Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I am distraught. And in awe.

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“I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.”

11th October 1943: A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a shot at survival, the other has lost the game before its barely begun.

Now I’ve finished crying into my pillow, perhaps I can try and review this book. I’ll do my best – but its one of those. Sometimes there are no words. But hey, its what I do so here we go…

“Verity”, a female spy, has been captured during one of her missions. Tortured, threatened and scared for her life she agrees to confess – given two weeks and paper and pen, she begins her tale – one of friendship, loyalty, heroism and betrayal – and of Maddie, the pilot who flew her into France and who she believes is dead.

Oh how her story creeps into your heart, so subtly and gently that you don’t realise she is there until its too late then you have to read on, to that oh so heartbreaking yet uplifting and authentic finale that you can see coming at you like a freight train but cannot fathom until it hits you. Hard. Right in the gut. Fiction yes. How much of it could be real? Every single word….

Verity and Maddie shine like beacons against the dark and forbidding backdrop of a world at war – a tale of two halves if you like, this one stomped all over my soul and left me wrung out and over emotional – anyone who has read and loved “The Book Thief” will know exactly what I’m feeling right now. It hasnt let go yet. No not yet.

Still, to be pragmatic. This is one of those novels that you want to make everyone read. And yet it won’t be for everyone – no book ever is. It may be aimed at the young adult market but it reads just as well if you come at it from an entirely adult point of view, and it is extraordinarly well written and compelling. If you are looking for a fluffy, light, chic lit type of read where everyone lives happily ever after then please leave this alone – if you want a read that will tear your heart from your chest and leave it feebly beating on the floor then I would pick this one up right now.

Highly Recommended for anyone who likes Historical fiction, a book to make them cry, and a book to make them think. And for fans of well told stories everywhere…

Find out more here: http://www.elizabethwein.com/

You can follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/EWein2412

Purchase Information clickety click http://www.amazon.co.uk/Code-Name-Verity-Elizabeth-Wein/dp/1405258217/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1383129177&sr=1-1&keywords=code+name+verity

 

Happy Reading Folks. Sob.

 

Liz Currently Loves….Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty.

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So, Apple Tree Yard has been sat patiently waiting on my kindle while many people have told me to get on with it, its terrific, one of the best books of the year…and so I decided it was about time I gave it a go. Do I agree with all the hype? Well the title of the post probably gives it away….

 

Synopsis

Yvonne Carmichael is a geneticist, a scientist renowned in her field but one day, she makes the most irrational of decisions. While she is giving evidence to a Select Committee at the Houses of Parliament, she meets a man and has sex with him in the secluded Chapel in the Crypt. It’s the beginning of a reckless liaison, but there is more to her lover than is at first apparent – as Yvonne discovers when the affair spins out of control and leads inexorably to violence.

 

Addictive. Totally and utterly addictive. Yvonne tells the tale…opening with a courtroom scene as she stands accused along with her lover of what, exactly, we are unsure of at that point and then takes us back to the beginning of it all and leads us to the truth of the matter.

Louise Doughty has an alluring writing style…Yvonne, as she tells us the story, is very dry and exacting – in some ways “Just the facts, Ma’am” but with an emotional core that is hard to fault. You will just keep reading…each part leading inexorably to the next while she digs herself deeper and deeper into an affair with a man of whom she knows nothing. She assumes, gives him depth and fleshes him out…but we all know what “assume” does, do we not?

In a lot of ways this is much more a character piece than it is a mystery – in that the mystery is unlocked by coming to know the character. Yvonne, her choices, her reasoning, her “excuses” if you like all add up to make a whole. The man she is embroiled with IS an enigma and seeing him only through her eyes makes him that way. We see him as she does…and as her eyes open so do ours.

Brilliantly done…clever, intriguing, utterly compelling, the story of how a normal, intelligent and pretty average woman gets caught up in infidelity and brutality, almost by accident. Highly recommended.

 

Happy Reading Folks!

 

Liz Currently Loves…The Room Beyond by Stephanie Elmas.

