The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

  
So, yet another Rick O’Shea book club choice here. I had this book on my shelves for quite some time, but I just hadn’t gotten near it. It was quite nice not to have to go out and specifically purchase the book for the club though. 

I try not to read too much reviews/synopses about books before I start them, so I didn’t know too much about this before I started it. 

The premise of his book is that Harry lives many lives, and the book goes between them. The following is what Goodreads has to say:

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, every time Harry dies, he always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life lived a dozen times before.

Nothing ever changes – until now.
As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. ‘I nearly missed you, Doctor August,’she says. ‘I need to send a message.’

This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

I have to be honest, I couldn’t get into this book at all. It was very slow for me, with not much happening. I thought about giving up a few times to be honest (which I rarely do) but I kept going because it was for book club. I didn’t want to be left out of the chat loop 🙂

None of Harry’s lives interested me, none of the stories, none of the things he had to do, nothing! I don’t want to go into plots because apparently there is something worth spoiling (meow, I know!!) so I won’t bother!

I feel terrible saying it, but I really didn’t like this book. I gave it 1 star on Goodreads, and I’d be hard pushed to recommend it to anybody!! 

The Apostle by JA Kerley

 

The Apostle is the twelfth book in the Carson Ryder detective series.  I love these books as they are so easy to read. I’ve read them all, and this was the latest in the series. I have to say this wouldn’t be my favourite of the series, but it’s still a good read. 

The book is based in Florida, and it centres around religious corruption and murder. It serves to them Carson Ryder up with his now retired ex partner Harry Nautilus as they both investigate simultaneously without realising.

Without spoilers, it’s quite hard to describe the full plot of this book. The description from Goodreads is as follows: 
From the bestselling author of Her Last Scream, a chilling tale of ritual murder and corruption, featuring Detective Carson Ryder.

The Reverend Honus Schrum, a nationally renowned minister and owner of a broadcasting empire, tells the media he has come home to Key West to die. Meanwhile, Detective Carson Ryder is investigating the ritualistic murders of young women with chequered pasts, discovering the killings have religious overtones.

Simultaneously, a newly retired Harry Nautilus takes a job as a driver/bodyguard for Richard Owsley, an ambitious pastor in Mobile. They come to Florida, where Owsley meets with Schrum and is enlisted to complete a special and mysterious ‘project’ Schrum has promised a billionaire benefactor.
As Carson digs deeper into the murders, Harry, interest piqued by all the hush-hush goings-on of his new employer, begins to covertly investigate the strange project. Their independent investigations begin to converge, and Carson and Harry uncover a horrifying connection between the cases…
I highly recommend the Kerley books, but I wouldn’t suggest starting with this. I always find with series it pays to read in chronological order, in this case The Hundredth Man. 

Happy reading! 

The Perfect Husband by Lisa Gardner 

  
I’ve just realised that all these latest reviews are for books I’ve read up to 6 months ago so apologies if they are a bit sparse at times! 

I remember reading this and not long into it thought to myself ‘I hope this is good’. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t! While the story wasn’t implausible, it wasn’t really that interesting. I really disliked the characters, especially Tess, and her ex-marine (whose name I can’t even remember!). I found them both supremely irritating!

Goodreads description:

“What would you do if the man of your dreams hides the soul of a killer? Jim Beckett was everything she’d ever dreamed of…But two years after Tess married the decorated cop and bore his child, she helped put him behind bars for savagely murdering ten women. Even locked up in a maximum security prison, he vowed he would come after her and make her pay. Now the cunning killer has escaped–and the most dangerous game of all begins…. After a lifetime of fear, Tess will do something she’s never done before. She’s going to learn to protect her daughter and fight back, with the help of a burned-out ex-marine. As the largest manhunt four states have ever seen mobilizes to catch Beckett, the clock winds down to the terrifying reunion between husband and wife. And Tess knows that this time, her only choices are to kill–or be killed.
Personally, I wouldn’t be recommending this book to anyone! There are much better books out there! 

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

  
I Am Pilgrim was selected as one of the choices for May in Rick O’Shea’s Book Club over on Facebook!

