(UPDATED 11/09) My Week in Books #36 (Month #8) and A Blog Break

Sunday 30 August 2015 2 comments
A Blog Break

It is with some regret that I edit this post to update people on my blog break. Originally the break was meant to be for a month with the idea of returning with some reviews in October. I have spent the past few months reading books that have been on my TBR for ages and, despite enjoying them, I found it a chore to review them when really, I just wanted to read. The blog took up a lot of hours and if I'm honest, it probably started to take over my life a little bit too much.

With most of my solicited review books reviewed, I think it's time for me to take a longer than planned break (I am not quitting blogging forever, and you can keep up with my reading progress on Goodreads) to remember why I fell in love with reading in the first place. I will still be around on Twitter occasionally and hope to keep the blogging friends I have made over the past year! Any emails about the blog will not be replied to.

Review: The Girl Who Broke the Rules by Marnie Riches

Saturday 29 August 2015 0 comments
Title: The Girl Who Broke the Rules
Author: Marnie Riches
Publisher: Maze
Publication Date: 20th August 2015
Pages: 391
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
When the mutilated bodies of two sex-workers are found in Amsterdam, Chief Inspector van den Bergen must find a brutal murderer before the red-light-district erupts into panic.

Georgina McKenzie is conducting research into pornography among the UK’s most violent sex-offenders but once van den Bergen calls on her criminology expertise, she is only too happy to come running.

The rising death toll forces George and van den Bergen to navigate the labyrinthine worlds of Soho strip-club sleaze and trans-national human trafficking. And with the case growing ever more complicated, George must walk the halls of Broadmoor psychiatric hospital, seeking advice from the brilliant serial murderer, Dr. Silas Holm…

Review: Frantic by Katherine Howell

Wednesday 26 August 2015 0 comments
Title: Frantic
Author: Katherine Howell
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 23rd November 2010
Pages: 372
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
There are worse things than death, though Paramedic Sophie Phillips doesn't think so. She and her work partner constantly revise a list of the worst ways to die, holding the number 1 spot vacant for the death so terrible even they can't imagine it. But Sophie is sure it will cross her path on the streets of Sydney one day.

When Sophie's police officer husband Chris is shot and their baby is kidnapped, Detective Ella Marconi has to fight to get to the truth. Is it revenge by a bereaved father for Sophie's recent failure to save his wife and newborn baby? Or was Chris somehow involved in the police corruption that appears rife in the city?

When the police fail to trace Sophie's son, she takes matters into her own hands and now that she's realised there are worse things than death, nothing will stop her from finding him.

Review: The Twelfth Card by Jeffery Deaver

Tuesday 25 August 2015 0 comments
Title: The Twelfth Card (Lincoln Rhyme, #6)
Author: Jeffery Deaver
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 18th September 2008 (Kindle) / 1st August 2005 (HB)
Pages: 548
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Sixteen-year-old Geneva Settle is running from death. She's just a bright high school student researching a paper on one of her ancestors, but someone sees her as a threat. Someone who will stop at nothing to prevent her from digging up the past. Someone on a mission to kill.

Lincoln Rhyme and his partner Amelia Sachs are called to the case. They've tracked down some of the world's most brilliant criminals, but this particular hunt is posing more questions than answers. Where will their prey strike next? What is the historic secret he's so desperate to protect? And how can anyone catch a killer who leaves no trace?

Review: The Murder Wall by Mari Hannah

Monday 24 August 2015 0 comments
Title: The Murder Wall
Author: Mari Hannah
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 12th April 2012
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9780330539937
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Eleven months after discovering a brutal double murder in a sleepy Northumbrian town, Detective Chief Inspector Kate Daniels is still haunted by her failure to solve the case. Then the brutal killing of a man on Newcastle’s Quayside gives Daniels another chance to get it right, and her first case as Senior Investigating Officer.

When Daniels recognises the corpse, but fails to disclose the fact, her personal life swerves dangerously into her professional life. But much worse, she is now being watched.

As Daniels steps closer to finding a killer, a killer is only a breath away from claiming his next victim...

My Week in Books #35

Sunday 23 August 2015 3 comments
Goodreads Target

I haven't read much this week and what I am reading is my own books. Books I've owned for ages, or that I've just wanted to read for ages. Not sure what this means for the blog going forward. I am still reviewing them, but probably less in-depth than I do books sent for review. I do have a couple of blog tours coming up and do receive the odd unsolicited review book but for the moment I'm concentrating on reading solely for enjoyment.

