Audiobook Review: The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

 

  • 61QpZWEdwyL._AA300_Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 10 hours and 7 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Bookouture
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 12 Feb. 2016
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01BI7GE2Q

 

 

Synopsis

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound, and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong…resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?

 

Review

After my blog about audiobooks and their pros and cons, I am delighted to share my first audiobook review.  For my first audiobook I chose a crime thriller as I wanted something that really grabbed my attention and would grip me from the beginning, and I am happy to say I chose the right book.  The Girl in the Ice is the first in the series featuring Detective Erika Foster, newly moved London after the death of her husband, a fellow police officer, whilst on a case in Manchester.  I loved Erika as a character, she is troubled but has a grim determination about her and is willing to bend the rules slightly to get to the truth.

The narrator is really important in audiobooks, and Jan Cramer is fantastic at bringing the characters to life.  She has clear annunciation and gave different voices for each character.  Her voice was relaxing and very natural and I found listening to her narration an enjoyable experience and an easy listen.

The plot was fast paced and gritty, with plenty of twist and turns along the way.  The characters all seemed very natural in their relationships with each other.  I found it easy to follow the plot line, there was plenty of detail and I became completely engrossed and wanted to keep listening.

The Girl in the Ice was a brilliant choice for my first audiobook, the combination of brilliant story, interesting characters, and a wonderful narrator combined to make this a fantastic experience, and now I always have an audiobook on the go along side my normal reading.  Robert Bryndza is a fabulous author and I am hooked to his Detective Erika Foster books, I can’t recommend them highly enough.

Audiobooks ; Listen Without Prejudice

 

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I thought I would write a different blog today on audiobooks, and how they are used and perceived.  I am fairly new to audiobooks, only having downloaded and listened to my first book in November 2017.  Before this I was of those people who saw audio books as inferior to print books and not for me.  I thought I would be easily distracted, as my mind can wonder on my medication and go fuzzy, and I thought I would get bored.  There were several reasons that led me to try my first audiobook: I have days, and sometimes weeks where I can’t read due to my pain, not even on my Kindle, and when this happens I go to bed and watch television on my iPad or listen to music and I do get frustrated that I can’t read.  It has been suggested several times from my Facebook book friends that I should try an audiobook.  At this time there was also an offer on Audible of your first ebook for free, so I thought I would give it a go, and I am glad I did.

Since joining the world of audiobooks I have come across many discussions on the pros and cons and their inferiority as literature, so I thought I would share some of my thoughts.

PROS

There is a great history in listening to people reading, from families gathering together on an evening, after a meal to listen to a member of the family read from a book before we had television and radio.  Also, as children nearly all of us were read a bedtime story and got comfort from that, so listening to a book is surely just an extension to this.

Time is something we are all of conscious of in today’s busy society, and not everyone has the time to sit and read. Audiobooks can be listened to in the car, on public transport, in the gym, whilst walking the dog, and doing housework.

To those with sight problems audiobooks are a life line.  The same could be said for people with dyslexia, and those who do not like reading, yes there are some people who don’t like reading.  Audiobooks opens the world of literature to these people, which can only be a good thing.

Linking to the point above, audiobooks increase our vocabulary and understanding of language.

 

CONS

Audiobooks are very reliant on the narrator, and as in every aspect of life, there are good and bad narrators.  Having experienced a bad narrator I can say that it can spoil the enjoyment of the book, and be very distracting from the plot.  However, a good narrator can add to the enjoyment, they add drama and emotion to and really draw you in.

There is the chance that your mind can wonder and you have to scroll back to find out what you missed.  I find that I don’t take in as much detail of the audiobook as I would if I was reading it, but it doesn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book.

Listening to a book can curb the imagination as you are hearing the voices via the narrator, and you lose the use of the language and grammar that you would pick up reading a book.

Cost is also a consideration.  On paper audiobooks are more expensive by quite a lot but if you sign up to something like Audible you pay £7.99 a month and that buys you one book a month.  They also have daily offers and offers where you can buy extra credits for a reduced cost.  Libraries are also now offering audiobooks, so you can borrow as you would a physical book.

