Friday, 28 September 2018

Make or Break by Catherine Bennetto

Make or BreakMake or Break by Catherine Bennetto
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jess, a 29-year-old Londoner with a Kate Beckett fringe and a tendency for dramatics, gets taken on a surprise trip by her long-term boyfriend, Pete, to attend her best friend’s last-minute wedding in South Africa. Jess imagines sun, sand, wine and safaris. And returning to London with an ethically mined diamond on her left hand...
But this holiday isn’t set to be quite the fairy tale Jess has planned... Suddenly she finds her world tilting on its axis, and things are only set to get worse when Jess returns home…

When the truth comes out, will it be... Make or Break?

Mixed feelings on this one, it had comparisons with Sophie Kinsella/Lindsay Kelk books and she definitely emulated their style but it just wasn't as polished or complete. It was very funny in parts but the central character Jess was so weak and unbelievable. She is so paranoid and over complicates things so much that it bordered on silliness and I'm not surprised her boyfriend Pete did a runner in the end.

Having been sent tickets for them both to attend Jess' best friends wedding in South Africa, Jess and Pete have an opportunity to re-connect and get their relationship on track. After 6 years of being together it seems that Pete has taken a back seat to Jess' sister who is a single parent with 2 children and who needs all the help she can get and Jess and her mother practically live in her sisters apartment organising her daily life. With a full time job and her obligations to her sister there is really little time left for anything/anyone else.

Jess is harbouring thoughts of returning with an engagement ring on her finger, Pete had different ideas once he was there. Pete is not a likeable character, he comes across as very selfish albeit that I did understand with all her baggage and her infuriatingly childish behaviour and obsessions Jess could be a bit heavy going.

The first half of the book was a bit slow and I believe it could have been a lot shorter without the unnecessary protracted thoughts Jess had on almost every subject and level - it was annoying.

Secondary characters were good, I loved Diago and his character was so well described that I could actually picture him - great descriptive writing. I liked Jimmy but honestly if I were a man I would have steered clear of this kook. Having never been to South Africa I found the descriptions made me want to visit and experience all it has to offer.

Some really good laugh out loud moments but equally some frustrating 'pull yourself together' moments that didn't allow this novel to satisfy me - it's quite predictable but worth a read especially on a plane or by the pool - gets a 3 from me.

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

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn

Thrawn: AlliancesThrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ominous words under any circumstances, but all the more so when uttered by Emperor Palpatine. On Batuu, at the edges of the Unknown Regions, a threat to the Empire is taking root―its existence little more than a glimmer, its consequences as yet unknowable. But it is troubling enough to the Imperial leader to warrant investigation by his most powerful agents: ruthless enforcer Lord Darth Vader and brilliant strategist Grand Admiral Thrawn. Fierce rivals for the emperor’s favor, and outspoken adversaries on Imperial affairs―including the Death Star project―the formidable pair seem unlikely partners for such a crucial mission. But the Emperor knows it’s not the first time Vader and Thrawn have joined forces. And there’s more behind his royal command than either man suspects.

In what seems like a lifetime ago, General Anakin Skywalker of the Galactic Republic, and Commander Mitth’raw’nuruodo, officer of the Chiss Ascendancy, crossed paths for the first time. One on a desperate personal quest, the other with motives unknown . . . and undisclosed. But facing a gauntlet of dangers on a far-flung world, they forged an uneasy alliance―neither remotely aware of what their futures held in store.

Now, thrust together once more, they find themselves bound again for the planet where they once fought side by side. There they will be doubly challenged―by a test of their allegiance to the Empire . . . and an enemy that threatens even their combined might.

This is Timothy Zahn's follow-up to the 2017 book, STAR WARS: Thrawn.
Once again we are reunited with one of Star Wars' greatest creations, the tactically brilliant Grand Admiral Thrawn. In this novel Zahn teams Thrawn up with Star Wars greatest villain, Darth Vader. Sent on a mission by the Emperor, who feels a tremor in the Force, Vader and Thrawn travel to the edges of known space to the Planet of Batuu. It is here that we learn that both characters have visited the Planet before, a longtime ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

The story is split into two timelines, one strand in the past, the other in the present. The period set in the past takes us back to the Clone Wars, and reintroduces us to Padme. Padme receives information from a trusted friend that the Separatists are on Batuu, and travels to the far off Planet to investigate. After hearing nothing from her in a week or two, Anakin heads to Batuu, to find his wife. Upon his arrival he meets Thrawn for the first time, Thrawn is aware that Anakin is looking for someone and agrees to help him.

