Watching What I Read

Well, I am glad I didn’t over commit myself on the reading front this week as I have only just finished

Treacherous Is the Night (Verity Kent, #2)

The fact that I have only just finished is absolutely no reflection on the quality of the book, believe me! Watch for my review tomorrow.

I paid a visit to my local library yesterday and picked up a copy of

The Comforts of Home (Simon Serrailler, #9)

which I will be starting as soon as I finish

Small Great Things

If you haven’t yet read Jodi Picoult’s latest, I strongly urge you to do so.

And I am currently listening to

The Blackhouse (Lewis Trilogy, #1)

This week I am planning on reading

The Little Shop of Found Things (The Little Shop of Found Things #1)

A new series about a young woman whose connection to antiques takes her on a magical adventure, reminiscent of Outlander

New York Times bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter Paula Brackston returns to her trademark blend of magic and romance to launch a new series guaranteed to enchant her audience even more.

Xanthe and her mother Flora leave London behind for a fresh start, taking over an antique shop in the historic town of Marlborough. Xanthe has always had an affinity with some of the antiques she finds. When she touches them, she can sense something of the past they come from and the stories they hold. So when she has an intense connection to a beautiful silver chatelaine she has to know more.

It’s while she’s examining the chatelaine that she’s transported back to the seventeenth century. And shortly after, she’s confronted by a ghost who reveals that this is where the antique has its origins. The ghost tasks Xanthe with putting right the injustice in its story to save an innocent girl’s life, or else it’ll cost her Flora’s.

While Xanthe fights to save her amid the turbulent days of 1605, she meets architect Samuel Appleby. He may be the person who can help her succeed. He may also be the reason she can’t bring herself to leave.

With its rich historical detail, strong mother-daughter relationship, and picturesque English village, The Little Shop of Found Things is poised to be a strong start to this new series.

And

In Her Shadow

Isabel’s life seemed perfect. Successful business, beautiful house, adoring husband. And then she was dead.

For four years Jessica has never doubted that her sister Isabel’s death was an accident. But when Jessica’s young daughter seems to know long-forgotten details about her aunt’s past, Jessica can’t shake the feeling that there’s a more sinister truth behind the tragedy.

As Jessica unearths disturbing revelations about her sister, and about the people she loved and trusted most, it becomes clear Isabel’s life was less than perfect and that Jessica’s might also be at risk.

Did someone murder Isabel? Are they now after Jessica and her family? The key seems to lie in the hands of a child. Can Isabel reveal the truth from beyond the grave, or is the answer closer to home?

In Her Shadow is a gripping tale of family secrets, lies and obsession from the two million copy bestselling author Mark Edwards.

I received three ARCs from NetGalley this week

The Promise

Murder in the Dark (Ishmael Jones, #6)

Broken Ground (Inspector Karen Pirie, #5)

We have the family descending on us for lunch. This is their first visit to our new home. I hope that they love it as much as we do.  The lamb is in the oven, the vegetables all prepared, so now I just need to throw together the Greek Salad. I am glad it’s a beautiful day, especially after yesterday which was wet, cold and windy. We lit the fire and I spent the day reading between naps and watching the Supercars racing at Pukekohe. Today we will be able to eat outside and enjoy the magnificent views.

Happy reading my friends 😎

Watching What I Read

Weather wise, today has been a typical spring day. It started out looking like it was going to be a beautiful day, but by mid-morning we were having icy winds and squally showers . This afternoon has been beautiful and I have been outside tidying up the gardens prior to our moving house next weekend.

Not a lot of reading done again this week, hence I am only half way through

The Secrets We Keep

This week I am planning on reading

Jessica's Promise

‘You wouldn’t trust a stranger with your wallet. Or your house keys. So why your little girl, the most precious thing you have?’

Teresa’s heart stops when she enters her daughter’s bedroom to find that her sweet, trusting little girl is gone.