From the Archive Review: The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Friday 21 August 2015 0 comments
Title: The One Plus One
Author: Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Penguin
Reviewed on Goodreads: 19th August 2013
Publication Date: 27th February 2014
Pages: 544
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
One single mum: With two jobs and two children, Jess Thomas does her best day after day. But it's hard on your own. And sometimes you take risks you shouldn't. Because you have to...

One chaotic family: Jess's gifted, quirky daughter Tanzie is brilliant with numbers, but without a helping hand she'll never get the chance to shine. And Nicky, Jess's teenage stepson, can't fight the bullies alone. Sometimes Jess feels like they're sinking...

One handsome stranger: Into their lives comes Ed Nicholls, a man whose life is in chaos, and who is running from a deeply uncertain future. But he has time on his hands. He knows what it's like to be lonely. And he wants to help...

One unexpected love story: The One Plus One is a captivating and unconventional romance from Jojo Moyes about two lost souls meeting in the most unlikely circumstances.

Review: Danny Dyer: East End Boy: The Unauthorized Biography by Joe Allan

Thursday 20 August 2015 0 comments
Title: Danny Dyer: East End Boy
Author: Joe Allan
Publisher: Michael O'Mara
Publication Date: 25th September 2014
Pages: 224
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Danny Dyer is one of the most recognizable names in British film and television. Best known for hard-man roles in Mean Machine and The Football Factory, Danny is now making headlines as Mick Carter, the landlord of the iconic Queen Victoria pub in EastEnders.

Yet, as his new soap role shows, there is a softer side to the stereotype many have of him. These days a committed family man and hard-working chairman of Greenwich Borough Football Club, Danny had to overcome a lot of obstacles on his way - some provided by growing up in the tough environment of East London in the eighties, some he put in his own way as early successes went to his head. Drink, drugs and scandal were never far away, but such fast-living had its price. With his career flagging and his relationships with his family in jeopardy, it was time for him to turn himself around.

Danny Dyer: The Unauthorized Biography tells the full up-to-date story of TV's tough guy. From his early years in London's Canning Town to his first breaks as a teen actor to his fascinating new role on EastEnders, this book will examine the real man under the hard-man mask, going behind the scenes of his film, television and theatre work, not to mention the bar of the Queen Vic.

Review: Private Sydney by James Patterson

Wednesday 19 August 2015 0 comments
Title: Private Sydney
Author: James Patterson & Kathryn Fox
Publisher: Cornerstone Digital
Publication Date: 13th August 2015
Pages: 352
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3/5
Purchase: Amazon
Even for Private Investigations, the world’s top detective agency, it’s tough to find a man who doesn’t exist...

Craig Gisto has promised Eliza Moss that his elite team at Private Sydney will investigate the disappearance of her father. After all, as CEO of a high-profile research company, Eric Moss shouldn’t be difficult to find.

Except it’s not just the man who’s gone missing. Despite the most advanced technology at their disposal, they find every trace of him has vanished too.

And they aren’t the only ones on the hunt. Powerful figures want Moss to stay ‘lost’, while others just as ruthlessly want him found.

Meanwhile, a routine background check becomes a frantic race to find a stolen baby and catch a brutal killer – a killer Private may well have sent straight to the victim’s door...

Review: Untouchable by Ava Marsh

Tuesday 18 August 2015 0 comments
Title: Untouchable
Author: Ava Marsh
Publisher: Transworld
Publication Date: 7th May 2015
Pages: 384
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
Stella is an escort, immersed in a world of desire, betrayal and secrets. It’s exactly where she wants to be. Stella used to be someone else: respectable, loved, safe. But one mistake changed all that.

When a fellow call girl is murdered, Stella has a choice: forget what she’s seen, or risk everything to get justice for her friend. In her line of work, she’s never far from the edge, but pursuing the truth could take her past the point of no return.

Nothing is off limits. Not for her – and not for them.

But no one is truly untouchable.

Review: City of Fire by Robert Ellis

Monday 17 August 2015 0 comments
Title: City of Fire
Author: Robert Ellis
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: 23rd November 2010
Pages: 380
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
When a businessman arrives home to find his wife in bed, carved from belly to throat with a very sharp knife, the elite Robbery-Homicide division of the L.A.P.D responds in full force and Detective Lena Gamble prepares for her first major case.

At first all fingers point towards the victim’s husband, but best-case scenarios only happen in films and it soon transpires that this murder is one of a series of brutal crimes against women and the work of a killer dubbed ‘Romeo’ by the ravenous Hollywood media.

Lena is all too aware of the peril of the public eye - she has found herself in it before, on the night of her rock-star brother’s unsolved murder five years ago. And now she risks a far more dangerous fame as a cloud of conspiracy descends on her investigation and she edges towards Romeo’s deadly line of sight . . .Lena must catch this psychopath before she becomes his next glamorous victim...

