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Aurora (Yorkshire, UK)
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The Loving Husband
The Loving Husband
by Christobel Kent
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Loving Husband, 22 July 2016
This review is from: The Loving Husband (Hardcover)
At first I was irritated by the constant changes of focus in the narrative of this book. I found it difficult to follow until I realised that it was quite a clever plot device, keeping the reader slightly off balance and finding it hard to keep up, because it gave us an empathy with Fran's bewilderment and confusion.
The author leads us up several blind alleys before allowing the truth to reveal itself and it really isn't over until the end. The author drip feeds information a little at a time, allowing the reader to begin to think that they are just getting a grasp of the situation, before whirling off in another direction, constantly wrong footing us. There are a number of surprises in this story and you will never be sure who to believe. It would be hard, however, to pick out the right person from a huge list of possibilities.

This is a cleverly written and quite absorbing book with much to keep the attention. I hadn't realised just how absorbed I was until I was shocked to find myself at the end of the book - too absorbed to recognise the passage of time.


Death Deserved (A Detective Jackson Mystery)
Death Deserved (A Detective Jackson Mystery)
by L.J. Sellers
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Download soon, you won't regret it., 19 July 2016
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It was serendipity which led me to find this book on the evening before it was released. Just last night, I was musing on the fact that it was quite some time since the last Detective Jackson book and went to LJ Sellars' web page to see if there had been a release which passed me by. I was quite excited to discover that it was due for release today, I hope that the fact that I am reviewing it already is testament to how good the book is.

The author has developed and described the character of Wade Jackson so well that I feel as though I know him. He is a man of great integrity and personal responsibility. Whilst he will consider carefully the consequences of his actions if he has the opportunity, he often has to take action without that opportunity, but his instincts are sound and he rarely has to worry about the consequences. There was. of course, one occasion when an instinctive reaction had disastrous and tragic consequences, that is the one guilt which he has to live with. His colleagues are also well developed and one can feel the camaraderie amongst them. They are a close and tight knit team who work well together and look out for one another. Wade's family life is very important to him and he is trying very hard to gain a balance between work and home life, but he is honest enough to admit that work will invariably take precedence over his family life.

I am often amazed at the labyrinthine plots which the author develops and the level of detail she manages to bring to her novels. . Just researching the toxicology for this book must have taken a huge amount of time. I never feel short changed by a Wade Jackson book, there is always so much going on, including many crimes to be investigated and the detectives need to try to work out which ones need to be priorities and although the reader knows that it will all, inevitably, tie together in the end, it is rarely obvious how that link will play out.

Although the Detective Jackson books are a series, they can all be read as individual novels without confusion, but I do recommend reading them in the order in which they were published as the personal lives of the characters progress throughout the series.

If you have never read one of these books, don't hesitate, download one soon, you won't regret it.


The Needle House: DS Lasser series volume one. (The DS Lasser Series Book 1)
The Needle House: DS Lasser series volume one. (The DS Lasser Series Book 1)
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No hesitation in recommending this book, 17 July 2016
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This is the first book in a series which I recently started to read at book 11. I enjoyed that so much that I was determined to go back to the beginning and read the first book. I now intend to read through them all - only9 to go. This was an intense tale which kept the reader guessing throughout. I suspected just about everyone at one time or another until I eventually convinced myself that the killer was a character who had been mentioned in passing. I felt that this person had a substantial motive despite never being mentioned again. I thought the author was being very clever, and just giving us a teasing clue, but in fact it was me being too clever by half and getting it completely wrong! The story grows organically leading us in various directions, drawing in other characters, giving us a great deal more to think about, ultimately expanding the story to explain events and lead us to the identity of the killer and the reasons for his actions. We are eventually faced with a "will he, won't he?" situation with an expectation of a particular outcome but no idea of how that will happen. Will DS Lasser come charging to the rescue in the nick of time or has he been outfoxed by a merciless killer with far more personal resources than he has or even knows of?
This was a nailbiting book in which the tension built slowly until the crescendo at the end. The character of DS Lasser becomes clearer as the tale unfolds and he even becomes a little more likeable as we get to know more of him.