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So, when Stephanie Elmas contacted me to see if I would be interested in reviewing her book, I was immediately intrigued – both by the concept and by the fact that it was truly a labour of love for her, having taken 7 years to write, inbetween real life stuff such as family and work. I have spent the last few days reading it – inbetween real life stuff such as family and work! And here is what I thought.

 

Synopsis

When Serena begins a new life working for the Hartreve family at 36 Marguerite Avenue she falls in love, not just with its eccentric and alluring inhabitants and their world, but with the house itself. Number 36 is a beautiful Victorian London mansion that has remained in the family for generations. Serena feels that by being here she has escaped the ghosts of her own sad childhood and found a true home, but she soon discovers that behind its gleaming surfaces Marguerite Avenue is plagued by secrets and mystery. Why does such a beautiful tranquil street seem sometimes to shimmer with menace? Is everyone in the family quite who they appear to be? And just what is it that the family is trying to hide from her?

 

Set in two timelines, with Serena beginning her employment with the Hartreve family and the relationship developing between her and the enigmatic Sebastian, we also head back to 1892 and meet Miranda Whitehouse, struggling in her marriage and forever under the watchful eye of her sister Jane. When she gets involved with the reclusive and mysterious Lucinda who lives next door, nothing will be the same again…

I love a novel that gives you true atmosphere and this one does just that… a beautifully descriptive writing style and classic tension building are key here and Stephanie Elmas pulls it off perfectly. The early part of the novel rambles gently but compellingly along but as things develop a much darker side appears – and from then on its a breathtaking rush to the final denouement.  I wasnt expecting it to be that favourite thing of mine – a wonderfully twisty tale – but it was. The strong supernatural elements hit the mark and all in all this was a delightful surprise of a read.

Characterisation is terrific, I adored Miranda, she was perhaps my favourite but I have to give a nod to Walter Balanchine with his weird and wonderful style, a truly terrific creation indeed. As the strands of the separate stories are pulled together, I was pleased that this was an ebook, I’m fairly sure if it had been a physical book I would currently be suffering paper cuts from my eagerness to turn the pages. I loved it.

You will notice that plot details are rather lacking in this review – there is a reason for that – the absolute joy of this novel for me was that it wasnt quite what I was expecting, but what it turned out to be was captivating and delectable.

 

Find out more here: http://www.stephanieelmas.com/

Follow Stephanie on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/StephanieElmas

Purchase Information clickety click http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Room-Beyond-ebook/dp/B00FJ433QK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1382606481&sr=1-1&keywords=the+room+beyond

 

Happy Reading Folks!

 

A bout of Insomnia…A reading Frenzy – Some new reviews for you.

Happy Weekend Folks! So I have suffered ye olde Insomnia again this week. Which as usual sent me on a mad reading rush….through the couple of rather long nights I chose some books to see me through and here they are…enjoyed. completed. reviewed. All books reviewed in this post were kindly sent to me by the authors concerned. Thank you to one and all. *Reviews can also be found in appropriate sections on site*

 

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Thriller

A Peace Corps volunteer has gone missing in Bulgaria and everyone assumes he is dead, everyone except his grandfather, who refuses to give up hope. Retired literature professor Simon Matthews launches a desperate search only to be lured into a bizarre quest to retrieve a stolen Thracian artifact—a unique object of immense value others will stop at nothing to recover.

I wasnt entirely sure what to expect when I started this one – its true that I would not have chosen it for myself, yet that would have been a shame. Told from various points of view, we open with Simon – beginning his journey to find out the truth about his missing Grandson – with the help of Sophia, a local History teacher he meets along the way.

I especially loved how Mr Shuman manages to give us a lot of background and information on the culture of Bulgaria, a country I know little about, by weaving it effortlessly into the flow of the story – in a way this is part travel guide and it works very well to put you in the moment.

The mystery element is well imagined and as the story twists and turns towards its ultimate conclusion you will find adventure, thrills and intrigue here. Wonderful writing style makes it easy to read with a mix of fast paced plot and more sedate meandering that keeps you involved until the end.

It did take me a while to “sink in” to the tale – but once I was there, there I stayed. Enjoyable mystery thriller, great characters and very well written.

