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Review: ‘Brick’ by Conrad Jones

Brick

Genre: Crime
Length: 398 pages (approx.)

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Synopsis: When a teenager is the victim of an unprovoked attack while walking his dog, a murder investigation begins. A cruel twist of fate makes his innocent family the targets of a vicious campaign of terror. As the detectives of Liverpool’s Major Investigation Team try to contain the violence, several key members of an organised crime family begin to topple, causing shockwaves across the planet.

Review: Having read The Child Taker and thoroughly enjoying it, it was a no-brainer when I saw this come up as a suggested read. The author really sets the tone from the very beginning of the book and you know this is going to be a gritty and violent read; the author does not disappoint. Conrad Jones really creates a vivid picture with his descriptions and I found myself feeling just as tense as the characters!

I really enjoyed reading this book. So much so, that I was disappointed when I read that it was a standalone novel. I really liked the characters and thought DI Braddick was great.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good crime story! I found this very difficult to put down.

★★★★★ – A fast-paced read with great characters. Very highly recommended!

Amazon UK
Amazon US

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Review: ‘100 One Hundred Word Tales’ by Jonathan Hill

Genre: Short story collection / Drabbles
Length: 112 pages100 One Hundred Word Tales

I have awarded this short story collection 5 stars.

Synopsis: Welcome to the wonderful world of drabbles!

A drabble is a piece of writing precisely 100 words long. A challenge to write, but fun to read, they often tell a tale with a twist or encapsulate an idea or emotion.

In this collection, perfect for dipping into in a spare moment, you’ll experience the full gamut of emotions, amusing and shocking twists, several mini-series of drabbles, and a surprise or two along the way.

And, true to drabble rules, everything in the book is exactly one hundred words in length, from the stories themselves to the foreword and this blurb!

Review: These stories are brilliant! At first, I thought ‘how can you tell a story in just 100 words?’, but Jonathan Hill does this superbly. They are brilliantly funny with unexpected twists! I particularly liked ‘His Toothbrush’, ‘An Intruder’ and ‘The Smell of a New Book’. The imagination and word play in this collection of drabbles are great. Jonathon Hill is certainly a talented writer!

★★★★★ – Brilliantly funny with unexpected twists. Highly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon (UK)
Amazon (US)

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Review: ‘The Bumpkinton Tales: Volume 1’ by Matthew Drzymala

Genre: Short Story Collection
Length: 300 pages (approx.)

I have awarded this collection 5 stars.

Synopsis: Welcome to Bumpkinton! Come in, have a cup of tea and a scone, and lose yourself in five humorous tales from the village. Follow Father Whitworth O’Grady as he chokes on a penny, Albert Scatterhorn as he becomes the grubbiest Father Christmas ever, and Amelia Goose as she feuds with… well, anybody. Plus a whole host of characters as they attend the village’s first Singles Night with a sex-crazed ladies’ man. Jump in and find out more for yourself…

Review: I just love this collection! I read ‘Bittersweet’ by Drzymala a little while ago (also included in this collection) and fell in love with the charming characters. When I saw this being discussed on the authors Facebook page, I knew I had to read it!

I was not disappointed. This collection reads exactly as ‘Bittersweet’ did. It has the same charm about it and the same characters that I’ve grown to love, even if they are strange!

Growing up in a small village, I am fully aware of the fact that everyone knows everyone and nothing is a secret! I felt that Drzymala portrayed this very effectively.

★★★★★ – A great read about the charms of living in a place where everyone knows everyone (and everything!). Thoroughly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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Review: ‘Love, Death and Tea’ by Will Once

Genre: Humour
Length: 262 pages (approx.)

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Synopsis: I was not having a good apocalypse.

When the world ends, we all expect to be one of the good guys – a gun-toting hero in a world of flesh-eating zombies and other assorted creatures of the night.

But what if you find yourself on the wrong side? What if you become a zombie instead of a survivor, in a landscape of dragons, wizards and witches? When your girlfriend takes you on a mad quest to find a man who may or may not exist, while trying to evade a Government intent on grinding your bones into dust?

That is what happened to me when normal life was suddenly switched off. I became an outcast, an outlaw and the unlikeliest hero of all.

This is my story. I am dying to tell it to you.

Review: Well, this book is certainly crazy… but I loved it! If you want zombies, witches, dwarves, dragons and a quest, all wrapped up in a ball of crazy humour, this is definitely the book for you!

