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» Listings for 2013

  1. James Patterson Merry Xmas
    My Rating: 3/5

    Synopsis: On the night before Christmas, Detective Alex Cross is at home celebrating with his family. But when Alex's phone rings, he knows that this won't be a merry Christmas.

    A father has taken his children and ex-wife hostage. Armed to the teeth and high on crystal meth, Henry Fowler is dangerously unstable. The lives of everyone in that house are hanging by a thread.

    As this suburban nightmare is unfolding, another far greater threat is approaching. It will be a terrorist attack like Washington DC has never seen, and when nobody expects it.

    My Review: When I read the synopsis, I immediately thought “is that it?”. The synopsis just seemed a bit ‘bleugh’ if you know what I mean. Sadly this latest Cross novel left me feeling exactly the same way. As ever with any JP book, the chapters are short and sharp meaning it’s incredibly easy to read. Sadly a few chapters in, and I just had that dreaded feeling of “I’ve been here before with this character”.

    The Henry Fowler character takes his children and ex-wife hostage and as usual Alex Cross is called in, but it happens to be Christmas morning. The story started to pick up pace and I thought we may well have been in for a treat, but I was to be disappointed as that part of the story finished rather abruptly. The reader is then briskly rushed onto the next part of the story involving a terrorist plot. I don’t recall how far into the book this happened but it all just felt a bit disjointed.

    The second plot of the book involving the terrorist plot certainly had all the right elements. However, it just seemed to lack any real feeling. I have been reading James Patterson for years and I took the time to pull my older reviews up today. It seems like my opinion of mediocrity has been recurring for a few years now and it seems like I am not learning my lesson. It feels like a huge number of us Patterson readers keep reading through both loyalty, and the hope that he will once again create brilliance like his early days.

    Overall, it’s a book that would keep you entertained for a few hours, but that’s it. It shows how my interest is waning when I wait nearly a year from publication to read a Cross book. No doubt I will swiftly move onto the next book (book 20 in the series entitled Alex Cross Run). Overall, not a terrible read, just not like some of his earlier books.

  2. Well as the year draws to a close I decided to take a look at the books that I had read and rated as 5/5 from 2013. I have then taken the liberty of sharing them with you so if you are struggling to find a new book, and haven't read one on the list maybe give it a try. The list is NOT in any kind of order as I couldn't possibly decide what books were better as they are all slightly different.

     The Trap by Kimberley Chambers

    When Good Men Do Nothing by Paul Grzegorzek

    No Way Back by Andrew Gross

    The Dead by Howard Linskey

    Cold Killing by Luke Delaney

    Ruthless by Jessie Keane

    Dishonour by Jacqui Rose

    Blood Whisperer by Zoe Sharp

    The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood

    Watch Your Back by Karen Rose

        

  3. Jojo Moyes The One Plus OneMy Rating: 5/5

    Synopsis: One single mum

    With two jobs and two children, Jess Thomas does her best day after day. But it's hard on your own. And sometimes you take risks you shouldn't. Because you have to . . .

    One chaotic family

    Jess's gifted, quirky daughter Tanzie is brilliant with numbers, but without a helping hand she'll never get the chance to shine. And Nicky, Jess's teenage stepson, can't fight the bullies alone. 

    Sometimes Jess feels like they're sinking . . .

    One handsome stranger

    Into their lives comes Ed Nicholls, a man whose life is in chaos, and who is running from a deeply uncertain future. But he has time on his hands. He knows what it's like to be lonely. And he wants to help . . .

    One unexpected love story

    The One Plus One is a captivating and unconventional romance from Jojo Moyes about two lost souls meeting in the most unlikely circumstances

    My Review: I have to say that I started reading this one lunchtime and by the end of my hour, had managed to plough through the first quarter of the book. I also finished it that very night and was left feeling like Jojo Moyes seems to be an author I really should be reading more of! Jess was a character that I instantly liked, and as a single Mum struggling to make ends meets it was a familiar story. Her two kids Tanzie and her Stepson Nicky were also instantly likeable. We read a few chapters from each persons perspective which really helped you understand what they were going through.

    Tanzie was such a sweetheart and as a maths genius, when Jess gets the opportunity to give her a head start she decides to take a chance. At this point Jess life seems to unravel pretty quickly and before she knows it she is in deep water. On the other side of the coin we meet Ed Nicholls whose own life seems to be falling apart and as he battles to sort his own issues out, he and Jess have a chance meeting.

    What follows this chance meeting is a brilliant story about this unusual foursome and the journey they take (to say any more would spoil it). We see various plot lines covered such as bullying and I really liked the way it was dealt with in the story (genius), unemployment, romance, chaos, and most of all what real life is all about! We see the highs and lows for both Jess and Ed and we see two kids with their own issues deal with them in their own way. What I will tell you is that I loved all the characters, loved the storyline, loved the writing and was so gutted when I finished the book. It had everything a book should have and kept me reading to the very last page. An absolute joy to read and a book I would highly recommend!

  4. Simon Kernick Stay AliveMy Rating: 5/5

    Synopsis:

    ONE WITNESS: You're on a trip with your family, miles from anywhere. A shot rings out - and your whole life changes in an instant.

    ONE SECRET: A woman is racing towards you, chased by three gunmen. Although you don't know it, she harbours a deadly secret. She's in terrible danger. And now you are too.

    NO ESCAPE: You're running, terrified, desperate to find safety. You know that the men hunting you have killed before. And if they catch you, you'll be next .

