I’m addicted to free crime thrillers.

I got picky with my reading and decided to download another free crime fiction book onto my Kindle. IT FELT like the right thing to do. The problem with being a reader is that you’re always looking for the next thing to dig your teeth into. I struggle after reading one genre to skip to another. There’s something comforting about sticking your finger into another plum pie (so to speak.) That sounded rude. I’ll move on- THIS is the last free crime thriller I download*.

Violence in the Blood by Mark Newman

Blurb

Crime Lord Malkie Thompson’s spent 25 years killing, maiming and blackmailing his way to the top. He’s got everything he ever wanted, except his health. The knives are out. His rivals sense blood. Their time is now. But Thompson’s not going down without a fight.

Violence in the Blood documents Thompson’s rise to power from the backstreets of Glasgow to the industrial heartland of the Midlands.

Join the rampage as Malkie and his crew blaze a trail of mayhem and destruction north and south of the border.

My Review

Why did I download this? I like the idea of a tale about a criminal gang. Question is, did I enjoy it?

Yes, yes I did. Writing about criminal gangs can become bogged down. There are often a lot of things to fit and bob in. Detail is important to immerse the reader in the tale. This worked well. The pace is frantic and hectic. It moves with pace, and all the writing is spritely if stomach churning. The rival mobsters feel real and threatening. They are violent, use any method possible (baseball bat anyone?) and are brought vividly to life.

Malkie is told in brilliant technicolor. He’s a menace, a monster and a brilliant character creation. I felt both sorry for him at times and appalled. The ability of the author to play with the reader’s emotions despite the questionable behavior of the main character shows a lot of skill.

But, there are problems. The writing is very good at describing police procedures and the like and the torture scenes are very graphic. There’s a lot of blood, guts and gore. A lot of death too. But, because the book is so short, you don’t really care for the characters because we barely know them. Other than Malkie everyone is a whitewash of a character. A couple of minor details poke through but other than that, very little character distinction.

There are plots and subplots which I enjoyed but this book felt like a spoiler to the big event. This happens a lot with free books. They tend to have a killer starting read that gets the reader involved which then spans into a series of 15 books. This one just didn’t have quite enough to encourage me to continue with the series.

Final Thoughts

Gritty gang warfare is a great way to describe this book, but I wanted double the content. Probably double the gore too.

* For now.

Violence in the Blood by Mark Newman

Violence in the Blood by Mark Newman

 

 

 

In horrible news my old Kindle died. 

I went to charge it up and it took 6.5 hours to charge to 30%. Thinking it was being glitchy, I left it overnight. 12 hours later it was still at 30%. Ergh. Oddly, a twitter conversation later, I found out that the new(ish) Amazon Fire 7 inch was selling for £35. So I bought another, using vouchers from leaving my old job, and then managed to get freeeee Amazon Prime delivery. My new Kindle all in all cost me £5. Bang on. Plus it’s tangerine in colour. Gah it’s gorgeous. Is it worth investing in? Read on.

Specifications

Beautiful 7″ IPS display (171 ppi / 1024 x 600). Available in four colours.

Fast 1.3 GHz quad-core processor and rear- and front-facing cameras.

Amazon Underground: All-new, one-of-a-kind app store experience where thousands of apps, games, books etc. 

Up to 7 hours of reading, surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video and listening to music

Stay connected with fast web browsing, e-mail and calendar support

115 x 191 x 10.6 mm

313g

First Thoughts

I love how thick and chunky this Fire tablet feels. It has a weight, is sturdy and is covered in a textured (tangerine) plastic. Weighing 313g it feels weighty in my hand. Apparently it’s twice as durable as a Apple iPad Air 2. I believe that, but it is a lot, (lot) smaller in size.

Is it my eyes?

The 7in screen isn’t HD. The resolution is only 1024 x 600 pixels, so it can be a little blurry. But, the screen is pretty bright, and although the blacks are a little grey and it’s not as crisp as an Ipad it’s a 6th of the price. Plus for reading (which I’m mainly using it for) it’s brilliant.

Lag?