Review: The Good Life by Martina Cole

Friday 14 August 2015 3 comments
Title: The Good Life
Author: Martina Cole
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: 9th October 2014
Pages: 450
Source: Purchased
Rating: 1/5
Purchase: Amazon
Jenny is not just any girl. She cares nothing for Cain's hard-man reputation - she just wants to be with him.

But Cain is not a free man. And he's about to find out that when his wife Caroline said 'til death us do part, she meant it.

When Cain is sentenced to life in prison it seems that Caroline might have got her wish. All Cain and Jenny know is that if their love can survive such separation, then one day they will have a chance at the Good Life together again.

But there are greater trials ahead than either can foresee. They're about to learn the hardest lesson of all:


Review: Malicious Intent by Kathryn Fox

Thursday 13 August 2015 0 comments
Title: Malicious Intent
Author: Kathryn Fox
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 7th November 2005
Pages: 484
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Dr Anya Crichton, a pathologist and forensic physician, finds that work is sparse for the only female freelancer in the field. Between paying child support, a mortgage and struggling to get her business off the ground, Anya can't yet afford to fight her ex-husband for custody of their three-year-old son, Ben. When Anya is asked to look into the seemingly innocent suicide of a teenager, Anya notices similarities between the girl's death and several other cases she is working on with her friend and colleague, Detective Sergeant Kate Farrer. All the victims went missing for a period of time, only to be found dead of apparent suicide in most unusual circumstances. As Anya delves deeper, the pathological findings point to the frightening possibility that the deaths are not only linked, but part of a sinister plot. Nothing can prepare her for the terrifying truth...

Review: Striker by Michelle Betham

Wednesday 12 August 2015 0 comments
Title: Striker
Author: Michelle Betham
Publisher: HarperImpulse
Publication Date: 5th June 2014
Pages: 639
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Amber Sullivan is an ambitious, beautiful and feisty Sports reporter for a local TV news programme. With an ex-professional soccer player for a father, she’s grown up in and around the world of premiership football, and boy does she know better than to get mixed up with the men who play the game. As rich and charming as they are, Amber has a strict no player rule.

One of the biggest names in football, Ryan Fisher is young, hot, and talented. He has it all – looks, fame, money; not to mention women falling at his over-insured feet and a lifestyle he’s in no hurry to give up.

At the centre of a multi-million-pound transfer deal back to his home club, Ryan’s a big scoop for a local sports journalist and Amber can’t afford to miss this career-making opportunity – even if that means having to interview the cocky sports star.

But once the tape starts rolling it’s clear Ryan’s got more than just an exclusive on his mind… and he’s used to getting exactly what he wants.

Review: The Wrong Man by Jason Dean

Tuesday 11 August 2015 0 comments
Title: The Wrong Man (James Bishop, #1)
Author: Jason Dean
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: 10th May 2012
Pages: 350
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Thinking. Planning. Waiting for the perfect moment. Former Marine James Bishop will only have one opportunity to make his prison break. And one chance to prove that he isn't responsible for the murders that put him inside.

Three years ago Bishop was the leader of an elite close protection team hired to protect a millionaire and his daughter. After being attacked, Bishop regained consciousness to find seven bodies strewn throughout the millionaire's Long Island mansion - including those of his two charges - and a mountain of evidence guaranteed to send him down for murder.

But to find out who set him up and why, Bishop needs to be free. And now the time has come to make his move. Prepare yourself for the most exciting debut thriller of the year...

Review: Mile High by Rebecca Chance

Monday 10 August 2015 0 comments
Title: Mile High
Author: Rebecca Chance
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 13th August 2015
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781447282846
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
First class is about to get dangerous...

Pure Air's new LuxeLiner is flying from London to LA - its inaugural journey - with a first-class cabin packed with A List celebrities. As the feuding crew compete to impress their famous passengers, the handsome pilot tries to win the attention of a pretty young stewardess.

But one VIP singer is battling something seriously sinister: watching her every step is a very determined stalker, someone who will go to any lengths to get the star to satisfy their desires. At thirty thousand feet there is nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide...

Review: Locked In by Kerry Wilkinson

Friday 7 August 2015 0 comments
Title: Locked In
Author: Kerry Wilkinson
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 14th February 2003
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781447225645
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
The first in the Jessica Daniel series, Locked In is the number one bestselling crime thriller from Kerry Wilkinson.

When a body is found in a locked house, Detective Sergeant Jessica Daniel is left to not only find the killer but discover how they got in and out.

