Saturday, 22 July 2017

Shadows and Lies (Carson Reno Mystery Series Book 16) - Gerald W. Darnell

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Synopsis:

All Carson Reno Mystery Series Books are standalone novels. It is not necessary to read them in any particular order.

What happens when a rich client, three beautiful women, a shifty businessman, a gambler and a missing spouse are all suspected of murder? The results are a merry-go-round of shadows and lies in a house of cards with clues almost as old as Carson.

Greed, blackmail, infidelity, murder, serial killers and a twenty year old crime spin a tale that is practically unbelievable – with the truth masked behind a story that nobody wants told.
This old fashion ‘whodunit’ takes Carson Reno and his crew on a complicated adventure, which has too many victims and too many suspects.

Come along and help Carson find the clues and discover the truth as he tries to make sense of all the Shadows and Lies.

Review:

Going into this book I knew great things were going to happen as ive read on Carson Reno Mystery books before and I loved it and this book definitely lived up to the last book of Gerald's book that I read. I love the fact that it is still as fast paced as I remember the series being, as soon as I begun reading I was pulled into the drama and it was great. Some may be concerned that you wont be able to make sense of all that was going on as this book is a part of a series ( Carson Reno Mystery Series) but as Gerald explained this book stands alone and everything ended up being crystal clear easily understandable.

The pictures involved in the pages of the book were really nice and a great change from the usual block of text. I like how not only they split up the text but also helped you imagine the story unfolding in these places because after all each and every one of the photos were of either places or of objects used in the story which helped enhance the overall immersion.

There were many characters within this story, they're easily remembered and I have to admit they are captivating characters, each of them involved within this story are portrayed so well it's hard to not become attached to them. They are all very strong and powerful characters who are all very different from the other. I don't want to name or describe any of them because I feel that doing that with these books takes away some of the magic. Darnell manages to bring each of them to life and makes them truly unforgettable.

The plot was very much a great one, it was a very well thought out and well written. I didn't see any of this plot happening, it was much of a surprise to me as it was the characters. There are so many moments where you have to sit back and try joining the dots, I failed miserably of course so come near the end of the book and I'm on the edge of my seat just begging to know the secrets hidden within the story, when the whole thing is told I sat back in amazement having not seen it coming the conclusion just blew me away, I wish I had managed to join some of the dots if I'm honest. Although to some the plot may seen far fetched or whatever, it's very gripping and brilliantly written. 

I have to give this book a 5/5 I'd feel horrendous and it would feel very wrong for me to mark it anything else. It was truly brilliant and gripping all the way through. There are no negatives from me.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

The Salvation Project - Stewart Ross

35095911


Synopsis:

A mutation in human DNA means no one lives beyond nineteen. Scientists working to reverse this pandemic died before their Salvation Project was complete, leaving behind the results of their research in a sealed vault – the Soterion.

122 years have passed. The civilisation of the ‘Long Dead’ is almost forgotten, the Soterion has been burned to ashes, and communities of Constants are tormented by brutal tribes of Zeds. Cyrus, Miouda and Sammy flee their burning city with a laptop rescued from the inferno. They believe it contains the key to the Salvation Project. But its batteries are dead, there is no electricity to power it, and murderous Zeds will stop at nothing to get it back…


Review:

We gather here today to witness the ending of The Salvation Project series.

Within this book we once again bare witness to the world of Zeds and Constants, after the happenings of the previous book it's safe to say not only were the character affected but so was I as a reader. If you ever thought the pacing of these books was ever going to change, you are wrong.

With this being the finale of the series I was even more eager to see what would happen and how all of this was going to play out. We follow Sammy, Cyrus, Miouda as they flee from their burning city, its lovely to see Cyrus happy again with Miouda and how she is happy with him. All the characters remained close to my heart and I still maintain a link with them somehow, they were just so real to me. In their possession is what they believe to be the key to the Salvation Project but they have no way to access it without electricity so it becomes their priority to find some and avoid the Zeds.

