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CTM = Crime, Thriller, Mystery Genre Authors

ROF = Romance and Other Fiction Authors

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» Listings for 2009

  1. Jilliane Hiffman Pretty Little ThingsMy Rating: 5/5

    Jilliane Hoffman was introduced to me originally by a friend and I read her first novel Retribution (2005) which I adored. However her next book didn't come out until a year later (Last Witness - 2006) and another two years go by before another book gets released (Plea of Insanity - 2008) and after that I forgot about her because it is so unpredictable with the timings of her books. Therefore I couldn't wait to get my grubby little paws on her latest thriller.

    Pretty Little Things tells the story of Elaine Emerson know as Lainey. She is a normal girl except for the fact that she might as well be invisible in her own home. Her mother is too busy to know or care what she does, her little brother can do no wrong, her step-father is too busy at work and her elder sister no longer bothers coming home. So when Lainey is left to her own devices online, things go terribly wrong. With their recent house move and the loss of all of her school friends Lainey is finding it hard enough as it is to fit in at her new school, so when a handsome boy makes friends with her online she sees no reason why she shouldn't meet up with him. For Lainey this is where it all goes wrong. Where she is taken and who has taken her she can't say but she does know that she is scared and that she isn't alone.

    Bobby Dees is a Special Agent and when he gets that all too familiar phone call one morning he knows the coming weeks will be hell. Bobby is suffering with his own demons and his marriage is falling apart at the seams following the disappearance of his own daughter over a year ago. Still, he pushes his grief to one side and gets to work on his latest case involving the missing Lainey. Bobby soon realises that Lainey was pretty much left to her own devices and it doesn't take long for him to figure out the last contact Lainey had was with somebody known only as El Capitan. The question is can he get to her before she winds up being another statistic?

    Wow, I was really thrilled with this new book and finished it within a day and a half. It took me the usual two or three chapters to really absorb myself in the story but once there I couldn't resist going back chapter upon chapter until before I knew it I was finished. The story is laid out really well with the story told from Bobby Dees, Lainey as well as the disturbed life of the man who has taken young Lainey. The chapters were written well enough for me to start fearing for my nieces growing up! Bobby Dees is written very well and you end up liking him and Jilliane Hoffman doesn't go overboard with the sympathy vote for him which I liked. I cannot come up with one thing I didn't like about this book and am only sad that I now don't know how long I will have to wait for the next one!

  2. Synopsis: When Alicia Carlyle returns to the home of her childhood after the tragic death of her husband, she is hoping to put the past behind her. But first she must come face to face with the woman who nearly destroyed her marriage and tore her family in two - her sister-in-law, Sabrina. Their enmity runs deep, but Alicia is determined to make a fresh start for herself and her two children, Nathan and Darcie, and to heal her fractured relationship with her beloved brother.

    However, just when it looks as if they might have a chance at a brighter future, Sabrina's fifteen-year-old daughter, Annabelle, accuses seventeen-year-old Nathan of a crime he insists he didn't commit. And once more the two families are locked in a battle that is fraught with mistrust, betrayal and lies - a battle that threatens to destroy them all...

    Kat's Rating: 5/5

  3. Martina Cole Hard GirlsMy Rating: 2/5

    Martina Cole has been writing since 1992 and has produced some fantastic crime novels. Some of her work has been turned into TV Dramas and her most recent book turned TV Programme was The Take which attracted over 600,000 viewers in the first episode. Martina Cole Books have always been popular and many of them have reached number 1 in the Bestseller lists. I have read each and every book she has ever written and have been a fan for many years. However, in recent years I felt like she was losing that something special that she had in the first few books she produced. I was, like other fans, waiting with baited breath for her latest book that brings back characters that appeared in `Ladykiller' and `Broken'.

    DCI Kate Burrows is living with Patrick Kelly. Patrick is a former criminal that has changed his life after settling with Kate and going on the `straight' to a certain degree. Kate is no longer working as a DCI full time but is still a consultant and is drafted in when a new case arises. When working girls are found murdered and brutally tortured, Kate realises that this is a little too close to home where Patrick is concerned. He may be on the straight and narrow but when working girls start turning up dead in houses that he rents out the case becomes incredibly personal. Subsequently Kate and Patrick separate after Kate has doubts about Pat's involvement. The more time that passes, and the more girls that turn up. Each girl seems to be in a worse state than the last. DCI Annie Carr is the lead on the new case and Kate joins her in the bid to find the killer before they murder more of the working girls.

