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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: ‘Grave Intention’ by M.A Comley

Genre: Crime / Thriller / Psychological 
Length: 260 pages (approx.)

This is Book 2 in the Intention Series.

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Synopsis: Private investigator Ellen Brazil is hired to find ex-banker Charles Dugan, who disappeared after his mansion burned to the ground. Ellen quickly discovers that Dugan’s new profession–playing poker full time–has earned him a circle of very dangerous “friends.” Ellen’s investigation is disrupted when her mother is injured, leaving Ellen to wonder why her mother’s abusive husband has gone missing when he should be at the hospital. Ellen finds herself trying to solve two cases at once while smoothing over her own personal issues. When she learns Dugan has plans to flee the country, Ellen knows it’s imperative to find him before the gang he owes money to discover his whereabouts and carry out their grave intentions.

Review: This book isn’t as fast-paced as the first in the series, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable. In fact, I would say that I enjoyed this book more. Grave Intention really added depth to the characters and showed what made them the way that they are. We also learn more about the relationship between Ellen’s mother and stepfather, and why Ellen and her step-father have such a bad relationship – though I suspect that there is more to uncover here!

Like the first book in the series, the dialogue, characters and situations in this book are believable. The crime in this book is also based on a true British news story. I really enjoyed the elements of humour injected into the dialogue. Ellen and Brian’s banter was great, a continuation from the first book, and strengthened by the inclusion of a new employee. It was also nice to see more of Ellen’s brother, Jim, and his family.

★★★★★ – Based on a true story, this book has believable and well developed characters, dialogue and situations. The banter is great! Very highly recommended!

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

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Review: ‘Sole Intention’ by M.A Comley

Genre: Crime / Thriller / Mystery / Psychological
Length: 202 pages (approx.)

This is Book 1 in the Intention Series. 

I have awarded this book 4 stars.

Summary: Former police officers Ellen Brazil and Brian Lynx have joined forces to start a successful missing persons investigation firm which has just been contracted to find the wife of bodybuilder Will Endersbe. Ellen discovers that a number of women with similar features and hair colour have also vanished in the Worcester area. Ellen and Brian suspect a serial kidnapper is to blame, and without a body, the police are happy to leave the case in their hands to solve. Hoping the women are still alive, Ellen digs for clues and races to find the women, despite her troubled private life and a meddlesome stepfather with a violent secret.

Review: I really enjoyed this book. From the prologue I was hooked! The characters were well developed and the plot was fast paced and gripping. I really struggled to put this book down and probably shouldn’t have started it when I was going to bed!

I loved the characters of Ellen, Brian and Ellen’s brother, Jim. There was lots of witty comments between them. I hope more develops between Ellen and Brian! I also liked that most of the story was from Ellen’s perspective but we occasionally got to see inside the head of the killer. The rape scenes made me quite uncomfortable as they were quite detailed and from the killers perspective, but I think that showed how repulsive he was and it definitely made me more eager for Ellen to find him and bring him to justice!

I enjoyed this book –  so much so that I’m going to start the next in the series straight away! Definitely recommended!

★★★★★ – A great start to the series! Fast paced and gripping with well developed characters. Very highly recommended!

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

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Review: ‘Bet you can’t…find me’ by Linda S. Prather

Genre: Psychological Thriller / Paranormal / Crime.
Length: 322 pages (approx.)

This is book 1 in the Catherine Mans Psychic Suspense series.

I have awarded this book 4 stars.

Summary: Imagine a killer who can kill at will from a distance. No gun, no weapon. Nothing more than a thought.” Catherine Mans has the ability to see and hear what others can’t. With the help of Homicide Sergeant Cody Allen, she’s turned that talent into a successful profession as a psychic consultant. But Catherine’s past is coming back to haunt her. Someone is threatening the lives of everyone she loves. Nine bodies have been discovered, and Catherine is the FBI’s prime suspect. To prove her innocence, she must unravel the secrets of her past, and answer the challenge of a deranged psychic. Bet you can’t…FIND ME!

Review: To begin with, I wasn’t sure that this book was necessarily for me. I don’t tend to read books about psychics,  but I quickly got drawn into the story and struggled to put it down. I was quite interested in a psychic helping the police, but what I really enjoyed was how creepy the story got! I loved reading about the Bayou and really enjoyed the different languages (with translations) that the author took the time to include.

On the whole, the characters were well-developed and interesting. Catherine was mysterious at the beginning of the book, which made it a little difficult to like her, but as the book progressed and I found out more about her past and the events that she had to go through, I started to really like her. I also really liked the character of Rosetta. She was fun, quirky and fearless. However, I didn’t like the character of Cody and thought that he needed to be developed more as his character felt a little flat at times.

