fiction and other writing

Archive for March, 2015

Book Review: Bells On Her Toes by Diana J Febry

Bells On Her ToesBells On Her Toes by Diana J. Febry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a murder mystery set in the country in the context of horse racing. The atmosphere is believable and draws you in. D.C.I. Peter Hatherall and D.I. Fiona Williams are called to the scene of a body in a burned out barn. The murder is on the Earl’s estate and so they have to tread carefully.

Peter and Fiona are both well drawn characters, with sad back stories, hanging over them as they investigate.

There are many twists and turns to the plot, which I will not attempt to unravel here as that might spoil your read, suffice to say the author touches on a number of issues. These included corruption, countryside issues, depression, alcohol and drug related characters, fracking, eating disorders…

I could imagine this book being done as a Midsomer Murder on TV. Yes there are more bodies, but it’s not over gruesome.

There were a lot of characters to keep up with and some just seemed to pop their heads in and were gone, like Fiona’s friend, who has just become engaged.

The author has managed to keep on top of a complex tale, which is told in an engaging way. I’ll certainly be reading more of her work and can highly recommend this book.

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Book Review: Collide by J C Hannigan

CollideCollide by J.C. Hannigan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the story of Harlow Jones, a vulnerable but mentally strong young girl. She has been abused and gang raped in the past. Her best friend Lauren has been killed in a car crash caused by Harlow’s then boyfriend.
Recovering from Lauren’s death in a new town, she has a relationship with her English teacher, whilst she is still seventeen and under age. There is a good back story and the novel is well-written.
I wasn’t keen on Harlow taking marijuana and it being treated as a minor misdemeanour. I also wasn’t keen that the English Teacher betrayed his position of trust and did so without much of a fight.
In spite of these issues I liked the writing style of the author. The main characters were well drawn and the pace of the book was good and held my interest.
I look forward to reading more of this author’s work.

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Book Review: Trouble in Paradise by Alan Hughes

Trouble in Paradise: or When God Got Really MadTrouble in Paradise: or When God Got Really Mad by Alan Hughes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

God had been away for 2000 years building galaxies, meanwhile humans had been up to all sorts of things on Earth. There are even protestors outside the pearly gates.
When God returns he’s determined to punish the human race and sends Jesus down to Earth to implement Armageddon.
This is an irreverent story about Christianity, told cleverly and with gentle humour. There are little touches that will make you smile, such as Jesus reading an M & S catalogue to get the right image for his return to Earth.
This is not a full sized novel, more a long story, but the author manages to pack in a good tale into a small space. There are thirty bite-sized chapters that move the story on in a snappy pace.
I like the way the author has used the sub title to inform the reader what the story is about, so that anyone who might be offended can choose not to read.
I would recommend this humorous story and look forward to reading more from this author

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Book Review: Betrayal by Sharon Brownlie

BetrayalBetrayal by Sharon Brownlie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a gritty story, covering the difficult topic of child abuse. Helen King is a heroine user and prostitute, living in Gloucester. One day she happens to overhear her old teacher saying she is returning to Edinburgh. All the horrific memories from her childhood return and she vows to take charge of her life and take revenge on all those who betrayed her as a child.
Parallel to Helen’s story is the police one, investigating Helen’s trail of horror. It is run by Belinda and Renton, the latter happening to be a childhood friend of Helen.
Putting aside that there are some typos, this is a compelling story, well told. The writer takes you into lives and experiences that may be unpleasant but are fascinating.
This is not a ‘whodunnit’. It is an exploration about how a severely damaged person fights back so that she is no longer the victim. The Inspector, Belinda, also appears to have a nasty side to her, but as the story progresses you feel sympathy for both the protagonist and the antagonist.
The author stirs the emotions by having well drawn characters. I recommend this as a book you shouldn’t miss.

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