Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

9460487This story is primarily written for young adults.  The beautiful photography that is included means it is a book that will appeal to all ages.  When I say beautiful photography I mean stunning old photographs not so much beautiful subject matter.

I have to say the photo’s are what attracted me to this novel.  That and the hype that had been produced in the book community.  I was not disappointed at all this is one of those rare things a book that lives up to its hype.  The story is well rounded and starts of with introducing us to the main characters that will take us forward on our adventure.  The plot is unusual in its self as well as its title and deals with an island over two different time periods.  The only negative I found with the book was that although I was originally attracted by the photography in the book during it some of the photo’s left me feeling that I hadn’t imagined a particular character the way it was shown in the story.

This book is clearly the start of something more to come and I can’t wait to carry on reading the series to see where the adventure takes us.  

Synopsis
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows

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Filed under 4 Star, 4 Star Books, Books, Young Adult

The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith

16160797I approached this book with in trepidation especially after how much I had wanted to like The Casual Vacancy and simply didn’t.  I have to start by saying that this was a wonderfully brave move from this author to write under another name to see if the book made it and to walk away from the hype that surrounds this author.  

So I have to say I was not disappointed at all, this book was simply amazing.  This is classic JK Rowling with excellent characters that are well developed and equally as flawed in places.  The two main investigating couple I loved and this made the book easy to get into.  The plot was brilliant and the story was engaging.  I have to say half way through the book I wondered whether the story had enough to sustain the 500 pages but as I finished the book I realised that this had not been a problem.  The story just flowed effortlessly and I never identified a quiet mid section of the book which is common in this genre.  

This story has certainly left me wanting more from the two lead characters and from Robert Galbraith / JK Rowling.  I will definitely be searching out the second Cormoran Strike novel.
Synopsis
After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, thelegendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.

Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

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Filed under 5 Star, 5 Star Book, Books, Crime

The House of Silk – Anthony Horowitz

15853573If I had never read the genius which is Arthur Conan Doyle I would have liked this book.  I however, have read the original Sherlock Holmes and loved it.  Rather than try to put his own interpretation on the stories for me Anthony Horowitz tries to imitate the previous author and this was simply not for me.  I understand that the original remit for the author may have been to copy the style completely but then this book left me thinking it was a poor imitation and was not really needed in todays market.

As mentioned by other reviewers there are clear inconsistencies with the story and the original although this did not spoil the story for me as I have not studied the original text clear enough for this to be an issue.  I just simply found the book hard to get into and the story uninspiring.  I was never eager to pick it up again and start reading.  It didn’t help that the production of my book made it hard to read as a paperback as it was unyielding and hard to hold.  

Having completed this read I have to say that I would prefer to stick to the original literature and am not going to look at any of these new stories again.  However, I will eagerly still read other works by this author.  

Synopsis
It is November 1890 and London is gripped by a merciless winter. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are enjoying tea by the fire when an agitated gentleman arrives unannounced at 221b Baker Street. He begs Holmes for help, telling the unnerving story of a scar-faced man with piercing eyes who has stalked him in recent weeks.
Intrigued, Holmes and Watson find themselves swiftly drawn into a series of puzzling and sinister events, stretching from the gas-lit streets of London to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston and the mysterious ‘House of Silk’.

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Filed under 2 Star, Crime

The Outcast Dead – Elly Griffiths

18222687I think it is important to say before I start this review that I love Elly Griffiths.  She has fast become one of my favourite authors and this book does nothing to change this.  Elly Griffiths is that rare writing talent that can mix; historical fact, familiar character developments and a dame good thriller into one.

This book is one of the best I have read from her and as usual I find myself enthralled by the historical information which is passed throughout this book.  The book also has a fair amount of dealing with familiar characters such as Cathbad, Ruth and Nelson.  Whilst reading this story you find yourself investing in all the characters as you always have.  I am as excited to know what happens to my favourites as I am to solve the mystery.

This mystery is as good as any others she has written.  The story kept you guessing until the last minute and I found myself working out who was the culprit at exactly the same time as the lead characters.  The story is harrowing in places and on more than one occasion I found a tear coming to my eye.

This is a brilliant read as a stand alone or if you are a fan like me.

Synopsis
Ruth Galloway uncovers the bones of what might be a notorious Victorian child murdress and a baby snatcher known as “The Childminder” threatens modern-day Norfolk in the latest irresistible mystery from Elly Griffiths.

Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway uncovers the bones of a Victorian murderess while a baby snatcher threatens modern-day Norfolk in this exciting new entry in a beloved series.
Every year a ceremony is held in Norwich for the bodies in the paupers’ graves: the Service for the Outcast Dead. Ruth has a particular interest in this year’s proceedings. Her recent dig at Norwich Castle turned up the body of the notorious Mother Hook, who was hanged in 1867 for the murder of five children. Now Ruth is the reluctant star of the TV series Women Who Kill, working alongside the program’s alluring history expert, Professor Frank Barker.

