Sunday, 23 April 2017

B Fleetwood

New to me but this is the first in a trilogy which I know I'll follow up.


Imogen's Secret (Chroma Book 1)

Amazon.com link

My review -

We all think we’re different from others when we’re young. In this book, Imogen is totally correct, but she doesn’t yet know how different. She is able to read people’s ‘chroma’, the colours of their aura, so she can see if they’re telling the truth, afraid, angry or in love. She’s also able to mute her own so that anyone else (very few) who can read the chroma can’t tell what she’s thinking.


There’s much more to this book but without spoiling the story I can only encourage you to read it. It’s marketed as for young adults but as with all good stories in this genre it has plenty to offer the older adults too. By the end we know Imogen’s secret but what she intends to do about it will carry us over into another book. I’ll be delighted to read it! The story was fast and in parts, quite exciting, and, like Imogen, I wasn’t sure who could be trusted. I still have my doubts about some and look forward to seeing if I’m right in the next book of this proposed trilogy. A great read in the fantasy genre.



Monday, 17 April 2017

Kelly Clayton

Book 2 of the Jack Le Claire crime/mysteries. Can't wait for Book 3!


Blood Ties

Amazon.com link

My review - 

This is the second of the Jack Le Claire novels and I read it almost straight after the first. In this book, a wealthy man is found dead in a swimming pool after a party. He’s found by his cousin who works for Jack’s family. Blood ties are explored here with estranged families, family businesses, and a bit of their recent personal history all thrown into the mix. Add to that drugs, prostitution and blackmail and you have a potent brew.


Once again, Kelly Clayton has combined several plot strands with a selection of truly believable characters. They are no two dimensional cut-outs, each having enough background detail, light and shade, to make you feel you know them. The author writes cleanly and elegantly and I look forward to more. I long to find out more about Le Claire’s enigmatic side-kick, Emily Dewar. I hope there’s more about her personal journey in Book Three, which I eagerly await!

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Kelly Clayton

I've only just got around to reading this book, though I've had it on my radar for ages. Should have read it sooner!



Blood in the Sand

Amazon.com link

My review - 



A rich widow apparently overdoses on her insulin and falls to her death from her balcony. Things are just too perfect, though. Can it really have been an accident? This is just the beginning of an increasing body-count for DCI Jack Le Claire. The holiday island of Jersey suddenly has a surfeit of ‘blood on the sand’

This author and her books have been on my radar for some time but I’ve not had a break in my reading schedule until now. I bought this and read it – devoured it – in two days. The story is complex, interesting, plausible and exciting. It’s peopled with three-dimensional characters who are so real, so human, that you can’t immediately say who is the perpetrator. Everyone has some financial need or some family feud and it’s only right at the end that the tangle is sorted out. I enjoyed it immensely and I’m going to do what I very rarely do and immediately buy Book 2 in this series.


Highly recommended.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Susan Hill

A novella which really sets the atmosphere.


The Small Hand

Amazon.com link

My review - 

Adam Snow, antiquarian book dealer, is lost and comes upon an abandoned and isolated house. As he stands looking at it, he feels a small hand take his. From this, the story is born.


Susan Hill masterfully evokes an unsettling and creepy atmosphere, not only in the isolated countryside but in Oxford and in a remote monastery. The owner of the small hand haunts him. The link is not what I expected and this short and intense story hit the spot for me.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Lorraine Cannell

A new author - I like to go outside my comfort zone and it's well worth doing.



The Hollow

Amazon.com link

My review - 

Fifteen year-old Liv knows she was in an accident three years ago and has no memories of her early years. Like her Aunt Marie, she has the gift of seeing the spirit world. She’s been seeing young women of her own age, but with their faces replaced by a rippling effect so she can’t tell who they are. They want her to find them. Then her own friend, Katie, goes missing. Her parents are over-protective and her relationship with them is strained and damaged. This gift of hers is all tied up with her inability to see her own past; to look into ‘the Hollow’.


This is a very spooky and exciting story which I read in a couple of days. It’s hard to put down. We know Liv can see spirits who need help but she herself finds it hard to get help from her own family. The feeling that, even though supposedly for her own good, things are being kept from her is well portrayed and the reader shares her frustration. This book combines the classic murder mystery with an exciting supernatural element which I really enjoyed.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Paul Dale

Final part of a trilogy I've loved every word of!


The Dark Lord's Handbook: Empire

Amazon.com link

My review -

Dark Lord Morden Deathwing has finally conquered the whole world. He’s supreme ruler. All he has to do is stay there. That’s always been the hard bit. He loses a couple of his right-hand men to death but he won’t let them go easily. His charming, sweary late wife Griselda won’t keep quiet either. The elves and the Fae, armed with a dragonslayer who’s only ten years old and keeps needing a wee, intend to finish the interminable war between good and evil. Ah, if only it were that simple.


This is the final book in the Dark Lord trilogy and you really need to have read the other two. I’ve followed this series from the first and love the gentle pokes at the genre, the genuine homages, the brilliant flashes of dark humour. I love it all. It’s a world I have happily immersed myself in. If you’re looking for a nod in the direction of Tolkien, Pratchett and more, yet with its own story and concepts, this trilogy will get under your skin, as it has mine. I’ve looked forward to this final book for a long time and it was well worth the wait. Fabulous.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

C L Taylor

Tense, fraught, enjoyable!



The Escape

 My review - 


Jo Blackmore is a sufferer from anxiety and agoraphobia but is taking medication and getting her life back under control. Her husband Max is an undercover reporter and spends lots of time away or arriving home late and she keeps a part-time job and her daughter Elise’s nursery juggled, though with difficulty. Then she meets a strange woman, Paula, who says that that Jo has something which Max stole. She threatens her, and her daughter. The balance is tipping. She thinks Paula is reporting her to the police and social services, so as to get Elise taken from her. Her option, she believes, is to run.

This book gets into the mind of a woman struggling with mental illness but managing, on the whole, to keep above water. Some of the chapters are from Jo’s point of view and you can feel it’s a battle for her. Some are third person and see Jo as possibly unstable. It becomes very exciting towards the end, especially as her mother’s ghosts are faced and laid, and the villain of Jo’s story is not obvious. I really enjoyed this and would recommend it.


Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a review copy.