Rattle by Fiona Cummins

Rattle by Fiona Cummins

EXCERPT: Upstairs, Jakey stirred as the front door shut on his father’s anger. He was neither asleep nor awake, but somewhere in between. The halfway world of awareness and dreams.

A shadow man with sharp teeth and long skinny arms who looked just like the Bogeyman on the cover of Daddy’s book was leaning over him, but Jakey gave a muffled scream, kicking out with his legs, and he disappeared in the dusty black hole beneath the bed, or inside the toy cupboard. Jakey wasn’t sure.

All Jakey knew for certain was that the man meant to hurt him. Just like that little girl he’d heard them talking about on the television. And that dark things like dark places.

He pulled his Spider-Man duvet up to his nose, and tried to reach out with his sore arm. His fingertips brushed the hard plastic of his torch and knocked it on the floor. The door was open when his daddy said goodnight, but now it was shut. Jakey didn’t like it when the door was shut.

Ol’ Tommy Rawhead’s here. Ol’ Bloody Bones. 

As soon as the name came into his mind, Jakey fought against the rise of panicked tears.

He’s in my bedroom. He’s come to take me away. And there’s no Daddy to scare him off.

He tried to shout for his mother, but something was stopping him, something was crammed in his mouth. He clawed at it with his right hand, but it was only his old stuffed rabbit, Mr Bunnikins.

Jakey squeezed his eyes tight, and counted to three, the way his father taught him to when the pain was too much.

Underneath the silence of the room, he could hear the rattle of Ol’ Tommy’s breath. Could he make it to the door? No, nooo. Those bony fingers would wrap around his ankles as soon as he got out of bed. What about the window? Too high in the sky. If only he could turn on the light. That would scare the Bogeyman away.

His eyelids fluttered, heavier now, the twin ropes of imagination and sleepiness binding Jakey to his bed. Ol’ Bloody Bones has stolen that little girl, and next he’s coming for me. 

ABOUT THIS BOOK: A serial killer to chill your bones

A psychopath more frightening than Hannibal Lecter.

He has planned well. He leads two lives. In one he’s just like anyone else. But in the other he is the caretaker of his family’s macabre museum.

Now the time has come to add to his collection. He is ready to feed his obsession, and he is on the hunt.

Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle have something in common. They have what he needs.

What begins is a terrifying cat-and-mouse game between the sinister collector, Jakey’s father and Etta Fitzroy, a troubled detective investigating a spate of abductions.

Set in London’s Blackheath, Rattle by Fiona Cummins explores the seam of darkness that runs through us all; the struggle between light and shadow, redemption and revenge.

It is a glimpse into the mind of a sinister psychopath. And it’s also a story about not giving up hope when it seems that all hope is already lost.

MY THOUGHTS: Even though I knew how this book was going to end, the peril of having read the second book in the series first, my eyes sucked the words from the page, and I often found myself not breathing.

Fiona Cummins is a first rate storyteller. She conveys both childish pleasures and fears onto the page in such a way that you can feel them. The same with the pressures the parents face, the unravelling of their relationships, the sniping and back biting, the dark thoughts that creep unbidden into their minds. She conveys the frustration of the investigating officers so that it is palpable in the air around the reader. You can taste it. . . that, and the evil of the perpetrator.

This is an absolutely amazing debut novel, and Cummin’s second book, The Collector, is every bit as good. Highly recommended to lovers of the darker side of life.

💖💖💖💖💖

THE AUTHOR: Fiona Cummins is an award-winning former Daily Mirror showbusiness journalist and a graduate of the Faber Academy Writing A Novel course. She lives in Essex with her family. Rattle is her first novel.

DISCLOSURE: I borrowed Rattle by Fiona Cummins, published by Macmillan, from Waitomo District Library. A huge thank you to Julie for fast tracking the purchase of Rattle. 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/1821450319

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A Taste of . . . Tuesday – The Town With No Roads by Joe Siple

The Town with No Roads

Today I would like to tempt your reading tastebuds with a little tidbit from The Town With No Roads by Joe Siple, published by Black Rose Writing.

<i>Everyone has a story to tell.

That truth has bound humanity together for ages. From the caveman who discovered fire to the toddler who fell off the monkey bars, every person who has lived could say those magical words: “Guess what happened ?”

And that was where Jamison Hightower fit in. He told people’s stories.

Some people said his stories didn’t matter. Actually, most people said his stories didn’t matter. They thought the important part of the news was at the top of the show. The latest cheaters on Wall Street or the murder on the corner of 7th and Fairfax. Or even the weather  –  as if the chance of rain was somehow more important than stories of humanity.

