The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell- Book Review

img_2176This begins in 1904, telling the tale of white British pioneers in Rhodesia and the ‘natives’. Initially there’s a lot of hunting and the use of the ‘N’ word seemed to be thrown in to show how awful the English were with their colonial imperialism.

However, it then settles into the intriguing tales of families of different backgrounds but all linked in some way to early Rhodesia. It covers generations through loves, marriages, heartbreak with tales of politics in Africa and the birth of a new nation, some faintly weird tales of a Zambian space race of putting a man in space, a young woman covered in rapidly growing hair with a seemingly life of its own and later science fiction.

It can be a little hard to follow at times but it is a well written epic, poetic tale of the personal lives of the characters and the sheer complications of human life and its interactions. I can see this being a favourite of book clubs and is sure to be a modern classic.

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review


In Her Shadow by Mark Edwards- Book Review

In Her Shadow by Mark Edwards

Set in Beckenham, F67E0974-B96B-4231-9360-1E679C542945London, this is the story of Jessica and her sister Isabel. Isabel, married, happy and ran a successful business, then one day, she is found dead after an accident.

5 Years later, Jessica, still grieving her sister’s death and her 4 year old daughter, Livvy, mentions things from Isabel’s past that she couldn’t possibly know. She tells her mum, Izzy was pushed by the bad man.

There is so much tension in the story, with possible ghosts and murder, you wonder what’s going to happen. Real fear for Livvy and Jessica and plenty of suspects keep you on the edge…..Mark Edwards has created a nerve wracking, real psychological thriller. Well written and clever, I loved every minute…..

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review


The Stranger Diaries -Book Review

Set in West Sussex in a local school Talgarth High, where a renowned Author, R M Holland used to live and the ghost of his wife is purported to haunt there.

Claire Cassidy is an English teacher, tall beautiful and has a daughter, Georgia. Claire’s friend, Ella is found murdered at home and so the mystery begins. There is a second murder and DS Harbinder Kaur investigates, becoming close to the Cassidy family in the process.

There’s a suspicion of witchcraft, hauntings and misdeeds in the school, all done in a very believable way. I loved the way the book reads, with chapter from each of the characters perspective, sometimes of the same conversations or situations, which felt original and really built the characters well. There’s also a little romance thrown in too.

There are twists and turns in this whodunnit and some genuinely creepy and tense moments. It keeps the killers reveal to the end which was a great twist. A great read from Elly Griffiths

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest reviewBAE54C7E-98E9-4B56-A683-DDBFAD6EB422


#NetGalley #TheStrangerDiaries


The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Book Review

F8E21B00-C325-4A7F-9162-A96A4F47F81AThe publishers blurb really doesn’t give you the feel of this book. The sheer determination of Lale to survive the horrors of Auschwitz. He saw men, women and children murdered by ‘soldiers’, sometimes just for looking at them. He witnessed the ovens and the slaughter of thousands, and suffered beatings and starvation himself. 

Lale was told he would be the assistant to the tattooist, the man who etched the numbers into everyone. When he ‘disappeared’, Lale took over and this earned him some privileges, such as they were. He managed to sneak jewellery to some locals not in the camp, for food and he shared this with his fellow captives. He must have kept so many more alive doing this at great risk to himself. 

He met Gita and amidst all that horror, they fell in love and somehow they both managed to survive.

This is a harrowing read, more so because it’s based on a true story, but the humanity of those imprisoned, shows there is still love and kindness in the darkest of times and it will prevail. It gives hope to us all. A fascinating and heartbreaking read.


Melmoth by Sarah Parry – Book Review

D0065A04-A55D-4F82-8961-88B528A6FE3A.jpegMelmoth by Sarah Perry

Sarah Perry has done it again, the sheer eloquence of her writing makes this a must read for fans of literary fiction

This story is set in Prague in more recent times, but it does have the feel of a Victorian gothic novel. 

The book is written as letters, diaries and also has a story teller, giving full rein to Sarah Perry’s unique and beautiful way with language.