    My Review: Holy Shit! You know that feeling you get when you’re watching some really intense thriller and the music gets a bit slower, and the tension mounts…..that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach…do I watch? Do I turn away? Yep that one! Well this started from page 1 and finished pretty much when I had finished. If you haven’t read Simon Kernick before (first of all where on earth have you been) then you can compare his work to one of those movies! Sometimes SK books are hit or miss for me, some people (I agree occasionally) think that they are too unrealistic. Other times they are amazing. To date my favourite read has always been Relentless, until now! Although it may be a joint winner this latest book is certainly up there with his best stuff!

    Amanda Rowan finds herself in a dangerous situation and is forced to flee her home. When she moves away she figures that her life is relatively safe and she can go about her normal day to day life. When she realises that this couldn’t be further from the truth she inadvertently drags a family into her mess. Jess is the elder sister up visiting her sister when Amanda Rowan drags her and her family into her dangerous world. From the moment this part of the story begins my heart was racing even faster than it had been up until that point. Mike Bolt makes a welcome return, although in my opinion we didn't see nearly enough of him. Having said that I was so wrapped up in the story I soon forgot that!

    Kernick has certainly exceeded my expectations and has produced an absolute heart thumping page turner. It was a book that I literally couldn’t put down. Every time I picked it back up that all too familiar sick feeling in the pit of my stomach returned. You almost feel like you are taking the journey with them. Every chapter throws up new danger, violence and more twists and turns than the best rollercoaster in the world! The pace was bordering on frenetic but the story had me gripped from the outset. Towards the end I thought I knew where the book was headed but boy was I wrong! I finished with a real feeliong that I may be visiting a cinema to see the movie version as this book has MAKE ME INTO A MOVIE written all over it. This latest Kernick is a true delight that his fans will be itching to get their fingers on!

  5. Alex Brown Cupcakes at CarringtonsMy Rating: 4/5

    Synopsis: Georgie Hart loves her job--running the luxury handbag concession at Carrington's Department store in the pretty seaside town of Mulberry Bay, and treating herself (once too often!) to a red velvet cupcake with buttercream icing in Carrington's café.

    But Georgie is thrown into disarray when Carrington's is plunged into a recession-busting makeover, cueing the arrival of femme fatale Maxine, who wields the axe in her immaculately-manicured hands.

    It spells a recipe for disaster for Georgie and soon she is fighting not only for her job, but also for the attentions of her gorgeous boss, James. And when hot newcomer Tom arrives, who may or may not be the best thing since sliced bread, Georgie must decide where her loyalties really lie... 

    My Review: Having never read Alexandra Brown and seeing the good reviews for this book I was looking forward to getting stuck in. The lovely thing about this book was it was only a mere few pages before I got to know Georgie Hart and very quickly, adore her! Georgie hasn’t had an easy upbringing and from the very early stages there are hints about her past without the reader actually finding out what it is that had happened until further in.

    Carrington’s Department store was described brilliantly and pretty soon I could just imagine myself shopping in a place like that. Along with Georgie are her co-workers one of who, (Sam) is her best friend. There are also additional characters that all add to the story as Carrington’s is graced with a new boss Maxine. I immediately loathed her and as all the staff are told what they need to do to save their jobs, you can just feel that her presence is the thing to make people crack.

    I particularly liked Georgie’s friend Sam who owns the face on the 5th floor at Carrington’s, as well as Eddie who is the MD’s assistant. The storyline itself was interesting because not only do we get to see a number of threads, we get to see what the scheming Maxine is up to. I think the second half of the book flew by a lot quicker than the first half, and by the end I was disappointed that it was nearly finished. On the plus side, it means I can move onto book 2 which is entitled Christmas at Carrington’s and was released in December 2013.

  6. Alex Marwood The Killer Next Door
     
    My Rating: 5/5

    Synopsis: No. 23 has a secret. In this gloomy, bedsit-riddled South London wreck, lorded over by a lecherous landlord, a horrifying collection quietly waits to be discovered. Yet all six residents have something to hide. 

    Collette is on the run from her ex-boss; Cher is an underage children's home escapee; lonely Thomas tries to make friends with his neighbours; while a gorgeous Iranian asylum seeker and a 'quiet man' nobody sees try to keep themselves hidden. And there for them all is Vesta, a woman who knows everything that goes on in the house - or thought she did. 

    Then in the dead of night, a terrible accident pushes the six into an uneasy alliance. But one of them is a killer, expertly hiding their pastime, all the while closing in on their next victim...

  7. Lindsey Kelk I Heart ChristmasMy Rating: 4/5

    Synopsis: Angela’s planning her very own fairytale of New York…

    • Enormous Christmas tree

    • Eggnog

    • Eccentric British traditions

    • Gorgeous man

    But Santa’s throwing her a few curveballs – new job (as if it’s not mental enough already), new baby-craze from her best friend Jenny, and Alex determined they should grow up and settle down. Once friends start turning up uninvited on her doorstep (and leading her astray), can Angela really have a merry little Christmas? So much for happy holidays – something’s got to give…

  8. Karen Rose Watch Your BackMy Rating: 5/5

    Synopsis:UNFORGETTABLE

    Stevie Mazzetti knew she would never get over the murder of her husband and son. But with their killer behind bars, she was able to move on with her life, if only for her daughter's sake.

    UNIMAGINABLE

    Now, eight years later, the Baltimore detective always fights for the victims she meets and when she learns that her ex-partner may have miscarried justice, Stevie's determined to right the wrong, even if it means she is in danger.

    UNDENIABLE

    Clay Maynard has always wanted Stevie and when she is targeted by a vicious psychopath, he believes that protecting her may give him the chance to have her in his life forever. Clay will do anything to keep Stevie safe but with a killer on her tail who has everything to lose and a secret to hide, will they stay alive long enough to find happiness?