Sunday, 25 February 2018

Book Review: The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

The Word is Murder


Anthony Horowitz 

The Word is Murder was a Christmas present from my brother and my sister in law Tom & Charlotte so a massive thanks to them for the gift. This was the second book that I have read by Anthony Horowitz after reading his James Bond novel Trigger Mortis, which I really enjoyed. My wife has read a couple of his books as well and also loved them, so I was really looking forward to reading this one.

"A delightful read, which was well written and the start of what I believe to be a fantastic series of books"

Precis (taken from the cover):

A wealthy woman strangled six hours after she’s arranged her own funeral.

A very private detective uncovering secrets but hiding his own.

A reluctant author drawn into a story he can’t control.

What do they have in common?

Unexpected death, an unsolved mystery and a trail of bloody clues lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz's page-turning new thriller.



Where do I start on how to describe this book? Well... It's a fictional book, staring the author himself and a former police detective. The great thing about it is that there are parts of the book that are real life as Anthony describes what he was doing for real, but with the twist of a fictional murder in between. If that makes sense at all? haha...  The now private detective has been brought in as a consultant to help the police solve a strange murder, but wants Anthony to write a book about him and the murder. However Anthony does not really want to write the book, but is drawn to it even if he thinks it won't work...

I really loved the whole story which I found so fun to read. Not only was this so original, but the murder mystery itself was greatly written which had you guessing all through the book as to who had done it. It was very Agatha Christie ish you could say. What I also loved about this book was the characters, especially the detective Daniel Hawthorne. He was fun to follow. A former disgraced police detective who did what he wanted, whether it was legal or not. He was a very private person and never let Anthony know anything about him which was a struggle through out the book, and one of the reasons Anthony thought the book would not work.. Although the funny thing is, it did. 

Set in London, one of my favourite cities in the world, the story takes you from west to east and then out to the Kent coastline as the story unfolds. I do love reading books which are set in cities I have been to, as a lot of places you have been to in real life helps set the scene.

The ending was not what I was expecting at all and once again I was fooled as to who did the murder. There was twist after twist and the last 100 pages flew by as I changed between characters and ideas as what was going to happen. 

Was there anything I did not like about the book? Nope.. not for me. I read this book in just over a week which is quick for me and yesterday (Saturday) I actually got up early to carry on reading from the night before.

I scored this book a 5 out of 5. I thought it was brilliant and a really enjoyable and fun read. Even better I have heard that this is the start of a series of books by Anthony Horowitz which means I get to read further mysteries from these two. If you love murder mysteries like me or thrillers then I would fully recommend reading this. On Good Reads it has a overall rating of over 4 which means there are a lot of other people enjoying it.

Have you read this book? What do you think? do you agree with me or not? I would love to know so comment below what you think..

Speak soon,



Thursday, 22 February 2018

Book Review: The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah

The Monogram Murders


Sophie Hannah

Agatha Christie, Writing Royalty & Queen of the murder mystery. Every time I go past her statue in the west end of London I always give her a nod of appreciation. Her character Hercule Poirot is one of my all time favourites and been apart of me for most of my life. When I heard they had commissioned for a new book to be written I was a little excited. Although when it came to it, it did take me a while before I sat down and read it. Going into this book I had to go in with an open mind, just like I did when I went to see Queen in concert with Adam Lambert instead of the late great Freddie Mercury. Will Sophie Hannah be as good as Agatha Christie? No, simple as, and if you ask her she would probably say the same, but does that mean it will not be any good? Of course not. Like going to see Queen with Adam, it was an amazing concert and Adam was brilliant. He will never replace Freddie but put his own spin on the singing and made it very enjoyable. I wanted to go into this book, not to compare Agatha with Sophie but just, was it an enjoyable read or not.

"A Murder Mystery Delight that takes you on a ride in 1920's London"

Precis (taken from the cover):

Hercule Poirot's quiet supper in a London coffee house is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified, but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done.

Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at the fashionable Bloxham Hotel have been murdered, a cufflink placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim…


The book started off very well, and before you know it you were sat in 1920's London waiting for that first murder. It took me a few pages to get with the writing, having to remember that Poirot speaks in the third person from time to time. I kept asking myself who he was talking too or about and having to remember that he was talking about himself.. Once you got your head around it, it was fine and the story flowed a lot easier. I found the pages turned at a fast rate which was really pleasing, especially once the murders had happened and you were desperate to solve the big mystery. If you have never read an Agatha Christie mystery before, any small bit of story which normally you would not think much into could turn out to be a massive clue. This looking back on it now is the same with how Sophie had wrote the book. I don't know about you, but when I read a book like this my brain works overtime, trying to put the parts together as to "Who done it". You know that it could be absolutely anyone and you cannot rule anyone out. As the book went on I changed my mind a lot of times going back to the same people, back and forth back and forth. Did I get t right??? yeah, no... I got it completely wrong, but when I found out, I was like errrrrrrrr so masterfully brilliant.