This is not your typical apocalypse story. By any means! It was very interesting to see the story told from the perspective of a zombie! It took me a little while to get into this story, but when I did I found it difficult to put down. It was so crazy that I had to keep reading to see what else could possibly happen! I really liked the characters!

Strangely, even though this book was completely crazy, it was also believable and everything slotted into place perfectly. Very highly recommended!

★★★★★ – Absolutely crazy but a great read! Very highly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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Review: ‘Symbiosis’ by Guy Portman

Genre: Thriller, psychological
Length: 244 pages (approx.)
Symbiosis
I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Synopsis: Identical twins Talulah and Taliah have never been apart. Viewed as curiosities by children and adults alike, they coexist in an insular world with their own secret language. But being identical doesn’t necessarily mean being equal… Soon a series of momentous events will send Talulah and Taliah spiralling out of control, setting them on a collision course with a society that views them as two parts of a whole. Will their symbiotic relationship survive?

Review: This is the first book that I have read by Guy Portman, but it definitely won’t be the last!

I’ll admit that when I started this book, I was a little reluctant to get through it. The start was a little confusing and when the twins started talking in a different language, I thought that this book wasn’t for me. However, as the story continued, I really got to know the characters and the story grabbed me. I finished this book in 3 hours, while on the train. It was impossible to put down!

I really liked that as the story progressed, the idea of individuality was brought into question. I really started to feel sorry for the twins and how they are not seen as two people, especially by their mother. We really see the twins grow up through the book, which was a lovely way of getting to know them.

★★★★★- Overall, a wonderful read. Very thought provoking and nicely paced. Highly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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Review: ‘Void’ by David M. Staniforth

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

VOID medSynopsis: A void in one’s memory is filled with more than the fear of not knowing,
it swirls with the dread of what those missing memories might contain.
When a young man wakens in a freezing car, his mind a complete blank,
he embarks upon a journey that brings that very dread to the fore.

Who is he?
What has he done?
Where does he belong?
Why can he not remember?

VOID: a psychological journey of discovery that forces the question: To what extent can our memories be trusted?

Review:  This was a really interesting read. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I lost a week or more of my time each year and didn’t remember where I went or who I was!

This story was believable and interesting. There were plenty of twists and turns to keep my attention and I didn’t see them coming at all. I really liked the character of Tom and found myself feeling very sympathetic to his plight, particularly at the beginning of the story when he didn’t know who he was!

What I really liked about the story was it was written in such a way that the reader was finding out the information at the same time as the characters, rather than the story jumping backwards and forwards. This kept up the level of suspense in the story.

I would definitely recommend this story to anyone looking for a good read. You certainly won’t be disappointed!

★★★★★ – An interesting, believable story about a man who goes missing and doesn’t remember who he is for a week each January. Highly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

 

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Review: ‘A Gangster’s Grip’ by Heather Burnside

Genre: Crime / Thriller
Length: 266 pages (approx.)

This is book 2 in the Riverhill Trilogy

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Synopsis: When Rita returns to Manchester after a few years away, she doesn’t expect to find a spliff smoking, beer swilling thug called Leroy firmly ensconced on her parents’ sofa. Rita is horrified to discover he is her sister Jenny’s new boyfriend, and she senses trouble. The more Rita finds out about Leroy, the more she mistrusts him. As she uncovers the truth about his shady dealings, she becomes anxious about Jenny’s safety and is desperate to lure her away from him. Rita’s mettle is tested as she tries to protect her sister while battling with personal health concerns. But it’s worse than Rita could ever have suspected. Through her association with Leroy, Jenny is about to become embroiled in the most dangerous phase in Manchester’s recent history.

Review: To begin with, I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure about this book. I had given Slur, the first book in this series, a four star review, so I knew that this book had a lot to live up to. I’m incredibly glad that I read this book as I enjoyed it immensely – even more than the first book!

I loved the characters and how much they had grown and matured from the first book, which I felt made the story a lot more engaging. They were believable and interesting, and it was impossible not to care about them. I even found myself tearing up at times due to the situations that they had got themselves in!

This book was fast-paced and full of action, and there was plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader engaged (I don’t want to give anything away, but I definitely didn’t see the ending coming!). I felt that there was just the right amount of description to make it effective and without detracting from the pace of the story. I was also glad that the descriptions weren’t too gore-y, which allowed me to create a vivid picture in my mind.

Some very clever writing and I eagerly await the next instalment in the trilogy.

★★★★★ – Fast-paced and full of action, with plenty of twists and turns. Believable characters and an effective use of description. Very cleverly written and highly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK
Amazon US