Holy Island by LJ Ross

Thanks to Maxine at Booklover Catlady and LJ Ross for my copy of Holy Island to review.

I hadn’t heard of this book before I read it, but I won’t forget it in a hurry!

Holy Island does not begin gently, it starts with the murder of Lucy Matheison and the discovery of her body at the Lindisfarne Priory.

Amazon describes it as follows-

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan retreats to Holy Island seeking sanctuary when he is forced to take sabbatical leave from his duties as a homicide detective. A few days before Christmas, his peace is shattered and he is thrust back into the murky world of murder when a young woman is found dead amongst the ancient ruins of the nearby Priory.
When former local girl Dr Anna Taylor arrives back on the island as a police consultant, old memories swim to the surface making her confront her difficult past. She and Ryan struggle to work together to hunt a killer who hides in plain sight, while pagan ritual and small-town politics muddy the waters of their investigation. 

This description doesn’t do it proper justice!

Holy Island is an excellent book, well plotted with very little of the predictable crime formulae to be found! More than once I thought I had sussed the killer, and every time I was wrong!!! The killings are described brutally, the locations are described beautifully! It’s the perfect juxtaposition!

DCI Ryan is a great character, flawed in his own way, with demons in his past. It was very easy to be rooting for him all through the book. Dr. Taylor is also a strong character, doesn’t suffer fools and very intelligent. Predictably, they begin a relationship, but it blends into the whole story. There are twists and turns aplenty, but I have to say, the ending was my favourite part. It ends with a genuine shocker!! Which makes me want to read book 2 Sycamore Gap as soon as possible!!! Well played Miss Ross! 😉

I gave Holy Island 4 stars on Goodreads! I would highly recommend this book! It was absolutely brilliant!

Happy reading! 😊📖

The Second Captive by Maggie James


Massive thanks to Maxine at Booklover Catlady and Maggie James for my copy of this book!
Having not read any books by this author before I didn’t really know what to expect but I was pleasantly ( if you can write that about a psychological thriller!!!!) surprised by this book!

The Second Captive follows Beth, an eighteen year old girl who is abducted and held by a man for two years. She subsequently escapes! This book goes between present day and the events of the two years she was held captive.

Written in alternative views from Beth, her captor and her mother, we get the different thoughts from each. I found this style of writing really good for this book as you get into the minds of the victim and her captor as well as the emotional turmoil her mother and family faced as well.

We know that Beth escapes, so that’s not really a spoiler. The reader learns that Beth will have to attempt to adjust back into normal life, away from the rules, control and punishment she had grown to accept from Dominic, her captor. You would think that the story would finish dramatically with her escape and subsequent return home.

It doesn’t.

Maggie James has done a great job of enhancing the story in the aftermath of Beth’s return. We learn more from her mother, Ursula, and we also gain emotional insight into Dominic’s state of mind once Beth has left him. Stockholm syndrome is the psychological term for what Beth has experienced and the way it is portrayed in the book is interesting.

There were many questions left unanswered for me when I finished this book, but all in all I enjoyed it! I gave it a solid 3 stars on Goodreads.

My thanks again to Maxine and Maggie James!

Happy reading! 😊📖

99 Percent Kill by Doug Richardson


I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

About the author (via Doug’s website):

Doug Richardson was born in Arcadia, California. The son of a career politician, Doug grew up outside Sacramento and inside the state Capitol. He used to talk his way into then-Governor Ronald Reagan’s office, just to get a handful of jellybeans. Doug left Northern California for Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema. For as long as he could remember, Doug had wanted to be a movie director. But in pursuing his goal he discovered how movies are really made: in the writing.
After finishing college, Doug signed a two-year contract with Warner Brothers. In 1989 he garnered national attention when his spec screenplay was the first in Hollywood to sell for a million dollars. Doug’s first feature film, the sequel to Die Hard, Die Harder, was produced in 1990. He has since written and produced feature films including the box office smash Bad Boys and, most recently, Hostage. To date, Doug’s features have grossed over 800 million dollars worldwide. In 1997, Doug’s debut novel, Dark Horse, was published by Avon/Morrow in hardcover, followed two years later by his follow up, True Believers. His third book, The Safety Expert, and his latest, Blood Money, are self-published. Doug continues to write and develop for feature films and television. He lives in Southern California with his wife, two children and four mutts.

Before I start, can I just say in all honesty, Die Harder, Hostage and Bad Boys are some of my all time favourite and will watch anytime movies, so I was more than a bit excited to read a book by Doug!

99 Percent Kill is a fast paced, thrilling book with twists and turns aplenty. Goodreads describes the book as follows:

99 Percent Kill follows Lucky Dey, an on-again/off-again Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detective who is both willful and acerbic to a dangerous fault. While in a holding pattern for official reinstatement, Lucky accepts a one-time gig to track down the missing teenage daughter of a Midwestern software millionaire. The novel is the first in a series, but also lives as a stand-alone thriller, winding its way through an L.A. landscape where the lights are bright, but the edges can be dark, perilously frayed, and populated with mix of human predators, amusing losers, and ambitious fringe dwellers.”

I really enjoyed 99 Percent Kill. The book follows Lucky who, waiting in limbo to hear about his job, takes on a one time assignment to find a missing girl. The girl has run away to LA, and hasn’t been heard from since so the pressure is on to find her. Lucky meets her father and together they navigate the sometimes dark and seedy side of LA in their quest to find the girl, Karrie.

There is plenty of action in the book, but without giving anything away, you need to read this book!!! 99 Percent Kill reads like a movie at times, and I found myself willing the characters on in their respective situations! It is such an easy read, however, due to time restraints I didn’t get to read it as often as I liked, I would have been done quicker if I could have just had a block of time!

Anyway, I gave 99 Percent Kill 4 stars on Goodreads! I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would highly recommend it! Also, Doug, if you get a chance to read this review, THAT ENDING!!!!!!!! :-O

Also, thanks to Doug, his book was number 50 in my Goodreads Challenge so I’m all done! 🙂

Happy reading! 😊📖

The Killing of Mummy’s Boy by Joan Ellis

Thanks to Maxine at Booklover Catlady for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Killing of Mummy’s Boy is the second book by Joan Ellis that I have read. Having read the blurb I have to say I was a little intrigued. I didn’t know what to expect. Goodreads describes it as follows:

When a woman meets a stranger on a train, she discovers they have one thing in common: murder.

Ben has slit a man’s throat and Sandra’s son, Carl is on a Witness Protection Programme after his evidence convicts local thug, Lee Elliott of murder. Fearing reprisals from the family, Sandra flees London for the Isle of Wight.
On the train, she reports her lost Oyster card, giving out her details over the phone. Ben overhears. Now, the murderer knows where she lives. Returning home to find an Oyster card on the mat, she assumes he has been there ahead of her.
It is the first in a series of unnerving events. Suspecting him of stalking her, she alerts the police. As no crime has been committed, they can’t help.
When her son leaves the safety of the Witness Protection Programme and moves back to London with his pregnant girlfriend, Sandra turns to drink. And to Ben.
Repelled by his past but excited by his body, she is in his thrall.
When Carl, girlfriend in tow, runs back to Mummy following a threatening message from Lee Elliott’s brother, Gaz, secrets and lies are unleashed and all hell breaks loose.

I have to be honest, I found this book quite difficult to get into, and about 50% of the way through I really questioned whether or not it would improve. Sufficed to say, once things start happening, the tension in the book ramps up. I won’t go into spoilers, but towards the end, there’s a genuine shocker if a plot twist, which in all honesty, I didn’t see coming! Once the big reveal happened though, the action really began. The last 20% of the book was where it got really good! I found myself flying through it to see what happens!

I thought the main characters were a bit difficult to like, Sandra especially, which made me lack empathy for certain situations in the book. Ben is your typical macho man, very crude and brutish, but I enjoyed his character towards the end of the book.

I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads, it was by no means terrible, but not my usual read so I found it a bit difficult to get into!

Happy reading 😊📖

The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die by Marnie Riches

Where do I start with this book?!

I loved this book so I’m finding it hard to reconcile the wonderment in my head with words on a page! I feel like I need to read a thesaurus to learn all the words that I could possibly need for this review! 🙂

First up, here’s someone else’s words, publishing house Harper Collins, describing the book:

“HE’S WATCHING HER. SHE DOESN’T KNOW IT…YET

When a bomb explodes at the University of Amsterdam, aspiring criminologist Georgina McKenzie is asked by the police to help flush out the killer.
But the bomb is part of a much bigger, more sinister plot that will have the entire city quaking in fear.
And the killer has a very special part for George to play…

A thrilling race against time with a heroine you’ll be rooting for, this book will keep you up all night!

WINNER OF THE 2015 DEAD GOOD READER AWARD FOR MOST EXOTIC LOCATION”

The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die is the first in a series following Georgina McKenzie based in Amsterdam. George is a Cambridge University student on an exchange in the city. When a bomb explodes at her university she can’t help but get involved, dragging her friend Ad along with her.

