Endgame: The Calling | James Frey ✭ ✭ ✭

☕️☕️☕️ –  It’s Good !

Worth a read and a try to work it out!

Synopsis by Goodreads:

Twelve thousand years ago, they came. They descended from the sky amid smoke and fire, 20510241and created humanity and gave us rules to live by. They needed gold and they left. But before they left, they told us someday they would come back, and when they did, a game would be played. A game that would determine our future.

This is Endgame.

For ten thousand years the lines have existed in secret. The 12 original lines of humanity. Each had to have a Player prepared at all times. They have trained generation after generation after generation. In weapons, languages, history, tactics, disguise assassination. Together the players are everything: strong, kind, ruthless, loyal, smart, stupid, ugly, lustful, mean, fickle, beautiful, calculating, lazy, exuberant, weak. They are good and evil. Like you. Like all.

This is Endgame.

When the game starts, the players will have to find three keys. The keys are somewhere on earth. The only rule of their Endgame is that there are no rules. Whoever finds the keys first wins the game. Endgame: The Calling is about the hunt for the first key. And just as it tells the story of the hunt for a hidden key, written into the book is a puzzle. It invites readers to play their own Endgame and to try to solve the puzzle. Whoever does will open a case filled with gold. Alongside the puzzle will be a revolutionary mobile game built by Google’s Niantic Labs that will allow you to play a real-world version of Endgame where you can join one of the lines and do battle with people around you.
Will exuberance beat strength? Stupidity top kindness? Laziness thwart beauty? Will the winner be good or evil? There is only one way to find out.

Play.
Survive.
Solve.
People of Earth.
Endgame has begun.

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Many thanks to the Publisher via NetGalley for a SAMPLER of this book in return for my honest review

(Firstly have not read The Hunger Games, which I understand may be similar to this book, my review here is purely on what I have read without comparison to any other book)

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I always find these type of things an interesting concept, but looking at the ‘codes’ I had no idea how this was supposed to be worked out.   I am guessing a full copy of the book would include instructions. I can see some people wanting to try it out, but I have always had difficulty cracking ‘codes’ and such, so not for me.

I found the style a bit difficult to read with such a lot of very short sentences which didn’t flow, although it did get better.

I liked the characters introduces so far and it would be interesting to see if any of the characters grow enough to feel connected to them.   The few introduced at start showed promise and the start of the Endgame was quick with the players getting lethally competitive.

I like the fact that what I read so far did not have complicated names or places as often used in fantasy books, this makes it easier for a younger audience.

Sadly though it left me a bit underwhelmed, and so I will not be reading the full book.

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  • Hardcover, 477 pages
  • Published October 7th 2014 by HarperTeen (first published January 1st 2014)
  • original title:  Endgame: The Calling
  • ISBN 0062332589 (ISBN13: 9780062332585)
  • edition languageEnglish
  • series Endgame #1

Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble plus many other bookstores

Milk-Blood | Mark Matthews – ✭✭✭✭✭

21980694I rate this book a fantastic 5 stars!

What a brilliantly disturbing read!

This book is so ‘wrong’ on so many levels, but in a great read way. I was disgusted, outraged, shocked, horrified and still could not put it down.

Zach, his mother and his daughter Lilly live in an area that you would not go to voluntarily, burnt out houses and human decay all around in the people who survive there.

When Zach’s girlfriend tells him she is pregnant by a guy he hates, he has no problem in killing him, in fact she likes the way he ‘takes care’ of things and Latrice tells him to take care of new born Lilly, born with a heart defect and cyanosis.

With no food and no parenting Lilly is left to fend for herself, and at 12 is introduced to heroin by uncle Nelson next door. This makes disturbing reading as the guy shoots H into her visible veins through her translucent skin telling her that it cures her sickness. The shock of seeing this in words struck me deep inside.

Across the road in the burnt out house, home to the ‘red man’ he paces around watching Lilly and listening to her dead mother’s, and Oscars voice. Lilly is his and he wants her in his head.

What I liked about this book

This is a brilliantly clever book, I love that Matthews uses the ‘author’ saying the story is true and not to believe the disclaimer at the beginning. Mark Matthews totally messes with your head because you don’t want to believe anything can be even remotely close to being true and yet you all know what he is describing is from real life. Having worked with addiction and mental health Matthews introduces us to the real horror living amongst us like none have done before.

