Browsing Tag:

Goodreads challenge

Witch of Wyckhadden – Agatha Raisin #9 – Book Review #36

Witch of Wyckhadden


I started reading the Agatha Rasin series last year after watching Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death on TV.
Luckily, the first 20 books were donated to the charity shop where I volunteer so I bought them all!

Ant started reading them after me then finished the series before I did! I got a bit bored after reading book 7. I read book 8 then decided to take a break.
They’re nice, easy reads but they’re all a bit samey. Taking a break was good for me. I enjoyed this one more than I would have if I’d carried on with the series.

In the Witch of Wyckhadden, Agatha has gone to a hotel to get away from everyone while her hair grows back. In the previous book, she fell foul of a hairdresser who turned out to be a murderer and she had hair remover put on her head instead of shampoo.

She was told of a local witch who could supply her with a hair tonic to help her hair grow back faster. Agatha visited the witch and left with the hair tonic and a love potion!

For those who don’t know, Agatha is an amateur detective and wherever she goes,  murder inevitably happens.
The witch is found dead the same day Agatha had visited which means Agatha must investigate and find the murderer!

As I said, it’s a light, easy to read book and I needed something light after my recent book choices.

Agatha Raisin and the witch of Wyckhadden


Revival By Stephen King – Book Review #35

Stephen King’s Revival


I’m struggling to write what I feel about Revival. Some have said it’s classic King but I don’t agree. I’ve been a King fan since I saw IT when I was about 15 and felt a compulsion to read the book. After reading IT and thinking it was one of the best books I’d ever read, I devoured every King book I could get my hands on.

I started collecting them for a few years and always got excited when I bought a new book. I did sometimes find some of the books really hard to read, though. They were long and had so many characters, I sometimes got confused. I think this was probably the reason I didn’t read any of his books for quite a few years. Well, that and having a young family. Reading time was scarce with little ones to look after!

New Books

I always buy the new books when they’re released and with the exception of Mr. Mercedes, they remain on the shelf unread.
Until now.

My ‘to be read’ pile is getting bigger by the day. I’ve run out of space on the bookcase and new books are currently being stacked on the window sill!
I couldn’t decide which book to read next after The Drowning Lesson and on a whim, I picked up Revival and marked it on Goodreads as the book I was currently reading.

Started Well

I’ve been struggling to find the time to read again recently and I find myself binge reading on a Sunday afternoon so I can write my review for my Monday blog post.
I thought I was going to finish this book by the middle of the week as I found myself not being able to put it down!
As I said, it’s been a long time since I’ve read an SK book but this one felt different to how I remember his writing style. It’s hard for me to explain, which isn’t good when writing a review!

It didn’t feel like I was reading a story by SK.

The blurb on Goodreads says the ending is terrifying and plenty of other reviewers have said the same same thing. I’m really struggling to see why they think that.
It made feel a bit uneasy at the end (I can’t go into details because of spoilers) but it didn’t scare me in the slightest.
It had some parts that made me feel a little uncomfortable with some gruesome descriptions but these were few. Honestly, I expected more of them because it was written by SK!


I found myself really liking the main character, Jamie Morton. We meet him when he’s a young boy and follow him through to his 60s.
I loved reading about his family life and watching him grow up with his brothers and sisters and God-fearing parents.

Charles Jacobs

Charles Jacobs was the new, young Reverend at Jamie’s church and they meet when Jamie has just turned 6. They form a bond that lasts for the majority of Jamie’s life. At times, Jamie wishes this weren’t so.

I enjoyed seeing Jamie fall in love, find a love of music and start his career playing in various bands. I got sad when he got addicted to drugs and really happy when he was cured of his addiction after meeting up with Charles Jacobs again.


It’s a slow moving story which I enjoyed but it didn’t keep me reading as much towards the end as the start of the book had done.
I ended up binge reading the last 100 pages or so yesterday and the end left me feeling a little sad. I won’t say why as I don’t want to spoil it.

It’s not a Stephen King book as I remember them but I still gave it 4 stars as I really did enjoy it.