After George meets Inspector Van den Bergen, he enlists her help as she writes a blog and he thinks it’s a good way to reach the suspects. Soon they realise that the bomb was a person, in George’s class. When another bomb goes off and the bomb is another student the race to find the perpetrator begins.

I don’t want to go too much further in the plot here as there was an OMG moment for me just over halfway through and I don’t want to spoil that for anyone. I was actually annoyed at myself that I didn’t put the pieces together before it happened!!!! Then again, that’s ha,f the fun, working backwards to see what you may have missed!

I downloaded The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die when it came out as so many fellow book bloggers had been talking about it and I’m so glad I did! I’ve also got book 2 on my kindle, The Girl Who Broke The Rules aaaaaaand I’ve totally preordered book 3, The Girl Who Walked In The Shadows!

I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads, and I still can’t find the right words to explain how much I enjoyed this book! 🙂 Just go and get in and decide for yourself! 😉

Happy reading! 😊📖

Guilt by Joan Ellis

  

I was given a copy of this book by Maxine over at Booklover Catlady in exchange for an honest review.

Joan Ellis is not a name I have ever heard of, so I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading Guilt. It’s a relatively short book. Less than 200 pages, so I read it today.

Guilt is about Susan, whose younger brother dies of an overdose while she’s watching him. She carries the guilt with her throughout childhood, and into adulthood. When she has a baby of her own, the guilt threatens to overtake everything in her life.

Goodreads describes the book as follows:

You died in April 1965, a month before your fifth birthday. You were probably dead long before Mum downed her third gin with Porky Rawlings.Seven year old Susan is alone with her younger brother when he dies of an overdose.

The Guilt informs the rest of her life.

When it threatens to destroy not only her but her relationship with her new baby,she must revisit the past to find the truth.

What she discovers is as horrifying as it is magical.

I have to be honest, I wasn’t blown away by Guilt. With the book being so short, the author still managed to get the complete story in. At times it felt a bit rushed, but it was still easy to read.

There are some things in the book that readers may find a bit hard to read, but then again, the vivid descriptions are what make a book sometimes. I can’t say i hated this book, but in my opinion, it wasn’t a great read. I found the subject matter and the way the author wrote Susan to be a bit, I can’t find the right word, awkward, forced maybe. Personal opinion though! I gave this book 2 stars on Goodreads.

The Slaughter Man by Tony Parsons

  

The Slaughter Man is the second instalment of the DC Max Wolfe series, the first being The Murder Bag. I read The Murder Bag when it came out and I really enjoyed it so I was excited when I heard there was a second book on its way! 

I made my husband pick a book for me to read on Wednesday night because I have so many I couldn’t pick one myself! This is what he picked! I figured I’d just read a few pages to get it started, turns out I read 105 pages in my first sitting, roughly over 1/4 of the book! I didn’t want to go to sleep but I didn’t want to be a zombie yesterday either 🙂 

I finished the book last night! I’m pretty sure that it took maybe 3-4 hours max to read this in between one kid at camp and the other napping! I raced through it when I got half a chance! 

The book is described on Goodreads as follows: 

A murdered family. A dying serial killer. A missing child. DC Max Wolfe hunts a pitiless killer through the streets of London. By the Sunday Times number one bestselling author of The Murder Bag.

On New Year’s Day, a wealthy family is found slaughtered inside their exclusive gated community in north London, their youngest child stolen away.
The murder weapon – a gun for stunning cattle before they are butchered – leads Detective Max Wolfe to a dusty corner of Scotland Yard’s Black Museum devoted to a killer who thirty years ago was known as the Slaughter Man.

But the Slaughter Man has done his time, and is now old and dying. Can he really be back in the game?
And was the murder of a happy family a mindless killing spree, a grotesque homage by a copycat killer – or a contract hit designed to frame a dying man?
All Max knows is that he needs to find the missing child and stop the killerbefore he destroys another innocent family – or finds his way to his own front door …
Even the happiest of families have black, twisted secrets that someone is ready to kill for…
This book is brutal, gory and full of gruesome little sidebars. Like what happens to a body after it dies. Full on details about putrefaction!!! Not for the faint hearted, very interesting though.

I found The Slaughter Man to be a super fast paced book. There was something happening every couple of pages. It was very easy to follow though. I really enjoyed it. It was twisty, some of which were unexpected, but overall a great read. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.

Happy reading 😊📖