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Horror/Mystery

Fall, 1995.

Holson is a sleepy, middle-class suburb, whose most interesting news amounts to farmer’s markets and Friday night football games.

When young Brandon Grey disappears, no one thinks he’ll be missing for long. When another boy vanishes, parents begin to worry about their children. When bodies turn up in the local river, cut to pieces, stuffed inside industrial-strength black trash bags, the town begins to shut down.

 

So, this one took me about 2 hours to read all in all, mainly because once I started I could not stop. Always a good sign…

We meet Jake and Colin, best friends, growing up in very different environments, spending endless hours together doing what kids do. One day, while playing outside, they notice a mysterious stranger taking pictures of them from the end of the street – and this sets off a chain of events that will take them on a strange and compelling journey….

I loved this – as much a “coming of age” story as anything else, Jake and Colin and those surrounding them are terrific characters to follow along with into some dark and chilling times. Forming a detective club they investigate the disappearance of Brandon Grey with nothing more than their wits and their bicycles…and what they find is horrifying and dangerous.

As the story twists and turns towards its chilling conclusion I was compelled to read on. I believe this is Mr Turkot’s first full length story, all I can say is I hope he writes more. I will certainly be reading them if this one is anything to go by. Easy to read and hard to put to one side, I very much enjoyed it.

 

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Fiction

 

London waitress, Pippa Taylor has no interest in horses or country-living. But when she inherits Peace Offering, a hopeless racehorse, she embarks on a career change in order to see her late uncle’s wish to run him in the Grand National come true.

 

Now funnily enough, apart from the obvious exception of Jilly Cooper I don’t usually read “horsey” books these days. This despite being a rider myself, who as a child used to indulge in quite a few childrens books with a horse theme – most specifically the Flambards trilogy. So when I was offered a chance to review this one I was immediately transported back to those days…

Of course this is a book for adults – one that takes us into the world of Horse Racing and all that entails, and I enjoyed it very much. Our protagonist, Pippa, is thrust into this world, one she initally has no interest in, and as we follow her along the way its a lot of fun.

You have some romance, some intrigue, all set in a wonderfully colourful world with well drawn characters and an entertaining and lively story.

One possible drawback is the occasional over use of bad language – if that sort of thing bothers you then take that into account before diving into this one..however it did not detract from a great little story for me. I will certainly be reading on.

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YA

Jed’s dead. These are the words that transform’s Cecelia Rivermire’s quiet life into a manhunt. A manhunt to kill the man that murdered her only friend. A manhunt to kill the man that murdered her first love. In this quest for revenge, however, she’ll soon discover that everything she’s ever known has been a lie, including everything she thinks she knows about herself…

So we meet Cecilia, who loses her best friend and first love and sets out on a quest for revenge that may not go entirely to plan…now a General we see in flashback what has led her here, and when her Emporer turns on her the adventure really begins.

I really enjoyed this it has to be said. Cecilia is a top notch character and the world building is well done. As she discovers that things are not entirely as she thought in the world she lives in, the story is fast paced and intriguing – set to be a trilogy this is a great “Part One” and will certainly ensure you want to read onwards…

Some great “supporting” characters (Brey. Loved Brey!) flesh out the story and there are some great twists and turns along the way, with an ending that will make you sigh (in a good way) and long for chapter two…

Well written, some flaws but that is to be expected, and fascinating enough to keep you hooked until the last page, I am pleased to be in at the start of this one. In the explosion of YA to the reading world this is an excellent example of its kind and I shall look forward to more. Recommended for YA fans, especially if you like action, a bit of romance and some likeable AND unlikeable characters to meet along the way.

 

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So there you have it folks. My recent reads! Hope there is one there that takes your fancy. Now I’m onto the next batch. What am I reading now? Well. Gregg Hurwitz, Richard Montanari and Natalie Richards are the authors that make up my weekend reading. And of course I still need to review the latest Lynley book…which I loved. LOVED.

 

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update on my current reads: A pre-review review..plus whats next?

