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Reviews Written by
SJI Holliday (London, UK)

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The Death House
The Death House
Price: £1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A modern day dark fairytale, 26 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: The Death House (Kindle Edition)
This is the story of children with a defective gene who are sent away to 'The Death House' to die under the watchful eye of the cold and distant 'Matron'. It's a beautifully told tale of the relationships between these children, all from different backgrounds, thrown together to face the same, desperate plight. Intertwined amongst it all is the tragic love story of Toby and Clara, the Romeo and Juliet of the house. I'll say no more. Prepare to cry at the end. Beautiful, sad and creepy


The Venus Trap
The Venus Trap
Price: £3.98

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Brilliant, 24 Feb. 2015
This review is from: The Venus Trap (Kindle Edition)
This is the first of Louise’s solo novels I’ve read, and I did wonder how it would differ from those written with her co-writer, Mark Edwards. I’m not sure what comparisons can be made, other than to say that both authors produce very well written, engaging stories that pull you in and keep you there. The main difference, I’d say, is that this is much more of a woman’s book, in many ways (not to say that men couldn’t learn a thing or two from it about what NOT to do!) In The Venus Trap, there is a lot of talk of past dating disasters and the main character, Jo, narrates these in the midst of her current biggest disaster – a date that has led to her being kidnapped and imprisoned in her own home by a man she vaguely remembers from school.

Her tormentor tries to torture her into loving him.

As things unravel, we start to work out what has made him act like this, and through the schoolgirl diaries of Jo, we get a beautiful, if tragic, story of her past loves, her difficult teenage years and what has shaped her into the woman she is. Voss has a knack for capturing the teenage angst with brilliant, often dark humour. There are many excellent turns of phrase and proper laugh out loud moments, in both teenage Jo and adult Jo’s accounts, and the dark side of her current situation is neatly and believably handled. This is one of those books that you’ll want to recommend to your friends, so much of it is relatable – especially for anyone who has suffered the perils of the dating scene.

I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for the advance copy.


Beyond the Rage
Beyond the Rage
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, twisty crime, 11 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Beyond the Rage (Kindle Edition)
Kenny O'Neill is a great character and Michael Malone has created a tartan noir masterpiece with this book. I loved the family-oriented storyline and the twists and turns worked perfectly and kept me guessing all the way through. There are many laugh out loud moments as the author's wit clearly shines though, despite the dark elements of this relentless thriller. This the first of the author's books I've read, and the glimpses of his McBain character have left me wanting to read the others asap! I hope Kenny comes back in the future. Brilliant stuff.


Follow The Leader (A DS Allie Shenton Novel)
Follow The Leader (A DS Allie Shenton Novel)
Price: £3.98

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly executed, dark and compelling read, 11 Feb. 2015
Mel Sherratt's Follow the Leader sees the long awaited return of Taunting the dead's DS Allie Shenton. This time there's no Terry Ryder to distract her, and the case in hand concerns a series of murders featuring a cast of characters who attended the same school - the school being the one that Allie herself attended. Allie has to try to work out what else connects the victims, while also trying to decipher the clues left by the killer, and deal with the possibility that she, or her disabled sister, Karen might be next on the killer's list. This is not a whodunit, or even a whydunnit - this is a 'who the hell is next'. Peppered with a series of school days flashbacks illustrating the horrific bullying and abuse of a boy who turns killer, this is a dark, creepy read coupled with expertly handled procedural aspects, and a good sprinkling of Sherratt's humour to boot. And what an ending! As Allie Shenton has grown further into a character you really care about, Sherratt's style and skill just gets better and better. Highly recommended.


Shallow Waters: DI Hannah Robbins Book 1
Shallow Waters: DI Hannah Robbins Book 1
Price: £1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive debut, 16 Jan. 2015
Wow - what a great start to a new series. Bradley has clearly done her research, and this is a solid procedural with a cast of characters you can care about. Di Hannah Robbins is intriguing, and I want to know more about her relationship with Ethan, as I think there is something crucial here that we don't yet know about! The subject matter of this book is rather unpleasant, but it is handled well and made for an insightful rather than all out graphic depiction of horrible events. The psychology of the perpetrators is an interesting thing too, in a very 'skin-crawling' type of way. The pace builds slowly, but when close to the end it seems to pick up considerably, and I found myself holding my breath at points, yet not wanting it to end. A strong debut from an author who really knows her stuff.


From the Cradle (A Detective Lennon Thriller)
From the Cradle (A Detective Lennon Thriller)
Price: £3.98

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 1 Oct. 2014
I was really pleased to be given an early review copy of this book. I have read Voss and Edwards books before, and I think this is their best one yet. It tells the story of missing children, and I thought the authors dealt with this in a sensitive way. The characters were well drawn, even if some were not altogether likeable - and the west London setting worked well. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that there are many twists and turns throughout! I thought I had guessed what was going on, but of course, I was wrong... Really liked the character of Patrick Lennon - brilliant backstory and an ending that makes me definitely want to read the next book in this series. I hate the term page-turner, but this is definitely one of them! You really won't be able to put it down.


Scarlett Point
Scarlett Point
Price: £1.15

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent short story and a teaser - perfect!, 24 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Scarlett Point (Kindle Edition)
Scarlett Point is a quick read, but it's one of those stories that you finish and want to re-read immediately. I loved the writing style, and the interaction between Cutler and Luke - a man and a boy who meet by chance, both with their stories to tell. Also includes an intriguing sample of the author's next book. This is a perfect coffee break read. Recommended.


Created, The Destroyer: Number 1 in Series
Created, The Destroyer: Number 1 in Series
Price: £2.48

4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun thriller, 2 Sept. 2014
This is an interesting book. The premise, where Remo is saved from electrocution and then sent off to a secret organisation to become ‘The Destroyer’ intrigued me, but I found that a lot of the time I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on. It’s a short, noirish, satirical take on the thriller genre and having been written in the 60s there are some cliched characters and some old-fashioned views – which in some ways, you can attribute to the satire, but sometimes it felt a bit dated. Being short (print length is <200 pages), I’m not sure how much I really got to know Remo, but I was quite entertained by him, and the fact that this is the first in a series of 145 (yes – 145!) titles, I think that he is set to become a great character who will surely develop more… The karate scenes with his trainer, Chiun, reminded me of The Karate Kid, and you can hardly fault that ;) Overall opinion is that I enjoyed the book, it was different to the things that I usually read, and an interesting experiment to see if the stories have stood the test of time… well, only a new audience will be able to assess that. And maybe the upcoming Hollywood movie might help as it is definitely written in a way that would lend itself to the big screen… Sony have recently signed up Shane Black of Iron Man 3 fame to direct it. I wonder who’ll play the lead?

Thank you to the publisher for the advance review copy (review originally posted on my blog).


Eeny Meeny: DI Helen Grace 1
Eeny Meeny: DI Helen Grace 1
Price: £5.67

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, fast, thriller, 2 Sept. 2014
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I heard mixed reviews about this, and I tend to avoid anything over-hyped, but when it was in the kindle sale, I couldn't resist. I wasn't disappointed. I liked the premise (although not original, but how many new ways can you kill someone in a novel?) and I liked the short, sharp chapters. I didn't feel like there was much in the way of characterisation for the victims - most of them I couldn't tell you much about now, and there seemed to be little exploration of their motivations - however, I did like Helen Grace, despite her being quite a cold character, and possibly her traits were a bit extreme - but I saw this is a fun read, a bit cliched - in the vein of James Patterson - and I guessed the twist, but it didn't matter as I was dying to know how it would play out.


Fall From Grace: David Raker Novel #5 (David Raker Series)
Fall From Grace: David Raker Novel #5 (David Raker Series)
Price: £5.43

5.0 out of 5 stars I love Raker, 2 Sept. 2014
Raker is back, and as usual, he ends up in danger while just trying to do his job. This time he's got a daughter to worry about too - a different slant on things for him as usually he only has to look out for himself. The plot is complex, but all slots into place neatly. I loved the setting in this one - an old asylum is always going to appeal. What I particularly love about this series (apart from Raker himself) is the way they link together - this one, via a killer last line. Can't wait for book 6.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy via netgalley.


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