Along the way we meet survivors unlike any others, they are shrivelled and hiding from the world believing the sun tainted humans. But they have electricity and that's all that gets the group interested as well as providing a place to avoid the wolves in the city that they narrowly manage to escape from on their way to encountering these survivors. However there is only momentary success and they leave with a new companion and a hotter burning fire within them to carry on and finish what was started years and years ago.

In Zed world things are still as violent and bloody as always, however fractures in the ranks begin to effect the whole Zed kind. It's clear that nothing good will ever come from them except for 3 zeds who run from their tribes in search of Cyrus and the other but for a whole new reason which warmed my heart. I will not lie but they do meet, and unlike what you expect things don't go south. Well not for long anyway and its glorious to see.

Throughout the series yet alone this final instalment I prayed for success for the Constants, wishing they get the happy ending they so rightly deserve after all they have been through, all the struggles they have had and the dangers they've had to face. Stewart Ross himself stated " I honestly think it's the best book I've written. Not to everyone's taste because it's controversial, especially at the end; but you must read it." And I have to agree, its not going to be to everyone's taste and it is controversial especially the ending and you really of have to read it but for me it was to taste and although part of me was upset by the ending, more of me was pleased with it.

Each character got what they deserved in the end and I finished the book with a good hearty cry and farewell to all those in the series. Stewart created a world that teaches readers about love and loss, friendship and enemies, education and responsibilities and lets not forget the importance of being able to make a choice for yourself. Although I'm sad to see the series come to an end, I'm incredibly happy to have been on the journey with all of these amazing characters who now I look back at them , had their own reasons for everything they ever did. Much like the other instalments of the series, its a 5/5 from me. Please if you ever have a chance to pick up and read these 3 books, I beg you to take a chance and do it. I didn't regret it, I hope you wont either.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Ask No Questions (Detective Caelan Small #1) - Lisa Hartley Blog Tour





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About the Book
Title: Ask No Questions

Author: Lisa Hartley

Release Date: 10th July 2017

Genre: Thriller

Format: Ebook


Summary:
Some secrets were meant to stay hidden… Trust no-one

After an operation goes badly wrong, undercover specialist Detective Caelan Small leaves the Metropolitan Police for good. Or so she thinks. Then the criminal responsible is seen back in the UK.

Soon Caelan is drawn back into a dangerous investigation. But when the main lead is suddenly murdered, all bets are off. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone is a suspect - even close colleagues.

Someone in the Met is involved and Caelan is being told to Ask No Questions.
This isn’t an option: Caelan needs answers… whatever the cost.

The nerve-shredding new crime thriller from bestseller Lisa Hartley starts a must-read new series. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Robert Bryndza, it will keep you guessing until the very end.




Review:

So I got this book request whilst I was in the middle of only wanting to read thrillers/crime novels so I was beyond willing to want to read it, the synopsis pleased me and I just couldn't wait to read it. I'm not quite sure how long it took me to read, maybe 2 days? but all the way I was hooked just turning page after page after page needing to get answers and see this through until the end.

In this book we follow Detective Caelan Small, after an operation goes wrong, the backlash causes her to hand in her resignation before going on a holiday beginning her retirement. That is until she finds out the criminal from the operation that went wrong is back in England she cant seem to say no to joining the investigation once again. From the outset I loved Caelan, she;s a very straight forward and pretty much a character who I can relate to personally when it comes to her emotions and personality.

Richard Adamson, a fellow colleague of Small's is approached by Elizabeth Beckett who is an assistant commissioner for the specialist crime and operations and also part of the Mets senior management team. To him she is god and he cant even refuse to do as he's told even if it means convincing his former colleague to come out of retirement and join the Met once again. He's seen as the only one that knows her enough to be able to talk her around.