Helen Franklin is an English translator, who lives an austere life, of her choosing in Prague. She is troubled with guilt and a mysterious past. Her friend gives her a file, containing letters and diary entries written during different periods of history. 

The stories share a common theme, Guilt.   Melmoth is the dark witness that follows each of them. Does she exist or is she just a guilty conscience?

This is quite a dark read at times with, somewhat unlikable characters. When Helen’s story is revealed there is such emotion and it will leave a mark on you for a long time. A truly fascinating read.


Murder on the Clifftops- Book Review

img_2127Murder on the clifftops

A cozy crime novel

Melissa Craig is a successful crime novelist who lives alone in the Cotswolds. She is friends with her neighbour, Iris, who is an artist, vegetarian, yoga enthusiast.

Iris is invited to run an art course in France and Melissa tags along to do research for her new book.

Shortly after their arrival a body is found at the base of a cliff, which is deemed an accident, however a further death occurs and this could be murder.

The investigation begins and Melissa is asked by the local gendarmes for her input and so begins a tale of old family hostilities between German Gestapo and French resistance fighters descendants. The book does take quite a while to get going and there were some odd instances of making fun of the French accent, which seemed a little old fashioned and even the French policeman was a little too Poirot, with his moustache and nose tapping to be taken seriously. I did enjoy the book overall though.

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review

#MurderOnTheClifftops #NetGalley


Eeny Meeny by MJ Arlidge – Book Review

D2E65A6B-04BA-473D-9F47-131F23AB4EDB.jpegEeny Meeny

This is the first in the DI Helen Grace series and is set in present day Southampton.

Helen is leading a team to hunt a serial killer, who takes couples, locks them in a remote building and starves them. The only way to escape is for one of the captives to kill the other. Is Helen the link?

M J Arlidge has written a  fraught, fast paced thriller. There is murder mystery, police procedural, police corruption, with great characters. Mark the emotional wreck, but a great policeman, Charlie who’s ambitious and strong and Helen the woman everyone wants to be, but has her own demons and scars.

I loved the way the book is set out alternating chapters between the crimes themselves and the police procedural part. It runs so well and is chilling, believable and unputdownable. 

First published in 2014 by Penguin


Forget my Name – Book Review

C6108A86-896F-42D0-983B-14D90CC6BAF6This is set in Wiltshire in the UK, when a young women turns up at Tony and Laura’s house, saying it was her home. They take her in out of kindness and find that she has amnesia.

Laura arranges for Jemma, as Tony has named her, to see a local doctor to try to help.

This is when it gets weird, does Tony know who she is? Is she the missing Jemma Huish, the girl who had killed her friend? Why is he helping her so much?

Tony is acting oddly too, he has an obsession with seahorses and the hippocampus, due to his father suffering from Alzheimer’s from a young age and he worries he may have the disease too. He has a hidden past, but how is his linked tom’Jemma’?

This is a really original tale and one that keeps you turning the page to find out more and more and more. There’s some fantastic twists that keep you guessing and that bring the story to a satisfying end.

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review


Dead End by Rachel Lynch – Book Review

cb99af11-6def-4663-aa75-c153062e2a51Dead End by Rachel Lynch

The third in the Kelly Porter series of books and is set in Ullswater, the Lake District. While it’s the third in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone, as I haven’t read either of the others yet, but it didn’t feel disjointed in any way.

At Wasdale Hall, the Earl of Lowesdale, Xavier-Paulus II, is found hanging in his bedroom, by his grandson Zachary. Suicide?

2 young women, Hannah and Sophie are missing after leaving a campsite for a hike in the hills. They have been missing for a few days and concern grows for their safety…..

DS Kelly Porter is investigating both cases and wonders if there’s a link to Freya Hamilton who had been missing for a few months.

Rachel Lynch has created an original character in Kelly, she doesn’t have the usual ‘tough female cop, with a temper’ persona as is found in many novels in this genre. She has a healthy, happy relationship with Johnny, a family with the usual dramas (a couple not so usual though and a little link to Wasdale Hall), which just adds to Kelly’s character and is not the main point at all. She’s just a regular human being. The description of the area is detailed and atmospheric and Rachel Lynch clearly knows the area and breathes life into it. 