This book was interesting with many twists and turns. Leading up to the end of the book, I found it impossible to put down. I had absolutely no idea who the killer was, and just when I thought I’d guessed, I found out I was wrong!  The author concluded the story but still left me eager to read the next book in the series, which is an impressive skill. Definitely recommended!

★★★★ – An interesting book with many twists and turns. Enjoyed reading about the Bayou and everything associated with it! Definitely recommended!

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

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Review: ‘Fake Kate’ by David Wailing

Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Psychological
Length: 397 pages (approx.)

I have awarded this book 4 stars.

Summary: Brenda and her sister, Kate, look like twins, but they couldn’t be more different. Kate is fun, confident and loved by everyone. Brenda tends to go unnoticed.  However, everything is not as it seems. When Kate goes missing, Brenda sees no other option but to pretend to be her sister, going on dates and hanging out with her friends, in order to find out where she has gone. Things go from bad to worse when Brenda finds out more than she bargained for!

Review: I enjoyed reading this. Brenda was a likeable character who obviously cared about her sister. I really liked the way that the story was written and how the author gave me Brenda’s thoughts and feelings, like I was being given inside information. The story was interesting and funny which made me want to keep reading when I should have been sleeping! I also thought that the extra images (dating profiles and extra bits of information) were a great touch. I found all of the characters to be well developed and likeable (for the most part) and greatly enjoyed the twists and turns throughout the story.

I gave four stars because I didn’t like the ending, which might be a little unfair, but it didn’t work for me and this impacted on my overall enjoyment of the book. Without giving too much away, I found the ending to be a bit sudden and the characters to be too understanding of this development. Having said that, I would still recommend this book as it was a refreshing approach to a familiar storyline.

★★★★ – An interesting story. The only problem I had was the ending. Extra information and images slotted into the story were a great touch! 

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

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Review: ‘The Experiment of Dreams’ by Brandon Zenner

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Length: 295 pages

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Summary: Benjamin Walker has spent a large portion of his life testing different experimental medicines and participating in sleep study tests. Having spiralled into a deep depression when he lost his wife, Emily, Ben has lost his determination to live, and is instead existing. When Ben is then offered a steady income, in return for participating in a project named Lucy (short for Lucid Transmitter), a machine capable of recording a persons dreams, he cannot refuse. What will these studies cause Ben to remember? and how dangerous are these experimental medicines?

Review: Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to have their dreams read? I know I would! I really enjoyed reading this. Well researched, with a very interesting story line, I found myself feeling really sorry for Ben and the way his life had turned out. The relationship between Ben and his memory of Emily was touching, and I found myself cheering when he met Sophia. He so deserves some happiness in his life!

I really liked that we learned right along side Ben, especially about all the different aspects of the Lucy project, and all the different test and medicines that were being used. I found the characters really engaging and interesting, and liked the way that the dialogue would focus the story during the tangents. The twists and turns at the end were completely unexpected for me. Very well written!

★★★★★ – Well written, well researched and unexpected twists. Highly recommended! 

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

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Review: ‘Imperfect Strangers’ by David Staniforth

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Length: 357 pages.

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Summary: Imperfect Strangers tells the story of Keith, a night security guard who didn’t have the best childhood. When he meets Sally, who works in the company during the day, he is infatuated. Sally isn’t interested in Keith and is having relationship trouble with her on-again-off-again live in boyfriend, Steve. Trying to let Keith down easily, Sally leads him on. Unfortunately, due to the pain suffered at the hands of his mother, Keith is broken and doesn’t understand social situations, no matter how many books he reads to try and make sense of it all. As a result, his infatuation with Sally takes a dramatic turn.

Review: To begin with, I found myself getting rather annoyed with the phrase ‘everlasting voice’ when referring to Keith’s mother, and wanted to give this book 4 stars purely for that reason. However, I realise that the author did this to make the reader realise how annoying it was to Keith as well; it definitely worked! I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect to read this in one sitting, mostly because this is the first piece of work I have read from this author. Usually it takes quite a lot to get my heart racing, and I often have multiple books on the go at once, but this book managed to keep my attention throughout, especially the final scene.

I felt really sorry for Keith (the fact that the author could make me feel sympathy for this character even after the opening scene is a great accomplishment!) and really wanted him to come out of his shell and find happiness with Sally. I thought that the way that Keith’s past was woven into the story was greatly effective, often finding myself thinking “he’s not creepy, he’s just misunderstood. It’s just because of what he’s been through” (regardless of his past, Keith is definitely creepy!!). I also found the book to be largely unpredictable, which is another great accomplishment.

★★★★★ – Well written, fast paced and largely unpredictable. Highly recommended!

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