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Tales of Greed, Scandal & Mayhem from Colin Goodwin. – ‘Don’t Get Mad, Get Even’.

Tales of Greed, Scandal & Mayhem from Colin Goodwin. – ‘Don’t Get Mad, Get Even’.

Tales of Greed, Scandal & Mayhem from Colin Goodwin.

Today, I am showing a spotlight on two great sounding books from Author Colin Goodwin. The books are set in the fictional English town of Throttle, where there is scandal, greed and disruption. Colin’s books have already had 5 star reviews, and I’m sure that I will be adding to that list of raving reviews. Here are the details on the two books, and if they sound like your kind of read, you will find the links below. The titles alone appeal to me, ‘Don’t Get Mad, Get Even’!! – mmm, yes often goes through my mind…. 😉 . And ‘When in a Hole, Stop Digging’Good advice!

 

Don’t Get Mad, Get Even 

Published by 2QT Publishing ISBN 978-1-910077-60-3
mad

Synopsis:

As the cricket season starts, so do the shenanigans…

Life is tranquil in the quintessentially English village of Throttle – until the local cricket team receives a devilish demand.
When industrialist and landowner Sir Alfred Bullock is laid up, his devious son Roland, devises a get-rich-quick scheme. He gives an ultimatum to the cricket club: win a trophy by the end of the season or we take back the ground you play on and sell it for development.
In a desperate attempt to win games and hold on to the pitch, the club enlists the help of a professional whose skills – to the delight of the local ladies – extend far beyond the cricket Field. Roland, together with an unscrupulous estate agent and two dodgy builders, hatches malicious plans to ensure the team loses its games. Meanwhile, village residents whose houses are devalued by being on the perimeter of the pitch take matters into their own hands to ‘fix’ the club’s failure…
Greed, scandal, tragedy and farce ensue as the cricket club fights for survival against increasingly dangerous sabotage…

five pink stars

When in a Hole, Stop Digging.

Published by 2QT Publishing ISBN 978-1-910077-80-1

hole

Synopsis:

An ordinary day in a sleepy village deteriorates into chaos. Livid boat owner Albert vows revenge after a humiliating event, and shocked residents of a brand new housing estate mysteriously find fish in the plumbing. A heartless double murderer on the loose and a gun-toting farmer send shivers through the town of Throttle as two amateur sleuths try to make sense of it all. Meanwhile a pair of sixties throwback detectives attempt to piece it all together, but in reality make matters worse. The local free press needs a story fast, but the novice reporters get a shock as they enter a world far beyond their capability. Finally, one resident, pushed to the edge by a marital issue, sinks to a new low. The mayhem continues….

Author bio

Colin Goodwin enjoyed a successful career as a welding and fabrication engineer, working in the aircraft industry and welder training for the oil industry. For the past twenty years he worked in further education, where he also taught stained glass window making.

In the late 80’s he built and fitted out a 40 foot steel narrow-boat, but sold it because it was not fast enough. He maintains an active lifestyle and has completed London marathons and Great North Runs. Both Colin and his wife now prefer to go on long distance cycling holidays. Retired 6 years ago, Colin continues to indulge his creative side by repairing anything mechanical, motorbikes (Harley Davidson, BSA, Royal Enfield), cars (1951 Ford Anglia) and model steam engines.

The books are available through Amazon, all good book shops and from under the counter at The Hardware Store, in Padiham. The last in the trilogy ‘A Likely Story’ is currently nearing completion.

 

Links:

Amazon.com/Don’t Get Mad, Get Even.

Amazon.com/When in a Hole, Stop Digging.

Amazon.co.uk/Don’t Get Mad, Get Even.

Amazon.co.uk/When in a Hole, Stop Digging.

Goodreads.

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 20, 2017 in Book Spotlights.

 

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SunTag – The Mystery Blogger Award.

SunTag – The Mystery Blogger Award.

Thank you very much to Donna at Chocolatenwaffles for tagging me in this Suntag post. I haven’t done a tag post in ages. So it will make a nice change to my review blog posts, and hopefully show a little bit more of myself in this post, aside from just the books I like.

mystery-blogger-tag

         

         Here are the rules:

  • Put the award logo/image in your post.

  • List all the rules.

  • Thank whoever nominated you and leave a link to their blog.

  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.

  • Nominate 10-20 people and notify them.

