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» Listings for March 2014

  1. Emma CLapperton Henderson ManorMy Rating: 4/5

    Synopsis: Do you believe a house can remember things that have happened in the past? 

    As D.S Preston and D.C Lang investigate the death of a young girl in an old manor house in Glasgow they ask themselves, who would want to kill an innocent girl in her own home and why? They believe their questions are answered and the case is closed.

    Sam Leonard could not be happier, he has an amazing acting career, a loyal best friend and a fantastic girlfriend and after a previous turbulent relationship, what could go wrong? 

    Patrick McLaughlin’s life is going well. His marriage is stable and with a baby on the way, things can only get better. But a house that Patrick buys is not all it seems. With a family burial plot in the gardens, visions and messages from the deceased and a fairly recent death in the house, will Patrick and Jodie regret their purchase? 

    Henderson Manor will bring together the lives of several unsuspecting people…but can a house let go of its past?

  2. Steven Dunne The ReaperMy Rating: 4/5

    Synopsis: A damaged detective and a brutal serial killer collide in this nail-biting thriller debut. Detective Inspector Damen Brook thinks he’s left his past behind him in London. But it seems a serial killer has followed him north…

    Brook’s seeking sanctuary. Years in the MET have left their mark - so much so that he's fled to Derby leaving behind his marriage, his teenage daughter and very nearly his sanity to wind down a once promising career in the peace of the Peak District.

    But one winter's night, Brook is confronted by a serial killer he hunted many years before - The Reaper - a man who slaughters families in their homes then disappears without a trace. To find this killer Brook must discover what the Reaper is doing in Derby, why he's started killing again and what, if anything, connects the butchered families.

    As Brook becomes entangled in a deadly game of cat and mouse, he is forced to face his own demons by revisiting the previous investigation and confronting a past that destroyed his family and nearly cost him his life…

    My Review: I was pretty impressed with this debut by Steven Dunne. I started reading it and found myself pretty immersed with the first few chapters which seemed to pull me in. I only had one issue and it’s not really even a valid one as I can’t explain my reasoning. The lead character is a Detective name Damen Brook. For some reason his name just didn't sit right with me, don’t ask me why as I have no clue. I just know that it didn't feel right (I'm hoping that by the time I get to read the others in the series I may change my mind on that).

    The story itself is a good one and I particularly liked the fact that there were threads involving not only the new murders, but also following Damen’s life before he moved to Derby. Considering this was a debut novel, I thought it was bloody awesome. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying it was perfect, but it was an amazing first book and I found myself thoroughly engrossed. There are plenty of plot layers and threads to keep the story moving along. The murder scenes were described with certain ‘flair’, giving you a feel for the killer. It may have been a wee bit creepy, but it certainly made it feel all the more realistic.

    There were parts in the book which I felt were a little bit too descriptive, leaning towards a little bit of padding. However, it certainly wasn't too much, and this will no doubt improve with each book that Dunne writes. There are threads to the story which take you back in the past, and unless you are paying careful attention, you may not always see the switch. I think this is a lot harder to follow on Kindle, as opposed to a paperback book. I really liked the end and it certainly left me wanting to read more about Damen (damn why is that name such an issue for me?!?!?!?), and I can honestly say that I'm looking forward to reading the follow up to this The Disciple.

  3. Leigh Russell Fatal AcrtMy Rating: 3/5

     Synopsis: A glamorous young TV soap star dies in a car crash. Returning for her sixth case, Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel is baffled as the driver of the second vehicle miraculously survives - and vanishes. Another young actress is murdered and, once again, the killer mysteriously disappears. Geraldine unwittingly risks her sergeant's life in their struggle to track down a serial killer who leaves no clues.

     My Review: I have read all of the books in the Geraldine Steel series and this is the 6th book in the series. The series has changed somewhat with her colleague Ian Peterson leaving Geraldine (and now having his own series of books), and Geraldine relocating to London. This latest book starts off with a particularly exciting scene involving a glamorous young TV star who dies in a fatal road accident. When Geraldine is called in it appears to be a standard collision, except for the fact that the driver of the other vehicle appears to have vanished into thin air.

    At first I was completely caught up in the story and it all felt like we were back in the middle of an exciting case. Sadly, a few more chapters in, and it kind of felt like it came to a bit of a standstill. I am most definitely a fan of this series but felt like this book was a little bit safe and it seemed we were veering into familiar territory. There was quite a bit of detail while the officers involved followed the case and we certainly see Geraldine interact with her new colleagues including Nick and Sam. We also see a brief appearance if Ian Peterson, and if I’m honest it felt like Geraldine and him just ‘worked’ and as soon as we went back to present day I found myself feeling uncomfortable again.

    I think this latest story (although not a bad read) was a little too predictable and certainly laying too much on the safe side. The series having now split Geraldine and Ian Peterson leaves me still undecided about how well it works. I really enjoyed the last Geraldine Steel book (which didn’t include Ian Peterson, but this one just didn’t sit well with me. I feel like the characters are still finding their feet and I’m hoping that the next instalment feels more right than this one. I am most definitely a fan of these books and think that Leigh Russell is a talented writer. Whether or not the split in the series was a good move or not? I’m still undecided. I can only hope that the next books in the respective series put me right.