So the real horror of this book is the truth within it. Matthews does not use monsters to chill us but the possible lives of real people, the terrible world in which drug addiction, poverty and abuse resides. The paranormal just tops it off all of a real treat.

I love the spunk of this young girl against would be bullies, loving her Dad unconditionally. The brutal honesty of how she seeks heroin.

The horror of milk-blood is dark and disgusting and provoked a reaction in me that churned my stomach.

There is just enough detail of each character meaning that you never totally know them adding to the uncertainty of what will happen.

I thoroughly enjoyed the way Matthews writes, his words fill you with horror without the need to overwork it, simple and yet stunning. Wonderful sentences such as these that says more than any detailed description could ever do:

The sound was sharper than any piece of glass he’d ever stepped on. And the little pieces got stuck in his skin just the same.

He hit something, he felt it, not something solid, but something squishy. The clothes hanger got stuck in the muck………A scream echoed from upstairs.

This is a book that will certainly stay with me because I it feels so real.

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Thanks to the Author for a free copy of this book in return for my honest review.

Available from Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes & Noble and other stores

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1398 KB
  • Print Length: 159 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0692207953
  • Publisher: Wicked Run Press (23 Jun 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00L978UN2

Tibetan Cross | Mike Bond – ✭

23151517

 

 

*****WARNING –  CONTAIN SPOILERS*******

Rated 1 STAR:  Not finished

Really struggled with this one and couldn’t finish it.   

Sam Cohen and his friends Paul and Alex are hired as guides to take two Americans across the Himalayas to do something, I am not sure what. When they meet up with a group of traders the Americans insist of travelling along with them. They soon learn they are smuggling arms and are already known to the two Americans. When they discover that not only guns but parts that make a nuclear bomb is also amongst the load, Alex is shot and killed, Sam and Paul split and run. Cohen needs to tell someone because guns are one thing but a nuclear bomb is quite another, but on reaching Katmandu it appears that one of the Americans has made it there first and is in the US Embassy.

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Synopsis (Goodreads)

A classic international thriller and European bestseller about an American climber in the Himalayas who stumbles on a shipment of backpack nuclear weapons into Tibet. Hunted by the CIA and other covert agencies across Asia, North Africa, Europe and the United States, he is captured then rescued by a beautiful young woman with whom he forms a perilous liaison.

They escape the CIA, are captured, and escape again, across Europe and the United States, death always at their heels. Not only a terrifying portrayal of a relentless manhunt, Tibetan Cross is also a deep inquiry into politics and covert action, the nature of fear, and the painful process of love.

Acclaimed by critics as an “existentialist thriller”, and for its penetrating portraits of the individual versus society, the depths of love, and the roots of war, Tibetan Cross has also been praised as “a deft thriller that will reinforce your worst about the CIA and the Bomb” (Publishers Weekly), and that “grips the reader from the very first chapter until the climactic ending” (UPI).

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Sam Cohen is the most stupidest guy who ever had the misfortune to be in charge of his own destiny. He somehow fails to think knowing that he is being chased, that he will not be followed to the family of his friends, and sure enough they are killed and he curses himself for leading them there. This does not happen once but time again. Cohen appears to be in some sort of drug induced psychotic episode for much of this book with drugs and graphic sex, there was a total lack of sensibility for me. The story is being told as it is in Cohen’s head, monosyllabic and stilted which did not work for me. In fact I have no real idea what was going on in the book as I found it too difficult to follow.

Come on, where is the plausibility in a man managing to run miles (30!) with a knee cut through to the bone, a deep cut down his neck and along his shoulder; he also climbs rock faces and swims with a dislocated shoulder, having put it back his self several times. Is beaten up more than once, tortured with electrodes and still manages to keep running.

For someone who is about to be killed he fails to take it seriously enough not to fall in love and have graphic sex with every woman he meets which feels somewhat self indulgent as it adds nothing to the story. The worst part of this book is that it includes a young girl in his sexual exploits in a way that is thoroughly distasteful. It would be one thing to describe pedophilia in way that shows disgust, but quite another to describe it as ‘yet another’ sexual exploit.

I could not like any of the characters very much apart from the elderly guy in the mountains. Cohen appears to be an idiot, the bad guys out of some cartoon, and the women, well, they are pure fantasy of men, not a real character amongst them.

I could not follow the plot very well and realised that this was partly down to the fact that the kindle edition that was sent me was not formatted as such. This meant that paragraphs were not distinct running all parts of the plot into one making no sense at all. I am surprised that such little care has been taken with this in this age of technology. Not acceptable really.