Revival by Stepehn King

Goodreads 2017 reading challenge 35 books read


The Drowning Lesson By Jane Shemilt – Book Review #34

The Drowning Lesson


I’d not heard of this author before. I came across the book at the charity shop where I volunteer. The blurb on the back made me buy it.

It wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be but I did enjoy it and it had the right amount of suspense to keep me reading.


The story centres on a family of four. The parents, Emma and Adam, are doctors and they have two young daughters.

Adam is offered a research placement in Botswana. Emma initially doesn’t want to go but after accidentally getting pregnant, she decides it will be good for them all to go after the baby is born.

Sam is only 4 months old when he’s abducted while his parents are at work. He’d been born with a birthmark on his face which should have made it easier to find him but it didn’t help.
Being so far away from home and in a country so different from their own, Emma and Adam find things even more difficult. The family starts to fall apart.


Emma isn’t a very likable character and it’s hard to sympathise with her at times. I don’t know if I’d ever feel the way she did about my baby having a visible birthmark. I can’t imagine I would but as I’ve never been in that situation I’ll never know.
She’s very competitive and seems to put her career before her children. She doesn’t like her husband doing better than her and all this made me dislike her a bit.

I did feel sorry for her occasionally after Sam had gone missing but not as much as I would if she hadn’t been portrayed the way she was.

Previous Novel

Jane Shemilt’s previous novel sounds good but I’m a bit wary about reading it now. Some of the reviews on Goodreads mention Daughter, the previous book by this author. They’ve said both books are much the same in regards to the storyline.

If I come across it in the charity shop I might buy just so I can see if I agree with those reviews!

The Drowning Lesson by Jane Shemilt

The Drowning Lesson by Jane Shemilt

For more book related posts click here

Did You See Melody? By Sophie Hannah Book Review #33

Did You See Melody?


This is a stand-alone novel from Sophie Hannah. Being a fan of hers,  (I had been reading her Spilling CID series but took a break) I was quite excited when the Netgally email came in asking if I wanted an early copy for review purposes.


Did you see Melody? is about a 7-year-old girl who goes missing one day after being dropped off at school by her neighbour.
An investigation into her disappearance first centres on the neighbours. It then moves onto the parents and it’s decided that, even though no body is ever found, there is enough evidence to convict the parents of her murder.

Seven years after the event, Cara Burrows from England turns up at Swallowtail resort in Arizona late at night. She just wants to get to her room and sink into bed as she’s exhausted after travelling.
Upon entering the room, she realises it’s already occupied by a man and a 14-year-old girl.
She’s mortified to have been put in this position and goes back to reception to get it sorted out.

The lady at reception is herself mortified and puts Cara in a private suite with her own swimming pool by way of apology.


The next day, Cara overhears another guest telling the lady at the reception that she’s seen, Melody  Chapa. Intrigued, she searches online and finds out that Melody Chapa is the girl who was supposedly murdered and her parents are currently serving life sentences for her murder.
SOme of the things the other guest is saying rings true to Cara and she realises she also saw her in the room the night before.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that I’ve not wanted to put down! It’s got the usual twists and turns which Sophie Hannah does well. I was a little disappointed at the end but I’m not saying more because I dont want to spoil it!

33 books read Goodreads challenge





Just One Look – Harlan Coben – Book Review #32

Just One Look


Harlan Coben books are excellent for making into TV programmes. They keep you guessing all the way through and you don’t see the twists coming.

Just One Look centres on Grace Lawson. She’s married to Jack and they have 2 children. Everything is great with their family until Grace picks up a pack of photographs she’s had printed.
Mixed in with her photos is an old photo of five people she, at first, thinks she doesn’t know.

On closer inspection, she thinks one of the men in the photo might be her husband from a time before she knew him.
After showing the photo to Jack, he leaves the house without telling her where he’s going or why. When he doesn’t return, she tries reporting him as a missing person but while she’s at the police station she gets a call from Jack telling her he needs some space.

Grace knows him well enough to know that he was trying to send her a message telling her he’s in trouble. She sets out to try and find him and finds herself in increasing danger.

Harlan Coben puts bits throughout the story that, at the time of reading, you don’t take notice of. You only notice them at the end when it all starts coming together. This is one of the reasons I’m a fan!

