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.

Book Review: Private Games by James Patterson

With James Patterson’s stalwart series’ of books (Alex Cross, Lindsey Boxer, Daniel X and so on) well established now, the author has gone on to create a new series in the form of Private. Private Games is the latest in this series and I have just finished listening to the audiobook version of it, read by Paul Panting.

Private is a prestigious worldwide security agency that has some extremely high profile and important clients. This time it is charged with providing security for the Olympic Games 2012 in London. All is going well until a pesky and slightly deranged criminal mastermind sets his sights on destroying London and the Olympic Games themselves. As one of Private’s bigwigs, Peter Knight is right in the thick of it and must find the person who is killing in the name of the purity of the traditional games before he reaches his ultimate goal of stopping the modern games forever.

The story follows Patterson’s typical fast paced style with over a hundred short chapters which make the story move along quickly and keep you turning pages until the very end. I thoroughly enjoyed it. To be honest I have tired a bit of late of Patterson’s books, particularly those in the Alex Cross series. I feel that they have become a little samey and predictable, whereas this was a welcome change from the norm from me. It was nice to learn about a new character in a new place.

Book Review: Single Girl's To-Do List by Lindsey Kelk

I am a big fan of Lindsey Kelk. She has written only a few books so far, but I have enjoyed them immensely and so when I saw her newest one available for download on Amazon for £2.99, I bought it straight away. Lindsey Kelk’s other novels so far have all been from the ‘I Heart . . .’ series, which up to now include ‘I Heart New York’, ‘I Heart Vegas’, ‘I Heart Hollywood’ and ‘I Heart Paris’. This one however is not from the same series; Kelk has branched out a bit, although admittedly not too far. ‘Single Girl’s To-Do List’ is a fun and easy read that will no doubt cheer you up.

The story is centred around Rachel Summers, who is a twenty-something girl who loves to write a list. I totally related to Rachel straight away because I love to write a list, albeit not as obsessively as she does, but it is one of the many things that made me warm to her. The story begins with Rachel happily living with her long term boyfriend in a cosy flat in London, paid for by her enviable job as a make-up artist to the stars. As is usually the case with this kind of story, this lifestyle quickly unravels when her boyfriend announces one day that he no longer loves her and their lifestyle and he leaves. However, unlike the norm for this kind of story, Rachel doesn’t run weep relentlessly into her pillow or find her real self in a little obscure little village in the middle of nowhere. What actually happens is her two best friends write her a new list, and so comes ‘The Single Girl’s To-Do List’ . . .

Book Review: Jenny Lopez Has A Bad Week by Lindsey Kelk

I am the proud new owner of an Amazon Kindle and as the proud owner new owner of an Amazon Kindle, I have spent the last three days doing what all proud new owners of Amazon Kindles do – download anything and everything I can get my hands on. Browsing through the list I stumbled across a book from a familiar author: Lindsey Kelk, author of the ‘I Heart . . .’ series of books. So using the instantaneous magic of wi-fi I downloaded her latest offering ‘Jenny Lopez Has A Bad Week’ for the princely sum of £2.99.

The first thing you should know that this book is only available as an e-book for download to the Amazon Kindle. The second thing you should know is that it is a short story. I was a little disappointed to find out that it was a short story and even more annoyed that it isn’t advertised as such on Amazon. Considering that you can get a large number of full length books on Amazon for this price and, quite often, much less, it isn’t actually very good value for money if you ask me. The story is a good one, don’t get me wrong, but value wise it isn’t great. Just to give you a bench mark, I have since downloaded Lindsey Kelk’s most recent, full length, book for the same price.

I Have A Kindle!!!

I have to admit, I was one of those annoying people that preached about the sanctity of the traditional book and who couldn't ever imagine giving in to the devil that is the Kindle! But, after my very generous husband bought me one for my birthday, I have to now say that I am a total convert.

I have to also admit that I have somewhat neglected by love of reading of late (hence my last book review on here being like a million years ago). I know I know, how dare I say that and in public as well. But I am afraid it is true. That said, my love is back. After the initial buzz of downloading a million and one books (sort of ) off, I decided to start reading and I haven't put the thing down since! So be prepared to see a million and one (sort of) book reviews on here soon.

Folks I'm back and with a vengeance thanks to my new little toy!!!
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