Category: Book Review

No Going Back by Casey Kelleher (Lucy Murphy 3)

No Going Back Synopsis: A child has been taken. A family is out for revenge.

Riley Cooke is just one day old when he is stolen from the hospital. His young mother, Shelby, is beside herself. DC Lucy Murphy and her team face a race against time to find the vulnerable baby and bring him home – before the child’s grandfather, fearsome gangster Pete Baker, takes matters into his own hands.

Pete is sure he knows who’s behind baby Riley’s abduction, and he thinks they ought to pray Lucy finds them before he does. Because someone is going to pay dearly for causing this much pain to his family.

They say never stand between a gangster and his target. But that’s exactly what Lucy must do – because if Pete is wrong, innocent blood could flow.

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: Casey Kelleher NEVER fails to impress me with her books and this one is no different. I have really taken to Lucy Murphy as a lead character and her backstory is so interesting and makes reading about her that little bit more intriguing. This time around Lucy and the team have to deal with a missing child. However, it’s not quite that simple as there has been a recent case involving the murder of a pregnant woman nearby. Ashley Cooke and his girlfriend Shelby are the people on the harrowing end of their child being taken. What doesn’t help matters is that Shelby’s father Pete is a known gangster and Ashley has also got himself into hot water in other ways, so are either of those factors cause for somebody to steal their baby?

This storyline had me gripped from the beginning to the end and although I did finally work out the kidnapper it was pretty late in the game! You could probably read this as a standalone but reading the first two books first of all are brilliant and are worth reading, but they also give you some real background on Lucy and the other supporting characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and CK remains one of my favourite authors!

Sunrise by the Sea by Jenny Colgan (Mure 4)

41MfLOxFySL Synopsis: When she is given the opportunity to move to a remote tidal island off the Cornish Coast, Marisa Rossi decides some peace and quiet might be just what she needs.

Since the death of her beloved grandfather back in Italy, she’s been struggling to find a way out of her grief. Perhaps this will be the perfect place for her to recuperate.

But Mount Polbearne is a far cry from the sleepy little place she was imagining. Between her noisy piano-teaching Russian neighbour and the hustle and bustle of a busy community, Marisa finds solitude is not so easy to come by. Especially when she finds herself somehow involved with a tiny local bakery desperately in need of some new zest to save it . . .

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: Oh how I have missed Mount Polbearne! I was SO excited that this latest book was set in one of my favourite fictional places. We get to see characters from other books such as Polly (but don’t worry if you haven’t read previous books as this won’t affect reading this as a standalone). Marisa Rossi sadly loses her Grandfather and spirals into a place where she cannot function and her solution to this issue is to move to Mount Polbearne which should give her the peace and space she needs to grieve. She didn’t count on a noisy piano teacher Alexei from Russia as her new neighbour.

Polly and her husband Huckle are having financial problems with their bakery and we get to catch up on their lives. When disaster strikes Marisa manages to become involved in the solution to fixing Polly’s problems. As such Polly unwittingly manages to help Marisa deal with her grief and build her confidence once again. These Plobearne books are pure escapism and are books that I think I could read over and over again and still enjoy just as much. Another brilliant book that delivers pure escapism at its finest.

The Last Bodyguard by Sean Black

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Synopsis: In the latest action-packed thriller from the award-winning novelist who writes with ‘the pace of Lee Child, and the heart of Harlan Coben,’ ex-military bodyguard Ryan Lock plunges into the nightmare world of sex trafficking.

When fourteen-year-old Kristin Miller goes missing from her quiet home in the San Fernando Valley, her desperate family turn to ex-military bodyguard, Ryan Lock. Along with his partner, Marine Corps veteran Ty Johnson, Lock sets out on a journey that takes him deep into a dark, disturbing and violent world, where young women are selected, groomed and then exploited by ruthless predators.