  •  Link back to the creator of the award.

  • Ask nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with a weird or funny question.

  • Share the link to your best/favourite post of yours.

 

Three things about myself.

1.  I’m at a stage in my life where things are going to change soon. My saying at the moment –  “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, it is important that step is in the right direction”

step

2.  I’m a little bit scared of crabs, as they remind me of spiders! Yuck.

3. When I started ChocolatePages, I loved sweet, happy, romantic comedy chick lit books. Now I love a gritty crime thriller with murders and dark themes! I wonder what that says about me???!!! 

shocked face

 

Now for Donna’s questions. Donna was very imaginative with her questions. This is what prompted me to do this tag, she made it interesting. I was also challenged to make my questions a little different and hopefully interesting. 

#1 Which finger of your right hand is your favourite?

This is one of the strangest questions I have ever been asked.  I think probably my fore finger as it is most useful. I like my little one as it is the best looking. But I’m going for practical over beauty for this one! 😎

practical

#2 You have 5% of battery left on your phone and on your Kindle, only one electric plug and 30 minutes to use it before you are stuck for hours with no electricity. Which device do you charge?

Well that would depend if I had any Wi-Fi availability? If there was Wi-Fi I would charge my phone. Then I could tweet, email and phone / text. 

If there was no Wi-Fi and I didn’t need to phone anybody for help, then I would charge my kindle as I would enjoy spending 30 minutes reading with no interruptions while I wait whatever I am waiting the 30 mins for. 

I actually enjoy a bit of waiting time when I have my kindle or book with me. Good question from Donna. 

place to be

( I will have to think hard about what I will ask to match these great questions). 

#3 Have you congratulated yourself this week for anything at all? If the answer is no, find something, anything you did, and congratulate yourself, you deserve it.

I tend to congratulate myself quite often usually for small things as they happen more often than big things. I agree with Donna that self praise is a good thing and can improve our self esteem and confidence.  Sometimes I even say to myself ” well done for coming this far” (when life has given me raw blows).  It gives a bit of strength to go a bit further. 

It’s something I recommend ( and I think Donna would too). If you haven’t tried it, find one thing to congratulate yourself on and see if you feel even a little better for it. 

jolly good

 

#4 Salty and sugary snacks?

Can I have both??? If I had to choose I would choose sugary  ( chocolate of course). But one of my favourite chocolates is sea salted milk chocolate. 

I also like to eat crisps and chocolate together!   😉

choc crisp gif

#5 What’s your favourite tree?

Cherry Blossom tree for sure. They are so beautiful, and here in the UK, a sign that summer is well on its way. 

Spring: abundance of Japanese cherry blossoms

 

 

And now for my questions! For anyone that wants to follow on from this post, I look forward to your answers. Leave your links in the comments or just tell me your answers in the comments. 

1. What is your favourite day out of the whole year? 

2. If you had to stay somewhere alone for a week would you choose a white sands beach or a green forest?

3. What would you ‘last meal’ request be?

4. There has to be a bookish question, so what is your all time favourite book?

5. Where is your favourite place in the whole world?

 

My favourite/best post

I have chosen this post because the organisation is wonderful, and it is something we could all do that would mean a lot to somebody else.

Help a sick child with PostPals.

 

The Nominees:

No pressure to do this, but anyone who wants to, I would love to read your post. Thanks to Donna for tagging me, and here are a few lovely ladies whose answers I would love to read. Plus they all have amazing blogs, so go check them out. 

Irena BookDustMagic

Kat

Alice

Analee

Shawna

 

home-badge

 
12 Comments

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Awards., Tags

 

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Book Review: Watch Me, by Angela Clarke. (Social Media Murders #2).

Book Review: Watch Me, by Angela Clarke. (Social Media Murders #2).

Thank you to Joanne at MyChestnutReadingTree and Avon Books for my copy of his book which I won in their competition. I really really wanted to read this book, as I had so enjoyed the prequel to it ‘Follow Me’ which I reviewed HERE! (Follow Me, Book Review)

I gave ‘Follow Me’ 5 stars on Goodreads, and I will be doing exactly the same for ‘Watch me’. As social media murder books they are brilliant. 

Although ‘Watch Me’ can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading ‘Follow Me’ first as its amazing. 