Deputy Assistant Commisioner Michael Nasenby, Commander Ian Penrith and Inspector Tim Achebe. When these 3 characters meet Small one for the first time it is clear that there are a vary of emotions towards her. Ian isn't her biggest fan and actually does as far as to rip chunks out of her verbally making no move to hide his feelings about her. Nasenby is sort of like a father figure to her, her previous boss and someone who trusts Small to do a good job. Tim meets her for the first time and is amazed by her skills of working under cover and her techniques of changing from one person to another and I'll admit I was just as amazed as he was. These 3 characters pop up consistently throughout the book and I found it quire easy to follow their encounters by the way they spoke to Caelan,

Every character needs a side kick and for our main character she chooses her own, determined not to work with Richard Adamson again or anyone else but Ewan Davies, ex army now working for the Met. Ewan and Caelan get on well for the most part, they are a great pair that I actually want more of.
One more character to remember is Chief Superintendent Adele Brady, with all of these characters to keep an eye on and think about its quite fun, hard to tell who's friend or foe if any of them are either at all. Each character plays their part, I found it incredibly hard to figure out how the plot was going to go, everything was well felt like it was all hush hush.

The whole book is gripping and full of twists you cant see coming, there are shocks and surprises in store for any reader who will turn the pages of this book. I'm definitely looking forward to hearing more from Lisa Hartley and seeing Caelan Small again in the near future. Hartley created a world and situations which feel completely real, action packed and breath taking. I had to pause a few time at each twist and just take a breath or two just to let myself process what I was reading. It's a truly amazing thriller and I hope that anyone who loves crime and thrillers will get a chance to read this book because its definitely worth it. I may even go as far as to pick up copies of Lisa's previous work just to experience greatness like this. I cant give this book any less than a 5/5 and I will be processing the ending for maybe months to come. A truly amazing piece of work.



Author Information:




Lisa Hartley lives with her partner, son, two dogs and several cats. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Studies, then had a variety of jobs but kept writing in her spare time. In addition to this new series with Canelo she is also working on the next DS Catherine Bishop novel.



Saturday, 8 July 2017

Tobacco Sun - Lorna Hollifield

34569128


Synopsis:

The year is 1947. The war is over, Jackie Robinson has just integrated baseball, and Frank Sinatra breezes in over the fuzzy airwaves. A sense of relief is finally sweeping the nation...everywhere except Tobaccoville, North Carolina.

Beyond the rural fields that are pregnant with decades of secrets, a mysterious Hollywood pin-up is jailed for murder while her facially birth marked half-sister may hold the answers as to why.

The two girls, estranged for years, share a haunting past, a shell-shocked love interest, and maybe even a cruel destiny. Through mountains of lies, the truth that inevitably comes pouring out of the tobacco leaves will come to light. Will this light reveal the path to the siblings’ foreordained destruction, or their long-awaited deliverance? Will they realize they each hold the power to set the other free before it’s too late?

A story of heritage, hurt, and somehow, hope; Tobacco Sun keeps you on the edge of your seat while you find yourself rooting for redemption.

Review:

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book going in, for me it was a slow beginning where I struggled to get into the book and get excited for what was to come. After what felt like an eternity, I got completely sucked into the world of which the character live.

We follow 4 characters throughout the book, each of them with their own point of view and with their own something to bring to the table so to speak. We follow Jimmi-Lyn, whom I did feel sorry for when things were explained. Shes the older half sister to Sydra, although Jimmi-Lyn has a birthmark on her face and is sort of seen as flawed because of it, I felt so sorry for her and when it came to the treamtment of her from people who were supposed to love her just broke my heart. Sydra is the younger 'more beautiful' and talented half sister, she's an actress/model and behind bars, there were times I felt connected to her in the way I could feel her emotions and understand them but I never felt fully connected to any of the characters. There were times when I hated Sydra. just because of how narcissistic she was and I feel like she felt as though she was above everybody else because of her talent and looks which annoyed me. We also see Vanse, he's been to war but has been Jimmi - Lyn's friend since way before and you can feel their chemistry when you read about them spending time together. He's flawed and yet wonderful, he's supportive and strong but in touch with his emotions an its just beautiful. The final character we come into contact with is Dr Peter Garris who is evaluation Sydra, you can tell he is kind-hearted, I felt as though he really felt for Sydra and was always willing to stand up for what he believed in even when people above him with more power begun making threats.

The plot itself is great, very slow paced which I feel is done so that you have time to absorb all that is happening and is being explored. There are thing I never saw coming, I definitely loved how secret the twists were, maybe its down to the fact I cant join dots that I didn't catch on earlier but it was definitely a good shock when all unravelled. The depth in which the plot goes is perfect, its an equal mix of past and present which helps you as a reader full understand it all.

I enjoyed the book and it was a great plot and great characters, its mostly down to the pacing alone that it's a 4/5 for me, I tend to like gripping fast paced books but this book is great and gripping and truly something to read and enjoy.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Revenge of The Zeds - Stewart Ross



Synopsis:

The Soterion has been opened, but does it mean salvation or devastation? A horrific mutation in human DNA has resulted in a world where no one lives beyond nineteen. Cyrus and the noble Constants have opened the Soterion vault containing the Long Dead's secrets of science, art and possibly even the cure to the mutation. First, Cyrus must teach the Constants to read. But those he calls friends are falling prey to the greed and power knowledge can bring. Meanwhile, the barbaric Zeds are massing against them, determined to take the Soterion for themselves and destroy everything the Constants have built.

Review:

The second book in the Soterion Mission trilogy is just as gripping as the first, after being left internally screaming after finishing the first book, It was an easy call to quickly move on to the second book and continue the journey. I'm going to try and keep this review as spoiler free as I possibly can.

By the title alone I knew there were going to be hard times ahead for the Constants. Revenge of the zeds picks up almost exactly where we left off. In the first chapter alone their is the conclusion of a trial, funerals and the fate of Malik Timur's is found out by the Zeds. Its a pretty fast paced book yet alone chapter wise, it's perfectly paced this way and is action packed and gory. What I love about the book is that even though there are still moments of violence and action, we still get to see the quieter more thoughtful moments and its a lovely contrast and it still wonderful to see great characters being developed and seeing them interact and relate to each other.

When it comes to the characters of the book it was lovely to be back and seeing familiar characters like Sammy and Cyrus from the constants and Giv and Jamshid from the zeds. The one character who is new to us this book, is a character I didn't think I'd like but she grew on me quite quickly and her name is Malika Xsani who is the head of a different tribe of Zeds who you can really feel has determination and focus. There are many characters within this book, majority of them are new to us and that's because we get to see Cyrus become a tutor to members of Alba, he uses what is found within the walls of the Soterion to do so. What's great about this is how logically the character went about this and how well it was portrayed. Although Cyrus himself is not able toe read and write effortlessly and know the meaning of everything, he is the best they have so he is soon tutoring members of Alba whom he himself didn't pick bar 1.

I feel as though these books have lessons to learn within them and to me this book feels like it's about knowledge and how it is valuable, that it is powerful and it can be understood differently by  many. Some want knowledge in order to be able to share it with others, to make things better, but others see knowledge as something to be feared or something to be kept to oneself in order to maintain a position of power and importance. I feel as though the reference to and the plot itself backs this idea up.

This is a really good continuation of the story of the Constants and Zeds so it easily gets a 5/5 without a struggle. The ending is great, but as so many things are left unresolved there is a wonderful place for the next and last instalment. Thanks to the build up and ending of the book you are left needing the next book just to find out what happens and how so. It is yet again beyond words for me to tell you how I fully feel about this book and that I hope a lot of teenagers will pick this book up and absorb it.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Salvation Project by Stewart Ross Blog Tour









Information about the Book

Title: The Salvation Project (The Soterion Mission #3)
Author: Stewart Ross
Release Date: 20th June 2017
Genre: Dystopian YA
Publisher: Blean Books
Format: Paperback






Synopsis:

Humanity’s hope of salvation lies within a single laptop…

A mutation in human DNA means no one lives beyond nineteen. Scientists working to reverse this pandemic died before their Salvation Project was complete, leaving behind the results of their research in a sealed vault – the Soterion.

122 years have passed. The civilisation of the ‘Long Dead’ is almost forgotten, the Soterion has been burned to ashes, and communities of Constants are tormented by brutal tribes of Zeds. Cyrus, Miouda and Sammy flee their burning city with a laptop rescued from the inferno. They believe it contains the key to the Salvation Project. But its batteries are dead, there is no electricity to power it, and murderous Zeds will stop at nothing to get it back…


Review:

This book review is actually of the first book in The Salvation Project called The Soterion Mission, I wanted to do this so that my reviews were in order so I didn't review The Salvation Project which is book number 3 and then go back and review book 1 and 2 but I'll definitely be reviewing the following 2 books so please keep your eyes out them.
I wasn't so sure what to expect from this book ore series in general, once I received the books I sat and read 25 pages from the first book and could instantly feel the pull of not wanting to put it down. The following day I sat down and managed to finish the book in 1 sitting, it was literally a book I could not put down.

The whole series is based over a hundred years or so in the future, thanks to a worldwide epidemic no one lives past the age of 19, once they reach their 19th year they age rapidly in a mater of weeks. Only living until they are 19  means there is no longer any knowledge of the life from 2019 and beyond, it has all disappeared and life has now turned back to what it would have been like in the early years of human civilisation.

The characters were so well constructed and beautiful, Roxanne is the character that kind of throws everything up in the air at the beginning of the book, she's vulnerable and beautiful, she's clever and can read and write unlike the other characters but she's so real and I felt linked to her and the others in a way I cant even describe. She has knowledge of a place of knowledge, a place called the Soterion which holds the very last intel on human life before the epidemic, it's a place full of centuries of lost knowledge. On the quest to uncover the Soterion she is joined by Cyrus, a handsome and funny man, he knows what he must do the moment he meets Roxanne, he's drawn to her beauty and knowledge and can't help but love her. His life time friend Navid joins him, he didn't even need to be asked, he's a great friend, supportive and trusting, there isn't a good story without a dog, and his name is Corby, failthful and loyal. There are so many good characters when together make a diverse group, I find that characters clash at points and that that's meant to happen, I wasn't a fan of Taja mostly because eof her reaction to the whole thing, she seemed full of hatred towards Roxanne but that was her character but in the end I didn't hate her, her development over the span of the book really helped.

The point of view allows us to explore the words of the Constants who are the tribes who follow the values of the people before them- and the Zeds who are brutal tribes which revel in other people’s pain and suffering. Thanks to the ability to see both sets of people it made the story flow much easier, it gives you as a reader the knowledge from each side.
There were a lot of humorous parts in The Soterion Mission, I found it quite heart-warming and funny when Roxanne begins to talk of the only 2 books she has read so far and one happens to be the IKEA catalogue, which in all fairness helps a little. Where there is humour there are sober moments and to have both sort of intertwined in the story was a lovely contrast.

After meeting the characters early on in the book I instantly clicked with them, they are just teenagers living in a world that can barely work, and their faith in finding the cure to live on was so heart-warming. The connection with the characters doesn't falter, I got emotional too many times and I may have had a one sided argument with the book over a few decisions made within the book but all together the book was a great one for the start of a series, alone the first chapter grips you and let me tell you, the whole book alone makes you want to see where the rest of the series is going.

Its an easy 5/5 from me, its beyond words for me to tell you how I fully feel about this book, I hope a lot of teenagers pick this book up and absorb it as well as the rest of the series because throughout there are lessons everyone should learn.

Thank you to Faye for providing me with the book to which I have given my honest opinion.


Goodreads Link:

About the Author





Stewart was born in Buckinghamshire and educated in Oxford, Berkhamsted, Exeter, Bristol, and Orlando, Florida. He taught at a variety of institutions in Sri Lanka, the Middle East, the USA, and Britain before becoming a full-time writer in 1989.

With over 300 published titles to his credit, he is now one of Britain’s most popular and versatile authors. His output includes prize-winning books for younger readers, novels, plays, three librettos, a musical, and many widely acclaimed works on history and sport. Several of his books are illustrated with his own photographs.

Stewart also lectures in France and the UK, gives talks, runs workshops, and visits schools. He is an occasional journalist and broadcaster. His brother, Charlie Ross, is the celebrated auctioneer.
n his spare time Stewart enjoys travel, restaurants, sport, theatre, photography, art and music. He lives near Canterbury with his wife Lucy, and - occasionally - his four children and two grandchildren. Each morning he commutes 10 metres to work in a large hut in the garden.








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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The Fourth Monkey Killer - J.D Barker


35101847



Synopsis:


The most anticipated thriller of the year - Optioned for both film and television

Se7en meets The Silence of the Lambs in this dark and twisting novel from the author Jeffery Deaver called, “A talented writer with a delightfully devious mind.”

For over five years, the Four Monkey Killer has terrorized the residents of Chicago. When his body is found, the police quickly realize he was on his way to deliver one final message, one which proves he has taken another victim who may still be alive.

As the lead investigator on the 4MK task force, Detective Sam Porter knows even in death, the killer is far from finished. When he discovers a personal diary in the jacket pocket of the body, Porter finds himself caught up in the mind of a psychopath, unraveling a twisted history in hopes of finding one last girl, all while struggling with personal demons of his own.

With only a handful of clues, the elusive killer’s identity remains a mystery. Time is running out and the Four Monkey Killer taunts from beyond the grave in this masterfully written fast-paced thriller.



Synopsis:

This book made its way to me after a very lovely email that was in my inbox, it intrigued me from the very start of the email and I really couldn't say no, it was well, right up my street. Once it got here though, I planned to read it closer to the date of when I planned to review it. It actually took a trip with me to Southampton on the 1st of June and I read maybe 10 pages on the coach on my way back home on the 2nd of June, I was hooked but because of the coach I wasn't comfortable enough to want to carry on so I simply read the 400 pages in 1 sitting the following day with zero shame.

Gripped from the get go I probably spent the majority of my time open mouthed because things caught me of guard. I'm going to try and not give away too much so that may mean that this review is short compared to the others but I'm going to push it as far as I can.

Unusually the beginning of the book well, tells of the death of The Fourth Monkey Killer, he happened to me on his way to post a clue to his final victim which the police know all about but this discovery quickly puts the team in action to find the victim before it's too late. The book takes on 3 points of view, one is that of Detective Sam Porter, the second point of view is a Diary of The Fourth Monkey Killer which Sam reads and the the final point of view of the final victim of the Killer.

The Fourth Monkey Killer is a killer that has terrorised Chicago over the last 5 years. When we think of it we are all familiar with the three monkeys; hear no evil (monkey covering ears), see no evil (monkey covering eyes), speak no evil (monkey covering mouth). For a small amount of time to my knowledge it we have no idea why he is called The Fourth Monkey and what it represents but son enough we do and it represents 'do no evil' which when you think about it, coming from a person who has killed numerous people, it's a contradiction of sorts.

Throughout the book we follow each point of view, each more thrilling and gripping and just making you need to carry on reading, It's gruesome, to some it's probably distressing and at points unbearable. An utterly gripping storyline, exceptionally graphic, and definitely not for the squeamish or weak stomached if I should say. It played with my emotions for sure and was really impossible to put down.

I don't think I can shout my praise any louder for this book, so many twists and unexpected points, I probably swore in surprise several times throughout, there's no way this book cant get lower than a 5/5 from me, I can definitely see it being a big crime/thriller of this year, I really hope some fans of those genres pick it up and read it because you definitely wont regret it.