Brian, is the gardener come handyman on the Wasdale estate and his partner, Linda,  has been the housekeeper for the Earl for many years and has seen Zac grow up. She also has a son a little older than Zac, Dominic.

There are other characters which play a large part in the story and the suspects add up, each one is credible and it keeps you guessing to the end. Just when you think, ahhhhh it’s him, it isn’t!!!!!!

This is a book that will make you lose time…..as it’s a ‘just one more chapter’ read. I can thoroughly recommend it. 

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review




Don’t miss this gripping crime thriller featuring an unforgettable detective. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Patricia Gibney and Robert Bryndza.

About the Author

Rachel Lynch grew up in Cumbria and the lakes and fells are never far away from her. London pulled her away to teach History and marry an Army Officer, whom she followed around the globe for thirteen years. A change of career after children led to personal training and sports therapy, but writing was always the overwhelming force driving the future. The human capacity for compassion as well as its descent into the brutal and murky world of crime are fundamental to her work.


Bloods Revolution- Book Review

E892D1D5-B714-44CB-8553-62157AF23547.pngThis is the second book on the ‘Blood’ series and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It follows on Blood’s Game and Holcroft is now a more seasoned soldier and no longer ‘spies’.

The story begins with the Battle of Sedgemoor, with the expectation and planning of a battle. Holcroft has strategies for his cannon and not always inline with his seniors. The story continues to Revolution of 1688 and the overthrowing of King James. There are historical facts mixed with the fiction which gives this such a believable feel and authenticity to the story.

The characters are well written and rounded and you can’t help but like Holcroft and his integrity.

There is the usual intrigue, exciting and frightening battles and even murder to keep you turning the pages. A real romping, war and glory tale


Dark Sacred Night – Book Review

0648B964-0145-46D6-962F-B09B14293FAB.pngDark Sacred Night is a crime thriller starring retired Harry Bosch and  Detective Renee Ballard.

Renee is working the night shift now after reporting her former boss for sexual harassment.

One night she see Harry searching through filing cabinets in the precinct, after using a bent paper clip to unlock it, he is looking for information related to a cold 9 year old case when a 15 year old girl had been murdered. 

After looking into the case herself, Renee offers to team up with Harry to help him with his investigation, so starts a rather unofficial partnership.

The writing is quite fast paced and entertaining with some great characterisation and a good eye for detail. There are several  plot lines that all start to come together, making this an enjoyable and absorbing read.

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review

#DarkSacredNight #NetGalley


In a House of Lies – Book Review



This is the 22nd in the Rebus series and Rebus is ill, he has COPD (emphysema) and is retired,

A body is found in the boot of an abandoned car and it has clearly been there a long time.

DI John Rebus turns up to assist, as he feels he knows who it is. He is working with his friend, Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox.

This has the same atmosphere and pace of other Rebus novels but. Felt this was more of a police procedural about corruption within a Police force and less about the actual crime itself. While it’s still a good read, it felt like the winding down of Rebus and didn’t engage me as much.

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review


Book Review – Knots and Crosses



Published by Orion Fiction

ISBN 9781407234984Knots and Crosses is the first of the Rebus novels and is set in 80’s Edinburgh. 

Rebus is a troubled man, partly due to his time in the army and while a believer in god, he is not a religious man. 

This book starts with the kidnapping and murder of young girls, as the police investigation begins, Rebus receives letters and a piece of string with a Knot tied in it, he later receives further letters with either string or Crosses made of matches. However, he doesn’t link these to the murders, at first.

What follows is a taut thriller, with Rebus smoking and drinking too much, with vivid dreams and worries he is having a breakdown. Then his daughter is taken and his ex-wife injured and her partner murdered. The pace picks up and it all comes to a nerve wracking, satisfying ending with all the pieces nicely in place. 