Many thanks to the Publisher for a copy of this book via NetGalley in return for my honest review

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  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5105 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Mandevilla Press (2 Oct 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00O5BU52S

Of Things Gone Astray | Janina Matthewson – ✭✭✭✭✭

21805265

I rate this book a massive 5 stars!

This is a book about life; about loss and how it affects people differently, but this isn’t a run of the mill novel. It is awesome and stunningly astute; I am almost at a loss for words how good this book is. I said almost!

With six main protagonists who have equally complex characters this book appears to be breaking all the rules for a successful novel, and each of the people have equal importance in this observational novel of human circumstance.

This book is added to my favourites of all time list, and will stay with me for a long time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Synopsis

Mrs Featherby had been having pleasant dreams until she woke to discover the front of her house had vanished overnight …

On a seemingly normal morning in London, a group of people all lose something dear to them, something dear but peculiar: the front of their house, their piano keys, their sense of direction, their place of work.

Meanwhile, Jake, a young boy whose father brings him to London following his mother’s sudden death in an earthquake, finds himself strangely attracted to other people’s lost things. But little does he realise that his most valuable possession, his relationship with his dad, is slipping away from him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cassie’s inability to move on in life
Anthony’s inability to ‘see’ his son through his own grief
Jake’s inability to see his Dad Anthony
Robert’s inability to face changing the habit of work he hates so much, his wife Mara realisation he sacrifice himself to suit her lifestyle but doesn’t want it to change, five year old Bonny excluded from school for singing.
Jake lost his mother and loses his Dad in plain site, Anthony loses sight of his son.
Marcus loses the keys from his piano and is losing his mind
Mrs Featherstone lost the front of her house, and her ability to remain hidden
Delia has lost her way in her life becoming dependent on her dependent mother.

How was this book different?

First of all I love the cover it’s spot on and drew my interest immediately.

Writing with a character being the focus of each chapter, they connect in ways that are very satisfying, and
they felt so real to me, that I could empathise with each of them.

Matthewson has a wonderful way of giving character details condensed into a simple sentence and does so exquisitely well which tells us all, and more about them:

Mrs Featherby, whose first name was Wendy, or had been many years earlier, …..

Jake;

…just wanted it to still be important to someone that he was having a birthday

The Masters Degree Delia had to cease because of her mothers accident:

Sometimes you can return to an opinion you’ve not visited in years and find it’s died and rotted away without you even noticing.

She invites you to think about the benefits of Delia losing her way but noticing more around her.

As terrifying as it was to be completely lost, there was something about it she enjoyed, something that made it worth the fear.

It had never occurred to her that her struggle to find her way would get worse over time. That it would grow into an inability to follow clearly marked signs.

What happens when your whole life has been defined by your job, to ‘lose’ it is to lose yourself and when Robert’s employment appears never to have existed, it wiped his life of meaning and purpose in an instant.

The saying ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ is strong in mind when reading this book, exploring and challenging the importance of blind monotony of our lives.

As well as loss, the characters illustrates fear in all forms; fear of changing what is no longer comfortable, fear of doing nothing, fear of feeling, the fear of failing. For Cassie fear of moving on, she takes root as a tree.

The loss of losing his mind was real for Marcus, describing early dementia with the fear of that comes with the loss of the past. So cleverly shown with the loss of his piano keys from the piano he built but could not mend; he was also unable to mend himself.

This is in no way a depressing book, there is a much uplifting side to the novel, I absolutely loved the way it delved into and connected each of their lives.

I strongly recommend anyone to read this book who has an interest in people.

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Many thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book via NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review.

  • Published by HarperCollins UK, HarperPress/4th Estate/The Friday Project | The Friday Project
  • Pub Date: Aug 28 2014
  • ISBN: 9780007562480

The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid – ✭✭✭✭

21029013

I rate this book a great 4 stars!

What can I say about Val McDermid‘s wonderful mastery of writing!

DCI Karen Pirie investigates the discovery of a skeleton on the roof of a building, an historical case that takes her to Europe to find answers with unexpected connections to the Croatian military.

This is an intricate book that moves back and forwards in time with flashbacks to the Balkan conflict in Croatia and Serbia in the 90s.

I remember the conflict and the atrocities which were on the news but not much historical details and am grateful for the serious reminder within this novel.

