Tag Archives: murder

The Other Girl by Erica Spindler. Review 

Phew! What a roller coaster ride. I haven’t read such an engaging, well written thriller in a while. 

The Other Girl is authored by Erica Spindler best known for her ability to jump between genres, beginning with Mills & Boon style romances, fitting in some of her delicious crime thrillers featuring The Malones and Stacey Killian and even fitting in some cross genre crime/sci fi fiction with her Lightkeepers series. 

This new novel features a brand new detective Miranda Rader and I really hope that we get to see some more of Miranda in the future. Miranda comes from a troubled background, after getting busted for possession of pot when she was 15 and spending some time in juvenile prison, Miranda turned her life around and became a police officer. 


Miranda is brought in as lead detective to investigate the murder of a professor at the local university. Son of the prestigious President of the University, the pressure is on to find out who killed him in such a brutal way. As Miranda begins to put together the pieces which may link the dead man to a terrifying night from her past, suddenly she’s gone from Apple of the Chief’s eye to a suspect. The only people who seem to be on her side are her partner Jake and her best friend Summer who owns a bar (with a really cool name!) The Toasted Cat. 


But who can Miranda trust, it’s clear somebody is setting her up but who? Then she remembers there was another girl there that night, another girl who knows what happens and who exactly covered it up… but who is The Other Girl? 


This was a well written and fast paced novel. Erica has a wonderful way of writing and throws in particularly good red herrings, I’m not ashamed to admit that I fell for one of them hook, line and sinker. But there’s a sadness to this novel too as it shows how a woman must struggle in a man’s world, how someone who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks can be manipulated and disbelieved and the corruption within law enforcement, where money can buy you anything. 

Death Shall Come by Simon R Green. Review. 

‘Call me Ishamael’ you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that you were about to start reading Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick. But this is a series which is set to be a completely different type of classic. 

This is the second book I’ve read in the Ishmael Jones series by Simon R Green and the fourth in the series overall. Which answers the question do I need to read them in order? No. There is always a little background at the beginning that fills you in on who Ishmael is and what’s going on with him. 

Ishmael Jones (which isn’t his real name) is an alien who crash landed on earth 50 years ago, his spaceship turned him into something resembling a human and he’s since joined the service of a covert government operation led by the strict Colonel. 


The Ishmael books all feature a mystery which Ishmael and his endearing human girlfriend Penny have to solve. This time they’re carted off to the mysterious house of the Colonel’s wife’s family who hold one of the largest private collections of Egyptian artefacts in the world. Including a brand new mummy that they want to show off. 


The Ishmael Jones series is an excellent example of genre blending, imagine Scoony Doo meets My Parents are Aliens for grownups. Ishmael and Penny have an amusing relationship and the books are just generally very easy reads, they’re not particularly long and the mysteries are hard to solve because it’s usually something supernatural at work and hiding in plain sight. 


I’ve really enjoyed this series so far and hope there will be some more if only to determine Ishamael’s true origins. Will he ever know where he came from and why? 

One of Us is Lying by Karen .M. McManus. Review 

One of Us is lying is the hotly anticipated new YA novel from Karen M McManus. The concept instantly intrigued me. Five students are all in detention when one of them dies. The other four are instantly under suspicion. One of the people in that room knows what happened but nobodies owning up. 


The novel is a very very easy read, not because of the subject matter or the writing style but because it’s so interesting. A murder mystery for teen readers. 


All of the students have a Secret which they wanted to keep quiet. There’s Nate who despite being on probation is still drug dealing. Bronwyn is super smart and heading for valedictorian or is she..? Cooper is the all star baseball player who goes out with the prettiest girl in school, but is she who he really wants to be with? And then there’s Addy, super pretty, popular and devoted to her boyfriend Jake but maybe being on the inside means she can’t see what’s going on. 


Simon ran a gossip app, like Gossip Girl but doubly as cruel and he had secrets about all of the others that they wouldn’t want to come out.  


The novel has plenty of twists and turns and suspicions jump from person to person so that even the reader doesn’t know who to trust. There’s the usual teen spats and bitchiness but with a darker undertone that I really loved. 


I really enjoyed this book, it was perfect in a very different way to the usual YA storylines. It was well written and all the characters were likeable and engaging. I really loved one of the relationships which developed along the way although I won’t say who it is though as I like to avoid spoilers. What I will say though is that I loved, loved, loved, this book and everyone should read it! 

Monster in the Closet by Karen Rose. Review 

I was really excited to receive an ARC of this novel as I love the Romantic Suspense series. 

Monster in the Closet is the 19th book in the Romantic Suspense series and the 5th in the Baltimore series. The Romantic Suspense series follows a makeshift family made up of a group of friends. There may be some spoilers here for the other books in the series but not this one, only because I can’t talk about any of the other characters without spoilers for previous books! 

We see old favourites in this novel such as Detective JD Fitzpatrick and his partner Lucy a medical examiner, who we were first introduced to in You Belong to Me. 

