Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Forget me not- Mandasue Heller

This was the first book I've read by Mandasue Heller. A killer is targeting prostitutes and placing forget me nots on their mutilated body. The book focusses largely on Lisa Noone whose mother, Pat, is a prostitute. Lisa has a cocky arrogance about her but does worry about her mum. One night after arguing with her best friend Lisa meets a man who seems completely smitten with her but does seem to know a lot about her. Benny is 20 and she is only 12 so her friends don't believe she can be telling the truth when she reports it to them.

This is a good book and builds up the characters really well. It focusses much more on the storyline of Lisa and her mum rather than on the police investigations. I was disappointed to hear that DI Sneddon doesn't feature in any other books. I do like series'!!

Left Neglected- Lisa Genova

Sarah is a high flying business woman who juggles motherhood as well as her career. Everything is organised to the last minute and she never has a spare moment between answering emails, making calls and attending parent/teacher meetings. One day she loses concentration while driving and has an accident. The result of which is hemispatial neglect; a lack of awareness of her lefthand side and anything on her left.

This is a fascinating story, which describes a complex medical condition and how it effects an individual and their family. It is a condition which I studied as part of my degree so I found it really interesting to read about in a fictional situation but putting more flesh on the factual bones I learned


Au revoir Liverpool-Maureen Lee

I read this in 3 hours and at least one and a half of those I should have been asleep for but it was an utterly compelling read. I felt that I cared about the characters. Jessica is married to Bertie, a manipulative, mean man. One day she does something foolish and Bertie throws her out and doesn't allow her to know where the children are living. Jessica seeks to carve out a new life for herself whilst grieving for the loss of that relationship. Outbreak of war is imminent and an old friend asks her to travel to Paris to bring his daughter back to safety. We follow Jessica's journey to Paris and the life she begins to live over in France.

This book covers quite serious topics such as the German occupation, the resistance movement in France as well as the deceit and betrayal in people's marriages. I loved the way that the German soldiers, when featured, where shown to be humans and not just unpleasant killing machines as can occur in some books


Scars that wound, scars that heal- Jan Kern

This is a story of a girl who used to self harm. It is written by a youth worker at "The Ranch" which I guess is some sort of retreat place for people with a variety of problems. It is a true story and interspersed with the story are interviews with family and friends of Jackie, comments and experiences of other young people who self harm and some thoughts of the author too. It is heavily "Christian" in its approach but it makes no secret of that fact. I think its a very powerful, open and honest book and one that is very needed in today's society


Friday, 25 November 2011

The calling-Alison Bruce

I loved Cambridge Blue but wasn't so keen on the Siren and therefore was slightly unsure what to expect from The Calling but I wasn't disappointed. DC Gary Goodhew is called in to investigate the disappearance of Kaye Whiting, a young woman who didn't turn up to a family gathering and hasn't been seen since. A young woman makes an anonymous call stating that Kaye isn't the first and won't be the last victim. There is very little for Gary and the team to go on other than this one lead so he starts looking at other disappearances and soon a scary pattern emerges. Some of his colleagues are jealous of Goodhew's favour with their boss DI Marks but I did feel that this was only very low level and almost as if Bruce wasn't sure how big an issue to make out of it. I can only surmise that maybe this is going to continue through into other books in the series


The murder club-Mark Pearson

DI Jack Delaney returns a year after arresting Michael Robinson for violent rape. He claims he was innocent and that he was set up by the police. The blurb on the back of the book would lead us to believe that this was the central theme of the book but I felt it wasn't. There were also storylines of a body found buried in an old churchyard having died from a gunshot wound to the head and "Bible Steve", a homeless man, who quotes Bible verses and preaches damnation on the world, and is admitted to hospital with serious injuries not long adter he is released from the police station calling into question the competency of the police doctor, who is dealing with issues of her own.

In amongst all of these is Jack who is trying to carve out a life of domesticity with his pregnant partner, Kate Walker, and his young daughter, Siobhan.

I did enjoy this book but at the same time felt there were maybe too many storylines in too short a book.

A thousand bones- PJ Parrish

Until reading later reviews I assumed this was the first in a series as it shows how detective Joe Frye began life as a detective. I have since found out that her boyfriend (Louis Kincaid) is actually the main character in a series of books. The story follows Frye as she starts out in a sleepy town in Michigan. Several bones are found in the nearby woods and whilst some of the detectives are happy to make assumptions about who the bones belong to Frye wants to carry out the investigation thoroughly and get to the bottom of the matter. She does use some unorthodox methods namely allowing the newspaper editor to develop her photos for her!!

It isn't a fast paced book and even the slight twist in it is fairly easy to spot but nonetheless it was a pleasant read covering Indian legends and internal police politics/prejudices and I will be looking out for others by this author


Chances by Freya North

I was torn between giving this 2 stars and 3. It is a light fluffy chick lit book and therefore is a pleasant read. However it did feel like it dragged a bit and could have been trimmed in length. Very predictable- woman just separated from her unpleasant boyfriend but still has to deal with him as she co-owns a shop with him, widower with a son comes to her rescue with an infestation of wasps. A few misunderstandings and fireworks later they get together.