Saturday, 30 December 2017

Book Review: Rattle by Fiona Cummins



Fiona Cummins

This book was given to me by Katie Green from Pan Macmillan books to read and give an honest review. Firstly a massive thanks goes to Katie for this. This is Fiona Cummins debut novel so I had no idea how this book would be and what her style of writing would be like. I had heard great reviews though and was really looking forward to reading this.

"A creepy but cracking read, with a psychopath of a serial killer making this stand out from most books"

Précis (taken from the cover): 

He leads an ordinary life - some of the time.
He has a past which explains his behaviour - most of the time.
He has a hobby too terrible to understand - all of the time.
Etta is a detective who suspects him.
Erdman and Lilith are parents who fear him.
And Jakey and Clara have something he craves.

The Collector has come to rattle their bones and he won't stop until he is caught.

In this deadly game only one thing is certain. FINDERS KEEPERS. LOSERS GRIEVERS.


This book started really well and you were hooked within the first few pages. I believe this is because you were so curious as to what type of thriller this will be. In the author's notes you read about a disease called Stone Man Syndrome (Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva) and I know.. I have never heard of this either. As the book goes on you find out more about this and what connects it to the story itself. The story contains children being kidnapped which can be quite an upsetting storyline for some so if this affects you in any way I would probably not read this this. The detective in charge is Etta Fitzroy and specialises in missing people. Etta has cold cases and deals with her own problems throughout the book which I really like. When the good guys have demons and are not perfect it has a real feel to it. Not only do you get to follow the story through Etta you also get to feel and learn what the parents are also going through which keeps the story at a fast pace as you are always wanting to read on and find out what happens next. I read this book in under two weeks which is quick for me. One of my favourite TV shows as mentioned in previous blogs is Criminal Minds. If you have never watched this show it has some of America's most nasty, horrible & terrifying serial killers in it week in, week out. The "baddy" in Rattle would fit in great in this show. The collector as he is called is disturbed, cruel and messed up. I'm not saying serial killers are good, I know this.... But from a readers point of view I loved how this character was written and really stood out from a lot of books you read that include serial killers. The story itself was really original and was really clever so a big thumbs up to Fiona for this and you can tell time was taken to research.

The characters in this book were greatly written to be honest and all had their parts to play. Etta was a great detective to follow and as mentioned above The Collector was one of my favourite baddy's I have read about in a long time. 

Was there anything I did not like about the book? Well... There were a few small chapters about Erdman (Jakey's dad) and his story which I felt you did not really need in the book but that is such a small thing and does not ruin anything at all. This was just my opinion.

Overall this was a fantastic book which I really loved. I scored this book a 5 out of 5. Considering this is a debut novel it certainly had a feel like a veteran had wrote this. Fiona Cummins follow up book The Collector is out in 2018 and I will definitely be buying and reading this when it is out.

If you love thrillers then I fully recommend that you read this book. I hope, like me you will love it.

Has anyone else read this book?? Do you agree with me or not? Let me know your thoughts...

Speak soon


Thursday, 21 December 2017

Book Review: The Kills by Richard House

The Kills 


Richard House

The Kills was a book I bought a few years ago in my local book shop. I had seen it a few times whilst I was in there and always thought it sounded really good. I decided to pick it up but it had been sat on my TBR shelf for a long while. This past August I decided that it was to be my big summer read. It also turns out that this was to be the biggest book I have ever read with an epic 1033 pages altogether!

"Strong start, but then goes downhill and never stops"

Précis (taken from the cover):

The Kills is an epic novel of crime and conspiracy.

It starts with an explosion, a man on the run and the theft of over fifty million dollars. It moves from the Middle East to the Mediterranean, around mainland Europe via the sleazy underworld of Naples, and across America. It ends in a locked room.