The characters were really greatly written and this helped with the enjoyment of the story. You really did feel like you were there. The only bit I found strange was the policeman from Scotland Yard Edward Catchpool. Not in a really bad way, just that it took me a while to get used to him being a new character for Poirot to deal with. 

Was the book different to Agatha Christie? yes it was, but not too much. I really liked it overall and it was great to have Poirot back solving murders. Sophie Hannah has wrote a follow up to this called Closed Casket which I have bought but not yet read.

Scoring this book, I scored it a 5 out of 5. It was a great book, it really was. My score was on the book itself and not comparing Agatha to Sophie as mentioned above. I have been on a read what other people thought about this book and there are a lot of 1 stars, mainly saying it's not Agatha Christie. I suppose though, what I like, other people might think is rubbish. I would recommend that you give it a try especially if you, like me, love a good murder mystery.

Have you read the book? What do you think? Do you agree with me or not? I would love to know, so write your comments below.

Speak soon,


Saturday, 17 February 2018

Book Review: The Intruder by P.S Hogan

The Intruder


P.S Hogan

I have been sent a proof copy of The intruder by P.S Hogan from Rosie Margesson at Penguin Random House for an honest read and review. A massive thanks goes to Rosie for this. The Intruder is out on Paper Back on May 31st 2018. This is my 1st novel by P.S Hogan that I have read, so I went in with an open mind and had no clue of the style of writing.

"A slow burner with a great storyline, that will make you want to change your locks straight away"

Precis (taken from the cover):

He has the key to hundreds of houses.
Maybe even to yours.
William Heming is an estate agent. He’s kept a copy of every key to every house he’s ever sold. Sometimes he visits them. He lets himself in – quietly, carefully – to see who lives there now, what they’re like, what they’ve been doing.
But what will happen when he gets caught?

When I read what this book was about I was really excited. I have not read anything along these lines before and wanted to get straight in. The beginning of the book sets out who the main character is and his history. I found this a bit slow to be honest. The first 50 pages were spent doing this, which normally I would not have a problem with but the book only has 281 pages so a big chunk is used setting the scene. I believe a lot of it could have been reduced.

After this though the story started to pick up and you got excited to carry on reading. The pages started to turn a lot faster as you got deeper into the story and there were plenty of twist and turns along the way. Most of them I did not see coming at all, which I really like when reading. Around half way through the book the biggest twist came ( I can't say sorry) and it made me sit up straighter and check the time, ignoring the fact I had to be up early. This opened your brain to all sorts of what if's, as you try and put together the story. Overall I liked the story, It was really original but also came with the normal love interest & bitter rival to get the jealous gene kicking in. An estate agent who has keys to every house he has sold makes you want to change your locks straight away. What if there are people like this in real life? you never know.....

The other characters in the book were greatly written and enjoyable to read about. The book is narrated by the main character William Heming, but involves a whole host of other people. A lot of these characters you could relate too and you probably know people like this in real life.

The ending I found a little annoying as I thought it just....  fizzled out. It was not the worst ending, but it was not the best either. This along with the beginning changed it from a great book to a good book in my opinion.

I scored this book a 3 out of 5. I found this tough to score in the end. I wanted to give it a higher one, because I do love the storyline but the beginning and ending knocked off a few points for me. Will I read another book by P.S Hogan? Yes I would, I have not been put off by this at all. Remember this is out in paper back on May 31st, but you can get the ebook now..

Has anyone else read this book yet? What do you think? Do you agree with me or not? I would love to know..

Speak soon,


Monday, 5 February 2018

Book Review: Liar Liar by M.J. Arlidge

Liar Liar


M.J. Arlidge

If you have read my blogs before you will know that the DI Helen Grace series is one of my favourites to come along in a long time. Liar Liar is book 4 in the series. Both my wife and I love this series, but could the author keep up with the great storylines or will they start to fall? I tried to not get my hopes up too much before reading.

"This series gets better and better each book. A must for all thriller fans"

Precis (taken from the cover):

In the dead of night, three raging fires light up the city skies. It's more than a tragic coincidence. For DI Helen Grace the flames announce the arrival of an evil she has never encountered before.

Because this is no firestarter seeking sick thrills, but something more chilling: a series of careful, calculating acts of murder.

But why were the victims chosen? What's driving the killer? And who will be next?

A powder keg of fear, suspicion and dread has been laid. Now all it needs is a spark to set it off . . .


As said before I tried not to get my hopes up with this book. I mean the previous three books were amazing and sometimes you get a book in a series that you feel let down by. It did not take me long though to calm down and relax as I got stuck into the action of a DI Helen Grace novel. The story was completely different from the previous books but also felt at home with this character.. If that makes sense? Not only was this book dark and chilling like the previous three books, you also got to carry on with the lives of the police detectives you have found to love, or hate. I guess you could read this as a stand alone thriller but it would make more sense if you had read the previous ones.  The words just leapt from the pages which Mr Arlidge has a knack for and you got so engrossed in the story that real life does not matter any more. My wife read this book in three days and I read this in six. I may not be a machine when it comes to reading books but I was really proud of myself for reading it in six days.

The story was original and quite upsetting in places I found, but this is why it was such a good read. The thing is, that you think this book is over but if there is still one more page to go then think again. Most previous books in the series has left something dangling in the air meaning that you are desperate to read the next.

The characters again were greatly written, a mixture of old ones and new. The victims and their families you really got to feel their pain and as for the "baddy" well it could have been anyone. Every so often a little tease to get you thinking ahh it must be them.

Was there anything I did not like about this book? Well, yes. It ended. That may sound a bit corny but it's true. I am unable to pick fault with this one. Who knows though as I read further books in the series I will be so nice.

I scored this book 5 out of 5. You my have guessed that already though. If you are a fan of thrillers then I fully recommend you give this series a read starting with the first book Eeny Meeny. It is set in the city of Southampton on the south coast of England and is really different from the ones you get set in London or Manchester.

Have you read this book? what did you think? do you agree with me or not? are you a fan or not a fan of DI Helen Grace? Let me know, I would love to hear what other readers think.

Speak soon,


Friday, 2 February 2018

Book Review: The Girl Before by JP Delaney

The Girl Before


JP Delaney

I received an early copy in paperback of The Girl Before by Quercus Books to read and review. A massive thanks goes to Quercus for this copy.... The Girl Before is a psychological thriller and this is JP Delaney's debut novel. I had heard great things about this book on social media and could not wait to get started. The Girl Before was published in paperback on January 25th 2018.

"A twisty & creepy thriller that has you addicted from the start"

Precis (taken from the cover):

Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection . . . but can you pay the price?

Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there - and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma's past and Jane's present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.


If you have read my blog before, you will know psychological thrillers are one of my favourite genre's when reading. I just love the guessing game as each chapter teases you just that little bit more. The Girl Before did not disappoint me at all. All you needed to know was on the cover of the book which meant that the story went straight in. You had Emma (the girl before) and Jane (present day). Each chapter flicked between the two main characters, both taking it in turns to narrate the story. The one thing they both had in common was number One Folgate Street, where Emma lived (and died) and where Jane now lives. This property was no ordinary property and came with a huge set of rules to live by. I found both Emma & Jane great characters to read and follow through the book. Both had horrible things that had happened to them and as you get further into the story you find that not only do they also have secrets they want to keep quiet but also they love the same man.

There was something great about the writing in this book. Each chapter you read ran parallel with each other but in different years and each chapter did tease you to read on. The words just leapt off the page and the amount of times I said to myself "just one more chapter" even though I was tired and needed to get to sleep. I read this book in 9 days, which for me is great and shows what a fun and enjoyable book it was to read. The author built the story up and up and you were so desperate to know what had really happened/going to happen. I was guessing all the way through and thought I had it, but nope... Wrong again. I did not see the ending at all. 

The other characters in the book were fun to follow as well. You had Edward the Architect and Steve (Emma's boyfriend) as the supporting cast you could say. Edward who for me was very dark and creepy and you felt all the way through that he was a bad egg and not to be trusted. There were only a couple of other bit-part  characters in the story. I liked this as it meant you could concentrate on the main people and really get stuck into their lives.

Was there anything I did not like about the book? For me there was nothing really. I loved it, I really did. A great book overall, from start to finish.

I have read that this will be turned into a film by director Ron Howard. Will I watch it?? probably not. I don't tend to watch films of books I like after The Silver Linings Playbook ruined one of my all time favourite books. However I do like Ron Howard films so I am sure he will do well with it.

I have scored this book a 5 out of 5. A great book and if you, like me love psychological thrillers, then I fully recommend you give this book a go and I hope you like it as much as I did.

Have you read this book? what did you think? do you agree with me or not? I would love to know.

Speak soon,