The part of the story set in the present, sees Thrawn and Vader travel to Batuu in order to search for the tremor in the Force that the Emperor has felt. On this trip the past is dug up, and for Vader especially, as he struggles to block out the thoughts and memories of Anakin Skywalker. The two however, soon uncover a potential new threat to the Empire in the form of the Grysk, a race of beings who have come from the unknown regions of space. Along the way, Vader and Thrawn clash several times, with the Sith Lord's patience tested on more than the odd occasion. However, the two eventually discover the root of the Emperor's tremor and work together to restore order to the distant edges of the Empire.

This is a very good and fast-paced story, with Vader and Thrawn written in the only way they need to be, by Zahn. The best parts of the story are the bits that focus on the imperials, the Anakin and Padme section of the book is very enjoyable, however I always find the most interesting stories in the Star Wars canon are those that have their focus within the imperial ranks. This is another great addition to canon and adds some much needed history to the Thrawn character as well as developing the relationship between two of the Emperor's most trusted and powerful servants. This is an excellent follow-up to the first Thrawn novel and I hope I can't wait for the next instalment of Thrawn, as I'm sure there will be one.

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

Monday, 24 September 2018

Half Moon Bay by Alice LaPlante with extract

Jane O'Malley loses everything when her teenage daughter is killed in a senseless accident. Devastated, she makes one tiny stab at a new life and moves from San Francisco to the tiny seaside town of Half Moon Bay. As the months go by she is able to cobble together some possibility of peace. Then children begin to disappear, and soon Jane sees her own pain reflected in all the parents in the town. She wonders if she will be able to live through the aching loss, the fear once again surrounding her, but as the disappearances continue, fingers of suspicion all begin to point at her.

Extract 2

Sometimes Jane walks, and talks, and acts as if she were still a mother, still a woman with a family, not a woman alone. A mother walks slower. She has much on her mind. Where is the daughter? Who is she with? What is she doing? And, most important, what could go wrong? A woman without a family is lighter on her feet, less distracted. She’s not thinking, Nearly dinnertime. What shall I feed her? Or see a dress in a window and stop and think, Wouldn’t she look cute in that? before reality sets in.


Two days pass. Three. People start shaking their heads in the Three Sisters Café. This will end in tears, Jane would tell Angela when, as a child, she played too roughly with her toy soldiers, her Barbie princesses, in an all-out war of the sexes, the pink bosomy Barbies overwhelming the small green plastic soldiers. Rick’s idea of bringing Angela up without gender biases. Jane walks past the photos of the singularly unattractive Heidi papering the windows of the stores along Main Street. This will end in tears.


Jane is not a believer in Dr. Kübler-Ross. The five stages of grief do not exist. Or rather, they are not stages. Or rather, they are not grief. They are madnesses. Jane accepts the fact that denial, anger, bargaining, and depression are now her life. Acceptance is not, nor will it ever be. Always a maker of lists, Jane has created an Excel spreadsheet on her laptop. She checks off the madnesses as they engulf her minute by minute, day by day, on a scale of 1 to 10. Is what her shrink calls the intensity dissipating? Jane’s shrink says yes; her spreadsheet says no.

Kübler-Ross missed some of the most important madnesses. Shame. Guilt. Hope. And yes, ecstasy. Sleep can bestow glorious gifts, as when Angela arises, whole and unmangled, acting as though nothing has happened. What’s for dinner? she asks. Or, Can I have the car? Or, worse, just a plain inquiring Mom? Then Jane wakes, and it is like hearing the news for the first time.


How do you define loss? Jane has posted Merriam-Webster’s definition on her bedroom mirror. Deprivation. She has been grievously deprived.


