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Aurora (Yorkshire, UK)
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Every Breath You Take
Every Breath You Take
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Holds onto you fully, 29 Jun. 2015
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This book starts with a prologue which tells us that someone has been kidnapped and held against their will for a long time, which means that when it starts with a girl meeting a man whom she later describes as "a bit weird" we cannot be sure that he is as good as he appears to be. We know that someone is stalking Natalie but we don't know who. The author cleverly keeps us waiting and wondering, can one of the men around Natalie be such a good actor as to hide all signs of his obsession? There are many clues to Natalie's past but nothing can prepare us for what eventually emerges. She really has been through the mill and has suffered time and again to the point that she is now reluctant to embark on relationships. The author leads us on a journey of tension right to the end of the book. She builds the relationships between her characters carefully and describes them well.

If a good book is one you can't stop thinking about, then this is a great book, because I couldn't get it out of my mind. Whenever I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it. I felt totally involved in it and was willing Natalie to find a way out of her desperate situation, I was also hoping that when she did get out of there, she would be able to live a postive and fulfilling life despite the tragedies she was facing. Its pervasiveness made sleep elusive and entered into my dreams It really does draw a reader in and holds all of the attention until the very end.


Killing Me Softly (Previously published as Live and Let Die)
Killing Me Softly (Previously published as Live and Let Die)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing - great character, 23 Jun. 2015
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This book had me hooked from the prologue. It is an unusual perspective on the murder mystery genre and hooks the reader in with a really good tale, well described characters and an intriguing plot. We have a weak but controlling man who marries a successful television producer and is disappointed when she will not give up her life to cater to his needs exclusively. After she is murdered he marries his high school sweetheart and coerces her into being the wife he has always wanted. We also have a successful, determined, chain smoking, self admittedly irritating, award winning documentary maker who, having been out of the country at the time her sister was murdered, decides to make a new documentary about the searches for the killers of black women, and the killers of white women, and how they differ. Ultimately what she discovers is almost completely incredible.

Even the more peripheral characters are realistic, but not given more attention than their place in the story merits, thereby not allowing them to overwhelm people and events which are more important to the narrative.

I enjoyed this intnriguing book and found it hard to put down at times as I was eager to see how Sondra would fit all the pieces into place. Some of what happened begins to reveal itself from around halfway through the book, but fear not, it is not as straightforward as you might think. The author saves a lot for the end, and the final twist is quite a surprise - and not just to the reader! I enhoyed it so much that I have downloaded another book by this author, but I think she will struggle to match this one, she couldn't use this plot device twice! I do hope however, that her imagination is just as good in her other books, if so, it will be another great read.


Unforeseen: (Tenth Anniversary Edition) (Thomas Prescott Book 1)
Unforeseen: (Tenth Anniversary Edition) (Thomas Prescott Book 1)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, gripping, compelling., 17 Jun. 2015
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Wow - it is incredible that this was the first novel written by this author, and that at the age of only 22. Actually there is much in it which does present a 22 year old male's sense of humour, and not just his preoccupation with his own genitals. By way of a contradiction there is also a remarkable maturity of style to accompany the humour. It does seem incongruous to have such humour in a book about a serial killer, but that is what stops the book tipping over into the realms of just too gruesome. It becomes obvious that someone, somewhere is either imitating the killer or is co-operating and enabling him but who on earth could it be - there are plenty of suspects but no-one stands out as a clear suspect. I found myself suspecting a major character but I was just being too clever for my own good and I was wrong.

Somehow, having raised the suspense level at the discovery of the first body, the author manages to keep a heightened sense of tension throughout the rest of the book. I found that I was wanting to get on and read it, but at the same time, I didn't want to go ahead and read it. I was a little slower to read this than I would usually be as I disciplined myself not to read it at bedtime as I KNEW that if I did, I would be up all night finishing it off. Eventually the grip of the book became too strong for me to resist and I spent a good part of an afternoon with my kindle glued to my fingers whilst I finished it.