‘Hero’ is a word that has many meanings in different cultures and McDermid uses this to make the moral tenet less certain with the way the story unfolds. Mitja, who was a general in Croatia has been missing for 8 years and his lover Maggie, a feminist geo-political Professor in Oxford does not want to believe he is behind the revenge killings of war criminals.

What I especially liked:

I love how as readers, we get so involved in Karen’s life and want to follow her more. There are some really great characters in the book and I especially love the duo Alan Macanespie and Theo Proctor who have all but given up on life until they get a new boss.

The parts that made the book special for me were the intense flashbacks which brought the younger selves of the characters alive giving a real depth of personal history and also enhancing the murder mystery.

Left me with a lot of thought did this book! 

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Many thanks to the Publisher for a copy of this book via NetGalley for my honest review.

  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group UK
  • Published September 11th 2014
  • ISBN 1408704579 (ISBN13: 9781408704578)
  • Price: £18.99 
  • EditionHardcover
  • Hardcover, 464 pages

Consumption by Michael Patrick Hicks ✭✭✭✭

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This short story is most wonderfully macabre! Oh yes, I loved where Hicks took me on this short dark journey.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Synopsis

You Are
Reclusive chef Heinrich Schauer has invited six guests to a blind twelve-course tasting menu.

What You Eat
While snow blankets the isolated Swiss valley surrounding his estate, the guests feast eagerly, challenging one another to guess at the secret tastes plated before them.

Meat Is Murder
As they eat, each guest is overtaken by carnal appetites, unaware of their host’s savage plans…or of the creature lurking below.

One thing is clear: There is more on the menu than any of them have bargained for.

Consumption is a 12,000 word (approx.) short story. It contains graphic depictions of sex and violence, and is intended for mature audiences.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A dinner party to die for. Seated and wearing hideous masks provided by the host, the guests are only known to each other by their knowledge of attending these secret dinner parties where food, cooked exquisitely, has no limits. Twelve courses of something they cannot guess at even though that is the only topic of conversation allowed.

Meanwhile the host is cooking and watching his guests as they consume; and are consumed by the courses, and without its vocal chords the main ingredient screams silently as it is carefully cut up and cooked.

You may imagine the outcome as you read on but you cannot guess the complexities as they unfold and are finally revealed.

Cleverly thought out, I was both disgusted and excited by this tale. Hicks has such a dark imagination and certainly does not play it safe in his writing.

Apart from the cover of this ebook which makes it look a wee bit like a children’s book (and its not – trust me!!) there is nothing I dislike about this book.

This a MUST read for horror fans.

Note to myself……now I need to read Divergence

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Many thanks to the author for an advanced copy of this book in return for my honest review.

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 224 KB
  • Print Length: 53 pages
  • Publishing date:  14 October 2014
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00NXHUUIY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled

Available to pre order from:  Amazon (14 October 2014) – £0.77 !

 

The Oblate’s Confession by William Peak – ✭✭✭

 

23121334

I rate this book a GOOD ✭✭✭

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Synopsis by NetGalley:

England, the 7th century. Petty Anglo-Saxon kingdoms make war upon one another and their Celtic neighbors. Christianity is a new force in the land, one whose hold remains tenuous at best. Power shifts back and forth uneasily between two forms of the new faith: a mystical Celtic Catholicism and a newer, more disciplined form of Catholicism emanating from Rome. Pagan rites as yet survive in the surrounding hills and mountains. Plague sweeps across the countryside unpredictably, its path marked by death and destruction.

In keeping with a practice common at the time, an Anglo-Saxon warrior donates his youngest child to the monastery of Redestone, in effect sentencing the boy to spend the rest of his life as a monk. This gift-child, called an oblate, will grow up in the abbey knowing little of his family or the expectations his natural father will someday place upon him, his existence haunted by vague memories of a former life and the questions those memories provoke.

Who is his father, the distant chieftain who sired him or the bishop he prays for daily? And to which father, natural or spiritual, will he owe allegiance when, at length, he is called upon to ally himself with one and destroy the other? These are the dilemmas the child faces. The answers will emerge from the years he spends in spiritual apprenticeship to a hermit who lives on the nearby mountain of Modra nect – and his choices will echo across a lifetime.

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My Review:

A written confession of a monk of his sin; a child’s view of living his life in a monastery, all those around him, and his surroundings as far as he could see. His religious instruction, his questioning, his learned understanding of human behaviour clearly shows Peak is a master of introspection, but to me the novel felt disjointed in time and flow.