Ian Rankin has created a superbly drawn, trouble character and catches the atmosphere of Edinburgh and the slightly misogynistic 80’s brilliantly. A thoroughly absorbing read


Down to the Woods – Book Review

img_2071This is set in the New Forest in the present day and is number 8 in the Helen Grace series.

It starts with the murder of Tom, who goes missing while camping in the New Forest with his girlfriend. He is then found hanging upside down in the woods, shot with crossbow bolts and bled to death.

DI Helen Grace is given the case to investigate and there is then a second death. Lauren is found in the same circumstances.

I really enjoyed the way the novel reads, and M J Arlidge has created strong women characters in Helen Grace, Grace Simmons, Charlie and Emelia, with real life problems that are totally believable. There’s a flicker of romance too.

The story itself hops from graphic fear and murder mystery to police procedural effortlessly and is an easy, yet heart thumping read. I liked that the identity of the killer is kept unknown until near the end and it really does keep you guessing. I will now be reading more of the series.

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (20 Sept. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10:0718183878
  • ISBN-13:978-0718183875



The Little Snake – Book Review



Oh my, what a wonderful, magical little novella.

Mary is a little girl who lives with her mother and father in a small home. Her bedroom is a windowless cupboard and there is little food to eat, but she is a happy, kind, clever little girl with dreams of being an explorer.

One day, while taking tiny steps in her gardens, to make it seem bigger, she meets Lanmo, a beautiful, tiny, shiny golden snake with ruby red eyes. They become close friends and he keeps her safe. Lanmo has to leave Mary at times to visit other humans and travels the world, he is death.

There is a War and Lanmo’s work is being done for him by people and he cannot understand why humans cannot just be happy flying kites and playing with kittens. 

Lanmo helps save Mary and her friend Paul by showing them the way to a new city where they can be safe. Time passes as he travels doing his work but he comes back to visit,

The story is so beautifully written, sad and heartwarming. A modern classic and a must read. 

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Canongate books

To be Published on 8 November 2018

#TheLittleSnake #NetGalley


Returning Souls – Book Review

Returning Souls by Ernestine B Columbo

This is initially set in the present day and Evie collapses at home. Her soul leaves her and she can see all that is happening.

She then ‘wakes’ as a young girl, Astara, the daughter of a holy man and different to her tribe. Astara is Evie’s first life.

This is a wonderfully written tale of reincarnation, on how past lives and events, happy and sad form the person you then become.

Evie is then in the white place, with her oversoul and many questions and answers. Meeting family and pets helping her with a decision….does she return to her life as Evie? Move on ? Or try again.?

It’s a moving take of life, love and loss. I loved it and will definitely be giving it a second read. 

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review



A Fatal Mistake – Book Review



A Fatal Mistake. By Faith Martin

This is the second in the Ryder and Loveday series and is set in 1960’s Oxford.

A young Oxford student is found drowned after a student picnic and an accident with their punt’s. No one is sure whether the student, Derek Chadworth had been at the picnic or not and suspicions are raised.

Dr Clement Ryder is the coroner, and during the inquest an open verdict is made, which means he can investigate the issue further and asks for a PC to assist him. This is where WPC Trudy Loveday joins him, doing some undercover work and gathering further information. Was this an accident or murder?

There’s a privileged, indulgent Lord, Lord Littlejohn, and his Marquis Club, many impressionable girls, blackmail and threats. There’s some twists and a great ending. 

Faith Martin gets the atmosphere of 60’s Oxford really well, including the way women were treated in the police force at that time. I love the gentle relationship between Ryder and Loveday and can see this as being another great series of books like the Hillary Green novels and I’m already looking forward to the next one. 

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review



A Fatal Mistake – Quote



“But also, like most decent, hardworking people, Jimmy had a respect for law and order, and it had been drummed into him from early childhood that you should do what was right and expected of you. Civic duty was something everyone had to consider carefully.”


great at read so far, I’m about a third of the way in and loving it. Faith Martin knows how to write an engrossing novel that’s for sure.