Category: Book Review

Hush Hush by Mel Sherratt (Grace Allendale #1)

51a6iBTZoIL Synopsis: A killer is on the loose, attacking people in places they feel most safe: their workplaces, their homes. It’s up to DS Grace Allendale to stop the murders, and prove herself to her new team.

All clues lead to local crime family the Steeles, but that’s where things get complicated. Because the Steeles aren’t just any family, they’re Grace’s family. Two brothers and two sisters, connected by the violent father only Grace and her mother escaped.

To catch the killer, Grace will have to choose between her team and her blood. But who do you trust, when both sides are out to get you?

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I am a huge fan of Mel Sherratt and especially the Allie Shenton books so was excited I finally got around to reading about this new character! I must say I read this book in record time. Historically as a book blogger, I could read a book in a day or two, however since my working life has got super busy I no longer have as much time. However, this book…I admit I made time (let’s hope my boss doesn’t read this:-)). The lead character Grace comes across as super aloof and a little on edge from the get go, however learning that she lost her husband recently and has now moved back to where she grew up you can get an idea of why. However, I had no clue that her family secrets were a lot more tricky than that!

The Steele’s are a notorious family however, when you learn as a reader they are Grace’s family it just made it SO engaging. When murders seem to be surroundign the Steele’s and their businesses Grace has to walk a fine line. In addition she is working with a new team all of whom have their own opinion. I was so pleased the author made it clear where Grace stood from the outset, it made me admire her all the more. However the beauty of a story like this is how it will pan out in future books too. I read this book in a day and moved straight onto book 2. Looks like I’m headed for a Mel Sherratt binge to get myself up to date. Massively reccomended….and frankly the perfect choice for my first read of 2021.

Cathy’s Christmas Kitchen by Tilly Tennant

Cathys Christmas Kitchen Synopsis: As the snow flutters down in the little village of Linnetford, escape to a cosy farmhouse kitchen, scented with the rich aromas of fruitcake and gingerbread, where a love of baking is about to unite two lonely hearts…

Cathy cooked at her mother’s side her whole life and could bake a fairy cake before she could ride a bike. Now she is facing her first Christmas without her beloved mother, she’s determined to use her memories for something positive. She decides to organise a weekly cooking class, sharing her mother’s precious recipes with other lonely souls.

There’s just one small spanner in the works: teenager Tansy, who attends Cathy’s classes even though she’s rude to everyone there and seems to hate every minute. Cathy is poised to ask Tansy to leave, but her uncle, physiotherapist Matt, begs her to give the teenager another chance. And Cathy can’t resist Matt’s sparkling hazel eyes and incredibly kind heart… Continue reading “Cathy’s Christmas Kitchen by Tilly Tennant”

Buried Angels by Patricia Gibney (Lottie Parker #8)

51jWwqHF-AL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_ Synopsis:

When Faye Baker discovers a fragile child’s skull behind the walls of her new home, Detective Lottie Parker is called to investigate. The house has been owned for years by the family of Faye’s boyfriend Jeff, so when Jeff starts acting suspiciously, Lottie wonders what he might be hiding…

Lottie doesn’t have long to dig deeper before a child’s bones are found by eleven-year-old Gavin on nearby railway tracks. The bones don’t match the small skull behind the walls, but Lottie can’t ignore the coincidence. Someone out there must be missing their loved ones and it’s up to her to put right a terrible wrong.

Unable to shake a feeling of foreboding, Lottie goes to speak to Faye, and discovers that she hasn’t turned up for work. When Faye’s body is found stuffed in the back of her car, Lottie needs to find out who wanted her to keep quiet.

As Lottie hunts for Faye’s killer, the case takes a darker turn when Gavin goes missing. Faye and Gavin are connected only by the grisly body parts they discovered. But who are these little victims and why has their killer come back? Can Lottie find the answers before another precious life is taken?

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: I was very pleased to get stuck into this latest book. I have been a little gripped with this series and it’s characters, although I am finding I would love to see some changes. The opening of this book (and ending of the last one) may well be what I was waiting for. The storyline this time around involves a LOT of people. It starts with a lady named Faye when decorating her new home discovering a skull. What follows is the discovery of a childs bones on a nearby railway track. The story and writing were as previously very engaging, but with each book I read I feel like maybe there are some things missing.

This storyline although good involves a lot of characters, and sometimes it seems like the plot could have done with being more simplified. In addition I am coming back to the same things I have mentioned in previous reviews. As an avid reader part of the draw for me with a series is the characters and the investment and time we as readers make for them. I feel like Lottie continues to make the same mistakes and additional characters never get a look in. I would really love to see some characters such as Kirby get their own air time as well as Lottie maybe finally learning a few lessons. I do feel like her personal life and the decisions she is making with Boyd will maybe create a basis for more stability (Jesus I would hope so) and hopefully will enable the readers to get a feel for other people.

This is certainly a series that has grown on me and the writing is fabulous. It would be great to see changes in future books and I will still eagerly read the next installment.

Broken Souls by Patricia Gibney (Lottie Parker #7)

51s04OK7aGL Synopsis: One dark winter’s morning, bride-to-be Cara Dunne is found hanging in her home, dressed in her wedding dress, with a lock of hair removed. Detective Lottie Parker is first on the scene. Looking at Cara’s bruised and battered body, she wonders who could have hated her enough to kill her at the happiest time of her life.

The case takes a darker turn that afternoon with another shocking discovery – the broken body of a second young woman, pushed from the roof of the hospital where she worked. Fiona Heffernan was also due to be married, and her body is clad in a wedding dress, a lock of her hair cut off.