So Happy Friday everyone and I’m inspired today to give you a little taster of my current reads – mainly because ALL 3 have been amazing in very different ways. Full reviews will of course follow sometime soon as well. Also my weekend reading has just been sorted out thanks to those lovely ladies at Harper Collins. I’m in for a good few days wandering around other worlds than this…

 

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Lets start with Black Chalk by Albert Alla – coming in November from Garnet this has been an incredibly compelling read. Following Nathan, survivor of a horrendous school shooting, he tells us his story – of that day, and what came next…and I have been deeply immersed in his world. The setting is Oxford, a place I know well, and there have been some trips down memory lane for me as well. Tremendous writing, keep an eye out for this one and I shall expand my thoughts when I write a full review…

 

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Then we come to “The Heavens Rise” by Christopher Rice. For a start this novel is making me sleep with the lights on…and that is saying something. You know sometimes you see on a book “Creepy” or “Terrifying” then you read it and its not either of those things? This one is. In a brilliantly imagined way….Yes I dreamed of snakes last night….shiver. An interesting premise done with style. Again, full review will follow before too long…

 

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Finally I have been indulging myself with a cracking tale from Julia Crouch – Tarnished. This one is terribly addictive – and its all down to some terrific characters and an intriguing mystery that Ms Crouch reveals in cleverly placed titbits. Almost impossible to put down I THINK I’ve got the hang of it…or have I? Could Julia Crouch be about to join Tina Seskis and Erin Kelly in the “Beat the Author” hall of fame? We’ll see. Look out for the full review in which I may or may NOT tell you whether I won or she did….

 

So thats that for the ones I’m currently involved with. I am nearly done with all 3…then it will be onto my next batch, one of which is SURELY going to be “Bird Box” by Josh Malerman. Thanks to Kate and Bob at Harper Collins, this dropped through my door this morning…coming March 2014 this is what the blurb told me…

 

Most people ignored the outrageous reports on the news.

But they became too frequent, they became too real. And soon, they began happening down the street.

Then the Internet died. The television and radio went silent.

The phones stopped ringing.

And we couldn’t look outside anymore.

 

Ooh. Sounds intriguing…my spider sense is tingling….

 

Happy Reading Folks!

 

Liz Currently Loves…..Cross and Burn by Val McDermid.

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Coming October

First of all, thank you to the author and publishers for the advance copy of this novel via netgalley. I was overjoyed to receive it as I’m a long time fan of Tony Hill and indeed all books from Ms McDermid. My beautiful Hardback copy remains on pre- order. Hey, Bookshelf OCD. Can’t have a missing one from the collection…

So, the latest instalment finds Tony and Carol at odds in the aftermath of “The Retribution”..meanwhile Paula Mcintyre takes front and centre as she takes on the case of a missing friend…and also begins the hunt for a killer alongside her new Boss, someone she is not sure of. Paula can’t  resist getting Tony involved, this must mean that Carol will not be far behind….surely?

I’m used to a high standard from these novels – I will admit to some slight concern about what would come next, The Retribution having had such an emotive storyline for those of us who are fans of the Carol/Tony pairing…and leaving us with such huge consequences for their relationship. How could she top that I wondered? I kept the faith though and my faith was more than justified. Here we have not only a top notch mystery as usual but a wonderfully written continuation of our favourite characters ongoing story.

By cleverly giving more focus to Paula, a character I have always been inordinately fond of anyway, and for at least the first portion of the book putting Tony and Carol very much in the background of the story as it relates to the current investigation, Ms McDermid created for this reader, a thing of beauty. I was equally enthralled with the new case and with Paula’s struggles to come to terms with new relationships..both personal and professional. And then flipping the coin and seeing just how Carol is coping with her life and how Tony is trying to cope in his world that simply, at this moment, does not have Carol in it.

Other characters, both old and new make an appearance, a little twist to Paula’s case gives us some unease and I had to make myself slow down a little and appreciate the writing  – I could happily have read this one in a few hours straight when as usual it is a thing to be savoured….