This is a tense, well written thriller which engaged me from the outset, I was hooked. I am glad that having read other works by Nick Pirog, I can be certain that he has lost none of his ability to write great stories clear, rounded characters, with well- defined relationships, whether good or bad. His characters are fully rounded, with well-defined relationships. Whether they are positive relationships or relationships consisting of animosity and mutual dislike, the author doesn't pull any punches. Prescott's relationship with his sister is strong, supportive and loving without being saccharine, unlike his relationship with Agent Todd Gregory, whom he mostly mistrusts, actively dislikes and simply can't help goading. I loved Prescott's unspoken responses on the few occasions where he really has to say something positive about Gregory!

This book is well worth the time and effort invested in it, being totally absorbing, greatly entertaining and at times funny enough to cause audible chuckles. It grabs the reader by the hand and pulls them into it, not letting go until the very end.


Old Scores: A Detective Barry Gilbert Mystery (Detective Barry Gilbert Mysteries Book 3)
Old Scores: A Detective Barry Gilbert Mystery (Detective Barry Gilbert Mysteries Book 3)
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, 11 Jun. 2015
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In my review of the first book in this series Cold Comfort: A Detective Barry Gilbert Mystery I remarked on what a refreshing change it was to have a detective whose background and family life were not dysfunctional, and that remains the case, but it emerges in this book that Barry Gilbert's marriage has not always been as stable as it is now but he and his wife have come through all that and are stronger for it. Just as Barry gets involved in the investigation of the murder of a face from their past, the couple are faced with a heartbreaking family situation which has the potential to become life changing for all of them. Barry has to gather all his courage and wits to follow through on his investigation whilst trying to support his family; that he sometimes finds himself going down the wrong road isn't entirely down to his family circumstances but they can't help. There are plenty of suspects and just as many motives. His witnesses and contacts lead him to many suspects but all too frequently the evidence isn't necessarily what he hoped it would be. When the investigation gets too close to him, he is forced to take desperate measures to find the answers he needs, but he is being obstructed by the last people he would expect it from.

I found the plot intriguing as the author fed us suggestions and clues which sent the reader, along with the investigation team, on many a wild goose chase. I admit to getting it entirely wrong as I picked on a particular person and decided that it had to be that individual, for a very good reason, but I didn't even come near. Once again the characters were well drawn, and the relationships between them were credible and mostly good humoured. That the victim was so reprehensible that only one person really mourned him didn't detract from the story as finding the perpetrator became far more important than the fact that he had murdered, which seems a strange comment but will be understood by the end of the story.

For me this book is just as good as the previous one Fall Guy: A Detective Barry Gilbert Mystery (Detective Barry Gilbert Mysteries Book 2) In my review of that book I said that I had enjoyed it so much I was going to read the next one very soon and now I do hope Scott MacKay has more of these books up his sleeve.


Fall Guy: A Detective Barry Gilbert Mystery (Detective Barry Gilbert Mysteries Book 2)
Fall Guy: A Detective Barry Gilbert Mystery (Detective Barry Gilbert Mysteries Book 2)
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling and entertaining. Could even be 4.5*, 7 Jun. 2015
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There is a lot going on in this book, it starts out as the investigation into one murder and more or less stays that way, but it picks up a few other investigations, mostly because they keep getting in the way. When other agencies are brought into the investigation Barry Gilbert is under pressure to take his investigation along a certain route, his refusal to comply doesn't win him an army of fans but he can't help that because he is sure that the "suggested" route is the wrong one and Barry's instincts about people are pretty sound. He comes into contact with a number of law enforcement officers who just don't sit easy with him although he doesn't necessarily know why, but he doesn't have the time or resources to work it out at the time. That comes at a price and he isn't the one paying it, but when that price gets too close to home Barry has cause to regret it. As far as the murder goes, there are suspects aplenty and Barry knows that few of them are telling the truth but how can he expose the lies and force the real facts into the open. As the story is set against the backdrop of Chinese gang cultures there is a climate of fear and no-one wants to give anything away. The whole thing is like a dish of noodles - multitudinous strands, mixed with a whole range of other ingredients which Barry and Joe Lombardo need to disentangle and lay out straight in order to get a clear picture.

