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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Favourite Crime/Suspense Authors – Part 2..

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This is the second part to my favourite crime/suspense authors post where I look at my favourite British authors. Once again this list will always be endless but I’ve picked a few of my all time favourites. The first part to this blog post can be read here.

Enjoy!


In no particular order: 

Lee Child

Lee_Child,_Bouchercon_2010

Why I love them:

When Lee Child’s debut novel, Killing Floor was first published I was only three years old. It would be another ten years before I picked up the novel and had a read. I remember being very hesitant, mostly because at the age of thirteen I wasn’t entirely convinced I would enjoy a book that was packed with action and suspense with a male protagonist, especially one like Jack Reacher. Plus, at the time, I was already enjoying other novels that focused on detective fiction and from that I had convinced myself that, that was my favourite genre. Eventually however, I succumbed to the inevitable and picked up the book. Since then I have been a long standing Jack Reacher fan. It’s not just the character himself but each novels pulls you in with a new and taut plot. Lee’s writing style is brilliant and so entertaining. There isn’t a moment, in any of his books, where I’m not sitting on the edge of my seat. For a movie to have that affect on me isn’t unusual but for a book to have that impact on me just goes to show how cleverly written the novel is. The one thing that I really love about Lee’s novels is that the characters are three dimensional. Every character we come across has a backstory and not only does that add substance to the plot but it allows the reader to be able to understand each character in depth. I’m glad that I didn’t let my love for detective fiction restrict me from broadening my horizons when it came to suspense fiction because it allowed me to enjoy Lee Child’s incredible Jack Reacher series.

Favourite book: 

Worth Dying For – Book 15 of the Jack Reacher Series

More about the author:

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P.D. James

p.d.james

Why I love them:

I remember when I read my first crime/suspense novel; I was twelve years old and I was reading P.D. James’ Original Sin. My first ever suspense read and I absolutely loved it. At the time I didn’t realise that it was a part of a bigger series based around the poetic detective, Adam Dalgliesh. P.D. James has always had a soft spot in my heart and it was also one of the reasons I decided to write my university dissertation (a special project written in the last year of study at university) on her debut novel, Cover Her Face. There’s just something about James’ style of writing that I can’t get enough of. Her novels have allowed my love for detective fiction to blossom. As well as that I’ve learnt how to appreciate detective fiction more through her wonderfully entertaining stories. When P.D. James passed away, it saddened me deeply because not only did I miss her as the wonderful individual she was but I also realised that I would never get the chance to read new material. Whenever I’m in the mood to relax and have a calm evening I pick up one of her novels and they transport me to another world of mystery, mayhem and so much more. Re-reading some of her best books for my dissertation was an absolute joy and I will definitely always be a fan of her and her novels. Her books are a reflection of her wonderful personality and incredibly crafted writing and they’ll always hold a special place in my heart.

Original Sin – Standalone Novel

More about the author:

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Peter James

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Why I love them:

Sometimes when you read a lot of books within this genre you begin to get picky about the types of books you want to read. At times a lot of crime and suspense books start to feel repetitive and eventually it becomes difficult to differentiate good from brilliant. Peter James is one such author that is without a doubt in the brilliant category. His voice shines in every novel and what keeps bringing me back to his books is his writing style and plot. His novels are real delight to read. At times so vivid that I can instantly imagine the events taking place. Every time I pick up a Peter James book I know for a fact that it will give me the chills from start to finish. His plot devices are just as great. Intriguing and mind blowing twists throughout the narrative add to the already thrilling novel. One of my all time favourite police detectives is Roy Grace and the credit for that goes entirely to Peter James, who has crafted a spectacularly endearing and fascinating character in Roy. As I read through the Roy Grace series, I developed a soft spot for Roy and everything we learn about him as the series goes on. He is without a doubt included in my favourite fictional characters list. Peter is up there with some of the greats and for me personally he is definitely one of the most skilled writers I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

Favourite book: 

Dead Man’s Footsteps – Book 4 of the Detective Superintendent Roy Grace Series

More about the author:

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Martina Cole

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Why I love them:

