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Guest Reviewer Noelle: Review of Black Wood by SJI Holliday

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Noelle's Rating: 3.5/5

Format: Kindle Edition

File Size: 1029 KB

Print Length: 335 pages

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1845029534

Publisher: Black & White Publishing (24 Feb. 2015)

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Synopsis: Something happened to Claire and Jo in Black Wood: something that left Claire paralysed and Jo with deep mental scars. But with Claire suffering memory loss and no evidence to be found, nobody believes Jo's story. Twenty-three years later, a familiar face walks into the bookshop where Jo works, dredging up painful memories and rekindling her desire for vengeance. And at the same time, Sergeant Davie Gray is investigating a balaclava-clad man who is attacking women on a disused railway, shocking the sleepy village of Banktoun. But what is the connection between Jo's visitor and the masked man? To catch the assailant, and to give Jo her long-awaited justice, Gray must unravel a tangled web of past secrets, broken friendship and tainted love. But can he crack the case before Jo finds herself with blood on her hands?

Noelle's Review: I have seen mixed reviews about this book and I had it on my TBR list prior to it being chosen as The Book of The Month for THE Book Club I am a member of. Overall I thought the storyline was fairly good. Unfortunately it seemed, to me anyway, to be a bit all over the place...I found it to be chaotic in places and it took me a while to get into the overall storyline. I appreciate the concept of looking back to explain the story and how it evolves, however I thought it was a bit too sketchy to get a grasp of, if that makes any sense.

I also felt that some of the characters, Jo, Claire and Davie were interesting but again not as well developed as they could have been. Whilst other characters...Scott, Gareth and Jake had real potential but the author just fell short of giving them the 'reality-feel' of the characters they could have been. What I mean by this is that they played a pretty significant part in the storyline's development but there was not much about them as characters to grip me.

There were seem really good parts in the book as well. It started off pretty slow for me but then picked up pace when I got to the middle of the book. I enjoyed that part(the middle) but wished (a) it had not taken so long and (b) that the pace carried on throughout.

I also figured out the twist before I knew it was the twist. That disappointed me as I expected a real "OMG" moment and for me...it never came.

I have to say however that this book had a lot of potential that I believed was missed, but as a story, I did enjoy it. Based on that, I would recommend others to read it and would love to hear their views. I will, however, keep my eyes open for more of SJI Holliday's books as I would be interested to see what comes next.

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