Much of that sorting out comes about through Barry's good instincts but he still has to deal his cards carefully to make best use of the information he uncovers. Don't even try to guess at who killed Edgar because there are too many people trying to hide the truth, and not all that you learn in the beginning is what it seems to be. This book is enthralling, entertaining, absorbing and hard to put down. I don't give many 5* reviews because I feel I need to keep something back for the truly exceptional books, but this could be a 4.5* I enjoyed the first book in this series Cold Comfort: A Detective Barry Gilbert Mystery and this one hasn't disappointed so I am looking forward to the next one which I have already downloaded.


Tell Tale: A DI Charlotte Savage Novel
Tell Tale: A DI Charlotte Savage Novel
Price: £1.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth the time, 4 Jun. 2015
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This was the first DI Charlotte Savage novel I have read although I understand that it is not the first in the series and I suspect that a great deal of helpful background detail can be obtained by reading the previous books but it isn't absolutely necessary. We are given enough of Charlotte's backstory to understand this story, especially as much of that is coincidental to the main storyline.

I was surprised at Charlotte's involvement with a major criminal and at what her intentions were in the early chapters. It was a relief and no real surprise that she didn't follow through on those intentions as it would seem utterly contradictory to the character of a straight and upright police officer. I wonder however, what can of worms she has opened by her involvement with a known criminal, especially as she had confided her intentions to him - something to be seen in future novels I think.

Having come to this book from a couple of others where I have struggled to get into the story, I was pleased to be able to dive right in from the outset and get involved in the story. The plotline took us on a journey which was at times convoluted but which never lost its way. My only problem was that from time to time, I lost track of who was who on the policing side, mostly because there were two teams working on two supposedly different cases, but they kept getting involved in each other's cases. I did eventually get it sorted out in my head and it certainly didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story in any way. The author sets up all his characters quite well, and leads the reader to suspect virtually everyone whose name gets a mention, which keeps us guessing, I did in fact, at one point, come to the point of wondering if someone from the investigating team was involved, especially given the way information was leaking. There are a couple of people who are not identified for much of the story although they are in fact quite easy to work out, but again it doesn't detract from the story, in fact it adds a little to the tension as the reader, suspecting the identities, but not being utterly certain, is willing other characters not to get too close. The underlying theme, and especially the denouement, verges on the preposterous, but it is nothing the tabloid press don't rehash on an annual basis.

This is a readable novel which is worth the time it takes to read it.


He Made Me (Booker & Cash Book 2)
He Made Me (Booker & Cash Book 2)
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't give a higher recommendation, 30 May 2015
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I do like Oliver Tidy's writing style, he has a vivid imagination and I can just picture him sitting at his writing desk - or wherever he writes - having conversations with himself. Of course they are not really conversations with himself, but conversations between his characters. He just HAS to say some of those lines out loud! He is particularly good at creating fictional relationships, and the relationship between David Booker and Jo Cash is pretty realistic,refreshingly platonic and even though Jo seems to call the tunes for David to dance to, he does so willingly and with a good grace. Although they are not technically a partnership, Jo really couldn't function as well as she does without David's help, but she would never admit that to him of course. Their relationship has moved on and grown since Bad Sons (Booker & Cash Book 1) but they still have much to learn about each other, which gives the author plenty of scope for the future, although I hope he continues in the current vein.

