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Lying is bad

Whilst I thought it interesting to to see the lies told to herself by Alex about how she wasn’t an alcoholic, I found the overall story too slow to capture my interest.

Alex clearly thought she was in control even though it was obvious she wasn’t and she ignored her black holes in her memory and the blackouts she experienced. And ignored the fact that she just needed a ‘little drop’ to function.

The decline of an alcoholic and the damage they do to their nearest and dearest and others they come into contact with is shown by the story but I  still didn’t manage to finish reading to the end.

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Don’t trust her

This story gradually ramps up the chill factor as it progresses.

It initially comes across as a normal family drama with a neglected child from a rich family who is befriended by her loving nanny. Her nanny gives her the affection and attention she craves.

But the nanny isn’t quite what she seems and suddenly you find yourself shouting at Jo and telling her not to trust Hannah!

I thought the beginning was rather slow, and I did begin to get a little bored. The style was appropriate for the family saga storyline, which added to the authenticity of the opening chapters. Overall it was well written without mistakes in the grammar and vocabulary, but not a book that hooked me.

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A monkey is a simian?

vanish - A monkey is a simian?

‘I know a secret’

Who was Mr Simian?

As always we get excellent story-telling by this author, in a concise style, with enough red herrings and hints of the truth from real-life cases to keep you wondering – just who was Mr Simian (from the film being made in the story).

The characters behave believably, and the device of having part of the story being told by Holly and part in the 3rd person for the remainder of the action and characters worked very well.

Holly is a believable sociopath – she lacks empathy and emotional attachments and (possibly) also any morals or morality. She uses people clearly, but how far would she go to protect herself is unknown.

Mr Simian proves to be someone unexpected – in true good Agatha Christie style.

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The truth is not always so straight forward

This is a police procedural with a difference set in Edinburgh.

That the author knows the city well is evident but she is/was a writer in residence at the uni there, so not surprising that she set her debut novel there.

The author’s voice is clear and well styled but I did initially find the the way the story was et out into different people and time lines confusing. But then I ‘got it’ and was able to manage and found it interesting stylistically.

I thought there were some nice reader questions that came through when reading the sections, for instance ‘What is she hiding?’; ‘Did she know?’; ‘Why did he do it?’; which kept you reading as you wanted to know the answers. And it follows a story that we are finding the truths hard to stomach – why do young people want to shoot their peers? At least with some gun control this is curtailed but…

I thought the reflections on how difficult it is to be an outsider as a teenager were well described; and also just how hormones can deflect morals and beliefs, and thus cai=use your people to things they would not have normally considered using a rational mind and thought process.

Overall a promising novelist and a series to follow surely.

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Waiting for your sister

Twins in thought but not deed, and not age either but in looks, one sister vanishes and the other searches for her.

As she searches she uncovers some rather sinister people and has some rather chilling encounters.

I started this book and read it with interest but not compulsion until the prison scenes. These were detailed with such a chilling description of the prisoner that I really needed to know what he knew and what he had done.

If that air of suspense had been drawn throughout the book I would have ranked it higher but some of the writing was a little pedestrian and over detailed. Personally, I would have edited out half of the front art of the book and extended the last part. But other readers may disagree.

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