Pulling together the strands of the story, Ms McDermid polishes things off in her indubitable style and gives us, her constant readers, a satisfactory conclusion and yet…a very real need to find out whats next for Tony, Carol et al. Oh dear, here comes my chronic impatience again…

So for the readers. If you are already immersed in this world then this instalment will more than satisfy you..I have no doubt. If you have yet to meet Tony Hill and Carol Jordan then don’t start here – you COULD, in fact you could start anywhere, but I would highly recommend that you start at the very beginning. Tony and Carol have had a whole life before this. “The Mermaids Singing” begins their story…where it will end we have yet to discover.

You can find out more here: http://www.valmcdermid.com/

Follow Val on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/valmcdermid

To Pre-Order Cross and Burn : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cross-Burn-Tony-Hill-McDermid/dp/1408704560/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378641068&sr=1-1&keywords=cross+and+burn

And to start from the beginning: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mermaids-Singing-Val-McDermid/dp/0007344678/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378643240&sr=1-1&keywords=the+mermaids+singing

 

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liz Currently Loves…..Never Coming Back by Tim Weaver

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Coming 29th August from Penguin

 

Thank you kindly to the author, publisher and Netgalley.

Well, I have been waiting for this one – Tim Weaver’s series about Missing Persons Investigator David Raker is one of the best series out there at the moment – and considering the plethora of great crime fiction currently available  that is saying something. But its nothing less than the truth.

In this instalment, David is recovering from his previous case and is living a quiet life in rural Devon. When an old friend of his asks him to investigate the disappearance of an entire family David is drawn once more into the world of the missing. As he digs deeper what he finds is disturbing and dangerous…

The novels are tagged as “David Raker Thrillers” but I always feel that “David Raker Mystery” would be more appropriate – the mystery element, as always, reigned supreme. Thats not to say they are NOT thrilling, they very much are – the action sequences are indeed edge of the seat stuff, especially as Mr Weaver makes no promises about the safety of any of his characters – yet still for me, the intricate plot weaving and attention to detail within those plots are very much what make these novels as good as they are.

I do adore David Raker for his tenacity. What he does is more than a job to him, its a calling. Despite the dangerous path many of his cases take he won’t give them up. Not even for love. The “I am who they have” attitude to those he tries to find is what drives him…when everyone else has given up on ever finding you, David Raker will not. If I were to have a missing loved one I would hope that someone like him were around. His character has evolved over the series beautifully – you could almost call him an Anti hero. If the law fails he will do whatever it takes to succeed – in this novel again he’s treading on toes, getting in the way and generally causing problems, for himself as much as anyone – but he’ll do what it takes. Sometimes at a huge cost…

Another terrific side of these books is the villains are always extremely villainous but somehow terribly realistic – you could easily imagine them out there in the world – you won’t find anyone twirling a moustache here, the bad guys are truly bad in a very entertaining and often horrific way.

You will be intrigued from the outset – The Marie Celeste style disappearance will immediately have you wondering…and thats it, you are hooked. And probably won’t stop reading until the end.

In the case of the Raker books I would highly recommend that you read them from the start, in order. Its not that you couldnt pick any one of them up and be perfectly happy, I just feel that Raker himself is a character who develops in such a way that you will miss out on the nuances if you havent been with him from the start. Which would be “Chasing The Dead”.

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

Liz Currently Loves…….I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes.

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The buzz in the book world was huge about this one – so I have to say I did approach it with some trepidation. Occasionally books that receive a lot of hype can be disappointing but that is absolutely not the case here. For me personally it more than lived up to the hype  – in fact I would say its probably one of the best books I have ever read for sheer scope and scale – and also simply as one of those books you cannot put down no matter how hard you try! A review will follow shortly but first, lets find out a bit more about the author and the journey….

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Terry trained as a journalist working on broadsheet newspapers and producing a national current affairs radio programme in Australia before turning to screenwriting.

With George Miller, he wrote the screenplay for Road Warrior/Mad Max 2 (which I loved!) He co-produced and wrote Dead Calm, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and a large number of TV movies and mini-series – including Bodyline and Bangkok Hilton – two of which received international Emmy nominations. A personal note, Bangkok Hilton is an amazing mini series about drug smuggling abroad and the consequences of being caught with drugs in certain countries. I would highly recommend watching this if you have not done so already! It still stands up today for me as one of the best series I have watched.

