Tag Archives: story

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? 

Reading Challenge 2017 – Week 9 

Challenge: A Book Which was Made into a Movie. 

I remember well, the shiny, silver, holographic copy of Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism which sat on my shelves a teenager alongside its equally shiny, gold, holographic sequel. 

It’s not the most obvious choice for a book which was made into a movie, mainly because the movie seems to have been a flop. I’ve never heard anyone rave about it, don’t recall it being on at the cinema and only recently heard of it myself. But it’s for its obscurity that I chose it to be this week’s reading Challenge. 

Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism by Georgia Byng follows the main character; yes, you’ve guessed it! Molly Moon; an orphan who lives in an orphanage called Hardwick House in Briersville, England. She’s generally an underdog character, with only one friend. When she has a fall out with said friend one day, she runs off to the town library where she steals a book about Hypnotism. 

Eventually, Molly begins to learn herself Hypnotism from the book and of course she takes full advantage by hypnotising everyone and everything, even the orphanage’s angry little pug dog Petula. 

It’s a really cool which I really enjoyed and now that I’ve thought about it again and refreshed my memory I think I’ll be looking up getting a copy and reading it again. I’ve also got to give the movie a try! But before you see the movie, think about reading the book! 

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Review 

‘They were so nearly unchanged, and yet that one thing – the colour of their skin – would, in the real world, change everything.’

Holy smokes, a book hasn’t made me feel this way for so long! I can’t even… it’s actually really hard to write this right now, but I feel that if I wait I’ll lose the magic of how this book has reached inside me and ragged my soul around. 

Laini Taylor is nothing short of the Goddess of Writing Fantasy. I love Dreams of Gods & Monsters but Strange the Dreamer is something else entirely. 

Where to even start? A plot summary I guess. Lazlo Strange is brought up in a monastery after he is made an orphan of war, bewitched by tales of an Unseen City out in the desert, lost to everyone, Lazlo moves on to work in the Great Library where he can dream (and research) about the city of Weep and plan his venture out there. 

But when some strangers come to town, Lazlo’s dream becomes a reality as he sets off to the city he has longed to visit, and he’s part of a team that plans to save it. 

Meanwhile Sarai is one of five Godspawn remaining in an abandoned citadel. Blue skinned and beautiful she is trapped not only by her fear of humans but by her ruthless sister who controls not only her siblings but the dead as well. 

The story stinks of magic, but magic like never before. It weaves its threads through every page, with each paragraph of beautiful language. There is the magic of spells, ‘gifts’, strange beasts and horror, intertwined with the magic of dreaming and true love. 

Not to mention, not one, but two enormous twists at the end. Half of me feels horrendous for reading this book already because I NEED THE SECOND ONE ALREADY!!!! I actually feel like I don’t know how I’ll live without reading the sequel like right now! 

Even though as the reader you begin to guess some of the things that are going to happen there’s like a huge part of you which is thinking that just can’t be right. But at the same time despite it becoming more and more obvious it is written so well that all you want to do is keep reading so that you can find out the truth. No matter the repercussions, and trust me there are repercussions. There are so many emotions running through me right now. Laini what have you done?? 

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. 

The House by Simon Lelic. Review 

‘When my hand slips from the knife, my first thought is that using it wasn’t as difficult as I assumed it would be. I feel elated, initially, until I notice the blood.’ 

Creepy stuff! The House is the first novel I have read by Simon Lelic and it was a thrilling experience. No pun intended! 
Syd & Jack move into their new house, excited for fresh beginnings. Both come from tough, if very different backgrounds. They’ve saved up, suffering through crummy bedsits and shared accommodation until they’ve finally afforded a place of their own, and despite it being in high demand their offer has been accepted. 

When Jack finds something gruesome in the attic he keeps it from Syd as well as everyone else. Something he’s going to really regret. A nightmare begins. 

When the reader enters the story Syd and Jack are writing down everything that’s happened to them. It’s clear they’ve been keeping secrets from one another and suspense and intrigue build as we, the readers try to work out what exactly has happened. 

There’s a master manipulator at work and this novel builds the suspense making you unsure of who to trust. I really enjoyed this novel and I’m looking forward to reading more from this author! 

Reading Challenge 2017 – Week 8 

Week 8 of my Reading Challenge is a book I like by someone who isn’t a writer. This was tricky as anything fictional is obviously written by a writer and a lot of the non fiction books I’ve read are written by other types of writers such as journalists. In the end I settled on my favourite comedienne’s book; part autobiography, part life lessons, Miranda Hart’s Is it Just Me? 

A hilarious tale of Miranda’s awkward experiences from strangers fondling your feet (pedicure) to using chopsticks and sitting elegantly on a bar stool. 

Miranda gives us what she refers to as ‘an attempt at the manual’ on how to cope with becoming, and then surviving as an adult. 

This book is laugh out loud funny and I cannot recommend it enough, even if you don’t usually like this sort of thing I can guarantee you will find this funny and love it from beginning to end.