Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads, Mount TBR 2017

Flowers for the Dead – Barbara Copperthwaite

Crime Fiction

The beauty of flowers and their language are intertwined with the twisted thoughts of Adam Bourne, serial killer who believes he is the saviour of those he kills. Rarely have a read a book where I felt so torn between sympathy for both the victims and the perpetrator.

This book definitely falls into the grittier end of crime fiction writing, the read is not one for the faint-hearted, even the most hardened reader will be tempted to check their doors after meeting Adam. Adam longs for love but I just want to put it out there – watching women and helping them with their household chores when they don’t know you is not really going to do it for any of the women I know, and sure enough to date it is fair to say Adam has been unlucky in love.

Adam despite not understanding what makes women tick on the most basic of levels, is not a stupid man. He is sharp and using all and any tools available to him to follow the latest woman, always someone who looks like they need love, and then is disappointed when his plan does not quite pan out the way he expected.

There are few scenes I’ve read over the years than Adam’s reasoning for standing outside Covent Garden tube station in London scouting for unhappy women – a station I’ve waited at enough times in my life to bring the scene to life.
Alongside Adam’s adult persona we learn about his early life, the mitigation if you like for the way he has turned out with touching scenes of Adam’s beloved Grandmother reading him stories from the big book of fairy tales. Their mutual love shines through as when he gets older she introduces him to the language of flowers – the idea that each flower has a message to send, something which was very popular in Victorian England, slightly less so in this day and age although of course any woman who receives a dozen red roses understands what the message means and through careful commercial reinforcement, so do most men. But did you know that Daffodils mean unrequited love? No nor did I.

Yes, I know I’ve not told you about the plot, it’s a good one but you really do need to find out for yourself and there is little more that I can tell you without spoiling it! Yes, the characters are also all well drawn from victim to Policeman all have realistic elements to their personalities, I especially loved the interplay between Mike and his young daughter Daisy as we see a more harmless form of persuasion in the young girl as she wages war on his smoking habit. And the structure is brilliant, each chapter headed up with the name of a flower and its meaning with a sub-heading of where we are in Adam’s backstory if this is one of his chapters. This starts twenty-six years ago with Wood Sorrell (maternal tenderness) which once you meet Sara, Adam’s mother you’ll realise is an attribute that was totally absent in his life – what an inspired thinking to create a character that is more hateful and far scarier than the serial killer – Barbara Copperthwaite is a genius.

In short, you should really read this one, perfect for the winter nights when the wind is howling and the rain is lashing down, and you are safe inside – or are you?

Flowers for the Dead was my twenty-eighth read in the Mount TBR challenge, having been purchased in December 2016.



First Published UK: 21 September 2015
Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing 
No. of Pages:  472
Genre: Crime Fiction
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in #20 Books of Summer 2017, Book Review, Books I have read

The Spider and the Fly – Claudia Rowe #20booksofsummer


This is an unusual blend of crime fiction and memoir which may be part of a current trend that is emerging as I note The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich employs the same mix. We meet the author Claudia who, with almost a sense of shame, initially sets out to write a journalistic piece on the serial killer, Kendall Francoise, who murdered eight women in Poughkeepsie, New York and kept their bodies in his parent’s loft.

At first determined to keep her boundaries fixed she writes using a post office box as an address and asks some questions of her killer – but Kendall isn’t so keen to share and the correspondence is as much a game of cat and mouse as the spider and the fly. It turns out that Kendall wants to hear Claudia’s secrets as much as she wants to know his

“Well, well, Claudia. Can I call you Claudia? I’ll have to give it to you, when confronted at least you’re honest, as honest as any reporter. . . . You want to go into the depths of my mind and into my past. I want a peek into yours. It is only fair, isn’t it?”— Kendall Francois

The conversation via letters lasted for four years while Kendall was incarcerated before his life sentence was passed in 2000. I’ll be honest that very little of what Claudia set to discover about Kendall or his family, who lived amongst the larvae casings dropping down into their somewhat grotty home, was realised. This isn’t a book to read if you want to hear the killer’s thoughts about his crimes, it is rather a character study of a man who is determined to be in control, and the latter probably goes in some way to explain why those eight women met their ends at his hands in the two short years from 1996 to 1998.

Claudia is an equal enigma as what she is trying to understand about herself is far more nebulous. She seems to be persistently concerned about her obsession with Kendall and wants to find the reason why. It isn’t overly clear from the book whether she makes peace with her younger self or not, but I hope so.