Teresa can’t bear to think who would snatch a terrified three-year-old from her mother in the middle of the night, but all the signs point to someone close to home. Hasn’t Jessica’s stepfather been acting a little oddly? Or is it, as Teresa is beginning to fear, something to do with Angie, her daughter’s babysitter who lives next door…?

Gentle, retired Angie – she must be lonely, with only her memories to keep her company in that big, old house. And she’s always had a special connection with Jessica… was trusting Angie with her precious daughter the biggest mistake of Teresa’s life?

What do we really know about those who watch our children? Jessica’s Promise is a compelling domestic drama for fans of Jodi Picoult, Lisa Wingate and Kerry Fisher.

A Little Bird Told Me

Besides, if you were one half evil, wouldn’t you want to know about the other half? 

In the scorching summer of 1976, Robyn spends her days swimming at the Lido and tagging after her brother. It’s the perfect holiday – except for the crying women her mum keeps bringing home.

As the heatwave boils on, tensions in the town begin to simmer. Everyone is gossiping about her mum, a strange man is following her around, and worst of all, no one will tell Robyn the truth. But this town isn’t good at keeping secrets…

Twelve years later, Robyn returns home, to a house that has stood empty for years and a town that hasn’t moved on, forced to confront the mystery that haunted her that summer.

And atone for the part she played in it.

Two ARC approvals from NetGalley this week. I am extremely excited by both approvals

 

One Dark Night: An absolutely gripping crime thriller with unputdownable mystery and suspense

Fatal Promise (D.I. Kim Stone, #9)

I’m off to do a bit more packing while dinner is cooking  –  a nice roast of lamb with lots of vegetables. Have a wonderful week my friends, and happy reading 😎

Friday Favorite – The Twisted Knot by J. M. Peace

Looking for something to read over the weekend ?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming ‘read me’?

Take a look at my Friday Favorite. It may be new. It may be old. It may be written by a famous author, or by someone you have never heard of. But wherever in the spectrum it falls, it will be a book that is special to me, one that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

Last week I featured See How They Run by Tom Bale and remarked that this blog is an excellent means of rediscovering authors I have loved that have somehow slipped from my radar. I know that I have another of Tom Bale’s books, unread, in one of my packing cases which I will be relieved to let see the light of day after we move house next weekend, but I was also excited to be approved on Netgalley for an ARC of his latest book One Dark Night, due for publication in October.

This week brings me to another author who has also slipped from my radar, J. M. Peace .

The Twisted Knot (Constable Sammi Willis, #2)

Love the cover! So atmospheric.

EXCERPT: She ignored it the first time. Pretending she couldn’t hear it, she continued to play jacks in the dirt. Though it was a warm spring day, she shivered. Goosebumps prickled her arms. She hugged herself briefly trying to keep her focus on the game.

‘Darlin’!’

She froze. He was looking for her already. It felt like they’d only arrived a few minutes ago. She’d been so pleased when he’d given her the jacks and shown her how to play. But now it felt like her tummy had dropped right out of her body.

She looked down at her new t-shirt. It had a picture of a ballerina on it. There were real diamonds stuck onto the tiara on the ballerina’s head. Well, maybe not real diamonds, but they sparkled and twinkled anyway.

She hesitated, her heart pounding as she considered what she was about to do. Then she ran like they had learned in ballet class. Tippy-toe steps with skips in between, her bare feet making only the softest scratching noise on the dirt. The old ute was parked at the back of the shed. She climbed inside and pulled slowly at the door so that it latched withoutmaking much noise. She curled up in the footwell with the noisy thump of her heart keeping her company. She wasn’tentirely sure hiding was a good idea. He would be angry when he found her. And she wasn’tsure she could hide until it was time to go home again.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: A marked man. A damaged cop. A town full of secrets.

After her abduction and near death at the hands of a sadistic killer, Constable Samantha Willis is back in the uniform. Despite being on desk duty, rumours reach Sammi that someone in Angel’s Crossing has been hurting little girls, and before long a mob is gathering to make sure justice is served.

So when a man is found hanging in his shed, the locals assume the pedophile has finally given into his guilt. That is, until Sammi delves further into the death and uncovers a dark family secret, an unsolved crime and a town desperate for vengeance.