With little in the way of leads and a journalist that seems to know more about the case than she does, Jessica is already feeling the pressure - and that's before a second body shows up in identical circumstances to the first.

How can a murderer get to victims in seemingly impossible situations and what, if anything, links the bodies?

Review: Partners in Crime: Two Logan and Steel Short Stories by Stuart MacBride

Thursday 6 August 2015 0 comments
Title: Partners in Crime: Two Logan and Steel Short Stories
Author: Stuart MacBride
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: 22nd November 2012
Pages: 81
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Something fishy is happening on the isle of Jura.

DS Logan McRae gets a phone call from DI Steel ordering him to come to the island at once. One freezing night’s sleep in a hatchback and two storm-battered ferries later, Logan arrives – but there’s no sign of Steel.

She's lumped him in the middle of a policing nightmare, with bodies, and bullets, and tiny wee boats. And a dangerous hard man who’s meant to be dead…

Why is DI Steel in an even worse mood than usual?

Is it because it’s Christmas? Or maybe it's because the missing persons case she’s just caught looks like a hoax from a mile off? Or is it because she’s just been left a huge amount of money…?

One thing’s for certain: Steel’s having a bad day, and she’s hell bent on making sure Constable Guthrie has one too.

Review: The Cherry Tree Cafe by Heidi Swain

Wednesday 5 August 2015 0 comments
Title: The Cherry Tree Cafe
Author: Heidi Swain
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 16th July 2015
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 3/5
Purchase: Amazon
Cupcakes, crafting and love at The Cherry Tree Cafe...

Lizzie Dixon's life feels as though it's fallen apart. Instead of the marriage proposal she was hoping for from her boyfriend, she is unceremoniously dumped, and her job is about to go the same way. So, there's only one option: to go back home to the village she grew up in and to try to start again.

Her best friend Jemma is delighted Lizzie has come back home. She has just bought a little cafe and needs help in getting it ready for the grand opening. And Lizzie's sewing skills are just what she needs.

With a new venture and a new home, things are looking much brighter for Lizzie. But can she get over her broken heart, and will an old flame reignite a love from long ago...?

Review: This Time Round by Ray Quinn

Tuesday 4 August 2015 0 comments
Title: This Time Round
Author: Ray Quinn
Publisher: Percy Publishing
Publication Date: 4th March 2015
Pages: 188
Source: Library
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
They say it's all about timing. We,, the time has come for me to stand back and take a look at my life so far - where I've been, what I've achieved, and where I want to go in the future.

I've been blessed with a full and coloruful career so far, covering TV, theatre, dancing, singing and skating. Now 26, I intend to focus on my greatest passion - music. If I've learned anything so far, it's that life doesn't wait for anyone; you have to take control of your own destiny.

This is the story of how I grew up in Liverpool, with my acting and dancing days, and how I coped with the overwhelming demands of the X Factor and Dancing on Ice. Much of that story was ignored by the media: a lot that people don't know.

'This Time Round' is something of a cautionary tale. Maybe reading about my own highs and lows will enlighten some of you who want to become part of the entertainment industry - all those who dare to dream.

Review: Dexter Is Dead by Jeff Lindsay

Monday 3 August 2015 0 comments
Title: Dexter Is Dead
Author: Jeff Lindsay
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 30th July 2015
Pages: 306
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
Dexter has finally been caught and brought to justice - for three murders he didn't commit. Proving his innocence is made quite difficult by the fact that the true killer, Robert Chase, is one of the 'victims' he's accused of murdering.

To make matters worse, Dexter's once loyal sister Deborah disowns him and adamantly refuses to help with his investigation. Furious but undeterred, Dexter connects Chase to a resort with a dark underbelly. When the resort becomes aware of his discoveries, children of the police force begin disappearing. Deborah is made lead investigating officer and still refuses to return to Dexter.

However, when the kidnappers take both Dexter's and her own children, she has no option but to beg for his help. Dexter triumphantly agrees, and the hunt begins...

Review: The Hiding Place by John Burley

Sunday 2 August 2015 0 comments
Title: The Hiding Place
Author: John Burley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 30th July 2015
Pages: 355
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Dr Lise Shields works with the most deadly criminals in America. At Menaker psychiatric hospital all are guilty and no one ever leaves. Then she meets Jason Edwards.

Jason is an anomaly. No transfer order, no patient history, no paperwork at all. Is he really guilty of the horrific crimes he’s been sentenced for?

Caught up in a web of unanswered questions and hastily concealed injustices, the spotlight begins to shine on Lise. She’s being watched, and the doors of Menaker psychiatric hospital are closing in.

In Lise’s quest to discover the truth, is there anywhere left to hide?

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