I’ve played numerous games on my new fire and I really love it. Although a little slow sometimes to load, all the games I’ve played, have been lag-free. SimCityBuilder (definitely worth a download) played seamlessly and Doodle Jump also. Switching between apps can be sluggish but not frustrating.

Battery lasts around 5 hours when just watching Video playback with maximum brightness. Obviously will last longer when dimmed. Charging takes a while but I just charge it overnight. (No biggie.)

Shall we go shopping?

Yes you only have access to the Amazon store but all main apps are available including video streaming services (I.e Netfix.) The camera is poor as like my old Kindle. Don’t bother downloading camera editing software use your phone instead. (I have an Iphone 5S and it is four times as good – maybe.)

Final Thoughts

Definitely worth buying. It’s not an incredible tablet and to be honest that’s not why I purchased it. The screen resolution isn’t incredibly high and moving between apps can be clunky but for reading it’s fantastic. Yes the battery isn’t crazy strong and yes it might be a little chunky (which I really like.) But I love this not only for the price but for  the colour. Oh my life – the tangerine colour is lit.

(+ it’s so good to photograph.)

 

Realllllly loving these book haul posts. I’m an obsessive buyer of books and bookish bits. But it’s only since 2017 that I’ve been sharing them. Why? I don’t know, but they feel like a blogging revelation. (For me, I know everyone’s been doing them for 385908593959 years.) Not only do they give me a list of books to attempt to read that month, but they also steer my blogging for the month. To attempt (ATTEMPT) to blog around said books. Enough babbling. The April Book Haul.

April Book Haul

The Haul

Mona by Dan Sehlberg

T and I spent a Sunday trawling Halcyon Books in Greenwich. I am going to be utterly gutted when it shuts. Books are still a pound – post and pictures to come soon. T picked this out for me because strangely I like cyber-attack type books. It’s described as a technothriller and that sounded pretty cool. It’s based on the hacking of Mind Surf: a thought-controlled system that allows people with disabilities to browse the web. Super kl.

A suspenseful and highly original technothriller based on breathtaking developments in the field of thought-controlled systems and cyber warfare.

The Yard by Alex Grecian

Wanted to read a Sherlock Holmes style novel. Picked up The Yard by Alex Grecian. It was the cover that really struck me. I adore the silhouette on the spine and I’m still looking for Holmes style book that I really love. Like really love.

Victorian London is a cesspool of crime, and Scotland Yard has only twelve detectives—known as “The Murder Squad”—to investigate countless murders every month. Created after the Metropolitan Police’s spectacular failure to capture Jack the Ripper, The Murder Squad suffers rampant public contempt. They have failed their citizens. But no one can anticipate the brutal murder of one of their own . . . one of the twelve . .

April Book Haul

The Book of Dave by Will Self

I picked this out mainly because of the title. The idea of a book of Dave amused me. I’ve also wanted to read a lot more books based on/around London. Since moving here certain things have intrigued me. Cab drivers and their stories are one of said things. I’ll let you know how it goes.

When cabdriver Dave Rudman’s wife of five years deserts him for another man, taking their only child with her, he is thrown into a tailspin of doubt and discontent. Fearing his son will never know his father, Dave pens a gripping text part memoir, part deranged philosophical treatise, and part handbook of “the Knowledge” learned by all London cab drivers.

The Romantics by Barbara Gowdy

I wanted something – cute to read. A bit of romance  without picking up something written by Marian Keyes. Grown-up romantic. The cover again looked gorgeous and I love a good white loose-cover. So classy. So sophisticated.

“Louise Kirk learns about love and loss at an early age. When she is nine years old, her former beauty queen mother disappears, leaving a note that reads only – and incorrectly – “Louise knows how to work the washing machine.”

Separations are followed by reunions, but with every turn of their fractured relationship, Louise discovers that she cannot get Abel to love her as fiercely and exclusively as she loves him.

April Book Haul

There’s my April book haul. Knowing me I won’t get round to allll of them but imma going to try. Have you read any of these? What are you reading this April?

PS. Ty T for picking up these tasty mini Freddos. They look kinda gross but were fabby.