What I found GREAT about the book?

I loved the idea of an adult recounting his childhood with the understand that as he grew his memories could change. There is a real tenderness in which Peak talks about the relationships within the Redestone.

I found this to be a wonderful philosophical book that is an instruction into deconstructing held beliefs, examining them and reconstructing them with a greater understanding, and this is the part of the book that was a real pleasure to read. In this William Peak excites me in his writing.

The opening chapter gives us the start in mime, simple pleasures of making a snowman with a small boy to indicate that the monks do not speak but use sign language, so using sign language Peak starts his tale. Brilliant!

There are some lovely lines from a child perspective, simple memories: A childs thinking, with an adult understanding:

‘I thought about the place at table where I sat. I thought about my bed. I thought about the spot along the church wall that on sunny mornings grew warn and rosy in the light.’

Simple pleasures in a childs world.

When Winwæd is instructing the younger oblate Oftfor about heirachy of Fathers in the Abbey, Oftfor asks

“Are there any mothers?”

What a sad line.

Peak shows a deep understanding of the scale of someones compact world – our world can be only what we see, but when we venture further past that distant view, we discover that a picture in our mind is only a picture and the reality can be terrifyingly magnificent. This is conveyed whilst Winwæd is high up on a crag looking down on Redestone. I enjoyed how this book is focussed around one small place as if there was nothing outside of it, even in their imagination.

In a complex way he shows that although the monks appear to blindly follow a man (Bishop Wilfred) who stole Winwæd’s fathers lands and makes demands of them, each monk has their own story and personal secrets. They keep something for themselves, they do things considered wrong by their rules, but is really part of natural curiosity.  I also love the way Peak also has a wonderful manner of digging down the deepest level of questioning, forcing the reader to really think about held beliefs, showing all sides of blind faith and no faith.

Instruction for young oblates includes the history of Cumbrogi monks who also felt they were doing God’s will in their heathen ways, and invites thoughts about how religion has been shaped by powerful men and followed blindly because of being taught that there is only one path to God.

I enjoyed how Peak challenges with suggestions how memories can also be shaped and false. As he is writing, Winwaed reminds himself that his memory may not be correct.

The questioning is brutal – What if religion is nonsense?

‘What if suffering is just suffering? What if the one who suffered finds neither nobility nor reason in his pain? What if there is only confusion, hurt, loss? We do not expect a horse to learn from its suffering, a cow….’

There is also offered a solution to the oblate, that God does not exist but you can create a peace within yourself which you can call God eventually, and that is God (I think!).

A written confession of a monk of his sin; a child’s view of living his life in a monastery, all those around him, and his surroundings as far as he could see. His religious instruction, his questioning, his learned understanding of human behaviour clearly shows Peak is a master of introspection, but to me the novel felt disjointed in time and flow.

What I found GREAT about the book?

I loved the idea of an adult recounting his childhood with the understand that as he grew his memories could change. There is a real tenderness in which Peak talks about the relationships within the Redestone.

I found this to be a wonderful philosophical book that is an instruction into deconstructing held beliefs, examining them and reconstructing them with a greater understanding, and this is the part of the book that was a real pleasure to read. In this William Peak excites me in his writing.

The opening chapter gives us the start in mime, simple pleasures of making a snowman with a small boy to indicate that the monks do not speak but use sign language, so using sign language Peak starts his tale. Brilliant!

There are some lovely lines from a child perspective, simple memories: A childs thinking, with an adult understanding:

‘I thought about the place at table where I sat. I thought about my bed. I thought about the spot along the church wall that on sunny mornings grew warn and rosy in the light.’

Simple pleasures in a childs world.

When Winwæd is instructing the younger oblate Oftfor about heirachy of Fathers in the Abbey, Oftfor asks

“Are there any mothers?”

What a sad line.

Peak shows a deep understanding of the scale of someones compact world – our world can be only what we see, but when we venture further past that distant view, we discover that a picture in our mind is only a picture and the reality can be terrifyingly magnificent. This is conveyed whilst Winwæd is high up on a crag looking down on Redestone. I enjoyed how this book is focussed around one small place as if there was nothing outside of it, even in their imagination.

