of the murderer and that's one thing that I really felt was true to life. Some people might not admit it but I think an account such as this would garner a gigantic following in virtually no time at all.

One of our main characters is wannabe investigative journalist Freddie who bumps into an old friend - now police officer - Nasreen and cunningly uses the GPS function on Nasreen's phone to track her whereabouts, thus leading her to the very first crime scene. Nasreen was alarmed to see Freddie first time around, let alone to see her at the crime scene before her. Both of these characters have a mysterious past, no longer friends their history comes out as the story progresses and the reader starts to learn a lot about both of these characters and we really understand the pair once we know what they have been through. I have to say that Freddie was definitely one of my favourite characters in the story. All too often in crime fiction journalists are portrayed as story greedy lunatics who will stop at nothing to get their story but Freddie actually had a heart, she was a 'real' character and you know that somewhere across London there's girls like her just trying to make their way in a very competitive field.

There's a real modern feel to the story and I loved how Angela effortlessly captured London and transported the reader into the story. I could easily see this being one of those dark, edgy films or TV dramas that filmmakers in recent years have done so well across London. Despite studying Film at A Level the words and phrases have deserted me but something along the lines of Top Boy, with a soundtrack that would only enhance the terror felt at what you were witnessing. Ultimately this is a very addictive story, one that I had read in no time and I was as addicted to this book as I would be if this whole thing had been played out online. It was exciting to finish the book and then discover that this is actually the first in a series of social crime novels with the second one centering around Snapchat and I cannot wait for that! Angela Clarke is one to watch and this is a brilliant debut novel that everybody should be reading.

George Foreman 19932 Entertaining Seven Portion Grill - Silver
George Foreman 19932 Entertaining Seven Portion Grill - Silver
Price: £34.99

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wouldn't be without mine now, 18 Jan. 2016
I have put off buying one of these for months because of the various reviews (of all models) saying it burns food etc, cooks too fast, hard to clean... Well it's been an absolute dream to use for someone who hates cooking. Chicken, burgers, steak, bacon, toasties (really!) etc are all cooked perfectly and fast which is the most important thing for me. I just stay by the grill and check the food regularly, turn it and it's usually done not long after the specified time on the provided instruction manual. I'm confident cooking things like chicken now where in the past I'd probably incinerate it to make sure it was thoroughly cooked.

As for cleaning I watched a video on YT where the woman just cleaned it with nothing more than a sponge, scourer and water whilst the grill is still hot. The fat and grease literally rolls off the grill. I've used mine about ten times now and cleaned it straight after use and looking at it you wouldn't even think it'd been used! Then when it's cooled down there's no food caked to the grill you can just give it a more thorough clean because there's no fat or grease stuck left behind. Plus it's a non-stick grill so there's absolutely no need to use ANY type of oil.

I LOVE my grill and would recommend it to anybody thinking of buying one.

Blood Tracks (A Grey and Villere Thriller)
Blood Tracks (A Grey and Villere Thriller)
by Matt Hilton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant thriller, 11 Jan. 2016
Matt Hilton is one of my favourite thriller writers with his brilliant Joe Hunter series. I had no idea he had been working on a new series until I stumbled across Blood Tracks on Amazon a couple of months ago. Sadly, it doesn't seem to be making much of an impact here in the UK and it should be, because it's another excellent thriller.

Blood Tracks introduces us to the character of Tess Grey. Tess is a private investigator and an ex-cop and whilst I know they exist, I'm fairly sure this is the first thriller that I've read where the main character is female and so I was interested to see what dynamics that would add to the story. Tess is tasked with hunting down state witness Crawford Wynne. Wynne is one of the few men that can help the State nail vicious drug lord Alberto Suarez. Locating Wynne however isn't going to be an easy task, but Tess will be rewarded handsomely should she bring him home. She isn't the only one hunting Wynne however. Suarez's psychotic brother has been hunting and butchering anyone he believes to be a danger to his brother. Will he soon have Tess in his sights?