Hello,

Apologies for the silence last Monday (and yesterday.) I tend to leave these posts to write on Sunday but I was typically tired. Typically I have a love/hate relationship with Sunday’s. I know my body needs to rest by Sunday but if I lie around all day I have a bit of an existential crisis about not doing enough. If I run around all day Monday feels almost impossible. 1st world problems. But, hello I’m back. Here’s what happened last week.

Sunday Spring Clean

I did a Spring Clean on Sunday. First, I gutted the kitchen and cleaned it top to bottom. I took out all the trash from the bookcase then minimalised the stuff in our ‘walk in wardrobe.’ It’s basically a small space where the roof dips. T took on the bathroom and the house feels, fabby. Both of us are messy by trait but it feels so much better when it’s clear. Next I want to do a little more research into minimalism. But, all good for now.

Logan

T and I went to see Logan. It was fantastic, beautiful, excellent. I can’t put into words how much it moved me. I have been a big watcher of the X-men/Wolverine films and this one, might have been my favourite. Perfection.

Batchwood and good friends

I also went to St Albans to visit three wonderful friends. We all met through University and have kept visits up over the years. We wanted to celebrate St Paddy’s and that we bloody well did. Drinks, dancing and 90’s music. Staying up till 4am the hangover was real but it felt amazing. Not the hangover ^ seeing those gals. #babes.

Time with T

I’m going to get a little soppy again which is silly.

T and I had a rough week. You know those weeks where you set each off every couple of hours. Sunday it felt like we got whatever was going on out of our system. We spend the day cleaning/tidying and cooking and then exploring Greenwich and Pokemon hunting. (YES I KNOW.) We came home, watched The Great British Painting Challenge and then went on a 9.30pm trip to Sainsbury’s to buy chocolate pudding and beer. T was dressed like a homeless person, I was dressed in leggings and a My Little Pony Jumper. We chased each other down the street, giggling, making stupid voices and just being us. Because being US is best. He is everything.

Instagram

I’ve lost 8 followers this week and I only have 300 so that’s great. I’m blaming the haggis image I posted. (Recipe to come soon.)

 

Hope you have a wonderful week

Hello March. (Which is just around the corner.)

I might have picked too many books to read in my February  and got myself stressed about reading them all. I’ve always had that problem. I used to stumble out of the library with a pile of books the length of my arm. Then I would have continually renew them online. Note to self: make attainable reading goals. This month I’ve cut it down to only three books. But they are brilliant brilliant books. Oh, and you should definitely add these to your Waterstone’s basket.

March Book Haul

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki by Haruki Murakami

T loves Murakami. I’ve read 1Q84  but it put me off a little. The writing was stunning, the plot was intriguing but the ending. I thought it was left unfulfilled.  However I’ve been persuaded to try again. I’ve picked Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Here he gives us the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages.

March Book Haul

Big Sur by Jack Kerouac

Apparently upon asking the question should you read this book? To quote Jack Kerouac himself, “I don’t know, I don’t care, and it doesn’t make any difference.” I’ve not read Kerouac but I’ve heard that On The Road isn’t that great. (S O R R Y.) But, T bought this for me when we lived long distance. We had a habit of buying books with covers we liked. The idea was that when we moved in, we would have a collection of sublime books – which we do. Now, I need to read this one.

Big Sur’s humane, precise account of the extraordinary ravages of alcohol delirium tremens on Kerouac, a superior novelist who had strength to complete his poetic narrative, a task few scribes so afflicted have accomplished—others crack up. Here we meet San Francisco’s poets & recognize hero Dean Moriarty ten years after On the Road.

March Book Haul

The Syme Papers by Benjamin Markovits 

It was the cover of this book that really drew my attention. I’m thinking this year I want to focus my attention on more nitty-gritty books. Reviews have  commented whether the book discusses the narrowness of academic research. Or whether it reflects on scientific knowledge changes. Either way I want to learn more.

Teeming with comic detail and fierce intelligence, The Syme Papers recreates a time when to question the world and the origin of creation was the greatest project a scientist could undertake. It is a novel of genius and failure; of a man who thought he could prove the world was hollow, and in the glorious process of discover, broke his own heart.

Have read any of these tales? Let me know in the comments. Oh, and what should I add to my April haul?