 

Having laid out the arguments above I still feel that audiobooks are very positive and important to those who can’t or don’t read.  Anything that encourages people to engage with literature has to be a good thing; it should be all about the books no matter what the format.  I have fully embraced the audiobook experience, and really enjoy lying down in my bed listening to a story and have just bought a bluetooth speaker so I can listen to my books downstairs.

I look forward to sharing my reviews of audiobooks with you, taking into account the above factors my reviews will be slightly different to books I have read.

 

 

 

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

  • 515VHn5OL2LHardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (8 Feb. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447286022
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447286028
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.5 x 23.4 cm

Synopsis

Alaska, 1974. Untamed. Unpredictable. A story of a family in crisis struggling to survive at the edge of the world, it is also a story of young and enduring love.

Cora Allbright and her husband Ernt, a recently-returned Vietnam veteran scarred by the war, uproot their thirteen year old daughter Leni to start a new life in Alaska. Utterly unprepared for the weather and the isolation, but welcomed by the close-knit community, they fight to build a home in this harsh, beautiful wilderness.

Review

About five years ago I read The Night Road by Kristin Hannah and was blown away by her writing and her wonderful plot line that was full of emotion.  I don’t know why but I haven’t read another of Krisitn Hannah’s novel since, so when asked if I would like to review her latest novel I was quite excited.  The Great Alone is set in the harsh landscape of Alaska in the 1970’s; a place where there was no electricity, running water, no shops and very few people.  The houses were huts with outside toilets, no demarkation of rooms so families lived in one room.  As well as the simple living conditions there is the harsh landscape of Alaska, in the winter a frozen terrain where nothing grows, it is dark for eighteen hours a day, and you have to live off the food you put away in the summer.  In the summer daylight lasts most of the day, and it is a time to fish and hunt and put food away for the cold and dark months to come.

Into this vast and harsh land come the Allbright family, Ernt, Cora and their thirteen year old daughter Leni.  Ernt is a veteran POW of the Vietnam war, a troubled character who can’t hold down job, is known to be violent, and has a darkness in him; today he would be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but in the 1970’s mental health issues were not understood. Ernt is a mirror of the Alaskan landscape in that in he can change quickly, from light to dark, from calm to angry; he flourished in the summer but in the darkness of the winter months his dark nightmares return as well as his darkness and depression. Cora is the love of his life, she remembers the Ernt who loved her before the war, and hopes that the move to Alaska will help him.  Leni has had a hard childhood continually moving around to different places, to different schools, and having to watch her parents abusive relationship.  Surprisingly, it is Leni who thrives in this expansive environment, she gains strength from the elements, and flourishes into a confident and strong young woman, and finds love against the odds.  She still keeps an air of vuneablilty, due mainly to her father and his violent moods, and her mothers constant love for him.

Kristen Hannah’s writing is beautiful and draws you into the powerful force of nature that is Alaska.  There is plenty of attention to detail and it is as if Alaska is a character in this book, an untamed feral character that can has to power to change people, and itself quickly and to great effect.  There is a vulnerability to both place and the people who live there, a way of life that was dying out with change on the horizon, the modern world encroaching into their community.

What really came through for me in this novel was the strength of the women; Cora, Leni, Marge and Geneva.  All adjusted and worked tirelessly to just survive and raise children in this hard land, and all faced different personal problems. As a community, these women and men helped each other both emotionally and physically and came together to care for their own in a crisis.  There are difficult issues raised in this book, mental health, mental and physical abuse, but it is the many guises of love, its power to save us, bring happiness, make us sad and even destroy us, but ultimately the hope and strength it can bring in bad times that shines through.

The Great Alone is one big hug of a novel.  It is all encompassing, full of emotion, beautifully written and grabs you so you don’t want to let go.  Powerful and sublime read that will stay with me for a long time.

Turbulence by Bruce McLaren

  • 61qMKoKVUILPaperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Amsterdam Publishers (12 Feb. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9492371596
  • ISBN-13: 978-9492371591
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm

Synopsis

Thoughts of women filled my head from dawn to dusk. Oh, Eros! Let me swim in your wine-dark seas!

