book review

The Doll’s House by M.J. Arlidge

the dolls house
The Dolls House by M.J. Arlidge


‘The Doll’s House is M.J. Arlidge’s third book about Detective Helen Grace. The series started with a bang with Eeny Meeny, a brilliant book. Next came Pop Goes the Weasel which was very good but not quite as good as the first. Then came the Doll’s House, and Liar Liar and finally Little Boy Blue is due out soon.

I had read the first two but I’d heard that The Doll’s House was nowhere near as good so I’d never quite got round to reading it. But I recently got a copy of the soon to be released Little Boy Blue and knew that I really needed to read books three and four first. So The Dolls House was pushed to the top of my tbr pile.

If anyone else had written this book I’d probably of given it four stars, but having been blown away by Eeny Meeny I know that Arlidge can do better. This just felt slightly predictable, although it was very well written and left you guessing over who the baddie was. From what I hear The Doll’s House is a little blip for Arlidge, with books four and five heading back to form. But The Doll’s House is an important part of the puzzle, that needs to be read to keep the reader up with the police characters that feature in all the Helen Grace books. But this all sounds pretty negative and yet The Doll’s House is a perfectly decent book, just not as good as Arlidge is capable of.’

The Doll’s House is available from Amazon UK now.

book review

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris


behind closed doors
Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris

‘Behind Closed Doors is getting a lot of buzz in the book reading community. Often I don’t like reading the current ‘buzz’ book as they rarely live up to the hype. This book sounded good and I wanted to know what everyone was going on about, so I decided to give it a go.

The book is a steady story about Grace and her relationship with Jack, complicated somewhat by her much loved sister Millie, who has downs syndrome. I’m not giving anything away when saying that Jack is not what he seems and soon Grace finds herself very much stuck in an abusive relationship. The abuse is about control and emotional abuse, there is no physical or sexual abuse. I have read others say that they found the book hard to read because of the level of emotional abuse, but I didn’t find this. I felt that Grace told her story with a degree of detachment, which made it easier to read, and didn’t take away from the true horror of what she went through.

I read the book very quickly (for me!), which says a lot but I still thought that this would be a 4* read, a 5* book has to really really blow me away. And then I finished the book and I literally wanted to throw my Kindle across the room in frustration. I did not want the book to finish, I wanted to know more!!! I then attempted to go to sleep but an hour later I gave up and re-read the final chapter, I just wanted to make sure that I’d read it right! I then went onto Amazon and pre-ordered B.A. Paris’ next book out in September!

So I’m writing this review giving it 5*, absolutely no doubt in my mind that it deserves that. I’m actually kinda tempted to give it more. I am stunned that Behind Closed Doors is the author’s first novel, it is so well written and constructed. This is easily the best book that I have read this year and I have no doubt that it will be high up on my top ten list at the end of 2016.’

All I can say about this book is ‘wow’! I finished it last night and I have been thinking about it a lot today. I feel like I have a book hangover. I haven’t started another book yet, I sort of feel like I don’t want to, but I’m sure that I will. I really cannot believe that the author hasn’t written a book before, this is an amazing debut. I’m pleased that I finally love a current ‘buzz’ book too!!

Behind Closed Doors is out now from Amazon UK and all the usual places.

book review

The Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft

The Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft

The Girl You Lost is another fabulous book from my favourite publishers, Bookouture.

‘The Girl You Lost is the first book by Kathryn Croft that I’ve read, and I’m sure that it won’t be the last.

What I enjoyed most when reading this book was the depth of the characters, they were just so well written and believable. I also really like how the author explained the thought process of the main character, Simone. Rather than just telling you what she thought about something Croft explained why Simone thought that, from the other person’s body language, or from Simone’s previous interactions with them, this made me feel almost part of it, like I was there with Simone or even inside her head.

The Girl You Lost was a suspenseful read, you were never quite sure who did what and why and it kept me going until very close to the end when I worked it out and actually marvelled at how well Kathryn Croft had led up to it.

A gripping read that will have you reading late into the night.

I received a copy of The Girl You Lost from the publishers, Bookouture, via Netgalley in return for an honest review.’

This is a great read, and currently only 99p on Amazon UK.
book review

In A Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

in a dark dark wood
In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

So it feels like this blog is a bit all or nothing. I write a review and then post nothing while I read the next book. So I thought that if I see a book reduced on Kindle UK that I have read and really enjoyed then I will post a copy of my review.

‘It is not often that I read a book that grips me from the start, but In a Dark, Dark Wood did. I’m a slow reader and with two young children I don’t get a lot of time to read, but for this book I made time.

The chapters move between the present and the previous few days, slowing revealing the story of what happened on a hen’s night from hell. The story twists and turns as the truth is slowly revealed.So why four stars and not five?? For most of the book I thought that it would get 5* but in the end it didn’t quite make it. I think that it is hard when a book tries to give a reason why someone committed a crime, let alone a serious one that changed lives. And when it comes to it I think that books so often don’t quite make it believable, and sadly this was one of those books.

It is still a very enjoyable read, and I will definitely be reading more from Ruth Ware.

I was given a copy of In a Dark, Dark Wood by the publishers via Netgalley in return for an honest review.’

You can buy A Dark Dark Wood here Amazon UK


book review

The Betrayal by Laura Elliot

the betrayal
The Betrayal by Laura Elliot

‘The Betrayal is a thoroughly enjoyable book about a family where the children have all left home, leaving their parents and especially their mother Nadine, to question their marriage. What follows is an attempt at a separation and new relationships.