MY THOUGHTS: The Twisted Knot: Constable Sammi Willis #2 is the second book I have read by talented Australian author J.M. Peace. I started it immediately after finishing the first book in the series, A Time to Run: Constable Sammi Willis #1, skipping some 170 other books in order to do so.

This is a thrilling, gripping read; a don’t disturb me, I don’t want to know anything other than what happens in this book read.

The first book was good; this one is excellent. What’s next JM Peace? I am waiting eagerly…..

THE AUTHOR: An avid reader and writer from an early age, JM Peace wanted to be a writer. So she studied journalism figuring this would be a way of turning a passion into a job. Her career as a print journalist failed after a single year, and the experience completely sucked the joy out of writing for her. So she took a complete change of direction and became a police officer. Over the past sixteen years, she has served throughout south-east Queensland in a variety of different capacities, including Intelligence and CIB.

After her children were born, the dangers and stresses of the job made it unappealing. In the search for a new career path, she returned to her childhood dream. Carving a spare hour out of every day, she wrote the manuscript for A Time To Run whilst juggling her family commitments, police work and running a household.

A Time To Run was published by Pan Macmillan Australia on July 1, 2015. The rights to the book have been sold in Germany and there is interest from an Australian production company in turning it into a movie. The sequel, The Twisted Knot was released on July 1, 2016.

Jay currently lives on the Sunshine Coast with her partner, wrangling her two cheeky children, a badly behaved dog and an anti-social cockatiel. Although she travelled extensively when she was younger, these days she is just happy if she makes it as far as the beach on the weekend. Her current goals are trying to teach her children to surf and finishing the next book in the ‘Constable Sammi Willis’ series.

Jay is astounded and delighted in equal parts by words of encouragement from strangers. You can connect with her at on Facebook at JM Peace Author, Twitter at @jmpeaceauthor and Goodreads at JM Peace.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan Australia for providing a digital ARC of The Twisted Knot by J. M. Peace for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1674597472

Kiss of Death by Paul Finch

Kiss of Death by Paul Finch

EXCERPT: It was a strange thing, but as recently as one day ago, if you’d asked Brian Kelso which of two desperate criminals you’d expect to be the most unrestrainedly violent – the older one, or the younger one – he’d have opted for the younger one every time.

But of course, the last nine hours had not just changed his views on that, it had changed everything.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Don’t let them catch you…

A Deadly Hunt
DS ‘Heck’ Heckenburg has been tasked with retrieving one of the UK’s most wanted men. But the trail runs cold when Heck discovers a video tape showing the fugitive in a fight for his life. A fight he has no chance of winning.

A Dangerous Game
Heck realises that there’s another player in this game of cat and mouse, and this time, they’ve not just caught the prize: they’ve made sure no one else ever does.

A Man Who Plays With Fire
How far will Heck and his team go to protect some of the UK’s most brutal killers? And what price is he willing to pay?

MY THOUGHTS: I have read some, but not all, of the previous books in this series and mostly loved them. Heck has always been a man of action but, even for him, Kiss Of Death takes this to the extreme. I admit to liking a bit, well actually a lot, more subtlety than what we get here, which is purely gung-ho action man stuff.

If you like lots of violent action, fight scenes, shoot outs and blowing things up, you will love this, but it’s not for me. Definitely not my favorite in this series. But I still definitely recommend this series as a really good read.

😕😕😕

THE AUTHOR: Paul Finch is a former cop and journalist, now full-time writer. Having originally written for the television series THE BILL plus children’s animation and DOCTOR WHO audio dramas, he went on to write horror, but is now best known for his crime / thriller fiction.

He won the British Fantasy Award twice and the International Horror Guild Award, but since then has written two parallel series of hard-hitting crime novels, the Heck and the Lucy Clayburn novels, of which three titles have become best-sellers.

Paul lives in Wigan, Lancashire, UK with his wife and children.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Avon Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Kiss of Death by Paul Finch for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2499171750

Watching What I Read

Happy Sunday! And it is a lovely sunny day, but the wind still has a real bite to it.

Just this morning I have started reading

Kiss of Death (DS Heckenburg, #7)

Could this be the end for Heck?

The Sunday Times bestseller returns with an unforgettable crime thriller. Fans of MJ Arlidge and Stuart MacBride won’t be able to put this down.

Don’t let them catch you…

A Deadly Hunt
DS ‘Heck’ Heckenburg has been tasked with retrieving one of the UK’s most wanted men. But the trail runs cold when Heck discovers a video tape showing the fugitive in a fight for his life. A fight he has no chance of winning.

A Dangerous Game
Heck realises that there’s another player in this game of cat and mouse, and this time, they’ve not just caught the prize: they’ve made sure no one else ever does.

A Man Who Plays With Fire
How far will Heck and his team go to protect some of the UK’s most brutal killers? And what price is he willing to pay?

I certainly hope this isn’t the end for Heck. I want to be reading of his adventures for a good while yet.

This week I am planning on reading

L'Anglaise

At 35 years old, Ella is no longer excited by her academic career in France and has not found love. Following the unexpected death of her father, she is thrown into crisis, but then she meets the enigmatic Max. Over the course of a summer, their romance deepens—until she makes a discovery that throws everything off course. As Ella’s life becomes bound up with the stories of two other Englishwomen in France, she finds the freedom to tread an unconventional path and to love in her own way. This rich and complex work examines the effects on children of parents in fraught and painful relationships; the fragility of identity; and the ways love can heal.

Tear Me Apart

The follow-up to her critically acclaimed Lie to Me, J.T. Ellison’s Tear Me Apart is the powerful story of a mother willing to do anything to protect her daughter even as their carefully constructed world unravels around them.

One moment will change their lives forever…

Competitive skier Mindy Wright is a superstar in the making until a spectacular downhill crash threatens not just her racing career but her life. During surgery, doctors discover she’s suffering from a severe form of leukemia, and a stem cell transplant is her only hope. But when her parents are tested, a frightening truth emerges. Mindy is not their daughter.

Who knows the answers?

The race to save Mindy’s life means unraveling years of lies. Was she accidentally switched at birth or is there something more sinister at play? The search for the truth will tear a family apart…and someone is going to deadly extremes to protect the family’s deepest secrets.

With vivid movement through time, Tear Me Apart examines the impact layer after layer of lies and betrayal has on two families, the secrets they guard, and the desperate fight to hide the darkness within.

I was approved for 5 ARCs from NetGalley this week, amongst them was an approval from Avon Books UK for a mystery read to be published this November. There is no title, no cover, no author, but the publicity blurb reads as follows ‘

There’s a stranger in your home…

A haunting and twisty story about the lies we tell those closest to us, perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Cass Green.

Would you like to hear a story about two little girls who did something bad?

We’re asking you to be brave and request this book without knowing the title or the plot. If you’re approved, you’ll get to read a brand new psychological thriller and we ask that you keep everything secret until Halloween 2018 when we’ll reveal all…

‘Spooky and absorbing, this had me gripped from the first page’ – Cass Green

The Warning

An Irish Country Cottage (Irish Country, #14)

The Man She Married

In the Galway Silence (Jack Taylor, #14)

I am away looking after my grandchildren this week, so my reading and posting may be a little sporadic. Have a wonderful week and happy reading.

 

 

 

Friday Favorite – The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by D. L. Sayers

Looking for something to read over the weekend ?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming ‘read me’?

Take a look at my Friday Favorite. It may be new. It may be old. It may be written by a famous author, or by someone you have never heard of. But wherever in the spectrum it falls, it will be a book that is special to me, one that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers

EXCERPT: ‘What in the world, Wimsey, are you doing in this Morgue?’ demanded Captain Fentiman, flinging aside the Evening Banner with the air of a man released from an irksome duty.

‘Oh, I wouldn’t call it that,’ retorted Wimsey amiably. ‘Funeral Parlour at the very least. Look at the marble. Look at the furnishings. Look at the palms and the chaste bronze nude in the corner.’