A promising young academic flies off on an adventure, in search of romance, passion and love. Women dominate his thoughts and he thirsts for the erotic spark. Sometimes his interactions live beyond his wildest dreams, while at other times his fantasies and desires collapse and crumble before his eyes. The sum of his experiences leads to an explosive finale that will shake you to the core, just like heavy turbulence.

Intelligent and humorous Turbulence is an adventure novel that dares to dive into the realms of erotica and inspirational romance. Through a series of encounters with women the unpredictable anti-hero develops insights into philosophy and religion, aging, love, sex and marriage. The hard lessons of life cause his views to constantly evolve in the face of depression, divorce, alcohol abuse, failure and tragedy.

There is only one constant, turbulence, which is capricious and unpredictable and can hit at any moment. If you like air travel, then you will love this erotically charged adventure, both supremely triumphant and heart-achingly tragic in one breath.

Review

Turbulance has been a bit of a strange book to review.  I was asked to review by Amsterdam Publishers and it was submitted to them as an erotic novel, a genre they don’t publish.  But, piqued by the author, Bruce McLaren, who is an archeologist they were impressed by the writing of this novel.  This is definitely not an Erotic novel, I don’t think there is much in here that would make Jane Austen blush.  What this is however, is a wonderfully written, travelogue and memoir with a twist at the end I didn’t expect.

Written in the first person narrative, the plot follows an archeologist from the age of twenty to fifty on his travels around the work to archaeological digs and conferences.  Each chapter is referenced to a plane journey, and all journeys involve a woman he meets and subsequently has sex with, in most cases.  There is very little detail of the sex, so don’t be put off if you have a more sensitive disposition.  What there is wonderful and sensuous descriptions of each place he visits and their histories.  Bruce McLaren’s fluid and lyrical prose draws you in and makes this such an enjoyable book to read; the writing is much more in the genre of a literary novel.  Like a memoir, we are part of philosophical musings on religion, the treatment of women in different cultures, history and love.

Turbulence is a fairly short read at just under two hundred pages, so it can be read in one sitting and believe me you will want to consume it in one go.  Bruce McLaren writes with such passion for life and women, his knowledge as an archaeologist is apparent in the prose and attention to detail.  If I am honest this is not a book I would have chosen for myself, but I am so  grateful to Amsterdam Press for letting me read this stunning novel that played on all my senses.

 

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

 

  • 41M3GzpaenLHardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (8 Feb. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1509842810
  • ISBN-13: 978-1509842810
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.8 x 23.4 cm

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.

It’s about a jealous wife, obsessed with her replacement.

It’s about a younger woman set to marry the man she loves.

The first wife seems like a disaster; her replacement is the perfect woman.

You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.

You will be wrong.

The woman before…Vanessa and Richard fell deeply in love and were married for seven years, until he left her for another woman, someone younger and more desirable.  She now spends her days immersed in painful memories, trying to decipher how it all went so wrong.  Of course, she isn’t blameless, she was never the woman Richard thought she was.

…the woman after Nellie is engaged to the man of her dreams.  Caring, charismatic and accomplished, Richard provides her with the security she has always craved.  But as their wedding draws closer, she can’t shake the sense that someone is watching her, someone is following her.

The wife in between…No one knows the truth about what really happens within a marriage, even seemingly happy one.  But Vanessa is certain of one thing, she will do whatever it takes to stop Richard’s wedding before it’s too late…

 

Review

The Wife Between Us is Pan Macmillian’s lead commercial fiction title for early spring 2018, and after reading it this weekend I can understand why.  The thriller genre is very popular at the moment, with each new release being billed as ‘the next big thing’, and there are a lot with plot lines around ex wives, new wives, and revenge.  However, The Wife Between Us is different, it turns this plot line on its head and then spins it in so many different directions you will be left reeling by the time you finish this book.  2018 has started with some brilliant thrillers, and this is one to add to the list, and for me top of the list.