Just One Look by Harlan Coben

I’m starting to get a good collection of Coben books and I’m looking forward to reading the next one 🙂


For more book reviews, click here

The Book Of Lost Things – John Connolly – Book Review #31

The Book Of Lost Things


I wanted a change from the thrillers/crime/police books I’ve been reading lately and The Book Of Lost Things was a total change.  When I picked it up at the charity shop and read the blurb I thought it was a book aimed at young adults.

It’s not.

Dark & Twisted

It’s a dark and twisted tale of a 12-year-old boy called David whose mother gets sick and dies. He takes solace in his books but they start to whisper to him.

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own — populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.


The story was surprisingly gruesome in places. One part that sticks in my mind is when a deer runs into the clearing beneath the tree that David had climbed to eat some apples. He looks down as the deer looks up at him but instead of a normal head, it has the head of a little girl with blonde hair and green eyes. She looks up at him and says, ‘Help me, please’. He hears a noise, as does she and she bounds off. I expected her to get away.

She didn’t.

She got shot in the neck with an arrow and died. The hunter turned out to be a woman who captured David and took him back to her cottage. She told him how she caught children and animals then used a potion to put human heads on the animals.

Not For Young Adults!

I won’t say any more because I don’t want to spoil it. Suffice to say, this is definitely not aimed at young adults!

The lovely book cover drew me to the book and when I flicked through the pages I loved the little drawings under each chapter title:

The book of lost things by John Connolly

I really enjoyed it and will be looking out for more by this author.

John Connolly The book of lost things
Don’t you just love this book cover?!


For more book reviews click here


Point Of Rescue By Sophie Hannah – Book Review #30

Point Of Rescue


The Point of Rescue is the third book in Sophie Hannah’s Spilling CID series. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did with the first 2 books.

It started off well but after a while, I began to get confused with the different characters.
Also, there were parts of the story that seemed totally unbelievable to me.

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads

Sally Thorning is watching the news with her husband when she hears an unexpected name-Mark Bretherick. It’s a name she shouldn’t know, but last year Sally treated herself to a secret vacation-away from her hectic family life-and met a man. After their brief affair, the two planned to never meet again. But now, Mark’s wife and daughter are dead-and the safety of Sally’s own family is in doubt.

Sally is shocked when she sees Mark on the news; it looks like Mark’s wife killed their daughter then committed suicide.
The trouble is, the Mark on the news is not the Mark Sally had her week long affair with.

Now someone is after Sally. She’s pushed in front of a bus but survives with only a few scratches. Someone damages her car and she’s eventually kidnapped and kept locked up in a house.


Her kidnapper holds her at gunpoint and keeps drugging her.
The main part I found totally unbelievable was when Sally was trying to escape. She got out of the window and was wearing a dressing gown. In a milk bottle by the door, she finds a note that has been left for the milkman (milkman? I haven’t seen a milkman for years!) that states her kidnapper will be away for at least a month. She deduces from this that she’s been left to die, locked up in the house.

Sally then goes back into the house to find some clothes.

Run. Run to the police
My heart pounding, I push the gate shut as violently as I pulled it open. He’s not coming back. Not for at least a month. If I can get into the rest of the house somehow, I can clean myself up; I won’t have to run through the streets with nothing on apart from a dressing gown that’s covered in my own blood. If the police see me like this, they will know William Markes made me take clothes off. They will ask questions. Nick will find out . . . I can’t face it. I have to go back inside the house.


If I were in this situation, I’d be getting away from that house as soon as possible. What I was wearing wouldn’t even enter my mind. I’d never go back inside because I’ve seen too many crime shows where you think the killer has gone and he hasn’t! Just thought that he could come back any second, no matter what he’s told the milkman, would make me run. And I don’t run!

It turns out he really wasn’t coming back but I can’t believe she’d care more about what she was wearing than she would about being killed and leaving her children without a mother.


When Simon Waterhouse was explaining everything to Charlie, it was supposed to pull everything together and help the reader make sense of the whole story. It didn’t help me at all, in fact, I found myself wondering what I was reading. If you asked me now why the killer did what he did, I wouldn’t be able to tell you.
None of it came together for me and when the book finished, I was just glad it was over. I didn’t care anymore why anyone did the things they did!