I found this book a little slow to get going, with an incredibly long tbr pile I did wonder whether I would continue or move on to read something else. I’m glad that I kept going! As the story unfolded and came together The Betrayal turned out to be a compelling read. While I never quite warmed to Nadine, all the characters were believable and well formed. The scenes were set well and I could imagine the beautiful scenery.

If you want a family read with twists and turns then this is for you.

Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for the chance to read and review this book.’

The Betrayal is out now Amazon UK


blog tours, guest author

Risks I’ve Taken- by Karen Rose

alone in the dark

‘Risks I’ve taken’: Karen Rose talks about jumping into the breach.

Every time I start a book, it’s an emotional risk – and a terror.  It’s like standing at the edge of ravine and realizing that the first step is a freakin’ lulu.  Parts of me end up in the book, whether I want them to or not.  That’s great when it’s a heroine who is totally kickass, but when it’s the villain … not so cool.  

Most of the time I’ll worry, Gee, I hope nobody thinks that I’m really like that.  But there have been a few villains I’ve read later and thought, Dang girl, I do that.  (Not killing anyone, of course, but sometimes the OCD stuff.  Or sometimes the evil villain laugh spills out, too.  Bwahaha.)

I sold my first book in Dec, 2001 and it was released in July, 2003.  For eighteen months I waited…  It was like being double-pregnant and waiting for the child to finally emerge.  New mothers sometimes experience a panic shortly before birth – OMG, I’m going to be responsible for a LIVING THING. I won’t breathe easily for the REST of my LIFE!

About a month before the release of DON’T TELL, I felt a similar panic.  OMG, I’m going to have a real book.  On the shelves.  People will READ it.  AND KNOW WHAT’S INSIDE MY HEAD!   ACK, my thoughts are NAKED!

It’s emotional exposure at its most extreme. 

Now, thirteen years and sixteen books later, I’ve learned to live with the risk and to mask the panic.  And to only claim ownership of the parts of me that end up in my good guys!

book review

The Theseus Paradox by David Videcette

theseus par
The Theseus Paradox by David Videcette

I finished this book a few days ago but I’ve been delaying writing this review. Why? Well, it seems that absolutely everyone loves this book, giving it 4 or 5 stars, they say that they couldn’t put it down and can’t wait for the next book by the author. I don’t feel that way about this book.

I had thought that I wouldn’t review books on this blog that I didn’t enjoy and wouldn’t recommend. But I am going to review this one, however I also want you to remember that it seems most people really love this book!

‘This book is being talked about a lot, people seem to love it. The author is very active on social media, helping to increase its profile.

The book is written by David Videcette, ex police detective who was working in the police anti-terrorism department when the July 2005 bombings happened in London. This book is part fact and part fiction, telling the story of Jake, a detective who is desperately trying to find out what happened and why four men decided to carry bombs into London and kill themselves and many others.

Like many in high pressured jobs (doctors, firefighters, military etc) there is a high rate of drug and alcohol addiction in police detectives, along with a sprinkling of sex addiction. Jake gives us a good example of this, and the struggles that he has when he finishes work for the day. With Jake though I felt that a lot of the pressure was put on him by himself, he seemed to think that he could see things in the investigation that others couldn’t, and that he needed to be a part of solving it.

The Theseus Paradox is incredibly well written, if I was rating it on writing style alone I’d give it 5*. The author clearly has a vast knowledge of the July bombings and all that went with it, and I loved the attention to detail, like comments about news stories that were happening at the time throughout the book. However for me there was just something missing. I didn’t feel like I couldn’t put it down, as many reviewers do.

One thing I struggled with was not knowing what was true and what wasn’t. David Videcette was unable to write this book as a true story, which he’d originally wanted to do, due to The Official Secrets Act. But this left me frustrated, I wanted to know what was real and what wasn’t. The July 2005 bombings feels like too important a subject to mess with, and to be unclear about what was and what wasn’t true.

Since finishing the book I have done some online research into the bombings and I do feel that the public do not know enough about what happened and why. I can understand why the author wanted to tell this story, and it is an important one, but I feel that the book is based so close to the truth without actually being the truth, that it just confuses matters and perhaps wasn’t the best way to tell this powerful story. I think that if I had read The Theseus Paradox as purely a work of fiction then I would have enjoyed it a lot more.’

If you have read The Theseus Paradox I’d love to know what you think, do you agree with me in any way? I feel like I’m the only one out there who feels like this, but maybe others do and aren’t saying it? Please let me know what you think!!!

meeting authors, Uncategorized

Meeting the Queen

Last weekend I had the opportunity to go for afternoon tea with the Queen. The Queen of women’s fiction that is. Diane Chamberlain is the author of many, many books. I have yet to read one that I didn’t enjoy, her stories have real heart. Some compare her to Jodi Picoult, but I think that she is better.

The first book of hers that I read was The Midwife’s Confession. It remains my favourite book from this author, although interestingly she said that most people tell her that their favourite book of hers is the first one that they read.

I’m not really a fan of social gatherings, especially with people that I don’t know, but I couldn’t turn down afternoon tea with Diane Chamberlain. Turned out that it was a lovely afternoon, I met with like minded book fans and got to talk with Diane, ask her some questions, and hear more about her life and journey as a writer. Pretty special really! She also gave each of us (there were 22 of us) a lovely amethyst that is linked to her latest book that will be released later this year.

Diane Chamberlain has written many books, she writes one book every year which sounds like quite a relentless job, but she clearly loves it! I also loved hearing about how she normally writes in her local Starbucks, and that all the locals know which is her seat and move out of it if she arrives.

If you haven’t read Diane Chamberlain then I’d really recommend that you do. There are many books to choose from, I’m sure that you will find one that appeals!