It’s not a small book by any means, maybe 800 pages. And like with Tana French, it took me a while to get through! The hype and rave reviews surrounding this book were, for me, unfounded. I just didn’t get it. Do I just not like hyped books or something?! I’m always disappointed reading them! 

Aaaanyway, Pilgrim was written by Terry Hayes, an ex screenwriter I think! And while parts of this book read like a movie, it all just fell a little flat for me. The book was far too long, way too much unnecessary detail and it just didn’t sit well with me.

I didn’t find the story (or interwoven stories) all that interesting, it wasn’t coherent. The stories never seemed to mesh well together, they would almost be better as 3 separate books if you ask me! 

Goodreads:

“A breakneck race against time…and an implacable enemy.

An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid. 

A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square. 
A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard. 
Smouldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan. 
A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity. 

One path links them all, and only one man can make the journey.
Pilgrim.”
I gave Pilgrim 1 star on Goodreads. It just wasn’t thrilling enough for me! 

Any thoughts?! 😊

Tana French Books 

   
    
   

Joint review for these 5 books in the Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French. I can’t review them any other way because I feel the same about all of them! 

I bought them all on Amazon, thinking “I could use a good series” but I was sorely disappointed. These books centre on one main character in each book, with a different case. Sometimes the later books make reference to earlier cases so there is a small sense of continuity in them. It doesn’t mean you have to read them in order though.

I genuinely hated reading these books, they took me ages to get through (between a week and ten days EACH!!!) as they are almost all up around the 500 pages. I found they took off slowly, the stories weren’t anything spectacular, and the characters were beyond annoying at times!!! 

I’m pretty sure I only gave these books 1 star each on Goodreads, and if you ask me, it’s one start too many! I’m sure there’s plenty of people out there who loved these books, but I just couldn’t get into them at all! 

If you’ve read any, drop me a line in the comments section! 😊

Rules of Prey by John Sandford

  
The Prey series was recommended to me last year so I ordered the first to see what it’s like. The main character is Lucas Davenport, and it follows his investigations. 

Rules of Prey is about a serial killer calling himself the “maddog”. A very smart and cunning killer. 

Goodreads: 

The “maddog” murderer who is terrorizing the Twin Cities is two things: insane and extremely intelligent. He kills for the pleasure of it and thoroughly enjoys placing elaborate obstacles to keep police befuddled. Each clever move he makes is another point of pride. But when the brilliant Lieutenant Lucas Davenport–a dedicated cop and a serial killer’s worst nightmare–is brought in to take up the investigation, the maddog suddenly has an adversary worthy of his genius.
I don’t know what I was expecting when I started the book, but was hopeful for a good thriller. While I wasn’t disappointed I felt at times the story could have been better. Parts of it were slow to start, and I found myself wanting to shout at Davenport “open your eyes!!!!” as things were right in front of them at times.

Rules of Prey isn’t a bad book, and I’m sure it’s a decent start to a series. I haven’t gotten any more books so I can’t comment on anything that happens after. 

Let me know if you have! 

Daughter by Jane Shemilt 


Daughter is another one of those hyped books this year, so of course, what does Kate do?! Skips off to Amazon to buy books 😂

When I started reading I was expecting great things (again!) but I was left disappointed! I found the story really irritating to be honest! I don’t do spoilers so I won’t say much more!

This is the description from Goodreads;

“Jenny is a successful family doctor, the mother of three great teenagers, married to a celebrated neurosurgeon.
But when her youngest child, fifteen-year-old Naomi, doesn’t come home after her school play, Jenny’s seemingly ideal life begins to crumble. The authorities launch a nationwide search with no success. Naomi has vanished, and her family is broken.
As the months pass, the worst-case scenarios—kidnapping, murder—seem less plausible. The trail has gone cold. Yet for a desperate Jenny, the search has barely begun. More than a year after her daughter’s disappearance, she’s still digging for answers—and what she finds disturbs her. Everyone she’s trusted, everyone she thought she knew, has been keeping secrets, especially Naomi. Piecing together the traces her daughter left behind, Jenny discovers a very different Naomi from the girl she thought she’d raised.”
Personally, I found the ending to be terrible! It was rushed and it just didn’t make any sense! Then again I didn’t really enjoy the book so maybe it was apt. I don’t know! Either way, I wouldn’t be rushing to recommend it!