With law enforcement’s hands tied, Lock dispenses his own brand of street justice as he tracks down Kristin, taking revenge on anyone who stands in his way. Can he get to her before it’s too late?

My Rating: 5/5

I am a HUGE Sean Black fan, and even though this book is a slight departure from the normal format of these books its still a fantastic read. When I say it is different, I mean it is a slightly different (and at times sensitive) topic relating to sex trafficking, but also feels slightly more sedate in terms of Ryan and Ty as characters. This isn’t a simple open and shut case of catching and when necessary killing the bad guys. It’s more of them delving into a new world that they haven’t had to deal with in the past.

Ryan has a seemingly simple task of tracking down a missing 14 year old girl. However, it leads to the murky world of sex trafficking and both he and Ty are dragged into something they just cannot turn their back on. It is still packed with action and the writing and storyline are just as brilliant as all of his other books. However, we see a slightly less than perfect version of them this time around, whether thats age or just taking their eye off the ball I don’t know. What I do know is that as a team they are not a pair you should mess with. Another cracking read that I absolutely loved and I cannot recommend this series highly enough!

Publication List – Veronica Henry

Honeycote (2002) aka A Country Christmas
Making Hay (2003) aka A Country Life
Wild Oats (2004)
An Eligible Bachelor (2005)
Love on the Rocks (2006)
Just a Family Affair (2008) aka A Country Wedding
Marriage And Other Games (2009)
The Birthday Party (2010)
The Beach Hut (2010) Beach Hut 1
The Long Weekend (2012)
A Night on the Orient Express (2013)
The Beach Hut Next Door (2014) Beach Hut 2
High Tide (2015)
How to Find Love in a Bookshop (2016)
The Forever House (2017)
Christmas at the Beach Hut (2018) Beach Hut 3
A Family Recipe (2018)
A Home From Home (2019)
A Wedding at the Beach Hut (2020) Beach Hut 4
A Day at the Beach Hut (2021) Beach Hut 5
The Impulse Purchase (Due 2022)
 
 
 
  
  
   
   
   

Dead Secret by Noelle Holten (Maggie Jamieson 4)

51t3-f23kjL Synopsis: Psychopaths can take root in the unlikeliest soil…

DC Maggie Jamieson crosses paths once again with Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood when a domestic violence survivor stumbles into her new refuge, unable to speak, desperate for help.

Then another case hits Maggie’s desk. A young man has been murdered, and a curious constellation of black dots has been inked onto his cheek.

That’s when DCI Hastings goes missing and Maggie uncovers a shocking connection that turns the case on its head.

Every family may hide secrets, but not every family buries them…

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I have to say this was my favourite book by Noelle so far….by a mile! Maggie Jamieson is maybe not a conventional character in some ways but is very enjoyable to read about. The storyline involves the murder of a man  clearly murdred but with strange markings on his face.If that wasn’t enough Maggies very own colleague and superior DI Hastings then goes missing and that takes the story up by quite a few notches. Then a woman turns up at a refuge run by Maggies friend Lucy. A lot of the characters you read about have all featured in previous books so as each book passes as the reader you certainly feel more invested in allof the characters.

There is a lot of intrigue and action in this latest book and it took me only a couple of days to plough through it in its entirety. This series seems to be going from strength to strength and even though you can read this as a standalone it always flows better when you have the history of all the characters. I absolutely loved this book and would defintely recommend it and I am really looking forward to the next installment.

Good Girl by Mel Sherratt (Grace Allendale 4)

51-tMaqPvCL Synopsis: When sixteen-year-old Erin Ellis is attacked, she dies in the arms of her best friend Molly, just metres from her home. Molly is the surviving girl but says she easily could have been the victim – it was a random mugging gone wrong.

With inconclusive evidence, DS Grace Allendale must dig deep within the tight-knit Stoke community for leads. And she soon finds that someone had a motive to kill Erin.

As the investigation unfolds, Grace is reminded of a horrifying case she worked on earlier in her career.