    I am so undecided about this book. This took me a whole week to read, whereas normally I would read a Martina Cole book over a couple of days. I found myself constantly putting it down and reading something else (never a good sign). The characters seem to have changed completely since the last time we met them. Admittedly Kate and Patrick are both much older now but Kate Burrows ended up being a character I really didn't like that much. The story itself was okay, that's it just okay. There were no great drama's or surprises in store and the killer is pretty obvious quite early on in the book. I also found that the storyline was much like Martina's last book in that there is so much repetitiveness it makes me bored of reading it again...and again.....and again! The crime scenes seemed to be almost skipped over and there didn't seem to de any depth to any storyline, whether it is a violent one or a murder that had happened.

    Overall it wasn't bad but I just found that it wasn't a gripping enough read, the characters nowhere near as good as they used to be and her style of writing has changed. I was really hoping that her new book would be back to her `old style' types where you literally couldn't put the book down. Unfortunately it wasn't and I find myself wondering whether Martina Cole has lost her touch. I am disappointed that somebody that in her heyday produced books that I couldn't wait to read, has now produced something that makes me think I won't bother with the new releases she brings out in the future. I will save my pennies for authors that I really love, and will probably wait until her new books are on special offer somewhere.

  4. My Rating: 5/5

    My Review: I decided to read this debut Novel by Tasmina Perry because the jacket description was appealing. I would describe it upon first glance as Chick Lit although later I think this theory will appear slightly incorrect.

    Tasmina's first novel features the Balcon sisters. Serena, Cate, Camilla and Venetia are used to a world where money can buy you anything but the four sisters are completely different. The four sisters all have different careers. Cate is a magazine editor, Camilla is a barrister, Venetia is a designer and Serena is the spoilt actress. The sisters all love each other despite their differences but all seem united in the one problem they all have, their father. Lord Oswald Balcon is never pleased, least of all with his daughters. When he is found dead one morning, the sisters decide to find out who is behind his murder. All four sisters have the motive, so is one of them the killer?

    This book was in my opinion a great first novel. The thing is, you will either love this or hate it, and for me I definitely loved it. I am a fan of all things cheesy and this book is certainly along the Jackie Collins Genre of book. Although this is probably still considered Chick Lit I thought the storyline was well written and thorough. There are quite a few plotlines so you have to keep track of them all but for me the experience was thoroughly enjoyable. This is the sort of book that you can fully absorb yourself in. Highly recommended, especially for Jackie Collins fans. The only negative I can say is that Tasmina Perry only writes a book a year at the moment. In one respect I like the fact that she doesn't just churn them out, but at the same token it means having to wait quite a while for a great book!

  5. My Rating: 5/5

    My Review: I have read Tasmina Perry's first book and before I give you the low-down I need to explain about the Genre of this book. It is a typical `Bonkbuster' which reminds me of the type of books Jackie Collins writes. This style of book isn't everybody's cup of tea but for those that do like it and were mad fans of Dynasty and the like will absolutely LOVE this type of book. It has everything a good Chick Lit book should have. Lust, Greed and most importantly glamour!

    Based in London we meet Adam Gold who owns the hugely successful Midas Corporation. He is the type of man every woman could only dream about. He is successful, handsome, sexy and extremely powerful. What he doesn't realise is he is about to meet the `Gold Diggers'. The `Gold Diggers' come in the form of Karin, Erin, Molly and Summer. Karin is a successful swimwear entrepreneur and the thought of having handsome Adam on her arm is almost too much to bear. She is a woman who is known for getting what she wants and is always the boss. Her biggest rival is Molly who was a huge star in the 80's but her success is now fading. The only thing she is gaining as time goes on is an expensive drug habit and lifestyle that she cannot keep up with. Could Adam be the answer to her prayers? Molly's daughter Summer has never had a great relationship with her mother, due to the fact that Molly sees her as a burden. The tables are turned in Summer's favour when she lands a big contract that promises to make her the next `big thing'. Last but not least we meet Erin. She is the country girl who decides to move to London and ironically ends up working as a PA to the one and only Adam Gold. The story is the contest of a lifetime. Which one of the girls will finally snare the illustrious Adam Gold?

    The book was an absolute corker! The writing was fantastic with the author taking up to the exotic locations of Monte Carlo, Lake Como, St Moritz and St Barts. We get to plunge head first into the world of the rich and famous. The thing I also love is that the author doesn't skimp. Tasmina Perry books are always pretty meaty and you get a real feel for all of the characters. This book is absolutely fantastic and I have no negatives about it at all. Just remember, Gold Diggers is like Marmite. You will either love it or hate it.

  6. My Review: 4/5

    Alex Cross is a character that has been one of James Patterson's longer running themes. He returns in this blockbuster along with a few familiar faces.