This has been one of the toughest reviews I have ever had to do. You will see why as I go on. The Kills as mentioned above is a massive 1033 pages long but is actually split into 4 books, Sutler, The Massive, The Kill & The Hit. I was actually really looking forward to reading this as my "Summer Blockbuster" where each year I choose a large book to read around summertime. The book itself started really well and got straight into the action. The main character was interesting and it had a James Bond/Jason Bourne feel to it. For me, this is a great mix and I felt this could have been a cracking read. There were a few pages that were a bit too long but you could cope with that as you got more into the story. Book one (Sutler) finished on a cliff hanger and you set yourself up for the next chapter to see how the story progressed. Sadly this is where it started to go downhill. Book two was literally like reading a new book with a different story altogether. I thought that it was scene setting for the main story to continue but no, the main character from book one was only mentioned a couple of times and before I knew it, it was the end of book two and nothing. Book three started and Yes! you guessed it... A completely different story, and Yes! Book four again was also different. In each book it made a slight reference to the first book but that was it. None of the books flowed and went on way too long and I'm afraid very uninteresting with very little action. I was so disappointed. My wife asked half way through, why I didn't give in and stop reading it. I did not want to be beaten and kept hope that it would be tied up at the end. This I now know was a mistake of my behalf. Ahhhhhhhhh So frustrating..

I have never felt like this after reading a book. I know lots of people that start books and then give up but I have never actually done this. This book was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2013 and I have to ask myself why? After reading this book I went on the internet to see what other people thought and can see that there is a lot of other people like me that were very disappointed.

To be fair to the author, I actually thought the characters were well written and really likeable and is probably the best part of the book for me. Even if the stories were different the people in each of these books were great. Unfortunately I am unable to find many other positives.

I scored this book a 1 out of 5. My lowest ever score and I really feel bad because this is someone's work and they are really proud of this, but this is just my opinion and I am being honest on how I felt this book was. I don't think I will be rushing out to buy a Richard House book in the near future and if I did, it would have to be under 300 pages long so I don't make the mistake I did on this one.

Has anyone else read this? Do you agree with me or not? Let me know.

Speak soon


Sunday, 17 December 2017

Book Review: They All Fall Down by Tammy Cohen

They All Fall Down 


Tammy Cohen

I was sent this book from Alison Barrow (@alisonbarrow) of Transworld Books for a read and honest review, so firstly I need to give a huge thanks to Alison for this. I have been aware of Tammy Cohen but I have never read one of her books before so I had no knowledge of her style of writing before I started.

" A cracking psychological thriller where everyone is a suspect"

Précis (taken from the cover):

She knows there’s a killer on the loose.
But no-one believes her.
Will she be next?

Hannah had a normal life – a loving husband, a good job. Until she did something shocking.

Now she’s in a psychiatric clinic. It should be a safe place. But patients keep dying.

The doctors say it’s suicide. Hannah knows they’re lying.

Can she make anyone believe her before the killer strikes again?


When I received this book from Alison I was so excited to read it. Books, and films for that matter that are set in a psychiatric clinic's tend to be really good but very dark. This book had you hooked on the very first page, someone had died and someone else was very frightened. What more do you want from page 1. I find there is nothing worse than a book that starts off very slow and nothing really happens. The pages turned at a fast pace and the writing was very easy to pick up. I loved how each chapter swapped narrators which meant that you got to read different views of so many different characters. What were they at the clinic for? What relationship did they have with other people and what was going on in their mind added to the mystery of who the killer was. Because of this you changed your mind on a regular basis as you were trying to figure it out. I am sure at one point I had thought it was every character at least once.  The story itself was brilliant, in a way there were two stories you followed, the first of course was who is the killer and secondly what had Hannah done to get herself in the clinic. This was kept secret till towards the last part as well.

The characters were really good and interesting, from the patients to the carers and nurses that worked at the clinic. Each patient had their own reasoning for being there which of course can be very dark and alarming but also can make for brilliant reading. I Thought Tammy did very well with these characters which made the book as good as it was.

Was there anything I did not like about this book? No, nothing really. I was a huge fan of this book and can't say there was anything which I would have changed.

As we are now entering the winter month's and the cold weather starts to kick in (Depending where you live of course) I would recommend this book to anyone who loves psychological thriller's. Switch the TV off, put the fire on and curl up on the sofa with a drink and some chocolate and get lost in this wonderful book. This book would also make a cracking Christmas present.

I scored this book a 5 out of 5. I loved it and so glad that because of Alison, I have now been introduced to Tammy Cohen. I will definitely be reading more of her books in the future.

Have you read this? what do you think? do you agree with me or not? Let me know...

Speak soon


Saturday, 15 July 2017

Book Review: Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

Fierce Kingdom


Gin Phillips

Fierce Kingdom was a book that I won on Twitter from Alison Barrow (@alisonbarrow) from Transworld Books. Firstly I need to give a huge thanks to Alison for this. This book was out on June 15th. I have not read a book by Gin Phillips before so I was going in blind as to what her style of writing is and what her books are like.

"An action packed read, which had a real life feel to it"

Précis (taken from the cover):

Lincoln is a good boy. At the age of four, he is curious, clever and well behaved. He does as his mum says and knows what the rules are.

'The rules are different today. The rules are that we hide and do not let the man with the gun find us.'

When an ordinary day at the zoo turns into a nightmare, Joan finds herself trapped with her beloved son. She must summon all her strength, find unexpected courage and protect Lincoln at all costs – even if it means crossing the line between right and wrong; between humanity and animal instinct.

It's a line none of us would ever normally dream of crossing.

But sometimes the rules are different.


When I read the cover of this book I was excited about it. A few chapters in and I was even more excited about it. You already knew what was going to happen and you felt that if you turned on the news, it could be happening right now in the real world. I love how the book was written, each chapter title was a time. Something like 5:32pm or 7:06pm which made me think of the TV series 24 which was filmed in real time, and one of my all time favourite shows. The zoo has been taken hostage and there are people stuck all around. This included the main characters Joan & Lincoln, a mother and son who you follow throughout this book. Lincoln is only 4 years old so Joan not only has to protect herself but also that of her son. I liked the relationship between these two and as the book progresses you put yourself in Joan's shoes and you ask yourself, as stated by Shari Lapena on the back of this book "What would I do?" 

The other characters in the book were the hostage takers plus a few other people lost and hiding in the zoo. Although these were bit part characters in the book you found yourself asking on every single one. Are you hiding for fear of your life or are you part of this whole process. The way they were written you felt like you could not trust any of them. This gave the story a mystery to it for me which added to the already great plot line.

Reading this book, I found the pages were turning at a fast rate, especially the last 70-80 pages which felt like I read in about five minutes. The ending was great and it had you on the edge of your seat, or in my case sitting up in bed and straitening your back to make sure you were concentrating correctly. 

Was there anything at all that I did not like about the book? Well there was I'm afraid. Around a quarter of the way through the book I felt the story kind of stopped. It slowed down quite a bit and you did not have that urgency to read on like you had at the start of the book. Or the second half of this book did after you got through this part. For me this was my only bug bear, The rest of this book was great..

As I've said in my last couple of blogs. Would this book be a good summer holiday read.? Well.... I would definitely recommend that you take this book with you and would be great whilst sat by the pool or on the beach. Maybe not so though if part of your holiday you are going to the zoo... If you are though, please make sure you know where ALL the exits are.

I scored this book a 4 out of 5. I really enjoyed it apart from the little blip I mentioned above. My first Gin Phillips book has now been read and it will definitely not be the last I read of hers as well.

I would love to know what everyone else thinks about this book if you have read it. Do you agree with me or not? Please let me know.

Speak soon,


Sunday, 2 July 2017

Book Review: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water


Paula Hawkins

I am sure most people out there have heard of Paula Hawkins debut book The Girl on the Train, whether you have read the book or been to see the movie or both. The Girl on the Train is up there as one of my all time favourite books. I however cannot bring myself to watch the movie in case it ruins it all for me. As soon as I knew the date of when Paula's second novel was coming out I had to pre-order this, without even reading what it was about.

"A good second novel after what was an amazing debut"

Précis (taken from the cover):

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.


How do you follow The Girl on the Train?? I'm sure Paula herself could not have imagined the global success of her book. There is always that worry that is this the best it will get and will it all go down hill from now on....

Into the Water starts off in a very intriguing manor and your mind was already engaged. It has been written so that each chapter is by a different character and you follow the story that way. I loved the idea that this story was set in a small village in the north of England. This gave it an eerie feeling because a lot of these type of villages have lots of secrets and a lot of them can be very dark. I found though that about a quarter of the way through this book the story became a bit samey and I found it a bit tough going to be honest. Thankfully around page 150 the story kicked to life again and continued all the way to the end. I found the story very original and nothing really I had seen or read about before. Did I get it before the end?? A little yes, as I had a couple of feelings but this did not ruin the excitement of finding out.

What I think I loved the most was about Into the Water was that each character had something suspicious about them. Like they were all guilty of something in their past. You had to decide whether this was linked to the story or that it was a village full of dodgy people. Jules the sister of the lady who was found dead I enjoyed following in the book. You always feel she had a very dark past and she was constantly scared about everything that has happened and what was happening. The two police detectives I also enjoyed as well, Sean who is the local policeman who was very troubled and Erin who was brought in from the City to help with the investigation. I liked how she struggled with the village way of life and had to adjust her working ways.

On my previous blog (Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough) I mentioned that, that book would be a great holiday read as we now enter July. Into the water is the same I think if you are looking for  good read on holiday then try this, but whatever you do. Don't go for a swim in a river....

I scored this book a 4 out of 5. Was it as good as The Girl on the Train?? no it was not, but it was a good read. There was only the little part that I struggled with but if you push through it then you will be satisfied.. Will I read Paula Hawkins next book? Yes I will and when I find out the date I will pre-order.

I would love to know what other people think about this book? do you agree with me or not.. Let me know...

Speak soon


Friday, 30 June 2017

Book Review: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Behind Her Eyes


Sarah Pinborough

I will be honest. I had never heard of Sarah Pinborough before but Behind Her Eyes was one of those books that had a real buzz about it on social media. I then came across it in my local bookstore and just had to buy it. It sounded so good.

"An excellent story with an outrageously brilliant ending you will never get"

Précis (taken from the cover):

David and Adele seem like the ideal pair. He's a successful psychiatrist, she is his picture-perfect wife who adores him. But why is he so controlling? And why is she keeping things hidden?

As Louise, David's new secretary, is drawn into their world, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong. But Louise can't guess how wrong – and how far someone might go to protect their marriage's secrets.


This book started well and got straight into it. I liked how it was written, each chapter either set in the past or in present day and by a different character. You were only a few chapters in and your mind was starting to think already. What has happened? Who is she? Because of this, and how the book was written throughout, it made the pages turn at a very fast rate. You were hooked and just needed to know what was happening next. Another reason for it being so addictive was most of the chapters finished on a cliff hanger which meant you were not allowed to go to sleep yet and had to carry on. I finished this book in a week. I am not the fastest reader and normally read around 2 books a month. This shows how good it was.

The characters in this book were greatly written, easy to understand and fun to read about. I found them to be believable. You probably know someone like these characters in real life. However the question you have to ask yourself all the time is how well do you really know someone? You never know what goes on behind closed doors at all. This is the best way to approach the people in this book as well as in real life.

The ending........ What can I say? Apart from WOW.... You will never get it. It was outrageously brilliant and made me shout what the F*** out loud at the end. To show how great this ending was, it had it's own hashtag on Twitter. #WTFThatEnding was trending not long after this book was released. At one point I thought I had it, in fact I was convinced I had. I am sure a lot of people who have read this book were the same and like them I failed miserably. Am I telling you what happens? ermmmm no... Sorry, I am not allowed shhhhhhh.

Was there anything I did not like about this book? Nope, nothing at all. I loved it.

As June ends & July starts, it is the start of holiday season for a lot of people. I know a lot of people will only read on holiday, as they don't normally have time, but if you are going on holiday and want something to read then I fully recommend this for you. However please make sure you put your sun tan lotion on as before you know it, you could be burnt to a crisp.

Sarah Pinborough not only writes a great book but is also one of my favourite people to follow at the moment on Twitter. She makes me laugh a lot and you get to find out a lot about Ted the dog.

I scored this book a 5 out of 5. I will definitely be reading more books by Sarah Pinborough. Fingers crossed it is not just a one off, but I have a feeling it is not.

Have you read this book? What do you think? Do you agree with me or not? Let me know....

Speak soon,