Sunday, 25 June 2017

Bluegrass Bend by Mandy Magro

Bluegrass Bend

If you fantasize about dark, handsome cowboys and want some escapist rural romance, here's one for you.  Mandy Magro's Bluegrass Bend takes one hunky hero, Ronnie and sends him to Bluegrass Bend where his path crosses with Ivy Tucker.   Only their paths have crossed before but Ivy doesn't remember that.

Okay, there's a lot of predictable elements....but it works and I admit to whizzing through this one on a rainy weekend.   There's quite a bit of spirituality in this book (including healing horses) and of course we can't have a cowboy who can't fix up a homestead can we?

Enjoyable, romantic and best accompanied with chocolate!


Sunday, 18 June 2017

Night School by Lee Child

Night School (Jack Reacher)
at fishpond

Jack's back: back in time and back in the army in the 21st book of the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. 

His mission is to find a needle in a haystack.  Teamed up with Frances Neagley, he needs to find out just what is worth one hundred million dollars and who the American selling the product is.   Not too hard for Reacher.

The book is set mostly in Germany and although we are back in 1996, the story has some distinct similarities to some of the undercurrents that exist across the globe today.  I am a big Reacher fan but I found this one hard going at first.  There are the usual ingredients (a couple of street brawls) but maybe not enough of the ex-army drifter Reacher for me.

Good but certainly not the greatest in the series.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon

Strictly Between Us
via fishpond

Jane Fallon's "Strictly Between Us" is an invitation to listen to both sides of a story. 

First up is Tamsin who tells you the awful tale of how she nearly slept with her best friend's husband.  A ridiculous thing to do when she thought he was already cheating on her best friend and was determined to find out if it was true.  Second up is Bea, Tamsin's indispensable assistant, who goes above and beyond her duties for her boss to help her discover if the rumours are true.

The story itself is a toe-curling love triangle or is it a diamond?  Anyway, Tamsin's crazy scheme to discover whether her friend's husband is a cheat backfires...spectacularly. 

I laughed out loud quite a few times while I read this one.   It's not often that happens, I can tell you.  The story is terrific fun, well written, with some really well-drawn characters.  Perhaps the only character that was a little wishy-washy was Michelle, the best friend in question.

If you feel like listening to some juicy gossip, or love a comic situation, grab this one!

What was the last book that made you laugh out loud?

Monday, 5 June 2017

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter

The Kept Woman (The Will Trent Series)

A gritty read - enough to make you think that every US cop or agent is either corrupt or broken.  A Kept Woman features Special Agent Will Trent and his partner, Dr. Sara Linton, a medical examiner who are delving into a case that also involves Will's wife (who is also a cop...although it's sometimes hard to believe this).

The case is brutal, bloody and full of confusion.  Will's wife has seen to that, but it's also complicated by the people involved and the high stakes around Pro Basketball stars. Their "Guardian Agent" makes sure that any of their inappropriate behavior is cleaned up so that it doesn't tarnish their moneymaking deals and sponsorships.

This is a gripping read, you have to read closely or else the threads will slip away.  It features characters from other stories in the series. This book reveals so much character back story that its hard to see how some of the characters have managed function...let alone as cops.   (Apparently this is number 8 the Will Trent's series and probably best if read in order.)

Recommended yes...pleasant reading? No, but that's what a good crime thriller is all about!

Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Girl Who Came Back by Susan Lewis

The Girl Who Came Back

The Girl Who Came Back refers to sociopathic killer, Amelia Quentin, who is being released from prison after serving just three years.   Her brutal crime is slowly revealed through the story as Jules Bright meets with an ex-detective who informs her of the early release.

Jules' life has fallen apart in the aftermath of the devastating crime. The lack of justice is something that hangs over everyone that was affected - apart from Amelia Quentin and her father.

The story is interesting and Amelia's character was well drawn as were most of the characters in the book but personally, I didn't find the writer's style particularly enjoyable to read.  It reminded me of Josephine Cox, with overly long sentences and slightly unnecessary "thoughts".   However the story and characters were much better than the one (and only) Cox book I read.

Readable yes....gripping....not exactly.

Monday, 22 May 2017

The Missing Wife by Sheila O'Flanagan

The Missing Wife

Settle down with a coffee or relax by the beach with Sheila O'Flanagan's story titled "The Missing Wife" .

The missing wife in question is Imogen, who disappears after attending a work event in Paris, leaving her husband Vince distraught and determined to find her.  Only things are not quite what everyone believes them to be.   Imogen  has been carefully planning her escape for two years.  She returns to a small town in the South of France where she spent her childhood - when her mother was a housekeeper for a wealthy family.  Here, she begins to rediscover the old Imogen that was nearly lost.

It's a lighthearted, easy read, despite the reasons why she chose to leave her husband....I'll let you find out why.

How easy do you think it would have been for Imogen to establish herself in the small French community?

Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Wrong Hand by Jane Jago

The Wrong Hand (Exp)

The Wrong Hand is Jane Jago's first novel about the devastating effects of one horrific event on three families. 

Two boys murder a child and are later "rehabilitated" and released into society complete with new identities.  They are able to start new lives...unlike the three year old boy they murdered.

If this crime sounds familiar, according to one of the characters, a reporter named Alex Reiser, crimes against children committed by children are not so unusual. Examples are found and cited in the book.  My problem with this story was that it sounded a bit too familiar - with so many similarities to the James Bulger case in Liverpool, 1993.  Many of the events and character details were just a bit too similar to many of the incidents in this case's aftermath.

While it was interesting to read - the author worked hard to try and elicit various reactions for the murderers through well developed characters - I felt that some reference should have been made to the Bulger case.

Do you think the author should have made reference to the Bulger case ?