How well do you see?

A different female detective. One not racked – completely – with angst. Thankfully.

And she comes from an ethnic background and is local to her policing area.

This story is set in an area of London I know quite well. I know of the cultural inheritances and the issues that came as new cultures came in and the local and new clashed – from the time of the Huguenots and before! See the Roman Road… Immigration to the UK has often come through the Docks and this affects the architecture as well as the culture.

I did think that the problem of distinguishing between forced and arranged marriages was portrayed well and the tip-toeing around not to tread on toes that is so common that it actually lets illegal activities occur rather than disturb certain elements of the community. As there is often a wall of silence and united front before outsiders this doesn’t help discover the truth.

I thought the author dealt quite well with the issues of inequality as I have seen this area transform – patchily – from nearly slums to desirable residences.

Overall a solid first book in this  new series.

Share This:

When your heart needs mending

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae Book Cover The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae
Stephanie Butland
literary fiction, contemporary
Zaffre; 1 edition
(19 April 2018)

Ailsa Rae is learning how to live.

She's only a few months past the heart transplant that - just in time - saved her life. Life should be a joyful adventure. But . . .

Her relationship with her mother is at breaking point and she wants to find her father.
Have her friends left her behind?
And she's felt so helpless for so long that she's let polls on her blog make her decisions for her. She barely knows where to start on her own.

Then there's Lennox. Her best friend and one time lover. He was sick too. He didn't make it. And now she's supposed to face all of this without him.

But her new heart is a bold heart. 

She just needs to learn to listen to it . . 

A book that contrives to be both a serious and empathetic story about Ailsa and her life-defining illness, but at the same time is an uplifting and humorous tale of her struggles as both a blue and a pink heart.

Ailsa has a rare heart defect that could have killed her at birth but through surgical intervention she makes it through her life and even takes a degree, but in her mid-twenties it begins to fail. during the latter part of this period she begins a blog about her life and struggles as someone with a life-defining illness.

The excerpts in the book of her blueheart blog are wonderful and show just how difficult it can be to live when every day could be your last.

It also tells us clearly how difficult it is to have a successful romance under these circumstances and how believing in this romance has issues.

I liked the introduction of the tango as an illustration of this belief in Ailsa’s life and future development.

Share This:

Find your way out?

A Map of the Dark Book Cover A Map of the Dark
The Searchers #1
Karen Ellis
crime, detectives, mystery, thrillers, female sleuths
Mulholland Books
11 Jan. 2018)

A girl missing
A woman, searching
A killer, planning...

FBI Agent Elsa Myers finds missing people.
She knows how it feels to be lost...

Though her father lies dying in a hospital north of New York City, Elsa cannot refuse a call for help. A teenage girl has gone missing from Forest Hills, Queens, and during the critical first hours of the case, a series of false leads hides the fact that she did not go willingly.

With each passing hour, as the hunt for Ruby deepens into a search for a man who may have been killing for years, the case starts to get underneath Elsa's skin. Everything she has buried - her fraught relationship with her sister and niece, her self-destructive past, her mother's death - threatens to resurface, with devastating consequences.

In order to save the missing girl, she may have to lose herself...and return to the darkness she's been hiding from for years.

Whilst I did quite enjoy this book especially the characters of some of the teenagers – the girl with creative mind and tattoos of her little creatures that kept her sane and operative under very dire circumstances. However, I found the other teenagers a bit wooden.

What irritated me though, is the current fad for this genre of having the female detectives to be very angst driven and this story takes this to the extreme. Whilst use of the angst is made in the story I am sure this was not the only way it could be written. This downgrades this book to a 4 star.

Share This:

Who’s Telling the Truth?

The Confession Book Cover The Confession
Jo Spain
mystery, thrillers,
January 11, 2018


Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear.

Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn't know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry's many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal?

This gripping psychological thriller will have you questioning, who - of Harry, Julie and JP - is really the guilty one? And is Carney's surrender driven by a guilty conscience or is his confession a calculated move in a deadly game?

I liked this book and found  it addictive reading. I resented leaving it to live the rest of my life. i just needed to know the why and the real who.

Who needs to confess – and about what?

Slowly, and inexorably we find out the truth and the reasons for the first, really big, confession.

Carefully crafted, this book takes you through the lives of the 2 story-tellers – that explain the final act.


Share This:

Make India your Home?

Coming Home Book Cover Coming Home
Fern Britton
Womens' Literature, Romance , Women's Fiction, Humour
February 19, 2018

*Preorder the gorgeous new novel from the Sunday Times best-selling author and TV presenter, Fern Britton.* When the only place you want to be is home... When Ella's beloved grandmother dies, she comes back to the beautiful Cornish coast to heal her heart. There she finds her home again and discovers a new life, and new love ... But she also opens a treasure trove of secrets. Sennen left Cornwall a young single mum but unable to cope. She left her children, her family and part of her. She's spent the years hiding from her past, hiding from herself. Now it's time to come back. To Cornwall. To face her mistakes. To pray for forgiveness. To hope for a future with her daughter.

I did find this a somewhat sentimental book but was warned before I started by the blurb and for some it will bring on tears.
I did like it though and enjoyed the read but did wonder if Fern had been to India as I have, as saying tuk-tuk rides were expensive is absolutely not true – they are very cheap indeed and can be made even cheaper by sharing and cramming in more people than you could ever imagine!
Certainly, the markets are very cheap but also very unhygienic – vegetables probably would be OK to eat but don’t touch the meat or fish!

Share This: