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review 2017-08-10 14:41
Review: The Frozen Woman by Jon Michelet
The Frozen Woman - Jon Michelet,Don Bartlett

Publisher: No Exit Press (21st Sept 2017)


ISBN-13: 978-1843442929

Source: Real Readers

Rating: 2*



In the depths of the Norwegian winter, a woman s frozen corpse is discovered in the garden of a notorious ex-lawyer, Vilhelm Thygesen. She has been stabbed to death.

A young biker, a member of a gang once represented by the lawyer, is found dead in suspicious circumstances.

Thygesen starts receiving anonymous threats, and becomes ensnared in a web of violence, crime and blackmail that spreads across Northern Europe.

Does the frozen woman hold the key?



I have lost count of the number of times I have picked up The Frozen Woman over the past several weeks. Usually, I really enjoy nordic crime thrillers, and this has twice won Norway's best crime novel, so there is no reason that I should not thoroughly enjoy it. I just could not get into it. At my last attempt, I got about 40% in, and then just completely lost interest again. I persevered more than I normally would if I had bought the book rather than had been given it to review, but alas, it was not for me. Thank you to the nudge team for providing a copy for me to review via Real Readers.

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review 2017-08-01 01:05
The Frozen Woman - Jon Michelet,Don Bartlett

DNF 40%


I tried several times to persevere with this but it just couldn't hold my interest. 

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review 2016-08-04 03:39
Review: The Invisible Man (Leo Junker #1) by Christoffer Carlsson (author); Michael Gallagher (translator)
The Invisible Man from Salem - Christoffer Carlsson

Publisher: Scribe Publications; (14 July 2016)


ISBN-13: 978-1925228786


Source: Real Readers 


Rating: 3*



When a young woman is shot dead in his apartment block, disgraced former police officer Leo Junker is one of the first on the scene. Examining the dead body, he notices that the woman is clasping a cheap necklace - a necklace he instantly recognises. Despite being warned off the case, Leo sets out on a rogue investigation to catch the killer, uncovering a series of frightening connections between the murder and his own troubled youth in Salem, and forcing him to confront a long ago incident that changed his life forever.



After a rather rocky start, I decided to persevere with The Invisible Man From Salem, because I had heard such good things about the author, and the story had really appealed to me.

The Leo Junker of the present day is in a sorry state. Suspended from the police force and with a penchant for knocking back tranquilizers with shots of absinthe, Leo is suddenly transported back in time when a piece of evidence ties him to this current case. Leo's teenage years are told in the present time and first person, which I an not usually a huge fan of, but the younger Leo is more optimistic, relatively sober, and not yet reliant on pharmaceuticals to get him through the day. He is also very well written, and nothing is lost in the translation. This is where the plot began to sink its claws in and I started wondering what the rest of this book held for the maverick cop.


All in all, this was an enjoyable read but, for me, the 'wow' factor was missing. Special thanks Scribe, Real Readers and the team at nudge for providing me with a copy of this book, in return for my honest review.

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review 2016-06-21 21:11
Review: Blood Wedding by Pierre Lemaitre (author), Frank Wynne (translator)
Blood Wedding - Pierre Lemaitre

Published by: Maclehose Press (20th April 2017)


ISBN: 978-1848666009


Source: Real Readers


Rating: 5*



Sophie Duguet is losing her grip. Haunted by visions from her past, of her loving husband, who committed suicide after a car accident.

One morning she wakes to find Leo, the child in her care, strangled in his bed by Sophie's own shoelaces. She can remember nothing of the night before. Could she really have killed him? She flees in panic, but this only cements her guilt in the eyes of the law.

Not long afterwards it happens again - she wakes with blood on her hands, with no memory of the murder committed. Just what is it that comes over Sophie when she sleeps? And what else might she be capable of?


Wanted by the police, and desperate to change her identity, Sophie decides to find a man to marry. To have and to hold. For better or for worse. Till death do them part . . .



Blood Wedding is a tightly wound psychological thriller told in the third person and partly in first person in the form of diary entries, and consists of three distinct parts.


When we first meet Sophie in the first part of the story, she has had both her mother and her husband die, and she appears to be very emotionally traumatised by these deaths and other events. At first, I was unsure whether Sophie was, in fact, guilty of the heinous murder of the young child she is nanny to or whether something else entirely had occured.


The second part of the book introduces Frantz, a unknown character whose narrative spins Sophie's story on its head. When the shocking other explanation for the child's murder is first mentioned, I couldn't believe what I was reading. I think I sat there with my mouth hanging open in disbelief for several seconds! When a book truly shocks me and throws up surprises, I really start to enjoy it. Blood Wedding gets progressively darker from hereon in, and it's fascinating. A real roller coaster ride of events and emotions.


The last part of the book brings even more unforseen shocks and turns things yet again. It's hard to say anything without giving the game away, but suffice to say that it's a thrilling delight, a scary page turner that will have your heart beating fast. A masterful, delightfully dark tale.

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review 2016-06-18 01:52
Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman by Lindy West
Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman - Lindy West

Published by: Quercus (19th May 2016)


ISBN: 978-1784295523


Source: Real Readers


Rating: 2*



Guardian columnist Lindy West wasn't always loud. It's difficult to believe she was once a nerdy, terror-stricken teen who wanted nothing more than to be invisible. Fortunately for women everywhere, along the road she found her voice - and how she found it! That cripplingly shy girl, who refused to make a sound, grew up to be one of the loudest, shrillest, most fearless feminazis on the internet, making a living speaking up for what's right instead of what's 'cool'.

In Shrill, Lindy recounts how she went from being the butt of people's jokes, to telling her own brand of jokes - ones that come with a meaningful agenda and aren't at someone else's expense. She reveals the obstacles and misogyny she's had to overcome to make herself heard, in a society that doesn't believe women (especially fat women and feminists) can ever be funny.

A catalyst for conversation, West also addresses some of the most burning issues of popular culture today, taking a frank and provocative look at social injustice, racism, fat-shaming, twitter-trolling and even rape culture, unpicking the bullshit and calling out unpalatable truths with conviction, intelligence and a large dose of her trademark black humour.



I must admit that, prior to receiving a review copy of this book, I hadn't heard of the author. I do enjoy the cruder and darker edge of comedy and have previously read and enjoyed several autobiographies, so, in principle at least, Shrill seemed to be a good fit.

I'm not a staunch feminist, but I understand why Lindy wrote about the subjects she did. As a stand-up comedian, she'd have been used to standing up for herself when getting heckled, and the subjects are those that a woman may discuss with friends. I quite enjoyed this part of the book and found it quite amusing.


Being a larger lady myself, I understand why Lindy wanted to quit pussy-footing around and embrace the word 'fat'. After all, there are so many other words to use instead, and it's much simpler to say it like it is. Towards the end of the book, Lindy takes on an internet troll and wins. No doubt the sort of people that find pleasure in making other people miserable are a special kind of fucked up, but I couldn't seem to get incensed, no matter how nasty the trolls behaviour.


I really wanted to love this book, but I'm disappointed to say that I found it rather  lukewarm. Thanks to Quercus and Real Readers for providing a review copy in exchange for my honest review.



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