Reviews and other book related stuff.

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Review for Beck

30233294This was a shocking, hard to read novel for the first part. You would of had to live under a stone not to know that some Catholic priests used to abuse the boys in their care but Mal Peet writes with such sparseness and directness that I read some parts with my toes curling. Beck’s fate is a much easier read after these scenes despite the harshness of his new life in Canada. It was a great book apart from the fact that, by his very nature, Beck is a uncommunicative loner. This made it very difficult to truly engage with his character at least it did until he meets Grace and his emotions begin to surface. A good read but it left me wanting to know a little more about our enigmatic hero.


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Review for Do Not Become Alarmed

33155774There’s something about children going missing in a foreign country that sends shivers down my spine. The total helplessness, the communication problems and the lack of local knowledge make an already horrendous situation so much worse. In this instance six children are missing in a South American jungle and three sets of parents are left to battle to get their families reunited.
This was a thrilling read, at times slightly chaotic but ultimately a great page turner. Meloy doesn’t shy away from letting bad things happen although I did feel she picked on one family a bit. A great beach read (maybe not on a cruise though!)

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Review for What you Don’t Know

27280101I would estimate that 75% of what I read is crime fiction which sometimes means that certain books can feel familiar, I sometimes get the feeling that I’ve read it all before. Then suddenly along comes “another serial killer” novel that manages to be completely different and What you don’t Know is it.
For a start we already know who the killer is. Jacky Seever murdered 31 people and buried them in the crawl space under his house. Now, seven years later, the people who were closely involved in his capture are falling apart and another killer is preparing to remind everyone that Jacky Seever will not go quietly. Hoskins, Loren and Sammie are deeply flawed and all their behaviour is highly questionable at times but I never disliked any of them (even Loren whose line of enquiry involves inhabiting the character of the killer).This is a truly original crime novel that I devoured and I strongly suggest you do the same.

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Review for Someone else’s child by Helen Klein Ross

30372176This book took quite an unusual approach to a child snatching in that there was an equal amount of the book dedicated to what happens when that child is returned to it’s rightful parents.
Lucy wants a baby more than anything. Despite numerous disappointments she still decorates a nursery in her house and clings to her dreams. Dreams that cost her, her marriage and almost her sanity. So when she sees an apparently neglected baby in a shopping trolley it’s a sign….isn’t it?
Marilyn’s baby sitter has let her down and she’s had to cancel an important meeting. Still it’s the opportunity to do some shopping, until her boss phones and she takes her eye off her trolley.
Having had small children and, on one or two occasions losing sight of them, that feeling of panic is a familiar one to me but the thought of that feeling not disappearing into thankful relief is an awful one. What if your missing child was never found. How would you cope, how would you live with the guilt?
It’s not just Marilyn’s and Lucy’s point of view that we are privy to though. Almost all the peripheral characters have at least a short chapter to tell their story, including, early on the security guard who lets Lucy walk out the door with baby Natalie. This added a roundness to the story and I especially liked Lucy’s sister’s chapters that clearly illustrated the protectiveness with which Lucy raised her daughter, scared at any moment of her secret being revealed.
This was a fascinating insight into an unspeakable crime which didn’t attempt to provide easy answers or neat conclusions, the ending left as many questions as answers but was still very satisfying.

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Review for “The Toybreaker” by Roy Chester

51j24cghpmlI would have given this three stars as it’s a bit unrealistic in places but it gained a star for simply being a stonking good read.
The Toybreaker is stealing children from their beds and leaving a broken clown doll in their place (half a star was awarded for the creepiest calling card ever!) Bring on Mallory, Falcon and Nightingale to use a combination of solid police work and psychological profiling to track down the culprit. However this isn’t just a straightforward track down the bad guy, for reasons I won’t reveal because of spoilers it’s a very unusual read.
It’s a short book and it’s a great holiday novel just sit back and enjoy this fast paced treat.

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Review for “Out of Bounds” by Val McDermid

51yvggiisdl__sy346_Val McDermid shows no sign of flagging with her 30th novel. Karen Pirie is back and investigating a seemingly mundane car accident that may have far reaching consequences for a historic murder/rape. The crime then connects with an apparent suicide victim whose mother died in a terrorist attack. These seemingly unconnected crimes confused me at first, how on earth could they be connected but I was soon reminded why McDermid is the queen of crime fiction.The story unfolds at exactly the right speed teasing the reader with new revelations but always realistic and just incredibly clever. An absolute treat.

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The Missing Hours – Emma Kavanagh

cover81274-mediumAlthough slightly difficult to follow in places this was an intriguing read.
Selena Cole, a partner in a kidnap and ransom negotiation firm, has disappeared leaving her two little girls alone. Has she had a breakdown following the death of her husband ? or did someone take her. Even when she reappears twenty hours later there are no answers to be had as she has no memory of where she has been.
The story is interspersed with the case files of kidnappings that Selena and Ed’s firm have been involved with which really bought the book alive for me. My only gripe was the first person narration that switched between brother and sister police officers Leah and Finn. Several times I had to double check who was narrating and I didn’t find either of them particularly sympathetic characters however it’s the plot that keeps this book going and kept me flicking the pages.