The book is separated into three parts, for reasons you will learn when you read this book, and narrated by Vanessa and Nellie.  Vanessa is now the ex wife, her life is falling apart and she is struggling to cope with Richard getting married again so quickly.  Nellie is in her twenties, she came to New York to escape her past and start anew.  Richard is her knight in shining armour, he can protect her from her past, give he a new and comfortable life, and give her the love she craves in her life.  In their narration we see two different sides of Richard, seemingly the perfect gentleman, nurturing, and protective, but also controlling and vindictive.  This is a very twisted love triangle.

The writing of Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is wonderful in its fluidity and cleverness of the plot.  I really can’t say too much about the plot as I don’t want to give anything away.  What I can say is that there are several revelations that I really didn’t see coming, and just when you think you know where this is going, and you know the characters, the writing takes you on a different path.  It is fast paced rarely giving you time to catch your breath, and the tension will compel you to read on to see just where this is going.

The Wife Between Us is an erudite and chilling psychological thriller.  It is a fabulous read, with a plot line full of suspense and tension, and three seemingly troubled characters; a perfect mix for a perfect read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Beyond The Grave by Daniella Bernett Review and Author Interview

 

  • 51At+yRILGLPaperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Black Opal Books (23 Sept. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1626947015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1626947016
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2 x 20.3 cm

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis

Buried secrets can kill…
The seaside resort of Torquay along the English Riviera in Devon is the perfect place for a restful holiday. That’s what journalist Emmeline Kirby desperately needs after her harrowing escapes from spies and others with nefarious intentions back in London. She also needs distance to sort out her conflicted feelings for jewel thief Gregory Longdon, who once stole her heart. But who should turn up out of the blue? The ever-charming, devastatingly handsome Gregory. That’s when secrets from his past—and murder—shatter the serenity of this picturesque haven.
Review
From Beyond The Grave is the third book in the series of thrillers featuring Emmeline Kirby and Gregory Langdon.  I know this may put some of you off as you haven’t read the previous two, but this can be read as a stand alone novel.  There are references to the past of Emmeline and Gregory but this does not impact on the enjoyment and understanding of this book; to be honest it piqued my interest and I have now purchased the previous two books in the series Lead Me To Danger and Deadly Legacy.

The plot of this novel is deceiving at the beginning, with Emmeline visiting Torquay on holiday after loosing her job and her relationship with Gregory Langdon.  But her tranquil holiday is soon interrupted when Gregory turns up and then there is a murder.  After the slow start From Beyond Th Grave picks up pace as secrets, lies, deceit, blackmail conclude in murder.  By the end of this book nearly every character turns out not to be who you first thought, twists and turns with numerous red herrings keep you engaged with this book.  Daniella Bennett is clever in her writing as she doesn’t answer all the questions between Emmeline and Gregory, leaving you looking forward the fourth instalment in the series.

Daniella Bennett is a very descriptive writer.  She pays a lot of attention to detail, in the setting of the book, it’s scenery, and location, and to her characterisation.  Emmiline is a very likeable character, very trusting and thoughtful towards others; someone who liked to see the good in others, you see what you get.  Whilst Gregory Langdon can be evasive, mysterious and is always holding some of himself back.  He is like a complex puzzle in that he has so many different layers, almost different personas depending on who he is with.  The femme fatal of this thriller is Lady Veronica Cabot; thirty years younger than her husband, having an affair with her husband’s nephew, and is able to make most men go week at the knees.  She is sultry, sexy and scandalous, there is a lot not to like about her.  It is this triangle of characters that are the main players in this thriller, and they way they bounce off each other, and interact adds tension and suspense to the plot.

 

From Beyond The Grave is a tense thriller that had me hooked from the first page, and kept my attention until the last; it has even made me go and buy the previous two books in the series.  The attention to detail, the layers of deceit and lies between the characters, and the plot combine to make this an enjoyable read.

 

Author Interview

Thank you for joining me on my blog today. Could you start by telling me a bit about yourself?

