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on 2 February 2017
Have read all 3 books and thoroughly enjoyed every one. These are the first books I have read written by Sandra Howard and can't wait for more. These 3 books would make a great film - must contact her to get her thoughts. My only criticism is that in the last book I would have liked to have had a bit more involvement of William's younger children and how their lives were progressing.
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on 29 September 2014
I had email from Sandra and Michael which is
icing on the cake in many respects.
Sandra is a fist class writer.
I highly recommend this book.
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on 11 March 2009
This book gripped me fairly early on with it's topical theme of terrorist cells in Britain. Obviously written using her personal experience of being married to a Home secretary, as Sandra Howard was,the book exudes authority on the ways of the security services, which together with a first rate love story makes it a really good read.The various threads are skillfully woven together to make a very satisfying book.
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on 20 March 2009
A Matter of Loyalty is a book for our time. It's about an Islamist terrorist plot, and the effect this has on the lives of the characters. Every detail is very carefully researched and the book is truly unputdownable. The fundamentalist characters are just as realistic as the others in the story, and the scenes in Harehills - a Muslim area of Leeds - are some of the best in the book. Sandra Howard develops the storyline in such a skillful way. I would say this is the best of the three books she has written so far, which is saying a lot.
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on 2 May 2009
Having enjoyed the first two books by Sandra Howard [Glass Doors and Ursula's Story] I was delighted that 'A Matter of Loyalty' followed on so seamlessly with the characters developing as the story unfolded. I found the book impossible to leave. The plot was swift- moving and exciting - a further insight into a world beyond my experience. Sandra Howard is an elegant writer with a keen observer's eye for detail which makes the book such a satisfactory read.
Anne Smith
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on 18 June 2009
Sandra Howard's eagerly anticipated third book did not disappoint. I have read the first two, in what could be called a series, but which in fact is three books that can be read in isolation from each other and still be coherent and absorbing stories. I enjoy the fact that the reader can dip in to the lives of all these different intertwined characters and understand their morals, motives and passions. I found the plot about Islamic extremism very well researched and gripping. All the characters are engaging, even those you don't like. My personal favourite is William and I think the relationship between William and Victoria, and their sparring matches, is one of the many strong elements in the book. It is great to get insider knowledge on the going-on of Parliament also. I think Sandra is a fabulous writer, one who really hooks you from the start and often spears you with some of her turns of phrase and expressions of emotion - and I look forward to another installment of the lives of this particular group of characters.
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on 24 April 2010
Sandra Howard has, once again, written an excellent book dealing with issues people don't like to think about. A griping narrative with a believable romance and well-thought-out characters, the only criticism I would make is that the family really does live in interesting times! A miscarried baby to a battered wife, a daughter kidnapped by an accused paedophile and now a flirtation with a suspected terrorist - the chain of events all happening to the same family does somewhat beggar belief. However, the story is more than sufficiently exciting that the reader doesn't really notice the soap-opera family background and it makes for a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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on 4 March 2012
Growing up as Muslim, I have to admit that It amazed me how much I related to this novel. And even though I did either skip or skim through its sex scenes, I really enjoyed reading it. But I could put it down more than once, and that was to ask myself how could `Non-Muslim' former model dig that deep into the Muslim mentality and get it all right. Here are some quotations from this beautiful novel:

* "I share a flat with someone I met through the BBC. I'd known him a year and been sharing for months before I discovered he was Jewish. I could never tell my parents that"

*"His parents had foud the idea of their son sharing with a Christian -as they'd assumed- distressing beyond belief. Ahmed had laid it on about Oxford, Jake's parents being dons, and their beautiful Georgian home. He was always made welcome and regretted missing a weekend with them"

*"Having the run of the house one afternoon, ... , Ahmed had opened a door on to a study and been about to close it when he noticed a row of gilt-lettered titles in Hebrew in a wall of bookshelves. A little more snooping and the facts became clear. His immediate reaction had been a sense of alienation and letdown; Jack not telling him had felt like an infidelity. Had it seemed irrelevant? Had he just not thought about it? But then would Jack really have had a clue about a Muslim upbringing in a closed community whose ways and traditions bred deep suspicion if not outright hatted of Jews?
The friendship had stood the test and pulled aside that iron curtain of drummed-in prejudice and mistrust".

This book is the first book I read for Sandra Howard, She has booked a place on my bookshilves, it definitely won't be the last.
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on 31 December 2012
This started out as a fairly promising escapist read, ideal for the end-of-year holiday period which was when I was reading it: topical subject and an author who, by virtue of her husband (a former leader of the Conservative Party), was surely in the know about the political setting. However it quickly degenerated. A thin plot served merely as a sketchy backdrop to the romance element which was played out in a gushing Mills and Boon manner with mawkish and unnatural dialogue. The young 'heroine' was portrayed as so immature it almost felt as if the sexual relationship was one of paedophilia. Disappointing.
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on 9 July 2010
I have rarely had the displeasure of reading such a thinly-plotted, poorly written book. Cardboard, stereotypical characters with no more depth than an after-dinner mint.
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