Tag Archives: crime

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. Review

Into the Water is the new novel by Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train and it’s a very different novel. Yes, they both fall into the genre of thriller and they’re both about secrets, but other than that there is no similarity between the two. Some of you may rejoice at that, others not so much.

First off I guess what I’ve got to get off my chest is that what stopped this being an exceptional novel for me is that it was told from far too many perspectives.

Lena – daughter of the late Nell Abbott

Jules – sister of the late Nell Abbott

Sean – the police officer investigating the death.

Erin – the other police officer investigating the death.

Helen – Sean’s wife

Patrick – Sean’s father

Nickie – an older woman and a psychic

Louise – mother of Katie and Josh

Josh – son of Louise, brother of Katie

Mark – a teacher at Lena and Katie’s school

As you can see, an exhaustive amounts of POV’s and hardly necessary. Some characters only offering their perspective a couple of times and others dominating. Overall I feel the novel would have better suited in third person omniscient if it needed so many perspectives!

The second thing for me, was that it went on for far too long leaving most of the novel feeling like nothing was happening. This is possibly linked to the amount of perspectives we get as well. The first 150 Pages or so we’re pretty gripping and intriguing, but after that it really slowed down and I found the last few chapters and the big reveals to be rather jumbled and disappointing!

I feel like this was a novel with a potential which it unfortunately doesn’t live up to.

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Night Shift by Charlaine Harris. Review

I’m so sad that this series is over! I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the characters of Midnight, Texas and I’m a little disappointed but also hopeful that I might hear from them again!

What a hodgepodge bunch they are but so brilliant at the same time! In Midnight Crossroad and Day Shift the small group of townsfolk had to face several adversaries but none as formidable as the one they face in Night Shift. Suicides keep happening on the crossroads in Midnight, blood is being spilled and Lemuel the vampire is still desperately trying to translate the ancient texts which he found in the pawnshop. He’s sure that they will give a reason for the unexplained deaths. But if it’s what he suspects, they might just be running out of time. There’s a ritual needed and even Mr Snuggly is going to have his part to play.

This whole series has been start to finish brilliant. I really love these characters and I had forgotten what a wonderful writer Charlaine Harris is, her books are such easy, delicious reads with characters you really can’t help loving. I’ll definitely be checking out the tv series when I get back to the UK as well!

Day Shift by Charlaine Harris. Review

There’s a reviewer on goodreads called Jilly who really sums up this series for me, she says ‘this series is one of those kinds where it doesn’t move all that fast but you just enjoy hanging out with the characters’ I couldn’t have said it better than that myself. I love the characters in this series and all their quirky, individual ways.

There are a few spoilers here from Midnight Crossroad but the review of Day Shift is spoiler free don’t worry!

Day Shift invites us further into the world of Midnight, Texas and the characters who live there. A tiny hamlet near Davy, Midnight has lots of boarded up storefronts and only a few people living there. There’s Fiji a self proclaimed witch who owns the store The Inquiring Mind, Manfred, still fairly new to the town, a telephone psychic, Bobo who owns the pawnbrokers, Olivia some kind of superhero fighter woman and Lemuel the emotion draining vampire. There’s also Joe and Chuy a gay couple who might perhaps be angels. Then there’s Madonna, Teacher and their baby who seem to be normal and the Rev who nobody knows quite what he is. There’s also the return of some of the characters from the Sookie Stackhouse series as well!

Manfred finds himself in a spot of bother in Day Shift when one of his clients dies during a private reading. Accused of stealing her jewellery by her psycho son, and suspected of potentially murdering the woman, Manfred has to rely on his friends in the town to help him out of this mess, even if their methods are a little unconventional.

I’m getting rather addicted to this series and looking forward to getting straight into Night Shift the final book in this trilogy series.

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris. Review

Midnight Crossroad is the first in Charlaine Harris’ new series Midnight Texas. The town of Midnight is grateful for the Crossroad as it drives business from outsiders into the tiny hamlet. With only a nail bar, Gas station, diner, pawnbrokers and magic shop, the town is quiet with only a few residents, well known to each other. Manfred Bernardo an Internet psychic moves into the town and soon discovers that there’s something a little unusual about the townsfolk.

I really loved the concept of this novel, supernatural people all living together in a little hamlet, disturbed by white supremacy is about what sums it up which sounds ridiculous but it works!

I loved all the characters, some of them are open about their supernatural powers like Fiji the witch, while others like the Rev and Bobo are yet to be revealed, although I already have my suspicions. I am a huge fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series and Charlaine Harris does not disappoint with this latest series!

Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy. Review

I find it really difficult to review classics, never quite feeling that I do them justice if I like them, and if I don’t like them, fearing that it is just because I’m missing the ‘point’. But hey, I’ll have a go, just to clarify Tess of the D’Urbervilles falls firmly into the category of a classic I liked.

Tess is the eldest daughter of the family Durbeyfield, when her father discovers they are descendants of the great family D’Urbeville who were knights in the time of the conqueror, Mrs Durbeyfield sends Tess off to plead Kinship with what she believes to be distant, rich relatives. But Tess’ ‘cousin’ Alec becomes her downfall and she returns home a few months later in shame.

After leaving her village due to her shame, Tess starts a new life as a dairymaid and meets the kind, considerate Angel Clare. Angel wants to marry Tess but her past haunts her and at first she tries to refuse, before eventually agrees. Prior to the wedding, she tried on many occasions to tell Angel about her past but he doesn’t want to hear it. On their wedding night she finally makes the decision to tell him and everything goes downhill from there.

This book deals with many issues, from Tess’ rape at the hands of Alec D’Urberville to her shame at returning home, to her attempts to make a new life for herself when she becomes an outcast in her village. I found a lot of the issues really interesting particularly when taken in context of the time in which this novel was written. For instance, I thought it was very well done, that on the wedding night, Angel confessed that when in London he had spent two days having sex with a woman (possibly a prostitute) but when Tess confesses she was raped he is disgusted and pulls away from her. Essentially, leaving her to the fate of which she is destined.

Tess is by no means a helpless woman. No, she doesn’t have the fire and drive of Hardy’s other heroine Bathsheba Everdene but she does have a drive to protect herself and her family which I admired and she always has her pride. But what she also does is make a series of bad decisions which made me want to scream at her while still appreciating that at the time the novel is set, she couldn’t have done much else.

Overall, I found the novel engrossing in a way I have never really found With classics, desiring to pick it up and continue reading at every opportunity. It is likely to now join the ranks of my favourite classics in leather bound hardback.

Into The Thinnest of Air by Simon R Green. Review.

Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and Simon R Green for my ARC of Into the Thinnest of Air which is Book 5 in the Ishmael Jones series.

Penny and Ishmael are off to a fancy dinner with some of Penny’s father’s friends in Cornwall. Having just acquired The Castle, an inn fraught with rumour of the supernatural, Albert & Olivia are hosting a dinner party to be staged exactly like the one where hundreds of years ago, the innkeeper killed all his diners because of voices he was hearing in his head.

But things start to go wrong when one by one, the guests are picked off and disappear, but only when left alone. Most of them think the explanation lies within the supernatural world of ghosts and bogeymen, but Ishmael just isn’t convinced…

What I absolutely adore about the Ishmael Jones series is something I can’t really put my finger on. But since reading book 3 last year I’ve been hooked. I’ve tried to describe them to my partner but I get as far as ‘well it’s about an alien who has become a sort of detective in the human world’ and then realise I’m not doing it justice.

So all I can suggest is reading them for yourselves to really get the feel of why they’re so great, they’re such easy reads, designed to be devoured in one sitting. They’re funny, I love the relationship between Penny and Ishmael, I love that Ishmael can do loads of cool stuff because he’s an alien, but I also love that Penny, a human woman can also kick ass! I really need to get the 1st and 2nd Books read now.

The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft. Review

The Girl With No Past is the last of Kathryn’s currently published books that I have read and I loved it just as much as her others. Filled with suspense and Kathryn’s signature terrific twist, once again I found myself unable to put it down.

2014: Leah lives a simple life, she has a job at her local library, a simple home filled with more books than furniture and a volunteering position at the local library. But Leah is missing many things, like friendship, relationships and somewhere to truly call home. Because Leah is punishing herself, she believes that the horrors of her past mean she must live a frugal, simple life, devoid of happiness because she doesn’t deserve it.

2000: Leah and her boyfriend Adam and their friends Imogen and Corey are looking forward to a summer free of exams, school and overbearing parents. But Adam is the only one who doesn’t seem happy, he hates their teacher Miss Hollis with a passion bordering on obsession and it’s beginning to make Leah feel uncomfortable.

But now, somebody is stalking Leah, sending her emails, turning up at her house and moving things while she’s sleeping. Turning her new found friends against her. Leah begins investigating with the help of her friend Ben but before she can find the stalker, the stalker finds her.

The Girl With No Past is so tense and I really thought I’d worked out the twist this time but I couldn’t have been more wrong! Leah is a character who it easy to feel compassion for, despite her past, I think the title may be meant as irony because I feel that Leah really was a good person despite everything. Another unforgettable read.