I absolutely adore Martina Cole and her wonderfully thrilling novels. I love female writers who can spin a good tale of mayhem and madness in a cleverly written crime novel and Martina Cole is as good as it gets. I remember my first Martina Cole novel – The Ladykiller – to this date, I have never read a crime book as terrifyingly brilliant as this and it is definitely one of my all time favourite crime/suspense books. From the thrills to the chills, Martina’s novels are a perfect recipe for crime and suspense fans and they’ll have you hiding away for hours completely engrossed in the hauntingly good storytelling. I remember when I first became a fan of Martina Cole’s, it was sometime during the climatic point of The Ladykiller and I remember thinking, this is one author who has completely trapped me in her web of crime fiction and I absolutely loved it! It’s hard to form into words just how much of an incredible writer Martina is and for someone who’s been reading her novels for years I’ve yet to read a book of hers that I haven’t enjoyed, she’s that good. For those who are hovering over the line and unsure as to whether or not to venture into the crime/suspense genre, I recommend her books as a way to lead you in. Once you’re in, you’ll be hooked and will want to read page after page. Her new book is releasing in October, and I for one will be standing at the front of the line to pick up a copy.

Favourite book: 

The Ladykiller – Standalone Novel

More about the author:

Official WebsiteFacebookTwitter


Mark Billingham

mark billingham

Why I love them:

Ah where do I start with the wonderful Mark Billingham? I’ve read so many crime fiction novels now that it becomes a danger when I venture out into reading new authors because, ultimately and unknowingly I always end up comparing them to my favourites. When I first read a Mark Billingham novel I was instantly transported into a world of deceit, intrigue and mayhem. What makes a Mark Billingham novel different is his voice that shines in his writing. His way of weaving a compelling plot was truly remarkable and I became instantly hooked. I realised pretty quickly that Mark’s books are in a league of their own and it would be criminal to compare them to other novels. He doesn’t need a overly entertaining way of explaining things in his novels, simplicity is the key and it’s what kept me turning from page to page. Mark’s novels are a part of his Tom Thorne series. His leading protagonist Tom Thorne, is a lead Detective Inspector and although he may sound similar to a lot of male detective leads in other crime novels, he’s completely different. What I really love about Tom is his unpredictability. Nothing is set in stone for him, literally. We don’t learn much about his background in the first novel and it’s only through the progression of the novels do we find out about Tom’s personality attributes. For me personally, this is what makes Mark stand out as a crime/suspense fiction author. He doesn’t delve straight into the life of his leading protagonist, he lets the crime tell the story. Each novel focuses, of course, on a crime but unlike many authors, Mark puts the crime at the forefront whilst throwing in small little bread pieces in relation to Tom’s character. I love reading about how a character develops from novel to novel and Mark Billingham does this superbly in his crime fiction novels, that are a complete joy to read!

Favourite book: 

Bloodline – Book 8 of the Tom Thorne Series

More about the author:

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Crime and suspense is my favourite genre alongside the romance and I can’t possibly imagine a life without crime fiction and for that I am grateful to all the crime/suspense authors out there. You can find the first part to my favourite American crime/suspense authors post here. Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!

The Olive Branch by Jo Thomas..

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Blurb:

You can buy almost anything online these days. For Ruthie Collins, it was an Italian farmhouse.

Yet as she battles with a territorial goat and torrential rain just to get through the door of her new Italian home, the words of Ed, her ex, are ringing in her ears. She is daft, impetuous and irresponsible.

But Ruthie is determined to turn things around and live the dream.

First, though, she must win over her fiery neighbour, Marco Bellanouvo, and his tempestuous family…and then there’s the small matter of running an olive farm. As the seasons change and new roots are put down, olives and romance might just flourish in the warmth of the Mediterranean sun.

Review:

First of all thank you to Headline publishing for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review. This is my first Jo Thomas read and after finishing this book, I can happily say that it won’t be my last.

I love a book that can take me far away from reality for a good few hours and this book gave me that in spades. The story revolves around our protagonist, Ruthie who has accidentally purchased a house in Italy, through Ebay, of all things. As unbelievable as that sounds, it didn’t disrupt the narrative of the story and I quite enjoyed the idea of what could happen from Ruthie’s impulsive decisions. Plus, I sympathised with Ruthie and merely blamed her impulsive move on her ex, Ed. From there the story becomes increasingly entertaining as Ruthie realises that she’s not exactly welcomed into her new home. As well as that she seems to find herself in the middle of a family feud and if that wasn’t hard enough she has to deal with her neighbour, the hero, Marco Bellanouvo and his boisterous family.

