Book Review - A Limited Justice by Catriona King

A Limited Justice is the first in a new series by Belfast based former forensic examiner turned author Catriona King. I was sent the book to review by the publisher and I have to say that I wasn’t that blown away by the idea of it at first. Despite the old adage, ‘never judge a book by its cover’ I have to say that I did, well that and the title. I don’t know, I guess I thought it sounded and looked a little bit bland. But I’m pleased to say that I was proved wrong.

There has been a brutal murder in broad daylight in a garage in Belfast, followed by a second equally gruesome one, and then a third . . . DCI Craig and his team are determined to find out the who the killers are and to stop them before they strike again. But they don’t quite make that deadline and one of their own is attacked, racking up the heat on the investigation.

The story introduces DCI Marc Craig who I loved from the start. He is strong but kind and is perfect for the main character of a novel like this one. In fact I think the characters in the book are all really well written and work well together. The detective team are a particularly good group. I assume that it is King’s previous experience in dealing with the Metropolitan Police that she has been able to put down her observations and form them into a realistic working environment that is great to read about. There is great camaraderie even in the face of adversity.

Book Review - Dead Ringer by Allen Wyler

I had never heard of Allen Wyler before being sent his previous novel to review, but having read that one I was happy to review this one when asked. Wyler is a former, highly regarded surgeon, who made the unlikely switch to crime writing after realising that is where is new passion lay. His latest novel, Dead Ringer, centres around the macabre world of body snatching. I enjoyed the previous novel and was very much hoping that this one wouldn’t let me down.

The novel centres on Lucas McRae who is a world renowned and highly talented neurosurgeon who is in Hong Kong to conduct a medical demonstration when he sees that the human head that he has been provided to work on is that of his long time best friend. There is a huge cover up, but Lucas determines to find out the truth at all costs. His quest leads him into both danger and the arms of a female police officer, DS Wendy Elliot, who believes his seemingly far-fetched story because she thinks her friend might also have been a victim of the same crime.

Book Review: Voices by David Shaw

I’m not one for the supernatural. I find all things ghostly a tad far-fetched and unbelievable. For this reason I’ve never read a supernatural type book because I just didn’t think I could enjoy one. Oh how wrong I was! I received Voices by David Shaw from the publisher and was a more than a little sceptical about it but thought I’d give it a go anyone (I’m not one to turn down a free book!).

The story begins with a bomb explosion in a school canteen which kills or maims everyone in the vicinity. Chris Deacon, an IT teacher is one of the few survivors, but things totally change for him after he wakes from his coma; he is no longer able to speak or hear and he sees frightening apparitions that seem to want him to do something.

I really enjoyed the book, it was full of twists and turns and I genuinely was gripped from beginning to end. I really wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the supernatural aspect of it, but I found that it wasn’t too far-fetched in the grand scheme of things and that Shaw actually uses this to make the story make sense.

The characters are very well written and the main protagonist is likeable and believable, despite his tendency to see and hear things that most others can’t. I think this is David Shaw’s key success in the story because if he hadn’t made the main character believable, the whole story would have just been rubbish. As it is, I actually found myself understanding the situation and believing it to be the truth - very bizarre!

Book Review: Dead End Deal By Allen Wyler

I have to be honest, I had never heard of Allen Wyler before I was sent this book to review, but after reading it, I think it is safe to say that I am a fan. Dead End Deal is a sort of medical science based thriller and, although I am not a fan of medical related things in general, I loved this book.

The story focusses on Jon Ritter who is a scientist on the verge of discovering a cure for Alzheimer’s. Suddenly the research is slated and Ritter’s mentor is killed. Ritter himself is threatened by an anti-abortion group who promise more of the same if he continues his research. Ritter must decide whether the risk is great enough to give up the thing that has been dominating his life for the last 10 years . . .

Allen Wyler is a well-respected former neurosurgeon and this shows in the story of the book, but it isn’t overly detailed and tiresome for the layman (me!). When I first read the blurb of the book and the author’s ‘About Me’, I was a bit worried that it would be too technical for me, but this is not the case at all. Wyler does an excellent job of simplifying things enough that someone without experience in the field can understand and enjoy the story, but not so much that it doesn’t feel authentic.

Book Review: How To Look Like You by Rose McClelland

Rose McClelland is a relatively new author from Belfast who was previously a blogger and a reviewer. How To Look Like You is her second book and will be released as an e-book on 5th July. I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of the book for review. I enjoyed the book. It is of the chick-lit genre and is a perfect summer read. I actually thought it was quite short at 178 pages, but this makes it ideal for reading in a day on the beach.

The story revolves around two girls, Chloe and Ella. Chloe is a stereotypically perfect size eight blonde bombshell who is in a steady relationship with a great all round guy who is in a band. Ella is a bubbly talented and likeable girl who quickly falls in love with the guy from the band.

The story is told from each girl’s perspective alternately by chapter. I thought this was a pretty good way of telling the story and it made it much easier to follow than it might have been otherwise. It was quite good to see both sides of the story as it happens and in the first person, I think it made the characters more believable. This also made me a little frustrated with the characters as well because the main thing for me in the story was that the two girls were both perfectly likeable and if they hadn’t been so busy convincing themselves that the other was a bitch, they might have actually been good friends. Listening to both sides of the story made me feel like I was actually one of their friends kind of caught in the middle and so it was quite engaging in that respect.

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