This is a book which I have no hesitation in recommending
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 18, 2016 8:07 AM BST


Conspiracy of Ravens (DS Lasser series Book 11)
Conspiracy of Ravens (DS Lasser series Book 11)
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grabs from the start, 10 July 2016
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This was a great book and I would like to thank whoever it was who recommended it to me. The first few pages open the narrative in an intriguing manner, suffused with the mystery which marks the story. It is never clear, until the end, where this story is headed and what the motivation for the events which take place is. There are some clues but not enough to take the reader to the truth which is revealed in a shocking finale.
I really like the characterisations and want to go back and start at the beginning of the series to follow them through each situation and see them develop.
Having read a few underwhelming books recently, it was great to get into a book which grabbed me from the start and led me on an eventful journey. Balm to my bruised, book-reading core.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 18, 2016 8:03 AM BST


No Other Darkness (D.I. Marnie Rome 2)
No Other Darkness (D.I. Marnie Rome 2)
Price: £3.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 28 Jun. 2016
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Beginning with a tragedy of senseless, almost casual, death, this sad tale becomes a bleak investigation into what makes a group of people a family. It goes on to look at how family life is different things to different people. How can a family be real when no-one really knows who is who? This compelling novel causes the reader to think about how fragile mental health can be and how life can be turned upside down as a consequence. It challenges our perception about "the monsters" who harm children, showing the ease with which a loving parent can become a whole other person, it really could happen to any family. How then, do those left behind cope with the need to go on living? How do they build a new life and go on day by day?

The characters in this story all have burdens to bear although some are more obvious than others. It Is the hidden pain which causes so many problems - and what problems they are! It is this shared sene of grief and pain which knits the narrative together and also provides the clues which help DI Rome to grasp the pieces of the puzzle and connect them up.

I read this story through in a single day as I didn't want to leave it until there was a solution and hopefully a resolution for the two little boys we meet in the first chapter. It really is that gripping.


The Optician's Wife: a compelling new psychological thriller
The Optician's Wife: a compelling new psychological thriller
Price: £1.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch out when the fat lady sings, 26 Jun. 2016
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There is a duplicity in this book which is hinted at but never directed. When we hear the killer's voice, it is never clear who it is, we are led to suspect different people at different times. Although a tale of intense emotional need, it juxtaposes love, betrayal and loyalty in a unique way exploring the consequences of low self-esteem. At first glance we see yet another woman who is controlled and manipulated by a man who wants to mould her to suit his own desires, but is that really what he is getting?

The two main characters are well written, giving each of them several facets, adding depth and dimension to make them more credible. I'm not sure that I liked either of them and doubt I would have been comfortable in the presence of either of them but that is not a negative point. It is harder to be caught up in the story of people one doesn't necessarily like, but the author has cleverly managed to create an engaging narrative despite the characters.

I read this in one day, taking breaks only as demanded by the exigencies of family life. It seems a very long time since I did that, but I really NEEDED to find out the truth about this one. Using nthe old cliche that "it's not over till the fat lady sings" the ending is not where you might expect it to be and when it comes, is shocking and totally unforeseen. You need to read it to understand.


See How They Run: The Gripping Thriller that Everyone is Talking About
See How They Run: The Gripping Thriller that Everyone is Talking About
Price: £1.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kept me on the move!, 26 Jun. 2016
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Oh my goodness - this book! This is a great tale set within a nightmare scenario. That there is something intensely menacing about the men who break into Harry & Alice's home in the middle of the night is conveyed in a quiet, unfussy way. The tension builds from there, as the author introduces new characters, giving each one several facets to ensure that the reader is never sure quite who is trustworthy and who isn't. Normally I can deal with high tension in a book, it is after all, what readers want, but this one had something extra in the mix for me; something undefined but giving a certain sense of dread. I found that this time I couldn't always convince myself that the good guys would come out on top - this time there was a chance that they wouldn't, or at least that not all of them would. It is a very rare book which I can't read at night because I know it will keep me awake, but this was that rare book. It is also very rare that I find myself having to put the book down and walk around for a while to dissipate the tension, but again, for me, this book did it. Perhaps it was the notion of such a young child being endangered that pushed my buttons, I only know that I couldn't sit still, which although unusual for me, is a certain sign of a well written book. (EDIT: I don't read reviews written by other readers before writing my own as I don't want to be influenced by them, but as I was posting this review I caught sight of a phrase used by another reviewer which summed up what I have been trying to say, so if I may borrow a phrase, "it gave me the Heebie Jeebies")

Overall the book is well written and bears the hallmarks of a solid thriller. One of my rare 5* ratings.