The premise of this story is a little different from most in the genre, although there are violent deaths, they are not the main focus; that has much more to do with the whys than the who, mostly because we already know that from the outset. There are several occasions where the tale appears to get very dark and very menacing, but not everything is as it seems here. It is difficult to say much about the story without giving too much away, but suffice it to say that it is a good read, diverting, entertaining and had me laughing raucously at times, to the consternation of my husband. I rarely read a book twice, and never in the same year, but with this one I broke my own rule and re-read it within 5 months enjoying it even more second time around. Oliver may think that Booker and Cash are the "stars" of this series of books, but he would be wrong. The real star is Romney Marsh. He may no longer live there but it lives in him. He describes the way in which it changes with the weather, the time of day or the season with the reverence of an exile who retains the place is within his soul.

I can't really give a higher recommendation than to read a book twice within a few months, something I have never done before. I have never been disappointed in a book by this author, and I, like many of his other readers, look forward to each book being published.
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Cold Comfort: A Detective Barry Gilbert Mystery (Detective Barry Gilbert Mysteries Book 1)
Cold Comfort: A Detective Barry Gilbert Mystery (Detective Barry Gilbert Mysteries Book 1)

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, 11 May 2015
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Hooray - at long last, a police detective who is happily married, with sensible and well adjusted teenaged children. Not only do we know that Barry Gilbert's home life is peaceful and content but when he comes across younger, fitter women, he gladly remembers his wife of many years. In a neat twist, it is his younger, handsome, partner, Joe Lombardo who has problems developing lasting relationships with women.

The investigation into the murder of a young woman takes us on quite a journey and eventually encompasses two other murders, burglary, attempted murder and corruption. The homicide teams are under pressure as budget cuts promise to reduce their numbers, but they need to get results in order to prove their worth to the team - an impossible situation. Gilbert's boss is desperate for results and is willing to take evidence at face value to ensure that he is able to improve his clear up rate, despite Gilbert's contention that it doesn't actually prove anything. We are led to suspect a great many people throughout this story, and cannot be sure who is trustworthy as there is circumstantial evidence against several people and cause for disbelief of many others. The author certainly keeps us guessing until he is ready to let us in on the secret, at which point he also raises the tension as we have cause to worry for the safety of the police officers. There are many twists and turns before the denouement of this story, but the author isn't done with the surprises even then.

The descriptions of the Canadian winter are strong and play an important role in the story, in addition to raising a shudder in a warm room. A compelling read with much to recommend it, this is the first book by this author which I have read but it certainly won't be the last.


No More Tears (The Dead Trilogy Book 3)
No More Tears (The Dead Trilogy Book 3)
Price: £1.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling and never boring, 22 April 2015
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This book picks up almost exactly where the previous one in the serious finishes. A man who is virtually out of his mind in grief vows to find and kill the person who created that grief, and is careless enough to repeat it in company he had no business being in, let alone saying those sort of things to. This creates a whole lot of trouble for the man, and draws several other people into all kinds of problems.

This book explores the psychological issues faced by those involved in a fatal incident, even those who are used to dealing with violent death, but not in any clinical manner. It affects different people in differing ways, for some it is coming to terms with the loss of a loved one and with guilt and their inability to keep them safe. For others there is simply the feeling of failure, and yet others are afraid of the consequences of their actions which led directly or indirectly to the outcome. Those who feel guilty seek to take actions to rectify their shortcomings whilst those who should feel guilty seek to justify their actions and shift the blame onto other shoulders. Throw an ambitious and unscrupulous woman into the mix and we have a cracking storyline. That isn't enough of a mix for this author however, we have a few criminals left desperate by the failure of their last venture, forced together by circumstance but unable to trust each other. The numbers gradually diminish as the story progresses and we are ultimately left with the most desperate of them, but there is a stranger looking for two people and you just know that when he finds them it isn't going to be a social occasion. The tension is built gradually through several different scenarios, we don't stay at any one scene for too long. For me that really was not a problem as I found that it worked well to slip from a potentially dangerous situation to an entirely different one, and then when we came back to the first situation it packed more of a punch because it was a sudden reminder of the nature of the peril.