He has won over twenty film or television awards. Further credits include Payback with Mel Gibson, From Hell, starring Johnny Depp, and Vertical Limit with Chris O’Donnell. He has also done un-credited writing on a host of other movies including Reign of Fire, Cliffhanger and Flightplan, starring Jodie Foster.

Its hardly surprising considering the sheer depth of experience then that Mr Hayes has written a masterful thriller…..

 

Synopsis

 

Pilgrim is the codename for a man who doesn’t exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed up a secret espionage unit for US intelligence. Before he disappeared into anonymous retirement, he wrote the definitive book on forensic criminal investigation.
But that book will come back to haunt him. It will help NYPD detective Ben Bradley track him down. And it will take him to a rundown New York hotel room where the body of a woman is found facedown in a bath of acid, her features erased, her teeth missing, her fingerprints gone. It is a textbook murder – and Pilgrim wrote the book.
What begins as an unusual and challenging investigation will become a terrifying race-against-time to save America from oblivion. Pilgrim will have to make a journey from a public beheading in Mecca to a deserted ruins on the Turkish coast via a Nazi death camp in Alsace and the barren wilderness of the Hindu Kush in search of the faceless man who would commit an appalling act of mass murder in the name of his God.

 

Review

In some ways this may end up being a fairly simplistic review in comparison to others I have read about this wonderful novel. However for me, this book was very much about the journey I found within its pages – hooked from the very first paragraph I barely looked out on the world again until I was done. For me, as a book lover, blogger and a person who just wants to send your way the very best stories I find out there, this says more than any in depth critique of “I am Pilgrim” could achieve. I do have more to say of course – but that is the long and the short of it fellow readers.

Firstly, what struck me when I received my copy was the sheer size of the book. That excited me – nowadays its rare to find a book that can hold your attention over so many pages – authors don’t tend to write them. Now of course, there is nothing wrong with a book of any size as long as you ENJOY it but I have always been a lover of stories that perhaps give you that little bit more. Its difficult to achieve but Terry Hayes has done so. There is a reason why “The Stand” by Stephen King is still my number 1 book of all time – it, like Pilgrim, is an absorbing, exciting, heart stopping tale with heart that doesnt end in a flash but gives you greater insight and a longer period of time over which to enjoy it. If you, like me, appreciate that sort of thing then this book is definitely for you.

Following “Pilgrim” on his journey was without doubt one of my favourite reading experiences ever. The sheer scale of the story will astound you – as you learn about his background, the things he achieved or perhaps didnt, you will be enthralled and totally caught up in the moment. I have seen reviewers say that it was obviously written with an eye to a blockbuster movie – well I can see their point, especially given the author’s background – but actually I disagree. Its all about the story….written in a way that will keep you READING – it wasnt until I was done with it that I cast it in my head (yes, yes I do that with everything!) during the actual time spent within its pages, a movie was the last thing on my mind. Starting off as a murder mystery it turns into something else altogether – a chase across continents to stop an atrocity and to catch an evil man. Part crime mystery, mostly enthralling spy thriller with an opponent the like of which you may think y0u’ve seen before but havent – its heart stoppingly good. Not since Nelson De Mille’s “The Lion” who appeared in some of the John Corey books will you find a “terrorist” as intriguing as this one. And just as intriguing is the man trying to catch him…a man I still don’t truly know.

Its clever. Its exciting. It is never dull and always unexpected. It has more than one story – you will get an awful lot for your money here. Apart from that I say nothing. If you want an in depth plot analysis you will need to look elsewhere – it won’t be hard, this book has touched many – I will end by saying that this is a must read for anyone who simply loves books. And reading. And finding those stories that will always stay with you and you will read again. Will it knock any of my “top ten reads of all time” down a space on my list? Well you’ll have to wait and see. My Top Ten Books is a blogpost that will appear later in the year!