Someone Else's Skin (DI Marnie Rome 1)
Someone Else's Skin (DI Marnie Rome 1)
Price: £3.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Winner, 11 Jun. 2016
Wow this book is gripping from the outset as we learn about the event which haunts DI Marnie Rome and echoes throughout the story.

The author has taken what could have been a mundane, cliched story of domestic abuse and turned it into a real page turner. Whenever the reader thinks they can see where this is going, they may well have to think again. The timing and progress of the narrative are tight, the characters and their interactions are credible and the descriptions are subtle. The author doesn't paint by numbers but shows us her characters with skilful strokes, adding shades here and colour there. We get the picture fully but not all in one go and that applies as equally to the rolling out of the plot as it does to the descriptions of the characters.
It does not surprise me that this novel was a prize winner, it certainly deserves all the accolades and plaudits available to it. I am looking forward greatly to the next book in the series


SILENT WITNESS: A Josie Bates Thriller (The Witness Series Book 2)
SILENT WITNESS: A Josie Bates Thriller (The Witness Series Book 2)
Price: £2.59

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well crafted characters in a well written story, 8 Jun. 2016
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Another great story from this author, it is difficult to predict where the narrative will go next as it twists and weaves through complex plot lines with ease and fluidity. Although there are hints from the beginning that someone is a bad guy we don't know why. He surely cannot be responsible for the death that the story is founded on, we can't even be sure that that one was caused by anyone other than the decedent, so what is it about his man which sets the reader on edge?
The one thing the reader can be sure of in this story is that they can't be sure of anything! The writer has carefully crafted all the new characters to have an edge which makes the reader unsure if they are trustworthy or not. The author has not shied away from portraying, even the pre-existing, trusted characters as flawed. Josie finds out things about Archer which cause her to have doubts, which in turn influence her thought processes and lead her to act in ways which she would not with any other client. There are things Archer will not reveal, and old friends are suspicious and not sure what to believe. To my mind, all of these things give the whole scenario more credibility because they are more realistic than the oft portrayed blind faith of suspects' friends and family.
The book grabs hold and suddenly it is morning but you still want to read to the end. Great stuff, I am going back for more.


HOSTILE WITNESS (Thriller/legal thriller): A Josie Bates Thriller (The Witness Series Book 1)
HOSTILE WITNESS (Thriller/legal thriller): A Josie Bates Thriller (The Witness Series Book 1)
Price: £0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the average detective story., 5 Jun. 2016
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This book drags out the tension to the very end. We can tell almost from the very beginning that Hannah didn't do what she is accused of,so what is the truth behind the events of that night. This isn't exactly a detective story but it is an investigation into the truth of what happened on the night a death ocurred. Whilst it would appear that no-one really knows exactly what happened, the fact that the victim was a judge means that someone has to be held responsible, and it might as well be an insecure girl exhibiting signs of mental instability. Whilst everyone else is striving to ensure that they can fit the facts around the suspect, her distraught mother begs her old friend to be the girl's lawyer.

The tale unfolds with good timing which helps the credibility and keeps the reader's attention. This isn't all car chases and an arrogant investigator, more a hesitant investigator fighting to hold onto the case in the teeth of opposition from where she expects support. Can Josie find the strength to hold on and keep trusting her client, even when logic, and all those around her are shouting her guilt?

I didn't expect to like Josie very much but i found that I did. I liked her vulnerability, but also her determination even in the face of doubt. I like the way she held on even when she realised that not only did she not like her old friend but that they had never really been friends despite their shared past and I really like her integrity. Josie has the kind of courage which makes her hang on even when she is scared to death. I would rather have her as a friend than an adversary.


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