One of the real standout things about Matt's thrillers is his characterisation. I was apprehensive as to whether I would take to Tess, especially after settling into a routine of Joe Hunter thrillers where I know I'm picking up a book about a character I could read about forever. This review is turning into a Joe Hunter comparison but in that series especially I love the relationship between Hunter and his best friend and business partner, Rink. In Blood Tracks Tess too has a partner, but it's not somebody she particularly knows, likes or trusts and he goes by the name of Po. His real identity being that of Southern renegade ex-con Nicolas Villere. Po always gets his man, and he has never been teamed with a woman before. There's a lot of distrust and tension between the pair in the beginning, both characters having their own agendas for hunting down Wynne, it's a tense and exciting read in places and if Tess returns in the future, Po absolutely has to as well.

Anyone who isn't new to a Matt Hilton thriller will immediately recognise all of the things that make readers love his work. Those Hollywood blockbuster scenes and those dramatic cliffhanger moments but as I've said in the past, there's a real story to be had here, with characters and scenes that become real in your mind and so by the end of the book you feel as though you've been on this journey right alongside these characters. And what a journey it is. I can definitely see Tess Grey becoming a long-running character like Joe Hunter and I hope to be reading more about her very soon. She really is an intriguing character and with her being an ex-cop her morals are often different to that of other thriller characters where they essentially have very few. It's interesting witnessing her thought processes as she attempts to balance how she should act and behave in this new-found career, especially working alongside somebody who isn't afraid to flout the law.

Blood Tracks is a thriller in every sense of the word. It's a book I have no hesitation in recommending to existing fans of Matt Hilton, and also to those who are new to his work. And, when you are done with Blood Tracks, be sure to go and check out his Joe Hunter series.

The Little Flower Shop by the Sea
The Little Flower Shop by the Sea
by Ali McNamara
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this, 30 July 2015
Ali McNamara is one of my favourite Women's Fiction authors. I love her books and the day I pick one of them up and don't enjoy it is the day I fall a little out of love with reading. In terms of pure enjoyment, and that feeling you get inside at finishing an amazing book, The Little Flower Shop by the Sea might just be one of Ali's best books yet, and it is certainly one of her most magical.

Poppy Carmichael returns to the Cornish town of St Felix when her grandmother passes away, leaving Poppy her flower shop. Poppy's arrival in the town sees her witnessing a place that is vastly different to the one where she spent many happy summer holidays with her brother. I was immediately reminded of the seaside towns I visited with my family as a child, and the holidays we went on. I even found myself picturing those towns reading this book because they are so similar. They all to me had that magical feeling, that happy feeling where nothing can go wrong. It seems though that Poppy is about to find out that St Felix might go beyond just making you feel happy as her grandmother's flower shop is hiding some secrets... Each chapter is titled with a flower and what that flower means or represents which I thought worked really well. There's so many! The setting of St Felix is wonderful, brought to life so vividly by Ali it's a place every reader will wish they could visit, especially once they learn what secrets the flower shop is hiding.

Poppy is an intriguing character and it might be a lazy comparison, but she is almost like a flower herself as she starts her journey at the beginning of the book. To say she doesn't want to be in St Felix would be an understatement, her plans are to sell the flower shop and get on with her life. The reader discovers she has an aversion to flowers, and a slight aversion to people given that she's reluctant to form any friendships when she first arrives. Straightaway I wanted to know what the mystery was, and as the story develops I just couldn't help but warm to and fall in love with Poppy. Scarlett O'Brien will forever reign as Ali's greatest creation but Poppy comes an extremely close second.

Ali's novels always contain an eclectic mix of characters and this book is no different. This time around some of them come in the form of Ant and Dec, not the Ant and Dec but St Felix's own famous duo that run the local bakery. We even have a monkey by the name of Miley whose owner Jake soon catches Poppy's eye and who is also quite an intriguing character with secrets of his own. All too often in Chick Lit the romance element can feel rushed or forced, but in this story it never felt like that, and the romance in this book was one of my favourite things about it. It also wouldn't be an Ali McNamara novel without plenty of drama and without wanting to ruin things for readers, the drama this time around will have every reader firmly on Poppy's side cheering her on.