I am a member of the Mystery Writers of America New York Chapter. I graduated summa cum laude from St. John’s University with a B.S. in Journalism. I am the author of a mystery series featuring journalist Emmeline Kirby and jewel thief Gregory Longdon. They are former lovers. Both are British and my series takes place in the United Kingdom and Europe. The first three books are LEAD ME INTO DANGER, DEADLY LEGACY and FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE. I’m also the author of two poetry collections, TIMELESS ALLURE and SILKEN REFLECTIONS.
When did you realise you wanted to be a writer?

I think it started subconsciously with a love of reading and an appreciation of language and the written word. All writers at heart must be readers. Meanwhile, the spark that launched me into the writing world was my fourth grade teacher. Once a week, she had Creative Writing hour and gave us different assignments. I absolutely loved it. And the rest, as they say, is history.

What books did you enjoy reading as a child?

I am, and always have been, a voracious reader. Mysteries, spy thrillers, the classics, history, biographies, anything except science fiction and horror. (I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I read those types of books).

From Beyond The Grave is the third in the Emmeline Kirby and Gregory Longdon series, can you tell me a bit about these books?

LEAD ME INTO DANGER, Book 1, is set in Venice and London, my two most favorite cities in the world. In this book, Emmeline and Gregory haven’t seen each other in two years, but she literally runs into him in Venice after witnessing two men try to murder her colleague. Then, Emmeline and Gregory become ensnared in a hunt for a Russian spy in the British Foreign Office. DEADLY LEGACY, Book 2, is about $100 million in stolen diamonds, revenge and murder. It takes place in London. FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE is set in the seaside resort of Torquay along the English Riviera in Devon. It’s about the deep, dark secrets of Gregory’s past, love, betrayal and murder.
Where did you get your inspiration for your characters from?

I think a part of every author is in his or her characters. With that said,
I decided to make Emmeline a journalist because journalists are inherently curious about many subjects. His or her job is to ask questions to uncover the truth and ensure transparency. Naturally, a journalist would be intrigued by crime, especially murder. The determination to find answers and see that justice is served are all important.

Now, how does a jewel thief fit into the model of a sleuth? Aren’t lying and evading the law a thief’s modus operandi? Isn’t this in stark contrast to a journalist’s reverence for the truth and justice? Most definitely. That’s exactly the point. A portrait in contrasts. Who better than someone on the wrong side of the law to discern the twisted workings of a fellow criminal’s mind? A thief immediately recognizes things that the honest person would never even contemplate. In Gregory’s case, he has a certain code of honor. Murder is an offensive transgression. A line that should never be crossed. Thus, I have two diametrically opposed sleuths, a woman and a man bringing different perspectives because of their sex. However, they are of one mind when it comes to the taking of a human life: the culprit must pay for the crime, otherwise chaos would reign in the world.

Do you have a specific place where you write, and a set writing routine?

I write in my sitting room. As for a set routine, I’m a morning person and would prefer to write during the day. However, I work full time and therefore I can only write in the evenings and on the weekends. It’s a struggle to squeeze in the time to write, but I try to be disciplined about it. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

 

If you could sit down with three authors, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

Agatha Christie would definitely be at the top of my list. She is the author who has influenced me the most. It would be fascinating to delve into her thoughts about the craft of writing in general and mysteries in particular. I would try to learn how a master conceives such deliciously wicked and ingenious plots that have kept readers turning pages generation after generation.
Meanwhile, there are several authors with whom I have become connected via social media. We exchange lively ideas about writing and life. I would love to meet them in person in one day. They all have been extremely supportive of my writing. So if I may, I would like to mention them here: Tracy Grant; Emma Jameson; Meg Mims; and Sharon Piscareta. Alyssa Maxwell is among these friends and I had the pleasure of meeting her in person. I look forward to doing so again.

What is your favourite book?