Here’s what Jane remembers. Heat. Even for July, it had been unusual. All the climatologists saying Get used to it. A hotter world. An increasingly inhospitable planet. Berkeley was certainly hostile that summer, if Jane remembers properly, if she is not fantasizing, if she is not transforming emotions into facts, as her shrink often accuses her of doing. You are the unreliable narrator of your own life. Yet surely it is true that at that time, the garbagemen are on strike, and stinking refuse is piling up on the street, overflowing onto sidewalks. Fans sell out at the hardware stores, as do rat traps. People stop picking up their dogs’ poop. The homeless, who refuse to shed their layers of clothing no matter how hot the temperature, are passing out from heatstroke and dehydration. The university lets them bathe in the fountains, an unusual concession of humanity. And then there is that night, when Jane sits in her living room waiting and worrying. No, she is not psychic. This is simply what she does when Angela is out at night. Where does this fear come from? She had grown up in a middle-class family in a safe middle-class town. Was the word fear? No. Terror. She waits, terrified, night after night.

When the police car pulls up in front of the house— of course, her curtains are open, of course, she makes sure she had a clear view of the street and sidewalk— you could say she was prepared. Jane had anticipated this day from the moment of Angela’s birth sixteen years ago. She hadn’t known what the details would be, of course. There were so many possibilities! But the two uniformed men who tread heavily up to Jane’s door fit in well enough with her fantasies. Yes. It could happen like this. Yes, it could. And then the knock on the door.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Destination Chile by Katy Colins

Destination ChileDestination Chile by Katy Colins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Welcome to Paradise

Georgia has just been offered the opportunity of a lifetime! She’ll be starring in a TV adventure travel show that will put her and Ben’s business well and truly on the map.

But Georgia’s not quite sure their relationship is ready to be put under the microscope – because even though they survived their first argument the discovery of a sparkling engagement ring in Ben’s suitcase has put Georgia’s head in a spin! Are they really ready for marriage? And more importantly, after all the heartbreak, is she?

This journey is sure to be an adventure like no other. Against the backdrop of rugged and wild Chile, Ben and Georgia must decide if their love is worth fight for…

I enjoyed this book - it's the third in a series although I had not read the first two books I don't think it really mattered much, well written and in the style of the 'Shopaholic' books, this is about Georgia and Ben who have a travel business and the ups and downs of running a business and being together 24/7. They embark on a trip to Chile to take part in a television programme with 3 other couples on running a business but it's not all they thought it might be. Some genuinely hilarious situations occur and it's a great light hearted easy read. I would definitely like to read the other two books although they do go in sequence I am sure they would be just as entertaining.

A great holiday read especially if you like the 'Shopaholic' series - I would definitely recommend this and it gets an easy 5 stars from me.

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

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan

Her Name Was RoseHer Name Was Rose by Claire Allan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy.
When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.
And then she makes a decision she can never take back.
Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?
But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.

When I first picked up this book I thought that it was a young adult title as the cover gave me that impression, this didn't matter, however I went into it with completely different ideas about it.

Emily witnesses an accident, one which she believes should have been her and becomes obsessed with this woman's life. She begins to stalk her online and take over the presence as she believes she had the 'perfect' life and wants that life for herself.

I really enjoyed this novel, it took me on a journey of which I was thrown in all directions, not sure who to believe or trust. It was such a quick read, one that I didn't want to put down, racing through the pages to get to the end.

I was really impressed with this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves a thriller.

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

Monday, 17 September 2018

The Pool House by Tasmina Perry

The Pool HouseThe Pool House by Tasmina Perry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Summer To Die For
To Jem Chapman, it's the chance of a lifetime. An invitation to join a group in an exclusive Hamptons house-share, who could say no? But when she discovers what happened last summer, Jem can't help but feel a chill.

A young woman was found drowned in the house's pool. The housemates said Alice was troubled. She'd been drinking. She couldn't swim...

A Secret To Kill For
As Jem gets to know her glamorous new housemates, she realises each has something to hide. What really happened last summer? And who would go to any lengths to keep a person quiet?

I have read a few books by Tasmina Perry, I must say her last few personally have not been as good in my opinion. This book though she was back to her best, this is quite a long book, well over 400 pages but you don't notice this when reading as you have to read more. This book crossed over the genres I feel, being thriller moving into mystery/crime.

The novel begins in the past, a girl leaving a beach party and arriving to a house alone. Grabbing a vodka, she takes it out to the pool in distress. She suddenly hears a voice and then the prologue ends. The story moves on a year and we meet Jem, her and her husband are in New York, they plan to stay, work a year or so before heading back to the U.K. Her husband Nat is working for a magazine in the city and sees his career going from strength to strength. Meanwhile, Jem is feeling a little disheartened, she moved from the UK with Nat but has had to give up her catering business and is struggling to find work in the same field in America.

The Hamptons is a luxury area by the beach and a house share opportunity has come up for Nat and her to spend the summer weekends there. Nat is keen as he knows the others and believes this will help his career to mix in the right circles. Jem agrees to the rental, although doesn't really fit with the other couples, they make an effort and are polite to each other but she would never have chosen to socialise with people like this if it hadn't been for Nat. When they arrive at the Pool House Jem quickly discovers that a year previously there was an 'accident' and a girl who was staying at the house (in Jem's now bedroom) died in the pool. All the couples apart from Jem and Nat were present guests at the house last year, the strange thing though is that they are all very reluctant to discuss the incident.

The book is split into sections from the year before where the reader hears Alice's voice and learns from her what her life was like before the 'accident' and the present day through Jem's voice.

I thought this was a fast pace book, that kept my interest from page 1 right to the end. Tasmina Perry is back on form with a great summer read and one I recommend you read.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin

Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1)Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'And in Edinburgh of all places. I mean, you never think of that sort of thing happening in Edinburgh, do you...?'

'That sort of thing' is the brutal abduction and murder of two young girls. And now a third is missing, presumably gone to the same sad end. Detective Sergeant John Rebus, smoking and drinking too much, his own young daughter spirited away south by his disenchanted wife, is one of many policemen hunting the killer.

And then the messages begin to arrive: knotted string and matchstick crosses - taunting Rebus with pieces of a puzzle only he can solve.

My first novel by this writer and his first in the series of Rebus books. Set in the seedy side of Edinburgh it appears there is a serial killer on the loose who is leaving no clues for the police to pick up. This being the first in a series of books about Rebus it introduces us to the character and the plot of the story seems secondary. We learn that Rebus had spent 15 years in the service and before that he was in the SAS where, seemingly he has undergone a trauma that resulted in a nervous breakdown before he entered the force.

He is characterised as a sloppy looking out of shape heavy drinker and smoker who appears to be going through the motions on cases until he is pulled in to help on the serial killer case. At the same time he is receiving anonymous letters from a crank that are weird and unusual. This is where I found it a little unbelievable in that here we are in the middle of a spate of killings and he doesn't think it mildly possible that these letters he is getting are connected. He is a detective, surely it would have crossed his mind??

It was a bit slow to start but managed to go along at a reasonable pace however it lacked excitement which in my opinion let it down. It was not an overlong book and I just about managed to stay with it to the end. I think that as an intro book to Rebus it was fine, I have been told the others in the series are better so I will try another one just to see.

I did enjoy it and would like to see more of Rebus and perhaps some more complex mysteries will also develop. Easily 3.5 stars for this one. Rounded up to 4* for Goodreads and Amazon.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Billionaire by Peter James

BillionaireBillionaire by Peter James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

City stockbroker Alex Rocq leads a comfortable life - with a luxury flat in London, a country cottage, a very expensive car, and a lucrative job that still leaves time for leisure. But all this isn't enough. After receiving a tip-off, Alex decides to play the commodities market for himself. He soon learns the hard way that fortune doesn't always favour the brave, and his luck comes to an abrupt end.

When he is offered the chance to write off his debts - in exchange for special services and silence - Rocq can't believe his luck. But how far will a desperate man go to harness the power players around him?

Not my usual genre this one is more of a thriller/spy type book with a mix of commodity stock broking at its heart. We are initially introduced to Alex Rocq a city metals broker on the M4 motorway and his girlfriend Amanda on their way to London and a rather frustrated driver behind them in a hurry called Baenhaker and these characters come nicely together further along in the book.

The story centres around Rocq and his clients dealing in gold and a disastrous deal Rocq makes in coffee which threatens to destroy him. The story moves along fairly quickly and there is a lot of explanation of what a broker does and the price of commodities which although I did find a bit 'over my head' it was necessary to build up tension when he's watching the prices rise and fall and helps to let you feel the excitement and horror when things go the wrong way. That said, James did labour the point at times. I can see why brokers get 'burn out' early in their careers trading on the floor - it must be exhausting.