‘Yes, and look at the corpses. Place always reminds me of that old thing in Punch, you know – ‘Waiter! Take away Lord Whatsisname. He’s been dead two days.’ Look at old Ormsby there, snoring like a hippopotamus. Look at my revered grandpa – dodders in here at ten every morning, collects the Morning Post and the armchair by the fire, and becomes part of the furniture til the evening. Poor old devil. I suppose I’ll be like that one of these days. . .’

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Ninety-year old General Fentiman has been estranged for years from his sister, Lady Dormer. On the afternoon of 10 November, he is called to her deathbed for a reconciliation, and learns the terms of her will. If she dies first he will inherit a fortune, which his grandsons sorely need. But if he dies first, nearly all of the money will go to Ann Dorland, a distant relative of Lady Dormer’s late husband. She is a young woman with artistic leanings who lives with Lady Dormer.

Lady Dormer dies at 10:37 AM the next day, which is 11 November—Armistice Day. That afternoon the General is found dead in his armchair at the club. This produces a hysterical outburst from his younger grandson, George Fentiman, a veteran of World War I still suffering from the effects of poison gas and shell shock. Due to the terms of Lady Dormer’s will and the time of her death, it becomes necessary to establish the exact time of the General’s death. Though the estate would provide amply for all three heirs, Ann Dorland refuses any compromise settlement. Wimsey is asked to help solve the puzzle by his friend Mr Murbles, the solicitor for the Fentiman family. Wimsey agrees, though he insists that he will pursue the exact truth, regardless of who benefits.

MY THOUGHTS: At the time I first read this, I wrote ‘This is quite the best Lord Peter Wimsey novel I have read thus far’. I read the whole series as part of a challenge on Goodreads a few years ago, and developed a fondness for both Sayers and Lord Peter, but this remains the firm favorite.

The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club is #5 in the series and Lord Peter’s personality is beginning to flower – he really is quite a sweetie with a kind heart, a man who likes to see people happy. He even gets to play matchmaker. I love the way his mind works, and he has quite a theatrical bent.

Lord Peter had been joking about how a body could sit in its chair in the club undetected, when one is discovered. Everyone had thought the elderly General Fendman was merely snoozing by the fire. But when it becomes imperative to ascertain the exact time of the General’s death to determine the recipient of a half-million pound inheritance, Lord Peter will need to employ all his skills and those of his butler Bunter and good friend Inspector Charles Parker.

This is a true British classic and one I enjoyed immensely. Best enjoyed on a wet, wintery afternoon in front of the fire with tea and crumpets.

Although this is #5 in a series, it is perfectly able to be read as a stand-alone .
😍😍😍😍😍

THE AUTHOR: Dorothy Leigh Sayers was a renowned British author, translator, student of classical and modern languages, and Christian humanist.

Dorothy L. Sayers is best known for her mysteries, a series of novels and short stories set between World War I and World War II that feature English aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey. However, Sayers herself considered her translation of Dante’s Divina Commedia to be her best work. She is also known for her plays and essays.

DISCLOSURE: I own my copy of The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by D. L. Sayers. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1647175775

Watching what I’m reading

Another slow week of reading. I admit to feeling absolutely exhausted, and then have been hit by a rather nasty stomach bug that is currently doing the rounds. So instead of visiting my grandson today, I have spent most of the day in bed.

I am a little over half way through

The Wife Before Me

And I am quite enjoying this read.

This week I am planning on reading

Sold on a Monday

From New York Times bestselling author Kristina McMorris comes another unforgettable novel inspired by a stunning piece of history.

2 CHILDREN FOR SALE

The sign is a last resort. It sits on a farmhouse porch in 1931, but could be found anywhere in an era of breadlines, bank runs, and broken dreams. It could have been written by any mother facing impossible choices.

For struggling reporter Ellis Reed, the gut-wrenching scene evokes memories of his family’s dark past. He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when it leads to his big break, the consequences are more devastating than he ever imagined.

