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review 2017-04-10 07:34
Enjoyable environmental adventure
The Ice - Laline Paull,HarperCollins Publishers Limited

An interesting story and possibly a warning to us all as to what could happen if we choose to ignore global warming and turn a blind eye to the continuous erosion of the polar ice caps. Two childhood friends Sean Cawson and Tom Harding have the opportunity and it would now seem the means to dictate future trends by the successful acquisition of a strategic land mass within the northern polar region: The Artic....."super-objective of Midgard: an inspiring venue in which to promote the reconciliation of business and environmental ethics." At the start of this story ( and 3 years since his disappearance), a body is discovered in the ice, soon identified as Tom Harding....What happened between the two Oxford graduate friends? How could a business venture so carefully construed turn into disaster under the auspices of two intelligent and far-sighted men; one who wanted to save the world and one who really wanted his name in lights and the benefits and comfort of untold wealth?

 

A large part to "The Ice" is given over to an inquest by The Coroner into the manner and cause of Paul's death. To establish the facts, and ensure that the death was an accident and not in any way contributed to by other members of the Midgard consortium. The outcome will have lasting repercussions and lead Sean to question the ethics of his venture and to finally realize the hidden agenda of those who supported him both financially and emotionally. A big thanks to the good people at netgalley for supplying me with a gratis copy of this enjoyable read, in exchange for an honest review, and that is what I have written.

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review 2016-11-01 19:12
Dear Charlie...
Dear Charlie - Huw Parmenter,N. D. Gomes,HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Blimey Dear Charlie was a heck of an emotional read. Seriously. Chocolate required – I give you fair warning.

 

The utter horror that encompasses a school shooting has been fictionalised a fair bit, Dear Charlie though I found gave it a particular resonance.  Focusing as it did not on the shooters, or the mother of, or the victims families but on the sibling left behind who is supposed to what? Hate his brother now? Call him a monster? Sam is facing that having lost so much and through his writings to Charlie we feel every moment.

 

Sam faces himself as much as he does Charlie within the narrative, a new school, a new attempt to make friends in an atmosphere that finds him vilified and lashed out at for the most part. A bunch of misfit students might be his starting point but the press hover, his parents are falling apart and there is no easy road back from this tragedy.

 

It is utterly gripping considering this is not a thriller, I was completely involved immediately with Sams struggle to understand, to come to some acceptance. The writing is beautifully done and the layers of grief that you find are heartbreaking. A media storm is one thing but an internal storm is quite another, Sam has both and then some.

 

Completely believable, occasionally beautiful, always compelling, Dear Charlie will stay with you for a long time after reading it. Batten down the hatches and read this – it will touch your soul.

 

Highly Recommended.

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review 2016-08-06 16:16
If you enjoy Montalbano, you'll like this!
A Cold Death: A Rocco Schiavone Mystery - HarperCollins Publishers Limited,Antonio Manzini,Daniel Philpott

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Very reminiscent of the work of Andrea Camilleri (the author of the Inspector Montalbano books), this second detective novel by Antonio Manzini about Rocco Schiavone, Deputy Police Chief stuck in Aosta in the Italian Alps will please any reader of detective fiction. We delve into the detective's background while he attempts to solve a grisly murder.

It has the three Ns: enjoyable, entertaining and engaging. I found the ending a bit too contrived but otherwise this is well worth a look.

 

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review 2016-08-03 17:31
The Family Man.
The Family Man - T. J. Lebbon,HarperCollins Publishers Limited,Mark Meadows

The Hunt, the previous novel to this, I read in one huge gulp of a sitting and actually the same thing just happened so really, Mr Lebbon it could be said writes utterly banging unputdownable thrillers.

 

The first part of this story had me putting my hands over my eyes going NO NO JUST DON’T DO IT YOU FOOL whilst our main protagonist Dom considers a risky, unlikely and totally out of the blue plan from one of his friends. Then I spent the next part of the book hanging on by my fingernails whilst things took a terrible turn for Dom and suddenly his family are in mortal danger. Just goes to show, you should never trust your friends. Or something.

 

As for the last bit well. Killer. Loved it. So really the whole thing was terrific. Opening salvo to insanely exciting finish. Tis what a good thriller should be for sure. Plus the author sneaks some devilish little plot twists in there to keep you on your toes in case you thought you knew what was going on.

 

Addictive writing style, utterly absorbing story, if you need to actually sleep at night don’t start this one late. Thats all really.

 

Highly Recommended

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review 2016-06-16 13:57
One of my favourite this year!
The Fire Child - S.K. Tremayne,HarperCollins Publishers Limited,Peter Noble,Imogen Church
  Gosh, where do I start with this book? There is so much to say that I could probably waffle on for hours and yet I am struggling to find words. I have truly loved every paragraph, sentence and probably every word of this book, it is just sublime.

I have given this five stars, because I have to give a star rating and this is the most I can give, but it has made me go back and compare every other 5-star rating I have given. I wouldn't change any of my past ratings, but this book fits into that sma
Gosh, where do I start with this book? There is so much to say that I could probably waffle on for hours and yet I am struggling to find words. I have truly loved every paragraph, sentence and probably every word of this book, it is just sublime.

I have given this five stars, because I have to give a star rating and this is the most I can give, but it has made me go back and compare every other 5-star rating I have given. I wouldn't change any of my past ratings, but this book fits into that small group of books which, for me, just blow the rating system out of the water.

This book is atmospheric, chilling, gripping, with a creeping sense of dread, part thriller, part horror and bit of everything else thrown in. The setting definitely draws comparisons with DuMaurier, the scenes played out in my mind like a black and white Hitchcock film while the language and style drew me along in a way that few other books have done.

The descriptions of the setting: the house, the countryside, the mines, the towns, the sea and the Cornish language were intense and poetic and, while there was a lot of it, added substantially to the atmosphere and the depth of the story.

The two main characters were interesting: flawed, damaged and unpredictable. The supporting characters were non- intrusive, and the Fire Child himself was just spooky!

I savoured the first 60% of the book as being, for me, a beautifully written, slowly developing piece of literature but found myself turning the pages at 2am feeling spooked, nervous and desperate to know how it would end. The creaking of my kitchen door in the wind in the quiet of the night almost made me hide the book in a drawer! My only regret is that I finished the last few chapters too quickly and actually, I just want to go back and read it all again.

I really enjoyed The Ice Twins, giving it 5 stars, but this? Well, for me, this is in a class of its own.

I cannot thank publishers Harper Collins and Netgalley enough for allowing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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