Is the past coming back to haunt her? And can she push through her fear to catch Erin’s killer before it’s too late?

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I was anticipating and dreading this book in equal measures. This is the fourth and last book in this series featuring Grace Allendale. This final book sees Erin Ellis dying in her best friend Molly’s arms. It’s certainly a dramatic opening and one that had me engrossed from the very beginning.  It happened just yards away from Erin’s home and it appears at first glance to be a mugging gone wrong. As with any Mel Sherratt book you know it’s never going to be that simple.

The story progresses with the usual door knocking and delving into Erin’s life and things slowly are uncovered that make it clear it isn’t necessarily cut and dried. Grace’s involvement with the Steele family once again creeps into the investigation. There are a lot of twists and turns and it’s certainly a book that will keep you engaged and totally absorbed. I absolutely loved this final book and the series. Highly recommended

A New Happy Place by Ruth Hanna

51EgaF231NL Synopsis: How do you get your mojo back when you’ve got a broken heart?

Violet is a seamstress who has big dreams of designing her own wedding gowns and opening her own bridal shop. But things fall apart when she finds Philip, her boyfriend, in a compromising position with one of her colleagues.

Violets decides it is time to go back home to her eccentric mother and particular father, Fred. And after wallowing, Violet decides to re-evaluate her life, put the past behind her, and search for happiness.

She meets with old friends and builds an unlikely friendship with a group of zany women from her mother’s Zumba class.

With the help of her friends, old and new, Violet begins to rebuild her life. Then she meets the handsome Ben Matthews and there is instant chemistry. But with life throwing up yet more problems, their relationship is put to the test.

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: I picked this book up having no idea that I had never read this author before, I can assure you after finishing it Ruth Hanna is going straight up the list of authors to read in the future. Violet is our main character but her life literally falls apart when she finds her boyfriend in a compromising position. She decides to up sticks and go back to her parents Violet and Fred.

This book I read in just two sittings over two days and absolutely loved every page. I was truly disappointed when I had finished it. Violet and her parents are such great characters to read about and I loved  the setting, where they lived along with all the other featuring characters. The crazy golden girls of the village at their Zumba class and then the wonderful Ben Matthews! This book was a sheer pleasure to read and I would highly recommend it, a true feel good read!

Silent Voices by Patricia Gibney (Lottie Parker 9)

511rsdW8EiL._SY346_ Synopsis: When Rachel Mullen is found dead by her only sister Beth, her body twisted in an arc of pain, Detective Lottie Parker knows that she has been murdered the minute she enters the bedroom. Lottie’s heart aches for Beth, all alone in the world, whose last memory of her sister will forever be the brutal way she was taken. And when Lottie finds a shard of glass placed in the young girl’s throat, she fears that Rachel may be just the first victim. The night before, Rachel had attended a party at a luxurious new restaurant in Ragmullin, and Lottie wastes no time in tracking down the other guests. But there are several things troubling her: Rachel’s handbag and keys are nowhere to be found, and no one at the party seems to have seen her leave.

Just as Lottie thinks she’s onto something, her worst fears are confirmed: another woman is found murdered… with glass in her throat. The brilliant, young doctor wasn’t a guest at the party and Lottie is forced to question everything. Desperate to find proof of what really happened that night, Lottie gets close to the hostess of the party, whose two daughters were friends with Rachel. But Lottie’s hunt for the truth must be getting under the killer’s skin, because then her beloved fiancé, Boyd, goes missing. Can Lottie get in the mind of this twisted killer before it’s too late? Or will the man she loves be silenced forever?

Kat’s Rating: 3/5

My Review: I am thoroughly enjoying this series and this book was another good addition, however it wasn’t quite as good as previous books in the series for some reason. The main storyline features the death of a young woman Rachel Mullen. Although we have the usual suspects back in this book such as Boyd, and Lotties other colleagues they featured very little in comparison to other books. In addition it feels like Lottie has an air of irritation throughout this book and I couldn’t quote understand why.

