Hope to Die by David Jackson

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On a bitterly cold winter’s night, Liverpool is left stunned by a brutal murder in the grounds of the city’s Anglican Cathedral. A killer is on the loose, driven by a chilling rage.

Put on the case, DS Nathan Cody is quickly stumped. Wherever he digs, the victim seems to be almost angelic – no-one has a bad word to say, let alone a motive for such a violent murder.

And Cody has other things on his mind too. The ghosts of his past are coming ever closer, and – still bearing the physical and mental scars – it’s all he can do to hold onto his sanity.

And then the killer strikes again….

My Review

Hope to Die is the second novel in the Nathan Cody series, however this is the first book I have read by David Jackson. What I will say is I haven’t read the first book in the series (I normally read all my books in their correct order) however David Jackson’s writing style allows you to read it out of order but gives you enough information without spoiling the first story.

The novel is set in Liverpool and starts with the murder outside a cathedral, as time goes on bodies are piling up including a school teacher who was well liked and respected but all is not what it seems and the worst thing of all is they are struggling to find a motive for the murder.

Alongside the investigation is the continued problems between Cody and Webley as their relationship has never been the same since their previous case nearly cost one of them their life. Not only this but Cody is still suffering the emotional effects of an earlier case when Cody was tortured by men in clown masks, since this event he has been receiving anonymous phone calls and whoever is at the end of the phone is sending Cody chilling messages including playing back tapes of when Cody was being tortured.

People continue to be murdered and the case seems to be moving nowhere fast, however the newest member of the team Grace is making an impact and piece by piece starts fitting the puzzle together.

David Jackson throws many twists and turns you will be second guessing everything you read…I did not see the ending coming!!

I loved this book and especially the developing relationship between characters old and new. I enjoyed the second story line focusing on Cody and the emotional journey he is on.

If you enjoy books by the fabulous Harlan Coben and Michael Connelly then this is defiantly the book for you.

Lost for words by Stephanie Butland

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About the book

Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look closely, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are things she’ll never show you.
Fifteen years ago Loveday lost all she knew and loved in one unspeakable night. Now, she finds refuge in the unique little York bookshop where she works.
Everything is about to change for Loveday. Someone knows about her past. Someone is trying to send her a message. And she can’t hide any longer.

My Review

In Lost for words we meet quirky, tattooed bookworm called Loveday who works in a bookshop alongside its wonderful owner Archie who you can’t help but love.

Loveday narrates the book and gives you an insight into her past at the same time as learning about her present. We learn about her childhood but also about her sinister ex-boyfriend, all of which explains a little bit about why Loveday is how she is.

Loveday enjoys spending time with books more than she does people and is somewhat scared of a relationship with anyone due to her past.

Then in walks Nathan a poet and just the one that may finally understand Loveday, but she continues to push him away if only she would let him into her world just a tiny bit.

I loved the character development throughout the book and you can’t help but fall in love with certain characters but also dislike others just as easy. I found that I really related to Loveday as I am a tattooed booklover who at times can be a bit quirky and loves books more than people.

I would definitely recommend this to all book lovers.

My Husbands Son by Deborah O’Connor

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About the book

Heidi and Jason aren’t like other couples.
Six years ago, Heidi’s daughter was murdered. A year later, Jason’s son Barney disappeared. Their shared loss brought them together.
By chance, Heidi meets a boy she’s certain is Barney.
But Jason is equally convinced it’s not him.
Is Heidi mad? Or is Jason hiding something? And can their fragile marriage survive Heidi’s newfound quest for the truth

My Thoughts

Just when you think you had seen it all from psychological thrillers and the Deborah O’Connor presents you with this outstanding novel which has you questioning everything you knew about this genre.

This novel follows Heidi and Jason a couple unlike other couples. Six years ago Heidi’s daughter was murdered and a year later Jason’s son Barney disappears, their shared loss bringing them together.

Although they have still gone through horrible situations Heidi and Jason try to have as much as a normal life as possible, however all is not what it seems. Jason seems distance and Heidi knows his hiding something but Jason does not feel like sharing. Heidi however has other matters to contend with, whilst on her break at work Heidi pops into a shop and is 100% convinced that the boy behind the counter is none other than Jason’s missing son Barney. Heidi takes Jason to the shop, but he is adamant that it is not Barney, however Heidi thinks otherwise and plans to prove it is Barney by any means necessary including lying to both Jason and her boss but whilst putting herself into dangerous situations.

I cannot mention much more without giving it away but I cannot recommend this book enough. It had me gripped from the first page to the very last page, the ending was jaw dropping and something that I definitely did not see coming.

If you are a fan of jaw dropping, page turners, edge of your seat psychological thrillers then book should go to the top of your pile and is the book for you.

One thing I can say is, although it is only March this book is making it onto my Top 10 books of the year.

Why Readers First, really does put Readers First!!

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Check out Readers First here!!

If you are a book lover and love writing reviews no matter how big or small then Readers First is the site for you.

Readers First is a new but fantastic reviewing community for those in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, however it differs to other reviewing communities and this is why I love it.

Readers First allows you to read and review books before they are published and by doing so you earn points, and you know what they say points mean prizes and in this case they definitely do. You get 500 points just for joining (which is also free and easy to do), on top of this, 24 hours after joining you get invited to select a book for free which they will send straight to your door. For each review/first impression you write it is another 100 points and once you have collected 2000 points you get to select another free book (they will even e-mail you when you have 2000 points so you don’t miss out).