The style of writing had me fooled at times, it reads like a novel despite being non-fiction and although for much of the book, the truth remains elusive and the correspondence teases as if more of substance will be revealed if Claudia can ask just the right question, or maybe give just the right amount of herself to the killer to mull over while he sits in prison, I found it gripping. It is equally as tense as any novel, just as readable as many a psychological thriller, so much so I had to remind myself that this man committed a terrible crime and eight poor women lost their lives because of him.

What the book does show through its two different main characters and their families is that outward appearances can disguise something far darker and if you have lived in this dual world, as Claudia herself did, then trying to understand the darkness can become an obsession.

“He had no special knowledge or preternatural charm. He was what I’d made him.”

This is another worthy addition to my true crime shelf and was the eleventh read for my 20 Books of Summer 2017 Challenge.

First Published UK: 24 January 2017
Publisher: Dey Street Books
No of Pages: 320
Genre: Non-Fiction – True Crime
Amazon UK
Amazon US 

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Good Me Bad Me – Ali Land

Psychological Thriller 4*s
Psychological Thriller

Well this is definitely a book with a different premise to anything I’ve read before. Annie’s mother is a serial killer and after the last killing she decides to go to the police and tell all. To protect her Annie is given a new name, Millie Barnes and sent to live with foster parents Mike and Saskia and their own teenaged daughter Phoebe.
This is a book that drags you into the action straight away with much of Milie’s narrative addressed to her mother, the reader is given an insight into what may have happened before she arrived at her foster home, but for the most part nothing specific is actually expressed.

As well as being a foster father of many years, Mike is also a psychologist who works with Millie as she prepares for her mother’s trial as a key witness. Odd as it may seem the foster family have their own problems which are revealed to us through Millie’s eyes.

Millie has clearly been damaged by her upbringing, she has problems forming bonds, struggles to react appropriately and is essentially living a lie. Maybe a necessary one but beyond Mike and Saskia and her new headmistress, no-one knows the truth about why she is being fostered and her absences for preparation are papered over with more acceptable excuses. As I was reading this book, the idea that a young fifteen year old who has taken the huge step of revealing the horror that occurred behind closed doors is then left with limited people who understand something of what she’s going through, and what she’s preparing for. And then there is the fact that this is her mother, that bond is still there, not completely severed.

This was a masterful piece of writing and although Millie’s narrative felt a little disjointed at times as it reflected her disordered thoughts for me, that just added to the sense of horror which fortunately is solely down to the writing rather than graphic images of what happened which are mostly referred to but not expressly discussed. Ali Land does a fantastic job of adding the tension by interspersing memories with an every day life which is quite frankly anything but normal.

With the main protagonist being the daughter of a serial killer the theme is that of nature over nurture rears its head in the most twisted way – what happens if a child has both sides of the coin loaded against her – can Millie by having reported her mother escape the pattern that her early life has set in place – after all we can all imagine what her future holds if she isn’t able to pull free.

The characters are a mixed bunch although the cast is relatively small, which suited the style of book and of course Millie’s background. With Millie obviously and understandably disturbed, Saskia seemed off-the wall and Phoebe a nasty cow. Mike was kind but he appeared to be Millie’s entire support system and there were some indications that he wasn’t looking after her for entirely altruistic reasons. Plus how can a man working in mental health not see that his wife is in bad need of help?

I can’t say I enjoyed this book, because that is entirely the wrong word. I was unsettled by what I was reading, I was unnerved by many of the characters and I read the entire book with a never-ending feeling of dread – was it a good read? Yes, not only was it an inspired premise, this book also captured the way teenagers behave, understandably given her background working as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse she has created a true to life replicas in her younger characters. So in conclusion this book is set firmly on the pile of books I’m glad I’ve read, and in all honesty I don’t think I’ll be able to forget Millie’s sad tale for some time to come.

I’d like to thank the publishers Michael Joseph for my copy of Good Me, Bad Me which will be published next week. This review is my unbiased thanks to them.