They mocked his assignments. Called them ‘fluff’ and ‘kickers’. Half the time Chance Browner went over his allotted four minutes just so he could point out yet again that people care more about the Twins-Yankees game than about Mrs Hutchinson’s fundraiser over at St Francis Elementary.

“People thank me every day for cutting into your time,” Browner had said last week. “No one cares what you have to say.”

And it was probably true. But it didn’t change the fact that someone needed to say it. At least that’s the way Jamison Hightower saw things.</i>

ABOUT THIS BOOK:  A miracle has come to Sparkling Pond, Minnesota.

Memorable objects from Aspen Collins’ childhood are appearing in the town square, accompanied by notes in her father’s handwriting. The notes relate to things happening in her life now. But that’s impossible —Aspen’s father is in a coma.

The miracle brings chaos in the form of a ghost hunter, three different factions of people with conflicting beliefs about the miracle, and a television reporter who Aspen finds herself falling for. But when everything comes to a head, an impossible choice must be made. And the consequences of either decision could be too much to bear.

I hope that I have tempted you to dip into The Town With No Roads by Joe Siple. I will be reading it soon, so watch for my review. And if you read it before I do, I look forward to hearing how you enjoyed it.

Happy reading my friends. 💕📚

Between the Lies by Michelle Adams

Between the Lies by Michelle    Adams

EXCERPT: My father tells me that once we have finished the therapy sessions everything will be as it once was, nothing more than a faint, well-healed scar left behind to connect my past to my present. But no matter what he does, no matter how hard he tries, I’m not going to be able to slip back into my old life. The person I used to be is dead, taken away from us in the crash. And even though I’m confused about most things, there is one thing I do know: you can’t bring the dead back to life. The old Chloe is gone, and I’m afraid I might never get her back.

I’m more afraid that my family don’t want me to.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: What would you do if you woke up and didn’t know who you were?

Chloe Daniels regains consciousness in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. She doesn’t recognise the strangers who call themselves family. She can’t even remember her own name.

What if your past remained a mystery?

As she slowly recovers, her parents and sister begin to share details of her life.
The successful career. The seaside home. The near-fatal car crash.
But Chloe senses they’re keeping dark secrets – and her determination to uncover the truth will have devastating consequences.

What if the people you should be able trust are lying to you?

MY THOUGHTS: I am at that age where I sometimes forget things. I swear I put something somewhere, and find it somewhere totally different. I leave the room to do something and, halfway to wherever I am going, forget what it was I was going to do. Frustrating and annoying as this may be, it palls in comparison to forgetting your whole life, at having to rely on what people, whom you don’t remember, tell you is the truth. But then, why would they lie?

I felt that I was being swept along by an avalanche as I read Between the Lies by Michelle Adams. I started it when I went to bed last night, and finished it before bed tonight. It has all the ingredients of a great read: secrets, lies, memory loss, manipulative people, death and deceit.

Told mainly from Chloe’s point of view, with occasional input from an unknown character, the pace is relentless, the plot full of surprises. Trying to unravel the identity of the unknown character had me accusing character after character of being ‘the one’. Yes, I did get it right, eventually. . .

This is a really good read, not a perfect read, but a really good one. Good enough to have me chasing up other books by this author. It is not always entirely plausible, there are a couple of smallish holes in the technicalities, but overall I really enjoyed Between the Lies.

💕💖💕💖

THE AUTHOR: I was born in 1981, the youngest of five and the only girl. For a short period of time after that I might have been my mum’s long awaited princess, but it became obvious that I was the kind of child who was more into mud pies and catching insects than I was pretty dresses. I loved my purple Doc Marten’s, hated my floral wallpaper, and was never allowed to paint my bedroom black. No, not even the ceiling.

I went to school in Warwick, UK, and throughout my school years I loved art, music, and English, yet somehow managed to end up studying clinical science at university. Despite my graduation and subsequent employment as a physiologist in cardiology, my creative tendencies were never far away. And the one aspiration I could never let go of was that of being a writer, so on a wet new year’s eve sometime around the turn of the millennium, I announced to a friend that I was going to write a book. It took another five years of note taking and day dreaming, but eventually I sat down to complete my first manuscript. It didn’t get picked up, but it drove me into writing the second, and third, and so on and so forth. By early 2015 I had finished writing MY SISTER, and I was offered representation by the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV, and Film Agency. MY SISTER became my debut, and it is hotly followed by BETWEEN THE LIES in July 2018.

