Book Review: Dead to Her


Sarah Pinborough

Rating: 2 out of 5.

published: 4th June 2020
spoilers? nope

Goodreads

There’s nothing like a woman scorned

Something old…

When Marcie met Jason Maddox, she couldn’t believe her luck. Becoming Jason’s second wife catapulted her into the elite world of high society. But underneath the polite, old money manners, she knows she’ll always be an outsider, and her hard-won life hangs by a thread.

Something new…

Then Jason’s widowed boss brings back a new wife from his trip to London. Young, beautiful, reckless – nobody can take their eyes off Keisha. Including Jason.

Something you can never, ever undo…

Marcie refuses to be replaced so easily. People would kill for her life of luxury. What will Marcie do to keep it?

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Book Review: You’re Next


Kylie Schachte

Rating: 3 out of 5.

published: 23rd June 2020
spoilers? no

Goodreads

When a girl with a troubled history of finding dead bodies investigates the murder of her ex, she uncovers a plot to put herself—and everyone she loves—on the list of who’s next.

Flora Calhoun has a reputation for sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. After stumbling upon a classmate’s body years ago, the trauma of that discovery and the police’s failure to find the killer has haunted her ever since. One night, she gets a midnight text from Ava McQueen, the beautiful girl who had ignited Flora’s heart last summer, then never spoke to her again.

Just in time to witness Ava’s death from a gunshot wound, Flora is set on a path of rage and vengeance for all the dead girls whose killer is never found. Her tunnel-visioned sleuthing leads to valuable clues about a shocking conspiracy involving her school and beyond, but also earns her sinister threats from the murderer. She has a choice—to give up the hunt for answers, or keep digging and risk her loved ones’ lives. Either way, Flora will regret the consequences. Who’s next on the killer’s list?

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Book Review: Death of a Mermaid


Lesley Thomson

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

published: 7th May 2020
spoilers? not really

Goodreads

Freddy left her childhood home in Newhaven twenty-two years ago and swore never to return. But now her parents are dead, and she’s back in her hometown to help her brothers manage the family fishmonger. Nothing here has changed: the stink of fish coming up from the marshes; the shopping trolleys half-buried by muddy tides; the neighbours sniffing for a new piece of gossip.

It’s not what Freddy would have chosen, but at least while she’s here she’ll get to see her childhood best friends, Toni and Mags. At school, the three of them were inseparable. The teachers called them the Mermaids for their obsession with the sea, and with each other.

Then Mags goes missing, and Freddy must decide. Go back home to her new life, or stay in Newhaven and find her friend?

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Book Review: The Better Liar


Tanen Jones

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 6th February 2020
spoilers? no

Goodreads

How well do you know your family?

Estranged for a decade, sisters Leslie and Robin must reunite if they are to claim the fortune their father left them. Leslie desperately needs that money, but when she arrives at her sister’s apartment, she finds her body instead. Leslie needs another plan. Without Robin, she won’t see a penny.

Mary, an aspiring actress, spends her nights slinging beers at a seedy restaurant. She’d do anything to start her life over. When Leslie offers her a huge sum of money and the chance to be someone else – to be Robin – she takes it.

But Robin’s life isn’t as straightforward as Mary thought it would be. And Leslie seems to have secrets and a past of her own . . .

Told from three perspectives: Leslie, Mary, Robin.

The question is: who is the better liar?

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Book Review: Untamed Shore


Silvia Moreno Garcia

Rating: 5 out of 5.

published: 11th February 2020
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Renowned author Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s first thriller, UNTAMED SHORE, is a coming-of-age story set in Mexico which quickly turns dark when a young woman meets three enigmatic tourists.

Baja California, 1979. Viridiana spends her days watching the dead sharks piled beside the seashore, as the fishermen pull their nets. There is nothing else to do, nothing else to watch, under the harsh sun. She’s bored. Terribly bored. Yet her head is filled with dreams of Hollywood films, of romance, of a future beyond the drab town where her only option is to marry and have children.

Three wealthy American tourists arrive for the summer, and Viridiana is magnetized. She immediately becomes entwined in the glamorous foreigners’ lives. They offer excitement, and perhaps an escape from the promise of a humdrum future.

When one of them dies, Viridiana lies to protect her friends. Soon enough, someone’s asking questions, and Viridiana has some of her own about the identity of her new acquaintances. Sharks may be dangerous, but there are worse predators nearby, ready to devour a naïve young woman who is quickly being tangled in a web of deceit.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia is one of the most exciting voices in fiction, and with her first crime novel, UNTAMED SHORE, she crafts a blazing novel of suspense with an eerie seaside setting and a literary edge that proves her a master of the genre.