The Little Flower Shop by the Sea has everything you could possibly want from a book, and I really could sit here and discuss the whole thing, but it's one of those books that readers need to buy (right now) and fall in love with themselves. I read the book in just under a day, and enjoyed my time in St Felix so much that I didn't want to leave. It is a magical (literally!) place and if it was real I would move there tomorrow. There's some fantastic books being released this summer, and The Little Flower Shop by the Sea is at the very top of my highly recommended list. Ali's fans will love the story, and those new to her work will love it too.

by Charlotte Crosby
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.49

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Charlotte, 27 July 2015
This review is from: ME ME ME (Hardcover)
Charlotte Crosby's Me Me Me is the fourth book to be released from the Geordie Shore lot and I've now read them all. I found Charlotte's to be refreshingly honest, and it was almost like she was reading it to you herself because it was all so obviously Charlotte's voice. Sometimes I think a ghostwriter can uses words and/or phrases that the celebrity just wouldn't say but Lucie Cave (who I love!) has really helped bring Charlotte to life on the page, warts and all!

With someone like Charlotte who is so honest and, well, outrageous I wondered beforehand whether Headline might have toned her down, I'll just say that they definitely didn't! Charlotte clearly has no issues with sharing her whole life, good and bad - and that's the only way to be when you are sharing your life story. There's some moments and scenes in this book that are just so crazily out there and outrageous, including a disgustingly hilarious scene that's so bad, it didn't even make the cut on Geordie Shore, and in actual fact Charlotte almost never even got on the show because some of the bosses didn't believe the stories she was telling them. That should highlight just how shocking (and hilarious) Me Me Me is at times.

Me Me Me is an autobiography with all of the good bits and none of the boring bits. Charlotte choosing to share stories about her life that she knows readers will be wanting to hear the most, and that includes everything about her relationship with Gaz, her relationships with men in general and how she has had to cope with living her life in the public eye. Charlotte is completely honest and any mistakes she talks about, she completely holds her hands up to them. There's a number of stories about the Geordie Shore lot and Gaz that I didn't know beforehand, and I liked how the whole book wasn't a complete recap of what we already knew. There were some chapters I wished were longer, such as her time in Big Brother but I especially enjoyed reading about Charlotte's life growing up, she's had quite the eventful life and truly tested the patience of her parents! Charlotte is a girl that other girls can really relate to which is why I think she's so popular.

Charlotte is now extremely famous yet what I like about her is how she has remained grounded, humble and completely down to Earth and this was the case throughout the whole book. Some of my favourite stories where when she meets other famous people, seeing them as famous but not herself. It reminded me of Jennifer Aniston in Friends whenever Rachel meets someone famous! It's crazy to think about how much she has achieved off the back of a show which is essentially about going out and getting p*ssed but it's quite admiral and something that the haters can never take away from her. I also liked how every other page wasn't a glorified advert for her products, yes of course they are mentioned but not in a 'OMG buy my stuff!' way. Fans of Charlotte will love Me Me Me and it has already hit number one. I finished the book with a lot of respect for Charlotte and I think other readers will too.

Twitter @bookaddictshaun

Sparkling Stilettos (Sparkling Book 1)
Sparkling Stilettos (Sparkling Book 1)
by Jess Wright
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Jessica Wright has always been one of my favourite TOWIE cast members and I've been excited to read ..., 23 July 2015
Jessica Wright has always been one of my favourite TOWIE cast members and I've been excited to read her debut fiction novel ever since it was announced!

Sparkling Stilettos opens and introduces us to shoe designer Megan Winter on the day of her wedding to the controlling Dylan Dunkin-Buckshaw. (I've sat here for ages trying to work out if that surname is an acronym for something bad!) She is experiencing some last minute doubts, and it's incredibly easy to see why as we learn more about their relationship. Part of me wondered why Megan had stuck with Dylan for so long (fiction imitating real life here!) and the other part couldn't wait for her to ditch him and get on with her life. It's all a little bit independent woman in the beginning, with Megan realising a lot about herself and what she wants from life, her feelings only exacerbated when she sees the headstone of an old woman with the line 'devoted wife', Megan wondering whether that was all the woman's life amounted to. Megan has dreams and ambitions and she is determined to achieve them.

Megan is a shoe designer, which added a little bit of a unique twist to the story as it's certainly not a profession I have read about in this genre before. Plus, I love how the shoes were kind of like a metaphor for the whole story. Women love shoes and I think they will end up wanting the ones from this book! Megan says that she wants women who wear them to realise their dreams, to feel special when they are wearing them and to ultimately feel like they can achieve anything. Just like she herself wants to. She has even added her own Louboutin-esque touch to them. Megan is an instantly likeable character, and I think female readers might perhaps be able to relate to her relationship with Dylan and all readers will definitely be able to sympathise with her for having to put up with such a pig for so long!