Now I write almost every day, starting at nine, finishing at some point in the afternoon. Sometimes people ask me where I get my idea’s from, and it’s a hard question to answer. Lot’s of things inspire me, but if I had to sum it up in one word the answer would probably be people; the things we do, say, and the different ways in which we behave towards one another. When I’m not writing I love to read. The first book that I didn’t want to end was Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and the first book that broke my heart was Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Gerald’s Game by Stephen King was the spark that made me want to write in the first place. I think I was probably about nine when I read that.

I like people who don’t give up on their dreams, and those who show compassion for other people. I am crazy about my cat, and fortunate that the other people in my house tolerate him. I love travelling, and am lucky enough to live close to Greece which has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. I’m currently training for the London marathon, so if you’ve got training tips, or ideas on how to avoid shin splints, I want to hear them. Finally, if you love Game of Thrones you can count me as a friend, but if you shared my theory regarding the Tower of Joy before you watched THAT episode, or have access to a pre-release copy of The Winds of Winter, you can count yourself part of the family.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to St Martin’s Press via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Between the Lies by Michelle Adams 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/2628426009

Watching What I’m Reading

Good morning everyone! It looks like I am going to be reading for a good part of the day today. The weather forecast for a hot sunny day was wrong and, while it’s not raining, it is cool and cloudy with a stiff little breeze  –  not pleasant out on the hillside where I had planned on gardening. A day on the sofa with a pot of tea and my book is far more appealing.

Currently I am reading

Between the Lies

What would you do if you woke up and didn’t know who you were?

Chloe Daniels regains consciousness in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
She doesn’t recognise the strangers who call themselves family. She can’t even remember her own name.

What if your past remained a mystery?

As she slowly recovers, her parents and sister begin to share details of her life.
The successful career. The seaside home. The near-fatal car crash.
But Chloe senses they’re keeping dark secrets – and her determination to uncover the truth will have devastating consequences.

What if the people you should be able trust are lying to you?

And listening to

The Outcast Dead (Ruth Galloway, #6)

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.

This week I am planning on reading

The Last Thing She Told Me

Even the deepest buried secrets can find their way to the surface…

Moments before she dies, Nicola’s grandmother Betty whispers to her that there are babies at the bottom of the garden.

Nicola’s mother claims she was talking nonsense. However, when Nicola’s daughter finds a bone while playing in Betty’s garden, it’s clear that something sinister has taken place.

But will unearthing painful family secrets end up tearing Nicola’s family apart?

And hopefully I will start

Death Of A Doll

Hope House, a New York boarding home for women, has led a rather sleepy existence in terms of emergencies. One wastepaper basket fire surely doesn’t count as a five-alarm fire. That is until new tenant Ruth Miller’s limp and lifeless body is found in the courtyard after plummeting to her death.

In a clandestine and hot-chocolate infused meeting, the heads of the house decide Ruth’s death couldn’t possibly have been foul play: no, she must have fallen or jumped. Shy and mousy, it seems Ruth had no friends to question… or ask uncomfortable questions.

But this was no accident: upon Ruth’s arrival, the atmosphere of this happy house shifted, her paranoia was catching, and her last days were filled with dread. If the heads thought a scandal could be averted, they were wrong. It turns out Ruth did have a friend… and she’s out for justice.

This claustrophobic and tense mystery is heralded as Hilda Lawrence’s best. Equal parts cosy and suspenseful, it’s sure to captivate lovers of all genres of classic crime.

Death of a Doll was first published in 1947 and is the third in the Mark East Series:

Mark East
1. Blood Upon the Snow (1944)
2. A Time to Die (1945)
3. Death of A Doll (1947)

I know that I am not going to get much reading done during the week as we have a fundraiser Saturday for Te Reina Worsley, a young mum of 5 who needs life saving surgery not available in New Zealand. You can read her story here https://givealittle.co.nz/search?q=Te+Reina+Worsley+

I have had 3 approvals from NetGalley this week

Buried Deep (Jessie Cole, #4)

Their Little Secret (Tom Thorne, #16)

Things Unsaid

I hope you have read some wonderful books this week, and you have many more worthwhile reads ahead of you. Happy reading my friends. 💕📚

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

EXCERPT: Hallo, Clare. You don’t know me. 

Someone has written in my diary. I didn’t recognize the handwriting. It was thin and spiky, written with what we used to call an italic pen. I keep thinking of that bit in I Claudius where Caligula drives his father to madness and death by, amongst other things, writing his name on the wall in tiny letters. One letter less each day until, by the time he got to the G in Germanicus, his father was dead.