The killings seem so personal that Lottie is convinced the girls have been killed by someone they knew. When she goes to break the news to Fiona’s family, she’s on the alert for anything suspicious. But then she makes a discovery that causes her blood to run cold – Fiona’s eight-year-old daughter Lily didn’t return home from her dance recital that afternoon. Terrified that Lily will be the next victim of a twisted and dangerous individual, Lottie takes the case into her own hands, risking her life when she comes face-to-face with the killer…

My Rating: 4/5 Continue reading “Broken Souls by Patricia Gibney (Lottie Parker #7)”

Final Betrayal by Patricia Gibney (Lottie Parker #6)

51xFRTcBc3L._SY346_ Synopsis: When Amy Whyte and Penny Brogan leave a local nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning and don’t arrive home, their families are beside themselves with worry. Conor Dowling has just been released from prison, a man full of hatred for Amy, the girl who put him behind bars in the first place.

The case is given to Detective Lottie Parker, when the girls’ blood-soaked bodies are found, days later, in a derelict squat. Chillingly, both girls are clutching silver coins in their hands – what message is this killer leaving behind? All the signs point to Conor but his alibi is water tight.

As Lottie examines Penny and Amy’s final days alive in a desperate search for clues, two more girls are found stabbed to death in a luxury apartment complex. Caught up in what is fast becoming her toughest case yet, Lottie is unaware that somebody is watching her every move.

Then Lottie’s two daughters, Katie and Chloe suddenly disappear from the town centre. Terrified that the killer has her girls, the stakes have never been higher for Lottie.

But as Lottie puts everything on the line to find her daughters and solve the case, she’s about to find herself in terrible danger – someone has a personal axe to grind with her and they know the best way to get to her is to hurt the ones she loves the most.

My Rating: 3/5 Continue reading “Final Betrayal by Patricia Gibney (Lottie Parker #6)”

First Date by Sue Watson

417hm+p5pKL._SY346_ Synopsis: She’s been waiting her whole life to meet a man like Alex. But he’s been waiting too. And once he has her, he’ll never let her go…

Hannah has done everything to make sure her life is safe and secure. A long way from her unstable childhood growing up in foster care, she’s content with her sweet, little, messy apartment and her satisfying job as a social worker. She quietly worries that, aged 36, she might never fall in love. But otherwise her life is where she wants it to be.

Until, encouraged by her best friend to join a dating app, she meets Alex. He’s irresistibly handsome. He loves the same music as her. The same food as well. They both dream of travelling the world but agree they’d be equally happy escaping to a cottage by the beach in Devon. Both of them would love to own a Labrador one day. It’s like he’s made for her. It’s like he’s too good to be true. Hannah’s friends aren’t so sure about him. But Hannah thinks he’s perfect.

Which is good. Because Alex knows she’s perfect for him too. In fact, she’s exactly the girl he’s been looking for…and nothing Hannah’s done to make her life safe will ever be enough. Continue reading “First Date by Sue Watson”

No Fear by Casey Kelleher (Lucy Murphy 2)

51aV3nJwHjL._SY346_ (1) Synopsis: When DC Lucy Murphy meets Debra, wife of feared drug dealer Gerard Jennings, she sees a young woman in urgent need of help. Brutalised by her husband, Debra is too terrified to tell the police what she knows. But Lucy is determined to bring Gerard down – for Debra’s sake, and the safety of the Griffin Estate.

Meanwhile, after the death of one of his drug runners, Gerard is under pressure from his bosses to prove he’s still up to the job. Facing threats of violence as well as police interest, Gerard is getting desperate – and desperate men are the most dangerous of all. Continue reading “No Fear by Casey Kelleher (Lucy Murphy 2)”

Publication List – Leigh Russell

No Escape by Casey Kelleher (Lucy Murphy 1)

51A3hYavOuL Synopsis: The one place she never wanted to go back to. The one place she can’t escape.

When she was just five years old, Lucy Murphy witnessed her mother’s brutal murder in their home on London’s notorious Griffin Estate. The case was never solved. Now a newly qualified police officer, Lucy has been given her first job: she’s going back to the Griffin Estate.

She is there to protect the estate’s vulnerable residents, including Shannon and Kian Winters, two kids struggling to deal with their alcoholic mother. Fifteen-year-old Shannon is working every spare hour to keep a roof over their heads, but thirteen-year-old Kian has fallen under the sway of gang leader Jax Priestly. And now Jax has plans for Shannon too… Continue reading “No Escape by Casey Kelleher (Lucy Murphy 1)”

A Wedding at the Beach Hut by Veronica Henry

51ECsq-5CQL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_ Synopsis: Escape to Everdene Sands, where the sun is shining – but is the tide about to turn?

Robyn and Jake are planning their dream wedding at the family beach hut in Devon. A picnic by the turquoise waves, endless sparkling rosé and dancing barefoot on the golden sand . . .

But Robyn is more unsettled than excited. She can’t stop thinking about the box she was given on her eighteenth birthday, and the secrets it contains. Will opening it reveal the truth about her history – and break the hearts of the people she loves most?

As the big day arrives, can everyone let go of the past and step into a bright new future?

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I haven’t read a VH book in way too long so scoured through my Kindle as I knew I had some unread ones and started this little gem. I have read the other Beach Hut Books and loved them all so was really hoping that this would be just as good. Thankfully it was all that and more!

Robyn and Jake are excited at their upcoming wedding and are busy planning for the big day. However, Robyn has to unravel the secrets of her past without upsetting her family and she decides to ask advice from her friend Gwen (who I LOVE and I totally think should have her own book!).

All of the various family members make an appearance and elements of their own lives are revealed and interweaved within Robyn and Jake’s story. This book I read in just two sittings over one day and was so dissapointed I read it so quickly.

Although there are bittersweet moments in the book this was absolutely captivating from start to finish and I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t reccomend this book highly enough and think it is a must read for anyone who enjoys this genre.