Roger Conniston is something of a superhero - as he is recovering from a serious knee injury (incredibly painful) he takes on a whole new investigation, he gets himself into, and out of, impossible situations. He has to walk into a situation where he knows that in the normal course of events, he cannot come out of it alive, but to refuse to do so will cause another death. He has to fight his way out of more situations than a man in his condition (or any condition) really should. When he faces his nemesis, he finds reserves of courage and strength he obviously didn't know he had. Although part of your head is telling you that Roger is the protagonist and therefore he HAS to survive, part of you is constantly wondering how he can. I can't help but feel sorry for Roger, whatever his failings, he really doesn't deserve the rubbish life has thrown at him. He just wants to get on and do his job, he's not desperately ambitious, he doesn't normally go looking for trouble but it certainly seems to come looking for him and in this book, one of his troubles bears a very familiar name.

Although the scene of crime work isn't quite as prominent in this book as it was in the previous ones, it is still the framework on which the story hangs, and the author neatly points up the differences between good and bad SOCO work without lecturing or giving a Forensics 101. I liked the detail given in this regard, and particularly at a gruesome scene where someone has gone to great trouble to hinder proper identification of the body, not only detailing the difference between a fastidious approach to crime scene management and a desire to make a hasty job of it and then try to make the evidence fit the theory, but then showing how this affected relationships in the team.

This is another well presented story with many facets, which will in turn repel (because of the thoroughly reprehensible characters involved) and enthrall but will never bore the reader.


Stealing Elgar (The Dead Trilogy Book 2)
Stealing Elgar (The Dead Trilogy Book 2)
Price: £1.94

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and Enthralling, 18 April 2015
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This is an intensely gripping book, though very dark in tone. Being told from the viewpoint of a Scenes of Crime Officer it offers an entirely different focus on crimes and other events. The author's own experience in this field brings a breath of fresh air to the genre and helps us to see much more about each event than we normally would. Scene of crime evidence is generally treated as an adjunct to detective investigations and appears to be added as an afterthought to make the story fit, in this series however, the evidence comes first and the detectives draw their conclusions based upon that evidence. The crime scene evidence is described so well that it is at times necessary to remind oneself that this is a novel and not a report of a crime scene.

This book is strong on action and moves smoothly from scene to scene, taking the story forward as it does. There are no unproductive scenes and no chances to turn up the tension are missed. I found myself torn between wanting to plough on with the story to see how it ended but needing to put it down from time to time to catch my breath as I saw characters charging headlong into dangerous situations, some in the full knowledge of what they were doing and some unwittingly. I did enjoy little vignettes such as a particularly despicable character who thought he was too clever to be caught out, not realising that he was in fact rumbled by someone cleverer than he, who chose not to let on about what they knew, giving him to chance to incriminate himself.

There were several clues throughout the book with regard to the "big job" which was to be undertaken, but I was too caught up in the various strands and tensions to pick up on them, and needed to give myself a good kicking when it was revealed - especially as I have worked, albeit briefly, for an associated company!

This author is not only skilled in the examination of crime scenes, but he puts it all into words beautifully. He seems to have the complete package - the expertise in his field, the great imagination to weave a story together and the ability to write it all in a compelling and enthralling way. He also has the great good sense to set it in the Wakefield area of God's own county, which gives him great scope for spreading the story over cities and countryside, and my hometown even got a mention in this one. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.; I try to make it a rule not to start a new book until I have reviewed the one I have just written (if I am going to review it) so that I don't forget what I wanted to say about it, but this time it was a hard rule to stick to as I am itching to get to the next one to see where it takes us.

I heartily recommend this series, but would suggest starting with the first one A Long Time Dead (The Dead Trilogy Book 1) as it will help you to understand some of the references in this one but it isn't absolutely necessary.


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