Book review: Ragdoll by Daniel Cole.

 

ragdoll

Ragdoll by Daniel Cole.

 

This book is a belter and what a way to start 2017 on If only I could read faster! I have a strong suspicion that this book will be in my top reads of the year.

My 5* review:

I’d heard a fair bit of rumbling about Ragdoll before I read it, all of it positive but I had avoided reading too much about it as I do like to avoid the hype and building my expectations too high.

I loved how Ragdoll started. The author, Daniel Cole, told us how the book had come about. He told us about years of knockbacks and rejections and how he wrote many, many, short stories. But one story stayed with him and he decided to turn it into a book. And that book is Ragdoll.

Reading Ragdoll reminded me of books that I used to read, real proper police procedural, crime books. A bit like Patricia Cornwell in the early days when her books were gripping and wonderful to read. I loved so much about this book! The crime that kicks it off is suitably gruesome and unpleasant and as the police try to untangle the crime and who is behind it suspicion turns to one of their own, pulling the team apart and making them question everything.

The way that the story unfolds with a time pressure with lives at stake makes it a gripping read, who will survive? Will the police catch the killer in time? Who can they trust?

The writing was good and solid, the characters were really well developed and interesting, everyone gave something to the story. And they are characters that I’d very much like to read about again, and soon. It would appear that this book is the first in a new detective series which makes me very happy, I cannot wait to find out what happens to detective William Faulks next! If this is the author’s debut book then we are surely in for an outstanding series.

I’m trying hard not to give too much away, but if you like crime books then read this. I am sure that you won’t be disappointed. Seriously, this is without a doubt one of the best crime books that I have read and I am now waiting (im)patiently for part two.

I received a copy of Ragdoll from the publishers via Netgalley but was under no obligation to review it.

Blurb:

A body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together like a puppet, nicknamed by the press as the ‘ragdoll’.

Assigned to the shocking case are Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes, recently reinstated to the London Met, and his former partner Detective Emily Baxter.

The ‘Ragdoll Killer’ taunts the police by releasing a list of names to the media, and the dates on which he intends to murder them.

With six people to save, can Fawkes and Baxter catch a killer when the world is watching their every move?

Ragdoll is set to be released on February 23rd, 2017 by Trapeze and is available to pre-order now on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

 

Review: Hide and Seek by M.J. Arlidge

hide and seek

Hide and Seek by M.J. Arlidge

My huge big fat 5* review:

I am a big Helen Grace fan, from the first few pages of Eeny Meeny I was gripped by M.J Arlidge’s books and have read every one in the series. While some have been better than others I would definitely recommend reading them in order as you will no doubt get a lot more out of the books and the characters. I think that this is especially true of Hide and Seek.

The end of the previous book in the series, Little Boy Blue, ended with a shock. Readers were stunned and desperate to know what happened next. So I was very much looking forward to reading Hide and Seek. In my mind I had an idea of where I thought the author would take us, but happily I was wrong. I was blown away by this book and the storyline and devoured the book as I just had to know what was going to happen.

Once again Arlidge provides us with a solid and well written book, with great characters and twists, turns, shocks and surprises. I think that Hide and Seek is definitely a strong contender for my book of the year, I loved it and it isn’t often that I feel bereft when a book ends. My only question is, how long do I have to wait for the next book?

I received an ARC of Hide and Seek by the publishers via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Hide and Seek is out now in hardback, audible and ebook from Amazon UK and on audible from Amazon US.

Blurb:

Helen awaits trial in a crumbling women’s prison in Southampton. She has a fight on to prove her innocence from inside her prison cell, but this soon turns out to be the least of her worries.

A serial killer is picking off fellow inmates, thriving in an environment where there is truly nowhere to run. Is it a criminal giving in to their dark urges or a member of the prison staff preying on the captive population? Helen must work fast to reveal this devious killer, all the time wondering if she will be next on her list….

 

Review: All Fall Down by Tom Bale

all fall down

All Fall Down by Tom Bale

I’m having a really good run of books at the moment, this is my third 5* read in a row. Lets hope it continues!

My 5* Review:

Having read See How They Run by Tom Bale in May this year I really wanted to read his new book, All Fall Down. I really enjoyed See How They Run (SHTR), it gripped me from the first chapter and was a thoroughly enjoyable read.

So All Fall Down had a lot to live up to. I was interested to see whether Tom Bale would be able to suck the reader in like he’d done so well in SHTR. The first chapter was good, I wanted to know what was going on but it didn’t have the ‘hit me with a sledgehammer’ feel of the first chapter of SHTR. Was I going to be disappointed?

No. Thankfully not. Although the first half of the book was at times quite slow, once you hit 50% you barely have time to breathe, let alone eat and sleep. All Fall Down felt far more realistic and I felt that the writing was better than SHTR.

I thought that the character development was great, all the main characters had interesting things about them. The plot was full of twists and turns and you were never quite sure what was going to happen next.

The big finale was great, it was so hard to put All Fall Down down once I got half way through. One night it kept me up until gone 2am as I just had to know what was going to happen, and it is a rare book that keeps me up that late. Once I finished the book I felt like I needed to catch my breath and recover. I am writing this review two days after I finished because I needed to digest the book and let my adrenalin settle.

All Fall Down is a great book. It’s easy to read and pulls you in, tosses you about and then spits you back out again. It isn’t a masterpiece, but if you want an enjoyable read that will be hard to put down then you would be pushed to find something better than All Fall Down.

