The Dolls House by Louise Phillips

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I started reading this in December 2014, having heard high praise for Louise Phillips. I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading it, but to be honest, I wasn’t a fan from the outset. I found it very slow going, and also about a quarter of the way in, I went into labour with my baby girl on December 15th, so I left the book on my nightstand and didn’t pick it up again until 3 weeks after she was born.

I have to say, I really didn’t enjoy this book, even after the mid book break, I just couldn’t get into it. The blurb from Amazon is as follows:

“People say that the truth can set you free. But what if the truth is not something you want to hear? Thirty-five years ago Adrian Hamilton drowned. At the time his death was reported as a tragic accident but the exact circumstances remained a mystery. Now his daughter Clodagh, trying to come to terms with her past, visits a hypnotherapist who unleashes disturbing childhood memories of her father’s death. And as Clodagh delves deeper into her subconscious, memories of another tragedy come to light – the death of her baby sister. Meanwhile criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson is called in to help in the investigation of a murder after a body is found in a Dublin canal. When Kate digs beneath the surface of the killing, she discovers a sinister connection to the Hamilton family. What terrible events took place in the Hamilton house all those years ago? And what connects them to the recent murder? Time is running out for Clodagh and Kate. And the killer has already chosen his next victim . . .” 

Personal preference is everything when it comes to books, so I’m sure many of you would enjoy this. Perhaps had I read it at a different time I may have enjoyed it, but as it stands, I was glad to see the back of it!!

Normal by Graeme Cameron

I spotted this book a lot in my goodreads and Facebook feeds so I decided to buy it! It arrived last week so I moved into it once I finished Half Bad! 

Normal is written from the point of view of a serial killer. We don’t get much descriptive information about him which adds to the atmosphere. It also lets you conjure up your own images of him which I liked as it means I got to exercise my imagination a bit! 😄 

As you know, I start new books at night as bedtime is my uninterrupted reading time! I didn’t want to stop reading this once I started! I think I got up to page 80 before I decided I needed some sleep! 

It’s a pacy, well written and enjoyable read. The detail as regards murders can be quite graphic but I’m well used to it as my book choices are usually twisted enough at the best of times! 

Amazon describe the book as follows; 

“He lives on your street, in a nice house with a tidy garden. 

He shops at your local supermarket. He drives beside you, waving to let you into the lane ahead of him. 

He also has an elaborate cage in a secret basement under his garage. 

The food he’s carefully shopping for is to feed a young woman he’s holding there against her will – one in a string of many, unaware of the fate that awaits her. 

This is how it’s been for a long time. It’s normal…and it works. Perfectly. 

But this time it’s different…”

I really enjoyed this book, and towards the end I found myself racking my brain to see what could happen!  I even found myself rooting for him at a few different points! 

I gave Normal 4* on Goodreads! I would highly recommend it! 

Happy Reading 😊📖

  

Half Bad by Sally Green

As you know by now, I’m a member of The Rick O’Shea Book Club over on Facebook and this month Rick had picked 4 YA reads that we could pick from or read all if we were that way inclined. I chose Half Bad by Sally Green. I had bought this book last month on a recommendation from Ellen Devonport over on Twitter so I was delighted to see I wouldn’t have to go buying the book. 

I had read a brief synopsis of the book, and a quick look at a few reviews so I was happy enough to give it a go. 

The blurb from Amazon is as follows;

“You can’t read, can’t write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.

You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.

You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.

You’ve been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.

All you’ve got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.”


I generally start a new book in bed at night as it gives me the most uninterrupted reading time as opposed to during the day with a baby and a 5 year old around! I started this thinking ‘a few pages and I’ll sleep’, I was wrong. I found I didn’t want to stop reading as it was easy to read and every so often something happened that meant I kept reading on 😄

The book is about Nathan Byrn, a 16 year old boy, who was born to a white witch mother and a black witch father. Nathan does not know which he is, but is keen to find out, and also try find his father, Marcus. Marcus is the one of the baddest witches, and quite powerful, so needless to say, he’s hard for Nathan to find. Nathan has until his giving ceremony, when he will get his three gifts, to find out whether he is a white witch or a black witch. I won’t go into detail about the book, but it’s good! 😃

The book has plenty of action, and in my opinion, enough happening to make me want to buy that sequel, Half Wild. There are echoes of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter, as well as Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments trilogy in the book, which I have no complaint about.

This book might not be to everyone’s taste, but I found it fun, for want of a better word. A welcome departure from my usual maim,murder and mystery trifecta that I tend to gravitate towards. I’d highly recommend it, especially if you have any YA readers in your house! 

I gave it a surprising 4* on Goodreads. 


Happy Reading! 😊📖


  

Her by Harriet Lane

 

First of all, I’d like to thank Margaret Madden of  Bleach House Library for sending me this book! You can find her here: http://bleachhouselibrary.blogspot.ie/

I had seen Her around on a few blogs and coming up in my news feed on Facebook so when this was suggested as a swap over on Rick O’Shea’s book swap page, I jumped at the chance to read it! 

The blurb from Amazon is as follows; 

Two women; two different worlds.

Emma is a struggling mother who has put everything on hold. 

Nina is sophisticated and independent – entirely in control. 

When the pair meet, Nina generously draws Emma into her life. But this isn’t the first time the women’s paths have crossed. Nina remembers Emma and she remembers what Emma did.

But what exactly does Nina want from her? 

And how far will she go in pursuit of it?

I hadn’t read many reviews of the book (I tend to avoid reviews of books I’m dying to read in case they put me off!!) so I went into it not knowing what to expect!

The book is written in alternate chapters by the main characters Nina and Emma, which I’m guessing is to give both versions of the events that took place, but which only serves to annoy me when I start reading! 

Nina seems well put together; an artist, second marriage but happy, teenage daughter, yada yada! Emma is a mother and portrayed as struggling to be seen as anything other than a mother I think! Married, with 2 kids, left a glamorous job and yearns for something more. Both equally annoying in my opinion.

I didn’t find this book to be a psychological thriller, in parts where this tag was applied, the actions were little more than petty mind games. Maybe it’s that I’ve read so many psych thrillers that I’ve become desensitised to the acts themselves but I really didn’t find this book chilling in any way.

In relation to how the women know each other, this is alluded to maybe three quarters of the way through the book, and even then it is quite vague so it is hard to discern what it was Emma did to make Nina do the things she’s doing. Without spoiling it for you, I will just say I was disappointed with the ending. I looked twice, it was still rubbish.

I gave this book 1* on Goodreads, and even that was too much for it if you ask me! One of those books I wish I didn’t read!

Live and learn.

Happy Reading! 😊📖

The Surrogate by Tania Carver

  

I started reading this book last week, not knowing what it was about! I have to say, once I started it I felt a bit uneasy. As a new mom, some of the subject matter isn’t exactly easy to read! 

The blurb from Amazon is as follows; 

A shocking double-murder scene greets Detective Inspector Philip Brennan when he is called to a flat in Colchester. Two women are viciously cut open and laying spreadeagled, one tied to the bed, one on the floor. The woman on the bed has had her stomach cut into and her unborn child is missing. 

But this is the third time Phil and his team have seen such an atrocity. Two other pregnant women have been killed in this way and their babies taken from them. No-one can imagine what sort of person would want to commit such evil acts.

When psychologist Marina Esposito is brought in, Phil has to put aside his feelings about their shared past and get on with the job. But can they find the killer before another woman is targeted?


This is the first book I’ve read by Tania Carver, and I have to say, subject matter aside, her writing style is very easy to follow! I find if plots become too convoluted then it’s really hard to concentrate on what’s happening! This was a very clear story, well written, and as with most crime thrillers, it had a twist towards the end. As with any review I post, there’s no spoilers 😄 


The main character, Phil Brennan, was a fairly likeable man, had his flaws and a bad upbringing, but he was a good male protagonist. It was easy to feel for him in certain situations throughout the book. 


I rated the book 3* on Amazon purely because I found the subject matter a bit difficult to read at times, but that’s only my own personal opinion. It’s a good book, I’d have no problem recommending it to someone looking to start an new crime series! I have to confess, while writing this, I took a peek at the synopsis for book two in the series ‘The Creeper’ and I kinda want to buy it!!! However, if you read my blog, you will have seen from my previous post (https://bibliophilebookclub.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/what-ive-bought/) that I have rather a lot to get through! 😄


Happy reading 😊📖

What I’ve bought…

The long and the short of this post is I should be denied access to the Internet, or else have my card cut up 😄

Of late, most evenings I find myself browsing Amazon to see if there’s anything good out to read, and needless to say at least one item gets added to the wish list or the basket!!  I decided I’d do a quick post of what I’ve gotten lately, both print and Kindle books, along with a book from Rick O’Shea’s book club swap page!

1- Her by Harriet Lane

 

2- Rules of Prey by John Sandford

 

 

Books 3-8 are by Camilla Lackberg

 

  

  

  

  

  

 

9- RJ Ellory Saints of New York

 

 

10- Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

 

 

11- The Stranger by Harlan Coben

 

 

12- Blood On Snow by Jo Nesbo

 

 

13- The Missing by Chris Mooney

 

 

14- Ash by Jason Brant (Kindle)

 

 

15- Black Wood by SJI Holliday (Kindle)

 

16- The Swimmer by Joakim Zander (Kindle)

  

17- Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary

 

18- Normal by Graeme Cameron

 

 

19- Blood Test by Jonathan Kellerman

 

 

20- After The Silence by Jake Woodhouse

 

 

21- The Good Girl by Mary Kubica (Kindle)

 

 

22- Philomena by Martin Sixsmith (Kindle) 

 

So, there you have it! 22 books, and in a relatively short period of time! 😄 let me know what you have read out of this substantial haul! Fingers crossed you discover a new author for yourself! 

Happy reading! 😊 

  

The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne

 

Just finished this book! I got it on a recommendation as I had heard lots of good things about it. I didn’t read many reviews before reading it,  so I didn’t know what to expect! 

When I saw the back cover I was more than a little intrigued!

  

The blurb on Amazon is as follows;

‘One of Sarah’s daughters died. But can she be sure which one? A psychological thriller that will chill you to the bone.

A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.

But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity – that she, in fact, is Lydia – their world comes crashing down once again.

As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past – what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?’


I found this book to be quite odd to be honest! It’s part psychological thriller and part supernatural chiller (which I didn’t know until I started reading!) so it has many levels. It was slow enough to take off, and some chapters are voiced by different characters so you get a different version of events from each person! 


To be really honest, I wasn’t blown away by The Ice Twins, even though I expected to be. I think it fell a bit shorter in my estimations, so I finished it feeling a bit disappointed! It’s by no means a bad book, I have read much worse, but I would never reread it, and I wouldn’t be rushing to recommend it! The descriptions of the landscape and seascapes of the locations were more interesting at times than the main plot, which isn’t saying much! 


As you know, I don’t do spoilers so I can’t really say much about what happens towards the end of the book! I gave it 2* on Goodreads for 2 reasons! 1- the characters really annoyed me towards the end of the book, and 2- I found it to be a rather unbelievable story once it started unravelling!


Let me know what you think if you have read it, or are intending to!


Happy reading 😊