In a complex way he shows that although the monks appear to blindly follow a man (Bishop Wilfred) who stole Winwæd’s fathers lands and makes demands of them, each monk has their own story and personal secrets. They keep something for themselves, they do things considered wrong by their rules, but is really part of natural curiosity. I also love the way Peak also has a wonderful manner of digging down the deepest level of questioning, forcing the reader to really think about held beliefs, showing all sides of blind faith and no faith.

Instruction for young oblates includes the history of Cumbrogi monks who also felt they were doing God’s will in their heathen ways, and invites thoughts about how religion has been shaped by powerful men and followed blindly because of being taught that there is only one path to God.

I enjoyed how Peak challenges with suggestions how memories can also be shaped and false. As he is writing, Winwaed reminds himself that his memory may not be correct.

The questioning is brutal – What if religion is nonsense?

‘What if suffering is just suffering? What if the one who suffered finds neither nobility nor reason in his pain? What if there is only confusion, hurt, loss? We do not expect a horse to learn from its suffering, a cow….’

There is also offered a solution to the oblate, that God does not exist but you can create a peace within yourself which you can call God eventually, and that is God (I think!).

What was not great for me?

Now I will qualify this part of my review to my Britishness!

The main problem for me was that the language style of this book did not take me back in time. I felt like I was reading about modern day when I really wanted to be transported to the 7th Century. I expect this is because I am in love with historical language!

The overuse of modern words (e.g. Truism, lunacy, explosion, recondite, antiphone), many of which originates back to the 17th Century spoilt the enjoyment for me, bordering on irritation. I admit that this is my personal bugbear!

Then there is the line “You take care of yourself” – which seems spoken in such a modern way that it shouted out – wrong to me!

Throughout the book history is told in such a way to the child oblate who appeared not to entirely understand.
“You haven’t any idea what I’m talking about, have you?” I shook my head’

I shook my head as well, I had to agree, I also found it difficult to follow the lesson. The history feels like it has been superficially added to tell a background to the novel, without weaving it into the story.

I found it a bit hard to follow the timeline of the memories and marry the events being recounted and the ages of the young oblate. At the end of the book I was no nearer understanding what prompted it or when the confession was being written. No matter though the journey was good.

Would I recommend it? – Yes definitely, especially if you are one of those people who like history told in a modern way. Is it worth reading? – Yes without hesitation – I love a good challenge

This is William Peak’s debut novel, and I really look forward to him growing as an author of novels.

Would I recommend it? – Yes definitely, especially if you are one of those people who like history told in a modern way.
Is it worth reading? - Yes without hesitation – I love a good challenge

This is William Peak’s debut novel, and I really look forward to him growing as an author of novels.

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Many thanks to the Publisher for an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley for an honest review.

Hardcover, 416 pages
Expected publication: December 1st 2014 by Secant Publishing
ISBN0990460800 (ISBN13: 9780990460800)

Before I go to Sleep | S J Watson ✭✭✭✭

before

I rate this a mind messing ✭✭✭✭

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Synopsis

Memories define us.

So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?

Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love – all forgotten overnight.

And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.

Welcome to Christine’s life.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Review

Having not read any reviews of this book I started it as a fresh blank canvas. 

I found this book is so exciting I could not put it down, no really, I couldn’t stop reading. I started reading just before 8am and finished it around 9.30pm. An edge of the seat read, each ‘day’ bringing a new roller coaster of emotions.

The plot not only explores the notion that memories define us but shows a hint of personality being more than memories. It stops and makes you think about yourself and your own memories, you try and imagine yourself in Christine’s place…not knowing…

It is a book that lingers in your mind after you have finished, you search back into your own memory to see if there was a point that you guessed the outcome. Nope, I didn’t guess right up until the end.

Psychological thrillers can often be a disappointment, but this one is so intriguing you cannot let the story go.

Watson shows how scary it must be to wake up in a strange house, next to a strange man, and seeing yourself 20 years older that you know yourself to be, every single day. A husband you don’t remember, and your own face aged.

I loved the characters in this book, as they performed different to how I wanted them to, and there was always a hint of not really knowing anyone.

I could imagine the way Christine starts each day as if its the first day of your life. The loneliness it must create. Being based on the life of amnesiacs, this also has a small resonance of living with dementia, when you can wake up in the morning having forgotten the past few days, progressing to not knowing your own family members, living each day in isolation.

I usually find that films do not match up to the excitement of the book, although if it stays true to Watson’s story it will be worth watching.

Psychological thriller at its best – no question about that. Nicely written this is a must read.