First Published UK: 12 January 2017
Publisher: Michael Joseph
No of Pages: 400
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

The Beautiful Dead – Belinda Bauer

Crime Fiction 5*s
Crime Fiction

Eve Singer is a TV crime reporter, in other words she operates in a world where she not only deals with the nasty side of humanity in her reporting but she also contends with knowing that her time on the screen is limited, it will only hold up if she continues to be successful, and keep her looks. Of course as her job means that she is the person who intrudes on the grief-stricken at their most raw, sympathy for her plight may not be overwhelming. However the public face of Eve Springer isn’t the same as behind closed doors; there she cares for her father who suffers with dementia, juggling carers and confusion.

Many crime readers have tired of the serial killer motif which you could say has been done to death (pun intended) but although The Beautiful Dead does have a serial killer, and one with a particularly warped motive, this book under the skilled pen of Belinda Bauer doesn’t actually resemble those except in the most superficial way. Admittedly this book opens with a particularly gory murder scene, although even this has a welcome edge of humour to fend off any nausea, but as the killer has fixated on Eve Springer, the focus is slightly to the side of the mounting pile of bodies and struggling police investigation and firmly directed at the reporter.

With Eve firmly on centre stage with only her photographer Joe to depend on, when the killer makes direct contact she is caught between wanting to fulfil the investigative part of her role and thereby securing her job, and maybe getting one with more long-term prospects and doing the right thing by turning any possible clues over to the police and letting them do their job. I like a book where there are moral judgements to be made, and only time will tell if Eve has made the right call…

That’s not to say the killer doesn’t have a lead part to play too; they do and right from the off we are given a sense of who they are, what their motivation might be although the author stops short of giving us an idea who is next on the ‘hit list’ it is clear that the killer wants Eve’s attention and so the crimes are designed for maximum impact. Taking that as a key motivator means that this is not a serial killer with an obvious pattern, no these kills are inventive designed to be noticed by Eve rather than the police. There was one point when I gasped out aloud, I was so shocked by what I’d just read. The writing is so vivid that you simply can’t help but conjure up the scenes, even if at times you’d rather not!

I have enjoyed each and every one of this author’s books and applaud her for coming up with a different ‘feel’ to each one. This book is laced with humour of the laugh out loud type at times; disconcerting when on the next page there is another body or another terrifying phone call to contend with, but a welcome relief nonetheless. Belinda Bauer is one of the most talented writers around and once again she proves her credentials as a ‘clever’ writer in The Beautiful Dead. I was in no doubt when reading this book that every word had been carefully placed for a reason, no room for downtime with a bit of waffle during this read, this is one of those reads that despite being desperate to find out how it would end, I didn’t want to race through the pages, I couldn’t, for fear of missing something very important.

I’d urge all lovers of crime fiction to try this with one warning for those of an aversion to graphic deaths because while it never felt gratuitous within the context of the story, I can see that this won’t be to everyone’s tastes.

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC from the publishers Grove Atlantic of The Beautiful Dead which was published on 17 November 2016. This review is my unbiased thanks to them, and of course Belinda Bauer for thoroughly entertaining me with this gripping thriller.

First Published UK: 17 November 2016
Publisher: Grove Atlantic
No of Pages: 352
Genre: Crime Fiction
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Other Books by Belinda Bauer

Finders Keepers
The Facts of Life and Death
The Shut Eye

Posted in #20 Books of Summer 2016, Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

The Curious Habits of Doctor Adams – Jane Robins #20booksofsummer

Book 5

Non-Fiction 5*s

Oh how I love a well-researched piece of historical crime and was very impressed by this author’s account of George Smith the ‘Brides in the Bath’ murderer and Dr Spilsbury who was an expert witness at this man’s trial in her book The Magnificent Spilsbury and the case of The Brides in the Bath. It was only natural then to seek out this, her next book about a Doctor who was a suspected serial killer.

John Bodkin Adams was born in Ireland, a God-fearing man born of devout parents and moved to Eastbourne with his sister and mother in 1922 where he took up a post as a General Practitioner. It must be remembered that these were the days before the NHS and so the practice was populated by the wealthier patient than a typical GP would see these days. He soon made his mark as a doctor who would turn out at any time of the day or night to attend his wealthy patients. So fond of them, especially the elder ladies, was he, that he often paid visits whether his attendance was needed or not. Jane Robins gives us an account of his years in practice, including his rather dire performance as an anaesthetist at the local hospital.

