Friday 26 June 2020

The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty

The Hypnotist's Love StoryThe Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ellen O’Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist who works out of the eccentric beachfront home she inherited from her grandparents. It’s a nice life, except for her tumultuous relationship history. She’s stoic about it, but at this point, Ellen wouldn’t mind a lasting one. When she meets Patrick, she’s optimistic. He’s attractive, single, employed, and best of all, he seems to like her back.

Then comes that dreaded moment: He thinks they should have a talk. Braced for the worst, Ellen is pleasantly surprised. It turns out that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen thinks, Actually, that’s kind of interesting. She’s dating someone worth stalking. She’s intrigued by the woman’s motives. In fact, she’d even love to meet her.

Ellen doesn’t know it, but she already has.

With 502 pages my expectations of a good entertaining read were high especially as Big Little Lies was just that. Unfortunately though I ploughed on to the end, nothing much happened. There were so many opportunities to ramp up the pace that weren’t exploited. Because of the lack of pace and excitement it seemed very slow and a bit boring if I’m honest and therefore overly long.

502 pages in a book is commitment for a reader and I just didn’t think it was a great investment of my time. It’s an ok read for a holiday but not a great read.

Only 3 stars from me, disappointing and lack lustre.

Wednesday 24 June 2020

Hope to Die by David Jackson

Hope to Die (DS Nathan Cody #2)Hope to Die by David Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There was a hate in this killer. A thirst for obliteration rather than a mere desire to end a life . . .

A brutal murder takes place in the grounds of a Liverpool cathedral. A killer is on the loose, driven by a chilling rage. The victim: the last person you'd expect to be subjected to such terrible violence. Can DS Nathan Cody crack the case before another innocent is chosen?

My first novel by this author and my first introduction to DC Nathan Cody. Having missed the first novel in this sequence of DC Cody books I thought it might be difficult to understand the character but Jackson made it easy to get the back story.

All the characters were filled in nicely so missing the first book in the series didn’t spoil the enjoyment.

Psychological thriller with good tension and nit overly long chapters kept the pace going nicely but the concept wasn’t entirely new. There were a couple of surprises but not enough to make the story really stand out. Having said this it’s an excellent read and Jackson even managed to create empathy for the killer who had been mercilessly mentally abused by his mother. Reading parts where he is only 6 having wet the bed and all the punishment that incurred were very moving.

Well deserved 4 stars from me.

Monday 22 June 2020

Hideaway by Nora Roberts

HideawayHideaway by Nora Roberts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A family ranch in Big Sur country and a legacy of Hollywood royalty set the stage for Nora Roberts’ emotional new suspense novel.

Caitlyn Sullivan, a daughter of Hollywood royalty, was already a star at ten, but still loved to play hide-and-seek with her cousins at the family home in Big Sur. It was during one of those games that she disappeared.

Despite her glamorous background, Cate was a shrewd, scrappy survivor, and she managed to escape her abductors. Dillon Cooper was shocked to find the bruised and terrified girl huddled in his ranch house kitchen—but when the teenager and his family heard her story they provided refuge and comfort, reuniting her with her loved ones.

Cate’s ordeal, though, was far from over. First came the discovery of a betrayal that would send someone she’d trusted to prison. Then there were years away in Ireland, sheltered and protected but with restlessness growing in her soul. Then, finally, she returned to Los Angeles, hoping to act again and get past the trauma that had derailed her life. What she didn’t yet know was that two seeds had been planted that long-ago night—one of a great love, and one of a terrible vengeance…

This is a meaty read 454 pages so a big investment on your time. It needed to be a great read, sadly it wasn’t.

It starts with a funeral celebration of the oldest Sullivan’s life and the coming together of the extended family at his mansion. When 9 year old Caitlyn goes missing during a hide and seek game it’s not long before the family find themselves facing a kidnapping. Great start and a good hook to get the reader in. Unfortunately having exposed who was responsible fairly early in the book it really had no where to go.

We follow Caitlyn into adulthood and it all becomes very predictable and unfortunately boring. Over half the book was predictable and dragged on to such an extent that I skim read most of the boring dialogue to almost the end when I couldn’t read any more.

Such a successful writer doesn’t really deserve two stars but with lack lustre characters and boring predictable storyline I’m afraid I really can’t give it more.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Friday 19 June 2020

Counting Stars by Keris Stainton

Counting StarsCounting Stars by Keris Stainton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Big city, big dreams, no money, no problem...