At the paper, Lillian Palmer is haunted by her role in all that happened. She is far too familiar with the heartbreak of children deemed unwanted. As the bonds of motherhood are tested, she and Ellis must decide how much they are willing to risk to mend a fractured family.

Inspired by an actual newspaper photograph that stunned the nation, Sold on a Monday is a powerful novel of love, redemption, and the unexpected paths that bring us home.

Better Than This

Sometimes the most enviable life is really a private hell.

On the surface, Sarah Jenkins appears to have it all: a handsome, wealthy and successful husband, a precocious five-year-old daughter, and a beautiful home in an affluent Seattle neighborhood. Her quirky best friend and fellow high school teacher, Maggie, marvels at her luck—and envies her happiness.

But Sarah is far from happy. She feels empty and on edge, harangued by a critical inner voice—and as the truth about her marriage and details of her past emerge, her “perfect” life begins to crumble. But just when it seems all is lost, a long forgotten, unopened letter changes everything, and with the support of friends, Sarah begins to rebuild her life. Can she quiet the critical voice in her head and learn to value herself instead?

I received 6 ARCs from NetGalley this week

Secrets of the Last Castle

What Happened to Us?: A feelgood story of love, loss and new beginnings...

No Way Out (DI Adam Fawley, #3)

Ruth Robinson's Year of Miracles: An uplifting summer read

Women Behaving Badly

In Harm's Way

This time next week, I will be ensconced with my grandsons being a full time Nana for ten days. I can’t wait! They are both bookworms, with sixteen month old Luke having very definite ideas on what he likes to read, and eleven year old Kayden likes finding books for me that I would not otherwise read. He hasn’t made a bad selection for me yet.

Although we are now officially in Spring, our weather is still  distinctly wintery. It’s cold with heavy rain 😩 The only time I have been warm today is when I have been snuggled up in bed . Speaking of which, I am heading back there now.

Happy reading my friends.

The Hangman’s Hold by Michael Wood

The Hangman’s Hold by Michael    Wood

EXCERPT: ‘Chris?’ she called out to the dark, silent house. ‘Chris, are you home?’

She kicked off her expensive but painful shoes and sighed with relief. She headed for the kitchen when a dull thud from the living room caused her to stop in her tracks. There was someone in her house. If Chris was home, he would have made himself known by now.

She turned and studied the door. Her eyes were locked on the handle, as if waiting for it to be pushed down from the other side. She grabbed it, and opened the door carefully.

Adele opened it wide enough to put her arm through and flick on the living room light. The yellow glow made her squint. She listened intently but couldn’t hear anything from the other side of the door. She pushed it fully open and froze in horror.

‘Who the bloody hell are you?’ she asked.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Your life is in his hands.

In the gripping new serial killer thriller from Michael Wood, Matilda Darke faces a vicious killer pursuing his own brand of lethal justice. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Helen Fields.

There’s a killer in your house.
The Hangman waits in the darkness.

He knows your darkest secrets.
He’ll make you pay for all the crimes you have tried desperately to forget.

And he is closer than you think.

DCI Matilda Darke is running out of time. Fear is spreading throughout the city. As the body count rises, Matilda is targeted and her most trusted colleagues fall under suspicion. But can she keep those closest to her from harm? Or is it already too late?

MY THOUGHTS: I have picked up this series on book #4, which has in no way diminished my enjoyment. The Hangman’s Hold can easily be read as a stand-alone, as plenty of background is supplied where needed.

How refreshing to have a lead female police officer who is not an alcoholic, into kinky sex practices, or generally screwed up. Don’t get me wrong, she has issues. Her husband, James, has died and she is bereft. She also has an unsolved case that haunts her. She battles with both these things. But she has a good friend, and good relationships with her older team members. She is strong in some areas, yet vulnerable in others. An interesting character whose loyalties are tested in this book.

The plot moves at a good pace. There are plenty of twists, turns and red herrings. My suspicions veered from one character to another. There are plenty of surprises, and a few jaw-dropping OMG! moments. This is a series I am going to read more of.