As interesting as this background is of course I wanted to know about the investigation and subsequent trial. It all started in July 1956 Eastbourne Police received a call about the death of one Gertrude known as Bobbie Hullett who had died, unexpectedly whilst in Dr Adams care, she was only 50 years old. A month later the Metropolitan Police took over from the local force. Detective Superintendent Herbert Hannam and Detective Sergeant Charles Hewett interviewed many residents of genteel Eastbourne where all manner of rumours were uncovered reaching back to the 1930s of inheritance of money and cars and other strange bequests but equally there were testimonials from those who adored the portly doctor. So death certificates were examined, as were wills because Hannam was convinced that Dr Adams was killing for cash and so began the laborious task of sifting through the paper trail.

Jane Robins is brilliant at presenting the facts and opposing views of this trial without seemingly steering the reader’s opinion one way or another for the bulk of the book. This could have been really heavy going with prescriptions for heroin, morphine and other sedatives frequently appearing as evidence along with bequests or presents of the odd gold pen here or a Rolls Royce there and a seemingly never-ending ream of elderly ladies doting on Dr Adams, but it wasn’t I just became more and more fascinated by the tale told complete with contemporary news stories and advertisements and a brilliant reconstruction of the world of the genteel inhabitants of Eastbourne at that time. All of this served to increase my interest in the hidden character of the man. And that is where the author comes into her own when at the end of the book, after the trial and when life in Eastbourne had recovered from all the excitement, she examined the psyche of the Doctor and presented her conclusions, with the help of a couple of expert witnesses of her own.

An absolutely brilliant read which I can’t recommend enough and for those of us who remember the more recent trial and conviction of Dr Harold Shipman, there are plenty of comparisons to be made.

This was addition to my 20 Books of Summer 2016 Challenge, and one I certainly won’t forget in a hurry.

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

Daisy in Chains – Sharon Bolton

Crime Fiction 5*s
Crime Fiction

A deliciously dark read which was simply superb!

What you want to know a little bit more? Some book reviews really don’t have to say too much at all. If you’ve read any of Sharon Bolton’s previous books you’ll know she really does know her craft; not only can she come up with a great story her characters are always fully formed. None more so in this book when the trio of characters she has created will soon have you under their spell.

Hamish Wolfe is in HMP Isle of Wight prison, convicted of the murder of three young women, fat young women. Judged by his peers to be guilty of luring the women to caves in Cheddar Gorge in Somerset and killing them. The former doctor’s mother, Sandra has set up a group to campaign for his freedom.

Sandra Wolfe invites Maggie Rose, Lawyer and true-crime writer who has managed to free seven other convicted criminals to help her but Maggie just isn’t sure that this is a case she can win but she agrees to meet the group. And what a group they are; a writer that conjures up the group mentality while picking out distinctive characters for the reader to examine, avoiding obvious clichés yet leaving this reader in no doubt of how these meetings have played out in the past is one heck of a writer!

Pete Watson was the officer that had Hamish convicted and doesn’t want Maggie digging around in the background to the killings. A man with a lot on his plate as his boss is the man who now lives with his ex-wife and their daughter what or who is he really trying to protect?

I defy anyone to read this book and not to be drawn by these captivating characters who are dancing a dance of attraction, but what are they attracted to? Beauty or brains? Who exactly is manipulating who?

With the story told in a linear time-line we also have letters written to and from the prison, emails and chapters from the  draft of the book that Maggie is writing about Hamish, complete with the corny title The Big Bad Wolf! All of these items reveal that Maggie isn’t quite the cool calm collected women she presents to the outside world. On the other hand Pete doesn’t seem to quite sure whether he is still investigating the disappearance of a potential first victim to provide yet more proof of Hamish’s guilt or whether he is helping Maggie to clear his name. This is a tricky and unusual mind-set for any character in crime fiction. Normally everyone is sure which side of the fence they sit on and stick with it but I got the sense that Peter was trying to fulfil too many briefs and expectations. Perhaps his heart is ruling his head? And what about Hamish, the obvious question is of course around his guilt – did he murder those women? – but the book also goes further in asking is he capable of such an act? A question which is almost as compelling with a different burden of proof required.

The short chapters beg you to read just a little bit more and yet despite the great plot, the fabulous characters there is a questioning quality to this book. I have always dismissed the women who feature in true stories of women who are drawn to men in prison, but Sharon Bolton does go some way to examining the psyche of these relationships in an overt way and a more subtle one – I was drawn to Hamish, even without seeing him in the flesh.

Definitely one of the best crime fiction reads of the year so far I can’t recommend this stand-alone story highly enough.

