Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer


My name is Ruby. I live with Barbara and Mick. They're not my real parents, but they tell me what to do, and what to say. I'm supposed to say that the bruises on my arms and the black eye came from falling down the stairs.

But there are things I won't say. I won't tell them I'm going to hunt for my real parents. I don't say a word about Shadow, who sits on the stairs, or the Wasp Lady I saw on the way to bed.

I did tell Mick that I saw the woman in the buttercup dress, hanging upside down from her seat belt deep in the forest at the back of our house. I told him I saw death crawl out of her. He said he'd give me a medal for lying.

I wasn't lying. I'm a hunter for lost souls and I'm going to be with my real family. And I'm not going to let Mick stop me.

My review:

This book is much better than the introduction blurb suggests. Thank goodness I don’t give too much attention to these as it gives an impression of a different book to the one I have read.

Ruby is a messed up girl who is desperate to find her own place in the world, desperate for her parent’s love that every child deserves. It seemed to me that the whole village knew how she has been treated by her father and it made me angry that no one did anything to stop it, but I suppose such were the days.

Finding out that Mick and Barbara are not her real parents certainly explained Mick’s awful behaviour towards her. It also sends Ruby on a downwards spiral whilst trying to find her family, living with the strange people in place she doesn’t understand.

There are elements of the supernatural throughout the novel as it changes from Ruby’s story to the voice of Shadow – Ruby’s constant companion – the only ‘person’ that has been there for her as long as she can remember and the one that helps her on her way of discovery, pain, friendships and light.

This book is beautifully written. It’s an emotional journey for the characters as well as the reader. It’s something different and it certainly stands out among a sea of the ever so popular thrillers and crime novels. It’s one to read and to remember.

Thank you to the author and NetGalley for access to this book in return for this honest review.

My rating: 5/5

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Friday, 5 May 2017

The Note (Eddie Collins novella) by Andrew Barrett


I’m Eddie Collins, a CSI.

Ever had that feeling of being watched but when you turn around no one’s there?
I have. 

It was raining, and I was working a murder scene around midnight when that prickle ran up my spine. If I’d listened to that feeling, if I’d thought back to my past, maybe I could have prevented the terror that was to come.

Back at the office, I found a death threat on my desk.

I had no idea who sent it or why they wanted to kill me.

But I was about to find out.

My review:

I love Eddie Collins. Especially his grumpy, no-nonsense approach to anyone who rubs him up the wrong way – which seems to be most people he works with. 

Interestingly though, when he gets the note, he seems to forget everything he has learned in his job and drives straight into danger’s arms. 

This is a very quick, entertaining read that keeps you glued to the pages until you can breathe a sigh of relief at the end. For a short thriller story I also found myself giggling at Eddie’s demeanour in the face of death as Andrew Barrett somehow manages to make Eddie seem very real, which is exactly the sort of character I like in a book.

Thank you to the Andrew Barrett for access to this book in return for this honest review.

My rating: 4/5

Author’s website:

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The Cold Hard Truth by Amanda Leigh Cowley


Nothing could prepare Emily for what she witnessed that day.

With no money to support herself and suffering from panic attacks, she reluctantly moves in with her estranged mother and half-sister overseas. But as fractured relationships start to heal and a new one threatens to blossom, she uncovers a disturbing secret.

When the truth hurts this much, would you prefer not to know?

My review:

I thoroughly enjoy suspense crime novels and this one was no different. Add a little bit of a nice guy and romance and you have the perfect book.

When Emily returns home one day unexpectedly early, she finds herself in the middle of a complete nightmare that forced her to make live changing choice. She ends up having to leave everything behind in London and move in with her estranged mother and sister in California, a place she never thought she would end up after her mother left her behind at a young age.

She is angry, sad and awkward, especially since her half-sister Harriet seems to do her utmost to carry on as nothing ever happened.

She finally starts to feel some normality when she’s offered a job, which conveniently comes with a very handsome owner who seems to have the hots for her.

The writing was great and kept you guessing as to who the bad guy is. The story has some good twist, nice little spark of romance and plenty of good, likeable characters.

Thank you to the author and #TBConFB for access to this book in return for this honest review.

My rating: 4/5

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