There are also weekly prize draws, each week they present a book/s and all you have to do is read the extract (called ‘first look’) and after reading the extract if you leave a few lines (called ‘first impression’) you can then select whether you want to be entered into the draw to win the actual book, this also gives you points when you write your ‘first impression’.

I have to say I have tried other reviewing communities, but this is the one I have continued with after the first day. It is such a lovely community both on their website but also on social media especially Twitter, they are quick to respond to any queries but also love getting involved with their community. Twitter is a good place to follow them as it enables you to keep up to date with new books that are about to become available and also competitions.

Readers first really do care about their community and their thoughts on the books they offer. I cannot recommend this community enough and I encourage you to check it out because they really do put the Readers First!!

 

Miss Mary’s Book of Dreams by Sophie Nicholls

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Amazon

Follow the Author

Ella runs Happily Ever After, a bookshop nestled in the cobbled streets of York.

She’s a wife, a mother and a successful novelist. But something is missing . . .

One day a strange girl comes into Ella’s shop. Bryony is shy and unsure, and Ella feels a strange connection to her.

With the help of one very special book – and a little touch of magic – can these women help each other find the fairy tale endings they’ve been searching for?

My Thoughts:

This novel follows Ella a published Author, owner of a bookshop which is thriving and she’s now started a family with the love of her life. In spite of this Ella feels that she is struggling as she realises that motherhood isn’t everything she thought it would be and worse of all she thinks her husband is cheating on her. Then we are introduced to Bryony, as she arrives at Ellas bookshop looking for a magical book and as we soon find out not everything in Bryonys life is perfect either.

I have to say I liked how Sophie Nicholls covered the topic of Mental Health as it’s not something you see alot in books at the moment and she covers the topic in such an understanding way.

The Characters were brilliant and not like other characters which you see in alot of books, these were eccentric and magical and were described perfectly including troublesome Selena.

At first when I started reading the novel it took a few pages/chapters to get my head around  all the characters, however once you know who is who then you are on your way to reading a great novel.

Tall Oaks by Chris Whitaker

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Published: Paperback – September 2016

Amazon

Follow the author

When three-year-old Harry goes missing, the whole of America turns its attention to one small town.
Everyone is eager to help. Everyone is a suspect.
Desperate mother Jess, whose grief is driving her to extreme measures.
Newcomer Jared, with an easy charm and a string of broken hearts in his wake.
Photographer Jerry, who’s determined to break away from his controlling mother once and for all.
And, investigating them all, a police chief with a hidden obsession of his own . . .
In Chris Whitaker’s brilliant and original debut novel, missing persons, secret identities and dangerous lies abound in a town as idiosyncratic as its inhabitants.

My Thoughts:

If you enjoyed The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker then I can honestly say you will enjoy Tall Oaks.

This story follows a number of characters who all live in the little town of Tall Oaks, Jess is mother to three year old Harry, and when he goes missing the whole of America turns its attention to the town, weeks pass by with no idea of where Harry is but he is never far from their thoughts. Jerry who is still living with him mother and is trying to get away from her controlling ways, Jared a newcomer to the town and seems to be full of charm and looking into all of these is a police chief who has his own secrets.

I can’t share too much about the book without giving it all away, but what I can say is I was gripped from start to finish, the writing is incredible it draws you into the story in a way that makes you feel that you are in the town itself, to the extent that I was actually imagining what the characters looked like.

The book keeps you guessing from the start to the very end, I thought I had it all figured out but then he would throw a spanner into the works, so just remember you may think you know what’s happened but chances are you don’t have a clue.

Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay By Jill Mansell.

51ih2eldcelMeet me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell

Published: Paperback May 18th 2017

Publisher: Headline Review

Amazon

Follow Jill here

More about Jill

Love is in the air in St Carys, but you’d never know it – the people of this seaside town are very good at keeping secrets…

The man Clemency loves belongs to someone else. She has to hide her true feelings – but when she ropes in an unsuspecting friend to help, wires start to get crossed.

For the first time in Ronan’s life his charm has failed him in winning over the woman he wants. Loving her from afar appears to be his only option. Belle seems to have the perfect boyfriend, but something isn’t quite right. And now a long-buried secret is slowly rising to the surface. The truth has a funny way of revealing itself, and when it does St Carys will be a very different place indeed.

My Thoughts:

I have a confession to make although she has wrote over 20 novels, this is the first Jill Mansell book I have read and I now know what I have been missing.

The story is based in the seaside town of Cornwall called St Carys, throughout the novel you learn alot about quite a few characters, so don’t skip reading any of the parts as you’ll need to know this information throughout the story.

Clemency is one of the main characters and as she is on a flight she meets Sam, on the spur of the moment she gives him a card with her number, however what she doesn’t know is that he is married ad not able to see Clemency again. On her return home, Belle – Clemency’s sister introduces her to her new boyfriend and gets the shock of her life when it turns out to be Sam, will they be able to keep it together.

I love how throughout the story we meet a variety of characters who re all relatable from Marina an extremely kind painter who holds her own secrets which could turn peoples worlds upside down to Ronan who feels his charm has failed him in winning over the women he loves.

This way Jill writes about these characters and the setting you get the sense that you are there and witnessing everything first hand. The book is beautifully written which she keeps interesting from start to finish even with the little twists and turns so you are never quite sure how it’s all going to end till the very last page.

If you love a feel good novel then I cannot recommend this book enough to you.