I loved the supporting characters in this book, especially Marco’s family. All their colourful quirks added to the already charming story-line. Ruthie is a likable character. At first I really felt that she kept her potential bottled up. Her acceptance of everything and everyone was endearing but I wanted her to grow from that and become her own person. By the end of the book we do indeed see a growth in character, in large, thanks to Marco. Nonetheless, her spirit and willingness to jump into the deep end really brightened the novel for me.  In a lot of romance novels, we see the heroes being portrayed through this cliched formula that I get tired of real fast but Jo does something brilliant with Marco. She makes him real. As real as a guy can get and I loved that about him and how he acted and reacted around Ruthie.

Jo’s style of writing was also refreshingly brilliant. As someone who loves a means of escapism, it was a delight to read about such vivid descriptions of Italy. It was almost as if I was there and that really notched up the entertainment factor for me. The narrative flows from page to page and isn’t too heavy or filled with a lot of drama; perfect for a summer read.

This book essentially has it all from moments of joy to sadness, love to family feuds and enough humour to keep you turning page after page. Perfect read for the summer to indulge in and it’ll guarantee to leave you feeling satisfied and wishing you were going on holiday! Perfect for chick-lit and romance readers!

Overall Rating: 8/10

You can find out more about Jo and her books from the following places:

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Dream a Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher.. 

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Blurb: 

Sarah is doing just fine. Sure she’s been single for the last five years, and has to spend an uncomfortable amount of time around her ex-boyfriend, his perfect new girlfriend and all their mutual friends. And yes, her job as a PA to one of the most disgusting men in London is mind-numbingly tedious and her career is a constant disappointment to her mother. But it’s really okay. She’s happy (ish).

So it’s not surprising that when Sarah starts dreaming about a handsome stranger, she begins to look forward to falling asleep every night. Reality isn’t nearly as exciting. That is until her dream-stranger makes an unexpected real-life appearance, leaving Sarah questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Because no one ever really finds the person of their dreams… do they?

Review:

Where do I possibly start? There are a few romance books that leave me feeling all warm and giddy inside and recently I hadn’t felt like that in a long time until I read Dream a Little Dream. This is my first Giovanna Fletcher read and I know, I know I’m slightly late to the party but I’m so glad I jumped in with this book because it was an absolute joy to read.

The story revolves around our protagonist, Sarah and how she deals with the ups and downs of her life neither of which are made easy thanks to her ex-boyfriend and over-bearing mother. Sarah, like many of us, begins to dream of an individual who would be her ideal other half. Someone she can rely on, have fun with and someone who will make her happy. It’s all rainbows and sunshine until she actually meets the guy of her dreams, literally. From there the story is a roller-coaster of fun, warmth and some pretty memorable scenes. The humour in the novel adds to an already solid plot and enhances the entertainment level up a notch. I absolutely loved the idea for this book, I myself tend to remember quite a bit from my own dreams so it was pretty exciting seeing this new concept being portrayed in a novel.

My favourite character, without an ounce of doubt, was Sarah. Reading her perspective of things, places and people was at time endearing and hilarious. You can’t help but feel drawn to her and her engaging personality. As readers, we’re given a first hand account into her struggles and there were times when I really sympathised with her character. Throughout the novel she overcomes a lot of obstacles and as an individual, we see a real growth to her character. By the end of the novel, Sarah definitely became one of my favourite fictional characters. Brett was wonderful, I won’t spoil too much but I will say that you can never quite get enough of Brett in this novel. Giovanna really makes him a swoon worthy hero!

Another aspect that I found to be a pleasant surprise was Giovanna’s writing style. Her writing is so refreshingly good that it kept me turning page after page. You wouldn’t be able to tell whether or not this was her third novel or thirteenth, it was that good.