I’d like to thank the publishers Random House UK for allowing me to read a copy of Daisy in Chains prior to publication on 2 June 2016. This unbiased, yet gushing review, is my thanks to them.

Other Books by Sharon Bolton (aka S.J. Bolton)

Lacey Flint Series

Now You See Me
Dead Scared
Like This For Ever
A Dark and Twisted Tide

Short Stories

If Snow Hadn’t Fallen
Here Be Dragons

Standalone Books

Little Black Lies




Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Thirteenth Coffin – Nigel McCrery

Crime Fiction 3*s
Crime Fiction

Flicking through NetGalley as I do on a far too regular basis I came across The Thirteenth Coffin, recognising the author’s name from the excellent non-fiction Silent Witnesses, an engaging read on the history of forensics, that I read a couple of years ago, I decided to try this fiction novel, the fourth featuring DCI Mark Lapslie.

Nothing whets my appetite when it comes to serial killers than one that has a novel method, motivation or detective. This book seemed to fit the bill, the police realise they may have a serial killer on their hands when on investigating the death of a tramp in an old disused Cold War Bunker the police find twelve coffins and twelve dolls – some of the dolls are in the coffin but not all. The dolls, made of papier-mache with wax heads seem to represent jobs or hobbies so there are among others a fireman, a teacher, a bride, a general and a nurse. It looks like someone wants twelve people dead. And then a bride is shot on her wedding day…

The investigation is underway by DCI Lapslie and his team which includes Emma Bradbury as they try to find a link between the victims past and present – the reader gets some insight from details about those who died earlier in excerpts that are given throughout the book. As a twist on the drunk and miserable detective Mark Lapslie is a man suffering from synaesthesia (the rare neurological condition that causes his brain to crosswire his senses), something which was initially interesting but I’m afraid I found the descriptions of voices as tastes and the logistics of communicating with his team broke the story up without adding a great deal in return.

The plotting was superb, I really liked the way the author took his inspiration from the mini coffins found at Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh during the 19th century and used it to create a story which had a more credible than most motive for murder, one where for once all the victims weren’t beautiful young women. Unusually I cottoned onto this motive fairly early on in the book which took away some of the admiration of the detective’s deductive skills but there was still plenty of drama to keep me going until the end especially as that was only one piece of the jigsaw that needed completing.

I think this would make a great crime drama for TV; Nigel McCrery has written for many crime series on TV including Silent Witness and New Tricks but I’m not convinced that the protagonist translates as well onto the page, the sights and sounds would be much more effective with some dramatic music and other visual special effects with a spooky voice-over than being told that this man’s voice tastes like petrol or this person ’has a voice like soothing chamomile tea with honey’ An enjoyable enough crime thriller which despite the high body count didn’t have me wincing at endless descriptions of unnecessary violence but sadly not one that had me on the edge of my seat either.

The Thirteenth Coffin will be published on 31 December 2015 by Quercus books who were kind enough to allow me to read this book in return for my honest opinion.

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

Rose West: A Making of a Monster – Jane Carter Woodrow

Crime - Non-Fiction 5*'s
Crime – Non-Fiction

Well, I was visiting my brother over the weekend and saw that he had this book and I hadn’t read it, so I borrowed it. I have mentioned in the past that I miss looking at what everyone else is reading now so many people read on e-readers but have now decided this wasn’t the best choice of book to read on a train, in Costa and most definitely not when I was the one who had to empty their belongings at security at the airport! The security woman’s ‘Is it a good read? I wouldn’t give her the time of day!’ question left me weakly stating ‘I’m not a serial killer, honest!’  One rare moment when I didn’t want to talk about a book.

So why did I choose this one from my brother’s bookshelf? Well I used to live in Gloucester, I had grown up nearby, where the West’s had their ordinary house.  Heather West whose body was the first to be discovered, was born the same year as me and the horrendous find was made while I was waiting for my youngest to be born. In fact all the news at that time was about these two killers. I am also interested in crimes that appear to go against female nature and so a book that seeks to explain how one woman could go on to carry out such horrendous acts was a must read.

I have read many books about the Wests as a couple but this is the first one that went into Rose’s background in detail.

This fascinating book doesn’t concentrate so much on the horrendous crimes committed by Rose West but seeks to understand quite why this young woman became a killer. The first of the murders she was convicted of occurred when Rose was just 17 years old!

