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Reviews Written by
SJI Holliday (London, UK)

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Simon Sixsmith: A Ghost Story
Simon Sixsmith: A Ghost Story

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable read, 12 May 2015
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I was recommended this author by a friend and had no idea what to expect. What I got was a fantastically written novella, set in London and America's Deep South, the story of an inheritance and a dubious past... some hilarious observational humour about a relationship going wrong, and a main character who finds himself dragged into the most implausible but compelling scenario. The dark subject matter is handled expertly, and the voice of the narrator, Simon, is a a joy. This is one of those books where you feel like you're being told a story. And what a story it is.


Untouchable
Untouchable
Price: £2.48

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastically Sexy Crime Debut, 7 May 2015
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This review is from: Untouchable (Kindle Edition)
The thing I enjoyed most about this book is the strong 'voice' of the protagonist Stella. The sex parties that Stella and her 'colleagues' are embroiled in are disturbing and fascinating in equal measure, and the types of characters who 'employ' these high-class escorts are nicely drawn, without being stereotyped. Despite the subject matter, the book doesn't feel seedy - it feels all too real (and made me wonder how the author did her research!) The language is crisp, direct and often humorous in tone, the storyline is intriguing and the pacing excellent. You want to know who Stella was and what happened to her 'before' - and little snippets of her past-life and her old friends are neatly woven throughout, as Stella finds herself mixed up in a murder case and with several unsavoury characters in her wake. She's a likeable heroine, and the author has portrayed her well with her astute characterisation. I'm guessing this is a standalone, so I can't wait to see what the author comes up with next. There are some inevitable parallels to be drawn with Belle du Jour, but this is no bad thing. I loved this book - it was quite different to my usual reads - and I highly recommend it (as long as you are not offended by some quite graphic sex scenes!)

Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for the advance review copy.


How I Lost You
How I Lost You
Price: £1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great characters and nice twists and turns, 10 April 2015
This review is from: How I Lost You (Kindle Edition)
Stayed up very late reading this as I couldn't put it down. Susan/Emma is a fascinating and likeable character dealing with a dark past and a series of revelations that lead her to doubt everything she thought she knew. The story is brilliantly interwoven with twists and turns and when the explanations for everything are revealed, I was nicely surprised (mainly because some of it was downright creepy, and I love creepy!) The ending is one that I really didn't expect at all. Great writing and perfectly executed. Loved this book and look forward to more by this author.


Normal
Normal
Price: £3.66

5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastically fresh take on the serial killer thriller., 31 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Normal (Kindle Edition)
A fantastically fresh take on the serial killer thriller. I found myself feeling sorry for him in the end - excellent twists and turns, lots of dark humour - brilliant writing. I hope this is as big a hit as it deserves to be!


The Defence
The Defence
by Steve Cavanagh
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 14 Mar. 2015
This review is from: The Defence (Paperback)
It's been a long time since I read a legal thriller, and this is one of the best I've ever read. Eddie Flynn is an absolute joy. The story clips along at a great pace, and the writing style draws you in and keeps you there. Great cast of characters and a story like a roller coaster. This deserves to be huge.


Silent Scream: An edge of your seat serial killer thriller (Detective Kim Stone crime thriller series Book 1)
Silent Scream: An edge of your seat serial killer thriller (Detective Kim Stone crime thriller series Book 1)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent crime debut, 8 Mar. 2015
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This book has been getting a lot of hype, and I usually dislike hype - but this one certainly lives up to it. The main character, Kim Stone, is a delight - she's strong and feisty, she does what she wants, but she has a passion and a desire to make things right. I loved her backstory and it worked well as an explanation for the way she behaves. There was lots of humour, a crisp, clean writing style, and a nicely woven plot with just the right amount of twists and turns to keep things fresh. I found this book extremely difficult to put down and could easily have read it in one sitting if I hadn't had to do annoying things like sleep and work! Really looking forward to the next one and very glad it's coming soon. Excellent debut.


The Death House
The Death House
Price: £4.72

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

9 of 11 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: £3.79

4 of 5 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 Book 2)
Follow The Leader (A DS Allie Shenton Novel Book 2)
Price: £2.99

1 of 2 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.


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