There are many moments of joy, laughter, happiness as well as some bittersweet episodes and as such this novel makes for a highly entertaining read. If you’re a fan of romance novels, then I would definitely recommend this book. Giovanna Fletcher is a natural storyteller, her voice shines throughout the narrative and puts this novel at the top with some of the best. As I said earlier, Dream a Little Dream left me feeling gloriously warm and giddy and 100% satisfied. I will definitely go back and read her previous two novels but for now I would recommend enjoying this wonderful summer read!

Overall Rating: 10/10

You can find out more about Giovanna and her books from the following places:

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Favourite Crime/Suspense Authors – Part 1..

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It’s hard to say when I first fell in love with the crime/suspense genre but over the years there have been a handful number of authors who I can thank for allowing my love for crime fiction to develop. Majority of the time I enjoy some romance within my crime novels but authors who manage to grip me without the romance are just as brilliant.

My list of favourite authors will always be never-ending but I’ve compiled two lists that’ll discuss why I love these particular authors and their books. I’ve decided to split this blog post in two parts. The first part will look at my favourite American authors and the second part will discuss my favourite British authors.


In no particular order: 

Allison Brennan 

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Why I love them:

I’ve known about Allison Brennan for a long time and I’ve been reading her books just as long. For me the one thing that I absolutely love about her books are her characters. One of the first books I read was called Speak No Evil. For a while I had kept off reading Allison’s books until I finally caved and read the first book in the No Evil trilogy and boy was I hooked. The character dynamics in that particular book were brilliant. From the heroes to the villain, each character was three dimensional and the internal struggle that they faced was depicted beautifully through the words of Brennan. I finished the trilogy in a matter of days and instantly craved more. Allison has quite a few romantic thrillers and I enjoyed reading most of them. Of course there is romance in her books and for someone who loves a bit of romance, this wasn’t exactly an issue for me, instead it added more substance to the story and the entertainment level just went up a notch. After reading the first few of her Lucy Kincaid books, I can say without a doubt that Allison has become one of my all time favourite crime/suspense authors. From her writing style to nail-biting plots, she’s definitely paved a way into my heart with her incredibly satisfying books and I hope that she continues to entertain for many more years to come.

Favourite book: 

Love Me to Death – Book 1 of the Lucy Kincaid Series

More about the author:

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Sandra Brown

sandra brown

Why I love them:

I started reading Sandra Brown’s books before I even realised how much I actually enjoy the crime/suspense genre and I definitely credit Sandra for allowing me to enjoy suspense and crime to my heart’s content. The one thing that first drew me towards her books, and has kept me hooked to this day, was her plots. I find it hard to think of someone who writes a brilliantly twisted plot as easily as Sandra. My first Sandra Brown book was Slow Heat in Heaven. Before then I had never read a book where I was met with a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter. I had absolutely no idea what to expect after turning a page and for me that was a refreshing style of writing that I adored. Fortunately for me, and many other fans, Sandra’s books, since then, have just gotten better and better. Every book has a new plot with so many twists and turns that it leaves your head spinning. Even when you think you’ve figured it all out, Sandra will throw in another little bit of a juicy twist and you find yourself questioning everything you just read up to that moment. As a result, there was no doubt in my mind that Sandra wouldn’t become one of my personal favourites. I hear that she has a new book coming out called Friction and I for one am eagerly anticipating its release.

Favourite book: 

Exclusive – Standalone Novel

More about the author:

Official WebsiteFacebookTwitter


James Patterson 

james-patterson

Why I love them:

It’s one thing loving an author’s book and another thing being in love with the book’s hero. That unfortunately, or fortunately for me, is what happens when you start reading a novel by the brilliant James Patterson. I have been a fan of the Alex Cross series for as long as I can possibly remember. From the writing style, to the dynamics of the characters, James includes it all. Making the Alex Cross series one of the best loved crime/suspense series in the world. Apart from that I am a huge fan of his Women’s Murder Club series and one of my favourite James Patterson books, is from that series. Nothing guarantees a good crime fiction like a story about a group of women busting the bad guys. Again I absolutely love the way in which he creates and develops his characters and that’s probably the best thing about a series of books, the development of the protagonist(s). No one does it better than James and for that I will always be eternally grateful for coming across his books at my school library, when I was younger. It’s difficult to put into words just how much I appreciate and love his books but I can definitely say one thing: if you ever need a good crime/suspense fix then pick up a James Patterson book, doesn’t matter which, every single one of his books are guaranteed to keep you entertained for a long, long time and you’ll turn the last page feeling 100% satisfied.