Sparkling Stilettos moves at a relatively sedate pace in the beginning, but I really enjoyed meeting Megan and her two fabulous friends, Brendon and Georgie (Porgy Pudding and Pie as Brendon calls her!) Brendon is the typically flamboyant and stereotypical gay character you often find within this genre but as always, those characters are a lot of fun to read about. The friendship between these three characters felt natural and believable, both characters bringing a lot to the story and helping Megan to discover a lot about herself, and to make some difficult decisions! Given where book two might end up going I hope we still get to see a lot of Brendon and Georgie.

For a few weeks a guy at the local bar has caught Megan's attention. The aptly-nicknamed Hot Guy. Hot Guy approaches Megan in Frank's Bar one night and things that night become a little bit heated. Following that we see chapters from Hot Guy (real name: James)'s point of view which I loved. Hearing from the man in books like this used to be relatively unheard of, which usually resulted in some pretty one-dimensional characters. James is a great character who I think most readers are going to end up falling for too, and a few will perhaps find themselves shouting at Megan a couple of times. There's a connection between them that is palpable, and they are a pairing that you can really believe in. Megan's life soon becomes a little bit of a whirlwind (and by soon I mean almost instantly as the book takes place over a really short time period) not only with James but also at work where there are some exciting developments. I won't say much more than that except that it sets everything up nicely for book two.

I read Sparkling Stilettos over the course of one afternoon. There's plenty of drama throughout the story with a couple of little unseen twists. The story was over far too soon for my liking, and I could easily have spent many more hours in this world. In terms of books ending on a cliffhanger, Jess has ended this one one of the best (and most frustrating!) that I have read this year and so readers are going to be left desperately wanting the sequel to see how things are going to pan out for our characters. All the way through the book I had an idea of how things were going to end and I ended up being completely wrong. Sparkling Stilettos is a really fun read, and one that I have no hesitation in recommending.

Scandalous Lies: An addictive, sexy beach read
Scandalous Lies: An addictive, sexy beach read
by Nigel May
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insanely good. And off the scale hot, 23 July 2015
To describe Scandalous Lies in one word: incredible. Insanely good. And off the scale hot. I already had high expectations after reading and loving Nigel May's Addicted, but Scandalous Lies is something else and is a book that everybody should be downloading to their Kindles this summer. Move over Rebecca Chance and Victoria Fox, Nigel May has stolen your crowns and is holding them ransom for the foreseeable. Once again I am kicking myself at never having read Nigel's books before. It's amazing what a publisher and some new covers can do for a book!

Scandalous Lies consumed me so much as a reader that I was did not want to put it down, in fact I was positively seething when I had to. I downloaded it to my Kindle for iPhone app, something that I only do for books that I need to read every spare minute I get. Like shopping in ASDA, glam it is not and I did have stop reading certain parts in public. Ahem. In all seriousness though there's a truly addictive quality to Nigel's novels, the kind I experienced the first time I picked up a Jackie Collins novel. Nigel packs so much into his stories that they are just so action-packed there's never a moment to pause for breath, it's a rollercoaster read from start to finish.

The blurb only touches on some of the characters that feature in Scandalous Lies and as much as I would love to sit here and discuss them all, we'd be here all day. In classic style we are introduced to a whole plethora of characters, some obviously connected and some not so. As the book progresses they all start to interact in the most brilliant of ways and towards the end of the book you know something bad is coming, you just don't know when, by who, and to who. The whole thing is brilliant and the story went in a way that I certainly didn't see coming. I had a whole other scenario playing out in my head! I loved following them around the glamorous locations Scandalous Lies take us to and whilst I envied their life, I was so glad I wasn't a part of it at times!

I will discuss some of my favourites though. Interestingly despite there being such a varied mixture of characters, there were only a select few that I actually liked. And some that I just loved to hate. My first favourites were probably weathergirl Georgia and her TV presenter boyfriend Charlie. One of those couples whose beauty makes you want to stare at them, and then stare at yourself and wonder why you aren't them. Just me? Georgia is on a mission throughout Scandalous Lies, a mission to find out what happened to her best friend Mitzi who went missing whilst on holiday in America with her boyfriend. In a world full of backstabbers, Georgia is a real normal, down to Earth character who I very quickly liked. And alongside Charlie this is a couple that you hope can survive all that Hollywood has to throw at them, like certain desperate housewives.

