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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

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Review: ‘The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen’ by R.T Lowe

Genre: Urban / Fantasy
Length: 500 pages (approx.)

I have awarded this book 4 stars.

Synopsis: Reeling from a terrible accident that claimed the lives of his parents, Felix arrives at Portland College hoping only to survive the experience. In time, however, his reality star roommate shows him there is more to higher education than just classes, shared bathrooms and bad dorm food, and Felix gradually dares to believe he can put his past behind him. But a fateful storm looms on the horizon: In the nearby woods, two hikers become the latest victims in a series of gruesome murders; a disfigured giant embarks on a vicious cross-country rampage, killing teenagers who fail his ‘test’; and an ancient society of assassins tasked with eradicating the wielders of a mysterious source of power awakens after a long silence. Only one man–the school’s groundskeeper–knows that the seemingly unrelated events are connected, and that an eighteen-year-old boy stands in the center of the storm.

Review: I have not read a book by this author before, but I am glad that I did. This is definitely a promising start to the series!

To begin with, I found this book a little difficult to get into and a bit confusing. I’m not sure if this is because I don’t usually read this genre, but I found the prologue and it’s relevance a little confusing. However, when I started getting into the main part of the book, the prologue started to make sense and I found myself really enjoying the story. I was also finding it quite difficult to put down! R.T Lowe’s writing style flowed nicely and I found it very engaging.

This book is very fast-paced and interesting, with a great plot and likeable characters. I really enjoyed the way that Lowe wove the past and the present together.

I liked the character of Felix, and found him well-developed, if a little quirky. However, in terms of interest, I felt myself leaning more towards his best friend, Allison, who was loyal, fun and strong. I also loved the character of ‘The Faceman’, who really creeped me out! I’d love to see more of him! Maybe his own spin-off book?

The reason that I have given this book four stars instead of five is the way that the author sometimes included information that felt irrelevant, especially in terms of descriptions. While this wasn’t a big issue for me, it did impact on my enjoyment a little and I often felt that the book could be shortened by removing these unneeded pieces of information. I also felt that some scenes either happened to fast for me to follow properly or jumped around a little too much, meaning that I had to go back and re-read sections.

I felt a little disappointed when the book ended as I was just starting to get proper answers, so the ending felt a little abrupt. I am looking forward to the next book in the series, though! R.T Lowe has written a complex and puzzling story which I’m eager to learn more about! Very highly recommended.

★★★★ – A brilliant start to the series. Complex and puzzling, I found this book impossible to put down. The prologue was confusing to begin with and I sometimes felt that the author included irrelevant information and the story jumped around a lot in parts. Eager to read more! Highly recommended!

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