😍😍😍😍.5

THE AUTHOR: Before he became an author, Michael Wood used to serve as a journalist and a proofreader. Wood resides in Sheffield, Yorkshire. For Unknown Reasons was Michael Wood’s debut novel, which was published in the year 2015. HarperCollins published the second installment, Outside Looking In in the 2016.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Harper Impulse and Killer Reads via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Hangman’s Hold by Michael Wood for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2465651584

Never Touch a Monster by Rosie Greening

Never Touch a Monster by Rosie Greening

EXCERPT : You must never touch a monster
Who invites you ’round for tea
He wants to put you in a pot
And eat you, probably!

ABOUT THIS BOOK: This monster-themed, touch-and-feel book is perfect for young children! Children will love reading the funny rhyme that tells them the dangers of touching a monster and then ignoring the advice!

MY THOUGHTS: I just love this very tactile rhyming book about the dangers of touching monsters, as does my fifteen month old grandson. I thought he might have grown out of this book by now, but he still adores it. So much so, that I have just added Never Touch A Dinosaur by the same author to his library. We read the rhymes, all the while touching, scratching, stroking the textured silicone pads embedded in the monsters bodies. A great little book! And there is a whole series of them. Delightful!

All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2512076398

Her Final Hour by Carla Kovach

Her Final Hour by Carla Kovach

Before you even start to read my review, I think it only fair to warn you that I am swimming against the tide of popular opinion, and the thing I liked best about Her Final Hour is the cover.

EXCERPT: …his knees buckled as he saw his wife tied to one of their carver chairs under the light of the cooker hood. A piece of blue cord was looped under her chin and the raw marks around her neck told him exactly what had happened.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Melissa Sanderson is the perfect wife and mother. She dotes on her daughter, and lives in her dream home in a quiet cul-de-sac in the suburbs.

But looks can be deceiving.

Something is amiss in that house – all the neighbours think so. Some say Melissa is having an affair. Others say she’s been drinking too much.

Then one night, sirens wake up the whole neighbourhood.

Melissa Sanderson is dead.

MY THOUGHTS: I enjoyed the first book in this series, The Next Girl. I forgave the author her use of the stereotypical caricature of most major female detectives currently being written – heavy drinking, hard-nosed, has been in an abusive relationship, estranged from family, as her character developed through the first book. But there is absolutely zero further character development in Her Final Hour.

I also commented that ‘some of the investigative techniques left something to be desired, but it does develop into a good crime thriller’. I stand by the first part of that comment as it is also true of Her Final Hour. Unfortunately Her Final Hour does not develop into a good crime thriller.

This book is clumsily written, as though it was dashed off in a hurry. The dialogue is mostly stilted. As I said earlier, there is zero character development. It was repetitive, and the characters constant dwelling on and rehashing of their traumatic pasts became extremely wearing.

There were times when I considered abandoning this read. The only thing that kept me reading was that I had enjoyed The Next Girl. I skimmed pages in an effort to get to the end, and heaved a sigh of relief when I closed the covers.

This was not ‘AN ABSORBING THRILLER WITH AN ENDING YOU WON’T SEE COMING’. It didn’t even come close. I won’t be recommending this book to others, and I probably won’t bother reading any further books in this series. 😕😕.5

I understand that reading is an entirely subjective experience and that, while this book wasn’t one I enjoyed, you may well love it. So if the excerpt piques your interest and you like the sound of the plot synopsis, please get a copy Her Final Hour by Carla Kovach and read it. I sincerely wish that I had enjoyed this more than I did.

THE AUTHOR: Carla Kovach was born in Birmingham, UK and now resides in Redditch, Worcestershire. Author of supernatural drama ‘Flame,’ psychological thriller ‘To Let,’ crime thriller ‘Whispers Beneath the Pines, and romantic comedy ‘Meet Me at Marmaris Castle.’ Carla also writes stage and screen plays, some of which have been produced in the Worcestershire area.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Her Final Hour by Carla Kovach for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2465649922