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Book Review: Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valour


Ally Carter

Rating: 5 out of 5.

published: 5th March 2020
spoilers? no

Goodreads

FIVE EXTRAORDINARY ORPHANS. ONE INCREDIBLE MYSTERY. UNLOCK THE SECRETS OF THE WINTERBORNE HOME FOR VENGENACE AND VALOUR.

When 11-year-old April joins a group of kids living at Winterborne Home she doesn’t expect to be there for very long. But she soon learns that this home isn’t like any of the others – especially when she unearths the secret of the missing-and-presumed-dead billionaire, Gabriel Winterborne, who is neither missing nor dead but is actually living in a basement lair, sharpening his swords and looking for vengeance.

Now that April knows Gabriel Winterborne is alive, she must turn to the other orphans to keep him that way. As a looming new danger threatens to take Gabriel down once and for all, they must use their individual talents to find a way to make sure this home for misfits isn’t lost to them for ever.

Because at the Winterborne Home, nothing is what it seems, no one is who they say they are and nowhere is safe. And now a ragtag group of orphans must unravel the riddle of a missing heir, a supposed phantom and a secret key, all without alerting the adults of Winterborne House that trouble is afoot.

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Book Review: The Missing Diamonds


Annabelle Sami & Daniela Sosa

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 6th February 2020
spoilers? nope

Goodreads

AGENT ZAIBA INVESTIGATES is a fun, contemporary new series for fans of The Sinclair Mysteries and the Murder Most Unladylike books.

Eleven-year-old Zaiba is obsessed with crime. Her Aunt Fouzia runs a detective agency back in Karachi and has turned Zaiba on to the brilliant Eden Lockett Mysteries. She has every book in the series – and the quilt cover, and the phone case. All she needs now is a crime to solve…

In book one, Zaiba is attending a family Mehndi party at The Grand Royal Star Hotel when she hears that the prized Italian Greyhound of a famous actress has gone missing from the star’s suite. With the help of her best friend and her little brother, the amateur sleuth manages to foil the petnapping plot and save the day.

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Book Review: Death in the East


Abir Mukherjee

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

published: 14th November 2019
spoilers? nope

Goodreads

Calcutta police detective Captain Sam Wyndham and his quick-witted Indian Sergeant, Surrender-not Banerjee, are back for another rip-roaring adventure set in 1920s India.

1905, London. As a young constable, Sam Wyndham is on his usual East London beat when he comes across an old flame, Bessie Drummond, attacked in the streets. The next day, when Bessie is found brutally beaten in her own room, locked from the inside, Wyndham promises to get to the bottom of her murder. But the case will cost the young constable more than he ever imagined.

1922, India. Leaving Calcutta, Captain Sam Wyndham heads for the hills of Assam, to the ashram of a sainted monk where he hopes to conquer his opium addiction. But when he arrives, he sees a ghost from his life in London – a man thought to be long dead, a man Wyndham hoped he would never see again.

Wyndham knows he must call his friend and colleague Sergeant Banerjee for help. He is certain this figure from his past isn’t here by coincidence. He is here for revenge…

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WTRIYL: Jane Austen

(Ignore the ugly acronym in the title, I just didn’t want to bother typing out “what to read if you liked”, which is what I have just now done anyway.)

Introducing a new rec series! Because I’m getting kind of tired of only having Five for Friday happening, I figured what better way to rec books than a series aimed at diversifying your bookshelves.

So here’s how this is gonna work. It’s fairly self-explanatory: I’ll pick (or you’ll suggest) a popular book, series or even author and rec you more books, based on what aspects of the book you liked. Simple, right?

First up is Jane Austen. I’ve likely mentioned this before, but I’m not the biggest fan of classics. Most of the time I find them too dry and tedious. Jane Austen is an exception to that. And there are aspects of her books done so well, I’m always on some level searching for that kind of validation elsewhere.

Which is why I’m going to share with you two recs per book, based on my favourite aspect of that book.

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Book Review: Twisted at the Root


Ellen Hart

Rating: 2 out of 5.

published: 13th August 2019
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Everyone thought Rashad May and Gideon Wise were happily married. That is, until Rashad was convicted of his husband’s murder.

Four years later, Rashad’s brother contacts Ray Lawless – Minnesota private investigator Jane Lawless’s father and the original defense attorney on the case – with potential evidence of a wrongful conviction. When the case is reopened, Jane and her father must work together to attain justice for a grieving widower.

Who actually killed Gideon and why? There are suspects and motives galore, and Jane must discover the truth. She must also track down her missing brother, Peter, who was involved in the original trial, and who might be hiding secrets of his own.

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