YOU-ARE-NOT-ALONE..png

Description:

YOU HAVE SIX SECONDS TO READ THIS MESSAGE…

The body of a 15-year-old is found hours after she sends a desperate message to her friends. It looks like suicide, until a second girl disappears.

This time, the message is sent directly to the Metropolitan Police – and an officer’s younger sister is missing.

DS Nasreen Cudmore and journalist Freddie Venton will stop at nothing to find her. But whoever’s behind the notes is playing a deadly game of hide and seek – and the clock is ticking.

YOU HAVE 24 HOURS TO SAVE THE GIRL’S LIFE.
MAKE THEM COUNT.

watch mePublished November 3rd 2016 by Avon

 

My Thoughts:

My anticipation for ‘Watch Me’ was very high, as I had enjoyed ‘Follow Me’ so much. If you haven’t read ‘Follow Me’, it is the first social media murder book from the very talented Angela Clarke. The social media in the first book was Twitter, which I know and use regularly. The second book ‘Watch Me’, uses Snapchat, which I knew very little about. This didn’t matter as the police force trying to find the criminal didn’t know about snapchat either, so we learnt together, with lots of help from Freddie Venton.

Freddie is a brilliantly developed character, she isn’t part of the force but Nasreen wants her advice on this case, as Freddie is so good with technology and social media. We see the relationship progress between Nasreen and Freddie in the most natural, but complex way and we see the changes in both girls as they find themselves so engrossed in the case of  trying to save the life of the latest victim. 

The police and medical knowledge that Clarke has spoken about in the book has clearly been very researched to get it exactly right, and I have learnt things from this book, while also being taken on a thrilling ride full of twists and fast paced action.

I have to admit the last book ‘Follow Me’, made me suspicious of the wrong people, and I was grateful to be wrong in who I thought was the criminal. I think it shows the sign of a very talented writer in that I can suspect characters and when the true criminal comes to light, it totally makes sense.

The time line in this novel was amazing, it made me want to read faster and turn the pages to match their 24 hours. (Life gets in the way and I can’t read a book in a day, but I loved that the timing was realistic in the way they did things).

When I finished the book I visited Angela Clarke’s Twitter page and almost did a whoop outloud as I saw that there was a third social media murder on the way. My expections are sky high for the next dose of Freddie and Nasreen. Thank you Angela Clarke for sharing your incredibly imaginative mind with us. I loved ‘Watch Me’ and can’t wait for Trust Me. (released in June 2017).

 

 

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/@TheAngelaClarke

angelaclarke.co.uk

 

 

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Kim vs the Mean Girl, by Meredith Schorr. (Stand alone YA, prequel to Blogger Girl).

Book Review: Kim vs the Mean Girl, by Meredith Schorr. (Stand alone YA, prequel to Blogger Girl).

You know that feeling when you are super excited that a book has a sequel coming out, and you are hoping with everything crossed, that it will be as good as the first. Well, that happened after I read ‘Blogger Girl’, by Meredith Schorr. I read ‘Novelista Girl’, and ….. for the first time EVER! loved the sequel more than the first book. I did a little squeal when I heard that Meredith had written a prequel! This meant, more Kim Long, more great friendship chat with bestie Bridget, and typically more Mean Girl Hannah. My excitement was worthy of ‘Kim vs The Mean Girl’. It is typically Meredith Schorr brilliance. I loved it and read page after page finishing it in record time. 

In case you missed it, here is my review of Blogger Girl

And here is my review of  Novelista Girl

And to follow are my garbled thoughts of why I enjoyed ‘Kim vs The Mean Girl’ so much. 

tv in your head

Description:

High school sophomore, Kim Long, is no stranger to the “mean girl” antics of Queen Bee Hannah Marshak. When Hannah steals Kim’s diary and in front of the entire class reads personal (not to mention humiliating) entries Kim wrote about her crush, Jonathan, Kim vows to enact revenge.

Kim and her loyal best friend, Bridget, come up with the perfect plan to put the evil Hannah in her place once and for all. But will their scheming have the desired effect of getting even, or will Hannah emerge more celebrated by her peers than ever?

Kim vs. The Mean Girl can be read as a young adult standalone novel, but it is also a prequel to the popular Blogger Girl adult romantic comedy series and is set in 2000. Told in the duo perspectives of teenage Kim and Hannah, fans of the series will get an inside look into Kim’s early passion for reading, writing (and Jonathan) and find out why Hannah is so darn mean.

