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Profile for Mark Taylor > Reviews

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Content by Mark Taylor
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Reviews Written by
Mark Taylor (Blackburn, Lancashire)

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Reiver
Reiver
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A lively story set around the historic scottish english border, 19 May 2017
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This review is from: Reiver (Kindle Edition)
I thought the trials and tribulations of the border reivers in the 16th century was interesting to learn about. Richie Reade a reiver and warrior of the borders between Scotland and England fought hard to defend his kin and followers from the Armstrongs eventually having to retreat to the wilderness for taking revenge on them. The story I found well written with lots of historical content around the time of Elizabeth tudor. Mary stewart has been imprisioned many years and most border reiver families were staunch catholics who wanted Mary queen of scots back on the throne. Elizabeth was a protestant and had to fight off a catholic uprising and the scottish from taking castles and land from the english. I thought the story was very climatic. Leonard Dacre went against the crown in favour of Mary stewart, drumming up support from catholic dissident groups and border reivers to decieved Henry Forster a loyalist of Elizabeth tudor. Forster takes Hexham castle and makes his way to Carlisle were he meets Dacres troops who are defeated after leaving Naworth castle. Dacre may not have been so heavily defeated if he had stayed at the castle and let Forsters men slip by. Richie Reade and his followers after hearing rumours of an uprising have watched for a while and fought with Forsters men deciding not to be traitors of the crown and join the rebels. A very thorough and detailed account of life on the scottish english border were the reivers roamed. Enjoyed this book and is recommended.


In The Dark Streets Shining: A touching wartime saga of hope and new beginnings
In The Dark Streets Shining: A touching wartime saga of hope and new beginnings
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of how two families bond together and cope whilst facing the realities of war, 30 Mar. 2017
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The story I found enjoyable and extremely well written. It was easy to follow and understand.The characters were very good and fitted into the story perfectly. The wartime saga gave a good sense of community spirit during the second world war and made me realise yet again how brave our soldiers were. There was much to be fearful of with the air strikes going on for the Beech family and thier sons; Alan was eventually called up to serve his country and thier other son was employed in the auxillary fire brigade.The injury Alan had was harrowing to read.The emotional turmoil he felt and how he rebuilt his life was commendable. I liked the fast tempo of the book towards the end enabling a happy conclusion of events. A very talented author and one I will read from again. A super book worth reading.


The Courtesan: A Heartbreaking Historical Epic of Loss, Loyalty and Love
The Courtesan: A Heartbreaking Historical Epic of Loss, Loyalty and Love
by Alexandra Curry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A unique and interesting story of a chinese girls life through the Guangxu reign, 23 Feb. 2017
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I found the book quite different from what I usually read. The background to the story involves a young chinese womans life through the Guangxu reign. The main character Jinhua is sold as a bed servant to a bawdy house. There Emperors and dignitaries can use these womens services. They are treated very badly and have to comply with certain rituals. Jinhua is later sold like another mans wife. He is a diplomat of foreign affairs and must travel to Vienna over sea and land to find information about the foreigners and there statergies; as different countries and there armies are starting to invade and claim land as their own. Jinhua travels with him and starts to enjoy western life, whilst he is working. She breaks rules he had set down and she is severely punished. She runs away back to Suzhou and the bawdy house she worked in to be back with her close friend she calls a sister. Factions of chinese are taking on these foreigners and life is becoming very dangerous for Jinhua and Suyin as they have collaborated with these foreigners. They had started a new life in Peking together and set up a bawdy house for girls; this time they are extremely well treated; however it proves to be a very bad idea indeed. I quite enjoyed most of this story upto the last quarter, as I found it credible, interesting and a unique storyline. Towards the end there seemed quite a bit missing, from the story as if it was not appropiate; such as how did she get back?.How did the diplomat know where she would be?.How did he not find her when she was in same building as him?.How did they get to Peking?.Who is the father of Jinhua's baby?.It started to seem all too easy how progress was made; when during this time it would not have been and no indication of how it happened. The story gets round this obviously by it just happening, but if these points were included and possibily less vulgarity; I would be awarding a high mark. This book is worth 3.5; higher than three definetely but just lower than four. It is a very good attempt for a first novel and was extremely good but I thought lacking a satisfactory ending. A good buy and interesting read.