 

Transworld books brought us this story  – you can follow them on Twitter here. https://twitter.com/TransworldBooks

If you would like to grab yourself a copy of I Am Pilgrim clickety click here. http://www.amazon.co.uk/I-Am-Pilgrim-Terry-Hayes/dp/0593064941/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1375955820&sr=1-1

 

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

 

Liz Currently Loves……Precious Thing by Colette Mcbeth

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Coming this week from Headline

First of all a huge thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Rachel and Clara meet at school and form an unshakeable bond. Best friends, they know everything there is to know about each other…or do they? Years later Rachel is a successful tv reporter with a loving boyfriend and a great life, while Clara has not had such a happy time of it. When Clara goes missing Rachel begins to question everything she thought she knew about her best friend…..

I loved this very much. The story is told by Rachel in the form of a letter, or diary if you like, to Clara and has a taut, expressive narrative that is not only terrifically compelling but is also quite dark in its tone – as Rachel hovers between obsessive worry about where Clara might be and slow forming terror as she comes to realise the horrific possibilities, you are drawn right into that place and time with her. Slowly revealing the course of their friendship from the day Rachel sat down next to Clara in the classroom and leading us up to present day you will never be quite sure what the outcome might be.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I DO love a clever book. This was clever and then some. Sadly I can’t say very much because its difficult to tell you WHY it was so clever without giving anything away – And I am certainly not going to do that so you will just have to trust me fellow readers, it IS extremely clever. Intelligently written, almost poetic prose in places which changes depending on Rachel’s mood – I love the slight bitchiness that sometimes enters her “voice” – if you love a good twisty tale that you really can get your teeth into then this one is certainly for you.

Brilliantly done from Ms Mcbeth I can’t wait to find out what she has in store for us in the future.

You can follow Colette McBeth on Twitter here https://twitter.com/colettemcbeth

 

Not part of the review as such but one readers opinion

Just a little personal opinion – this novel is getting the inevitable comparison to “Gone Girl”. While I understand the marketing ploys that are used to entice readers of certain genres into purchasing a book, and that can work don’t get me wrong, I’ll let you into a little secret. The only book that is “like Gone Girl” or is as good as Gone Girl is Gone Girl itself. My belief is that THIS story – Precious Thing – will in years to come be quoted on the cover of many a twisty tale – I can see it now “This Years Precious Thing”. Again though. The only book that will be “Like Precious Thing” or as good as Precious Thing is…yes…you guessed it…Precious thing itself. This book is going to get great reviews and I imagine a great reputation. Fellow readers please enter its pages with no preconceptions – you will have MUCH more fun that way I promise!  Because this is terrific stuff.

 

 

Liz Currently Loves……Dead Line by Chris Ewan.

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Coming 1st August from Faber & Faber

Having loved “Safe House” I was very much looking forward to this novel from Mr Ewan and I was very excited to receive a copy from Netgalley – thank you kindly.

Daniel Trent works in the dangerous field of hostage negotiation…along with his fiancee Aimee. When Aimee goes missing herself, Trent has a good idea of who is responsible…but then his chief suspect is kidnapped and so begins a desperate search for answers. Can Trent save the kidnap victim and find Aimee?

Well what can I say…fast paced and amazingly addictive this novel rushes you headlong into Daniel Trent’s world and what a world it is. Cleverly strung out, my desire to find out what happened to Aimee soon matched Trents own…and I breathlessy followed him through all the twists and turns of the story to the final resolution – and that resolution my reading friends was clever, unexpected and brilliant.

I adored Trent as a character. Single minded, hell bent on the destruction of anyone who gets in his way no matter the consequences made me add him to my list of “literary characters I’d certainly marry”…in fact perhaps a future blog piece can talk about all those guys – he’ll be somewhere near the top. The rest of the characters played their part admirably – trust no-one would be my advice and even then you’ll be surprised at what happens. My favourite character by far was…ok I’m not going to tell you. You tell me when you get a chance to read it and we’ll compare notes! No spoilers here.

I adore a good page turner and this novel certainly falls into that category. There are rare restful moments – make the most of them because shortly you’ll be on that rollercoaster again. Don’t fall off! Enjoy. Happy Reading Folks!

Find out more about Chris Ewan here : http://chrisewan.com/

Follow him on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/chrisewan