The storyline was okay but I felt like it fell short of other stories in the series. It gathers a little momentum towards the last quarter of the book however I felt like it didn’t have the same connections that were in previous books whether that be to family or colleagues. I definitely recommend this series andlook fotrward to the next book, but in all honesty this wasn’t my favourite.

Hard Vengeance by J B Turner (Jon Reznick 9)

53810275._SY475_ Synopsis: When the people he loves most are in danger, Jon Reznick will get revenge…or die trying.

When black-ops specialist Jon Reznick receives a voice mail from FBI assistant director Martha Meyerstein, hoping to explore their relationship outside of the federal government, Jon starts to imagine a new future, one where he can leave his past behind. But an unhinged killer with a grudge has other plans. He’s setting a trap for Reznick, one he knows the operative won’t be able to resist.

In a picturesque fishing village on the Mediterranean coast, a luxury yacht has gone up in flames. Was it a terrible accident or something much more sinister? Jon Reznick must travel overseas, to find out what’s happened to Martha and seek revenge on the psychopath who has put Reznick’s entire future in jeopardy.

Jon will need all the help he can get to bring him to justice. Fresh out of Quantico, Reznick’s daughter, Lauren, joins him against his wishes, along with hacker Trevelle Williams. But government operatives from across the globe have descended on this quiet vacation destination and will stop at nothing to prevent the truth from coming out

My Rating: 5/5

My Review: All I can say is that my heart can’t take all this drama going on in this series. I was gobsmacked by the start of this story and when Irealised that for Jon this was now super personal I felt sorry for whatever character would be on the receiving end of his fury! As Jon travels to Spain he has no clue what has happened and why. It soon becomes clear this is personal and as we get the killers side of the story it makes for a very intense read.  Now that Jon cannot call on Martha for help he turns to Trevelle, his hacker friend. I love Trevelle and wish we saw more of him, but at leasthe makes an appearance as does Jon’s daughter Lauren.

This latest installment had everything you could want in this type of book and more! Packed to the rafters with intense action, a fabulous lead character, an interesting storyline and a book that had me mesmerised. I thoroughly loved this latest book, only now I have to wait for feels like an eternity for the next one! A series I would highly reccomend.

500 Miles From You by Jenny Colgan

Jenny Colgan Synopsis: Lissa loves her job as a nurse, but recently she’s been doing a better job of looking after other people than looking after herself. After a traumatic incident at work leaves her feeling overwhelmed, she agrees to swap lives with someone in a quiet village in Scotland.

Cormac is restless. Just out of the army, he’s desperately in need of distraction, and there’s precious little of it in Kirrinfief. Maybe three months in London is just what he needs.

As Lissa and Cormac warm to their new lives, emailing back and forth about anything and everything, finally things seem to be falling into place. But each of them feel there’s still a piece missing. What – or who – could it be?

My Rating:3/5

My Review: I am weirdly shocked by how indifferent I felt about this book. I am a HUGE fan of Jenny Colgan books and normally devour them but for some reason this one just didn’t hit the mark. There are a few books I think featuring this part of Scotland and from memory I enjoyed them but again they weren’t maybe favourites of hers that I recall. Lissa is the main character and she is a nurse who is involved in a traumatic incident at work. This is the catalyst for her being asked by her work to do a placement swap meaning she would swap homes and jobs with somebody up in Scotland.

Cormac is the person Lissa ends up swapping with and as Lissa moves to the small village up in Scotland, Cormac makes his way to London. Don’t get me wrong the story was okay and I didn’t dislike this book but it just didn’t feel like JC other books. It didn’t flow as well and frankly I didn’t really care what happened to the characters. I am struggling to find many positives within this as it just felt the opposite of everything I normally feel when I read one of her books. I can only hope this was just one of those books I didn’t gel with and the next one returns to her usual kind of book that I love