    They are celebrating Alex' birthday in the opening chapter, but as usual are interrupted with the phone call they always dread...Work! Alex and his long time girlfriend Detective Briana Stone along with his kids Ali and Jannie (who live at home), and the ever faithful Nana are welcomed back. Nana and his children have been the one consistence in his life that has brought him stability, support and love, however his love for his job sometimes gets him putting his priorities the wrong way round. The call he receives becomes personal as Alex finds out that a killer has got to one of his own. His niece has been murdered and they want him in on the case. He throws himself into the case head first and discovers that this serial killer won't be so easy to catch. This is no ordinary serial killer and Alex soon discovers that the whole case is wrapped up with some high rollers who are protected by those around them. That means breaking the rules and doing what needs to be done to catch the killer. Alex realises that to do his job he has to trust nobody and do things his own way.

    I have on a few occasions' mentioned that I was unsure what James Patterson was doing to quality of his own work, due to the sheer volume of novels he seems to produce or complete with a co-author. My opinion has been in the past that his novels (especially the Cross ones) seem to decline the more books he produces. This book showed me glimpses of some of the great work that he has produced in the past, however still left me undecided as to whether his work is back to its usual quality. His chapters are short and sharp but keep the pages turning. The story was a good one and flowed throughout, with the added bonus of ending the book on a great opening for the next one.

    I did enjoy this and think it is better than his last Alex Cross Novel (Cross Country). However, although still an avid James Patterson fan I find that I am leaning towards his other follow on books with the lead character of Michael Bennett (e.g. Run for your life). I will continue to read James Patterson's work and can only hope that the Alex Cross books continue to catch the audience. This book can be read as a stand alone but I would advise that if you enjoy this, that you try some of his other earlier books.

  7. Jessie Keane Scarlet WOmanMy Rating: 5/5

    Jessie Keane has produced a series of books. They are all running along the crime/thriller end of the market with a strong female lead. We have yet to experience what else she has to bring.

    This book is the follow up from book 1 (Dirty Game) and book 2 (Black Widow). Once again Annie Carter is back in London and trying to run her husbands business. It's now the 70's and her arch enemy's the Delaney's are still around and running the brothel that her good friend Dolly runs. When prostitutes start getting killed Annie gets involved, wanting to know who is involved. In doing that she gets herself caught up in the middle of a war and puts her own life at risk. One of close friend's Chris Brown ends up being framed for the murders and Dolly want's to do everything she can to clear his name. Not only does she have to find the culprit, but she is working against her own boys who don't like answering to a woman. She is working at having to prove herself as the Boss and also manage looking after her business along with her young daughter Layla. When Constantine Barolli turns up it complicates the situation even further. He is a dangerous Mob Boss and Annie finds herself fighting off her real feelings for him in an attempt to keep her business at the top. Can she find the real killer before it is too late or will she end up having to identify another young girl?

    This book was an absolute corker and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was well worth the wait for the final instalment in the Annie Carter books. I didn't put this down once I'd started. The writing style and the fact that you know this is the conclusion keeps you turning page after page. The only negative is what to expect from Jessie Keane next. With her last three books being as good as they have been there are high expectations for the next one. I can't wait!

  8. My Rating: 4/5

    My Review- In this follow up to `Country Pursuits' I was expecting another 5 star read. Although I enjoyed this book it wasn't as good as the first one.

    Once again we meet Caro and her new husband Benedict who move away from Churchminster back to London to be closer to Benedict's work. They move to Montague Mews where they meet their new neighbours. Saffron is a young, hip and trendy socialite who lives with her Aunt Velda along with Stephen and Klaus who have a holiday home in Churchminster and the reclusive Rowena. We are also reintroduced to Harriett who also lived in Churchminster and is working at Soiree, a popular women's magazine as a PA to Catherine Connor. Add into the mix Benedict's sister Amelia who appears on their doorstep looking to stay for a while following her stint of living abroad. Both Catherine and Amelia are both hiding dark secrets which turn Montague Mews into a very interesting place to live. Caro finds it hard to adjust to living in London and spends most of her time ferrying her son Milo to and from Nursery and wondering just what is going on with their reclusive neighbour Rowena. Saffron is busy trying to carve out her career whilst fighting with her awful boss Annabel who is incredibly lazy. Harriet is thriving in her new job and is determined to find love in London. Catherine meanwhile is fighting to save the magazine from closure. With the pressures of deadlines from her Company Board she is thrown into turmoil when an old friend from her past turns up.

    All in all the book was enjoyable but I couldn't help feeling there was something missing. The characters were fantastic (as they were in the last book), and the storytelling good but I couldn't help feeling there was maybe a bit too much going on to focus on any one particular character.

    In Jo Carnegies last book we really got to know the characters involved an you could clearly follow each plot as they developed. This book can be read as a stand alone book but is a bit better when you have already read the first. I will definitely read and look forward to her next book and hope that maybe we get to find out a bit more about some of the individual characters