I received an ARC of All Fall Down from the publisher, Bookouture, via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Blurb:

You tried to save a life. Now you’re fighting to save your own.

It should have been an idyllic day for the Turner family – until a dying man, beaten beyond all recognition, arrives at their home, uttering the words, HELP ME.

Rob and Wendy Turner and their children try to explain away the horrific scene as being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but in the days that follow their lives are threatened in ways they could never imagine.

The family is unaware that they are being watched by someone with their own terrifying agenda, who will stop at nothing to fulfil their own twisted desires.

But when hidden secrets come rushing to the surface, it’s clear not everything is as it seems in this happy family. Are the Turners a victim of circumstance – or does the key to their fate lie closer to home?

Forced to fight for everything they hold dear, can they save themselves before time runs out – or will their act of compassion see them paying the ultimate price…?

A heart-stopping, shocking and tense thriller that will keep you guessing to the very last page.

 

All Fall Down will be released on 1st September 2016 and is available to preorder from Amazon UK and Amazon US now.

Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

the couple next door

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Just in case my review of The Couple Next Door doesn’t make it obvious, I loved this book. It totally gripped me and I just didn’t want to stop reading it. Books like this don’t come along too often!

‘Wow. I absolutely loved this book. It grabbed me right from the start and I just didn’t want to stop reading. The pace never let up, which is pretty impressive.

The book starts with parents Anne and Marco spending the evening with their neighbours, using a baby monitor to listen out for their six month old Cora who is sleeping at home. When they return home at 1.30am the front door is open and Cora is missing.

I just love this book and how it takes the reader on a journey, at first you’re not really sure exactly what happened and who was involved. Then you think that you know what happened, but suddenly things change and you hadn’t worked it out at all. Talk about twists and turns.

This is a damn good read, I look forward to reading more from the author. I am sure that this book will be high up in my top ten reads of 2016, if I could I’d give it more than 5 stars!

Thank you to the publishers for an ARC of The Couple Next Door via Netgalley in return for an honest review.’

The Couple Next Door will be released on 14th July 2016 and is available to pre-order on Amazon UK and Amazon US now.

Review: I See You by Clare Mackintosh

I See You

I See You by Clare Mackintosh

This book isn’t out for ages but I couldn’t wait to read it and I couldn’t wait to tell you all about it! An easy 5* review.

‘Out of all the books that I read in 2015 my absolute favourite was I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. It was a book that left the reader reeling. If you haven’t read it then you should. Now. And once you’ve finished you’ll have plenty of time to get excited about Mackintosh’s second book, I See You, which is released on 28th July 2016.

I was so excited to read I See You that as soon as I heard that ARCs were about I had to get one. Thankfully the publisher, Little Brown Book Group, UK, took pity on me and I managed to get hold of a very early copy which I had to immediately start reading.

I do wonder how Clare Mackintosh found writing I See You, her first book had such a phenomenal reaction that I would imagine it’d be a really hard act to follow. The risk of scores of disappointed fans must have played on her mind. Yet despite such pressure, (and yes, I am assuming here) Mackintosh has once again produced an excellent read.

Totally different to I Let You Go, I See You is based in London and tells the story of normal people, caught up in extraordinary circumstances. I really don’t want to give too much away so I won’t say much about the plot, but wow, what a concept. I also really liked Kelly, the police officer trying to piece the puzzle together and hope that she will feature again in Mackintosh’s books. And as for the ending….where is part two?!!!

Brilliant writing, a fantastic plot, believable characters and I have little doubt, another hit for Mackintosh.

Thank you so much to the publishers for giving me a copy of I See You via Netgalley in return for an honest review.’

I See You will be released on July 28th 2016 and can be preordered from Amazon UK and Amazon US now.

Review: Play Dead by Angela Marsons

play dead

Play Dead by Angela Marsons

I think that Angela Marsons is now firmly my favourite author. I’ve loved all her books and this one is one of her best. Read them!!!

‘Angela Marsons has exploded onto the psychological thriller scene in the last year. I read her first book in the Kim Stone series, Silent Scream, and loved it. This is the fourth book in the series and they only get better. I have now given all four books five stars which is pretty impressive as I’m quite careful about giving them.

DI Kim Stone is not the most likeable character, but she is an excellent police detective and goes to all lengths to solve a crime. Her trusty team back her up with total faith, and Bryant knows his boss so well that he manages (some of the time) to reign her in. Stone is not the most tactful of people!

I have always felt that the characters were well formed but they have grown and developed as the books have gone on. Marsons writing in Play Dead feels so natural, she knows her characters so well which really adds to the reading experience. It feels like the book just flows, there’s no unnecessary drama, it feels real and there’s no wasted words.

While each book can be read as a standalone book I’d really recommend reading them all, they are a joy to read and I’ve no doubt that you will enjoy the book even more if you’ve read them all.

If you haven’t read any of Angela Marsons DI Kim Stone books then you’re in for a real treat. She is proving herself to be a brilliant writer and I cannot wait for book number five. Play Dead is a book that grabs you and pulls you in, just remember to breathe when you’re reading!

I was given a copy of Play Dead to read by the publishers, Bookouture, via Netgalley in return for an honest review.’

Play Dead will be available from 20th May 2016 and can be preordered from Amazon UK and Amazon USA

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.