The storyline was good and the pace was pitched right to keep this moving along but I just felt it lacked something - I haven't read Peter James before and I did kind of enjoy the book but it wasn't a wow for me. It was predictable, I think I always knew he'd come out ok in the end and there weren't any curve balls to navigate round which would have made it a bit more exciting. There were also a lot of secondary characters which did make it confusing at times when I had to go back to see who was 'speaking' to make sense of what I was reading.

Spy thrillers are not my usual genre and because of this maybe my expectations were much higher; it's a well written book, it was enjoyable but just not a wow book. I will try more by this writer as I have been told this is not his best. Only 3 stars from me for this one.

Monday, 10 September 2018

New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan

New York, Actually (From Manhattan with Love, #4)New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Meet Molly

New York’s most famous agony aunt, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they’re other people’s. The only love of her life is her Dalmatian, Valentine.

Meet Daniel

A cynical divorce lawyer, he’s hardwired to think relationships are a bad idea. If you don’t get involved, no-one can get hurt. But then he finds himself borrowing a dog to meet the gorgeous woman he sees running in Central Park every morning…

Molly and Daniel think they know everything there is to know about relationships…until they meet each other that is…

Typical chick lit, nothing too serious here, the usual conflicts and happy ever after ending that most of this genre have. Molly is a psychologist who turns agony aunt and has written a best selling book on relationships. She however can't seem to control her own relationships and bad break-ups convince her she is not capable of falling in love.

She meets Daniel a divorce lawyer who has issues of his own around love and commitment but cares passionately about helping those who can't help themselves. He sees Molly often jogging and walking her dog in Central Park and borrows a dog from his sisters dog shelter so that he can have an excuse to meet her.

The story proceeds from there, we meet several supporting characters, Daniels sisters Fran and Harriet, Molly's neighbours and an assortment of work colleagues. Of course the story is predictable as all these genre seem to be; I didn't particularly gel with Molly, for a psychologist and relationship expert she seemed a bit clueless when it came to her own relationships which didn't really stack up. Daniel was well described, powerful, striking, athletic, passionate, selfless, kind, thoughtful - what was not to like but the silly Molly seemed to be confused by all this!!! He did come across as a bit possessive and controlling to me which was a bit disturbing but that's just my opinion.

It fell down because Molly was meant to be the expert and this made her actions, attitude, and lack of self worth really hard to swallow and therefore the whole story seemed pointless and disappointing. I enjoyed to a degree the flirty banter but even this was over worked, sorry I can only give this one 2 stars, OK for reading on the plane or holiday but don't expect fire works.

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

Friday, 7 September 2018

Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst

Before I Let You InBefore I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Karen is meant to be the one who fixes problems.

It's her job, as a psychiatrist - and it's always been her role as a friend.

But Jessica is different. She should be the patient, the one that Karen helps.

But she knows things about Karen. Her friends, her personal life. Things no patient should know.

And Karen is starting to wonder if she should have let her in . .

Billed as a psychological thriller ,this is the story of three women who have been friends since they were little. They have shared happiness, sadness, trauma, living together at University and living alongside each other seemingly forever. Each believing they knew the other although they lived very different lives. Karen is a high flying psychiatrist who lives with her equally hard working partner Michael; Eleanor is married with children to Adam who, although not a hands on father is the love of her life; and Bea is single, carefree and happy. The friends are so close they are like sisters and each would drop whatever they are doing if one of them were in trouble - true friends with a strong bond.

Each of the women however harbour secrets and lies that the others are unaware of and it's not until Karen has a new patient - Jessica Hamilton who appears to threaten the friends relationship - that things begin to unravel for each of the girls whose past lives threaten to destroy them forever. Who is out to ruin their friendship and why?

The pace is good helped by the short chapters and the characters are as well defined as they needed to be in order not to give anything away too soon in the story but I have to confess that I guessed the mystery quite early on however it did have enough red herrings to make me question my theory. I wouldn't say this was the best in the genre that I have read but it was sufficiently well written to keep me engaged until the end (I had guessed correctly).

