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

The Accident – CL Taylor

16199630This is without a doubt a really good debut novel.  The idea is based around a daughter that is in a coma and a mothers drive to solve the secret that caused her daughter to try to take her life.  Once the mystery is solved the mother believes her daughter will wake.

The only real adrenaline big bang in this story comes in the final 50 pages of the book.  The rest of the book just plods along at a slower gentle pace.  Having said this the book is not boring in any way it just gently weaves the story into a great tale.  There were moments at the beginning of the book that I was not sure whether the book was grabbing me.  I got 100 pages through and then realised the book had grabbed me and I needed to finish it all within one sitting.

The story is told from two perspectives current day and the past that is linked to Suzy our main character.  The different font visually helps with this change of perspective a fact I always enjoy in a book.

This is not a wow book but it is a really good read.  A solid 3.5 stars which warranted being made to 4 stars as a debut novel.  I wish the author every success with this novel and look forward to her second.

Synopsis
The person you trust most may only be telling you half the story …

Fast-paced, suspenseful, this is a book with more twists than a helter-skelter that will keep you reading late into the night. Perfect for fans of Before I Go to Sleep and Gone Girl.

Sue Jackson has the perfect family but when her teenage daughter Charlotte deliberately steps in front of a bus and ends up in a coma she is forced to face a very dark reality.

Retracing her daughter’s steps she finds a horrifying entry in Charlotte’s diary and is forced to head deep into Charlotte’s private world. In her hunt for evidence, Sue begins to mistrust everyone close to her daughter and she’s forced to look further, into the depths of her own past.

There is a lot that Sue doesn’t know about Charlotte’s life. But then there’s a lot that Charlotte doesn’t know about Sue’s …

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Filed under 4 Star, 4 Star Books, Thriller

Wolf – Mo Hayder

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Many people commented that Mo Hayder’s last Jack Caffrey novel, Poppet was not as good as the rest.  A fact that I denied continuously.  Having just finished Wolf I was wrong.  Wolf is a return to everything that is brilliant about Mo Hayder’s, Jack Caffrey series and shows some of the others up.

The book is unique to others as this is not so much a police investigation as a private case for Jack Caffrey.  None of the familiar characters appear except for Jack and the Walking Man are present.  Initially I was disappointed that we would not see the continuation of the Jack and Flea relationship but as the book progresses it was so enthralling I forgot there were any characters missing at all.

The victims as always play a wonderful part in this book.  I love the way Mo Hayder invites us to meet new characters in her villains and victims.  Her depth of character development in this book are a credit to her and a defining factor in how good this book is.

If you have followed the series from the beginning, like I have, you will love this book.  This book answers several questions that have been held over from previous novel and from the beginning of the Jack Caffrey series.  I simply brilliant read.

Synopsis
Edgar Award winner and internationally best-selling author Mo Hayder has made her name with nightmarishly dark, impeccably-plotted thrillers that hook readers from the first page and won’t let them go, netting numerous awards and attracting legions of fans from around the globe. With her latest novel, Wolf, the frighteningly talented “queen of hardcore in high heels” (Le Point Magazine, France) ratchets up the terror yet another notch, with a bone-chilling home invasion novel.

When a vagrant—the Walking Man—finds a dog wandering alone with the words “HELP US” written on its collar, he’s sure it’s a desperate plea from someone in trouble and calls on Detective Inspector Jack Caffery to investigate. Caffery is reluctant to get involved—until the Walking Man promises new information regarding the childhood abduction of Caffery’s brother in exchange for the detective’s help tracking down the dog’s owners. Caffery has no idea who or what he is searching for, but one thing he is sure of: it’s a race against time.

Meanwhile, the Anchor-Ferrers, a wealthy local family, are fighting for their lives in their remote home ten miles away. Two men have tricked their way into the house and are holding the family for ransom. Yet as the captors’ demands become increasingly bizarre and humiliating, it becomes clear that this is more than a random crime—it’s a personal vendetta.

With all of the taut suspense and terrifying twists that have kept her fans on the edge of their seats for years, Wolf cements Hayder’s place at the top of the crime-writing field

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Filed under 5 Star, 5 Star Book, Crime

Dead Gone – Luca Veste

18102876This is a debut novel by the writer and centres around two main detectives working a serial killer case in Liverpool. The references to Liverpool makes this book for anyone who has knowledge of the area.

This book is well written and the story premise is thrilling and terrifying all in one. I however, found this a little slow to start. Personally I like my crime novels to start with a bang and include a little more gore and description. There are parts later on that clearly make up for the lack of gore at the beginning. Although this was a well written book I found that I never got in to the ‘I can’t put this down stage.’ Although I enjoyed reading it I had to make myself pick it back up once I had put it down. I believe my main problem with this book was that I did not really relate to the main character in the book.

I found this slow in places and hard to get into although I am sure that as the writer develops his lead detectives this may change and result in a good crime series. At present I will reserve judgement on this until I read the next in the series.

Synopsis
DI David Murphy and DC Laura Rossi investigate the murder of a student at the City of Liverpool University. Attached to her is a letter from her killer, which details a famous unethical psychological experiment performed on the victim, resulting in her death. Convinced at first that the murderer is someone close and known to the victim, Murphy dismisses the letter as a bid to throw them off the scent…until more bodies are found, each with their own letter attached.

On the other side of the city, Rob Barker, an admin worker at the university, is dealing with his own loss. His partner has been missing for almost a year, with suspicion from all around her firmly pointed at him.

As the two seemingly unconnected events collide, it becomes apparent Murphy is chasing a killer unlike any he’s faced before.

One who kills to discover more about life

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Filed under 3 Star, Crime