DCI Harry Nelson is immersed in the case of three children found dead in their home. He is sure that the mother is responsible. Then another child is abducted and a kidnapper dubbed the Childminder claims responsibility. Are there two murderers afoot, or is the Childminder behind all the deaths? The team must race to find out-and the stakes couldn’t be any higher when another child goes missing

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Filed under 5 Star, 5 Star Book, Books, Elly Griffiths, Thriller

In the Enemy’s Service – Annie Douglass Lima

14061889When I started this book I did not even realise that this was a sequel.  This is as good as a standalone as it is a sequel.  From reading others views this is more a different perspective of the story rather than a sequel.  The story is highly engaging from start to finish.  The characters are well developed and I took to all of them, both good and bad.  This is well written and fast paced and you progress through the book at high speed.  This is written for a young adult audience but can easily be enjoyed by all ages.

The book contains some good twists and turns and is a throughly good read.  I am going to seek out the first now and read that.  Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this.

Synopsis
When the Malornian army invaded Alasia and Prince Jaymin was forced to flee for his life, what happened to those left behind? In the Enemy’s Service tells the story of ten-year-old Anya, imprisoned among other survivors and forced to work for the occupying troops. While pretending to follow orders and serve diligently in the palace, Anya discovers ingenious ways to spy on enemy officers and slip valuable information to the Alasian resistance.

But as she helps to craft plans that may eventually free Alasia, Anya accidentally uncovers a disturbing reference to her own family. Her fears are strengthened when she is confronted by a mysterious Malornian who seems somehow to know the truth behind the role she has been playing. Holding her life in his hands with that knowledge, he claims to bear information implicating her father in the betrayal that led to the Invasion itself.

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Filed under 4 Star, 4 Star Books, Books, Childrens, Young Adult

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

8442457Having read all the literature about this book I was eager to read it.  I was lucky enough to be given a copy.  The first half of this book I found a little slow I wasn’t sure that I liked the main character in the book.  I always find it hard to engage with a book when I am unsure of the lead character.  However as the book progresses towards the second half I became enthralled.  Once the twist is revealed the book flowed fast.  The second half of this book is fast paced, engaging and simply can not be put down.  I loved this book and will certainly be looking to read more from this author.

Synopsis
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

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Filed under 4 Star, 4 Star Books, Books, Contemporary

Be Careful What You Wish For – Jeffrey Archer

18404285I have friends who will not read a series of books until they have brought them all.  Having been frustrated at having to wait until 2015 to see how this ends I am beginning to see there point.  That is how good this series of books it.  I was frustrated at the end of the last one and I am frustrated at the end of this one.  I hate waiting.

The story starts exactly where the last left us and continues the story of all the characters we have come to love in the Clifton Chronicles.  As the novels progress the author focuses more on the next generation of Clifton’s and how there life progresses.  The author has also introduced some new characters who are just as engaging as previous characters.

The story is full of the traditional intrigue and excitement.  I have always loved Jeffrey Archer books and this series is one of my favourites.  Can’t wait to read the last in the series even if I have to wait until 2015.

Synopsis
Bestselling author Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish For opens with Harry Clifton and his wife Emma rushing to hospital to learn the fate of their son Sebastian, who has been involved in a fatal car accident. But who died, Sebastian or his best friend Bruno?

When Ross Buchanan is forced to resign as chairman of the Barrington Shipping Company, Emma Clifton wants to replace him. But Don Pedro Martinez intends to install his puppet, the egregious Major Alex Fisher, in order to destroy the Barrington family firm just as the company plans to build its new luxury liner, the MV Buckingham.

Back in London, Harry and Emma’s adopted daughter wins a scholarship to the Slade Academy of Art where she falls in love with a fellow student, Clive Bingham, who asks her to marry him. Both families are delighted until Priscilla Bingham, Jessica’s future mother-in-law, has a visit from an old friend, Lady Virginia Fenwick, who drops her particular brand of poison into the wedding chalice.

Then, without warning, Cedric Hardcastle, a bluff Yorkshireman who no one has come across before, takes his place on the board of Barringtons. This causes an upheaval that none of them could have anticipated, and will change the lives of every member of the Clifton and Barrington families. Hardcastle’s first decision is who to support to become the next chairman of the board: Emma Clifton or Major Alex Fisher? And with that decision, the story takes yet another twist that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Be Careful What You Wish For showcases the master storyteller’s talent as never before – when the Clifton and Barrington families march forward into the sixties, in this epic tale of love, revenge, ambition and betrayal

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Filed under 5 Star, 5 Star Book, Books, Series, Thriller