Favourite book: 

The 6th Target – Book 6 of the Women’s Murder Club Series

More about the author:

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Tess Gerritsen

Tess Gerritsen

Why I love them:

I distinctly remember when I read my first Tess Gerritsen book, The Surgeon; I had to put the book down after a few chapters because I ended up reading well into the early hours of the morning. I had never before been so captivated by a book as I was by The Surgeon. Another reason for stopping for a while was because I was scared. Yes, most definitely scared beyond my imagination and I absolutely loved that a book could do that to me. Since then whenever I’ve read a book by Tess, I have never failed to be scared, every single one of her books gives me the chills and for that reason alone she is definitely one of my favourites. I really appreciate it when authors give readers a deep insight into the minds and/or lives of our villains. I’ve always been curious about how their minds tick and Tess gives us that in spades. Her villains are the most horrifying and terrifyingly captivating villains I have ever come across in crime and suspense fiction. They literally give me goosebumps and make the plot so much more taut and brilliantly suspenseful. I am a huge fan of the Rizzoli and Isles series and as a result I’ve also become hooked onto the television series, which is just as incredible as the books. Tess Gerritsen is a master storyteller and with her characters she creates this world of suspense fiction that is exceptionally thrilling and I’ve definitely become a big fan of it.

Favourite book: 

The Killing Place – Book 8 of the Rizzoli and Isles Series

More about the author:

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Patricia Cornwell 

patricia cornwell

Why I love them:

Every reader has that one author whom they believe is the best at their genre. For me, Patricia Cornwell is the queen of crime and suspense fiction. Perhaps because I’ve been a fan of her books from a young age or perhaps because her books are just that good, Patricia’s books have always held a special place in my heart. One of the first authors of this genre that I came across, she had me intrigued from the get go and to this day I am just one small part of her loyal army of fans.  I remember when I first read her book Post-Mortem, as someone who was just about to turn fifteen, this was a turning point in my life. Patricia’s book was so well written and thought out that from the start to the finish I just couldn’t stop turning the pages. Her story, writing and plot gripped me in such a way that it changed my perspective of the crime/suspense genre forever. Sounds dramatic, I know but when you’re an avid bookworm there comes a time in your life when you will be affected by a book and this was one instance for me. After finishing this book I remember thinking wow, what on earth have I just read? This is absolutely brilliant! From then on Kay Scarpetta became one of my all time favourite book characters and I’m so delighted that Patricia hasn’t let this series die down because the books in this series are true gems. Again I hear there will be a new Kay Scarpetta book being published, and like with the Sandra Brown book, I am eagerly anticipating its release.

Favourite book: 

The Body Farm – Book 5 of the Kay Scarpetta Series

More about the author:

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Harlan Coben

harlancoben

Why I love them:

Good storytelling is a must in any book but in crime/suspense fiction you have to be at the top of your game. Harlan Coben has without a doubt written some of the best books I’ve ever come across in this genre and it’s all thanks to his brilliant storytelling. Harlan is one author who can weave a good suspense story with some ease but that is all down to his talented self. For me it’s a joy to pick up one of Harlan’s books. They’re always a pleasure to read. His writing style is what first drew me in, so refreshing and unique in its vividness of the plot as well as its simplicity. There’s just something about his writing style that leaves you feeling insightful, poignant and 100% entertained. There is no doubt that Harlan’s Myron Bolitar series is widely acclaimed but some of my favourite books are his standalone novels, that offer just as much intrigue, suspense and murder to keep you hooked throughout. His books never fail to thrill and I love that aspect of his novels because there are so many authors that are unable to interweave intriguing storytelling with masterful suspense and moments of absolute thrills but Harlan never fails to deliver. As such there’s no way I wouldn’t love his books and I’ll always be eternally grateful to one of my friends who first recommended his books to me.

