Monday, 15 August 2016

Craig Lancaster

Edward is a lovely character - there's a third in the series, too.


Edward Adrift

Amazon.com

My review -

Edward Stanton, first encountered in 600Hours of Edward, has Asperger's Syndrome and copes with his life by strict adherence to a routine. Then, three years after the death of his father, with whom he had a difficult relationship, his world becomes fractured. He's adrift. He's made redundant from his job and his best friends have moved 600 miles away. After a frantic phone call from his friend Donna, he decides to go away to stay with her family for a few days. At this point, his world goes even further awry.


I loved the character of Edward in the first book of this series. He is intelligent, serious, literal and yet simple and vulnerable. He has to come to terms here with changes in his mother's life, and to allow himself to make changes in his own. This story, and the previous one, make you think about the way we label people. The writing is faultless throughout and a huge amount of wisdom shines through the words. I'm determined to find the time to read the third in this series. Highly recommended.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Katherine Roberts

I've read one of Katherine's books previously and only time has prevented me from reading more. When I saw this collection of short science-fiction stories I jumped on it.



Weird and Wonderful

Amazon.com

My review - 

This selection of science fiction and speculative short stories is really engrossing. The stories aren’t the usual Sci-fi stuff about space, battles or alien invasions (not that I object to those). They are about people, many of them female, and they are very thoughtful. Enough of them take the idea of young people being trained or manipulated by a ruling class or group that it could be considered a theme. An anthology is only as strong as its weakest story and I didn’t find a single one here that I didn’t enjoy on some level. Very thought-provoking.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Luca Veste

A new author for me - I love discovering new writers - and this, though the third in a series, really stands well alone. 


Bloodstream

Amazon.com

My review -


Someone is killing couples. The case is high profile because a celebrity couple have been involved. They are tied to chairs, face to face and made to admit their lies to one another. The killer is obsessed with love, and truth. David Murphy and his sidekick Laura Rossi can’t seem to get a handle on the case until, for each of them, it comes closer to home.

This, I now see, is the third in a series but it stands really well as a novel in its own right and doesn’t need to be propped up by information in the earlier books. The tension in the story is ramped up gradually and when readers come to discover, along with the detectives, who is responsible, it becomes a race to read to the end and see what happens. A thoroughly enjoyable story.


David Wailing

This is rather different from the author's recent publications. It'll give you the creeps!


Signal Failure

Signal Failure

My review -

Emily is taking the night tube home when, after repeated halts, passengers are told there’s a signal failure to blame. The train becomes stuck in a tunnel and then disturbing things start happening.


This short story really packs a punch. It’s creepy – very creepy. It speaks to the primitive fears we all still harbour - claustrophobia, nyctophobia, fear of the beast in the dark cave. I think because the Tube is brightly lit and full of people we can dismiss the fact that we are so far under the earth. We don’t think about it because, really, we don’t want to remember. Prepare to be disturbed. Next time, you’ll catch the bus!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Claire Douglas

Claire Douglas is a new author to me and I found her through Netgalley. I'll look out for more from her in the future.




Local Girl Missing

At the time of writing this blog post, the book is not available on Amazon.com

My review -

School best friends Sophie and Francesca (Frankie) managed to catch up again for the summer after they graduated, almost twenty years ago. Over that intense summer they each went through emotional turmoil. Just before they both left for jobs in London, Sophie fell to her death from the remains of their seedy hometown's derelict pier. Now Frankie, a successful businesswoman, is called back to Oldcliffe-on-Sea by Sophie's brother. Human remains have been washed up nearby and he wants Frankie to help him identify them. He has never believed his sister's death was an accident.

I enjoyed this book immensely. It's told in the present by Frankie and in the past through Sophie's diary. The two are well distinguished in style, Frankie being dramatic, filled with simile, tending towards paranoia while Sophie's diary is more youthfully breathless though often dark in content. What I particularly loved was the clever way the author gradually altered my perception of the world they'd both inhabited twenty years ago. An excellent and unusual story.


Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advance review copy of this book.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Sibel Hodge

I haven't read much of Sibel Hodge's considerable output but what I've read I've really enjoyed. This dark psychological thriller kept me glued.


Untouchable

Amazon.com

My review -

Maya’s heart and whole life are shattered when her partner Jamie is found hanged in a local beauty spot. She is fairly sure he intended to propose that evening. The verdict is suicide but Maya can’t let it go. She discovers later that Jamie had been brought up in a children’s home. She also finds out what had been going on there, and that some of the people responsible are still holding down lucrative and responsible jobs. It begins to appear that Jamie was about to blow the whistle and has been silenced.


This is a really gripping thriller and is both gruesome and dark in places. We accompany Maya and Jamie’s friend, Mitchell, on their journey to seek justice for Jamie and all those he was going to champion. It looks an impossible task because the perpetrators seem to be – untouchable. If you’re not squeamish about the subject matter you’ll find this book really engrossing. I enjoyed it immensely.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Neil Grimmett

If you search on here for the name Neil Grimmett you will see how much I enjoyed his books The Hoard and The Threshing Circle. I was saddened to learn that he died after a short illness - far too soon - last November. I was informed that three more of his novels were published this June. This is one, and it's an enthralling and at times uncomfortable read. A family in tension.




My review -

Brothers Richard and William have a tense relationship which hardens into enmity as they grow older. William is artistic and Richard feels that his parents favour him because of it. He’s excused jobs on the farm so he can paint. Richard feels all the work falls to him. They love the same girl, Selina and when she marries Richard, William leaves to paint abroad.

I really enjoyed the detail in this book. The countryside which is the setting for the farm comes to life. The parents, Herbie and Madeline, come under inspection as we see how each has influenced the men their children will become. It was hard to feel affection for any of the characters yet one is drawn to them and their sometimes furious anger. This is a brilliant depiction of a family in tension. It’s difficult not to draw a parallel with The Prodigal Son and I suspect the similarity in the title is no coincidence. If you read his compelling story you will become involved in the lives of the family.
I received a copy of this book from the author’s agent in exchange for an honest review.