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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 🙂


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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?!


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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


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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

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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.

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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


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Want To Play? – By T.J. Tracy – Book Review #26

Want To Play?


I’ve been reading a book a week, sometimes more than one a week, since the start of the year. I pledged to read a book a week for my Goodreads challenge and I’d been doing really well until I started this book.This book took me three weeks to finish. I hasten to add that it wasn’t because the book wasn’t good. It was excellent and I really enjoyed. The reason it took me so long is that I’ve been so busy these last few weeks.

Want To Play? by T.J. Tracy took me three weeks to finish. I hasten to add that it wasn’t because the book wasn’t good. It was excellent and I really enjoyed. The reason it took me so long is that I’ve been so busy these last few weeks.

What with all the garden updates, working on the blog and family stuff, I just haven’t had time to sit and read.
I gave myself some time off over the weekend just so that I could finally get the book finished!


Want To Play? has also been published with the title, Monkeewrench and is the first book in the series. The story centres around a group of people who own a business called, funnily enough, Monkeewrench and a detective called Leo Magozzi.

Monkeewrench is a computer game design company. Grace McBride is working on a new serial killer game in which there are 20 murders and you have to find the clues to each murder before moving on to the next one. It’s been released online but only for testing and as such, not all of the levels have been released.

Meanwhile, actual people start getting murdered in the same way and same sequence as in the game. Grace notices this and calls the police. Detective Magozzi is the lead on the case and through his investigation, we soon find out that the people from Monkeewrench aren’t all they seem. There’s something in their past that could be connected to the murders.

All through the book, I was kept wondering who the killer was. Every time I had to put it down, I got annoyed because I just wanted to keep on reading!

I’ve bought some of the others in the series but I was very disappointed to find that I haven’t yet bought book 2! I now have to wait until a copy of Live Bait comes into the charity shop so I can carry on with the series!

Want to play? P.J. Tracy

Goodreads challenge 25 books read



The Wonder By Emma Donoghue – Book Review #25

The Wonder


It’s been a while since I read my first novel by Emma Donoghue. It was called Room and I finished it in a day because I just couldn’t put it down.
I saw The Wonder in the book shop while we were on holiday. The cover design jumped out at me and when I when I saw it was by Emma, I had to buy it!

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

It’s set in Ireland in 1850-something and tells the story of an eleven-year-old girl, Anna, who is said to have not eaten for four months. Despite this, she’s still in very good health.

Lib Wright is a nurse who worked under Florence Nightingale in the Crimean war. She goes to Ireland to observe Anna and make sure no one is secretly feeding her. She works in shifts with another nurse who is a nun.

The start of the book was good. I really enjoyed the end of the book. The middle of the book, though, seemed to take forever to get through.
I even mentioned to the husband that I’d been reading for hours and the pages left to read didn’t seem to be getting less!n Goodreads. I think I’ll always pick up an Emma Donoghue book if I see a new one out. I just won’t be expecting the same pull that happened with Room.

On Goodreads, I gave it 4 stars. I’ll always pick up an Emma Donoghue book if I see a new one out. I just won’t be expecting the same pull that happened with Room.


Goodreads challenge - 24 books read


Tell No One – Harlan Coben – Book Review #24

Tell No One

I think it was last year when I watched The Five on TV. It was based on a Harlan Coben book and I really enjoyed it.

While we were on holiday we went to every charity shop we passed to see what books they had. I bought a couple of Harlan Coben novels and the first I read was Tell No One.
It was excellent. It had twists and turns and unanswered questions throughout that kept me reading. I found it hard to put down, in fact.

The story of Dr David Beck and his wife, Elizabeth is a wonderful love story. Until she’s murdered by a serial killer on their wedding anniversary.
Eight years on, he receives an email that points to his wife being alive.

This starts a chain of events that sends David down a dangerous path.

I don’t want to say too much because of spoiling it so I’ll leave it there but I heartily recommend it to fans of this genre. I can’t wait to read my HC novel. I’ve bought a few more since we’ve been back from our holiday and now I can’t decide which one to read next!

Tell No One Harlan Coben

Find it on Goodreads

Goodreads 23 books read


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