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 😊

The Disappeared by Kristina Ohlsson-Review!

Anyone who follows me over on http://www.facebook.com/bibliophilebookclub knows that I’ve been reading The Disappeared this week!

I was doing a tidy on my shelves and scanning books onto my Goodreads ( https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/9841866-kate ) and came upon this in my TBR section so I said I’d give it a go!

The blurb from Amazon is as follows;

‘When the film begins she has no idea what she is about to see. Nor does she realise what devastating consequences this f ilm and the decisions she then makes will have on the rest of her life.’
The body of a young woman is found carved up and buried in a forest glade in an innocuous Swedish suburb. Alex Recht and his team in the Stockholm Police soon identify the body as belonging to missing student, Rebecca Trolle, but as his team continues to excavate the site, they soon find that someone has been returning to the same spot to bury their victims year after year, decade after decade.
Investigative Analyst Fredrika Bergman is assigned the task of delving into Rebecca’s private life. But little does she know that her enquiries are about to uncover evidence that will put her actions under scrutiny from Internal Affairs, and will throw her private life into turmoil.
And what does the case have to do with the elderly children’s author living in a care home . . . who has never spoken a word to anyone since she arrived years ago?’

I hadn’t heard of Ohlsson but got this in a 3 for £10 offer on Amazon, and I love a good book deal! 🙂

As with most Scandinavian fiction (for me anyway!), it took a while to get going! I found there was a lot of back and forth. The main female, Fredericka, works for the police, has a baby and a partner at home. She finds herself investigating the case of missing student Rebecca Trolle, who’s body is found in a forest after being missing for two years. The investigation takes many directions, and to be honest I don’t want to post any spoilers in the review. Sufficed to say, there are a few twists and turns that were a bit unexpected.

While I enjoyed the book, it really annoyed me as well! The characters who were investigating the case had little communication with each other which led to connections not being made! This really frustrated me, to the point of complaining out loud and hitting my head with the book (not too hard!!!) because I just wanted to shout at them to cop on and talk to each other!!!!

I finished this last night, and I found myself racing through the last 100 pages to find out what was going on! Which is a sign of enjoyment in my eyes really! I gave the book 3* on Goodreads, it would have been 4 only for the irritation I felt at how slowly the plot came together! I would happily recommend it as a good book though, not knock me down fantastic, but a decent read all the same!

Happy reading!

2015 Goodreads Challenge Books So Far…

Ok, so last year I read 70 books as part of my Goodreads challenge! This year, I only challenged myself to read 50 books! I’d love to read more but since my little girl was born in December, my reading time is way less than I would like! Here are the first ten I’ve read… 

Book 1- The Doll’s House by Louise Phillips

 

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t too pushed about reading this when I started it! Even less so as time went on! I went into labour while reading this 😄 and it was 3 weeks after my baby was born before I picked it up again! I really, really disliked this book! I found the characters to be very irritating, and the plot just grated on me! Maybe my concentration levels were off but I don’t think I’d be running back to read it, and I definitely wouldn’t be recommending it! 

Book 2- The Death Box by JA Kerley

 

I’ve read all of Kerley’s books bar the latest one! This is book 10 in the Carson Ryder series! I really enjoy these books as they are a pretty easy read! This one is no different! The books all follow the same plot structure but they are still fun to read!

Book 3- The Memory Killer by JA Kerley

 

Book 11 of the series! Not a bad read! It involved essentially erasing people’s memories by drugs and then mutilating and/or murdering them! There was a couple of interesting plot twists in this too! I’ll always recommend Kerley’s Carson Ryder series! 

Book 4- The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

 

Ok, so the hype for this book was unreal! I’ll be honest, I haaaaaaated it!!! I found the main character ridiculously annoying! I can’t say anything about this book other than I wouldn’t recommend it and I never want to read it again! I know some people loved it but it just wasn’t for me! 

Book 5- Wool by Hugh Howey

 

This book was selected by Rick O’Shea for his online book club! It took me a long time to get into it! Someone in book club told me once you get to page 120 you’ll fly through it… They were not wrong! Once I got past that page, I flew through it!! I even found myself missing the characters once I had it finished it, so much so that I have purchased the next in the series, Shift! Looking forward to reading that one!

Book 6-  Watch Me by James Carol

 

I read Carol’s first book Broken Dolls when it came out first and loved it! It took me a while to get to read his next two offerings! I really like his Jefferson Winter character! Like Kerley, he sticks to a plot structure but it’s tried and tested! Carol is a great storyteller! 

Book 7- Prey by James Carol

 

 

This book starts with a bang and it just keeps up momentum the whole way along! I really like Carol’s style of writing and I’d highly recommend him if you haven’t read any before!! 

Book 8- Heartsick by Chelsea Cain

 

 

I had this on my wish list for aaaaaages so I finally decided to get it! I’d heard great things about it, even the author said she wouldn’t let her daughter read it! That led me to think it would be really dark and gruesome… It wasn’t! I was so disappointed! It’s not a bad story, and has a female psychopathic serial killer instead of male, but it was just ok! Wouldn’t be raving about it! 

Book 9- Daughter by Jane Shemilt

 

 Lots of people  were discussing this in book club so I bought it hoping for a good read! Once again I was disappointed! (I have no luck 😄) Jenny, the adult female character is ridiculously irritating! I won’t give away any spoilers, all I’ll say is the twist towards the end, is bloody rubbish! I wouldn’t be rushing to recommend it! 

Book 10- The Perfect Husband by Lisa Gardner

 

Meh! That’s all I can say! Married to. Killer, blah blah blah! Nothing imaginative, silly story and just completely unremarkable! Someday I’ll read a book and just think… WOW…. clearly it hasn’t happened yet this year! 😳 

 

The Girl With A Clock For A Heart by Peter Swanson Mini Review

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I’ve had this book on my shelf at home for ages and finally decided to read it last month! I tend not to read reviews on books I want to read as I’m wary of spoilers so I went into this only knowing what was written on the back cover!

Amazon.com describes the book as follows:

“Already optioned for film, The Girl with a Clock for a Heart is Peter Swanson’s electrifying tale of romantic noir, with shades of Hitchcock and reminiscent of the classic movie Body Heat. It is the story of a man swept into a vortex of irresistible passion and murder when an old love mysteriously reappears.

On an ordinary Friday evening at his favorite Boston tavern, George Foss’s comfortable, predictable life is shattered when a beautiful woman sits down at the bar, a woman who vanished without a trace twenty years ago.

Liana Dector isn’t just an ex-girlfriend, the first love George couldn’t quite forget. She’s also a dangerous enigma and quite possibly a cold-blooded killer wanted by the police. Suddenly, she’s back—and she needs George’s help. Ruthless men believe she stole some money . . . and they will do whatever it takes to get it back.

George knows Liana is trouble. But he can’t say no—he never could—so he makes a choice that will plunge him into a terrifying whirlpool of lies, secrets, betrayal, and murder from which there is no sure escape.

Bold and masterful, full of malicious foreboding and subtle surprises, The Girl with a Clock for a Heart is an addictive, nonstop thriller—an ever-tightening coil of suspense that grips you right up to its electrifying end.”

The above is a fairly accurate synopsis but I still felt a bit let down by the book while I was reading it! While there are a few twists and turns that may be deemed unexpected by some, I found that it just didn’t grab me in any way! There were a few predictable moments in it and very few genuine shockers.

Also, I found George to be a bit irritating as a character! Worse still was his behaviour in relation to this woman who has come back into his life! No questions asked, she says ‘jump’ and he says ‘how high?’ basically! I caught myself thinking more than once that he needed to man up!!!

Without giving anything away as regards how the book finishes, I was left expecting more! It’s quite an easy read but I doubt I’d be recommending to many people!

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – A Review

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This book was one of two choices for September in The Rick O’Shea Book Club over on Facebook , the other was Zone Of Interest by Martin Amis. I’m not a fan of war themed books so I chose the former.

This is the synopsis from Random House-

“An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.”

If I’m honest, I don’t like the idea of dystopian, pandemic related themes in books, I would never normally choose them but this was the best of a bad lot as regards book club picks for September!

I found the whole book a bit disjointed. While some elements tied together towards the end of the book, I just couldn’t get into the story. Or stories. As there were a few interlaced and I just couldn’t get into any of them.

I liked the idea of the Travelling Symphony and what it stood for, but I thought some of the events that occurred around them were a bit odd!

I can’t say I would ever recommend this book if I’m honest! It’s just not my kind of thing, and reading it pretty much confirmed what I already knew; not my style!