Reality TV star Nova is another memorable character for a couple of reasons. One of them being that she is the absolute epitome of what you expect someone like her to be like. She is so fabulously outrageous but also believable. A true fame whore if ever there was one she is only interested in what fame can bring her, and the 'friends' that she can gain from having such a successful career. She does love her son Charlie though, perhaps a little bit too much but at least she lavishes her attention on her one and only son as opposed to one of those famous mums who have tons of kids but favourite just a couple... Oddly I did favour some of the male characters over the females this time around. One in particular being gardener Aaron who achieved fame on a gardening version of TOWIE. Think of a more rugged and hairy Mark Wright. I loved witnessing how he got caught up in the whole fame game and with a rather trashy Russian oligarch's daughter whose husband was a bit of a drip with a revenge plan you doubted would ever come to fruition. And then there's characters you wish wouldn't fall victim to drugs and addictions and actually stand up for themselves, a la Victoria. I was almost screaming at her to stand up for herself and take her revenge, rather than the weak excuses she gave for her husband's infidelity with a home wrecking nanny.

As the title suggests pretty much every single character is lying and/or plotting some sort of revenge on the other characters and this leaves you wondering which characters will actually see out their plans and which characters will even still be alive by the end of the story. With such a huge amount of characters we don't know what fully connects them all in the beginning, this is revealed to us as we read and everything just falls into place wonderfully, allowing for some truly thrilling twists and turns to play out as we read. I actually failed to work out how things would ultimately end, especially in the case of what actually happened to Mitzi and her boyfriend. Amazing. I loved picturing all of these characters and trying to imagine who they could be in real life, or even just putting my own face to them going by the descriptions not only of their looks but also their personalities. There's a couple of shady characters in the background not least Jack Christie, a man who has recently been released from prison and is already plotting how he can 'earn' himself some serious money. Think Ross from Emmerdale.

It is clear on every single page the amount of fun that Nigel May must have had writing this book and creating these characters. It just shines through as you are reading. I also love that he is an author whose books exist within the same world, and so regular readers will recognise the character of Evie from Trinity. Scandalous Lies has everything you could ever want from a book and then some. It is wall to wall filth but with a truly engrossing and multi-layered story within. If Nigel May ever finds himself a little deflated with the bonkbuster genre then he is more than capable of turning his hand to crime fiction, because the mystery element here is brilliantly done. The sex in the book is so good it should come with a warning. And there's a scene with a food item I don't think I will ever look at in the same way again. Scandalous Lies is a book I didn't want to end because I was having that much fun reading it. It is full of exotic and glamorous locations making it the perfect book to escape into this summer. Your own holiday will look quite tame in comparison. Now, if you'll excuse me I'm off to convince Nigel to include me in his next book!

Vanishing Games
Vanishing Games
by Roger Hobbs
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.94

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does NOT let up until the end! Loved it, 16 July 2015
This review is from: Vanishing Games (Hardcover)
After reading and enjoying Ghostman I then read that a sequel was in the works, and I couldn't wait to read it. Vanishing Games is that sequel and for me it was even more thrilling and exciting to read than Ghostman.

Vanishing Games is one of those books you really need to read without knowing all that much about it. So the blurb tells us that after a heist in Macau goes badly wrong, a criminal mastermind known only as Angela must call upon her old friend Jack, the Ghostman, to help her fix things before she ends up dead. Jack arrives in Macau and finds himself embroiled in a criminal conspiracy bigger than he has ever seen. Jack and Angela soon have their work cut out for them trying to stay alive and attempting to escape. They are being chased by some very dangerous people who will stop at nothing to take back what was stolen from them. And in terms of what was stolen it makes for compelling reading, and had me reading up further online about real life cases.