I’m taking a break from the next book in the series. I just couldn’t face it.

Sophie Hannah The Point Of Rescue


For more book reviews, click here

Hurting Distance – Sophie Hannah – Book Review #29

Hurting Distance


This is the second book in Sophie Hannah’s Spilling CID series. I read the first one, Little Face in April last year. Since then I’ve been collecting them from the charity shop as they came in. I’ve had them all except this one for most of the year!

It was annoying having to wait so long between reading book 1 and book 2 but I soon got back into it and started enjoying the characters again.

Hurting Distance centres on Naomi Jenkins and her married lover, Robert. Naomi and Robert have been meeting in secret every Thursday for nearly a year.
When reliable Robert doesn’t turn up to their weekly date, Naomi gets worried and is convinced something has happened to him.

I have to warn you that this is a story about rape and has some fairly upsetting scenes described. I’m not a victim/survivor and I found it hard to read in places.

Here’s the blurb:

Three years ago, something terrible happened to Naomi Jenkins – she told nobody. Now she has another secret – the man she has fallen in love with, unhappily married Robert Haworth. When he vanishes, Naomi knows he must have come to harm. But the police are less convinced, particularly when Robert’s wife insists he’s not missing.

It was quite well written and has kept me wanting to read the next book in the series. I want to find out how Detective Charlie Zailer will move on after everything that happened at the end of the book.

Sophie Hannah Hurting Distance

For more books reviews click here

The Woman In The Woods – Lesley Pearse – Book Review #28

The Woman In The Woods


Fifteen-year-old Maisy Mitcham and her twin brother Duncan lose their mother to an asylum one night in 1960.

The twins are sent to their grandmother’s country house, Nightingales. Cold and distant, she leaves them to their own devices, to explore and to grow. That is until the day Duncan doesn’t come home from the woods.

With their grandmother seeming to have little interest in her grandson’s disappearance, and the police soon giving up hope, it is left to Maisy to discover the truth. And she will start with Grace Deville. A woman who lives alone in the wood, about whom rumours abound . . .

The woman in the wood

It was ok. There wasn’t much mentioned about the woman in the woods during the first half of the book and it was better when she came into it more. I like the twins and I really felt for Maisy when Duncan went missing. I think solving the murders/kidnapping etc in the middle of the book ruined it for me because even though there was a little bit more to come from the murderer, I felt like it should have been over and I should be moving on to my next book.

Click here for more book posts

Goodreads challenge 28 books read. The woman in the woods


Imran Mahmood – You Don’t Know Me – Book Review #27 & Post #2000!

Imran Mahmood


I really enjoyed this book by Imran Mahmood although I have to admit, it was a bit disturbing in places. I know nothing of the gang culture and I had no idea about the kind of things that go on.
Taking girls and forcing them to be naked while working on drugs so they couldn’t leave with the drugs shocked me.
I’ve never been around drugs or gangs; I grew up in a little village so hearing the main character describe the ease with which gang members beat people up, use families to get people to join and seemingly easily commit murder when they feel they’ve been wronged was quite shocking.

Here’s the blurb:

An unnamed defendant stands accused of murder. Just before the Closing Speeches, the young man sacks his lawyer, and decides to give his own defence speech.

He tells us that his barrister told him to leave some things out.Sometimes, the truth can be too difficult to explain, or believe. But he thinks that if he’s going to go down for life, he might as well go down telling the truth.

There are eight pieces of evidence against him. As he talks us through them one by one, his life is in our hands. We, the reader – member of the jury – must keep an open mind till we hear the end of his story. His defence raises many questions… but at the end of the speeches, only one matters:

The whole concept of the reader being the jury is a very interesting one. If I’d have been on the actual jury, I’d have found him not guilty.
I don’t know if I’d be very good on a jury though because I always look for the good in people and I swallow sob stories very easily!

All in all, an eye-opener of a book for me. It was one that kept me reading, wanting to hear all his story.

Goodreads reading challenge 27 books completed You Don't Know Me By Imran Mahmood


Click here to see other book related posts.


%d bloggers like this: