I think this will be the last of the free kindle books I review for a while.

Every couple of months I choose around five and review them all, to find the next series I’ll read. Some are super fab, some lack something. Whether that be depth, character strength or writing style with this one, something about it just didn’t strike enough of a chord with me, but, for now let’s dive into Dan and Eva’s story.

Luck and Judgment Book Review

Blurb

Gail Everett must have justice from the corporation which destroyed her father’s life. No courtroom has ever found against them. But beyond the courtroom there are many kinds of justice…

Gail gives private investigators Eva Roberts and Dan Bradley a secret file supplied by her father. The PIs start to unpick the mystery – but some seriously bad people know about the file and they want it gone. As a violent gangster closes in Eva and Dan discover just how deadly this case has become…

Friends are divided. Young women are murdered on the streets. Private detectives Roberts and Bradley are snared in the dark heart of a thirty-year-old nightmare.

My Review

You get the gist from the blurb. Dan and Eva our intrepid private eyes, who along with their apprentice Mark get themselves into a sticky spot. Investigating the dirty dealings within a personal case the trial involves a number of threads. Yes, there are red-herrings, dangerous moments and car chases. It’s your stereotypical private detective trail. They get into more trouble and because they don’t waver to any red tape it makes for an exciting read.

The plot is straightforward, characters are likeable and I like the contrast between Dan and Eva. Eva is forward thinking and sensible. Dan is definitely more likely to go rogue. Their compatibility as partners in the company and in their own relationship added another dimension to the narrative. The writing is strong and punchy. The interweaving story lines are constructed well and the writing moves with speed. There is enough interest throughout and untrustworthy characters to make this an exciting read.

Final Thoughts

The reason I struggled was the use of Neuro-linguistic programming or NLP. NLP is an approach to communication and psychotherapy that I not recognized anymore due to lack of scientific proof and is quite outdated. Yes, numerous practitioners still believe certain language can be used to achieve goals and influence behavior. But resting a lot of the case, or majority on this I was underwhelmed. It just wasn’t sharp enough for me and left a lot of grey areas. I didn’t feel consumed with the story line mainly because I didn’t believe in it. With a crime/thriller book you need to believe in the case otherwise, why.

Buy this if you’re looking for a quick thriller read, but it’s not quite interesting and in-depth enough to really want to shout this book from the rooftops.

GoodreadsAmazon 

Luck and Judgment Book Review

Luck and Judgment Book Review

 

You might have seen that I’ve been singing praises about the Pigeonhole app. If you didn’t see my post here’s a quick link. I received an email after reviewing The Book of Crows that if I linked to where I had reviewed the book I could win a copy of Sam Meekings The Other Shore. So that’s what I did. Clever Lizzo. I received the lovliest postcard in the post and a copy of the book. Here’s what I thought. (Oh, and this is another 5 minute review – to mix it up.)

The Other Shore by Sam Meekings

Blurb

The Other Shore is a collection that explores the many different voices the dead use to speak with the living. We travel through modern China and beyond, to the underworlds, in poems that present a fresh take on grief, our concept of the afterlife, and acceptance of loss.

My Review

The introductory note mentions that The Other Shore is a book of poems about the voices the dead use to speak with us. It comes after Sam’s exploration of The Silk Road after a family bereavement. The translations of poems come from the Tang Dynasty era of poetry that Sam drew on due to it ‘brevity and playfulness.’ Through the translations that Meekings creates he hopes to adapt traditional forms into new ideas. Nice.

Please forgive me my poetry reviews are not up to scratch but I’m going to try. I loved the mix of poems that have been collated. I liked how each of the poems revolved around the idea of one journey ending and another beginning. For example this line from Karaoke as Kublai Khan

“The deadline comes just as I’m belting out Xanadu. 

Tommorrow, according to the plan, I will be someone new.'”

It created a very succinct collection of poems that strung together seamlessly.

Favourites included Mooring (translation of Du Mu.) Which I’ve included as a sneak peak.

“Mist like a calf’s tongue, tentative and slick,

dabs at shadows by the riverside inn

where drunks, without a care for this defeated kingdom,

sing of yellow lillies, narcissus, peony and hibiscus.’ 

