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review 2019-03-19 19:55
Review: While You Sleep
While You Sleep - Stephanie Merritt

I received a copy from Netgalley.


This one came to me in one of those “read it now for the first 200 members” emails. I love gothic thrillers when they’re movies, particularly ones with a Scottish setting. So why not give it a go? I really liked what I read enough to buy a finished hardback.


Not my usual type of read, but this one caught my interest right away. I was intrigued with the mystery surrounding the main character, Zoe. She seemed quite cold and standoffish. She comes to a remote Scottish island to rent a manor with a foreboding location and gloomy history looking to get away from a tragedy and a failing marriage. The writing is delicious and the whole thing has a delightfully creepy and murky atmosphere to it.


Like with any small town, I would imagine, a community where people have known each other forever, Zoe is an anomaly and the subject of curiosity. The locals obviously know a lot more about the manor she is renting than they do. A strange history and the sight of recent traumatic event as well. Nosy neighbours galore, and unwanted attention from creepy men, Zoe does her best to keep to herself and deal with her own drama.


Doesn’t happen, of course. She finds herself drawn into the mysteries of the manor, the history and starts to get to know some of the locals pretty well. There was a surprising and well written erotic element to the mystery side of things as well. The characters were well fleshed out and believable,  even the unlikeable ones.


There were quite a few surprising twists, one or two of them I worked out, but some of them managed to surprise me. The tension was exceptionally well built throughout. The imagery was really vivid and the writing made it very easy to picture what was going on. I would love to see this book made into a movie.


Highly recommended and really, really good.


Definitely an author I will read again.


Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction for the review copy.



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photo 2019-03-15 13:43
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review 2019-03-12 01:46
I'm blaming it on the Pinkertons...
The Fall Guy - Chris Quinton

I have to admit I'm not really sure what possessed me to want o reviwe this sotry because it's honestly two of my least favorite things historical and short, but in spite of that it grabbed my attention and I decided that I wanted to give this one a soht and I'm really glad that I did.


As I’ve said on several other occasions, I’m not a big fan of historical stories however, that doesn’t mean that I never read or enjoy them and this one happens to be set during a time in history that has always held more interest for me than most. It’s the roaring 20s in New York, there’s John Brady, who  is not only one of the MCs he’s a Pinkerton agent and I know I’m not alone when I say that the Pinkerton Agency has always held a bit of fascination for me so reading a story that has a main character who’s also a Pinkerton Agent was just too tempting to resist.


When Pinkerton Agent John Brady gets assigned to solve a robbery/kidnapping…a case that should have been open and shut quickly becomes complicated for him when he meets a small time crook Cesare Donati who is attempting to smuggle Alice a person of interest in Agent Brady’s case but what really complicates things as well as what Agent Brady learns from Cesare and Alice about his case is the attraction that John and Cesare share for each other.


I have to admit when I saw that there were less than 40 pages in this story, I sincerely questioned how the author was going to make this one work…I mean let’s be honest 32 pages means that every word has to count and overall I was impressed by the job that the author did of making each and every word work for the story. While I did get a good sense of the characters, the setting in terms of time and place I would have really loved more. Again, while the story was complete as it was, I can’t help but believe that more would have been even better, and all this is not to say that what was there wasn’t good no more to the contrary…it was good enough that it had me wanting even more.


At 3.5 stars this was a good story…actually a bit above average and given that there are fewer than 40 pages that’s not to shabby, but I can easily see that with a bit more filling out of the plot, the characters and the relationship this could have easily been a 4 or even 5 star read. I must admit I’ve only read a couple other stories by this author and each time I’ve been left both suitably impressed and wanting more…all in all not a bad thing for an author to do.




A copy of ‘The Fall Guy’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2019-03-09 20:45
Bittersweet journey
Hero at the Fall - Alwyn Hamilton

The Rebel Prince will rise again. He will bring a new dawn. A new desert.


Obviously, you have to read the first two in the series to understand this one. After most of Amani's group of friend's was taken prisoner, the majority of this was about journeying and working to set them free. The focus on the magic of the world seemed to takeover a lot in the middle until the later second half came back around to fighting, defeating, and ending the war. 


This tone had a ragged, tired at times, but still striving through the fight, which fit as the last book wrapping up a rebellion story. This really worked on portraying how wars started by powerful, more so affect the powerless and how even when you're fighting for right, wrong can be done. I liked how this in no way glorified war. 


Some of the visuals the author provided through her writing, especially the ship sailing on sand scene, were incredible, very well done fantasy. The emotion was heightened at times but with Amani, I started to feel very drained.


Amain and Jin didn't get near enough time together for me; a big important talk between the two was completely off screen. 


The ending went a little overly long and repetitive, some could easily have been edited out. However, the long out look at what our characters encounter was satisfying and a tad depressing as we see the same wars being fought over and over because of power greed. I can't say this ended on a very high note but I enjoyed the journey into this magical land the author created. 


But he wondered if a boy from the sea and a girl from the desert could ever survive together. He feared that she might burn him alive or that he might drown her. Until finally he stopped fighting it and set himself on fire for her.

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text 2019-03-09 05:47
Hero at the Fall - Alwyn Hamilton

This was a war between the people who belonged in this desert. Not the people who wanted to own it. We would decide it for ourselves---no one else.

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