Favourite book: 

The Woods – Standalone Novel

More about the author:

Official WebsiteFacebookTwitter


Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. These authors are fabulous in their own way and I’m so glad we have their books to enjoy and devour. The second part of my favourite crime/suspense authors will focus on the Brits!

The Bones of You by Debbie Howells..

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Blurb:

When Kate receives a phone call with news that Rosie Anderson is missing, she’s stunned and disturbed. Rosie is eighteen, the same age as Kate’s daughter, and a beautiful, quiet, and kind young woman. Though the locals are optimistic – girls like Rosie don’t get into real trouble – Kate’s sense of foreboding is confirmed when Rosie is found fatally beaten and stabbed.

Who would kill the perfect daughter, from the perfect family? Yet the more Kate entwines herself with the Andersons – graceful mother Jo, renowned journalist father Neal, watchful younger sister Delphine – the more she is convinced not everything is as it seems. Anonymous notes arrive, urging Kate to unravel the tangled threads of Rosie’s life and death, though she has no idea where they will lead.

Review:

Firstly, thank you to Pan Macmillan for giving me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. The Bones of You is a hauntingly good debut by Debbie Howells that has enough twists and secrets to keep the reader entertained from start to finish.

At the beginning of the novel we meet our protagonist Kate and life seems to be going well for her until she hears that one of her daughter’s friends, Rosie Anderson, has gone missing. The plot of the novel revolves around Rosie’s death, the usual who, what and why but with a brilliant and dark twist. If you’re looking for a typical ‘whodunnit’ suspense than look elsewhere because this novel is so much more than that. It explores the lives of each and every character spoken of in the story and gives the reader an in depth description of the lives they led and the lives they let others believe they were living. Rosie lived a seemingly perfect life with a perfect family but all that is thrown into question when Kate starts to scratch the surface of the Andersons’ family lives. Not everything is what it seems and no one can be trusted, least of all Rosie’s family.

I initially felt that the concept held a slight similarity to that of Gone Girl with regards to the ideal domesticated life turning out to be a nightmare, however as I read further on I felt that in terms of characterisation and narrative this novel held its own place as a psychological thriller.

The narrative is told from mostly Kate’s perspective with Rosie filling in the rest of the story in flashbacks that gave a brilliant insight into the reality of Rosie’s life and that of her family’s. When reading Kate’s perspective I, at times, really felt the pace of the story drag and found myself skipping a few pages here and there. I much preferred Rosie’s narrative as it held a lot more of a dynamic and I continuously found myself asking more questions which led to me questioning the motives of nearly every family member as well as that of the supporting characters.

Both Kate and Rosie were endearing characters. I sympathised with them from start to finish and by the time we reached the end of the novel I felt saddened and hoped that Rosie could have had a different ending. The novel touches sensitive subjects and makes us all question just how much we hide from those we love. The portrayal of a chilling domesticated life was without fault and for me it was an incredible debut novel.

If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers then this novel is a must read. There is enough suspense, drama and chilling moments to keep you hooked throughout. Although at times slow, there was enough substance within the story to keep it flowing from page to page, which overall made it a very satisfying read. A compelling, well written and thrillingly debut novel. A promising start in this genre for Debbie Howells and I for one will definitely be looking out for more from this author.

Overall Rating: 9/10

The Bones of You releases today so treat yourself to a new voice in psychological thrillers!

For more information about Debbie and her debut novel you can check out her official website or follow her on Goodreads and Twitter.

Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical..

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Recently I went to the Phoenix theatre in London with my family to watch the hotly anticipated Bend it like Beckham, the musical. Now for those who know the story and loved it this would have been a new venture into the world of theatre and film. The musical was brought to us by the director of the original movie, Gurinder Chadha. 

For those of you who aren’t aware of the original story here’s a quick summary:

Jess needs extra time.

She is facing the most important decision of her life: live up to family expectations of university, career and marriage, or follow in the footsteps of her hero David Beckham. When the talented teenager is spotted playing football in Southall, a world of unexpected opportunities opens up before her. But as her sister’s traditional Indian wedding approaches, can she keep her family happy and still follow her dreams?