To call Vanishing Games all the usual cliches: addictive, heartstopping, thrilling etc would be an understatement. It really is nonstop action all the way through with two of the best characters I have read about this year in Jack and Angela. I was a little bit confused in the beginning because I was convinced I knew so much about Angela already, but then I remembered about the Angela from Lorenzo Carcaterra's most recent novel, The Wolf. Both characters have various similarities however and Roger's Angela is one of the best female characters that I have ever read about. In Ghostman Jack was very much an enigma, a truly intriguing character and in Vanishing Games we are given further insight into his past, especially his relationship with Angela, somebody he hasn't seen for six years since she quite literally vanished from his life. They are both massively interesting characters, and when they are together on the page you can almost feel the tension yourself.

One of the real strengths of this series is the research carried out by Roger Hobbs, and his obvious knowledge about the subjects that he is talking about. He has captured the settings of Macau and Hong Kong and the various other places our characters find themselves in brilliantly. It felt as if I was part of the book myself, but I was relieved to not actually be a part of it. Roger goes into great detail when discussing technology, drugs, criminals and the underworld, some might say it can be too much detail because it does detract from the action somewhat but personally I want that level of detail and I doubt there will be a thriller released this year more authentic than Vanishing Games.

The story moves at a blistering pace as we follow Jack and Angela across this metropolis as they fight to stay alive. It's one of those stories where you never know what's around the corner, you only know that you can't wait to find out. Towards the end of the book in particular things become extremely intense, and I just had to finish the book in one sitting. Jack and Angela find themselves in so many situations that leave you wondering just how the hell they are going to get out of them, but as the masters of disguise they are two of the cleverest and most cunning characters I have ever read about. All too often you can read a thriller that is ruined by its ending, but the ending in Vanishing Games was just as good as everything that came before. I highly recommend that readers pick up this book, and Ghostman too for those that haven't already. Vanishing Games is one of those books that reminds me why I read and I loved every minute of it.

What Remains: David Raker Novel #6
What Remains: David Raker Novel #6
by Tim Weaver
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As always, gripping and thrilling, 16 July 2015
To say I was excited about the release of Tim Weaver's What Remains would be something of an understatement. It was one of my most anticipated books of 2015 and so I was beyond thrilled when I received an early review copy. Tim's David Raker series is one of my favourites, and I always finish each installment saying that it was the best one so far and I'm saying that very same thing with What Remains as it really is his best book so far and one of the best I've read this year.

Missing persons investigator David Raker is finishing up on a case when he meets up with Colm Healy, for those new to the series they have a complicated history that I can't go into without spoilers but they do have an interesting relationship which could be loosely described as a friendship (sometimes). Colm Healy used to be one of the Met's best detectives until his failure to solve a case ruined both his life and his career. Healy is determined to find out who killed a mother and her two daughters and knows that if anyone can help him with that, it's Raker. Healy is an extremely damaged individual and in What Remains (and the books that came before) we really see the effect that a failure to solve such a brutal case can have on a police officer. It is a powerful and poignant story.

David Raker in the first few books had nothing to live for after the death of his wife. He found solace in the lives of the missing, seeing it as his calling to bring them home. Recently however he discovered that he fathered a child some years ago. Ordinarily Raker has no qualms about putting his own life in danger whilst on a case, however now that he has an adult daughter it adds a new dynamic to the story and and it's intriguing to witness how this has an effect on his life and 'job'. No sooner does Raker sit down to talk through the case with Healy than his daughter calls about an accident her younger sister has been involved in. Raker heads down to the hospital leaving behind an extremely angry and agitated Healy, and that's the last time Raker would see him for nine months.

I found myself once again completely consumed by this story and that's what I love most about Tim's books. It is so easy to just lose yourself in them (no pun intended). They are always so well researched and plotted that they are just a joy to read. In fact they are so intricately plotted that I would love to know how Tim sets about writing them, and how much of the story even he knows beforehand. He knows exactly how to hook a reader in, not giving too much of the story away in the beginning and making sure that there's enough red herrings and twists to throw most of us off the scent. I've said before not to bother trying to guess where the story will go, just sit back and enjoy the ride. There are some incredible developments in What Remains, some that well and truly slapped me in the face and left me reeling.

What Remains is a gripping read from start to finish and is a book that Tim Weaver fans old and new will love too. This is one of my favourite series and I have reviews of the previous books in the series on my blog for those that have missed them. If you already have this book and series on your TBR then do yourself a favour and pick them up right now. If you don't, then why not? Incredible fiction from a born storyteller and I can't wait to read what he writes next.

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