Who is my Caligula?

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. A high school English teacher specializing in the Gothic writer R. M. Holland, she teaches a course on it every year. But when one of Clare’s colleagues and closest friends is found dead, with a line from R. M. Holland’s most famous story, “The Stranger,” left by her body, Clare is horrified to see her life collide with the storylines of her favourite literature.

To make matters worse, the police suspect the killer is someone Clare knows. Unsure whom to trust, she turns to her closest confidant, her diary, the only outlet she has for her darkest suspicions and fears about the case. Then one day she notices something odd. Writing that isn’t hers, left on the page of an old diary: “Hallo, Clare. You don’t know me.”

Clare becomes more certain than ever: “The Stranger” has come to terrifying life. But can the ending be rewritten in time?

MY THOUGHTS: Elly Griffiths never fails to impress me, entertain me, educate me and, in this case, make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Deliciously creepy is an apt description of The Stranger Diaries.

The story is told from multiple points of view, most notably: that of Clare, in whose diary the messages are being found; Harbinder, one of the investigating officers; and Georgia (Georgie), Clare’s teenage daughter. The narrative is also interspersed with extracts from Clare’s diary and the story The Stranger by author R.M. Holland, who used to live in the school where Clare now teaches, and on whom Clare is writing a book.

There are mysteries within mysteries, mysteries that cross the boundaries of time.

An excellent read, not to be missed. So why, you ask, only 💖💖💖💖.5 instead of the full five 💖? Two minor, and they were very minor, things irked me. The first: with the story being told from multiple points of view, we sometimes get to see the same incident again. But in one part of the book an interview is related again from another character’s point of view, word for word as it was narrated the first time. The second: As I have already said, the current story is interspersed with the story The Stranger by R. M. Holland. At the end we get the story in its entirety, not just the ending, but the whole thing again. I have to admit to skipping most of it to get to where the last extract had ended, and beginning again from there.

💖💖💖💖.5 very admiring stars

THE AUTHOR: Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway novels take for their inspiration Elly’s husband, who gave up a city job to train as an archaeologist, and her aunt who lives on the Norfolk coast and who filled her niece’s head with the myths and legends of that area. Elly has two children and lives near Brighton. Though not her first novel, The Crossing Places was her first crime novel.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths 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/2590945275
You can also read a preview of The Stranger Diaries at
https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/…

Five Star Friday – A Fence Around the Cuckoo by Ruth Park

A Fence Around The Cuckoo by Ruth Park

Looking for something to read over the weekend?

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

Then check out this week’s Five-star Friday recommendation . It may be old. It may be new. But it is a book that is special to me, one that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

EXCERPT: My mother, I believe, had a small nervous breakdown. For weeks she stayed in bed, the best place to be in that fearsome cold. For it was fearsome, unlike anything else I have ever experienced. Some oddity of topography trapped frigid air in low lying areas, so that frost fell upon unthawed frost, and in secluded patches built up into muddy, earthstained banks. The water tank had a hand’s breadth of ice on its surface; in the mornings I had to break up this floe in order to get a bucketful of water.

But Tanekaha Valley had stars. Because of its depth, its tall, precipitous hills, the stars above it shone so close, so clear, that no one could doubt they were suns and planets. Breathtaking they were, and many a night I forgot to breathe, standing out there in the violent cold, gazing upwards, bemused by the fantastic millions of worlds that burned or flowered in space.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: This first volume of Ruth Park’s autobiography is an account of her isolated childhood in the rainforests of New Zealand, her convent education which encouraged her love of words and writing, and the bitter years of the Depression.She then entered the rough-and-tumble world of journalism and began a reluctant correspondence with a young Australian writer.

In 1942, Park moved to Sydney and married that writer, D’Arcy Niland. There she would write The Harp in the South, the first of her classic Australian novels. A Fence Around the Cuckoo is the story of one of Australia’s best storytellers and how she learnt her craft.

MY THOUGHTS: I have dallied over this book, strolled slowly through its pages, stopping here and there to indulge in my own memories of the same town some twenty-five years later, and comparing it to now, almost ninety years on from when Ruth lived here.

I have wandered down Nettie Street, wondering which of the old houses that still grace the street might have been where Ruth lived at one point, or if it has fallen/ burned down and been replaced by a newer one. I have searched fruitlessly for the large limestone rock.