Six 'friends', one flat, big dreams... what could go wrong? When eighteen-year-old Anna leaves school and moves to Liverpool, she feels like her life is finally beginning. She's landed her dream job at a theatre, and she's moving into an exciting (if not slightly run-down) flat on a buzzing street lined with shops, bars, and buskers. Best of all, her new flatmates are kind, welcoming and a lot of fun - what more could she ask for?

But although her new life is fun, it's also a little overwhelming. Anna's job quickly falls through, and then she realises that although her new friends are great, they're also a little mixed-up... and it's not long before Anna starts using her blog to talk about her experiences, from the hilarious to the ridiculous to the little-bit-scary. But when Anna spills a bigger secret than she can handle, suddenly the consequences are all too real. She'll have to prove she has the mettle to make it in the big city, or risk losing everything she thinks she wants.

Average chic lit book that would appeal to most students who’ve just moved away from home.

Mainly dealing with growing up and relationships with boys and learning to live with others.

Likeable characters and an average storyline. Very predictable but an easy read and perfect for holidays (if we ever get back to normal post lockdown life).

Three stars for this one.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday 17 June 2020

Two Women by Martina Cole

Two WomenTwo Women by Martina Cole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Danger and violence have always been part of Sue Dalston's East End upbringing. Unloved by her mother, abused by her father, and brutalised throughout her entire marriage, she's convicted of smashing her husband's skull in a final act of desperation. All that keeps her sane is knowing that she's done it to protect her four children. At last, they are safe from harm. When she is celled up with murderess Matilda Enderby, their fates become inextricably linked. And no one - least of all Sue - could have predicted the consequences . . 

This is a meaty book with 552 pages it is a investment on your time but such a surprisingly easy read it really didn’t seem to drag at all.

With believable characters and a strong storyline this novel treated sexual, physical and mental abuse with realistic brutality and yet the characters kept their dignity and respect throughout.

Some passages are truly awful in their depiction but the reader has to go on. I loved the East End connection and it resonated with me being a Londoner myself.

A cleverly crafted novel and immensely worthwhile read. Has to have 5 stars. Read it you won’t be disappointed.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Monday 15 June 2020

The Au Pair by Emma Rous

The Au PairThe Au Pair by Emma Rous
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother Danny were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.

Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is beautifully dressed, smiling serenely, and holding just one baby.

Who is the child and what really happened that day?

One person knows the truth, if only Seraphine can find her.

After the death of her father, Seraphine comes across a photograph of her mother (from 25 years previously ) holding a baby. Her mother supposedly threw herself from the cliffs hours after she has given birth to twins Seraphine and Danny; the photo shows only one baby and her expression does not fit with someone mentally unstable enough to commit suicide.

Seraphine has always felt there was something wrong either she didn’t belong or there were things her and Danny didn’t know. Determined to find the truth she tracks down Laura the nanny who was present at their birth to give her answers.

Seraphine opens up long buried secrets that become deeper the further she digs.

It was a page turner novel but I felt the ending was hurried and not entirely satisfactory. It was also confusing in some parts to decipher who was who.

I enjoyed the read but felt the rushed ending and trying to sort out identities and family connections was confusing and at times frustrating. Because of this I can’t give it more than 3.5 stars

I would like to thank the publisher for sending in exchange for an honest review.

Friday 12 June 2020

The Liar by Steve Cavanagh

The Liar (Eddie Flynn #3)The Liar by Steve Cavanagh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Leonard Howell's worst nightmare has come true: his daughter Caroline has been kidnapped. Not content with relying on the cops, Howell calls the only man he trusts to get her back.

Eddie Flynn knows what it's like to lose a daughter and vows to bring Caroline home safe. Once a con artist, now a hotshot criminal attorney, Flynn is no stranger to the shady New York underworld.

However, as he steps back into his old life, Flynn realizes that the rules of game have changed — and that he is being played. But who is pulling the strings? And is anyone in this twisted case telling the truth...?

This is my third Cavanagh book in the Eddie Flynn series. I really like the punchy way he writes and the character Eddie Flynn.

This is another adrenaline action packed novel that draws you in from the start and hurtles you towards The finale.

When Lenny Howell’s daughter is kidnapped he calls on Eddie Flynn the son of an old friend to help him find out who had taken her. In true Cavanagh style this is a very intricate plotted story that unravels the deeper you get into the book but only really delivering the punch at the end.

Great court room battles and cross examinations revealing only when Cavanagh wants the reader to know the essential information that moves this forwards.

A great read, clever, entertaining, and totally believable. Has to have 5 stars

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.