Jane Carter Woodrow follows Rose’s life chronologically, starting with her birth following her mother’s electric current therapy throughout her pregnancy with Rose. Using the accounts of the neighbours, relations and the few friends I think this book benefits with the time gap since Rose’s conviction, giving a more balanced view of events. This isn’t a book that in any way seeks to condone the rapes and murders, after all, as the author points out, many people have a tough start to life but don’t go onto be killers. It does however try to explain how Rose’s psychological make-up and the warped view of what relationships consist of caused this particular woman to sink to a level of depravity almost unheard of.

For anyone who wishes to understand more about the most notorious of female serial killers you can’t go wrong with this book.

So thank you to the Irish gentleman in Costa who had a good laugh at my expense but did return the book after I nearly left it behind, I will now pop it in the post to its rightful place on my brother’s bookshelf!

Rose West: The Making of a Monster

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Light in a Dark House – Jan Costin Wagner

Light in a Dark House

Finnish detective Kimmo Joentaa is called to the local hospital in which his young wife died several years before. An unidentified woman in a coma has been murdered by someone who wept over the body, their tears staining the sheets around her. The death marks the start of a series of killings, with the unknown patient at their centre.

As you can see for a lover of serial killer crime fiction this seemed like the perfect read. I found the start of this book quite slow, there are quite a few characters all of whom initially seem unconnected.
The book starts with an excerpt from a diary written in August 1985 about a woman sat at a piano, the writer of the diary is a complete mystery. We then skip to autumn in Finland where policeman

‘Kimmo Joentaa was living with a woman with no name. The anticyclone keeping the weather fine had been christened Magdalena. The woman told people to call her Larissa.’

This style of writing took some getting used to and maybe if I hadn’t been given this book in return for a review that I may not have persevered. I am glad that I did if only to experience a different kind of crime fiction. Once the strands of the story begin to come together the links between the unknown woman in the hospital and other murders in public places become clear. The excerpts from the diary from 1985 and the present time really helped to move the plot along and bring clarity to the story.

The underlying themes are sadness and casual violence. There aren’t massive descriptions of horrific deaths, these almost happen off-stage but the feeling of menace is there on every single page. It is quite an unsettling book with all the policemen involved in hunting the hunter having sub-plots with characters that didn’t always seem to entirely to fit into the story but increased the feeling of sadness, it felt like there wasn’t one uncomplicated moment in the whole book.

If you like dark novels with a twist in the tale then this may be the one for you.

About the author

Jan Costin Wagner is a German crime fiction writer. His novels are set in Finland and feature detective Kimmo Joentaa.

Posted in Books I have read

Now You See Me – S.J. Bolton

Crime Fiction 5*'s
Crime Fiction

This is the first outing by S. J. Bolton’s of Lacey Flint and it is amazing. A serial murderer is on the loose in London and the crimes may be linked to Jack the Ripper. Lacey returns to her car one night and finds a body against her car, straight away it is clear that this book is not for the squeamish.

Given the killer’s apparent interest in Lacey she is moved from a witness to one who ends up working closely with Mark Joesbury on the case. Lacey is strong, determined and clearly has not had an easy life, there is the undeniable tension between her and Joesbury which remains just that, no endless soliloquies on longing for him but as the reader I want to know how the relationship will develop.

This book really does have it all, the atmospheric descriptions of London, plausible and gripping writing, the feeling that something even more awful than you have just read is about to happen and a particularly likable, yet believable, character in our protagonist Lacey Flint. A perfect mystery story which I found defeated my reasoning with its twists and turns. I had already read so can recommend the second book Dead Scared and  the third, Like This, For Ever is due April 2013 is on my wishlist in anticipation.

3rd March 2013

If Snow Hadn't FallenIf Snow Hadn’t Fallen by S.J. Bolton

Having read Now You See Me and Dead Scared the wrong way round I initially thought that this book followed Dead Scared due to the fact it was set in December 2012. This was wrong, it should be read after Now You See Me.

This is a perfect short story with a huge amount happening in a matter of 85 pages. It is rare for me to read a short story without feeling in some way cheated, SJ Bolton however produces the goods.

In the park near Lacey Flint’s house a muslim doctor is set alight. Lacey appears to be the only witness to the incident but couldn’t identify those responsible due to the masks they wore. This is a shocking story yet SJ Bolton still manages to layer the tale to give it real depth and some twists and turns in this short perfect tale.

View all my reviews