The shops she mentions in the main street are all long gone, maybe not physically, but definitely their occupants and none of the names were familiar to me. I wish now that I had listened more closely to my grandparents as they talked about the town as it was when they first moved here in 1910. Ruth also made me remember the town as it was when I was a child, most of those shops long gone too, but a few of the families remaining in the area, but having moved on in terms of livelihoods and professions.

Her description of her aunts ‘exquisite, giggly, capricious creatures with good hearts, terrible tempers, and a soap opera approach to life in the form of fights, larks and laughter rather than anything tragic or melancholy’ brought to mind two aunts of my own, both now deceased, with whom I loved to spend school holidays revelling in the lack of rules in their homes; loving the spontaneity, the frivolity, and the glee with which they approached life.

There are a few photos in the book. I am sure that Ruth would be pleased to know that St Joseph’s Convent School still stands, albeit with a few modern additions, as does the convent house and the church, both still identical to Ruth’s photos.

Thank you, Ruth, for opening my eyes to things that I never knew about my home town. I look at it now with new eyes.

THE AUTHOR: Ruth Park was a New Zealand-born author, who spent most of her life in Australia. She was born in Auckland, and her family later moved to Te Kuiti further south in the North Island of New Zealand, where they lived in isolated areas.

During the Great Depression her working class father worked on bush roads, as a driver, on relief work, as a sawmill hand, and finally shifted back to Auckland as council worker living in a state house. After Catholic primary school Ruth won a partial scholarship to secondary school, but this was broken by periods of being unable to afford to attend. For a time she stayed with relatives on a Coromandel farming estate where she was treated like a serf by the wealthy landowner until she told the rich woman what she really thought of her.

Ruth claimed that she was involved in the Queen Street riots with her father. Later she worked at the Auckland Star before shifting to Australia in 1942. There she married the Australian writer D’Arcy Niland.

Her first novel was The Harp in the South (1948) – a story of Irish slum life in Sydney, which was translated into 10 languages. (Some critics called it a cruel fantasy because as far as they were concerned there were no slums in Sydney.) But Ruth and D’Arcy did live in Sydney slums at Surry Hills. She followed that up with Poor Man’s Orange (1949). She also wrote Missus (1985) and other novels, as well as a long-running Australian children’s radio show and scripts for film and TV. She created The Muddle-Headed Wombat series of children’s books. Her autobiographies are A Fence Around the Cuckoo (1992) and Fishing in the Styx (1993). She also wrote a novel based in New Zealand, One-a-pecker, Two-a-pecker (1957), about gold mining in Otago (later renamed The Frost and The Fire).

Park received awards in Australia and internationally.

DISCLOSURE: I own my copy of A Fence Around The Cuckoo by Ruth Park, a paperback copy published by Penguin.

If I remember correctly, I rescued this from consignment to the rubbish dump by turning up late to a garage sale. It is a little battered and stained, but very treasured, never to be entrusted to the removal truck when we move house, which we do regularly.

This was my second reading, which I enjoyed even more than my first. I will be reading this again.

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/2720700142

Resistance by Val McDermid

Resistance: BBC Radio 4 full-cast drama

ABOUT THIS AUDIOBOOK: It’s the summer solstice weekend, and 150,000 people have descended on a farm in the northeast of England for an open-air music festival. Reporting on the event is journalist Zoe Meadows, who files her copy from a food van run by her friends Sam and Lisa.

When some of Sam’s customers get sick, it looks like food poisoning, and it’s exacerbated by the mud, rain and inadequate sanitary facilities. It’s assumed to be a 24-hour thing until people get home and discover strange skin lesions, which ulcerate and turn septic. More people start getting ill – and dying.

What looked like a minor bug is clearly much more serious: a mystery illness that’s spreading fast and seems resistant to all antibiotics. Zoe teams up with Sam to track the outbreak to its source; meanwhile, can a cure be found before the disease becomes a pandemic?

MY THOUGHTS: I went into this audiobook entirely blind. It definitely was not what I was expecting, but by the time I realised that this was not McDermid’s normal ‘crime’ fare, I did not have time to download anything else to listen to. This is not something I would have listened to by choice but, having said that, it was a reasonable story, well written and narrated, and – the scariest thing of all – entirely possible.

😨😨😨

THE AUTHOR: Val McDermid is a No. 1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over eleven million copies.

She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for 2010. In 2011 she received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award.

She writes full time and divides her time between Cheshire and Edinburgh.

DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook version of Resistance by Val McDermid, the original BBC Radio 4 radio drama full cast recording, published by BBC Worldwide Ltd. The quality was, as always, excellent. 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/2732066151