Hope's Peak (Harper and Lane Book 1)
Hope's Peak (Harper and Lane Book 1)
Price: £3.98

3.0 out of 5 stars A detective story with paranormal activity, 6 Feb. 2017
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A detective story which involved the daughter of one of the victims, who was able to help with clues to the serial killers method of killing by grasping the arm of the dead victim in the morgue and using her phycic powers. This was an interesting twist using paranormal activity. I did not find though that it was that good of a story. I thought it obvious who the killer was half way through and therefore was rather predictable that there would be a deadly confrontation between the two main detectives on the case and serial killer. There was no final outcome also about the cover up by the corrupt detectives which led to this new investigation. They had let the serial killer carry on killing so not to scare of tourists from visiting Hope Peak. The story however was very readable, quite well written and not dissapointing. I am likely to read another book from this author as I understood the plot perfectly well.


The Passage (The Wonderland Series: Book 1)
The Passage (The Wonderland Series: Book 1)
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A cheerful, intriguing tale of time travel back to the 17th century, 6 Feb. 2017
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The passage is a book which is well written and easy to read. Jane the main character is a location scout for a film company and the location she has chosen for the shoot is Everly manor in the village of Cranleigh. There is also a tudor era museum and a church which she visits for research. Whilst in the church she stumbles on a door in the crypt and this allows her to travel back to the 17th century in which the church, museum and then Lord of the manor, Hugo Everly lived. Village life is now revisited back to this time in history. She is allowed back to the modern era when she wants, so she quickly returns back to get appropiate clothing from the museum to begin her exploration back in time. After re-entering the 17th century she is nearly knocked over by Hugo Everly riding his horse. She is invited back to the manor and they start to get to know each other better. It becomes a very intriguing story as Jane has to overcome her fears and anxiety. Her employee and friends will be worrying about her and she finds herself wanting to get back to the church and home without causing any alarm. Jane had found out through her research that Lord Everly would die if he supported the Monmouth rebellion, so she tries to convince him not to join. A romance between them starts to grow and Jane is eventually able to explain how she knows so much about what would happen to him. I found the ending very good as it explained how they both could live contently within thier different time periods. The conection between the two was cheerful and I did get a good feel of living in the 17th century. The book was enjoyable and worth the money.


The Harbour Master: An atmospheric Amsterdam detective investigation (Detective Henk van der Pol)
The Harbour Master: An atmospheric Amsterdam detective investigation (Detective Henk van der Pol)
Price: £2.61

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An unusual detective story, good plot, suspenseful and inquiring., 6 Dec. 2016
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The book is a crime detective story and different from others I have read as it has a unique atmosphere mainly centered around the dutch city of Amsterdam. I enjoyed the book and its characters. There was a lot of detective work needed in the red light district. Rival organisations wanting the lions share of the lucrative business involving escorts and drugs. The main character is Henk van der pol a dutch police detective who is able to command others. He ends up trying to work out why the politician Rem Lottman who has close links with the dutch police force has been kidnapped. Henk went with him to the Energy Summit in Brussels but was not seen again. The plot is very good, and it turns out he was giving money to oil producing countries in exchange for gifts. I believe he worked in conjuntion with a Ghanian diplomat and a ringleader called Tailleur to gather these gifts. The story does not explain what happened to him and why he was kidnapped. Henk is told to control proceedings for an inquiry into his disappearance in the end. I did not mind not having been told the outcome. I still enjoyed the suspence. Ive awarded 3.5 marks and it really could have been a 5 if the outcome had been explained. I also did not really get why a foreign diplomat from Norway had his valuable painting stolen and died in the robbery. Could the painting not have stayed within his family as it had been found. I presumed this was part of the criminal underworld Rem Lottman was involved in - have the diplomat killed and use the painting has a bargaining tool. The Norweigans would also gain from an insurance scam. A lot of speculation surrounds this interesting and well written book. It is worth reading.