Paige Holden & Grayson Smith the private investigators from No One Left to Tell although they don’t feature heavily in this one. 

State attorney Daphne Montgomery & Special Agent Joseph Carter from Did you Miss Me? As well as Daphne’s son Ford. 

Clay Maynard & Detective Stevie Mazetti from Watch Your Back. 

Faith Corcoran & Special agent Deacon Novak from Cincinnati 1 Closer Than You Think. 

I love the way that Karen Rose expertly blends all of the characters into a relationship with each other. If you haven’t read the Romantic Suspense series before, each book focuses on one couple, how they get together and their romance, but alongside that runs a thriller element with a murder and the couple’s attempts to solve the murder and catch the killer. 


Monster in the Closet sees 2 children Jazzie & Janie in therapy at Daphne’s equine therapy centre. Their mother has been violently murdered and Jazzie hasn’t spoken since. But she’s finally opening up to the new intern therapist Taylor Dawson, but she’s got secrets of her own that she’s hiding and this is where the romance and suspense comes in. 


The difference with this one is that we know who the killer is right from the beginning and this creates an immediate frustration as we watch the characters attempt to discover who the killer is and gather evidence. 


Overall this was a great novel, picking up with the younger generation of the friend/family group. Once again it was fast paced and unputdownable and most importantly thoroughly enjoyable! 

Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty. Review 

I really like Lianne Moriarty’s books, I’ve read The Husbands Secret & Truly, Madly, Guilty and liked their style of constant build up with the big reveal at the end. Big Little Lies follows the same pattern. 

In the beginning the reader is immediately aware that there has been a murder at the school trivia night but we don’t know ‘whodunnit’. Instead we are taken back to a few months before the evening and introduced to the characters. The novel mostly focuses on three friends, Madeline who is obsessed with clothes and makeup and a typical girly girl who you can’t help but love, Celeste who’s stunningly beautiful and stunningly rich but nice with it, and Jane who’s much younger, only just moved to the area and lives up to her name as the ‘plain Jane’. I’ve been watching the TV show so of course I wanted to read the book even more and of course there’s differences, the show got rid of some characters like Madeleine’s daughter Fred. 


Each family has their secrets and lies. Madeline is suffering through fights with her teenage daughter who seems to prefer her father and stepmother. Celeste is hiding the horrors of her real family life behind the rich, beautiful facade. As for Jane she’s got a whole heap of baggage not least that her son Ziggy is being accused of bullying. 


I must admit that I didn’t find this novel as engaging as the others I’ve read by this author but I don’t know if that was partially because I’ve seen the beginning of the series and so sort of knew what half of it was about, but I found the characters likeable and the plot was great! Of course the end was a huge shock in line with Lianne’s usual way of writing. There’s not one but two major twists and the ending leaves shock waves rebounding through the reader. 

Ragdoll by Daniel Cole – review 

Netgalley always asks for an honest review. Most of the time that’s easy because I tend to love books! Unfortunately, in this case I really didn’t. 

Ragdoll by Daniel Cole has a great review score on Goodreads and even had a write up in Writers Magazine which made me really excited to read this. However, I was somewhat disappointed. 


Ragdoll focuses on a team of misfit police officers working for Scotland Yard. There’s William ‘wolf’ Fawkes who spent time in an psychiatric hospital after an incident in a court room. Detective Baxter as well as harbouring a secret crush on Wolf is hiding other secrets which would threaten her job, while Edmunds a transfer from fraud is trying to prove himself by digging into things that someone doesn’t want looking at. 

Meanwhile there’s a killer on the loose and Wolf is revealed as one of his next victims. 

Sounds great doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it wasn’t. 

The writing was mediocre at best, Cole originally wrote Ragdoll as a script and it shows. The characters are all dysfunctional and have no seeming basis in reality. I didn’t find the plot very interesting at all there were no feelings of suspense or desire to race through the pages. Instead I felt myself skipping some of the flat, boring paragraphs. 


There were a lot of cliches and some things which didn’t even seem very realistic like news anchors showing pictures of mutilated dead bodies and footage of people being murdered on live television which just wouldn’t happen in real life. All in all I’m afraid I couldn’t recommend this book. 

Reading Challenge 2017

I’ve decided to take part in the 2017 reading challenge. The idea is to inspire my readers and followers with 26 different books every 2 weeks for the whole year. It starts off with week 1: A Book You Read in School. 

It was a difficult choice but I’ve decided on Spies by Michael Frayn which I read for my GCSE English literature. 

A book which explores both human mistakes and the fallible nature of memory it is engrossing despite being aimed more at children than adults. 

Set during WWII, the narrator and his friend decide to play a game of spying. They pretend that the friend’s mother is a German spy and it’s up to them to stop her and bring her to justice. As you may expect things don’t exactly turn out to be as innocent as they first seem. Very quickly the story changes from aimed at children to a mysterious murder mystery full of shocking revelations, leaving the reader reeling.