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  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 515 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (28 April 2011)
  • Purchased from:  Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • ISBN-10: 0552164135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552164139
  • ASIN: B004TSXUWY

Available from all major booksellers

I’ll Be Watching You | Beverly Barton ✭✭✭✭

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I rate this a steamy 4 Stars!

Synopsis by Goodreads:

Ella, sweet Ella, you were meant to be mine. You can’t begin to imagine all the things I want to do to you. When the time is right, I will come for you . . .

A series of hand-delivered letters leaves Ella scared for her life. Someone is watching her. Wanting her. Someone promising revenge.

Desperate for the nightmare to end, Ella will do anything to discover the truth. Even join forces with a man who comes with his own danger warning . .

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My Review:

I didn’t expect that! This crime thriller turned out to be a complex STEAMY crime-thriller, oh yeah!

Barton gives us characters that would not look out of place in a major American Soap it reminded me a tiny bit of ‘Dallas’ the TV series, so many wonderful characters in the main family. Reading this book is like watching an episode and being left on a cliff hanger till next week. I was so excited to find out what was happening next.

An intriguing ‘who done it, way back and whose still doing it’. I genuinely could not guess what was going to happen and who was doing what. So many red herrings given out as truths to made me think ‘ah yes now I know who is doing it’, only to be given the slow smile to say ‘nope wrong again’!

Webb Porter an important man in an important family with secrets that cannot be hidden forever, Reed Conway a man who served 15 years for a murder he claims he did not commit, a town dismayed to see him now back amongst them, and now crimes happen which point a finger at him. Will anyone finally believe he is innocent? The only way to clear his name is to find the person who killed his stepfather and now wants him back in prison.

I love how there is everything in this book, murder, romance, sex, thrills, sex, did I say sex? Very steamy, I shan’t say more because I don’t want to give a spoiler, but that was a surprise I wasn’t expecting.

The pace is fast, the complexity of the plot easy to follow, the characters wonderfully irritating, nasty and nice, there is justice, injustice and tensions that create a cracking story.

Would I recommend it? Hell yes…

      “Y’all you just gotta read this book to get your pulse a racing and your mind a spinning!” 

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Many thanks to the Publisher for a copy of this book via NetGalley in return for my honest review.

Paperback, 400 pages – Expected Publishing date 9th October 2014

Available now as Kindle edition

ISBN 1847561411 (ISBN13: 9781847561411)
Published Kindle Edition: August 2014
Published by: Harper Collins Uk, Avon

Vengeance Is Mine by Leon Opio ✭✭✭.✮

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Synopsis (Goodreads)

Four people are being held captive in separate rooms. They each are responsible for the same crime and will endure their own private hell. While in these rooms they will re-live the acts that have brought them together. They will understand how it feels to scream for help and have no one come to their rescue. Even though the bible states, “Forgive us the wrongs that we have done, as we forgive the wrongs others have done to us”, the revenge seeking protagonist in this story is missing those pages. As the day goes by and the night sets in, these unwilling guests will endure extreme pain and fear. By the end of their journey, they will all fully understand meaning of ‘Vengeance is Mine’.

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Average Rating: ⭐︎✩✩✩✩⭐︎⭐︎⭐︎

My Rating:     ✭✭✭⭐︎

My Review:

Oh yes, this is one heck of a gruesome story that gets straight into the action, no messing about, no long lead up.  The protagonist has carefully and thoughtfully worked through how this was going to be done, but gives nothing away before hand so that I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation for the next act and disclosure.

The unfolding of the all important background is very cleverly revealed in each scenario of terror, flicking back and forth slowly building a whole picture of injustice.

This book reminded me of the SAW films, that you couldn’t bear to watch nor look away from.  The scenes of violence are well described, if you like that sort of thing, and I like horror stories.

I enjoyed the way each character is gradually revealed, and do we have sympathy for them; absolutely not, we may even think they are getting their just deserts which is very important in this genre.

Oh how I wanted the ending to be after the final vengeance had been carried out to see what Opio’s imagination could conjured up next.

I really liked this book, although it did not blow me away.  Having said that, I think that this author is definitely someone to watch out for in the future, because I believe his imagination is wonderful and look forward to reading his next book.

Many thanks to the author for a copy of this book for an honest review.

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  • Format: Kindle Edition (Paperback editions available)
  • Print Length: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Indie Gypsy; Reprint edition (11 Jun 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KY448U0