A good read on a long plane journey or by the pool, not too deep and disturbing just enough to keep you entertained. 3.5 stars from me. Rounded up to 4 stars for Goodreads and Amazon.

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

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

The Death of Mrs. WestawayThe Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Harriet Westaway receives an unexpected letter telling her she’s inherited a substantial bequest from her Cornish grandmother, it seems like the answer to her prayers. She owes money to a loan shark and the threats are getting increasingly aggressive: she needs to get her hands on some cash fast.

There's just one problem - Hal's real grandparents died more than twenty years ago. The letter has been sent to the wrong person. But Hal knows that the cold-reading techniques she’s honed as a seaside fortune teller could help her con her way to getting the money. If anyone has the skills to turn up at a stranger's funeral and claim a bequest they’re not entitled to, it’s her.

Hal makes a choice that will change her life for ever. But once she embarks on her deception, there is no going back. She must keep going or risk losing everything, even her life…

I'm not sure if I would have necessarily called this a psychological thriller as it leans more towards a mystery/murder/family drama novel but nevertheless very entertaining and enjoyable. Kind of like an Agatha Christie book it has lots of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing and it takes almost all the way through before you finally find out what's going on so this is a worth while read for that alone!

Hal the main character is well drawn, strong willed, wry humoured, quick witted and smart she is a good lead character but we didn't really get much characterisation of the others in the book which meant that she was virtually holding the storyline all on her own. The Westaway family members were not really fleshed out enough to make them come over as 'real' and this was something that I felt let the book down. I was also really fed up with Ruth Ware having Hal constantly apologise and I lost count of the amount of times she repeated 'holding her arms in front of her like a shield' or any other object 'like a shield' and 'she flushed' - it became annoying to keep reading these lines - she had more flushes than a menopausal woman!!

Aside from my personal gripes I did enjoy the book for what it was and although (as with most of this genre) I did guess the ending it was still a pleasant read and I can easily give it 3.5 stars. Rounded up to 4* for Goodreads and Amazon.

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

Monday, 3 September 2018

Random by Craig Robertson

Random (Narey & Winter, #1)Random by Craig Robertson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Glasgow is being terrorised by a serial killer the media have nicknamed The Cutter. The murders have left the police baffled. There seems to be neither rhyme nor reason behind the killings; no kind of pattern or motive; an entirely different method of murder each time, and nothing that connects the victims except for the fact that the little fingers of their right hands have been severed.

If DS Rachel Narey could only work out the key to the seemingly random murders, how and why the killer selects his victims, she would be well on her way to catching him. But as the police, the press and a threatening figure from Glasgow's underworld begin to close in on The Cutter, his carefully-laid plans threaten to unravel - with horrifying consequences.

This was an unusual book - a serial killer is loose on the streets of Glasgow and it appears the police are finding it difficult if not impossible to catch him. With little or no clues and victims being seemingly chosen at random the police are baffled and frustrated at the lack of information for them to grasp to piece together who is behind the crimes.

Its unusual because the narrator is the killer. You are instantly transported into his mind and through his thoughts and actions we learn how a tragedy in his life has shaped him into a lonely empty shell of a man incapable of emotion and filled with grief he embarks on a single goal - retribution against the person/persons responsible.

The pace is energetic, chapters not overly long which keeps this going like a ticking time bomb in the killers mind. Good characterisation, I even felt empathy for the killer and understood his motivation albeit that he could have driven his energies to better use like his wife was doing. He sets out to show the darker side of the city in Glasgow, the seediness of a large town where its inhabitants are faceless and keep themselves to themselves. Robertson allows the reader to sympathise with the killer by seemingly being able to justify his actions so that we start to understand the logic of them and poses the question of 'would you do the same' - frighteningly real.

Through a mistake he finds himself in trouble with the mob in Glasgow and things take a different turn for him where he is not totally in control of events and you feel as if you are now there for the ride with him. I wont say more as I wouldn't want to spoil it but suffice it to say that there is a twist of sorts and it makes the ending rather sad.

I enjoyed this novel for the unusual way it was written, the characterisation and clever way it was all pulled together, its the first book for me by this author but I would definitely read more of his work. A well deserved 4 stars from me.

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