Thursday, 22 February 2018

Oliver Tidy

A dystopian thriller now from a man who isn't fazed by genre!


The Prole Soldier

Amazon.com link

My review -


I came to know this author as the writer of crime/mystery/thriller stories. This isn’t so much a change of genre as a widening of the horizons, as there are crimes, thrills and mysteries enough for anyone in here.

This rather grim, futuristic story shows how people can be inured to injustice and feel unable to question their lot in life. If they have no rights, and have never had them, they have no belief in their own ability to take their futures in hand and make their own decisions. If they’ve been threatened by external forces and told that their needs are catered for and the authorities are protecting them, they come to believe it. All it takes is one boy with a belief in justice and a hard-won knowledge of the unfairness of the system and things can be changed. Theo is a catalyst for change and the story is totally gripping and has a few heart-stopping moments that I thought he could never come back from. The story ends in a satisfying way, but I’m so glad that this is the first part of a trilogy. I’ll certainly be reading more.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Samatha Hayes

Here's a really enjoyable story with some characters steeped in survivor guilt and others hiding secrets. Gripping stuff.


The Reunion

Amazon.com link

My review -

This is a story of a missing child, now an adult, and a cast of characters, several of whom appear to be dodgy in one way or another. I really thought I knew what had happened and who was responsible – several times. This is a very well-constructed story. People are not necessarily who we think we are and it doesn’t pay to be complacent. Feelings of survivor guilt are well explored and the characters felt real, to me. I found it a really enjoyable book and a hard one to put down.


Monday, 19 February 2018

Rachel Abbott

Another excellent offering from Rachel Abbott. She's never let me down yet!


Come a Little Closer

Amazon.com link

My review -

A young woman is found dead in a country park with no wounds and no apparent cause of death. It looks like assisted suicide. Tom Douglas and his team find another case of a similar type and a pattern emerges. Callie, another young woman is helped by a mother figure after meeting her on a cruise. She’s given accommodation at the older woman’s house and things begin to deteriorate. Tom’s on the case.

This story is very persuasive in terms of the psychological effects of the woman and her partner, a retired psychiatrist, on the girl Callie, who believes she murdered her boyfriend. Another girl has gone missing, the sister of one of Tom’s old friends. The tangled web Rachel Abbott weaves is both intriguing and horrifying and I found myself living this story. I was totally gripped by it.

Oliver Tidy

It's not often that I go straight from one book in a series to the next, but these books are so good!


Poor Hands

Amazon.com link

My review -

This is the third of the Booker and Cash series and I've enjoyed them all. David Booker sees a young girl enter his shop. She's ill-clad and is being pursued by a huge thug of a man. Jo Cash is asked by a mysterious American client to find any surviving family of a woman who died in childbirth. One of David’s customers is a young man he suspects is autistic. A group of people to whom life has dealt a poor hand.

This is another extremely readable tale from Oliver Tidy. Booker and Cash are a great team (though technically, they’re not) and the author makes his readers care about them, and about some of the people they’re dealing with. The strands of the story work together in a satisfying way, and the banter between the main characters is very funny at times. There’s enough excitement for any reader, with a car chase and a hostage scene. It’s heart-racing stuff. Altogether, a most satisfying read.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Oliver Tidy

Second in the Booker and Cash series. I'm enjoying these characters!


He Made Me

Amazon.com link

My review -

Rebecca Swaine engages the services of Jo Cash to find out why her husband is being blackmailed, and of David Booker to act for her in selling some rare books to finance the investigations. Two suicides later and the pair are in the midst of a really unusual case.

I enjoyed this because it isn’t the usual ‘whodunnit’ murder, but is a genuine mystery with an art connection. I feel you would need to read the first book, Bad Sons, to get the most out of the situation here. Oliver Tidy’s writing is always a delight and I love the humour in these stories too. A really good read.

Sam Kates

This is just a short story but it packs a punch, and shows what the author's capable of. It's free, too.


Dying by Numbers

Amazon.com link

My review -


From the title, this sounded like a murder mystery, but the cover conveys the truth. It’s short, maybe eighteen pages, but it packs so much in. A survivor of one of the death camps, with the help of his daughter, has found the daughter of one of his companions in the camp. One who didn’t survive.

For such a short story, this is complex and poignant. It packs so much into the present and the memories of the time in the camps. Things are never simple. Really well worth the short time it will take you to read. It’s free and gives you a real flavour of the author’s writing.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Malcolm Hollingdrake

Sixth in a series but I believe you can dip in and out with these books. Each stands well on its own.



Crossed Out

Amazon.com link

My review -

When a book starts with missing persons, acid attacks, drugs and bodies, you know you’re in for a tangled tale. Cyril, his team augmented this time by a new girl, April, have their work cut out. April, as Cyril advises, occasionally goes with her gut. He is happy to follow it. His own past is further explored, and his relationship with Dr Pritchett deepens. Altogether, there’s a huge lot going on in here.


I really enjoyed this story. When you think you know what’s going on you’re thrown a curve-ball. The whole thing was tied together with biblical quotes as there’s a character who has taken on the task of correcting sinners. This was a complex piece of story-telling with a lot of characters but it all worked for me. A very enjoyable read.