24 Hours by Claire Seeber

24 hours

24 hours by Claire Seeber

24 hours had a fairly slow start, around 50% it ramped up and I thought that it was going to be a five star read, but sadly it didn’t carry on that way. I am really torn between giving this book three or four stars.

’24 hours is the story of Laurie and a hellish 24 hours in her life. The books short chapters jump from those 24 hours to the past, allowing the story of how Laurie got to be where she currently is to unfold. I’m not hugely keen on books that jump between past and present, yet it did work in this instance.

The author attempts to confuse the reader with who might have done it, and indeed done what, but I think that the majority of readers will work out who did what before the big unveil. I hadn’t however, worked out the motivation for that person to do such things, but when it came to it I have to say that I didn’t really care.

I was torn on whether to give this book three or four stars, at one point when reading I thought it was going to be a rare five star read, but in the end I went for four stars. The reason being that I wanted to keep reading, I stayed up later than intended to read 24 Hours, which to me means that it has to be over three stars.

So while 24 Hours is a good and enjoyable read it did have something missing, and I think that was the fact that I really never cared much about Laurie and what had happened and why. For some reason I felt no compassion for her situation, and although the whole book was focused around Laurie and the safety of her daughter Polly, I never at any point felt that Polly was actually in real danger and might get hurt. Ok, so now I’m thinking of changing my review to three stars.

I was given an ARC of 24 Hours by Bookouture via Netgalley in return for an honest review.’

I will be taking part in an online book club about this book, with the author participating to answer questions about 24 hours. I may amend this after if I find out anything interesting.

The Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndza

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The Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndza

I love the cover to this book! The publishers, Bookouture, have to be the best publishing company out there at the moment for new and exciting authors, and great crime books.

“The Girl in the Ice has quite a bit of pre-release buzz about it and so it was bumped to the top of my tbr pile so that I could see what everyone was on about.

At first I really wasn’t sure about this book and mainly the writing style. I don’t think that I’ve ever quoted a book in a review before but I will give two examples now:

‘snow had spattered against its smooth yellow sandstone bricks, sticking like clumps of wet toilet tissue.’

‘The road stretched away behind, a slick of treacle bathed in sodium orange with the train station at its base, which was shuttered in darkness. The silence and the cold pressed down on her. The only movement was the stream of vapour as her breath hit the freezing air. ‘

The opening chapter is full of examples like this, I guess that you could call the writing style very descriptive. I have to admit that I wondered whether I’d be able to continue reading, but then suddenly I was sucked into the story and taken along for the ride. I think that the writing style settled, it stopped feeling like the author was trying too hard, or maybe I was just so immersed in the story that I stopped noticing.

This is Robert Bryndza’s first foray into crime writing, and it is the first book of his that I have read. It will not be the last. I am excited to see where he will go next with his main character DCI Erika Foster.

There seems to be a lot of books at the moment about female lead detectives racing to solve the crime, pissing off their boss while following their impressive gut instinct. With so many about I think that it is becoming hard to create a character that doesn’t start to feel just a little bit stereotypical, or obvious. DCI Foster does have a lot of differences to other female detectives with current book series about them, and she is a likeable character and one that you find yourself routing for, even though some of her actions are pushing the limits of believability.

Overall The Girl in the Ice was an enjoyable read, I think that despite the at times excessive descriptiveness that it is a very well written crime story. The publishers, Bookouture, are one of my favourite and I have yet to read a bad book of theirs, with The Girl in the Ice they have not let me down.

I was given an ARC of The Girl in the Ice by Bookouture via Netgalley in return for an honest review.”

While The Girl in the Ice didn’t quite meet my expectations given the buzz around it it is still a very good crime read. It is released on February 12th 2016.

What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

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What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Technically this should be my first post as it was the first book that I read in 2016.

“What Milo Saw provided me with a welcome break to my usual crime and thriller reading, I often don’t realise that I need a change of pace until I get it and that is what happened here. At first I was waiting for something to happen, as thrillers tend to start with a bang, but in the end I realised it was about the story and just enjoyed the journey.

What Milo Saw turned out to be a wonderful story about a little boy who according to the world couldn’t see very well, however the truth was that Milo saw far more than anyone gave him credit for. And of course young Milo has a lot to teach the adults in his life.

I really enjoyed this book and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to people who enjoy a book that takes you on a journey, and changes a part of you that will never quite be the same again.

I was given a copy of What Milo Saw by the publishers via Netgalley in return for an honest review.”

This book was similar to My Name is Leon in that both books are about a young boy. It is kind of strange that I happened to read these books one after the other, and was certainly not planned. Both are also a break from my usual genre of crime books. But it was an enjoyable break, although neither book could be considered light reading!
What Milo Saw is available now.

My Name is Leon by Kit De Waal

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My Name is Leon by Kit De Waal

So my first review on my blog will be for a lovely book called My Name is Leon. I think what I’ll try and do is post a copy of the book review that I’ve written for goodreads and amazon and then expand on it.

“My name is Leon is the heartbreaking tale of a little boy who doesn’t understand the world around him. Set in the 80s this book bought back memories for me of growing up in the time, of riots and royal weddings and the freedom to play outside.

Little Leon has a tough life, he’s been forced to grow up way too fast and to take on too much responsibility. He loves his baby brother Jake more than anything, but when their mum is unable to care for them social services make the decision to separate the brothers, ensuring that baby Jake is adopted but leaving the older, mixed race Leon to live a life in care.

There are some wonderful characters in My Name is Leon, Maureen I think is the stand out for me, a wonderful woman that every child would love to be their mum/grandmother. This book shows a diverse range of characters that build the story and bring it to life. I’d really recommend My Name is Leon, but you might need some tissues!

I was given an ARC of My Name is Leon by the publishers via Netgalley in return for an honest review.”

At first I found this book quite hard to read, it was heartbreaking to read about Leon and the difficulties that life was throwing at him. Thankfully it does get easier to read but it certainly isn’t a happy, light read. It was structured really well and as I said in the review there were many wonderful characters in the book that really brought it to life.

My Name is Leon isn’t published until June 2nd 2016 so if you’re reading this as I post you’ve got a while to wait, but it’s certainly worth remembering!