At times hilarious and touching the movie depicts how two cultures can be merged together to fulfill one’s dreams and ambitions but the biggest step to take is to believe in yourself. The musical follows the same plot and as such the screenplay is brilliant. What adds to this already brilliant story-line is the music. Without a doubt a musical only works if there’s good music and this production gives the audience that in spades.

From the compositions to the lyrics, the music is spectacular on a large scale. It brings to life the whole journey of the main characters and gives us a glimpse into the perspective of the secondary characters. The fusion of Punjabi and English music is one that brings a smile to your face. As someone who’s family originates from Punjab, in India and who has grown up listening to Punjabi music, this was a real pleasure. But even for those not familiar with the language or music could be seen singing, clapping and dancing to the beat of the desi drums. The music is original and authentic in every way and for me it completely sold the production and gave theatre lovers something they enjoy the most, being entertained to the max.

Although I believe the music was the selling point, it would be silly not to commend the effort put in by the incredibly talented actors, their hard work definitely paid off. There wasn’t a moment when I wasn’t hooked by the characterisations from the actors. They were brilliant. I don’t think I could pick out one actor who didn’t live up to the performance that was promised and for me that was definitely a huge and welcoming surprise.

If you love a fusion of two cultures with a story-line that entertains from start to finish then this production is definitely worth a watch. For all those people who believe in dreams and desires, this musical teaches you to never give up and to believe in your abilities and yourself. A fantastic watch for individuals of all ages and an inspiration to the youngsters of this generation. Go enjoy a family day out or a take a few friends and be entertained for 2 and half hours. You won’t regret it.

Thank you to the Phoenix theatre and all those involved in the production of this musical for bringing this joyous new British musical comedy to the west-end.

You can find out more about the musical in the following places:

Official WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram

Creature Comforts by Trisha Ashley..

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Blurb:
Izzy has broken off her engagement to her feckless fiancé Kieran and returned to her childhood home – the sleepy village of Halfhidden.

She soon realizes that life in the village is anything but peaceful – for one thing she’s living with her mad aunt Debo and her pack of dogs, for another, Izzy has a lot of unanswered questions.

When she was a teenager, Izzy was involved in a terrible accident, involving various inhabitants of Halfhidden. As she sets out to discover what actually happened on the night of the accident, she realizes that her painful past is actually standing in the way of her future happiness. So when a handsome stranger comes to Halfhidden will she let love back into her life?

Review:
Trisha Ashley’s seventh novel and my second read of the author, Creature Comforts is a fantastic summer read with enough charm, warmth and fun to keep you entertained throughout.

The plot of the novel revolves around our protagonist, Izzy, who has just recently broken off her engagement and returned to her childhood home, the village of Halfhidden. I was pleasantly surprised when I read the blurb and saw that the novel would have a dose of suspense in addition to the romance and Ashley does not disappoint. The suspense is brilliantly interwoven into the plot and plays a key part in Izzy’s happy ending.

I absolutely adored Izzy and the supporting characters in the novel as they enhanced the entertainment factor in this story. Izzy is a very likable character, we see her grow so much as a person and I commended her attitude throughout the novel. As well as being easily relatable, she shows true bravery and strength in the way she deals with certain incidents that occur in the story. She doesn’t stop striving for her happiness and all her hard work does indeed pay off.

The suspense is only a small part of this novel, and the story itself is so much more than that. The romance is, in typical Trisha Ashley style, warm, engaging and absolutely gets you hooked from the start. Rufus is a fantastic, enigmatic hero that I’m pretty sure all romance readers are guaranteed to swoon over him. He’s the perfect balance to Izzy’s crazy life and brings a certain charm to the village life.

If you happen to love idyllic villages, where community life is the key then this book is for you. There’s something for everyone in this book from romance to suspense to moments of hilarity. This novel is a perfect for readers who love a story that takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions and keeps you engaged and entertained throughout.

Trisha Ashley never fails to deliver and Creature Comforts is a wonderfully charming, at times funny, romantic story that I think all die-hard chick-lit and romance fans should definitely give a go!

Overall Rating: 9/10

If you would like to find out more about Trisha’s novels, you can do so on her official website. You can also follow Trisha on Facebook and Twitter.