It’s been a while since I’ve really wanted to dig into the creation of a poem but this collection really stretched my knowledge. I spent a good couple of hours going through and pencilling through my book everything I didn’t understand. For a novice poetry reader this is a great place to start.

I liked how the mix of poems really stretched my knowledge of poetry. A few are reallllly short a couple are very long and extensive. The contrast between them kept me interested throughout. I did have to Google bits and pieces throughout but by the end I really felt like I understood the collection. (Always a nice feeling.)

Final Thoughts

Favourites from the selection of poems included ‘things I have been told about the emerald sea.’ The writing throughout each of the poems (especially this one) is incredibly evocative and the poem Roommates definitely hit a lot of chords. For all the right reasons.

This was a brilliant poetry book to add to my collection. (Thank you to Sam and Pigeonhole!) I really enjoyed working through these poems and feel like it’s stretched my knowledge of different poems. The only thing I wish was there were more people talking about these poems so I could chat with others about the meanings I deduced. Great book of poems. Laved it.

The Other Shore by Sam Meekings

The Other Shore by Sam Meekings

I love a crime thriller.

There’s something deeply comforting in them. Is than an odd thing to say? I don’t know whether it’s the genre, or the typical characters that are written into crime thrillers, but they just do something for me. This one caught my eye because of the cover. Yes, I was that fickle. Turns out this book (For Reasons Unknown) was bloody brilliant.

For Reasons Unknown

Blurb

Two murders. Twenty years. Now the killer is back for more…

DCI Matilda Darke has returned to work after a nine month absence. A shadow of her former self, she is tasked with re-opening a cold case: the terrifyingly brutal murders of Miranda and Stefan Harkness. The only witness was their eleven-year-old son, Jonathan, who was too deeply traumatized to speak a word. Then a dead body is discovered, and the investigation leads back to Matilda’s case. Suddenly the past and present converge, and it seems a killer may have come back for more…  

My Review

So to catch you up quickly the book follows the first in a new British police procedural set in Sheffield. DCI Matilda Darke is returning to work after nine months absence. In a fragile mental state she is tasked with cleaning up a cold case from 20 years previous.  But when another body appears it soon becomes clear that they are linked.

First thing first, Matilda. She’s the type of character I can’t help but love. A broken woman, eaten away by grief after the death of husband and an unsolved case with a missing child she couldn’t solve. We follow her story as she returns to work and quickly crumbles. Temporarily demoted and ostracised by her former team Darke struggles to keep her head above water. But she has a spark and determination to rise to her feet and regain her position. I adored her. Really.

The storyline is strong and brilliantly written. Multiple story-lines constantly cross paths but the author keeps them clean and un-jumbled. The case was a really well thought out mystery, filled with exciting and challenging characters. Johnathon is especially well-explored giving us a range of vantage points to watch the investigation play out. I also enjoyed the power struggle between Ben and Matilda. (The DCI that takes over from Matilda and is investigating the second body.) The power play between the two that threatens to upset the case is an exciting addition that is woven skillfully. Secondary characters namely the additional police force all have their own quirks and I look forward to meeting them in later books in the series.

Final Thoughts

I had an inkling who the killer was but it wasn’t confirmed until the bitter end. At that point I had nail bitingly fled through the chapters. This book is truly unputtdownable and had I had time I would have devoured it in under 24 hrs. It’s that good.

This is a belting story, that grabs you and doesn’t put you back down. Each chapter creates a new question, a new thread to follow. Saying that the author doesn’t complicate both characters/story threads and just creates a bladdy good read. Put it on your to-read. It’s already on my must re-read list.

AmazonGoodreads 

For Reasons Unknown

For Reasons Unknown

I am slowly falling back in love with my Kindle.

Physical copies of books are the bomb, but they take up a lot of room. Especially if you read close to 100 books a year. I’m 23 – 2300 books is too many to store. The Kindle is definitely a method of space control. Oh, and it’s tangerine coloured which is also cool. This is one one of the first books I downloaded on my new Kindle and it’s a stunner. Shall we dive in? (Or surf in?)

The Wave at Hanging Rock

Blurb

Jesse tells the story of his coming-of-age on the wild Atlantic coast, where he fails to notice the disturbing behaviour of his best friend.

Natalie’s husband goes missing at sea in circumstances which don’t make sense. And while she searches for him, it seems she also has something to hide.