Defiance: A House Divided (The Defending Home Series Book 2)
Defiance: A House Divided (The Defending Home Series Book 2)
Price: £2.73

4.0 out of 5 stars Full of suspense and raw emotion, 13 Oct. 2016
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A fast moving, action packed thriller. Very well written and really was worth following on from book one. I enjoyed reading some of the twists and turns in this book, such as Shane's involvement with the cartel and the other organisations emerging to fight the new governors of Encendido. The book is easy to follow and read. The plots involved are diverse and the book has to emit the many emotions surrounding all parties concerned in the war which has begun between the cartel, Dales family and the turmoil the Encendido people are faced with in this now lawless county. I would have thought quite a challenge to write this new episode with the right balance, as there is a lot going on, especially with new organisations forming to defeat the cartel. The interconnection of these new allies with Dales movement and that of his family members who help to fight the cartel in their own way is in my opinion outstandingly written. There is a lot of creditability surrounding the story and you can feel the raw emotions of the parties involved in gaining back control of Encendido. The story is awarded an extra half mark in truth, if I had to criticise I was not so sure if security was as good as it could have been at the farm, as one organisation member was able to get into the barn to deliver an important message. There is not much wrong with the books I have read in this series, they are entertaining and worth reading. I also thought the conclusion was very good. It sets up an eagerly anticipated third book to find out what happens to Dale and his family. I will for certain be reading the third book when it arrives. Recommended.


Defiance (The Defending Home Series Book 1)
Defiance (The Defending Home Series Book 1)
Price: £2.76

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First book has lots of suspence and intrigue to want to read more, 13 Oct. 2016
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I found the first book in the series very good and well written. The story is about a family, Dale and his daughter Brooke and his nephew Colton who he is bringing up whilst his dad is in prison. A virus spreads the county and is wiping out most of the habitants of Encendido and further afield. Dales farm has the largest aquifer and water is a scarce commodity. The sheriff and mayor have allowed their deputies to clear out houses whose occupants have died to replenish supplies for the citizens of Encendido. They also require the largest aquifer in Encendido which is on Dales farm. He is defiant that they will not get this commodity. He is prepared to trade with the people but not hand over his property to the authorities as this would leave them with nothing. He reaches out to his extended family, who stay at the farm and help protect the farm. They fight hard to defend there property and look for revenge. The story had many interesting developments to keep me engaged in the book and carry on to the next book in the series. I recommend this book.


jeansian Men's Casual Long Sleeves Quick Dry T-Shirts Wicking Running Sport Tee Shirt Top LA184 (USA M, LA153_Blue)
jeansian Men's Casual Long Sleeves Quick Dry T-Shirts Wicking Running Sport Tee Shirt Top LA184 (USA M, LA153_Blue)
Offered by jeansianGB
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very comfortable casual wear, 7 Oct. 2016
I like the material of the casual shirt. It feels silky smooth on the skin and would be of good use down the gym or out running. I just wear it inside or as casual wear for now. There are a lot of different designs to choose from and I rate this product very good value for money.


Uncertain World: A Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian Survival Fiction Series (The EMP Survivor Series Book 2)
Uncertain World: A Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian Survival Fiction Series (The EMP Survivor Series Book 2)
Price: £2.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An unpredictable, adventurous book with reasonable ending considering how people now live in this uncertain world, 13 Sept. 2016
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The concluding part of Uncertain World is creatively written and easy to read. I found it a very good interesting story that kept me engaged. The characters were great and the plot was very adventurous. The story read well and everything came together nicely in the end. If I was to criticise and this story is worth an extra half mark as it is; to gain five marks I thought the chance of Ryan surviving the crash along with Cassie too coincidental. Ryan happened to be the mother of Holly, who had joined Dillon to look for his daughter Cassie. Also the hunt at the end; I thought it would have been very unlikely Dillon would have been able to take home either the deer or the lion he killed last, after the lion got his teeth into Dillons arm and neck, even if Dillon had a thick coat on. The concepts I found questionable really did not interfere with the storyline overall and was a worth while read. I look forward to your new publications. Good read to buy.


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