“In Blogger Girl we meet the irrepressible Kim Long and her nemesis Hannah Marshak. Kim Vs. the Mean Girl takes us back to high school with Kim and Hannah 101 in this delightful prequel. I gobbled it up in one byte…er, I mean bite (this is the era before a cell phone was in every backpack). When Kim declares war on Hannah, it takes some unexpected, and at times amusing, turns, and though the enemies don’t emerge as friends, or even frenemies, they each come away the better for it. A fun read for all ages.” Eileen Goudge, New York Times best-selling author

 

kimPublished April 20th 2017 by Meredith Schorr

 

My Thoughts:

Kim and Bridget made Blogger Girl and Novelista Girl for me, their friendship is amazing and makes for great reading, so I was intrigued to find out about them while they were in high school. Saying that, this book can definitely be read as a stand alone. But I think if you haven’t read the other 2, reading this will make you want to read them for sure! And personally I liked that I had read the adult version of them first. Its a very clever idea of the Author to write the character backwards. (Adults first, then teenagers). For many there would be too many ways to slip up, but Meredith managed this perfectly, allowing us to see how they became the adults that they did. 

The story is very ‘young adult’ and high school orientated. It would make a great film. ( Think Mean Girls, but better). 😆 

We get a good impression of how Kim and Hannah were brought up and this gives us a good insight of why they are as they are in Blogger Girl.  I loved the plans that the girls come up with, and how we feel their high school emotions, self awareness and teenage angst. I also thought it was brilliant how we see Kim’s love for reading (and writing) while she is still in school. Mean Girl Hannah gives Kim a ‘mean compliment’ where she says:

“Kim Long without a book to read is like a dog without its chew”.

There is the usual teenage crush talk between the friends. And we even get a very surprise peek at Nicholas. ( from Blogger Girl).  The Author has really got into the heads of these characters. I read an interview with Meredith where she said the girls almost felt like her daughters. So she really does cherish her characters and this shows in the deep care that Meredith gave to ensure that the characteristics given can be seen in their high school time and then how this has influenced them in their adulthood. 

The Author has not only given great thought to the plot and the characters, but she also made the timeline exactly right as there are mentions of Brad and Jennifer! And Kim speaks of reading ‘The Perks of Being A Wallflower’. Meredith has thought of everything.

This was a lovely, easy read. For me, the main reason I enjoyed it was because it was a prequel to two books that I loved so much, and I had already fallen hook, line and sinker for Kim and Bridget. I think this book would appeal to teenagers, adults who like YA and everyone who loved Blogger Girl. 

Meredith is a hugely talented writer, and I am eagerly awaiting her next book. 😍

 

Links:

Goodreads.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/@MeredithSchorr

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 22, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Two Graves by Zoe Kalo.

Book Review: Two Graves by Zoe Kalo.

Description:

(TWO GRAVES is a short novella, about 70 pages. It is volume #1 in Zoe Kalo’s psychological suspense “Retribution” series.)

A Dante-ish descent through a sinister world of decadent shadows and woeful souls…

Seven years ago, he shattered her life. The town eventually forgot the headlines and the nightmares. But 23-year old music student Angelica hasn’t forgotten.

For the past seven years, she’s contemplated payback with as much intensity and unwavering faith as she puts into her violin playing. Finally, all the pieces are in place. Over the course of one night, disguised for a masquerade ball, Angelica orchestrates a journey of revenge.

two graves

 

Published August 31st 2016 by Createspace

My Thoughts:

This short novella was packed full with  emotion and intrigue. The main character Angelica is seeking revenge for something that happened to her seven years ago. We are not told what is it that happened, but we can tell from the intensity of dialogue and emotion that Angelica is very angry, bitter and in my opinion confused. At the same time she is so clear thoughted in her aims and what she has to do.

I like that this revenge was ready to play out in a masquerade ball, it gave the tale mystery and I could really picture the characters hidden behind the masks, the music and the anger. The Author writes with brilliant descriptive and emotive words which flowed across the pages. 

“..the flames licking my face as not one but two bow hairs snapped, unhinged, in the brutal, infernal storm that was my heart”

This book was hugely character driven, I could feel Angelica’s emotions and feelings, which the Author very cleverly described within her music. Angelica plays the violin and there is plenty of music descriptive talk, which lead us guessing what angelica has planned.

“Vivaldi’s ‘Summer’ 3rd movement, spilled out of me like a torrent of vomit”

There was a certain sense of hopelessness within Angelica, but also a determination and strength in her plot for revenge.

“When there’s nothing to lose, there’s no fear”.

I enjoyed this novella, but not in the way I usually enjoy books. There wasn’t a huge plot or many twists within this tale, I enjoyed this for the brilliant descriptions and the strength of the Author’s writing to bring out the emotions of the main character. Zoe Kalo has the natural talent of a writer and I think I would enjoy her full length novels, where there will be more opportunity for plot aswell as her brilliant words.

 

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

zoekalo.com

Twitter/@zoekalowriter

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 13, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Around the World in 80 Tales by Dave Tomlinson.

Book Review: Around the World in 80 Tales by Dave Tomlinson.

When Author Dave Tomlinson asked me if I wanted to review his book based on travelling around the world, the travel bug in me raised its very interested head. I love the play on the title, and was very keen to get stuck in to his tales.

Description:

80 Stories, 25 Countries, 5 Continents, One Heck of a Ride!

Come with me on a journey of captivating true travel stories from around the world. This fascinating kaleidoscope of people, places, history, food and culture will inspire, amuse and even amaze. Experience the challenges, rewards and fun of budget travel without leaving home!

80 tales

Published August 16th 2016 by Amazon Kindle

My Thoughts:

In this book Author Dave Tomlinson tells us tales of his travels around 5 continents, as the title suggests there are 80 mini stories here. Each tale is no longer than 500 words, so its the type of book that you can either read all in one go, or delve in and out whenever you feel the pull! 

Dave also has put a photograph after every tale, so even if his wonderfully descriptive words don’t evoke amazing pictures in your mind then you can see them in actual colours after you have read each story. One of my favourites was the picture of an early morning boat trip to the Ganges River in Varanasi, India. This is somewhere I haven’t been put it is on my bucket list of places to go. Very kindly, the Author has allowed me to share this photograph with you. Isn’t it amazing!? Now I really really want to go there.

Varanasi

I loved the mixture of different experiences, with food, culture and people that Dave met along the way. There are bits of history about some of the places he visited which was also very interesting. I think to be able to travel to all these wonderful places and then write about them would be an amazing experience, Dave has shared this with us in the best way available.

Some of the places written about, I have been to and gave me lovely memories and many more of the places are ones that I would love to visit, so reading about them made me want to go even more. 

I loved the dedication page in this book, as the Author acknowledges and thanks all the many kind people he met while travelling. I think the people you meet along the way will always make a big difference wherever you go, and I liked that Dave mentioned this.  

This book was a wonderful read, perfect for those with the travel bug and perfect for those who love to read about different places and cultures.  Thanks to Author Dave Tomlinson for allowing me to read and review and also sharing his wonderful experiences and photographs with us.

 

 

Links:

Goodreads.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 8, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: My not-so Perfect Life, by Sophie Kinsella.

Book Review: My not-so Perfect Life, by Sophie Kinsella.

Thank you to Becky Short at Transworld Books for my copy of My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella. Sophie Kinsella was the Author that got me into adult reading, she is my ‘go to’ Author that will be guaranteed to write a good book that will make me laugh. So, I was over the moon to receive this copy.

valentine gif

Description:

Cat Brenner is living the dream – she has a flat in London, a job in creative branding, and her Instagram feed is full of all the amazing things London has to offer: delicious food and beautiful sights and lots of fun. Ok, so the crappy truth is that she rents a tiny room in Catford with no space for a wardrobe, spends most of her days engaged in tedious admin on the other side of the city, and posts photos of food she could never ever afford to eat. But it’s all just about worth it.

Until her bright and shiny life comes crashing down: her demanding boss Demeter gives her sack, and with no means to live in London any more, Cat has to move home to Somerset. Now she’s plain old Katie Brenner again, helping out her dad and her stepmum as they attempt to launch a glamping business on their farm. (They think she’s on sabbatical from her job, and she can’t quite bear to tell them the truth…)

With Katie’s creative branding experience, the glamping is soon a big success. So much so that Demeter and her family book in on holiday – and Katie sees her chance to get revenge on the woman who ruined her dream. So long as Demeter doesn’t see beyond her disguise and give the game away to her parents, of course.

It’s time to see who’s the boss…

not so perfect

Published February 9th 2017 by Transworld Digital

My Thoughts:

When I picked up the newest Sophie Kinsella book, I just knew it was going to be a  5 star read! Because Sophie’s books always are. I have read all of her Shopaholic ones, and all the other stand alone books. My Not So Perfect Life was no different, it is a 5 star read that made me laugh, gave me great escapism and truely got me involved in Cat’s life. I find that Sophie’s main characters become like friends when you read her books. You can understand them and their actions, and although they often make ‘oh no!’ mistakes and get themselves into sticky situations, but you can always rely on a Kinsella character to brighten your day.

I was laughing right from the start as we hear about Cat’s life in London, a tiny flat, a dreadful commute, and strange flatmates. Motivational Dave made me laugh straight away with all his whey powder!!! (If you read, look out for that bit, though you will be laughing anyway). As many people do these days, Cat displays her wonderful life on Instagram with sneaky photos of other people’s expensive coffees, and the “glamourous oh so fun London life” that she lives. I really enjoy books that talk about social media at the moment because it’s so current and relevant to today’s society. 

But Cat gets let go from her job and has to return to Somerset where she reverts to Katie, and agrees to help her Dad and Step Mum Biddy with their new Glamping business. But what happens when her old super successful, super brilliant boss Demeter arrives, the boss that is the last person Katie wants to see??

My Not So Perfect Life is easy reading, fun and of course has a book boyfriend added in for extra warmth. In my opinion, Alex is not on the same scale as Luke Brandon, but we have had a lot more Luke in the Shopaholic books, and only 1 of Alex, but he is still there, in Katie’s mind, making her do some laughable antics. 

I always knew before I even received this book that Sophie Kinsella’s book would be a 5 star, laugh out loud book, and it totally lived up to my expectations. If you haven’t read a Kinsella book! Where have you been???And if you have, then you will know what to do. Read ‘My Not So Perfect Life’, and cosy down with Cat and her ‘perfect London Instagram’ and Katie with her Somerset Glamping and ….. blue hair!! 😉 

five pink stars

 

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/KinsellaSophie

 

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on March 25, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: The Blade Artist, by Irvine Welsh.

Book Review: The Blade Artist, by Irvine Welsh.

Recently as most of you will probably know T2 Trainspotting came out in the cinema. I watched and loved the first Trainspotting, and with the idea of T2 coming out, I had a look on the wonder that is Netgalley and found to my immense happiness that I was approved to read this Irvine Welsh book, featuring the one and only Francis Begbie. So, thank you netgalley, here are my thoughts.

begbie

Description:

Jim Francis has finally found the perfect life – and is now unrecognisable, even to himself. A successful painter and sculptor, he lives quietly with his wife, Melanie, and their two young daughters, in an affluent beach town in California. Some say he’s a fake and a con man, while others see him as a genuine visionary.

But Francis has a very dark past, with another identity and a very different set of values. When he crosses the Atlantic to his native Scotland, for the funeral of a murdered son he barely knew, his old Edinburgh community expects him to take bloody revenge. But as he confronts his previous life, all those friends and enemies – and, most alarmingly, his former self – Francis seems to have other ideas.

When Melanie discovers something gruesome in California, which indicates that her husband’s violent past might also be his psychotic present, things start to go very bad, very quickly.

The Blade Artist is an elegant, electrifying novel – ultra violent but curiously redemptive – and it marks the return of one of modern fiction’s most infamous, terrifying characters, the incendiary Francis Begbie from Trainspotting.

blade-artist

Published April 7th 2016 by Jonathan Cape

My Thoughts:

At the beginning of this book we meet Begbie, who is now known as Jim Francis, he is married with two lovely daughters. We are shown an unrecognisable ‘Begbie’, as he is devoted to his family and seems to have a lovely Californian life. Those who know Begbie only from Trainspotting would be confused, – as was I.

The story continues and we hear that Jim Francis has to return to Edinburgh because his son has been killed. Does returning to the place that made you, make you turn back to the person you once were? Everybody in Leith is expecting Begbie to take revenge, to show that side of him that he is known as. I’m not about giving spoilers or too much information on the plot, so if you want to know you will need to read the book yourself. 

I loved the title of this book, and as you read about what Jim Francis does and did while he was in prison, the title is very apt. 

“That’s the thing aboot bein an artist, ye get…..creative”

I liked the contrast between the two places, and how this is also reflected in the characters. At first it seemed difficult to imagine the Begbie we knew as this devoted American Husband and Dad, but as the story goes on, and we hear about Begbie’s past and we learn a lot more about him and the question you have to ask really is, ‘You can take the boy out of Scotland, but can you take Scotland out of the boy?’   (or maybe that should be Leith!)

Scottish-flag_2109121a

 

It took me a bit longer to read this as Edinburgh dialect is used in the book, and while I live in Scotland I could easily understand it, it doesn’t read as easily as ‘The Queen’s English’. But it wouldn’t have been authentic Irvine Welsh if he hadn’t have used the dialect would it now?!

“Eh pilled ehsel tae ehs climbin frame n yanked ehsel up. Tried tae come at ays! It was ridic! he booted it oot fae under him and watched him crash tae the flair.”

This was an enjoyable book, which I read at a perfect time with T2 Trainspotting just out. It was gritty, character led and typically Irine Welsh. 

thistle

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Twitter/IrvineWelsh

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 18, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: The Owl Always Hunts At Night, by Samuel Bjork.

Book Review: The Owl Always Hunts At Night, by Samuel Bjork.

Thank you to publishers Transworlds Books for gifting me this copy of ‘The Owl Always Hunts At Night’. This book was translated from Norwegian to English, which we British booklovers have greatly appreciated! This is the first book I have read by Samuel Bjork, I know the previous book ‘I’m Traveling Alone’ was very popular, and readers of that were excited to read this new book. However, ‘The Owl’ was fine to read as a standalone. 

I read this book as part of a buddy read with one of my favourite bookbloggers and lovely friend Irena. She read in Croatia, and I read in Scotland, and we spoke while we read about our thoughts and ideas about the book. It made reading the book even more fun. Irena is a brilliant blogger and person, and will also be writing a review of this book. You can find Irena’s Blog – BookDustMagic! and Twitter

 book friend

Description:

When a young woman is found dead, the police are quick to respond. But what they find at the scene is unexpected. The body is posed, the scene laboriously set. And there is almost no forensic evidence to be found.

Detective Mia Krüger has been signed off work pending psychological assessment. But her boss has less regard for the rules than he should. Desperate to get Mia back in the office, Holger Munch offers her an unofficial deal.

But the usually brilliant Mia is struggling and the team are unable to close the case. Until a young hacker uncovers something that forces the team to confront the scope of the murderer’s plans and face the possibility that he may already be on the hunt for a second victim.

 

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Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Publication: March 23rd 2017 by Transworld Digital

My Thoughts:

This book wasn’t what I expected it to be when I first picked it up. The first chapter tells a story from years ago when some of the characters were younger, as the book progressed, my thoughts kept returning to this first chapter as I tried to figure out what had happened. I did not figure it out, until the twists told us so!! I like a book where I cannot guess the twists, this is a winning book for me. However, the very strange and different thing about this book for me was that I didn’t have a clue who the culprit was for the majority of the book, and I am always suspicious of practically everyone, but not in this tale. Honestly, it confused me a bit. This is one of the reasons that  enjoyed buddy reading this so much, so that at the end of each reading marathon, I would check in with Irena and see what she thought. 

This is the first book that I have read that is based in Norway, and the way the characters describe it, it sounds so cold and uninviting! But having a friend who is Norwegian I know that there are very beautiful parts of Norway, and I can only deduce that the negative way the characters spoke of the country (more so the weather) was part of her state of mind.

There are a lot of different elements to this story, a lot of characters and a lot of divided off stories. It made me wonder how it was all going to link up, but link up it did and it did it very well. It was a book that I had to concentrate on because of the many characters, but because of this I got very involved in the story and it completely wrapped me up for the week I was reading it.  I haven’t ever read a book like this before, with very strange ideas and a total mix of characters. The Author even mentioned Anonymous and Black Hackers (which I hadn’t heard of before, but I know of now after reading this).

Overall the book was gripping, thought provoking and a very different kind of thriller. 

 

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on March 11, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Porcelain, Flesh of Innocents, by Lee Cockburn

Book Review: Porcelain, Flesh of Innocents, by Lee Cockburn

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Lee Cockburn’s new release ‘Porcelain’. I took part in a Clink Street Publishers event last year called ‘Blogival’, and this is where I found the talented Author that is Lee Cockburn. I read and reviewed ‘Devils Demise’, which you can read HERE! So when Rachel from Authoright asked me if I wanted to read and take part in the blog tour for Lee’s new book, I was very happy. ‘Porcelain’ is out now, and you can read more about it here, and in all the other lovely blogs that are taking part. The tour banner looks rather creepy doesn’t it? Well, its a spine tingling kind of read.However, I do recommend it. Keep reading to see my thoughts on the latest book from Lee Cockburn. 

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Description:

Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks is back and in charge of tracking down a sadistic vigilante, with a penchant for torturing paedophiles, in this unsettling crime thriller by a real-life police sergeant.

High-powered businessmen are turning up tortured around the city of Edinburgh with one specific thing in common — a sinister double life involving pedophilia. Leaving his ‘victims’ in a disturbing state, the individual responsible calls the police and lays bare the evidence of their targets’ twisted misdemeanours to discover, along with a special memento of their own troubled past — a chilling calling card. Once again heading the investigation team is Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks, along with her partner Detective Constable Marcus Black, who are tasked not only with tracking the perpetrator down but also dealing with the unusual scenario of having to arrest the victims for their own barbarous crimes. But with the wounded piling up the predator’s thirst for revenge intensifies and soon Nicks discovers that she is no longer chasing down a sinister attacker but a deadly serial killer.

Vivid, dark and deeply unsettling Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents is the perfect next read for serious crime and police thriller fans.

porcelain

Clink Street Publishing (21 Feb. 2017)

 Advice: This book contains scenes of violence, sex and child abuse, it may cause upset to some readers.

My Thoughts:

When I looked at interviews that Author Lee Cockburn has given previously, she stated that her books are about good conquering evil. This book contains true evilness, the bad guys are really bad and the good guys good. Sergeant Taylor Nicks and Detective Constable Marcus Black are on the search for a vigilante who has been torturing paedophiles, and while the incentives for their mission is understandable, they are still a wanted criminal. This in turn leads the police to finding paedophiles, which of course is another job in itself.

As I was reading this, I got about half way through and I thought I could see the end in sight, I just couldn’t see how it was going to take another half a book to finish it. But the glorious-ness of an Author’s imagination gave us the twists that we needed to set the second half of the book up for an intense twisty read. The plot made me shiver and can totally be described as spine tingling.

I loved that the book was set in Edinburgh, the streets I know, and the language I know. Though I know Edinburgh, the book writes about a side I have never and I expect never will see. But it also speaks briefly about the wonders of Edinburgh, the extinct volcano and the wonderful Edinburgh Festival. I get the feeling that the Author is writing partly what she knows, in the city, the police work but would have had to delved deep into the dark minds of criminals she has perhaps come into contact with to make the true evilness of the criminals mentioned in the story. 

When Lee Cockburn said its good versus evil, she puts me in mind of the goodness still in people, where police will go without sleep, seeing family and put themselves in danger to find the evil ones that are in this world. So although part of this book is very disturbing, we can also take comfort that there are real ‘Goodies’ in the world too. This is the kind of book I could only read occasionally as it is so dark. However, the plot is twisty and well planned – totally worked. The characters are well developed, I remember Taylor, Marcus, Kay and Fran from the last book, while enjoying the addition of the newest member of the police force too. I will definitely read more from Lee Cockburn, as I have a feeling she will write more about Taylor and Marcus, but I will read some lighter hearted books in between. 

Will good defeat evil, and will they find the torturer of paedophiles, or will they continue their rein of revenge? And what will become of Taylor and her relationships? You will have to read to find out.

About the Author, Lee Cockburn:

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Lee Cockburn has worked for Police Scotland for 16 years including as a Police Sergeant in Edinburgh for 7 years and also as a public order officer. Before joining the force, she played for Scotland’s Women Rugby team for 15 years, earning over 80 caps for the Scottish Ladies and British Lionesses teams. She also swam competitively for 12 years, successfully representing Edinburgh at the age of 15 in the youth Olympics in Denmark in 1984. Lee lives in Edinburgh with her civil partner Emily and their 2 young sons Jamie and Harry. Her first book Devils Demise was published in November 2014 by Clink Street Publishers.

Links:

Goodreads

Barnes and Noble.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/lee_leecockburn

 
5 Comments

Posted by on March 5, 2017 in Books

 

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