You’ll be shocked at how Jesse and Natalie’s stories come crashing together. And at the end, you won’t see the twist coming.

The Wave at Hanging Rock is a powerful and intelligent thriller that will grip you from the first line, and keep you guessing till the very last page.

The Wave at Hanging Rock

My Review

The book follows two seemingly unrelated stories. Jesse and his friends surfing in sublime Wales and Natalie a psychologist whose husband has oddly disappeared. We follow the first person perspective from Jesse during childhood. He spends most of his days surfing with Darren and John. Fishing for crabs and fighting for the best waves. Natalie’s story is told from the present. After her husband fails to arrive home she continues her life the best she can. Only for eight years later the disappearance of Jim raises its ugly head. Jesse and Natalie’s are about to collide and there’s nothing to stop it.

The writing is dark and foreboding. The sections of surfing really drew me into the writing and are writtrn really well. Throughout it has an intense feeling – Jesse has a cloudy and murky personality. John and Darren also have quirks. Darren struggles to keep up with the other two and John is downright terrifying. His dominating personality kept me on edge throughout. All of the character dialogue was written well – it felt real which I liked. Natalie’s character is well built too. She has bite and drive but also a vulnerability. The transitions from present to past work well and don’t jar. Thumbs up there.

At the beginning it’s slow read and takes time to build speed but it builds. The second half of the book I galloped through and found myself desperate to get to the end. The ending will probably upset you – it has many on Goodreads. I’m going to let you decide whether it works. (But let me know in the comments.)

The Wave at Hanging Rock

Final Thoughts

This is a dark psychological thriller. It will keep you second guessing and trying to put your finger on the final ending. The characters are dark and brutal but ultimately likeable. I definitely want to read into this author more. He’s one to watch I think.

Goodreads Amazon 

You might have seen recently that I’ve fallen for the Pigeonhole App. I wrote about it a little here and here. Today I’m reviewing a book from their disappearing stave collection. There’s a post about the concept and my experience with that coming Friday. But today I take you into the chilling book All the missing girls by Megan Miranda

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Blurb

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

But here’s the thing I’ve learned about leaving – you can’t really go back. I don’t know what to do with Cooley Ridge anymore and Cooley Ridge doesn’t know what to do with me, either. The distance only increases with the years.

My Review

After the initial set-up of the story, All the missing Girls is told backwards. We start from Day 15 and go back to Day 1 following Nic’s return to her old home. She attempts to unravel in these what has happened to Annaleise, and Corinne all those years ago. Nic must also come to terms with the secrets her family have kept hidden whilst protecting them too.

The book kept me hooked from start to finish. Telling the tale backwards means that you have work out the references without the build-up to an event. Then you read what actually happened before in the next (previous) chapter. Throughout Megan Miranda doesn’t miss a beat. I was second guessing myself through the reading, trying to pick through the lies and work out the truth. At times I struggled to trust Nic as a narrator making the reading more haphazard. (This is mentioned at the beginning but when I reading I try to find a credible source.)

A polaroid fading from the edges in, the colors bled out; the outline of a ghost town full of ghosts.

The writing is claustrophobic and dense. It has a magical, woven sense of style and I devoured it. It’s blustery and free-spirited but always with a sense of danger. I have a feeling I will buying everything and anything this author writes.

“The woods have eyes and monsters and stories. We are them as much as they are us.”

The characters are fantastically written. Tyler the ex-boyfriend who was/is always there for Nic. Trusting but also cold he was a favourite of mine. Nic can be a struggle to empathise with but as I threw myself deeper into the rabbit hole I wanted it to all be okay. Her ailing father, closed off brother it’s an infuriating and exciting mess. The flashbacks to the group ten years ago tell of a dangerously intense female friendships that left me gripping the edge of the book.

The biggest credit to this book was I constantly judged every character I came across. I was toying and frowing as to who I thought had done it. Towards the end I managed to stumble on a conclusion but I didn’t quite get it. The execution is spot on. I want to go back and read this the other way round – but I’m not ready to yet. The initial excitement of reading this hasn’t worn off. The ending is brilliant too – maybe there are monsters in all of us. That’s all I’m saying.

Final Thoughts

It’s better than Gone Girl, and The Girl on the Train. It’s sublime. GO get it.

GoodreadsAmazon 

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda