Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Book Review: Pop Goes the Weasel by M.J. Arlidge

Pop Goes the Weasel


M.J. Arlidge

Pop Goes the Weasel is the second DI Helen Grace book in the series after the first Eeny Meeny. I read Eeny Meeny back at the beginning of 2016 and absolutely loved it. There was nothing that was going to stop me from getting this book, as the first left me wanting more. There was a little part of me that was worried that Eeny Meeny would have been a one off and this was going to be a let down. My friend Keely put these worries to bed though after she skipped ahead and read this one before me and said that I had nothing to worry about.

"DI Helen Grace is now one of my favourite characters of all time. This book is a hit and carries that dark, twisting and addictive tale that Eeny Meeny had"

Précis (taken from the cover):

A man’s body is found in an empty house.
A gruesome memento of his murder is sent to his wife and children.

He is the first victim, and Detective Helen Grace knows he will not be the last. But why would a happily married man be this far from home in the dead of night?

The media call it Jack the Ripper in reverse: a serial killer preying on family men who lead hidden double lives.

Helen can sense the fury behind the murders. But what she cannot possibly predict is how volatile this killer is—or what is waiting for her at the end of the chase...


Where do I start with this book? Well...... It was amazing, I loved it. I know this is just my opinion but the story was cracking. It had me hooked from the beginning. It was one of those books that you read that you had to finish as quick as you can.

The detail of the crimes in this book were very disturbing, scary but believable. I became so engrossed that I actually feared for people. I am sure the author is a nice person but there must be a dark side to him to come up with these plot lines. It actually reminds me of one of my favourite TV shows Criminal Minds, where the "baddies" are disturbed and evil.

It was also great to see how some of the characters have been getting on since Eeny Meeny along with being introduced to a few new ones. Helen, the lead character has such a powerful presence that you wish she was a real person that you could meet. Her kick ass attitude and determination to put the bad guys away makes her stand out. DI Helen Grace is now one of my favourite characters of all time.

Is there anything I did not like about this book? only that it ended, but not to fear as book 3 in the series The Doll's House is next.

I scored this book a 5 out of 5. It was brilliant plain and simple. M.J. Arlidge is a fantastic story teller.

I would love to know how many other people have read this series and if you love them as much as me. Let me know.

Speak soon,


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Book Review: The Widow by Fiona Barton

The Widow


Fiona Barton

I first became aware of The Widow by Fiona Barton towards the end of 2015. So many people on Twitter were saying that this is the book to watch out for in 2016 and that if you love psychological thrillers then you have to read this. I read into it and pre-ordered it straight away. I did read this book early on in 2016 so apologies for the late review.

"A spine chilling & dark story that makes you question, do you really know your neighbours? - A cracking debut"

Précis (taken from the cover):

The Wife:
Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming. But then everything changed.

The Husband:
The newspapers found a new name for Glen: MONSTER, they shrieked. Jean was married to a man accused of the unimaginable. And as the years ticked by, with no sign of the little girl he has been accused of taking, their lives were constantly splashed across the front pages.

The Widow:
But now Glen is dead and she's alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.

Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.


As stated above I had heard a lot about this book before it was published and I was really looking forward to reading it. Sometimes I worry when you get your hopes up about a book, or a film in that matter, because there is that chance that it is a disappointment. This book however was not. I thought it was cracking. I am a huge fan of psychological thrillers. Each new book has its own way of telling the story and I really liked how this was written. It flicked between the characters and the narration became theirs. It also went from present day to time in the past which I also liked. By doing this it is as though two stories are being told. and they both are built up together and then join right at the end.

The story itself is very dark and may not be for everyone, especially when children are involved, but life is a horrible place sometimes and these things do happen. I have always said that you never really know someone and what people are like behind closed doors and after reading this, I may be even more suspicious about everyone. 

The characters was brilliantly written. Jean Taylor (The Widow) was the main character even though the main story was about what her husband had or had not done. You also had the police's view along with Kate Waters a journalist that is running the lead on this story. Kate was my favourite character from the book as she was that typical journalist that would do or say anything to get that story. It was also a different and interesting take on the story, as most books you will just get the police along with the victims and suspects.

Was there anything I did not like about this book? Well only one small thing really. With most psychological thrillers each chapter ends either on a cliff hanger, makes you gasp out loud or gets you to question something to get you to read on. I found that a few chapters in this book ended quite flat and it meant not having that spark. This however did not take away the overall pleasure of the book.

I scored this book a 4.5 out of 5. If you love thrillers or psychological thrillers and you have not read this yet then I would recommend that you give it a go.

Fiona Barton's next book The Child is out around June of 2017 and brings back the journalist Kate Waters, so I will be definitely be buying this.

Has anyone else read this book? do you agree with me or not? I would love to find out, so let me know.

Speak soon,


Tuesday, 3 January 2017

2016: Final Book Report

2016: Final Book Report



So..... 2016 has come and gone. I know we always say that the older you get the quicker the years go, but this year has flown by. I wish everyone a happy new year and hope that 2017 is good to you.

Just looking at our bookcase and can honestly say that there are a lot more books there than at the start of 2016, and that is even with us donating a load of books to our local charity shop. This is not a bad thing though as both myself and my wife love to read.

2016 was a very busy year for myself personally meaning I did not have as much time to read as I wanted. I set myself a target of 24 books. I fell just short of this. 24 may not seem a lot, to a lot of people, as I know there are people that read 100+ books a year, but 24 was a good number for me and would have been the most I have read in one year. I still have a few book reviews to write from my 2016 reads and these shall be up in the next few weeks. 2017 is going to be another busy & enjoyable year for me but in a different way, which will mean I will have more time for reading. How did you all get on with your reading in 2016? Did you set yourself a target? did you hit yours? let me know.

Can I just say thank you to everyone who has read one of my book reviews this past year. I hope you find them enjoyable and informative. I can't believe I have nearly 5000 hits on my blog. I must also say a huge thank you to authors Guy Portman & Tony Lee Moral who both sent me their books in 2016 to read & review for them. I enjoyed them both. You can read about Symbiosis & Ghost Maven on the links in "My Book Reviews" at the top of my blog. If you are an author and would like me to read and review one of your books then please contact me and I will love to do this for you.  

My Top 5 Books of 2016:

I have been really lucky and enjoyed all the books that I read in 2016 with my lowest score being 4 out of 5. Here are my top 5 books that I read in 2016. These are in no order.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

Star Wars Battlefront - Twilight Company by Alexander Freed

Pop Goes the Weasel by M.J. Arlidge


Like I said before, I will have more time for reading in 2017. I have again been on to and set my reading challenge as 24. I believe that I will hit this, this year. I have had a good start as I started to read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon on Sunday and I am already 3/4 of the way through this.

I will be having an Alex Cross (James Patterson) catch up this year buy reading the next three or four in the series. I also have the highly rated Mr Mercedes trilogy by Stephen King to read which I am looking forward too. Also this year we hopefully will be getting the 4th Cormoran Strike novel by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) after not releasing one in 2016. My wife & I normally fight over who is going to read the book first and I am hopefully going to win this year having lost the previous two.

What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017? is there anything that stands out? Have you set your 2017 target yet? I would love to know what other readers are doing.

Remember I am active on Twitter (@CBailey31) Instagram (@CBailey3103) & Snapchat (CBailey3103) if you fancy giving me a follow to talk books.

Thank you again.

Speak soon,