This is such a difficult question. There are so many authors that I thoroughly enjoy. I would have to say Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier is one of my absolute favorites. Du Maurier skillfully ratchets up the suspense by writing the story in first-person. As with all such narratives, the reader only gets one viewpoint. But in this case, the narrator is unnamed which only enhances the mystery. She is known throughout the story only as Mrs. de Winter, the second wife of the brooding and attractive Maxim. It was a stroke of brilliance on Du Maurier’s part to have as her narrator a naïve young woman, who is timid and rather unsure of herself. She remains utterly in awe of the beautiful Rebecca, Maxim’s first wife. Mrs. Danvers, the housekeeper who was devoted to Rebecca, never misses an opportunity to let the narrator know she is a pale comparison. All along, the reader suspects that something is wrong and is compelled to keep flipping pages in a race to find the truth. The book left me breathless. I hope one day readers will say the same thing about my books.

Without giving too much away, what are you working on at the moment?

I’m actually working on Book 6. However, I would be happy to give you a tiny hint about what awaits Emmeline and Gregory in A CHECKERED PAST, Book 4, which will be released in September 2018. Three months have passed since Emmeline’s trip to Torquay and the devastating revelations that surfaced about Gregory. The whole interlude has left a bitter taste in her mouth. She has thrown herself into her work and is keeping him at arm’s length. But suave and charming Gregory is not giving up — neither are Emmeline’s grandmother and her best friend, Maggie. After all, faint heart never won fair lady. Hold your breath to see if he succeeds in his suit. Other threads in the story revolve around looted Nazi art, a former IRA commander and oh, yes, murder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Promise by Sally Jenkins

  • 41Y1bcHIK4LPaperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Book Guild Publishing Ltd (28 Jan. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1912083981
  • ISBN-13: 978-1912083985
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 1.7 x 13.9 cm

 

 

 

Synopsis

A man has been stabbed. A woman is bloodstained. The nightmares from her teenage years have begun again for Olivia Field just as she is preparing to marry. Ex-convict, Tina is terminally ill. Before she dies, the care of her younger, psychologically unwell brother, Wayne must be ensured.

 

So Tina calls in a promise made to her thirty years ago in a prison cell. A promise that was written down and placed with crucial evidence illustrating a miscarriage of justice in a murder case. Tina believes Olivia is perfectly placed to provide the care Wayne needs, but to do so, Olivia must be forced to cancel her own wedding and wreck the lives of those close to her. Tina’s terrible blackmail demands put Olivia’s entire future and, ultimately, her freedom under threat. The Promise is a fast-paced psychological thriller told from several third person viewpoints.

 

The novel explores the lengths to which people are prepared go in order to protect those they love and the impossibility of ever fully escaping our past actions.

 

Review

The Promise is a thriller based on the pretext of how far you would go to make someone honour a promise made years previously to someone now dead.  In fact in this novel there are two promises at the centre of the plot.  The first promise is one made to Tina, by her ex cell mate in prison Audrey, an offer of help on the outside if she should need it, albeit this promise was made about thirty years ago.  The second promise also involves Tina, a promise she made to her mum on her death bed to look after her younger brother Wayne, who has mental health problems and is vulnerable and easily influenced by others.  When Tina finds out she has terminal cancer she decides that to keep the promise to her mother she needs to call in the favour from Audrey.

Tina is a really unlikeable character;  She obviously cares for her brother and has his best interests at heart but the way she proceeds, blackmail, threats and violence is certainly the wrong way to approach the situation.  The rest of the characters, a fairly small group, are all very much interlinked together.  Simon is the son of her ex cell mate Audrey, and his ex wife Olivia are the two people mentioned in the letter from Audrey, to whom Tina should go to for help.  Both Olivia and Simon were at the scene of the murder for which Audrey was arrested and charged, and Tina has a piece of evidence that she can use to blackmail Olivia to get what she wants.  Joanne is Olivia’s best friend and girlfriend of Simon, and Mark is Olivia’s fiancé.  The final characters are Suzanne, Mark’s daughter from his first wife but very close to Olivia and Wayne, Tina’s brother.  The characters interact well together and all want to protect their families  but their friendship is tested by secrets and lies, and boundaries are crossed where there is no way back.

The Promise is a well written novel, nice short chapters to keep your attention and the plot moves quickly along with the past actions of Simon and Olivia being slowly revealed through the book. The   The Promise is a short read at just over two hundred pages so there is not a lot of room for a complex plot, or in depth characters.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, sometimes it is nice to be able to sit and read a full story in one sitting, and this is one of those books.  I was drawn in by the story line and characters and its thrilling conclusion; a brilliant, pacy thriller with an interesting plot line.

 

 

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Weave A Murderous Web by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks

  • IMG_1988Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Melange Books (17 Jun. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1680462520
  • ISBN-13: 978-1680462524
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.9 cm

 

 

 

 

Synopsis

No good deed goes unpunished. When Jane Larson—a hot-shot litigator for a large firm in New York City—helps out a friend, she is sucked into the unfamiliar world of divorce and child support.

 

Jane’s discovery of the deadbeat dad’s hidden assets soon unravels a web of lies, drugs, and murder that keeps getting more dangerous.

 

Soon, Jane is involved in a high stakes race to recover a missing suitcase of cash and catch the murderer before she becomes the next victim.

 

Review

Weave A Murderous Web is a legal thriller and crime drama combined; what starts out as a divorce and child maintenance case turns into a murder investigation, and for Jane Larson a race to solve the case before she is the next victim.  Considering this is a fairly short read at just over two hundred pages, it is a fast paced, action packed read.  The plot is narrated in the first person by sassy lawyer Jane Larson, a corporate lawyer, at the top of her game, who takes on the divorce case of Gail and Larry as a favour to her friend Francine.  What I loved about the narration was Jane’s caustic and sarcastic  observations, with an added wit that adds humour to the thriller.  There is a lot of attention to detail, in Jane’s observations and in the plot as a whole, that adds colour and life to the plot; you can almost see and smell New York in all its glory.

Whilst Jane Larson is the main protagonist, their is a supporting cast of colourful and memorable characters.  Francine, is the friend and colleague who gets Jane to take on the case, and throughout her character develops and we see she is not all she seems.  Of course there has to be a love interest and for Jane it is the tall, dark and handsome Bryan, her knight in shining armour who comes to her aid.  Obviously there are many unsavoury characters, shady lawyers, conniving ex wives, and an ex partner who may be tangled up in this web of murder and deceit.

I thoroughly enjoyed Weave A Murderous Web, it had me gripped from the first page with it’s smoke and mirrors plot, fabulous chapters and wonderful heroine.  I am really looking forward to the next book in the Jane Larson series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January Abridged

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We are now one month into 2018, and it has been a brilliant start to the year in books.  I have read eleven books this month, and been part of five blog tours, so January has been very busy for me.  I have read some brilliant debut authors whom I am sure will go on to write other bestsellers,  C J Tudor and A J Finn come to mind, and have been introduced to some new authors where I have gone and bought other books by them, Jennifer Laam is one of those.

As part of my new monthly abridged feature I am going to choose my three favourite reads of the month.  This month after much deliberation I have chosen the three following books:

 

IMG_1924The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris – a love story set amongst the horrors of the concentration camp.  Some may recoil because of the setting, but I found this to be a life affirming novel.  Lale and Gita’s belief in their love and their continued hope is remarkable especially when you realise that this a based on a true story.

 

 

The Chalkman by C J Tudor- is a slow burn thriller with an under current of tension andIMG_1947 menace.  Set in the 1980’s and present day and narrated by Eddie, who was witness to a terrible act as a child and how it is coming back to haunt him in the present.  This is already a best seller and I think will be one of the best books of the year.

 

 

IMG_1963The Woman in the Window by A J Finn- another brilliant debut thriller.  This is very much in the style of a Hitchcock thriller and there will be comparisons with Rear Window, a woman housebound, spying on her neighbours and thinks she see an act of violence.  I loved the twists and turns in this book and the unreliable narrator adds to the  suspense, this book gave me tingles down my spine.

 

 

 

Reviews for all my January books are available.

 

I look forward to sharing more wonderful book reviews in February.  Thank you for reading my blog.